Thailand
Thailand

Description Thailand

26-09-2019 2.095 Views
DISCOVERING THAILAND!

In many minds, Thailand rhymes with exoticism, dream holidays, southern paradise beaches, lush jungle and elephant rides ... But Thailand is also Bangkok, hyperactive megalopolis and always growing, and it's also the north with its mountain tribes and temples. All these different facets make Thailand a fascinating country, between modernity and tradition, beaches and mountains, culture and relaxation.
Thailand, formerly called "Kingdom of Siam", is bordered on the west and northwest by Burma, on the south by Malaysia, on the east by Cambodia and on the north-east by Laos. The country is bordered by two seas: the China Sea and the Andaman Sea. The north of the country is partly covered by karst mountains and forests, and many ethnic minorities live there; the northeast is the least frequented by travelers, it is mainly composed of arid plateaus. The center of the country is a large and densely populated fertile basin, while the south is characterized by its many beaches and paradise islands. The official language is Thai (with a specific alphabet), but several dialects are spoken depending on the region. English is the second administrative language, and it is also the commercial language in the tourism sector.  

Have a nice trip to Thailand!
 
 

SIAM’S SECRET

That we will be happy to unveil for you
Canoe stroll. Visit of the Royal Palace. Visit of the main ruins of AyutthayaVisite de plusieurs temples. Discover the crafts of Chiang Mai. Visit of an elephant training camp (optional stroll on elephant’s back)
  • Thailand
  • 10 Days 9 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

AUTHENTIC THAILAND AND CAMBODIA’S CHARM

Two birds with one stone
Meals of gastronomic specialties and traditional shows according to the regions crossed. Excursions to small typical villages of different ethnic minorities and visits to local markets - discovery of paths off the beaten track. Far away from the mass of tourists, boat cruise on the Mekong - a beautiful life experience along water. Discovery of the charms of Siem Reap and the authenticity of this small town.
  • Thailand
  • 23 Days 22 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

Siam's magic

Let yourself be captivated
Canoe stroll. Stroll on board of the « death train ». Thai traditional dancing show. Visit of the monkey’s city. Visit of the main temple of Phitsanulok and its Golden Buddha. Canoe excursion on the Kok river. Meeting with the minority ethnicities people. Visit of an elephants dressing camp. Stroll on an elephant’s back (optional).
  • Thailand
  • 8 Days 7 Nights
  • Adventure

WONDERFUL THAILAND & ANGKOR'S SECRET

Visit everything to return without regret
A large circuit to discover the different facets of Thailand. Less touristic sites classified as UNESCO World Heritage, as well as small villages "off the beaten tracks" to meet different ethnic groups. Gastronomy, crafts, as well as traditional dances and songs will also be highlighted to give you the best possible overview of Thailand! Discovery of the fabulous treasures of Angkor. A long boat stroll will make you discover its inhabitants.
  • Thailand
  • 19 Days 18 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

ETERNAL SIAM

Come visit thousand-year places
Visit of the Wat Bang Kung temple. Boat and canoe stroll. Visit Hindad's natural hot springs. Massage. Visit of an elephants dressing camp (stroll on elephant's back in option). Initiation to Thai cooking.
  • Thailand
  • 10 Days 9 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

ON THE ELEPHANTS’ TRACK

From village to village, surrounded by wildlife
Strolls in the tribal villages of Northern Thailand. Tang river rafting. Discovery of Khao Yai National Park. Several nights in homestay in the villages. Tasting of many specialties. Possibility of double to share.
  • Thailand
  • 12 Days 11 Nights
  • Ethnic

Thailand's smile

Smile at Thailand and Thailand will smile at you
Visit of Damnoen Saduak floating market. Visits of different temples. Discovery of mountainous tribes. Stroll canoe on the Kok river. Northern traditional dancing show. Visit of an elephants dressing camp.
  • Thailand
  • 8 Days 7 Nights
  • Adventure

WONDERS OF THAILAND AND LUANG PRABANG CHARM

Two birds with one stone
Meals of gastronomic specialties and traditional shows according to thee crossed regions. Excursions to small villages typical of different ethnic minorities and visits of local markets - discovery of paths off the beaten track. Far away from the crowd of tourists, boat cruise on the Mekong - a beautiful experience of life along water. Discover the charms of Luang Prabang and the authenticity of this small town
  • Thailand
  • 22 Days 21 Nights
  • Classic & cultural

