Chumphon – Of Coffee Plantations, Lonesome Islands and Mangroves

Chumphon – Of Coffee Plantations, Lonesome Islands and Mangroves

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After the ITB – the International Tourism Exchange in Berlin – I got an invitation from the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thai Airways to two regions of Thailand that I had never heard of before: to Chumphon and Ranong. I have already written a post on Ranong. Therefore this article is about beautiful Chumphon. A small warning first of all: If you suffer from wanderlust, this post could lead you to book a flight to Bangkok with onward ticket to Chumphon.

Chumphon – A Province in the South of Thailand

Chumphon is a southern province of Thailand on the Gulf of Thailand. The neighbouring provinces are Prachuap Khiri Khan, Surat Thani and Ranong.

Chumphon, like Ranong, lies on the Isthmus of Kra, the narrow land bridge that connects the Malay Peninsula with the Thai mainland. To the west are the hills of the Phuket Mountains and its northern continuation, the Tenasserim Mountains. In the east, the coastal plain lies on the Gulf of Thailand. The main river is the Lang Suan River, which originates in the Phato District. With 222 kilometers of coastline and 44 islands, the Chumphon Archipelago, Chumphon has rushing waterfalls, secluded beaches, lush forests, impressive mangroves and numerous rivers.

Chumphon View Point

The province is best known for its coffee plantations, which produce 60 percent of Thai coffee.

Chumphon – How to Get There

Normally, the journey to Chumphon takes you to Bangkok first. Bangkok is a major hub in South East Asia. From there, there are three ways to travel to Chumphon:

  • By plane: Chumphon has its own airport. Thai AirAsia and Nok Air fly to the provincial capital’s airport CJN and connect Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) with the city of spas. From Souvarnabhumi, there are flights with Thai Smile.
  • By bus: Chumphon has a bus station from where you can reach Bangkok in ten hours. Tickets are available from 400 Baht (about 12 Euro).
    By train: If you went to the islands in the Gulf of Thailand before, you might have taken the night train to get there. Chumphon is one of the stops on the way south to Surat Thani. Personally, I’m a huge fan of night trains in Thailand and would always recommend choosing this option. It’s cheap yet comfortable.

 

Chumphon – The Coffee Region of Thailand

The Ban Panwal valley in the Tha Sae district is famous for its Robusta coffee plantations. More than 24 million tons of coffee are produced there every year. The Chumphon province contributes 60 percent of Thailand’s total coffee production. We visited a Robusta coffee plantation and were able to see for ourselves how the production takes place. It takes over a year from harvesting to several drying processes – with a dryer, in a greenhouse, and under the sun – to the packaging.

Chumphon Coffee Plantation

Dryer at a coffee plantation in Chumphon

At a coffee plantation in Chumphon

But what exactly is robusta coffee?

Robusta Coffee

Robusta coffee comes from the Coffea canephora plant, one of over 100 coffee plant species. After Arabica, it has become the second most popular variety in the world and it is the bean that is usually used to make the famous Italian espresso. The name says it all. The plant is much more robust than the Coffea arabica and can withstand high temperatures, for example. The reason for this is the deeper roots, which still find enough water in their depths to thrive happily even at an outside temperature of 30 degrees and the associated dry soil. Robusta plantations can also be found in the lowlands, while Arabica plantations are mostly planted in mountainous regions with temperatures between 15 and 24 degrees.

Coffea canephora tree at a coffee plantation in Chumphon

Robusta coffee tastes more earthy and stronger than its opponent and contains more caffeine (2.2 to 2.7 percent), but less sugar.

 

The Robusta Coffee Bean

The flowers are white and have a sweet jasmine scent. The fruit of the Robusta coffee plant turns deep red when ripe, which takes between six and eight months.

There are usually two coffee beans in each berry, and you can tell by the notch in the middle of the bean whether it is a Coffea arabica or Coffea canephora bean. In the former, it is curved and in the latter, it is straight.

Coffea canephora coffee beans

 

Chumphon – Islands, Beaches, And Snorkeling

Chumphon is a little paradise for you if you love lonely islands and white sandy beaches. Here you can snorkel or just relax in the sun in the sand.

 

Mu Koh Chumphon National Park

Mu Koh Chumphon is a national park consisting of about 40 very lush islands: Koh Ngam Yai, Koh Ngam Noi, La-Wa Island, and Lung-Ga-Jiw Island are the islands we have visited. The diverse landscape of each island makes the Marine Park unique, some have pristine white sandy beaches, others picturesque, though rough, rocks that rise dangerously and beautifully out of the water.

Mu Koh Chumphon National Park

Between the rocks, you can sometimes spot wooden huts that give shelter to the park rangers. If you look closely, you can see one of these huts in the next picture. Among other things, these rangers are there to take care of the nests of the birds that hide in the crevices. Our guide explained that the birds build a new nest as soon as they are finished with the old one. So they are rarely used for nesting. As soon as an old nest is finished and abandoned, the rangers come and collect it. Attention, now it gets a little disgusting: From these nests, soup is made! the Bird’s Nest Soup is a delicacy of this region!

