|Tips for Thailand|
|Asia & India » Thailand|
What we recommend you do in:
Stay at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, voted the world’s best hotel. If you can’t stay there, at least have dinner at the hotel’s world-famous Thai restaurant. You can dine indoors and see an authentic Thai culture show or sit outside under a star-lit sky and watch the boats lazily drift by on the Chao Phraya River. Rates in peek season at the hotel run around $269 a night.
Treat yourself to some of the freshest seafood at the city’s famous Seafood Restaurant, where you pick your own fish and vegetables from a supermarket at the back and then chefs prepare it to your liking in a massive outdoor kitchen.
Make sure you visit the Thai Cultural Centre on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, right next door to the lovely Sheraton Grande Hotel. The multi-story complex offers many beautiful crafts and artwork from all over Thailand for very reasonable prices.
Have a suit, shirts or dresses costumed made while you are in Bangkok. A shirt will cost about $30 and a linen suit runs around $200.
Taxis in Bangkok and all over Thailand are cheap so you don’t have to risk your life on one of those motorcycle tuk-tuk taxis. However, if you like thrills rides, there’s none better than on the back of a tuk-tuk.
Visit the floating market just outside Bangkok – it’s the place featured in so many pictures of Thailand.
Take advantage of Thai Airways’ domestic pass, which allows unlimited flights throughout the country for a set price, usually about $400. That way you won’t miss the excitement the rest of Thailand offers.
SPECIAL NOTE: Thailand has one of the toughest “no tolerance” drug enforcement laws in the world and many people have been duped into carrying illegal drugs for friends you meet during your trip. NEVER leave your bags unattended and NEVER agree to “carry a package home”, even if you know someone. The prison penalties are very severe – even for foreigners.
This is Thailand’s second largest city and its cultural capital. It lies just 250 miles from the border with Myanmar, formerly Burma, and there are a lot of Burmese influences here.
Visit the city’s Sunday street market where you’ll get a chance to buy local crafts for just a few dollars.
Chiang Mai is where you can also buy amazing silk rugs from India for a fraction of the price you’d pay in North America.
In the area, you can visit small communities like Sankampaeng, famous for its craft shops, or Baan Celadon, where delicate pottery is crafted, or take a trip to one of the hill tribe villages of Hmong, Mien or Lisu, all known for their weaving skills.
For a real treat, visit nearby Lampang, a 19th century teak traders town and home to the country’s famed elephant conservation centre where you can ride the massive beasts.
Even if you don’t stay at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, may we suggest you eat at one of its fine dining establishments – they have three amazing restaurants on property, one offering traditional Thai fare, another featuring Chinese cuisine and a French restaurant that is as good as anything you’ll find in Paris.
Villa accommodation at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in peek season runs around $400 a night.
The community has, for the most part, recovered from last year’s devastating tsunami. The hotels along Phuket’s pristine beaches have all reopened and those within the Laguna complex, which includes the excellent Sheraton, are some of the best in Thailand.
The Laguna’s golf course is excellent as is the nearby Mission Hill course, which offers spectacular views of the Andaman Sea. Rounds are well under $100 but the experience is priceless.
Dine under the stars in Phuket’s beach – we highly recommend the Lotus seafood restaurant where a dinner of lobster, giant shrimp and a few appetizers and a couple of large local beers will cost you under $50.
Wherever you are in Thailand, take advantage of the spas – they are low cost and high quality, offering the best therapists in the world for just a few dollars.
While in Phuket, take a taxi to Patong Beach and enjoy the nightlife. The streets of the beach town come alive each night and the best entertainment usually is sitting at a street side table and watch some very interesting people pass by.
The Phuket zoo is a great place to spend a few hours and will appeal to the young and the young at heart.
A night at the Sheraton Laguna runs around $200.
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