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Thailand

T R AV E L

G U I D E


Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket - Dusit Suite

dusitD2 Phuket Resort - DBar

Dusit Thani Hua Hin - Devarana Spa

Benjarong Restaurant - Bangkok

Bringing Thai hospitality to the world For over 65 years, Dusit Hotels & Resorts has been synonymous with world-class hospitality, delivered with warm Thai service and grace.

Destinations in Thailand: Bangkok � Chiang Mai � Chiang Rai � Hua Hin � Korat � Pattaya � Phuket Countries: China � Egypt � India � Kenya � Maldives � Philippines � Thailand � U.A.E. � U.S.A.


WELCOME TO THAILAND

Land of

the smiles T

hailand is not a well-kept travel secret. Those who’ve visited tend to enthuse about its gorgeous beaches, amazing value and friendly people. They’ll pull out their shopping bargains and scroll through snaps of themselves on longtail boats on turquoise seas, washing elephants or lounging in cool bars or designer hotels. For those with a ‘been there, done that’ attitude, Thailand’s always pulling something new out of the hat. Hotels are constantly debuting across all price brackets (with luxury and boutique particularly well represented) and whole new areas await exploration. On the coast, Khao Lak, above Phuket, has been growing with laid-back upmarket hotels and the best access to Thailand’s world-class dive sites – one of many great spots for honeymooners. In the leafier inland areas, Isan province is a rising star while in the far north Pai, a riverside town offering activities like tubing, hiking and biking adventures is ever-popular. While deciding where to go may be a challenge (tip: many people make Thailand a multi-centre itinerary combining culture, shopping and beach) deciding when to go is not so taxing as the sun shines year-round. Hit the Andaman coast in the winter and switch to Koh Samui in summer if you want to chase the best rays, but anywhere, anytime is fine. Even the ‘green season’ downpours are short and sharp and the sun soon quickly reappears. Off-peak is a great time to chase even better deals and added-value extras like complimentary pampering in one of Thailand excellent hotel spas. We hope this guide proves a handy first step to get you planning travel to Thailand. For more information and inspiration visit tourismthailand.co.uk

Hit the Andaman coast in the winter and switch to Koh Samui in summer if you want to chase the best rays, but anywhere, anytime is fine CONTENTS Features 07 Thai Choices 08 Beaches 11 Spas & Massages 12 Activity & Adventure 13 Eco Tourism 14 Weddings & Honeymoons 17 Stopovers & Multi-stays 18 Family Holidays

Hotspots 20 Bangkok 21 Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai 22 Hua Hin & Cha Am 23 Koh Samui 24 Krabi 25 Pattaya 26 Phuket

Useful info RAYAVADEE

04 Map of Thailand 28 Getting There 30 Thai Expert

Publisher: Sally Parker Editoral Director: Steve Hartridge Contributing Editor: Alan Orbell Group Editor: Jo Austin Journalists: Andy Hoskins, Julie Baxter & Laura Gelder Advertisement Manager: Lisa Merrigan Creative Director: Matt Bonner Art Director: Dan Franklin Senior Designer: Tina-Lee McDougall Junior Designer: Louisa Horton Production Manager: Clare Hunter Circulation Manager: Cheryl Staniforth Managing Director: Martin Steady. BMI is a member of the CTO, Visit USA Association, LATA, PATA, MENATA, SATOA, the Foreign Airlines Association and the Institute of Travel & Tourism. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, BMI Publishing cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. © 2015. Front cover: Bigstock.com BMI Publishing Ltd 2015, Suffolk House, George St, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1SR, UK T 020 8649 7233 F 020 8649 7234 E enquiries@bmipublishing.co.uk W www.sellinglonghaul.com www.bmipublishing.co.uk

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recycle Please recycle this magazine


MAP: THAILAND

At a

CHIANG RA

Mae Hong Son

CHIANG M

MYANMAR (BURMA)

glance

Your quick reference guide to Thailand’s geography and the activities on offer across the country

I

AI

LAOS

Lampang Nong Khai

NORTH Sukhothai

NORTH EAST Ubon Ratchathani Ayutthaya

VIETNAM

CENTRAL PLAINS Kanchanaburi

BANGKOK

EAST CHA AM HUA HIN

CAMBODIA

PATTAYA Ko Samet

Trat

Ko Chang

GULF OF THAILAND

Ko Kood

Ko Tao Surin

Thailand’s diversity is incredible, from brilliant beaches to lush jungles, rice paddies to remote islands. It really rewards those who explore

Ko Pha-ngan

KOH SAMUI

Khao Sok Phang-nga

PHUKET

MAP KEY

Surat Thani

Khao Lak

Train line

KRABI

Ko Phi Phi Ko Lanta

Trang

SOUTH

MALAYSIA

4

Beaches

Airport

Cycling

Family fun

Nightlife

Snorkelling or Diving

Delicious food

Rafting

Golf


ADVERTISEMENT

AAVA RESORT & SPA

THE DEWA

Savisalo Properties (Thailand) Co., Ltd. 28/3 Moo 6, Tambon Khanom, Amphur Khanom,Nakhon Si Thammarat 80210, Thailand Atte.savisalo@aavaresort.com • www.aavaresort.com

Dewa Nai Yang Beach Resort, Phuket • www.thedewa.com Lillian Woon Carpenter, General Manager hp: +66 86 2726996 • e: Lillian@dewaphuket.com

KHANOM, in south-east Thailand, is an undiscovered destination, ideal for couples and families. Offering untouched beaches, crystal clear waters, swaying palms, lush landscapes and even pink dolphins it is much like Samui and Phuket 40 years ago! With 28 luxury villas, Aava Resort sits on beautiful Nadan Beach, a 9km stretch of pristine sands and clear azure waters. The Scandinavian owners fell in love with beautiful, untouched Khanom while backpacking. It's untouched by mass tourism and Aava offers Scandinavian quality and excellence, complimented by Thai influences. Khao Luang and Khao Sok National Park are easily accessible. Aava is accessed from Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat by air from Bangkok or by boat from Koh Samui.

DEWA Phuket is just a few steps from the stunning arc of Nai Yang Beach, next to the Sirinath National Park on the less commercialised north-west coast of Phuket. it is only 5 minutes from Phuket International Airport and the famed Blue Canyon Country Club and offers 34 resort pool villas and 62 one- and two-bedroom suites, making it the ideal holiday resort for honeymooners and families alike. With its genuinely friendly boutique-style hospitality and design, Dewa Phuket offers a large free-form pool, a 25m lap pool, large Jacuzzi area, toddler pool, two fitness rooms, kids room, spa, undercover recreation area, bakery, bar, wine shop and restaurant with alfresco or air-conditioned dining with views of the beach and the Andaman Sea.

-PHANGAN-

KANDA RESIDENCES

BURI RASA PHANGAN

Isara Pangchan, General Manager 80/32, Moo 5, Boput, Koh Samui, Suratthani, 84320, Thailand • t: +66 77 234 500 • f: +66 77 234 493 e: gm@kandaresidences.com • www.kandaresidences.com

555 Rasa Tower 27th Floor, Phaholyothin Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok, 10900 Thailand • t: 66 (0) 2937 0181 • f: 66 (0) 2937 0182 e: info@rasahospitality.com • www.rasahospitality.com

THE Kanda Residences consist of 36 stunning pool villas, ranging from one to four bedrooms, located in a beautiful serene cove in the Bophut area of Samui, just 10 minutes from the airport. They are designed in a Thai contemporary style offering large living and dining areas, full kitchen facilities and spacious terraces with swimming pools. RockPool, the resort’s iconic beachfront restaurant, delivers a magical culinary experience on a spectacular terrace overlooking the sea.

BURI Rasa Koh Phangan is the sister hotel of the well-known 5* Rasananda (same owners and management prior to Anantara management) and is a cosy boutique high-end 4* resort where contemporary and traditional design combine with a touch of elegance. The hotel offers 65 rooms, with a lovely fresh décor and relaxed ambience. A charming boutique property with a ‘village’ feel, personal service and charm are also key to Buri Rasa. It is located on the north-east of the island on peaceful Thong Nai Pan Noi beach - reputed to be the best beach on the island. Buri Rasa alongside Rasananda are the only two properties on the beach and are also just two-minutes walk from Thong Nai Pan, a charming, low-key village with good small restaurants, bars and shops.


THAI CHOICES

Pick

and mix

Thailand's choice can be overwhelming, but this handy list gives you the best options for the right clients

COUPLES AND ROMANCE

go-karting, zorbing centres and waterparks. • LOOK north for trekking, tubing, rafting and biking adventures. • OFFER national park excursions from beach resorts.

• PICK a peaceful adults-only hotel or chic

boutique retreat. • CRUISE by teak barge from Bangkok to Ayutthaya. • WED them or suggest a Thai-style blessing with drummers, Buddhist monks or traditional hand-tying rituals. • GAY couples are welcome in Thailand – no need to ask for a double! • HIRE a longtail boat for a private island-hopping experience. • TWIN major resorts with island getaways, particularly from Phuket and Krabi. • SCHEDULE a day of spa pampering. • INCLUDE a weekend in Bangkok or Chiang Mai to visit the best markets. • STRETCH honeymoon money further with great-value room upgrades and dining. • CHOOSE up-and-coming areas with quality accommodation, like Khao Lak and Samui’s Bophut.

SOLO TRAVELLERS

ECO-CONSCIOUS

• BOOK Green Leaf-accredited hotels. • LOOK for homestays or experiences that

benefit the community or animals. • FIND out about visiting the agriculturesupporting King’s Projects. • CHECK out Thailand's Green Excellence Awards: thailandgreenawards.com.

