Thailand is in the Southeast of Asia, with Laos and Cambodia to the east and the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysianextto Burma (Myanmar) on its west. The capital is Bangkok, the country's official language is Thai. In touristic resorts people also speak the English language. The history of Thailand is estimated to be dating 10,000 years, up to the paleolithic era. Visitors will encounter super-rich archaeological sites of cultural heritage. The temples of worship of Buddha abound in the region, contributing to the exotic environment of the place. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that avoided colonization, thus preserving the history and cultural heritage. The ancient monuments, temples and deserted cities all attest to the magnificent past of Thailand, a wonderful destination for your holidays. The historical treasures match with the wonderful nature. Thailand has many picturesque islands and beaches as well as 90 national parks and an amazing wildlife. The Thais are renowned for their friendliness and smile .

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wat Phrathat Khao Noi

Wat Phrathat Khao Noi is situated at Tambon Chai Sathan. The Buddha relic is enshrined in the chedi on the summit of Khao Noi on the western side of Nan town on a similar route as Wat Phaya Wat at Km. 2. It was constructed during the reign of Chaopu Khaeng in 1487. The Phrathat is a chedi made of bricks and cement reflecting a combination of Burmese and Lanna arts. It contains Buddha’s hair and was under major renovation during the reign of Phrachao Suriyaphong Pharitdet during 1906 - 1911 by Burmese craftsmen. The wihan was constructed during this similar period as well. From Wat Phrathat Khao Noi, the surrounding scenery of Nan can be seen. At present, at the viewpoint spot is “Phra Phuttha Maha Udom Mongkhon Nanthaburi Si Nan”, a 9-metre Buddha image in the giving blessing posture on a lotus base. The head finial of the image was made of gold with a total weight of 27 Baht. It was cast on the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King’s 6th Cycle Birthday

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wat Si Kham Khom

Wat Si Khom Kham is a temple located in the centre of Mueang Phayao by Kwan Phayao. It is a 3rd class royal temple and selected model of a developed one. Local people call it “Wat Phrachao Ton Luang”, after the largest Buddha image in the Chiang Saen style of art in the Lanna Thai Kingdom. It is a Buddha image with a lap width of 14 metres and height of 16 metres, and was cast during 1491-1524. Phrachao Ton Luang or Phrachao Ong Luang is not only a signature Buddha image of Phayao, but also one of the Lanna Thai Kingdom. During Visakha Puja Day of every year, there is a ceremony to pay respect to Phrachao Ton Luang, called “The Ceremony to Pay Respect to Phrachao Ong Luang in the 8th Northern Lunar Month”. Moreover, within the compound of the temple stands an ubosot in the water by the bank of Kwan Phayao, where there are mural paintings in elaborate designs by Achan Angkarn Kalayaanapong, a National Artist of Thailand.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Similan Marine National Park

Der Similan National Park wurde 1982 als 43. National Park von Thailand eingerichtet. Das Parkgebiet umfasst 140 Quadratkilometer, wobei die Inseln und Rocks 16 Quadratkilometer einnehmen. Der Similan National Park besteht vornehmlich aus verwittertem Granitgestein, wobei die einzelnen Inseln stark bewachsen sind.
Wettermässig besteht ein grosser Kontrast zwischen der eher flachen und mit Stränden durchzogenen Ostseite und der dem Südwest Monsun voll ausgesetzten Westseite, wo die vorwiegend grossen Boulders direkt ins angrenzende Meer übergehen und zum Teil steil abfallen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Khao Kho Agricultural Industry

Khao Kho Agricultural Industry Co., Ltd. under the Royal Development Project of the Khek River is located at Mu 1, Ruen Ruedi Intersection, Sado Phong Sub-district. It covers an area of 35 rai, comprising 3 manufacturing buildings; namely, Building 1, for preserved canned agricultural products, Building 2, a baked dry building with a solar machine for baking, which is a demonstration project on the usage of the solar cell in industry, and Building 3, a tissue culture building for research or the reproduction of quality agricultural produce. Moreover, there is The Plants Experiment and Research Station for Industry. It covers an area of 30 rai, located at Ban Kong Niam. Besides, the Organic Farming School is also constructed to support the production of bio-organic fertilizer. Products for sale are vegetables, fruits, and canned fruit juices such as passionfruit, grapes, tomatoes, tamarind; vegetables, fruit, dried spices and herbs such as basil, lemongrass, fingerroot, and tamarind. Please contact 1 week in advance for a group visit by submitting a letter to the Director, Khao Kho Agricultural Industry Co., Ltd. , Sado Phong Sub-district, Khao Kho District, Phetchabun

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mueang Nakhon Chum

Mueang Nakhon Chum is an ancient town on the west bank of the Ping River. Its 2-3 metre-high earthen walls run along the waterway. It is in this area that the famous religious tablets of Kamphaeng Phet have been discovered. Within the city walls are a couple of ancient sites such as the Kamphaeng Pom Thung Sethi (กำแพงป้อมทุ่งเศรษฐี) located on Phahonyothin Road just before entering the town. It is part of the laterite fortifications 83 metres long and 6 metres tall.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ban Pak Nai Fisherman Village

