Thailand in search of quiet islands

(Ko Bulon Lae) Thai islands of the Andaman coast have’s dream: white sand beaches lapped by turquoise water, with tapering off of colorful wooden boats sailing between elegant Karst Mountains. The only detail that the postcard does not show, it is the thousands of holidaymakers who pile on these small paradise.

Do not despair so far, there are still forgotten islands of mass tourism. Here are two (among others), no further, no less beautiful, just less known.

Ko Tarutao, natural

Near the border of Malaysia, Tarutao National Park encompasses fifty islands, Ko Tarutao, the largest of the archipelago (26 km long and 11 km wide). No village, only the park facilities are hiding in the surrounding nature. It has not always been so: the island was a penal colony until 1948.

Now this is where we come to escape. Strolling kilometer of floury sand of the main beach, you meet a few dozen passengers on weekdays, double in high season.

On other beaches on the island, it is likely to be one-on-one with coconut trees. Beyond the sand, the majority of Ko Tarutao is covered with jungle frolic adorable monkeys langurs, intriguing flying squirrels and a host of birds including hornbills pie with their huge beaks.

For assets, the paths start to attack the steep terrain, kayaks and bicycles are available for exploring the mangrove and isolated corners. It will be understood, do not come here for entertainment, but rather to lose. Little wonder that the island was chosen to shoot a season of reality show Survivor. One caveat, however: waste management could be improved.

Ko Bulon Lae, the small pearlKo Bulon Lae

Not far from Ko Tarutao, Ko Bulon Lae offers a different atmosphere. The size of the island allows to cross in 15 minutes by small bucolic trails. It walks there surrounded by colorful butterflies and songbirds, and sometimes surprised by large lizards meek.

An impenetrable jungle covering the western half of Bulon Lae, a kayak is needed to make the turn in a few hours swimming and watching understood seabed. The calm of the island is disturbed only by the generators that start at dusk.

Beach side: the usual language of white sand shaded by coconut palms, where neighbors are scarce and non-existent waste. Tempting? Sure, but the real secret of the charm of this island comes from its hundred inhabitants. Descendants of Chao Lay, gypsies now settled sea, the villagers first living from fishing and cultivation of rubber. Thus they are able to ensure the delicate balance between preserving their way of life and controlled tourism development. The result is a wonderful cocktail loving travelers who have tasted it, and who appreciate the value of a place as beautiful as single.

Practical advice
How to get there

From the port of Pak Bara (1 hr 30 min drive from Trang and Hat Yai airports), Ko Tarutao is 1 hour boat (1-2 a day) and Ko Bulon Lae 30 minutes navigation (a one boat per day). The latter is also accessible by speedboats making the sea link between Ko Lanta and Ko Lipe season.

When to go

The best season lasts from November to April. It was around New Year and Thai national festivals that the greatest number of visitors arrive in the islands. Most hotels and Tarutao National Park are closed from June to September, during the rainy season.

Accommodation

At Ko Tarutao, bungalows National Park (comfortable but not luxurious, around $ 30) reserve directly on the Internet. Camping is also possible. Book your hotel at tarutao

At Ko Bulon Lae, you have more choices, the deluxe room with direct access to the beach ($ 80, Pansand Resort) in bamboo bungalow has country charm ($ 50 Marina Resort, tel: 0815982420) . The most economical institutions offer spartan bungalows from $ 15.

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10 islands (almost) secret Thailand

Who has not dreamed of his little bungalow with pretty wall tiles on a deserted beach in Thailand? The problem is that with 26 million tourists, the dream becomes more and more inaccessible … And yet, looking good and away from names that are known in all the guides, we finally found.

IF you are not fond of full moon party, and the Bangkok traffic jams were right for your patience, if you look closely, you can still find a few islands in Thailand that remain relatively untouched by tourists.

1. Ko PhayamKoh-Phayam
It is good to discover Ko Phayam: there joined hikers and families alone on this beautiful island. It looks like the 70: Some resorts do not even have electricity, and fuel the weak bulbs bungalows with DIY solar panels.

Hotel Ko Phayam

Expect pristine beaches, pleasant walks through the jungle, bungalows on the beach very basic. A night bus from Bangkok to Ranong is the best way to get to the ferry.

