Wednesday, 30 April 2008

How to get around Bangkok, Thailand


To start off it is good to understand what kind of transport you can get in Bangkok.


There are numerous different types of public transport, but the usual visitor or resident uses only 7 of these: Meter Taxis, Tuk Tuks, buses, canal boats, river taxis, motorbikes, and Taxis (with no meter).


Lets begin with Tuk Tuks. Aren't they cute, those little three wheeled taxis, colorfully painted and featured so much on anything to do with Thailand.


They are very cute until you get stuck in the traffic, behind the number 36 bus at about 2 in the afternoon and suck down a multitude of fumes in 10 minutes than the average smoker does in a life time... you'll say to the kids, isn't this fun....while your kids bury their heads in their Dad's armpit because it smells fresh compared to the air around them.


Okay Try a Tuku Tuk once, don't go too far and then give them up as a bad idea. Out of Bangkok they're much more fun. Tuk Tuk drivers should be haggled with, the price fixed in advance and generally you'll always get ripped off, take a taxi.


Taxis (with 4 wheels) come in two flavours, metered and no meter, although a few non meters actually have a meter concealed behind a panel in the dash board below the radio.... Taxis are great, sit back in air conditioned luxury and watch the Smiths die of carbon monoxide poisoning in a Tuk Tuk. If the driver of a Taxi objects to use his meter then tell him to take a hike, get out, do not be suckered.


Check where you are standing, if it's outside a nice big hotel , then walk up the road a bit and wave down a taxi. Unlike the US or Europe taxi drivers have to pass NO TESTS to become a taxi driver, within a few days of being inb Bangkok you will know Bangkok better than many Taxi drivers.... again if the driver seems to not know where it is you are going, get out....one other thing, make sure you know where you are going and have a rough idea of the route, else a less honest cabby will take you o a tour of the backroads "the short cuts". If you're going a long way, take the toll way, it costs between 20 and 40 Baht, (you pay) and will save you hours of travel time.


Calling a taxi by phone costs ab extra 20 Baht, Taxis at the airport cost an extra 50 Baht. And yes there is a REGULATED taxi stand at the airport outside the main meeting zone. Don't be suckered by taxi and limo touts.


Oh yes then there are the taxis with no meter.... well if you want to use one feel free....it'll cost about the same as a Tuk Tuk but at least you'll get Air Con....possibly.


Buses, once upon a time there were red buses, blue buses, green buses and Air Con buses, then came micro buses and then came deregulation and now there are so many buses that I really don't know what they all are...anyway if you are going to use a bus GET A BUS MAP. Then always use Air Con buses unless where you are going is not on one of their routes or your on such a tight budget that 8 to 15 Baht per person may cause you to have to go without food. Other buses vary from 3 Baht up to 20 Baht. Don't bother asking the conductor about where you want to get off, to them you are a lower lifeform (all passengers are) ask another passenger. A word about getting on and off buses. Do it FAST, buses on occasions don't stop at the bus stop they "slow" in the middle of the road and let off a stream of potential roadkill in the middle of the traffic, okay I exagerate a little but when you get your stop make sure you are already near the door and can sprint for it. Don't expect the people getting on to make way, that kind of common sense tends to fail people using the buses, their objective is to get on fast and get a seat before anyone else...which brings up seats.... don't be fooled into thinking that being a "gentleman" will get you thanks...oh no, you'll see pregnant ladies standing up while young school brats take up the seats, you'll see old ladies burdened by shopping standing while teen sweathearts hog the seats...it's a first come dog eat dog world on the buses and if you take one of the non air con buses you'll eventually see some poor person pass out....then they get a seat.


Motobikes. Yeah.... want to get somewhere fast, take a motorbike taxi, married with kids...get life insurance and a damn good helmet.


The majority of MB taxi drivers will make it their sole intent to scare you to death, to see if they can squeeze their bike through a gap that is obviously closing up faster than they are moving and to see how fast they can go on an open stretch of road...they have no fear (or sanity).... your life is in their hands and you'll soon wish it wasn't.


It is the law in Thailand that all bike riders MUST wear a crash helmet.... some of the helmets you see wouldn't project a toddler falling off a 3 wheeler.


Thai law says you have to wear a helmet, but as far as the law is concerned...it can be made out of paper.


if you intend to use MB Taxis a lot then get a helmet...I did, it saved my face when the inevitable eventually happened and I slide across the road after beeing side swipped by a pick up truck.


If you can avoid MB taxis, then do. If you are in Bangkok for long enough you may eventually get to learn which MB Taxi Teams (yes they work in teams) are safer than others (or luckier than others).


Check out the bikes they are driving, a scratched up wreck will be a good hint that the driver has kissed the tarmac a few times, a brand new bike , a green horn still waiting for his first brush with death.... if you're on a bike and the driver is driving like a nut, tell him to stop and get off.


