31 March 2020 / 8 minutes to read
Massages and temples: things to do in Bangkok
If you judge the capital of Thailand by the film “The Hangover. Part II,” you can decide, that it is far from being the most pleasant city, where elephants walk in the streets, and locals start revolutions every night. In fact, Bangkok is nothing like that. So, what is it like? Noisy and at the same time calm, ancient and modern, bright and peaceful. In the city, there are no less forms and faces than Buddha statues in its temples, which are definitely worth seeing, Travellizy Team is sure in it. Worship the Buddha This can be done in any of the hundreds of temples in Bangkok, but there are several among them that every tourist should visit. Most of the iconic temples are located within the Golden Triangle, the capital's tourist center. An excellent view of the city opens from Wat Saket, the Temple of the Golden Mount. Although it is located in the center, crowds of tourists are almost never here, mainly locals come to pray in the temple. A long staircase leads to the top of the temple hill, and at the end of the path, you will find Buddha statues, bells that you need to ring for good luck and many other attributes of the Thai religion. Entrance to the territory costs only € 1.4. Another good view of the center of Bangkok is from the stairs of Wat Arun temple, whose snow-white stupas rise across the river from the royal palace. The temple looks especially picturesque at sunset, when its buildings are painted with the setting sun in all shades of pink and red. For entrance, you also have to pay € 1.4. The famous statue of the Emerald Buddha can be seen in the temple of Wat Phra Kaew, and you can take a picture against the heels of a huge reclining Buddha in the temple of Wat Pho. You can wander through the courtyard of the latter for more than an hour, examining a colorful mosaic on dozens of different-sized stupas. Entrance to Wat Pho is more expensive than to other temples, it is € 5.5. Ride along the channels City transport in Bangkok is represented not only by buses and subways, but also by boats. The entire Thai capital is pierced by Khlong channels, through which motorboats scurry around. A ride on such a boat is a real adventure, you will learn to quickly jump into it from the pier, will help other passengers to lower the curtain on board to protect themselves from splashes from the oncoming boat, and all this fun costs around 0.3 euros. Boats run from morning until late in the evening; each berth must have a route map and a schedule. Another option to see Bangkok from the water is to board a boat that runs not along the channel, but along the Chao Phraya River. This can be either urban transport or a cruise ship, on board of which you can be served lunch. From Pattaya to Phuket: Thailand's Top Beach Resorts Go to the market Even the most ordinary Bangkok market will give you a lot of unforgettable experiences. Noise, din, exotic fruits and songbirds, antiques and household appliances, pedestrians and mopeds. And, of course, street food, that no Thai market can exist without. Bangkok's largest market is Chatuchak, located near the eponymous park and metro station. It is so huge that maps are provided at the entrance, and you can literally buy everything there. The amulet market, which is located near Thammasat University, is much smaller and calmer. It is here where monks and ordinary Thais choose their personal talisman or Ganesha statue for home. Bangkok's Chinatown is one continuous exotic market, and if this exotic is not enough for you, then you should visit a floating bazaar or shopping arcades on the railroad tracks. There are several floating markets in the capital and its surroundings; each of them operates according to a complex schedule tied to the lunar calendar. The easiest way is to get to the Talingchan market, which works only on weekends, but in the suburban Damnoen Saduake, brisk trade on boats takes place every day. By the way, the last episode of “Bondiana” was filmed here. On the rails near Ma Klong station, they sell all sorts of things, and literally a dozen seconds before the arrival of the train, the merchants quickly curl up to lay out their goods again as soon as the last carriage rumbles. You do not like markets, but you can’t live without shopping? Then your choice is the shopping centers of Bangkok. The largest of them are Siam Paragon, Central World, MBK Center and Gaysorn. The choice here is no worse than in European shopping centers, and the prices are much lower. Walk around the Palace Initially, the Grand Palace was built for the royal family, but the current king of Thailand does not live in it. Today, on the rather large territory of the palace, there are many thematic museums, about a hundred different pagodas, a temple, a royal library with sacred palm-leaf manuscripts and much more. The entry price to the complex is €14, and you can buy an audio guide for another €5.5. Visit the hottest street Khaosan Road is the noisiest, most touristic, most stereotypical place in Bangkok. It has the overwhelming concentration of bars and clubs for every taste, cocktails