Getting there: A number of airlines fly from Los Angeles to Bangkok, including United, Delta, Northwest, Singapore and Thai. Economy fares cost about $1,500 round trip, depending on the time of year.
Thai Airways offers service from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, about 430 miles north, for $106 round trip. Contact Thai Airways at (800) 426-5204.
When to go: The best months to visit Thailand are November through February. A good time to go for elephant lovers is mid-November, for the annual Elephant Roundup in Surin, which is about 300 miles northeast of Bangkok. The colorful event, which draws visitors from around the world, is a sort of celebration involving about 150 elephants, with music, games, contests, etc., held in an area the size of a football field. This year, the event will take place Nov. 17-18.
Accommodations: Among the best places to stay in Chiang Mai are the Chiang Inn, 100 Changklan Road (175 rooms, air-conditioned; from $50 single per night to $200 for suites), and the Orchid Chiang Mai, 100 Huay Kaew Road (air-conditioned, swimming pool; from $50 to $300).