Issue 47 / June 2015
TOP R O O D OUT S E R U T N E V D A
D N A L IN THAI
LOMPRAYAH CUSTOMER CARE
+66 (0) 2-629-0011
Editor’s Talk Hello, June Welcome to June, the second half of the year is coming. Do you fulfill the goals that you’ve plan at the beginning of the year? The highlight of this issue, we are talking about the outdoor adventures in Thailand. Thailand has a lot of beautiful and interesting attractions, and the outdoor adventure is the one of top activities that tourists love to do when travelling in Thailand. Furthermore, you can find many useful articles in another column, such as “The Safest cities in the world”, “Thailand : 10 tips for first-time travelers” and “Common Men’s Fashion Mistakes to Avoid - Part 2”. We hope that you will get many knowledge and have a wonderful time. Good bye.
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
Graphic Designer Seattakit Meunnak Annop Sawatdipol
OUTD S E R U T N E ADV IN
D N A L I A TH
to n Land due e ld o G e th n as times know e m o eather and s w t is c d e n rf a e il p a d h T un ches, year-ro ith a e b s it f o brimming w d n la a o the warmth ls â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a s people. It it f o ty ploits. Here li x a e it d p n s a o t h n e e th item loration, exc nap x e r fo s ie et your adre g to d e opportunit te n uara dventures g a d n a il a h T are 10 g. line pumpin
scary experi ly g in z a m a t an tell you wha to d r vacation e u e o y n t â&#x20AC;&#x2122;t c n je o d in e W g to ouâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re lookin y r is if ; is g in The weathe . e m e tr ence skydiv x e e ne, this is th li a n re ns there is d a a e m re t u a p th h it o w r, s days a yea r, 5 6 3 d o o g a jumpmaste to lf e rs Thailand is u o y ap gle day. Str in s ry e v e jumping lifetime. a f o ll ri th e nce th and experie
Y K S ING DIV
e dventur a t x e n sky, our e h t Chiang o t e h a t e f s o e s canopie From th n e h t h g u le-perso o g r in h t s r u u o o y takes y â&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll ride in u o through Y . d s t e s d e n r e o f sp Mai rain able su c om a e is grade fr ru p c U d . t n s a e r swing ai rainfo h T re packld u o t r n a e e v y d a 0 e the 150 complet e d you h t n a o t , g n o in b sw ib a single of the G ut h g li F tay in a y s b d d n e r a e ike age off untain b o m , b k clim e stays. can roc m o h e g hai villa thentic T
P I Z NG I N I L
A E S
G N I K A Y KA
life, why d il w d n a ry ene hailandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sc T n g in y jo n e Canoe is a fun a h e c S u . m n o fu s have having ourse, still c f o Since youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re 18 years. , r d e n v A o r ? it fo e d n ila le to preserv outhern Tha s S in d te not do a litt ra e r adventure op e s ff a o h n t a a c th e y o an compan muir, Sea C a S h eco-friendly o ey offer a K th d d n n a a i b , le ra b K ea in Phuket, is knowledg r ff ta s ir e With offices h T o. hours to ove ta w ru fe a a T d m n o a fr g , Trang tures, rangin n e v d in Khao Sok a g in k aya cations for k lo f o e d u it lt mu 6 days.
