Action day (km 1020, Khao Sok-Khao Lak)

Khao Lak, 25.12.2012
What a day! We started in the jungle, relaxed, enjoying a late breakfast. But without a place to stay for the night. So we left Khao Sok national park, checking another resort that was not nice though (normal room 1000 thb, room with AC and TV 2000 thb). On the road back to the sea we stopped for an elephant tour. Tbc (need to run to the last open food stand since Thai eateries outside of major tourist towns close at 2030-2100)

Last night I finished this post but somehow it got lost while uploading, so,I’ll try again.

Ok, so we left off at the 1h elephant tour into the jungle, Kena’s Xmas present. We rode on medium sized Dora, up into a valley following a little river. Kena was smiling all the time (Boris too). We encountered a whole tour group of Russians, mostly couples with no kids, clearly recognizable, that are driven here in bus loads. After 20-30 mins of Dora-riding we arrived at the resting place and elephant shower basin. The way back was even more fun, especially after Kena switched from the saddle to ride on the elephant’s neck, with her white trousers (the same ones she wore last year during our South African quad safari…). Great experience!

On the road back again we stopped some km later at the same restaurant like the day before, but this time had more food and two beer, 540 thb. Kena says we got ripped off, I told her we had more and more expensive food.
In Takua Pa we filled the car with gas (same prices like last time), found a coffee shop with wifi and checked the accommodation options ahead of us. By the way, the espresso was very decent, compared to Italian standards. When we continued driving it was 1630 already and we started checking the first resorts soon after. But we didn’t know the whole Khao Lak area is completely touristy! Huge resorts, concrete bunkers, with western food buffets and disco at night – exactly what we do NOT want. The later and darker it got, the more desperate we became. When we finally entered Khao Lak we saw the Khao Lak city hotel on the left side of the road, that was lined with shops and restaurants. We looked at each other and it was clear we agreed to stay here. Kena negotiated a room with window for 900 thb, and the warm shower felt great. This is when we left to find food and I had to stop blogging.
While we are at a “restaurant” right behind our hotel (aka a table and grill in a market area under a big concrete roof), pad thai noodles and Singha beer, we decided to take the car and drive into Khao Lak, to see what was ahead of us. Great decision! What a nightmare town, filled with hordes of Scandinavians, Germans (incl Sachsen), Swiss, Americans and other people recognizable as tourists at miles distance. And the shops that these people need, and western food restaurants and bars, for like 15 km left and right of the road. At some point we stopped, got a frappe and ice at a bar with wifi and researched our options for tomorrow. We found a nice looking bungalow place on an island north of Khao Lak. But you never know what’s ahead of you, and seeing is believing. So tomorrow we’ll find out. Good night!