Enjoy your stay in koh Samui without worrying about your phone bill! Once you’ve downloaded the application, no Internet connection is needed to access the offline content (interactive map and location details). So, there are no extra charges and you don’t need to use a local SIM card.
All the places referenced in Koh samui in myPocket travel guide, are geolocated on the built-in interactive map (on which you can even see airplanes and boats arrive and leave in real time with a countdown in minutes before departure).
A built-in vocal GPS allows you to go from one place to the next easily.
You can also locate places near you thanks to augmented reality (AR information is overlaid in real time).
The navigation is user friendly and it gives you access to all the information you need to enjoy your stay to the fullest (places are sorted by town, price, cuisine or by type of entertainment).
Our favorites are listed as top choice or highly recommended in order to help you make the best choice.
Our geolocation system lets you know how far you are from a particular place, in real time.
Special events or concerts are displayed a few days before they take place. So, you remain informed about each particular venue.
PRESENTATION OF KOH SAMUI in myPocket MAIN MENU
• Where to sleep?
• Where to eat?
• Where to have a drink? Where to go out?
• Things to see. Things to do.
• General information
• Events and shows calendar
• Thai phrasebook
• Built-in interactive map
• Augmented reality
Each referenced place has a specific comment with essential data such as pictures, contact details, an audio file containing the name of the address pronounced in Thai for cab drivers, fares, schedules, useful information, geolocation, etc.
Moreover, showing this app to a member of staff in selected places will give you access to discounts and perks which are regularly updated.
Koh Samui in myPocket uses a powerful search engine so you may easily find places with key words like live music, pool, free wifi, sports events broadcast, etc.
There’s also information about the weather, the latest exchange rate, transportation, local holidays, beaches and towns, to name a few items. You may also bookmark your favorite places (this comes in handy to find your way back to your hotel).
The events calendar will keep you updated on the upcoming games, holidays, and celebrations.
Some features like the calendar, the weather and the exchange rate need to be updated online, but this will be totally under your control. As soon as you’re connected to a wifi hotspot (most of the hotels we’ve listed offer free wifi), the app will be updated when you open it. If you’re using a mobile phone plan, a popup window will let you know the app needs to connect to the Internet, then it’s your choice.
Is there a place you particularly liked? Then don’t hesitate to share it with others by clicking the “I like this place” button. The more likes it gets, the higher it will be listed in its category.
A place might change from one of our visits to another, so please help us keep this guide updated by reporting mistakes and sharing your experience.
If you wish to recommend locations you found engaging, do send us suggestions.
If you’re a manager and you’d like your business to be in Koh samui in myPocket travel guide, please let us know and we’ll send a reviewer to your place.
ENGLISH / FRENCH Available
• OFF LINE travel guide with many colour pictures
• ONLINE Hotel Listing
- 300+ hotels displayed in a clear listing (with location on Google Maps of the area)
• ONLINE booking of your hotel
- Secured Booking of your hotel through Paypal or any Credit Card
• Geolocation function w/ nearest hotels
- Find the nearest hotel around you using your geolocation
• Google Map of Koh Samui w/ hotels/attraction markers
• Static OFFLINE map of Koh Samui
• Events happening in Koh Samui
- Check all Party events in Koh Samui, today and in the 10 coming weeks.
• All Screen compatibility
- All Screen Density/resolution
- Ultra high density (320dpi) tablets ready
• Application can be backed up
• Application can be installed on the SD card
Application in ENGLISH & FRANÇAIS (automatic detection of your phone locale setting) with extra option to choose the language during runtime.
Whether you are a first time visitor,frequent visitor or an expat there is something of interest for everyone,samui is a constantly changing environment and this application will be updated on a regular basis to keep you abreast on special events and local "going ons"
This application has been twelve months in the making and we believe we have covered every corner of the island from wining and dining in romantic spots,to the heady nightlife,from the famous beaches to the hidden gems,from the well known to the off the beaten track spots rarely seen by visitors.We realize vacation time is very precious to us all and this application is designed to help you forward plan your holiday so that you don't miss a single thing at this exciting destination.
Koh samui boasts a wealth of accommodation from budget to luxury from short stay to long stay,the exciting nightlife has a plethora of offerings too including bustling night markets,beer bars,super clubs,live music venues from the sublime to the bizarre whatever your looking for from your koh samui holiday its all here in this compendium of information.
The most comprehensive travel guide for Koh Samui, jam packed with information to organize your own personal travel itinerary, navigable maps, plus a guide to real estate investments on this beautiful island.
Join the world, share your experiences featured on YouTube and Facebook.
