| The Thais word 'sanuk' means 'fun'. In Thailand anything worth doing - even work - should have an element of 'sanuk', otherwise it automatically becomes drudgery. This doesn't mean Thais don't want to work or strive, just that they tend to approach tasks with a sense of playfulness. Nothing condemns as activity more than the description 'mai sanuk', 'not fun'. Sit down beside a rice field and watch workers planting, transplanting or harvesting rice some time while you're in Thailand.
That it's back-breaking labour is obvious, but participants generally inject the activity with lots of 'sanuk' - flirtation between the sexes, singing, trading insults and cracking jokes. The same goes in an office or a bank, or other white-collar work situation - at least when the office in question is predominantly Thai (businesses run by non-Thais don't necessarily exhibit 'sanuk'). The famous Thai smile comes partially out of this desire to make 'sanuk'.
Thais beleive strongly in the concept of 'saving face', that is avoiding confrontation and endeavouring not to embarrass themselves or other people (except when it's 'sanuk' to do so). The ideal face-saver doesn't bring up negative topics in conversation, and when they notice stress in another's life, they usually won't say anything unless that person complains or asks for help. Laughing at minor accidents - like when someone trips and falls down - may seem callous to outsiders but it's really just an attempt to save face on behalf of the person undergoing the mishap. This is another source of the Thai smile - it's the best possible face for almost any situation.
| Socially, every Thai male is excepted to become a monk for a short period in his life, optimally between the time he finishes school and the time he starts a career or marries. Men or boys under 20 years of age may enter the Sangha as novices - this is not unusual since a family earns great merit when one if its sons 'takes robe and bowl'.
Traditionally, the length of time spent in the 'wat' is three months, during the Buddhist lent (phansa), which begins in July and coincides with the rainy season. However, nowadays men may spend as little as a week or 15 days to accrue merits monks.
There are about 32,000 monasteries in Thailand and 460,000 monks ; many of these monks are ordained for a lifetime. Of these a large percentage become scholars and teachers, while some specialize in healing and/or folk magic.
| The Sangha is divided into two sects : the Mahanikai (Great Society) and the Thammayut (from the Pali dhammayutika or 'dharma-adhering). The latter is a minority sect (the ratio being one Thammayut to 35 Mahanikai) begun by King Mongkut and patterned after an early Mon form of monastic discipline which he had practiced as a monk ('bhikkhu'). Members of both sects must adhere to 227 monastic vows or precepts as laid out in the Vinya Pitaka - Buddhist scriptures dealing with monastic discipline. Overall discipline for Thammayut monks, however, is generally stricter.
For example, they eat only once a day - before noon - and must eat only what is in their alms bowl, whereas Mahanikais eat twice before noon and may accept side dishes. Thammayut monks are expected to attain proficiency in meditation as well as Buddhist scholarship or scripture study ; the Manahanikai monks typically 'specialize' in one or the other. Other factors may supersede sectarian divisions when it comes to disciplinary disparities. Monks who live in the city, for example, usually emphasize study of the Buddhist scriptures while those living in the forest tend to emphasize meditation.
• International Dhama Hermitage :
Wat Suan Mok,Chaiya, Surat Thani
Tel. (077) 431552
• Northern Insight Meditation Centre :
Wat Ram Poeng, Canal Rd, Chaing Mai
Tel. (053) 278620
• Old Medicine Hospital :
78/1 Soi Moh Shivagah Komarapaj, Wualai Road,Chiang Mai
Tel. (053) 275085
• Wat Pa Nanachat :
Beung Rai Baan Bung Wai Amphoe Warinchamrab, Ubon Ratchathani
• Wat Phra Dhammakaya :
23/2 Mu 7 Khong Sam, Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani
Tel.(02) 524 0257
• World Fellowship of Buddhists :
33 Sukhumvit Rd, Bangkok
Tel.(02) 251 1188
|POPULATION & PEOPLE
| The population of Thailand is about 61.4 million and currently growing at a rate of 1 % to 1.5% per annum (as opposed to 2.5% in 1979), thanks to a vigorous nationwide family-planning campaign.
Over a third of all Thais live in urban areas. Bangkok is by far the largest city in the kingdom, with a population of over six million (more than 10% of the total population) - too many for the scope of its public services and what little 'city planning' exists. Ranking the nation's other cities by population depends on whether you look at thetsabaan (municipal district) limits or at meuang (metropolitan district) Emits.
