Monday, 30 June 2008

Kamthieng House - The Lanna Legacy In Bangkok

Kamthieng House, a traditional Lanna home in the grounds of the Siam Society in Soi Asoke Bangkok, preserves the 700 hundred year old Lanna architecture and culture from Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.

"A million rice fields"

The Lanna (a million rice fields) Kingdom is an old 13th century kingdom in northern Thailand, started by King Mengrai in 1259 who established his capital in Chiang Mai in 1291.

Captured by the Burmese in 1550s, retaken by King Taksin in 1774, Chiang Mai became a vassal of Thailand until the reign of King Rama V when it came under direct rule.

From this kingdom grew a society with a distinctive culture and language along with its own traditions and customs, rituals and festivals.

The family home on the Ping River

One such Lanna family steeped in these traditions were descendants of a prince from Yunnan in Southern China who migrated to northern Thailand. The matriarch Mae Nai Saed, a great granddaughter of the prince, built the original Kamthieng House in 1848 on the banks of the Ping River in Chiang Mai.

In a matriarchal society, the Lanna women are heads of households, own property and have rights of inheritance. The family home was owned by three generations of descendants, Mae Nai Thip, Mae Kamthieng and Mae Kim Haw who lived in the house till 1963.

Making of a museum

The timber house, with its characteristic "Kalae" or 'V' shaped wooden carving at the apex of the gable, is regarded as one of the rare examples of traditional Lanna architecture and art. To preserve Lanna culture for future generations, Mae Nai Haw donated the house to the Siam Society as an ethnological museum.

In memory of her mother Mae Kamthieng, the museum was named Kamthieng House.

It took two years to plan, dismantle and move the old house from Chiang Mai to be reassembled in the grounds of the Siam Society in Bangkok. The Asia Foundation and John D Rockefeller Foundation funded the project.

On 21 November 1966, His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej officially opened Kamthieng House.

Lanna culture

A tour of Kamthieng House gives the visitor an insight to the Lanna lifestyle, rituals, beliefs, family life, culture, art and architecture.

Lanna society practices animism, a belief in the presence of spirits in natural objects and phenomena. Special rituals are performed to appease these spirits before any family or communal activity. The Naga serpent is symbolic of water vital for rice cultivation, the rice goddess influences the rice crop, a staple food and the buffalo spirit affects the beast of burden working the fields.

Being an agricultural society there's a deep respect for nature and the need to be in harmony with the elements. Ancestral worship is also practiced as seen from the family ancestral altar in the guest hall of the main house.

Weaving, a traditional Lanna craft is evident from the beautifully embroidered fabrics in the bedroom, where elaborately carved wooden lintels are installed above the doors to protect the occupants. Talismans and amulets are also popular forms of protection for individuals and homes.

The exhibits displayed reflect family and community life, combining traditional displays with film clips to illustrate cultural activities and recorded ritual chants in the background to simulate realism.

Kamthieng House is a museum dedicated to preserving a lifestyle from a culture that's almost 800 years old, providing an interesting study in a traditional society that's fast disappearing.

Kamthieng House is one of the traditional Thai houses you'll discover in Tour Bangkok Legacies a historical travel site on people, places and events that left their mark in the landscape of Bangkok. The author Eric Lim, a free-lance writer, lives in Bangkok Thailand and writes for this a do-it-yourself historical travel guide for independent travelers.

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Udonthani - Thailand's Jewel In The Northeast

Udonthani was founded in 1296 by King Mengrai. It became the capital of Lannathai Kingdom, and once the kingdom started to decline, the importance of Udonthani also started to diminish. The city was often occupied either by the invading Burmese troops or the Thais from Ayutthaya. King Taksin captured Udonthani from the Burmese in 1774 and ever since it has been a part of Thailand. Today, Udonthani is the second most important city in Thailand after Bangkok. Udonthani is 560 kilometers from Bangkok.

When to Go to Udonthani

If you are planning a visit to Udonthani, the best time is between November and March. During this time the weather is cool and temperatures are from 75°F to 89°F. During April and May, it is extremely hot and visitors usually avoid those months. You can also plan a visit to Udonthani during June, July and August. There is no doubt that during those months the weather is hot but it is bearable and prices in hotels and restaurants are lower than in peak tourist season.

Places to Visit in Udonthani

Udonthani has over 300 Buddhist temples to choose from. Doi Suthep is the most popular out of these. It was built in 1383 and gives an excellent view of the city. The other temples worth visiting are Chiang Man, which is the oldest temple in Udonthani, Phra Sila, which is popular for its marble Buddha, and Phra Satang Man for its crystal Buddha.

Besides temples, you can spend time with your family at the Udonthani Zoo, Doi Inthanon National Park, Dao Cave, the Night Bazaar, Sirikit Botanical Gardens and Phrathat Doi Suthep. Udonthani is also popular for its nightlife. If you are a cooking or dancing enthusiast, you can take a Thai cooking or Thai dancing course at the local bars and cafes.

Just 47 kilometers east of Udonthani is Thailand's premier Bronze Age excavation at Ban Chiang, which is a world renowned archaeological site.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Scuba Diving Vacations

There are a wide variety of scuba diving vacations to suit each personality and provide memories to last a lifetime. The first step to planning a scuba diving vacation is to get your scuba certification. Having your scuba certification is necessary before you can rent equipment or go on a scuba dive adventure. There are two certification courses that are popular today. The first is PADI scuba certification, which is good for vacationers who want a less extensive training. The other is NAUI scuba certification, which is a little more involved and advanced.

The second step in planning your scuba diving vacation is deciding weather you will rent or buy your scuba equipment. Many diving vacationers prefer to rent their equipment. This is much more affordable and makes your trip easier to pack for. On the other hand, purchasing your equipment will ensure that you will have scuba equipment that fits your needs. Many divers who rent their equipment purchase their own regulator and mask, as these items tend to vary making it difficult to find the right one.

Now it is time to decide where you would like to take your Scuba diving vacation. Scuba diving experiences vary widely depending on where you go. Some of the top scuba diving vacation destinations include Mexico, the South Pacific, Belize, Hawaii and Thailand. At the Fiji Islands in the South Pacific, you will see a large variety of coral. On the other hand, a scuba diving vacation to Hawaii will give you the chance to view sea turtles, whales and sharks. Deciding where to go is a personal choice depending on which underwater world you are interested in seeing.

Scuba diving vacations are extremely rewarding. The adventure you will have will inspire and rejuvenate you for years to come. Whether you choose to buy your equipment and visit Thailand or rent your equipment in Mexico, you are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime. Just don’t forget an underwater camera!

For more information on scuba diving equipment, travel and history, visit For scuba diving accessories, apparel and gear check out

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Saturday, 28 June 2008

Phuket - Jewel of the Andaman Sea

The largest and most accessible island in Thailand, Phuket, lying off the South West coast, is also one of the most diverse and developed. It is blessed with a wealth of natural resources to entice the visitor. Lime stone cliffs, white sand beaches, rocky headlands, peaceful sweeping bays and a forested tropical interior. Alongside its natural assets Phuket has a range of accommodation and entertainment to offer something for everyone.

