It is so good to be back, the last time was 8 year ago when we were celebrating our 1st year anniversary together. Despite the long gap between these visits, Soneva Kiri has always been one of our top favorite three resorts in Thailand. In fact, Soneva is also one of our top favorite chains; we have been to every single property ever built. At Soneva, we always find the simple life at its very best; the kind of barefoot luxury meets secluded lush green tropical paradise. One of many things we like about Soneva Kiri is the swift and the ease of the travel, with 80 minutes direct flight from Bangkok’s Suvarnnabhumi Airport on the resort’s private jet. Time flew by so quickly, we hovered over many different beautiful islands of the Gulf of Thailand, the scenery that you normally would never see from Bird’s eye view (as there is no flight to Koh Kood or even our neighbor islands like Koh Chang or Koh Mak. After cruising down the turquoise clear water via our private speedboat, upon our arrival on this idyllic island, we were welcomed by our Miss Friday (as butlers are called here) on the jetty. She said, “Welcome back”. Let the holiday begin!
A place with the true beauty and vivid memories of Asian yesteryear dating from well before colonial times, Luang Prabang, is rightfully the town with best preserved colonial architecture in Indochina. Walk down the memory lane to discover the authentic charm of this city which is hidden away in every corner of every street and every alley. Best things to do in Luang Prabang are the enchanting “Tak Bat ceremony” where hundreds of Buddha monk in beautifully-vibrant-saffron-colored robes are traveling down the street of Luang Prabang before the break of dawn to receive food offerings, cruising down the Mighty Mekong River to experience first handedly the local way of life during the golden hour of the sunset with sundowners, walking through countless exquisitely hand drafted monasteries and temples including the majestic glass mosaic Three of Life at the famous Xieng Thong Temple, hiking those steps up to Mount Phousi to witness the panoramic view of Luang Prabang, and making the journey to Laos’ most beautiful waterfall, Kwang Si, swimming in the crystal clear turquoise natural water, staying at the wonderfully renovated 100-year-old former governor’s residence paradise, Sofitel So Luang Prabang, and having authentic Laos cuisine at Manda des Laos.
Next stop is Luxor, a place where people referred as world’s most impressive open air museum, and even that an understatement. Luxor is a paradise of pharaonic temples and grandeur monuments – The spectacles of the ancient civilization. The setting of the city is perfect with the Nile river flowing in between, dividing it into west and east banks. Here are the temples that you must visit; Temple of Hatshepsut, Temple of Karnak, Valley of The Kings, Luxor Temple, The Ramesseum. We spent two nights there and staying at the beautiful Sofitel Legend Winter Place. I was so happy to be woken up into by birthday blowing candles, eating the surprise cake, and popping champagne from our balcony perched on the Nile River against the background of the valley of the kings with colorful hot-air balloons gracefully flying by. Then at 11.00 AM our driver from Nour El Nil cruise came to pick us up from our hotel, Sofitel Legend Winter Place. Birthday celebration continues on the cruise, I’m the luckiest!
This ancient capital brings out the wanderlust and explorer in all of us. Egypt gave us the warmest welcome with the mighty Nile River, The Only Ancient Wonder of The World that still exists, jaw dropping monuments, mesmerizing desert, and countless hidden discoveries. A surreal journey to the beginning of time. The highlight of our trip was undoubtedly when we’re exploring the unseen and natural wonders of Egypt along Nile River for 6 nights on the exclusively and luxuriously relaxing Nour El Nil Cruise. If you are ready to sail away into the horizon with us, jump on board!
Hidden behind these great grand white palace walls lie the superb recreational of the ancient palace with ornately carved golden pagodas, jewel-like-colored mosaic floors to walls, handcrafted furniture, antique chandeliers, and tailored-made Thai decor. This not-5-but-6-star resort has perfectly carved out a place in the past that reflects Lanna Kingdom at its most flourish time with utmost beauty and the richest heritage of Thai Northern Regime. Dhara Dhevi has done so with unparalleled attention to every single detail. These 60 acres of lush green landscape also comes with breathtakingly romantic view of terraced rice paddies, exotic plantation, tranquil farmland, serene lakes, multicolor lotus ponds, beautiful temple houses, and flower-filled gardens. As we entered through the gate of Dhera Dhevi, we have walked into a fairytale. This is definitely one of the most stunning properties in Thailand and definitely one of the most beautiful attractions you will ever see in Chiang Mai. If you are seeking for ultimate luxury with authentic and local cultural touches, look no further. Paradise of dreams is found within.