Despite recent reports that Southern Thailand’s famous Maya Beach will close for three months this year, in fact no decision to this effect has been made by Thai authorities.
Phi Phi National Park Office confirmed yesterday to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) that the park will remain open.
As Thailand grows in popularity with international visitors, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation is constantly looking at ways to improve management of the Kingdom’s natural resources.
Measures have been made in some areas to limit the number of boats permitted to visit popular islands such as Koh Phi Phi, and the Similan and Surin Islands, and it is something that continues to be monitored.
Discussions were held mid-2017 regarding the management of Koh Phi Phi Lei, and it is understood the option to close the beach to tourists was discussed; however no decision to that effect has been made.
The Thai Government is committed to promoting sustainable tourism development, with a focus on quality over quantity.
According to TAT Oceania Director, Rujiras Chatchalermkit; “With a continued marketing focus on immersive experiences such as wellness retreats, culinary experiences, eco-tourism and agro-tourism, TAT aims to move away from the nation’s previous appeal as a budget destination for young full moon party-goers, to now focussing on the increasing global demand for high-end quality tourism product. This focus on quality tourism has seen a move from simply counting visitor numbers to measuring tourism revenue.”
The island of Koh Phra Thong is an idyllic unspoilt wilderness just north of Khao Lak on Thailand’s Andaman coast. A place where you can truly escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
No noise except the gentle waves lapping the empty beach and early morning birdsong, no crowds, no shops, just you, a hut on the beach, a hammock, with crystal clear water and pristine coral reefs just a short snorkel away.
Koh Phra Thong is 120km north of Phuket and while it’s only 43km from bustling Khao Lak, it takes a bus, boat and 4WD transfer to get here, so by the time you get here you feel very remote. The island is relatively flat, with thick mangroves facing a meandering lagoon system on one side and white sandy beaches on the other.
Back in the 90s there were a few emerging resorts here, but most were destroyed by the 2004 tsunami, along with several nearby villages, and it’s taken a long time to rebuild. 10 years later a few new resorts have opened their doors, and visitors to the island now will find an island almost frozen in time, a snapshot of coastal village life in Thailand many years ago.
If you get bored of lazing in a hammock or strolling along the pristine beach, there are several options available for nature lovers. Birdwatchers will love a sunrise 4WD tour of the island’s savannah, an expansive golden grassland where you can watch the sunrise over mountains in distant Khao Sok National Park while the birds awaken all around you.
You can also grab a kayak and explore the fringing reefs of two nearby small islands Koh Pling Lek and Koh Pling Yai, or go further afield by long tail boat to Kho Khai to snorkel through coral gardens full of colourful sea fans.
Trips to the local fishing village and turtle sanctuary are also on offer, as well as night fishing excursions on the squid fishing boats or to the nearby Pling Islands.
At the southern end of the beach at the Golden Buddha Retreat, you can attend yoga and meditation classes,, and at the northern end, grab a fantastic Thai meal at Moken Eco Village.
Where to stay
Moken Eco Village is a boutique resort with a handful of bungalows, each powered by solar panels on the roof. There’s no air conditioning, but the bungalows are cooled naturally, being raised on stilts, with louvre windows and two ceiling fans.
Your four-poster bed has a mosquito net, and there are fly screens on all windows so you won’t be bothered by insects while you sleep. The huts all have a raised veranda for lounging on, and there are hammocks dotted throughout the gardens.
There are 12 bungalows, with a few different configurations. Some that suit couples, and one large duplex for families or larger groups.
The resort will organise longtail boat transfers from Khura Buri, the nearest port. Khura Buri is about an hour’s journey by bus or taxi from Khao Lak. Transfers via overnight coach are also available from Bangkok. More information
Experience Bangkok’s most prestigious outdoor flower & garden art fair at Nai Lert Flower & Garden Art Fair, February 2nd – 4th, 2018
As part of the “Amazing Thailand” tourism initiatives, Nai Lert Flower & Garden Art Fair is an official calendar event for Thailand where the 2018 event is held from 2nd to 4th February 2018, 09.00 – 20.00 hrs. daily.
For fantastic floral experience, the 3-day event is filled with unique “X Factors” which have been specially curated for those who visit. The 2018 Nai Lert Flower & Garden Art Fair will be an extraordinary attraction for families, group tours, or individuals who enjoy gardening and flower, art and crafts or simply appreciate fresh outdoor air. Tickets can be purchased at Nai Lert Group Website or at the event.