Mu Koh Chumphon National Park

Here you can also snorkel. The rock islands are surrounded by coral reefs and offer a wonderful backdrop for the underwater world. Colorful fish cavort everywhere and come close to you. But be careful, because the water near the rock islands is often shallower than expected and you can easily be hurt.

Mu Koh Chumphon National Park

 

Thung Wua Lan – Chumphon’s Most Beautiful Beach

Thung Wua Lan is not only a beautiful sandy beach it is also incredibly long, so you can surely find a place here that you will enjoy. One section has bars and restaurants to enjoy the view with a delicious coconut or Pad Thai.

Thung Wua Lan - Chumphon's Most Beautiful Beach

As if it wasn’t enough to be at the most beautiful beach in the region, the weather (we were there at the beginning of the rainy season) and the sky rewarded us with a breathtaking rainbow.

Thung Wua Lan - Chumphon's Most Beautiful Beach

Before I went to dinner, I had a closer look at this photogenic palm tree. Don’t you think that such crooked palms have their own charm?

Thung Wua Lan - Chumphon's Most Beautiful Beach – Crooked Palm Tree

 

Chumphon – The Mangroves

I remember very well the trip to the mangrove forest, which is also part of the Mu Ko Chumphon National Park mentioned above. I was already in some mangrove forests, but I liked this one best by far.

Maybe we were just lucky with the tides here, while I was unlucky at the other parks. Because it was low tide here and we could marvel at the rooting of the trees.

Mu Koh Chumphon National Park – The Mangroves

In the places where there was no water at all, we could see little crabs scurrying quickly into their holes as they noticed our presence. In the water, on the other hand, there were little water monitors, most of them just curiously showing their heads. But not only flora and fauna were exciting to look at, but also the background noise. It cracked and clicked at an incredible volume. Unfortunately, I don’t know which animals make these noises, but it was somehow magical.

Mu Koh Chumphon National Park – The Mangroves

Mu Koh Chumphon National Park – The Mangroves

Mu Koh Chumphon National Park – The Mangroves

And I would like to add one comment: After we had returned from our tour through the mangroves, I bought something to drink at a small kiosk at the entrance. Normally, in Thailand, you automatically get a plastic straw with your drinks. Not so here. With hands and feet the lady who sold me the drink made me understand that she apologizes, but she wouldn’t give out any more plastic straws. She gets a thumbs up from me and this extra mention in my blog post. I am happy about every Thai (and tourist) who helps to make my beloved Thailand more environmentally friendly!

 

Chumphon – Accommodation

We stayed at the Loft Mania Boutique Hotel in Chumphon.

Loft Mania Boutique Hotel Chumphon

 

Chumphon – Onwards Travel

If you’ve come from Bangkok, you’ll be able to make a wonderful journey from Chumphon to Ranong or further the south of the country.

  • Ranong: Ranong is a province next to Chumphon that is great for exploring secluded beaches and relaxing in hot springs and spas. From there you can also easily travel on to Myanmar.
  • Koh Samui: Koh Samui is not quite around the corner, but is quite easy to reach from Ranong. If you’ve never been there before, it might be a good idea to combine these destinations.
  • Phuket: Also to Phuket it is still a good six-hour ride by car or bus from Ranong. Nevertheless, it is worth driving further south. The region around Phuket with Krabi and the islands Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi is a popular region with digital nomads.

 

Chumphon – Final Thoughts

I didn’t have Chumphon on my bucket list until I was invited on this trip. I must have traveled through several times because I was already twice in the south of Thailand and had taken a bus or train.

I am incredibly grateful that I got this insight into the traditional life of the Thais.

View Point in Chumphon

For digital nomads, I would recommend Chumphon for a stay of several days without hesitations. But be prepared that the internet here is not nearly as fast as in Chiang Mai. But if you want to take a few days off to snorkel and unwind and don’t want to spend a lot of time at one of the tourist spots, Chumphon is the perfect place.

PS: I was invited by TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) and Thai Airways to travel to Chumphon and Ranong. I did not receive any financial compensation. My opinion was not influenced by this collaboration.

The Chiang Mai Guide for Digital Nomads

Chiang Mai Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in South East Asia? You should check out the world's digital nomad capital Chiang Mai!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

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Ranong – Wellness and Island Paradise in the South of Thailand

Ranong – Wellness and Island Paradise in the South of Thailand

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In May, I was invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thai Airways to visit a region of Thailand I had never visited before: Chumphon and Ranong. The latter borders Myanmar (formerly Burma) in the west and on the Andaman Sea. Maybe you’ve heard of Koh Phayam or Koh Chang (not the Koh Chang I wrote about two years ago!)? Both islands belong to the region Ranong. The provincial capital of the same name has its own small airport and bus station.

