Mark's Thailand

by Mark Jedynak on 23 December 2013, 10:12AM

Thailand is one of my favourite destinations, where you can find tranquil hideaways and bustling city centres within a stone-throw from each other. I have been lucky enough to visit regularly over the years and try out the best on offer. Here is a report from my latest trip.

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Bangkok
A massive and bustling international hub city, popular with business and leisure visitors from around the world, Bangkok has been a favourite of mine over the years. During this time I have stayed in a wide variety of areas and hotels, from backpacker haunts to luxurious havens, and it was the latter I would get to sample on this trip with a stay at the Sofitel on Sukhumvit Road, one of Thailand’s premier holiday hot-spots.

A very modern and well positioned property, we were lucky to stay in one of their Club rooms, which gives you access to the exclusive Club floor and affords you the benefits of snacks and a happy hour on alcohol between 5-7pm.

There are a number of ways to explore Bangkok, but most forms of transport don’t get more exhilarating than the Tuk-Tuk, a nimble three-wheel machine that can weave in and out of traffic during busy periods. For the less foolhardy, however, the efficient Sky Train is a cooler way of getting around.

Bangkok is full of intriguing day tours for the first-time visitor, with expeditions to the majestic Grand Palace, the famous floating market and the notorious bridge over the River Kwai available. If you only have time for one adventure though, head into Bangkok’s Patpong area to enjoy the large night markets, its bars and shows.

Pattaya
An excellent resort area for those seeking a beachside escape just two hours from Bangkok, Pattaya is ideal for young couples and families thanks to its vibrant nightlife and impressive entertainment options, mostly centred on the famous Walking Street.

We stayed in the Dusit Thani Hotel, which features large rooms, two swimming pools and impressive array of dining options, all of which would appeal to couples and families alike.

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Phuket
Arguably Thailand’s most popular holiday destination, Phuket offers a wide range of properties and areas to stay in. There are three main beaches on the pretty west coast of the Island – Kata Beach, Karon Beach and Patong Beach – and it is here where you will find the majority of Phuket fabulous luxury resorts.

Kata Beach and Karon Beach are, in my opinion, best suited to families or couples looking for a exciting, yet relaxing break. While Patong Beach is the liveliest of the three beaches and caters more for younger couples and singles seeking a more vibrant atmosphere. The most famous Soi (street) is Bangla Road which has a host of bars, shopping and entertainment along it.

We stayed in the elegant Movenpick on Karon Beach this time around, a popular four-star property with very good entry-level rooms with pleasant Garden View or Oceans View rooms in either the main hotel building or a wide range of Bungalows and Villas around the large grounds of the property.

There are a number of excursions that can be booked from Phuket, including a speedboat ride to Phi Phi Island and Maya Bay (location of the film The Beach) and a trip to James Bond Island.

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Koh Samui
My personal favourite area of Thailand, Koh Samui is one of three islands on the east coast of Thailand. The island itself takes around an hour to drive around completely and is peppered with many different hotels and resorts on its beautiful coastline.

The main resort area is Chaweng Beach, which I feel has the finest beach on the island with calm, clear waters and a golden sandy beach. We visited the Chaweng Regent, a sophisticated four-star property with lead in Deluxe Bungalow rooms. It offers two restaurants and two swimming pools, including the famous Red Snapper Restaurant, catering for dinner only.

We also visited the Centara Grand, a marvellous five-star property with 112 Deluxe Ocean Facing rooms, 55 Premium Deluxe Ocean Facing rooms and 22 Deluxe Pool Suites. This property is ideal for honeymooners and families with its four restaurants, swimming pool and swim-up pool bar.

From here, we moved onto the luxurious Banyan Tree in the south of the island. A top-end 5* property comprising entirely of private Villas featuring their own lavish pool, the Banyan Tree is an outstanding choice for the ultimate Koh Samui holiday with its exceptional facilities and sumptuous accommodation

For those wanting to venture further afield, the popular areas of Koh Samui include Lamai Beach and the Bophut Fishermans Village, both of which are equally beautiful areas to stay in.

Getting around the island is best achieved either by taxi or moped. I personally recommend this since there are a lot of scenic view points around the island to take pictures of breathtaking landscapes.

Author bio: Mark Jedynak is a sales consultant at Travelbag's Alton branch. For his help in organising your holiday to Thailand call him on 020 3139 7017.


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