“A seen-it-all slacker (Leonardo DiCaprio) staying in a Bangkok hostel gets a secret invite to an island whose tall cliffs and dense tropical canopy have conspired to hide the most gorgeous sun spot in the world. As a piece of storytelling, The Beach falls short of the novel by Alex Garland from which it was adapted. But Phuket and Phi Phi Leh—the two beaches where the movie was filmed—are well-cast as places beautiful enough to drive a person nuts.” – Sarah Kerr, Conde Nast
The beaches of Thailand are certainly a wonderful lure to get us hooked, but the country is so much more than just crystal clear water, and stunning islands….to be fair though, for many of us that is enough. With a varied menu of water sports to keep every waterspouts enthusiast entertained: snorkel with whale sharks in Ko Taoof, climb the stunning sea cliffs of Krabi, swim in the surf of Bang Saphan Yai, kiteboard in Hua Hin, or restore your energy at any of the gorgeous Spa resorts.
However, for many people their first taste of this friendly and fun-loving, tropical paradise comes in the form of a delectable Thai meal and you can rest assured that the food only tastes better when you get there.
Thai cuisine, reflects the varied elements of Thai culture: it is generous and warm, revitalizing and relaxed, jovial yet subtle, cultured and historic.
In this Buddhist nation, religious devotion is visible everywhere. Pristine temples play host to colorful and ubiquitous festivals, banyan trees wrapped in blessed cloth honor the residing spirits, small fortune-bringing shrines are dotted around homes and businesses, and car dashboards decorated with garlands ward off traffic accidents. This undercurrent of devotion bridges the divide between a continuous sense of tranquility and the day-to-day craziness. Delve into this aspect of the local culture by attending boisterous religious festivals, drift through underground cave shrines, climb up to scenic hilltop temples and attend meditation retreats in Chiang Mai.
However, if you really want to delve in and experience a more immersive trip, then add a give back element. At Hands Up Holidays, we specialize in giving you this deeper cultural learning opportunity, whilst you improve the lives of orphans who’s parents may not be deceased, but who are unable to care for them. Work to improve the living situation of these children and teach them new skills and games so that they have opportunities in life that their parents could not offer them. Laugh, joke and make new friends.
If you have children you might want to consider assisting at a project that is helping to rehabilitate former working elephants. It may put a stop to you ever wanting to ride an elephant again, but it will give you the indelible memory of working directly with these beautiful animals.