Thailand
Nam Tok Ton Chong Fa

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  • Dec22

    Day 13 - Rookie Error Nearly Disastrous

    December 22, 2021 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Had an itchy night, waking up at 2.30am & not really getting back to sleep again. At 7.30am, we dragged ourselves out of bed, had a cold shower & packed our rucksacks. I had a dickey stomach, which is the last thing I wanted on a travelling day!

    An hour later we were ordering breakfast, banana porridge with honey for me & Jackie ordered the smallest in the world cheese & ham toastie with a pot of fresh coffee. Having paid up, we said our goodbyes to the characters I’ve previously referred to and we hiked down to the pier for the 10am speedboat back to the mainland.

    The speedboat was a 40 minute bumpy crossing to Ranong Port, then a taxi transferred us to Ronong Bus Station, where we bought some random snacks - a honey & a strawberry pop drink, some Thai equivalent of pork scratchings and some unidentifiable sweet pastries.

    At 11.30am sharp, the coach departed & headed south. Despite being only 25% full, a young junior Hitler ticket collector kept coming back to check that everyone was sitting in their allocated seats. We also had the army again check our passports & the travel documents of our fellow Thai travellers halfway through our journey.

    As of today the Thai Authorities are clamping down on the movement of new tourists to Thailand. We understand that the Thailand Pass scheme that had allowed us to travel after our test & go procedure has been scrapped. Now all tourists without a previously issued Thailand Pass can only fly directly into Phuket & now take 2 PCR tests & must remain on the island of Phuket for at least 7 days before being allowed to travel elsewhere in Thailand. This clearly has a serious impact on those tourists who have booked a 1 or 2 week holiday somewhere in Thailand other than Phuket. No wonder British Airways & TUI have cancelled all their Thai holidays & flights!

    Nearly 3 hours later we arrived at Takua Pa Bus Station & the driver announced that we’d be stopping for 15 minutes. We decided to get off for a leg stretch & Jackie went to the toilet. Whilst waiting for her my stomach suddenly gurgled uncontrollably & I dashed to the Gents. There were 3 cubicles each with a different height toilet set in the middle of the cubicle. One was a hole in the floor, one was a normal size bowl & the 3rd was of a height somewhere between the other two. More importantly to me at this moment was that none had any toilet paper. What an idiot for not packing any in our hand luggage.

    In panic I scampered to the food hall grabbed a large handful of tissues from a ladies food stall. I asked if I could take them, but scampered back before she could reply & I made it back to the Gents just in time!!!

    Twenty minutes later we unceremoniously dumped at our schedules stop at the side of the main road through Khao Lak. No one was around to offer us a lift, so I walked down the road until I found a lovely little lady, Chanika, in a tour shop. After explaining my predicament, she offered to close her shop & drive us to our hotel for 150 Baht (about £3.50). She explained it was really quiet & I had been her 1st customer in three days. When we arrived at our new hotel, Fanari Khaolak Resort, Jackie & Chanika, who couldn’t have been more helpful, swapped mobile numbers as we would definitely use her for any future business we had in the area.

    Our new receptionist was not particularly warm & welcoming. She walked us to our room, plonked the key fob in the slot to activate the electric, said “OK” & walked out. Our hearts sank. The room smelt musty as if it hadn’t been lived in for 2 years, which it probably hadn’t & there was dirt between the floor tiles on our terrace. I asked for a broom, which didn’t do the trick, so she took some photos & promised to get properly cleaned in the morning. As she was leaving I then told her we didn’t have any coffee-making or tea-making facilities. When she returned with a kettle, cups & sachets, I asked if we could have a couple of extra harder pillows. She smiled sweetly and later returned with 2 satisfactory pillows. A quick squirt of citronella around the room & we were sorted! We really can’t complain too much when we are paying just £167 for 6 nights over Christmas.

    At 5pm, we went for an explore & found a German reggae bar called Mr Chay Bar. It was quiet when we arrived, but in the hour that we were there it had transformed into a lively bar, which apparently also has live music in the evenings. We have already earmarked this as potentially the place to be on Christmas evening.

    We went home, showered & went straight back out. The restaurants in Khao Lak are much more westernised than at Koh Phayam & clearly aimed at the western tourists. They also come with western prices, on average 50 - 100%, but when I mentioned it I was accused of being a cheapskate!

    We settled on a restaurant called Siam. The staff were ultra polite & the food was beautifully presented. Jackie had red chicken curry & rice, whilst I had chicken & cashew nuts, which was nice but not sensational. After a quick G & T nightcap on our terrace we had a very early night.

