Archive for August 2010

Asia’s Best Beaches

Mai Khao beachAsia is home to the longest as well as some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. Since Asia is such a vast continent that covers many tropical areas, it stands to reason that it would have many beautiful, sandy beaches. There are, in fact, so many beaches to choose from that coming up with a list of the best is quite difficult.

Mai Khao Beach in Phuket, Thailand, is one of the few remaining beaches that are quite and almost deserted. It is just 17km of peaceful, beachfront. In fact, it is the longest beach on Phuket, with only one resort. This is the place to go to experience some serenity. April provides some excitement however, due to the hundreds of baby sea turtles that are released into the ocean.

Tanjung Rhu in Langkawi, Malaysia is another secluded and private beach. It is a huge, secluded cove that contains the one of the longest stretches of private beach anywhere. The beach is wide with soft sand and the deep blue water is perfect for swimming. There is also only one resort, making it a perfect romantic getaway, or just a private taste of paradise.

Lombok, off the coast of Bali, Indonesia has pure white-sand beaches with clear aqua-blue water. It is so private that sometimes you may have the beach all to yourself. Considering that Lombok is just a short ride from Bali, it is a wonder that it remains so secluded.

The island of Koh Phangan, Thailand in the Southern Gulf has developed rather rapidly over the past 20 years as it’s become a tourist hotspot. The tiny island has lots to offer: fabulous beach and water perfect for swimming and snorkeling, lots of accommodations to choose from, outdoor activities, and a big party scene. If you would rather be surrounded by fellow beach goers, then this is your perfect destination.

Tioman Island may be small, but it is vast in beauty. With its lush jungles, crystal-clear streams, and dazzling white-sand beaches, you will never want to leave. It is also not as developed as some other beaches in the area, making it a dream destination for those seeking something off the beaten track. Juara Bay is as isolated as you can get – a quiet beach on the east coast, braced by three rivers leading to waterfalls in the jungle.

The beaches in Boracay, Philippines provide a laid-back atmosphere, but still draw crowds nonetheless. The 4km of sparkling sand that makes up White Beach is claimed by some to rival the beaches of the Caribbean. The water is shallow, the sand is like powder, and the shops and services surrounding it cater to every need and budget.

Last but not least, you cannot have a list of best beaches without mentioning the Maldives. The tiny island nation southwest of Sri Lanka contains many beaches that remain undisturbed. The white sand and turquoise waters make it heaven on earth. Plus the government has stress quality over quantity when it comes to its tourism, meaning that the beaches should remain somewhat undisturbed for years to come.

Thailand – A Holiday Destination

thailandThailand has become quite popular in recent years as a holiday destination. One reason for this is that holidaying here offers great value for money. Not only is it reasonably cheap to get there owing to the number of different cheap flights to Bangkok that are available, but once you’ve arrived, accommodation, eating out, shopping and sight seeing is very affordable.

Thailand’s climate is tropical with an annual mean temperature of 28 degrees C. In the central plains and the south it is very hot, while in the North and particularly in the hilly regions, it is cooler. If you’re planning on visiting Thailand, the best time to travel there is generally considered to be November through March when the days are mostly dry, and the humidity is lower.

Thailand is primarily Buddhist in religion, and you will notice that the Buddhist monks that you see are highly respected and revered members of the Thai community. There are even special areas reserved for them on many buses, and in airports. If you visit Thailand, then the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) which is located on Sukhumvit road in Bangkok city is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about Thai Buddhism and meditation practiced in the temples locally. Christianity, Hinduism and Islam are all practiced in Thailand too, but to a lesser extent.

Thailand is a country where the lifestyle is one of peace and calmness, and this traditional attitude has survived for many centuries almost unchanged. For visitors to Thailand, this means a warm welcome and great feeling of acceptance. The Thai currency is the Thai Baht, and although tipping here isn’t strictly necessary, it is customary in most restaurants and hotels. 10% is considered a reasonable amount to tip, and with prices being so low and service generally very high, this norm feels quite natural here.

Flights to Thailand are often heavily booked, so it’s well worth booking in advance so you can travel when you desire. Most flights into Thailand, land in the capital city Bangkok, and therefore this is generally the starting point for most visitors, and as a starting point it’s not a bad one. There’s a lot to see and do here, and a wide choice of accommodation as well.

Thailand, and Bangkok in particular offers a wonderful mixture of tasty cuisine, amazing temples, natural beauty and peaceful lifestyle. The Grand Palace in Bangkok is very much a place worth visiting. Home to kings for over 150 years, and still a place today which houses royalty on occasion, although not all of it is open to visitors much of it is, and what can be seen is pretty impressive.

If you’re looking to travel further afield, there is plenty to see through the rest of Thailand. Chiang Mai in the north, is Thailand’s second largest city, here you can clime the 300 steps to the Doi Suthep temple, or take excursions to see some of the regions ancient temples and hill tribes. Ayutthaya is a place where you can step back in time. Once Thailand’s capital city, you can now walk through the ruined palaces and wats on foot, or travel around the area on the back of an elephant.