Holidays and Other Excursions

Tag: Phuket

Thailand Day 3

Friday 11 December 2015

Having a reasonable night’s sleep is often rare in the first night in a strange bed but oddly this one goes well. Once awake we wander around the complex as we have to find the way back – and the stairs we came down in the dark are not obvious (or labelled) in daytime. On emerging from our room we are struck by the heat, the humidity and invisibility as the glasses mist over! Eventually we find the dining area and elect to sit outside which is probably a mistake as of course inside is air conditioned as well and jumping from hot to cold and back is probably not good.

With a reasonable breakfast inside us we descend to collect some pool towels and take a couple of loungers on the decking area adjacent to the main pool. The area fills up although I note that not all loungers have been put out and suspect the hotel is not completely full at present. It is high tide in the morning – later in the afternoon it is noticeable that swimming in the sea in the roped off area would not be possible.

Being our first day we have the usual rep visit and book a couple of excursions to be taken later during the first week of our stay and confirm transit times to our second hotel and back to the airport for our return home. We are given some guidance on the local behaviour and where we can go to see the sunset – a short walk along the road.

We retreat to the dining room and take a light lunch; the spring rolls seem exceptionally hot to me! A further hour in the sun before we decide not to over do it on our first day and retreat to our room. On the way there I am able to show Jackie a much quieter pool adjacent to our room with some comfortable looking day beds which also look as though they provide some excellent shade in the heat of the day.

At about 5:15 pm we leave the complex for the first time heading out to end of the road. The plan is to spot restaurants for later eating and also to see the sunset in the west which duly happens about 45 minutes later. Our excursion had given us the chance to note 4 – 5 possible restaurants as well as to see a local street market along this stretch of road.

One of the restaurants is on Jackie’s list from Trip Advisor and we decide to make things simple for ourselves by having a fixed menu for two. Some chicken satay to start was not completely enveloped in peanut butter; soup, hot for Jackie and not for me – her chilis were obviously added at the end of the process. Once these tasty delights had been consumed we then waited the fisherman’s main course – a huge basket of fish. I had the opportunity to demonstrate I could still remove the bones from a complete fish and we also shared vast quantities of squid, mussels, soft shell crab and five decent sized prawns. For the food the Baht1500 quoted on the menu covered the entire food for two (which is about £30 at current exchange rates).

I always love fish platters and this was no exception at Baan Ra; recommended. We walk back to the hotel and agree on a couple of the other restaurants which seem most likely candidates for a visit later in the week.

Thailand Day 2

Thursday 10 December 2015

We leave the Etihad 777 and enter terminal 3. Prior to landing the plane on board information system had advised that our connecting flight would be leaving from Terminal 1 gate 6 and time was limited if they are as distant as Heathrow. We should not have worried as even a gentle stroll would have got us there with time to spare; the forced march merely made the wait longer still.

Once again priority boarding and slip into another business class flat bed seat on another 777, although no plans to sleep much on this leg. Once airborne something for breakfast and advance the watch by three hours. As we trundle to the runway I am pretty sure one of the planes in the queue behind us is an A380 – Dreamliner.

A couple of episodes of Borgen are also consumed whilst keeping an eye on the flight path. Initially we are shown taking a route over both Mumbai and Hyderabad, but the plane heads north towards Pakistsan before turning more south-easterly and we will now pass to the north of the two cities.

Time for dozing and listening to music programmes simply to block out the aircraft noise. Emerge from sleep for my “lunch” but now a little confused over what time it really as the clever displays show a local time which is 30 minutes out of step with other timezones. We are also crossing the Andaman Sea heading down towards Phuket – we will follow much the same path heading for Bangkok when we visit Australia next year.

From above the land at this end of Thailand looks stunning, green of course but rocks jutting out of the sea as well. We turn round on ourselves to land and the air part of the journey is complete.

Once back on land reality returns; a queue for immigration and our bags on reclaim 5, except when we get there it seems they have been moved to 4 and they are already off the belt and awaiting our attentions.

Exit the airport, find our local contact and then aboard a taxi for about an hour of typical (so it seems) foreign taxi driving as we taken through / round Phuket itself to the Radisson Blu hotel. All taxis abroad seem to be driven by those willing to take risks!

Check in is straightforward. Shown to our room. It is 8pm local time so we have been on the move for 21 hours. Unpack, order some room service, choose a couple of outings to book for later in the stay, eat room service, shower and retire to bed.

Heading to India (or perhaps not)

Friday 4 December 2015

A long awaited holiday – a second visit to India, this time to visit the southern areas of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa; including a trip on the Ooty railway, a night’s cruise on a houseboat and a week on the beach (or close by) in Kerala – early morning call as we have to leave the house before 6 am.

Only we are in bed well beyond that time as a call yesterday from the travel company brought bad news.  Chennai airport is closed, there is serious flooding in the area, there have been power cuts and it is still raining.

So on Thursday evening we sat down and hammered the tablets and looked at possibilities.  Jackie got very close to booking a couple of weeks in Mexico; but we held off.

This morning we hear back from Trailfinders who have sorted flights via Abu Dhabi on Etihad to Thailand – two weeks in Phuket and Kao Lahk (one week each), leaving next Wednesday and on the final leg we come back on a Dreamliner; arriving back in the UK on December 25 (that date rings a bell).


So if any of you wondered when notes on India would start appearing you will have to wait until 2017 as we are taking our 2017 holiday now.  Thailand updates will start appearing once we are on our way!