I have to admit I have very little experience with boat transport in Bangkok, but from what I am told, if you can take a canal or river taxi, then do, they are fast, generally clean, less polution and of course there are less vehicles to hit. Prices vary depending on how far you are going.


In summary I would suggest that if you plan to travel in Bangkok that you :- get a map, take meter


http://www.articlecity.com/articles/travel_and_leisure/article_2001.shtml

Thailand Coup, Bangkok Still The Place To Visit


Coup in Thailand, this is not the first coup in Thailand, but the first in a long time. If you have been to Thailand recently, or follow the politics, this coup is not surprising for many reasons. Many people see to much corruption at very high levels, the extrajudicial handling of the drug problem, the sale of a major Thai communication asset to a foreign country, the way that the Prime Minister handles his opposition, using whatever means to silence them, and for the military the Muslim uprising in the three southern most provinces. The political fighting in the capitol is further making the military nervous with the now ousted Prime Ministers plays to keep his power despite a large and vocal group of people that want to see him out.

The military involvement with a Muslim insurrection in the south has to be troubling to them, and they want to open negotiations with the insurgents to work through the problems and come to a peaceful solution. Towards this end, the Thais have for the first time a Muslim General, General Sontai, controlling the military, and who appears now to be the new Prime Minister. Thailand being a mostly Buddhist Country, are very tolerant of minorities, and this would seem to be a better track to travel than trying to muscle through the issues using force, which is seen as not working and counter productive.


All Thais love the King! The Thai King is the longest ruling monarch in the world today, whose 60th anniversary was a huge celebration. Amazing to see if you walk through Bangkok, is all of the Thais Wearing yellow shirts proudly proclaiming their love for the King, several weeks after the celebration. This new Commander of the military is close to the King, and if he has the King’s support, the people will support him as well.

No one has been hurt yet! However, it is pretty much assured that in the rush to cover the story, and be the most dramatic and sensational, the international news outlets will wreak more damage on the Thai people than the Coup, or the ousted Prime Minister. Not only will Thailand suffer, but the smaller countries that border Thailand will suffer as well, notably Cambodia and Laos, which receive a lot of overland tourist traffic from Thailand. Tourists that are in Bangkok now are a little nervous, but they will be safe, and will have a great story to tell when they get home. Thailand is a great place to visit as it always is and will continue to be. Book your tickets now, come and see the new Bangkok airport and you are sure to find some great rates, See you here!

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/travel_and_leisure/article_2373.shtml

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Escape To Kho Tao In The Gulf Of Thailand

Koh Tao which literally means Turtle Island, is an island in the Gulf of Thailand, and is a great place for divers who want to escape from places like Koh Samui, because it is a bit quieter, perhaps because it isn’t very easy to reach, in fact your only option is by boat.

The options depend on where you are travelling from:

From the south it will take about three hours by ferry from Surat Thani on the mainland, one and a half hours from Koh Samui, and around an hour from Ko Pha Ngan. You might wish to take an overnight ferry from Surat Thani, it leaves about eleven o’ clock at night and arrives early morning, but if you use this option, get there early to grab a good mattress position, and be warned they are old cargo boats, and very basic, so you might feel happier with your own inflatable life jacket!!

If you're coming from the north, Chumphon is the place you will travel from and here you will find agents selling tickets for all kind of boats, some take as little as 90 minutes, but others will take 5 hours, so you choose according to how much you want to spend.

Another way is to get yourself on a day diving charter from Koh Samui, these are high speed boats, and you could make Koh Tao in around an hour.

However if it is comfort you are after, and a choice of departure points, such as Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Chumphon, then the Lomprayah High Speed Catamaran is probably the fastest and most comfortable way to get to Ko Tao. They run twice daily, have online booking, air conditioning, and movies.

When you get to Koh Tao there are some safety issues you need to address

You need to go snorkelling at Shark Bay, see the sunset from the Thipimarn restaurant, and generally walk everywhere, because you will see more and enjoy it more.

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/travel_and_leisure/article_2542.shtml

Diving On Koh Tao In Thailand

Scuba diving is by far the biggest attraction on Ko Tao, and it is easy, fun, and you will see a lot of fish, perhaps even turtles, stingrays, barracuda, reef sharks, and even a whale shark if you get lucky

You will get good diving weather on Koh Tao apart from November, when the sea is choppy, and visibility is poorer than normal. The visibility can be over 40 metres during the rest of the year.

You will find a lot of dive operators on the island, and some of them offer accommodation. Just beware that when you read the accommodation is free, it’s not really, because they will offer discounts if you stay somewhere else.

In 2006 you will pay in the region of 10,000 bht for a PADI open water certificate, and this should include the new PADI training manual, proper professional instruction, rental equipment, boat dives etc. This may include insurance and basic accommodation, but shop around, and remember the methods of instruction may differ enormously.

A few hints include avoiding shops that use swimming pools to teach you in. You’ll find it cold, boring, and unhygienic, bearing in mind this is a very popular diving island, and they will have literally hundreds of students .

