Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Welcome to the land  of smiles, a country with dazzling scenic mountains, waterfalls, golden beaches , gardens, tropical rainforests and magnificent temples, renowned for a wide range of activities from elephant riding, to scuba diving, from snorkeling to beach fun! Thailand is known to have a golden glow not only because the land is rich in the golden metal but also because of the glitter that the country spreads from its sandy beaches, fertile lands and warm hearted culture. Today the country is also speeding high with fabulous shopping malls, great nightlife and a fast paced city life

Thailand offers an unbeatable combination of Eastern exoticism and Western modernism that brings ten million people a year to the country's gorgeous beaches and magical countryside.
The Thai people are renowned for being friendly and hospitable, in spite of the massive influx of foreign visitors over the last few years. Billed as the "Land of Smiles", Thailand has an extraordinary diversity of flavours and sights to experience. A lot of people are pleasantly surprised at how modern the country is, with its up-to-date facilities. Nowhere is this more evident than in the vibrant capital Bangkok, where a burgeoning 21st century city is growing around centuries-old relics and icons.
Thailand is celebrated for its outstanding beaches from the secluded sands of Koh Chang near Cambodia, to the world-famous full-moon parties of Koh Phang-Nga and the luxury of Phuket's beach resorts. And of course there is the wonderfully rich and accessible culture to explore, from the temples of Bangkok to the hill tribes of Chiang Mai.
Thailand also remains an inexpensive destination with something to offer travellers of every budget - and the tourists that descend on the country are often every bit as varied and interesting as the colourful inhabitants.
Add to all this the delectable food and a perfect climate and you too will fall in love with this exciting and hospitable country.

Mae Ping Elephant Camp (Chiang Mai)

Most Elephant Camps usually put on Elephant shows where the Elephants show off their various skills, and most even have Elephant rides where tourists ride the Elephants for an hour or two through the jungle surrounding the camps. The work load on the Elephants now is far less demanding that what it would have been hauling logs all day in the forests, and the monies raised by the Elephant Camp entrance fees and sale of food, drinks and souvenirs provide the families of the handlers with an income plus funds to care for the Elephants.

One such elephant camp just a short drive North of Chiang Mai is the Mae Ping Elephant Camp.

On a typical day, your tour operator will pick you up from your hotel and drive you out to the Mae Ping Elephant Camp some 60klms North of Chiang Mai in the Chiang Dao District. On arrival you can check out the canteen and souvenir shop (ps. they also stock film and camera batteries in case you need some). Have a wander around the facility and then get seated for the Elephant show.

Elephant show. The Mahouts have trained their Elephants to show off their incredible talents. They can dance, play musical instruments and play soccer and basketball. You should see how far an Elephant can kick an oversized soccer ball. Volunteers are taken from the audience for an unforgettable massage where you lie on a mat on the ground and the Elephant uses his foot to give you a massage. (TIP, lie face down).

Then watch as an Elephant puts paint brush to canvas to delicately paint a picture. The finished paintings are available for sale in the souvenir shop. The Elephants display their ability to respond to the commands of the Mahouts. The agility of these huge beasts is something to see. After the show you can take photos with yourself and the Elephants.

Elephant ride After the Elephant show you go up to the mounting platforms and hop on the back of you Elephant and experience an unforgettable ride on Elephant back into the surrounding jungle for one hour.  Along the way you will be greeted by Lisu hill tribes villagers perched up in tree platforms selling sugar cane sticks for the Elephants. (TIP, make sure you have a few 10THB notes or coins in your pocket). You visit the Lisu village on your ride.

Rafting and Ox Cart. After enjoying the company of the Elephants and your ride through the jungle, you return to the camp and hop on to long bamboo rafts for a leisurely trip down the Ping River watching the local life along the river banks. The raft ride ends at an oxen transport compound. Here you climb aboard wooden carts pulled by two strong oxen for a 20 minute ride to the Royal Ping Garden and Resort where you stop for a drink and a late buffet lunch. You will also find here for sale a collection of photos of you on the back of your Elephant that were taken by the Elephant Camp photographers during your earlier ride.

