Chiang Mai – Blooming Rose of Thailand

Chiang Mai- Blooming Rose of Thailand

General Information on Chiang Mai

Fondly called ‘Rose of the North’ Chiang Mai is 700 km north of Bangkok, capital city of the state with the same name. Home to large number of happy expats, Chiang Mai is rated as one of the 10 most livable cities in Asia, thanks to its open policies, mild weather, overall affordability and people’s easy co-existence.  It is the main tourist attraction for its natural attractions, religious places and high rated tourist activities. The city was originally founded in 13th century, old walled city is the witness of ancient times.

Why Visit Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai flourishes on tourism that revolves around its cultural sites, heritage, elephant rides, National park experience, cascading waterfalls and live sightseeing. Chiang Mai skyline is dotted with pagodas, ancient houses & lanes reminiscent of an era went by centuries ago. In addition to the cultural and historical legacy, there is contemporary unlimited fun in Doi Suthep- Pui National park with waterfalls, lush green landscapes, elephant valley or Mae Sa Valley, botanical garden, adventure safaris and animal shows etc. Chiang Mai also has innumerable galleries, beautiful parks and upstart markets.

Chiang-mai

How to reach Chiang Mai

BY AIR– Chiang Mai International Airport is 11 km from Chiang Mai city, regular flights from Bangkok and other international destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore fly in and out.

BY TRAIN– Take an overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, normally it takes 11 hours to reach. Trains are comfortable and cost effective way to reach here.

BY BUS– Good luxury buses are available every hour from Bangkok for Chiang Mai, they take 10 hours to reach there.

Accommodations

While booking online be careful as name Chiang Mai applies to both state and the city. Old town district of Chiang Mai is the best option to stay as you can find good and affordable hotels and guest houses in this area. You can explore the city easily from here on foot or on bicycle. For lesser rates you will have to go far or across the river to stay.

Best Time to visit 

Best time is, when weather is cool between November to February. Hot season is between March to June, and green season or rainy season is between July to October. 



Cuisines in Chiang Mai

The food here is exotic as it has influence of several countries. Cuisines- Haeng Hang Lay- Burmese sweet curry, Kanom Jeen Nam Ngeow- rice vermicelli with soybean curry, Khao Soi-egg noodle curry, Khan Toke with rice, Sai Oua- grilled herb sausage, Nam Prik Ong/ nume-chilli dip, Miang kham – bite sized leaf wrapped snacks, Tam Khanun- jackfruit salad, Larb Kua- shallow fried spicy meat salad and Gaeng Ho- mixed curry.

Main attractions in Chiang Mai

Doi Suthep- Pui National park

Is a national park located 15 km from Chiang Mai. Named after the twin mountains, the national park is spread in 265 sq. km area. The main attraction of the park is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a 14th century built sacred temple followed by many Thais as pilgrimage. Doi Suthep is also the name of the mountain where it is located on its top. Its main features are its pagodas, golden mount, Buddha statues and other many statues and artifacts. Forests is on hilly landscape, having few vantage points, caves, waterfalls, bounty of nature and flora & fauna. 2000 species of ferns and flowering plants, 300 species of birds and mammals such as boars, Indian Muntjac or barking deer, Assam macaque, Asian golden cat and Asian black bear are few among the lot.

doi-suthep-pui-national-park-chiang-mai

Chiang Mai Zoo

When talking of animal upkeep and welfare this zoo takes the cake. Spread on the forested mountain slope this zoo is simply amazing. Animals are kept here in their natural surroundings but in safety for precise display. There is one refrigerated cold environment where penguins live, is a hit with the spectators. Then there is one remarkable aquarium also. One can use zoo monorails and shuttle buses for sightseeing.

chiang-mai-zoo

Wat Phra Singh

This is Chiang Mai’s best known and most revered temple, pilgrims make beeline here to pray Lion form of Buddha, a graceful idol said to be brought from Sri Lanka in 14th century. During the Songkran festival this statue becomes the center of attraction.

