In Audrey‘s Summer 2014 issue, we asked five tastemakers to give us a glimpse into their must-go destinations around the world. Here, Audrey EIC, Anna M. Park, shares one of her favorite places, Ko Lanta, Thailand.
Travel philosophy: Where next?
Why: An island two hours away from Krabi (an hour by car, another hour by speedboat) on the Andaman Sea, Ko Lanta has just enough amenities to make it a vacation without the massive crowds now ubiquitous in most Thailand beach spots.
Stay: Pimalai Resort and Spa reigns over a stunning stretch of almost-isolated beach on a gorgeous cove. Sunsets are to die for and service is impeccable. We had just gotten off an all-day boat tour of the surrounding islands when we realized we had left our sandals in the boat. (The boat was long gone to the next hotel.) We informed the front desk and by the time we were only halfway to our villa, one of the hotel staff had our sandals in hand.
Eat: If staying at Pimalai, forgo the hotel restaurant and try the restaurant down the beach called Same Same But Different. At night, it’s dark so look out for their brightly lit bamboo sculptures in front. I’ve never seen a bartender take such care in making a mojito (a good one, too), and they’ll prepare the fresh fish of the day any way you like. Prepare for a wait if you don’t have a reservation.
Do: Rent a scooter and head over to the smaller island Ko Lanta Noi via car ferry. On the other side of the island, hire a long-tail boat to take you to Ko Talabeng, a breathtaking limestone island replete with hidden caves, deserted stretches of white sand and stunning coves. You’ll likely be the only ones around. Afterwards, get a $10 60-minute massage offered everywhere.
Unforgettable: As we scooted around the island, we found a small handmade sign advertising food. After climbing down a hill, we found a rustic wooden platform perched precariously over a cliff. A young woman emerged from the adjacent shack — we could hear her kids inside — and took our order. Watching the sunset while slurping down the spicy, sour, ubiquitous tom yum goong soup in this gem of a find was heaven.
This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here.