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The Five Most Costly Mistakes You Can Make On Your Trip To The Thailand Islands And How To Avoid Them

Southern Thailand islands also known as the “Paradise” Islands are among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. More than 12,000,000 tourists have visited Thailand in 2005, and the majority of them had left the Bangkok International Airport immediately after their arrival and headed straight to the Southern Islands. Some of the visitors were fascinated by the stories of people who were caught in the charms of the unforgettable ambience of the islands, some of them were taken by images they saw on the web, while others were convinced as per the words of their travel agent that the Thai Islands were indeed the ultimate tourist destination that fits every taste, age, budget and personality type. This can partly explain the massive flow of honeymooners, backpackers, families-on-vacation, partygoers, divers and many others to the Thai Islands every year.

However, the inexperienced Thailand traveler may be unconscious to the fact that a satisfying vacation is not a surefire thing even in a place nick named Island Paradise. In order to be successful, enjoyable and fulfilling, your vacation must be thoroughly planned. Unfamiliar destinations often hide little unknown secrets, which hold the enormous potential to make the desired positive change in your vacation.

This article will discuss the biggest mistakes you can make prior and during your visit to the Thai Islands. Adhering to or ignoring the five amendments below can literally make or break your vacation in the Southern Thailand Islands.

Mistake 1: choosing your vacation island spontaneously. Web pictures of tropical islands often make them look almost identical. The inexperienced traveler is likely to assume that no matter where you go in Southern Thailand Islands – you will bump into the same picturesque beach with white sands, turquoise water and a single coconut tree. Falling into the illusion of images while choosing your vacation island out of pure impulse can be a very disappointing experience in case the final destination island does not meet your needs, your personality or expectations at all. To avoid this mistake, define your preferences before hand, make a dedicated research prior to choosing your destination by gathering the relevant information using guidebooks in addition to using the Internet. As you choose the island that fits your needs, pay close attention to the following points:

1. The level of tourist development. Some travelers like their islands loaded with tourist facilities (i. e. Phuket, Koh Samui), whereas others prefer the classic touch “old school” isolated touch (i. e. Koh Phangan, Khao Lak).

2. Nightlife – Phuket, Koh Samui and at lesser extent Krabi offer a thriving nightlife, whereas Koh Phi Phi and Koh Tao are quiet and drowsy.

3. Diving sites – Koh Phi Phi and Koh Tao offer the best diving sites in Southern Thailand.

4. The prevalent level of accommodation. Phuket and Koh Phi Phi offer a immense variety of luxury hotels, while Koh Phangan and Koh Tao offer mostly basic (not necessary low standard) accommodation.

Mistake 2: Assuming that a great vacation can be carried out at a very low budget. Some travelers tend to wrongly assume, that Thailand being a country with developing economy will provide everything including a high standard hospitalization in ridiculously cheap prices. This is partially right, since the local tourism industry suggests an inexpensive travel opportunities to backpackers. However, the spoiled tourist who is used to savor on luxury westernized accommodation will find out the hard way that in order to meet his or her traveling expectations the expenses are appropriate to what is offered. To avoid this mistake and eliminate serious deviations from the planned budget – make your research to learn about price gaps in Southern Thailand Islands. For instance, one should know that staying in some islands (i. e. Koh Phi Phi) is expected to be more expensive, while staying in other islands (i. e. Koh Phangan, Koh Tao) can be significantly cheaper. To avoid any disappointments related to over expenses, I recommend adhering to the following guidelines:

1. Avoid planning a budget on the basis of someone else’s estimations, especially if that person visited the Thai Islands many years ago; spent the vacation in another island than the one you chose; much younger than yourself/ or prefers a different life standard.

2. Make an informed decision regarding the desired level of accommodation. The basic accommodation that includes a clean air-conditioned room and western style bathroom can be booked on relatively low, albeit not ridiculous, price. Contrary to that, a luxury accommodation (that kind of accommodation is quite common in Phuket and Koh Samui) may be almost as expensive as the hotels in your neighboring country.

