Win a Content Creator Scholarship to Thailand!

Do you dream of getting paid to travel and create content? Ready to turbo-boost your career as a travel content creator? Here’s how…

Tourism Authority of Thailand is proud to be supporting the World Nomads 2024 Travel Content Creator Scholarship Program. We’re looking for three aspiring creators to invite on a travel assignment to the land of smiles, this June. You’ll receive your very own camera from GoPro and luggage from Eagle Creek, and stay at Avani Hotels and Resorts. On the trip, you’ll learn from pro travel creators NOMADasaurus and create content about beautiful Thailand for a real-life brief.

Sound good? Share your best piece of travel content with World Nomads for a chance to win.

The World Nomads Scholarship prize includes:

  • Professional mentorship from professional content creators Nomadasaurus.
  • Your very own GoPro HERO12 Black camera + Travel Kit valued at USD 487.
  • Round-trip flights from your closest international airport to Thailand.
  • Travel insurance and spending money. World Nomads will contribute USD 150 towards your travel insurance and provide USD 500 spending money.
  • 10 nights accommodation 14 to 24 June 2024 at Avani Hotels & resorts and an itinerary provided by Tourism Authority Thailand.
  • Luggage from Eagle Creek valued at USD 400.

How it works:

  1. Find your best travel content – share an image, video, blog or vlog post that shows your creativity and passion for travel.
  2. Share it with the folks at World Nomads by completing the entry form, and tell them why you should win.
  3. Submit your entry! World Nomads will shortlist entries, and if successful, we’ll invite you to a Zoom meeting and award three scholarships to the winners!

Visit the World Nomads website for more information about how to enter, what the judges are looking for, and to find out more about the scholarship sponsors!

Golden Years in Koh Samui

Be the best you in your Prime and Golden Years – with help from Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui.

Absolute Resort recently unveiled its latest offerings: the Prime Years and Golden Years programs, designed specifically for those aged 50-65 and 65-75, respectively.

Prime Years Program (Ages 50-65):

The Prime Years program has been meticulously crafted to empower individuals in the 50-65 age group, equipping them with the tools to thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally in this new phase of their lives. It sets the stage for a longer, healthier life by addressing the core pillars of wellness.

The program encompasses personalised movement therapies for balance, agility, core strength and flexibility, mindfulness therapies for cognitive wellbeing, emotional therapies for emotional balance, life transitions empowerment sessions and nourishing wellness cuisine.

Golden Years Program (Ages 65-75):

The Golden Years program celebrates the art of aging gracefully by enhancing vitality, promoting overall well-being, and embracing the holistic journey of growing older. Catering to individuals aged 65-75, this program fosters active aging and encourages the extension of healthier years.

It incorporates the same core pillars of wellness found in the Prime Years program while introducing seniors to personalised pilates for spine mobility, aquatherapy for joint health, and private yoga nidra classes for cognitive agility.

These programs have been thoughtfully designed to cater to the distinct needs and aspirations of these important age groups. The mission is clear: to promote active aging and prolong the years of vitality. Both programs seamlessly incorporate Absolute Sanctuary’s foundational principles, offering innovative movement therapies like personalized yoga and Pilates, enriching emotional wellness sessions, holistic spa treatments, carefully curated wellness cuisine, and engaging social activities that foster lifelong connections.

Within these bespoke programs lie Absolute Sanctuary’s latest enhancements – Salt Sanctuary, featuring a Himalayan sea salt wall known for its immune-enhancing and cell-rejuvenating properties—a perfect complement for the wellness journey of this age group. The resort’s unwavering commitment to alleviating inflammation and nurturing cellular rejuvenation among these demographics is evident in a range of innovative massage therapies centred around Moringa, in collaboration with The Moringa Project.

Moringa, also known as the “Drum Stick Tree,” offers a wealth of benefits, including 46 antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatory compounds, omega-3 fatty acids, essential vitamins, amino acids, and the plant hormone zeatin, which promotes cell growth and protects skin from damage.