Maximize your precious vacation time, tons of information including sightseeing, restaurants, bars, hotels, shopping, image galleries and free daily updates to keep you up to date with local events and happenings.
Never get lost, use the navigable map to locate you and guide you to your destination either on foot or by local transport.
NOW amazing offline weather plugin included! 14 days weather forecast for every thai cities. Plugin works in offline mode. Detailed current weather with information about: conditions, temperature, humidity, pressure.
Our Thailand offline road map (route map) primarily displays roads and transport links rather than natural geographical information. Offline Thailand road map also shows non-automotive tourist routes, and more detailed area around the cities: Bangkok, Patong, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Samui, Kaho Lak, Karon
You can use this map without data roaming, WIFI Connection and hidden costs!
- complete offline map with GPS geolocation (100% offline)
- currency converter: euro, british pound, US dollar, chinese Youan, Japanese Yen, Korean Won, Rupee, Russian Ruble (offline)
- Phrase Book (Tourist dictionary)
- multilingual interface
- city finder
- weather forrecast
- hotels deals (online module) with motels & hostels included
- Things to do & trips
- Attraction Deals: museums, airport transports, walking tours, bike tours, national parks,, jungle, food discovery deals, scuba diving, River Cruise, adventure cruise, zoo safari, elephant riding, canoe tours, fishing tours, Loro Parque & Siam Park Admission Ticket, Wine Trails, Thai Boxing Match with Transfers, Dream World Theme Park Tickets, Speedboat Tours, Mountain Safari
- POI finder (like: hotels, parkings, restaurants, fast food, gas stations)
11 LANGUAGES supported:
English, german, french, russian, korean, portuguese, spanish, japanese, italian, chinese
With our weather plugin you can set any city or region (like Bangkok or Phuket) to get actual weather. Weather is available all the time in your phone in offline mode. It's realy nice because you don't need to pay for internet connection and roaming.
Thailand (ประเทศไทย), officially the Kingdom of Thailand (ราชอาณาจักรไทย) is a country in Southeast Asia with coasts on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. It borders Myanmar (Burma) to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Cambodia to the southeast and Malaysia to the south.
With great food, a tropical climate, fascinating culture and great beaches, Thailand is a magnet for travellers the world over.
Thailand is the country in Southeast Asia most visited by tourists, and for good reason. You can find almost anything here: thick jungle as green as can be, crystal blue waters 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 Thai-ness, with a culture and history all its own and a carefree people famed for their smiles and their fun-seeking sanuk lifestyle. Many travellers 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, they know how to make it in Thailand.
Amazing Thailand : Samui is a free iPhone app travel guide by Tourism Authority of Thailand. The most of information is accessible offline in order to help avoid roaming charges abroad. This app is a combination of information and travel tips which recommend you where to eat, sleep, shop and go out: how to get there, what to see, major attractions, accomodations, festival, local special to buy and where, local food, where to enroll in education institues, where to experience the luxury products in Samui i. This application also enables you to get directions from where you are to the chosen spot (using Google standard API) and allows you to find interesting spots near you and search for other points of interest (POI) within a range of five kilometers.
• Written by authorized organization.
• 80% of content designed for offline use to save on roaming cost.
• Geolocation using Google Maps.
• Bookmark your favourite venues.
• All-in-one function called “Travel Organizer” to help you plan a perfect trip which comprising of;
# A catalog of personal assistance check lists such as, Official documents and records
# Useful numbers: police, fire, medical emergencies, embassies
# Audio Thai Phrase Board
# Currency converter ( updated daily)
# Weather Router
#Chanel to contact Tourism Authority of Thailand home office.
• Traveling in Augmented Reality, you can shoot what's around you with the iPhone's camera to display Thailand at a heightened view.
Trip sharing by send postcard via Facebook, twitter & Email
Enjoy your life in Koh Samui,this manual can be very helpful to you.
If you do so, Trip List is your best partner.
With Trip List, you can add items you are going to bring and mark it down when you have put them in your luggage. You can also share your packing list with your travel buddies easily.
Trip List also provides a lot of sample list for your ease. The country information provides simple information of you destination, like countries' timezone and electrical oulet (power plug) info.
The new features of Trip List can let you export/input your own sets of groups for you to use on next trip.
- Packing Checklist, exportable to Custom Groups
- Travel remarks
- Sample items for creating Packing Checklist
- Searchable Country List with countries and electrical outlets info
- Custom Groups for creating customized checklist group
This is the full version of Trip List, Ad Free, included more Sample Items and functions. You won’t lose any data if you decide to upgrade from Trip List Lite to the paid version as all the data is saved in the SD card / external storage.
* SD Card / External Storage is required.
