Mae Rim and Its Natural Wonders

Friday, 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.

Mae Rim sightseeing

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.

places to see in Mae Rim

The other farms are Mae Rim Orchid, Suan Bua Mae Sa and Bai Orchid & Butterfly. These parks are most popular family friendly destinations.

Opening hours:

  • 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

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.

Mae Rim landscapeMon 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!

Mae Rim flora

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.

Promthep Cape – Best Sunsets in Thailand

Friday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin

Promthep Cape is the most South point of Phuket. The point is one of the most popular areas of Phuket and for this matter has an iconic status. Due to its location and southern facing views, it offers a picturesque view of the Andaman Sea.

Promthep Cape is also known as the ‘God’s Cape’ and ‘Laem Promthep’.
It is a rocky piece of land that sticks out into the Andaman sea. It has tall cliffs that shape the point of the most southern part of Phuket Island.

Tourist flock here year in and year out to capture some of the finest pictures of sunsets seen in Phuket. Not only do happy snappers come to Promthep Cape for the views, but you will find artists and nature lovers. All of them head to this spot just to soak in the presence of being at the end point of Phuket – the Pearl of the Andaman Sea. Many people believe that Promthep Cape is the best spot in the whole of Thailand for spectacular sunsets.

sightseeing in promthep cape

Promthep Cape – the viewing platform

On a very clear day, you will be able to see the far away Islands from Promthep Cape. Koh Racha Yai and Noi Islands and Phi Phi Islands can all be seen in the distance. It is best to climb up the lighthouse for these views although you can see them from the Cape as well.

The Andaman Sea is usually very calm on good days, and it’s rare to find fog disturbance. Tour boats and fishing boats are a common scene on the Andaman ocean. Due to the amount of Islands that surround Phuket.

How to get here

To get to Promthep Cape, you will either head from the west coast of Kata Beach, coming across the hills. Down through the Soi 7 area of Rawai, or you will be coming from Phuket town, heading from the east side of Rawai. Either way, you will pass Rawai Beach on the east side or Nah Harn on the West side. Promthep Cape is situated on a small hill at the very edge of the Island.

When you visit Promthep Cape, it is a matter of timing as to how busy it will be. During the day, you will see masses of people visiting the Cape. The car park becomes full of tour buses and cars. Peak time is from around 10 am until around 7 pm after the sunset. After the peak time, when all the tour buses have left you will find yourself in a magical place. It’s quietness compared to the daily entourage of tourists is astonishing.

Promthep Cape View

When the stars are out on a clear evening, Promthep Cape can be the perfect spot to star gaze and catch shooting stars. During the monsoon season, the Cape and surround sea can be very rough. It is great to head out to watch the large waves crashing into the side cliff walls of the Cape. The ocean can be very powerful here. The waves will give you an idea of how the Cape itself came to its shape after so many years.

If you are planning to drive up and park at Promthep, it can get quite overcrowded at certain times. Especially for entering and leaving. It is usually best to take a bike, as there is always space for bikes and even bicycles. You will also get there quicker rather than waiting behind a few buses on the busy days. Usually, the car park is pretty well organised, with suitable car spaces, bus lanes, and places to park your bike.

Promthep Cape from the Sea

Promthep Cape has the most fascinating sunset views in Phuket, if not in Thailand. You can come to the Cape from the ground and enjoy the view of the sea. A more sophisticated option is to go to the sea and be a part of the magical process when the Sun unites with the Sea.

Promthep Shrine and Lighthouse

From the car park, you will walk up a set of stairs to the actual viewpoint. Here you will find the main attraction, the Buddhist shrine and a lighthouse. The shrine, which is the Buddhists Altar, is surrounded by brass elephant statues and carvings which give the area a somewhat traditional atmosphere. Occasionally groups of monks can be spotted around the area although this isn’t too often.

Promthep Cape Shrine

This shrine sits upon the top of the Cape and is another focal point where tourists gather taking selfies and group pictures. As expected, there will probably be hundreds of tourists alike interacting in the area, the majority of them with their cameras out. If you haven’t guessed already it is a very camera friendly place.

The very edge of Promthep Cape

There is a small concrete wall that separates the pathway to the actual dirt path leading down to the Cape itself. If you are daring enough to venture to the end of the Cape, it is a rocky, somewhat slippy downhill walk and can be quite dangerous in certain weather conditions so just concentrate on your footing. It is not a very hard walk, only a few hundred metres to the very edge of the Cape. The walk is simply a declined dirt path, that can get slippery in the wet. Caution is always advised, especially on the cliff edges.

Promthep Cape Lighthouse

On your walk down you will see the Promthep Cape lighthouse that is roughly 200ft above sea level. Once on the dirt path near the bottom, you will have excellent all round views, and tends to have fewer people down at the bottom of the Cape as the majority stay at the top, just awaiting the sunset.

Known as Promthep lighthouse, but it is also known as Kanchanaphisek Lighthouse. It is a historical part of Promthep Cape. Back in the old days, history tells us that the lighthouse used to guide mariners sailing to Phuket from Malay. The lighthouse has a small nautical museum inside, full air conditioned and has some historical artefacts displayed. You can walk up the lighthouse. At the top of the lighthouse, you will find a balcony, which is ideal for some more views. On a clear day, you can even see the Islands of Phi Phi and other surrounding Islands. If you plan to visit the Cape, then it is a good idea to check out the lighthouse and all the other attractions for an all round experience.

