Pattaya Coral Island

A REVIEW ON ISLAND HOPPING FROM BANGKOK TO PATTAYA ON THE ONE DAY TOUR TO CORAL ISLAND


pattayaVisiting Thailand is never complete without a visit to one of the popular tropical islands. If you only have a few days and mostly based in Bangkok, where can you go to enjoy the white sandy beaches, clear waters and prolific sea life of the famous islands in Thailand?

The great news is that Pattaya in the province of Chonburi is only an hour and forty five minute drive from Bangkok City and there are a number of beautiful tropical islands with all the marine based activities and beautiful sights you would expect of an island paradise. Thaitourismguide now offers the very popular Top 10 Destinations in Pattaya for the Bangkok to Pattaya One Day Tour – Pattaya Coral Island/Koh Larn ( Join Tour) package that will fill a whole day of island and beach activities.

The tour starts very early in the morning with a pick up time at 6.30 am so that means you would need to have a very quick breakfast in your hotel before departing for the tour. This is a full package join in tour which means there will be other tourists going along with you and can be an opportunity to make more friends while travelling. Packing for this trip includes all personal items such as your swimwear, waterproof pouches for cameras and hand phones, suntan lotions and a change of clothing. Dress light and be prepared with a hat as it can be quite sunny.

Once you are on your transport heading for sunny Pattaya, enjoy the ride and get a glimpse of the province of Chonburi and the surrounding areas of Pattaya city which is one of the largest city of entertainment in Thailand second only to Bangkok. You will arrive at Pattaya Beach around 9.00am to meet the boat that will ferry you over to Coral Island also known by its local name of Koh Larn. It is a half hour ride out to the Gulf of Thailand to the island. Coral Island is one of the most popular and largest islands close to Bangkok City and it offers many activities.

seawalkerThe excitement mounts as you approach the island and the sea takes on a bright blue-green hue with crystal clear waters. As you approach the beach you just can’t wait to hop off the boat and get into those inviting waters. There are many activities on Coral Island and depending on your tour package types you may enjoy the activities you have opted for such as the Seawalker activity where you can don a special dive helmet and walk the seabed observing the marine life in their natural habitat or even Parasailing. These however are add-in options for the tour to Coral Island.

You can still enjoy other fun marine activities on the beach such as banana boat riding, snorkelling, jet skiing or just plain lazing by the beach. A scrumptious buffet lunch is served depending on your menu option during the booking period. You have a choice between Indian Buffet or Thai traditional menus. There is ample food to go around which should keep you fuelled up for the rest of the day. However if you are still hungry or thirsty, Coral island is not short of innovative food and drink vendors who ply their trade walking the beaches of the island. You can also get some very delicious seafood here on the go from these vendors, so you might want to consider bringing some spare money. There are also souvenir shops and other knick-knacks that you can go walk around and shop at for small mementoes. So there are ample types of activities for everyone on the island including the shopaholic!

coralpattayaThis tour package is a full day tour that ends at around 7.00pm when you are back at your hotel, by which time you would have been properly tanned and totally worn out from your trip. All-in-all, Coral Island is a perfect getaway to an island paradise for the taste of experiencing the island paradise of Thailand. The tour package is convenient as it includes full transfer from your hotel to the island and back. Just make a note of where to meet up with your fellow travellers and boatman once you get on the island. You will off course be briefed as to where and when to meet up for the departure back to Pattaya and then Bangkok. Your tour includes transportation, all admission fees as listed in the itinerary and an English Speaking Guide and meals if it is a selected option.

So do not miss out on the chance to visit Coral Island if you have a few days to spare in Bangkok and are looking forward to a beach and island experience in Thailand. This is also a great travel option not just for those travelling with kids but also couples and groups alike, after all who does not love the beach and sea if you have the opportunity to experience an island tour!

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River Kwai

A REVIEW OF THE KANCHANABURI ADVENTURE AND NATURE EXPLORATION


River KwaiThe allure of Thailand as a tourist destination is as diverse as its travel destinations that range from fantastic city sights to azure blue seas and the fascination of history past. Deciding on what to do or see in Thailand is quite a decision as it is no different from a child being in a candy store. History buffs or those who are into nature, eco-tourism or adventure tours will find the Kanchanaburi Adventure and Nature Exploration by Thaitourismguide to be one of the most fascinating tour packages available for just out of city adventures.

The province of Kanchanaburi is just a very short drive out of Bangkok City and the tour provides full transfers ( if transfers are included during your booking from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi and back to Bangkok) so just be ready to leave early in the morning for this adventure packed tour. We recommend that it be an early to rise and shine day as the pick-up time is at 8.00am in the morning from your hotel so that just gives you enough time to grab a quick breakfast before meeting up with your tour group to head out to Kanchanaburi.  A point to note – make sure you bring your own set of towels, change of clothing and sun tan lotion as well as a hat. You will be trekking and swimming at the waterfall in the National Park along with several other little adventures.

The itinerary presented to us indicated that we would be trekking in the national park, swimming at the waterfall, riding on elephants, bamboo rafting and a train ride on the famed “Death Railway” so we were quite eager and excited to get started on this full day tour.

First location on the agenda after an hour drive would be the Erawan National Park which is famous for its cascading Erawan waterfalls and rapids that makes it a beautiful place for a swim. When you reach the entrance of the National Park, it would require a nature trek on the way up to the waterfall. Here you will get to experience first-hand what a tropical jungle is like with all the mostly flora but not many fauna if the group is too noisy! It is an easy trek for about a half hour or so and the best scenery of the tropical rainforest is all around you. Huge trees of all shapes and sizes, many of which are believed by the locals to harbour the spirits of the forest and therefore they are greatly respected and revered.  Before long you will hear the sound of the waterfall long before you see it as it tumbles over boulders and high drop-offs. This waterfall, known as the Erawan Waterfall is one of the top 10 waterfalls in Thailand and a very famously photographed site. After the trek you would welcome a nice cool dip in its emerald waters and crystal clear pools. Best time to go would be during the dry seasons when there is less rain if you are expecting clear waters in the catch pools. Best times to visit would be September to March, so do bear this in mind. You will get to spend about an hour to enjoy the cooling dip in these refreshing pools and enjoy the cascading power of the waterfall over the rock formations. Do remember to bring your swim wear and a camera for memories of this beautiful place as a remembrance of your trip here!

By theerawanwaterfall end of your swim and frolics in the pools of the Erawan Waterfall you would be famished and longing for a bite to eat. There is plenty of mineral water supply throughout the trip and a nice lunch is provided consisting of local Thai dishes and light dessert of fruits to accompany the meal. After lunch it is off to the elephant camp for an elephant adventure trek. Here you get a chance to get to know your elephant and its mahout, how to care for the elephant, feed it and go on a half hour trek in the coconut plantation and fringes of the tropical rain forest. Throughout the trek you will be seated on a “hide” which is a small two seater sedan chair with a harness attached to the elephant. Enjoy your view from a great vantage point on the back of the elephant as it plods its way along the trail and appreciate the gentleness of this amazing pachyderm.

After the ride and saying goodbye to these wonderful creatures is another trek to the fast flowing river with its multitude of rapids for an exciting bamboo rafting adventure. Some of the rapids are fairly gentle but others are a little faster paced. Before getting on board the bamboo rafts, you will be given a short tutorial on how to wear your safety gear which is an impact helmet and life jacket. Then you will be instructed on what to do while you are on board the raft and safety measures as well as what to do should you fall overboard. It is a fairly safe activity and the raft is supervised and sailed by an experienced guide and instructor. The bamboo raft itself is constructed of sturdy bamboo poles interlocked and twined with high grade ropes to form a sturdy platform for you to sit on.  As you traverse the river starting at a slow pace and as it slowly picks up speed, you will get to enjoy the sights along the river banks but by the time it reaches the more fast paced rapids you will have a thrill ride of your life as you bounce and hang on to the raft while it tumbles and swerves in the class 1 and 2 rapids. It is about a 20 to 30 minute ride down to the small drop off point where at the end of the ride you will be feeling shaky legged but exhilarated. Please be advised that it if you are carrying camera equipment it or hand phones it is best to have it secured in waterproof pouches and attached to your bodice so it does not get lost, damaged or wet in the ride as your equipment is your sole responsibility. When you reach the small dock you can change your clothing before getting on board your transport to be ferried to the train station for the last leg of your tour.

By this time it would be around 3.30pm as you make your way to the Wang Poh train station where you will get on board a train that plies part of the old Death Railway route along the River Kwai. This route is the famed and notorious Death Railway route which was constructed during World War Two by the allied prisoners of war such as the British, Australians, American, Polish and other Asian communities who were conscripted by the Japanese to work under harsh and deplorable condition. The railway runs from Malaya all the way to Burma which was the route to keep the Japanese troops supplied with armament, food and troops during their conquest of Asia Pacific colonies during the war. Many prisoners of war died during the construction of this railway, hence giving it the name of the Death Railway and aptly depicted in the Movie Bridge on the Kwai.

