Celebrate the sunset at a private villa
There are plenty of memorable ways to enjoy a magical sunset hour if you’re staying in a luxury villa on a tropical Thai island.
With a stunning sandstone terrace, the outdoor lounge at Phuket’s Villa Napalai is the ideal place to make the most of spectacular sunset views over the Andaman Sea
No holiday in Thailand would be complete without blissful evenings spent soaking up the glorious colours of sunset. For many travellers, setting up for sundown is something of a ritual and requires the atmosphere to be just right with the perfect combination of beverages and snacks to hand so you can nibble on as you watch nature’s finest show. In the Land of Smiles, the sun sinks below the horizon on cue at around 6:30pm every day. The magical golden hour leading up to sunset and the dramatic second sunset just after are the perfect time to snap some arty photographs, too. If you’re staying in one of Thailand’s opulent private villas, there are plenty of places to soak up the colours beaming across the sky. Whether you’re in the mood for a few chilled drinks or want to capture some photographs of the kaleidoscope of ever-shifting colour, here are some tips on how to set up for the perfect holiday sunset experience.
Thailand is the ideal place to try your hand at making some fruity cocktails, thanks to the abundance of fresh, local ingredients
Thanks to the glorious views – particularly if you’re staying in an ocean view property like Phuket’s Villa Napalai – sunset is the perfect time to sit back, relax and enjoy a few cocktails. If you’re keen to make the most of the moment’s tranquillity, then you might prefer to enjoy your beverage back at your private villa rather than in the local beach club.
If you don’t fancy learning how to cook Thai food, then experimenting with a few tropical cocktail recipes in your villa’s kitchen could turn out to be an adventurous quest to discover your new favourite tipple. Of course, when in Thailand, it makes sense to make the most of the exquisite local ingredients in your cocktail creations. Lemongrass, chilli and ginger are all flavours that will add a little spice, with coconuts bringing creaminess to the party. Tropical fruits like pineapple and mango will add an infusion of sweetness.
All about the atmosphere
The chic indoor dining area at Phuket’s Villa Napalai looks out across the Andaman Sea, setting a sublime scene for sunset
Thailand’s private villas are home to an array of communal and private areas – so there are plenty of spots to choose from when it comes to selecting the perfect spot to indulging in sunset drinks. Phuket’s Villa Napalai, for example, is home to a selection of comfortable lounging areas, both inside and out. The outdoor dining terrace and lounge area in particular provide wow factor locations to enjoy the sunset. If you’re hosting guests, you could also consider having sunset drinks served in the formal dining area.
Of course, creating the right ambience isn’t just about selecting the right room in your private villa. It’s also about having the perfect soundtrack to your magical sunset moment. Many of Thailand’s luxury villas feature top-of-the-range sound systems, so you can stream your sunset playlist through to every zone in the property – inside or out. That way, you can enjoy the music either from the privacy of your bedroom, or from a sun lounger on the pool terrace overlooking the ocean.
Feast of flavours
A selection of tasty appetisers is the perfect accompaniment to your sundown drinks
After whetting your appetite with a tasty selection of fruity sunset beverages, it’s likely you’ll want a snack or two to savour as well. This is one of the many occasions when you’ll truly appreciate the value of having a professional chef on hand to create a platter of mouth-watering treats.
At Phuket’s Villa Napalai, the Thai chef will happily prepare a selection of nibbles, including Thai and Western treats. Fried appetizers like wontons and spring rolls are ideal for those keen to snack on something a bit more substantial, while barbecued satays drizzled with fresh peanut sauce will hit the spot for guests in need of a protein hit. If you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for, have a chat with your chef – he or she will be able to suggest some tasty treats from their expansive repertoire of dishes.
The main event
Phuket’s beaches offer up a plethora of opportunities for stellar sunset photography
As much as we all adore sipping on cocktails and sumptuous snacks, it’s important to allocate time for a photography session during at least one sunset in Thailand. Lofty cliff-side villas overlooking the ocean provide a stunning vantage point to capture the breathtaking array of colours that twinkle across the sky at dusk, while a quintessential Thailand sunset shot can easily be captured from the beach.
Islands like Phuket and Koh Samui boast an impressive selection of white-sand stretches. For guests staying in one of the islands’ beachside villas, the sand and surf is only a few metres away for a sunset stroll and photography session with your travel companions. Direct access to the beach is also a bonus for those who want to head back inside for a delicious evening meal straight after their sunset photography session without having to worry about finding a restaurant.
All of the dishes at Villa Napalai are crafted from fresh, local ingredients
Whether you’re experimenting with new cocktail recipes or trying your hand at preparing traditional Thai appetisers, it is well worth making the most of fresh local produce in Thailand. You can even take a trip to the local fresh produce market with your villa’s professional chef to learn more about the herbs and spices that go into each Thai dish. Sourcing your ingredients at the local market also provides a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the locals and support local farmers.
Tips on sunset photography
- If you’re aiming to capture the glorious colours of sunset as they paint themselves across the sky, don’t position the horizon line in the middle of the photograph. Put the horizon in the bottom third of the frame to let the kaleidoscope of colours do most of the talking.
- Rather than focusing all of your images on the golden orb of the sun, turn around and capture the warm light the setting sun casts on the scenery behind you.
- If you have time, stick around for half an hour or so after the sun has dipped below the horizon. After about 25 minutes, you’ll find the sky will light up again with a whole new host of stunning shades.