The holiday and vacation scene seems to have been on the change over the past few years. Where ever you decide to take your well-earned holidays it appears that ” special interest vacations” are growing increasingly popular. It is also well-known that Thailand has become a popular holiday destination.
I can remember returning back to the UK in 1984 after my first visit to Thailand and people asking me… Where is Thailand? Now people are often either informing me they have just returned from or are just off to Thailand.
This is the first of a three-part series looking at designing your own Thailand itinerary. The first part looks at building meaning in to your Thailand itinerary.
1) Why Build Your Own Itinerary
If like me you are somebody who likes to put together your own travel itinerary, then a lot of the fun is certainly in the planning. To get the most pleasure out of a trip anywhere, it’s essential that you figure out exactly what you want from your vacation.
There are many different Thailand’s all within the kingdom. So what is it that attracts you to Thailand?
It is now that you start to think where can I go within Thailand and within the time span I have available. Before deciding where to go. I first figure out what I want from the trip.
2) Build Your Itinerary With Care
Time is very often of the essence on a vacation and you will want to get as much as you can out of your trip. The itinerary I don’t recommend is the one where you try to see as many places as possible at whirlwind speed. Not only the trying to see as much as possible, but trying to cram in as many activities as possible as well.
Building an itinerary is much the same as building your life’s daily ”to do list”. Too many activities on your ”to do list” can cause overwhelm at trying to complete them all. It causes you to rush in the attempt to achieve them. It then causes stress through not be able to achieve them. Finally it leaves you unfulfilled as the stuff you did get done may not have been what you really wanted done.
The same can very much apply to a cram full travel itinerary. Getting all that you can out of the visit can be achieved simply by prioritising and pre-planning. This simple process will then allow for you to get the important stuff done. I mean what’s important to you not what others think one should be doing on a vacation.
3) What Are Your Interests /passions: The Things you Want To Do Most
Many western people crave the sunshine and beaches of Thailand and like nothing better than spending a fortnight on a beautiful Thai island resting and re-cooperating from a perhaps stressful and busy lifestyle. Some people enjoy rest and re-cooperation, but in the form of a spa and wellness retreat whist others skip the daylight hours completely in favour of late night raves. The choice is yours.
Whatever your interests are in life it’s important to build your itinerary around things that you enjoy. If the combination of good Thai food and pampering from Thai spa treatments appeals to you then that’s what you should be putting in place as the core of your itinerary.
4) What Are The Top Niche Holidays In Thailand?
There are many general interest topics that you can base your itinerary around according to your preferences. Popular at the moment are fishing trips, golf, beach and island vacations, shopping, health and wellness, Thai food, medical trips, nature trips including river rafting, rock climbing and trekking trips. Further more there is scuba diving, surfing or visiting historical sites…. The list goes on.
5) Combining Your Passions With Learning A New Skill
Having already established that good Thai food and indulgent spa treatments are definitely what you want from the trip, it can now be taken a stage further.
If you are staying long enough, perhaps it would be the ideal time to learn that new skill or take that course you had always planned on doing.Looking at the core interests here, then perhaps Thai cooking lessons or a full Thai cookery course would suit well. On the other side of the coin perhaps you would like to take a course in learning the art of Thai massage.
There may be places back in your homeland where this learning can be continued in either subject. It would be good to find out in advance of your trip and then you could continue your studies further back home.
6) What are the popular skills People Go To Thailand To Learn
Thai language learning at various levels is a great subject to get your teeth in to, especially if you plan to visit often. Otherwise there is Thai cultural studies, Muay Thai boxing (for the brave), TEFL courses (teaching English as a foreign language), Yoga courses and not only learn Yoga, but then learn to teach it, scuba diving, traditional massage, Thai cookery, sailing, underwater videography, sky diving, jungle survival courses (good luck), Online marketing training, other foreign languages, executive courses, Gemology, personal development courses and that’s just for starters.
7) Which Part Of Thailand To Go
You know exactly what you want from your trip to Thailand, but which part of Thailand should you spend the majority of your time catering to your chosen activities. Using the example here of a Thai food and spa and wellness interest vacation then I would head for the north to Chiang Mai. Not only do you have an array of health resorts and spas, but superb cuisine of the north and beautiful natural surroundings.
8) Combining Your Passions With A New Skill And Take In Some Of The Sights
Now you have figured out your main interests for the trip. You have decided on something you would really like to do or learn. You know which part of Thailand is best to visit for your activities. It is now time to figure out some things you would like to see.
Being based in Chiang Mai puts you in a great position for visits to Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Pai and surrounding areas. The area around here is stunningly beautiful as the north of Thailand is a mountainous area with superb scenery, spectacular waterfalls, lakes and caves. You can visit Doi Inthanon National Park, go trekking and visit the Hmong and Karen Hilltribes. And that just merely scratches the surface.
9) Planning Your Activities And Conserving Energy
The early mornings and evenings can be a little cooler in the north. However during the day the north still gets very warm. When ever I am putting an itinerary together I will invariably build more energetic activities in to the mornings when it’s slightly cooler. And then keep the not so energetic activities for the afternoon. In this instance it sounds like the afternoons are a great time for treatments and pampering.
Of course if you are off on a visit to Chiang Rai or Mae Hong Son then you will want two or three days to make the best of those visits. It will also be possible to perhaps take in different massages and foods from those areas. The fun is of course in the designing.
10) Seeing Other Places On The Way To Your Destination
When visiting Chiang Mai, most people just fly straight there from Bangkok. I never do this. I prefer to take advantage of visiting some of the places on route. Often we have traveled by mini bus stopping off and for one night stopping over some where on the way to Chiang Mai. I tend to think ”what’s the hurry”. That is as long as you have scheduled enough time to do it this way.
In part two we will look in to designing an itinerary from Bangkok – Chiang Mai of things to see and do.
In part three we will look in to designing a niche itinerary for day spas, Thai food and surrounding attractions in Chiang Mai.
For more information on Thailand
Recommended Thai Language Product
The Thai PDQ-Quick Comprehensive Course: Learn to Speak Understand, Read, and Write Thai With Linguaphone Language Programs
If you are planning a trip to Thailand and would like to build up some Thai language to use before you go then look no further than the linguaphone Thai – PDQ quick comprehensive course. I have been a big fan of the Linguaphone method for a number of years and it was how I started my own Thai language studies in the very beginning. Phrase books are all very well and good, but you really have to be hearing the language especially a tonal language to get any grasp on even the basics. This course is designed for busy people in mind with no fluff and no filler just pure information. Linguaphone in my opinion have always done it better than most so why not give yourself a great head start for your forthcoming trip to Thailand.