Arrival in Khao Lak

Khao Lak Travel Blog

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After a rather uneventful flight (always a plus), I arrived in Phuket airport. The airport consists of a small room with immigration and then baggage pickup. After that there are hordes of people trying to sell you a taxi and excursions around the area.

One of the women in front of me in the line up to clear immigration was from Australia, and like many other people on my flight, had purchased alcohol at the duty free shop. Her kid was running around, so the mom yelled at her, dragged her back to the immigration desk and the kid smashed the bottle of alcohol. The whole area then smelled like whatever bright blue booze she had purchased. I don't understand Thai, but I'm quite sure the immigration workers said something along the lines of "Oh great, another plane load of drunken Australians!".

I had booked a taxi through my hotel, so I made my way through all the taxi vendors and found a teenage looking young man holding a sign that read "Khao Lak Banana/ Shauna". I felt like a movie star :)

The car was new and comfortable and he had the A/C fully cranked (ahhhh so nice). The one strange thing I noticed about the car is that the stick shift was covered with a whinnie the pool decoration, which seemed slightly out of place.

The drive was interesting to say the least. Unlike Borneo, most of the drive was on a divided highway, which I came to discover is good for making it to your destination alive. While there were many safely signs such as construction clearly marked with signs, flashing lights, speed bumps to slow you down before sharp turns, etc, there appears to be no belief in "the rules of the road". Luckily for the many scooters, for most of the drive there was a "Scooter / bicycle lane". If there wasn't, the roads would be terribly unsafe to drive anything smaller than a car. Many times a car would be passing another car coming in our direction without enough room and my driver would quietly pull over to the side to let him pass. Although I haven't seen a scooter carrying an entire family, I did see a truck with an open back with a few men inside (while it was pouring down rain) and saw a truck piled about 2 metres high with wood, with three men sitting on top of it.

Once I was out of the car and at my accommodation, I was thinking that driving here (and being a local) is pretty safe because everyone is very considerate, it just was a bit worrisome for a newbie like me. I sat in the passenger seat, eyes closed, listening to my ipod until we arrived in Khao Lak :)

After arriving at the Khao Lak Banana, I met up with Anton, my Scottish travel buddy for the next 10 days. It was very nice to see a familar face! We went for a stroll down the main street and over to the beach. Although dark, it looked pretty nice. We found one of the many restaurants filled with westerners (ie - every restaurant) and I ordered a coconut juice and the standard fried noodles and chicken. The coconut juice was literally a coconut filled with water. It was very tasty but I won't be drinking or anything coconut for a while!

After a Chang beer at the hotel bar, I was ready for bed. We have a very busy day tomorrow: shopping, beach, pool and then leaving on the dive boat for the dive adventure!
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Khao Lak
photo by: skibabe