Nai Harn – the Most Beautiful Beach in Southern PhuketFriday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin
Nai Harn beach is located on the southernmost tip of Phuket, to the west of Promthep Cape facing the Andaman Sea. This is one of the best and most beautiful beaches on the southern coast.
Nai Harn is an open front beach but surrounded by hillside on both sides.
The surface of the beach under the shallow waters is pure soft sand and feels luscious to walk on. From around 11 am – 5 pm, the water can become very warm due to the sun shining on it.
Nai Harn is extremely popular with the locals, but not so much commercialised with tourists. The sea is absolutely fantastic to swim in between November and April. In the low season, Nai Harn beach can still be nice, but the sea is much more unpredictable. It is known for its very strong rip currents under the surface that can drag people out without letting them get back in. Here’s what you need to know in order to escape a rip current:
Nai Harn has some great surf, and lovely clear waters to swim in. There are no rocks on the bay, it’s pure sand that so it makes it perfect for a beautiful swim. The rip currents can get very strong at times depending on the time of day and sea behaviour. Because of this, Nai Harn always has life guards.
There are flags put up around the beach to ensure the safety of the swimmers. Red flags are where the undercurrent is far too strong, so no swimmers should swim here. The yellow flags with a stripe is a safe zone for swimmers. On occasion the tourists ignore flags, and so the lifeguards will get on the surfboard and swim out to the swimmer who can’t get back to the beach. Please take caution on all beaches you swim at.
Activities at Nai Harn Beach
If you are looking to relax on the beach, there are a few spots that offer massage under the sheltered palm trees. This is quite popular on most of the beaches you will find in Phuket. The massages on the beach usually last for around an hour for an all body Thai massage and would cost you around 300 baht ($10). Deck chairs can be rented on Nai Harn beach usually costing 150 baht ($5) for the day, and you can also have an umbrella to protect you from the sun if need be.
There is never short for vendors on the beach, supplying you with drinks, ice cream, local Thai home-made crafts, and coconuts.
Nai Harn has a lovely atmosphere, great for families, children, and in general people who appreciate a beautiful beach. Another part of the beach to the eastern side is a very shallow pool set about 50 metres from the actual sea. There is a stream of water that runs from this small pool to the sea. The pool is only knee deep, and perfect for small children to swim in and play. It has no current as it is not the actual sea itself, but joins on to it.
In either high season or low season, the beach never seems overcrowded. The reason probably is because there are not so many resorts and hotels around this area. It’s quite away from the mainstream of Patong, Kata, Karon and other busier beach tourist places.
Standing on Nai Harn Beach facing the sea, if you look to the left, you will see Promthep Cape. To the right-hand side of the hills, you will see some very luxurious sea view apartments.
Nai Harn Temple
Nai Harn’s surrounding is beautiful. Just behind the sea, is a row of restaurants, shops and street stalls. If you go further back, you will come to Nai Harn Temple. The temple is in a beautiful setting and set back about 500 metres from the beach itself. The temple features a prayer hall, which of an evening you will usually see monks praying. You can hear them from outside, and many locals do head over to pay respect to the Buddha.
There is a giant statue of Buddha inside, and paintings along the walls depicting Buddha’s life. Like all temples in Thailand, it is a very holy place, and respect must be shown here. No revealing garments to be worn, and no loud noise. The temple is very well preserved and kept immaculately clean throughout.
Nai Harn itself is generally a quiet place, and of an evening, if you are there, it is a great place to visit. The Nai Harn Temple really does have the authentic spiritual Thailand Buddhist aroma about it.
Nai Harn Lake
Nai Harn lake is right next to the temple. A pool of water that is very common for runners to run around all times of the day. The circuit is 2.2km around the entire lake, and it is flat, so makes for a very good place to run. You will also notice a small island on the lake that you can reach from an entrance near the beach.
The small island has nothing on it, but is a nice place to head out to and just take in the view of the lake. Nai Harn Lake is known to the surrounding community as a jogging place. Because of the amount of Muay Thai camps close by, many joggers/runners come here to do the circuit around the lake.
Towards the southern end of the lake, near the beach, there are a few street stalls in the day. Here you can buy corn on the cob, chicken on a stick, fruit shakes and coconuts. It’s nice to have this after a good run around the lake. To the east of the lake, again at the southern end near the beach, is a workout area. It consists of a number of body resistance machines. So, in theory, you can do a full body workout at Nai Harn. Literally, go for a run, then use the machines – chest press, leg press, and more. And then head over to the beach for a swim, and finish with a massage on the beach. It’s pretty much perfect!
Nai Han lake is also famous for the event that happens in Thailand – Loi Kra Thong. This event is where you would come and put a floating candlelit flower on the lake. It is very traditional for Thailand couples and families to do this event once a year, around November time. The lake is a very beautiful site on this occasion especially. The masses of floating candle-lit flowers make the lake look magical at night.
Travelling to Nai Harn
From the North
Getting to Nai Harn can be quite a scenic ride. If you are heading from the North, the road is very hilly. You will pass up forest’s on both sides of the hill, and the corners are very dangerous. Even more dangerous in the wet! But the scenic view is beautiful and gives a tropical forest type jungle feel about the journey.
On the hills heading towards or from Kata, you will notice a few activity places. Mainly things like ATV adventure, and motor cross biking in the forest. These are great to take part in, but can be quite pricey. Beware, if you take the ATV tour with one of the local Thai drivers, make sure you are strapped in properly. They do tend to drive to show off, and it can be very scary! It’s better if you actually drive than let them drive.
If you are coming from the other side, Phuket Town, it’s quite a simple route. You can either head straight down from Phuket town, through Chalong circle and down past Rawai.
From the South
Rawai is a small fishing village and is in the southern part of Phuket. There are two routes from Rawai, the front and back route.
The back route is just back roads, signposted that are pretty easily navigated. This route to Nai Harn is nice if you want to drive past the local village and see what’s around. The front route takes you alongside Rawai beach, and up to Promthep Cape. From Promthep Cape, you can actually get out and look to the west (right-hand side) and see Nai Harn. It’s probably about a 1-2km ride downhill to get to Nai Harn this way. You will pass a beautiful little hidden away beach called Ya Nui.
