Memorable Journey – Khao Lak, Thailand

April 19, 2019mayurisjikoni
Blog post

17th February to 3rd April, hubby and I spent time in Bangalore. Everyone who visits Bangalore complains about the traffic and water issues. Whatever the case, the minute I enter the gates of the complex where we own an apartment, I’m home. I love Bangalore. If you ask me why? I simply cannot answer that in one word or a simple sentence. I love the weather, I love the home, I love HSR layout, I love how it makes life both complicated and easy at the same time, the convenience, the multi cultural factor, the choice of restaurants, the malls.

The complex where we own an apartment, Purva Skywood has such huge areas of gardens in between the blocks of apartments. A brisk walk around the whole complex thrice is about 45-50 minute walk. That’s good exercise. The pool is finally functional. They have a well equipped gym and a sports complex. What I like about this place is that one can move about freely in the complex without any security issue, the fact that there are people from all different parts of India we get to enjoy all the festivals and the management committee is a very proactive one.

We spent six weeks getting small repair work and general maintenance of the apartment. We also took care of personal medical issues where the care at Apollo Hospital on Sarjapur Road was excellent.

3rd April is when we left home to take a flight to Thailand. We stay in the SE part of Bangalore so during peak traffic hours its best to allow 2-2½ hours to reach the airport. When there is no traffic we reach home within an hour.

Our main reason for flying to Thailand was my niece’s wedding. We flew to Bangkok and took a connecting flight to Phuket. What a contrast to both India and Kenya. Wider, cleaner roads and so much greenery around. The hotel sent a taxi to pick us up from the airport but you can easily find taxis at the airport. What we noticed on the way to Khao Lak, (which means mountain)  was that many areas by the roadside had rows and rows of indigenous trees replanted. The Billion Tree Campaign began in 2009 in Thailand where companies, communities, hotels help out to attain that goal. Back in 1961  53% of the territory was covered by forest which got reduced to 26.6% in 1991 and its down to less than 20%. The joint effort by the government of Thailand and its people is remarkable. I’ve been made to understand that the Government of Thailand along with the Royal Family is taking preservation of flora and fauna very seriously.

The drive from Phuket International Airport to Manathai Khao Lak takes about an hour and a half. Khao Lak is a land of mangroves, green hills and evergreen trees. Its probably one of the most beautiful parts of  South Thailand. Our first stop was at Manathai Khao Lak. As soon as we entered the lobby of the hotel, the big green lawn with plenty of trees was a welcoming sight…paradise. We had to wait a while as we arrived a bit earlier than our check in time. However, the staff made our brief stay in the lobby pleasant with an ice cold wet towel and cool refreshing watermelon juice.

view of Manathai Khao Lak from the lobby

Hubby and his mobile!

A view of the Khao Lak hills from Manathai

The hotel has open green lawn lined with trees all the way till you reach the pool area.The rooms are all tucked away on both sides. Once you’re at the pool area near the beach you’ll find plenty of coconut and casuarina trees where one can relax under the shade of the numerous trees. Manathai is located on a beautiful stretch of unspoiled Bangsak Beach. Its one of the quietest and least developed beaches in the area. Daily walks on the beach was a pleasant activity.

Evening time scenery from Pad Thai Restaurant

Bangsak Beach – right side from Manathai

Bangsak Beach – left side from Manathai

Bangsak Beach Stretch is lined with coconut and casuarina trees

Notice the interesting patterns on the beach? Hubby and I couldn’t stop admiring the artistic work of nature. Can you believe that these starlike, flowerlike patterns are created by crabs. These little 1 cm long crabs called Sand Bubbler Crabs blend so well with the surroundings and hardly re noticeable. These crabs are found in the Indo Pacific Region. During low tide they come out of their dens to forage for microscopic food from the sand. They filter the sand through their mouthparts. They rotate and form small pellets of residue sand and kick it to the side using their legs unknowingly creating these unique patterns.

