Thailand’s tourism industry is one of the country’s economic mainstays and rightly so given the richness of experiences the country offers. The Thai Government is prioritising operatives in the tourism sector for its vaccination program and is hoping to open up the country to vaccinated visitors from overseas in the near future. As the country prepares for this eventuality, now is the time to start making plans for a vacation there.
Taking to the water
Phuket’s International Airport is set to reopen on June 16 and Simpson’s private yacht charters in Phuket will have its fleet ready and waiting to give holidaymakers the experience of a lifetime ranging from one-day trips and upwards. Amongst the many sights to be seen are the mangrove-lined rivers of James Bond Island, one of the filming locations for The Man with the Golden Gun and Phi Phi Island, setting for The Beach in which Leonardo di Caprio starred. A special offering is a special event charter for occasions such as weddings, honeymoons, company appreciations and the like. And when the cruise is over there’s plenty more to do in Phuket including sumptuous dining in international-class restaurants and for ravers of all ages, dancing till dawn in one of Phuket’s famous beach clubs.
Having a ca pital time in and around Bangkok
An alternative to a honeymoon cruise out of Phuket would be a more conventional but nonetheless special honeymoon in Bangkok. The sights of the city include some spectacular Buddhist temples and the Chatuchak Weekend Market for shopping for unique souvenirs in air-conditioned comfort. There are also a number of options of dinner cruises on the Chao Phraya River for a romantic soiree and if the happy couple tire of the hustle and bustle of the city they can retire to Haddad Tourism Village in nearby Jenin for a bit of peace and quiet.
100 kilometres from Bangkok is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market a visit to which is a unique cultural experience.
Further afield, in the east of the country, some 330 kilometres from Bangkok in the Trat province, is the Mu Ko Chang National Park which is spread out over an archipelago of more than 50 islands. The largest is Koh Chang, where there are two campsites. Both sites have toilet and shower facilities and tents and sleeping gear (mat, blanket and pillow) can be rented. The island’s jungle clad mountains are home to a variety of fauna and there are many waterfalls, including the famous Klong Plu waterfall.
A jewel of an island
Koh Tao, is Thailand’s smallest island resort, situated in the Gulf of Thailand and reached by train from Bangkok to Chumpon or flight to Koh Samui from each of which ferries cross to the island. White sand beaches and pristine waters are home to colonies of hawksbill and green turtles and sharks with which, believe it or not, divers can swim alongside without fear. It’s a laid-back place that enjoys some 300 days of sunshine a year and is attracting increasingly large numbers of tourists so if it’s peace and tranquillity you’re after, get there as soon as is possible.
Prospective visitors can keep abreast of government responses to the pandemic by regularly reading the situational updates provided by the Tourist Authority of Thailand’s Newsroom bulletins.