Thailand is a popular destination with families, but few, like me, have tried to sail it! Join me, when I sail around Phuket, Phi Phi Islands and Koh Lanta with my cousins, aunt and grandmother and get to kayak, play with crabs and have fun on the boat! Sienna tells her story about how it is to spend xmas sailing the Thai islands.
Content by Sienna Juul Nyegaard / Written by Mathilde Moyell Juul
I was only 3, Philip was 5 and there was no Christopher. We'd just spent Christmas Eve with my big cousins, my aunt and uncle and grandmother. My aunt and new uncle had got married in the Danish church in Singapore the day before Christmas, so it was kind of their honeymoon and our first time on a boat for 5 days.
These are my cousins, Camille and Celine:
We boarded the boat at Phuket and were given our cabins straight away. I was sharing a cabin with Philip and we loved how cozy it was, as we stepped downstairs to see them. Philip and I had brought a lot of toys as we didn't know if we'd get bored on the boat, and although I'd learned to swim in my first year in Singapore, I defintely wasn't going to swim in the big deep ocean. So, I'd brought a lot of my Christmas presents - I particularly liked drawing with my new pens in my Frozen painting book.
But the other fun began, as soon as we set sail. I liked looking at dad, Camille and Philip jump off the boat and watch all the fish in the clear water. You can get an idea in this video:
I liked the sailing and we spent a lot of time sitting outside on the beanbags, playing with my mum, Philip or Camille and just having my family around me.
We mainly stayed at the boat, which sometimes was a little hard for me, but I liked it if we came to a lagoon early, before all the longtail boats, and got to kayak in there, before it became a motorway with 50 boats trying to enter. In that way, it was good to travel these islands by boat, so we could beat the "traffic". But we couldn't get a around the fact, that we were there in the Christmas holidays, and this meant busy and a lot of tourists. Especially as we got off at Phi-Phi, and my mum burst out "sure has changed since I was here 20 years ago"....:
It probably didn't help that it had just rained and it was Boxing Day, so people looked a little tired and the place a little worn. We were happy to get back on the boat, and enjoy all the beauitful islands on the way on our route from from Phuket via Koh Yao Yai, Koh Phi Phi and then Koh Lanta.
The sea was very turqoise and my family went diving every day, even my grandmother tried it, she was 71!!
Philip also did his first snorkeling at deep water here in Thailand and even tried a diving regulator - check it out here, and see also some of the amazing fish and caves that my dad filmed under water, I can't wait until I'm old enough!
As you could see at the end, my cousin Camille also tried scuba diving, but at least my mother stayed with me on the boat, as she had bad ears. We looked at the pictures and film on the boat instead, and wauw, it was impressive!
So many amazing colours, and starfish, grouper, lionfish and lots of chorals.
What was also really great at the boat, was that when we got a bit tired from all the swimming, diving and hanging out on the boat, there was a chef who did all the food for us - so many courses every day for all our meals - I loved the pancakes in the morning and all the choice of Thai food for lunch and dinner.
It was nice to be with my big family, now that we were not living in Denmark anymore, and nice to see them have fun on the boat and hang out with my cousins.
Every morning when the sun came up, Philip and I would open our little window in the roof, peak out and say 'hello' to whoever might be up (mostly, I think we woke up the staff sleaping on the boat nets). And we also loved looking through those nets to see the sea below us and hoping for a dolphin to jump by.
And most of the time, we just saw so many beautiful islands and beautiful sunsets.
But all the sailing and sunsets and seing my family dive, read and talk, did get a litte boring for a 3-year-old like me.
So my favourite day was when we went in the kayaks to this little beach where there was no one, but a looot of coconuts and crabs!
There were hundreds of them and they all lived in their little snailhouses - we had so much fun! Just see here:
So now you're wondering, what's happening in the end and who are those kids playing with us and mum's drinking drinks in the sea? Well, after 5 days, we boarded at the beach at Koh Lanta and waiting for us, were 2 families, good friends of ours who had kids with them that are our friends too.
It was good to get off the boat and play with my good friend Olivia, we swam, ran around and played with all our Christmas presents while the boys and the dad's played football and messed about on the field.
We stayed in a hotel called Sri Lanta and although I still felt like I was on water and the small cabin was fun, it was also great to stay in a small hut with mum, dad and Philip and be able to run around and play in the sea and the pool finally.
The hotel was nice, one restaurant, who did find it a bit challenging having 4 families eating at the same table every day, but we liked it.
We stayed at the hotel the whole time we were there, but my cousins, aunt and uncle and grandmother went on a little discovery trip in the area:
We also spent New Years Eve at Sri Lanta, where there was a massive party and beautiul lanterns that we helped lit and set up into the air. And before midnight all the kids were asleep on bean bags under the table, which meant that our parents could now have their party apparently!
After 10 days in Thailand, we were ready to go home Singapore, our friends at pre-school and the rest of our Christmas presents. But I realy enjoyed spending a holiday with my family and my friends from Denmark and see more of Thailand, by doing it by boat.
TRANSPORT: Flight return Singapore-Phuket, 30 min. to and from airport to the port where we embarked the boat. From Koh Lanta, we sailed in a speedboat for 2 hours to Phuket and then transfer to airport.
REASON: My great grandfather used to live in Thailand, so it was my dad's dream to sail it. the fact that we could combine a family holiday with friends + water accomodation with land, seemed ideal at a time where the rainy season limits us to certain countries.
ITINEARY: December 2014: 5 nights on the boat from Phuket via Koh Yao Yai, Phi Phi Islands and 5 nights at Koh Lanta.
PRICERANGE: Boat in the Christmas holiday does not come cheap, but we made up for it, by staying at the affordable Sri Lanta.
STRETCH: 10 days.
SIENNA: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (hard being 3 on a boat) MATHILDE: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (problems with boat)
Hotel + Boat
Boat: SY Nakamel: https://www.sailing-islands.com
Sri Lanta Hotel: https://www.srilanta.com