We spent two days in Khao Lak and two days in Phuket. I had originally heard of Khao Lak through flyertalk, specifically the amazing Le Meridien property as being one of the best Starwood properties in all of Asia. If you didn't think I was a travel dork before, this specific destination solidifies it and the people from flyertalk did not disappoint.
I had contacted the manager before our arrival since he is also very active on flyertalk and wanted to see if we could receive any benefits as a starwood gold member and as a frequent contributor on flyertalk. (it doesn't hurt to ask and often, especially on this trip, has proven to be lucrative as you will read below!) He responded quickly and his marketing director met us when we checked in. On top of that, he even sent over 2 glasses of champagne as we were filling out our check-in information. Very nice :)
The property itself was gorgeous. Even though Khao Lak is very remote with not much around, we could have spent a week on the resort property alone.
We also got in one day of beach time before the rain started brewing in the area. Extra sunscreen of course.
We ended up being invited to dinner on our second night by the marketing director who wanted to learn more about flyertalk and social media in general as she clearly has seen the impact its had on guests coming to the remote resort. I guess she must have found our knowledge useful because she arranged for us to have complimentary side by side massages in the spa the next day before we departed for Phuket. What a treat! I promised to write her an extra fabulous review, and honestly, the entire resort deserved it. Some of the friendliest Thai people we met worked at the Le Meridien and their attempts at speaking english were better then the more developed areas we stayed in. We found out at dinner that the entire staff from the gardener to wait staff all get english lessons every week in order to better communicate with guests. It clearly shows.
After our lovely massages we were off to Phuket. We stayed in Karon beach which is not in the center of Phuket but still a short tuk tuk ride from the action. Our first night we went out to dinner at Mama Tri's Kitchen, a world famous restaurant built into the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Clearly this was a romantic dinner spot where we even received roses with the bill. Classy.
Now, what happened next was inevitable but still unexpected. After we finished our lovely romantic dinner it began to rain. Not just some sprinkling here or there but the sky appeared to be dumping buckets of rain upon us. This heavy rain continued for the next 24 hours straight. We had booked a snorkel boat tour for the following morning and had hoped the rain would let up but after waking up at 6:30am in anticipation of the tour guide picking us up, we received a phone call from the captain letting us know that the trip for the day was cancelled as it was expected to continue to rain for the next full day straight. Awesome. What did we do? Went back to sleep for a few hours and had a movie watching slumber party with lots of room service. Lemons into lemonade. By the evening we both got a bit antsy and since we only had a few hours left in Phuket, and the rain finally subsided, we went into town and had dinner and walked around before calling it a night. While the sex tourism is apparent in Phuket we were only there for a short period of time and only encountered it when walking through Patong.
This concluded the Thailand portion of our trip. One country down, three more to go. Indonesia here we come!