The Moringa Project stands as Thailand’s pioneer Moringa farm, dedicated to embracing organic and sustainable practices while bolstering local farming communities. Guests can look forward to experiencing a 60 min Miracle Moringa Body Massage or a 90 min Moringa Top to Toe Journey.

Claire Bostock-Tang, Chief Wellness & Program Specialist at Absolute Sanctuary, expressed, “The global population in the prime and golden years demographic is steadily growing, and our programs aim to empower this group with mobility, strength, cognitive well-being, and mental agility.

“By adopting a holistic approach and incorporating our latest additions in collaboration with The Moringa Project, we aspire to help our guests lead longer, healthier lives. Our partnership with The Moringa Project also reflects our commitment to supporting Thai farming communities and promoting awareness of this native Thai tree through our programs.”

For more information visit

Aman Nai Lert Bangkok to open in 2024

The Aman Group has announced the opening of its much-anticipated Bangkok hotel is scheduled for the third quarter of 2024.

Following the Group’s successful opening of Aman New York in 2022, Aman Nai Lert Bangkok will continue the group’s mission to bring the Aman DNA of peace, sanctuary, exceptional design, service, and privacy to the world’s finest urban destinations.

Nestled in Nai Lert Park’s expansive tropical gardens Aman Nai Lert Bangkok comprises a 52-suite hotel, inclusive of an expansive Aman Wellness centre, Omakase restaurant, Teppanyaki restaurant and Jazz bar, plus signature Italian dining concept; Arva, as well as 39 Aman branded residences, situated on floors 11 to 36, providing owners and guests with the Aman lifestyle from a lofty sanctuary perched above the city.

Outdoor Infinity Pool

Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy of Denniston, Aman Nai Lert Bangkok combines the group’s signature design aesthetic with traditional Thai influences to draw connection to the local heritage and history of its setting.

Jean-Michel Gathy

The design draws upon the rich tapestry of influences at Nai Lert Park Heritage Home, as well as the intangible energy of the city of Bangkok to create a contemporary urban sanctuary amidst Nai Lert Park’s eight-acre private oasis.

Vlad Doronin, Chairman, CEO and Owner of Aman Group, said: “Aman Nai Lert Bangkok’s forthcoming opening marks another milestone in my long-term strategic vision for Aman Group to bring the unparalleled Aman experience to the world’s finest destinations both urban and remote.

“It has been an excellent experience to work in collaboration with the Nai Lert family who are the owners and custodians of Nai Lert Park and have an unrivalled legacy in Bangkok, and in particular Naphaporn “Lek” Bodiratnangkura who has been instrumental in bringing this project to life.”

Aman Nai Lert Bangkok is located in Nai Lert Park, Bangkok and will open in the third quarter of 2024. Room rates, exact opening dates and booking release dates will be announced in due course.

Visit the website for more information

The home stay experience in Thailand – Koh Yao

Home stay accommodation in Thailand is becoming more and more popular – in fact demand is growing across South East Asia, and it’s not just because it’s cheap. Taking advantage of accommodation like this is a great way to experience what Thai village life is really like, far-removed – but often not far away – from the bright lights of Phuket, Koh Samui, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Travel writer Deborah Dickson-Smith sampled the simple life in Koh Yao, only a 35-minute ferry ride from Phuket in Phang Na province. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.

Having taken the short ferry ride from northern Phuket, I enter a different world alighting at Manoh Pier on Koh Yao and beyond that I have no idea what to expect, or indeed where to go. My homestay host is called ‘Uncle Bao’ and I’m greeted at the pier by his son, Lee, riding a scooter. He looks at my luggage and scratches his head. “We come back for it.”


And so we head into town – a school, police station, mosque and a row of shops surrounded by rice fields. Before long we turn into a grassy driveway, I’m led to my little bamboo hut, introduced to Mrs Bao and told to be ready at 12 o’clock for lunch. Mrs Bao smiles sweetly while her son enquires about food allergies and then he disappears to take care of my luggage.

