Thailand is a bucket-list destination for many travellers – whether you’re planning a chic urban getaway or a laidback beach escape, Thailand is the perfect choice. Make the most of every moment in this incredible country by combining a trip to one of Thailand’s hidden gems with one of its more iconic stops.
Bangkok and Hua Hin
One of the world’s most vibrant cities, a trip to Bangkok is a whirlwind you will never forget. No other city in the world offers the same unique mix of luxurious hotels, sacred sites filled with stunning architecture, super-sized shopping malls, local markets, street food and fine dining. Sometimes dismissed as merely a stopover destination, Bangkok is an adventure waiting to happen. Travel to the Grand Palace and admire its exquisite architecture, then stroll to Wat Pho, home to the iconic Reclining Buddha.
Running through the heart of the city is the majestic Chao Phraya River, also known as the River of Kings. Treat yourself to a cruise, or for an authentic experience, catch a ferry with the locals. Do a spot of shopping in the enormous ICONSIAM, one of the city’s newest malls with designer brands, an indoor floating market, an art gallery and so much more. In the evening, indulge in some of the city’s iconic street food or feast on Michelin-starred fine dining.
After a few days of hustle and bustle in Bangkok, you may find yourself in need of a little bit of rest and relaxation. That’s why we suggest pairing your Bangkok stay with some relaxation in Hua Hin, a previously sleepy fishing town that is now Thailand’s latest cosmopolitan hotspot. The former holiday destination of Thai royalty, today you will find lively night markets, lush golf courses and exciting waterparks, making it the ideal holiday destination for the whole family. For a cultural fix, journey to Khao Takiab, where you’ll find a beautiful temple and plenty of monkeys, or for a day-trip the kids will love, try Black Mountain Water Park.
In the evening go to Hua Hin Night Market or Cicada Market for some souvenir shopping, then head to one of the town’s many restaurants for some fresh seafood. Only a three-hour drive from Bangkok, Hua Hin is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a break from city life without sacrificing great shopping, dining and family-friendly attractions.
Phuket with Khao Lak
After Bangkok, Phuket is one of Thailand’s most famous destinations – and for good reason too! This part of the country has become synonymous with white sandy beaches, glittering blue waters and swaying palm trees. But Phuket offers more than just sun and sand – discerning travellers know that to find the real Phuket, you have to look past the beaches. A must-see while in Phuket is the imposing Big Buddha, a stunning white marble structure located on top of Nakkerd Hills which can be seen from Phuket Town and Karon Beach.
Old Phuket Town is another part of the island often overlooked by visitors, but is a highlight for many who wander through its colourful streets. Here you will find everything from Chinese Taoist Shrines to hipster coffee shops. And of course, no trip to Phuket is complete without experiencing some of the island’s signature nightlife, where you can sip on a cocktail and enjoy a show or hit the dance floor and dance the night away.
But what about when you need a rest from the glitz and glamour of Phuket? Only an hour’s drive north of Phuket lies Khao Lak, a serene haven where you can recharge your batteries after a few days of living it up in Phuket. Surrounded by three national parks and home to quiet stretches of beach that seem to go on forever, you can do as much or as little as you like in Khao Lak. Soak up some sun or take advantage of the area’s crystal-clear waters and embark on a snorkeling or scuba-diving tour. Khao Lak is only a stone’s throw away from the Simlian Islands, one of the world’s top diving destinations. Take advantage of Khao Lak’s gorgeous location by spending some time in Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park, where you will be able to spot wildlife like reptiles, tropical birds and butterflies, as well as gushing waterfalls and lush greenery. When you find yourself in need of a nature retreat within easy reach of Phuket’s beaches and bars, look no further than Khao Lak.
Krabi with Koh Lanta
If you’re dreaming of an island-hopping holiday, Krabi is the place for you. A hub for tourists in search of idyllic day-trips and snorkeling safaris, Krabi is a great launching pad for those who want to explore the iconic beaches that make this part of Thailand so unique. First on your list should be Railay Beach, a secluded stretch that can only be reached by boat, surrounded by limestone cliffs perfect for thrillseeking rock-climbers. And course, on every traveller’s bucket-list are the Phi Phi Islands, immortalised by the film ‘The Beach’. Spend some time in Ao Nang, the area’s bustling tourist hub, where you can stretch out on the beach, get a rejuvenating Thai massage, wander through night markets full of local wares and dine on delicious street food.
If you’d like to complete your Krabi holiday with an island stay, Koh Lanta is an oasis that is quieter and more understated than its neighbours on the mainland. Here, you will find fewer tour boats, making it a welcome reprise from tourists crowds. Lanta Yai is the main island, where unspoiled beaches and easygoing locals are sure to make your stay a memorable one. Rent a motorbike to explore the island’s pristine white sands and lush jungles, and make sure you head to the beach in the evening so you can watch the spectacular sunset over the Andaman Sea.
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