It is always a pleasure and very interesting thing to have a look at the places where the locals buy and sell their products.
In Khao Lak you can find several markets where you can look around. Don't be repulsed because you may smell some fish. Most of the fish is fresh, but they also sell dried ones - hence the smell.
There are so many fruits and vegetables here, exotic ones, too. Thailand is very fertile.
Spices like green, yellow and red curry ... You can also take them with you, in the fridge the paste will keep for about 2 months.
Phuket is only a 1.5 hours drive away. Since it is not only a beach destination, it also makes a good one day trip.
If you are more than 1 or 2 persons, it does pay out to rent a van with a driver for the day.
We found a good ption at one of the travel agencies at the pier. An airconditioned van for 4000 Baht a day. Gas and driver included.
We told him, where we wanted to go and he brought us there (with the exception of the restaurant, but that is another story).
Things to do and see in Phuket:
Gibbon Rehabilitation Center and Waterfall
3 beaches viewpoint
Eating in a local restaurant at the beach
Elefant riding (though I would advise to do that elsewhere)
for more info on the several attractions, have a look at my Phuket pages.
Khao Sok National Park is only a 1 hour drive away. The National Park and surroundings offer a lot of attractions.
You can go trekking, tubing, kajaking, elefant riding etc.
You can do it on your ow, rent a taxi to get there, or by rented car or take one of the offered tours.
A normal day trip you can book at the hotel (or at one of the travel agencies at the pier of Kho Khao Island, which is often a little cheaper) offers a combination of kajaking, elefant ride, lunch in between and visit to a local market.
The elefant ride is also outside the National park itself. There are 2 or three companies offering them. The trip goes first through an open area, proceeds into a rubber plantation and further along (and through) a creek into forest and to a waterfall. You can go bathing under the waterfall during the 15 -30 minutes pause you have there.
When you get back after 1.5 hours, don't forget to thank your elefant by feeding him some of the bananas you can buy there for 20 baht!
The noisy longboats are always available to get to the island or back to the main land.
Price is 20 Baht per person and way.
Sometimes you have to wait a little until the boat is full, but this doesn't take long. You may have to share it with some scooters and people with dogs and chickens and sometimes they will make a short detour to deliver some sailors to their boats.
The hotel we had (Island Beach Resort) is about 2.5 km away from the pier and 1.5 km away from the next shop.
There is literally nothing close by, so if you want to go somewhere, you either walk awhile or take the taxi.
The hotel offered free transport to and from the pier, but only at 9, 10. 11 and 12 a.m.
The rest of the time you can take the hotel taxi whenever you want, but you pay for it. 30 Baht per person per way.
The price is the same with all the taxis on the island.
If you go on the main land, transport to Khao Lak is 600 Baht per way. No matter how many people are on the taxi.
To get to the airport in Phuket, you pay around 1900 Baht - which is a lot cheaper than when you book the transfer from home via the travel agent.
The ferry goes regularly between main land and island.
Costs are 500 Baht for a car and 30 Baht per person.
If you don't have to take it, because you have no car, you can take one of the longboats that you can always find on the pier.
The next airport is Phuket - this is also the place you will most probably arrive and depart from.
Several changes have taken place since we were hier the last time in 2006.
There is a new terminal : Number 2. Here the international flights depart from. If your driver is clever, he will drop you off in front of it. If he is not (as ours), you will have to walk from the normal terminal through the hall were they check the passports, use the elevator (with the luggage) to the lower level and then check in there.
The time limit of 1.5 hours arrival before your flight is way too tight at the busy months (November through March). Passport control and custom takes ages. You can see the "queue" in the picture. It took us 45 minutes of waiting to get through there. No fun at all with a baby.
The airport tax of 500 Baht that had to be paid in cash before is now included in the ticket price.