I finally get to meet Uncle Bao an hour or so later at lunch in the family kitchen, where he explains village life to me and suggests a few outings. This is a Muslim household and in fact, I learn over lunch that 98 per cent of villagers here are Muslim.


After lunch, Lee comes to take me for a tour of the island on the back of his scooter. We head first to a small fishing village, then to a quiet sandy beach lined with cafes and a few souvenir shops and on to an over-water village, built around a long jetty that stretches through mangroves. I’m then shown around one of the rubber plantations that dot the island, competing for space only with rice fields. Rubber is still collected in a coconut husk tacked to the trunk of each tree, the same method used for over 100 years, with the diagonal tracks in each trunk refreshed every morning.


As we circumnavigate this small island I get glimpses of the tall limestone islands of Phang Nga Bay which I’m heading out to explore tomorrow, but for now, there’s nothing to do but relax until dinnertime.


Over dinner I learn a bit more about Uncle Bao’s village, and about Uncle Bao himself. Bao has been running this homestay for over 25 years, having struck upon the idea while trying to protect his previous livelihood: fishing. It was around then that the large commercial fishing trawlers came into the bay and took away the villagers’ livelihoods virtually overnight.

Bao tried petitioning local government to have the boats stopped, to no avail, and so took his fight to Bangkok. It was there he struck upon the idea of recruiting university students to help, and invited groups of students to his village, to see for themselves what was happening, and fight the fight for him in the nation’s capital.


His strategy proved successful in two ways; the commercial fishing boats were eventually prohibited from fishing these waters; and along the way, Bao had discovered a new income stream, homestay accommodation, which was fast becoming popular among the backpacker tourists. Homestays were established in villages all over the island, fishermen returned to work and the villagers were all so grateful they voted Uncle Bao in as their local member of parliament.


Which brings me here, to this quiet little alcohol-free island, now a thriving tourism destination, far away from the madding crowds of Phuket and Krabi. Where I can spend my days lounging in the hammock on my veranda, maybe go to the beach, wander aimlessly through rice fields and rubber plantations, or take an island-hopping tour of Phang Na Bay.


I opt for an island hopping tour the next day, accompanied by Uncle Bao, on a long tail boat skippered by his brother-in-law. We explore a few limestone islands, some with caves and dripping stalactites, some with white sandy beaches and at least one populated with a large family of crab-eating macaques who scramble over the rock s to check us out.


I can’t remember when I last felt so relaxed – and it’s not because I’ve been forced into a digital detox – there is free wifi here, and fantastic mobile reception. I just don’t feel compelled to use it, inspired by the simpler life around me.

Stay: Mr Bao’s Homestay and Bungalows. 32 Moo 1 Koh Yao Noi, Phang Na. Email:

Getting There: Thai Airways fly twice daily from Sydney to Bangkok and daily from Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Connections to Phuket are pretty fast and efficient. Ferry transfer to Koh Lao is from Bang Rong Pier.

Koh Kood, a Thai homestay experience to remember

171.Trat-Koh Kood-Yai Kee BayKoh Kood is in the southern province of Trat. Visitors can now experience a two-day, one-night Thailand homestay for as little as $50, which includes learning about local food, bicycle touring and trying your hand at craftwork, as travel writer John Borthwick discovers.

“Do not dress up porn,” requests the welcome sign at Ban Nam Chiew village. Which is this unique Thai-Muslim-Chinese community’s way of asking visitors to not frock up, or down, as they might on a Phuket beach.

The riverside fishing village is in the southeastern province of Trat, on the Gulf of Thailand about 300 km from Bangkok. Its tourism coordinator Khun Noi and her committee are whipping up sweet—savoury crackers on a sizzling hotplate. They add coconut milk and tapioca, and then a topping of brown sugar and shallots, plus inimitable Thai flair. The delicious, crunchy morsels disappear down the hatch almost before we can say, “More!”

