Unexpected luxury...

Trip Start Nov 01, 2009
Trip End Jul 01, 2010

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, November 16, 2009

The flight to Phuket was the shortest I've ever been on - about an hour - and when we touched ground we were desperate to just grab our bags and get to a hotel by the beach asap! As usual we were bombarded by tourist guides shoving leaflets and all sorts in our faces. After a long debate over the expense of different hotels, frustration kicked in and we decided to go the whole hog and went for the Marriott. We whipped out Ken's vouchers (a very kind and thoughtful birthday present from his lovely sister Lindsay), and jumped in a taxi to 'one of the world's best' beach resorts, as stated in our Lonely Planet. From the moment we got there the beauty hit us and any feeling of previous doubt at being too impulsive flew out the window, especially in the reception area where a huge infinity pool flowed towards the sparkling sea. This was not quite our initial idea of a typical backpacker's travelling experience, but neither of us complained as we sipped on our bottomless cocktails by the stunning pool and took a long stroll down by the never-ending beach, watching the sun go down in the cosy beach-side beds. We got a bit carried away by this rare taste of the rich life and thought about spending the rest of our hard-earnt travel money living here! But common sense outweighed impulse soon enough, and we knew we had to treat the next couple of days as a one-off treat. Little did we know, a luxury villa in Ko Samui was awaiting our presence...!

The Marriott experience was wonderful, with an Italian meal (accompanied by another one-off treat bottle of Prosecco) the first night and a Seafood restaurant on the beach the second night, along with relaxing and sunbathing in the day. The included buffet breakfast offered everything you could ever want, including champagne! Definitely took advantage of this. Being in Phuket, we were eager to visit the Phi Phi Islands so we visited the concierge to book the trip for the following day. The bus picked us up at 9am, after we reluctantly checked out and even more reluctantly paid our painfully expensive bill that the vouchers didn't quite cover. We had a really fun day visiting the different islands by a speedboat with about twenty people on board, including 'Maya Bay', where 'The Beach' was filmed! We couldn't help being disappointed though - not that it wasn't absolutely stunning or that the water wasn't blue-green and crystal clear, but just that there were so many tourists swarming the place. Ken said it reminded him of ants in the sea! But soon enough a few boats left and we spent a while snorkelling and having photos taken in the sea... We even did the Leo Dicaprio run from the forest to the beachfront (including me singing the All Saints theme tune)! A yummy buffet lunch was included too, along with a visit to Monkey Beach and finishing up with an hour relaxing in some sunchairs with our books. We were told the ice cream was very expensive on this particular island but I couldn't resist an almond Magnum (thought of Mum - her favourite!) and Ken joined me with a chocolate Cornetto. At about 5pm we made our way back to Phuket, and the journey was rather adventurous, with gigantic waves crashing down on the boat and soaking us through! Another great day, which ended with us being dropped at a less-luxurious-than-the-Marriott hotel, the Crystal Inn, in Phuket Town. It was sweet nonetheless, and convenient being right by the bus station for our trip to Ko Samui early the next morning.

The next morning we hurriedly ate what was described by the Thai waiter as an 'American breakfast' (but not really anywhere close) and made our way to the station to catch our bus to Ko Samui. The journey was a lot more comfortable than the last, but still a long one which lasted about eight hours, including a two hour ferry ride to the actual island. When we arrived the sun was shining and we were reunited with Sam, who drove us about half an hour to the most stunning state-of-the-art villa we'd ever seen, which is where I'm writing from at this very moment. Okay, we were happy living the rich life for a couple more days... But the best thing is, it isn't even expensive because there are construction works surrounding it which has brought the price right down temporarily... An amazing find! So for the last two days we have chilled out by the infinity pool with Sam, Jee, Sam's sister Zoe and Jee's hilarious gay friend Anuk, snuggled up watching Horrors in the Luxury TV/Projector room and enjoyed the gorgeous lobster and seafood dinners prepared by the lovely staff. This is the life... :)

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Mum J on

At last the matching t-shirts! Brought Grandad into 21st century by showing him all your entries- he loves it and sends his love. xxxx

Carolyn on

The pictures are fab - can you book me into that villa!!! - You are very jammy backpackers. love Carolyn and Rob xx

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