Health hazards to watch out for

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Having a holiday in Thailand should be a fun and healthy one for you.

However, we would like to remind readers that although Thailand has excellent health care and controls, please do watch out for various health hazards that could ruin your trip.

Insect bites Insect bites and stings are the most common problem while holidaying in Thailand. Mosquitoes are the most menacing, while least deadly they are most abundant and their bites most itchy. There are repellant creams and lotions for sale widely.

When stung by bees or wasps, don’t panic. Most victims experience only discomfort. Those who are allergic may develop anaphylactic shock and get medical attention immediately. Drinking water Drink bottled water only. Make sure the seal is intact.

Water served in reputable restaurant is generally safe though. Cubed ice is fine. Avoid chipped ice. Also, make sure that you drink at least two liters of fluid (non-alcoholic) daily. Infection Microbial and viral infections cause trouble for the greatest number of people.

Intestinal infections resulting from diarrhea is most common. There are more serious infections such as hepatitis. Always use condoms to protect against all STDs. Snake and poisonous bites Should you intend to hike through grassy or forested area, make some noise along the way. If you’re taking a trek at night, carry a torch or flashlight.

If you’re bitten by a snake or other nasty insects like scorpion, try to remain calm. Immobilize the affected limb by binding it to restrict the flow of venom. Get medical help immediately.

Sunburn…  Apply 30+ sunscreen on exposed parts of your body. If you want to have a good tan, don’t try to acquire it by overexposing yourself to the sun. Take it slowly. A little exposure each day is best.

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Exquisite Edible Sculptures

Why could anyone bother to carefully fashion an ordinary papaya or pumpkin into a bouquet of flowers or a carrot into a rare orchid when they are to be eaten just the same? The answer lies in the Thais’ love for art backed by an oversupply of time and patience.

And more importantly, in Thai culture, form is often as important as substance. Appearance at all levels of society is important in this country. And it can be seen even in the preparation of food. As an art, fruit – or vegetable – carving would have not flourished better than in Old Siam, a country over-abundant with food, where people lived uncomplicated lives, were known for their limitless patience and had plenty of time to spare. Historians say the art began in 1364 when a certain Nang Noppamas decorated a floating lamp for the royal Festival on the night of the full moon of the 12th month of that year.

She carved fruits and vegetables to make them look like flowers and used them to decorate the floating lamp. The King, Phra Ruang, was impressed by the sculpted fruits and vegetables that he later decreed that such a skill, locally known as “Kae Sa Lak,” be encouraged among Thai women, particularly those in the royal household. Some of the most skilled practitioners of fruit and vegetable carving now work for up market hotels and restaurants. Buffet tables in the country’s best hotels are repositories of some of the finest examples of this art.

A watermelon cut into an elaborate basket to hold a m lange of fruits is a favorite item, as are centerpieces made from intricately carved pumpkins. In classical Thai restaurants, platters of food always arrive at the table with some sort of carved decoration. These range from simple flowers made from chili peppers to elaborate blossoms fashioned from carrots and white radishes. Next time you visit a Thai restaurant, take the time to appreciate the food’s visual appeal before enjoying its good taste. To Thais, food should feed not only the stomach but also the eyes.

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Kite Boarding in Pattaya

Imagine how it feels to speed across the water powered by a sail in the sky.You’re standing on a board, watching the kite above you and the waves ahead of you.You jump right in the air, not just a foot or two, but up to 30 feet.

You hang in the air for a long moment and then you’re down on the water again rushing across the sea. This is kiteboarding, an action sport at its best: challenging, fun and simply unforgettable! Kiteboarding is taking the world by storm.

A cross between windsurfing, wakeboarding and paragliding, it harnesses the power of the wind through a large flying kite.This kite pulls the rider, whose feet are strapped to a small board, across the water. If you are a confident swimmer with an average fitness level you can learn this sport.But be warned, once you learn, you will gradually spend less time at work and more time chasing the wind and waves. Its qualities include the need for only light wind (10-12km/h) to ride, compact equipment that is easy to travel with, and the addictive nature of being free to go where you want using the power of the wind.

