Bangkok and beyond……!

I find a quote by Saint Augustine to be indeed very profound which says ‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.’ In our daily grind we cease to think of the world beyond ours and therefore are deprived of broadening our horizons of Celebrating Life in its true sense. Travel indeed helps us to have a sneak peek into other lives and cultures and have a broader picture and understanding of the geographical, historic and social evolution of this beautiful world we live in.

India, more than a country, is a melting pot of different cultures. A land where language changes at every few miles, even a lifetime is too short to take in this magnificent experience known as ‘India’. Having said this, the amazing world extends far and wide beyond our backyard. Thinking of travelling internationally, the first name that comes to our mind, is ‘Thailand’. A destination offering something to every family and to everyone in the family. Culture, Amusement, Wellness, Spirituality, Tranquillity, Serenity, Luxury and Shopping defines this wonderful country. What more can we ask for when all this and more is adorned with easy accessibility and great affordability. The Thai capital Bangkok and the fun city of Pattaya head the list of every traveller but much fun and excitement lies ahead in exploring Bangkok and beyond.

Located about an hour’s drive from Bangkok is the once prosperous royal Thai capital city of ‘Ayutthaya’, which with its numerous UNESCO World Heritage ruins and monuments, truly offers a coherence of past and present. An amazing and equally delightful feature of Ayutthaya is its ‘Floating Market’, where the boat vendors sell a variety of things, primarily fruits, vegetables and flowers.

About 200 Kms. from Bangkok is the ‘Nakhon Ratchasima’ province housing the ‘Khao Yai National Park’. A delightful and scenic countryside drive from Bangkok, The Khao Yai National Park which stretches across thousands of acres is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site and is home to several species of wildlife. Some very interesting attractions around and outside the national park are ‘Chokchai Farm’ – Asia’s largest dairy farm with a wild-west flavour for experiencing Agro-Knowledge Tourism and accommodation in eco-style boutique tents. ‘The Jim Thompson’s Farm Shop’ in Khao Yai is famous for offering luxurious hand-woven silk products and fresh, organic produce.

Located about two hours from Bangkok is ‘Kanchanaburi’. The most famous attractions here are ‘The Kanchanaburi War Cemetery’, where 6,982 Allied prisoners of war are buried, the world-famous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’, built by the forced labour of some 60,000 soldiers during World War II and the very famous ‘Tiger Temple’, where you can get incredibly close to the tigers, who roam freely here.

‘Hua Hin’, located around three-hour drive southwest of Bangkok is Thailand’s oldest seaside resort, which has grown from its humble origin as a fishing village into the favourite holiday destination of many. Hua Hin is well suited for families or those who simply wish to escape the city bustle. Once a small and very quiet seaside town, ‘Cha-am’ located around 20 kms. north of Hua Hin which is adorned with a long and sandy beach, is a very popular destinations amongst those who love superb seafood and comfortable hotel or bungalow accommodation. The alluring ‘Santorini Park’ here features a vast shopping area, restaurants and an amusement park.

With so many exciting excursions possible from Bangkok, the next time you plan your Thai Holiday, do think of Bangkok and beyond. Travel to these hidden gems of Thailand, explore these destinations and celebrate life!

Jitesh Ghag
(Team Veena World)