By the former measure, the four most populated cities in descending order (not counting the densely populated 'suburb' provinces of Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi, which rank second and third if considered separately from Bangkok) are Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat), Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Khon Kaen. Using the rather misleading meuang measure, the ranking runs Udon Thani, Lopburi, Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat) and Khon Kaen. Most of the other towns in Thailand have populations below 100,000.
The average life expectancy in Thailand is 69 years, the highest in mainland South-East Asia. Yet only an estimated 59% of all Thais have access to local health services; in this the nation ranks 75th worldwide, behind even countries with lower national incomes such as Sudan and Guateinala. There is only one doctor per 4316 people, and infant mortality figures are 26 per 1000 births (figures for neighbouring countries vary from 110 per 1000 in Cambodia to 12 in Malaysia). Thailand has a relatively youthful population; only about 12% are older than 50 years and 6% over 65.
The Thai Majority
About 75% of citizens are ethnic Thais, who can be divided into the Central Thais, or Siamese, of the Chao Phraya Delta (the most densely populated region of the country); the Thai Lao of North-Eastern Thailand; the Thai Pak Tai of Southern Thailand; and the Northern Thais. Each group speaks their own Thai dialect and to a certain extent practises customs unique to their region. Politically and econon-iimly the Central Thais are the dominant group, although they barely outnumber the Thai Lao of the North-East.
People of Chinese ancestry make up 11 % of the population, most of whom are second or third generation Hakka, Chao Zhou, Hain- anese or Cantonese. In the North there are also a substantial number of Hui - Chinese Muslims who emigrated from Yunnan to Thailand in the late 19th century to avoid religious and ethnic persecution during the Qing dynasty.
The second largest ethnic minority group living in Thailand are the Malays (3.5%), most of whom reside in the provinces of Songkhla, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. The remaining 10.5% of the population is divided among smaller non Thai-speaking groups like the Vietnamese, Khmer, Mon, Semang (Sakai), Moken (chao leh or sea gypsies), Htin, Mabri, Khamu and a variety of hill tribes.
| Approximately 95% of the Thai citizens are Theravada Buddhists. The Thais themselves frequently call their religion Lankavamsa (Sinhalese lineage) Buddhism because Thailand originally received Buddhism from Sri Lanka during the Sukhothai period. Strictly speaking, Theravada refers only to the earliest forms of Buddhism practised during the Ashokan and immediate port-Ashokan periods in South Asia. The early Dvaravati and pre-Dvaravati forms of Buddhism - those which existed up until the 10th or 11th century - are not the same as that which developed in Thai territories after the 13th century.
Since the Sukhothai period (13th to 15th centuries), Thailand has maintained an unbroken canonical tradition and 'pure' ordination lineage, the only country among the Theravadin countries to have done so. Ironically, when the ordianation lineage in Sri Lanka broke down during the 18th century under Dutch persecution, it was Thailand that restored the Sangha (Buddhist brotherhood) there. To this day the major sect in Sri Lanka is called Siamopalivamsa (Siam-Upali lineage, Upali being the name of the Siamese monk who led the expedition to Ceylon), or simply Siam Nikaya (the Siamese sect).
Basically, the Theravada school of Buddhism is an earlier and, according to its followers, less corrupted form of Buddhism than the Mahayana schools found in East Asia or in the Himalayan lands. The Theravada (literally, 'teaching of the elders') school is also called the 'southern' school since it took a southern route from India, its place of origin, through South-East Asia (Mynmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia in this case), while the 'northern' school proceeded north into Nepal, Tibet, China, Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam and Japan.
Because the Theravada school tried to preserve or limit the Buddhist doctrines to only those canons codified in the early Buddhist era, the Mahayana school gave Theravada Buddhism the name Hinayana, or the 'lesser vehicle'. The Mahayana school was the 'great vehicle', because it built upon the earlier teachings, 'expanding' the doctrine in such a way as to respond more to the needs of lay people, or so it is claimed.
| Buddha's words
The Buddha taught his disciples :
When you see, just see.
When you hear, just hear.
When you smell, just smell.
When you touch, just touch.
When you know, just know.
