Southern Thailand is an amazing array of beaches and remote, romantic locations, making it the ultimate getaway for couples to escape the hectic everyday life.
I recently experienced two beautiful resorts in Thailand and I was surprised to find how much one can really “disconnect.” Phulay Bay – a Ritz-Carlton Reserve property – offers a chance to be in five star accommodations with the sensation of being marooned on a lush tropical landscape. Here you can unwind in the large pool area, the fabulous spa, and enjoyed a number of activities such as kayaking, cooking classes, snorkeling, and other water sports on the Andaman Sea. Upon arrival, you are welcomed by the ringing of the Thai gong and greeted by staff who hand you a scented, chilled towel and a cup of lemongrass and ginger tea. By golf cart, we drove to my bungalow, complete with its own personal plunge pool. A highlight at this lovely resort is the sunset at their outdoor bar area, complete with comfortable seating where you can enjoy a cocktail (Passion Fruit mojitos was a favorite)!
Another very special place in which you can unwind, de-stress, and disconnect is the beautiful Ryavadee Resort set within a mangrove forest on the Phranang Peninsular. This incredible getaway is populated with wild monkeys and exotic birds such as macaws, as well as the native iguanas. The accommodations resemble a tree house with two floors included in your room, and are completely surrounded by the forest. (The hotel staff suggest that you keep your door closed or the monkeys may drop in uninvited!) There are three beaches, each encircled by mountains. The most amazing site is the limestone peaks that rise from the Andaman Sea. (This is a favorite spot for mountain climbers.)
There are plenty of ways to be active; including walks on the beach, where you can explore some of the cave openings with their artifacts displayed at the entrances, a plethora of water sports, and the opportunity to enjoy an exhilarating boat ride to a different area for a private swim on a deserted beach in the warm waters of this sea. Slightly off the beach, you can take a path that will lead to a number of open aired vendors and small cafes. An interesting excursion is to visit Phi Phi Island for a day of rainforest exploration and immersion within beautiful waterfall settings.
Throughout this region of Thailand, there’s no shortage of expertly prepared, fresh cuisine. One of the specialties at Rayavadee was their banana and mango pancakes with warm melted butter. A highlight was the cocktail party with appetizers at the entrance of the beautiful cave, complete with bar and evening entertainment. Unique to the island lifestyle is the opportunity to try a class on flower garland weaving or fruit carving. Most of the hotels will set up these lessons for you.
Southern Thailand is truly a visual kaleidoscope of colors and sounds in which you can experience not only Krabi, but a number of different islands such as Phuket, and Koh Samui for a tremendously romantic and unique (first time experiences) getaway. As Mark Twain noted, “Catch the trade wind in your sails and explore, dream, and discover.”