erness on 2 d il w i a h T the ak and hit re b a ts n this country a h in p r le e la u e p o th p e ely Giv g is suprem in ik b in hoose. M.T. c ta n to u o h M ic . h ls w whee nt tours from ut re fe if d y n a m a full day, b re to a rs u re o e h th w d an a fe lasting from s e d ht. Explore ri ig rs n e t ff a o e c rs la u p o es Hill T s ng tours tak ti s re te in re the ride end o r; m u ir to e th e f ik o b e r on ou City on a 3-h k o k g e turned in n â&#x20AC;&#x2122;v a u B o y g e in c tl n s o u n the b n hit the tow a c u o y e shorts. ik o b s r , y u rl o y a f e o t ou relatively ouâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll change y s u e is m ust pro your bike. J
N I A T N U O M
G N I BIK
G N I L E K R O SN t off the coas t s ju fe li e e marin ers a Dive into th g Safaris off in iv D n a il Sim h of Thailand. that will teac s m ra g ro p diving full range of lost in the t e g r o fs e explore re you how to e. Located in iv d r te a -w n an ope blue during m the una ro y ll fu e c , youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll pea Phang-Nga nd Surin Ma a n a il im S f auty o derwater be l Islands. rine Nationa
R E T A W E T I H W
G N I T F A R
g quickly bein is g in ft ra r ate rket, whitew a m t s ri thern Thaiu u o to S i a in h T s id e rap ew to th k s. Rush the e ri Relatively n ra e in it k e ng ride. Boo tr ti ra re a il tu h n x e e v d n da any a e guarantee ’r added to m u o y fe Sanctuli d d n il a , W e t c a in w v ri Pa g Na pro it to the Ton is v a land’s Phan re o c s ’ll urs, and you o T t e k . u h P with gh the jungle u ro th e d ri t elephan ary and an
who find e s o th r fo t is perfec a Number 7 elling to be p re r o g in climb regular rock e of a warc fo e th in e. Throw ture. bit mundan lking adven ta e ’r u o y now terfall, and have pros e id u g l e v and tra pel, Many hotels bseil, or re a to u o y allow grams that d powerful n a l fu ti u a e and’s b ur down Thail heart in yo r u o y l e fe l You’l waterfalls. ge of a 35d e e th r e v u lean o lips chest as yo nd slowly s u ro g e th d ll an foot waterfa more about t u o d in F ur feet. hibeneath yo thanon in C In i o D t a g seilin waterfall ab ang Mai.
L L A F R E T A W G N I L I E ABS
i gh local Tha u ro th e d ri t lephan Taking an e is an exts s re fo g in surround villages and iland should a h T to r o o visit perience n e ride can th f o th g n pe and le ur miss. The ty u: a half-ho o y to y ll a c specifi be catered 5-day trek a r o e g la il a local v d. ride through ern Thailan h rt o N f o s jungle through the the daring d n a e c n ra the endu nd Those with tain biking a n u o m te ra corpo can even in e trek. rafting into th
T N A H P E L E G N I D RI
E L G N JU
G N I K K E TR
y ailand b h T f o s ild ith the w w recome t e a W im t . in s il Get rked tra na m n u e ee mou h s t o t g k in t e tr hit a 3-day t s erience a p le x e t a d d n a men forests in a r rness. e , s d il e g w i id r Tha tain eautiful b e h t ovide an r in p l g il in w p d n cam e Thaila iv t c ho will A t w a e s id lk u o gg The f speakin oh s li g n E i City h a d e M m g r n o ia inf your Ch t a amping p c u d u n o a y od pick ll your fo ks, a e g n a rr dry soc a g d in n r a b l te to t need s ju u o Y e. needs. dventur a f o e s d a sen SPF an
ng d by explori n a il a h T f o heart Get to the us caverns o d n e m e tr es and of ancient cav pha District a M g n a P the n like those in Here you ca . e c in v ro P ng Son the Mae Ho over wildc is d d n a derground , venture un pert guides x E . y g lo o e and g ou life, history will escort y , e g d o L e v t Ca s like those a ertical cave v , s th n ri y b logic la through geo your joure in b m o C ed caves. n and collaps g to see eve in ft ra r o s e st hik ney with fore ape. Thai landsc e th f o re o m
G N I V A C
KOH PODA Krabi
Koh Poda is a small limestone island 25 minutes by boat from the beaches of the Raileh peninsular (which can be seen on the horizon in the photograph). The circular island is no more than a kilometre in diameter, covered in palm trees and almost entirely encircled by a soft white sand beach. A coral reef lies 20 metres offshore, and the combination of scenery, beach and excellent snorkelling make it one of my favourite places to spend a lazy day in this part of the world. There is some accomodation in Koh Poda bungalows), although it’s quite pricey. Koh Poda is an Island and is approx. 30mins by Longtail Boat ride from Ao Nang Beach. Chicken island got its name from a bizarre rock formation which resembles the head of a chicken. One end of the island consists of steep cliffs, while the other end has beautiful beaches along a peninsula. This peninsula gets flooded at high tide, creating a small island. There is no accomodation on Chicken island. 30 minutes in a longtail boat from Raileh is a group of limestone islands which are incredibly beautiful, with great beaches, reefs which are still reasonable (but not as good as around Koh Phi Phi), but can get very busy, particuarly during the main tourist season. Our advice: go in the rainy season - it’s quieter, cheaper and you may even feel like you’re on a deserted tropical island.