Promthep Cape Lighthouse

At the lower part of the Cape, you can look back on the Island, or turn around and have the mass ocean beneath your feet. The walk back from the Cape to the concrete footpath can be fairly exhausting due to the nature of how the dirt path inclines and gradients. It’s downhill on the way to the end, and uphill on the way back. Guess it depends on your fitness level, but it is not too demanding for an average person.

Ya Nui Beach and Nai Harn Beach

To the west side of Promthep Cape, you will see Ya Nui Beach and Nai Han Beach. These two beaches are very beautiful. Nai Harn being the slightly bigger beach is one of the best in its location, if not the best. Nai Harn Beach is beautiful, with soft white sands stretching across the bay. On the east of Nai Harn, you will see the mountain side with some very exotic apartments and condos. These all face the top of Promthep Cape, and have ocean views.

Another hot spot for couples for a romantic getaway is Ya Nui Beach. It is located between Nai Harn and Promthep Cape is a smaller, hidden away beach. Again it is beautiful, a little rockier than that of Nai Harn, but with excellent snorkelling and usually fewer tourists.

Rawai Beach

To the right-hand side is Rawai Beach. Rawai beach is a long stretch of beach that can be seen at low tides. In high tides, the water usually ends up right up to the edge of the walls. Many boats and long tail boats usually dock here. Rawai Beach is another hot spot for tour vendors, offering good deals to head over to the neighbouring islands.

Promthep Cape Restaurant

Promthep has a lovely restaurant situated right next to Promthep Cape with fabulous views across the sea. Behind the actual Cape point, to the west, is Pra Prom area, and a few yards from there is Promthep Cape Restaurant. It faces the west side on the hill. You will have a wonderful overview of Nai Harn and Ya Nui beach which is some of the best beaches in Phuket itself. The scenic views on a good clear night are spectacular. The sunsets from the east, and comes down around the corner of the cliffs facing east of Nai Harn most nights. The site and view are both fantastic and romantic. Especially if you are here with your second half.

Seating for 200 people, with 30 tables spread across the restaurant. The seafood here is undeniably fantastic and super fresh! It is usually very busy during peak hours of lunch and dinner time so can sometimes be hard to get seating, especially in high season. You can expect to combine the best views in Phuket with some of the best seafood in Phuket at this restaurant. On top of that, the range of beverages will keep your tastes at bay, serving from some great beers to cocktails to match the tropical climate, and some delicious fruit shakes, and other tropical fruit juices. Pricing here is rather reasonable and standard for a restaurant that is aimed for tourists.

Things to do at Promthep Cape

Aside from heading down the actual Cape itself to the end point on the dirt path, there are quite a few things to do here. Have a blessing or make a prayer at the Elephant Shrine on top of the cape. The bigger Elephants are a symbol of more wealth, and the smaller ones for more prosperity and wishes. Visiting the lighthouse down on the Cape, taking a mini-tour of the museum situated in the lighthouse. Snapping photographs of the statue of Prince of JumBorn, son of King Rama V. Having an exotic seafood dining experience at the Promthep Restaurant, or just taking in nature itself.

Promthep Cape has some nice tourist shops situated opposite the car park set out in a row. You will find a mini mart, and a few souvenir shops, and some beach type shops. Quite a few of the shops sell a range of beach equipment (being near the beaches on both sides of the Cape, and some clothing. Local souvenir shops selling T-shirts, Promthep Cape branded hats, wallets, cups, literally all sorts.

Along the stretch that leads up to the carpark, there are many local street vendors. These vendors sell a range of street food. Primarily, finger food, and drinks consisting of fruit shakes, coconuts and Ice cream. Moreover,
there are also a couple of small tour outlets that offer excursions to the nearby locations. Places like Rawai beach to Banana Beach, Banana Island, Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi, and the Koh Phi Phi Islands. Be careful, usually those tours are over priced and you are much better of purchasing online.

places to see in promthep cape

All in all, Promthep Cape has a good variety of small shops all lined up together that you can explore and test out your haggling techniques.

Many bus tours circulate Phuket and will take you on tour around the coast of Phuket. Therefore, all of these bus tours will stop at some point at Promthep Cape.

Aside from the mentioned, it is a sightseeing destination, and you won’t find activities or accommodation on the Cape itself. The nearest towns Rawai, and Kata are very good for accommodation and activities, and a lot more.

Promthep is easily accessible so there is no need to head over on tour bus if you are close to the area. Tours usually are short, and if you are an artist and fancy drawing the magnificent landscape, then it’s definitely best to make your own way up to the Cape.

A sunny day or a stormy day, Promthep Cape can show what nature’s force is about. Just remember to take your umbrella. Being at the end of Phuket, at the top of a hill, you should not head down the Cape on the rocky paths if it’s rainy or windy. It can get very windy up there as there is no coverage from anything.

If you are looking for one of the best scenic views Phuket has to offer, then Promthep Cape without a doubt on a clear day is a must to visit.

Chiang Dao National Park – The Gem of Northern Thailand

Friday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin

Chiang Dao, a small town in the northern part of Chiang Mai. They call it the ‘City of Stars’. As the limestone peaks reach a height of 2,186 metres, people used to believe the highest point is at the same level of the stars. Chiang Dao is the third highest peak in Chiang Mai after Doi Inthanon and Doi Pha Hom Pok.

