(Walnut, CA, USA)
My wife of 26 years is Thai. We met in L.A. and have raised two great kids together.
We went to Thailand a few years ago for a whirlwind 3-week tour of everything we could see. She has a large family still living there so accommodations weren't a problem. Recommendations weren't a problem either. We went from Ko Phi Phi to the Golden Triangle, snorkeled Koh Racha Noi and watched the sunrise from the top of the northern mountains (the only time I actually felt cold).
I liked Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in particular (not being fond of intense heat and all the mosquitoes in the south) because they were less congested and cooler. The islands in the south are amazing to see but the majority are inaccessible due to the vertical jutting walls surrounding them. Phuket was a fun place for a while, but it's a tourist area and it's not cheap. Pattaya was the same.
Bangkok is a sprawling mass of a city that is almost standing room only for miles on end. I recommend taking pictures of the telephone lines and poles to show to people back home. You'll know what I mean when you see them.
Ayutthaya's ruins are a must-see. The history of southeast Asia is quite mysterious and it's even more so when you look up at the huge stone ruins of Wat Rat Burana. What kind of people must have lived there? The Burmese destroyed the city in 1767 and it's been in suspended in time ever since.
Another must-see is the white temple in Chiang Rai (Wat Rong Khun). Not traditional by any means but a unique vision by a truly gifted Thai artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat.
Posted: June 11, 2012
Added by the editor:
Chalermchai Kositpipat is known worldwide for his artistic images of Buddhism.
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