wat-phra-singh-chiang-mai

Wat Chet Yot

Known as ‘temple of the seven spires’ the temple was built in line with Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, where Buddha attained enlightenment. The architecture of the edifice is diverse with essentials from Thai, Laos, India and Chinese style. A 15th century temple, is known to be the focus of pilgrimage for the one who is born in the snake year.

wat-chet-yot-chiang-mai

Chiang Mai Night Safari

An ambitious Thailand government’s project following the Singapore model, Chiang Mai Night safari is classified to three zones, Savanna Safari, Predator bowl and Jaguar trail- where you walk or ride atop open tram. While on the safari you are kept entertained by various activities right from feeding animals by your own hands, touching tiger cubs or watch laser show or fun plaza’s musical fountains.

chiang-mai-night-safari

Wat Chedi Luang

Huge pagoda or Chedi is its unique feature that makes a distinct marking on Chiang Mai’s skyline with 80-meter tall pagoda. It was once housed emerald Buddha, the most important Thai emblem.

wat-chedi-luang-chiang-mai

Mae Sa Elephant Camp

The elephants at the Mae Sa Elephant Camp are no ordinary pachyderms. Apart from going about their daily routine as tamed elephants doing their rituals, these tremendously bright animals have been trained to paint, play football, dance and perform to show their talent, that will amaze you to the hilt. Thai elephants are in Guinness World Record for their activities.

mae-sa-elephant-camp-chiang-mai

Bo Sang Handicrafts Village

The umbrellas are the identity of craftsmanship in Chiang Mai, the craft is known across the world for the handcrafted, hand painted colorful all sized umbrellas. Interestingly, these are made from Sa paper made from the bark of mulberry tree.

Museums

Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center, Chiang Mai National museum, Art Museum, Museum of world insects & Natural wonders, Postal museum and Art in Paradise are the museum here.

Flower festival

In February end this awesome flower festival is organized, that is amazing show.

Other activities in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai offers lot for the tourists of all ages in outdoor activities, such as trekking, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, elephant riding even mahout course, white water rafting, kayaking and night safaris. Also tenpin bowling, tennis, golf, swimming and kick boxing camps. More serene activities include cooking courses, meditation, yoga, tai chi and even shopping.

Chiang Mai is an ultimate place for culture and modernity presented in just the right proportion, its pocket friendly life is just the icing on the cake for the tourists.

Pattaya interesting tourist destination that offers enticing range of attractions

Pattaya- One Place Infinite Entertainment!

Pattaya is one interesting tourist destination that offers you an enticing range of attractions. Right from Thailand’s traditions to contemporary adventures, every type of tourist will find something of his interest here. You can rock on the party street, explore the religious treasures, art, nature, culture and science. Pattaya offers you recreational options beyond imagination!

General Information 

Located on the eastern coast of Thailand, Pattaya is just 147 km away from Bangkok, the capital city. People there speak Thai and English. It doesn’t experience severe winters, in fact the weather is anywhere between cool and humid. And therefore, Pattaya is also one of the best beach destinations of the world.

 Why Visit Pattaya?

It may be best, but Pattaya is not only about beaches, it has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing and interesting activities. You can never associate Pattaya with just one thing- it has so many things to amaze you like floating market, Buddha mountain, tropical gardens, temples, and so forth.

Pattaya

Best Months to Travel 

November, December, January and February are undoubtedly the best months to travel Pattaya. The weather around this time is extremely pleasant, neither too cold nor too hot. During other times of the year, the weather usually is not very friendly.

Pattaya Cuisine

Thai food is famous across the globe, and what makes it more desirable is the copious use of a variety of spices and herbs in it. This cuisine such as Thai red curry, rack of lamb, alligator,etc is all about amazing aromas and tastes. The chilli-hot flavour dominates the Thai food, but it doesn’t lack balance and other details like sour, salty, etc. In most of the dishes vegetables and meat are cooked together and so what you get is a food with high nutritional value!

In addition, you can enjoy cuisines of other countries such as Korea, China, Japan, India, US, Australia, Italy to name a few.



