Issuu on Google+


Title: Best Paradises in Thailand Author / Design / Published: Unseen Planet Co., Ltd. 408/61 15th FL. Phaholyothin Place Bldg., Phaholyothin Rd., Phayathai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand TEL: +66 (2) 619 0287-9 FAX: +66 (2) 619 0290 Photographers: Photo Square and Graphic Co., Ltd. Surajit Jamornman and Kriengkrai Waiyakij Content: Amporn Samosorn, Peerawat Jariyasombat, and Siratrakarn Manojing Editor: Bob Tremayne Special Thanks to: Tourism Authority of Thailand Thai Airways International Public Co., Ltd. AIG Card (Thailand) Co., Ltd. National Library of Thailand Cataloging In Publication Data:ซ Best Paradises in Thailand._ _ Bangkok : Unseen Planet, 2007 220 p. 1. Resort_ _ Thailand. I.Title. 910.462 ISBN 978-974-7706-68-0 First Published: October 2007 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission from the publisher.


A journey is about to begin... Thailand, the Land of Smiles where culture strikes a perfect balance with breathtaking beauty and tranquility, has cast its magical spell on travelers for centuries. Now it’s your turn to come under its spell. Whether for leisure, healthcare, romance, or adventure, take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and be touched by Thai beauty, warmth, and hospitality. Discover the Best Paradises in Thailand by exploring the captivating splendor of 70 of the finest resorts in prime locations throughout Thailand. This collection allows you the chance to enjoy quality time with family and friends, gather a lifetime of memories, and experience the timeless natural wonders of this magnificent kingdom. Best Paradises in Thailand is proud to share with you the surprises, excitement, and inspiration of Thailand, and to ignite the passion of travel in your life. Your dream and your journey have just begun.


t h e a m a z in g k in g d o m

Close your eyes and dream of a land where people’s faces are constantly painted with a smile, a land that is full of magical places that make you feel lost in time, a land that is rich in culture and natural heritage, and a land that allows you to listen to the sound of the wind blowing through the hills, and then you will know how Thailand came to be known as The Amazing Kingdom. Thailand is built on a passion for beauty manifest in different forms. There is the beauty of a variety of landscapes such as lush tropical forests and magnificent beaches. There is the beauty of the history and culture of ancient people steeped in art and agriculture. And there is the beauty of a dynamic, fast-developing, modern nation, all combining to make an amazing Thailand. Whatever form of beauty you’re looking for, you’re free to search for your dreams in this enchanted land and enjoy experiences that usually only occur once in a lifetime.

11


In the north, you’ll be astonished standing atop of Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in the country in Chiang Mai province. Great oceans of mist envelop the valleys of Muang Sam Mok (City of Three Mists) in Mae Hong Son. Northern Thailand is a paradise of cooler temperatures and temperate-climate flowers and plants. At Phu Chee Fah, you can roam the fields full of Dok Siew or Dok Chong Ko wildflowers that blossom during February. At Mae Fah Luang Garden, the most magnificent landscaped garden in Thailand, you are able to cast your eyes across a collection of flowers and shrubs from around the world throughout the year.

This region is a significant scientific research location and visitors may observe the agricultural laboratory work and, afterwards, sample the cooler-climate fruits, flowers, and vegetable products of the research stations. At the Royal Project sites in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Lamphun, and Mae Hong Son, there is trekking to jungle waterfalls and people are welcome to stay overnight in blissful surroundings close to nature in hill-tribe villages learning about the unique way of life of the local communities. It is an amazing, unforgettable experience!

12


Tourists are able to experience the traditions, language, art, and costumes of the Lanna culture. The food, an ancient lantern, a Kalae fabric flag, and Bo Sang umbrellas are examples of beautiful and time-honored practices that form the heart and soul of the Lanna people.

The northeast of Thailand, I-san, has stunning mountains, waterfalls, and forests. It is a mainly agricultural area, a ‘vacation secret’ seldom visited by tourists, but its charm never fails to fascinate those who come. Ancient cultural practices and local wisdom have been passed down through generations so that much of what happens in present daily life has its origins deep in the past. The simple way of life and true friendliness are significant attractions to tourists, many of whom come back again and again.

