Sophie recommends you:
From Bustling Bangkok to Jungle Paradise
Join me to a place far far away where there is plenty of #Thaicuisine to taste and many #privateislands to discover... #Bangkok is a truly fascinating place full of #culture, just waiting for you to explore.
We arrived in a sweltering hot Bangkok city very early in the morning. After a long flight from London we were happy to find our hotel, The Mandarin Oriental a beautiful five star luxury hotel which seemed a lot smaller compared to its surrounding skyscrapers. Planted right on the busy channel with panoramic views up and down.
Hotel Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
Bangkok Walking Tour
Private Bangkok City Tours To Wat Pho, Wat Arun & Wat Trimitr
A fascinating view with motorized canoe looking wooden boats using scooter engines whizzing around.
We peered down to the pool area and quickly changed into our swimsuits, the rest of the day was spent absorbing some Thai sunshine, eating succulent sweet chicken and beef kebabs with satay dip, sipping on tangy fresh juices and catching up on much needed sleep. Our second day we decided to get familiarized with our new surroundings and head out to one of the Temple sites to explore. Rich in detail, colours and gold leaf we were mesmerized by the culture and architecture, a truly stunning place.
we were mesmerized by the culture and architecture, a truly stunning place
We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental just two nights before jetting back off to the airport and onto one of Soneva Kiri’s private planes that would fly us directly to the Island we would be spending the next 2 weeks at. A one hour flight and we had landed on a deep red sandy runway in the middle of nowhere. As we descended the plane we were greeted by the hotel staff and offered citrus scented cold towels and refreshments under a shaded thatch roof while we waited to be escorted to a boat that would drop us off at the hotel.
We weaved through glistening turquoise colour waves and arrived at a little wooden jetty with the most amazing wooden structures in the distance leading us to the luxurious reception area. Here we were offered more refreshments before hopping into our individual golf carts and venturing off into the lush jungle to find our villa. The villas are like tree houses, made of rustic wood and bamboo shoots, very zen inspired. We had chosen the Private Beach Pool Reserve villa with 5 bedrooms, interestingly exotic al fresco bathrooms, gym, a large overflow swimming pool overlooking our own little private sandy beach and bay all secluded in dense jungle forest. It was an extremely peaceful area with only a 5 minute buggy ride from all of the rustic-lux facilities around the corner. Bright yellow sumptuous cushions mirroring the sunny days ahead, we had finally arrived in utopia!
we had finally arrived in utopia
Soneva Kiri has some rules however that all guests should try to abide by when you stay with them, the first is “no news, no shoes”, literally meaning no shoes because you can walk barefoot in the white silky sand and no technology (a difficult one I know!) and the second is that they put the time back one hour so that you can fully take advantage of the longer sunny days by gaining one extra hour of fun!
The next day we head out in our electric buggy and followed my dad around the Island, he always loves rekeying a new hotel we stay at so we know exactly what not miss out on. We discovered Cinema Paradiso, resembling a traditional drive in with a twist. An open air cinema, surrounded by jungle with a gigantic screen and a large auditorium of comfortable yellow sofas surrounding the blue lagoon. Magical. Here you can order from a special gourmet menu, we ordered salted caramel popcorn most nights!
Other activities we enjoyed on the Island included scuba diving, snorkelling, water skiing, kayaking, windsurfing, catamaran fun, family cooking classes, tennis and my favourite was the sunset cocktail cruise. Most days we would have a delicious breakfast in the main restaurant area with all its little rooms filled with deliciousness. The fruit tasted so different from what we usually buy in the local supermarkets in France it was incredible. Heading back to the villa, grabbing all of our necessary belongings and venturing off in our little electric buggies to the main beach area. White sand, a horizon filled with tall needle like palm trees with their ripe coconuts swinging in the breeze above us. A turquoise blue sea gleaming at us, hurrying us to settle into our cushy loungers nestled in the sand. We were invited to delight in a casual lunch on the sand, with local specialties cooked to order in either wood-fired & tandoori ovens or grilled over the charcoal pit.
The dining experience on the Island was an experience in itself, the famous treepod dining where you are hoisted up into the trees in a simple wooden construction, a surreal idea like something out of Peter Pan. While you enjoy the views below, a waiter delivers your meal to you by zipline! There are many other places to eat but another special one on the Island of Soneva Kiri is a waterfront Thai gourmet restaurant called Benz’s which uses only local produce to create the most decadent of Thai tastes…
Once our trip had sadly come to its end, we hopped back on Soneva’s private plane and onto Siam Reap for our next adventure in Cambodia!