category Archives: Thailand Green Travel

Madauki Wiman Beach

Paragliding along a Light Breeze and Viewing the Bend of the Watercourse

On a day with clear skies, the wind blowing moderately, waves crashing into the cliffs of Khung Wiman Beach, is a great time to be floating above the sea on the colourful engineless wings of a parachute. Open your eyes to a new point of view with paragliding.

The Khung Wiman beachfront area, besides being known for its long curved beach, it also has a two lane street that runs along the beach’s length thought to be the most beautiful of eastern Thailand. There is also an area in which the mountain slopes into the sea creating beautiful scenery and calming atmosphere.

It is shaded by a variety of beach vegetation; such as, beach sea-oak. Moreover, the breeziness of this location is highly suitable for paragliding because the activity depends upon the headwind and the warmer land surface air temperature to lift you off the ground. Also the spacious field will allow you to set up your parachute above your head while the high cliff helps block strong gusts of wind before you run into the head wind and launch. Under the parachute, over the sand, see the narrow curves of the bay and the view of the pines along with the emerald sea sparkling in the sun. To your side you can see the green mountains and admire them while being cooled by the breeze as if you were in a land of happiness.

Travel Info
From Chanthaburi town, take Highway 3 (Chanthaburi–Rayong) and continue on Highway 3399 until you reach the beach. However, you need to contact the Thaiglider Club for an appointment.
GPS Location
N12° 36.31’, E101° 52.46’
Contact
Thaiglider Club +66 2895 8879 www.thaiglider.com
TAT Rayong Office +66 3865 5420 to 1 , +66 3866 4585

Information : http://adventure.tourismthailand.org


Huai Tueng Wasanni

Riding around mountains

Chiang mai Province. Navigating the city’s morass of gentle lanes on cool summer nights can make this one of urban Thailand’s most enjoyable riding experiences. The route has been chosen from an interminable range of others for its flexibility to both novices and experts and its extremely convenient location just outside of Chiang Mai, at the crack between Huai Tueng Thao and Doi Suthep National Park.The route itself makes for a gloriously amiable shotgun-wedding between the area’s mountainous forests and lychee fields, and a number of more urbane amenities and activities with which to fill itinerary and stomach.

A bit further down the road

Starting from one of the bike rental shops on Sam Lan Road which runs past Wat Phra Sing, leave the city walls from the west, following the northbound quadrant of the moat up until the intersection at its corner before turning left down Huai Kaeo Road Pass Chiang Mai’s oldest shopping mall and keep going until the second large intersection, there, take a northward righturn. 1 km in, you can get off the main road and follow the dirt path running along the parallel canal, following the signs for the 700-Year Stadium, where you turn left at after 5 km. Huai Tueng Wasanni, actually a reservoir, is just a bit further down the road.

But instead of heading straight there, make for the trails and go behind the Stadium, crossing the dam wall into the forest. Follow the lovely, blue and red-marked mixed terrain routes that leave you at Huai Tueng Thao after 10 km. Otherwise, circling the lake is fulfilling in itself and either way you can reward yourself at one of the many cheap and breezy lakeside restaurants before returning to Chiang Mai.

H ow T o G e t T h e r e
Getting there is very easy from Chiang Mai city center. Just drive up Canal Road, past the 700-Year Stadium, drive another 2 km. and follow the signs. The lake is in a lovely area with mountain views.

GPS Location
N19° 25.491′
E97° 57.181′


The Old Capital Ayutthaya

 

Take a Bicycle Ride Back in Time

Start your journey at the TAT Tourist Information Centre, following Si Sanphet Rd. (see the map), to reach the first destination. See the way of life of the citizens of the old capital. Then take a stop to ask blessings from “Phra Mongkhon Bophit”, a sacred Buddha image of Ayutthaya at Wat Phra Mongkhon Bophit. Not far away is “Wat Phra Si Sanphet”. It is the most important temple of the old capital Ayutthaya. Inside is the ancient palace of Ayutthaya where the kings of old used to live, as well as where the various ceremonies were performed. Study the history of the 417-year-old palace once full of beauty and glory. Then head eastward to the “Bueng Phra Ram”. This is where King U-Thong used to declare Ayutthaya as the new capital city. Take a relaxing ride pass “Phra Thinang Yen” (which is literally translated as either the Evening Throne or the Cool Throne) where the king used for watching the waterborne entertainment of the Ayothaya people. Continue onward to “Wat Mahathat”, a royal temple built in the time of Boromma Rachathirat I or Khun Luang Pa-ngua for containing the Buddha’s ashes. Before leaving the temple, do not forget to look for the “Buddha image on the roots of the Bodhi tree”, a place chosen by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site.

