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The Sad Face of Tourism and Imperfect Weather

It’s one of those weekends where our business tools are broken, and as far as all things work related are concerned, one word for this weekend: apathy. I’ll assume we performed terribly and scramble when Monday rolls around, not a minute before. Chasing targets is like running a marathon; only those who have learned to fall behind can last the entire race.

Anyway! Freshly back from our vacation in Khao Lak! To be honest, neither of us have heard of Khao Lak before and I don’t even remember how we landed on the decision to go. Because it is a sleepy little town, deep in the throes of low-season-ness. Rained almost everyday, except for that one spectacular day we took a boat out to sea. Did not manage to go to Similan Islands because the islands are closed every year starting from May 1.

I could have slapped myself for forgetting to check the weather forecast; deep at the back of my mind I know this for a fact: Thailand from May to October is shit; Bali the other way around. And yet, I still go back to Thailand in May, year after year, only to be greeted by clouds and more clouds. First world weather problems.

This trip cemented my growing disappointment with Thailand for all the missed expectations and exponentially rising number of Chinese tourists. I don’t have anything against them, but I do have something against the way they turn attractions into ugly commercial centers, and the way they seemed determined to turn everywhere into a Chinatown of sorts, not respecting the original people, culture, nature, quiet and whatever hippie-ness destinations once possessed.

Phi Phi Don is now more “ni hao ma” than hippie, a far cry from my first trip to the island back in early 2000 where I wandered day and night barefoot among peace-seeking Australians, determined to find a respite from the busy world. Very, very sad face of development.

And Phi Phi Ley is now crawling with tourists wearing “I LOVE PHUKET” t-shirts into the sea and yielding a bizarre scene of some 100-odd people cam-whoring on the beach, more determined to capture their own faces, than the beautiful scenery that surrounds them.

Koh Lanta was my other recent disappointment – went some two years ago; expected a deserted beach, arrived to find it crawling with Russian and German tourists that arrived via charter plane.

Other Phuket disappointments in recent history: Anantara in December – crap room and service, Paresa in December – crap weather, no beach (sacrilegious), Aleenta in May – aging property and crap weather, a resort that has folded in August – rained everyday, Twin Palms in July – crap weather, and the list goes on…..

But in times of desperation (to find something to do) yields great surprises too! D and I went trekking up to a waterfall in Khao Lak (rumored to have some 7 levels), but we only made it up to level 2 before the growing number of leech bites deterred us from going further. Completely deserted, it was magical. We swam in the waterfalls, got our backs pummeled by the water, and thankfully (a retrospective sort of thought), no piranhas in the water, or leeches!

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It was magical 🙂

And our hotel (Casa de la Flora) was really great with one of the best services I’ve ever encountered, and the close proximity to Similan, Tachai and Surin Islands must make Khao Lak incredibly fun in high season (November to April). Being quite a distance from Phuket, I’ve also found the people there to be much warmer, nicer and less spoiled.

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In better news, we have now decided that Bali will be our next home and every day D and I are plotting on how to earn in SGD and live in Bali with INR! 😛

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2 thoughts on “The Sad Face of Tourism and Imperfect Weather

  1. Rane says:

    Hey Amanda! Can I know which waterfall did you visit? I’m interested to pay khao lak a visit! Thanks! Your pictures look great!

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