Things To Do in Pattaya, Thailand

Pattaya is a popular tourist resort in Thailand located about 150 km south of the capital Bangkok. Although Pattaya has become notorious as an adult playground for men, there are a few interesting attractions that can be enjoyed by couples and families.

Pattaya Elephant Village
Pattaya Elephant village is home to a few dozen elephants that are trained to do all sorts of tricks including playing football. There are daily shows held for the tourists at the village every day at 2.30pm. There is also the opportunity to do a spot of jungle trekking on elephant back which costs 500 Baht for 30 minutes for adults, 200 Baht for children.

Pattaya Mini Siam
Mini Siam is an interesting place to come to if you want to know about all the major sites and landmarks in Thailand without actually having to go to them. Mini Siam has scale replica models of all the most important features in Thailand, both natural and man made. Mini Siam is open to receive visitors from 7am until 8pm daily. Entrance costs 200 Baht for adults and 100 for kids. Mini Siam is best reached by car as it is a short drive north of Pattaya city.

Pattaya Go Kart
Pattay has a good Go karting track which is about 400 metres long and available for use by adults and kids alike. The cost for hiring a go kart to go round the track is 100 Baht for ten minutes.

Nong Nooch Garden
Nong Nooch is a giant botanical garden situated about 18km outside Pattaya city. Aside from the vast array of plant life there are also some elephants that are resident here and daily shows are put on for the benefit of tourists. The show is a real crowd drawer as in addition to the elephants there are dancers, acrobats and even Thai boxing demonstrations.

Wat Khao Prayai in Pattaya
This is a Buddhist temple located high on the hills to the south of Pattaya. In addition to the great views of Pattaya and the sea that can be had from here, there is also a 10 metre statue of Buddha facing the sea that makes for a good photo opportunity.

see also :
Pattaya Night Life
Buffalo Racing in Chonburi
Loi Kratong : The Festival of Light
Koh Samui
Koh Chang


40 Things To Do in Chiangmai, the North of Thailand

  1. Universal energy healing at Wat Jedi Luang (half day)
  2. Have a 2 hour traditional Thai massage, with or without oil
  3. Take a 2 hour traditional herbal sauna
  4. Learn the secrets of Thai massage. Course can be arranged locally at the Old Medicine Hospital. Courses are conducted in English and last for ten days (5 hours a day). At the end of the course there is an examination and those who pass receive a certificate.
  5. Take a dinner cruise on the Ping River, passing by temples. In addition there is an on-board cultural show (3 hours).
  6. Take a trek in the nearby jungles with an English speaking guide. Treks last one to three days and include meals and accommodation (either in a tent or a local village depending on the tour).
  7. Go to see an elephant show at Chiang Dao. As well as seeing elephants at work, you can take a hours elephant ride and visit orchid and butterfly farms (half day).
  8. Experience a jungle adventure with elephant and ox cart rides and bamboo rafting down the river at Mae Tamarn (full day)..
  9. Learn the art of Thai cuisine. Take cooking classes or fruit and vegetable carving classes at the hotel. Courses can be a half day or full day, including a market visit and lunch).
  10. Visit the hilltribe museum, stopping off at handicraft centres set up by local NGO's to enable the hilltribe people to benefit from selling their crafts at a fair price (half day).
  11. Take a mountain bike ride around the city or go "off road" on one of the many jungle tracks.
  12. Hire a motor bike and drive the popular Samoeng loop to see some of the countryside around Chiang Mai.
  13. Vist the McKean Rehabilitation Centre which is nearly 100 years old (half day).
  14. Take a trip to Chiang mai zoo.
  15. Bath in the hot spring at Sankampaeng (full day).
  16. Decorate your bag wiht hand painting in the hotel lobby.
  17. Plant a tree in the hotel garden to celebrate your stay in Chiang Mai. Each tree has a name sign so that you can find it again when you return to visit.
  18. Learn the art of meditation at Wat Run Pueng or Wat Umong (half day).
  19. Get married with a traditional Thai weddings ceremony. The ceremony takes a full day and bookings need to be made 10 days in advance).
  20. The ultimate honeymoon package in Chiang Mai
    - A welcome from the airport in our "just married tuk tuk"
    - A suite at the Amari Rincome hotel for 3 nights including breakfast
    - Sunset cocktails at Doi Suthep
    - Monk merit making
    - Tree planting in the hotel garden
  21. Visit Mae Hong Song. The trip takes a day and includes round trip airtickets, lunch, a city tour and a visit to see the long neck Karen hilltribe by long tailed boat. This is particularly beautiful in November during the BuaTong flower season.
  22. A full day trip to Chiang Rai taking in the sights of the Golden Traingle and Mae Sai. The tour includes a longtailed boat ride on the Mae Khong River and lunch.
  23. Drive three hours to Doi Angkhang and visit hilltribes, follow a mountain trek, go mountain biking or mule riding! The area is also famous for bird watching. Overnight accommodation to be arranged in the Angkhang Nature Resort (2 days).
  24. A visit to the traditional silver smiths in Wualai (half day).
  25. Visit the "wet markets" of Chiang Mai - Ton Lam Yai market and Warorot to experience the liefestyle of the local people (half day).
  26. Take a day trip to the Lampang Elephant Camp and Hostipal. The tour also includes stops at ceramic factories and a city temple and includes lunch (full days).
  27. Visit Chiang Mai's famous celedon factory for an excellent choice of the blue and green ceramics at reasonable prices (half day).
  28. Learn about traditional silk weaving at the Naen-Na Studio.
  29. See how local sausages are made at the Naem Pa-Yon factory.
  30. Get an insight into the Buddhist religion and attend a funeral or another religious ceremony (half day).
  31. Have an early start and offer alms to monks "Sai Baht" at the "Ta Pae Gate" or at Wat Sri Soda, where there are 500 monks.
  32. Share a little happiness by visiting the HIV positive children in the Wiangping Children's home (half day).
  33. Go back to school! Visit some of the local universities, including:
    - Chiang Mai General University
    -Payap (the Baptist University)
    - Mae Jo (the agricultural University)
    - Rajabhat Institute
    The trip includes lunch (full day).
  34. Make a visit to the schools which teach the blind and deaf.
  35. Take a trip to Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Chiang Mai. The tour will also include a stop at a Royal Project, a waterfall and a wood carving village.
  36. Go golfing at the following clubs:
    - Chaing Mai - Lamphun Golf Course
    - Royal Chaing Mai Golf Club
    - Green Valley Golf Club
    - Lanna Golf Club
    - Gymnkhana Golf Course which is 100 years old (9 holes)
  37. Listen to a talk by John Shaw, the Ex Honary Consul for the UK, about how Chiang Mai was 30 years ago.
  38. Learn about rice farming, with a lesson on how rice is grown (half day).
  39. Make a vist to a unique holiday retreat at Mae Ngat Dam. You can have a picnic on the floating bamboo huts and enjoy bird watching or fishing (full day).
  40. Go on a days eco adventure. A day trek through the jungle including absailing and a "bamboo cooking" lunch. You'll really get a chance to "get back to nature".


