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  • ContentsThe Grand Palace 4 Elephant Trekking 34Khaosan Road 8 Abseiling in Khao Yai 36Chatuchak Weekend Market 11 Diving at Similan & Surin Islands 39Khon, Hun LakhonLek 14 Andaman Coast 44Pak Khlong Talad & Yaowarat 17 Meditation 48Floating Market & Khlong Tour 19 Beauty Spa & Thai Massage 50Gulf of Thailand 21 Tom Yum Kung, Phat Thai, & Cooking 52Relaxing in Pai 26 Songkran & Loi Krathong Festival 54Muai Thai 29 Golfing 58Biking Tour in World Heritage Sites 31 Travel by Rail 61
  • Just as a restaurant lists many dishes on its menu but recommends only a few, Andaman Sea. Then again, you could have a ball playing golf at seaside resorts likeso the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has decided to highlight some of the Hua Hin and the ever-popular island of Phuket. Or learn the ropes of Muai Thaimost amazing activities and attractions all visitors to the Kingdom must definitely kick-boxing at a resort on Ko Samui.not miss. But there are plenty of less strenuous options. Find some peace of mind by doingWhile Thailand is justly famous for its wealth of Buddhist temples, the holiest a Buddhist-style meditation retreat at a forest monastery. Tune up your bodyof holies is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok. If you’re looking for with a healthy detox programme at a beachside resort. For a shopping spree ofanother taste of Thai culture, seasoned with tradition, take a cooking class in a five epic proportions, head for that behemoth of a bazaar – the Weekend Market instar hotel, or take in a classical theatre performance at a renovated art-deco theatre Bangkok. To make tracks into the past of ancient Siam’s glorious Kingdoms andin the capital. World War II history, hop aboard the legendary and luxurious Eastern-Oriental Express.Lovers of sports and the great outdoors will not be starved for choice. There’sabseiling down a gushing waterfall in the country’s biggest national park; there’s Of course you’ll discover thousands more side dishes and appetizers to make yourelephant-back riding in the mountainous and verdant north; and plenty of sunken vacation – or return trip – a smorgasbord of excitement and relaxation. But these 20pleasures await aquanauts in the supremely scenic, national marine parks of the astonishing and truly satisfying ‘main courses’ need to be fully savoured.
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 4 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites The Grand Palace
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 5 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Relish a Regal and Religious Experience Thailand’s most sacred statue, the Emerald Buddha, resides at the grandiose Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), right next to the former residence of royalty, the Grand Palace. The murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana, a magical epic, are otherworldly. But so are the gilt-covered pagodas and Buddhist images in the country’s number-one tourist attraction. What is also fascinating is how many everyday Thais come here to pray. Watching them observe age-old Buddhist rituals is a genuine slice of Thai life, served fresh every day. The temple and palace, located in the historic Rattanakosin Island, are only a short walk from other marvels, such as Wat Pho (home of the Reclining Buddha and a traditional massage school), as well as the National Museum, the City Pillar and the National Gallery. It is open daily from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. except on special days. Visitors are advised that polite and modest dress is essential. For more information, please visit www.palaces.thai.net
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 6 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 7 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 8 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Khaosan Road
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 9 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Come Down to the Crossroads The crossroads for any young traveler coming to or leaving Southeast Asia are at Khaosan Road. This lively strip is a multi-nationality experience, with dozens of street vendors, artisans, fancy bars and restaurants galore. Ever since Alex Garland’s novel The Beach, and the movie version starring Leonardo DiCaprio, appeared, the road’s reputation has been on the up and up. Nowadays, there may be a Boots pharmacy, a Burger King, a McDonald’s and more upscale accommodation, but Khaosan still attracts many young travelers – and even their one-time hippie parents. Near to Khaosan, Phra A-thit Road is Bangkok’s Little Bohemia, with arty restaurants, chic bars and a riverfront park that hosts festivals of theatre, dance and music from time to time. The beautifully preserved old wooden buildings around here are a portal into Bangkok’s past. And the nearby pier for river-taxis makes arriving and departing a breeze.
