Tagged: Thailand car rental

Pattaya – The Wonderful Thailand Spot Ever

Pattaya city is one of the most wonderful place in Thailand for tourists. It locates in Chonburi province which is in the eastern part of Thailand. With beautiful beaches and scenario, Thai girls and nightlife, activities and sports, millions of travelers travel to Pattaya each year to come and see what the real fantastic city is.

Getting to Pattaya is very easy. It is just 147 kilometers away from Bangkok and 160 kilometers away from Bangkok International Airport (Old Airport). It takes approximately 90 minutes by car. If you would like to drive by yourself, you can take Route 3 (Bangna-Trat) and go along until you find the junction telling you to turn right to Pattaya beach, or you can take Motor-Way which is more convenient. You can also take a flight operated by Bangkok Airways to/from Koh Samui at Sattaheep Airport.

About Pattaya’s weather, Winter season starts in November through February. The temperature is between 20-30 degree Celsius and 50% humidity. Summer season starts in February through May. The temperature is between 30-40 degree Celsius and 75% humidity. Rainy season starts in June through October. The temperature is between 25-30 degree Celcius and 90% humidity.

Pattaya comprises 4 areas – North Pattaya, Central Pattaya, South Pattaya, and Jomtien beach. There are few tourists in North Pattaya if you compare with others. Travelers love to be there when they want to relax, swim in the sea or take a water sports or activities. In Central Pattaya along to South Pattaya, there are a lot of business and services including bars, restaurants, department stores, souvenir shops, and entertainment complexes.

Jomtien beach locates in the southern part of Pattaya. It is 4 kilometers away from Pattaya city. Many tourists love to go swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and other water activities there. Also, tourists can travel to near islands such as Lan island, Krok island, Phai islands by speed boat.

Besides having fun with water sports and activities, Pattaya has much more wonderful attractions which you can’t miss such as Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum, Pattaya Water Park, Pattaya Crocodile Farm, Elephant Village, Sriracha Tiger Farm, and Nongnuch Garden.

I have details of some interesting places here.

Cabaret Show – Amazing and fabulous ladyboy show with fantastic costumes.

- Tiffany Show – have three shows daily; 7pm, 8.30pm and 10pm and an additional show at 5.30pm on holidays.
- Alcazar Show – have three shows daily; 6.30pm, 8pm, and 9.30pm and an additional show at 11pm on Saturdays.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum – located at Royal Garden Plaza Pattaya. There are more than 300 collections of unbelievable things from all over the world by an American Robert Ripley.

Mini Siam – located on Sukhumvit Rd. km 143th. It collects all amazing places over Thailand and the world in small size such as Dawn Temple, Rama 9 Bridge, Eiffel Tower and more.

Go-Kart – a small car racing field for people who love speed and excitement. It locates in Pattaya city. Some providers are Siam Carting Circuit and Pattaya Cart Speedway.

You can find more about Pattaya at my webblog at http://travel-pattaya-thailand.blogspot.com

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.

KRABI – The Emerald of the East

KRABI – The Emerald of the East

They say that Hawaii is the Emerald of West and Krabi of the east. Welcome to travelonguide.com , where we are going to explore the scenic and untouched beaches of Krabi. If you are a honeymoon trip to the Far – East, then make sure that you to add Krabi in your itinerary, and we suggest that Krabi should be in the top 3 slots.

Krabi is a small town in Thailand which is based on the banks of river Krabi, very close to the river mouth which opens in the Andaman Sea. When you are at Krabi you have a great choice of activities like Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Kayaking etc. And if you are one of those who love adventure then the lush green jungles, provide the perfect ambience. Vast areas of Krabi are a part of the natural reserve, and Elephant Trekking could be the best option to explore it. Did you know that to explore the islands around Krabi one would require more than a year.

The Phi Phi islands, Koh Lanta, Klong Muang Beach & Railey beach are amongst the most popular tourist destinations in Krabi. Ao Nang is the most developed beach in Krabi where you could find many beach resorts and hotels. One could stay on this beach and easily explore the nearby islands.

