Friday, June 30, 2006

The highest mountain, Doi Inthanon - Chiangmai - Thailand

Doi Inthanon Chiangmai Thailand Doi Inthanon National Park covers the areas of Sanpatong District, Chomthong District, Mae Chaem District, Mae Wang District, and Toi Lor Sub-district of Chiang Mai Province within an approximate area of 482 square kilometers. The National Park consists of high mountains, including Doi Inthanon, which is the highest mountaintop in Thailand and the source of many rivers such as Ping River, where the Bhumipol Dam is situated and generating the electrical power. The National Park has beautiful natural scenery such as waterfalls, particularly Mae Ya Waterfall, which is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand. Doi Inthanon View Chiangmai Thailand Since the National Park is located at 2,565 meters above the sea level, it has cold weather and high humidity throughout the year, particularly on the top of the National Park. In winter, the temperature at the National Park is below 0ac. And in summer, despite hot weather in central Chiang Mai and nearby districts, it is still freezing on the top of Doi Inthanon and tourists should be prepared with thick clothes. Doi Inthanon Walking Chiangmai Thailand Because of its broad altitudinal range and the cool climate of its upper reaches, the park supports the largest number of bird species of any site in Thailand. The Center for Wildlife Research at Mahidol University records a present total of 362 species and expects addition many at the summit are migrants from northern Asia. Species restricted to Doi Inthanon are Ashy-throated Warbler and an endemic race of the Green-tailed Sunbird; the park is the only site where the Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush and the Yellow-bellied Flower pecker are known to over summer and probably breed.

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Death Railway Bridge - Kanjanaburi - Thailand

The so-called 'Bridge on the River Kwai' looks quite ordinary, but its dramatic story may be of interest. The bridge spans the Mae Nam Khwae Yai, a tributary of the Mae Nam Mae Klong, 3km from Kanjanaburi's lak meuang (town pillar/phallus). Khwae Yai literally translates as 'large tributary'. Death Railway Bridge Kanjanaburi ThailandThe materials for the bridge were brought from Java by the Imperial Japanese Army during their occupation of Thailand. In 1945 the bridge was bombed several times and was only rebuilt after the war - the curved portions of the bridge are original. The first version of the bridge, completed in February 1943, was all wood. In April of the same year a second bridge of steel was constructed. It's estimated 16,000 prisoners of war (POWs) died building the Death Railway to Myanmar, of which the bridge was only a small part. The objective of the railway was to secure an alternative supply route for the Japanese conquest of Burma and other Asian countries to the west. Construction of the railway began on 16 September 1942 at existing terminals in Thanbyuzayat, Myanmar and Nong Pladuk, Thailand. Japanese engineers at the time estimated that it would take five years to link Thailand and Myanmar by rail, but the Japanese army forced the POWs to complete the 415km, 1m-gauge railway (of which roughly two-thirds ran through Thailand) in 16 months. Much of the railway was built in difficult terrain that required high bridges and deep mountain cuttings. The rails were finally joined 37km south of Three Pagodas Pass; a Japanese brothel train inaugurated the line. The River Khwae Bridge was in use for 20 months before the Allies bombed it in 1945. Only one POW is known to have escaped, a Briton who took refuge among pro-British Karen guerrillas. Death Railway Bridge Sidewalk Kanjanaburi ThailandTrain enthusiasts may enjoy the railway museum in front of the bridge, with engines used during WWII on display. Every year during the first week of December there is a nightly sound-and-light show at the bridge, commemorating the Allied attack on the Death Railway in 1945. It's a big scene, with the sounds of bombers and explosions, fantastic bursts of light and more. The town gets a lot of Thai tourists during this week, so book early if you want to witness this spectacle.