The pristine clean beach reminded me what the beaches in Kenya were when I was growing up.Unfortunately, they are not the same. I hope that Thailand will not bend towards development and will makes efforts to preserve this fantastic pristine beach.   We stayed 4 days at Manathai and loved our relaxing time. The hotel does offer trips to Khao Lak National Park and other sights nearby which we decided to skip as we just wanted to enjoy the beach and pool.

Sunsets from the beaches of Khao Lak are absolutely beautiful. Most of the tourists would gather up at the beach front to witness nature’s splendor.

Have you seen so many shells on any beach??

By the time hubby and I settled down in our room, took a shower, checked out the hotel surroundings it was evening. We decided to have an early dinner (last meal was on the flight). We wanted to watch the sunset so decided to dine at the Pad Thai Restaurant.

A sunset without a sundowner? Not at all, well at least for me. While hubby opted for fresh pineapple and coconut juice I had a delicious and unique Thaipirinha which is a combination of Thai Rum, fresh lime, lychee and kaffir lime leaf.

My meal was a plateful of vegetable spring rolls while hubby had prawns with steamed rice. Check out the picture how they served the steamed rice nicely packed in a banana leaf cone.

My best meals were the desserts… loved them and I think we deserved them after taking long walks on the beach.

Creme Brûlée served with vanilla ice cream, some fruit preserve, fresh cream and dark chocolate.

Second Day dessert was a huge slice of apple pie with some ice cream, a generous helping of roasted almonds, fresh cream and dark chocolate.

We just couldn’t get enough of the beach. Hubby and I both love walking so our daily routine was to walk for 60-80 minutes just before sunset. Spectacular view, cool breeze and the soothing sound of sea waves.

Manathai Khao Lak has 7 different room options, A deluxe garden room, a deluxe balcony room, family room, junior suite room, deluxe room, garden villa and pool villa. we opted for the deluxe garden room. Clean rooms, spacious and the staff went out of his way to provide us another folding table to place our suitcase on. Adequate wardrobe space and a rain shower that we thoroughly enjoyed. What I loved was the aromatic chili and basil toiletries that they provided. Best part of the room was not only the access to the garden but the lounge bed by the window. Hubby and I had a tussle as to who should use it. An ideal place to relax with a good story book.

The hotel offers massage at the beach front or in their spa. On the first day I had an ultra relaxing foot massage.

When you walk onto the beach, on either side you will find a few family run same eateries, they have massage places and some even have a small playground for children. While breakfast at Manathai was excellent, as a vegetarian I didn’t have much choice where dinner or lunch was concerned. We would eat out at the family eateries as they offered sandwiches, French fries, salads and pizza which was more my kind of food while hubby would enjoy the authentic Thai fare. We loved eating at the Be Friend restaurant. The food presentation for a small restaurant was excellent and freshly made. An orchid flower with my freshly squeezed orange juice was mighty impressive.

A very common sight along the beaches of Phuket Province are these massage huts or shacks. Thai massage is different from the other massages. Its actually an ancient form of massage believed to be developed about 2,500 years ago by the Buddhist Monks in Thailand. Its all about passive stretching and gentle pressure along the body’s energy lines to increase flexibility, relieve muscle and joint pains and balances the body’s energy. The charm about this massage is that its carried out when you’re fully clothed. You lie on a mattress and the therapist will move your body into various postures and stretches… its called a lazy man’s yoga. When we had the massage, I thought I’d probably have bruises on my body and will be in more pain than before the massage. Surprisingly, I felt exactly the opposite. More relaxed, joint pains gone, muscles all relaxed and just wanted to curl up and fall asleep.

Some Thai dances and music along with Thai food at the Colours restaurant.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a quiet relaxing place then Manathai Khao Lak is ideal. If you’re a diehard vegetarian, take some snacks with you. You can also opt to buy the cakes, muffins and breads for later use when you go for breakfast.

