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Private Villas In The Exotic Dream Destination Phuket

The kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. Its shape and geography divide into four natural regions : the mountains and forests of the North; the vast rice fields of the Central Plains; the semi-arid farm lands of the Northeast plateau; and the tropical islands and long coastline of the peninsula South.

Located 862 kilometers south of Bangkok is Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, which is often dubbed as the pearl of the Andaman, or the pearl of the south. Its natural resources- rocky peninsular, limestone cliffs, white powdery beaches, tranquil broad bays and tropical in-land forests contribute to making it the South’s wealthiest, busiest, most visited and most popular island and province.

Staying on the island is easy, as there are only two seasons in a year – the rainy season (May to October) and the hot season (November to April). The low season of phuket is between September and October as they are the wettest months. The best period for a visit, is from November to February, when it is possible to see the clear blue sky, feel the fresh sea breeze and marvel at the crystal clear water while lying on powdery, palm-fringed beaches. Average temperatures ranges between 23 degree and 33 degree.

Renting a Phuket Villa can be a daunting task, with literally thousands to choose from on the island, and more appearing every day it can be a difficult choice for many. Phuket villas come in all styles, sizes and in different locations around the island, from hill top locations offering panoramic views of the islands and the Andaman Sea, to beach front beach villas providing instant access to powdery white sand and azure calm seas.

When choosing a luxury villa guests must decide whether they want solitude or a more hectic atmosphere with hustle and bustle of street markets and beach activities. Luxury villas on the east coast offer the kind of peace and quiet that is more akin to Samui or Krabi. There is a sense of remoteness here, with traditional Thai fishing villages, and quiet serene beaches dotted along the coast.

The West coast is the far more recognized and notorious part of the island with luxury villas concentrated in Patong, Kamala, and Surin areas. Karon and Kata beaches also have some excellent choices for beach front accommodation. Villa estates such as The Samsara Estate, Phuket Pavilions, Baan Thai Surin Hill and The Plantation are gaining international recognition for their excellence both in terms of quality of surroundings and quality of service and value offered.

More secluded resorts nestle higher up amongst the trees in the center of this island, capitalizing on the wonderful sea and mountain views. With some of the most famous golfing in the world, Phuket villas in these locations are popular options for golfing fanatics. With such a developed infrastructure nothing is more than a 20 minute drive from these hill top locations.
With space becoming a commodity in much of Phuket, the South – once a neglected part of Phuket – is becoming more and more popular and with much more affordable prices than their more famous West coast counterparts. The 40 minute drive from the airport is enough to put most off traveling so far down the island, but those that do find beautiful beaches and headlands, great restaurants and their luxury villas amenities match anything on the island.

As people seek a new getaway for their vacation, resorts including Andaman Cove have become extremely popular offering not only luxury accommodation but amenities such as tennis courts, kid’s clubs and trips to private islands offering their guests that something extra that few other places provide at such great value.

Thailand Wilderness Adventure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Is Muay Thai The Martial Art YOU Need To Discover?

With the rise in popularity of mixed martial arts and the UFC, Muay Thai has become more popular then ever before. But is it the best form of martial arts for you to learn?

Let’s take a closer look at Muay Thai…

It is rather hard to pinpoint the exact start and history of Muay Thai as it has evolved through the years and still continues to evolve today.

Muay Thai is considered by some to have been a deviation of a martial art from south east China. Others believe that it came from an enchant form of kickboxing in India.

Muay Thai began as Krabi Krabong, the Siamese military fighting style with a sword in one hand. Developing through time and natural evolution of the art, it gave birth to Muay Boran, ancient style Muay Thai. As battlefield warfare evolved into a more technological basis, hand to hand combat was no longer required within the military, and Muay Thai became a sporting martial art, kept alive in Thailand as a competetive sport, and for many, a way of life.