Many Thais express the feeling that they are somehow unworthly of nibbana. By feeding monks, giving donations to temples and performing regular worship at the local 'wat' (temple) they hope to improve their lot, acquiring enough merit (Pali term 'punna' ; Thai term 'bun') to prevent or at least lessen the number of rebirths. The making of merit ('tham bun') is an important social and religious activity in Thailand. The concept of reincarnation is almost universally accepted in Thailand, even by non-Buddhists, and the Buddhist theory of karma is well expressed in the Thai proverb 'tham dii, dai dii : tham chua, dai chua' (do good and receive good ; do evil and receive evil).
The Triratna, or Triple Gems, highly respected by Thai Buddhists, include the Buddha, the Dhamma (the teachings) and the Sangha (the Buddhist brotherhood). All are quite visible in Thailand. The Buddha, in his myriad and omnipresent sculptural forms, is found on a high shelf in the lowliest roadside restaurants as well as in the lounges of expensive Bangkok hotels.
The Dhamma is chanted morning and evening in every 'wat' and taught to every Thai citizen in primary school. The Sangha is seen everywhere in the presence of orange-robed monks, especially in the early morning hours when they perform their alms-rounds, in what has almost become a travel-guide cliche in motion.
Thai Buddhism has no particular 'Sabbath' or day of the week when Thais are supposed to make temple visits. Nor is there anythings corresponding to a liturgy or mass over which a priest presides. Instead Thai Buddhists visit the 'wat' whenever they feel like it, most often on 'wan phra' (literally, 'excellent days'), which occur with every full and new moon, ie every 15 days.
Suan Mok, a 120-acre forest temple in Chaiya district, Surat Thani province, some 580 kilometres south of Bangkok, attracts and accepts meditators from all over the world. Meditation opportunities are also found in Bangkok, particularly at Wat Mahathat (facing Sanam Luang), \A/at Pak Nam, Wat Chonprathan Rangsit, Wat Phrathammakai and Banglamphu's Wat Bowon Nivet where English-language instruction is available.
DO'S & DON'T IN THAILAND
Getting Along In Thailand
Thailand is known for its tolerance and hospitality, and the average tourist will have no difficulty in adjusting to the local customs All the same, as when coming into any unfamiliar society, a visitor may find it helpful to be aware of certain do's and don't's, and thus avoid making accidental misunderstanding. Basically, most of these are simply a matter of common sense and good manners not really all that different from the way one would behave in one's own country but a few are special enough to be pointed out.
Dress & Nudity
Shorts (except knee- length walking shorts), sleeveless shirts, tank tops (singles) and other beach-style attire are not considered appropriate dress for anything other than sport g events. Such dress is especially counterproductive if worn to government offices (eg when applying for a visa extension). The attitude of 'This is how 1 dress at home and no-one is going to stop me' gains nothing but contempt or disrespect from the Thais.
Sandals or slip-on shoes are OK for almost any but the most formal occasions. Short-sleeved shirts and blouses with capped sleeves likewise are quite acceptable.
Thais would never dream of going abroad and wearing dirty clothes, so they are often shocked to see westerners travelling around Thailand in clothes that apparently haven't been washed in weeks. If you keep up with your laundry you'll receive much better treatment everywhere you go.
Regardless of what the Thais may or may not have been accustomed to centuries ago, they are quite offended by public nudity today. Bathing nude at beaches in Thailand is illegal. If you are at a truly deserted beach and are sure no Thais may come along, there's nothing stopping you - however, at most beaches travellers should wear suitable attire. Likewise, topless bathing for females is frowned upon in most places except on heavily-touristed islands like Phuket, Samui and Samet. According to Thailand's National Parks Act, any woman who goes topless on a national park beach (eg KO Chang, KO Phi Phi, Ko Samet) is breaking the law.
Many Thais say that nudity and topless sun- bathing on the beaches is what bothers them most about foreign travellers. These Thais take nudity as a sign of disrespect for the locals, rather than as a libertarian symbol or modem custom. Thais are extremely modest in this respect (Patpong-style go-go bars are cultural aberrations, hidden from public view and designed for foreign consumption) and it should not be the visitor's intention to 'reform' them.
1. Beware of unauthorized people who offer their services as guides. Contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)'s counters for all tourist information. The TAT's counters are located in the Arrival Hall of the Bangkok International Airport; at Terminal 1 Tel: 523-8972-3, or at Terminal 2 Tel: 535-2669 from 08.00 to 24.00 hrs.; at the main office on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue Tel: 281 -0422 during working hours of 08.30 to 16.30 hrs.
2. Visitors are advised to use the hotel taxi service at their hotel if they do not know their way around or cannot speak the local language.
