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Adventure Awaits in Thailand

by Vancouver Pride

Adventure Awaits in Thailand

The cajeput tree ('samet' in Thai) is a majestic subtropical evergreen, with thin papery bark reminiscent of west coast birch. Reaching heights of up to forty feet, the green foliage stands out against the clear blue skies of Thailand. The samet tree grows on Koh Samet, an island named for the tree which grows in abundance along its white sanded shores. If you want to travel like a local in Thailand, Koh Samet is the place to go. A favoured spot of tourists and Thailanders alike, Koh Samet is the perfect place to explore when you are ready to escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Located close to Thailand's capital, you can leave the city in the morning and be enjoying cocktails by noon.

Koh Samet experiences less rain than other regions in Thailand, but the best time to visit is between November and April when the seas are calm and the skies are clear. With dozens of waterfront resorts, bungalows and even beachside camping, you will be sure to find something that fits your lifestyle and budget.


Breathtaking Beaches
Breathtaking Beaches

While the whole island as well as Thailand itself is queer friendly, Sai Kaew beach is the place to go if you are looking to vacation with the community. The Sai Kaew Beach Resort is situated beside the secluded beach and features everything from budget-friendly bungalows to swanky villas with private balconies. Join a game of beach volleyball and work up an appetite then visit seafront restaurants and enjoy dinner on the beach. Sunbathe on the beach or beat the heat and nap in a shaded hammock during the day before strolling to the Silver Sand Bar, an open-air bar and dance floor at the nearby Silver Sand Hotel. The Silver Sand attracts tourists and locals alike, and is especially popular on weekends.

Looking for more parties and adventure? Why not visit the world-famous Koh Phangan, known for their monthly full moon parties. Gay travelers from around the world head to the crescent-shaped Haad Rin Beach to join a crowd numbering in the tens of thousands each month. The white sand beaches, lit by thousands of lanterns, becomes your dance floor with music of every genre playing well into the night.


Not there during the full moon? No problem. While Koh Phangan's beaches are welcoming to LGBTQ communities, three stand out among them all : Bottle Beach, Haad Yao Beach, and Salad Beach. Bottle Beach is more secluded and is popular with backpackers. If you are looking for a laid back vibe, Bottle Beach is the place for you. Looking for an outstanding outdoor experience? Haad Yao is known in Koh Phangan as the perfect beach, due to its natural beauty, warm waters and pristine beach. Snorkel at the coral reef or visit one of the dive schools and try your hand at scuba diving! There is also snorkeling to be had at Salad Beach. Tucked into its own bay, feel like you have escape it all situated between lush green cliffs and bordered by mountains and ocean.


Stunning Resorts
Stunning Resorts

Once you are done exploring Koh Phangan during the day, head to lesbian-owned bar and bistro L'Alcove at Hingkong Beach. At L'Alcove you can take in the sunset while sipping wine and then enjoy an impressive fire show and live music. If you are looking for a place to stay, the island offers any kind of accommodations for different budget. From budget For You Guesthouse, a gay-managed B&B that offers affordable rooms upstairs and a laid back bar downstairs with a range of cocktails and are well known for their crepes and burger. To luxurious Anantara Rasananda Villas, a place for romance and well-being, where true indulgences are influenced by the local culture and one of the best beaches in the Kingdom.

Whether you visit Koh Phangan for the duration of your stay in Thailand, or make it a stop on your tour, the waterfalls, jungle and natural beaches are not to be missed. Get ready to beach hop and forget all about the cold weather you left behind in Canada.


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