Surin Elephant Round-up Thai Festival

Surin Elephant Round-up

The Surin Elephant Round-up usually takes place on the third weekend of November in Surin province, Isan, Thailand. It is of recent origin, first held in 1960. The people of Surin were traditionally excellent at capturing elephants in Cambodia, then training them as working animals. Civil war in Cambodia and the elephant's decreasing economic importance has forced the elephant handlers (mahouts) to turn to entertainment to make a living.
The event consists of a series of shows displaying the strength and skill of the animals, such as football games and tugs of war.

The Elephant Breakfast is a small part of the festival and is held on the Friday morning. A procession of up to over 300 elephants (2005) start marching through Surin city from the railway station area toward the Elephant roundabout at the south end of the city on the Prasat road.
The elephants carry dignitaries and also some tourists who dismount their steeds on arrival. Some elephants carry mahouts in authentic battle outfits from the Thai - Khmer - Laos battles. Intermingled with the elephant procession are local school children and teachers in traditional dress, dancing and playing music.
Once all the elephants have arrived then the banquet can begin, the tables of fruits are quickly cleared by the large team of elephants. Whatever leftovers there may be is not lost, as the local people take the leftovers to their own homes.
On the following morning (Saturday) the elephants and mahoots congregate at the Elephant Stadium to the south east of the city centre. Here the main show is performed culminating in a re-enactment of the battles of a past century. The show is repeated on Sunday morning.

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Loei - Thailand

Loei Thailand

Loei (Thai: เลย) is one of the most sparsely populated provinces (changwat) of Thailand, located in the North-East of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from east clockwise) Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Nongbua Lamphu, Khon Kaen, Phetchabun, Phitsanulok. In the north it borders Xaignabouli and Vientiane Province of Laos.
Loei is a city surrounded by undulating mountain ranges whose summits are covered by foggy lines, abundant with various kinds of flora. The well-known ones are Phu Kradueng, Phu Luang and Phu Ruea.

Loei is an ecotourism city surrounded by undulating mountain ranges whose summits are covered by foggy lines, abundant with various kinds of flora. The well-known ones are Phu Kradueng, Phu Luang and Phu Ruea. Its temperature is comfortably cool, with beautiful geographical surroundings, as well as unique cultures and traditions.
Loei is 520 kilometres from Bangkok, covering an area of 11,424 square kilometres. It is a boundary province located in the upper northeastern part of Thailand, on the bank of the Mekong River along the Phetchabun mountain range.
In the past, it was a small community in a prosperous empire during the same period as the Thai Kingdom of Ayutthaya. Later, the Lan Chang Empire became weaker, therefore, the community moved to be with Ayutthaya. During the reign of King Rama V of the Rattanakosin period, the community was upgraded to be Loei province.

Bun Luang Festival and Phi Ta Khon (งานประเพณีบุญหลวง และการละเล่นผีตาโขน) is held annually in Amphoe Dan Sai on Saturday to Sunday after the full moon day of the 6th lunar month, and after paying respect to Phrathat Si Song Rak. Phi Ta Khon is a local activity of Amphoe Dan Sai and Amphoe Na Haeo, relating to the belief and faith in Buddhism and the spirit of ancestors. Phi Ta Khon parades are organised in the Bun Luang Festival, an annual local merit making ceremony. Phi Ta Khon is usually participated especially by males both boys and men. The festival is organised in 2 days. On the first day, the Phra Upakhut procession proceeds from the Man River to Wat Phon Chai and on the next day, it will enter the town, while the Phi Ta Khon participants will throw their costumes and accessories away into the Man River. After that, a series of all 13 chapters of the Great Birth Sermon will be given during the event.

Phitakon (ผีตาโขน) 
 The best worst-publicized festival in Thailand. Every year in Dan Sai (ด่านซ้าย) the Phi Ta Kon festival is held. Revelers make traditional masks, which they wear in a parade down the main street of Dan Sai. Traditionally, the masks were made to frighten evil spirits away, the wearer dons the mask and drags bells behind them with the intention of clearing the surrounding area of evil spirits (generally while drinking large amounts of home brewed spirits of a different kind). Afterward, the parade begins and thousands of people head through the streets for what becomes a chaotic fertility festival, many participants in the parade carry phallic water guns and comically over-sized wooden penises with them. Dan Sai is about 2 hours west of the main city of Loei. It can be reached by bus.


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Prachuap Khiri Khan

Prachuap Khiri Khan (ประจวบคีรีขันธ) is a coastal town in Western Thailand. It could culturally be considered a part of the Central Plains, but is geographically connected to Southern Thailand as it is a part of the Malay Peninsula. It possesses various interesting tourism attractions such as beaches, islands, forests and mountains.
Prachuap Khiri Khan Province covers an area of 6,367.620 square kilometres. It is a long and narrow coast stretching to the South. The narrowest part is from the border of Thailand and Burma on the West to the eastern sea coast at the Singkhon Pass, Khlong Wan sub-district, Mueang district, being a distance of approximately 12 kilometres. Its distance from the north to the south is approximately 212 kilometres.

The town itself is small enough to get around on foot. For access to the beaches you can easily catch a tuktuk.
Rickshaws (Sam Lor) are for relative short distances. Tourists can take short rides within the town costing between 20 and 30 baht. Longer rides may cost as much as 50 baht.
Tuk-Tuks (three-wheeled motorized rickshaws) are also popular for short and quick journeys. Fares must be bargained in advance.
Songthaews (public passenger pick-up vehicles) pick up as many passengers as they can and drop them off as the drivers reach their destinations. They are a very reasonable way of getting around.
Motorbikes can be hired but it is advised to be extremely careful when hiring a motorbike to only use a reputable agency.
Cars can be rented from trust-worthy companies such as AVIS, Budget and Hertz. For those traveling only short distances, they can rent bicycles downtown.
Motorbike Taxis are the most popular form of public transportation in town and the prices are low (some bargaining is advised before getting on). Trips cost about 10-40 baht depending on the distance. Due to safety however, make sure the driver has a spare helmet of good quality.
Boats can be hired at the pier for travel to nearby islands.

Wat Thammikaram - excellent views of the bay and city, with wild monkeys crawling all over the place.

Ao Manao beach

Yuttichai Hotel, clean, friendly family-style hotel on Kong Kiat Road, which is the street leading from the train station in the direction towards the ocean. Double rooms from 160B. Laundry and scooter rental services are also available from the hotel.
Suksant hotel, looks to have been remodeled recently but the plumbing is in a horrible state when it comes to the higher levels, to the point where the toilet would simply not flush.
Maggie's Guest House. Maggie's is a lovely traditional Thai house, set in a large shady garden. The house is on Soi Tamphamook. The Soi is situated between the Suksant and Had Tong Hotels and the house is about 100 metres from the sea. Rooms start from 150 baht. Laundry service, scooter and bicycle hire. Day trips arranged to the various national parks or where ever you want to go. Jungle treks and mountain bike tours can also be arranged through the guesthouse. Check the house out on facebook (maggies guest house Prachuap) 
.Tel +66-32-604216 OR +66-802251340

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Rayong and Koh Samet

Koh Samet
Just 200 kilometers from Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand, the T-shaped island of Ko Samet is famed for its white sandy beaches, exotic coral and crystal clear waters. Ko Samet has developed steadily over the past decade or so, but it hasn't been the victim of over zealous construction which has hit the likes of Ko Samui (or even Ko Chang). The island is typified for its splendid beaches and white silky sand, surrounded by tropical coral reefs and crystal clear sea. Tourists can also enjoy a plethora of delicious cuisine and fine nightlife.
It's a popular tourist destination for Thais and foreigners alike. As Ko Samet is so near Bangkok, the island is ideal for those in the capital wanting to chill-out with their families for a couple of days, without having to go through all that rigmarole of having to travel down south. It's only a 2.5 hour ride to Ban Phe, where one can take a 20-minutes ferry to the island.
It is believed that once upon a time, Ko Samet was the home of pirates and that until this very day there is still lost treasures buried somewhere on the island. Thailand's legendary poet Sunthorn Phu was the first one to put this island on the map when he set his classical epic there, Phra Aphai Manee "The Story of Princes, Saga, Mermaids and Giants".
Even though Bangkokians had known about the beauty of Ko Samet for decades before, the Thai government put this island off limits and restricted overnight stay there until 1981. In that year, on 1st October, the Forestry Department of Thailand declared Ko Samet and its surroundings to be a national park.