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 10 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 11 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Chatuchak Weekend Market
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 12 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Break Your Budget at this Mammoth Bazaar For a truly Thai shopping experience, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is guaranteed to appease both the thrifty bargain-hunter and the moneyed antique collector. From home decorations and artworks to exquisite Thai handicrafts and exotic pets, you’ll find them all – and much much more – in this sprawling behemoth of a bazaar. When you’re on that final shopping spree for souvenirs or presents for your loved ones back home, this is the place to shop until your bank balance drops. With more than 15,000 individual stalls spread over 35 acres, the Weekend Market (which is on the Skytrain line) can seem overwhelming at first. Just remember that the outer rim of the market usually features plants, gardening equipment and some used clothing, while the stalls in the inner sections deal in clothing, souvenirs, jewellery and household décor. Towards the back and northends of the market is where most of the exotic plants, fish and other animals are contained. The Nancy Chandler Map for the market is a handy time-saviour.
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 13 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 14 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Khon, Hun Lakhon Lek and Siam Niramit
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 15 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Be Wowed by Yesteryear’s Theatrical Traditions Today Now visitors to the capital can time travel back to 15th century Siam through performances of khon (Thai Classical Masked Dance) at the Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre (for reservations call 0 2224 4499, or visit www.thaiticketmaster.com), the art-deco venue that was the first air-conditioned cinema in all of Southeast Asia, and hun lakhon lek (Traditional Thai Puppet) at the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre (Tel. 0 2252 9683-4, www.thaipuppet.com) in the Suan Lum Night Bazaar. These exciting shows are packed with traditional Thai music, bedazzling costumes and dancing mermaids. Once performed exclusively for the Royal Court, now visitors can enjoy these regal forms of entertainment. These extravaganzas are based on the mythical Ramayana. At the nucleus of the story is how Hanuman, the white monkey warrior, came to serve the good King Rama, in his quest to defeat the demoniac overlord Thotsakan and his green-masked minions. During performances of Khon at the Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre, English subtitles are flashed across a screen above the stage. And before the show even starts, there’s a film explaining the significance of certain movements the dancers perform and details about their elaborate masks. One of the newer venues to add a zesty, cultural dimension to Thailand’s nightlife is Siam Niramit (Tel. 0 2649 9222, www. siamniramit.com). They offer a nightly dinner show package that uses hi-tech special FX to spotlight highlight heaven, hell and the enchanted Himapaan Forest, which lies between them. The other two acts of the show give the audience previews of some of the country’s most colourful festivals and take them on a whirlwind tour of its four distinct regions.
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 16 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 17 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Pak Khlong Talad & Yaowarat
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 18 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Let Yourself Bloom Pak Khlong Talat, the leading flower market in Bangkok, comes in a painter’s palette of colours – orchids of every hue, garlands of marigold, birds of paradise, bouquets of roses from Chiang Mai, chrysanthemums, and the florid, ceremonial ornaments known as Bai Si, constructed from banana leaves and crowned with flowers. What many travelers do is buy a special flower box there, spray the flowers before boarding, put moist tissues around them, and carry them on as hand luggage. It’s a great way to save money and make a dazzling arrival. The market is busy during the day and at night, but it’s really blooming in the early morning hours when vendors are setting up shop and the streets are filled with carts and trucks full of flowers. This area, near the Chao Phraya (the River of Kings), is a wonderful way to cool down after a day of overheated shopping in Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown, famous for its gold shops, street markets, and Chinese-style temples. Some tours of the canals in the vicinity also include the market as a sweet-smelling stopover on their itineraries. After a visit here, you’ll feel fresh as a daisy.
