My Favorite Travel Destinations

How many favorite places on the planet do you have?  I fall in love with new and exotic places easily, but whenever I’m asked for my favorite places, I instantly know what to respond with:  El Calafate, Argentina and the Namib Desert, Namibia.  And as of a few days ago, I added The Golden Triangle, northern Thailand to that list.

We just returned from a wonderful four days at the Anantara Golden Triangle Resort and Spa in northern Thailand.  If you regularly read my blog, you know that I’ve talked this place up before, but I wholeheartedly believe it needs to be reinforced to the masses just how awesome this place is – for adults, children, and the lone wanderer.  My husband always gets on my case for broadcasting our favorite spots, worried that the additional publicity will cause them to become crowded and difficult to book (he gives my blog too much credit), but I feel that I have some kind of responsibility to the world to share the awesome things in life that we, the Braunohlers, stumble upon, and the Anantara Golden Triangle is one of them.

At the risk of repeating what I’ve already said about this place, here is a short list of what made the experience super special for us this time around:

1. Mahout Training Class:  Unlike the last time we visited the Golden Triangle (December 2011), I was not pregnant this time around which meant that elephant trekking was not out of the question.  Meandering through the bamboo forests atop elephant back, followed by bathing them in the river.  You tell me.  Is there a cooler way to spend two hours?

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Is this really happening?

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Hitting up the river

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Needless to say, my elephant had great aim

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Case in point

2. The Staff:  A-MAZING.  Wonderful with kids.  From the servers who help out at breakfast to the transportation gurus who take you to different locations on the hotel property, these folks know how to interact with children.  The breakfast staff gave Logan a constant supply of fruit to feed the baby elephant at breakfast, while the jeep driver took us on our own private safari to see water buffalo and elephants in the forest.

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The mahout providing Logan with food for baby ele Meena

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Hotel staff member escorting Logan to the site of the water buffalo

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On our own little private jeep safari

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Elephant spotting

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Logan has a very cool solo experience with a baby elephant and his mahout

3. The Beauty of the Hotel and Surrounds:  I love this place.  It is majestic in the early morning, captivating during the day, and enchanting at night.

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4. The Pool:  Because our visit fell during the hot season, we made daily use of the pool.  It has a real jacuzzi (hard to find in Thailand) and a separate area that bubbles up, creating a kind of massage for your whole body (which, by the way, is a huge hit with kids of all ages).   Servers come around with (complimentary) chilled face towels, sorbets, snacks, and juices at different times during the day.  And from the pool you will almost always see an elephant hanging about in the forest below.  Seeing this never gets old folks; it never gets old.

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Gorgeous pool area that overlooks the elephant forest

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One happy swimmer

Have I convinced you yet?

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