LOCATION: AROUND 8KM AWAY FROM AO NANG SHORE. Mu Koh Poda or Poda Group Islands is under the administration of Haad Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. The Group Islands consist of Koh Poda, Koh Kai, Koh Mo and Koh Thap. They are currently popular destinations that can be reached by a rented boat from Ao Nang. Abundant and colorful coral reefs and the wonderful marine world make these islands ideal for diving and snorkeling.Moreover, when the water level gets low, Koh Kai, Koh Mo and Koh Tap, the three isles in this Group Islands will reveal and amazing sight of a white, fine sand bar that links the three isles together. This is a very pupular attraction ones should not miss if visiting Krabi sea. Apart from the beaches in the east and the north, in the middle of the cape backed by limestone mountains in the west is also small and very peaceful bay.In the middle of Koh Poda, there is a pathway to the back beach which will also passes the one and only resort of the island, Poda Island Resort. The northern beach of Koh Poda extends further from the eastern beach. In the middle of the sea here is a small limestone-based island which is a unique feature of Koh Poda. The eastern beach of Koh Poda is the longest one; it is nice for swimming and sungathing, as well as making a stroll to as far as the small bay in the wetern side of the island. KOH PODA ATTRACTIONS Koh Poda: Koh Poda is the largest of all the four islets in Poday Group Islands. In the east, there is a one-kilometer-long sandy beach shady with rows of pine trees. The sea is exceptionally clean, clear and suitale for swimming whereas the beach is nice for sunbathing. Visitors may also enjoy snorkeling in the north and the east of the island, or kayaking along the beahc very well.
CAVE Ref: http://sikao.anantara.com/Exploring-the-Outdoors/
Phi Hua To Cave or Hua Kalok Cave (Tham Phi Hua To or Tham Hua Kalok) is located just 500 meters from Lot Cave (Tham Lot), the cave can only be visited by boat from Bo Tho Pier. The cave is in Phi Hua To Mountain which is surrounded by mangrove swamps. There are 2 different paths inside the cave. On the left lies the shortcut to the back of the cave where the sunlight can shine through, and on the right is a path to a natural hall believed to have been a shelter for prehistoric people. Prehistoric paintings of men, animals, human organs and numerous seashells can be seen in the cave. The discovery of big human skulls in the cave, resulted in the caves present name.
Mr. Krab-i is one of the most recommended restaurants in Krabi Town. Located on Chaofah Road, a few hundred metres from Chaofah Park on the Krabi River, Mr. Krab-i is a neat and clean unpretentious restaurant with brick walls, wooden tables and chairs, and curios hanging on the walls. Under management of a charming Italian/Thai couple, the restaurant is famous for both its Italian (pasta alâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; dente) and Thai (the soft shell crab is amazing) dishes served in large portions. The manager takes orders most of the time and is always available for a talk. With a friendly owner and staff members, delicious food, an extended wine list, and relaxed atmosphere, Mr. Krab-i has a lot going for it. Opening Hours: 10:00 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 23:00 Location: Chao Fah Road Tel: 086-5544659
Ref: http://www.krabi-hotels.com/krabi-top10s/ top10-krabi-town-restaurants.htm
THAILAND TRAVEL MART PLUS AMAZING GATEWAY TO THE GREATER MEKONG SUBREGION (TTM+): THE BIGGEST TRAVEL BUSINESS TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY.