Since the hotel is surrounded by a water body and lots of greenery, mosquitoes can be a problem in the evenings. Unlike in Kenya, they do not spray your rooms in the evening. They do have a machine which you can switch on with a vapo mat in it. Be sure to carry some insect repellent. If you do forget it, the reception sells some and if you’re dining at the Pad Thai restaurant which is open, then you’ll find insect repellent spray on all the tables.



  • ♡Stephanie Stebbins♡ (@stephsteb)

    April 19, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    I have always wanted to visit Thailand. Everything looks so awesome, thanks for sharing your trip!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 20, 2019 at 10:55 am

      Thanks Stephanie, this was just one part, there is more to come.

  • KeshiaRichmond

    April 20, 2019 at 2:07 am

    Bangalore Seems like an interesting place to live and visit. I am inspired to know such a place!

  • Nahashon Cyrus

    April 20, 2019 at 2:33 am

    Thanks for sharing the story and the images. they’re quite astounding.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 20, 2019 at 10:54 am

      Thank you so much.

  • Scott J DeNicola

    April 20, 2019 at 3:39 am

    This is another place I would never have thought of visit but it looks beautiful. The beaches and shells are a dream for my family as we are huge beach people who collect beach (sea) glass and unique shells. Maybe we can work a trade. 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 20, 2019 at 10:53 am

      Thanks Scott I usually don’t collect shells from the beach. As we don’t find much shells on the beaches of Kenya, they actually advise tourists and visitors not to pick them.

  • Vasusvegkitchen

    April 20, 2019 at 4:20 am

    Awsome photography 👌 very well written 👏

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 20, 2019 at 10:51 am

      Thank you so much.

  • Lene

    April 20, 2019 at 4:26 am

    You’re right – paradise! I was fascinated to see those beautiful feather-like patterns on the sand. Could not believe they were created by crabs. Nature is so amazing. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 20, 2019 at 10:51 am

      Thanks for the lovely comment and yes nature is amazing.

  • Archana

    April 20, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Mayuri such a lovely writeup. You transported me to Thailand with you. You seem to have had an amazing time.
    Such lovely pics n beautifully done landscape.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 20, 2019 at 10:51 am

      Thank you so much Archana.

      1. Yusuf Karim

        April 20, 2019 at 7:51 pm

        Well written and wonderfully illustrated travelogue! I am happy that Ajay and you are having a fabulous time! Well deserved! Can’t wait to read your next travelogue!

      2. mayurisjikoni

        April 21, 2019 at 2:12 am

        Thank you so much Dr. Karim.

    2. Batter Up With Sujata

      April 21, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      Excellent write up Mayuri. Loved your description about Khao Lak, Thailand. Amazed by the deigns created by the crabs. So beautiful.

      1. mayurisjikoni

        April 22, 2019 at 4:59 pm

        Thank you so much Sujata.

  • omoh felix peters

    April 20, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Khao Lak, Thailand here i come thanks for the post

  • omoh felix peters

    April 20, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Khao Lak, Thailand here i come

  • The Sunny Side Lifestyle Co.

    April 20, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing your trip to Thailand! I was not aware of the Billion Tree Campaign and appreciate that private businesses and the government have partnered to re-plant lost trees. Hopefully similar partnerships will preserve the beautiful beaches you have captured in your photos.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 22, 2019 at 5:15 pm

      Thank you so much, from what I know is that its a UNEP program jointly with several countries of the world.

  • Snehal

    April 20, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing your Thailand memories with us. I would like to experience this personally someday. 😍

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 21, 2019 at 2:12 am

      Hopefully you will Snehal and its not far from India.

  • Livelearnbetter (@livelearnbetter)

    April 20, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Thailand has never crossed my mind to visit, but these picture sure does show that it’s a tourist destination. I hope I can visit one day.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 21, 2019 at 2:11 am

      It never crossed our mind to visit Thailand and we probably would not have if it were not for my niece’s destination wedding. Am so glad that we decided to travel to Thailand.