Krabi has 2 predominant seasons, one called the summer and the other Rainy. From January to April it’s the summer season and from May till December it’s the Rainy Season. The months of May until July are pretty comfortable and raining most in the evenings. Day time it could be cloudy, but overall the weather is pleasant. April could be the best season as you might witness lots of sun along with some rains, which could be a mixture of hot and cold. Ideally the temperature is Krabi ranges from 16.9 degrees to 7.3 degrees.

Getting to Krabi is not so difficult. If you are on a backpacker journey then you could take a train from Hualamphong Railway Station in Bangkok until Sakhon Si Thammarat and then take a bus or taxi until Krabi, which is a very scenic route. If you plan to travel by road then from Bangkok it’s approximately 900 kms and from Phuket it is approx 4 hours drive. Take the hourly Bus service from Phuket, which is so convenient and comfortable. You could also rent a car, but make sure that the car you hire is insured. If you are in Phuket, then you could also take a Boat ride until Phi Phi Islands then take a taxi until Krabi.

Shopping is also an activity in Krabi, and will indeed be a pleasurable experience for anyone. The markets of Krabi offer beautiful handicrafts, sarongs & silk scarves at very reasonable rates. Make sure that you bargain on every purchase, since most of the times the prices are doubled. Since Thailand is famous for clothing, you will get some very cheap but really fashionable clothing in every city of Thailand. Gem stones and antiques are also found in abundance. Don’t forget to purchase some orchids, for which Thailand is so famous. They are nicely packed with a small water container to make sure that the Orchids reach your home safely, whatever you shop in Thailand and where ever you shop, make sure you bargain.

So don’t think, just pack your bags and head to Krabi. We hope you found this small article about Krabi as interesting as Krabi itself is and don’t forget to log onto our site www.travelonguide.com to know more about some of the best exotic locations of the world.

Thailand’s Unrest: Packing Strategies For The Coup Near You

A funny thing happened on the way to my closet. This unforgettable journey from my shower confirmed an age old theory: a lot can happen in fifteen feet.

One night earlier I’d switched on the news to see civil unrest in Budapest, Hungary. My sister August was just there, I thought. Grand old buildings towered behind burning cars. As many do, I wondered: what is wrong with the world? Some of these countries…

At the time, there was no physical sensation caused by my foot being put in my mouth. I was oblivious to its presence. Fast forward 24 hours and enter my studio apartment in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

I pulled the towel from my wet hair as the newscaster spoke: “Another country is in turmoil tonight.” Ho hum, here we go again. Now, where are my pajamas? As I stepped past the television, her words rang out: “Tanks have entered Bangkok in a reported coup attempt.”

You know those moments in life when the space-time continuum warps around you? Everything freezes, yet your mind processes over three million random thoughts. That’s where I stood. Only then did I begin to notice my foot lodged deep in my mouth. In the .25 seconds it took to take one step backwards and wrench my head to the right, I had all the following thoughts.

That newscaster mis-spoke. Learn your job!

She means Hungry.

Buy a map.

What!

Mom’s gonna freak.

Wait, I’m 40

Mom’s gonna freak.

My mind is getting even for the Budapest comments. I deserved that.

What did she really say?

Eek! What do I do?

Pack.

No. Don’t pack.

Stay calm.

Pack.

I own way too much stuff!

I’m not breathing.

Perched on the end of the bed, I watch three channels simultaneously for well over an hour. I resolved to take the coup in stride. But! Maybe I’d pack one bag. It would be a ‘just in case’ bag. The essentials a person would need if a quick exit should be close at hand. Of course, I’d sleep fully dressed in running shoes. Okay, I made that last part up. (My running shoes are in my gym locker.)

Then came slow motion. My eyes panned the room. Books, dishes, bedding, electronics, enough inventory for a small camera shop and clothes, lots of clothes—despite my vow, I had nested. How had this happened?

It was not the first time I had contemplated moving my small household. I had always planned on relocating to Southern Thailand in the spring. It wasn’t even the first time this week I realized extra stuff had to go. Just days before Thailand had suddenly tightened its tourism visa laws. Tens of thousands of other long-term travelers, such as myself, must be out of the country in ninety days. We can not reenter for three months. Now this.

