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BAN THATON :: BANGKOK :: CHIANG MAI :: CHIANG RAI :: PHUKET
Ban Thaton is a scenic, small town located in Northern Thailand near the Burmese border on the banks of the Mae Kok River. Nearby are villages inhabited by hill tribes, where it is possible to witness the various cultures of Northern Thailand. The most famous are the Padaung long-necked women, who put brass rings around their necks to create the illusion of stretched necks. In addition to the opportunity to experience the native hill tribes, Ban Thaton offers Wat Thaton, a Buddhist temple located on 160 acres with gorgeous scenery and numerous places to meditate.
Spiritual, cultural, and political capital of Thailand, the splendid melting pot of temples, palaces, canals, and exotic nightlife make Bangkok one of Asia's most interesting cities. Magnificent icons await discovery, surrounded by fragrant orchids, spicy cuisine, exotic fruits, saffron-robed monks, and bustling markets. Must-see attractions include the stunning Grand Palace featuring the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the city's oldest and largest Buddhist temple with its massive Reclining Buddha; the unique floating markets of Damnoen Saduak; and the ruins at Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand. Taking a boat ride through the klongs, Bangkok's canals, and cruising on the Chao Phraya River are also highlights not to be missed.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Bangkok. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Bangkok and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Bangkok insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Since 1988, I have worked as a guide and in 2006 I was voted Best Tour Guide (English speaking) at the Thailand Tourism Awards. I love to teach others about Thai culture and how to speak some key words and phrases in Thai. I am approachable and energetic and interactions with my guests are one of the favorite parts of what I do. I look forward to sharing my knowledge of Bangkok with you.
You may decide you can’t get enough of the delicious local flavors, and if that’s the case, spend half a day at The Blue Elephant to learn how to prepare authentic Thai at home. This cooking school takes you through the entire process—from shopping at a market to enjoying your dishes. While it’s somewhat more expensive than a half day of museums and lunch, the long-term benefits are immense.
For a truly unique competition—without the violence of Thai boxing—head out to this park on a weekend to watch the kites soar and “battle.” The idea behind the match is a battle between the sexes; the male kites, “Chula,” try to capture the females, “Pakpao.” You’ll know which is which: males are shaped like stars, females like diamonds.
Grease the elbows and stretch the knees; it’s time for a hectic shopping experience. There’s something for everyone here—from the bargain-hunter to the clinically fashionable. Clothing, jewelry, crafts, and much more are on full display in this busy area. Make sure you venture behind the street-front vendors to Pratunam Market for international goods. Keep in mind, bargaining here is more about being friendly and respectful.
Saxophone has everything you’d want in a jazz club—dim lights, dark wood and brick finishes, and instruments on the walls—except, some nights, jazz. Live blues plays more often, and sometimes rock rears its head. But this is a great place to hang out regardless of the band playing.
Take a look at Bangkok in its night-lit glory from this 32nd-floor wine bar. Live jazz plays, and the glass walls are perfect for viewing the city. This is intended for a more elegant (and expensive) night out.
There are countless places offering traditional Thai massage in Bangkok. One of the best choices is the Thai Massage School at Wat Pho. Many of the local masseuse and masseurs were taught here, and you can get a 1-hour massage for $15 to $20 USD. You can also learn the techniques for yourself!
These small 3-wheeled vehicles are an interesting way to get around and should be tried by anyone traveling to Bangkok. Make sure to negotiate the fare before sitting down.
Dating back to 1296, Chiang Mai is a remarkable city filled with and surrounded by incredible landmarks and scenery. Nestled among the picturesque Himalaya foothills north of Bangkok, the city could only be reached by river or elephant trek until the 1920s—isolation that helped preserve Chiang Mai's distinctive charm. Inside the ancient city walls are more than 30 temples, opulently decorated with intricate carvings, Naga staircases, and gold filigreed pagodas. Among the most famous sites are Wat Phra Singh with its important Buddha statue; Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, which overlooks the city from a nearby mountainside; and outside of town you can visit an elephant camp for a memorable elephant-back ride through the jungle.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Chaing Mai. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Chaing Mai and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Chaing Mai insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Chiang Mai is my home town. I was born and grew up here. I'll never move to another city because I love my culture and my city. I'm excited to share my culture with other people from around the world.
Spanning several blocks, this large market features food and Thai goods at great prices. Local handicrafts like carvings, jewelry, silk, and hand-woven fabrics are an especially good value here, because they are made in such close proximity. The other big draw is the street food, which is some of the best in the world. So make sure you have room in your stomach. Give yourself a couple of hours to explore fully.
If you love Thai food, then why not learn how to make it at home? Most classes start at the market, where you pick out your ingredients for the day. Often, you also learn how to make curry paste from scratch before putting fire to the pan. Thai influences can be seen in many different styles of cooking, and learning the basics makes for a great day. There is an overabundance of cooking classes available in Chiang Mai, so ask your Local Host for a suggestion.
The mountains surrounding the city are the best thing about Chiang Mai. You can hire a guide to help you explore them or go on your own if you are experienced. Either way, exploring the jungle on foot or on a bike is a rewarding experience.
Gateway to the "Golden Triangle" of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos, Chiang Rai was founded in 1262 and is one of the oldest cities in the country. A scenic area of mountains, valleys, rivers, and forests, Chiang Rai's major attractions are nestled among great natural beauty. Things to see and do include: the many magnificent temples; a boat ride on the beautiful Kok River; visits to the colorful hill-tribe villages; and the Hall of Opium, built to educate on the history of opium and to help combat illegal drugs.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Chiang Rai. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Chiang Rai and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Chiang Rai insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
I'm Waew, and I've worked as a tour guide for 15 years and have my bachelor's degree in English. I love to share my love for the beautiful scenery in northern Thailand and the way of life of local people including the unique minority hilltribes. I look forward to meeting you and helping you make the most of your vacation.
The market opens after sundown daily and is the perfect spot to enjoy good local cuisine for a reasonable price. Get your bargaining skills ready as the market also offers plenty of handicrafts to take home for friends and family.
Stunning tropical sunsets, sparkling azure seas, and palm-lined white-sand beaches are the rule at Asia's most popular beach destination. Phuket Island is a paradise filled with world-class diving, championship golf, and exciting sightseeing opportunities that include Old Town with its Malacca-style houses and bustling markets; cruises to the nearby Phi Phi Islands; the Big Buddha, one of Phuket's most revered landmarks; and Wat Chalong, one of Phuket's most important temples and its spiritual center.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Phuket. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Phuket and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Phuket insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
I am Khun Teera, and I was born in southern Thailand. In early 1994, I started my career in the tourism business as a tour guide in Phuket. I have been doing it ever since. I have an easy-going manner and enjoy sharing extensive knowledge of all things Phuket with visitors.
Let’s face it, you are going to Phuket to relax at the beach, and you won’t be disappointed! There are countless beaches on Phuket offering white sands and warm inviting waters.
Stroll along the streets of old Phuket town, where you can see Chinese heritage preserved in the Sino-Portuguese shop houses, temples, and local cuisine.
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