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Phataem - Thailand

Phataem View ThailandPhataem ThailandPhataem Kongchiam Thailand The park located in Ubon Ratchatani province, covers Amphur Khong Jiam, Sri Muang Mai and Pho Sai. The 340km2 park is a wide variety of interesting scenery and activities. The fascinating aspect is the Mekhong river which serves as a long natural border between the park and Loas providing some excellent views. The area has a considerable historical and natural value and was requested to become a national park on the 31st December 1991 as the 74th national park of Thailand. The park has a monsoonal climate with three distinct season; The rain (June-September), the cold (October-February) and the dry season (March-May). The park can be visited all year but be prepared for the chilly nights in the cold season and the occasional heavy thunderstorms in the rain season. The park covers by Dipterocarp forest with Shorea obtusa, Shorea siamensis, Dipterocarpus obtusifollus are dominant species and some beautiful flowers. Beyond, there are some dry evergreen forests near streams. It is also wildlife habitats for example Siamese hare, barking deer, civet, palm civet. And we can see wild pig and serow, which moved from Laos in summer The general topography of the park are undulating plains and highlands, and is part of the Phannom Dongrak mountain range. Rock pillars and rock formations are characteristics park. Sandstone is the most common rock type found. The Mekhong river is the ends of the many streams of the park. The park has a monsoon climate with three seasons: rainy season (June to October), cool season (October to February) and the dry and hot season (February to June). The park is covered by Dipterocarp forest with Shorea obtusa, Shorea siamensis, Dipterocarpus obtusifollus and some beautiful flowers. There are also some dry evergreen forests near the streams.

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

On the ride - Tuk Tuk - Thailand

It is a three-wheeled vehicle. Its name is derived from the sound of the 2-stroke engine, found in the traditional older tuk-tuks but no longer in use on modern tuk-tuks and certainly not on ours. The tuk-tuk is primarily used as a taxi in Thailand and is a speedy and efficient method of getting about in the traffic chaos of Bangkok. Doing a similar job to the taxi is Thailand's ubiquitous tuk-tuk . So named because of the sound of their engine, these are motorized rickshaws and are popular amongst tourists for their novelty value. They are occasionally faster than taxis in heavy traffic as weaving in and out is easier, but generally about the same or slower. Without any luggage, 3 people can fit into one fairly comfortably - it's possible to fit more in but it gets a bit cramped. Fares always have to be bargained for, and it is sometimes possible to bargain tuk-tuk drivers down to less than the taxi flagfall of 35B when they make good value. Most times, they offer no savings over a taxi, except perhaps if you're good at bargaining and can speak good Thai. The initial price they quote is likely to be well over the going rate, but it's easy to bargain it down to a more reasonable one if you know roughly the equivalent taxi fare. It's essential to bargain the price with tuk-tuks before getting in. If you only ask after the ride, it's likely to end in a request for an ridiculous fare which can obviously lead to an unpleasant situation. Just like taxi drivers, the tuk-tuk drivers mostly come from the rural northeast of Thailand and don't have to undergo any training (some will not even have passed a driving test), so don't be surprised if they sometimes have no idea where your destination is. A subtle point to remember when in one is not to rest your feet on the rail near the drivers head, as doing so is extremely disrespectful towards the driver. As tuk-tuks are open-ended, they expose passengers to the high pollution levels in the middle of Bangkok's roads and offer almost no protection in case of an accident. There is theoretically a ban on new tuk-tuks as they are so noisy and polluting, but it doesn't really seem to be being enforced at present. Nevertheless, many of the local residents are not too enamoured with tuk-tuks nowadays and, were it not for their popularity with tourists, the days of the tuk-tuk on the streets of Bangkok would surely be numbered. Tuk Tuk Bangkok ThailandTuk Tuk Watprakeaw Bangkok ThailandTuk Tuk Waiting Passengers Bangkok Thailand

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Erawan Waterfall - Kanjanaburi - Thailand

Erawan Waterfall KanjanaburiThe largest and most beautiful waterfall in the western region, Erawan Waterfall is on the bank of Kwai Yai River in Khao Salop (Erawan) National Park. It is about 2,000 metres tall divided into 7 levels. The atmosphere in this always-verdant national park is serene, peaceful and rich with innumerable plant and flower species, perfectly conducive to sight-seeing and relaxation. Erawan Waterfall Forest Kanjanaburi Erawan Waterfalls are the focal point of the Erawan National Park. This is an exquisite park, very pretty, and very popular with locals and foreigners alike. The waterfalls are equally exquisite. There are seven tiers of waterfalls, each feeding lovely, freshwater pools that you can swim in. A series of tracks lead you to the various falls across wooden footbridges - quite an experience in their own right! The waterfalls can get a bit crowded as they are so popular, so if you are looking for a more solitary experience, you should perhaps look elsewhere. A number of stalls provide staples like grilled chicken and rice along the way, and there is often very much of a carnival atmosphere about the place, especially in April during the Songkran Festival. A visit here will take the day – you should bear this in mind if you have limited time. Erawan Waterfall Forest Mountain Kanjanaburi There are two entrances to the park. On the west, a road comes from Sai Yok National Park. On the south,highway 323 comes from Kanjanaburi.

