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Singapore opens B13bn National Gallery

Posted on 24 November 2015 by admin

People look at art works inside the newly restored National Gallery, formerly the City Hall and High Court building, in Singapore on Monday. (AFP photo)

SINGAPORE — Singapore on Tuesday opened to the public a S$532 million (13 billion baht) National Gallery that boasts the world’s biggest public collection of Southeast Asian modern art.

The new attraction is housed inside the British colonial-era former City Hall and Supreme Court buildings, which were fused into a single facility during a 10-year makeover.

The gallery houses a collection of modern art from across Southeast Asia comprising over 8,000 works from the 19th andಔth centuries in all media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography and video, officials said.

They include the works of artists like Raden Saleh of Indonesia, Fernando Amorsolo and Imelda Cajipe-Andaya of the Philippines, Ba Nyan of Myanmar, Nguyen Gia Tri of Vietnam, Latiff Mohidin of Malaysia, Montien Boonma of Thailand and Svay Ken of Cambodia.

The gallery also has a dedicated Singapore art collection and will feature international exhibitions from time to time.

The project is part of the city-state’s efforts to become a hub of culture and the arts and shed its traditional image as a strait-laced society fixated on commerce and finance.

A number of smaller museums and galleries have sprouted in recent years in the same district.

“I hope that in time Singaporeans will grow to love the gallery and that it will become the pride of Singapore,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who led opening celebrations on Monday, said in a Facebook post.

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Phuket beaches to get tourist service centres

Posted on 21 November 2015 by admin

Patong beach in Phuket is popular among foreign tourists. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Authorities are preparing to set up tourist service centres on popular beaches in three districts of Phuket to improve visitor safety and security around the clock.

Prajead Aksornthammakul, the province’s deputy governor, said officials were concerned about a rising number of incidents involving tourists who have been robbed of valuables, suffered injuries or even death.

The incidents have eroded faith in tourist safety and tarnished the image of the island province, said Mr Prajead.

As a result, he said, Phuket governor Chamroen Thippayapongthada had proposed setting up tourist service centres on popular beaches and some islands in Muang, Kathu and Thalang districts.

In Muang district, the centres would be set up on Kata, Karon, Nai Han and Yanui beaches, and on Koh Racha, Koh Hae and Koh Mai Ton islands. In Kathu district, there would be centres on Patong, Kamala, Kalim and Traitrang beaches. In Thalang, proposed locations are Mai Khao, Nai Thon, Nai Yang, Bang Tao, Surin, Layan and Sai Kaew beaches and Koh Nakha. 

The deputy governor said he had ordered local administration organisations to survey potential sites for the centres and report them to the provincial Tourism and Sports Ministry office this week so budgets could be allocated.

The service centres are expected to open by early December, he added.

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Mt Hakone warning lifted amid lessening volcanic activity

Posted on 20 November 2015 by admin

Steam rises from Owakudani valley at Mount Hakone in Hakone town on June 30, 2015. (Reuters/Kyodo photo)

TOKYO — The national weather agency on Friday lifted its volcanic activity warning for Mount Hakone, located in a popular hot spring resort area southwest of Tokyo, as it deemed the risk of eruptions to have reduced after the last small-scale eruption observed in July.

As the number of volcanic earthquakes remains low, the Japan Meteorological Agency changed the volcanic alert level to its lowest level 1, indicating the situation has returned to normal and only calling on people in the vicinity to be “mindful” of the volcano’s potential activity.

The alert level had been at 2, which advises people not to approach the crater.

Still, the town of Hakone said it will continue to restrict entry to certain areas near the volcano’s Owakudani district until the density of volcanic gas lowers and safety is assured.

The alert level for Mount Hakone was raised to 2 from 1 in May as a small eruption was deemed possible. In late June, it was lifted toŃ, a level which warns against approaching the volcano, after the agency detected that a small-scale eruption had occurred at the mountain.

Another eruption was observed on July 1, but volcanic activity has since diminished and the warning level was lowered to 2 in September.

