Imagine being greeted with a broad smile, hands joined in a symbolic lotus gesture and a gentle nod at every turn. Welcome to Thailand! (To see the Best of Burma click here!)
You will experience and be awed by many aspects of your visit as it is the land of the free people who will open their hearts and country to you. You are more than their guests, you are part of their family. Both the royal heritage and deep Buddhist traditions are visible in the myriad of royal portraits and the ever present temples that dot the landscape from remote mountain villages to bustling city boulevards.
This profoundly warm welcome is matched by the dazzling array of sights, sounds, tastes, experiences and accommodations on offer in this kingdom of delights.
What To Do
1) Go to Cheng Mai.
Start your journey in northern Thailand and allow Cheng Mai and its environs to introduce you to a country of contrasts.The sprawl of a vibrant urban center that is Cheng Mai surrounds the beauty and calm of the preserved walled fortress, which delineates the old city.
The intrigue, influence and mystery of the nearby but remote Hill Tribes of the YAO and AKHA vies for attention with the history of the opium trade through the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet on the scenic Mekong River.
Delight in your encounters with the elephants, once beasts of burden, now beloved and cared for at the Elephants Conservation Center in Lamphang Province, so that you may ride and observe them entertaining you with a talent for drawing and dancing.
2) Visit Thailand's Southern Islands Around Koh Chang
The beach beckons in Thailand's 52 Islands, rimmed in white sand, surrounded by warm waters awaiting discovery.
Just a brief flight or a drive and ferry away from the Thai mainland, these islands offer serenity and nature, as well as captivating village life to explore.
Visit the large island of Koh Chang, and then island hop by speedboat to the neighboring islands of Koh Wai, Koh Mak, Koh Kood, each with their own character.
Finally continue to Baan Salak Khok Community, a quiet, self supporting fishing village built on the bay and famous for boat rides around the mangrove forests.
3) Visit Pattaya
From Thailand's Southern Islands wind your way north towards Bangkok and spend a few sunkissed days in Pattaya.
Pattaya has beach and resort amenities, as well as much nighlife.
Pull yourself away from the charms of the town to visit the Sirachi Tiger Zoo. World renown, enjoy upclose and personal encounters with these giant creatures!