The basic concept of Muay Thai has not changed much over the years… Martial Arts like karate and tae-kwon-do mainly focus on striking and ‘hard’ forms of very straight kicks. Muay Thai has always had a focus around punching with a boxing style, using knees and elbows to defend and block kicks and punches as well, the kicking is not as ‘hard’ in its form as other main line martial arts.

The one very unique strategy that Muay Thai embraces is a technique called the “Clinch”. How the “Clinch” works is, your hands are wrapped around the other person’s neck for leverage so you can use your knee to get in and start working on the other persons mid section. It is a very effective technique if you know what you are doing.

The one thing you need to know about Muay Thai is that it is a FULL CONTACT SPORT. Yes it is a martial art at its core but from a functional prospective it is a sport and with that means you are going to get into very good shape when you train in Muay Thai.

This also brings up another challenge… Your risk of getting injured is greater with Muay Thai then it is with most other traditional martial arts. The reason for this is because your always training with contact!

The one thing that Muay Thai has is a great built in self-defense component. Because you spend most of your time sparring with others, you get to experience full-contact fighting on a regular basis. So from a self-defense perspective… It is a real winner!

Is Muay Thai For You?

The only way to find out is to go and checkout a few schools in your area so you can see first hand if you like Muay Thai! They will offer you a free class and sometimes a free month. It is well worth your time to check out your local schools.

Southern Thailand: the Andaman Coast

As Highway 4 switches from the east flank of the Thailand peninsula to the Andaman coast it enters a markedly different country : nourished by rain nearly all the year round, the vegetation down here is lushly tropical, with forests replacing up to 80m in height, and massive rubber and coconut plantations replacing the rice and sugar-cane fields of central Thailand. In this region’s heartland the drama of the landscape is enhanced by sheer limestone crags, topographical hallmarks that spike every horizon and make for stunning views from the road. Even more spectacular and the main crowd-puller – is the Andaman Sea itself : translucent turquoise and so clear in some places that you can see to a depth of 30m, it harbors the country’s largest coral reefs and is far and away the top diving area in Thailand.

Unlike the Gulf coast, the Andaman coast is hit by the southwest monsoon form May to October, when the rain and high seas render some of the outer islands inaccessible. However, conditions aren’t generally severe enough to ruin a holiday on the other islands, while the occasional mainland cloudburst is offset by the advantage of notably less expensive and crowded accommodation. Although some bungalows at the smaller resorts shut down entirely during low season.

Eager to hit the high-profile beaches of Phuket and Krabi, most people either fly over the first three-hundred-kilometer stretch of the west coast or ass through it on an overnight bus, thereby missing out on the lushly forested hills of Ranong province and bypassing several gems: the tiny and still idyllic island of Ko Chang (not to be confused with its larger, more famous namesake off the east coast); the Ko Surin and Ko Similan island chains, whose reefs rate alongside the Maldives and the Great Barrier Reef; the enjoyable Khao Sok National Park, where you can stay in a tree-house beneath the shadows of looming limestone outcrops; and the mid-market resort of Khao Lak, which hugs the rugged mainland coast on the edge of Khao Lak National Park. Tourism begins in earnest on Phuket, Thailand’s largest island and the best place to learn to dive. The high-rises and consumerist gloss that characterize much of Phuket don’t appeal to everyone, however, and many travelers opt instead for the slightly less mainstream but very popular beaches around the former fishing village of Krabi. Nearby the stunningly beautiful Ko Phi Phi attracts a lot of attention considering its size, and is beginning to crack under the strain, so many travelers have moved on again, searching out hideaways on Ko Lanta and bringing custom to the tiny retreats of Ko Jum and Ko Bubu.

Getting to Andaman coast destinations is made easy by Highway 4, also known as the Phetkasem Highway – and usually called Thanon Phetkasem when it passes through towns. The road runs from Bangkok to the Malaysian border, and frequent air-con and ordinary busses ply this route, connecting all major – and most minor – mainland tourist destinations. There is no rail line down the Andaman coast by bus before preceding southwards. Ferries to the most popular islands usually leave several times a day (with reduced services during the monsoon season), but for more remote destinations you may have to charter your own or wait for islanders’ trading boats to pick you up. Alternatively, you fly direct to the Andaman coast: there’s a busy international airport on Phuket, plus useful local ones in Krabi and Ranong.

