A lastminute lovely in Thailand
lastminute lovely Nicole headed to the land of smiles for a little R&R in Bangkok and Koh Samui…
Well prepped and loaded with top tips for making the most of a Thailand trip, (hat tip to our wonderful Facebook and Twitter peeps for their fabulous recommendations), my man and I arrived at Sydney airport, well and truly ready to escape the Aussie winter and head somewhere that gloves, boots and scarves weren’t compulsory.
While many people dread the whole flights side of the travelling equation, I have to admit, I secretly rather enjoyed the Thai Airways journey. I took full advantage of the entertainment on offer, indulging in chick flicks my partner would never agree to watching (hello Bridget Jones Diary), while he passed the time with some violence-filled boy movie. Win: win I’d say.
Before we knew it, we had reached our first destination!
Five star baby!
We rocked up at the five-star Siam@Siam Design Hotel & Spa and immediately loved the vibe. The polished concrete look was stylish and fresh and it was nice to stay somewhere that didn’t just feel like any other hotel room, anywhere in the world.
What else did we love about this hotel you ask?
- The breakfast (a-mazing!)
- The pool (with awesome views over the city)
- Dinner and drinks at the rooftop bar and restaurant (a little on the expensive side but the atmosphere and view at night made it well worth the splurge)
- Location (it’s right near one of the stops for the Sky Train so getting out and about to explore Bangkok is easy peasy and it’s only a short stroll away from the fabulous shopping area including MBK).
Shop ‘til you drop
If you’ve never heard of MBK, it is HUGE.
Think three Westfield shopping centres all in one with absolutely everything you could want. Let’s just say we didn’t return to the hotel empty handed (or for many, many hours) but it was lots of fun.
On another retail therapy adventure on the recommendation of one of the other lastminute lovelies, we headed to the Chatuchak weekend markets. It was hot and busy but there were many bargains to be and the slightly more authentic feel was just what we were after. This place has everything – food, clothes, homewares, rabbits – utterly random but fabulous.
Koh Samui bliss
After a couple of days of shopping and eating to our heart’s content in Bangkok, we were more than ready for some island time.
Koh Samui was everything we wanted it to be and more (corny but true!)
Day trips, gorgeous weather, shopping, foodie hot spots… this little island packs a holiday punch.
Probably the most hilarious part of the whole holiday was the day we hired a car, easily the best way to get out and explore the island.
- A visit to Fisherman’s Village (a gorgeous little spot with chilled out bars and cute little shops)
- Big Buddha (a landmark to tick off your list)
- The Cliff Bar and Grill (stunning views, very James Bond like), and;
- The shopping and bar strip in Chaweng (otherwise known as party central).
In the interests of transparency, I will admit that I was in charge of the map (despite professing my utter lack of skill in this department) and well, despite my best intentions, we did get lost but hey, it was all part of the adventure (but soooo not fun at the time!).
Food, glorious food
Loving Thai food, we were obviously in the right place but were especially lucky with an authentic beach-front restaurant a five minute beachside stroll away (awww romantic). Needless to say, we frequented that spot often. Dinner with the sand between your toes and a Singha in hand was utter bliss.
I do admit to craving some ‘Western’ food by the end of the week and the good ol’ golden arches were there to satisfy that urge… thank you Ronnie M.
After the map mishap, we were more than happy to have a day trip where someone else was in charge and our guide took us to the island of Koh Tao, a pleasant 90 minute boat ride away.
Here we indulged in snorkelling (in the most gorgeous clear water) and a tasty lunch. We also purchased my favourite souvenir… our very own commemorative plate for the bargain price of 90 Baht (about $3).
We did run into a storm on the way back… not quite smooth sailing but a good tale to laugh about once we were back on solid land!
See you next time…
With an early (read, un-Godly hour) flight out off Bangkok back to Sydney town, we spent our last in night in Thailand at the five-star Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel. Just five minutes shuttle bus ride away from the airport, it is convenience plus.
Another plus is the 24 hour check-in policy they have: check in at 4.30pm? You don’t need to check out until 4.30pm. I wish all hotels could be like that!
Heading to Thailand in the middle of winter? Best. Idea. Ever.
If you’re like me and have never headed to a warmer destination during the cooler months, jump on board the bandwagon my friend, I can not recommend this style of getaway highly enough.