Pak Nai was originally a village by the Nan River. After the construction of the Sirikit Dam, the village became a part of the water reservoir above the dam with characteristics similar to a large lake surrounded by green mountain ranges. The locals of Pak Nai village are fishermen. There are also restaurants on rafts providing fish from the dam to be tasted such as Pla Kot - catfish, Pla Bu - gobies, Pla Khang – Giant Catfish, Pla Raet - giant gourami, Pla Thapthim - Thai Red Tilapia, etc. Some rafts also provide accommodation for tourists. From Ban Pak Nai, visitors can rent a boat to travel along the Nan River to the Sirikit Dam and admire the scenery of beautiful mountainous forests, islets, and fisherman’s raft houses. Out of the rainy season, there will be a pulled-raft service to Wat Pak Nai, where visitors can enjoy their meal on board. The trip takes approximately 2 hours. Moreover, there is a ferry service to Nam Pat District, Uttaradit province.
To get there: The village is in Na Thanung sub-district, 96 kilometres from the centre of the province. Take the Nan – Wiang Sa – Na Noi route. From Na Noi district, there is a crossroad to Na Muen district for 20 kilometres. Then, turn left into Highway No. 1339. It is an asphalt curving road along the shoulder of the mountain. Continue for approximately 25 kilometres to Ban Pak Nai.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Yet Another Kasikorn Bank Opens in Pattaya

A new Kasikorn Bank was recently opened on Sukhumvit Road Pattaya. The purpose of this branch is not only to provide the basic financial services but to offer clients advice regarding investment in capital markets.Ms. Nuttharin Tarnthong, Director of Kasikorn Trust said, “At the moment we have about nine million customers. To make sure that our customers have the easiest and fastest access to their accounts as well as being given the opportunities for the best investment deals we are opening branches that offer investment advice in all of the major cities around Thailand. We are calling it the ‘K Investment Corner’ under our KS more REACH concept which makes investment easily accessible for our clients.”
Kasikorn Bank is one of the leading banks in Thailand.
To celebrate the grand opening of the branch, gifts are being given away totaling 400,000 baht. Lucky customers who open new accounts from now until June 15, 2011 are eligible for these prizes.
They are targeting at having 200 new accounts in three months. People interested in investing are highly recommended to consult with one of the bank staff, as they will be able to offer you the best package.
The bank opens weekdays from 8am-3.30pm.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Songkran Thailand's Water Festival

Stay indoors on the 14th of April - if you happen to be in Thailand. Or step out if you love water... and getting wet! For it's a given that you won't escape the water pistols, the water balloons and buckets of water as the Thais celebrate Songkran, the Thai New Year.
'Songkran' (from the Sanskrit word Sankranti, signifying the sun's shift from one zodiac to another) heralds the beginning of the solar year and is the most important festival for the people of Thailand. The festival is celebrated over three days, 'Mahasongkran' on the 14th of April marks the end of the old year, Wan Nao (15th April) is the day after and April 15 is Wan Thaloeng Sok when the New Year begins. Sonkgran is akin to the Indian festival of Holi and the Chinese festival of Ching Ming. Though it is celebrated all over Thailand with great gusto and enthusiam, it is in Chiang Mai that the Thais hold the very important ritual of bathing the Buddha and people from all over come to be witness to this event.
On New Year's Day, Thais pray to the Buddha, clean temples and houses, offer alms to the monks and sprinkle scented water on elders as a mark of respect. The pouring of water is symbolic of the cleansing of the spirit, mind and body. The water is also supposed to wash away bad luck - so consider yourself blessed if you get drenched! Happily, Songkran falls during the hottest time of the year and the water is a welcome relief.
Getting to Thailand is fairly convenient and easy, with Bangkok being the primary international airport receiving hundreds of flights from all over the world, including other parts of Asia, Europe and North America.
Read more on where to stay and things to do in Thailand.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Songkran Customs and Traditions

Songkran Customs and Traditions

A period of transition, it's also a time for new beginnings. Songkran, derived from Sanskrit, means 'a move over' or 'change', marking the time when the sun leaves Pisces and shifts into the Aries zodiac for the beginning of a new solar year.To mark this 'pi mai' (new year) and get it off to an auspicious start, Thais clean. Everything from Buddha statues in streets to temples and houses gets a renewing wash; meanwhile anything old or unused is thrown out (believed to bring bad luck). They perform bathing rites for monks, and engage in pious activities like giving alms, Dhamma practice and listening to sermons to rinse the spirit clean, to wash away the previous year's bad actions. They sprinkle water on parents and elders, and shower them with gifts. Thais believe that bad luck or evil is washed away by water, the person purified, and the pouring of a small amount of holy water on another person's hand or shoulder, confers respect and goodwill. Elders in return wish the youngsters good luck and prosperity.

Get ready to get soaked

Known as the 'Water Festival', it's never long before sacred rituals involving the wet stuff give way to playful ones. Apart from religious rejuvenation, water also symbolises the end of the dry season. Considering temperatures can nudge 40 degrees by day in April, a bucket of ice-cold water over the head does a mighty fine job of keeping everybody cool!Critics of the incumbent party spirit grumble, some even stay home. Songkran has been diluted by the commercial, they say, become too dominated by revelry that cares little for its meaning. They mean partying epicentres like Khao San Road, where liquid-based festivities - water and alcohol - veer on the Bacchanalian, and an unruly carnival atmosphere takes hold. Headlines splashed across front pages each year report new peaks of nationwide delinquency, with wildly drunk teenagers, motorcycle racing, gambling, water-throwing to insane extremes and, tragically, many fatal road accidents often marring the three days.