The sport is easier to learn than it looks, as 90% of kiteboarding involves flying the kite competently. You don’t have to be a muscle builder to learn this sport. While strength helps, once you have mastered flying the kite, it becomes easier. It is technique not strength that makes a good kiteboarder. It also explains why women tend to learn the sport better than men. Women tend to work with the kite rather than trying to overpower it and beat it into submission. Like many sports, kiteboarding can be dangerous, and thus it is highly recommended to learn the sport at a kiteboarding center where they teach you to become a safe and independent kiteboarder.

A kiteboarder stands on a board, similar to a surfboard, with foot straps and uses the power generated by a large controllable kite to propel him or her and the board across the water. It is also possible to use the upward motion of the kite to jump in the air as high as 10meters. The most important skill to get going on the board is learning how to control the kite. This is 80-90% of the skill required: learn to fly the kite confidently (with your eyes closed) as if it was a part of your body and you are well on your way to kiteboarding. The sport began in the mid 80’s when Frenchman Bruno Legaignoux developed a kite which could be re-launched from the water after crashing. His patented idea was an inflatable kite, with struts which were filled with air to allow the kite to float and give the kite rigidity. Today these kites are the mainstay of kiteboarding. They vary in types, designs and sizes. With competitions being held in locations all over the world including Hawaii, South Africa, California, and a world tour operating for the last three years, kiteboarding’s popularity has taken off. KiteBoarding Asia (KBA) has five IKO-certified kiteboarding centers in Thailand.

They are in HuaHin, Chompon, Phuket, Koh Samui and in Pattaya. These centers, including the one in Pattaya, offer courses for beginnersand advanced riders.All five centers have the widest range of kite boarding equipment in Asia. Kiteboarding Asia in Pattaya is located at the Blue Lagoon Water Sports Club(www.bluelagoonpattaya.com) on Jomtien beach, near the Ambassador Hotel. Call Mike at 085-134-9588 for more information.

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Songkran 2017 spurred over 45 billion Baht in spending in Thailand

Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports says the total economic impact of spending during the Songkran 2017 holiday was 45.428 billion Baht (US$1.3 billion*), representing a 14.40 per cent increase over the same period last year.

In addition, several destinations nationwide were reportedly recording noticeable tourism growth during the Thai New Year period. During the Songkran 2017 holiday period from 11-17 April, Thailand attracted 695,894 international tourists and generated about 36.941 billion Baht (US$1 billion), up 10.9 per cent and 16.40 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, domestic tourism resulted in 3.03 million trips and 8.487 billion Baht (US$242 million) revenue up 3.36 per cent and 6.45 per cent, respectively. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) organised and supported celebrations of Songkran 2017 in 14 destinations nationwide. They are: Bangkok, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Ayutthaya, Songkhla (Hat Yai), Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phuket, Nong Khai, Samut Prakarn, Suphanburi, Nakhon Phanom, Lampang, and Sukhothai. Based on the Ministry’s preliminary data, of the 3.03 million domestic trips during 11-17 April, 2017, a total of 1.25 million trips took place in the 14 destinations, a growth of 5.61 per cent when compared to the same period in 2016. The total economic impact totalled 5.15 billion Baht (+7.86 per cent), or 61 per cent of total domestic tourism revenue generated during the Thai New Year 2017. Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “I was delighted to see many international tourists joining the Thai people in celebrating Songkran 2017 in the unique Thai ways.