Visitors can indulge the lush green rainforest, exotic limestone caverns and numerous waterfalls across the jungle. The wildlife offers a perfect destination for people who enjoy bird watching and trekking.

Aside from the stunning nature, you can also enjoy the unique Thai culture in Chiang Dao, for example, interact with locals in the hill-tribe village, explore the traditional market or learn how to cook authentic Thai food while you are staying in the village.

The town is quite small, but people find it is very peaceful and relaxing. It is a perfect place if you want to have a short gateway from the busy metropolitan cities.

places to visit in Chiang Dao
by Andrea Schaffer

Trekking in Chiang Dao National Park

Chiang Dao National Park was declared as a wildlife sanctuary and is the biggest attraction in Chiang Dao district. The national park is 1,100 km square and located close to Myanmar border. Here deep in the Thai jungle, you can find a variety of tropical flora and fauna.

For trekkers, Chiang Mai is a very popular destination as it has many national parks with an untouched nature. Compared to other national parks around Chiang Mai, Chiang Dao is the people’s favourites. It offers a one-stop natural adventure from trekking, bird watching, caving, dipping in the hot springs and camping. A good fitness condition is a must to go trekking in Chiang Dao.

Overnight trekking is a very popular activity. This multiday activity can be for one, two or three days depending on your destinations and preferences. However, if you want to reach the top of the mountain, your best option is an overnight trip.

Chiang Dao national park

You can stay overnight at a hill-tribe village or a valley located halfway on your journey. Also, having the chance to enjoy the star horizons at night followed by watching a sunrise in the morning will perfectly complement your trekking experience. Throughout your journey exploring the Northern jungle, your guide will give you extensive information about the culture and wildlife of the area.

Explore the Chiang Dao Caves

Chiang Dao Caves are a must-visit site in Chiang Dao. It consists of over 100 caves, which are up to 12 kilometres far inside the mountain range. However, there are only five caves that are publicly open.

To get here, you can drive up north from Chiang Mai for an hour or book a guided tour from the city centre. The entrance fee is 40 Baht per person.

The five caves of Chiang Dao

The caves are filled with historical monuments, statues and Buddha images. Inside the cave, you will find many natural formations of limestone and crystal, as well as stalactites and stalagmites. The deeper you go, the more challenging it gets. Sometimes walking is not enough. At some point, you need to get down on your knees and crawl through small holes or climb in order to access large caverns. Nonetheless, you don’t need any caving experience as all the pathways are made specifically for visitors.

The five caves are namely:

  1. Tham Seua Dao
  2. Tham Phra Nawn
  3. Tham Maa
  4. Tham Naam
  5. Tham Kaew

Both Tham Seua Dao and Tham Phra Nawn have electric lights. Thus, it is easier to explore these caves on your own. The rest of the caves don’t have any lighting. Therefore, you need to rent a gas lantern to be able to see inside.The gas lantern costs 100 Baht per lantern.

To explore these caves, it might be a good idea to hire a guide who will provide direction and information about the history of the place. There is no fixed price to hire a cave guide. Usually, it is a tip depending on how much you liked the tour. It is considered rude to give less than 100 Baht as the tip. Inside the cave there are many deep unmarked holes, hence going alone is not a good idea.

Chiang Dao park

Due to the weather condition, e.g. in the rainy season, some areas of the caves get flooded with water. Therefore Thai authorities close the caves if the level of water is extremely high.

The Chiang Dao caves are not just natural landmarks. In North Thailand, caves are places of worship. Therefore, you need to wear an appropriate outfit. Hence, ladies who are wearing short clothes will be asked to pay a 20 baht donation to rent a sarong before entering the caves.

Visit the Karen Long Neck hill-tribe village

Chiang Dao has a lot more to offer than just stunning nature. If you walk further up from the caves, you will arrive at the Padung Village. This is where the Long Neck Karen ethnic hill-tribe lives.

places to visit in Chiang Dao

Long Neck Karen is a tribal group who are originally from Myanmar, a country besides Thailand. The tribe women can be easily recognised for their elongated necks. They wear brass rings around their necks, wrists and ankles. Long Neck Karen people believe that these rings protect them from tigers. Today, this tradition has become a unique identity of the Long Neck Karen Tribe and a symbol of beauty. The longer their neck, the more beautiful the women are.

park in Chiang Dao

The men in Long Neck Karen village mostly work as farmers whereas the women inherit handcrafting skills from their ancestors on wood carving and weaving.

Doi Luang Mountain Peak in Chiang Dao

Doi Chiang Doi is the third highest mountain peak in Thailand. Located in Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve area in Chiang Dao district, the mountain lies at 2,195 metres from sea level. Walking away from the heat of the tropical weather, you will find it’s cool and windy once you reach the summit. Many rare highland flowers and birds and butterflies fly around making the view from the peak an unforgettable experience.

A small note for those who would like to visit the peak. The trip must be arranged at least two weeks in advance. Since it requires an approval letter from Director of Wildlife Reserve Division and the Royal Forest Department.

You can acquire it by getting it touch with them directly:

Wildlife Conservation Office Phone number is 0899 5514 17 and the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plat Conservation phone number is 02 561 4832.

