This past August my friend Sanja and I packed the bare minimum boarded four long flights to Bangkok, Thailand. You could say it was a random pick but it was the adventure of a lifetime!
If I had to briefly explain why it was an amazing trip I would have to say it was because of the variety. You could experience amazing food, nightlife and culture in the city or with a short flight you could be relaxing on some of the most amazing beaches in the world!
If you choose Thailand for your next vacation, you won't want to miss the following (in order of my favorites):
Elephants in Thailand are huge source of tourist revenue, but often this perpetrates a culture of abuse, mistreatment and accidents. Here is an example. However with just a little bit of research you will find that there are ethical elephant parks that both allow for the wellbeing of the animals and a safe, fun experience for the tourist.
I decided to visit Phang Na Elephant Park, although it was a 6-hour round trip ride from Phuket it was absolutely worth it. The guides explain everything and allow you to take your time in the relaxed environment, in small groups each visitor get an elephant and it's guide for the day so you really get to know both. I was paired with 60 year old Wanna, a female elephant rescued from the logging industry and blind in one eye. Her guide was Ning, who spends over 20 hours/day dedicated to her care. I loved spending the day with both of them.
Rooftops, Rooftops, Rooftops.
Bangkok is a gorgeous city, try to hit as many rooftop restaurants as possible where the food is just as good at the view. My recommendations: Above 11, Vertigo, Scarlett, & Park Society.
Ko Samui is a beautiful island a short plane ride from Bangkok. I hear there is wonderful exploring to do on the island, however I was so blissfully happy staying at the Sheraton I never really left the resort. Eat, Sleep, Beach, Repeat. It was perfect.
I could go on forever about this trip, thai massage, meeting new people, shopping... needless to say I hope to go back one day.