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Quick Guide To Thailand

Thailand is possibly the most-visited country in south-east Asia. The irresistible combination of fine beaches, ancient monuments and civilisations and renowned cuisine makes a holiday here an absolute must.

Where is it?

Thailand is in south-east Asia, bordering Malaysia to the south, Myanmar (Burma) to the north, and Cambodia and Laos to the east. It benefits from coastal stretches both in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Thailand.

Where can I stay?

Thailand is a popular country to visit – Bangkok is a 24-hour city with hotels to match whilst smaller cities and coastal resorts have also made the most of the constant tourist trade. Travellers are becoming more sophisticated, however, which has resulted in a number of boutique hotels opening to cater for the discerning guest. For those who love the beach, try the luxury of Aleenta; a small, private beach hotel which houses just 17 suites and 2 private villas. With unspoilt beach on your doorstep, an infinity pool and romantic breakfast and dinner settings, beach-life rarely gets better. Alternatively, go for the lights and sounds of Bangkok, where you could stay at the Ibrik City; a very chic hotel right in the middle of the business district and next to the famous “Blue Elephant” cooking school. With just three rooms, this is a modern yet homely hotel and great transport connections mean that this boutique hotel is the ideal base for days and nights in Bangkok.

What can I see?

Thailand is renowned for its ancient monuments, stupas and temples. From the sheer architectural delight of the Phimai Temple, a Hindu/Buddhist temple, to the ancient stupas in the Sukothai Historical Park, there’s much to learn about civilisations hundreds and thousands of years old and the way they affect the people of Thailand today. Don’t miss the busy and colourful markets either, and make sure that you spend time sampling the fabulous food for which Thailand is so well known. Venture away from the beaches to the rivers and mountains of Thailand’s interior to sample a simpler way of life, or take in the energy of Bangkok with a city visit.

How do I get around?

You can hire a car to get around Thailand, but it may be easier to take the train. Bangkok city is serviced by a Sky train and boat service, so there’s no need for any other transport to get you around. Outside Bangkok and closer to the coast, use the buses and trains to get about. The trains may be slower than you’re used to, but they’re comfortable. On the other hand, the buses are fast and furious, but they are cheap and air-conditioned.

What to Do and See in the Kingdom of Cambodia

This cool little country is located in South East Asia, in the region known as Indochina. It is bordered by Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. There is lots to see and do, and it will cost you a fraction of what it would tripping around in the west. So come on a journey of discovery.

The capital is a frenetic city called Phnom Penh, which is easy to get to from the major regional airports like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Min City or Singapore. While Phnom Penh has some curious charm of its own, like a lot of capital cities it performs better as a gateway than as a destination.

The two areas I would like to talk to you about lie in the north and south west of this nation respectively. Up north sits one of the seven wonders of the world, the Ankor Wat temple complex. This ancient marvel is breathtaking and justifiably on that well known list of 100 things to do or see before you die. To quote a recent visitor, I expected a pile of old rocks, but I got a powerful significant experience instead. It is a massive site, far bigger than most first time visitors imagine, and can easily take three days to walk around. Ankor Wat is situated adjacent to the northern regional town of Siem Reap, which is a one hour flight or a six hour road trip from Phnom Penh. Siem Reap can also be reached by air or road from Bangkok in neighboring Thailand.

The second place I want to tell you about is the seaside town of Sihanoukville. Also a regional town, Sihanoukville lies on the edge of the Gulf of Thailand, about three to fours hours from Phnom Penh down a pretty good sealed road. Close your eyes and picture white sand and turquoise water and you have pretty well visualized the beaches of Sihanoukville. Hey do not go packing your surfboard, the waters of the gulf are invariably calm and waves seldom exceed knee height. Put these cool beaches together with really low cost, and you will see why this is such an alluring and desirable place to visit. So lets look at how inexpensively you can spend say a week in this part of the world.

International flights have either hovered at the same price or have fallen noticeably over the past few years. So have a look on the net and you will possibly be pleasantly surprised at the cost of getting to Cambodia. Once you are at the airport, a thirty day tourist visa will cost you $20 usd. For $35 or so you can hire a car with driver to bring you the 235 kilometers to town, or spend about $7 for a seat on a bus instead.

