This was my first time travelling to Thailand, and I was really impressed. The beaches are amazing, and I loved the food and the people.
I really recommend Khao Lak for travellers wanting to escape any hustle and bustle. It’s still beach front, with plenty of shopping and local dining options. And also closer to the Islands and the National Parks for cycling, waterfalls, hiking.
Kata and Karon were great, I couldn’t fault location and the properties I saw. And if you can get out and stay on one of the islands, do so!! It is like stepping back in time, so quiet and the views are to die for!
I flew from Melbourne with Thai Airways on their Airbus A350. It was really spacious and comfortable with great service and plenty of yummy Thai food. Thai Airways (TG) fly direct to Bangkok twice a day, with connections through to the islands and other cities. They are a full service airline and include your luggage, entertainment, blankets/pillows, food and drinks.
I was upgraded to Business class for my flight home. There is a separate check in and separate immigration area, which meant no queues which is a real plus. If flying Business Class you can get a free massage in the Royal Orchid Spa – ahmazing! I suggest pre-booking upon arrival in Bangkok.