Tag: packing list, travel, country info, checklist, vacation, holiday, organizer, reminder
★★★ The must have travel app for your holiday ★★★
If the printed guidebook is not enough iLandGuide is the perfect partner for your holiday. Enjoy the navigation on the detailed map, find the best places you are interested in, make your research easy with the Inteligent Search Engine functions. Be noticed about all upcoming events and sales promotions on your mobile in full offline mode to avoid unwanted roaming fees. The essential guide in your pocket.
➤ 100% OFFLINE Map
➤ HUNDREDS OF INTERESTING PLACES with pictures, descriptions and searchable tags (accommodation, activities, beaches, restaurants, party places, sightseeing points, entertainments, spas, massage places, rentals, shops etc.). Save your favorites to find them again later easily.
➤ INTELLIGENT SEARCH ENGINE to filter the entire database by keywords (for example: diving, sushi, aircon, pet-friendly etc.)
➤ AROUND ME function to find out what to see near to you
➤ UPCOMING EVENTS for never get bored
➤ AVAILABLE PROMOTIONS to always get the best deals
➤ USEFUL INFORMATION about the island, about the country, transportation, local foods, history and many many more
➤ PICTURE GALLERY with nice images about the region
➤ TRAVEL GADGETS like currency converter, travel notes etc.
➤ Cloud synchronisation to enjoy the app without internet access
➤ 100% OFFLINE MODE to avoid unwanted data roaming fees.
✻ After downloading the App the first launch may take 1-2 minutes depending on your internet connection. We need this time to synchronise the database with the cloud server and install the map to your phone. You can sync the database anytime later when you have internet connection again.
Other available tourist guides are coming soon… (Thailand: Koh Samui, Koh Tao etc.)
The Dreamers Beach Club App lets you keep up to date with all the latest news from the Dreamers Beach Clubs in Koh Samui and Ibiza, find out which DJ's are playing, view our picture and video galleries and listen to the music we play!
Download the app and stay connected with us.
* Music we Play
* Maps to Dreamers Beach Clubs
* Special Offers
* Local Guides and Information
美麗華旅遊自推出「台北旅遊Guide」、「東京旅遊Guide」、「新加坡旅遊Guide Lite」及「曼谷旅遊Guide」後，一直深受用家歡迎，其中「曼谷旅遊Guide」及「台北旅遊Guide」長期穩坐香港區App Store旅遊付款系列第一、二名，用家滿意程度更達4.5星以上(5星為滿分)！
This is the mappa map for Southern Thailand which includes many of Thailand's most famous resorts on both the west-facing Andaman Sea coastline, and the east-facing Gulf of Thailand coast south of Chumphon.
The offline mappa map for South Thailand includes: Central Gulf Coast (Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Tao, Ang Thong Marine Park and the Khao Sok National Park); Northern Andaman Coast (Khao Lak, Similan Islands, Surin Islands, the southern Ko Chang and Ranong); Phuket (Phang Nga Bay); Krabi Province; Southern Andaman Coast (Ko Tarutao archipelago, Trang islands); Southern Gulf Coast. Destinations include: Hat Yai; Krabi; Nakhon Si Thammarat; Chumphon; Patong; Phuket Town; Ranong; Songkhla; Surat Thani; Ao Nang; Khao Sok National Park; Ko Lipe; Ko Pha Ngan; Ko Phi Phi; Ko Samui; Phang Nga Bay; Rai Leh and Similan Islands.
Top 5 reasons to get your offline mappa map for South Thailand:
1. SIMPLE - No geeky features. It’s a map!
2. ENTIRE LOCATION AVAILABLE OFFLINE - download the entire city and POI database to your phone and travel without an Internet connection. You won’t get any nasty roaming charges. Your map will work anywhere.
3. VECTOR DATA - means that you get maximum detail, maximum zoom and maximum coverage with a tiny map file that takes moments to download and uses hardly any space on your phone.
4. POINT OF INTEREST DATABASE BUILT-IN - Search a dozen categories including, restaurants, bars and hotels, also handy places such as hospitals, taxi ranks and public transport stops. We’ve also included a fuzzy partial search for POI and street names to make it fast and easy.
5. EXCELLENT COVERAGE - Maps are the very latest OpenStreetMap with superb coverage and detail. And you will get free updates to the app and map forever as long as we add new versions.
Install your offline mappa map for Southern Thailand now!
• 實用的Key in/手寫溝通面板，讓你還能透過寫寫畫畫來溝通。
● 關鍵字：旅遊, 旅行, 出國, 語言學習, 手指書, 背包客, 自助旅行, 商務旅行, 學英文, 美國, 英語翻譯, 即時翻譯, 英語溝通, 英語對話
● 如果您有任何與App相關的問題或建議，都非常歡迎和我們聯繫--email:firstname.lastname@example.org ，我們將竭誠為您服務。
You will learn:
- who has a patent on the artificial cloudsin Thailand?
