Thailand’s a favourite among us at EL for a quick getaway. When travel is back on track, here are some great places to head to!
The Thai capital is one of my favourite places to visit. You get delicious food, amazing spas at every corner, and the shopping is great, too. On top of that, if you’re a fan of Muay Thai like I am, there are lots of gyms in the city (and beyond) to check out.
I really enjoyed my stay at Shama Lakeview Asoke Bangkok, a serviced apartment located just 10 minutes by foot from Asoke BTS station. Bangkok city is easy to navigate via the BTS and MRT systems, and you get to avoid the infamous Bangkok traffic!
The apartment was clean and spacious, and the service staff hospitable and professional. Our stay was faultless – I loved how you can get your laundry done the night before you leave, so you check out with clean clothes. I think this option would be perfect for those travelling with kids!
There are a few things I need to accomplish during any trip to Bangkok: check out a new café, snack on street food … and visit a Muay Thai gym! Recently, I visited the popular Roast café (Thonglor branch) for brunch with my friends. While it was on the pricier side, the food was really good. In fact, Bangkok is a must-visit for café lovers, and the brunch scene is booming.
– Anthia Chng
If I’ve been missing any kind of holiday in particular, it’s a beach getaway – I’d love to hop on a short flight to Phuket for the weekend!
During my last trip there, I stayed at Akyra Beach Club Phuket in Phang Nga (temporarily closed but hopefully opening again soon). I liked that it wasn’t too far from the airport – just 20 minutes away – and that it’s right by the beach. I stayed in one of the Seaview Villas, directly overlooking the pool. There was a good breakfast consisting of local and international fare, including a delicious Thai rice soup. The property also houses a Kids’ Club and the Ayurah Spa, where you can choose from massages, reflexology treatments and scrubs. Besides giving you a daily schedule of things to do within the resort, the hotel can also organise day trips such as a picnic to the nearby Wat Khao waterfall.
Just down the road from Akyra is its sister property Aleenta Phuket Resort, which has a fantastic spa (I had a facial there and it was great) along with more restaurants to check out. For larger groups, this is the ideal spot as there are villas with up to five bedrooms.
– Lindsay Yap
Hire a boat
I was invited for a weekend cruise off the coast of Phuket on the Merdeka 3, a custom-made wooden Indonesian phinisi (two-masted boat) that holds up to 14 people. On board, there are four double beds (all ensuite) that open up practically onto the water; it’s amazing to wake up to your own sea view! There are two berths below: these have three beds each and are better for kids. The two large living areas make the set-up feel so spacious; one of them doubles as a massage parlour, with a masseuse available around the clock to sort out those knotty areas. The top deck is great for tanning, drinking cocktails and looking out for meteorites. There are fixed itinerary cruises that visit Krabi or Phi Phi and free-flow charters where you can go wherever and whenever you like.
Islands and more
The islands are spectacular, with large rust-coloured walls of stone pushing up through the water. Inside these giant formations you’ll find little havens and sometimes an entire enclosed sea, while others have little islands with their own ecosystems, mangroves, bats and other interesting creatures. We took a motor dinghy to explore these places – sometimes, we had to lie flat on the bottom of the boat to get through the openings!
We also rode kayaks provided onboard, cruised along the coast and found ourselves at uninhabited beaches. There were snorkel sets for use too.
As the owner Neil Dibb says, “It’s a rustic and cultural experience for people who enjoy being with nature, and who relish private time in the company of good friends and family.”
– Rebecca Bisset
See more in our Travel section