Being a secluded and a quiet seaside resort , the lack of a large number of vacationers and the relaxed atmosphere distinguishes Khao Lak from the neighboring Island of Phuket and from the other crowded tourist centers in Thailand.
Khao Lak is a perfect place for family holidays, the main attraction being the miles of beautiful beaches. That is why the city attracts mainly those seeking a quiet and a secluded vacation,a family travel, fans also prefer entertainment and fun on the island of Phuket . A slight influx of tourists, the quiet, calm atmosphere of rest banned the local authorities to construct buildings in excess of the height of coconut trees, still retaining a measured way of life here.
Khao Lak is one of the coastal resorts of Thailand most affected by the tsunami in late 2004. The earthquake that caused the deadly tsunami in the Indian Ocean, on December 26, 2004, according to the U.S. Geological Survey , was equivalent to the power of 23,000 atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The tsunami is one of the most deadly natural phenomena. A few hours after the quake, the waves, the murderer went in all directions from the earthquake zone at a speed of jet aircraft and hit the coastline of 11 Indian Ocean countries. The giant waves reached a height of 15 m in some places, permanently carried away with itself a sea of people, killed them in their homes, beaches, streets, causing enormous damage to the properties along the coast. During the day, more than 150,000 people were dead or missing (some say 300. 000), and millions homeless, making it probably the most destructive tsunami in history. For two hours or less, in the morning on December 26, 2004, Kao Lak, with a population of about 5,000 as a result of the disaster became virtually a ghost town, becoming the most affected by the tsunami area in Thailand. About 4,000 people were killed, half of them tourists. The victims were resting in Khao Lak, Bhumi Jensen, the grandson of the King of Thailand Rama IX, as well as a well-known Finnish musician and television personality Aki Sirkesalo with his family. Khao Lak's economy is based on tourism and the city prior to the tsunami was the fastest growing tourist destination in Thailand. After December 26, 2004 the infrastructure was destroyed, as in almost all coastal towns affected by the deadly waves. Most coastal resorts have been either severely damaged or completely destroyed. Currently, the city was almost entirely rebuilt, a few new modern resorts were erected, old fully restored and eco-tourism is actively developing. During the peak tourist season from November to March, hotel rooms are almost completely sold out. Most foreign tourists come here from Europe, especially many from Scandinavia, Germany and the UK.
Khao Lak is located conveniently close to Phuket and Krabi , it is possible to make a trip to the famous Similan Islands that are included in the top ten places in the world for scuba diving. Despite the development of tourism in the last decade, Khao Lak has not yet been experiencing excessive influx of tourists and Phuket resembles the late 1980s. The main attraction of the area are the beautiful beaches that stretch along the coast for miles. Khao Lak Beach (Hat Khao Lak) is the most popular beach among tourists. Covered with granite boulders, giving special beauty of the beach, it stretches in length about 8 kilometers. The beautiful, clean beaches imply the presence of large numbers of people. Miles of pristine deserted beaches create the impression of finding at some sparsely populated island. The untouched nature attracts nature lovers and hiking. Khao Lak is located next to the three national parks, offering nature lovers and eco-tourism beautiful deserted beaches, waterfalls, hot springs, elephant trekking, diving, snorkeling, reefs, lakes, forested valleys, mangroves, estuaries, kayaking.
To the north of Khao Lak is located Asia Safari Camp. It serves as a starting point for combined round trips to the elephants and rafting on a bamboo raft. If you ever get a chance to ride on an elephant, in any case do not give up. You will discover that the largest animal in the world is also one of the most elegant. Thais are deeply respectful towards animals, because throughout the history of the country's elephant has proved an effective advocate of the Thai kingdom, indispensable in the work and trade. Most of the elephants run up to 65 years and then retire, if the elephant did not work too hard, he can live to be 100 years old. After a short ride on the elephants, a small break, lunch, and then rafting on the river on a bamboo raft. The design of the raft is quite simple: a series of long bamboo poles tied together with two cross-sections of seating and a raft ready. The boatman pushes a long pole, and a raft drifting downstream. The journey to the water takes about 20 minutes. This tour will appeal to anyone who loves nature and animals. Hiking in the jungle, elephant trekking, swimming, kayaking, acquaintance with nature, exotic flora and fauna here are the basis of the proposed tours. Khao Lak, mostly attracts nature lovers wishing to experience the atmosphere of a calm measured rest, or is willing to enjoy on the beaches.
By Romanelli Ana
The Best Places to Visit in Thailand .
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Thailand has a rich and colorful culture and many exotic monuments and stunning beaches, which attract millions of visitors each year, from all people with a minimum budget to those who can afford to indulge in luxury. The country is often called the "land of smiles", because here there are more people smiling than in any other part of the world. Only in Thailand you can take a cruise on a converted rice barge, you can scream upstream in a boat or bamboo raft, you can go into a dizzying journey and you can stay in jungle tree houses or homes of villagers floating on the river. Equally memorable are the trails leading deep into the rainforest past cooling waterfalls and beautiful endless white sand caressing the translucent sea.
Do not miss the dynamic city of Bangkok, with its futuristic buildings juxtaposed against the glittering Grand Palace. Early morning, monks dressed in robes leave the sanctuary of temples to receive alms from the people or in a dusty village or on crowded city streets. Here Buddhism is a way of life and, with the respect people have for the monarchy, a dynasty that has maintained an independent country for centuries, resulting in a blend of tradition and contemporary living. His Majesty King Bhumibol is the longest reigning monarch in the world, having come in 1946. With the end of absolute monarchy, Thailand moved towards democracy, but this was thwarted by the military, who staged coups in protest at government policies. The latest blow came in September 2006 when a bloody revolt overthrew the Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and replaced him with an interim prime. Thailand has surpassed the economic collapse of 1997, SARS, avian flu and the devastating tsunami in December 2004 to become a popular destination for tourists, with its many natural beauties and rich cultural heritage. Thailand is a tropical country, so it's warm all year round, but the best time for tourists is from November to March during the dry season.
