Friday, March 21, 2008

Onto Khao Lak

Up at 6:45. Soooo tired. Not enough sleep. Laid in bed for a bit, had a quick shower. I'm moving pretty slowly. I'm not hung over, really, I may still be a bit drunk, but just mostly tired. As I was packing, my van came early to pick me up, 7:15. Finished packing and hopped in.

The van picked up a bunch of other tourists and a few locals. One other couple is going to Khao Lak, the rest to the airport in Krabi.

The ferry from Koh Lanta Noi to the mainland was very busy, we had a long wait before we could get on. The people going to the airport in Krabi thought they were going to miss their flight.

We got to Krabi, dropped their airport people off with an hour or more to spare, then on to the tour company. We had about 10 minutes to grab something to eat and get loaded into another van for the ride to Khao Lak. While at the tour company, buddy asked me if I had a place to stay in Khao Lak yet, I said no, he sold me a place called Sri Guest House. As I have no nothing about Khao Lak (it's not in my Let's Go travel book), I took it for one night, then get my bearings and see what else is available.

Once again, the area around Krabi astounds me. It's very quite spectacular, limestone mountains coming straight up out of the ground, lush, green jungle all around. I could live in Krabi, it has such natural beauty.

The drive to Khao Lak is quite nice. We drove through this area of mountains and valleys, the road twisting and turning through the thick jungle. I started talking to the couple that were on the van from Koh Lanta with me, they did a Similan Islands dive trip a number of years ago and loved it. They said I'd get to see lots of amazing things, including huge manta rays, like 5-6 metres in diameter. Cool!

I tried to sleep on the van, but it was useless.

Got to Khao Lak about 2:00, and I asked around for directions to Sri Guest House and made the 300 metre walk along the highway to it. My room is very nice, sparkling clean, huge, but location is not ideal. I'll see what I can find this afternoon for tomorow.

I walked to the nearest restaurant for lunch, very expensive Italian place. Very good, but expensive.

Khao Lak is a large area, but when people say Khao Lak, they usually are referring to the main town where most of the accomodations are. The highway runs right through the middle of the town, and almost all the shops and restaurants and guest houses run along the highway, so it's quite stretched out.

I went in search of a map for Khao Lak, but most of the tour agents were all out. Finally I found one and go my bearings. After a thunderstorm rolled through, about 4:00, I walked down to the beach, about a 20 minute walk from Sri Guest House.

Walked north on the beach, there's nothing but high-end resorts that have beach front property here. Pretty much what I had read on the internet about Khao Lak. The beaches are very lovely and the view around to the mountains in behind is quite nice.

Walked back to Sri Guest House along the highway, used internet, and found that Happy Lagoon Bungalows is relatively cheap, it says 500 baht for fan room. And it's a short 100 metre walk to the beach. I walked by Happy Lagoon on the way to the beach, and remember looking at it thinking that that place looks expensive!

I walked to Happy Lagoon, their fan rooms are 600 baht now, but heck, I'll pay an extra 100 baht ($3) to be closer to everything. I'll move there tomorrow.

About 8:30 headed out to find something to eat, then back to my room and was in bed by 9:30.

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