Loi Krathong: The Festival of Light 2007, Thailand

24 November 2007

Venue: Nationwide Happened to be in Thailand in November, you will experience the most spectacular Loi Krathong Festival. The festival is a tradition has been observed for no less than 700 years since the Sukhothai period (1238-1438), in the reign of King Phra Ruang (1347-circa 1374). It is traditionally performed on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, which falls on 24 November this year.

The word loi means to float and krathong means a receptacle traditionally made of banana leave for holding small items of food, flowers, and other offerings in a religious ceremony. So, loi krathong simply means to float such vessels (with flowers, lit candles and joss sticks) on water. This is done either as thanksgiving and worship to the Goddess of Water or as a kind of homage paying to the legendary footprint the Buddha left on the bank of the River Narmada in India.
The Loi Krathong Festival is the most romantic festival in Thailand, especially in modern times. Almost without exception, young lovers will go out in pairs to spend the evening together, floating krathong and saying silent prayers. The festival is celebrated nationwide in Thailand with different unique characteristics of festivities. Enjoy the festivities at any site convenient to you!

Major venues are Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Tak, Chachoengsao, and Samut Prakan.

Event dates and programme details are subject to change. To ensure you have the most updated information, please reconfirm details prior to travel


Thailand Coming Event : Surin Elephant Round-Up

17-18 November 2007

Venue: The Elephant Stadium, Kotchasan Road, Surin Province
The world-renowned Surin Elephant Round-up, was first held in 1960 in Surin Province of the Northeast, a province with the largest number of elephants in Thailand and is known as the home of elephants, with the objective to promote provincial tourism. The event was an instant success. Since then it has drawn large audiences of Thais and foreign visitors every year. The popular spectacle features elephant round-up, showing how to capture wild elephants and tame them for work.

See with your own eyes how the mahouts control such a large creature which can weigh up to three tons. Other exciting and amusing items include elephant races, a tug-of-war between one elephant and a group of strong men, and an elephant football match in which a really big soccer is played by giant-sized players. The highlight of the programme that visitors should not miss is the colourful parade of battle elephants reminiscent of the battlefield in ancient times.

The Surin Elephant Round-up is usually scheduled for the second or third weekend of November, which falls on 17-18 November this year when the weather is dry and cool. If you don’t have time or are not convenient to go to witness the greatness of this world famous event, you can still have a great time watching elephant shows at your convenience at many places. Some of them are named here: Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo on the outskirts of Bangkok, Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo in Samut Prakan Province, Sriracha Tiger Zoo and Nong Nooch Tropical Garden & Resort in Chon Buri and Phuket Zoo in Phuket.

At these places, you will be impressed by the loveliness of the jumbos and amazed by their intelligence demonstrated by their various performances, ranging from dancing to playing football. If you happen to be in Thailand during 17-18 November and are planning for a recreational activity, the festival is recommended.
This year an “Elephant Round-Up Tour by Train” is organized on 16 – 18 November at 3,970 Baht per person. Apart from the fascinating shows, the package includes silk weaving village and Phanom Rung Historical Park tours.
The train schedule is as follows:
Fri 16 - Depart from BKK’s Hua Lamphong station at 20.30 hrs
Sat 17 - Arrive in Surin Province at 04.30 hrs
- Leave Buriram Province at 21.40 hrs
Sun 18
- Return to BKK at 05.50 hrs

For more information, please contact :
Surin Provincial Office
Tel: +66 (0) 4451 2039
Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA)
Tel: +66 (0) 2237 6046 to 8


Thailand's Coming Event : Nagas’ Fireballs Festival 2007

22-28 October 2007
Venue: Along the Mekong River in Phonphisai, Nong Khai Province (615 km northeast of Bangkok)

Nagas’ Fireballs 2007: The End of the Buddhist Lent Festival

The fireballs emerging from the Mekong River and shooting up into the sky about 50-100 metres high before vanishing into thin air, is an unexplainable phenomenon that happens annually on the evening of the full moon of the 11th lunar month. This year it falls on 26 October.

The reddish-pink elliptical fireballs are believed to belong to the Nagas who live beneath the waters of the Mekong River. During the period of the end of the Buddhist lent each year a flock of tourists travel to Nong Khai Province to witness this eerie phenomenon.

Activities to be held in the period are as follows:

- Thevorohana merit making- A ritual of worshipping the Nagas

- A procession in celebration of the end of the Buddhist lent

- Thai-Laos royal trophy long-boat races

- Light and sound show “The legend of the Nagas”

- Food fair

For more information, please contact:
Nong Khai Municipality
+66 (0) 4242 1017
The Tourism Authority of Thailand
Northeastern Office Region 5
+66 (0) 4232 5406-7


The Grand Rehearsals of the Royal Kathin Procession 2007

26 and 29 October 2007
Venue: Along the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok

The Grand Rehearsals of the Royal Kathin Procession to present the monastic robes to the monks are scheduled to be held on 26 and 29 October 2007. The magnificent fleet of 52 barges with altogether 2,082 oarsmen is set to sail down the Chao Phraya River, starting from Wasukri Royal Landing Place at 15.30 hrs, passing the Royal Navy Convention Hall around 16.00 hrs, and ending at the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) at 17.00 hrs.

This is a rare opportunity for Bangkokians and visitors from the provinces and foreign countries to view the most splendid waterborne pageantry similar to the Extravagant Royal Barge Procession performed on 12 June 2006.

People can view the Barge Procession en route along both sides of the River. On this occasion, the Royal Navy Convention Hall also provides seating areas to view this spectacular event. Tickets are available as follows:

- 30,000 Baht per table (10 seats) with set menu Location: the 3rd floor, Chumphonkhetudomsak Building
- 3,000 Baht per seat with set menu Location: the 2nd floor, Chumphonkhetudomsak Building
- 1,200 Baht per seat with snack box Location: on a grandstand in front of Chumphonkhetudomsak Building
** Please note that on the Royal Ceremony of the Kathin Procession these areas are not open to public **

For more details and reservations, please contact
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel. +66 (0) 2652 8319 to 20
+66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 2115 to 9


Beeswax Castle Festival : Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

22 - 26 October 2007
Venue: Suan Phrasi Nakharin and Sanam Ming Muang,
Sakon Nakhon province

This impressive festival is held in Sakon Nakhon, a northeastern province of Thailand, in celebration of the end of the annual Buddhist Lent (known in Thai as Ok Phansa). It is held on the full moon day of the 11th lunar month, which falls on 26 October this year. But the festival will last from 22 to 26 October.

According to the legend, when Khmers governed Nonghan town (Sakon Nakhon at present), King Suwanphingkharat ordered his royal servants to make beeswax castles on the occasion of Ok Phansa Day to be carried in the procession and then dedicated to Choeng Chum Temple (now Phra That Choeng Chum Woramahawihan Temple). Since that time, the Beeswax Castle Festival has been held as a traditional event annually.