The coup gave me a whole new perspective. I had been worried I needed to buy another suitcase to move my precious inane possessions. In my panic, I grabbed just important things. Money, my laptop, camera body & one lens, debit cards, IDs, a couple changes of clothes and three packs of dry noodles. My backpack was only ½ full. I panned the room again.

Sleep prevailed. Perspective had returned. In the morning I had school and simply dumped my bag on the floor in a quest for missing underwear. After all, I’m in Chiang Mai, not Bangkok. But, my unpacked state was not to be.

At school, my teacher was visibly shaken. She’d seen soldiers on her way through town. They stood at the closed public schools, hospitals and local businesses. Tanks lined the Super Highway. They are in Chiang Mai.

Half the students had not shown up, others had no sleep. In my mind, I packed again. In my class, I absorbed nothing. None of us are any wiser for having been there. Strategies changed. I had time to organize. My ‘just in case’ bag was augmented.

On the way, home I stopped at the mall and purchased the most brilliantly blue suitcase ever seen from space. No doubt, right now, that female space tourist is looking toward Asia and reaching for sunglasses. Alas, it was half price.

Normally bustling, the mall ambiance was semi-dormant. Department store sales reps stood idle. And, I, their only customer, was buying a suitcase to leave. This was a likely sign of things to come for Thailand’s economy.

I walked away feeling as though I was carrying a scarlet letter— a big blue scarlet letter. It said, “T” for traitor. It screamed “C” for chicken. I’d have traded all my limited Thai vocabulary to know the phrase for ‘just in case’. The glow from my suitcase could not be hidden. Shame set in. Stepping out into the rain, I resolved not to pack a single thing.

And, the beat goes on. Arriving home, I turned on the tele and listened. The Northern Borders with Laos and Myanmar have been sealed. Borders! Sealed? Laos! That was my imagined escape route. The rollercoaster continues. As I write this, it’s been less than twenty-four hours since the first reports of tanks in Bangkok. I write and I ponder. Will the coup affect the airline’s baggage limits? How much can I pack?

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.

Villas in Phuket – The Perfect Accommodation Choice for Seeking Ultimate Privacy

The biggest island in Thailand, Phuket is truly a pearl in the Andaman Sea. Located to the south west of the country, this island destination is about 850 kilometers south of the capital city, Bangkok. With roughly the size of Singapore, Phuket is credited to be the only island in Thailand with the status of a province.

As a tourist destination, Phuket presents a feast of attractions that range from incredible temples and interesting museums to historic monuments and ancient Sino-Portuguese mansions. Just few among many of the attractions in the area are Wat Chalong – the largest of its kind in the area, Phuket Jaw – the largest Chinese temple in the area, Thalang National Museum – with artifacts that throw light on the history of the region, Phuket Seashell Museum – which boasts of an amazing collection of seashells and fossils, and Heroin’s Monuments, which is dedicated to two sisters who led the army to the victory of the Battle of Thalang in 1785.

Despite these attractions, the much of Phuket’s glory lies on its magnificent beaches, which among many others, are Patong – perhaps the most popular of all beaches in the area; Karon, a beautiful beach located to the south of Patong; Kata and Kata Noi, which are tranquil beaches situated to the south of Karon; Bang Tao, an eight kilometers long beach whose surroundings is a perfect base for enjoying activities such as rock climbing, golf, and horse riding.

Kamala, a relaxed beach area perfect for families; Nai Harn; Rawai beach, whose area is packed with an array of restaurants and hotels; and Surin Beach, situated to the north of the Kamala beach. In short there are more than half dozen beaches in the area, and all of them are a mecca for enjoying a range of water sport activities from windsurfing, scuba diving, and jet skiing to boating, parasailing, deep sea fishing, and swimming.

In fact, Phuket has everything for a relaxed vacation in Thailand. From upscale hotels and resorts to apartments and condominium units, accommodation choices available in Phuket are truly endless. However, the most perfect accommodation choice for those seeking ultimate privacy and uniqueness is villas. It is also a great option for those vacationing large families or groups.

