Lomprayah in Magazine Issue 45 (04/2015) www.facebook.com/lomprayah

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Issue 45 / April 2015


FESTIVAL www.facebook.com/lomprayah


+66 (0) 2-629-0011


Editor’s Talk Hello, April Happy Thai New Year and Happy Songkran Day to everyone. We, as staffs of the Lomprayah wish you have good health and very happy. As you know that Songkran is one of the most important festivals in Thailand, but I believe that some people don’t know that there are also many countries which have a water festival. So we provide you stories about the water festival around the world as a highlight of this issue. For another part, there still have many columns that we would like to introduce you, such as travel attractions, tips for travel, useful information and etc. Now, it’s time to leave, hope you enjoy our magazine have a good day. Good bya.

Lomprayah Team Editor in Chief Photjanard Kantiwong

Executive Editor Wanitcha Sukchet Tinn Chacalanuwattanapong

Editorial Staff Vorapong Vongvarothai Juntiya Laoniyomthai Areeya Pichittanabordeekul Jiraporn Boonta Kitthawat Chaisingthong

Art Director Methakritsada Wanngoen

Photjanard Kantiwong


Graphic Designer Seattakit Meunnak Annop Sawatdipol



Ref: http://www.songkranfestival.net/ http://www.tourismlaos.org/show.php?Cont_ID=439 http://aglobalworld.com/holidays-around-the-world/myanmar-thingyan-water-festival/ http://www.songkranfestival.net/cambodia/ http://www.chinatravel.com/focus/water-splashing-festival-dai-people/ http://owtop.blogspot.com/2010/04/wet-monday-hari-dimana-cewek-cewek-di.html

Songkran Festival is known as the Thai New Year, but Songkran or the water festival is not only observed in Thailand but also in many countries, such as Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, China and some countries in Europe.


Pimai Lao (the Lao New Year, 14-16th April), is one of the most important dates in the Lao calendar. As well as being a time of celebration and endless fun, It has also become synonymous with holiday, the celebration of Lao identity, the reinforcement of family bonds and an opportunity to reflect on the year ahead. Although the Lao new year is celebrated in joyous spirit throughout the country, nowhere hosts more ancient traditions and colorful pageantry than the northern heritage city of Luang Prabang. Although officially a three day festival, the party always goes on for at least a week. Officially the last day of the year, 13th April is traditionally a day of renewal, the main symbol of which is water. Buddha images are washed, temples repainted and homes cleaned from top to bottom. In the afternoon, young people pour water on the hands of their elders and ask for their blessing in the year ahead. Much like a New Year toast in western cultures, this is sometimes followed by a short speech from parents or grandparents. During the speech, elders give their blessing to their family, as well as highlighting important family events such as births, deaths or marriages. The blessing of relatives, friends and even strangers with water continues throughout the festival. Traditionally, you wish someone ‘Happy New Year’ (‘Sok Dii Pimai’), before pouring water over their head, symbolizing the washing away of sins committed in the past year. These days, water is also shot through water guns or thrown from buckets and pans, creating and enormous water-fight that’s impossible to avoid. For tourists, most of the highlights of Pimai Lao take place on the second day of festivities (14th April), known as ’the day of no day’; a day of transition that is neither part of the old nor the new year.



Myanmar observes the yearly four day celebration of Thingyan ending in New Year. The celebration of Thingyan is not the same each year as its celebration depends on the Burma’s lunisolar calendar and other astrological events. Thingyan is also popularly known as Water Festival. The celebration of Thingyan did not originate from Myanmar but from the people of India, the Hindus, who migrated to Burma and served in courts of the then Kingdoms during ancient Burma; there they hold important posts allowing them to inject their native cultures little by little into the lives of the people. The tradition was however modified from generation to generation forming a unique celebration that showing the unique culture and tradition of Myanmar. The oldest recorded history of the celebration of Thingyan was in the 13th century. Historical accounts had it that Nara Thiha Pathae (King of Bagan) instructed the royal ladies to throw water at one of his wives adhering to what was then known as the popular tradition during the celebration of the Thingyan. Considering that the celebration was new only a few people knew that throwing water at one another is part of the celebration, the wife, feeling that she was humiliated, planned to assassinate the king. The King found out about his mistress’ plans and immediately executed her along with her families and relatives by burning them at stake. Apart from the usual water throwing, people pay visit to their parents during Thingyan. Most usually travel back to their old villages to visit their elderly and spend the rest of the festival there. Hair washing using the traditional shampoo bean called Acacia rugata is popular. The time when Thingyan falls is usually the hottest season in Myanmar; it is when smaller lakes dry up because of the heat of the sun. Because of this, it has become a tradition to rescue the fishes inhabit this area and are transferred to larger lakes. Before releasing the captured fishes, a prayer is said saying, “I release you once, you release me ten times.” It is also thought that doing good deeds during the event is thought to add up to good karma. It is also during this time when people visit temples and Buddhists observes the tradition of Theravada Buddhism where they spend a short time with the monks and be instructed with the traditional teachings of Buddha.



