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Surin Travel Guide 1.8
Surin City was formerly known as Mueang ThiVillage, but was renamed in honor of the provincial governor, LuangSurin Phakdi, appointed by H.M. King Rama I. The city was renamedin 1786, and is the provincial capital. The arrival of the railroadin 1922 ended the relative isolation of Surin from the rest of thecountry, and opened up this wonderful province for exploration.The weather in Surin is relatively typical of the region, withpeak temperatures nearing 40 degrees C in April to May, and a rainyseason beginning in May and peaking in September. The best times tovisit are from October until March.Surin has many attractions, but the most excitement centersaround elephants. Surin is home to the Surin Elephant Village,where the mahouts live closely with their charges, almost likefamily. This goes hand-in-hand with the biggest event of the yearin Surin, the Surin Elephant Round Up.The Round Up is held in the 3rd week of November annually, butif you’re interested, book tickets early for the festival and foraccommodation, as tickets for both get steadily more expensive andhard to find as the date approaches. During the festival, you willsee elephants in parades, playing football, tug-of-war, andreenacting famous battles from years past. The festival is based onthe long-standing reputation of the Surin elephant trainers,including the founder of the city, a legendary master of warelephants.On the border with Cambodia, you will also find the Chong Chomcheckpoint border market. The open air market hosts a wide varietyof souvenir-worthy items, as well as daily essentials for thelocals.If Khmer ruins are on your to-do list, be sure to see PhanomRung, the largest example of Khmer architecture in Thailand. Thesite is built on top of a dormant volcano, and the elevationprovides excellent views of the surrounding countryside. Thetemple, dedicated to Shiva, was built in the 12th century, but thesite itself was considered sacred ground long before that. Thecarvings on display at Phanom Rung are exemplary.Restaurants are easy to find in Surin. For Euro-centric fare,stop in at Farang Connection. The menu offers a wide selection ofimported and domestic beers. Breakfasts are a specialty and run thegamut from light (eggs, toast, and coffee) to the extravagant (theenormous “Man Sized” English breakfast – good luck finishing itall!). Oasis is a Norwegian owned eatery with an extensive pizzamenu to complement their Norwegian and Thai main dishes. For localcuisine, try Sumrab Tornkruang or Larn Chang.Nightlife can be a little easier to find in Surin, as comparedto some of the other cities in Isaan. The restaurants mentionedabove, Farang Connection and Oasis, are a great place to start, orto stay for that matter. Heading out from these establishments,check out the variety of local clubs and karaoke bars. Tawan Daengcomes highly recommended, with an excellent local band. Saren Pubis the current spot for the younger, upwardly mobile local set.Enjoy!
Phnom Penh Travel Guide 1.3
The once regal and elegant ‘Paris of theEast’, Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia’s beauty may haveall but disappeared in the last few decades, but evidence of arebirth is everywhere.The evocative skyline of this mysterious city, basks in gloryalong the banks of the great Mekong River. Flashes of color,burning intrigue and romance, flutter against an edgy backdrop ofthe reverberating street life, the ever present buzz of motorbikesfill the air, along with the heady scent of spices and fare fromthe busy market stalls.The haunting combination of opulence alongside tremendouspoverty, never fails to overwhelm, nor captivate your fullestattention. A scintillating combination of pandemonium and charisma,Cambodia will grab your heart and soul and never let go.
Ho Chi Minh City 1.4
The evocative Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, asit is more colloquially remembered and still referred to as, is ona fast track to the front of the queue in the running to become oneof the most bustling metropolis in all of Asia. With the pulsatingenergy, like an Asian New York City, the human experience is bothelectric and humbling at the same time. Skyscraper mall strips runalong ancient twisted alleyways, where within a few steps, you feelas if you may have wondered into another dimension. The sights andsounds of ancient Saigon are alive and well in the markets full ofhustle and the buzz of motorbikes and voices amidst the heavyfragrance of spices and perfumes. Yet, around the corner be carefulnot to walk smack bang into the front entrance of one of theworld’s finest hotels. Ho Chi Minh City is an enigma that happilyholds hands with the magnetism of ancient Saigon, to forge anVietnamese experience like no other.
Korat Travel Guide 1.8
Nakhon Ratchasima, commonly known as Korat, isan industrial, yet pleasant city located on the Korat Plateau.Traditionally regarded as the boundary point between the Lao andSiamese territories, it is now considered to be the gateway to theIssan region. It also houses the fifth-largest population inThailand.At around 250 kilometers (160 miles) from Bangkok and directlylinked by both train and highway, it functions as a frequentstop-off point on the way to northeastern Thailand and Laos beyond.It was first established during the late 1600s when King Narai ofAyutthaya built the city as a defense against potential threats ofattack from the regions Laotian and Khmer neighbors.While the city and greater metropolitan area are a sprawlingurban center of nearly half a million inhabitants, Korat issurrounded by wide agricultural areas, specializing primarily inrice paddies and currently expanding into crops like sugar cane orcassava. The region has not yet created its identity as a primetourism destination, but offers a variety of activities and sights,plenty of charm and low- end prices to encourage its image as atravel destination.In the 1970s during the Vietnam war, Korat served as the homebase for the Royal Thai Air Force, as well as constituents of boththe United States Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.While the US and New Zealand Air Force troops have long since leftand the Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base has been replaced by theNakhon Ratchasima Airport in functions of civil transportation, youcan still explore the Vietnam War era’s history with a visit to thebase.What may be of greater interest, however, are the manyarchitectural and cultural wonders able to be found in and aroundKorat. A traveler could spend days enthralled by the highly-intactruins of Phimai Historical Park, perusing a variety of religiousicons and sites, shopping at the expansive Klang PlazaChomsurangyat shopping center, or even relaxing poolside at thelocal Waterslide Park with its Olympic-sized swimming pool.Korat also offers a whole range of accommodation options,ranging from budget friendly to luxury suites. Korat may not yet bea major tourist destination but its hotels are all well facilitatedand every traveler should find something to their taste andpocket.While the city is fairly sizeable, getting to and from it, aswell as around it, is a relatively easy task. Inside Korat, you cantravel via tuk-tuk, motorbike taxi (a half-motorbike, half-tuk-tukhybrid), regular taxi, bicycle rickshaw (also known as samlor), orsongtaew, the most popular form of transportation, which comes inthe form of a pickup truck converted into a minibus. Getting intoKorat is easy by bus or train, since it lies along the major routesfor both, although reaching it by plane still a travel option inits relative infancy, with daily flights between Bangkok and Koratand only weekly flights to other major cities like Phuket or ChiangMai.
