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ASIA: THAILAND
07
(This page) Colourful culture.
Monks at a Chiang Mai temple
(Right, left to right)
Adventurous antics.
Bamboo rafting; getting
drenched in a wonderful
waterfall and riding high on
elephant back
and Muser tribe people. Visiting these
remote tribes is almost a rite of passage for TOP THAILAND TRIVIA
those visiting Thailand’s north for the fi rst ✱ The nation’s king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, is the world’s longest-reigning monarch
time. Your guide, experienced in both the – some Thais see him as a virtual god
jungle’s rough terrain and the local culture, ✱ A serving of splendid Pad Thai (a traditional noodle dish) from a street vendor
will help explain how you should act when shouldn’t set you back more than 30p
encountering villagers. This is important, ✱ Locals use chopsticks only for noodle meals
as you may spend the night in a traditional ✱ Thailand was the only South East Asian country to avoid being colonised by a
home, sleeping just as the villagers do. It’s not European power
an experience for those who always prefer to ✱ The bridge over the River Kwai was built in 1943 to link Bangkok and Rangoon by
travel with modern creature comforts. But rail – it was completed to support the Japanese occupation of Burma
if you can manage to forgo a luxury or two, ✱ YouTube was banned in Thailand due to hosting unfl attering images of the King
you’ll almost certainly return to Chiang Mai ✱ The country’s offi cial name was Siam prior to 24 June 1939 and between 1945
with absolutely unmatchable memories. and 11 May 1949
Thankfully though, hill tribe treks aren’t
only about roughing it. Since they can be
physically strenuous, some include a bit of
old-fashioned fun. Lumbering through the
BOOK IT!
mountains on the back of an elephant is
always a popular draw. After all, how can you Experience the glory of northern Thailand on one of Kumuka’s tours. See it on its
possibly pay a visit to Siam and not ride an own, or mix in southern Thailand, Laos or Malaysia and Singapore.
elephant? The experience is simply timeless,
and yes, sometimes a bit frightening;
the elephants have such a masterful THAILAND
understanding of the terrain that even a trot EXPLORER
alongside a precipitously steep cliff doesn’t Enjoy nine days exploring the
seem to startle them. best of northern Thailand on this
Don’t skip a visit to the sacred Doi Suthep, Even better are the bamboo river raft popular Kumuka tour. Besides
one of the region’s most revered temples. journeys that often signal a trek’s completion. Chiang Mai and the
Set on a mountain peak, 16km to the city’s Just like a hillside elephant ride, a Thai river hill tribe treks, it
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northwest, it’s reached by a 300-step staircase adventure is almost always an even mixture also includes
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(or a rather amusing tram ride). Assuming of grin-inducing bliss and heart-stopping Bangkok,
you’ve arrived on a clear weather day, the panic. Once the speed of the river picks up, Hell Fire Pass,
surrounding views from atop Doi Suthep you and are your raft partners – there may be Ayutthaya and
5

must be seen to be believed. three or four of you in all – will have to steer the famous
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Culture vultures and shopping obsessives furiously with a long bamboo stick to avoid Bridge over the
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will doubtless fall in love with the city as crashing through low-hanging tree branches, River Kwai.
well, thanks in no small part to its multitude or into the muddy bank. This is the sort of
of markets, the most well known being the experience that seems tailor-made for fun-
9 DAYS FROM £
340 €510 AU$87
0
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. Many say this is lovers. You can’t help but laugh out loud when
actually the most popular tourist attraction one team’s raft crashes dramatically into
NZ$1005 US$665 CAD$715 ZAR5780
in town. A leftover from the time when another’s. And what to do should you happen
Yunnanese traders sold in the area, the bazaar to be launched overboard and into the drink?
THAILAND DISCOVERER BANGKOK – KRABI 16 DAYS
offers everything from obscure hilltribe crafts You should simply laugh, of course. And then
£615, €925, AU$1570, NZ$1815, US$1200, CAD$1295, ZAR10,455
and Thai fi sherman pants to bootlegged DVDs scramble back on, and do it all over again.
NORTHERN THAILAND, SOUTHERN THAILAND
and cut-rate designer T-shirts. We dare you to But beware:
try and spend an hour there without taking adventures just like
HILL TRIBES & RIVER RIDES BANGKOK – VIENTIANE 14 DAYS
something home. these have made
£785, €1180, AU$2005, NZ$2320, US$1535, CAD$1650, ZAR13,345
Despite its obvious assets, Chiang Mai is Thailand addicts out
NORTHERN THAILAND, LAOS
best known among travellers as the jumping of countless travellers
off point for jungle treks to the White Karen before you.
TIMELESS MYSTERIES BANGKOK – SINGAPORE 22 DAYS
£1025, €1540, AU$2615, NZ$3025, US$2000, CAD$2155, ZAR17,425
CHECK OUT OUR ONLINE BROCHURES AT WWW.KUMUKA.COM
SOUTHERN THAILAND, NORTHERN THAILAND, MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE
CALL US TODAY! UK 0800 092 9595 IRE 1800 946 843 USA/CAN 1800 517 0867 8

WE CAN ALSO BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS! ENQUIRE ON SALES@KUMUKA.COM
SUMMER / AUTUMN 2007 Venture Venture SUMMER / AUTUMN 2007
P4-7 THAILAND.indd 7 17/8/07 07:20:37
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