The islands of Thailand are Mother Nature’s triumph, little drops of heaven right here on earth. Each one has its own personality and its own character, meaning that you’ll definitely fall in love with at least one of them, and it will probably differ from your travel mate’s.
But that’s the beauty of it. Well, actually it’s not. The beauty of it is quite literally the sparkling waters that surround long golden sandy beaches, thick jungles bursting with wildlife and colour, fresh coconut cocktails and friendly locals. The islands of Thailand are like no other place on earth, so we’re giving them a massive High Five and are attempting to choose just five for this list. It’s going to be tough…
The Islands of Thailand are some of the most beautiful places in the world.
There’s no better feeling than finding yourself laying out in front of the sea, music playing, cocktail in hand, watching the world go by and enjoying maximum chill time.
If you’re dreaming of travelling, it’s likely that this kind of scene regularly features in your plans, and there are some pretty amazing places out there. So many in fact, that we’ve been inspired to create a list of our own favourites.
Our Pick of the World’s Best Beach Bars
Café Mambo, San Antonio, Ibiza
When it comes to the best beach bars in the world, there’s no way we could leave out Café Mambo in San Antonio, Ibiza. This place is legendary for 2 main reasons; 1) Superstar DJ’s use it as their warm for gigs at many of the big Ibiza club nights and 2) It’s the perfect spot to soak up what it probably one of the best, most atmospheric, sunsets in the world.
Expect it to be teeming with San Antonio’s cool crowd, so get there early if you want a comfy spot for the epic sunset.
The Ibiza legend that is Cafe Manbo. Image courtesy of ST33VO on Flickr.
Not so long ago, Laos was a no-go for backpackers. Years of war and a communist regime not keen on tourism meant its borders were firmly shut to travellers. Then, in the mid 90s, the government bigwigs had a change of heart, reversing their stance on tourism, even declaring 1998 the year to ‘visit Laos’.
And thank God they did. Since then, Laos has emerged as something of a cult destination for backpackers. Despite the onslaught of tourists, it’s still far less commercial than its Southeast Asian neighbour Thailand, and has managed to retain its laid back vibe. It’s got some amazing cuisine – think Southeast Asia meets French colonial – stunning countryside, a capital city that feels like a cosmopolitan village, ridiculously friendly people, and arguably the best beer in Indochina (hello, Beerlao).
Luang Prabang - just one of our five top reasons to visit beautiful Laos
Laos is the Southeast Asia you always imagined – it feels a million miles away from the hustle, bustle and knock-off Ray Bans of the Koh San Road. Don’t make the mistake of tagging it onto the end of your Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam adventure; it deserves your time and dedication. So set your inner body clock to Laos time, and get ready to fall in love with the Land of a Million Elephants.
It’s no secret that Thailand is one of the most spectacular places on the planet.
If you’re looking for a trip that balances vibrant culture, immaculate beaches, thick, green jungles and dramatic landscapes, while surrounding you with history, it’d be tough to find anywhere better. Not least right now, with our unbeatable Etihad airfares to Thailand.
What you may not be aware of, is that there are still many places to explore and discover, off the beaten track and away from the majority of other travellers.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t head to those well known traveller hotspots, like Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Phangan etc. — you absolutely should — they’re some of the most popular holiday destinations in the world for a reason.
However, try and really make the most of your time, and head away from the crowds to absorb Thailand from somewhere a little quieter. It will make your experience all the more special and provide stories and memories to keep you, and others, entertained for years to come.
It’s that time of the week again! Yep, it’s Ask the Experts Friday. A panel of our finest Travel Experts are here each week, ready and waiting to answer your travel questions. Got a question for them? Don’t be shy, share the (travel) love: email us, and the Experts will tackle your question like a footballer on heat (or something).
This week’s question comes from Ben in Chichester. HI BEN! Ben’s got a craving for a Southeast Asia adventure, and he wants our Experts to help him plan it. Let’s hear Ben’s question…
Hi Experts! I’m going to be travelling up from Singapore through Malaysia into Thailand before flying out of Bangkok this summer. Can you suggest a good itinerary? I have 5 weeks, and I’m not really keen on doing a tour. Any places you’d recommend seeing along the way? Ben, Chichester
Luckily for Ben, Amy from our Leeds Vicar Lane store has stepped up to the challenge! Take it away, Amy: