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Koh Samui Travel Guide

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Koh Samui

Koh SamuiKoh Samui is Thailand’s third largest island at 247 square kilometres, and during the last decade it has become one of Southeast Asia’s premier tourist destinations.

Koh Samui sits snugly in the Gulf of Thailand, surrounded by other island gems like Ko Pha-ngan and     Ko Tao, and is located 84 km. east of Surat Thani, the provincial capital on the mainland. With soft-sand beaches shaded by towering palms, delicious fresh seafood and a vibrant nightlife, Samui has a magical formula that seems to cast its spell on everyone.

Many visitors are content to laze the days away on the beach, soaking up the sun and cooling off in the turquoise waters, but for action enthusiasts there are plenty of choices. Diving and snorkelling, windsurfing and paragliding, beach volleyball and off-road driving (and other similar activities).

One of the island’s most appealing features is its loop road, which makes a 50 km. circuit around the island, giving tantalizing glimpses of superb beaches on the north, east and west coasts. It runs past sleepy fishing villages and through seas of coconut palms, passing Samui’s most impressive waterfall and tempting turn-offs into the highlands along the way. Other attractions on or near the road include a butterfly farm, a snake show, a monkey-training centre, and health spas dedicated to pampering the body.

There’s plenty on Samui to keep even the most jaded traveller happy for a week or two, but for anyone spending even a few days here, an opportunity not to be missed is a trip to the emerald islands of the Ang Thong Marine National Park, which offers yet another version of a tropical paradise.

Krabi: Shopping

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Krabi

CottonYou should also wake up early one morning and visit the colourful local market between Phruksauthit Road and Maharaj Road, where every day the stalls are pilled high with all the fresh produce the sea and countryside around Krabi can produce.
It is a real pleasure to wander among the stalls, sampling the different and often unusual tastes and smells but go early to see all the wares piled at their highest and to feel the manic energy of this place, by 10 O’Clock it has begun to slow down, the day’s dealing done.

There are also two popular night markets one on Maharaj Soi 8 just around the corner from Thaimit Tours and the other on the river front at Khongkha Road.

These are the best places to sample many sweet and strange new fruits including the (in)famous Durian or practice your new language skills ordering tasty and cheap Thai dishes, deserts and drinks .

 Ao Nang offers many of the same shopping and eating facilities as Krabi though it is perhaps, a little more familiar to tourists. 

This resort town has a wide range of shops, many right behind the beach and perfect for those beach essentials that you always seem to have forgotton or just run out of. For more ‘serious shopping’, about a kilometre out of town, on the way to Haad Nopparattara Beach, is “The Beach Plaza”. 

This is a modern shopping centre perfect for buying electronics and brand name clothing and toiletries. In fact, every imaginable shopping needs is catered for here under one roof, plus a large choice of eating options from Thai rice and noodles to Western fast food, and everything in between.

Krabi: Getting there

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Krabi

By Car

From Bangkok : take Route 4, passing Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khirikhan, Chumphon, Ranong, and Phang-nga Provinces before reaching Krabi a total distance of 946 kilometers. An alternate route is to take route 4 to Chumphon and then turn onto Route41. This leads through Lang Suan and Chaiya Districts of Chumphon to Wieng Sa District of Surat Thani from there follow Route 4035, passing Ao Luk District of Krabi, back onto Route 4, and down to Krabi Town. This shortcut is just 814 kilometers, and is followed by the bus services.

From Phuket : take Route 402 to Route 4 and pass Tambon Kokkloy of Takua Thung District in Phang-nga Thap Pud District, Phang-nga and enter Ao Luk District of Krabi the total distance is 185 kilometers. Regarding bus transport from Phuket, contact, Tel. (076) 211480

 

By Bus

Buses leave Bangkok for Krabi daily in the evening. The journey takes about 12 hours. The fare for 24 seats air-coditioned bus is 655 Baht, and 446 and 421 Baht for 40 seat air-conditioned bus 234 Baht for non air-conditioned bus. Contact Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Borommarat Chonnani Road) at Tel. (02) 435-1199, 435-5061 (air-conditioned bus) and (02) 4345557 (non air-conditioned bus).

