A Day Out From Phuket to Khao Lak
Last weekend I had a little job to do for the dive shop .. a customer had left his rather expensive dive torch here last year, but he'd booked another trip departing out of Khao Lak and I needed to drop his torch off at the boat operator's office in Khao Lak. Am I not kind? Well, from our house it's about 100km to Khao Lak and we've done several little holidays in Khao Lak over the years. Good for a night or two, a bit of vitamin sea, some quiet beach time. So on my day off from the dive shop, I thought we could make a little family trip with some stops on the way. Just the 4 of us, plus one extra friend of our daughter. It normally takes about 45 minutes from our house to reach the very north of Phuket and drive over Sarasin Bridge. It was a lovely, hot, sunny high season day and we had planned to leave late and stop for lunch on the way at a place called Nern Khao View Talay just north of the small town of Khok Kloi. But the restaurant was closed for a wedding! However, no worries as nearby is the Wat Khao Waterfall which has a restaurant right next to it called Krua Klang Dong.
We have eaten here before, it does very tasty local food at a good price although we do prefer the slightly fancier Nern Khao View Talay! The restaurant was busy - lunchtime at the weekend - and we had to wait a little while for a table before ordering too much food as we normally do! And then we take some home with us for later! A couple of the dishes we ordered ...
(above) Gaeng Som (sour and spicy southern Thai style curry)
(above) Yam Gung Siap (salad made with crispy dried shrimp)
I have written another blog post about Krua Klang Dong, it's a nice place to eat near the waterfall, it's quiet, food has been tasty every time we have been here. Wat Khao waterfall itself is not huge, but when we came in low season it had quite a flow of water. This time (dry season) - not much going on, but still people splashing around in pools.
(above) A rather dry Wat Khao Waterfall. High season is not the ideal time to visit waterfalls! We planned to stop at a bigger waterfall later. I hoped that either Lampi or Ton Prai waterfalls would be worth a visit. But first we carried on to Khao Lak about 45 minutes drive from Wat Khao Waterfall. We could have stopped at Thai Mueang Beach on the way, but we'd spent a long time eating so needed to dash a little.
Dropped off the torch for our customer and we drove down Soi Nangthong to the beach. We have stayed at the Nangthong Bay Resort before which has a nice restaurant by the sea - it looked busy! We just played around on the sand and rocks for a while. There are miles of beaches around Khao Lak and compared to the busier beaches in Phuket it feels very relaxed. Phuket does of course have quieter beaches, but Khao Lak just seems more peaceful. I think because the main road is set back from the beach, with just some small side roads leading down, so you don't really see any cars.
(above) At Nangthong Beach looking north
(above) The kids let me drag them out for a day :) We used to do this more often, but the kids are getting older and have their own things to do, friends to hang out with .. plus in high season I have only 1 day off per week and I often appreciate a lazy day. When we get to low season I have more time for days out! Sometimes we do just like to "take a drive" with some vague nearby destination in mind.
On this sunny day we left Khao Lak after 3pm and drove south again. Ton Prai Waterfall is about 30km from Khao Lak and by the time we got there it was about 3:45pm. The national park staff at the entrance said they have to close by 4:30pm so we walked as speedily as possible along the path from the parking area to the waterfall, about 650m up and down steps and picking your way through tree roots. A few tourists were walking the other way towards the exit. We arrived at the waterfall and the only other people there were 4 Thai teenagers who asked my son to take a photo of them, and they left, so we had the waterfall to ourselves :) Always good to arrive at tourist attractions either early morning or late afternoon to avoid any possible crowds.
(above) Enjoying Ton Prai Waterfall. And still plenty of water in the hot season!
On a hot day, the water in the waterfall was surprisingly cold! We splashed around for about half an hour before the walk back to the rangers station where thankfully they have some drinks for sale. I am not advertising, but a cold Coke does wonders on a hot day like this :) Time to drive home again. I like having these days out with the family. I like family time. I like having my kids around. We got home just before sunset - photo below was taken near home.
(above) Sunset on the road, 25th February 2018. This is the kind of day we enjoy. No particular plan, enjoy the scenery, enjoy the company of family and it makes me very happy to be living here in Phuket!