Chaul Chnam Thmey is the name of the Cambodia New Year Festival; it is Khmer for “Entering the New Year”. Khmer is the official language of Cambodia and Theravada Buddhism is the main religion with as much as 96 % of the population following it. The New Year Festival is a three day long celebration with start 13-14 of April but the exact day of the New Year varies from one year to another and is decided through the Moha Sangkran, which is an ancient horoscope. The Chaul Chnam Thmey coincides with the end of harvesting season so all the country’s farmers are very happy and light at heart during these festive days. Furthermore the rainy season is at hand and the whole country is well prepared for a massive party. In Cambodia New Years is the greatest festival of all, everyone is free from work and united with family and friends. The Cambodians who live abroad will join other Cambodians to celebrate the New Year, but often during the weekend that falls closest to the dates 13-14 of April. The ideas of the Khmer New Year were gathered from Brahmanism which is a branch of Hinduism. Brahmanism was the main religion In Cambodia before Buddhism took over and when the religion switch happened the old traditions were just applied on the new religion. These days Chaul Chnam Thmey is associated with Buddha. If you visit Cambodia during the New Year Festival, you may expect it to be a wet festival where the locals splash water at one another, as in other South East Asian countries, but in Cambodia New Year’s isn’t exactly this kind of water festival. There might be some water splashing on the streets of Cambodia during New Year, but it is nothing compared to what goes on in neighbouring countries at their New Year Festivals. Even so, the Cambodia New Year might still be called “Water Festival”, mostly because it resembles the New Year parties in neighbouring countries in so many other ways. There is actually another big festival in Cambodia that includes water splashing, but it takes place in November and focuses on traditional boat racing, Bon Om Thook is its Khmer name and among tourists often referred to as Cambodia Water Festival.



In China New Years Day is called Xishuangbanna. Water-splashing Festival is the most solemn festival for Dai people in Yunnan Province in the southwest of China. It is the Dai’ New Year held at the 13th to 16th of the 4th month of Chinese lunar calendar with a 3-day celebration. The festival is also known as Songkran Festival or Bathing Buddha Festival. The first day is called “Mairi” in the Dai’s language like Chinese New Year’s Eve. The second day is called “Naori” or “Kongri” in Thai and the third day called “Bimai” which means the New Year of Dai people. The third day is the happiest and propitious day through the whole year. Dai people in Dehong area of Xishuangbanna called the Water-splashing Festival as “Shangkran” or “Shangjian” which are originated from Buddhism culture. The festival from India was an ancient ritual ceremony of Brahmanism which is adopted by Buddhism. It is introduced into Dai area in Yunnan Province through Burma during the late of 12th century and the early 13th century. Due to influence of Buddhism, Water-splashing festival becomes a national custom to hand down. With a long history, the festival plays an important role in Dai people’s life. Nowadays, it is the grandest festivals for the Dai and a festival attracting numerous travelers from the world. Dai people’s Water-splashing Festival is reputed as “Carnival in the East”. Located in the southeast of Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture is the best place to experience the festival. Xishuangbanna has a tropical rain forest climate so its best time to visit is from October to June in the next year. But Water-splashing Festival around the middle of April attracts hundreds of travelers from the world.



Known as an ancient tradition, in central-European countries like Poland and the Czech Republic, Wet Monday appears to be very popular in Ukraine, as well. It takes place on the second day of Easter Wet Monday started out, in Poland,as a pagan custom that symbolize cleansing, with the coming of Spring. When Christianity became the main religion, Wet Monday was adopted as a Christian ritual, related to cleansing souls of sins. The truth is people loved this tradition so much, they found a way to keep it, by associating it with religion. On Wet Monday. boys and men armed with bottles and buckets of water, chase after girls and splash them from head to toe. According to the original custom, the most beautiful girl in a village would be the wettest, but nowadays, boys just splash any girl they see. At one point, the tradition got so out of hand that boys threw buckets of water, at girls, threw their car windows. With the current water shortage the world is facing right now, some would say this is a terrible waste, but the boys with water bottles wouldn’t dream of abandoning this ancient tradition. just look at those happy faces.

