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Coronation of H.M. The King of Thailand | Situation in Bangkok

From 2 until 6 May 2019, The official coronation of H.M. King Maha Vajiralongkorn as King Rama X will be celebrated. During these days, many roads, particular near the Grand Palace and some parts of the Chao Phraya river will be closed. All excursions around the Grand Palace have to be cancelled.

The crowing of H.M. King Maha Vajiralongkorn will take place on Saturday, 4 May with Monday, 6 May instilled as a public holiday for the whole country. Celebrations and ceremonies in relation to the coronation are expected to take off during this three day royal and religious event.

Various roads and landmarks in Bangkok’s Rattanakosin de extremely tight which may result in operational changes and possible congestion in other parts of the city.

Asian Trails Thailand is taking all measures to ensure that we continue to run our operations as smooth as possible. During these days, we will monitor the situation closely and continue to offer alternative tour options for in-house guests. Should any major incidents impact our customers in relation to this event, we will inform you accordingly.

For any questions and clarification, please contact your contact in Asian Trails in Thailand or send an email to thailand@asiantrails.org. As always, our dedicated emergency numbers remain on standby 24/7.

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Novel Approaches and Creative Twists at this year’s IMEX

Asian Trails is pleased to confirm its attendance at the 2019 IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany. As one of the leading trade shows for the incentive and conference industry, this annual event will once again be a showcase for the progressive and sustainable approach for business professionals in this field.

From 21 until 23 May 2019, Asian Trails Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will present the latest trends, new means to spice up events and destination management service standards and fill in the blanks when East and South East Asia are in your customer’s scope. Held at the impressive Messe Frankfurt, IMEX 2019 will be the window to our world for discerned delegates to get a taste of why Asian Trails had lead the way in offering incentives and events that exceed expectations.

Attending this year’s IMEX will be

  • Emir Cherif – Managing Director, Malaysia and Singapore (Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau Stand Booth number B200)
  • Yves van Kerrebroeck – Managing Director, Thailand (TCEB Booth number B150)
  • Alexander Leven – General Manager, Vietnam (Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau Stand Booth number B200)
  • Johann Aigner – MICE Manager, Thailand (TCEB Booth number B150)

For more information or for making an appointment with one of our colleagues, welcome to email us via marketing@asiantrails.org.

We are keen in meeting you in person and fill in your project-based wishes from A until Z.

See you in Frankfurt!

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Change of management at Asian Trails Laos

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Laetitia Law-Lai, a French national, as our new Asian Trails Laos’ General Manager as of 8th April 2019. Laetitia will replace Ms Virginie Kury who will move to Phnom Penh to head Asian Trails Cambodia as General Manager.

Laetitia joined Asian Trails in 2017 as MICE Manager for Asian Trails Cambodia, based in our Siem Reap office. Having previously lived and worked in Vientiane, her expansive knowledge of Laos and the love for the country has been one of the main reasons for her to take up this challenging position within the Asian Trails family.

With a solid background in working with people, training and developing human resources, we certainly have no doubt that her knowledge and passion will successfully lead our Laos team in growing further and in maintaining our high service quality.

She will be reporting to Thuy Tien, Managing Director Indochina based at our office in Ho Chi Minh City.

We wish Laetitia all the best in her new role and thank you for the patronage and continuous support to Asian Trails.

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Asian Trails apresenta suas novidades de 2019 na WTM em São Paulo

Como todos os anos, a Asian Trails estará presente na próxima edição da WTM em São Paulo.

Convidamos você a nos visitar para discutir, compartilhar qualquer assunto relacionado às nossas novidades em 2019 e nos abordar pessoalmente.

Entre os dias 2,3 e 4 de abril de 2019, você pode nos visitar no estande N69 do Escritório de Turismo da Tailândia, onde teremos nosso espaço para reuniões. Este ano teremos também a presença de nosso representante no Brasil, Rodrigo Ferreira e o responsável dos mercados latinos em Bangkok, Maurizio Sartori.