In the northeast region, there are numerous prominent national parks, for example Khao Yai National Park. Khao Yai, with an area of 2,165 square kilometers and nominated as a World Heritage Site, is a vast natural resource of an extensive variety of flora and fauna, some well-known but some very rare. The park is renowned for educational camping and trekking programs that attract both Thais and non-Thais, young and not-so-young, to its gates. There are also many waterfalls within the park’s boundaries, such as Nang Rong and Sarika Waterfalls. Phu Kradueng and Phu Ruea National Parks are other natural areas that challenge trekkers with their dominating terrains, cascading water courses, and stunning vegetation.


I-san, with its strong traditional background and diversity of cultures, is a region full of festivals. In Loei province, the Phi Ta Khon festival presents villagers wear masks made of sticky rice husks painted in bright colors participating in entertaining processions to honor the spirits. Yasothon, Ubon Ratchathani, and Surin all have their own annual celebrations, the Rocket Festival in May, the Candle Festival in July, and the Elephant Roundup in November respectively. Magnificent examples of Khmer settlements of many centuries ago can be explored at Phanom Rung Stone Castle and Pimai Sanctuary. Throughout this region, there is evidence of the local wisdom, skills, and artistry of the northeastern people in utilizing the natural resources in their production of silk, traditional musical instruments, and Dan Kwain pottery. And one must not forget to sample the delights of I-san popular food such as grilled chicken, steamed sticky rice, and papaya salad (Som Tum). A vast assortment of treasures and traditions await the unsuspecting visitor to I-san.

The Central Plains of Thailand are dominated by the capital city, Bangkok. There are hundreds of sites in this region worth visiting, many more than most people perhaps ever realized. There are mountains, mysterious caves, tropical forests, waterfalls, meandering creeks, raging rapids, large rivers, and the sea, all within reasonable distance of the large metropolis.


Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1991 because of its biological diversity and forms the largest mainland conservation area in South East Asia. This area in Kanchanaburi and Tak provinces combined with Thung Yai Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Uthai Thani province constitutes a massive protected cluster of national parks comprising Sri Nakarin, Chaloem Rattanakosin, Erawan, and Sai Yok, with Salak Phra Wildlife Sanctuary.

To the east of the capital, you can witness the buffalo races in Chonburi province. Originating as a way of relaxation for the farmers while trading the animals at the market, it has now developed into a major festival and attracts many participants and onlookers. Proceeding further east brings the traveler to the major tourist city of Pattaya with its wide range of accommodation and entertainment. Following the coast road, there is a year-round supply of fresh fruits, ranging from rambutan, durian, mangosteen, and zalacca available from local orchards and at roadside stalls. The most difficult decision is deciding what fruit to try!

You can dream of long stretches of beautiful white sandy beaches and watch them become a reality at the islands of Koh Chang, Koh Kood, and Koh Samed. All of these are diving paradises allowing you to marvel at the colors of the coral. As well as marine life, visitors can witness magnificent examples of biologically diverse ecosystems in virgin tropical rainforests.

15


Just three hours south of Bangkok sees you in Hua Hin, providing the traveler with a relaxing opportunity to explore the ambience of Thai history. This town is the site chosen many years ago by the Royal Family for the construction of their summer palace, and is today a popular ocean-front location for royalty and tourists. Once at Hua Hin, it is only a short hop to Cha-am Beach where one can ride bikes along the ocean promenade, enjoy the sea breezes, and taste the fresh seafood. Or you can stop at Pakname-Pran Beach in Prachuap Khiri Khan province to savor the peaceful way of life of a traditional fishing community.

This aquatic theme continues as one proceeds further south down the Thai peninsula. There is clear turquoise seawater, white sandy beaches, plentiful sunshine, gentle sea breezes, and a rich underwater life that draws both Thais and foreigners from every corner of the world to this region. All of this is backed by undisturbed rainforests, stunning hills and cliffs, and waterfalls producing a variety of natural attractions.

