Thailand’s new hotels paired with beautified bay, night market and skywalk – The Straits Times

From Friday, Singaporeans will find it much easier to visit Thailand when it scraps its much-criticised Thailand Pass or pre-travel registration process for tourists. Face masks need not be worn in public either.

A slower spread of Covid-19 has made it possible for Thailand to relax travel restrictions.

Now that travel in Thailand is almost back to normal, check out its many new resorts and hotels. Here are four new properties in locations across the country that offer fresh experiences, such as a mountainside skywalk and Bangkok night market.

Krabi: SAii Phi Phi Island Village

The plush resort gives visitors access to Asia’s most famous beach – Maya Bay – which, until January, was closed for three years so its marine ecosystem could recover from overtourism.

On my previous trip to Maya Bay in 2014, hundreds of tourists swarmed its curved beach, which became known worldwide after its star turn in the 2000 Hollywood blockbuster The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

This year, however, I found Maya Bay pristine and nearly empty – thanks to its long reprieve from tourism and the new rules on visitor numbers and behaviour.

During the pandemic, SAii Resorts upgraded an old property and reopened it as SAii Phi Phi Island Village in February 2021.

This sprawling resort in the Phi Phi Islands is ideal for families and couples. It owns a most serene location in Loh Ba Kao Bay, which has a 600m-long white sand beach lined with swaying palm trees.

Guests can admire this natural splendour while swimming in the resort’s huge beachside pool or from one of its several open-air dining venues or the comfort of a seaview room.

At 59 sq m, the Deluxe Sea View Bungalow ($230 a night) is at once traditional and modern. The 125 sq m Oceanside and Hillside Pool Villas ($460 a night) have private pools, where guests can enjoy breakfast on a floating tray.

More relaxation is offered at SAii’s spa and a love of nature is instilled by the resort’s Marine Discovery Centre, which explains the habitats and life cycles of local marine species.

SAii has traditional Thai longtail boats that ferry guests to the nearby Maya Bay. Do not rush this 30km round trip as along the way are several beautiful snorkelling spots. And take note of the new rules in Maya Bay, which include no swimming, a maximum one-hour visit and a pre-booked $15 national park ticket.

SAii can secure that ticket for you. Just contact staff via its app, which also lets guests order room service, organise ocean excursions, and book spa sessions.

Info: SAii Phi Phi Island Village’s website


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