Destination Guide


TACHAI Ref: http://www.kohphrathong.com/koh_tachai.html

Koh Tachai is an island in the world famous Similan Islands. It is an idyllic location in the Andaman Sea with white sandy beaches and azure crystal clear water. The island is located 40km due west from Koh Phra Thong. Blue Guru Diving is the closest PADI dive centre to this scuba diving mecca. It is about 570 km south of Bangkok and 130 km north of Phuket. Koh Tachai is unique in Thai waters in that it holds equal appeal for both divers and snorkelers. Scuba divers have the opportunity to observe sharks/mantas off Koh Tachai’s pinnacle whilst snorkelers enjoy the calm shallow bay. The beaches at Koh Tachai are spectacular with the white sand and clear water. For these reasons it is often referred to as the Maldives of Thailand. The bay in front of the island is sheltered and shallow. It is an excellent place to try a PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience with one of Blue Guru’s experienced instructors. The bay tapers off several hundred metres away from east coast of Koh Tachai. Here the water colour on the surface changes from turquoise to the typical deep blue signifying deeper waters. The scuba diving in this area is still relatively easy and there are greater chances to see larger animals such as leopard sharks resting on the bottom or the occasional manta ray passing by.

Place Guide

Ref: http://www.phuket.com/phuket-magazine/baan-teelanka.htm


IN PHUKET TOWN Baan Teelanka opened in April 2014 and is one of the most innovative and original attractions on Phuket Island. Located on the Bypass Road on the northern outskirts of Phuket Town, Baan Teelanka features no less than three exciting attractions/activities to entertain the whole family. Baan Teelanka itself is a three-storey house built leaning on its roof. It is adorned with a mazeshaped garden in its backyard. The Chamber of Secrets @BaanTeelanka is the third activity that could be enjoyed here, with two rooms from which visitors have to escape from by finding clues and resolving puzzles in a way to open the doors.

Initiated, designed and managed by a charming Swiss-Thai couple, this well-thought-out project brings visitors into another dimension and offers sensational photo opportunities. In addition to the Upside Down House, A-Maze-in-Phuket, and the Chamber of Secrets @BaanTeelanka, the small complex features a modern coffee shop (selling drinks, snacks and sweets) and a souvenir store. Puzzling yet fascinating and fun, Baan Teelanka aims at children and adults alike as it makes everyone feel like they went too far down the rabbit-hole. Baan Teelanka is the first and only (for now) upside-down house in Thailand. It is 13m high and outstanding research and imagination has gone into making it very detailed. Leave all logic behind as you enter the house from its roof, passing through the attic to reach the second floor. You can visit all the rooms like in a standard house; the only difference is that you do so while walking on the ceiling!

See three bedrooms (including a children’s bedroom), living room, kitchen, and bathroom, with all furnishings and decorations hanging from the floor. Even the fish swim upside-down in the two aquariums! Another flight of stairs takes you to the third floor: the garage and utility room. This third-storey also offers a great view onto the maze situated at the back of the house. An upside-down house could not have a normal garden, so Baan Teelanka’s garden features a 1,000sqm labyrinth. A-Maze-in-Phuket can see its design modified by the presence of seven gates which, according to their positions, offer an astonishing range of different tracks. On average, it takes 10 to 15 minutes to find the way out. Don’t worry: there’s no Minotaur chasing you in Baan Teelanka’s maze!

The Chamber of Secrets @BaanTeelanka is a real-life ‘room escape’ game, featuring two separate series of rooms: Jenny’s Love Coordination and Room Omega. The former can be played by up to four participants and completed within 40 minutes, while the latter can be played by up to six participants and completed within 60 minutes. The rules of a room escape game are simple: players are locked in a room and must find clues to help them to find the key or code required to open the door to the next room, then to outside. Chamber of Secrets @BaanTeelanka is really fun and challenging and requires the input of each participant to find the way out, as different types of assets – sense of observation, calculation, logic, and more – are necessary to succeed.

Baan Teelanka, A-Maze-in-Phuket, and the Chamber of Secrets @BaanTeelanka are three enjoyable attractions/activities for the whole family. The three of them can be visited and enjoyed in about half a day. The upside-down house is also available for original private parties in the evening, and for private photo sessions (wedding photos for instance) outside of normal opening hours. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the property and allows visitors to instantly share their quirky pictures on social media.

