After much of luxuries in the comfort zones on the Big Island, Phuket – I am tempted in taking up an Adventure trip out of Phuket with a local tour operator Salalah Group Travel Co. (Gov. Licensed). The key reason to select this Company was my approval to the Company’s policy in not providing services that involves animals in making a tourism earning – as most of the tour operators on the Island offer elephant safaris and so on.
Having met my tour operator, I had a feeling that the tour would cater personalized service, unlike to ongoing trend that tourists being treated by tour operators as just another number to their day to day commercial activity.
I am picked up from my Hotel Amari Phuket and we begin the trip with the first stop at Bangtao – a small Muslim Community village with Buddhist neighbors, all living in harmony. My host said that both communities enjoy and intermingle with each other during community celebrations – especially during the festivals and visit each other homes. Nearby is a restaurant that offers Southern Thai culinary experience based on a 100% halal concept.
Moving on, we cross the Sarasin Bridge that connects Phuket Island to Pha Nga with the mainland. We drive farther North towards Khao Lak, the high-end tourist attraction in the Pha Nga province – away from the tourist crowd on the Big Island.
A visit to Pilay Beach at Natai (near Khao Lak) reminds the once unsullied beaches of Phuket with lesser footprints. The sublime beach, for now, as I noted a few high end hotels coming up in the peaceful vicinity – is a serene spot for family picnics with no sign of visitors, except for a few local couples, scanning the golden sand for sea shells.
We drive past Khao Lak deeper into the dense forest area with rolling hills in the back drop. My host pointed out at a hill that has a camping site and one of his tours (a 2-Day tour itinerary) offers an overnight with campfire dinner.
We stop at the boat station – the point that conclude river rafting trip from upriver. On to a local songthaew (a local taxi pick-up truck) we drive farther up the river road. After about 5 minutes, we get off at the site of the river bank with a lineup of bamboo rafts. Unfortunately, due to all-day rain, the rising water level in the fast flowing River disallowed us to mount on the raft to experience this highlight of the tour. Nevertheless we soak in the tranquil surrounding of the dense tropical forest.
This area is lined with a number of refreshing waterfalls and we visited one – a magnificent steep single drop waterfall abound unspoiled lush vegetation. Towels were thoughtfully packed and came in handy after a refreshing shower under the waterfall.
Revitalized, moving on to ATV Park, calls for jungle adventure riding the
ATV Bike in the wilderness deep along the forest trail, splashed with waterholes and transitory stretches of swamp area.
Tracing back our foot prints to Phuket but en-route, taking a detour, it has been a very well worth to have experienced the final activity as the day closed in to surrender and the sky bled into sunset hues. At the nick of time, we are at the vantage point for the spectacular sight of the famed Pha Nga Bay.
Etched above the slope of green hill, Samet Nang She View Point is a recent attraction for a grand 360 degree view of the Pha Nga Bay.
The Resort uphill cater comfortable siesta and also offer tent accommodation for adventure travelers. The restaurant here serves scrumptious Thai dishes including vegan food. firstname.lastname@example.org
Words and Pictures: Saifuddin Ismailji (Founder: e-Travelers Club travel update)