48 hours to go and I’m still frantically online shopping for last minute ‘Thailand outfits’. I’m going away for 12 nights so obviously having a different outfit for each night is a must. My biggest dilemma at this stage is which pairs of trainers make the cut – I must have chopped and changed about 100 times! In my mind, these are some of the biggest decisions I will ever have to make. A strong outfit always sets the tone for me.
Right, all packed, passport and tickets ready and off I go. Two flights and 16 hours later, I arrive in Bangkok. It’s around 10pm (local time) and with the time difference, two days after I took off, I’m pretty jet lagged. I leave the airport and already Bangkok is as humid and as manic as everyone says. After losing our driver in amongst all the traffic for a short time, we finally get in and set off for the Banyan Tree which is a 5-star hotel just outside the centre of Bangkok. We were greeted with a glass of champagne (maybe Prosecco but couldn’t tell) and a hand-made flower necklace on arrival. My room was on the 47th floor and the views across Bangkok were unreal. The room itself was probably bigger than my flat in London!
Pretty jet-lagged that evening, we slept to prepare for a trip into the centre of Bangkok the next morning. Deciding to take the scenic route wasn’t the best idea and, after half an hour of walking, we decided to get on a Tuc Tuc which was possibly the nearest I’ve come to dying. If you think London is busy and the driving bad, wait until you see this place. Imagine Oxford Circus at rush hour times 10. Absolutely mental. We visited temples, floating markets and food stalls whilst trying to be convinced into a Tuc Tuc ride every two minutes. It was that hot that someone was even cooking a tray of meat on top of a box in the sun, food poisoning written all over it. That evening we went up to the Sky Bar on the 61st floor of our hotel for pre drinks. I’ve never seen a 360 degree view of a city like it. Honestly, it was breathtaking. We then visited the famous Khao San Road, famous for street food, fake designer bags and ping pong shows. Pussy Magic was an experience I will never forget.
Having spent two nights in the madness of Bangkok, it was a short flight down to Krabi. A drive down to the port and our first experience of a long boat to Railay Bay. This place was beautiful; it was a small Island with only four main hotels. Three days of pure relaxation and my biggest problem being: Which one of my 6 pairs of swim shorts do I wear? The front row of sun beds in the hotel were literally a step-up from the beach. I could either step down onto the sand and into the sea or turn around and dive into the pool when the 35 degree heat got too much. The Mitchell & Ness caps were starting to come in handy in this weather. Apart from the odd piece of exploring on a kayak, I didn’t do too much whilst at Railay Bay. Literally, I sunbathed with a Singha or Chang in my hand from about midday every day. Not bad at all if you ask me.
What to wear and when to wear it, is something that runs through my mind pretty much all day on holiday. I don’t know about you, but I like saving my best outfits for the holiday’s end. But choosing my evening outfits is something I enjoy (probably a bit too much). The evenings were eventful, particularly the first one. Seven Long Island iced teas wasn’t a good idea. This one ended with me swinging from pole to pole in one of the local bars and falling into a bush on the walk back to the hotel. Fun times.
With Railay being an island, there is only one way in and that’s a Long Boat. Tourists come in for day trips and there is a constant group of Long Boats gathered on the bay. Next stop? Phi Phi Island.
We stepped off the hour-and-a-half boat ride to a tropical thunderstorm and the hardest rain I have ever felt. The term ‘the heavens opened’ had never been more appropriate. Welcome to Phi Phi! It was almost like being back home. Glad to say, there were better things to come. With so many different islands within a boat ride away, we decided to hire our own boat for the day. We had a fella called Nom, who seemed like a lovely lad, although he spoke barely any English, take us out for the day.
We decided to start at Maya Bay which is where they filmed The Beach with Leonardo Di Caprio. The place is honestly one of nicest beaches with clearest waters I’ve ever seen as well as an unreal viewing point at the back looking out across the ocean. On the way round to our next stop, we jumped out and snorkelled amongst the fish and their underwater world. The fish were almost on the surface of the water touching you as you swam, great experience.
We decided our next stop would be Bamboo island. The boat ride there wasn’t the best but I will come back to that later on. On our way, Nom suggested we stopped at a little cove. We jumped out and it was seriously like being in the bath at home. I could have swam and spent all day there. Back in the boat, we headed to Bamboo Island passing Monkey beach on the way. All I’m going to say is this: Try to avoid travelling in a tiny long boat on the open sea driving into the waves. Nightmare. I was trying to stay calm but inside I was bricking it. Nom, to be fair, looked like he had it all under control. He was looking at us all like WE were mad. Guess it was just another day at the office for him. Bamboo Island was pretty insane and worth the trip over. Again, immaculate beaches and crystal clear water which was ideal for a bit of snorkelling. Once we were dropped back at the port, we thanked Nom (mainly for getting us back alive) and tipped him. It was probably the equivalent of his whole months wages which, needless to say, he was happy about.
Phi Phi was a strange place. It was like a mix of the San Antonio strip in Ibiza in the evening but paradise at the front of the beach during the day. The evenings were filled with eating (mainly Thai curries), drinking (mainly Chang or Singha) and having a laugh whilst watching the fire shows which seemed to be on almost every night. There was always the option of walking round the endless market stalls looking at the fake designer bags, sun glasses, clothes and everything else. Our last morning, we decided to get up early and walk to the much talked about viewpoint which was at the top of the rainforest. There seemed to be some conflicting views on how long it would take to walk up there. With some reviews suggesting 15 minutes and others 40. It took us about half an hour in the end but was definitely worth it. For a fashion blogger, it was the perfect opportunity to get a couple of pics of trainers with amazing backdrops as you would’ve seen from our Instagram posts already.
Our fourth and final stop and we were back to the mainland, Ao Nang. We booked to stay at the Fiore Ao Nang hotel which was lovely. You even had Tescos a short walk to make you feel at home. The rooms were all circular-like huts built into the rainforest. The walks to the rooms were so steep you had to arrange for a buggy to come and collect you to take you up and down. Yes, it was almost too steep to walk down! With the end of the holiday approaching, we decided to do one more day trip before spending our last hours by the pool. We set off for the much talked about natural hot springs and waterfall. The hot springs were surreal…40 degrees of natural water streaming down the side of the rocks. It felt strange going in at first as the weather was so hot. Once in, your body naturally adapts to the temperature. Then it was back to the infinity pool for the afternoon. This was pretty much where I spent the next day and a half. Looking out across the pool into the middle of the rainforest was just slightly better than waking up and travelling into work for an hour on the packed Central line (which in two days time was to be my life again). Back to the real world! By this point, I had eaten enough Thai curries, Pad Thais and spring rolls to last me a lifetime. Nevertheless, the food was exceptional. There are no international flights out of Krabi so we took the short hour flight back to Bangkok, staying at the Novotel overnight, and then we were on our way back to London. We flew both ways with Etihad Airlines which I would highly recommend. Comfortable, friendly service, nice food and good in-flight entertainment.
Now I was back at Heathrow with freezing weather and tube strikes the following day to look forward to. Holiday Blues had well and truly kicked in.