Tag: Thailand

Go to Bangkok, Angkor Wat, Phuket and Koh Yao

Go to Bangkok, Angkor Wat, Phuket and Koh Yao

Experience the contrast between the metropolitan pulse of Bangkok and the tranquility of the unique temples around Angkor Wat. Cycle around the rural surroundings of Siem Reap before flying south to beautiful Koh Yao and Phuket.

On this trip you can combine one of Asia’s most exciting cities, Bangkok, Angkor Wat – one of the most impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites and then end your holiday with sun and swimming on both a quiet tropical island and an island with a little more activities. We believe that this is a journey that combines the best of all worlds.

Day 1: Departure from Scandinavia

Today, the journey to Bangkok is with scheduled flights.

Day 2: Arrival in Bangkok

When you arrive in Bangkok, a driver is ready to drive you to your guesthouse. New Road Guest House is very centrally located and has a nice and homely atmosphere. In the lobby there is a service center that is happy to assist with travel tips and practical questions. The rest of the day you can rest after the trip or discover Bangkok. We have lots of suggestions for great experiences if you need inspiration. If you want to eat near your guesthouse, we recommend the restaurant next door, Harmonique.

Day 3-4: On your own in Bangkok:

You have all day to explore Bangkok on your own. Go on a journey of discovery in the exciting city where lots of experiences await. If you need suggestions for activities, we recommend, among other things, a bike ride behind the city’s facade or exciting trainspotting in Mahachai. The day offers an exciting excursion from the hectic city life in Bangkok to the lively and green countryside where you can experience the local everyday life. ( F )

Day 5: By plane to Siem Reap

You take yourself out to the airport and your flight to Cambodia. You will be picked up at the airport in Siem Reap and driven to your cozy hotel, where you can spend the day relaxing by the pool or taking a stroll to the local market. ( F )

Day 6: Angkor Wat

The trip departs by tuk tuk early in the morning, so you can watch the sunrise at the temples. The first stop is at Srah Sarong or “Kings Bath”, where you can watch the sun rise over the water and the temples. Then you can walk across the road and be one of the first to visit the jungle temple of Ta Phrom just as they open for the day. The archeological park around Angkor is one of the most important sights in Southeast Asia. It stretches over 400 km2 and contains ruins from the various capitals of the Khmer Empire from the 800s to the 14th century. Today you get to see the area highlights. After Ta Phrom you will visit the southern part of Angkor Thom where you can follow a path through the jungle to a hidden temple. If you have brought breakfast, it is perfect to eat it (ask the hotel staff to pack a lunch box for you). You will also visit Bayon, Baphoun, Terrace of Elephants and Leper King temples. When it suits you, you can take a break for lunch and maybe rest for a while, before moving on to Angkor Wat – the most famous building from the Khmer era. The day ends with an unforgettable sunset over the temple area. (F )

Day 7: Experience everyday life around Siem Reap by bike

Today you will cycle through the area around Siem Reap and take part in preparing a meal that you can donate to the local monks. The Buddhist monks live far from their families and are not allowed to have regular jobs. Therefore, they are completely dependent on the generosity of the local population. You prepare the food together with a local chef and pack it so that it is ready to donate to the monks. Once you have given the food to the monks, you can talk to them about Buddhism and their way of life. After lunch, cycle back to the hotel. ( F , L )

Day 8: Flight to Phuket

You can ask the hotel to book a taxi for you that will take you to the airport. When you arrive, you will be picked up at the airport and given a ride to the beautiful island of Koh Yao Yai, where you can enjoy life on a real paradise island for the next few days. ( F )

Day 9-11: Koh Yao Yai

If you feel like a bit of speed and fan during the days on Koh Yao Yai, you can snorkel in one of the most beautiful places in the area, rent a kayak and explore the mangroves or maybe take a mountain bike ride. You can also enjoy the tranquility and relax with a good book, pamper yourself in the hotel’s spa or take a dip in the hotel’s beautiful infinity pool. NOTE: due to low tide outside the hotel, the beach is not the best for swimming. ( F )

Day 12: By boat to Phuket

After a couple of days of peace and quiet, the journey continues towards the pulse of Phuket. Here you live on the quiet Bantao Beach, where there are plenty of small cozy restaurants and bars. ( F )

Day 13-14: On your own on Phuket

You can go for a walk on the beach, test your talents on a paddleboard or go to one of the more visited beaches and do some shopping. We recommend that you have dinner at Bliss Beach Club or that you rent a scooter / take a taxi and enjoy a drink at sunset in the beautiful Sri Panwas bar Baba Nest which is located on the roof. ( F )