Sobre a Asian Trails
Desde 1999 a Asian Trails é reconhecida como o melhor receptivo no Sudeste da Ásia, com sede em Bangkok, estende seus serviços personalizados com guia em 9 destinos: Camboja, China, Hong Kong, Indonésia, Laos, Malásia, Mianmar, Singapura Tailândia e Vietnã

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Tales from our Trails: Flores – The charming island alternative to Bali

Bjorn Schimanski, Managing Director of Asian Trails Indonesia, invites you to travel beyond Bali to the rugged beautiful island of Flores with the pleasant fishing town of Labuan Bajo, long sandy beaches, fantastic dive spots and the nearby Komodo National Park with its famous inhabitants – the Komodo dragons.

The majority of tourists to Indonesia tend to stick to the same classic routes. We all know this, and it is our bread and butter. Although the number of tourists to the country has increased sharply yet we find that most of our guests and about 40% of total arrivals land on Bali, the ‘Island of the Gods’ – a percentage that has not changed much over the years.

But this does not mean that things are not changing or developing. Bali is still a standalone destination for most visitors. However, as connectivity increases and ‘new’ islands develop we see Bali changing into a convenient hub from where you can fly in and out, stay a couple of days or longer and then continue to discover some of the other destinations Indonesia has to offer.

Welcome to Komodo!

Many of these places are still in — what I would call — a sweet spot, not yet a focus of mass tourism (or the new buzz word ‘over-tourism’) but already offering good flight connectivity, basic infrastructure and some standout accommodation.

One of the most charming of these places is Flores and the surrounding area. The island, around three times the size of Bali, was first put on the map by Portuguese traders and missionaries in the 16th century. They gave the island its name and left quite a mark on the island. It is not difficult to spot Portuguese ancestry in the local population and the biggest heritage the Portuguese left behind, which is a connecting link between the different ethnic groups of Flores, is Catholicism. Churches are full on Sundays and the Easter processions in the eastern city of Larantuka are legendary and fascinating to watch.

The blend of ancient local costumes and culture with Catholicism make up a curious mix, and is a big draw for a visit. This is topped off with superb landscapes, an incredible underwater world and the largest living lizards anywhere. These should convince you to hop on the next plane from Bali (or Jakarta) to see them for yourself.

The first time I visited Flores was in 1999 when I travelled overland from Maumere in the eastern part of the island all the way up to Medan in Sumatra. It was quite a trip of approximately 4,500 kilometres on dodgy buses, slow trains and huge boats overloaded with refugees who escaped the terrors of a religious war on the Maluku islands (further east), which broke out during the transition period to democracy in Indonesia.

On the top of Padar Island during the dry season

Back then my last stop on Flores was the sleepy town of Labuan Bajo, which consisted of no more than a few huts. I certainly did not think that I would open our fourth Asian Trails Indonesia office right there 19 years later. But things are changing fast in Asia once a certain stage of development kicks in.

Labuan Bajo with its adjoining harbour is the entrance to the Komodo National Park, which has quickly rose in popularity for good reasons. The beach area where I spent a couple of days in a bamboo hut for US$10 a day (that included full board) is now owned by one of the nicest boutique resorts in the area – the Plataran Komodo Beach Resort. A marina is currently being built and a Starbucks will open soon (who needs that as there is the fantastic local Arabica Flores coffee – one of the best anywhere).

There is talk of a daily ferry shuttle to the Komodo National Park for masses of mainly Asian tourists while, at the same time, other parties within the government are trying to increase the entrance fees or limit the arrival numbers. Let’s see how all this plays out, but we are clearly only at the beginning of massive investment and development in the coming years.

A game changer and a harbinger of things to come is the newly-opened AYANA Komodo Resort, Labuan Bajo, with over 200 rooms. It is the first of a couple of 5 star properties opening up in coming years in and around Labuan Bajo.

The main attraction and reason for most people visiting Flores are obviously the Komodo dragons, which are endemic to only three islands to the west of Labuan Bajo. It takes about four hours in a speed boat or up to eight hours in a slow boat to get there. A minimum of three days should be enough to visit the basics, and fly in and out. However, we recommend adding more days to get more out of the trip.

The wider Labuan Bajo area makes for a great beach extension, as there are some lovely boutique resorts on the small islands that have the feel of small Greek islands but with a Pacific setting — difficult to describe and you have to be there to experience the unique ambiance.

If the budget permits then go on a cruise. The holiday can hardly get any better – sleep on board and explore the many different savannah-style islands with amazing underwater world full of turtles, manta rays and intact corals.

