*Warning photo heavy*
This is possibly the hardest post I’ve written on this blog. Not because I had a bad time, but because I had the best time ever and I’m sorely tempted to book the next flight out of here from Heathrow and that would not help the state of my bank balance. If you didn’t know my boyfriend surprised me with a trip to Thailand for Christmas (you can read all about that over here), he earned some serious brownie points and has set the bar far too high this year. After the initial surprise it was time to plan the route, we finally settled on the east coast of Thailand and chose to visit Bangkok, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
We arrived in Bangkok late on a Sunday night and headed straight out as soon as we go to our hotel. We stayed at the Rembrandt Hotel in an executive suite room, the room was really spacious and had a separate living room area and two bathrooms (more on amazing bathrooms later). After a busy first night experiencing the, ahem, sights of Bangkok we woke up on the first day of Songkran Festival. Songkran is a traditional Thai festival which celebrates the Thai New Year whereby locals bless the young by throwing water over them. Although we’d heard from family and friends who’d visited Thailand during Songkran to expect to get wet we hadn’t quite anticipated just how wet we’d get when we visit Koh San Road. After a soaking visit to Bangkok’s most famous road we headed back to our hotel to dry off by the pool before our flight to Koh Samui.
Our first stop on the island of Koh Samui was the Peace Resort Hotel in Bophut. On arrival we were told our room had been upgraded and we were not disappointed. The room was open plan with a bathroom as you entered the room before leading onto a separate bedroom and finally the bathtub on the balcony. The balcony had big wooden shutter doors, with a large stone bathtub which overlooked beautiful palm trees – hello luxury! Bophut is famous for it’s Fisherman’s Village and were only a 10 minute walk along the beach to the most popular area. Our time in Bophut was really chilled out, with midday baths (how could you not), wandering in the little boutiques and chilling at the pool. The food in Bophut was absolutely incredible a visit to The Shack is a must if you’re a meat lover with food BBQ’d to perfection. Coco Tam’s was also another favourite for after dinner cocktails in the beach.
After a 3 night stay in Bophut we headed to Chaweng Beach, the busiest beach strip on the island. Compared to Bophut where the pace was a lot slower, Chaweng Beach is definitely for the more livlier travellers. We stayed in the Chaweng Regent Beach Resort Hotel, this was my favourite hotel we stayed in during our time in Thailand with another gorgeous room. The bed was absolutely huge and one of the comfiest I’ve had the pleasure of sleeping in, we also had another amazing bathroom with jacuzzi bath and large open shower. The hotel had two pools, one was a more quiet laid back pool in the middle of the resort with pool bar, with the other pool overlooking the beach. Each of the sun loungers also had a press for service button allowing you to order without lifting a finger – pure bliss. Our time on Chaweng Beach was the busiest, we rented canoes, visited Ark Bar (a must whilst in Chaweng) and ate more delicious food.
We only took one excursion during our whole time in Thailand but it was by far one of the best things I have ever done. Ang Thong National Marine Park is a collection of over 40 islands in the gulf of Thailand with breathtaking scenery. We hopped on a boat at around 7am in the morning ready for a day of snorkeling, hiking and sea kayaking, as well as sampling the local food. The day was packed full of activities with snorkeling being the first stop. Having never snorkeled before I was a little daunted about jumping off the boat into the middle of the sea but it was so much fun. Next up we climbed up some rather questionable steps to take a look at the Emerald Lake a blue lagoon which was so beautiful. After lunch, we went sea kayaking and had an hour to chill on a secluded beach before it was time to hop back on the boat ready to head back to Koh Samui. I’d highly recommend doing a tour around Ang Thong and it’s definitley not something be missed if you’re in the area.
Next up on our tour of Thailand was Koh Phangan, whilst there was no Full Moon Party on during our time there we still decided to visit the island. Compared to our previous hotels, The Coast Resort was super modern, think lots of concrete and clean lines. Our hotel was again really nice and had an amazing infinity pool overlooking Sunset Beach. I wasn’t completely won over by Koh Phangan and unless there’s a Full Moon Party I’m not sure I’d recommend a visit. Whilst, it wasn’t my favourite place we visited we did have one of the nicest meals on the Island at a restaurant called Fisherman’s after seeing rave reviews on Trip Advisor – it pays off to do research. The restaurant was on the beach with old fishing boats being used a tables and delicious cocktails in vintage jars.
Our final stop on our little island hop of Thailand was Koh Tao. Koh Tao was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever visited. A visit to the island Koh Nangyuan is an absolute must do trip. If you head down to the main beach you can hop on a little sea taxi over to the island and spend the day hiking up to the view point, snorkeling or just chilling on the beach. We stayed in the Simple Life Resort which was on the simple side as the name suggests but as we spent most of our time on the beach it suited us fine. Koh Tao had a village feel with cute little streets dotted with cafes and restaurants.
After this, our time was spent travelling back to Koh Samui, then to Bangkok before we headed home. On our final night we headed up to the Lebua State Tower Sky Bar where the Hangover was filmed. The views were incredible and although you have to buy a drink and they were a little on the pricey side it was well worth it. I’m now off to console myself and browse holidays for the forseable future…