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Bring on the bloom

Posted on 20 November 2015 by admin

Prachin Buri isn’t a popular travel destination, even for locals. Tell people you’re headed there, and you often receive a “why?” in return. That is, unless you’re talking to someone who has stayed at Dasada the Flower Es’Senses Resort.

Located within Khao Yai National Park, the 800-rai resort and flower nursery is enclosed by mountains, forests and lakes. There are 82 rooms, including private lakeside villas that start from B7,800 per night. The smallest of the rooms, Deluxe (from B3,800), is still considerably spacious (50m²) and shares its stylish Phalaenopsis orchid theme with the Pool Access, Grand Jacuzzi and Junior Suite rooms.  

At Dasada, you really can’t escape the beauty of flowers. Exotic blossoms are right outside your door and even incorporated into your meals at Bloom and Mokara restaurants. The property also holds a mini zoo and aviary, themed gardens, a greenhouse gallery and a pavilion for meditation, connected by paved routes, suitable for biking and running — Guru tested and approved. Bikes for children and adults can be rented for free at the concierge. ATV sessions and farm tours can also be arranged at no extra charge.  

After your fill of thrills, it’s nice to sit in Dasada’s enchanting gallery and slow down with flower arrangement, bottle painting or terrarium designing, and ice cream. Dasada’s house-made ice cream is sourced from the resort’s floral produce and fashioned into flavours such as Jersey Chrysanthemum, Pink Calandiva, Sunflower, Pine Cone, Mont Blanc Gerbera, and, of course, Phalaenopsis. Aside from the must-try Phalaenopsis, we recommend the Calla Lily Brownie flavour for fans of chocolate and the Hydrangea Mint for something light and refreshing.

With the popularity of last year’s “When The Flowers Say” festival, the resort is reviving its “Art in Heart” winter celebration. Catch a stunning display of winter blooms, and a brand-new interactive 3D-mapping show that walks you through a story about flowers and seasons. You can also expect the return of a tunnel of lights, this year shaped as a heart and rumoured to possess matchmaking powers — ha! — as well as the Dancing Fountain spectacle, created by the architect behind the world-renowned fountain at the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The orchestration of water, lights and crooning sounds from the likes of Sinatra are bound to make you swell and will quite possibly be the highlight of your stay.  

The only bad news about Dasada is that the 3D-mapping show, light tunnel and Dancing Fountain are only offered for the duration of “Art in Heart” (Dec 5-Feb 14) rendering quite a loss to off-season visits. The good news? Ice cream is available year-round.


Dasada, the Flower Es’Senses Resort is located in Prachin Buri’s northeastern region, a three hours’ drive from Bangkok. Admission to “Art in Heart” is B250 for adults and B150 for children. Facilities and packages for seminar groups are available. Visit www.dasada-happiness.com, http://fb.com/dasadaflower or call 02-3723-9800.  

Hydrangea Mint Ice Cream.





Terrarium activity in Dasada Gallery.

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Huge elephant banquet highlights Surin festival

Posted on 20 November 2015 by admin

Elephants get stuck into the weighty buffet in downtown Surin on Friday, a highlight of the province’s annual elephant festival, which runs from Nov 13 to 24 this year. (Photo by Nopparat Kingkaew)

A monumental buffet fit for 264 elephants was organised in downtown Surin on Friday as a highlight of the province’s annual elephant festival.

The elephants and their keepers paraded from Surin train station to Phraya Surin Pakdi Srinarong Changwang monument, named for the founder of Surin city, in Muang district.

There the feast was waiting on tables burdened with 67 tonnes of sugarcane, water melons, corn, yam beans and pineapples, stretching over a distance of 400 metres.

Thai and foreign visitors thronged to the plaza to admire the animals and the amazing banquet.

The annual elephant buffet was introduced in Surin in 2000.  Guinness World Records recognised the 2003 feast as the largest elephant buffet, when 269 pachyderms paraded and chomped their way through 50 tonnes of food.