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Kwan Phayao - Phayao Lake - Thailand

Kwan Phayao Lake Thailand Kwan Phayao Thailand This natural lake having clear and clean water occupies a space of 12,831 rais. It is beautiful and a breeding source for fresh water fishes, especially the freshwater pla buek catfish. There are a lot of food shops locted along the bank suitable for dining and relaxing in the evening in during the sunset. A large, permanent, freshwater lake (1,980 ha), fringed by approximately 3,000 ha of rice paddy to the south and west and with a marshy area and some old oxbows (c.300 ha) at the northern end where the Nam Mae Ing empties into the lake. There is also some inflow from the Mae Tam which empties into the lake from the south. The eastern shore of the lake is largely built-up, and the town of Phayao lies near the southeast corner. The lake empties to the east, via the Nam Mae lag, into the Mekong. The water level is controlled by a sluice gate and a spillway; the mean depth is 1.7m, and the pH varies from 6.0-9.1. Kwan Phayao is one of the largest semi-natural wetlands in northern Thailand. Thirty-six species of aquatic plants have been recorded. Najas graminea and Ceratophyllum demersum are the predominant submerged plants. There is also much Salvinia cucullata, Eichhornia crassipes, Nelumbo nucifera, and some Scirpus grossus. Adjacent areas are almost entirely cultivated (mainly rice paddy with some maize, groundnuts and tobacco). The lake is in public ownership, but the adjacent shoreline is mainly privately owned. Surrounding areas are privately owned farmland, much of which is leased to tenant farmers.

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MRT - Bangkok - Thailand

MRT Bangkok Thailand The MRT subway, Bangkok's second major mass transit system is on track for a test run on April 13, 2004, in preparation for an official opening on August 12, 2004, Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday. The subway rail system will run from the city's main railway station, Hua Lamphong, under two major thoroughfares linking the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre with several more hotels, shopping centres and business districts. Its route is 20 kilometres long with 17 stations and four interchange stations that will connect to the Skytrain. More interchange stations will come on stream after line extensions to the Skytrain are completed. The subway is one of a number of infrastructure and transportation development projects underway in Bangkok and nationwide. Others include extension of the highway network in the provinces, improved seaport facilities and construction of the New Bangkok International Airport (Suvarnabhumi Airport). The foundation stone of the subway was laid at Hua Lamphong train station on November 19, 1996, and construction began in 1997. Private investors on a 25-year concession from the government’s Mass Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) will operate it. Safety has been a primary consideration in the construction of the subway. Many have questioned building of a subway system in a city with porous soil, wasn’t there a risk of flooding. Don’t worry, all the entrances and shafts to the subway are built above the 200-year flood level for Bangkok (1.2-1.5 meter above ground level). If the water goes over the 200 year flood level, all openings have "stop block" doors that close to seal the openings.

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BTS - Bangkok - Thailand

BTS Bangkok Thailand The BTS Skytrain is the safest, most comfortable and convenient way to get around Bangkok. In service since December 5, 1999, it has transformed the face of public transportation in the Thai capital, for the first time offering both residents and visitors a comfortable ride through central Bangkok - lifting commuters above the chronic congestion, noise and pollution of the streets below. Our modern electrified trains transport Bangkok's commuters in wide air-conditioned cars, saving them time with quick, reliable service. The BTS SkyTrain's high-capacity operating system ensures almost no breakdowns and a virtual 100% punctuality. Each train can carry over 1,000 passengers while a similar number of people would use 800 cars, making the BTS Skytrain the most environmentally friendly mass transit system in Thailand. Currently there are two routes, the Sukhumvit Line and the Silom Line. They cover much of the central city and its many commercial, residential and tourist areas, with extensions planned to outlying areas. The trains run daily between 6:00 am and 12:00 midnight with frequent service throughout the day, increased during rush hours. The fare is based on the distance traveled. The BTS is eager to help promote tourism in Bangkok and assist foreign visitors who use our system. At the BTS Tourist Information Center visitors can get useful information on Bangkok’s variety of attractions and assistance in traveling around town. Our services include offering boat tickets for the Chao Praya River Tour, and internet services. Kick off a great journey around Bangkok with the Skytrain - the city’s safest, most convenient, and most reliable transport. Take it to see Bangkok's many attractions, including some of its best shopping places and cultural sights. To make your visit even more memorable, we offer a river tour using the Chao Praya Express Boat Company to visit the magnificent historical places along the Chao Praya River. Find out just how easy and convenient it is to use the BTS SkyTrain to see Bangkok's many commercial, tourist, shopping and cultural sights with our one-day travel programs. BTS At Night Bangkok Thailand

