Eva Air and we have a winning combination worthy of a spot on anyone’s must-visit list.
But why settle for just one region when it’s easy to do all three over the course of a couple of weeks? Here then are my three favorite spots to make sure you get the best out of everything Thailand has to offer. And with easy transport links between them – be it short haul flights or fantastic train journeys – you can choose any order you like for your visit.
Thailand’s island paradise sits in the Gulf of Thailand, a short hop from Bangkok. The realization of picture postcard beautiful, it attracts travelers and vacationers of every ilk keen to sample its many wonders. From the buzz of touristy Chaweng Beach to the authenticity of Bophut Fisherman’s Village to the calm of tropical Maenam, there really is something for everyone.
There’s no shortage of luxurious hotels peppered along Koh Samui’s coastline, but none surpasses the Six Senses Samui. The epitome of understated luxury, it hugs the island’s northernmost peninsula – a series of chic villas dotted along the coast offering jaw dropping views, total privacy and every possible amenity including, in most cases, your own private pool. If you opt for a villa without, don’t despair – the vast oceanfront infinity pool more than makes up for it.
Elsewhere, eating is al fresco and about as romantic as it gets at award-winning Dining on the Rocks where you “come for the view but remember the food,” or traditional Thai at the relaxed Dining on the Hill, with much of the produce sourced from their own animals and extraordinary gardens (a triumph of eco practices and sustainability worth visiting in their own right.)
This weekly market in the fishing village of Bophut is the place to be between 5pm and 11pm every Friday night. Go hungry and be bold and you can try some of southern Thailand’s best street food, from racks of toasty insects washed down with an ice cold Chang to legendary mango sticky rice with a sweet chai tea. Once sated, stroll the crammed alleyways lined with stalls of every kind – pick up a questionable designer watch or a local designer outfit, unique handicrafts and homemade oddities or just let the crowd carry you along and see where you end up.
Thailand’s capital city is a true mecca. Vast, neon, indefatigable, cosmopolitan, traditional, filthy, dynamic – there aren’t enough adjectives to apply to it. As with all such cities it divides opinion, but to miss out on it is to deny yourself a glimpse into Asia as the global powerhouse of the 21st century and the chance to decide for yourself. For me it’s one of the world’s great cities – it just demands a little planning and a lot of zen to make the most of it.
As you’d expect, there are myriad amazing hotels to choose from in Bangkok, each offering five star luxury and everything you could possibly desire. But if you’re doing the purest luxury experience in Koh Samui, it’s well worth trying something different in the big city.
A recent trend has seen some of Bangkok’s most characterful and interesting buildings – often century-old Chinese shophouses – turned into fantastic private spaces, available to rent. Usually spread over three or four levels, the ground floor opens directly onto the street for use as a business – be it a restaurant, shop or anything else you can think of. Upper levels are for living – small kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and if you’re lucky a rooftop terrace. Typically these renovations are done with the utmost care and respect for the original architecture and designs, gorgeously rendered, furnished and mostly set in the heart of Chinatown, perfectly located for a fun few days of urban exploration.
You’ll often hear people say (in particular travel journalists!) that a market visit is the quickest way to get to the heart of a city. But when a city has hundreds, how do you decide which one to choose? In Bangkok it’s a given – the Chatuchak weekend market is the world’s largest with a frankly ridiculous 15,000 stalls to browse! In one visit you could furnish a home, fill a hundred wardrobes, eat a thousand different meals and still only scratch its surface. From the latest fashion trends sold direct from Asia’s hottest young designers to the best vintage clothes you’ll find anywhere, its range is superb and thanks to a clever, logical layout it’s surprisingly easy to navigate and manage. Just remember to wear comfy shoes.
Heading north from Bangkok, most visitors make Chiang Mai their last destination – but they’re missing a trick by stopping short of multicultural Pai in the far north of Mae Hong Son Province. Rent a moped in Chiang Mai and spend a day riding winding roads into rural Thailand through rice paddies, waterfalls, mountain ranges and more before puttering into this chilled out hippy town fringed by natural wonders on the banks of the Pai River.
What better way to embrace the natural surroundings than with a stay in a bonafide treehouse? The mad-as-a-hatter Pai Treehouse Resort is exactly that – a series of rooms, treehouses and villas spread over huge landscaped gardens that reach down to the river’s edge. It’s basic but comfy, not for the less mobile (you have to climb rickety wooden steps to get to most rooms) and gets you up close and personal with the local wildlife (bring mosquito spray) but as a unique experience it’s tough to beat. And the sunrises and sunsets seen from the very top treehouse are reason enough to brave the climb.
Do: Tha Pai Hot Spring
On the outer fringes of Pai, not far from the Pai Treehouse Resort, the Tha Pai Hot Spring is a welcome salve for weary bikers and travelers heading north. A series of natural springs that trickle and pool their way down a hillside, you can pick your temperatures and soak to your heart’s content from lower pools in the high 80 degrees fahrenheit getting hotter as they ascend. There’s no entry to the upper pools, but at 180 degrees that’s likely a good thing – instead do as the locals do and boil some eggs for your dinner!
Thailand has lengthy reigned because the king of Southeast Asian trip locations, and rightly so. Its mixture of scorching golden seashores and bath-warm waters to the south, the lure of buzzing Bangkok within the middle and the jungle, waterfall and scorching spring-rich north make it a dream vacation spot. Throw within the phenomenal meals, countrywide hospitality and low-cost flights from the likes of Eva Air and we’ve got a successful mixture worthy of a spot on anybody’s must-visit record.