Ranong – A Province in the South of Thailand

Ranong is one of Thailand’s provinces, located in the very south of the country on the west coast along the Andaman Sea. Ranong’s neighboring provinces are Chumphon, Surat Thani, and Phang Nga. To the west, it borders Myanmar. The country on the right behind the island is Myanmar.

Ranong lies on the so-called Isthmus of Kra, a strip of land only 44 kilometers wide that connects Thailand with the Malay Peninsula in the west of the Phuket Mountains. The province, together with the province of Trat, is known for being one of Thailand’s wettest places, with a rainy season lasting about eight months.

The most sparsely populated province in Thailand consists of around eighty percent forest area and 67 percent mountains. In earlier years the main source of income besides fishing was tin mining, but since about 20 years most of the mines are nearly exhausted. On our trip, we could get an idea of how hard the everyday life of those who dug tin was. For this, you have to separate sand and stones from tin with a bowl and rotating movements.

Nowadays, the mining of white clay for the production of porcelain and the processing of cashew nuts is the main focus. We were also able to get to know these two crafts better. The nuts are roasted and then cracked. The shell contains toxic oils and must, therefore, be removed. All this is done here by hand, and tourism is also becoming increasingly important.

Former fishing boats are rebuilt and used for tours and hot springs are gradually designed for western tourists. In addition, more hotels are to be built in order to accommodate the hoped-for vacationers.

 

Ranong – How to Get There

Normally, the journey to Ranong takes you to Bangkok first. Bangkok is a major hub in South East Asia. From Bangkok there are three ways to travel to Ranong:

  • By plane: Ranong has its own airport. Thai AirAsia and Nok Air fly to the provincial capital’s airport UNN and connect Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) with the city of spas.
  • By bus: Ranong has a bus station from where you can reach Bangkok in ten hours. Tickets are available from 400 Baht (about 12 Euro).
    By car: If you have a rental car, you can, of course, enjoy the picturesque scenery of Bangkok down to the south. Alternatively, you can fly with Thai Smile to Chumphon and drive from there. This is especially worthwhile if you want to combine the two regions during your visit. From there you can also take a minivan for 200 Baht.

 

Ranong – Sightseeing

Namtok Ngao National Park: This national park is ideal for hikers. The Ngao waterfall with its 300 meters is a real attraction and a total of 13 hot springs provide the appropriate recreational factor.

Koh Chang (Ranong): This is a jewel of the Andaman Sea! Peace and relaxation await you here. Scooters are not rented to westerners and there are only a few cars, so traffic is limited.

Koh Phayam: This is probably the most touristic place in Ranong province. But it’s also justified! Koh Phayam has dream beaches and a jungle that invites you to hike.

Der Nationalpark Laem Son: covers a total area of 31.5 hectares. It also includes islands in the Andaman Sea, namely Ko Khangkhao and Mu Ko Kam. The following beaches are particularly worth seeing: Hat Bang Ben, Hat Laem Son, Hat Praphat, Hat Hin Thung. In addition, these smaller and uninhabited islands are to be recommended: Koh Khang Khao, Koh Kham Tok, Koh Yipun, Koh Kam Yai, Koh Kam Nui.

 

Ranong – Disconnect With Wellness at the Spa

On our journey, we visited three hot springs. They are all for very different target groups and have their own charm. The first of the hot springs we visited opened just a few months ago. Now you may be a bit confused. I too actually thought that hot springs are always of natural origin. But they are! Just in the case of the hot springs of Ranong, the people had to dig about 150 meters into the ground to get to the hot water. The Hot Springs culture in Ranong goes back about 100 years.

Taryn Hot Springs: The Taryn Hot Springs offer several pools that are reminiscent of typical round whirlpools. You can also book a massage to complete your relaxation. The whole resort is geared towards tourists and I can call the standards Western without hesitation. There are decent, clean toilets, changing rooms that are in no way inferior to those in German swimming pools, and lockers so you don’t have to worry about your belongings while relaxing. As if that wasn’t enough, at Taryn Hot Springs sustainability is an important factor! Plastic straws? Nope… Here you drink from metal straws. Thumbs up from me for that!

Pornrung Hot Springs: These are the hot springs mentioned above, located in the Namtok Ngao National Park. These are the only hot springs I had time to swim in myself. And I can say: Rong, rong! (Thai for hot, hot!) The coolest pool had over 40 degrees Celsius and even for me as an avowed heat lover, I could only endure it with great concentration. If you like to switch between hot and cold, you can simply jump from the pools into the nearby river and cool down. In a small shop, you can buy forgotten swimwear or get snacks and soft drinks at the bar next door. The toilets and changing rooms are more in sync with Southeast Asian standards. But if you want to combine a visit to the hot springs with a trip to the national park, this is the ideal choice.