The Surin elephant festival runs from Nov 13 to 24 this year, with many shows and cultural performances for visitors.

This includes the renowned two-day Elephant Round-Up, on Nov 21 andÂ㺖, when hundreds of elephants perform in the major highlight of the festival.

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To the Mekong and beyond

Posted on 19 November 2015 by admin

From the lookout point on Phu Manorom, the first hill south of Mukdahan, you can get a good view of the entire town, the Mekong River, the Friendship Bridge and Savannakhet on the other side. Due to its proximity to the town, the hill is popular among local people who come here to exercise.

The mighty Mekong marks the border between Thailand’s northeastern region and Laos. With the second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge providing a land link since 2006, the town of Mukdahan has served as a convenient gateway from Thailand to the Lao town of Savannakhet on the other side of the river.

Both Mukdahan and Savannakhet are on the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) which extends westwards via Mae Sot, the Thai border town in Tak province which is also included in this special series, to Myanmar’s Mawlamyine; and eastward through the Lao-Vietnamese border to Danang, linking the Andaman Sea to the South China Sea.

For a lot of locals in the three countries along the eastern section of the EWEC, especially residents of Mukdahan and Savannakhet, the route is a part of their normal lives.

“It’s common for Lao people to cross the border, either via the bridge or the ferry to shop for consumer goods in Mukdahan. Things are cheaper on this side,” said Sajja Wongkittithorn, president of Mukdahan Tourism Industry Association. “Those who drive also make sure they have their gas tank refilled before crossing back.”

Not counting the gamblers who come to Mukdahan to cross the Mekong to go to the casino on the Lao side, the number of Thai tourists to this northeastern border town is still small. A reason for that could be the fact that it does not have an airport. With the Special Economic Zone designation, the town residents have had high hopes that Mukdahan will finally have an airport just like Nakhon Phanom, its neighbour to the north. However, according to Sajja, several months have passed and there has been no tangible progress on the matter.

Even though the new status has not brought much change to Mukdahan, except for rising land prices, there have been delightful developments in terms of local administration and the private sector. New hotels and resorts are popping up, some of them stylish and charming, especially those located by the Mekong. Public facilities, like those at the scenic lookout point on Manorom Hill, have been improved. A bicycle lane from the town to the nearby Phu Pha Thoep National Park is near completion. The Night Market near the Provincial Hall serves as another popular venue for shoppers, apart from the long-famous Indochina Market on the river front. There is even a water park.

Of course, to make the most of your trip to Mukdahan, you must also cross the Mekong to Savannakhet, Laos’ second largest city after Vientiane. Actually, the town’s official name is Kaysone Phomvihane, after the former president, but Savannakhet, which is actually the name of the province, is more familiar to both Lao and Thai people.

If you’re done exploring the colonial heritage of Savannakhet and still have a couple of days to spare, you can continue your journey in one of two directions.

The first is to go 250km eastward to cross the border into Vietnam and visit destinations such as the port city of Danang, the old capital of Hue and the ancient town of Hoi An; the last two boast sites that are included in Unesco’s World Heritages list.

“Before you reach those well known places, you can also drop by in Quang Tri. It’s rich with history, especially with regards to the Vietnam War, but there may not be as many tourist facilities,” Sajja advised. 

The other option is to stay in Laos and head north to Thakhek, another town by the Mekong about 94km away. Like Savannakhet, Thakhek still has well preserved buildings from colonial times. But that’s not all, as the forest-covered mountains around the town are also home to wonderful natural sites. From Thakhek, if you do not want to return to Savannakhet, you can cross the Mekong back to Thailand via the third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge and spend at least another day in Nakhon Phanom, which is included in the second phase of the Special Economic Zone project.

Of course, you’re never in Nakhon Phanom province unless you visit Phra That Phanom, the most highly revered Buddhist monument in the Northeast. However, the grand stupa is not located in Nakhon Phanom town but in another district named after it. Since the town of That Phanom is about halfway between Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan, your route becomes a complete loop if you end it in Mukdahan.