3. Although checking the room rates is possible using the Internet – the prices of meals should be carefully checked as well. Don’t assume that no matter where you eat – the meal will be cheap. During my first visit to Thailand, I was very surprised to receive a check of the same value as in my home country. Now I know, that the Southern Thailand Islands offer a myriad of western style restaurants with western style prices. Therefore, before you enter a well-designed restaurant – check the menu and make clear budget estimation.

Mistake 3: choosing your vacation beach spontaneously. This is similar to mistake number one – but probably easier to correct, because checking other beaches on the destination is easier logistically and cheaper than checking other islands. However, the “wrong” beach choice can make you feel that you haven’t exploited the full potential of your vacation, or that you have wasted significant part of it. For instance, during my first visit in Koh Phangan I found out two days before the end of my vacation, that my “perfect” beach is located on the other side of the island. The following tips can help you avoid a similar situation:

1. The most developed and crowdie beaches on most islands are located in proximity to the airport (in case there is an airport in your island) or to one of the main seaports.

2. In case you prefer the above type of beaches – be aware of the fact that some of them, especially in Koh Samui and Phuket, are not family friendly.

3. The old school quiet and picturesque beaches are always on the other side of the island. If the “old school” beach is what you are looking for – don’t give up even if the way to Thailand was long and exhausting, and try to make a small effort to cross the island on your way to the opposite side; it will be well worth your while.

Mistake 4: insisting on Westernized food. Some of us tend to worry about experimenting with an unfamiliar food. The Thai tourist industry is aware of this fact; therefore the supply of Western style restaurants in Southern Thailand Islands is huge. Having said that, limiting yourself to these restaurants could be a huge mistake, since the prices for western cuisine are much higher compared to the ones in authentic local restaurants; and even worse– you miss out on one of the most important experiences of the Thai culture – the superior Thai cuisine, probably one of the best in the world. To avoid this mistake, don’t hesitate entering small restaurants with ridiculously neglected interior design, plastic maps and un-plastered walls. These restaurants’ owners are probably the worst marketers – but usually are superior cooks. Your meal in one of these restaurants will often be unbelievably cheap, tasty and mostly made of fresh sizzling ingredients. You will fantasize about these meals long after you have left the island.

Mistake 5: To take your big business suitcase to an island that could be only accessed by sea. A big suitcase is of course very convenient [in Europe]: using it, you can pack everything you need; it can be carried easily thanks to those little wheels; and it makes you look very representative. However, taking a big suitcase to Koh Phangan or Koh Tao is not something I would recommend. The platforms in the piers are extremely narrow and occasionally unstable. So if you’re really lucky – your big suitcase will be safe. If you’re a little bit less lucky – it can fall into the water. If you ran out of luck – you can fall into the water together with your suitcase. I seriously think a back bag would be your best bet. Just for the record, the huge suitcase that was taken by yours truly to her first trip to Koh Phangan was left somewhere in the jungle to frighten local monkeys.

So, on the next time the idea of heading the Thailand Islands crosses your mind, as tempting as it may be, try not to succumb to rumors and fascinating imagery. A thorough research and planning ahead may take some time and effort on your side, but it will be more than worth your while.

Put Some Spice Into your Thailand Holiday With Adventure Trips

Thailand is best known for its southern beaches and nightlife, and many visitors spend their days lazing on the beach before hitting the bars and discos. But those seeking more exciting pastimes are also well catered for, with a wide variety of adventure activities ranging from trekking and bamboo rafting to more heart stopping wild water rafting or even bungee jumping.

Away from the beaches, the southern islands offer sea kayaking and game fishing. Koh Samui, Krabi and Phuket are ideal bases for organizing sea canoeing or kayaking trips, with lots of operators offering tours lasting from one to several days. Highlights include caves only reachable by sea and hidden lagoons where you can swim and camp overnight.