THAILAND’S MOSAIC AND MYANMAR'S CHARM

Two birds with one stone
The travel will make you discovering every single most beautiful sites of these both countries. Discovery of many temples with admirable sceneries of the two former capitals, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. The very complete days in Myanmar are witnesses one by one of a long sumptuous past, which stretchs along the legendary Irrawaddy, before approaching the shores of Inle Lake, nestled in the lush greenery of the mountains of the Shan plateau. A succession magical moments, lighted up by the golden pagodas and the Burmese smile.
  • Thailand
  • 18 Days 17 Nights
  • Classic & cultural
Culture
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POPULATION:
  • Thailand is made up of a mosaic of peoples, including the Thais who are the main ethnic group. There are no less than twenty different ethnic groups from as well as Cambodia or Burma, such as Karen, Lahu, Shan ... This crucible helps to make Thailand a culturally rich country. The Thais are a warm and welcoming people, hence the nickname attributed to them, "the land of smiles". Regarding recreation, the policy of the Thais is to have fun above all. It can range from a masked drama dance (Khon), to a traditional music band, to a Thai boxing match, the fun is always entertaining.
RELIGION:
  • The lives of Thais are shaped by Buddhism: indeed, more than 95% of the population is Buddhist! This explains the incredible number of temples and pagodas in Thailand. Thai Buddhism is a bit peculiar, it comes from a stream of southern Sri Lanka (Theravada); Thais were also influenced by Hinduism. In southern Thailand, there are Thai Muslims. The Buddhist temple plays an essential role in Thai life, especially in the countryside where the temple can educate the youngest, care for the sick, learn the news from the outside world, even find a job.
CUSTOMS:
  • The most important holidays in Thailand are:
  • The important ritual of the celebration is to throw water on other passers-by on the street, using water guns, pipes, barrels ... The water that is discarded contains water that has been used to cleanse Buddhas; In addition to throwing water, powder is also thrown out.
  • This takes place on the 12th day of the lunar calendar, usually in November. Thus the Loy Krathong designates a small raft, composed of flowers, incense, candles, and a piece of banana tree, which is deposited in the water, in order to forget its misfortunes, its cares and its melancholy.
SOME RULES OF KNOW-LIVING:
  • For example, it is relatively rare to see couples kissing or holding hands on the street.
  • In temples, speak in a low voice and avoid touching objects of worship (statuettes of geniuses and Buddhas). 
  • Wear clothing covering shoulders and legs.
  • It is also customary to take off your shoes when you enter a house or temple, and to cross the threshold without putting your foot down.
  • Many Thai customs are related to the position of monks in society. These must not come into physical contact with a woman. To make offerings to them, they place their gifts directly in their bowl, at their feet or on a cloth placed on a table or on the ground. In the temples, the monks will sit on the highest platform.
  • One of the Thai customs is the "Wai", a gesture of salutation very similar to the Namaste of the Indians. Used for hello, goodbye, it appears in different styles that all have the same meaning: normally a Thai makes a "reverence" with hands joined as a gesture of prayer.
  • It is strongly discouraged to touch the head of a Thai. In Europe, touching someone's head can be perceived as a friendly gesture, but it is not at all the case in Thailand, it is for them a gesture that is badly perceived. Indeed, Thais believe that the head is sacred because it is the seat of the soul. Conversely, the feet are impure.
  • At the table, do not plant the chopsticks in a bowl filled with rice. It is indeed a ritual that we do for the dead.
THE FOOD :
  • Thai cuisine, although similar in some respects to that of its Chinese, Indian and Burmese neighbors, is characterized by flavors and original ingredients such as curry, mint, lemongrass, coriander and red basil. She is experiencing increasing success abroad! For a Western palate, this cuisine is very spicy.
  • Thai cuisine blends many flavors:
  • Sweet: fruits, sugar
  • The spicy: peppers
  • Sour: vinegar, lemons, tamarinds
  • Salty: soy sauce, fish sauce
  • Thai cuisine is not uniform across the country. Thus, the southern dishes, such as yellow curry and curry of kidneys and fish, are the highest. In the central plains, the food is smoother, such as chicken stir-fried with basil leaves. To the north, one finds a great influence of Burmese cuisine, such as in the famous curry soup and noodles, the kaoh itself. As for the north-east, its cuisine is derived from Laotian cuisine and, although originally considered a peasant cuisine, it is gaining more and more popularity and some delicacies, such as papaya salad, som tam, are known and appreciated beyond its borders.
  • Here are some typical Thai dishes:
    • Pad Thai: Fried rice noodles. This dish consists of wok noodles with eggs, soy, peanuts, shrimp, fish sauce and lime sauce. This dish is one of the best known out of Thailand, and it is one of the cheapest dishes sold in the street.
    • Tom yam (or tom yum): sweet and sour soup with pork, chicken or fish. This dish consists of broth, coconut milk, lime, ginger, galangal and peppers. It is a classic of Thai gastronomy and is also found in Laos. This soup is quite spicy because of the chili pepper.
    • Kaeng khiao wan: green curry. The green curry is made of coconut milk, chicken, garlic and lime juice, as well as green curry paste. It is usually eaten with rice.
    • Som tam: grated green papaya salad, hot peppers, garlic, tomatoes, milfoil, lime juice, fish sauce and pla ra (fermented fish sauce from Isan), sugar, shrimp paste, possibly crab brine in some areas.
 