“It’s not easy to convince people to come for holidays on this part of the border,” said Sajja. “But Mukdahan has its own charm. Combine that with the nearby destinations on both sides of the Mekong and beyond and I believe it’s just a matter of time before this gateway town becomes prominent on the tourist map.”

A sign at Phu Mhu, a hill in Nikhom Kham Soi west of Mukdahan town, welcomes visitors in three languages, Thai, English and Lao.




The Lao town of Thakhek sits by the Mekong opposite Thailand’s Nakhon Phanom. Smaller and more peaceful than Savannakhet, Thakhek has also preserved several colonial buildings. Like Savannakhet, it can be connected to Vietnam but via a different, more mountainous route. With the wilderness not so far away, Thakhek is a good base for nature and adventure lovers. Those who are interested in the local culture should try joining the Lao people during their favourite Paslop dancing, which often takes place at parties and at certain restaurants.

Savannakhet was an important town during French rule (1893-1953) and it remains so today. The old part of the town near the river still has much architectural heritage dating to the colonial times. The building seen in the picture is a famous photo spot for Thai tourists. It used to be abandoned but recently a group of young entrepreneurs had its interior renovated and turned the place into a stylish café. Savannakhet people take pride in the fact that their province was once home to dinosaurs, so much so that they have huge sculptures of the prehistoric reptiles put up at the town’s main traffic circle. To learn more about the town’s palaeontological past, don’t forget to visit its fossil museum. For devout Buddhists, a place not to be missed is That Ing Hang, Savannakhet’s most revered stupa. It is just a short drive out of town. Foodies should also try khao jee pate (Lao sandwich) and pho noodle. Just ask the locals where you can get some good ones nearby.



Travel Info

- Mukdahan is 642km from Bangkok. You can get there by car or by bus. Alternatively, you can catch a plane to Nakhon Phanom to the north or Ubon Ratchathani to the south and take a public van or a taxi from there. Nakhon Phanom is about 100km from Mukdahan. Ubon Ratchathani is 30km further but has more flights available. If you’re really in a hurry, you can fly to Savannakhet and cross the river to Mukdahan. But it costs a lot more.

- Thai and Lao nationals have two choices of crossing the Mekong, the Friendship Bridge and the ferry. Those who do not drive prefer the second choice because the pier on either side is located in the heart of the town. People of other nationalities are required to use the bridge and go through the full immigration process, but this does not take too much time.

- Thai passport holders can stay in Laos for 30 days. Those using a temporary border pass, which can be obtained from the tourist centre near the ferry pier, can stay in Laos for only three days and must return to the same check point.

- For those who do not have their own vehicle and do not wish to take the ferry, an international bus service to Savannakhet is available from the Mukdahan bus terminal. In Savannakhet, you can find buses to Hue in Vietnam as well as Thakhek and other destinations in Laos.

- Hiring a private van with a chauffeur who can drive on both left- and right-lane traffic is the most convenient way to travel. Local tour agencies can not only help you find such vans but can also help you with the immigration process. Thai vans (2,800 baht a day, petrol not included) can travel in Laos but cannot enter Vietnam. Lao vans (4,800 baht a day, inclusive of petrol) can take you through all the three countries.

- Mukdahan boasts a host of hotels and resorts for different tastes and budgets. Nakhon Phanom, Savannakhet, Thakhek also offer many choices for tourist accommodation, as do Hue, Danang and Hoi An.

- Thai baht can be used in Laos and sometimes in Vietnam, too.

- For more information, call Sajja Wongkittithorn on 081-051-2666. For bus timetables in Savannakhet, call +8564-121-3920.      

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Paradise island

Posted on 19 November 2015 by admin

A long-tail boat approaches Koh Yao Noi pier.

If you get bored with bustling Phuket, the adjacent Koh Yao Noi may be a nice choice.

