Once you’ve had your fill of the metropolis and surrounds there are plenty of other Thai destinations to spend days, weeks or even months, depending on how tight your schedule is.
However, it’s impossible to come to Thailand without checking out at least one of the idyllic islands and boy does this country have islands – offering everything from Robinson Crusoe-like castaway destinations such as Koh Tarutao to the heights of hedonistic party central and full-moon partying for the 20-somethings such as Koh Phangan, Koh Tao or Koh Samui. Having said that, islands such as these last three tend to have more than one face – a beach or area dedicated to the backpacker hordes and late night shenanigans but also a quieter side which might as well be a world away.
Phuket has dropped its ‘ko’ – the word which denotes island in Thai. Because it is so big and joined by a road bridge it is easy to forget it isn’t just a mainland extension. Phuket tends to be popular with the 2 week holiday package destination crowds because here everything you could possibly need for comfort and an easy life is on hand. It does have a certain charm still but if you’re really looking for something less touristy and more Thai head to one of the countless other islands scattered east and west of the thin Thai peninsula in both the Andam an Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. No two are the same but expect beaches of the tropical and stunning variety throughout with unrivalled snorkelling and diving everywhere.
Should all this exploring leave you with a few kinks and knots brought on by an over-load of sight-seeing check out one of the many excellent massage services on offer. In many cases you can have your massage right on the beach under a canopy with the sound of the waves in the background (my idea of heaven!) But be warned – traditional Thai massage may well sort out your aching limbs but it can be hard on your body if you are unused to them! Make sure you ask for a gentle or medium massage if your body is at all sensitive. If you’re not sure just plump for a foot massage or look for a non-Thai option – they are easily found too.
More Thailand in the Travelman series:
Find out more about Thailand – Lesser Visited Ruins, Night Bazaars and a Fairytale ‘Castle’
To contact Jerry with your travel questions and for itinerary advice, please email him: [email protected]
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