We love to travel around the world! Our next big stop, Phuket Thailand.
Sunshine, tropical climates and exotic beaches are our favorites…which is why we’re heading back to Thailand for the summer.
Our adventurous journey involves landing in Bangkok and enjoying three days of relaxation at the exclusive W Hotel before heading off to the tropical island of Phuket. Phuket has a mixed reputation because of its lively atmosphere. This beautiful island’s got so much going for it: some of the best restaurants, unforgettable sunsets, glorious beaches, fantastic luxury resorts, world-class shows, unique eco-tours, and the best diving sites in the world. Join us as we explore the top 5 places Phuket has to offer.
1. Sea kayaking Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park covers an area of 400sqkm to the northeast of Phuket. Featuring almost unique seascapes (only Ha Long Bay in Vietnam shares a similar appearance) made of tall limestone cliffs erecting from the emerald brackish waters of the bay, this site offers a stunningly beautiful place to take pleasure in eco-friendly sea-kayaking day trips. Run by John Gray, a passionate American environmental activist who, at the end of the ‘80s, was the first to explore the caves passing through the limestone islands of the bay, the Hong by Starlight tour is the occasion to discover an outstanding natural environment.
We will be onboard a comfortable boat under the supervision of experimented guides who know everything about Phang Nga Bay. We look forward to visiting on sea-kayaks paddled by the guides, mysterious caves and ‘hongs’ (‘room’ in Thai, the limestone block of some of the islands has been emptied by waters from the sea and sky, creating a lagoon surrounded by cliffs covered with tropical plants and trees), and taste delicious seafood prepared Thai style on the boat. Yummy, can’t wait!
2. Taking a speedboat to The Similan Islands
The Similan Islands are slightly less renowned than the more touristy Phi Phi, yet are without doubt one of the most beautiful and exotic destination in southern Thailand.
Getting on a day trip from Phuket to the Similans represents some kind of a venture as the journey is pretty long; nevertheless, we’re willing to take an early wake up call to visit these remote islands. Situated 70km from the coast of Phang Nga Province, the Similans are a group of nine islands (‘Similan’ means ‘nine’ in Yawi – a dialect of Malay language) completely preserved from any development due to their national park status.
With crystal waters, granite boulders, thick jungles, unique flora and fauna, the Similan Islands are a dream destination for us as nature-lovers. Especially famous in the scuba diving world for their stunning underwater sceneries and for the occasional presence of manta rays and whale sharks, the Similans also offer exceptional snorkelling spots.
3. ATV & White Water Rafting in Phang Nga
This is hubby’s favorite! An exhilarating action-packed day trip to the Tone Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary, where the tour organiser camp is set on the banks of a turbulent river. The two main activities are done in the morning, before lunch: the one-hour ATV riding tour allows us to discover the beautiful rural décor of Phang Nga Province, going through hamlets, driving in a river shallow-waters, and venturing into the southern Thailand local life; the rafting escapade follows and takes us on the tumultuous river for a thrilling and delightful experience supervised by professional tour-guides.
After all these emotions and excitement and an excellent lunch taken at the camp’s restaurant overlooking the river, we will get in a local bus for a short ride to a beautiful waterfall at which we look forward to relaxing and bathing in natural pools surrounded by lush rainforest. Bliss!
4. Khao Sok National Park
This stunning park is located some 150km north of Phuket, so this trip’s departure will mean another early wake up call; however, an excursion in the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world is worthy indeed. After the journey by minibus through the splendid mountainous landscapes of Phang Nga Province to the tour’s camp, we will start this soft-adventurous day trip with one hour of elephant trekking through the lush vegetation of the park.
Following a delicious lunch served in a charming local restaurant set on the banks of Khao Sok River, we will embark on canoes paddled by local tour-guides for a gentle cruise along the river. We’ll have our cameras ready as this stroll down Khao Sok River gives outstanding shot opportunities as well as the chance to spot a great variety of flora and fauna specimens. This is an eco-friendly trip and we look forward to getting back in time to the natural roots of our planet.
5. Santhiya Resorts & Spas
After our day trip adventures, no visit to Phuket would be complete without some relaxation and meditation. Our choice for a five day retreat is Santhiya, Traditional Thai-Style Luxury Beach Resort.
Derived from Thai words meaning “natural” and “beauty”, Santhiya Resorts & Spas are situated in the most pristine tropical corners of Thailand and our choice is Koh Yao Yai the island gems in the Andaman Sea a peaceful 25 minute boat ride from Phuket’s east coast.
Santhiya boasts absolute ocean frontage with peaceful stretches of beach interrupted only by the gentle lapping of waves on the shore. Great effort has been made to minimize the environmental footprints of the resorts, which are built around the lush tropical surroundings with mature trees and mesmerizing boulders left untouched. The resort is designed in a traditional style and contemporary Thai tropical, with steep-roofed pavilions and we have chosen a stand-alone pool villa with ocean view and alfresco ‘sala’ gazebo all constructed from luxurious teak wood. We’ll be spending a few hours every day being pampered in the spa and are looking forward to eating delicious local food of fresh fruits and vegetables and seafood.