Thailand - NEED TO KNOW
Ronan travelled with adventure experts Explore (1890 747 747; explore.co.uk) to Bangkok on Jet Airways via London and Mumbai.
The 11-day Old Siam and the River Kwai trip costs from €1,010, including accommodation on a B&B basis plus some meals, transport, driver and local guides. International flights are not included.
Trailfinders (01-677 7888; trailfinders.ie) has return fares from €684 from Dublin to Bangkok via Amsterdam with China Airlines.
No visa is required for Irish nationals. Vaccinations are not obligatory but Explore recommends jabs for malaria, infectious hepatitis, tetanus, diphtheria, typhoid and polio.
Much of Thailand was badly affected by floods in late 2011 but the country appears to be returning to normal and the Old Siam tour has not altered its itinerary.
FIVE THINGS TO DO
Eat some sizzling Thai food from a street stall -- but only after your body has had a few days to get used to the local bacteria.
Bask on a relaxing float downstream at the raft houses or take an elephant ride in the nearby jungle.
Zip through Bangkok on a tuk-tuk taxi for a sightseeing tour at high speed.
Get in touch with your spiritual side in the company of chanting monks at one of the many temples.
Browse the famous night markets at Chiang Mai for trinkets.