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Apsara Resort, Khao Lak, Thailand.

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    There are two pools in the villa area, this one near the bridge and restaurant…

    ...and another one closer to the villas themselves.

    So my general impression of my stroll around the villa side of the resort was that it was as quiet as the other was busy, even allowing for the inward-focused design of the accommodation units. Although it was approaching that magic hour around sunset, even the restaurant and bar here seemed almost deserted.



      I didn't get around to looking if menus and prices might have contributed to this, but had earlier noted that guests booked on "all-inclusive" deals, and identified by vividly bright but otherwise somewhat institutional-looking wristbands, had their included meals available across at the Kinnaree buffet.

      However there may be another factor. Even on a brief perusal of some of the well-known internet travel sites and forums, I frequently came across reviews mentioning a particular beach bar type of restaurant in the vicinity - many spoke of eating there in the evenings and even that their resort choice had been influenced by proximity to this local restaurant after reading so much others had said about it. It is called Memories and I read somewhere it had been so named by the owner in tribute to friends who died in 2004.


        I now realise that Memories can be seen in other photos I'd taken earlier looking across the creek from the main resort at Apsara.

        In this morning view across the main pool, you can see that they've also set up a line of sun-beds and chairs along the beach.


          On the evening of my walk in the villa area, I could hear distant sounds of people and music, and so continued through the pine trees and on to the beach to investigate, only then realising that this was indeed the famous 'Memories'. I took a seat and ordered a long cool drink and some grilled fish.

          The memory for me is the music they played - Cream, the Rolling Stones... memories indeed, and if there had been dancing that evening this honky-tonk woman would sure have had a wild time! But looking around at those of my generation (mostly a decade or so short of it), I wondered how I could be the only one whose table was leaning at a crazy angle because my feet's irresistible urge to dance had dug a crater in the sand.


            Away from the music, I somehow retain a kind of unease about 'Memories', which I can't precisely pin-point or explain. Perhaps it may be partially that I sense some antagonism between it and its resort neighbour, though it's not easy to know what’s 'best' for the local people - a popular but (necessarily on this weather-lashed coast) only seasonal beach place - or the investment in a much-expanded resort that stays open year round. Perhaps I am kind of wishing that the land south of the river had been left to nature. Or perhaps it is simply because I just googled "Memories Khao Lak" and got around 76000 results while "Sutlam Pakarang", the wonderful local restaurant near the cape at the centre of my emotional journey, brings up just two (and one of those only refers to a magazine containing the other mention)..

            Perhaps I can make that two a three when I take you there in a new thread "This is Khao Lak", and, along with my contemplative walks, there will be room there also for photos from what is probably the most popular and touristic excursion in the whole area of Khao Lak and Phuket!

            I'll also be moving on, though not very far, for a few days at a well-known luxury resort which is interestingly individual and different from Parisa.
            But in conclusion here I just want to say I feel fortunate that I chanced on Apsara Resort to bridge the days between, and leave you with my last images and memories.