Age-old traditions live on

Still the charms of the traditional survive. One meretricious Songkran custom involves the releasing of live birds and fish. In Paklat (Phra Pradaeng) near Bangkok, beautiful girls form a procession and carry bowls containing fish to the river where they are released. Naturally, many eligible young men from Bangkok make the short pilgrimage to Paklat every year in search of their eternal sweethearts. On the second day, people carry handfuls of sand to temples, and pile it into small stupas as recompense for the dust they have carried away on their feet in the year past.
Celebrated with similar gusto by their Therevada Buddhist cousins in neighboring Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, Songkran is the biggest, most bizarre and, debatably, the best of Thailand's handful of spectacular religious festivals. A countrywide party, it also makes for a mighty dose of sanook (fun), a fitting byproduct for the fun-loving Thais' most treasured of celebrations.

Songkran Highlights: Where to go

During Songkran, many people working or studying in the capital from other areas of Thailand leave, returning home during the extended break to celebrate the festival with their families. As a result, Bangkok is at its quietest, with roads relatively traffic-free and an eerie calm replacing the usual bedlam. That said, there's still a lot happening in Bangkok, with Songkran activities ranging from traditional to over-the-top.

Sanam Luang

Sacred celebrations are held at Sanam Luang, opposite the Grand Palace. Here on the first day of Songkran the Buddha image 'Buddhasihing' is brought out from the National Museum and escorted along the streets for people to sprinkle water on.
The image is then located there for three days, so people who missed the procession can pay their respects. Other merit-making customs in Bangkok include the building of sand stupas which are then decorated with colourful flags and flowers. These can be seen around key temples in the Rattanokosin area.

Beauty Pageants & Food Fairs

A Miss Songkran Beauty contest is held in the Wisutkasat area, accompanied by merit-making, a parade and other fun activities. Food, as is always customary in Thailand, features high on the agenda too with many mouth-watering seasonal treats available in hotels, restaurants, and from food vendors on every street or soi. Look out for special Songkran menus at some hotels and restaurants. Also have a look at our restaurant section for some recommended venues.

Water Fights

Water warfare breaks out sporadically all across the city for Songkran's duration. However, for festivities that verge on the profane, but are undoubtedly lots of fun, head to Khao San Road. On Bangkok's backpacker boulevard Songkran means a Bacchanalian street carnival, the entire strip and surrounding areas turning into a free-fire water war zone.
Participants arm themselves with everything from tiny psychedelic water pistols to sophisticated pump-action water shotguns replete with water-tank backpack - and everything in between that can hold a respectable volume of ice cold H2O. Unwilling targets are advised to steer clear altogether - a severe drenching, despite pleads for mercy, is inescapable!

Making Merit

Making merit is an essential part of Songkran, and visiting nine sacred temples during Songkran considered one of the ultimate accumulators. Try temples in the Rattanokosin area like Wat Pho, Wat Phra Kaeo, Wat Suthat Thepphawararam, Wat Chana Songkhram, Wat Boworn, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Rakhang Khositaram, Wat Arun and Wat Kanlaya.

Songkran tips and etiquette

  • Do not throw water at moving vehicles, mopeds or cars. Many tragic accidents occur during Songkran as a result of this.
  • If people implore you not to give them a good dousing, especially elders, respect their wishes (unless they've stumbled into a water-tossing hotspot like Khao San Road of course, when they're fair game).
  • Be sure to drink lots of water in addition to lobbing it - temperatures are at their highest this time of year.
  • Ziplocks (sealable plastic bags) are great to put valuables in that can be damaged by water (mobile phone, cameras, watches and the like).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Songkran Water Festival in Thailand

Dates: April 13 - April 15

At which of Thailand's many festivals do locals sprinkle water piously over Buddhist statues, but also hurl it at passersby? During which public holiday do Thais pay respect to parents and elders, make merit, give their homes a spring-clean, and still squeeze in time for partying? That's right, it's time again to celebrate the Songkran Festival. Over three hot, sticky days locals see in the traditional Thai New Year, and the whole country is gripped by body-cooling, spirit-cleansing celebrations.
The hallmark for tourists, of course, has long been the tradition of water throwing. Everything from a courteous sprinkle or polite splash to a well-aimed bucket helps participants articulate the good-natured festival fever. It's a practical and mostly welcome solution to the sweltering dry season heat.
However, there's a much deeper meaning to Songkran beyond getting drenched. Most Thais in fact head home for its duration, to enjoy a break punctuated by religious ceremonies amongst family. For them it's a time to express thanks to those they respect, loyalty to ancestors, an awareness of family and social responsibilities and their religious devotion - as well as get wet

Water as Symbolism

Contradictory to what you may have witnessed throughout Songkran, fun-loving Thais don’t just throw water at each other for no good reason (besides having a kick out of seeing other people soaking wet). The real meaning behind the splashes is to symbolically wash off all misfortunes in the past year, thus welcoming the new year with a fresh new start.
Traditionally, Thais would politely pour a bowl of water on members of the family, their close friends and neighbours. As Songkran has taken a more festive note, a bowl becomes a bucket, garden hose and water guns, and the spirit of holiday merriment is shared amongst all town residents and tourists alike.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Songkran Festival

Having fun is a big part of Thai culture, and having fun amidst scorching heat is no exception. The hottest month of the year, April sees the entire country go bananas in friendly water fights and street parties that last nearly a week. During Songkran, most office buildings, banks as well as family-run shops and restaurants shut down completely, while big shopping malls usually remain open. Bangkok experiences a mass exodus, as at least half of its residents travel back to their home towns for family re-unions. In their place are tourists, who fly into Bangkok particularly to enjoy one of the most colourful and festive times of the year.