After your meal your tour operator collects you from the resort and you head back to Chiang Mai. Along the way back, depending on your tour package, you can get to stop at butterfly and orchid farms or a snake farm.


To get to Doi Suthep from Chiang Mai take route 1004 northwest. The entrance to the National Park is located about 15 km (9 miles) from the city centre and the drive to the top of the mountain from the entrance takes about 20 minutes. If you don't want to take a motorbike then song thaews (red taxis) are your best option. Song thaews regularly run from Chang Puak market and the journey from there should cost about 150 baht. A cheaper alternative is to make your way along Huay Kaew Road to the entrance of Chiang Mai University. Song thaews from here will ferry you to the temple for only 30 baht (one way) but the taxi won't leave until there are six or more people.
The temple is open from 06:00 to 20:00 every day, but weekends and holidays are usually very crowded. Admission is 50 baht, which includes a two way ticket on the tram. Hearty souls who chose to walk up the staircase are rewarded for their fortitude by only paying 30 baht. Remember that Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a sacred place and you should dress respectfully when visiting it. That means no shorts or skirts and no tank tops. If you find yourself at the gate wearing cut offs, don't worry - fisherman's pants can be rented for a minimal fee.
Most of the other attractions at the park are free, but there is a 300 baht fee for the Monthathan waterfall. There are some bungalows and rudimentary guest houses in Doi Suthep National Park but there's really no need to stay overnight; it's not like Doi Suthep is a long way from the city. There are plenty of rustic restaurants scattered all over the park but the prices are about ten baht higher than in the city. Shoppers will find a few stalls offering souvenirs and knick knacks and the hilltribe villages offer traditional clothing and handicrafts.

Doi Mon Cham, dining in the clouds”

 Doi Mon Cham, dining in the clouds”

  Mon Cham the the name of a place and is a part of the Nong Hoi Royal Project. It's located at the peak of the mountain above Mae Sa Valley. People go there to camp, take a stroll in the lovely garden, pick strawberries, and eat at the bamboo restaurant while drinking in the vista of the mountains and valleys below.
This is a delightful mountain resort and royal project providing incomes and prosperity for the Hmong people in the region.
There are spectacular mountain views, together with an excellent open-sided restaurant over looking the surrounding countryside.
You will see a wide range of herbs, vegetables and plants being cultivated for sale in the local markets, towns and the city of Chiang Mai.
The produce grown here also supplies the on-site restaurant mentioned earlier.
For the more adventurous you can also camp there with modern facilities on hand.
Artists can be observed painting the local landscapes while you enjoy the fabulous cooling, fresh air.
The Hmong children are dressed in traditional costume and will happily pose for, or with you. A small tip is customary, but never asked for.
The children's smiles are delightful and provide a great photo opportunity in addition to the spectacular views.
About 30 odd kilometres NW from Chiang Mai, on route 107, towards Chiang Dao and Fang. Turn left just be4, or in Mae Rim and go on beyond the Mae Sa elephant camp and Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens. It is signposted off on the right. This last 3 or 4 kms winds up a fairly steep twisty mountain road with large potholes and in the rainy season you need your wits about you if driving, but it is still accessible and not that far.
A must see of you want to experience some truly spectacular Thai mountain countryside and delightful hill-tribe people.


First time in Bangkok? Fret not. Here's a guide on how to spend the most of your night in this glittering city. Nightlife in Bangkok is so electrifying you will want to come back again for more.

Finding a trendy place to dine and wine in style is a great way to start your evening. Bangkok is home to a couple of rooftop venues where you can enjoy sweeping views of the city and the exquisite Chao Phraya River. The most famous, open-air spots include the Sky Bar (Sirocco) on Silom road (tel: +66 2 624 9999) on the 64th floor of State Tower and Moon Bar (Vertigo) (tel: +66 2 679 1200) on the 61st floor of Banyan Tree Hotel, on Sathorn road.

