On arriving in Bangkok after a week In Chiang Mai we headed to our accommodation near Khao San Rd. Bangkok didn’t offer an abundance of family room options so we weren’t surprised when we were shown to our room to discover it was actually three bunk beds in what would have been a dorm. It wouldn’t have been too bad if the mattresses weren’t as hard as planks of wood, the shower wasn’t a hose above the toilet and the continental breakfast wasn’t a loaf of bread with old margarine and jam. The young ladies who ran the place also clearly preferred to be out partying or sleeping off hangovers.
Our time in Bangkok was split between visiting Khao San Rd and themed cafes. Khao San Rd is interesting and vibrant. We enjoyed leisurely dinners, shopping and getting henna tattoos. There is plenty of western food but if you are adventurous you can also snack on some fried insects or a scorpion. Themed cafes seem to be a relatively new asian phenomena. We walked past a Cat Cafe near our place, so naturally had to stop in for breakfast one day. It was great for my allergies to be sipping on an iced latte surrounded by 26 cats, but the girls loved it of course.
The other cafe we visited was a Unicorn Cafe. This was a complete assault on the senses. The cafe was covered from floor to ceiling with stuffed unicorns. The food was unicorn themed and you could even hire a unicorn onesie to dress up in. Strangely there were a number of adults who seemed to enjoy this. Bizarre.
After four sleepless nights in Bangkok ( the beds were THAT bad) we moved on to a beach side town called Hua Hin. We booked a beautiful apartment at the Dusit Thani Villas. We had two bedrooms, soft beds, ocean views and could enjoy all the amenities of the five star resort. This meant that we didn’t see much of Hua Hin but enjoyed everything the Dusit Thani had to offer from deck chairs around a huge pool, cocktails, complimentary kids club, badminton court and a gym. If we hadn’t pre-booked our accommodation in Koh Samet we would have happily stayed longer.
En-route to Koh Samet we stopped in Pattaya to break up the journey. We took the boat across which saved us 3 hours in a car but was a stomach-clenching experience. Pattaya isn’t the typical place you might visit with kids but lucky for us it was a Buddhist long weekend which meant the bars were shut. We were pretty thrilled by this given the proximity of our room to the neighbouring bubble massage parlour. I don’t even want to imagine.
Koh Samet was then about a 2 hour drive from Pattaya. We felt every minute of the drive as our driver snacked on what looked like dried fruit with seeds. He loudly cracked and crunched the seeds between his teeth the whole trip. I could almost see the steam raising from Murray’s head every time he reached for another snack. He handed us his card so that we could book him for a return journey. That was not going to happen.
Our last 11 days in Thailand were spend on the island of Koh Samet. Our boat dropped us off on the beach in front of our accommodation and our bags were carried for us up to our room. We were thrilled to have our own hut with beach views, a large veranda, air con, hot water and a daily cleaning service. We spent hours each day in the ocean where the girls learned to body-surf small waves. The pace of life slowed down considerably with us dividing our time between swimming, visiting the only coffee shop, replenishing snacks at the 7-11, doing some school-work and relaxing. If I had to compare Koh Samet to the island we visited in May (Koh Lipe), I still think Koh Lipe comes out on top. That said, Koh Samet was a very nice spot to visit. Thailand has been terrific. It’s easy, fun and there are lots of interesting things to do with kids. Next stop is Siem Reap , Cambodia.