Of course you will need somewhere nice to stay. There is a wide variety of accommodation on offer in town, everything from a mattress above a bar to a five star resort with all the trimmings. As a guide, an air conditioned room here with a hot shower, cable TV and a fridge will cost you around $15 per night! Food and drink is also wonderfully cheap with a tasty meal for around $3 and a cold beer for $1 a can.

Put all these advantages together and I trust you will agree that Cambodia is an as yet undiscovered gem, just waiting for you to come over and unwind.

Expanding your Business Into Thailand

Thailand is considered one of Asia’s tiger economies, with many opportunities for enterprising companies to make use of both a relatively cheap but well-educated labour force, together with an increasingly efficient infrastructure.

However, there are many pitfalls that need to be avoided when looking to expand a business into Thailand for such a venture to succeed.

Making the initial foray

The Thai government offers a business visa to applicants wishing to come to Thailand to research the opportunities that might exist for their company. This application is best made at the Thai consulate in your existing location, rather than entering as a tourist.

This will allow you to stay up to 90 days at a time and is renewable under the right circumstances. There are many websites that offer detailed advice on the best methods of applying and also the best consulates to apply at with up to date information.

Setting up an office

The best method of hitting the ground running is to look into using a serviced office, at least to begin with. Not only will this offer you immediate support services, you will be able to move into a fully functioning office within a matter of hours.

Most of the facilities you will need (phone, Internet, secretarial, fax, etc) will be immediately available, together with an all important address. Remember too that Thai culture places a great emphasis on status, so make sure your serviced office will impress both in terms of location and decoration.

When looking for a serviced office, remember the following:

· Communication can be a challenge in Thailand, so choose an office where you are able to communicate easily with the staff. They will become invaluable to you when you need to talk to other Thais.

· Location is critical, with Bangkok roads still jammed on a regular basis. Make sure you choose somewhere close to the two train networks. This will save you a great deal of time later on.

· Keep an eye out for hidden costs. Some offices will not be clear on just what is included, so ask about VAT, phone, Internet and installation costs.

· Bargaining is a way of life in Thailand, so be prepared to negotiate a little.

Setting up a Thai company

Advice on this topic would fill an article in itself, but the crux of it is simple. You will need professional help with this task if you are to avoid getting bogged down in administration to the point of not being able to focus on your own business needs.

There are many professional companies that specialize in just this task, and you should get quotes from at least three different companies. Your checklist of factors to consider:

· Once again communication is critical. Any company you choose has to have the ability to communicate with you without misunderstandings. Check to see who will be your point of contact on an ongoing basis.

· Check for a strong history of satisfied customers. Go so far as to ask for references and be diligent in checking them.

· Choose a company that is conveniently located to your base. Bangkok can be troublesome to get around, so bear this in mind.

· Always check the costs and try to make sure you are comparing like for like. If a quote is not clear, request further details so that you can accurately see how one company’s service costs compare with another.

· Negotiate as always, and use this as a way to test communication channels.

Once your company is set up properly, it will be necessary to apply for an official work permit to continue to work in Thailand. Again this is something that you can outsource and is probably in your best interests to do so.

Getting started

Many companies find the easiest way to start in Thailand is to look for a Thai business partner right off the bat. This way, you can plug right in to an existing network and take advantage of partnerships that have been in place for many years.

Of course, this means finding the right partner, which may not always be possible.

The alternative is to look for networks that you can work into quickly and may include:

Your embassy in Bangkok

Clubs such as the British Club or American Club

Industry associations

Expect to spend the first few months meeting as many new people as you can in order to start connecting with the right people.

The one piece of advice that will be relevant throughout your time in Thailand is this:

Always keep smiling and try to keep your temper.

Thailand Wilderness Adventure

Thailand has always held a special place in my heart. I first travelled there in 1991, a wide eyed kid wet behind the ears with a bucket shop one way ticket to Bangkok. My grand plans of a short beach break before heading down to the east coast of Australia joining the 1000’s of Pommie pilgrims earning a right of passage didn’t exactly go to plan. I left Thailand eleven months later to return home penniless, emancipated and full of great stories, which my friends soon got bored with.

I returned a few times mainly to Bangkok and Koh Samui happy to be back in the land of smiles but feeling slightly disappointed at all the changes. The old story of development being good for the locals but not good for my sense of adventure. That didn’t deter me from joining the Imaginative Travellers Wilderness Adventure two years ago.

