Thursday, March 30, 2006

Chiang Mai in One Day


Doi Suthep Chiang Mai is the country's second largest city of Thailand, it located at north of Thailand and far from Bangkok 700 kilometer by car. The populations of Chiang Mai are more than 1,500,000 peoples. Chiang Mai is the ancient city which has magic power that can attract people for visiting. At the city have temple more than 300 temples in which some Burmese architectural influence can be seen. It a cosmopolitan place with a well developed infrastructure for tourist such as center for arts, crafts, cooking, massage and surrounding by hill tribe.
Thai people well know Chiang Mai as the Kingdom of Lanna. You can notice from their language, house, local food and costume.

What to do

- Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep The famous and important temple of Chiang Mai is Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep which built in 1383 B.E. The tourists can look over the city from view point by walk along the steep naga staircase around 300 steps. Once you rech you will see a huge golden pagoda (chedi), ring the bell, pay respect to holy Buddha’s relics that attract all devotees around the world. A walk around the grounds reveals a variety of colorful and fragrant flowers, and murals that depict Buddha's previous lives. Every year Chiang Mai’s people will celebrate Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep at night by walk from Chiang Mai University to temple which far from here about 9 kilometers and take about 2-3 hours. Open Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday Location: From the end of Huay Keaw Road and continue about 9 kilometers northwest of Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, 50300 Thailand - Chiang Mai Zoo Chiang Mai Zoo was open on 1995, founded by Mr.Harold M. Young, an American missionary. He kept some wild animals at the foothill of Suthep Mountain to be private zoo. Now Chiang Mai Zoo has 7,000 wild animals and covers the area of 531 rai (1 rai = 2/5 acre). And new popular animal is panda from China; they lend us a couple of panda for 10 years from 2004 to 2014. - Wat Chedi Luang This temple was built in 14th century and located at center city. It’s well-known because of its enormous chedi, which is measured at 282 feet high and 144 feet wide (at the base), that it is considered to be the largest chedi in Chiang Mai. - Central Airport Plaza This mall is a bit smaller than Kad Suan Keow but still offers great shopping which teenage like to go there. All shops here are familiar names like Watson, Esprit, The Body Shop and Export Shop. At tenants zone you can find many things such as wine, eyeglasses, jewelry, phones, appliances and sporting goods etc. Opening hours: 11.00a.m.-10p.m.on Monday to Friday 9.30a.m.-10p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Location: 2 Mahidol (Highway 1141), Chiang Mai, 50100 near Chiang Mai Air Port.


- Night Bazaar Night Bazaar is located on Chang Klan Road, a shopper’s paradise place, with many shops along two side roads. The street stalls sell a variety of items, including fine Thai silk, antiques, silver, clothing, handicrafts, CDs, videos, perfumes and watches. This is an exciting area for shopping and also there are plenty of places to eat and drink. Open Hours: midnight, Monday to Sunday. Location: 104-1 Chang Klan Road, Chiang Mai, 50100 Thailand - The Red Lion English Pub & Restaurant A firm favorite with locals and tourists alike, The Red Lion open more than fifth year has features an air-conditioned bar as well as a pleasant terrace over-looking the vibrant Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. Location: The heart of the famous Chiang Mai night bazaar in a quiet lane opposite the car-park of Mc Donald's. - The Pub An old English Pub and best pub of Chiang Mai has been here for decades. Location: 189 Huay Keow Road Tel: (053)211550 - Sax Music Pub Jazz and Art It’s a small Pub by the Taphae gate. Good sax music and a friendly client Location: 35/2 MoonMuang Rd. Tel: (053)216073

How to go

You can go to Chiang Mai by car, train and air.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Just 3 week suntil Thai New Year!

This traditional Thai custom of merry-making is the Kingdom's most 'sanuk' (fun-filled) festival, celebrated with tremendous enthusiasm, nation-wide, once a year. In most parts of the country, Songkran extends over a period of 3 days.

Known the world-over for its characteristic tradition of water-throwing ranging from a courteous sprinkle or a polite splash, to harmless water pistols and showers from garden hoses to the well-aimed bucket or water-cannon delivered in a festive spirit. Without a doubt, on the practical side, Songkran is a refreshing solution to "beating the heat" in the hottest season of the year. There is a however a much deeper significance to "Songkran". Apart from marking a new beginning, Songkran is also a time for thanksgiving. It is an important time for individuals to reflect upon the many acts of kindness and thoughtfulness each has personally experienced and to remember how such acts of generosity and compassion bring peace, happiness and well-being. Songkran is also the time for reunions and family ties are renewed. At the heart of each Thai custom and tradition, there is always a logical reason for its existence. The festive elements of the celebration, the cultural values, the social code of conduct and individual belief and practices are intertwined. Songkran embodies the traditional Thai cultural values. The underlying significance of Songkran is the process of cleansing and purification - the purging of all ills, misfortune and evil and starting the New Year afresh with all that is good and pure. Water is symbolic of the cleaning process and signifies purity.

source: Thailand Grand Festival Website

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Bird Watching in Thailand is Fantastic!