Before leaving
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PASSEPORT & VISA :
  • In order to enter the Thai territory, you must have a valid passport. The latter must still be valid for at least 6 months after the day of entry into Thailand, for French, Belgian and Swiss nationals. If you hold another nationality, do not hesitate to contact us for any additional request.
  • Your passport must not be torn and must not contain any particular anomalies.
  • A visa is not required for any tourist trip of less than 30 days for the French, Belgian and Swiss. However, you must justify your return flight. In any case, upon your arrival, you will be issued a tourist residence permit free of charge for a stay not exceeding 30 days (arriving by an airport) or 15 days (arriving by a land border).
  • If you wish to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days, obtaining a visa is mandatory. Tourist visas are issued by Thai consulates abroad.
  • It may be requested by the immigration authorities to present in cash the equivalent of THB 20,000 per person.
  • Nationals of other countries must apply for a tourist visa, attention because some European Union citizens are not exempt from visa (Hungary ...).
  • Before leaving, we advise you to photocopy all important documents (passport, electronic equipment invoices, insurance policy, plane tickets, driving license ...). A handy tip if you lose your papers or valuables.
HEALTH & VACCINES :
  • No vaccinations are required upon arrival in Thailand. However, travelers from countries in Africa or Latin America must be compulsorily vaccinated against yellow fever, since the disease is present in these countries.
  • However, we advise you to be vaccinated (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, typhoid, polio, meningitis, typhoid fever, hepatitis).
  • Some people recommend getting vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, and against Japanese encephalitis, especially if you're traveling in a rural area, and against rabies if you want to take an "adventure" trip and that you mainly go to campaign. To find out if these vaccinations are necessary or not, make an appointment at a vaccination center and ask for their advice. It is important to protect yourself from malaria, which is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes. For more information, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for advice. Make sure you do not forget about anti-snake repellents for your comfort.
  • Do not hesitate to provide a small pharmacy with some basic products, it will be very useful.
  • No vaccinations are required upon arrival in Thailand. However, travelers from countries in Africa or Latin America must be compulsorily vaccinated against yellow fever, since the disease is present in these countrie s
CLIMATE :  
  • Thailand enjoys a tropical climate and lives at the rhythm of three distinct seasons:
  • A dry season, from November to March, where the temperatures oscillate between 25 and 30 degrees. Note that if you are traveling in the north of the country, plan warm clothes because there is a strong contrast between daytime and nighttime temperatures.
  • A hot season, from April to May when the temperature can rise above 38 degrees and where the heat feels stifling. This period is the great period of storms, indeed very often in the evening you will find a sky filled with lightning.
  • A rainy season, the monsoon, from June to October. It is at this time of the year that there are heavy rainstorms and sometimes the rains can be torrential, but no worries because the majority of the day is sunny: these rains usually last 1h at 3h per day.
  • Regarding the climate of the islands, it is recommended to visit:
  • In Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi, Koh Yao, Koh Lanta, Khao Lak, from October to the end of May.
  • Koh Samui, Koh Phang Ngan, Koh Tao, from January to the end of September.
  • Hua Hin, Koh Samet, Koh Chang, all year long.
  • The risks of typhoon and flooding are present from September to November.
JET LAG: + 5h00 of shift in summer and + 6h00 in winter, compared to France.
 