Phuket island is about 850 kilometers South of Bangkok. The province covers 590 square kilometers including the additional 39 small islands. The main island itself covers about 540 kilometer square and measures 48 kilometers North to South and 21 kilometers East to West.

As the island is the biggest in Thailand you can find quite beaches and you can party the night away at others. It is all up to what you are looking for.

Phuket is connected to the mainland by two bridges. These cover the narrow strip of water that separates Phuket from Phang-Nga province on the North side of the island. The rest of Phuket borders only the tropical Andaman Sea.

The island is a variety of manly forested mountains stretching North to South and flat plains. However it is the jewel of the Andaman Sea and its palm fringed beaches that has contributed to making it the wealthiest and most visited island in the South. It attracts thousands of visitors a year. Many are content to relax on its many beaches, but for the more adventurous Phuket is a center for diving in the area with world class dive sites a short boat trip away and facilities for all levels.

The year is divided into the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season falls from May to October, with September and October being the wettest. The dry season, from November to April gradually gets hotter and hotter until the rains start again. The most pleasant time to visit, but also the most busy, is from November to February. At this time blue skies and spectacular sunsets are the usual, along with a cooling sea breeze and average temperatures ranging from 23c to 33c.

Phuket also has something to offer those who are looking for more than beach lounging. Phuket town with its Sino-Portugese architecture, markets, temples and friendly small town atmosphere is a place to sample real thai living and enjoy the bustle - just be careful in the narrow streets with all the motorbikes! Phuket island has food and restaurants for any taste and budget. Surrounded by the rich Andaman Sea its no surprise that its sea food is exceptional. Accommodation ranges from five star world class resorts to simple bamboo beach side bungalows with everything in between.

Nevertheless, emphasis is put on the upper sector. Phuket is not just the most popular destination in the South of Thailand but it also is extremely popular among people from Hong Kong and Singapore and other foreigners that are looking for a holiday house. In no other place in Thailand is it as expensive to buy property as in Phuket. Many rich people are living here and the offered property is very much geared to the higher end.

Due to Phuket's world known status as a tourist destination it was rightly or wrongly at the center of the media attention after the tsunami of 2004. In comparison to other provinces in Thailand, Phuket actually received less damage and had a lower death toll. Also, compared to other countries that were affected by the Tsunami Thailand had probably the least problems. Only days after the tsunami many beach front bars were open and ready for business. Since then there has been much attention and help by the Thai government (focusing on the big businesses) and other organizations to get business back up and running and to promote tourism back to the region. Now apart from the warning sirens and 'tsunami evacuation route' signs there is little evidence that the tragic events of the 26th of December, 2004 ever happened.

Richard Meyer is a professional travel writer for Excelloz which is an online travel website that specializes in hotel reservation in Asia and Oceania but soon worldwide. In addition to hotels, Excelloz provides free travel guides and independent hotel reviews.

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Adventurous Chiang Mai - Fun for Your Teenager in Thailand

Chiang Mai, also known as the "northern rose" of Thailand, has a wide variety of activities and attractions for all those thrill and adrenaline junkies. One of the oldest cities, located in the north of Thailand, Chiang Mai, is surrounded by mountains with the city in the valley.

If shopping and touring the city doesn't make you tick, Chiang Mai offers numerous adrenaline pumping activities including bungee jumping, paintballing, white water rafting, rock climbing, spelunking, and has vehicles such as atvs and dirt bikes for rental.

If you are a bit tight on money, other lower costing activities include, hiking through local mountains at national parks, renting a mountain bike and biking through dirt trails on nearby mountains, or simply grabbing a sleeping bag and tent and going camping at national parks throughout the surrounding mountains.

If you have a little extra cash to spend on fun and excitement, there are three fantastic paintball businesses, each with different styles of courses. These facilities provide gear which includes clothing, guns, and paintballs, prices will vary from 300 to 400 baht, which is about 8 to 13 US dollars.

Another thrilling activity includes bungee jumping. There is a bungee jumping area at the X-center with a 50 meter jump over a lake. The cost includes, the jump, a free t-shirt, and pictures. The price comes out to about 1800 baht, equivalent to about 55 US dollars, but gets cheaper for every consecutive jump.

If you like the outdoors, Chiang Mai has two well qualified rock climbing businesses, the Peak and Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Club. These two establishments have rock climbing training courses and equipment for those experienced climbers that could not bring their gear along to Thailand. They also have climbing walls. There is a place 45 minutes out of the city called Crazy Horse where climbers from all over the world come to climb its 70 plus routes from beginner to advance courses. This mountain face also has caves for those interested in looking inside the mountain.

Another exciting activity is off road atv'ing. There are companies that rent out atv's for tourists to ride on the mountain trails. They offer tours of one to three day trips, as well. As you can see from all these adventurous activities, Chiang Mai is a place where your teenager will not be bored. For your next family vacation, come visit Chiang Mai, where there are activities for everyone in your family.

Duane Zimmerman currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand with his family. He writes travel articles about Thailand. For more information visit

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Friday, 27 June 2008

Secrets of Thai Massage is Total Relaxation

Every culture of the world practices some kind of massage. Thailand has a long standing history of massage where the person gets “stuck heart” or as the Thais put it “Dtit jai”. Anybody who has undergone a Thai massage gets heart-stuck to it. Like Thai food, visitors also get addicted to Thai massage. It is so popular that most towns have at least one massage parlor. Massage is an integral part of Thai culture, as parents “massage” their children and thus pass the skills down through the generations. Thai massage originated in Thailand but today taught in all major massage school. These oriental techniques bring Eastern massage philosophies here to the West, where they are used to release tension and bring an overall improvement to one’s well being. This total relaxation helps you to win your depression.

Thai massage just like Ayurvedic massage technique integrates certain Eastern spiritual techniques into traditional massage. During a Thai massage session, you can expect to have your muscles kneaded so they soften from all of the tension knots. However, the difference between Thai massage and traditional massages is that Thai massages use certain Eastern techniques such as deep breathing, and the knowledge of pressure points. The end result of total relaxation is always assured in every form of Thai massage.

Total relaxation with a Thai massage session

You may fall in love and addicted to Thai massage and you’ll likely never want to return to a traditional western massage again. Thai massage therapists believe that, to give a good massage, one has to be in tune with their body. Your body and mind have to be in a state of total relaxation. To be tense during a massage, they say, is to defeat the very purpose of getting a massage. You cannot release total tension if you resist the Thai massage methods. That’s why these Thai massage techniques are so effective.

This total relaxation helps you to fight against depression.

Follow the link to know how massage oil helps to get a better massage =>

To get helpful information, follow the link

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Art Workshop Holiday in Thailand?

Most people who vacation in Thailand have a similar pattern with respect to their sightseeing choices; they usually visit the same places and participate in the same traditional tourist activities. Now, this phenomenon can applied to almost any tourist destination, not only Thailand. By no means am I putting down Joe Average Tourist in his choices, but sometimes JAT feels uncomfortable about deviating from the norm and finds a comfort zone in following the pack.

