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By: FZ AZ

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Wednesday, 2-Sep-2009 11:16 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Maesa Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai

 
 
 
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In the lush tropical jungle of Chiang Mai's Maesa Valley , a big family of elephants lives side by side with their mahout caretakers. "Maesa Elephant Camp" is home to one of the largest assembly of elephants in the north of Thailand .
Our philosophy is to create a natural and healthy environment for the elephants while working to conserve and breed them,due to the dwindling number of Asian elephants left in the wild
Maesa Elephant Camp created a painting by a group of the eight artist elephants which became of interest on the world stage when the Ripley's Believe It Or Not and the Guinness World Records acknowledged this special painting as “the Largest Painting by a Group of Elephants” and “the Most Expensive Painting by A Group of Elephants” respectively.

Ripley's Believe It Or NoT | Guinness World Record
Ripley's Believe It Or Not (Thailand) awarded its coveted prize to Maesa Elephant Camp for its 2.40 metres wide and12 metres long painting entitled “Cold Wind, Swirling Mist, Charming Lanna ” and created by a group of eight elephant artists, as “the Largest Painting by A Group of Elephants” on December 13, 2004. The award was given to the camp on the day it staged the painting rehearsal for the Guinness World Records shooting that took place on February 19, 2005

At the rehearsal, the eight elephants - Kongkum, Wanpen, Kamsan, Lankam, Duanpen, Songpun, Punpetch and Pu Ood - spent six hours creating the painting which combines eight panels each created by a different elephant. Only non-toxic acrylic was used in the painting and the elephants took a short break of 15 - 20 minutes every hour to have some food and water and take a rest
http://www.maesaelephantcamp.com/records.html

http://www.maesaelephantcamp.com/ourcamp.html


Sunday, 30-Aug-2009 05:28 Email | Share | | Bookmark
A Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai

 
 
 
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Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Thai: วัดพระธาตุดอยสุเทพ) is a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. The temple is often referred to as "Doi Suthep" although this is actually the name of the mountain it is located on. The temple is located 15 km from the city of Chiang Mai and is a sacred site to many Thai people. From the temple impressive views of Chiang Mai can be seen and it remains a popular destination of foreign visitors.
History
The original founding of the temple remains a legend and there are a few varied versions. The temple is said to have been founded in 1383 when the first chedi was built. Over time the temple has expanded, and been made to look more extravagant with many more holy shrines added. A road to the temple was first built in 1935

White Elephant Legend
According to legend, a monk named Sumanathera from Sukhothai had a dream; in this dream god told him to go to Pang Cha and look for a relic. Sumanathera ventured to Pang Cha and is said to have found a bone, which many claim was Buddha's shoulder bone. The relic displayed magical powers; it glowed, it was able to vanish, it could move itself and replicate itself. Sumanathera took the relic to King Dharmmaraja who ruled the Sukhothai.

The eager Dharmmaraja made offerings and hosted a ceremony when Sumanathera arrived. However the relic displayed no abnormal characteristics, and the king, doubtful of the relic's authenticity, told Sumanathera to keep it.

However, King Nu Naone of the Lanna Kingdom heard of the relic and offered the monk to take it to him instead. In 1368 with Dharmmaraja's permission, Sumanathera took the relic to what is now Lamphun, in northern Thailand. The relic apparently split in two, one piece was the same size, the other was smaller than the original. The smaller piece of the relic was enshrined at a temple in Suandok. The other piece was placed by the King on the back of a white elephant which was released in the jungle. The elephant is said to have climbed up Doi Suthep, at the time called Doi Aoy Chang (Sugar Elephant Mountain), trumpeted three times before dying at the site. It was interpreted as a sign and King Nu Naone ordered the construction of a temple at the site
Wat Doi Suthep
The wat can be reached by road from Chiang Mai. From the car park, at the temple base visitors can climb 309 steps for free to reach the pagodas or there is a tram. Entry to the temple on the tram costs 30 Thai baht for foreigners (or 50 baht if you would like a two-way tram ticket included)and is free for Thai nationals.

Once inside the temple grounds; visitors must take off their shoes. Visitors must be appropriately dressed. The original copper plated chedi is the most holy area of the temple grounds. Within the site are pagodas, statues, bells and shrines. Aspects of the Wat draw from both Buddhism and Hinduism. There is a model of the Emerald Buddha and a statue of the Hindu God Ganesh. Views of Chiang Mai can be seen on the other side of the temple.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phrathat_Doi_Suthep


Thursday, 20-Aug-2009 10:56 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Night market / Chiang mai

 
 
 
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Chiang Mai has great shopping and an internationally renowned night bazaar. There are also vendor booths that line other streets after dark, selling all types of merchandise including antiques, silks, silver, art, electronics, and knock-off and copycat merchandise, such as watches, handbags, and designer label clothing, all at very negotiable prices



Saturday, 15-Aug-2009 07:18 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Leaving Samui> Destination CHIANG MAI In the North of Thailand

early in the morning at 5 o clock
Samui Port
 
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Surat Thani Province (often in short Surat, Thai: สุราษฎร์ธานี) is the largest of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand, on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Surat Thani means City of Good People, the title given to the city by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI). Surat Thani is a gateway to the islands of Thailand's eastern coast: Ko Samui, Ko Tao (great for scuba diving), and Ko Pha Ngan and also the natural beauty of 6 National Park
Surat Thani Airport(URT) (IATA: URT | ICAO: VTSB) is about 20 km west of the city in Phunphin district. Thai Airways international ,Thai Air Asia and One-Two-Go Airlinesoperate daily flights to/from Don Mueang International Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok. And connect by bus or car rent (buy ticket and rent in the airport) to the main town. Phantip Travel have bus service connecting all flights to airport from Surathani city. Phantip travel (Tel. 077-421-121) is located on Thanon Taladmai. Price one way is 100bath for foreigner.
http://wikitravel.org/en/Surat_Thani

Danger in paradise >>> http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2006/apr/08/travelnews.weekendmagazine


Wednesday, 12-Aug-2009 15:13 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Around Ko Samui Island

 
 
 
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The major reason why people come to Samui is, quite simply, to enjoy the beaches. Even though the two main beaches of Chaweng and Lamai have generally suffered due to mass development over the past decade they are still relatively impressive. Development has been thwarted slightly because of the island’s regulation governing height restriction.

