Recently, Fly for Less,
a Hawai‘i travel agency, has offered roundtrip tickets
to Thailand for about $570 plus tax. East-West Best Travel,
another local agency, operated by HPU students and alumni,
offers tickets to Thailand for about $585 plus tax, roundtrip
on China Air. Depending on availability of seats when you want
to travel, and how flexible your schedule is, these fares may
There are no direct flights from Hawai‘i
to Thailand, so you will have to make a stop in Osaka, Japan,
or Seoul, Korea,
depending on the airlines. The flight time from Hawai‘i
to Japan is approximately nine hours, and from there the flight
to Bangkok (Thailand’s international airport) is approximately
Chris Chang, a local travel agent at Star
Tours, said Thailand has become a popular travel destination
because the U.S. dollar
is worth much more there, compared to the Baht (one dollar to
I have been told that the country is beautiful,” Chang
said. “I still haven’t been, but I plan to go at
least once in my life,” she added.
Thailand is known for fabulous, mouth-watering
cuisine. Assorted curries, soups, and salads can be specially
made to suit your
taste buds. Just about anywhere you go you will find fresh
vegetables and the juiciest fruits grown in Southeast Asia.
people do not take to the food in Thailand immediately. Thai
dishes can be overpowering and spicy. Lot’s of chilies
are used, as well as plenty of herbs and lime juice.
Depending on what you want to eat—seafood,
poultry, beef, or veggies—a nice meal can cost about
$3. If you are a vegetarian, don’t worry! Thailand’s
Buddhist influence means vegetarians dominate. The strict vegetarianism
former Governor, Chamlong Srimuang, has inspired a chain of
Many shopping bargains await you in Thailand,
if you have the luggage space to carry them back. Bangkok is
most famous for
it’s street markets. Pratunam, Chatuchak Park, Khlong
Toey, and Chinatown are just a few. “They have everything
you will ever need, from silk bedding, to live animals,” Jeffus
said. Even if you don’t want to spend any money, they
are great places to wander around.
As Bangkok is one of the cheapest cities
in the world, you can get quality products for only a fraction
of the price.
two big department store chains, Central and Robinson, offer
reasonably prices on electronics, clothing, and housewares.These
two department stores can be found in Bangkok as well as major
If you’re trying to experience local
Thailand life, you should stay in beach bungalows or cottages.
These range from
$5 to $8 a night, per person, and are clean and decorative.
Deciding where to go in Thailand is the
hard part. There are many different places to visit, depending
on how much time
you are willing to spend in a country that is 517,000 square
slightly smaller than the state of Texas, and about the same
size as France.
There are thousands of small islands, and
a few large ones, all very relaxing with white sandy beaches,
waters, and thousands of shells. Jeffus’ favorite travel
destination is the island of Ang Thong, but she also likes “Ko
Samui, because it has one of the best jewelry shops I have
ever been to, and Krabi, because of its cool, calming beaches.”
Nicola Hedge, an HPU international relations
major from New Zealand, prefers north Thailand. “I have
been to both the northern part of the country (Chiang Mai)
and to the southern islands.
If you haven’t been to Chiang Mai, then you have not
really experienced Thailand. The city itself is absolutely
It has more than 300 temples, which makes it visually outstanding.”
If you want to try something different,
rock climbing is popular in some of the islands.
Limestone cliffs on the huge headland
between Hat Tham Phra Nang and East Hat Rai Leh, two southern
islands, offer practically endless rock climbing experiences.
East Hat Rai Leh is a major tourist attraction. According to
climbers, during the high season as many as 300 visitors a
day will climb this rock face. Arranged climbs can be made
Krabi and East Hat Rai Leh. You can rent gear and learn to
climb with other beginners, or, if already trained, find cliffs
enough for your individual climbing level.
Whether solo or in a group, travelers in
Thailand feel safe. The people are friendly and helpful to
residents probably won’t even suffer much culture shock
because Thailand’s culture, flora, and fauna are similar
to Hawai‘i’s. The price is right, too, and summer
(our winter) is a great time to let yourself enjoy the serenity
of beautiful Thailand.
“After my first visit to Thailand, I fell in love with
the people and their life-style,” Jeffus said. “I
have traveled to Thailand three times, and want to make it
an annual trip.”