Everyone should visit Thailand once in their lifetime. Steve and I have been once and have wanted to go back since. We quickly fell in love with the Thai people. They were always warm and friendly and it’s easy to feel safe everywhere you go.
Traveling to Thailand might sound extravagant and expensive; however, it has been by far the most budget-friendly international vacation we have taken.
We purchased our airfare with China Southern Airlines and only paid about $1000 for the two of us to fly round trip. I have even seen less expensive fares since. Buyer beware that the less money the airfare, the longer the layovers. We ended up with a ten-hour layover in Guangzhou China Airport where we slept on the terminal floor. Luxury at its finest!
The next morning our flight arrived in Phuket, and the fun began.
We had arranged to stay at Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai, and I am so glad we did! The resort is on the island of Koh Yao Yai and is about a 20-minute boat ride from Phuket Island. If you arrange it ahead of time, the resort will send a small speedboat to pick you up and take you to the island. Make sure to have your camera ready for the beautiful views you are about to see! Tip: Sit at the back of the boat so there’s no roof hindering your view.
When we arrived at Santhiya, it felt just like a scene from the tv show Fantasy Island, complete with a gong upon the new visitors’ arrival. The resort was fantastic, and the staff was lovely. Santhiya is built on the side of a hill overlooking the ocean. They have Tuk Tuk trucks to take you around the resort.
For the first several nights we stayed in the Supreme Deluxe Sea View, and it did not disappoint. King size beds, a beautiful bathroom with and an enormous shower. And of course a large soaking tub on the veranda overlooking the ocean. It was heaven and precisely the type of accommodations I was wanting after undergoing treatment. Breakfast was served every morning buffet style. It was a beautiful presentation with everything you might want to eat and so much more. Each morning we would arrive for breakfast while beautiful live Thai music was being performed.
Ayurvana Spa is incredible and has every service you can imagine. But we also enjoyed a massage near the beach every afternoon. The price was $17 for an hour massage (pricey by Thailand standards) and was just what the doctor ordered.
The last few nights we splurged and upgraded to a room with an infinity pool. It is the Ocean View Pool Villa. If you choose to stay at this resort do rent the villa, at least for a couple of nights, it is worth the extra money.
We stayed in Thailand for two weeks. We planned to enjoy and relax at the resort but also to adventure out away from the resort to experience a little more of the country.
What is the weather like in Thailand?
Although the climate varies throughout Thailand, you can visit all year round. The best time to travel is during the cool and dry season between November and early April. We went in late October and it was warm and 80% humidity.
Thai Baht is the currency for Thailand. Here is a link to a currency converter.
Check back soon for Part II of the Thailand installment which will include information about the excursions we recommend. Until then namaste