But if it starts pouring down, stay safe and dry at Three Sixty at Millennium Hilton Hotel (tel: +66 2 442 2000), the newest rooftop venue in Bangkok offering breathtaking 360° views. Three Sixty is roofed so you don't need good weather to have a good time.

Get yourself a map of Bangkok before planning the rest of your evening. Famous among party-goers of all ages and tastes, Sukhumvit is the longest and perhaps the hippest road in Bangkok, boasting a variety of nightlife venues. It is on this happening road where you can find Nana Plaza on Sukhumvit soi 4 and soi Cowboy, off Sukhumvit soi 23, the notorious zones of dodgy go-go bars. 


Hanky-panky business aside, Sukhumvit is also home to many hip clubs, pubs and bars including the white and stylish Bed Supperclub on Sukhumvit soi 11 (tel: +66 2 651 3557) and Q Bar (+66 2 252-3274), also on the same soi, well-known among tourists, expats and locals, offering a full range of Cuba cigars.

While most of you might only want to mingle with the same crowds you have back home, but some want to try something different. Visiting local venues is an eye-opening experience. You can see for yourself what locals do when they go out. Try Escudo on Sukhumvit soi 55 (tel: +66 2 381 0866) and Escobar on Sukhumvit s63 (tel: +66 2 711 6565) and observe the world of Ferrari boys and daddy's little girls flashing platinum cards.

At the centre of any Bangkok map, and another area worth exploring is the heart of Bangkok, home to two popular areas, Siam and Silom. Check out CM2 (tel: +66 2 209 8888) at Novotel Siam Square where live band plays on the main area and hip-hop tunes buzz out from the Boom Room. This place is usually secretly swarmed by 'business' girls and their customers. If you don't plan to have anything to do with them, it's still fun to watch them working their magic. 

More discreet is Silom soi 2 (Patpong) where various go-go bars dot the area. Watch out for the guys who usually shove a menu of shows at you in an aggressive manner.

Located in the old town, Khao San road always makes it to the top of the list of tourist-friendly favourites, and it's the centre of the Bangkok map for all backpackers. This area is packed with a dizzying array of clubs, pubs and bars. Grab a can of Singha beer and watch the world you are familiar with go by at one of many bars including Buddy Beer (tel: +66 2 629 4477) equipped with pool tables, Brick Bar (tel: +66 2 629 4477), or Silk Bar (tel: +66 2 281 9981).

If you aren't exactly into crazy clubbing and drinking until dawn, try Bangkok's many cultural treats that take place in the evening. Siam Niramit is unarguably the most famous among tourists, featuring a refined 80-miniute show about Thailand (or Siam). The awesome performance combines fascinating stories of Siam in the past, Thai spiritual beliefs and some practical Buddhist lessons with splendid visual and sound effects as well as spectacular costumes. The show is on everyday at 20:00 at the Ratchadda Grand Theatre (tel: +66 2 649 9222).

No matter what you are looking for to have a good time in Bangkok when the sun goes down, you will find it. If one night in Bangkok doesn't make the world your oyster, nothing else probably would. Remember, you can easily get lost and Bangkok is a big place so study your map carefully before an evening out.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

More common Thai Words - Color /Numbers


White   = See Cow
Red      = See Dang        TAYLOR SWIFT - RED --->SHEET MUSIC
Black   = See Dum
Pink     = Shampoo
Blue     = See Far
Green   = See Keyal
Orange = See Som
Gray     = See Towel
Purple   = See Mawong
Dark Blue = See Nam Nin


(1) = neung
(2) = song
(3) = sam
(4) = si
(5) = ha
(6) = hok
(7) = chet
(8) = pet
(9) = kao
(10) = sip
(11) = sip et
(12) = sip song
(13) = sip sam
(14) = sip si
(15) = sip ha
(20) = yee sip (21) = yee sip et
(22) = yee sip song
(23) = yee sip sam
(24) = yee sip si
(25) = yee sip ha
(30) = sam sip
(40) = si sip
(50) = ha sip
(60) = hok sip
(70) = chet sip
(80) = pet sip
(90) = kao sip
(100) = neung roi
(150) = neung roi ha sip
(500) = ha roi
1000) = neung pan
1500) = neung pan ha roi
(2000) = si pan
(5000) = ha pan

