Ray and Angela Couch around the world travel blog

Ang Onassis

View from gaff

Ang and her dinner

Moped frenzy

Rainbow falls

Beach by our place

One bite out of many

The pretorian guard

The local boat yard

The air asia flight from KL to Phuket was really good and took no time at all, just a few weather bumps and one drop which got everyone oohing. We had arranged accommodation for a week at a resort in Khao Lak which is about an hour North of Phuket and they had arranged a taxi to pick us up. As soon as we stepped outside of the arrivals hall there were loads of people asking if you wanted a taxi or a place to stay, we politely smiled as you are advised to do and said we had one booked. We saw a sign with the name of the complex on and our driver got his car and loaded our luggage into it. It took just over an hour to get to the place and there was a few shabby looking places on the way although the people all looked happy and friendly. The resort was a bit below our hopes as it was all a bit tired and shabby but as Ang keeps saying we are on a world tour and we can’t expect 5 star accommodation when we will have to pay for a place to stay, I suppose w have been spoiled by all the nice places and people we have boarded with. Anyway we decided to make the most of it and did a bit of exploring. The resort itself is on its own and has a small secluded beach area with lots of big boulders. You can walk along the beach to an area which has some larger complexes on it and some shops. We decided to go for a walk that way. It’s a shame that some of the stretches of beach have so much rubbish on them, we can’t decide if it’s just washed up or people just dump it. It does seem like it’s the locals rather than the tourists to be honest but it did spoil some of the beaches. There were some really ropey looking eateries on the beach, I mean not just rustic but very much run down. We had to climb over some rocks on the way and I managed to slip over and put a big graze on my arm and sprain my wrist. It seems to be my way this trip. Anyway we went on and arrived at the complexes and they were full of older couples, mostly Germans. I said to Ang that it looked like a scene from the film Cocoon. We looked around and settled in the bar area and had a couple of beers and a bite to eat, as it was happy hour the beers were only 60 baht each (about £1.10) so that was ok. After that we walked to the shops and restaurants and then got pestered by a couple of guys who had tailor’s shops, they were all very nice people but not what we wanted. We then walked back along the beach to our place and had a lie down (age you know) then later on went into our restaurant area and had a couple of drinks. Ang got bitten by some very big mosquitoes, right through her shorts. She has some lovely red welts on her bum and a huge bite on her leg. Next day we decided to have a lazy day on the beach at the hotel complexes we went to on the first day. We strolled up as if we owned the place and nabbed a couple of the hotel towels and went onto the sun loungers under the trees and lazed there most of the day. We went in for a swim and the water was really nice and warm, then we got washed off and had a dip in their pool, I am sure that we were the only Brits there and we stood out a bit but we didn’t feel too bad as we spent some time and money in the hotel bar so that in effect paid for our time there. We went back at happy hour  and had a couple of beers and a small pizza to keep us going. As we walked back to the shops we thought about hiring a moped to get around a bit as everybody seems to have them. We went to one place and after waiting for ages the girl turned up and said she had no bikes but the one down the road might have, we went there and after some discussion about taking one bike and bringing it back later to swap for another we got a moped. 200 baht per day (about £5) and we were off. We went back to the resort for a practice drive and got ready to go back to the bike place to swap our bike. We decided to eat at the restaurants near there as they looked quite good. Driving at night is a trial anyway especially if you are a novice on a moped with an anxious wife behind you gripping on for dear life. Anyway we negotiated the swarms of insects belting us in the face and got to the shop where we picked up our new ride and then walked across to the restaurants. The first one we looked in was nice enough and the guy was very helpful so in we went and Ang ordered a big old white snapper which they came and showed her before they cooked it. I went for prawn noodles and Ang’s fish turned up looking amazing as the photo shows. After dinner we had a small wander around then back on the bike and a drive to our complex, we went into our bar area and had a beer, only 60 baht each full price, bargain.

Next day we went for a drive down the main road towards the main town of Khao Lak but went right through it and ended up doing about 30km before we decided to head back. We found a nice waterfall called Sri Rung and I took the plunge to cool off. We wanted to find the bus station which we thought we would have to change at to get to a place called Sura Thani when we leave here next Monday. We found the bus station right amongst this really smelly market and found out that the bus does not go there anyway and we can actually just stop the bus on the road by our place to get to Sura Thani anyway.

We drove to the beach at Bang Niang but the road just ended in a drop onto the beach. It looked like the Tsunami had ripped up the road and the locals had just left it. The beach didn’t look all that anyway, so we stopped off for a Thai massage. I think Ang needed it after being bumped about on the back of the bike. She wasn’t keen at first but absolutely loved it after. The massage lasted an hour and the Thai girls worked every single muscle in our bodies. They washed our feet and gave us water as we arrived, then spent an hour on the massage, cracking bones as they went and really working the muscles when they found them tight. After a very relaxing hour we were given fresh pineapple and some thai tea. We drove back towards our place and stopped off at this German restaurant and had curry Wurst, lovely and then wandered around a bit to pick up some more mosquito stuff as we are running low and the ones at our complex are vicious. That done we went back and decided to go down to the beach by our place and relaxed having a read on the sand, the sun was very hot though and that combined with riding the bike gave me a bright red face, neck and arms. It was only then that I realised that I forgot to put sun block on my face that day, not a good thing to do. We had a swim and then went back to get showered up before heading to our bar for dinner. The food in our place is really good, Ang had a green curry with chicken and I had a veggie curry with tofu, this coupled with a few bottles of 6.5 percent Chang beer meant a pretty decent sleep that night. We bought mosquito nets in Oz before we left although I have only used mine once as the huts have a heater device which has tablets and they seem to keep them away. Ang however is wrapped up like Miss Faversham and no mosquito is going to get in at her for a meal.

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