INSURANCE:
 
All travelers have the obligation to take out an insurance policy for their trip before participating in our tours. Although there are international standard care cells in Bangkok and all major tourist areas, the country still lacks infrastructure and equipment in cases of serious illness or injury. We also advise you to provide good health insurance and repatriation insurance.
 
MONEY :
 
Be sure to ask your bank about the use of your credit card and the fees for using it. Travel options exist, so consider traveling at no extra cost.
 
ADAPTER:
 
In Thailand there are various plugs (European, US ...), so we recommend you bring with you a universal adapter since in Thailand, the electrical system is 220 volts but the sockets are not always standard.
 
 
On the spot
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THE NATIONAL CURRENCY: the baht (THB)
  • You will be able to exchange your euros and US dollars in all authorized banks and exchanges.
  • In the capital as well as in all major tourist areas, you can use your Visa or Master credit card in hotels, restaurants and shops. But remember to have some local currency just in case.
  • Remember, however, that the exchange rate in euros is sometimes less advantageous in the provinces.
  • When leaving Thailand, the maximum allowed in local currency is 50,000 baht per person.
  • The current exchange rate is 1 USD = 33 baht / 1 euro = 38 baht.
PHONE :
  • To call Thailand from France, dial 00 66 + city code (without the 0) + number of the correspondent.
  • To call France from Thailand, dial 001 33 + number of the correspondent (without the 0).
  • A practical and economical solution if you want to use your mobile phone during your stay in Thailand is to buy a local prepaid SIM card, it will cost you less and you will always have news of your loved ones.
BANKS:
 
You will find many vending machines in the big cities, but also in small towns and sites frequented by tourists.
 
INTERNET :
  • You will find an internet connection very easily in cybercafés, airports, shops, hotels and restaurants.
  • In contrast, in the countryside, the connection is more limited, but almost all hotels have their own Internet connection, so it is always possible to stay connected during your trip.
  • As for the prices in the cybercafés, the prices often turn around 30 bahts an hour, except in the southern islands, where they climb up to 1 to 2 baht / min.
THE WATER :
  • Be very careful about the water you drink. Never drink tap water, always drink bottled water and check that it is properly capped. It is necessary to be vigilant also with ice cubes, consume only cubic ice cubes or with a cylindrical hole shape in the middle.
POST:
  • In major cities in Thailand, post offices are usually open Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 17:30 and Saturday from 8:00 to 12:00. You will find an efficient staff, with a perfect organization. So that your postcard arrives in France, count well a week of delay. All post offices have a service of sending packets by surface or by air. For postcards to Europe, count 15 baht.
A FEW USEFUL VOCABULARY WORDS:
  • Hello: Sawat dii khrap (if you are a man), Sawat dii khaa (if you are a woman)
  • Thank you (a lot): khop khoun khrap (mak) (if you are a man), khop khoun khaa (mak) (if you are a woman)
  • Yes / No: khrap / may khrap (if you are a man), khaa / may khaa (if you are a woman)
  • I would like / I do not want: Ao / May ao
  • I do not understand: mesh khrao djaille
  • Sorry: ko ​​thoote
  • How much does it cost ? : raka tao mock?
 
   
Attractions
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A great crossing of the south to the north of Thailand will make you discover on the way of many temples with the beautiful scenery of the two old capitals, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, as well as Lampang and its teak houses, the ethnic villages, the floating markets and rural .. In the region of Chiang Mai, the "Rose of the North", you will succumb to the beauty of the landscapes, the richness of the flora and the softness of the climate.