Day 15: Return from Phuket

Today is the last day of the holiday, but you still have time for one last dip in the sea before you are picked up at the hotel and go to the flight that will take you home to Scandinavia again. ( F )

Day 16: Arrival in Scandinavia

Overnight stays

Three nights at guesthouse in Bangkok
Three nights at boutique hotel in Siem Reap
Four nights in villa on Koh Yao
Three nights at resort in Phuket

Go to Bangkok, Angkor Wat, Phuket and Koh Yao

Karon Beach Travel Guide

Karon Beach Travel Guide

Karon Beach is a family-friendly destination in Phuket. Phuket’s Karon Beach is one of the most popular beach resorts on the holiday island. Versatile services and a long sandy beach guarantee a successful holiday.

KARON BEACH

Many tourists traveling to Phuket Island just end up at Karon Beach. The resort has all the prerequisites for a successful beach holiday.

Karon Beach is a family favorite

Karon Beach is located in Thailand , on Phuket island’s west coast. To the north is the island’s busiest beach Patong and to the south is the slightly calmer Kata Beach.

The long fine sandy beach of Karon Beach is washed away by the waves of the Andaman Sea. The wide beach is especially popular with families with children, but couples also enjoy it. The water sports opportunities in the Karon area, the rich offer of restaurants and shopping opportunities guarantee a successful beach holiday.

The actual attractions on Karon Beach are few. The most important places to visit are Karon Lookout and Wat Suwan Khiri Khet, or Karon Temple. Its central location makes it easy to explore day trips around Phuket and visit nearby islands from Karon Beach.

Karon Beach continues for a mile. There is no congestion everywhere despite the number of tourists.

Climate of Phuket

From a Finnish point of view, Thailand is always warm.

Due to the climate, the best time to travel to Karon Beach is from November to March, when there is little rainfall and the temperature does not rise too high. This is also the busiest season when the beaches are filled with vacationers.

The hottest time begins towards the end of the season in February and continues through May. The average temperatures are then 35-40 degrees. For many, the heat is too much, so the beaches are also less congested.

In May and September-October, Karon Beach receives the most rainfall. The deaf are plentiful and usually take place in the afternoons as well as at night. In rainy weather, some places close their doors and prices are at their lowest.

A classic beach holiday

The beaches of Phuket are said to be even the best in Thailand. Karon Beach is one of the three most popular beaches in Phuket. The approximately five-kilometer-long fine sandy beach attracts sun worshipers from all over Europe. In addition to Finns, it is especially popular with Russian tourists.

When lying on a sun lounger on the beach and swimming in the turquoise sea waves, time passes as if unnoticed. The long beach is also nice for a walk. Those looking for more activity can go on a snorkeling or diving trip or try paragliding.

There is a highway next to Karon beach with quite busy traffic. Buses and songthaew platform taxis to the airport and Phuket Town also run along this road. The road is lined with restaurants, shops and market stalls.

Karon Beach continues for a mile

Pampering treatments and shopping

In addition to lounging on the beach, you can treat yourself to a manicure, pedicure or massage. Prices are quite affordable in Finnish, although Phuket is slightly more expensive than other Thai resorts.

At Karon Beach, you should also fill your stomach well. The wide range of restaurants offers local specialties as well as international cuisine.

Shopping opportunities at Karon Beach are concentrated near the Karon roundabout. From there you can buy almost everything you need on holiday. You can also shop at Karon Plaza, where you can buy spices, clothes, handicrafts and ornaments as gifts. When shopping, compromising is important.

For those looking for branded products, take a shopping trip to Phuket Town or Patong, where the selections are better. There is a large shopping mall in both locations.

Excursions and things to do for all ages

If lying on the beach starts to get bored, a day trip will liven up your vacation. In addition to Phuket Town and the nearby beaches, it is worth heading inland. There it is possible to get acquainted with rubber tree plantations, attend a cooking course and learn more about culture.

For avid golfers, Phuket has several beautiful and well-maintained courses. It’s a good idea to head to the putting green right in the morning before the midday sun makes gaming a hassle.

In Phuket, you should avoid places where elephant riding is organized. Elephants are often mistreated, and when you participate in excursions, you support unethical activities.

From Phuket you can go on a day trip to the nearby islands. A favorite of many is the white sand beaches of Koh Phi Phi , where you can spend the day relaxing or snorkelling and diving.

