Thailand in November

As the Land of Smiles ushers in November, Thailand’s temperatures increase steadily and with that begins a season of festivities with tourists returning after the monsoon and locals celebrating the rice harvest. Beautiful beaches in the Andaman Sea beckon, as do hikes through the rice fields and mountains of the North.

In addition to the accessibility of these natural wonders, the country hosts fabulous festivals which the Thai people enthusiastically celebrate. Rest assured, there’s no shortage of places to go and things to see in Thailand in November.

Weather in Thailand

Thailand’s an outdoor destination for most travellers: beaches and jungles are top natural phenomena. As such, weather is an important factor in deciding when and where to visit.

The lowest average temperature during November is a reasonable 19°C; the maximum to be expected is 32°C, meaning the weather is hot enough for beach days but cool enough to keep you sane as you navigate crowded streets.

November Temperatures

Chiang Mai’s cool with temperatures ranging from 19 °C to 30°C, while Bangkok’s warmer with 23 °C to 32°C. Out on the islands, temperatures are warm. Phuket ranges from 23°C to 31 °C and Koh Samui’s at 24 °C to 30°C. But don’t be deceived by higher temperatures; rainfall is key when deciding where to go!


The rainy season is considered to be at a close in November but rainfall can still vary across the country. It’s highest in the islands, including popular Koh Samui (an average of 490mm), while mainland Bangkok largely escapes the downpour with 46mm.

Best Destinations to visit

The Islands in Thailand

The Andaman Sea Islands are where the best beaches in November are located. West of the mainland, they’re generally free of the storms that plague the lower gulf islands like Koh Samui and Koh Tao.

Popular islands such as Koh Phi Phi and Phuket are in the midst of shoulder season, meaning they’re more affordable than in the height of the dry season.

In Phuket, late November’s improved weather means more bars open and the island remains uncrowded but not deserted. The diving season also begins. Catch a special full moon party at Paradise Beach Club in Phuket as the entire country celebrates Loy Krathong.

The North and North-East Thailand

The north is cool and bustling in the midst of rice harvest. Though still cold at night, the mountains around Chiang Mai are popular for hiking in November. An already spectacular landscape is transformed into the mystical as the mists descend over the mountain tops. Adding to this beauty are the blooming flowers dotting the landscape.

Rice is Thailand’s staple food. Most farmers do not use modern machinery, instead, harvesting their crops with traditional methods. November, harvest season, is a good time to visit the rice paddies.

Bangkok and the Central South of Thailand

November is a good time to visit Bangkok. You’ll avoid the claustrophobic heat of other months, meaning more comfort when zipping around town on a scooter or wandering the vast rooms of the Grand Palace. However, the tourist crowds are high (they always are) so there’s plenty of queueing. With the city’s popularity, prices for accommodation and meals are steep. This isn’t the time for spontaneity, either: book ahead.

Remember to factor in the locations of some of Thailand’s great festivals, listed below. These towns come alive during the celebrations and offer amazing glimpses into local life.

Events and festivals in November

In November Thailand celebrates the approach of the drier season and the country turns grateful, dedicating festivals to river spirits and monkeys, as well as celebrating its rich cultural and artisanal heritage.

These are just a few of the many festivities taking place in the month:

Loy Krathong

According to the Thai calendar, the 12th full moon of the year falls in early November. On this night, the moon lights up all of Thailand, the signal for the country’s Festival of Lights, Loy Krathong, to commence.

Locals decorate floats with banana leaves and spider fly plants before filling them with food, incense, candles and other tokens. The glowing lanterns are then placed on the rivers, creating a flickering spectacle in honour of the river spirits. In releasing the floats, people are symbolically letting go of old grudges and making wishes for the new year.

The festival is practised all over the country but for a special variation, head to Chiang Mai. There it takes on a different name, Yee Pheng, and locals release lanterns into the sky instead of onto the rivers.

Boat Race Festival in Phimai

Though the main drawcard of the festival is the boat races, the rich cultural and crafting displays are equally attractive. There’s a display of traditional techniques and products, art shows in the ancient archaeological park, contests and a large, bustling market.

Phimai is a part of north-east Thailand.

Silk Festival and Phuk Phoen Ceremony

Thailand’s one of the largest silk producers in the world. It’s an age-old trade in the ancient kingdom that’s celebrated in Khon Kaen in late November. There’s an exciting street parade, demonstrations of weaving techniques, folklore events and, yes, stalls full of silk!

Khon Kaen is located in the north-east of the country.

Monkey Banquet Festival

On the last Sunday of November, the people of Lopburi gather to pay their respects and express their gratitude to the monkeys of the town who attract many tourists, providing incomes for locals. There are hundreds of monkeys and sitting down to a banquet with the animals is a unique experience. Street parades and food markets (this time for humans) also take place during the festival.

Lopburi is situated in central Thailand.

November’s definitely an exciting time to visit Thailand. The country shows off its history, art and culture with unusual and tourist-friendly festivals. The natural beauty of Thailand also comes to the fore with breathtaking scenery in the lofty peaks of the north and the turquoise, clear waters of the southern islands. With so much on offer during the month, November is an ideal time to visit Thailand.

Living As A Digital Nomad In Bali (What you need to know)

Year on year, Bali grows in popularity as a hotspot for digital nomads. On this stunning island, workers with wanderlust fulfill their fantasies of dream lifestyles with cheap and convenient working conditions – the three main requirements for most.

On arrival in Bali, it’s tough not to be bowled over by incredible landscapes, unique architecture and epic sunsets. Yet there are so many more things about Bali that guarantee a steady stream of nomads through its new airport. Countless cafes and co-working spaces offer comfortable working conditions, as well as delicious aromatic coffee and local cuisine.

Choosing your ideal Balinese destination

In terms of environment, you can choose between golden sandy beaches and inner city life; both have their own allure. Wherever you are, you won’t be far from emerald green rice terraces, intricately decorated temples and exotic wildlife.

In terms of activities, you can do everything from trekking to yoga and surfing, and there are all kinds of events happening every day. Those who love the local culture can attend or watch local rituals and ceremonies as often as they please.

Let’s take a look at some of the best places digital nomads can settle in Bali:



Ubud is Bali’s most popular nomad destination and one visit here will explain this. Ubud calls to people who enjoy healthy lifestyles – there are vegetarian and vegan cafes with creative food options, and a world famous yoga centre, The Yoga Barn. Ubud is seen as a kind of hub for spiritual people on a quest for self-exploration and rich experiences.

One of your main concerns will undoubtedly be setting yourself up for work. Below are some of the best co-working spots and cafes you can find; they’re ‘go-to’ options for daily work, or those days when you want a break from being stuck inside a beautiful Balinese villa… (what a dilemma!)




Co-working space Hubud is one of Ubud residents’ favourites. You can meet plenty of other nomads here, so it’s great for making friends and connections. The place is constructed beautifully from wood and bamboo, and you can see gorgeous rice fields just outside. You can also dine in the raw food café when you’re hungry. What’s not to like?


Another great co-working option in Ubud is The Onion Collective. It’s up there among the most popular picks because of its swimming pool and chilled vibe. It’s another space with a great restaurant and you’ll get to listen to live bands at night. You can even pay what you can afford to work there!


Cafes and coffee shops


If coffee shops are more your thing, check out Kismet Cafe, where you get excellent vegetarian food. The seating is good and you can plug in easily – fast Wi-Fi is probably the main selling point though.


There is also Seniman coffee shop. Coffee lovers head here for the flavoursome, classy coffees on offer. Wi-Fi isn’t as good as the co-working spaces, but it’s doable for general tasks. A couple more worth checking out are vegan cafes Sage and Sayuri, both of which have great food and fast Wi-Fi.



If inland Bali doesn’t appeal as much as the beach, you can find what you’re looking for right there on the coast. Popular coastal areas include Sanur (Denaspar), Seminyak, Legian, Kuta and South Kuta. However, Canggu seems to be a little more geared up for the nomad lifestyle.

Canggu is popular with surfers, yogis, vegans, hipsters and of course digital nomads. You can find Canggu about 20km north of Seminyak. The whole of the beach area is known as ‘Canggu’ and stretches across 8km, but it is split into sections.


For accommodation, plenty of digital nomads seem to prefer the area south of Jl. Raya Canggu road, which is near to the sea. Other popular spots are Echo Beach, Umalas, Kerobokan, and Batu Bolong. There are so many, you’ll probably want to come here and check them all out before deciding.




Dojo, near Echo Beach has fibre-optic Wi-Fi, an outdoor seating area, and a lovely swimming pool. They host regular networking events to help you connect with fellow nomads and business contacts.


C’ugh House in Berawa offers breathtaking views and an excellent restaurant. The facilities are super-comfortable and the place is spread out over three tiers; you can choose between membership and drop in, etc. You get what you pay for, so that includes free restaurant Wi-Fi, or fastest Wi-Fi and air-con for members.


Cafes and coffee shops


You might also like Rou Coffee & Co-Working, in Umalas. It’s a very nice coffee shop (despite the label co-working space) and it doesn’t ask for any fees; you’ll simply need to order coffee and/or food and you can take advantage of their fast Wi-Fi.


Connecting digitally is easy

It’s easy to get hooked up to the net in Bali. You can choose between 4G, fibre-optics and Wi-Fi (with reasonable connection speeds), depending on where you’re situated. Hotels and cafes provide Wi-Fi, but you’ve also got the option of setting it up in your rented house or villa, if it isn’t already.


