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Thursday, 6-Aug-2009 10:19 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Chaweng / Ko samui Island , Gulf of Thailand

 
 
 
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Chaweng is the beach on the east coast of Ko Samui and has a reputation for a pristine white beach and an excellent nightlife infrastructure especially on the northern end of the beach.
Chaweng is the largest and most popular of Samui's beaches and is usually divided into three sections: North Chaweng, Central Chaweng and Chaweng Noi (Little Chaweng) around a headland to the south. Chaweng Beach is longest beach located on Samui Island's east coast. The beach is beautiful here and local developers are finally cleaning up some of the trashy area on the island. It attracts many young travelers and families alike but still remains good value for the money.

The beach is approximately 7 km long with powdery white sand. It is bordered by emerald-blue waters and a coral reef where waves break, leaving the bay quite peaceful. Not far from the beach, there are two small islands near the reef. After swimming, you can explore the nearest one by walking through shallow water or go for snorkeling and kayaking at the second island which is further out and larger
The central part of the beach is a bit more crowded than the quieter north. Many vendors pass by offering beverages, fruit, ice cream and local Thai food for the more daring. A variety of local crafts and Thai souvenirs are also available.
The beach itself is usually accessed through the hotels, as there are no beach roads to disturb the peacefulness of the area. It is very relaxing but noticeably more touristy during the high season. The water is clean with usual temperatures between 25-28 degrees Celsius.
Parallel to the beach, clustered in the middle of the strip, lies Samui's greatest concentration of restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and of course, fast food and convenience stores
GET IN
Chaweng is a few minutes ride south from the airport. Taxi drivers rarely use taximeter here.Most taxi drivers do not use the taximeter, so the price has to be negotiated in advance. The fare is usually 200-250 Bht or you may book a transfer with your hotel. This service usually costs 300 Bht.

You may opt to take other, more adventurous forms of transportation like the following:

Motorcycle Taxi are ordinary motorbikes and you sit behind the driver during the ride. Depending on the distance, the price ranges from 30-150 Bht.

Motorbike Rentals are available if riding solo is what you prefer. Most motorbike rentals in Chaweng offer 100-125 cc bikes such as Honda Wave, Honda Click, Suzuki Step, etc. Rentals cost 100-200 Bht per day depending on the lenght of the rental.

Bigger motorbikes like Harley Davidson and sport bikes like Kawasaki Ninja and Honda CBR are also offered. Be warned that bike accidents tend to be a regular occurrence in Ko Samui, so drive carefully.

If you are travelling in a large group, you may opt to rent a jeep. The rental usually ranges from 800 Bht per day. A private car will set you back 1500 Bht or more every 24hrs. There are many models to choose from: Honda Jazz, Isuzu Hi-Lander, Toyota Camry, Toyota Fortuner, etc. Established rental companies such as Avis and Hertz also offer insurance. It might be a good idea to get the insurance along with the rental as having no insurance during an accident could be expensive. And don't forget: vehicles here are left-hand drives.
http://wikitravel.org/en/Chaweng


Monday, 3-Aug-2009 11:51 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Leaving Krabi>>> Destination Ko samui island

 
 
 
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Ko Samui island of Surat Thani Province (or Koh Samui, Thai: เกาะสมุย), or often, simply Samui as it is referred to by locals, is an island off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus in Thailand, close to the mainland Surat Thani town. It is Thailand's third largest island, with an area of 228.7 km2 and a population of over 50,000 (2008). It is rich with natural resources, white sandy beaches, coral reefs and coconut trees
HISTORY
The island was probably first inhabited about 15 centuries ago, settled by fishermen from the Malay Peninsula[1] and Southern China. It appears on Chinese maps dating back to 1687, under the name Pulo Cornam. The name Samui is mysterious in itself. Perhaps it is an extension of the name of one of the native trees, mui, or from the Chinese word Saboey, meaning "safe haven". Ko is the Thai word for "island."