A ride on the train will bring you to parts of the original route constructed by the prisoners of war which runs along the mountain side parallel to the river Kwai and crossing over on the infamous River Kwai Bridge. Here you will understand and experience part of the construction efforts by the prisoners, the difficulty it was to construct in such harsh terrains and the number of lives sacrificed in the construction. It will be a nostalgic ride for those who had lost relatives or knew of friends of old missing during their time interred at this place. For those who are too young to know about this place except from movies and history books, it is a good point to keep your eyes and mind open to how these tracks were constructed and what it must have taken from the high toll of lives lost working under tortured and deplorable conditions which all eventually culminated to the prisoners final resting places in the war memorials around the town of Kanchanaburi.

riverkwai2It will be a one hour ride from Wang Poh station to Tha Kilaen station where your van will be waiting for the one hour plus ride back to your hotel or to Kanchanaburi town depending on your transfer arrangements. It is advisable to make full transfer arrangement from your hotel to Kanchanaburi and back as you will be quite exhausted by the time the trip ends. Your tour package of the Kanchanaburi nature and adventure tour included all entrance and train tickets cost as mentioned in the tour package, a lunch meal, ample drinking water, cool towels, coffee or tea and snacks. Also provided is a knowledgeable English speaking guide who will be well informed on the highlights and history as well as points of interest for the tour. Travel insurance of up to 1,000,000 THB per head is also provided as an assurance of safety and integrity for the tour. All-in-all, this is a memorable tour for adventure and eco-tourism in Thailand where you also get to experience adventure and eco-tourism in Thailand within one package and for a full day activity.

To fully enjoy this tour package make sure you bring along a change of clothing, swim wear, flip flops rather than shoes, waterproof pouches for your camera and phones, a hat to keep out the sun and sun tan lotion. The rest is just to enjoy yourself and have a great time while taking back wonderful memories of a trip to Kanchanburi in the Kingdom of Thailand!

Manohra Overnight Cruise

THE UNUSUAL EXPERIENCE OF SAILING ABOARD A RICE BARGE WITH THE BANGKOK MANOHRA OVERNIGHT CRUISE


manohracruiseHow would you like a change from spending a few nights in a regular hotel room in Bangkok City to something more exotic and for a romantic experience in Thailand? If you are looking for an exotic travel experience in Thailand then look no further than the special tour offered by Thaitourismguide on board the Bangkok Manohra Overnight Cruise for 3 Days and 2 Nights on board a refurbished authentic river rice barge!

This is the original restored to pristine condition river barge of which there are very few left in the entire Thailand today. These river barges were used in the olden days to ferry rice brought to the ports along the Chao Phraya River from various inland provinces. The rice in sacks were collected from these ports and brought to the central port in Bangkok for exports and supplies to other provinces further South and to the east and West of Thailand as sailing down the river was a lot faster than travelling by road. In those days there were no such things a cars, bikes and Lorries so this was the most efficient and convenient way to transport goods from the upper regions of Thailand all the way South to the river mouth.

manohracruise1These barges are made of teak and iron wood and recent refurbishment includes new polished wooden decks, stylish and cosy decorated sleeping quarters, a dining lounge, sitting lounge and a fully equipped Western kitchen. Living on board one of these refurbished rice barges is like riding on the famed Orient Express but without the high cost. The bedrooms are wonderfully designed like mini staterooms for all that creature comfort. The lounge and dining areas are luxuriously decorated by maritime standards and there are loungers on deck where you can while away your time as the barge sails up the mighty Chao Phraya River all the way to Ayutthaya. The rice barge Manohra can accommodate up to 40 persons comfortably. Please note that the barge sails only on Mondays and Thursdays. It requires a two night’s overnight stay on board and three sailing days.

As this is a live on board tour it is good to pack light and bring some appropriate clothing for visits to the temples and a good camera to bring back those memorable memories. Your tour starts on day one with the arrival at the Manohra Cruises Pier located in front of the Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa. Free river taxi transfers from Taksin Public Pier to Manohra Cruises pier are available every 15 minutes. With prior arrangements, you can arrange for a transfer service to and from the Manohra Cruises Piers or Taksin Public Pier at your conveniences.

Bangkok Manohra Overnight Cruise 3D2NOnce on board you will meet your friendly and experienced Manohra Song Chief Steward and the crew who will be looking after you on your trip and making you feel comfortable. A nice ice cold fresh fruit cocktail and lemon grass scented towels will be waiting for you to make you feel right at home on board.

You will admire the construction of the Manohra Rice Barge with its gleaming wood finish giving an aura of a romantic venue for a unique and cultural Thai experience. As you depart the pier the Manohra will gently sail on the Chao Phraya River, also known as the River of Kings as it introduces you to the City of Angels, the other name for Bangkok city, and by night it is a spectacular and memorable experience!

On board your meals are served with dazzling Thai delicacies to give you a delightful, cultural dining experience while In route you will experience and enjoy the endless variety of river life, enjoy the sights of iconinc landmarks such as the famous Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) , the magnificent Grand Palace , the Royal Barges boat-house, and numerous other Temples.

The first leg of your journey along the Choa Phraya River will see you embarking at the Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun as it is otherwise known around 10.50 in the morning. This is one of the best known temples in Bangkok and dates back to the ancient Ayutthaya period. The tall, elongated central Khmer-Style spire or prang is surrounded by four minor spires, Mount Meru, the earthly representation of the thirty-three heavens. Here you will find pavilions containing statues of the Buddha at the most important stages of life. The beautiful architecture and fine craftsmanship mark Wat Arun as one of the most remarkable temples in Thailand. You will stop here for a short guided tour and depart at around 11:30 am.

While you are visiting Wat Arun, make a note of the exquisite craftsmanship in the embellishment of the façade with porcelain and glass pieces. This is what gives the temple it’s golden hue during sunrise and sunset and when the lights are on at night it glows with a beautiful golden colour. Also make a note of all the statues of Gods and Deities and you will notice that some of them are of Chinese origin. If you have the energy, do try and climb the stairs of the central prang all the way to the top and you will get a great view of the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and the view of the Chao Phraya as far as your eyes can see and a great 360 degree view of Bangkok City. The steps are fairly steep and narrow but there are rail guards to assist you so that you can hold on to it. Along the interiors towards the entrance you might also get a chance to have your fortune from some of the local Thai fortune tellers but off course for a fee.

Next you will arrive at the Royal Barges national Museum. This is one of Bangkok’s most fascinating museum and something you will not see anywhere else in the world. The museum is home to an incredible collection of ornately decorated long barges with magnificently carved prows. His Majesty the King s personal barge, Suphannahongse, can be seen here. Built in 1911 to resemble a mythical swan, the boat is 46 meters long and was carved from a single tree. All the barges are unique and incredible works of craftsmanship. These barges are used only for ceremonial purposes now and have been sailed 16 times during the reign of the present HRH King Bhumipol. The last was last year in December 2012 for the presentation of the Royal Kathin robes to the monks at Wat Arun. These Royal Barges ceremonies are epic events involving around 54 barges of various classes and sailed in special naval war formations as from times of old. It is truly a magnificent sight when these barges are in the water and sailing down the Chao Phraya River.

By the time you finish the tour of the Royal Barges Museum it would be time for lunch and you will enjoy the Thai cuisine prepared by your personal on-board chef. Shortly after your lunch, the Manohra song will pass the island of Koh Kret in Nonthaburi Province, an island which was “man-made” in the last 100 years when a canal was built to shorten the journey around a circuitous bend in the river. The island is populated by Mon people; one of Thailand’s many ethnic minority groups, who use the river’s fine clay to produce earthenware pots. You can spend the afternoon relaxing on board, watching the vignettes of river life unfold as they float by and at 4 pm you will be served a traditional English afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, scones and dainty patisseries, with a good selection of teas.

After tea at around 4.30 pm, the barge will make a quick stop at Wat Pathum Khong Ka to feed the fish. You can purchase bread from the vendors around the area to feed the fish. The Thai people believe that this is a good way of gaining merit and good luck. It is also believe to promote the Buddhist cycle of life by feeding the fish so they in turn can produce life. You will be amazed by the size of some of these carps and no wonder as so many people come here to feed them all the time!

The last leg of your journey for the day is a stop at Wat Bang Nam around 5.30 in the evening where you can enjoy the beautiful sunsets while the barge docks for the night. Wat Bang Na was constructed in 1777 by a family who moved from Ayutthaya. One of the more curious sights within the compound of this temple is the body of the 4th chief monk of this temple who died in 1988 but whose mummified body remains in excellent condition and is today housed in a glass enclosure.