A SIM card with 4gb of data won’t cost you more than $6 per month, and that should cover most digital nomad activities – in terms of connection speed at least. There are also lots of co-working spaces designed with digital nomads in mind; all your needs are covered and internet is usually at its fastest and most reliable.


Cost of living is reasonable


Although living costs can vary quite a lot in Bali, you could estimate spending between $500 and $1000 dependent on how you plan to live. At the lower end of that scale you’ll get simple accommodation and cheap local food. At the higher end, you’ll get a house or villa with a pool, plenty of activities each week, co-working, and decent meals out.


It’s not difficult to find what you’re looking for in Bali; every area has its own charms but most will cater for your working needs. Comfortable and reasonably priced accommodation is easy to come by, and you couldn’t get bored if you tried. Have fun in Bali!


About The Author: Cal Bailey runs Mountain Leon – a travel blog he started after two years on backpacking around the world. If you want to learn more about his life and travel experiences, make sure can read his latest article which is a guide to selecting the right gun magnet.


Ways To Get Around South Africa

South Africa is an eclectic mix of culture, food, tradition, and a history full of different people coming together to form this wonderful country. Ever since the end of Apartheid, South Africa has fast become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa.

There are many different ways for tourists to discover everything this country has to offer, from walking to the train and domestic flights that cover every major city and popular hotspot in the country.


Even though there are a handful of bus companies operating within the country, using the bus is not the most popular form of transport. Many people use them to travel long distances or to work, but this is a small minority.

There is a bus that can take you almost anywhere, and if you are a fan of enjoying the journey more than the destination, then the bus is for you. You can see every inch of the country for the comfort of your seat, stopping in some delightful towns along the way.

The more popular bus companies are Intercape, Greyhound, and Translux, which also all operate a budget fare system. Baz Bus is a more popular choice for backpackers as they have a very useful hop-on and hop-off policy.

Minibus Taxis

Minibuses are by far the most popular form of transport in the country, carrying more than two-thirds of the population every day. They operate everywhere, from major cities to smaller towns and across the townships.

One of the major downsides of travelling on a minibus is the bus itself. Many of them are unroadworthy, operated by dangerous drivers and are the main targets for petty criminals and crime.

Taxi companies are also in constant war for territory, and shootouts between drivers are common, so if you do want to travel this way, asking for some local advice will get you far in choosing the right taxi for you.


The train system in the country is often lacking maintenance and doesn’t always run properly. The lines operate between major hubs in all the major cities. Johannesburg has the Gautrain, which is more on the luxury side and leaves from O.R Tambo International.

There are also trains that are used for specific activities. The Blue Train, for instance, is a luxury train that travels between Pretoria and Cape Town. You can eat and sleep on the train while enjoying the vast and beautiful landscapes as you roll by.


Obviously, driving is the most common form of transport, like with many other countries, and if you have a valid license and want to explore on your own terms, this is the best option. There are also many car hire companies to choose from.

Many of these car rental companies have outlets at all the major airports, and you can hire a car right as you land and start your adventure immediately. The rules of the roads are also very accessible and as long as you follow them, you will have a carefree drive.


Another unique way of exploring is on a bicycle. If you are a bit of a fitness fanatic, this is the best choice for you. Bicycle rental shops are sometimes hard to find, especially in the smaller towns, but you won’t have much trouble in the major hubs.

Cape Town, for example, have companies that allow you to rent out electric bicycles for set amounts of time, and you can use them to travel across the coast and beachfront suburbs, all the way to the famous V&A Waterfront, with Table Mountain as a backdrop.


Probably the least popular way to travel is hitching. South Africa’s crime rates make hitching a particularly dangerous form of travelling, and picking up hitchhikers is also frowned upon due to the fact that is an easy crime opportunity.

Domestic Flights

If you have the money, and looking to travel quickly, using one of the local airlines for quick trips across the country is the way to go. Mango and Fly Safair are South Africas most affordable airlines and there are even smaller ones that also travel to popular spots such as the Kruger National Park.

The airlines are extremely efficient, and a few such as Kulula and FlySafair offer discounts quite regularly, allowing you to travel between cities cheaper than it would cost to drive. This is definitely the most popular way to travel far distances.

Travelling around South Africa can be a very simple task, and there are many different ways to do it depending on what experience you want and your budget. Just be wary of which one as you choose and your holiday or weekend of adventure will be a success.

Best Things to do in Thailand by Month (Ultimate Guide)

Thailand, a Southeast Asian country comprised of 76 provinces inhabited by over 68 million people. This country is known for its beautiful beaches, pretty palaces and magnificent temples; it’s no wonder this is the most visited destination in all of the world.

If you’re a first-time traveller to Thailand, it will be difficult to cover everything. However, you can join us as we uncover the hidden gems of some of the best cities in Thailand and be sure to add them to your “to do list” whilst travelling there.


January is one of the best times of the year to visit Thailand, due to its infrequent rainfall and vast amount of sunshine. Truth be told, there is no activity or attraction you cannot visit, just be sure to plan your trip as far in advance as you can, as it is the busiest and more costly time of year.

See the Floating Markets in Bangkok


If I had to mention a few of the best things to do in Thailand, my first suggestion would be to see a floating market in Bangkok. Although there are many, the most popular is the Damnoen Suduak market.

This market specifically is best due to its variety of boats selling an array of food and fruits. It is quite busy, so ensure you arrive early in the morning, especially considering January is the busiest season.

You cannot miss out on the spectacle of colours and the experience of a floating market.


Bangkok market

Travel to Buddha Hell – Wang Saen Suk


Personally, I have never considered that Buddhists believed in a hell. However, Thailand never shies away from the strange and obscure.

In a village not far from Bangkok, take a glimpse into the Buddhist underworld. I warn you, it is incredibly graphic.

It is believed that guilty souls who abandoned their religious beliefs were sent to hell to be punished and prepared for a new life. The stone sculptures showcase torturous and grotesque punishments that are both unattractive, yet interesting.



Chinese New Year


Chinese New Year is one of the most exhilarating events in Thailand. Although it falls between January and February, I’m going to mention it here.

The best place to attend the Chinese New Year is in Bangkok, where streets come alive with festivity and celebration. Chinese communities take this time to pray to their Gods and to pay respects to their ancestors.

If you are in Thailand for the Chinese new year, be sure to see the Dragon Dance Parade and learn more about the myths and legends behind the traditions you see today.


bangkok chiang mai



By February, tourists levels start to decrease. The weather is still great with lots of sunshine and minimal rainfall, and accommodation and flight expenses begin to decrease. If you find yourself travelling Thailand this time of year, be sure to find the beach.

The Emerald Pool


This is definitely a popular attraction, so it is best to visit in February when peak season has dwindled. These sorts of attractions are always best enjoyed in solitude.

The emerald pool and blue lagoon are part of a nature reserve of which the waters stream from thermal hot springs underground. It really is a wonderful experience and it goes to show how beautiful of a country Thailand really is.

Take a look online for a few packages that allow a tour guide to take you, as it is quite a distance outside of the town of Krabi. You will also need to walk to the pools, so definitely best to have someone lead the way. Some tours offer a free lunch afterwards as well!



Patong beach


Patong is definitely one of the most popular beach resorts in Phuket. Its beach is lined with cafes, bars and restaurants. It also includes Bangla Road, which is well known for its colourful architecture and bustling nightlife.

This is definitely not a place to take your children. However, if you are with a group of friends or your partner, add a cabaret show to your to-do list, or enjoy a few drinks in one of the many bars.



Chiang Mai Flower Festival


We’ve spoken about how Thailand boasts rich and exotic culture and colour; the Chiang Mai flower festival is no different. For a duration of three days, tourists and locals gather to observe one of the most incredible displays that one cannot experience anywhere else.

With displays of dancers in magnificent costumes, performing traditional dances on flower floats, this is a ‘must see’ kind of experience! It is also interesting to know that the floats are designed with flowers that are only found in Chiang Mai.



Erawan waterfall


Escape the city and venture to one of the most incredible waterfalls Thailand has to offer. The nature reserve is named after the three-headed elephant in Hindu mythology, and it is said that the top of the waterfall resembles the elephants head.

Located in Kanchanaburi province, the Erawan National park hosts this waterfall, which is surrounded by emerald green pools and vast forestry. It makes for a wonderful place to relax and listen to the falling water



As the months go on, so the heat increases. If you find yourself visiting Thailand in March, I will quickly advise you to perhaps move south to escape the heat and move towards the water.

Phi Phi Islands


The Phi Phi islands are a network of islands that have become the most well known Thai attractions. Truthfully, I don’t think there is one person who hasn’t seen a picture or seen them in a movie.

Boasting incredible beauty, the Phi Phi islands are essentially undeveloped and uninhabited. If you go to Thailand without visiting, you haven’t had the full Thai experience.

If you’re looking for a peaceful experience, surrounded by beautiful waters to escape the summer heat, there is no better place.


Ko Phi Phi Island - Thailand


Take a ride on the Pyongyang Zipline and Jungle Coaster


If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker, find your way to the Chiang Mai Zipline and Jungle coaster. Fly across the Chiang Mai forest and enjoy a 360-degree view of its beauty, or hop on the jungle roller coaster for a quick shot of adrenaline.

