Sunday, 1 April 2012

Trip Report - Khao Lak March 2012

Trip Report  10-24 March 2012

Returned last week after 14 wonderful nights in Khao Lak.  Travelled as a family of 5 (with 3 kids aged 9,7&4).  Also my parents travelled with us too.  We actually spent our first 5 nights in Hong Kong and then flew direct from Hong Kong to Phuket with Air Asia.  Our first 5 nights we stayed at the Kantary Beach Resort on a Scoopon deal which was an absolute bargain!  $50 a night including a full buffet breakfast.  As the rooms only take a family of 4 our eldest daughter bunked in with my mum and dad. 
We had a great time at the Kantary with a few Aussie families also there on the Scoopon deal.  The resort is not usually my style but we still really enjoyed our stay and the rooms are gorgeous and big....definately big enough for a family with 2 kids.  Beds are super comfy and the outdoor shower is lovely.  We had villa no 1110 which was directly opposite the kids pool so was the ideal spot for us as the older kids could come and go a bit by themselves. 
We didn't do too much here except relax after our hectic 5 days in Hong Kong....was the perfect combination.  We went to the beach out the front of the Boatyard Restaurant as this was alot quieter than in front of the Kantary or near the white sand beach restaurants.  Ate dinner at the Boatyard a couple of times and also at the White Sand Beach Restaurant which is the first one you come to after the Sarojin....both excellent meals.  Had a couple of massages by the girls at Kantary...was good, but not great.

One thing I was really dissapointed about at the kantary was the kids activities that were on every afternoon.  The timetable looked great and my 4yr old was keen to join in but when we went along found out that the girls that run it only spoke in either Swedish or Danish and would not speak in English to our daughter.  Supposedly they are employed by some Scandinavian tour company (thomas cook??) and are there only for the kids from that area.  My daughter was quite upset about not being included and was totally left out which was a big dissapointment. 

On the other hand the kids club that is located near the kids pool was quite good.  Not a proper kids club where you sign in/sign out but a couple of thai ladies in their to keep an eye on the kids and a few things to play with including colouring in and dvd's.  I would lay by the pool and my kids could come in and out as they pleased....was a nice time out of the sun for them too.

Some pics of our time at the Kantary.

Our Villa

View from our villa to kids pool

My parents lounge room with one bed made up for my daughter

Beach looking south from the Boatyard

Sunset from White Sand Beach

Dinner at White Sand Beach

Massage prices at Kantary

Beach looking North from the Boatyard

On the 15th March we left Kantary for the rest of our stay at Cousin Resort in Bang Niang.  This is our 3rd year in a row of staying at Cousin's and it felt like we were coming home.  We were only meant to be here for 4 nights but I extended our trip/changed our flights so we could stay longer.   In total we had 9nts and it was perfect...very relaxing.

We stay in the 2 bedroom family bungalow (F1) and my parents stayed next door in the Deluxe Bungalow (C1).  Cousins was pretty quiet and only around 8 of the bungalows were taken....was a lovely change from the very busy Kantary.  Pretty much had the pool to ourselves which was great with the kids.

Our days were spent going to the beach at Pin and Pew (sp?) which is the last beach restuarant heading north on Bang Niang beach.  Would spend a few hours of the morning here, have lunch and then head back to Cousins for a chill out by the pool etc.  Then head off for an early dinner either at one of the beach restaurants in Bang Niang or catch a songthaew into Khao Lak town for shopping and dinner.

Did a cooking course for a half day through Everyday Lazyhouse 2.  Was a great day out with Goi the owner.  Picked up at 8.30am and off to the local food markets to get all the ingredients for whatever you want to make - generally can pick 3 dishes but we actually ended up making 5 between 3 of us.  We made spring rolls, tom yum goong, tom kha gai, Penang Curry beef and Green chicken curry.  Was all delicious and we had heaps of food to take back to the others.  Dropped back off at Cousins at approx 1pm.  Think the price was around 1000-1200 baht per person.

Apart from the cooking course we did no other organised tours - we really just wanted to relax and day trips are hard work with 3 young kids!

Some of the restaurants we ate at were:

Bang Niang
Chong Fah Restaurant - was impressed with the food and the serving sizes...much better than last year.
Green Pepper on the Beach - nice new trendy bar/restaurant overlooking the beach.  We all had western meals and they were all great.  Good cocktails - mojito's were yummy!
Pin & Pew - great meals here for breakfast and lunch with a lovely setting overlooking the beach.
Cousin Restaurant - good breakfast and snacks around the pool. cheap!

Bang La On
McDonalds - Adults didn't eat here but the kids did around 3 or 4 times.  They liked it!
Discovery Cafe - Great food and lovely clean bathrooms with good service.
Everyday Lazyhouse 2 - Excellent food and really nice peaceful setting.  Didn't stay for the live music as kids were tired.
Keeper Restaurant - lovely food, not your typical thai food but delicious.  Service was not good!

We also had a special dinner at our friend Nop's house.  Nop owns the Sunset Bar which is the first restaurant you come to after crossing the creek to Khuk Khuk beach from Bang Niang.  We went to Nop's cousins house and had a lovely meal set in a gorgeous setting by a little man-made waterfall.  Set off lanterns after our meal and even had some fireworks.  Was easily the best night we had while we were away.  Photo's will explain it better :)

I'm sure we ate at other places but just can't remember now.

Photo's of our time at Cousins.

Dinner at Everyday Lazyhouse 2

Sunset Bar

Bang Niang Beach

Local food markets

With Goi after our cooking class
Food we cooked

Massages at Pin & Pew

Letting off lanterns at Nop's.

Special dinner at Nop's.

Dinner at Keeper Restaurant

Gardens at Cousin Resort

Had an excellent holiday, still love Khao Lak and can't wait to be back next year!


  1. We missed our annual meet up with you guys but really enjoyed this great Blog. See you next year!
    Alan & Barbara

    1. Thanks Alan and Barbara....we missed you guys too! next year for sure!!