Until the late 20th century, Ko Samui was an isolated self-sufficient community, having little connection with the mainland of Thailand. The island was even without roads until the early 1970s, and the 15 km journey from one side of the island to the other involved a whole-day trek through the mountainous central jungles.

Ko Samui has a population of about fifty-five thousand (source: Samui Mayor's Office) and is based primarily on a successful tourist industry, as well as exports of coconut and rubber. It even has its own international airport, Samui Airport, with flights daily to Bangkok and other major airports in Southeast Asia such as Hong Kong and Singapore. Whilst the island presents an unspoiled image to the public perception, economic growth has brought not only prosperity, but changes to the island's environment and culture, a source of conflict between local residents and migrants from other parts of Thailand and other countries. [2] Reflecting Samui's growth as a tourist destination, the Cunard ship MS Queen Victoria (a 2000-plus passenger ship) docked at Samui during its 2008 world cruise
Geography
Ko Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand, about 35 km northeast of Surat Thani town (9°N, 100°E). The island measures some 21 kilometres at its widest point, and 25 km at its longest. It is surrounded by about sixty other islands, which compose the Ang Thong Marine National Park (Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park) and include other tourist destinations (Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Tao and Ko Nang Yuan).

The island is roughly circular in shape, and is about 15 km across. The central part of the island is an almost uninhabitable mountain jungle, Khao Pom, peaking at 635 m. The various lowland areas are connected together by a single 51 km road, running mostly along the coast to encircle the bulk of the island.

The old capital is Nathon, on the southwest coast of the island. It remains the major port for fishing and inter-island transportation. Nathon is the seat of the regional government, and the true commercial hub of the Samui locals. It has a charming pace, and is almost small enough to walk everywhere. The old Chinese shop houses along the middle street whisper of an exotic history.

Each of Samui's primary beaches is now also nominally considered as a small town, due to the number of hotels, restaurants and nightlife that have sprung up in recent years.

Climate
Ko Samui, being in Suratthani Province, has essentially two seasons; warm and tropical most of the year, with a short rainy season. Unlike Phuket and most of the rest of Southern Thailand which has a 6-month rainy season between May and November, Samui's weather is relatively dry for the vast majority of the year, with the rainy season being primarily confined to November. [4] For the rest of the year, since the weather is tropical, when it does rain, it usually doesn’t last long; rain showers of 20–60 minutes are typical.

Transportation
Ko Samui Airport (USM) is a private airport originally built by Bangkok Airways, which is still the main operator and was for a long time the only airline with services to Ko Samui from mainland Thailand. The airport is additionally served by Thai Airways International. Several ferries connect the island with the mainland, including the car ferry from Don Sak to a pier in the west of the island, south of the main town Nathon. Public buses to all parts of the mainland operate from a small bus station located in the south of Nathon. Songthaews (tuk-tuk style buses) circle the ring road, and private taxis are available throughout the island although these are often criticised for failure to use meters and flagrant overcharging.

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


Saturday, 1-Aug-2009 06:55 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Around Krabi

 
 
 
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Tuesday, 28-Jul-2009 05:05 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Ao Nang Beach / Krabi

 
 
 
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Ao Nang is a central point of the coastal province of Krabi, Thailand. The town consists chiefly of a main street, which is dominated by restaurants, pubs, shops and other commerce aimed at tourists. The main beach is used by sunbathers to a certain extent, but there are hundreds of longtail boats which offer access to other beaches on the mainland and on nearby islands.

There are a number of scuba diving centres, most of which offer basic diving courses. The islands outside Ao Nang are relatively easy to access and uncrowded compared to many of the diving sites around Phi Phi Island. Climbing is another activity widely available through centres in Ao Nang, although most of the climbs are actually in the areas around the Railay, Tonsai and Phra Nang beaches.
The main beach at Ao Nang is the main departure point for boats to a number of places, including the nearby resort of Railay (or Rai Leh), which cannot be accessed by road, Poda Island and Chicken Island.


http://wikitravel.org/en/Ao_Nang



Sunday, 26-Jul-2009 12:09 Email | Share | | Bookmark
One day in Phuket Island

 
 
 
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