The park also offers beautiful accommodation and a buffet. This is a great attraction for families and groups of friends.


Experience a Blue Elephant Tour


Despite the many stories we’ve heard about the unethical way in which elephants are treated in Thailand, the Blue Elephant tour has received rave reviews.

Also located in Chiang Mai, you are offered the opportunity to feed, walk and play amongst the Elephants, although you are not allowed to ride them.

You will also be taken through the Chiang Mai forest with a professional guide who will teach you about these friendly giants and their way of life.


Take a look at Buddha Mountain


South of Thailand, in the city of Pattaya, you can view the largest Buddha image engraved against Khao Chi Chan. The image was designed to commemorate the King of Thailand’s golden jubilee. It was lasered into the solitary limestone and then filled with gold, creating a beautiful piece of art.

This really is quite a sight to see and it makes for a great picture. So, if you find yourself in Pattaya, be sure to make your way to Buddha mountain.





Reaching highs of almost 40-Degrees Celsius, April is by far the hottest time of the year in Thailand. The best areas to find yourself in is Koh Samui or Phuket, where rain is more frequent and the heat is less prominent. The tourist season is also essentially at its end.


Look out for the Secret Buddha Garden

If you enjoy a bit of culture, you should definitely visit the Secret Buddha Garden. Located in Koh Samui, the garden is a private park of sculptures on one of the highest peaks in the area.

The statues represent animals, humans and deities in various poses that were created by a fruit farmer. Each statue holds with them unique, Buddhist folklore stories and mythology, so perhaps it would be best to organise a tour guide for the full educational experience.



Attend the Songkran Water Festival


Although I suggested avoiding these areas, Chiang Mai and Bangkok are the best places to celebrate the Thai new year. At least you won’t suffer too much in the heat, considering the amount of water you will be flooded with.

The word “Songkran” means transformation and change. There are various traditions that are followed during this time of year, so if you wish to participate, ensure you familiarise yourself with them.

The water festival is one of the most popular events in Thailand and provides a great way to have good fun during your travels and to fully immerse yourself in the Thai culture.




While Thailand is still relatively humid and warm, it is still a pretty wet month. If you’re travelling the city in May, it might be best to stay indoors. Here are the some of the best attractions and activities you can find during this time of year.


Visit the Royal Barges Museum


The Royal Barges Museum, located in Bangkok, was established in 1972. It was originally a dry dock for barges, managed by the Royal Thai Navy. After WWII, a few of the boats had to be repaired and restored, creating this beautiful museum, which today, has become a national heritage site that so many visit.

The barges and boats are crafted with exquisite detail and colour. They are a clear representation of the stock standard designs one will see all over Thailand.



Get a Traditional Thai massage in Chiang Mai


There are many reasons that people travel; often it is for business, perhaps to visit family and friends. However, people mostly travel because they need a break from the concrete jungle. What better way to do so than to literally escape to the jungle.

Take yourself for the ultimate treat and experience an authentic Thai massage. Escape the rain and enjoy an hour-long full body massage at one of the many massage parlours one can find in Thailand.

If you’re in Koh Samui, you’re in the right place for this kind of thing. Take a look online for some of the best massage parlours in Koh Samui.


Take a cooking class


Take a break from walking the streets and delve into genuine, local Thai cuisine. This is a fun activity for people of all ages and is a great way to immerse oneself in the local culture.

Learn how to create Pad Thai, red and green curries, as well as fried rice and noodles!

The Best Thai Cooking School lives up to its name. Located on a beautiful farm in Chiang Mai, this cooking school grows and harvests its own ingredients for locals and tourists to use while learning how to create local cuisine. It has quickly become one of the most sought-after cooking schools in the area.

You could also try the Sompong Cooking School, located in Bangkok. Learn and create healthy, colourful Thai dishes from qualified chefs and take your impressive new skills home with you to impress your friends and family.



The weather in Thailand in June is almost identical to that of May. Temperatures may rise, however, with it being amidst the monsoon season, it is still best to try keep activities indoors.


Grand Palace – Bangkok


The spiritual heart of Thailand, the Grand Palace is known as Bangkok’s most famous landmark.

The palace is a complex of buildings, developed to incredible standards of architecture, boasting intricate detail and an array of colour. You cannot leave Thailand without visiting the greatest of all temples. Learn about the vast and rich history of the palace as well as that of those who lived there.

Pay careful attention to the dress code, as there are very strict guidelines. You are expected to cover your entire body, so be sure to wear long pants and shirts with sleeves. Visitors are not allowed to bare their shoulders or feet. If you are incorrectly dressed, there is a booth that will provide you with extra garments, however, they do charge.


thailand palace


Phuket Aquarium


The Aquarium in Phuket is the perfect way to spend a relaxing few hours away from the rain. While it is the best idea to entertain your children, it is also suitable for groups or couples.

Although not large, there are many tanks of various sizes that are home to an array of sea creatures both big and small, beautiful and weird. The aquarium also features the ever-popular tunnel, a favourite amongst visitors.

Walking through the tunnel, you are able to surround yourself with a fully panoramic view of the larger, more fascinating marine life that inhabits this giant tank and feel as if you are inside it. Hence its popularity.




During the month of July, Thailand sees less sun and the temperature stagnates between 26-33 degrees celsius. Generally, it is typically best to avoid areas like Bangkok, due to the humidity of the area, however, it only sees, on average, 17 days of rain.

Ghost Tower – Sathorn Unique Tower


The Sathorn Unique Tower, also known as the “Ghost Tower”, is an incomplete skyscraper located in Bangkok. It was designed to become a 49 storey luxury apartment building, however, it has today settled as a representation of the financial crisis that hit Thailand in 1997, which is the reason the construction was brought to its end.

21 years later, this building of ruin and neglect has become a playground to graffiti artists, stray dogs and the homeless. Unfortunately, despite the buildings name, there are no ghosts to be found.

It is also a very popular site for travellers and explorers due to its spine-chilling appearance and the obvious curiosity of humankind. One must admit, however, that once you reach the top floor, the view of Bangkok city is one like no other.



Trickeye Museum – Phuket


The Trickeye Museum is an exhibition space featuring over 100 unique, 4D oil paintings. These paintings are all designed to be life-sized murals, which allow visitors to immerse themselves in, and to interact with their life-like nature.

The paintings really are a “trick of the eye”, with their purpose being to stimulate creativity, which is pretty self-explanatory if you were to see the paintings yourself.

It makes for a full day of fun for any person of any age. Take the opportunity to have fun and create amazing picture moments to take home with you, and to laugh at forever.




Sanctuary of Truth – Pattaya


The Sanctuary of Truth is a religious temple constructed entirely of wood. It is then furnished with sculptures of Buddhist and Hindu designs.

The purpose of the temple is to reflect ancient beliefs and knowledge, as well as to guide visitors to better understand the common goal of life and this universe.

This temple is one of the most magnificent you will find, not only in Thailand, but in the entire world. It is carved entirely of wood right to its finest detail. I spent a lot of time trying to string the best words together to describe how immaculate it really is; to no avail.

It is clear to see the time and effort that was put into the temple’s development, and it is only scheduled for completion in 2050! This is a must-see while in Thailand. If you don’t make your way to Pattaya, you are sure to leave regretting, having missed this gorgeous attraction.


thailand attraction


Eat Street food in Bangkok –


Now, I know I have spoken mostly about Thailand attractions and things to see. However, while in Bangkok, one must eat street food!

It’s interesting to know that Thailand’s main cities are all known for something. Bangkok is best known for its food and has been for years. It even scores as some of the best street food in the world.

Everywhere you go, there are people, and there is food. I feel it is imperative for any traveller to experience everything there is to offer about the country they are visiting. From the culture to the landscape, to its history and its food.

Now, you don’t necessarily only have to try street food in July, but I must mention to do it sometime. It is a necessity to try the weird and wonderful, authentic Thai dishes right off the roadside. Here are a few of the more popular street foods you will find in Bangkok:

Pork Trotters / Khao Kha Moo – Braised pigs feet served with rice
Pad Thai – Stir-fried rice noodles, tofu, egg and peanuts. Both spicy and sour.
Grilled pork sticks / Moo ping
Fried bugs – (we all knew this was coming) Locusts, crickets, cockroaches and more.





Go to a cinema –


If you’re looking to take a break from the incessant walking and explorations of Thailand. Spend a few hours at the Siam Paragon cinema, which hosts an IMAX and 4D theatre with 10 different special effects.

Across the road, you will find the Scala Theatre, which has never changed since its establishment. This makes for a unique movie experience as guests are able to enjoy a vintage style, cinematic adventure.


Big Buddha – Phuket


While this is a relatively young landmark, and not necessarily the most popular, if you are in the area, it would be worthwhile to appreciate the magnificence of such a large religious site.
The Buddha is scaled to 25 metres wide and 45 metres high, constructed entirely of concrete and layered with white marble.

If you’re standing in the town of Phuket, it is easily visible and hence, is able to offer a spectacular view of the city from the viewpoint itself. It is said that around 1000 people visit the landmark on a good day to make donations or to write on the marble bricks.

While visiting the landmark, one can enjoy the peace away from the city with the additional sounds of cultural background music. It is important to remember that this is a religious site, and you must wear the correct attire.




