By Suzanne Dalton
I was lucky enough to visit Thailand with some colleagues in December and its an experience I will never forget. We flew with Thai Airways from London to Bangkok and were delighted to be upgraded to Royal Silk Business Class! The recliner seats were very spacious, and champagne was served on board. My Thailand holiday started off in style.
I visited Chiang Mai, Phuket and Bangkok on this trip, each destination showcased another side of Thailand. Once we arrived in Chiang Mai we were transferred to our accommodation, Kantary Hills Hotel. We each had a one-bedroom suite, which was very clean and spacious. I loved Chaing Mai’s culture, wildlife experiences and endless scenery.
Next stop, Phuket! We made ourselves at home in The Vijitt Resort which was a beautiful 5* hotel in Chalong Bay. Perfect for couples, honeymooners, and anyone wanting to get away from it all. We all had a private villa each, with our own small private pool. Phuket really is a paradise island.
Last but certainly not least was Bangkok. I loved adding some hustle and bustle to this Thailand experience. While here we stayed in the 5-star Pathumwan Princess Hotel. This hotel is right next to the MBK shopping centre. The swimming pool is idyllic as it gets direct sunlight most of the day.
There is so much to love about this Thailand holiday but the highlight for me must be visiting the Elephant Nature Park in the Mae Rim district, roughly a 1-hour drive outside of Chiang Mai. We spent the morning observing free roaming elephants and feeding them. We also learnt about the problem’s elephants face in Southeast Asia, as well as the changes the Elephant Nature Foundation are making.
Cruise the Mae Ping River on a long-tail boat in Chiang Mai. I did this during my visit, it was great to witness the local lifestyle along the riverbanks.
See the Three Kings monument, inspired by the founding fathers of Chiang Mai. I recommend taking a trishaw to this landmark. Travel along Tapae Road, through the city wall gates and pass by the historical old town and ancient Buddhist temples.
Pay a visit to Chalong Bay Rum Distillery in Phuket and sample their custom-made white rum. I personally enjoyed their mojito cocktail too.
Visit the stunning temples Bangkok has to offer such as Wat Suthat, Wat Rajabopit and Wat Klang. While in Wat Klang I recommend participating in a monk ceremony where they give you a blessing.
Make sure to leave some space in your suitcase because the shopping at MBK Centre in Bangkok is some of the best! There are eight floors packed with 2,000 stores, selling everything from clothing and handbags to furniture and mobile phones.
The food was amazing! From the delicious Mango sticky rice in the River Market Restaurant, Chiang Mai to the mouth-watering lunch in Letter Press Café and Restaurant, Bangkok. I also can’t forget the delicious seafood I had in KanEng@Pier Restaurant, Phuket while admiring the views of Chalong Bay. If you’re looking for some nightlife, Chiang Mai has a young population so there are lots of great bars with live music, the WarmUp Café was a personal favourite.
I recommend a Thailand multi-centre holiday to first time visitors, as you get a true reflection of the beautiful country. It’s great to have a Destination Asia guide, they met with us in every destination and shared their local knowledge. I certainly saw the best of Thailand. As a first-time visitor it did not disappoint and lived up to its name, the Land of Smiles!
The private media company Unravel Travel accompanied us on this trip and filmed the experience. Check out the footage here ---> http://bit.ly/ThailandMultiCentre
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