Choose one that will take you to a private beach so you will see fish and coral right away, it is a lot more interesting, and you will probably get more dives!!

It’s also a good idea to find a dive shop that has its own private pier, so you won’t have to climb over other boats at the pier, although you won’t be carrying your dive gear, that should be carried by a Dive Master Trainee. In addition you ought to ask how many students there will be in your group, because there should not be more than a small handful, if they tell you there will be more than ten then look elsewhere. You want personal tuition for something as important as this, and you want your course to be really enjoyable.

If you are looking for specific dive shops, this list whilst by no means exhaustive, is at least a starting point.

1. Coral Grand . Located in a much quieter area than the other dive shops, at the far end of the beach, the hotel is more upmarket than most on the island although the 'free' rooms are still basic. Operates 2 dive boats plus a speed boat.

2. Divepoint . Located in Mae Haad on the waterfront. Divepoint has probably the nicest dive boat on the island, big enough that you won't have to carry your gear to and from it. PADI and SSI.

3. Easy Divers. Fantastic Dive Shop with really experienced instructors. Professional and fun with great accommodation. Based right in the heart of Ko Tao.

4. IDC Ko Tao. Instructor development courses (IDC's) run every month by English PADI Course Director Matt Bolton.

5. Phoenix Divers. Right on Sairee Beach, has good boats, new gear and multilingual often western staff.

6. Stingray Divers. Very modern dive resort overlooking Chalok Ban Khao Bay.

Hope this information helps you to have great diving experience on Koh Tao.

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/travel_and_leisure/article_2551.shtml

Monday, 28 April 2008

Planning A Trip To Thailand?


If you want an exotic trip, why not choose Thailand? Though it might be costlier than heading to southern California or Miami, you’ll have memories (and photographs!) that will wow your friends and family for years to come.

As you plan your priceless journey, just remember to keep a few factors in mind:

Thailand Visit Tip #1: Learn about Thai food

When you get to Thailand, you’ll no doubt be trying a great deal of Asian cuisine. Thus, it would behoove you to try some of the more common Thai dishes before you set off on your journey. If you live near a large city, you no doubt have access to any number of Thai restaurants. When you go, ask the servers or proprietor(s) about authentic Thai fare. That way, you’ll be able to prepare your palate for your visit.

If you’re not able to make it to a Thai eatery, you can always check out a book on Thai cooking from the local library (or purchase one in your Barnes and Noble or Borders bookseller.) This way, you can try your hand at creating some of the culinary delights you’ll be feasting on during your time in Thailand.

Thailand Visit Tip #2: Dress for the temperature and weather conditions

Because the Internet affords you the opportunity to find out about weather anywhere in the world, make sure you jump online during the days before you leave for your visit to Thailand. That way, you’ll know exactly what to pack (and what not to wear). Nothing is worse than being in a country where you don’t know the language and are feeling physically uncomfortable because you’re dressed inappropriately.

Thailand Visit Tip #3: Go to your doctor

Before traveling overseas, it’s best for you to get a full physical at your doctor. Why? First of all, you really should have an annual appointment, anyway. But secondly, you don’t want to have a health emergency when you’re overseas.

Your physician may also prescribe a variety of shots or suggestions for healthy eating regimens while you’re in Thailand. Make sure you bring a notepad and jot down all his or her comments.

Thailand Visit Tip #4: Get your passport in advance

Many people traveling to countries such as Thailand forget to order their passports until too late. In all the excitement, this important “to do” is entirely forgotten.

Rather than waiting until the last minute, make sure that you get your passport immediately, because it can take some time to receive in the mail. In fact, you might even want to get your passport before you book your flights to and from Thailand, just to be on the safe side. (And your passport will last many years, so even if you have to put off your Thailand trip for a year or two, your passport will still be good.)

By taking a few precautions, you can ensure that your time in Thailand will be well-spent and will result in a meaningful vacation that you’ll recall with fondness for the rest of your life.

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/travel_and_leisure/article_2548.shtml

Traveling in fast forward – Bangkok, Thailand in 24 hours


After arriving in Bangkok at around 3am, I found that my room was unavailable due to it being flooded, not the best way to start my 24 hour adventure but not enough to slow me down. After a power cut and a couple of hours waiting I finally got my room, I didn’t really have enough time to sleep much after the delay, so I had to settle for just a couple of hours.

I got up at 8.30am and felt surprisingly refreshed, it’s not often you have to survive on only 2 hours sleep but at the same time it’s not often you get the opportunity to explore an environment and culture that’s completely new to you. I took a look out the window and just gazed at the concrete jungle that is Bangkok.

For the troubles of the night before, the hotel graciously gave me a free breakfast and a few other nice treats. I enjoyed a few fruits that I’d never had before; I’m quite the food lover so even simple things like that were interesting to me. It’s amazingly humid and very hot, 30 degrees at just 9am in the morning. Luckily for me and the other Hotel guests having breakfast, there are half a dozen huge fans cooling the area.

