Imagine a small, tropical beach with crystal clear waters and sand so fine it feels like you’re walking on talcum powder. Feel the waves lap against your toes and listen to the monkeys chatter and the birds sing. Take a refreshing sip from your coconut, lay back and relax as the sun kisses your body.
With summer just around the corner, it’s time to dig out your suitcase, forage for your flip flops and board a plane to Thailand. Why Thailand? Well, for starters, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world, from the lush ride paddies to the exotic, palm-fringed beaches. It also happens to be home to some of the world’s friendliest people. Known as the ‘Land of Smiles’, Thailand is a country known to be very accepting of differing sexualities, meaning you’re likely to be able to avoid the awkward “sorry, was that a double or a twin room?” upon arrival.
Where to Go
From Koh Phangan’s famous Full Moon parties to the stunning beauty of Koh Phi Phi where The Beach was filmed, there are so many places to explore. With each island offering a unique taste of Thai culture, it’s no surprise that so many people flock to Thailand, spending months backpacking around with little more than a map and some suggestions from TripAdvisor and likeminded Twitter followers.
However, for those who don’t have the time to go island hopping, it can be overwhelming deciding which island to stay on. This is where companies such as the Experience Travel Group can lend a hand. Experience Travel specialise in putting together tailor-made holidays to South East Asia and, whether you’re looking to get wild in Bangkok or relax at a deluxe resort on the remote island of Koh Yao Noi, they can work with you to put together a bespoke holiday that you’ll never forget.
What to Do
One of the greatest scenic wonders in the world, no trip to Thailand would be complete without a trip to Phang Nga Bay’s spectacular limestone islands. Take a long-tail boat and explore the area’s caves and grottoes. If you’re lucky, you may even make friends with a monkey along the way. Asian Oasis offer a fantastic day cruise of the bay on a traditional Siamese junk boat, the June Bahtra, but there are many different type of tours on offer.
The Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable and impressive sights in all of Bangkok and is a breath-taking example of the beautiful architecture that Thailand is famous for. Be sure to stop off at the colourful floating markets whilst you’re in the city too; boats are piled high with vibrant tropical fruits and tantalising local food just waiting to be tasted.
Where to Stay
If you’re in the market for luxury, look no further than the SALA Phuket Resort & Spa. The five-star resort offers a wide selection of accommodation, including its signature pool villas. Boasting a private pool, king-size bed and a dreamy outdoor bathtub, these villas are perfect for those on a romantic retreat.
For those on a more modest budget, Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand has plenty of mid-range and lower-end hotels. The Chiang Mai Gate Hotel, in example, has a real classic Thai ambience, complete with charming chandeliers and warm wooden furnishings.
Thailand is a true paradise on Earth. With ancient Buddhist temples, exotic wildlife and friendly locals, it is the perfect place to escape the tail-end of the grey British winter and recharge on a secluded beach, surrounded by natural beauty with a cocktail in hand.
Click on the magazine cover below to read the April/May issue of g3 magazine where the above article is featured.