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Thailand - Part 4 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

Maya Bay, on Ko Phi Phi, took star billing in The Beach and has been a tourist magnet ever since. You can spend overnight nearby and then book a sunrise cruise. This means that you will be there long before the tour groups land.

Hrabi’s rippling Limestone Mountains, tangled mangroves and jade green bay featured in Star Wars, Episode III. A good option here is to take a kayak along its shores for really special views.

The Thai countryside is sprinkled with atmospheric ruins, Buddhist temples and stupas crouching over rice paddles or rising on craggy hilltops. Try to visit temples in the early morning when it’s cool and when Thais come to meditate and give alms to the monks. Cover your shoulder and legs take off your shoes and never point with your feet towards the Buddha or another person. This is seen as disrespectful as the feet are seen as the dirtiest part of the body.

Visiting remote Phanom Rung, in Buiram, is like having Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat all to yourself. It was built by the same Khmer emperor’s, it is just smaller and emptier. However mirrored by lotus ponds, the temples are magnificent.

Twin stupas sit on top of Doi Inthanon, the country’s highest peak, positioned in landscaped gardens in the countries far northwest. If you like to meditate this place gives you views of rippling hills while you do so.

Rama V was a lifelong Anglophile, his summer palace, Bang-Pa in Ayuttahya, is a glorious fantasy of Thai, neo-Classical European and British mock-Tudor styles. Also, do not miss the Wat Niwet, this is a bizarre neo-Gothic/Thai Buddhist temple.

Swimming with tropical fish is something that many people want to do. Here it's just like an underwater disco with parrotfish, clownfish and electric-blue angelfish dancing over sparkling corals, schools of tuna or turtles sashaying around the rocks, while the VIPs- whale sharks, mantas, leopard sharks make show-stopping appearances. You can join in this party on the Andaman Sea, hopping off from either Phuket, Khao lak, Krabi and ko lanta.

Three aquatic adventures can be taken from Khao Lak, take a boat to the Similan islands, nine isles teeming with sea life. Divers should head to Richelieu rock near Myanmar, where the reef plummets to the seabed, attracting nine-ton whale sharks.

If you like trekking then try a break where you get to mingle with the hill tribes. It doesn’t get better than this, walking on forest paths from cooling waterfalls to tiny hamlets set in rolling rice paddies, learning to weave raw cotton with tribespeople dressed in brilliant pinks, opening a bamboo window to the bright morning sunlight.

Hill and village hiking in Thailand’s northern mountains is simple if you’ve just a day or two, yet connects you with a tribal world far from urban life. Chiang Mai remains the main starting point for walks, but choose well, and avoid trips to long neck Karen villages near Mae Hong Son.

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