Arriving in Bangkok this time was different. I had a hotel booked so no lugging my pack in Bangkok’s suffocating mixture of exhaust fumes, heat and humidity looking for a clean bed. I had a group to meet too, this was also good, eating Pad Thai on your own looking for a fellow traveller to strike a conversation with can be hard work. There were 10 of us, a mix of Poms, Aussies, a Canadian, an American and a South African. We all met for dinner and shortly after my first Thai beer I knew this would be a fun trip

Bangkok to me means food and shopping and the best place to find both is the Chata Chuk weekend market. I headed there with belly empty and wallet full destined to reverse the two. The market is huge, really huge, 35 acres of cheap goodies huge and sells everything from furniture to genuine fake designer clothes. The street food is fantastic but remember the Thai’s like it hot. I left my shopping with the hotel to keep safe as I would be returning there once I finished the trip.

Off to Chiang Mai on the overnight train. I like travelling like this, sleeping while moving makes sense to me and the train is clean, functional, safe and fine. I think Chiang Mai is the perfect place to escape hectic Bangkok. It’s a peaceful, happy place and that reflects in the locals. Sight seeing will take you to the Wat Pratat Doi Suthep temple – stunning and golden on a sunny day. The next stage of the trip was trekking in the surrounding jungle, I decided I needed a massage before we set off.

A trek in the hills of Northern Thailand is a chance to escape everyday life and clear your head. The going is not too difficult for someone with fairly good fitness although if it rains the mud can be tricky. I was enjoying my own head space when we arrived at the first village of wooden homes, pecking chickens and lots of smiles, basic but I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather have been. Chan, our guide, was a local from a neighbouring village and before long he had us divided amongst our village hosts before the sun set and got too difficult for us city people to do anything without electric light. That night, with the noise of the surrounding jungle lying on a mattress roll on a bamboo floor, was maybe the most peaceful night’s sleep I have ever had.

The next day’s trek was shorter and we covered ground quicker, maybe we were getting used to the trekking but I think it was the excitement of the elephant ride to come that afternoon. Lunch was delicious but we were too busy watching the elephants wash in the river to notice. Elephants are brilliant creatures and being on one journeying deeper into the jungle is a fantastic experience.

The next morning Chan had us up early helping him and the village men build our rafts to take us down river to civilization. It is all part of the experience helping the guys and by helping I mean staying out of their way while they expertly craft our rafts. A serene float down to the nearest small town where our bus was waiting to take us to a hot shower and another massage.

We left Chiang Mai and headed back to Bangkok where we broke the journey up to the south with an over night stay in the city of angels.

I had heard a few good things about Khoa Sok national park, not too popular with tourists or backpackers alike due it not having a major bus stop. To get there you need to stop the bus by the 3rd banyan tree after 17th stream near the big hill and you will find a bakkie waiting to take you into the park. I’m glad we had a tour leader. The first night we slept with the birds in tree houses the second and third we stayed in raft houses on a man made dam. It is a truly beautiful area and a few of us spent the days swimming in waterfalls, flooded caves, kayaking and hiking and some of just sat back and took it all in.

How to finish this Thailand trip? On the beach of course. The islands around Krabi are what we visualize when we think of a Thai beach and they do not disappoint. The Thai’s have a word called sabai, loosely translated it means an inner happiness and contentment. I woke one afternoon from a napping on the beach and understood exactly what sabai means.

This trip can be found on the Thailand section of Travel Light


Spencer Neal has worked in adventure travel since 1997. His many adventures and passion for travel has led him to part own an online adventure travel agency Travel Light www.travellight.co.za specialising in world wide adventures for South Africans. You can contact him at spencer@travellight.co.za

Water Sports Holidays In Thailand

You get treasures of ethnic, scenic, gastronomic, and oceanic pleasures in Siam. Thailand certainly is the fascinating and exotic land of lovely people known for their fantastic culture, cuisine, and overall lifestyle. The land, of course, is well known for its beautiful beaches and pelagic pleasures. It is a wonderful destination for water sports in Southeast Asia.