Not many tourists know about this beach, it is kept quiet. It is for sure one of the best snorkelling waters around. On calm water days, you can swim (with a kayaker by your side) to the island directly in front. The swim is around 1km there and 1km back, but it’s only wise if you head out with someone who is on the kayak. The reason being, you can never tell when the water or weather changes and the sea here can be dangerous. Sometimes packed with jellyfish. It’s a good idea to have an escape route be it to jump on board the kayak if this happens.
Things to do in Nai Harn
When you visit Nai Harn, you have all the beach to do what you please. You have the lake behind, with the exercise machines if that’s your thing. There are food places just behind the beach, and a row of shops near the car park. The food is either local Thai cuisine, seafood, or some western style food like burger and chips. There are places that supply some very nice fresh seafood too.
The shops offer the same things as a local convenience store would. Beach equipment can also be bought at one of the shops. If you need snorkelling gear, rubber bands, or body board, you can buy them all from here. In the long run, if you are planning to stay near Nai Harn, it is much better to buy these than rent them every time. It works out a lot cheaper, and especially the snorkelling gear.
Some places charge 300 baht to rent out for a day when you can buy your own for this price or cheaper. The best place to buy beach equipment like this is in Rawai town, where things are a lot cheaper. A decent set or snorkelling equipment would set you back 150 baht in the village compared to the double price at the beach.
Surfboards are easily available on the beach, mainly in high season. You would be looking to spend around 300 baht ($6) per hour. The beach itself doesn’t have any close by boats, which is a good thing, keeps the water clean and fresh.
Accommodation in Nai Harn
If you are planning to stay in Nai Harn, the choice to be fair is quite limited. There are no beach huts, or beach bungalows compared to other similar beaches. This is probably because Nai Harn Beach Phuket is not commercialised on a grand scale like the rest of the touristy beaches in Phuket.
If you are looking for more budget to medium style accommodation, then head to the neighbouring towns or Rawai or Kata Beach. Nai Harn offers some exquisite luxury accommodation, but they are highly priced.
The one stand-out place in Nai Harn is called the Nai Harn, which is a sea view front resort on the right-hand side of Nai Harn Beach. Rooms here can start from around 7500 baht per night ($210). The Nai Harn offers a range of rooms, Ocean View suite, Royal Ocean View suite, Mountain View, Grand Ocean View and Deluxe rooms. All are very pricey but extremely luxurious. The rooms have some of the best views you can imagine waking up to in the morning. It is undeniably a beautiful site. In high season it is best to book in advance the ocean view rooms, as they are very popular.
Another fantastic place to stay in Nad Harn is The Royal Phuket Yacht Club. This Resort offers amazing ocean view rooms and highly rated 5-star restaurants. There are actually 3 restaurants all with their own unique theme. The food selection is exquisite, and the wines are top notch here. This all reflects on the price of the stay at this particular place. You would be looking again to spend around the same 7500 baht ($210) or more per room for one night, depending on the room type.
Nai Harn Round-Up
Beautiful, non-commercialised, paradise and fairly peaceful year round. The places surrounding Nai Harn like Promthep Cape, for example, are pinnacle points in Phuket. This is the southernmost tip of what is known as the Pearl of the Andaman Sea. The beach is simply stunning. If you are in Phuket, you must find this place to experience it. There is not much more to say about Nai Harn Beach, and you just have to go there to see what it is like.
Koh Samui SnorkellingFriday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin
Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire world. It’s a beautiful country with lots to offer. Thailand gives you a variety of experiences, from it’s unique traditional culture to the amazing landscape. There are many places to visit around Thailand, but it is highly recognised for its islands. Thailand has many islands that attract many visitors all year round for their scenery and outdoor water fun. One of the most popular activities done around the Thailand islands is snorkelling. Snorkelling in Thailand is unlike any other place in the world. Koh Samui is one of the best places in Thailand for snorkelling. It’s definitely worth the visit if you have the opportunity.
Koh Samui is a well-known island around Thailand. It’s the second largest island in Thailand and is a great destination for anyone looking to experience paradise. Koh Samui has a lot to do for tourists with its numerous resorts, beaches, and shopping. The island has beautiful beaches on every side. The beaches are characterised by white sands and blue water. The Koh Samui beaches are a major draw for tourists for relaxing or enjoying the water. Snorkelling, diving, kayaking are all available options to take part in while at Koh Samui. Snorkelling is a visitor favourite.
Koh Samui Snorkelling
Koh Samui is one of the best places for snorkelling around the world. The island and its surrounding areas have a vibrant marine life and a wide variety of underwater landscapes for exploring. Koh Samui is close to a national park which has preserved and supported a lot of the marine life growth in the area. It’s also nearby several other islands making it a great location to start your journey and experiencing the highly visited snorkelling destinations around Koh Samui. Koh Samui is surrounded on all sides by various beaches, and some of these are good snorkelling spots before you venture to the nearby areas.
When it comes to beaches on Koh Samui, Coral Cove isn’t one of the tops mentioned because of the lack of sand. You can find large boulders on most of its territory instead. Coral Cove is recognised as one of the top places for snorkelling on Koh Samui, however. You can find the Cove on the eastern side of the island.
Coral Cove takes its name from the significant amount of coral reefs that cover the sea floor surrounding this area. This coral reef is home to a wide variety of marine life. Snorkelling here you will encounter many schools of fish as well as smaller animals like crab and shrimp.
Most of Koh Samui has been developed for tourism and the high amount of visitors, of course, affects the natural ecosystem around the island. This applies to a majority of the island, but you can still discover a natural gem of Koh Samui. Taling Ngam is a beach on Koh Samui in an area not as populated by tourist and hotels. This makes an excellent option for snorkelling on Koh Samui. You will be able to see a lot of the natural wonders just off the shores of Koh Samui. Taling has several reefs to explore as well as underwater rock formations that attract a lot of marine life.
Ao Phang Ka
Another bay in the less developed area oh Koh Samui is Ao Phang Ka. This bay is located on the southern tip of the island and is reachable from Taling Ngam. This area also has the best natural marine life around Koh Samui due to less visitor traffic. The best part about snorkelling at Ao Phang Ka is the secondary bay located through the jungle. Through the jungle, you will discover this hidden spot for snorkelling and an entirely new underwater world to explore. You will see a lot of colourful plant life and fish since it’s located in within the jungle.
Koh Samui Snorkelling Resorts
Koh Samui is developing with tourism in mind, and a lot of the resorts built along the beaches create unique experiences for the various water activities around Koh Samui. Two of the main resorts ideal for snorkelling are Tongsai Bay and Crystal Bay. Both of these resorts offer a more private beach and snorkelling experience.
Tongsai Bay is a resort that hosts many guests looking to have fun on its private beach. This bay is known as a great snorkelling spot with a lot of sea creatures and coral reefs.
Crystal Bay Resort leads to a popular snorkelling locations called the Silver Beach. This beach is shared with a few other resorts along this strip, but it is also a public beach and can be enjoyed by anyone on the island. Anyway, the beach feels like private since you have to go through the resorts to reach it. Silver Beach is a top snorkelling destination for Koh Samui.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
Ang Thong National Marine Park is one of the top places to snorkel around Koh Samui. The national park consists of a chain of 42 islands located not too far from Koh Samui. You are required to take a boat to reach this chain of islands. Only a specific set of boat service providers are allowed to enter into Ang Thong National Park, and you can find some of these options on Koh Samui.
The national park is ideal for snorkelling for several reasons. The large area has been preserved and supports the growth of the marine life, so you will see an abundance of it here. There are many snorkelling spots around the national park since it’s a lot to explore. The national park features many limestone cliffs stretching deep into the water, several caves, and other underwater formations.
Snorkelling at Ang Thong National Marine Park
Ang Thong National Park is known for its unique and rare sea creatures. When you snorkel around the park, you will see widespread coral reefs with countless colourful fish swimming throughout them. You get to enjoy this beautiful combination of underwater plant life and animal life. Snorkelling in different areas of Ang Thong will provide a variety of marine life. The national park has many sea caves that can be explored by kayaking into them. You can also take a moment to snorkel within these for an even wider variety of sea life.
Snorkelling at Ang Thong is great for the entire family including kids. The water at Ang Thong is relatively calm for a majority of the year. It is also very clear so it has high visibility to see as much underwater as you can. Snorkelling is one of the main activities done at the national park.
One of the top islands for snorkelling in Ang Thong National Marine Park is Koh Wao Yai. Many of the tours stop by this beautiful island while venturing around the national park since it is also an excellent snorkelling destination. The most characteristic feature about snorkelling here is the colourful underwater scenery. Koh Wao Yai shores feature a large variety of coral types coming in all kinds of colours. This coral is also home to many species of fish. You will come across schools of fish including barracuda, butterfly fish, and rainbow fish.
Snorkelling at Islands Near Koh Samui
Most people that come to Koh Samui for snorkelling actually say that some of the best spots for snorkelling are in the nearby islands to Koh Samui. Koh Samui has several small bays that are known for snorkelling, but it has a small offering compared to the other areas due to the development of the island. It only has a small selection of the marine life that you can discover throughout the Gulf of Thailand. Some of the best nearby islands for snorkelling are Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, and Koh Nang Yuan. These islands each offer their own unique snorkelling experiences.
Koh Tao Snorkelling
Besides being known as diving paradise, Koh Tao is one of the largest island locations for snorkelling in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is relatively close to Koh Samui, and it requires a boat to reach it. Unlike the Ang Thong National Marine Park, the island is open to any boats arriving here, so you have a lot more options. Some of the most common ways of getting from Koh Tao from Koh Samui is by long boat or on tour. Kayaking is also available and allows more flexibility while at Koh Tao.
Koh Tao has several bays for snorkelling. This island is known for its large rock formations which are all surrounded by coral reef. The calm, clear blue waters make snorkelling at Koh Tao a one-of-a-kind experience. Some of the snorkelling bays around Koh Tao include Shark Bay, Mango Bay, and Ao Leuk. You can access each of these bays from the inland, or you can kayak to each. You will have the opportunity to snorkel both around the island and in its interior bays.
Koh Tao has a large variety of marine life, with some sea creatures only seen here. You will be able to catch a glimpse of anything from angelfish and rays to various shark species and sea turtles.
Koh Phangan Snorkelling
Koh Phangan is another nearby island for snorkelling. There are also many tours and boats that arrive at the island for exploration. It also has many accommodations located on the island for longer stays.
Knowing where to snorkel at Koh Phangan is important as you will get very different experiences depending on where you go. The west coast of Koh Phangan is typically known as the ideal location for snorkelling. The west coast is a strip of several beaches including some of the tops for snorkelling: Mae Haad, Chao Phao, Haad Khom, and much more. Mae Haad is the most northern beach and also has a sand walkway to a connecting island called Koh Ma. This is another option for snorkelling.
Snorkelling off the shores of Koh Phangan offers many scenic underwater views. The entire strip of beaches along the west coast has colourful coral reefs that stretch the distance. You will see many different types of fish that inhabit here as well as other plant life. There are also smaller rock formations that can be found at Koh Phangan. It is often advised to snorkel nearby these rocks to explore more of the marine life available at Koh Phangan.
Koh Nang Yuan Snorkelling
Koh Nang Yuan is a small island chain located nearby Koh Samui that’s another option for snorkelling. It consists of 3 small islands that are each connected by sand bridges. The island is located just off the shores of Koh Tao. Many visitors who arrive at one of these islands often continue the short journey to the other. You can reach Koh Nang Yuan from Koh Samui by long boat, tour, or kayak just as the other islands. This is a frequently visited snorkelling destination from Koh Samui so it’s relatively easy to arrive here and there are many tours found stopping by here.
There are many shallow reefs located all around the Koh Nang Yuan Islands that are all good spots for exploring underwater. These colourful reefs house a wide variety of sea creatures and schools of fish. The most common found here are parrotfish and angelfish. Different seasons and times of day that you visit will reveal a different set of fish that you will see here. One of the most known locations for diving at Koh Nang Yuan is at the Japanese garden which is a small bay. The islands also have several lagoons within them that you can explore with snorkelling.
Koh Samui Snorkelling Tours
Snorkelling is one of the most popular water activities that tourists enjoy doing at Koh Samui. You will find several centres and tour operators around the entire island that offer a variety of snorkelling tours. These tours include going around Koh Samui or adventuring to some of the other nearby snorkelling areas like the Ang Thong National Marine Park or Koh Tao.
The snorkelling tours offered at Koh Samui can range from half-day tours or whole day tours, depending on the time that you have available. The tours are highly recommended so that you can ensure you are snorkelling at the best locations available around Koh Samui and at the right times.
Koh Samui is one of the best places for snorkelling around Thailand. The island itself has an exciting underwater life with many snorkelling spots. Koh Samui is also located nearby many other destinations that are known worldwide for the best snorkelling. The water and overall snorkelling environment at Koh Samui are perfect for anyone looking to see some of the most beautiful underwater scenery in the world.
Mai Khao Beach – The Sea Turtle ParadiseFriday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin
Located in the north of Phuket, not so far from Phuket International Airport, Mai Khao is another beautiful spot in Phuket. This is is the longest beach on Phuket island, stretching along 11km. Mai Khao is part of the Sirinat National Park. Mai Khao beach is a breeding ground for turtles. People come to this part of Phuket to get away from all the hustle and bustle that the other towns bring. They come for peace, as this beach is the most peaceful in northern Phuket.
Mai Khao beach pretty is much undeveloped when compared to other Phuket Beaches like Patong Beach, Kata Beach and Kamala Beach. On some days you can walk for kilometres across the beach without seeing anyone, so it is a peaceful beach. The resorts and hotels are spread wide and far, they are not all together and bunched up like other destinations around Phuket.
In the high season, you will find more people, but the activities here are not as exhilarating compared to other hot spot tourists beaches. In the low season, the sea can be very dangerous, and this is because there is a sharp drop only a short distance out from the bay area and the currents can suck you under. Some do advise not to go swimming here in the months between May and November, especially if the seas are rough. Also because it is undeveloped and quite, you don’t have the safety of the lifeguards situated around the beach.
Accommodation in Mai Khao
There are a number of very nice hotels, and resorts spread apart in Mai Khao. Including several high-quality 4-5 star hotels.
Marriott Phuket Beach Club
This place is fairly large offering six different restaurants to choose from onsite, and a good spa treatment service. Prices range from circa 18,000 baht ($500) per night and can go up in the high season quite dramatically. It would, of course, all depend on the type of room you are looking for, be it deluxe, superior and so forth.
Anantara Mai Khao
Another superb place offering luxurious villas with private pools. This is one of the most high-end places to stay in the area. Rooms start from 26,000 baht per night ($725). Anantara comprises of 92 private villas, three restaurants, tennis courts, and of course a full spa treatment service.
Other amazing hotels with Spas
Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa, another luscious hotel offering the full package for relaxation. The Spa treatment here is very well known for the area. You will also find similar treatments at JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa.
SALA Phuket Resort and Spa and Mai Khao Dream Villa Resort and Spa are other fantastic relaxing places to stay in Mai Khao. There is quite the trend here as you will notice, most having spa treatments, and offering luxury services.
D Varee Mai Khao Beachfront Resort
If you are on more of a budget, then D Varee Mai Khao Beachfront Resort offers nice surroundings. Rooms here average throughout the year from about 1800 baht ($50) going upwards per night. D Varee Mai Khao has all the amenities necessary for an enjoyable stay. D Varee features an onsite restaurant with a continental and traditional menu and a decent beach bar.
Most of the accommodation, resorts here by the beachfront are simply amazing. The service is as you would expect for the price you pay. If you plan on budgeting even more then it is wiser to head more into the village. Away from the beachfront area, you will find rooms available in some of the streets parallel to the resorts. Depending on the season you can get rooms at much more reasonable rates than that suggested. It is also a good idea to venture and ask in person, as you can always haggle for the room price. Bear in mind this isn’t true for the main 5 star hotels. They get booked up quite quickly before the high season setting in, so always best to check online first.
Private accommodation in Mai Khao
Away from the beachfront area, you will find rooms available in some of the streets parallel to the resorts. Depending on the season you can get rooms at much more reasonable rates than that suggested. It is also a good idea to venture and ask in person, as you can always haggle for the room price. Bear in mind this isn’t true for the main 5 star hotels. They get booked up quite quickly before the high season setting in, so always best to check online first.
Dining in Mai Khao
Eating out in Mai Khao is a tasty experience especially if you are a seafood fan. There is a fantastic seafood outlet located on Mai Khao Beach.
This place has an awesome atmosphere, with bamboo and thatch roof, giving the feeling of an isolated island outlet. There are around ten restaurants around here, all offering super-fresh seafood.
There is also a selection of Thai food available. Bare in mind, when ordering seafood, always check the menu prices. Seafood is usually sold on weight rather than set pieces, so it can become quite expensive if you are not sure what to order. This Bamboo and Thatch outlet are open daily from 10 am and closes when the last person leaves.
The hotels and resorts located in Mai Khao offer a great selection of foods from around the world. Everything from European, Japanese, Mediterranean, Asian and Italian is can literally be on your plate.
Aside from hotels and resorts, which offer an abundance of restaurants and cuisines, the Turtle Village would be your next stop.
Shopping in Mai Khao: The Turtle Village
If you enjoy shopping (who doesn’t), you must head to the Turtle Village. The Turtle village is pretty large, set in over 3000 square metres, on two floors. Souvenirs, gifts, a large range of clothing, shoes, and some other quality outlets are all on site. As well as shopping there is a very nice traditional pub called The Bill Bentley Pub and Restaurant. Had enough of the beach and physical activities, then head over to the Turtle Village to do some retail therapy. Relax in one of many of the restaurants or pubs. The Turtle Village is open between the hours of 10 am to 9 pm daily.
Based around Mai Khao, around the streets, you will see the odd shop here and there, but it is nothing like Kata for example. The vibe in Mai Khao is a lot more relaxed for shopping, having the one main mall – Turtle Village.
Activities to do in Mai Khao
When it comes to activities in Mai Khao the are benefits from both amazing natural parks and great family fun resorts.
Wat Mai Khao
If you are looking to spend a day sightseeing or checking out some fabulous traditional Thai culture, then go to Wat Mai Khao. Please show respect here as monks are praying and doing their daily business here. You can view the chapel which is a site in itself, and the Karepriiy hall as well as the monk’s dormitories. It’s a beautiful, peaceful and tranquil place. Quite the hot spot for people who like to have a vibe of original Thai culture.
Mai Khao has a few enjoyable activities to indulge in. The beach is one of the largest in Phuket and has a vast area to swim and relax on. Swimming in Mai Khao can be dangerous so be careful. In Phuket, there are not many beaches that have a very deep drop near the sandy bay as Mai Khao has.
Kidzsole Flying Trapeze
Ever tried Trapeze? Not far from Mai Khao Beach itself you can head over to the Kidzsole Flying Trapeze and experience what it feels like to fly. Be it on a small scale. It’s a great place for kids and families to head out to for a day of fun. Simply the trapeze is a pretty much a big swing but gives you the excitement of flying to a certain degree. After some very simple guidance, you can give this a go, and build up your speed if you dare too.
Splash Jungle Water Park
Mai Khao is also home to one of the best waterparks in Phuket – Splash Jungle Water Park. The park is open daily from 10 am until 6 pm. Another fantastic fun day out for all, and it is very family friendly. Splash Jungle water park has a wide range of water slides, water rides, and more water based activities. This is targeted for families mainly, but it is great fun for all.
The park contains 12 exciting and big water slides to give anyone a thrill. There are lifeguards on location here, and it is a very safe environment. Again Splash Jungle Water Park is family friendly, and a fantastic day out for all.
On the site, you will find a couple of restaurants offering a variety of food and beverages. The price here is reasonable for the activities and dining. The Coconut Cafe has some delicious burgers, hot dogs, smoothies and other sweets to indulge in. Also, you have a selection of some very nice Thai dishes.
This water park is great because if you compare it to the other water parks around the world, the waiting time is next to nothing to have your ride or slide. For example, a large water park in America, you could be waiting for a ride down the water slides for quite some time. This is not the case with Splash Water Park. Usually, you can be on the ride within under a minute of queueing. One particular ride here that it is famous for is the Lazy River ride. You grab an inflatable tube and can travel around the park on this ride which is around 335 metres long.
Another ride here is the Boomerango. This is a steep drop down a vertical wall, where you are inside an inner tube, to begin with. The drop is around 15 metres high and will give anyone a good rush. A fairly quick ride but exhilarating, to say the least. You will land in the splash pool at the bottom after your stomach has gone up to your head.
The Super Bowl Ride is as it states. These are famous all around water parks around the world. You simply drop down through what is called an aqua tube and then go round in circles in the bowl until you drop into the hole in the middle. Again you will land in the splash pool at the bottom.
Splash Jungle Water Park also features a children’s Aquarium, kids slides for the little ones, as well as the main adult slides. It’s truly a great, fantastic day out if you love water parks, it is a must to visit. Prices to enter the park are very reasonable. Children under 5 go in for free. Children from 5-year-old – 12-year-olds can spend the day there for 650 baht ($18) and adults 1295 baht ($36). The price includes secure lockers so you can have peace of mind your valuables are safe while enjoying the water activities.
The Sirinath National Park
The National Park is huge, covering the whole of Mai Khao Beach and Nai Yang. The Sirinath National Park is of course in North Phuket, not too far from the airport. You will undoubtedly notice at times, aeroplanes flying quite low over the beaches. This is one of the major attractions of the beach. Many people come to the Southern end of Mai Khao beach only to pose for a photo of a plane flying right over their head.
Sirinath National Park is a very nice, tranquil place, with a peaceful setting. You won’t get crowds heading here to party, and it’s more just pure white sands that stretch the 10 miles across both beaches, with some green tree backdrops.
A beautiful place to visit if you want to head to a quiet destination in Phuket and just enjoy peace. It is not rare to have the beach completely to yourself. On occasions, mainly during the night time, you might be lucky enough to see the Giant Ridley Sea Turtle. These turtles are a magnificent site if you are lucky enough to see them. They usually stumble upon the beach of an evening to lay their eggs.
Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation
Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation appeared as a result of the collaboration of two hotels opened on Mai Khao beach back in 2002. The Minor Hotel Group and JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa donated $45,000 to launch the foundation.
The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation mission is to protect the marine and coastal environment and ecosystem of the Sirinath National Marine Park and the surrounding areas inhabited by the sea turtles.
The organisation in close cooperation with the local community and government offices runs yearly events to support the state of Mai Khao ecology and the Andaman’s ecosystems.
Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation together with its supporters carries a range of activities such as beach and reef cleaning, mangrove tree planting, recycling projects, educational workshops, and of course turtle rescue and release.
Mai Khao is one of the last Phuket beaches where you can still find nesting turtles. The Foundation rescues the eggs from the nearby beaches where the environment is no longer safe for turtles.
The eggs are the given to the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) and Royal Thai Navy. Here, they provide all the right conditions for the eggs to hatch and the young turtles to gain strength. When ready, the turtles are released into the Andaman sea where find their true home. This program is entirely funded by the Foundation and donations.
Anyone interested can take part in the annual Mai Khao Turtle Release. The charity ceremony normally takes place during the Songkran Festival on April 13 with some additional Turtle release sessions between April 15 and 17.
Conclusion of Mai Khao
Mai Khao is peaceful, quiet, and out the way, from the busy crowds and noise, you would get from other towns. The beach here is one of the biggest in Phuket, based in the national park, is beautiful. It is especially nice if you just want a peaceful place to walk hand in hand with a loved one and not be disturbed.
The hotels and resorts are mainly high-end, but you can get some budget accommodation. Mai Khao is not like a major holiday destination if you compare it many other places in Phuket. But for this reason, it makes Mai Khao a very special place. The activities are enough to keep you and your family or friends entertained, and the food and drink are great. Mai Khao is definitely a place to visit, even if it’s just to check out the size of the beach!
Krabi NightlifeFriday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin
Krabi is a province in Southern Thailand. It is often considered one of the most exciting regions of the country. Krabi’s numerous islands and beaches have endless scenic beauty, and many tourists come all year round to experience this unique gem of Southeast Asia.
Krabi’s tourism boom has led the region to become a hot spot for Thailand’s nightlife scene. The exciting nightlife extends from Krabi’s mainland all the way onto its nearby islands. You will come across countless clubs, bars, and festive parties no matter where you go. We will take a look at some of the best Thailand nightlife found in Krabi.
Nightlife in Krabi Town
Krabi Town is one of the hubs for Krabi nightlife. It is the most popular town in the Krabi region and is home to a vibrant nightlife scene. The Town is known for great entertainment, amazing street food, and cheap drinks. Krabi Town is also known for one of the most popular parties in Thailand.