New Year Traditions

Songkran is the occasion for family re-unions, temple visits and annual house cleaning. Many Thais observe the holidays by spending time with families and friends. Traditionally, Thais perform the Rod Nam Dum Hua ritual on the first day of Songkran, which is officially the National Elderly Day. During the ritual, young people would pour fragrant water into the elders’ palms as a gesture of humility and to ask for their blessings.
The second day of Songkran is officially the National Family Day. Families would wake up early and give alms to the monks, then ideally the rest of the day would be spent sharing quality family time together. An important religious ritual on Songkran is ‘Bathing the Buddha image’, in which devout Buddhists pour fragrant water over Buddha statues both at the temple and at home. More religious Thais would engage themselves in Buddhist ceremonies and merit-making activities throughout the holidays.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Oub Kham Museum is located near Den Ha market, one kilometer from the town center. The collection includes objects from the areas once belonging to or affiliated with the Lanna kingdoms encompassing northern Thailand and some parts of northeast Myanmar, southwest China and Vietnam. Apart from objects used in rituals the collection mainly consists of objects used at the royal courts including lacquer ware, silver jewelry and clothing. Most notable is a golden bowl, a masterpiece, used by royals.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wat Pho

Prior to the temple's founding, the site was a centre of education for traditional Thai medicine, and statues were created showing yoga positions.
During the Rama III restoration, plaques inscribed with medical texts were placed around the temple. These received recognition in the Memory of the World Programme on 21 February 2008, according to Thailand's Government Public Relations Department. Adjacent to the building housing the Reclining Buddha is a small raised garden, the centrepiece being a bodhi tree which is a scion (cutting) of the original tree in India where Buddha sat while awaiting enlightenment. The temple was created as a restoration of an earlier temple on the same site, Wat Phodharam, with the work beginning in 1788. The temple was restored and extended in the reign of King Rama III, and was restored again in 1982. In 1962 a school for traditional medicine and massage was established.

Nam Tok Khun Kon Forest Park

Nam Tok Khun Kon Forest Park can be reached by taking Highway No.1211 from Chiangrais town. After traveling 18 kilometers turn right and proceed for another 12 kilometers. Alternatively, you can drive along Highway No. 1 (Chiang Rai-Phayao) for about 15 kilometers, turn right and proceed for another 17 kilometers, then take a 30-minute walk to the waterfall. The 70-metre high Khun Kon or Tat Mok Waterfall is the highest and most beautiful in the province. Surrounded with dense woods, the area is also good for hiking

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pattaya Mayor Helps Homeless

Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome recently donated survival packs to the homeless people in the Khopai community.

After the land they were living on was repossesed by the owner, a group of families in Khopai Soi 12 were left with no place to sleep.
Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol quickly responsed by donating survival packs to the people before helping them look for a place to build their temporary shelters.
Mr. Virat Joijinda, Chairman of the Khopai community said, “Eleven families were left homeless when land was taken back by the owner. These people usually pay 600-800 baht rent for the land per month. The families do not make a lot of money so they can not afford to live anywhere else. They are mostly garbage collectors and generate income from selling garbage.”
Pattaya Mayor added, “Apart from the survival packs we will also find a suitable place for these people to build their temporary homes. We think it will be at Threpprasit Soi 5

Wat Phrathat Chang Kham Worawihan

Wat Phrathat Chang Kham Worawihan is on Suriyaphong Road, opposite the Nan Municipality Office. It was previously called “Wat Luang” or “Wat Luang Klang Wiang”, constructed during the reign of Chaopu Khaeng in 1406. It is a royal temple within the compound of Nan town for the ruler to conduct Buddhist ceremonies and the Oath of Allegiance Ceremony in accordance with the 74th stone inscription which was discovered within the temple. The inscription mentioned that Phaya Phonlathep Ruechai, a Nan ruler renovated the main wihan in 1548.
The architectural characteristics of the temple reflect the influence of the Sukhothai arts such as the chedi in the Lankan style (a bell shape) whose base is surrounded by sculptures of the front half of elephants made of bricks and cement. Five elephant sculptures are on each side and 1 at every corner. It looks as though they use their back to support or “Kham” the chedi, similar to the characteristic at Wat Chang Lom in Sukhothai province. Within the wihan, “Phra Phuttha Nanthaburi Si Sakkayamuni” is enshrined. It is a bronze Buddha image, with 65% pure gold, in the posture of forgiveness with a height of 145 centimetres. It is aged around the 14th century or during the late Sukhothai Period. The main Buddha image is very beautiful and large. It was made of lime, representing the Chiang Saen style of art and the skills of Nan craftsmanship.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sao Din Na Noi or Chom Chom and Khok Sa

