Even living in a wonderful exotic city like Chiang Mai becomes routine after a while. For those of us stricken with wanderlust, that itch to explore new locations and cultures, travel is a necessity of life. One significant advantage to living in Thailand is the ease in which such travel can be accomplished.
Bangkok is a hub for moving around Southeast Asia. Places such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong are only a couple of hours away by air. Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos are within driving distance, and travel within Thailand is simple and inexpensive. There are several options for getting around, including trains and buses, in addition to air travel.
I live in the northern, mountainous part of Thailand and have a friend celebrating her birthday in Phuket, an island in the most southern part of Thailand. I checked into what it would cost to make the trip and was pleasantly surprised. The round-trip ticket cost $130, and a night’s stay at a quaint boutique hotel is $15 per night. Transportation and lodging for a four-day trip to a world-renowned vacation spot is going to cost less than $200! Of course, it is considered “low season” for tourism, so prices are cheaper than they will be in December when tourists start coming in droves. For me, and many expats living here, this is the best time of year. The weather can be unpredictable, but that just makes things more interesting.
My son is in the Navy and within the past two years, I was able to meet him in Singapore and Vietnam during port visits. Both trips were less expensive than it used to cost to fly from California to Texas to see family when I lived in the U.S.
Thailand is about the size of California, and is very diverse in culture and geography. It is warm and humid in most of the country, and most Thais have never seen snow. There are mountains, jungles, and beaches, with exotic wildlife including monkeys and elephants. There are also metropolitan cities with street markets, high-end shopping malls, world-famous restaurants, and exotic wildlife of their own. One would be hard-pressed to get bored here with so much going on. The beauty of it is that it is so easy to get from one place to another.
If you have ever thought about retiring to Thailand, or even just coming to visit, the opportunity to travel within and around the country is definitely something to consider. A month-long visit to Thailand could easily (and reasonably) become a whirlwind tour of several countries. I suggest getting your passport and start getting those stamps as soon as possible!