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Thai Dancing - Thailand

Thai Dancing Male Female ThailandThai Dancing Flirting Thailand Thai Dancing: The Thai Dance is a graceful and interpretative performance. It has played an indispensable part of Thai life from historical times to the present day. Thai dance is closely intertwined with the beliefs, traditions and customs of Thailand and is therefore important to the lives of the people. It has been kept alive through royal patronage in a continuous line of succession through the Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin periods. Thai dancing may be divided into two major styles: folk dance ('rabam phun muang') and classical dance ('natasin'). Each of the four regions of Thailand has its own folk dances that are usually associated with agricultural and social activities, such as rice planting, harvesting, festivals, and religious celebrations. Basically, northern folk dances are elegant and graceful while the dances of the South and Northeast are more active and fun-filled, but still retain the fundamental grace of Thai dancing in general. Central and eastern dances are clearly linked to the agrarian lifestyles of the people. From the basic movements of folk dances, classical Thai dance further refined the elaborate hand gestures, arm and leg movements that are able to captivate audiences to this day. Clasical Thai Dancing: The history of Thai drama has generally been treated as a part of the study of Thai literature, culture and customs. The earliest literary references to Clasical Thai dancing appeared in the stone inscription of Phor Khun Ramkhamhaeng, the third king of the Sukhothai Kingdom. Thai Dancing Thailand

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Floating Market, Damnoen Saduak - Thailand

Floating Market Selling Buying ThailandIt's in the early morning that the three floating markets of Damnoen Saduak are seen at their best, so whether you hire a boat with friends or join an organised trip, try to get out on the water early. Even by 8am, the markets are already buzzing with life, but you will still be able to navigate the canals and channels in your own time and marvel at the abundance of fruit, vegetables and other foodstuffs and goods on offer. Boat-to-boat trading like this is becoming a rarity in Thailand, but it hardly feels like a dying way of life when you're in the thick of the action. The trading among the 100s of straw-hatted vendors is fast-paced and competitive, as they paddle their boats up and down the narrow waterways in search of customers. It makes for a memorable morning out on the water - and all the delicious food on offer is sure to get your tastebuds going in time for an early lunch! The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is located Located 80km (50 miles) southwest of Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a daily riot of colour and noise. Farmers and smallholders from the surrounding hills turn up each morning to sell and exchange fruit and vegetables from their heavily-laden barges, as they sail up and down the canals amongst the orchards and vineyards. The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a very attractive place for tourists to see the old style and traditional way of selling and buying fruits, vegetables, etc., from small boats. Tourists will also see traditional Thai houses, the way they live and travel by boats, and please try riding on a small boat to experience the floating market and to see more. This is a worthwhile trip. Floating Market Thailand

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National Musuem, Bangkok - Thailand

National Musuem Bangkok Thailand Inside National Museum Bangkok Thailand The collections of the National Museum, Bangkok are national cultural heritage with the emphasis on art, archeological and cultural objects which are dated from as early as prehistory up to presentday. Three main galleries are : The Gallery of Thai History located at Sivamokkha - phiman hall with the prehistoric gallery at the rear part of the building. History of Art and Archeological Collections are presented in two buildings : Dvaravati, Srivijaya and Lopburi in south wing ; and Lanna, Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin are in the north wing. For the galleries in the old palace buildings, variety of minor arts and ethnological collections are exhibited such as gold treasure, enamel wares, mother-of-pearl inlay, musical instruments, wood carving, entertainment articles, textiles, ceramics, royal regalia, palanquins, old weapons, and stone inscriptions, etc. Royal Cremation ceremonial exhibits and chariots are housed in the cremation chariot hall. The National Museum, Bangkok also has a monumental value in itself as a Palace to the Front. Many buildings are displayed in original purpose such as Buddhaisawan Chapel where the Buddha Sihing was enshrined. European and Chinese furnitures are shown in Issaretra-chanusorn, or King Pin Klao resident. Tamnak Daeng or the Red House, Sala Samarn - Mukhamat, and other pavillions are examples of Thai architecture.