Thailand definitely is the best pick, if you are looking to have fun & adventure packed water sports holidays. You can really have great holiday, beaching, playing beach volleyball & other beach sports, and enjoying numerous water sports activities, such as swimming, rafting, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, and scuba diving in Thailand. Some famous destinations for water sports destinations in Thailand are – Mae Hong Son, Hua Hin, Phuket, Chumpon, Ko Chang, and Koh Tao.

Mae Hong Son, located near the border of Myanmar along the banks of the river Pai, is a wonderful town in the North West Thailand. The town offers you a nice opportunity to enjoy rafting the Pai River. You can join one of the rafting expeditions that are commonly organized in the heart of Mae Hong Son. Mae Hong Son can be accessed by car or bus from Chiang Mai via the Mae Hong Son loop. The town is also served by the Mae Hong Son Airport.

Hua Hin, in the northern part of the Malay Peninsula, some 200 km south of Bangkok, is a celebrated beach resort town in Thailand. It is best known for kitesurfing. You can hire your kitesurfing equipment, have kitesurfing instructions from experts, and enjoy kitesurfing. You can also joint kitesurfing lessons & courses for beginners. You can also enjoy numerous other beach and water sport on the beach resort, with an area around 86.36 km². You can also enjoy swimming, windsurfing, wave surfing, and rowing.

Phuket, the largest island and the southern province of Thailand, is best known for its beaches. It is popular destinations for beach & water sports. You can enjoy numerous beach & water sports activities, such as swimming, kitesurfing, yachting, windsurfing, wave surfing, rowing, snorkeling, diving, scuba diving, etc. in Phuket. Famous Phuket beaches include Bang Tao, Surin Beach, Laem Singh Beach, Kamala Beach, Patong Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Yai Beach, Kata Noi Beach, Ao Chalong, and Rawai Beach.

Chumphon or Chumpon, the capital of the Chumphon Province at the shore of the Gulf of Thailand, is a fantastic town in southern Thailand. Located about 463 kilometers away from Bangkok, Chumpon is famous for kitesurfing or kiteboarding, and other water sports activities. You can enjoy numerous beach & water sports activities, such as swimming, windsurfing, wave surfing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, and rowing. The town can be accessed by bus or by ferries.

Ko Chang, located on the Thai east coast 310 km away from Bangkok near the border to Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand, is the second largest island of Thailand. It is famous for sailing and scuba diving. However, you can also enjoy several other beach & water sports activities, such as swimming, windsurfing, wave surfing, snorkeling, diving, and rowing in Ko Chang. The island can be accessed by ferries operating from Laem Ngop.

Ko Tao, an island located near the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand, is widely famous for scuba diving. Diving in Ko Tao is easy and full of fun. Often, you have encounters with turtles, stingrays, barracudas, lots of small fish, and reef sharks. The island is a great place for divers. It is a great place to learn diving, as there are hardly any currents. You can also enjoy several other water related activities, such as wake boarding, water skiing, sumo tube, wind surfing, and sailing. Ko Tao can be accessed catching ferries from Surat Thani, or Ko Samui, or Ko Pha Ngan.

the realities of a westerner living in Thailand

Most tourists visiting Thailand, whether it be a backpacker, a package deal tourist , or regular visitor leave Thailand with many endearing memories, the excitement of Bangkok, the fabulous beaches and islands, the whole laid back attitude that is a world away from the life most have in the western world.

Of course Thailand has another allure, that being the warm, friendly, gorgeous and readily available Thai ladies. Although this side of Thailand is frowned upon by many, it still attracts millions of single men from all over the globe to the kingdom every year. Most of these guys would do anything to spend more time in Thailand, its heaven on earth for the 2/4 weeks they spend there every year. Most are not in the position to leave their respective countries and “move” to Thailand as job and family commitments don’t allow such a radical change in life.

Some do make the big plunge and relocate there, whether on a retirement visa, business visa, or indeed marrying a Thai lady and gaining a spouse visa. Then there is the dreaded visa run every month to Cambodia or Laos, which until late in 2006 was a popular way of being able to live in Thailand but not actively (read legally) working there. Now this loophole has been closed and a tourist entering on a 30 day visa can only spend 90 days out of every 180 days on this visa. I.E.. after using 3 / 30 day visa’s up consecutively you may not enter the country again for another 3 months.

