It has been a while now since we published a post on one of our travel destinations and this one is perfectly in the line with our previous posts that talk about relaxing on the beach. For all our friends who are freezing in Canada, consider yourself warned. We spent the last two weeks of February in a very nice place, about three hours south of Bangkok, named Sam Roi Yot (Dolphin Bay for Westerners). Why did we choose to go there rather than to head for a more popular destination? After being stuck under the rain for a week in Hoi Han, we began to look a lot closer at the weather forecast before choosing a beach destination. Since Southern Thailand was severely impacted by the torrential rain that destroyed some of the infrastructures and killed 91 people right after Christmas, we exercised caution by going to the southernmost place that had not been flooded. So it’s at Dolphin Bay that we decided to establish ourselves, the name sounded promising. In addition, we thought there would be one or two dolphins to swim with. We should have done a little more research on the internet as we were disappointed to find out that there was no dolphin there. Oops!
We can say that we have greatly benefited from the situation since we found a beautiful modern condominium on Airbnb on a complex that was right on the beach and that was offering a ton of service including a beautiful infinity pool ?. Since the condo was beautiful and was costing us a ridiculous $42 a night, we decided to stay there for two weeks. We must be honest with you, we especially took advantage of the place to take long walks on the beach, but after seeing two jellyfish on the beach, we did not feel very comfortable playing in the water, however hot it was. We spent a lot of time in the large pool that we had literally for ourselves the majority of the time. Parents were able to demonstrate some of their youthful prowess such as “how to hold your breath under water,” “walk on hands in the water,” or “sit down at the bottom of the water.” It is so sweet for parents to hear their children exclaim “wow, it’s cool, show me how you do that”. The boys even made a Russian friend with whom they had fun like crazy in the pool. Although none of the three youngsters were able to pronounce the name of their friend correctly, it did not stop them from having fun together.
The resort where we stayed was about a 20 minute drive from a Tesco Lotus Super Center (a grocery store) and Simon took the opportunity to shop and cook western food which was very welcome after all that time spent in Asia. We were treated to Birch Muesli, plump pancakes, cereals and peanut butter toasts for breakfast; Frittata, pasta dishes, vegetable soup, tacos and vegetarian sandwiches for lunches and suppers. It felt so good to eat homemade dishes!
Only negative point to the complex where we lived was that one of the neighbors had, like many people in Asia, a damn henhouse in their backyard. So every morning, we were obliged to listen to a symphonic concert by an orchestra made up of a few roosters who were signing their beaks off reciting the hymn of the rising sun. We would not recommend renting an Airbnb in every country we visited, but Thailand is definitely a place where you will probably have a very nice accommodation for a portion of the price of a “resort”.
Dolphin Bay is nestled in the heart of Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, which gave us a spectacular view and the chance to explore unique places. We spent a few days traveling in the park by scooter with the boys and we explored some really gorgeous places. One of those place was the Phraya Nakorn cave. It takes about an hour of intense walking to get to the cave in question, with a climb, a descent and another climb before descending again into the cave to arrive at a place that made our jaws drop, almost as much as it did when we saw the Taj Mahal. A temple was built inside a crater under the orders of one of the Rama kings and the sight at 10:30 am, as the sun passed just above the opening of the crater, was simply grandiose. We really think that the picture below is beautiful, but we must admit that seeing the place in person was even more amazing.
We explored some other temples and some other caves during our stay there, including the Sai Cave, which is known mainly for its stalactites and stalagmites, but as we said above, we spent a lot of time walking on the Beach and enjoy the beautiful complex that welcomed us for two weeks.
Finally, we took advantage of a good internet connection to plan the last part of our great adventure and we took an important decision. We must admit that during our trip to Europe, we had greatly regretted not having been able to visit Spain and Portugal. We were short of time and this would have caused a great detour in relation to our itinerary. As our Shengen Visa resumed in mid-January, we decided to return to Europe to spend the months of March and April in these two countries before returning to Canada (passing through Quebec). Consequently, we are starting the last month of our trip to Southeast Asia by spending a bit more time in southern Thailand, then heading to Singapore and then off to Malaysia. We think it’s a good change to our itinerary as our family is honestly a bit tired of eating noodles.