Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Just relaxing in Thailand

After 19 days of complete relaxation in Thailand, our holiday ends tomorrow when we board the TZ 3 for the overnight flight BKK to SYD via Singapore.

John soaking up the sunshine in Singapore

Not often we actually take a pure holiday trip.  Although we spend months away from home each year, it really is mainly work.  Truly, stop smirking; escorting groups to exotic destinations around the globe is in fact work!!!!   As ‘they’ say, someone has to do it!

We flew business on Scoot with a stopover in Singapore. Scoot is a Singapore-based low-cost long-haul airline.  It was not bad apart from the delayed departure which we were not surprised about as the airline is apparently known for delays.  Luckily we were flexible; however it meant we missed our evening Singapore slings at Raffles as we did not get in until midnight.  Yep Raffles!  

We splurged and booked into the fantastic John Wayne suite; a treat to sleep in such an iconic and historic hotel.  

Of course we shelled a few peanuts and had a few drinks in the famous Raffles Long Bar and it seemed no time at all we were back at Changi airport and on our way to Bangkok and The Rembrandt Hotel - our home away from home in Bangkok. 

Anyway this trip was to belatedly celebrate a big birthday for my hubby of 42 years.  8 days at the Novotel Resort & Spa at Patong beach in Phuket.  The birthday boy added on a few days here & there and BINGO – our holiday time doubled!

Air Asia got us to Phuket where we had a rental car waiting.  The Novotel Resort is a selection of terraced accommodation buildings on a hillside set in beautiful gardens.  I would not recommend this resort to anyone unfit or anyone who does not like steps and stairs.

Luckily our room with a sea view balcony was in the main complex very near the three magnificent pools all overlooking the sea.  

This is the view of the beach from our balcony. Unfortunately Patong beach is littered with rubbish.  There is presently a big push to clean it up.  I look out here to the calmness and serenity and cannot imagine how frightening the terrible tsunami must have been when it hit 10 years ago

I had wondered if we might get bored but far from it.  We toured the island in our little Jazz rental, had many massages, facials, body scrubs, lots of swimming, walking, reading and of course eating, eating and more eating and throw in a bit of shopping here and there in some very modern shopping complexes.  Time went quickly.  

After our 8 days in Patong beach, we moved to Karon beach where we had a poolside room in the very modern Ramada Hotel. 

This is Paradise beach, a gorgeous little hideaway. Privately managed and very clean. It cost us the equivalent of $2 AUD to spend the day here. This included sun lounge, beach towel and showers access. Food was good too.

Forgive me for adding this video. Many of you know I learnt to swim only this year and am very proud of my progress, so want to share!

There are some magnificent restaurants on this island.  We were fortunate to have some local connections; they steered us to some hidden gems that served delicious food without breaking the bank.

Last Saturday I settled into a sports cafĂ© in Karon in front of the big TV and sadly watched the Sydney Swans get beaten by Hawks. It was such a disappointment particularly as the other patrons were Hawks supporters but a good game nevertheless.  Our boys still top the ladder and will be hungrier for the win next time around.  I’ll be home to see the game at the SCG on Friday night.

Well here I am back on the 24th floor of the wonderful Rembrandt Hotel on Soi 18 looking out over bustling Bangkok.  From my window there a many high-rise buildings of all shapes and sizes.  

Walkway to Sky-train

I can see the fantastic sky-train track.  This rail is so efficient and cheap and the commuters so well managed.  
Everyone waiting to get on the train forms a line on the arrows painted on the platform and actually wait until the glass gates slide back, the train doors open and the disembarking passengers get off the train, only then do they embark.  Marvellous!  Take note please Gladys. 

Lined up waiting for the train - see the arrows
How orderly is this. Only after the passengers alight so the waiting passengers embark!
The ‘off-season’ is a great time to visit Thailand.  Tourist numbers are down, there is very little or no humidity and hotels offer great deals.  Sure you get a bit of rain here and there but it does not last long, the days and nights are warm and the best part is missing the cold of winter in Sydney. Contrary to media reports, there is absolutely no sign of any trouble in Bangkok. I feel absolutely safe getting around by myself. 

Oh my goodness, it’s time for afternoon tea and cake in the executive lounge at The Rembrandt Hotel. Yum!

I am going to miss this place when reality hits in the next few days.  However I am very much looking forward to hugging my grand-dogs and saying hi to all you guys back home.

See you soon
X Jeanette