What comes to mind when you think of a holiday in Thailand?
Do you picture crowded beaches, simple (but clean) backpacking hostels, cheap (but excellent) street food and bucket parties? Perhaps you think of island hopping by ferry, snorkelling in impossibly blue waters and sinking your feet into talcum powder sand. Maybe you envision visiting sacred temples, having a Thai massage at one of the many street-side massage parlours or taking a jungle hike. Perhaps you picture taking long bus rides or quick trips in a tuk-tuk or songthaew? Do you visualise busy markets where you haggle with friendly locals over the price of handmade curios, already cheap clothes or delectable fresh produce? Do you imagine Thailand being a fantastic destination for a budget holiday? You are not wrong.
You would, however, be wrong if you think that this is all that Thailand has to offer.
If your idea of the perfect vacation is one of sumptuous luxury, with discreet but attentive service, delectable cuisine and your every need catered for, then Thailand is the destination for you too.
Whether you prefer a secluded villa on a tiny island in the Andaman Sea – replete with a personal butler and chef – or an opulent hotel in the heart of Bangkok, a luxury tented camp in the indigenous bamboo jungle or a wellbeing sanctuary at which to replenish mind, body and soul with ancient healing wisdom, Thailand has it all.
Throughout our visit three things were constant. They were woven like golden threads through every experience: the warmth of the people, the exceptional food and a rich natural beauty that was evident in everything from reverently tended gardens to the verdant jungle and azure sea, neither of which ever seemed far away.
The people of Phuket convey a calm, quiet happiness. It is as if they know secrets of the universe that others are not privy to. The barriers of language and cultural differences are forgotten in a dance of silent (sometimes somewhat bemused) observation, intuitive action as well as gracious service. There is no doubt that these people understand the mechanics of tourism and find joy in seeing the joy in others.
Thailand is no stranger to culinary excellence and boasts a number of world-renowned restaurants. The Thai people also deliver joy through their food. We enjoyed street food, ate at local restaurants and at our hotels. Most mealtimes were a social affair. Family-sharing spreads offered up a feast of seafood, pork, fruit and vegetables, noodles, rice and more. Without exception, the food was sublime. The ingredients were obviously fresh and the dishes expertly prepared. While Thai dishes often contain chilli, it was not over-bearing. More often than not there was extra chilli on the side for those who preferred their food a little spicier. The variety allowed even the pickiest eaters to enjoy a hearty, healthy, flavourful meal. Their food, like their service, was generously and thoughtfully offered.
There is no doubt Thailand has left an indelible mark on my soul – one that speaks of luxury, of discovery and, of course, of gratitude. I can think of no better way to demonstrate than to share some experiences of our recent (much too short) visit to the “Land of Smiles”.
I invite you to go on a journey of discovery with me. Our series of short articles over the next few days will uncover some of Thailand’s luxury gems.
To find out more about what Thailand has to offer, visit Amazing Thailand.Experience Phuket in Style
If our amazing 7-night Thailand adventure sounds just like the luxury break you need, visit the link below to book the same sumptuous accommodation and curated 5* experiences as a package: