Khao Lak, 80 km north of Phuket, has always been a favorite among Swedes and particularly families. When the tsunami struck Thailand on December 26, 2004, Khao Lak took the worst hit, leaving 543 Swedes dead in total — more than any other country outside of the disaster area.
Khao Lak, today fully recovered from the tsunami, tends to be in the shadow of Phuket and Krabi. But the 20 km long sandy stretch along the west coast of Phang Nga province boasts comfortable resorts in beautiful tropical nature. If you’re looking for a relaxed beach destination without the party scene, Khao Lak might be the right place for you.
Thai natural rubber prices have fallen from a peak of 179.25 baht ($5.41) per kg in 2011 to 45 baht ($1.38) per kg in December 2017 (36.95 baht as record low in Jan-Feb 2015). My in-laws, with a 3-hectare land, have waited a long time for the price to go up, but have now given up on rubber tapping. They recently cut down 1.000 rubber trees and sold it as rubberwood for around 200.000 baht.
It’s sad, but not the end of the world as they also have fields with oil palms (whose fruit they sell to a factory producing RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil), and now they will replant something new — perhaps durian, the “king of fruits,” and more oil palms.
Below is a video from 2015 when I visited their rubber tree plantation, which is just a memory now.
Monkeys are a lot of fun, and they are so photogenic it’s ridiculous. In Thailand, you will most likely run into a few macaques, so be ready with your camera — they’re such a great subject to photograph. Just don’t get too close them as they can be aggressive, which is why you should use a camera with a bit longer focal length lens. Below are a few shots of macaques I’ve taken in Phuket and Krabi.
Thinking too much about travel advice and safety will just ruin your vacation — you need to relax and enjoy your well-earned holiday weeks. Just keep these tips in the back of your head, and you will have an awesome time in Thailand.
Advice on food and drinking water
Traveler’s diarrhea is a stomach and intestinal infection that commonly causes loose stools and abdominal cramps. It’s caused by unhygienic handling of food or drinking contaminated water. Traveler’s diarrhea usually isn’t serious, but very unpleasant.
Sure, Ao Nang is touristy — it is a resort town — and there are things I don’t like here. But this part of Krabi boasts some incredible features that you simply can’t miss when traveling in southern Thailand — and you don’t necessarily need to stay in the middle of the hustle and bustle. Here are ten reasons for you to visit Ao Nang.
1. This rooftop bar view
My wife enjoying a drink with the stunning town backdrop.
Bangkok is a megacity set along the Chao Praya River, lit up by impressive temples and high-rise buildings. The capital boasts lots of tourist attractions, and if that’s what you’re looking for, you should jump straight to 12 Must-Dos in Bangkok. But if you’re looking for something different, continue reading as I list five unique things to do in Bangkok.
1. Climb the “Ghost Tower”
View from up Sathorn Unique Tower in Bangkok. Photo: Sabrina Iovino / justonewayticket.com
It is allowed to fly a drone in Thailand. However, in 2017 new regulations came into force in Thailand and registration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is required if your drone is equipped with a camera or weighs more than 2 kg. For more details on the regulations visit CAAT’s website.
I’m in the middle of the registration process now as I heard that drones could be confiscated in Thailand, and according to CAAT’s website, “any act of violation is subjected to up to 1-year imprisonment or fined up to 40,000 baht or both”.
I don’t think it would go that far, but I’m not going to gamble on it.
Rawai Beach in Phuket captured with my drone before the new regulations.
Most people associate Thailand with tropical beaches, and rightly so — who doesn’t want to walk on hot soft sand barefoot before taking a dip in the clear water? I know I do. However, you may be looking for other things to do as it can be quite boring to get rid of sand from between your toes all vacation. Luckily, Thailand has a lot more to offer. How about:
1. Hiking in northern Thailand
Beautiful valleys north of Chiang Mai. Photo: worldexpeditions.com
If you have been driving along Route 4 from Phuket to Krabi or vice versa, you couldn’t have missed the huge black monk statue facing the highway in Phang Nga province. The statue depicts Phor Than Klai, one of the most famous guru monks of his generation (1876-1970).
While a vacation at any of these hotels is a reality for some lucky bastards, it’s like the title says just a dream for some, including myself. But someday I will spend a night or two at one of these dreamy hotels.
1. Rayavadee Hotel, Krabi