 

By Train

From Bangkok Railway Station take the train to one of the following stations : Trang, Phun Pin in Surat Thani Province, or Thung Song in Nakhon Sri Thammarat Province. From any of these places a bus may be taken onward to Krabi. Regarding train schedules and costs, contact Bangkok Railway Tel. (02) 223-7010 , 223-7020

 

By Air

Details about flights to and from Krabi Airport can be obtained from Thai International Airways Ltd., in Bangkok Tel. (02) 280-0070

 

Krabi: Islands

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Krabi

Ko Phi PhiMu Koh Phi Phi

An archipelago of six islands consists of Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Le as the major islands. The superb scenery of the islands includes high hills with jutting clifts surrounded by marvelous beaches and emerald sea, hiding underneath a bank of coral reefs and colorful marine life. Places to visit of Mu Ko Phi Phi include:

Koh Phi Phi Don covers a total area of 28 square kilometers. An outstanding attraction is Ao Ton Sai, a vast bay with a curving white sandy beach stretching to a mountain range which reaches into the sea. Beside Ao Ton Sai, there are also othe scenic beaches and bays around the island which can be reached by boat. At the north end of the island is Laem Tong where a sea gypsy village is located and which is renowned for its underwater natural beauty. Day trip around the island by boat is recommended.

Koh Phi Phi Le is an island of steep cliffs, covers a total area of 6.6 square kilometers. Phi Phi Le has several beautiful bays such as Pi Le which reaches into a valley and gives a lake-like scenery. This part of the sea is almost encircled by steep cliffs. To the south of Pi Le is a small bay called Lo Sa Ma which hides in a fold of a steep rock and provides a good spot for snorkeling. Another attraction is Tham Viking, a huge vast and airy cave which is home to a large number of swallows. On the cave wall are ancient paintings of sailing ships similar to those used by ancient Vikings. It takes about 30 minutes to get to Phi Phi Le by boat from Phi Phi Don.

 

 Koh Lanta Mu Koh Lanta National Park

Mu Ko Lanta National Park comprises of many different-sized is lands, some of which are surround by beautiful coral reefs such as Ko Ha, Ko Rok and Ko Hai. The main island in the park is Ko Lanta Yai, where both the District Headquarters and National Park Office are located. The island itself is generally rugged and mountainous. There are beaches both gravelly and sandy toward the south. The suitable time to visit Ko Lanta is from November to April.

Koh Lanta Yai

Ko Lanta Yaiis also home to “Chao Le” or sea gypsies. They still maintain their old way of life and have peculiar traditions, such as setting a boat a drift to drive out evil and bring good luck. This is done during the full moon in June and in November.

Travel to Koh Lanta
Boats depart from downtown Krabi to Ko Lanta Yai daily. The journey takes two and a half hours. Boat tickets are available at Chaofa Pier. Tourist may a minibus from Krabi Town to Bo Muang Pier in Amphoe Khlong Thom, 80 kilometres away. Few boats depart from Bo Muang Pier to Ko Phi Phi daily. The trip take about 45 minutes. Contact TAT Krabi Office (Tel: (075) 612740) for current information.

 

Koh HongMu Koh Hong

Mu Koh Hong comprises a number of large and small limestone islands. Ko Hong itself is the largest island. These limestone island have a beach and coral reefs in both deep and shallow water levels. Boats leave for Ko Hong from Ao Nang and the trip takes about one hour. A canoe trip to Ko Hong organised by some travel agents at Ao Nang is a popular activity among tourists.

Koh PhaiKoh Phai

Ko Phai lies to the north of Phi Phi Don. There are lovely beaches on the north and east sides, and coral gardens spreading to the south.

 

 

Koh yungKoh Yung

Ko Yung also lies to the north of Phi Phi Don. There is a rocky beach on the eastern side, a small beach in a fold of the hill and perfectly preserved coral gardens.

Krabi: History

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Krabi

Krabi has many cliffs and caves where ancient colour paintings, stone tools, beads, pottery and skeletal remains have been found.
It is believed that Krabi has been home to homosapiens since the period 25,000- 35,000 B.C. In recorded time,it was called “Ban Thai Samor”,and was one of twelve towns that used, before people were widely literate, the monkey for their standard. At that time, c. 1200 A.D., Krabi was tributary to the Kingdom of Ligor, a city on the Kra Peninsular’s east coast better known today as Nakorn Sri Thammarat. 