Krabi Town Night Markets
One of the most popular nightlife activities in Krabi Town are the night markets. Krabi Town has several night markets that are the perfect place to go for a combination of food and entertainment. The night markets provide hundreds of street food options and outside restaurants. There are also vendors selling clothing and souvenirs all throughout the night. At the night markets, you will find a stage where many local bands and karaoke performances take place. The night markets are usually open all night so you can spend the entire night here or just pass through.
Krabi Town Bars and Clubs
The centre of Krabi Town has bars and restaurants along many of the major streets. All of these venues are open late night and provide great nightlife atmosphere. Each place offers great music and numerous TVs. These are perfect for a relaxing and enjoying cheap drinks all night.
Krabi Town is also a great destination if you are interested in a livelier scene. Most of the town’s bars and clubs can be found right outside of the town centre. Krabi has a strip of larger club and bar venues. Many locals visit these places on any given night to enjoy live local bands and dancing. There are always shows taking place here. You can always expect these places to be full of people looking to have fun, especially on weekends.
Full Moon Party
One of the most exciting parties in Thailand happens right outside of Krabi on the island of Koh Phangan. The Full Moon Party happens every month on the during the full moon. Krabi Town is a starting place for many people en route to the party. There are tours and buses from almost every hotel that will take you to the Full Moon Party.
The Full Moon party is a beach festival in celebration of the Full Moon. This island is often called one of the best places to view the moon at this time. You will find many outdoor concerts at the large stages set up, beach activities, and enough drinks to last you a lifetime. People come from all over the world to experience the Full Moon Party.
Nearby Krabi Town
Krabi Town is only just a small sample of the amazing nightlife found in the Krabi region. It is a convenient place to enjoy a variety of nightlife scenes without having to worry about travelling too far. Krabi Town is nearby many islands and beaches that each provide a different Thailand nightlife experience. Some other close-by places that are worth exploring are Ao Nang and Railay Beach.
Ao Nang Nightlife
Ao Nang is located a short distance from Krabi Town. There are many ways to get between the two cities including cabs, shuttles, or public buses. Ao Nang is another very popular city in Krabi with lots of activity at any time. The nightlife in Ao Nang makes it definitely worth visiting.
Bars and Clubs in Ao Nang
Ao Nang has a main road that runs along its beach. On this main road is where you will find a strip of bars and many side streets also filled with entertainment. This is a great area for sitting outside and enjoying the nightlife scene over a drink. The main road is an area with heavy traffic and many pedestrians all night long. The bars that you find along this strip are small and give you a more local experience. There are many options here so you will often see several groups of people scattered among them all.
One of the most popular nightlife scenes in Ao Nang is called Center Point. Center Point is an outdoor entertainment complex that comes alive at night. The complex provides entertainment of all kinds, so you will always find something of interest here. Center Point is a multi-level complex that hosts several bars and clubs. These venues are much larger compared to the main strip of Ao Nang, so you will see bigger crowds here. Center Point is also popular for its live entertainment. You can enjoy a live band in one of the bars or can experience a cabaret show at the theatre here.
The Center Point complex is a plaza for almost all forms of entertainment. On each floor, you can discover something new. Explore the sports bars with billiards and TVs showing international sporting events that cater to the tourists. Dancing is popular, and the complex has a few night club options so you’ll surely find music that you can dance to. There are also many lady bars and street entertainers.
Ao Nang Street Life
Most people are seen at the beach in Ao Nang during the day. Night time is when you will see many of these same people walking throughout the city streets. Ao Nang lights up at night and is a great city to explore. It has an abundance of street vendors that typically stay open all night. Many of their restaurants are also open for late night meals. Tourists enjoy walking around Ao Nang for a Thai nightlife experience while surrounded by others looking to accomplish the same thing.
Railay Beach Nightlife
Railay is another favourite destination for great Krabi nightlife. It is located on a peninsula nearby Krabi Town and requires a short ride on a long boat to access it. When you arrive at Railay, you will notice a gulf running directly in the middle of it. Railay Beach consists of two sides: East Railay and West Railay. Each side offers their own unique nightlife experiences.
East Railay Nightlife
East Railay definitely provides more venue options of where you can hang out. There’s a lot of bars and restaurants here with plenty of entertainment going into the night. The nightlife in Railay tends to have more of a laidback beach vibe since the area attracts mainly beach goers. Reggae music is heard in many of the venues here, although it’s possible to find electronic music and other varieties if you look in the right places or come on the right night. Some places have live entertainment as well.
East Railay is a great place to visit if you are looking for a fantastic atmosphere to enjoy your night in. Most of the popular bars here are located along the beach. You will find unique bars built up as tents, and nearly all of them have an open design for you to enjoy the beach while drinking.
West Railay Nightlife
East Railay is where you go for bar fun at night. West Railay is where you go for beach fun at night. West Railay is a popular place to start the night for many people because you will see an amazing sunset along the water. In the night you will also have an amazing view of the moon peaking over the natural cliffs here. As mentioned, the biggest Krabi Full Moon Party happens in Koh Phangan, but West Railay holds their own celebrations for it because of the great view.
The beach in West Railay is always full of people all night. There are many beach parties that happen along the entire beach. These beach parties are most times self-hosted with just a group of friends, drinks, and great music. The beach provides great scenery to make this a one-of-a-kind experience. You will also find many people showcasing fire dancing on the beach as well.
Krabi Islands Nightlife
There are many popular places to experience amazing nightlife on the mainland of Krabi. The Krabi region also includes several islands right off of the shore that are major tourist attractions. Visitors go out to these islands for both day trips and overnight stays. The Krabi island nightlife is definitely one to experience if you have the opportunity. One of the best island groups in Krabi is called the Phi Phi Islands.
Phi Phi Islands Nightlife
The Phi Phi islands are referred to as one of the most beautiful islands in all of Southeast Asia. There are many tours and boats to get you to this island system. You will have an amazing time at any of the Phi Phi Islands, but the liveliest of them all is Koh Phi Phi Island. Koh Phi Phi Island is the largest in the island chain. This means that you have much more nightlife options to fit what you are looking for.
Koh Phi Phi Bars
Koh Phi Phi is a large island and is known for its bars. There are countless bars in Koh Phi Phi that are located along the beach. Some bars have multiple stories and decks overlooking the beach. Other bars are simply just a drink bar situated right on the beach. The entire strip of bars is packed with visitors all night and you will find large crowds everywhere here spilling out onto the beach.
