Honeymoon Destinations in Thailand - Packages + Resorts in Phuket & Koh Samui

Honeymoons in Thailand

For newly weds, few places are more attractive for honeymoons than Thailand. The Southeast Asian nation is known for its friendliness, its stability compared to other countries in the region, its culture, its history, and, of course, its beaches. Whether you choose to honeymoon in the big city, in the remote mountains of the north, or on a secluded beach in the south, Thailand has something romantic and beautiful to offer every couple.

A Honeymoon in Bangkok?

Bangkok is known the world around for its party scene. If you and your partner enjoy discos, dancing, and wild nightlife, you can't find a city better than Bangkok. But although it may be best known for its nightlife, Bangkok has far more to offer than that. After all, Bangkok is the Thai kingdom's capital city, and a centre of international commerce and tourism.

You can visit the downtown skyscrapers, central business district, and posh, sophisticated hotels that will make you think you're in New York or London, or you can visit one of Bangkok's many Buddhist temples. Museums of art, culture, and Asian history abound, not to mention incredibly good food (what better place to find Pad Thai than Bangkok?).

Average: 2.3 (9 votes)

Health + Safety in Thailand - Vaccinations, Malaria + Dengue Fever

Thailand's beaches are legendary. Its party scene is good-heartedly notorious. The friendliness of its people is known all over the world. But despite all the wonderful features of Thailand, and the fantastic adventures you can have there, you still need to be careful. Thailand, after all, is still considered to be a developing nation, with a high rate of poverty, wild jungle regions where malaria lurks, and ongoing political unrest. Here are a few tips that will help you stay safe on your visit to Thailand.

Political Hotspots to Avoid

In the west, anti-government protests might lead to rock throwing and name calling; in severe cases, riot police with tear gas might be called in. In Southeast Asia, anti-government protests can mean out-and-out revolution – and people get killed. As recently as this month – February 2010 – a court decision is expected late in the month, and this decision might spark dangerous demonstrations. It wasn't that ago that a military coup overthrew the interim government. In September 2006, the military junta dissolved Parliament, dissolved the Constitutional Court, declared martial law, and put in a new Prime Minister, a counselor of the king. Since then, a power struggle has raged in Thailand as monarchy, democracy, and other political ideologies battle for supremacy. Meanwhile, the Malay Peninsula in southern Thailand has had its own series of uprisings, with long-standing ethnic conflicts that date back to the colonial period.

Average: 5 (2 votes)

Money in Thailand - The Thai Baht + Exchange Rate

Thai  Baht notes and coins

The Thai currency is called the “baht”. One British pounds is worth a little more than 50 bahts. Bahts are like pounds, whereas satang are like pence; one baht is worth one hundred satang.

ATMs, Travellers Cheques and Cash in Thailand

While cash obviously equals convenience, it can be a little unsettling to be lugging a wad of bills around a foreign country, and it is rare your travel insurance will cover a major loss of cash.

For most visitors either using credit/debit cards or travellers cheques is a much safer bet. Travellers cheques are fully protected, so should they be lost or stolen while you are travelling you can be sure you will get the value of the cheques back in full. However they are less immediate than an ATM card, as you will need to find an open exchange booth, and somewhat less convenient.

Credit and debit cards offer instant gratification, and all credit card purchases are insured so you are protected against fraud. However, many banks in the UK impose punitive charges on withdrawals that most travellers don't notice until they return home and check their statements. ATMs in Thailand often impose a charge on withdrawals too, so it makes sense to withdraw one larger amount rather than several smaller amounts.

One option many travellers are turning to are to use a prepaid credit card or specialist travel currency card (which often have the best exchange rates). By using such a card there is less worry about your card being stolen as the card is not linked to your main account, and you can budget more effectively by only transferring as much money as you need to your account.

Average: 2.3 (7 votes)

Weddings in Phuket + Koh Samui - Getting Married on a Thai Beach

Weddings in ThailandIt's easy to understand why weddings in Thailand have become popular in recent years. Thailand is a beautiful, friendly country, with attractions your wedding guests definitely won't find at home. From scuba diving and surfing to visiting the famed party districts in Bangkok, Thailand is a great place to hold a wedding and/or a honeymoon. In particular, the Thai islands of Phuket and Koh Samui are popular, upscale locations to hold a wedding in Thailand.

