Koh Samui WaterfallsFriday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin
Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations around the world. The country is known for its beautiful scenery. The diverse landscape will give you everything from mountains to rainforests to beaches, many of which are available to enjoy on your trip. Many visitors come to Thailand to experience this natural beauty. One of the biggest attractions of Thailand is its waterfalls.
Thailand waterfalls are very unique. There are a lot of waterfalls located around Thailand and offer different experiences when you visit. Some waterfalls are great for viewing purposes only while other waterfalls give you the opportunity to swim in them. You can discover both kinds and much more in Thailand. A destination with the some of the best Thailand waterfalls is Koh Samui.
Koh Samui is an island located in the Gulf of Thailand. This island is the second largest island in Thailand and has a lot of features that tourists enjoy. The island is a major tourist destination for Thailand, so many of the offerings and activities on Koh Samui are perfect for tourism. The island has many resorts, shopping, and entertainment. Koh Samui’s shores are amazing beaches with views looking out into the gulf with clear waters and white sand. Many people come to Koh Samui for the relaxing beach life. The middle of Koh Samui is a large jungle. This jungle is a great place to explore on Koh Samui to discover the unique nature of the island. The wildlife and plant life is very diverse here. One of the coolest features hidden in the jungles are the Koh Samui waterfalls.
Koh Samui Jungle
The Koh Samui jungle covers a significant portion of the island making it a great place to explore. The jungle is very mountainous, so visitors navigate their way throughout via several methods. Several tours are held for exploring the jungle, and these are often conducted with Jeeps or 4×4 that will wind throughout the jungle and mountains. Another recreational activity includes mountain biking. Hiking is also an option for getting around. Hiking is Koh Samui is one of the best options for getting an up-close experience with everything the jungle has to offer.
The jungle is home to many attractions of Koh Samui. Hiking the mountainous areas of the jungle will give you some of the best locations for amazing views overlooking Koh Samui. There are several known plateaus throughout the jungle for 360 viewpoints of the island and the Gulf of Thailand. The jungle also holds several religious functions. The Buddhist temple and garden are often visited during many Koh Samui hiking journeys.
The Koh Samui waterfalls are what attracts a lot of people to the jungle. The island has several popular waterfalls, and a lot of visitors enjoy the fact that you can swim in them. Some of the top waterfalls include the Namuang Waterfalls and the Secret Falls.
The Namuang Waterfalls consists of two waterfalls, Namuang Waterfall 1 and Namuang Waterfall 2. The Namuang Waterfalls are close by the Nathon Bay of Koh Samui and a short walk inland from this beach. The trails used to reach these falls were developed by the locals before other paved roads were established throughout the jungle.
The Namuang Waterfalls translates in the “Purple Waterfalls.” The rocks that the waterfalls flow down give off a purple tint with the reflection of the water. This is how the falls got their name. The waterfall is considered to be two waterfalls since it has two individual streams that flow into their own respective natural pools. You will reach Namuang Waterfall 1 when you first approach the falls, and as you climb higher, you will run into Namuang Waterfall 2. These waterfalls are great photo opportunities to capture the most well-known waterfalls on Koh Samui.
The Namuang Waterfalls are often explored while taking a beach break because of its proximity. The water fun is continued at the falls, however. You will come across many travellers, families, and locals enjoying the warm water of the falls. Keep in mind the best times to visit the waterfalls here for the best experience. The wet season is ideal for visiting Namuang Waterfalls because the streams and natural pools will be more full.
There is a variety of things to see and do even while just at the waterfalls. There are several vendors located around the area. You will find many food vendors and can also buy souvenirs of the Namuang Waterfalls. There are also many guided tours for navigating around the waterfalls as well as a nearby Elephant walking tour. The Namuang Safari Park is located in between the two waterfalls which have plenty of family fun entertainment.
Hin Lad Waterfall
The Hin Lad Waterfall is another exciting waterfall that you must see while in Koh Samui. At the beginning of the trail leading up to the waterfall, you will come across the Hin Lad Waterfall Temple. This is an active Buddhist Temple that is open to the public to stop by before the hike up. This is usually crowded during the weekends by locals.
Part of the pleasure of the Hin Lad Waterfall is reaching it. The waterfall is located in the elevated jungle, so you will be required to hike a short distance. The benefit to the hike is the numerous viewpoints along the way. You will have views over Koh Samui as you walk up. There are also several stalls of food vendors and souvenirs that you will encounter on the way to the falls.
The Hin Lad Waterfall is the second largest waterfall of Koh Samui. This waterfall also flows into small freshwater pools. You’ll surely want to take a swim in these pools after the climb to the falls. The falls are seen best during the wet season when it will be more water flow from the waterfall and into the pools.