A beeswax castle is made of the trunk of a banana plant, which is cut into the shape of a castle and decorated with beeswax flowers. Apart from beeswax castles, the procession also includes ensembles of musicians playing gamelans, gongs, and drums, as well as groups of men and women each carrying a tray with saffron robes and useful articles for monks on it. After walking in procession round the temple 3 times, they present the wax castles to the chedi containing the Buddha’s relics.

Nowadays, the wax castles are more beautifully decorated with a greater variety of patterns than the past. The processions are also more colourful and include cars instead of carts, which were used in former times.

Apart from the exquisite procession (25 Oct) and long-boat races (22 Oct), the festival features a bunch of interesting activities such as light & sound show in honour of HM the King’s 80th Birthday Anniversary, Sakon Nakhon’s delicious food fair, Phalaeng dinner, beeswax castle making demonstration, and much more.

For more information, please contact
Tourism Authority of Thailand Northeastern Office Region: 4
Tel: +66 (0) 4251 3490 to 2


Destination Guide : Phuket, Thailand #3

20 kilometres south east of Phuket, Phi Phi Islands are the most visited and most famous, no less so than after the filming of The Beach on Phi Phi Ley, the smaller island of the two, starring Leonardo Di Caprio. The scenery is literally spectacular, and this is forseeably the most popular of all the full day excursions. Renting your own boat is a desirable option if you want to explore beyond the set tour itineraries, and beat the crowds. This option also allows you to visit many of the smaller and idyllic islands offshore, and a friendly boatman who knows the best spots and the hidden beaches can make for a truly memorable experience.

For divers, many islands offer prime sites, such as Dok Mai, Racha, and Shark Point. The preferred choice however is the remote but renowned Similans, a chain of 8 islands 90 kilometres NW of Phuket, which according to those in the know, has some of the best dives in the world. Deep Sea Fishing can be arranged privately or jointly with fully equipped boats in pursuit of tuna, marlin, shark, sailfish and other big ones. Yacht Charters can be arranged by the day, or for longer, with or without crew.

Patong Beach is the undisputed nucleus of the island's entertainment, with a bewildering choice of clubs bars restaurants and trysts from the sophisticated to the sensational. The Simon Transvestite Cabaret rarely fails to impress with its excellent all male but exquisitely feminine productions, and at Kamala beach, the huge and extravagant Phuket Fantasea theme park blends high technology and special effects with stunning cultural presentations featuring hundreds of talented performers and scores of trained animals.


Destination Guide : Phuket, Thailand #2

At one point on the drive between the airport and Phuket town, the Heroine's Monument dominates the road. The two female figures, swords drawn, commemorate the successful defence of the island in 1785 against the invading Burmese led by these two brave ladies, Chan and Mook.

Phuket town can be enjoyed comfortably on foot, and one pleasant spot to begin your meandering (early morning is best) is Khao Rang, the hill above the town, which affords excellent panoramic views, plus gives a good idea of the general layout before you descend to explore.

Interesting sights in the town itself include the 200 year old Taoist temple of Put Jaw, and the adjoining Jui Tui Temple dedicated to a vegetarian god, and centre of many festivities during Phuket's famous Vegetarian Festival.

Also worth visiting is the shrine of Sanjao Sam San, devoted to the safety to boats and all those at sea. Many of the town's old colonial style buildings are absorbing, as is the Phuket Provincial Court, and Government House, the latter doubling as the French Embassy in Phnom Penh in the film The Killing Fields.

Nature lovers should not miss out on a visit to the 22 square kilometers of virgin forest that make up the Khao Phra Taeo Wildlife Park, a spectacularly verdant home to many rare plants, birds and animals and declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1969. There is a small waterfall at the park headquarters and marked trails assist trekkers discover the jungle magic. Mangrove swamps are one interesting aspect of Sirinat National Park located at Phuket's northern tip, covering 90 square kilometres, and rich in flora and fauna. Sapan Hin is an area of parkland and sporting facilities sporting a monument to Captain Edward Thomas Miles, who brought the first tin dredger to Phuket in 1909.

Thalang National Museum contains interesting artefacts and exhibits from Phuket's history, worth visiting to glimpse the island's past. Wat Chalong, dedicated to two revered monks, is the largest and perhaps arguably the most photogenic of the island's temples. Wat Phra Nang Sang is the island's oldest temple dating back over 200 years, and contains a number of interesting relics, statues and murals, including Thailand's longest Lai Tong an accordion-like religious manuscript. Wat Pra Tong encloses a curious half buried statue of Buddha made of gold, but still encased in the plaster used to conceal it from the invading Burmese.

Phuket Sea Shell Museum near Rawai beach houses a huge and fascinating display of over 2000 species, including many rarities, and is reputedly one of the world's best collections. The Thai Village and Orchid Farm has dozens of rare orchid species and puts on two cultural shows a day.

Phuket Zoo is home to over 3000 animals from all over the world, including 600 species of birds. The exhibits include an aquarium and a 'nocturnal house' the latter devoted to insects, beasties and other creatures that may bump into you in the night. Phuket Butterfly Garden & Aquarium boasts a wide range of magnificent butterflies, interesting insects, and fascinating aquatic life.

The Marine Biological Research Centre located at Cape Panwa rewards visitors with a memorable close up of more than a hundred sea creatures. The Pearl Farm on Naga Island opposite Phuket town offers an opportunity to learn the methods of culturing these lovely treasures.

For sports enthusiasts, Phuket offers a huge choice of activities, including 4 top-class golf courses one of which, the championship Blue Canyon Country Club, was the venue for the Johnnie Walker Classic Tournament, in 1994 and 1998. Amongst the long list of sports, there is Rock-Climbing, Elephant Trekking, Mountain Biking, Go-Cart Racing, Mini Golf, Horse Riding, Shooting, Paintball, Bowling, Thai Boxing, and Bungy Jumping, to mention a few.


Destination Guide : Phuket, Thailand #1

Located just under 900 kilometres Southwest of Bangkok, it is similar in area to Singapore, measuring 54 kilometers north to south, and 21 kilometers east to west at its most distant points. About 70 percent of the land area is mountainous, with the highest elevation at 529 meters. The terrain is richly varied, with rocky headlands, numerous beaches of differing sizes and character, limestone cliffs, jungle-clad hills, small estuaries, lagoons, and tropical vegetation of all kinds. It is surrounded by over thirty smaller islands of similar topography, many of them prime tourist attractions in their own right. The permanent population is estimated at roughly a quarter of a million, and Phuket is the only island in Thailand to have full provincial status.

A sightseeing tour to see some of the island's varied attractions is desirable, as is a half day walking around the main town with its curiously Chinese-Mediterranean ambience, which mixes modern convenience stores with ageing mansions, traditional shops, and old European-style buildings.

