Latest Airbnb booking data has revealed growing interest in lesser-known destinations and eco-conscious cities across the globe, as travellers look for new, local and authentic travel experiences beyond big cities. In Thailand, emerging destinations across the country are increasingly appealing to both domestic and international travellers. Case-in-point is Buriram in Thailand’s Northeast saw 383% growth in bookings* year-over-year, propelling it into third place on Airbnb’s top 20 global destinations to visit next year. Here are the Top 20 trending destinations for 2020: 1. Milwaukee, WI, US The host of next year’s Democratic National Convention, Milwaukee makes it to the top of our trending list. This historic gem on the shores of Lake Michigan often slips under the radar but has a terrific bar and restaurant scene and fascinating cultural attractions that include a Calatrava-designed art museum. And with over 105 miles of scenic bike lanes, it’s easy to see why Milwaukee is experiencing an upsurge in interest among guests on Airbnb. 2. Bilbao, Spain Bilbao’s transformation from rust belt city to flourishing culture hub is truly remarkable. The city’s Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum put Bilbao on the map when it opened back in 1997. Since then the Basque city has been on an ever upward ascent, winning the European City of the Year in 2018. Visitors to the area are rewarded with a lively dining scene, breathtaking architecture and an unforgettable cityscape. Next year, Bilbao will also become a top destination for sports fans: it’s one of the host cities of Europe’s most beloved soccer competition. 3. Buriram, Thailand The rural province of Buriram is home to some of Thailand’s most treasured Khmer relics. Its best known monument is the incredible Phanom Rung complex which is comparable in grandeur to its much more famous Cambodian neighbor, Angkor Wat. In addition to ancient ruins, the province has also become a sporting hotspot: 2018 saw the inaugural MotoGP motor racing event at the Chang International Circuit which also plays host to the Buriram Marathon each year. MotoGP is scheduled to return in March next year. 4. Sunbury, Victoria, Australia A short drive northwest of Melbourne, the suburb of Sunbury is a popular spot with savvy locals thanks to its wildlife, wineries and Victorian-era architecture. Its biggest claim to fame is as the birthplace of cricket’s most sought-after trophy — The Ashes. In 2020, Sunbury looks to attract cricket fans from near and far as Melbourne will be hosting the ICC T20 World Cup. 5. Romania Romania, with its pristine hills and ancient rural villages, is the perfect destination for anyone looking for something off-the-beaten-track. The country has some of the best preserved virgin forests in Europe and, according to the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, ranks 15th globally when it comes to ecosystem vitality. 6. Xi'an, China Often cited as one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization, Xi'an is best known as the home of the terracotta warriors — a vast collection of prehistoric clay soldiers discovered by local farmers in 1974. Today, the capital of China’s western Shaanxi province is a major culinary melting pot while
Located on the western coast in the South of Thailand, Satun is a small and tranquil province next to the Malaysian – Thai border. There is an abundance of pristine nature and mountainous forests with more than eighty beautiful surrounding islands. The well-known and famous islands are Muko Tarutao, Muko Adang – Rawi, and Muko Phetra. In 2018 Satun was nominated Thailand's first Unesco Global Geopark for its renowned natural beauty and geological significance. Here are the top 8 secret spots and fun activities to do in Satun Geopark. → ‘Stegodon Sea Cave’ Formerly called ‘Tham Wang Kluai’, ‘Tham Le Stegodon’ is a sea cave with seawater intrusions depending on sea levels, which is why it is also known as ‘Tham Le’. The cave is renowned after the discovery of elephant and rhino fossils from Pleistocene Epoch, especially the Stegodon elephants, which became the cave’s name. Stegodon Sea Cave is positioned inside a limestone mountain range, curving into different directions. The distance from the entrance to the exit point of the cave is approximately 4 kilometers, which is considered to be the longest cave in Thailand. Tourists can tour the cave on a small canoe boat and enjoy the beauty of stalactites and learn about 500 million years old ancient creature fossils that were found within. → Satun Geopark Museum Satun Geopark Museum was founded to provide academic information, promote scientific studies and youth participation and to raise locals' environmental awareness, encouraging them to find ways to preserve Satun's Geological areas. Artifacts are exhibited on tables and walls, with signs describing their stories. The displaying exhibitions within the museum include Ancient fossils found in Satun, Satun geological information, Satun geographical 3D model, Satun