We discussed visiting Asia on-and-off for years. I finally managed to get Chris to agree to go when we found the excuse to visit my colleague and our friend, Jerome, in Hong Kong. Our trip there in February was fantastic and since that time, I was trying to find a way to relive some of those sights, sounds, colors, and tastes of east Asia.

I also have to admit it: it was a long year. And though we tried to treat ourselves a bit, I needed a true getaway. A chance to escape and lose myself for a while. Asia was still calling and my friend Vanessa hit upon a great idea. A friend of hers had begun organizing all-women trips to Asia and was working on planning a group trip to Thailand. It may come as a shock to some to learn that I am no fan of a group trip, but Thailand sounded exciting and I had Vanessa to vouch for the tour organizer / blame if I didn’t like it.

So we headed off to Bangkok where we spent a couple of days a few hours north near the Khao Yai national park relaxing before meeting up with the rest of the group. We had a great time relaxing in the pool, did some hiking, and even some wine tasting. Would you believe that there is decent viticulture and winemaking in Thailand?

We then met up with the group back in Bangkok to start the tour. Taking some time on our own to relax was a good call, because the tour packed a lot in. We saw temples in Bangkok and enjoyed the floating market, Damnoen Saduak before we headed off to Chiang Mai to visit more temples, chat with a monk, and then visit the elephant sanctuary. Watching and hand-feeding elephants was definitely the highlight of the trip, but the ubiquitous delicious food especially the night market scene was so much fun as well.

We finished the tour in Phuket with a tour around the Phi Phi islands including snorkeling, swimming, and lunch with drinks. In the end it was a fantastic trip, with a really great group of ladies. After such a year, it was just what I needed during the longest days of winter. Now I just need to convince Chris to take me back.

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