Nothing, however, beats the liberated pleasure of renting a vehicle for a few days, and equipped with swimwear and sun oil, setting out to revel in the spectacular beaches, the rugged coastlines, and the lush island interior. For the more adventurous, it's a pleasant 90 km drive from Phuket to Phang Nga with its fascinating marine rock formations, and location of "James Bond Island" from the film Man with the Golden Gun. If time permits, a further 86 km brings you to the stunningly beautiful coastline of Krabi.
The plethora of islands surrounding Phuket - from the well known such as Phi Phi to other often deserted jewels - allow endless opportunities for playing Robinson Crusoe in paradisiacal surroundings. For active folks, almost every land and water-based sport is well catered for.
Looking at the map, Phuket vaguely resembles a stretched triangle, with an irregular indented coastline as if nibbled by fish of different sizes, the deepest bite on the West Coast representing Patong Bay. The airport runs along the base of the thumb-shaped northern tip where the Sarasin Bridge connects to the mainland.
The West Coast is blessed with over a dozen world-class beaches, whilst the less attractive East Coast is home to prawn farms, fishing ports and the location of Phuket town. Travelling clockwise from the town past Cape Panwa, the site of an old Sino-Portuguese mansion, and Chalong Bay with its boat piers and seafood restaurants, you reach the long-established beach resort of Rawai with its adjoining Sea Gypsy village.
As you turn northwards from Promthep, the southern tip, the magical series of superb beaches begins, starting with tranquil Nai Harn, venue for the annual King's Cup Regatta, followed by Kata Noi, Kata, and Karon beaches which lead to the island's most famous and most developed resort of Patong.
North of Patong, come the tranquil beaches of Kamala, Laem Sing, and Surin, leading up to the developed Bang Tao Laguna complex, formerly a tin mine. Quieter, more secluded beaches follow, small Nai Ton, then the long graceful sweep of Nai Yang where sea turtles lay their eggs, from November to February.
Finally, the longest of Phuket's beaches, Mai Khao completes the series of seaside jewels with over 9 kilometres of white sand. During the rainy season from May to October, some of these beaches experience strong currents and undertows. Bathers should always respect the "no swimming" red warning flags, and avoid bathing on deserted beaches during this period of the year.


World Survey : Top Ten Thai Food

Have you ever tried Thai food? Do you like it? Thai food is one of the things that every foreigner should try when they come to Thailand.

Not long ago, the Office of the National Culture Commission announced the top ten Thai dishes best liked by foreigners. In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreigner Affairs, the Office had conducted a survey of Thai restaurants all over the world to find out ten favourite Thai dishes of foreigners.

In the survey, 1,000 Thai restaurants around the world were asked to fill in a questionnaire. However, only 500 restaurants which have Thai chefs and offer the authentic Thai food were qualified for being taken into consideration.

The results were the top ten Thai dishes which are listed below in order of their percentages of popularity:

1. Tom Yam Kung (spicy shrimp soup) 99%
2. Kaeng Khiao Wan Kai (green chicken curry) 85%
3. Phat Thai (fried noodles of Thai style) 70%
4. Phat Kaphrao (meat fried with sweet basils) 52%
5. Kaeng Phet Pet Yang (roast duck curry) 50%
6. Tom Kha Kai (chicken in coconut soup) 47%
7. Yam Nua (spicy beef salad) 45%
8. Mu or Kai Sa-Te (roast pork or chicken coated with turmeric) 43%
9. Kai Phat Met Mamuang Himmaphan (chicken fried with cashew nuts) 42%
10. Phanaeng (meat in coconut cream) 39%


Khao Sok : A Fantastic Place in Southern Thailand

Khao Sok National Park in Southern Thailand is an amazing place. It is covered by the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, huge limestone mountains shooting straight up in the air, deep valleys, breathtaking lakes, exciting caves, wild animals and much more.

Khao Sok is a fantastic place to go on vacation. Elephant trekking, trekking on foot, canoeing and jeep safaris are all possible activities, which will give you the experience of a lifetime. Khao Sok is perfectly situated on the mainland between Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak and Koh Samui, the most popular destinations in southern Thailand.

The National Park covers an area of 739 sqr.km.

Thanks to two other protected areas (Klong Saers and Khlong Nakha) next to Khao Sok the actual protected area measures almost 4000 sqr.km.

Khao Sok is situated in the southern part of Thailand. It belongs to the Surat Thani province, about 70 km south-west from Surat Thani Town.

Khao Sok is the wettest area in all of Thailand because it is situated at the mountain ridge separating the west coast from the east coast. Winds from both the Gulf of Thailand in the east and the Andaman Sea in the west blow monsoon rain into the area. It can rain as much as 3500 mm (3.5 m) in one year.

Late December to early February is the driest period with just a little or no rainfall.

There is no need to worry about malaria, because the disease has been eradicated from this area a long time ago. Even so, we recommend that you bring mosquito repellent when you visit Khao Sok. The mosquitoes can sometimes be a bit annoying, especially in the evening and after rain.

The dominant forest is lowland rainforest. The rainforest in Southeast Asia is 160 million years old, which makes it the oldest rainforest on earth.

Khao Sok is well known for its limestone mountains. The highest limestone peak is 960 m high, but the average height is 400-600 m.

The National Park consists of:
• 40 % foothill rainforest
• 27 % rainforest plains
• 15 % limestone crag vegetation
• 15 % lowland scrub
• 3 % rainforest at 600-1000 m

The nature here has more in common with the Malaysian forest than the forest in the north of Thailand. Compared to the forests of the north the forest in Khao Sok is taller, darker, more humid and evergreen.
There are approximately 200 different floral species per hectare.

Wildlife (recorded species)
• Mammals: 48 species
• Birds: 188 species
• Bats: 38 species
• Reptiles: Not known
• Insects: unknown

More information about Khao Sok


Thailand Coming Event : Illuminated Boat Procession

20-26 October 2007
Venue: The Mekong River, Nakhon Phanom, Thailand

The Illuminated Boat Procession is held annually on the evening of Ok Phansa day (the end of Rains Retreat) on the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom province. This year, it falls on 26 October but the festival period starts from 20 to 26 October 2007. It is a marvelous and resplendent event of the northeastern part of Thailand.

As night falls, the majestic 'fire boat', elaborately adorned with flowers, incense sticks, candles and lanterns and each bearing an assortment of ritual offerings, are set alight and floated down the Mekong River. Against the darkness of the moonlit night, the sight of flickering light from candles and lanterns on magnificent 'fire boat' drifting downstream on the Mekong River, is both mesmerising and awe-inspiring. It is this enchanting spectacle that has given the water-borne procession its very name, Lai Rua Fai, which literally means to set afloat a 'fire boat'.

The event is regarded as an act of worship to the Lord Buddha on the occasion on his coming back to the world after preaching to his mother in heaven. People will illuminated their boats to show their respect. Originally, the boat used to be illuminated was made of bamboo or banana trunks, being adrift on the river with bright colourful lights. At present, the boat is made of wood in a large size and more beautifully decorated than before. If you have a chance to witness the event, you will never forget the impressive sights.

