Thailand holiday packages are an opportunity to explore some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in the world—little wonder the area has become such a mesmerising tourist attraction for the masses. One of the most popular destinations is Phuket, an island blessed with pristine tropical beaches, jaw-dropping scenery, and lush, green woodland.
Because of its popularity, though, you will sadly have to look elsewhere if you want to see all this natural beauty without hordes of tourists, cheap hotels, and gaudy nightclubs.. Fortunately, Thailand is not short of scenic options…
The island of Koh Racha is only 12 kilometres from Phuket, but is overlooked by most visitors. With white sand beaches and shimmering, turquoise waters, the scenery is just as beautiful as bustling Phuket, but Ao Siam bay offers you the chance to find solitude and enjoy paradise surrounded by quiet. Enchanting bungalows and high-end hotels provide comfortable accommodation.
After Phuket, the darling of the Andaman Sea is island group known as Phi Phi. Chosen as the set for the hit film The Beach, the sultry shores and hidden coves are too captivating to miss, and with Pileh Lagoon—described as nature’s swimming ground—together with Monkey Bay (a beach where fearless, friendly monkeys roam and greet tourists up close), there is plenty to enjoy.
Surrounded by large granite rocks jutting from the clear waters, Koh Samui is another natural wonder that is fast getting a reputation as a party island. Most visitors head for the moon-shaped arc of Chaweng beach on the east coast to chill out to reggae and blues, while those looking for tranquillity make their way south to Chaweng Noi, home to an unusual (and impressive) Big Buddha temple complex. A day trip to the Angthong National Marine Park should be on the top of your list of things to do, so you can soak up the atmosphere of untouched wilderness.
Phang Nga Bay
If you do happen to stay in or around Phuket, be sure to take a trip over to Phang Nga Bay. One of the most notable features of this area is the giant limestone outcropping that protrudes skywards from the emerald-green waters. Be prepared to run into groups of tourists on the James Bond island boat tour—we recommend instead hiring a sea-kayak and exploring the network of collapsed cave systems (known as hongs) to discover hidden gems with daylight creeping through the cave roof.
Khao Lak is a mesmerising beach resort where visitors go to escape the bustle of Phuket. There is plenty here with shopping, bars, restaurants, widespread internet connections and ATMs dotted all over the place. Khao Lak is also the gateway to other must-see islands including Similan and Surin, making it the ideal base to stay in during cheap Thailand holidays. What’s more, the pristine coral reefs rank as some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving experiences in the world.
The sheer number of scenic places to visit has put Thailand firmly on the tourist map, but when you need to escape crowded beaches and hedonistic atmospheres to find your own personal paradise, there are no shortage of alternative options either.
For more information about Thailand, visit Just Can’t Settle – A travel guide covering Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia