Happy New Year! We are pleased to state that 2012 has been a
good year for Asian Trails. For this we have to say a big
"Thank You" for your strong support. We look forward to
another fruitful year of working together in 2013.
The New Year will also see some new trends in travel.
Instant and personalised service is one. With technology
becoming such an intrinsic part of our daily life there is
also growing popularity for "technology-free" and "digital detox" programmes, as travellers want to switch off while on
Our teams have also observed that tourists to their
destinations are looking beyond the usual offerings.
Example, Indonesia is gaining popularity as a round-trip
destination with visitors wanting to discover this vast
country instead of just spending their days on the beaches
We are enhancing our products, as well as creating new
innovative programmes to meet with these changing trends and
demands so as to give your clients truly unique travel
On February 10, Chinese all over the world will usher in the
Year of the Snake. To our Chinese friends and partners we
wish you already now "Gong Xi Fa Cai". May the Snake bring
you good health, wealth and happiness!
I hope you had an
excellent start into the New Year, and I would like to extend my
best wishes for a healthy and successful year!
We had a very busy
December. At the end of last year we did not only have full
hotels at Thailand's beaches and in the north of the country, we
also experienced a situation where most Bangkok hotels were
fully booked over the New Year period. We have already received
many sales stops for the upcoming Chinese New Year period. If
you have any clients who wish to visit Thailand between February
8and 14 and have not booked yet, I recommend to
proceed with the booking as soon as possible.
A New Year is also a time of reflection, new ideas and
inspirations; we have some new excursion possibilities as well
as new hotels' openings. I would like to highlight Sala
Rattanakosin, Bangkok and Sala Ayutthaya, which are ideal for
the start of a round trip with boutique hotels from Bangkok to
the north of the county.
ASIAN TRAILS TEAM AT PATA 40TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER
Mr. Luzi Matzig, CEO OF Asian Trails (pictured centre in
white shirt), and his team joined in the celebrations at
PATA Thailand Chapter
Anniversary dinner, which was held at the British Club on
November 15, 2012.
CELEBRATING A JOB WELL DONE!
Photo: Our Chinese Inbound team celebrating the successful
handling of the 180-pax incentive group from an insurance
company in China.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
DINNER ON GONDOLA BOAT, KOH CHANG
memorable dinner in a traditional Thai boat called "Ruea
Mat", also known as the Koh Chang gondola, around the
mangrove forest.After the romantic dinner we take you to visit the rustic
community at the Salak Khok Fisherman Village and to enjoy a
Thai dancing show, performed by students, before returning
to your hotel.
Exploration of the Koh Chang area would not be complete
without a visit to Salak Khok. We start with sightseeing at
the biggest lush tropical mangrove forest of Koh Chang,
followed by a visit to Salak Khok's fisherman village to see
how the local fishermen go about their daily life. This is a
pint-sized fishing village, which screams authenticity, with
houses built along a series of boardwalks that snake around
the canals of a mangrove forest. Here you can go kayaking or
explore the mangrove forests in a Thai row boat. The journey
continues with a visit to a primary school and local Thai
temple in Salak Phet Village. On the way back, we visit Baan
Ruk Kala where you can shop for souvenirs made of coconut
The tour starts with exploring bustling Chinatown, a popular
tourist attraction and food haven. This 1km-strip is packed
with market stalls, street-side restaurants and a dense
concentration of gold shops. Continue the journey to Pakklong Talaad, the biggest wholesale and retail fresh
flower market in Bangkok. Drive to Wat Suthat and the Giant
Swing. From here we continue on foot, passing Bangkok
Metropolitan Office and the Democracy Monument. Dinner is at
a sidewalk café, Rajchadamnoen. Then travel by tram around
the Ratanakosin area, which offers fantastic views of the
"must see" attractions in Bangkok - Ananta Samakhom Throne
Hall, Golden Mount, Wat Ratchanaddaram, Democracy Monument,
City Pillar Shrine, Grand Palace, Wat Pho, National Theatre
and Santi Chaiprakarn Park. The night ends with a visit to
Khao San Road, which is famously described as "the centre of
the backpacking universe".