Nan, an old town established in the same period of Sukhothai, housing the sacred Phrathat Chae Haeng Pagoda, occupies an area of 11,472 square kilometers and is administratively divided in to 11 Amphoes ( Districts)and 2 King Amphoes (Subdistricts) : Amphoe Muang, Wiang Sa, Na noi, Pua, Chiang Klang, Tha Wang Pha, Thung Chang, Mae Charim, Ban Luang, Na Mun, Santisuk and King Amphoe Bo Klua, Song Khae ; located 668 kms. from Bangkok.
Phrathat Chae Haeng. Its age is over 600 years, located on Doi Phuphiang Chae Haeng, Tambon Muang Tut, 2 kms. from Nan City ( Highway No. 1168 Nan-Mae Charim) and was constructed since Sukhothai period. The annual worshipping fair takes place on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month ( during the end of February and the beginning of March ). The fair includes the celebration of fire works processions and offerings processions.
Phrathat Khao Noi. This pagoda is situated on the top of khao Noi Hill, Tambon Chai Sathan, 2 kms. West of the provincial Hall. the hill is 800 feet high having an access road to the hill top.
Nan National Museum is located on the Highway 101 with a left turn before entering the Amphoe Muang, the museum puts on exhibition black ivory and various kinds of artifacts. It is open daily from 9.00-14.00 hrs. except Mondays, Tuesdays and official holidays. Tel : (054) 710561
Black Elephant Tusk. This dark tan colored tusk is presumed to be the left side, being displayed in Nan National Museum (Ho Kham), Its outlook is of long curved shape having the length of 94 cms., 18 Kgs., in weight and regarded as Nan valuable provincial property.
Wat Phumin. This Monastery is located near the Nan National Museum in Phumin Village having very unusual characteristics compared to other monasteries in general, i.e., the main shrine hall and the vihara are constructed as the same building. Other attractive items of the monastery are very beautiful wood carving doors placed in the four directions, made by the Lanna Thai artisans : and mural paintings painted on the internal wall of the vihara displaying ways of lives and cultures of the past.
Wat Suan Tan and Phra Chao Thong Thip. This monastery is located in Tambon Nai Wiang, Amphoe Muang having a beautiful pagoda with several level decorated works of art where four niches are located in the four directions at the lowest level. A big bronze Buddha image 4.11 mitres high named "Phra Chao Thong Thip " is housed inside the monastery. A grand celebration with fireworks displays takes place all day all night during the Songkran festival.
Wat Chang Kham Wora Wihan. This is the royal-grade monastery, located in the heart of Nan city, constructed in 1547. There are elephant sculptures, of front half, decorated around the base of pagoda. Moreover, there are Golden Buddha Image 145 centimeters high and a big Buddha's Teaching Hall (Ho Phra Trai Pidok)
Kat Laeng or Night Market. It is located on the Bank of Nan River in Nan city. Handicrafts, souvenirs and various kinds of product are on sale.
Pha Tup Arboretum. This arboretum is located 12 kms., from the provincial community on Highway No.1080. There are several caves in the arboretum area worth visiting by nature lovers.
Amphoe Wiang Sa
Tham Pha Mong and Tham Pha Wiang. These caves are located 10 kms. from Wiang Sa township area on the road to Amphoe Na Noi where a 300 meter access road branches off to the caves, though the hilly terrain. Beautiful stalactite and stalacmite formations are seen inside the caves.

Amphoe Na Noi
Sao Din and Hom Chom. This 4-5 square kilometers are located at Amphoe Na Noi, 60 kms. from the provincial community, dotted with various formations deriving from earth denudation caused by flowing currents and subsequently eroded by rains having sand stone as the top level.

Pha Chu or Pha Choet Chu. A high cliff in Tambon Nong Bua about 20 kilometers away from Amphoe Na Noi 80 kilometers to the south of Nan provincial town. With a flag pole erected on top and a rope hanging down to its foot, the flag rope here is very long one.
Attractions near Pha Choet Chu.
Sao Din ( Earth Pillars )and Khok Sua ( Tiger Pen), a geographic attraction 5 kilometers away from Amphoe Na Noi along the same route to Pha Choet Chu.

Haeng Reservoir, a scenic spot situated 3 kilometers from Na Noi District.
Nan River, another scenic spot 8 kilometers from Pha Choet Chu
Si Nan National Park and Doi Khunsathan, comprise high mountains with beautiful scenery and waterfalls.
Along The Nan River to Sirikit Dam. From the provincial town along the Wiang Sa-Na Noi route, a branch road runs for another 20 kilometers to Ban Pak Nai, a fishery village in King Amphoe Na Mun. Here, a boat trip along the Nan River to Sirikit Dam is available for sight - seeing of scenic views like mountains, cataracts, floating houses, fisherman's way of life, and various kinds of fresh water fishes.
Amphoe Na Mun
Ban Pak Nai. A village in Amphoe Na Mun, 96 kilometers from the provincial town along the Nan-Wiang Sa-Na Noi route and another 20 kilometers along branch road from Na Noi. From here, a winding dirt road runs along the hillside for another 22 kilometers to Ban Pak Nai, a lakeside fishery village upstream of Sirikit Dam. There are floating food shop among verdant, mountainous scenery, some of them also provide accommodation service for visitors.

Amphoe Ban Luang
Doi Pha Chi. A mountain on the Highway 1091, Nan-Phayao route, some 40 kilometers from the provincial town to Ban Luang District, with a branch road running for another 30 kilometers via Ban pi Nua to Doi Pha Chi. This forested mountain is still in perfect natural condition. The area was once an enemy base of which some basic infrastructure like electricity generator and waterwork system are still left behind. In nearby area, villages of Mong and Yao hilltribes are located.

Amphoe Mae Charim
Rafting Along Wa River. The trip takes about 5 hours, starting from Ban Huai Sai Mun in Amphoe Mae Charim to Ban Hat Rai Amphoe Wiang Sa.

Amphoe Tha Wang Pha
Thai Lu Village. Situated at Ban Nong Bua, Pa kha Sub-District, the village is accessible by driving along the Highway 1148 for 43 kilometers to Amphoe Tha Wang Pha, then further to Ban Nong Bua for another 12 kilometers. Here, the famous Nam Lai hand-woven fabric is produced. Almost every house in this village owns a loom by which the villagers weave fabric for the household use and also for sale. Products made from village hand-woven cloth, for example, skirt, blouse, tube skirt, and scarf are produced for sale by a group of farmer housewives.