The 1500-person village has recently ventured into homestay tourism. Visitors like us can enjoy for less than $50 a head a two-day, one-night homestay, which includes learning about (and eating plenty of) the local food, bicycle touring and trying your hand at craftwork.

We travel on to Koh Kood (aka Ko Kut) island that floats in the Gulf closer to Cambodia than to Bangkok. Our ferry pulls into Ao Salat, an inlet that’s lined with trawlers, lobster pots, geranium pots, nets and all the vital signs of a community whose life has not been overtaken by tourism.

164.Trat-Koh Kood-Klong Chao Beach

Koh Kood is the nation’s fourth largest island and has good resorts and diving. It offers plenty to do for visitors who don’t want to do very much. Most of this hilly, densely forested island remains Royal Thai Navy property and its shores remain largely intact.

At Analay Reef off the west coast the ocean floor is sandy and the gin-clear water only 10 metres deep. Overboard we go for an hour of liquid delight amid healthy corals and sturdy bommies. Later we paddle kayaks upriver at Khlong Chao, a pristine mangrove channel that opens out to tumbled rocks and then a waterfall. Further offshore are more challenging dives at Koh Maak and Koh Rang National Park, all part of the Koh Chang Archipelago.

Koh Kood has jungles, beaches, tranquility and even luxury. There are some 50 accommodation options, mostly along the west coast, ranging from lodges to over-the-top luxe. Ao Salat, or Pirate Bay, so named because pirates long ago took shelter here, has inspired a local chain of four-star resorts called Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell.

Beautiful Soneva Kiri resort at the northern tip of the 25-km long island is about as upmarket as you might go before needing oxygen. Its “billionaire beachcomber” aesthetic is evidenced in a finely tuned assembly of sun-bleached timbers, pavilions and elegant aeries that overlook heaven or at least its Koh Kood annex. And then there are the handmade chocolates …

On the island’s southwest coast Chams’s House resort faces Haad Takien beach. White sand, empty beach, crisp waves. It’s place for romantics, singles, families or anybody who values a tropical shore without karaoke or a doof-doof bar next door.

This aromatic island, of sea pines, wood smoke and fireflies might be undeveloped and a bit awkward to get to, but that’s its salvation. Not all the roads are sealed. There is only one “town”, and not much nightlife beyond a few beach bars and fire-dances. There is however plenty of “porn” — a noble Thai word that can mean “gift”, “grace” or “blessings”. All true.

Getting There: Bangkok Airways fly Bangkok-Trat daily. It is then a 50-km drive to Trat’s Laem Sok pier. A one-hour ferry (price Ferry 500 baht, about $20) brings you to Koh Kood pier for your resort transfer. Or cross over from Koh Chang.

Season: The hottest months are April-August, and coolest November-February. Mid-May to mid-October is monsoon time.

Getting Around: There is virtually no public transport and taxis are few. Many visitors get around by rental motorbike, costing around $12 a day. For arrival, arrange a pick-up by your resort.

Further Information:; www.homestaythai;;; 

10 Reasons to visit Sukhothai, Thailand’s ancient capital

Sukhothai_Historical_Park_Wat_Mahathat_01Thailand’s ancient capital, established in the early 13th century, Sukhothai is located 427km north of Bangkok, and literally means “Dawn of Happiness.” For 120 years Sukhothai was ruled by many kings, the most famous being King Ramkhamhaeng the Great, who created the Thai alphabet and laid the foundation for politics, monarchy and religion.

Here are 10 reasons to visit and 10 things to do in Sukhothai.

1. Sukhothai Historical Park.

In Sukhothai’s golden era, this city was the centre of south-east Asia and the ruins from that glorious time have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park is home to ruins of royal palaces, Buddhist temples, historical monuments and the remains of ancient moats, walls, and city gates. A significant feature of the complex is Wat Maha That. Inside this temple is a grand pagoda surrounded by another 8 pagodas in the shape of a lotus, and at the front gate, a giant Buddha statue called Phra Atha Ros.


