Take Wing in Thailand - Page 3Where to Run in Thailand
- Khao Yai National Park is easily accessible for tourists and locals. For information on camping and bungalows, visit: www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/nature.asp?lg=2
- Taksin National Park, 200 kilometers south of Chiang Mai, has fun, short trails to explore, including the Giant Tree, a steep but brief hike that anyone can enjoy. It is also a refuge from the heat the Tak province is known for.
- Nan is a mountainous province located some 600 kilometers north of Bangkok. Be aware of animals and let a park ranger know where you plan to run. www.tourismthailand.org/Where-to-Go/Nan
- Phu Wiang National Park is located in the Khon Kean province in eastern Thailand (known as Isan). The park is 90 kilometers south of the Khon Kean city and is known for its treks to waterfalls, being one of the world’s largest dinosaur graveyards and beautiful flowers. Your runs will be short but there are many waterfalls to visit and explore.http://www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/asp/style1/attraction.asp
- Doi Luang Chiang Dao is Thailand’s third highest peak in the Chiang Mai province, standing 2225 meters high. The tropical weather can drop to chilling temperatures even in the summer. To get on the trails you do need an approval letter from the Director of the Wildlife Reserve Division, Royal Forest Department. You must have this set at least two weeks before arrival. Call +66 25 612 947 for more information. To run this mountain, plan on a two-day ascent. Most people take trekking tours up the limestone mountain, but the potential for a challenging run is there and possible.
- Flying into Bangkok is the best option to get anywhere quickly within the country. The city’s public transport is easy to navigate. Taxis are also cheap if there is no traffic, but be sure to ask them to use a meter.
- Use AirAsia for inter-Asia flights. Booking is cheap, the flights are frequent and they are constantly running promotions to many different cities and countries within Asia.
- The bus system in Thailand is very convenient. From the Mo Chit station in BKK you can get anywhere in the country. Like anything, the more you pay, the better the service. Air conditioning is standard on most buses, and on longer trips, you may get a snack and a bottle of water. Many stop for lunch at pre-determined bus stops with an included lunch ticket.
- If traveling far, take an overnight bus or train; you will save on accommodations, get a decent night’s sleep and then have an entire day to play when you arrive at your destination.
Weather in Thailand
- Thailand’s seasons are: Hot, very hot, and very very hot. In northern Thailand, November through May is considered the “cool season”: it’s dry and a bit cooler. As May and June approach the southwest, monsoon season takes over, and this is when the rainfall is heaviest.
Sleeping and Eating
- Accommodations in Thailand range from cheap to really, really cheap. Depending on your budget you can find a bed anywhere from $3 to $100. Dorms are widely available and common among backpacker travelers.
- www.agoda.com is a great online hotel booking resource. You can often find deals on more expensive places and rack up points with the website for more deals.
- www.hostelworld.com is a good budget traveler’s resource. Watch out for booking fees, cancellation policies and price changes. Be sure to keep a copy of your receipt when you check in.
- Most places to stay will be able to offer tips on eating local food near the hostel, however many places work together for a commission. Instead, wander around, see where the locals are eating, have a seat, point to something that looks yummy and try something new.
Sloan Dorr is passionate about trails, dirt and travel. She currently lives in Western Maryland, and is helping to organize a race in the mountains and on the rivers in the area. Catch up with her adventures on her blog at www.thesolesearch.com.