Songkran, the famous Thai New Year festival, is upon us once again. From Monday, this infamous festival where thousands of Thais celebrate the end of the dry season by ‘cleansing’ themselves with water… in open warfare! Not only is it one of the most celebrated Buddhist festivals in Thailand, Songkran is also the world’s largest water fight.
Although Songkran is celebrated in most Thai cities, Chiang Mai and Bangkok are the two best places for the super-soaking festivities. We asked two STA Travel staff to give their personal accounts of this crazy, wet and seriously interactive festival.
I had a blast at Songkran, Thailand.
Last week we introduced you to Alyce, one of our new India Tailor Made specialists, in her blog about her whirlwind tour of India’s Golden Triange and Rajasthan. She’s here to help you plan your perfect trip to India, based on exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it and how you want to do it.
This week, Alyce is back, to take us through her favourite experience in India so far, cruising the backwaters of Kerala on a traditional Indian house boat.
Alyce, and our other India Tailor Made specialists Thomas and Nick, have been trained to create bespoke and personal trip itineraries in India, so we sent them on their own adventures there to make sure they are super clued up and ready for your call. Here’s Alyce’s favourite memory of her trip to India’s beautiful south…
Take a traditional Indian house boat for a relaxing cruise down the beautiful backwaters of Kerala, India.
This month, we’ll be introducing you to Tailor Made India trips, born from our vast knowledge of India itself and the understanding that, while an adventure here is without a doubt one of the best travel experiences you could ever wish to have, putting a trip together, can be hard work and pretty confusing.
That’s why we’ve spent that past few months training 3 of our best Travel Experts in all things India. It’s safe to say, Alyce, Thomas and Nick were all completely India obsessed before and are now ready for the challenge of helping you create a specific and completely personal trip to India that ticks every single one of your boxes.
This week on the blog, Alyce is here to share the experience of one of her trips there, and explain why she has fallen completely under it’s spell.
Alyce (L) at the Amber Fort, Jaipur.
For as long as I can remember, hiring a campervan and driving it round Australia has been on my travel wishlist. I’m not alone: last year, thousands of STA Travellers used a campervan to explore Oz. There’s a definite novelty factor about driving your entire house around, making beautiful National Parks your home for the night and living a basic kind of life for a while. On top of that, campervans are also a really practical and often budget friendly way to get around, especially if there’s a group of you to share costs.
Luckily for me, when I met my now husband a few years back, it turned out that an Australia road trip was pretty high on his bucket list too. So when set about planning our wedding, we decided enough was enough. We blagged a couple of months off work and set about booking a somewhat unconventional honeymoon that would see us driving up the east coast of Australia in a campervan on an epic drive from Sydney to Cairns. In 3 weeks.
Let me stress that Sydney to Cairns is really quite a long way. Over 2,400 kilometers if you go in a straight line (we clocked up over 4,000km in ours). But of course, when it comes to road trips, it’s all about the journey as much as it is the destination. We stayed at some simply incredibly spots on our trip, and as we spoke to other travellers we met along the way, were pretty gutted we couldn’t stay longer and drive that campervan all over Australia.
2 years ago, Paul Wilkinson, set out on an amazing 9 month adventure across some of the most exciting countries in the world. His trip would turn out to be diverse, eye opening, full of unexpected experiences – and the best fun of his life.
He’s back, and as a Travel Expert at our Leeds Vicar Lane store, he’s been using his experience to help others create their own big trips, for over a year. As part of our own Your Big Trip campaign, I’ve pinned him down for the low down on his own trip and his expert advice for those thinking of taking the plunge themselves…
Bolivia's awesome Salt Flats.