Opening Hours: From 10:00-18:00 Location: two kilometres from the North entrance of the By-pass Road. Tel: 084-4565279 Price Range: Bann Teelanka: adult – 250 baht, children – 150 baht; A-Maze-in-Phuket: adult – 150 baht, children 100 baht

Restaurant Guide


Ref: http://www.phuket.com/magazine/boathouse.htm

The soft surf in the background, together with a tinkling piano playing evergreens conjures up sensations of near opulence and add to that an exotic cocktail or a glass of good wine and you’re as near to Bacchanalian Nirvana as you can get. Boathouse has won the Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence every year since 2006, and that takes some doing. The 800-label cellar has around 6,500 bottles featuring classical, organic, and New World wines and serves 32 wines by the glass.

Boathouse is a tastefully appointed beachside boutique hotel with one of the most celebrated restaurants and wine cellars in Thailand. Located at Kata Beach, its five-star restaurant serves gourmet French and Asian cuisine in sumptuous settings with top-of-the-range service. Boathouse has been renovated and given a completely new look. Still retaining its nautical theme, the colour scheme of its award-winning restaurant is now predominantly white. Spacious and graceful, the restaurant is accessed either through a tastefully appointed hallway on the street side or from the beach itself. As mentioned, the theme is white with a large bar area complete with bar stools and sofas at one end, to the side an open kitchen with a centrally located stairway heading up to the roof terrace. There’s also a spacious fan-cooled indoors dining area as well as an al-fresco outdoors section with reach-out-and-touch beachside and sea views. Decidedly classy. Phuket does not have a restaurant where dressing up is mandatory but you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t wear something special when dining here.

We sample an incredibly light, yet robust Heart of Stone, Marlborough sauvignon blanc with a home-smoked Tasmanian salmon, Belgium endive salad and dill and the resultant pairing is admirable, as is a duck liver medallion with apple and pear compote accompanied by a sweet Malaga MR Mountain, Telmo Rodriguez. To say the dining here is classically accomplished would be an understatement yet hyperbole would not suit Boathouse: it is, put simply, a wonderful experience. A superbly presented pan-fried snow fish fillet on a bed of vegetables with extra virgin olive oil is matched with a classic Chablis 1er cru Vosgros from Burgundy and is melt-in-your mouth delicious. The beauty of dining at Boathouse is that, for foreign visitors with favourable currency rates, it is affordable luxury. Location: In south Kata Beach. If you are coming from Patong, pass through Kata centre and carry on past Club Med then take a right at the ultimate T-junction. The hotel is 300 metres to the right. Address: Kokthanot Road, South Kata. Tel: 076 330 015-7



Ref: http://songkran2014.com/songkran-2014-dates-and-events/

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is joining Thai people nationwide in marking the most important celebration of the Thai lunar calendar, the New Year Songkran Festival between 1220 April, with unique activities and festivities that pay tribute to the role of water in Thai culture and society.


• •

Songkran Wisutkasat: Get soaked at Wisutkasat (Bang Khun Phrom intersection), under the Rama 8 bridge, 13-15 April. Banglamphu: Join Bangkok’s young people in tradi tional Thai attire and enjoy merit making and cul tural performances at Suan Santi Chaiprakarn,Phra Athit Road, 13-15 April. Lan Khon Mueang: Merit making and fun in front of Bangkok City Hall, 13-15 April.


‘Song Nam Oi Tan’ in Sri Satchanalai, Sukhothai: Beauty contests, a vibrant parade and cultural activities at Phraya Li Thai Monument and Si Satchanalai Historical Park, 8-12 April, 2015


Sand pagoda ceremony on Lai Day, Bang Saen District, Chon Buri: Cultural activities, including sand sculpture contests along Bangsaen beach, 16-17 April. Songkran in the ancient capital city, Ayutthaya: Probably Thailand’s most unique Songkran cel ebration with elephants joining the fun! In front of TAT Ayutthaya Office, 13-15 April. Songkran in Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi: A traditional Mon-style Songkran celebration which differs greatly from those elsewhere, at Wat Wangwiwekaram, 13-18 April. Songkran in Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakan: Meet the locals, mostly ethnic Mon, resplendent in traditional outfits. Make merit, join a colourful parade and take part in fun activities in front of the Phra Pradaeng district office, 18-20 April Songkran Splendours, Suphan Buri 2015: A colourful Songkran procession from 10 districts, beauty contests and concerts, in front of Suphanburi Bus Station, 12-14 April.