However why settle for only one area when it’s simple to do all three over the course of a few weeks? Right here then are my three favourite spots to be sure to get the perfect out of all the pieces Thailand has to supply. And with simple transport hyperlinks between them – be it brief haul flights or implausible practice journeys – you may select any order you want to your go to.
Thailand’s island paradise sits within the Gulf of Thailand, a brief hop from Bangkok. The belief of image postcard stunning, it attracts vacationers and vacationers of each ilk eager to pattern its many wonders. From the excitement of touristy Chaweng Seashore to the authenticity of Bophut Fisherman’s Village to the calm of tropical Maenam, there actually is one thing for everybody.
There’s no scarcity of luxurious inns peppered alongside Koh Samui’s shoreline, however none surpasses the Six Senses Samui. The epitome of understated luxurious, it hugs the island’s northernmost peninsula – a collection of stylish villas dotted alongside the coast providing jaw dropping views, complete privateness and each attainable amenity together with, normally, your personal non-public pool. In case you go for a villa with out, don’t despair – the huge oceanfront infinity pool greater than makes up for it.
Elsewhere, consuming is al fresco and about as romantic because it will get at award-winning Eating on the Rocks the place you “come for the view however bear in mind the meals,” or conventional Thai on the relaxed Eating on the Hill, with a lot of the produce sourced from their very own animals and extraordinary gardens (a triumph of eco practices and sustainability price visiting in their very own proper.)
This weekly market within the fishing village of Bophut is the place to be between 5pm and 11pm each Friday evening. Go hungry and be daring and you’ll attempt a few of southern Thailand’s finest road meals, from racks of toasty bugs washed down with an ice chilly Chang to legendary mango sticky rice with a candy chai tea. As soon as sated, stroll the crammed alleyways lined with stalls of each variety – decide up a questionable designer watch or a neighborhood designer outfit, distinctive handicrafts and selfmade oddities or simply let the group carry you alongside and see the place you find yourself.
Thailand’s capital metropolis is a real mecca. Huge, neon, indefatigable, cosmopolitan, conventional, filthy, dynamic – there aren’t sufficient adjectives to use to it. As with all such cities it divides opinion, however to overlook out on it’s to disclaim your self a glimpse into Asia as the worldwide powerhouse of the 21st century and the possibility to resolve for your self. For me it’s one of many world’s nice cities – it simply calls for a little bit planning and plenty of zen to take advantage of it.
As you’d count on, there are myriad superb inns to select from in Bangkok, every providing 5 star luxurious and all the pieces you may presumably want. However in case you’re doing the purest luxurious expertise in Koh Samui, it’s nicely price attempting one thing totally different within the large metropolis.
A current pattern has seen a few of Bangkok’s most characterful and attention-grabbing buildings – typically century-old Chinese language shophouses – was implausible non-public areas, out there to lease. Normally unfold over three or 4 ranges, the bottom ground opens instantly onto the road to be used as a enterprise – be it a restaurant, store or the rest you may consider. Higher ranges are for dwelling – small kitchens, loos, bedrooms and in case you’re fortunate a rooftop terrace. Usually these renovations are performed with the utmost care and respect for the unique structure and designs, gorgeously rendered, furnished and principally set within the coronary heart of Chinatown, completely positioned for a enjoyable few days of city exploration.
You’ll typically hear individuals say (specifically journey journalists!) market go to is the quickest option to get to the center of a metropolis. However when a metropolis has lots of, how do you resolve which one to decide on? In Bangkok it’s a given – the Chatuchak weekend market is the world’s largest with a frankly ridiculous 15,000 stalls to browse! In a single go to you may furnish a house, fill 100 wardrobes, eat a thousand totally different meals and nonetheless solely scratch its floor. From the most recent trend traits offered direct from Asia’s hottest younger designers to the perfect classic garments you’ll discover anyplace, its vary is great and due to a intelligent, logical format it’s surprisingly simple to navigate and handle. Simply bear in mind to put on cozy sneakers.
Heading north from Bangkok, most guests make Chiang Mai their final vacation spot – however they’re lacking a trick by stopping in need of multicultural Pai within the far north of Mae Hong Son Province. Lease a moped in Chiang Mai and spend a day driving winding roads into rural Thailand by means of rice paddies, waterfalls, mountain ranges and extra earlier than puttering into this chilled out hippy city fringed by pure wonders on the banks of the Pai River.
What higher option to embrace the pure environment than with a keep in a bonafide treehouse? The mad-as-a-hatter Pai Treehouse Resort is strictly that – a collection of rooms, treehouses and villas unfold over enormous landscaped gardens that attain right down to the river’s edge. It’s fundamental however cozy, not for the much less cellular (you must climb rickety wood steps to get to most rooms) and will get you up shut and private with the native wildlife (carry mosquito spray) however as a singular expertise it’s powerful to beat. And the sunrises and sunsets seen from the very prime treehouse are purpose sufficient to courageous the climb.
Do: Tha Pai Sizzling Spring
On the outer fringes of Pai, not removed from the Pai Treehouse Resort, the Tha Pai Sizzling Spring is a welcome salve for weary bikers and vacationers heading north. A collection of pure springs that trickle and pool their manner down a hillside, you may decide your temperatures and soak to your coronary heart’s content material from decrease swimming pools within the excessive 80 levels fahrenheit getting hotter as they ascend. There’s no entry to the higher swimming pools, however at 180 levels that’s doubtless a great factor – as a substitute do because the locals do and boil some eggs to your dinner!