Saturday, July 19, 2014

MARCH 13, 2014: ON OUR WAY TO THE BEACH-KHAO LAK, LE MERIDIEN RESORT


March 13, 2014

     Our last breakfast at Bossotel in Bangkok for now but we will return at the end of March.  Taxi to DMK Airport 700 baht.  AIR ASIA FD 3003 departs Bangkok at 10:50 am and arrives in Phuket at 12:15 pm.  Plane has 3/3 seating.  We are given seats 10F and 11F-both window seats which do not recline.  Luckily it's a short flight.





Our flight-Air Asia FD 3003

Our plane

Goodbye Bangkok

Hello Phuket and Khao Lak

     PHUKET  We claim our baggage and change $300 to 9300 baht.  I also pick up some maps and tourist information pamphlets.  Eventually I find the desk for our car rental agency.   I had made arrangements to rent a car through economy car rentals.  My printed voucher shows that the local agency that will provide our car is THAI RENT A CAR.  Our rental starts on March 13th at 1:00 pm and ends on March 29th at 1:00 pm.  Cost which includes insurance, etc.-no hidden costs-is 10960 baht for the 16 days.  Our car is a white Honda Brio, automatic with A/C.  My husband is 6'2" and has enough leg room and is comfortable driving this car.  I can't believe I didn't take a picture of this cute car!!  All our bags fit but they take up the back seat area and the trunk area.



Bus from plane to terminal


     The direction signs are good, we drive over the Sarasin Bridge, and in an hour or so we arrive at LE MERIDIEN KHAO LAK BEACH AND SPA RESORT.   I booked this property on May 27, 2013 via their own website.  For a deluxe pool view room the cost was 7600 per night, 70.05 provincial tax per night, 760 service charge per night, 585.20 VAT per night or a total of 9015.25 baht per night which also included breakfast.  This was a splurge stay for us.   It is a huge property with several pools, restaurants, a gorgeous stretch of beach, daily schedule of activities, in house dive center-Sea Bees, shops, ATM, kids's facilities, fitness center, tennis courts, and so much more.  All are detailed on a map we are given during our check in.  Check in is smooth with a lovely flower wrist bracelet, drinks, cold towel.   Our room isn't ready so we have to wait for almost 2 hrs.  I'm a bit miffed about this because I had made our reservations in May 2013 with specific room requests which we didn't receive when we first arrived.  Another room had to be made ready to suit us and eventually we are taken to Room 208.  We receive lots of apologies but we still could have had that time on the beach or by the pool!  I make a reservation for dinner tonight at one of the resort restaurants-Bamboo-for 7:30 pm.  Our room is very nice and we have been left a package of Tom Yum peanuts and one of cookies made with honey.



Map of the property we are given



Nice deep bathtub


Separate shower

Lots of storage

Can have tea or coffee right in your room

This dining program was in the room.  It provides details about the weekly schedule of the resort's restaurants.









This provides details of daily activities.







Welcome!

My flower bracelet

     Since my husband is here for the diving we need to go into town to get him registered.  I had been corresponding with 2 dive companies prior to our trip.  Our first stop is BIG BLUE.  www.bigbluekhaolak.com   He signs up for 2 days of diving-Koh Bon/Tachai 5400 baht.  The only opening they have for Richelieu Rock-cost 5350 baht- is March 20th which is the day we leave and drive to Phuket.  We had planned on arriving there early afternoon but if Richard dives it will be the evening before we get there.  He gets a discount because he has his own equipment.  My husband also decides to buy a log book for 100 baht.  The dive center will pick him up at our hotel between 8:25-8:35 am on March 17th.  I also buy him a T shirt with the dive center's name for 300 baht as he does this with every place he dives.  He completes all necessary paperwork.  Then we go to SEA DRAGON which is across the street.  www.seadragondivecenter.com   This isn't the main office but we follow the guy to where the main office is down the street a bit.  Richard signs up for northern Similans for March 15th and central Similans on March 18th.  The price for each day is 4500 baht plus 600 baht each day for National Park fees.  Since diving equipment isn't included there is no discount but if he had to rent gear it would have been an extra 600 baht per day.  More paperwork for Richard to fill out and there are neat T shirts so I buy 2 of them for 600 baht total.  Because Richard can only dive Richelieu Rock on March 20th I will have to send an e-mail to our hotel in Phuket to let them know we will be arriving late for our check in there.  I tell him he needs to decide by tomorrow before there's no spot for him.   I see a money changer so I change $400 to 12640 baht.  By the time we get back to the resort it's 7:15 pm so I change the time for dinner to 8:00 pm.









This is the main office










     Dinner-BAMBOO  We have a table right by the beach.  It's very lovely but dark!!  Drinks-coke and Chang beer.  Sea bass in a white wine sauce with spinach and potato cake.  Red snapper in a red wine sauce with fennel and a side of grilled vegetables including mushrooms and eggplant.  Dessert is tiramisu.  10% service charge included but I leave more.  Cost minus my extra tip is 2090 baht for a delicious meal.  After we walk around a bit taking in all the lights by the pools.  Very pretty.  Wifi free only in the lobby so I check my messages on my I Pad.  Back in our room we finish unpacking and call it a night.
Each day there are signs which state which restaurants are available for that day







You can even pick your seafood if you want
My sea bass 

My husband's red snapper
Side of grilled mushrooms and eggplant


Tiramisu for dessert

Main pool at night

Sukhothai Pond by the lobby with giant fire caldron

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