A Taste of Travel through Thailand in Phuket, Pattaya & Bangkok

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Many were fascinated by the enthusiasm with which I spoke of Thailand, which for me was the best trip so far done with colors of photos taken on the spot. Many have asked me more detailed information that fall outside a little bit from my own emotions. So I decided to make a practical post with a little bit of useful information for those planning to organize a trip to Thailand. Of course, all information provided is based solely on my personal experience, as always.

It would take at least a month to visit the whole of Thailand, a country that deserves to be explored from top to bottom. Those like me who have only a couple of weeks can arrange the trip from Bangkok to the Thai Gulf islands of Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, outlining a route not only to relax on paradisiacal beaches, but also to discover the culture of the country and the beauty that it holds.

I want to clarify one thing that Thailand is not a place solely for the male specimens in search of unbridled fun. Thailand may be the perfect place for a honeymoon, a romantic journey of torque, a solo trip or even for a family. In short, Thailand is good for everyone. The target changes depending on the destinations. Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan islands are perfect for couples and families, while Koh Phangan and Koh Samui are the ideal places for guys looking for nightclubs and entertainment.

First stop: What to see in Bangkok

After arriving in Bangkok we took a fixed fare taxi just outside the airport and the rates were very affordable. In fact, if your bags are not bulky, the ideal would be to take the subway to avoid traffic in Bangkok especially at peak hours. When I first arrived I let myself be upset by modernity of Bangkok. I did not think I'd be thrown into an eastern New York.

Bangkok has an incredible variety of hotels and do not need to spend a fortune for a hotel worthy of note. Bangkok is so vast that although we walked incessantly, I could not see all that I wanted. Maybe because it was the first place I saw immediately after being landed, it will be the first love you never forget, my first advice is to visit the Jim Thompson House.

For me it should be mandatory to visit the beautiful sacred places of Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. They are considered the best and most representative temples of Thailand. The Grand Palace is the most sacred place of Thailand and the spectacular view of the set of temples, pavilions, domes, gilded pinnacles always pleasantly leaves the visitor surprised. This will take a couple of hours, including time for a photoshoot quickly between messy tourists. The inner perimeter of the building consists of a porch, the Ramakien gallery, which with its 178 frescoes tells the victory of good over evil.

The dwelling in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, actually jadeite, also referred to as Wat Phra Kaew, is exciting for the believers, since the famous statue, about 66 cm high is placed at about ten meters in height. Buddha is seated on a carved and gilded wooden throne. Only the king can approach and it is only he who can change three times a year, coinciding the start of the three Thai seasons of the first day of the waning moon of March, July and November, the precious robes of the statue.

The faithful, gathered in an almost transcendental mysticism, leave offerings, flowers, incense. The entire complex of the Grand Palace, absolutely fantastic and unique, can be divided into a dozen well-identified areas as the Upper Terrace which allows a good, albeit partial, photo viewing, the Subsidiary Buildings with the Library and the Mausoleum with urns of ancient rulers, the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall includes the Throne room is used for banquets in honor of the Heads of State.

For all other descriptions of glimpses, pavilions and temples, we leave you to the descriptions of the guidebook. If your visit to the Grand Palace is not provided in the hottest months of the year, consider the possibility of entering around thirteen when thousands of Thai, Korean, Japanese will be busy at the tables of restaurants. A pleasant and memorable experience especially if you lived in a personal way, with simple audio-help guide that allows the optimization of their time according to taste and interest.

Forget the usual Chinese quarters. Chinatown in Bangkok is something unique and traditional. Do not miss the solid gold Buddha. I fell in love with the peace that reigns on top of the Golden Mountain. The Vertigo Moon Bar is the best place to enjoy the spectacular landscape in the city. An alternative is the Lebua Hotel, the one where they filmed The Hangover, although qualitatively prefer the former.

Bangkok Royal Palace

Leaving the Grand Palace and along the wall to your left you will arrive in a few minutes to Wat Pho, the oldest and largest complex of Bangkok. The temple is famous for the huge reclining Buddha 45 meters long and the top 15. His feet, more than 4 meters, are stained from 108 images cards pearl reproducing many of the divinity characteristics. The statue, entirely covered in gold leaf, depicts Buddha lying on his right elbow resting place with an ecstatic because it is at the height of Nirvana, ie the passage from life to death.

Behind him we are in a row along the wall 108 bronze bowls and it is customary to put a dime for every bowl. The gesture is nice and it is considered auspicious to leave 108 pennies. The monks of the temple use these offerings for their livelihoods and for the maintenance of the complex. Once you admired the Reclining Buddha is very recommended to continue the visit of the whole What: immerse yourself in this really fabulous and we will be enchanted fascinated.

A paradise for lovers of photography. Inside the temple is still in business the first official school of Thai massage. Even tourists can experience the benefits of the ancient art relying on the already skilled hands of the young students of the school, or learn the first secrets of some miraculous herbs.



