FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Discover Plenty to Smile about in Thailand’s Exotic Islands

by Kelly Magyarics

Mar 22, 2022

PHOTO: © MOSAYMAY | DREAMSTIME.COM

March 2022

Sandy beaches. Vibrant local cuisine. Fascinating history and culture. Visitors who decide on a tropical locale often must choose one of these features and sacrifice the others. Not so in Thailand, where lush, craggy islands burst out of a turquoise sea and offer seemingly endless coastlines. Abundant seafood from oceanfront restaurants is served up grilled or wok-seared along with colorful vegetables, fragrant herbs and spicy sauces. And towering temples, golden Buddha statues and opulent palaces date back a millennium. The islands in the Land of Smiles will make the beach lover grin, indeed, and they promise plenty to explore.

Phuket, though Thailand’s most developed island, yet offers quieter, more laid-back spots, too, especially up north. Spend an afternoon in tucked-away, cove-like Banana Beach, where you can order grilled skewers and cold bottles of Singha from a beach shack and lazily nap under a palm tree. Later, lean back on pillows and catch sunset sea views during a multicourse dinner at Dee Plee, where dishes incorporate ingredients from the restaurant’s spice garden. If you crave a buzzier scene, head south. There you’ll encounter raucous Patong Beach on the west coast, with its bevy of bars, nightclubs, hotels and restaurants, and Phuket Old Town to the east. The latter is home to legendary Blue Elephant’s set menu of royal Thai cuisine. Also check out the bustling night market bursting with souvenir finds including flowy elephant pants, silk scarves and hand- carved soaps; be sure to break for a foot massage.

Thailand

PHOTO: © TELNYAWKA | DREAMSTIME.COM

The country’s second-largest island, Koh Samui actually lies on Thailand’s east coast on Phang Nga Bay. Hop on a songthaew to explore the coconut plantations and rice paddy fields, or board a long-tail boat to visit a local fishing village. After a seafood lunch, take to one of the island’s top beaches: Chaweng boasts powdery white sand and a wide bay, crescent-shaped Lamai’s deep water proves perfect for snorkeling, and Mae Nam’s calm surf matches its low-key vibe. For a more ambitious island adventure, sea-kayak through the caves winding within those imposing rock formations — both the region’s signature geographical feature and the perfect Instagram backdrop.

LODGING

Kimpton Kitalay Samui
This new resort overlooking Choeng Mon Beach pays homage to Thailand’s seafaring people. Many of the accommodations tout private pools, fat-tire bicycles inspire nearby exploration, and five restaurants tempt with local seafood and a laid-back vibe.
10/79 Moo 5, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani
$$$$

Trisara Resort
Sanskrit for “garden in the third heaven,” this oceanfront resort features 60 spacious, private-pool villas on three tiers. A palm tree-dotted beach, saltwater infinity pool and signature six-hand massage join exquisite dining, including the Michelin-starred PRU.
60/1 Moo 6, Srisoonthorn Road, Cherngtalay, Thalang, Phuket
$$$$$

V Villas Phuket
The 19 luxurious villas with 24-hour butler service and private pools perch atop Ao Yon Bay. Spa treatments harness the benefits of Andaman pearl powder, and Yon | Ocean House serves creative fusion European-Thai coastal dishes.
39/39 Moo 8 Wichit, Ao Yon Road, Amphoe Muang Phuket
$$$$$

DINING

Dining Room & Chef’s Table
The main culinary concept at Six Senses Yao Noi offers sweeping vistas of Phang Nga Bay and fixed-price experiences featuring classic, modern, Southern and royal Thai dishes like star anise-braised pork belly, red curry grilled Wagyu and herb-steamed sea bass.
Six Senses Yao Noi, 56 Moo 5 Tambol Koh Yao Noi, Amphur Koh Yao, Phang Nga
$$$$$

Juumpo
Named for the owner’s grandfather whose recipes pepper the menu, this restaurant in Phang Nga celebrates the cuisine of the local Baba (Chinese- Thai) people through dishes like Baba-style coconut milk soup with Thai herbs, and shrimp and fried fish with sweet and sour sauce.
1/96 Mu 5, Petchkasem Road, Khuk Khak, Phang Nga
$$

PRU
Phuket’s only Michelin- starred restaurant (Plant. Raise. Understand.) uses locally sourced and garden- grown ingredients for five- and seven-course tasting menus. Try the black crab and lemongrass, vanilla- scented lobster or aged duck and velvet tamarind.
Trisara Resort, 60/1 Moo 6, Srisoonthorn Road, Cherngtalay, Thalang, Phuket
$$$$$

INFO TO GO
To reach Thailand’s islands, visitors generally connect through Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport; carriers serving this airport include Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways and Delta Air Lines. From Bangkok, you can book a flight to either Phuket (HKT) or Krabi (KBV) — each about a 90-minute flight — on Cathay Pacific or one of Thailand’s regional airlines like Bangkok Airways, Thai Lion Air or Thai Smile. Reach Koh Samui by ferry or private speedboat, and get around Phuket by taxi or tuk-tuk.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Nov 25, 2022

Bottega il Buco and Max Rivera Papic Make Waves in Ibiza

One of Ibiza’s hottest restaurant destinations since its opening five years ago, Bottega il Buco, draws legions of fans with the addition of new head chef Max Rivera Papic, whose kitchen credits include skills honed under the tutelage of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, London.

6,000 Reasons and More to Celebrate!

IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.

Daily
Nov 25, 2022

Ski Season and Winter Getaways at Colorado Resorts

Ski season is around the corner. Now is the perfect time to plan your winter ski getaway. These Colorado resorts offer deals designed for skiers.

Daily
Nov 25, 2022

Give a Gift from Around the World this Holiday Season

This holiday season, give your loved ones a gift from around the world to create memories that last a lifetime.

Alaskan Wild Wonders by Celebrity Cruises

Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.

Daily
Nov 24, 2022

Angama To Open Deluxe Lodge Near Kilimanjaro

Lodging and hospitality company Angama announced the November 2023 opening of Angama Amboseli, an intimate, 10-suite lodge set in Kenya’s private, 5,700-acre Kimana Sanctuary, against the iconic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, located just across the border in Tanzania.

eFlyer News
Nov 23, 2022

Hilton to Bring First Waldorf Astoria Property to Costa Rica

Costa Rica prepares to welcome its first Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts property, slated to open in 2025. Waldorf Astoria Guanacaste will boast 190 guestrooms, as well as 25 Waldorf Astoria-branded residences, all offering sweeping views overlooking the ocean. A presidential suite will also grace the property.

Alaskan Wild Wonders by Celebrity Cruises

Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.

eFlyer News
Nov 23, 2022

Cayman Airways Connects West Coast Travelers with Grand Cayman

West Coast travelers can now enjoy easier, more efficient access to the Cayman Islands thanks to a new airlift option via Cayman Airways Ltd. As of Nov. 6, Cayman Airways operates nonstop service from Los Angeles International Airport to Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman at an introductory fare of $399.