South-East Asia immediately brings to mind lush sceneries and mystical experiences. We associate it with life-changing stories commonly depicted in movies and books. Thailand is no exception to the rule!
The world’s fascination with Thailand has turned the country into one of the most popular destinations across the globe, allowing Thailand to carve a name for itself in the field of relaxation and gastronomy. Yet, Thailand is a land with so much more to offer.
We know that Thailand can be difficult to navigate, but today, we are here to guide you through it. Discover the many faces of Thailand with Lartisien. From the classic relaxation spots to the deep dive into the history and culture!
1. Visiting Bangkok – A Marriage of History and Modernity
For a lot of people, the entirety of Thailand is a place of abundant, overgrown nature, seeping into the narrow streets of the cities and jam-packed with people rushing around in between the stalls at the markets. But for those who know Bangkok, the truth is entirely different.
What is Bangkok Like Today?
Certainly, all the above is still a part of the capital’s history, but Bangkok has evolved so much in the last few decades and resulting in one of most vibrant cities in South-East Asia! It’s landscape now displays vertiginous skyscrapers, shopping malls and attractions, feats of modernist architecture, gastronomic restaurants such as Potong and Haoma (which are redefining the local cuisine), and of course, the compulsory coffee shops along Siam Square.
Then, scattered around all of this are historic temples with golden statues, such as the Wat Phra Kaeo and the Wat Pho and pieces of history such as the Jim Thompson House (an abode of culture and art), colourful marketplaces of spices and crafts, and mom-and-pop shops where you can still get a dish of Pad Kra Pao (fluffy rice, stir-fried minced meat with Thai basil, and sunny-side up on top) at midnight if the earlier dinner didn’t fill you up.
Where to stay in Bangkok
The Park Hyatt Bangkok brings you right at the very heart of this effervescence, planting itself firmly into the metropolitan area and peering down over the ever-changing tapestry that is Bangkok. The hotel is a work of architectural beauty and combines the best of what the city has to offer and dilutes it down so that it can be enjoyed in harmony.
2. Visiting Phulay Bay – A Bubble of Culture and Tradition
Located along the shores of the Andaman Coast in the Province of Krabi, some 750 kilometers south of Bangkok, Phulay Bay is a secluded location that, curates a personalised experience of Thailand for every guest.
The location is already within a stone’s throw from many of the scenic views in Thailand. Staying at the Bay means surrounding yourself by the very best that the region has to offer; to embark on a discovery of Thailand’s rich culture through its aesthetics of immaculate beaches, its gastronomy, its games and plays and its stories.
Where to stay in Phulay Bay
Entering this Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel feels like stepping into a side of Thailand that feels like a half remembered dream, with architecture that pays homage to the region’s rich Moorish heritage. Elsewhere, the resort’s culinary offering is entirely dedicated to bringing the best of what the land and seas have to offer. Enjoy the most flavourful of prawns and fish, roasted chilli pastes and lemongrass (a staple of Thai cuisine), fresh mango salads, noodles and rice, and deep, rich soups and broths with an array of spices and herbs.
When the eyes and the taste buds are satisfied, that is when the hotel brings out their Culture Experts. They will engage you emotionally, intellectually with the practices and stories of Thailand, with for example, the Thai shadow puppets to relate the Ramakien epic.
3. Visiting Chiang Rai – A Rustic Retreat
On the complete opposite end of the country, near the borders of Laos and Myanmar, another experience altogether awaits!
From Bangkok, Chiang Rai can be reached by either a car drive or just a short plane ride, but once you find yourself at your destination, the change is almost instantaneous. From the boat ride up Ruak River to a vintage Jeep that takes you on a discovery of the environs, this is as close as you can get to a real-life exploration of the Thai wilderness… without any of the risks, of course.
Begin your day adventure, when the sun in high: interact with the gentle elephants of the jungle in their natural habitat, fish with the locals along the river, visit the ancient temples, or get in a long-tail boat and go on an excursion along the Mekong River.
Where to stay in Chiang Rai
Lost in the dense jungle of Chiang Rai, the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle resort welcomes you for a 19th-century safari adventure. What really sells this experience was the fact that it never felt gimmicky to us. Indeed, you wouldn’t be surprised to see actual explorers stopping by on their way to some far-flung sites.
With no television, and just one restaurant and bar with a maximum capacity of 51 guests, there is a sense of camaraderie in sharing the sojourn with complete strangers.
4. Visiting Koh Kood – A Tropical Family Getaway
Though a number (if not all) of the above could be great for a romantic getaway, our next destination really lends itself to some quality family time. Koh Kood is home to some of the best beaches in the country, overlooking the saturated waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
You can reach the island through any normal flight or chartered private boat, and some high-end hotels even offer private plane for guests flying in. Guests will land at one of the neighbouring islands before embarking a speedboat for a quick ride over to Koh Kood. The island itself is known as being one of Thailand’s least developed destinations, and therefore, one of its most pristine and unperturbed. If ever there was a place to role-play the adventures of Robinson Crusoe, it would indeed be Koh Kood.
The island is safe, and the flora is just waiting to be explored. One of the best activities we can recommend is to mingle with the local inhabitants. Koh Kood has a fishing village in the southeast of the island where you can see the stilt houses on the water, and enjoy some amazingly fresh seafood.
Where to stay in Koh Kood
Over at the Soneva Kiri, the resort caters even more for the family, with a number of experiences where both parents and kids can participate. Enjoy an outdoor private movie screening, stargazing at the observatory, or snorkelling at the resort’s Solar reef garden.
5. Visiting Phuket – Discover Thailand’s Wellness Industry
Our last address in Thailand is one that goes back to the classics… no matter what ideas one may have about Thailand, the country is known throughout the world for its incredible wellness industry. Thai massages have found their way into every spa around the world, and Phuket is home to where these ancient, tried-and-tested techniques are celebrated.
Where to stay on Phuket Island
Overlooking its own peninsula in Phuket Island, only 30 minutes from the airport, the almost completely private Amanpuri is 76 acres of land and property dedicated to comfort and wellness. The whole property, with its towering coconut and palm trees rising from abundant greenery, is designed to emanate a Zen energy that echoes the atmosphere outside the hotel. Indeed, the whole island has a kind of laid-back attitude that fits well with the scenery.
At the heart of all this, space from Aman’s first ever hotel is dedicated to a holistic wellness centre that has for long made Amanpuri an authority in the region. Inspired by the ancient healing techniques of the land and traditional Chinese medicine, the wellness program is designed to help the body, mind, and soul to rest and regenerate and be revitalized, to essentially acquire the wholeness and harmony that already permeates the entire resort.
Looking for more inspiration? We’ve got you covered! Explore further our range of hotels in Thailand.