Best Sightseeing Places 

 1. Sanctuary of Truth

The Sanctuary of Truth is one of the most iconic structures in Pattaya. The whole structure stands 105-meter-tall and is made up of teak with intricate carvings. This place is neither religious nor has any royal backdrop. It is meant to be looked at in philosophical and artistic way that depicts Thailand’s culture and faith.

sanctuary-of-truth-pattaya

2. Nong Nooch Tropical Garden

The Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is spread across 2.4sq.kms of land and displays a remarkable variety of flowers and landscapes that include 17th century French Gardens and Stonehenge recreation.

nong-nooch-tropical-garden-pattaya

3. Wat Phra Khao Yai (Buddha Mountain)

The Buddha’s statue is naturally the main attraction here as it stands18 metres tall in height.

wat-phra-khao-yai-pattaya

This is a best place for spiritual tranquillity with bells and aromas of burning incense making it more calming.

4. Art in Paradise

This place is different than the other arts galleries of the world. It plays with optical illusions that involves the visitors of the gallery. It offers a different perspective of art in general.

art-in-paradise-pattaya

Best Pattaya Activities

1. Walking Street

The famous Walking Street of Pattaya is stretched at 500 meters and becomes a no vehicle zone post 18:00 hours, every day.

You will see this street flooded with food vendors, performers doing their gigs. There is no part where there are no lights and music. This is definitely a fun place to be at during nights.

2. Tiffany Cabaret Show

Tiffany’s Cabaret Show is another spectacular thing that attracts the lovers of performing arts. It is hosted at a grand theatre in Pattaya and runs for an hour with lots of colours, sound and lights. You can enjoy Indian Raj, Thai dance, Broadway and slapstick burlesque.

tiffany-cabaret-show-pattaya

3. Pattaya Floating Market

The real name of this market is Four Regions Floating Market which is inclusive of the north, northeast, central and south parts of Thailand. This floating market sells souvenirs, food, fruits, art, handicrafts, and clothing.

4. Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark

It has 30 state-of-the-art water rides and slides, displays various entertainment shows has an amazing food court and Disneyworld style mascots.

5. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

It has more than 300 exhibits which tell true stories and facts. These displays are meant to prove that truth really is weirder than fiction.

6. Beach sports

Visit the popular beaches such as Pattaya beach and Jomtien beach to enjoy array of adventure activities such as kite surfing, wind surfing, paragliding, under water sports or just laze around in peace.

beach-sports-pattaya

7. Other attractions:

Fun does not halt in Pattaya as you can experiment several other activities such as skydiving, rocket ball adventure, biking, ATV tour, coral Island tour, bungee jumping, golf, Thai Massage and Thai cooking classes.

Hotels and Other Accommodation Facilities

Pattaya being one of the most visited tourist destinations of Thailand offers you a huge range of accommodation options. Right from luxury hotels to 3-4 star resorts and affordable guesthouses, it is a destination that money can’t stop you from visiting.

How to Reach?

By Air: The U-Tapao airport located at Sattahip is just about 30 kilometres away from Pattaya and has limited connectivity options.

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is about 120 km away from Pattaya, and will take about 90 minutes’ road trip for you to reach your destination. You can easily find affordable cabs outside this airport.

By Bus: There are many bus services from Bangkok to Pattaya and from other North-Eastern parts of Thailand.

By Train: Bangkok and Pattaya are well connected by rail too. There is a daily train service for this route. If you are looking for an economical travel, then train is the best option. You can buy tickets directly at the station, but 30 minutes before the departure.

So reach out to your next vacation destination that is Pattaya, Thailand and feel the unstoppable excitement!

Malacca city – a Historical Malaysian City

When you look for any city in Malaysia with cross-continents historical importance then the name of Malacca city pops in the mind. It is the capital of Malacca state in the strait of Malacca. The oldest city in Malaysia, Malacca has a lot to offer to the tourists who look for interesting sightseeing and pleasurable time during their stay. Malaccan history and its landmarks, theme parks, cultural parks, city’s unique set-up, sea beaches, and colorful flowery trishaws to take you around to see those, present just the perfect blend to bring Malacca city on top of the travel list.