Bangkok Wat Arun temple

In a few minutes walk from Wat Pho, you will reach the pier Tha Tien Pier on the Chao Phraya River. In four minutes, with 4 Bath, the public boat will take you on the Thonburi side of the entrance of the Wat Arun temple. The visit takes an hour while being a genuine gem. Wat Arun, also called "Temple of the Dawn", for the amazing colors that gives the dawn, has a height of over 80 meters and is one of the characteristic images representing Bangkok.

While not large is charming and full of valuable ceramic processing, Chinese porcelain fragments, small mirrors, tinted glass that cover every centimeter. The prang center symbolizes Mount Meru, which in Hindu cosmology is the center of the universe. Going up two steep and narrow stairs you come to the first two terraces where you have the feeling to have Bangkok at your feet.

A visit over, back through the river, sit back in one of the many bars and clubs and you have a spectacular and romantic view by night of Wat Arun. With a good canvas will be your festival of photography and nostalgia when we got home. Wat Arun is remembered almost fondly because the small size and haunting beauty, give the feeling that the temple is there just waiting for us at that moment.

Ayutthaya Historical Park

After living in the city, I recommend a spiritual and rejuvenating trip to Ayutthaya. There is no better way to get in touch with the history of ancient Siam. The Ayutthaya Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991, is about ninety kilometers from Bangkok, Thailand's capital. It is a large island surrounded on all four sides by three rivers and a canal which houses the ruins of an ancient city.

Capital of Siam from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, Ayutthaya was one of the most strategic locations in the commercial and diplomatic level South-East Asia, as well as one of the most cosmopolitan. The name comes from the Indian town Ayodhya, the birthplace of Rama the seventh avatar of Vishnu, but the story would be too long so we give some useful information for visiting the Park.

Given the proximity to Bangkok you can spend even just half a day, but it would be better to stay a couple of days to fully enjoy the magnificence of the ancient Khmer ruins and the rural landscape of the surroundings, maybe turning bike for relaxing excursions into the wild.

Inside the archaeological site of the most interesting attractions are concentrated in the north-western square. Do not miss the Wat Pra Si Sanphet , the largest temple complex that once guarded a Buddha of 16 meters covered with 250 kg of gold; the wihaan Mongkhon Bophit which houses one of the largest Buddha in Thailand (17mt) and Wat Phra Mahathat (Monastery of the Great Relic) whose history is long, complex and with many versions. In 1956, archaeologists found 27 meters deep a treasure room and a Buddha relic.

Destroyed more than two hundred years ago by the usual Burmese, it was never rebuilt. And 'famous for a curiosity: when the invading army conquered the city, broke and destroyed all the heads of the many Buddha statues; he miraculously saved one that, rolling the foot of a tree, was incorporated and protected by the roots of this. Now is the subject most photographed.

Then there are sites equally or even more interesting beyond the island. Visit Wat Choeng Phanan enclosing an internal Chinese temple and where it wishes good luck shooting firecrackers. The Wat Chai Wattanaram, built by King Prasat Thong in memory of his mother, is a perfect spot from which to enjoy a beautiful sunset and still the Wat Phu Khao Thong (Golden Mountain Pagoda) built in 1387. Climb the eighty steps and you'll be rewarded with a beautiful view of the city.

Let's leave the reporting of many other sites of the Park because print and electronic guides give historical and artistic details in abundance. Who is more experienced than me also advised me Chanthaburi. Unfortunately I have not had time to visit it.

Useful info to visit Ayutthaya

To sleep you can try a Guesthouse. The transport from Bangkok are many from the public bus, private minibuses, taxi, train, by water with public or private boat and all that remains you will be spoiled for choice. We opt for modern and comfortable minibus which have more flexible schedules.

Shopping in Bangkok

Asian megacities are at crossroads of cultures and a time source of inspiration for ascetic spirituality and wisdom, is now a destination for travelers from around the world in search of diversity and entertainment, real shopping paradise, where to go on the hunt to dress fashion or technological product at affordable prices. They offer large shopping centers such as countries, vertiginous streets and big brands from around the world.

Travelers nostalgic though not turn up their noses, the giant shopping centers are only a small part and go for shopping can be an unforgettable experience that allows access to a colorful and colorful world. Within a few years, Bangkok has grown dramatically becoming a jumble of buildings, markets, squares, roads to four lanes, shopping districts and endless skyscrapers. If you're planning to stop a few days, the advice is to spend a day in the wild and alternative shopping. We suggest an itinerary that touches five must see places where to shop in Bangkok.

Central World

The sixth largest mall in the world, over 550,000 square meters of shopping for a structure that can easily exceed one million square meters in extent. In practice, a world of glittering display cases and hundreds of thousands of products for sale, a shopping site where massive spill rivers of people in search of opportunity or last exit.

Called World Trade Center to the birth, in 1990, the mall has undergone a series of transformations and improvements closed for several months becoming in 2005 Central World. Defined by compulsive shopping "one of the most exciting places in the world where to shop", there is no great fashion brand or manufacturer of hi-tech is present. Cinemas, restaurants, bars, ice cream shops, all built specifically to make the day of saturated visitor experiences and temptations.

Getting there: located in the Pathum Wan district and is easily accessible by the BTS skytrain and by boat Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat, from where is a five minutes walk to the shopping paradise.

