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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Koh Chang Beaches.

Koh Chang.
Mountainous Koh Chang is a natural paradise and the second largest island in Thailand. It is situated in Trat National Marine Park which is made up of 47 islands including Koh Kood, the 4th largest island in Thailand. We recommend island boat cruises, elephant trekking in the mountains or just relaxing on the beach, by stunning waterfalls and swimming holes. This really is a dreamy, laid back tropical island ideal for families, groups and couples.
Just a four hour drive from Bangkok, Koh Chang is a cheaper alternative to Phuket, Samui and other popular beach destination in Thailand and is a great destination to explore, from fire dancing on White Sand beach to the lively Lonely Beach scene, to Koh Mak for scuba diving and you must discover Koh Kood on the Cambodian border, a virgin island. With accommodation to suit every budget from simple beach side bungalows to 5 star luxury hotels Koh Chang is a place you will fall in love with. Explore Koh Chang, a bit of traditional Thailand away from the tourist traps.

Mae Sot, Northern Thailand’s gateway to Myanmar.

Mae Sot, Northern Thailand’s gateway to Myanmar.
Mae Sot is a border town 5 km from the border with Myanmar and is located in Tak Province around 600 Km from Bangkok. The area around Mae Sot boasts some of the most pristine and rugged mountains and dense tropical jungles in Thailand with a huge variety of wildlife preserves, rivers, hot springs, waterfalls and national parks.

Places to visit include the famous natural hot springs at Mae Kasa just a short 15km drive from Mae Sot. A great place for walking around to take in the sights and picnic areas.

Phra Charoen Waterfall located about 25 km from Mae Sot is a beautiful waterfall featuring 97 steps with a trail leading you through lush tropical jungle.

Tarawak Waterfall, part of the Ti Lor Sor waterfalls is also is a great place with winding trails and various spots to rest and have a picnic.

Highland Farm Gibbon and wildlife sanctuary takes in and cares for rescued mistreated, abandoned and sick gibbons and is set in beautiful surroundings a lot of which was replanted by the owners. This is a wonderful place to meet with and learn about the gibbons and local wildlife preservation. The sanctuary also takes care of rescued bears, birds, monkeys and foxes.

Temples of Thai and Burmese style are varied and numerous around the area. Close to the border with Myanmar there is a Buddhist temple with the huge reclining Buddha. Continue down and a short drive away you will discover a pagoda and Buddha’s footprint.

Rim Moei Border market runs along the Thai side of the Thai Mayanmar border Moie River and is filled with all kinds of goods from Myanmar, Thailand and China. Products include rubies and many other precious gemstones from Myanmar and other contraband and is a main trading place for bulk traders there. A very interesting place to visit. For a small fee and passport in hand you can cross into Myanmar for the day over the Friendship Bridge which connects Thailand with the Myanmar border town of Myawaddy.

Mae Sot Market in the centre of town offers an amazing cultural mix of Thai/Burmese products including locally made handicrafts and textiles by the local hill tribes, frogs, turtles, eels
(usually live), chicken, beef, pork, vegetables and many small jade and gem shops.

As well as the rich natural beauty of the area there are many different traditional Thai customs of the local northern hill tribes living the quiet rural lifestyle, in particular the Karen and Hmong tribes. With these qualities Mae Sot and Tak Province offers truly amazing experiences for travellers who want to see and contact with nature, the local people and traditional Thai culture.

Mae Sot is largely unknown to the majority of visitors to Thailand but will continue to develop due to it being one of the only two land border crossings and is the main trade gateway into Myanmar which is gradually opening its doors to the world after decades of isolation. There are numerous domestic and international NGOs based in the area to help cope with the thousands of refugees displaced by the years of internal conflict.

For those who want to get involved with volunteer work there are several local projects and outreach programs that need all the help they can get whether it be actual volunteer work or donations for the many orphans and refugee children and families.
Several projects are being planned in the area to improve the general living conditions and education of the poorest local communities with a focus on saving and restoring local traditions and customs, wildlife conservation, environmental protection awareness, whilst at the same time offering visitors a truly rich and rewarding experience watch this space.