Newsletter January 2006
An old sea man mentioned that there was an emerald sea hiding next to the blue one and that only those knowing the rhythm of the tide would see a strip of white powdery sand connecting two islands amidst the sea.

This seems to point out that in one beauty, there hides another beauty, which can be seen only at a specific moment. The secrets of nature will solely reveal themselves to those who are in the right place and at the right time.



Although the promotional campaign of "Unseen Thailand" has been carried on by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) for two years, it is never too late to go experience these "unseen" attractions yourselves.

The campaign covers four categories of out-standing attractions up-country, viz. nature, adventure, religious beliefs and culture. To admire the beauty of some such places, you need to be there at the right hour, right date, right season and from the right perspective.
In this issue, only five out of ten places in the nature group will be dealt with. The other five attractions and those of the other groups will be elaborated in the ensuing issues.

1. Ko (Island) Kradat, Trat Province
(315 km east of Bangkok)

The island's name comes from the name of a plant found in abundance on the island, which is one among a total of 67 islands of Mu Ko Tha-le Trat (Islands in the Trat Sea). Most islands have parts rising high above sea water but the appearance of Kradat Island is flat and broad.This is the reason why it is one among "unseen" attractions. The sea around the island is excellent for diving and kayaking. Tranquility is what you will find on the island and you can enjoy other recreations as well.
Recommended period: October-May to avoid monsoon.
How to get there: From Bangkok, drive along Bangna-Trat Route (Highway 3), past Chon Buri Province, Rayong Province and Chanthaburi Province to reach Trat. Another route is Highway 344, which leads you past Chon Buri Province, Klaeng County and Chanthaburi Province and to Trat. Then drive along Highway 3148 for about 17 km to get to Laem Ngop. There, 500 m from the county administrative office, is situated a large pier where you can hire a boat to Ko Kradat. It takes about 3 hours to reach the island. Accommodations are available on Ko Kradat.
For more information, please contact: Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Central Office Region 5 on tel: 0 3959 7255, 0 3959 7259-60.

2. Khao Sok National Park, Surat Thani Province

(644 km south of Bangkok)

Khao Sok National Park straddles Khirirat Nikhom, Phanom and Ban Ta Khun counties in Surat Thani Province. The park is part of the largest thick evergreen forest of the South. It is also called the Guilin of Thailand because of its landscape that looks like the mist-shrouded peaks of Guilin, C
hina. Geologically, it consists of limestone mountain ranges full of gorges, streams, caves and waterfalls.

Khao Sok is a habitat of some rare plant species including Palm Lang Khao or Kerriodoxa elegans and the world's biggest flower, Bua Phut or Rafflesia kerri. Besides, Palm Phra Rahu , or Maxburrettia furtadaona, listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as one among the endangered plant species around the world, grows here as well. More than 155 species of birds are also found in the park. In the heart of Khao Sok is Ratchaprapha.Reservoir with several islets ideal for trekking, canoeing, swimming, bird-watching and nature studying. A camping area and bungalows are available for visitors.
Recommended time: December-April
How to get there: From Surat Thani town, go along Highway 401 which connects Takua Pa County and Khao Sok together. (Distance 100 km).
For more information, please contact: TAT Southern Office Region 5 on tel: 0 7728 8818-9.

3. Miracle Beach, Dam Khwan (Kai or Poda) Islet, Krabi Province
(814 km south of Bangkok)

As for the magic of the Miracle Beach, in only a moment while you are watching strange-shaped Dam Khwan Islet and other small islets nearby, the tide can go out unnoticeably, revealing a sandy path connecting the two islets which are Dam Khwan and Thap.

 

Krabi, a province with about 130 islands in the Andaman Sea, is well known for its Phi Phi Islands, Rok Island and a cluster of islands in front of Phranang Bay. All are superb for recreation as the sand is white, the water is clear and marine lives are plentiful.

 

 

 

For adventure-lovers, cliff climbing is a popular activity recommended to you.Recommended time: At the lowest tide of each day, especially five days before and after the full moon day. The tourist season is between December and May.
How to get there: From Krabi town, go along Highway 4034 and turn left onto Highway 4202 to Phranang Bay. At this bay, tourists can find a chartered boat to go to several islands scattered nearby.
For more information , please contact: TAT Southern Office Region 4 on tel: 0 7621 1036, 0 7621 2213, 0 7621 7138.

4. Phusang Waterfall, Phusang National Park, Phayao Province
(691 km north of Bangkok)

Phusang waterfall flows down a limestone cliff to a clear pond. Its unique feature is that the water temperature remains about 60 degrees Celsius all year round. People who take a bath here will feel as if they are showering under a large natural warm shower.

Phayao is a small province which is often regarded as a passing point for travellers heading for other provinces in the North. In fact, Phayao is an excellent place to live in and to visit. The province has luxuriant forests, unique culture and fine handicrafts.
Recommended time: All year round
How to get there: From Phayao Town, use Highway 1021 to arrive in Chiang Kham County. Then drive along Highway 1093 about 17 km and you will reach Phusang National Park.
For more information, please contact: TAT Northern Office Region 2 on tel: 0 5371 7433, 0 5374 4674-5.

5. Li-pe Islet, Tarutao Islands Marine National Park, Satun Province
(973 km south of Bangkok)

Li-pe Islet features powdery sand and mirror-like sea water which allows you to see through the two-metre-deep water along the coast. The land area of the islet is not too vast, so you can stroll around it. The sea gypsy inhabitants are friendly. Accommodations are available.

Tarutao Islands are Thailand's southernmost cluster of islands off the Andaman Sea. This earliest marine national park consists of 51 islands with Tarutao Island as the largest. The wonderful underwater world has drawn thousand of divers to admire the beauty of coral reefs there yearly. It was once a maximum-security prison for people convicted of violent crime and of political offences. Other beautiful islets are Adang-Rawi, Ko Hin-ngam, Ko Khai and Mu Ko Dong.
Recommended time: Non-monsoon period (November-April)
How to get there: From Satun Town, use Highway 406 and turn left onto Highway 416. Just before reaching La-ngu County, turn left onto Highway 4052. When you reach Pak Bara Pier, hire a boat to Tarutao Islands.
For more information, please contact: TAT Southern Office Region 1 on tel: 0 7423 1055, 0 7423 8518.
If you are interested in going to any place mentioned here, you are recommended to find essential information before starting out on your trip.

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