The Thai New Year is a time when family comes first, respect is paid to seniors, and people visit the temples to take part in traditional ceremonies. It’s all these beautiful aspects that make Thai culture unique and charming, and make Thailand one of the world’s most unique tourist destinations.” *Currency converter: 35 Baht / US$1*

Contact Information International Public Relations Division,
Tourisms Authority of Thailand Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48 Fax: +66 (0) 2250 0246 E-mail: prdiv3@tat.or.th
Website: http://www.tatnews.org
Facebook: TAT Newsroom Twitter: TAT Newsroom

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Made in Thailand

By popular international verdict, Thai handicrafts are unrivalled for quality, variety and value. The Kingdom’s craftsmen have been making exquisite handicrafts for hundreds of years. Their works of art now adorn homes all over the world. The country boats of vibrant cottage industries and village artisans throughout the country turn out an incredible array of goods, ranging from the classic beauty of Khon masks to the subtle basket weaves.

Handicraft making is not confined t just one region. Different provinces produce various items For example, Chiang Mai is ideal place for hilltribe handicrafts, woodcarvings, silverware, and lacquer ware. The Northeast is renowned for silk. Southern Thailand is known for willowware, silver jewelry and basketry. Bangkok, the shopping capital, is famous for jewelry and bronze ware. While Pattaya is not known for its handicraft industries, all kinds of arts and crafts are available in the resort.

Thai handicrafts posses their own special allure and it’s up to you to decide what to buy. Silver jewelry is a real bargain and whether on the sidewalk or in fancy jewelry stores, great bargains on intricately carved necklaces, bracelets and earrings abound. By the way, Thai silver is 92.5 percent pure, a combination of old Indian rupees and pure silver. Thai silk is very popular. Since American Jim Thompson helped Thailand boosts the Thai silk industry in the 1950s, The industry has boomed producing some of the finest silk in the world. The value of the fabric cannot be matched anywhere else.

Travelers to the Northeast are especially lucky, as some of the finest and cheapest silk is available there. Some of the most popular items that do not fall into any listed category are the “mon khwan,” a triangular cushion. In the Thai house, cushions are indispensable part of leisure life. Because furniture is kept to a minimum (to allow free flow of space and air), the “triangle cushion” is a perfect piece for relaxing.

Then there are gold, antiques, bronze ware, ceramics, leather ware, ready-to-wear clothes, etc. Many of these items can even be bought at the street stalls or value prices. In the last decade, Thai handicrafts have gained more international appeal making the country a favorite shopping destination in Asia.

Pattaya has fully embraced modernity just like the rest of other areas frequented by tourists in the Kingdom of Thailand but some traditions are still well kept alive creating a wonderful blend of modern conveniences and ancient Thai lifestyle. That’s exactly what you’ll find and feel at Sugar Hut Resort, a family-owned enterprise nurtured through the years, which offers a unique experience living in an old Thai-style house.

Set away in secluded jungle-like surroundings where animals like peacocks and rabbits freely roam around, Sugar Hut boasts of elevated wooden villas each with a serene and beautiful garden-like bathroom with traditional earthen Thai jar and a deck area that separates the bedroom from the living room. “You can barely see Thai-style house in Pattaya. It’s mostly high-rise buildings,” says Yanin Viravaidya, general manager of Sugar Hut Resort and a second-generation scion of a medical doctor who established the resort.

Yanin says their resort offers “an escape from the whole hectic city” and a chance to relive in a wooden traditional Thai-style house without sacrificing the conveniences of the modern-day era. Each villa has an elevated bed with a beautifully- laden mosquito net. Each bathroom has hot and cold water and a rain-shower for that that earthly jungle-feel. The living room is equipped with a mini refrigerator and a cozy sofa where you can hang out or unwind. There are three swimming pools around the resort, each with wet and dry saunas.

Non-guests can also avail of these amenities for just 1,000 Baht per person per day. Nearby is a restaurant where you can sample some of the best Thai dishes you can find. The resort also has a lounge area where you can read books or magazines, learn more about Thai culture or simply to chill out. And there’s more—Sugar Hut can arrange boat trips, scuba diving or even a brief tour to the city. Yanin assures their staff are always ready to help guests to make their stay in Thailand truly amazing.