Starting off 2012, are you bored with the same old vacation ideas? Are you looking for a unique destination to explore that’s exotic AND affordable? Here’s one TRAVEL THERAPY vacation idea that I’ve just returned from that’s sure to inspire and empower you!
I admit it. When I first thought of going to Thailand it was the long flight that almost had me saying no. I’d been traveling a lot, spending more time in planes than at home, so I my tolerance for being crammed into an overcrowded aircraft was almost non-existent but then I started reading about Thailand and I got hooked. I was also able to fly business class for this journey and that makes all the difference in the world.
In my quick nine days, I visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai and then traveled to southern Thailand to the beautiful beach community of Krabi. There’s no doubt my trip was way too short, and I was a bit crazy running around shooting two travel videos for the ABC travel show I host, but I still feel like I got a taste of what this beautiful country has to offer.
In Bangkok I stayed in the legendary Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the first luxury hotel in Thailand and theirs is no doubt this property impresses. One of my favorite experiences at the Mandarin was spending time at the decadent Mandarin Spa that’s across the river from the property, so you get there by the hotel’s private boat. It’s a magical, peaceful place that will helps you re-energize and refresh, just what I needed after the long flight.
I also stayed in the stunning Mandarin Oriental in Chiang Mai. From the moment you set foot on this property you feel like you’re walking onto a movie set, everything is so picture perfect, with ornate and exotic architecture thoughout the property. The spa at the Mandarin in Chiang Mai is equally impressive. I’ll be writing more about my experience here and the treatments I tried so stay tuned for that!
In Chiang Mai, I also stayed at one of the most famous hotels in all of Thailand the top rated Four Seasons where my villa overlooked a rice field. The Four Seasons spa was also something special with treatments that were both authentic and innovative—again, I’ll be writing more about my Thailand spa experience coming up because there is so much to share. At the Four Seasons I also loved the resort’s special cooking school where even I learned how to cook some amazing Thai cuisine and I love how they give you recipes you can take home with you!
After several days exploring Chiang Mai, including doing everything from riding elephants to bamboo river rafting and checking out orchid farms, I hopped on another plane and flew all the way north to the beach community of Krabi.
What I love about Krabi is that it’s less touristy than a lot of the beach communities in Thailand, like Phuket, and even more visually stunning. In Krabi, I stayed at the top resort, Rayavadee, that’s right on the beach, surrounded by spectacular limestone cliffs. I stayed in a cool two story villa, or as they say there, pavilion, that was just steps from the beach and the resorts impressive infinity pool. Whether you want to take cooking classes, chill out at the spa, go boating, or rock climb, this resort has it all, including some of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen.
My trip to Thailand was definitely too short but that just means I’ll have to go back soon and I’m already planning what I want to do on my next adventure!
To check out the videos I shot for our ABC Travel Show just click links below!
For more on top places to visit in Thailand for 2012 go to www.tourismthailand.org
More TRAVEL THERAPY coming up!
Follow the Journey at www.twitter.com/traveltherapy
Facebook: Travel Therapy
About the Author: Karen Schaler is a three-time Emmy award-winning TV correspondent, author and creator and host of the globally syndicated TRAVEL THERAPY online & TV video series featuring top places to visit based on what you're going through in life.