THAILAND & ITS UNDISCOVERED ISLANDS
Thailand & its Undiscovered Islands
Let DISH take you to those luxurious Thai islands
…where Dave ISN’T finding himself on a gap year.
Yeah, we can’t pronounce it either. But don’t worry.
The hotel has just sent the James Bond style speed boat over for you. There’s a buzz about the island, they’ve just got their very first 7/11. That’s where the modern world halts, thankfully.
Water buffalo are taking mud baths in the surrounding fields and with rubber plantations being the main income on the island, the last place you’d expect to be treated like a king is Yao Noi.
SIX SENSES RESORT, KOH YAO NOI ISLAND
Arriving on to the island of Yao Noi is like a scene from the Milk Tray advert. Only slightly less rugged than the tall mysterious man himself, and carrying a little more timber after a few days eating and drinking our way around Bangkok (story to follow).
Graham the manager of Six Senses meets us coming off the hotel’s private speed boat.
Staff are waiting to whisk your luggage to your hillside lodge; cold towels to mop your brow on hand and iced water. You just know this isn’t any old hotel.
In fact the resort has just been named top luxury destination in all of Asia this year. Certainly no mean feat and after our stay we can see why.
You really do want for nothing.
We were promptly introduced to Jo Jo - our dedicated member of staff whose mobile number was on speed dial in our lodge, if we needed absolutely anything during our visit.
But why would you need anything when you have views like that from your private pool? The resort - and your villa more to the point - offers sweeping 180 degree views over Phang Nga Bay (we still can’t pronounce it) and its amazing limestone pinnacles rising high out of the sea.
This is also one of the few islands that has no bank facilities so be sure to bring cash with you before arriving. The hotel has a top quality spa set deep in the mangrove that offers a long list of visiting practitioners and healers on a regular basis.
We will never forget the afternoon we had with two middle aged women - keep it clean please - climbing up our backs on their knees. Before anyone asks, it was all in the name of professional relaxation!
The ultimate in massage, if not a little comical when its happening to your other half right beside you.
Stretched, oiled up, relaxed and well and truly pampered, if that isn’t enough for you, why not try their traditional cookery classes or catch a movie on the beach after dinner. Lounging on a bed beside the waves watching James Bond of all films on the big screen, with only a handful of other guests around you. I could get used to being fed cocktails and freshly-made popcorn while horizontal.
The hotel also offers traditional private longboat trips around the bay which we just had to do! Another lasting memory from our stay.
The island itself has one main road circling it, which mostly hugs the coast. We blew the budget and rented motorbikes for a whopping £2 per day and went exploring. Check out the funky petrol station in the pic above!
The locals are doing their best to resist large scale tourism and we sincerely hope that they continue to as long as possible. A friendly, traditional little place with the exception of the all new American convenience store which had recently opened much to the delight of some. It is proving popular with the locals, because of the ice cold air conditioning in store. You’ll be lucky to find it anywhere on the island outside of the resort; a real novelty for some of the islanders.
Yet one more reason to love this place even more.
ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK
AND THE WORLD’S YOUR OYSTER
No trip to Thailand would be complete without at least one night spent in the city that sleeps with everyone, or at least tries to. Bangkok isn’t for the faint hearted, or easily offended, that’s for sure.
We lost track of the amount of times we were offered a ping pong show in the night markets. We must have arrived at the same time the city was hosting the table tennis championships.
The first bar we arrived in, I had the pleasure of something big and furry running over my bare foot. It had four legs and wasn’t asking for money. Thank goodness.
We stayed in the Shangri-La on the river. It was a sanctuary in an ever-bustling, ever-busy metropolis. The hotel put on one hell of a show for us (in a classy way) and we didn’t have to tip when leaving.
The only place I’ve ever tried a 5 year old fermented duck egg… and seriously loved it (really). Once you break through the jelly exterior of it all. Near black in colour and coated in the type of jelly that your mum would have scrapped off the tin of spam years ago (not all of you will get likening, but identical in texture).
Traditional dancers over dinner is the norm in the swanky Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok…
Bangkok has a happy ending, as long as you leave before the party ends and the reality of it all kicks in.