Those who want to put their hunting skills to the test can do worse than going game fishing in the Andaman Sea off Phuket. Here you can catch a wide variety of fish, including sailfish, tooth tuna and swordfish. Day outings, night fishing or trips lasting several days can easily be organized from here. Be aware that all catches must be released back into the sea immediately.

Land rats are advised to head north, where the city of Chiang Mai is a prime base for embarking on adventure trips. Trekking is the most popular choice here and tourists have enjoyed more or less arduous treks to hill tribe villages for several decades now.

Treks can last from one day to a week, and the most important factor when deciding on which company to choose is to ask fellow travellers who have just returned from a trek. Most tours involve a few hours of walking a day, and elephant riding, bamboo rafting and overnight stays in mountain villages are the main highlights.

Splashing fun can be found on the many rivers in the north, where river rafting in inflatable boats is becoming increasingly popular. The Pai River in Mae Hong Son Province offers abundant birdlife and swimming monkeys. The Nam Wa near Nan has welcomed rafters longer than any other waterway in Thailand and boasts some of the wildest rapids. Near Chiang Mai is the Mae Cham River, perfect for day outings. The best time for rafting is from mid-June to end of January, when the water levels are not too high or too low.

Don’t miss out on caving, one of the highlights in the northern provinces. Pang Mapha district between Pai and Mae Hong Son offers some of Asia’s most spectacular cave networks. Many of these were first explored by the Australian owner of Cave Lodge, the ideal base for spelunking. Here you can hire experienced guides to lead you through the lesser known caves, or just get a map and set off on your own to explore on of the many caves easily explored without a guide.

If you want to really mix it up, the Mae Sa Valley is an adventurer’s paradise. Just 20kms outside of Chiang Mai, bungee jumping, paint-balling, archery, ATV riding and archery are all available here within a few kilometres of each other. There is no shortage of adventure for fun seekers in Thailand.

Luxury Villa Rentals A Great Alternative Over Large Resorts

Situated in the center of Southeast Asia, Thailand is regarded as a natural getaway to countries such as Myanmar, South China, and Indo-China.

Apart from this, its attractions are really incredible, covering Bangkok – the center of cultural and political activities; Chiang Mai – the second largest city in Thailand as well as a regional center for a variety of activities; Krabi – a teeming destination with white sandy beaches, scintillating waterfalls, and fabulous coral reefs; Surat Thani – acknowledged as the province of thousand islands; and Phuket – Thailand’s largest island, which is noted for its magnificent bays and sandy beaches, sparkling seas, vegetative mountains, and delightful parks.

Aforesaid are just few among many of Thai tourist attractions. With these umpteen popular destinations, Thailand has been rated one of the top ten tourist destinations.

Since people from nook and corner of the world flock here year-around, Thailand renders excellent accommodation facilities, ranging from first class hotel rooms and resorts to magnificent vacations homes and condos. However, majority of vacationers prefer to stay in holiday villas, as they not only provide privacy but also enable you to energize and revitalize your mind and body.

Luxury villa rentals are considered a great alternative over large resorts and expensive hotel accommodation. Further, it allows you to cook meals of your choice and relax on the porch or take a refreshing stroll in well-groomed gardens, all of which make you feel revitalized at the end of your vacation. In short, a Thai luxury villa rental is a great choice to enjoy your vacation in Thailand.

For those interested in staying at luxury villa rentals, you are required to pick an area that you would like to enjoy your vacation. Whether you are interested to visit Pattaya Island, Phuket, or Surat Thani, you are sure to find a host of luxury villas that are available for rent.

In fact, you can find a number of luxury villas and that too in varied sizes. For instance, many of the Thai luxury villa rentals are large, and hence consist of multiple bedrooms. Since luxury rentals of any size are available, no matter how small or large your vacationing party is. Apart from different sizes, one can also find that Thai luxury villa rentals are located within varied settings. For instance, beach luxury villas located along the coast are much sought after. These types of villas not only provide the comforts of home but also allow you to enjoy the panoramic views of the surroundings. Also, they render superb facilities to enjoy a variety of water sport activities such as swimming, rowing, scuba diving, sailing, and more.