A Wedding in Phuket

Imagine a wedding on a white sandy beach, with the sound of the waves gently lapping at the shore behind you. Imagine a wedding on a sailboat lazily floating past Phang Nga Bay incredible limestone rock formations. Or imagine a wedding in a Buddhist Temple, officiated by orange-robed Buddhist monks. All of these romantic wedding scenarios are easily within reach when you hold your wedding in Phuket.

At Wat Chalong, Phuket's most well-known Buddhist Temple, the monks will offer a special blessing for the bride and groom to-be. Even though it's a Buddhist ceremony, you don't have to be Buddhist to be married in Wat Chalong. This is a very unique opportunity, creating a wedding experience that you and your spouse will always remember.
If you choose to get married on a boat, your wedding party will necessarily be smaller (Mega Yachts fit only about 50 people comfortably), but the boat can take you to any of the nearby islands you wish to see, where you can hold a huge wedding banquet for as many guests as you like.

Average: 3.8 (6 votes)

Traditional Thai Massage

Traditional Thai Massage
“Nuat phaen boran” is Thai that literally translates to “the ancient-manner massage”. Traditional Thai massage is still alive and well in Thailand – which is good news for holidaymakers who want to experience all the benefits of this ancient practice.

The History of Thai Massage

Thai massage has an esteemed history. The founder of Thai massage, Shivago Komarpaj, is said to be none other than the Buddha's own personal physician over 2,500 years ago. Handed down from generation to generation of Buddhist monks, even today the most famous learning institutions for Thai medicine are located within Buddhist monasteries.

The current practice of Thai massage, however, is thought to be a mixture of these ancient practices together with a nineteenth century movement to combine various Thai healing traditions. Influenced by other forms of traditional Asian medicine, including Aryuvedic medicine from India and Chinese medicine, Thai massage combines the wisdom of various traditions of ancient Asia to create its own unique blend of movement, pressure, and stretching to rejuvenate the human body.

The Theory Behind Thai Massage

Average: 5 (1 vote)

Cycling Tours - Exploring Thailand By Bicycle

Cycling off the beaten track in Thailand

Cyclist aficionados looking for a different kind of cycling tour should check out the biking tours of Thailand. Taking a cycling across Thailand can be one of the best ways to see the country and learn the culture, yet still stay within a protected environment. While most tourists stick to the well-known destinations in and around Bangkok and Phuket, a cycling tour of Thailand will take you into the countryside, where you can speed down country roads, see magnificent landscapes, and meet Thai natives outside of the regular tourist hot-spot context.

There are several Thailand cycling tour companies available, run in many cases by westerners and expats who call Thailand home. Whether the tour operator is western or native Thai, they will be sure to take you to spots where most tourists will never set foot – yet another advantage of seeing Thailand by bicycle.

“Do I have to bring my bike?”

No, there's no need to bring your own bicycle with you unless you really want to. Good cycling companies will provide you with a bike, and they will clean and maintain that bike each day of the tour. The most common bike used by Thailand cycling tour companies tend to be TREK mountain bikes. These bikes handle both roads and rougher terrain comfortably.

If you're new to cycling in general, be sure to investigate what kind of bike the tour company has on offer. The difference between a good bike and a bike in need of repair can determine whether your cycling tour is enjoyable or miserable. Imagine biking miles each day on a bike with a shoddy seat, or one that's been improperly sized, for example!

“Where will I stay?”

Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Yoga retreats and Detox Spa Holidays in Thailand

It wasn't that long ago that Bangkok, Thailand, was named the number one party destination in the world. The bustling Thai city's red light district is world-famous for its debauchery, so much so that its fame found its way into pop music in 1984 (“One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster...”).

But if you think all there is to a holiday in Thailand is Bangkok's red light district and the young and definitely debauched party scene, you would be very wrong. Thailand has a very different side to it – a side much quieter than the Phuket surfing scene and the Bangkok bars. In Thailand, you can take a number of holidays whose primary focus is not debauchery but detoxing.

Yoga Retreats in Thailand

Yoga retreats in Thailand are increasingly popular ways to relax and rejuvenate in the tropical kingdom. There are many places in Thailand where you can slow down and stretch with yoga, while enjoying beautiful scenery and luxurious accommodations. These programs range from beginner yoga retreats all the way up to intensive, advanced yoga courses designed for more experienced yoga practitioners. These yoga retreats are sometimes owned and operated by Thai natives, but more often, they are run by western expats who are yoga experts.