2. Ban Na Ton Chan Homestay

This homestay is located in Tambon Ban Tuek, Amphoe Si Satchanalai. Here you can experience the villagers’ way of life and their crafts. Khit cloth weaving in the ancient ‘Dok Phikun’ floral pattern, mud-soaked cloth making, basketry, wooden toys, and furniture made from tree roots and stumps. Visit the stray elephant nursing centre and seasonal fruit orchards.


3. Wat Si Chum.

This temple houses a large monumental stucco Buddha image in the attitude of subduing Mara called “Phra Atchana”, which is 11.3m in width. The roof has already disintegrated, exposing just four walls of stuccoed bricks. In the days of the Phra Ruang Dynasty, to boost morale of the ancient soldiers, monks walked through a hidden passageway and addressed people through a hole, making them believe the voice they were hearing was actually the Buddha.


4. Si Satchanalai Historical Park.

A visit to Sukhothai wouldn’t complete without a visit to the historical site of the ancient Si Satchanalai City, the second largest city after Sukhothai during its golden days. The park is home to ruins of palaces, temples and domestic dwellings. Main attractions include Wat Phra Si Mahathat, Wat Chang Lom and Wat Chedi Jet Taew, all of which feature authentic Sukhothai architectural style.


5. Cycling in Sukhothai Historical Park.

One of the best ways to explore this archaeological site is by bicycle. There is a rental bike service in front of the Historical Park.

Cycling tour of Sukhothai

6. Loi Krathong and Candle Festival.

Sukhothai’s Loi Krathong is held annually on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month at the Sukhothai Historical Park. Activities during the festival include krathong or banana-leaf cup floating, a fireworks display, local games, processions, and traditional performances that reflect the lifestyle of the people as described in the stone inscription, as well as, a light and sound presentation.

Sukhothai Loi Krathong and Candle Festival

7. Sangkhalok Museum.

This private museum houses the most comprehensive collection of Sangkalok porcelains, a type of porcelain produced during the Sukhothai kingdom.


8. King Ramkhamhaeng, The Great Momument.

This attraction tells the story of Sukhothai through models of historical buildings and structures, best explored by tram or bicycle.

Tra Phang Ngoen Temple is Located in Sukhothai Historial Park, Sukhothai

9. Ramkhamhaeng National Park (Khao Luang).

At 1200m above the sea level, this national park is great for nature lovers, with lush green mountainous landscapes, beautiful waterfalls and plenty of wildlife. It’s also home to several archaeological sites where several ancient tools and relics have been found, popular for historians and theologians.


10. Sathorn Golden Textile Museum.

The impressive Sathorn Golden Textile Museum is owned by a retired textile broker, Sathorn Sorajprasobsanti. Many of the fabrics here were made in Ban Had Saew Village where the Tai Puan people built their community during the reign of Rama II, and were renowned for their hand-woven textiles.

10 best things to do in Hua Hin

Hua Hin was Thailand’s first ever seaside holiday destination, with the country’s first resort, the Railway Hotel, built here over 90 years and it remains a favourite for Thai locals and international tourists alike. Here are our 10 best things to do in Hua Hin.

1.Visit Wat Hua Hin, light some incense and pray for good fortune. Hua Hin’s most important temple was built during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V)

2.Take in the sights, sounds and smells of Chat Chai market which sells everything from fresh vegetables, all manner of seafood to local handicrafts and school uniforms. Be sure to quench your thirst with a fresh coconut, usually around 20 Baht ($1).

Hua Hin Chat Chai market

3.Take a selfie outside the old Royal Waiting Room at Hua Hin Train Station which opened in 1911 and still holds its colonial charm. This grand-looking building that was used to welcome the King and his court when they visited the town.