Wat Rong Khun – White Temple


The White Temple is a contemporary art exhibit created to resemble a Buddhist temple. Located in Chiang Rai, this landmark has become the most visited in the area and is a must-see for locals and tourists alike.

It is a completely white structure with additional pieces of glass to create a shimmer effect.

The temple was created by a local designer who has dedicated his life to completing the structure. He also aims to turn the area around the temple into an educational learning and meditation centre.

The most astounding thing about this temple is how every part of its structure has a symbolic meaning. For instance, The bridge across the lake symbolises rebirth, while the white theme symbolises purity and the glass pieces; Buddha’s teachings and wisdom.


white temple

Fantasea Theme Park


We all know that Thailand is one of exotic culture, colour and tradition. It is a must to see the Fantasea Theme park. Using acrobatics, illusions and aerial shows, paired with incredible special effects where performers showcase the rich heritage of Thailand.

The theme park also includes carnival rides and games, as well as one of the best buffets in Phuket.


Thailand theme park


As we reach October, Thailand experiences fewer days of rain. The best areas to find yourself in during this period would be Chiang Mai, which experiences the least amount of rain.


Visit Doi Inthanon National Park – Chiang Mai


Also known as “the roof of Thailand”, you can find this national park in Chiang Mai. It is part of the Himalayan mountain range and due to its high altitude, the park experiences high humidity and cool weather all year round.

Within the park are various viewpoints, waterfalls and walking trails. If you are a view hunter, this is the perfect place to experience some of the best views Thailand has to offer. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and find peace in the calm.


Visit the Klong Thom Hot Springs


Imagine yourself in a bathtub surrounded by natural forestry; that is exactly what you will find at the Klong Thom Hot Springs. Located in Krabi, rain is infrequent at this time of year, so you can take yourself for a therapeutic spa day right in the midst of nature.

This smooth rock brings water in through hot springs located in volcanic chambers. Submerge yourself in the warm, cascading water and enjoy the benefits of its natural mineral salts, which are said to cure various health issues like sciatica.

This water also cascades into a cool stream that visitors can swim in. The emerald pool, as previously mentioned, isn’t too far from these hot springs. For only 200 baht, you can gain yourself access to the nature reserve as well.


Krabi hot springs


Tiffany’s Cabaret Show


This extravagant show takes place at the Grand Theatre, located in Pattaya. It features a group of transgender performers, wearing the most exquisite and bright attire that is nothing far from over the top.

Three times an evening, visitors can come and enjoy an hour-long show filled with colour, light, music and various cultural dances, as well as an ever-exciting burlesque performance.

Anybody can come and enjoy the show and it is most definitely something any tourist should make sure they cover before heading home.


November –


Elephant Jungle Sanctuary – Chiang Mai


This elephant sanctuary was established through the collaboration of Karen hill tribes and Chiang Mai locals who shared concerns about the welfare of elephants in Thailand.

It is aimed to be an ethical and sustainable sanctuary where elephants are well taken care of. Visitors are not permitted to ride them and there are never displays of tricks. You will be taken by a guide who can teach you about the sanctuary itself as well as the elephants they take care of.

This is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Thailand. Take a walk alongside these friendly giants and bask in the experience of a lifetime; with an opportunity to swim, feed and play with the elephants.



Angthong National Marine Park


Located in Koh Samui, the Angthong Marine Park is a beautiful archipelago of islands. It hosts various limestone mountains, waterfalls and forests to explore.

Take part in activities such as snorkelling or kayaking to escape the summer heat or relax on the white sand beaches.

Take a day trip or book a bungalow to stay overnight. Although this becomes an increasingly popular attraction, it still remains a pristine and protected, picture-perfect paradise.


thailand marine park

Discover Chiang Mai’s Grand Canyon


Any tourists favourite discovery; one that seems relatively unknown to this day. Well, in case you haven’t heard yet, Thailand has its very own version of the Grand Canyon.

Located in Chiang Mai, you can visit this beautiful, natural canyon. Also known as Hang Dong Canyon, visitors can relax upon the rocks and enjoy the view or take a swim in the gorgeous waters.

Take a picnic basket with some local beer and snacks and take the day to bask in the summer sun. Perhaps you will meet other tourists who could share a few of the other hidden treasures Thailand has to offer.




Floating Lantern Festival – Loi Krathong


Probably one of the most jaw-dropping experiences in Thailand would be the Loi Krathong festival. If you find yourself travelling Thailand at the right time in November, your number one “to-do” has to be this.

The date changes depending on the evening of the full moon; this year the festival will fall on the 23rd November (2018).

Loi meaning “float” and Krathong meaning ‘small container’, the Floating Lantern festival is a Buddhist purification ceremony that is symbolic of one’s willingness to let go of hatred and anger, as well as to say goodbye to the past and welcome the future.

During the ceremony, lotus-shaped baskets are either released into the rivers or in the air to ignite the dark sky with an endless swarm of floating lanterns. The best places to celebrate this ceremony are in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, where locals go all out, involving fireworks and shows of traditional dances.



December –

Bang Krachao


Discover one of the most beautiful artificial islands Thailand has on offer. Known as Bangkok’s green lung, Bang Krachao is a great way to stray away from the busy streets as the tourist season begins to pick up again.

Bang Krachao is Bangkok’s best-kept secret, hosting nothing but coconuts, jungle, small villages and Buddhist temples.

Take a bicycle tour through this beautiful island amidst the noise of Bangkok and enjoy the peace and tranquillity.


Upside Down House – Baan Teelanka


If you’re looking to play with your senses, there is no better attraction to visit than that of Baan Teelanka. Located in Phuket, this upside down house is a must see!

There are three main attractions to see, that being the inverted house, a garden maze and an escape room game. It might take a while to adjust to your scenery, but once you have, it becomes an incredible experience.

The house is beautifully designed and hosts three separate floors as well as an attic. This is the perfect activity for families and groups of friends and makes for many great photo opportunities that you can take to confuse your friends and family back home.


chiang rai thailand

Dragon Temple – Wat Samphran


Wat Samphran, located west of Bangkok, is registered as a Buddhist temple. It is, however, recognised for its dragon temple, featuring a 17 storey, cylindrical building, encircled by a giant dragon.

The interior of the Dragon contains a staircase that takes visitors to the top. However, the staircase has deteriorated and has never really been restored, so the building is closed to the public. Despite its deterioration, it is easy to agree that this attraction is one that pushes the boundaries of Thai architecture, as it is a site like no other.

Add this attraction to your to-do list! It only takes a quick visit and it makes for a great picture.


Kayaking in Krabi


For an activity such as this, we suggest avoiding group tours that you can book online. Instead, find yourself a small Kayak rental company in Krabi and float through the beautiful waters on a more personal excursion.

Start at Ao Nang Beach and travel towards Railay Beach. This journey offers a lot more experience, with the ability to see the multitude of limestone mountains right up close and enjoy the vast distance of Thai water.

Should you get hungry, which is more than likely to happen, Ao Phra Nang Beach usually has a few boat vendors selling food.

A personal excursion like this offers better opportunity to enjoy the excursion at your own pace. Make sure to take lots of water and sunblock.


krabi thailand


No matter what time of year you may find yourself in this amazing country, there is always something to do. Come rain or shine, Thailand is consistent in boasting its rich heritage and incredible landmarks.

The Best Time to Visit the Seychelles

The Seychelles, a group of 115 islands situated in the Indian Ocean, is a tropical paradise. With weather that hardly sees either extreme, and scenery that is unimaginably beautiful. There are three main islands and many smaller, private islands.




The 3 main islands are:

  • Mahe
  • Praslin
  • La Digue

It is extremely hard to decide on the best time to go to the Seychelles, since almost every day on the island is like paradise. Even during the rainiest parts of the year, the island is still beautiful enough to attract people looking for a tropical getaway.

Of course, when arranging your travels you want to find a time that best fits in with your holiday plans. If you are looking to visit the islands on your honeymoon, you may want to avoid the large crowds. If it’s the sun and beaches that you’re after, then you’d do best to visit outside of the rainy season.

We’ve considered the many different reasons that you would want to visit the Seychelles. Such as busy times, activities and seasonal weather. With that, we were able to decipher the best times of the year to visit this tropical paradise.

When to Travel the Seychelles Depending on Tourist Crowds




While the islands don’t have much of low season, May to August is the Seychelles peak tourist season, which means prices for accommodation and travel are high. If you are going to travel during this time, it is wise to plan and book ahead.

In December and January, the islands’ see a lower amount of tourist traffic. This is mostly due to the heavy rains. Travelling during these months would allow you a quieter holiday, but you would need to plan for the expected rain.

For the rest of year, there is an even amount of people flocking to the islands. You can find spots with less traffic or join in the busier fun with other tourists like yourself.

The Best Time to Go for Activities in the Seychelles





Snorkeling in the Seychelles is a favourite amongst tourists and locals alike. While you can enjoy this activity throughout the year, the best times would be while the waters are clear and calm. This would be March to May and September to November.





The Seychelles have superb diving opportunities offering close encounters with turtles, massive rays and small sharks. If you are visiting from July to October, you will have the chance to meet some Whale Sharks; although there is lower visibility during this season which makes viewing other sea-life slightly harder. The water temperatures also drop during these months.

For calm and clear diving, you’ll find that the waters are calmest during the months of March through May, and September through November. During these months you can experience the best visibility as well as the warmest water temperature.