Khao Sok National Park – Sleep in a tree-house and wake to the sound of hooting gibbons. more …
Ko Similan – Remote chain of islands with some of the best diving in the word. more …
Reefs and wreaks – Dive Thailand’s finest underwater sights from Phuket, Ko Nang or Ko Phi Phi. more…
Phuket – Thailand’s largest island and p province in its own right. There are many activities of watersport, diving more…
Sea-canoeing along the Krabi coastline – The perfect way to explore the region’s myriad mangrove swamps and secret lagoons. more…
Rock climbing on Leam Phra Nang – Get a bird’s eye view of fabulous coastlal scenery. more …
Ko Lanta – The loveliest white sand beach. more …
Ko Jum – Tiny island where there’s nothing to do but chill out. more …

reference info. by The Rough Guide


Phi Phi Island

Phuket Island

Lanta Old Town

This old town of Lanta in the old days was like an Ampher Muang-prosperous with overseas freighters that usually stopped over at the pier in Tumbon Koh Lanta Yai making it the freighter – center between Phuket – Kantang of Trang and Koh Lanta’s center point. Later after Petchakasem Road was cut, this pier was fallen in to disuse until 1997 the District Office and important governmental offices were moved to Koh Lanta Noi. Talad Saladan Pier built as the main port for all passenger boats to stop. Saladan market has become Koh Lanta’s new center point.

Nevertheless, that was over 100 year ago, today Lanta Old Town in Tumbon Koh Lanta Yai has come back to life and become more attractive with its significance in history and culture that remains for tourists to experience one again.

Long – stay tourists are so fascinated with this small town, as they may choose to do any activities they like – eating, sleeping, going out to the sea fishing or driving to tour the city viewing government offices and old district office built in 1901. At present, the old building in blue made the Office of Sanitation District. Going out pay homage to the Statue of HRH Prince Chumpon Khet Udomsak and staying overnight at huge local wooden houses with things from oversea freighters are pleasurable.

Never to miss is diving for corals viewing at Koh Por and Koh Bu Bu or the “Blue Pearl of the Andaman” that can be done by local boats at the pier in Tumbon Koh Lanta Yai as a half – day or one – day tour including a visit to the islands of the Trang’s Sea. Coming to Koh Lanta without a visit this Lanta Old Town is not worth the travel a long way…

Koh Lanta Yai

Koh Lanto Yai has two Districts – Saladan sub District and Koh Lanta Yai sub District. In the old days, Koh Lanta Yai sub District was the island’s hinterland with important pier for overseas freighters to pass, making its economy prosperous.

In high season, it is not surprising why Koh Lanta Yai is so crowded with tourist, as it is easy to tour either by hiring motorcycle or by jeeps. If still enjoying, just drive to see the local life styles of the Lanta Old Town and further to the original sea gypsies at Ban Sang Ka – U, now that the island is done.

Koh Lanta Noi

In the old days, Koh Lanta Noi was just a pass way for travelers from Krabi and Trang on their way to Koh Lanta Yai by private cars or vans.

Koh Lanta Noi, with on resorts, luxurious restaurants and other facilities as good as Koh Lanta Yai, though, has one thing better that is the prosperity with a perfect nature and real islander life styles – rubber tearing rice growing and fishery.

If not satisfied yet, try another round of adventure by motorcycle in the next morning tour in the longest and most beautiful beach on Koh Lanta Noi –Long Sord Beach – and end it by taking a fisherman boat to see the abundant mangrove, this is almost what should be done at Koh Lanta Noi.