Hua Hin Train Station

4.Go for a horse ride along the beach. At the entrance to the main beach area you’ll find ponies and horses of all sizes, available for hire for a walk or a trot along the white sandy beach.

Hua Hin Horse riding

5.Get your adrenalin pumping at Vana Nava Water Jungle, one of the largest water parks in Thailand, which also boasts the largest and longest water slides. As well as the thrills, there are water play areas for littlies and a unique ‘Aquacourse’, a course of ropes and challenging obstacles, combined with water guns.

Hua Hin Royal Summer Palace

6.Step back in time with a visit to Mrigadayavan Palace, the Summer Palace of King Rama VI. The Palace is currently being restored to its former glory, and there are lots of interesting artefacts on display throughout the sprawling complex. NB: Wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees.

Hua Hin Cicada Market

7.Taste food from all over Thailand, browse through stalls selling arts and crafts and take in some live music at Cicada Market. This upscale market opens at 4pm on Friday and Saturday nights, and it’s very family friendly.

8.Get an ice cream at Plearn Wan – a two-storey wooden ‘vintage village’ that is a bit like Thailand’s answer to Coney Island or Brighton Pier. There’s plenty of stands upstairs selling ice cream and pancakes, and souvenir shops downstairs, as well as a Ferris wheel.

Hua Hin Plearn Wan

9.Have lunch on the beach at one of the many cafes and restaurants on Hua Hin Beach, have a swim while you’re waiting for your meal to arrive and wriggle your toes in the sand as you eat. Most cafés serve the same thing (Thai favourites such as Pad Thai, BBQ seafood, pasta, burgers or fries).

Hua Hin beach restaurants

10.Visit the Hua Hin night markets, taste some giant BBQ prawns and pick up a few souvenirs. The night markets stretch over two blocks, a few blocks down from Hua Hin Railway Station, and they’re a blast to the senses, a kaleidoscope of colour and cacophony of noises.

Hua Hin Night Market

Where to Stay: The Railway Hotel is now the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, and while the hotel has grown significantly over the years, the original building still stands. At the centre of town, it’s a great place to stay.

Kanchanaburi awaits

Australian travel blogger Paula Morgan has turned her attention to Thailand, launching a new blog, Thailand Awaits, that provides information for travellers about Thailand’s many attractions.

Paula’s most recent Thailand adventure was in Kanchanaburi. You can read Paula’s complete guide to Kanchanaburi on her Thailand Awaits blog which includes detailed instructions on how to get there, where to stay and what to see.

Visit the Thailand Awaits blog for detailed instructions on how to get to Kanchanaburi.

What to see in Kanchanaburi.

River Kwai

The River Kwai, also known as the Mae Klong River, is a major tourist attraction in Kanchanaburi. Visitors can take a boat ride along the river and admire the beautiful scenery.

The Death Railway, also known as the Burma Railway, was built during World War II by prisoners of war and forced laborers from Japan and Myanmar. The railway is a major part of Kanchanaburi’s history and is now an important site visited by almost all who come to Kanchanaburi.

Bridge over the River Kwai

The Bridge Over the River Kwai is the most famous landmark in Kanchanaburi. The bridge was part of the Death Railway and is now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can walk across the bridge and learn about its history.

Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum

Hellfire Pass is a section of the Death Railway that was cut through solid rock by prisoners of war and forced labourers. The pass is now a memorial site and there is an excellent museum, built by the Australian Government, that explains the story of what happened here and commemorates the lives lost during the construction of the railway. You can take a guided tour and learn about the history of the pass and then walk along the original tracks. To visit Hellfire Pass you are best to stay on the train to Nam Tok Station.

After you have paid your respects at one of more of the memorials it’s time to check out some of Kanchanaburi’s other sites.

Erawan National Park

Erawan National Park is about an hour outside Kanchanaburi. The park is famous for its beautiful waterfalls, including the seven-tiered Erawan Falls. You can hike to the top level and swim in many of the pools along the way.

