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Ancient City,Samudprakarn

Posted by arnon_k On November - 23 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

The Ancient City, like a door opened to the cultural in heritage of Siam. You are able to see the continuity of the history, arts, cultures, religious, thoughts as well as the believes of Thai talents. It shall reflect to Thai fundamentals and the varieties of the cultures on Thai territories. The historical of Siam will visually be revived at The Ancient City.

The Ancient city is a Mini-Thailand, a big open-air museum situated 33 kms east of Bangkok. All major monuments ranging from one third of original to actual size and even a 50 meters high mini-mountain representing Khao Prasat Phra Viharn in the east of Thailand have been reconstructed, and millions have been invested to rebuild the ancient Reception Hall of Ayutthaya.

Vimanmek Mansion was built in 1900 under the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). King Rama V moved from the Grand Palace and stayed at Vimanmek Mansion till 1906. The mansion was not uninhabited for long periods during the ensuing years. However, in 1982 it was renovated for use as a museum to commemorate King Rama V. Vimanmek Mansion is the world’s largest golden teakwood mansion with an architectural style reflecting Western influence. It houses photographs, personal art and handicrafts of King Rama V area.
Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall (1903) is a one-storey building and served as a throne hall for the Dusit Palace. The wooden building is decorated with intricate floral designs.
The Dusit Palace garden grounds contain many more renovated buildings and various museums. The compound is large, and the environment makes for pleasurable walks.
Exhibits include : Photography by King Bhumibol (Rama IX), Ancient Clocks, Antique Textiles, Ban Chiang Pottery, Royal Paraphernalia.
Direction : Take BTS to Victory Monument. From there you take various buses to Vimanmek Mansion and Dusit Palace ground.

Vimanmek Mansion

Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall

The Dusit Palace

Travel Picks: Top 10 winter festivals

Posted by arnon_k On November - 22 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

(Reuters Life!) – Whether you’re in the mood to heat things up with a party or chill out with snow sculptures, there are plenty of exciting events worth going to this winter. To help revelers with their winter blues travel website ( has come up with a list of top 10 winter festivals. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Few people need to be reminded that Mardi Gras is one of the most serious parties on the planet. Swap winter blues for jazz and blues in New Orleans’ French Quarter, where parades move through busy streets filled with bead and costume-wearing partiers. Join the debauchery on Bourbon Street and have fun keeping track of just how many beads you attain.

2. Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah
While it’s true that mostly celebrities and A-listers will rock the Sundance scene in Park City, Utah, attending as a commoner will put you in the same place as the stars this winter. A festival dedicated to independent film and its creators happens at the end of January. Can’t get tickets to the competing films, but still want to go? There’s always skiing in Park City.

3. Buenos Aires Tango Festival
The cultural highlight of Argentina’s capital is undoubtedly the tango. For 10 full days at the end of February, the best dancers (milongeros) in the city perform and celebrate the art of the tango. Portenos (locals) and tourists alike are welcome to watch and participate as free tango lessons are given.

4. Winterlude in Ottawa, Canada
The first three weekends of February every year celebrates all things ice and snow in Ottawa, Canada. In 1979, the Canadian Capital Commission launched the first Winterlude to include ice and snow sculpture competition, ice skating, concerts, displays and activities. Explore Snowflake Kingdom, an enormous snow playground with 30 giant snow slides and ice carving exhibits, but the most thrilling of all is skating and sledding along the frozen Rideau Canal.

5. Bluff International Balloon Festival in Utah
A surprising outdoor event for January, the Bluff International Balloon Festival in Utah gathers hot air balloons from all over the world to soar into the sky and teach children about flying. Activities that support educational programing, art, and rehabilitation for local parks are also a push for attendees.

6. Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, Canada
From November 6- Jan 31, the CAA Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, Ontario showcase 125 animated light displays and 3 million tree and ground lights. See them at the Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland, along with Enchantment of Disney displays and the world’s largest illuminated Canadian-American flag.

7. Viking Festival in the Shetland Islands, United Kingdom
It’s easy to forget the chill of winter when you’re surrounded by fire. At the Shetland Viking Festival, dudes that dress up like Vikings have loud and boisterous parades through the streets for what’s known as Up Helly Aa, “the worlds largest fire festival.” Pyromaniacs listen up — this isn’t just any parade — the Vikings apparently carry axes and torches and have a lot of fun burning things. The flames take place the last Tuesday of January.

8. Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland, Colorado
This one gets the “weirdest” award. Every March in Nederland, a community in Colorado, had a resident who kept her (dead, frozen) father’s body in a backyard shed. Authorities found out and passed a law against it, but the town rallied to keep this one exception for the woman’s father. Twenty years after his death, community members still celebrate a weekend called “Frozen Dead Guy Days,” where psychics, van smashing, snowshoe races, polar plunges, and of course – coffin racing – takes place.

9. Winter Carnival in Quebec City, Canada
Canada seems to have winter down pat. In January (the country’s coldest month of the year), Quebec City puts on a big party before Lent. With its snowman costume at the forefront, the town parties for two weeks by way of concerts, snow sculptures, dogsled rides, skating and parades.

10. Carnival in Rio
Reputable for using all five senses to celebrate its magnitude, Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro even has its own week-long pre-party. The event itself lasts four days and ends the day before Ash Wednesday. Costume (and bathing suit) clad party-goers line the streets from the moment it starts, but it’s the famous drag queen show and culmination of and Samba Parade that packs the final punch.

Koh Chang in Trat

Posted by arnon_k On November - 22 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Koh Chang is the focal point of Koh Chang National Marine Park. Until recently Koh Chang and the park were well kept secrets, even from local Thais. They received very few visitors and as a result there was little development. This is quite remarkable given its close proximity to Bangkok – only 330 kilometres direct. Over the last couple of years though their have been plans to develop Koh Chang into an upscale resort and as a result there has been an increase in the amount of building that has taken place on the island.

Koh Chang is the largest of the 52 islands in Koh Chang National Marine Park and the second-largest island in Thailand.  Most of the island is rainforest and it features a range of hills, the highest (Khao Jom Prasat) nearly 800 metres high. The result is a very dramatic landscape that acts as a backdrop for some excellent bays and beaches including Ao Klong, Hat Sai Khao and Ao Khlong Prao. The island is also home to a wide range of wildlife, including a good selection of birds, snakes, deer and a number of elephants. The island and its vicinity are great places for snorkelling and diving. The best time to dive here is between November and April and the south of the island offers the best visibility. For more advanced divers there is a Thai warship that was sunk by the French in 1941. A number of excellent diving centres offering courses and guides are available on the island. Kayaking and sail boarding are also available on the island.

The island is also a great place for hikes, and it is possible to walk from one side of the island to the other (although it’s not advisable without a guide). Elephant rides into the jungle are also popular. Elephants based at Ban Khlong Son Elephant Camp can be hired for 900 baht for one and a half hours. The more usual attractions like Buddhist temples are also available on the island.

How to get there: Probably the easiest and cheapest way to get to Koh Chang is to take a Songtaew from Trat to Lean Ngop and from there take the ferry. The Songtaew trip will cost 20 Baht.