2. Ko Surin
The Surin archipelago is home to some of the best dive sites in Thailand and snorkeling, and scuba diving.

There are two main islands, Ko Surin Nua and Ko Surin Tai. Both are beautiful. The islands are part of a national park, and a few tents and bungalows are the only lodging options. The nearest airport is Phuket and the islands are accessible by ferry from Khao Lak.

3. Ko AdangKo Adang
A paradise in the National Park of Ko Adang. The beach is fabulous and the water a translucent green. You can camp at night, or find your happiness in some basic bungalows. Hiking inside to see a waterfall, snakes, geckos and some monkeys.

Hotel Ko Adang
The nearest airports are Krabi and Phuket.

4. Ko Bulon Lae
If you want to get away from civilization, then this is the island for you. Imagine the air full of butterflies and bats, huge monitor lizards crossing your path.

Eat fish every day in ultra simple restaurants and sleeping in a bungalow on the beach that’s all. It is a small island, and it takes only 40 minutes to go around. The island is close to Ko Lipe, a once beautiful island and now ravaged by tourism.

 

5. Ko Chang Noi
Not to be confused with the Ko Chang everyone knows, southeast of Bangkok.

Ko Chang Noi (the small Ko Chang) is located off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. It is a very relaxed and quiet place: the opposite of the other Ko Chang. No Seven Eleven and no ATM. It is best to get a night bus from Bangkok to Ranong.

6. Ko Kho Khao . hotel Koh Kho Khao
This is a large island with long golden beaches, mangroves and grassy sand banks. You can ride on elephants, playing in the surf and rent bikes, but otherwise it’s mostly for the beach. Families are more common than backpackers with dreadlocks. The nearest airport is Phuket.
7. Bamboo Island
If you find yourself on Phi Phi Don Island, then you need to see Bamboo Island by taking a long tail boat. The best part is that there is nothing to do ….. There is nowhere to spend the night: it’s just a few hours break to enjoy the white sand beach dramatic and clear water.
8. Ko KoodKo Kood
Ko Kood, (often spelled Ko Kut in the past) remained long been a well-kept secret: the island appears for the first time in the 11th edition of the Lonely Planet published in 2006 and barely occupies twenty lines, indicating only three resorts.

Hotel ko kood

The best way to get there is by bus from Bangkok to Laem Sok Pier in Trat province. Then it takes at least an hour high speed boat to reach one of the many beautiful beaches of the island or explore the jungle in search of waterfalls.
9. Ko Lanta  , hotel Ko Lanta
What comes to Ko Lanta in an article on secret islands? In fact Ko Lanta is very large and still has a lot of great beaches in very good condition, and small beaches to discover. There is also an interior mountainous land with lush jungle. The nearest airport is Krabi.

10. Ko Tarutao
Ko Tarutao part of the National Park of the same name (as Ko Adang). You can only rent a bicycle to explore the deserted island, and watch monkeys and abundant birds. Very relaxing and so much better than Ko Lipe, which has grown too quickly and was very spoiled by tourism. The nearest airports are Krabi and Phuket.

hotel ko tarutaoKo Tarutao

No 7/11, no ATM: camping or very basic bungalow generator for electric current few hours a day.

 

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Five paradise islands in thailand