- why is small hamlet called Pai famous?
- how many times is celebrated the new year in Thailland?
- what does the "farang" mean?
- why was Suvarnabhumi Airport not built on time
- and when did the first asphalt come in Koh Samui
as well as who favored Thailand for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
More from developer
It is a combination of old and new country. This city truly shows the respect they have for their traditions along with their coming into modern day society.
In every way you look at it, this truly is the capital, as this is where the Royal family lives as well as being the main location of the government and administration.
It is the major center for industry, commercialism, and financial activity. It's the main port and it's inhabited by roughly 1/10 of the United Kingdom. Bangkok is located at the Chao Phraya River, which flows into the Gulf of Siam.
The proper name of the capital Bangkok is Krung Thep, or City of Angel when translated. It is thought of as the heart of this place, spiritually, physically, and symbolically.
When you first arrive in the city there is an impression that Bangkok is a progressive metropolis due to the skyline composed of high-rises, condos, hotels, stores, and malls. This is just one of the appealing things about Bangkok.
This city is indeed the most exotic capital in all of the Orient. Even though Bangkok is a progressing city, the people of Bangkok have never forgotten the traditions, which made Bangkok this wonderful place.
Among the 400 various Buddhist temples, you are confronted with much inspirational splendor, much of which allows you to see the achievements made in art.
There is so much more to discover than what you see at first. There are the major attractions, but there are some places that are known less. One place is Wat Ratchabophit. It's ornamentation and layout with numerous monuments is a place to visit. Another place overlooked often is Bangkok's Grand Palace as well as National Museum, and Wimanmek Throne Hall, as well as Jim Thompson's house.
You can get true insights into the culture and rich history if you explore the historical Chao Phraya River. There are so many things to see and visit because there is still much of the past, which influences this culture along with modern advances. The people join together their love for the past as well as their enthusiasm for the present and create this wonderful place.
One of the true joys for those inhabitants is food. They have very spicy and rich foods. The national specialty foods are fish, crabs, lobster, and shrimp. They also have other places to eat besides those serving the foods mentioned above. Dining in Bangkok is indeed a treat! There is anywhere from fancy, sit down restaurants all the way to curbside food places. There is something for anyone's tastes.
Bangkok Temple of Dawn from Thailand Photo Library Another way the Thai's enjoy life is their entertainment as well as their nightlife. There is something for everyone in your party. You can see a classical Thai dance as well as have cocktails in a lounge. There are even discos for those who enjoy the sights and sounds of disco.
The most popular sport that has spectators in Thailand is Thai kickboxing (Muay Thai). Thai Kickboxing requires participants to use feet, knees, elbows, as well as fists that are gloved. Most nights of the week in one of the stadiums, you could see one of these matches. While visiting you really shouldn't miss it. It's really exciting to not only witness the match, but also the sights and sounds around the ring.
If you wish to partake in something of a high-class nature, then you will want to visit the Thailand Cultural Center, which has just recently opened. You can witness performances of dancing, music, and even drama. The other places you can possibly catch a show would be at some of the top rated hotels.
Now, the fishermens’ huts have long gone, as the region lures sun-worshippers and hedonists in their millions every year. A seemingly unlimited flow of dollars fuelled the local economy which for decades wasn’t as careful as it might have been about the rapid development and free-for-all glitz and glamour which drove the city’s progress, but more recently, it is striving to position itself as a more family-friendly destination.
Nowadays, the nearby temples of the Pratamnak Hill look down on a bustling metropolis, packed with hotels, stores, high-rise apartment blocks, bars and restaurants. Pleasure-seekers revel in the nightlife, with its pulsing beat, and head for the beaches of Naklua, Pattaya and Jomtien by day.
Broadly speaking, the city is divided into several regions. Central Pattaya offers countless shops and restaurants, and plentiful nightlife, but is definitely not for those in search of a quiet night’s sleep. Likewise, South Pattaya, which encompasses the word-famous Walking Street, a tourist attraction in itself, which draws foreigners and Thai nationals alike, primarily for the after-dark entertainment. This is also the City’s red-light district, and go-go bars and brothels line the street which runs from the south end of Beach Road to the Bali Hai Pier. However, Walking Street also includes seafood restaurants, live music venues, beer bars, discos and sports bars and has an impressive collection of neon signs for those who want to be where the action is.
