Why hello there! I know I have neglected this blog for a while but at last, my masters degree is over and I now have the time to write again. When I submitted my dissertation in October my boyfriend and I went on holiday the very next day, to the magical country of Thailand, in Southeast Asia.
I have to admit this was one of my favourite holidays to date. We island-hopped around the southern coast for 16 days visiting 4 different places in total. The climate, culture and landscapes were all something I had never experienced before - which I think made it all the more exciting.
This blog post will be 1 of 2 (because there is just sooo much to write about). A guide to island hopping in Thailand - a little insight into our trip.
B A N G K O K
We stayed in Bangkok for 2 nights at the beginning of our holiday and 2 nights at the end as our flights to/from the UK landed/departed from the Suvarnabhhumi International Airport.
Where to Stay
When we arrived in Bangkok, at the beginning of our holiday, we stayed in the infamous Tower Club at Lebua - which many of you probably recognise from The Hangover Part II. I cannot recommend this hotel enough. The customer service, the rooms and hotel facilities were amazing and we absolutely loved staying here. We had a room on the 59th floor with one of the best views of Bangkok, looking over the Chao Phraya river.
When we returned to Bangkok, ahead of flying back to the UK, we stayed in the Sivatel Bangkok. Again, a luxurious hotel with amazing staff. Although, our room didn't have a balcony, but with floor to ceiling windows we still had another incredible view of the city. The hotel was complete with an infinity pool which looked out onto the Bangkok skyline.
What to Do
Bangkok is one of the craziest cities I have ever visited. If you are looking for street food, loud music, and lots of bars I would recommend a visit to Koh San Road - known for being home to some of the best nightlife in Bangkok. During the day, if you're searching for something more idyllic, I recommend you take a canal ride on a long tail boat. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, to the Temples of Bangkok. We visited Wat Pho and Wat Arun - The Temple of Dawn. The architecture is amazing and Wat Pho is home to the reclining Buddha. The temples are a place of worship, and we even got to sit in on a monks' prayer session. If you're looking for something a bit different, and more adventurous, you should take a river taxi to the suburbs of Bangkok and visit the Aeroplane Graveyard. The aeroplane graveyard is a wasteland with an assortment of aircrafts that you can climb up inside and explore.
Where to Eat
There are food carts on every street corner in Bangkok. If street food is your thing I definitely suggest heading to China Town. But, if your looking for something a little more sophisticated we had the best tapas at El Tapeo.
P H U K E T
The next stop on our travels was Phuket. Phuket is Thailand's largest island and, I would probably say, one of the most westernised. We spent 4 nights here.
Where to Stay
We chose to stay in Patong, near Patong Beach. Patong is home to Bangla Road, the centre of Phuket nightlife. We stayed at Naina Resort and Spa, a short 10 minute drive from Bangla Road. The resort was all on one level, and it almost resembled a farm. It was quiet and idyllic, tucked away down a narrow road. Our modern room opened up onto the poolside and was complete with a bath. The staff were really friendly, and the buffet breakfast, overlooking the rice fields, was amazing (although we only managed to wake up in time for breakfast once).
What to Do
If house music and drinks on the beach - with the best view of the sunset - are for you then I highly recommend Cafe Del Mar. We had the best day here! For the thrill seekers out there, we zip lined through the Phuket jungle at the Flying Hanuman adventure park. If you are not staying on the Phi Phi Island's during your time in Thailand I would definitely suggest a day trip to Phi Phi from Phuket. We got the 9am ferry, and it took a slight detour past Maya Bay - which is currently closed to the public. Once we were on Phi Phi we rented a Kayak and paddled our way to Monkey Beach - a beach that literally has monkeys on it! At night time, you should try and fit in a trip to a Muay Thai stadium for a fight. Muay Thai is one of Thailand's oldest and most famous sports. Lastly, Bangla Road is definitely worth a visit. There are lots of bars and even some huge clubs. We went to Illuzion - ranked 33rd best club in the world - and saw Nelly perform live (and then missed our flight the next day).
Where to Eat
As I mentioned, Phuket is pretty westernised. Lots of American and Australian food options. One of our favourites was the Coffee Club, for their breakfast. We had an amazing burger from Prime Burger and had the best fillet steak from Mojo Grill and Bar. Again, near Bangla Road there are tonnes of food stalls serving up the best of Thai street food.
So, that was the first half of A Guide to Island Hopping in Thailand. I will post part 2 next month. In the mean time, if you are looking for more travel related content you can view my 48 Hours in Paris - My Top Travel Tips blog here.
Happy Sunday x