Surprise families with great prices for suites, villas and interconnecting rooms

GOLFERS

• SHOW the great-value green fees and

caddies at celebrity-designed courses. • TEE off in year-round sunshine. • COMBINE golf with spa sessions, or use

pampering to placate non-golfing partners.

DIVE

adventure operator • BASE them in activity centres like Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pai or Krabi. • BOOK a week’s tailored wellness retreat. • SUGGEST a homestay with a local family. • RECOMMEND a learning experience on a cooking, massage or medication course.

suites, villas and inter-connecting rooms. • THINK Samui for great summer weather. • BOOK an interactive family experience at an elephant camp. • CHOOSE active Pattaya, Phuket or Krabi or go low-key at Hua Hin and Cha Am. • BOOK direct Phuket flights or an hour road transfer from Bangkok to Pattaya.

• LOOK to Phuket or Khao Lak to access the best sites, or to Koh Tao for beginners. • DIVE year-round by switching between Andaman and Gulf of Thailand sites. • MAXIMISE time at the world-class Similan and Surin islands, Burma Banks and Mergui Archipelago on a liveaboard.

FAMILIES

SILVER TRAVELLERS

• CHECK out prices for medical MOTs. • CONSIDER affordable cosmetic dentistry.

• SELL them a tour with a small-group

• SURPRISE them with great prices for

• AVOID the school holidays and sell

Thailand’s year-round sunshine. • BOOK a coach tour of the cultural sights, ending with a beach stay. • TEE off close to the beach or fish in lakes round Bangkok. • BOOK cooking, fruit carving or flower garland-making lessons in their hotel. • LET them pay their respects on a Bridge over the River Kwai excursion.

ACTIVE HOLIDAYMAKERS

• SUGGEST snorkelling or kayaking trips

from Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi and Samui. • BASE them on lively beaches with

watersports and nearby facilities like

7

MEDICAL TOURISTS


BEACHES

It's a shore

thing

From the neon-lights and pumping music of party beaches to lantern-lit secluded coves,Thailand has it all

W

hatever holiday style your client loves, Thailand has a beach to match...

KOH SAMET

Pick-up truck taxis lead to white-sand beaches. Suggest Hat Sai Kaeo for low budgets, Paradee’s villas for romantics.

PATTAYA

KOH KOOD

PATTAYA BEACH: Nearest to The Strip’s

A low-development luxury choice, home to Shantaa and Soneva Kiri resorts.

nightlife, this is Pattaya’s busiest, most central beach. This is the party beach. JONTIEM: A family favourite, good for watersports and still close to the action. NORTH PATTAYA: A good tip for quieter, chilled holidays, still fairly central. NAKLUA & WONG AMAT: Sleepier villagey beaches, a taxi hop from central Pattaya.

KOH TAO

Near neighbour to Samui, offering snorkelling day trips and beginner diving.

KOH PHA NGAN

Famous for its full moon and other beach parties at Hat Rin. Jungle interior. A ferry hop from Samui.

HUA HIN

HUA HIN BEACH: A favourite with Thais, including the royals. High-rise but laid back with spas and a foodie night market. CHA AM: Next to Hua Hin with horse-riding, good seafood and Thailand’s longest beach.

PHUKET

PATONG: the ‘in-place’ for party animals,

divers, island-hoppers and major facilities. The beach has seen a major clean-up. KARON: White sand and Pattaya at arm’s length. The north end is the quietest. KATA: Suits swimmers and surfers and

KOH SAMUI

CHAWENG: A white sand choice at the heart

of the action with restaurants, nightlife, ladyboy shows and watersports. LAMAI: For upmarket resorts and spas; and sniggering at the phallic ‘grandmother and grandfather’ rocks. The mummified monk and Na Muang waterfalls are nearby. BOPHUT: With traditional houses, good restaurants and boutique hotels, plus transfers to Koh Tao and Koh Pha Ngan. MAE NAM: Known for its backpacker bungalows, five-star hotels and pretty island views. A windsurfer’s favourite. CHOENG MON: Luxury resorts away from the party crowd. Handy for Bophut. BIG BUDDHA (BANGRAK): The costconscious hang-out here by the giant gold statue, between the airport and Chaweng. QUIET HUA THANON: A fishing village beach with a Centara and backpacker options.

Hua Hin, Thailand’s royal beach resort with beautiful white sands, is just a few hours’ drive from Bangkok LEILA GROCHOWSKI, PRODUCT MANAGER, COSMOS TOURS & CRUISES

 TOP TIPS Island hopping day trips are plentiful in the main resorts and most include snorkelling. Thailand repeaters may enjoy the lesser-worn island-hopping scene around Trang. Hua Hin and Samet are busier on weekends as Thais take time out from life in Bangkok. Low season is great for bargain

KOH CHANG

accommodation and quiet beaches

With the exception of its Centara resort, the island's hotel stock is low rise and independent. The interior is leafy and offers elephants safaris, zip lines and island hopping to neighbours.

but check ferries and excursions are still running and explain swimming may be safest in the pool.

8


BEACHES

there’s even an on-land wave-riding attraction. Much less bustle than Patong. KAMALA: Even water buffalo chill out here. White sand, restaurants and handy for FantaSea cultural park. BANG TAO & SURIN: Luxury resorts, good restaurants plus a golf course. Home to Laguna Phuket resort, with its glass wedding chapel. KALIM BEACH: Offers fine dining, a small street food market, Zorbing at Rollerball and top surfing in low season. NAI THON: Pretty, little-developed choice with rocky coves. NAI YANG: Backed by trees, a mixed locals’ and tourists’ beach, near the airport in the quiet northwest. Other quiet beaches include Hua and Siam and Yae.

KHAO LAK

Thailand's fastest-growing beach resort is a diving and honeymoon favourite north of Phuket with luxury hotels and top dive sites offshore plus three inland national parks.

TRANG

Adventurous explorers may join the Thais at this lesser-discovered islandhopping base south of Krabi. Chinese influenced with a coffee shop scene.

ISLANDS

KRABI

AO NANG: Buzzing with longtails, Krabi’s main base is good for excursions and has the most hotels and restaurants. NOPPARAT THARA: A quiet beach backed by a national park and ferries to Phi Phi island nearby. RAILAY AND PHRA NANG: Photogenic twin beaches with karst scenery accessed from Ao Nang. Rock-climbers love Railay. Phra Nang has swanky Rayavadee.

9

PHI PHI: A day-trip favourite and filming location for The Beach with great diving. KOH RACHA: Near dive and snorkel spots and quietly stylish resorts like The Racha. KOH YAO NOI: Home to a Six Senses resort and Paradise, a four-star-plus barefoot luxury resort. KOH LANTA: Large but low-key and accessed from Krabi. Honeymooners like Pimalai, divers the Hin Daeng and Hin Muang sites. KOH KRADEN: Trang’s star turn for snorkelling and good beaches. KOH MUK: An eco spot accessed from Trang or Koh Kraden. A favourite with nesting swallows.


SPAS & MASSAGES

Relax &

revive

Spa in Thailand is more than just a treat for tourists - it’s a cultural tradition and it's one no visitor should miss

I

t's easy to find smart little massage centres all over Thailand and most hotels of three-star and above will incorporate some kind of spa too. Check out the options...

HOMEGROWN TREATMENTS

Thailand has its own form of massage which uses pressure points and incorporates yoga-style stretches. Treatments are usually given with the client wearing loose pyjamas. Some spas offer massages outdoors on day beds called 'salas' or offer herbal treatments. Lessons in the Buddhist practice of meditation are incorporated into some longer-stay spa programmes.

INTERNATIONAL TREATMENTS While all spas will offer traditional Thai massage they typically incorporate many other popular treatments like Ayurveda, aromatherapy and Swedish massages, facials, wraps and more.

RECENT ADDITIONS KAMALAYA KOH The wellness sanctuary and holistic spa resort in Samui has a new fitness centre as well as

NATURAL INGREDIENTS

Thailand puts an emphasis on natural ingredients. Locally-sourced products such as lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime are used in massage oils, compresses, wraps and facial preparations.

EXCELLENT VALUE

The final clincher for those considering spa in Thailand is its affordability. Massage centres charge around £5 an hour. Even treatments in top-notch hotels with beautiful facilities generally cost around a third less than the typical pound-a-minute UK prices.

LONGER LOUNGING

With Thailand’s affordable spa culture it’s possible to think about packages of several hours or even a whole day. Residential breaks with tailor-made programmes tackling specifics like weight loss, detoxing or de-stressing are also available at specialist resorts.

Onsen hot springs,

OASIS SPA

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This day spa chain

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Phuket, Pattaya and

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on three levels.

infra-red saunas and

four-hand ‘Golden

colonic irrigation.

Lanna’ massage set to

DUSIT 2

rarinjinda.com

music. oasisspa.net

ABSOLUTE SANCTUARY

ANANTARA RESORTS

A healthy ‘superfoods’

Anantara has a flexible

menu is new at this

‘Balance’ wellness

Moroccan-themed

concept. Guests can

39-room wellness

chose health-

resort, which

orientated menus

dusit.com/dusit-d2.html

specialises in detox,

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It also has lifestyle

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16 new superior suites

latest design-led Dusit 2 hotel. Khao Yai is two hours from Bangkok and 13km from Khao Yai National Park.

