Updated: Oct 7
Travelling with kids is exhausting and those who say otherwise are either a superhuman or lying! But in spite of those difficult travelling moments with kids, there are as well many fun moments that give us parents much laughter to remember and remind us why we do love to travel with our children.
Travel has always been a passion for my wife and me, so we decided to turn it into a business travelling to various destinations visit the beautiful hotels we represent.
The most memorable trip we made was travelling with our then 3-year-old to Thailand where we stayed at Kalima Resort & Villas a 5-star resort in Khao Lak. The resort was a 50-minute drive from Phuket International Airport but was definitely worth the drive and sickness.
Upon arrival, we were amazed by the airy, open lobby which didn't at all seem like the traditional Thai hotels we've become accustomed to.
As I arrived a little early for my check-in, I had the pleasure of enjoying the quiet ambience of the library/lounge room.
Our resort was a very well hidden gem and we were worried, being that it was situated in a secluded area, we would be bored and stressed having to find many activities to entertain our 3-year old.
We were also concerned by the unpredictable weather. We had travelled in June and the typical weather was, hammering rain first thing in the morning followed by the scorching sun and then an almighty thunderstorm that made the lights flicker in the evening. Sometimes it all came at once and was gone within the hour. However, that didn't stop us enjoying our holiday in Khao Lak.
So what can you do in Khao Lak?
Boredom was non-existent during our entire stay as we had a range of fun activities to do throughout our stay even when it rained. Who Cared?! We knew we were going to get wet anyway! A word of advice though, try to keep a shirt or a towel dry in a bag. It is still warm in Khao Lak even when it rains, but if the wind picks up and you are wet it can feel cold.
Kayaking in the Mangroves
We took a kayak and kayaked downstream through the mangroves and we were...SUPRISED.. like 5 minutes into our journey we came across an elephant care centres which was called Seaside Retreat Elephant Care Centre. At the care centre, we got to thoroughly enjoy some quality time with Thai Elephants.
We were told that for a fee we can feed the elephants and give them a bath. Sadly, we didn't take our money. But one thing we did take from it was getting to understand the elephants a bit more which was an experienced and knowledgable guide from Eco Khao Lak, provided to us free of charge.
If you have more time, you can also visit the Royal Thai Navy Sea Turtle Conservation Center in Khaolak for the hatching and care of baby sea turtles afterwards. This is a project from Queen HRH Sirikit. At the Tab Lamu Turtle Conservation Center on the Royal Thai Navy Base, you can see many baby turtles. Also sick and lame sea turtles are being cared of.
Visit The National Parks
Although we had no time to visit the National Parks, they have been recommended to us and believe them to be definitely worth a trip. Drive to Khao Lam National Park where you can experience the beautiful rainforest, calm and quiet beach forest, mangrove forest and mountains such as Khao Lak, Khao Lam Ru, Khao Saeng Thong, Khao Mai Kaew and Khao Plai Bang To. The national park borders the sea, so there is a variety of ecosystem-stone beach, sand beach and coral reefs including nature short trail.
Or visit Sairung waterfall known locally as Sai Rung (Rainbow) waterfall is situated just north of Bang Niang. It is a charming and refreshingly cool spot to spend time, particularly with a picnic. The waterfall is located close to the car park, making it easy to access.
Another place we truly missed out on was the Similan Islands, one of the best selling points of visiting Khao Lak. The islands are a string of nine granite islands in the Andaman Sea. They lie 65km off the West coast of Southern Thailand, in the Phang Nga province. The National park was extended to Koh Bon and Koh Tachai in 1998, taking the total number of islands to eleven.
The islands can be best described as ‘crystalline and pure’. Clear blue skies illuminate dense and thriving jungles. Incredible granite boulders frame some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches. Whether you are diving, snorkelling or relaxing on the soft white sand, you will be sure to find something you love.
If planning to visit these islands, staying at the Kalima Resort and Villas is perfect as it is just a 10-minute drive to the port which takes you to these beautiful islands.
Don't forget the lovely food.....Visit Khao Lak's thriving markets
Bang Niang Market is the shopping epicentre of Khao Lak. Always a colourful and lively sight. It hosts the most popular night market in Khao Lak. It is especially interesting as it is large, varied and very much a part of the local shopping scene. You’ll find four rows of makeshift shops/stalls made of wood and thatch, with three wide alleyways between them.
In the end, our vacation (or, as a friend put it, our “relocation”) was filled with many lovely moments. Our daughter learned how to say a few new words; she got to touch a real Thai Elephant; she got to kayak with mommy and daddy (well not really). On the flight back home she just kept saying "I miss my Khao Lak home"