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 19 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Floating Market & Khlong Tour
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 20 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Cruising the Canals, Rolling on the River Bangkok used to be known as the “Venice of the Far East” for all the watery arteries connecting to the main vein – the River of Kings. Taking a long-tail boat tour of a few of these canals on the Thon Buri side of the river, like Bangkok Noi (little) and Bangkok Yai (big) with breaks at the Temple of Dawn and the Royal Barges Museum is a great way to immerse yourself in Thai and Siamese history. And buzzing down the waterways in a long-tail boat, past canal-side houses and floating petrol stations, inspires a real buzz of excitement you won’t find anywhere else. Another historic voyage is along the canal of Khlong Om to the island of Ko Kret, home to a thriving community of Mon artisans, who sell the fruits of their labours, like sandstone sculptures, for very reasonable prices. To get there, take the river taxi to the last station, Nonthaburi, and charter your own long-tail boat from the pier.
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 21 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Gulf of Thailand
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 22 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Make a Big Splash in the Gulf of Thailand No journey to the Land of Smiles would be complete without visiting some of its globally lauded, tropical islands and oceanfront resorts. Dip into Hua Hin (the country’s oldest beach resort) for golf and horse-riding on the beach. Try Ko Chang for its abundance of eco tourism activities. Rock up to Pattaya for its raucous nightlife or savour all of these different delights on Ko Samui. But there are many other natural treasures with some sandy fringe benefits where serenity reigns supreme. Ko Tao is popular with families and also certifies more rookie scuba-divers each year than any other destination in Southeast Asia. To really get away from it all, try Ko Mak in the Ko Chang National Marine Park. For a more Thai-style experience, close to Bangkok, head for Bang Saen, which boasts some of the cheapest and most succulent seafood in the country.
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 23 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 24 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 25 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 26 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Relaxing in Pai
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 27 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Call of the Wild Pai, The pastoral town in Mae Hong Son province nestled in the northern mountains of Thailand, has become a base camp for eco-explorers of all ages, with trekking and staying over at hill-tribe villages, whitewater rafting and mountain biking being some of the most attractive options. Close to this town are waterfalls and rolling green hills. And the town itself offers a wealth of classes in everything from Reiki to traditional massage to various New Age disciplines. A favourite haunt for young travelers, Pai is slowly moving more up market thanks to its new airport. But its increasing popularity has yet to sully the town’s tranquil charm, art galleries- cum-coffee shops in century-old wooden dwellings, and riverside bungalows in every price range.
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 28 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 29 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Muai Thai
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 30 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Jump in the Ring When it comes to martial artistry, everyone knows that Muai Thai kick-boxers are the lords of the ring. Professional bouts provide plenty of punchy entertainment in Bangkok. But more and more people are getting their kicks in Thailand by taking lessons at the many schools across the country, for fitness reasons, self-defense, or to become professional boxers. And there are gyms all over the country which welcome foreigners and give classes in English. What’s even more thrilling are the Muai Thai resorts and training camps opening near beaches on Pattaya, Phuket and Ko Pha-ngan. There’s nothing more soothing for those aches and pains than some downtime on the beach or a swim in a tropical sea after a hard day’s workout, learning pugilistic moves like “breaking the elephant’s tusks.”
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 31 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Biking Tour in World Heritage Sites
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 32 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites Time Traveling on a Bicycle Sukhothai, which means “Dawn of Happiness,” also marked the dawning of the first Siamese Kingdom and the birth of the Thai language. Once an outpost of the Khmer empire, they were driven out by the Siamese who established their first Kingdom here in 1238. It was a golden age for classical art, architecture and Buddhism. To traverse these magnificent ruins in the Sukhothai Historical Park – Thailand’s equivalent of Angkor Wat – rent a mountain bike for a pittance. You can also cycle leisurely past dozens of remnants from the next Siamese empire, Ayutthaya, in its “Ancient City,” or scattered around the town, and hugging the banks of the rivers, which form a natural moat around what was once considered the most glorious town and trading port in Asia. And well-appointed museums in the city give an overview of the Kingdom’s 400-year-plus reign. There are not many towns in the world where you can drive by the ruins of a 15th century pagoda, just down the street from a modern convenience store, but that’s the magic of Ayutthaya for you.
