Four Seasons Resort, Chiang Mai

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Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai 1

This 98-room Hotel has spacious, Lanna-styled pavilions that overlook terraced rice fields and the mountains of the beautiful Mae Rim Valley. The Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is situated close to Chiang Mai, with antique shops and art galleries just a short walk from the resort. The 5-star resort has an infinity edge pool that overlooks the property’s rice paddies. Guests can enjoy themselves with many recreational activities like taking a Thai cooking class or pamper themselves at the world-renowned spa. The on-site restaurant, Sala Mae Rim, offers upscale northern and vegetarian Thai cuisine and has a high teak wood ceiling and a sweeping view of the Mae Rim Valley.

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai 2

Review: Very helpful staff in this luxury resort
We enjoyed our stay at the Four Seasons but there is a bit of upgrading work going on at the moment which is very disruptive during breakfast time – the banging of hammers can be quite noisy and is not so relaxing. We brought our 4 month old baby with us and the staff at the Four Seasons were very good at recommending activities we could do where our baby would be safe. We really enjoyed the ELE elephant life experience where we got to ride the elephants in a private setting while the staff took care of our baby.

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Songkran holiday marked by frugal use of water but plenty of revelry

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SONGKRAN CELEBRATIONS this year have used less water than before, with revellers being fully aware that the festival known for its water-fights is taking place at a time when the country is facing its most severe drought.

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Culture Minister Weera Rojpotchanarat said yesterday that he was satisfied that the Songkran bash hosted by his ministry, Chulalongkorn University and Siam Square in Bangkok had only used a fourth of the amount of water used in previous Songkran fests.

Weera also invited people to submit photographs of themselves dressed in traditional attire at Songkran celebrations for the “Thainess Promotion” contest. Those interested in joining the contest have until Saturday to submit in one of five creative media categories – photography, signboard, poster, infographic and video clip via Facebook, he said.

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In Khao San Road, one of the country’s best-known Songkran water-fighting sites, many Thais and foreign tourists were seen having fun…

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The seven best waterparks across Thailand to escape the heat

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Vana Nava - Hua Hin

The seven best waterparks across Thailand to escape the heat.

When the sun moves out of Pisces in April, the heat starts to get serious. Temperatures rise to 40 degrees Celsius and beyond and drain us of all our energy. Some of us are lucky enough to live within walking distance of the country’s best beaches, others cycle to the nearby waterfalls and cascades to take a break from the heat. But for those of us who are stuck in the urban jungle, the choices tend to be staying cooped in an air-conditioned room or making tracks out of town to the nearest waterpark.

This week, we look at the seven best waterparks at which to chill.

SCENICAL WORLD KHAO YAI, NAKHON RATCHASIMA

Tucked away in Pak Chong district, a popular destination with Bangkok’s get-out-of-towners, Scenical World Khao Yai is a new kid on the block. A heady combination of amusement park, shopping mall and hotel, it’s also home to Splash World, where you can experience the water in a variety of playful and adventurous ways. In pride of place is the Splash Coaster where you sweep down, twist, turn and climb on a thrilling run of 180 metres. The brave can get their adrenaline kicks by whizzing along the circular slide at high speed before plunging into the Space Bowl.

Scenical World - Khao Yai -

CARTOON NETWORK AMAZONE, PATTAYA

Leave it up to the kids and they’ll probably choose to spend every single day of the long school holidays at Cartoon Network Amazone in Pattaya. Here, at the world’s first Cartoon Network theme park, the young and not-so-young can have fun with much-loved characters such as Ben Ten and the Powerpuff girls. The most popular rides include the Omniverse, which is as high as an eight-storey building and home to six of the fastest and steepest water roller coasters, and the gravity-defying Goop Loop roller coaster where you clamber into an enclosed capsule to drop into a 12-metre free-fall that generates maximum G-force. The XLR8TOR is the park’s tallest and steepest ride, drawing its inspiration from Ben Ten’s lightning-quick reflexes and ability to reach speeds in excess of 480kph.

SIAM PARK CITY, BANGKOK

Billed as the “Beach of Bangkok”, Siam Park City is Bangkok’s very first waterpark and was built almost 40 years ago. Michael Jackson came to Siam Park to enjoy the water during his 1993 Dangerous World Tour, and the waterpark is still worth a day trip especially during the hot season. As well as the slide – which in 1970 held the world’s record for the highest at 75 feet – there is an inland sandy beach and a sea with giant waves right in downtown Bangkok.

VANA NAVA HUA HIN WATER JUNGLE, PRACHUAB KIRI KHAN

Thailand’s best waterpark is located in Hua Hin – the country’s leading beach holiday destination.

Vana Nava is built to mimic a tropical lagoon with palm trees and rock pools spread over 3.2 acres. As well as Boomerango, Thailand’s longest water slide, this waterpark also has the Abass – the largest ride of its kind, which soars to a height of 28 metres then keeps your spinning at 45kph before plummeting and splashing down into a pool.

FLOW HOUSE, BANGKOK

A different style of waterpark from the usual slides and rides, Flow House targets the urban dude and wannabe surfer. With artificial waves and water runners, the fun is real as thrill seekers dare to ride the waves and spin their boards. It’s a place to see and be seen and occasionally transforms into a party scene with DJs where a dude can roam around and show off this tattoos. Make sure you book in advance if you want to ride the waves as the surf house is always packed.