Want a change of scenery and idyllic landscapes? Your air ticket for Thailand will not only be an opportunity to visit Phuket and Bangkok! From the white sand beaches of the Thai coast, a simple boat ride is sometimes enough to discover some hidden gems well. Zoom on 5 of the most beautiful tropical islands of Thailand.
Koh Samui for animation and activitieskoh samui
Located off the Surat Thani province in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh (meaning island in Thai) Samui is a popular destination for families as revelers. By day, its beautiful beaches are a veritable playground for scuba diving enthusiasts, snorkelling and water sports. Boat rides glass bottom off the coast are a great way to discover the marine fauna of the region. At night, the beaches on the island become regular nightclubs. The travelers and locals come to dance until dawn in a setting worthy of the most beautiful postcards. Is located in Koh Samui diverse and varied accommodation to suit all types of travelers: the small cabins installed on the beach to luxurious resorts have inspired me to draw a log home plan for my dream home. Travelers here are looking for comfort as backpackers get their money!
Koh Phi Phi and the famous “Beach”koh phi phi
Those who saw “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Virginie Ledoyen recognize in Koh Phi Phi’s famous beach that was the setting while shooting the film. Maya Bay, considered one of the best beaches in the world, is not only popular among followers of the film from Danny Boyle, but also among photographers and divers. Located in the southwest of Thailand in the Andaman Sea, Koh Phi Phi is surrounded by water so blue and crystal clear that even the best photos of the place can not pay homage to its fair value.
Koh Lanta and its contrasting landscapesKoh-Lanta
Divided into two islands, Lanta Noi and Lanta Yai unspoilt tourist, Koh Lanta is a concentrate of diversity just a few minutes by boat from Koh Phi Phi. It is located on the north-west coast of Lanta Yai, many restaurants and bars frequented by tourists. But if you want a trip to Robinson Crusoe, is on the island of Lanta Noi, between a thick jungle and deserted beaches, that you must go.
Koh Tao and colorful seabed
Koh Tao, nicknamed the Turtle Island, has a priceless treasure increasingly popular with travelers: its seabed. Inhabited by about a thousand people who live coconut and fishing, the least we can say is that the atmosphere is quiet and relaxed in Koh Tao. With 25 major sites of koh taodiving located between 14 and 18 meters deep, difficult sites 30 meters and other easier when a single session snorkelling (snorkelling) is sufficient, Koh Tao is a watery wonderland . We meet gray sharks, barracudas, turtles, whale sharks and thousands of exotic fish.
Koh Samet and its beautiful beaches
koh sametKoh Samet well be one of the most visited islands in Rayong province, it remains a peaceful place with a relaxed atmosphere. Travelers will discover some of the most beautiful beaches in the area on a tropical jungle background and small beach bungalows. The advantage of the island is located only two hours from the capital, so that a Paris-Bangkok flight ticket gives you quick access.

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Where to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Thailand?

Thailand is preparing to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year which this year falls on 19 February.
From February 19 to 28, the festival will be colored and often grandiose in different cities.
The date of the Chinese New Year in the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, but always falls between 21 January and 20 February.
Each new year is associated with one of the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse goat, monkey, rooster, dog, pig), as well as one of the five elements (metal , water, wood, fire, earth).
In 2015, we enter the Year of the Goat of wood, on 19 February.chinese new year

The enormous influence of Chinese immigrants for centuries explains why the Chinese New Year is so widely celebrated throughout the kingdom.
These festivities are an opportunity for visitors to better understand the connections initiated long between Chinese and Thai communities, as they allow to appreciate the contributions to Thai culture over the years.
From February 19 to 28, the festival will be colored and often grandiose in different cities.
In Bangkok, it looks spectacular on 19 and 20 February in Chinatown Yaowarat Road, one of the most famous streets in the capital.
Visitors will discover the famous parades dragons and lion dances and other cultural performances and an exhibition telling the history of Sino-Thai capital’s Chinatown community.
The festivities, chaired by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will also be the opportunity to enjoy delicious specialties at the mercy of street food stalls.
In Phuket, from 26 to 28 February visit Old Town Plaza to take part in a grand procession to honor His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a parade dedicated to Thailand and the ASEAN Economic Community and a sacred ceremony in honor of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.
Chinese cultural performances, dance circle Ramwong Thai music and youth are also planned.
In Pattaya, the festival will be held from February 18 to 22 at Wat Bueng Bowon Sathit and Lan Pho Naklua. On the program: incredible lion and dragon dances performed atop a high wooden pole, modern Chinese performances based on multimedia and magic shows.
From February 18 to 20 in Chiang Mai, processions of dragon and lion dances and various Chinese cultural and musical performances will ensure the atmosphere Trok Lao Zhou.
A Nakhon Ratchasima, du18 to 20 February, Thao Suranaree Monument (Yamo) and the Garden Mueang Thong will be decorated and divided into six areas with the teachings of the great Chinese philosopher Qiu Kong (Confucius). Dragon parades, lion dances and other cultural performances will be offered.
From February 18 to 22, Ratchaburi will animate cultural performances and fantastic media around the National Museum and will see the election of Mister and Miss Chinatown.
A Phetchaburi on 18 and 19 February, dragon dances and lion ceremony of homage to Chinese gods, Miss China Mueang Phet and election of Miss and Mister Chinatown, shows organized by schools or carnival will be held in Mueang Phetchaburi.
From 17 to 21 February in Trang, Thai Chinese present their famous local dishes including the popular grilled pork. Place the Clock Tower Mueang Trang also host folk performances, Chinese dances and the election of Little Miss Ang-Pao.
A Suphanburi, Festival Chinese New Year, the “Dragon 7 years Miraculous” will be held at the Dragon Descendants Museum, from 19 to 21 February. Multimedia shows and Chinese cultural performances will be the highlights.
A Nakhon Sawan, from 12 to 23 February spectacular procession Chao Pho – Chao Mae Paknam Pho and Chao Mae Kuan-im in honor of guardian spirits of the province, acrobatic performances, parades of dragons, lion dances, parades of angel and Chinese performances enliven the Paknam Pho market area on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
From February 18 to 22 in Hat Yai, School of Nakhon Sri Foundation will host dragon parades and spectacular lion dances and several shows and fireworks. Beautiful lanterns decorations will be another highlight of Chinese New Year in Hat Yai.
In Ayutthaya, from February 20 to 25, Chinese New Year of the old city will be celebrated Chao Phrom Market by Chinese cultural performances and a Thai country music concert.
Other delights: Miss China election, singing performances and lanterns decorating contest.