As an example, the typical tourist to Bangkok stays only a couple days in this large metropolitan city; his itinerary usually includes an all day highlights tour visiting the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Jim Thompson's House and a river boat cruise including dinner on the Chao Praya River. Now that's comparable to a tourist visiting New York City whose sightseeing itinerary includes the Empire State Building, the Statute of Liberty, World Trade Center, Central Park and Broadway. In addition, the ladies usually love to go on a shopping spree at one Bangkok's sprawling shopping centers like MBK, in addition to shopping for bargains at Bangkok's colorful night market.

Now if the tourist were aware of some of the alternative activities available besides the conventional sightseeing expeditions, he would really have an opportunity to have a unique singular experience. For those people with an artistic bent, they may want to consider taking a special 2 day /1 night watercolor workshop with Pe Seenam, an internationally renowned watercolorist from Bangkok The workshop takes place in the rural countryside alongside a beautiful river, about an hour's drive from Bangkok.

While in Chiang Mai, Thailand's 2nd largest city and the gateway to Northern Thailand, a good option for the artistically inclined would be a special 3 day/2 night Terracotta workshop at a rustic homestay, located in the mountain village of Mae Rim, about a 30 minutes away from Chiang Mai. While you're in Mae Rim, you can visit one of the area's elephant camps and go on a little elephant trek into the countryside. What a thrilling adventure!

As a sidenote, in defense of about JAT (Joe Average Tourist), many times the JAT has a very limited time in a popular destination spot. As.a result, the most viable option for him is to do "the popular city highlights tour".

Bus Goldberg is a seasoned world traveler and the director of Calypso Island Tours, a travel company that specializes in botanical adventures and nature tours to such diverse destinations as Costa Rica, Thailand and the Caribbean. He also maintains his own travel blog, Calypso Island Chronicles

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Thursday, 26 June 2008

Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok - Resurrecting the Golden Land

Suvarnabhumi Airport, the new Bangkok International Airport, aviation hub and gateway to Thailand was raised from the boggy Nong Ngu Hao or Cobra Swamp in an effort that took 43 years.

Location of Suvarnabhumi Airport

Located to the south-east of Bangkok in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakarn province, Suvarnabhumi Airport is barely 500 m beyond the Bangkok city limits and about 35 km from the city center.

The Bangkok – Chonburi Motorway runs two km to the north of the airport before crossing into Samut Prakarn and then on to Chonburi and the seaside resort of Pataya.

The other main road to the north of the airport is Soi Sukhumvit 77 which leads on the the main Sukhmvit Road at On Nut. Nine km to the south, the Bang Na – Trad Highway links Bangkok to the coastal provinces in the Gulf of Thailand.

Historical background to Suvarnabhumi

The name Suvarnabhumi has a long and interesting history, reminiscent of a golden era of peace and prosperity that's part of the cultural and historical legacy of Thailand.

Long before the first Europeans arrived in South-East Asia in the 16th century, the region had close commercial and cultural links with India, a civilization that existed more than 15 centuries ago. This cultural legacy is still evident in Thailand and many South-East Asian countries.

Indian scholars referred to the region east of India and south of China, i.e. Burma, Indo-China and Thailand or mainland South-East Asia, as Suvarnabhumi or the Land of Gold, a word in ancient Sanskrit, (Suvarn is gold in Thai). The islands of the Malay Archipelago to the south were called Suvarnadvipa or the Islands of Gold.

This was probably because of the rich natural resources in the region which the Europeans were soon to discover. It was no coincidence that the Chinese sea-faring traders had a similar name for the region.

The name Suvarnabhumi (pronounced su-wan-na-poom) or the Golden Land was bestowed on the airport by His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej.

The 43 long years

The development of Suvarnabhumi Airport from its inception in 1973 to its completion in 2006 was perpetually dogged by a series of political and financial problems.

Land for the airport was first purchased in 1973 in an area known by the unsavory name of Nong Ngu Hao or Cobra Swamp. But the target="_blank">14 October 1973 uprising that overthrew the military dictator Field Marshall Thanom Kittikachorn and the subsequent political turmoil grounded the project for the next 20 years.

Suvarnabhumi Airport was revived in 1996 with the formation of the company New Bangkok International Airport (NBIA), to be stalled by the Asian financial crisis a year later.

It was only in January 2002, that construction actually started. This time the project was plagued by cost overruns, defects and delays in construction. By early 2005, it was apparent that the September opening date later that year just couldn't be met. In that same year, NBIA was dissolved and its functions transferred to the Airports of Thailand Plc.

A frustrated Prime Minister Taksin Shinawatra actually camped at the airport construction site in an attempt to drive the project on. Allegations of a massive corruption scandal over the airport bomb scanner equipment added to his woes.

Suvarnabhumi – the Golden Land resurrected

In spite of all these problems, Suvarnabhumi Airport by September 2006 is finally completed. The result is an airport complex covering 32 sq km or 8,000 acres! The passenger terminal, with seven stories, a basement and 360 check-in counters, has a built-in area of more than half a million sq m, just under the combined floor areas of Terminals 1 & 2 at Singapore's Changi International Airport.

With two runways, Suvarnabhumi Airport has a current capacity of 30 m passengers per year, soon to be upgraded to 45 m. The ultimate objective is to add another two runways to boost the capacity to 100m passengers per year.

It also boasts the highest control tower in Asia at 132 m, edging out the 130 m tower in Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Suvarnabhumi Airport has finally arrived after 43 long and arduous years. This impressive structure is now the new gateway to Thailand, the new Bangkok International Airport and an international aviation hub that's poised to be the pride of Thailand and the aviation world.

Suvanabhumi, the Golden Land has been resurrected, symbolizing the peace and prosperity of an era gone by.

For details on the location of the airport and travel arrangements to the city, please see target="_blank">map to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Suvarnabhumi Airport is the latest article in Tour Bangkok Legacies, a historical travel site on people, places and events that left their mark in the landscape of Bangkok.

The author Eric Lim, a free-lance writer, lives in Bangkok Thailand.

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Chiang Mai Hotels - Luxury Rooms At Youth Hostel Prices

If you've been budget travelling in the more so-called developed parts of Asia, such as Hong Kong and Japan, you've probably had to skimp on comfort when choosing accommodations. If you ever want to pamper yourself though and not spend much more than you would at most youth yostels, you should certainly check out the hotels in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

This city in northern Thailand is the second largest in the country after Bangkok. Don't let this fool you though. Not only is it cooler and much less crowded than it's big brother to the south, but it is also within spitting distance of some of Thailand's most beautiful forests and mountains which are home to many of the country's famed hill tribes.

Furthermore, Chiang Mai is a safe and convenient city with many excellent hotels. Too many in fact. The current glut of extra hotel rooms during all but the busiest holidays combined with the current favorable US dollar to Thai baht exchange rate has created an excellent opportunity for budget travellers.

In fact, a recent check of hotel prices there turned up many rooms with plenty of space, comfortable beds, air-conditioning, satellite tv, fridge and shower for less than $25.00 per night. Furthermore, hotel room prices in Chiang Mai are listed per room, not per person. This means an even better bargain if you are travelling with someone. Keep in mind, most hotels offer an extra discount for booking online, but it never hurts to call the desk and check too.

