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Off Island Treasures

Category: , Posted:14 May 2011 | 06:00 am

The getaway is a classic movie directed by Sam Peckinpah and stars the epitome of cool, Steve McQueen.
The film is renowned for its out-of-control high-speed car chases, with more gear changes than an AK-47 has bullets.
Getting away from the some-times feverish pace of life in Phuket is easily done these days by taking the road over the Sarasin Bridge and escaping into a world with fewer of life's pressures.
"Destination unknown" might sound like a good idea, but come sundown you may wish to tuck into a nice cold beer and start thinking about where you want to lay your head for the night.
First stop is north of well known Natai beach, with its multi-million dollar ultra villas, and the sleepy little area of Bo Dan, just past the hot spring and Aleenta Resort and Spa.
Here sits the charming Water-jade Resort (water-jade.com) on a private natural lagoon. It's a mix of cheap-chic with a small assortment of attached hotel rooms and bungalow villas with decks extending over the water.
Dining comes easy with the casual Srivare restaurant and its great assortment of seafood and local Thai specialties.
Activities include biking and canoeing or you can wander down to the nearby beach and soak up a sunset.
Of course Phuket is all about options and some getaways are best served by visiting nearby islands.
Just off Phuket's east coast is Naka Yai Island, which harbors the plush Six Senses Sanctuary resort. While this remains a stunning establishment, there is also a nearby, little-known alternative named the Tenta Nakara (tentanakara.com).
Here is a boutique, 16-unit offering, featuring luxury tents.
Organic gardens and no electricity give a Robinson Crusoe flair to an overnight stay, while a pristine white-sand beach and stunning views of Phang Nga Bay provide all the scenery anyone could desire.
Taking a wider view of Greater Phuket, our journey leads us to Krabi's Koh Lanta Old Town.
Here, a stay at the Mango House (mangohouses.com) with its oceanfront suites and houses complete with hammocks, fans and mosquito nets, is an experience to remember.
Chinese-style wooden pole houses with over-water accommodation provide a unique base from which to explore Koh Lanta and its environs.
Last stop on our road trip is the Khao Sok Tree House Resort (khaosok-treehouse.com). Here, you can wake up to the sounds of a babbling brook and a chorus of frogs combining for a jungle jam session.
An eclectic selection of rustic and "more bark for your money" tree houses have something for every escapee's budget.
There you have it. Hopefully your appetite has been stirred to explore and experience some of these recommendations just over "the bridge".

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