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Bangkok and Chiang Mai among the 10 cheapest cities in the world

The cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai would be part of the 10 least expensive cities in the world to visit, according to a recent report (Backpacker Index for 2014) published by Price of Travel, ranking 124 cities from the cheapest to the most expensive.

Get the best price for your hotel in Bangkok

In recent years, Thailand saw its number of visitors increase, making the Kingdom of Siam one of the most visited countries in the world. The diversity of its landscapes and living standards are certainly part of the main selection criteria for travelers.
Chiang Mai with 13 euros per day.
Bangkok, the capital, Chiang Mai, the largest city in the north, so be part of the cheapest destinations for backpackers on a budget.
The study based its selection criteria on the cost of day: a dorm bed, three meals, two transport trips together, pay-cultural attraction and three beers cheap (considered as the leisure budget).

Get the best price for your hotel in Chiang Mai

Asia dominates the ranking of the top 20 cheapest cities in the world with 15 entries, including Bangkok and Chiang Mai, the capital and the third largest city in Thailand.
Only the Vietnam surpasses Thailand in the list of most “routardes” cities with three mentions (Hanoi, ahead Chiang Mai with the second position, Ho Chi Minh City that Bangkok ahead with the 5th position, and Hoi An in 14th place ).
Here is an overview of the complete rankings with the average budget for a day calculated in US dollars
Pokhara, Nepal – $ 14.32
Hanoi, Vietnam – $ 15.88
Chiang Mai, Thailand – $ 17.66
Goa, India – $ 18.25
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – $ 18.27
Kathmandu, Nepal – $ 18.46
Vientiane, Laos – $ 21.38
Delhi, India – $ 21.38
Luang Prabang, Laos – $ 21.71
Bangkok, Thailand – $ 21.78
Phnom Penh, Cambodia – $ 21.95
La Paz, Bolivia – $ 22.24
Quito, Ecuador – $ 22.30
Hoi An, Vietnam – $ 23.26
Colombo, Sri Lanka – $ 23.87
Bucharest, Romania – $ 24.24
Jakarta, Indonesia – $ 24.67
Manila, Philippines – $ 25.16
Kiev, Ukraine – $ 25.36
Sofia, Bulgaria – $ 25.95
Eat in Bangkok for 1 euro …
No wonder Bangkok is ranked in tenth place and Chiang Mai in the third, when you see all that you can do with a very limited budget in these two cities.
You can travel for less than 20 € per day including accommodation. In Bangkok, for example, eating in a Thai restaurant costs only 40 baht, or about 1 € for a very decent and enjoyable meal. One can easily find accommodation in a guest house for € 10 per night, with private bedroom and bathroom.
On cultural visits, we will not ruin either: the price of the entrance of temples is very correct: 100 baht (about 2.4 €) to Wat Pho for example, one of the most beautiful temples in the city . Beware though, it’s easy to spend a lot of money if we try to live in the West.
… To eat local condition
French restaurants in Bangkok for example, one can easily ruin because imported products are much more expensive. Not to mention it is often necessary to add the VAT and service in addition to the price of food in addition quickly becomes salty.
In Chiang Mai, backpackers will also travel cheaply, without worrying too much about their budget. As ranked by the Backpacker Index for 2014, the budget of a day amounts to 17.66 US dollars, or about 13 euros.
The choice of guest houses and other hotels are many, we are no less than 500, the first prices starting at about € 6-7 for a night in the dorm.
For added comfort, the prices are still very affordable. We can eat for a pittance, as in Bangkok. Although the meter taxis do not swarm here as in the capital, songthaews (kind of pickup equipped for the transport of passengers) will take you wherever you want for a very reasonable price.
What afford some beautiful forest excursions to admire the beautiful landscape of northern Thailand. For the shoppers, the Sunday market in Chiang Mai offers countless local craft stalls. The perfect place to bring back memories of his trip: embroidered fabrics in silk, silver jewelry, sun carved objects …
Be careful though, there are more and more counterfeit products as we see everywhere in the markets of Bangkok.
The two major cities offer a multitude of things to discover, each being very different but equally interesting, providing opportunities for small budgets to enjoy their trip to Thailand. This is however not the case in the country.
Indeed, in the southern islands, for example, everything is much more expensive because the more isolated and highly prized by tourism, although we can still afford to stop there a few days with a limited budget. Prices obviously vary depending on the season, high or low, and may go up to threefold.