After finishing up my breakfast I head out into the unknown. I have no idea where I’m going or what I want to do which is part of the fun, it’s sometimes nice to have no plans or schedule, just the freedom to do whatever crosses your path.

It doesn’t take much time for me to meet some of the locals, there are street vendors everywhere and they can be very persistent, with an emphasis on very. It’s a little intimidating at first but after a good 5 hours of shopping I was a pro.

The Pantip Plaza was the first real building I stumbled into, it was full of cheap gadgets and huge amounts of DVD’s (all no doubt perfectly legal). I moved onto Siam Square next and watched a game of street football which was cool. The temperature was edging 35 degrees at this stage and this seemed even more surprising when I looked up and spotted a huge dark cloud forming right above me.

It didn’t take long for the rain to come and what a display it was. I’ve never encountered such a massive display of thunder and lightening in my life. Everyone scurried through the shop awnings and backstreets to take cover, it was impressive watching the speed at which the street vendors set up protection from the rain, this was obviously something they had learned to put up with. It felt like I was wading through millions of people as I made my way back to the hotel, it was cramped before the rain arrived but now it was just crazy.

After a nice dinner, I did some more looking around. I found some cool t-shirts and plenty of great presents for when I eventually got back home to New Zealand. While haggling over prices was new definitely new to me, I ended up enjoying it. It’s not something I could really be bothered with all the time but for that one day it was really fun.

My 24 hours in Bangkok was nearly over. I had to get some sleep before my early flight to London, especially after missing out the night before. It was a shame I had to leave so soon but I’m looking forward to coming back another time and exploring more of Bangkok, especially their many beautiful temples and other tourist attractions. 24 hours certainly wasn’t long but it was enough to give me a taste for Thailand and all the fun and excitement it offers.

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/travel_and_leisure/article_3089.shtml

Sunday, 27 April 2008

BLUE ELEPHANT LAUNCHES “THAI BRASSERIE”, CONTEMPORARY THAI RESTAURANT IN PATONG, PHUKET


BLUE ELEPHANT LAUNCHES “THAI BRASSERIE”, CONTEMPORARY THAI RESTAURANT IN PATONG, PHUKET

Blue Elephant International, leading royal Thai cuisine operator with 13 branches across Asia, Europe and Middle East, including Bangkok, takes another step into the Thai restaurant business by launching Thai Brasserie by Blue Elephant, a contemporary Thai restaurant in the heart of popular tourist spot, Patong Beach, Phuket.

“Thai Brasserie by Blue Elephant” reflects a contemporary Thai cuisine concept with exquisite interior design and an East Meets West menu. Operated by internationally well-known restaurant operator Blue Elephant, Thai Brasserie is aimed at both local and foreign visitors in Phuket and offers unique decoration, tasty dishes and international standard service from almost 30 years of professional restaurant management experience.


Co-founder and director of Blue Elephant International Nooror Somany Steppe said that “To introduce the famous Thai cuisine to the tourists nowadays, we have to adjust to meet their different lifestyle.”


“With Blue Elephant’s success in introducing the royal Thai cuisine over the past 30 years, we are confident that Thai Brasserie by Blue Elephant will be able to successfully introduce contemporary Thai cuisine to foreigners and groups of tourists in Phuket in particular.”


Thai Brasserie in Phuket provides 43 items in the menu, comprising 7 appetizers, 30 main courses and 6 desserts. To make sure that every dish meets international standards, all will be delicately created by Nooror Somany Steppe and her chef team. Apart from more than 164 drinks listed on the menu, the restaurant has a wine bar corner, with a selection of more than 55 A-list wines from around the world.


Inside the restaurant, customers will feel like they are in a cave under the sea with lots of bubbles amid dark tone colors interspersed with candle decoration.


Blue Elephant’s executive team has planned that in the second quarter of this year the company will launch another Thai Brasserie by Blue Elephant, which will be located within the airport area on Koh Samui.


Thai Brasserie is located on the second floor of Jungcylon Shopping Center’s Arena Port zone, Patong Beach in Phuket. The restaurant is open from 11 am. to 11 pm. For reservations, please call 076 600172 or send your reservation to thaibrasserie.phuket@blueelephant.com.


Contact information:
Thai Brasserie by Blue Elephant
Jungcylon Shopping Center’s Arena Port zone, Patong Beach in Phuket
Tel: 076 600172
E-mail: thaibrasserie.phuket@blueelephant.com


Source: Blue Elephant International release dated April 4, 2008

SIX SENSES PHUKET RACEWEEK BREAKS NEW GROUND


Online registration is now open for Six Senses Phuket Raceweek 2008 — anticipated to be the best Raceweek yet — offering a reduced entry fee for early registrations. Phuket’s ‘Green Season’ regatta, now in its fifth year, sees a mixed fleet of yachts race in the southwest monsoon breezes off Phuket’s south coast every July, this year from 23-27 July.


