Dreaming of the beach
Find out which beach I want to visit
Growing up, my best friend was a massive Leonardo DiCaprio fan girl. I have to be honest, he never did anything for me. One of his films did pique my interest though - The Beach. Thailand was never somewhere I had been particularly interested in before I saw that film, but those crystal clear waters and the white sand definitely changed that.
My hours of reading travel blogs tells me the actual beach in the film is called Maya Bay, which is on the small Thai island of Koh Phi Phi Leh. My research also tells me not to bother going there, as it's now crowded with zillions of tourists; all hoping for the same kind of adventure Leonardo DiCaprio's character had. Phuket on the other hand offers a much more tranquil slice of paradise...
It appears that Phuket makes the ideal base for a Thai adventure. From there, you can explore many of the surrounding islands - including the one which put Thailand on my radar. Personally, I'd avoid that one though as it's less tranquil paradise and more cattle herding in my opinion. Destination2.co.uk have loads of great ideas for what to do in Thailand, as well as some brilliant deals on holidays.
Elephants are a big part of the tourist industry in Thailand. Personally, I'd never ever encourage people to go on Elephant Rides and so on, but if you do want to get up close and personal with these beautiful animals, the Ethical Elephant Sanctuary is the place to go. All of the elephants there have been rescued from the logging and tourism industries.
The Ethical Elephant Sanctuary work hard to rescue sick, injured and old elephants, welcoming them back into their indigenous habit. At Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, the elephants get to just be elephants. Guests can feed them pineapples and bananas, or just observe these gentle giants enjoying their newfound freedom. I'd love to be able to watch the elephants play with each other, and bathe freely in the fresh water lagoons, the Ethical Animal Sanctuary offers them.
I think for me, a trip to Thailand would definitely have to involve some local cuisine. Whether you want to spend £2 on a street vendor meal or opt for a higher end eatery, you'll definitely pay less than you would in the UK. You definitely seem to get a lot more for your money in Thailand - the cost of a beer is around £1 and a spirit and mixer works out at about £2, so it's definitely cheaper than the UK or Europe.
There's several important things to consider before booking your trip to Thailand... September and October are monsoon season in Thailand, so it's best to steer clear during those months, unless you're happy to be caught up in torrential, intermittent downpours. The temperature ranges from mid twenties to mid thirties, with December to March considered the best times to visit as the temperature is at its most pleasant. April and May are when it gets really hot.
For me personally, the beaches would be my main motivation for visiting Thailand. There's so many beautiful islands to explore, I'd love to head out on a small boat and do some exploring.
While many people backpack around Thailand, I'm a little long in the tooth for that now, so I'd definitely prefer to have a beautiful hotel to collapse into each night. Whenever I dream of heading off to somewhere like Thailand, I can't help but dream of lying in my super comfy bed, listening to the waves lap over the white sand. I'd love to be able to see that from my bedroom window, and to feel the breeze coming in off the sea. If I ever win the lottery, I'll definitely be dragging hubby off on a Thai adventure!
What do you think? Have you ever been to Thailand? Would you like to visit?