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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thailand.. week 1!

I can't believe it's already been 3 weeks since I came back from an amazing holiday! Myself, Daniel, my best friend and her partner all went to Thailand for 2 weeks. This was something we all had been planning a year in advance and once it was booked, it made it that much more real! 

I've always wanted to go to Thailand and I really thought it was somewhere I'd go in the next 5 years or so, never did I expect to visit such a beautiful country so soon. I truly feel blessed to have experienced Thailand, especially with my boyfriend! Me and Daniel have been travelling a bit more and it really is the best thing getting to travel with your partner. Jasmine is originally from Thailand, so getting to see more of her culture and experience that with her was also very special. 

We booked our flights on Black Friday and we literally saved hundreds on the original price. If anyone is looking to go to Thailand, I'd highly recommend to try buy your flights on Black Friday or when there's a good sale going on with the airline. This wasn't our original plan but Jasmine being the genuis she is, she checked flight tickets on Black Friday through Thai Airways and we booked them right away! We even got a really good discount on the hotel we stayed in at Koh Samui.. I'll share more on this in my Week 2 post. The other hotels we stayed in were all booked through, which is honestly the best thing ever. Things in Thailand are a lot cheaper than in the UK so it worked out better for us to reserve the hotels and then pay once we were out there. 

Before I get more into this holiday, I must tell you, we did a lot.. and I took A LOT of photos. Till this day, I have to go through my photo's just to remember everything I did so this may be a long post lol.

Week 1

We landed in Bangkok at 5:30 in the morning, myself and Daniel had about 7 hours in the airport before our next flight to Phuket. It was extremely helpful finding a Sleeping area in the airport.. we were able to rent out a room each for 4 hours and after 11 and a half hours on a plane, we were in need of some sleep. This was helpful and killed so much time at the airport.

Jasmine and Jacob went to Pattaya so the first 5 days were spent just as us couples, this was nice as we got to spend some quality time together and do all the touristy things we wanted to do in Phuket. Jasmine and Jacob had been to Thailand 2 years before this so they had already done most of the sightseeing. 

The first hotel we stayed in, Hotel IKON was a modern boutique hotel located just outside Phuket town and literally in the jungle lol. It was such a nice hotel however we only spent one night here so we didn't get to fully enjoy it the way we wanted to. The reason we spent one night there was because we had actually got the dates mixed up on when we'd land in Bangkok to when we check in to our other hotel. We had a whole day where we didn't have any accommodation so I found this hotel on and fell in love with the decor of the room and just the whole modern, simplistic theme throughout the hotel.

Our second hotel, Mandarava Spa and Resort was more near Karon Beach, also in Phuket and honestly, this was our favourite hotel that we stayed in. This hotel had so much character and was pretty much in the jungle as well! It's hard to put into words what this hotel was like but it had such a calming, relaxing atmosphere and was really what I'd expect a resort to be like. Everything ticked the boxes here, the food (especially the breakfast buffet), the hotel room, the staff, we just loved everything about it. We stayed here for 4 nights and within our time there we of course had to go on some excursions. 

We got to visit a lot of the main sights in Phuket such as the Big Buddah, Karon Point View and Promthep Cape. We also went on an all day boat cruise to different islands near Phuket, this was amazing as we got to go canoeing in the caves and the lagoon, we also got to swim in the ocean and let me tell you, I've never seen such clear water! Just floating in the ocean and taking in each moment felt so surreal. 

On Wednesday, Jasmine and Jacob joined us in Phuket and we all checked into our next hotel! Btw, we stayed in 5 hotels in total.. that's a lot, I know. Our next hotel was another resort, Diamond Cliff Resort and Spa. This place was huge! It was yet another beautiful hotel and had one of the best views looking across the ocean. Only thing I wasn't too happy about this hotel was the staff, they weren't as personable as the other hotels we stayed at. 

Our first night with Jasmine and Jacob was so much fun, me and Daniel experienced our first tuk tuk ride which was so cool! We headed into the town to get some dinner and let me tell you.. that was some experience. To get to the side where all the restaurants were, we had to go through what's called a Walking Street, if you're a tourist, the locals will be on you selling something. I still can't get over the fact they were selling sex shows and ping pong shows! Literally, you could go and watch people having sex.. as for the ping pong show, you can google it if you don't know what that is lol. I just couldn't believe that this was even a thing.

I haven't even talked about food yet! Oh my goodness, the food was insane. Trying authentic Thai food was the best, there is so much flavour, variety and spice! There's one restaurant we visited.. 3 times in Phuket, the food and the service was just the best, they also did the best strawberry daiquiri's I have ever had! I also really miss the fresh fruit, especially at breakfast. 

One of the highlights on this holiday was going to the Elephant Sanctuary. It was so surreal being amongst such a precious animal and the love and care that was given to these Elephants was also refreshing. Elephant trekking in Thailand is huge and a lot of tourists aren't aware how mistreated Elephants are when they are used for rides and circus shows. The Sanctuary we went to was great because all the Elephants there were rescued and knowing that they still allowed the Elephants to go into the jungle and not be kept in uncomfortable conditions was even better. We got to feed the Elephants and bathe them, I still can't believe I got to experience that!

We also went on a speed boat on one of the days and went to Bamboo Island which is stunning.. White sand and crystal blue water, must I add that all the water was so warm! We also went snorkeling, I had never been snorkeling before and I almost didn't do it but I'm so glad I did. I literally swam with fishes, the beautiful colorful ones too! We made some stops elsewhere and also go to see Monkey Island (yes, there were monkeys) as well as Maya Beach, which was actually been closed due to tourists trashing it!

Week 2 is coming.. stay tuned!

Love Sham x

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