On a bicycle, I patiently make my way uphill through a tunnel of trees. After resting at the top of the hill and taking in views, I am ready for the easy part. Effortlessly, I make a downhill ride through fruit orchards, rice paddies and country homes.

But I am not a lone rider. On the island of Koh Yao Noi, off Phangnga’s coast, cycling is a popular pastime for tourists and locals.

“The road that runs around the island is around 40km long. In the evening, you will see a number of cyclists around here, up to 500. They are locals, hotel staff and tourists. All enjoy this serene biking route. You will be surprised to see this,” Wirat Thinkohyao, activity manager of Koh Yao Paradise tells of his favourite cycling route.

A boy enjoys a cupcake. More than 80% of the island dwellers are Muslim.

Though the island is only 45 minute away from Phuket by boat, Koh Yao Noi is far different from Phuket. It remains beautiful and peaceful. A jungle covers many parts of the island, particularly at the northern tip where tourists struggle through dense forest to see a giant tree, which stands 60m tall.

There are a handful of beach resorts nestled in peaceful corners around the island, particularly on the eastern side, which overlooks a picturesque archipelago off Krabi’s coast.

Following my guide, I ride on a dirt track that cuts through lush rubber plantations and rice paddies that nestle in a small piece of land between the hills. Water buffaloes grazing nearby look at me as if I am an alien invader.

My guide turns into a house. On the front porch, an old man is preparing young coconuts for sale. The homeowner welcomes us with a great big smile, and we stop for a break and refreshing coconuts.

“A vast majority of people here are Muslim. Tourism is creeping in slowly and some resorts have started occupying seaside land. Some families sell their land and move into the inner part of the island,” he explains about the changes taking place on the island.

However, such changes do not overwhelm Koh Yao Noi. The island dwellers accept tourism as their new businesses, just like this coconut seller.

Another business created by tourism is Kasem Nilsamut’s floating fish farm. At first, he sold lobsters. After getting a number of visiting tourists, he found that his pets, which include different species of puffer fish and shark, interested tourists. Now, he opens this farm as an attraction and educates visitors on marine life.

“It is good to run a hobby as a business,” said Kasem, smiling.

After a spicy seafood lunch, Wirat and I visit the tiny town of Koh Yao Noi. He introduces me to the town’s famous roti seller. Then we make our way to the beach road, which opens to stunning views of the adjacent Krabi islands.

“Krabi’s Koh Hong is over there. That is Koh Phak Bia, a very good place for snorkelling,” Wirat says, pointing to the islands on the horizon. “It is a very short boat ride.”

Koh Hong and Koh Phak Bia are pretty busy with tourists who come to spend the day in speed boats from Phuket and Krabi. Peaceful islets easily turn chaotic. I just hope they ignore the small island of Koh Yao Noi and leave it in tranquillity.

A I Cha, who runs the Roti Chao Koh shop, serves her famous roti, which is available with various toppings such as corn, palm candy, banana and coconut. She also sells a pizza-flavoured roti.

Kasem Nilsamut with a puffer fish. His fish farm has a number of interesting creatures, such as leopard sharks, puffers, spadenose sharks and lobsters.

Tourists have to trek through a thick jungle on the northern tip of the island to see a giant Pacific Rosewood, which is around 60m in height.

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Loy Krathong in Bangkok

Posted on 19 November 2015 by admin

From Saturday to Nov 25, the “River Festival 2015 — The River of Culture” will take place to celebrate the Loy Krathong Festival at seven attractions along the Chao Phraya River under the concept of “conserving waterways”. The seven places are Wat Pho, Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Prayoon, Wat Kanlaya, Tha Maharaj, Asiatique and Yod Phiman River Walk.

Throughout the six-day festival, there will be complimentary shuttle boat services available on two routes: a return shuttle boat service between Asiatique and Yod Phiman and a circle service on the Yod Phiman-Wat Pho-Tha Maharaj-Wat Arun-Wat Kanlaya-Wat Prayoon route.