This Spa Resort retreat

DAVID CARLAW, PREMIER HOLIDAYS

 TOP TIPS Centara’s Life is a Beach package includes transfers, welcome cocktails and an hour’s aromatherapy massage for two. Foot massages are the best

A hot spring spa is part of the attraction at the

For Thai spas think natural products, impeccable service and luxury treatments

introduction to Thai massage. Multi-award winning spa hotel Chiva-Som includes therapy-style programmes such as self-healing and motivation workshops. Beach massages are sometimes offered by untrained practitioners; it’s better to pick a nearby centre.

11


ACTIVITY & ADVENTURE

Action

stations

Even the usually unadventurous will likely find themselves getting active on holiday in Thailand.

W

ith island-peppered marine parks close to major resorts and jungle terrains inland, Thailand will tempt your clients with activities ranging from snorkelling and kayaking to hill tribe visits and jungle treks.

SNORKELLING AND KAYAKING Island-hopping excursions are hugely popular from beach resorts. Most offer the chance to snorkel and some to kayak. Phuket and Krabi share the island-strewn Phang Nga Bay while from Samui excursions head into Ang Thong National Marine Park. Lesser-known Trang, south of Krabi, has its own island-hopping scene, while Pattaya has snorkelling around Koh Larn (known as Coral Island).

SAILING

Phuket is Thailand’s biggest base for sailing and has its own regatta. G Adventures, Sunsail and Intrepid offer sailing holidays from Phuket, Samui and Koh Chang with options for beginners.

DIVING

Thailand has world-class dive sites. The top draws for the experienced are the west coast areas, the Similan and Surin Islands, Burma Banks and the Merui Archipelago, where manta rays and even whale shark encounters are possible. Khao Lak and Phuket are the best access points, though divers often stay on liveaboards. Wreck dives run from Pattaya. Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and Koh Racha are other dive centres, usually twinned with Phuket or Krabi. Samui’s neighbour, Koh Tao has shallow reefs good for learners and also sometimes attracts bull sharks. Diving is possible year-round but the major sites in the west are best from November to April. Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand is at its peak in summer. Dive Worldwide and Regaldive are among the operators who sell diving trips.

FISHING

All the major resorts offer deep-sea fishing excursions and the chance to land big-game fish like marlin and tuna. Catch-and-release lake fishing is well-established, with huge catfish, carp and stingrays. Bangkok has accessible lakes like Bungsamran, best known as the setting for ITV’s Extreme Fishing.

HIKING, BIKING AND RAFTING

For inland adventure, recommend visitors look north.Thailand’s lush highlands are the place for hiking, biking and whitewater rafting. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are the main gateways and offer cultural experiences aplenty. Less well-known is Pai, a riverside town with tubing, bamboo rafting, biking and more. Biking day trips are available into Bangkok’s riverside suburbs, or around the sites of Ayutthaya and Sukothai. Tour operators featuring hiking and/or

 TOP TIPS Thailand’s warm waters make it a perfect place to learn to dive or try a liveaboard adventure. Asia’s the world’s fastest-growing golf destination with world-class and affordable courses and yearround golfing weather. Trekking is fantastic for children and adults. They learn about local life and it's a real achievement reaching remote villages. Cycling options are diverse, from Bangkok’s bustling streets to shimmering paddy fields and aweinspiring ancient monuments.

12

cycling include Intrepid, Explore, Exodus. G Adventures, HF Holidays and Spice Roads.

ROCK CLIMBING

The craggy limestone cliffs around Krabi are an assault course for some. Railay beach here attracts expert climbers. Chiang Mai and the Phi Phi islands also have a good climbing scene.

GOLF

Thailand has an impressive line-up of over 200 golf courses. Regular European, PGA and LPGA tour events are hosted here so there’s no doubting the quality of the facilties – or their value. Green fees and caddy hire are much more affordable than in the UK. Many courses are found near the major resorts. Bangkok, Pattaya and Hua Hin have the best choice but Chiang Mai is a good option for cooler play, Courses countrywide are floodlit for evening play.

Thailand's great for first-time adventurers. It's culturally enriching and visitors can hike, cycle kayak and more LISA WARNER, DIRECTOR GLOBAL MARKETING, G ADVENTURES


ECO TOURISM

Natural

assets With more than 100 national and marine parks plus UNESCO-listed areas, Thailand has plenty of natural bounty to explore

T

there are so many ways to delve deeper into the ecoexperience and travel responsibly in Thailand.

ELEPHANTS

Elephant tourism helps pay for the upkeep of animals once used for logging. Visitors can wash, feed and interact with them. ELEPHANT CAMPS: Include National Elephant Institute, Lampang, near Chiang Mai; Maesa Elephant Camp (maesaelephantcamp.com), near Chiang Mai and Elephant Hills (elephant-hills.com). Or suggest the Anantara Golden Triangle resort (anantara.com) or Four Seasons Tented Camp (fourseasons.com).

RESPONSIBLE CHOICES

Wanderlust Travel Media runs The Thailand Green Excellence Awards. Last year’s champs included Soneva Kiri, the Sarojin, Andaman Discoveries and the Soi Dog Foundation. thailandgreenawards.com

ACCOMMODATION

ROYAL PROJECTS

For hotels with sustainable practises look for the royal family-backed Green Leaf accreditation scheme. greenleafthai.org

Where opium crops once grew in the north, now Royal Projects support tea, rose, rice and spice cultivation. Visitors can hike here.

CYCLING

ECO-CHIC ACCOMMODATION

Cultural sites Ayutthaya and Sukhothai are great for cycling day trips and holidays bookable via Spice Roads (spiceroads.com) and Bike & Travel (cyclingthailand.com).

THE KOH YAO YAI VILLAGE: Eco-friendly and

community-minded, this resort has a rustic spa that uses natural products. kohyaoyaivillage.com ELEPHANT HILLS: Glamping on a floating platform on scenic Cheow Larn Lake and an elephant camp in Khao Sak National Park. elephant-hills.com SONEVA KIRI, KOK KOOD: Rustic-style luxury with a 'slow life' philosophy and a selfsustaining eco-villa. soneva.com SIX SENSES KOH YAO NOI: Eco-management combines with luxury and a mangrove nature trail. sixsenses.com

Kuoni recommends Six Senses for its innovative approach to sustainable tourism, regular eco-reviews and community involvement DAGMAR MARROCCO, COMMERCIAL & PRODUCT MANAGER

HOMESTAYS

 TOP TIPS The Hall of Opium museum near Chiang Rai explains how the region has turned away from poppy cultivation towards other crops. Discourage photos with elephants

AUDLEY TRAVEL: Features Lisu Lodge

in cities, the animals are kept in

near Chiang Mai, and Lanjia Lodge run by tribal members, and also arranges family stays and penpals for children. audleytravel.com TRAVEL INDOCHINA: Includes a minority-run lodge. travelindochina.co.uk KO YAO NOI HOMESTAYS: Homestays here have given the fishing community a new income and cut eco-damaging fishing. koh-yao-noi-eco-tourism-club.com LAMAI HOMESTAY: A TAT award-winner in rural Isan, this benefits the surrounding community. thailandhomestay.com

poor conditions. Also encourage elephant interactions rather than riding experiences. Half-day cycle excursions in Bangkok commonly take place in the leafy suburbs and a potteryproducing river island. See tourismthailand.org for more green holiday suggestions.

13


WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS

Love &

marriage Thailand is a couples and honeymooners favourite – and it’s little wonder why!

W

ith white sands and turquoise seas, orchids and longtail boats, a wedding or honeymoon in Thailand makes couples feel like they've stepped into a picture postcard. There’s an excellent range of quality accommodation and teams of people keen to ensure couples get the best big day or romantic break possible.

WEDDINGS

For weddings with a wow, Thailand is a clear winner. Idyllic beach or garden settings are available and orchid bouquets and floral arches and the release of paper lanterns are popular touches. It’s even possible to be photographed with an elephant. Many resorts offer East-meets-West ceremonies and couples don’t need to be Buddhist to receive a blessing from monks or incorporate traditional hand tying or water pouring rituals into their ceremony. That ‘conveyor belt’ feeling of some beach weddings is not an issue in

Thailand where there’s a wide choice of secluded resorts. Even Bangkok (a must-stop for paperwork) has boutique hotels and riverside garden properties. Outside of hotels, couples can marry on board a yacht or in a national park, or the gardens of Sampran Riverside – a cultural centre near Bangkok which incorporates Thai customs and elephants. At Koh Kradan, off Trang, a mass underwater wedding takes place every Valentine’s Day.

DO IT ALL AGAIN!

Those who have tied the knot in a simple UK ceremony can consider a romantic wedding blessing as part of their honeymoon, while couples who’ve reached big anniversaries can plan an exotically located renewal of vows.

HONEYMOONS

It’s easy for newly-weds to find their own slice of heaven at a classy boutique bolthole on an outlying island. Koh Lanta, Koh Samet, Koh Racha, Koh Yai Noi and

RECENT ADDITIONS NAKA PHUKET Modern-minded couples can say their vows in an ocean-side chapel and bag one of 94 pool villas with wraparound glass walls, which jut over gardens. The minimalist

YVONNE POWELL, HOLIDAYSPLEASE

‘Honeytouring’

room, sky-lit bathroom

package, giving couples

and downstairs master

a private guided visit to

bedroom. There

the hotel’s eco-minded

are also eight

rural honeybee

honeymoon suites.

farming project,

imperialhotels.com

combined with pampering spa

KOH YAO YAI VILLAGE

treatments

This locally-owned

incorporating honey

beach resort is on a

scrubs and masks.

quiet island off Phuket.

amari.com/vogue

Its ceremony locations are decorated with

SAMUI IMPERIAL

flowers and candles. A

BOAT HOUSE

traditional blessing,

BEACH RESORT

three-tiered cake,

Lovebirds can stay in

bride’s arrival by

thenakaphuket.com

one of 34 teak rice

decorated buggy,

barges, which sit in the

seaside dinner,

AMARI VOGUE KRABI

hotel gardens.

decorated bedroom

The Honeymoon is

Converted into suites,

and spa treatments are

taken quite literally at

they comprise an

among inclusions.

this resort with a new

outdoor deck, living

kohyaoyaivillage.com

rooms include HD movie jukeboxes, L-shaped settees and wooden floors.

