We recently enjoyed an unusual two-centre holiday to Thailand and Taiwan. The trip to Thailand was driven by my brother and family, who were holidaying there for two weeks, and Taiwan was the only place nearby on which my husband and I could agree (I had previously spent an uncountable number of hours researching a trip to Flores and Komodo, but hopefully one day that will pay off).
A quick overview of Thailand
Our first four nights in Thailand were spent at the lovely Oriental Kwai Resort near Kanchanaburi, where we’d also been the previous year. It’s a stunning spot on the river, with cabins dotted around lush gardens and fabulous food served by friendly and attentive staff. Unlike last year – when we took at boat trip and clambered around Erawan Falls – this year we opted to relax at the resort, although our travelling companions cycled, got muddy at an elephant sanctuary and visited Hellfire Pass.
The unfortunately downside of the resort is the journey from Bangkok. Travelling from the city, the train is a good option for the experience but is infrequent. As we were going straight from and back to the airport we took a minibus organised by the resort, which was both time-consuming, bumpy and expensive (2500THB each way).
Returning to Bangkok at the end of our Taiwan excursion, we spent three nights at the Ibis Styles hotel near Khao San Road. Our destination was also driven by my brother et al who thought they might as well stay near Khao San Road since they were only in the city for a couple of nights and had done the sight-seeing gig before. It wasn’t a bad call, though not suitable for those who like to be able to think and have a conversation.
The hotel was a very pleasant surprise: the rooms were far superior to the other Ibis Styles I’d stayed in on a visa run to Bangkok, really well priced and – importantly – sound insulated! It also had a comfortable street front bar with Happy Hour and good buffet breakfast. Definitely recommended if you want to be in that part of town – remembering that transport links aren’t good from Khao San to the rest of Bangkok so you’ll be reliant on taxis and tuk tuks. We had very average food at a typically touristy restaurant near the hotel one night but delicious and spicy food from a street stall at the top of the road on day 2 – I recommend the latter, with a chocolate roti to follow!
On our last day, we indulged in the Sunday Drunch at So Sofitel, selected due to our Accor Plus benefits. The view was fantastic from our window seat and honestly, I can’t complain about any of the food or the service, but for some reason it missed the mark and didn’t deliver the ultimate free flow brunch experience I’d hoped for. Maybe I’d eaten and drunk quite enough by that point!
That was it for Thailand on this trip, but you can read all about Taiwan here.