Thailand Transportation


All trains depart from Hualamphong Station except the twice – daily service to Nakhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi, and a couple of the Hua Hin trains, which leave form Bangkok Noi Station (also refered to as Thonburi Station). The “Information” booth at Hualamphong station keeps English language timetables, or you can try the State Railway of Thailand website (www.srt.motc.go.th) carries and English – language timetable and fare chart for major destinations. Tickets for overnight trains and other busy routes should be booked at least a day in advance (or at least a week in advance for travel on national holidays), and are best bought from Hualamphong. The clued-up English-speaking staff at VC Travel and Tour on the mezzanine floor of the station concourse (daily 5am – 8pm), above Coffee Bucks, sell all types of rail tickets at no commission, and can also book discounted mid-range accommodation at your destination. Alternatively, during normal office hours you can buy rail tickets from the clearly sighed State Railway advance booking office at the back of the station concourse (daily 8.30am-4pm).


Bangkok’ three main bus terminals are distributed around the outskirts of town. Leave plenty of time to get to the bus terminals, especially if setting off from Banglamphu, from where you need at least an hour and a half (outside rush hour) to get to the Eastern Bus Terminal, and a good hour to get to the Northern or Southern terminals. Seats on regular long-distance bused don’t need to be booked in advance, but air-conditioned ones should be reserved ahead of time either at the relevant bus station or through hotels and guest houses. Agencies sometimes provide transport to the bus station for an additional charge.

The Northern Bus Terminal or Sathaanii Mo Chit (departure info for both air-con and regular services) is the departure point for a few buses to the east-coast destination of Pattaya, Chanthaburi and Trat, through there are more regular services Thanon Kamphaeng Phet 2, near Chatuchak Weekend Market in the for north of the city; the fastest way to get there is to take the BTS Sky-train to its northernmost terminus, Mo Chit on Thanon Phaholyothin, which is just a few minutes’ walk from the bus terminal. Alternatively, you can take several city buses to Mo Chit, metered taxi and Tuk Tuk.

The Eastern Bus Terminal, or Sathaanii Ekamai, at Thanon Sukhumvit Soi 40, serves east-coast destinations such as Pattaya, Ban Phe (for Ko Samet) and Trat (for Ko Change). The Sky-train stops right by the bus terminal at Ekamai station, as do city buses, metered taxi and Tuk Tuk.

The Southern Bus Terminal, or Sathaanii Sai Tai Mai is at the junction of Thanon Borom Ratchonni and the Nakhon Chaisri Highway, west of the Chao Phraya River in Thonburi. If handles departures to all points south of the capital, including Hua Hin, Chumphon (for Ko Tao), Surat Thani (for Ko Samui), Phuket and Krabi (for Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta), as well as departures for destinations west of Bangkok, such as Kanchanaburi, Regular and air-conditioned buses leave from different sections of the Southern Bus Terminal, and anyone there will be able to point you in the right direction for your bus. To get here, take city buses, metered taxi and Tuk Tuk.


Domestic flights should be booked as far in advance as possible, though tickets can be bought at the airport if available; the domestic departure tax is included in the price of the ticket. Thai Airways is the main domestic carrier and flies to over twenty major towns and cities; Bangkok Airways currently covers just a few routes from the capital, including Ko Samui, Ranong and Hua Hin. All domestic flights leave form Don Muang airport.

The fastest, most expensive way of getting to the airport is by metered taxi, which can cost anything depending on where you are and how bad the traffic is. If you leave the downtown areas before 7am you can get to the airport in half and hour, but at other times you should set off at least an hour before you have to check in.

Every guesthouse and travel agent in Banglamphu, and many hotels elsewhere in the city, can book you on to one of the private minibuses to the airport. Those running form Banglamphu depart approximately every hour, day and night, though you’ll get picked up from your accommodation, you should book yourself on to a minibus that leaves at least an hour and a half before check-in commences as it can take up to 45 minutes to pick up all passengers, after which there’s the traffic to contend with.

For more information

Thailand Travel 10 Tips

1. Koh Chang – Don’t stop at only Koh Chang because Koh Mak, Koh Kood and Islands surrounding Koh Chang also have more beautiful beaches and water.

