If you’re anything like me, New Year’s Day is mostly spent daydreaming of holidays gone-by; yearning to peel off the layers of winter woollies to have the warmth of sunshine on your skin. This year there’s one place in particular leaving me desperate to abandon chilly England. A sunny home-from-home; Thailand.
Last summer I was lucky enough to holiday in Krabi. Its beautiful white sandy beaches had always appealed to me, but for one reason or another I'd never quite managed to get there despite visiting Thailand several times in recent years.
I stayed at the Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort, a secluded hotel just a 30 minute taxi journey from Krabi airport. The resort is the perfect retreat, with a variety of bars and restaurants as well the gorgeous Mandara Spa for treatments once the sun has gone down. There must be few better places to sit poolside, sipping cocktails served in coconuts, while watching beautiful sunsets descend over bays filled with longtail boats.
The staff at the Dusit Thani were incredibly welcoming. The service in the hotel was fantastic, something I’ve come to expect following previous visits to Thailand. Out of a two week stay, I left the resort just once to go on a boat trip around the neighbouring islands which I’d thoroughly recommend!
One evening a week, hotel guests would gather in Martinis cocktail bar to watch a dramatic fire show as well as some traditional Thai kick-boxing, thoroughly enjoyable when accompanied with a Mai Tai or Long Island Iced Tea (the hotel’s cocktails were gorgeous and potent in equal measure).
Source: Dusit International
A speedboat took us along the Andaman Coast to the various local islands, including Phang Nga Bay (“James Bond Island” where Roger Moore filmed The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974) and Koh Gai/Kai or Hua Khwan (also known as “Chicken Island” after the strange rock formation which looks like a chicken).
There are approximately 200 islands around the Krabi coastline, many are small rocky outcrops with no landing access. Others are towering limestone karsts, with hidden white beaches and coral reefs. My favourite, Ko Poda, is a tiny island no more than a kilometre in diameter. It really is picture perfect: covered in palm trees and surrounded by soft white sand and crystal clear turquoise water.
Another must see is Koh Tap & Koh Mor. These two islands are so close that when the tide is low, you can walk through the water from one island to the other.
Christmas in the UK is special, but I yearn to be back on the Andaman Coast. Krabi was by far one of my favourite holidays and an experience I will never forget. It’s not cheap but it’s totally worth that once in a lifetime visit… temperatures are currently topping 35 degrees, what better time to go?