Chatuchak

Dubbed the market of markets, previously known only among professionals, it has become a cult place for tourists to Bangkok, the place you must visit. Located in an area of 35 acres, Chatuchak has over 15,000 different stalls. Every weekend from Friday night until Sunday night flock here over 200,000 people to make buy and flush out the real opportunity: one of the reasons why the market is so popular is that everything is discounted. Pay attention to the quality of the goods that will be proposed, if you come here it is worth staying at least half a day.

Not only clothes, ceramics, furniture and food, but also books, art and vintage items. Eye of the tourist the real business will not get lost in the midst of this shopping frenzy, but do not be discouraged, a system to navigate there: every street within the market is numbered (1 soi, soi 2, soi 3) for a total of 27 within the market. It is a division by type of goods - you will find all kinds of products in all prohibit But there will surely give a hand to find yourself and figure out where the hell you are finished.

Getting there: you can reach by taking the BTS Skytrain Chatuchak, Mo Chit bus station, or the subway (MRT) stations Chatuchak Park station or Kamphaeng Phet. The cheapest way but a bit slow because of traffic is to take the bus and get off at Chatuchak Talad.

Siam square

The coolest center of all Bangkok, where to find the most fashionable shops and innovative and where it is now a luxury to take home. Not far from the London atmosphere of Camden Town and Soho, Siam square has become over the years a point of reference in terms of creativity and style.

Real place where you can catch the fashions which then spread like wildfire throughout the city, Siam is frequented by many college students. There you will find shops with T-shirts hottest and most eccentric clothing. Siam square is confined by Rama 1 Road and the Chulalongkorn University Campus on the one hand, from Phayathai Road to Henri Dunant other.

Getting there: close to the financial district and the area where are grouped super 5-star hotel, Siam Road is central and can be reached by commuter rail trains BTS Skytrain.

Chinatown

Other city within a city of infinite dimensions, where it is easy to enter but quite complicated to get out and navigate. All, but really all over China, the beautiful temples stalls selling herbs and remedies of Chinese medicine. Any product "made in China" you are looking for here you find it, just ask. A giant open-air boutiques where to find from fabrics to toys, pieces of the engine to the Chinese tea, from the food to the world famous brand. A must for anyone who wants to dive for a day at different atmosphere from the rest of the Thai capital. Not to be missed.

Getting there: The easiest way to get to Chinatown is pick up the Chao Phraya River Express boat that will give you a nice view of some parts of the city. There's also the bus 1, 7, 8, 37, 49 and 75 but it is always better to avoid issues of time and traffic. Leaving out of course tuk tuk and taxi, which will bring you much more but will cost, another quick way is to take the subway to the Hualamphong station.

Pratunam

It is known by locals as the district where the fashion items at fantastic prices and where the testing of today become the fashions of tomorrow, if you are clothing lovers sought here will not get bored and you will find your ideal starting chiefs from shoes to the most various hats. A Pratunam are incredible deals when compared with prices of fashion shops in the center and do not worry if you are accumulating too many packages, most of the stores will send you the stuff in the hotel! A Pratunam include handmade local products and artwork Thai.

Originally the outdoor part is created between the Indra Hotel and Baiyoke Sky Hotel, proceeding uncontrollably to become a real bazaar. Why go here? It is a place to discover the Thai habits and consumption, beyond the mass tourism. The shops are open from 10 to 21.

Getting there : you can take the BTS Train, Ratchathewi station.

If you visit the north, choose Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, you can pick the classic tour of the Golden Triangle, a visit to the White Temple, the trekking in the jungle and maybe even a visit to Elefant Nature Park. The distance between Bangkok and Chiang Mai is over 700 km and it is not advisable to do it by land to those who go a bit in a hurry, with its days numbered.

With more time on the other hand it might be a good idea, with intermediate stops in smaller villages to find out Khlong Luang and Lop Buri. It is worthwhile escape from the chaos of Bangkok and reach the north of Thailand, most mountainous and rural; even if Chiang Mai is a great city is very different from the capital. With its 200,000 inhabitants, it is the second largest city of Thailand. Surrounded by mountains and countryside, it is much greener than Bangkok and many Thai have decided to move into what the Rose of the North is defined. Although over the years becoming a cosmopolitan and modern city, it has retained the distinctive and traditional traits endangered in Bangkok.

What to see in Chiang Mai

The main attractions that attract so many tourists here are the hundreds of temples and wat buildings used for religious, social and cultural purposes scattered throughout the valley. The oldest dates from the twelfth century and is the Wat Chiang Man, where he lived King Mengrai and are preserved two beautiful statues of Buddha. The Phra Sila and Phra Satang are very venerated by the inhabitants.

Outside Chiang Mai are numerous parks and farms, to stay in the countryside or visit the most varied and amazing animals. Among the most interesting places we recommend the Patara Elephant Farm, where you can hike through the forest and learn about elephants or the Elephant Nature Park, also for lovers of the animal with a trunk. It 'exciting to have close contact, especially if these gigantic animals saw them only sad and shrunken in circuses nostrani.