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Baiyoke Tower, Bangkok - Thailand

View From Baiyoke Bangkok Thailand - The Baiyoke Tower was opened in 1998. - This building is 309 metres tall or about the height of 182 people standing one on top of the other. - There are 1,740 windowpanes in the building. About the same number of windowpanes can be used for over 200 townhouses. - The area inside this building is about 30 football fields. - There are altogether 2,060 steps from the bottom to the top. It takes more than one hour to reach the top. The Bangkok Observation is located at the top of Baiyoke Sky, the tallest tower in the Kingdom of Thailand. - 76th Floor: Sky Buffet - 77th Floor: Observation Deck - 84th Floor: Rovolving Roof Deck

Sky Buffet: (76th floor)

Bufffet lunch 11:00am - 2pm - adult 310 Bht and children 155 Bht Dinner 5:30pm - 10:00pm - adult 410 baht and children 205 baht

Getting Up There:

- If you are at the ground floor of the building, go up the glass elevator behind the ticket booth to the 77th floor, an observation deck, then take another elevator to the 83rd floor before walking up the stairs to the Sky Walk Revolving deck on the 84th. - If you are at the parking lot, take the elevator down to the ground floor and then follow the instruction above. The view is far better than taking an elevator up from the parking lot. Baiyoke Tower A Day Bangkok ThailandBaiyok Tower At Night Bangkok Thailand

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rocket Festival, Bun Bang Fai - Thailand

Rocket Festival Parade Thailand Traditionally, the rocket festival is the sixth Lunar month ceremony that Lao people have conducted for many generation(s). It is a very important event that we could not abandon since the early period of time. It is also the important symbol of unity and friendship used to fight against dry weather and to request rain. Eventhough, belief in the rain god is less now than in former times, the Lao still respect this tradition and continue to prepare the rocket festival as one of the most significant activities that takes place before of the season of rice cultivation. In addition to the preparation of rockets, there are some Buddhist ceremonies such as waterblessing rituals that the senior monks perform at the same event. The Rocket festival is the only annual chance the farmers have to request rain from the god called Phaya Thaen. Because of the strong belief held since ancient times, when the land was dry and farmers did not have enough water for rice production. So the rocket festival were instituted. It is the one means for human beings to communicate symbolically with the god to request rain. The rocket launching itself is competitive, with prizes for the best explosion, greatest distance, etc. The secrets of rocket making have been passed down over the generations and refined into sophisticated, multi-chambered wonders of pre-scientific technology. Some of these things are four or five meters long, and fly a kilometer or more, or explode at their apogee into a spectacular and colorful fireball. As if this wasn’t enough, there are countless other activities (as with any country fair) including live music, dancing and other contests. Though countless villages observe the celebration, on various dates and the best organized is held in Yasothorn Province. This year the three-day blowout runs from May 10-12. Rocket Festival At Night Thailand

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Vimanmek Mansion - Bangkok - Thailand

Vimanmek Royal Mansion Bangkok Thailand Vimanmek Mansion is the largest residence in Dusit Garden. Its elaborate architectural style reflects a western influence. The building has two right-angled wings. Each wing is 60 metres long and 20 metres high. It is a three-storey building except for the part where the King resided, which is octagonal and has four-storeys. The ground floor is brick and cement while the upper floors are built of golden teakwood planks. There are altogether 31 exhibition rooms, some of which maintain the atmosphere of the past, especially the bedrooms, the Audience Chamber and the bathrooms. Some rooms house exhibitions of art works, for example, there is a silverware display room, a ceramic display room, a glassware display room and an ivory display room. Besides Vimanmek Mansion and the Amporn Satarn Mansion in the compound of Dusit Garden or Dusit Palace (as it was later renamed by King Rama V), King Rama V allocated plots of land for the construction of residences for his Queens, consorts, sisters, daughters, and his other wives. He also named gardens, canals, gates and roads after the names of ancient Chinese porcelain commonly called “Khrueng Kim Tung”, which were very popular at the time. For example, the residence that belonged to Her Majesty Queen Srisawarindhira was named Suan Hong Residence (Swan Garden Residence). Now these residences, which are no longer used by the Royal Family and located north of Vimanmek Mansion, have been turned into museum buildings and a hall for royal coaches to be shown to the general public. Vimanmek Royal Mansion At Night Bangkok Thailand

