We’ve all thought about it, and increasingly more and more of us are doing it. As great as Christmas is, and without coming across as a grinch, there’s no denying that it can be a tiring, stressful time of the year – and that’s before you have to feign excitement after unwrapping your third pair of socks on Christmas morning. With that in mind, Christmas can be a great time to travel and get away from it all, and Thailand is a great destination to head to – and here’s why.
Spending Christmas away in a foreign land with an alien culture is an enriching life experience. Perhaps you’ll come to realise that Christmas is in fact all about material possession these days, and you’ll long for the times when it was about family and friends, and you’ll head back home determined not to be influenced so much by the advertisements and the buy-buy-buy culture of Christmas. Or, you’ll really miss opening hundreds of shiny presents and you’ll double down the following year – it really depends on the person. Whatever your motivations are for doing it, Christmas away from home provides ample time to reflect on the holiday and what’s really important to you – and Thailand is as good a place as any to get away from it all.
Need we say anymore? Sliding on a pair of sandals on your way to the beach to sunbathe is certainly preferential to strapping yourself into your boots on the way to shovel your yard clear of snow before you head to work. While you may encounter some rain, you’re sure to have several days of sun, sand and sea – and enough gorgeous Instagram posts to make your family and friends insanely jealous. Isn’t that what travelling is all about?
For millions of families around the world, it’s customary to spend Christmas morning (or one of the days near Christmas) enjoying a leisurely family walk. That doesn’t have to change in Thailand. Thailand is home to several breathtaking national parks with hundreds of trekking routes to explore and other activities to enjoy, such as rafting, rock climbing and much, much more. Take part in one of these and you won’t even feel guilty when it comes to over-indulging this festive period – don’t worry, we all do it.
Your chances of running into a Scrooge over in Thailand? Minimal – it is known as the Land of Smiles, after all. Instead, whatever you do on the 25th, you’re bound to have people who barely speak English still go to the effort of wishing you a variation of “merry Christmas”, giving you that warm, Christmassy feeling and helping you feel a little more at home on the other side of the world.
Christmas Day on the beach isn’t exclusively for Australians anymore. Thailand is home to some of the world’s best beaches, and with the 25th just another ordinary day in Thailand you’re sure to find plenty of space for a beachside Skype session with your family and to relax and enjoy Christmas in surroundings that are just a little bit more inviting than a table with ten people squeezed around it and a plastic chair you had to dig out of the garage. Swap snow for sand by spending Christmas in Thailand.
Christmas. Is. Expensive. There’s no getting around it; even for those who endeavour to have a fuss-free, scaled down celebration, it still easily runs into the hundreds of dollars when it comes to buying food, drink, gifts and the like. While it can be expensive getting to Thailand, once you’re here it can be as cheap or expensive as you make it, with some hotels available at bargain prices and the cost of gifts and food unbelievably cheaper still. Which would you rather have – a fortune spent on one Christmas that just blends into the ones before it, or spending money on a Christmas you’ll truly never forget? Thought so – get those flights booked now.
Admittedly, you might struggle to find a turkey with all the trimming if you find yourself on a remote island on the big day, but if you’re in a big city, you won’t have to worry about finding a Christmas dinner. Most of the larger hotels will provide a high-quality Christmas dinner that’s bound to taste better than your Grandma’s over-boiled veg, and there are plenty of top-class restaurants all over Bangkok that will provide both traditional and modern Christmas meals.
The Thai Food
If you’re one of the millions of people around the world that finds turkey dry and is of the opinion that brussels sprouts are an abomination, then Thailand could well be your great escape. Why have a meal you won’t enjoy and that you’ll struggle to digest, when instead you could have a delicious Massaman or Pananag curry? Think about it – are you really going to miss Christmas cake? Get over to Thailand for Christmas and enjoy fried ice cream or roti on the beach instead.
(to be continued)
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