    Song of the Day: Clampdown by The Clash.
    Cheapskates by The Clash.

    (In tribute to Joe Strummer who died on this day in 2002 aged just 50.
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    Steve Rush

    Glad you were able to get into Thailand before the new restrictions were imposed. Would've been a nightmare!

    12/23/21Reply
    Simon and Jackie Annals

    Absolutely. Thanking our lucky stars!

    12/23/21Reply
     
  • Day35

    Khao Lak 2016 - Part 1

    April 19, 2021 in Thailand ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

    Ob ich noch einmal im September nach Thailand reisen würde - in der Regenzeit? Auf jeden Fall..... und in ein erstklassiges Hotel mit Top Bewertungen, wie das "The Sands Khao Lak", sowieso!

    Tauchen in der Andaman-See, ist in den Herbstmonaten eh nicht möglich und somit, lag der Schwerpunkt einfach bei zwei Wochen Vater / Tochter Ferien - viel Zeit zu Zweit und ganz wichtig....., lecker Thaifood!

    Zwei Juniorsuiten zu attraktiven Nebensaison Preisen kann man sich doch mal gönnen, dachten wir uns - wie sich zeigte, eine prima Wahl.

    Trotz Rainy Season, scheinte oft stundenlang die Sonne - genügend Zeit für Spaziergänge am Meer, Gespräche unter Palmen und eine gepflegte Urlaubsbräune.

    Wir freuten uns jeden Tag auf das fantastische Frühstück das keine Wünsche offen ließ. Bei strömenden Regen drehten wir Runden im riesigen Hotelpool, oder schauten von unseren Balkonen dem Monsun zu und redeten über Gott und die Welt - wie schön!

    Mit großem Regenschirm "bewaffnet", ging es abends meist in's nahe Zentrum, oft mit den Flip-Flops knöcheltief durch warme Pfützen - ständig den Blick auf die Füße gerichtet, um nicht auf Schnecken oder Frösche zu treten. Willkommen in den Tropen!

    Der große Bang Niang Nachtmarkt im Nachbarort, war nur einen mittleren Spaziergang entfernt - Shopping in Thailand muss einfach sein! Auf solchen Märkten, bevorrate ich mich immer besonders gerne mit Freizeitkleidung und Flip-Flops - meist prima Qualität, die Latschen beispielsweise, sind heute noch im Einsatz!

    Ausschließlich bei Klamotten, blieb es selbstverständlich nicht! Beim Packen für die Heimreise, war Jessi bis zuletzt nicht davon zu überzeugen, daß alles in meine riesige Tasche passte - naja, ich packe eben kompakt 🚁😎😅!

    In der zweiten Woche, wurde dann eine stabile Wetterlage mit geringem Regenrisiko gemeldet, darauf hatte ich gehofft - auf zum Dschungel Trekking in den Khao Sok NP, Zeit für Abenteuer!

    🌴🐒🦇🐘🐸🐊🦂🦟🦋🕷️🌳🐝🚁😎!
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  • Dec19

    Day 10 - Now Officially Eaten Alive

    December 19, 2021 in Thailand ⋅ 🌧 24 °C

    We both slept pretty well, but a small gap in the mosquito net allowed one in to bite us about three times each. As I was getting dressed, I picked up my shorts from the downstairs bed to discover they were saturated. We eventually worked it out the Jackie hadn’t screwed the lid back properly on a large bottle of water & it had leaked down through the floorboards to my shorts below. Brilliant!

    It was an overcast start to the day so we spent the whole morning uploading & downloading in the WiFi breakfast area, whilst drinking instant coffee & each eating a big fluffy pancake with pineapple & bacon. I benefited from Jackie not particularly liking hers. We managed to book seats on a bus from Phuket to Hat Yai, accommodation in Hat Yai & transport to the island of Ko Lipe.

    Just after midday, we jumped on our scooter & headed straight back to Long Beach. This time we stopped at the next bar along, Lazy Hut, who had far superior sun beds. We reserved our chosen bed for the afternoon & took a walk along the beach & through the occasional cloud of smoke from bonfires in the jungle. We walked until my watch announced that we had completed a mile before turning around & walking back.

    We had worked up a decent thirst & imbibed in a couple of beers for lunch, before settling down for a siesta on our very comfortable sun beds. I had taken my Bluetooth speaker & we listened to the relaxing tracks on a playlist with the unsavoury title of ‘Fister’s Lot’. Don’t ask!

