Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Travel Tip for Phuket

Here are some tips about Phuket in Thailand as told by a seasoned traveler. As I know he is a globetrotter and has visited several countries multiple times. So I just thought his advice could be handy for many of us. So here are his thoughts. To make these easily comprehensible, I have made these easily comprehensible.

Respect the Royals
This is the rule of thumb in Thailand. The Thais hold the monarchy, particularly the King of Thailand, in the highest reverence. You must show respect to the monarchy, or for that matter, anything associated with it. Coins and bank notes must not be stepped on, as they have an impression of the King on them. If you are on a business trip, never talk with disrespect about the monarchy. If you do that your trip is sure to be doomed.

While visiting a Buddhist temple in Thailand, dress and behave correctly. Never go to a temple in scanty clothes. No matter how hot the weather is, shorts and sleeveless tops should not be worn. Shoes should be taken off before entering any building containing a Buddha idol. Women should not go near a monk. Respect should be shown towards the images of the Buddha. Women should preferably cover their heads with a shawl or scarf.

Way of Greeting
Thais wish one another by pressing their palms together in a prayer-like gesture which is called 'wai'. The younger people wai the older persons, who then returns it. If you adapt this part of their culture during your time in Thailand, the Thai will greatly appreciate it.

Head and Feet Gestures
Thais consider the feet the lowest part of the body, both physically and spiritually. These body parts are not to be pointed at anyone or used for pointing at anything. The head is the highest part of the body and it is not to be touched without prior permission. Breaking these social rules is one of the worst things you could do in Thailand.

Health Insurance
Ensure that your health insurance covers all needed points, for all policies are not same. Though medical care is much cheaper here than in the West, hospital bills could seriously mount up. You better be ready for any untoward accident.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pearl of the Orient

My cousin recently visited Penang in Malaysia in February. He asked me if I could put his Penang story on my blog. “Why not?” I said, ask I would welcome anyone to share his travel story with me.

Christened the Pearl of the Orient, Penang is one of the most visited islands in Asia. With its assets of natural beauty and impressive heritage, Penang has enough to keep the tourists engaged. As travel guides say, Penang is an island of elegant temples and palm-contoured beaches. Renowned writer Somerset Maugham was impressed by the beauty of Penang that he decided to stay at the place. The romantic ambience inspired him to create his work and reach those heights in literature.

Penang is fusion of the Orient and the Occident. It has several facets. It is a busy port, a heritage city and an industrialized base. It is a town where old tradition embraces the new. Penang has always been a favorite place of tourists. Thanks to their continuous influx, it has enough hotels to take care of them.

You could spend your evenings in Penang strolling the market. It is subdivided into wet market (selling fish and variety of meat), and dry market which sells vegetables. Electronic goods market is elsewhere. The temples tell the tales of those good old days. You could also decide to visit Little India and Chinatown, two ethical hubs there.

Once one has returned from Penang, he always nurtures a desire to revisit it. As my cousin himself tells me.