2. Chiang Mai – Try to find hotels outside of the city such as on Hangdong – Samoeng and Samoeng – Sankamphaeng routes because there are better views and hotels along the mentioned route are less expensive than the hotel in the city with the same standard. The true nature of northern Thailand can also be experienced.

3. Phuket – Don’t pay too much attention to sea-view rooms because the limitation in space. The sea could not be seen directly from rooms in most hotels. The tourist should pay more attention to the standard of the hotel and the distance from the beach.

4. Koh Samui – If you have limited fund, the best way to travel to Koh Samui is by speed boat from Lomprayah Catamaran Company. Lomprayah offers less expensive service than taxi for hire and service provided by the hotel directly. Nevertheless, if you have no problem with fund, you should hire a taxi because this would create job for the locals.

5. Andaman Sea – Trang Sea is as beautiful and interesting as nearby provinces such as Krabi. The prominent tourist spots in Andaman Sea are Koh Libong, Koh Hai, etc.

6. Krabi – Although Railay beach in on the mainland, you still have to travel by boat from Ao Nang beach because it is surrounded by mountain and cannot get to by land transportation.

7. Pattaya – North Pattaya beach and Central Pattaya beach have many facilities but the true nature can be found at Koh Lan, which is 7.5 kilometer from Pattaya. You can get there in 45 minutes by regular boat and 15 minutes by speedboat.

8. Hua Hin – Hua Hin is a popular beach that is close to Bangkok but that does not mean that it is the most beautiful. Not far from Hua Hin, Pranburi beach is much quieter and more suitable for relaxation but the transportation may not be as convenience as at Hua Hin.

9. Koh Samet – You should contact travel agency or the hotel in order to find out which pier to get on the boat. Some hotels provide their own service. Don’t trust strangers because you might end up higher price.

10. Bangkok – Jatujak market has products from all over the country e.g. cloths, decoration, house hold items, souvenir, food, pet, etc.

My blog : Thailand travel tips

Adventure in Thailand

Adventure takes many forms : a new relationship or job, sushi for the first time, or even a walk through an L.A. slum at 2 am on a Saturday night – all qualify.  

Webster’s dictionary defines adventure as “an exciting or remarkable experience.” It’s when we break out of our daily routine and dare to take on a new challenge, boldly going into territory that is unfamiliar to us.  

But most people, when they think of adventure, think of travel. And though pretty much the whole world has been explored before by other people (with Marco Polo setting the benchmark several hundred years ago), what matters is that it is your discovery. Adventure travel is a highly personal thing and what it teaches you about the vast world that surrounds you and its relationship to you is what makes it both worthwhile and essential.

This is probably why adventure travel keeps growing in popularity. In a world gone wrong, cluttered with technology, self-interested politicians, bureaucracy, greed and numerous other complications, it is crucial to get back to the basics of life and to set personal challenges that bring out the noble savage in us.

So remove yourself to another place, with strange people and customs, follow your nose, trust your instincts, and find a part of yourself you’d almost forgotten.

Thailand is an ideal location to live out these dreams – or alternate realities. With more than 25,000 square kilometers of national park land, islands, mountains, and a welcoming people, new and enlivening experiences are waiting for you to live them out.

Though there are endless adventures available here, two of the more popular possibilities involve going as high and as low as you can.

Scuba Diving : The Amphibian Within

There’s no getting around it. It’s programmed into our DNA that we are creatures of the sea, with a deep-seated desire to return to it. Meander aimlessly on thoughtful walk some lazy Sunday and your feet, of their own accord, will inevitably take you to the water – a lake, a pond, an ocean or a very large puddle – whatever is closest. We look out and yearn to return to our roots. Thanks to Jacques Cousteau, it is now possible, for a short time anyway, to return to the sea completely – for as long as the air in the tank lasts.

Thailand, with its countless beaches, coral reefs and modern dive schools is a popular spot to learn to scuba dive. Thousands of proud new divers earn their PADI international dive certificates every year.

