Author Topic: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR  (Read 2435 times)

Online mochjas

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2020, 09:49:59 AM »
Amazing trip report, brings back memories of our trip to the Conrad Koh Samui. We were actually in the same villa / 501 as well. What a great experience!
How did you book it?

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2020, 09:56:22 AM »
How did you book it?
Why don't you read here?
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Offline Hjay

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2020, 07:44:30 AM »
Wow reading this makes me want to go back Koh Samui - I was there in the summer (at the W) & loved every minute.

Did you request them to monogram you those items or they did that on their own??

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2020, 07:48:15 AM »
Wow reading this makes me want to go back Koh Samui - I was there in the summer (at the W) & loved every minute.

Did you request them to monogram you those items or they did that on their own??
They do it without asking (I did request them to give me new one at the end of the stay after house keeping took them for cleaning, they brought me new ones  before leaving the hotel). I'm not sure if it's only for 2+ bedrooms (and royal villa) guests.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 08:46:47 AM by israshot »
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Online mmgfarb

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2020, 08:52:57 AM »
They do it without asking (I did request them to give me new one at the end of the stay after house keeping took them for cleaning, they brought me new ones  before leaving the hotel). I'm not sure if it's only for 2+ bedrooms (and royal villa) guests.
I'm assuming you get to keep them?
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Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2020, 08:59:56 AM »
I'm assuming you get to keep them?
Only the sleepers and the Teddy bear. The bathrobes and pillows have just initials and they belong to the hotel, (they make sure to write it for the bathrobes). The bathrobes that I really wanted to bring home were from the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, they are so soft and made with silk inside, a real dream, but they didn't have enough.
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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2020, 09:35:40 AM »
Amazing TR!

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2020, 01:20:13 AM »
Wednesday 1/29.

We woke up not too early and happy to realize that the little one slept in her own 'suite' for the whole night (or maybe I slept too deeply). We didn't have any plans for the day other than to be in the pool and relax. (We know by now how it is to travel with the baby after traveling to France 3 times, London, Israel, Miami, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands. The biggest lesson is that we can enjoy our vacations with her with no issue but to not push too much on activities).


#Influencer

Like every morning we begin our day with a coffee but unlike every morning, there was a great 180 view with 5 islands just for us.
We went then to breakfast at Zest (locate it in the map up thread) to get some fruit and juices (yes, we doubled dip on the breakfast ). I met there with Nicolas the Hotel chef and we had a chat about Kosher, Jewish guests, etc. I then realized that he was the one I was in touch with prior arriving at the hotel for the Kosher meals. He came 2 years ago to work in Koh Samui and he's down to earth's kind of guy.


View from the breakfast




After breakfast, we walked to the stand of Oceana Samui  next to the breakfast, one of their workers was there but she works exclusively at the Conrad as Oceana is the official company that takes cares of the water sports activities and speed boats. We knew already that we want to go see Angthong National Marine Park. We decided to go the next day (Thursday) for the VIP boat which is a tour for 14 people. Going with a baby, that was the minimum we had to get. (There are boats of 30 ppl+ for much cheaper). The price was 4500 Baht per person (after 400 Baht discount because we'll not eat the food) and free for the baby. This was our only outing while in Koh Samui and we were ready to spend the whole day for it. From our past experience traveling with our daughter, we knew that we could manage for (only) a one-day trip.
The planning will be to go with a van to the Oceana pier on the opposite side of the island early morning and to pick up some passengers on the way. From the pier, we'll take the speed boat (with a double engine... it's a thing…) and go to a few places along the national park.
When we came back to our villa after breakfast, I asked our concierge to come to discuss a few things. She confirmed to me then that we'll get the upgrade to a 2 bedroom Villa for the last 2 days complimentary but we'll have to move to another Villa (then on Friday she told me that we can keep the 501 so my plan worked out perfectly). I spoke with her about Kosher food and the way to handle it (and to make sure that I'll not pay the delivery fees…).
We spent that day in and out of the pool and had also great food from Chabad (the lunch was always very fresh as they are picking it up at 12 pm and deliver it around 1).




Delicious chicken breast sandwich

*During all our regular days on this vacation, we were able to maintain a good schedule with our daughter for the nap and sleeping time, so we were planning our days accordingly.
After the nap, my wife wanted to get some pictures at the beach and the pool area and to grab also the free drinks (I like that it's not limited to happy hour time like in other hotels, because when you travel with a baby, the more flexible - the better). We went to the pool area and dropped our daughter in the turtle club. The club is a tiny room with a big TV, a ball pit and a table with chairs for arts & crafts but every time we went there weren't more than 3 kids so it seems like it fits the guests' needs. The staff is exceptionally nice and really impressed us. We thought we'll stay there to play some times with our daughter but then they offered us to leave if we wished to and they will take care of everything!