Laos Travel Guide 1.4
Asian Trails set up its office in Laos in 2001with only a handful of people and formed a stable joint venturewith a Lao partner in 2007. In the last few years, Asian TrailsLaos has been successfully operating and growing. The companycurrently employs 49 staff with one office in Luang Prabang for alloperations in the north of the country, and one office in Pakse,which takes care of all operations in the south of Laos. We arealso one of the few operators in the country which is able tohandle demanding MICE and VIP requests.PWe hope you enjoy our Android Mobile Application to Laos.
Indonesia Travel Guide 1.4
Asian Trails Indonesia started operations in2000 and in the last decade, it has become a well-establishedDestination Management Company offering services in Indonesia. Withmore than 70 employees, we operate a wide range of excursions andround trips and offer cruises, flights or beach extensions in allmajor tourism destinations of our country.Our Indonesia Travel Guide includes a Travel Guide on Bali,Lombok, Jakarta and Yogyakarta.
Siem Reap Travel Guide 1.4
With the heartbeat of Siem Reap being theAngkor Archeological Park, this once humble Cambodian village usedto enjoy its place in the sun as the premier playground for therich and famous in the 60’s. Now, some decades later, with a tidalwave of tourists pouring into the hugely popular destination everyday, things have seriously changed. With more holidayaccommodation, splashy hotels and guesthouses than temples, thisvibrant and dynamic region has barely had a chance to catch itsbreath.
Cambodia Travel Guide 1.4
Please download our Cambodia TravelGuide,produced by Asian Trails Cambodia. We offer the latesttravelinformation on Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and general informationonCambodia. You can also book a hotel, an excursion tour oratransfer within Cambodia.
Chiang Mai Travel Guide 1.3
Thailand doesn’t only need to be aboutbeachesand nightlife; Chiang Mai, the cultural centre of the northof thecountry, is so much more. Situated on the banks of the Pingriver,at the foot of the Doi Pui mountain, Chiang Mai is surroundedbyhills and mountains covered in dense teakwood forests,wherewoodcutters will still use working elephants to move andtransportheavy tree trunks.When approaching the city from the air (there areregularconnecting flights from Bangkok at very reasonable rates)thegolden roof of the Wat Prathat temple on top of the Doi Suthepholymountain are among the first things that catch the eye, and asightthat is likely to be remembered for a long time.However, there are ways of approaching Chiang Mai and seeevenmore - much more in fact, as the journey lasts some eight hours–and that is by train. Using the local buses is notrecommended;roads are narrow and traffic unruly. Once safelyarrived in thecity, you can choose to explore it on foot, as thecity centre isquite compact, or to go in local style, either inso-calledTuk-Tuks, a kind of motor-powered rickshaw, or bySongthaew, anopen pick-up truck with seats. Seasoned travellersadvise givingpreference to the Tuk-tuks.This 700-year old city, which is also called ‘The rose ofthenorth’, is still steeped in traditional Thai ways and customsandoffers a wealth of experience to the traveller.Inhabited by a colourful mixture of northern mountain tribesandthe northern Thais, or kon mueang, which consider themselves tobethe ‘true’ Thais; it has retained much of their cultural valuesandtraditions across the centuries. The friendliness in this cityislegendary, and as a visitor you could not wish for more gentleandpolite hosts.Although Chiang Mai is the second largest city in ThailandafterBangkok, it only has about 5% of Bangkok’s population, makingit anideal escape from the busy hustle and bustle of thecapital.Despite the unavoidable modernisation of recent years,thecharming and laidback city provides plenty of tranquil spotsandliterally hundreds of splendid teakwood temples, a wealthofunspoilt tradition and a multitude of other sights such as amoatand bustling street markets.As a result, Chiang Mai is not only popular among tourists,butalso among the Thai themselves, who in summer seek refuge fromthesweltering heat of the south. There are also highlyrecreationalhot springs in San Kampaeng, only 45 minutes fromChiang Mai, whichoffer a unique bathing experience and recreationalhuts for theperfect relaxation.There is also plenty of excellent shopping to engage in:ChiangMai lives up to its reputation as the Thai centre oftraditionalhandicraft and art and there are high-class silk, wool,silver andpottery products to buy and to admire.Even the more adventurous tourist will find plenty to keepyoubusy, from adventure trips to the national parks, waterfallsandelephant riding to river rafting and trekking in the mountainstothe north of the city.
VIP Jets Ltd 1.4
VIP Jets Ltd., in cooperation withBangkokAviation Center Co., Ltd. are pleased to provide you andyourguests superior air travel in our new Cessna Citation MustangC-510 Jet. The aircraft is based at Don Muang Intl. Airport.Enjoycomfortable, efficient, on-time flights to anywhere in Asia.With VIP Jets there are no long waiting lines. No extrachargefor baggage. No extended waiting for security checks. VIPJets willget you where you want to be, at the time you want to bethereeasily and smoothly. You set the schedule.Our Cessna Citation Mustang aircraft provides a comfortableridefor up to 4 passengers, anywhere within Asia. You areguaranteed asmooth flight easily avoiding bad weather with theonboard avionicsand a maximum ceiling of 12,497 m (41,000 ft).Although theaircraft is certified for one pilot operation, WEALWAYS FLY WITHTWO PILOTS. The aircraft has a range of 1,100nautical miles,cruising at 340 knots (630 km/h).We are available at one day's notice for most flightswithinAsia. All flights are subject to approval of overflight andlandingpermission by the relevant authorities and at times thismayrequire several days to process. Therefore, early advance noticeonplanned flights is greatly appreciated when possible.A la carte trips are calculated at a price of USD 2,500.-perflight hour, with a minimum charge of two hours per day andanovernight fee of USD 500.- for crew accommodation, extrachargesfor servicing at the destination, landing fees, specialpermitsetc.