on Khaosan are poured not into glasses, but into plastic buckets, street vendors sell fried scorpions and locusts (by the way, Thais themselves do not really eat these things), and everything is saturated with an atmosphere of fun and revelry. It is better to go to Khaosan in the evening, then it is the most fun here. If you want to make new acquaintances, then here you can settle in one of the hostels. Do not expect luxury conditions, but anyway, it will definitely be fun and noisy. Rambutri, the next street, is a little quieter. Soi Cowboy, the local red light district, competes with Khaosan for the title of Bangkok’s most brightest street. In its clubs, such things happen, which can drive even an experienced courtesan into the paint. Going to this street in the evening, remember about safety, as there are a lot of scammers in such places. By the way, the Bangkok authorities plan to clean up Khaosan in the near future, removing most of the establishments from the street and bringing them to a decent appearance. So hurry up to visit the famous Khaosan Road. Samui Island: What to do in the paradise corner of Thailand Give yourself into the hands of a masseur Massage is a feature of Thailand, and you can find places where it is done in any area of the city. In the tourist salons, you will be served aromatic tea after the procedure and will be treated very carefully. The institution for local people resembles rather a medical center than a luxury spa from the pictures. By and large, the true Thai massage is just therapeutic, with a hard eversion of the limbs. But do not be afraid of injuries, even in the non-tourist salon you will be asked, which parts of your body can be limbered harder and which are better not touched at all. A full body massage costs around € 8. Wat Pho temple is considered to be the cradle of Thai massage, but the place is already so hyped and touristic, that there is always a crowd and a queue in front of the entry, and the price tag is higher than the Bangkok average. All by yourself: where to go for a retreat Overeat street food Thailand in general and Bangkok in particular is a paradise for gastro-tourists. And it’s not only about cafes and restaurants, but also about street food, which has been elevated to cult here. Do not be afraid to buy flavored dishes on a mobile counter (hawker stalls), behind which there is an elderly Thai. They prepare for themselves and other locals, so the ingredients are always fresh, and all the hawker stalls are regularly inspected by the sanitary service. If you want to feel like a local, then go to any street eatery where they serve a hot pot. The essence of this dish is that they bring you a clay pot with broth, standing on hot coals, and you add ingredients to your taste there. These are mainly fish, seafood and greens. On the run, you can enjoy meat or fish balls on a wooden skewer or pancakes-rotti. The most popular dishes in Thailand are pad thai noodles, tom yum soup, papaya catfish salad called som tam (or simply “papaya salad”), as well as dozens of curry species - yellow, red, green, massaman. A good portion of tom kha kai soup can be easily divided into two, and vegetarians will like spring rolls, rice paper pancakes with glass noodles and vegetables inside. You can drink coconut water, smoothies or fruit juices, when eating spicy Thai food. And, if you don’t want to put out a fire in your stomach, just tell the seller or waiter “no spicy”, these two words can be understood everywhere in Asia. See Bangkok aerial view The best view of Bangkok opens from the observation deck, located on the 83rd floor of the Bayok Sky Hotel. The ticket price includes a drink in the bar, and the observation deck itself rotates, so that, standing in one place, you can admire the whole city. Climbing Bayok is best half an hour or even an hour before sunset. Then you can see the city in the sunshine, enjoy the sunset and enjoy the night-time views of the Thai capital. The price of the lifting up is € 7. There are other great places to see the metropolis from above, such as the Moon Bar on the top floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel and the Sky Bar at Lebua Hotel. In the latter, by the way, the famous "The Hangover. Part II" was filmed. Sit in the park Bangkok is a very green city with a lot of parks. The main city park is called Lumphini, and it is very popular among both locals and tourists. In Lumphini, you can just sit on a bench by the lake, or you can go in for sports by joining the joggers (there are thousands of them in the evenings) or the Thais in colorful tights doing aerobics. Also in Lumphini Park, you can feed the lizards or carps, and if you spend there for about 18 hours, do not be surprised with the music playing from the loudspeakers and all the locals suddenly stopping or standing up. This will be the national anthem, and the Thais are great patriots. Temples and palaces, markets and shopping malls, parks and bars in Bangkok will definitely not leave anyone indifferent, and you will most likely want to return to this city again and again. And each time, it will reveal to you one more of its faces.