Among the temples of the city instead of the most striking is probably the Wat Chedi Luang a sacred place where to hear the prayers of the monks of candles and lanterns, a kind of mystical oasis. Another temple, the most famous sights, is the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep , an imposing structure with magical ambiance with city views and over 300 steps in the green. And 'advisable to visit the temples in the afternoon, to avoid too many people and enjoy the sanctity of these places in silence. Doi Suthep is a half hour from the city center, you bring there by private car will cost you very little.

Another bad idea to spend your time well is the hot air balloon. Just outside of Chiang Mai, Doi Saket, found the Balloon Adventure Thailand which organizes the floating in the air with breathtaking views and also very romantic. That said, those who have tried it have reported exciting stories. Another interesting tour there are many is the day at the Mae Sa waterfalls, 13 km from Chiang Mai, which is an uncontaminated area between streams and forests where you can enjoy the beautiful nature of northern Thailand.

Chiang Mai is a big city and also offers all possible amusement with regard to nightlife, do not think, however, that is close to Bangkok. For super cheap lunches and dinners looking for in the many markets in the city for example the Chang Puak Market offers traditional piattoni less than one euro. If you are a bit more delicate and are looking for a nice place that offers an escape from the Thai food you can point the Anchan Vegetarian in Nimmanhaemin road, soi Hillside.

Where to stay in Chiang Mai

It is a city that offers the most varied solutions and the most amazing prices. We lean to a sober and the inexpensive solution with a hostel.

If you have worshiped the Bangkok street food, you'll be happy to know that in Chiang Rai exists one of the open-air markets of my favorites. For the sea, I chose the side of the Andamans to avert the risk of rain. I stopped in Krabi but do not recommend it if not for the tours that take you off the very beautiful islands. Here, too, depends a bit on your tastes. The agencies offer packages that include boat ride on the islands and stop at sunset barbecue.

Bamboo Island

The famous Phi Phi islands and Phuket, definitely are tourist stops. The sea and beaches in Thailand are significant, however, the great thing and feature are the stacks that emerge from the water, creating very suggestive scenarios.

Thailand is an easy country to visit. The connections are good, too, and it is known that Thai food has a special focus on children. A great choice, in short, for those who want to travel and want to do it in the company of young children.

The markets and street food Thai is one of the reasons why I so much love Thailand. Bangkok immediately takes possession of the visitor, fascinates them, and is lustful and seems to want to suffocate in its frantic embrace. Its impossible not to be fascinated and carried away by the magnetism of this City of Angels.

Thailand islands are tropical paradise par excellence. The very thought evokes bungalows on the white beaches, palm trees and turquoise water, hammocks and sunsets, mangrove forests and coral reefs. Of course over the years many things have changed, and long gone are the days when the islands were inhabited only by fishermen and tourism was packed with a strong inclination hippy, with simple huts on the beach as a unique hotel facilities. Who remembers, he must deal today with a very different reality. The resorts are very tourist, many existing hotels, clubs and discos.

The fact remains that the islands of Thailand have maintained intact part of that spirit and atmosphere of all time, you can re-live by renting a scooter and riding around the dirt roads, finding the corners off the beaten island, the local atmosphere more authentic. Not to mention the beaches, the sea and nature still wonderful.

1. Phuket

It can be considered the queen of the Thai islands. Discovered by hippie travelers in the early eighties, it is now well-trodden by tourism: they practice all kinds of water sports, scuba diving and snorkeling in the first place, many hotels and resorts, places of every kind, lively nightlife. But do not think you find in Ibiza. Phuket fact retains its oriental charm and deserves its nickname of tropical paradise, both because of the beautiful coast with long beaches and limestone cliffs, is the hinterland of green hills, rice fields and rainforest vegetation.

The main resorts are Patong, Karon and Kata. It is a place with a beautiful bay where there is also the Club Med Phuket. But there are not only the beaches. Its also nice to go around the island and unearth the secrets, perhaps renting a scooter. Among the main places to visit there in Nai Yang National Park and Sanctuary of the Turtles. In Rawai there is a small village inhabited by the indigenous communities Chao Ley or Sea Gypsies. The beautiful rocks of Phang Nga Bay, immortalized in the film Agent 007 - The Man with the Golden Gun, can be reached by canoe.

2. Ko Samui

Koh Samui is perhaps the stereotype of what an average tourist, who relies on clich├ęs expects from Thailand. With Happy hours, discos, massage parlors with beautiful scantily clad oriental girls at entrance, expensive restaurants run by renowned chefs, these days Samui is much more Western than Eastern. However, there are pros and cons.

At Samui I found the hot water. And take a bath with hot water after days of icy showers is not bad at all. At Samui I found so many people in the street even in the late evening. In short Koh Samui is not the great evil. For me to be seen, but not at the expense of those who are the real jewels of the gulf. Koh Samui is also the island of excursions. There are hundreds. However for me the best and cheapest to see the island is to rent a bike, as long as you are careful.

At Samui I stayed at a beach villa. I still remember the pleasant smell, cleaning and oriental decoration. And finally the gem is the airport of Samui. More than an airport looks like a resort. It is appreciated for its beaches to excel Chaweng, from the sand that seems talcum powder, and Lamai, also known for the two rock formations Hin Ta and Hin Yai, the grandfather and grandmother that evoke the shape of male and female genitalia. Then there are the most rugged and isolated beaches of Ang Thong Marine Park, an archipelago that contains points of the most beautiful in Thailand.