  • Khaosan Chatuchak Khon, Pak Khlong Talad & Floating Market & Gulf of Relaxing Biking Tour inThe Grand Palace Muai Thai 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 33 Road Weekend Market Hun LakhonLek Yaowarat Khlong Tour Thailand in Pai World Heritage Sites
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 34Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Elephant Trekking
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 35Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Riding a Jumbo Siamese soldiers rode elephants into battle as the tanks of ancient battlefields. Now tourists can ride one, too. Though you can go for an elephant trek on many Thai islands, the most scenic outings are up in the great green north. Atop the elephant’s back you can climb hills, ford streams and lumber through the jungle. Some of the camps also put on shows. For an incredible display of the animal’s might, just watch them hauling logs. At the National Elephant Institute, in the northern province of Lampang, tourists can also sign up for courses on how to be a mahout. Learn how to ‘drive’ the beast, how to take them to the river for a bath, and even sleep with your own elephant out in the jungle. Please bear in the mind that these intelligent and endangered creatures, which have the same lifespan as a human being, are sacred to Thai people and that a white elephant once graced the flag of Siam. Even today, you can still see Thais walking under the elephant’s belly, like ancient Siamese warriors used to do, in order to bring themselves good luck and strength.
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 36Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Abseiling in Khao Yai
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 37Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival On Top of Thailand Imagine climbing down a cliff face with a gushing waterfall on both sides of you. That’s the thrill of abseiling in Khao Yai National Park, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its diverse eco-systems and 800 different species of fauna. The park is also renowned for its waterfalls, ranging from 15 to 50 meters high. Abseiling (or walking backwards) down them is a thrill sport that will make you feel like Spider-man. But there are more than just chills and spills to fill out a day in the park. To get to some of the waterfalls requires kayaking across a lake, or trekking through some of the most luscious greenery in the Kingdom. And the jungle is a lair for wild elephant herds, gibbons and hornbills. Even Spider-man never got this wild.
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 38Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 39Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Diving at Similan & Surin Islands
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 40Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Explore Sunken Treasures Some of the world’s most bedazzling spots for scuba- diving and snorkelling are in the archipelagos of the Andaman Sea’s Similan and Surin Islands. Below the emerald-green and sapphire-blue surface, you’ll see manta rays, whale sharks, lionfish, schools of barracuda and around 75 percent of the coral species in Thailand. But that’s only rippling the surface, for there’s also leatherback turtles, squid, octopus and giant Gorgonian sea fans. For the upscale option, book a liveaboard (which means you sleep and eat on a boat for several days) from Phuket to explore the Similan Islands and their multitude of dive spots, awash with the colours of what people call the “rainforests of the sea”: coral reefs teeming with marine life. You’ll sleep in comfort and wake up to smell the salty breeze and then plunge into the wild blue yonder beneath the waves. If you’re not a diver, don’t worry, because you won’t be left high and dry. Many snorkellers opt to stay on the Surin Islands in accommodation provided by the National Park service, or put up their own tents. The park also runs its own daily snorkelling trips to some fantastically beautiful reefs. Even if you’re not a strong swimmer, they will provide you with a life jacket so you can get into the swim of things.
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 41Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 42Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 43Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 44Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Andaman Coast
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 45Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Be Adventurous Like James Bond Whether you’re looking for hard or soft adventures, from sea kayaking to simply soaking up the sun on a sandy tropical beach, the islands of Krabi province (renowned as the setting for The Beach) and Phuket (close to where The Man with the Golden Gun was shot), are truly amazing destinations. The symbol of Krabi, which is the oldest continually inhabited province in Thailand, is the limestone crag. Nature’s exclamation marks, these towering monoliths punctuate Krabi’s inland geography, and make for dramatic cliff faces framing seaview sunsets. For water sports aficionados, there are lots of ways to get a high tide of adrenaline flowing, from jet-skis to banana boats, and parasailing to marine fishing. But softer tours of beauty are available in the area, too. One of the most scenic trips is visiting Phang-nga Bay, studded with limestone crags rising hundreds of meters out of the sea. Most of these tours throw in a stopover at James Bond Island, while “paddling guides” also take you in kayaks through sea caves that open up into lagoons, overflowing with placid aquamarine water that’s surrounded by limestone cliffs.
