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 personal slice of pristine sand with no one else for miles.
So for those who’re desirous to emerge from the opposite aspect of your Thailand escape feeling healed, moderately than hungover, listed below are six locations providing distinctive experiences for many who need one thing extra aware, than psychological…
The vibe: Railay is a jaw-dropping peninsula stretching out previous the favored metropolis of Krabi, but it surely feels extra like a distant island as a result of reality it’s lower off by large limestone cliffs, and due to this fact solely accessible through a 20-minute boat journey.
It’s a tangle of 4 epic seashores: Railay East, Railay West, the competitor for Greatest Seashore within the World, Pra Nang (studded with dramatic cliffs and delightful caves), and the chilled out climbing mecca, Tonsai. They’re every cut up up by jungle trails, cute tropical pathways and karst formations. Enable various 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 beneath. Solely accessible by a rocky jungle path off of the aspect of Railay West, it’s critically chilled, with barely any bars, and heaps of price range bungalows.
Greatest for: Climbers, boulderers and explorers who wish to discover their chill.
Tips on how to get there: Straightforward. Simply hop on one of many many boats departing every day from Krabi, or on board one in all 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 massive and comparatively developed with resorts and eating places, however nonetheless heaps extra laid-back than it’s cousins, Phi Phi and Phuket.
The primary island, Koh Lanta Yai is massive sufficient to be explored by bike or scooter, with heaps of actions. In addition to the same old (canoeing, jungle hikes to seashores, snorkelling) there are some distinctive alternatives for the extra socially and environmentally aware – suppose voluntary seashore clean-ups and canine strolling with Lanta Animal Welfare.
Greatest for: Yoga lovers and do-gooders. There are a handful of yogi hangouts providing every day periods and wholesome smoothies in all-round zen environment. And whereas there are many sustainably-built hippie bars and cute seashore hangouts, you’ll be able to relaxation assured you’ll by no means miss a category as a consequence of a hangover from the rager you had the night time earlier than.
Tips on how to get there: Hop on one of many many every day departure boats from Krabi, Trang, Phuket or Phi Phi, or on board one in all 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 couple of tiny resorts, bars and seashore bungalows. The coral a couple of ft off-shore is among the greatest you’ll see in Thailand – suppose rainbow colors, tons of of Nemo’s and for those who’re fortunate, even rays.
A number of days right here will likely be sufficient to reset you fully… and for those who tire of doing a complete load of nothing in paradise, Kradan’s barely bigger neighbours Koh Ngai and Koh Muk would possibly provide a change of surroundings and a few fancier consuming choices.
Greatest for: Snorkelling and snoozing. And nothing else. Kradan is silent, sleepy, and fully unspoiled.
Tips on how to get there: Koh Kradan is nicely off the backpacking path, but it surely’s nonetheless straightforward 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’ll be able to 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 massive brother is stuffed with prime eating places, spas, Buddhist temples, and tropical yoga gardens.
The most well-liked resort, Chaweng Seashore affords all the things your commonplace holidaymaker or backpacker may need: an amazing (learn: busy) seashore, nightlife, ample buying and heaps of actions. However for those who’re nonetheless studying this, we’re guessing you’re not in search of that. Don’t concern – Samui is a giant island, so there are sufficient seashores to go round.
Our suggestions? Maenam seashore is somewhat high-end, with boutique outlets and lashings of empty sand so that you can meditate the day away on, but it surely’s Bophut that holds onto its chill the toughest. You’ll be capable of meet fellow yogis right here, wander by way of 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 every 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 courses, scorching spring soaks, and kooky 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 possibly can fly immediately from Bangkok to Koh Samui on one in all as much as 5 flights a day – however we will organise all of that for you. If you happen to’re heading there by land, you’ll be able to 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 growth right here, asides from a great mixture of resorts and price range seashore 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 Seashore for watching the dawn, Sundown Seashore 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 provide yoga, and also you’ll be capable of lease a snorkel seemingly each few metres. Come dusk, you’ll be able to head to Pattaya Seashore 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 critically superb 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 be able to catch from the mainland port of Hat Yai. Already island hopping? Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket and Krabi even have ferries departing every 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, but it surely would possibly as nicely be, for all of the tranquillity it affords. Simply ask one in all our Digital wizards pictured above, Rachael. She’s one critical occasion animal and even she obtained some slumber up right here.
At first, Pai could seem 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 apply meditation and find out about Buddhism, Thai cooking and therapeutic massage. Plus, there are even some pure scorching springs to soak in.
Greatest for: Hippy sorts, 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 right 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 way in which from Chaing Mai, which is round 80 miles south.
Able to expertise this aspect of Thailand? Begin here.