11 February 2020 / 6 minutes to read
Thousand stupas, floating villages and long-necked women of Myanmar
Former Burma has opened to the world recently, so far it is not as spoiled by tourists as Thailand, Vietnam or Bali. At the same time, there is already a well-developed tourist infrastructure, the locals are friendly, but modest, and the architectural beauties and natural attractions in Myanmar will be enough for several visits. Yangon: Sule, Shwedagon and others Rangoon-Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar, is a large modern city with elements of colonial architecture and two iconic Buddhist structures - Sule and Shwedagon pagodas. The first one rises right in the center of the city, surrounded by picturesque British-style buildings. You can look at Sule from the outside, or you can go inside and be surprised with the combination of pacified Buddha images and acid blinking LED lights. Save a couple of hours for an inspection of Shwedagon Pagoda, and make sure to bring a parasol with you, in case you go there at the height of the day. On the rather large territory of the complex, hundreds of stupas of various colors and sizes are housed, sacred relics are kept, and there are bowls of water, which are used for watering their own Buddha, a statue dedicated to every day of the week, on which visitors were born. There are always a lot of people in Shwedagon Pagoda during the day, so it is better to arrive there early in the morning, at the same time, and avoid the sweltering heat. The entrance costs € 6.3. Other interesting places of Yangon are St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral, the National Museum, the Drug Elimination Museum. And if there is time, then you can make a circle along Yangon Circular Railway, it will take 3 hours cost less than € 0.5, and from the train window you can see the life of rural Myanmar. Mandalay, the city Kipling wrote about At first, the noisy and crowded Mandalay stuns with the beeps of mopeds and motorbikes, tickles your nose with aromas of spices, and crossing the road here can take tens of minutes, because the train just goes alongside. The distances between the sights are large, the sun in Myanmar is hot, and a few sidewalks are used for anything, but not for quiet walks. So rent a moped, don’t forget to honk at every intersection or turn (or just without a reason). Or take a motor rickshaw and explore Mandalay with the breeze. Mandalay is known for its Buddhist monasteries, and the most original of them is the wooden monastery Atumashi. This is a working temple, there are usually few tourists on its territory, so no one will distract you from contemplating thin carvings. Mandalay Palace (yes, it is called the same as the city) is surrounded by high walls and ... an existing military base. Most of the wooden pavilions in the palace are empty, but you can see an interesting exhibition of royal regalia in the central one. After the palace, you can go to Mandalay Hill, a hill with many shrines on the slopes and on the top of it. You can climb the hill on foot (you will have to take off your shoes and put them in storage), or you can take the elevator. Near the hill, there is the Atumashi Monastery, known for a huge number of identical snow-white stupas. A few kilometers south of Mandalay, there is another interesting attraction - U Bein Bridge. A shaky-looking bamboo bridge across the lake withstands huge crowds of local and foreign tourists, and boats scurry under it. The most popular time for visiting attractions is sunset. A thousand stupas of Bagan Bagan is considered to be one of the most impressive ancient cities in the world and is protected by UNESCO. This place history is rather bleak: the local king, in a fit of religious obsession, ordered hundreds and hundreds of stupas to be built in the middle of the steppe, believing that he would soothe the gods and purify his karma. It is not known whether he succeeded or not, and now only numerous brick cones remind us of the fanatic ruler. Some of them are only a couple of meters high, while others are visible a kilometer away. You can explore the vast territory of Bagan on an electric scooter, a bicycle or a rented vehicle with a driver. And you can take a tour at any hotel, during which you will be taken