Why Visit Malacca city 

Malacca’s unique picturesque location on the Malacca strait geographically puts it several notches higher and above many of the south-east Asian destinations. Here you get immense value for your time in Famosa resort called Famosa water world which is an activity-oriented theme park offering the charming experience. Here you can also witness, Butterfly & Reptiles Sanctuary and a zoo. Take a colorful Trishaw and go watch historical Malacca Sultanate fort, Chinese temples, Stadhuys Building reminiscent of Dutch time, watch museums, ancient churches, go shopping and take a cruise in the river.



How to reach Malacca city, Malaysia?

By Air- Fly from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka airport located 16 km from the Malacca city.

By Train– There is no direct train to Malacca from Kuala Lumpur. You have to take a train from Kuala Lumpur to Tampin 118 km away than take a bus for a 40 km distance to Malacca city.

By Bus– Buses is the easiest mode of transport for reaching Malacca at 149 km from Kuala Lumpur in 2.5 hours.

Accommodation options in Malacca city

You will be spoilt for choice of accommodation options available in Malacca city at the prominent places. Whether you are looking for a colonial-style guest house or luxurious hotel or opt for cheaper stay options, the city caters to the diverse preferences of tourists. Just check your favorite on the internet and book hotels online to get the best deal ever!

Best Time for a visit

June and November are the wettest months when it rains or drizzles. The rest of the months are fine though hot and humid. The temperature remains around 30°C though nights are shade cooler.

Cuisine in Malacca city

Foodies can discover variant flavors in Malacca city. Its rich culture and history have influence on cuisine as well. The tourists can discover Chinese and Malay flavored cuisine in several dishes. Chinese rice balls, Nasi Lemak, Nyonya Laksa, Duck Noodles, Satay celup, sambal delicacies are some of the prominent dishes.

What to See when you are in Malacca city?

A’Famosa Resort

A beautiful resort located 24 km from Malacca city, around a country town Alor Gajah. This resort offers accommodation to stay, a theme park including safari Wonderland, A’Famosa Water World and Cowboy Town. Various activities such as Archery, Horse riding, rock climbing, Go Kart, Cycling, Paddle boating, Pony riding, target shooting, horse carriage rides and fishing wait for you. These activities will offer more worth for your visit here.

A’Famosa Resort

Stadhuys

A 16th-century Dutch building complex that has an acclaimed name for its architecture. It comprises of a set of oriental buildings and a museum of Ethnography in the Stadhuys. Here you can shop for various household and bridal cultural objects. Red square as it is called also is one of the best places in Malacca.

Stadhuys-Malacca

Cruise on river 

Melaka river goes through the city and past the streets of Malacca. Boats are unique in the design and a cruise is one experience that will elate your spirits.

Cruise-on-river-Malacca

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum is a museum that showcases the local history of ethnic Chinese-Malays called Baba-Nyonya or Peranakan in Malacca. You can walk down here or take a Trishaw to reach here, the museum is a treat for history lovers.

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum Malacca

Cheng Hoon Teng temple

The temple depicts Chinese architecture’s influence in Malacca. The Chinese believed in three spiritual lines Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, which reflects here. Located just near Harmony Street, the Temple premises are spread in 4,600 s. m. The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is one of the oldest and beautifully decorated temples in Malaysia which is still operational.

Cheng-Hoon-Teng-temple-Malacca

Ancient churches

  • The 16th-century church of St. Paul has a story to tell from Goa Archbishop to Portuguese and then Dutch invaders. Located near A’Famosa Fort, the church’s ruins still give a reminder of its tall past.
  • St Peter’s Church- was built at the beginning of the 18th century by Portuguese Catholics. A world heritage site, an Alabaster statue of Christ is a big attraction.

St Peter’s Church Malacca

  • Christ Church of Melaka is a protestant church built in the mid of 18th Its elegant red building and the environment around is enjoyed by the visitors.
  • Tan Kim Seng Bridge is an old bridge that is worth seeing for its antique value and history associated with it.
  • Malacca zoo – visit the zoo to spot 215 species of animals here.

Activities

There are plenty of activities and adventure moments while in Malacca.

