|Final Statistics: Alex & Maz||Total distance: 93,550km|
|Furthest Point: Rotorua, NZ||Now settled in Sydney, Australia|
|Final Statistics: Martin||Total distance: 79,698km|
|Furthest Point: Hobart, Australia||Now settled in Bristol, UK|
|Arrive:||Tue 18th Apr 06||Depart:||Tue 9th May 06|
|Capital:||Bangkok||Currency:||Baht (THB )|
|Weekend:||Sat/Sun||Time Zone:||GMT +7|
|Int. dial code:||+66||Language:||Thai, Chinese, Malay|
|Visa Required:||Yes||Religion:||Buddhist, Muslim|
|Side of road:||Left||Best time to visit:||Feb-Mar|
|Diesel Price:||US$ 0.37||Activities:||Sightseeing, Khmer Monuments, Diving, Trekking, Wildlife, Monasteries|
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Diary Entry: 11th-22nd April 2006 - Thai (water) fighters
Diary Entry: 14th-21st April 2006 - The water fighters continue to party!
Diary Entry: 22nd-28th April 2006 - Diving with Mantas
Diary Entry: 28th April-5th May 2006 - Liveaboard Trip Delight
Diary Entry: 18th-26th May 2006 - Back into the Western World
Diary Entry: 26th May-6th June 2006 - The Lebanese playboy arrives!
Diary Entry: 24th-31st May 2006 - Our knight in shining armour arrives
Diary Entry: 31st May-8th June 2006 - Mud Sweat and Beers
Diary Entry: 6th-10th June 2006 - My name is Bond, Brooke Bond
Diary Entry: Special - Quack quack...
Diary Entry: 8-16th June 2006 - Island of the Open Water diver
Diary Entry: 17-21st June 2006 - Rebuilding lives after tsunami devastation
Photo Album for Thailand
Country Highlights En Route
Buriram is a large province with a small capital and a long history. During the Angkor period this area was an important part of the Khmer empire. The province contains 143 Khmer monuments: Phanom Rung: This temple complex is the largest and best restored of all Khmer monuments in Thailand. Phanom Rung is at the top of a volcanic cone and it means in Khmer: 'big hill'. It was build between the 10th and 13th century to symbolize the stay of Shiva on the holy mountain Kailash. Phimai: This Khmer temple is older then the famous Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia. This Hindu-Mahayana Buddhist temple dates from the late 10th and early 11th century. Its majesty is really impressive.
Khao Yai National Park
Thailand's first national park. An area of 2.168 square km of tropical rainforest. The park is rich in wildlife with 71 mammal species, including elephant, tiger, bear, deer etc. There are also 300 species of birds, including the great hornbill.
Chiang Mai has a striking mountain backdrop, over 300 temples and a quaint historical aura. It's also a modern, friendly, internationally-flavoured city with much to offer the visitor. Thailand's second-largest city and the gateway to the country's north was founded in 1296. You can still see the moat that encircled the original city. Doi Suthep, topped by one of Thailand's holiest wats, rises behind the city, providing a dramatic backdrop and fine views of the city.
Doi Inthanon National Park
The imposing Doi Inthanon, located in Chiang Mai province, is the highest point in the country, and is often dubbed 'The Roof of Thailand'. In Doi Inthanon National Park there are also several lesser summits to explore.
The 'hill tribes' are ethnic minorities living in the mountains. Each hill tribe has its own language, customs, way of dressing and beliefs. Most of them are of semi-nomadic origin. They have migrated to Thailand from Tibet, Myanmar (Burma), China and Laos during the past 200 years. They continue to cross national borders without regard for nationhood.
Ayuthaya is about 85 km north of Bangkok. It was the capital of Siam from 1350 till 1767, when Burma conquered the city 33 kings of Siam reigned here. At its peak (about 1700) it had one million inhabitants. Out of this area, there are many old wats. Lopburi is one of Thailand's oldest cities. In the Daravati period (500-1000 AD) it was called Lavo. Later it became a border town of the Khmer empire. The town flourished during the 17th century when King Narai lived there.
Sukhothai means "Dawn of Happiness." It was the capital of the first Thai kingdom, which flourished from about 1240 till 1360. This time is considered "The Golden Age" of the Thai.
Bangkok has dominated Thailand's urban hierarchy as well as its political, commercial and cultural life since the late 18th century. Bangkok proper seethes on the east side of the Mae Nam Chao Phraya, drawing rural Thai folk into its cluttered fold daily.
The Grand Palace complex was established in 1782 and it houses not only the royal residence and throne halls, but also a number of government offices as well as the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It covers an area of 218,000 square meters and is surrounded by four walls, 1900 meters in length.
Wat Pho: This is the oldest wat (1781) in Bangkok and the largest in Thailand. It has the largest reclining Buddha (46m long, 15m high).
Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn. Wat Arun is named after the Hindi God of dawn Aruna. Its origin dates back to the ancient capital of Ayuthaya.
Wat Benchamabophit: Marble Temple. This wat got its popular name, because it has been made of white Carrara marble from Italy. The Marble Temple is considered one of the most beautiful expressions of modern Thai architecture.
Southern Thailand can be divided into the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman coast. Following the coast of the Gulf, you pass through: Phetchaburi a beautiful town with many wats and caves and Ko Samui which has a legendary status like Goa and Bali. But things are changing fast, so you have to search to find still somewhat of the old atmosphere.
Along the Andaman coast there are a lot of great spots. A good starting point to explore some of it is the vivid city of Krabi. Around Krabi are a lot of beautiful Karst mountains. By boat you can explore the Phang Nga bay or enjoy the scenic beauty of the beaches of Railay and Ao-Nang.
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