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Traveler's Journal: The "Upscaling" of Thailand
By Mike Thiel

My first visit to Thailand a few years ago was a whirlwind tour of Bangkok, packing in all the "must-see" sights. I came away impressed with Thai culture and its people, but less so with Bangkok, which I found big, bustling, loud, smoggy, and generally difficult to wrap my brain around. (See www.hideaways.com/bangkok.) Like many other capitals, I suppose Bangkok is an acquired taste. I spent more time there on this visit working on acquiring that taste, but my real mission was to sample Thailand's more idyllic and far-flung vacation destinations.

"Caribbean of the Pacific"
Thailand is famous as a destination for young, footloose adventurers, with novels like The Beach perpetuating that ideal. But, like many destinations first popularized by the backpacking set, Thailand's undeveloped beach scene is changing quickly, fast becoming more touristy and upscale.

September 2008



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All Rights Reserved