Geopark section and Rocks exhibition. → Mu Ko Phetra National Park Mu Ko Phetra National Park consists a part of the Andaman sea with islands, mountains, and plateaus between mountains and the sea. The national park spread with an area of 3 kilometers from the coast. The sea area of this national park consists of 22 islands, lying from north to south. The islands are unique for their steep eroded limestone caves, sinkholes, cliffs and ridges, which was the result of coastal erosion and sea tides. Apart from going island hopping on tourist boats, visitors can also enjoy diving in different areas of the national park and be amazed by the colorful ocean ecosystem filled with sea creatures, coral reefs, coral algae, and rare sea anemones. One of the must-visit tourist attractions is Khao To Ngai Fault Plane, where Mu Ko Phetra National Park headquarters is located. Known in Thai as 'Khao To Ngai Time Crossing Zone', the fault plane consists of rocks from two different geological periods including red sandstones from the Cambrian period (542 - 488 million years) and limestones from the Ordovician period (488 - 444 million years). Therefore, walking on the coastal bridge along this natural wonder can make you feel like walking through different time periods. → Tarutao National Marine Park The name 'Tarutao' was derived from the word 'Ta lo trao', which could mean
Love art and traveling? Why not combine your two passions by visiting some of the best art destinations Chiang Rai has to offer. Whether you’re inspired by the work of old masters, love contemporary art, or you just want to soak up some healthy creative energy, here’s our list of the 6 best places to visit to satisfy even the most insatiable art lover. 1. Wat Rong Khun Wat Rong Khun is one of a considerable number of religious places in Chiang Rai. Originating from the great devotion of renowned Thai artist, Chalermchai Kosipipat the temple is dedicated to Lord Buddha with the intention to construct an attainable paradise on earth representing righteousness and the encouragement of good karma. With regard to outstanding quality in art and tremendously elaborate architecture, the consecrated assembly hall in Wat Rong Khun is different from any other temple in terms of having both carved gable apexes and tooth-like ridges. The hall itself is mostly constructed in pure white, illustrative of the Buddha’s purity. Glittering clear-mirrored glass serves as the Awakened One’s wisdom shining over the earth and the universe. Together with these elements, there are sophisticated murals by Chalermchai himself that should not be missed. 2. Wiang Ka Long Wiang Ka Long was a lost city which is recently being developed to be a tourist attraction. Once archeologists have found ancient kilns which were used to produce terra cotta pottery and utensils, they estimated that Wiang Ka Long was one of the oldest Lanna cities founded as old as 2,500 years ago. Lots of tourists decide to stop to check out Wiang Ka Long during their trips from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai as it is located along the way on Doi Saket Highway No. 1014. Wiang Kalong pottery is underglazed ceramic pottery that features various food containers, dinner service, kitchenware and household objects such as dinner plates, footed trays, cups, vases, jars, khontho (long-necked water vessel), nam ton (water pots), as well as underglazed ceramic figures, such as human and animal figures. The major source of production is in Wiang Pa Pao District, Chiang Rai Province. Don’t forget to visit Thun Thijittung, the Guru of ancient way of Wiang Kalong pottery to learn how to make the pottery and enjoy the demonstration. 3. Choui Fong Tea Plantation Choui Fong Tea Plantation is a centre of high quality tea cultivation of the Choui Fong Company Limited, the biggest tea producer in Chiang Rai. With more than 40 years experience in tea cultivation, today the Company is a tea producer, distributor, and exporter. Its main clients include industrial users. The breathtaking vast landscape of more than a thousand rai featuring lines of tea growing along the curve of the mountain ridge and descending like a terrace make it more outstanding than other tea plantations. There are total two branches of Choui Fong Tea Plantation, one in Mar Fah Luang County and another one in Mae Chan County. Both of them are enormous. The one in Mae Fah Luang County is over 800,000 square metres large