Mural Painting at Wat Nong Bua. Located at Nong Bua Village, Wat Nong Bua was built by Thai Lu people migrated from Sib Song Pan Na Province in South China. The mural paintings here are believed to be the work by Thai Lu or Nan painters. The paintings' artistic style is almost the same as those at Wat Phumin. Within its precincts, the rite hall or Bot, about 250 years old, lies in deteriorated condition.
Amphoe Pua
Sila Phet Waterfall. This is regarded a very beautiful waterfall, located in Tambon Sila Phet, Amphoe Pua.

Doi Phu Kha National Park. Doi Phu Kha National Park is a high mountain range in Amphoe Pua, King Amphoe Bo Klua and Amphoe Mae Charm in Nan. The apex of Doi Phu Kua is 1,980 meters above sea level. The park has a lovely scenery and abundant in various trees and plants. Furthermore, there are several nice waterfalls and caves such as Ton Tong Waterfall and Pha Khong Cave, ideal for nature lovers.
Pa Klang Hilltribe Development and Assistance Village. Located at Tambon Silalaeng, about 60 kilometers from the provincial town, Pa Klang is a village of Meo, Yao, and thin hilltribeds. After the Communist wipe-out in Nan in 1968, the tribes were separately settled in their former lifestyles producing beautiful handicrafts for sale to visitors.
Amphoe Tung Chang.
The Heroes of Pho To Tho Thung Chang Monument. It is a monument dedicated to government officials, policemen and soldiers who lost their lives protecting the homeland from communist insurgents in Nan . It tooks 3 years to build and situated in Amphoe Thung Chang alongside the Nanthung Chang road on a low hill amidst large and small valleys. A nearby area is used for relaxation with a pond and some tropical flowers.

Nan Provincial Boat Racing. After Buddhist Lent, which falls on the end of October or the beginning of November, of every year, boat racing festival takes place in the Nan River in front of the provincial community. This is regarded a big fair where several long boats, carved out of one single tree trunk, participate the racing and it is promoted, by the Province, as an annual fair of Nan
Golden Orange and Red Cross Fair. The fair is held annually around mid-December at the provincial Stadium. Golden orange, with golden peel and sweet tate, is a famous crop of Nan Province. The orange's gold color result from the province's cold weather and less sunny seasons. Main features in the fair include Miss nan beauty contest , Miss Hill Tribe Contest, booth displays by the government and private sectors and various entertainments.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Business Visas Thai

Business Visas Now Undergo Scrutiny Regarding Tax Payments and Thai Staffing

New regulations for new and renewal of non-immigrant "B" Business visas issued in Thailand by the Immigration Bureau of the Royal Thai Police make it much more difficult for foreigners to do business legally in Thailand; especially if the books of the company and the income of the foreigner are not properly documented and all taxes are not paid up to date.
 Effective immediately, all business visa applications must provide proof that four Thai staff work at the company full time and pay into both the social security fund and insurance fund and those staff members must be present when Immigration comes to inspect.
Also, the company limited must update its company documents at the Department of Business Development in Chonburi within one month of submitting the business visa application. Both an original and a copy of the certified update must be submitted to Immigration.
The foreigner applying for a renewal of the business visa, regardless of its issuance in Thailand or out of Thailand at at Royal Thai Consulate, must also show proof of paying personal income tax in Thailand to the Thai government. This does not absolve him or her from declaring the income in their home country.
The new regulations mandate submission of original documents and updated proof by the Revenue Department showing the company limited income tax por ngor dor 50, and the year end and six-month taxes under por ngor dor 90 and por ngor dor 91 have been paid for every year and a certification from the Revenue Department must be attached to the business visa application.
Additionally Immigration also requires proof that the monthly taxes of the Thai company employing the visa applicant are paid up to date and a certification from the Revenue Department must be attached to the business visa application.
The por ngor dor 3 monthly income taxes must be paid for the three months prior to the application date and a certification from the Revenue Department must be attached to the business visa application.
The foreigners’ income tax por ngor dor 1 must be paid for the most recent year and a certification from the Revenue Department must be attached to the business visa application.
As always, the salary income tax for staff must be paid for the three months prior to the visa application submission and a certification from the Revenue Department must be attached to the business visa application.
Now applicants also have to show three months of payments to the workers' government insurance fund for at least four Thai staff and also the payments into the social security fund.
The withholding must be paid by the company and the staff for the three months prior to submitting the application and a certification from the Revenue Department must be attached to the business visa application.
The records must match showing both social security and insurance are being paid by and for the same four Thai staff. Four Thai staff is required for each foreigner working at the company.
Pictures of the outside of the business, the inside of the business and pictures with all Thai staff working (or at least the four used to get the visa). 
An accurate map must be submitted identifying the business. Immigration Inspectors will go to the business to verify and often take their own photos of the staff present when they inspected and check to see if they are the same staff as in the pictures submitted with the business visa application.
American Managed PAPPA Co., Ltd. Law Office on Pattaya Thepprasit Road offers visa services as do many other agencies. It is best to use someone at the agency who speaks English.