The main attractions
• Wonder at the beautiful architecture in Bangkok Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo, a temple complex which houses a statue of the Emerald Buddha. Further up the river are the royal barges. They are richly decorated and are only used for special processions on the Chao Phraya River.
• Do not miss Wat Pho, Bangkok's largest temple and the place where Buddha is Down. The statue is huge - 46m long and 15m high.
• Discover Vmanmek, a lovely palace with 18 rooms, the former royal summer residence, rebuilt in Bangkok in 1900. Let yourself be excited by the former house of silk merchant, American Jim Thompson.
• Travel north to Chiang Mai, the second largest city of Thailand and a center for excursions to temples in the region, hill tribes and the Golden Triangle. Climb its 300 steps to the temple of Doi Suthep to have wonderful views of the city.
• Visit Kanchanaburi, a place about the horrors of the Second World War and Allied forces forced to build the Death Railway and the Bridge over the River Kwai. From the town you can go on trips to explore the waterfalls and the jungle region. You could spend a night on a floating house.
• Take a trip back in time and visit Ayutthaya, the former Thai capital. Wander among the ruins of palaces on foot,by bike, or even on the back of an elephant.
• A visit to Ayutthaya is not complete without a trip to Sukhothai, an ancient capital of the Thai. Beyond the city walls there are ruins of ancient temples and a few ancient engravings.
• Visit the north-eastern Thai, less known, especially Phimai, one of the most important Khmer historical sites in Thailand, dating from the eleventh century. The complicated structure resembles that of Angkor Wat.
• Thailand is not about just beaches and temples. Venture Khao Sok National Park exploring the southern Thai. Here the rainforest covers the limestone cliffs crossed by streams and waterfalls. Experience the lifestyle of a tree house or a house on the water, made of bamboo.
• Make a day trip from Bangkok by train over the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, on the bridge that was built by Allied prisoners, led by the Japanese during the Second World War.
• Admire the skills of kite fighters. Your opponents kites male Chula and female high Pakpao in a battle of the sexes. Do not miss playing takraw, which involves handling a cane ball from one player to another, which are disposed in a circle, using in acrobatic feet, knees, thighs and chest. The goal is to keep the ball in the air and place it in a suspended basket.
• Take in a Thai kick-boxing match. This traditional sport can be seen every day in stadiums across the country. Boxing matches are preceded by elaborate ceremonies and accompanied by music.
• Get rid of all worries through meditation. Thailand has dozens of temples and meditation centers specializing in vipassana . You can attend one lesson or you can follow a whole.
• Meet more closely with northern Thai, especially remote provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son, hiking, riding elephants and rafting on the river.
• Join the crowd that goes to Suri, where elephants assembly occur in November. There are demonstrations of techniques and re-training scene of episodes in history.
• Enjoy thousands of kilometers from the Thai coast on the sand or under water. Try kayaking, canoeing in the limestone islands of Phang Nga Bay and explore the grottoes and caves that are half under water.
• Learn traditional massage and the healing properties of herbal medicine at ancient Wat Pho.
• Try Thai cooking at one of the many cookery schools. Learn how to blend herbs and spices for the unique flavors of Thai food. In some schools students encouraged to buy food in the market themselves.
• Take a boat trip through Bangkok's Floating Market or network of channels of the river, lined with dwellings opening directly to water. Life has hardly changed over the centuries to those who live on canals. • Dive with the Sharks at Siam Ocean World aquarium in Bangkok and experience to tell the tale.
• Take tea in the afternoon at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, one of the most famous hotels in the world. The former residence of Somerset Maughan and Joseph Conrad, today is attended by kings, princes and celebrities.
Thai cuisine is famous for the way that balances the five fundamental flavors in all meals and dishes - spicy, sour, sweet, salty and bitter (optional). Thai cuisine which includes specific four main regions of the country - North, Northeast (Isan), Central and South America. The cuisine of each region is influenced by neighboring countries of that region. Thai dishes include plenty of fresh, not dried herbs, spices and fish sauce. Nam pla is a fish sauce, flavored, which is found in almost all dishes. It is widely used and shrimp paste. Thais are accustomed to eat so much rice at every meal even. Most of them consider sandwiches not a meal but a snack. Also, locals do not really sit at table, because, especially children and teens eat when hungry. If you do meet a Thai, you may be wondering "gin khao yung" every time you meet, meaning " did you eat ?" or better said "have you eaten rice?". If you visit Thailand and stay at a local family take care not too eat too much, your body will get fat.
Thailand existed as several small states since 1000. Influenced more by India, Burma and Khmer people, the region was quickly engulfed in Buddhism. By 1350 the kingdom of Siam was created. At a distance of more than two centuries the Portuguese arrived, along with other Europeans, dealing with trade or were missionaries. Siam avoided European colonization but was forced to cede control of more distant areas (portions of Malay, Laos and Cambodia) France and Great Britain. Occupied by the Japanese in 1941, Siam declared war on the United States and Great Britain, while secretly monarchy suppressed resistance movements against the Japanese. During the Vietnam War Thailand was significant especially for the U.S. Army. Attracting investors and tourists, Thailand developed until 1996, when the military government triggered a decline in the economy.
The royal family is highly esteemed in Thailand, which must be respected by visitors. Locals are concerned with the public manifestations of anger as a fact and creates a very humiliating public image. It also discourages emotional manifestations gender and touching a person's head or your foot to straighten, it is a lack of good manners. Take care of your shoes before entering someone's house or a temple.
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