Long a favourite among romantics and adventurers alike, holidays to Thailand excite with wildlife-dotted rainforests, impress with Buddhist wonders and soothe with island paradises.

Unlike each and every one of its neighbours, Thailand dodged the weighty influence of Europe’s colonial powers. The result? A uniquely preserved cultural heritage that plays out across everything from gilded palaces and dramatically tiered temples to that impossibly moreish cuisine and a truly spectacular natural world. Elephants roam old-growth rainforests, ancient villages crouch in the north’s jungled hills and crystal-clear waters are backed by pristine white sand. Indeed, there’s perhaps nothing more indulgent than hopping between the country's islands, discovering secret palm-fringed beaches among green-dappled karst towers.

That’s not to say, however, that you’ll be without more than a touch of luxury amongst all that unspoilt wilderness. Thailand is host to some of the world’s finest accommodation, with the likes of private beachfront villas and even floating rainforest camps competing for your attention. And, never outdone, in Bangkok you can stay in pool-capped skyscrapers, their futuristic neon set between the city’s silted markets and century-old teakwood houses. The Thai capital is a true feast for the senses, from its vibrant streetfood scene to its incense-fragranced monasteries and the burnished gold of its Royal Palace.

 


Special experiences

Take an immersive tour of Bangkok from its secret klongs to hidden street food markets, enjoying exclusive access to the Grand Palace where a historian will bring the past to life. Uncover out-of-the-way corners by long-tail boat in the company of a knowledgeable local. Meet the city’s finest jewellers and antique dealers and try to secure a treasure to take home. Go on a food safari with a chef and then have a cookery class in their kitchen to discover the spices and flavours of local specialities. Let us secure a chef’s table for two at the legendary Blue Elephant, one of Bangkok’s signature restaurants or settle onto a luxury barge on the Chao Praya River for a sunset feast. Work off all that fine dining and get fighting fit in a muay Thai gym. Let a monk bless your onward journey in a private ceremony. Head into jungle-clad hills on foot to encounter remote tribes and trek through dense rain forests on jungle trails. Experience the charms of Old Siam on Koh Lanta. Try a dose of futuristic treetop living at a chic jungle bolthole, dining in an intimate treetop pod or at a lantern-lit beach table set up just for you. Let a professional masseuse soothe any aches with a couples spa treatment tailored to your needs. Enjoy a jaw-dropping helicopter or speedboat ride through the amazing limestone karst formations of the Phang Nga Islands before settling back to enjoy a celebration dinner event complete with musicians, performers and fire dancers. Climb aboard a specialist vessel for a cruise up the Mekong River and into the heart of adventure.

Ang Thong Marine Park, Koh Samui

Explore Thailand's spectacular marine national parks

Lebua at State Tower Bangkok

Dine on a rooftop overlooking Bangkok's 21st-century sprawl

Pimalai, Koh Lanta

Indulge with a spa treatment at an exclusive oceanfront resort


Where to stay in Thailand

In a country awash with luxurious properties, combine slick contemporary city stays in Bangkok with boutique beach escapes that are ideal for barefoot luxury such as Anantara Rasananda on Koh Phangan, the Sarojin on Khao Lak and Six Senses properties on Samui and Yao Naoi. Alternatively try the luxury villas of Pimalai on Koh Lanta. Look out too for luxurious spa retreats, converted palaces, luxury tented camps and even a place where you can catch a glimpse of three different countries from a single hotel at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp.

When to go to Thailand

You can travel to Thailand during any month although conditions vary from region to region and, indeed from coast to coast. The west coast beaches – Krabi, Phuket et al – are at their best during winter when the water is at its clearest for diving and snorkelling. Conversely, the east coast sees the heaviest rains in November and the driest months are between January and February. That said, even during the rainy season the downpours are short, allowing for plenty of beach time. Also, there are fewer crowds and prices are at their lowest. 


Suggested itineraries

Longboat cruise, elephant ride and private dining, Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa

Highlights of Thailand

13 days from £2,595 pp incl. flights

Showcase the best of Thailand in style, starting with Bangkok’s infectious energy and ending with a luxury beachfront resort on a palm-fringed island. In between, you’ll enjoy adventure touring and all-inclusive indulgences with a jungle-clad elephant camp.

Private beach dining, Anantara Rasananda, Koh Phangan

The Romance of Thailand

15 days from £2,690 pp incl. flights

Following a stay in Bangkok’s finest hotel – a skyscraping jewel – you’ll hop between a pair of paradisiacal Thai islands, enjoying wine receptions, stays in private-pool villas and the chance to explore colourful reefs and dense jungles alike.

Herd, Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camp

Thailand Beach and Elephant Safari

15 days from £2,690 pp incl. flights

This indulgent itinerary pairs the chance for some white-sands island luxury in a private-pool villa with an all-inclusive rainforest safari. Here, you’ll stay in chic floating camps as you walk with elephants and spot monkeys on canoe trips and longboat cruises.

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