Arrive early and expect to spend two hours here if you want to walk to the top-level waterfall. You could easily spend half a day if you decide to swim in some of the falls.

Wat Tham Suea – Tiger Cave Temple

One of the most spectacular of Kanchanaburi’s temples, Wat Tham Suea is a must. Known as the “Tiger Cave Temple”, this place is more than just a religious site; it’s a blend of nature, history, and art.

There are two stairways leading to the site but before you climb look for the one facing Kanchanaburi from the parking area — it’s a bit easier on the legs. If you have mobility problems, there is a small cable car that delivers you to the top for under 20 baht return.

Once you reach the top, there’s an amazing 18-metre-high gold leaf-adorned Buddha waiting to greet you.

Beyond the typical temple vibes, Wat Tham Suea has its own unique touch with its intricate carvings and relics. The summit offers a killer panorama of the surrounding mountains and vast rice paddies.

We made an offering and got a blessing from the monk while we were there. If you have never done this I recommend you do. This unique experience stays with you.

About the author: Paula Morgan has been travelling to Thailand since the mid-1990s and has fallen in love with the people, culture, and of course, the food. These days she visits as often as she can and is planning an extended stay in the country in 2024.

A greener Gulf of Thailand

Thailand is fast becoming a leader in responsible tourism, providing visitors a wide range of sustainable attractions, activities, and accommodation offerings.

Visitors to popular holiday destinations such as Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao can choose from carbon neutral hotels, take part in local conservation efforts, enjoy paddock to plate fine dining and support local communities.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui’s tourism operators and local communities are committed to low-impact, environment-friendly travel experiences, providing many ways for travellers to experience the natural beauty of this region sustainably.

A great example of this is the Samui Elephant Sanctuary. The sanctuary opened at Bophut in 2018 and is so popular that a second location has since opened in Chaweng Noi. Both venues are set amid forests, creating a safe retirement home for elephants that have served in the logging and tourism industries. Visitors can feed and walk with the elephants – or simply watch them enjoy their freedom as they socialise and romp in the muddy pools.

Koh Tao

Koh Tao has embraced a sustainable lifestyle for many years, proactively reducing waste and putting considerable energy into research and sustainability projects. Community gardens, organic composting, solar panel installations, and the natural production of biogas are just a few strategies some local businesses are using to decrease their consumption levels and work towards more sustainable practices.

The island now celebrates its world-famous marine environment with an annual festival, Spotlight Koh Tao, which in fact spotlights marine conservation issues. Visitors to the festival can choose from a selection of revitalisation activities, everything from beach clean-ups to zero-waste Thai cooking classes.

The island’s diving community were among the first to witness the effects of over-tourism, pollution and climate change on local reefs and have joined forces to monitor reef health, manage regular underwater clean-ups and nurture coral restoration projects. Some, such as Black Turtle Dive have taken this step further with the development of marine conservation courses, internships, and workshops for visiting divers.

Another sustainable activity for visitors is a tie-dying workshop with Coco Tie Dye. Tie-dying is a zero-waste endeavour and cottage industry that provides income for locals. The workshop provides guests with an understanding of the island’s natural resources, combining education with a fun and focused artistic activity.

Koh Phangan

Nestled between Koh Samui and Koh Tai, Koh Phangan is famous for its wild full moon parties but is now becoming better known as a hub for alternative thinking and eco-conscious travellers.

A great example of this is Indigo Coral House. A craft workshop and accommodation run by the passionate duo Fatimah and Matteo, the property was built using sustainable bamboo, with construction methods refined to minimise use of non-renewable resources.

The House is also a haven for Burmese refugees, providing a safe space for them to live, where they can learn craft techniques such as leaf printing and weaving so they can create their own pieces and sell them at the markets to make an income. Tourists are also invited to these workshops to about leaf printing, composting, and building with bamboo.