Thailand is an amazing country; I highly recommend anyone interested in SE Asia take the time to visit, but be sure you don’t just visit the tourist traps on Phuket!

My favorite part of the trip was the time we spent in northern Thailand, around Chiang Mai.  The people there are friendly and willing to find ways to communicate when language gets in the way.  Not that it gets in the way that often – I found that many of the people I encountered had enough grasp of English to be able to converse to some degree.  I hope that I can return the favor with a bit more command of Thai when I return.  Highlights – cooking school (www.thaicookeryschool.com), Wat Doi Suthep on top of the mountain, and the festival of Yi-Peng.   

We also spent time down in the southern part of Thailand – a few days at Patong Beach  on the island of Phuket, which wasn’t a good representation of Thailand in my opinion, and a few more days at Koh Samui, which was much more peaceful and the touristy elements were much easier to avoid. 

Bangkok– well, who could visit Thailand and not spend at least a couple of days there? It was an interesting place, and there is much more I’d like to explore there, but the most memorable things from my perspective were the movie theaters and riding around in a long-tailed boat.

Now that I’m back, I’m much more relaxed and ready to dig in at work.  Good thing.  There was plenty of work waiting for me when I got back!