To reach the peak, you need to walk from the starting point of the trail. In case you need guides, porters or transfers to this point, there are plenty of operators ready to help you at the Chiang Dao cave. A porter costs around 300 Baht per person.

national park of Chiang Dao

Since there are no facilities on Chiang Dao Mountain, you must bring your own equipment with you including sleeping bags, tent, food and water. The trails are quite challenging. However, there are some easier routs on the mountain that locals know of. In this case, hiring a guide might be a brilliant idea to get a safe and enjoyable experience trekking to Doi Luang Chiang Dao.

Temples hopping

Temple hoping is another popular activity you can do in Chiang Doa as a tour or a day trip. There are two temples you must visit when you come to Chiang Dao.

Wat Tham Pha Plong

Tham Pha Plong ss a temple with over 500 steps to the top. The temple is based in a small cave surrounded by the jungle halfway to the mountain top. Once you arrive, a steep naga stairways welcome you followed by the hundred steps to the top.

After climbing, you will reach the cave. Here you will find many photos of Luang Poo and images of Buddha. Luang Poo is a respectful Buddhist who had significant influence in Buddhism in Thailand. The temple was built to honour Luang Poo a few months before his death. It represents Luang Poo contribution the Buddhism and expression how grateful his followers are.

best places to see in Chiang Dao
by Andrea Schaffer

The location makes it a perfect place to do meditation. You can even arrange an overnight stay at this temple and experience the life a monk. The monks speak good English, and you will get to know their unique life.

Wat Mae Kaet Noi

Mae Kaet Noi is a bizarre temple nearby the caves. Like in most Thai temples, it’s a magical worship place with beautiful architecture. However, this temple has a very unusual surroundings and view.

Here, you will see many sculptures that represent the story of bad Buddhist who fail to follow the rule and break the rules in the afterlife. These sculptures main goal is to scare young Buddhist and show them that the bad behaviours can lead to the terrible consequences. There are many creepy statues in the park e.g. picturing naked women or men being punished by demons. In general, it represents bad habits, as well as inappropriate activities common in the modern day Thai society like stealing, free sex, intoxication, lying and murder.

Wat Mae Kaet Noi

It took five years to build the park. Young Buddhists often lose their sleep over the terrible scenes the status display. The good news is that apart from the creepy park, you will see the incredible view of Doi Chiang Dao.

Flow through Mae Taeng River

Mae Taeng River flows through several districts in Northern Thailand, which are Chiang Dao and Mae Taeng Districts. The river streams through valleys and canyons, which go to the Chao Praya, then end up in the Gulf of Thailand.

Depending on which part of the river you are at, you can either get an adrenaline rush with white water rafting through the strong stream or explore the jungle on a bamboo raft or kayak.

sightseeing in Chiang Dao

The water flows depend on the season. On July to September, when the rainy season comes, the stream is very strong. While from October to March the water intensity is pretty low.

Tuesday Morning Market

Chiang Dao is indeed famous for its nature, but you can also find some authentic Thai activities here.

If you happen to stay at Chiang Dao at the right time, don’t miss this Tuesday Morning Market. It is located just off the main route of 107 within a half a kilometre drive. You can find relatively cheap merchandises here ranging from Thai clothing and accessories, snacks and cold beverages and, of course, the handmade goods from the local hill tribes. Locals usually go here to buy food, household, healthcare supplies and kitchen equipment.

Pha Daeng National Park

Pha Daeng National Park is another national park in Chiang Dao district. The location is quite remote and compared to other parks. Pha Daeng is less commercial than other parks in the area. The entrance fee for this national park is 100 baht, and you can enjoy the national park, waterfall and hot springs.

Sri Sangwan Waterfall

The waterfall is the main attraction of this national park. The perk of this site is that only a few people usually visit this park. The peaceful setting and turquoise pools create a picturesque scene. The water falls from 50 metres above. Also, you can enjoy dipping into the water to cool off.

visiting Chiang Dao
by SamD’Cruz

Pong Arng Hot Springs

This hot spring is a great place for a “hot bath”. The hot springs are peaceful even during the bank holidays and weekends. There are two crystal clear hot pools and the temperature in the pools is similar to the temperature in a steam bath. Which most people find very relaxing.

Best time to visit Chiang Dao

Thailand has an amazing tropical weather all year long, however, if you are looking for a nature trek you might want to make sure you come at the right time.

Compared to Bangkok, the weather in Chiang Dao is relatively cool and more agreeable. Here, there are three seasons: cool, hot and rainy. Hot season sounds terrific, but you might want to go in the cool weather instead.

Cool season happens between December to February when the weather is cool during the day and even a bit chilly in the evening. This is the perfect time to explore the nature and enjoy the perfect heat.

Unless you love tropical heat, try to avoid visiting around April to June. At daytime, the temperature can reach 40 degrees Celsius.

Another season you should avoid is the rainy season, which usually comes from May to November. Exploring the jungle in a very hot or rainy day might be dangerous.

Complete Guide to Chiang Mai Old City

Friday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin

Chiang Mai is the second biggest city in Thailand. Chiang Mai means ‘new city’ and it was named after its discovery. The city was found in an older city of Wiang Nopburi. Chiang Mai is a perfect gateway to relax and escape from the hassle and bustle of Bangkok and big cities. It was used to be the centre of the Lanna Kingdom in the past. Nowadays, it is a popular city for backpackers and travellers.

