This year has been amazing so far.
Thats when we decided to go to Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
We started early morning from Bangkok and made sure our phones were charged and had enough AIS Data package so that we could use Google Maps to find our way there.
The drive took us past many small, lesser-known provinces, which not a lot of tourists visit. We also passed Hua Hin. After about 4.5 hours or so we finally reached Kui Buri - our first leg of Prachuap Khiri Khan road trip.
Having heard about Ao Manao (Lime Bay) and how it is very popular with locals and tourists, we decided to check it out. It was about an hour drive there (40 km south) from our hotel.
Ao Manao is a beautiful bay with small islands all around it. It made sense since it is within Wing 5 of a Thai Air Force base.
We drove around the coastal roads, admiring the stunning views of white sandy beaches against the clear blue water aligned with a different shade of blue sky. It was paradise!
We parked on the side of the road and had a delicious Thai meal by the ocean - grilled squid, fried rice, spicy prawns and a bowl of bean thread noodle with shrimps.
After eating, we took a stroll down the beach. A few meters down, we noticed in the distance, a group of young monks running towards the sea. As we got closer, they were splashing about and seemed to be having an amazing time. They were probably thrilled to beat the heat in the water, albeit that too was quite warm. I quickly took out my camera and shot a few snaps.
Another thing that Ao Manao is known for is an impressive viewpoint from a mountain known as Khao Lum Muak, which requires a 30-40 minute hike. I really wanted to go up there! When we finally got to the base of the summit, much to our disappointment, we were told by the army officers that it was closed.
Luckily on our way back we came saw a temple on a hill top. At least I should go up here I thought to myself. There should be a viewpoint up there. So I parked the car nearby and decided to hike up the stairs.
Ahhhhhh!! Monkeys! All over. I was a bit worried they might snatch my belongings as they have been known to do so. However, the seemed harmless as long as you gave them food. I followed some locals to the top, thinking they would inadvertantly protect me.
The hike was completely worth it though! Check out this view!!!
What an awesome day it was so far. Beach, food, adventure and a bit of culture. Perfect day, wouldn't you think? And this was just the beginning of my long-weekend trip through this beautiful province.