THE ATTRACTIONS
 
  1. Bangkok "the city of angels"
  2. Chiang Mai "the rose of the north"
  3. Chiang Rai
  4. Chiang Saen "the golden triangle"
  5. Koh Samui
  6. Phuket - Koh Phi Phi
 
BANGKOK
"The City of Angels"
 
After Sukothai, Ayutthaya, and for a short time Thon Buri, Bangkok became the capital of Thailand in 1872, under the reign of King Rama I. Bangkok, the name of the capital of Thailand as foreigners know it, is consists of 2 Thai words: "bang", meaning village on the river, and "kok", local fruit; hence Bangkok means the "fruit village". In general, Thais use the term Krungtep to refer to their metropolis, which means the city of angels (just like Los Angeles). No other city in Southeast Asia can compare to Bangkok. It is a growing and possessive interest that visitors feel for this city that will leave them strong and indelible memories. It is difficult to explain precisely with words the intangible fascination Bangkok can exert. Rich in imposing temples, sumptuous palaces and other characteristic buildings and monuments, Bangkok offers fascinating sightseeing opportunities. Tourists arriving in Bangkok for their first trip to Thailand may feel the "culture shock" and because of pollution and poor traffic (the new metro is a good way to get around quickly and easily) are in a hurry to return to other quieter areas.
 
However it is interesting to spend a few days in the capital to discover the treasures of the city: the Grand Palace, including several buildings built by the kings of the Rama dynasty, and Wat Phra Kaew, the temple of the Emerald Buddha, protector of the city - Wat Po, temple of the reclining Buddha - Wat Arun, temple of the dawn - the "klongs" or canals, etc ... You can admire beautiful traditional houses - The house of Jim Thompson, the American who reintroduced the silk industry in Thailand and built its beautiful canal house in pure Thai style, bringing together many rare ancient pieces of the country. He mysteriously disappeared in Malaysia about 30 years ago. Vimanmek Palace, built by Rama V, the largest white teak building in the world. The daily tours allow you to discover Bangkok and will take you - among other things - to the floating market, the infamous Kwai River Bridge - the JEATH Museum and its cemetery, and Ayutthaya, the second capital of the Kingdom of Siam. For wildlife lovers, the crocodile farm will allow you to see thousands of these animals, but also a very impressive sight. It is possible to have a picture taken with a crocodile or a tiger.
Bangkok is also a modern city that offers a wide range of good restaurants and interesting shops, luxurious shopping centers, but also typical Thai arcades such as Mabukon or the Patpong night market in Silom.
 
The klongs (channels):
A boat trip on the canals of Bangkok will allow you to admire the many houses of different styles, built in this part of Bangkok (Damnoen Saduak & Rose Garden). Departure from the dock Damnoen Saduak, we pass in front of the vineyards of Bangkok, various agricultural plantations. You can admire traditional Thai houses by the water. During his reign, King Rama V used to visit the people and dine with them by the river. Then, arrive at the central market of Damnoen Saduak.
It was from 1967 that foreign tourists discovered by photos the district of Damnoen Ratchaburi, the floating market, where the boats filled with food and other daily necessities come and go along the river. Sellers usually wear black outfits, similar to those of agricultural workers, their faces protected from the sun's rays by large bamboo hats and palm leaves. They row from one end to the other of this arm of the river selling or bartering their merchandise. Today, the market is animated from the first light of dawn until about 11 o'clock in the morning. The rose garden offers excellent performances of Thai culture: Ramtai dance, elephant dressage, Thai boxing.
 
The Kwai River Bridge:
 
Known worldwide through numerous films and books, the black iron bridge was transported from Java by the Japanese army and re-assembled under Japanese supervision by prisoners of war to complete "the railway line of death "linking Thailand and Myanmar. Still in use today, the bridge was the target of frequent Allied bombing in 1945, and had to be rebuilt after the end of the war. The JEATH war museum, by the river, was built as the former Allied prison camps during the Second World War. The name JEATH derives from Japan, England (England), America, Australia, Thailand and Holland. The thatch-covered holding huts with raised, narrow bamboo bunks contain commemorative items such as photographs and drawings reminiscent of prisoners' living conditions. The war cemetery houses the body of 6,982 prisoners who perished during the construction of the "death railway line".
Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha
 
