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I visited Thailand in the end of April 2001, which starts to be out of ?high season?, because Thailand is hot starting from the end of March till June/July when the monsoon begins. Anyway I can recommend the northern areas of Thailand, if you just do not want to beach holiday. I flew from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, which has also been the Capital of Thailand earlier.

The flight ticket one way costs you by Thai Airways 1,900 BHT and return ticket is the same no lowered price. There are at least 12 daily flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

I stayed in Amari Rincome, which cost 1,800 BHT (40 USD) per night. I must say that all Amari chain hotels are comfortable and I can recommend them all. You cannot find that kind of level hotels in these prices back in Europe. Breakfast was included to the price. Of course you can live much cheaper in Chiang Mai too. Hotel booking you can make at the airport

My experience from Chiang Mai was very positive. There is not so much traffic as in Bangkok and you have restaurants and bars like in Bangkok. It is a popular tourist resort anyway and the tourists are quite few. Nights are not hot and the mornings are cool. Days are hot, over 30 at least during the end of April.

I made a day trip to Elephant Training Center. On the way there we stopped at orchid gardens. We saw elephants at work show in the center. From there we continued to Lisu hill tribe village with elephants. After that we continued with cow-carriage. Lunch was included too ? good Thai food. After lunch we had ?river rafting? in a calm river ? not like Real River rafting with rapids. In the end of the trip we visited a monkey training school with a show.

From Chiang Mai you can also make trips to Mae Hong Son to see hill-peoples with elongated ringed necks or go for trekking in Chiang Rai.