This is a site that is still in fairly early stages though I'd appreciate some feedback to check I'm headed in the right direction.
This site is a travel site on Thailand. Most of the information in it at the moment is just fill from a book I wrote a few years ago, so I'm not so worried about the information, what I am interested in is if it makes sense to you - is the information organised in a way that makes sense.
The site is designed to be used in upcountry cafes etc here in Thailand and Laos, so speed is a big issue and this is why it is about 90% text based.
So functionality and speed are important, plus it would be nice if it made you want to come here!
Very good color scheme and use of text. I like the layout. I do think that the Four Elephants in the black and red at the top is redundant and takes away from the site. Keep the colors but loose the text.
Something I'm particularly after is comments re the organisation of the information about the destinations - if you use the pulldown to pick either Bangkok, Trat or Chanthaburi you'll find information and in Chanthaburi's case some pics - it makes sense to me - but then I made it !!
I want to have the design right before I populate the database
So much good to say about the site: nice colors, what info was already posted was excellent - the kind of stuff that you don't always find elsewhere, but that is SOOOO practical (business hours, detailed crime and dangers section, etc.) If and when I get a chance to get over to your part of the world, I will unquestionably use your site before and while I am there. It's the kind of info that let's you feel at home in place you've never been before.
Few very minor critiques, since you asked about the navigation. Overall, it is well-organized. I like the fact that you can look info up by general subject, by region or by province name. That is great! I would add a heading under Background Info for Places to Stay, something like that. Did I miss the section on this topic? Couldn't find it, but I think even vague info on what's generally available, price ranges and how/where to find more specific info would be helpful.
Last thing is REALLY picky and has to do with the visual presentation of the nav menus on the left. I would probably put a blank line between the top graphic and the first menu heading to visually associate the heading with the first list of menu items. Then I might also bullet the lists just to differentiate items more, especially in the rare case where an item takes more than one line (i.e. - "Dangers, safety and Crime advice").
Good luck with the site. I look forward to seeing the finished product!
I only found *one* usability issue, and this might be nit-picking. Your "go" button below the "pick a province" on the left is a little too far from the drop-down box. Your buttons for the two items directly below that are much closer to their respective boxes. It dis-associates the "go" button from the drop-down box...sort of leaves it out on an island.
And this is just personal preference, not really a criticism per se, but having your left and top margins set to "0", especially with white-space at right, sort of upends the balance cart.