Thailand 2020

As the plane touched down on the concourse of Krabi International Airport it was only an hour or so past sunrise.  Yet still, as the doors opened I was amazed to feel the extent of the overwhelming heat. Thailand, we’re finally here and we’re coming to get you!

It’s been over 2 years since I holidayed with my hubby and 2 children – we have been taking mini breaks between us but the 4 of us have not managed to get away at the same time since April 2017. It isn’t the end of the world, as we meet for breakfast and dinner daily at home and are very much a family in the truest sense of the word, but who doesn’t love a holiday?

Thailand had been on my bucket list for many years but due to a number of unfortunate circumstances, we have been unable to actually get there.  At last towards the end of 2019 I realised we had a window of opportunity and we booked via Hayley at Not Just Travel who was amazing and sorted everything out for me because, honestly part of the problem is that I just don’t have time to do the research.

Of course, like any true chef, I am now desperate to share some great Thai recipes with you.  You can certainly taste my Red, Green and Penang Curries at bowls food parties but I will not be cramming 15 people and a bale of pashminas on the side of a Tuk Tuk in 35 degree heat!

In fact I cannot even begin to describe the unforgiving heat that starts daily at 5am and really doesn’t stop, or the smell of the clay pots that burn to heat the most incredible dishes in the street food markets, or the sun setting over the Andaman Sea in the shadows of Chicken Island.  Less enjoyable were the mosquitoes that devoured my legs each night despite using repellent or the humidity that gave me frizzy hair of epic proportion – these can both stay firmly in Thailand!

What I have brought back is a greater knowledge of Thai cookery, having taken a few classes while out there – yes, I know it will seem like a busman’s holiday but I keep telling you how much I actually do love my job! We learnt traditional methods of pounding the herbs and spices to extract the full potential of the ingredients and how slowly or quickly to cook dishes. I must say the pineapple rice, while seemingly a little off piste, engaged my sense of humour as it was presented in a full pineapple shell!

Our knight in shining armour was local man Mr Bill and his trusted steed AKA Taxi number A29, always on hand to ferry us to lesser known touristy spots where we could dine like a local. This was the Thailand that I desperately wanted to experience.  Mr Bill was our Planet Earth and Trip Advisor all rolled into one! A little google translate and we were in very good hands (thank goodness for technology – that and factor 50 were my most needed items)!

Having 2 sons and a husband who are all avid rugby players with hollow legs, I was eternally grateful for the exchange rate and quickly realised that 35 THB was only £1.00 and so paying the equivalent of £2.00 for a main course allowed me to try many dishes with the males in my life happily hoovering up anything that was going spare – it was a joy to feed them on this trip!

We had days out at Hot Springs, an Emerald Pool and Island hopping on a private charter all of which made for an exceptional holiday. Sadly, we ran out of time to go ocean fishing or scuba diving which my boys usually love to do (all 4 of us are qualified scuba divers).  But our adventures were such that Scuba Diving was far from top of the agenda whilst food was so I was very happy.

So there it is. Our adventures in Thailand are over. Everything one (or 4), could wish for and so much more. So,so, so much more. Thailand, we will return but next time maybe with just a backpack and greater sense of adventure?

To talk to Hayley about holidays and allow her to send you packing please contact her directly;

Hayley John-Charles
Travel Consultant
Not Just Travel



P: 0203 884 1146

M: 07843989728