Bird in Thailand

Bird Watching in Thailand: A Great Experience

Thailand is dominant in Southeast Asian birding. The abundance of tropical birds is unmatched by her neighboring countries. It's convenient and the birds are plentiful. Khao Sok National Park is certainly one of the best bird watching destination in southern Thailand. Marsh areas such as Thale Noi provide great birding for those interested in seeing water birds. Migratory shorebirds are easy to see from a kayak. The lush jungles, rainforests and marshes of southern Thailand offer birders with many marvelous opportunities. Did you realize that there have been more than 970 species of birds recorded in Thailand? The number keeps growing as more and more birders search the land. At least 204 species of birds that have been recorded in Thailand’s mangrove forests alone!
source: Thailand Birding

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Recap of the 2006 Pattaya Music Festival

Pattaya Music FestivalHundreds of thousands of people of all ages thronged Beach Road last weekend for the Grand Pattaya International Music Festival 2006, the largest in the five consecutive years the event has been staged. The return of the new style Tik Chiro. On Friday March 17 at the Orange Stage set up at Soi 9, the official opening ceremony as conducted by Juthamas Siriwan, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook, and Mayor Niran Watthanasartsathorn. The music festival was organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chonburi Provincial Administration and Pattaya City Council, with help from Thailand’s music industry. There were three stages set up along Beach Road to accommodate the three music giants taking part, GMM Grammy, RS Promotions, and Music Television Networks (Mtv), who each lined up their own star performers. The Orange Stage at Soi 9 featured artists under the Mtv banner such as Clash, Body Slam, Thaitanium, and Blackhead. At the Yellow Stage on Soi 6 were artists under the GMM Grammy label including Mos Patipan, Paradox, Zeal, Ebola, Skalaxy and Ka La. The Green Stage near Bali Hai Pier featured artists under the RSS Promotions label with the likes of Dan-Beam, Gear Knight, James, CC Pu, and Dang Pankorn. Beach Road was closed off to traffic from 5 p.m. each day, causing the inevitable congestion on other main roads and leading to some frantic rushing on foot to get to the stage where a favorite artiste was performing. Some also complained that the entrance to the stages, especially the Orange Stage, were too narrow resulting in people crushing up against each other. But at the end of the day it was music all the way, with the added sound of success providing sweet music for the tourist industry. The overall atmosphere at the event was hectic with the many tourists visiting the event each day. On the final day, just before the concerts were about to get underway, it started to rain heavily throughout Pattaya which delayed the start by about an hour, but this didn’t dampen the crowds’ determination. Over 400 stalls were spread along Beach Road from North Pattaya to South Pattaya. The stalls did brisk business, as they were no less busy than the actual concert, and were able to bring a large amount of income into the city. The best sellers were beverages – water and alcoholic beverages, with clothing and jewelry not far behind in terms of sales. Police and volunteers from Banglamung were on hand providing tight security throughout the three days. Rangsan Wajeesajja, assistant director of Tourism Authority of Thailand Region 3, said that over 400,000 music fans attended the event, generating more than a billion baht. Rangsan said 98 percent of the hotel rooms were booked up one week in advance. Rangsan went on to say that he hopes next year will be as successful as this year. Source: Pattaya Mail

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Fine french pastry and coffee in Bangkok

Lenotre Bangkok
Its not too long ago when the “coffee culture” started to take a hold on Thailand. The arrival of Starbucks and other coffee chains like coffee world continued the trend. Today, Bangkok can compete with any other major city in terms of availability of coffee wherever you go. One good example is the Cafe Lenotre which is located on in natural Ville on Lang Suan Road. Lang Suan Road runs from Lumphini Park to Sukhumvit and then Petchburi Road. For the ones who don’t know: Lemotre is a famous French chain that operates pastrys and bakeries all around the world. Their products are of an extremely high quality and also in Europe Lenotre is very popular. As the name suggests already, Lenotre is a French pastry and bakery and of course coffe shop. It opens every day from 6 in the morning until 10:30 at night. The pastry is delicious and one can find several European favorites. Also, the coffe is very good giving guests a variety of coffees from around the world to choose from. When you should have the chance and are in the near vicinity of Lumphini park then you should definitely try out this fantastic pastry and coffee shop.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Chiang Mai Walk Street

Chiang Mai Walk Street is located on Thaphae Gate through to Ratchadamnoen Road in Chiang Mai city, Thailand. The Chiang Mai Walk Street opens only in Sunday night. Chaing Mai Walk StreetThe tourist can shop local product of Chiang Mai in low price. The handmade products of local Chiang Mai are very famous which are refined, beautiful and unique. The local products such as bags, clothes, neckerchiefs and also the popular product Lanna lamp all are in Lanna Style. Some product was created by great idea they bring stone and put in the picture frame for beautiful and tidy pattern. The walk street has many kinds of local foods for traveler to taste its. On the walk street there are groups of musician, they sing Lanna songs; these songs are folk song. You will have real Chiang Mai experience and get a lot of new knowledge about Lanna Culture when you walk in Chiang Mai Walk Street. The city nearly Chiang Mai is Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai not far from Chiang Mai you used time about 2 hours by car. The tourist will visit Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai in winner season. The tourist love Chiang Rai which are beautiful Temples, fresh atmosphere and kindness prople. Chiang Mai mapRead more information about Chiang Mai here: -Chiang Mai One Day Trip -Chiang Mai Zoo-Thailand -Chiang Mai Countdown 2006 Click the map to see enlarge Chiang Mai Walk Street Map

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bangkok Thieves Market

Bangkok Thieves MarketIn addition to Bangkok’s big Chatuchak weekend market, there are other retail locales with less savory reputations. The Nakhon Kasem market in Chinatown is still referred to colloquially as the Thieves’ Market due to its beginnings as a massive outlet for fencing stolen goods. Now you’re just as likely to find piles of odious crap like busted calculators or shredded tires, but there are also vendors who specialize in pre-aged antiques (i.e. antiques) and other fine imitation work.