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Jim Thompson House, Thai Style - Bangkok - Thailand

Jim Thompson House Bangkok ThailandDespite the name, Jim Thompson's House is one of the best-preserved examples of the traditional Thai house in the city. Once home to the American silk entrepreneur Jim Thompson, this remarkable house-cum-museum accommodates Thompson's vast collection of antiques and artworks from all over the Southeast Asian region. Notable items include priceless examples of blue and white Ming porcelain and 19th century jataka paintings, which cover the walls of the rooms. Don't miss the headless Buddha figure in the garden, which dates from the 6th century. This early Dvaravati image is one of the oldest surviving Buddha statues in the world. Perhaps even more fascinating than the house itself is the tale of the mysterious owner, American Jim Thompson. A former member of the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, Thompson revived the flagging silk weaving industry at the end of the Second World War. His marketing skills helped turn the fortunes of the ailing Thai silk industry around, and Jim Thompson is to this day regarded as the very finest brand of Thai silk. As his business grew, Jim Thompson became a well-known Bangkok socialite, dedicated to reviving Thai crafts and arts. Much of his art collection is still on display at his Ayutthayan house in Bangkok's Rama I Road area. Jim Thompson disappeared under mysterious circumstances whilst on a walk in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia in 1967. Many theories have been put forward to explain his disappearance but the truth remains a mystery. Suggestions of a conspiracy involving his CIA connections have been proposed in explanation, but so too have jungle tigers, heart attacks and Communist insurgents.Second Floor Jim Thompson House Bangkok Thailand Dinning Jim Thompson House Bangkok Thailand LOCATION: 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama I Road, Bangkok. Tel: 216-7368, 215-0122 GETTING THERE: Jim Thompson's House is at the end of a small lane opposite the National Stadium. You can either get off the sky train at the stadium or nearby Siam Square. OPENING HOURS: Open every day at 9 a.m. The last tour begins at 4.30 p.m. ADMISSION: 100 baht

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Old City - Sukhothai - Thailand

Sukhothai which literally means "Dawn of Happiness" with an area of 6,596 sq.kms., is about 427 km (267 miles) north of Bangkok and was founded in 1238. Sukhothai was the capital of Thailand for approximately 120 years. Found in the 13th century, Sukhothai (literally means “Dawn of Happiness”) was the first truly independent Thai Kingdom, which enjoyed a golden age under King Ramkhamhaeng, credited with creating the Thai alphabet. The superb temples and monuments of this great city have been lovingly restored in Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see for all travellers. Sukhothai is located on the lower edge of the northern region, 427 kilometres north of Bangkok or some 298 kilometres south of Chiang Mai. The province covers some 6,596 square kilometres and is divided into 9 Amphoes: Mueang Sukhothai, Ban Dan Lan Hoi, Khiri Mat, Kong Krailat, Sawankhalok, Si Nakhon, Si Samrong, Si Satchanalai and Thung Saliam. In its heyday Sukhothai was a thriving centre of trade, culture and religion. Today the ruined city is situated among rolling green hills and tranquil lotus ponds and offers a glimpse of the culture and architectural wonders of a bygone civilization. Old City Sukhothai ThailandOld City River Sukhothai Thailand

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Old City - Ayutthaya - Thailand