If surfing is your game, then visiting the Seychelles in the months from May to September is a great idea. The waves are not excessive, but the beautiful scenery and lack of crowds makes the Seychelles a great place to surf.  If you do visit outside of the recommended months, you will still be able to enjoy surfing as long as you find the right spot.





The Seychelles have wonderful opportunities for bird-watchers. The main island is home to two very elusive species of land birds, namely the Seychelles Scops-owl and Seychelles White-eye.

April marks the return of breeding seabirds, with May – September being their nesting season, and migration starting in October.




Turtle and Tortoise Monitoring

A large attraction on the islands is the Turtle nesting; you can volunteer to assist the turtle monitoring programme on the beaches of Cousin Island from September to March each year.

The Giant tortoise mates and nests between February and September, while the Hawkesbill turtle nests September to March, and the Green turtle nests January to September.




Shark and Whale Watching

Since the waters are so clean and clear, you are able to get a really good view on the oceanic wildlife. The whale shark migration takes place between August and November and humpback whales breed (in the south) November-April.

When to Visit the Seychelles According to the Weather

The temperatures in the Seychelles don’t fluctuate tremendously, seldom dropping below 24°C. This means that even in the Winter months you still have amazing tropical weather.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern. The north-westerly trades blow from October to March when wind speeds average from 8 to 12 knots; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September with winds of between 10 to 20 knots, bringing cooler and windier conditions.





As mentioned above, the months of December and January are the rainiest months in the Seychelles.

Although rain is most frequent during this time, showers don’t seem to last long, most just a few minutes, which means that your outdoor activities won’t be interrupted all day.

These months also experience the least amount of sunlight per day, with most days seeing just 5-6 hours of sunlight.



These months are usually the hottest months of each year in the Seychelles.

The humidity is still high and, even though cyclones hardly ever reach the main islands of the Seychelles, these months have the highest possibility of cyclones and tropical storms.



This is the Winter season in the Seychelles, but thanks to the islands’ proximity to the equator, the temperatures drop to a comfortable warm opposed to the extreme summer highs.

There isn’t much rain during this season, leaving mostly sunny, dry days at the beach.

Thanks to the winds, surfing and sailing is perfect but large amounts of seaweed get washed up on a lot of the beaches, somewhat ruining their pristine image.



Once September comes around, tourists start to dwindle and the wind starts to calm down.

The weather is not yet at summer highs, Spring daily highs range from 30.4°C and 28.7°C.

You can expect some rain during this period, but not often and for very short periods.




The Absolute Best Time to go to the Seychelles

As you can see, the best time to go to the Seychelles depends largely on who is going, and what they intend to do while there. Most people agree, though, that visiting the islands during the months of April or November, will ensure you experience an all-round great time. The weather is calm, the crowds are manageable and there are ample activities to keep you busy.

It is safe to say that no matter when you plan to go to the Seychelles, you have an island paradise waiting for you. The fantastic part of visiting such an ideal holiday destination is that there is always the beautiful scenery and island culture to create the perfect relaxing vacation.

Introducing Tulbagh’s Magical Christmas in Winter Festival

Tulbagh Christmas in Winter


A cold, winter’s Christmas is not something that South Africans often get to experience. Snow-capped trees and carols at the fireplace are usually just something we see in movies.




But now we’ve found a tiny town in the Western Cape that is bringing Christmas in winter dreams to life. Tulbagh, roughly a 1.5-hour drive from Cape Town, holds its very own Christmas festival, right in the middle of our South African winter.


Details About the Festival


Every year, this small town gives South Africans a taste of what Christmas is like on the other side of the equator. The festival is held during the weekend closest to the 21st of June, our midwinter solstice. The dates for this year are 22 – 24 June.




The cost for the festival is R80 per adult and R60 per child over the age of 12. Under 12s enter for free.

This covers:

  1. Your festival “passports” which allow you to take part in the activities
  2. Entrance to 4 of Tulbagh’s Museums
  3. A chance for the kids to meet Santa Claus.




Accommodation In and Around Tulbagh


We suggest finding one of these great places to spend the night. Accommodation books out fast for this weekend, so don’t wait too late. We found a variety of accommodation options, from B&B, self-catering, backpackers and even pet-friendly places.

Here are some that stood out, but be sure to check out all accommodation options.

African Tulip Guesthouse




Situated at 8 Meiringstreet in Tulbagh, this B&B is within walking distance to the town centre. There is a no smoking policy in the rooms, and children must be over the age of 6 to accompany parents.

Offering you a breakfast buffet in their breakfast room, so that you start your day right. They have four rooms, which are named after and decorated in the style of flowers from their garden.

These luxury rooms require you to stay a minimum of 2 nights, and offer rates from R435 per person sharing, per night. The rooms boast king size beds, private bathrooms, and WIFI.


Rijks Country House




You’ll find this luxurious hotel at the Van Der Stel Street Ext, Winterhoek Road just outside of Tulbagh. They have a choice of 15 elegant rooms, ranging from luxury rooms to family cottages.

This hotel is a short drive outside of town. Their rates start at R1250 per person sharing per night. You may be tempted to not leave the farm all weekend, though.

Just a few things on offer are:

  • A private cellar
  • Wellness centre
  • Art gallery
  • Lawns where you can enjoy games or picnics
  • As well fishing in the dams


Secret Falls




Two cottages nestled among the fynbos in the mountains, on the outskirts of Tulbagh. You will find just the right amount of quiet here, allowing you to escape the bustle of the festival once you’ve had your fun.

The cottages are self-catering, with kitchen facilities and bedding included. There are indoor fireplaces and outdoor braais. A dam for swimming and fishing is a short walk away from the cottages. No pets are allowed in these cottages.

Rates start at R900 for 2 people, and R120 per person after that, although it seems the cottage only accommodates 4 people. If you’re feeling adventurous, they also have a 4X4 camping site on offer.


Tulbagh Fraaigelegen Farm




Here you have a choice between cottages or camping. There are three self-catering cottages, called the Shiraz, the Cabernet and the Olive, which each have 2 bedrooms and can sleep up to 4 people. The Olive cottage even allows small to medium dogs to join in the family holiday.

You can bring your caravan or motorhome to one of the three secure campsites if that is what you prefer. There are ablution facilities and electricity points as well as communal South African style Bomas for barbeques (or braaing).

The minimum stay is 2 nights, so definitely make a weekend of it. The cottage rates are from R525 per person sharing, per night; while the camping sites are just R140 per person sharing, per night.






Enjoy the festival even more by bringing along all your friends and family. Matroosberg offers camping sites and cottages that accommodate 2 – 20 people. Rates are quite affordable, especially if the whole group is chipping in, and there are multiple adventure activities to enjoy as well.

Depending on the level of comfort and luxury that you are looking for, there is a type of cabin or campsite for you. From a romantic cabin for two at the foot of the mountain to a shared bunker for eight friends, the choice is yours. Be warned, though, their website clearly states that the gates will close at 9 am, so don’t get caught up with the festival activities and get locked out of your sleeping quarters.

Some activities you can find on the farm include:

  • 4X4
  • Quad Biking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Game Tours
  • Abseiling
  • Snowboarding
  • Trail Running
  • Paintball
  • Fishing
  • Cherry Picking


Food & Drinks (Tulbagh’s best Restaurants, Pubs and Coffee Shops)


Always the favourite part of Christmas, the food and drink. Stuffing yourself full of meat, veggies, cake & happiness. This wintery Christmas festival is no different. Choose from a list of restaurants, pub meals and coffee stops along the way.

Most of these restaurants will be offering special Christmas-themed menus, so a good idea would be to phone and find out, as well as book a spot so you don’t miss out.


Readers Restaurant




A restaurant established in the oldest house in Church Street, here you can find a simple yet delicious menu. Offering dishes such as Kudu Carpaccio with fresh asparagus and Hollandaise and Wildebeest with gooseberry and amarula sauce, this seems like the perfect lunch spot.

The menu changes, depending on which ingredients are available fresh, so your choices won’t get stale, and neither will your food. You can also pop into their gift store and find a few items to take back home with you.


Olive Terrace Bistro @ The Tulbagh Hotel




This bistro is the in-house restaurant of The Tulbagh Hotel, situated centrally in Tulbagh. Offering à la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, with a fireplace to keep you warm. They serve everything from breakfast to dessert, with traditional wood oven pizzas that will most definitely tantalize those taste buds.

This is another place where the menu changes according to the availability of fresh produce. Their cakes are freshly baked every day, and they offer freshly squeezed orange juice. The bar has a range of local wine and draught beers, as well as craft gin cocktails.


1699 Restaurant




You’ll find this restaurant in Van Der Stel Street, in Tulbagh. They serve everything from breakfast to dinner, and everything in between. A menu that offers nothing but family-favourites in the form of toasted sandwiches, burgers, ribs and mouth-watering milkshakes.

Their deliciously crafted coffee from Blacksmith coffee looks like the perfect addition to any meal. They look like they enjoy a good party, and really get into the spirit of things, so Christmas in Winter is sure to be a great time with them.


Coffee and Cream




Church Street is famous in Tulbagh and holds many gems in the form of local businesses. One such business is Coffee and Cream. For those looking for a coffee stop amid the festivities, have a look at Coffee and Cream’s delectable cakes and other small delights.

