วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 26 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2551

Easy and Fun with shopping in Phuket

Whereas in the past you needed to go to Bangkok for any serious shopping, Phuket now has shopping oportunities to satisfy all but the most fanatical shopaholic. In addition to the roadside stalls and markets there are quite a few shopping centres and department stores, as well as a good selection of boutiques and speciality shops. Fine examples of traditional handicrafts, textiles, gems, jewellery and antiques, as well as clothing and everyday items are sold all over the island. The best bargains and widest range of goods are found in Phuket City and Patong, though there are plenty of shops and stalls to be found in beach areas such as Kata and Karon. For a complete list of all the shops in Phuket, take a look at our business directory.

Prices are fixed in department stores and larger shops, but at most other places bargaining is expected, especially at markets and shops where the prices are not displayed. Roadside stalls will often quote double the price, and sometimes even more, which the seller will accept. So start low, maybe at a third and aim for half.
Some small shops that have prices marked can also be cajoled into giving a “special discount”. Don't expect to able to bargain down too much though. If the prices are already displayed, this should mean that they are fair. Nevertheless, its quite rare to find a merchant who won't budge at all.

Generally, shopping in Thailand is easy and fun. But remember to shop smart, go around and compare prices and obtain a receipt for expensive items. Be wary of touts, tour guides, taxi/tuk tuk drivers or friendly strangers who offer to take you shopping. In nearly all cases they will receive a commision, which of course is added to the price you pay.

VAT Refunds
To encourage tourists to shop in Thailand a VAT refund for tourists scheme was introduced for tourists to be able to claim back the VAT paid on certain items.
“Visitors entering the Kingdom on tourist visa are entitled to refunds of the 7% value added tax (VAT) paid on goods purchased at shops, department stores and other retail outlets displaying VAT Refund for Tourists signs, where tax refund application forms are available. Prior to airport departure, visitors must present a completed VAT refund form, plus passport information and purchase receipts, to a customs officer. Certain luxury goods, such as jewelry, gold ornaments, watch, glasses, or pen, must be shown to an excise official at the VAT refund office at the departure lounge after passport control. Refunds may be in bank draft form or credited to a credit card.”Source: Revenue Department of Thailand.

A golf holiday

Phuket is a great destination for a golf holiday, with seven international standard golf courses set amidst idyllic surroundings. The island is attracting an increasing number of golfers due to its year-round mild climate, beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere. Green fees are generally higher than the rest of Thailand, but the pleasure of playing these courses is usually well worth the expense. Bear in mind too, that fees are still very low in comparison to other countries.
There is no need to show handicap cards at any of Phuket's golf courses. Dress code is not strict but most clubs expect visitors to wear golf shirts with collars, short or long trousers, socks and golf shoes. Generally spike-less shoes or soft spikes are required. These can be hired at the courses.

Phuket Golf Courses
All courses on the island, as well as Thai Muang Golf Club in Phang Nga, provide an extensive range of practice facilities, such as driving ranges, putting greens, practice bunkers as well a high standard of instruction. Other facilities include clubhouses, bars, restaurants and accommodation. It can be uncomfortable playing golf in Phuket's tropical climate, so sessions in the early morning or late afternoon are recommended. Make sure you put on some sunblock and drink plenty of fluids.

Blue Canyon Country Club
Recognized as one of the best courses in the region, the Blue Canyon Country Club comprises two 18-hole championship courses.
Laguna Golf Club
Formerly known as the Banyan Tree Golf Course, this elegant 18-hole golf course is located within the Laguna Phuket development.
Loch Palm Golf Club
Built around a 48 acre lake, this 18-hole course is conveniently located approximately half-way between Patong and Phuket City.
Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
Located in the northeast of Phuket, Mission Hills is a new 18-hole course with an additional 9-hole floodlit course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
Phuket Country Club
Built in 1989 over a reclaimed tin mine, the Phuket Country Club was the first championship standard course to be built in Phuket and has a total of 27 holes.
Thai Muang Golf Club
Thai Muang is one of Thailand's few links courses and is located by the sea in Phang Nga province, a short drive from Phuket Airport.
Royal Thai Navy Sport Development Centre
Located in Khao Lak, Phang Nga, about 50km from the Sarasin Bridge, this 18-hole course is a cheap and cheerful alternative to Phuket's plush courses.

Nai Harn Beach: A picturesque beach

Nai Harn Beach: A picturesque and quiet beach near the southern tip of the island. There aren't many places to stay here but the beach is easy to get to from Kata and Karon. One of the loveliest beaches in Phuket, Nai Harn is relatively undeveloped thanks to the Samnak Song Nai Harn monastery which occupies a large portion of the beachfront land.

At its northern is Le Meridien Phuket Yacht Club which has a few bars and restaurants just before it, but generally the area is quiet. Behind the beach is a lagoon where there are some upmarket housing developments and a few good bars and restaurants.

