Thai Together: Three Romantic Itineraries Through Thailand
Holiday like you mean it on a tailor-made escape to Thailand where adventure awaits the kind of lovebirds who are as passionate about exploring temples and jungle waterfalls as they are about sipping sundowners next to icing-sugar sands
27 October, 2022
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Wisps of mist snagging on the spires of distant monasteries; more than 1,400 islands suspended in shimmering jade waters like a pearl necklace; the sizzle of fresh seafood on the grill... Thailand is one of few destinations with the capacity to make the entire SUITCASE team come over all doe-eyed. It's where many of us fell in love with travelling as bright-eyed backpackers, and it's the place we find ourselves returning to again and again.
For those looking to get away with their significant other, the wow factor can be found all over Thailand. But if you want to be sure that your escape ticks all the swoon-worthy boxes, The Turquoise Holiday Company should be top of your go-to list. One of the first companies in the UK to specialise in romantic breaks, Turquoise Holidays can help you plan any kind of Thai break, thanks to their expert team dedicated to couples' travel. The hallmarks here are bespoke itineraries, personal service, next-level knowledge of Thailand and hand- picked hotels. Ready to fall in love? Try these itineraries for inspiration.
Holiday romances: three Thai itineraries for travelling lovebirds
Six Senses Samui, left, and Bangkok.
Bangkok & island-hopping: Bangkok, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui
Adrenaline from the big day still pumping? Bangkok is a high-octane playground. Follow the smell of sizzling lemongrass, chilli and garlic to Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market, explore Siam's modern art galleries and join the city's cool crowd at Soi Nana's underground cocktail bars. Designed as a serene escape for Prince Chakrabongse - and still owned by a member of the royal family - Chakrabongse Villas provides a welcome contrast to the urban din. Expect exquisite antiques, gloriously landscaped gardens and a riverside restaurant, from where you can witness the sunset blazing crimson behind the spires of Wat Arun.
Welcome to Koh Phangan island, 90 per cent of which is covered in tropical forest and where the beaches consist of sugar-like sand. Leave Hat Rin to the backpackers - you'll be taking a private speedboat to the untouched beaches of the north coast, where your new home-from-home - one of Anantara Rasananda's luxurious villas - awaits. A long-tail boat is the best way to hop between the beaches of Hat Khuat, Mae Haad and Thong Nai Pan, before you head back to the hotel for a shower and sundowners. Did your first dance remind you how much you love to boogie? Hat Rin's infamous full moon parties are only a 30-minute drive away.
Last stop, Koh Samui - the island equivalent of the little black dress. No matter what kind of traveller you are, Samui is sure to be a fabulous fit. Learn about Buddhist deities at Wat Plai Laem and listen to monks chanting at Khao Hua Jook. Scramble to the top of Na Muang Waterfall, cooling off in natural rock pools along the way. When it comes to sweeping views of the Gulf of Thailand, Six Senses' infinity pool can't be beaten, and you'll have plenty of time to enjoy it - when you aren't trying water sports and being pampered in the world-class spa, that is.
Itineraries from £3,720pp*.
The Surin, left, and Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Jungle Camp.
Beach & jungle: Phuket, Khao Sok and Koh Lanta
Touchdown on Phuket, which offers 36 pearly beaches. The Surin's breezy cottages are dotted in the rainforest overlooking Pansea - a cupid's bow of sand that makes the ideal spot for recharging from post-wedding fatigue. Take a long-tail boat to tranquil Laem Sing or walk to Surin, where you can feast on fresh fish at Emmy Restaurant, a thatched shack overlooking the sea. Head to Talad Kaset Market for a roving breakfast, before exploring the banyan- shaded streets of Phuket Old Town. Feeling active? Try kayaking the glassy green of Phang Nga Bay, sliding into caves lit by bioluminescent algae.
Next, it's on to Khao Sok National Park, an ethereal dreamscape of hidden waterfalls, sculptural rafflesia flowers and mysterious rainforests stalked by leopards. Wake up in a king-sized bed to the sound of hornbills at Elephant Hills, a collection of stylish safari tents at the foot of a ridge of limestone mountains. Trek through the forest with a local guide pointing out curiosities such as winged dipterocarp fruit and jewel beetles, before cooling off with a dip in the crystalline waters of Cheow Larn Lake. Bed down in Elephant Hills' sister camp, where 20 romantic cabins float on the lake itself. Dreamy.
After so many activities, you probably fancy some time to relax. Happily, time, along with coral reefs and deserted beaches, is something Koh Lanta has in spades. Life on this sleepy island inches along about as fast as the water buffalo that wander down to the sea at sunrise. Spend your days floating in Pimalai Resort's infinity pool and trying the spa treatments, then sip from rum-laced coconuts as you drink in the island's sunsets. If you can peel yourself off the sun lounger, nearby Koh Haa is one of the best dive sites in the Andaman Sea.
Itineraries from £3,250pp*.
Six Senses Yao Noi, left, and Wat Arun temple in Bangkok.
City & beach: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Yao Noi
First stop, Bangkok. Cosmopolitan and dynamic, Thailand's capital is a thrilling fusion of tradition and modernity. In bustling Banglamphu, you might catch the swish of a Buddhist monk's robe disappearing down a backstreet, before being whisked into Khao San Road's hundreds of neon-clad bars. Simple and sleek, River Surya Hotel is perfectly located for catching a boat to cultural marvels such as the Royal Palace and Wat Pho, and it has a riverside pool where you can chill with your loved one after a day of sightseeing, street food, silk workshops and shopping.
Next, check in to Raya Heritage Chiang Mai and feel your pulse slow several beats. Nestled among the forests of the ancient Lanna kingdom, beyond which are misty mountains still populated by the Lisu and Lahu tribes, this all-suite hotel is like a showcase of local craftsmanship. Stroll around the walled Old Town of Chiang Mai city, before climbing the 306 serpent-flanked steps to the temple of Doi Suthep. Hike through the verdant, hilly countryside, fuelling your exertions by stopping off for home-cooked curries in the stilted villages along the way.
There's "getting away from it all" and then there's Yao Noi. A fleck of white and green floating among the limestone pinnacles of Phang Nga Bay, this petite island is a haven of mangroves, rubber plantations and rice paddies. Six Senses Yao Noi offers the kind of experience you usually only see on your Instagram feed: treehouse villas with plunge pools, moonlit massages and beach picnics with lashings of champagne. For a real castaway experience, kayak to tiny Koh Nok or head to Yao Noi's sleepy interior.
Itineraries from £3,455pp*.
Start planning your romantic retreat with Turquoise Holidays. With 20 years of experience and on-the- ground knowledge, you can count on them for professional, honest advice.
*Turquoise itineraries are inclusive of all accommodation (on varying board bases), transfers, domestic and international flights.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand also overs a trove of insider tips and locally loved inspiration.