As always, the travel will be our way. We are great fans of slow travel, taking the time to really get to know the people. To remind you, in our opinion, South East Asia is very, very special indeed, and apart from the stunning beauty, the people are so delightful, welcoming and happy. This time, our extended trip included:
- Tibet, China
- Indonesia, and
We bid farewell to lovely Lombok and hopefully next time we visit, we may take advantage of its nearness to Australia. Unfortunately, the end of our trip was approaching. We had ten days left that we had earmarked for Thailand, before returning home to Europe. We left Lombok and flew Air Asia to Bangkok, changing planes at Kuala Lumpur. As usual, the Air Asia flights were on time and the service was excellent. We spent the night at an inexpensive and comfortable hotel at Bangkok Airport and next day took a car to Hua Hin, a coastal resort on the Gulf of Thailand.We had six leisurely days in Hua Hin, starting with a Yoga class before breakfast each day, walking on the beach and generally chilling out. We chose Hua Hin, in the Bay of Bangkok, to avoid the monsoons on Thailand’s western coast. Hua Hin is incredibly popular with Thai people, escaping the pressures of city life for a short break, as it is only two hours by road from Bangkok; it is also popular with the Thai royal family who have a summer palace there. For our final three days, we returned to Bangkok, yet again! For us, Bangkok shops provide the best value in South East Asia, ahead of Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Singapore. As always, we stayed in a lively area, close to the SkyTrain, and tried to avoid getting caught in the traffic but this time, we did take a few tuk-tuks, and closed our eyes each time a truck or bus passed on the inside and outside lanes! For Alf’s birthday, we went out to a popular Argentinian steak restaurant and washed the excellent meal down with some full-bodied Argentinian red wine; by this time, we were getting serious cravings for some regular western food! We had arranged a midnight check-out from our Bangkok hotel, and an excellent value taxi (GBP12 or USD20) to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, ahead of our 3.00 AM flight. Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is, for us, truly outstanding, and puts similar sized airports, elsewhere in the world, to shame (i.e. Heathrow, Gatwick and many more) in the shoddy way that they treat their customers. We flew Etihad, six and a half hours to Abhu Dhabi, a three-hour layover, and another three and a half hours to Larnaka, Cyprus. Although Etihad is rated one of the world’s top full-service airlines, we were not particularly impressed with the service, food and overall quality. For us, there is no comparison to the outstanding value, comfort and service provided by the world’s top budget airline, Air Asia. Indeed, in planning our itineraries in Asia, we pay close attention to AirAsia’s routes and would highly recommend them.
Over the coming months, we plan to share our best photos and video footage. We shall also be using the blog to revisit our amazing adventure. We hope that you have enjoyed it. For us, the Orient is like a powerful magnet and we feel that we are being called to return to these beautiful countries and, of course, their delightful people….