Another popular category of luxury villa rentals is pet-friendly villas, which allows you as well as your pet to enjoy vacation in a relaxing environment.

Luxury villa rentals in Thailand range from one bedroom deluxe villas to elegant two and three bedrooms. These spacious accommodations are mostly inclusive of almost all superb facilities such as bedroom with multiple bedding options, telephone, television, and digital alarm or clock; living room with queen-size sofa; kitchen replete with first class appliances, oven, dishwasher, and coffeemaker; and bathroom consisting of marble clad baths with shower, double sinks, make-up as well as shaving mirror, and hair dryers.

In addition, vacationers staying at most modern luxury villa rentals usually have access to such facilities as championship golf courses, spa and fitness facility, swimming pool coupled with private cabanas, activity pool with waterslides, basketball and tennis courts, restaurants and lounges, and facilities for playing such games as billiards, darts, and foosball.

A substantial number of both small and large luxury villa rentals are now made available in Thailand. Thai luxury villa rental bookings can be easily made through travel agents as well as vacation rental agencies. However, a thorough analysis should be made regarding the service provider’s professionalism and service rendered, prior to make booking through them.

One can lean on travel magazines to get info on travel agents. Another great way to search for a reliable service provider is via the internet. Since many of the agents have their own sites with interior and exterior photos of villas and rent details, you can make an effective decision with regard to the booking of luxury villas. For unbiased information, one can make use of online reviews written by real users.

Xcellent Day Trips From Huket Sland Hailand

Phuket is named the Jewel of the Andaman. Or is it maybe the prime gem in the crown of Thailands tourism? However, Phuket is just the core of a spacious wonderful playground. And the other part of the crown is worth discovering, even if the tropical fabulous beaches youre sunbathing on seems so great you never want to get away from them. Phuket sightseeing tours are a must.

Making day trips from Phuket Island is definitely a must when you visit this South East Asian tropical piece of Heaven. Within a few hours ride or trip by boat are several mind-blowing landscapes including the renowned Phi Phi islands, the wonderful Khao Lak coast, the eye-opening Pha Nga Bay, exclusive scuba diving off the Similan islands, and the breathtakingly beautiful karst-scapes of Krabi. There are national parks boasting lush forests, picturesque fishing villages, spectacular waterfalls, crystal clear waters, private tiny islands, pristine mangroves and exclusive beaches to seek out.

Phuket is without a single doubt Thailands best developed and most popular island, a high standard, jet-set travel destination that has become a very upmarket place during the last decades. If youre travelling to Phuket for your next holiday youll invariably find yourself based at one of several wonderful bays lined along the West Coast. From this location you can either rent a private car or use the option taking one of the available day trip tours to a destination of your choice. This is highly recommendable and there are both many travel agents and opportunities.

For first time visitors exploring the island itself is absolutely a great idea. There are numerous exciting and splendid beaches. Towards the south from Kamala youll find a cluster of the best, past the popular and crowded Patong, and onwards to the posh Kata and sweeping Karon. Every beach is worth making a stop for a few hours to sunbath or sample a spicy Thai papaya salad (som tam) for lunch. Keep travelling south and youll finally reach the untouched Nai Harn beach, a good spot for avoiding the crowds. All beaches on Phuket have their own special ambience.

To reach the islands north takes about a one-hour drive. This area has not been developed and tourists do not dominate the scene. The east coasts mangroves offer an altogether different look of Phuket. While visiting this area you might want to cool off in Khao Phra Thaeo National Parks Bang Phrae Waterfall or drop in on the singing gibbons at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre. Tours to this area of Phuket are very rewarding.