Ko Samui is an island very busy and lively, with many hotels and holiday apartments, as well as bars, restaurants and amusements. There are many things to do and see, including the interior of the island with lush forests and beautiful waterfalls including Nam Tok Na Muang 30 meters high, which is right in the middle. Among the boat tours point out that in Koh Tao, the turtle island.

3. Ko Phangan

Ko Phangan means Full Moon Party . Island every full moon night is held one of the most incredible festivals in the world . It is now 20 years that the tradition goes on and gathers up to twenty thousand people from all countries of the world, who gather here to dance, drink and make merry, the Sunrise Beach. The whole island is beautiful and the most northern areas are still minimal contamination. Located between Ko Samui and Ko Tao, Ko Phangan is covered by a thick forest, dotted with waterfalls.

To see Wat Phu Khao Noi, the oldest temple on the island. The beaches are wonderful of course, in some isolated cases and not easily accessible. A popular beach for snorkeling is Khuat Hat; almost deserted rather than along the east coast, as Than Sadet and Ao Thong Reng, not to mention the nearby Ang Thong Marine Park.

4. Ko Phi Phi

Incredibly beautiful, the amazing landscapes, is an island difficult to put into words. The effect that makes the traveler who lands for the first time is unique. In reality it is a small archipelago in the Andaman Sea , consisting of two major islands of Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Leh, and some smaller island. But being Ko Phi Phi Leh uninhabited, when it comes to Ko Phi Phi, it usually refers to Ko Phi Phi Don.

The island was the scene film The Beach with Leonardo Di Caprio. If you love diving and snorkeling know that you are in a place among the most beautiful and renowned in the world. To reach, despite the strenuous climb, even the viewpoint that there really will give great emotions.

5. Ko Kut

If despite all these wonders there is still nostalgia for what were the Thai islands in the early eighties, we advise you to go toward Cambodia and reach the Marine National Park Mu Ko Chang, consisting of uninhabited islets and little beaten tourist. Certainly it is not always easy to reach them, especially in low season. While in high season and on weekends, they are frequented mainly by Thai tourists.

Ko Kut is one of them, has magnificent beaches, a sea of rare transparency, palm trees everywhere, fishing villages, and a single paved road that runs through it. The most beautiful beaches are located along the west coast. For the rest is all dense vegetation and shattered streets. You can stay in hotels or simple resort together with many Thai tourists.

6. Koh Tao

Imagine dirt roads, dense vegetation, beautiful bays and not too crowded places. This is Koh Tao, a paradise for snorkeling, but also the ideal place to fully unwind. An island not too big, easy to circumnavigate day on board a longtail boat, or perhaps in a boat more comfortable with an organized tour. An experience that should be done to explore the seabed of each bay with snorkeling, swimming with sharks white and be surrounded by colorful fish.

We chose our accommodation at Aow Leuk Bay in a bungalow made entirely of wood with a sea view dream. The bungalows are run by a Thai family, friendly and always smiling. Kind enough to offer even a free upgrade to the port, saving ten euro taxi. Wonderful people. But know that you will have to bring their own mosquito repellent and a good dose of courage to take a shower as there is no hot water!

7. Koh Nang Yuan

When I think of paradise on earth, I think of this small island of Koh Nang Yuan. They say it is one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world. More than possible. A long strip of white sand on which to bask in the sun, rest after snorkeling and sit back to enjoy the real show of the sunsets. And this is the real beauty of the island, one that those who visit the island with a hike up at five in the afternoon, they will never appreciate.

And that is why we decided to stay overnight on the island. In order to enjoy this wonder of nature when the shouting of the people are over. When the island is quiet and you do not hear nothing but the gentle rocking of the waves. It is really worth. The bungalows on the island are managed by the Thailand Government. Even here there is no hot water, there are no great comfort and the only place to eat is the restaurant at the main entrance, which is not bad.

8. Pattaya

One of the more lively locations of sea in all of Thailand, Pattaya actually is not an idyllic place that offers a wide variety of entertainment, sports, accommodation and nightlife. Pattaya is a popular beach of Thailand, only 150 km southeast of Bangkok. Although The City has in the past had a very bad reputation for its nightlife, the local authorities have improved the quality of the beaches and changed things around the area making it a destination suitable for families.

Today thousands travel to Pattaya for windsurfing, water skiing, swimming, diving, sailing, excursions to nearby islands and sunbathing including Bungee jumping, cycling, go-karts, Muay Thai, and war games, to name a few. Also the area around Pattaya are able to satisfy golf enthusiasts of all levels, from beginners to professionals.

Pattaya has to offer is not only sports but has important stores in which to shop, cabaret shows, elephant villages and museums. Its impossible not to find something interesting to do and suitable to their tastes. And even on the beaches, unless of course this does not disturb your rest hawkers offer everything 'that you may' need, always with the utmost discretion, a grilled shrimp to a massage.

