I have been visiting Thailand ever since I started flying professionally and have got too many travel memories attached with that country. Apart from our scheduled night halts there have been too many impromptu mini breaks (thanks to its proximity and free airline tickets), shopping trips, all girls hangout fun, spinster parties and way too many romantic getaways. I have explored Thailand and its varied culture in pockets, have got too many Thai stamps on my passport and yet still manage to get completely charmed by a smiling “Sawasdee” or Thai Welcome every time I visit.
It is hard not to love Thailand and news of the recent unrest there disturbed me quite a bit. Thailand is undoubtedly one of my favourite travel destinations and I genuinely love the open, welcoming warmth of shy Thai people. The country is truly blessed with rich history, colourful culture, interesting arts, diverse landscape and amazingly hard working people. It is safe for solo women travelers, packed with fun things to do and the food is to die for. To top it all, Thailand is a backpackers’ heaven (but caters to the Hollywood A listers too) and gives VOA (visa on arrival) or visa free entry to most nationalities. Many conjure up images of naughty fun and exotic lady boys when Thailand’s name is mentioned, however this lovely country has lots more to offer.
While I myself have had too many naughty Thai memories with my friends, those always pop up last on my mind, whenever reminiscing about Thailand. I remember however, the tranquil days of Hua Hin, exploring the fiery newly discovered Isaan, sublime Kraabi moments, romantic Phuket time and my spiritual journey in Chiang Mai and northern territories. Pattaya had been much visited too, but always with friends because its proximity and wild fun never failed to lure us during our flying days. The cheap shopping in Thailand, especially Bangkok is mind blowing and as flight attendants we always knew where and how to get the best deals.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport used to be (as a cabin crew) and still is (as a passenger) one of my top five customer friendly airports in the world and coming from a weathered flight attendant, that’s a huge compliment. Spacious, spotless, well maintained, with functional, clean facilities and helpful staff, Bangkok’s main airport is efficient, smooth and very very easily accessible. Sky trains, buses and taxis can be used to reach different parts of Bangkok from there as well as to the low cost Don Muang International Airport. Long distance buses to Hua Hin, Kraabi etc are also available from the terminal and the airport has facility of getting multiple entry stamp on your passport.
With so much of options and facilities, Thailand is subtly and very powerfully centered around tourism. Massive number of people are directly or indirectly employed by this industry and it’s a major contributing factor to the Thai economy. It struck me hard when I was reading about the news, that the country must have been badly hit by the recent unrest and travel advisories. I wondered the extent of potential tourists it lost because of this mess. A friend of mine, however traveled there last week and came back with peaceful news of an enjoyable holiday.
That made me reach out and write about my discovered joys in Thailand, to let people and travelers know that it is now safe to go there. I believe that is what traveling and life are all about. To give back what I receive and Thailand has given too many valuable travel memories to forget. So this is for Thailand, because you are truly amazing.
RESPONSIBLE TRAVELING-BECAUSE I CARE