On the opposite side is “Wat Ratchaburana”, the temple that contains all the remaining treasures of the Ayutthaya kings after the capital city was sacked a second time. Part of that treasure is kept at “Chao Sam Phraya National Museum”. Now head northward to “Wat Thamikarat”, a sacred place believed to grant wishes to those that pray piously. In the late afternoon, travel to “Wat Na Phra Merurachikaram”. Refill your energy with sweet, cold drinks while admiring the only remaining building of Ayutthaya’s beautiful architecture. When you hear the monk’s lunch gong, ride along the Khlong Sa Bua. Go to the pottery commune where they produce the “Nang Loeng Jars”, which are very large red uncoated pottery jars. After saying hi to the villagers and taking photos, move onward to “Wat Choeng Tha”. Located on the left of the Lop Buri River, it is where King Thaksin received his education during his youth. By noon you will have reached “Wat Lokayasutharam” or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It is known for the 29 m long reclining Buddha image created from bricks connected with mortar. Then have lunch or buy souvenirs. Afterward, ride back to the tourist information centre of the TAT which signals the end of your trip.

Information from http://adventure.tourismthailand.org



 

Phuklon Country Club

Pamper yourself with mud

MAE HONG SON PROVINCE. After a grueling ride from Pai,
with thousands of curves along Highway 1095, what could be
a better way to relax than to treat yourself to a spa experience before
arriving in Mae Hong Son.

Phuklon is not an ordinary spa. It offers up to visitors subterranean wealth
of a very special kind—a variety of mineral mud with only three known
sources worldwide. The boiling mud, with a temperature ranging from
60º -140º C, emerges from the underground mineral water well visible
upon entering the spa area. Signs will inform the visitor that the mud
here is rich in calcium, bromine, magnesium, and many more elements.
The dark oozing liquid is purified and then mixed with Thai herbs such
as lemon grass and curcumin. Once cooled, it is ready to be applied.

Treatments vary from a facial mud mask to full-body scrub, at surprisingly
affordable prices. Those considering the full-body scrub and treatment
should be warned they may feel a little over-indulgent, since staff will
assist in every step, even with rinsing off the mud and bathing.

The greenery surrounding the spa is also quite soothing. The field, dotted with farmers’ sheds, stretches from the wooden platform next to the body treatment rooms and makes a great waiting spot while the mud paste applied to the skin dries (the process takes about 20 minutes). The open-air mineral swimming pool and jacuzzi is shaded with abundant trees and coloured with flowers. The buildings are camouflaged well in the garden, with their thatched roofs and partial wooden structures. Phuklon is the place where nature pampers both body and spirit.

 

Fun with Benefits

No health and beauty refuge is complete without a traditional Thai massage. Professional, therapeutic touch on a back stiff after four hours in a bus seat is nothing short of bliss. Foot massage is also popular among clients who want to pass the time while waiting for their facial mud mask to dry. After this reinvigoration of skin and muscle, mud-based cosmetic products, such as mud cleansing bars and mud mask powder, can be purchased for further pampering at home. Phuklon Country Club also provides a golf driving range nearby.

There is no accommodation in Phuklon, but fortunately it is less than half an hour from Mae Hong Son. On the way back to town, one may want to stop for a cup of freshly


brewed coffee and shop for OTOP products at the newly-opened Mae Hong Son Rajabhat University OTOP Centre (N19º 20.132′, E97º 57.965, look for the sign on the left if coming from Phuklon). Here will be found goods produced by villages of the region; such as, snacks made from sesame and local herbs and nuts, wine distilled from local fruits, and intricate and colourful accessories made from hand-woven tribal fabric.


Flight of the Gibbon

Swaying over the treetops

CHIANG MAI PROVINCE. Despite the name, visitors do not exactly brachiate from tree to tree like real gibbons. Nonetheless, gliding down 2-km long zip lines hanging some 30-m over the canopy of a tropical forest must produce a similar feeling to that enjoyed by a swinging primate.

 

The trip begins with a 50-minute ride from Chiang Mai, with the last
leg up the serpentine road of the Mae Kampong hills. There is a
choice between going early in the morning, at noon, or during the
late afternoon. The whole excursion takes about three hours. The
temperature suddenly drops on entering the densely vegetated
area, and the fun begins there.

 

After gearing up with straps and helmet, visitors are taken to the first
of 15 stationswooden platforms built on the tree top, and briefed on
safety procedures. A sample first flight follows, on a short zip line,
to acquaint customers with the equipment and motion. Of course, an
adrenaline surge is the main aim of zip-lining, but equally wonderful is
the sight of the diverse shades of green and mountain-lined horizon
seen while waiting to whizz from station to station. The deeper one
goes inside the forest, the more impressive the size and formation
of the trees. The flight concludes with a drop from a gigantic tree, in
which one can choose to fall head or feet first.

 

Fun with Benefits
What is greatly appreciated about this adventure is how the company is conscious about community and environmental issues. Before signing the disclaimer form, the staff make sure that visitors go through the recommendations for good environmental practices. In the area around the office, signs give information about the vital roles of the tropical rainforest ecosystem. The company also claims that 10% of its profits go to conservation projects.


Before being driven back to the city, visitors are served lunch, with a stroll at the Mae Kampong Waterfall as dessert. The Waterfall is medium-sized with seven tiers, and it takes about 15 minutes to climb to the top. At the entrance to the waterfall, a number of trees with saffron-coloured strips of cloth tied around the trunks may be seen. These trees are ‘ordained’ and become sacred, so that no poacher would have the heart or dare to cut them downa perfect example of utilizing folk wisdom as a conservation strategy.

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