The hubs and I celebrated our wedding anniversary in Khao Lak, Thailand. (Okay this was back in June, but life’s been too hectic I can’t keep up!)
Khao Lak is on the mainland, about an hour’s drive from the more popular Phuket and Phi Phi Island. We picked Khao Lak because we wanted a beach side town that is not over-touristy and all we wanted to do that week was relax, enjoy good local food, soak in our private pool or sit at the pool bar during happy hour (it really was happy hour for us because cocktails costs a mere A$4.00!).
We’re both relatively well-travelled and we enjoy planning our trips, making each day count and getting the most out of our time. This time round, the frantic pace of sight-seeing and activity-filled days didn’t seem quite as appealing. I realised when booking this trip that we NEVER had a holiday in a resort hotel with absolutely no plans and just a whole week of nothingness. NEVER. And let me tell you…it was rather heavenly.
We stayed in The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani and splashed out on one of those suites with direct access to our own pool. It certainly made rolling out of bed and into the pool that much easier…except during happy hour when we needed to walk to the main pool because that’s where the bar was! Okay, I’m not obsessed with cocktails I assure you, but come on, I’m on vacation and what’s better than having cocktails in the pool!
We decided to interrupt our week-long laze and cocktail haze by booking a tour to the ‘James Bond’ island – popular with tourists who flock to the island because of the infamous vertical rock called ‘Koh Tapu’ which was heavily featured in ‘The man with the golden gun’. I never watched that movie (gasp!) so it didn’t resonate at any level with me…but apparently that rock was where Scaramanga powered his laser gun (for those of you in the know).
Aside from James Bond island, the tour included a trip to the local turtle conservatory, the Thai Muang Turtle Sanctuary. Turtles in the the Andaman sea are protected species under Thai law. Their nesting sites are private and protected by the Thai navy! How cool is that? In the sanctuary, the turtles are separated by their hatch periods in saltwater tanks – from teeny tiny days old babies to ginormous teenagers. There’s even a rehab section for the turtles that are ill or injured. It was an unexpected side-trip which I enjoyed thoroughly.
There was also a lunch stop on one of the floating villages and it was nice to be able to walk around and see how the locals live on water. There were shops and restaurants, homes, temples, schools and even a floating soccer pitch.
We also visited temple in a cave, complete with monkeys that terrorise visitors. No Thailand trip is complete unless you have been terrorised by monkeys. Haha. Nah, they weren’t that bad. In fact, they were rather adorable.
Other popular tourist activities included waterfall hikes and elephant rides, but we weren’t up for either. Instead we visited local markets, ate our body weight in local food and attempted to walk it all off by the beach. All in all, it was a very different type of holiday for us, and we took the opportunity to simply…relax. Unheard of, if you knew us, but it was a perfect anniversary getaway.