Best buys include brassware, imitation antiques, old furniture, Chinese porcelains, and industrial supplies. The thieves market is located near Chinatown and is correctly called Nakhon Kasem. It is not spectacular, but still worth a visit.

And the Thieves’ Market runs every day, though it does get busier on weekends. I doubt the guy pictured above gets much busier, though.

Source: Gridskipper and World66

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Beaches of Phuket Part 3: Kamala Beach

Kamala Beach PhuketThis well-enclosed bay and fishing village surrounded by forested hills is one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket.

Tranquil and calm, the pretty white sands of Kamala beckon most people by day, but if you're seeking more than sunbathing on a perfect beach, there are other options. Hire a long-tail boat and go snorkeling at the north end of the beach, explore the neighbouring beaches of Laem Sing or Surin, or take an island tour.

Local and friendly, Kamala represents the face of old Phuket with village markets, welcoming people and cosy restaurants. The Tsunami sadly caused extensive damage to this sleepy enclave, but the area is recovering fast. Fishing boats still line the shoreline, local cafes and bars are open for business and hotels unaffected by the wave are welcoming visitors.

With its quieter pace Kamala has, over the last few years, become a favoured spot for retirees and other longer-term visitors staying in small hotels, home and apartment rentals nestled around the village. On the headland to the south, are a number of luxury villa developments, with great views of Kamala Bay and beyond along its winding road.

Dining options are beginning to expand as more local restaurants open their doors. For stylish holiday dining, Surin Beach, just a 10 minute drive north, offers some of the island's most sophisticated upscale restaurants and shopping outlets.

Kamala is the kind of place to relax with friends in a small restaurant or local bar, so nightlife tends to be low-key. The main evening attraction is the celebrated Phuket Fantasea entertainment complex, with its themed dining and colourful nightly stage extravaganza. A vivid show of glittering dance routines, fantastic magic acts, music and, yes, elephants that make for a spectacle not easily forgotten. If you're looking for something more lively Patong's nightlife is only a 10 minutes drive south.
Kamala Beach Resort source:

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

The great Bangkok Motor Show: Sexy Cars, Glamour, Beautiful Women

Bangkok Motor Show PresenterSoon, on the 22nd of March until the third of April to be exact, it is time again for the Bangkok Motor Show, the biggest and best in South East Asia.

Billed as "the greatest automotive show in Southeast Asia", this international motoring event attracts an estimated 1.7 million people to Bangkok's Trade and Convention Centre. Whether you have money to burn or are just happy to stick with your jalopy, it's a fascinating day out and a chance to see the latest advances in motoring technology. The show features classic cars, bikes, sports mobiles and car audio inventions, as well as the Miss Motor Show Beauty Contest, an off-road training demonstration and an autosalon for that essential beautification. In addition, you can attend lectures, seminars and workshops on topical subjects like energy consumption, road safety and even improving your driving skills.

Bangkok is the biggest car producing city in South East Asia and one of the biggest in Asia. Often dubbed the “Detroit of Asia” it has all major car manufacturers in and around Bangkok producing cars here. This makes it the perfect place for a car exhibition shows. Its not just an exhibition, too but you can directly on the showfloor buy the exhibited cars.

Bangkok Motor Show F1source: Whats on When

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Beaches of Phuket Part 2: Kata Beach

Kata Beach Phuket Aerial

Kata Beach: A beuatiful and more family orientated beach on Phuket

The pleasant bay of Kata, just a few minutes south of Karon Beach, entices many with its white sands and clear waters.

The monsoon season of May-October can make for rough swimming conditions, but it's this time of year that the surfers come out. The south end of the beach is the best place to watch, or join in on, the surfing action. Rentals are available for those who leave their boards at home.

Late in the year as the waters turn calm, Kata bay becomes populated with beautiful yachts, which arrive from all over the region to compete in December's King's Cup Regatta, Asia's premier sailing event.

While Club Med takes up most of the beachfront, a shaded footpath along the road fronting the resort makes for a pleasant stroll. Continuing on through the village, walkers will find an abundance of shops to browse in, from souvenir and ready-to-wear outlets, to 7-11 and local mini-marts, to name brand fashion stores. There are also plenty of dive shops and tour operators to assist those looking to explore beyond the beach.

Steak and seafood seem to be the most common offerings of Kata's many restaurants. Most roadside restaurants display their selection of lobsters, tiger prawns and plump fish right in front of their shop for all to see - and for diners to handpick. There's no shortage of Thai restaurants, and for international fare there's Scandinavian, Tex-Mex, Indian and Italian places to choose from, just to name a few.

Among the hotels and bungalows available in Kata, Mom Tri's Boathouse boutique resort offers the most elegant option, not to mention an award-winning wine cellar at its restaurant.

More information is available on Kata Beach website. Click here to discover the Kata Beach Restaurants or here to find Hotels and accommodation.