A yoga retreat in Thailand isn't the same as doing yoga at your resort's fitness centre. Far from it. These yoga retreats, led by professional and sometimes world-renowned yoga sinstructors, include multiple sessions of yoga each day (with extra time for R&R, of course).

Spas and Wellness Centres in Thailand

Average: 4.5 (4 votes)

Scuba Diving + Snorkeling in Phi Phi, Phuket, Krabi + Samui

Scuba Diving in Thailand
For divers and snorkelers, Thailand is truly a paradise. The warm waters of the Andaman Sea to the west and the Gulf of Siam to the east are filled with tropical fish, coral reefs, and the occasional shipwreck. When it comes to holiday destinations for divers and snorkelers in Southeast Asia, Thailand is second to none. Here's a look at a few famous spots you might want to check out:

  • Phuket: Phuket Island is home to the largest diving centre in all of Thailand. With an abundance of dive sites, Phuket is great for beginner divers, and its deep dives provide a good challenge for more experienced divers. There are coral reefs surrounding Phuket, and these are in fairly healthy condition. Around Phuket you'll find:

    • Racha Yai – The most well-known dive site in the area, Racha Yai has sloping, rocky reefs surrounded by coral forests.

    • Ter Bay – Divers enjoy visiting the shipwreck located between 25 and 35 metres down.

    • Racha Noi – This area is great for more experienced divers who want a chance to test their mettle against strong currents and catch a glimpse of a whale shark, the largest animal on Earth.

  • Koh Phi Phi or Phi Phi Island: Phi Phi Island is famous for serving as the setting for Leonardo DiCaprio's film, The Beach. Although Phi Phi Island doesn't have as many hotels as it did before the 2004 Tsunami, this might just make the island even quieter for divers and snorkelers looking for a relaxed holiday. If you want to explore the dive sites of the Andaman Sea, Phi Phi Island is a great place to start.
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    Average: 5 (1 vote)

The Cost of Living in Thailand - Food, Rent, Travel + Transport

With the exception of occasional political unrest in certain parts of the country, Thailand is an excellent place for British expatriates to live. Living and traveling in Thailand provides an excellent value compared to other popular expat destinations. Here's a look at standard costs of living and traveling in Thailand.

Housing - Average Rents

As long as you're not living in Bangkok's central business district – by far the most expensive place to live in all of Thailand – you should be able to rent an apartment for just a few thousand baht per month. At the low end, you can get a cheap room with basic facilities and a fridge for 5,000 – 10,000 baht per month. That translates to £96 - £194 per month. Accommodations that more closely resemble western comforts start at around 15,000 baht, or £290 per month. If you really want luxury, expect to pay around 30,000 baht, or £580 per month. Within Bangkok, prices go up the closer you are to a Skytrain or MTR station. Given the horrid traffic in Bangkok, if you plan to commute to a job each day, you'll want to live near the Skytrain. One neighbourhood popular with expats is Sukhumvit. Dotted with Skytrain stops, westerners tend to gravitate to this area especially.

Outside of Bangkok, prices are generally a bit lower, but it depends upon the region. For example, you can find extremely basic, one-room 'apartments' for only 1,000 baht, or £19 per month.

Average: 4.8 (6 votes)

Responsible Trekking in Northern Thailand

Photo credit: melomeloTrekking is an extremely popular activity among tourists in Thailand, with thousands of acres of ancient old-growth tropical forests, hills and mountains to explore, and some stunning waterfalls to discover along the way. With large parts of the countryside protected by national parks Thailand has done a lot to protect its natural heritage, and provided you trek with a reliable tour operator and respect nature as you go trekking can be a fantastic way to discover the immense natural beauty on offer.

Yet while most tour operators will brag about their environmental credentials they often neglect to mention their social contributions. In many areas, particularly around the border regions between Laos, Burma and Thailand, the areas trekkers visit are populated by 'hilltribes', indigenous peoples of varying ethnicities who live in a sustainable and traditional manner high up in the hills away from mainstream Thai culture.

Members of these 'hilltribes' are rarely registered as citizens of either Thailand, Burma or Laos and so receieve little support from the government. Indeed many living in Thailand have migrated across the border to escape persecution in Burma or Laos. As a result they are often very disadvantaged and lack access to basic state services such as healthcare and education, as well as concrete protections such as land rights, risking arrest should they visit a Thai town.

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