Rayong Travel Guide 1.8
Rayong province is situated to the North oftheGulf of Thailand, bordered by Chon Buri and Chantaburi. Itconsistsmainly of low coastal plains, with hills to the North, andisincorporates several islands which sit peacefully in theGulf,including Ko Sanet, Ko Mun and Ko Kodi, all populartouristdestinations which have experienced a rapid development overrecentdecades.Rayong City is the capital of the province, and boastsapopulation of around 55 thousand. Its main industry is fishing,andit is the main producer of Thailand’s fish sauce, whilst alsobeinga centre for the automotive and chemical industries.Rayong has origins in antiquity. Back in 1500 in the BuddhistErathe Khmer settled the area. Thailand was in a constant stateofdefending itself against the Burmese army. The oldcapital,Ayutthaya was burned by invading soldiers in 2309 BE. Therulingking at the time Praya Vajiraprakan, fled south with hisentourageand supporters.Later, during his journey to Chantaburi in the east, he madeastop at Rayong to gather reinforcements. He was given agreatwelcome by the citizens of Rayong who conferred on him thetitle ofPhra Chao Taksin or the King of Thonburi.With a bolstered army and naval force, PrayaVajiraprakanreturned to Ayutthaya where he was successful inregainingindependence. The landmark victory was marked byconstructing a newcapital city at Thonburi. The people of Rayonghad their owncommemoration of the victory, building a shrine to theking’smemory which still attracts devotees every day, centurieson.It was during the Ayutthaya era that the oldest Buddhisttempleof Rayong was built, and still houses a huge statue of arecliningBuddha, which is no less than 12 metres long.There is other, more recent military history that makes upthestory of Rayong. During the Vietnam War, Sattahip was used asanAmerican base and the forces enjoyed the region fortheirrecreational and relaxation time when not fighting. Theydidn’tleave much of a mark on Rayong but it led to the growth ofmodernPattaya.Another landmark of Thai history at Rayong is the statueofSunthorn Phu. One of Thailand’s most revered and celebratedpoets,he wrote what is adjudged to be the finest example ofThailiterature in Rayong 200 years ago during the Ratanakosinera.Despite this colourful history, however, most travellersspendlittle time in the city, but will instead take the chancetoexplore the wider province’s rich geography, or hop on a busandhead straight for Pan Phe, the port. From here you can takefurthertransport along the coast to small and unsophisticatedresort townsincluding Hat Mae Rampeung, Laem Mae Phim, Hat SaiThong and LaemCharoen. Ferries from nearby Ban Phe take visitors toprivateresorts on the secluded islands of Ko Man Klang and Ko ManNok, aswell as the more popular tourist islands.The weather is consistently all year round, only falling below80degrees around December and January, and rising to its hottestpointaround May. Rainfall is at its most likely in September.
Chiang Rai Travel Guide 1.8
Chiang Rai Province is thenorthernmostprovince of Thailand. As the province is at the verytop ofThailand, it borders Myanmar and Laos. The close proximity tothesecountries has allowed the cultures to influence the provinceofChiang Rai.The province is average sized and is home toapproximately1,130,000 citizens. There are an abundance ofdifferent people fromthe different cultures from the surroundingcountries, and the restof Thailand obviously. The provincialcapital, also named ChiangRai is a honey pot of mixed races andmixed language citizens.Arriving by plane really is a joy whenflying into the nearestairport to Chiang Rai. ‘Mae Fah Luang-ChiangInternational Airport’is only 8km from the city centre, so reallyisn’t far. Flights areavailable from all parts of Thailand.The Mekong river, although not the biggest river, runsthroughthe centre of the provincial capital, and is home tomanyhill-tribes along its banks. The Mekong links to other riverssuchas the Mae Rim Valley River and acts as a carrier river. It hasanamazing and fascinating mix of colours that variesbetweenlocations. Chiang Rai city lies 565 metres (1885 feet) abovesealevel in a large fertile valley. Along the valley there’sanabundance of wildlife and vegetation of all different kinds.Theriver banks are lined with trees. The cool refreshing climate isafavourite of local Thai people and of world travellers alike.There is a very famous and popular night market with amoresubdued atmosphere than that of the bustling city centre oftheprovincial capital and the other cities and towns in ChiangRaiProvince. Surprisingly, the pollution levels around the nighttimemarket are very low, some of the lowest levels in the wholeofThailand in fact. Local sellers are given special precedence inthemarket to sell their wares to the weary travellers. The marketisnot for from the city centre of Chiang Rai, and if you don’twantto walk you can always take a ride on a local form oftransport,such as the Tuk-Tuk.Hill tribe fabrics, beads, needlework, and silver dominatesthecity and whole province of Chiang Rai. There are many foodcourtsin Chiang Rai city, selling a number of northern Thai dishes,andAsian dishes. Day time and night time snacks are available. Or,youcan go into one of many pubs and just relax, enjoy the city,andpeople watch.Local Thai people and expats really are friendly and welcominginChiang Rai. The Thai people will show you their legendary charmandwill always be there for you, just to have a chat with, or tohelpyou if you are in need of it.There are many adventure and health resorts in the provinceofChiang Rai. You can take a relaxing break to forget the worldandyour problems at home, or you can take an adventure break,takingelephant treks along the rivers and in the forests.
