Realize a Dream! Spending time with elephants has long been one of my dream adventures. In January of this year, I realized that dream (and more!) with a group of amazing women on a journey to Thailand organized by Mary of Living Big Travel.
Here are some of my experiences and tips for this beautiful Southeast Asia destination:
Have an adventurous palate! Trying new foods and beverages are one of the top reasons I travel. Look for the local specialties and then put aside your trepidation and dive in! One of my favorite dishes in Chiang Mai was Khao Soi, a specialty of Northern Thailand, full of egg noodles swimming in a spicy broth of coconut milk, curry, ginger, chilis, soy sauce and fish sauce, garnished with lime and pickled cabbage, topped with crunchy noodles. It is typically filled with chicken, but I also tried it with shrimp and beef. Yum – I can taste it now!
You don’t have to be as brave as my friend Becca, who tried the famous incredibly stinky, Durian fruit, but do venture out of your comfort zone.
Don’t count on fine wines…Thailand doesn’t have any wine-growing regions and isn’t known for a great selection of fine wines at most restaurants. You can certainly find a decent but limited choice of white or red at most restaurants and hotels, as I did since I do like wine! But why not do as the locals do? There are so many great selections of refreshing juices, teas, including the delicious Thai Iced Tea, all great choices in the hot, humid Thai weather. There is also a good selection of Thai beer. Or like our group did, start the evening with a classic Gin & Tonic. Always keep hydrated with bottled water too.
Plan a side trip…traveling to Thailand isn’t a short journey. Take advantage of your airport transfers to visit another location for a few days before or after your Thailand adventure. Consider destinations such as Singapore, Vietnam, or one of the many relaxing Thai islands for a beach visit (like we did on our Living Big tour.)
My side trip was two nights in Hong Kong, a city I'd dreamed of for years. Two days was not enough time. I hope to go back soon!
Be respectful…Thailand has a rich culture so different from ours, but the country is filled with the warmest people you’ll ever meet. Be respectful of the differences and learn the etiquette to treat your hosts well. Some of the things I learned:
I’m excited to share the Thai culture and culinary surprises with my Global Palate Adventures travelers in January 2020. We have a few spots left! Here are the details for our trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand 2020.