While retaining the same one-regatta-one-venue format, combining four days of competitive racing with five nights of grand waterside parties — a format that has met with unanimous approval from competitors — this year’s event brings a host of new dimensions.


Evason Phuket’s ‘Into the Beach’ venue, Asia’s favourite waterside regatta party spot, is undergoing an extensive upgrade. Returning to join the newcomers on the sponsorship front are avid supporters of Thailand’s regatta scene, Raimon Land, who are firm in their conviction that up-market property development and yachting are part of the same premium ‘lifestyle’ scene.


Media partners throughout Asia and Australia will take Raceweek news and views to a wide readership in the boating, business, entertainment, travel, lifestyle, national and local Phuket press, while — a first for Raceweek — a special Raceweek programme, commissioned by the organisers, will be televised worldwide on sporting and lifestyle channels such as CNN Mainsail, Eurosport, Star Sports, the European Sailing Channel and many more — a total potential audience of 140 million households.


In an exciting move that’s a first for Thailand’s regatta scene, Six Senses Phuket Raceweek 2008 will incorporate the inaugural ‘NRG Cup’, providing more party space for the ever-growing number of competitors, while Six Senses Title Sponsorship means a massive leap forward in catering, with copious 5-star full buffet spreads at every party.


On the racing scene, early indications are of a strong sport boat class, the eye-catching Firefly racing catamarans in greater numbers than ever, a solid club/cruising class and the mainstay of this region’s yacht racing, one or two highly competitive IRC classes. And, of course, the old ladies of the regatta, the striking classic boats competing for the Seraph Perpetual Trophy.


While the Firefly skippers are wondering if Thailand’s newly-arrived Corsair trimarans will dare to mount a challenge in Firefly home waters, the faster monohull boys would welcome some competition from Malaysian yachtsmen who, according to Mata Hari skipper, Vincent Chan, “… are at a disadvantage because of the lack of competitive practice…” With the usually consistent strong breezes off Phuket in July, the ‘practice’ doesn’t get much more competitive... but beating the local boys is another matter altogether. Then, the dark horse on the water this year — making its racing debut after breaking up in a 40-knot squall during the 2006 Koh Samui Regatta — is the super-fast F28 catamaran, rebuilt at Latitude 8’s Phuket boatyard. According to the owners, “Our primary objective at Raceweek is to take line honours in every race.”


Demonstrating that event sponsorship brings tangible benefits directly to participants, the first-time support from Rodenstock, Mont Clair Wines and Johnny Walker will fund a late afternoon Rodenstock Happy Hour and a free-flow open bar throughout all the official regatta parties.


an event-within-an-event, where participants in the Oil & Gas Industry can compete for this brand new trophy against their colleagues and business associates from around the region, whilst still racing in the main event against all-comers. "Our industry is competitive, fearless and spirited, and this first edition of the NRG Cup should be no different," said Benjamin Dupal, CEO of NRG Engineering, who conceived the idea for the NRG Cup. The NRG Cup is expected to attract at least 10 boats and crews that have never before competed in Phuket's ‘Green Season’ regatta. For more information, contact info@nrgcup2008.com


Attracted by excellent sailing in mostly reliable breezes of 15 knots upwards and a hard-to-beat social scene, entries are expected to top previous years, although organisers Image Asia are not yet predicting numbers.


“Experience has shown us that it is simply not possible to know in advance how many boats will take part,” said Image Asia MD, Grenville Fordham. “The racing community is notorious for leaving their registration until the last minute, so — while we’ll start to build a picture as Raceweek gets closer — we can’t be absolutely sure who’s coming until registration day,” he added, noting that that the early-bird registration incentive was aimed at tackling this problem.


With formal backing from the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Sports Authority of Thailand and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Six Senses Phuket Raceweek 2008 is solidly supported by Thai authorities, demonstrating their advancing commitment to yacht racing. The regatta is run under the auspices of the Ao Chalong Yacht Club.


http://www.tatnews.org

Friday, 25 April 2008

BUN BANG FAI ROCKET FESTIVAL


BUN BANG FAI ROCKET FESTIVAL
May 6 – 11, 2008
Yasothon Municipal Office on Chaeng Sanit Road and Yasothon Provincial Office

In a country where agriculture and farming sustains the livelihood of over 70 per cent of the population, the festivals and ceremonies associated with a bountiful harvest are central elements of the way of life in the rural communities. Agricultural productivity and abundance are the principle objectives of both the royal as well as the folk traditions. These rituals performed on auspicious dates in the sixth lunar month (approximately in May) signal the beginning of the planting season.

Born of the traditional beliefs of the Isan people, the sprightly "Bun Bang Fai" Rocket Festival, the most celebrated of Isan's merit-making rituals, has been strictly observed by the residents of Isan for generations and is essentially an annual ritual to ensure that the seasonal rains fall at the appropriate time in the planting cycle. In this process, Buddhist merit-making traditions are also observed and reinforced.


