Learn More About Thailand
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Chiang Mai & the North
Hua Hin & Koh Samet
Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi & Koh Lanta
Samui, Neighbouring Islands, Southern Thailand
Chic Locations – Friends of Thailand Award
Amazing Thailand | Beach | Spa | Romance | Culture
Koh Samui , and the neighbouring islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao and mainland Khanom – Surat Thani region are the reverse with the most settled time March to October, and the winter months (particularly November to January) having the highest rainfall, beach erosion and sea swells.
Hua Hin/Koh Samet are more constant without the extremes found further south, with the summer months more humid and slightly more rainfall.
The resorts, irrespective of location, enjoy year round heat with day time temperatures usually in the high 20’s.
Note – In common witth most tropical areas, the beaches are to be used by tourist and local alike, private beaches are not permitted. The most attractive beaches tend to be the most popular, appealing to day visitors from other resorts where the beaches may be less enticing.
Bangkok can be hot and steamy year round, with heavy showers particularly Midsummer to October. In the North where the focus tends to be on touring, the winter months can see decidedly chilly misty mornings and evenings although by mid-morning the temperatures are well into the 20’s. The summer months can see increased rainfall, and more noticeably higher humidity.
Note Thailand is one of the most liberal countries in the world. Openly hedonistic. However you should refrain from open political comments, and most importantly show total respect to the images of the Thai Royal Family.
Chiang Rai is even smaller and traditional, akin to a sprawling village and is located in the extreme north-east of the country, facing the borders of Laos and Burma.
Koh Samet is a small island retreat, 20 minutes by speedboat from the ferry point at Rayong. Just a handful of hotels mainly catering for regional tourists, and the delightful Paradee Resort which would not be out of place in the Indian Ocean.
Note – Koh Samet can also be spelt as Samed, both are correct.
Phuket has its tacky side at Patong but that is just a very small mile square on an otherwise attractive and generally upscale island. Equally Krabi has Ao Nang which is rather brash. Khao Lak and Koh Lanta offer simple pleasures but with reassuringly attractive hotels. Shopping is limited although Tesco- Lotus are prominent in Phuket.
The majority of our selected hotels in Koh Samui are located on the north coast, 10 minutes either side of the airport. Maenam is 5 minutes further west along the coast. Vana Belle is located in south Chaweng, in the mid south east corner. We do not feature any hotels in the boisterous central Chaweng resort area, although this is easily accessible.
The best beaches on Samui are Bo Phut and Maenam on the north coast and east coast Chaweng, all of which are good with soft sand and easy water access. The remainder tend to be small rocky coves where swimming is usually possible only at high tide. As it is a relatively small island you might have some aircraft noise, particularly in the north-west corner of the island which has the airport and the highest concentration of hotels.
Koh Phangan is rather like Samui 30 years ago, and I am probably one of the few people that can say that with first hand authority! Dirt tracks for roads, just a few sleepy villages, no shops, hardly any nightlife once you ignore the monthly half and full moon parties that occur on the beaches further south. Reached by speedboat or ferry from Samui, approx. 45 minutes.
Koh Tao is even less developed and has for years been the chosen resort for divers and hippy backpackers. It is now gradually moving slightly more upscale, but it remains delightfully simple. Usually reached by ferry from Samui, approx. 2 hours.
Khanom on the mainland has glorious beaches, a fantastic mountain backdrop, small villages with lively markets where white faces can be the source of good humoured curiosity. Wonderfully underdeveloped, this is the Thailand of how it used to be – or maybe should be !
Friends of Thailand Award
David Kevan from Chic Locations was privileged to receive the prestigious Friends of Thailand award in June 2013.
The award is given to individuals or companies who have shown constant innovation and originality in promoting Thailand. The award is presented every other year. In 2013 there were over thirty winners from around the world, but only two from the UK, David and the publisher from Lonely Planet publications.
Although the award has been presented to a couple of UK operators in the past, David is the first individual from a British tour operator to be recognised.
The presentation was made by the Minister of Tourism to David during the annual Thailand Travel Mart held in Bangkok. ( David pictured above receiving award, he is the taller,balder, fatter one ! )
David said “It is always good to receive recognition, especially as it was presented in front of an audience of tour operators and press. Although the award was made to me personally, at Chic we are very much a team so we all share my pleasure. Thailand has consistently been our top selling destination in Asia. Plus it has the highest repeat business. The product range is vast and every changing, so it is easy to be creative and you can always offer something new.“