Thailand travel story

Thailand is a destination that is proposed as a set of nature, traditions, culture and religion of great interest for tourists, especially for those who have never visited the eastern countries. This country can organize a trip, automatically as Thailand is a nation well-organized and able to offer a tailor-made tourism. My experience was this, all we organized via Internet, local and intercontinental flights, car hire, private vans, resorts, hotels, ecoresort, tours and boat, all as expected, without hitches and with extreme punctuality. To visit a country so extensive it takes several days and the classic seven days of tour packages are very few. I chose a 16-day period, the period of time that allowed me to visit the major attractions aware of a partial view of this country.

Bangkok

It started, as so often, with the visit of the capital Bangkok. Chaotic and impressive, from traffic and exaggerated by terrible pollution, full of contrasts between the modern and the traditional. In the streets of the center it is hard to move on foot, the narrow sidewalks are crowded with stalls of vendors selling everything from wreaths to the grilled meat, roasted insects to small live animals. To move so fast you should use the Sky train, a kind of elevated subway. Avoid the famous tuk tuk, taxi drawn from the three-wheel type Bee, apparently slim in traffic but very dangerous in practice. Personally I have devoted to this city for three days and I can be more than enough. The heart of Bangkok offers tourists several points of interest, the ones I got to visit is the Wat Phra Kaeo and the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun.
Wat Phra Kaeo is surely one of the wonders of the East, the temple complex and the royal palace is home to a large number of buildings and sacred structures. In one of these houses the "Emerald Buddha" statue most venerated by the faithful of this religion. It is an approximately 66 cm high statue that is actually green jade. Richly adorned with fabrics and accessories, all of gold, the statue is exhibited in the largest building and is a popular destination for the faithful who come to worship. Interesting are the "golden Chedi", a particular building covered with gold paint which contains the relics of the Buddha, the frescoes of Ramakjen, wall paintings with gilded parts that cover the inside of the cloister along 1,900 meters which tell stories of life and traditions of this country, the library Phra Mondop, richly decorated and finished with inlays and golden masks.

Other well-known Wat Pho is the oldest in Bangkok in which motions are religious buildings, rock gardens, unusual statues, large chedi and a bot in which there is a large reclining Buddha 46 meters long and 15 meters high. The statue, the largest of its kind, is covered with gold leaf and the soles of the feet are covered with drawings of pearl inlaid, images representing 108 lakshana or auspicious signs. The Buddha is surrounded by a series of cups in metal that are part of a particular rite. You buy a bowl containing the satang, or old coins, then go along the corridor where are the cups of metal and in each of them stands a coin. After the course should be completed even coins, if so, the legend prophesy a bright future. Last visited Wat Arun was to (the Indian God Aruna) which overlooks the Chao Phraya River. Also known as the "Temple of dawn" has an unmistakable profile and has become the symbol of the city. E 'consists of a central prang 86 meters high and four smaller side. The complex was made of brick covered with stucco and porcelain pieces that combined cleverly create drawings and statues of great beauty in the entire outer surface.


Around Bangkok

Not far from Bangkok following along the Chao Phraya River to the north, is a small island called Ko Kret. It is home to a community descended from the Burmese who at the time were exiled here by the Thai authorities. This island is not normally reported in the tourist but worth a visit. To reach it you can use the regular boats going up the river to Nonthaburi and then change boat to go up to the north, or you can hire a long-tail, a traditional Thai long-tail boat. This island has many surprises as it represents a way of life of a time now very hard to find. There is only one road that goes around the island, wide road from 2 to 3 meters at most where they spend only pedestrians, bicycles and some scooter. The road is about 5 km long and you can walk (recommended) or by renting a bicycle next to nothing. The beauty of the place is given both by nature with its lagoons, canals and vegetation, both by the people, with their houses on stilts, from small workshops and small shops selling souvenirs or simple things, often homemade. Notable among these are the ceramic objects finely enamelled in red and / or black and painted with intricate designs.

Another interesting aspect of Bangkok are its canals, branches of the great Chao Phraya River. To follow them you're forced to hire a long-tail and be lead to the north, out of the tumult of the city, leaving the great river to immerse themselves in a world that lives literally on the water. Here the waterway is the communication route (there are often no standard roads) and trade. The houses on stilts overlooking the canals are all have their landing and their boat, the shops open directly on the channels displaying their wares and bargaining with the customers who are sitting comfortably on their boat. The river is life and is used for all your needs such as washing clothes, washing dishes, wash themselves and brush their teeth  ..... (view Bangkok - Chao Phraya album).

Nearby Bangkok is easy to reach (by public transportation or guided tour) the city of Ayutthaya. Former capital of Thailand before Bangkok, is one of the national treasures of the country, testament to the power and splendor of an empire that dominated Southeast Asia for over 400 years until it was subjugated by the Burmans that burned deporting its population . The archaeological site offers the opportunity to visit different sites scattered over a wide area that can allow us to imagine what could be a time this city. Among these sites the most famous is the Wat Phra Si Sanphet which also houses the former royal palace and the Wat That Mha rich of chedi. Unfortunately, there is clearly a lack of care and attention to the preservation of this heritage, not appreciate precise actions to prevent natural deterioration and the negative action of atmospheric agents.