The next time you find yourself getting weary of sleeping in dorm style rooms and sharing toilets, consider enjoying a few nights of comfort at a Chiang Mai hotel.

Jim Allen lives and travels in Asia and writes frequently on Chiang Mai, Thailand. You can research Chiang Mai hotels at his website:

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Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Luxury Villa For Rent and For Sale - Koh Samui - Thailand

Rental Villa situated in the beautiful and exclusive Santi Thani estate, with 24 hour security. Only 20 minutes from the airport and 5 minutes from Ban Tai beach. 10 minutes from new international standard 18-hole golf course – Santiburi. Secluded area surrounded by magnificent sea-view scenery. Open plan luxury living to take full advantage of the stunning sea views. Home entertainment room offering over 60 satellite TV channels, DVD player, all with surround sound. En suite master bedroom with separate dressing room area, shower and bath. 3 further large en suite bedrooms, with king-sized beds. 5th Bedroom/study with sofa bed. All bedrooms have built in air conditioning units and ceiling fans. Direct access from the two principal bedrooms to the pool deck. 9m infinity-edge swimming pool with Jacuzzi overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. Spacious lower deck with access to en suite bedrooms and the tropical garden

State of the art security system installed for peace of mind. Wireless Internet within the villa. This villa is for sale so if you fall in love with this dream accommodation, your dreams can come true

Additional Services with villa rental: Private Maid whilst you stay ensuring the villa remains immaculate and fresh linen / towels available at all times. Free access to large on-site Gymnasium. Airport Transfer (on request)

Exclusive Services with villa rental: Private scuba diving courses within the villa (on request). Discounts on scuba diving and snorkeling trips / courses. Discounts in various Thai / International restaurants and bars, exclusive to Villa Ma Phráaw customers. Private Thai chef offering some of the best dishes Thailand has to offer (on request) Select

Villa Maphraaw is privately owned by Stuart Burt who lives in Thailand

Golf in Thailand

When it comes to golf, Thailand has more to offer than any other country in South East Asia. There are, quite literally, 250 courses. Where ever there is any kind of tourism infrastructure, even in quieter areas, you will find at least one golf course. Generally they are of a high standard since Thailand has made a conscious effort to promote this side of its tourist industry. Standards may be high, but prices are very reasonable.

Add into the equation the fact that the weather is good all year round and many of the courses will be part of resorts also providing other facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, restaurants and spas. Golf first came to Thailand in the 1920's under the auspices of Rama VII in the royal, seaside resort of Hua Hin. The Hua Hin course is still very much in use and has a historical feel all of its own. The real explosion, however, came in the 1980s in parallel with Thailand's great leap forward in the tourism industry in general.

Top course architects, such as Nick Faldo, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, were recruited to design courses that would be different and challenging. Testament to the rapid ascent to respectability of golf in Thailand is the fact that it now hosts many major international tournaments such as the Johnnie Walker Classic. Bangkok may be an urban sprawl but it boasts some world class golf courses. There are over forty in and around the city and everyone has their favorite. For something unusual try the Thai Country Club. It has a very challenging and well maintained layout. Krungthep Kreetha Golf Course is only 30 minutes from the city center which makes it convenient if you are pressed for time. Lakewood Country Club to the east of the city virtually doubles as a botanical garden with more than 45 species of plants and more than 2,000 trees. The Alpine Golf Club is one of the most challenging courses in Thailand playing host to major PGA tournaments in Thailand and certainly lives up to its reputation.

Pattaya may have its detractors as a beach resort, but when it comes to golf it would be impossible to find fault with it. Spread across the provinces of Chonburi and Rayong is an incredible choice of venues. The Siam Country Club was the first course in the region and dates from 1968 when Pattaya was still little more than a fishing village. It still holds its own, especially after the 2006 remodeling. Laem Chabang International Country Club about 25 km from Pattaya is a luxury course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Nearer town is the Phoenix Golf Club. There are many, many more. Also within reach of Bangkok is Kanchanaburi. Situated on the banks of the River Kwai, next to a national park in the shadow of jungle clad mountains, not far from the Burma border, there are many courses in the most beautiful of tropical settings.

The Grand Garden Golf Club, Green World, Mission Hills Country Club, Nichigo Resort & Country Club, The River Kwai Golf Club and the Blue Sapphire Golf Club all have their own special qualities. Similarly rural with equally majestic settings, the mountainous north also boasts a number of very good courses. The Chiang Mai Green Valley Country Club set next to a beautiful lake is only 15 minutes from the Chiang Mai itself. Chiang Mai Highlands is right next to the mountains. The Chiang Mai-Lamphun Golf Club is an 18-hole championship course lying in a natural valley surrounded by rolling hills. The traditional architecture of the clubhouse and buildings give it a distinctively northern flavor.

It is no surprise that Phuket, with all its international luxury resorts, also boasts excellent facilities for golf. There are some stunning courses where the luminous blue of the nearby sea contrasts with the rich greens of the fairways. The Blue Canyon Country Club, the Phuket Country Club, the Laguna Phuket Golf Club and the Mission Hills Golf Resort are four of the best known providing outstanding facilities. Where ever you choose to play golf in Thailand it is usually possible to book a whole package with all facilities included which leaves you free to step onto the course soon after stepping off the plane.

Companies such as,, and can all arrange Thailand golf trips to suit any budget and preference.

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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Different Building Arrangements When Building a House in Phuket Thailand

If your idea of building a house in Thailand sounds like fun, this article on building a house in Thailand may help you. There are many facets to building a house from the building permit to the final construction. For the sake of keeping this not too long, we will assume you have already purchased you land and acquired a building permit.

There are several different building arrangements you can work out with builders in Phuket, Thailand. You can hire people to work for you and you pay them a daily wage. This pay as you go can work quite well but there are a few drawbacks. Usually the workers won't be moving at top productivity to stretch the job out longer. You may also find your costs can get out of control as you won't be able to calculate how long something will take. The other problem is you need to be around every day to make sure your not paying for people that are not showing up or not there at all.

Another variation of this theme is you for labor and buy your materials yourself. The foreman will give you a quote for the labor for whole job. Usually the builder will not include things like electric, pluming, doors and windows. You want to make sure what and what not is included in the price they give you. You also want to be able to pay them when they hit certain milestones during the construction process.

A good variation one of my friends does is pay his builder a daily wage times the number of people he has working on your site. So for example if the builder has ten people on the site he pays his builder about one hundred fifty percent going rate for his labors but the builder has to be responsible for them. The contractor makes his money on the markup difference on what he pays his people and what he charges my friend.

You can also hire people to small jobs by the meter on what the the Thais call "by the job". This means you pay them for the work they do. This is common in painting and rendering crews where they k now how long it will take them and you just buy the materials. The one thing you have to watch for here is they tend to waste materials when you hire them this way.

