Tag Archive | "Thailand"

10 Can’t Miss Thailand Experiences

Discover a deeper understanding of Thailand culture with these 10 can't miss Thailand experiences. From exploring the north to snorkeling from long boat to getting a Thai massage, Thailand offers a rich cultural experience for any sustainable traveler.

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Thailand Cooking Class in Chiang Mai

Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai

Many Chiang Mai guesthouses and cookery schools offer cooking lessons. One of the best is the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School, which covers traditional and common Thai dishes. With many of the cooking lessons you’ll not only get a delicious meal but a recipe book as well. It is helpful to book a day or 2 in advance, as the classes are very popular.

 

Night Markets

The local markets in Thailand are where you’ll find some of the best, and least expensive, food the country has to offer. Night markets are open air and typically begin around 6pm. Most night markets have around 30 plus pushcart kitchens. You’ll find noodles and fried rice, fruit drink stalls, curries, satay sticks, and much more!

Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong, or the festival of light, falls on the night of the full moon of the twelfth lunar month (between late October and mid November). It is a celebration of the end of the rainy season and is held to honor the spirits of the water. Thais decorate krathong, or miniature basket boats made from banana leaves, with flowers, fill them with incense, candles and coins and float them out on the nearest body of water.

Woman of the Chiang Mai Hill Tribe

Hill Tribe Treks

From Chiang Mai there are many options for exploring the north and trekking to ethnic minority villages. Visiting local families and experiencing their traditional ways of life allow travelers to gain a deeper understanding for Thai culture and history. Lisu Lodge, located in Chiang Mai, is an ideal place to experience rural Thai life and trek to the surrounding villages. The lodge is named after the Lisu hill tribe village that is settled nearby. Lisu Lodge is also part of a community project that strives to conserve the natural heritage of the hill tribes in northern Thailand.

Cove on Koh Phi Phi Island in Thailand

Visit the Islands

Thailand has stunning coastlines and hundreds of offshore islands, with abundant sea life and incredible scenery. The tranquility and natural beauty of the Thai islands should not be missed. Koh Phi Phi Island is a great addition to any Thailand tour. The snorkeling from Long beach is great, and there are many other snorkeling spots nearby such as Bamboo Island and Mosquito Island.

 

Thai Massage

Thai massage is used against many kinds of illnesses and ailments. It is a great, and relatively inexpensive way, to end your day or ease sore muscles. Massage options range from very cheap to more luxurious. Khao San Road in Bangkok has many cheap massage options.

The Mae Hong Son Loop

Two roads from Chiang Mai lead to the province of Mae Hong Son, Thailand’s most remote province, creating a 373-mile loop. The journey on these roads offers an incredible adventure, with the southern route passing Doi Inthanon National Park, Mae Sariang, the provincial capital of Mae Hong Son, which is perfect for serving as a base to explore the surrounding mountains, rivers, and waterfalls. The northern route passes by beautiful caves and scenery around Mae Lana, Soppong which serves as a great base for trekking in the countryside, and Pai, a small laid back town.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

The Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of Bangkok’s most notable shopping experiences, with more than 6,000 open-air stalls and a vast variety of products to chose from. It is easily reached from the Skytrain. At the market you’ll find antiques, sarongs, clothing, crafts, jewelery, ceramics and much more. The market is divided into sections, each with a certain type of product. The market also has an assortment of food stalls.

Bangkok Grand Palace, Thailand

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace in Bangkok opened in 1785, founding the new capital and the rebirth of Thailand after the Burmese invasion. The palace covers 61 acres and in the northeast corner you’ll find Wat Phra Kaeo, the holiest Buddhist site in the country. Wat Phra Kaeo is one of the country’s most beautiful temples. Wat Po is another popular temple in Bangkok. Thailand is home to over 26,000 temples, all offering great insight in the culture and history of the country.

Visit a Floating Market

Visiting a floating market to see an aspect of the traditional life of the locals is a highlight of Thailand. There are many floating markets throughout the country, and a variety to choose from just a few hours from Bangkok. One of the most popular is Damneon Saduak, located about 62 miles outside of Bangkok. This market is best in the early morning before the crowds get too large and the sun too hot.

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Cushions Bring Economic Opportunity to Rural Thailand

Isaan Cushion Company is a social action business with two aims in mind, one to create the best cushions the human race has ever seen, and two, to create employment and training opportunities for people in the Isaan area of North East Thailand.

Isaan Cushion Company brings an economic opportunity to rural Thailand

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Despite Thailand's strong economic performance in the past few years, many areas of the country have not seen the benefit from this growth. One of those areas is the Isaan region. Isaan is the poorest region of Thailand: the average wages are the lowest in the country at around 4,000 baht per month (USD $130), the national average is about 7,000 baht (USD $230). Many people have to leave in search of better wages.

