Asia, a land of wonders - these are my thoughts, experiences and travel tips from SE Asia

Friday, January 27, 2012

Don Hoi Lot near Bangkok Thailand

Don Hoi Lot (Thai: ดอนหอยหลอด) is a sandbar off the coast of Samut Songkhram Province at the northwestern tip of the Bay of Bangkok. The sediments of the Mae Klong River together sediments from the sea form a system of mudflats, which is settled by the Razor Clam shells, which also gave the site its Thai name. The site has the largest population of this shell species, which is endemic to the northern Gulf of Thailand.

Don Hoi Lod - searching for shells/clams
 Being such a famous place among Thai citizens, we decided to take a look. Driving there from Bangkok only takes an hour or so and then we reach the place ... Don Hoi Lot, entering we can see restaurants on the left side of the road and a market on the right side. There is the car park as well - so glad to see that, we all know how difficult to find a parking spot is in Bangkok or popular tourist attraction places.

The place is a famous for its sea food restaurants, which include those shells which gave their name to the place. Don Hoi Lot means sandbar of the Lot shells, better known as Razor Clam shells.

There is a set of picture from this trip below here.

Don Hoi Lod restaurant view

Don Hoi Lod market

Car parking @ Don Hoi Lod

Ready to eat fish!

Squid on stick - ready to eat & delicious

Shells and prawns
Here we can have a sit and eat @ Don Hoi Lod
This was quite delicious although a lot of bones in that fish
Museum at Don Hoi Lod

Souvenirs tshirts

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Phang-nga Thailand a 800km ride from Bangkok

Anyone interested in a car ride towards the South of Thailand? only a 800 KM ride.
If, so, here is a great possible destination: Khao Lak ( in Thai เขาหลัก ) in Phang-nga province in the South of Thailand.
Khao Lak เขาหลัก - Phang-nga

Sunset - Muang Thai beach

Khao Lak is a seaside resort located in the Takua Pa district in the Phang Nga province, Thailand and popular as a departure point for liveaboard scuba diving trips to the Similan Islands and Surin islands.
Located approx 60 kilometers North of the Phuket island on Phetkasem Road, one of four major highways in Thailand. Khao Lak is serviced regularly by bus and taxi services. Phuket International Airport (HKT) is situated 74 kilometers south on the island of Phuket. Though Thailand's economy is mostly export-dependent, Khao Lak remains mostly tourist-dependent, with surrounding agriculture and commercial fishing.

What differentiates Khao Lak from neighboring tourist destination like Phuket, is its quiet up-scale secluded coastal resorts; lack of over-crowded masses; family-friendly nighttime environment and the provincial ordinances prohibiting structures to build beyond the height of a coconut palm (albeit, more or less), keeping Khao Lak pristine.

We visited Phang-nga during the month of December and it is known to be a kind of rainy season during this month. However the weather was beautiful in most of the days, with a bit of rain in one day and a bit cloudy on another day. 

Quite impressive is the speed boat tour to visit the Similan islands. They took us since morning and return to the pier of Khao Lak around 4-5 PM. The Similan islands are totally amazing with their white smooth sand and crystal clear water.

High waves - Similan islands
There was quite a wavy day I may say, waves were taller than me, I could say about 2 or 2.5 meter waves. We had lunch on an island and snorkeling near another of the islands that makes the Similan arhipelago. 

In Khao Lak you can find accomodation probably starting around 1,000 BHT per night and reaching to anything you want, like 10-15K BHT per night ( 30 USD to 500 USD and more).

We found that Khao Lak is mostly for families and kids, honeymooners and others who enjoy a relaxing holiday in a quiet and clean place in Thailand. 
Wedding set on the beach in Khao Lak, Thailand
During the stay in Phang-nga we tried quite a few restaurants but I must say that they are all about the same. Mostly it is food made for foreigners and not really authentic Thai food, but this is perfectly normal since I really don't know who can directly eat Thai food without staying here a while or having other contact with this type of food which, by the way, is very delicious.
Khao Lak beach panorama - evening
A set of pictures from Khao Lak are below including some snorkeling shots and white sands beaches of Similan islands.
Snorkeling picture around Similan
Similan white sands beaches
Speed boat fighting with the waves - Similan
Similan island wavy beach

Enjoy and drop me a line if you need some travelling advise or you need help in booking some tours.
Thailand, Bangkok to Phang-nga car ride approx 800 km.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Terminal 21 mall Bangkok Thailand

Terminal 21 from 1st floor

Terminal 21 building เทอมินอล 21 is a new and mixed-use complex on Sukhumvit Road, near Asoke intersection in Bangkok, Thailand. It opened in October 2011 and it is unique by it's design concept of the floors.