14

Thailand is honeymoon heaven; relax on a beach one day, wash elephants the next!


WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS

Thailand's amazing for honeymoons because of the romantic setting and the people, who make you feel so special ADELE CHURCHILL, HONEYMOONER

destinations, lovebirds will find themselves more able to treat themselves to five-star hotels, club floors, suites or villas. Special meals and pre-big day facials, manicures and pedicures are also pleasingly affordable.

LEGAL INFORMATION Koh Kood are good options and some boast luxury brands like Six Senses and Soneva. Even major resorts have quieter areas – think Khao Lak, Phuket’s east coast, Bohput on Samui or Railay at Krabi. Hotel honeymoon packages commonly include petal-strewn beds and baths, complimentary spa treatments and private ‘anywhere’ dining. A Thailand honeymoon offers more than luxury lounging too. Couples can create memories by adventuring together on mahout experiences, dives or hikes. Charter options can keep things intimate; island-hopping or diving

privately on hired boats, or suggest VIP-style trips by helicopter (advanceaviation.co.th and skydance.aero). At the other end of the scale, rustic chic may appeal with a honeymoon glamping in a jungle or on a raft. See tourismthailand.co.uk for suggested itineraries for romantics.

VALUE

With the cost of a UK wedding soaring, many couples now choose to marry more simply abroad – and Thailand pushes the value envelope further than most. Compared to other long-haul

ROCKY’S BOUTIQUE

aisle over a lagoon, a

charters are possible,

RESORT, KOH SAMUI

garden pond with

perhaps for dive or

This Kuoni favourite will

pagodas and lotus

snorkel adventures at

customise its standard

blossoms, and a

the renowned Surin

weddings with extras

tropical rainforest (a

and Similan sites.

including barbecues,

45-minute drive away)

sarojin.com

fireworks, fire dancers,

where lunch or tea can

musicians and arrival

also be served.

CHAKRABONGSE

by elephant. Secular or

lemeridienkhaolak.com

VILLAS, BANGKOK

For the latest rules and paperwork requirements see ukthailand.fco.gov.uk and tourismthailand.co.uk or check with UK tour operators. Operators with wedding programmes for Thailand include Kuoni and Inspired by Asia.

♦ TOP TIPS Gay couples are widely welcomed in Thailand. Though same sexweddings are not legal, blessing ceremonies can be arranged.

A leafy riverside respite,

Buddhist-style

Couples must sign an affidavit and register at the British embassy and legalise the marriage at the district registrars’ office in Bangkok (£952 per couple) on weekdays but not public holidays. If the bride has been divorced for fewer than 10 months she must prove she’s not pregnant by taking a local test. The wedding certificate is sent from the British embassy to the UK registrar’s office four to six months later.

ceremonies are

THE SAROJIN,

with suites in teak

possible. The 50-room

KHAO LAK

houses, it has a view

and villa resort boasts a

A candlelit waterfall, a

of Wat Arun (Temple

one-to- one staff/guest

beach or temple can

of Dawn) and is very

ratio. rockyresort.com

become settings for

handy for Grand

wedding ceremonies or

Palace sightseeing.

LE MÉRIDIEN

romantic dining. A

The waterside

KHAO LAK

Sarojin ‘Imagineer’ can

garden can host

Beach & Spa Resort

help couples create

weddings with or

A choice of wedding

their own magical

without elephants,

venues here includes

adventures at and

dancers, drummers

an octagonal chapel

around this boutique

and Buddhist monks.

approached by an

resort. Motorboat

thaivillas.com

Make touring romantic with travel by the Eastern and Oriental Express or by linking luxury resorts of the same brand in different locations. Look out for spectacular transfers to luxury hotels by private speedboat or even helicopter or Harley-Davidson. Romance brochures are available from TAT: tourismthailand.co.uk

15


Nowhere else comes close...

The Village Coconut Island beach resort is located just off the East Coast of Phuket whilst still remaining close to the hustle and bustle of the main island. You can enjoy the natural, peaceful, and unspoiled surroundings of a tropical island, with the allures of Phuket just a short trip away on our 24-hour water taxi service. The Village Coconut Island offers a choice of accommodation to cater for all needs, from luxurious Grand Villas, Garden and Sea View Pool Villas as well as elegant Suites situated amongst lush tropical gardens. There is something perfect for everyone.

www.thevillage-coconutisland.com

info@thevillage-coconutisland.com


STOPOVERS & MULTI-STAYS

A little

taster

With its world-class airport and location at the heart of Asia and half-way to Australia, Thailand is the perfect stopover or multi-stay choice

B

angkok makes a great stopover as part of a wider itinerary, with world-class shopping, great-value spas and cultural sites that can be seen in a day. Even on a short stay, it’s also easy to reach Thailand’s beaches: Pattaya is about an hour from the airport and Koh Samet and Hua Hin are also ‘flight-free’ destinations.

TWIN STARS

DUBAI: With Emirates flights, holidaymakers headed for Bangkok or Phuket can now make a handy mid-way stop in Dubai, to see its record-breaking towering buildings, go shopping and take desert excursions. ASIA COMBOS: Thailand is often combined on twin- or multi-centre holidays with Singapore, Hong Kong or Malaysia, using the countries’ flag carriers. Regional Thai Airways, Thai Smile, Nok Air, Bangkok Airways and Air Asia flights also help. You don’t have to route via Bangkok; for instance Bangkok Airways links these neighbours to Samui and Air Asia links them to Phuket.

UP AND COMING

Neighbours Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia make a great combination with Thailand, using regional flights or river cruises. Indochina tours plus a relaxing finish on a Thai beach are popular. Angkor Wat side-trips are possible from Bangkok. Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways fly to Thailand’s northern neighbour Myanmar and several operators now make crossborder tours by road.

ONWARD CONNECTIONS

Onward travels from Thailand to Australia are possible with Emirates (Dubai, Bangkok and Sydney being a possible itinerary), Qantas and regional carriers Thai Airways, Jetstar, Air Asia and Virgin Australia. Thailand can also be twinned with the Maldives via Bangkok Airways.

FLIGHT-FREE TWINNING

The Eastern & Oriental Express links Malaysia and Singapore with Thailand by luxury train. Mekong cruises, from the likes of Avalon Waterways and Wendy Wu are a boom area, combining Thailand with Indochina (usually with Bangkok-Siem Reap flights).

Laos ‘the Asia of yesteryear’, with Thailand, equals a perfect combo of culture, adventure and relaxation

POTENTIAL TWIN ROUTES

LESLEY WRIGHT, GENERAL MANAGER COMMERCIAL UK, TRAVEL INDOCHINA

THAILAND MULTI-CENTRES

Bangkok, Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai and a beach destination is the classic Thailand multi-centre offered by most Thai specialist operators. Many others have multi-stop cultural tours and packages which cover other areas like the national parks. Mainland beach and island combinations are also popular; Krabi with Koh Lanta and Phuket with the Phi Phi or Koh Yao islands are easy combinations logistically.

Dhabi; Qatar Airways

DOUBLE CHOICE

via Doha; Aeroflot via

STOPOVERS

Moscow; EVA to

Codeshare routes

POPULAR ONE-STOP

Bangkok then

with different

FLIGHTS:

onwards to Taipei

stopovers out and return:

Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong; Singapore

ONE-DIRECTION

Air India/Sri Lankan:

Airlines via Singapore;

STOPOVERS

out via Delhi back

Codeshares with a

via Colombo

stop on either the

Air India/Jet Airways:

Emirates via Dubai

outward or return

out via Delhi back

only (the other

via Mumbai

MORE UNUSUAL

journey is direct):

Air India/

OPTIONS:

BA or EVA/Jet Airways

Malaysia Airways:

Royal Jordanian via

via Mumbai; Etihad/BA

out via Delhi back

via Abu Dhabi;

via KL

Emirates/EVA via

Air India/Aeroflot:

Dubai; BA/Aeroflot

out via Mumbai back

via Moscow

via Moscow

Malaysian Airways via Kuala Lumpur;

 TOP TIP Check out Thai and Bangkok Airways’ multi-stop passes

Amman; Air China via

which discount domestic and

Beijing; Sri Lankan via

regional combinations.

Colombo; Air India via Delhi; Etihad via Abu

17


FAMILY HOLIDAYS

Perfect

playground Families with kids of all ages will find plenty to inspire and entertain them in Thailand and their trip won't break the bank either

Y

ear-round good weather, welcoming resorts and quality sandy beaches help Thailand retain its prime position as a real family favourite.

club, or one near the river for cooling breezes and easy access to boat tours taking in the Grand Palace and to explore the klongs (canals). Bangkok has its own theme/water parks: Dream World and Siam Park City plus Sampran Riverside cultural village that has shows and craft workshops.

