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Out Globetrotter: Benjamin Solomon in Thailand

Gay Thailand - Chiang Mai temple - Benjamin Solomon Out Globetrotter

Checking in with Out's correspondents as they criss-cross the world...

 

Who: Benjamin Solomon, Editor-in-Chief of Next Magazine

Where I Went:Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui in Thailand

What I Did: Celebrated Songkran Festival (Traditional Thai New Year turned giant wet T-shirt contest) with locals in the inner city of the country's religious and cultural capital, Chiang Mai; rode a private boat through the sprawling Angthong National Marine Park for hiking on giant limestone karsts, snorkeling and private beach exploring; climbed to the hill-top temple Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep to be blessed by a Buddhist monk; partied till dawn in Silom.

What I Recommend: Explore the sprawling traditional markets in Chiang Mai and sample divisive local delicacies like fish-covered sticky rice, durian and century eggs; a shopping spree in one of Bangkok's high-end malls, like the travel themed Terminal 5, which houses local artisans and fashion designers next to international brands; launch traditional lanterns into the sky from the secluded beaches of Koh Samui while sampling traditional Thai whiskey; dance all night on the beach with thousands of Aussie tourists during the Full Moon party; search for treasures in the amulet market in Bangkok.

Gay Thailand - Chiang Mai temple - Benjamin Solomon Out Globetrotter

Checking in with Out's correspondents as they criss-cross the world...

 

Who: Benjamin Solomon, Editor-in-Chief of Next Magazine

Where I Went:Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui in Thailand

What I Did: Celebrated Songkran Festival (Traditional Thai New Year turned giant wet T-shirt contest) with locals in the inner city of the country's religious and cultural capital, Chiang Mai; rode a private boat through the sprawling Angthong National Marine Park for hiking on giant limestone karsts, snorkeling and private beach exploring; climbed to the hill-top temple Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep to be blessed by a Buddhist monk; partied till dawn in Silom.

What I Recommend: Explore the sprawling traditional markets in Chiang Mai and sample divisive local delicacies like fish-covered sticky rice, durian and century eggs; a shopping spree in one of Bangkok's high-end malls, like the travel themed Terminal 5, which houses local artisans and fashion designers next to international brands; launch traditional lanterns into the sky from the secluded beaches of Koh Samui while sampling traditional Thai whiskey; dance all night on the beach with thousands of Aussie tourists during the Full Moon party; search for treasures in the amulet market in Bangkok.

Where I Stayed: The lush and isolated Four Seasons Chiang Mai, the Four Seasons Koh Samui's sprawling and stunning mountainside beach resort, and the Sofitel's peculiar new design hotel, So Bangkok.

What I Wore: Polo by Ralph Lauren Men's Sander boat shoes; New Era Authentic Collection 59Fifty New York Yankees cap; Brooklyn Industries Marauder Water Resistant Nylon Backpack

What I Ate: Fried worms; durian fruit; Thai Fish with Three Flavour Sauce; Lap mu; mango with sticky rice; Spicy Papaya Salad; street vendor corn; fresh strawberries with cayenne pepper and sugar; mee grob

What I Skipped: Wat Phra Kaew/ Grand Palace (opt instead for the free and if-not-more stunning Wat Arun just across the river); elephant rides

What I Loved: Hanging backstage with the ladyboys at Starz Cabaret in Samui; Shopping with a local in the bustling Thai Markets; traditional washing of the hands and feet with local women during Songkran; the superstitious and wacky ways in which to make monetary offerings at the Buddist temples; traditional clothed Thai stretching massage

Street scenes during Songkran

 

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep


Old men inspect tiny wooden carvings at the Bangkok Amulet Market



Benjamin rides a water buffalo on the grounds of the Four Seasons Chiang Mai, which features real rice patties


Worms! Snacktime in Chiang Mai


View down the steeps stairs of Wat Arun in Bangkok


Ladyboys at Starz Cabaret in Koh Samui


A tub with a view at the Four Seasons Koh Samui


Handsewn flower garlands are everywhere during Songkran


Girls perform acts of extreme flexibility at the gates to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep


Learning how to cook traditional Thai recipes at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai


 Our market guide shows off the repulsive century egg


Buddhist monks bless the staff and guests during the Thai New Year at the Four Seasons Bangkok

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