At this point you can relax and freshen up in your private en-suite stateroom and then return to the deck for aperitifs and Thai canapés and wait for dinner to be served at 8.00pm with Wat Bang Na as a dramatic backdrop for a wonderful dinner of Thai traditional dishes. You can relax on deck and mingle with the other guest while having a glass of wine before retiring to your state room for your night on the river.

The second day of your Thai culture and tradition experience on board the Manohra will start with an early morning exploration of Wat Bang Na at 7.30 am. The Thai Buddhists believe that by making merit, they earn happiness, peace in life and the chance to progress in their next life. Making merit with the Monks is a wonderfully harmonious way to start the day.  By 8.00am you will be sailing your way to the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya. At this time you will be served a scrumptious array of freshly prepared continental breakfast while experiencing a morning of gentle cruising up the Chao Phraya , through the Thai countryside while relaxing and reclining on a deck lounger and watch he river life float past.

Before arriving in the capital city of Ayutthaya in the province of Ayutthaya, you will be served an Italian luncheon of pasta and salad at around 1.00pm. You will arrive at Wat Pananchoeng around 2.00pm to begin your tour of Wat Pananchoeng which is an old monastery housing Thailand’s largest ancient Buddha image. This image, known as Luang Po To was made in 1344 and the Chinese revere this image as their God Protector since much of the sailing done during these ancient times along the Chao Phraya was by the Chinese who used to ply their goods between province via the river into the capital port of Bangkok. After the tour of the Wat a limousine with an English speaking guide will then transfer you to Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ancient city of Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 by king U-Thong and it was from here that the Siamese ruled their Kingdom for 417 years.

You will have the opportunity to spend the afternoon exploring Ayutthaya in the company of the expert guide. You will even have the opportunity to experience riding on the back of an elephant at the ancient city temple. As Ayutthaya is such a large area, the limousine driver will wait for you and take you on a tour of several areas of the ancient city. You will spend around three hours in this place before meeting up with the limousine to transfer you to Bang Pa In, one of the 16 districts of Ayutthaya where you will meet up with the Manohra Song. Along the way, you may wish to buy a bag of fish or a cage of small birds for you to release back to nature as this is a wonderful gesture and makes merit according to Buddhist beliefs.

Across from Bang Pa In is Wat Nivat which is one of the more intriguing Buddhist temples and this is where the barge will anchor for the night. Wat Nivat was constructed at the command of King Rama V in 1878, in the style of an English Gothic church. The Temple has unusual stained glass windows and very Gothic façade architecture making it one of the most distinctive Buddhist temples anywhere in Thailand. You can relax on board the barge or freshen up and later return on deck at around 6.30 pm for another nice selection of aperitifs and Asian-inspired canapés. You can mingle or take some beautiful pictures on board of the Temple and have a quiet evening while waiting for dinner to be served at around 8.00pm which will be an Ayutthaya-inspired Thai dinner.

Bangkok Manohra Overnight Cruise 3D2NThe third day on board will be an 8.00am wake up for a taste of a full English breakfast, freshly prepared to your order from the Manohra Song kitchen. There is nothing better and more wonderful than experiencing a wonderful breakfast on board a rice barge docked at the pier with a beautiful view of the Gothic temple in the background that is such an inspiration to the start for a beautiful day. After breakfast at 9.30am you will have a guided tour of Wat Nivat and a short walk to the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace. The original Bang Pa-In Palace was built by King Thong on the island and was used as a country residence for the later kings of the Ayutthaya period. However, after the capital moved to Bangkok, the summer palace was vacated. After the tour of this palace, you will make your way back to the Manohra Song for a straight sail back to Bangkok city and dock at the Manohra Cruise pier for your transfer back to the hotel.

The Manohra Rice Barge live on board river cruise is one of the most interesting and innovative ways to get a complete tour of iconic landmarks along the Choa Phraya River and to have an insight into the life along the river which is seldom seen if you travel by road to the landmarks. The cruise gives you a unique opportunity to experience what river sailors of old underwent when sailing this formidable river. Do not miss out on the chance to get on board the Manohra River Barge for the holiday experience in Thailand of a life time.

khao yai nature life and tour

A REVIEW OF KHAO YAI NATURE LIFE AND TOURS RESORT


Khao yai nature life and tour

A holiday in the quietness of nature, with beautiful mountains in the back ground and the song of birds to greet you in the morning. Not a sound of the traffic found in towns or cities but a coming home to the delights of nature. That is what you can expect in a holiday at Khaoyai Nature Life and Tours Resort from Thaitourismguide in Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. A leisurely two hour drive from Bangkok  (transfers are provided from hotels in Bangkok, the railway station and airport by the resort)  will bring you to a different world of wildlife, National Parks, natural springs, nature’s phenomenon, historical parks and even a vineyard!

Khao yai nature life and tour

Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Khaoyai Plateau with the formidable limestone mountains as a backdrop the resort offers all the comforts of home and more. Everything is left in as much a natural state to be as environmental friendly as possible. Minimal construction and paintwork is done to keep toxicity to a minimum, so one should not expect garish colourful resort walls inside and outside the resort. There are 44 rooms in all comprising superior, deluxe, family deluxe with connecting rooms and individual villas. It is the ideal place to holiday as a couple, with family or friends. Rooms are all tastefully furnished with air-conditioning, cable TV ( though only a few selected channels but you are not there to be hooked on to the TV!), refrigerator, WiFi and hot water heaters. All-in-all, a very comfortable environment for you to enjoy a pleasant stay.

Khao yai nature life and tour

There are 2 mid-sized swimming pools with sun-decks for you to enjoy the outdoors, a well-manicured garden to walk around in and plenty of birds to sing to you in the mornings and throughout the day. The villas are extremely delightful with a large veranda and seating space to enjoy the early mornings or watching the sunset in the evenings. There is even an outdoor shower and tub for that romantic indulgence, which is great for couples and those on honeymoon.

 

Khao yai nature life and tour

The province of Nakhon Ratchasima is well known for eco-tourism in Thailand as well as adventure tourism or a niche activity is as one of Thailand’s exclusive bird-watching activities. There are many noteworthy sites that are a must see including the unusual quartz pools with is supplied from clear underground streams and is a good place for a dip in the non-rainy seasons when the water is clearer. There is also a temple in the bat caves where you would get a good view of the sleeping wrinkle nosed bats, beautiful formations of stalactites and stalagmites and the little alters within the cave which is quite an oddity.

Not too far from the resort is also one of Thailand’s most prolific vineyards that produce some of the award winning Thai  wines. You will get to sample wonderful lunch menus here as well as a chance to tour the wineries, vineyard and pick grapes when they are in season. To arrange all these tours and resort booking, you can book your resort package along with the various tours through Thaitourismguide.

khao yai nature life and tour

As the resort is rather secluded, meals are available on a daily basis at the resort restaurant that offers a good selection of local and Western menus. All are cheaply priced and guaranteed home-cooked for that authentic flavour. Do try their local Thai dishes, they are delectable. The restaurant opens from 6.00am to 10.00pm daily. Breakfast is a buffet and dinner can be ala-carte or buffet style depending on the number of guests.

 

 

Khao yai nature life and tourThe resort owners and staff are very hospitable and have a keen knowledge of the attractions in and around the area. Both husband and wife are also keen nature observers which is an added point for those who enjoy wildlife and bird watching. Khaoyai Nature Life and Tours Resort offer a wide range of attractions for the long and short stay guests. You simply must try the half-day tour to the natural spring and famous bat cave of Wat Tham Si La Thong as well as the one day tour of the Khao Yai National Park to go trekking and observe wildlife such as elephants, gibbons, deer and other species of flora and fauna. Their master guide “Jib” Taweekiat Hmunnuk is one of the best spotters in the trade and Tony, the owner has one of the sharpest eyes for bird watching which is what earned him the name “Tony Eagle Eye”!

Khao yai nature life and tour

There are a lot more activities around the resort area such as visits to the Chok Chai Farm, tours to the ancient city and more which can be arranged through Thaitourismguide as well.  The resort is an ideal location for adventure tours in Thailand as it is not too far from Bangkok city.  Try one of the bird-watching tours if you are a bird-watching enthusiast and you will be surprised by the variety of local and migratory birds that make this area a transit point. Their bird-watching tours and nature wildlife tours are one of the most popular and successful tour operations in the area.

Khao yai nature life and tour

It is best to decide on what you would like to include in your tour packages along with the resort stay so that you are well prepared. It is advisable to bring along light clothing and long sleeved shirts and pants for the national park tours as well as a cap or wide brimmed hat. Also do not forget to bring along a camera for those memorable shots of nature that are a sure sight and one you would not want to miss photographing!