The Isaan area is also known for its quality silk and cotton production. It's on this local industry that the Isaan Cushion Company will be built. Sourcing locally made silk and cotton fabric from the Isaan and wider Thailand area and then turning this into high quality cushions.

The aim of the Isaan Cushion Company is to provide employment, better wages, training, and to give some economic power back.

Cushion Company Pioneering The ‘Hybrid Co-Operative' Business Model…

The company is also being used as an experiment to try out a hybrid co-operative business model. Along with paying a basic salary the company distributes surplus profits among the employees. This will guarantee a better wage than someone would get if they left the area and worked a 10 hour shift in some big boring factory in Bangkok. All the employees are allowed a say in the creative process from ideas to designs to ways of promoting and selling the cushion covers. For a more in depth look on the hybrid co-operative business model please take a look on the website.

Isaan Cushion Company is currently looking to supply shops around the world with their branded cushion covers. The company also offers OEM and buyer label manufacturing. So if you want cushions in your own brand Isaan Cushion Company can do this for you.

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Quality Silk Scarves Made with Care and Passion

Women’s scarves have always been around in various forms. Today’s scarf started out with the Ancient Romans as a tool to keep warm and keep clean. They were originally worn by men around their neck or tied to their belt. Soon women started using scarves, which were made of cloth. Today the scarf is a fashionable trend among women.

One of the delicate patterns hand created out of 100% quality Thai silk.

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Presently, women have a large variety of scarves to choose from beginning from simple cotton to the more luxurious silk. Simple colors to intricate designs are vastly available and many are reasonably priced. Among the custom silk scarf makers, the scarves available at SilkScarfShawls.com use only the finest Thai silk and every scarf is handmade.
Did you know that silk scarves were originally used by pilots in early aircraft to keep the exhaust out of their mouths?

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Thai Silk Weavers Brought Together with Fair Trade Opportunities by the Kohtrad Silk Project

In the poor Issan region of North East Thailand, many families in this rural community are skilled in the art of weaving silk. Yet without the employment opportunities in more developed areas or internet access it was difficult for many of these silk makers to find a way of distributing their goods. Marketing to the West was an unattainable goal until Farquhar Simpkin traveled to Thailand. After learning of this challenge in the friendship of a local girl Simpkin thought of a way to start a project that could help, and just over a year later the Kohtrad Silk Project was started.

Handwoven silk in Thailand is traditionally done by women using hand looms. Silk is a natural protein fiber that is handwoven in Thailand. Raw silk is hand reeled onto wooden spindles and takes between 35 and 40 hours.

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Comprised of two websites, SilkShirtStore.com and SilkScarfShawls.com, the Kohtrad Silk Project is enabling the Thai silk makers, traditionally women, to distribute their products around the world by using an online platform once unavailable. The silk weavers receive good fair trade pay for their talented work, many using this income to afford school for their children, build a business, or simply stay in the area. Poverty is a challenge almost half of the world faces today and with social enterprises like the Kohtrad Silk Project the aims are to educate and enable people in impoverished countries to help empower themselves. These individuals are given an opportunity to be successful and pull their families out of poverty.

Mens Silk Shirt - Navy BlueIn an effort to provide the opportunity entrepreneurs in developing countries around the world need to start their own small businesses SilkShirtStore.com donates 10% of their profits in loans through Kiva’s microfinance program. Many individuals in these impoverished countries are extremely motivated and have the ability of being successful in their business endeavors. By providing loans instead of donations accountability is encouraged. Once profitable these individuals will be able to provide the essential clean water, food, and shelter their families need and help bring them out of poverty.

Natural Men’s Long Sleeve Silk Shirt – Navy Blue
Price: $22.53 (UK£ 14.99) - Includes free shipping worldwide.

Natural Silk Scarf - Red with Gold Pattern

The other side of the Kohtrad Silk Project is SilkScarfShawls.com where 50% of all profits from silk scarves and silk shawls are being used to build a community internet hub in Si Sa Ket, North East Thailand. Home to about 600 people, Si Sa Ket is where the silk scarves and shawls are made. The internet hub will be located next to a village school when completed and will give this rural community access to cheap internet access.

100% Natural Silk Scarf – Red with Gold Pattern
Price: $22.53 (UK£ 14.99) - Includes free shipping worldwide.

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Special Trip – Tribal Thailand

With a goal of heading towards a neutral environmental impact, GAP Adventures is spearheading this movement with their Planet Positive Project. The initiatives of this program include planting trees around the world and carbon offsetting the fuel of all our marine vessels and corporate flights. Additionally the GAP Adventures offices are green powered and they use recycled paper in our brochures and office products.

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Special: Tribal Thailand, 14 days via Bangkok

From the kaleidoscope of culture in Bangkok to the ancient Siamese capital of Ayuthaya and the ghostly ‘Death Railway,’ embark on a two week exploration of Tribal Thailand. Learn about life in the northern hills on a hilltribe trek, with time out in Chiang Mai and an exploration of the infamous Golden Triangle.

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