The way around this is to get a 60 day tourist visa issued outside of Thailand, then apply for a 30 day extension in Thailand once the 60 days have expired, hence giving you 90 full days without leaving the country. Once the 90 days have gone by, then the 30 day visa runs can start, in total giving you 180 days legally before repeating the whole process again. This is a real alternative if your situation doesn’t allow you to go down the retirement visa, or business visa route.

A popular way for a single guy to get to live in Thailand is to get a job teaching English in one of the many schools there. This involves getting a teaching qualification which is a fairly simple thing to do, then go hunting for that perfect job. In reality teaching is not an attractive proposition to many as salary’s are notoriously low, leading to a poor standard of living.

If anyone of retirement age wishes to spend his/her twilight years enjoying the delights of Thailand, then it is perfectly feasible, albeit expensive. The Thai government has recently announced that anyone wishing to apply for a retirement visa must have on deposit in their bank account 800,000 baht for a minimum of 3 months prior to the application and subsequent applications. This new rule will put many retirees in possible financial difficulties, having a large portion of their retirement fund effectively unusable.

It seems at the present time the Thai government is deterring foreigners from investing in Thailand’s substantial “ex-pat” community, which injects a huge amount of revenue into the economy each year. In due course these rules will have a big impact on many businesses and the regular Thai, (who is already fairly poor to start with).

The realities of living in Thailand full time are now very complicated for the average person. If you are wealthy and do not need to work for a living Thailand is still one of the best propositions in the world, it has so much to offer. A regular joe who’s dream has been to live in Thailand and really enjoy life the way they want now find it next to impossible.

Unless the Thai government relax the rules in the near future, the “regular joe” who has provided an essential flow of cash to a large percentage of the population will be packing his/her bags and heading to one of Thailand’s neighboring countries who will be welcoming them and their money with open arms.

What To See And Do In Phuket, Thailand – Top 10

Phuket’s natural beauty, thriving international community and pristine beaches set it apart fro Thailand’s other resorts. Even after the tsunami of 2004, the communities consolidated efforts have succeeded in holding on to almost all of the former clout as a tourist hub. The tourist industry here is second to none, and visitors are always well catered for, no matter their preferences or background.

Adventure sports

Adventure sports are top-notch in Phuket, and due to the island’s status as one of Asia’s top tourist destinations, the offerings and equipment are first rate as well. The adrenaline sports of Phuket are all about getting a new perspective on things. Nothing affords this better than perching on the back of an elephant and traipsing through the jungle or taking a plunge under the care of Thailand’s only licensed bungee jump operator. There’s also a shooting range on the island and it’s possible to join guided ATV tours headed to remote beaches and into the hills on the island’s interior. Less jostling go-kart rides can be taken in most of the major towns.

Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre

The Gibbon Fund is found on the Royal Reserve on the same land as the Bang Pae Waterfall. This project takes domesticated gibbons and makes every effort to reintroduce them into the wild. To date, three families have been successfully grafted back into their natural environment, and lucky visitors can catch sight of these primates among the trees.

Water sports

The beaches at Phuket are world-renown for their clear and calm Andaman waters. Visitors arriving on the island have the opportunity to enjoy water-related sports and activity which are central to a stay in Phuket. Diving and snorkelling present a wonderful vantage point on the underwater environment. To take in the vistas directly above sea level, there are mooring areas all over the island with the possibilities of sailing lessons, dinner cruises, fishing expeditions and kayaking. Those who wish to raise themselves high above the water can gain a new perspective on the island while parasailing.

Island hopping

The Thai islands of the Andaman Sea are known around the world for their beauty and glamour. A couple of them have been featured in James Bond films, with another having appeared in the Hollywood film, The Beach. Boats can be chartered to every one of the islands in the archipelago, and some of them offer modern amenities and accommodation, while others remain remote and relatively untouched. Some of the most staggering views can be found around these more primitive islands and can be comfortably enjoyed from the boat, some of which are sleeper-equipped. Islands like Phi Phi have plenty of accommodation to offer guests.


The three major waterfalls of Phuket are all worthy of their own daytrip. Ton Sai is a picturesque waterfall surrounded by palm trees. Kathu Waterfall is located farther inland and many visitors choose to stop here and enjoy a picnic or a swim in its cool pools. Bang Pae Waterfall sits on the land of the Gibbon Fund and visitors to this stretch of land can enjoy the scenic waterfall along with the added possibility of catching sight of a gibbon in its natural surroundings.

