In some ways, this is a classic Thailand holiday, combining the culture of the north with the beaches of the south. However, by slowing down the pace and going an inch of the map, we give travellers space to appreciate not only the natural beauty but create genuine local connections too. In just two carefully chosen locations, you will experience the diversity of Thai terrains, from the verdant mountains to the famous white-sand beaches. We’ve selected spots that are close to the main trail but, by making a slight tweak, you’re away from the tourist hubs and into the heart of the destination.
After landing in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, you’ll travel to the hotel oasis of Raya Heritage. Set along the banks of the Ping River in the countryside just fifteen minutes outside the city, Raya Heritage feels immersed in the natural world but remains within easy distance of historical and cultural sights. So you can roam by day and relax by night, sipping a G&T to the sound of birdsong (rather than honking horns!)
OVERNIGHT FLIGHT // 6 NIGHTS AT RAYA HERITAGE
While away the hours reading by the pool overlooking the calm river, enjoy delicious cuisine at the restaurant and the services of the wonderful spa. You might also take an early morning or late afternoon stroll around the local farm or enjoy the laid-back cultural activities, from bamboo weaving to gentle yoga.
On your first ETG Signature, rise early to watch as monks in saffron robes emerge from their monasteries to collect alms, before ascending the Golden Naga staircase of Doi Suthep mountain. Finish the morning with a delicious bowl of Khao Soy, a northern Thai speciality. On your second, discover the heady aromas of the Chiang Mai night market, with your expert guide on hand to show you the unmissable treats.
It’s simple, serene and elegantly designed in a way that feels modern while based around traditional Northern Thai design. There is a lovely, warm atmosphere about the property that’s perfect for welcoming you in after a day’s exploring. Plus, outside the hustle of Chiang Mai city, the views of the river and the extensive grounds are just spectacular.
Now it’s time to experience one of the island getaways for which Thailand is rightly renowned. The small, sleepy island of Koh Jum sits between Krabi Town and Koh Lanta, facing out to the Andaman Sea. Shrouded in jungle, dotted with rubber plantations and the towering peak of Koh Pu, the island still feels relatively untouched, with just one road linking the two main villages in the north and south.
6 NIGHTS AT KOH JUM VILLAS
Koh Jum is the kind of place you come to do nothing but relax and revel in natural beauty, which is a large part of its charm. Wander along clean stretches of quiet beach, get around easily by bike, head out on a snorkelling day trip and eat in a handful of relaxed restaurants and bars.
Try your hand at fishing or snorkelling off the coast of Koh Jum or one of the neighbouring islands. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and admire the beauty of the island from the water. Adventure lovers can set out on a hiking trail across the island, finding your way up to the top of Koh Pu Mountain, where you'll be rewarded with amazing vistas of the entire Krabi Province.
While tropical island paradises are relatively commonplace in Thailand, the relatively secluded island of Koh Jum is a rare find. Individual villas with large open spaces are set amidst the natural jungle and open onto picture-perfect white sands. A real castaway experience, without the hubbub you might expect at a Thai beach.
For this holiday, we would recommend visiting between November and April. Thailand does start to get extremely hot in April. However, Chiang Mai is usually cooler than the islands, and we think it’s still a great month to visit, particularly as it’s usually the time of the Songkran festival. Avoid June to October, which sees heavy rainfall and would make your stay on Koh Jum island less enjoyable.
To enhance your experience, at Raya Heritage we have included a complimentary meal at Khu Khao, the traditional restaurant celebrates the bounty of the nearby river. Afternoon tea at the cosy, rooftop cafe is also included. Plus, as part of this holiday, the sixth night of your stay in both Raya Heritage and Koh Jum Villas is free of charge.
Revitalise is a culmination of 16 years’ work, research and client feedback. Our travel team take annual trips to each of our destinations, testing the experiences and inspecting the hotels (someone’s got to do it, right?). We are passionate travellers in our own lives, and we have all visited Asia with our friends, family or backpacks. Basically, we’ve done the legwork: we know travel. And that’s why these trips are nothing short of magical.
We understand that while you may be itching to travel again, committing to a trip right now feels daunting. That’s why we have introduced our COVID-19 promise. We promise that if you book a holiday with us, but for any reason cannot travel due to COVID-19, we will refund you the bulk of your money, up to the day of your departure. We hope that this will give our travellers a little peace of mind and help you enjoy the magic of travel anticipation once again.
An ETG experience cannot begin unless our travellers feel secure in every respect. Financially secure: we are fully ABTA and ATOL bonded. Fully supported: our friendly team is on hand to help 24/7 before, during and after your trip. Free from hassle: we will ensure your trip runs like clockwork. Plus, all our experiences are tried and tested by our discerning team, so you can rest assured every excursion you book with us is both worthwhile and ethically sound.
With ETG, the experience starts the moment you pick up the phone. We are committed to seamless service at every stage of your journey. Before you depart, your dedicated travel consultant will provide all the information and insider tips you need to get you prepared (and excited!). Your in-country experiences will be distinctive, tailored to you, and always reveal the fabric of the destination. And you will come home with memories to share - not just photos to show.