Nico and Belinda took us to Melbourne Tullamarine airport for our 2330 flight with Thai Airways to Bangkok. We don’t mind being delivered early because we spent time in the Business Class lounge before our flight. Not all were impressed with the Thai Business Class, the seats were very narrow and it was difficult to feel comfortable. The food was good and we both had nice bags with our free travel pieces. I changed to a very comfortable travel pajamas.
Friday March 29
The plane landed at 0530 and we were greeted by our free driver who took us to our hotel, Novotel Sukhumvit 20. We wished we had to wait long before our room was ready but were surprised and only waited for a while. . Our room was on the 22nd floor. The room was beautiful except for the large picture window from the bathroom facing the bedroom – I soon found the switch for the curtain to be operated electrically.
After settling down, we took a free tuk tuk to the train station and then took the fast transit train to the MBK shopping center where Danie was
buy some new ear buds that he wants. Return to the hotel and Executive lounge for drinks and snacks. We previously bought beer at a 7/11 local shop on the road.
We soon got used to buying train tickets, which were quite easy after we determined which route we needed.
Saturday March 30
Warm and humid. Today we go to the Chao Phraya River and pay 15 Bhat or $ 0.66 each to take a boat taxi for several hours on the river while enjoying the view. Lots of river traffic and many can be seen on the banks of the river. We also saw many river barges coming out towards the pier at the mouth of the river.
Chao Phraya is the main river in Thailand, with a low alluvial plain that forms the center of the country. Flow through Bangkok and then to the Gulf of Thailand.
Large bridge across Chao Phraya in Bangkok: Rama VI railroad bridge; Phra Pin-klao near the Great Palace; Rama VIII, an asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge tower; Rama IX, a semi-symmetrical cable bridge; and the Mega Bridge, in Industrial Estates In Bangkok, Chao Phraya is the main artery of transportation for river bus networks, cross-river ferries and water taxis (“longtail”). More than 15 ship lanes operate on rivers and city canals, including commuter lines.
Sunday March 31
Today we were picked up at the hotel to take a boat tour from several interesting canals but not as good as we believed. There are drinks and food provided but even that isn’t too good. We were able to see parts of Bangkok that we should have missed.
Overall we enjoyed our short visit, but it was too busy for us with too many people – 9.6 million people in 2018. After saying that we can now eliminate the city from a list of places to see.
The hotel is located near the MRT and the Executive Lounge is really nice with lots of food but not many choices for drinks like we had before.
Monday April 1
After breakfast we take a taxi to Don Muang domestic airport (no free home limo!), To fly to Phuket with Air Asia, which is a short flight.
Phuket is one of the southern provinces of Thailand. It consists of the island of Phuket, the largest island in the country, and 32 other small islands off the coast. It lies off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. Phuket Island is connected by the Sarasin Bridge to Phang Nga Province in the north.
Phuket Province has an area of 576 square kilometers somewhat less than Singapore, and is the second smallest province in Thailand. The island is on one of the main trade routes between India and China, and is often referred to in the log of foreign ships of Portuguese, French, Dutch and British traders. He used to get his wealth from tin and rubber and now from tourism.
On December 26, 2004, Phuket and other nearby areas on the west coast of Thailand were damaged when they were hit by a tsunami caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake. The wave destroyed several densely populated areas in the region, killing up to 5,300 people in Thailand, and two hundred thousand others throughout the Asian region. About 250 were reported killed in Phuket, including foreign tourists. Almost all majors
MBK at Bangkok MBK in Bangkok
MBK in Bangkok
the beaches on the west coast of Phuket, specifically Kamala, Patong, Karon, and Kata suffered major damage, with some damage caused by resorts and villages on the south coast of the island. The hardest hit area in Thailand is the Takua Pa District, Phang Nga Province north of Phuket, where thousands of Burmese workers are building new beach resorts were killed.
We were picked up at the airport and taken to the dock at Leam Hin, an hour’s drive away. There are speedboats waiting to take us across Phang Nga Bay to The Village, Coconut Island or “Koh Maprao”, a short 5 minute drive. We met at the dock there and were taken to the reception and served with our red bracelets, cold towels and drinks before being shown to our suite.
Wrist straps allow us to get all food and wine, alcoholic drinks, or beer from 1100 – 2300 every day. Yes, we gain weight. There are three restaurants (one of which you have to pay for) the other two in turns to have a buffet or a la carte. One is another Italian Thai so lots of choices and good food. We usually sit in the bar area overlooking the sea at lunch only having snacks and a few beers. At night there is usually very pleasant live music.
The reason the resort is very fertile and beautiful with many trees and colorful flowering shrubs. We go down at the end of the line, which is nice and calm. in
Suite 30. Entering the suite, on the right, there is a small kitchen area and then a gap where there are two cupboards and dressing tables, a double dressing table with large shower area, claw foot bath and toilet. There is no door to the en-suite, which is not the best !!!!!!
The beds look out over our private jacuzzi and decking with beautiful outdoor furniture and gardens. We used the jacuzzi a lot rather than using one of the two swimming pools or the ocean, very private and calm. One day we had a heavenly tree snake to visit, harmless and very small even though it was about one meter long.
When we arrived at the suite there was no electricity, it was immediately fixed but the AC kept tripping. We did not have air con our first night which was a challenge, fortunately it was fixed the next day saving us having to pack and move.