A villa is usually a single detached or free standing structure, and would be mostly located nearby beaches. Depending upon the preferences and budget of guests, a variety of villas are available in Phuket.

For those who can spend extravagantly for their Phuket vacation, one of the best accommodation choices would be luxury villas with relaxed one or two bedrooms, expansive living areas with entertainment facilities, fully equipped kitchens, and spacious garage areas.

When comes to amenities, this type of villa is complete with television with satellite connection, CD and DVD players, Wifi internet, personal safes, and direct dial telephones. Some of the luxury services even offer such facilities as salt water pool, private gardens, air conditioned bedrooms, daily maid services, and superb massage treatments.

There are special types of villas that are exclusively designed for newly weds and honeymooners. Apart from ordinary features, a honeymoon villas offer facilities such as wedding villa decoration, three-tiered wedding cakes, rejuvenating couples massages, complimentary daily fruit, private secluded sun deck and swimming pools, double Jacuzzi, services of highly professional Thai chefs, and much more. Likewise, for beach bums, Phuket has some excellent options in the form of sea front as well as beach access villas.

In most cases, these villas are replete with all high-end facilities such as living and dining areas providing spectacular views of outdoors, western style kitchens with electric oven and coffee pot, tastefully decorated bedrooms coupled with television and computer with internet connection and spacious bath areas. In addition, there are also a number of villas that are especially designed for westerners, such as European style villas. These types of villas usually feature fresco dining facilities, bedroom with antique beds, rooms with French doors, kitchens that are perfect for gourmet cooking, and covered parking areas.

Nowadays, many of the villa providers in the scenario provide services in the form of packages, covering airport transfers, facilities for sightseeing, rental cars, rental equipments for enjoying different water sport activities, and services of daily maid and gardener. There are also some service providers that render special discounts when you make bookings of a particular villa or during a stipulated time period.

Learning From Tribes Around The World, By Raw Food Festival Founder Happy Oasis

This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni’s Raw Food Summit which can be found at http://rawsummitarchives.com. In this excerpt, Happy Oasis shares on living with tribes around the world and the insights she’s gleaned from these experiences.

Raw Food Summit Excerpt with Happy Oasis, the founder of The Raw Spirit Festival.

Kevin: Today, I have another incredible guest on the line. She has traveled all around the world, living with tribal societies and learned their healing techniques and most recently has been organizing a yearly raw event for like-minded people like you to gather and share the message which is called the Raw Spirit Fest. So today, I’d like to welcome Happy. Happy, how are you?

Happy: I am content beyond measure.

Kevin: Well, that is an awesome way to start this call. Let’s start by talking about who you are and let’s just give a little bit background and then we’ll get right into the details of what we want to talk about today.

Happy: Alright. Well, I’m the founder, the chief visionary officer of the Raw Spirit Festival which is the biggest raw, vegan, organic, eco-sustainable solution world peace festival on the planet.

Kevin: Wow. Listen, when we talked before this call when we you had mentioned you had been out traveling to different cultures in Southeast Asia, is that correct?

Happy: Well, throughout Asia, Central America, and Canada and about 30 countries I’ve lived in.

Kevin: Okay. And you have done some research and you’ve lived with some Tribes. Why don’t you start and just kind of tell us some of the things that you’ve done and some of the distinctions that you’ve gotten and I’ll ask you questions as we go.

Happy: For more than 10 years, I was adopted by a variety of tribes in Asia and as an adventure anthropologist living up high in the Himalayas, in the swamplands of Bangladesh, in the hinterlands of Thailand, in Burma and on the islands of Malaysia and Thailand and many other countries and in Australia and because I was so young and so keen to learn their ways, they basically adopted me.

I would live with them for months on end and learn their languages. One of the things that I learned from the Yogis who lived up high in the Himalayas is the power of water. Yogis advocate using water as their primary medicine not only as an enema but if somebody has a skin ailment or from disease skin or an insect bite or a cut, the prescribed technique is to put that body part under the bubbling- near-freezing- water for as long as the person can stand it repeatedly through the course of the day and it’s considered most powerful to do this at sunrise and sunset because there’s something about the interplay of solar radiation at those times that accentuates the power of very cold water and in fact, one of the practices that I do is baptism every morning if I can and every evening and throughout America, we can do this in around the planet, when we’re traveling we seek out the relatively pristine streams wherever we’re traveling and bathe in them instead of going to the motel aid or going to a public shower and it cleans the body, mind, and spirit and I’d love to ask you, when is the last time you watched the sunrise?

