Saturday, 14 May 2016

5 Reasons Why I Am Going To Thailand

Dream Phuket beach getaway via Villa Getaways

I eat, drink and breathe Thailand quite literally. One of my daily tasks for my online work is to curate the best feature write - ups of tourist destinations around the world. In my research, Thailand remains the top country in Southeast Asia for travelers. As a prime tourism brand, Thailand needs no further introduction. I think that you can even sell a tour package of this country, just by mentioning the word 'Thailand' to an average tourist who regularly checks out the most followed travel websites and someone who reads his/her favorite travel blogger's whereabouts. Why? Thailand is synonymous with vacation and holidays.

To visit all the 11 Southeast Asian countries is my plan. So far I have only conquered Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia. I went out a bit to see Hong Kong and Macau recently so I would like to stick back to my goal. With an airline miles equivalent to USD 2500 dollars soon all mine to burn, I am definitely heading to Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia starting August then the rest of  Asia.

Just a month ago, I had the opportunity to get invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Royal Thai Embassy in the Philippines to participate in the 1000 Smiles Songkran Festival, an event to encourage fellow Filipinos to visit Thailand. There I saw in my own eyes that there's so much to discover in this country! Of course, I was sold right after the event. Below is my list of five reasons why Thailand is the next country I will visit soon.

Thai food

Last year when I and my brother joined  Discover Thainess, an initiative to promote Thailand by Tourism of Thailand, I took a 2 - hour bus ride to meet this Thai woman who moved here after marrying a Filipino man. Together they converted their house to a simple restaurant that offers home cooked and authentic Thai dishes. She let us taste Pad Thai noodles and from there we got hooked! She even taught us how to cook it.


Me, Thai woman and my brother


More Thai food I want to eat : som tam (papaya salad), tom yam goong (fish/chicken curry mixed with fragrant herbs, geng khew wan (green curry with fish sauce, mango sticky rice for dessert and Thai iced teas.


Source: TAT News


Temples and Thai - inspired architecture

Without a visit to any of Thailand's revered wats or temples, for me is a wasted trip. The Grand Palace in Bangkok, former home of Thai king and family is a great way to start. Its historical importance and staggering craftsmanship makes it one of must - see tourist spots in this country. Inside Royal Palace you'll find Wat Phra Khew or Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This is where a piece of bone or hair believed to be from Buddha is kept. Other notable temples I also would like to visit: Wat Po, Wat Arum and Temple of Dawn to catch a majestic sunset.


Grand Palace. Photo courtesy of Bangkok.com

Connect with digital nomads through coworking spaces and coffee shops

I have never been this happier in my life  than right now achieving a location - independent lifestyle. My online remote job fulltime has allowed me to travel more because I only need a Wifi and a laptop to get paid. I belong to travelers who are called 'digital nomads'. However in my case, I am not a full - pledged and seasoned nomad just yet. Been doing this for 6 months so far but definitely no regrets!


Launchpad Coworking space in Bangkok. Photo courtesy of Levels.io

Bangkok is often flocked by most of the world's young startup founders, creatives, long-term travelers and digital nomads. They come to Thailand to grow their business the cheapest way compared to doing it in other continents and live an unconventional life we all used to. Bangkok as the capital city have lots of coworking spaces - these are communal office spaces where freelancers and nomads work in hopes of possible collaboration or expand one's business connection.  Three coworking spaces I plan to visit: Hubba, Kliquedesk and Launchpad. These have very good reviews in terms of strong Internet connection and backed with good number of fellow digital nomad communities I can connect with.




Immerse to more of Thai culture

My happiness is very shallow. In Thailand, I just want to get to know the lives of ordinary Thai locals more than what I read online. I want to visit floating markets in Damnoen Saduak, Amphawa and Bang Nam Phum. I want to hone my skills in doing Thai fingernails, the intricate flower garland making, Muay Thai and some traditional Thai dance. I have done these all myself in many workshops here in Manila but I'd like to learn it right in the country where it came from.  I also would like to widen my knowledge of Thai language. Right now I only know one word ' Sawadee ka' which means 'Thank you'. I have already installed an app that helps me learn few phrases in Thailand.


Thai flower garland we made

Luxurious Beach Getaway in Villa 409 of Villa Getaways, Phuket

Travel for me means checking out the best beaches the world can offer.  I would like to indulge more in simple acts along the shore and wearing a new pair of two - piece bikini: lie down, relax, take lots of Instagram photos while I let my hair be swept away by the cold breeze of wind. To walk barefoot, early in the morning to catch the sunrise with a cup of hot coffee and during sunset with a glass of red wine would be my biggest indulgences when I get here. Phuket comes to my mind instantly whenever someone asks me what are my top choices when it comes to stunning beaches along with Palawan, Caramoan and Boracay islands from my country, Philippines.


Entrance to Villa #409

Now that I am in my early 30's, my preference in travelling is slowly evolving. I think that I had enough of staying in cheap backpacker hostels and shared dorm rooms. I would like more comfort, luxury and private moments. I was searching online for accommodations that cater to my heart's desires - Villa Getaways really killed it. Villa #409 in Kamala beach particularly is everything what I was looking for a perfect luxurious (insert romantic) beach getaway. According to their website, Villa Analaya #409 is possibly the most exclusive address in all of Phuket. The large infinity pool makes me drool right now where I sit and type this. I can stay forever here in a private beach resort of Villa Getaways!

Villa Getaways is a family run business based out of New Zealand & Australia offering luxury holiday rentals worldwide. We share the same thing, the love of travel and especially enamored to South East Asia.


Outdoor pool

This villa can accommodate up to 10 people including children so definitely this is also a family - approved first class vacation paradise. Below is complete list of features by this villa:
  • 6 spacious bedrooms, decorated with traditional Thai artworks and antiques
  • 6 large ensuite bathrooms with bathtubs
  • Spacious indoor and outdoor living areas
  • Gourmet kitchen
  • Well equipped gymnasium
  • Office
  • Full air-conditioning
  • Terraces with ocean views
  • TV, DVD, Cable, Stereo System, Telephone, Wireless Broadband Internet 25m Infinity style Swimming Pool surrounded by sun chairs, tables and umbrellas
  • Absolute Beachfront, perfect for snorkelling, swimming and kayaking (2 kayaks available at villa)
  • Cabana on Beach
  • Dining Sala with Ocean views
  • Indoor and outdoor dining areas
  • Tropical Gardens 

Nightly Rates: USD $2000 (low season) and USD $5500 (high season)


The room

These photos are just a few, head over to this http://www.villagetaways.com/villas/display/Villa/409 to show the full batch of gorgeous shots and a video to push you to book a stay here soon. I intentionally made it in bullet list instead of paragraph form to do justice how Villa Getaways really pamper their guests with all the universe can offer. I have previously been to a five - star hotel slash beach resort and they say, once you get a taste of luxury and pampering above the average, you'll soon find yourself craving to stay to another one. Villa Getaways for sure is the next one!

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