Chiang Mai is an exotic place and it is very cultural and you will feel that straight upon arrival.

places to see in Chiang Mai Old City

If you happen to look at Chiang Mai’s map, you will see that the city centre lies on the square area called Chiang Mai Old City, since the area is small you can explore it by foot or bicycle.

Chiang Mai Old City points of interest

Chiang Mai Old City is one of the top places of interests for tourists. It is approximately 1.5km square. Centuries ago, the old city was surrounded by walls and moats to protect it from its nearby enemies. Thus, it was an exotic and peaceful centre for Buddhism, merchants, soldier and elephants.

There are many parts of the original city that are left untouched and you can feel the breeze of the exotic past, as you walk through the original city brick walls. Chiang Mai old town is the heart of the city where many activities take place.

Sightseeing at the Chiang Mai old city

Visiting an old city is always fun and it brings you to another dimension. Since, you can enjoy the history, culture and admire the beauty of it the old Thailand.

Thapae Gate

There are four gates to enter the Chiang Mai old city, one gate per each side of the walls. The main gate is Thapae Gate which is on the eastern shore facing the Ping River. If you want to do a Chiang Mai old city walking tour, this will be your starting point. The gate was refurbished in the 1980s to its original shape, nonetheless, once you enter the gate you will feel transformed in time. You can enjoy great food, ancient temples and meet many Buddhist monks.

Chiang Mai Old City sightseeing

On a daily basis, you have the chance to see and join (if you wish) locals doing aerobics and morning workouts.

Sunday Walking Street

If you walk straight from this gate, you will find yourself on the famous Sunday Walking Street. Every evening, from 4 pm until midnight you can find many interesting things here. There are various food stalls, merchants who sell souvenirs, clothes, jewellery and sculpture. Hence, it’s the place where Northern Thai people showcase their handicraft and art.

Chiang Mai Old City markets

Remember: bargain, bargain and bargain.

There will also be a bunch of street entertainers performing for visitors the whole night long. During the Sunday Market, Ratchadamnoen Road is closed for traffic. Thus visitors can enjoy the market without needing to worry about the passing traffic. Visiting a market in Thailand is a must so don’t miss this one.

On your way back home, don’t forget to take a peek of the beautiful Wat Chedi Luang and its pretty night lights.

Lanna Folklife Museum

Not far from the main gate, on your left-hand side, you will find the Lanna Folklife Museum. The white colonial style museum filled with Lanna village life recreation in a series of life-size dioramas explaining the symbols, traditions and Lanna people habits. This museum is a good starting point if you want to do the Chiang Mai City Tour on your own. The museum costs 40 THB for children and 90 THB for adults. It’s not expensive, nonetheless, if you are interested in visiting the other museums in the area, you might want to check the combo ticket prices to save money.

Three Kings Monument

Just right in the centre of the Chiang Mai Old City, there is a monument of three founding kinds of Chiang Mai. Namely: King Mengria, who found Chiang Mai, King Ramkamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Payao. Therefore, the monuments name is the Three Kings Monument – very self-explanatory. According to the history, these are the three kings who constructed and built the Northern Thai city in the 13th century. The sculpture is an iconic image representing the city of Chiang Mai, thus around the city, you can easily spot this monument reproduced in different forms and places.

Chiang Mai City Art and Cultural Centre

Just around the corner from the monument, you can see the Chiang Mai City Art and Cultural Centre. The museum is an excellent start if you want to learn more about Chiang Mai and its history. The Royal Association of Siamese Architects gave this museum an award in 1999 for its architectural design. It exhibits the cities development and growth and explains how Chiang Mai turned into the modern city. Here you will o find historical and cultural artefacts from the early Lanna Villages.

Usually, the exhibitions include photos, maps, old artefacts and interactive audiovisual displays that make this museum very interesting to visit. The ticket price is 180 THB. This price includes accesses to Arts and Cultural Centre, Historical Centre (just beside the art and cultural museum) and Lanna Folklife Museum.

Walking straight from the main gate leads you to the West gate, called Suan Dok Gate.

Website: http://www.cmocity.com/

Sompet Market

If you walk north along the moat, you will soon find Sompet Market just on the corner of the street. Here you can find many food stalls. Many of them sell fruits and vegetables fresh from the Thai farms. If you are seeking an authentic Thai market, this is a must-visit place for you. Not far from the fresh food, you will find a broad range of Thai snacks, hot dishes and healthy smoothies. Follow the moat and you will soon arrive at the north gate: Chiang Puerk Gate.

Saturday Market or Wualai Walking Street Market

At the south gate (Chiang Mai Gate) you will find Wualai Walking Street Market (Saturday Market). Located at Wulai Rd, you will spot several traditional silver workshops while visiting the market. Don’t be surprised; Wulai Rd is the old silver-making district of Chiang Mai. Similar to the Sunday Market, here you can find merchandise like handcrafted ornaments and statues. And of course, food stalls. The size is smaller than the Sunday Market, but the fun is no different. It starts around 4.30 pm and finishes at 10 pm.

Chiang Mai Old City stores

Chiang Mai Temples (Wat in Thai)

Buddhists actively use the temples, as they remain important centres of worship. There are over 200 temples in Chiang Mai. Particularly in Chiang Mai Old City, you can find three main temples that are considered the most important religious centres of Northern Thailand. The distance between these temples is very short, and you will be able to visit all of them in a day.