BEST FOR... FAMILY HOTELS AND ATTRACTIONS:

Phuket, Pattaya, Samui

VALUE

SCHOOL SUMMER HOLIDAYS: Samui

(which has an opposite season to the rest of Thailand). FAMILY ADVENTURE: Phuket and Krabi ELEPHANTS: Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai A QUIETER STAY: Hua Hin and Cha Am (on weekdays). EASY ACCESS: Pattaya, Hua Hin and Cha Am (no internal flight required) and Phuket (direct UK flights possible).

BANGKOK WITH KIDS

With careful planning, even Thailand’s bustling metropolis can be cut down to a manageable child’s size. Recommend a family-friendly hotel with pool and kids

Money goes far further in Thailand. Quality hotels are more affordable, meaning families used to being cramped up together can consider upgrading to interconnecting rooms or a suite or villa. Prices are also excellent for meals, admissions and excursions.

Thailand is a wonderful destination for all generations PRU GOUDIE, GENERAL MANAGER ON THE GO TOURS

RECENT ADDITIONS

 TOP TIPS

ALEENTA PHUKETPHANG NGA RESORT AND SPA

Several operators offer family-

Chocolate-making,

specific adventure holidays

Thai boxing classes, yoga, watersports and

including Audley, G Adventures,

turtle sanctuary

Intrepid Explore and On the Go

lessons are offered at the new children's

A good choice of night flights mean

club. There is also a

there’s a greater chance little-ones

children's treatment

will sleep through the journey

menu at the new spa. aleenta.com/phuket

obsessed teens happy

with a 500-metre

includes 12

beachfront and Splash

waterslides. The hotel

Jungle water park.

also has a new

Family room, suites

programme of

and villas are

family-geared games

available, just 15

and contests, plus a

minutes from Phuket’s

rock-climbing wall and

airport.

kids’ club with mini

centarahotelsresorts.

discos.

com

centarahotelsresorts. com/cmbr

OTHER OPTIONS BANGKOK

MIRAGE BEACH

& VILLAS PHUKET

Family suites,

An entertainment

organised activities

company is running

for the youngsters, a

family volleyball,

pool and plentiful

football, archery,

food choices make

bowling Comedy

this a good city choice.

water-spraying features and water

18

more at this property

water park, which

HOLIDAY INN

new zone with

are popular routes.

Cabaret Shows and

Lost World-themed

WEST SANDS RESORT

Monsoon Island is a

Bangkok to Chang Mai or Hua Hin

pistols. It’s part of the

CENTARA GRAND

RESORT PATTAYA

Consider exciting train travel.

Golden temples will wow children, and parents with early-risers can take them to join locals giving alms to lines of saffron-robed monks. Children will also enjoy the markets and have fun picking out decorative

CENTARA GRAND

Many Thai hotels have free wifi – perfect for keeping social media-

CULTURAL EXPERIENCES


FAMILY HOLIDAYS

candles, woven bags and quirky trinkets for pocket-money prices. Festival times are extra special. The water throwing spring celebration Songkran sometimes coincides with the school Easter holidays.

ELEPHANTS

Thailand offers plenty of opportunities to to interact with elephants. A family mahout experience, where you learn to wash, feed and command the animals, is interactive, educational and memorable. There are several reputable elephant camps in Thailand, notably around Chiang Mai and in the Khao Sok jungle above Phuket.

FAMILY ATTRACTIONS

There’s much more beyond sun, sea, sand and snorkelling to entertain children of all ages, as well as adults, in the major resorts. Family attractions include well worth recommending include: PHUKET: FantaSea: a glitzy cultural show with elephants and acrobats; Phuket Surf House: wave riding experience; Anthem Wake Park: cable water-skiing for the over-eights; Dino Park: where dinosaurs meet crazy golf; plus an aquarium, waterparks, zorbing and go-karting opportunities. PATTAYA: The Sanctuary of Truth is a carved wooden temple with resident dolphins; Mini Siam has replicas of Thai and world sites; Pattaya's floating

market is culturally colourful; Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is part of the popular global franchise; Nong Nooch Tropical Garden offers cultural shows and themed planting; Flight of the Gibbon: offrs zip-lining at Chonburi; and finally, Underwater World Pattaya. KOH SAMUI: Head here for the Coco Splash Adventure and Water Park; Samui Canopy Adventures (a zip-lining experience); an aquarium; and opportunities for kite surfing and frisbee or football versions of golf, as well as some great boat trips.

Kids can experience washing elephants, ride tuk-tuks or longtail boats and will love exploring glittering temples and markets

Other bonuses are a

activities. Family

SHERATON KRABI

nearby BTS station

games happen at

BEACH RESORT

that takes you to

weekends.

An on-site watersports

sightseeing spots and

regentchaambeach.

centre offers

the major shopping

com

snorkelling, kayaking,

malls are Siam Square

19

sailing and

within walking

AMARI PALM REEF

windsurfing. The kids

distance.

RESORT, SAMUI

club runs ‘edu-

holidayinn.com

This Chaweng Beach

tainment’ activities

resort has 16

such as batik painting.

THE REGENT CHA AM

contemporary family

sheratonkrabi.com

BEACH RESORT

rooms of around 37

Family suites combine

square metres, which

HOLIDAY INN,

a master bedroom

incorporate a master

PATTAYA

with a pirate-themed

bedroom and two

‘KidSuites' give children

children’s room.

single beds on a

a fun separate room

Besides relaxing

mezzanine floor.

within their parents’

facilities for parents

There’s a choice of

room' Also on offer is a

there are children’s

pools and restaurants

kids club, ‘kids eat free’

pools and a

and a baby-sitting

offer over three

playground,

service. as well as a

restaurants and three

baby-sitting and a

dive centre.

swimming pools.

kids’ club with craft

amari.com/palmreef

holidayinn.co.uk


HOTSPOT: BANGKOK

Bangkok A VIBRANT CAPITAL

A

world-class city, Bangkok has breathtaking cultural sights, high-octane nightlife and fantastic shopping for all tastes and budgets. The city is best placed at the end of an itinerary, as an unforgtettable finish to a relaxing beach holiday or rewarding touring trip. Visitors have a huge choice of places to the backpacker hangout, though greatstay, from luxury skyscraper suites to teak value hotels can be found throughout the boutique guesthouses on the banks of city. Those mainly sightseeing should base the river, or an artist-designed crash pad. themselves on the river and use the boat By incorporating this hectic but inspiring services, while shoppers are best off on city into the end of a holiday, visitors will the BTS route for malls and the Chatuchak be acclimatised enough to throw weekend market. themselves into the city's mega-malls, MARKETS & DAY TRIPS cutting-edge clubs and rooftop cocktail Bangkok's top sights are best covered in bars; or kick back with a great-value spa two days but add more time for the ruined treatment, afternoon tea in a heritage ancient city of Ayutthaya, the Bridge over hotel or a classic dinner cruise. the River Kwai and Damnoen Saduak CITY SIGHTS floating market – all day trips. For first-timers, a stroll A Nancy Chandler map through the golden-domed helps orientate visitors to Grand Palace is a must. The the huge Chatuchak (or THAILAND complex includes the Temple of ‘JJs’) weekend market – the Emerald Buddha, while next zoned for homeware or door Wat Pho houses a huge handicrafts products – and golden Buddha in reclining pose. then there are more at the BANGKOK Hotels are primarily clustered riverside night market, Asiatique, around the Chao Phraya river or which also has a new observation the main artery Sukhumvit, which wheel. Even on a short stopover Bangkok is close to business and shopping can be combined with a beach. Pattaya areas and linked by the overhead (under 90 minutes away) and Hua Hin are BTS Skytrain. Khao San Road is reachable by road.

RECENT ADDITIONS LE MÉRIDIEN SUVARNABHUMI GOLF RESORT & SPA This long-delayed

SALA AYUTTHAYA

Centre, this new

Sala is claiming the first

hotel has 290 rooms

ORIENTAL RESIDENCE BANGKOK

five-star at heritage site

and suites, six on-site

A new addition is

Ayutthaya, an hour

restaurants and bars,

Savelberg Thailand,

from Bangkok. The

a spa and free wifi.

a gourmet French

boutique riverbank

radissonblu.com

restaurant concept. Dishes are sourced

property sits opposite

223-room property

Wat Phutthaisawan

U SUKHUMVIT

using the freshest

and has 26 rooms and

Time shifts are the

ingredients and

suites, including an

USP of this recent

paired with French

indoor pool suite and

four-star with 24-hour

wines. The two-night

two floor duplex, plus

use of rooms,

Savelberg Experience

riverside dining.

regardless of check-in

Package includes

salaresorts.com

time and a ‘whenever,

seven-course fine

wherever’ breakfast.

dining experience

RADISSON BLU PLAZA

There are also free

(based on two persons

BANGKOK

bikes, rainfall showers

sharing and is valid

early 2015.

On Sukhumvit Road,

and a roof-top

from now until

emeridiensuvarnab humi.com

near Queen Sirikit

swimming pool.

December 31 2015).