Nightlife in Kata Beach Phuket

With the exception of the popular Easyriders Pub with its live, loud music - and a few pockets of beer bars - nightlife in Kata is mostly family-oriented and relaxed. So this is definitely the better place for families than Patong Beach (See last part of Beaches of Phuket on this blog). A string of open-air bars, restaurants and shops along Taina Rd attract the most visitors in the evening. Dino Park is a fun place to take the kids for a round of mini-golf, while its Jurassic-themed restaurant and roadside bar are good places to relax afterwards. Just watch out for the fire-breathing dragon.

Kata Beach Phuket

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Monday, March 13, 2006

'Beautiful Boxer' returns to the ring

Beautiful Boxer in the ring
After a two-year absence from fighting, Nong Toom, the transsexual Thai boxer who had her life story told in the hit movie, Beautiful Boxer made a surprise and victorious return to the ring Sunday, February 26 to celebrate the opening of the new, state of the art Fairtex Muay Thai training facility and sports complex in North Pattaya.

Prior to the fight, Nong Toom swore to knock out her Japanese opponent within three rounds, but she conceded that the sexual reassignment surgery that made her a woman last year had taken its toll.

Nong Toom raises her glove after making a triumphant return to the ring at the new Faitex Sports Club, Pattaya, Feb 26.

“I dare say I’m unsure if I can beat him. The physical changes have taken their toll on me but it’s a matter of dignity. We both need the victory because I was a Muay Thai champion and the Japanese boxer cannot lose to a woman. I will show that even now that I am a woman, I’m still able to punch and kick.” As things transpired, Toom won by unanimous decision after the three-round fight, leaving her rival with a cut near his eye from an elbow in the last round. This coming June, Nong Toom, who works as a Muay Thai training advisor for women at the new Fairtex complex, plans another exhibition bout, this time in the US with a female opponent, Lucia Rijker, who portrayed the lethal Blue Bear in the smash movie ‘Million Dollar Baby’

Beautiful Boxer Movie Poster source: Pattaya Mail

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Start your own adventure in Thailand: Trekking

Hilltribe Family Thailand

Trekking around Chiang Mai and Thailand’s North: The home of the hilltribes

Thailand’s north is a gorgeous place where lushly vegetated mountains rise majestically from the earth – the tropical tail end of the Himalayan chain. For some mysterious reason mountains were made to be climbed. There seems to be an innate desire to struggle to peaks and look down on creation as if we were God almighty. When you are at a great height, taking in vast areas of creation in a single glance, the world, for a fleeting moment, belongs to you alone. In Thailand’s north, you can do just that, with the added bonus that along the way, you can rest overnight with Thailand’s hilltribe people. There are several different hilltribes, including the Akha, Meo, Lisu and Lahu – all with their own unique traditional lifestyle. These people migrated from Southern China into what until relatively recently was uninhabited territory less than two centuries ago, and set up shop as subsistence farmers. Treks can run from two days to a week or more, as you hike through the jungle pathways on foot, by elephant (a daunting prospect at first), and by bamboo river raft, breathing fresh air, watching abundant wildlife and tiring your limbs, until you come upon the welcoming hilltribe village that you will call home for the night. An evening with a Thai hilltribe is an unforgettable experience. After your hike, the food tastes fantastic, and along with the villagers you settle sit around the fire, singing songs and watching traditional dances – be prepared to do a number or two yourself from your home country. After a few hours with these charming people, you may find yourself tempted to give up your career in accountancy, or whatever it is you do back home, shed yourself of all your possessions and live the simple life of honest hard work and a bowl of rice at the end of the day. Tempted, yes, but after a little reflection on the labours you have to put in for that rice bowl, you’ll probably opt to take home a few of the colourful handicrafts, and treasure your memories from the land of comfort from whence you came. Really, it’s better this way.

Trekking: Exploring the North of Thailand

Chiang Mai, in Thailand’s mountainous north was the original home of hilltribe trekking, but in recent years a few other places have gotten into the act. Chiang Mai itself is a relaxed city of about one million people, and the springboard to some great trekking locations, including Doi Inthanon National Park, which is the host to Thailand’s tallest peak at 2700 meters. The second city of trekking is the more somnambulant Chiang Rai, a bit further north. Both cities have very good airports and regular flights from Bangkok and elsewhere. One young upstart in Thailand’s trekking world is Nan, northeast of Chiang Mai, and the coldest spot in Thailand (which is nonetheless pretty darn warm if it snows in your hometown). New luxury hotels have been popping up here recently, yet many of the hilltribes in this area are new to visitors – so it’s possible to enjoy the best of both worlds. Also becoming popular is the charming little town of Pai, which has developed into a Bohemian arts center for disillusioned hippie folk from both Thailand and abroad. Some of the trekking agencies here actually give you a 50% refund if you see any other foreigners on your trek, so isolation is the thing here – when you aren’t grooving to the jazz tunes in the local arts pubs.