Wat Chedi Luang

This temple is unique. It was build to store the ashes of King Saen Muang Ma’s father. The temple has an incredible architectural feature, which is a magnificent Naga staircase on the entrance of the chapel. Once, it was a home to the most important religious object of the country, the Emerald Buddha, which has now been relocated to Grand Palace in Bangkok. Wat Chedi Luang was once destroyed due to a natural disaster then refurbished in the 1990s by the UNESCO. However, visitors can still see the original brick Wat. There is an ancient Dipterocarp tree around the Wat. Legend says that the tree and its spirit protect Chiang Mai from evil and disaster.

Wat Chiang Man

This wat is the oldest temple in Chiang Mai and it has the oldest Buddha statue in Chiang Mai inside the temple. It purely reflects Lanna architectural styles. Additionally, the annual rain festival is held here every year on April 1st, where locals pray to God during a religious ceremony. The famous two Buddhas in this temple are Phra Sae Tang Khamani, the White Emerald Buddha, and the marble Phra Sila Buddha. However, only certain people can access the Buddha chamber.

cool places in Chiang Mai Old City

Wat Phra Singh

The rough translation is ‘Temple of the Lion Buddha’. This Wat is known as the study centre for young monks. The name was inspired by the unique lion style statue, therefore you will find many smaller lion statues surrounding the temple. as well as the main grand statue. In this temple, there is an old small library that has a unique stone base to protect valuable items from flooding. The temple hosts many traditional Thai festivals throughout the year.

Things to do in Chiang Mai Old City

Chiang Mai Old City is very popular for its amazing museums and markets, but it also offers many types of authentic Thai activities you can do when you visit here.

Ride the Tuk Tuk

Tuk-tuk is a small three-wheeled traditional vehicle in Chiang Mai. Exploring the old town by tuk-tuk gives you more fun experience in enjoying the real Thailand. It costs around 150 – 250 THB per day depending on what you want to explore. It’s also a complete life saver if your feet are a little tired.

daily life in Chiang Mai Old City

Get a massage

After a long walk and a day trip, why don’t you indulge yourself in a massage session in the old town of Chiang Mai? As you walk down the Chiang Mai old city, you come across many massage parlours that offer a variety of massage packages. Usually 1-hour massage costs around 150 – 250 THB depending on the place and the package you choose.

Learn to cook traditional Thai dishes

If you are a real food junky, treat yourself and learn how to cook authentic Thai dishes. There is a few cooking school inside the Chiang Mai Old City to choose from.

Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre

Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre was the first cooking school ever opened in Chiang Mai. You can find it just a bit outside Chiang Mai old city. In this school, you can select the dishes you want to learn out of the choice of 78 dished in the menu. Moreover, with every cooking class from this school, you will also get a Thai food market tour. The workshop will teach you how to select the right ingredients for your cooking. Once you get home, you can showcase your new ability to your friends and family. Without the doubt, your Thai cooking skills will be quite impressive.

Taste from Heaven Vegetarian Cookery  School

This restaurant and cookery school only specialises in Thai vegetarian dishes. The restaurant opened in 2014, and the cooking school started operating in 2016. Phayungchit Khidhen (Nan) is the owner, founder and the teacher in Taste from Heaven. Nan worked in many high-end restaurants in both Thailand and Australia and created menus for both restaurants and cooking schools. Nan will teach you many vegan and vegetarian recipes based on your personal taste.

best areas of Chiang Mai Old City

Have a chat with Buddhist Monks and help him learn English

Many temples across the country offer a unique experience for tourists to have a conversation with Buddhist Monks.

The programme specialises in improving monks’ English skills, while visitors get to learn more about culture, belief and lifestyle of Buddhist monks. Usually, the session lasts for 2-3 hours.

Inside the old town, you can meet and join a Monk Chat at Wat Chedi Luang. Typically, there are 6-7 tables with around 50 young monks who are waiting to talk. The chat hours are between 9 am to 6 pm daily.

Chiang Mai Sightseeing Tours

All in all, you can either organise a DIY tour or book a group/ private tour guide, by doing so you will add more flexibility to your trip. Additionally, you can follow the list above and explore the old town by yourself.

Chiang Mai city tour is something you should look up if you would like to explore the city with the guide. Sightseeing tours provide you with great insight on the cities daily life, hence some people find them more convenient. Especially, if you would like to sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty of the city.

The tours range from a couple of hours, half-day to full day tours. Many tours include Chiang Mai City Tour, which covers the whole Chiang Mai city beyond the old town.

Private Chiang Mai city tour

Provider: Sightseeing Chiang Mai

Website: http://whtseeingchiangmai.com/

This provider offers a private half-day Chiang Mai city tour and the primary activity is sightseeing both inside and outside the old town. Therefore you will visit all of the most important wats including Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Chiang Mun and Wat Ched Yod. The trip includes hotel transfers, English-speaking guide and admission fees. What can be nicer than having someone explaining and organising your trip?

Chiang Mai city walk

Provider: Bonvoyage Thailand

Website: http://www.bonvoyagethailand.com

Enjoy a walking tour of the old city. You will experience using the local transportation and enjoy every inch of the city by walking. This tour guides you to the biggest and oldest local street, historical temples and community areas where you can try some authentic Chiang Mai street food.