Raksa Warin Park: Raksa Warin is quite a magnet for locals. The reason is simple – there is no entrance fee. At least not at the main area. Small stone pools with up to 65 degrees hot water are waiting here. There is a suspension bridge leading over the river right next to the hot springs, on which Thais make happy smiling selfies. And between the suspension bridge and the freely accessible pools, there are more pools. Although they are also made of stone, they look more like the whirlpools at the Taryn Hot Springs. The entrance fee here is 40 Baht (about one Euro) and I learned that this part is privately managed and called Tinidee. Towels are included in the entrance fee. On the other side of the street, you can get an oil or Thai massage in the spa.

 

Ranong – Island Paradise

Apart from the already mentioned pearls of the Andaman Sea Koh Chang and Koh Phayam, there are numerous small islands waiting in Ranong. Our trip took us to Koh Khang Khao, Koh Kam Tok, and Koh Yipun, where we stopped for lunch.

There is a breathtaking viewpoint. But beware! The ascent is quite a challenge. There are ropes and the way seems to be well maintained though. But you still have to climb. I would recommend sturdy shoes, which you don’t necessarily have with you on a snorkel or boat trip. I had my sneakers with me, because I had blisters from my flip flops and was more than grateful. But it’s worth it, because at the end this fantastic view is waiting:

The other islands we have visited are also quite beautiful. But they are smaller which is why they seemed packed with eight tourist boats mooring. On Koh Kham Tok on the other side, you don’t really notice the presence of all those people and you can enjoy the view, sunbathe at the beach or have lunch.

Ranong – Accommodation

We stayed at a place called Numsai Khaosuay Resort Ranong.

Ranong is in the process of making more hotels available, as a lot is currently being invested in tourism.

 

Ranong – Your Onward Journey

If you’ve come from Bangkok, you’ll come from Ranong to the south of the country. Possible destinations would be:

  • Chumphon: Chumphon is an adjacent province that is great for snorkeling, admiring nature in the mangrove forest, or taking pictures at great photo spots. From there you can easily get to Koh Tao for example.
  • Koh Samui: Koh Samui is not quite around the corner, but is quite easy to reach from Ranong. If you’ve never been there before, it might be a good idea to combine these destinations.
  • Phuket: Also to Phuket it is still a good six-hour ride by car or bus from Ranong. Nevertheless, it is worth driving further south. The region around Phuket with Krabi and the islands Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi is a popular region with digital nomads.

 

Ranong – Final Thoughts

I had never heard of Ranong before getting invited on this trip. Looking back, I am very glad that I was able to experience this still traditional part of Thailand and to get a little insight into the local culture. Whether it was the mining of tin or the production of porcelain, visiting the islands or getting to know the culture of the hot springs: I experienced a completely different Thailand than I know it from the north. For this I am grateful and I am very happy that I got this opportunity.

For digital nomads I would recommend Ranong for a stay of several days without hesitation. But be prepared that the internet is not nearly as fast as in Chiang Mai. If you are looking for a few days with wellness and nature though, during which you leave the computer turned off, Ranong is a little heaven on earth.

PS: I was invited by TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) and Thai Airways to travel to Chumphon and Ranong. I did not receive any financial compensation. My opinion was not influenced by this collaboration.

The Chiang Mai Guide for Digital Nomads

Chiang Mai Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in South East Asia? You should check out the world's digital nomad capital Chiang Mai!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

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Numsai Khaosuay Resort Ranong

Numsai Khaosuay Resort Ranong

WERBUNG

Nachdem ich auf der diesjährigens ITB – der Internationalen Tourismusbörse in Berlin – mit dem Tourism Board von Thailand ins Gespräch gekommen bin, kam prompt eine Einladung nach Chumphon und Ranong. Dieser bin ich gerne gefolgt, sodass ich Ende April und Anfang Mai eine wundervolle Woche in dieser noch nicht so bekannten Region Thailands hatte. In diesem Artikel möchte ich dir das Hotel vorstellen, in dem unsere Reisegruppe in Ranong übernachtet hat.

Das Numsai Khaosuay Resort Ranong – Das Hotel

Das Namsai Khaosuay Resort verfügt über moderne, klimatisierte Zimmer mit Balkon und kostenlosem WLAN. Du kannst dich am Pool entspannen oder eine Massage an der Rezeption buchen, die rund um die Uhr geöffnet hat.

Das Resort ist nur 500 m vom Busbahnhof Ranong entfernt, sodass du die kurze Strecke auch zu Fuß zurücklegen kannst. Wenn du lieber fliegen möchtest, anstatt den Bus zum Beispiel aus Bangkok zu nehmen, liegt der Flughafen Ranong ebenfalls ganz nah: er ist nur eine 15-minütige Fahrt entfernt.

Das Resort ist mit Konferenz- und Wäscheservice ausgestattet. Kostenlose private Parkplätze stehen zur Verfügung.