Pleasant Songkran, Thai-Lao’ New Year, Nakhon Phanom: The joint Thai-Lao Songkran festival showcases the cultures of seven different ethnic groups in Nakhon Phanom province. Join in merit making by offering sticky rice to the monks, by Kankrao market, 12-15 April. Songkran in Renu District, Nakhon Phanom: Watch the famous traditional dance called ‘Ram Phu Tai’, together with a magical ‘Bai Sri’ ceremony where locals welcome visitors by tying a small string on their wrists, 12-15 April Thailand-Laos Friendship Songkran, Nong Khai: Get a sense of history at the first Thai-Lao Friend ship Bridge, water the Luang Por Phra Sai, the highly-revered Buddha image of the Nong Khai people and experience a merit-making ceremony at Wat Pho Chai, Nong Prachak Road, 10-18 April.


Songkran ‘Nang Dan’ Parade, Nakhon Sri Tham marat: Watch the spectacular Nang Dan cultural procession, join the locals in paying homage to Phra Maha That Chadi Nakhon Si Thammarat, and purify the Phra Buddha Sihing at Suan Si Thammasokarat and Hor Phra Shiva, 12-14 April.

Real Story



DAY TRIP FROM KHAO LAK Ref: http://jamie-monk.blogspot.com/2013/05/koh-tachai-island-day-trip-from-khao-lak.html Ref: http://www.alexinwanderland.com/2015/02/16/vacation-paradise-getaway-sai-nuan-beach/

On our recent holiday we spent a total of 4 nights in Khao Lak, and we’ll be going again next time the kids have some school holidays. It was very relaxing, much of the time was spent in the pool, or walking on the beach, or having breakfast, lunch, dinner and sunset beers! But we did have one day trip planned and booked in advance. Koh Tachai is a small island about 50km north of the Similan Islands, out in the Andaman Sea off the west coast of Thailand. We had heard that the speedboat tours left from Ban Nam Khem, a small fishing port and village north of Khao Lak, and from there it would be about 50km to Koh Tachai. I have been to Koh Tachai many times in the past for diving on liveaboard boats and have had some great dives there with manta rays at a dive site called Tachai Pinnacle, but I had never set foot on the island before! Over the last couple of years Tachai has been becoming a popular alternative to the Similan Islands, which get a lot more visitors. Thai tourists especially seemed to be heading to Tachai, I saw lots of lovely photos on Thai websites and also on Thai TV channels. I knew my friends at Easy Day Thailand could book us on the tour, so we signed up and were ready on a warm but hazy morning on April 25th. Minibus pick up was on time, but we headed south towards Thap Lamu port, not north to Ban Nam Khem. Looked like we’d be leaving from Thap Lamu which would mean a 70km speedboat trip. We had a wait of about 20 minutes before boarding the speedboat while the tour operator sorted out various groups heading to different islands. Coffee, tea and toast were provided (self service) and then we headed to the speedboat. Aside from our family of 6, all other customers on the trip were Thai. We sped out of Thap Lamu, the sky cleared up a little, the sea was flat calm, looked like a perfect day coming up! I had been a little worried about my parents doing a long speedboat trip out in the sun all day, but with mirror-like seas and a bit of cloud cover, we all sat in the front of the speedboat while all the white skinned Bangkok Thai people hid in the shade :) It was going to be quite a long ride, about 90 minutes to Koh Tachai. Would have been less from Ban Nam Khem, but departure point had been switched due to the tides - Thap Lamu is a deep water port used by dive boats, fishing boats and the Thai navy too. Well anyway, as the sun came out and the sea was so calm, a longer ride did not matter. My daughter enjoyed being right in the bow with the wind in her hair ...

Unfortunately ... things then went a bit pear shaped. Some dark clouds ahead. Surely just hazy skies? Maybe a light shower? We sped onward. Very dark clouds. Lightning. Are we going through that? Well, the sea was still calm. I sent the family “inside” and took a quick snapshot with the phone before the rain bucketed down... Well, the next 30 minutes were very very wet. Everyone was soaked since the roof of the speedboat had a gap all the way around, and in came the rain. My poor dad was not feeling too healthy, and I was just cursing our luck! The speedboat carried on, sea was a little bouncy but there were no big waves, but at the same time, there seemed to be no let up in the rain and no brightening of the sky. We arrived at Koh Tachai in the rain, left all bags and cameras under cover on the boat, then off into the treeline to find some shelter. Must have carried on raining for another hour, time we would have spent snorkeling or walking on the beach, instead of hiding and drinking tea! And then, as if by magic .. within minutes (so it seemed) the rain disappeared, the sky cleared and it was suddenly the perfect day! Everyone was stripping down to swimwear and hanging up clothes to dry in the trees. And then we could all see the attraction of Koh Tachai island! Our guide decided that the ‘jungle walk’ that should be part of the day would be cancelled to give everyone plenty of beach time after the rains. I went climbing back on the speedboat to look for everyone’s bags and cameras which had been stored in a dry space when the rain started. And then the photo-shoot could begin!

