There’s extra to Thailand than buzzing cities, crazy-beautiful seashores and even crazier events. Like dawn Shavasanas with fellow yogis, broadening your thoughts while studying all about Buddhism, and discovering your individual slice of pristine sand with no person else for miles.
So should you’re desirous to emerge from the opposite aspect of your Thailand escape feeling healed, slightly than hungover, listed here are six locations providing distinctive experiences for individuals who need one thing extra aware, than psychological…
The vibe: Railay is a jaw-dropping peninsula stretching out previous the favored metropolis of Krabi, nevertheless it feels extra like a distant island because of the truth it’s lower off by enormous limestone cliffs, and due to this fact solely accessible by way of a 20-minute boat journey.
It’s a tangle of 4 epic seashores: Railay East, Railay West, the competitor for Greatest Seaside within the World, Pra Nang (studded with dramatic cliffs and delightful caves), and the chilled out climbing mecca, Tonsai. They’re every break up up by jungle trails, cute tropical pathways and karst formations. Enable quite a lot of days right here; there’s a lot to find in a deceivingly small area.
Our favorite? Hippy hangout, Tonsai. That is the place bouldering buffs scale the cliffs and chill on the white sand under. Solely accessible by a rocky jungle path off of the aspect of Railay West, it’s severely chilled, with barely any bars, and heaps of funds bungalows.
Greatest for: Climbers, boulderers and explorers who need to discover their chill.
Tips on how to get there: Straightforward. Simply hop on one of many many boats departing day by day from Krabi, or on board one in every of our West Coast Thai island hopping tours. Krabi has a serious airport, so it’s simply reachable on a flight from Bangkok.
Koh Lanta Yai
The vibe: One other cluster of paradisaical gems on the Andaman aspect of Thailand, Koh Lanta is giant and comparatively developed with accommodations and eating places, however nonetheless heaps extra laid-back than it’s cousins, Phi Phi and Phuket.
The principle island, Koh Lanta Yai is giant sufficient to be explored by bike or scooter, with heaps of actions. In addition to the standard (canoeing, jungle hikes to seashores, snorkelling) there are some distinctive alternatives for the extra socially and environmentally acutely aware – assume voluntary seaside clean-ups and canine strolling with Lanta Animal Welfare.
Greatest for: Yoga lovers and do-gooders. There are a handful of yogi hangouts providing day by day periods and wholesome smoothies in all-round zen environment. And whereas there are many sustainably-built hippie bars and cute seaside hangouts, you possibly can relaxation assured you’ll by no means miss a category as a consequence of a hangover from the rager you had the evening earlier than.
Tips on how to get there: Hop on one of many many day by day departure boats from Krabi, Trang, Phuket or Phi Phi, or on board one in every of our West Coast Thai island hopping tours.
Koh Kradan, Trang Islands
The vibe: A tiny slip of sand within the Adriatic, dotted with hammocks and makeshift swings, Kradan is empty aside from a number of tiny resorts, bars and seaside bungalows. The coral a number of ft off-shore is among the greatest you’ll see in Thailand – assume rainbow colors, a whole lot of Nemo’s and should you’re fortunate, even rays.
A number of days right here shall be sufficient to reset you solely… and should you tire of doing an entire load of nothing in paradise, Kradan’s barely bigger neighbours Koh Ngai and Koh Muk may supply a change of surroundings and a few fancier consuming choices.
Greatest for: Snorkelling and snoozing. And nothing else. Kradan is silent, sleepy, and completely unspoiled.
Tips on how to get there: Koh Kradan is nicely off the backpacking path, nevertheless it’s nonetheless simple to get to in excessive season, which stretches from November to April. Throughout this era, ferries run from Phuket (three hours), Phi Phi (2 hours), Trang on the mainland (underneath an hour) and Koh Lanta (additionally round an hour).
Throughout the off-season, you possibly can nonetheless catch a brief boat journey from the mainland port city of Trang – kudos to the true castaways who blag a visit there with an area.
The vibe: Over on the opposite aspect of Thailand, Koh Phangan’s barely extra chilled out huge brother is stuffed with high eating places, spas, Buddhist temples, and tropical yoga gardens.