A small coffee shop, full of love and sweet treats, this would be the ideal place to rest your feet in between festival activities. The menu changes often, so a surprise delight awaits each new morning.


Paddagang Restaurant




If you’re looking for some more traditional South African meals to enjoy with the kids, try out Paddagang Restaurant. A comfy looking restaurant, with green lawns and friendly faces to greet you. They seem to have opened just recently but have already found a spot in their customer’s hearts.

They boast the best Crème Brulee in the Western Cape, which is a firm favourite amongst their regulars. They also stock only local craft beers and wines, so a great place to feel like a local while on holiday.


Activities To Do in Tulbagh

With so many things to do, you definitely won’t get bored over the weekend. You may, however, have a really hard time deciding which things to do, and which to miss.

  • Arts, crafts, photographic exhibitions, art galleries and quaint shops will be there to browse through and do some early Christmas shopping.
  • Tantalize your taste buds with different cheese, Belgian chocolate, and olive tastings.
  • Work off all those Christmas calories by taking part in a trail run through the vineyards.
  • Enjoy a scenic tractor trip up the historic Oudekloof Pass with interesting stops along the way.
  • A scenic outride on horseback allows you to experience the beauty and tranquillity of nature.
  • Be daring and go on a Zipslide adventure further down the Valley.




Kids can have just as much fun with:

  • Jumping castles
  • Face painting
  • Pony rides
  • Tractor trips
  • Meeting Santa Claus




The wine farms surrounding Tulbagh will be open and offering a variety of wine tastings, as well as cellar tours and an assortment of family entertainment. If the guys get bored with browsing through the streets, leave them at one of the sports pubs with a beer. Be sure to catch some of the live entertainment that will be on show in the streets during the festival.


Thanks to the Tulbagh Christmas in Winter Festival, we can now have the best of both worlds – a cold, winter’s Christmas, as well as a Christmas spent in the sun. The festival is bound to bring in a merry crowd, ready to celebrate with cheery spirits. Experience a Christmas spent around the fireplace, with the hopes of snow falling.

It’s the perfect way to spend some quality time with the loved ones. It is also a great excuse to come out of hibernation for some family-friendly, winter fun. With activities for everyone and the entire town on display, expect this to become an annual family favourite.

The 10 Best Beaches in Thailand

Thailand’s a tropical paradise with breathtaking landscapes but the best vacation spots are surely the beautiful beaches. Scattered around the south of the country on the amazing islands, these waters come in 50 shades of blue. They never fail to be inviting and picturesque with sculpted cliffs and soft sandy shores. They’re also hosts to a jaw-dropping array of activities: from the legendary Full Moon parties to seaside massages, from jet skiing to surfing and sailing to rock climbing. These are the best beaches in Thailand: sit back and relax, there’s a stunning Thai beach for everyone.

Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, Koh Phangan

thong nai pan noi beach

Fine white sands lapped by crystalline blue waters, surrounded by lush greenery make the Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach one of the best beaches in Thailand. It’s got a secluded, hipster feel to it that makes those in the know seek it out.


You’ll find this tropical beach on Koh Phangan, an island 12 kilometers from Koh Samui Island. To get here from Thongsala, the main port on the islet, it’s either a taxi or speedboat ride. The latter is the more expensive option but avoids the 45 minute drive over the bumpy, unpaved road.

Useful Information

There are enough bars and restaurants along the beach to shelter in. For those staying over: keeping with the hippie-atmosphere, there are cheap bungalow accommodation options and mid-range hotel resorts.

Maya Beach, Koh Phi Phi Leh

thailand maya bay islands snorkeling

Serene Maya Bay is dominated by the mossy cliffs towering above the shallow cerulean sea. It’s instantly recognisable as the setting for Hollywood film ‘The Beach’ which starred Leonardo DiCaprio. This beautiful beach is part of a national park and boasts unbelievable reefs for diving and snorkelling.


Maya Bay is located on Koh Phi Phi Leh but most tourists come as part of a daytrip from the larger Koh Phi Phi Don. The Phi Phi Islands are easily accessible from Phuket; it’s about a 2 hour ferry ride.

Useful Information

Take advantage of all this tranquil Thai beach offers with a tour of the reefs or an overnight experience on the waters. Don’t forget that there’s a 200 Baht entrance fee for the beach as it’s part of a national park.

Phra Nang Beach, Krabi

phra nang beach
By kallerna (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Phra Nang fits the image of a tropical beach paradise but there’s also a mystical aspect to this shoreline. The Phra Nang Cave is the setting of a shrine to the mythical Phra Nang: according to legend, she was either an Indian princess or a fisherman’s wife. Regardless of her origins, locals venerate her with by erecting phallic structures in the cave to appease and honour the goddess.


Ao Nang is the main tourist base, located on the Railway Peninsula in Krabi province. Phra Nang Beach itself is accessible only by boat. From one of the nearby local beaches, it’s around 100 Baht and takes just 10 minutes.

Useful Information

The impressive rock formations encircling the beach also play host to rock climbers. Locals often show up on long boats, selling fresh fruit juices and Thai snacks for reasonable prices to help tourists keep cool on this Thai paradise.

Patong Beach, Phuket

patong beach
By jbremer57 [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Patong doesn’t disappoint when it comes to powdery sand and blue waters but its real gem is the endless catalogue of activities on Phuket’s busiest beach. The 3,5 km-long beach is host to vendors selling cool drinks and Thai meals, companies offering jet ski and parasailing equipment hire during the day and party goers spilling over from lively Bangla Road at night. The most popular beach in Thailand is a feel-good place for the easy-going traveller.


Patong is situated on Phuket Island and is at its heart in Patong Town, one of the best places to travel in Thailand. This Thai vacation spot is a 1 hour 25 minute flight from Bangkok or a 12 hour journey by land over the causeway.

Useful Information

Recently, there have been a spat of scams at Patong Beach, generally involving jet ski hire. It’s important to check the equipment for damages before hiring so that you are not liable for them afterwards.

Donald Duck Bay, Similian Islands

donald duck bay similian island thailand

This blissful beach gets its name from the flattened rock formation on its far right side that resembles the cartoon character. These huge stones are iconic of the area and many visitors to the beach enjoy climbing up and around them. The shimmering pale waters are simply divine. This seaside cove is part of a national park; beneath the waves grow amazing coral reefs, home to diverse species.


Donald Duck Bay can be found in the Similian Islands on the west coast of Thailand. The nearest mainland port to launch from is Thap Lamu Pier with journeys taking about 3 hours. It’s possible to reach the islands from Phuket by boat, too. Travel time is then between 45 minutes and 3 hours.

Useful Information

Accessing this stunning beach is dependent on ferries and the weather. Therefore, the islands are only available to tourists from around mid-October to mid-May.

Sailing around the Similians is becoming very popular, alongside diving and snorkelling.

Kata Beach

kata beach phuket
By ADwarf (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Kata Bay is another popular beach in Phuket, considered second to Patong. It’s large enough to be divided into two sections: Kata Centre and Kata South. Kata Centre is characterised by lively bars and fine dining day and night along the road, while Kata South is the playground for the hotel resorts and the busiest part of the actual beach. On the far south side, there are local restaurants: ignoring the unappealing plastic chairs and tables, they’re laid back places where you can keep your feet in the sand and taste Thai cuisine.


Kata Bay is Phuket’s second beach. There are regular buses between Patong and Kata at cheap prices. For drivers, the road is unattractive with numerous potholes. It’s better to park halfway down and walk, though it is a hike back up.

Useful Information

Kata Bay is only good for swimming in high season; during low season it becomes rocky and dangerous, better for surfers than swimmers. While parasailing is offered on the beachfront, it’s not considered the safest location.

Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui

chaweng beach koh samui

Chaweng’s often crowded and for good reason: 6km of palm-fringed soft sand give way to the powder blue ocean. There’s a fun, resort feel to the entire beach and everything you could ever need is in easy reach. The beachfront is dotted with hotels and restaurants, while hawkers selling drinks and snacks wander the shoreline. Although it’s big, the beautiful beach is more or less the same across the board. Just hire a sunbed and lay back for some of the best fun in the sun in Thailand.


This Thai beach is located in Chaweng Town, the main hub of Koh Samui. Koh Samui is a 1 hour and 10 minute flight from Bangkok. Although there is an option of travelling overland to Chumphon and then sailing by catamaran to Koh Samui, it’s time-consuming, taking around 11 hours, and often uncomfortable if using public transport.

Useful Information

It gets hot on Chaweng Beach and there’s little shade so hire an umbrella and bring plenty of sunblock. Happily, there are also pedicures, hair braiding and henna tattoos to distract you.

Lamai Beach, Koh Samui

lamai beach koh samui

Lamai is Chaweng’s quieter neighbour but every bit as beautiful and an even more tropical beach. It’s less crowded and more tranquil but there’s no shortage of options when it comes to activities or mealtimes. The water is shallow and calm, making it ideal for children or floating. With palm trees leaning over the pristine shore and rock pools on one end, Lamai looks like a postcard. Without a doubt, this is Koh Samui’s best beach.


Lamai is in Koh Samui which is accessible by plane or boat from the Thai mainland. It’s a 30 minute car drive from Chaweng Town.