Krabi At the start of the Rattanakosin period, about 200 years ago, when the capital was finally settled at Bangkok, and elephant kraal was established in Krabi by order of Jao Praya Nakorn (Noy),the Rajah of Nakorn Sri Thammarat, which was by then a part of the Thai Kingdom. He sent his vizier, the Pra Palad to oversee this task, which was to ensure a regular supply of elephants for the larger town. So many emigrated in the steps of the Pra Palad that soon Krabi had a large community in three different boroughs : Pakasai, Klong Pon, and Pak Lao.

In 1872, King Chulalongkorn graciously elevated these to town status, called Krabi, a word that preserves in its meaning the monkey symbolism of the old standard. The town’s first governor was Luang Tehp Sena, though it continued a while as a dependency of Nakorn Sri Thammarat. This was changed in 1875, when Krabi was raised to a fourth level town in the old system of Thai government. Administrators then reported directly to the central government in Bangkok, and Krabi’s history as a unique entity, separate from the other provinces, had begun.

During the present reign, the corps of civil servants, the merchants, and the population generally of Krabi and nearby provinces have tegether organized construction of a royal residence at Laem Hahng Nak Cape for presentation to Her Majesty the Queen. This lies thirty kilometers to the west of Krabi town on the Andaman coast.

The mountainous geography, broken by highlands and plains on the mainland, and 130 big and small islands in the Andaman Sea make Krabi a perfect place for recreation

The famous “Phi Phi islands”, named “Paradise on Earth” , has never lessened in its amazing beauty which includes beaches, limestone sea cliffs and . “Lanta islands” which lies to the South of Krabi Town includes stretches of mangrove with breaks of coral rimmed beaches with rugged hills caused in exotic forest. There is lillte development on Lanta Islands. “Ao Nang” and “Rai Ley Bay” are uniquely beautiful by their nice sand beaches and lime-stone steep sided mountains and cliffs that attract rock climbers from around the world. Other Islands and shore beaches are never the same in their beauty.

Nataural forest cover is chiefy mangrove and Cassia trees. Krabi’s sandy clay soil conditions are perfect for a variety of agricultural products, including: Rubbles trees, Palms, Oranges, Coconuts and coffee.

The Krabi river flows 5 kilometers throngh the city and flows into the Andaman Sea at Tambon PAK NAM .This river has its source the Panom Benja Mountains

Temperrature for the year range between 16.9 and 37.3 degrees Celsius; yearly rainfall averages 2,568.5 millimeters

Krabi Travel Guide

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Krabi

KrabiKrabi is a southern province on Thailand’s Andaman seaboard with perhaps the country’s oldest history of continued settlement. After dating stone tools, ancient coloured pictures, beads, pottery and skeletal remains found in the province’s many cliffs and caves, it is thought that Krabi has been home to homo sapiens since the period 25,000 – 35,000 B.C.

In recorded times it was called the ‘Ban Thai Samor’, and was one of twelve towns that used, before people were widely literate, the monkey for their standard. At that time, 1200 A.D., Krabi was tributary to the Kingdom of Ligor, a city on the Kra Peninsula’s east coast better known today as Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Ayutthaya: Bang Pa-In Summer Palace

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Ayutthaya

Half an hour south of Ayutthaya, (58 kilometres north of Bangkok by rail, 61 kilometres by road), Bang Pa-In is the site of a riverside summer palace formerly popular with late Ayutthaya-period monarchs and early kings of the present Chakri dynasty.

Originally, the riverine island was used by the Ayutthayan monarch, Prasat Thong (reign: 1630-1655) as a summer residence, and by every Ayutthayan monarch thereafter. When Bangkok became the new Thai capital in 1782, Bang Pa-In remained deserted for 80 years. King Rama IV (reign: 1851-1868) stayed there and had a residence constructed in the old palace compound. His son, King Chulalongkorn (reign: 1868-1910) liked the place, and stayed there every year, largely constructing the royal palace, a collection of Thai, European and Chinese-style buildings, as it is seen today.