lifestyle+travel braves the sweltering summer heat to discover Bangkok's lesser known museums, near and far across the capital, and had a lot of fun in the process of acquiring some culture. 1. PIPIT BANGLAMPHU MUSEUM Thailand’s first printing school (Sangwet Witsayaram Temple Printing School) was recently restored. This sweet modern museum, with well-curated exhibitions and historical tales of the Royal Treasury Department and the Banglamphu community, is the fantastic result. There are two separate buildings. 1.1 Treasury Department Exhibition The first building holds the history of the Royal Treasury Department, which was fortuitously short. Our guide, the lovely and super-knowledgeable, “Gao-you-can-call-me-Kiwi”, does her very best to make land deeds and coins interesting to us… If that floats your boat it is very interesting indeed, with very polished exhibits. 1.2 Banglampu Community Exhibition The real magic happens (for us!) in building two. The wooden building itself, with its shiny teak floors, is colonial-chic gorgeous. Inside there are four exhibits detailing the history and characters of this multi-cultural community that date back to the early days of Rattanakosin. There are models, brilliantly executed murals, videos and interactive displays of famous venues, old shops, artisans, street food and much more, along with the remains of the eponymously named last cork tree. We love it and Kiwi is an absolute star. Phra Sumane Road Chana Songkhram Khet Phra Nakhon Bangkok 10200 T. +66 (0) 2 281 0345-51 ext. 1223, 1224 E. firstname.lastname@example.org | W. banglamphumuseum.treasury.go.th From Tue-Sun, 10am-6pm Tour every 30 minute, last one at 4pm Free admission 2. RATTANAKOSIN EXHIBITION HALL It gets off to a bit of a bad start. There is a choice of two routes – the longer, more interesting-sounding one being a two-hour guided tour. It is not conducive to our manymuseums- in-one-day mindset. It is not overly aligned with a certain independent spirit. The point being you HAVE to go with a guide for reasons that allude me… but we soldier on. Even after the Basil Fawlty pantomime moment where you pick up the headset and pay the deposit for the headset on opposite sides of the hall. The two-hour tour lasted two minutes when the ‘Thai (a lot of long-winded Thai) first, English later policy’ becomes clear (and the Thai members of our group were the most seriously-interested-in-every-detail people I have ever briefly met). At minute 1.5, much to my friend’s embarrassment, I was sneaking off into the next room, except the door was locked. Finally, we made enough fuss, (impatient farang moment) and were whisked away (much to the great relief of everyone) for our own private tour of ‘route one’. When the Rattanakosin Exhibition got good, it got really good. This is a fantastic interactive museum with models, video and creative displays. The guides are not only well informed, but smart and funny. Beautifully composed, the exhibits tell interesting stories in Thai and English about the art and culture of Bangkok and the Old Town neighbourhoods and the Grand Palace that make up Rattanakosin Island. On the fourth floor there are panoramic views of Loha Prasart and Golden Mount Temples.
Bangkok celebrates its 238rd birthday this year. As such a long-running happening city, Bangkok is surely packed with abundant attention-grabbing genres to explore that could actually keep you busy for several days. Let’s discover what Bangkok has on offer and plunge into the “Staycation” trend – where you check in to the city hotels and enjoy their premium services as a treat to yourself without making the effort of travelling outside the city. THE OKURA PRESTIGE BANGKOK ❱ STYLE The Okura Prestige Bangkok hotel is a stylish, elegant, luxurious and contemporary five-star hotel located at the heart of Thailand’s capital city. The hotel combines unrivalled levels of comfort and convenience with the warmth and charm always associated with genuine Thai hospitality. ❱ STAY All 240 rooms and suites offer impressive views across the dynamic Bangkok skyline through the triple-glazed e-coated panoramic windows. The rooms combine comfort and luxury with the very latest technological developments designed to impress business and leisure travellers. ❱ SAVOUR Delightful dining choices at Up & Above – the all-day dining venue, Michelin-starred restaurant Elements which is inspired by the famous Michelin two-star Ciel Bleu and the signature Japanese restaurant Yamazato, which has also received an award from Thailand’s best restaurant and the recognition from the Michelin Guide Bangkok. ❱ SENSES Relax in the amazing 25-metre cantilevered pool; keep fit in the state-of-the-art fitness centre; find peace and tranquility at The Okura Spa where the tranquil journey begins with a professional consultation and continues to an elegant, fully-equipped treatment room. Trained therapists use exclusive organic teas in a range of treatments designed to conjure relaxation and well-being. ❱ SCENE The Okura Prestige Bangkok is located in the award-winning Park Ventures Ecoplex building which is situated at the heart of the city’s Central Business District on Wireless Road, close to the embassies of the United Kingdom, United States and Japan. The hotel offers direct access to the city’s BTS SkyTrain network at Phloen Chit station and sits close to major shopping malls and commercial districts. The hotel enjoys easy access to and from the city’s two international airports. THE OKURA PRESTIGE BANGKOK Park Ventures Ecoplex, 57 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand T. +66 (0) 2687 9000 F. +66 (0) 2687 9001 