I said a couple of weeks ago that I might write a little bit about Thailand in general and Koh Samui in particular and why it is such a wonderful part of the world.
I first travelled to Thailand in about 1987. I had been to India for a week and arrived in Bangkok fairly weary and with a severe case of Delhi Belly. On the street outside our hotel I was accosted by a young man and I assumed that he was attempting to sell me something - but no he wanted to walk with us and practice his English if that would be ok. The change in culture and attitude from India to Thailand was dramatic. The people were so nice and friendly and were happy to talk to visitors to their country in most welcoming way.
Bangkok was a very busy smoggy city even then but the Palaces, Temples and the floating market were a perfect counter to the rush of the city. We happened to be there during Loy Krathong and the sight of all the people floating their little paper boats with tea lights in was very beautiful and moving. Since my first experiences in Thailand I always wanted to go back and I have been lucky enough to spend several holidays there in the last few years.
Thailand has had more than its fair share of problems over the last couple of years. In 2004 it was hit by the Tsunami which devastated much of the region. In the last couple of years it has also been hit by the insurgency in its southern provinces, flooding and by the political unrest and subsequent military coup but despite all this we will be going back again next year and I can wholeheartedly recommend it as a great country to visit.
So why Thailand? The people, the climate, the culture, the service, and the value for money.
In my next few posts I will try to cover a brief history of Thailand, some sights to see in Bangkok and some information about Koh Samui.
If anyone wants a starting point for holidays to Thailand then the tourist information site can be found here.