Here is located numerous restaurants, pizzerias, pubs and other places to eat that offer a wide choice of various national cuisines from Thai, Italian, French, Swiss, German, Hungarian, Scandinavian, English, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Given the number of tourists and vacationers who come from all over the world it offers a wide range of accommodations.

Both those traveling on a budget and those who can afford to squander will be satisfied and even those who are disappointed in the casting of ordeal, which for good or for evil has marked the economic development of the area, along the waterfront will find more quiet beaches in Jomtien area, 3 km away. Pattaya is a city of Thailand which lies on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, located near amphoe Banglamung, although not part of it, is located in Chonburi province.

The city of Pattaya and a common grooming herself alone and that covers the whole tambon Nong Prue and Na Kluea and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. The name stems from the Pattaya Phraya Tak march (later King Taksin) and his army from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi, which took place before the fall of the former Burmese capital to the invaders in 1767. When Phraya Tak army arrived near what it is now Pattaya, Phraya Tak encountered the troops of Nai Klom, who tried to intercept him.

When the two leaders found themselves face to face, Nai Klom was awed by Phraya Tak dignified and strict discipline of his army, so 'surrendered without a fight. The place the two armies faced each other was called Thap Phraya, which means the Army of the Phraya. This was later changed to Phatthaya, which means that the wind blowing from the south-west to north-east, at the beginning of the rainy season. Today the city is known internationally as "Pattaya", while the always correct and official transliteration "Phatthaya" is seen on many street signs.

For centuries, Pattaya was a small fishing village. But a change occurs, when the first group of about 100 American soldiers who were fighting in the Vietnam War arrived in Pattaya for relaxation. From this beginning, Pattaya became a popular resort on the beach that now attracts over 4 million visitors a year. The fishermen's huts along the beach were replaced by resort hotel and retail stores, including the largest shopping center in front of the sea of ​​Asia, Central Festival Pattaya Beach Mall.

How to get to Pattaya?

Near Pattaya there is U-Tapao airport. However, the only flights that connect Pattaya are the ones to Ko Samui. The other nearest airport is the Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Many people arrive in Pattaya using the bus. From Ekkamai station there are departures every half hour from five in the morning until midnight. These buses take about two hours to reach Pattaya. There are buses to Pattaya also from Mo Chit and Sai Tha Mai stations but they are less frequent, for the rest the same cost and take the same time.

Getting around Pattaya

The way to better and cheaper to move in Pattaya is the songthaew, pickup trucks with benches in the back. Many of these means follow predetermined routes and people can raise or lower it when I decide, paying a price which in any case remains fixed. If a songthaew is empty it can be rented as a private vehicle, of course the price goes up. The most common road that these media perform in Pattaya and' the circuit of the beach below Second Road to the Dolphin Circle, then south along the long beach road, then turning east along South Pattaya Road.

Be sure to tell the driver where to go sometimes, and especially that he has understood then ask also how and 'the cost so as not to be cheated then, which would result in lawsuits, try anyway to figure out what are the costs. A public bus service and 'government-sponsored offers tickets for a trip, one day, three days and one month. Take heed if you decide to use this service, since many of the recognizable stops are no longer 'in use. Brochures show the roads used by these bus stops just ask the driver.

Then there are the motorcycles that provide a less expensive taxi service, more fast but also more dangerous than songtaew. Is located at each junction of Pattaya and can be hailed on the street, they are in fact recognizable by their colorful clothes. If you want to make a day trip out of Pattaya would be best to rent a car and driver. This can be arranged from your hotel or guesthouse.

Kaho Phra Tam Nak or Khao Phra Bat, and a small hill south of Pattaya Beach is accessible via a paved road that leads to the top. Hat Chom Thian, or Jomtien, where once stood a rice field is now a magnificent beach. Hat Wong Phra Chan is a long beach, north of Pattaya Bay. Underwater World is the new tourist attraction and the most great and the more modern aquariums in Asia, with a length of 100 meters, a very narrow tunnel passes through an underground environment where they live dozens of marine species.

Ban Sukhawadee is a European-style palace, on the sea side a statue of Kuan Yin and other sculptures express a philosophy of life. Pattaya Elephant Village is located on Phonpraphanimit Road, Escendo the highway n. To 3 km. 145. This village of elephants shows the daily life of these animals and their masters and offers daily shows.
In the Monkey Training Centre, are bred monkeys of a special breed, the pigtail macaque, or ling klang, as they are called in these parts.

Monkeys are particularly appreciated for their intelligence, their character, l; to longevity. The average life of these animals ranges from 35 to 40 years, with some individuals who arrive to 80. They are excellent workers, and in the southern plantations are appreciated pickers coconuts. There 'to be amazed by what these animals can do. Although there are other shows like cobras, fighting between roosters, muay thai blindfolded monkeys and reserved for the main show.

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is a tropical garden of international renown especially thanks to Thai culture and elephants, other than that the place and' considered one of the most largest and most beautiful botanical gardens in Southeast Asia. The garden and 'in constant development and evolution in order to renew and create new interest in visitors, the garden also performs activities of education. Conservation and research. Here you will find, among other tropical plants and animals ,, the most 'largest collection of palms and more' wide variety 'of orchids from all over Thailand.