 

 

Khao yai nature life and tour

So, if you are looking for a holiday that is in eco-tourism, a nature observation holiday, a honeymoon, a family time or even to hold a wedding in an unusual place – Khaoyai Nature Life and Tours Resort is the perfect place to do that. You could not ask for a better place for the best in nature and eco-tourism!

Phi Phi Islands

Explore the islands of Phi Phi Don like Robinson Crusoe


Phi Phi IslandActually, more like Leonardo DiCaprio that dreamy eyed actor from the movie “The Beach”, this is also the location of Maya Bay on the island of Phi Phi Don in the province of Krabi, southern Thailand. The island of Koh Phi Phi is one of the most exotic island destinations in the world where it is not too packed with tons of tourist as accommodations here are rather limited and on the pricey side but you can visit this island on a day trip. There are many tours for visits to Phi Phi Island offered by the various tour agencies in Thailand including thaitourismguide.com

Most of these tours to Phi Phi Island include long tail boat rides to the island and surrounding areas either for snorkeling and also scuba diving and the more avid anglers will be able to get overnight full board fishing trips to Phi Phi Island as well. Divers, who want to get a glimpse of the whale sharks known to grow up to seven meters and above, should head out to Hin Muang, a forty minute boat ride from Phi Phi Island and guaranteed to be one of the best dive spots in the world. You can ask for a Phi Phi Island dive package to get to this rock formation and a diver’s paradise.

In and around the island of phi Phi are numerous other activities that you can indulge in if you are taking a tour package to Phi Phi Island such as sea kayaking in Phi Phi Island where you can explore the cliff formations along the coast of the island or paddle out to the nearby marine park. Best time to go sea kayaking at Phi Phi Don is in the early morning or just about sunset. You can also make a snorkeling trip to feed the sharks at Phi Phi Don. These are two meter long black tip sharks that are actually more afraid of you then you are of them! Just be careful they do not nip your fingers while feeding them especially when you get over excited.

KrabiThe Robinson Crusoe types can try a camping trip on Phi Phi Don at the famous Maya Bay and join the tour groups for camping trips to Phi Phi Don or check out the monkey beach called Yung Gassem which is a very isolated bay on Phi Phi Island. The natural primates of the island have a stake on the beach where they come out to frolic and play. All these special tours to Phi Phi Don Island such as a day tour to Phi Phi Don which includes kayaking, monkey beach and snorkeling trips need to be booked in advance from your travel agent in Thailand.

Other places of interest on the island includes the Bamboo Island National Park which is a little to the north of Phi Phi Island. You can book a tour to Bamboo Island National Park through a travel agent in Krabi or thaitourismguide.com in advance. You can have the privacy of this whole island to yourself as you laze or picnic your time away in the quietness of the island with only the wind blowing through the many casuarina trees that line the beach! Isn’t that a romantic getaway just like in the movies!?

A CLOSE ENCOUNTER AT MADAME TUSSAUDS


madame tuassudMany reviews have been written about Madame Tussauds around the world and what makes this one in Bangkok any different? We all know about the famous wax figurines conceptualized and created by Madame Tussauds in the early French Revolution period and now undertaken by her predecessors around the world.

Did you know significantly that no two Madame Tussauds around the world exhibits all the same wax figures? At least two thirds of the exhibits reflect famous persons and personalities unique to their region. For instance, you will not find the Chamber of Horror exhibit which is unique to London in a Madame Tussauds in Bangkok; rather you would find famous Thai and Asian personalities. So which ever country you go to that has a Madame Tussauds exhibit, do make sure that you go visit at least once. They are also always adding on to their exhibits with new figures.

For those of you who have never been to a life-like wax figure museum, this is a good place to start. Prices for the entrance at Madame Tussauds are also much cheaper in Bangkok comparatively. Going up the lift to the sixth floor and walking a short corridor will bring you to the entrance of the famed Madame Tussauds Bangkok Wax Museum The wax figures are uncannily realistic from the facial expressions, facial hair and resemble the actual person to perfection. When we looked closely at the figures, it would seem like they can come to life at any moment!

Madame Tussauds BangkokThere are a few historical persona displays near the entrance but most notably is the one of Mahatma Gandhi. He is dressed in his white cotton tunic, glasses hanging off the brim of his nose and walking stick in hand, it might just as well really be him walking along the streets of India on a typical day. Other notable historical figures include Mao Tze Tung (never realized he was that tall in person!) and several other heads of state in the “Head of State” room. Here you can pose with the Queen of England and wear a crown to sit next to her, which makes a very regally amusing scene or take a picture with President Obama and the First Lady at his desk in the White House! You can hardly tell the difference between the wax figures and the real person! If you want a good quality picture, there are Madame Tussauds personnel on hand to take a great picture for you and they even know the best angles. There are several heads of states here on display from Asia and around the world such as former Prime Minister of Malaysia, YB Tun Dato’ Dr Mahathir Mohammad.

The new concept of Madame Tussauds in Bangkok means that these figures are not just displayed in glass cases for you to admire, rather it is a unique opportunity for you to interact with these wax figures. Yes, you got that right! You can actually interact with them, which means you can touch them, pose up close with them, hug them or even appear to be right where they are notably famous at doing! You do not get such opportunities at other Madame Tussauds around the world except for a few, so this is the concept where it is no longer just another wax museum! There are also many interactive games you can play in here such as a goal scoring interaction game in the soccer sport section with David Beckham, and trying to score a hole in one with Tiger Woods golfing simulator plus a few others located at different places in the museum. These will keep even the kids entertained!

Those of you who are sport fanatics will relish the time you get to spend with the likes of David Beckham and stand right next to him, or play golf with Tiger Woods, shoot a hoop with Yao Ming ( he is incredibly tall!) among several other famous sport personalities. If that is not enough, go check out the Martial Arts section where lo and behold, you get to pose with Bruce Lee in his famous yellow and black stripped costume, or greet the crowd with Jackie Chan, and spar with Tony Ja, Thailand’s famous martial art expert and movie star from the series “Ombak”. Every picture you take is an opportunity that would not have been possible unless you know these celebrities up close and personal!

madame-tussaud-thaitourismguideWalking further into the hall is the Television Talk Show area where you get to sit in on an interview with Oprah Winfrey, she looks so real right down to the freckles on her skin, or sit next to Will Smith or George Clooney. In the movie celebrity section, there is Bruce Willis, Anthony Hopkins, Jim Cary, and Johnny Depp, Elizabeth Taylor and even Nicholas Cage among many more which would make it a fun time with your favorite movie star, hero or heroine!

Then there are the great music icons like Justin Bieber the teenage superstar, Nickhun and Jay Chou who are local and Asian rising music stars not to mention off course the likes of Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga who unveiled her wax figure while on tour in Bangkok. You can get away with saying you had a photo session with the stars while on holiday in Thailand! Technically you did, even if only with their wax duplicates but none would be the wiser with the uncanny resemblance! For the kids, there is there ever popular Doraemon, which is a first attempt at Japanese anime cartoons and which we hope to see more in the likes of popular manga characters.

Madame Tussauds BangkokAfter all the exhibits downstairs, make your way one level up to the exhibit where it all started. Here you will meet the effable yet demure Madame Tussaud herself, closely examining one of her beloved head sculptures with a keen eye. Madame Tussaud seems to jump to life as she holds up a head sculpture. In the room is a brief history on how the now famous Madame Tussauds wax museum started from making effigies of politicians during the French Revolution to give a three dimensional tabloid of the political scene in those days and to get the people up close to the sometimes notorious persons of which many were actually sent to the guillotine! You also get to see how wax figures are made from the concept, the rough sculpture and making of the master molds. It is an interesting process because every little detail is recorded and added into the sculpture. You will see how a life-sized wire armature is constructed in the desired pose and layered with clay for the sculpting process. There is also a whole tray of glass eyeballs to choose from for that “just right” look, though it looks kind of eerie to see a whole tray of different colored eyeballs starring right back at you! There is an in progress head sculpture that shows how the face is painted and facial hair as well as a wig is implanted, giving the figure that realistic look. There are also the different types of paint used on the wax figures and how it is applied. You can say that the exhibit on the process of creating these figures are just as interesting as the wax figures themselves and gives you a deep appreciation into the amount of creative work put into each figure to bring it to life.

Just before you leave the exhibits, there is a small counter where you can play with the cold wax method of creating a hand cast. Yes, you can get a wax casting of your own hand as a keepsake and in psychedelic colors too in any pose you want! There is also a small gift shop where you can get other Madame Tussauds memorabilia including the photos professionally taken for you in the exhibits area. You can spend several hours here having fun taking pictures in all poses with your favorite characters and they are very willing models for you, never complaining about the many camera clicks in their faces and all the hype of enthusiastic fans!

