You adore beaches and appreciate the comforts of a resort hotel but your partner loves mountains and appreciates getting back to nature? Sounds familiar? It’s a common dilemma for many couples and families choosing where to go for their holidays.
Why not compromise? Spend a week basking in the sun beside the sea in Phuket and then head a few kilometers inland to experience what Kathu has to offer.
There are plenty of cheap hotels in Kathu and its green hills, rivers and abundant wildlife offer a perfect respite from Thailand’s coastal hotspots.
If you’ve had your fill of exploring the region’s lagoons, caves and amazing rock formations by water, Kathu’s Kamala hills, where the climate is slightly cooler than at the coast, are the perfect place to walk, unwind and take in the province’s beautiful flora and fauna. In addition to palm and rubber trees, look out for a range of bird life including the ‘Asian Brown Flycatcher’ and the ‘Little Spider Hunter’.
Allow half a day to explore the Kathu waterfall. It’s a challenging climb to the top but there are shaded steps most of the way. Take a picnic and stop half way. Don’t forget to take your swimming costume because, if you make it all the way up, you’ll find a plunge pool to swim and cool down.
Phuket’s annual vegetarian festival is held on the first day of the 9th Chinese lunar month, usually late September or early October. Those of Chinese ancestry commit themselves to a 9-day vegetarian diet; a purification they believe will help make sure that the forthcoming year is trouble-free.
Originally called the ‘Nine Emperor Gods Festival’, its roots in Thailand can be traced back to ancient Kathu. Legend has it that the health of visiting Chinese opera singers was magically restored when they adopted a non-meat diet. The musicians may be long gone but you can still join locals for prayers and offerings at the Kathu Shrine.
One of the attractions of Kathu is simply that its one of the least ‘touristy‘ parts of the province of Phuket. Hang out at its vast daily market which sells seasonal fruit and vegetables like avocados, dragon fruit, durian, jackfruit and much more. There are also stalls with delicious street food, making it the perfect place to stroll and enjoy a mid-morning snack.
Afterwards, visit the nearby ‘Tin Mining Museum’. You’re likely to find yourself surrounded by yet more of Kathu’s residents, namely school children on an outing to learn more about the province’s most significant industry before tourism came along.
Not only will you discover all about the process of tin extraction, but you’ll also have access to an interesting reconstructed mining village. An added bonus is a permanent exhibition housed in a beautiful pavilion built in the Sino-Portuguese style.
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Are you preparing to travel? Proper planning always precedes a successful trip, whether you are heading out for business or pleasure. And proper planning isn’t just about remembering to pack the right clothes—you need to be prepared to look after your health while you travel as well.
So, what does a traveller need to worry about regarding health-related instances while away? Here are some things to remember.
Ensuring that you are ready for any health-related pitfalls while traveling is one of the keys to a fruitful adventure. This is particularly true if you plan to travel overseas. While you can’t plan on an injury, you can take certain precautions such as packing a holiday first aid kit and getting the proper vaccinations before you get on a plane.
For example, if you are traveling somewhere exotic, it’s a good idea to check for any potential health risks before you arrive. This way, you know what vaccinations you might need in advance—take every precaution! Or, if you frequently receive chiropractic treatment, you might want to do a search such as “Chiropractor Detroit” to get a list of potential practitioners you could visit, should the need arise.
Common injuries while travelling
Most frequently, travellers experience minor health issues while travelling—things such as headaches, jet lag, and diarrhoea. Although you won’t be able to foresee coming down with these ailments, it helps to be prepared ahead of time. So, when you are packing, throw some aspirin (or your favourite headache relief medication) and anti-diarrheal into your travel first aid kit.
Travellers might also suffer from minor cuts and scrapes, especially if they are on an adventure holiday! Or, you might get a bad case of blisters from all the walking you’ll be doing. So, be sure to pack some antibiotic cream and bandages, just to be safe. One thing that many travellers don’t think about is sunburn, so don’t forget the sunscreen, either!
What happens if you do get hurt?
If an accident does occur, or you become ill while traveling, what should you do? If the problem goes beyond what you’ve got in your travel first aid kit, you’re going to need to get some help. If you’re staying in a hotel, you may want to visit the hotel medical bay or on-call doctor. Or, if it is more severe, go to the nearest hospital.
The trick is to be prepared for such situations in case they do come up. So, before you arrive, be sure to make a note of the local hospitals, local emergency numbers, and perhaps nearby pharmacies. Save this information in your smartphone as well as on a printout for reference. This way, if anything does go wrong, you’ll at least know where to go.
In the event that another individual’s negligence has caused you to become injured or ill, you may be able to seek compensation. In many cases, your travel insurance plan may cover such events, or you might consider contacting a personal injury attorney.
Everybody knows that when you are planning a vacation, your packing needs to take into account everything that you want to do while you are there, but many of us will often pack much more than we need. With airlines limiting how much baggage weight you are allowed, it is a good idea to think carefully about everything that goes into your suitcase. However, there are still a few things that you might consider to be essential.
The beach holiday
Okay, this is a fairly standard section to your packing. Bikinis, swimsuits, sandals, sarongs, and cover-ups are all needed. If you are planning to spend more than a few days soaking up the sun, then you will need a range of swimsuits—it is not very fashionable to be seen in the same suit two days running! The good news is that items like this are small, light, and very easy to pack so the more the merrier. You should also make room for your accessories. Sunglasses, for example are essential and you might want to consider packing a sunhat or two.
Evenings while you are on vacation are a little different. Do you want to spend time in restaurants and trendy bars or are you getting ready to hit the clubs? The choice you make will affect what you pack, but again, you will need to take along a choice of outfits. Little black dresses, body-con dresses or similar items may be part of your packing. This is where many people tend to pack too much and take up valuable space in the case. Taking along 14 different outfits is just silly, especially if you are only going to be away for a week or ten days. To save space, why not opt for separates instead so that you can mix and match—a different outfit every night from perhaps five or six pieces.
