A popular beach destination for Thai during weekends is Cha-am in Phetchaburi province. It is about two hours to the south of Bangkok. Most foreign tourists skip Cha-am and head further south to Hua Hin instead. Although Cha-am beach can get very busy during long weekends, it is very quiet during the week. It is worth taking a look. During March of every year, the beach in Cha-am is host to the popular kite festival that attracts fliers from all around the world. These photos are from a two day trip to Phetchaburi province at the weekend. The first day we visited the kite festival and then on the second day we slowly returned to Bangkok stopping at a few attractions.
For two nights and three days I stayed in Pattaya exploring family friendly attractions. Even though I visited a dozen different attractions, I only scratched the surface. There is enough to do here to keep you busy for several weeks. Click to see where I visited on Day 1 and Day 2 of my trip. I tweeted the following photos live during the third and last day of my trip.
For three days I am in Pattaya, on the Eastern seaboard of Thailand. I am staying at AVANI Pattaya Resort and Spa. Everyone knows this city as a center for nightlife. But, really there is more to see here than just Walking Street. So, I set myself a challenge to see if I could find alternative tourist attractions that are suitable for families. Click here to see where I visited on Day 1. The pictures on this page were tweeted live during Day 2 of my visit to Pattaya. I hope some of these pictures will encourage you to come and visit Pattaya for a holiday. It is my opinion that there is indeed enough things to do here for families.
Pattaya has been getting a lot of bad press recently by the international media. The Daily Mirror tabloid proclaimed that Pattaya is the sex capital of the world. They also claimed that there are 27,000 prostitutes here. I am not sure how they came to that number. Did they go around counting them? I am not going to stand here and say that there are no prostitutes in Pattaya. I will leave that to Thailand’s junta leader. However, I do want to say that Pattaya is not just about bar girls and nightlife. It can be family friendly if you know where to go. So, I set myself a challenge to find the other side of Pattaya. I am doing this with the help of my Twitter followers and Facebook friends. With their help I put together this google map of family friendly places. I am now visiting some of the highlights over the next three days.
This weekend, contestants from Miss International Queen flew from Pattaya to Hat Yai in Southern Thailand. MIQ is a transgender beauty pageant that is taking place at Miss Tiffany on Friday 10th March 2017. I was invited to travel with them for this trip to Hat Yai, Songkhla city, and the islands of Koh Khai and Koh Lipe in Satun province. We flew by Air Asia from U-Tapao airport which serves people in both Pattaya and Rayong. The following photos were tweeted live during my trip.
A highlight of any trip from Bangkok to Nakhon Pathom is surely the giant dragon that climbs up a tall tower building at Wat Samphran. I took a friend there at the weekend as well as to five other places of interest. We visited two riverside markets for food stops, an air orchid garden center, a temple where they specialize in traditional tattoos, and a transportation museum. None of these places had an entrance fee. The following photos were tweeted live during the trip.
One of the areas that was hit hard by the recent flooding in Southern Thailand was Chumphon Province. The people in Phato district said it was the worst flooding in living memory. Although the flood has now receded and the water in the river has returned to a normal color, the scars still remain. I met the owner of Malin Rafting Service in Phato. Her house & rafts were washed away in a flash flood. She spent the night in the tree. Despite losing everything, she was determined to continue. With help from the government, she was able to buy new rafts. This weekend her company took part in the annual Phato Raft Festival. I tweeted the following photos during my trip to Chumphon.
During February, there’s a chance to join a free boat trip to visit nine temples and shrines in Nonthaburi province. This is mainly of interest to Thai Buddhists, but foreigners can join as well. When I went last weekend, there were about 1,500 people taking part. To register, go to the pier in Nonthaburi between 6:30am and 9:30am on either 12th or 19th February 2017. If you miss it this year, try again next year. The photos here were tweeted live during the trip.
During Januay, TAT Bangkok published a series of eight walking maps for the city. At the moment these are only in Thai language but they promise an English version soon. In the meantime, I’ve started working on my own English version using Google Maps. I’ve used their map as my inspiration but will add my own places if I can. The photos on this page were tweeted live while I explored this area. I’ll be back again as I only scratched the surface. In the meantime, bookmark thailandphotomap.com as I will be posting my photos and notes there.
Last week, Samui and much of Southern Thailand faced some devastating floods due to the northeast monsoon. On Samui they had continuous rain for nearly a week which made it difficult for the water to drain away. Some people say it was the worst floods they’ve had in 30 years. Once the floods had finally gone down, I flew to Samui to give morale support to the local people. This should have been their high season. I spoke to some tourists who come here in January every year and they said that it has never rained so much before. The worst seems over but some isolated thunderstorms have been forecasted for the next three days. This time they are more prepared with water pumps on standby. Hopefully this time it won’t be continuous rain and not so widespread. The following photos were tweeted live during my two-day visit to the island.
These are the photos that I tweeted live on the fourth and last day of my trip to Northeastern Thailand. I was visiting Yasothon for their annual Christmas Star Parade. Click here for Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3. Also visit Thailand Photo Map for GPS coordinates of all the places that I visited. The last day was mainly traveling back home. But we did visit the national museum in Ubon and had lunch at a popular Vietnamese restaurant. The following photos were tweeted live on Twitter.
This is now Day 3 of my trip to Isaan to take photos at the Christmas Star festival in Yasothon. Click here for Day 1 and Day 2. Also visit Thailand Photo Map for GPS coordinates of all the places that I visited. The highlights today were a 20-meter high seated Buddha and Khemmarat Walking Street. The follow photos were tweeted live on Twitter.
This weekend I’m in Northeastern Thailand for four days. The highlight is the Christmas Star Procession in Ban Son Yae in Yasothon province. St. Michael’s church is the largest wooden church in Thailand. This building dates back to 1947 but the Christian community started the first church here in 1908. The following are the photos that I tweeted live during the trip.
When tourists come to Thailand, they only see the temples, and so most think that all Thais are Buddhists. But there are also large Christian communities. At this time of year it is more obvious as they are celebrating Christmas. In Isaan, there is a big Christmas Star Parade in Sakon Nakhon. I visited this community five years ago. This year, I’m in Ban Songyae in Yasothon for their celebration in the run up to Christmas. The following photos were tweeted live on the first day of my trip to Northeastern Thailand.
Over the weekend I was in Chiang Mai to visit some of the Royal Projects as well as some new and notable tourist attractions. I travelled to Northern Thailand on the new sleeper train (see photos here). These are the photos that I tweeted live on Day 2 of the trip (Click here for Day 1). On this day we visited Doi Inthanon which is not only the highest peak in Thailand but also hosts some important royal projects.
Following the passing of King Bhumibol, there has been a renewed interest in the royal projects around Thailand. The TAT has produced a book about 70 of the most popular and accessible of these projects which are open to tourists. Starting this month, I will be visiting many of these projects. However, please be warned, many do not have easy access by public transport and you may need to rent a car or driver. The following are the photos that I tweeted live from day one of my trip to Chiang Mai. By the way, I came here on the overnight train and you can see those trip photos here.
The overnight express sleeper train to Chiang Mai has always been popular. It’s even more so now because of the new carriages from China. If you want to go on it you will have to wait until at least the new year as it is fully booked. I was lucky to be able to ride it on Sunday night at the invitation of the Minister of Tourism. We took the 2nd Class sleeper. The lower bunk was 881 Baht and the upper bunk was 791 Baht. The train left Bangkok at 6:10pm and was scheduled to arrive in Chiang Mai at 7:15am the next morning. The following are the photos that I tweeted live during the trip.