Is it the end of the world already? I hope not, because I’m off on the road for a few days and I’d be devastated not to be able to come back to my life in Sydney. We are heading off to The Land of Smiles, and while it’s not my first time to Thailand, it’s been over five years since I was last there, and I’ve never been to Bangkok, so I’m looking forward to this trip!
Our itinerary is a mash-up of tours, independent travel, local activities, 5-star hotels and self-catered apartments, as we are heading to Bangkok with family, another first in many years – the last time I was on a family holiday was in the UK, four years ago.
We’re booked into the Siam Kempinski in Bangkok and Villareal Heights in Phuket – two diametrically opposed accommodations. Both are centrally located; the Kempinski is near the Sukhumvit area with bars, restaurants, shopping malls and the Skytrain while the Villa Real is away from Patong and on beautiful, isolated Karon Beach. When we travel we like to mix things up a bit – the diversity is part of the fun!
Thai food – what’s there not to love? I’m aiming to graze my way through Bangkok’s street food scene, hunt down the freshest seafood in Phuket town, and go for a traditional Thai cooking class to learn how to make the perfect green curry and pad thai. We have also made reservations for Nahm, one of Pelligrino’s Top 50 restaurants in the world, so that will also be something to look forward to!
City tours in Old Bangkok, a daytrip to the floating markets of Damnoen Saduak, cocktails in skybars, Bonchon chicken (my absolute favourite fried chicken in the world – sorely missed from my New York days), shopping for a wide angle lens, making elephantine friends, fireworks and party-time on the beaches of Phuket on New Year’s Eve, diving Ko Phi Phi, potentially twilight kayaking with John Gray into the dim hongs – there is plenty to do, and I’m excited for all the activities we have planned.
What have you done, seen or eaten in Bangkok or Phuket that I should try? Have you experienced any of the stuff I’ve listed here? If so, do you have recommendations or tips for a first time (ish) visitor to Thailand?