3. Observe all normal precautions as regards to personal safety, as well as the safety of your belongings. Walking alone on quiet streets or deserted areas is not recommended. Be sure that all your valuables -money, jewellery, and airline tickets- are properly protected from loss.
4. Use the service of only registered travel agents.
5. Visitors needing assistance relating to safety, unethical practices, or other matters, please call the Tourist Assistance Centre immediately (Tel: 281 -5051, 282-8129) or contact the Tourist Police (Tel: 678-6800- 9 or 1699)
6. Penalties for drug offences are very severe in Thailand, do not get yourself involved with drugs.
7. Please drop your garbage into a waste container. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is now strictly enforcing the law in an effort to keep the city clean and healthy. The fine (maximum 2,000 baht) will be imposed on a person who spits, discards cigarette stubs, or drops rubbish in public areas.
DANGERS & ANNOYANCES
Although Thailand is in no way a dangerous country to visit, it's wise to be a little cautious, particularly if you're travelling alone. Solo women travellers should take special care on arrival at Bangkok international airport, particularly at night. Don't take one of Bangkok's often very unofficial taxis (black-and-white licence tags) by yourself - better a licensed taxi (yellow-and-black tags) or even the public bus. Both men and women should ensure their rooms are securely locked and bolted at night. Inspect cheap rooms with thin walls for strategic peepholes.
Take caution when leaving valuables in hotel safes. Many travellers have reported unpleasant experiences with leaving valuables in Chiang Mai guesthouses while trekking. Make sure you obtain an iteniised receipt for property left with hotels or guesthouses - note the exact quantity of travellers cheques and all other valuables.
Tourists should exercise caution in remote areas along the border with Burma. The Thai/Burma border is the site of on-going conflicts between the Burmese Army and armed opposition groups as well as clashes between Thai security forces and armed drug traffickers. The far south of Thailand has also experienced incidents of criminally and politically motivated violence, including incidents attributed to armed local Muslim separatist groups. In addition, six illegal aliens from Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan were arrested in the southern city of Hat Yai on October 5, 2001, with a box cutter and suspicious electrical devices. Although Americans have not been specifically targeted in either area, travelers should remain vigilant with regard to their personal security. Tourists should obtain information from Thai authorities about whether official border crossing points are open, and should cross into neighboring countries only at designated crossing points. Thai/Burma border crossings sometimes close temporarily as a result of armed clashes in Burma between the Burmese army and Burmese ethnic groups.
Licensed guides can help ensure that trekkers do not cross inadvertently into a neighboring country.Pirates, bandits, and drug traffickers operate in the border areas. In February 2000, two Australians camping near the Burma border in Ang Kang Park, in the Fang District, were attacked by robbers. One of the campers was shot and killed. In April 1999, a dozen Thai villagers and tribesmen were killed in separate incidents near Thailand's northern border with Burma. In January 2000, 10 gunmen from two fringe groups in Burma crossed into Thailand and took several hundred people hostage at a provincial hospital in Ratchaburi Province. All ten gunmen were killed when Thai authorities stormed the hospital to end the crisis.
Travelers should be aware that there are occasional incidents of violence on Thailand's northern and eastern borders with Laos. In July 2000, five people were killed and several fled to Thailand during a skirmish between apparent insurgents and government forces in Laos near the eastern border crossing at Chong Mek. Additionally, two U.S. citizens in 1999 and one in early 2000 were reported missing after attempting to cross illegally into Laos at the Lao-Thai border.Although tourists have not been targeted specifically by this occasional violence, due caution remains advisable. It is recommended that persons wishing to travel to border areas check with the Thai tourist police and the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai or the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. Strong seasonal undercurrents at popular beach resorts sometimes pose a fatal threat to surfers and swimmers.
During the monsoon season, which is from May through October, drowning is the leading cause of death for tourists visiting Phuket. Some, but not all, beaches have warning flags to indicate the degree of risk (red flag: sea condition dangerous for swimming; yellow flag: sea condition rough, swim with caution; green flag: sea condition stable). In July 2001, an American tourist died in a surfing accident in Phuket at a beach that was not marked. CRIME INFORMATION: In recent years, crimes of opportunity such as pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and burglaries have become more common, though the crime threat in Bangkok remains less than in many American cities. Violent crimes against foreigners are relatively rare. Travelers should be especially wary when walking in crowded markets, tourist sites and bus or train stations. Women are generally not subject to sexual harassment.
