A travel story about a place we've been before. Which we enjoyed totally different this time. With our family. Kind of calm. Less travelling around. More enjoying ourselves. Less about meeting new people. More about spending time with our loved ones.
Usually this is exactly NOT our way to spend time when travelling. We relish getting to know cultures from all over the world, we love being able to hop on our car, on a motorcycle or a bus and start exploring a new place.
And so this time it was an absolutely new feeling we had to get used to. But you know what: it was great!
Days on the beach, tanning, reading a book, being lazy... Dinner with a large group of family and friends, evenings full of laughter and a lot of Singha Beer.
Okay - wait. The more I think about it, the more I realize, how many new people we got to know, how many new places we visited, that we didn't only hang around being lazy but
swam in UNKOWN DEEP LAKES,
ran down hills to find HIDDEN BEACHES,
took a ride on ELEPHANTS, ate SCALLOPS for the first time,
visited BIG BUDDHA again and hung up a new bell,
drove once a BIG BIKE and all the time a small SCOOPY,
watched real THAI BOXING in a stadium,
CANOED on a dam, discovered beautiful CORALS,
ADMIRED exotic plants and LEAFS BIGGER THAN OUR FEET,
climbed up the CHONG FAH again,
explored OLD CITIES and TEMPLES,
survived a RAINSTORM on a cockleshell,
ate FRIED INSECTS at the FOOD MARKETs, ate in general too much rice,
ate secretly some burgers because of too much rice,
drank some THAI WHISKEY (that actually is no whiskey but rum),
watched a sculptor building ART OUT OF ICE,
spent a night with COCKROACHES,
sent over 65 LANTERNS TO HEAVEN
had a great COUPLE SHOOT at the beach
listened to many GREAT STORIES and had such a WONDERFUL TIME!
And that's not even all. These are just the first things I remember... So flip through the pictures and see what we did when spending three and a half week in Khao Lak with our family and friends :
So after the first days at the beach and in our cosy little bungalows we went to Phuket, strolled through the old part of the town and went down to Rawai Beach for having the freshest fish and seafood you will ever get. Buy it to your right side from the sea nomads and get it cooked to your left side in a kitchen of your choice.
Of course we went again to Big Buddha and Wat Chalong, and also visited an old Chinese Temple.
Food Markets and Street Food are very common in Thailand, you will find it everywhere. The market in Bang Niang opens every monday, wednesday and saturday, the market in Khuekkak every morning (be early!), and in Takua Pa you can stroll through the old town market every sunday. During our stay there was also the king market, which also opened at night and can be compared to a carnival or a big fair.
The very reason why we travelled to Thailand (again) was the 65th birthday of my uncle. He invited us to celebrate with him - and he didn't had to ask twice.
Ice sculptures and cocktails and dinner and lanterns. What else do you need? A great evening, followed by two amazing days at the Cheow Lan Lake and at The Cliff & River.
So: Packing bags, off to the Lake and to the Cliff and River Jungle Resort in the Khao Sok National Parc.
The Cheow Lan Lake, also called Rajjaprahba Dam, has floating resorts, where you literally sleep on the water. Amazing feeling - except when you are seasick and except for the cockroaches we had in our house. So - well, in the end WE didn't sleep on the water, we spent the night awake. And I still don't get, how cockroaches stay alive on a floating house [ ...some visitors must have brought food... :( ]
But we got recompensed by the view, the silence, nice boat trips, canoeing and watching monkeys and tropical birds. So hey - who cares about cockroaches...
Surviving a rainstorm in complete darkness on the boat, visiting another - lets say "basic" - floating resort on the lake, spending time at the beautiful jungle resort and riding and bathing with elephants - so many great experiences.
Unfortunatley the elephant didn't fit into my suitcase.
Back in Khao Lak we spent the rest of the days eating, relaxing, driving, swimming, climbing up waterfalls... And then, suddenly, four weeks are over. One day left till it's christmas, time to go back home. Back to our loved ones at home and back to minor degrees. But it's okay, we will treasure these moments and memories in our hearts!