Trips in 2013: Thailand part 1/5: Getting there and our hotel.

Oh how I wish I had been able to update about our days in Thailand as they happened! That way I would have been able to write down every detail while it was still fresh in my memory. It was such a wonderful trip and I wish I could preserve every moment of it. Of course I still remember it all, but now that I am back home looking back on our time there my perspective is different and it's only natural that my entries will be more of a summary than they would have been if I had updated continuously.

Our trip began when we caught the 9 o'clock train in the morning of Friday the 8th. We could have taken the 11 o'clock train and still made it in time for the flight at half five but we didn't want to risk the train running late. The train did stick to its schedule though and when we passed through Malmö I suggested we get off the train and go to the mall that's right next to the train station rather than go straight to the airport. Per agreed that spending a few hours at the mall sounded more fun than waiting at the airport so we hauled our baggage off the train and headed straight to our favourite restaurant at the mall where we had lunch. Once we'd eaten we walked around the mall for a few hours but our suitcases prevented us from doing any real shopping. Eventually we headed back to the train station and caught a train that took us across the bridge to the airport.

As soon as we looked at the airport billboards we learned that our flight was delayed by four hours. I wasn't even surprised - it seems that I have terrible luck when it comes to intercontinental flights. The delay meant that we suddenly had six hours to kill at the airport. We were so grateful that we had spent a while at the mall or else we'd had to wait at the airport even longer. It wasn't that bad though, we took our time browsing the shops, I bought a Hoptimist (I got the little green frog with a crown) that I'd wanted for ages and then we had dinner almost for free because we'd been given airport vouchers to compensate for the delay.

At long last we got to board the plane. I was pretty tired at that point and ended up falling asleep before we'd even been served our in-flight meal. I had been looking forward to watching a film on the flight but the selection was pretty boring. I had already seen the few films that seemed interesting to me. But then again so few good films come out these days that it wasn't really surprising. It didn't really matter though because once we'd eaten I went to sleep for real and didn't wake up until a few hours before we were due to reach our destination, the airport in Krabi, Thailand. When I woke up it was six o'clock in the morning according to Swedish time but I moved my watch forward six hours and told myself it was noon. We landed at two o'clock local time.

One of the things that worried me about the trip was that I would find Thailand too hot. I braced myself as we walked off the plane but it really wasn't that bad and certainly not unlike anything I'd ever experienced before. Sure the heat in Thailand is different than in the Mediterranean countries because it's so humid, but I have been just as warm at times during my trips to Spain and Italy. And it's true that your body adjusts to the heat. About a week after we arrived I found myself asking Per if it the weather had cooled down but it was still just as warm. Throughout our stay the temperature stayed between 30 and 35 degrees. The climate in Thailand is special in that way, it doesn't really cool down at night but stays more or less the same. It was sunny almost all the time except for when it rained for ten minutes or so a couple of evenings. We kept checking what the weather was like back home (usually cold and snowy!) and felt very lucky indeed.

And now that I've finished that weather-related detour, let's get back to our first day in Thailand. We got through immigration pretty quickly and our suitcases were some of the first to arrive so we soon found ourselves in a taxi headed for our hotel in Ao Nang. I caught my first real glimpse of Thailand on the way (I'd seen some of the lush landscape from the air but that was about it). Before long we arrived at the hotel, Krabi Thai Village Resort in Ao Nang. Upon our arrival we got a welcome drink and one of the receptionists explained that the AC in our real room needed to be repaired so we'd get to stay in a different room the first night. The room was perfectly fine but was located further from the pool area than our real room. Still the hotel wanted to make it up to us and offered us free dinner that evening, a gift certificate to the hotel spa and free internet access throughout our stay. We certainly didn't say no to that haha.

First impressions.

Obviously the first thing we did when we got to our room was take a shower and wash off the travel dust. Then we headed out exploring the hotel and the pool area and went swimming for the first time. I was quite overwhelmed by how beautiful it all was and couldn't believe that it was going to be our home for almost two weeks :)

As it turned out the hotel was quite popular among families with children as well as the elderly. We were one of the few couples without kids there, but we didn't mind. It was nice and calm we got up early in the mornings and went to bed fairly early too so I think we fit right in. I have never seen so many cute babies in one place before and there was quite a bit of baby flirting going on lol. I especially liked this adorable chubby baby called Viktor who'd sit near us at breakfast.

The hotel staff was so nice and friendly and the food was delicious! I had a freshly made omelette for breakfast everyday (except for the one morning just after we'd arrived when we woke up at ten due to being jetlagged and realized we'd missed breakfast lol - Per had never woken up so late before and if you ask him he'll deny it ever happened :P) and plenty of fresh fruit. On Wednesdays and Saturdays the hotel served a buffet dinner outside next to the pool area. It always included a couple of cooking demonstrations which were such great fun to watch, especially if they involved flambéeing.