Most of the bars have a dance atmosphere. You will come across both indoor and outdoor dance floors in Koh Phi Phi. All of the bars along the strip are illuminated with festive lights and music coming from everywhere. Koh Phi Phi nightlife is popular because of the cheap drinks and large crowds that are found here.
Some of the bars also have their own entertainment in addition to only great music. One of the popular party tricks here are limbo bars that many party goers take part in.
Koh Phi Phi Beach Parties
There is a blurred line between the bars in Koh Phi Phi and the beach. Most of the popular bars already open out onto the beach. Sometimes, the beach itself is the big attraction for the best Koh Phi Phi nightlife experience. The beach holds many Koh Phi Phi parties and festivals that only add to the fun of the island.
A typical Koh Phi Phi party is a combination of large crowds, loud music, and fire dancers. The beach is a popular place to witness amazing fire dancing skills. It can either be a single fire performer, an entire team that performs various routines, or just freestyle fire dancing.
Electronic music is very popular for Koh Phi Phi parties. If you visit on the right nights, you will see the beach transform into what looks like a giant music festival.
With the combination of the beach and the strip of bars, you have several nightlife options while in Koh Phi Phi.
The province of Krabi is definitely one of the top places to visit for great Thailand nightlife. The Krabi nightlife on the mainland attracts many visitors and gives a great opportunity to not only have fun in a venue but to also explore the cities at night. Some attractions such as the night markets only open up later in the day. Krabi island nightlife offers a different experience but just as fun. Most people touring the nearby islands are seeking a unique environment to have fun in and the islands are perfect for that. The picture perfect scenery will definitely create a long lasting memory and make you want to return to Krabi to experience it all again.
Mae Rim and Its Natural WondersFriday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin
Aside from the major tourist attractions in Bangkok and popular beaches in Phuket, Thailand can offer more than you think. A perfect Thailand trip includes a complete experience of discovering the city and countryside. There are many rural areas where you can have a good time by exploring their hidden gems. For example, Mae Rim in the heart of the Northern province of Chiang Mai is something you simply cannot miss.
Less than an hour drive from the capital, you’ll arrive at Chiang Mai, where nature is the highlight of this area. Chiang Mai is divided into several districts. Some are very popular, like Chiang Dao and Mueang Chiang Mai. However, other less popular districts are not merely bad, on the contrary, these are the best-hidden gems you could ever imagine!
Mae Rim is a small area in Chiang Mai Province. Located in the North of Thailand, Mae Rim offers a truly Thai wildlife and nature experience. Expect to see a lot of natural wonders in this area. Mae Rim is the best place to discover the authentic Thai culture. The city is full of locals who sell food and handicrafts to make a living in and around the town.
Chiang Mai Trekking Destination
Chiang Mai is popular for its trekking and biking trails. Mae Rim, in particular, offers some of the best trails in the Northern Thailand. This area boasts a unique landscape with prominent natural features, like waterfalls, hiking trails and amazing wildlife.
Mae Rim trekking trips offer a complete experience of Thai natural heritage and rich culture. Along the way to the deep jungle, Chiang Mai is a habitat for much exotic flora and fauna. Your experienced guide not only tells you stories of the Thai ancestries but also accompanies you on a visit to the nearest hill-tribe village and temples.
There are several trekking routes in Mae Rim. Some tours start at Mae Rim, lead you along the nature trails and head to Mae Tang. This path is known as the Northern route. Usually, the first half day will be spent to explore Mae Sa waterfalls and visit the Orchid and Butterfly Farm. Mostly, the journey continues with a visit to a hill-tribe. When you get closer to Mae Tang area, you will probably explore the river on a white river rafting adventure.
Another route, also popular with bike tours, is going South and trek the Doi Suthep mountain. You can find this peak right in the middle of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. It is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Chiang Mai.
Throughout your journey, you can visit the Hmong villages, the hidden Wat Pha Lat and end up at Wat Phra That Suthep as its highest point.
A trekking trip in Mae Rim can be a day trip or multi-day trip depending on your preference and time.
Mae Sa Waterfall
One of the best waterfalls in Chiang Mai is located in Mae Rim, called Mae Sa waterfall. It is the largest and most picturesque waterfall in Chiang Mai.
Mae Sa waterfall is located inside the Doi-Suthep National Park. The national park stretches over 260 kilometres square over four districts, including Mae Rim.
Mae Sa waterfall doesn’t look like a common high waterfall you might have visited before. It consists of 10 levels that you can climb up. The cascades fall anywhere in every 100 to 500 metres. Each level has its own name and unique setting. The interesting landscape and cliffs make the waterfall a very photographable and exciting place to visit.
While typically in waterfalls you will enjoy your time in one spot and swim in the pond, Mae Sa waterfall offers a whole different experience with its waterfall trails. The hiking trail stretches along the waterfalls for about a mile. The merest touch of modernism in this waterfall gives its own unique attraction to the visitors. There are handmade wooden bridges connecting lands, which is very exciting! Moreover, butterflies and tropical fauna is in plenty and quite vivid here.
When you explore this area, you will spot many locals having their lovely Thai picnic around the waterfalls. The surrounding scenery and environment make it a perfect place to have a picnic. You can bring your own food or buy it from the local merchants. You can easily find a picnic table on your journey to the top waterfall level.
Mae Sa Waterfall Trek
To hike and enjoy all the waterfalls you need at least half a day in Doi-Suthep National Park cause you will be stunned by the incredible scenery and take many stops to take pictures along the way up. Therefore, you will be able to hike up to the top waterfall and have a nice lunch picnic in the area.
- Opening hours: Doi-Suthep National Park opens every day from 8.00 – 16.30.
- Ticket price: 100 Baht (adult) and 50 Baht (Child). If you bring your own vehicle, it costs 20 Baht for a motorcycle and 30 Baht for a car.
- How to get there?
You just need to take a short forty minutes drive from Chiang Mai city. It is 25 km from downtown Chiang Mai.
- What to bring?
Bring your swimwear and some food. Don’t forget to wear your comfortable hiking sandals or shoes.