Much of the next couple of hours was spent on the beach, playing in the water with the kids, doing a little snorkeling (but not much to see right by the beach, you have to swim out further) and taking photos. The tour operator provided drinks all day (juices, sodas, tea, coffee, drinking water) and snacks like nuts and biscuits. The actual lunch was a bit disappointing for me, though I think the rain meant that the staff had a hard time getting everything ready. Anyway, why waste time eating in the shade when you can jump! The kids wanted nothing more than to swim, snorkel and play in the shallow waters by the beach. It certainly is very beautiful and you can’t really get colours like this so close to Phuket, although Racha Yai island is pretty good. I just wished the weather had been like this ALL day, although considering that I got a pretty good sunburn anyway, maybe that was enough sun. The kids can normally be out all day without feeling the sun, though my daughter has fair skin which can get quite red, and it did on this day. For a couple of hours, kids were in their own private paradise! OK, not quite private, there were about 6 speedboats there on the same day, but as with most tourist locations, if you walk a couple of hundred meters you lose 90% of the people who just plonk their lazy behinds down on the first available patch of sand. The beach on the east side of Tachai is about 700m long, plenty of room to spread out. Tommy the guide called it ‘Paradise Island’, which I guess is the tourist name or the name his employers tell him to use! There are plenty of paradise islands around these parts! Koh Tachai has no development save for a ranger station, some toilets, a couple of covered areas with a concrete floor and some thatched bamboo gazebos. Hope it stays that way.

Days like these are more for the kids than the adults! I am happy that our kids love the outdoors, swimming, boat trips, and don’t complain too much when we do other things like visit temples. On this same trip (to be blogged) we visited a couple of tsunami memorials and I think the kids learned something from that. But the day at Koh Tachai was certainly more fun! Here’s the boy, mask in hand, skipping his way through the shallows... A word about our guide on the trip, Tommy - nice guy, very friendly. We met him the next week on our return to Khao Lak, on the beach with his family and we stopped for a chat. If you are on this tour, leave him a tip! When it was time to get back on the speedboat he wandered up and down the beach to find everyone, ukelele in hand ... Took a while to get off the beach, as the tide was low. Everyone had to get onto a national park flat bottomed boat to transfer to the speedboat. For a moment I was worried that we were heading straight back to port, and with the rain we’d really only had a couple of hours of beach time, surely we could not be leaving already? No ... we headed along the east coast of the island for some snorkeling. The kids and I joined most of the Thai folks from Bangkok and Tommy for about 20 minutes, and there was some good fish life on this part of the island. My son was quite proud of the distance we swam during this snorkeling session. The kids love the water, I guess I’ll have to be taking them diving soon! In the end a very good day out. With the rain, and then the sun, everyone was cream crackered by the end of the day. It is actually possible to do the trip if you stay in Phuket, but that means a pick up at about 6am. Certainly this is a better option if you stay in Khao Lak. Now, until last month I did not really care for Khao Lak, but I can see now why people like it. If you have a 2 week Phuket trip, then a few days in Khao Lak is a good idea, but the day trips to Koh Tachai and the Similan Islands only operate in high season November - April.

Top of the World




Ref: hhttp://healthfitnessrevolution.com/10-healthiest-countries-in-the-world/

The healthiest country in the world is Monaco with the 89.63 (2013 EST.) of life expectancy. It’s because most of the population of Monaco is very wealthy, they typically have their own chef to plan healthy meals for them. On top of this, because most are retired they have reduced levels of stress. We know that anxiety is a cause of hypertension and contributes to all sorts of disease, from gastritis of the stomach due to too much acid production and to cardiovascular disease from the hypertension.


