‘Koh Lanta is very natural and untouched by tourism. It’s one of the best spots in Thailand to reach some of the finest uninhabited islands. Here, you can quite happily be on a beach all day and only see one or two other people.’ Saffron Kiddy, Scubafish World at the Pimalai, Koh Lanta
A TV producer by trade, Saffron Kiddy originally came to Thailand nearly 20 years ago to work on natural history documentaries. However, while diving she fell in love with the country’s vibrant underwater worlds and gave up her career to pursue her passion. After setting up her dive school, Scubafish, Saffron opened a centre at the Pimalai Resort & Spa, one of our favourite boutique boltholes on the stunning island of Koh Lanta. Over five years later and Saffron has discovered how magical the marine life off Koh Lanta really is.
‘We’re situated in the Andaman Sea, where the sea life is incredibly diverse. Here, you can be gliding alongside everything from tiger tail seahorses to turtles, whale sharks to manta rays. If you were to come diving anywhere in the world, the island of Koh Lanta would be a pretty good spot!’
What’s better is that the people on Koh Lanta and at Scubafish know when they’ve got a good thing going on and Saffron is proud they are doing everything they can to protect it, looking after the wildlife and environment with initiatives such as coral replanting schemes in its nurseries. So impressive was their work, the former queen of Thailand singled out Koh Lanta from the rest of the country as an example of sustainability and conservation.
While some of Thailand’s more popular destinations jostle for the limelight, Koh Lanta offers a quiet authenticity that doesn’t register on most travellers’ radars. In fact, Saffron would argue Koh Lanta is arguably the best place for accessing some of the country’s unspoilt secrets.
‘One of Thailand’s hidden gems is an island near Koh Lanta called Hin Daeng. It’s just a tiny rock poking out of the sea but it is one of the top dive sites in the world.’
Rest your head
Enjoy 7 nights in a Deluxe Room at Pimalai Resort & Spa, on a bed and breakfast basis, from £1,410 per person, including international flights and road and speedboat transfers.