Sakon Nakhon Travel Guide 1.8
The province of Sakon Nakhon liesinnortheastern Thailand’s Isaan region, and is in the areaoncecontrolled by the Khmer empire. In those days, the city ofSakonNakhon was a major centre of the empire of Khotraboon. Thecity wasestablished in the 11th century by the Khmer. After theeventualdecline in power of the Khmer, this region would later fallunderLaotian rule before Siam (Thailand) took over. The citywasoriginally called Sakon Thavapi, or New City by the Pond, butwasrenamed in 1830 to Sakon Nakhon, the City of Cities.Visitors to Sakon Nakhon are in for a treat. This regionaboundsin natural splendor and spectacle, and time spent hereimmerses youin the Buddhist traditions of the nation and can eventake you backin time a few million years.Thai culture places great emphasis on respecting your elders,sowe will visit our ancestors first. In the area between SakonNakhonand the bordering province of Kalasin, the Phu Pan mountainrangehouses full-skeleton fossils of sauropods from approximately120million years ago. The fossil record here also includes someplantand petrified wood samples, and the larger fossils can be seeninlarge-scale open pit excavations. Satisfy your innerarcheologistwith a visit to the digs.We have to turn a lot of calendar pages to get to the nextstop,chronologically speaking. Phu Pha Yon Mountain sits in themidst ofa meditation center 40 km outside the city. Themountainside holdsone of the best examples of prehistoricrepresentative art. Localtribes carved depictions of people,animals, and agriculture intothe side of the mountain more than3000 years ago. Surrounded bynatural beauty in peacefulsurroundings, this mountain is wellworth the short trip from SakonNakhon city.Seasoned travelers will often tell you that the best placesinany locale are the places that the locals frequent. Theresidentsof Sakon Nakhon tend to take their leisure along theshores of NongHan Lake. The lake covers more than 120 squarekilometers and isone of the largest freshwater lakes in thekingdom. The shorelinehas largely been converted into a massivepublic park for the city,and a number of small islets dot the lake.Hire a boat to visit thelargest of these, Ko Don Sawan, to seeancient Buddha images in adeserted temple. The untamed greenery ofthe island makes it apopular nesting ground for several species ofbirds.It can be a lot of fun to join local festivals while onvacation,even if you don’t understand what you’re celebrating!Thailand’straditional New Year’s celebration is in April eachyear, and iscalled Songkran. The festival traditionally marks thebeginning ofthe rainy season. While Songkran can be an excuse forrowdy behaviorin more southerly cities of Thailand, in thenortheast it is a morecivil event. People pour water on oneanother to cool off and toshare a laugh. Most businesses willclose during Songkran days, soexpect larger crowds, but the more,the merrier.Should you be in the region in October, there is the annualWaxCastle Parade. Competing teams spend countless hoursbuildingreplicas of popular temples and structures, and then form aparadeto show off their handiwork.When its souvenir time, take a trip to Ban Charn Arts andCrafts,or Wha Yai and Ban Don Daeng. Ban Charn Arts & CraftsCenter isa training and distribution center for the local craftsofwoodcarving, silk production, and blacksmithing. Wha Yai and BanDonDaeng are renowned for local silk products and textiles. Takehome amemory or two!
Asian Trails Ltd. 1.0
The Asian Trails companies have establishedanetwork which now covers all major Asian tourist destinations.Withoffices in all strategic inbound tourism centers throughoutSouthEast Asia, the Asian Trails uniform can these days be seen inmostcountries in the region, from Thimphu, in the Kingdom of Bhutantothe Lesser Sunda Islands in the Indonesian Republic.The Asian Trails vision was first conceived in 1999 byLuziMatzig (Lersan Misitsakul) who had formerly been withDiethelmTravel Thailand for 29 years and who, together with seniorpartnersLaurent Kuenzle, Jacques Guichandut and Roger Haumuellerfoundedthe company in mid 1999. Asian Trails grew very successfullyoverthe years and in August 2006, Kuoni Travel of Switzerlandbecome amajority Shareholder in the company, while agreeing to letAsianTrails continue as a totally independent regionalDestinationManagement company.Asian Trails offices are located in Cambodia, China,Indonesia,Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.Luzi Matzig is now the CEO while Roger Haumueller took overasManaging Director of Asian Trails Ltd. in Thailand. LaurentKuenzleacts as Group Managing Director for all companiesoutsideThailand.Asian Trails Ltd. Thailand, was the first to commenceoperatingon September 09, 1999 (9-9-99 is considered a very luckydate) witha staff of now 225-plus experienced managers andtravelspecialists. Its headquarters are in state-of-the-art officesonthe 9th floor of SG Tower in downtown Bangkok, with easy accessbysky-train, buses and taxis. There are branch offices inPhuket,Khao Lak, Krabi, Koh Chang and Samui and the company handledover303’000 clients in Thailand during 2007 with sales of 1.72BillionBaht (USD 52 Mio.) Asian Trails Ltd. is an official IATAaccreditedagent and offers favorable air ticket deals exThailand.As the handling agents for major international touroperatorssuch as the Kuoni Group of companies including KuoniSwitzerland,France, Spain and Holland, as well as for TUI TouristikUnionInternational (in Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia), AsianTrailsprovides quality destination services to multilingual clientsatcompetitive rates.All Asian Trails companies operate on the same platform,theTOPAX passenger handling system. Asian Trails has created theonlytruly integrated service net in Asia, where the lines betweenfrontand back offices have subtly been blurred by databasemanagement,and full use is made of information technology. Onlineaccess viathe web with instant confirmations of reservations andrates forhotel bookings and package tours was introduced in August2001,followed by an XML platform allowing selected partnersdirectaccess to Asian Trails’ database which was introduced inmid2005.An efficient team of motivated and experienced managers whoknowtheir individual terrain extremely well work in harmony towardsthesame goal. All are continuously scouting for innovativeproductsand are in daily contact with each other, sharing ideasandinformation. Training programs are coordinated throughoutthenetwork to ensure that quality is maintained at a consistentleveleverywhere and at all times.Asian Trails has become a standard and aspires to be seen asthebenchmark against which others are judged.