  • River Cruise
  • Cycling
  • Zoo- watching fauna
  • Leisure time on Pengkalan Balak Beach & Tanjung Bidara Beach
  • A’Famnosa wildlife safari
  • Golfing
  • Multiple adventure and other activities in A’Famosa resort

Therefore, witness a mixture of history, rich culture, and growing urban life in Malacca city, Malaysia for a sumptuous experience.

OSAKA – a Happening City in Japan

OSAKA – a happening city in Japan

A bustling busy port city and commercial center on the main island of Honshu, it is the capital of Osaka prefecture in Kansai region in Japan. Osaka means ‘large hill’ the name changed from erstwhile Naniwa, long-long back. It has an enviable skyline second only to Tokyo in skyscrapers. In the night time, it just looks out-of-the-world with sparkling neon light.

It is the third largest city in terms of population which is 7% of Japan’s total population. Incidentally, Japan’s 78% population lives in urban area.

Why Visit Osaka?

Commercially, it is one of the finest to travel. Its huge Greater Osaka metropolitan area is located in sprawling 7800 sq km area, making it one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.  Being a major commercial and cultural hub, the city has so much to offer to tourists whether its big city comforts or even small town feel; interesting traces of history as well as modern day amenities to woo all kinds of travelers.

In springs when Cherry Blossoms bloom, that’s visible everywhere, especially in Nishinomoru Japanese Garden in Osaka-Castle-Park and in Mint tunnel in late April, the sight is breathtaking.

 A festival Tenjin Matsuri of fireworks is held in July in this city. Beside these, there are many sites seeing opportunities that will make your visit worthwhile.

To book hotel of your choice in Osaka click here

Enjoy unique Japanese food such as sushi, okonamiyaki, takoyaki, udon, kabo beef besides other interesting meals at famous eating outlets of Osaka. Also the tourists can relish several Asian and Western recipes at Osaka restaurants.

Osaka
Osaka

How to reach

  • By Air– The main international gateway to Osaka is Kansai International Airport. Domestic flights operate from its Itami Railway, Monorail and subway are connected to the city from Airport.
  • By Train– City center of Osaka is connected by railways to Tokyo and other major cities. Bullet trains take 2 hours and 20 minutes to reach this place from Tokyo.
  • By Road– Overnight and day buses are available that take 8-9 hours to reach here from Tokyo. Driving down in a car may not be a good idea for a non-Japanese, as all the direction signs on the way are in Japanese.
  • By Ferries– Ferries are the options available too though it’s expensive and time taking.

Best season to visit

Spring time from March to April are the best, when Cherry Blossom trees blossom to full glory. It’s climate is temperate and humid, so October to December is best to visit.



Accommodation 

Tourists will be pleased to find an array of hotel chains offering best amenities and strategically located near shopping destinations, airport, stations, etc. besides, guest houses, dormitory style stays, private rooms, hostels and women-specific accommodation are also available at economical prices. One can book accommodation online in Osaka.

Sightseeing

The city’s lifeline is the subway that has its network to almost all the places, use this to see these sites.

To book hotel of your choice in Osaka click here

Osaka’s Shogunate Castle

Osaka’s Shogunate Castle is a 16th-century edifice which is its prime historical milestone; it is surrounded by a moat and park with plum, peach and cherry trees. It is unique in design and construction.

Osaka’s Shogunate Castle
Osaka’s Shogunate Castle

Nishinomoru Japanese Garden

Nishinomoru Japanese Garden or Naniwa Palace site park is a sprawling grass land and blossoming flowered trees, a beautiful sight just adjacent to the castle.

Nishinomoru Japanese Garden
Nishinomoru Japanese Garden

The Shinto Sumiyoshi

Taisha Shrine is among Japan’s oldest of Shinto shrines. Located in Sumiyoshi ward, the shrine became center of royal attraction since 10th  century.

The Shinto Sumiyoshi
The Shinto Sumiyoshi

Theme park

At Osaka water front, it is famous for its Universal Studios, Japan. It is very similar to Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles barring the studio tour.  There are many attractions, souvenir shops and restaurants. Universal City Walk also has a variety of restaurants and shops. The fireworks on Saturday nights and holidays are very impressive. Situated in Osaka Bay Area, the place has been done in truly Hollywood style with mesmerizing attractions and adventure activities especially for kids.