Good to know about Karon Beach

During the busiest winter season, there are plenty of tourists on Karon Beach and it can be difficult to find your own peace on the beach. If you are vacationing at Karon Beach during the rainy season, it is good to note that the sea currents can be strong.

In Thailand, left-hand traffic and traffic culture are different than in Finland. Take special care when driving yourself. When riding a motorcycle, it is always advisable to wear a helmet, even if many locals ride in the air. In traffic accidents, the tourist is often held liable, even if not the culprit.

Large numbers of tourists always attract scammers and traders as well. You shouldn’t be too blue-eyed, but taking normal caution is enough.

Thailand Defense and Foreign Policy

Thailand Defense and Foreign Policy

Foreign policy and defense

Thailand is a nation in Southeastern Asia. Its capital city is Bangkok. Thailand has always pursued a pragmatic foreign policy and adapted to new situations. The country can also be described as nationalist with a skepticism about foreign involvement in politics.

thailand military spending and defense budget

After World War II, foreign policy has been markedly Western-friendly, but Thailand is also striving to expand its cooperation with other countries in Southeast Asia. Asean is the most important regional cooperation organization, while Apec is rather aimed at dialogue with the outside world.

  • Countryaah: Overview of business holidays and various national observances in Thailand for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.

Under the military rule in Thailand after the coup in May 2014, contacts with China increased. The Beijing government was quick to express its support for the military junta, and as early as February 2015, an agreement on enhanced defense cooperation was signed. Trade relations have also been strengthened. However, Thailand’s leaders have been hesitant about China’s infrastructure efforts in the region.

Myanmar and Laos

Relations with Myanmar (formerly Burma) have long been strained. Several Myanmar guerrilla groups, not least rebels from minority people shan, operate near the border with Thailand. From time to time, they attack military sites and often reach the Myanmar military’s fire of fire into Thai territory. The Myanmar military junta, in particular, in the 1980s and 1990s accused Thailand of supporting the rebels, which are largely made up of various ethnic minorities. The many Myanmar refugees in Thailand as well as drug trafficking across the border help make the situation problematic.

The democratization process that began in 2011 in Myanmar has facilitated a rapprochement between the two countries, but Myanmar’s tough handling of the minority Rohingy population and the refugee flow to Thailand that has created this has caused new irritation. When Myanmar’s then-president Thein Sein visited Thailand in July 2012, the two countries signed a cooperation agreement. In October 2014, Thai dome leader Prayuth Chan-ocha visited Myanmar as the first country since he became head of government. The leaders of the two countries discussed cooperation in port development, the energy sector and border surveillance. In April 2018, more than 100,000 Myanmar refugees were in nine camps along the border between the two countries.

Relations with Laos have been greatly influenced by the fate of the Hmong refugees. Tens of thousands of members of the hmong folk group, who have experienced harassment and persecution in their homeland of Laos since the 1970s (see Laos, Modern History), have over the years moved to Thailand where they lived as stateless in large refugee camps. In 2006, Thailand and Laos agreed to work together to find a solution to the refugee issue. While thousands of hmong have been granted refugee status in the United States, Thai authorities have been trying to identify the refugees to find out where they come from. However, this work has been slow and the Doctors Without Borders organization has reported bad conditions in the camps. In 2009, Thailand deported about 4,000 hmong refugees to Laos, which received sharp criticism from the US and human rights organizations, among others.

Thailand invests in hydropower development in Laos and most of the electricity generated will be exported to Thailand.

Cambodia

The relationship with Cambodia is also strained. In the 1990s, the Phnom Penh government accused Thai security forces of indirectly supporting the guerrilla movement of the Red Khmer smuggling of timber and gemstones to less prominent Thai buyers. Thousands of Cambodians also fled across the border to Thailand as fighting erupted in the homeland between the military and guerrillas.

After the turn of the millennium, relations improved. In 2001, the countries decided to jointly raise security at the border to curb the smuggling of people, drugs and objects stolen from temples in the Cambodian city of Angkor.

The positive trend reversed when an old conflict over the Preah Vihear temple, located in the border region between countries, flared up in 2008. The triggering factor was the UN body UNESCO’s decision to place the temple on its list of World Heritage Sites in Cambodia. In 1962, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that the temple is located in Cambodia, but Thai nationalists have found it difficult to accept. In addition, the boundary line is unclear in parts of the area around the temple.

In connection with the 2008 riots, Thailand and Cambodia mobilized troops at the temple. Soon there were around a thousand soldiers posted on each side. Through negotiations, the forces could be gradually reduced.