The Koh Samui Secret Falls lives up to its name. The official name of the Secret Falls is the Tang Rua Waterfall, but this is not a familiar name, even to the locals. The Secret Falls got its name because of its location. Reaching these falls takes a bit more navigation and can often be confusing to newcomers to the waterfall. The Secret Falls are located deep in the jungle and within the mountains of Koh Samui. Many routes leading to the waterfall often require both foot and vehicle exploration. This waterfall will surely be worth the trip.
The Secret Falls is the 3rd largest waterfall in Koh Samui. The stream flows into a natural pool, so it’s a great location for swimming. There are several reasons that make the Secret Falls a good choice for a relaxing swim. The falls are a bit more challenging to reach as compared to the other Koh Samui waterfalls, so many tourists opt out of visiting the Secret Falls. This means fewer visitors that are likely to be at the falls, so you have more space to enjoy. The second reason is the surrounding environment of this waterfall. The Secret Falls are within the mountains, so it’s surrounded by cliffs and tall trees which form a canopy overhead, even shielding you from the sun.
Tartain Waterfall is a waterfall that might have some difficulty with accessibility too but definitely worth the journey once you arrive. This waterfall is located deep in the mountains so it may require some vehicle and hiking skills to navigate the route here. It’s one of the top waterfalls on the island, so there will be plenty of signs directing your way.
The Tartain Waterfall is named after the landowner who discovered the waterfall. The owner proceeded to establish a small park around the waterfall. Much of the area is developed with pavilions, swings, bed, etc. There are also food vendors available here. The park is good for relaxation and taking the time to enjoy the waterfall. The Tartain Waterfall is a large waterfall that flows into a natural pool. This waterfall is also created by a stream, so it’s seen best during the wet season. Many tourists and locals enjoy swimming in the heated water here.
Tar Nim Waterfall
Not all the famous waterfalls on Koh Samui are naturally developed. Tar Nim’s Magic Garden is a common stop for many Koh Samui tours. The magic garden was built as a Buddhist garden and retreat into nature for relaxation. At the entrance to this garden, you will see the Tar Nim Waterfall. This waterfall is man made and now flows into the jungle. Even so, it is recognised as one of the Koh Samui waterfalls. It is small in comparison to the other natural waterfalls found around the island. This waterfall is appreciated more for photos and its contribution to the serene garden atmosphere than for swimming like many others.
Lat Wanorn Waterfall
The Lat Wanorn waterfall is a good waterfall option if you’re looking for a truly unique waterfall to Koh Samui. The waterfall used to be a big attraction on a dedicated eco-tour around Koh Samui. Once the tour route eventually closed and familiarity with this waterfall declined as well. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a private waterfall experience. You have a better chance when you visit Lat Wanorn.
Lat Wanorn differs from the other Koh Samui waterfalls because of how the water flows. It has the same stream characteristics as the other falls, but the water here flows down a flat rock which creates the waterfall effect. There is also a natural pool here for swimming, so it’s the perfect opportunity to take a dip. This waterfall is nearby to a few other waterfalls and even observation decks as you continue along the trail that led here.
Other Koh Samui Waterfalls
Koh Samui has many other waterfalls that each have a different experience to them. This can include the hike to reach the waterfall, the size, or just the surrounding area. The combination of the jungle and mountains of the Koh Samui landscape make it ideal for waterfalls, so there is a range of options all around the island. Some other notable waterfalls include Khun Si, Yhow Yai, Siva Tara, and Wang Sao Thong. Many Koh Samui tours provide the best way to get a look at multiple waterfalls in one trip.
Koh Samui Waterfall Tours
The Koh Samui waterfalls are a must-see for anyone visiting the island, but not all of them are easy to reach. This is especially the case for newcomers to the island. Koh Samui provides many tours that can take you to any waterfall that you wish. You can find many half day tours and whole day tours for the excursion. They typically vary in transportation method, time spent at the waterfall, and how many waterfalls you have time to see.
Many roads have been developed running through the Koh Samui jungle. You can find several tours that will take you on a Jeep or other off-road vehicle through the jungle to reach the falls. These are guided tours that let you sit back to enjoy the ride while enjoying the trip through the brush. The mountains are also great for mountain biking, so these are used during tours as well.
Many tourists take part in elephant trekking tours to the waterfalls organised by elephant shelters throughout the jungle. But we don’t recommend taking one, as elephants are not treated well in these shelters. Moreover, this is a very hard physical exercise for such a big animal, to get up a waterfall through the jungle. If you would like to learn more about the unethical treatment of animals in Thailand and why you should encourage any of them, please read our blog post – https://activityfan.com/thai-elephant-trekking-not-3/.
