So we’ve been here at the beach for a few days now and it’s such a contrast to Bangkok. Where Bangkok was noisy, here is tranquil. Where Bangkok was full of traffic fumes and the usual unpleasant, if expected, smells, here the air you breathe feels clean and fresh, aided and abetted by the gentle sea breeze. Two days in Bangkok was an assault on the senses from every direction, but here everything’s been taken down a notch or two.
So where are we then? Well we’re in a small boutique beach resort called Beyond The Blue Horizon on a little beach in Kho Phangan. After the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, this place is the epitome of ‘chilled-ness’. OK that’s probably not even a word, but it should be! The resort is so serene and relaxed, it’s unreal. The incredibly friendly, smiley Burmese staff brought us some cold, damp flannels and a welcome glass of fresh pineapple when we checked in and nothing has been too much trouble since. From the flower petals sprinkled on the floor of our room, to the wax-burner lit in our room by the cleaners, to the freshly-squeezed juices and expertly sculpted fresh fruit platters and spot-on lattes at breakfast.
And talking of breakfast, the chocolate and banana pancakes take pancakes to another level. Cooked especially for you and no sitting around under a hot plate drying out on a buffet. The Frangipani Restaurant cooks everything fresh, on the spot, and there’s plenty of choice. None of your cheap, ready-mixed cocktails here either so a perfect sundowner is guaranteed!
My favourite thing about beach holidays has to be the view you wake up to when you open the curtains in the morning. And here is no exception. The sea-view is as good as it gets and the sunsets are simply beautiful. Last night after a beer on our terrace watching the sun go down, listening to the cicadas and the lapping of the waves, we wandered down the beach to a beach-bar called Heaven. Excellent food and atmosphere and full of people of all ages and nationalities.
In my head I’d never thought of Thailand as a holiday destination for young families. I suppose the sleazy goings-on of a small minority of older men in certain areas had me tarring the whole country with the same brush. This is a beautiful country and the clean beaches, sparklingly clear sea and laid-back vibe here in Kho Phangan can be enjoyed by couples, singles or families both young and old.
I’ve been surprised by the number of yoga retreats here, it’s got to be said. Next door there’s a veritable smorgasbord of classes running all day with bendy people a-plenty. Not the ridiculously perfect photo-shopped yoga of Instagram, just ordinary people meditating and contorting their bodies into the most unnatural of shapes. No wonder everyone looks so relaxed….. it’s even making me consider taking up yoga. Although I’m actually probably the least bendy person you could imagine and I’d undoubtedly sprain muscles or fall over trying out the moves. I’m also a fair few pounds (read stones) heavier than all the lithe, willowy bods around here and would be a red, hot, sweaty mess if I joined a class. Come to think of it, I’m best off relaxing with a cocktail in the bar here than stressing about whether or not I can throw my left leg over my right shoulder whilst being ‘mindful’ of my breathing and ‘living the moment’!
So what to do now then? It’s 2pm, we’ve swum in the sea, read on the beach and lounged on a sunbed in the shade by our pool today so far … time for a spot of lunch and perhaps a Coco Mojito, followed by a kayak to The Secret Beach around the corner? Who knows! Find out in our next blog….
Breakfast – pineapple pancakes and fresh fruit muesli with a latte
Book – Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Temperature – 30°