Highlights of the annual Bun Bang Fai celebrations being held this year include a procession of old-style rockets mounted on traditional carts, a beauty pageant, cheerleader contests, and a traditional 'Palaeng' I-san style dinner.


The festival which is held over a period of three days strengthens community spirit. The first day known as "Wan Sook Dib" features lively processions as rocket teams transport the "May 6 - 11, 2008" rockets in a procession and perform a ritual to pay homage to Chao Pu, the spirit of the city pillar. Each is escorted by a colourful dance troupe.


The second day is the rocket procession day. Modern-day rockets are mounted on vehicles or traditional carts to be drawn in the parade. The "Bang Fai" rockets come in different sizes. For example, the Bang Fai Kilo is packed with one kilogram of nitrate, while the Bang Fai Meun - 12 kilograms, and the Bang Fai Saen - 120 kilograms of nitrate. The rocket-making technicians play a vital role in deciding the right amount of nitrate to be mixed with the charcoal. With the wrong formula, a rocket could blow up prematurely before it is launched high into the sky. The rocket cylinders are usually made from the bottom half of the bamboo.


It is also a day for the ordination of novices with festive celebrations follows merit-making rituals. Dance, music, song and revelry are integral elements of the processions as the parade of beautifully decorated rockets wind their way through the village on their way to the temple offering an opportunity for the residents and visitors to admire the impressive works of art.


The rockets are finally launched on the third day in which various rocket contests are held. With the launch of the rockets, predictions are made with regard to the fortunes of the coming harvest. The Rocket Festival in Yasothon Province is spectacular and provides a tremendous opportunity to experience Isan-style festive fun.


The Rocket Festival stems from the belief that when this merit-making ceremony is held, gods and spirits will reciprocate with seasonal rain and a bountiful harvest.


PROGRAMME
MAY 6 – 11, 2008

Sales of local products from each of the sub-districts (tambon) of Yasothon province promoted under the One Tambon One Product or OTOP campaign initiated by the Thai government


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Bun Bang Fai rocket contests
    Processions and parades
  • Cheerleading contests
  • Miss Bun Bang Fai beauty contest
  • Fun fair
  • Stage drama
  • Open-air theatre
  • Folk music
  • Mor Lam folk performance
  • And other folk entertainment

http://www.tatnews.org

72 HOURS AMAZING THAILAND

Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governor for International Marketing, Tourism Authority of Thailand, said, "72 Hours Amazing Thailand offers a new way for tourists to explore the beauty of Thailand within 72 hours. The campaign introduces customized travel routes and activities for MasterCard cardholders, as well as showcases a collection of Thailand's newest and most stylish resorts and hotels, hip shopping destinations, luxurious pampering hideaways, chic dining outlets and top golf courses."


"We are targeting the 72 Hours Amazing Thailand campaign at the mass affluent consumer, aged over 25 years old, who enjoys traveling and experiencing new places which are in vogue in Bangkok and its surrounding areas," added Mrs. Rerngronasa.


After the success of the 'Unseen Paradise II: Stay in Style' campaign launched two years ago, TAT and MasterCard are once again jointly collaborating to launch this new campaign to offer MasterCard cardholders traveling to Thailand, exclusive benefits and privileges. As part of the campaign, an English language guidebook — "72 Hours Amazing Thailand" — will be produced for tourists.


According to the latest Masterlndex of Travel (H2 2007) by MasterCard Worldwide, Thailand is among the most preferred personal travel destination for Singaporeans.


Ms. Eileen Wee, Vice President and Country Manager for Thailand, MasterCard Worldwide said, "The 72 Hours Amazing Thailand campaign launched by Tourism Authority of Thailand enables visitors to fully enjoy and experience the natural beauty of Thailand, as well as the many attractive offerings and exceptional service that this tourism paradise has to offer to the sophisticated, style-conscious traveler of today. The campaign is an example of how Thailand constantly refreshes itself as a travel destination."


"Our collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand builds on our commitment to offer MasterCard cardholders priceless experiences, while allowing us to reinforce the ease and convenience of traveling with a MasterCard card," she added.


From September 2007 to the end of August 2008, customers making transactions with their MasterCard cards will receive up to 50% off their purchases at over 200 leading hotels and resorts, shopping centers, beauty and nail spas, fine dining restaurants, golf courses and retail outlets in Thailand, in addition to a range of other privileges.


The "72 Hours Amazing Thailand" campaign includes a selection of beautiful resorts and hotels in Bangkok and its surrounding areas, such as Dream Hotel in Bangkok — the city's only true haute couture hotel. Dream Hotel is part of Preferred Boutique, a collection of the world's most luxurious small hotels. Also on the list is the Putahracsa Hua Hin — Hua Hin's hippest urban-chic resort located amidst powdery white sand and tropical lush trees.


