No vacation to Thailand is complete without visiting the buzzing city of Bangkok.
This city is as vibrant and luxurious as it is gritty, so chosing the ideal hotel makes all the difference. Stay in The Peninsula in Bangkok for the perfect picturesque location on the Chao Phraya River. The Peninsula is sophisticated with authentic Thai influences in their decor, it offers the most spectacular breakfast spread, wellness for the parents and tailor made cultural programs for the children or to enjoy as a family.
Take the Sky Train to Mo Chit station to the mother of all markets: the unmissable Chatuchak Market! This market is divided into 27 sections and sells everything from souvenirs to trendy fashion, silk and stylish furniture. Don’t forget to practise your haggling skills!
I love exotic fruits, for that the Klong Toey Fresh Market was heavenly. Bangkok shopping malls are unrivalled, visit Terminal 21 for absolutely anything you could ever need! I negotiated patience with my daughter beforehand and brought an iPad to keep her entertained. You won’t want distractions from shopping!
For sightseeing the Temple of the Reclining Buddha or Wat Pho, as it’s more commonly known, ranked as the number 1 “thing to do” in Bangkok by TripAdvisor (my favourite app for travel planning) and rightly so. This complex is arguably the most important Buddhist royal temple in Thailand housing a 46 meter reclining buddha, it is located south of the Grand Palace, making these two convenient for a combined cultural day trip.
After an action packed few days in the city I had a vision of enjoying a few days in a little house surrounded by lush tropical gardens with an outdoor shower and world-class spa, set on a pristine beach for some secluded relaxation facing the Andaman Sea which is exactly what the Pimalai Resort offered in Koh Lanta.
Thailand overflows with character and exhilarating islands and beach towns, Koh Samui being one of the most exuberant. Chaweng beach has a vast variety of restaurants and competitively priced hotels.
A little tip when searching for the perfect hotel for your taste and budget: I find the top 10 highest ranked or best value hotels in my chosen area on TripAdvisor (I read most reviews) then I look on Trivago to find their best price. Works every time!
Although it has changed and commercialised a lot over the years, the great thing about visiting this diverse playground of Thailand is that it is still one of the most cost-effective long haul holidays you will have. Imagine spending around 5 pound for an incredible massage on the beach and 10 pound for a delicious dinner at sunset from a range of different cuisines; not to mention the many things to do as a family: waterfalls, cooking classes, elephants, water sports, I would avoid the zoos (they don’t quite treat the animals as nicely as they do in Europe and that’s quite distressing to see), incredible architecture and for short journeys everyone loves a tuk tuk.
Where are you flying to next?