W. okurabangkok.com AVANI + RIVERSIDE BANGKOK HOTEL ❱ STYLE Overlooking Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel welcomes discerning global travellers with contemporary style, intuitive service and stunning views across Asia’s most dynamic city. From the rooftop bar and pool at the top of the 26-storey hotel, down to the lobby, Avani+ Riverside Bangkok is a place to relax and unwind, and a base from which to explore nearby neighbourhoods and popular tourist sites along the ‘River of Kings’. ❱ STAY All of the hotel’s 248 stylish guest rooms and suites boast uninterrupted city and river views and all elements are geared towards the promise of a relaxing stay and a good night’s sleep. The neutral décor is a blend of comfort and modernity, natural materials and high-tech equipment, along with extra conveniences. Each of the spacious River View Junior Suites features a bathroom with a view,
With daily life becoming increasingly fast-paced, Lifestyle+Travel and Klook have curated a selection of activities that will treat families with the best thing they can get: an opportunity to slow down and spend quality time with each other. Whether foodie families are seeking to surprise their taste buds or culture vultures are looking for a chance to learn about the heritage of Thailand’s undiscovered areas, we have a variety of family-bonding experiences that are sure to last a life-time. For the Foodie Families: Amphawa Floating Market Half Day Trip from Bangkok Gallivanters can explore the areas neighbouring Thailand’s buzzing capital Bangkok on a half-day tour of one of the country’s most renowned floating markets - Amphawa Floating Market. Hosting a wide variety of stalls selling famously spicy Thai delicacies and delectable bites, the trip is made to delight foodies of all ages. Offering an array of authentic Thai products and souvenirs, families will leave hands full and bellies filled. The day ends with a calm drift along the waters of Amphawa, beneath the moonlit night skies. For the Culture Vultures: Ancient Ayutthaya Tour 80 kilometres north of Bangkok lies the ancient city of Ayutthaya, the former capital of Siam Kingdom. Ayutthaya provides a snapshot of Thailand’s past splendour and houses some of the country’s most important relics. History lovers can spot the famous Reclining Buddha statue at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon and visit the impressive Wat Mahatat, one of the key monasteries and religious centres in the country. The tour concludes with a lunch at the Ayutthaya floating market, where families can slow down to enjoy each other’s company, with some of the freshest produce found in Thailand. For the Outdoor Enthusiasts: Jungle Kayak Tour The serene Mae Ngat Valley is a haven for fathers who are nature lovers or outdoor enthusiasts. Beginners and experts alike can take a step off the beaten track and head to the Mae Taeng Jungle reserve for a quiet afternoon of paddling amidst the untouched surroundings of the valley. Ideal for families looking for a hassle-free trip, lunch and transport to and from hotels is provided. For the Multi-generational: Elephants Day Tour in Kanchanaburi Thailand’s first privately owned nature reserve for wild elephants, the OurLand reserve, is dedicated to ensuring natural habitats with thriving flora and fauna where wild elephants can have safe access to a natural water resource. Families can spend an afternoon interacting with the gentle giants and support the cause by learning more about the Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) between farmers and elephants.
For those looking to get away for the weekend in the heart of Bangkok. The award-winning lifestyle wellness, Well Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 invites the health-loving travelers for an extra day to enjoy the staycation with Stay Three Pay Two – Book three nights and pay for two. The fabulous stay/pay deal includes a 3-night stay in Superior room at 3,252 Baht, Deluxe room at 3,761 Baht and Executive room at 4,286 Baht. This package also includes additional amenities to make a glorious weekend away such as daily buffet breakfast for a maximum 2 persons, complimentary 15-minutes Well Classic Partial Massage, credit voucher 500 Baht at The Twist Bar & Bistro. Free room upgrade with late check-out until 4 pm and so much more! Well Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 is located in the heart of the city and within 10 minutes walking distance to BTS Asoke and MRT Sukhumvit. It is comprised of 235 rooms and suites, with five room types including Superior, Superior Corner, Deluxe, Executive Room and Executive Suite. The two latter room types are equipped with an exercise bike, yoga, Pilates and resistance exercise set. Stay Three Pay Two Package is available for booking and stays from now until 31 October 2019. To be eligible for this promotion, the reservation of a 3-night stay is required. For reservations and information, visit www.wellhotelbangkok.com, email email@example.com or call +662 1275995.