We went to take drinks, spent some time in the cabanas and then went to the beach area.





LOL!

The 'beach' is not a real beach, they added lots of sand a few years ago to cover all the small rocks and coral, during the afternoon the tide is high and the beach becomes even smaller. During our stay, we saw only a few people swimming/snorkeling there.
I took a Kayak to get some pictures of the cliff/resort and my wife went back to the Turtle club.
Here are the pictures:

Our Villa at the top left



The beach area





When we had to go back to our villa, our daughter didn't want to leave the club… she definitely had a great time there. This was our first day that we were able to relax the entire day since we left our house on Saturday night. The pool in the villa is huge (the 2 bedroom's one has an additional corner on the length), you can make lapse and make a party too. We brought a big inflatable and a small one for our daughter. It wasn't her first time in a pool but this time she was at the age that kids begin to enjoy it the most, even with a non-heated pool.


The Bangkok Post newspaper delivered to our Villa


Sunset's swim


I set up the GoPro before sunset to get a nice Timelapse, gave the baby a bath and put her to sleep in her room, a long day is awaiting for her the next day.
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(This video is from Tuesday evening)



Dinner


Turndown service



Thursday 1/30.

We woke up early, heated up some food and packed for the trip. I davened in the garden with an unobstructed view to the ocean, "...'מה רבו מעשיך ה".
Our driver was waiting for us and we left at 7:45. It was a big van with a nice decorated inside and with water bottles for us. We drove 40 minutes and stopped at the Vana Belle hotel.
An American couple in their 50's came in and we drove another 20 minutes to the pier. We had a chat with the couple, they come from Michigan and he works for GM, they were on a 2 years mission in China and came on vacation to Koh Samui right before the Virus outbreak. GM advised them to not go back and they had to go back now to the US without a house or regular winter clothing…
We waited in the lounge area for other people to join and then walked to the pier to take the boat.



The boat was large and clean, there are seatings under a roof and seating at the front of it to enjoy the wind and the view.



Waiting for the crew



At the center of the boat, there was a huge cooler full of water bottles and soda.


Here

We left around 9:45 and had first a stop at the Belmond (if you stay there, you get VIP pickup because it's on the boat itinerary/way to the national park). Half the boat actually was filled up at the Belmond and we were a total of 14 visitors including 2 children. One of the guys that came from the Belmond seemed to me Israeli or middle eastern, so I approached him and he told me that he's (Christian) Lebanese and lives currently in Paris. We had a nice conversation in English and French, he told me also that he was waiting to get his french passport to go to Israel. The boat ride was beautiful, every mile there were different small islands/rocks popping out of the water, each one with a different shape and some with very interesting ones. Our daughter wanted to walk all the time and go up and down the small steps heading to the boat front. Everyone was smiling to her, overall was a very relaxing atmosphere with lots of understanding. The ride took about an hour.
Our first stop was at Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park.
There were only 3 long-tail boats so there weren't many people there.


We had the baby carrier (brought specially for this trip and also for the bike at the Waldorf) and that made it much easier for the steps to go up the rock (it was much easier and shorter than last summer at the Masada hike, but back then the package was lighter ).






More steps...



At the top, there was a beautiful view of the green lagoon and we took some pictures.


Then the steps bring us down to be about one level higher than the lagoon.


On the steps to go back to the departing point, our very nice guide gave us a twist in our path and I loved it.

When we headed back, a big boat (ferry) was approaching the island, the boat can't come too close to the island so all passengers have to transit with long-tail speedboats (make yourself a favor and avoid these ferry kind adventure in Thailand, especially in a virus outbreak season).


Some islands along the ride:












Our next stop was in a nearby island/rock with rich coral and some caves, very good for snorkeling.


I didn't pin the snorkeling location on the map but it seems like it's on the northern point of my timeline path.

(this timeline is not so accurate because I turned off the data towards the end of the trip)

My wife doesn't like so much snorkeling which made her a perfect candidate to stay on the boat with the little one the time being her father will play with the fish and his GoPro. The company provided us with snorkeling gear and life jackets.
There weren't many fish or any special ones but the coral was very rich and alive, we saw a school or two of fish. It was my first time snorkeling under a rock and it was a really good experience. Because there are some holes on the top of the rock, the sun can go through the water depending on the time of the day, it will be usually around 11 am for the place we went and I can imagine how clear and see through the water would be, but we were there an hour later and the clarity wasn't so bad.










"
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We swam back to the boat and my wife and the baby joined me for a nice swim in the ocean. It's such a pleasure to see your baby not afraid of the water, and best of all - she was pointing on the small fish passing by .




They had to feed the hungry passengers on the boat so we headed to this restaurant.

