White sand beaches, turquoise waters, limestone cliffs, waterfalls and exotic wildlife - Thailand is the perfect holiday destination for those planning a two week holiday or an epic backpacking trip.
Carmen Rodrigues, Branch Manager at St Helier Travelmaker, was invited to Thailand by the Tourist Authority of Thailand to learn and experience what it has to offer. Carmen visited Krabi and Chiang Mai, as well as the beautiful island of Koh Yao Noi.
Krabi Town is a bustling transport hub on Thailand’s southern west coast where there is no shortage of restaurants, gift shops and bars.
Yoga is incredibly popular in this part of the world. There is an array of yoga centres and retreats and many hotels offer yoga classes as part of their amenities. Island hoping tours from Krabi are also great days out - the Islands of Daeng, Paradise and Hong Lagoon are highly recommended. Krabi town itself is fairly relaxed with an excellent range of restaurants and bars often playing music and sport.
Where to stay
For high-end luxury the 5* Phulay Bay Ritz Carlton is perfect.
Alternatively, there is the 4* Beyond, which is a modern beachfront property, or 3.5* Centra by Centara Phu Pano is a good budget option.
Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi is a nature filled island in the Andaman Sea also known as Thailand’s best-kept secret.
Local villages offer an authentic insight into the life of locals with Koh Yao Noi villagers farming, fishing, tapping rubber and swinging in hammocks strung up under their stilted homes.
The island’s beaches are well known for their golden sand and turquoise water, offering a range of activities from diving and snorkelling to sea kayaking and rock climbing.
Some resorts offer rice planting and Thai cooking lessons, which are a must do if available.
Where to stay
Paradise Koh Yao is a boutique resort and spa in close proximity to a national tropical rainforest – it’s perfect for those seeking relaxation, privacy and love being surrounded by nature.
There are also a number of budget family-run bungalows on the island, such as Sabai Corner Bungalows.
Chiang Mai is Thailand’s northern capital and the ideal escape from the whirlwind pace of Bangkok.
There are countless (over 300) Buddhist Temples in Chiang Mai.
The top temples to visit include Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Pra Singh.
To learn and discover more of Chiang Mai, City Tours are excellent. The Tuk Tuk Club tour for example explores the rural outskirts of Chiang Mai and includes bathing with elephants.
Where to stay
The 5* RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort is only a 20 minute transfer from the airport and offers beautiful rooms inspired by the Lanna Kingdom culture.
Thailand – Know Before You Go
To enter Thailand for up to 30 days, British Citizens are visa exempt. The only requirement for visitors is to hold a passport with six-month validity and two blank pages.
There are no compulsory vaccinations to travel to Thailand but it is advisable to visit a GP well in advance of travel in case vaccinations or malaria tablets are required.
Visitors should also avoid tap water and ice.
Thailand’s weather is at its best between the months of December and April.
Modest clothing must be worn, including covering knees and shoulders, when visiting temples or religious buildings.
The currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht.
A travel money card, available from Travelmaker, is recommended to avoid high ATM fees and ensure better protection from card fraud.
On the whole, Thailand is a very affordable holiday destination, for example local beer is approximately £1.50. In general, 10% is considered a reasonable tip for most services.
The Travelmaker team have a wealth of experience in arranging travel for islanders and are able to offer expert advice on Thailand as well as many other holiday destinations.
To find out more contact the team at Travelmaker on 01534 784300.