Relations deteriorated again in the fall of 2009 when Cambodia offered Thailand’s Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra a post as economic government adviser. Thailand’s Abhisit government saw the play as a provocation. In August 2010, Thaksin resigned from the disputed post and full diplomatic relations were restored.

In February 2011, Cambodia turned to the UN with a plea that the World Organization would intervene to end the temple conflict by creating a buffer zone in the area. Following mediation by Asean the same month, an Indonesian observer group was placed on both sides of the border.

Still, new battles flared up in April. It was not until December of that year that the countries agreed on mutual troop retreat, under the supervision of the Indonesian observers. In April 2012, the two countries decided to jointly clear mines at Preah Vihear, and in July a gradual troop retreat was initiated.

In November 2013, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that the disputed land areas around Preah Vihear belong to Cambodia. The court urged Thailand to withdraw all its soldiers, police and border guards from the areas.

Relations with Cambodia were strained once again in connection with the coup against Yingluck Shinawatra in May 2014, but strengthened again after Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen visited the coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha in Bangkok again.

Other Southeast Asian countries

The revolt among Muslim residents of southern Thailand (read more here) has periodically caused tension in relations with Malaysia, which has been accused by Thailand of supporting the separatists. Relations improved when Malaysia in 1998 promised to cease its support and a number of rebel leaders could be arrested. When the uprising escalated in 2004 and was met with harsh methods by the Thaksin government, relations with Malaysia again deteriorated.

The contacts gradually grew warmer during the military-led transitional government in 2007-2008 and during the Abhisit government in 2008–2011. The Yingluck government in 2011–2014 made new attempts to reduce tensions in the conflict area, but the results were slim. Relations with Malaysia were relatively unproblematic under military rule after spring 2014.

Thailand’s relationship with Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore is good. With Indonesia, Thailand collaborates primarily on agricultural development, energy and fisheries.

USA and Russia

Thailand has long cultivated good contacts with the United States and annually the two countries hold joint military exercises. Following the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, Thailand pushed for a regional anti-terrorism policy within ASEAN. When the US-led invasion of Iraq began in 2003, Thailand declared itself “neutral” but still sent 400 soldiers to Iraq.

More recently, Thailand’s relations with the United States have cooled down, partly as a result of other countries, such as China, increasing in importance to Thailand and partly because of the military coups in Thailand in 2006 and 2014. The coup against the Thaksin government in 2006 was condemned by the Western countries and the US withdrew its military support to Thailand for two years. The 2014 military coup was also criticized by the US and other western countries. The US again froze its military support for the country and EU foreign ministers canceled official visits to and from Thailand. In October 2017, Prime Minister Prayuth was invited to the White House by US President Donald Trump. In December of that year, the Union resumed political contacts with Thailand “at all levels”.

After the 2014 military coup, Thailand sought closer contacts with Russia, whose relations with the Western world as well as Thailand had deteriorated in recent times. As the first Russian head of government in a quarter of a century, Dimitri Medvedev visited Thailand in April 2015. The countries agreed to expand cooperation in a number of areas, including drug fight, tourism, trade and investment. The two countries also decided that Russia should help Thailand develop its energy sector.

Defense

The military is a political power factor and has intervened on a number of occasions in the political process through coups, most recently against Yingluck Shinawatra’s government in May 2014. Until then, the defense underwent a long-term reform aimed at creating a professional and unpolitical military power, to a slightly smaller size. than the previous one. Large sums are invested in modernizing the defense equipment through the purchase of new tanks, artillery and frigates. The equipment is mainly purchased from the US but in recent years arms imports from China have increased. The general military duty is two years.

In 2015, China and Thailand agreed to increase military cooperation through more joint exercises, increased technological exchange and cheaper arms exports from China to Thailand. China also promised not to interfere in Thailand’s internal affairs, something Thailand thought the US had done recently by demanding that the state of emergency be lifted.

FACTS – DEFENSE

Army: 245 000 men (2017)

The air Force: 46,000 men (2017)

The fleet: 69 850 men (2017)

Military expenditure’s share of GDP: 1.4 percent (2017)

Military spending’s share of the state budget: 1.0 percent (2017)

2006

October

Military-led government takes over power

Retired General Surayud Chulanont is appointed acting prime minister for a military-led transitional government.

September

Thaksin is deposed in a military coup

The military deposes Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his government in a bloody coup. Thaksin is currently attending a meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York.