There’s no escaping the hurly burly in Pattaya, but if you’re looking for a slightly more peaceful experience, you’ll head to one of the beaches. Pattaya’s beaches are everything expected of Thailand’s famed beaches. Gorgeous, clean and well facilitated. Jomtien is popular with package tour operators and families, whilst if you head up to Naklua and North Pattaya you’ll find that although there are still plenty of bars and restaurants, the entertainment isn’t quite as relentless. If you seek out the more remote corners of Naklua you may even get a hint of the region’s traditional history as a fishing town. Few tourists bother, but for traditionalists, it’s worth a visit.
The tropical climate divides the year into three, from November to February the air is warm and dry, getting hotter and more humid through to May, and the rainy season runs from June to October.
Overall, Pattaya is not for the faint-hearted, or those in search of solitude or a cultural experience, but it will reward the laid-back traveller with just a hint of a spirit of adventure.
Phuket’s present income, however, has been made possible by its booming tourism industry. On Boxing Day 2004 the island suffered small effects of a tsunami caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake, but has happily since made a full recovery.
Of its many attractions, Phuket’s parks, gardens and arboretums are especially beautiful, often featuring nature trails that, in some cases, continue meandering for miles on end. The larger parks, such as the Khao Phra Taew Wildlife Sanctuary or the Sirinat National Park, are important centres for research and conservation efforts.
The Khao Sanctuary, for instance, occupies 5,500 acres, much of it lush primary rainforest which is home to a diverse range of species, many of which are endangered, including monkeys, gibbons, birds, small mammals and reptiles. And for those with an interest in local marine life, the Phuket Marine Biological Centre runs the Phuket Aquarium, where many Andaman Sea species are on display, including some rare indigenous corals.
Phuket’s general weather pattern is fairly typical for a tropical island, being divided into a hot season, from March to early May, which tends to be fairly dry, and a rainy or monsoon season, from May to October, which, although rather cooler, can never be described as cold.
Many people, in fact – both residents and visitors – actually prefer the rainy season, finding it refreshing and invigorating. There is occasionally a late afternoon thunder shower lasting no more than an hour, and this can be followed by some hard rainfall during the middle of the night, but the earlier parts of the day are usually fine – except perhaps for the occasional storm lasting up to two or three days, but these are really quite infrequent.
Most of Phuket’s cities are conveniently built close to the beach; one of the exceptions, however, is Phuket Town, which has the largest concentrated population on the island and is also its administrative centre. It also boasts the lowest priced hotels.
On the east coast is Chalong Bay, where Phuket’s most popular yachting clubs are to be found. This is also the main gateway to the smaller islands standing further out from Phuket. The main beaches of Phuket - for which the island is famed - include Banana Beach, sometimes known as Coral Island, close to Chalong Bay, where hornbills can be glimpsed, as well as an abundance of marine life.
Cape Panwa is the home of Phuket Aquarium, while Kata Yai Beach is enormously popular with surfers. Laem Singh Beach is renowned for its breathtaking views. Patong Beach - the largest on the whole island - is very well known for its nightlife, while Mai Khao is extremely quiet, unfrequented and unspoiled by the bulk of tourists, and close to several small Thai villages, temples and restaurants, one of them built on a bamboo platform overlooking the estuary.
Phuket, then, is well worth a visit, having something to offer even to those with the most diverse tastes and requirements in holiday destinations.
Our Indonesia Travel Guide includes a Travel Guide on Bali, Lombok, Jakarta and Yogyakarta.
The main town of Krabi is at the mouth of the Krabi river where it opens into Phangnga Bay. The population of the town is almost 25,000.
From archaeological discoveries, it is believed that Krabi was one of the oldest communities in Thailand dating back to the prehistoric period. It is believed that this town may have taken its name after the meaning of Krabi, which is ‘sword’. This may have stemmed from a legend that an ancient sword was unearthed prior to the city’s founding.
At the start of the Rattanakosin or Bangkok period in the late eighteenth century, when the capital was finally settled at Bangkok, an elephant kraal was established in Krabi by order of Chao Phraya Nakorn, the governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat, which was by then a part of the Thai Kingdom. He sent his vizier to oversee this task, which was to ensure a regular supply of elephants for the larger town. So many followers emigrated in the steps of the vizier that soon Krabi had a large community in three different boroughs: Pakasai, Khlong Pon, and Pak Lao. In 1872, King Chulalongkorn elevated these to town status.
Krabi Province was badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. Now, signs of the damage are now hard to find in many places, but in the worst hit areas (especially Koh Phi Phi and Khao Lak) reconstruction is still ongoing.
