South East Asia was one place I was desperate to travel to and after being delayed for 24 hours on our way back from Australia and being given Qatar Airways vouchers as compensation, we decided in 2012 to book a flight to Bangkok for Easter 2013.
We planned five nights in Bangkok, followed by a week in Phuket, before jetting out to Kuala Lumpur for a couple of nights and then back home via Doha.
Bangkok is an amazing city filled with car fumes, street food, scooters and smiling Thai faces. It is no exaggeration that when you land in Suvarnabhumi airport you experience the strongest culture shock.
We stayed in a five star hotel off Sukhumvit which had gloriously cool air conditioned rooms, a beautiful pool area and was situated next to stall upon stall of street food. We were completely in our element. I had the heat of the sun to bathe in and my husband had his pick of spicy cheap street food to sample whenever his heart desired.
We tried temple hopping but it was just too damn hot and we gave up after seeing the Reclining Buddha in all its glory. You have to make a decision to acclimatise as soon as you arrive, otherwise the heat will simply overwhelm you.
The five days in smoggy Bangkok quickly came to an end and we took a cheap flight with Air Asia to Phuket. The contrast between the two areas of Thailand were breathtaking. Gone was the smog, although the friendly smiling faces remained.
We chose to stay in Kata Beach, a more family friendly area (despite us not yet having children) which was quieter than Patong or Phuket Town. We chose the beautiful five star resort Metadee which was worth every penny we spent on it. We were upgraded to a villa with a free standing bath and a four poster bed. The pool was accessible from the room and I was in heaven.
We had no real need to explore the island because everything we needed was in the hotel, but that didn’t stop us from hiring a scooter and climbing up the huge mountain at 30mph to see the Big Buddha. We spent a couple of nights eating steak in Horngrill sampling the best beef I have ever tasted and we bar hopped sampling Chang and Singha beer and watching Thai Neil Diamond tribute acts.
We were so impressed with our visit to Thailand that we decided to replicate the whole thing for our honeymoon the following year in 2014.
We stayed in the exact same hotels although this time we spent less time rushing around and more time relaxing at the beach and by the pool.
I am desperate to take Dexter over to the Land of Smiles, but the only thing putting me off at the moment is the flight time. During our second trip we did a couple of days in Abu Dhabi as a layover and if we were to take Dex I think it would be prudent to have a day or so in the UAE on the way there and on the way back.
Have you been to Thailand? Have you been there with a baby/toddler? Where would you recommend staying?