With cooperation between the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Thai tourism industry, Thailand has the honor to be the host of the largest B2B event ‘Thailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion’ (TTM+). Date: 03 - 05 June 2015 Location: IMPACT Hall 5-6 Tel: 02-250-5500 Website: www.thailandtravelmartplus.com
A LEAP OF FAITH
DEEP WATER SOLOING IN THAILAND
One might think learning to rock climb would be enough accomplishment for a week in Railay. But if you know me you know that if there is an adventure to be had, I’m going to have it. Unless said adventure involved eating bugs. In that case, I’ll meet you at the after party. But deep water soloing? There’s something I could get involved in. I know what you’re thinking — deep water whating? DWS is a form of rock climbing in which no harnesses, ropes, or anchors are used. Instead, it is practiced on sea cliffs backed by deep water, which protects climbers from both intentional jumps and unintentional falls. This is a relatively new sport but is already much buzzed about as a must-try on the famed Southeast Asia backpacker circuit. And it’s hard to imagine a more idyllic setting for it that Railay. Our climbing school, Basecamp Tonsai, advertised full day 5-6 hour DWS trips for 700 baht ($25). We met with our group at the shop in the morning, then set off on the boat for a day of adrenaline-shooting fun. When we arrived at the first stop the mute guide (who I would later realize spoke no English whatsoever) handed us a laminated photo of the rock wall with MS-paint style drawings of the different climbing routes layered over it. Let’s do this thing! We spent the morning on that wall, tackling harder climbs for each pass. The feeling off climbing with no harnesses or safety equipment was a pretty big adrenaline rush in itself… and then when you reached the top, it was time to jump! I couldn’t complete the most challenging climbs but I did jump from the highest spot. I loved it!
At lunch time we parked our longtail in a quiet bay where we could snorkel, kayak, or snooze. I chose the latter. One thing I really liked about Basecamp was that they bucked the Southeast Asia Styrofoam trend and went for reusable containers for our lunches. I always make a point to thank companies who do this! For the afternoon, we headed to a new sea cliff â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and this one was much bigger and more intimidating. I decided to relax on the boat and watch a few others go first. There were many strong climbers in the group and a few of them made it to the highest point with ease. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m horrible at estimation but I would think it was at least 100 feet. We waited on pins and needles for ages for one of them to get the courage to jump, and finally a German girl stood up and flung herself off. She hit the water awkwardly and I knew something was wrong immediately. When she came up for air she was crying out in pain and the guide kayaked over to her and quickly helped her on. After that I was pretty much done with the deep water soloing. I did play around on the ropes a bit but once someone gets hurt, that suspension of reality is broken and it was just too much. I emailed with the girl later and she told me while she was in pain for a few days, she did eventually make a full recovery. That aside, I had a great day and I would recommend others to do the same trip, but just remember to be true to their own comfort level.
Top of the World
Tokyo, the world’s most populated city, is also the safest according to a 2015 Safe Cities Index by The Economist. The index, which looks at digital security, health security, infrastructure safety and personal safety, ranks the Japanese capital ahead of Singapore second and Osaka third. European capitals Stockholm and Amsterdam complete the world’s top five safest cities. Tokyo scored the highest in the digital security category, but that category was dominated by US cities: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago making the category’s top ten. By contrast European cities performed poorly, with London at 16, being the highest-ranking European city in the digital security, and Rome is the lowest, at 35. Tokyo, with a population of 38 million people according to the UN, proves that megacities can be safe cities. The five other megacities that made the top half of the Index include: Osaka, New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London.