Interesting Activities
- The Illuminated Boat Procession (26 Oct)

- Beauty Contest (21 Oct)- Illuminated Boat Shows from Thailand-Laos-Vietnam

- International Long-Boat Races

- Light & Sound Show in honour of His Majesty the King

- Cultural Performances- Walking Street & Indigenous Food Festival

- Traditional Dance to venerate Phanom Stupa (26 Oct)

- Food Offering to Buddhist monks (27 Oct)

For more information, please contact :
Northeastern Office: Region 4
Tel: +66 (0) 4251 1490 to 2


How to get to Koh Chang from Bangkok

There are many ways to get to Koh Chnag, but they are all very similar. The cheapest way to do it is by taking the public bus from Bangkok to Trat and from there take the ferry to Koh Chang.

However, it is more comfortable to take a van, booked off of Khao San Road, or a tourist bus, also booked from a travel agency on Khao San Road.

You can take a 10-seater van right from Khao San Road to the ferry pier in Trat. Note that if you book from an agency on Khao San Road ask if the ferry ticket is included. A seat on a van shouldn't cost more than 500 Baht.

The ferry ride takes about forty minutes, and is interesting. You pass many islands and old colorful boats, traveling on the aqua-blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand.

On the ferry there is an ice-cream/drink stand. When you arrive in Koh Chang you can either take a taxi to your guest house/beach or transportation provided by your hotel.


Bangkok Tips : Thai Traditional Massage

One of the main attractions of going to Thailand is therapeutic Thai Traditional Massages. There are various kind of massages (of the non-sexual kind) in Bangkok.

One of the most recommended original massage in Bangkok is at very famous Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical School, where a lot of Traditional Thai Masseuse and Masseurs learnt their craft from.

It was really fantastic massage! After enjoying an 1 hour session of the Traditional Thai Massage with Ayurvedic Herbs, you will feel very relaxed and calm. Also, the massage will melt away most of your fatigue after a full day of tiredness.

The steamed Ayurvedic Herbs are quite hot though and after compressing your skin with it, it leaves a liquid residue that turns cold really fast due to the air-con blowing on it. (1 hour session, Baht 480)

If you think you will be uncomfortable with this, then just try the Traditional Thai Massage (without the Ayurvedic Herbs) at 350 baht.. Do note that the school has two massage centers, one within Wat Pho itself, and another air-conditioned one a short walk away in Sanamchai Road, behind the Wat Pho temple by the river. This school run by Wat Pho where you can learn the following massage courses:

- Thai Body Massage (30 hours, Baht 7,000)

- Foot Massage (30 hours, Baht 5,500)

- Oil and Aromatherapy Massage (30 hours, Baht 5,500)

- Therapeutic and Healing Massage (30 hours Baht 7,700)

On the day you wish to start, go very early around 0800AM to register. Classes are normally from 0900AM to 0400PM daily. Bring photocopy of your passport and three photographs 2" each.

You will be assigned a teacher and a massage buddy. Also, you can be in a group of 4 or 5 students per teacher. The teacher speaks English.

Wat Po Thai Traditional Medical School
2 Sanamchai Road, Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Phone: +66 2-221-3686, +66 2-221-2974


Tips : Thai Massage & Spa

1. Try to come at off-peak hours

Your spa experience may be more relaxing and leisurely when you're there at a less crowded time.

2. Explore the possibilities

Ask for a full description of any treatment that sounds intriguing. Be open to experimentation. That's how youl'l find new treatments to enjoy.

3. Get advice regarding scheduling

If you plan on having more than one treatment, ask if the spa has recommendations regarding the order in which you receive them. Choosing the right sequence may enhance your pleasure. Some facials are more suitable before a body treatment, and some are more appropriate afterward. Many spas will have packages that give you the treatments in the most appropriate order.

4. Share your personal health history

The spa can help you plan accordingly. If you have conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or lupus, you should get your doctors okay for any treatment youd like to try. People with high blood pressure or a heart condition may want to avoid body wraps or any treatment that involves heat or detoxification.

Those with varicose veins may want to avoid heat treatments to those areas, and people with iodine allergies should avoid marine products such as seaweed.

Pregnant women should avoid essential oils and anything that could raise body temperature, such as body wraps, saunas/steambaths and Jacuzzis.

Mention any prescription drugs you are using in order to avoid any services or products that might irritate your skin or otherwise be harmful.

5. Anticipate how the treatment will fit into your other plans

For example, if youre having a facial treatment that may leave your skin temporarily irritated or blotchy, you may not want to go to a romantic dinner afterward.

6. Allow enough time for your visit

Plan to spend a least 15 minutes sipping a beverage, relaxing, and chatting or enjoying some solitude. And try not to rush yourself at the end of your visit. This way you wont have to be concerned if your visit takes a little longer than you anticipated, and youll prolong the pleasure of relaxation.

Special notice :

The person providing treatment may not be fluent in your language. Be sure that any questions or concerns you have are communicated clearly and understood before any treatment begins.

Some spa staff, especially at the cheaper, more informal shops, may have had minimal training in massage and other techniques. If anything feels uncomfortable, painful or otherwise undesirable, ask to stop the treatment immediately.


Nighlife at Pattaya, Thailand

Pattaya Night Life and bar girl, one of the most reputation in attraction of Pattaya. Come to Pattaya and enjoy nightlife with bar girl in walking street.

Walking Street
The Walking Street is the center of Pattaya's nightlife, with hundreds of bars, Go-Go clubs and dancings. Other areas are in Soi 7, Soi 8 and Soi Yamoto, in Soi Praisanie (around the post office), along Pattaya's 2nd Road and in Soi Buokhaow.

A new growing area is at the 3rd Pattaya Road, from North Pattaya Road to the South Pattaya Road as well as in Soi Chayaphoon and Soi Lengkee, both between Soi Buokaow and the 3rd Road.

Another large Beer Bar area is located in Soi 2, across BigC's Shopping Center. Pattaya Naklua has a large area with bars too. It starts at the North Pattaya Road.

Pattaya Cabarets (lady boy show)
Pattaya is famous for it's transvestite (katoey) cabaret shows. Lavish productions with amazing costumes and massive sets. A night at a cabaret show will set you back around 500 baht. These shows are well worth a visit even if it does not sound like your sort of thing. They are not at all sleazy and the whole family will be amazed.

78/14 Moo 9 Second Road, North Pattaya
Tel 038-428-746, Tel 038-429-212, Fax 038-424-939

Book for this one. It's often full even in the low season. They bus in hundreds of Chinese tourists everyday and the supply seems to be never ending. The cost is 500 baht for unreserved seating and 600 baht for reserved places. Many booking agents around town or book at the theatre. There are 4 shows every night, each one lasting around 1 hour 10 minutes

The production values are very high and the show is spectacular. There is no hint given that the performers are actually men, and the whole thing is played very straight.

This place is widely acknowledged as the best of type in Pattaya.