Koh Samui Travel Guide 1.8
Nestled on the east coast of Thailand intheGulf of Thailand, lies an island which has become known asatourist destination, competing with the older andbetter-knownspots in and near Bangkok and Phuket. The island of KohSamui isone of a group of small islands, many seen in major motionpicturesand photo galleries exemplifying the tropical paradise somany ofus yearn to find.The island is around 230 square kilometers, large enough toboastat least twelve beautiful beaches, an international airport,andseveral small towns bustling with activity. It is surrounded byatleast 60 smaller islands, which comprise the vast Ang ThongNationalMarine Park, which is reputed globally as a truesnorkelers’ anddivers’ paradise.Koh Samui is not only about beaches and beachfront activity;theisland has a mountain at the center which rises over 2, 000feet.This provides some fantastic views of the island, the sea, andthemany surrounding islands of the archipelago, and somenicewaterfalls are there for exploring.Hotels, restaurants, bars, and nightlife vary from beachtobeach. For those looking for the livelier spots, Chaweng BeachandLamai Beach will fit the bill. For those looking for quieter,moreromantic spots, Bhoput, Big Buddha Beach, and Na Thonarerecommended. Hotels are widely advertised on the Internet,withdetailed descriptions and rates, ranging from simple Innstoworld-class luxury hotels who charge the rates to prove it.The weather is tropical, meaning HOT. January through Marchtendto be around 30C, while later in the year it can be as high as36!Pick your time carefully, and beware the rainy season – thispeaksnormally in November, but no two years are exactly thesame.As they say, getting there is half the fun… Flights to andfromBangkok are almost hourly, and quite expensive by localstandards.Regular flights are also available from Hong Kong,Singapore, andother airports in Thailand, including Chang Mai andPhuket. Manyprefer the lower-cost and more scenic bus/ferry methodof travelfor the final leg of their trip.Busses leave Surat Thani airport continuously, taking you forapaid-combination to the ferry, most arriving in the port ofNaThon. If possible, it has been recommended to take theSeatrancombination – the ferries are much larger and morecomfortable. Becareful of the ferry you take; this part of theworld is notoriousfor overcrowding ferries, especially at peakseason and aroundholidays.
Vientiane Travel Guide 1.4
You will find many things to do throughoutyourtour to Vientiane. The combination of startling scenery,naturalwonders and educational sites is enough to keep you busy.But ifyou’re a visitor who likes to work up a sweat by some othermeans,you will still find quite a few options to satisfy yourself.Here are a few good ideas to consider. Massage in Vientianeisone of the favorite things to do for any visitor. Thesensorydelights you find in this part of the world are hard tofindelsewhere. Lao-style massage available in Vientiane is surelygoingto help getting rid of any tiredness you may feel. Theinterestingthing is that this massage also combines Thaiacupressuretechniques and Swedish oil, making it gentler comparedtotraditional Thai massage. Check out the cheap deals at Wat SokPaLuang.
Krabi Travel Guide 1.8
Krabi Province is a popular beachdestinationat the Andaman Sea in Southern Thailand. It’s a coastalprovince,which abounds with countless natural attractions thatnever fail toimpress tourists, including white sandy beaches,crystal clearwater, fascinating coral reefs, caves and waterfalls,as well asnumerous islands. The distinguishing feature of bothKrabi andneighboring Phang Nga is the massive limestone karsts,risingvertiginously out of the flat rice paddies on land, and asislandsfrom the sea. While less commercialized than neighboringPhuket,Krabi Province cannot be described as undiscovered, itreceives twomillion visitors a year, and the major tourist areascaterextensively for foreigners.The main town of Krabi is at the mouth of the Krabi riverwhereit opens into Phangnga Bay. The population of the town isalmost25,000.From archaeological discoveries, it is believed that Krabiwasone of the oldest communities in Thailand dating back totheprehistoric period. It is believed that this town may havetakenits name after the meaning of Krabi, which is ‘sword’. Thismayhave stemmed from a legend that an ancient sword wasunearthedprior to the city’s founding.At the start of the Rattanakosin or Bangkok period in thelateeighteenth century, when the capital was finally settledatBangkok, an elephant kraal was established in Krabi by orderofChao Phraya Nakorn, the governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat, whichwasby then a part of the Thai Kingdom. He sent his vizier tooverseethis task, which was to ensure a regular supply of elephantsforthe larger town. So many followers emigrated in the steps ofthevizier that soon Krabi had a large community in threedifferentboroughs: Pakasai, Khlong Pon, and Pak Lao. In 1872,KingChulalongkorn elevated these to town status.Krabi Province was badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunamiofDecember 2004. Now, signs of the damage are now hard to findinmany places, but in the worst hit areas (especially Koh Phi PhiandKhao Lak) reconstruction is still ongoing.The best time to visit Krabi is between November and April,whenthe area’s climate is less hot than usual. During this periodtheisland gets a lot of dry North Easterly winds, so giving dryblueskies and starry nights. Then, down on the beaches one canenjoynice sea breezes. From June to November the area gets a lotofrainfall, more on average than the rest of the country. Duringthisperiod the island gets a lot of moist South Westerly winds,sogiving a mixture of dry days and wet ones. The sea stays at awarm29°C all year round. If you don’t mind the rain, it’s cheapertovisit through this season.Getting to Krabi can be an adventure in itself. You can flyindirect to the internal airport but there’s no railway stationsomany travelers arrive in Krabi by bus from Surat Thani. If youplana journey that includes Phuket and Krabi, it’s the opportunitytoexperience Thailand’s only seaplane service.
Khon Kaen Travel Guide 1.8
First time visitors to Khon Kaen may bethereon business - the city is the commercial hub ofNorth-EasternThailand and growth here is phenomenally fast, makingit not only agateway to the neighbouring countries of theIndo-China Region butalso a commercially and administrative successstory in its ownright.However, many return, and this time as tourists, or evenasexpats preparing to settle down, having found in Khon Kaentheperfect mixture of culture and commerce, and the latter at amuchlower cost than in the more prominent tourist centres.Culture and commerce have a happy way of co-existing inKhoenKaen, as can be seen every day on the streets of thecity.Smartphone-juggling executives and orange-robed monks samplethegoods from the early-morning street vendors of Khon Kaentogether,before going their separate ways to their very disparatedailylives.Khon Kaen is widely known for its production of Mudmeesilk,which is woven by hand in Amphoe Chonnabot, which is opentovisitors.Khon Kaen is host to the largest university in the North East,amajor centre of education and technology, and is expected tobepronounced as the export centre for the region some day soon. Asitis also convenient for cross-border visits, both the D.P.R. ofLaosand Vietnam operate consulates here to facilitatevisaapplications. Cambodia is also literally ‘around the corner’,sowhat better starting point could there possibly be forexploringthe region?The modern city of Khon Kaen is quite new, havingbeenestablished about 200 years ago by King Rama I. The area wasruledby the Khmer Empire in the 12th century, all of whichcontributedto the fascinating mix that is Khon Kaen today – thatis, save thedinosaurs: this location has been home to many previouscultures,as well as, if one is to believe the local lore, giantdinosaurs!Visitors to the nature reserves are, however, assuredthat thechances of encountering anything larger than a buffalo inour timeare very slight.There are plenty of places to eat well in Khon Kaen, andalthoughthe best deals may be the ones found on pushcarts outsidethe foodemporiums, restaurants cater to every taste, western,eastern andin-between, extremely well, mostly at local prices,making this cityan even more attractive as a holiday destinationfor theresourceful.Getting to Khon Kaen is the least of your worries.Airconditioned buses from Bangkok run at half-hour intervals,ThaiAirways operates daily flights from the capital and, if youpreferthe scenic route, trains for Khon Kaen depart fromBangkok'sHualampong Railway Station throughout the day.Upon arrival you can choose your mode of transportation.There are ample tuk-tuks and songthaews (always negotiatetherate for the tuk-tuks in advance as they varyconsiderablydepending upon the driver) and the most recentintroduction:metered taxis, which may be more familiar to mostEuropeantravellers and offer remarkably competitive rates, justlike mostother rates in this attractive spot, which so far hassuccessfullypassed up an inclusion on the main tourist maps.
