Tourists on Elephant tour in Ayutthaya at Sunrise, Thailand

Penney’s Journey Through Thailand

Early this year, Pennapa Rubin, a former sales agent with our Asia Wholesale team, travelled to Thailand with her family, and recounts the highlights of a wonderful trip to this exotic country and place where she grew up. It’s just one of many destinations, as she continues travelling through Asia.

Taking a 3 year old child on the 21 hour flight to Thailand was a real challenge, but we knew what was awaiting us, so it was well worth the effort.

Travelling with EVA Air, we were fortunate to get bumped up to Premium Economy Class. We were comfortable in the large seats and enjoyed the extra amenities, entertainment, and food selection.

We arrived in Bangkok the next day around noon, checked into Banyan Tree Hotel, and spend our first night at this beautiful deluxe hotel where I had worked as Front Office Agent, back in 1998-2000. The hotel did a complete renovation just a couple of years ago. Everything looked new and elegant. I stayed in a Deluxe Premier Room with a city view on the 55th floor. The room was beautiful and spacious, and the service was exceptional. I loved the garden outside the dining area, which includes a waterfall as well. My son, Jaden, was excited to see colourful fishes in the pond. It felt as if we were in a nature resort rather than a hotel in one of Asia’s most bustling cities.

Bangkok by Night, Thailand
Bangkok by night

Next day we travelled to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand. It’s about a 90-minute drive from Bangkok. It was so great to show Jaden the historical sites and tell him about the history of Thailand. He was amazed by the incredible ruins, Buddha statue, and the stupas. The entire compound was like a land of wonder for him. He was so curious and asked me so many questions.

Rice farmer in Isaan, Thailand
Rice farmer in Isaan

After Ayutthaya, we headed to Chiyaphum, a province in the Northeastern region, where I grew up. Northeastern or, “Isaan”, is the largest region of Thailand, but it’s still one of the last frontiers to Thailand’s booming tourist trade. Although it doesn’t have beaches or islands like in the south, or beautiful mountains like featured in Chiang Mai and the north, its culture and people are very distinctive. If you want to experience real Thailand, I invite you to visit the “Isaan” region.

Next destinations were Rayong and Chantaburi, the gems of the East, known for fruit farming and gemstone industries. Although these 2 provinces have beautiful beaches, waterfalls, mountains, and forests, they don’t yet attract a great deal of Western tourists. They are more popular among Thai tourists. We stayed one night at a home-stay right by the waterfall, and another night at the beach resort at Jao Lao Beach in Chantaburi.

Although we had an amazing time with my family for 2 weeks, I must say our third week was the highlight. We flew down from Bangkok to Phuket and drove one hour to Khao Lak, the beach area in Phang Nga province. We stayed 2 nights at La Flora Resort & Spa Khao Lak. It’s an amazing 4-1/2 star resort, set in a tropical palm trees garden. The swimming pool faces the sea and the restaurant is by the beach. It’s such a nice and relaxing place!

Longtail boat in Phang Nga province, Thailand
Longtail boat in Phang Nga province

After two nights in Khao Lak, we ended our trip with an active and adventurous 3-day stay at Elephant Hills, Thailand first luxury tented camp in Kao Sok National Park, Surathani Province. It’s about 90-minute drive from Khao Lak. The package included transfers, 2 nights in a tented camp with meals, and many fun activities such as visiting the Elephant Camp, canoeing, trekking, and visiting Jao Lan Lake (Guilin of Thailand). At the Elephant Camp, Jaden really enjoyed interacting with elephants. He loved feeding them, watching them bathe, and scrubbing the elephant’s skin.

Elephant Hills, Thailand
Elephant Hills

It was such a marvellous Thailand vacation for our family. We truly enjoyed every moment!

Suggested Itineraries:
3-Day Elephant Hills Beach and Rainforest Nature Safari
3-Day Elephant Hills Jungle Lake Safari
2-Day Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle
4-Day Thailand Trekking, Elephants and Rafting

Thailand, Where Luxury Travel is Affordable

For your own Thailand vacation, call us toll-free at 1.800.810.1931 or visit us at

Share with friends and family
Globetrotting Editor
Globetrotting Editor
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get the latest travel trends & hear about the best deals on vacations around the world.

If you’re a Globetrotter, these are the newsletters for you!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x