Thai time – it’s a must on your travel calendar
From exquisite beaches to lively activities and fab food - it’ll be one of your best
Soak up the luxury and beauty of this idyllic destination
Imagine… sun-kissed beaches, deep blue skies, gentle waves or dozing under a coconut tree. What about a spa that relaxes you into dreamland? Or the reverse, where you party like a crazy person. Let’s add in fabulous foodie indulgences from simple regional flavours and local roadside eateries to romantic sunset dinners. Plus, resorts that feel like you are in heaven. If you’re thinking ‘yes please’, then idyllic resorts in Thailand are for you.
Koh samui, here I come!
The third-largest island within the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui (koh is the Thai word for ‘island’) is undoubtedly one of the most popular and beautiful places in the region. Also known as the ‘Oriental Pearl of Phuket’, Samui hosts a great number of beautiful natural and man-made attractions, so there’s nothing to stop nature lovers, families, friends, in fact everybody, from having a fantastic time on the island.
Whether you decide to sit back and relax or get amongst it, the southern end of Samui and the small boutique hotel Avani+ is definitely worth your visit. Go island hopping on a longtail boat to close-by Koh Tan and Koh Madsum, to walk or snorkel and wonder at the sea life. Then lie back on a rustic beach lounge and listen to the local reggae music while the island pigs (yes, pigs!) wander around your feet like household pets.
Maybe spend your morning with the hotel’s chef at the local Samui food market in Hua Thanon. Once the shopping is done, it’s back to the resort for an outdoor traditional Thai cooking class and insider tips - before you feast on what you created!
In the afternoon, choose a traditional Thai or signature massage, a lounge by the two pools or enjoy your own private plunge pool.
In the evening, try a pre-dinner drink at the hotel’s funky VW bar - a hollowed-out 1970s Volkswagen bus. Then follow up with a delicious beachside barbecue dinner and an incredible fire show!
Now head for Hua hin
Or, possibly, it’s a little further north on the mainland that you’ll adore. Just a short 2.5-hour drive down the
coast from Bangkok is the pretty resort of Hua Hin. Long favoured by the royal family as a holiday destination, King Rama VII built a summer palace named Klai Kangwon, which means ‘far from worries’. As Thailand’s first seaside destination, with white sandy beaches, safe swimming and plenty of fun activities, Hua Hin is one of the locals’ favourite getaways.
Full of lively markets, parks and great golf courses, in this mix of city and sea you’ll find a hub of splendid activities, along with delicious street food, superb eateries and delightful local beachside restaurants.
The place to stay is the new Avani+ resort amid lush gardens facing onto a large lagoon pool, surrounded by oh-so-desirable holiday activities.
While you’re there, it’s well worth a morning visit to the Monsoon Valley Vineyard showcasing its many grape varieties, before heading to the restaurant for a delicious meal with matching wines. On your way back to the city you can visit Hua Hin railway station, opened in 1911 and considered the country’s most picturesque train station.
If you’re looking for a more energetic day, don’t miss the Vana Nava Water Jungle. It’s one of the largest water parks in Thailand and boasts some of the country’s longest water slides. It’s a great day out for both adults and kids, with a huge waterplay area and aqua course of ropes, obstacles, water guns and more interactive facilities.
For a bit of fun in the evening, the Hua Hin night markets are where local artists sell their work for visitors to pick up handicrafts, paintings, drawings, vintage bric-a-brac and specialty artisan items. Food vendors also offer a range of Thai street food, so there’s a treasure trove of eateries. Imagine... your next trip to Thailand!