SALA Resorts and Spas, the luxury boutique beach resort brand, is inviting guests to step off the beaten track and uncover the “real” Thailand with a new series of in-depth local tours in Phuket and Koh Samui.
Available at SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach, SALA Samui Choengmon Beach and SALA Samui Chaweng Beach, these authentic and immersive excursions will be led by “SALA Seekers” – members of the resorts’ in-house teams who are intimately familiar with the area. Equipped with a lifetime of knowledge and insider information, these guides will reveal places that reflect the true essence of these popular resort islands, away from the usual tourist spots.
SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach has created “The Forgotten Phuket” programme, which lifts the lid on traditional ways of life in coastal communities. Led by Khun Korn, the resort’s Bell Captain who was born and raised in the Mai Khao district, this tour visits the fishing village of Samchong, where farmers and fisherman have traded for over 400 years along three canals. In this historic setting, guests will have the chance to experience the life of a fisherman, take a long-tail boat ride, and see the process of making shrimp paste and tie-dyeing cloth. They can also explore the mangrove forest by kayak.
In Koh Samui, SALA Samui Choengmon Beach reveals the island’s breath-taking beauty both above and beneath the waves. The “Hidden Samui” tour is led by Khun Nim, the Front Office Manager who has earned the nickname “Samui Google” among her colleagues! This trip includes visits to a market, a hilltop viewpoint and a local restaurant, before heading out on a long-tail boat ride to Samui’s idyllic offshore islands. After snorkelling in the clear waters of Koh Tan, which teem with tropical fish, guests can unwind on the secluded powder-soft beach of Koh Madsum.
Finally at SALA Samui Chaweng Beach, SALA Seeker Khun Keng, a Senior Bellman who two decades of experience as a tour guide and taxi driver, will use his knowhow to lead a journey into Koh Samui’s coconut trade. Nicknamed “Coconut Island”, Samui is said to have more varieties of coconut palm than anywhere else in the world, and these versatile trees have served the islanders for centuries as a source of food, shelter, refreshment and art. The Coconut Tour includes combines the island’s Coconut Museum and a coconut handicraft centre with a demonstration of how to make coconut sugar dumplings (“khanom ko”) and coconut oil.
“Phuket and Koh Samui are two of the world’s most treasured resort islands, attracting millions of international visitors every year. But all too often, tourists leave these idyllic retreats without finding out what lies beyond the beach. At SALA Resorts and Spas, we aim to create a connection between our naturally curious, experience seeking guests and their destination. With the help of our expert SALA Seekers, our tours will provide a genuine understanding of these islands’ rich history, culture and heritage,” commented Mr. Nicolas Reschke, Group Director of Business Development.
SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach, SALA Samui Choengmon Beach and SALA Samui Chaweng Beach all command prime beachfront locations, next to white sandy beaches. When they are not busy making fresh discoveries, guests can unwind in luxurious pool villas and suites, enjoy rejuvenating treatments in the SALA spas or dine at romantic beachfront restaurants, creating experiences that are highly personal and private.