Flower x Art Experience Bangkok’s most prestigious outdoor Flower & Garden Art Fair where sculptures from renowned local artists namely Pongsatat Uaiklang, Prajak Supantee and many more will be on display, together with flower sculptures designed by leading florists such as Sakchai Guy, Sakul Intakul, and Chayaporn Tometh. The event becomes the platform for talented young artists portraying their skills and creativity, thus visitors will witness 3 themed competitions during the event – Flower Sculpture Competition “Legacy of Thai Flowers” – Garden Design Competition “Celebration of the Seasons” – Wedding Showcase Competition “Love In Bloom” The 1st prize of all three competitions comprises of a trip to London to visit the world renowned Chelsea Flower Show as well as a noble trophy and cash reward. The jewel in Park of Nai Lert’s crown is the Heritage Home, which not only is a timeless legacy in itself but also displays evolution of flowers from traditional craftsmanship through modern day innovation. Not to be missed is the highlight feature of the event, the 450 sqm floral carpet-believed to be one of the largest floral carpet ever created in Asia.
Flower x Fashion Most celebrated Thai fashion and beauty brands were invited to create limited edition range exclusive for this year’s event. Those who seek one of a kind pieces will find tote bags by Asava, and kaftans by Vatanika. The Art Market unveils rare items, where emerging and established artists gather under one roof.
Flower x Taste Food plays an important part in Thai culture, bringing the family as well as the community together. At Nai Lert Flower & Garden Art Fair, all 20 food vendors from across Thailand were handpicked offering only the best of the best to the visitors. In-house culinary team of experts have created special floral recipes exclusively for the 3-day event from refreshing cocktails to sumptuous edible flowers dishes.
Flower x Play A variety of workshops for all ages from floral cooking class, floral fragrance concoction, flower colour painting, and flower arrangement class by Sakul Intakul, world renowned local floral expert, to name but a few.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand, Sydney office has been in operation for over 20 years and is funded by the Government of Thailand. TAT Sydney operates as a marketing, public relations and administration branch of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Head Office in Bangkok.
The Sydney office is responsible for the regional area of Australia and New Zealand. The main objective of the Tourism Authority of Thailand is to promote the country of Thailand as a holiday destination.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Level 20, 56 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000
The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) new communication message of ‘Open to the New Shades’ is the focus of the third annual TAT Newsroom Thailand Blogger competition, which is open to entries now.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said: “Bloggers can share their experiences in Thailand with a real sense of passion and thus inspire their audiences to visit the kingdom. This is a trend we very much support, in the way it can show the world’s travellers there is so much to see and do in ‘Amazing Thailand’ either for the first time or from a new perspective.”
Your entry could be in the area of Gastronomy, for example, exploring the endless array of experiences from delicious street food to fine-dining restaurants to cooking classes to intriguing food tours.
Arts and Crafts is another element of the new communication campaign, with local wisdom, fascinating festivals and world-class artisans to be found throughout Thailand.
In terms of Nature and Beaches, Thailand has stunning landscapes to discover from the North to the South and West to East. The beaches of the South are renowned as being among the most beautiful in Asia.
Culture is another fascinating facet that bloggers can explore, whether in the area of religion, sports or the arts for example, or to build on memorable experiences enjoyed on earlier visits.
Way of Life is another element of the ‘Open to the New Shades’ campaign, unique Thai local experiences, whether that’s the warmth and hospitality of a farm tour or homestay or a mind-boggling exploration of a bustling street market.
Bloggers can submit entries to TAT Newsroom Thailand blogger competition between 1 January and 15 February, 2018. The voting period is from 1 January to 15 March, 2018, with the winners’ announcement to be made in the last week of March.
As in previous years, the winners will be treated to a return airfare and an all-expenses-paid trip in Thailand. This time around, the trip routing will be highlighting the ‘Colours of the East’, combining the capital Bangkok with the cultural charms and natural wonders of Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat, and take place in May 2018.
More information on the 3rd TAT Newsroom Blogger Thailand competition, including rules and requirements for submitting entries, can be found here.
Some holidays are best spent lounging on the beach, watching the surf roll in with a coconut in hand—but if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, there are plenty of adventurous activities to be found on Thailand’s islands, and the experts at Expedia Australia have rounded up the best ones for fearless wanderers such as yourself. Continue reading “Thailand’s Top Island Adventures”→
Ah, Thai food. Thinking of the silky noodles and bright papaya salads will make even the most satisfied stomach rumble. Thailand does have its regional differences in cuisine, as well as food from cultures outside of Thailand. There are heaps of delicious places to get your grub, so the experts at Expedia Australia put together this list to help you narrow down your choices. Continue reading “Where to eat on Thailand’s islands”→
The Royal Thai Government has announced that the Royal Cremation for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is scheduled for 25-29 October, 2017. Thursday, 26 October, will be the royal cremation day, and it has been declared a public holiday by the Cabinet to allow the people to take part in paying a final tribute to the late King.
During the process of the Royal Cremation which will last five days, tourist attractions across Thailand will be open as usual. This is with the exception of Bangkok’s Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which will be closed from 1-29 October, 2017, as they will be the venue of the Royal Cremation. All transport, banks, shopping areas, hospitals and other public services will be operating as usual.