The preferred resort, Chaweng Seaside provides all the pieces your commonplace holidaymaker or backpacker may need: an excellent (learn: busy) seaside, nightlife, ample procuring and heaps of actions. However should you’re nonetheless studying this, we’re guessing you’re not on the lookout for that. Don’t concern – Samui is a giant island, so there are sufficient seashores to go round.
Our ideas? Maenam seaside is a little bit high-end, with boutique outlets and lashings of empty sand so that you can meditate the day away on, nevertheless it’s Bophut that holds onto its chill the toughest. You’ll have the ability to meet fellow yogis right here, wander via the quaint colonial village, and pack in as a lot yin yoga as you want, all earlier than your wholesome Thai curry lunch.
Greatest for: Vacation-seekers who need a steadiness of wellness and rest, and enjoyable excursions. With so many waterfalls to chase and the idyllic Ang Thong Marine Park simply offshore, Samui can simply eat up per week of your itinerary.
Getting there: One of the simplest ways to expertise Koh Samui’s blissed out seashores is on our Thailand Wellness tour. Dawn yoga, Thai therapeutic massage lessons, scorching spring soaks, and eccentric strolls round Samui’s Fisherman’s Village make sure you’ll be extra healed, and fewer hungover out of your journey to Thailand.
Wish to go it alone? You may fly immediately from Bangkok to Koh Samui on one in every of as much as 5 flights a day – however we will organise all of that for you. Should you’re heading there by land, you possibly can catch a ship from Surat Thani on the mainland, or from Koh Phangan or Koh Tao.
The furthest south you will get earlier than hitting the shores of Malaysia, Koh Lipe is the quintessential Andaman jewel, and a smaller, extra chilled model of Koh Lanta. Asides from the token 7-Eleven, and the quaint Buddhist temple within the small central village, there’s subsequent to no improvement right here, asides from a very good mixture of resorts and funds seaside bungalows.
Sufficiently small to stroll round, it’ll begin to really feel like house rapidly right here, which is why we adore it. There’s Dawn Seaside for watching the dawn, Sundown Seaside for – yep, you guessed it – and a heap of recent seafood to tuck into lining the lanes and seashores all over the place. A bunch of resorts supply yoga, and also you’ll have the ability to lease a snorkel seemingly each few metres. Come dusk, you possibly can head to Pattaya Seaside for low-key events that final till the early hours. Oh… and blue, bio-luminescent plankton alongside all the shore.
Greatest for: Wannabe mermaids and animal whisperers. There’s some severely wonderful snorkelling and diving, and for these with the time, a visit to wildlife-filled Tarutao Nationwide Park, lower than two hours away, is to not be missed.
Tips on how to get there: Koh Lipe is 2 hours from the mainland by ferry, which you’ll catch from the mainland port of Hat Yai. Already island hopping? Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket and Krabi even have ferries departing day by day to this little gem – they take round 4 hours however the journey is so value it.
So Pai, nestled up within the northern Thailand province of Mae Hong Son, isn’t an island like the remaining, nevertheless it may as nicely be, for all of the tranquillity it provides. Simply ask one in every of our Digital wizards pictured above, Rachael. She’s one critical celebration animal and even she acquired some slumber up right here.
At first, Pai might appear like your commonplace backpacker mecca, stuffed with leafy hostels and hammock-filled hangouts. However there are additionally wellness centres, the Chedi Phra That Mae Yen temple, loads of locations to observe meditation and study Buddhism, Thai cooking and therapeutic massage. Plus, there are even some pure scorching springs to soak in.
Greatest for: Hippy varieties, different travellers and anybody uninterested in the noise of close by Chiang Mai.
Tips on how to get there: Hop on our Wellness tour– which lets you breathe within the recent mountain air earlier than whisking you off all the way down to Koh Samui.
If you wish to go it independently, you’re in for one deal with of a drive. Hop on a bus or moped to soak up the twisting, turning roads all the best way from Chaing Mai, which is round 80 miles south.
Able to expertise this aspect of Thailand? Begin right here.