Wanderlust: Expat Life & Style in Thailand The Relationships Issue - Page 48

Travel

Hua Hin and Cha-Am

A RESORT AND BEACH DESTINATION ONLY A CAR RIDE AWAY
Hua Hin , a beach town fewer than 200 km from Bangkok , has long been known as a luxury retreat from the city , and it ’ s a convenient getaway for couples who prefer not to plan . Stretch the budget and stay at a high end , beachfront hotel to enjoy the ocean , fine dining , and spa treatments on-site to eliminate the hassle of leaving the complex .
One brand new resort ideal for a romantic weekend away is the Marriott Hua Hin , completed just last year . Make sure to swim in the lagoon-shaped pool and take advantage of the beachfront resort and spa , where you can unwind with a couples massage , en-suite treatments , or revitalizing body scrubs and wraps .
Just outside of Hua Hin is Cha-Am , a beach town with a fun , party atmosphere . Stick an umbrella in your drink and do some people-watching while enjoying fresh seafood in front of the blue-gray water . For a resort ‘ staycation ,’ indulge at Cha-Am ’ s SO Sofitel . Rooms are colorful , imaginative , and impressively designed .
For the couple looking to get out of their resort , Cha- Am also offers the feel of a romantic holiday in Greece with a visit to Santorini Park . The art and architecture

Khao Lak and Similian Islands

UNSPOILED BEACHES AND WORLD-CLASS DIVING ONE HOUR NORTH OF PHUKET
Thailand ’ s picture-perfect beaches should grace any romantic getaway list , and stunning Khao Lak is just a onehour drive from Phuket airport .
serve as the perfect backdrops for some cute selfies . Hop to the amusement park area of Santorini for a throwback Ferris wheel ride , and you might just believe you ’ re on holiday in the Mediterranean .
GETTING THERE
Get to Hua Hin and Cha-Am by private driver or local bus . Or , for more of an adventure , take in the gorgeous scenery across the Thai countryside by train , but be aware that the trains don ’ t always operate on time .
Nestled against a lush national park , Khao Lak boasts a white-sand shoreline and plenty of accommodation and dining options for loved-up couples . Treat yourselves to a luxury dining experience with a stay at the Ksarojin Hotel . It ’ s perfect if you ’ re looking for a custom , private and candlelit dinner for two on the beach , on the pier , or under a waterfall . This hotel can do it all .
Or you can simply create your own romantic sunset dinner . After walking through the rock pools at Nangthong Beach , catch the sunset together from the stunning view at Nangthong Bay Resort restaurant .
But a romantic escape to Khao Lak wouldn ’ t be complete without a day trip to its nearby islands , whether you ’ re in for some sunning on the beautiful beaches , swimming in the crystal-clear blue water , or world-class diving .
The surrounding Similian Islands are considered some of the most beautiful for diving in the world , and what some couples reserve for their honeymoon destination can be your easy weekend away . If you have the time to spare and the passion for diving , consider a four-day liveboard experience with Khao Lak Explorer , a unique expedition onboard a spacious boat that cruises the islands ’ top diving sites and incredible shipwrecks .
GETTING THERE
Fly into Phuket and hire a taxi to take you an hour north to this pretty beach town . Depending on the boat , reaching the Similian Islands can take you between 45 minutes and three hours and can be chartered from the pier . Be aware that the Similian Islands are a national park , with restricted opening dates . Check with the Department of National Parks before you go .
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