Das Lela Restaurant serviert thailändische und europäische Küche. Getränke und leichte Snacks bekommst du in der Ka Yu Bar und frischen Kaffee im Mountain Café.

Das Numsai Khaosuay Resort Ranong – Die Zimmer

Die Zimmer im Namsai Khaosuay sind mit einem Flachbildfernseher, einer Minibar und einem Kleiderschrank ausgestattet. Mein Zimmer hat mir zwar von der Ausstattung und Größe sehr gut gefallen, aber ich habe dennoch zwei Kritikpunkte:

  • Mir persönlich waren die Zimmer viel zu dunkel. Es gibt keine Lampe an der Decke und fünf Lampen, die über die Wände im Zimmer verteilt sind, haben nicht mal annähernd für genug  Helligkeit gesorgt. Natürlich ist das Geschmackssache. Aber ich mag Licht. Auch die Sonne schien leider so gar nicht rein, was ich mehr als schade fand.
  • Leider herrschte in den Zimmer eine hohe Feuchtigkeit, die man auch durch die Klimaanlage nicht herausbekommen hat. Mal abgesehen davon, dass ich diese nicht rund um die Uhr laufen lassen möchte, lag auch damit ein moderiges Gefühl in der Luft und nach drei Nächten dort waren meine Kleider muffig und klamm. Sowas habe ich in dieser Form bisher nur in Bali in der Regenzeit erlebt.

Der kleine Balkon war zwar einladend und ich war sehr dankbar, tagsüber die Tür aufmachen zu können, um Licht und frische Luft hereinzulassen, aber leider lag mein Balkon direkt gegenüber der Wand des Haupthauses mit der Lobby. Einen schönen Ausblick gab es also nicht.

Das Numsai Khaosuay Resort Ranong– Das Frühstückszimmer

Das Früstückszimmer befindet sich im ersten Stock über der Lobby. Besonders gut hat mir gefallen, dass es an zwei Seiten offen war und somit hell und freundlich erschien. Auch die zwei Essbereiche fand ich super: Du kannst entweder an diesen tiefen Tischen essen und auf Sitzkissen sitzen oder in westlichem Stil an einem normalen Tisch mit Stühlen. Wenn du es lieber klimatisiert magst, gibt es einen kleinen Raum mit Tür.

Das Frühstücksbuffet ist leider ein wenig enttäuschend: Es nur eine kleine Auswahl an thailändischen Gerichten aus Reis und Gemüse oder aber Toastbrot mit Marmelade, Cornflakes und ein wenig Obst.

Das Numsai Khaosuay Resort Ranong – Der Pool

Der Poolbereich liegt im Erdgeschoss direkt neben der Lobby. Ich fand ihn wirklich sehr schön. Tagsüber habe ich häufig Familien mit Kindern dort gesehen, aber abends konnten wir uns meistens noch entspannt auf die Liegen legen und den Tag rekapitulieren.

 

Das Numsai Khaosuay Resort Ranong – Fazit

Mir persönlich hat es im Numsai Khaosuay gut gefallen. Auch wenn die Zimmer zu denkel und etwas muffig waren, fand ich den außenbereich einfach wunderschön und einladend. Wenn du also nach Ranong kommst, um mal abzuschalten, die Gegend zu erkunden oder es dir mit ein bisschen Wellness gut gehen zu lassen, ist dieses Hotel dennoch eine gute Wahl.

PS: Ich wurde von der TAT (Tourism Authority Thailand) auf die Reise nach Ranong eingeladen. Eine finanzielle Vergütung habe ich nicht erhalten. Meine Meinung wurde von dieser Kooperation nicht beeinflusst.

The Chiang Mai Guide for Digital Nomads

Chiang Mai Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Du suchst nach einem coolen Spot für digitale Nomaden in Südostasien? Dann solltest du dir unbedingt die Hauptstadt der digitalen Nomaden Chiang Mai anschauen!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

THAILAND
DOI SUTHEP
THAILAND
PAI
THAILAND
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Das Loft Mania Boutique Hotel Chumphon

Das Loft Mania Boutique Hotel Chumphon

WERBUNG

Auf der diesjährigen ITB – der internationalen Tourismusbörse in Berlin – bin ich mit der Tourism Autority Thailand ins Gespräch gekommen. Es dauerte nicht lange, da flatterte bereits eine Einladung zu einer kurzen Reise in den Süden Thailands ins Haus: nach Chumphon und Ranong sollte es gehen. Und da ich diese beiden Provinzen noch nicht kannte, sagte ich umso freudiger zu.

Das Loft Mania Boutique Hotel Chumphon – Das Hotel

Das Loft Mania Boutique Hotel hat drei verschiedene Zimmerkategorien: Die Suite mit 54 Quadratmetern und Doppel- sowie Einzelzimmer mit je 27 Quadratmetern. Über sechs Stockwerke verteilt, sind diese über das Treppenhaus oder zwei Aufzüge zu erreichen.