Catch the sunset from dramatic cliffside locations along the south-west coastline.
A fireshow at the renowned Ploy Thalee Restaurant/Bar on Saikaew Beach. They are held twice a night around 8.30PM and 10.30PM.
Most beaches are on the eastern side of the island. The beaches hide in small bays and stretch some 200 metres. From the north, there are Hat Sai Kaeo, Hat Hin Khrong, Hat Khlong Phai, Ao Phutsa, Ao Thapthim, Ao Naun, Ao Cho, Ao Thian, Ao Wai, Ao Kio Na Yok and Ao Karang. The only beach on the western side is Ao Phrao. One of the famous beaches is Ao Wong Duean in the middle of the eastern side. This beach stretches in the shape of an almost complete circle. Both Ao Wong Duean and Hat Sai Kaeo have very fine white sand.

Rayong (ระยอง) is a city on the Eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand.
On the east coast of Thailand, 179 kilometres from Bangkok, modest beaches dotted around Rayong province are tranquil paradises for sea lovers who wish for hideaway places near to the capital. Months of monsoon allow lush forest as well as fruit orchards to cool down from the heat of the day, and give produce during May of each year, so fruit lovers always travel here for various tasty fresh tropical fruits, particularly durian, rambutan and mangosteen. After the end of the monsoon season in late October, the crystal clear water of Rayong along its hundred kilometre-long coast embraces to welcome all visitors.
Traditional Thai massage at Wat Don. Good value authentic Thai massage by fully trained and qualified masseurs. Body massage costs about 150 baht for around 1.5 hours.
Can eat seafood at Laem Charoen Restaurant at a coast in Rayong downtown.

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Ko Kret or Koh Kred Paradice Island

Ko Kret (also Koh Kred) is an island in the Chao Phraya River, 20 km north of Bangkok, Thailand.
he island dates only to 1722, when a canal was constructed as a shortcut to bypass a bend in the Om Kret branch of the Chao Phraya river. As the canal was widened several times, the section cut off eventually became a separate island. The island continues to serve as a refuge to the Mon tribes who dominated central Thailand between the 6th and 10th centuries and have retained a distinct identity in their flavor of Buddhism and, particularly at Ko Kret, their pottery.
The easiest way to reach Ko Kret is to take the once-weekly Chao Phraya Express Ko Kret tour, which leaves the Central Pier (BTS Saphan Taksin) every Sunday at 09:00 and visits a number of attractions before returning at 15:30. The cost of the cruise and guided tour is 300 baht (no lunch). Many other companies also offer similar tours, often just as a stop on a longer upriver trip to Ayutthaya.

Wat Poramaiyikawat, at the north-east corner right next to the ferry landing. The main temple on the island, this old monastery is constructed in Mon (Burmese) style and is a focal point of Thailand's small Mon community: both the scriptures and the daily prayers here are in Mon. The ubosoth is decorated in Italian marble brought in by King Rama V, and a wooden pagoda near the pier houses the remains of one of the abbots. The white, Burmese-style stupa, modeled on Phra Tat Chedi Mutao in Hongsawadi, Myanmar, is said to contain the Buddha's relics.

Wat Poramaiyikawat Museum, tel. +66-25845120, open Mon-Fri 9 AM-4 PM. Next to the temple, this small museum displays various interesting items such as votive tablets, crystal ware, porcelains including ‘hem’, a master piece of art made by Colonel Chatwat Ngamniyom. Some say that Hem must be created by Mon who had an inspiration from the coffin of the Lord Buddha. Dried remains will be put in the normal hem coffin but the hem of monks is different with a tiny window where the body can be seen from outside.

Wat Chimplu Suttahawat is on the east coast, about 1 km south of the ferry landing and a good point to turn around if you're not planning to make the full circuit. The temple has a beautiful small chapel in a very good condition.