National Convention

uhotelsresorts.com

oriental-residence.com

has opened near the airport. It features the Summit Windmill Golf Club and meeting facilities. Day use for stopover visitors and golf packages are available. A spa, club lounge and kids’ club launched in

20 20


HOTSPOT: CHIANG MAI & CHIANG RAI

Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai NORTHERN GEMS

T

hailand’s second city is a different world to Bangkok, where the pace is slightly slower but the attractions no less vibrant. Chiang Mai is the gateway to a world of adventure and a host of experiences in the hilly north, such as hiking, biking and white-water rafting, while little sister Chiang Rai is a cultural treasure trove This is the best place to interact with be encountered on hikes or selling quality elephants at various camps which offer handicrafts at Chiang Mai’s famous tourist programmes. ‘Chiang’ is a corruption market. The north also has its own of ‘Chang’, the Thai word for elephant. cuisine, with sticky rice the must try, Smaller and more laid-back, Chiang Rai preferably while sitting cross-legged has a frontier feel and it’s near the Golden before a full Khantoke feast. Triangle where Thailand, Laos and Burma TOP TIPS scenically meet around the Mekong river. 1 Hotels can advise on joining the The countryside here has a beautiful atmospheric dawn ritual of giving alms to ‘inland sea’ with fields peppered with limestone ‘islands’ – monks at local temples, including famous CHIANG RA I best explored on a hilltop Doi Suthep, and may prepare leisurely river cruise CHIANG MAI food offerings for tourists to by longtail boat. take. 2 UNESCO-listed Sukhothai, Deeper into the north, the up-and-coming the 13th and 14th century THAILAND riverside town of Pai serves capital of Thailand, is a up biking and tubing northern site often toured opportunities along with a by bike. 3 A popular tourist dare is to try chilled arty vibe. The far north of Thailand is also its the northern snack of deep fried cultural heartland. It has an insects. Chiang Rai’s night market is a interesting ethnic mix, partly good spot for crickets and beer. 4 Chiang Mai has a daily night market, influenced by its proximity to Burma. Hill tribes with differing but for quality handicrafts a city stay traditions and colourful dress can should include a Sunday.

RECENT ADDITIONS

Chiang Mai following refurbishment. A Mövenpick Samoeng is

SIREEAMPAN RESORT & SPA

planned for the city. möevenpick-hotels.com

This 11-suite manorstyle resort has a piano lounge, wine cellar and

AMARI BURIRAM

business centre.

UNITED Thailand’s only

Rooms offer Apple TV,

football-themed hotel

iPod/iPad docking and

opened in 2014 in

complimentary

Buriram, a 50-minute

mini-bars. ‘Anytime

flight from Bangkok

breakfast’ can be

and close to a famous

delivered in a hamper.

stadium. 60 rooms face

sireeampan.com

a football field and

MÖVENPICK HOTELS &

pool. Bathrooms

RESORTS

resemble changing

Mövenpick reopened its Suriwongse Hotel in

buriram-united

rooms. amari.com/

21

UP AND COMING

OTHER CHOICE

AKYRA MANOR

VERANDA CHIANG MAI

CHIANG MAI

With a rice terrace and

In the pipeline for

lofty countryside views

2015, this AHMS group

from the infinity pool,

hotel will feature 29

this hotel offers a

suites and residences

calming respite from

and will be situated

the city.

amid the bars and

Accommodation is in

eateries of Chiang

around 70 rooms

Mai’s trendy

including pavilions.

Nimmanhaemin Road.

Highlights include a

An organic rooftop

kids' club, free cultural

plant nursery will help

activity programme,

it grow many of its own

yoga classes and daily

ingredients.

afternoon tea.

ahmshotels.com

verandaresortandspa. com/chiangmai


HOTSPOT: HUA HIN & CHA AM

Hua Hin & Cha Am LESSER KNOWN

T

hey may be less well known than Phuket and Samui but neighbouring Hua Hin and Cha Am, on the Gulf of Thailand, have a local flavour and attractive unique selling points all their own. Along the pine-fringed beaches there is Above all, Hua Hin and Cha Am suit the a great mix pf accommodation, from large laid back – think spa treatments, quality resorts to small boutique hideaways. It's a seafood, afternoon tea at the heritage great choice for a quieter beach break Sofitel Centara hotel, a round of golf on – particularly on weekdays. one of a dozen courses and the sounds of Both resorts are reachable by road or summer jazz. train from Bangkok, making them a TOP TIPS consideration for stopovers or for families 1 Road transfers take around three hours keen to avoid an extra flight. The resorts from Bangkok. Rail travel is a nice are also renowned for their quality spas, alternative for repeat Thailand visitors. You not least the world-famous Chiva Som. can even cruise in on a Harley Davidson. Hua Hin may not be known for its 2 Beaches are among the various venues nightlife but its night market is showing traditional and contemporary among the best in Thailand. bands for free during Hua Hin’s ROYAL CONNECTIONS annual Jazz festival, which will The Bangkok residents who use next be held in July 2015. Hua Hin and Cha Am as a jazzfestivalhuahin.com THAILAND 3 The notorious Bridge bolthole have long included the over the River Kwai, built by Thai royal family. There’s an CHA AM allied prisoners of war at ornate royal waiting room at the Kancahanburi, is a great day trip, station and two palaces in the area. HUA HIN closer to Hua Hin than Bangkok. Older palaces and temples, can be 4 Cha Am is renowned for its seafood found at hilltop cultural park Phra restaurants, which are clustered on Nakhorn Kiri in Phetchaburi city. Ruamjit Road. In Hua Hin, the night Khao Luang cave temple, which market is a great spot for Thai and is filled with Buddha statutes, is Indian-influenced food. another attraction.

RECENT ADDITIONS ALEENTA HUA HIN-PRANBURI

feature of this

or private whirlpools

cocktail classes and

58-room resort, due to

or plunge pools.

daily high tea can be

open in the third

carlson.com

enjoyed on site.

quarter of 2015.

Aleenta offers Harley Davidson transfers from Bangkok. Riders experience farmland, fishing villages, karst

Excursions include

There’s an elevated

MÖVENPICK HOTELS

trips to the Monsoon

lobby with garden

& RESORTS

Valley vineyard.

views, a fitness centre

As part of its Thailand

restdetailhotel.com

and spa.

expansion, Mövenpick

uhotelsresorts.com

plans to be operating

ANANTARA HUA HIN

a hotel at Hua Hin by

Lagoon Room and

scenery and a cave temple en-route and

RADISSON BLU

the end of 2015.

Anantara Suite guests

stop for a picnic lunch.

RESORT HUA HIN

möevenpick-hotels.com

benefit from a range

aleenta.com

A Radisson Blu is due

COMING UP

Parent company

OTHER OPTIONS

U AVELA HUA HIN

Carlson has promised

REST DETAIL

afternoon tea, a 16.00

A French bistro-style

cutting-edge

This boutique hotel

check out and an

restaurant with views

architecture and

includes villas and

appointment with the

over the white sand

rooms with direct pool

pavilions. Sunrise

‘chief experience guru’.

beach is a standout

and beachfront access

yoga, massage and

anantara.com

to open in 2015/16.

22

of special privileges that include complimentary


HOTSPOT: KOH SAMUI

Koh Samui AN ISLAND ‘SUPERMODEL'

S

urrounded by white sand and turquoise water, Koh Samui is something of an island ‘supermodel’. Its key point of difference to Thailand’s other popular resorts is that it sees its best weather in summer. This makes it particularly attractive for UK honeymooners and families tied to the school holidays. It only takes a couple of hours to drive restaurants, spa centres and other right around the island, via a tour or trappings. Mae Nam has a more great-value taxi, but there are many budget scene, while Bo Phut has a attractions on that loop, from waterfalls boutique, heritage feel which resonates and butterfly farms to a temple featuring a with honeymooners. They will love the mummified monk with sunglasses. You rustic old Chinese shop houses can have your pick too of beaches a little converted to accommodation or off the beaten track. atmospheric restaurants.

OFFSHORE ACTION

TOP TIPS

1 Nearby Koh Phangan is famous for its There’s plenty offshore action as well. Samui is the largest in an all-night full-moon parties but Samui has archipelago that embraces the plenty of more moderate nightlife, Ang Thong National Marine particularly around Chaweng. 2 Golfers will love the Park - a snorkelling and beautiful 18-hole kayaking paradise. Samui is the Santiburi Samui Golf also the nearest major resort to THAILAND Country Club ‘turtle island’, Koh Tao, a dive 3 Samui accommodation centre ideal for beginners. Infact, leans towards romance – 3% of the world qualify for their check out complimentary treats for PADI on this tiny island! newly-weds from petal-strewn Luxury-hunters are spoilt for baths to spa treatments. choice with a host of five-star 4 A concealed lagoon at the centre of options on the island. Kok Mae Ko is a day-trip highlight, which Chaweng and Lamai are the KOH SAMUI can be tackled by kayak after a hike most popular beaches with to a viewpoint. plentiful international hotels,

RECENT ADDITIONS OZO CHAWENG SAMUI Koh Samui has

MÖVENPICK RESORT

beach in late 2014. The

– has been created to

Laem Yai Beach Samui

group also has Sala

improve customer

The Passage, Koh

Samui at Bhophut.

service at this

Samui Resort has

salaresorts.com

adults-only resort. ahmshotels.com

rebranded as a

gained the first OZO property to open in Thailand, and the brand’s first resort. The 208 guest rooms feature IPTV and multimedia connectivity and some

Mövenpick. A kids’

SHERATON SAMUI

playground and three

Sheraton opened a

CONRAD KOH SAMUI

pools feature here and

new Samui hotel late in

This pool villa

a property renovation

2014 with 141 rooms. It

resort has introduced

programme will see 23

is the fourth Starwood

free speedboat

deluxe rooms added.

property to open on

excursions for guests

möevenpick-hotels.com

the island.

to nearby secluded

sheraton.com

islands. A choice of

have direct beach

Thai, international or

SALA CHAWENG

access. Guests can access local information from interactive screens and eat gourmet burgers at the restaurant. ozohotels.com

23

SALA Hospitality Group,

AKRYA CHURA SAMUI

deluxe picnic hampers

owner/operator of

A take on glamorous

are available for

seven resorts in

1970s TV crime-fighters

them to take with

Thailand, unveiled the

Charlie’s Angels – a

them, priced from

SALA Chaweng on Koh

new trio of trouble-

around £35.

