Thai This for A Holiday
If you are still looking for some inspiration on where to jet off to this year, why not give the Far East a go? Bangkok and Phuket twin centre getaways are perfect for the best of both worlds and a real taste of Asia.
Murray Head once told us that “one night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble”, well, five minutes in this place and I had gone through just about every human emotion. Where to start? Bangkok is just mind-blowing; the buzz, the heat, the colours, smells – I could barely digest the sights and sounds before me. I have never felt further from home in my life yet I was tingling with anticipation and I was in no doubt that I really was on the other side of the world. A place I had only dreamed about or admired in glossy brochures. I couldn’t believe I was really here. With long haul travel becoming more and more affordable, far flung distant lands were now within reach and I had grabbed the chance to go without hesitation.
Bangkok was chaos, but chaos with a smile. You will see lots of smiling faces here. The Thai people are very friendly, calm and gracious and I suppose this is where the lyrics to that great song from the musical ‘Chess’ really struck a chord. The generosity and all round peace that comes from the locals certainly did make me feel pretty humble – even if I’m not really a hard man though!
For me, Bangkok has a split personality – shiny, futuristic skyscrapers of the brave new ultra-modern world share a backdrop with gleaming golden temples and dazzling spires, which gave me a clear message as to Bangkok’s place in the world. Sure, it was embracing the 21st century but with traditional Thai culture at the core of the country’s heart and soul.
Whether you are passing through Bangkok or here for a few days or longer, there is plenty to see and do that will really give you a flavour of this exciting metropolis. Even if you don’t manage to pack everything in, here are a couple of suggestions for the absolute ‘must see’ attractions that no visitor to ‘The City of Angels’ ought to miss.
After the whirlwind craziness of steamy Bangkok, you will feel ready to head off to one of Thailand’s more relaxing spots where you can chill out on a pretty beach or by your hotel pool. We caught an internal flight down to Phuket, a charming resort in the Andaman Sea and home to some of Thailand’s most popular beaches and luxury hotels. Here you can lie back and soak up the sun in this paradise island of beautiful scenery, tropical sunsets and again, some of the most hospitable people I have ever met (and more smiles!)
There are some real show stoppers when it comes to hotels in this neck of the woods and we’ve added a few to our bucket list for when we return to Thailand.
TOP PHUKET HOTELS
- The Banyan Tree
- The Pavillions Phuket
- The Chava Resort
- JW Marriot Phuket Resort & Spa
- Trisara Villas and Residences Phuket
- Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach
- SALA Phuket Resort & Spa
We stayed at a wonderful hotel called the Thavorn Palm Beach Resort which was listed as a four-star category but it really felt like we’d been dropped in 5-star luxury mistake and we can highly recommend this place too. Located right on Karon Beach, the hotel’s tropical grounds are stunning; made up of immaculate orchid gardens, crystal clear swimming pools. You won’t want to leave.
If you are tempted away from this oasis of calm and tranquillity, there’s some great places to visit during your stay.
Be sure to take a boat trip out to Phang Nga Bay – a spectacular landscape of islands, caves and lagoons. Here you can see the tiny island, Khao Phing Kan where scenes were filmed for the James Bond movie, The Man with The Golden Gun.
After a day at sea, you’ll be looking forward to resting your weary head back at your luxury hideaway but try and reserve some energy for the fun packed action on offer once the sun goes down. One of the highlights of this trip was a night at the Simon Cabaret show. This lavish production features a cast of some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. Or so I thought. The stunners are all men! Don’t miss it; it’s an absolute hoot and a top night out.
Another entertaining pastime is browsing the street markets of Patong. I could spend hours here among the trinkets and knick knacks on offer. Some real bargains too! It was great fun haggling and bartering with the vendors, even if it was over a few baht that I could easily afford to part with but it was all part of the experience.
Check out Phuket Travel & Tours for more info on all the markets in the area but do try and wander around them all, although I found it pretty addictive and if you’re anything like me, you’ll need another suitcase to bring your haul back home (Did I really need six pairs of ‘designer’ sunglasses, 10 more t shirts and 14 sarongs?)
Speaking of suitcases, why not dig yours out of the loft and start planning an adventure to Thailand. It really was an experience of a lifetime but we’re planning to go back soon. For now, I have my photos, my memories and the soundtrack to “Chess” to keep my Thai holiday fresh in my mind.
I am from the UK and a massive travel addict but I also work full time, so trying to fit in those long-haul trips is what my holidays are used for. I love worldwide travel from Aruba to Thailand to Texas – the world is only as big as you make it. It’s all about culture when I travel afar.