At the gates of the city center, the Grand Palais is a collection of several buildings with specific architectural features. It was built in 1782 when King Rama I came to the throne and Bangkok became the capital of Thailand. The architectural plan is almost identical to that of the royal palace of the ancient capital Ayutthaya. The Royal Chapel (or Wat Phra Kaeo) houses treasures of Thai art including the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. The three main buildings inside the temple, which form a glittering ensemble, are the Golden Stupa, the Buddha Relics, Phra Mondop or the Library, housing Tripitaka or the Buddhist scriptures. The Royal Pantheon is a pavilion that is used to keep the statues of deceased kings of the Chakri dynasty. Finally, the 178 murals depicting the history of Ramayana are the centerpiece of Rattanakosin craftsmen.
CHIANG MAI
"The rose of the north"
 
Chiang Mai, second city of Thailand, capital of the North, was founded in 1292 on the Ping River by King Men Rai as the new capital of Lanna Thai. Weakened by internal conflicts for the throne and oppression, the city fell to the hands of the Burmese troops of King Bayinnaung in 1558. For more than two centuries (1558-1774), Chiang Mai was under Burmese control. The riches of the city declined because the Burmese exploited it for military purposes for their wars with Ayutthaya. Finally, the Thai forces of the North, allied with the king of Thonburi, Taksin, drove the Burmese in 1775. But the city was so weak that it was totally abandoned. Allied with the Thais of Siam, Chiang Mai regained strength. However, in the 19th century, the growing interest of Westerners in the northern teak forests forced King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Siam to take over administration in 1892. Chiang Mai is a city built on the roots of a traditional heritage, deeply rooted in time. The city has a great cultural personality. In addition, she is fortunate to have a majestic natural setting and great beauty. The people themselves are an unforgettable part of Chiang Mai. Silk, silver and wood crafts are timeless souvenirs for visitors from around the world.
 
Doi Suthep - Wat Phrathat
 
According to legend, the temple site was chosen by an elephant bearing a holy relic. Initially the relic was to be enshrined at Wat Suan Dok in 1371, but it broke in two. The second piece was placed on the back of an elephant who began to climb the Doi Suthep, stopping twice. After three days the elephant finally reached a level ground, circled it three times, knelt down and died. A hole was dug on the site for the relic, which was then covered with a chedi (A form of stupa) more than seven meters high. Until the road was built in 1935, the pilgrims had to climb the mountain and then the more than 200 steps of the long staircase bordered by nagas to reach the temple.
This staircase was originally built in the middle of the 16th century. The inner sanctuary, surrounded by walls, is surrounded by a lower terrace. From this level there is an excellent view of the city and the valley. Faithful people like to ring bells and gongs around the base of the shrine. A statue of the elephant commemorates the foundation of the temple. The inner sanctuary is one of the classic sights of Chiang Mai. A gold plated chedi is in the middle of a square marble courtyard. The chedi has reached its current height of more than 16 meters in 1525. A balustrade around the square base of the chedi surrounds a path for devotional rounds around the chedi (women can not enter this part). Parasols, symbols of royalty, are placed at the four corners of the chedi. The court took its present form in 1805.
It is delimited by a cloister that contains images and murals depicting the life of Buddha. In the middle of the east and west sides of the cloister are two decorated viharns. The interior walls of both are covered with frescoes. Those of the viharn are showing the legend of the elephant and the relic, while those of the west hall, the Vessantara Jataka. The faithful go to the west viharn to receive the blessings and lustral water of the monks sitting under a canopy. On the south and north sides of the cloister, smaller chapels are the subject of much veneration. The Thais prostrate themselves, then shake a cup containing 28 numbered sticks to see who falls first on the ground. A sheet predicting the future for each number is in a neighboring bin.
 
Excursions to Mae Hong Son:
Mae Hong Son, "City of the Three Mists", is known around the world as a refuge for the Pa Dong, a tribe of women-giraffe. But it is also a very beautiful mountainous region with a national park and many caves and waterfalls. An ideal stay for nature lovers!
CHIANG RAI

Chiang Rai was founded in 1262 by King Meng Rai, and was the first capital of Lanna Thai (Kingdom of a Million Ricefields). The province, which includes the northernmost point of Thailand at Mae Sai, is well known for its mountainous panorama and its tribes, and lies in the region known as the 'Golden Triangle', where converge borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (formerly Burma).