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 46Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 47Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 48Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Meditation
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 49Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Find Some Peace of Mind The stressed-out urbanite who craves some peace of mind should contemplate doing a meditation retreat in one of the country’s many temples. Near the forest monastery of Suan Mokkh, Garden of Liberation, (www.suanmokkh.org) in Surat Thani or at Wat Mahathat (www.mcu.ac.th/IBMC) in Bangkok, you can learn the secrets of serenity from real Buddhist monks. These practical lessons will also teach you why the tolerant and compassionate teachings of the Buddha make it the fastest-growing religion in the world today. At the aforementioned temple in the capital, located near the Grand Palace, visitors receive lessons in sitting and walking meditations from Thai monks conversant in English. You can even stay over at the centre in the temple for a night or even a few weeks as long as you obey the different precepts, like not eating after 12 p.m. , just like the monks do. The temple asks only for a small donation; the amount is up to you. In contrast, the courses at Suan Mokkh International, about one kilometer from the forest temple in Surat Thani, are much more intensive. Here, you have to rise at 4 a.m. to begin a long day of meditation practice that includes listening to talks about Buddhist teachings and even doing yoga. For the entire 10 days you have to remain completely silent. It’s tough, but it does have many benefits, including increased concentration, more willpower, and the taming of what the Lord Buddha called “the monkey mind.”
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 50Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Beauty Spa & Thai Massage
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 51Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Take a Dose of Healthy Tourism Thailand has become the fountainhead of the spa business in Southeast Asia. Most of the country’s major hotels have a spa, where you can opt for everything from facial treatments to holistic treatments, based on traditional Asian methods of healing, which strike a balance between the physical and spiritual. Many of these spas are opulently appointed with art and antiques to help rejuvenate all of your senses. What’s more, plenty of people come to Thailand to get their teeth done (yes, there’s even a dental spa in Bangkok, too) because, for the fraction of the price in the West, they can enjoy quality dentistry and then use the savings to bankroll the rest of their vacation. As obesity, stress and a lack of physical exercise claim more and more lives each year, good health has become a matter of life and death. No wonder so many tourists are choosing health-conscious holidays. These might entail a week-long fasting and colonics program on a tropical island; or working in some spa treatments after doses of sightseeing; or making sure your hotel has a decent gym and pool to keep yourself in good shape. These days, holidays are not just exercises in gluttony and sloth.
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 52Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Tom Yum Kung, Phat Thai, & Cooking
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 53Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Savour the True Spices of Thai Life Now that traditional dishes like Tom Yam Kung (a spicy broth laced with lemon grass and fresh shrimps) and Phat Thai (Thai-style noodles) have become globally renowned, more and more people want to learn the basics of the one of the world’s most popular culinary arts. Forget the thousands of cookbooks and experience authentic Thai food preparation with a distinctly local flavour. Better still, you can choose your own kitchen. Would you like to study aboard a converted wooden rice barge? How about in a humble wooden abode? Or would you prefer the gleaming kitchen of a five-star hotel? Whichever you choose, you can take a day-long course – or longer – and learn the secrets of preparing your favourite local dish from a real Thai chef. And then you get to join in the feast along with your fellow cooks. Fancy a sweet green curry with chicken, or a spicy papaya salad? How about a mouthwatering grouper steamed in lemon and ginger? They’re all on the menu at these cooking classes, along with outings to buy ingredients at local fresh markets.
