Phuket beyond the crowd

(Image credit: phuket.com)

This is a GUEST POST

Thailand is a country frequented by travellers from all parts of the globe. To give you an idea, the nation welcomed more than 32 million tourists last year, and this figure is 9 percent higher than the year before.

If you’ve travelled to Thailand in the past, you’re probably well aware of how great a place it is to visit. For a start, the country has an amazing culture, and it’s often dubbed the ‘Land of Smiles’ because the people are warm, hospitable and always smiling. Like in a previous Magic Kervan posts, we’ve also shared our experiences with very accommodating hosts.

One of its most popular destinations is Phuket, but all the hype seems to have had a negative impact on the place as well. One area in the island – Patong Beach is inherently a natural beauty, but like we’ve mentioned in the same aforementioned article, overdevelopment and mass tourism in this part of Phuket now gives the “wrong impressions of what Thailand really is.” Continue reading

The attack of the macaques, the long canoe trip at open sea and passing the border with Malaysia

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* Unfortunately there are no photos in this post because our loyal camera was broken in this period

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We are like drunk because of the lack of sleep but we want to escape the terrible Phuket as soon as possible. We sit to eat at a Muslim restaurant and then we head to the exit of the city. We come across a mountain with a steep slope, which we can’t climb in the noon heat so we start hitchhiking in the middle of the city. Continue reading

A week in heaven on a deserted beach, Phuket – the madness of mass tourism, the stories of an old captain

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Today we decide to head to the next beach. South Thailand is a thin strip of land not wider than 100 km. and 1000 km long. On the east side is the Thai Gulf on which we were up to now and on the west is Andaman Sea, part of the Indian Ocean. The beaches at this sea are famous for their beauty and the transparent waters. So we are very eager to go on the other side. We pack our bags. We are bitten everywhere by some horrible small flies that you don’t feel when they bite you but then you see red marks on your skin that itches you a lot for some days and at the end there is even a scar left. Continue reading

Ayutthaya – the ancient capital of the Siam Kingdom, ghosts and Chinese ship-wreck survivors, heavenly life on secluded beaches

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Buddha’s head intertwined in Banyan tree branches

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A man in uniform takes us to the main highway connecting Chiang Rai with Bangkok. He is so overexcited he took hitchhikers that he is all the time chuckling and telling us the names of all the towns we were passing by. After 70 km we finally reach the long expected highway which will lead us to the beaches of the south. The mountains, tribes and small secluded roads are behind our back. Continue reading

New Year “Hmong style”, good times in the Wild, Wild West, amazing hitchhiking experiences

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Women from the Hmong ethnic group

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MAP_Chaing Khong 1We hitchhike near the border town Chiang Khong. It is a small town which is also the entrance point to Laos. There is a bridge and one could also cross with a boat on Mekong that costs 0,75 euro. People leave us in the beginning of the town and we have to walk for 4-5 km. to exit it. It is a nice place without many tourists and the walk is pleasant. We continue towards the mountains located on the border with Laos. The region becomes more and more interesting. It is inhabited by the Hmong ethnic group. Everywhere we see people dressed in their traditional outfits sitting around fires they have lit next to their huts. Continue reading

At the Golden Triangle, visiting the sorcerer, on the banks of Mekong – the river we love so much

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The Golden Triangle itself

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We continue hitchhiking north towards the Golden Triangle. The region is defined by Mekong River and forms a triangle on the border among Thailand, Laos and Burma and is famous for producing opium for hundreds of years. Traditionally here live mountain tribes, animists with quite exotic customs whose main crop is poppy. People in Thailand don’t use opium and heroin anymore and the government tries to educate the tribes to start growing other cultures and to develop its tourist industry here in the meanwhile. In Laos and Burma things are different. There they continue producing drugs full force and Burma is the main producer of methamphetamine and they often traffic their production through Thailand. Nevertheless the region is considered safe. Continue reading

One day and one night in the jungle without water, New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai – the rose of the north, the military guys who cleaned our palace

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Old temple

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In the morning a ranger with a motor bike comes and he doesn’t seem worried at all that we are camping at the pavilion which is in the center of the park area. He just asks us when we plan to leave and even gives us a lighter because ours is out of gas. Good that he did because without it we wouldn’t have even drunk our morning tea. Continue reading