Hua Hin Travel Guide 1.8
Hua Hin is a district in the PrachuapKhiriKhan Province of Thailand, 295 kilometers from Bangkok and 90kmfrom the provincial capital. It is the oldest and mosttraditionalof Thailand’s beach resorts combining the attractions ofa modernholiday destination with the charm and fascination of astillactive fishing port. Beaches are located in the east oftheprovince, including a 5km stretch of white sand and clearwater.Although it has developed to cater for tourists from all overtheworld, the resort which began its development over 70 yearsago,remains popular with Thais too, a good sign for those lookingforan authentic experience.The resort was originally founded in 1830s, when farmers,movingsouth to escape the results of a severe drought in theagriculturalarea of Phetchaburi, found a small village beside whitesands androws of rock, and settled in. The tranquil fishing villagewasturned into a ‘Royal resort’ becoming popular among Siam’snobilityand smart-set.Accessibility was greatly enhanced by the construction oftherailway from Bangkok, which brought visitors from widersocialgroups, and kick-started the industry which would bringtouristsfrom other countries. The first hotel – The Railway Hotel –wasbuilt in 1921 and it still stands today continuing toservetourists as the Sofitel Central.Hua Hin was made famous in the early 1920s by King Rama VII,whodecided it was an ideal getaway from the steamy metropolisofBangkok. He built a summer palace and this was echoed whenKingRama VII ordered the construction of the Palace ofKlaikangwon(“far from worries”). The latter is still much used bythe ThaiRoyal Family today.The resort continued to develop slowly, protected to someextentby its Royal reputation. Its fishing port grew alongsidegolfcourses and all the big hotel chains are now represented. ManyofBangkok’s rich and famous and a growing number of expats havebuilttheir own summer homes along the bay, making the resortmorecosmopolitan every year.Development has taken over much of the prime government land,sothe coast road suffers from obstructed views of the sea thesedays,but Hua Hin is trying hard to retain its beach-sideatmosphere.Compared to Pattaya, the resort remains relativelyserene andattracts families and older travelers. The beach has agradualslope, into clear warm water which so far has escapedpollution ofany kind.Further afield, the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province is acharmingregion, where limestone cliffs and islands, bays andbeaches, arehome to a national park, and several temples, andtravellingthrough this area will be a welcome experience for thosehoping toavoid the tourist traps found further South. Driving fromBangkokthrough Prachuap Khiri Khan takes around three hours, ajourneypunctuated by summer palaces, huge temples, beautifullykeptgardens and salt flats.Visitors head to Hua Hin all year round. The area has one ofthelowest rainfalls in the country, and there’s usually a gentleseabreeze to punctuate the heat, particularly welcome in thesummerseason between March and September.
RV River Kwai Kanchanaburi 1.1
The RV River Kwai opens up an entirely newareafor river tourism in Kanchanaburi province west of Bangkok.Everymorning and afternoon land excursions are offered tovisitattractions along the river including temples, historicsites,Khmer ruins, waterfalls, war cemeteries, hot springs, thebridge onthe River Kwai, and local attractions.Cruise Asia Ltd. was incorporated in Thailand in early 2003todevelop and operate an up-market river cruise operation ontheinland waterways of Thailand. The cruises would open upanunexploited market for larger river cruise ships operatinginThailand. Initially we are targeting the scenic Kwai Noi Riverbutin the mid-term we are looking to develop additional cruises ontheMekong River using Chiang Saen in Thailand’s Chiang Rai provinceasa base for cruises to Laos and to China.
Bangkok Travel Guide 1.8
One thing to remember when you traveltoBangkok is that it's the capital city of Thailand. King RamaIcreated the city.It is a combination of old and new country. This city trulyshowsthe respect they have for their traditions along with theircominginto modern day society.In every way you look at it, this truly is the capital, asthisis where the Royal family lives as well as being the mainlocationof the government and administration.It is the major center for industry, commercialism, andfinancialactivity. It's the main port and it's inhabited byroughly 1/10 ofthe United Kingdom. Bangkok is located at the ChaoPhraya River,which flows into the Gulf of Siam.The proper name of the capital Bangkok is Krung Thep, or CityofAngel when translated. It is thought of as the heart of thisplace,spiritually, physically, and symbolically.When you first arrive in the city there is an impressionthatBangkok is a progressive metropolis due to the skyline composedofhigh-rises, condos, hotels, stores, and malls. This is just oneofthe appealing things about Bangkok.This city is indeed the most exotic capital in all of theOrient.Even though Bangkok is a progressing city, the people ofBangkokhave never forgotten the traditions, which made Bangkokthiswonderful place.Among the 400 various Buddhist temples, you are confrontedwithmuch inspirational splendor, much of which allows you to seetheachievements made in art.There is so much more to discover than what you see at first.Thereare the major attractions, but there are some places that areknownless. One place is Wat Ratchabophit. It's ornamentation andlayoutwith numerous monuments is a place to visit. Anotherplaceoverlooked often is Bangkok's Grand Palace as well asNationalMuseum, and Wimanmek Throne Hall, as well as JimThompson'shouse.You can get true insights into the culture and rich historyifyou explore the historical Chao Phraya River. There are somanythings to see and visit because there is still much of thepast,which influences this culture along with modern advances.Thepeople join together their love for the past as well astheirenthusiasm for the present and create this wonderfulplace.One of the true joys for those inhabitants is food. Theyhavevery spicy and rich foods. The national specialty foods arefish,crabs, lobster, and shrimp. They also have other places toeatbesides those serving the foods mentioned above. Dining inBangkokis indeed a treat! There is anywhere from fancy, sitdownrestaurants all the way to curbside food places. There issomethingfor anyone's tastes.Bangkok Temple of Dawn from Thailand Photo Library Anotherwaythe Thai's enjoy life is their entertainment as well astheirnightlife. There is something for everyone in your party. Youcansee a classical Thai dance as well as have cocktails in alounge.There are even discos for those who enjoy the sights andsounds ofdisco.The most popular sport that has spectators in Thailand isThaikickboxing (Muay Thai). Thai Kickboxing requires participantstouse feet, knees, elbows, as well as fists that are gloved.Mostnights of the week in one of the stadiums, you could see oneofthese matches. While visiting you really shouldn't miss it.It'sreally exciting to not only witness the match, but also thesightsand sounds around the ring.If you wish to partake in something of a high-class nature,thenyou will want to visit the Thailand Cultural Center, which hasjustrecently opened. You can witness performances of dancing,music,and even drama. The other places you can possibly catch ashowwould be at some of the top rated hotels.
