One may be forgiven for thinking that the Thai islands have been overrun with mainstream tourism, but there are still some islands off the beaten track where one can find pristine beaches, unspoiled jungles and crystal-clear waters with only the sound of birds to keep you company. Spend your days exploring nature by self-paddled canoe, bathing elephants and snorkeling among colorful schools of tropical fish. The quiet versions of paradise you will visit on this adventure will present you with an abundance of excellent hiking trails, magnificent viewpoints and unique restaurant experiences - including freshly caught seafood grilled on the beach and treetop dining.
Arrive in the bustling city of Bangkok, ready to begin your adventure. Stay overnight at the Novotel (Suvarnabhumi) airport hotel. Accommodation ranges from superior rooms to executive suites; pool, gym and spa facilities are close at hand, along with a variety of excellent restaurants to dine at.
In the morning, fly 80 minutes from Bangkok to Phuket, and then enjoy a private transfer (two and a half hours) to Khao Sok National Park. Check in and enjoy lunch, before making your way to the Elephant Hills Tented Camp for an afternoon with elephants you can interact with, feed and wash. End the day with a canoe safari down the Sok River.
Enjoy an exciting speedboat tour weaving in and out of fig trees, palms and giant ferns this morning and then try your hand at self-paddle canoeing around the mangrove roots. In the afternoon, settle in for a traditional junk boat cruise with lunch enjoyed onboard. The evening will be filled with dance performances and a cooking demonstration at the resort.
In the morning you’ll visit a local market in Takhun, and then take a longtail boat cruise to the famous Cheow Larn Lake. Here, you can check in to your incredibly unique accommodation at Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp - one of the only floating tent camps in the world. In the afternoon, prepare for some adventurous wildlife spotting via canoe safari.
An early morning private transfer will take you to Phuket airport, where you will then fly one hour to Hat Yai, before continuing on to Pak Bara pier. A high-speed ferry will bring you to the quiet paradisal island of Koh Lipe. Enjoy the charm and serenity as you watch the sunset on the aptly named Sunset Beach (for early risers, there is also a Sunrise Beach).
Enjoy the day at your leisure: peruse bohemian shops along the iconic blue pavement of the walking street, or spend the day relaxing in the sun on one of the island's pure white sandy beaches or hidden alcoves. Alternatively, you can take an early morning hike up to the Koh Lipe viewpoint, go on a fishing or snorkeling boat trip, or take a kayak to neighboring Koh Adang in the marine park.
For those craving activity, Koh Lipe has a number of excellent dive shops that provide trips to and around the nearby protected marine park, as well as yoga classes dotted around different locations on the island, featuring various practices from relaxing vinyasas to power flow. Several spas and massage parlors offering traditional Thai massages to soothe the body and soul are also available in the area. Along the beach, one can find rustic barbeque places that will grill freshly caught fish for you to enjoy by the water’s edge.
The morning can be spent at your leisure; if you have not been to watch the sunrise at the beach yet, then take the opportunity to enjoy it rising over the incredible turquoise ocean waves. Later, the high-speed ferry and private transfer will take you back to the Pak Bara pier and Hat Yai airport, where you will return to Bangkok and stay overnight.
A morning flight will take you to Trat, where you can take a bicycle tour around the nearby lake and down rural roads, where you will pass local farms and glistening rice paddies and enjoy lunch at a restaurant that feeds wild eagles. A private transfer will then take you from Trat to Laem Sok Pier, where you will get the boat over to the tucked away island of Koh Kood. Check in to the famous luxury resort of Soneva Kiri.
Enjoy the day as you wish; Soneva Kiri resort is famous for its unique “Treepod Dining Experience”, where diners sit in a bird’s nest-style pod suspended in the air and waiters cater to their guests by flying through the treetops on zip lines to deliver an array of enticing dishes for each table to enjoy.
Packed with wonderful hiking trails, majestic views and stunning waterfalls (such as Klong Chao, Klong Yai Kee and Huang Nam Keaw), the island of Koh Kood is a whole new world waiting to be explored and you’ll have the chance this morning to do as little or as much as you like Afterwards, relax in the sun on one of its many beautiful beaches, such as the unspoilt sands of Klaui beach.
Spend another leisurely day indulging in spa treatments and traditional massages offered by the resort, or delve into the island’s crystal-clear sea on a snorkeling/diving excursion or a boat trip. Try your hand at stand up paddleboarding upon the calm waters or test your flexibility and inner calm with a sunset yoga flow.