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The 10 best ways to explore Thailand in 2024_INSIGHT

An 11-day tailor-made tour with Audley Travel (01993 838115) starts from £3,545pp, B&B. It includes three nights in Bangkok, three nights full-board on safari at the Elephant Hills luxury camp in Khao Sok National Park and four nights at the new Avani+ Khao Lak. Flights, transfers and some excursions are also included 

5. Walk from temples to tribes

Tropical Thailand might not seem like an obvious choice for a walking holiday, but time your trip over the winter months and you will enjoy pleasant temperatures, low humidity and bucolic scenery. 

The walking specialist Ramblers Holidays recently introduced a new level-three tour (about four miles a day, moving at a leisurely pace), which begins with a stroll around the Grand Palace and Wat Arun in Bangkok, then moves on to the ­Hellfire Pass on the River Kwai, and Chiang Mai’s ancient temples and ­fascinating hill tribes. It ­ends in the Golden Triangle, where the Mekong river links Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.  

A 12-night Discover Thailand tour with Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133) starts from £3,599pp, full-board, and includes flights, transfers, private guiding, and all site entrance fees 

6. Enjoy low-key Koh Samui 

Koh Samui is best known for its nightlife and easy access to Koh Phangan’s riotous Full Moon parties, but it isn’t hard to find uncrowded ribbons of fine, white beach if you know where to look. 

The Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui is part of a new brand launched by Banyan Tree hotels that puts the focus on resting and recharging. Rooms are a peaceful ­palette of pale woods and oatmeals, ­restaurants offer healthy-eating options, and facilities include free wellness classes and ­complimentary stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and Hobie Cats.

Kuoni (0800 086 8388) has seven nights in a beachfront suite at the five-star Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui from £1,749pp, B&B, including return flights from Heathrow with Eva Air

7. Unwind with a wellness retreat in Chiang Mai 

Thailand has a number of big-hitting, celebrity-frequented wellness retreats (Chiva-Som, Kamalaya, The Rakxa), but it’s in Chiang Mai that you’ll find the true spiritual heart of the country. Authentic local treatments include tok sen, a massage that uses the vibrations of a wooden hammer and pegs to loosen muscles and aid sore joints, and yam khang, a treatment where therapists dip their feet in flaming oils before applying them to the body. Try these and more on a wellness retreat at the new Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai.


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