Jedes Zimmer ist ausgestattet mit

  • einer Klimaanlage
  • einem Safe
  • einem Fernseher
  • einem Föhn
  • kostenfreiem WLAN

Außerdem stehen jedem Gast folgende Services und Einrichtungen zur Verfügung:

  • ein Pool
  • Frühstück
  • ein Fitnessstudio
  • Wäscheservice
  • ein Spa
  • das Restaurant
  • ein Café

In der nahen Umgebung des Hotels kannst du dich auf zahlreiche Beauty Salons, Massagestudios und Restaurants freuen. Ich habe ganz wenige Falangs (Thai für “Westler”) gesehen und allgemein den EIndruck, dass man hier in der Gegend noch gut das traditionelle Leben verfolgen kann.

 

Das Loft Mania Boutique Hotel Chumphon – Die Zimmer

Ich hatte eines der Einzelzimmer und empfand die 27 Quadratmeter als sehr geräumig. Die Einrichtung und Wandfarbe sind leider ziemlich dunkel gehalten und tagsüber, auch wenn wir kaum da waren, habe ich gar nicht mitbekommen, wie schön das Wetter draußen war. Das war sehr schade!

Ansonsten habe ich nichts an dem Zimmer zu bemängeln. Es ist modern und hat mir mehr als gereicht.

Das Loft Mania Boutique Hotel Chumphon – Das Frühstückszimmer

Das Frühstückszimmer befindet sich im Erdgeschoss und du kannst entweder im klimatisierten Innenbereich oder im überdachten Außenbereich essen.

Du kannst zwischen internationalem Frühstück mit Eiern, Toast und Cornflakes oder aber Reis mit Gemüse & Co. ganz im Stile der Thais wählen. Natürlich darf frisches Obst nicht fehlen. Alles in allem ist es aber eher ein durchschnittliches Hotelfrühstück und kann leider nicht mit dem mithalten, was ich sonst so von Thailand gewohnt bin.

 

Das Loft Mania Boutique Hotel Chumphon – Pool- und Fitnessbereich

Der Pool ist direkt neben dem Frühstücksbereich. Allerdings liegt er ein bisschen höher, weshalb du vom Frühstücksraum keinen Poolblick hast. Morgens habe ich den Pool immer leer gesehen – bereit, um dort ein bisschen Entspannung zu finden. Allerdings war er in den Nachmittagsstunden immer voll. Vor allem Familien mit Kindern tummelten sich im Wasser und um das Schwimmbecken herum.

Das Fitnessstudio befindet sich hinter dem Frühstücksraum und ist dank der Fensterwand schön hell und lichtdurchflutet. Durch die Klimaanlage kannst du auch bei hohen Temperaturen deinem Workout nachgehen und kommst nicht aus der Routine…

Leider hatte ich keine Zeit die Geräte zu testen, aber als ich reingeschaut habe, war es sauber und machte einen recht modernen Eindruck.

 

 

Das Loft Mania Boutique Hotel Chumphon – Fazit

Das Loft Mania Boutique Hotel war ein guter Ausgangspunkt für Trips durch die Provinz Chumphon. Das Internet war recht gut – wenn auch kein Vergleich zur Geschwindigkeit in Bangkok oder Chiang Mai – und die Lage innerhalb der Stadt war wunderbar, um auch zu Fuß weit zu kommen. Die Zugstation, der Night Market von Chumphon sowie zahlreiche Geschäfte und Restaurants sind prima zu erreichen.

Alles in allem kann ich das Hotel empfehlen und würde es wieder wählen, wenn ich für einige Tage in Chumphon wäre.

PS: Ich wurde von der TAT (Tourism Authority Thailand) auf die Reise nach Chumphon eingeladen. Eine finanzielle Vergütung habe ich nicht erhalten. Meine Meinung wurde von dieser Kooperation nicht beeinflusst.

The Chiang Mai Guide for Digital Nomads

Chiang Mai Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Du suchst nach einem coolen Spot für digitale Nomaden in Südostasien? Dann solltest du dir unbedingt die Hauptstadt der digitalen Nomaden Chiang Mai anschauen!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

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Best Things to Do During a Layover in Dubai

Best Things to Do During a Layover in Dubai

A few decades ago, no one in the tourism industry had heard of Dubai. It was an obscure city; but today, it is one of our world’s most glamorous metropolis with an incomparable futuristic skyline. Nearly 20 million tourists travel to the city every year, whether it is for shopping for some of the best global brands or for business or for sheer entertainment. Dubai is home to some of the best airlines in the world. The Dubai Airport is a class apart, worthy of exploring by itself. People travel through this giant hub every day, and layovers in Dubai offer the perfect chance to explore the city. Here’s what you can do in Dubai if you’re there on a layover.