The palace is open every day from 8.30 AM until 3.30 PM. Admission is 50 baht. 

Attractions of Bang Pa-In are as follows:

 

Aisawanthipphaya-At Pavilion

Aisawanthipphaya At PaviloonThis lovely classic Thai-style pavilion in the centre of an ornamental lake is one of Thailand’s best-known landmarks. Originally built of wood during the reign of King Rama V, the structure was reinforced with concrete pillars and floor by his son, King Vajiravudh (reign: 1910-1926).

 

Warophat Phiman Hall

Warophat Phiman HallFormerly a wooden, two-storey building used as a throne hall, and royal residence, the present European-style throne hall was constructed by King Rama V. The hall contains several historical paintings, and some of popular Thai literature, including the epic Ramakian, and Inao.

 

 

 

Utthayan Phumisathian Hall

Utthayan Phumisathian HallThe current wooden structure is a faithful reproduction of the original, which burned down in 1938.

 

 

 

Wehat Chamrun Hall

Wehat Chamrun HallThis magnificent Chinese-style building was a gift to King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) from the king’s subjects of Chinese ancestry. King Rama V used customarily to reside in the dwelling during Cool Season visits.

 

 

 

Withunthatsana Hall

Withunthatsana HallThe tower-like structure, essentially a three-storey-building with a spiral staircase, was used by King Rama V as a vantage point during his periodic visits.

 

 

 

Queen Sunantha Monument

This memorial to the consort of Rama V who died tragically during a boating accident at Bang Pa-In contains the queen’s ashes and relics.

Wat Niwet Thammaprawat

Wat Niwet ThammapawatThis riverine island Buddhist temple was constructed, at the command of King Rama V during 1878, in the style of an English Gothic church. The structure’s stained glass windows and unusual architecture make it one of the most distinctive Buddhist temples anywhere in Thailand. 

Ayutthaya: Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts & Crafts Centre

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Ayutthaya

3309 road ,south of Bang Pa-In Summer Palace

This 14-acre riverside complex in Ayutthaya’s Bang Sai district is under the Foundation of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques (SUPPORT) which was established under royal patronage during 1976.

The centre trains farmers from Ayutthaya, and other provinces, in folk arts and crafts. Visitors to the centre can see how such crafts are produced. They include: 
 

- Fern vine basketry
- Basketry weaving
- Artificial silk flowers
- Hand-woven silks and cottons
- Silk dyeing
- Wood carving
- Miniature hand-made Thai dolls
- Furniture making
- Textile products

 All such products are sold at the Bang Sai Centre, and in every branch of Chitralada Shops nationwide.

The Bang Sai Folk Arts and Crafts Centre is open every day from 8.30 AM until 4.30 PM. There are no demonstrations on Monday. Admission is 20 baht.

Bang Sai can be conveniently reached by public transport from the Northern Bus Terminal on Bangkok’s Phaholyothin Road. Buses depart every 30 minutes from 5.30 AM until 6.00 PM. Tickets are 25 baht by airconditioned bus, and 17 baht by ordinary buses. 

The Historic City of Ayutthaya

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Ayutthaya

Wat Phra Si San Phet & The Ancient Palace

This royal temple was the inspiration for the Emerald Buddha Chapel in Bangkok, and is the focal point of a complex currently called the ‘Ancient Palace’. Much like the Grand Palace complex in Bangkok, the ‘Ancient Palace’ was the traditional residence of Ayutthayan monarchs.  
 

Wat Phra Si San Phet & The Ancient PalaceThe entire complex is dominated by Wat Phra Si San Phet’s three towering Ayutthayan-style chedis, and contains several satellite ruins of meeting halls used for state ceremonies, to welcome foreign envoys, to view military parades and royal barge processions, and for leisure. Adjacent to the complex is the Phra Mongkhon Bophit Chapel which houses a massive bronze Buddha image.

 

 

Wat Phra Ram

Wat Phra RamThis temple was constructed during the late 1300s by King Ramesuan to commemorate his father, King Ramathibodi I, who founded Ayutthaya as his new capital in 1350.