The capital of Thailand from 1350 until it was sacked in 1767 by the Burmese, Ayutthaya is 76 kms. north of Bangkok. Magnificent ruins of the old city still remain, some having been restored. Archaeological excavations are still proceeding at many sites in the area. Attractions in Ayutthaya include: Chao Sam Phraya National Museum; the very large Buddha image called "Phra Mongkhon Bophit"; ruins of the former Royal palace which was a complex with many buildings. Ayutthaya can be reached by train from Bangkok or by bus from the Northem Bus Terminal. As for a river excursion, there are some cruisers running from Bangkok to Ayutthaya every day. Today, there are but groups of crumbling ruins and rows of headless Buddhas where once an empire thrived. The temple compounds are still awe-inspiring even in disrepair and a visit here is memorable and a good beginning for those drawn to the relics of history. The architecture of Ayutthaya is a fascinating mix of Khmer (ancient Cambodian style) and early Sukhothai style. Some cactus-shaped obelisks, called prangs, denote Khmer influence and look something like the famous towers of Angkor Wat. The more pointed stupas are ascribed to the Sukhothai influence. For new arrivals who had limited their visit to Bangkok, similarities may be noted with the riverside Wat Arun, an 18th-century structure that was built in the so-called Ayutthaya style, a melding of Sukhothai Buddhist influences and Hindu-inspired Khmer motifs. Ayutthaya is administratively divided into 16 districts: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ban Phraek, Bang Ban, Bang Pahan, Bang Pa-in, Amphoe Bang Sai, Bang Sai, Lat Bua Luang, Maha Rat, Nakhon Luang, Phachi, Phak-Hai, Sena, Tha Rua, Uthai and Wang Noi. Old City River Ayutthaya ThailandOld City Ayutthaya Thailand

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Chaopraya River - Bangkok - Thailand

Chaopraya River Bangkok Thailand Chaopraya River Night Bangkok Thailand The Chao Phraya river is Bangkok’s lifeline: it was our preferred mode of transportation, especially in hot and humid weather. It is a long ribbon of brown/grayish water, with Bangkok on one side and Thonburi on the other. Most important historical sites are built on its banks. We were at Station 16, a 5 minute walk from our hotel. Piles of sandbags are always around the stations; frequently, you will find wooden planks positioned above ground so as to offer dry paths to pedestrians. Alas, on most, only one person can really fit and it becomes a game of wills when 2 or more people are trying to get through. The river boats that are the workhorses of the Chao Praya are categorized as Yellow or Orange express lines, and White for local. Our fare was Bs. 10 apiece, the highest fare for going from Zone 2 to Zone 1. There are 3 zones in all, and they’ll be denoted on any river map. You can hire a private boat that will take you for an hour’s ride, which we did, for Bs. 600 (US$14) and make stops at designated tourist spots. We did not want to make any stops, but we sat side by side toward the front of the vessel, and as we turned into one of the khlongs (canals), we caught glimpses of everyday life. Most remarkable to me was that regardless of how seedy the housing, every one had an abundance of potted flowers and plants. We went through a small floating market, and had a few vendors trying to interest us in knick knacks. A bit further, we stopped and bought bread to feed fish that magically surfaced in hundreds. It reminded me very much of Lake Mead, where we had a similar experience, feeding the fish popcorn. As I suggested earlier, just get on one of these boats and take it as far as you can go. For 25 cents, you’ll get an overview of Bangkok and then you can decide where you’d like to further your explorations. The best seat in the house is on your feet, posted at one of the openings toward the back, but take care not to stand where they reserve the area for monks. If it’s very crowded, you’ll be constantly elbowed by new passengers making their way to the front of the boat, and by the conductor/tress, who will tear your ticket in half with this circular metal coin holder which she seems to enjoy shaking to no end. If there is any irritant at all, it is the sound of the strident whistle you cannot escape, which is heard as a signal to the captain that he can proceed to the next stop. At times, two boats will get very close to each other, and their insurance against collision comes in the forms of used tires which they hang on the sides of the barges. Very clever indeed.