Explore Koh Samui
Beaches aren’t the only attraction to Koh Samui. There is plenty more to explore about the island if you have time. The Koh Samui jungle is full of opportunities for an exciting experience while on Koh Samui. The Koh Samui waterfalls are one of the perks on the jungle. There are so many waterfalls here that you will surely find an ideal one to enjoy for your taste. Whether that’s large waterfalls, man-made waterfalls, and even secret falls. The Thailand waterfalls at Koh Samui are a gem to the country overall.
Tiger Cave TempleFriday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin
Caves can be found all around Thailand and have different methods for exploring the best parts of them. Some caves, such as those used for religious purposes, are easily accessible by developed paths leading into the caves. You may also come across sea caves, which are caves that are only accessible by boats.
Wat Tham Sua, or Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi
One region of Thailand that you can find many caves is in Krabi. Krabi is a great place to visit if you want to see the range of caves such as those dedicated to religious purposes or sea caves. One of the most popular caves in Krabi is the Tiger Cave Temple or Wat Tham Sua.
The Tiger Cave Temple is located in a region called Kiriwong Valley. This valley is essentially covered in rainforest and contains many other caves in the region. The Tiger Cave Temple is the main tourist attraction as it is one of the only caves here that is open to the public.
Tiger Cave Temple History
Buddhism is the major religion in Thailand, and many caves were established for religious practices. There are many myths and legends surrounding the origin of the Tiger Cave Temple, but it was primarily a Buddhist meditation centre, as it remains today.
Caves were popular for Buddhist practices such as meditation because of their isolation from the outside world. Caves provided a quiet environment for meditation. Temples evolved from strictly meditation use because the caves were perfect for housing and protecting statues and other religious artefacts. Sometimes caves such as these became the residence for one of more monks.
This is how the Tiger Cave Temple was established. It was discovered by a monk and used for meditation and holding various Buddha statues. During his time in the cave, tigers were discovered inside and roamed freely throughout it. Evidence of this can be seen in the cave today. There are several tiger paw marks on the cave walls and viewing of the cave on the outside, it resembles a tiger’s paw. The name has stuck with the cave ever since. It is now recognised for both its religious significance and former tiger habitat.
Visiting the Tiger Cave Temple
Today, the Tiger Cave Temple is a very popular tourist destination in Krabi. The cave temple is surrounded by jungle which makes it an enjoyable journey to even reach the temple grounds. Many places around Krabi provide tours to this area and allow for time to explore everything that the Tiger Cave Temple has to offer.
The first part of the Tiger Cave Temple is located on the ground level. The temple is situated within a plaza that has several other temples. One notable characteristic of this plaza is the number of wild monkeys. There are many wild monkeys roaming free, and there are several food stalls providing food for either yourself or to feed the monkeys.
The outside of the cave is decorated with large tiger statues, and the temple is designed in traditional Thai architecture. The interior of the cave is also open for sightseeing. The cave is named after the tiger that this cave originally belonged to. You will still be able to see tiger paw prints on both the walls and cave ground.
The actual Tiger Cave Temple is still home to monks who utilise it even today as a meditation centre. The cave is filled with many Buddha statues, artwork, and other symbolic objects to the Buddhist faith.
Tiger Cave Temple Stairs
The view at the top of the Tiger Cave Temple is a must see on your visit here but reaching to the top is actually part of the reason why it’s so enjoyable. There are a couple stairway options that lead to the Tiger Cave Temple but both have similar characteristics. The stairs are very steep and wind around with every flight since you are essentially climbing up a mountain. Most people do however make it up the stairs but for the average tourist, this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. Make sure you plan your time accordingly and take into account the resting platforms along the way.
If you’re daring enough, there is actually a world record competition for climbing to the top of the temple in the fastest time.
Tiger Cave Temple Peak
The second portion of the Tiger Cave Temple is its view point. This is one of the biggest attractions for tourists because of the breath-taking view. To reach this summit, you will first have to climb up over 1,200 stairs that will lead you to the top. There are two sets of staircases that both take you to the same point but both are as steep as the other. Luckily, there are many resting platforms along the way and stair markers to keep your place. You will also get amazing views from the resting platforms. Wild monkeys can be found the entire trip going up to the top.
Reaching the peak is an accomplishment in itself but that is only half of the enjoyment of the summit. At the top this mountain you will find a large, iconic Buddha statue. There are also several smaller statues and prayer points along the platform. One of the best parts about reaching the peak is the view that you will see. You will be able to see a panoramic view of Krabi and the surrounding landscapes. This view reveals everything from the rainforest that hosts this temple all the way to the sea.
