We spent a wonderful 6-months in Thailand. It was the perfect place to launch our first book, Dream Save Do, and turned out to be a great opportunity to stretch our budget. We fell in love with the people, food, and scenery and have vowed to return. Following is a bit more insight into the benefits Thailand can offer to your next holiday.
A cheap flight to Thailand will turn your pennies into the jewel-like colors of a holiday to treasure and once there, you can make your money go further in Thailand. Lonely Planet recommends 600-700 baht a day outside Bangkok, or 1,500 baht to be comfortable. £1 is currently worth 49.3 baht. But where best to go in the kaleidoscope of landscape and culture that is the real Thailand?
Bangkok: heavenly prices in the city of angels
Hire a boat, taxi or tuk-tuk and haggle for home-cooked food and tropical fruit at Bang Khu Wiang, one of the floating markets, open 4-7am daily. Run off your breakfast with the locals in Lampihi Park. Escape the heat of the day with a visit to the Wat Mahathat temple and the Vipassana Meditation Centre where classes are offered daily, or wonder at the world’s largest, reclining Buddha at 46 metres long in Wat Pho temple.
Find wild life on the tourist trail
Book a Flight of the Gibbon day tour to experience the rainforest canopy, or travel north to ride elephants in the Mae Tang Elephant Camp at Chiang Mai.
Sun, sea and sand
Escape the island of Phuket’s tourist beaches, watersports and the exotic night life of Patong for the Phra Taew National Park. Phang Nga Bay is famous for its limestone cliffs, caves, mangroves and fishing villages.
Good mental health: Loi Krathong and Li Peng
Float your troubles away in November with the traditional Loi Krathong ceremony of apology to the water goddess, Khongkha, by filling a woven, banana leaf basket with fruit, candles and your worries, and releasing it onto the water in Bangkok, or travel north to Chiang Mai to see the lanterns drifting into the night sky during Li Peng. Dip further into the past with a visit to the Population Development Hill Tribe Education Centre and travel to meet the hill tribes of Chiang Rai. This province offers other long stay opportunities, but check Foreign Office travel advice first.
Long stay options
Why leave when you could turn tourism into volunteering for less than the cost of a winter at home? Weather is best November to February, or March to July in the North. Volunteer at a Thai Elephant Conservation project in Chiang Mai (see STA) web site for £300 a week, or dive at Similan, Surin Islands, Phi Phi or Phuket as a marine conservation volunteer with Openmind Projects. Volunthai invites you to live with local people and teach English at a rural secondary school for $375 a month.
So don’t wait – make Thailand your next fabulous, affordable destination. A cheap flight to Thailand from Jetabroad.com.au or a similar provider, will be an investment that pays dividends.