Trekking in Thailandsource: Thailand Grand Festival Website

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Start your own adventure in Thailand: Scuba Diving

Adventure Island ThailandAdventure takes many forms: a new relationship or job, sushi for the first time, or even a walk through an L.A. slum at 2am on a Saturday night – all qualify. Webster’s dictionary defines adventure as “an exciting or remarkable experience.” It’s when we break out of our daily routine and dare to take on a new challenge, boldly going into territory that is unfamiliar to us. But most people, when they think of adventure, think of travel. And though pretty much the whole world has been explored before by other people (with Marco Polo setting the benchmark several hundred years ago), what matters is that it is your discovery. Adventure travel is a highly personal thing and what it teaches you about the vast world that surrounds you and its relationship to you is what makes it both worthwhile and essential. This is probably why adventure travel keeps growing in popularity. In a world gone wrong, cluttered with technology, self-interested politicians, bureaucracy, greed and numerous other complications, it is crucial to get back to the basics of life and to set personal challenges that bring out the noble savage in us. So remove yourself to another place, with strange people and customs, follow your nose, trust your instincts, and find a part of yourself you’d almost forgotten. Thailand is an ideal location to live out these dreams – or alternate realities. With more than 25,000 square kilometers of national park land, islands, mountains, and a welcoming people, new and enlivening experiences are waiting for you to live them out. Though there are endless adventures available here, two of the more popular possibilities involve going as high and as low as you can.

Scuba Diving: The Amphibian Within

There’s no getting around it. It’s programmed into our DNA that we are creatures of the sea, with a deep-seated desire to return to it. Meander aimlessly on thoughtful walk some lazy Sunday and your feet, of their own accord, will inevitably take you to the water – a lake, a pond, an ocean or a very large puddle – whatever is closest. We look out and yearn to return to our roots. Thanks to Jacques Cousteau, it is now possible, for a short time anyway, to return to the sea completely – for as long as the air in the tank lasts. Thailand, with its countless beaches, coral reefs and modern dive schools is a popular spot to learn to scuba dive. Thousands of proud new divers earn their PADI international dive certificates every year. It can be a bit scary at first – our instincts also tell us that we can’t breathe under water – but once you master the basic technicalities, there’s no experience like it. You have freedoms undreamed of by land dwellers. You are weightless, and can go left, right, forward backwards, up and down – and you are surrounded by colourful fish and plants. It’s another world down there. But like anything worthwhile, it does take a bit of work and discipline to make your first dive. Over the course of a week or so, you take a step by step open water course to ensure maximum safety. You’ll start out in a classroom, studying buoyancy and pressure – you even have homework and exams to do (What? Homework at the beach?!!) This is combined with practice, starting in shallow water, learning to use the equipment getting comfortable with the idea – and soon you’re heading off to the open water by boat, working your way up to dives as deep as 18 meters. In less than a week, you are granted your certificate and can dive anywhere in the world unaccompanied – the beginning of a beautiful new friendship with the other two-thirds of the planet.
Scuba Diving Whale Shark source: Thailand Grand Festival Website

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Beaches of Phuket Part 1: Patong Beach

Thailand Phuket Patong Beach Above

The (in)famous beach of Phuket

In the first part of “Beaches of Phuket” I’m starting with Patong which is probably by far the most famous of all and that’s not always because the beach is the most beautiful. It is more famous for its nightlife than anything else. It is the ideal place to party and play so it might not be the most suitable area for everybody.

When coming to Thailand, don’t forget that Phuket is one of the richest areas in Thailand. Don’t expect to see only small street vendors selling food, clothing and all kinds of other things. Yes, you do have them but they are getting quite rare here. What you will also see is many McDonalds, KFCs, Starbucks, Burger Kings and many other fast food outlets. Besides there are many very good international and Thai restaurants catering to the foreigners coming to the island. There will not be a single cuisine you cannot get on Patong.

Thailand Phuket Patong Beach

In the daytime Patong has a lot of activites to offer. You can choose from several parasail and jet ski operators if you want some excitement or do any of the many available water sports like surfing, wind surfing, sailing or just take a banana boat for some action.

Like on all other beaches in Thailand, masseuses, vendors selling everything from food to T-Shirts or watches are looking for your attention.

Other activities available at Patong or things you can plan for at Patong include diving, bungee jumping, water-skiing or you can make arrangements for a Harley Davidson tour, a favorite among travelers.

In the night time, Patong gets very busy. Numerous small bars, go go bars, restaurants, nightclubs, shows and other entertainment possibilities make up Patongs nightlife and that’s what makes Patong so (in)famous.

Thailand Phuket Patong Night

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Why Thai Food is so good

Thai Crab Curry

"Thai food offers a variety of flavours and tastes. The subtle mixing of herbs and spices and market-fresh ingredients makes dining a special culinary experience."

Eating ranks high on the Thai scale of pleasures, and meals are informal affairs. The staple is rice, either ordinary or glutinous, accompanied by a variety of dishes that can be eaten in almost any order, and seasoned to individual taste with several condiments such as fish sauce and chilli peppers. Most often there will be a soup of some kind, a curry, a steamed or fried dish, a salad, and one or more basic sauces. Desserts may consist of fresh fruit or one of the many traditional Thai sweets.

Much of what is known about Thai cuisine evolved in the central region of the country. Rice, fish, and vegetables, flavoured with garlic, black pepper, and nam pla (fish sauce), along with an abundance of fresh fruit, comprised the basic diet of Sukhothai. With the rise of Ayutthaya, other elements were added. That now essential ingredient the fiery chilli pepper - was introduced at this time, along with the equally popular coriander, lime and tomato. These may have been brought from their native South America by the Portuguese, who also left a lasting imprint in the form of popular Thai sweets based on egg yolk and sugar. Other influences came from India, Japan, Persia, and especially China.

A century ago, meals were eaten by hand, pressing the rice into the little balls; today a spoon and fork are used for eating rice, while chopsticks are used for Chinese-type noodles.