to the most outstanding temples, perhaps you will be told something about the history of these places, and you might get to the hill to watch the sunset. By the way, if you saw on the Internet a photo of Bagan, which depicts numerous hills with pagodas, then this is most likely a collage made in Photoshop. In fact, the complex is located on an almost perfectly flat territory, and small elevations can be counted on one hand. Bagan offers very picturesque sunrises and sunsets, which look especially impressive from the roof of a stupa, but here's the funny thing: after strong earthquakes, the stairs to the upper floors of large stupas are closed, so do not hope to climb the first one you can find. The building with access to the roof will have to be searched, and almost every year, several new ones are closed for tourists. Locals can show tourists open stupas (not for free, of course), or you can use Internet tips and tags on maps.me. The best views of Bagan stupas open from a hot-air balloon, the ride costs € 320. Please note that entry to the territory of the national park with stupas is also paid, it costs € 20, and you can issue a ticket via the Internet (since 2018). Sunrises and sunsets of Inle Lake The surroundings of Inle Lake is one of the most calm and peaceful places in Myanmar. In small villages on the coast, there is no furious traffic, as in Mandalay or Yangon, there are relatively few tourists, and the most popular activity is boat trips. Being in Inle, make sure to take a tour to the floating villages. You will see there, how tomatoes and other vegetables are grown right on the water, how algae are caught from the bottom with long hooks, how people live in wooden houses on stilts. Along the way, you will be taken to a tiny fabric factory, where women weave on looms used by their grandmothers and great-grandmothers, you will be shown, how cigars are made of palm leaves and how silver jewelry is produced. In the Jumping Cat Monastery, you can play with furry purrs-a-lots, and in the clothing market around the central temple, you can buy a stylish shirt or pants with embroidery for € 3-4. Sunrises over Inle Lake are spectacular and invigorating, so dress up warmly. And during a boat trip at sunset, put a trifle in your pocket, it will come in handy when fishermen with unusual cone-shaped nets pose for photos. Luxury Ngapali Resort When talking about the resorts of Southeast Asia, they mean Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, even Malaysia, but not Myanmar. And completely in vain, as it is already luxurious, but not yet crowded with Western tourists. The most popular resort in the country is Ngapali, a town on the west coast of Myanmar. There is everything you need for a good holiday: snow-white beaches, high class resorts, a warm sea with clear water. In Ngapali, you will not see outstanding temples and palaces, but you will rest from the hustle and bustle of big cities. All by yourself: where to go for a retreat Nay Pyi Taw, a city without people Myanmar's court astrologers once said, that the capital should be moved from Yangon inland. Thus, Naypyidaw appeared. It’s a new capital, which is still under construction, and is being built with great reserve for the future. Now, it is a unique city very few people so far, but there are already huge roads for a dozen lanes, huge chic (and very inexpensive for their class) hotels, huge green parks ... in general, the city’s architects make full use of the deserted expanses of the central part countries. There is nothing special to do in Naypyidaw, except to marvel at its scope and scale. If you have time and desire, then you can visit copies of famous attractions or take a walk in the central park. And you can also ride on a 12-lane highway, where one of the Top Gun series was filmed. Myanmar has recently opened its borders to foreigners, so there is still no consumer relationship with tourists. But, thanks to a competent development policy of the country, there are already good roads, ATMs, high-quality mobile communications and the Internet. Hurry up to see this unique country of Southeast Asia before it is flooded with Chinese tourist groups, because right now, you do not need to get to the sights through the crowds of people taking selfies on Instagram.
