Monday, May 22, 2006

Chaweng Beach - Most Beautiful Beach on Koh Samui Island in Thailand

View of Chaweng BeachChaweng Beach in Koh Samui , Thailand remains the most beautiful on the island. Wandering down from your coconut palm-shaded hut to the white-dust sand to the crystal clear water is an unforgettable experience. It's just a shame that today you have such a short window of opportunity to enjoy it - between sunrise and 7am, at the most. After that the deckchairs, vendors, masseurs, jet-skis and other noisy stuff begin their parade and within a few hours, it's a mess. Of course, if you like all that hustle and bustle, you'll love Chaweng beach. Chaweng beach has something for everyone, but the bulk of accommodation is aimed at package tours and mid-range travellers looking to spend around 1,500 to 4,000B a night. A few places are priced at under 500B but they are few and far between, and grotty. It's also easy to spend more than 4,000B. Be aware that theft is on the rise, especially at the cheaper places. When going out for the day, make sure that all your windows and doors are closed and locked. Chaweng Beach - Koh Samui - ThailandAt night, if your windows are not screened -- rare now -- keep your bags under your bed as crafty thieves have been known to use hooked poles to drag items out while you sleep. Also beware if you check into a room with an open-air bathroom, which have become the latest rage. Make sure that the bathroom door can be locked -- and keep it locked -- as it's easy for thieves to jump walls and get in. If at night you wake up while being robbed, stay where you are and do not make eye contact with the thief. Do not struggle, as robberies do turn violent. Development at Chaweng continues on its merry way, with five-star hotels shooting up alongside western junk food outlets luring already-fat tourists inside and an array of international restaurants.Then of course there's the clubs, bars, girlie bars, massage parlours, CD and DVD shops, tailors, and the rest, all designed to peel those hundred baht notes out of your wallet. Fake shoe shops are the latest rage, with shopfront after shopfront selling ripoff Nikes and Adidas runners. Don't you go to the beach to buy shoes? Bird's Eye View of Chaweng Beach Koh SamuiThe most obvious sign of Chaweng's unbridled development is that its main road still horribly floods after even the briefest of rain-storms. Due to the substantial loss of the island's trees, waves diluted red by topsoil wash down to fill the road -- Amazing Thailand, indeed. Trivial matters like urban planning, aside Chaweng is a great place to lay on the beach to get that great tan you can't get at home, eat lots of mid-range priced food from your home country, and head to a club to meet strangers to have sex with. Well, that's what the bulk of Chaweng's visitors seem to be up for, and if that's why you're coming to Thailand, enjoy.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Touch Thai Lifestyle Market at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market ThailandDamnoen Saduak is the name of floating market at Ratchaburi province, central of Thailand, King Rama V. gives the name Damnoen Saduak(Damnoen Saduak meaning convenient travel) for this canal. In the past the canal length was about 32 kilometers, deep 3 meters and width 12 meters. Damnoen Saduak’s used for transportation agricultural products such as pomelo, Coconut, Cashew Apple, Banana, Custard apple, Durian, Grapes, Mango, Papaya, Jackfruit and vegetable. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Ratchaburi ThailandFloating Market is the meeting places of people live both sides of canal at the morning to noon for exchange or buy and sell agricultural product and goods. What to do in Damnoen Saduak - Floating Market? Walking along the floating market, buying fruit and Thai foods, Popular Thai foods as such noodle on boat,Thai dessert, ice black coffee and palm juice. And you can rent boat at 300 Baht per 1 boat per hour Damnoen Saduak Floating MarketHow to go there? Damnoen Saduak in Ratchaburi province about 109 kilometers south of Bangkok. You can go by Car from Bangkok Highway No.4 and turn left at Km. 80 for another 25 kms. along Bangpae-Damnoen Saduak Rd. For tourist who wants to rent boat, oarsman will take you around floating market. So if you want to shop on boat, can tell oarsman for stop the boat. For car park fee: 20 Baht per day. Opening hours of floating market are 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wine Tasting in Thailand

Wine field Kao Yai

A Wine tasting trip to Kao Yai National Park

Inspired by the movie Sideways, Bangkokrecorder took a road trip to the wineries of Khao Yai to marvel at the mountainous countryside, knock back some wine, and crash our rental car.

As you probably noticed the first time you ordered wine in Thailand, a bottle is often more expensive than a bountiful dinner. Stupendously high taxes ensure that anything more than the house red or white usually stays down in the cellar. Unscrupulous importing methods and over-zealous domestic tax inspection have created an unlevel playing field for Thai wines. The kingdom’s general wine consumption had been rising steadily until the economic crash of ninety-seven turned everyone back onto whisky. However, in the last few years, Thailand has been rekindling its love of wine, and even making some decent vino itself. Traditionally, grapes used for wine-making have only been grown between the 30th and 50th parallels in the northern and southern hemispheres. However, Thailand has managed to produce wine in a narrow band in the north between the 14th and 18th parallels. Years of research, testing and development have pushed the boundaries of viticulture, and given us ‘New Latitude Wines’.

To borrow a verdict from Sideways' Miles Raymond, the general consensus on Thai wine so far, has been: “quaffable, but uh... far from transcendent.” However, this view is definitely changing as Thai wine-making comes of age. The country's grape wine industry is still in the early stages: the first wine grape vines were only planted in Loei Province in 1991. However, Khao Yai followed two years later and is now expanding to become the home of Thai wine. The region has always been a popular weekend getaway for Bangkokers, lying a neighbourly 150km away. We hopped in a rental from Lumpini Car Rent for 1000 THB-a-day and hit the open road. The drive to Khao Yai is surprisingly pleasant and straight-forward, taking less than two hours. Just don’t forget to bring a car adaptor for your iPod, unless you are uncommonly keen on ‘Country FM’.

The GranMonte Family Vineyard in Khao Yai’s Asoke Valley was first on our trail. Stepping out of the car into a serene vineyard flanked with mountains after several weeks trapped in Bangkok was quite a shock to the system. GranMonte’s home cooking style restaurant, Vin Cotto, acts as a great decompression chamber from the city. The food and warm service are better than most places in Bangkok, and you can take in the scenery of Khao Yai Park’s mountain range as you try the various wines. The prevailing opinion is that GranMonte produces the best white wine in Thailand. It’s 2004 Kirimaya Chenin Blanc has a toasty, nutty scent and goes very well with Vin Cotto’s duck salad. It seems extraordinary that the vineyard began as an idea for GranMonte’s CEO, Khun Visooth Lohitnavy, just ten years ago. It’s all in the grapes, according to Khun Visooth: “The winemaker can only make good wine from good grapes. He can also make bad wine from good grapes if he is lousy.” The vineyard hosts a Wine Festival in October and a Harvest Festival in February, where you can join in picking the grapes before a judging of the best picks.

Wine cellar source:

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