And for those who truly want to discover places on Flores that are not yet “exposed” by Instagram, “invaded” by hotel chains or Airbnb, or featured in tourism packages I recommend an overland island tour of between five days to a week. Thanks to good air connectivity you can easily start the journey in the east of the island and finish in the west (or vice versa). While the infrastructure around Labuan Bajo is the most developed on the whole island and caters for a wide range of budgets, we work mostly with selected guesthouses in the rest of Flores that make up part of the charm. This tour certainly has the potential of becoming another classic route!

Sunrise over Komodo

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Our Asian Trails Ways to Explore Asia at the upcoming 2019 ITB

With colleagues from various Asian Trails destinations making their way this March to Germany for the annual ITB, we’ve set the pace once again for delivering products and travel news that suits your specific needs.

Together with Laurent, CEO of Asian Trails, senior executives from all our Asian Trails destinations are available to talk, share, recommend and explain the latest in exquisite travel design. From the culinary to the ordinary, the adventurous to the luxurious, all this will be available from 6 until 8 March 2019 in Hall 26b, stand 207 at the Messe Berlin.

Just a few more weeks before one of the world’s leading Business-to-Business travel shows welcomes distinguished travel professionals around the world, seeking the latest in travel ideas, explorational itineraries and be mesmerized by what our Asia can offer. We still have a few slots available during these three days and experience the zeal we have for blazing new paths in travel.

For appointments, contact us via marketing@asiantrails.org or try to catch one of us at our booth.

Kindest regards and see you next month!

The whole team at Asian Trails

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Siem Reap’s Amansara temporarily closes its doors in 2019

In a bid to maintain its position as one of the leading hideaways in Cambodia’s Siem Reap, the owners and management of the Amansara have officially announced that they will temporarily close their doors for a full-scale rejuvenation project from 15 June until 31 July 2019 inclusive. According to the official statement from the Amansara, reservations and sales department remain available during office hours.

Housed around elegant central lawns on the former guesthouse estate of King Norodom Sihanouk, Amansara’s 24 suites feature subtle Khmer touches such as sandstone reliefs that duplicate the ruins of nearby Angkor. Expansive glass doors open onto a private garden courtyard with sun loungers and a reflection pond. The signature Aman Spa and an award-winning restaurant greet guests as they check-into Cambodia’s cultural capital.

Forming an essential part of our Exquisite Experiences across our Asia, Asian Trails Cambodia regrets not being able to offer its local food exploration in combination with the Amansara during the aforementioned period. Alternative accommodation during these 2 months can be offered to match with the wishes of an authentic exploration of the culinary kind.

For more information, please contact our office via res@asiantrails.com.kh during office hours. Affected bookings during the said period will be taken up with partners on an individual basis.

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Asian Trails well represented at upcoming ITB 2019

Asian Trails will once again be attending the ITB Berlin on 6 –8 March 2019 at the Messe Berlin.

This is an excellent opportunity to meet and discuss the very latest in product innovation, getting an update on all our online projects and giving new and existing customers about our service developments taking place in Asia. In addition, you have the chance to get first-hand information from our country experts exactly how they can benefit your business in their respective country

You can book an appointment by contacting us personally to fit in your preferred timing

On the Asian Trails stand this year (Hall 26b/207) will be:

  • Laurent Kuenzle – CEO, Asian Trails
  • Veronique Ducassy – Managing Director, Asian Trails Cambodia
  • Xiaolin Zhang – Managing Director, Asian Trails China
  • Bjorn Schimanski – Managing Director, Asian Trails Indonesia
  • Virginie Kury – General Manager, Asian Trails Laos
  • Emir Cherif – Managing Director, Asian Trails Malaysia and Singapore
  • Thomas Carnevale – Managing Director, Asian Trails Myanmar
  • Yves van Kerrebroeck – Managing Director, Asian Trails Thailand
  • Bui Viet Thuy Tien – Managing Director, Asian Trails Vietnam

About Asian Trails
We take guests to the Real Asia so they taste, touch and experience the beating heart of every destination they visit. Our portfolio includes wholesale and tailor-made leisure arrangements and a broad range of theme-based tour packages. We continue to innovate and provide an ever-changing range of travel products.