Useful Information

The vendors on Lamai Beach are helpful and friendly, without being overly persistent. There are always ice creams, fruit salads, fresh smoothies and grilled sweet corn up for sale, as well as souvenir items like jewellery and sarongs.

Lamai used to be a backpacker’s haven but in the last few decades it’s become decidedly swankier with boutique hotels and pricey resorts.

White Sand Beach, Koh Chang

white sands beach thailand

The name ‘White Sand’ was never better given to a beach. The sand here really is a pure, snowy white and the waters are an attractive hue of tropical blue. Scenery aside, there’s not much to do in the water besides swimming: no jetskiing or parasailing, White Sand is for the tranquil traveller.

Unlike most Thai beaches, White Sand isn’t known for hosting food-selling vendors. Instead, the hawkers sell accessories and other knick-knacks. You’re better off getting off your sunbed and heading to one of the bars or restaurants along the street, though there are some beachside set-ups. The fresh seafood completes the beachside experience.


White Sand is on Koh Chang, the third-largest island in Thailand. Getting there, it’s a 6 hour drive away from Bangkok, including time on a car-ferry, and there are regular buses that way.

Useful Information

Deck chairs can be hired from the resorts on the beach. Along the beach are huts where local women offer actual Thai massages for around 200 or 200 Baht.

Bare in mind, that Koh Chang isn’t as developed as Phuket or Koh Samui so don’t expect as convenient facilities on the islet. There’s a mixture of accommodation choices, though the resorts remain old-fashioned in comparison to those in other parts of Thailand

Paradise Beach, Phuket

paradise beach phuket
Roberto.Trombetta full moon party via photopin (license)

Just beside Patong Beach, Paradise Beach is smaller and more exclusive. It’s shaded by large palm trees and travellers enjoy swinging off the trees into the cool waters. The coral reef off the shore is good for a spot of snorkeling or scuba diving.

Paradise Beach Club also offers kayaking and bodyboarding but it’s best known for hosting the world famous Full Moon Parties. Once a month, famous international and local DJs congregate with guests under the full moon, transforming the beautiful Thai beach into a club. There are also Half Moon and other parties that occur regularly on Paradise Beach.


The secluded cove is on Phuket Island, about five kilometers from Patong Beach by road. There is a car park but the road is winding and steep.

Useful Information

Paradise Beach only opens to the public from 9:30 as visitors enter through the beach club. Entrance is charged at 100 Baht.

While there are no vendors wandering the beach, there are a good selection of restaurants, bars and shops selling food and souvenirs. Drinks can often be ordered directly from your sunbed.

In Conclusion

From partying Patong to tranquil White Sand, Thailand’s beaches offer something for every kind of traveller. They’re laid back and fabulous with a variety of watersports and seasonal events, as well as fresh cuisine and activities like massages and tattoos. And if you’re looking for a tropical setting, the teal waters of the Andaman and South China Seas, the spectacular rock formations and the lush vegetation won’t disappoint. The best beaches in Thailand are fun, picturesque and absolutely unmissable.

Ski Slope Ratings

Ski run ratings are used across the globe to denominate the difficulty of a particular run. Rating systems are different in different parts of the world, but they do represent the same basic idea.

The one thing to keep in mind though, runs are rated in relative to other runs or paths within the same resort, meaning a Beginner run at one resort, won’t necessarily be a Beginners run at another resort.

The ratings don’t vary so much that a Beginner run will be qualified as an Expert run somewhere else, but it is important to keep in mind that it isn’t a standardised system.

ski slope ratings

Although the gradient of the slope is the primary factor in determining difficulty, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration. Trails are rated off of their most difficult part, meaning a slope can be grade as Black, even if there is only a small section that is difficult.

Ski resorts will rank their trails based off of their own attributes, rating trails compared only to the other trails at the resort. The width of the trail, the sharpest turns, terrain roughness, and how often the resort can groom the trail, all plays a role in the difficulty rankings.

North America, Australia and New Zealand

north america australia new zealand ski slope ratings

These countries use a color and shape rating system. Ski trail difficulties are measured by percent slope, and not degree angle.

Beginner slopes : 6% to 25%
Intermediate slopes : 25% to 40%
Expert slopes : 40% and up

Green Circle

Usually the easiest slopes on the mountain, runs are very wide and well groomed, making them very smooth and great for kids and beginners.

Blue Square

Intermediate slopes, these slopes usually make up the majority of the slopes at a resort.

Black Diamond

Black Diamond slopes are usually the most difficult slopes on the mountain. They are usually the steepest and are also not as groomed as the intermediate and beginner slopes.

Double Black Diamond

These slopes are even more dangerous than the black diamond paths and are usually comprised of narrow paths, many obstacles, and are most definitely for experienced skiers only.


Many resorts and parks will have variations, usually meaning a trail won’t fit into one particular category. These variations can indicate a run that is a mixture between beginner or intermediate, or expert with more obstacles than usual.

Terrain Parks

A terrain park is a run that will have ramps, half-pipes, rails, and many other things for skiers and snowboarders to do tricks are extreme skiing and boarding, they are indicated with a orange rectangle with rounded corners.

European POU

european ski slope ratings matterhorn switzerland

In Europe, slopes are classified using a color coded system. Different countries have variations of difficulty, but Blue for easy, Red for intermediate, and Black for expert, or all used everywhere.

Slopes marked Green, Blue or Red are runs that are groomed at all resorts and ski areas. Black slopes are groomed in Switzerland, Austria and Italy. In France, not all Black slopes are groomed.


(Spain, Scandinavia, France, Poland and the U.K). These slopes are easy slopes and are for beginners and younger skiers and snowboarders. Ideal for learning, as they are wider and well groomed.


Blue slopes are easy slopes. These slopes won’t have a gradient of more than 25%. Blue slopes in Europe are very similar to the Green slopes in the U.S, Australia and New Zealand.


Red slopes in Europe are intermediate slopes, and are similar to the blue square in North America. Steeper, and sometimes narrower than a Blue Square run, these runs are usually groomed, but sometimes aren’t completely groomed depending on the path of the run.


Black slopes are expert slopes, which are the equivalent to the Black Diamond or Double Black Diamond slopes in the United States. Like mentioned above, in Austria, Italy and Switzerland, these runs are groomed.

In France, some of the Black slopes are groomed and some aren’t. The variation between Black slopes is sometimes pretty large as they are sometimes slightly steeper than red slopes, or much steeper than red slopes.

Double Black or Triple Black

In Scandinavia, these are very or extremely difficult runs.


In Austria, Switzerland, and a few other areas, this color indicates an extremely difficult slope.

Yellow, Orange Square, Red Diamond

Recently, many resorts reclassified Black routes to Yellow routes. This signifies and ungroomed and unpatrolled route that is usually off-piste but in a marked skiing area.


japanese ski slope ratings

Japan uses a color coded system much like the one used in Europe. Some resorts use the same systems as either the United States or Europe, this can sometimes be very confusing. If you are ever in doubt, the the resort map legend.


These slopes are usually found at the bottom of the mountain are are for beginners and kids, very useful when learning to ski or snowboard. They can also be found of switchback paths.


Red slopes are intermediate slopes. These slopes make up the vast majority of Japanese skiing resorts, usually between 40%-60%, depending on resort to resort classification.


Black slopes are expert slopes and are almost always the steepest. They aren’t always as steep as equivalent Black slopes in the United States, New Zealand, Australia or Europe, but their difficulty is dependent on the target audience.

These ratings are designed to ensure the safety and well-being of the skiers and snowboarders who use the slopes. It is also a way to keep track of your own abilities. If you are wanting to up the level of slope you want to run, taking a look at it and all of its intricacies will ensure you keep yourself out of danger.

Romantic Ski Resorts

Snowy landscapes tend to lead to hot baths, fireside chats and intimate dinners. Is it any wonder then that a ski break is the perfect romantic vacation? With a host of daytime slope adventures and après-ski options, and surrounded by stunning scenery, these romantic ski resorts redefine romance.

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

cortina romantic ski resort
photo credit: tomkellyphoto Snow Pillows via photopin (license)

Nestled in the Italian Dolomites, Cortina is home to some spectacular scenery. Couples love the sunset here which turns the white snows into romantic shades of pink and orange, perfect for an evening aperitif. Cortina’s slopes offer dramatic encounters with craggy mountain formations.

Once you reach the bottom, there’s a horse-drawn cart to whisk you up to the resort for a relaxing massage treatment or one of the gourmet Italian meals. It’s easy to see why Cortina tops the list for skiing couples.

St Moritz, Switzerland

st moritz switzerland

St Moritz sets the standards for a romantic ski getaway pretty high. Its plush chalets are luxurious settings for steamy nights in. Beyond the door, a world awaits. There are spas with original St Moritz springwater, numerous art galleries, drives in classic cars across the mountain passes, a casino, and ice skating on the black ice. But no worries, the slopes are still the crown jewels.

3. Morzine, France

morzine france ski resort

A dream for the less serious skiers, Morzine offers ice-diving beneath the frozen lake, snowshoeing, tobogganing, ice skiing, nature tours and shopping. The town itself is loved for its friendliness and charm. Not to mention Morzine is a sojourn in the land of love- have you heard a French accent? It’s as romantic as a candle-lit dinner.

Zermatt, Switzerland

zermatt matterhorn switzerland

Zermatt’s iconic for the Matterhorn, the snow-capped peak that towers over the area, but that’s not the only reason couples come here. The village oozes typical Alpine charm with wooden chalets and stores teeming with chocolatey delights.