Other than lying on the beach with a cold beer in hand and ogling at the babes and hunks sauntering past, there isn't all that much to see on the island. A certain pair of rocks on Lamai amuses some visitors, Bang Rak has a large but nondescript Buddha statue, and there are some waterfalls (notably Na Muang) of minor interest.

Chaweng Beach is the major beach on Ko Samui and one that has developed tremendously since the early 1990s. Just 20 years ago the beach was home to just a sprinkle of wooden bungalows but now the place is swamped with 4-5 star hotels, Italian pizza joints, Irish pubs and even go-go bars. Samui’s nightlife is becoming legendary but unfortunately not always attracting the best standard of tourist. Chaweng’s once ‘hippy’ only backpackers have given way to a lot of ‘lager louts’. Chaweng is the place to be if you are looking for a rowdy reckless party scene.

Lamai Beach Like Chaweng, Lamai has transformed from a ‘hippy’ hangout into a fun, party place packed out with bars and exciting nightlife. The beach though, is still in better condition than Chaweng and the place doesn’t get quite so crowded. If it’s a quiet relaxing location you are after, then Lamai won’t be the ideal place for you. At the southern end of Lamai, there are some odd-looking rock formations.

Maenam Beach This quite beach, located in the north of the island is decent enough for swimming and sunbathing especially for families with children due to the shallow water.

Bophut Beach situated in the north of the island, is a popular starting point for diving tours. The place isn’t in any way as developed as Chaweng but there are still plenty of restaurants, shops and bars.

Choengmon Beach is in the North-East of Samui just 10 minutes from Chaweng. Unlike the latter it is a perfect place for relaxing.

Big Buddha Beach Located in the north-east of Samui, Big Buddha offers visitors good swimming and lovely views. The area has developed a lot over the past few years and there are now a plentitude of restaurants, shops and bars.

Na Thon - The island's major seafront settlement where shops, restaurants and tour agencies are concentrated.

Namtok Hin Lat – This waterfall is easily accessible by car. Some of the numerous tiny levels have a large basin for swimmers.

Namtok Na Mueang – A local road leads to the Na Mueang 1 Waterfall. A walk of about 30 minutes ends up at the more scenic Na Mueang 2 Waterfall. Purple rocks surround the stream of water, which gushes in from an impressive height of around 79 meters.

Ban Lipa Yai – This village grows high quality fruits, including rambutan, durian, mangosteen and the famed langsat.

Old House – This Chinese-style house, aged almost 200 years, represents Samui’s cultural identity. Grandpa Si and Grandma Maen Hancharoen, the present owner, open the house to visitors.

Other island attractions include coral beds at Laem Set and Thong Takhian; the nearby butterfly garden and aquarium; a snake farm; a monkey theatre at Bo Phut and a massive seated Buddha image on Fan isle.

Wat Khunaram Ko Samui This temple is the island’s most famous temple for its mummified monk on display. The mummy sits upright in a glass casket and devotees offer it flowers and incense. The mummy is in fact the body of a very revered former abbot of the temple who was also a meditation master that was able to predict his own death.

Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks These odd-looking rocks situated on Lamai beach bear a striking resemblance to male and female sexual organs and they have turned into one of the island’s biggest attractions. For those who would like to hear a legend or two surrounding the rocks, they need only ask a local.

Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo Ko Samui Located at Ban Harn beach, the Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo offer a fun day out for the family. The undersea world of the aquarium has an amazing collection of tropical fish and other vibrant aquatic animals such as turtles and colorful coral. The tiger zoo is home to Bengal tigers and leopards. For those who are daring enough, they can have their photograph taken with the awesome animals. The Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo are open daily from 9AM till 6PM.

Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai) Also known as the Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai), has a 15 meter tall statue of the Buddha. It was built in 1972 and is in the north of the island.

Laem Sor Pagoda Ko Samui This chedi (pagoda) situated at Laem Sor temple is one of the most important shrines on Ko Samui. The structure with its yellow tiles which gives off a golden aura is quite impressive.

Samui Butterful Garden / Insect Museum This butterfly garden can be found in the south-east of the island. There is a huge collection of different butterflies, some quarter of a meter wide. The visitor can also enter the insect museum nearby to see a variety of rare bugs and a bee house.

Secret Buddha Garden This beautiful garden was made by a 76 year-old Ko Samui fruit farmer in 1976. It is surrounded by lush jungle, rocky hills and is adorned with sculptures depicting both humans, in various poses, as well as various deities. Since the garden is the highest point on the island, there are also some awesome views to be had. Organized tours to the garden last for about 2 hours.

Monkey Shows These shows can be enjoyed at the open-air theater on the main road behind Bophut beach. The entertainment also includes performing elephants
http://wikitravel.org/en/Ko_Samui


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