Blue Skies and Sunny Days: Winter in Thailand Beckons!
Who has not dreamed of spending Christmas sunbathing and welcoming the New Year barefoot on the beach? As the monsoon season winds up in November, sunny days return, making winter the best time to travel in Thailand. “Swap snow for white sand and get into a tropical state of mind,” smiles Sean Mosher, General Manager, Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui.
Hop Over to Ko Tao for Diving or Snorkelling in Koh Samui
Abundant with coconut plantations, Koh Samui is resplendent in winter! Just beyond the island, the Gulf of Thailand offers incredible discoveries, particularly Koh Tao, a paradise with its underwater beauty and marine life. There are many ways to discover what lies hidden beneath the surface of these pristine waters, and snorkelling is one of them. “Around the island, there are many small beaches and shallow bays, perfect for snorkelling,” says Marine Biologist Benjawan Sansittisakunlird, Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui. “One of my favourite snorkelling sites is Aow Leuk, on the east side of the island. To reveal a secret, on the north side of the bay, baby barracudas can be spotted, and sometimes, even blacktip reef sharks!”
The crystal-clear waters of Koh Tao are one of the best diving spots in Thailand. For an extraordinary scuba diving experience, the Resort organises private charters in a range of luxury yachts. “Ko Tao is also the best place in Thailand to spot whale sharks in their natural habitat. Who would not want to dive with one of them?” asks Benjawan.
Adventure Your Way Through the Flowery Landscape of Doi Tung Mountain in Chiang Rai
In Northern Thailand, the garden and temple city of Chiang Rai is awash with colourful shades of pretty flowers this season. Tobias Emmer, Camp Manager of Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, advocates that Doi Tung Mountain with Mae Fah Luang Garden is his favourite spot to witness the seasonal transformation of flowers in their most beautiful colours. Northern Thailand is blessed with a cooler climate compared to the rest of the country, which makes it conducive to grow exotic flowers. “The Doi Tung Tree Top Walk is an adventurous trek to see the jungle’s changes with a bird’s-eye view,” he says. “Rope bridges take you above the forest where you can see a beautiful canopy of emerald green coffee trees, seasonal bushes, a rustic dam, distant mountains, and a vetiver grass plantation below,” he adds.
During the months of December and January, parts of Doi Tung Mountain transform into a colourful festival, a must-do on your agenda. On reaching, guests are greeted by exemplary handicraft and artwork laid out all along your way, ending at a bazaar, where a plethora of local goods and food await. The Camp team along with the expert guides provide insightful destination tours that make for a perfect vacation in Northern Thailand.
Hot Air Balloon Touring and Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai
Come winter, the shifting tones of Chiang Mai’s scenic countryside, and the varying shadows of the sun on its wealth of historic and cultural sites, are spectacular. “Ballooning is for the braveheart and is one of the best and the most extraordinary activities in the world,” says Anthony Gill, General Manager, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai and Tented Camp Golden Triangle. “Flying in a balloon up in the sky with the wind in your face and a panoramic view of northern Thailand’s romantic sun set below is an absolute delight,” he smiles.
A true jewel of natural beauty during winter is Doi Inthanon National Park with its rugged mountainous terrain blanketed by lush tropical forests and dotted with mighty rivers and majestic waterfalls. In the months of January and early February, hundreds of Siamese sakura flowers cover the trees in shades of pale pink – a marvel to witness! “If you are keen on trekking, the park’s striking nature trails are a true paradise to explore this phenomenon,” adds Anthony, recommending a visit to the "Roof of Thailand," Doi Inthanon, the country’s highest peak.
Around Chiang Mai, the farms are full of fresh winter fruits and vegetables! “Strawberries are a highlight this season,” shares Pastry Chef Yanisa Wiangnon, “My favourite time of the year as I can use these fresh fruits to create pastries for our Brunch and Afternoon Tea!”
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Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai