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The Sunday Times Travel writers Mark Hodson and David Wickers.


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What to do in Thailand: Ask the Experts

Q. I’m off to Thailand with a week in Chiang Mai and a week in Koh Phi Phi. Any advice on what to do, or what to give a miss?

A. The temptation in Chiang Mai is to wile away your time in temples, restaurants and night markets. But it’s well worth spending a day at one of the city’s many excellent cookery schools, learning how to balance spicy, salty, sweet and sour.

Phi Phi has some idyllic beaches, and charming hotels, but to appreciate what makes this part of Thailand so special you’ll need to take a boat trip. Snorkel in sheltered bays, swim through limestone caves and discover secret sandy coves.

There are two caveats. Boat trips to Phi Phi Leh – the spot where The Beach was filmed – can be a disappointment because it gets so crowded. And try to avoid the rainy season, from May to October.

Check out these holiday ideas in Thailand, or – if you’re happy to fly and flop – the beaches of Koh Samui. Also see the best time to visit Thailand.

– David and Mark

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