We had the most amazing holiday thank you. Oz feels like a bit of a blur and it rained every day so we spent most of the time at home with our family friends.
Nora Buri is an awesome hotel but the trick is to have a beachside villa like we had so you are right on the beach and don’t look on to the roofs of the other villas. The hotel is built on a hill but there are buggies that cart you around, the elevation gives you beautiful views. The beach is private but too difficult to walk on as it is like gravel with stones and coral and it is difficult to swim in the sea because of this. The soft sand is definitely the main beach in Chaweng BUT the peace and quiet and beauty is where we were.
Our beachside villa was gorgeous, one of the best luxury rooms we have ever stayed in on our travels. I think it is the hotels best room as it is used in all their advertising material. J We spent a lot of time there as it was right next to the main pool, beach bar and of course the beach. The breakfasts were ok, pretty much the same in all hotels I suppose.
We went into Chaweng every night to shop and for dinner, we loved the vibe there. Dave had suits made and a couple of shirts which made him super happy! He didn’t like it that we were so far out of Chaweng but I didn’t mind it, it took us about 4 minutes to get there by cab and cost about 200BT one way. I liked being away from the madness.
We visited the marine park which was stunning and a fun day out. We went with Grand Tours, it would have been better if there were fewer people on the boat as we were pretty crammed in and the boat ride out was over an hour! If was a full day trip, it would have been better if we had done a ½ day.
Koh Phanang was lovely too! Much prettier than Samui. We loved Santhiya, the fact that it is traditionally Thai is what makes it special. Our sea view villa plus was awesome, we weren’t 100% happy with our view as only a small portion of it was of the sea and the rest of it was of a cute lake in the resort. Our villa was also quite far away from the main part of the hotel which was a bit of a pain because their buggy system wasn’t great, but you have to be high up if you want a sea view from your villa so it’s a bit of a catch 22.
We went on two dives the one day – one dive would have been enough but the dive company does two per day so we didn’t have a choice. Very cheap and the equipment was suitable.
The village near Santhiya was very quiet (literally a small sandy street) but we ate there every night at all the different restaurants – it was best Thai food that we ate all holiday!
We were super happy with our hotel in Bangkok. We shopped up a storm so it was great that we were right there at MBK. We actually popped back to our hotel room a couple of times during the shopping spree to put the shopping down so that we didn’t have to lug it around all day with us and then we could also carry more. We had to buy two extra suitcases to bring everything back with us!!
The transfers were all great, everything ran smoothly like a well-oiled machine, we didn’t have any hiccups! Thai Airways was great, we managed to upgrade our seats for the flight to Sydney at the airport which was lucky.
We had the perfect mix of alone time and then fun with Taryn and Brod when they were on the islands and Bangkok with us. Thailand is definitely a holiday that you can and should do with friends.
Attached are some pics, I will send more through in a separate mail.
Leanne Van Niekerk