Hanoi Travel Guide 1.3
The exotic, elegant lady of the RedRiverDelta, is a reluctant star in the cosmopolitan mix of ancientandmodern. Steeped in history, and seemingly trapped in the past,thefresh face of Asia is evident everywhere, in an almost dreamworldwhere the past and the present walk everywhere hand in hand.Thesheer number of people, the huge amounts of traffic andtheintoxicating ambience, is all part of what makes theheartVietnamese capital pump vibrantly. The bustle and chaos of theOldQuarter almost appears as if you are trapped in a magical,paralleluniverse, where rice paddy hats bob past you, while fruitandvegetables are being carried by vendors in swings over theirarms,right past some of the most modern up market street sidecafes,where foreigners are downloading photos on their iPads.
Vietnam Travel Guide 1.4
Vietnam is getting more and more popularfortourism lovers all over the world and programs throughoutthecountry occupy a considerable space in brochures of majortouroperators and travel agents. Rich culture and history,friendlypeople, spectacular landscape and beautiful beaches helpVietnamcompete with regional countries that have strongtourismpotentiality. With the quick development in infrastructureandtourism facilities in coastal cities, beach stay in Vietnambecomesan alternative to other beaches in the region.
The Paradise Koh Yao 1.3
The Paradise Koh Yao is a blend ofboutiquebeach resort and health spa; a tasteful and simplesymbiosis ofnature, comfort and style, amongst protected nationalparkland.Private villas and studios nestle adjacent to 400 metersof privateuntouched beach providing year-round naturalluxury.Where in the world?The Paradise Koh Yao, Boutique Beach Resort and Spa is set inthemiddle of Thailand's Phang Nga Bay National Reserve area,anemerging hidden treasure which remains one of the world's bestkeptsecrets. Since its discovery by a western traveler back in the19thcentury, this geological wonderland teeming with indigenousplantand animal life has captured the imagination of the world.Phang Nga Bay’s towering limestone crags never fail tostimulatespeculation of massive geological upheavals in ancienttimes. It isvisually stunning to say the least and yet there is somuch morebelow the surface: under the azure crystal waters arecoral reefs,living fortresses evolved over countless years.Both the common buildings (reception, spa, etc.) and thelodgingare light structure buildings in natural neutral colors.Thebungalows are very open, allowing the sea breeze throughandenhancing the connection to the surrounding naturalenvironment.The main living area easily becomes an open, covered(for shade)seating area. At night or for that afternoon nap, thebedrooms canbe left open or closed-off for a decadent dose ofair-conditioning.The bathrooms are semi-outdoor for that touch ofnature feel.Featuring materials such as wood, tiles, stonesandhand-plastered white walls, the architecture is contemporarywith atropical accent. Seventy lavishly appointed studios andvillasoffer king size and twin beds and maximum connection toourstunning environment— open to nature while uncompromising intheircomfort.Koh Yao Island is set into the heart of these incrediblenaturalphenomena.The Paradise Boutique Resort subtly blends with the uniquePhangNga Bay environment. The Paradise Koh Yao Noi Boutique BeachResort& Spa is truly one with the surrounding landscape— theresortwalkway wraps around a lagoon and a small rice paddy,throughrubber tree plantations, along the beach and up looking overtheresort and bay. The abandoned rice paddies towards the Northerntipof the island, together with the existing trees and plants,werepreserved and incorporated into the landscape design.But the lush landscape is much more than a backdrop totheresort’s contemporary design— nature takes the clear lead intheoverall look and feel of the resort. Another principaldesignelement is the lighting which, both for interiors andexteriors,enhances the natural beauty of the resortdevelopment.
