Elephants and island passions

The perfect combination of city slicking and beach hopping, this 10-night Thailand itinerary will take you from the buzz of Bangkok to the bliss of Phuket. To kick-start your holiday, spend a couple of days in Bangkok and familiarise yourself with this country’s vibrant capital. Get a taste of the unique sights, sounds and flavours of the city by heading to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. One of the biggest floating markets in Thailand, you’ll soon be sampling fresh local cuisine expertly paddled to you from a procession of colourful boats. Having witnessed this spectacle, it’s time to travel upstream to try out Bangkok’s fine dining scene. Spend the evening at Bo Lan, an upmarket restaurant specialising in authentic Thai cuisine, and experience delicious dishes such as green curry stuffed egg yolks and the traditional trout salad.

Culture and cuisine in Bangkok

If you happened to have landed in Bangkok on a weekend, it’s time for a further foray into the market stalls, but this time instead of boats jockeying for attention, think railway yards and abandoned train tracks. The ‘train market’ or ‘Talad Rot Fai’ is where you’ll find the Thai ‘hipster’ community digging through the rails for a retro find, or drinking in converted VW vans serving cocktails and delicious Thai fare. For the mid-week traveller don’t despair, Bangkok doesn’t discriminate. Spend a day taking in the vast culture, history and heritage of this eclectic city with a visit to Wat Kalayanmit and say hello to the largest indoor Buddha.

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Settle into your sun lounger

Having hustled and bustled for the last two days in the country’s capital, it’s time to travel to Phuket and check straight into your sumptuous suite at The Pavilions. Spend the day getting a hefty dose of rest and relaxation as you unwind in your private pool villa. Take in the tranquillity as you sink into your very own infinity pool and soak up incredible panoramic views of Phuket. Once you’ve dried off, spend the evening at the coveted sunset bar, 360º and indulge in their ‘love potion’ cocktails as you drink in the stunning landscapes.

Island hopping and underwater exploration

Having spent the previous day eyeing the Ocean from above, it’s time to do some underwater sightseeing. Jump on a motor boat and venture out to Maya Island, where you’ll strap on a snorkel and dive down into a colourful reef teeming with exotic life. Take your aquatic adventures a step further and travel on to Phi Phi Island to discover a wealth of water sports activities, from scuba diving to sea kayaking. Back on dry land, it’s time to get to know Phuket’s local community of larger wildlife.  Embark on an Elephant trek through the jungle on the back of these gentle giants and allow them to show you the beauty of Phuket’s lush tropical forests.

Meditation and Massage

Get out early one morning and capture the sunrise on camera with a Pavilions photography class. Learn how to get the best out your photos with tips on composition, editing and framing that will leave you with an enviable collection of holiday snaps. Spend a relaxing afternoon experiencing the spiritual side of Thailand and book into one of The Pavilions’ meditation classes. Close your eyes and allow one of the trained Gurus to teach you the lessons of Ayurvedic master Deepak Chopra. Once you’ve found inner-calm, treat yourself to a relaxing aromatherapy massage in the privacy of your own spa villa, the ideal end to your stay.

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