Basic Thai Words

Hello = Sawa dee
Thank you (man says) = Kob Khun Krap
Thank you (woman says) = Kob Khun Ka
How are you? = Khun sabai di mai?
I am fine thanks = (man says) Pom sabai di krap.
I am fine thanks= (woman says) Chan sabai di ka.
Basically women say "ka" at the end of a sentence
while men say "krap".

You're welcome = Yin dee krap / ka
Wait = Roh sakru
I= pom (man)
I= chan (woman)
Come = ma
Come from = ma jak
I come from Japan = Pom ma jak pratet Yipun (man)/
Chan ma jak pratet Yipun (woman)
I love Thailand = Pom/chan rak Meuang Thai.
I love you= pom/chan rak khun

English Greetings Thai Greetings:
Hi! sa-was-dee   สวัสดี
Good morning! a-roon-sa-was   อรุณสวัสดิ์
Good evening! sa-yan-sa-was   สายัณห์สวัสดิ์
Welcome! (to greet someone) yin-dee-ton-rab   ยินดีต้อนรับ
How are you? sa-bai-dee-mai   สบายดีไหม
I'm fine, thanks! sa-bai-dee, kob-kun   สบายดี, ขอบคุณ
And you? leaw-kun-la   แล้วคุณหละ
Good/ So-So. kor-dee/ reauy-reauy   ก็ดี/ เรื่อยๆ
Thank you (very much)! kob-kun-(mak)   ขอบคุณ(มาก)
You're welcome! (for "thank you") mai-prn-rai   ไม่เป็นไร
Hey! Friend! yai-puan   ไงเพื่อน
I missed you so much! chan/phom-kid-thung-kun-mak   ฉัน/ผมคิดถึงคุณมาก
What's new? mee-a-rai-mai-bang   มีอะไรใหม่บ้าง
Nothing much mai-mee-ar-rai-mak   ไม่มีอะไรมาก
Good night! ra-tee-sa-was   ราตรีสวัสดิ์
See you later! leaw-jor-kan-mai   แล้วเจอกันใหม่
Good bye! la-korn   ลาก่อน

Phu Ping Palace

Phu Ping Palace

The Phu Ping Palace or the Royal Winter Palace is located on Doi Buak Ha, 4 kilometers beyond Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. The palace was built in 1962 and serves as a vacation home for the royal family. Phu Ping Palace is open to the public Friday to Sunday from May to November.

Sankamphaeng Hot Springs

Sankamphaeng Hot Springs

Sankamphaeng Hot SpringsSankamphaeng Hot Springs are located in a scenic area surrounded by trees and lush green hills, only 36 km from Chiang Mai. The sulphur rich water is said to be curative and good for your skin and blood circulation. There is a spa complex with an open-air pool and several small bathhouses.

Wiang Kum Kam

Wiang Kum Kam

Wiang Kum KamThe ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam is situated between the river Ping and the Lamphun highway, south of Mahidol Road. The city was founded by King Mengrai more than 700 years ago, but was later buried under mud when the river changed course. In 1984 archaeologists uncovered the remains of the ancient city and the area is now restored as a historical park. The best way to see it is by bicycle or motorcycle.

Chiang Dao Caves

Chiang Dao Caves

Chiang Dao CavesChiang Dao Caves are located 72 km north of Chiang Mai on route 107. The cave complex is made up of five interconnected caves extending more than 10 km into Chiang Dao Mountain. Two of the caves are easily explored as they are illuminated by electric lights. The other caves can be explored with the aid of local guides with lanterns.

Chiang Mai Zoo

Chiang Mai Zoo

Chiang Mai ZooChiang Mai Zoo is located at the foot of Doi Suthep Mountain and surrounded by a hilly terrain. The Zoo houses more than 7,000 animals. The Zoo is very popular among both Thai and foreign visitors and the main attraction is the pandas from China.


Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden

Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden

Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden is located 27 km northwest of Chiang Mai. The facility’s purpose is to conduct and promote botanical research, biodiversity and to conserve Thailand’s natural plant resources. It has a wide collection of plant species (more than 700 species), 12 exhibition greenhouses, garden and nature trails.



The capital of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai  is a magic blend of old and new, east and west. The capital of Chiang Mai province - Chiang Mai city, is surrounded by mountains and rural beauty of Northern Thailand making it a popular base to explore the rural and more authentic parts of northern Thailand such as Chiang Rai and Mae Hong SonChiang Mai and it's surrounding sights offers something for all tastes and ages, from historic temples, colourful markets, elephant riding to adventure sports like ziplining, there is something guaranteed for everybody.
It is recommended to spend some time enjoying the sights in and around Chiang Mai city, and then take an excursion to Chiang Rai or Mae Hong Son in order to fully experience the rich cultural and natural beauty of rural northern Thailand . Here you will find lush green forests and sweeping mountains, home to the hill tribe and ethnic minorities of Thailand. Rich and diverse landscapes of mountain and hill tribe life.
Chiang Mai can be reached by bus/train/plane from Bangkok and has direct flights to Phuke.t


 Chiang Mai was founded by King Mengrai in 1296 and succeeded Chiang Rai as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. King Mengrai conferred with his friends King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao before choosing the site where Chiang Mai (meaning “new city”) was to be founded.
Chiang Mai soon became an important spiritual and cultural center of the Lanna Kingdom. It was also the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand. Many of Chiang Mai’s temples , which are still important today, were founded during this period.
At the height of its power, the Lanna Kingdom extended its territory into the eastern Shan states of Burma, as far north as Luang Prabang in modern Laos, and southwards to Kamphaeng Phet a province above Sukhothai.
In 1556 the Lanna Kingdom was conquered by the Burmese ending the Mengrai dynasty. Chiang Mai was under Burmese control for over two centuries until 1774 when the Thai King Taksin, with the help of King Kawila of Lampang, drove the Burmese out.
Kawila was appointed viceroy of northern Thailand, and during his leadership Chiang Mai became an important regional trade center. In 1800 Kawila built the brick walls around the inner city and also established a river port at the end of what today is Thapae (meaning “raft pier”) Road.
Chiang Mai was then governed by a succession of princes who ruled the north as a Siamese protectorate under the Chakri dynasty. Chiang Mai rose in both cultural, trading and economic terms to adopt its current status as the unofficial capital of the north of Thailand. In 1939 Chiang Mai came under the direct control of the central government in Bangkok.
In 1921 upon the completion of the northern railway Chiang Mai became linked with central Thailand. Up until then Chiang Mai had only been accessible by river and elephants. Tourism and sale of local handicraft soon became the primary source of outside revenue. Chiang Mai was and still is an important center for handcrafted pottery, weaving , umbrellas , silverwork and woodcarving .

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Monkey Training School - Surat Thani

Visit or stay overnight at the Monkey Training School in Surat Thani.
A really unique wild life experience in the heart of Thailand!

The Monkey Training College, "The First Monkey School", located in Surat Thani, Thailand offers:
  • a first class educational and fun demonstration with trained monkeys, as well demonstration classes with monkeys that are still being trained in different stages of their study.

  • You can stay overnight in our chalet, where you can experience a lovely homestay right in the vicinity of the monkey students.

  • You will find all modern conveniences on the spot and great Thai food is served. Optionally, we provide excursions and transport in the neighbourhood.

    Monkey Training College
    24 MOO. 4 Tambon Thungkong
    Amphoe Kanchanadit
    84290 Surat-Thani
    phone :+66
    mobile :+66
    email: Somjai

    Home-stay includes a simple but comfortable chalet, whcih comes along with a living room, a bathroom, shower and toilet and a refrigerator. Of course the chalet has electricity. There is a big balcony with a view on the site where the monkeys are kept.
    We offer you a nice stay with a friendly and helpfull staff right next to the monkeys. You can play with the monkeys, feed them and even become their trainer.