  • Tasneem

    April 21, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Wow Mayuri, it surely sounds like a beautiful place to visit…
    Keep on sharing your travel experiences & pictures.
    Enjoy dear

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 22, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Thanks Tasneem and yes its an amazing place.

  • Blairvillanueva

    April 21, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Oh my, I am now missing Thailand! I wish to visit this resort and admire it like you do.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 22, 2019 at 5:00 pm


  • Tessa

    April 21, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    You’ve made me want to visit Thailand for sure. The Manathai Khao Lak resort is breathtaking, both inside and the surroundings.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 22, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you so much. It truly was a wonderful resort.

  • travelwisesr

    April 21, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    What a wonderful beach resort. Love to be there. Great food, drinks and lovely pictures. It’s time to look to visit Phuket.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 22, 2019 at 4:57 pm

      Please do plan, its a wonderful destination.

  • Star

    April 21, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    I don’t get many opportunities to travel, but this has definitely made my list. I, too, love beaches and this trip looks like it was so relaxing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 22, 2019 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks, I’m not much of a swimmer or surfer but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying beach towns.

  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    April 22, 2019 at 12:45 am

    Thailand is a beautiful country and amazing clean beaches. The write is really encompassing all the aspects needed for travel. So glad to see this from you, Mayuridi.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 22, 2019 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you so much Seema.

  • Swati

    April 22, 2019 at 12:46 am

    Beautiful clicks and very nice write up.. keep sharing more with us!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 22, 2019 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks Swaty.

  • Lyosha Varezhkina

    April 22, 2019 at 6:03 am

    the place looks fantastic! i would so stay there and enjoy myself the fullest as well. Makes me want to travel more. the sand photos were so unique, thanks for posting!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 22, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment.

  • Poonam bachhav

    April 22, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    It’s always a pleasure to read your blogs di ! This travel blog is just fantastic , excellent write up, beautiful photography and elaborate detailing . The sunset pic and the artistic crab pattern pic are my favorites.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 22, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      Thank you so much Poonam.

  • Luna S

    April 22, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Those patterns on the beach are pretty neat and I love all the pretty shells, this looks like an amazing trip! Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 22, 2019 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks for the lovely comment Luna.

  • tcleland88

    April 22, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Everything looks so beautiful and peaceful, from the hotel to the food to the crab markings on the beach. I’d love to visit one day.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 23, 2019 at 9:04 am

      Thank you so much.

  • Erica (The Prepping Wife)

    April 23, 2019 at 2:34 am

    I must admit that Thailand has never been on my radar for new places to travel. After reading this post and seeing your beautiful pictures, I’m thinking it’s time to go!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 23, 2019 at 9:00 am

      Pack your bags Erica, don’t miss out on a beautiful country.

  • Shobha Keshwani

    April 26, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Beautiful place .. loved seeing all the pics… the colourful shells, amazing patterns in the sand made by the crabs, serene beaches, lovely ambience of the hotel, yummy food, Everything is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 28, 2019 at 8:47 pm

      Thank you Shobha.

  • Mina Joshi

    April 26, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Loved reading about your lovely apartment in Bangalore and your trip to Thailand. The Bangalore complex sounds like a wonderful friendly place. I am a people person so would love living in such a complex. What an amazing sunset view in Thailand. I am envious of all the massage places you mention along the beach.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 28, 2019 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks Mina, you would love the Skywood complex and we did get so tempted to go for a massage everyday.

  • Shazia Khan

    April 29, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Your Thailand trip just sounds wonderful..pristine beaches, sunsets, walks on the beach and delicious food. What more could one’s heart desire?? I love Thailand and visited before I had the children. Would like to go back with them..just need to overlook the flight duration from London!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 30, 2019 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks Shazia, all my relatives from UK complained of the long flight hours.

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