Phra Wiharn. This is the venue where the 9.5 metres long reclining Buddha of the late Ayutthaya period is enshrined. The edifice’s outside is decorated with King Rama V’s emblem. Nonthaburi’s Buddha image named ‘Phra Nonthamunin’ enshrined here behind Phra Wiharn was formed in the late Ayutthaya period. Besides, a charming marble Buddha image offered to King Rama V by a Burmese named Sang Sew Sun is placed in front of the Viharn. Opened daily from 9AM to 4PM.
Wat Sao Tong Thong. This long-dated temple used to be called ‘Wat Suan Mak’ is the site of Amphoe Pak Kret’s first primary school. Behind the chapel, the tallest pagoda of Pak Kret was constructed in the Ayutthaya style. Inside the chapel, the gorgeous ceiling paintings finely decorate the edifice. Another name of the temple in Mon is ‘Pia Arlart’.

Wat Phai Lom. This monastery built in the late Ayutthaya period and called by Mon people ‘Pia To’ has a charming chapel.
Kwan Aman Pottery Museum. This pottery museum is notable for its large collection of the distinctive ancient Mon design ceramics (see Buy beloew). Mon people have always been skillful in pottery since their settlement in the delta of Irawadi River. Later, at the time of Mon’s installation to Thailand during the Thonburi era, pottery has become since then Nonthaburi’s oldest handicraft and symbol with the notably beautiful characteristic Mon design. Opened every day from 9AM. to 5PM. For more information, please call 0 2584 5086, 0 2583 4134.

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Hua Hin -The Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden

Hua Hin (หัวหิน) is a seaside resort city in Thailand. It is popular with Thais, having become quite fashionable as a weekend getaway spot for Bangkok residents, as well with foreigners and as an ex-pat retirement or vacation home location.
Although developing rapidly, there is a commitment by the local and provincial authorities to avoid the kind of overheated blight that has affected other beach resorts in Thailand.
There is only one beach, Hua Hin Beach (ชายหาดหัวหิน Hat Hua Hin) which runs from one side of Hua Hin to the other. Basically it's one long beach. Hua Hin Beach extends some three kilometers southwards from a rocky headland until a southern headland where a Buddhist temple cling to the cliffs. Fine white sand, resort hotels and many water sports opportunities lend the resort its distinctive ambiance. At the south end of town, the hill of Khao Takiab interrupts the beach. On the other side (technically not Hua Hin anymore) is a lovely swimming beach with a view of Khao Takiab's South face. Just a little further on, Suan Son beach is owned by the thai army, but open to the public. Notable for the tropical sea pines lining the shore. A little south of the Marriott, watch for tiny sand crabs digging industriously, leaving odd patterns of tiny sand clods around their beachfront property.

Parts of the beach closer to the town may have greenish water, in this case continue walking down the beach where the water appears cleaner. There is ample supply of deck chairs along the beach, however many places will charge for their hire (100 baht is common). Deck chairs that are part of a beachside cafe may be free (in the assumption you will buy food or drink).
The hill of Khao Takiab, 14 kilometers from Hua Hin town, supports Buddhist temples and offers a commanding view of the resort, particularly early in the morning. A local bus service from Hua Hin to Khao Takiap is on the seashore. Khao Takiab is one of the highest area in Hua Hin, by going up this mountain by driving you will see the whole Hua Hin and also nice beaches. This is another good place to wait for the sunset as well. Also the food on Khao Takiab is very delicious too.
Butterfly Garden
Panee Butterfly Garden is the latest attraction in Thailand in Hua Hin. Set in the midst of an emerald green surrounding, this garden makes an ideal backdrop for colorful butterflies.
As the name suggests, this garden houses hundreds of varieties of butterflies. It is located at the Petchkasem Beach Road in Hua Hin.
The butterfly garden offers a unique experience for nature lovers. Beautiful butterflies with different colors, shapes and patterns can be found here. The garden is dotted with a large number of flowers as well.
Hence, together they make a perfect tranquil ambience. This spectacular garden faces the beachfront of Hua Hin.

The beach, the exotic varieties of butterflies and verdant green surroundings make this garden a heaven on earth. Visitors can relax and unwind themselves in this nature's paradise.
The garden remains open on all weekdays, from 10 in the morning till 6 in the evening. 
Address: Petchkasem Beach Road, Hua Hin, Thailand
Phone Number: +66-32-512642

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Ko Tao or Turtle Island

Ko Tao, literally Turtle Island, is an island at the Central Gulf Coast of Southern Thailand.