The different territories

Thai food differs from region to region. Unlike the North and Northeast, where glutinous rice is popular, Central Thais like the fragrant plain variety, most commonly steamed. In addition to fresh-water fish, there is seafood from the Gulf of Thailand, as well as a wide range of fresh vegetables. Chinese-Thai food is popular in cities like Bangkok, particularly in the form of numerous noodle dishes.

The Central region also has what is called the Royal cuisine, a more sophisticated version of the regional cuisine. Influenced by the kitchens of the Royal Court, the dishes are elaborately put together, making it as much of an art form as a culinary masterpiece.

The food of the North is a distinctive as its culture. Steamed glutinous rice is preferred, traditionally kneaded into small balls with the fingers. Northern curries are generally milder than those of central and northeastern Thailand. The influence of neighbouring Burma is evident is such popular dishes as Kaeng Hang Le, a pork curry that relies on ginger, tamarind, and turmeric for its flavour, and Khao Soy, a curry broth with egg noodles and meat, topped with spring onions, pickled cabbage, and slices of lime.

A favourite regional speciality is a spicy pork sausage called naem. The traditional form of meal is called a Kantoke dinner during which diners sit around a small low table. Nightly gala performances of a royal version of the Kantoke banquet can be enjoyed at reconstructed wooden palaces. These performances include troupes of local dancers, resplendent in traditional costume and can be pre-booked at this link.

Northeastern food reflects the influences of neighbouring Laos in a number of dishes. Glutinous rice is the staple, and the food is highly seasoned, like larb, made with spicy minced meat or chicken,. som tam (green papaya salad), and kai yang (barbecued chicken). Meat was once scarce in villages, and freshwater fish and shrimp are the principle source of protein, sometimes fermented.

In the South, the coconut plays a prominent role in many dishes; its milk tempers the heat of chilli-laced soups and curries, its oil used for frying, and its grated meat serves as a condiment. Fresh seafood from the surrounding waters is abundant: fish, prawns, lobsters, crab, squid, scallops, calms and mussels. Cashew nuts from local plantations are eaten as appetisers or stir-fried with chicken and dried chillies, while a pungent flat bean called sator adds an exotic, if somewhat bitter, flavour much admired by southern diners. Chinese-Thai food is popular in large cities as well. Other foreign influences can be found in such dishes as kaeng matsaman, a mild Indian-style curry seasoned with cardamon, cloves and cinnamon, and sate - skewered meat with a spicy peanut sauce that originally came from Indonesia.

With Thai cuisine enjoying an outstanding world-wide reputation for its unique flavours and tastes, there's no better way to learn about this cooking style than in Thailand itself. Visitors have a choice of venues where they learn from Thai chefs and culinary experts. All the techniques that create one of the world's most interesting cuisine's. Please let us know and we can make arrangements for a Northern Thai cookery class between 1 day up to a week.

Other Eating Possibilities in the North.

I have met folk who actually didn't like rice and although it was tempting to send him back home immediately with a "you're in the wrong country" retort if didn't cause much of a problem at all. I realise that not everyone loves the mouth-watering hot dishes that typify Thai cuisine. The main cities all boast of a number of excellent Chinese and Western restaurants. Chiang Mai is the centre with an astonishing number international first class dining areas. Hawkers stalls abound and the city has ample representations of English, Irish, French, German, Swiss, Spanish, American, Korean, Japanese outlets as well, of course, as most of the regular fast food franchises. Not easy to be hungry in such a diners paradise. Pubs are also easily found and there is a great variety of small road-side beer stalls to fully-fledged disco's.

The best deal in the country has to be the daily buffet lunches held at the major hotels. For as little as $2.50 diners can experience local and international delicacies until their hearts content or belly full.

Chiang Mai has an annual food festival in November where the city's best chef's compete in friendly rivalry at presenting the best cuisine both Thai and international.

Thai Food

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Floating Market Show in Damoen Saduak

Floating Market Traders

Thailand always was famous for its floating markets. Everybody planning a trip to Thailand has seen the photos of rivers crowded with boats selling all kinds of delicious looking foods. These photos are normally taken in Bangkok which makes one believe easily that this is the only place with floating markets. Actually, there are many other famous floating markets all around Thailand that can be visited.

One of those is in Damoen Saduak which is about 100km west of Bangkok. As you can imagine, they don’t have as many tourists coming as in Bangkok which means also not as many souvenir shops and that results in a much more local market which is really like it always used to be and dint adapt to tourist groups.

The traders sit in their boats and sell their goods to people living in the houses right at the ricer as well as to each other. If you have never seen a floating market before, the sight of the narrow boats overflowing with fruits and other food products is not to miss.

Damoen Saduak has a daily floating market but in March one can also witness the “sea boxing”, several cooking demonstrations and boat competitions. This is done every year and thst why March is a good month to go there. From the 25th until the 27th of March these competitions and demonstrations are held so try to go in this period of time.

Floating Market River

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Pattaya Music Festival 2006: Not to be missed!

Pattaya Music Festival Band FutonEvery year, Pattaya, Thailand’s famous seaside resort, celebrates music in all its forms at this annual event, held during the summer season.

Shake your thang along with dance and hip-hop beats, get down to pop and rock or dance on the white sand to the sounds of lazy jazz and easy listening. Pattaya is close to Bangkok and easy to reach by tourist or public bus.