Cycle through the old town

Provider: Grasshopper Adventures

Website: http://www.grasshopperdventures.com/

Enjoy the old city of Chiang Mai by cycling. Grasshopper Adventures bring a new, different experience for visitors to explore the city through the small lanes inside the walls of Chiang Mai. Cycling in a low speed, you will learn bit by bit the history and culture of Chiang Mai.

Explore the fantastic street food

Provider: Chiang Mai Food Tours

Website: http://www.chiangmaifoodtours.com/

Calling all food lovers! Chiang Mai Old City has many markets and therefore food is something that is always there. Chiang Mai Food Tours offer you a food tour guide and make sure you get the most authentic and delicious food in Chiang Mai. Besides that, you can taste the rich culture of Chiang Mai through the traditional Thai food.

Compared to other cities in Thailand, Chiang Mai offers a truly unique experience. Its rich culture and kindness of Northern Thai people make your trip here unforgettable. One of the oldest towns in Thailand which used to be just 1,5 square kilometres in size, today, Chiang Mai is not merely the small square block you might see on the map. All in all, there are many things to see in the exotic city of Chiang Mai and you can start from the old city and continue beyond the city walls.

Bangla Road – Epicentre of Phuket Nightlife

Friday, January 22, 2016 Uncategorised by admin

Bangla Road, Patong, in Phuket is notoriously named for its very energetic and lively nightlife. Bangla Road is a must visit if you head to Phuket. The nightlife is at the top of its game. It is literally packed with a ridiculous amount of bars, go-go bars, girly bars, ex-pat bars, where drinks, women and music are the standard. Bangla Road is quite simply the sex capital of Phuket. If you are a single guy, then the night will no doubt be very entertaining whatever you choose to do.

As soon as the sun starts to set, Bangla Road closes off the traffic. The neon lights and bars start to become lively. The women and ladyboys start to head out and fill the road up. The music from all the bars starts to intertwine with each other. It becomes noisy, fun and energetic.

There are many side roads (called Soi’s in Thai) that lead off from Bangla Road. Here you will find even more bars, and mini clubs packed with girls and lady boys. Some of the best Soi’s to visit are Soi Easy, Soi Gonzo, Son Eric, Soi Crocodile and Soi Seadragon. Soi Seadragon is probably to the most popular road off Bangla Road, with a reputation for the best go-go bars (go-go bars are girly bars).

Bangla Road in itself is an experience to be had. It’s like heading into some kind of fantasy zone. In most other countries, they wouldn’t dare have a place like this. But it’s not a bad thing. It’s just very eye opening. The vibe is lively, and violence is not tolerated. Of course, you will get the odd person who has drunk too much, or who is too loud. But in general, it’s a safe area for what it is.

bangla road nightlife

Police are reasonable who patrol the road at night. You will see them in the grey or brown uniforms. Some are very friendly and helpful. They are just there to make sure things don’t get out of hand. Probably because you don’t get big bouncer type guys at the doors, so need some kind of authority.

Hosts and promoters do fill the street, always trying to grab your attention to come into their club. It is great but can get frustrating at times. This is all part the nature of Bangla Road. You can haggle with them, especially if you are in a larger group. The promotions they offer can sometimes include a free drink, a free shot, a free dance. It’s good to check out a mixture of places, everywhere has women, so that is not a short.

If you want to experience the best of Bangla Road in one night, it’s better to have a local guide with you. There are also bar crawls organised by nightlife professionals who will take you to the best spots and reveal the secrets of Phuket nightlife.

Patong, Bangla Road Drinks and Bar Girls

The drinks in Bangla Road are very reasonably priced in most cases. For a beer you would be looking about 60 – 80 baht. That is just over a $2. Cocktails and whisky can be around 150-180 baht ($5ish). If you do head out to meet women, then be prepared to buy them drinks. Especially if you are talking with a bar girl.

Bar girls here know the game, they are paid to make money for the premises they work in. Making money means bringing in punters to buy drinks. The cost of a drink for a bar girl is usually a bit more than average. When you look at the receipt, you will notice in some establishments – bar girl 30% on top of drink price. If you plan to take a bar girl home, then you will have to pay the bar a fee.

bagla road bars

This varies from bar to bar, but usually between 300 – 1000 baht. Of course, this depends on how busy the bar is, high and low season, and so forth. The bar fine doesn’t include what you would pay the girl to spend the night with you. That can be discussed between you and the lady.

All this may all come across seedy to some, but it’s just normal when you are in Patong. Even more normal when you are drunk and roaming the streets of Bangla Road, Patong.

You can not compare Phuket Bangla Road to somewhere like London, or New York. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen so openly.

Bangla Road Ladyboys

The ladyboys who work on Bangla Road, some are absolutely stunning. When you have had a few drinks, it is very hard to tell them apart from the real girls around. Some look much prettier than normal girls.

bagla road parties

Thailand has some of the best cosmetics in the world, and obviously, this shows just by looking at some of the ladyboys. Beware, it’s not a good idea to cross a ladyboy, they can get very angry. Just keep your wits about you at all times.