Madame Tussauds BangkokMadame Tussauds in Bangkok is a great opportunity for you to mingle and rub shoulders with famous celebrities from around the world, leaders of states and countries, World and Thai royalty, movie stars, talk show celebrities, famous singers, sport personalities and even artists, opera singers and legendary musician and artists or scientist. It is a worth-while experience and not to be missed when you visit Bangkok city and should make Madame Tussauds a part of your sightseeing itinerary for Bangkok as there are not many in the Asian region, the other being in Hong Kong.

The Madame Tussauds in Bangkok is located at the Siam Discovery Center on the 6th floor. Siam Discovery Center, Siam Center and Siam Paragon are all inter-connected so you can actually spend a whole day within these three buildings to shop, sightsee, eat and be entertained and conveniently located at the Siam BTS entrance.  Tickets for Madame Tussauds are available in the online booking site at thaitourismguide.com for your convenience. So when you are visiting Bangkok, do make sure you drop by the Siam Discovery Center to do a discovery of your own with the fabulous wax figures of Madame Tussauds incredible wax museum!

AN OCEAN IN THE HEART OF BANGKOK AT SEA LIFE BANGKOK OCEAN WORLD


ImageMost large cities and Bangkok not being the exception is host to one of the largest indoor oceans in a thriving city scape.  at the lowest level of Siam Paragon in the heart of Bangkok has seven interesting zones for you to explore including an awesome 5D cinemas which will blow your mind. With the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum just practically next door, you could spend a half day over there and another half day at the Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World for a great whole day outing plus plenty of shopping and eating all along the way.

Greeted at the entrance way by a huge hanging shark and surrounded in darkness except for the illuminated tanks, it takes some adjusting to the eyes. A prominent cylindrical tank in the center of the room contains the first of the seven zone exhibits which is “weird and wonderful” and the highlight exhibit is the giant spider crabs. As large as four feet from leg tip to leg tip, theses crabs are not only huge but rather scary, looking more like hard shelled spiders! To the enthusiastic food connoisseur it would make a most tasty and meaty seafood dish and rather than looking at them in awe, it would be more like drooling mouths in anticipation of a feast, as were some of the comments heard! Other interesting exhibits here are the very alien looking Nautilus Shells that look like something out of an alien science fiction story. Did you know that the Nautilus Shell is a prehistoric creature dating back millions of years without much change to their form and structure? Just an interesting fact to consider when you look at them.

Sea Life Bangkok Ocean WorldThere is a pavilion tank along the way to the next zone that is two floors high with a rich collection of sea fish swimming happily. You would expect a mermaid to pop out at any time from among the corals. There are seating spaces for you to take a rest and admire the fish swimming by oblivious to the people gawking at them from the opposite side of the tank. This is the “Living Ocean” zone where you can get onboard a glass bottom boat to take a tour of the vast tunnel tank. It is a guided tour with an English speaking guide who will explain to you all the different marine life currently residing in this huge salt water tank. There are a variety of sharks, eagle rays, trevally, groupers and some other reef and coral fish. You might be interested in some of the facts presented about the marine life while on this glass bottom boat tour at the Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World.

Next to this zone is home to some very interesting seahorses including the very rare and elusive “leafy sea dragon” which is actually a very elaborately decorated seahorse and present only in much colder waters especially in Australia and New Zealand. Not even regular divers can often see this particular seahorse but you have the chance to do so right here in Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World! Not all seahorses look alike, some look like floating dead upright leaves and yet others are master at camouflage making it really hard to spot them. You can have a go at trying to see if you can spot some of them in the tanks as we could not even after staring at the tank for quite a few minutes!

From here it is down to the “Amazon and Rainforest” trails where you get a glimpse of huge tropical fishes such as the Arapana which is noted to swallow monkeys whole, a small section of cave dwelling fish and insects including a very lazy cave catfish that looks like it is playing dead. There are also some unusual frogs and toads as well as snakes and a giant tortoise. However, the one fish you must check out is in the tank located to the right of the walk way. It is reputedly one of the oldest living prehistoric fish known to man that looks like a cross between a pterodactyl and a fish. It has a long flat scoop bill and swims with a box like gaping mouth! Quite an unusual specimen to say the least, and worthy of a look.

Next on is the “Rocky Shore” section where you get an eye full of the largest rats on earth and they are about the size of dogs in this case! These water rats are not your average house rats and feed mostly on mollusk and small fish. You can watch out for the feeding times for these water rats as well as the other inhabitants of this section. Then there are also the very lovable penguins and otters who never fail to steal your heart as they play and frolic around.

Sea Life Bangkok Ocean WorldWalking on further, the path then leads on to the large underwater tunnel known as the “Open Ocean” where you can see a pack of swimming sharks grinning to show their full set of teeth, beautiful eagle rays gliding by like flying saucers and these huge sucker fish clinging on to the surface of the tank! There are also many other reef and coral fish swimming by, but off course everyone is anxious to take a picture with the ferocious and huge looking sharks. This long underwater Plexiglas tunnel is one of the main highlights of the whole complex and cleverly extends almost all around. At the other end of the tunnel, there is also a touch pool section for the kids and those curious enough to give it a go. Here you get to feel what a starfish is like, or have a look at a shark’s egg which is just the empty shell really but also rather interesting because it does not look like any ordinary egg. There is a staff on hand to explain to you what is unique about the species. There is also a little section that shows how sea grass is cultivated and the importance it has on the balance of the environment in the sea as well as efforts to grow more of it in the seas around the world.

The last section is reserved specially for the “jellies” and these are not your edible sugar coated jelly and sweets but rather the soft-bodied, graceful jelly fish. Displayed in fluorescent tanks, the fluorescent colors highlight these cute little jelly fish that swim like alien objects gracefully in the water. Looking at them, you wonder if they are capable of thinking with a brain because they look rather intelligent to some extent as they glide effortlessly in the water. The little colorful ones are often seen teeming on the shores in Trat province at certain times of the year, turning the whole sea-front into a colorful mass of bobbing jelly fish. This variety does not sting and make excellent food for the sea turtles who find it very tasty treat.

Within Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World are also many small cafeterias where you can grab a bite or drink while exploring the place. Look out for the feeding shows scheduled at various times of the day for the penguins, water rats, otters, sharks, tropical fish and reef fishes. On the way out there is an awesome 5D cinema with the show “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” which is actually an environmental awareness cartoon BUT what is mind blowing about this short cartoon is the 5D effect which differs from your regular 3D shows. The characters in the screen really pop out and look real enough for you to reach out and touch it, not to mention the wind effects and motion of the chairs you sit on. Also another noteworthy item to go and see while you are visiting Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World. If you are traveling with kids, there are a few small play areas with plenty of kid entertainment equipment such as climbers, swings, seesaws and the likes to keep them entertained, plus ice cream parlors inside to feed off their hunger!

Located one floor below the food court in Siam Paragon, it is easily accessible by the Siam BTS or even a taxi. Tickets can be purchased in advance via thaitourismgImageuide.com online booking services for ease and convenience. It is recommended that you visit both Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World and Madame Tussauds on the same day if you can as they are located in close proximity to each other. These two places are must see places in Bangkok city while you are visiting and considered the main sightseeing attractions in Bangkok. Tours of Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World are part of the tour packages found on most Thailand and Bangkok travel itineraries and for the time you spend there it is a worthwhile sightseeing activity in Bangkok. So do not miss out on these two major attractions of Bangkok City and book your tickets in advance through thaitourismguide.com online booking page to avoid the hassle of running everywhere to get a ticket!

Nature galore in Surat Thani


The province of Surat Thani is well known for its islands, fun in the sun, marine parks and jungle adventures galore. It is also the largest province in the south of Thailand and the gateway to the islands of the Gulf Coast of Thailand. The capital city of Surat Thani sometimes known as Surat for short is also called Surat Thani. You may notice this to be quite a common phenomenon in Thailand where the city of the province is also known by the name of the province!  The meaning of “Surat Thani” in Thai is the “City of Good People” which was bestowed by King Rama IV. Tourist visiting the province of Surat Thani will find the place full of natural wonders for an adventurous holiday from the rich forested mountains in the west to the natural basins in the east and center of the province. Added on are the beautiful white sandy beaches of the many tropical islands that are well renowned holiday destinations worldwide and the most famous of these islands are Ko Samui and Ko Phang Ngah that is noted for the wild and fantastic full moon parties. There is also the pristine waters of the Ang Thong Marine National Park where coral reefs and marine life are in abundance providing the visitor with endless outdoor activities. Blessed with all these and more, the province of Surat Thani is a holiday-makers paradise and if you can afford it, might even be a permanent holiday all year round! For the history buffs, the province of Surat Thani was believed to be settled by prehistoric tribesmen from the indigenous Malay and Saemang origins which was later joined by the Indians and the Chinese. So if you are visiting Surat Thani, you will see quiet a mix of cultural influences from the religion of the people to the designs of temples and ruins in the province. Surat Thani went through a series of name changes before eventually settled to the present name as bestowed by King Rama IV. So part of the tours for Surat Thani will include the historical sites that are of significance to the development of the province. A visit to Surat Thani is ideal for those interested in eco-tourism especially for those interested in the agricultural aspects of tourism. For those who have never seen a rubber tree up close or are interested to know how rubber is harvested and processed, this is a good place to go and learn. If you fancy coconuts and the delicious candies they produce or just want to watch a monkey harvesting coconuts, then this is also the place for you! The province of Surat Thani is ideal for eco-tourism programs that deal with wildlife, agriculture and marine parks.