Eating out

What better reason to travel to Thailand than to enjoy the endless supply of Thai food? The

abundance of fresh seafood only enhances this draw in Phuket, where the tourist scene rolls out a full menu of possibilities ranging from Thai favourites to international specialties. Quality dishes can be found at the food stalls and small restaurants as well as at the resorts and five-star hotels. The most authentic food is found away from the beaches.


While Phuket’s shopping scene is as exhaustive as the markets in Bangkok, there are still plenty of opportunities for bargain shoppers, antique hunters and more mainstream shoppers seeking souvenirs. Leather goods, ceramics, jewellery and clothing are in steady supply. It’s even possible to get fitted by a tailor and have some clothes custom-made during your stay.

Thai kick boxing

Muay Thai is Thailand’s contribution to the martial arts scene. This form of kick boxing has been developed and honed in Thailand for centuries, recognised today for its highly effective moves. Exhibitions take place in Phuket Town every Friday night. Meanwhile, those who wish to study Muay Thai will find training gyms located in Phuket as well as at Rawai and Chalong.


There are a few Buddhist temples, or wats, on the island. Most of them are easily accessed from the main roads, and local taxi drivers will readily know them all. Shoes should be removed and shoulders and knees covered before entering a Thai temple. Some of the well-reputed temples include Pra Nahng Sahng, Pra Tong, Put Jaw, Jui Tui and Sanjao Sam San. Wat Chalong is probably the most popular with tourists, with its many murals, unusual design and modern pagodas.

Promthep Cape

Promthep Cape has been widely photographed over the years, mostly for its spectacular scenery and beautiful sunsets. It’s also worth a visit to take a look at the peculiar shrine which locals adorn with miniature elephants as a means of making merit. There’s also a statue that was built in honour of the Thai prince who modernised the country’s navigational methods and founded a maritime school in the 19th century.

Phuket Thailand – The Pearl Of Andaman

Phuket, known as the pearl of Andaman Sea, is the biggest island of Thailand. It is a province located in the southern part of the country and has many fascinating attractions that lure people around the world to visit. Because of beautiful beaches and sea, wonderful nightlife and nice weather, Phuket becomes one of the top places in Thailand that travelers choose to go, and of course, when they once visit there, they cannot wait to be there again and again.

It is not hard to get to Phuket. If you choose to go there by car, there are almost 900 kilometers from Bangkok to Phuket to drive and may take 8-9 hours totally. However, most people choose to fly there which takes no more than 1 hour and a half from Bangkok and the air fare is not expensive. Thai Airways and other low-cost airlines can serve you with several flights a day from many destinations.

The Phuket airport is a bit far from the popular beaches and well-known hotels. After you reach the island by plane, you can find a lot of services which can take you to your hotel cheap and easily. These services include taxi cars, airport limousines, and service vans waiting you outside the airport. Hotels and other accommodations are not hard to find and mostly their prices are really cheap. You can find luxurious hotels along the popular beaches or some easy home-stays near the communities or department stores. As I mentioned, Phuket is one of the top tourist attractions in Thailand. Even though there are a very large number of hotels and lodgings in Phuket, I recommend you to book a hotel earlier if you go there in the festival time or public holiday period and you will not regret doing that definitely.

Some well-known beaches that you cannot miss are Patong beach, Karon beach and Kata beach. You cannot imagine how beautiful they are. Also, there are a lot of activities along the beaches, you may sunbathe or swim in the sea. If you like exciting activities, you can play parachute or rent a surfboard. You may book a boat tour to the near islands such as Khai islands, Phi Phi islands and Racha islands, and go diving. Tons of beautiful coral reefs and fish are waiting for you.

One of other activities that you can’t definitely miss is watching sunset at Laem Prom Thep. This spot is named for the most beautiful sunset place in Thailand and you will believe it. If you like old buildings and nice architectures, you can also travel to the Phuket city which is located inside the island, a lot of good and tasty food is there. It is another good way for traveling in Phuket if you don’t like crowded tourists.

Nightlife in Thailand is very famous especially in Phuket. You can find clubs, bars and restaurants everywhere. These are just parts of what Phuket is and you need to experience them by yourselves. You may not want to go back to your country forever.