The festival runs from the 17th-19th of March 2006 and should not be missed!
Pattaya Music Festival Logo source: Whats on When website

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Elephant Riding in Thailand

Elephant Riding ThailandHand-feeding a hungry elephant is an unnerving experience. At the first whiff of a banana, its leathery gray trunk snakes out, probes the air and sucks it from your hand with a squelch. It is like shoving fruit into a wet vacuum cleaner nozzle.

It may be unpleasant, but if you're about to plunge into the jungles of northern Thailand perched on an elephant's neck, you have to get your vehicle on your side.

Just half a day's jeep ride from the city of Chiang Mai exists a world far removed from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok or the touristy southern beaches. It is a world belonging to the hill tribes — semi-nomadic people living in bamboo huts, without electricity or running water. And for as little as $45, you can trek by elephant and on foot to their jungle homes and experience a lifestyle that has hardly changed in centuries.

"Hold onto its forehead and dig your heels into the side of its neck," said Chan, my enthusiastic guide. "Kick left to go left and right to go right. And if he stops to eat bamboo, just give him a good slap."

Steering an elephant sounded easy enough. But 10 minutes into the trek, my thighs were chafing on Dumbo's course hide. And despite his frequent snack stops, I was wary of slapping a beast strong enough to knock over a tree. It wasn't luxury travel, but as we searched in the tropical heat for a Lahu village — one of the largest hill tribes in Thailand — I was happy to let Dumbo do the work.

It is estimated that some 550,000 hill tribe people live in the mountainous regions of Thailand's far north and west. For hundreds of years they have crisscrossed the borders between Tibet, Myanmar, China and Laos, avoiding border controls and passport checks.

Most of these chao khao (mountain people) have no nationality, and instead live according to tribal law in their jungle clearings, with their own language, dress, customs and religious beliefs. Most have no electricity, running water or sanitation, and resist assimilation into mainstream Thai society and the practices of the 21st century.

Although you can strike out alone in search of the hill tribes, armed with a map and a phrase book, it is inadvisable. Clashes between the Thai army and drug runners from Myanmar's vast opium poppy fields are frequent enough in the northwest to make independent expeditions risky. Trekking in a group with a guide who speaks the tribal language and understands its customs is safer and offers more cultural interaction — not to mention the chance to pit your wits against an elephant.

Just as I thought my thighs could take no more chafing, we broke through the lush forest into a jungle clearing containing around 20 bamboo huts, raised six feet off the dirt floor on poles. A dozen small children, dressed in the traditional black, blue and green homespun clothes of the Lahu people, raced toward our group of 12 sweaty and tired Westerners. As we dismounted, they gathered round, pulling the hairs on our arms and legs playfully, before growing shy and running away.

Beyond the huts, men and women toiled under the tropical sun, harvesting rice from tiny, tiered fields on the mountain slopes. Nearby, a man tilled the soil with an ox yoked to a wooden plow. These were the Lahu people, a 59,000-strong ethnic group originally from Tibet, who first crossed into Thailand some 200 years ago.

Like the other main ethnic groups in northern Thailand — the Lisu, Mien, Hmong, Akha and Karen tribes — the Lahu primarily live off the land, eating a diet of rice, corn, chicken, pork, and whatever food can be found in the jungle. With no phones, computers, radios or televisions, their world is limited to the affairs of their village, population 150, and their neighbors in other jungle settlements.

After a simple but tasty meal of rice and vegetables, the village elders told us — through Chan, our interpreter — of the Lahu's tribal laws. With no regard for the regulations that govern mainstream Thai society, the Lahu marry and divorce with a minimum of fuss. A prospective groom merely pays his bride's family around $15 and throws a feast to formalize the marriage.

Unless he has a few hundred dollars saved up, which is unlikely in a subsistence economy, the husband must then live with and work for his new in-laws for a year, before he is free to set up home with his wife. And if he chooses to divorce, he merely seeks permission from the village chief and pays another $15 — half to the family and half to a village fund.

After a sleepless night on the hard floor of a bamboo hut, we left the Lahu people, and trekked on through the jungle, heading for other villages and tribes.

The paths that wind through the forest, past waterfalls, over streams and up the steep slopes of the mountains can be demanding. Would-be trekkers need to be reasonably fit, especially as you are expected to carry a backpack with enough clothes for three days.

But the pace is leisurely and there are frequent stops to bathe in rock pools, talk with people you encounter, and eat snacks of rice and noodles in villages en route.

A trek also offers a chance to walk through beautiful forests and jungle, with flora and fauna you would never see at home. It also gives you a window into an ancient way of life that still manages to flourish and retain its uniqueness in a modern world. On top of that, you learn how to steer an elephant, and you never know when that may come in useful.

Elephant Trek Thailandsource: USA Today

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Bangkok Fashion Week 2006

Bangkok Fashion WeekFrom the 15th to 19th of March 2006, over 30 Thai designers and a select number of international fashion gurus send their latest designs down the catwalk at Bangkok's Fashion Week. Shows take place in The Fashion Dome - a large dome tent set up in the middle of the lake at Benjakitti Park, beside the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.

The event is scheduled to take place twice a year to coincide with the traditional launch of the spring and autumn collections. Everything from high fashion to textiles, jewellery and accessories are showcased at the accompanying trade fair and designer's showcase held in the convention centre. Thai designers have come out in force in support of the event, including Nagara, Metta, Issue, Grey, Senada, Kloset, Anurak, Zenith, Tube Gallery, Fly Now, Mae Fah Luang, S318 (Kornkanok) AB-Normal and Tango.