Historically, Ko Tao was once a detention place for political prisoners similar to Ko Tarutao of Satun Province, but today it is a great place for divers or anybody who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Ko Samui and want more than the Full Moon Party on Ko Pha Ngan. Ko Tao is a great place to learn how to dive. There are hardly any currents and a wide selection of dive sites and dive shops, schools and resorts. Activity options are growing outside of diving and the food and nightlife options are some of the best in the Gulf of Thailand.

Ko Tao is a small island of approximately 21 sqm km and receives over a 100,000 visitors per year. To minimize your impact on the eco-system, notice that there are no garbage disposal facilities, so everything that can't be burned has to be taken away. Try to avoid plastic bags that are given out for every purchase you make. There is also no department to clean the roads or other public areas, so don't dump your waste on the open landscape. Water is scarce and electricity expensive, so don't waste them.
Peak seasons in Ko Tao are from December to March and July to August. It is a quite popular destination amongst Thais also, so it can be nearly fully booked on Thai holidays.

The only option to get to Ko Tao is by boat. The nearest airport is in Ko Samui or Surat Thani, which is fairly well connected to major cities in the region (Bangkok, Penang, Singapore, etc).

There is one main road running North to South on the island with many smaller roads diverting off it. Some roads lead over the spine of small mountains that run along the middle of the island and are all dirt, can close out after rain, and can be challenging even to a skilled driver. There are usually plenty of taxi cars available on both Sairee village and Mae Haad, however they tend to be expensive given the actual distance you travel.
You can rent bicycles and motorcycles at a few places on Sairee Beach, Mae Haad, and Chalok. Be careful if you rent a motorbike as the dirt roads can get dangerous. ATV's (all terrain vehicles) are dangerous (ask any medical clinic) and expensive (500+ THB a day) and should be avoided in favor of Honda Dream's (150-200 THB a day) or Sonic's (200-250 THB a day).
Be aware that an increasing number of rental shops are charging large amounts of money for non-existent scratches on bikes when returning them, notably the shop next to 7/11 in Sairee Village (Save Way travel). Make sure you note down all scratches and dents before you rent a bike from anyone. Your best bet is to hire a bike from your bungalow / resort.
Longtail boats offer rides to and from certain beaches on the island. They are a more comfortable way of getting to isolated beaches than attempting to ride over the mountains, however they are noisy. Round island longtail can be as much as 2000 baht, whereas some short trips will only be 100-200 baht.

Take a bike around the island. Shark Bay is a good place to go snorkeling for the day (don't worry too much about sharks, they are only small black-tip reef sharks). Koh Nang Yuan, Freedom beach, Laem Thian, Mango Bay, Hin Wong Bay and Tanote Bay are good day excursions, accessible by road or boat. If you rent a scooter, be prepared to turn around or continue by foot since some roads (e.g. to Mango Bay) may be in such condition that you need a dirt bike or a car to ride them. Some beaches are private, but a boat can take you snorkeling to those bays also.
However, to see the best places, go by foot as some are inaccessible to motorists. There are a number of good viewpoints around the island such as John Suwan mountain viewpoint in the South of the island, Two View in the center and Fraggle Rock in the North.

Scuba diving
Scuba diving is still the biggest attraction on Ko Tao. Diving in Ko Tao is easy, fun, and you can see turtles, stingrays, barracudas, lots of small fish, reef sharks, and there is a very small chance of seeing a whale shark.

At Chumphon Pinnacle you are likely to see juvenile bull sharks which have, until recently, been misidentified as grey reef sharks. Pay caution, the bulls are curious and very aggressive though for many years literally thousands of people have dived this site without a single shark related incident.
Nearly any time of the year except November is good diving weather in Ko Tao and visibility can exceed 40 meters. Average visibility is around 15-20 meters. In November visibility is reduced and the seas are choppy, but diving is good by the standards of many other destinations.
It is possible and perfectly comfortable to swim and dive without a wetsuit year round. However, as with most diving, a wetsuit is recommended to help reduce risk of cuts or injury. Avoid contact with coral reefs!