SANTORINI WATER FANTASY, PHETCHABURI

Inspired by the blue-and-white tones of Santorini Island in the Aegean Sea, this water park is an excellent choice if you want to avoid the queues at Vana Nava. The Vulcan’s Kamikaze ride from 18 metres might sound scary but it’s addictive. For a bigger adrenaline rush, try the park’s signature Ares’s King Cobra slide that keeps you running over 78 metres from the tail to the head of the snake-like ride.

Santorini Water Fantasy, Phetchaburi,

SPLASH DOWN, PATTAYA

While many amusement parks lay the claim for the “biggest, longest, fastest” accolade, Splash Down takes the form of a lake filled with inflatables designed to hurl thrill seekers into the sky and, of course, into the water. These include the Big Blob, where you jump and see how far you can fly and Big Red Balls that demand you bounce your way across eight, big ball without falling into the pool. Designed for adult and teenagers, this isn’t a place for the little ones.

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SONGKRAN, (Water Festival) Thais New Year

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SONGKRAN, (Water Festival) Thais New Year

Songkran 2016

Khao San Songkran shortened to 2 days to save water

Khao San Road is one of the most popular places in the city to water fight for Songkran. It has amongst the biggest, and wildest, crowds. But this year the party in the backpacker district will be shortened to just two days due to the worst water shortages in 20 years and government requests to save water.

Khao San Songkran will take place on April 13 and 14, between Banglampoo intersection and Kokwua junction from the morning of the 13th until 9pm each evening, according to Pol. Col. Rangsarn Praditapohn, superintendent of the Chanasongkram police station.

Songkran on Khao San is beloved for many reasons but one of them is the joy of seeing locals and tourists playing together with abandon. The shortened celebration means less of that but it’s also a hardship for many of the vendors who depend on making a lot of money during what is usually a three-day event on Khao San.

Piyabutr Jiuramonaikul, president of the Khao San Business Council, said that business owners of Khao San are pleased by the two-day celebration limit. He expects that tourists will use water guns but hopes that people won’t use talcum powder or show too much skin.

In response to the initiative to keep the water festival alcohol-free, he doesn’t expect the authorities to have much luck, especially trying to enforce the initiative on foreign tourists.

Alcohol is a big part of the modern Songkran celebration, and Khao San is one of the locations where people can imbibe heavily. Piyabutr thought that they may be able to cut consumption by 10 percent this year and maybe another 10 percent the following year. He doesn’t expect that they can remove alcohol completely from the celebration.

To keep the area safe, over 150 CCTV cameras will be recording and nine new security gates to keep weapons or alcohol from being brought into the closed streets. 300 police officers will also be patrolling the area 24-hours a day for the two-day celebration, according to Thai PBS.

Source: Coconuts

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History on the walls

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North Korean Painting
A North Korean artist adds her self-portrait to the panoramic wall painting.

A North Korean studio recreates the reign of King Jayavarman VII in a gigantic mural

If the series of bas-reliefs on the outer walls of Bayon don’t tell you enough about King Jayavarman VII’s achievements, you might want to visit the Angkor Panorama Museum. Built by North Korea, the museum is a new destination in Siem Reap and its highlight is a 360-degree mural painted by North Korea’s Mansudae Studio.
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Wall Paper Siem Reap
Visitors enjoy the panoramic mural at Angkor Panorama Museum in Siem Reap.
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“The panoramic painting is 122.9 metres by 12.9 metres,” says a young Cambodian guide at Angkor Panorama Museum. “Painted by 63 North Korean artists, it took 16 months to complete and has 45,000 human figures.

The mural starts with horrific scenes from the Cham War between the Khmers and the Vietnamese before moving clockwise to the construction of the famous Bayon Temple and ending with the daily life of Khmers in the 12th Century.

Mansudae Studio is an art studio in Pyongyang, North Korea. Spread over 120,000 square metres and boasting 1,000 of North Korea’s finest artists, it’s one of the largest art production centres in the world.

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Cham War
A graphic scene of war against Cham.
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King Jayavarman VII commands from the elephant back.
King Jayavarman VII commands from the elephant back.
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The panoramic wall painting honours King Jayavarman VII, a devout Buddhist and great warrior who established Angkor Thom as the capital. He crusaded against the Cham and converted his Empire to Buddhism. Bayon Temple boasts a series of bas-reliefs depicting the king’s success through historical events on the battlefield.

Angkor Panorama Museum’s mural is way more patriotic and grandiose. The best scene is the battle against Cham warriors, which shows King Jayavarman on his elephant commanding his men to crush the Cham on the banks of Tonle Sap.

Surrounding the viewing deck of Angkor Panorama Museum is an artificial jungle constructed from fake trees, rocks, huts and sculptures which seamlessly meets the painted wall.

Angkor Panorama Museum also screens 3D movies demystifying how the grandiose temples of Angkor were built. A trip to visit the museum includes a briefing on the ancient Khmer Empire.

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Happy citizens under the reign of King Jayavarman VII.
Happy citizens under the reign of King Jayavarman VII.
Source and pictures: The Nation
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