Kevin: It was a couple of days ago. We were away and I watched the sunrise.

Happy: Isn’t that beautiful?

Kevin: Yes.

Happy: Because I was thinking it’s summer right now and it’s such an important spiritual practice that the tribal people who I lived with did this every day. The word soul actually means sun as in solar radiation and a person who has a lot of soul has a lot of sunshine in their heart and the word sole as in only,had also come from the word sun because it was considered the only source of life and the one to who we give reverence.

An important part is getting back into the tribal way of thinking is to sleep alfresco on the earth to feel the rhythm of the body called the earth, to feel the magnetic radiation, to feel the love emanating from the earth and its daily nightly rhythm.

One other aspect of a natural way of living is to embrace the night, to embrace the darkness and to revere and to commune with the starlight and starlight could be our most overlooked nutritional deficiency. Another aspect of tribal living is vigorous exercise. Tribal people exercise at least two hours a day with sweat, with a racing heart, with deep-end, vigorous and loud respirations, and so all of these is part of the raw vegan lifestyle; stretching, growing a garden, growing sprouts as a beginning to a garden.

As we’re hitchhiking, we can eat wild food and so it’s really important as part of a daily sacrament to touch, to sniff and to gently ingest at least one wild plant wherever we are to literally get in touch with our ambiance, to literally let ourselves on a sunny little level commune with the ambiance, with the soil that’s right beneath our feet.

Kevin: So when you went to these areas, I mean how old were you and how did you get invited or how did you present yourself to these different cultures?

Happy: Well, I received a scholarship to study at Hobart Matriculation College in Tasmania when I was 16 and 17 and while I was there, part of the program was a work program to go out into the professional force and so I joined the Tasmanian Forest Service and I was the only apprentice there who was not part aboriginal.

The aboriginal leaders welcomed me into their forest service family and so I learned a lot of the ways from them and then I felt so at home with them, more than I had in fact in the English culture of Tasmania that I realized that there’s an enormous vast world of wisdom and since I was 12 years old, I had been cognizant of the fact that certain aspects of Christianity might have certain limitations at least on my mindset and I was seeking out wisdom.

My path, I call it adventure anthropology but it was actually the path of someone who was just thirsting and hungering for wisdom and so I went from tribe to tribe seeking out better ways in doing ways that are more, we call today eco-sustainable and more gentle and simple loving kindness and humor and spontaneity.

I would stay with one tribe and I would think, “This is it. I’m never leaving.” And then they will become victims of genocide. For example, I was in Bangladesh and the tribes that I was just leaving just to re – supply were attacked by the Bengali government.

There was another tribe I lived with on the border of Thailand and when I left their refugee camp one day, I came back the next day and they have been burnt to the ground and so had all of my friends with it, so I’ve been in one experience after another.

The Moken people who I lived with became virtual servants of the Thai Forest Service. The Thai Forest Service would pay the teenage girls for an entire day of sweeping the forest clean because it’s a jungle. They would get paid two bags of potato chips, the very small ones and they had to do it. They didn’t really have a choice.

They were also setup on reservations and they became the tourist attraction so they had to stay on this island and the Forest Service had them build certain buildings that they thought the tourists would like to see them in and then they were no longer allowed to go in their sailing canoes from island to island and experience their free lifestyle because before that, they used to go all the way to India almost every year through the Andaman Sea to fish and hunt and they have a very easy, beautiful, adventurous lifestyle.

What’s happening in a lot of the developing countries, and there’s a reason why it’s called developing because it’s developing into what we’ve developed into. That the tribal people are going through the same thing that our tribal people, our native people went through a hundred to two hundred years ago.

Kevin: Let’s pick a tribe and whatever one that you’re closest to or you were closest to, you know what is the daily activity? What do they eat? You said that everyone sleeps on the ground. I mean, what’s the activity? What do they do? What do they hunt? I mean, it’s so fascinating to me and I need to know.