Nan North Thailand

Nan is a small town in Northern Thailand. Include oldest cities in the country. After centuries Nan was a separate Kingdom in strong link in Ancient Culture and Lansky UK Sukhothai. Nan is in close borders Thailand to Laos in the North River Valley about 300 miles from City of Chiang Mai. Nan City was 14th in one of 9 northern Laos and Thai principality. Over in the 15th century and flourished was the major center area. Na end of 16th Century Burma logging and maximum population Nan City were sold in slavery. Town was abandoned by Na v from 1786 to the end of 18th century was again part of Thailand and was gradually restored. Preserved first by Town City Walls and remained several Watts (temples) from period Lanna. Local Museum hold a rich collection of ivory statues of Buddhist folk instruments Pottery Crafts weapons and more artifacts. Nan City is popular as default Object research surrounding landscape. City Nan This pleasant distance management avoid mass tourism. Local mountain so the deals at more possibility of daily Treks in remote villages on river rafting and elephant Nan journey through beautiful and untouched nature.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Amazing Thailand on Tour

Chiang Saen

It is recorded that an ancient community was founded in the north of Chiang Rai Province more than 2000 years ago. This ancient town was named Yonok Nak Phan. According to legend, King Singhanawat founded the town, and the Nagas (mythical serpents) helped dig the town’s moat. Later, Yonok Nak Phan faced its unfortunate destiny; it collapsed and turned into a swamp. According to the geological evidence, it is believed that the town’s destruction was caused by an earthquake which turned it into present-day Chiang Saen Lake.
The above story is just a historical tale. However, it is clear that Chiang Saen existed during in the reign of King Meng Rai of the Lanna Kingdom, because it known that he truly existed. In the ancient Tai language of Burma and Northern Thailand, the word ‘chiang’ means ‘a big town’, while the word ‘saen’ presumably comes from King Saen Phu, King Meng Rai’s nephew. After King Meng Rai passed away, King Saen Phu came back, renovated Chiang Saen, and was its third king. He also resided and worked there; therefore, Chiang Saen was a capital city from 1327 – 1341, spanning the reigns of King Saen Phu and his son, King Kham Fu. After that, Chiang Saen declined in importance from the capital city to simply a leading town. Nevertheless, Chiang Saen Town was well developed, and Buddhism was dearly cherished by its governors. Ruins of 75 temples have been found within the town walls, and 66 were situated outside. This large number of temples attests to the thriving civilization of Chiang Saen.
In 1557, Chiang Saen, Chiang Mai and several towns of the Lanna Kingdom were captured by Burma. Later, Ayutthaya won them back, and eventually they came under the control of Bangkok.
The many ancient ruins make Chiang Saen a peaceful tourist attraction, with lots to explore. The Town offers a charming and serene atmosphere on the banks of the Khong River, at the three-country border between Laos, Burma and Thailand. Chiang Saen has both scenic natural attractions and an impressive cultural heritage. In particular its impressive Buddha images showcase Lanka, Sukhothai and Ayutthaya art and techniques. Besides, the graceful stuccos and splendid craftwork found in the area are Thailand’s great heritage for its younger generations.
Travelling to Chiang Saen
By car: This riverside town facing the Mekong River is 30 kilometers from Mae Chan District via Highway No. 1016. Alternatively, it can be reached by taking Highway No. 110 from Chiang Rai (the city), then take a right turn into Highway No. 1016 and proceed for another thirty kilometers.

Rental car: It may probably be easier rent a car in Chiang Rai and then drive to Chiang Saen, but renting a motorbike may be a better bet as the roads one will probably explore in the area are easier to negotiate by two wheeled transport.
Buses: There are numerous buses traveling from Chiang Rai to Chiang Saen for around 20 baht one way. The trip can take from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the traffic and the number of stops it makes en-route. If you travel from Chiang Mai, it is advisable to ask for the 'new route' (sai mai) as this only takes 4 to 5 hours and makes only a few stops en-route. The old route can take over 9 hours to complete with many stops along the way.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Golden Triangle Thailand

The Golden Triangle is one of Asia's two main illicit opium-producing areas. It is an area of around 350,000 square kilometres that overlaps the mountains of four countries of Southeast Asia: Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. it has been one of the most extensive opium-producing areas of Asia and of the world since the 1950s. The Golden Triangle also designates the confluence of the Ruak River and the Mekong river, since the term has been appropriated by the Thai tourist industry to describe the nearby junction of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar

Chiang Khong

Chiang Khong is a small, peaceful district on the bank of the Mekong River opposite Huaixai, Lao PDR. It is about 115 kilometers from the provincial seat, or approximately 55 kilometers to the east of Chiang Saen on Highway No. 1129. Chiang Khong is noted as the place where Pla Buk, giant catfish, is cultivated. The Chiang Khong Fishery Station is able to inseminate and breed Pla Buk, the largest fresh water fish in the world and fingerlings bred here have been released in several rivers. It should be noted that the fishing season is from mid-January to May.
Sightseeing trips by boat are available to view the scenery and life styles along the Mekong River. An additional attraction is a visit to Ban Hat Bai, a Thai Lu community noted for making beautiful local fabrics. To cross over to Huaixai town in Lao PDR, contact the immigration office or tour agencies at Chiang Khong.

Doi Pha Mon Agricultural Center

Doi Pha Mon is located at Amphoe Thoeng. During the winter months visitors are treated to splendid flower bed s of tulips, lilies, red salvia, poinsettias, etc. To get to Doi Pha Mon from the city, go along Highway No. 1020, then take Highway No. 1155. The journey takes approximately 2.5 hours.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Phra That Doi Pu Khao

Just two kilometers away from Chiang Saen Lake is Phra That Doi Pu Khao which is believed to have been built by a king of Wiang Hirannakhon Ngoen Yang in the middle of the 8th century. This riverside temple near Sop Ruak Market is located on a hill just before the Golden Triangle and offers a spectacular view of the Golden Triangles riverine and mountain areas. The vihan and crumbled chedis are the only visible remains of antiquities today.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pattaya (City) Expats Club Celebrates 10 Years with Mayor and Chief