Saithip Butterfly Garden covers an area of approximately 6 hectares and considered one of the largest butterfly gardens in Asia. Museum of artistic bottles is the only museum of its kind in the world. In the large room you can see 300 beautiful miniatures placed in the bottle, the result of the efforts and ability to Mr. Pieter Bij de Leij, a Dutchman, who has devoted approximately an average of 14 hours a day for more' than 15 years for conclude this work. The intricate miniatures show churches, temples, palaces, ships both Thai and foreign. The miniature are contained in bottles of different shapes and sizes.

Open Eyes and 'a great experience that offers two areas: magic and light. Ripley's Believe it or not and a museum where you can see more' than 300 fascinating objects and curious, for the most part not visible elsewhere. Thrill and exhilaration. Sanctuary of Truth is the site covering an area of more than two rai, 3200 sq. approximately, it is located on the sea in Laem Ratchawat, on Naklua Road, North Pattaya.

Gem Gallery is a new attraction in Pattaya: a trolley that brings in an artificial tunnel to witness a fantastic spectacle of nluci and sounds that presents the fascinating world of gemstones. And 'certainly the first Place of interest of this tipoi in Asia, controlled in all respects by a computerized system. The show shows the eruption of a volcano and the lava output, then explains the origin of the gems, the formation of mineral rock, the crystallization process and all the other stages that lead to the finished product.

Gems Gallery is located in the most 'largest store in the world of precious stones on the road to North Pattaya. Million Years Stone Park & Pattaya Crocodile Farm , was founded by Khun Suan Phanom Wattanakul, a businessman lover of nature that has place as a goal in life to preserve the natural beauty and the Thai culture. Three Kingdom Theme Park is a theme park inspired by the Chinese history of the Three Kingdoms.

Alcazar Cabaret is fantastic, delicious, artistic, unique and all other appreciations. This cabaret show and 'famous not only across the country but around the world. The Bellarine are gorgeous, some with superb voices, let impossibile also misleading for a second: you want to enjoy everything. But those on stage are not kathoey, attention apart from this exchange of roles there 'a gesture that is out of place. The performances are magnificent and interesting then a show not to be missed, the maximum for all visitors to Pattaya, large and small.

Tiffany Show is the same applies as for the Alcazar, the shows are different and there is no first and second.
Tuxedo Magic Castle is the history of the Magic Castle starts from a dream and inspiration received from the Tuxedo team, led by Mr. Tuxedo that I leave 'losing his degree in Ingegneria and change job to become a professional magician. He has combined his knowledges engineering with profound studies of magic in order to transform an entire show of magic tricks in magic.

Pattaya Park and Tower is an amusement park that is located halfway between Pattaya and Jomtien. There are swimming pools for adults and children, with whirlpools and slides that make the visit to this water park something to remember. The park has the most 'high tower, which is in Pattaya, 175 meters high. On top of a rotating restaurant while eating allows you to enjoy the view of Pattaya and the surrounding area.

Come down from this restaurant can, choice into something exciting. You can have to choose between normal lift and a descent a little more fast when you are linked with a seat belt in a seat and a bunch of fume be lowered down' slowly. The park also offers first-class rooms.

Ko Lan is an island located in front of Pattaya. It can 'be reached in 45 minutes using a ferry or 15 minutes by speedboat. The island measuring 2x5 kilometers and offers several white sandy beaches. Ko Sak is another island that is located about 600 meters from Ko Lan or 10 kilometers from Pattaya. Its a small island in the shape of a horseshoe.

Fairs and festivals in Pattaya

Pattaya International Bed Race (variable period, from late January to early February) and charity event organized by the Town Hall and the Rotary Club of Pattaya. The last event saw more than 30,000 people. Chinese New Year (variable period, from late January to early February) is celebrated by Chinese-Thai community in Pattaya with parades of dragons, lion dances and fireworks.

Burapa Pattaya Bike Week and one more big motorcycle events in South-East Asia, is held every February in Pattaya, attracts fans from all over Southeast Asia and abroad. Pattaya International Music Festival is held annually in March. It attracts large crowds along Beach Road and Bali Hai Pier, has several styles of music performed by Thai and international artists.

Wang Lai and 'the name of the festival that takes place in Pattaya to celebrate Songkran. It differs from most other Songkran festival in Thailand in various aspects. It lasts more 'long and in addition to the launch of water, the event includes beauty pageants, musical performances, cultural events, fireworks and sporting competitions.

Top of the Gulf Regatta and an event which concerns the sail for a period of one week. It is held between late April and early May. Miss Tiffany Universe and a beauty contest, which takes place over four days in mid-May each year. The most beautiful transgender and transsexuals from Thailand are vying for first place with the final night broadcast live on television with an audience of 15 million people.

Pattaya Marathon is a race divided into several categories, is held every year in July. Miss International Queen is held every November in Pattaya, the city hosts the election of an annual international competition for transgender and transsexual. Pride Pattaya, Pattaya Gay Pride festival is held every year at the end of November with a series of parties and events culminating with parades and floats parade on 1 December is held to coincide with World AIDS Day. Apart from these, Pattaya regularly following public holidays and regularly hosts interesting musical events.


