Thailand is one of the world’s best destinations for culture and relaxation. It blends bustling cities with relaxing beaches and some of the best religious and cultural landmarks in the world. While for most of the pandemic, borders were closed or travel restricted to the southern islands, luckily, the country has fully reopened to vaccinated travellers from select countries. Thus, it’s once again an ideal time for your clients to plan a getaway to Bangkok, Phuket or Chiang Mai.
Carolyn Weppler, our VP of Sales, recently visited Thailand to soak up the sun on the southern islands. We caught up with Carolyn to chat about her trip and what it’s like to visit Thailand right now. We hope her insight will help you when planning a Thai vacation for your clients.
1. Thailand Is Just as Fun & Relaxing as Ever
I went to Phuket and Krabi in the south, and it was sublime to escape workaday life and enjoy the sunshine, culture, sandy beaches, and exceptional food. It was great to relax in another part of the world after 18 months stuck at home. Phuket is full of activities, from local foodie walking tours (a must) to ethical elephant experiences, cave explorations by kayak, and cooking and mixology classes where you can learn to make cocktails from organic sugar cane rum. Thailand is also a great wellness destination with world-class spas (having a Thai massage is another must-do experience) and lots of yoga classes to unlock the inner yogi in you.
2. The Travel Experience Is Smooth
The trip to Thailand was smooth. Because of the pandemic, you need to show proof of a negative PCR test taken under 72 hours before departure, and one upon arrival, as well as either an antigen test when you return home for US residents or a negative PCR test for Canadian residents. You have to wear a mask at all times in airports and during the flight, other than when eating and drinking, and a little extra patience is required as you navigate new rules, but overall, it was a smooth experience. As well, the additional protocols are reassuring from the perspective of health and safety. For now, it’s the new normal and it shouldn’t stop your clients from getting back out there.
3. There Are No Crowds Right Now
Right now is actually a great time to travel if you want to have the tourist sites to yourself. The crowds are non-existent, so you won’t have the usual hustle and bustle at landmarks. As well, the locals are so happy to welcome back international tourists that the atmosphere is extra friendly (even more than usual). There wasn’t much traffic and everything seemed very calm. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Thailand like this.
4. The Food is Better Than Ever
Thai food is exquisite no matter where you are, but it’s even better in Thailand. Travellers should make sure to include a few food experiences in their itinerary. This can include visits to local street food venders (they’ve all been vetted for international tourists), a cooking class, or dinner at a special restaurant. As well, the food options in Thailand are not just limited to Thai food. You can find great international cuisine and a variety of Michelin-starred restaurants. If your clients are in Phuket, book them a night at Pru for a Michelin dining experience at Thai prices (which means a bit more affordable!).
5. It’s a Great Time to Visit
The country is open to American and Canadian travellers with few restrictions, so it’s a perfect time to take advantage of the lack of crowds and great prices to explore the nation. The health protocols are in place to ensure the best and safest travel experience. The beaches offer a great respite to travellers who have been stuck at home over the past year and a half. The Thai people will welcome your clients with open arms and ensure a friendly sawadika (hello) to everyone who visits. I can’t recommend the experience enough.