Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: Thailand, for Beach Days and Night Markets
Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" tripa Tax Refund Vacation.
Now that your bank account might be a little more padded, there's nothing better than to splurge on an exotic trip more than half-way around the world to soak up the sun, sip fruity cocktails, and experience a new culture. One destination that ticks all these boxes and more is Thailand. With its beach resorts, rural charm, and mega-city metropolis style, you can definitely say that there's something for everyone.
Exactly 12 hours ahead of the central time zone, this Southeast Asian country is well and truly half-way around the world. While the distance can be a plus for some, the time it might take to travel to Bangkok from the US may be a deterrent for others, but we can only tell you it's well worth the haul. Thai Airways, United, Cathay Pacific and plenty other Asian airlines do have routes with only one layover, so it's really not all that bad.
Bangkok is not only the capital, but a perfect place to find your bearings and taste new food in the night markets dotted around the city. Of course there's also the option to sink that tax refund into high-end shopping on Rama I or spend nothing at all while exploringvBuddhist temples along the Chao Phraya River.
We'd absolutely recommend heading out of town as well, to sample some of the regions that make Thailand famous as a vacation destination. If you head north, check out an area called Sop Ruak (in English: the Golden Triangle) for elephant rides and more. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are the center of all things country, with warm smiles and plenty nature.
Heading south of Bangkok, it won't be long before you hit some of the most iconic beaches in the country; Hua Hin is a 2-hour drive south from Bangkok, or there's always Phuket and Koh Samui under two hours away by budget airline. Near Phuket sits Krabi and the Phangnga Bay, which boasts large limestone towers shooting up from the blue sea. Seaside towns weren't always popular with tourists as they served as fishing villages to feed the population, but are now praised for their warm, crystal blue waters.
[Photos: Rayme Gorniak/Jaunted]