Motorbike ride to Khao Lak including tale telling philosophies; Mouth Resort, Moo Moo Cabaret and Sa
Storing our roller bags with Arawan and donning our backpacks we headed out the 4202 to the 4. We were on our way to the next discovery in Thailand on our motorbike ride to Khao Lak in the Phang Nga Province.
The beauty of the mountainous area did not disappoint us with jungle lying to either side of the roadway that was spattered with small, sleepy villages. Entering the Phang Nga Province we crossed many bridges over creeks and rivers and immediately began to see tourism directional signs to the many caves, beaches and waterfalls the area is known for.
This was an easy ride but the heat, our packs and the small size of the bike dictated a couple of stops for hydration and exercise along the way. Sa Nang Manora Forest Park presented itself at an opportune moment when we needed to stretch our legs and relieve our backs of the weight of our packs. Parking was easy and the entrance directing us to the nature trail was not crowded. We used the clean restrooms and did some trekking on the nature trail where we found a pool with some Thai locals enjoying an afternoon swim. The trail itself was easy to follow as it progressed upwards in the shade of the jungle trees, the weather eroded rocks and roots of the tall trees were smoothed into easy stepping stones. It was an enjoyable respite from the sun but soon we were ready to be on our way again.
We skirted the edge of Phang Nga Town chatting about how impressed we were with the road conditions and as we popped up over the top of a hill we saw three motorbikes on the side of the road, one of which was down and the rider was on the ground. My partner, not one to drive by anyone in distress on the roadside, pulled over. He hopped off and made his way back the fifteen feet or so to where the teenage riders were leaning over their friend while I retrieved a bottle of water we had under the seat of the bike. I could see communication was not easy. Another car with two mature Thai women pulled over and as I made it to them with the water they indicated they would take the young girl for medical attention. Unable to walk, my honey picked up the dazed rider and carried her to the women’s vehicle. Her friends indicated they would ride to the next village and drop one of their bikes and come back to get hers. We waited on the roadside until they returned. Thank you’s and farewells were exchanged and with our good deed done we were on the road again.
Road signs indicated a right hand turn ahead and we would be a short 15km to our destination. As we checked traffic and made the turn, we saw a couple cars pulled over, we slowed to survey what was going on and realized we were happening onto the scene of an accident. While the roads were in excellent condition many were under construction with new lanes being added. This was the case in this area as well. Signs indicated “box culvert”. We slowed and pulled over, as I saw the scene unfolding before me I felt my apprehension but not my honey, he was indicating to me to hurry off the bike and soon he was down the 30′ or so embankment to aid the other two men heading down as well. My heart raced as I saw the man that we learned later was an EMT start CPR on the male victim. Two other emergency crew members arrived in a small camper shelled vehicle and made their way down with the stretcher. My husband stood on standby as they indicated yes they would need assistance to carry this motorbike accident victim back up the steep embankment. The motorbike and the man were dust covered from the roll. The EMT continued his resuscitation attempts. I felt their anxiety. There was no sign of life. They carefully loaded the man while my husband held clipboards and walkie talkies for them. They secured the man’s neck and head and strapped him on the board. The three emergency personnel and the three volunteers struggled up the rock strewn embankment and the man was loaded in the vehicle. Feet hanging out the back end of the short mini truck they turned on the sirens and were off. As those of us milled around in the aftermath and surveyed the area, we saw that the track off the road showed no skid marks. Discussing it, we agreed the man may have suffered a heart attack and been gone even before the tumble downhill. There was no sign of braking, just a straight tire mark that led to the tumble point. Not knowing for sure the reason but feeling there was something we were to gain from these life threatening incidents we’ve encountered on this trip coupled with the news of a young girl from home being diagnosed with leukemia we discussed it off and on throughout the remaining ride. The one thing we do know is that we truly appreciate the value in every single day we are given. Trials and tribulations may come everyone’s way but living every day to the fullest, helping our fellow mankind as we can and appreciating all that is good and beautiful is the true meaning of a life well lived.
We hit the center of Khao Lak and saw the beauty of the sleepy little tourist village whose streets were lined with eateries, resorts, villas, bungalows, massage establishments and bars. We immediately felt a cool vibe from the small seaside jungle town. As is many times the case with using our maps in this country, we had to circle back to find the Mouth Resort where we spent two nights. We encounter this often where we are traveling faster than the signal and our gps map is not keeping up with us, sooner or later we always find our way and enjoy the sight seeing of the extended route 😉
The reception at this small bungalow property was a warm, friendly greeting from its owners. I immediately took in the beauty of the grounds that surrounded the individual bungalows that were divided by a natural creek that at this point of the dry season barely trickled below the bridge as the owner escorted us up the rocked pathway to our unit.
There is a small bench on the porch of these units for sitting outside with a clothes line strung between its two pillars for drying belongings after a day’s trip to the beach. The bungalows included small table and chairs inside along with King bed, wardrobe, bottled water and refrigerator. The bathroom is beautifully tiled with open shower. The place is immaculate and quaint. The pool is located just at the end of the row of 8 or so bungalows and is a very small kidney shaped one just good enough for a quick dip to cool off. There was a couple of longs chairs for soaking up the beauty of the well tended gardens on the property and the nearby jungle. We did not spend anytime at this pool. Breakfast is served up fresh daily by the owners at a nominal 200 baht additional fee for chive omelette and fruit. Coffee and toast is available at no charge.
