Thailand Life (for a week or so)
So nice to be back in front of a computer instead of on that wretched beach *said no one ever* although to be honest I REALLY missed my slippers and a good cup of tea so I am pretty OK with it. Plus sand in your bikini bottoms isn't so fun after the first day is it?
Back with a ...bang?
I bored everyone to death with my Instagram stories while I was away and although I was hoping to come up with a really interesting blog this week I genuinely have nothing else to discuss... Monday was my first day back and I literally spent the entire day attempting to make the printer work (why are printers such pricks?!) So I'm hoping that the 3 people who asked for 'advice' for their own Thailand trips will at least find this vaguely interesting and to everyone else, I do apologise - shall we just make a date for next week and you can spend your time somewhere else tonight?
I figured I'd do a short explanation and some bullet points for each place to keep it as simple as possible so I hope you find something in here useful friends!
I know it looks like a bad start already as I told you I went to Thailand and I've launched in with another country altogether but I promise I've not got confused - we actually started our vacay with a few days in KL (It's extremely unlikely anyone will remember but when we travelled to Vietnam a few years ago we had an issue with passport validity and got stuck at KL airport trying to catch a connecting flight. We were there for over 24 hours just roaming round the airport...so let's just say we had some unfinished business with KL and felt the need to walk out the airport doors without immigration piling on us) And I'm so so glad we did!
Where We Stayed: Traders Hotel (With room looking out to the Petronas Towers)
We liked the hotel and loved the view of the towers. The rooftop pool bar was also a hit in the evening. (Wednesday's and Thursday's are Ladies Nights so you get free cocktails (weds) and Tequila (thurs) and then attempt not to fall into the pool in the middle of the room.) Plus the bathroom was really nice and clean which is always a winner.
What We Did: We visited the Batu Caves, went up KL tower, Went up the Petronas Towers and along the sky walk, shopped and ate locally in restaurants and at a night market.
Highlights: Overall I really enjoyed our time in KL, it's a lovely city with a nice safe vibe. I loved the night market food and so pleased we visited the Batu Caves but actually one of my favourite things was sitting under the petrous towers in the evening and watching the water feature which lights up and plays in time to music (it's the simple things haha)
Things to Remember: We went at the end of January and it was bloody hot! Take city clothes that are cool and something light to cover yourself up if you visit the batu caves (it's not an enforced dress code but appreciated) It's also a BIG shopping city so always fun to bring some cash to splash.
Krabi was totally amazing, the idyllic thai island resort with lovely locals, amazing beaches, clear water and heavenly pools. Great for some Island hopping day trips, snorkelling, cheap massages and generally basking in the sunshine. Super easy to get around with lots of tourist information counters about I'd happily go back tomorrow.
Where We Stayed: Centara Grand Hotel (with a sea view although we couldn't see that much sea)
We loved this hotel and the bathroom was my fave - it was part of the room but with sliding doors so you could block it off if you wanted. The hotel is set in the hills so to get anywhere you need to either take a boat or walk the 'Monkey Trail' which is a handmade rickety old thing up and over the hill with plenty of moneys keeping an eye on you (it was brilliant, I just went very slowly) The local town Ao Nang was fabulous at night with all the fairy lights (and Christmas decorations ??) you could imagine, the food was divine and cost about £3 per meal so we would spend on average less than £20 a night for the two of us going ALL IN with food and drink.
What We Did: We went on an excursion to Phi Phi Islands, hired kayaks, swam in the sea for hours, had days by the pool and walked into town each evening for dinner.
Highlights: The trip to Phi Phi Island was probably my favourite part, the bit I didn't like was visiting Maya Beach (the one from the film 'The Beach' because it was so touristy and there were just hundreds of people taking fake pictures for social media (I thought it was really frickin' weird...people 'pretending' to have a good time instead of actually having a good time, all because they didn't want to get their hair wet. You only live once guys, forget the hair.) Other than that though the trip was amazing, we were on a boat with a few other couples (I'd go a small a group as possible) and we visited some quieter beaches, went snorkelling and stopped the boat and jumped in to swim in the sea surrounded by the most beautiful scenery. It was just one of those lush days where everything you see is breathtaking (apart from the hundreds of bare arses on Maya Beach...does no one own a bikini that covers their entire arse these days?)
Things to Remember: Again and surprising I know... it's very bloody hot. Take your factor 50, apply, apply, apply. Wear tee-shirts when snorkelling (really, try not to get burnt otherwise the massages will really hurt haha) Also - we booked the excursion via the hotel, it was a bit more expensive that way but had insurance and they also collected us from the hotel pier at 7am rather than us having to walk the monkey trail into town at 6am.
Ko Yao Noi
We didn't get to see the town at Ko Yao Noi, to get there from Ao Nang we got a boat, then a taxi, then another boat and were told that the road into town was a dirt track. If we'd have had more time I'd have liked to explore it but we were a little pushed for time sadly. The Hotel itself was beautiful - there was a bit of a mix up as we were supposed to be staying in the amazing Treehouse Villas as our big holiday treat but sadly they're behind on the build so weren't quite ready. When we arrived we were greeted and taken up to our room at the sister hotel ...