WORLD HEALTH DAY Ref: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2015/event/en/

World Health day seeks to draw attention to a major global health concern each year. World Heath day is promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is celebrated each year on April 7 which commemorates the founding of the WHO in 1948. Unsafe food is linked to the deaths of an estimated 2 million people annually – including many children. Food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers. New threats to food safety are constantly emerging. Changes in food production, distribution and consumption; changes to the environment; new and emerging pathogens; antimicrobial resistance - all pose challenges to national food safety systems. Increases in travel and trade enhance the likelihood that contamination can spread internationally. As our food supply becomes increasingly globalized, the need to strengthen food safety systems in and between all countries is becoming more and more evident. That is why the WHO is promoting efforts to improve food safety, from farm to plate (and everywhere in between) on World Health Day, 7 April 2015. WHO helps countries prevent, detect and respond to foodborne disease outbreaks - in line with the Codex Alimentarius, a collection of international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice covering all the main foods and processes. Together with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), WHO alerts countries to food safety emergencies through an international information network. World Health Day 2015 is an opportunity to alert people working in different government sectors, farmers, manufacturers, retailers, health practitioners – as well as consumers – about the importance of food safety, and the part each can play in ensuring that everyone can feel confident that the food on their plate is safe to eat.

Horoscope Predictions for the month of By Mr.


Rup Krishen Baqaya


Your attention is on family and finances.You look for ways to secure your loved ones financially and look for new investments for them.You will be lucky in speculation.


You are on a fast track to success.There may be some delays and impediments but you manage to overcome all that with some great risk taking ability.You spend intimate moments with loved ones.


You enter a world of new ideas and inspirations.You also entertain and have fun at social gatherings.However,guard against depression as there will be some irritants and they will take you into a deep thinking mode.


You will make good contacts with people who will help your business grow in the future.You make money and invest in securities.There is an upswing in your prestige.Travel too is likely.


You get encouraged by the good times and want to think big and take risks like a great gambler.However,you are advised to be careful as there are some chances that things could go the other way too.A new love relationship is on the cards.


You are moving in many directions and the force is with you.However,you are doing too much too soon.Avoid being too frank and blunt in speech. Also curb your tendency to spend recklessly.There is love in the air too. All in all an expansive month though.


You have to deal with mounting expenses and are mired in your doings of the last few weeks.You look for meaning in whatever you do and look for inner growth and greater knowledge which you feel will help you ultimately.


Local and domestic affairs occupy your attention and set off a great deal of action,though it may not always be to your liking.There will be intrusions from others which you should guard against.You are advised to prioritise your life and not scatter your energies.


You streamline your work and even seek help from others in this.You are on a winning path and this is because you make changes in the basics and let go of old crutches.You have self belief and your relationships are revitalized.There are promises of long term stability.


You seek out avenues for more money as it means security to you.You are motivated to move heaven and earth in pursuit of your goals.There will be stress and you need to take care.Your family too will make demands on your time.


You are determined and all fired up and move in the right direction.You weed out all that you do not need which includes friends who do not mean well and other pretenders.There are promises of success and joy in all ares of your life.


While work moves smoothly,you are successful on the personal front too.You are creative and attract many like minded people who will collaborate with you both at work and play.You pave the path to success with concrete results.

Trend THINK SEASONAL Your makeup should accommodate the effects that different seasons have on your skin. As you go into spring and summer, matte makeup should get lighter and sheerer. Look for a cream blush instead of a powder, a tinted face cream instead of a foundation, and glossier, softer shades of lipstick. Keep everything light and breezy to avoid a heavy winter look.

GET THE RIGHT GLOW Even though you want a little bit of shimmer or sheen on your face, don’t let yourself get too greasy. If you start getting too shiny just use a little bit of bronzing powder to take the extra shine out and to give yourself a healthy glow.





Keeping your lipstick on all daylong can be tough. First, make sure that you moisturize your lips at night before going to bed. In the morning, use a nude lip liner that matches your lip color to fill in your lips a little. Next, swipe on a berry, coral, or pink tone for the summer. Keep in mind that matte lipsticks stay on better than a cream or glossy lipstick. Ref: https://lmnonline.com/5-tips-keeping-your-lookRef: http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/timeless-fashion-trends-00100000108042/ fresh-all-day-long/

DON’T GET IN A WRINKLE The best way to avoid wrinkly clothes is to go for clothes that look intentionally wrinkled; that way you will be comfortable with the fabric and not fight it. Try linen or cotton that will stay crisp and cool. A little hand steamer is also a good investment for traveling.




Get a good blow dry and it will keep your hair fresh and pretty for days and days. As often as you can, get your hair professionally blow-dried– it will last much longer than if you did it yourself. Be sure that your hair doesn’t get wet in between blowdries; keep it dry when you are taking a shower or bath and make sure to pull it off your face when you are exercising.

Global News Asia Pacific foreign arrivals count to reach 547 million in 2015 That increase averages out to an annual growth rate of six percent for Asia Pacific as a whole, however this varies considerably for the sub-regions; from a high of around nine percent for Southeast Asia to between three and four percent for the Americas.