 

The Grand Mosque: Total Time: 1 Hour

The Grand Mosque of Dubai is located very close to the airport. The building is a magnificent piece of artwork. It can contain about 1200 worshippers at a time. If you are not a Muslim, you won’t be allowed within the mosque, but you can explore the outer section of the mosque and take pictures of the incredible design.

 

Burj Khalifa: Total Time – 4 Hours

The Burj Khalifa should be your first stop. It makes no sense to have a layover in Dubai and not visit the Khalifa. You’re your tickets in advance so that you don’t waste time in the queues. Best to take a taxi straight from the airport to the Khalifa. Be sure to take in the view of the building from the bottom and from the observatory deck on the 124th floor. The views from up there are simply amazing.

Dubai Fountains: Check out the Dubai Fountains, just below the Burj Khalifa, from the observatory deck. The fountains leap up to a height of 152 meters and are very clearly visible from the observatory deck. If you have time, take a walk around the Burj Khalifa to admire the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountains and the Burj Khalifa from the ground.

Dubai Mall: No point in visiting the Burj Khalifa is you don’t check out the Dubai Mall as well. It’s after all the world’s largest shopping mall by area, with more than 1,200 shops. Even if you’re not a great shopper, the sheer grandeur of the Dubai Mall is just not to be missed. The lobby with the fabulous waterfall with its sculptures of divers suspended in their dives is fascinating. There’s an Ice Rink, the VR Park, a 22-theatre multiplex, and the fabulous Underwater Zoo and Aquarium that beg to be explored.

 

Dubai’s Souqs: Total Time – 2 Hours

After admiring the Burj Khalifa, be sure to take a taxi to Dubai’s Souqs. The two main souqs are in Bur Dubai and Deira, which are separated by the Dubai Creek.

Dubai Creek: If you want to enjoy Dubai’s majestic skyline in a completely different way, cross the Dubai Creek. You can do this cheaply on a wooden vessel called the abra. Or, if time permits, you can take a dhow cruise along the Creek, passing under the many bridges and past supertall towers that overlook the water beside beautiful gardens. The creek bustles with locals and tourists and is seamed with a number of eateries, souqs, and vibrant people. If you want to feel the soul of Dubai, visit the Dubai Creek.

Dubai Souqs: The most popular market is the Gold Souk, which is a covered part of the bazaar with many shops selling gold jewelry. You can see the shine of gold from a distance. There’s more gold here than you’ve seen at any one place in your lifetime. If you want to pick up some exotic spices on the cheap, visit the Al Sabkha Souk. You’ll see baskets and baskets of fragrant saffron, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and a horde of other spices. You’ll also find many baskets piled up with the finest nuts. You are allowed to haggle at these souqs. Some of the merchants will quote outlandish prices the moment they realize you’re a foreigner. Be sure to check with a few stalls before you commit to purchasing from one. Enjoy the colors and smells that are sure to take you back to Old Arabia.

 

The Dubai Museum: Total Time – 2 Hours

If you want to understand how Dubai has transformed from being a pearl-diving and fishing village, visit the Dubai Museum. Dubai was once a small Bedouin village but today it is this magnificent entertainment hub that everyone wants to visit. The Dubai Museum is located at the Al-Fahidi Fort that was built during the 17th century. Explore the beautiful gallery of the museum which houses a wide range of military artifacts, a number of clothing and other local antiques of the Arabic culture plus old weaponry. Some of the exhibits are outside, and it is best to visit this museum from August to April, as it can be incredibly hot during other months.

 

Jumeirah Beach: Total Time – 2 Hours

Get to the Jumeirah beach next, from where you can enjoy the most magnificent views of the Burj al Arab hotel in the background. This is the world’s tallest and the only seven-star hotel. You cannot go inside the Burj al Arab unless you are a hotel guest or you have booked a table in one of the restaurants. If you are able to do that in advance, nothing like it. For now, enjoy the terrific views and be sure to take pictures of yourself against the backdrop of the Burj al Arab. The Jumeirah beach is best relegated to the last part of your day, so you can enjoy the sunset with the Burj al Arab in the background, before returning to the airport. Also check out the nearby Jumeirah Beach Hotel, with its iconic wave-like design.

 

Some Tips

  • It takes about an hour and a half to be done with immigration and customs, so take this delay into consideration.
  • We suggest you use the taxi system and forget the Metro, in the interest of saving time.
  • For a short layover, you don’t need to book into a hotel. Just store your luggage at the Dubai airport luggage storage facility for up to 12 hours at terminal 1 & 3.
  • At the airport, be sure to obtain your transit visa for Dubai so that you are able to sightsee.

 

Conclusion

If you are a frequent traveler who’s passing through Dubai on business or pleasure, be sure to factor in layover time whenever possible. This will allow you to formulate itineraries that’ll help you see a bit more of Dubai each time you travel. It’s a great way to see everything this grand city has to offer, in bits and pieces.

