I’ve been writing the “sum up the trip” posts for weeks in my head, but so far I haven’t gotten around to sitting down and typing it out of my head. First week back home, we all except Smiley Boy were sick. Nice souvenir, but it was nicer to be sick at home than in some random Asian hotel. Luckily we all got better for our traditional Christmas cruise to Stockholm. We were hardly back from there, when we already flew to Northern Finland to celebrate Christmas.
So, for the past month I’ve basicly packed and unpacked suitcases. And done laundry. But to give some sort of closure to Dream a Little Dream of Asia texts and also to get back to the relaxed and warm feeling one more time in the midst of no-snow-winter I want to sum up the places we visited.
My personal favorite
Our first destination in Asia, Dolphin Bay, was my personal favorite of all the four places we stayed in. It was the most relaxing and easiest week of the whole month: after getting up in the morning we walked over to hotel restaurant for breakfast, then back to room to put sun lotion on, then Smiley Boy into stroller for sleep and Curly Girl out to play so that the sunblock absorbed before hitting the swimming pool, at lunch time we did the walk to the hotel restaurant again, then back to room for some rest before afternoon swim time, room service snack at the terrace of our bungalow, then some more relaxing, maybe small stroll along the beach road, and at the end of the day kids had dinner in pjs (ours weren’t the only ones) at the resorts’ restaurant. Ah, so easy.
Absolutely relaxing way to spend holiday with kids, since the place had everything we needed: highchairs at the restaurant, play area outdoors, playroom, water slide down to kids’ pool, big enough bungalow room for four persons (big plus for the big refrigerator too), massage services, location right on the beach (though the beach isn’t that amazing).
As a huge bonus, the restaurant had steamed vegetables, steamed rice, plain pasta and sorts on the menu, so we could feed proper food for Smiley Boy instead of baby food from can. The Thai dishes on the menu were good too and the prices were reasonable. Along the beach you can find few more restaurants, so resort food wasn’t the only thing we ate while in Dolphin Bay. There’s nice Indian for example, but stay away from the Mexican place that is bit off the beach to the inland.
The downside of small place
The only downside of Dolphin Bay was the lack of good mini mart. The Dolphin Bay Resorts own minimart was under construction (you could buy diapers and such from reception) and the minimart next door had really poor selection, just drinks, ice cream and nuts, no fresh fruits for example. So, one day we did trip to Pran Buri’s Tesco to get baby food, fruits, diapers, swim toys and such. But that was the only time we left Dolphin Bay.
The other bit of downside was the windy weather, but that’s something man can’t do much about. The winds prevented our planned trip to the Monkey Island and we experienced tropical storm one night – well, I did, since I was the only one who was woken up by the sound of coconuts hitting ground. The next morning back alley of our bungalow was flooded and staff had to close the breakfast early when dished started flying of the tables.
I’m not into trend of traveling to same place more than once, but I could go back to Dolphin Bay. I would take either grandparents or friends with kids with us and get one of the apartments with its own pool. As the guide book promised, there’s not much to do at Dolphin Bay, but there’s plenty of places near-by worth of excursions (Hua Hin, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park for example). I wouldn’t drag teenagers to Dolphin Bay, they’d bore themselves to death with nothing to do, but with kids under 7 or 8 years this place is great.