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Point and shoot.

Last day in Khao Lak

It’s been an awesome week here in Khao Lak, a resort area north of Phuket. The service all over our hotel makes us feel like royalty and people are genuinely friendly (even those you meet on the streets outside of the resort). It’s hard to believe that just over two years ago the Andamans were hard hit by the great Tsunami that occured in the Indian Ocean the day after Christmas in 2004. There is almost no sign of damage from what I could tell.

We spent the last two days sight-seeing at Khao Lak national park. We hired a friendly gal named Lora who was our guide throughout the sights. Our first event was a boat ride to James Bond island where we stopped for lunch at a floating Muslim village. Afterwards we visited the Reclining Buddha at a nearby temple (they call it the monkey temple because of all the monkeys that beg for treats in the front entrance). The temple is built inside a cave and I was able to bring my tripod along for some amazing long exposure shots of the stalactites and idols.

Yesterday we went on an elephant trek through the jungle and stopped at the base of a small waterfall. Along the way we say Jackfruit and Mangosteen trees, as well as a green tree snake. Lamiya lost her sunglasses on the way back so we’ll have an excuse to go shopping once we return to Bangkok.

After the elephant trek we visited Rainbow Falls about 5 miles from the hotel. It was breathtaking — a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll post some photos once I get back.

Today I took one of the hotel’s mountain bikes that are there for our use and rode back to the waterfalls where I spent about 2 hours taking the falls from various angles and running through my entire assortment of lenses. The five dollar tripod I picked up on sale at OSH was really worth every penny :)

Today we spent the day hunting for more hermit crabs at the beach overlooking the Andaman Sea. We walked to a local Thai restaurant next door to our hotel for a nice lunch (it only cost us 455 Baht, or about the price of one appetizer from the hotel menu!). Anyway, you live and learn. Next time we come back we’ll know exactly where to eat.

Tomorrow we’ll be flying back to Bangkok and staying there until we return to the States. I plan to visit a few more Buddhist temples and take in some more sights (as well as shopping) before I return. I still haven’t found the weird foods that I’ve seen on TV (fried scorpions and other various insects) so I’ll have to search around some more.

-Khuong

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