For the days, there are lots of sports on offer besides skiing, although the off piste skiing is world-renowned. Chocolate, cosy chalets and wonderful views, as well as skiing…Zermatt is always going to be a favourite.

Lech, Austria

lech river mountain switzerland

There are two unmissable romantic experiences at Lech. A wander by the river at sunset is as atmospheric as it gets and when the pinks skies fade into midnight blue, it’s time for stargazing.

The ski runs are best for intermediate skiers, although it does cater to those going at an easy pace. Back at the resort, fine dining is the name of the game at restaurants such as the Michelin-starred Gourmethotel Brunnenhof.

Val d’Isere, France

Val d isere ski resort
chisloup [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Pistes and excellent après-ski options make Val d’Isere a romantic ski holiday for couples. There’s 300 km of ski runs and located 1850 m above sea level, snow is pretty much guaranteed and the season lasts long here.

Plenty of bars and music keep the night atmosphere lively, while the upscale shops give the centre an exclusive feel. Val d’Isere isn’t for those on a budget but those prepared to spend a bit more and who have ski experience will find this resort the perfect vacation.

Courmayeur, Italy

courmayeur ski resort italy

Located on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur is a stylish resort. It has a superb gourmet scene with a Michelin star chef preparing fresh meals daily in season. The snow-capped wooden chalets create an aura of village charm.

The skiing is best for intermediates and the off piste skiing is particularly good. As for the views: they’re the stuff of romantic proposals.

Wengen, Switzerland

wengen ski resort

A car-free Alpine village, Wengen seems trapped in time. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming. The Jungfrau area is incredibly scenic and Wengen is located at its centre. The resort is reached only by cog-railway, a romantic start to a perfect romantic ski getaway. The ski runs are vast and gentle, perfect for an easy break with your partner.

Four Seasons Resort Whistler, Canada

Four Seasons Whistler Ski Resort
photo credit: James Wheeler Before the Lifts Start via photopin (license)

The top resort in North America, Whistler also hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. With such credentials, skiers won’t be disappointed with 200 downhill ski trails. If you’re looking for alternative sports, there’s also ice skating, snowboarding and heli-skiing at this impressive resort.

Lovebirds will have lots to do after a busy day, such as snuggling up in a dog-sled and making a stop at an atmospheric bonfire. The dining is also world-class with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and stellar venues. A special offering is the ability to create your own personalised spices to enjoy at the resort and take back home.

An in-house spa has two couples’ rooms for side by side massage with your better half. Alpine, Swedish, aromatic…it’s all possible.

For the most romantic skiers, Whistler’s also made a reputation for itself for destination weddings.

Kitzbühel, Austria

kitzbuhel austria ski resort

The daring come to Kitzbühel for the legendary Hahnenkamm (the world’s most dangerous downhill race) but couples love the resort for its relaxed, inviting feel. The village is charming and full of colour: cobbled streets, medieval buildings and horse-drawn carriages are all part of the picture-perfect package.

The bustling bars and the rooftop swimming pool at the Schwarzer Adler is a dreamy viewpoint that completes the picture of an ideal romantic resort.

Alpbach, Austria

alpback ski resort
photo credit: DrQ_Emilian Zugspitze, Lermoos via photopin (license)

This resort is one for the photobooks: Alpbach has been called Austria’s prettiest village. With traditional wooden structures, the rolling Tyrolean mountains and large green spruces, it won’t disappoint on its reputation.

The skiing is laidback, too: perfect for loved-up couples. There are amazing panoramic walking trails and a lively après-ski scene. The cuisine is rustic Austrian-: think spit-roasted chicken ordered 24 hours in advance and dumplings of sweet yeast or spinach. An idyllic ski resort for romantic getaways.

Zell am See, Austria

zell am see austria

Skiing-wise, Zell am See caters best for intermediates and experts with several black runs and weather-dependent slope conditions.

Where the resort really excels is as a romantic resort. At Zell am See, triangular peaks are dusted with snow and rise out of deep blue lake waters. That same lake is often available for ice skating and the promenade along the water’s edge makes for a scenic, romantic idyll.

Can’t get enough? Book a room at the Grand Hotel with its lakeside location and luxurious rooms. Zell am See’s a romantic ski resort that’ll probably have you back for more.

With indulgent spas, gourmet dining and a range of shops and cafes, these resorts provide all you need for a cosy retreat from the elements after a day’s superb skiing. No wonder they’re the best romantic ski resorts.


Featured Image Credit: twiga269 ॐ FEMEN Le Mont-Blanc et sa face italienne en toile de fond via photopin (license)

Best Things To Do In Thailand

Thailand is one of the best places to travel to and should be a destination that makes it onto everybody’s travel bucket list. From the incredibly friendly people, the delicious food, and incredible food, Thailand is a must.

Visit the Grand Palace

thailand grand palace

The first thing you should do once you’re in Bangkok is take a trip to the Grand Palace. Home to Thai Royalty, and the government, the Grand Palace is a collection of beautifully designed temples, paintings, and architecture.

It does get very busy as it is one of the most famous complexes in the whole of Thailand, but it is an attraction not to be missed.

Thai Massage

thai massage thailand

You can’t go to Thailand and not experience one of the most famous things they are known for, a Thai Massage. On almost every street and in every market, there are massage parlors offering quick, or full body massages.

Exploring one of the many massive markets Thailand can take a toll on your feet, and a quick 20 minute foot massage will get you back on your feet in no time at all.

Phang Nga Bay

Phang Nga Bay

Phang Nga Bay in Phuket is one of one of the most famous beach destinations in all of Thailand. With many limestone cliffs standing high above the water, it is a very unique and beautiful sight.

You can even see the famous James Bond Island, named after the character when part of the film The Man With The Golden Gun was filmed there.

Floating Market

Thailand Floating Markets

The Floating Market in Bangkok is another must see hotspot. Spend the morning traveling up and down the river, eating, buying whatever your heart desires, and experiencing the city in an incredibly unique way.

The wooden boats will take you wherever you want to go and this is a perfect time to pick up some great souvenirs and gifts.

Wat Pho

Thailand Wat Pho

Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is one of the biggest temple complexes in Thailand. Home to the biggest collections of images of Buddha, the temple also houses the enormous Reclining Buddha.

The Reclining Buddha is 15m high and 46m long, and is one of the most exquisite statues in the country, the soles of the 3m high feet are adorned with mother-of-pearl.

Street Food

Thailand Street Food Market

Thailand is regarded as having some of the best street food in the world. No matter where you go or where you are, there are hordes of vendors selling anything your stomach desires. Frozen fruit and skewers of meat are common and absolutely delicious.

Even if you are stuck in traffic on one of the many highways and busy roads, there will still be vendors traveling up and down the street ready to offer you some refreshing pineapple or a hearty bowl of noodles.

Khao San Road

Khao San Road Thailand

Khao San Road, located in central Bangkok, is party central. The many clubs, bars, restaurants and Ping Pong Show clubs turns this street into a hub for tourists and locals alike.

You can enjoy some local delicacies such as fried insects, or something more to your taste such as Pad Thai. Relax in one of the many bars and have a local beer or two, before going to a Ping Pong Show, a truly one of a kind show that you will need to see to believe it (not for the kids).

Full Moon Party

Thailand Full Moon Party

Koh Pangan island is home to the world renowned Full Moon Party. Locals and tourists flock to the island every full moon to celebrate all day and all night. It is a full day and night rave that only stops when you leave.

Fish Spa

Thailand Fish Spa

In many of the markets, streets and hotels, you can experience a fish spa. All you have to do is sit for half an hour and the hundreds of small fish will eat any dead and dry skin off your feet.

It may sound a bit gross, but your feet will be left feeling brand new. If you can withstand the constant tickling, it can be an extremely relaxing experience.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai

Thailand is famous for Muay Thai, a full combat sport. There are stadiums dotted all across the country, and for a very decent price, you can experience a night of this ancient martial art.

Asiatique Market in Bangkok also has a Muay Thai production, taking you on a journey through the history of Muay Thai and usually ends it off with a fight. A must see for martial artists or combat sport enthusiasts.

Snorkel in Kho Phi Phi

thailand maya bay islands snorkeling

The island of Kho Phi Phi is known for its beautiful beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. The crystal clear water is also the ideal spot for snorkeling. Explore the waters and the wildlife with any one of the snorkelling excursions available to you.

Since you don’t need any qualifications or experience to snorkel, this family-friendly activity is a brilliant way to see all the beautiful wildlife hiding under the surface.

Temple Tours

temple tours thailand

There are so many temples to see in Thailand that you may feel like you are going to miss out on some of the best ones. This is where a temple tour comes in handy. At many of the hotels and across the major cities, you can find busses and guides to take you around the many temples.

Not only is this a great way to explore the city, the guided tours will give you the full temple experience, and will also ensure you don’t miss any of the small details and sites that you may have normally missed.


Thailand is an incredible place that offers visitors a unique taste of everything, from the food to the architecture, and the people to the many markets that fill the streets. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday, or to experience the unforgettable nightlife, Thailand has it all.

Thailand is also relatively cheap, and unlike most other popular tourist destinations, you don’t need a lot of money to experience everything you want to experience, making Thailand a go-to for many tourists worldwide.