Tables all set for dinner :)

Another thing I loved about the hotel was that the ladies who cleaned our room put fresh flowers on the bed everyday. It was so exciting to get back to the room in the middle of the day and see what flowers we'd been given that day. (Need I say that we tipped them quite a bit? :P) The day before we left, there was a heart made out of towels on our bed and all the flowers I'd been saving in a glass in our room were layed out on the bed too.

Our bed the first day & the last day.

Last but not least, the pool area was incredible! We spent a good few hours there everyday, swimming and sunbathing. As you might know I haven't been on many typical beach/pool vacations in my life and I am sure that pool areas like this exist everywhere, but it was all new to me and I found it all soo wonderful. I'd never stayed in a hotel with a pool bar before. If you haven't either, let me tell you how awesome they are. If you happen to find yourself in the mood for a drink mid-swim, you can just swim over to the pool bar and order one! And ours had food too so we ended up having lunch there almost every day. While we waited for our food to arrive or if we got too hot while eating, we could go swimming, imagine that! I wish I could have a pool with a pool bar at home lol.

And I think I'll end this first part here because it's long enough already. Don't worry, I won't continue writing a lengthy chronological account of everything we did in Thailand ;) The upcoming entries will include more photos and less text. Stay tuned.

Around here: Progress report.

Per fell asleep sometime after seven last night; I made it until just after eight o'clock. I talked to my mum to catch up a bit (after all I hadn't heard much about her trip to China since she came home while we were away) just before I went to bed but I don't think I was very responsive haha. We woke up around 2 am but went back to sleep and woke up for real around five o'clock. We considered going out to watch the sunrise at 5:45 but since it was 10 degrees below zero and I have managed to acquire a cold already since being back, we decided against it. I ended up sleeping a little bit longer, but by seven o'clock we were having breakfast complete with a pineapple-mango-banana smoothie and fried eggs. Not quite the hotel breakfast we're used to at this point (there was nobody making omelettes!) but pretty good for seven o'clock on a Saturday. Then we had lunch around noon, which has never happened before during the weekend. Being jetlagged does have its perks :) And at this rate we'll have adjusted to GMT+1 fully come Monday morning.

Before lunch Per went to pick up his car from his parents' place (couldn't leave it here since we don't have a garage and have to keep moving it around the block because it can only stay parked in the same place for 24 hours, although we tend to leave it for a couple of days and haven't got any fines so far). I dyed my hair the usual chestnut brown colour because it had been lightened by all the sun and swimming we did in Thailand. I also went through all the photos we took and now I am down to a somewhat more manageable 800... Being surrounded by all that beauty made me a bit snap-happy lol. Haven't decided yet how I am going to post them (obviously I will not post ALL of them, far from), I think it'd be best to split them up into a couple of entries but I have so many photos and so much to write that I scarcely know where to begin. For now, here's a preview made up of the photos I posted on Instagram since I know most of you don't follow me on there.

Around here: A sign of life.

Finally, I am back! In the last couple of days I've learned the hard way to be careful what I wish for... During our (soo wonderful) stay in Thailand I proclaimed many times how much I wished I could stay there forever and I was so depressed when it was time to leave. Then, our flight home was delayed for 32 hours. Yes, you read that right. Why do these things always happen to me? These were my third and fourth intercontinental flights and my first two were delayed too (the flight to Thailand was delayed four hours. Meanwhile, Per has travelled outside of Europe closer to ten times and never been delayed before.) I was supposed to be at work today! I missed last night's photo class! We should have been home the night between Wednesday and Thursday but we landed at 2 am tonight. Fortunately being up at such an early hour was no big deal since it was 8 in the morning "our time". We slept on the flight and decided to do the switch to our time today, so tonight we're staying up and going to bed according to local time. Confusion!

To my great disappointment, we did not come back to spring like I had pictured it. It seems as though Sweden went back in time two weeks rather than forward during our absence. When we left the snow had melted and the first spring flowers had arrived. However, winter has since come back with full force and it keeps snowing and there's no sign that it's going to get warmer anytime soon. Will we have snow for Easter? When I looked out from the plane after we had landed this "morning" I actually wondered for a moment what that weird white stuff was! Only yesterday I was wearing flipflops and now I am back to wearing winter boots. I had actually put them away "for the season" before we left! Oh and one of the first items on my to-do list for after Thailand was "Put away winter coats" haha. Just look at what we left behind (right side) and what we came home to!

Really, it's an abomination!

I have over a thousand photos to go through and millions of things to write about, but for now this will have to do. There's laundry to take care of and dinner to prepare (a very lateee dinner seeing that it's already 10 o'clock at night in the time zone I am used to haha. I think I've had breakfast three times today? Once before we landed, one time at the airport when we waited for the first train to Malmö, once in Malmö when we waited for the 6 o'clock train to Kalmar... oh and the meal we had when we came home was quite breakfasty too). This is soo confusing!