Trekking, rafting & elephant:
 
Go trekking with a guide is the best way to see the tribes. Experienced guides will take you, through the labyrinth of trails in the hills, to villages where there is a good chance of seeing something of the traditional way of life. Good guides can also explain the spiritual world of the tribes and associated rituals. Nights in the villages (very rudimentary basic conditions). Trips include an elephant ride and bamboo raft rafting.
 
CHIANG SAEN
"The golden triangle"
 
Northern Thailand is renowned for its beautiful mountain scenery. However, it is likely that few of you have heard of Chiang Saen, a small town just north-east of Chiang Rai, one of Thailand's oldest cities, dreamily stretching along the mighty river bank. Mae Khong. Who could imagine his glorious and powerful past? Still, believe it or not, this quiet provincial town, gateway to the "Golden Triangle", was once the center of Lanna Kingdom power. This quiet city, in fact, has had a very eventful history.
Founded by King Mengrai's grandson in 1327 on the original site of an older city, Chiang Saen was invaded by the Burmese in 1558. They controlled the city and much of the area until in 1804, when King Rama I of Siam took it back and burned it entirely. The familiar phrase that followed "we had to destroy it to save it" might well be the words of the victorious king himself. For nearly 70 years, the city was abandoned, with the exception of a few families, until the day when Chao Inta, one of the sons of the Prince of Lumpoon, brought back the descendants of the ancient population of Chiang Saen and had the city rebuilt. city.
The modern city of Chiang Saen, with its ruins and National Museum, is worth a visit. The plan of the old town remains the same as in the past. With the Maekhong River as a natural defense behind the city, and solid walls in front and on the sides, Chiang Saen once dominated the surrounding lands, commanding the confluence of the Maekhong with some of its major tributaries, including the Mae Kok and Mae Rivers. Chan. The old city walls, 4.2 km long, which were falling into ruins, are now almost completely renovated which will allow more activities such as cycling along the old wall, and boat trips along the canal. between the two sides of the wall. There are many interesting temples and ruins in town; Wat Pa Sak "the temple of the forest in tek", the oldest, built in 1225; Wat Chedi Luang (next to the current excellent museum of the city) built in 1331 and enlarged in 1515 (the latter is famous for its octagonal Chedi 58 meters high); Wat Phra Thart Jom Kitti located on a small hill just outside the northwestern part of the city walls: 383 steps lead to this interesting temple whose viewpoint on the Mae Khong River to Laos is exceptional.
The Mae Khong River is one of the main attractions of the city; from time to time, long blue painted Laotian boats are admired as they glide along the seemingly tranquil river. In reality, the waters are far from calm, and swimming there is not recommended.
The Chiang Saen tour can begin with a boat trip from the Golden Triangle to Chiang Saen. Continue by minibus to see the images of the Old Buddha. In the vicinity, visit Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Pa Sak and Sop Ruak, as well as its Opium Museum, and Wat Phrathat Phu Kao, from which the view of the Golden Triangle is breathtaking.
 
KOH SAMUI
 
The first inhabitants of Koh Samui settled here about 1500 years ago. They were mainly fishermen looking for shelter from the wind in the calm and protected waters of Bophut Bay in the north of the island. They quickly realized that the sea around the island was very rich in cuttlefish and other seafood. In addition, the land was very fertile. As a result, small villages quickly grew and so the population of Samui began to grow.
Koh Samui, 280 km2, is the largest island in the Gulf of Siam. It is part of an archipelago of 80 small islands, only 6 of which are inhabited. It is an island of coconut palms, wooded hills and limestone mountains. Its highest point is 636 meters above sea level. Its superb beaches, its jungle, its hills and waterfalls offer varied landscapes, rarely equaled on other islands.
The economy of the island depends mainly, outside of fishing, on the cultivation of coconuts, picked by trained monkeys. Samui exports more than 2 million coconuts a month!
The history of Samui began to change in the early 1980s, when the island was discovered by independent travelers. This brought the construction of small rustic bungalows with roofs made of palm leaves. But the secret could not be kept very long, and the island quickly became an internationally renowned holiday destination. However, despite the strong tourist development, the inhabitants are determined to preserve the natural and exceptional charm of the island.
The most beautiful beaches of the island are on the North and East coasts, the most popular between Chaweng and Lamai, where are also the largest resorts. In addition to these beaches, the island has other centers of interest such as the Hin Lat and Na Muang waterfalls, the "Hin Ta at Hin Yai" stones at the southern tip of Lamai Bay, and the large "Big Buddha" north of Bophut.
In Samui, the climate is tropical with average temperatures ranging from 25 ° C to 34 ° C. It's raining in November.
 