It can be a bit scary at first – our instincts also tell us that we can’t breathe under water – but once you master the basic technicalities, there’s no experience like it. You have freedoms undreamed of by land dwellers. You are weightless, and can go left, right, forward backwards, up and down – and you are surrounded by colourful fish and plants. It’s another world down there.

But like anything worthwhile, it does take a bit of work and discipline to make your first dive. Over the course of a week or so, you take a step by step open water course to ensure maximum safety. You’ll start out in a classroom, studying buoyancy and pressure – you even have homework and exams to do (What? Homework at the beach?!!) This is combined with practice, starting in shallow water, learning to use the equipment getting comfortable with the idea – and soon you’re heading off to the open water by boat, working your way up to dives as deep as 18 meters. In less than a week, you are granted your certificate and can dive anywhere in the world unaccompanied – the beginning of a beautiful new friendship with the other two-thirds of the planet.  
Where to Go Under

With more than 3,000 km of coastline and countless islands, Thailand has enough dive sites to keep any enthusiast busy for a lifetime. Most divers head out from island and mainland areas on day trips, but it is also possible to explore more remote and less inhabited areas on liveaboard boats, heading out for several days at a time.

All of the places listed have several certified dive schools.

On the Gulf of Thailand side, or east coast of Thailand’s southern peninsula, the main diving area is in and around the Samui Archipelago, which includes the main islands of Koh Pa Ngan, the well-touristed Koh Samui, and Koh Tao, which is the country’s most popular diving island, featuring several coral reefs a short boat ride away.

On the Andaman Sea side, or west coast, are the islands of Phuket (the most popular holiday island in the country), Koh Phi Phi, the Krabi mainland, and the up-and-coming Koh Lanta.

Central Thailand’s south coast also has a few spots. Some divers base themselves in the wild nightlife town of Pattaya, but it’s a bit of a boat ride to the best dive sites. Heading east, almost to the Cambodian border is the Koh Chang National Marine Park, a group of more than 40 protected islands, surrounded by coral reefs.

Trekking : Because it’s there.

Thailand’s north is a gorgeous place where lushly vegetated mountains rise majestically from the earth – the tropical tail end of the Himalayan chain. For some mysterious reason mountains were made to be climbed. There seems to be an innate desire to struggle to peaks and look down on creation as if we were God almighty. When you are at a great height, taking in vast areas of creation in a single glance, the world, for a fleeting moment, belongs to you alone. In Thailand’s north, you can do just that, with the added bonus that along the way, you can rest overnight with Thailand’s hilltribe people. There are several different hilltribes, including the Akha, Meo, Lisu and Lahu – all with their own unique traditional lifestyle. These people migrated from Southern China into what until relatively recently was uninhabited territory less than two centuries ago, and set up shop as subsistence farmers.

Treks can run from two days to a week or more, as you hike through the jungle pathways on foot, by elephant (a daunting prospect at first), and by bamboo river raft, breathing fresh air, watching abundant wildlife and tiring your limbs, until you come upon the welcoming hilltribe village that you will call home for the night.

An evening with a Thai hilltribe is an unforgettable experience. After your hike, the food tastes fantastic, and along with the villagers you settle sit around the fire, singing songs and watching traditional dances – be prepared to do a number or two yourself from your home country.

After a few hours with these charming people, you may find yourself tempted to give up your career in accountancy, or whatever it is you do back home, shed yourself of all your possessions and live the simple life of honest hard work and a bowl of rice at the end of the day. Tempted, yes, but after a little reflection on the labours you have to put in for that rice bowl, you’ll probably opt to take home a few of the colourful handicrafts, and treasure your memories from the land of comfort from whence you came. Really, it’s better this way.

