Some of the most relaxing family vacations I’ve had were those that were spent in Southeast Asia. I guess it’s the fact that it’s very close to home — Thailand is a 3 to 3.5 hour plane ride away from the Philippines. This, plus the fact that being in the same region, we Filipinos just seem to have a closer connection to our next-door Asian neighbors.
Since I have a lot of backlogs in travel posts, I will be combining some of them in one article. I will try my best to shorten and make them easy for you to read because I myself don’t like long and boring blog posts! 🙂
So this travel post about Thailand is a combination of two family trips we’ve made, so feel free to browse through the many photos I have here!
To me, Thailand exudes peace, calmness and relaxation. The scent of Lemongrass in most of their indoor spaces and Kaffir Lime in almost all the restaurants I go to instantly relax my mind and release the tension in my body!
Another welcome bonus? Shopping is VERY cheap here in Thailand! From their local handicrafts, antiques, decor to the branded and luxury goods, this is the place to go if you want to spend your money and get its worth! Plus their food which I can never tire of — is just always good! Yes, delicious Thai food can be had here anywhere! There is no need to go looking for high-end expensive restaurants here just to eat good food. From their small hawker stalls to the famous restaurants to their resorts and hotels, every dish I’ve had here were just full of flavor and spices, two things that I always look for in my meals! 🙂
After staying for a few days in Bangkok mainly just to shop and dine, we flew to our first stop : Krabi island. This was a short plane ride that took us only about an hour and 20 minutes.
In this island, we stayed at Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. (Click on the link to go to their website.)
We arrived at night and so the bedroom that welcomed us had lights that were dimmed…very sweet and romantic of them 🙂
Upon entering our bedroom, we were surprised to see this gigantic bed that can fit 8 persons comfortably! This is by far the biggest, widest and longest bed we’ve ever seen! (It’s twice the length and width of a King-size bed!) 🙂
The bathroom has a his and hers set up which is always convenient especially for couples like us — who bring a lot of toiletries and other stuff! 🙂
The bathtub area is very luxurious too, making anyone who bathes here feel like Cleopatra! 🙂
The breakfast buffet!
There were a lot of food and this is just one photo of the various Thai desserts in the spread. They all came in shot glasses and were so delicious! It was convenient to try all of them, because they came in small servings anyway… 🙂
Everything they serve here are homemade and fresh, including the yogurt and honey!
The room is decorated with interesting Thai murals.
The pool area of Phulay Bay is very beautiful, peaceful and relaxing.
The infinity pool is overlooking the limestone mountains, the virgin rain forests and the waterfalls of the surrounding islands of the Andaman Sea.
The entire pool deck is muted with whites and browns but there are pops of fuchsia pink and turquoise blue too on the outdoor furniture.
A bar is situated in the middle of the pool (that round roof that looks like a nipa hut), convenient enough for those wanting to spend their happy hour while soaking in the water.
Here is Thailand’s most popular animal, the Elephant… the resort has one to “meet-and-greet” its little guests! 🙂
Although it rained one afternoon that we were there, it was still gorgeous… Good thing the resort has a lot of these covered cabana lounges.
And after the rains have stopped, the whole place was back to looking peaceful, serene and calm again.
The shore of the beach at Phulay Bay is naturally rocky but the waters are clean, clear and blue!
On another afternoon, we went around on a speed boat to check the other islands around us.
We stopped at Rayavadee Resort in Railay Beach, situated on the edge of the Krabi Marine National Park.
There are numerous limestone cliffs (like these seen in the photo) all over this island and their jungle foliage is just so rich and lush. They are awe-inspiring to say the least!
The weather was not too sunny that day we visited, so it wasn’t too hot to go around and just walk across the island.
(If I am not mistaken, it is in one of these islands where Leonardo Di Caprio’s movie The Beach was filmed… There goes my Hollywood trivia for all you movie buffs out there! :))
On another trip to Thailand…
From Bangkok, we drove to see Ayutthaya, a famous historical ancient site of Thailand, which is a mere 85km north of the capital.
Ayutthaya has a lot of these beautiful temple remains, mostly made of bricks — which are called prangs.
Having seen them in real life gave me an idea of its past splendor and rich history.
This old kingdom of Thailand thrived for 400 years and it was once their center of Hindu and Buddhist worship and life.
Eventually, the city was then destroyed by the Burmese army which resulted in the collapse of the kingdom. But these remains stood still and until now, they tell a wonderful story of its historically rich past.
The day we were here was very, very hot (40 degrees!) but it was not a deterrent for us to enjoy the place’s great architecture and rich history.
The next leg of our Thailand trip was spent in the island of Huahin, which is a 3.5 hour car ride from Bangkok.
Here we stayed at the V Villas Luxury Hotel. (Click on the link to go to their website.)
Each villa has its own pool that’s perfect for families to stay in.
Its modern and minimalist design gives more focus on the beautiful nature that surrounds it.
Everything here is peaceful and tranquil.
We enjoyed the whole afternoon simply basking in the sun, soaking in the water and admiring the wonderful work of nature around us.
At night, the V Villas resort glows beautifully. Lamps are lit at every corner and give the whole place a nice, relaxing vibe.
The main pool is also lit up at night.
The whole place from afar looks like it is literally glowing in the dark!
These were the cabanas where we had our lunches and dinners al fresco.
And going back to our own villa… the pool which is right in front and center view of the master’s bedroom is also illuminated at night.
Come daytime, this is how the poolside and the cabanas of the V Villas look like.
On our last day here in Huahin, when the whole family was still asleep, I had a morning run along the beach shore, swam for a few laps and just tried to absorb the fresh sea breeze and the whole beauty of nature around me. (Yes during holidays, I try to squeeze in some form of exercise (and meditation) to compensate for the “over-abundance” of food I take in! :))
It was relaxing to just be still and quiet, stare at the view in front of me and just hear the waves come rushing in. I really appreciate quiet mornings like this…
But as expected, it was short-lived! The family started to wake up one by one, the kids hurriedly jumped into the pool, splashed water all over my face, kicked me accidentally on the side and woke me up from my day dreaming and jolted me back to reality!!
But a holiday is still a holiday and I am simply grateful for these 2 quick but relaxing trips to Thailand with the family. I am still hoping though that I can have some quiet and me time again soon… 🙂
In the meantime, allow me to day dream even just a bit during this quiet morning.