Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Travel North Philippines - Best Value Group Tours

10 Day Northern Discovery (US$500/person) - Banaue/Sagada/Ilocos Norte and Sur/Pinatubo/Manila
15 Day Philippine Escape (US$900/person) - Banaue / Sagada / Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur/ Mount Pinatubo / Manila PLUS your choice of BORACAY or PALAWAN

PM us now for full details!
If you are group of 6-10 pax ready to go, you can choose your own dates! We will even knock $50 off for each person.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Welcome to Beautiful Thailand

Welcome to Beautiful Thailand

Thailand is the most popular tourist destination in South-East Asia, and for a reason. You can find almost anything here: thick jungle as green as can be, crystal blue beaches that feel more like a warm bath than a swim in the ocean and food that can curl your nose hairs while tap dancing across your taste buds. Exotic, yet safe; cheap, yet equipped with every modern amenity you need, there is something for every interest and every price bracket, from beach front backpacker bungalows to some of the best luxury hotels in the world. And despite the heavy flow of tourism, Thailand retains its quintessential Thainess, with a culture and history all its own and a carefree people famed for their smiles and their fun-seeking sanuk lifestyle. Many travelers come to Thailand and extend their stay well beyond their original plans and others never find a reason to leave. Whatever your cup of tea is, they know how to make it in Thailand.

Bangkok - Thailand's bustling, frenetic capital
Ayutthaya - a historical city, world heritage site and old capital of Thailand
Chiang Mai - the capital of the North and the heart of Lanna culture
Chiang Rai - gateway to the Golden Triangle
Hat Yai - largest city in the Southern region
Kanchanaburi - home of the Bridge over the River Kwai
Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat) - main city in the Isaan region
Pattaya - one of the main tourist destinations
Sukhothai - Thailand's first capital
Surat Thani - Main city of Ko Samui Ko Pha Ngan Ko Tao and Srivijaya Empire.

Other destinations

Islands & beaches:
Ko Lipe - Small island in the middle of Tarutao National Park amazingly unspoilt, great reefs and beaches absolutely stunning, a must see.
Ko Chang - once quiet island undergoing major tourism development
Krabi - Southern beach and watersports Mecca, includes Ao Nang, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta
Ko Lanta - sleepy southern island with rapidly developing tourism
Ko Pha Ngan - site of the famous Full Moon Party with miles of quiet coastline
Ko Samet - the nearest island beach escape from Bangkok
Ko Samui - comfortable, nature, and entertainment hippie mecca gone upmarket
Ko Tao - Small Island neighbor of Samui
Phuket - the original Thai paradise island now very developed but still with some beautiful beaches remaining
Rai Leh - stunning beach by the limestone cliffs of Krabi, rock climbers mecca

National Parks:
Ang Thong National Marine Park - in Surat Thani Province
Khao Sok National Park - in Surat Thani Province
Ko Phi Phi - Thailands largest Marine National Park and backpacker favorite where The Beach was filmed
Khao Yai National Park - in Isaan
Ko Chang National Park - in Trat Province
Similan Islands - in Phang Nga province
Tarutao National Park - in Satun Province

Thai People and Culture

Thailand's people are largely Thais, although there are significant minorities of Chinese and assimilated Thai-Chinese throughout the country, Muslims in the south near the Malaysian border and hill tribes such as the Karen and the Hmong in the north of the country. The overwhelmingly dominant religion (95%) is Theravada Buddhism, although Confucianism, Islam, Christianity and animist faiths also jostle for position.
The people respects the royalty, the King and the Queen, very much. Even pointing fingers to the picture of them is considered bad.
Mainland Thai culture is heavily influenced by Buddhism. However, unlike the Buddhist countries of East Asia, Thailand's Buddhists follow the Therevada school, which is arguably closer to its Indian roots and places a heavier emphasis on monasticism. Thai temples known as wats, resplendent with gold and easily identifiable thanks to their ornate, multicolored, pointy roofs are ubiquitous and becoming an orange-robed monk for a short period, typically the three-month rainy season, is a common rite of passage for young Thai boys and men.

One pre-Buddhist tradition that still survives is the spirit house (ศาลพระภูมิ saan phraphuum), usually found at the corner of any house or business, which houses spirits so they don't enter the house and cause trouble. The grander the building, the larger the spirit house, and buildings placed in particularly unlucky spots may have very large ones. Perhaps the most famous spirit house in Thailand is the Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok, which protects the Erawan Hotel (now the Grand Hyatt Erawan) - built in 1956 on a former execution ground - and is now one of the busiest and most popular shrines in the city.

Some traditional arts popular in Thailand include traditional Thai dancing and music, based on religious rituals and court entertainment. Famously brutal Thai boxing (muay Thai), derived from the military training of Thai warriors, is undoubtedly the country's best known indigenous sport.
In addition to the mainland Thai culture, there are many other cultures in Thailand including those of the "hill tribes" in the northern mountainous regions of Thailand (e.g., Hmong, Karen, Lisu, Lahu, Akha), the southern Muslims, and indigenous island peoples of the Andaman Sea.