If you can get in touch with this territory and to feel part of a whole as it happened to me, then Thailand will thank you with indelible memories and indescribable sensations.

But first things first and we start by saying that you do not have to go to Thailand to entrust power to a travel agency, if you have a little familiarity with the DIY trips and you can absolutely create you a nice personalized path. Thailand is great but if you want to include in your itinerary both sea, culture, spirituality, and why not, even a tour to discover its authentic flavors, with two weeks of the holiday I can manage.

Obviously there will be a journey of relaxation but a real on the road, but usually two weeks are a good compromise for those who do not have many days off. If your intention is to see as much as possible, get a view of having to move one day and one not. Depending on the period in which you are starting, inquire about the weather and choose the driest places.



WHEN TO GO IN THAILAND?

Thanks to its geographical location, Thailand can be visited throughout the year. But you have to put a few dots on the "i", especially if you intend to also enjoy the fantastic beaches. I want to clarify that it is impossible to predict exactly how the climate will be in a certain place, even more so with regard to tropical islands. The period from January to April is the most appropriate to visit the Andaman Sea and therefore, Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi Islands and surroundings.

As for Phuket, carry a very high sun protection, because the word "hot" does not do justice to the least temperatures that sometimes become unbearable. But with a dip you solve the problem! Even Bangkok is very humid and hot, but if you plan to visit its beautiful sacred places, we must put the soul in peace because the dress code is really respected. No shorts, tank tops, leggings or short skirts. All the temples provide the tourists a number of suitable clothing that can be hired by paying a deposit.

HOW MUCH IS THE COST TO GO IN THAILAND?

The airfare is very cheap. Thailand is affordable for any budget. As for accommodation, there are really economic solutions, other medium and other more expensive. We have almost always had the favorite street food to fine dining with plates of Pad Thai and noodles.

HOW DO I GET TO PHUKET FROM BANGKOK and the PHI PHI ISLANDS TO PHUKET?

Flights depart from Bangkok's Don Muang and arriving to Phuket International Airport. As for the route to get to your hotel, or you can choose to contact the front desk or buying at Don Muang the various transfers. We preferred the last option, adding the cost of the Ferry to Phi Phi Islands. If I could go back I would act the same way, because the referral agency offers the possibility to make the pick up directly at your hotel to get to the port. However it is wise, because probably buying transfers in Phuket you could save a little.

HAVE YOU MADE THE HEALTH INSURANCE?

No, and I have not regretted. In Thailand, health care is private, and I think it is better to spend some money before going and make sure, doing their fingers crossed, in case of need there will be no problem.

ARE TATTOOS SAFE IN THAILAND?

This is perhaps the question that was put to me more often and I always answer the same way as getting a tattoo from a random tattoo artist is irresponsible. Then you should inquire first. In Thailand there are many, which are truly exceptional.

WHAT TO DO AT NIGHT IN THAILAND?

As for Phuket, I believe that Patong does not need any explanations. Its a blaze of lights, neon and parties that follow one another along Bangla Road , the center of nightlife. You can just look right or left and choose the place that best suits your tastes. It goes from the bar focused on lap dance, the disco, the brewery and so on.
Kata and Karon are presented quieter but they are the right compromise for a dinner out followed by a cocktail with live music to act as his background.

A place that has surprised me is Koh Phi Phi Don. I never expected the evenings to be so lively and pleasant! The traditional restaurants meander along the beach and is very impressive dinner as the waves move a long tail boat moored at your side. Penetrating in the alleys you will come to a set of premises that seem to be about to burst for the volume of the music emanating from the speakers. Its amazing the amount of kids who populate this island and here you are spoiled for choice!

Destroyed by the time zone and the walks, we spent the two nights spent in Bangkok walking in Chinatown that from dusk onwards is full of people and then enjoying the view from the Skybar at our hotel, the Lebua at State Tower. But do not forget Patpong. The latter is the red light district of the capital and is definitely worth a visit. First, because it is full of stalls and then because you will realize how ladyboy often seem much more lady than a boy. Avoid a disproportionate number of people who will want to drag you to pingpong shows.

Traveling with children in Thailand

Do not put yourself in mind to see as much as possible or to respect the roadmaps tightened, the journey is likely to become a stress for you and for them. Include activities for them and think about a diverse itinerary. They will thrill visiting the first temples, be bored to death if you will not take even one day. Avoid isolated places and yes, children should stay in safe zones so you can act quickly in an emergency.

Do not let your guard down, it is a moment lose sight of their children when the eyes are caught by the thousand wonders of the world, with the map in one hand and camera in the other. They certainly will not be with your eyes glued on you. Taking out travel insurance is an additional measure, costs little and makes you feel more confident, knowing that in the event of unpleasant surprises you the assistance you need.

Useful information

Food: there is nothing to fear. Thai food is not only very varied, but it is also excellent. Thai cuisine is very spicy!

Hotel: As a solution for the night, you are spoiled for choice. If you want a luxurious treat stay at a boutique Hotel with a Spa and if you go for the savings you can opt for a hostel.

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