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Monday, June 27, 2011

Bangkok in Brief

Welcome to Bangkok : The city of culture.
Welcome to the metropolis of Bangkok, one of Asia's most thriving commercial centres. Many first-time visitors to Bangkok have little idea of what they'll actually encounter, Bangkok metropolis, accommodating around 8,000,000 residents, is a sophisticated, fast-growing and occasionally traffic-jammed city.
Referred to today as the City of Angels (Krung Thep in Thai), Bangkok was once called the Vanice of the East because of its many canals. Although many canals have been filled-in, taking away some of the city's old-world charm, it's still one of the most intriguing places worth visiting in Asia. Numerous visitors keep coming back to the city, some for vacations, some for business and some even to settle down here. Without doubt, modern-day Bangkok is a tourist destination of the East offering a greater variety of things to see and do than any other city in Asia.

Established in 1782 as Thailand's capital, the official full name of the city is probably the longest in the world:
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Maha Sathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathatthiya Witsanukam Prasit.

Bangkok (City of Angels) offers an abundance of sites and attractions for tourists and is famous for its Buddhist Temples (Wats) including the famous Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaeo), adjacent to the Grand Palace. This temple and other beautiful examples of carefully-preserved Thai architecture are referred to in more details in the following section. Bangkok, located in the center of the country, is also an excellent stepping-off point for visiting other parts of Thailand. Although the measured pace of old Siam is now a thing of the past, the country's rich cultural and natural heritage still survives.

Accommodation in the city covers a variety of price ranges, but all offer high standard of service presented by friendly staffs. The city probably has the highest concentration of luxurious hotels in the world.
Currently, hotels and shopping venues offer amazing bargains, following the depreciation of the Thai baht currency in 1997. And for those in search of bargains, Bangkok has excellent examples of Thai handicrafts, Thai antiques, paintings, T-shirts in-fashion accessories, high-grade Thai silks and high quality jewellery.

The city also boasts a cornucopia of inexpensive restaurants featuring mouth-watering dishes from all regions of Thailand and international cuisine from just almost everywhere in the world. Many gourmets of Thai food, now rated No. 5 in the world's culinary top ten, considering Bangkok to be on a par with Hong Kong for gastronomic experiences.

The city offers a broad variety of restaurants, ranging from simple noodle stands to the most elegant dining rooms. Visitors from Europe and North America who consider themselves connoisseurs of Thai food will find Bangkok a gastronomic paradise. Despite the country's economic downturn, Thai people continue to be outwardly friendly, greeting visitors with their usual gracious hospitality and sincere expressions of friendship-traits which have earned Thailand the title of "Land of Smile"

And that is no gimmick as you will discover by the time you have to leave Thailand. When the time comes, we hope you will leave the city of Bangkok feeling a deep warmth for its many charms and find it fascinating enough to enable us to welcome you back again and again.

Bangkok Geography:
Located in the center of the country, quite close to the Gulf of Thailand, the greater Bangkok Metropolis (including the former capital of Thonburi on the other side of the Chao Phraya River) covers an area of 1600 km2.

The city is situated right in the middle of the rice bowl of Asia, also known as Chao Phraya River Delta.

Bangkok Weather:
If you like the hot weather, Bangkok is the place for you. Average temp. rarely dip below 25 degree Celsius during the city’s 3 seasons. Between Nov. and Feb. the weather is warm and dry with temp. from 19 – 33 degree Celsius.; Mar – May is hot with temp rising to as high as 42 degrees, and from Jun – Oct (rainy season) it is warm and sometimes wet, but never cold. Even the rain is warm.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cities in Thailand to Savour

The tourist in Thailand can probably trip a carillion of famous Thai cities off their tongues although their claims to fame may well be more notorious than famous and remembered for reasons that may well be better forgotten. Clearly Bangkok, being the capital city, holds its own claim to fame. Chang Mai, being the ancient Siam capital, also holds a claim to fame. Thailand's peninsula offers names to travellers to Thailand that many know by heart, whether they have visited Thailand or not: Phuket, Pattaya, and Koh Samui.

Udon Thani, to the north-east of Thailand, amidst the Isaan countryside, is really only a town but it has a couple of claims that ought to bring it to the attention of the traveller to Thailand. Hua Hin, Krabi, Khon Khan and Surat Thani are all cities in Thailand and known to a greater or lesser extent. Other famous cities in Thailand include Koh Phangan, Koh Phi Phi, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Ratchasima although these are lesser known to the international world outside of Thailand.