From Nov 23-25, the “Colour Of The River: Loy Krathong Festival” will take place at Nakhara Phirom Park near Rama VIII Bridge from 5-10pm on the first two days and 5pm-midnight on Nov 25.

The event will feature the procession of seven floats, the procession of krathongs, a fireworks show, the Loy Krathong Interactive Exhibition Display, the demonstration of krathong making and Thai cooking, the eco-friendly krathong decoration DIY and traditional costume wearing.

On the Full Moon day of the 12th lunar month, Thais float their krathongs — circular floatable objects made from banana leaves and other materials and decorated with flowers, a candle and incense sticks — onto streams to pay respects to the Goddess of Water.

Call the TAT Call Centre 1672.

Exploring a western forest

From Nov 27-29, the “Opening A World of Wonder, Travelling To The Western Forest” fair will be held at Roi Chang Phuak Waterfall in tambon Sahakon Nikhom, Thong Pha Phum district, Kanchanaburi.

Activities will include paying respect to the shrine of Prince of Chumphon, visiting Noen Sawan View Point, a mountain peak called the Everest of Thong Pha Phum, biking to Noen Sawan, shopping for local goods and watching Mon and Karen cultural performances.

Highlights are travelling through ałkm-long old mining tunnel, trekking and staying overnight in the fertile community forest. The tunnel served as a mining route almost a century ago and will be opened to tourism for the first time during this festival. It takes about 10 minutes to travel through it on vehicles while the community forest is filled with several kinds of rare plants and has a camping area for tourists to stay overnight in tents and wake up to see morning mist from Noen Sawan.

Alternatively, visitors can experience the local way of life at local homestay accommodation, learn about ecology and enjoy adventure tours in this community.

Visit www.facebook.com/ThesbalTablShkrnNikhm or call Sahakon Nikhom Municipality on 034-685-038.

Biking in Chai Nat

Until Nov 29, the “Full Moon Bike” activity and the annual Loy Krathong festival will take place at the Chao Phraya Dam in Muang district, Chai Nat. Activities will include cycling over the weekend and a fun fair, walking street, trade fair, mini motor show, beauty contests and concerts.

Visit www.facebook.com/siamfunfair or call 056-405-266.

Vintage cars in Hua Hin

From tomorrow until Sunday, the “13th Hua Hin Vintage Car Parade” will be held at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort Spa in Hua Hin district, Prachuap Khiri Khan, under the “Greeting the Gatsby” theme. 

The parade will feature more than 50 vintage and classic cars. Car owners and passengers will travel by their vintage cars from Bangkok to Hua Hin with costumes and decoration in the atmosphere of the 1920s. They will also present scholarships, educational kits and necessary items to Thammikka Witthyaya School, a school for the blind in Phetchaburi.

Visit www.vintagecarclub.or.th.


Email pichayas@bangkokpost.co.th
if you have any news to share.

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Koh Kut voted ‘Best Great Escape’

Posted on 19 November 2015 by admin

Koh Kut in Trat has been named “Best Great Escapeâ€� for visitors to Thailand by Conde Nast Traveller, the United Kingdom-based magazine.

Sunset at Koh Kut.

The magazine published a 12-page article titled “Drop It Like It’s Hot: The Most Knock-out Addresses On Thailand’s Beaches” in the December issue. It stated that Koh Kut, which is also spelt Ko Kood, is Thailand’s fourth largest island.

“Ko Kood sits in a pristine marine sanctuary near the Cambodian border. Largely mountainous, with thick jungle ringed by immaculate sandy bays, it feels totally off-grid,” stated the magazine.

In addition, Koh Phayam is named ���Best Undiscovered Corner” in the country as the magazine stated that it is actually still possible to find unspoilt parts of Thailand.

“Best Picture Perfect Beach” was named as Koh Nang Yuan, a tiny island on the northwest of Koh Tao, in Surat Thani. Visitors need to be there either early or late afternoon to get the postcard-worthy photo-op at Nang Yuan, a sandbar that connects three small islands linked by thigh-deep, crystal-clear water. Phuket Old Town was named as “Best Street Food” while Phangnga Bay was listed as “Best Boat Ride”.

