Only Good Vibes In Thailand

18 May 2016

He likes the beach. You love the city. Whether you’re planning a holiday or a honeymoon, there’s no need to compromise in Thailand. Describing a destination as offering ‘something for everyone’ is a well-worn travel writing cliché, but it really rings true about Thailand.

It sells itself, really. Visions of aquamarine sky reflected in clear waters; powdery, sugar-fine white sand fringed by coconut palms; beachfront bungalows and intoxicating cuisine – Thailand’s islands are the stuff of holiday bliss. What’s not to love?

Two females making a heart shape with their arms at sunset on a Thailand beach What's not to love about Thailand? (Image: Getty)

What really clinched the location as our honeymoon destination of choice was just that – choice. My husband, an avid diver, needs to feel the scrunch of sand under his toes to feel he’s on holiday, and after a week of the eat-sleep-swim-repeat beach cycle, I crave the stimulation of the city.

So our three-week honeymoon was both of these, and so much more. We bookended our Thailand holiday in Bangkok, the perfect spot to deep-dive into modern Thai culture and enjoy the buzz of the 24/7 city. At street level, you can get amongst the soundtrack of the capital city – the drone of the traffic across wide lanes, the hiss of sizzling street food, the multi-lingual bartering in night markets and the clink of ice melting in your drink.


More Thailand holiday inspiration:

Add to wish list. Thailand: Where Haven't You Been?

76 other provinces to check out. Beyond Phuket: Thailand's Other Provinces


People dining in Bangkok's Chinatown at streetside stalls Take to the streets to experience the authentic side of Bangkok. (Image: Getty)

Step into a SkyTrain and you’re instantly elevated above the colourful chaos below, or take an alternate route on a languid boat ride along the Chao Phraya river, complete with reserved seats for temple-hopping monks in saffron robes. The air-conditioned comfort of multi-level shopping centres will also buffer Bangkok’s humidity or catch the balmy night-time breezes from the lofty heights of one of the Thai capital’s many sky-high rooftop bars.

While I was bewitched by the twinkling lights of Bangkok, my husband’s favourite type of bar was at ground level. Thailand’s islands are dotted with thatched beachfront huts furnished with triangular cushions where you can enjoy the sunset view with a drink in hand and your feet in the sand. Night-time entertainment on the beach may consist of fiery theatrics or a full moon party rave, or simply watching the shimmering phosphorescence while walking among the undulating waves.

A bar sign pointing to a beachfront bar on a Thailand beach Enjoy the idyllic views from a beachfront bar. (Image: Getty)

For an immersion of a different kind, the night markets of Chiang Mai, Thailand’s cultural mecca, are a meeting point of myriad cultures from hill tribes to travellers. Market culture is said to be the soul of Thailand, and a glimpse of traditional ways – not to mention the ideal spot to source those triangular cushions we’d been eyeing in the bars and restaurants from Phuket to Phi Phi.  Bartering is all part of the ritual.

Another must-do ritual is a Thai massage. Koh Samui is a world-renowned spa destination, but you don’t have to commit to a week-long retreat to enjoy a his-and-hers treatment in an idyllic outdoor pavilion – vegetarian spa cuisine and juicing included. Even a city girl can be at peace with that.
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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Thailand.

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Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.