Over the last couple of years more and more non divers have discovered the beauty of this island with its secluded little bays and unspoiled mountain ridges. Due to this, and the increasing amount of small upmarket resorts and villas nestled in the hillsides there are nowadays a lot more activities available, including sailing, rock climbing ( Trad routes, Sport routes, Top rope routes and Bouldering), abseiling, cliff jumping, wake boarding, paint-ball jungle games, mini golf or bowling in Mae Haad, massage and yoga courses, and cooking courses.
A huge selection of Thai food is available, including lots of sea food. Barbecue fish is one of the local favourites. As a large portion of the population are expats, you will find plenty of other cuisines ,too.

Thai food is cheapest, with July 2007 prices ranging from 45 baht for stuff-on-rice through to 250 baht for a nice hunk of fresh barbecue fish at a decent restaurant. 25 baht would get you a fresh banana pancake, and 60 baht a bowl of porridge with honey at a budget resort's restaurant. 200-300 baht would get you a bowl of freshly made Italian pasta, and 160-200 baht for pizza. Fresh fruit juices are available at many stalls for 20-30 baht.
Late night burgers, chicken pita kebabs, hot dogs, falafel, chips (French fries to the non English) available with curry sauce, chili con carne or just good old salt and vinegar! One of only a few places on the island open after 10pm to get food other than 7-11 and we do offer delivery between 10pm - 2am
This is the largest beach on Ko Tao, located on the Western side of the island and stretching from the Ferry Terminal (which is on the South Western corner of the island) almost the length of the island. All along this beach you will find dive schools, resorts and restaurants/bars. The southern and central sections of the beach are well known for their nightlife, and the northern end has a large number of shops and restaurants which lends it to be a bit quieter at night (but with the bars only a short walk down the "Yellow Brick Road".

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Khao Lak- Koh Kho Khao

Khao Lak-  Koh Kho Khao

Khao Lak (Thai: เขาหลัก (Pronunciation)) 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.
Located approximately 60 kilometers north of the island of Phuket along Phetkasem Road, (Thai Route 4), 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 making up a small contribution to Thailand's overall econom
Khao Lak (เขาหลัก) is a resort town in Phang Nga province on the western Andaman Sea coastline of southern Thailand, about 100 km north of Phuket Town. When the disastrous tsunami of 2004 struck South Asia, Khao Lak was the hardest-hit area in Thailand with over 4000 fatalities. It has since made an impressive recovery despite many hardships along the way, and is once again a popular tourist destination. Khao Lak mainly caters to families and those looking for R&R - party people prefer Phuket.

Pakarang Surf Shop, 28/5 Moo 7, Khuk Khak, Takuapa, Phang Nga 82190 THAILAND (in Khao Lak, 1 hour north of Phuket),  +66-76-485-350, . 9-5. Surf Shop in Khao Lak, Thailand. Board rental and good surf spot. 3 breaks on Cape Pakarang plus good beach breaks around Khao Lak. 300 Baht/hour.

The Yoga Studio, Petkasem Rd (Main Road) (Bang Niang, near Police Boat),  0897105770 (, . Providing both group and private Yoga classes by a certified Yoga Instructor throughout the Khao Lak area. 

Koh Kho Khao Island lies off the coast of Takuapa to the North of Khaolak. Koh Kor Kao Island's western coast has endless beaches lined by Casuarina trees while the interior is covered by grassland. Several wild animals dwell Kho Koh Khao Island, and sea turtles use to lay their eggs in its sands, between November and February. Those, interested in this fascinating event will have the possibility to observe turtles in their natural environment during their stay on Koh Koh Khao Island.

Koh Kor Kao Island is already well developed, boasting surfaced roads and a car ferry to cross the few hundred metres wide canal, which separates Ko Koh Khao Island from the mainland. An extensive flat grassland area close to the northern tip was used as an airfield by the Japanese during World War II and influential people are already talking about an airport on Kho Khor Khao Island.

Koh Koh Khao Island is spelled in many different ways like Koh Kho Khao, Koh Koh Khao, Koh Koh Kao, Koh Kho Khao Island, Koh Kor Kao, Kho Koh Khao, Kho Kho Kao Island, Koh Kho Khao, Koh Kao, Koh Kor Kao, Koh Kho Kao Island, Koh Khao Island, Ko Koh Khao, Kho Kho Khao, Ko Kho Khao, Koh Kho Kao Island and Kor-Khao Island

Ko Kho Khao Beach Resort lies on a small island of about 16 000 acres, which is called Koh Khokhao Island. Ko Kor Khao Island has beautiful white sandy beaches and many small hills with occasional lakes inbetween. While the coast is covered by Avicennia forest, the interieur of Koh Khor Kao Island is grassland savannah with many different flowers special to this island. This island is a perfect place to enjoy.