Paying the builder to do all the work is very common on the island also. I build a small bungalow this way about four years ago as a model unit. The one major thing to have to watch here is the builder will usually ask for a large down deposit and you will wait a long time for them to start your house. Many builders keep the deposits of unsuspecting farung and you never get your money back even if you take them to court and win. Never trust builders too much and always have a start and finish date on your contract.

The last way I like to talk about is hiring your own crew and doing the work yourself with Thai laborers. One way to do this is hire a foreman who has contacts in Issan and can get five to ten workers to come down on the bus to work on your housing project. You will have to pay transportation and have to build housing for them. When the project is finished, they will take the bus back home.

In summary, there are many ways you can go about hiring a builder or Thai people to build your house for you in Phuket, Thailand. You can hire your own, hire and pay by day and or pay as you go. You can choose to work with a builder or building company or hire your own and build your own way. Building a house in Phuket Thailand can be a rewarding experience if you have the time to try it.

Scott Riefler is an expert in dealing with Phuket Real Estate and finance related matters. He has written several informative articles on topics like mortgage, home refinancing, real estate loans and real estate insurance. He regularly contributes articles to web guides on real estate and home refinancing.

You can sign up for my newsletter at: Phuket apartments

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Adventure Travel In Thailand

If adrenaline is your thing then Thailand is a place where you can get your fix of adventure in graduated doses. Some would say that negotiating the Bangkok traffic on the way from the airport is adventure enough in itself, but if you want to put your experiences on a more organized footing there is no shortage of opportunity.

Most developed resort areas on the coast offer bungee jumping, para-gliding, Jet skiing and water skiing. So flinging yourself from great heights or being blasted in to the air or across water at great speed can be easily achieved.

Thailand also remains a veritable paradise for those who enjoy the world underwater, whether that’s diving, snorkeling or even submarining in Phuket.

It is also a country rich in wilderness areas of mountains, forests and waterfalls which makes trekking big business in the north of the country. The best season for trekking is between November and February when the weather is cool and the air is clear. Many operators in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son and Pai offer trekking tours. Often these will be run from guest houses and it’s worth asking around to find one that suits you. A trek usually lasts between three and five days and you will need good boots and a proper pack since the walking can be quite hard especially in the heat.

The guide will usually take you through ethnic villages of Lisu, Karen, Meo, Akha and Paduang. All these tribes are different in dress, language and culture and most migrated to the mountainous areas of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam within the last century from China. Also included in a trek will be some rafting and maybe some elephant riding.

If the gentle rafting on a trek is not adventurous enough for you, many operators offer the white water variety. Pai is the best place to go for this and the tours are run from mid June to January when the rainy season raises the height of the water levels.

When it comes to two wheeled travel Thailand offers some of the best touring and off road motorcycling in the world. The roads are excellent and pass through mountain scenery of breathtaking beauty. Infrastructure is good with plenty of guest houses and places to eat en route. You can either go on a tour or hire bikes on your own, Chiang Mai having by far the greatest variety on offer. It is important to be an experienced driver and this is doubly true for trail riding. Many operators run tours and to get the best from off-roading, or simply finding obscure routes, it is often better to go with a guide who knows the area.

For those who spurn engines then mountain biking is now really popular and there are many operators who run trips.

Whether on the lakes and rivers of the north or the Andaman Sea in the south Kayaking is available in most tourist friendly places where there is water. Tours are even run down the Mekong River. In the south Krabi and Phang Nga provinces offer spectacular scenery with luminous seas dotted with soaring limestone outcrops.

For those who want to get airborne there are a number of ways you can do it. Ballooning is offered both in Chiang Mai and Pattaya between October and March. The views in the North are better than on the coast.

Perhaps, whether it’s the sea, the mountains or the jungle, it is the wealth of natural beauty available in the national parks all over Thailand that make it so attractive to the outdoor enthusiast. From the heights of Doi Inthanon in the north to the maritime depths of Surin in the south there are 103 protected areas where you can enjoy an amazing variety of scenery and wildlife. Where ever you are in Thailand there is a wilderness of some sort near by.

Alex Smith maintains and manages the Cheap Thailand Travel website at

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Monday, 23 June 2008

Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

Khao Sok National Park in Thailand is, quite simply, nature at her best. Whether you're looking for a holiday full of adventure or one with plenty of time for relaxation, this stunning rainforest oasis will leave you with a lasting impression and a desire to return time and time again to this secret piece of paradise.

Here are just some of the reasons why you should consider Khao Sok, Thailand as your next holiday destination:

1. Superb Jungle Trekking Trails

Khao Sok National Park is one of the oldest living rainforests in the world. If you're looking for pristine hiking trails with stunning views, great caves, waterfalls, flora and fauna to explore, then Khao Sok, Thailand will not disappoint.

2. Chieow Laan Lake

Chieow Laan Lake, part of Khao Sok National Park, is 165 sq km
of breathtaking beauty and diversity of nature. A haven for
wildlife, including wild elephants, clouded leopards and even a
small number of tigers, the emerald green waters of the lake
reflect the imposing presence of the limestone karsts which
dominate this region of Thailand.

3. Floating Rafthouses

One of the best reasons to visit Khao Sok is to stay at one of Chieow Laan Lake's floating rafthouses. Featured on several travel shows, this unique style of accommodation will have you
spending the night floating on the gentle waters of the lake. With just the sounds of the jungle to lull you to sleep, this is one of the most amazing experiences you'll ever have.

4. Unique Flora & Fauna

Khao Sok National Park is an ancient rainforest full of unique flora and fauna including the giant Rafflesia flower, which blooms just once a year and grows to up to 80cm in diameter. In addition, the park is home to barking deer, tapir, Asiatic black bear and Malaysia sunbear.

5. Jungle Canopy Treehouse Accommodation

One of the most popular things to do in Khao Sok is to spend a night or two high up in a jungle canopy treehouse. Visitors to Khao Sok repeatedly comment on how magical this experience is
and rightly so. This is 'getting back to nature' in real style.

6. Adventure Galore

If it's adventure you're after, Khao Sok will not disappoint. Choose from day or overnight lake tours, explore the caves of the region, go elephant trekking, have fun canoeing down the Klong Sok River, or take to one of the many jungle trails. If your pace is a bit more leisurely, try a relaxing Thai massage, a guided boat trip or a gentle paddle down the river in an inner tube. Whatever your age, ability or interest, you'll find plenty to keep you happy in Khao Sok.

7. Special Interest Groups

Bird watching, wildlife spotting, canoeing, fishing, caving and more. Whatever your special interest, Khao Sok will keep you captivated.

Tempted by a holiday in Khao Sok? Try it - you won't be disappointed! Just make sure you pack your favourite camera or video before you leave, so you can show off your stunning photos to your friends and family back home.

Kris Gardener is Manager of Limestone Lake Rainforest Tours,Khao Sok, Thailand. She has been living and working in the KhaoSok area for over 7 years, first as a tour leader, then later asGeneral Manager of a boutique resort. Kris' husband, Aoo, haslived in Khao Sok all his life, is a TAT licenced guide and isowner/operator of Limestone Lake Rainforest Tours, a companyspecialising in unique tours and accommodation in the Khao Sokarea. If you want a fun & friendly holiday in Khao Sok, as wellas professional & personal service, we highly recommend LimestoneLake Rainforest Tours.

