Chatuchak / Jatujak weekend market

Possibly one of the best markets we've ever been to, the Jatujak market is the largest in Thailand and quite possibly in all of Asia. You could easily spend a day or a whole weekend getting lost in the endless warrens of stalls, boutiques and shops, and just about anything you could wish for is on sale here.

From clothes to furniture, antiques to flowers and plants, art, handicrafts, army surplus, lamps and much, much more the market is brim full of shoppers' delights. Even if you're not looking to buy this market has an awful lot more to interest the casual browser than your average - unlike many markets in Asia where one stall begins to look very much like the next, the Jatujak market is full of unique designer boutiques, one-off stalls and one of a kind pieces.

For those who are tiring of shopping there is a great range of food and drink available from the many food stalls around the site - ranging from plastic chairs or takeaway trays to proper sit-down cafes and bars playing funky music. There's also plenty of toilets and if its all too much for you there is also a great rest area where you can sit comfortably and enjoy a very reasonable foot massage.

Prices are reasonable but you may wish to bargain - and some of the more generic items of clothing may be found cheaper outside the city, but this is par for the course when shopping in big cities; of course there is also a chance that if you find something special here you may not see it again elsewhere.

Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

Mok Fa Waterfall (Namtok Mork Fa)

About an hour (45km) along the road from Chiang Mai to Pai in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is a spectacular waterfall called Mook Fa. Standing over 60 meters tall it is impressive even in the late dry season, and is a great place for a swim and to cool off if you are making the journey between Chiang Mai and Pai under your own steam.

It costs 50 baht to visit the falls which goes towards the upkeep of the national park, and should you wish to stay longer there are camping facilities - you can also rent your camping equipment here fairly inexpensively should you wish to stay longer and explore the area more.

The waterfall is located in lush tropical forest and is extremely beautiful - if you are travelling the road you should certainly make a stop to visit it, and it would also make an excellent day trip from Chiang Mai

Average: 4.5 (8 votes)


While is seems there is a Chinatown in every big city around the world, frequently they are either of no particular interest to tourists or heavily contrived experiences - nothing more than a fancy gateway and hundreds of dim sum restaurants.

Not so in Bangkok, where Chinatown is humming with activity. With hundreds of streets and alleyways running off Th. Yarowat to be explored, it is a great place to wander and sample various street eats, peek into little workshops and visit Chinese pagodas. We enjoyed Chinatown immensely, and would highly recommend spending an afternoon exploring on foot. Be wary of the traffic though as it gets very heavy in the evenings

Along Sampeng La (Soi Want 1), an alleyway that runs parallel to Th. Yarowat, about a hundred yards to the south, is a seemingly endless row of shop fronts, so close together their awnings form a roof keeping the air underneath cool and making the heat bearable. In this dense alley lies an amazing collection off goods that one could imagine comes direct from the factories in China; shoes, hats, belts, jewellery, toys, household goods and more all cluster underneath the tarpaulins that shade the street.

Average: 3 (2 votes)

Good explanation of the political situation in Thailand

There's a very good article in the Observer today by Bill Condie rounding up much of the recent history and current political situation in Thailand - a great read if you want to understand the crisis better.

Many people have asked us if it is still safe to travel to Thailand. So far the main protests have been focused on Bangkok and tourists have never been targetted, indeed apart from those stranded in the airport many travellers have gone on to enjoy their holidays.

Indeed due to the sudden drop in arrivals from within Asia (it seems the protests have done less to deter Europeans and Australians than visitors from China, Japan and Korea) some great deals can be had on accommodation - plus since so many people rely on tourism for their income in Thailand you will be helping to support Thai people by visiting and spending money in their restaurants, bars and hotels.

Yet it does pay to inform youself to the latest news from the area - checking Thai newspapers like the Bangkok Post is a good start - though bear in mind the press is not completely free in Thailand. You could also read the views of local bloggers like Bangkok Pundit, or check other papers from the region such as the Straits Times from Singapore. As ever you should also read the FCO's advice from the Know Before You Go website - this will cover health advice as well as updates on the political situation.

Some interesting sites I've found

Been spending a lot of time researching other Thai websites and there's some crackers out there.

Among the less travel-related ones I've enjoyed have been a collection of Thai arts which are on display at the V&A museum in London, satellite photos of Thailand during massive wildfires and before and after photos of the Tsunami and there a good collection of non commercial links about Thai language, culture and academic resources on Thailand's development to be found at Bubl

There are also a good number of excellent destination specific guides - while obviously I want this website to shine I think it is always going to be the case that there will be local experts who can really show you the best of their own towns.

There's a wealth of guides to Phuket - perhaps not surprising as its such a massive tourist destination - I felt and Phuket guide were of a high standard. Koh clearly takes the biscuit for the best guide to that island, perhaps the best of any island in Thailand - its certainly the most attractive.

Chiang Mai News covers the latest in Chiang Mai very well, and Chiang Mai Online does a good job on listings for eating and drinking.

Udon Thani is well served by the Udon map with comprehensive listings of everything from bars to sports to houses in the area, and All about Pai has a lovely feel to it.

I'll keep adding to this list as I find more favourites - do feel free to suggest ones I've missed too! :)

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