Hokkaido offers some top-rated skiing gems in a treasure box that includes hot springs (onsen) and volcanoes amidst a cultural experience of culinary flavours and Eastern traditions in the land known for karaoke, karate, origami, sushi, samurai and sake. This trip was never going to just be about the skiing.

From tropical beaches and golden, glittering temples to wildlife, sunset boat cruises and cuisine bursting with fresh flavours – Thailand has it all. It’s a place where the warmth of the sun and Andaman sea is reflected in the locals’ welcoming smiles. It’s a place like no other.

The only reminder of last night’s adventure was the muddied cars that stood parked between me and my view of the ocean.  Incredibly, and overnight, with a little help from the sunshine, this landscape had transformed into a paradise beyond my expectations.