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Aren Bergstrom Getaway Guide Editor 3 months ago

Discover a Whole New Thailand in 2022

  • Thailand Cave

For most of us, it’s been a while since we’ve gone on vacation. But all that is changing in 2022. 2022 is the year to get back out on the road. But how do we decide which road to go down?

There are so many options of where to go and what to do. Two years is a lot of time to dream about a vacation, so it’s understandable to feel paralyzed by indecision over all the possibilities when the time comes to actually start planning a trip. So why not go to a place that accommodates possibility—a country that lets you do one thing one day, and another thing another day, which can satisfy your various interests and preferred styles of travel all within one border? Why not go to Thailand?

It’s no exaggeration to say that Thailand has it all: memorable cultural experiences, awe-inspiring nature, wildlife encounters, sandy beaches, lots of adventure, and did we mention the food? It’s a place where you can spend a month and not do the same thing twice. If you have a multitude of travel interests or are travelling with someone with different interests than your own, it’s the perfect place to satisfy those divergent tastes. It’s time to discover a side of Thailand you never knew you missed and plan a Thai vacation for 2022.

Discover Old Classics

Emerald Buddha Temple

Even if you’ve been to Thailand before, there are many reasons to put classic destinations on your itinerary. Bangkok is one of the largest and most electrifying cities in the world. You feel like anything is possible when you walk down the street in Bangkok. Before the pandemic, it was the most-visited city on the planet. If you’re a foodie, you’ll find some of the world’s best flavours in Bangkok, from surprisingly affordable Michelin-starred restaurants to the world’s best street food. If you’re all about the food when travelling, Classic Thailand for Foodies is the trip for you. Bangkok’s landmarks such as Wat Pho and the Royal Palace and the various floating markets remain appealing at any time of year.

Chiang Mai is the unofficial northern capital and has a more pastoral vibe than Bangkok. But don’t mistake it for small. There’s lots to do within the city limits, including visiting some of Thailand’s most beautiful temples and pavilions. But it’s also appealing for its proximity to the hillside, where you can visit elephant rehabilitation camps, hike mountains to summit lookouts with beautiful views, or meet with some of the hill tribe villagers that populate the country’s north.

The islands of the south likely need no introduction. Phuket is synonymous with Southeast Asian beach escapes. This largest of Thailand’s southern islands has an attractive mix of beach resorts, cultural landmarks, and access to incredible natural highlights by land and water. Other southern favourites such as Krabi and Koh Samui offer variations on the Phuket experience: relaxing resort comforts, daily wellness treatments, and access to some of the most beautiful beaches and waters you’ll ever encounter. If you’re looking for leisure on your first trip back on the road, the south of Thailand is ready to help you relax.

Discover New Favourites

White Temple Chiang Rai

Don’t feel limited to old classics when planning a trip to Thailand. There are many places further afield from Bangkok and Chiang Mai that reward all manner of travel interests. Chiang Rai is a great example of a place that sounds familiar, but doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It’s smaller and more localized than nearby Chiang Mai, and works as a great base from which to explore the Golden Triangle, where Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand meet, as well as the surrounding countryside. It also has arguably the most astounding architectural creation in the entire country: Wat Rong Khun, known better as the White Temple, which, as the name promises, is a white-washed art exhibition in the shape of a temple with elaborate dragon scaling and sculptures throughout the property. Hike, Bike & Hill Tribes Northern Thailand is a great trip to explore Chiang Rai and the surrounding area.

If you’re looking to discover breathtaking nature on your journey, put Pai on the itinerary. This northern city would hardly qualify as some unknown destination, but it doesn’t attract the attention it deserves. The city gives way to the Pai Canyon and surrounding mountain valley, some of the most beautiful landscapes in the entire nation. Enjoy comfortable accommodations at a guesthouse or resort in town and then explore the countryside, drinking in the awe-inspiring views and a refreshing change of pace from the bustle of Bangkok.

And did we mention that there are islands in Thailand not named Phuket or Koh Samui? Both are beautiful destinations with a lot of possibilities for leisure and wellness, but they shouldn’t be your only options when planning a beach escape in Thailand. Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Koh Tao, Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Yao Noi—there are many islands in Thailand with beautiful landscapes, comfortable resorts, and sandy beaches where you can relax for as long as you wish. Furthermore, many of these islands offer more intimate experiences than the most popular spot. Consider the East Thai Island Hopper if you want to hit up the beach without the crowd.

Discover Untamed Nature

Thailand waters

Thailand also offers the chance to stray from the tourist circuit, take advantage of the new opportunities present in the world of post-pandemic travel, and venture along the road less travelled. Untamed Thailand puts the nation in a new light on a journey from Bangkok to Khao Sok. Travel through unspoiled nature, meet rural villagers and learn about their craft, delve into caves and jungles, and explore many of the nation’s most beautiful and least-visited national parks. Spend a few days in the famous beach town of Hua Hin and visit nearby pineapple plantations, fishing villages, and Phraya Nakhon Cave. Explore Chumphon Province and cruise through mangrove forests. Float on a massive bamboo raft down the Klong River and search for exotic birds in Sri Phang Nga National Park. If you’re looking for a profound encounter with nature, one that offers authentic moments away from tourist crowds, this is a trip to dream about.

Discover Your New Long-Stay

Phuket Beach

The past two years have also brought with them some new opportunities to be flexible with work and take advantage of working remotely. You can embrace the freedoms of being a digital nomad and stay at an affordable and convenient long-stay in Thailand, where you work during the day and hit up the beach when you log off at night. There are many attractions to a long-stay in Thailand, whether for remote work or simple leisure. Condo and apartment units are affordable and able to rent for several weeks or months at a time. You don’t have to worry about lack of kitchen facilities in some places, as most people eat out for most meals in Thailand. Local restaurants are affordable, no matter where you stay. The weather is warm year-round and especially appealing during the winter when North America is cold and snowy in parts. Take advantage of the moment and make up for lost time with a long-stay vacation in Thailand.

Test & Go to Thailand

To travel these days, you need to be able to navigate some extra rules and restrictions. The easiest way to deal with all these protocols is with the help of a trusted travel advisor, whether your local travel agent or a Goway Destination Specialist. Get in touch to learn about all the ins and outs of travel restrictions, but here’s an overview of entry requirements for Thailand.

Under Thailand’s Test & Go system, travellers need an approved Thailand Pass and proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. Points of entry are Bangkok or Phuket, where travellers must download the MorChana app and take another PCR test on Day 1. Once negative results are received, they’re free to travel anywhere in the country. On Day 5, a second RT-PCR test is required.

In order to apply for a Thailand Pass, you must provide the following: a passport, a vaccination certificate proving two doses of an approved vaccine, insurance with a minimum of US $50,000 medical coverage, proof of prepayment for a SHA Extra + hotel for Days 1 and 5, proof of prepayment for transfer from the airport to the hotel on Day 1, and proof of prepayment for RT-PCR tests on Days 1 and 5. American and Canadian passport holders don’t need to apply for a visa.

You can learn more about the Thailand Pass here and full details about Thailand’s Test & Go system here.

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18 Feb 2022, 4:05 p.m.

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