Tiffany's Show
464 Moo 9 Second Road, North Pattaya
Tel 038-421-700/3, Tel 038-429-642, Fax 421-711

Very similar to Alcazar but perhaps a little more raunchy. More silicon on display than you need to see in one life time. Tiffany's is the home of the famous Miss Tiffany Thailand contest which is broadcast on national TV in Thailand. reservations also are essential.

20 Tips on How to Travel to Asia on a Budget

These 20 tips will not only save you money, you will have a richer travel experience in Asia as well.

#1 Bargain! In most Asian countries bargaining is customary. Start low because tourists are always quoted a higher price than locals.

#2 Use trains or buses for long trips between cities. Hiring taxis can end up costing you more and they are usually less reliable.

#3 Make friends with locals. Free meals, rides and a place to stay are benefits that can save you a lot of money and not to mention give you a more memorable travel experience.

#4 In Singapore and South Korea you can take advantage of Global Refund, a VAT tax claim system. A 9.9% tax (20% for some items) at over 600 retail outlets can be reclaimed with proof of purchase in South Korea. The GST tax in Singapore is 5% and can be reclaimed on all purchases of goods and services by tourists. Look for the Tax Free Shopping logo.

#5 Track the dollar. The dollar has held steady in China, India and Taiwan and it is fixed in Hong Kong so the deals are still the same. Southeast Asia is generally always a good value and Japan is usually the worst. By researching where your dollar goes the furthest, you can plan accordingly and save.

#6 Use the Cathay Pacific All Asia Airpass. It includes roundtrip airfare from New York or Los Angeles plus 21 days of travel to 18 Asian cities starting at $999. Open only to US residents, it is a great way to see all of Asia without spending a fortune on airline tickets.

#7 When shopping for souvenirs like handicrafts and clothing stay out of tourist shops in airports and shopping centers. Try local markets and small shops where there will likely be the same souvenirs (or better) at far lower prices.

#8 On Singapore Airlines, be sure to take some free postcards while on board. They’ll even pay the postage and mail them for you.

#9 Take advantage of free offers like Tai Chi lessons in Hong Kong. Under the Tsim Sha Tsui clocktower near the Star Ferry every Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 8 a.m. Offers like this can often be found in English newspapers and at tourist centers.

#10 Find package deals that include airfare, accommodation and tours. Not only do they usually save you money, they offer peace of mind with knowing you can sit back and relax and everything is taken care of.

#11 Get outside of the big cities and tourist spots. Consider staying on the outskirts of a city or even in a nearby town or village. Rates are far cheaper and it allows you to immerse yourself more deeply into the culture.

#12 Students and senior citizens can receive discounts all over Asia with international ID cards. Many places won’t have this discount posted, so be sure to ask.

#13 If you are planning on traveling extensively in Japan, a rail pass can be purchased before you leave the states. It can save a ton of money compared to individual train tickets.

#14 If you are on a really tight budget, you might just want to skip Japan altogether.

#15 Theft prevention! An often overlooked, but very necessary budgeting tool is precaution. Money belts, locks and a watchful eye can prevent a theft that could put a major dent in your travel funds. Places like Japan and Singapore generally have very little petty theft, but in poorer countries like those in
Southeast Asia more caution is necessary.

#16 Plan your day and how you’re going to get where you’re going. Unnecessary transportation costs because of poor planning and indecision can really add up, so plan a logical route for your day and how you’re going to get from place to place.

#17 Hotels in large tourist cities like Beijing and Tokyo offer convenient sightseeing tours, but shop around first. Often the same tours can be found nearby for half the price.

#18 Be a thorough reader and ask questions. Read hotel contracts, rental car agreements, and tour information carefully before you sign anything. Tiny clauses in the contract can turn into huge charges if you don’t pay attention.

#19 Instead of eating at nice restaurants every meal, try noodle stands on the street. They are very cheap and can be just as good as restaurant food. Most are clean, but be careful with any meat you eat.

#20 Prioritize sights and attractions. Decide which ones you absolutely can’t miss then see how much money you have left to use for others.


Chiangmai, Thailand : a beginner's guide

An overview of Chaing Mai, written as an introduction for people wishing to learn more about this rich and vibrant capital of the North of Thailand.

When thinking of Thailand, many of us immediately think of its hectic capital city, Bangkok. A city overflowing with so many people, traffic, fumes, sights and sounds, that all to often it can be an incredible assault on the unsuspecting tourist's senses. Yet Thailand is a country of overwhelming diversity, and thankfully located in its far north is a capital city that is light years away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

I am of course referring to the delightful Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai is the capital of Northern Thailand, and it boasts a pace far more relaxed and tourist friendly than its Southern counterpart. You'll find the traffic and city pace far less frantic, and the streets a lot less confusing than Bangkok. In fact, one of the best ways for a tourist to find their way around Chiang Mai and get to know this delightful city is to hire a bicycle for the day. A most enjoyable way to see the city first hand, since everything is located in such close proximity.

There are many ways to spend your days (and indeed your foreign currency) in Chiang Mai. The city boasts a large number of glorious temples, over three hundred (or 'Wats' as they are known as in Thailand). These exquisite buildings intricately decorated with semi-precoius stones, glass and other finery are a strong attraction for many visitors to Chiang Mai. Whilse admiring these temples and their extrodinary beauty, you will also gain a richer understanding of just how firmly religion and Buddism are rooted in Thai culture and people's every day lives.

The other main attraction to Chiang Mai, and one which draws so many tourists to this Northern Thai capital is the vast array of trekking tours on offer.

Chiang Mai is the starting point for many travellers of all descriptions wishing to go trekking through Thailand's luscious rain forests. Visitors have the chance to wander into the unknown and try riding upon an elephant for the first time, while also living and staying overnight with one of the many Hill Tribe communities that still live just beyond Chiang Mai. Many of these Hill Tribe people still live in the same traditional manner as they have done for centuries, and enjoying a trek can be a great way to experience first hand how these proud and fascinating people live their lives.

A word of warning though: be extremely careful when selecting your guide or company with whom to Trek with. Since so many tourists arrive in Chiang Mai with the specific intention of trekking, many companies are often "fly-by-night" operations, with their trekking packages consisting of very badly organised affairs, with tourists only seeing other tourists, while the itinary they were promised in the civilization of Chiang Mai not materialising in reality.
Also be prepared for the fact that tourism has taken its toll on these tribes, and trekking near Chiang Mai has become a much more commercial affair in recent years. If you wish to go trekking where you will come across less tourists travelling much further north is strongly advised. Above all, if trekking, be sure to book with a reputable agent, so as to avoid later dissapointment.

Back in Chiang Mai there is so much to see and do, and shopping in one of its many markets is a fantastic way to find those unusual, yet beautiful souvenirs. The best market by far is the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar; the mother of all Chiang Mai markets. It boasts a huge range of clothing, jewelry, Thai arts and crafts - literally anything you could possibly imagine.

