Thursday, January 24, 2013

Clolorful Culture

Executive summary by darmansjah

WITH ITS SANUK (FUN) LIFE STYLE and fascinating Buddhist culture full of grace, warmth, and openness, it is no wonder that Thailand is known as the ‘land of smiles’-visitors are always welcomed and treated with generous hospitality. In Buddhism, emphasis is placed on merit making, which gives rise to the importance of serving others and fostering good faith. But in the day-to-day world, the heart of Thai culture is food, its cuisine has garnered worldwide acclaim for its variety, flavor, and emphasis on fresh ingredients. From humble country fare to grand royal feasts, visitors will delight in the abundance of choice and will definitely not go hungry. Apart from nibbling on tasty treats and to understand what can only be describes as ‘Thainess,’ why not immerse yourself in the culture by taking in some expertly run classes in everything from massage to cooking to Muay Thai. You can even take part in traditional events for which ceremonial dress can be worn.

Natural wonderes

THAILAND HAS ONLY RECENTLY EMERGED as an adventure travel destination, and this is likely the reason that its myriad natural attractions are such a well-kept secret. With a growing concern for the environment, travelers are opting for more ‘green’ ways to explore a chosen destination. There has never been a better time to discover the wealth of ecotourism options that are on offer. Everything from soft-adventure trips such as yachting and trekking to hardier pursuits such as diving, camping, and sea-canoeing can be had. The tropical south, where craggy limestone karsts thrust up from the azure waters of the Andaman Sea, makes for excellent canoeing excursions and diving with sea turtles around the Surin Islands and Similan Islands.

 surin island

similan island

In the north, the landscape changes as it gives way to pastoral views of rolling green hillsides, mist-enshrined temples, and picturesque rice terraces. Trekking around Thailand’s northern province of Mae Hong Son promises a unique treat: a rare look into the lives of the region’s hill tribes such as the Karen, Hmong, and Akha. If you go in October or November, you will be rewarded with the sight of a carpet of vibrant sunflowers blanketing the undulating hills and valleys. Wildlife lovers should head up to Chiang Mai’s Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest peak. With three massive waterfalls, this lush habitat contains some of the world’s most exotic tropical species such as the Asiatic black bear, the Assamese macaque, the Indian civet, and more than 400 types of birds.

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