Paula Ligthart, her husband Rick, and their daughters Nicole (16) and Sabine (13).
The roundtrip flight between Beijing to Bangkok was RMB 13,476 for four adults. The roundtrip flight between Bangkok to Ko Samui was RMB 11,000 per person, including hotels and breakfast and a high speed catamaran from Ko Tao back to Ko Samui. A three-week trip to Thailand for four people came to a total of RMB 57,476, inclusive of flights (mentioned above).
The trip was organized by a Dutch online travel agency (riksjatravel.com). They flew Thai Airlines to Bangkok, stayed there one night, flew the next day to Ko Samui. There, they stayed at Jasmine Resort, which had
luxurious rooms, an impressive restaurant (where they dined every night) and service to boot. After a six-night stay at Jasmine Resort, they took a boat to Ko Phangan and stayed at Dreamland Resort. The resort had a basic, no frills room. The restaurant was substandard, but they enjoyed the pool and discovered an amazing small restaurant on the beach closeby. At the restaurant, a guy named Susie cooked dishes of authentic Thai food, which they ate twice a day. After six nights, they left for Ko Tao by boat. At the Ko Tao Resort, they were provided a basic room, but the pool and the restaurant were great.
The Best Part
It was fantastic having three different destinations rolled into one trip. Every week was different and by the end, it felt like a six-week holiday. A highlight was Nicole getting her Open Water Diving certificate at Ko Phangan. On Ko Tao, Rick and Nicole were able to take a few dives with the Ko Tao Resort Diving School, which was great experience. And on Ko Samui, they were able to rent a car and drive around, as well as ride elephants. In general, they loved the clean sky and dining every evening near, if not on, the beach.
The Worst Part
It was a disappointment that Dreamland Resort at Ko Phangan did not have the usual Thai friendliness. Apparently, there are not many Thai people that work on Ko Phangan, because Ko Samui and Ko Tao are more popular destinations.
An Unexpected Moment
When the fishermen came out at night, Susie would take the family to the boats, where they would pick out a fresh catch to cook the very next night.
In every resort, there were lots of families with small children but there were no extra facilities for children, besides a swimming pool. Everybody spoke English and it in that regard, it was very easygoing.
They booked the trip with a travel agency but it was not necessary at all. Hotels can be booked online. They met a lot of people who only booked their plane reservations and found rooms when they arrived in the summer. However, it’s important to note that Christmas time is Thailand’s busy season.