15 January 2020 / 6 minutes to read
From Pattaya to Phuket: Thailand's Top Beach Resorts
It's a long story talking about the beautiful north of Thailand and describing all the charms of Bangkok, but you can not deny that the country is associated primarily with beaches and the sea. There are really a lot of sea resorts in Tai, and there are both quiet pensioner's places and noisy party beaches among them. Not sure which one to choose? Travellizy will tell you everything right now. Pattaya: bars and clubs The resort city of Pattaya is, in fact, a suburb of Bangkok, because you can get here from the capital of Thailand in a couple of hours. This place is well known among those, who fly to the country for the unique shows, because it is in Pattaya, that you can see the famous Thai transvestites in large numbers. However, this resort attracts tourists not only with attractive ladyboys. Among some special attractions in Pattaya, one can note the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden with the largest collection of orchids in Thailand, the mansion-palace Baan Sukhavati or "Palace Chicken King", which belongs to a local oligarch, and the Sanctuary of Truth. Entrance to the latter costs 15 euros, and for this money, you can admire the fine wood carvings and make a bunch of spectacular photos on Instagram. The sea in Pattaya is rather shallow, with gentle slopes, the beaches are clean, although they are very crowded in the season. There is a wide choice of inexpensive modern long term housing, good apartments with a kitchen in a brand new condo can be rented for about 400 euros per month. The main disadvantage of this resort is its liveliness. This is clearly not a place for those who want to relax in peace and quiet, the party life in Pattaya begins at sunset and ends with dawn or even later. But for avid party-goers and nightclub lovers, this is a perfect place. Hua Hin: less noise, more sea Have you ever heard anything about the Thai resort of Hua Hin? That's highly unlikely, because it is not so much heard as Krabi or Phuket. But this is one of the oldest sea resorts in the country, which is always popular among local residents. There are not many clubs and discos until dawn, but there are many good budget housing, cafes and restaurants and, of course, the endless blue sea. If a party-goer in Hua Hin can get bored, then a lover of natural attractions and temples will definitely be delighted. These are attraction worth everyone's attention: an unusual boat-shaped temple called Wat Ta Nod Luang, a cave temple Wat Cha-Am, Ngardmau Waterfalls in Palau, Kaeng Krachan Lake. And, of course, snorkeling, diving and fishing are excellent here. Those who fly to Thailand for a relaxing beach holiday will like definitely Hua Hin. You will not be attacked by ladyboys from all sides here, the nearest disco will not interfere with sleep, and even taxi drivers and agents offering tours are somehow unusually calm and quiet. Samui: an island for senior citizens Koh Samui is considered to be the island for old people because of its calm atmosphere, but there is something to do for lovers of active entertainment too. You just need to know the area, they are very different on the island. Lamai is for those who like a relaxing beach holiday, and Chaweng is for party-goers of all kinds. There are enough interesting places and attractions on the island. You can climb to the Big Buddha standing on the mountain (if you go there by bike, keep in mind that the road is very bad in places), or you can go to Paradise Park, a contact zoo where colourful parrots and shy deer are fed from the hands. For 6 euros, you can rent a moped and go in search of the most beautiful and secluded beach or go to the Temple on the water and feed the carps there. Every day, at different points in Samui, a traditional night market is organized, where souvenirs and street food are sold. Benefits of Koh Samui are a relaxed atmosphere, many beaches with a gentle entrance to the water and developed infrastructure. There are large supermarkets, cinemas, in general, everything you need for a comfortable stay. As for minuses, club life is not as active as in Pattaya or in Phuket, remoteness from mainland Thailand. Phangan: chill-out and parties On Koh Phangan, you can rent a bungalow in the jungle and fall asleep every night listening to the sound of the surf and the rustle of palm leaves. Also, you can stay in a cool resort with a luxurious pool and breakfast included. Koh Phangan is a neighbouring island of Samui, but wilder, so those who need a minimum of civilization and a maximum of nature move here. But do not worry, round-the-clock minimarkets, cafes and travel agencies can be found here as well. The main attraction of Phangan is its almost untouched nature. It is best to explore it, dissecting the island on a moped and discovering amazing waterfalls, picturesque hills with views and beaches where there