Endless sun, swathes of sand, exotic beaches, jungle landscapes and lively cities to boot – do we have your attention? Here are six delectable ideas for how to Thai up your next holiday in style
Idyllic beaches, bustling cities and remote jungle landscapes make Thailand the destination for both exploring and relaxing. But does the Land of Smiles really live up to its name? Is it a trip to add to your wish list?
Many choose the classic combination of Bangkok and its many beaches, but you can combine two or more beaches on an island-hopping adventure. Here’s a rundown of what’s hot right now in Thailand.
One of 52 islands in the Koh Lanta group, Koh Lanta Yai enjoys powdery white sands, lush tropical forests as well as peace and seclusion. The national marine park harbours beautiful snorkelling spots and exceptional diving with shallow coves, sea mounts and undersea caves, home to everything from tiny seahorses to huge manta rays.
TOP TIP: Set in 100 acres of tropical forest on a quiet part of the island, the luxurious Pimalai Resort & Spa boasts direct access to a long, beautifully unspoilt beach. It’s the ultimate island paradise with excellent facilities, a host of impressive dining options and two spectacular infinity pools.Pimala Resort & Spa in Koh Lanta
KOH YAO NOI
A journey to Koh Yao Noi gives the traveller an opportunity not just to enjoy the tranquil beaches in a dramatic setting but also to experience a pace of life that has changed little in 20 years. Breathtaking bays in sheltered coves dot the west coast, while the east of the island is home to mangroves, paddy fields and sleepy fishing villages.
TOP TIP: Stay at the Treehouse Villas, a brand new, innovative resort where you reach the incredible treehouse accommodation by suspension bridge.
KOH PHI PHI
Due to its beautiful location and world-class dive sites, Koh Phi Phi – made famous by the film The Beach – is rapidly gaining in popularity among experienced travellers. The island’s northern coastline, however, still remains a secluded haven of towering palms, empty beaches and clear, calm waters. Diving and snorkelling here provides an intense experience of the amazing local marine life.
TOP TIP: Opt for a stay at the Zeavola Resort and enjoy its relaxed atmosphere of barefoot luxury.Zeavola Resort in Koh Phi Phi
Blessed with beautiful beaches, clear waters and vibrant nightlife, Koh Samui has long been one of Thailand’s most popular destinations, but as its second largest island there’s still plenty of choice for those looking to escape and unwind. With a huge range of hotels to choose from, there’s something for everyone here.
TOP TIP: Perched on a headland on the northern tip of the island, Six Senses Samui is an intimate property set among native jungle with spectacular sea views. Attention to detail, sustainability and a high level of personalised service are the focus of this stunning resort.Six Senses Samui in Koh Samui
Just over an hour’s drive north of Phuket, Khao Lak enjoys miles of beautiful white sandy beaches. Although its popularity is growing quickly, it retains a quieter, slower pace of life than its southern neighbour. The Similan Islands, offshore, offer superlative diving and the nearby Khao Lak National Park is a stunning combination of sea cliffs, mangroves and beaches.
TOP TIP: The Sarojin is a luxurious boutique resort that evokes the feeling of a private estate. With breakfast available all day (which includes sparkling wine), an impressive pool and an impeccable attention to detail, what’s not to love?The Sarojin in Khao Lak
With beautiful scenery and great beaches, Phuket draws tourists from around the world. Bustling Karon and Patong offer great shopping and vibrant nightlife, while to the north and south the beaches become quieter and the hotels more secluded. North of Phuket lies ancient Khao Sok National Park, a great accompaniment to a beach holiday in this region.
TOP TIP: For something a little different, why not try a magical tropical wonderland of innovative and inspiring design? Keemala is a boutique bolthole that features a remarkable variety of thatched pool villas, enchanting treehouses, canvas-covered hideaways and stunning treetop villas, some loosely resembling birds’ nests. A stay at Keemala presents a unique and invigorating experience.
Keemala Bird’s Nest Pool Villa in Phuket
These top spots and tips were compiled with the help of the team of travel experts at Trailfinders. Their travel centre is at 5 Union Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 724 000; trailfinders.com