Phuket Travel Guide 1.8
Phuket, which at one time was called Talang,isthe largest island off the coast of Thailand and the west coastofthe Andaman Sea. About the size of Singapore, it is connected tothemainland by two bridges. Phuket in the past has been a richsourceof tin and rubber and gained most of its wealth by itsconvenientlocation along a major trading route between India andChina.Phuket’s present income, however, has been made possible byitsbooming tourism industry. On Boxing Day 2004 the islandsufferedsmall effects of a tsunami caused by the Indian Oceanearthquake,but has happily since made a full recovery.Of its many attractions, Phuket’s parks, gardens andarboretumsare especially beautiful, often featuring nature trailsthat, insome cases, continue meandering for miles on end. Thelarger parks,such as the Khao Phra Taew Wildlife Sanctuary or theSirinatNational Park, are important centres for research andconservationefforts.The Khao Sanctuary, for instance, occupies 5,500 acres, muchofit lush primary rainforest which is home to a diverse rangeofspecies, many of which are endangered, including monkeys,gibbons,birds, small mammals and reptiles. And for those with aninterestin local marine life, the Phuket Marine Biological Centreruns thePhuket Aquarium, where many Andaman Sea species are ondisplay,including some rare indigenous corals.Phuket’s general weather pattern is fairly typical for atropicalisland, being divided into a hot season, from March toearly May,which tends to be fairly dry, and a rainy or monsoonseason, fromMay to October, which, although rather cooler, cannever bedescribed as cold.Many people, in fact – both residents and visitors –actuallyprefer the rainy season, finding it refreshing andinvigorating.There is occasionally a late afternoon thunder showerlasting nomore than an hour, and this can be followed by some hardrainfallduring the middle of the night, but the earlier parts ofthe dayare usually fine – except perhaps for the occasional stormlastingup to two or three days, but these are really quiteinfrequent.Most of Phuket’s cities are conveniently built close tothebeach; one of the exceptions, however, is Phuket Town, whichhasthe largest concentrated population on the island and is alsoitsadministrative centre. It also boasts the lowest pricedhotels.On the east coast is Chalong Bay, where Phuket’s mostpopularyachting clubs are to be found. This is also the maingateway tothe smaller islands standing further out from Phuket. Themainbeaches of Phuket - for which the island is famed - includeBananaBeach, sometimes known as Coral Island, close to Chalong Bay,wherehornbills can be glimpsed, as well as an abundance ofmarinelife.Cape Panwa is the home of Phuket Aquarium, while Kata YaiBeachis enormously popular with surfers. Laem Singh Beach isrenownedfor its breathtaking views. Patong Beach - the largest onthe wholeisland - is very well known for its nightlife, while MaiKhao isextremely quiet, unfrequented and unspoiled by the bulkoftourists, and close to several small Thai villages, templesandrestaurants, one of them built on a bamboo platform overlookingtheestuary.Phuket, then, is well worth a visit, having something tooffereven to those with the most diverse tastes and requirementsinholiday destinations.
The Legend Chiang Rai 1.3
The Legend Chiang Rai Resort enjoys apanoramiclocation on the Mae Kok River, secluded from Chiang RaiTown, yetonly a few minutes by car from the city centre. The riverbank isshaded by spreading rain trees and lush vegetation; theimmediatesurroundings are relatively undeveloped, providing atranquilsanctuary for birds and butterflies, and the eye travelseasily fromhere to a lovely backdrop of green hills and distantmountains.The countenance of the river reflects sunlight and cloud,dawnand dusk; ever-changing images which induce relaxation,andappreciation for finer things. There could hardly be a nicerplaceto build a resort, and a therapeutic spa.The Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa providesanideal combination of facilities, including a professionallymanagedspa, a well-equipped meeting and seminar room, ideal forsmall tomedium-sized groups; a 200 square metre infinity swimmingpool withspectacular river views, and a variety of restaurants tosuit alltastes.This ensemble is contained in tree-shaded gardens, fringedwithtropical flowers, cooled by ponds and streams, and lovedbybutterflies. Many visitors use The Legend as a luxurious baseforexploring the surrounding countryside, for there is much to seeanddo. Conversely, an increasing number of guests who havealreadyseen all the sights return to The Legend just for a completerest,far away from it all, and rarely leave the sanctuary ofhotel.The Riverside Terrace, or Ou Kao Classic Thai Restaurant, isTheLegend's main restaurant with beautiful river views—perfectforbreakfast or a relaxed dinner. Your alternative is the SuanChainamBBQ Restaurant and Beer Garden.
Pattaya Travel Guide 1.8
The City of Pattaya on the East coast oftheGulf of Thailand is a self-governing region about 165kmSoutheastof Bangkok. For centuries, it was a small fishing village,but whenAmerican servicemen ventured down the coast from their baseinNakhon Ratchasima in 1959, in search of rest and relaxationduringthe Vietnam War, the package holiday industry took off with abang,and Pattaya began to develop into the popular beach resortoftoday.Now, the fishermens’ huts have long gone, as the regionluressun-worshippers and hedonists in their millions every year.Aseemingly unlimited flow of dollars fuelled the local economywhichfor decades wasn’t as careful as it might have been about therapiddevelopment and free-for-all glitz and glamour which drovethecity’s progress, but more recently, it is striving topositionitself as a more family-friendly destination.Nowadays, the nearby temples of the Pratamnak Hill look down onabustling metropolis, packed with hotels, stores,high-riseapartment blocks, bars and restaurants. Pleasure-seekersrevel inthe nightlife, with its pulsing beat, and head for thebeaches ofNaklua, Pattaya and Jomtien by day.Broadly speaking, the city is divided into several regions.CentralPattaya offers countless shops and restaurants, andplentifulnightlife, but is definitely not for those in search of aquietnight’s sleep. Likewise, South Pattaya, which encompassestheword-famous Walking Street, a tourist attraction in itself,whichdraws foreigners and Thai nationals alike, primarily fortheafter-dark entertainment. This is also the City’sred-lightdistrict, and go-go bars and brothels line the streetwhich runsfrom the south end of Beach Road to the Bali Hai Pier.However,Walking Street also includes seafood restaurants, livemusicvenues, beer bars, discos and sports bars and has animpressivecollection of neon signs for those who want to be wherethe actionis.There’s no escaping the hurly burly in Pattaya, but ifyou’relooking for a slightly more peaceful experience, you’ll headto oneof the beaches. Pattaya’s beaches are everything expectedofThailand’s famed beaches. Gorgeous, clean and wellfacilitated.Jomtien is popular with package tour operators andfamilies, whilstif you head up to Naklua and North Pattaya you’llfind thatalthough there are still plenty of bars and restaurants,theentertainment isn’t quite as relentless. If you seek out themoreremote corners of Naklua you may even get a hint of theregion’straditional history as a fishing town. Few tourists bother,but fortraditionalists, it’s worth a visit.The tropical climate divides the year into three, from NovembertoFebruary the air is warm and dry, getting hotter and morehumidthrough to May, and the rainy season runs from JunetoOctober.Overall, Pattaya is not for the faint-hearted, or those in searchofsolitude or a cultural experience, but it will reward thelaid-backtraveller with just a hint of a spirit ofadventure.