A train journey can be a special part of any Thai holiday for the scenery, history and the unique peaks of the kingdom. There are many route options and they roll into most parts of the country. Travelling by train in Thailand is also a great way to see the diverse countryside on your way to tourist areas. From Bangkok, you can ride for an hour or a little more to the ancient city of Ayutthaya, the seaside resort city of Hua Hin, to the “Death Railway” in Kanchanaburi, or visit Lop Buri and its unique history. Overnight trips from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in the North, Nong Khai or Ubon Ratchathani in the Northeast, or all the way south to Malaysia are memorable, too. Trains have a long history in Thailand with the first entering service in 1893. It ran the 21 kilometres from Bangkok to Samut Prakan, south of the capital near the coast. By 1960, most routes had been paved over to make room for Rama IV Road, but by that time many other routes had been established and now the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) operates more than 4,500 kilometres of track going to all four corners of the kingdom. Trains range from the luxurious Eastern and Oriental Express to the first-, second- and third-class trains. Third-class “hard seat” trains are actually a great way to travel in the daytime to watch the country roll past. The cars have open windows offering a breeze with a view and lets passengers hear the sounds of the countryside. Better still are the food hawkers who walk up and down the moving carriages selling local delicacies and cold drinks. It is a memorable way to experience Thailand. Second class offers more comfortable seats in air-conditioned carriages and sleepers (also air-con) with upper and lower berths along each side for a comfortable sleep as the train gently rolls along. First class have private rooms with sleepers for couples or individuals. Passengers can control the air-con and the room includes a hand basin for washing. If you are travelling to or from Malaysia or Lao PDR., you can leave or enter the country by train. Some of Thailand’s rail highlights include: The “Death Railway” The “Death Railway” is what remains of the engineering marvel of the Burma-Siam Railway the Japanese Imperial Army built during World War II using prisoner-of-war and Asian forced labour. Conde Nast Traveller recently listed it as one of the 10 Best Train Journeys in the World. The 415-kilometre route claimed nearly 16,000 POW lives and perhaps as many as 100,000 Asian labourers from disease and overwork. Most of the old route is now closed, but the remaining two-and-a-half-hour trip from Kanchanaburi town to Namtok Sai Yok passes through beautiful tropical forests and along the wild Kwai Noi River. It is a serene and sometimes spectacular trip through a sombre past. The route includes passing over the River Kwai made famous in the 1957 Oscar-winning movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. There are two trains a day from the Thon
Built during the reign of King Rama V, Surawong Road is one of Bangkok’s most vibrant and historic business neighborhoods. Connecting to the first road ever built in Bangkok, The Charoen Krung Road, and also to the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Surawong Road is revered as the Creative District. Thanks to its heritage, classic architecture, contemporary designs and authentic local food, this road is a cultural yet contemporary tourist destination. Here are 9 highlights of this area that you should not miss. The Neilson Hays Library the monument of love Amid the bustling business district, is a quaint neoclassical building called The Neilson Hays Library. Established in 1920, the library is a monument of love, by Dr. Thomas Heywood Hays, the former Chief of the Royal Thai Navy Hospital and the first medical professor of Siriraj Hospital, in loving memory of his wife, Jennie Neilson, an avid reader, who devoted herself to library work until her last days. The elegant structure was designed by Mario Tamagno, an Italian architect, responsible for numerous landmarks around Bangkok such as the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall, Hua Lamphong Train Station, Makkawan Rangsan Bridge, and Phayathai Palace. The construction was executed with the same meticulous approach as those used with the aforementioned landmarks, prompting the public to call it “a grand palace on a small scale”. The still functional library offers more than 20,000 books for keen booklovers, and a gallery and café that have played host for special events and functions. It was awarded the status of “Historic Landmark” by the Association of Siamese Architects in 1986. Bangkok Folk Museum Bangkokians’ treasured history Bangkok Folk Museum, also known as Bangkokian Museum, is originally home to Professor Waraporn Surawadee who donated to property to become a museum that offers an insight into the lifestyles of Bangkokians amid lush, green garden. Located in the heart of bustling Bang Rak District that is now filled with commercial buildings and skyscrapers, Bangkok Folk Museum is a rare sanctuary that is open to the public for free. Visitors can also learn about the history of the house as well as Bangkok from knowledgeable staff members who will show you around and share delightful and fun stories along the way. Bangkok Folk Museum offers an insight into the lifestyles of well-off Bangkokians during World War II and its aftermath (circa 1937 – 1957). The museum consists of three zones in three quarters with display many of the possessions of original family members in good condition as well as memorabilia from early Rattanakosin Era and art pieces. Bangkok General Post Office Bangkok’s design hub In 1885 Thailand joined the Universal Postal Union and used the former British Embassy of Charoen Krung as office, which was later known as Bangkok General Post Office. In 1940, the building went through a major renovation, led by Mew Jitsame Apaiwong and Phraya Sarote Rattaniman. Under the brutalist concept that tends to use geometric shapes and showcase original surface of the materials, Bangkok General Post Office looks like a giant box paved