More beautiful islands on the way.











(The ghost face)




(On the left rock, you can see a monkey face facing the right)

On our way there way our captain saw from far Dolphins, they were near to the shore of a rock/island and another boat with french tourists was also there watching them. First, they were pretty far but then they slowly swam closer to us. All the passengers were on their toes watching with lots of excitement. One of the Dolphins was pink! But unfortunately was too far to capture it with my phone. My wife was thrilled, and our daughter was really excited to spot her favorite animal (her plush/lovey is a Dolphin).

(A few months before our trip my wife was searching about activities near Koh Samui and found out that there are pink dolphins there, we didn't follow through with this idea but it was still sitting in the back of her head).
We went then to the island with the restaurant, the restaurant has a few sitting areas, some tables didn’t have tablecloths and some had. Our group was seated in the tablecloths’ section (VIP…) and ourselves, went on the side to sit on a single (without a tablecloth’...) table to eat our snacks and bread. On my way to the bathroom, I saw the kitchen with lots of flies and other insects… we are lucky to eat only Kosher! This island is apparently where all the groups come to eat and the food is paid by the boat companies that bring the guests, with different menus. We stayed there for about an hour and went back to the boat.
Our next stop was in a beautiful place where there's a very narrow sandbank created from two islands' shore next to each other. They had there lots of kayaks but the baby was sleeping.




I took her on the baby carrier while she was still sleeping and walked towards the sandbank. I made my way in the shallow water and on the ground between the foliage and trees, all the way making sure that the baby will not move too much so she can sleep properly. At some points, the water arrived almost to my upper body, but besides her legs she was dry and we made it!



(Baby sleeping peacefully)



But on the way back to the speedboat (and a half body wet) she woke up and went for the swing.




They served us fresh coconuts and it was a real Mechaye!
The way back took also an hour and the water was a bit rough but overall we had really nice weather that day and BH everything went smooth.


(last one)

The order for the way back was Belmond>pier>car>Vana Belle and finally to the Conrad.


Back at the pier

Towards the end of the ride, we saw a nice sunset on our left but were too tired to stop and enjoy it properly. The baby slept most of the ride, it was a long day!


The conrad's lobby/arrival area

When we arrived at the hotel, exhausted and dirty, our concierge greeted us, we discussed a bit and went to our Villa. We went straight downstairs to shower and then we had a very nice surprise!


The best part is that the bath was hot as it was prepared just a few minutes ago, how did she time it so well?
We had a quick dairy dinner, Aioli Pasta and Pizza.




It was a very long day but it was such a beautiful adventure, I'd never thought I'll actually see these beautiful screensaver one day in my life for real...
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 01:30:48 AM by israshot »
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Offline iluv2travel

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2020, 11:03:02 PM »
Thanks for continuing to write up a great trip report!

You went to the Maldives and Koh Samui in one trip, but if someone who has been to neither place can only go to one which would you suggest they choose?

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2020, 04:38:42 AM »
Thanks for continuing to write up a great trip report!

You went to the Maldives and Koh Samui in one trip, but if someone who has been to neither place can only go to one which would you suggest they choose?
Thanks!
The Maldives of course. As much as we had an amazing time in Koh Samui, with a huge villa and tons of Kosher food, beautiful scenery and a friendly staff, it doesn't even compare to the Maldives.
I'm writing first about Koh Samui because of the chronological order, and more importantly, if I'm writing about the Maldives first, it will be disappointing to continue...
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Offline iluv2travel

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2020, 08:08:53 AM »
I figured  :).

I saw on your IG story that Koh Samui came first so I knew you would be writing about that first. Actually reading about it is impressive. I can't imagine what you're going to say about the Maldives that is going to make this sound mild and disappointing  ;D! Just kidding, I'm sure you loved and enjoyed both  :D.

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #41 on: February 24, 2020, 08:18:05 AM »
I figured  :).

I saw on your IG story that Koh Samui came first so I knew you would be writing about that first. Actually reading about it is impressive. I can't imagine what you're going to say about the Maldives that is going to make this sound mild and disappointing  ;D! Just kidding, I'm sure you loved and enjoyed both  :D.
Yeah... Wait for it! It was shorter but a heavenly stay.
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Offline Mh1

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #42 on: Yesterday at 11:00:41 PM »
What a great TR

Really enjoyed reading it! You really giving me hope that I can do it with my 15 mo daughter

Can't wait for the rest

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #43 on: Today at 06:37:10 AM »
What a great TR

Really enjoyed reading it! You really giving me hope that I can do it with my 15 mo daughter

Can't wait for the rest
Thank you!

I hope you can do it, but the main part to consider in the equation is that you'll have the nicest moments with your daughter while on vacation.
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