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When traveling to exotic places, local handicrafts make great souvenirs. But Tamarind Village in Chiang Mai, Thailand will do you one better with near-daily afternoon sessions to learn how to make traditional Thai crafts yourself. The 45-room hotel gives instructions Monday through Saturday – with a particular focus each day – on such techniques as weaving flower garlands (pictured), which are used as welcome gifts and to decorate religious shrines, and paper umbrella painting, a tradition brought to Chiang Mai by a monk from Burma. All instructional sessions are free for guests. On Sundays, Tamarind Village leads a morning walk through the local area to visit temples and historic sites. www.tamarindvillage.com
For general trip-planning information, see our Chiang Mai Travel Guide.
Thai Airways is rolling out the red carpet for business-class passengers by offering a complimentary overnight hotel stay in Bangkok, Samui, Krabi, Hua Hin, Phuket, Pattaya, or Chiang Mai. Economy class passengers can also receive a free hotel stay if they book the Royal Orchids Holidays program, which includes 3-night hotel accommodations and airfare starting from $1,167. This offer is valid through October 31 at over 100 hotels in Thailand. In addition, passengers flying from Los Angeles can also receive a free domestic flight to be used within Thailand when traveling before May 20. (We love it when airlines play nice.)
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