Thailand

A grey November afternoon and I was on the way to Heathrow Terminal 2 having been invited by Inspired By Asia to join them on a trip to Thailand. Our flight with Eva Air in Premium Economy was very comfortable and the pre-flight snacks and drinks in the lounge most welcome.

On arrival in Bangkok the following afternoon we were met and transferred to the Royal Orchid Sheraton where we stayed for one night. My Riverview room was very comfortable with fantastic views as I was on the 17th floor! A 10 minute tuk tuk ride took us to the Shangri La Hotel for dinner, another beautiful hotel on the river.

After a very early start the following day we took an internal flight to Surat Thani airport which took just an hour from Bangkok, followed by a one hour road transfer to Elephant Hills. Here we checked into our luxury tents, complete with full bathroom. The camp is in a fantastic setting surrounded by mountains and rainforest. Here we fed, scrubbed down and washed the elephants. What an amazing experience – one I will never forget! During the afternoon we visited a Thai school. Inspired By Asia provide help with the funding of their books and equipment – it was lovely to meet the children and they put on a wonderful dance routine to entertain us.

The following morning we took a road transfer to the pier and took a long tail boat for a 90 minute journey through fantastic lake scenery to Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp . This comprises of 20 tents floating on the lake. Each tent has its own canoe and the tents once again were very comfortable with proper beds and an outside terrace. I went for a swim in the lake which was very refreshing. You can hear the monkeys in the trees and other wildlife – it is amazing. Guides took us out on the lake in canoes and we came across an area where wild elephants come down to drink and spotted a family of monkeys swinging through the trees.

The next day we left by boat and returned to the mainland and transferred to the resort of Krabi where we boarded a speedboat to the island of Koh Lanta. This took us to the 5* Pimalai Resort & Spa which was stunning – we were fortunate enough to be given Hillside Ocean View Private Pool Villas with amazing views and beautiful private pool and terrace. After a one night stay there we were back in the speed boat heading for the mainland and transferred to The Tubkaak, Krabi where we stayed for our final two nights. Two nights in one place!

The hotel has a range of facilities. We were treated to a Thai massage which was a lovely experience, The unique cocooned treatment rooms exude a calming ambiance.

Sunset from the beach restaurant was absolutely stunning – a very relaxing end to the day.

Whilst staying at The Tubkaak we took a short journey to Rayavadee, again in the resort of Krabi. This resort is only accessed by sea due to the surrounding limestone cliffs. Another beautiful location. There are three beaches and the rooms are spread out over many acres. Our farewell dinner was served in a cave on the beach with another glorious sunset! To reach this resort from Krabi airport takes just 30 minutes.

A very early start today as we make our way to Krabi airport for our flight to Bangkok and our onward journey back to London. I would definitely recommend a trip to Thailand, the experience was varied and relaxing.