Theme park Osaka
Theme park 

Aquarium

Impressive aquarium, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is an aquarium located in the ward of Minato in Osaka near Bay. It is one of the largest public aquariums in the world.

Osaka aquarium
Aquarium

Minami & Namba

Minami and Namba, the southern sector of the city, form one of the two main commercial districts of Kansai’s biggest city, and contain some of the biggest tourist attractions. Mainly a shopping area. The slogans ‘’something for everyone and eat till you drop’’ underline its beauty and utility.

Minami & Namba
Minami & Namba

Museums

City’s history well displayed through its many museums such as Municipal Museum of Fine Art and Osaka Museum of History, get a Kansai Grutto Pass worth 1000 yen and see them all.

Museums of Osaka

Shitennjoi temple

Ancient Buddhist 6th century temple should be seen for its statues and artifacts.

Activities

  • Cycling way to see Osaka
  • Cruise in Tanbori river
  • Hiking on Mino falls
  • Fishing trips
  • Sea diving, snorkeling
  • Camping, Snowboarding, wakeboarding, skiing- through some clubs

What Makes Tamil Nadu the Top Tourist Attraction of India?

What makes Tamil Nadu the top tourist attraction of India?

The tourist reports are here and Tamil Nadu has topped the list again. The state has the highest inflow of foreign as well as Indian tourists and it is the second year in a row that the state from the south has topped the list. If the numbers are to be seen, Tamil Nadu sports some impressive feats. The state was visited by 4.6 million foreigners and 320 million Indians. This amounts to a total of 20.6% of all foreign tourists visiting India in 2014 and 25.6% of all domestic tourists in India for the year 2014.

What makes Tamil Nadu so favorable to the tourists? How is Tamil Nadu the top tourist attraction of India when compared to the other states like Maharashtra, Kerala and Goa? Let us find out.

Goa Beaches

Tamil Nadu: Perfect blend of history and modernity

The southern state will give you everything from ancient temples and a bustling wildlife to urban discos and mesmerizing beaches. There are a variety of sights as well as delicacies that you can enjoy here. The Tamil society is undergoing a changing phase and you can see the blending in of the traditional values with modern thoughts as you explore the place. Not to forget, the state boasts of three UNESCO World Heritage sites which have history of 3800 years.

Tamil Nadu

Chennai is the capital of the state Tamil Nadu and a bustling cosmopolitan with people from all over the country living and working there. Considered as ‘the Gateway of South India’, the city has featured in The New York Times as among “52 places to go around in world”. The city is full of beaches and also houses a rich cultural heritage. Marina beach present in Chennai holds the record for being the 2nd longest in the world, attracting people worldwide.

Kanyakumari

Other places of interest in Tamil Nadu include Kanyakumari, Madumalai and Mahabalipuram. The hill stations of Ooty and Kodaikanal offer a peaceful stay away from the bustling city life. Apart from these, we have the Moray River, which runs across the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. This nature park supports a wide array of wildlife and the river is the home to quite a few endangered aquatic species. In addition, Western Ghats feature in the top biodiversity hot spots in the world.

Mahabalipuram

You can also visit Puducherry (erstwhile Pondicherry), which is close to the state. This small union territory offers a history lesson and shows you the remnants of the French people who ruled the region.

Puducherry
Puducherry

Tamil food: A heavenly feeling for the foodies

Tamil food offers a lot of different taste to the foodies. Many people visit this state to try out the various south Indian delicacies like Dosa, Uttapam and Upma. Apart from these vegetarian and famous dishes, there are many local recipes like the Chettinad chicken and sour hot fish, which one can enjoy while traveling the state.



Home to NRIs and scholars:

Another reason stated for the rise of the state to the top is attributed to the NRIs and scholars. There are many Tamil people studying and working abroad. They come home once in a year and increase the footfall, which ultimately helps Tamil Nadu in reaching the top spot.

With so much to offer, Tamil Nadu remains a place that every Indian must see. With people coming here from all over the globe, we say that you also plan a trip to Tamil Nadu the top tourist attraction of India and make sure that you absorb all the awesomeness of the state.