Ko Kho Khao Beach Resort is the perfect place for privacy seekers, small families or couples. You can enjoy our beach-side swimmingpool, complete with kids pool and jacuzzi and you can dine in splendor, choosing either of our 2 restaurants overlooking the Andaman Sea.

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Loi Krathong&Yi Peng or Candle Festival

Loi Krathong is held on the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the western calendar this usually falls in November.
"Loi" means "to float" and a "Krathong" is a raft, about a hand span in diameter, traditionally made from a section of banana tree trunk. A raft has been developed to be made of bread or sometimes made of styrofoam. The reason for using bread is to protect the environment,since having many rafts in the river can create a huge water pollution problem. Bread will eventually become food for fish and other animals in the river. Even though banana leaves are biodegradable, it takes longer to be degraded than a bread. Therefore, bread is the most environmental friendly choice to make a raft whereas foam is not recommended at all. A raft is decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, incense sticks etc..
During the night of the full moon, many people will float a small rafts (Krathong) on a river or other body of water, such as canals, lakes and seas. Some people even float a raft in a basin in their own yard. Thai people believe that floating a raft on the river is to honor and pay respect to the goddess of water. Also, floating a raft in the river is to apologize to the Goddess of the Water for the bad things we have done to the river during the past year. That is why Loi Krathong festival is held at the end of the year. Governmental offices, corporations and other organizations usually create big decorated rafts. There are also local and officially organised raft competitions, regarding its beauty and craftsmanship. In addition, there are also fireworks and beauty contests during the celebration of the festival.
The origins of Loi Krathong are stated to be in Sukhothai, but recently scholars have argued that it is in fact an invention from the Bangkok period . According to the writings of H.M. King Rama IV in 1863, the originally Brahmanical festival was adapted by Buddhists in Thailand as a ceremony to honour the original Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama. Apart from venerating the Buddha with light (the candle on the raft), the act of floating away the candle raft is symbolic of letting go of all one's grudges, anger and defilements, so that one can start life afresh on a better foot. People will also cut their fingernails and hair and add them to the raft as a symbol of letting go of the bad parts of oneself. Many Thai believe that floating a raft will bring good luck, and they do it to honor and thank the Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha (Thai: พระแม่คงคา).
Yi Peng
Thousands of Khom Fai in Mae Cho, Chiang Mai
Loi Krathong coincides with the Lanna (northern Thai) festival known as "Yi Peng" (Thai: ยี่เป็ง). Due to a difference between the old Lanna calendar and the Thai calendar, Yi Peng is held on a full moon of the 2nd month of the Lanna calendar ("Yi" meaning "2nd" and "Peng" meaning "month" in the Lanna language). A multitude of Lanna-style sky lanterns (khom loi (Thai: โคมลอย), literally: "floating lanterns") are launched into the air where they resemble large flocks of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating by through the sky. The festival is meant as a time for tham bun (Thai: ทำบุญ), to make merit. People usually make khom loi from a thin fabric, such as rice paper, to which a candle or fuel cell is attached. When the fuel cell is lit, the resulting hot air which is trapped inside the lantern creates enough lift for the khom loi to float up in to the sky. In addition, people will also decorate their houses, gardens and temples with khom fai (Thai: โคมไฟ): intricately shaped paper lanterns which take on different forms. Khom thue (Thai: โคมถือ) are lanterns which are carried around hanging from a stick, khom khwaen (Thai: โคมแขวน) are the hanging lanterns, and khom pariwat (Thai: โคมปริวรรต) which are placed at temples and which revolve due to the heat of the candle inside. The most elaborate Yi Peng celebrations can be seen in Chiang Mai,[2] the ancient capital of the former Lanna kingdom, where now both Loi Krathong and Yi Peng are celebrated at the same time resulting in and lights floating on the waters, and lights hanging from trees and buildings or standing on walls, and lights floating by in the sky. The tradition of Yi Peng was also adopted by certain parts of Laos during the 16th century.
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