Surat Thani Top 10 Destinations

  1. Exclusive Safari Tour Half Day for those raring to go!

4 in 1 Adventure Trip Half Day TourWhat would you do once you are in the province of Surat Thani with plenty of time to spare and wide open spaces to explore? One of the biggest attractions of the Surat Thani province is the many beautiful islands off the coast and none more is so popular than Ko Samui. Many of the activities visitors would indulge in when they visit Surat Thani will be based on the islands and National Marine Parks around these islands. Opportunities are endless here but one of the must do things while on Koh Samui is to get yourself a jeep!  Try a Exclusive safari Tour Half day where you will be bouncing all the way to elephant treks, visiting coconut plantations (this is where you get a chance to see the agile monkeys at work and maybe even have a chance to go pluck some coconuts yourself), then explore the many splendid view points on the island that are guaranteed to take your breath away and finally, making your way into the interiors of the jungle path that brings you along to the highest waterfall on the island known as Namuang Waterfall which is approximately 80 meters high. The highlights of this expedition would be an opportunity to ride on the back of an elephant through the jungle and coconut plantation pathways and feeding them as you go along. Their playful nature as well as the experience on the whole, would be quite a delight plus the chance to maybe play with the monkeys or taste the fresh coconuts harvested off the trees would be a refreshing change. The drive and trek up to the waterfall will be a cooling affair after a long hard trek, so make sure you are rather fit for this. Off course the reward is a cool dip and swim in the fresh spring waters of the waterfall. This is a fairly rare experience as these jungle waterfalls are rather prehistoric. Reminds you of the movie “Blue Lagoon” only that you will not be so alone and private with several other tourists romping around.

  1.  Genital shaped rocks, prehistoric trees and crocodile fun on Samui Extream Package

4 x 4 off road mountain tripRaring to go in a humming 4 x 4 jeep early in the morning after a hearty breakfast is a great way to start the day. Feeling like a modern day safari explorer in a Samui Extream Package, make sure you have loads of suntan splashed on, a sturdy hat, comfortable clothes and shoes before setting out on your way! Begin your drive by making your way to the most unusual sight on Samui Island by the beach in south Lamai. Why? One look at the rock formations will have you giggling or howling in laughter when Mother Nature shows you her quirky side. These are the “Grandmother” and “Grandfather” rocks also known as Hin Tai and Hin Yai in Thai, which actually play down the shapes they portray.  One is shaped like a man’s genital and the other like a woman’s genital, so you can expect quite a number of tourists who will also be there snapping away at photos of these two rocks in particular and making a comedy of themselves. Would be a good idea to join in the fun while you are there! Do make sure you have made advance bookings for the Samui Extream Package from your tour or travel agent in Thailand such as thaitourismguide.com so as to make sure the vehicle and guide is available for you when you arrive.  Next is a drive to the five hundred year old Dipterocarpacae tree, which is said to be the oldest tree on the island. It is hard to dispute that from the size of the trunk and roots! The good part about having a jeep on hand is that you need not do much walking around, save for the sore butt at the end of the ride from all that bouncing around. From there, head on to the elephant and monkey shows and watch those deft little primates pluck coconuts from the coconut trees. Quite a remarkable sight and the envy of those who are afraid of heights. The elephants are no less any cuter and will sweep your heart away with their antics, and you get a chance to feed them their favorite snack too. An elephant trek is also on the tour itinerary so you get to actually ride an elephant on this trip. All this is before lunch, and then comes the topping and refueling time for that growling tummy of yours with a scrumptious traditional Thai lunch and whatever local fruits that are in season. The rest of your day will be spent visiting and swimming in the highest waterfall in Ko Samui, a drive up to the spectacular viewpoints on the island where you get a great sight of the surrounding area and the coast, and finally a visit to the “Secret Buddha Garden” before finally calling it a day and heading on back to the hotel!

  1.  Hi ho, hi ho is off to sea we go to the Ang Thong National Marine Park with Kayaking and Snorkeling
    Ang Thong National Marine Park Snorkeling and Kayaking TourYou would shoot yourself in the foot if you miss the opportunity to visit the Ang Thong National Marine Park while in the province of Surat Thani. It is notably one of the most beautiful of marine parks in the whole of Thailand. Sea kayaking is very different from river or lake kayaking especially here where the water is super clear and you can actually get a very good view of life under the wave right from your kayak. The biodiversity of the marine park makes it one of the richest nutrient fed marine parks with teeming hard and soft corals, a diverse marine life and one of the rare opportunities to spot large shoals of fish, sea turtles and rays while kayaking. The best way to do this is to book a tour for the Ang Thong National Marine Park with Kayaking and Snorkeling package which will provide you will all the transfers from hotel to the site and back again. The kayaking and snorkeling tour package for the Ang Thong National Marine Park with Kayaking and Snorkeling also includes a hearty lunch and all the necessary equipment you will need. Too hot in the kayak, you could always just jump into the inviting water provided off course you know how to get back on. If not, just do the sensible thing, paddle back to shore and start snorkeling from there. Saves you all the hassle of trying to clamber back into the kayak like a whale on shore! You can always choose a life jacket along with your snorkeling gear if you are not so confident about the deep water or better yet, float around on a rubber tube for that added security. If you are too lazy, then just drift away on the tube but make sure you keep an eye on the shore!

4.  The not so boring museums of Surat Thaniimages (5)

Sometimes when we mention the word “museum” most of us will put up our hands and say “What, come all the way to a tropical paradise to go visit a museum?” Well, these two museums in Surat Thani are rather innovative and unique. The entrance fee is very cheap for one and the other is up to how much you want to donate. These two museums are the Chaiya National Museum and the Folklore Museum. Tours for these museums can be arranged with your tour gents and normally comes with a packaged tour of Surat Thani city. The Chaiya National Museum is a very petite, charming and nostalgic little museum that consist of two mid-sized buildings. Housed in these buildings are prehistoric artifacts of the various Thai eras such as the Dvaravati era all the way to the Ayutthaya era, some handicrafts which are indigenous to Surat Thani as well as the very interesting shadow puppets. These puppets are made from the hides of buffaloes, dried and shaved until it is firm and thin enough for carving out silhouettes. These silhouette images portray the myths and legends of ancient Thailand as well as stories from the Ramayana. The shadow puppets are controlled by a puppet master who is accompanied by a small musical troupe. It used to be a popular form of entertainment in the olden days when a stage with a white screen is set up in a village. The puppet master takes up the position behind the white screen with a light in the background that will cause a shadow of the puppet on the screen.  Stories and legends are told this way a long time ago which is off course now replaced by the iPad, the TV, cable channels and the portable DVDs! The Folklore Museum on the other hand also has historical and prehistoric pieces on display but what sets it apart from the other museum is the Bone china pottery and the opium pillows. It wouldn’t take long for you to browse these museums and can be combined with some other tours of Surat Thani for an interesting day out that should be fairly entertaining if not eye-opening!

5.  A trekking we will go on an Elephant Trek
top-elephant-trekking-campsExplore the tropical rainforest from the highest ride in the world, on the back of your own elephant! The 60 minute Elephant Trek will bring you to some of the most interesting sights within the rainforest such as the waterfalls and deep into the jungle or even coconut plantations that fringe these jungles. It is like Mowgli from Jungle Book taking a ride on his elephant from the Walt Disney cartoon. The only thing is the elephants don’t talk. The tour package for a 60 minute Elephant Trek is suitable for children and adults alike and kids will be thrilled to have an opportunity to have just such a ride. They can also play with the elephants and feed them bananas or any other fruit that you bring along. The best time for an elephant trek is in the morning when it is not too hot and the tropical jungle is alive with all the natural wildlife. If you are lucky you might have the opportunity to spot some of them as well as the flora that are indigenous to these tropical rainforest. Make sure that you book your tour for a 60 minute elephant trek in advance especially during peak season. You can do so through your preferred travel agent in Thailand that offers such tours. Remember to bring along some treats for these lovable mammals who would be most happy to have them! Also do dress sensibly to keep cool and comfortable during the ride. This is not just an educational but also a fun ride and normally on such tours, they also do include picture opportunities with other animals but all for a fee off course! If your child is below three years old, there is no fee for the child and you can enquire about this fromthaitourismguide.com who would be more than pleased to advise you.