Specific examples abound. Krabi has never failed to impress even the most hardened and experienced traveler. The province’s powdery white sand, gorgeous corals ideal for snorkeling and diving, caves, and over 100 islands provide a kaleidoscope of choices for the energetic and the more laid-back. To the east of the peninsula, the Andaman Sea islands of Koh Phi Phi, Koh Surin, Koh Tarutao, and Koh Rangs, many of them protected by national park status, also provide excellent diving opportunities. If you find all these


aquatic activities too much and you want a break, why not try to fight your fear and defy gravity by tackling one of the world’s top ten rock-climbing sites at Rai Lay?

Phuket is Thailand’s largest island province and constitutes the main tourist accommodation focus in the south. It has many beaches to enjoy in the day and much entertainment once the sun has set. Hey Island is a location off the south coast of Phuket well-known for its splendid coral reef, earning it the title Coral Island. At Sadet Cave, you can explore the mysteries of a world underground, complete with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. For those seeking adventure under the blue skies, you can take your chances under the cool waters of a cascading waterfall or simply relax under the shade of the overhanging trees.

To the west of the Thai peninsula is the Gulf of Thailand. Its islands are not to be outdone by those of the Andaman Sea, boasting stunning beaches, delightful bathing opportunities, and magnificent forests. Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao are comparable to anything anywhere in the world. The climatic conditions here are different from the Andaman Sea coast with more monsoon influences taking effect. However, the local communities are still heavily involved in fishing, their daily lives being based on the prevailing winds and tidal conditions. An example can be found at Pan Yee islet, a Muslim community at which inhabitants have earned their livelihoods from the ocean for hundreds of years. Coconut plantations are common here, giving rise to numerous monkey training centers at which visitors can admire the close relationship and collaboration between human and animal. Shadow puppetry known locally as Nang Talung is a unique form of public entertainment in this part of the country and is popular at village festivals, temple fairs and family celebrations.

Whichever direction you go, whatever form of beauty you’re passionate about, you’ll find something in this Amazing Kingdom of Thailand to captivate you, fascinate you, enthrall you, and charm you. Close your eyes and dream. 17


hotels and resorts

In the land of artistry Elegant and delicate, Shared by people worldwide, A dreamland of arts and sentiment


phang nga The sun rising at Takolaburi on the reddish laterite columns and the buildings revive memories of ancient Sukhothai times. The contemporary architecture of Takolaburi stands out against the idyllic white sands and clear blue sea at Pakarang Cape. As the day breaks, the reddish laterite columns and the four-sided pavilion over the swimming pool glow like an image of a temple in the ancient Sukhothai kingdom. Modern materials and Thai-style decorations are featured throughout the resort, with spacious wooden floors and walls, large balconies, beautiful gardens and lotus ponds. The Thai touch is evident throughout. The structures blend in with the natural surroundings of the mountains to the rear and the unspoiled beach and the Andaman Sea at the front. Ramayana Health Club and Spa with 4 individual Thai pavilion rooms is the place for total relaxation and rejuvenation, with an emphasis on Thai herbal treatments, many using fresh products from the resort’s garden. The Jedi Restaurant offers a distinctive cuisine and a unique dining experience in a Thai pavilion over the pool with a panoramic view of the beach. You may also choose to sample the menu at the Don Three Thai Sala that provides food, live Thai music, and a classical show for your entertainment.

Exclusive Privileges for AIG Cardholders (from Oct 1, 07 – Oct 31, 08) • 10% discount in Peak Season (Dec 16, 07 - Jan 15, 08) • 15% discount in High Season (Nov 1- Dec 15, 07 and Jan 16 - Apr 30, 08) • 40% discount in Green Season (May 1 - Oct 31, 08) Takolaburi Cultural & Spa Resort: 46 Moo 2, Prakarang Cape, Tambol Kukkak, Amphur Takuapa, Phang-nga 82190 Thailand ) + 66 (76) 487 287, 2 + 66 (76) 487 286 7 info@khaolaktakolaburi.com / www.khaolaktakolaburi.com 172


173



Best Paradises in Thailand