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Crocodile Farm - Samutprakarn - Thailand

Crocodile_Show_Thailand Bangkok, Thailand's vibrant capital is one of the world's most exotic and colorful cities a unique blend of the traditional and ultra modern. This is one of the world’s largest crocodile farms located in Samut Prakan. Here there are over 15,000 crocodiles enclosed in natural habitat at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River. The Crocodile Farm is located 10 kms from Bangkok. It is the world's Largest Crocodile Farm founded in 1950 by the famous Crocodile King, Mr. Utai Youngprapakorn. They not only look after endangered species, but also to provide a continuing flow of crocodile skins and other products to the world market. Here at Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo, they are dedicated to the education, preservation, research and the conservation of wildlife. Crocodile Farm Show Thailand The main reason for a visit to the Crocodile Farm is though to see the shows they put on! It is possible to witness ‘Crocodile Wrestling’ and keepers putting their heads into crocodile’s mouths quite amazing spectacles. In addition, there are a number of other activities for visitors. Acrobatic elephant shows, elephant and camel rides, paddle boats on the lake and a visit to the Monkey Playground all serve to keep children thoroughly entertained. Given its location and the amount to be seen and done, a visit to the Crocodile Farm is an all day affair. If you have plenty of time in Bangkok, it is certainly worth a visit. Crocodile Farm Swimming Thailand The Crocodile Farm is open daily from 07:00 to 18:00. Admission is 300 Baht for adults and 200 Baht for children.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Wat Pho, Bangkok - Thailand

Wat Pho Temple Sight Bangkok Thailand The Oldest temple. The Biggest temple with largest number of pagoda. The Largest collection of Buddha image. Wat Pho, or Wat Phra Chetuphon as it is generally known to the Thais, is mainly famous for the huge Reclining Buddha statue it houses. At 20 acres large, it is the largest Wat in Bangkok, and is technically the oldest too, as it was built around 200 years before Bangkok became Thailand's capital. However, today the Wat today bears virtually no resemblance to that originally constructed, as it was almost entirely rebuilt by Rama I when the capital was moved to Bangkok. It holds the dual honors of having both Thailand's largest reclining Buddha image and the most number of Buddha images in Thailand.

Wat Pho Temple Bangkok Thailand Massage - Wat Pho is also famous as Thailand's first university, and is center for traditional Thai masage - the rich, famous and powerful have all been known to come here. Inscribed on stone in the walls of Wat Pho are all that was known about Thai massage dating from the reign of King Rama III (most previous texts were lost when the Burmese destroyed Ayuthaya) To get a traditional massage here costs 150B for 30 mins, 250B for an hour and herbal massages are available at 350B an hour. If you want to experience traditional Thai massage, this is probably the best place available and is highly recommended, though be aware that it's not exactly a gentle experience. A foot reflexology massage is also available at 250B for 45 minutes. It is also possible to take courses to learn traditional Thai massage. These are for 30 hours and cost 4,500B. Courses can be spread over either 10 or 15 days. The massage center is situated at the back of the Wat, the opposite side from the entrance. To get a massage, simply turn up here and wait in line until a masseur is available - perhaps 10 or 20 minutes in the quieter periods in the early morning and late afternoon.

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Siam Park - Bangkok - Thailand

Siam Park Bangkok Thailand In the south of Tenerife, in the busier tourist region, you will find the area of the future Aquatic Park “SIAM PARK” This new project, being constructed by the Loro Park, S.A. group, will greatly increase the attraction of tourism and leisure to Tenerife. SIAM PARK will extend over an area of 185.000 square meters. Earth moving a planting work began at the beginning of 2004 creating an oasis to transport you through monuments, buildings, architecture and culture of the old kingdom of Siam(Bangkok), now known as Thailand. The attraction SIAM PARK will offer, have never before been in any other aquatic park in the world.

Siam Park Roller Bangkok Thailand Siam Water Park is a huge entertainment complex northeast of the city, merely a 60-minute drive from the Lard Prao flyover, and is located in suburban Amphoe Minburi. The park features an extensive man-made sea with artificial surf, whirlpools, fountains and waterfalls, and towering water slides amid carefully landscaped gardens. Satellite attractions include children's playgrounds, aviaries, and open zoo and botanical gardens. About half of the complex is devoted for swimmers and the rest for a selection of rides and amusement games. Facilities include changing rooms, swimsuit rental, fast food and bus from entrance to water park. During holidays and festivals, the park hosts circus or similar entertainments. Siam Park Rainbow Pool Bangkok Thailand The complex is open daily from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. (weekdays) and 9:00 A.M. to 7:00P.M. (weekends). Admission fee is 200 Baht for adults and 100 Baht for children. Membership fee is 300 Baht per year. Bus service: No. 26 and 27 from Victory Monument. Telephone - 5170075-9.

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