“For our Thai beach holiday, (which was planned to co-ordinate a family holiday with a friends’ wedding), we were delighted and lucky to use Travel Portfolio…I cannot fault the initial itinerary options and efficient friendly feedback that we received from Hayley and all the Travel Portfolio Team.The final result was a seamless and enjoyable holiday, all eventualities planned for, including land and ocean transfers. Travel Portfolio ensured that delightful representatives on the ground at our destination to answer our questions and guide us towards fun tours and activities. A great experience, thanks to the caring Travel Portfolio Team.”
A seamless flight via Singapore’s Changi airport, an airport delightfully filled with orchids ….
and MORE orchids…orchids everywhere- a feast for the senses….
and elegant Koi fish to distract from the tedium of air travel!!……..
Sunset Beach Resort on Phuket Island, Thailand, was a perfectly positioned haven, commanding views of the ocean and sunset, on Kata Beach, north of the busy tourist beach of Patong.
In the late afternoon Muslim food vendors arrived on motorbikes loaded with canopies and cooking utensils to set up their kitchens in front of the rocky beach and the sunset . A delicious way to snack on local delicacies and view spectacular sunsets at the same time, before hitting the nightlife of Bangla Road!
Staff were welcoming, the courtyard swimming pool was surrounded by flowers, palms and birdsong
The Thai massage came highly recommended……and the ocean view bar was a delightful way to start or end the day…..
A free shuttle bus ran regularly from Sunset Beach Resort, to ferry guests to crazy, commercial, busy but fun-filled Patong Beach….!!!!
Our calm and peaceful sunset view:
inspired by rocks and ocean spray, my abstract painting:
For me, meeting long-lost Australian family was a highlight, such special little boys…
The delightful Khun Yai (Miss Yai) was our Tour East representative, who visited us at the resort and answered all our questions with enthusiasm. Her advice was welcome and she directed us to two tours that we really found worthwhile:A full day Andaman sea kayak tour to Phan Nga Bay- on a very comfortable boat, delicious lunch provided (plus the life jackets and safety talks were of very good quality), before we embarked on three man kayaks to explore the limestone caves and bays of the area.
All the guides and the boat host himself were of character- much banter and fun had by all and absolutely spectacular kayaking.
Overhangs of jutting limestone teeth remind me of fossilized dragon’s jaws…
Maybe I have been watching too many dragon movies, such as “How To Train Your Dragon” with Ethan, whose passion for dragons exceeds even mine! Here is his wonderful sketch of “Toothless”:
mangrove trees and roots…inhabited by macaque monkeys and mudskippers!
With the monsoons due to begin, the water was sometimes a bit silted…
Each kayak was manned by a Thai guide and held two guests.
A half day Phuket Tour, viewing and photographing the gorgeous coastline, visiting a cashew nut factory and a stunning gem factory. Cashew flowers:
We caught a comfortable ferry to Koh Phi Phi and were efficiently transported five minutes form the pier by longboat to our next hotel the charming Bay View Resort, situated in the curve of the bay against a steep hill of forest and flowers…and a little bit away from the hustle and bustle of Koh Phi Phi dockside.
Our room was decorated beautifully…..
Sunset on our stretch of the beach, Ko Phi Phi:
Our room had a stunning view of the bay through tall forest trees, filled with fascinating birdlife and various geckos and lizards.
Imperial Pied Pigeons flitted past constantly….a new bird for us, one of the THOUSAND bird species that Thailand boasts!
Our section of the beach was sheltered and it was lovely to swim in the more peaceful waters,
away from the longboat-filled beaches and resorts further towards the pier!!!
blissful mornings spent swimming swimming swimming……
Beaches made for fun and running……
sand perfect for drawing and creating….
Food at various restaurants in Kho Phi Phi was delicious.
Tuna poke bowl:
hot and sour creamy coconut and chicken soup…mmmmmmmm
My paintings were inspired by the coconut palm and ocean sunsets:
Stunning flowers everywhere ….
Wonderful exotic fruits such as rambutans- much like a huge litchi in flavor!!
And of course the infamous Durians beloved of the Chinese, and banned from most establishments due to its pungent odour…
Caught a longboat ferry – fabulous scenery past quaint stilted palm-thatched bungalows perched high against the cliffs…..
to the north of Koh Phi Phi for our friends wedding –
Little boys dressed up…
The stunning venue and scenery made for a perfect event, with a beach-themed cake made by our very own Zimbabwean master chef, Dean Jones!
Dean making last minute adjustments to his creation….
what better than a boat-filled sunset at a beach wedding….
only thing better is a palm-filled sunrise the next day….
on Phi Phi we discovered all sorts of fun stuff: coconut cocktails and fire dancers on the beach, best Pad Thai noodles at a tiny food stall, great donuts made by a Muslim lady in the market and a fabulous dive/snorkel school, with whom we went on a snorkeling trip- very professional and safety conscious/ the sea rather silted due to the beginning of the monsoons but still fascinating- we saw black tip sharks and a turtle, and a myriad of anemones, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, crabs and colorful fish.