Copyright 2005 Kris Gardener. Please feel free to pass thisarticle on to your friends, or use it in your ezine ornewsletter. It's a shareware article.

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Cruising the Ocean in Pattaya

Thailand is known for many things but nothing is more beautiful than their oceans. Tourists are peppered all over Pattaya and Phuket's beaches. Thailand's sunlight, warm oceans, cheap food and accommodations make for a great vacation.

Cruising the oceans can be done very easily. You can either rent a boat for yourself and fish, relax, cruise or you can join with other tourists for a cheaper time.

Other ocean activities in Phuket include sailing and snorkeling. But there have been jellyfish attacks on tourists snorkeling around in Thailand so be careful how you are dressed and where you go. Just be sure that wherever you are, that there are plenty of others around so that you are not faced with any issues.

To rent the new models of products, brought to you by the local merchants, you should take an insider who is capable of helping you and speaking to them in their native Thai language. This is because no matter how much you try, they will rip you off by double because it is quite obvious you are a tourist.

Tourist cities are also areas prone to a lot of drugs and sex, so be advised to not participate in any illegal activities because as a foreigner, they will clean your bank account out before letting you free. John Mark Karr was one famous US resident arrested in Bangkok for admitting to being the murderer in a famous case in the United States but was later returned free due to a lack of evidence.

Americans performing in illegal activities can still be charged in the United States as per latest rules set forth by the Bush administration.

To get the cheapest plane tickets, go to cheap asian flight tickets.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Magha Puja Day In Thailand

Magha Puja Day is celebrated on a full moon day of the third lunar month which invariably falls in the last week of February or beginning of March. In general, most Buddhists are not aware of the significance of Magha Puja Day. As a result, the number of people in the ceremony may be less than those at Visakha Puja or Asanha Puja Days. However, Magha Puja Day carries an equal meaning and importance to all Buddhists.

Magha Puja Day marks four events that took place during the lifetime of Lord Buddha. These events are:

1. 1250 Buddhist monks from different places came to pay homage to Lord Buddha at Valuwan Vihara in Rajgaha, the capital of Magaha State. Each monk came on his own initiative without prior notification.

2. All monks were enlightened monks

3. All 1250 monks had been individually ordained by Lord Buddha

4. They assembled on the full moon day of the third lunar month

In the evening of that day, Lord Buddha gave the assembled monks a discourse, laying down the principles of his teachings and summarized into three acts – to do good, to abstain from bad action and to purify the mind.

There is no indication as to when the Magha Puja ceremony actually took place. However, King Rama IV ordered the royal Magha Puja ceremony to be performed in the Emerald Buddha Temple in 1851. Later the ceremony gained popularity and was performed through out the kingdom. In Thailand, the day is public holiday so that people from all walks of life can participate in the religious activities.

In the Emerald Buddha Temple, the king of Thailand presides over the religious ceremony and leads a candle lit procession within the temple’s compound. This procession take place at 8:00 p.m. in Bangkok and is led by Buddhist monks.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Songkhla Hotels - Taking Pride In Its Hospitality

Songkhla is the provincial capital of Songkhla Province located in south Thailand bordering the state of Kedah in Malaysia. This city is placed between the Gulf of Thailand and the Songkhla Lake at a distance of about 950 km south of Bangkok. The province boasts of many natural attractions like beaches, waterfalls, parks and so on. Surrounded by beautiful beaches, this city is popularly known as 'the great city on two seas'. This city can be reached easily via government buses that run on regular basis to/from Bangkok. These air-conditioned buses runs daily and covers a distance of about 984 km in 12 and half hours. Direct buses are also available from Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Hatyai. There are also many minivans that offer access to this city. Songhkla has emerged as a favorite tourist hot spot for its awesome beaches and natural wonders. This place receive many tourists who stay here for a few days before heading for places like Hat Yai. There are a number of good Hotels in Songkhla for the guests to spend their vacations at this destination.

Various attractions to see here include Samila beach and its famous golden mermaid statue, Tang Kuan Hill, City Pillar Shrine, Pathammarong Museum, and Songkhla National Museum, and Songkhla Zoo amongst others. For the shoppers the most popular thing to buy here is a mini replica of the golden mermaid statue. For food and beverage, you can visit places like markets in front of Songkhla post office, Phatthalung road, Suan Thaokae market, Wachira market and so on.

Songkhla receives a fair number of tourists all throughout the year. To accommodate these guests there are a host of hotels and resorts offering luxury accommodations as well as budget stays. The Hotels in Songkhla are of an extensive variety and offer comfortable stay for all budgets and preferences. The city it is the proud home of various hotels, resorts and guest houses which ensures the guests with a comfortable stay. Rajamangala Pavilion Beach Resort and Pavilion Hotel are two popular hotels in Songkhla. To book a hotel in Songkhla, you can take the help of online Internet reservation facility. You can directly visit the official website of the hotel or use any other reliable website for booking.

For more details on the Songkhla Hotels you can log on to, which gives a complete guide on the hotels and other information in Songkhla. So look no further! Reserve your hotel now and bag the best hotels deal with Asiarooms.

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Investing in Pattaya Condos

As you all know, Thailand is a country with wonderful beaches that are visited by people not only for sunbathing but they are used for diving as well. Besides in Thailand you can see gorgeous girls dancing traditional Thai dances, wearing colorful costumes and moving their hands and fingers in a fascinating way. Moreover, Thailand is the paradise of tropical fruit and the home of a multitude of mysteries related to the invisible world of the spirits. But nowadays, Thailand in general and Pattaya especially is an opportunity for those who want to purchase a condo. This is a great opportunity especially for foreigners who come to live in Pattaya, because one of the local laws concerning foreigners restricts the right for them to own a land in the area. On the other hand it is beneficial for local people too, to get a condo, because Pattaya is situated not far from Bangkok and people living in the capital can afford to purchase a condo in Pattaya as a weekend or holiday destination.

Pattaya condos are in general located on the beach, which is a great attraction for any solar human being who can imagine that in the morning instead of having a shower in the bathroom rushes into the sea and lets his or her body caressed by friendly or rough waves. Besides Pattaya beach condos are the dream of every surf addict who must not spend a lot of time in order to reach his or her hobby destination. To continue with, luxury condos in Pattaya are destined to people who spend a lot of time in the crowd and pollution of big cities, whom are businessmen, artists or politicians and who want to relax for a weekend far from the crowd. And what can be more comforting for any tired person than to watch the sea and to daydream of its colors and mysteries, listening to the waves' music and getting rid of stress.

Condos in Pattaya can be as well a source of business because you can purchase an old condo and you can invest in its renovation and then you can sell it at a higher price, therefore condos are as well a trading opportunity.

You can find advertisements for condos everywhere, in local newspapers or online and you can take advantages of our services as well, as our professionals can offer you the best advice concerning condo purchasing in Pattaya.

You all know that renovating a house or a condo can be big deal. But it can change into an interesting game if you ask help from our experts, who can offer you the latest information related to interior design, style and comfort.