Reports of serious transportation-related crimes involving taxis or three-wheeled vehicles called "tuk tuks" are relatively rare, though fare scams can occur. More serious are incidents in which drivers tout disreputable gem stores or entertainment venues because they receive money for bringing in customers. Travelers should always use official metered taxis in Bangkok and never enter a cab that has anyone besides a driver in it. In March 2000, a U.S. citizen was attacked and robbed by a taxi driver and an accomplice picked up en route by the driver. There are occasional reports of scopolamine druggings perpetrated by prostitutes or unscrupulous bar workers for the purpose of robbery. Tourists have also been victimized by drugged food and drink, usually offered by a friendly stranger (sometimes posing as a fellow traveler).
In addition, casual acquaintances met in a bar or on the street may pose a threat. Travelers are advised to avoid leaving drinks or food unattended, and they should avoid going to unfamiliar venues alone. Some trekking tour companies, particularly in Northern Thailand, have been known to make drugs available to trekkers. In July 2001, an American died after smoking opium in a northern hill tribe village. Travelers should not accept drugs of any kind because the drugs may be altered or harmful, and the use or sale of drugs is illegal.Scams involving gems, city tours, entertainment venues and credit cards are also common, especially in areas heavily frequented by tourists. Credit cards should be used only in reputable, established businesses, and the amount charged should be checked for accuracy.
Travelers should not accept tours or offers from touts who solicit on the streets. Shopping at lesser-known gem stores carries a serious risk; the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) receives over 1,000 complaints each year from visitors who have been cheated on gem purchases. The gems often turn out to be greatly overpriced, and money-back guarantees are not honored. Lists of gem dealers who have promised to abide by TAT guidelines are available online at http://www.tat.or.th/do/gems.htm, and information on gem scams can be found on the Thai Tourist Police web site at http://www.police.go.th/touristpolice/. A traveler who has fallen victim to a gem scam should contact the local branch of the Tourist Police, or call their country-wide toll-free number: 1155. Finally, bars or entertainment venues in tourist areas may at times try to charge exorbitant amounts for drinks or unadvertised cover charges. If victimized in this fashion, travelers should not attempt to resolve the problem themselves, but should instead pay the price demanded and then contact the nearest branch of the Tourist Police for help in getting restitution. (The toll-free number for the Tourist Police is indicated above.)
In general Thai police don't hassle foreigners, especially tourists. If anything they generally go out of their way not to arrest a foreigner breaking minor traffic laws, rather taking the approach that a friendly warning will suffice.
One major exception is drug laws, which most Thai police view as either a social scourge with regard to which it's their duty to enforce the letter of the law, or an opportunity to make untaxed income via bribes. Which direction they'll go often depends on dope quantities; small-time offenders are sometimes offered the chance to pay their way out of an arrest, while traffickers usually go to jail.
A strong anti-littering law was passed in Bangkok in 1997 and there were rumours that foreigners were being singled out for enforcement. 1 have received no first-hand accounts of such cases, so can only note that these remain unconfirmed reports. However it won't hurt to be extra vigilant about where you dispose of cigarette butts and other refuse when in Bangkok.
If you are arrested for any offence, the police will allow you the opportunity to make a phone call to your embassy or consulate in Thailand if you have one, or to a friend or relative if not. There's a whole set of legal codes governing the length of time and manner in which you can be detained before being charged or put on trial, but a lot of discretion is left up to the police. With foreigners the police are more likely to bend these codes in your favour. However, as with police worldwide, if you don't show respect you will make matters worse.
Thai law does not presume an indicted detainee to be either 'guilty' or 'innocent' but rather a 'suspect' whose guilt or innocence will be decided in court. Trials are usually speedy.
Thailand has its share of attorneys, and if you think you're a high arrest risk for whatever reason, it might be a good idea to get out the Bangkok yellow pages, copy down a few phone numbers and carry them with you.
Tourist Police Hotline
The best way to deal with most serious hassles regarding ripoffs or thefts is to contact the Tourist Police, who are used to dealing with foreigners, rather than the regular Thai police. The Tourist Police maintain a hotline - dial 1155 from any phone in Thailand, and ask for extension 1.
The Tourist Police can also be very helpful in cases of arrest. Although they typically have no jurisdiction over the kinds of cases handled by regular cops, they may be able to help with translation or with contacting your embassy.
