Thailand radiates tropical beaches, gleaming temples, and ancient ruins. Here you will encounter history and culture, the new and the old. Did I mention jungles, elephants, and golden Buddhas?
Thai cuisine expresses fundamental aspects of Thai culture: generous, warm, and refreshing. Each Thai dish relies on fresh, local ingredients – from lemongrass spices, curry, and abundance of rice. Thai dishes are often balanced with spicy and the tart flavors of ingredients as lemongrass, coriander, basil, garlic, ginger, cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon.
Thailand radiates a celestial world from exotic and tropical, cultured and historic, to the ever-warming Thai smile.
Phuket’s Big Buddha is one of the most revered landmarks. The Buddha statuette sits on top of Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata and, at 147 feet tall, he can be seen from as far away as Phuket town. The aerial site offers the best 360-degree views of the island, with sweeping vistas of Phuket.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”[Buddha]
Chiang Mai is a land of misty mountains and colorful hills, a paradise playground for adventurers. Northern Thailand’s largest city has struck a fine balance between the traditional and contemporary. The ancient city dazzles a vibrant contemporary vision. A spate of galleries, artsy cafes, ancient temples, and barefoot monks in flame-colored robes collect alms in the morning and street vendors sell their wares by night.
ELEPHANT NATURE PARK
There are plenty of ways to get up close and personal with nature ethically. Elephant Nature Park, some 40 miles from Chiang Mai, has been rescuing and rehabilitating pachyderms since the 1990s. Elephant Nature Park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center providing a natural environment for elephants, dogs, cats, and buffaloes. You can spend the day feeding, swimming with, and walking alongside the contented elephant herd in their 200-acre habitat. Volunteers and visitors contribute to the healing while learning about their lives past and present.
Elephants are one of the planet’s most awe-inspiring iconic animals. Born in captivity or stolen from the wild, tourism elephants must be mentally broken – the barbaric tradition of ‘Breaking the Spirit’. For seven days their feet will be tied with ropes, limbs stretched, repeatedly beaten with sharp metal tools, and will be starved of food. Baby elephants are stolen from their frantic mothers so that their independence and spirit can be broken. Turn your back on trekking, elephant rides, the circus or other forms of animal entertainment.