Let us put "JOY" in your travel!
When most people in Ohio or Kentucky want a break from the miserable winter and go lay on a tropical sandy beach with turquoise water lapping at their feet they had go to Mexico or the Caribbean. While this is logical due to its geographic location, it is far from the exotic cultural experience that can be found in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, the logistics of traveling to the opposite side of the world from Cincinnati for a short holiday can feel overwhelming. We can piece together great flight connections and turn these technical stops into interesting safe stopovers where you may feel like you are the star of a Discovery Channel documentary.
One of the most prized jewels in Asia is Thailand. It is one of the safest Asian countries for Americans to visit and offers a unique culture that is both interesting and inviting for foreign tourists. Last year the Kingdom had over 23 million tourists with the majority of these travelers escaping the northern winter to soak up the rays of the sun on tropical resort islands. Although Thailand is one of the few Asian countries that was not colonized by a western superpower, it has had very close ties with the United States since end of WW2 as one of the main Asian allies. For those with weak stomachs, American franchises are widely available for familiar meals.
While it is a Buddhist country, all religions are accepted and encouraged. The sheer volume of beautiful ancient Buddhist temples is impressive though. Regardless of your personal belief, it is hard to not admire these beautiful buildings and feel extremely relaxed while wondering around their gardens and statues, actually, many are also major tourist attractions now. One of the most famous is Wat Pho Temple in Bangkok, with the huge reclining golden are of Buddha where President Obama visited in 2012. The Kings Palace is also a very popular destination, it is indeed a truly impressive complex with buildings covered in gold in every direction. Bangkok Airport is one of the major hubs in South East Asia, most people visit Bangkok at some point while in Thailand.
There are dozens of island resorts that cater for international western guests. The majority of these resorts are fantastic value for money and are extremely service
orientated. Bungalows on the beach are common as well as water bungalows that are only feet above stunning coral reefs. One of the popular islands is called Koh Samui, this is approximately one hour south of Bangkok by jet aircraft. The island is very popular with golfers, actually, you could be easily confused to think it is one enormous country club. Hotels start from only $15 a night and range to a couple of thousand dollars a night in some of the most exclusive beach side resorts in the world. Most resorts a rather quiet as they are in their own secluded sandy cove, however, the beach area called Chaweng is a mall of bars with entertainment that often is still thumping at dawn. This is very popular with the younger crowd.
Traveling to Thailand is a journey from the midwest. Most people also make use of the stops along the way by spending several days exploring a new country or city. Popular stopovers across of the Pacific include Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. You may just be surprise how comfortable you are in Singapore as it is quite cosmopolitan and westernized, with English the native language. Above all else, be prepared to think outside the box for your next tour and you may very rewarded in more ways than you could imagine.