Smuggling with intent to sell
less than 10kg
2 to 15 years imprisonment
up to 5 years imprisonment
2 to 15 years imprisonment
imprisonment or execution
| Note : 'Smuggling' refers to any drug possession at a border or airport customs check.
The predominant video format in Thailand is PAL a system compatible with that used in most of Europe (France's SECAM format is a notable exception) as well as in Australia. This means if you're bringing video tapes from the USA or Japan, which use the NTSC format, you'll have to bring your own VCR to play them! Some video shops (especially those that carry pirated or unlicensed tapes) sell NTSC as,well as PAL and SECAM tapes. A 'multisystem' VCR has the capacity to play both NTSC and PAL, but not SFCAM (except as black & white images).
Electric current is 22OV, 50 cycles. Electrical wall outlets are usually of the round, two pole type; some outlets also accept flat, two bladed terminals, and some will accept either flat or round terminals. Any electrical supply shop will carry adapters for any international plug shape as well as voltage converters.
Film & Equipment
Print film is fairly inexpensive and widely available throughout Thailand. Japanese print film costs around 1OOB per 36 exposures, US print film a bit more. Fujichrome Velvia and Provia slide films cost around 225B per roll, Kodak Ektachrome Elite is 200B and Ektachrome 200 about 280B. Slide film, especially Kodachrome, can be hard to find outside Bangkok and Chlang Mai, so be sure to stock up before heading upcountry. VHS video cassettes of all sizes are readily available in the major cities.
Hill tribe people in some of the regularly visited areas expect money if you photograph them, while certain Karen and Akha will not allow you to point a camera at them. Use discretion when photographing villagers anywhere in Thailand as a camera can be a very intimidating instrument. You may feel better leaving your camera behind when visiting certain areas.
WHAT TO BRING
Bring as little as possible - one medium-sized shoulder bag, duffel bag or backpack should do. Pack lightweight clothes, unless you're going to be in the North in the cool season, in which case you should have a pullover. Natural fibres can be cool and comfortable, except when they get soaked with sweat or rain, in which case they quickly become heavy and block air flow. Some of the lightweight synthetics breathe better than natural fibres, draw sweat away rather than holding it in, and may be more suitable for the beach or mid-rainy season.
Sunglasses are a must for most people and can be bought cheaply in Bangkok and most provincial capitals. Slip-on shoes or sandles are highly recommended - besides being cooler than lace-up shoes, they are easily removed before entering a Thai home or temple. A small torch (flashlight) is a good idea, as it makes it easier to find your way back to your bungalow at night if you are staying at the beach or at a remote guest-house. A few other handy things include a compass, a plastic lighter for lighting candles and mosquito coils (lighters, candles and 'mossie' coils are available in Thailand) and foam ear plugs for noisy nights.
Toothpaste, soap and most other toiletries can be purchased anywhere in Thailand. Sun block and mosquito repellent (except high-percentage DEET) are available, although they can be expensive and the quality of both is generally substandard. If you plan to wash your own clothes, bring along a universal sink plug, a few plastic clothes pegs and three metres of plastic coed or plastic hangers for hanging wet clothes out to dry.
If you plan to spend a great deal of time in one or more of Thailand's beach areas, you might want to bring your own snorkel and mask. This would save you having to rent such gear and would also assure a proper fit. Shoes designed for water sports, eg Aquasocks, are great for wearing in the water wheater you're diving or not. They protect your feet from coral cuts, which easily become infected.
WHEN TO GO
The best overall time for visiting most of Thailand vis-a-vis climate falls between November and March - during these months it rains least and is not so hot. Remember that temperatures are more even in the south, so the south makes a good refuge when the rest of Thailand is miserably hot (April to June). The north is best from mid-November to early December or in February when it begins warming up again. If you're spending time in Bangkok, be prepared to roast n April and do some flood-water wading in October - probably the two worst months, weather-wise, for visiting the capital.
The peak months for tourist visitation are August, November, December, February, and March, with secondary peak months in January and July. You should consider travelling during the least crowed months (April, May, June, September and October) if your main objective is to avoid vacationers and to take advantage of discounted rooms and other low-season rates. On the other hand it's not difficult to leave the crowds behind, even during peak months, if you simply avoid some of the most popular destinations (eg Chiang Mai and all islands and beaches).
Hotel Resort in Krabi, Krabi Ao Nang Thailand, offering Family Vacations Packages
Krabi and Ao Nang , Land of ancient Thai Ethnics and exotic Siam landscapes, are currently the most required, appreciated and equipped tourist destination of Far East, able to offer all kinds of Hotels Resorts and vacations.