We can let you know that the most luxurious condos are built according to the latest trends in architecture, using modern materials like glass and stainless steel, and combining them with lights and shadows and unique natural beauties. If you want a higher building you can have it and imagine that you live high up in the sky, but you have the opportunity to admire the sea and the reflection of the sunshine upon its waves. It is just wonderful!

Ken Edwards is a writer of real estate articles for Pattaya Beach Property, where you can find Condos for rent and sale. Find your Pattaya Property with a Pattaya Beach Property agent.

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Friday, 20 June 2008

The Taste Of Thai Food

Thai food offers a variety of flavors and taste. Almost all Thai food is made with the subtle mixture of herbs and spices. Thus, Thai food is widely known for being hot and spicy.

A basic Thai meal includes the following: the staple is rice which is accompanied by a number of dishes. There will be a soup, a curry, a steamed or fried dish, a salad and one or more basic sauces. While breakfast includes fresh fruits and a variety of traditional sweets.

Thai food differs from region to region. In the central region people prefer mostly steamed food, which includes fresh water fish and fresh vegetables. Thai food like noodles is extremely popular in Bangkok and one can see tourists enjoying their fare at road side eateries. In the northern region people prefer milder food when compared with other regions of Thailand. The influence of neighboring Burma is more in case of food habits in northern Thailand. Most dishes are prepare using tamarind, turmeric and ginger.

In the southern region coconut plays a predominant role. Coconut is used in almost all the dishes. The southern people use coconut in various ways. They use coconut milk, oil and meat. The coconut milk is used to temper the heat of chili laced soups and it is also used in curries. The coconut oil is used for frying and they use the meat of coconut for garnishing and decorating food items and this gives an added taste to the food.

In ancient days, Thais used to eat the food with their bare handsbut now due modernization and influences of western countries, people use forks and spoon to eat rice and chopsticks are used to eat noodles.

Damnoen Saduak, Colorful Floating Market Activities in Bangkok, Thailand

According to floating market tour package, offered by thaifly website, while I am looking for Floating market program for incoming Saturday with the long term holiday period, this website offers me very nice included additional activities and money worth. Guide leader informs that there are a few Floating Markets around Bangkok. Most of them is commercialized imitation of Damnoen Saduak.

" What does 'Damnoen Saduak' mean? This Thai word - pronounced Damnoen-Saduak - means "Conveniently walk"

Damnoen-Walk and Saduak- Convenience

What is place, you may be having a question in mind, don't you worry; let me introduce you a little bit about this famous place.

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is located at Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi Province, about 105 kms from Bangkok. According to history around

1866 King Rama IV ordered that a 32 kms long canal be dug at Damnoen Saduak. This canal would connect the Mae Klong River with the Tacheen River.

The excellent quality soil beside the canal is very fertile and suitable for growing many kinds of fruits and vegetables. The area is famous for Malacca grape, Chinese grapefruit, mangoes, bananas, and coconut.

While Thailand have several Floating markets, not far away from downtown (around 100 Kms. from Bangkok), this floating market is most referring for anyone visited and most lively place, it famous with various species of fruits. The market is over 100 years old as history above and still mostly not changed environment, while the traditional Thai style houses and paddle boat will bring you back to wonder history.

Even someone who has never been to Thailand might see some posters or postcards of floating market, that the most photogenic scenery you can find in Gift shop throughout Thailand, even at the airport. I don't know how much you paid for but I can buy a dozen pictures for 100 Baht. What a surprise!, However if you have digital, you can take a photo as nice as you desire and make a unique style of your postcard or poster.

You will see all over paddle boats along the Canal that I can estimate around a hundred (may be thousand). Boatload with various kinds of foods and local fruits, you can order while it was moving. The color of fresh fruit will cause you not to be able to stand or just take a picture. On this situation, you may lose some money for them.

While the event that you would like to see other place or looking for beautiful corner to take a photo, you can rent a water taxi (long tail boat) at 300 Baht, for an hour, you might met the horrendous traffic there like in downtown of Bangkok. Everything on-sale here, On this funny participate, you can have Thai style snack or breakfast on boat or beside of canal, Fruits, snacks, hats, T-shirts, vegetables, silk dress, toys, handicraft and souvenir, its there and cheap.

On your next vacation trip, if you plan to Bangkok, Thailand, I recommend you kindly get more information about Thailand from TAT website that will give you more useful recommendation for your wonderful trip.

To learn more, looking for more nice unique of travel packages, visit here:

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Thursday, 19 June 2008

Thailand Buddhist Temples

The vast majority of people in Thailand are Buddhists for whom the temple plays an important role in the spiritual wellbeing of individuals and the community. There are over 31,200 Buddhist temples spread around Thailand. In Thai they are called wat. They are grouped into two main groups: temples which are permitted to carry out religious functions and those which are used only for living quarters for monks.

Wherever you happen to find yourself in Thailand you'll never be too far from a temple where you can go to offer your prayers and "make merit" even if you aren't Buddhist. Although all Buddhist temples share similar beautiful characteristics, there are some that are architecturally more magnificent and historically significant.

Temples are classified into two main categories: Royal Temples and Common Temples. The Royal Temples were either built by royalty or came under their sponsorship. In Thailand, there are about 200 Royal Temples though there are only six of the highest grade.

With its beautiful temples, rich culture and history, great weather, fine food and world-renowned beaches, Thailand is visited by approximately seven million visitors each year. It is a country of approximately sixty million people, with a land area equivalent to that of France. It is undergoing a remarkable economic expansion, with growth rates of approximately 8%-10 % each year. That's why Thailand continues to enter the sights of Thailand property investors looking for new opportunities away from the traditional European and Caribbean markets. The two key drivers behind the Thai property market are the domestic economic growth and tourism, and the expectation is that developments in both areas will contribute to a continuing upward trend in property prices. People buy property in Thailand for a number of reasons, from capital investments, to holiday rentals (with a long-term view of capital appreciation), to personal use as a holiday or retirement home.

Tourists and other foreigners should know some basic information before visiting Thailand and especially its temples. Thailand is a Buddhist country where Buddha images are held secret. Sacrilegious acts are punishable by imprisonment even if committed by foreign visitors. Visitors to temples should ensure that they are suitably dressed - no shorts or sing lets and ladies should also cover their arms. Shoes should be removed before entering any building and it would be polite to sit quietly when in the main temple buildings.

When visiting a temple it is polite to seek the permission of the Abbott before taking photographs or entering other than the main area. This can be done by approaching a monk or one of the many helpers found in the temple grounds. Normally permission is granted without seeing the Abbott, but your show of respect by asking, will be returned. If visiting popular temples, such as Wat Phra Kaeo in the Grand Palace grounds, there is no need to seek any permission, but you should look out for signs indicating where photography is forbidden.