Tiger Cave Temple Significance
The Tiger Cave Temple has been an important symbol of Buddhism in the Krabi province for Thailand. The temple was established on the basis of Buddhist practices such as meditation and maintenance of the temple grounds. You have the opportunity to experience a bit of the culture when you visit the Tiger Cave Temple.
The Tiger Cave Temple is an active temple for monks so you may witness some of the activities that occur within the temple. Meditation is a very prominent activity, and many monks meditate here throughout the day. The monks of the Tiger Cave Temple also teach lessons amongst each other.
The temple grounds are very sacred for religious reasons, and certain rules must be obeyed to get the full experience of the Tiger Cave Temple. One of the biggest rules is the dress code. It’s important to make a note of proper attire to enter the ground level cave temple or even to climb the stairs to the peak. The main thing to avoid is clothing that’s too revealing for both men and women. There are a few stands located nearby that let you rent various clothing and wraps in case you come unprepared.
Many tourists like to take part in some of the Buddhist rituals with the monks. They are very welcoming and pray for tourists who want their blessing. Donations are typically given in these situations.
The Tiger Cave Temple is filled with a variety of Buddha statues. The statues vary in materials, ranging from stone to jade to gold. These statues have been brought into the temple over the years to help create an ideal place of peace and worship for the monks who reside here.
The largest Buddha statue is the one found at the top of the peak, overlooking Krabi.
Kuan Yin Statue
The Buddha statues inside the Tiger Cave Temple and atop the peak are not the only notable statues seen here. There are many other buildings located at this plaza as well as other temples in the surrounding area. Each has their own independent significance to Thai culture.
Nearby the actual tiger temple is a large pagoda-style building which holds a very famous statue called Kuan Yin Statue. This statue is of a popular deity in Southeast Asia recognised as the Goddess of Compassion. This is one of the tallest standing Kuan Yin statues in all of Thailand. It is also one of the most decorated statues that you will find of the Goddess. She is a golden sculpture situated on top of a dragon and accompanied by two smaller children statues. Each piece of this display has religious purposes and attracts both followers and tourists to view it.
Tiger Cave Temple Plaza
The Tiger Cave Temple is a great representation of Buddhist influence on Thai architecture. All of the surrounding buildings follow a similar format and use just as other Buddhist temples in Thailand. The entire plaza is seen as a “campus” for the monks who live and worship at the Tiger Cave Temple.
You can see all notable features of a large temple while at Tiger Cave Temple. These buildings include the main temples, pagodas, chedis, etc. Each holds their own individual purposes. This area is continuously being developed, and one of the newest additions is the Chedi building.
A Chedi is a bell-shaped building often seen surrounding temples. This Chedi was recently completed and now available for visitors to explore. The Chedi has various statues outside as well as holding many Buddhist relics inside.
Tiger Cave Temple Tourism
The Tiger Cave Temple is a major meditation centre for monks in Krabi, but tourists are always welcome to explore the grounds at any time. The Tiger Cave Temple is always open and free to enter. The high peak overlooking the Krabi landscape makes it an amazing place to witness a sunrise or a sunset.
Photography and videography are welcome around the Tiger Cave Temple including inside the actual temples. This is typically rare for very religious sites so you should take advantage while here.
You will also find a couple of food vendors around the temple, mainly selling fruits and other stands that sell bananas to give to the wild monkeys.
Another shop can also be found within the main Tiger Cave Temple that’s catered to visitors. Inside you will find a small souvenir shop with various bracelets, amulets, and other Buddhist paraphernalia to remind you of your visit.
Tiger Cave Temple Tours
The Tiger Cave Temple’s location makes it perfect for discovering amazing tours to see it. The temple is located within a jungle so the trip to the temple could be just as exciting as the actual temple. There are several tour service providers around the Krabi province that will make the entire trip worthwhile. Many hotels around Krabi will provide shuttle services directly to the Tiger Cave Temple. Other providers make it a bit more interesting. You can even find ATV tours that allow you to ride through the jungle on an ATV with a guide en route to the temple.
Either way, you choose to explore the Tiger Cave Temple, it’s definitely a must-see destination in Krabi. It has a lot to offer when it comes to seeing a very popular Thailand cave that serves as a prominent Buddhist temple even today. The cave itself will reveal a lot of history in its walls and the Tiger legend behind it. The viewpoint from the mountain is also what brings a continuous flow of tourism to the temple. The Tiger Cave Temple will give you an overall experience like none other.
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!