The best scenery can be found offshore, the first thing on you itineraries list should be a trip to Phi Phi. This distinctive craggy island is formed like a butterfly. The island featured in the Hollywood movie The Beach and was world news because of the Tsunami tragedy. Actually there are several islands, and the majority of the available trips stop off for some mind-boggling snorkelling adventures en-route. Food is mostly served once you arrive at Phi Phi Leys paradisiacal Maya bay. Only campers and park rangers are allowed to spend the night here so youll have the immaculate beach all to yourself. Phi Phi Don is more dramatic and was drastically overdeveloped before the gigantic Tsunami washed it all away. On a tiny sandwich of coconut palms the resorts are found between two gorgeous bays, with rising to the blue sky karst cliffs all around. Once youve reached this spot you probably not want to make the trip back to Phuket!

Similarly popular and impressive is Pha Nga Bays unique karst seascape, enjoyed free promotion in the James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun. Now also known as the James Bond Island, this is a must-see on all trips from Phuket but its all part of a gigantic theatre of pillars, dotting this vast bay and must be ranking as the most photogenic spot in the whole Andaman. Lunch will be served at the idyllic fishing village of Koh Phan Yee, which is positioned in the water on stilts. Dont forget purchasing some souvenirs and stroll around this remarkable community. Kayaking among the karst cliffs and caves is especially rewarding.

If diving is your thing and you have just one opportunity to see the finest, then you may want to join a few days lasting trip to the Similan islands which are located West of Phuket. There is also a protected marine reserve and diving excursions or day trips are the only way to reach the areas unspoilt reefs, or swim in the clear blue ocean. If you do not have a dive certificate, no worries there are plenty of available courses. As an alternative you could take a tour to Hong Island, between Krabi and Phuket and simply enjoy underwater snorkelling and unwind. This unique island boasts a hidden lagoon inside, reachable at low tide only through a cave tunnel.

Renting a car for a drive into the hinterland is also a great option. Phuket is by a short causeway linked to the mainland and after that you have the freedom, roaming the lush isthmus provinces of Southern Thailand. Travel to the north to Khao Lak, to explore a more untouched and wild shoreline, and some fabulous coastal parks. Khao Sok National Park is a bit beyond this with its vast lake, magnificent rainforests and distinctive landscapes. In the park chalets you can even stay overnight. Thai tropical national parks feature fantastic ecosystems full of streams, waterfalls, nature trails, a few animals and varied birdlife.

Even Krabi is a popular tourist destination attracting many visitors, it can conveniently be reached within a 90 minutes drive from Phuket and features some of most distinctive landmarks in the region. But this is a completely other destination!

Pice Up Your Holiday In Hailand Adventure Activities Abound

Away from the beaches, the southern islands offer sea kayaking and game fishing. Koh Samui, Krabi and Phuket are ideal bases for organizing sea canoeing or kayaking trips, with lots of operators offering tours lasting from one to several days. Highlights include caves only reachable by sea and hidden lagoons where you can swim and camp overnight. Land rats are advised to head north, where the city of Chiang Mai is a prime base for embarking on adventure trips. Trekking is the most popular choice here and tourists have enjoyed more or less arduous treks to hill tribe villages for several decades now. Splashing fun can be found on the many rivers in the north, where river rafting in inflatable boats is becoming increasingly popular. The Pai River in Mae Hong Son Province offers abundant birdlife and swimming monkeys. The Nam Wa near Nan has welcomed rafters longer than any other waterway in Thailand and boasts some of the wildest rapids. Near Chiang Mai is the Mae Cham River, perfect for day outings. The best time for rafting is from mid-June to end of January, when the water levels are not too high or too low.If you want to really mix it up, the Mae Sa Valley is an adventurers paradise. Just 20kms outside of Chiang Mai, bungee jumping, paint-balling, archery, ATV riding and archery are all available here within a few kilometres of each other. There is no shortage of adventure for fun seekers in Thailand.