One day when we were at a remote island only reachable by small ship I took a tour to a local stilt village. As we arrived I could hear an ice cream truck nearby, and six or eight young children came tumbling into the street without a parent in sight.
They were laughing and giggling with smiles a mile wide, and while none could speak English, it was clear they were thrilled to have us visit. As Director of Product Development for Windstar it’s part of my job to “test-drive” local excursions so I’ve been on probably 35 or 40 cruises, yet the memory of that impromptu welcome still gives me goosebumps.
The best part is, wherever you go inthe “Land of Smiles” you’ll be charmed by the warmth and gentle spirit of the Thai people.
Affectionately nicknamed the Big Mango, Bangkokis a fun place to get acquainted with Thai culture from floating markets and the Grand Palace to wats of every size and description. Then of course there’s the shopping, and haggling is a cultural experience all its own.
Move beyond the capital and Thailand’s natural beauty comes to the fore. Phuket is famous for its breathtaking beaches, particularly Patong Beach. But if beaches aren’t your thing you can help bathe elephants in the river at the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, have your fortune told at a temple in Phuket Town, or explore the town’s well-preserved Sino-Portuguese buildings.
View from above, aerial view of the beautiful Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga National Park) with the sheer limestone karsts that jut vertically out of the emerald-green water, Thailand.
Further still from Bangkok, you’ll find places of surreal beauty. In Phang Nga Bay, a fascinating landscape of sheer limestone karsts and emerald-green water. And in places like like Ko Kut, a sleepy island of crystal-clear sea and soft coral sandthat is guaranteed to put a Thai-quality smile on your face.
Something to Smile About
On a Windstar cruise to Thailand you’ll anchor overnight in Phuket’s Patong Bay, the main attraction, while big ships dock on the far side of the peninsula. Cruise up the mouth of the Chao Phraya River to dock in the heart of Bangkok, not in the big ship cruise port of Laem Chabang hours away. And on beautiful Ko Kut, tender to a private pier for Windstar’s Signature Beach Party and barbecue. It’s as close as you’ll ever come to paradise.