Weekend away in Phang Nga province
Rafting and waterfalls in Phang Nga
We have just taken a couple of days off in Phang Nga province. On Saturday morning we drove from Phuket to Phang Nga and went white water rafting. This time of year (June to October) is the best time to do it because the water level is higher so the rapids are more rapid. It takes about 2 hours to drive to the start point from Phuket (transfers are included if you book a tour). The location is close to Ton Pariwat waterfall, avert beautiful part of Phang Nga.
We were part of a group that had lots of kids so we did the shorter 5km run but there is a longer 9km run available. the 5km run takes about 30 minutes. At the base camp you ca also do atv tours or elephant treks.
We had lunch at the rafting camp then drove on to Khao Lak. The drive took less than an hour through the countryside around Kapong. In Khao Lak we arrived at the perfect time to check in to the Leaf by the Sands resort in Nangthong beach. At this time of year there are some real bargains to be had in Khao Lak and we were really happy with this 3 star resort that cost about 1,500 baht including a good breakfast. It has very nice rooms with huge beds, very cold AC and modern bathrooms. Our rooms were all around the upper pool but we spend most of the afternoon around the lower pool where the kids could play while we supervised from the swim up pool bar. A few of us did make it to the beach for sunset, the beach is about 400 metres walk from the resort, but basically we just relaxed all afternoon.
In the evening the resort is walking distance to Nangthong centre so there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. We were surprised that most establishments were still open despite this being the middle of the low season. A few years ago Khao Lak in August had the feel of a town closed down for winter, just a few lost looking tourists walking around. But times have changed and there are just enough people around that local business stay open and the area feels quiet but not deserted.
Sunday morning was spend around the pool before check out at midday and drive back to Phuket. It’s 90 minutes drive from Khao Lak to Phuket but there are a few stops in the Thai Muang area that are worth a detour. We went to the Tonprai water fall for a quick swim. It’s close to Lampi waterfall. Lampi is more popular, especially with locals on the weekend because the car park is close to the falls and there are a few food stall on site. Tonprai is 7 km drive off the main road and a further 800 metres or so walk from the car park. It’s a lovely jungle trail and the reward at the end of it is well worth the walk. Few people visit so with luck you’ll be there alone. There is a 100 baht entrance fee for foreigners (it’s part of a national park and includes entrance to Lampi waterfall). They also have a few bungalows (1,000 baht per night) and tents (150 baht per night).
From the falls is was about an hour back to our home in Kathu, Phuket where we all met up for a barbecue and a few beers. The perfect end to our Phang Nga mini break.