Not everybody will consider needing a fancy dress outfit while away, but sometimes clubs have fancy dress nights and events on cruise ships might call for you to dress up. This is something that may take up a fair bit of space in your suitcase so some careful planning is required. Do you have a standard outfit that you can just accessorize and transform into a fancy dress costume? For example, a long black dress can be used as a witch’s outfit on Halloween, and all you need to do is add a pointed hat and be clever with make-up.
Ladies, if you want to show off your figure, then you can opt for a sexy outfit, which tends to need much less fabric! You can find hot camo lingerie outfits easily online. You’ll find that they take up a lot less space in the suitcase. You do not need to miss out on the fancy dress party, as you can plan for it in advance and include the outfit easily in your packing without incurring a charge for excess baggage.
Anyone who has a young family will know that it can be difficult if the family needs to take a trip anywhere. Without the right planning it can turn into chaos so co-ordination on the scale of a military operation is often required. It can be worse if heading abroad – trying to keep young children calm and entertained in an enclosed space such as a plane can leave everybody a little fractious. However, there are a few tips for travelling with kids that might help.
‘Kid-friendly’ or not?
Many families spend hours searching for family friendly places to visit on holiday simply because they think it will be easier. However, with a little planning it is not necessary to do this – other places will be just as welcoming but the good news is that more and more destinations offer facilities for families. Children’s menus in restaurants, playrooms in hotels and parks ensure that wherever families go there will be something there to make the trip easier.
One tip is to include the kids in the planning process. Explain to them where they are going and what they will be seeing. Give them books or leaflets to have a look at that tell them more about their destination. Most people will find that this gets the kids more enthusiastic about it and they will then see that the journey has a purpose.
Traveling to a country that speaks a different language also gives the opportunity for the family to learn a few useful phrases in advance. If the family does this together the children will feel more included and less like they are being dragged along for the ride. This is especially true for older children as they begin to form their own opinions and are not slow to voice them! They want to feel as though they have been included in the decision-making process and the planning otherwise they feel as though it is somebody else’s vacation.
Spending can also get out of hand when traveling with a family. It is so easy to simply buy the kids what they want to keep them quiet, but this can break the budget. Allocate a set amount of money to spend each day. Explain to the kids that they can have so much of their spending money each day and encourage them to think carefully about what they want before they go spending. If they are already in this habit before they travel it will help a great deal.
Be prepared for air travel
Not everybody can boast perfectly behaved children but when traveling with kids most cases of misbehaving are due to boredom. Long flights are one of the worst situations for encouraging less than perfect behavior. Rowdy kids can disturb other passengers, leaving parents feeling as though they have lost control. Books, iPods and small games consoles can help to keep them occupied and quiet and will prevent the angry stares of fellow passengers.
All it takes is some forward planning and the trip can go smoothly. The good news is that once it has been done a couple of times future trips will be much easier to handle.
With the best will in the world travel isn’t cheap and even the most low budget breaks can end up costing much more if travelers aren’t careful; hidden costs and extras can pop up almost anywhere, leading them to use their money more quickly than they may have anticipated. These costs can accumulate over time when the vacation is an extended one and home can feel a long way away when money troubles strike.
Common travel pitfalls
When it comes to creating a travel budget, the importance of research can never be stressed highly enough; in fact a failure to research locality, accommodation or transport, for example, is the most common travel pitfall of all and can lead vacationers into making all sorts of expensive mistakes. It is essential that travelers think carefully about where they’re going, the activities they’re likely to be doing and any extras that may be incurred, and to budget accordingly. The majority of common travel pitfalls can be avoided altogether with the correct planning and research.
Typical travel costs, which may not be automatically obvious, include charges for Internet access, fees for seat upgrades or excess baggage on flights, resort fees or citywide taxes that are not included in accommodation costs, food and beverage charges for items not included in all-inclusive packages, additional charges for a resort’s attractions and facilities, vehicle hire charges, insurance, and toll roads. Fees for using credit cards abroad and the astronomical costs that can be associated with checking social media and using a cellphone abroad are particularly applicable these days and travelers should check their contracts prior to using their phone abroad.
When it comes to planning a vacation or extended trip it is essential to never assume anything, so documentation should be read carefully, plans gone over thoroughly and tickets checked. Travelers should also be prepared for the worst and budget for hidden extras; it is better to have money left over than to run out. Other tips to ensure a truly budget vacation include shopping around to find the best deals, traveling off season, paying cash wherever possible and purchasing travel cards and attraction passes to save money on seeing the sights. It certainly pays to conduct research and to never settle for the most commonly touted options.
Planning for emergencies
After considering common travel pitfalls, it is essential for travelers to create their emergency budget; a designated fund that can be accessed should any hidden costs pop up or crises occur. This money should be kept separately from the travel budget, ensuring an available, steady flow of funds should the worst happen, rather than simply relying on leftover funds that could well run out; a particularly daunting thought for those on extended vacations or backpacking adventures.
As well as being treated as a separate entity, this emergency fund should be kept separate from the holiday money, while making sure it can still be accessed if credit cards are stolen, money lost or account compromised. It is also a great idea to explore the idea of money transfer services before heading abroad; companies such as Trans-Fast, for example, can ensure a steady of supply of funds sent by friend or family back at home should an emergency occur or funds run out. The relief these services can provide is invaluable and ensures travelers are able to continue their adventures.
Whilst travelers can never be totally confident of preventing a budget crisis, with careful planning and preparation they can certainly reduce the risk of financial hardship and enjoy a fantastic trip.