This week comes courtesy of Brora Scotland, Broadstairs Kent and James Bond Island Thailand.
Welcome aboard the delayed report of our recent Thailand adventure!
It all started on June 28th from London Heathrow Terminal 3. Neither of us had been in this terminal for nearly five years, so it was impressive to see the changes that it had undergone. Not quite T5, but way better all the same.
The flight to Bangkok with Thai Air was good, with great food and plenty of space. The IFA’s were friendly enough, and we had a full and varied AVOD selection, which was the one thing I was worried about.
We hung about in Bangkok for a while and then set off for Phuket. The change at Bangkok was a little disorganised but standard Asian fare.
We were picked up on our arrival by a driver, who took us straight to our home for the next 6 nights, the Diamond Cliff Resort, Phuket. After 20+ hours of travelling, I needed a shower and a rest before we went out. What I got was being told I had to wait 3 hours for a room. At this juncture my good lady wife took over, and within minutes we had a further upgrade, to a nice ocean view room, with a Jacuzzi, and more space than 2 people really need. Fantastic.
Hung around the resort for most of the day time, and then we hit Bangla Road in the evening for drinks and an eyeopener. As with most Thai tourist spots, girls are high on the agenda. Jasmine made me laugh after she pointed out that if it was her bar, then the girls would be in for dance training during the day, as they were lethargic at best. After a few drinks we slept like babies till day 2.
Day 2 was a nice relax by the pool, and not a lot else. We had identified a group of restaurants on the web, that were being rated out of this world, so being the intrepid explorers we are, we walked down to the cab rank to get to our destination…………….which was the other side of the road. Result. First off was Joes downstairs, which had an international cool vibe about it. The setting for all 3 was just amazing, opening out straight onto a rocky bay, with the crashing waves (it was monsoon season!). I introduced Jasmine to Hendricks and Tonic and cucumber. That will cost me dearly in the future.
Sunday was our wedding anniversary, and we celebrated by heading off to the Giant Buddha. This should be currently called the Giant Scaffold, as the head was incased in a rather fetching collection of 21ft pipe and badly hung monoflex. The view was amazing from the top, but a little misty (it was monsoon season !). That evening we headed back across the road to Baan Rim Pa (apparently one of the best Thai restaurants in Thailand). AMAZING. The best Thai curry I’ve ever had.
Day 3 took us on the tourist trail again to Phi Phi Island. Great journey out, but the beach was way over subscribed, and you really did feel you were on a production line. However, the views you get are incredible, and in the end that makes up for the package feel of the trip. At this juncture I should point out that every where you go there is music. Most of this is western, rock / MOR. I should also point out that you will hear Zombie by the Cranberries about 1000 times a week. Now I have no problem with Delores as a person, but she’s no SLF when it comes to songs on the troubles. And after a while, I feel like I would prefer real guns and bombs to hers. That night we hit the last of three restaurants, the Italian, De Maurizio. Carbonara was great but I’ve had better if truth be told. But the shellfish pasta I’m reliably informed was just divine.
Day 4 was a real toursita day, with shopping centres , the hard rock, and an Irish bar thrown in. Brits abroad eh ? Event of the day was going to a massage place in a shopping centre and being asked to strip to my underwear. No issue apart from the lack of underwear. I was given a towel and told to get on with it. Possibly my first and last time, I will be fully naked in a mall !
Two days later, it was lashing down in a real monsoon style, enough to put a 3 ft deep puddle across the road outside the hotel. This would have been fine if we weren’t going to the airport to get back to Bangkok. After navigating the ever forming rivers on the roads we managed to get off on time.
Bangkok. The city of contradiction. We stayed in the Dusit Thani. A hotel that is now nearly 40 years old but has lost none of its grandeur or hospitality. Across the road is Patpong market. This has lost none of its seediness or outrageous behaviour from its residents. Dinner was had that evening at the Mango Tree, off the back of Patpong. Once again another Thai success.
Then the next day was off on the tourist trail. Golden Buddha and the Grand Palace were on the agenda. The travel between the two was interesting. NO, I DO NOT WANT TO GO ANYWHERE ELSE BUT THE PALACE. THANK YOU. NO TAILORS, NO PLANTS, NO JEWELRY OR GARDENS, JUST THE PALACE. Thanks
The Golden Buddha was great, and golden, and massive (bearing in mind it’s solid gold). The grand palace delivered on the name in spades. What is funny is the guys outside telling you its closed and that you should go with them somewhere else, over the megaphone announcements of THE PALACE IS OPEN, DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE OUTSIDE !!
The Friday evening was a more non tourist affair as we met friends who lived there for drinks at some more local haunts. I saw the Thai Beatles, the Iron Fairie, and we ended up at Fat Gutz (hey don’t blame me, I don’t name them !). Drinks all round, sore heads in the morning.
The last morning for holidaying as it was took us to Chatuchak market. A bit of the beaten track and less touristy. Definitely worth a visit for some last minute bargains before you get off home (mainly clothes, accessories and house goods). More local goods rather than fake tat.
I managed to squeeze 2 massages in that day Nice.
Next day we had a 12 hour flight home, but once again Thai looked after us fantastically, and we got two seats each. Result again!
Tl:dr Went to Thailand on holibobs, and it was great. Here’s some photos.