The Night Bazaar is also a great way to experience Thai culture in a friendly way. The stall holders all expect to barter with you for the price of an item. It can be a great way for the foreign tourist to make contact with Thai people and enjoy a friendly exchange, when often it is hard to do so with difficult language barriers.

Everything in Chiang Mai from food to accommodation is far cheaper than in its big brother Bangkok and so you will find you get far better value for money. I would also highly reccommend trying a Thai massage, which is a wonderful way to relax - especially after the rigours of an exerting Hill-trek (or a tough day sight-seeing).

As one last word of warning, do bear in mind that the climate in Chiang Mai is often far cooler than many other destinations in Thailand, so be sure to pack a sweater, or light jacket, for often you will be glad you did, but then again you could always purchase a new one at a bargain price! Whatever time of year you visit Chiang Mai be safe, be careful, but most of all have fun in this truly spectacular city, Chiang Mai - the gateway of the North!

Written by Nic Enright - Pagewise


Phuket Vegetarian Festival

11-19 October 2007

Venue: Various Chinese shrines and temples in Phuket

Phuket Province – the Pearl of the South – is scheduled to hold its most celebrated and magnificent annual vegetarian festival, lasting for 9 days, starting from 11 to 19 October 2007 at various Chinese shrines and temples in Phuket.

The festival is a religious event originating from China and was first performed in Kathu, a mining town of Phuket, by a Chinese opera company about 170 years ago. At that time, the objective of the performance was to get rid of malaria prevalent in the district.

In fact, the full name of the festival is “Observe the Commandments and Abstain from Meat”; the former part is considered more important than the latter, though it is not perceptible to the outsiders. During the festival, the participants will make merit by abstaining from food and oil from animals and wear white clothes.

The most spectacular part of the festival is a procession of priests and images of gods, who are believed to protect the participants from troubles and bad luck throughout the year. Besides the procession, magical performances of religious rites at the temples are also absorbing part of the festival.

Exotic performances consist of several kinds of dangerous acts, conducting by priests, to show the power of gods and to strengthen the faith of their followers. The acts include walking barefoot across a stretch of ground paved with burning charcoal, climbing up and down, also barefoot, a stepladder with 72 cross-pieces made of sharp iron blades, and cutting, striking or piercing parts of the body with sharp or pointed objects.

Besides attending this famous festival, observers are welcome to explore this dreamy island province in the Andaman Sea.

For more information, please contact:
TAT Southern Office: Region 4 (Phuket)
Tel: +66 (0) 7621 1036, +66 (0) 7621 2213
Fax: +66 (0) 7621 3582

The Ceremony of Immersing a Budha Image

The Ceremony of Immersing a Buddha Image, Um Phra Dam Nam
10-14 October 2007

Venue: Wat Trai Phum, Phetchabun Province

The ceremony of immersing a Buddha image or locally called Um Phra Dam Nam is a unique ceremony that cannot be found anywhere in the world but here at Phetchabun Province, 346 km north of Bangkok. The ceremony is held every year to coincide “Sat Thai” Day, i.e. the full moon day of the 10th lunar month, the day the Thais believe all spirits are released to receive the food dedicated by their relatives. This year, the celebration will be held from 10 to 14 October with the ceremony on 11 October at Wat Trai Phum, which houses a Buddha Image called Phra Buddha Maha Thamma Racha.

There is a folktale telling the origin of this odd ceremony. The story has it that one day about 400 years ago, there was a strange incident in which fishermen in the Pasak river in the area of the present Phetchabun province couldn’t catch any fish as if there were no more fish in the river. This caused puzzle to everyone.

What was even more amazing, the current of the river became still and then gradually sent up more and more bubbles as if it were boiling. Finally a big and deep whirling current was formed. This miracle startled everyone when a Buddha image emerged above the water going up and down as if the Buddha were enjoying himself in the water. Realizing the sacredness of the Buddha image, people of the region brought it up to be kept in Wat Trai Phum for worship.

Then another miracle happened on Sat Thai Day the next year, when the Buddha image vanished from the temple and was found floating in the same position of the Pasak river where the image appeared last time. Since then, on Sat Thai Day of every years, a ceremony of immersing the Buddha image has been held in Phetchabun in accordance with the belief that if the ceremony were not held in any year, the Buddha would disappear, resulting in drought and a crop failure in the province. The ceremony also serves to celebrate the holiness of the Buddha image, to help spread Buddhism, and to promote tourism in the province.

Usually on this day, people in large numbers will come to worship the Buddha image at the temple and cover it with gold leaf. And there will be a procession going round the city (10 October), led by the Buddha image, which is placed on a butsabok, a small movable pavilion, and followed by traditionally dressed dancers, as well as ordinary people.

The highlight of the ceremony takes place when the sacred Buddha image is put onto butsabok by the provincial governor and carried in a barge in which there are other officials of high ranks and some monks from Wat Trai Phum (11 October).

The barge then glides down to the landing stage of Wat Trai Phum where Phra Phutta Maha Thamma Racha is put into the water by the governor. The water there, as is believed by Phetchabun people, then becomes holy. And happy scenes of people jumping into the water swimming, dipping up a little of it, or even grasping floating bits of golden leaf coming off the Buddha, are witnessed by visitors.

More about the northern region of Thailand
For more information, please contact:
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Northern Office: Region 3
Tel: +66 (0) 5525 2742 to 3


Ways to Find the Best Price on Hotels

Finding cheap, nice hotels

If you are going on vacation, chances are, you are looking for good deals on a number of things, including hotels. There are great deals out there; you just have to know how to find them.

First of all, go to a general internet travel site – choose any one. Select your criteria and search for hotels. You should get a list of what’s available for the dates you plan to travel, and what amenities the hotel offers.

If you know for sure what you’re looking for – a particular type of room, certain features, a particular location – make a list of these requirements before you go on the site. If you’re not sure yet, take a look at several of the hotels and see which interest you the most. Take note of which features you enjoy most about the hotels you’ve found, as well as what company the hotel is.

Then, go to several other travel sites and cross-check prices. Don’t ever accept one website’s price as final. Different sites may list different prices, and they may have different specials on hotels. If your travel dates are flexible, check several different options on each site; this can make a significant difference in price

As you search the different sites, narrow down your list of hotel choices. It’s best to ultimately select which hotel or company you would like to go with, and concentrate on checking the prices for that hotel.

When you’re doing this, don’t forget to check the company’s website or even call them directly. Sometimes the lowest rates are through the company itself, because there is no “middle man” to go through. Other times, the “travel giant” websites can offer you lower prices. Check both to see what’s available.

If you have an AAA/CAA membership, make sure to look for hotels that mention a discount for membership, or call the company and ask if you can get a discount for it. Many hotels will accommodate you there. If you’re a member of the military or another organization that could offer a discount, check on that too. It may not be mentioned outright, but if you inquire, you could end up with a discount.

If you’re checking far in advance of your vacation, especially if you plan to go during peak times, you are likely to get better rates than if you are checking closer to the date you plan to go. So, once you find the hotel you want, book it as soon as possible so that you’re guaranteed a room at the offered price.
Don’t book the hotel until you’ve checked several major chains whose rooms are similar; their prices can differ by a lot. Don’t book the hotel until you’ve cross-checked prices on different sites.