วันพุธที่ 25 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2551

Kata Beach: Perfect destination for beach lovers

The pleasant bay of Kata, just a few minutes south of Karon Beach, entices and charms many visitors with its white sands and clear waters. Very popular with families, Kata is an all round favourite due to its spectacular palm-lined beach, great restaurants, lively but not raucous nightlife and varied accommodation options - all close to the beach. From May to October surfers flock to catch Kata's waves and from November to April the beach is alive with sunseekers. This the perfect destination for beach lovers.

Kata is split into two focal areas: Kata Centre, which is at the northern end close to Karon and Kata South, home to several resorts. The Club Med takes up most of the beach road, resulting in a shaded footpath that makes for a pleasant stroll. Continuing on through the village, visitors will find an abundance of shops to browse in, from souvenir and ready-to-wear outlets, to 7-Elevens and local mini-marts, to name-brand fashion stores. There are also plenty of dive shops and tour operators to assist those looking to explore beyond the beach.

Kata Beach is many people's favourite beach in Phuket. Stunningly beautiful with surfing from May to October, from November to April surfing is replaced by snorkeling and sunbathing and other watersports. The beach is palm lined and fairly busy but never too crowded to be annoying. In the high season, yachts moor just offshore, adding to the ambience and the sunsets here are some of the best in Thailand. Restaurant lined or tree lined, there's a perfect spot for everyone at Kata.

วันอังคารที่ 24 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2551

Tom Yum Kung: The most famous food

Tom yum is a soup originating from Thailand. It is perhaps one of the most famous dishes in Thai cuisine. It is widely served in neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, and has been popularized around the world. Tom yum is characterized by its distinct hot and sour flavors, with fragrant herbs generously used. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, shallots, lime juice, fish sauce, tamarind, and crushed chili peppers.

In Thailand, tom yum is usually made with prawns (tom yum goong), chicken (tom yum gai), fish (tom yum pla), or mixed seafood (tom yum talay or tom yum po taek) and mushrooms - usually straw or oyster mushrooms. The soup is often topped with generous sprinkling of fresh chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves. The less popular variety of tom yum is tom yum nam khon, where coconut milk is added to the broth. This is not to be confused with tom kha or tom kha gai - where the galanga flavor dominates the soup. Tom yum nam khon is almost always made with prawns, whereas chicken is often used in tom kha. Its other cousin is less well-known outside Thailand - tom klong. Commercial tom yum paste is made by crushing all the herb ingredients and stir-frying in oil. Seasoning and other preservative ingredients are then added. The paste is bottled or packaged, and sold around the world. Tom yum flavored with the paste may have different characteristics to that made with fresh herb ingredients.
You will find the most famous Thai food, "Tom Yum Kung", in every Thai restuarants. If you going to Phuket, we recommend to try it.

วันจันทร์ที่ 23 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2551

Spa Phuket: The Island of Wellness and Relaxation

Spa Phuket: The Island of Wellness and Relaxation
source: http://www.thai-spa-guru.blogspot.com/

Phuket is one of the best holiday destination with beautiful sea and white-sand beaches. However Phuket has evolved into a major centre for spas and wellness in recent years. Several world-class facilities have been built around the island, and all of the island's top resorts are scurrying to either expand or develop their own in-house spa services. Many offer a blend of Eastern and Western techniques in a tranquil environment, often at lower prices than spas with similar standards of service and luxury in the West.

Without a doubt, the spa industry in Phuket is booming. Hotels and resorts added spas to their services and several types of spas. Many tourists and locals head to these Island of wellness and relaxation making spa a part of their holiday itinerary

Living Thai Culture: Sukko Cultural Spa & Wellness Resort

Spread over 20 acres and surrounded by verdant woods and watercourses that spring from high mountains, Sukko Cultural Spa & Wellness Resort presents the culture of ultimate happiness, wellness and exquisiteness of Thai living which visitors can embrace and then embark on a journey for the well-being of both body and soul.

Thai culture: the philosophy of traditional medicine, the practices for a healthy life and the rituals of respect for the earth are woven together to become the art of Thai living, which is simple, yet subtle and full of senses. Thais live hospitably, joyfully and are helpful to all. They have a beautiful life: eating natural healthy food with seasonings from various herbs and spices, acting as both flavorings and medicine. The way of caring for their own wellbeing and of those that are dear to them is through massages, botanical compresses and herbal steaming and baths. Thais are taught to live amongst the nature with love and respect, looking after the trees, rivers and the environment in general.

Sukko Cultural Spa & Wellness Resort is the perfect destination to explore the richness of Thai culture and traditional holistic remedies. Sense the Thai touch with Sukko Cultural Spa whilst living the Thai life in Jantra Spa Villa. Test the Thai taste through the Cultural Cuisine and feel the life force throughout the Cultural Wellness Activities. Living at Sukko Cultural Spa& Wellness Resort is as that of staying in an ancient Thai village where the guests will experience the every essence of Thai-ness through traditional Thai living in absolute fun and comfort.