The best time to visit Krabi is between November and April, when the area’s climate is less hot than usual. During this period the island gets a lot of dry North Easterly winds, so giving dry blue skies and starry nights. Then, down on the beaches one can enjoy nice sea breezes. From June to November the area gets a lot of rainfall, more on average than the rest of the country. During this period the island gets a lot of moist South Westerly winds, so giving a mixture of dry days and wet ones. The sea stays at a warm 29°C all year round. If you don’t mind the rain, it’s cheaper to visit through this season.
Getting to Krabi can be an adventure in itself. You can fly in direct to the internal airport but there’s no railway station so many travelers arrive in Krabi by bus from Surat Thani. If you plan a journey that includes Phuket and Krabi, it’s the opportunity to experience Thailand’s only seaplane service.
When approaching the city from the air (there are regular connecting flights from Bangkok at very reasonable rates) the golden roof of the Wat Prathat temple on top of the Doi Suthep holy mountain are among the first things that catch the eye, and a sight that is likely to be remembered for a long time.
However, there are ways of approaching Chiang Mai and see even more - much more in fact, as the journey lasts some eight hours – and that is by train. Using the local buses is not recommended; roads are narrow and traffic unruly. Once safely arrived in the city, you can choose to explore it on foot, as the city centre is quite compact, or to go in local style, either in so-called Tuk-Tuks, a kind of motor-powered rickshaw, or by Songthaew, an open pick-up truck with seats. Seasoned travellers advise giving preference to the Tuk-tuks.
This 700-year old city, which is also called ‘The rose of the north’, is still steeped in traditional Thai ways and customs and offers a wealth of experience to the traveller.
Inhabited by a colourful mixture of northern mountain tribes and the northern Thais, or kon mueang, which consider themselves to be the ‘true’ Thais; it has retained much of their cultural values and traditions across the centuries. The friendliness in this city is legendary, and as a visitor you could not wish for more gentle and polite hosts.
Although Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand after Bangkok, it only has about 5% of Bangkok’s population, making it an ideal escape from the busy hustle and bustle of the capital.
Despite the unavoidable modernisation of recent years, the charming and laidback city provides plenty of tranquil spots and literally hundreds of splendid teakwood temples, a wealth of unspoilt tradition and a multitude of other sights such as a moat and bustling street markets.
As a result, Chiang Mai is not only popular among tourists, but also among the Thai themselves, who in summer seek refuge from the sweltering heat of the south. There are also highly recreational hot springs in San Kampaeng, only 45 minutes from Chiang Mai, which offer a unique bathing experience and recreational huts for the perfect relaxation.
There is also plenty of excellent shopping to engage in: Chiang Mai lives up to its reputation as the Thai centre of traditional handicraft and art and there are high-class silk, wool, silver and pottery products to buy and to admire.
Even the more adventurous tourist will find plenty to keep you busy, from adventure trips to the national parks, waterfalls and elephant riding to river rafting and trekking in the mountains to the north of the city.
The resort was originally founded in 1830s, when farmers, moving south to escape the results of a severe drought in the agricultural area of Phetchaburi, found a small village beside white sands and rows of rock, and settled in. The tranquil fishing village was turned into a ‘Royal resort’ becoming popular among Siam’s nobility and smart-set.
Accessibility was greatly enhanced by the construction of the railway from Bangkok, which brought visitors from wider social groups, and kick-started the industry which would bring tourists from other countries. The first hotel – The Railway Hotel – was built in 1921 and it still stands today continuing to serve tourists as the Sofitel Central.
Hua Hin was made famous in the early 1920s by King Rama VII, who decided it was an ideal getaway from the steamy metropolis of Bangkok. He built a summer palace and this was echoed when King Rama VII ordered the construction of the Palace of Klaikangwon (“far from worries”). The latter is still much used by the Thai Royal Family today.
The resort continued to develop slowly, protected to some extent by its Royal reputation. Its fishing port grew alongside golf courses and all the big hotel chains are now represented. Many of Bangkok’s rich and famous and a growing number of expats have built their own summer homes along the bay, making the resort more cosmopolitan every year.
Development has taken over much of the prime government land, so the coast road suffers from obstructed views of the sea these days, but Hua Hin is trying hard to retain its beach-side atmosphere. Compared to Pattaya, the resort remains relatively serene and attracts families and older travelers. The beach has a gradual slope, into clear warm water which so far has escaped pollution of any kind.
Further afield, the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province is a charming region, where limestone cliffs and islands, bays and beaches, are home to a national park, and several temples, and travelling through this area will be a welcome experience for those hoping to avoid the tourist traps found further South. Driving from Bangkok through Prachuap Khiri Khan takes around three hours, a journey punctuated by summer palaces, huge temples, beautifully kept gardens and salt flats.
