While this may be the case with some of the more popular tourist destinations like Bangkok, Koh Phangnan and Koh Samui, the majority of Thailand is still a slice of tranquil paradise – perfect for those seeking relaxation rather than raving.
Khao Lak is one such place. Roughly two hours drive from Phuket – which can now be reached in 11 hours, direct from London Gatwick on the Thompson Dreamliner – it is part of the Phang Nga province, home to Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park.
Where to stay in Khao Lak
For those who seek total blissed out relaxation, The JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa delivers this and then some. Located on a pristine slice of beach, everything about this five star resort conspires to relax, restore and rejuvenate.
A big part of this is privacy. Despite having 250 rooms (and the hotel was at full capacity the entire week we were there) it has the feel of a much smaller, boutique resort thanks to the accommodation being spread out across the grounds in the form of four 'wings', all separated by the 3.2km swimming pool...yes, 3.2 kilometres.
The main pool opposite the beach (complete with swim up bar and jacuzzis) is just the tip of the iceberg, because it branches off into 'rivers', which snake around the grounds - past rooms whose guests can actually swim up to their patio door.
The JW Marriott also has its own onsite spa, with a range of treatments on offer. From Aromatherapy and Thai to Swedish and Deep Renewal, there's massages galore - as well as a variety of body wraps, facials and, if you're feeling romantic , a rose petal bath for two.
Pricewise, the spa isn't exactly cheap – a 60 minute massage costs the equivalent of around £65 - but for those who fancy a cheaper option there are numerous places to enjoy a beachside massage just five minutes walk along the sand. Here, an hour treatment is approximately 400 Thai Baht (£10).
What to do in Khao Lak
There's a variety of local excursions on offer – all of which can be booked through the hotel. From elephant trekking and canoeing to visiting film sets – 'James Bond Island' where The Man With The Golden Gun was filmed and Maya Beach, the stretch of sand used for The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio – there's abundant opportunity to explore the local area.
However, if you choose to sign up for only one excursion - make it the Similan Islands National Park boat trip. After an hour speedboat ride you'll snorkel with sea turtles in crystal clear water before enjoying the white sandy beaches. As one of our group put it – 'it's like being in a screensaver'.
Holidays to the JW Marriot from the UK are only available through Thomson, and prices start at £1180 per person for 7 nights (including flights on the Thomson Dreamliner).
To find out more about this holiday or to book visit your local Thomson travel shop, thomson.co.uk or call 0871 230 2555
SEEKING SOLITUDE AT SIX SENSES RESORT, THAILAND
THAI CLASSIC MANGO STICKY RICE PUDDING RECIPE
LOTS MORE TRAVEL IDEAS