Tuesday, April 2
Very humid so spent a lot of time in our jacuzzi coming out just to eat and drink beer in our pool. Disappointing that there is a dog and cat in one of the restaurants. Yuck
Today we take advantage of our free 2×60 minute spa treatments. Danie has a 60-minute Thai massage and I have an amazing 60-minute coconut scrub. I am not a massage person but this is fun.
Whist was enjoying a daytime snack, a cocktail today, and the beer we met Shane and Sue from Craigieburn, Victoria, who both worked in prison services in Melbourne. They came to Phuket to do dental treatment and were recovering here. We met them again for dinner. They got a suite we had to move to but their jacuzzi had no shade, not like us.
Come back with a few beers to drink skinny whist !!!!!! We seem to do many things in Thailand
Thursday April 4th
Shane and Sue went shopping to Patong while we stayed at the resort and relaxed, we met again for dinner. There are lots of noisy family groups so we are happy to be able to escape to our little paradise.
Friday April 5 – Sunday April 7
It seems to be a fun routine now. Lots of food and drinks.
Monday April 8 – Tuesday April 16
Check out and take the 1315 speedboat back to Leam Hin where I arrange a private car from Movenpick Resort on Karon Beach to pick us up. He was a little late and I was just starting to panic when he arrived. It took a little more than an hour to drive to the west side of Phuket Island to our new resort for eight days.
We stayed at Movenpick Spa Resort in Karon, just opposite the beach.
“A holiday dream comes alive at our Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket, a truly beautiful spa resort in Thailand. Amid lush tropical gardens and just steps from the pristine sand of Karon Beach, there are a series of luxurious rooms that are perfect for family vacations, holiday travelers or special events. Exclusive Villa, perfect for couples seeking the highest comfort and privacy, surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Spend time enjoying your tropical environment in one of our 4 swimming pools or treat yourself to The Spa after working out at the fitness center. In the evening, treat your family with delicious meals in one of our 4 restaurants. “
We have a ground floor suite with a private pool and outdoor shower in the garden. The bathroom is a bit more private and has a large stone bath but wooden shutters are opened into the bedroom !!!!!!!
The resort is very busy and breakfast at Pacifica Restaurant is a bread fight with Asians and Russians thinking this is their last meal and eating accordingly – a lot. There are many Russians here and most ants are very arrogant, they never greet you or even smile, just like Asians. We take care of ourselves and spend time in our small pool away from the piles around the pool. Having said that the two restaurants we ate on one other Asian alternative night were very good.
We don’t have a bracelet here, it’s a voucher system and we have the right to eat lunch and dinner every day or four beers per day. Plus breakfast every day. We usually have dinner and then go to the fourth restaurant overlooking the beach and drink beer at any time. This works really well because there is also a 7/11 shop near where we bought extra Singha beer to have at the pool.
We also get two 60-minute Spa treatments in each package so that both have a 60-minute massage and then massage the neck, shoulders and back. I also spoil myself with a 60-minute pedicure at the price of A $ 35 which I think is very cheap.
While we are here Songkran festival takes place, a national holiday for the Thai New Year. Songkran is April 13 every year, but the holiday period is extended from April 14 to 15. In 2018 the Thai cabinet extended the festival nationally to five days, April 12-16, to allow citizens to travel home for holidays. This year the holiday will be observed April 12-16 because April 13 falls on Saturday.
Songkran comes from Sanskrit which means ‘shift’ or ‘movement’. It comes from the movement of the sun from one position to another in the zodiac. According to the literal meaning in Sanskrit, songkran appears every month. However, the period that Thais call songkran occurs when the sun moves from Pisces to Aries in the zodiac. The correct name for this period is actually Maha Songkran (‘great songkran’) because it coincides with the arrival of the New Year. Therefore, the songkran festival is a New Year celebration in accordance with the sun calendar. The celebration includes a three-day period: April 13 is considered to be Maha Songkran, the day on which the sun moves to Aries in the zodiac or the last day of the year.
Songkran celebrations are rich in symbolic traditions. The morning begins with making merit. Visiting local temples and offering food to Buddhist monks is usually done. On this special occasion, pouring water on Buddha statues and young people and the elderly is a traditional ritual on this holiday. It symbolizes purification and cleanses one’s sins and bad luck. As a union festival, people who move usually return to their loved ones. Honoring the ancestors is an important part of the Songkran tradition.
This holiday is famous for its water festival. The main roads are closed to traffic, and are used as an arena for water fights. Celebrities, young and old, participate in this radiation by splashing water with each other.
Phuket Big Buddha Statue, located on top of Mt. Nagakerd. Buddha Statue Big width: 25.45 m. height: 45 m. The reinforced concrete structure is decorated with white Burmese jade marble. The weight of white jade is around 135 tons per 2,500 sq.m. You can even buy breaks or marble tiles and sign your name to be a place forever in the Big Buddha.
Phuket Big Buddha has the best 360 degree views in the southern part of the island of Phuket, sightseeing in Phuket Town, Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Chalong Bay. The hotel is easily reached by road six kilometers from Phuket’s Chaofa Road West, just 2 km from Chalong Circle.
Tuesday April 17
We have a free limousine to Phuket airport, about an hour’s drive, where we wait in the waiting room for our 2.5-hour flight to Kuala Lumpur with the Air Asia economy. We then only had 2 short hours waiting in the Air Asia room for our night flight to Avalon Airport, Melbourne on a very flat flat bed because we could sleep for a 10 hour flight. We landed early and took a taxi to Point Cook, slept, talked to Nico and Belinda and slept early.