In addition to these luxury hotels, MasterCard cardholders can indulge in the best spa destinations such as S Medical Spa — one of only two medical spa retreats in the world with the Hydrotherapy 7 in 1 with Shirodhara — an integrated treatment that cares for the mind, body and soul. Services include purification programs, holistic massage and body work, hydrotherapy and full-day wellness programs. MasterCard cardholders also receive the VIP treatment at the Banyan Tree Spa at the Banyan Tree Hotel Bangkok — the ideal sanctuary for physical and spiritual well-being.


The "72 Hours Amazing Thailand" English language guidebook is also on sale at various branches of Asia Books.


http://www.tatnews.org/

Thursday, 24 April 2008

World’s Durian Festival, Chanthaburi Province,Thailand


World’s Durian Festival, Chanthaburi Province

Duration May – June 2008

VENUE
Mueang District, Chanthaburi


ACTIVITIES
Decorations of fruits trays of government and private sectors, Trade Fair of Housewives, Local OTOP Food Fair, Fruit Decoration Caravan, Fruit and Processed Products Contest, Good Quality Jewelry/Accessories Fair
For more information, please contact


Office of Administration, Chanthaburi Tel. 0 3931 1001
TAT Central Part Office: Region 4 (Rayong) Tel. 0 3865 5420-1


http://www.tourismthailand.org

BEST CULTURE HOTELS AND RESORTS IN THAILAND


Yaang Come Village, Chiang Mai
Web site: http://www.yaangcome.com
E-mail: info@yaangcome.com


Rose Garden Riverside, Nakhorn Pathom
Web site: http://www.rosegardenriverside.com
E-mail: hotel@rosegardenriverside.com


Baan Bayan, an Exclusive Beach Hotel, Prachuap Khiri Khan
Web site: http://www.baanbayan.com
E-mail: reservations@baanbayan.com


Takolaburi Cultural & Spa Resort, Phang-Nga
Web site: http://www.khaolaktakolaburi.com
E-mail: info@khaolaktakolaburi.com


Khaolak Bhandari Resort & Spa, Phang-Nga
Web site: http://www.khaolakbhandari.com
E-mail: reservation@khaolak.co.th


The Front Village, Phuket
Web site: http://www.frontvillage.com
E-mail: info@frontvillage.com


http://www.tatnews.org

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

BEST NATURE HOTELS AND RESORTS IN THAILAND


Sappraiwan Grand Hotel and Resort, Phitsanulok
Web site: http://www.resort.co.th
E-mail: info@resort.co.th, reservation@resort.co.th


Banburee Resort & Spa, Koh Samui, Surat Thani
Web site: http://www.banbureeresort.com
E-mail: banburee@banbureeresort.com


Loei Leela Wadee Resort, Loei
Web site: http://www.loeileelawadee.com
E-mail: loeileelawadeeresort@hotmail.com, contact@loeileelawadee.com


Kuraburi Greenview Resort, Phang-Nga
Web site: http://www.kuraburigreenview.co.th
E-mail: info@kuraburigreenview.co.th


Lilawalai Resort, Nakhon Ratchasima
Web site: http://www.lilawalai.com
E-mail: sales@lilawalai.com


Remark Cottage Resort and Restaurant, Koh Chang, Trat
Web site: http://www.remarkcottage.com
E-mail: remarkcottage@hotmail.com


Pasak Hillside Resort, Lop Buri
Web site:
http://www.pasakhillside.com

E-mail:
pasak_resort@betagro.com


http://www.tatnews.org/

BEST BEACH HOTELS AND RESORTS IN THAILAND


Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort & Spa, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi
Web site: http://www.ppisland.com
E-mail: sales@ppisland.com


Ramada Resort Khao Lak, Phang-Nga
Web site: http://www.ramadakhaolak.com
E-mail: dosm@ramadakhaolak.com


Thapwarin Resort, Koh Ngai, Krabi
Web site: http://www.thapwarin.com
E-mail: sale@thapwarin.com


Katathani Phuket Beach Resort
Web site: http://www.katathani.com
E-mail: reservation@katathani.com


Twin Lotus Resort & Spa, Koh Lanta, Krabi
Web site: http://www.twinlotusresort.com
E-mail: info@twinlotusresort.com


Khaolak Resort, Phang-Nga
Web site: http://www.khaolakresort.com
E-mail: rsvn@khaolakresort.com


Khaolak Bayfront Resort, Phang-Nga
Web site:
http://www.khaolakbayfront.com

E-mail:
info@khaolakbayfront.com


http://www.tatnews.org

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

BEST GOLF HOTELS AND RESORTS IN THAILAND


Mission Hills Phuket Golf Resort & Spa
Web site: http://www.missionhillsphuket.com
E-mail: info@missionhillsphuket.com


