Thailand, the Truly Tropical Experience

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I have traveled to many places and visited many counties; however, I had never been to Asia, or specifically, to Thailand. Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Thailand for ten days. 
 
I have seen many brochures that attempt to describe the setting and beautiful scenery, which is Thailand. Now, having visited this country, I have a much greater appreciation for what the photos in those brochures depict. Thailand is a tropical paradise, but what makes the destination even more special is the people. The Thai culture is one of tranquil peace, and creates a very pleasant aspect for the traveler. I found the people to be extremely welcoming and hospitable. This trait is something to consider for those seeking a safe and relaxing environment. In addition, English is spoken everywhere and I never experienced a language barrier.
             
I began my trip from Los Angeles on China Airlines. Up and away to Bangkok, a large modern city. China Airlines has a modern fleet, but the flight can be a long one. Upon my early afternoon arrival, I did what all long flight travelers should do: I got a massage at the Oasis Spa.  A massage will refresh and revitalize you after such a long journey, and helps one adjust to the new time zone.  
 
My first night’s stay was at the Lebua Hotel at State Tower. The hotel is grand and fabulous.
 
Thailand is Buddhist country and its significance to the Thai culture is on display for all to witness. Ninety percent of the Thai people practice Buddhism. One will learn about many of the positive aspects of Buddhism just by a visit to the country. There are wonderful excursions to the many temples that provide an opportunity to learn about the history and religion of the Thai people. 
   
While in Bangkok, I was able to visit ‘Wat Traimita’, a Royal temple that has a historical story that would play in an adventure movie script, and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.  My education about the Thai culture was full speed ahead. Visits to China Town, some shopping, Flower Markets, and of course the restaurants. Taking a ride in the unique tuk-tuk, the 3-wheeled taxi, will enable you to experience the unique sights, sounds, and smells of this exotic culture. Zipping around on the crowded streets was fun and led to a ferry boat ride, to cross a river, in the middle of the city. This was a fantastic introduction to the city and lifestyle.
 
I had dinner at the Nahm Restaurant at the luxurious COMO Metropolitan Hotel. The taste of Thailand is in the spices, chilies, and curry. Every meal is like an explosion of flavors; spicy, sweet, salty, and sour. Later, I had time to take in a Thai Food Cooking Class with the chef’s of the famous Blue Elephant Restaurant. The class gave me great insight, as I could better distinguish the origins of the great flavors I tasted during my visit. Foodies will fall in love with Thailand.
 
I left the city and over several days, visited many of Thailand’s best resorts. I went to the Anantara Si Kao Resort in the Trang Province, the Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf Resort and Centara Grand Resort in Krabi, the Anantara Layan in Phuket. The resorts are all fabulous and a world away from the atmosphere of the city. These resorts are among the beautiful coastlines of the surrounding waters that meet with the tropical foliage of the jungles. The waters are warm and inviting. Of course, the waters are crystal clear and to be enjoyed. The waters vary to your liking, there are natural hot springs, white sand ocean beaches and of course the fresh water pools of the resorts.
 
The Centara Grand Resort is located within a national park near Krabi. Ocean views and beaches abound as a boat trip is required to reach this destination. It is a spectacular resort located in the wilds, and definitely close to nature. However, something so wonderful may not be so wonderful. Beware of the monkeys! Yes, nature's little creatures are known to come down out of the trees to steal food and trinkets from your beach bag. The staff will warn you about leaving your luggage unattended as the monkeys are very skilled at opening bags. This will be one of your most worrisome aspects to cause you anxiety, should you decide to visit Thailand. The monkeys -- and when you have to leave a tropical paradise.
 
Jerri Adair-Williams