City of Angels and Rose of the North
The city of Bangkok, is the capital city of modern Thailand, colloquially known as the City of Angels. Meanwhile, Ayutthaya and Chang Mai each share historical claims to being capital cities from ancient Siam. Rose of the North is the title given to the ancient city of Chiang Mai. As with any capital city Bangkok reveals a cosmopolitan diversity, five star hotels rubbing shoulders with dilapidated roadside food-stalls.
This diversity is further exhibited in Bangkok's wide range of excellent hotels and restaurants offering a truly international range of cuisine. Shopping offers the tourist a truly absorbing pastime, especially as Bangkok lays claim to some of the biggest shopping malls in Asia. If shopping malls seem rather tame, you can always visit Chatuchak, a particularly large outdoor market held at weekends, or other outdoor markets with similar characteristics.

The famous Thai city of Chiang Mai lies along the Ping River. It has long spread its suburbs out from around its original 700 year old limits. Apart from being the old capital city of Thailand, Chiang Mai is particularly noted for its innumerable Buddhist temples, each one surpassing the previous one in exquisite decor. The oldest of Thailand's temples, Wat Chiang Man, is located here. Another 'must-see' for any visitor to Chiang Mai is the lake, Huay Tung Tao, nestling amongst a mountain-bound terrain. There is also a zoo which cares for the welfare of more than 7,000 animals.

Pearl of the Andaman Sea and other Coastal Cities
Phuket has the honour to be known as the Pearl of the Andaman Sea. Other coastal cities include Hua Hin, Krabi, Pattaya Beach, Patong Beach, Rayong, Chumphon: in fact, with Thailand having 3,219km of coastline there are far more cities than could possibly be included here. Much of Thailand's coastline could be designated as areas of outstanding beauty, especially Hua Hin and Krabi. Many beaches cater for the family; there are some areas where young people party all night and sleep all day, however.


Different Cities Reflect Diversity of Provinces
Thailand has many different provinces, each one different from the next. Some of this difference can be due to a range in temperatures, some due to specific handicrafts being traditional to that village or province: there are silk villages where silk material is produced and woven and other villages where this silk is tailored into beautiful garments. The temperature in Chiang Mai is vastly different to the temperatures experienced in the beach resorts to the south of Thailand so naturally this would be reflected in how different the cities in the north are to those in the south.

Nevertheless, regardless where tourists to Thailand go, they cannot fail to be moved by the beauty and history each of Thailand's famous cities evokes. Busy these cities might be, but the evocative aura experienced as travellers visit each city is something that will always remain in their memories: these cities will provide the traveller to Thailand with a lifetime of never-to-be-forgotten reminiscences to savour in the future.

 by Soophott Lert

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Layout, New Destionations and More!

 Summer Vacations 2011 are finally here!

Isn't it a great occasion to introduce a few changes on my blog? As you have probably already noticed, the website has undergone a major redecoration. I hope you will like the new layout as well as new navigation and search options.

Additionally, several new articles appeared in the Asia section, as it is one of the most popular travel destinations. I'm sure you will find something just for you among all the new resources. Don't be surprised if it inspires you to plan new trips!

Remember, any feedback is welcome. If you have any suggestions, do not hesistate to write.

Oh, and one more thing... happy reading!

Friday, June 17, 2011

P&O Cruises Ventura Ship Visit

I just wanted to share with you all my day abroad P&O Cruises Ventura.

It was just lovely. I had previously seen the Oriana and found that superb and this was even better!

All the public areas were stunning, the cabins lovely; tea & coffee in all.

We explored the kids clubs and the night nursery and it was just amazing.

Finally, lunch was just lovely and the staff as always excellent. Truly great day and experience.

Would most definitely look forward to a cruise aboard P&O Ventura.

Sales Consultant
Ideal Cruising

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Celebrity Eclipse Ship Visit

I recently went on a ship visit on the Celebrity Eclipse in Southampton and can honestly say that this was my favourite visit for a long time!

For those of you who may not be familiar with the term ship visit, this is where, usually for a small charge of around £25pp, your taken on a guided tour of a ship and get to discover all the ships amenities, public areas, staterooms (or cabins) and if your lucky, lunch in the main restaurant! It really is a great way to find out about the ship before deciding to take a cruise on her. 

Celebrity Eclipse was amazing and certainly lived up to her reputation! A few of my personal highlights included:

The real lawn at the Lawn Club, yes real grass on a cruise ship! Tended by a resident gardener it was receiving a clipping as we were being shown round.

The speciality restaurants look like an absolute must whilst onboard, the innovative Qsine where your orders are placed by ipad and dessert chosen by rubiks cube!

Murano for fine dining and the Tuscan Grill for melt in the mouth steak.

In the main dining room which is white, light and bright there is an amazing showcase two storey wine rack surrounded by mirrors and lights.

The two storey Eclipse theatre was just like being in the West-End.

Although kids are well catered for with the two separate kids club areas, this ship will definitely appeal to couples looking for sophisticated cruising.

The whole ambience was relaxed, there were plenty of different bars to suit all tastes including a separate Martini bar.
Sales Consultant
Ideal Cruising