About the Author

An avid trekker, explorer and a true foodie; Neha finds happiness in small endeavors of life and loves to pen them down as a cherished memory. A firm believer that “we have just one life to live and so much to do”, Neha lives every moment to the fullest.

The Dubai Guide for Digital Nomads

Dubai Guide for Digital Nomads

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Nazareth – A Muslim City in Israel

Nazareth – A Muslim City in Israel

I’ve been to Israel three times already and I did two trips to Nazareth. On my last visit, I was collaborating with Abraham Hostels in order to write a City Guide about Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Since I also address sightseeing trips in my guide, I made sure to absolutely explore Israel further and get to know all the good spots. Therefore, I spent five days in Nazareth.

 

How to Get to Nazareth

There are different possibilities for getting to Nazareth. The easiest is staying in the Abraham Hostel (or Fauzi Azar in Nazareth) and taking their shuttle service. It might be a little expansive, but you don’t have to take care of anything. You will get picked up and dropped off at your accommodation. Easy! Negative – the shuttle is not available every day.

The next possibility is a Sherut. Sheruts are minivans, which travel fixed routes back and forth. You can either enter at one of the stations or just hold up your arm as soon as you see one passing and hope for the best. If there’s room they definitely take you in, otherwise they’ll give you an according signal. Positive – they are available every day, even on Shabbat.

The third possibility is taking the bus. It’s called Egged Bus and easily recognizable by its big green X. Negative – only available on Shabbat. To find out, when exactly that Shabbat is, you need to ask around, since it depends on the time of sundown.

 

The City of Nazareth

Nazareth and its 69% Muslim citizens are known as the Arabic Capital of Israel. 30% are Christians, so it’s no wonder the atmosphere of the city is quite different. I always had the feeling of being in the Middle East, more than in other cities. Also due to the fact that the population speaks predominantly Arabic.

Nazareth is famous for being the village where Jesus spent his youth. The city is riddled with churches and with the so call Jesus Trail – 65km of hiking and pilgrimage trail to various sites where Jesus is said to have lived and worked or simply was present. Therefore, this trail could have been walked by Jesus itself. It begins in Nazareth and ends in Capernaum

If you want to take a deep dive into the history of Nazareth, you definitely shouldn’t miss the free tour around the city. You can join daily – just ask at your accommodation what time it starts. The beautiful thing about this tour is that it not only covers the historical highlights, but also gives you a glimpse into modern everyday life.

 

Religious Sites in Nazareth

The city offers numerous religious sites. These are my personal highlights:

At the edge of old town, you can find Mary’s well. At this well, Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she is pregnant with the son of God.

Weirdly enough, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus regarding the location of the „Annunciation of the birth of Jesus”, as the archangel Gabriel is said to have appeared to Mary at other places as well. Not far from the well, a church was built, where Mary and Joseph supposedly had their house. It is named Church of Annunciation. Sadly, I don’t have a proper photo of the church since the surrounding area is rather narrow and the church itself is rather large. And by the way, this is the biggest Catholic church in the Middle East.

If you follow the Jesus Trail from old town uphill (yes, 15 minutes of walking up stairs but well worth it!) you will reach the Basilica of Jesus the Adolescent, where Jesus supposedly spent his youth. Not only is the church beautiful by its own standards, but you can also find a magnificent panorama across the city. In my opinion, this is the best view you can find in Nazareth.

 

Accommodation in Nazareth

During both of my stays, I was at the Fauzi Azar. When I first stayed here, it was not yet part of the Abrahams chain, but it was on my second visit. It is a beautiful Arabic building in the middle of the old town. The rooms are a direct portal into the Arabian Nights. Or rather, they were. This time I was in a newer part of the building and it felt like was accommodated in a cave without windows or any interior decoration that goes beyond the bed itself. So if you book your stay at the Fauzi Azar, ask for an older room that looks like this:

Similarly, the outdoor area is beautiful as well. As the surrounding old buildings also have a cooling effect, you will not start sweating and can enjoy the outside at a comfortable temperature. For my part, I really like sitting and working outside with my laptop. However, I have to add that Nazareth is not a big city and therefore, travelers don’t gather at bars or pub crawls. They rather spend their evenings in the cozy atmosphere of the hostel, which might not be acceptable for some Digital Nomads.

The real beauty of the Fauzi Azar is, that the collaboration (!) of Jewish and Arabic Israelis together created what it is today – a gathering place for people from all religions.

Sadly, I cannot give any information about other accommodations in Nazareth.

 

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, Nazareth is always worth a visit and you shouldn’t miss it during your stay in Israel. It is a special place – not only interesting but also very photogenic. I can definitely imagine going there for a third visit and even stay a little longer. Maybe I will even walk the Jesus Trail to really set the mood.

Have you ever been to Nazareth? How did you like it? Put it in the comments!

PS: This post was sponsored by Abraham Tours and I was invited to stay at the Fauzi Azar. I did not get paid and my opinion was in no way affected by this collaboration.

The Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

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