After the roadside incidents we were past ready for a beer and something to eat as we had not taken time for lunch. We walked back out to the main road and headed to the nearest bar. We found a place called Peter Bar. Singha’s were ordered. My honey asked for a glass and jokingly the bartender gave him a shot glass. Whelp, after the day’s roadside occurrences that’s all the encouragement it took and soon we had shots of “Jame-son”. We enjoyed tempura shrimp, duck and papaya salad and then headed to the nearest convenience store to buy a bottle and some beers to take to our room with us to continue to partake as we refreshed ourselves with a cool shower and change of clothes. We were rollin’.
Heading back out (On foot, no driving for us when drinking!), we turned to the right and found Lazy House where we listened to a great duo and continued to partake of libations throughout their set.
Moo Moo Cabaret had caught our eye earlier in the day as we passed by in our initial drive through town. Realizing we were just a few doors down we grabbed a chicken skewer hot off the grill from a street vendor for dinner and made it in for the nightly show which begins at 9:45pm. Thailand is known for it’s lady boy cabarets and this one ranks right up there with ones we’ve seen in previous years. The karaoke style entertainment presented by this crew was lively and fun. They were engaging with all members of the crowd, a quite beautiful cast all in all, and the costumes were vibrant as well. The show lasted about an hour and a half and while there is no admittance fee the drink charges were a bit higher than average but still a value compared to regular US bar prices. As with many “drag” style shows the crew “passed” the hat during their final number as they flirted with the crowd. We happily tipped for the humorous addition their talent provided for the night. We’d highly recommend taking in the show at Moo Moo if you are ever lucky enough to visit Khao Lak! Sadly by this point in the night my photo taking skills or memory to insure taking them was “kaput”, so go see for yourself 😉
Our whisky consumption did not slow down until the wee hours and we got a late night tuk tuk ride home where my honey had to fumble to insure the driver was compensated which leads me to a tale to provide you a little laugh.
Coming to life slowly the next morning we heard a knock at our door and thinking it was simply staff coming to freshen our room for the day I hollered “Come later, please.” In a few short minutes there was more rapping at our door. Rising to communicate eye to eye, my hubby who sleeps in the buff, opened the door slightly to tell them to come back in one hour. The owner was at the door and said “No, no. Cannot. The officers of the state must see.” My honey turned to me with panic…”Did we forget a bar tab?” “Did I short the tuk tuk driver?” The owner repeated. “Please. Officer must enter.” Peering outside my hubby surely did see the officer waiting. He requested to close the door to put on clothes and indicated he would open it in one moment. The owner understood, the officer agreed. Turning to me as he got shorts on I saw the worried questions in his eyes. He opened the door and the authority entered. I remained seated in bed. The officer explained his annual inspection. Asked “How long you stay our beautiful city?” After our answer he advised we “Enjoy, have fun!” Hanging the inspection certificate, he was gone. The poor owner was begging our forgiveness. We all began to laugh heartily as my honey explained “too much San Som (Thai whisky) last night, thought we were in trouble” Oh my, did we all heartily laugh as our host grasped what my honey spoke. It really was hilarious. Thank goodness we were not in any trouble. If only I had a video of this one to share, it might go viral 😉
Our proprietress treated us to breakfast the following day before we left as her apology. Except for no coffee making capability in the room we would highly recommend The Mouth, superb service, cleanliness and true value for the dollar.
Once we came to life that day we headed out for a beachside ride. Check it out here on my Facebook post. First we rode to Khao Lak Beach which was serenely beautiful and very quiet with a few boats and a few sunbathers but we were seeking some snorkeling so we continued on to White Sandy Beach where we parked in the shade of the jungle that stretched along the beach and the roadway creating quite an idyllic view. There was rocks peaking themselves up throughout the water and we found it to remain shallow for a long distance from shore. We saw lots of activity from small crabs and a variety of fish. The waters were wonderfully warm. We spent a fantastic afternoon on the beach that is strewn with the remnants of dead coral. We saw two other couples throughout the 3-4 hours we spent there. Both beaches had tsunami towers. Sadly this area learned the hard way the necessity to offer warning when were hit with the near total devastation of one of the largest of these storms in history in 2004.
We took a ride further north and saw there were many more beaches yet to discover but as the sun set over this pristine area it was time to head back to get freshened up and spend one more night out checking out what this still quiet, less tourist visited area, has to offer in the evenings.
The night market was at the center of the village and we decided to stop there for appetizers and to take in the difference you can find between all markets throughout Thailand. While there are some basics that remain the same, it’s always worth the wandering to see what each region features as the items they take most pride in whether in food or hand made goods.
At this market we enjoyed spring rolls and ribs made in the most interesting urn grill set up we have ever seen. They were pork and served with a nice spicy Thai sauce. Donuts, pastries of any kind are my weakness. They are strictly prohibited because one leads to one or two a few times a week but on this market night we splurged. Freshly made in a wok of clean hot palm oil we couldn’t resist these for a late night in room snack. And splurge we did. Jelly filled and toasted coconut covered with marmalade and coconut filling. Yum. One good thing is I’m not sure any others will measure up to the way these tasted!
We had a good dinner of Thai Curry on the main road where we could people watch and a great Thai and Oil Massage to wind out our second night in Khao Lak.
We both really fell for the place and unless something else catches more of our attention we will most likely spend a couple nights here again on the road back to Krabi to catch our return flight to Bangkok but first it was time to head south to the island of Phuket. #cometravelwithme
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