Happy: Alright. Well, one of the people I lived with was the Khasi people and they’re pineapple farmers and so we would collect herbs everyday. They live deep in the forest and then they have this conical huts entirely comprised of mud and they were the cleanest mud huts imaginable. Everything was tidy. They had very few possessions, almost none. They have one little treasure chest full of their very few earthly possessions like an outfit of intricate lacy beauty each and otherwise, they wear very little and they live in a very simple life, in a very simple way and we would collect herbs early in the morning. We would offer prayers to the sunshine.

Kevin: What are the prayers about?

Happy: One translation could be which I have been saying for many years, “Oh divine sun, bearer of all life, giver of all beings, may you live forever, and may we live forever, at one with you so that we can make it homewards to you eternally. Oh, divine sun, bearer of all life, giver of all beings.” We would go up our little moles and it reminds me of the people who are like squirrels, like birds, like mountain lions, all these people they have different tribes, they happen to be different species live by the same religion. Let’s say it’s the religion of the sun, the religion of a natural rhythm, the breathing of day and night and fully feeling the breath of the season, living as close to the mother earth as possible and really feeling as if we are sleeping on the breasts of a mother every night.

A lot of these people I live with never wore shoes. They smile a lot. They radiate a smile like sunshine and not just in their eyes or in their smile but their whole body. They tend to be very affectionate, a lot of hugging, a lot of touching, a lot of massage, foot massage.

Part of our community here_ the Happy Oasis Raw Retreat which is a long-term raw vegetarian community of about 6 to 10 people at any given time. We’ve adopted these tribal ways of having a lot of freedom to do whatever we like. There’s no guru here. Everybody is self-actualizing continuously and sharing.

There’s just a lot of affection verbally, encouragement, communion, becoming intimate as much as we can, not necessarily as much physically as a group but more in a way of the heart through communication because communication because communication comes from the root of communion – commune and I realize that the only true communication is that in which our speaking and our listening results in this feeling of oneness.

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.

Sun, Sea, Sand, that is Jomtien Beach ? Thailand

The Jomtien Beach is located about two kilometers from its busy counterpart resort of South Pattaya.
Jomtien and the area along its beach road have now become more and more popular for swimming, water sports and activities because it has a long straight coastline and they’re being less boats anchored in its waters. There are very many good quality hotels, bungalows and guesthouses. A wide range of small and large condominiums is also available for short or long term rental and many good restaurants serving a wide variety of fresh seafood with a full range of Thai cuisine and International dishes.

Many tourists come to this area to just enjoy the scenery and the beach. Chairs are available to sit with a table to have food and drink served directly to you as you soak up the sun or simply lay back and listen to the waters lapping on the sand. Go swimming or enjoy water sports such as wind surfing, ride a water scooter, parasail or take a speed boat ride, even water skiing is possible.

The Jomtien Beach has good quality white sand and a very long coastline to enjoy. The beach is much more peaceful here than its counterpart of Pattaya further up the coast. The beaches are always kept in a pristine condition by the many vendors who are there to look after all your needs.

Along the early part of the straight beach road you will find many souvenir shops, international restaurants, food stalls. But at the far end of the beach road there are very good seafood restaurants and it is where you can find yourself at times the only person soaking up the sun.

You can also swim late into the night along a large part of the beach as the sands are floodlit which makes for a very safe environment to swim after the sun has gone down. May be you only want to simply find a quiet bar for any drink of your choosing. Many are available and the prices have to be seen to be believed.

Jomtien beach simply has it all without having to travel long distances. But if you fancy a more adventurous evening and want to enjoy a full range of nightlife activities Pattaya is just a few minutes down the coast. Transportation around the Pattaya and Jomtien area is simple. The open pick up cars
(Baht buses as they are locally called) are running all the time. Just hail one down and climb aboard.
Jomtien is one place in the world where a good quality beach vacation is simplicity itself.

How do I know these things – I live there.

Author – Barry Hooper – can be contacted at – basthehoop@hotmail.com

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.