Ref: hhttp://healthfitnessrevolution.com/10-healthiest-countries-in-the-world/ Ref: http://internationalliving.com/2015/01/the-best-places-to-retire-2015/
TOP 20 CITIES: SAFE CITIES INDEX 2015 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
TOKYO SINGAPORE OSAKA STOCKHOLM AMSTERDAM SYDNEY ZURICH TORONTO MELBOURNE NEW YORK
11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
HONG KONG SAN FRANCISCO TAIPEI MONTREAL BARCELONA CHICAGO LOS ANGELES LONDON WASHINGTON DC FRANKFURT
SAFEST CITIES IN THE WORLD
Ref: http://www.un.org/en/events/oceansday/ Ref: http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/world-day-cultural-diversity-dialogue
WORLD OCEAN DAY 8 June of every year is the World Ocean Day. The ocean is the heart of our planet. Like your heart pumping blood to every part of your body, the ocean connects people across the Earth, no matter where we live. The ocean regulates the climate, feeds millions of people every year, produces oxygen, is the home to an incredible array of wildlife, provides us with important medicines, and so much more! In order to ensure the health and safety of our communities and future generations, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imperative that we take the responsibility to care for the ocean as it cares for us. This year, the theme is Healthy oceans, healthy planet. Unfortunately, human pressures, including overexploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing, as well as unsustainable aquaculture practices, marine pollution, habitat destruction, alien species, climate change and ocean acidification are taking a significant toll on the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oceans and seas.
COMMON MENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S FASHION
MISTAKES TO AVOID PART 2
Ref: http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/timeless-fashion-trends-00100000108042/ Ref: http://www.kinowear.com/40-common-mens-fashion-mistakes-to-avoid/
TOO MUCH JEWELRY All the jewelry a man needs are watches that will match different outfits, and a wedding ring if he’s married. If you’re young and you like necklaces, go for it. But unless you’re a rock star, don’t go around wearing three rings, bracelets, and a bunch of necklaces at the same time. It looks tacky. Try and limit yourself to no more than three pieces of jewelry.
COMB-OVERS Your not fooling anyone by covering up your bald spot – you’ll look so much better if you keep it short and neat. (See Bruce Willis or Tom Ford). It makes you look a lot more sharp and healthy.
SWEATPANTS IN PUBLIC Unless you’re going to the gym, avoid wearing sweats out in public. You’re not wearing them to look your best, you’re wearing them because you’re lazy.
OVERSIZED BRANDING Avoid clothes that make you look like a walking advertisement. The advertisers would love this, but why wear a huge logo or brand name on your shirt unless you’re getting paid to?
TUCKING T-SHIRTS IN Tucking in polo shirts is acceptable, but t-shirts should be kept casual. If your t-shirt is too long then it’s probably too big on you.
WEARING A CREW NECK TEE UNDER A DRESS SHIRT Pick up a v-neck undershirt and you’ll look much more laid-back showing some skin underneath.
CLIPPING YOUR CELL PHONE TO YOUR BELT This is as attractive as using a Bluetooth headset as a fashion accessory. Keep your cellphone in your pocket.
CLUNKY SQUARE TOE SHOES Popular in the 1990s, fashion has now strayed far away from this non-classic look. They’ll probably never come back into fashion so lose them and get some slimmer and much more attractive shoes.
TOO MANY PRINTS Whether with casual clothes or dressy, avoid mixing too many patterns or prints together. If you’re wearing a suit, a good rule of thumb is to keep it to a max of two patterns. In other words, if you’re wearing a patterned suit, wear a solid shirt and a patterned tie, or if you’re wearing a solid suit, you can wear a patterned shirt and a patterned tie. But having a patterned tie, a patterned shirt, and a patterned suit can make you look too busy.
MISMATCHING STYLES Don’t wear your sporty Oakley sunglasses with a blazer, or a pair of cargo pants with the dress shirt you wear to the office. Keep your outfits coherent and matching in style.
BULKY POCKETS I see a lot of guys walking around with bulging pockets. If it’s your wallet that’s creating that bulge, spend some time taking out all those old receipts or business cards. If you need to hold on to them, keep them in a safe place and take them out when you need them. Get a slimmer wallet or a money clip to save space.