Our Hotel Resort offer you holiday packages able to let you live magic emotions, they will vitiate you with the ancestral culture and with the kind smile of the Thai people.
Enjoy cheap vacations in Ao Nang and Krabi, fragrant tourist centres leaned out on the Andaman Sea just 25 Km. far from the Krabi International Airport, definitely affirmed as the new tourist destination of Southern Thailand, where you can get cheap holidays by our Vacation Packages .
The strategic position of our Resort in Ao Nang allows to reach very easily sites of strong tourist interest by our Family Vacations Packages as :
* the fabulous 150 islands raised on the sea, hemmed by caves and candid beaches, coral reefs and a luxuriant sea fauna. The most famous are Railey Beach (heaven of the Free Climbers), Hong Island ("the island of the rooms" for the surreal bays) and the cinematographic James Bond Island ("007-The man of the golden gun"), the sand strip connecting Chicken Island and Tab Island ("Pirates! ") and the Phi Phi Islands (“The Beach” with Leonardo Di Caprio). In our garden there are three of the famous and controversial palm trees, used on the film set in Ko Phi Phi island.
* the ancient temples and stately Buddha, between fizzy falls and sources, hidden in an uncontaminated tropical jungle where is still possible to see the tiger, free and protected in the National Parks.
* the Royal Palace, sea residence of the Queen of Thailand, at 3 Km from Ao Nang, leaned out above the sea.
* the shopping in the picturesque markets that offer the most various local handicraft products, and in the many restaurants and cafe on the beach, first at all our Frittomisto Restaurant, to taste fabulous cocktails and typical exotic dishes, admiring unforgettable and purple sunsets
- Where could I make my Reservation Booking ?
- Where is the Resort Hotel situated ?
- What could I do to carry on my payment ?
- Which kind of discount price - rates the resort hotel offers ?
- How about the Hotel resort Rooms level ?
* You could book and reserve your vacation here
* The hotel Emerald Garden Resort is in Krabi, Thailand, - 90 Moo3.
* You could pay by Credit Card in htpps (SSL. Firewall) or by bank transfer here
* The hotel offer many kind of last minute rates: in some case we offer cheap package including fly (from Italy ) You could find them here .
* The resort level is 3 star; our Rooms are all with A/C, hot water, telephone, fridge-minibar, TV-Sat and Safety box. The hotel has 4 kind of Rooms: Economy Room, Standard Room, Superior Room and Suite-Family Room. You could take a look here.
Emerald Garden Resort is a new hotel located in a hilly, panoramic and quite area, just 600 m. far from the sultry waterfront with noisy Long Tail Boats and motorbikes, ideal for people looking for a vacation in a green relaxing oasis without giving up the best comforts, the right place where enjoy an holiday with a quality/price relation at the top of the market of Krabi Ao Nang Resort.
Emerald Garden Resort is composed of twenty Cottages built in an enchanting tropical garden far just 600 m. from the sea and from Ao Nang centre, attainable during the day by our free shuttle service. This is Krabi National park area, so there is no kind of sun umbrella or deck chairs either on the beach.
Masonry cottages Hotel standing in a 15.500 sqm palm forest; a total of 66 housing with portico or balcony, all equipped with the best comforts for Family Vacations: Air conditioned, satellite TV, telephone, safety box, fridge – minibar and hot water.
Family Vacations Packages:
We offer and organize many kind of Family Vacations Packages, for all the wonderful islands and the tropical rain forest.
Our two swimming pools Jacuzzi, our Gym corner, our Massage hut, our two bar and our Frittomisto Restaurant will let you enjoy in fully your holiday in Krabi, Ao Nang.
Emerald Garden Resort is WWF Member, Unicef Supporter and Unesco Friend; booking
holidays or vacations in our Resort you support directly the activity of these very important Organizations.
For the lovers of diving, our diving center, organize courses and immersions for every level, day and night, during your vacations in our Resort directly.
Emerald Garden Resort. 3 star holidays Hotel 20 km from Krabi airport; Vacations Resort offering Family vacations packages .
Copyright © 2001 [Emerald Garden Resort-A.D.Co.Ltd] All right reserved.
Emerald Garden Resort. 90 Moo 3 Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand
Tel. +66.75.637692 - Fax. +66.75.637691