French travellers rank Thailand among top 5 dream destinations in 2015 French travellers have voted Thailand in the fourth place among their top five dream destinations in 2015, according to a recent survey by Paris-based global market research company, Ipsos. The rankings for dream destinations were decided on the basis of a total of 44,000 votes cast by French respondents, comprising both the general public and tourism-related operators. The USA was ranked #1 (31 per cent), Australia #2 (26 per cent), New Zealand and Canada #3 (22 per cent), Thailand #4 (19 per cent), and Mexico #5 (18 per cent).

Discover the road less travelled in Vietnam and Laos with SpiceRoads SpiceRoads has launched a new 14-day tour - Remote Vietnam and Laos by Bike - from bustling Hanoi to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Luang Prabang. This off-the-beaten-track tour leads cyclists through traditional local communities nestled in stunning landscapes and explores fascinating historical sites. The tour has been designed for people who want to get away from the main tourist thoroughfare, stay in authentic guest houses, and eat local. Thanks : http://www.traveldailynews.asia/news/article/58451/asia-pacific-foreign-arrivals-count http://www.tatnews.org/french-travellers-rank-thailand-among-top-5-dream-destinations-in-2015/ http://www.traveldailynews.asia/news/article/58419/discover-the-road-less-travelled

Tip to Trip


Ref: http://www.worldwanderingkiwi.com/2013/11/top-tips-travelling-hot-weather/

WHAT TO WEAR Light trousers or a long cotton skirt, longsleeved cotton shirts and a sunhat with a broad-brim are my rule when travelling in hot climates. Covering up in light fabrics makes you cooler than exposing as much flesh to the sun as possible. In many non-Western countries it is culturally offensive to go about in a strappy mini-dress or tiny shorts, and in the west it is just plain stupid. I often pick up suitable light cotton clothing in local markets.

TAKING CARE OF YOUR SKIN WHILE TRAVELLING Over the years I have learnt to use more appropriate products to take care of my skin while travelling in hot countries. Of course the climate could be extremely humid, as in tropical Asia, or very dry, as in many African countries. Find a face cleanser that is gentle but will really get rid of the grime after a hot day of travelling. Then think about the humidity level when choosing a moisturiser. You don’t want your skin to end up like these salt pans in Namibia! Dealing with a blistering sun on a daily basis when travelling you have to learn to be wary of it. Sun protection is always my first consideration and so a moisturiser must have a reasonable SPF level. I like anti-redness moisturisers particularly and non-greasy is a must. Skin like mine is very susceptible but the sun’s UV rays can damage anyone’s skin. I have always struggled with using makeup in hot climates because the heat just seems to cook foundation both inside and outside the bottle. Recently I have started using brush on powder foundation, which provides a very light coverage, over a primer.

THINK ABOUT THE BUGS As well as the sun, another danger to consider in some hot countries is the insects. Not to alarm you but in tropical and subtropical areas around the world mosquitoes carry malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis. There are also ticks, fleas Tsetse Flies and sandflies to consider. Talk to your travel doctor about vaccinations and prophylactics; and carry a supply of effective insect repellent. When planning on your long, cool travel trousers and shirts I recommend the type that has in-built insect repellent. These are often made from quick-drying, easy-to-wash fabric and some even have UV protection included.

LOOK AFTER YOUR FEET From standing in line at the airport security to city sightseeing to mountain hiking, travelling involves a lot of time on your feet. Invest in a quality travel sandal. Get one that will support your feet, fits firmly but comfortably and one that dries quickly. There’s nothing worse than walking around in wet sandals after a monsoonal downpour or river crossing.

TAKE TIME TO REVITALISE As every travel buddy I have ever had will swear to you, I don’t do things by halves when I travel. I want to go everywhere and see everything even if that takes all day, every day. But I find hot weather extremely enervating and I have learned to scale back my ambitions to match my energy levels. Make sure you carry enough water for the day and I have started to add an electrolyteenhanced drinking tab to my water bottle to replenish vital nutrients, especially when I will be doing a lot of walking in the heat. I also take multi-vitamins regularly while travelling because it is often difficult to keep up a diet of fresh vegetables and fruit. And finally, spend the hottest hours of the day in the shade relaxing. For some people ‘hammock time’ may be an obvious thing to do while travelling but I had to learn the hard way.

THE FINAL PACKING LIST Have a look at my travel pack list post for my absolute travel essentials but is there anything else helpful for dealing with the heat? I always include sunglasses to protect my eyes and a big cotton scarf is very useful as a cover-up, headscarf, towel, blanket and beach or picnic mat.

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