is no one but you. You can get to the wildest places of Phangan by boat, hiring a local resident with a boat for several hours or for the whole day. Once a month, an event takes place at Koh Phangan, which attracts tourists from all over the world. This is the Full Moon Party. On the beach, which is a few hundred meters long, the music of different styles does not stop until dawn, people have fun and drink cocktails and smoothies. If you just imagine a huge drunken disco, you should visit the Full Moon Party at least once to understand that you were mistaken. There are two minuses of Koh Phangan - remoteness and not very developed infrastructure. But for those who want to dance on the beach or spend days chilling under a palm tree, this is not a hindrance. However, there is also Internet on the island, so freelancers who want to winter here will also be pleased. Phuket: chic and gloss The most popular resort in Thailand welcomes all visitors with a huge selection of entertainment and unfavourable prices. Phuket is considered to be the most expensive resort in the country, so you should not fly here for a budget vacation. The highest prices for accommodation and food, traditionally, on the coast, in the island's capital city of Phuket, and you can live for less money in the outback, but then you will meet substantial expenses for a taxi or moped rental. There are a lot of various shows in Phuket. Some of them will delight the whole family, for example, the famous FantaSea, and it’s better not to attend it with children. Bars, clubs, discos are found on the island more often than monkeys in the jungle. Temple lovers should go up to the Big Buddha or visit Wat Chalong Temple. Postcard views can be observed from numerous viewing platforms, for example, from Rank Hill, Karon or Khao Khad. If the island of Phuket has become cramped for you, and clubs and dances mess with your eyes, then you can easily escape from the hustle and bustle to the small islands scattered across the Andaman Sea. The minus in Phuket is the same as in Pattaya - it is a very popular and, accordingly, very crowded resort, where it is very difficult to find deserted beaches. But it is easy to do in the neighbouring province of Krabi. Krabi: beaches for every taste Krabi's beaches have become famous for their unique cliffs, vertically sticking out from the turquoise water. In these places, The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed as well as one of the parts of the Bondiana. Nowadays, you can take a tour from any hotel to James Bond's Island, as well as to a dozen other no less picturesque islands. The most popular of them are the famous islands of Phi Phi. Krabi is a large province, and it is very important to choose the right place of residence during a vacation. The most lively area with a huge number of hotels, cafes and travel agencies is Ao Nang, but in the high season, it is difficult to find a free spot on the beach there. A reasonable compromise between the developed infrastructure and the sparsely populated beach is Nopparat, and the wildest areas are Khlong Muang and the island of Lanta. The farther from the central beach you go, the lower the price of food and accommodation is. Krabi's beaches are a perfect place to relax with children. The sea here is shallow, and the sand is very clean. And the most beautiful sunsets in all of Thailand are also here. In addition to the above locations, there are a number of small islands for a beach holiday in Thailand. This is Koh Chang, Koh Tao, Koh Lipe... Getting to them is not so easy as to the most popular sea resorts in the country, but the reward will be bounty views and the lack of crowds of tourists. And yes, you understood correctly, "Koh" (Ko) is the Thai word for "island".
30 August 2019 / 7 minutes to read
Samui Island: What to do in the paradise corner of Thailand
Snow-white beaches, transparent water, palm trees, coconuts... Imagining this picture, you want to go to heaven and feel like a character of a chocolate bar advertisement. It turns out that most of the famous videos were filmed on the island of Samui in Thailand, which Travellizy Team visited a little while ago, and we can't wait to share our impressions.
27 September 2018 / 9 minutes to read
Romance with Rains in these Ultimate Monsoon Destinations
If sweltering summer heat and bitter winter chill are putting off your mood, a marvellous monsoon destination is just what the doctor prescribed. Monsoons can be a perfect time to travel, with the rain gods ‘literally’ showering their blessings and transforming the lands into an emerald paradise and returning the cities to their polished glory. The best part about the rainy months is that many destinations consider it an off-season and offer jaw-dropping discounts and lucrative packages that makes the whole experience just absolutely precious.
bandar seri begawan
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