Wat Phra Kaeo temple is situated in the capital city of Bangkok and is more commonly known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha because it houses a small two foot jade statue of Buddha which rests upon a huge golden alter. The temple is very elaborately decorated with a rich array of colours that are sure to astonish and dazzle all visitors. This Buddhist temple is also significant in that it is the official royal chapel where the revered Thai royal family goes to perform their religious ceremonies. Phra Kaeo temple is situates inside the grounds of the Royal Palace and aside from the decorations of the actual building is home to some fascinating paintings and sculptures.
Wat Traimit, Temple of the Gold Buddha- the most amazing feature of this temple is the fact that the 3 meter tall Buddha image is made up of 5.5 tons of solid gold. It was made about 700 years ago in the Sukhothai period but the image was covered in plaster in fear of the invading Burmese. It was rediscovered about 40 years ago.

Besides these one should also visit the Wat Pho (Wat Phra Chetuphon or Temple of Reclining Buddha) Wat Suthat , Wat Ratchabophit, Wat Ratchanatdaram , Wat Thepthidaram , Wat Saket (The Golden Mount) , Wat Mahathat and the Wat Rakhangkositaram.

Researcher of international property investment hot spots and considering Thailand as emerging property market. You can find more Articles and news about Thailand Property in the main site.

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Travel to Krabi and Phi Phi Islands - Amazing Thailand Attractions

Krabi is a province of Thailand located in the southern area and has fantastic beaches along the shore plus many wonderful islands. You just can't imagine how beautiful they are. Phi Phi Islands is one of the very famous spots in Krabi that travelers can't miss.

About the weather in Krabi province, there are only two seasons in this region, which is different from other parts of Thailand. The summer season lasts from January to April, and the rainy season lasts from May to December. The temperature is between 16.9 and 37.3 degree Celsius throughout the year.

You can get to Krabi by car or by plane. If you drive there from Bangkok, you go along the highway number 4 through many provinces. The overall distance is approximately 946 kilometers. If you go to Krabi from Phuket, you can use highway number 402 connected to highway number 4 through Pangnga province and Krabi province. The total distance is approximately 185 kilometers. Also, the public transportation companies provide air-conditioned buses for people everyday from Bangkok and Phuket. If you decide to go there by plane from Bangkok airport, it takes about 1 hour and a half to Krabi province.

Diving at Krabi Sea is a very exciting activity that you can't miss. Scuba diving is very popular there. Many diving service companies provide the travelers boat services from Phuket and Phi Phi Don Island. Some famous diving spots are around Phi Phi Islands and King Cruiser shipwreck. Around Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le Islands, there are many diving spots such as Nui beach, Maya beach, and sea caves. You may rent a small boat called Rue Hang Yao from Phi Phi Don Island to these spots. Bidah Islands and Ha Islands (Ha means five) are also popular diving spots.

Phi Phi Islands is one of the famous islands in Thailand located in Krabi province. The word "Phi Phi" comes from a tree named "Pi-a-pee." In 1983, the government of Thailand announced that Phi Phi Islands became a member of Nopparatthara - Phi Phi Islands national park. This park includes six islands which are Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Le, Bidah Nok, Bidah Nai, Yung and Phai Islands. The distance between Krabi beach and Phi Phi Islands is approximately 42 kilometers.

Lanta Islands is one of the most amazing spots in Krabi. It is located in the far south of the province. In the past, villagers called this islands "Poo-Lao-Sa-Tak" which means the islands with long beaches. Some famous islands are Lanta Yai Islands, Ngai Island, Rok Nai Island and Rok Nok Island. There are a lot of resorts and hotels on the islands. You can go to Lanta Islands from Krabi beach or Phi Phi Islands.

Ao Nang is a place that has wonderful scenario with beautiful beaches such as Rai Le Beach, Tam Pra Nang Beach and Nam Mao Beach. These three beaches cannot be reached by car because they are surrounded by mountains. You can go there by boat from Ao Nang.

You can read more about Krabi at my web blog;

The author owns a webblog about traveling in Thailand, listed below
Chiang Mai -
Samui and Pa-ngan Islands -
Please visit!

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Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Thailand Scuba Diving - When And Where To Go

Thailand is famous for its scuba diving, where warm, calm waters and an abundance of incredible marine life makes for spectacular dives. Thailand's diving is also very cheap compared to diving in Europe and the Caribbean, although for safety's sake care must be taken to use a reputable dive operator.

To get the most out of diving in Thailand, you need to know when and where to go. Not all of Thailand's dive sites are available all year round, so it pays to do a bit of planning.

Similan Islands

The Similan Islands are widely regarded as one of the Top 10 Dive Destinations. They are a small group of uninhabited islands in the Andaman Sea, just off the western Thai coast. The Similans are usually visited by liveaboard boats from Phuket and Khao Lak, where divers eat sleep and dive on the boat for several days. Usually the liveaboard lasts 4 days / 4 nights and lets the divers get 14 dives.

The Similans are an ideal place to learn to dive, as taking a liveaboard trip will let a new diver be able to have lots of practice by doing so many dives. It's important to be taught by a reputable liveaboard operator with full PADI certification and experienced instructors. Be sure to ask your operator about the newness of their scuba equipment and their staff qualifications.

The Similan Islands are only open to divers from October to May each year. The monsoon season arrives during June to September and makes the seas too rough for safe diving.

Hin Daeng / Koh Bida / Phi Phi / Koh Ha

This is a group of dive sites further south in the Andaman Sea from the Similan Islands and accessible from Phuket, Krabi, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. They are usually visited on daytrips from these destinations, although there a couple of liveaboards who visit them. Koh Lanta in particular is a beautiful Thai island that is not as busy or expensive as Koh Phi Phi.

Hin Daeng and Koh Ha are also only open from October to May each year. Koh Bida and Phi Phi have a few reefs that are open all year round if you are visiting Koh Phi Phi.

Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a tiny island on the other, eastern coast of Thailand, above Koh Phangan, home of the Full Moon Parties. Koh Tao is a four hour ferry ride from Surat Thani on the mainland. Koh Tao is a burgeoning island for divers and also for chilled out escape - while popular, Koh Tao remains quite uncrowded.

There are lots of dive shops here that offer diving daytrips - there are very few scheduled liveaboards, although they do occasionally happen. The diving around Koh Tao is not considered as good as the Similans or Hin Daeng, but on its day it can be fantastic.

Koh Tao is also the most popular place to learn to dive in all of Asia Pacific, except for Cairns in Australia. If you want to learn to dive but don't want to commit to doing a liveaboard, Koh Tao is a great place to learn and also enjoy the laid back party scene as well.

Koh Tao's monsoon season lasts from September to December - it's still possible to dive during this time but the weather can be pretty rough.

Best Times Of The Year To Dive Thailand
  • Similan Islands and Hin Daeng / Koh Ha -- October to May

  • Koh Tao - January to September

Planning Your Thailand Diving Trip

When choosing your Thailand diving trip, think about what time of year you can go and then decide if you want to do a liveaboard trip or if you'd prefer to do daytrips and return to a hotel each evening. Then ask Thailand dive operators about what trips and dive packages are available - sometimes you can get real bargains. The dive operator can also give you the best advice of how to get from Bangkok to your preferred dive destination.

Chris Mitchell is a scuba diving journalist based in Bangkok, Thailand. He manages the Thailand diving websites, and

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