Visitors head to Hua Hin all year round. The area has one of the lowest rainfalls in the country, and there’s usually a gentle sea breeze to punctuate the heat, particularly welcome in the summer season between March and September.
The province is average sized and is home to approximately 1,130,000 citizens. There are an abundance of different people from the different cultures from the surrounding countries, and the rest of Thailand obviously. The provincial capital, also named Chiang Rai is a honey pot of mixed races and mixed language citizens. Arriving by plane really is a joy when flying into the nearest airport to Chiang Rai. ‘Mae Fah Luang-Chiang International Airport’ is only 8km from the city centre, so really isn’t far. Flights are available from all parts of Thailand.
The Mekong river, although not the biggest river, runs through the centre of the provincial capital, and is home to many hill-tribes along its banks. The Mekong links to other rivers such as the Mae Rim Valley River and acts as a carrier river. It has an amazing and fascinating mix of colours that varies between locations. Chiang Rai city lies 565 metres (1885 feet) above sea level in a large fertile valley. Along the valley there’s an abundance of wildlife and vegetation of all different kinds. The river banks are lined with trees. The cool refreshing climate is a favourite of local Thai people and of world travellers alike.
There is a very famous and popular night market with a more subdued atmosphere than that of the bustling city centre of the provincial capital and the other cities and towns in Chiang Rai Province. Surprisingly, the pollution levels around the night time market are very low, some of the lowest levels in the whole of Thailand in fact. Local sellers are given special precedence in the market to sell their wares to the weary travellers. The market is not for from the city centre of Chiang Rai, and if you don’t want to walk you can always take a ride on a local form of transport, such as the Tuk-Tuk.
Hill tribe fabrics, beads, needlework, and silver dominates the city and whole province of Chiang Rai. There are many food courts in Chiang Rai city, selling a number of northern Thai dishes, and Asian dishes. Day time and night time snacks are available. Or, you can go into one of many pubs and just relax, enjoy the city, and people watch.
Local Thai people and expats really are friendly and welcoming in Chiang Rai. The Thai people will show you their legendary charm and will always be there for you, just to have a chat with, or to help you if you are in need of it.
There are many adventure and health resorts in the province of Chiang Rai. You can take a relaxing break to forget the world and your problems at home, or you can take an adventure break, taking elephant treks along the rivers and in the forests.
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The weather in Surin is relatively typical of the region, with peak temperatures nearing 40 degrees C in April to May, and a rainy season beginning in May and peaking in September. The best times to visit are from October until March.
Surin has many attractions, but the most excitement centers around elephants. Surin is home to the Surin Elephant Village, where the mahouts live closely with their charges, almost like family. This goes hand-in-hand with the biggest event of the year in Surin, the Surin Elephant Round Up.
The Round Up is held in the 3rd week of November annually, but if you’re interested, book tickets early for the festival and for accommodation, as tickets for both get steadily more expensive and hard to find as the date approaches. During the festival, you will see elephants in parades, playing football, tug-of-war, and reenacting famous battles from years past. The festival is based on the long-standing reputation of the Surin elephant trainers, including the founder of the city, a legendary master of war elephants.
On the border with Cambodia, you will also find the Chong Chom checkpoint border market. The open air market hosts a wide variety of souvenir-worthy items, as well as daily essentials for the locals.
If Khmer ruins are on your to-do list, be sure to see Phanom Rung, the largest example of Khmer architecture in Thailand. The site is built on top of a dormant volcano, and the elevation provides excellent views of the surrounding countryside. The temple, dedicated to Shiva, was built in the 12th century, but the site itself was considered sacred ground long before that. The carvings on display at Phanom Rung are exemplary.
Restaurants are easy to find in Surin. For Euro-centric fare, stop in at Farang Connection. The menu offers a wide selection of imported and domestic beers. Breakfasts are a specialty and run the gamut from light (eggs, toast, and coffee) to the extravagant (the enormous “Man Sized” English breakfast – good luck finishing it all!). Oasis is a Norwegian owned eatery with an extensive pizza menu to complement their Norwegian and Thai main dishes. For local cuisine, try Sumrab Tornkruang or Larn Chang.
Nightlife can be a little easier to find in Surin, as compared to some of the other cities in Isaan. The restaurants mentioned above, Farang Connection and Oasis, are a great place to start, or to stay for that matter. Heading out from these establishments, check out the variety of local clubs and karaoke bars. Tawan Daeng comes highly recommended, with an excellent local band. Saren Pub is the current spot for the younger, upwardly mobile local set. Enjoy!
