Honeymoons in Thailand

Mark Rogers
Agent News

Dick Slaker has been in the travel business since 1983, both as a seller of travel and as a writer for such magazines as Travel Trade and TravelAge West. Earlier this summer, when the Thailand Tourism Authority (TAT) invited a select group of media to visit Thailand and assess the country’s safety for tourists, Dick jumped at the chance. A seasoned traveler, this was Dick’s second visit to Thailand.

“The Tourism Authority of Thailand invited us to their Bangkok office to meet TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni and others from his staff for a question and answer session about Thailand and Bangkok in particular,” says Dick.“They wanted us to see and experience for ourselves that Bangkok was back.”

During the Bangkok visit, Dick toured the site of the Central World department store, which was burned by protestors. “Bangkok was people, people, people, but I never felt any trepidation at all,” remembers Dick. “I was impressed with the graciousness of the Thai people, and their love of their King and Queen. When you visit Thailand, it’s easy getting to know the people and you feel that they want to get to know you, too.”

Dick’s knowledge of history made one experience especially moving. “I was especially touched by the visit to the River Kwai, and standing on the railroad tracks of the bridge,” says Dick. He also toured the POW cemetery where the remains of 6,982 war prisoners were buried. The remains are mostly of British, Dutch, Australian and American soldiers who lost their lives during the construction of the bridge over the River Kwai and the railway to Burma, also known as the Death Railway.

Other highlights of the trip for Dick were an overnight at the Hilton Hua-Hin Resort & Spa and a visit to the Hua-Hin night market, touring Wat Yai Chai Mongkol and the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, and cruising the Chaophraya River courtesy of Grand Pearl Cruises.

Dick has some advice for first-time travelers to Thailand:Dick Slater
“Come prepared to shop. Everything is reasonably priced and the dollar is still strong,” says Dick. “Never at any time did I feel I was in danger. It was like being in a shopping mall in LA. I purchased two sports coats with trousers, almost like silk; a Rolex watch; a Jade Buddha; silk runners and silk pillow cases with beautiful colors. I had to buy a second roller suitcase to bring everything home with me.”

According to Dick, the 17-hour flight home on Thai Airways was made more bearable by a seat in PremiumEconomy Class, a choice of movies and a couple of stiff scotch on the rocks.

“I’m looking forward to making a return trip to Thailand,” says Dick. “I’m especially intrigued by their medical tourism and want to learn more about it.”

You can contact Dick Slaker at rslaker@cox.net