Mae Rim Hill Tribe Village
Karen tribe, the long neck tribe, is the indigenous people who live on the North side of Thailand. These people have become a unique icon for Thailand. Their lifestyle is far from the modern world. Their daily activities are aligned with nature and their habits have meaningful value.
The common feature of this tribe is the rings that the women wear on their necks. These rings used to protect the women from tiger attacks because tigers usually go for the neck area. The meaning behind these accessories has shifted from protection to a symbol of beauty for females. This iconic style has brought the world’s attention to Karen women.
On your visit, you can take part in their daily activities like wood carving, weaving and cooking with traditional utensils. Get a chance to have a unique experience interacting with them and get to know their unique lifestyle!
Orchid and Butterfly Farm
An orchid and butterfly farm is another place you must visit in Mae Rim. In fact, there are a few orchid and butterfly farms in the area. Sai Nam Phueng Farm is the largest one.
There are over 1,300 orchid species grow in Thailand. In this largest farm, you can enjoy most of these tropical orchids. You can also find some extremely rare orchid like Vanda Cerulea Alba or pure white orchid. Guests are not only indulged by its beauty but also educated by its history and unique facts.
The butterfly is the prettiest insect everyone loves. Here in the butterfly garden, there are not only one or two kinds but hundreds of butterfly species. They also have some butterflies that you can only see in Chiang Mai. All of these butterflies live freely in a natural environment.
The other farms are Mae Rim Orchid, Suan Bua Mae Sa and Bai Orchid & Butterfly. These parks are most popular family friendly destinations.
- Sai Nam Phung Farm: Everyday 07.30 – 17.00
- Mae Ram Orchid: Everyday 08.00 – 16.00
- Suan Bua Mae Sa Orchid: Everyday 7.30 – 16.30
- Bai Orchid and Butterfly Farm: Everyday 7.30 – 17.00
Mon Cham is a restaurant and camping resort located in the Nong Hoi Royal Project. This is a Royal project that His Majesty King made to solve many problems of the native population, especially in rural areas. The project involves cooperation with local people and experts to create strategies to improve local’s knowledge about environmental conservation. Also, it helps to boost local economies by promoting water conservation, swamp drainage and Thailand forests preservation.
Nong Hoi Royal Project was initially aimed to help Hmong hill tribe diversify their crops. However, now this royal project has become a popular venue for eco and agro-tourism. And Mon Cham is the most popular attraction of the area.
Enjoy the view
Located 1,400 above the sea level, you can see a breathtaking view of the mountain range of Suthep-Pui and the stunning terraces. There are some huts where you can chill with friends or family over a fresh fruit juice or cold beer. You will see many plantations of pineapple, herb, variety flowers and vegetables.
Have a delicious lunch with fresh local ingredients
Most lunch or dinner serves in Mon Cham restaurant is fresh out from their own garden. The meals are excellently cooked and low priced, ranging from 40 to 100 Baht per meal ($1-3,5).
Book a tent and camp here
Don’t expect one of those extreme campings where you need to build your own tent and figure out how to survive in the jungle. Mon Cham camping resort provides VIP tents where you can enjoy the nature with excellent facilities.
Mon Cham Prices
Prices are varied depending on the seasons. On the peak season, the room rates can range around 3,000 Baht per night.
How to get to Mon Cham
The easiest way to get up there is by car. From Chiang Mai you need to take the Mae Sa turn-off on the Chiang Mai-Mae Rim road and drive pass the ATV hires, orchid farms and elephant camp. You‘ll see the sign for Mon Cham not far from there.
However, if you don’t have your own vehicle, you can hire a red songthaew (small pickup truck) for about 600 Baht return.
Elephant Poopoopaper Park
Elephant Poopoopaper is an eco-friendly museum to learn about paper productions from elephant poop fibres! The tour includes walking through the site gardens and seeing all the different stages from poo collection, rinsing to final product assembly.
Visitors can take part in the production circle. Just pull up a stool, roll up your sleeves and work together to take part in the processes. During the paper-making process, there is a rich graphics and signage involved. It is an art workshop, eco-tourism, history and culture education, local crafts and exciting activities combined into one programme!
Elephant Poopoopaper is a licensed partner of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Thailand. This means that the park supports WWF mission to protect our planet’s natural environment to build a better future for humans lives.
- Tour duration: 45-60 minutes
- Opening hours: Everyday 9 am to 5.30 pm
- Ticket price: 100 Baht per person. Children under 5 years old are free of charge.
How to get to Elephant Poopoopaper
The address is Maerim Samoeng Rd, Chiang Mai – Fang Highway intersection in T. Rimtai, Amphur Mae Rim. The park is located 10 km north of Chiang Mai city, which takes approximately 15 minutes to drive from downtown.
Accommodation in Mae Rim
There is no right and wrong on deciding how long to stay in Mae Rim. Because of its small size, a one-day trip is probably enough. However, staying one or couple more nights would give you a more memorable trip, as you would discover more hidden gems and natural sites!
Hmong Hilltribe Lodge
Hmong Hilltribe Lodge offers a unique experience to all its guests. The central theme of this accommodation is the traditional Hmong culture, with rustic elegance and serenity touch.
The lodge is just one hour driving from Chiang Mai. It is conveniently located near all the Mae Rim main attractions. It is built 2,700 meters above sea level, which means you have this fantastic view of the Suthep-Pui Mountain range. The weather at this height is perfect to cool down from the heat of the tropical climate in Thailand.
Eco Resort Chiang Mai
If you prefer to stay closer to the downtown, Eco Resort Chiang Mai is one of the tourists’ most favourite places. The resort is perfect for budget travellers, backpackers and nature lovers. You can also enjoy the swimming pool, gym and relaxation areas while staying here. Eco Resort Chiang Mai offers variety kinds of rooms from bunk beds, deluxe room to superior room, which you can choose according to your preferences.
The location is quite central and close to Chiang Mai city centre. Moreover, it only takes approximately 50 minutes driving to get to Mae Rim.
Mae Rim Lagoon
Another great place to stay in Mae Rim is Mae Rim Lagoon. The lodge is located in a remote area where nature is its best offer. Upon arrival, the lush green and incredible valley landscape welcome you. The concept captures the luxury of a natural lifestyle combined with contemporary vintage design.
Mae Rim Lagoon is an excellent place to complement your journey to the countryside without sacrificing comfort. You can choose from staying in bunk beds, deluxe to suite room.