The Asian Trails vision was first conceived in 1999 by Luzi Matzig (Lersan Misitsakul) who had formerly been with Diethelm Travel Thailand for 29 years and who, together with senior partners Laurent Kuenzle, Jacques Guichandut and Roger Haumueller founded the company in mid 1999. Asian Trails grew very successfully over the years and in August 2006, Kuoni Travel of Switzerland become a majority Shareholder in the company, while agreeing to let Asian Trails continue as a totally independent regional Destination Management company.
Asian Trails offices are located in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Luzi Matzig is now the CEO while Roger Haumueller took over as Managing Director of Asian Trails Ltd. in Thailand. Laurent Kuenzle acts as Group Managing Director for all companies outside Thailand.
Asian Trails Ltd. Thailand, was the first to commence operating on September 09, 1999 (9-9-99 is considered a very lucky date) with a staff of now 225-plus experienced managers and travel specialists. Its headquarters are in state-of-the-art offices on the 9th floor of SG Tower in downtown Bangkok, with easy access by sky-train, buses and taxis. There are branch offices in Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi, Koh Chang and Samui and the company handled over 303’000 clients in Thailand during 2007 with sales of 1.72 Billion Baht (USD 52 Mio.) Asian Trails Ltd. is an official IATA accredited agent and offers favorable air ticket deals ex Thailand.
As the handling agents for major international tour operators such as the Kuoni Group of companies including Kuoni Switzerland, France, Spain and Holland, as well as for TUI Touristik Union International (in Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia), Asian Trails provides quality destination services to multilingual clients at competitive rates.
All Asian Trails companies operate on the same platform, the TOPAX passenger handling system. Asian Trails has created the only truly integrated service net in Asia, where the lines between front and back offices have subtly been blurred by database management, and full use is made of information technology. Online access via the web with instant confirmations of reservations and rates for hotel bookings and package tours was introduced in August 2001, followed by an XML platform allowing selected partners direct access to Asian Trails’ database which was introduced in mid 2005.
An efficient team of motivated and experienced managers who know their individual terrain extremely well work in harmony towards the same goal. All are continuously scouting for innovative products and are in daily contact with each other, sharing ideas and information. Training programs are coordinated throughout the network to ensure that quality is maintained at a consistent level everywhere and at all times.
Asian Trails has become a standard and aspires to be seen as the benchmark against which others are judged.
Rayong City is the capital of the province, and boasts a population of around 55 thousand. Its main industry is fishing, and it is the main producer of Thailand’s fish sauce, whilst also being a centre for the automotive and chemical industries.
Rayong has origins in antiquity. Back in 1500 in the Buddhist Era the Khmer settled the area. Thailand was in a constant state of defending itself against the Burmese army. The old capital, Ayutthaya was burned by invading soldiers in 2309 BE. The ruling king at the time Praya Vajiraprakan, fled south with his entourage and supporters.
Later, during his journey to Chantaburi in the east, he made a stop at Rayong to gather reinforcements. He was given a great welcome by the citizens of Rayong who conferred on him the title of Phra Chao Taksin or the King of Thonburi.
With a bolstered army and naval force, Praya Vajiraprakan returned to Ayutthaya where he was successful in regaining independence. The landmark victory was marked by constructing a new capital city at Thonburi. The people of Rayong had their own commemoration of the victory, building a shrine to the king’s memory which still attracts devotees every day, centuries on.
It was during the Ayutthaya era that the oldest Buddhist temple of Rayong was built, and still houses a huge statue of a reclining Buddha, which is no less than 12 metres long.
There is other, more recent military history that makes up the story of Rayong. During the Vietnam War, Sattahip was used as an American base and the forces enjoyed the region for their recreational and relaxation time when not fighting. They didn’t leave much of a mark on Rayong but it led to the growth of modern Pattaya.
Another landmark of Thai history at Rayong is the statue of Sunthorn Phu. One of Thailand’s most revered and celebrated poets, he wrote what is adjudged to be the finest example of Thai literature in Rayong 200 years ago during the Ratanakosin era.
Despite this colourful history, however, most travellers spend little time in the city, but will instead take the chance to explore the wider province’s rich geography, or hop on a bus and head straight for Pan Phe, the port. From here you can take further transport along the coast to small and unsophisticated resort towns including Hat Mae Rampeung, Laem Mae Phim, Hat Sai Thong and Laem Charoen. Ferries from nearby Ban Phe take visitors to private resorts on the secluded islands of Ko Man Klang and Ko Man Nok, as well as the more popular tourist islands.
The weather is consistently all year round, only falling below 80 degrees around December and January, and rising to its hottest point around May. Rainfall is at its most likely in September.