    It would have been relaxing if we hadn’t been bitten alive by mosquitoes 🦟 which were forming pusy lumps on Jackie’s arms, legs & back. A fly kept landing on one of Jackie’s scratched open bleeding pusy bites. Our bodies were an eyesore. Bizarrely they were nowhere near as itchy as our first night at Sabai Sabai.

    At 5.30pm, a motorcycle & trailer combination materialised on the beach & the staff from Lazy Hut rushed down to buy his wares. I was intrigued, well Jackie told we to go & investigate, so I joined the throng & discovered he was selling ice creams in a bun. I ordered a bun which was loaded with sticky rice, some jelly stuff, coconut ice cream, chocolate ice cream & topped with chocolate peanuts, chocolate drops & coconut cream, all for less than £1. Again I liked it, but Jackie doesn’t need to have one again.

    Sunset was shaping up to be another flop so we headed off to a hilltop viewpoint restaurant I had spotted on the outward trip. We had a small beer each and chatted to a middle-aged German couple who were also staying at Sabai Sabai & had actually travelled over on the same ferry as us. They told us they were going to Bangkok next where they were going to rent 125cc scooters & ride them up to Chang Mai with their rucksacks. Mad. Whilst chatting with them we started getting bitten on the ankles & we whipped out our mossie spray. They informed us that they don’t use mossie spray for ethical reasons, so we have come to the conclusion they must be tree huggers!

    Conscious that they were leaving the restaurant just behind us, I raced back to Sabai Sabai along the path through the now pitch black jungle. For our troubles we got a very unpleasant & relentless bug facial including one in my eye, which persuaded us to not ride the scooter at night again.

    After a very quick shower we headed out to ‘36’. The waitress immediately confirmed we wanted our usual - 2 large bottles of Chang. Embarrassingly predictable! I ordered the Fresh Vegetable Spring Rolls which contained large chunks of mango & watermelon as well as vegetables sitting in a pool of penang & tamarind sauce. Jackie ordered a Pad Thai which she pimped up with extra chilli, sugar & sweet vinegar. All absolutely delicious.

    Song of the Day: I Can’t Look At Your Skin by Graham Coxon.
    One Tear by Paul Weller.
    Smoke in My Eyes by Josh Flowers & The Wild.
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    Andy Mays

    So the playlist came in handy in the end then!! 😂

    12/20/21Reply
    Simon and Jackie Annals

    Yes thank you

    12/21/21Reply
    Andy Mays

    Here’s something for you I found today . . . https://open.spotify.com/album/57EkTny9UjqpLhFz…

    12/20/21Reply
    2 more comments
     
  • Day56

    Police 813

    February 24, 2020 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Die letzten Tage verbringen wir so wie an gedacht auf den Inseln von Thailand und so selten wir es nur geht auf dem Festland. Hin und wieder Erinnert ein Schild mit der Aufschrift „Tsunami Hazard Zone“ an die Naturkatastrophe.
    Am Morgen des 26.12.2004 erschütterte das, mit einer Stärke von 9,1, drittstärkste Erdbeben das je gemessen wurde die Küste vor Sumatra und löste mehrere Tsunamiwellen aus. In der Folge starben über 220.000 Menschen, die meisten davon in Indonesien. In Thailand kamen über 5000 Menschen ums Leben, viele werden bis heute vermisst, über 10.000 wurden obdachlos.

    Etwas unbeachtet von der medialen Aufmerksamkeit in den westlichen Ländern, die sich auf die Touristenzentren in Khao Lak, Phuket und Phi Phi konzentrierten, war Ban Nam Khem die Region mit den meisten thailändischen Todesopfern.
    Heute ist es wie vor dem Tsunami, ein verschlafener Ort in dem die Bewohner dem Fischfang und Tourismus nachgehen.

    Für mich ein absoluter Pflichtbesuch, der zwar sehr nachdenklich macht aber so auch mein Bewusstsein schärft, wenn ich nun weiter reise an all die schönen Orte die Thailand zu bieten hat.
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  • Day9

    Last Dinner

    December 28, 2021 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    At Hotel Gahn, a local restaurant where many Thai people from Bangkok stay.
    The building was constructed after the Old Chinese style, 2 stories with shaded front part but here a lot of plant were incorporated giving it a mix of lived in jungle feeling.
    As usual the food was delicious and the Thai Tea comes in a vibrant shade of orange.
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    HaFra

    Frothy tea? All looks exceptionally fine!