Trekking : Where to Start

Chiang Mai, in Thailand’s mountainous north was the original home of hilltribe trekking, but in recent years a few other places have gotten into the act. Chiang Mai itself is a relaxed city of about one million people, and the springboard to some great trekking locations, including Doi Inthanon National Park, which is the host to Thailand’s tallest peak at 2700 meters. The second city of trekking is the more somnambulant Chiang Rai, a bit further north. Both cities have very good airports and regular flights from Bangkok and elsewhere.

One young upstart in Thailand’s trekking world is Nan, northeast of Chiang Mai, and the coldest spot in Thailand (which is nonetheless pretty darn warm if it snows in your hometown). New luxury hotels have been popping up here recently, yet many of the hilltribes in this area are new to visitors – so it’s possible to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Also becoming popular is the charming little town of Pai, which has developed into a Bohemian arts center for disillusioned hippie folk from both Thailand and abroad. The town is in the valley, surrounded by evergreen and rugged mountains with several trekking trails and hidden waterfalls.

Thailand has beautiful place very much if you come to tour in thailand , assure that ,you do will not be defeated certainly.

Travelling Thailand: 5 Top Destinations

With several sights to see and surprises to offer, Thailand could be one of the best locations you should not miss to visit. Culture, beaches, people, and heritage sites are some of the things you can expect when you travel to Thailand.

Bangkok – Traveling Thailand wound not be complete without visiting Bangkok. As the nation’s capital with an estimated population of over 10 million (including the neighboring provinces), this city is by far the largest in the country. The city is divided into 50 districts or khet but for tourists and those who are new in the place, 6 divisions would be more useful. These are Ratchadaphisek in the northeast section of the city, Sukhamvit in the southeast, Silom in the south, Thonburi in the west, Rattanakosin in the central north, and Phahanyothin in the north. The whole Bangkok district would give you a diverse taste of culture, history, religion, modernity, and fast-phase life. You can actually witness how all these blend together to comprise the whole Bangkok package. Buddhist temples, historical museums, towering buildings, contemporary restaurants and hotels, shopping centers, canals and rivers, and food make Bangkok a one of a kind city in Southeast Asia.

Phuket – Down south, Phuket features magnificent beaches, tropical sunsets, white sands, blue seas, and breathtaking sceneries. No wonder it is the most popular vacation destination in Asia beating every beaches of the neighboring countries. It has several beaches like Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Patong Beach, Kamala Beach, and Surin Beach. The island showcases several water sports and activities including parasailing, jet-skiing, and scuba diving. By day, Phuket is alive with beachgoers and shoppers and by night, lights, sounds, and party people dominate the whole island.

Chiang Mai – The second largest city in Thailand with an estimated population of more than 200,000. This city located in the northern part of the country offers greener and quieter city. Chiang Mai’s tourism is becoming more and more popular and permanently settling at this city is very common. When you travel Thailand and visit Chiang Mai, you surely would want to see museums such as Hilltribe Research Institute Museum and the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center. With religion and history enriching the city, you can see several Buddhist temples such as Wat Chiang Mun, Wat Chiang Mun, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Oo-Mong, Wat Phra Jao Mengrai, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, and Wat Chedi Luang. The oldest temple dates back in the 11th century. Chiang Mai features attractions such as Chiang Mai Flower Festival in February, Bo Sang Umbrella & Sankampang Handicrafts Festival in January, The 2nd Orchid Fair also in January, and the Loi Krathong Festival usually falls in November.

Pattaya – Located 150 km. north of Bangkok, Pattaya is one of the most popular tourist destinations, which offers great beaches, beer and go-go bars, and a wide array of sport activities. Visit Pattaya when you travel Thailand is a must. Although it is the most overdeveloped part of the country in terms of tourism, prices in Pattaya still remains with reach. In fact, prices of foods, accommodation, and transportations are very affordable.

Krabi – In a small province of Krabi lies a small town with the same name. Paying a visit Krabi town when you travel Thailand is worth the time. Located south of Bangkok near Phuket and Phi Phi island, the town features great beaches along with high end hotels and not so expensive hotel that cater tourists of different classes.