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AUGUST 2016

Hi Anna,

Yes, we arrived home safe and sound thanks :-)

We had such an awesome trip!

Everything went well. Flight from Bangkok to Phuket delayed for about 4 hours, so meant an early morning arrival at Patong Merlin Hotel. But not a major hassle :-) And who knew when they have an election there is an alcohol ban, even pubs. Was a weird night seeing sober Aussies in Phuket for a change. ;-)

At Christchurch Airport you can upgrade to Business Class for $899 if you are spending more than one night in Singapore, which we did that for a treat. It was a great experience. Might have spoilt me a bit much, Allan will have his work cut out convincing me Economy is OK for longer flights. ;-)

All the accommodation was awesome!

Novotel Clarke Quay Singapore, was so friendly and helpful. They upgraded our room on arrival.
Clarke Quay is great. Offered heaps of eating choices. Close to Chinatown etc. where I ticked Peking Duck pancakes off my to do list.
We walked for miles in Singapore. One day did something like 20,000 steps and climbed 10 flights of stairs! Had my compulsory Singapore Sling at Raffles, they are getting up there in price now thou, over $40. Still a must do!

I just loved Siem Reap, will definitely go back there and add on some of the Cambodian beaches and maybe Laos next time. 

Shopping was great, not just the usual tourist stuff you’d see in Thailand. More arts and craft etc., bit like Chiang Mai if you’ve been there.
Eating and drinking was crazy cheap. Local beer (which Allan said was great) 50c US a pint, Margarita’s $2. Even wine was OK priced and good quality which isn’t always the case in Asia. Kuriosty Kafe is a great place to eat if you ever are there. Near the night markets, good food, great prices. Clean etc.
Angkor Village Hotel Siem Reap is great. So tranquil, staff are so friendly, helpful. Again we got a great room, loved the traditional décor etc. Iced tea and cold towels when you arrive. Definitely stay there again. Breakfast isn’t your normal buffet thou, which wasn’t an issue for us. Small selection of things.
We did a private temple tour with Siem Reap Angkor Tour Guide. They were really good. And my absolute favorite … we did a Quad Bike tour of the country side. That was really fun. Next time I will take stationary etc. for all the kids that come running to wave.

Centara Grand at Central World Bangkok was just awesome in Bangkok too. We always stay in that general area, but this by far is the nicest hotel we’ve stayed at. We were room upgraded there too. Huge room. Sky Bar and Uno Mas restaurants were great. May have had slightly too many champagne sangria’s that night. Hotels fault for giving us free drink vouchers. ;-) Allan loved the gym, it was better equipped than the Snap Fitness we go to here!! I opted for the spa, which was pricy by outside standards, but still way cheaper than the equivalent services here. I had a two-hour wrap and massage package for under $100 NZ.
The buffet breakfast was the best I’ve had anywhere. Including some swanky hotels in Aussie and NZ. Choice was amazing. I am still craving their home made waffles.

I liked that Central World Shopping Mall was accessible from the hotel. Great if you are keen to keep in air con, or avoid the rainy season storms. The 6th and 7th floor of the mall is the “food court”. More like two floors of really good restaurants. All good prices etc. plus, the normal pizza, McDonalds, KFS etc.
The Ice-cream parlours where they make your ice-cream from scratch starting with liquid and freezing it in front of you.

Phuket was just the same. Patong Merlin Hotel are doing up the rooms, and have done the lobby. Long overdue. But it’s the pools that keep us going back there.
Room tip for others. Avoid block 6. The noise from the band at Hard Rock Café will drive you crazy. We moved after two days. They were really good about it. The explosion didn’t slow things down for long. We walked past the bomb site about an hour later. Was a bit slower out that night, but not by much.
Restaurant tip: Take a tuk tuk to Joe’s Downstairs. http://www.baanrimpa.com/seaside-restaurant/
I loved it. We just had drinks and tapas. Everything was so good. Right over the ocean. In the dry season the sunsets would be amazing.
Not the cheapest by Thailand prices, but well worth it. We went for our wedding anniversary. We got married two years ago in August, on our 25th Anniversary. Work that one out. Hee Hee.

Thanks you again for organizing for us. Hope we weren’t too painful as clients :-). 
We will be in touch for our next big adventure. Hoping Cambodia, Laos. Maybe Bangkok, just love the cheap shopping there.

My sister is trying to talk me into a renting a houseboat on the Gold Coast for a few days, that should be a change of pace. ;-)

Thanks again for all your help. Sing out if you’d like any more information from me.

Cheers
Shaz