The Pattaya (City) Expats Club celebrated its 10th Year Anniversary at its longtime home on the grounds of the Amari Orchid Pattaya. Pattaya Mayor Ittiphol Kunplome, Chief of District Mongkol Dhamakittikul, Founding Chairman Drew Noyes, Current Chairman Michel de Goumois, Past Chairman Richard Smith, Past Chairman Max Rommell and Expat Club Founder Preben Hansen were all on hand to reminisce about the beginning of the club and its accomplishments over the last ten years.From Left to right seated are Sermsakdi Sabhananda, Richard Silverberg, Chairman Michel de Goumois, Former Chairman and Treasurer Max Rommell, Bangkok Bank Executive Vice President, Bangkok Bank Pattaya Main Branch Manager and Vice President Khun Pravit, Pattaya Mayor Ittiphol Kunplome, Banglamung Chief of District Mongkol Dhamakittikul, Founding, three-term Chairman Drew Noyes, Founder Preben Hansen and Former Chairman Richard Smith.
The Pattaya (City) Expats Club celebrated its 10th Year Anniversary at its longtime home on the grounds of the Amari Orchid Pattaya. Pattaya Mayor Ittiphol Kunplome, Chief of District Mongkol Dhamakittikul, Founding Chairman Drew Noyes, Current Chairman Michel de Goumois, Past Chairman Richard Smith, Past Chairman Max Rommell and Expat Club Founder Preben Hansen were all on hand to reminisce about the beginning of the club and its accomplishments over the last ten years.

Doi Mae Salong

Doi Mae Salong is the site of Santi Khiri village, a community settled by the former Chinese 93rd Division who moved from Myanmar to reside on Thai territory in 1961. The village became well known for its enchanting scenery and tranquil atmosphere. Today it is a major tourist attraction with its small-town ambience, delicious native Chinese dishes, small hotels and guesthouses catering to visitors and tea, coffee and fruit tree plantations. The scenery is especially picturesque in December and January when sakuras are in full bloom. Scattered with many hill tribe villages, Doi Mae Salong is ideal for trekking.
To reach Doi Mae Salong, take the Chiang Rai-Mae Chan route for 29 kilometers, then turn left and proceed for another 41 kilometers (passing a hot spring). The return trip can be taken on routes nos. 1234 and 1130 which wind through Yao and Akha hill tribe villages. From Doi Mae Salong a road leads to Tha Thon, the starting point for the Kok River cruise, a distance of 45 kilometers. There are hotels and guesthouses to accommodate tourists and a paved road leading to the village.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Kok River in Chiang Rai

The Kok River is one of the most scenic attractions in Chiang Rai. It runs from Thathon in northern Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai City and then flows on to meet the Maekhong River at Chiang Khong. From Baan Thathon boats, rafts and treks leave daily venturing into the surrounding mountains where the jungle dips into the river's cool waters. A long-tailed boat can be hired to ferry visitors up and down the river. Stops can be made at Akha or Iko, Lisu and Karen hill tribe villages. Alternatively stops can be made at the Buddha cave, a temple within a cavern; an elephant camp, for trekking; a hot spring; and a riverside Lahu village. Trips range from 300 bahts to 700 bahts ($7-$16), depending on the number of stops made. The ferry pier is beyond the bridge across from the Dusit Island Resort.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Baan Chiang National Museum

Discovered in 1966, the site attracted enormous publicity due to its attractive red painted pottery. Villagers had uncovered some of the pottery in prior years without insight into its age or historical importance. In August 1966 Steve Young, an anthropology and government student at Harvard College, was living in the village conducting interviews for his senior honors thesis. Young, a speaker of Thai, was familiar with the work of William Solheim and his theory of possible ancient origins of civilization in Southeast Asia. One day while walking down a path in Ban Chiang with his assistant, an art teacher in the village school, Young tripped over a root of a tree Kapok and fell on his face in the dirt path. Under him were the exposed tops of pottery jars of small and medium sizes. Young recognized that the firing techniques used to make the pots were very rudimentary but that the designs applied to the surface of the vessels were unique and wonderful. He took samples of pots to Princess Phanthip Chumbote who had the private museum of Suan Pakkad in Bangkok and to Chin Yu Di of the Thai Government's Fine Arts Department
Later, Elisabeth Lyons, an art historian on the staff of the Ford Foundation, sent sherds from Ban Chiang to the University of Pennsylvania for dating.
During the first formal scientific excavation in 1967, several skeletons, together with bronze grave gifts, were unearthed. Rice fragments have also been found, leading to the belief that the Bronze Age settlers were probably farmers. The site's oldest graves do not include bronze artifacts and are therefore from a Neolithic culture; the most recent graves date to the Iron Age.
The first datings of the artifacts using the thermoluminescence technique resulted in a range from 4420 BCE to 3400 BC, which would have made the site the earliest Bronze Age culture in the world. However, with the 1974/75 excavation, sufficient material became available for radiocarbon dating, which resulted in more recent dates—the earliest grave was about 2100 BC, the latest about 200 AD. Bronze making began circa 2000 BC, as evidenced by crucibles and bronze fragments. Bronze objects include bracelets, rings, anklets, wires and rods, spearheads, axes and adzes, hooks, blades, and little bells.
The site again made headlines in January 2008 when thousands of artifacts from the Ban Chiang cultural tradition and other prehistoric traditions of Thailand were found to illegally be in several California museums and other locations. The plot involved smuggling the items to the country and then donating them to the museums in order to claim large tax write offs. There were said to be more items in the museums than at the site itself. This was brought to light during high profile raids conducted by the police after a National Park Service agent had posed under cover as a private collector. If the US government wins its case, which is likely to take several years of litigation, the artifacts are to be returned to Thailand.