Blue Canyon Country Club, Phuket
Web site: http://www.bluecanyonphuket.com
E-mail: reservation@bluecanyonphuket.com


Springfield Village, Golf & Spa, Phetchaburi
Web site:
http://www.springfieldresort.com

E-mail:
reservationbkk@springfieldresort.com


http://www.tatnews.org

BEST HIP HOTELS AND RESORTS IN THAILAND


Indigo Pearl, Phuket
Web site: http://www.indigo-pearl.com
E-mail: info@indigo-pearl.com


Fondcome Village, Chiang Mai
Web site: http://www.fondcome.com
E-mail: sales@fondcome.com


Veranda Resort and Spa, Phetchaburi
Web site: http://www.verandaresortandspa.com
E-mail: rsvn@verandaresortandspa.com


Sugar Palm Resort, Phuket
Web site: http://www.sugarpalmphuket.com
E-mail: info@sugarpalmphuket.com


The Mantrini Boutique Resort, Chiang Rai
Web site: http://www.mantrini.com
E-mail: info@mantrini.com


Seahorse Resort, Prachuap Khiri Khan
Web site:
http://www.seahorse-resort.com

E-mail:
info@seahorse-resort.com


http://www.tatnews.org/

Monday, 21 April 2008

BEST BOUTIQUE HOTELS AND RESORTS IN THAILAND


Sukantara Cascade Resort and Spa, Chiang Mai
Web site: http://www.sukantara.com
E-mail: info@sukantara.com


The Village Resort and Spa, Phuket
Web site: http://www.thevillageresortandspa.com, www.theroyalspa.com
E-mail: info@thevillageresortandspa.com


The Cliff Ao Nang Resort, Krabi
Web site: http://www.k-bi.com
E-mail: thecliff@k-bi.com


Chongfah Resort, Phang-Nga
Web site: http://www.chongfahresort.com
E-mail: chongfah@usa.net, info@chongfahresort.com


Supatra Hua Hin Resort, Prachuap Khiri Khan
Web site: http://www.supatraresort.com
E-mail: supatraresort@supatraresort.com


Baan Talay Dao, Prachuap Khiri Khan
Web site: http://www.baantalaydao.com
E-mail: baantalaydao@baantalaydao.com


Rabbit Resort, Chon Buri
Web site: http://www.rabbitresort.com
E-mail: sales@rabbitresort.com


Horseshoe Point, Chon Buri
Web site: http://www.horseshoepoint.com
E-mail: info@horseshoepoint.com


The Quarter, Mae Hong Son
Web site: http://www.thequarterhotel.com
E-mail: info@thequarterhotel.com


Kao Nam Na Boutique Resort, Kanchanaburi
E-mail: kaonamnaresort@yahoo.com

http://www.tatnews.org

BEST SPA & WELLNESS HOTELS AND RESORTS IN THAILAND


Sawasdee Village, Phuket
Web site: http://www.phuketsawasdee.com
E-mail: info@phuketsawasdee.com


Panviman Chiang Mai Spa Resort
Web site: http://www.panviman.com
E-mail: rsvn_chiangmai@panviman.com


Baan Hin Sai Resort and Spa, Samui, Surat Thani
Web site: http://www.baanhinsairesort.com
E-mail: info@baanhinsairesort.com


RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort, Chiang Mai
Web site: http://www.rarinjinda.com
E-mail: info@rarinjinda.com


Rainbow Arokaya Holistic Longevity Center & Health Resort, Chachoengsao
Web site:
http://www.rainbowarokaya.com

E-mail:
marketing@rainbowarokaya.com


http://www.tatnews.org

Sunday, 20 April 2008

BEST ROMANTIC HOTELS AND RESORTS IN THAILAND


Jamahkiri Boutique Resort & Spa, Koh Tao, Surat Thani
Web site: http://www.jamahkiri.com
E-mail: reservation@jamahkiri.com


Villa Nalinnadda, Koh Samui, Surat Thani
Web site: http://www.nalinnadda.com/
E-mail: info@nalinnadda.com


Du Doi Suay Resort, Chiang Rai
Web site: http://www.dudoisuay.com/
E-mail: napussan@truemail.co.th


Doi Hom Fha Resort, Chiang Rai
Web site: http://www.doihomfharesort.com
E-mail: reservation@doihomfharesort.com


Village Farm Winery, Nakhon Ratchasima
Web site: http://www.villagefarm.co.th
E-mail: reservation@villagefarm.co.th


Malisa Villa Suties, Phuket
Web site: http://www.malisavillas.com
E-mail: info@malisavillas.com


Ban Laem Sai Beach Resort & Spa, Samui, Surat Thani
Web site: http://www.banlaemsai.com/
E-mail: info@banlaemsai.com


The Privacy Beach Resort and Spa, Prachuap Khiri Khan
Web site:
http://www.theprivacybeachresort.com
E-mail: sec1@theprivacybeachresort.com


http://www.tatnews.org