The Bangkok Fashion Week was initiated in order to help Bangkok become the regions main fashion hub (and later of course a big player in the International field, too). There are many accompanying events during the fashion week so watch out for good parties all over the city.

Source: What’s on When website

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Qatar Ambassador is fascinated with Thailand

Qatar Ambassador in Nursery Chiang Mai

The exotic Thai culture, hospitality and friendly nature of the people have made a big impression on Abdalla Al-Hamar, the Qatari ambassador to Thailand.

"I have travelled extensively for both business and leisure, and I can honestly say that I have never come across such delightful people. People around the world are stressed living in a cut throat and fiercely competitive society. Thais don't let stress get the better off them," he said.

Before taking up his post here a year ago, ambassador Al-Hamar first came here in 1999 as part of a Qatari delegation visiting Thailand and immediately fell in love with the Kingdom's charming people and culture. He fondly recalls how his delegation, impressed by what they saw and experienced here, decided to extend their stay in Thailand by two days in order to understand the country better.

Mr Al-Hamar says Thais have a remarkable way of helping foreigners blend into their society. Arabs love Thailand because they feel free to be themselves and nobody gives a fig.

Approximately 10,000 Qataris visit Thailand annually for shopping and medical reasons, whereas Thais travelling the opposite way mostly constitute manual workers, although Thai businessmen have lately started making more forays to the Middle East country.

The ambassador revealed that Thai architects were part of the team that built the Athletes' Village for the Asian Games later this year in Doha, the Qatari capital.

As a matter of fact, the torch for the quadrennial event is scheduled to pass through Thailand shortly. After the games the facility will be turned into a hospital.

Chiang Mai Nursery

How would you describe yourself as a traveller?

I am an active and curious person by nature, so when I'm on vacation I like to explore my new surroundings. And by that I mean everything. I am never truly relaxed because I find every living thing around me interesting. My mind keeps wandering as I travel about how people live in different habitats.

What do you usually do to get a better feel of a country you are visiting first time?

My normal practice is to sit in a coffee shop, enjoy the local brew or tea and watch people go about their daily chores. Chatting and exchanging ideas with locals is another way to learn about their culture and traditions.

How popular is Thailand among Qataris?

Qatar is a wealthy country so normally people travel to Europe on vacation. However, Thailand is becoming increasing popular for its great shopping malls, top hotels and medical services which are much cheaper than in Europe. Thai hospitality is also well-known at home. Middle Easterners feel comfortable in Thailand because they can wear their traditional attire, eat Arabic food and listen to Arabic music in restaurants they frequent.

Arab people tend to travel with their family. I have found that during high season there's not enough accommodation in Bangkok. So I would like to see more serviced apartments and hotels built to cater to these long-staying guests.

What type of tourism-related projects you have in mind to promote Qatar in Thailand?

Shortly, our embassy will organise a 'Qatar Week' to showcase the nation's culture and traditions and highlight it as a tourist destination using cutting-edge multimedia technology.

We will participate in the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2006, an international horticultural exposition to be held in honour of His Majesty in Chiang Mai later this year. I believe that these events will not only improve relations between Qatar and Thailand, but also be instrumental in promoting tourism either way.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has been proactive in attracting Qatari travellers. Last year, it organised a series of roadshows in Doha. The response has been overwhelming. The number of Qatari travellers to Thailand has increased dramatically since.

I would like to invite Thai people to come to Doha during the Asian Games, not just to cheer their sportsmen, but also use the opportunity to visit some interesting historical sites.

Nursery Chiang Mai

What three attractions would you recommend Thais to visit in Qatar?

Qatar is a blessed country. Doha is a nice modern city by the Persian Gulf. We also have beautiful beaches and mystical sand dunes. I would recommend anybody visiting Qatar, even if it is for a short period of time, not to miss Al Corniche.

Al Corniche is the heart of Doha. It's a seven-kilometre stretch along the coast, a great place to feel the pulse of the nation because families go there to picnic. It is also a popular place to go for a stroll or jogging. Al Corniche also gives visitors a bird's eye view of Doha and the Gulf of Persia.

Souq Waqif is another must see attraction in Doha. 'Souq' in Arabic means market. Souq Waqif is the oldest and most popular market in Qatar. Apart from the fun and exotic atmosphere, you will find yourself lost in time shopping for a wide variety of goods that are on sale. You can also bargain the prices down.

Going on a desert safari is just as interesting as surfing and our beaches are breathtaking. Just imagine swimming or camping by the desert. It's a truly rare experience. Tour operators are selling packages which include a night spent in a traditional Arab tent sampling local cuisine and enjoying traditional Arab music and performances.

What have you to say about the cartoons of the Prophet that appeared in a Danish publication, the fallout and the issue of freedom of speech?

Qatar is home to the popular television network Al-Jazeera and Doha Debates which is aired on BBC. On this very sensitive issue I would like to say that we are all for press freedom, and don't mind anyone making fun of other aspects of the Arab world, but when it comes to disrespecting Prophet Mohammed or the Koran, we Muslims can't brush it (caricatures) under the carpet.

People should not cross the line when it comes to issues that a certain group of people hold in high esteem. I would however like people to protest peacefully and rectify the issue through dialogue.

source: Bangkok Post

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