If you’d like to read more about Phuket, please visit my web blog at http://phuketweather.blogspot.com

Good Luck Charms and Magical Amulets of Thailand

Thailand with its 60 million +/- people are very spiritual and superstitious.
Almost all Thai people you meet wear a Good Luck Charm or Magical Amulet on a necklace around their neck. Which kind of Charm or Amulet they wear normally, but not always, depends on several things: The part of country their come from and/or their occupation. They wear these Good Luck Charms and Magical Amulets either for Good Luck and Prosperity or Protection. Sometimes these Charms and Amulets serve both situations. For example; people in the Armed Forces, police and people in a very dangerous work situation, i.e.; high rise construction, are primarily interested in protection, obviously. A high percentage of these same people even go so far as to have Magical symbols (yants) tattooed on their bodies, both front and back. Most of these tattoos are done by Buddhist monks at several well known Buddhist temples in Thailand. These are not your common basic tattoo parlors. These are done in elaborate ceremonies, with much chanting of blessings, candles, incense and lots of garlands of lotus flowers. I have been there and saw that these are a very highly charged, holy ceremony.

The Basic Question of course is;
Do these Good Luck Charms and Magical Amulets work? Do they bring Good Luck and/or offer protection? A large number of Thai people swear they do. Many Thai’s attribute their winning the lottery, getting a major promotion or finding their soul mate because of the power in these Good Luck Charms/Magical Amulets. Many Thai people claim they were saved from being harmed in a major accident and many Thai policemen claimed to having been saved in a sticky situation from being either shot or stabbed because of the power in these Good Luck Charms/Magical Amulets.

So, do they “Really” work?
I know only this for sure. I have never seen a Thai soldier without one, a Thai policeman without one and every month when someone wins the Thai lottery, the person winning swears to everyone, that they won because of the power in their Good Luck Charm or Magical Amulet.

If all these people believe in these Charms and Amulets, who am I to say their wrong or crazy.

p.s. I wear one and I won a small lottery once and haven’t been shot yet. :-)

Good Luck Charms and Magical Amulets of Thailand

Getting to Chiang Mai in Thailand

Chiang Mai is a city in Nothern Thailand that is often referred to as the “Rose of the North”. With its beautiful mountains, restful countryside and the gentle nature of its locals, it is easy to see why it is referred to as such. People from all over the world travel to Chiang Mai to enjoy its many attractions, not least of which is the endless shopping opportunities it offers. If you too are considering Chiang Mai as your travel destination, rest assured that getting there is a fairly easy process.

By Air – The city has one main airport – Chiang Mai International Airport. This is a large bustling airport that caters to both domestic and international flights. It is located only about 4 km away from the city centre, which you can reach in about ten minutes by car. You may choose to take the airport taxis or the metered taxis, both of which can be found immediately outside the terminal. You also have the option of taking a bus, which provides a cheaper way of travelling, or a tuk-tuk, the local contraption.

To get to Chiang Mai by air, there are direct flights from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Myanmar, China, and Laos. There are also numerous domestic flights that can take you to Chiang Mai from Bangkok, Ko Samui, Phuket and Chiang Rai. The main airlines that can be found at the airport are Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Silk Air and China Airlines. There are also budget airlines such as Air Asia.

By Bus – If you wish to go Chiang Mai and you are currently in Bangkok, the bus might also be a viable transport option. The duration of the journey depends on how much you are willing to pay. The government buses offer their tickets at the lowest price; however, these are non-air-conditioned buses which make numerous stops along the way, and take roughly twelve hours to reach Chiang Mai. The more prestigious bus services will take around nine hours; however, the prices of such tickets are much higher. Buses to Chiang Mai from Bangkok generally depart from the Northern Bus Terminal, otherwise known as Moh Chit.

There are also buses connecting many parts of Northern and North-eastern Thailand to Chiang Mai.

By Train – Train travel is only an option if you are going to Chiang Mai from Bangkok. All such trains leave from the Hualamphong Train Station. The duration of the journey depends on the type of train service you have selected – there are daytime trains, overnight trains and express trains. Prices vary accordingly, and you are strongly urged to make advance bookings. The train will drop you off at Chiang Mai Train Station, which is quite close to the city centre.