2020, what a year. 

Each month this 2020, we will be celebrating a particular theme; be it private jet etiquette in the summer, or how to adequately pair chocolate and champagne during the festive season. For June, a little re-imagined to fit the state of the world and the airport, our theme is all about travel within Thailand. 

[Hero and Featured Image Credit: Nikldn/Unsplash]

Image Credit: Laura Saddi/Unsplash

Let us have a little heart-to-heart: our theme for June 2020 was going to be about great European summers — between the best pizza on the piazza to the coolest cocktails on the Southern coasts. But a global health emergency and impending pandemic had other plans for us. The best things (trips included) are spontaneous anyway, are they not?

Thereby, still feisty with a fire to travel regardless (with safety at our utmost priority, of course), we tweaked our theme to suit a location a little closer to home — quite literally. 

This June 2020 our theme is titled, ‘Great Staycations.’ A play on ‘Great Expectations’ as none of us could have expected the situation we find ourselves in (when was the last time national borders were closed for this long?), but also a nod towards the greatness that lies within said borders. Thailand is beautiful. And she has so much to offer — within Bangkok and beyond. 

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Stories you’ll find this month will be themed around great escapes from Bangkok, be you a beach bum or a road trip rookie. We’ll explore what each of the country’s regions have to offer, and where to find the most precious boutique hotels and hidden gems. There is so much to explore across Thailand beyond the mainstream, whether you want to go wine tasting in Hua Hin or visit a coffee and chocolate plantation in Chiang Mai. 

We’ll also be featuring hotel re-openings and special offers as we go along, regardless of whether you’re looking to head down to the islands or up to the mountains. We’ll tell you what to pack, where to eat, and what to ‘gram. Our June theme is as much a travel story as it is one dedicated to food, arts, and culture. Here’s to Great Staycations. Take it away, Thailand… 

Image Credit: Hotel des Artistes

5 utterly serene boutique hotels in Chiang Mai you need to check out

From urban oases to romantic riverside views, we’ve put together a list of our favourite boutique hotels in Chiang Mai. If like us, your dreamy weekend wanderlust consists of an ode to a snowy duvet and a great book, or a soothing massage and hearty Northern food (khao soi we hear you calling!), read right on.

Image Credit: The Barai

5 boutique hotels in Hua Hin for your next escape from the city

Beyond being the more elegant alternative to a wild weekend in Pattaya, Hua Hin has awakened as a destination in its own right. Here, we’ve put together a list of our favourite boutique hotels of the minute, with a little something for every kind of traveller. Be you a beachside bum or a design-loving ‘grammer, consider this your next best excuse for your next best escape.

137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Pool
Image Credit: 137 Pillars House

Suite History: 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai, a Southeast Asian story on stilts

On doing our homework nose-deep into a history book, we uncovered that the number of pillars that hold up a traditional Thai house is directly correlated to how wealthy and important the house owner is. 137 Pillars House is named after the extremely impressive number of pillars that support it, and whilst there’s not denying that each and every one of its owners and inhabitants have been and remain ‘wealthy and important’, the story that surrounds its near 200 years of being are even moreso curious.

Image Credit: Seen Space

A fashionable guide to shopping in Hua Hin

Recent developments in the town have seen larger department stores popping up, more artisan night markets, and trendier concept spaces. Few things make a fashionista on holiday quite as happy as being able to browse hand-crafted bags or pearly hair accessories on a beach. With its newly reimagined shopping scene, Hua Hin offers exactly that; it’s only a matter of finding the right places to go. That’s why we’ve got you this list of Hua Hin’s most charming, unique, and fashionable places to shop. From warehouse night markets to glitzy department stores, these are the places with the coolest stuff and the most fashionable crowds.

Boutique Hotels Bangkok Old Town: Mustang Blu
Image Credit: The Mustang Blu

5 eerily romantic boutique hotels in Bangkok’s Old Town

To lie down and to calm down, here we’ve gathered some of our favourite boutique hotels in the area. Most are located around the kind of infamous Maitri Chit Road, and all offer that eerie sense of romance that only a place so deeply historical can conjure up. We’ve long known it to be an area that is great for sightseeing and cocktail-sipping, but to think you could get in your culture, feast on a fiery dinner, get drinks, and then go to sleep here, too? We’re shooketh. We’re excited. Consider your next staycation, vacation, and midday inspiration sorted.

The Nai Harn Phuket
Image Credit: The Nai Harn

Why The Nai Harn Phuket is every island gourmand’s dream

Executive chef Mark Jones puts his heart into his work, and it is evident in detailed touches such as these. Both the chef and general manager Frank Grassmann are passionate about food, with entire dinner conversations revolving around where and how to best enjoy it. As we increasingly embrace a ‘camera eats first’ mentality and obsess over Netflix food shows, it is exciting to see a hotel fully ride out the trend, too. 

Image Credit: Sala Ayutthaya

Eat Pray Stay: Sala Ayutthaya is an all-round wonderland on the river

Along the city’s main river, the Chao Phraya River, hundreds of riverside abodes and establishments dot its banks, yet one stands out from the rest unlike any other. In a commingled design between archaeological ruin and contemporary style, Scandinavian glam boutique hotel sala ayutthaya, is situated right in front the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wat Phutthaisawan.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques
Image Credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Celebrate Global Wellness Day 2020 with virtual sessions by the Four Season Thailand

Four Seasons Resorts Thailand is bringing a virtual healing and mindful experience to our homes by having the resort’s experts and masters conduct online sessions. This series will bring together all branches — Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, and Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui — to create an unforgettable mindfulness exercise to really boost mental health.

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The top 5 destinations for Thai travellers at the moment, according to Airbnb

As travel planning starts to stir, Airbnb dropped some hints on future trip plannings, analysed by guest search and wish lists. From private villa sanctuaries to poolside breakfasts, here are the top trends that we’ve spotted for local Thai travellers, with a big spotlight on domestic destinations that are 2-3 hour drive distances from Bangkok with proximity to the coast.

Image Credit: W Bangkok

The best staycation and hotel reopening deals in Bangkok right now

Many hotels are offering staycation deals while we wait for the airport to open again for international flights, and many are doing so with plenty of benefits to enjoy. Between early check-ins and food and drink credit, it’s a very unique time to take advantage of some very unique perks. That too, from a selection of really great hotels. 

Can’t go to Chiang Mai? Here are the 6 best Northern Thai restaurants in Bangkok

Those who are aspiring to take a voyage to the ancient land of the Lanna Kingdom, yet still feel uneasy to travel out of the city, we’ve got you covered. Bangkok is home to a range of Northern Thai restaurants, serving up staples like curry noodle khao soi, sai ua Northern-style spicy sausage, and gaeng hung lay curry. Here’s our ultimate list of some of the best haunts for this Northern fare.

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Weekend muse: what to wear on a yacht

Falling into a similar category to beachwear, what you wear on a yacht is essentially an elevation of those clothes you wear on the sand. On a yacht you’re less of a beach bum but more of a boat belle, and your popsicles go from cheap and sugary to Prosecco-induced and boozy. Nevertheless, it’s not all fun and games. The clothes you wear on a yacht need to find a perfect balance between fashion and function. Swimwear needs to be considered, in case you want to jump into the great blue. But a coverup for afterwards is also essential should you stay for dinner. Sunglasses are very important, given that the sun is bright and unavoidable out there, and a shawl or stole for the evenings is always a trusted companion (it gets cool).

Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.