Our vacation in Thailand is officially over and it's back to work tomorrow. Phuket was a great trip, the girls had so much fun, but we certainly learned a few things.
Don't go to Phuket in August! It was hot and this is coming from someone living in the Middle East. Unlike here, aircon is not pervasive. The hotel, while plush, was still one of those open air lobby, restaurant, ie everywhere other than our room, kids club, gym and spa. People were constantly offering my napkins to mop my brow/entire head/upper body.
Elephant trekking is a lot less fun than it seems. I had a death grip on Z, so she didn't slide off. The elephant ahead of us wasn't so happy about walking, so they kept poking it with one of those pointy stick things. By the end Z was yelling, "Stop hitting, it's not nice!" So yeah, talk about feeling terrible for exposing my kids to this. Boo rode with Liam and they seemed to have a much better ride, but still not something we would repeat.
We could have subsidised our whole trip by charging 100 bhat for all of the people that wanted to take pictures of Boo. I seriously have no idea what was going on. We pulled into our hotel after 4 bus loads of tourists from China. As we checked in every eye in the lobby was on us because the group was still there sorting out their rooms. It was startling, I looked up from the girls to see how Liam was getting on with checkin and there was a room filled with about 150 people just staring at me and my kids. They started to get a bit more curious and were just snapping away with their cameras. I don't know about you, but I don't generally fill my vacation photos with random kids I see around. Pretty much every time other than when we were eating we were fending off people that wanted to pick Boo up and take pictures with her. Z also got some attention, but I think that since she could run away people were less likely to grab her. I mean people would literally try and take her out of my arms as she's screaming, so they could take a picture. It was very weird. By the time all that started happening, I was more than happy to entertain the people that just wanted to come up and tell us how beautiful the girls were and maybe give their cheeks a pinch.
Other than that it was a lot of fun. The pool had a water slide, which Z and Liam made great use of over and over again. And as you would imagine, the prices were awesome. Even in the hotel, things weren't as expense as you would think. We were able to grab a 3 course dinner at a swanky restaurant near our hotel, plus two rounds of drinks for $30. Awesome!
Traveling was a challenge (12 hours there, 14 back), but it was a great trip and Z has already been talking about elephants and the slide and all the fun she had. I think next time we're going to have a choose a place with more kid friendly entertainment options a bit closer to a city. We were about 25 minutes away for the nearest big city, so it meant we were pretty much hotel bound, which wasn't bad. But being unable to go sightseeing on a whim, means that when you do you're cramming it all in.
All in all a great trip, I don't know if we'll be back to Thailand, but I would certainly be interested in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, or Tokyo the next time we're tempted to head east.