    12/28/21Reply
    HaFra

    Cool!

    12/28/21Reply
     
  • Day13

    Transfer to Khao Lak

    July 1 in Thailand ⋅ 🌧 25 °C

    Our day was spent travelling. We started early, got pissed at some cafe-chain (worldwide) for asking us European level money for breakfast (pure robbery in Thailand) and got on a super small ferry to Krabi. The ferry ride went fast as I had gotten myself a Roger Daltrey biography from some hostel (travellers leave books in many hostels, you can just take one, you know- like a book exchange).
    In Krabi, a minivan was waiting for us. We drove for a bit to their station, where they divided people from different minivans based on their destinations to other minivans, tried to advertise us and sell us some stuff (we alreadt knew what to expect- saw that on our way from Phuket airport to Kata beach, so not our first rodeo 😅😅😅) and then off we drove.
    We drove through Khao Sok national park and dropped some people off. Well, you could say that there is the rain season. And we saw some bits of proper jungle already! Looked pretty humid and wet,but oh how cool and green! Will go there tomorrow, which means we're excited!
    We drove past countless palm tree plantations, they look also really cool! There were dogs laying on big highways (seemed domesticated) not giving a damn about traffic, just looking at us driving by. I thought cats were supposed to behave that way, but I guess all is chill for everybody in Thailand 😂
    Once we got to Khao Lak, we noticed how empty it looked. Big main street has most of the shops closed, same goes for the restaurants. Later, when talking to a manager in the restaurant we ate in, she explained us that besides the off-season that we have, they still have only about 10% of the visitors that they normally have during off season. Covid is still a problem here. The manager looked rather devastated by that. So we decided to also have a dessert in that place besides the main dish.

    Our hostel is the nicest and cheapest we have so far. It's actually not even a hostel, but more like a private mini-villa. Our accommodation, I mean. We have sth like a cottage, with huge room, terrace, glass patio-entrance door and windows. Everything was made to look perfect to the last detail. Even tissues and toilet paper was folded and on the bed was some towel-art. Super nice. We have kind-of a sea-view (its about 700m away and there are buildings and trees inbetween, but we are a bit uphill). We have a view also to a really nice small palm-tree plantation. There are about 20 such bungalows here, maybe less. But besides us, there's only one more couple staying here currently (according to the receptionist).

    Tomorrow we will head for two days into the jungle, which means that we won't post tomorrow but on Sunday.
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  • Day4

    Back to Chong Fa Level 1

    December 23, 2021 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Bathing time - and well earned after a good hour of climbing on slippery slopes through creepy-clawlies.
    The water was amazing, just the right kind of cool and refreshing! And there were the skin eating fishies ticklishly nibbling at me.

    The first level, easiest to reach obviously, is the favourite spot and soon to be Instagram top10 with all the couples and Foto sessions.
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    HaFra

    I had fishies tickle my hands in a pond at the St Louis Aquarium...

    12/23/21Reply
     
  • Day4

    Ton Chong Fa Waterfall

    December 23, 2021 in Thailand ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    The 7 level waterfall in Lam Ru National Park can be reached via an interesting road through forests of rubber trees. At the entrance to the NP you will have to continue on foot on a wide forest path through the jungle.
    It can of course be walked lokal style aka in flip-flops but a bit more traction is advisable for the untrained European, who's already sweating just standing in 99% humidity. Hiking sandals were a good, solid choice.
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    HaFra

    Pretty, and practical, footwear...I'd be tempted to sweat it out in boots

    12/23/21Reply
     
  • Day8

    Bang Niang Flea Market

    December 27, 2021 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    The very tourist-priented Bang Niang night market is open on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 1800.
    It was quite empty, in visitors as in stalls but still we found a lot of nice things and made (surely much too expensive) purchases and tried yummy food.Read more

    HaFra

    Looks delish!

    12/27/21Reply
     
  • Day6

    Tonsu Waterfall

    December 25, 2021 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Hidden in the backcountry lies this multilevel waterfall with gorgeous top in a lush jungle. Reachable by a hole-collection disguised as road via jeep only and then trekking up a winding path and steep slippery steps to the top.
    It's definitely worth the effort though because the fall is absolutely gorgeous!
    Read more

    HaFra

    Ah, the rewards for the sure-footed!

    12/25/21Reply
     

You might also know this place by the following names:

Nam Tok Ton Chong Fa, น้ำตกโตนช่องฟ้า

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