I’ve recently moved to Bangkok so often I feel like a tourist in my own town. There’s no better way to play tourist than when old friends come to visit. Recently, 3 dear pals spent 9 days in Thailand. We showed them our favorite places to go in Bangkok and discovered some new ones as well. During our 3 days in town, we explored various Wats (temples), marveled at giant reclining and sitting Buddhas, took TukTuk and long-tail boat rides, sampled fabulous Thai food and hit the rooftop bars for nightcaps.

After bustling Bangkok, we headed about 2-3 hours out of town to the River Kwai. Before reaching our floating resort, we stopped by the various WWII sites, the bridge (where we, of course, whistled the famous tune) and Hellfire Pass. We also walked the train tracks to a cave where monks were chanting to the Buddha within the cave. This long and somewhat scary railway walk was very meditative as each railway tie (and there are thousands of them), represent a POW soldier or local prisoner who perished building this railway for the Japanese. We spent the night at the wonderful Float House on the River Kwai. This is a magical resort, which is very peaceful and pleasantly posh Thai style. The food was great and the whole ambiance of the place was perfect. I hope to return to do more of the activities in the area some day soon!

After the River Kwai, we flew down to Krabi on the Andaman Sea. We took a boat ride past stunning limestone karsts jutting out of the sea. Our destination was  beautiful Railay Beach and the Rayavadee Resort. This is a very special place and a real treat for all of us. The resort is laid out among lush tropical gardens and feels very private. There’s a lovely spa, 3 beaches so you can watch the sunrise and sunset if so inclined, and 3 restaurants including one in a cool grotto. We had a bit of rain here but that did not dampen our time here. Probably our more memorable day was spending a morning at a nearby elephant sanctuary. Riding elephants in Thailand is thankfully no longer a practice. Instead, you get to feed them, give them mud baths (and yourself) and frolic in the river with them. I will never get tired of visiting the elephant sanctuaries around Thailand. Of course, there’s lots of water activities, island hopping, rock climbing and just relaxing to be done at Rayavadee. This is another place I would love to go back to…some day. AAT has a terrific inbound operator in SE Asia to put together your adventure in this region.