PHUKET AND KOH PHI PHI
 
Phuket:
Phuket is the largest island in Thailand (about the size of Singapore), and nestles in the Indian Ocean some 890 km south of Bangkok. It is known as "The Pearl of Andaman", which is mainly due to its past glory and its significant economic prosperity, resulting from the tin production that goes back more than 500 years.
 
Today, Phuket is the main tourist attraction of Thailand. The surrounding waters are home to a diverse underwater flora and fauna, and the city is interesting for its Sino-Portuguese architecture. It is a very attractive island with adorable shores and wooded hillsides. With 1.6 million inhabitants, Phuket province ranks sixth in terms of population. Approximately 1.75 million rai in the region are covered with forest, the main occupation being rice cultivation. Phuket is a mountainous island at 70%; a chain of mountains extends from north to south, from which derive some less imposing ramifications. The highlight is Mai Tha Sip Song, or "The Twelve Cannes", which is 529 meters above sea level in the area of ​​Tambon Patong, Kathu. The remaining 30% of the island, mainly in the center and south, consists of low plains.
The climate of Phuket is typical of the surrounding area where it is located, with strong influences of the monsoon winds: hot, humid, but pleasant all year round. There are only two seasons: the rainy season, from May to November, with southwesterly winds, and the dry season from December to April, with winds coming from the northeast. It is the warmest in March with average temperatures of 33.4 ° C, and in January it is the coolest, when the thermometer can drop to 22 ° C in the early morning.
The island of Phuket has a long historical past, and ruins dating from 1025 AD indicate that the current name of Phuket derives from Tamil manikram, or "crystal mountain". However Phuket has long been known as Junk Ceylon, which to some variations is the name shown on the old maps.
The island of Phuket is the refuge of the ancient gypsies of the sea. They live - as for hundreds of years - in Koh Sireh, a small island separated from the main island by a narrow stream , as well as Rawaii, a beach in the far south of Phuket. A few hundred of them, officially called "Thai-May", have their homes and heritage. Gypsies of the sea traditionally live from fishing, and more recently from tourism. Tourists, wishing to discover the authentic character of Phuket, like to visit their villages. They are nomads who have no place of permanent habitation, nor instrument of writing. One theory is that gypsies from the sea descend from Malay colonies fleeing the Muslim invasion of the Burmese. Another wants them to be descendants of the pure Indian race, the Vedas.
 
Ko Phi Phi:
 
The Phi Phi Islands are located 34 km (20 miles) southeast of Phuket. Perched at the southern limit of the Phang-nga range, they are part of the national park. They are two beautiful islands, carrying two huge mountains of emerald green limestone. The two huge mountains that dominate the islands - one of them rising to 498 m - are connected by a strip of sand to create what, seen from plane, looks like a giant dumbbell. The sandy beach separating the islands is so narrow that it is possible to return a football from one shore to another.
The larger of the two islands, Phi Phi Don, has a circumference of 20 km. Nine shimmering coves and their fine sand beach, bordered by sumptuous coral reefs and turquoise blue waters, give the island its reputation of sublime beauty. Its small population lives in a small number of fishing villages disappearing rapidly, due to tourism development and the construction of resorts. Phi Phi It rests offshore and consists almost exclusively of steep cliffs, with some caves and a sea-lake formed by an enclave between two cliffs that allow water to enter through a canyon-shaped bowl. The island is not inhabited, but has several beautiful beaches. However, what makes it popular are mainly its caves where migratory birds (like swallows) like to nestle. Indeed, birds appreciate limestone caves and high cliffs as shelter. Between January and April each year, thousands of birds stop at Phi Phi Le and spend about two weeks in the caves where they build nests whose cement is their saliva.

 

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