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 54Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Songkran & Loi Krathong Festival
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 55Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Make Memories at Amazing Festivals As night falls, the country’s waterways are illuminated by tiny floats filled with flowers, incense and a candle. This tribute to the Water Goddess takes place on the full moon night of the 11th lunar month. Loi Krathong is a romantic festival, too. Couples go to float their Krathongs together. While you can see – and participate in – this festival all across the country, wherever there’s a river, stream or canal, the most unforgettable place to catch it is in the atmospheric ruins of the Sukhothai Historical Park, where it originated many centuries ago. The festivities prove how important water is in a society with such agrarian roots. During Songkran, the Thai New Year held in mid-April splashes down with water wars on the streets; the ritual bathing of Buddha images; and endearing displays of the young pouring water over the hands of their respected elders. Both of these uniquely colourful festivals show off the spiritual and mirthful sides of the Thai people and will surely deposit some scenes in your memory banks that will not soon be forgotten.
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 56Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 57Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 58Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Golfing
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 59Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Tee Off on Tropical Greens Tons of pros and amateurs have a ball in Thailand every year during their golfing vacations in scenic settings like Hua Hin and Phuket. The country’s courses are not only world class but they sport some of the cheapest green fees in Southeast Asia and excellent local caddies. So many tourists come to the Kingdom every year to indulge in their favourite sport that a number of tour companies have sprung up to cater to these aficionados. This means you can choose from a variety of packages, from VIP golf holidays to more inexpensive variations, or even stay at a resort with a course on site. Let the tour operators take care of the details so you can concentrate on your game and take in the splendid scenery. You don’t have to be Tiger Woods to get the ball rolling.
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 60Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 61Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Travel by Rail
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 62Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival Ride the Rails in Splendour and Comfort When it comes to railway journeys of a lifetime, the true fans of luxury and history have a one-track mind for the legendary Eastern and Oriental Express. Get your dream vacation on track by booking the eight- day/seven-night package with stopovers at the history-rich cities of Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai and Kanchanaburi (www.orient-express.com). These sightseeing breaks include guided tours with a cornucopia of attractions, from religious ruins to the remnants of the World War II “Death Railway” and the Bridge Over the River Kwai, as well as river cruises. From the privacy of your immaculate compartment on the E&O, you’ll have your own window on some of the most cinematic scenery in Thailand (both pastoral and urban). Into the bargain you’ll be pampered like a prince. The range of intercontinental dishes available in the dining car is to drool for. And how many other trains have their own well-stocked library? After seven days of traversing Thailand, the Eastern and Oriental Express makes tracks through Malaysia to reach the end of the line in Singapore.
  • Elephant Abseiling Diving at Similan & Beauty Spa & Tom Yum Kung, Songkran & Andaman Coast Meditation Golfing Travel by Rail 1-10 11-20 More eBrochures Contents 63Trekking in Khao Yai Surin Islands Thai Massage Phat Thai, & Cooking Loi Krathong Festival
  • The Grand Palace Khaosan Road Chatuchak Weekend Market Khon, Hun LakhonLek Pak Khlong Talad & Yaowarat Floating Market & Khlong Tour Gulf of Thailand Relaxing in Pai Muai Thai Biking Tour in World Heritage Sites 1-10 11-20 Contents More eBrochures 1 SIAM SQUARE RATCHAPRASONG PRATUNAM SUKHUMVIT CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET SILOM SUAN LUM NIGHT BAZAAR KHAOSAN ROAD BO BE MARKET CHINATOWN & PHAHURAT CHAROEN KRUNG ROAD Contents More eBrochures 1 The Grand Palace Khaosan Road Chatuchak Weekend Market Khon, Hun LakhonLek Pak Khlong Talad & Yaowarat Floating Market & Khlong Tour Gulf of Thailand Relaxing in Pai Muai Thai Biking Tour in World Heritage Sites 1-10 11-20 Contents More eBrochures 1 Introduction Formalities and Other Regulations How to Get to Thailand General Tourist Information Communication Services Dining Shopping Entertainment and Recreation Special Interests Contents More eBrochures 1 A