Looking for a winter destination that’s sunny and warm? Thailand is one very easy trip to arrange. You can reserve almost anything you want on the spot with the exception of the Christmas/New Year period when hotels are booked solid and prices reach their peak. Prefer a group? Adventure Center (on the side bar), Intrepid Travel (bookable through Adventure Center), iExplore, GAP Adventures to name a few. There must be thousands of tour operators you can use. Contact the Tourism Thailand Organization for more information.
Thailand has wonderful food, gorgeous hotels/resorts ranging from extreme luxury to rock bottom, and friendly, helpful people. There are mountains, historical sights, white sand beaches, crystal clear water, incredible islands, national forests and reasonable in cost (if not downright cheap) to visit.
What to see and do? Sheila’s “short” list:
– Bangkok of course. There are over 400 Buddhist temples, boat trips up and down the Chao Phraya River, The Grand Palace, Khaosan Road, the infamous sex districts of Pat Pong (perfectly safe), and too much more to ever see in a dozen trips to Bangkok.
– One of my favorite markets in the World, the Chatuchak Weekend Market. it wouldn’t be Bangkok without a Saturday or Sunday visit. Impossible to look through every stall in this gigantic market!;
– The Golden Triangle is where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge. It’s also simple to cross the border into Cambodia for a day trip or continue on. The entire area is known for its mountainous beauty, jungle trekking (try elephant trasport), ruins and hill tribes, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai (quite a few luxurious places to stay here) are the places to base yourself for exploration;
– Ayutthaya served as the Thai capital for 417 years. Visit groups of crumbling ruins, rows of Buddhas and keep an eye out for snakes falling from trees! (We actually saw one and watch the trees at ruins.) An easy and popular day trip from Bangkok by bus, car, train or cruise boat on the Chao Phraya River.
– You do not need a visa;
– Use ATM’s to exchange money;
– No major problems with food or water as long as you use common sense. Drink bottled water, don’t eat raw foods, “cook, peel or forget it…yadda…yadda” (I don’t always follow my own advice)
Now…wasn’t that easy?