Friday, 27 June 2008

Art Workshop Holiday in Thailand?

Most people who vacation in Thailand have a similar pattern with respect to their sightseeing choices; they usually visit the same places and participate in the same traditional tourist activities. Now, this phenomenon can applied to almost any tourist destination, not only Thailand. By no means am I putting down Joe Average Tourist in his choices, but sometimes JAT feels uncomfortable about deviating from the norm and finds a comfort zone in following the pack.

As an example, the typical tourist to Bangkok stays only a couple days in this large metropolitan city; his itinerary usually includes an all day highlights tour visiting the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Jim Thompson's House and a river boat cruise including dinner on the Chao Praya River. Now that's comparable to a tourist visiting New York City whose sightseeing itinerary includes the Empire State Building, the Statute of Liberty, World Trade Center, Central Park and Broadway. In addition, the ladies usually love to go on a shopping spree at one Bangkok's sprawling shopping centers like MBK, in addition to shopping for bargains at Bangkok's colorful night market.

Now if the tourist were aware of some of the alternative activities available besides the conventional sightseeing expeditions, he would really have an opportunity to have a unique singular experience. For those people with an artistic bent, they may want to consider taking a special 2 day /1 night watercolor workshop with Pe Seenam, an internationally renowned watercolorist from Bangkok The workshop takes place in the rural countryside alongside a beautiful river, about an hour's drive from Bangkok.

While in Chiang Mai, Thailand's 2nd largest city and the gateway to Northern Thailand, a good option for the artistically inclined would be a special 3 day/2 night Terracotta workshop at a rustic homestay, located in the mountain village of Mae Rim, about a 30 minutes away from Chiang Mai. While you're in Mae Rim, you can visit one of the area's elephant camps and go on a little elephant trek into the countryside. What a thrilling adventure!

As a sidenote, in defense of about JAT (Joe Average Tourist), many times the JAT has a very limited time in a popular destination spot. As.a result, the most viable option for him is to do "the popular city highlights tour".

Bus Goldberg is a seasoned world traveler and the director of Calypso Island Tours, a travel company that specializes in botanical adventures and nature tours to such diverse destinations as Costa Rica, Thailand and the Caribbean. He also maintains his own travel blog, Calypso Island Chronicles

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