GUIDE TO THAILAND’S CHIC AND STYLISH HOTELS, EATERIES, ENTERTAINMENTS, WELLNESS AND SHOPPING Thailand Travel Manual 2007-2008 Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Travel Guide www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. Exploring New Horizons Thailand China Cambodia Lao PDR Myanmar Vietnam Visa Formalities Accommodation Tour Planning Tour Operators Contents More eBrochures 1 Preserving the Precious Once Buried But Never Forgotten The Golden Age Twin City A Defensive Citadel The Lost World Conserving Nature Contents More eBrochures 1 Monument to a Glorious Empire Nakhon Ratchasima Buri Ram Ubon Ratchathani Surin Lop Buri Phetchaburi Kanchanaburi Contents More eBrochures 1 Into the Blue World Why Tha-le Thai? The Gulf of Thailand - East The Gulf of Thailand - West North Andaman Make it Safe Save Tha-le Thai Links to Dive Operators Contents More eBrochures 1 Spectacular & Serene The Andaman Coast The Gulf of Thailand The Eastern Seaboard Away from It All Contents More eBrochures 1 The Ancient Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Gateway Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, World Heritage Sites Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Khmer Ruins Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Into Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Beaches & Islands Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. to the Lands of the Mekong www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. of Thailand www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. of Thailand www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. the Blue World www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. Inthanon Khun Tung Luang Mae Sa Pok Wat Chan Ang Khang Pang Aung Mae Sariang Phra Bat Huai Tom Pang Kha Mae Sa Mai Tour Programs Directory List of Tourism Organizations Contents More eBrochures 1 Thailand Green Treasures, Green Paradise Lost in Green Excitement Nature Tourism Cultural and Agrotourism Meet the Tribes Code of Conduct List of Tourism Organizations List of the winners Directory of Green Leaf Hotels Contents More eBrochures 1 Introduction Biking Diving & Snokelling Canoeing, Kayaking and Bamboo Rafting White Water Rafting Hiking (Trekking) & Camping Bungee Jumping Climbing Climbing Destinations Bird Watching Cultural Explorations Destinations Studying In Thailand References / Service Provider Contents More eBrochures 1 Golfing in Thailand Bangkok & Central Region Eastern Region Western Region Northern Region Northeastern Region Southern Region Other Golf Courses Golf Schools Contents More eBrochures 1 Spectacular & Serene The Andaman Coast The Gulf of Thailand The Eastern Seaboard Away from It All Contents More eBrochures 1 Thailand Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Touring Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Green Tourism Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. for the Young Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Golf Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Khlong Tour www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. The Royal Project Sites www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. & Adventurous www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. Cruising the Majestic Waterways Thailand - a secret no more Phuket & Phang-nga Bay Krabi & Ko Phi Phi The unspoiled West Coast & The Similans The Ko Samui Archipelago Pattaya to Ko Samet Ko Chang & Ko Kut group to Ko Samet Chartering a yacht and visiting the islands Marina facilities Keeping a yacht in Thailand Regattas in Thailand Contents More eBrochures 1 Going to the Chapel Ceremonial Splendour Unique Unions Gowns, Veils,Top Hat and Tails Honeymoon Heaven Anniversaries Abound Contents More eBrochures 1 Time to Unwind Spa Seduction Where to Enjoy a Spa Natural Wonders Pamper Pleasures & Health Measures Lean Cuisine Spa Study Regular Rejuvenation Spa Directory Contents More eBrochures 1 Health Tourism The Pulse of Thai Health Care Good Care Everywhere/Hospital Holiday Popular Procedures Pampering Professionalism Tropical/Cultural Convalescence Warm Wellness Wishes Directory Contents More eBrochures 1 Discover the Thai culinary delights Thai herbs The Amazing Thai dishes Discover the non-Thai culinary delights Fusion Food Alternative Diets Street Foods in Bangkok Learning to cook Thai cuisine Thai fruits Contents More eBrochures 1 Marine Weddings & Spa & Beauty Gourmet’s Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. The Health Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. Wonderland www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. Honeymoons www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. Capital of Asia www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice. ParadiseW e h a v e m o r e e B r o c h u r e s a v a i l a b l e a t w w w . e B o o k To u r i s m T h a i l a n d . o r g .Forward to a friend Produced by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. www.tourismthailand.org E/OCT 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice.