Life is full of milestone occasions that deserve to be marked with a bit of a splash. And what better way to celebrate than with an adventure? Take it from us, when looking for somewhere memorable in which to raise a toast, Thailand fits the bill. Shimmering waters? Check. Swoon-worthy shores? Check. Cityscapes, lush tropical landscapes and cultural offerings at every turn? Check, check, check. From luxurious beach breaks and city stays to treks in tropical jungles, this Asian big-hitter has all the essential sand, sea and sense of adventure to ensure your celebration has the magic it merits.
Of course, there's no room for risk when it comes to planning such events (our luggage lost in Lampang? Please, no), so it's wise to trust the details to an expert. Offering firsthand know-how, honest advice and an excellent choice of hand-picked hotels, Turquoise Holidays is here to inspire you with three suggested Thai itineraries, any of which can be tailored to create your own holiday heaven.
Three terrific itineraries exploring Thailand's beautiful diversity
The beach at The Surin, left, and Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp
Beach & jungle
Thailand has so many beaches that you would be missing out to stay on just one. Kick off celebrations on the island of Phuket, whose platinum shores are kissed by the Andaman Sea. The Surin - set on a near-private stretch of Pansea Beach - is our recommended retreat. You'll find two more sandy strands - lively Surin Beach and peaceful Laem Sing - an easy walk away.
Time to mix things up. Head across to the mainland and venture to the forests of Khao Sok National Park, where a genuine once-in-a-lifetime experience awaits. Elephants, native to Thailand, are the star attraction; meeting them is made all the more special by staying in Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp's floating safari-style tents. It's an immersion in nature complete with the wake-up call of jungle sounds.
After connecting with elephants and communing with nature, another beach beckons. This time, Turquoise Holidays suggests the sugar-soft sands of Koh Lanta, where Pimalai Resort & Spa sits overlooking an unspoilt bay. Surrounded by coastal rainforest, the hotel's villas cascade down a hillside to within a crab's crawl of the sea. No wonder Pimalai translates into English as "little patch of heaven".
Monks file out a temple at Chiang Mai, left, and a bedroom at Six Senses Yao Noi.
City & beach
To get fully to grips with Thailand, you have to experience both city and sea. Dive into bustling Bangkok's palaces, monasteries, temples and food markets, then retreat to the peace and colonial-style comforts of Riva Surya. Set beside the Chao Phraya River, the hotel makes a handy base from which to walk to frenetic Khao San Road or dash around the capital by water taxi. When night arrives, we'd recommend hotfooting it to the city's acclaimed Rabbit Hole bar for celebratory cocktails. Our order? A bourbon infused with almond liqueur, please.
Our next city stop, Chiang Mai, operates at a gentler pace. Reached via domestic flight, this former heart of the Lanna Kingdom remains culturally distinct (the surrounding forested hills are home to indigenous tribes). Bed down at Raya Heritage, where traditional architecture and exquisite Thai handicrafts (think hand-dyed textiles, ceramic tiles and mulberry paper screens) put cultural creativity front and centre.
Pair your cultural fix with a beach break by getting away from it all on Koh Yao Noi, a back-to-nature island in legendary Phang Nga Bay. With a backdrop of limestone formations, powdery sands and towering rainforest, the barefoot elegance of Six Senses Yao Noi is our pick, where it's all too easy to disconnect completely from the outside world, focusing on nothing but the moment.
Temples of Bangkok, left, and Chakrabongse Villas
Bangkok & island-hopping
The Asian concept of Yin and Yang is all about balancing opposites (which you'll know all about, celebrating a relationship milestone, right?) and this suggested itinerary does just that. Start with the sensual immersion of a few days in buzzing Bangkok, venturing out to see the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and other signature sights from the tranquil haven of Chakrabongse Villas - a former royal residence with riverside gardens and art-filled interiors.
Known as a destination for full-moon parties as energetic as Bangkok itself, there's a lot more on offer on Koh Pha Ngan than just all-night dancing on the sand. Beach-hop between the island's most deserted shores, then head to relaxing Anantara Rasananda, the perfect foil to your city break. Spend days here alternating between sea swims, spa treatments and sipping cocktails, though, if you can bear to leave this sanctuary, those parties are just a half-hour drive away.
For a final change of scene, stick with the island vibe and sail to neighbouring Koh Samui; the beach-and-rainforest blend here is the stuff of tropical dreams. Checking into Six Senses Samui will round off your holiday in style (think serene jungle setting, a jaw-dropping infinity pool, a world-class spa, plus Gulf of Thailand views and a team of staff whose energy and charm will match your celebratory mood).
Start planning your celebratory trip with Turquoise Holidays and make sure your once-in-a-lifetime trip has all the discovery, relaxation and adventure that you seek.
*Turquoise itineraries are inclusive of all accommodation (on varying board bases), transfers, domestic and international flights.
Whatever you're celebrating, do it in Thailand, with its accessible and affordable diversity of culture, experiences, landscapes and food.