Some men just don’t take proper care of their hands. Sometimes it’s cracked cuticles and other times it’s just dirty fingernails. If you work outdoors or lift weights, wear gloves, and use lotion on your hand whenever you can. Keep your fingernails trim, and free of hangnails, cracked cuticles, and dirt.
KEEP YOUR FACIAL HAIR WELL GROOMED The hair on your face should be orderly. Your face is the first thing noticed, and so maintaining your facial hair is important if you want to look sharp. Either keep a cleanly shaved face, or keep your beard trim. There should absolutely be no hair underneath your chin on your neck area.
HAIR IN THE BACK OF THEIR NECK Hair on the back of your neck needs to be managed well. If you don’t get haircuts too often, use a small mirror to check the back of your neck against another mirror, and use a razor to shave any hair that’s growing on the back of your neck. This will keep you looking sharp and well-groomed.
USING EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF HAIR PRODUCT Be aware that looking like you have a bottle of hair product on your head never looks good. Your girlfriends wants to be able to run her fingers through your hair, not hurt herself doing it. Use a smaller amount than you think you need.
WEARING SANDALS OUTSIDE OF THE BEACH OR POOL Keep the flip-flops for the pool, and opt for a casual pair of driving moccasins this summer. Driving moccasins are usually made of leather, but really easy to slip into and have flexible rubber soles, which make them the rich man’s slipper. A pair of dark brown ones will work perfectly with almost anything. Wear them without socks and a pair of cotton shorts for a classically stylish appeal. And if you do wear sandals to the beach or the pool, make sure your toenails are trim and healthy looking.
NOT TUCKING IN DRESS SHIRTS If your dress shirt is long enough to cover your butt, it’s meant to be tucked in. The shirt is made longer so that when you sit down, with your shirt under your butt, your shirt doesn’t annoyingly lift out of your pants. If you’re someone who hates tucking in at casual settings, than make sure the dress shirts you wear are tailored shorter to come just above the halfway point of your gluteus maximus.
AN UNDERSHIRT IS JUST THAT – AN UNDERSHIRT An undershirt’s purpose is to absorb the sweat, dirt, and body oils that we all inevitably secrete, and prevent stains on your dress shirts. The name explains their purpose. It’s not meant to be worn as an actual shirt by itself, so avoid this fashion mistake and call your buddies out on it when you can.
NOT TAKING CARE OF THAT UNIBROW Keeping your eyebrows groomed is just as important as the hair on top of your head. Use a tweezer and pluck any hair above the nose.
WEARING ATHLETIC SOCKS, FOR NON ATHLETIC OCCASIONS Keep the white athletic socks for the gym or when you’re out playing sports and stick to navy or black casual socks instead. They always look more stylish than white.
Global News TAT Action Plan 2016 conference takes place this week in Chon Buri Chon Buri, 29 June, 2015 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The annual Tourism Authority of Thailand Action Plan (TATAP) conference is taking place this week, from 29 June to 2 July, in Bangsaen, Chon Buri. Attended by more than 400 officials of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) from TAT headquarters as well as its local and overseas offices, the conference is set to result in the much-anticipated Tourism Marketing Plan for 2016, which is scheduled to be announced to the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s public and private stakeholders on the coming Monday, 6 July.
Asia has largest regional pipeline in the world Projects under construction soar An astounding 71 percent of all projects in the Pipeline, 3,046 Projects/598,958 Rooms, are currently Under Construction. The Asia Pacific region has more rooms Under Construction than all other regions of the world combined.
Malaysia welcomes international cruise ship Quantum of the Seas The welcome reception by Tourism Malaysia is an effort under its Maiden Call programme, an annual activity to welcome ships berthing for the first time in Malaysia and to promote cruise tourism and attract more ship operators to berth in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, in particular.
