Updated: May 22, 2020
In the land of smiling faces, your heart is full the minute you step off the airplane. You are greeted by praying hands and gentle bows and a warm smile that makes you feel like you are home. Your adventure in Thailand begins the second you arrive. From the airport to your hotel the culture is everywhere, the masses of people and transportation like you've never seen. You quickly notice that people have the ability to operate a motorbike with three family members and a week's full of groceries accompanying them. You see a tuk-tuk and just know that it is something you want to take a ride in. Your adventure has begun...
Adventuring around Thailand is financially one of the most simplistic things you'll do . For those on a shoestring budget this is your place where a great night's accommodation will cost you about $35CDN and a meal will cost you $3CDN…cant argue with that.
I am often asked, where do I start , where to first?, what do I need to see? My suggestion to you, start in Bangkok. It is a thriving metropolis, busy as can be with the easiest transportation system you could want and inexpensive taxi cabs wherever you need to go. Starting in Bangkok allows you the ease of finding food that you will want to enjoy, a place to lay your head and the ability to take in Kosan road, Siam square, Temples or the floating markets. You don't need much time in Bangkok , a couple of days and my suggestion is to head to northern Thailand.
Northern Thailand specifically Chiang Mai is an interesting city placed in the mountains offering a different climate, typically much cooler temperatures and a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in a hilltribe visit or homestay should you wish. The bustling night market is a shoppers paradise for any souvenir you may want to bring back home or for the necessities you require for the next part of your vacation. Everything will be “same, same but different”, but you're sure to find something that will remind you of this incredible place. Eating in a local restaurant isn't necessary when you have the open market eateries available to you offering any type of fare you wish to indulge in.
A favorite of mine has always been the Massaman Chicken. If you have tried it you know and if you have come back to home and tried to emulate it you know it's near impossible. I always say, it's the most perfect food in Thailand. Perfectly created Massaman, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The potatoes the curry the peanuts all marinated in the most delicious curry sauce you could imagine. Try it!
And all of the places you go and all the experiences you have when you return home you will most definitely talk about the food. You will crave the food and try and seek it out at your local establishments, it’s hard to find. I live in a large city that is very culturally diverse and I have spent ample time seeking out authentic Thai food from the little mom and pop shops who know what to do with the ingredients.
How about your chicken with shrimp and rice served in a pineapple? Roasted to perfection, why don’t we do that here? I guess serving dinner to your children a hollowed out pineapple might seem weird in our western culture..... perhaps something new to try.
Before you leave Northern Thailand, being able to volunteer your time at an elephant sanctuary is one of the best good for your soul things you can do. These elephants have been rescued from places that did nothing but exploit them and make them into performing acts. These sanctuaries are put in place to offer a rehabilitation for the elephants and a chance to survive. Being able to spend time with these animals at these sanctuaries, being able to feed them bathe them and provide them their medicine is an opportunity you must partake him.
Finally, What Thailand is most known for, beaches, beaches everywhere the most beautiful beaches you'll ever see. Take a short flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket. Enjoy a beach life you could only ever dream of that can’t be depicted properly in a movie that nobody could ever explain to you, you simply have to go and feel it.
Ko Phi Phi is a Thailand landmark, and the beautiful Maya Beach is the location of the famous The Beach with Leonards DeCaprio. Although Maya beach is now closed to tourism you are still able to see it from a boat ride and it really is truly as stunning as you think. Bamboo island is quite possibly heaven on earth. Hundreds of beaches to explore all accessible by inexpensive boat rides, a day on the water is a beautiful way to tour around. It's easy to move in and never want to leave, Thailand is addictive, if you've been... you understand.
LISTEN TO MY PODCAST "THAILAND SAVED ME"