Other half feature is the floating market of Damnoen Saduak. This market, unlike those of Bangkok, although popular with tourists, is authentic and is a further example of how the river and its canals represented, at the time, the main route of communication and exchange of commodities for these populations. In this town there are several floating markets, the largest, attended and visited is to Ton Kem. The best way to visit the market and get on a boat for a ride along the canals. The stalls are the sampan boats of local merchants, who walk up and down the narrow canals to sell mostly fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables even if you see boats that sell a bit 'of everything. Many boats are equipped to sell and Thai dishes cooked on the spot, in this case the boat is transformed into a floating kitchen complete with a barbecue, gas cylinder, stoves, pots, etc. The most central of the market, several boats are to approach the shore in double or triple row and the exchange of goods, with those who are on the shore, it takes place using long poles. The boats are mainly run by women of all ages who wear large hats and shirts typical lampshade, a sight not to be missed.


Phuket

It's the most famous island of Thailand, often denigrated for sex tourism undeniably exists and is obvious but the specific locations in which it occurs. The island has areas with a high density of tourists especially on the west coast as in the area of Patong, Karon and Kata are countered areas very quiet and more reserved as Nai Harn Beach Nai Yang Beach to the south or north. From the point of view of nature the West Coast is definitely more beautiful than the eastern beaches of white sand are large and well equipped with a beautiful sea but not overwhelming as anyone would expect. To better understand the characteristics of this island I think you have to leave the beaten track and visit areas like the classic Sirinath National Park on the northwest coast (a protected park stretching out into the sea with large green areas and trees), the beach Leam Ka on the south-east coast or the area north of Rawai Beach where there is one of the last communities of "sea gypsies" (representatives of a minority population that, apart from a few cases like this, living like nomads of the sea , feeding only what the sea offers, are animists, are equalitari ie without hierarchies and their behavior are marginalized by locals). Wat Chalong place within the island is proposed that the island's most important religious structure, here stands a temple dedicated to a very important and revered in Phuket and beyond, a Buddhist abbot who succeeded in uniting the population running a local insurgency that enabled him to oust the Chinese island.


Around Phuket

Much more interesting are the surroundings of Phuket in particular, some islands that can be visited with excursions of all kinds. Phi Phi Island is one of these, they are two islands called Don a larger and a smaller one called Ley or Lae. These islands are very popular with tourists and partly depleted by construction of all types (hotels, resorts, villas, etc.) but still manage to have spaces of rare beauty. I mean Ton Say Bay, Pileh Cove (a narrow inlet between high cliffs covered with vegetation with a sea of fantastic colors) and Maya Bay whose beauty is overshadowing the increasingly massive presence of tourists. It is worth to appoint Bamboo Island a small uninhabited island with a beach and a sea Maldivian Coral Island where one can spend pleasantly ecoresort few days in an island from the sea surrounded by beautiful coral formations rich in tropical fish and make for good snorkeling. Another excursion not to be missed is a visit (at least two days to stay in the boat) to Similan islands which lie to the north of the island of Phuket. It is 9 islands in a protected marine park placed several miles from the coast in the Andaman Sea. Are wonders above and below the sea. They are formed by huge granite boulders with rich vegetation with some incredibly beautiful bays where the contrast between the big rocks, the white sand and the sea of multiple colors leaves really impressed visitors. Just a few islands can be visited and you can go down on their beaches, the remaining, the first three (the islands are numbered from one to nine) can not be even closer and you can get close to the other, swim or snorkel but you can not pull over to the shore. The rules of the marine park are strict in trying to maintain a very delicate ecosystem and local respect them. The two days spent in the boat provide a continuous navigate between an island and another, frequent baths and / or snorkeling the beautiful waters, tracking turtles or play with the dolphins (boat) and sunbathing on the fabulous beaches.

Hike from the strong emotions that leads to the discovery of the hidden secrets of Phang Nga, another wonder of nature, hundreds of small islands with rugged coastline emerging from an emerald sea. The nicest part of this large bay is hidden in the cliffs, the hong, ancient limestone caves that open in large coral formations pushed out of the water by the movements of earth plates. Subsequently erosion due to weather have brought down the roof of these caverns unearthing beautiful lagoons. Access to these hong often occurs through narrow passages viable only in conditions favorable tide and canoe. The show leaves you amazed inside the lagoon water has deep green, the cliffs are high, steep and covered with lush vegetation seems to be inside a volcano. The excursions take place with large boats with two floors, upstairs are the passengers and downstairs are stowed canoes are put to sea when you enter a hong. Some passages are so narrow and low that you need to lie down on the canoe not to knock rocks with his head. Normally, before visiting the hong, it is used to visit the island of Khao Phing Kan known as the island of James Bond. Here in 1974 were shot some scenes of the James Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun". The island, the size really small but with many souvenir sellers, has a small beach overlooking a bay in which emerges a typical stack top and tight made famous by the movie predicted.