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Thailand: “sea gypsies” rushed towards modernity by the tsunami

Koh Phra Thong (Thailand) (AFP) – Although he always throws his fishing net in a blue sea off Thailand Saponkit Klatalay gave up the nomadic existence of generations of “sea gypsies”, since it was relocated to the mainland after the 2004 tsunami.

This fisherman Chao Lay community owes its survival to the knowledge of the sea transmitted by his ancestors.THAILAND-SEA GYPSIES

But, paradoxically, the tsunami also resulted precipitate Chao Lay towards modernity, moving them away from the traditional way of life in harmony with the sea.

“Everything you see is new. When the tsunami struck, this has all been destroyed,” said the fisherman of 36 years, showing the wooden houses of his native village on the coast of Koh Phra Thon.

He is among those who have agreed to leave the small island but located on the mainland, in the district of Khura Buri, ten kilometers away.

In all, some 5,400 people died in the tsunami of 26 December 2004 on tourist beaches of Thailand.

Here, the wave reached four meters high but the 500 Chao Lay village survived, thanks to the teachings of the elders who had to explain how to decode the signs of the disaster.

“They taught us that water back down, change its color, and the birds and other animals have unusual behavior,” recalls Saponkit Klatalay.Phang-Nga-Bay-sea gypsies village

Until 26 December 2004, “did not believe” those old prophecies.

But he had memorized the warning signs, which allowed him to find his children, to prevent other people and run away from the beach, before the wave of scans.

The approximately 12,000 Chao Lay Thailand are part of the ethnic group of the Moken and Urak of Moklen Lawoi, nicknamed “sea gypsies” because of their nomadic lifestyle for centuries in the Andaman Sea, moving their villages rhythm fish fisheries, shrimp and sea cucumbers.

The Moken tribe is the best known. Members are still many practicing underwater swimming without masks and diving equipment.

Their knowledge of the sea allowed them to save tourists during the tsunami, either by requiring them to take shelter in height or in conveying their boats out to sea, where the wave would feel less than near the coast .dropoff window

On the western and southern beaches of the island, over a hundred people died, most Thais and immigrants from neighboring Burma, but also some Chao Lay and Western tourists.

– Culture endangered? –dropoff windowSea-Gypsies-Villages

Following the spotlight focused on these “sea gypsies” by the tsunami, the Thai government pledged in 2010 to preserve their traditions, oral. Little effect so far.

“The tsunami proved that they knew things that we as modern humans do not know. There is so much to learn from them,” laments Narumon Hinshiranan anthropologist, university of Bangkok.

By moving the tsunami in the village of Khura Buri built by NGOs, Saponkit received for the first time in his life a title.

He still lives on fishing, but now goes fishing for the day. And complete 120 euros monthly from fishing by other small jobs like gardening.

On the island, the village school of his childhood was enlarged with donations for tsunami victims. But, ironically, the blue building is deserted because of the mass exodus of people after the tsunami. Only 100 of the 500 residents stayed.

Concerned about the education of his three children, he does not regret his settlement, however, despite the discrimination often been his community.mergui_archipelago

Like him, most of the “sea gypsies” settled say their new life “easier”.

“I feel safer here. We are near the fish market and life is easier,” says the mother of Saponkit, Arom, proudly showing its first washing machine, acquired 63 years

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