 

Wat Ratchaburana

Wat RatchaburanaLocated opposite Wat Mahathat, this temple was built by King Borom Rachathirat II during the 1420s.

 

 

Wat Mahathat

Wat MahathatDating from the late 1300s, this extensive temple was destroyed in 1767. Golden memorabilia from the temple is displayed in the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum.

 

 

Wat Suwandaram Ratchaworawihan

This temple, noteworthy for excellent murals in the main classsic Ayutthayan-style chapel, near the Pom Phet fortress, is a royal monastery of the present Chakri dynasty.

 

Chanthrakasem or Front Palace

Chanthrakasem or Front PalaceThis palace was built as the residence of King Naresuan the Great (reign: 1590-1605). The palace was renovated during the mid 1800s by King Mongkut (Rama IV) to be his residence during occasional visits to Ayutthaya. The palace is now part of the National Museum under the responsibility of the Fine Arts Department. The museum is open every day, except Monday, Tuesday and national holidays, between 9.00 AM and 4.00 PM. Admission: 10 baht.

 

 

Chao Sam Phraya National Museum

Chao Sam Phraya National MuseumThe museum contains many Ayutthayan-style objets d’art, including exquisite golden royal memorabilia excavated from local temples. The museum is open every day, except Monday, Tuesday and national holidays, between 9.00 AM and 4.00 PM. Admission: 10 baht.

 

 

Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre

This centre is a national research institute devoted to the study of medieval Ayutthaya. The centre contains reconstructions from Ayutthaya’s historical past, an information service and a library. The centre is open from 9.00 AM until 4.00 PM every day, except Mondays, Tuesdays and national holidays. Admission: 100 baht.

 

Khun Phaen’s Residence

Khun Phaen's ResidenceThis teak traditional Thai-style residence, as might have been owned by a wealthy merchant, located near the Phra Mongkhon Bophit Chapel, evokes a bygone era’s lifestyle.

 

Wat Phuttaisawan

Wat PhuttaisawanThis riverside temple was constructed in the area where King U-Thong (later crowned King Ramathibodi I) and his followers founded the new capital of Ayutthaya in 1350.

 

 

 

Wat Phananchoeng

Wat PhananchoengThis riverside temple predates Ayutthaya’s founding as the Siamese capital in 1350. The principal Buddha image was built in 1325 and is highly revered by local inhabitants.

 

 

 

Wat Yai Chaiyamongkhon

Wat Yai ChaiyamongkhonThis monastery dates from the mid-1300s, The enormous pagoda was built by King Naresuan the Great to celebrate his victory in 1592 over the Burmese Crown Prince in single-handed combat on elephants.

 

 

 

Wat Chaiwattanaram

Wat ChaiwattanaramAnother riverside temple built by King Prasat Thong during the 1600s. The main prang and pagodas remain in good condition.

 

 

Wat Na Phramen

Wat Na PhramenThis temple, still in use today, is the only temple not completely destroyed during the 1767 invasion and destruction of Ayutthaya.

 

 

 

Elephant Kraal

Elephant KraalThis unique teak and brick structure, just beyond Ayutthaya’s riverine island, was formerly used to entrap wild elephants herded down from the North..Such occurrences were traditionally presided over by Ayutthayan monarchs, partly because the mighty beasts were vital to Ayutthaya’s military strength.

 

 

Wat Phukhao Thong(Golden Mount)

Wat Phukhao Thong(Golden Mount)This temple was constructed in 1387 during the reign of King Ramesuan. 

 

 

 

Ayutthaya: Getting Around

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Ayutthaya

Mini-buses   

 can be taken from the railway station into town. Fares are approximately 5 baht per person. 
 

Ferries  

can be taken from the pier near the railway station across the Pasak River. The fare is 2 baht. 
 

Tuk-tuk (3-wheeled vehcle) 

within Ayutthaya costs from 300 to 500 baht per day. 
 

Bicycles 

can be rented for about 50 baht 
 

Bus to Out-of-Town Attractions    

Other than renting a car, you may also go to tourist sites and shopping places out of town taking a bus form local bus terminal.