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Advertise on the Tentacle

February 19, 2014

A Family Adventuresome Outing

Tom McLaughlin

Krabi, Thailand – I had made reservations for my daughter, my 10-month old granddaughter, my wife, my three-year old son and myself to fly here for a four-day visit. My daughter’s husband would meet us in Kuala Lumpur, and we would connect for our sojourn of beaching and sunshine.


My home in Kuching has been involved in the monsoon season and we had not seen full sunshine for a couple of months. Just heavy downpours of rain. My daughter had travelled to most of the sights in the vicinity and both of us, being beach people, I could not let her return to Montana without swimming in salt water, playing in the sand and swaying over the waves.


Making reservations for unseen abodes over the Internet is scary. One is not certain what kind of accommodations await when one checks in. Yet, it is far better than driving from hotel to hotel checking places, wasting one precious day of frolicking in the sea. In this case, it was the Andaman Sea.


I had joined an outfit called which came highly recommended by travellers. They have guarantees and, most importantly, a phone number where one can talk to a human should problems arise. They also have reviews written by guests that were uncensored (except for language) of the properties where they had stayed. Uncommon for most lodging web sites.


The place I was viewing was way too expensive for my budget. It was a hotel with cottages surrounding a lagoon, a few steps from the beach plus a short walk to town. Most places are close to the beach, but an expensive taxi ride to town or vice versa.


Discouraged, I was about to view another establishment when up popped a pop up (I thought I had killed those things) announcing a "flash sale." For a limited time only I could get a room for half-off including a breakfast buffet. Throwing caution to the wind, I grabbed the offer and secured two rooms.


After spending two weeks at my condo in Kuching, we all flew to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia's capital). My son-in-law was to arrive from Los Angeles and we were to take off for Karabi from another airport, leaving a window of only an hour and half. His plane was late, but we made it in time, razor close. Super cheap flights in this part of the world are non-refundable, and you must be there forty-five minutes before takeoff. I am assuming if you are not there, the airline can resell your seat to a person on the waiting list.


The resort was of incredible beauty. The lagoon had fish to watch, tropical birds fluttered in the trees, monkeys sang out and water lilies bloomed each morning, lasting through the day.


The chalets were large hexagon shaped with a king size bed in the middle. The bathroom had a whirl pool tub. The enclosed outdoor shower was floored with river stones in a spiral design with water cascading down a stone limestone slab. At night, I enjoyed watching the constellations as I bathed. I didn't know Orion could be seen so far south. The cost was less than $50 per night.


The beach was wide, powdery and long. The sea was so clear one could see ones toes. The topless girls parading by were an added delight. Monkeys teased the tourists at one far end of the beach. Prau's passed by on fishing excursions. I helped my son go up and over the waves. My wife and daughter with my son Dzul built sand castles.


The town was the ubiquitous tourist trap selling t-shirts, souvenirs and excursions to outer islands. Young girls sang out Massage! Massage! The restaurants were all run by Indians and sold curries, Italian food and burgers. It made no difference what you ordered, they all had the taste of curry.


They advertised Thai food heavily, which I could not understand. We were in Thailand, what kind of food did one expect? Thai food is notoriously hot to the taste and my poor adventuresome daughter could only eat two small pieces of chicken. I believe she drank an ocean of bottled water and a few cucumbers to rid her mouth of the fire. Still, we did find nooks and crannies of wonderful delights including an authentic Italian restaurant with a real cook from Italy and not Bombay.


Krabi was named as one of the top places to visit by The New York Times travel section before it was discovered. I am so happy I was able to share this part of paradise with my family before the Hiltons and others ruin the place for everyone.


...Life is good. . . . .


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