Thailand: From tiny islands to wellness retreats, here’s why you should visit in 2023

Adriana Lima
By Adriana Lima 6 Min Read
origin 1Koh Chang, Thailand ©Canva

A favorite among tourists, Thailand is famous for its beautiful white sand beaches, diverse landscapes and exciting nightlife.

But while the beaches of Phuket or the urban sprawl of Bangkok might be the first places that pop into your mind when you think of the Southeast Asian country, the Tourism Authority of Thailand wants you to look a little further.

“We are encouraging tourists to visit emerging destinations and travel during weekdays to decongest those destinations while reducing environmental and cultural wear and tear.

“We hope to create travel experiences that are meaningful not only for travellers, but for people as well local communities and the environment”.

So, if you plan to visit this magnificent country in 2023, where should you go? If you’re interested community tourism or looking for a secluded wellness retreat, here are some of the best places in Thailand for the mindful traveller.

Where can I go for community based tourism in Thailand?

origin 1View of Ko Mak, ThailandCanva

“We are promoting low-carbon destinations across the country,” says the Thailand Tourism Authority. These include: “Koh Mak a Trat, which was recognized as Thailand’s first low-carbon destination.”

We are promoting low-carbon destinations across the country,” says the Tourism Authority of Thailand. These include: “Koh Mak a Trat, which has been recognized as Thailand’s first low-carbon destination.

Sitting off the coast of the southeastern province of Trat, the island of Ko Mak looks like a four-pointed star when viewed from above. Surrounded by colorful coral reefs and golden sandy beaches, tourists can take a boat to the island from Krom Luang pier in Laem Ngop.

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Green tourism in Ko Mak

origin 1Mangroves, Koh ChangCanva

If you are looking for a quiet island getaway, then Ko Mak is the place for you. Not only is it easy to pedal around the island, being much smaller than its neighbors Koh Chang and Koh Kood, there are also several initiatives in place to help tourists reduce their ecological footprint. These include water saving schemes and a carbon footprint calculator.

These schemes have seen Ko Mak named as one of the world’s top 100 destinations 2022 by Green Destinations, which recognizes good practice in the travel and sustainability industry.

While much of the island is covered in vast coconut groves, the glorious beaches they are relatively underdeveloped. Take a seat on the soft white sand of Ao Suan Yai Beach and you can see neighboring islands in the distance.

For a seaside destination for something extra, head to Ao Kao Beach, where you’ll find resorts, restaurants and cafes along the shimmering sand.

To experience the wild, sprawling mangrovestake a boat to the nearby island of Koh Chang, where there are a series of boardwalks that will take you through the verdant marshes.

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Where can I find health and wellness tourism in Thailand?

origin 1Phuket, Thailand Canva

While Thailand may be best known for its natural beauty, health and wellness tourism is growing in the country, explains Tourism Authority Thailand.

“In Thailand, there are a wide range of destinations that offer a unique wellness experience, namely Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan.”

Ko Samui, Thailand’s second largest island (after Phuket), is home to a diverse range of spas to help you escape the hectic pace of 21st century life. Whether you’re looking to detox, learn more about yoga and pilates, or just relax by the pool, there’s a wealth of options on the island.

If all that relaxation becomes too much, there are also plenty of adventure activities on offer in Ko Samui. From sunset boat trips to scuba diving day trips, the Gulf of Thailand is teeming with coral reefs and abundant marine life, making it a major attraction for divers.

Ko Samui isn’t the only island worth exploring for wellness tourists, explains TAT.

“Phuket is home to world-class and countless medical facilities and services spas and resorts that can be found in major tourist destinations.

While it may be Thailand’s largest and most popular island, if you’re looking for a vacation that has it all, no matter the season, phuket it is still the place to be.

“Thailand is a “Year-round Destination”. No matter when you visit, you can always enjoy Thailand and our many unique seasonal activities.

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