A warm welcome back! And welcome to my first post about Healthcare in Thailand – on this site. There’s really not much more to add to my original,Opus#1,at: www.BBAblog.com, until it reincarnates as an e-book, entitled, “Thailand4Healthcare” one of these days…
However, I recently returned from a Medical Tourism FAM trip to Thailand, where I revisited one of my favorite Thai towns, Chiang Mai, which in my opinion, is THE best place to enjoy Songkran;the mid-April,3-5 day celebration of the Buddhist New Year.
Although it happens to be October now, and years later, Chiang Mai, is as charming as ever and still maneuverable, however, I realize we’re not here during the high season, which is coming up,when the “Snow Birds” arrive.
I fear Chaing Mai will grow big enough to lose it’s uniqueness, once the hi-speed train is built from Bangkok, I’ve, “sussed out” one of the best places for shoppers and serious wholesale buyers.
The luxury hospitality brands that were missing in Chiang Mai, on my last trip a few years ago,have arrived to join the Peninsula, where we over-nighted, after a few days at the unique, Fondcome Village Resort, a traditional Thai resort in the hills over looking the city:www.fondcome.com/
We dined at the Sofitel,on the river,during their pre-opening. During a day trip to the magnificent Mandarin Oriental, we participated in a Thai cooking class,which deliciously manifested into our lunch, before a leisurely stroll of the grounds,and gardens, and a dreamy Spa, we had justenough time to join the hotel’s private Songkran parade. Absolutely charming. For privacy, this is for those discerning individuals who can afford the very best.
Chiang Mai, once the capital of the Kingdom of Lanna, is today,the largest and most culturally significant city in Northern Thailand. It sits at a much higher elevation, which makes it a bit cooler than other parts of the country – most of the time.
This year,2013,Thailand Tourism/LA, http://www.tourismthailand.org had arranged for us to stay at the Thai owned, DusitThani Hotels, which was a lovely treat because they’re all so different www.dusit.com/DusitThaniHotel
Of the two DusitThani hotels here in Chiang Mai, we stayed a few days at the traditional Thai style, Princess. Nothing terribly special to squeal about, but it was peaceful, and located in an established part of town for those, without walking shoes. Everything worked perfectly, it was immaculate, great location, and an in-house restaurant. Not only did the window in my room actually open to hear the sounds of Chaing Mai, at night,my window overlooked the twinkling lights. In the morning, I looked over rooftops, and directly across the street,I was comforted by the,”Good Morning! “Wi” sign from a Ronald McDonald’s dummy..wait,there’s a message there…
The minimal, ultra modern, Dusit2 Hotel is just a few blocks away, and still way cool. Next time I’m in town, I’m planning on staying here for a few days: www.dusit.com/DusitD2-ChiangMai
We moved on to the Dusitani,in Hua Hin. See my Trip Adviser report here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g297922-d1225437-r181632936-Dusit_Thani_Hua_Hin_Hotel-Hua_Hin_Prachuap_Khiri_Khan_Province.html#UR181632936
Afterwards, I settled down to roughly 10 days on my own in Bangkok, catching up with friends,over lunches and dinner meetings. I love the way Thai’s always incorporate food whenever we meet.
I managed to pick up some new lenses for my glasses, as eye exams are free in Thailand. I was also able to squeeze in some dental work with the only dentist I will trust with my teeth – anywhere.
I also chose to have my yearly physical at Yanhee Hospital,this year, because it proves to still my provider of choice in Bangkok. Construction of the Sky Train is creeping closer to Yanhee’s front door. Public transportation will make the trip to Yanhee more efficient and reliable. These days, Bangkok traffic and construction is everywhere. You may find your self in a cab longer than expected. It’s obvious the taxi fares have gone up, but it seems the drivers are more professional – at least, the ones I encountered-this time, as opposed to last.
There’s lots to show and tell. As I’m still catching up maybe it’s better in chunks. I intend to be blogging about MedicalTourism Lite in Thailand for the next few weeks at least, so I hope you’ll come back for photo as well as story updates.