6.   Bungee jumps, canopy walks, rock climbing and flying above the tropical rainforest

Having an adrenaline rush and need a quick fix? If you are not the type of holiday tourist that is contented to sit on the back of an elephant or visit museums and just ride on a tourist bus, the province of Surat Thani has other more “addictive” activities for those who just can’t get enough of adrenaline in their blood. Check out the high action packedtours for Bungee Jumps or if that is not enough try the tours for zip lining in Surat Thani or even the tours for rock climbing in Surat Thani. You will not be disappointed. The province of Surat Thani is rich in tropical rainforest with old humongous trees and plenty of limestone cliffs as well as man-made provisions for that all time bungee jump on a tropical island. The rainforest of Surat Thani are perfect for the sport of canopy walking and zip lining which is an activity that is fast catching on. Thetours for canopy walks and zip lining in Surat Thani requires that you walk some distance up hill in the tropical rainforest to reach the zip lining and canopy walk sites. The walk up is a great time for you to observe the flora and fauna along the jungle pathways before you come screaming down the zip line! Off course in order to get to the top of the tree line canopy you would be required to climb them first but this does not mean making like a monkey. The tree platforms are well facilitated with stairways that allow you to do so and platforms are interspersed between trees in various points of the rainforest for you to experience a canopy walk and to zip line to the lower grounds. So in the end, you still get to join in the cacophony of jungle voices by adding yours to the symphony while zip lining! Bungee jumping can be experienced on the island of Ko Samui where a platform has been rigged behind the rows of pubs along the popular night life sector of the island. The exact location is behind the Reggae Pub in Ko Samuiwhere an innovative group of thrill seekers has seen fit to provide that quick adrenaline fix for those who can’t wait and you can check out the bungee jumping experience on Ko Samui for tour related to this experience. Assuring you of their high British safety standards you might want to give it a try and then head on later for a drink to brag about it at the many pubs! Be sensible and don’t drink while or before bungee jumping unless you want to clean the mess yourself! The limestone cliffs all around Surat Thani and the islands provide an ideal playground for those who love to scale high walls like Spiderman. There are numerous tour operators on Ko Samui who can arrange atour for rock climbing in Ko Samui or Surat Thani in different experience levels. All these activities are not for those who are afraid of heights which are very obvious unless you have a great desire to overcome it and want to spend your holidays doing just that!

7.  Festivities galore in Surat Thaniimages (6)

If you want to experience a local festivity while in Surat Thani, make sure you mark these down on your calendar before you plan your trip. There is nothing quite like a Thai festivity that is not only extravagant and colorful but also sometimes mystical. For those who want to catch the perfect weather conditions in Surat Thani before moving on to the islands, October would be a good time. Tourist to Surat Thani will get to experience the Chak Phra Festival which happens at around mid-October when it is the end of the Ok Phansa season, which is the Buddhist Rain Retreats. This colorful event sees a long procession of devotees pulling and pushing along a huge Buddha image on the streets and in the water along the Tapi River. This is where you will get to see some of the famed Thai long boats with fifty oarsmen at the helm rowing away in a sort of race in these highly decorated vessels with Buddha images and statues on board. Check with your Thai travel agents such as thaitourismguide.com for the exact dates before you plan your travels to Surat Thani. Another festival you might not want to miss or should attend when you are in Surat Thani around August is the famedRambutan Fair in Surat Thani. The rambutan is a widely grown fruit of this province and produces some of the sweetest and most succulent rambutans compared to any other province. The rambutan is a small fist sized fruit that is sometimes in red or green and has hair-like protrusions with a hard skin that keeps a succulent juicy inner pulp with a singular wooden seed. This fruit can sometimes be found canned in a supermarket shelf but the best flavor is eaten fresh off the tree. This festival is celebrated with float processions, monkey agility demonstrations, food fairs and fun fairs in the town of Surat Thani. Off course the highlight of the whole fair is the rambutan fruit which will be in abundance all ready for the eating!

8.  Bouncing along on a Koh samui ATV Quad bike and riding the cable car on Ko Samui

 

atv samuiThis is an adventure for those who much prefer something a little more sedate. No doubt riding on a ATV Quad Bike in Ko Samui may sound dangerous but it is actually quite relaxing and enjoyable.  The Koh Samui ATV Quad Bike adventure starts in the morning and is suitable for children and adults alike. Kids can ride in behind their parents and there is insurance coverage included for all riders provided you do not try any funny stunts while riding and damaging not just yourself but also the vehicle! Lessons are provided for you prior to the ride so that you will know how to handle the bike in a proper manner so do pay close attention! You can ask your tour operator on Ko Samui about the Koh Samui ATV Quad Bike Adventure tour package prior to your arrival and book the vehicle in advance especially during the peak holiday seasons. These rides will bring you to interesting terrains that are of different skill levels. How would you like to get a perfect view of the tropical forest on the island of Ko Samui as well as the beautiful scene of the coastline all in the comfort of a cable car ride including transfers from your hotel in Ko Samui to the site? Sounds good to spend a few hours to grab a chance for such a scene? Then try out the Ko Samui Cable Ride that has three sessions a day.  You can say that this is one way to get a panoramic view of the island in the most comfortable manner. Check with your tour agent if you can combine this tour with some othersightseeing tours around Ko Samui to make it a fun-filled day for yourself and those traveling with you just to keep them occupied!

  1.   Whizzing about the waters in your own private speed boat on Mathew Private Speed boat charter Koh tao & Koh Nangyuan

Koh SamuiIf you have the cash to spare you can always take out a tour by Mathew Private Speed boat charter Koh tao & Koh Nangyuan where you have the luxury of a pilot and guide to bring you anywhere to these two places for a private time! The ultimate of all holiday tourist dreams, you have the comfort and safety of such a tour package when you have the time and money to spend! You can arrange for a greatprivate island hopping trip that comes with all the trimmings such as a picnic lunch and drinks to entertain you the whole day. Don’t worry about the boat driver; he will know how to while his time away. A private speed boat charter will give you all the freedom to decide how much time you would like to spend in one place without having to wait for other people’s decision or follow a tour routine. This leaves you with more time to spend in a place of your choice among the two islands while you frolic around in private! The private speed boat tour package includes all insurance, snorkeling equipment and life jackets but entrance fees to the marine national parks, lunch packaging, island visit fees and hotel transfers are not included so please make sure you check the pricing before signing on!

10.   Local delights of Surat Thani

Surat ThaniSome of the off beaten things of interest to do in the province of Surat Thani may not be your average tour destinations but they are also not any less fascinating. Surat Thani produces a lot of very interesting produce such as Kai Khem Chaiya which is the local salted egg. These eggs are highly delicious when eaten with rice or congee. Tours to these types of places would be by special enquiry under the eco-tourism sector for Surat Thani. You can visit many other types of produce producing industries including the oyster farms, rambutan fruit plantations, silk worm farms where they produce some of the finest silk in Thailand and you can buy some of these produce directly from the factories. Other eco-tourism places also include the pearl harvesting farm in Surat Thani where Surat Thani produces some mid-sized and small sized pearls. Coconuts are also vastly harvested in Surat Thani but there are not many people who can actually climb the coconut trees to harvest the nuts so the next best alternative is to employ the help of the nifty little primates, the monkeys. There is aMonkey School in Surat Thani that trains these little primates to go pluck coconuts and being very much like children, they love their antics as ell and are rather playful. You can watch them at work and play in the Monkey School. Each trained monkey has an owner who cares for the little creature much like a part of their own family and you can sometimes see that close bod between trainer and primate! Do remember to check out these unusual tours of Surat Thani while you are in the province.   As diverse as the province of Surat Thani may be, so it is with tourism in the province of Surat Thani. As with any other Thai province, temples are one of the highlights here with such places as the  Wat Suan Mokkhaphalaram which is a monastery located in the rainforest and is considered one of the few rainforest temples in Thailand. Other temples include Wat Khao Suwan Pradit that is a 45 meter high hilltop pagoda, Wat Khao Tham where foreigners like to go for meditation and Wat Maduea Wan where it is claimed that a replica of Buddha’s footprint is located. There are also many national parks all around the province which is rich in biodiversity from the flora to the fauna. Then there are also visits that can be made to villages such as Ban Chalok Lam which is famous for their dried seafood especially squid. Kids will enjoy the farm and animal shows such as the snake farm (which is not for those who are squeamish), the Samui Buffalo Village, Butterfly and honey farm, Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo, Crocodile Farm and Monkey Training Center.