It has two parts of the complex:
A. The retail complex has a total of 9 stories. Main anchors are health club of Fitness First 8 screens of SF Cinema City and Gourmet Market, a supermarket of The Mall Group.
B. The Grande Centre Point Hotel & Residence Sukhumvit-Terminal 21 has a total of 42 stories, 202 metres high building.

Terminal 21 is a one floor - one concept shopping mall and we decided to visit it on the 3rd of January 2012 as it was still a national holiday in Thailand. Overall it is a nice new place which tries to make you feel like in an airport as all the floors have Departure signs and there are some other signs similar to an airport.

LG Floor - Caribbean
This floor concept is Caribbean Beach Town, decorated with beach, sea anchor and lighthouse. It reserved for supermarket of Gourmet Market, quick service restaurants, banks, bookstores and convenient service shops.

G Floor - Rome
This reserved for luxury brands and brand name boutiques, concept is Heaven of Rome. It decorated sculptures with marble mythic of Roman statues and well-known paintings.

M Floor - Paris
It's Champs-Élysées Boulevard and Parisian Boutiques Streets concept, served for Thai designer's boutiques and beauty shops. It decorated sculptures with Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower.

1st Floor - Tokyo
This floor is concept of Nakamise-Dōri Market and Harajuku Town. It reserved for ladies' boutiques, decorated sculptures with Sumo, Torii and Maneki Neko.

2nd Floor - London
This decorated sculptures with iconic red telephone boxes, London's double-decker busses, Tower Bridge and Union Jack Flag. It concept is Oxford Street of London, served for mini-shops of men's wears, jeans and sporting goods. Here we found a few nice clothes shops, nice as in unique and good design, something not easy to find in Bangkok these days.

3rd Floor - Istanbul
This floor is Istanbul Market Town concept, decorated with Istanbul's lamps. It reserved for mini-shops of shoes, bags, jewellery, gifts and decoration products.

4th Floor - San Francisco city
This concept is Chinatown of San Francisco. It decorated sculptures with San Francisco Trams and Golden Gate Bridge, served for Thailand's famous restaurants.

5th Floor - San Francisco pier
This floor reserved for international restaurants and food court of Pier21. It decorated with seaports and fisherman village, concept is Fisherman Village of San Francisco. The restaurant are just the general ones that you can find almost in any malls in Bangkok, like Swensens, Steak Lao, Fuji, Sunrise Taccos shop and others - I would say nothing special here and quite high prices.

6th Floor - Hollywood
Concept is Hollywood Studio Town, decorated sculptures with Hollywood Sign and Oscar Statuette. It reserved for 8 screens of SF Cinema City, health club of Fitness First, spa and IT & Mobile products zone of IT Terminal.

Rome floor - Terminal 21
Gift shop in Terminal 21 Bangkok

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012 in Bangkok

Happy New Year 2012 !!!

May everyone of you have a superb and happy new year. The celebrations were amazing in Bangkok downtown around Central World. A lot of fireworks as well as a concert having Palmy (Thai famous singer) as a guest and I guess there were others as well as guests.
Bangkok downtown - fireworks

New year fireworks in Bangkok

Cental World fireworks and concert in Bangkok
People start gathering since 10PM and the place was totally full. Rama I road was closed from Paragon to Central World and the concert was held in on the wide road between Central World and the BigC on the opposite side. Music was nice, fireworks were good although seemed like not long enough, we wish it would last another 2-3 minutes.

Central World panorama in the new years eve

People gathered for countdown and concert at Central World in Bangkok - new year's eve