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 person else for miles.
So for those who’re eager to emerge from the opposite facet of your Thailand escape feeling healed, slightly than hungover, listed here are six locations providing distinctive experiences for individuals who need one thing extra conscious, 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 as a result of reality it’s minimize off by big limestone cliffs, and due to this fact solely accessible by way of a 20-minute boat experience.
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 exquisite caves), and the chilled out climbing mecca, Tonsai. They’re every cut up up by jungle trails, cute tropical pathways and karst formations. Permit 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 relax on the white sand under. Solely accessible by a rocky jungle path off of the facet of Railay West, it’s critically chilled, with barely any bars, and heaps of finances bungalows.
Greatest for: Climbers, boulderers and explorers who wish to discover their chill.
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 facet of Thailand, Koh Lanta is giant and comparatively developed with inns 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 same old (canoeing, jungle hikes to seashores, snorkelling) there are some distinctive alternatives for the extra socially and environmentally acutely aware – suppose 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 may 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.
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 other than 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 – suppose rainbow colors, a whole lot of Nemo’s and for those who’re fortunate, even rays.
Just a few days right here can 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 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.
get there: Koh Kradan is properly 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 (below an hour) and Koh Lanta (additionally round an hour).
Through the off-season, you may nonetheless catch a brief boat experience from the mainland port city of Trang – kudos to the true castaways who blag a visit there with a neighborhood.
The vibe: Over on the opposite facet of Thailand, Koh Phangan’s barely extra chilled out huge brother is filled with prime eating places, spas, Buddhist temples, and tropical yoga gardens.
The most well-liked resort, Chaweng Seashore gives every little thing your commonplace holidaymaker or backpacker may need: an important (learn: busy) seaside, nightlife, ample procuring and heaps of actions. However for those who’re nonetheless studying this, we’re guessing you’re not on the lookout for that. Don’t concern – Samui is an enormous island, so there are sufficient seashores to go round.
Our suggestions? Maenam seaside is slightly 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 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 desire a stability 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: The easiest way to expertise Koh Samui’s blissed out seashores is on our Thailand Wellness tour. Dawn yoga, Thai therapeutic massage courses, sizzling 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.
Need 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 are able to organise all of that for you. If you happen to’re heading there by land, you may catch a ship from Surat Thani on the mainland, or from Koh Phangan or Koh Tao.
The furthest south you may 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 superb mixture of resorts and finances seaside bungalows.
Sufficiently small to stroll round, it’ll begin to really feel like house shortly right here, which is why we find it irresistible. 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 in every single place. A bunch of resorts supply yoga, and also you’ll be capable of hire a snorkel seemingly each few metres. Come dusk, you may 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 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.
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 price 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 properly be, for all of the tranquillity it gives. Simply ask one in every of our Digital wizards pictured above, Rachael. She’s one critical get together animal and even she acquired some slumber up right here.
At first, Pai could seem like your commonplace backpacker mecca, full of 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 find out about Buddhism, Thai cooking and therapeutic massage. Plus, there are even some pure sizzling springs to soak in.
Greatest for: Hippy sorts, various travellers and anybody bored with the noise of close by Chiang Mai.
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 way in which from Chaing Mai, which is round 80 miles south.
Able to expertise this facet of Thailand? Begin right here.