Samui’s most popular

shooting Akrya Angels

conradkohsamui.com


HOTSPOT: KRABI

A SCENIC WONDER

Krabi K

rabi is Phuket’s quieter sister, sharing the same show-stopping bay of craggy limestone karsts but with a more laid-back feel. It’s a great stop for adventures by sea, with island-hopping and snorkelling. Adventure excursions and activity trips point from which to reach Koh Lanta, a depart frequently from the main beach of hideaway for honeymooners and divers. Ao Nang. Or, for those seeking simple More adventurous travellers might relaxation, there are quieter stretches of venture along the coast to lesser-visited sand at Railay (a five-minute long-tail ride Trang, which has its own island-hopping away) or down the coast at Phulay Bay scene in Hat Chao Mai National Park. An and Nopparat Thara. Anantara hotel lies between the two. Visitors can book onto a kayaking TOP TIPS excursion through the mangroves, 1 Away from the beach, Krabi Town has spotting crabs, monkeys and birdlife a small, cheery night market with food and stopping off to explore deserted stalls. Recommend a river tour or that beaches and caves with prehistoric visitors catch a ferry to Koh Lanta or the paintings. Phi Phi islands. 2 Koh Lanta makes a GREAT STAYS Accommodation is most good diving base from plentiful in the mid-range which to explore the Hin bracket, though there are also Daeng and Hin Muang THAILAND smart boutique four-stars and sites and the wreck of the five-stars like the Ritz Carlton and King Cruiser. 3 Hot springs in the woods Rayavadee. Families will at Khlong Thom are often visited appreciate Krabi’s buzz, with on the same excursion as the Tiger the reassurance that the nightlife’s Cave Temple. unlikely to get too wild and 4 Railay is a renowned rock-climbing frenetic. KRABI centre. Even if visitors can’t climb it’s still Phang–Nga’s islands can be fascinating to watch the experts who can twinned with Krabi, as they can be viewed from the beach. with Phuket, and this is the best

RECENT ADDITIONS HOTEL IBIS STYLES KRABI AO NANG A five-minute free shuttle ride away from Ao Nang is a new 205-room offering from Ibis. Bike hire and all-day dining are available. Family rooms with bunk beds and Xbox consoles are

refurbishment of 40 of

suites, villas and kids’

Jacuzzis. The spa has

its lead-in category

club. Special touches

fresh fruit preparations

Deluxe Pavilions, giving

include complimentary

and frequent offers.

them brighter and

boat shuttles to Hong

nakamanda.com

more spacious

island, candlelight yoga

interiors. Five more

and visits from baby

CROWN LANTA

were converted into

elephant, Koko. Tea

RESORT & SPA, KOH

Terrace Pavilions. The

and treatment pairings

LANTA

two-bedroom Raitalay

are new in the ESPA

This 83-room property

Villa on Railay Beach

spa. ritzcarlton.com

straddles two beaches

has been renovated. rayavadee.com

on a private peninsula. NAKAMANDA

The Reggae Cliff Bar is

RESORT & SPA

a good place for

Located in a private

catching sunsets;

cove at Klong Muang

romantic secluded

points. ibis.com

OTHER CHOICES PHULAY BAY, RITZ

area, the resort is

dining is also possible.

RAYAVADEE

Carlson Reserve

located within reach of

A children’s play area

24-hour butler service

Krabi Town and Ao

and yoga classes are

is a feature of this

Nang. Villas include

among other facilities.

upscale resort with

some with pools and

crownlanta.com

among other plus

To celebrate its 20th birthday, the luxury resort has completed

24


HOTSPOT: PATTAYA

Pattaya PARTY VIBE

P

attaya is popular for rest and relaxation and has a party vibe. However, the resort's location and great accessibility – just around an hour from Bangkok’s international airport – makes the resort a winner for nightlife lovers and families alike. Stopover visitors find it handy for a few at Jomtien beach and there is a good array days by the sea while families appreciate of large air-conditioned shopping malls the easy transfer that brings them to primed for bargain-hunting too. Pattaya’s kid-savvy hotels, water parks and go-kart Central Festival is Asia’s largest beachfront tracks. Golfers are spoilt for choice with shopping complex. over 20 courses to choose from. They can TOP TIPS take a few days for a side-trip from 1 Wreck-diving the US navy vessel HMS Bangkok or stay and play for a week or Khram and German steamship Petchaburi more. Moreover, they all have Thailand’s is popular, and the white sands and great-value green fees. snorkelling draw day-trippers to Koh Larn. Pattaya has always attracted party 2 For a leafy change, Silverlake outside of people and there’s plenty of fun Pattaya has a scenic vineyard, windmill to be had in the nightlife areas, and reservoir. including a thriving gay 3 Jungle-clad Koh Chang has clubbing scene and colourful adventure activities and a ladyboy cabaret shows. few big-name resorts If all that sounds too hectic, THAILAND while Samet is a nearby island Koh Samet offers honeymoon hideaway. beautiful quiet beaches and Both are reached from the low-key nightlife. same coastline as Pattaya. PATTAYA 4 The Four Regions Floating LIFE'S A BEACH The resort’s hotels are typically market sells typical Thai goods with large with good facilities, eateries and a cultural show alongside. 5 The spring water-throwing festival of restaurants, pools and kids’ clubs. Songkran can be extended with extra Daytime playtime is aided by festivities in Pattaya. plentiful watersports, particularly

RECENT ADDITIONS SIAM@SIAM DESIGN HOTEL PATTAYA This arty hotel has 268 rooms with avantgarde décor. Guests

2014, 15 minutes from

AWA RESORT KOH

the main attractions. It

CHANG

boasts soft beds, a

This new resort at

grab-and go-breakfast,

Chang island’s Kai Bae

iPad check-in and a

beach includes a spa,

rooftop pool.

kids’ club, coffee shop

ozohotels.com

and library. Rooms have a light décor with

can drink in the ‘car bar’, which has fun

MERCURE PATTAYA

a European accent.

features like vehicle

OCEAN RESORT

awa.resortkohchang.com

Accor’s mid-scale

seats, or in the

Mercure brand landed

CENTARA SAPPAYA

in north Pattaya at the

Along the coast from

end of 2014. With easy

Pattaya, this Centara

siamatpattaya.com

access to the beach,

has reopened after a

The Mercure Pattaya

refurbishment. It has

OZO PATTAYA

Ocean Resort features

13 hillside units with

Hot on the heels of

2010 contemporary

private terraces.

Samui’s OZO, a Pattaya

rooms and a mini

centarahotelsresorts.

version also opened in

waterpark. mecure.com

com/crr

open-air 24th floor Sky Bar. The outdoor pool is similarly lofty.

25

COMING SOON MOVENPICK WHITESAND BEACH PATTAYA This development, with tower and pool villas, is close to the Ocean Marina Yacht Club. A total of 264 guest rooms are promised plus a seafood restaurant and karaoke lounge, with a likely 2015 opening date. whitesandbeach pattaya.com


HOTSPOT: PHUKET

Phuket A BEACH FAVOURITE

I

f you know just one Thai resort it will likely be Phuket. The most popular of Thailand’s beach destinations has a wide appeal for just about every client, whether couples, families, golfers and divers. Pick Phuket as their base and they could other small islands. These can be be checking out the nightlife in the combined on twin-centres or explored on numerous clubs, or the sealife around day trips by longtail boat or kayak. world-class dive and snorkel sites. Thomson Airways' charter flies direct As Thailand’s biggest island (attached to into Phuket from Gatwick and Singapore the mainland by a causeway), Phuket has Airlines flies from Heathrow. Emirates and a variety of accommodation. The Etihad Airways both offer links from southerly beaches are perfect for being in across the UK via the UAE and Qatar the swim of things, the northwest coast Airways flies from Manchester and more low key and handy for the airport. Heathrow to the island. The east is relatively new to development ISLANDS BEYOND with some high-end secluded resorts. Islands with quality accommodation within Shoppers will also find some easy reach of Phuket include Koh Lanta, large malls, great for electronics, fashions and homeware. Phi Phi Don, Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai. Visitors can also KHAO LAK learn about Muslim fishing Khao Lak, just north of Phuket, culture with a boat trip to THAILAND offers some accommodation Koh Panyi village or a gems and is the base of choice homestay on Koh Yao Noi. for divers – being a departure The gay scene is centred on point for the Surin and Similan Patong. Phuket Pride, billed as ‘the islands. Khao Sok National Park, best gay party in Thailand', takes which includes an elephant place in early 2016. camp, is also close. Phuket saw a lot of hotel development in PHUKET Phuket’s position in 2014, with more openings planned for Phang Nga Bay makes it 2015. Look out for discounted introductory a fantastic access point for hotel rates to encourage booking.

RECENT ADDITIONS BANDARA VILLAS

pool. The high-tech spa

packages are offered.

rooms and suites have

includes treatments in

phuket.regency.

balcony Jacuzzis at this

a coloured

hyatt.com

50-room four-star on

chromotherapy

Bandara Villas Phuket

Kalim Beach. Two

chamber.

