NEXT OVER THE HORIZON: ISLAND BLISS
Thailand’s Andaman Sea is dotted with almost impossibly scenic islands, with sheer limestone hills cloaked in emerald forest. Not surprisingly, they attract lots of visitors on tours of famous landmarks such as ‘James Bond island’. But you don’t have to go far to find an altogether more laid-back pace of life. On Koh Yao Noi, you get the benefit of cruising between the otherworldly rock formations of Phang Nga Bay – without the crowds.
Stay awhile with coastal chic resort, Cape Kudu Hotel as your base and you’ll discover an island where local life is largely unchanged. Visit fishing communities for dinner inspiration – and even learn to bring in a catch yourself, with a fishing lesson at the hotel.
Another peaceful option is nearby Koh Lanta. On its edges are long, quiet beaches with plenty of snorkelling spots and sea caves to nose into in a kayak. If you’re a diver, luxury hotel Pimalai Resort & Spa leads daily trips to the best sites – you might even find yourself swimming alongside majestic manta rays. Suggested stay 3-4 nights.