Days 105–109: Megan in SE Asia Part II, Khao Lak, Thailand

We were up bright and early for our flight to Phuket after a night filled with green tea and white chocolate tiramisu dreams. Once there, we took a hotel shuttle an hour and a half north to the JW Marriott in Khao Lak. Conde Nast named this resort as one of the world’s best new hotels in 2010 and it didn’t disappoint. The room was spacious and overlooked the longest pool in Southeast Asia. The Andaman Sea was just a short walk through the hotel gardens. On the beach, hotel attendants spread out towels for us on the beach chairs and even rolled an extra towel into a pillow for extra comfort. They brought around glasses of ice water to help combat the heat and humidity. The service was top notch.

The JW Marriott

Michael joined Megan and I in Thailand partway through our stay and the three of us went on an elephant trek through the rainforest. The trek was quite scenic and included a short walk to a waterfall halfway through. In my opinion, the best part of this excursion was feeding the animals after we got back to their corral. Eagerly awaiting this daily snack, the elephants reached their trunks out to us before we even realized what they wanted. A vendor came around and sold us each a bunch of bananas. Holding one out at a time, the elephants would wrap the tip of their trunk around the fruit and toss it in their mouths, reaching out for more before they had finished chewing the first. My elephant employed a grab and vacuum technique that seemed to be quite efficient.

Megan on her elephant

Michael and I on our elephant

Feed me!

Just outside the Marriott property line on either side of the beach were bamboo huts selling local food and offering massages for a fraction of the hotel’s prices. Here I tried my first Thai massage (slightly acrobatic but not nearly as intense as I had expected it to be) for just $10 USD! There were three separate massage hut locations and we sampled each of the three on separate days of our stay.

We had decent weather for the majority of our trip even though it was the tail end of monsoon season in Thailand. The clouds and wind helped ease the heat and we managed to schedule massages for just about every 60-minute afternoon rainstorm. We had little luck with sunsets because of the cloud cover, but were treated to one spectacular show on our final night (curiously, this was also the rainiest day of our stay).

Khao Lak sunset

Meg had a little time back in Singapore before she flew home to the States. We went to the Botanic Gardens, spent some time by the pool, and went to see my favorite Singapore tourist attraction: the Merlion. It was a great two weeks with a great friend! I was very sorry to see her go.

Michael and I may have welcomed our last visitor but that doesn’t mean we’re done traveling in Asia. I have a girls trip planned to Phuket later this week, we’re contemplating a trip to Beijing to see the Great Wall, and we’d like to visit islands in both Malaysia and Indonesia before we move. How much we get to see entirely depends on when Michael’s company decides to move us. At the pace they’re going, we might get to see a whole lot more of Asia!

Click here to see my Picasa album of Megan’s visit.

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