LE CORAL HIDEAWAY

boardrooms, a rooftop

katarocks.com

Beyond Phuket

lounge, library and spa

This Natai beach

also feature.

HYATT REGENCY

newbie has 58 rooms

uhotelsresorts.com

PHUKET

and suites with ocean

200 rooms with

views and balconies.

NIKKI BEACH HOTEL

floor-to-ceiling

Some also boast

AND SPA PHUKET

windows, hardwood

private pools and

Nikki’s trendy beach

bandaragroup.com

floors and iPod

butler service. A

bar concept has hit

docks perch over

fast-track immigration

Layan Beach. Guests

KATA ROCKS

Kamala beach. Some

and limo transfer is

and day visitors can

have terrace whirlpool

complimentary.

enjoy a choice of

tubs while club

coralhideaway.com

beachfront bars, a

has opened on the resort’s southeast coast with 35 one- and two-storey villas ranged down a hillside to the sea and rooftop dining. It’s exclusive to Kuoni in the UK.

In-room comforts are iPad controlled at this

rooms come with

contemporary 34-villa resort. Each villa has a terrace with infinity

26

special Sunday brunch

additional perks.

U ZENMAYA PHUKET

and themed events.

Romance and spa

The deluxe premium

nikkibeach.com/phuket


A

t the racha, many guests never want to leave. and they don’t.

Many of our guests tell us that memories of The Racha stay on with them, long after they depart.

At The Racha, when we say “we hope to see you soon again” to our guests, we often do. www.theracha.com

X O

P R I VAT E

all pools at the racha are ozone-treated. not only is it gentler on your skin, it’s also kinder to the environment.

Season after season, our staff delight in welcoming familiar faces back to our island resort. Some guests return for the care and friendship of the staff. Others to indulge again in the resort’s many creature comforts - from basking in sunlit ozonated pools, to enjoying The Racha’s eco-chic villas and strolling the resort’s twenty acre grounds. Many guests return to soak in the beauty and magic of Racha Yai island, rated as one of the Andaman Sea’s most beautiful.

A menber of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

85 luxurious villas • 3 ozonated pools (excluding private ones) • 3 signature dining establishments & bar

world-acclaimed anumba spa • club del mar for chilling • personalized sea and land experiences • to-die-for-views complimentary tel: 66 76 355 455 fax: 66 76 355 637 email: reservation@theracha.com www.theracha.com gds codes: sabre lx 47937 • galileo lx 73496 • worldspan lx hkttr • amadeus lx hkttra In accordance with Thai law, all beaches in Thailand are open to the public.


USEFUL INFORMATION

Making

it happen T

ravelling to and around Thailand is easy. Help your client book their trip and plan their itineraries by tapping into the wealth of useful information available before they go...

THAI AIRWAYS' NEW A380

From July 1, 2015, Thai Airways will operate its state-of-the-art Airbus A380-800 on the London Heathrow to Bangkok route, providing the best possible flying experience,“with touches of Thai”. The décor and ambience onboard Thai Airways' A380s continues to reflect the airline’s long-established image, combining rich vibrant colours with traditional designs. thaiairways.co.uk

GETTING INTO TOWN

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi (Su-WanaPoom) airport has an airport rail link to the city centre running 06.00 to midnight. The Express Service stops at Makkasan

(which connects with the MRT rail service) and Phyathai (which connects with the BTS skytrain). It takes 15 minutes, departs hourly on the half hour and costs 150 baht (around £2.80). The City/Commuter service makes additional stops, takes 30 minutes and departs roughly every 15 minutes with extra services during weekday rush hours. It costs between 15 and 45 Baht (28p-£84). Thai allows early luggage check in at Makkasan station. The Airport Express bus stops at well-known hotels. Taxis should be taken from the well-organised official rank. Drivers will check travellers are willing to pay the toll to take the faster Expressway. airportSuvarnabhumi.com; srtet.co.th

GETTING AROUND

as the Indian sub-continent, Middle East, Australasia, Los Angeles and Europe. • They are part of Star Alliance.

Thai Airways/Thai Smile

Bangkok Airways

• These carriers have 11 domestic destinations including Bangkok. • They link Bangkok to other Far East destinations including Indochina, as well

• Bangkok Airways flies to 10 Thai destinations including Bangkok. • Has dedicated lounges and runs three of its own airports, including a Samui hub.

GETTING THERE: THAILAND IS WELL SERVED BY A GOOD RANGE OF AIRLINES Direct flights to Thailand typically take 10.5-12 hours. Other airlines making one stop include: Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Air China, China Southern, Air India, Sri Lankan Airlines, Aeroflot, Korean Air, Asiana, Vietnam Airlines.

Airline THAI AIRWAYS thaiairways.co.uk

Frequency

Depart LHR

Depart LGW

Arrive BKK

Depart BKK

Arrive HKT

Depart HKT

Arrive LHR

Double-daily

11.50 21.35

06.10+1 15.55+1

00.15 13.20

06.20 19.35

EVA AIR evaair.com

Daily

21.20

15.45+1

13.10

17.35

BRITISH AIRWAYS ba.com

Daily

15.40

09.15+1

11.20

17.35

THOMSON AIRWAYS thomsonfly.com

Weekly Nov 5 to April 24

EMIRATES emirates.com

Several daily deaparting various airports via Dubai*

ETIHAD etihad.com

Twice daily (BKK) Twice daily/ daily (HKT via Abu Dhabi)

JET AIRWAYS jetairways.com

Daily (return double daily) via Mumbai

Fri 12.30 (April 13.30) Multi

09.15 20.20

Multi

06.50 Multi daily Multi daily between between 00.2001.0518.40 20.40 06.50+1 18.15+1

14.05 20.20 10.05 (via Mumbai)

Daily 21.55

Daily 00.35

02.15 19.50 08.40 18.00 +1 (LHR only)

07.15+1

09.00

20.25

08.55 21.35 (via Mumbai)

*Departs UK for Bangkok and/or Phuket from Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow. Emirates codeshares with Qantas to Bangkok.Timings correct for winter programme at time of going to press.

28

Arrive LGW

15.00 (April 16.00)

17.45

Multi

12.30

06.35+1 12.05 17.30

17.40 07.00


USEFUL INFORMATION

• Links Thailand with Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives. And by codeshare to Japan, Abu Dhabi and Oman and Australia. • Offers Discovery Airpass coupons (minimum three, maximum six), valid two months from first use, cost US$88-113 domestic, and US$120-280 internationally. The pass (with different fares) is also available for sister Lao Airlines. Bangkokair.com Other airlines with regional routes include Air Asia, Nok Air, SilkAir, Jetstar, Tiger Airways and Virgin Australia. PUBLIC TRANSPORT BANGKOK ONLY BTS SkyTrain: An air-conditioned elevated

railway, good for Sukhumvit Road hotels and shopping (Siam Square and Mo Chit). Meets the river at Saphan Taksin. bts.co.th MRT Metro: Bangkok’s underground railway connects with BTS and the airport link. bangkokmetro.co.th

Chao Phraya river ferries: These make scheduled hops. Major riverside hotels also have shuttle boats. COUNTRYWIDE Tuk-tuks: Motor-rickshaws for short trips

– haggling expected. Taxis: Pink and plentiful. Check the meter’s on. Negotiate for day trips. Sawngthaew: Cheap truck-style buses. Long-tail boats: Wooden boats with

outboard motors providing ferry-style services or charters on sea and river. LONGER DISTANCE Train: Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Malaysia

connect well with Bangkok. railway.co.th

Bus/minibus: Government buses connect

major resorts cheaply. Private mini buses are plentiful but often depart only when full. Ferries: Scheduled services run from resorts to major islands.


USEFUL INFORMATION

Be a Thai

expert

I

f you’re a travel agent you’ll find plenty of friendly support available from the Tourism Authority of Thailand to help you book holidays to the destination.

SOCIAL MEDIA

ONLINE TRAINING

youtube.com/user/ ThailandReunited

The TAT’s free online Travel Uni training course can be found at: training.tourismthailand.co.uk There’s also a Thailand module as part of PATA’s online training at: pataacademy.co.uk

WEBSITE

For a wealth of useful Thailand information check out the TAT’s official website for the UK: tourismthailand.co.uk

 FRIENDS OF THAILAND CLUB ROADSHOWS TAT’s Friends of Thailand Club has airline, hotel and ground handler members. Meet them at the remaining roadshows in 2015:

Thailand Reunited is the destination’s fan club, letting travellers share their experiences:

�facebook.com/fanclubthailand

�http://uk.blog.tourism thailand.co.uk

�@ThailandFanClub The trade version is the Sawasdee Club, which includes news, training opportunities and competitions. facebook.com/pages/Sawasdee-Club

Thailand offers the trade huge sales potential. Get in touch – we're here to help! CHRIS LEE TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND

 PATA EVENTS The TAT is part of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), which encompasses tourist boards, airlines, hotels and DMCs. You can meet the TAT and relevant suppliers at the following 2015 events:

PATA Quiz nights Leeds, July 8; Chester, July 9; Dundee, August 19; Glasgow, August 20; Bournemouth, October 21; Brighton, October 22; Bristol, March 16; Cardiff, March 17.

June 24-25 Portsmouth and Plymouth September 2-3 Jersey and Guernsey And in 2016... TAT will be visiting nine cities across the UK, with venues to be confirmed. Keep your eyes on the Sawasdee Club Facebook page for more info.

Other PATA events Taste of PATA, London, September 10; Christmas Lunch, December 17.

30


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