    Prices homestay Monkeyschool:
    Accomodation, max. 2 persons660 Baht per night included breakfast
    Unlimited usage of luxurious bathroom150 Baht per night/person
    Any regular monkeyschool performanceFree

    When there is a monkeyschool performance you can join in for free OR we can perform a monkeyschool performance especially for you for 150 Baht per person.
    We can offer breakfast, lunch and diner. Please order in advance and ask for our menu. We can also arrange for transportation and excursions, please ask for options and prices.
    Check in time: 12:00 noon
    Check out time: 12:00 noon
    For other times, please contact Somjai

    Prices refreshments homestay Monkeyschool:
    Water 0
    Soda's 30
    Yoghurt 30
    Fresh hot coffee (import) Please ask Somjai 50
    Coconut, green (for drinking) not always available, please ask Somjai 50
    Coconut, brown (for eating), please ask Somjai 50

    Some additional information: It is allowed to play with the monkeys, but do not hurt them in any way! It is possible to feed the monkeys and give them water, but please only give them food provided by Somjai. Do not feed the monkeys your candy, left overs, bread, chewing gum etc.

    We can arrange transportation from the Monkeyschool by taxi or limousine to anywhere in Thailand; we will contact the driver based in Surat-Thani.

    Please keep in mind that long distance trips are usually much faster and cheaper by airplane.

    Common destinations:
    Phantip company (ticket service) 20km 320 Baht
    Bus station Surat-Thani 40km 640 Baht
    Airport Surat-Thani 80km 1280 Baht

    Other services:
    • Laundry
    • Cooking course
    • Massage

    View Larger Map

    Monday, 22 October 2012


    Surat Thani is a middle sized town in Thailand approximately 400 miles south of Bangkok.  Although once a popular regional city during the 9th and 10th centuries, Surat Thani today is of considerable less importance are rarely visited by foreigners. The majorities of foreigners who do come to Surat Thani are usually on their way to the popular tourist island of Koh Samui and are simply in Surat Thani because this is the closest point on mainland Thailand to the Islands.  Nevertheless there are a few noteworthy attractions that may persuade some foreign tourists to place Surat Thani on their itinerary of places in Thiland to visit.

    View Larger Map

    Monkey training College in Surat Thani
    Surat Thani is mainly an agricultural town producing various types of fruit and oysters. Monkeys have traditionally been used in Surat Thani and the surrounding agricultural regions of south Thailand to help in the harvest of coconuts.  Because the coconut trees in the South of Thailand are usually high monkeys are used to climb up them, break of the coconuts from the trees and throw them into a basket on the ground. As if this weren’t clever enough, the monkeys at the training college are also taught to distinguish between ripe coconuts and those that are rotten.  The Monkey Training College in Surat Thani is open daily from 9am until 6pm and there are several shows throughout the day which cost 300 Baht to watch.

     Visiting Suan Mokkhabalarama near Surat Thani
    Suan Mokkha is a famous Buddhist meditation retreat located a short way outside of Surat Thani. This meditation retreat is among the best to attend in all of Thailand if you’re a foreigner because the monks there are able to instruct and guide in fluent English. Founded in 1932 by the famous Buddhist monk Ajarn Buddhadasa, this meditative retreat offers 10 day courses in meditation amidst idyllic and peaceful forested surroundings. If 10 days sounds a bit too much for you, visitors are also welcome on day trips to wander quietly around the jungle paths surrounding the retreat.

    Visiting Khao Sak National Park from Surat Thani
    Khao Sak National Park is one of the best and largest in Thailand and is most easily accessible from either Surat Thani or Phuket. If you’re visiting the national park from Surat Thani it’s simple a matter of driving along the main highway for a couple of hours before reaching the park headquarters. Aside from the fantastic jungle landscape this is one of the best places to spot rare wild animals as well as do some bird watching.

    Saturday, 20 October 2012