Bangla Road is not only bar girls and ladyboys in the bars, but you will get independent girls just trailing the streets. This can be looked at like prostitution if you look at it that way. But when you are in a world like Bangla Road, you are far away from anything you have experienced before on a night out. People do not judge here; it’s an open place to be free. In some ways, that’s what makes the vibe of Bangla Road so appealing.

Yes, you will see older guys with younger girls, this again can be a bit off-putting if you are not used to the setting. In reality, many younger women who work the bars prefer the older guys. The reason being that they would already have a decent backup regarding money. The older guys can be more stable, and can somewhat support the girl. Many Thai bar girls or independent girls look for this in a man.

Bangla Road Street Activities

Bangla Road has some great games based and set upon the street. Challenge yourself with hanging on the bar for more than 2 minutes, and you win a whole bottle of whisky. Can you do this for 3 minutes? Then you get two bottles of whisky. Games are great and fun to play with friends challenging each other, when sober or intoxicated. They are fairly cheap too, costing around 50-100 baht ($2 -$4). A small tip, the bar rotates if you try to reposition yourself 🙂

bagla road party life

The street shows are also a great site, with some fantastic performers performing all sorts from fire-spitting, to magic tricks. Street performers usually show up when the road is starting to get busy. Around the 7/8pm mark, and stay throughout the night. If you start this early and plan to stay the duration, then you have one hell of a long night ahead of you.

Walking through Bangla Road you will undoubtedly come across Ping-Pong shows, and touts are trying to lure you in. Ping-Pong show is very popular for the tourist. It’s something you wouldn’t see elsewhere in the world. To put it simply, it is a show consisting of a woman using items in a dramatic way with her private parts. Yes, it does sound weird and it is, but it’s an experience you won’t forget. Usually, you don’t have to pay to watch the performance, but the catch is, you buy drinks during the show. And the drinks in the Ping-pong shows can be quite expensive.

Bangla Road Virtual Reality

A new thing in Bangla Road that you will see if you head there now is the Virtual Reality machine. This is hilarious to watch, and it is a must see. If you walk past someone having a go, just spend a few moments to watch their experience. It’s even more laughable when they are quite drunk.

Bangla Road Live Music

Aside from the bars, there are some very good live music bars on the road. Playing music throughout the night. Rock, heavy metal, djing, and lots more. A lot of the bands are local Thai. But saying that you do get some big named Asian bands that head there to headline sometimes.

If you are a musician, you can also join in and play on stage. This has happened many times on visits to Bangla Road. If you know how to play the drums, for instance, you can let the band know you want a go. This just adds to the fun and the vibe of the place. You will get a free drink or so at the end of your performance.

bagla road concerts

The most well known live music venue in Bangla Road would be New York Live Music Bar. New York Live Music Bar is renowned for the quality of the bands playing here. This is also one of the only places that are actually free of bar girls. Molley Malones is another great live music bar located near McDonald’s on Bangla Road. You will find mainly acoustic laid back music in here to chill to. If Heavy Metal is your kind of music, then head over to Rock City. Great live Metal bands Fridays and Saturdays.

Bangla Road Nightclubs

Bangla Road is also home to some of the best nightclubs in Phuket, Illuzion and Seduction. It doesn’t matter what time you head out to Bangla Road, be it 3-4 am in the morning, it will still be packed. These nightclubs are awesome, with some very loud music and great lighting systems.
Illuzion, for example, becomes extremely busy at certain times of the night, and it can be hard to get a drink.

The bar area crams up, and to avoid this, it is best to get the attention of one of the walking shot girls. These girls provide shots on the spot, tequila, Jager bombs, sambuca, etc. You will spot them carrying around these bottles, and wearing clubby outfits. These shots range from 150-200 baht ($4-$6), but it is very convenient for a top up.

You will find plenty of girls in here, many of whom come on a night out with friends, or bar girls who have finished working. The prices for drinks vary, beer being the cheapest about 100 baht ($4). Shots, whisky, and cocktails can become quite expensive in comparison.

The nightclubs are a hotspot for ladyboys too. This could be for many reasons. Perhaps to catch drunk guys who literally can not tell as they have their beer goggles on. Ladyboys can be very smart and deceiving, but in general, they are genuinely nice people.

There are other nightclubs around, slightly smaller Tiger Disco, and Lepas Place. But to be fair, if you just want to dance the night away, you don’t have to go to a nightclub. There are plenty of bars and underground bars you can find on Bangla Road.

Another good place to visit is the Ice Bar, which is located at the beginning of the southern end of Bangla Road. It is small inside, and very cold. Jackets are provided. But being in the tropical climate of Phuket, it is sometimes nice to head into a very cold place, even if it’s just for one drink. You come out feeling very refreshed.

Bangla Road Experience

The crowds on Bangla Road are good, and not rowdy. You can easily head out there on your own and mingle in with the people and the girls… Or even perhaps a ladyboy if that is your thing. No one cares, it’s a good feeling to do what you want, but always be respectful. If you respect others, they will respect you.

There are so many places to visit on this road, and you will not visit half of them in a night, let alone a weekend or even a week!

Although Bangla Road has this aroma and sex vibe about it, it is in fact a brilliant night out! It’s not for someone who doesn’t have an open mind and is too conservative or judgmental. Bangla Road Phuket is, without a doubt, the most absurd place you can visit during the night. To enjoy this place, you need to shut off some thoughts and just go with the flow. Everyone is human, and everyone is up for a good time, that is why they are here!