Where We Stayed: So in the end we stayed at The Paradise
They were REALLY great about the mix up and very generous with their amenities so that we didn't feel we'd lost out. Of course it wasn't what we'd had in mind and I really hope to go back and experience the Tree House Villas but it was such a beautiful hotel and they more than made up for it. We were invited to a special dinner in the evening as part of the Tree House experience where we had a delicious 4 course meal and drinks to compliment each dish.
What We Did: With the short time we had there (just 2 nights) we went to the spa, we had our delicious dinners in the Tree House Clubhouse, we got up early to watch the sun rise, we snoozed on the beach and we went on a Kayaking excursion to James bond Island and around the other caves nearby which were quite incredible.
Highlights: My two highlights from this island were firstly the kayaking trip. James Bond Island wasn't my personal fave (I think anywhere with lots of build up that's crawling with tourists is a good one to tick off the list while you're there but not necessarily a highlight) But the caves we kayaked to afterwards (on the same excursion) were amazing, some we got to the beach then walked around/through and others we actually kayaked into. My favourite one had loads of Mangrove Trees with their incredible roots and loads of monkeys wondering about - you walk through a cave to get there and it's an amazing scene to come out to. We were lucky enough to catch a quiet moment when no one else was there it was magic.
The other highlight for me were the Tree Houses - we were able to have a sneaky look around at one that's nearly finished - they really are spectacular and serious Holiday Goal. Each one is secluded and privet although close to the others it's designed and landscaped really well. The beds are stunning, the bath is a work or art and each has it's own plunge pool outside. They're just totally dreaming, I can't wait to go back.
Things to Remember: From what I gathered the sea wasn't as clear here as it was around Phi Phi and Ao Nang so snorkelling wasn't as good here. Also health and safely is pretty nonexistent so do be careful won't you <3
Our final night was spent in Phuket purely as we had an early flight the following morning so it made more sense to get there in preparation. We were about an hours drive from Phuket Town (although it would have only been about a £20 taxi) so decided to stay local and hit the pool and local beach/bars instead of trekking anywhere. So sadly I've nothing to tell you about Phuket itself although my friend Abi had been just before me and has written a great blog post about it that I found really helpful when making my decision (she's also done one about Phi Phi for places to eat and drink if you're there for longer than our fleeting visit)
Where we stayed: Proud Phuket Hotel
The hotel itself was very nice and had good facilities but most importantly for us was about a 5 minute drive from the airport which meant would could stay in bed until we really had to be there. It had a decent pool and was a quick walk to the beach, it's only downfall (which I only mention because it's super odd) is that a) the shower and toilet 'doors' were just shower curtains. And there was also bizarrely long list of charges in case you broke/stole anything - things like the complimentary comb or the telephone.
What we did: We were there for less than 24 hours so decided to stay by the pool in the day then left early evening and went to the night market immediately behind the hotel. It was fabulously local with all sorts of things available - loads of food (including friend insects!) Hawaiian shirts (Alex was so tempted) knock off designer handbags and raw meat. I had a bit of food but was slightly wary I must admit since there were quite a lot of flies hanging about and I had 20 hours of travelling ahead of me that would NOT have been fun if I gave myself food poisoning.
After that we walked to Nai Yang Beach for walks, drinks and massages. The beach itself wasn't my fave (there were lots of spikey things in the sand) so I was glad we stayed by the pool. but the drinks and massages were cracking.
Highlights: To be honest my highlight was the evening where we had some drinks then roamed around being tourists looking at things before going into one of the little massage shops for a foot and leg massage. We then left and went for a drink at the Sunset Bar opposite the Massage place we visited...then went back for a second massage (how many times can one person say Massage in one paragraph?) The bar was great and had raised seats with sturdy triangular cushions so you could sit cross legged and lean against the cushions for support. We enjoyed it. and the £5 Neck, Back and Shoulder massage (drink) that followed it was the most painful and wonderful thing I've ever done. The next day (throughout our journey) I felt bruised all over but it was marvellous.
Things to Remember: Don't eat meat that's been sitting out for a while before you travel. Be nice to your Masseuse and she'll elbow your back until you cry.
I'll finally F*** off now
Even when I try to be quick and think I've nothing to say, words just pour out of me. I really hope that if you're off to any of these areas then it'll be useful for you, if you're not off to Thailand then you deserve a medal for reading this far. Let me know if you've been or are going to any of the above, I'd love to hear your experiences and recommendations as I'll deffo be back soon (to visit the tree houses if nothing else!)
Take care friends
Next week is my business birthday so keep an eye out for some goooood stuff coming your way (if only to make up for this monumentally dull post... no one likes reading about other peoples holidays.)
Oh and happy Valentines day