New Thailand tourism website; Songkran festival in April

Chiang Mai's Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi Hotel can be found in the 'Thainess' section of TAT's new Web site.The Tourism Authority of Thailand has launched a new themes and deals website, a handy tool for those beginning research on a trip to the Southeast Asian hotspot.

Information on the colorful site is organized into themes, including beaches (from Samui to Phuket), nature (think luxury tents and jungle tours), trendy (Bangkok boutique, baby) and Thai-ness (historic palaces and the like).

It’s a site still needing polish as well as time (e.g., travelers’ reviews will be a great addition to the site, if and when they can build the audience that includes inspired review-writers). However, even in its infancy, the site offers a useful range of info for those interested in some online exploration of Thai travel possibilities.

Surf around and see what kinds of accommodations and special deals are available. Though not a booking site, it gives brief overviews on a variety of accommodations, and then the venue contact info in case you want to reserve anything.

In the Festivities section, I was reminded that the country’s largest, most boisterous event, the Songkran festival, is just around the corner. A countrywide party in which everyone throws water on everyone else, it occurs April 13-15, 2008. If you’re thinking about soaking it up (or soaking in it, rather), you’ll need to make plans very, very soon.