We spent the next couple of days walking on the beautiful beach, sipping mocktails and drinking fresh coconut water. We usually spent the mornings near the pool and it turned out that the nearest restaurant at our beach had the best food, so we had plenty of lunches there watching the waves.
In afternoons there was plenty of space on sunbeds right next to the beach, so we spent time reading and taking a dip in the warm ocean every now and then.
One evening we ventured out to the restaurant and shopping street outside of our hotel and ended up having pizza as we were getting a git fed up with having Thai food for lunch and dinner. The pizza was fine, but I kind of dislike being called by sellers to go to their restaurants and shops, so walking on those streets is somewhat annoying.
After two days, it was turn for another trip. We chose to visit three temples in the area, which seemed like a good idea, but I didn’t really enjoy the trip. It was great to see such different Hindu temples, but our guide just sucked. She was super enthusiastic, but it was impossible to understand what she was saying. Her English was seriously bad and when she told any kind of stories, there was no narrative, just kind of random words.
She also said that atheists should be respectful in temples, which was a crappy thing to say. As if atheists just go around being disrespectful in places of worship. She also kept asking Estonian people in our group how are things in Finland, because she just couldn’t remember that they’re not from Finland. Also at one point she started talking how she would like to have white skin and how lovely our white skin was, which was super awkward.
The first stop was at Dragon Cave Temple (Praya Nakarach), which had some stairs to be climbed up. According to our guide it was “always” used as a temple. We had to take off your shoes, which I forgot that you have to do in a Hindu temple, so I had the most annoying strappy sandals on me, which took forever to put on and take off. I would’ve appreciated heads-up on this from the organiser in the same way they told us that shoulders and knees should be covered.
Our guide showed us how to light incense and she prayed before we entered. The cave temple was a bit strange as there were some parts, which had tile floors and some parts, which was just ground with sand on it. The cave had very little air and I’m quite surprised that it is used for a temple. Monks themselves live in rather dilapidated two-storey buildings on the ground below the temple.
Our second stop was at Wat Bang Riang Temple, which I think was my favourite. There was almost no other people and the intrinsic details of the temple were amazing.
There were also two giant statues in the valley below the temple. The guide suggested that we can go down there to see the statues closer, but nobody expressed the desire to do that mostly due to the fact that it would have been a rather steep uphill on the way back and the day was crazy hot.
This was the view from the temple’s parking lot and this is one of the most beautiful and serene views I’ve seen in Thailand.
After the second temple we stopped for lunch at some restaurant. The food once again was rather underwhelming, but the view from the restaurant was great. In Khao Lak there is no mountains, but on this trip we took some winding roads up and down some mountains. I don’t know why, but it never occurred to me that Thailand would have the same kind of roads as for example in Switzerland. 😀 But of course, if you have mountains, it is rather likely that there would also be mountain roads.
Our last stop was the most confusing temple of all – Wat Kaeo Manee Si Mahathat. It was located just next to a very high-traffic road and the noise from the road kind of spoiled the mood. Temples are supposed to be places for meditation, reflection, and prayer, but this felt more like a mall in some ways.
There was a huge Buddha statue facing the busy road.
Inside there was a room with wax figures of important Hindu monks. To be honest, the wax figures were rather well done and not the horrible wax caricatures you see sometimes in museums. But the more the guide talked about these men, the more it seemed like a bunch of guys coming up with random stuff for which they should be worshipped. Not to be disrespectful, but apparently hotels in one area of Thailand are praying to this one monk for good weather, because that is good for tourism business. Okay…
We got back to our hotel around four in the afternoon and had one of our best meals on the beach with fresh coconut and eventually enjoying the sunset.
We spent our last day lying on the beach and getting a Thai massage and a facial treatment. As a note to self, I do not really care for facials and I should skip them in the future. I’ve tried them a few times now in my life and I don’t think they’re worth the money to me. I don’t get any enjoyment from them. Thai massage was actually pretty good, but I had to ask the masseuse to be more gentle. I selected medium pressure, but it actually hurt and I even had a couple of bruises on my back after that. The massage was pretty effective though. 😉 We got our massage at the hotel, but it is possible to get the massage on the shopping street, which is much cheaper. Not sure what’s the environment in those massage parlours though. We enjoyed the peaceful and air-conditioned space at the hotel spa.
All in all our week in Thailand was just perfect. It was exactly what was needed – to unwind, get some sun, relax, and visit a new country. The only surprise for me was that people didn’t speak very good English. Thailand has been an extremely popular place with tourists for decades, so I assumed that everyone in the tourist industry would speak excellent English, but that was not the case. This is nothing that has caused any issues, but something I was wondering about.
I don’t think I will keep returning to Thailand year after year as some people do, but there are a couple of other places I would like to visit – like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and maybe one of the southern islands, but that’s something for the future.