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This site not work anymore .I have a new site and you can go there visit me. I dont go put more post here anymore ... If you like this blog go there .. I will be there for you ... Olá meus queridos amigos ... agora tenho um novo blog Este site nao funcionará mais , tive alguns problemas. Agora tenho um novo endereco de blog. Nao irei mais colocar post neste blog .. Todas as atualizacoes e novidades estarao no outro endereco .. Acessem... estarei lá pra vcssss Se vcs gostaram desse blog irao amar o outro .. mais atualizado e lindo ... Vamos láaaa .... visitem-me lá .. Beijinhos Lili

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quinta-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2010

Thailand holiday: affordability and high quality from Funway Holidays

Thailand, a colourful, cultural hot spot offering fantasy, fun and fabulous value.

By Kevin Coyd
Published: 3:55PM GMT 22 Jan 2010
Thailand: the peace and tranquillity of Khao Lak beach

It’s small wonder that Thailand is Asia's favourite destination among British travellers. Its legendary natural beauty, endless variety and exotic culture make for an irresistible mix. From the bustle of Bangkok to the serenity of the mountainous north, the country has something to offer every visitor, including some of the world's most celebrated beaches both on the mainland and on countless palm-fringed islands - all year round.

Then there's the hospitality of the people: anyone who has experienced the famously warm welcome will immediately understand why Thailand is known as the "Land of Smiles". The majority of the population are still practising Buddhists, as evidenced by the spectacular temples and golden statues.

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You might imagine that all this comes at a prohibitive price, but nothing could be further from the truth: Thailand is the best-value long-haul destination in the world. In last September's Post Office Long-Haul Barometer - an annual survey that compares average prices across popular locations - Thailand emerged as comfortably the cheapest option.

The savings can be significant: a three-course evening meal with a bottle of wine at a holiday resort in the United States (Miami) averages out at £49.30, or a whopping £81.55 in Australia. In Thailand (Phuket), you'd have to shell out just £28.20. Similarly, in Indonesia (Bali) a bottle of beer in a bar or cafe may cost £2.80; or as much as £3.26 in New Zealand and £4.21 in Canada. The survey quotes the Thai price as £1.01.

And it's not just the day-today essentials that offer great value. Accommodation, transport, spa treatments and activities are all competitively priced.

Despite Thailand's affordability, there's no compromise on quality. Whether you're budgeting for five-star luxury or a more basic holiday experience, you'll discover the same high standards and a real pride taken by those who deliver them.

Funway's itineraries cover all the most notable holiday regions of this rewarding country. Wherever your ultimate destination, you'll begin your visit in Bangkok and it is worth taking time to explore one of South-East Asia's most exciting and varied cities.

Glittering temples more than 400 of them sit next to soaring 21st-century skyscrapers; ornate palaces are within 10 paces of gleaming shopping malls. A shopaholic's dream, in the famous Bangkok markets you can haggle over exotic fabrics and objets d'art, before hitting glamorous boutiques where you can pick up elegant clothes without the hefty European price tags.

There are classy bars at which to observe the ritual of cocktail hour and world-class restaurants serving both Thai and international cuisine. Getting around is easy and inexpensive, whether by boat on the Chao Phraya river and its tributaries, by rail on the speedy SkyTrain, or on three wheels in one of the iconic tuk-tuk taxis.

Many visitors fly onward to Chiang Mai, the jewel of Thailand's north and its cultural capital. Its surroundings are spectacular, with dense forests and paddyfields tumbling down to the Ping river, and the city's temples house the most intricate examples of Thai woodcarving. You can snap up your own examples of traditional handicrafts in the markets and shops, where, as well as woodcrafts, there are bargains to be found in silverware, lacquerware and fabrics.

When the sun goes down, the night markets carry on, and Chiang Mai's options for drinking and dining are unsurpassed in the north. It's also worth knowing that the city is one of the best places to enjoy a vigorous Thai massage at a knockdown price, as many practitioners begin their training at the massage schools here. The other major city in the "Golden Triangle", where Thailand meets the borders of Burma and Laos, is Chiang Rai well placed for the villages of Pamee Akha and Baan Haad. Here, you can visit remote hill tribes, and make the acquaintance of people whose way of life has changed little over the course of centuries.

There's no compulsion to take a further flight from Bangkok: some outstanding beach resorts are within an easy road transfer of the capital.

Hua Hin, about a three-hour drive away, comes with some impressive recommendations: this is where the Thai royal family choose to spend many of their holidays. The town is blessed with white sand, superb hotels, golf and spa facilities and good shopping and dining options.

Pattaya is even closer. Less than two hours drive from Bangkok, it is a sure bet for great value family accommodation, with some of the cleanest waters in Thailand. A wide range of activities lie within easy reach, including theme-park rides, crocodile farms and extensive water sports facilities.

Ask someone on the street to name a Thai island, and it's likely they'll say "Phuket". It's not difficult to see why: the largest of the isles is an all-round favourite, with something for everyone.

There are lively resorts, such as Patong (the city itself warrants a visit for its Chinese heritage, Taoist temples, fine dining and shopping), but there are also quieter nooks to seek out. The resort of Karon is a more laidback counterpart to Patong, and Panwa Bay in the south of the island boasts fine family beaches. Water sports are a major draw to Phuket. From well-equipped centres you can take part in sailing, windsurfing and other maritime pursuits. Qualified divers can use Phuket as a base to explore the Similan Islands, which often number among the world's top 10 scuba sites.

Easily reached by ferry shuttle from Phuket are the Phi Phi islands. Around Phi Phi Don, the larger of the two, you'll find Thailand's most celebrated coastal scenery: precipitous cliffs rising from crystal waters, and wide, sugar-sand beaches dotted with traditional bungalow accommodation. Its sister, the uninhabited Phi Phi Le, is the ultimate place of escape, with countless idyllic bays, concealed coves and caverns.

Known as the "Coconut Island" for its thick covering of palm fronds, Ko Samui is pretty and sophisticated. Although in recent years it has seen an explosion of chic boutique hotels, spa resorts and discreet designer hideaways, there's always plenty of life at Chaweng, the island's best-known beach. By day, it's a top venue for water sports; by night, the smart set come out to party at the beach bars and cocktail haunts.
Ko Samui is surrounded by hundreds of isles and islets. Some 43 of these make up the Ang Thong National Marine Park, which includes the hidden lagoon at Ko Mae Ko one of Thailand's most photographed natural attractions and the inspiration for Alex Garland's novel The Beach.

With such a rich natural bounty and exceptional value for money, why not choose Thailand? You'll soon find yourself adding to the nation's tally of smiles.

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