Koh Samui, Thailand to Saigon, Vietnam

Cathay business podOur two weeks in Koh Samui, which included our son’s wedding is over and the next phase of our grand adventure takes us to Saigon, Vietnam. This is our final week before the world cruise, so we plan on having a quiet week, visiting with family.

As the crow flies, Koh Samui to Saigon is only 459 miles, but on a Oneworld Alliance ticket it took over 12 hours and almost 2,400 miles. Yes, it would be nice if a direct flight was available, but two benefits, make the circuitous travel more palatable. During layovers we use the comfortable business lounges and we rapidly accrue air miles with the business class bonus and a further 50% bonus, as BA Silver members. Continue reading

Koh Sumui – An Excellent Day Out With The Kids

Big Buddha and stairs

Our son and daughter-in-law know the island well and offered to take us for a trip around and show us some better sights. So about 09:30 yesterday morning, we set off in a convoy of 2 cars and multiple scooters. The plan was to start at Big Buddha and then work anti-clockwise around the island,stopping for refreshments and lunch.

The plan and schedule were very relaxed, and at any time, you could drop out and return to the villa. As usual it was a perfect day with clear blue sky and hot. Continue reading

Wat Khunaram Temple and the Mummified Monk

Mummified monk

Mummified monk

The Wat Khunaram Temple is small and compared to others is rather understated, but in the local community it is well attended. However, the Temple is not what most visitors come to see, as the primary attraction is the Mummified Monk.

Prior to the visit, our initial reaction was no doubt similar to most – that’s creepy. However, it is very well displayed and upon further research this was a very talented gentleman that lived a full and rewarding life. Continue reading

Koh Samui – Full Day Tour

View to the right from the restaurantKoh Samui, a small island located just off the Thailand coast, many years ago it must have been the ultimate tropical paradise. With a small mountain in the middle surrounded by a flat plain around almost the entire coastline, and an abundance of beaches and palm trees, this island had loads of potential.

Unfortunately, in our opinion, development has resulted in an overly developed and expensive island that specialises in tacky tourism. This fact was confirmed during our recent full day tour of most of the island attractions. Continue reading

Destination Wedding–Koh Samui, Thailand

Our current nine month grand adventure started with two primary drivers, namely our son’s destination wedding in Thailand and the World Cruise from Sydney, aboard Sea Princess. These two events then metamorphosed into a round the world airfare and a few additional countries. Already having flown more than half way around the world, we have finally arrived for the primary reason for starting this adventure. You may ask, why select Thailand for your destination wedding? Continue reading

Cape Town to Koh Samui, Thailand

Cape Town AirportShortly after our final breakfast at the magnificent Victoria & Alfred Hotel, it was down to the lobby for our 08:30 pick-up and transit to Cape Town International Airport, about a 1/2 hr drive on this Monday long weekend. We had hoped they could check our suitcases directly to Koh Samui, but alas, twas not possible. Bangkok Airways is not a member of the One World Alliance, so our round the world flights take a sabbatical in Bangkok and thereafter we are a domestic connection to/from Koh Samui. Oh well, just means lots of walking in Bangkok and fortunately, we have plenty of time for the connection.

This is the worst of the flight segments on the entire adventure, with 3 flights and a middle of the night layover, over a full 24hr period; however, the first two are on Qatar, the world’s best or 2nd best airline. They tend to switch annually with Cathay Pacific for the # 1 or # 2 spot. Continue reading