The Land of Smiles; The Spring Guide to Thailand

Scattered with visions of glittering temples, tropical beaches, gorgeous weather and a warmth that seeps deep into even the most tired of travelling souls, it’s no wonder that Thailand remains our favourite spring fling.

While the cities may be swamped with culture and eclectic class, the coast is a vision of riotous full moon beaches, and craggy limestone cliffs shelter sleepy seaside spots. 

And rural Thailand is no less impressive – rice paddies of verdant green, temples stashed away in every corner, and inviting villages that harken back to simpler times, surrounded with the astounding natural beauty of mountains, jungles, waterfalls, and luminous lagoons. 

But you already know all the clichés, instead of waxing lyrical about the lore of Thailand, let's unravel exactly how to have a fabulous spring jaunt to the Land of Smiles…

Songkran Water Festival

New Year celebrations in Thailand are a wet and wonderful experience. While India has colour throwing Holi, London has bright explosions in the sky, and Bali has complete silence -Thailand has buckets upon buckets of water. 

The Songkran Water Festival runs between the 13-15th April and is basically one big water fight. As April tends to be the hottest month in Thailand, being doused with water every few steps is a welcome relief!

Start out at Wat Pho, one of the most important temples in the whole of Thailand where the golden buddha reclines before taking your soaked-to-the-bone-self down to the vibrant chaos of Khao San Road. 

So why the water? It’s seen as a form of purifying the soul - a much-needed strategy for those who want to shed the skin of the old year and walk completely cleansed into a new dawn. It's fun, it's fabulous and it may be damp, but this is the only chance you have to get shot with a water cannon that doesn’t involve any preceding illegal activity.

Foodie Bliss

It’s not hard to have a reputation for grinning ear to ear when you take a look at the truly mesmerizing delight of Thai Food. Slurp worthy noodles, spicy broths, fat shrimps adrift in a beautiful bowl of Tom Yum Goong, and globs of gorgeous green papaya – and this is truly the tip of the iceberg. 

If you are tired of all that second-rate Thai food back home, then make the most of your time in Thailand with this lip-smacking foodie tour. Spend seven days wandering the vibrant markets of Chiang Mai, guzzling edible delights at the hippest spots in Bangkok, sipping local coffee and perfecting your own arty techniques with cooking classes. 

In-between all that fabulous feasting - there’s plenty of temple touring, monk visiting, festival dancing, and lantern launching to keep you marching those creamy coconut calories off.

Animal Encounters

Ethical travellers should always think twice about spur of the moment animal encounters offered across the world. And Thailand is known for all things elephants. Instead of taking a misery-inducing elephant ride, opt for an experience that benefits both you and Nelly. 

With so many domesticated elephants in Thailand having lived their former lives lugging logs and participating in manual work, it’s high time to help ease these gentle giants into a rewarding retirement. 

These volunteer projects work with abandoned elephants to give them the loving life they deserve. Spend your days fully immersed in a working Thai village; feeding, bathing, walking alongside and generally ensuring these mega mammals get all the love, care and commitment they deserve.

Beaches and Breeze

White sand, gin-clear waters, and easy-breezy private residences. Welcome to Thailand’s boutique beach scene. Nowhere captures that far from the madding crowd vibe better than the beautiful     . 

Comprised of 23 gloriously sustainable villas occupying prime real estate merely steps from the beach, this is where you kick back, order another cocktail, and make the most of your own private pool. Hammocks, cookery classes onsite, morning yoga, and day trips that take you out exploring the gauzy coastline of the Gulf all add to the gentle rhythmic themes of embracing Thailand’s slow and easy moods. 

For those who feel like they need a break from the bright lights of Bangkok and the party vibes of Phuket, this strip of sheer perfection will keep you dreaming.

Heavenly Hideaways

Stashed away in Thailand’s deepest green thickets and limestone cliffs are a thousand heavenly hideaways just waiting to hold you, heal you, and send you back out into the world fully rejuvenated. For those who are tired of beachy hedonism and gorgeous globetrotting, the Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa in Koh Samui will put you right back on track.

Located in a sacred hillside setting in what was once a Buddhist cave famed for being a place of enlightenment, you couldn’t dream up a better locale for helping people reclaim their inner balance. 

Blending vivid western and eastern wellness philosophies, you can sleep in sheer bliss in your own hillside clinging thatch-roofed villa, dine on glorious goodies at the communal table alongside burnt-out rock stars and CEO’s, and let the whole team of cardio experts, spiritual gurus, massage therapists, personal trainers, private chefs, and Ayurvedic doctors piece you back together again. 

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