If you’re not sure what sites to look at, ask around. There are several available and many people have used them before. You can also go on any search engine and type in “hotel prices” and come up with several sites. These are worth it to check out. Even if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, many will allow you to select a hotel near a place or attraction. Some will let you choose the type of room and features you want. Each site has its own ways of finding your hotel rooms.

If you make use of this modern convenience, and you don’t book too quickly, you can find great hotels at great prices.

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Written by Catherine Hillard - Pagewise

Festival of the Tenth Lunar Month

5 – 14 October 2007
Venue: Nakhon Si Thammarat City Hall, Wat Phra Mahathat, and Suan Phrasi Nakharin 84 (Thung Tha Lat), Nakhon Si Thammarat Province

The festival of the Tenth Lunar Month or known in Thai as Sat Duan Sip is a traditional merit-making festival of Nakhon Si Thammarat province. The event is generally observed during the fifteenth day of the waning moon period in the tenth lunar month. This year, the celebration is scheduled to be held from 5 to 14 October at Nakhon Si Thammarat City Hall, Wat Phra Mahathat, and Suan Phrasi Nakharin 84 (Thung Tha Lat), Nakhon Si Thammarat province.

Besides traditional festivities to be held, visitors will be able to enjoy a range of shows and exhibitions of art and culture, shop a variety of local products, and witness the light-and-sound presentation with spectacular special effects of musical fountains, laser and colourful fireworks while enjoying local delicacies of Nakhon Si Thammarat as a dinner.

According to Thai belief, spirits of ancestors will be allowed to visit the earth from the first to the last day of the waning moon in the tenth lunar month. Some spirits who have spent their lives after death in hell will have a chance to enjoy food offered by their ascendants or relatives who make merit during this festival.

So, the main feature of the festival is food offering to monks at the monasteries. Local inhabitants will arrange and decorate their food containers called map which has no definite shapes but maybe bamboo baskets, or silver trays, or something else. Whatever their forms, the vessels will be beautifully decorated with colourful flowers in different shapes. Each map carries a large variety of things, such as dried food, sweets, fruits and the daily necessities for monks. But in each map, there must be 5 kinds of sweets which seem to be symbols of the Sat Duan Sip festival – khanom kong, khanom la, khanom phong, khanom ba, and khanom disam. Then, people will carry the prepared maps to the monasteries in colourful and joyous processions.

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More about the southern region of Thailand
For more information, please contact Tourism Authority of Thailand Southern Office: Region 2Tel: +66 (0) 7534 6515 to 6Fax: +66 (0) 7534 6517


Tips : When You Buy Plane Tickets

When you buy a plane ticket keep in mind that airline travel and pricing can be complicated. You can make things as simple and easy as possible while searching for the best deal.

Buying a plane ticket doesn’t have to be a stressful occurrence. Unfortunately, with the mysterious method of pricing that airlines use, along with the countless deals, discounts, and small print, you may find it hard to put your credit card down not knowing what else may be out there. Here are some tips for buying airline tickets, and where you may find the best deals.

First, let’s talk about travel agents. There are positive and negative aspects to them. If you have a travel agent that you know you can trust, and works hard at finding you what you want, then by all means stick with them. Searching for the lowest fares does take time, and knowledge of the industry doesn’t hurt. Travel agents will know who flies where, who flies non-stop, who offers discounts, who is running a special, so on and so forth. A travel agent can save you a lot of time and money. So, what is the downside to travel agents? They work on commission. Enough said about that.

If you decide to go the road to buying a plane ticket alone, here is what you need to do. First, get a timetable from all of the carriers that fly out of your city. You can go to the airport and pick them up from the ticket counter, or call the reservations department and have one sent to your home. A timetable will tell you where the airline goes, days and times, and if they fly non-stop, direct (a stop without deplaning), or connection. Don’t forget to look into smaller, less well-known carriers. These airlines sometimes have the best deals, and their safety standards are the same as everyone else’s. After determining who is available for your travel needs, you can get to work on finding the best price.

Most airlines offer on-line pricing and purchasing. You will usually find your best deals here. Customers’ booking their own flights saves the company a lot of money; so many times they pass the savings on to you if you purchase on-line. However, you must be ready to purchase when you find a good deal on the Internet, usually airlines don’t offer holds on-line. You may not feel comfortable with this method of purchasing airplane tickets.

If you choose to handle your reservations with an airline sales representative, be prepared to say “No” to purchasing right away. As part of the recently installed customer service plan that most airlines are complying with, they must hold and guarantee a fare for you for a minimum of 24 hours. Also, if the fare goes down in that 24-hour period they are obligated to let you know when you call back. The customer service plans that airlines have created are a wonderful thing for their customers. The airlines have promised to offer the lowest fares possible, but this does not mean they will tell you everything you need to know.

So, be flexible with your travel dates, and do not give them specific travel dates. Also, ask what discounts they offer. Asking open-ended questions, allowing the sales agent to answer your questions to the fullest, is the best way to finding what you want. Call an airline back two or three times to make sure you have been given the best offer.

The airline pricing system is a complicated one and some agents may work harder at finding you a deal than others. Last but not least, be pleasant when dealing with your reservationist. After all, they are human beings, and they may work a little harder at finding you a good deal if they think you are deserving.


Buffalo Racing Festival at Chonburi

6 October 2007
Venue: The City Hall, Chonburi Province, Thailand

Buffalo Racing is a spectacular festival in Thailand that is unknown to most foreigners and even some Thais, because of its inadequate promotion. But it is so exciting, joyful and unique that is really worth seeing. Locally called Ngan Wing Khuai, the festival is annually held only in Chon Buri province. This year, it is held on 6 October in front of the Chon Buri City Hall, which is only an hour's drive from Bangkok or 45 minutes drive from Pattaya City.

When this festival began is uncertain, but according to records, it must have been observed for at least 70 years from the reign of King Rama VI who once saw it. The origin of the festival is as follows. In former times, buffaloes which were useful for farming were rarely found in Chon Buri. So the farmers in this province had to buy the beasts from other farmers who brought them from the Northeastern region for sale after the harvest.

In view of the high value of the beasts and their usefulness and rarity, the Chon Buri farmers competed with each other in raising buffaloes in their home province. During the buying and selling of the beasts, a kind of fun fair, featuring buffalo races, buffaloes' health contest, a contest of decorated buffaloes and a farmers' sweetheart contest, was held to coincide with the celebrations of the harvest season. These activities were observed annually until it became a tradition.

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For more information, please contact:

Tourism Authority of Thailand Central Office: Region 3
Tel: +66 (0) 3842 7667, +66 (0) 3842 8750
Fax: +66 (0) 3842 9113

The Municipality of Chon Buri Province
Tel: +66 (0) 3828 5436
Fax: +66 (0) 3828 7035