As I dangled my feet in the cool, salt water of the L-shaped infinity pool on the roof of Villa 28, the sun warmed my face while a breeze from the Andaman Sea below tickled my hair. On the rocky outcrop of Koh Fann, the 12-metre high Golden Buddha with its palms up in Mara posture was so alive with sunlight that it seemed to wink at me from the mountainous horizon.
It's with some irony that the check-in desk for Qatar Airways at Heathrow is just round the corner from the one for El Al. Given that the Emirates don't recognise Israel, and given that we were connecting to our second flight in Doha, I had fretted that my regular visits to Tel Aviv would set off alarm bells somewhere.
It's a shame green and pleasant Jutland is linked in history with a naval battle which took place off its shoreline a century ago. For the westernmost province of Denmark is a tranquil land rich in culture right from its less-travelled south, whose coastline has earned World Heritage Site status, to the northernmost tip at Skagen, where the extraordinary light takes on a heavenly quality.
'This guy came to stay, and asked to see the Jewish parts of town," recalls Peter Jones, owner of The River Club, a luxurious Zambian hotel. "I asked him to wait until the next day, then spent all evening swotting up on the area's Jewish history."
Thus began his first Jewish tour of Livingstone, a historic town close to the Victoria Falls.
Six glorious weeks of summer holidays lie ahead - if you're a child. Six weeks of entertaining if you're a parent. But whatever your budget and whatever the weather, there are some great family-friendly activities.
Mention Bordeaux to most people and they'll struggle to picture anything apart from a tempting glass of red. In fact, most Brits travelling through France give this beautiful city a miss altogether as they hare down to the south.
Which is odd, because Bordeaux has had stronger links with our nation than perhaps any other French city, dating back to the 12th century.