Thanks : http://www.tatnews.org/tat-action-plan-2016-conference-takes-place-this-week-in-chon-buri/ http://www.traveldailynews.asia/news/article/58981/asia-has-largest-regional-pipeline http://www.traveldailynews.asia/news/article/58908/malaysia-welcomes-international-cruise-ship
Tip to Trip
THAILAND Ref: http://www.roughguides.com/article/thailand-travel-tips/
10 TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME TRAVELERS
Go slow Don’t try to fit in too much. You’re almost certain to start in Bangkok and we recommend you don’t rush off. Instead, allow a few days to soak up the vibrant capital’s up-for-it atmosphere, including at least one night on the notorious Khao San Road, before heading south to the islands, or north to Thailand’s second city Chiang Mai. To do both you’ll need at least two weeks; if you’ve got three add Kanchanaburi and the infamous Bridge Over the River Kwai to your itinerary.
Savvy street food Thai street food is abundant, high quality and astoundingly cheap. But it can also be a fast track to food poisoning. Take sensible precautions such as washing hands before and afterwards, and above all: eat where there are crowds; a faster turnover means fresher food. And don’t drink the tap water.
To market Visiting an open-air market is a must-do and it is here that you will find the best prices and often the best goods. Thailand is a mecca for counterfeit products though, so be aware that what you’re buying is unlikely to be genuine, and never forget to haggle – the first price you’re quoted should come down by at least a third. Some of the best markets are Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, Tha Kha Floating Market near Samut Songkhram and Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar.
What wat? Thailand is a country of temples, from the magnificent to the miniature, but try to visit them all and you’ll soon find yourself fatigued. Narrow it down to the big-hitters instead like Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaeo in Bangkok, and Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya. Remember that Thailand is about more than architectural splendour, the street-life and beach-life are just as much a part of the experience.
Repel the enemy Mosquitoes are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean resigning yourself to being bitten. Use a spray-on repellent with at least 50% deet during the day (100% at night) and treat clothes with a permethrin spray as soon as you arrive in the country. Be sure to do this outside though and leave for a while to dry – it’s nasty stuff.
Get the best beds If you’re on a budget and planning to stay in hostels and guesthouses, simply turning up and requesting a room is the cheapest way to go, and thanks to Thailand’s flourishing tourism industry you’re unlikely to have trouble finding a bed (especially if you use our Rough Guide to Thailand for suggestions). Bear in mind though that air conditioning often costs extra and is worth every penny during the hottest months (typically May to October). If you’re willing to spend a little more on your accommodation, book mid-range or luxury hotels in advance to secure the best deals.
Sidestep scams At times, it can feel a little like there is someone trying to rip you off on every corner in Thailand and it pays to keep your wits about you. Don’t trust randomly helpful strangers who come up to you in the street with information about public holidays and closed temples; check with your hostel or hotel instead. Always agree a price before getting in a tuk tuk and insist on any taxi you use being metered. Keep your belongings as close to you as possible, ideally strung around you in a zipped up bag.
Drink it in Beer is the alcoholic drink of choice in Thailand and you’ll find local brew Singha almost everywhere. Be aware that it is 6% abv – and that the almost-as-popular Chang is a whopping 7%. You have to be 20 to buy alcohol, though only nightclubs generally ask for ID. Unless you’re feeling flush, you won’t want to order wine; thanks to hefty import taxes you’ll pay at least four times what you would at home.
Respect the culture Keeping face is of paramount important to all Thai people so raising your voice and getting angry will get you nowhere. The head is considered the most sacred part of the body, while the feet are the lowest; donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t touch a Thai person on the head under any circumstances, or point your feet (especially the soles) towards anyone â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or any sacred image, particularly of the Buddha or the King. Smiling will always get you a long way. Thais tend to smile far more than the average westerner so get ready to beam.
Safe sex Yes, the sex industry is everywhere in Thailand, but no, prostitution is not legal here. As well as potential trouble from the police, there are numerous ethical issues involved, not to mention issues of health and safety. So donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even think about it.