Visit www.cntraveller.com for more details.

Bangkok City on its way

Siam Park City plans to launch a new attraction called “Bangkok City”.

The project will feature replicas of some famous and historical landmarks in Bangkok such as Sala Chalerm Krung Theatre, old buildings in Yaowarat, Khlong Thom and Sam Pheng, Ban Phra Athit and Phra Sumen Fort.

Those buildings will be open for shops, restaurants, seminar rooms and an observation tower. It also plans to add a museum to educate visitors about the old landmarks of Bangkok.

About 2 billion baht will be invested in the project. Bangkok City will be located in a 70 rai plot of land, as part of the 300 rai Siam Park City, also known as Suan Siam, which is an amusement and water park in the Khan Na Yao district of Bangkok.

It is scheduled to open within the next three years.

Airlines update

Hanoi-based VietJet Aviation has announced the purchase of 30 more Airbus aircraft.

VietJet first took to the skies at the end of 2011 and now operates a fleet of 29 aircraft of the A320 family on a network covering Vietnam and destinations across Asia.

“This order for additional A321s responds to our growth strategy and the need for additional seat capacity on both domestic and international routes,” said Vietjet president and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao.

Incorporating new engines and the latest technologies, the new A320 family will reduce carbon emissions and maintenance costs, he noted.

Visit www.vietjetair.com

V Air, the Taiwanese low-cost airline, will launch direct flights from Taipei to Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.

The new services mean the carrier will become the first low-fare carrier stepping into Nagoya and Fukuoka markets, according to the company.

Starting on Dec 15, V Air will operate four flights a week to Nagoya and will fly daily between Taipei and Osaka starting on Jan 23. The flight between Taipei and Fukuoka will be launched on Jan 25 and will be a daily flight.

Visit www.flyvair.com.

Hotels update

Bespoke Hospitality Management Asia will launch X2 Chiang Mai Riverside Hotel in 2017.

The five-storey hotel will be located on the bank of Ping River. It will feature 30 luxurious suites, a rooftop pool, spa, fitness centre, restaurant and bar and Wine Terrace.

“The X2 Chiang Mai Riverside will allow us to give our customers a true boutique design hotel experience with our first X2 hotel in Chiang Mai,�� said Bespoke Hospitality Management Asia CEO Anthony McDonald.

Visit www.BHMAsia.com.

Best Western Hotels Resorts plans to launch its new boutique lifestyle brand, Vib, in Myanmar.

Called Vib Yangon, the hotel will feature 110 rooms, “grab and go” snack station and fitness centre. It will also provide mobile check-in services and free Wi-Fi.

“At Best Western we understand that today’s independently-minded guests demand a high degree of convenience and connectivity. That’s why we developed Vib — an ultra-modern hotel concept that focuses on the needs of millennial travellers,” said Olivier Berrivin, Best Western Hotels Resorts’ Managing Director of International Operations, Asia.

Best Western has operated three hotels in Yangon and Mandalay since 2013. Vib Yangon is scheduled to be open in 2018.

Visit www.bestwestern.com.


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Chiang Mai to open country’s longest treetop walkway

Posted on 17 November 2015 by admin

A screen shot from the website of the Botanical Garden Organization shows the country’s longest treetop walkway set to open for public at Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden in Chiang Mai next month.

Chiang Mai will gain a new tourist attraction next month when Thailand’s longest treetop walkway opens at the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden next month.

Deputy chief of the Botanical Garden Organization Pramuk Pensut said the canopy-level walkway at the garden is 400 metres long and 20 metres above ground. It will provide pedestrians access to aerial panoramic view of the garden, trees and mountainous scenery 800 metres above sea level.

Part of the walkway feature with a glass floor to excite visitors and allow them to see nature below their feet.

Mr Pramuk said the elevated pathway was made of steel and meets safety standards.

Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden is located near Doi Suthep in Mae Rim district.

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