BANGKOK, 5 August 2015: Located in the lower north Thailand, Phetchabun is surrounded by green forest. The province was originally called “Phetchabura” or “Phichapura” meaning the city of crops. Lies approximately 346 km from Bangkok at 114 metres above sea level.
Geographically, the province resembles a pan with a rim of steep mountains. The Phetchabun Range is on the east and west of the rim, while the Pa Sak River runs through the middle of the plain.
The province has a rich history and natural attractions particularly its forested mountains and waterfalls.
BANGKOK, 5 August 2015: Lampang is billed a city of horse drawn carriages, but if TripAdvisor’s top 20 attractions in this town are anything to go by, the elephant reigns supreme.
Both the elephants and the horses have been around Lampang for decades and when you enter the town for the first time, the gaily-painted carriages and the patient horses waiting for a fare send the right signals.
There is something special about Lampang.
BANGKOK, 5 August 2015: NAN province, must-see destination identified in the 2015 Discover Thainess campaign, was not always in the travel head lamps.
It was more likely to be missed by visitors exploring northern Thailand. But that changed as low-cost airlines added services from Bangkok and an alternative route from Nan to Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos that stands on the banks of the Mekong River, caught the attention of tour companies.
Nan’s charm has always been its remoteness in a valley, 670 km north of the Thai capital, nestling under the shadow of forested mountains and flanked by 2,000-metre high ridge that marks the border with Laos to the west.
BANGKOK, 3 June 2015: Located 780 km south of Bangkok on the west side of the Gulf of Thailand Nakhon Si Thammarat province is the second largest in the south.
It is one of the few towns in Thailand that was once on the coast, enjoying fresh sea breezes on a flood safe sand dune, but not anymore. Years of dramatic coastal silting put considerable distance between the town and the shoreline.
However, the busy commercial town remains a convenient stopover on overland tours that take visitors south past Gulf of Thailand towns and eventually across the border with Malaysia and down the east side of the Malay peninsula to Singapore. It’s a great car trip for those who have time to spare and want to soak in local culture and experience lesser known places in South Thailand.
BANGKOK, 3 June 2015: Trat is Thailand’s eastern-most province, located about 315 km from Bangkok. This small province borders Cambodia with the Khao Banthat mountain range forming a natural boundary between the two countries. The province has a long coastline and an variety of islands just off-shore.
With 52 large and small islands featuring long, white, sandy beaches and unspoiled coral reefs, Trat offers tranquil hideouts for beach and nature-lovers.
The province also serves as a major fruit-growing, fishing, and gem mining region.
BANGKOK, 3 June 2015: Ironically, Tao Island’s popularity rubbed off on Chumphon and the island is actually in neighbouring Surat Thani province.
But Chumphon port town offers the shortest ferry ride of around 90 minutes to Tao Island, famous for its dive sites and a quieter environment than the more popular island of Samui. The ferry transfer from Samui to Tao takes three hours,
The most popular travel option to Tao is Nok Air’s three-daily service to Chumphon and the ferry transfer to the island packaged in the fare. The convenience of booking it all online is another strong plus point for using the Chumphon gateway.
BANGKOK, 20 May 2015: The Discover Thainess campaign encourages visitors to take a journey to explore the spirit of Thailand and the Thai people. The way they live and the way they treat each other is very important part of national identity.
The traditional Thai greeting, the “wai”, illustrates how Thai people respect each other. It is generally initiated by the younger of two people meeting. Hands are pressed together, fingertips pointing upwards as the head is bowed towards the hands. The elder then responds in the same way. Social status and position, such as in government, will also have an influence on who performs the wai first.
Fun (sanuk in Thai) reflects the easy-going attitude and character of the Thai people, which is why Thailand is known as the “Land of Smiles.” Simply by mingling with Thais and sharing in the fun, tourists can experience this aspect of Thainess wherever they travel. Thai people love to share jokes, whether they are waiting in queues, at the office or enjoying free time, there is always fun to be found.
BANGKOK, 20 May 2015: There is a thin green line on the Michelin Thailand map that gives travellers a hint of what to expect on the winding riverside road between Chiang Khan and Nong Khai.
Green classifies outstanding road travel; a scenic route that should must be experienced. Better if it is travelled at a slow pace possibly on a cycle making stops at small guests houses to soak in this magnificent river experience for a couple or days or more.
The road covers a distance of around 180 km between in two provinces. Chiang Khan in Loei province is the spot where the Mekong River returns to define the border between Thailand and Laos. Nong Khai is a bustling provincial town on the banks of the Mekong River another 180 downstream where the first Thailand-Laos Friendship bridge was opened for road and rail traffic.
BANGKOK, 20 May 2015: If you are a traveller who collects earthen jars then go no further than Ratchaburi province, 100 km southwest of Bangkok It’s packed with jars; all shapes and sizes as well as degrees in pedigree. There are downsides to collecting jars. They break in transit or they break the bank in cargo fees. But they are a colourful backdrop at the side of roads and shopfronts and great for photo opportunities.
Bangkok residents have no issue with extra weigh. Ratchaburi is a short 100 km commute by car on a broad highway that takes travellers to Gulf of Thailand resorts such as Cha-am and Hua Hin.
Rachaburi is a place to stop for refreshment; lots of tasty and very spicy Thai food served at riverside restaurants, some of them converted rice barges gently swaying on the tidal river flows.
BANGKOK, 29 April 2015: Travellers searching for insights into Thainess by-pass the tourist trunk routes to explore lesser- known places.
One of them is Trang in the far south corner of Andaman Sea coast. This is unseen treasure is a destination that appeals to Thailand’s repeat visitors. Many of them make Phuket their long-stay vacation base and drive south following the coast dotted with beautiful islands and beaches.
It is quite a push south too, passing Krabi at around 100 km on the mainland and then travelling beyond to the twin islands of Lanta.