Calypso Cabaret Show

CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAYS IN CALYPSO CABARET STYLE IN THE HEART OF BANGKOK


CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAYS IN CALYPSO CABARET STYLE IN THE HEART OF BANGKOK

Calypso Cabaret

Where would you go these coming holidays if you are in Bangkok city? Off course for many it would be to the pubs and nightlife of this throbbing, vibrant metropolitan and it would be for the later part of the night. BUT … what if you can mix all that in with a great show and dinner to kick-start the festivities?

Asiatique the Riverfront in the Charoenkrung Area is fast becoming one of the hottest entertainments and shopping districts along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok city. Why, they even have a free ferry service to bring you there from the Sathorn pier a short walk from the Saphan Thaksin BTS and back again. If you are planning for a visit to Asiatique the Riverfront, we also recommend that you check out the oldest and most established cabaret performance in Bangkok City. This is none other than the very famous Calypso Cabaret that has recently made Asiatique their new home. With 25 years of experience and a cast of talented lady boy performers, they will rock the house down these coming holidays.

Calypso Cabaret has something special for you to fire up your night! This happens only during the holiday season from the 15th of December till the 31st of December, so if you do not want to miss out on this, make sure you book your tickets to the Calypso Cabaret dinner and show really early as even on normal days they perform to a packed audience!
Calypso Show The new home for Calypso Cabaret sits right in the heart of Asiatique the Riverfront, you can’t miss them with the large flashing neon light right on the top of what used to be a water tower. The whole area of Asiatique used to be a former warehousing facility but now refurbished into one of the most upmarket, glitzy watering holes in Bangkok with a great walking deck all along the front to enjoy a view of the mighty River of Kings, the Chao Phraya River. The new venue has more seating space, a wider stage and very convenient facilities even for the disabled to reach the venue and enjoy the show. They now even have a second performing stage and dining area right at their entranceway.
Watching a performance at Calypso Cabaret is like watching Burlesque or Moulin Rouge life on stage. Their new auditorium for the cabaret show exudes a Vegas style cabaret stage performance and the tiered seating area is just perfect for a clear view of the stage from all angles. The 12 x 12 meter stage, lighting and sound system compliments the 70 performers for the 15 musical sessions with great stage set designs and a flourish of beautiful costumes and performances.

Visitors to Thailand for this holiday season will most definitely enjoy the performances at the Calypso Cabaret that has something special for the holiday season and only those who happen to be here at this time; will be most privileged to watch it! We are told that there will be a special edition for the holiday season in their repertoire of songs and looking at what has been performed onstage so far, we can say that it will be quite a showdown! We can’t wait to see what this special edition is and if you are planning to book your tickets to the Calypso Cabaret show, we suggest you do it as early as possible!

Your evening will start with a seven course Thai set menu dinner that comes with starters, main course and desserts. The dishes are very typically Thai and would be quite a treat and introduction to famous Thai cuisine. In between the dinner, there will be a half hour traditional dance performance, all thrown in for good measure to make sure your evening heads off to a good start and to get you in the mood for the rest of the performance. At the dinner show, you will get a good close up view of the performers and do not be surprised if some of them look more beautiful than the average woman! Not only are they tall, but also elegant and have very good figures….shame on us women! These traditional Thai dance performances are unique only to the dinner and not part of the actual show performance. The dinner starts at 7.00pm so it will be good to head out there early, if you find yourself too early for the diner and performance, you can always wander around Asiatique the Riverfront for a bit, check out the huge ferries wheel which is similar to the London Eye that will give you a good view of the Chao Phraya and the Bangkok skyline. Alternatively, you can also wander around the many shops and boutiques that sell anything from souvenirs to clothing. Note that Asiatique the Riverfront opens from 5pm to 12 pm daily but you can still stay on at the pubs which occupy the riverfront pier. There are two allocated times for the dinner and performance in Calypso Cabaret. The first session of dinner and performance is at 7.30 pm for the dinner only and 8.15 pm for the show, whereas the second session is the show performance only with no dinner at 9.45 pm
Calypso Cabaret ShowThe dinner and Thai traditional dance at Calypso Cabaret last for an hour and from there, you will need to proceed up the stairway for the actual performance auditorium. Visitors on wheel chair or the disabled have a special entrance on the side as well as a lift and washroom special prepared for their use. The auditorium seats about 450 guests and the nice orange glow of the décor and lighting gives it a very warm feel. Waiters and ushers are on hand to lead you to your seats and to serve you with a drink or cocktail, which ever your preference. The Calypso Cabaret Show ticket includes a drink before the performance and some of the Calypso Cabaret ticket includes transfers from your hotel and back again. Please do remember to check which booking for the Calypso Cabaret you have purchased.

The opening sequence of the show is a burst of colors, feathers and sequins in the very typical Vegas introduction. Would you believe that all these performances, costumes and stage sets were choreographed by one man for the past 25 years since 1988? He is Mr. Hans who hails from Germany and has been the lead choreographer for the performers since Calypso Cabaret first started! He has been hand picking and training these lady boy performers for an average of two to three months before they are able to perform on stage. The youngest performer is 18 years old and the eldest is 55 years old!

Audience to the performance can expect a good variety of mixes in the musical repertoire. There are versions of Thai, Japanese, and Korean, Chinese, French, English and even Spanish songs throughout the performance. Our all-time favorite is the Japanese showcase and the one based on the movie Burlesque, it really keeps your feet tapping to the tune! The very wide stage provides ample space for a retinue of 70 performers which is a very large cast indeed for a cabaret performance. Visitors to the Calypso Cabaret show will have a good laugh at some of their slap-stick comedy which is in itself quite entertaining. The entire show lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes with a seamless flow from one performance to another.

Calypso CabaretAfter the show, the lineup of some of the performers outside to greet farewell to the audience is a great opportunity to take some pictures with them. You may take individual photos with your favorite performer and can tell everyone that was your date for the night! Do remember to tip them for the pictures as they will greatly appreciate it though they do not ask. They are only too pleased with posing for a quick picture or two before heading out to the next performance if it is the 8.15 pm show.

If you feel peckish after the great performance, the restaurants and pubs are open till quite late. You can make your way to the pier side for a drink or meal and enjoy the view of boats sailing by, watching the Bangkok city skyline or just watching the people walking by. The choice of restaurants is very wide so it is just a matter of choice on what your preferences are. If you happen to be there over a public holiday, you might be lucky to catch a dazzling display of fireworks right along the river, which would make a wonderful capping off to a great evening and night out at Calypso Cabaret and Asiatique the Riverfront. Don’t forget to try out the free river ferry service if you have the chance. The ride itself is quite an adventure and the perfect way to the start of an also very romantic evening!

The PlayHouse Theater

A Wonderful Night Out With Playhouse Theater on Their opening Night


The PlayHouse TheaterThe much-awaited opening of Playhouse Theater is finally here! The amazing BAZAAR Theater provides the finest state of the art presentations and have access to panoramic stage views. Staff will ensure you are comfortable with our unique Thai hospitality our first performance is at 7:00 pm and the second at 8:20 Treat yourself and the entire family to a night out at one of the best evening attractions in Bangkok. Book your tickets now, availability is limited.

The PlayHouse TheaterWhen you visit Bangkok city, make it a point to drop by and watch this performance, We advise you to book your tickets in advance, as the seating is rather limited. Tickets can be booked online through tour and travel companies in Bangkok before your trip to ensure that you have a seating space for the performance.

The much awaited raising of the stage curtain finally arrived. A brief introduction signifying the opening was the cue for the curtain to rise. Audience was introduced to the lead character of the whole play. Known as the “Magic Man,” he was the storyteller of the whole performance. Flitting from one scene to another he plays the joker, the introducer, and the guide throughout the one-hour performance. Among much pomp and splendor, the performance was underway. There were a variety of performances ranging from Vegas style musicals, renditions of Michael Jackson, tap dancing, Tango, Ballet; dancer accompanied solo song repertoires and renditions of Moulin Rouge. The quick scene changes and performer interchange kept us glued to our seat while our eyes and ears were treated to a seamless flow of different performances.

Every performance was a rich display of costumes and well-coordinated dance steps. The night ended too soon and this performance exceeded our expectations. The Playhouse Theater had indeed brought to live a performance that is every bit a New York Style flavor integrated with a touch of Cabaret. It is like getting a taste of Broadway and cabaret all in one place. Look out for the performance of Rihanna‘s “Umbrella” as well as “Bo Jangle.” This is the type of quality entertainment that has finally been brought to Bangkok city! As always, make sure you book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Seating is rather limited but be assured there is a very cozy ambience once you are there to enjoy your show.