There is no better place or way to learn Thai cooking in a
cooking class when you are in Thailand than at the Bai Pai
Cooking School. This is an ideal home-style learning
environment that is different from most of those offered by
hotels and restaurants. The class is conducted by qualified
Thai personnel who give you a real hands-on experience on
the fine art of Thai cooking. You will be amazed at what you
can cook up.
hotel is set to debut in January 2013. It is conveniently
located in Bangkok's old city, within walking distance to
numerous tourist attractions and historical sites.
features 17 stylish rooms and suites, most with spectacular
views of the mighty Chao Phraya River, the inspiring Temple
of Dawn (Wat Arun) and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat
Pho). The hotel also features The River, a romantic
riverfront dining experience, and The Roof Lounge, an
exciting rooftop bar with dramatic views of the Chao Phraya
River and the Temple of Dawn.
opening in March 2013, is located in the heart of Ayutthaya
along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, opposite the
famous Wat Phutthaisawa (Phutthaisawan Temple). It is about
90km or a 1-1½ hour drive from Bangkok.
new property is one of the new small, exclusive boutique
brand hotels from Thailand based SALA Resorts and Spa. It
consists of 27 stylish guestrooms and suites, including the
luxurious two-level Riverfront Duplex Suite and the romantic
one-bedroom Pool Suite. Adjacent to the lobby and reception
area is the stunning Sala Ayutthaya art gallery, which
features historical paintings and artwork from various
The former All
Seasons Chiang Mai Hotel has been rebranded
Styles Chang Mai, the first ibis Styles hotel in Thailand.
This 70-room hotel fits with the brand's standard of personalised, trendy accommodation that is well designed
with savvy and modern decor in lively colour tones. It
offers a fantastic combination of comfort and design where
guests can enjoy international standard services at
The hotel is
currently building an extension that will add another 100
rooms, a restaurant, a swimming pool and a meeting room. It
is scheduled to be completed by May 2013.
Resort is a five star beach resort in Pattaya, which
dominates a cape overlooking the private Dara Beach north of
Pattaya Bay. This green area is close to Pattaya's
facilities and attractions, and yet well protected from the
urban hustle and bustle.
resort rises to 26 storeys and has an adjacent seafront
five-storey building and a VIP integrated vacation house.
All the guestrooms, suites and villas have open-sky views
and commands panoramic ocean view of Pattaya. F&B facilities
all-day alfresco dining, a fine-dining Cantonese restaurant,
a café and bakery, two beach and poolside bars and a chic
sky lounge. It also has a spa, high-tech karaoke lounge and
about a 15-minute drive from Phuket International Airport,
will officially open in February 2013. Perched on the
headland overlooking the crystal water of the Andaman Sea,
Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach Resort has 277
contemporary rooms, villas and pool villas. It has
two restaurants (Italian and an all-day dining serving
international cuisine), three bars and a bakery/deli.
Facilities include eight state-of-the-art meeting rooms
catering for up to 250, kids club, fitness centre, spa,
connectivity lounge, main pool and kids pool. For the more
active guests there are snorkelling, diving and beach walks.
Tune Hotels opens its latest property, Tune Hotel Patong, in
January 2013. Located in the heart of Patong beach the new
hotel welcomes guest into the New Year with special rates.
It has 144 rooms, comprising 96 doubles, 46 twin rooms and
two wheel-chair-friendly rooms. With Patong Beach situated
centrally on Phuket's coastline it is close to other beaches
and attractions such as national parks, waterfalls, golf,
water sports, adjacent beaches, shopping, bars and
restaurants, Phuket Aquarium and Phuket Fantasea. It is
about 30km from Phuket International Airport.
Tune Hotel Patong is the value branded hotel chain's fourth
hotel in Thailand, after Tune Hotel Hat Yai, Tune Hotel
Pattaya and Tune Hotel Asoke in Bangkok.
well-appointed new 206 guestroom Rayong Marriott Resort &
Spa is situated on Mae Pim Beach.All rooms have
private balconies and offer panoramic ocean or hillside
view, and are equipped with LCD televisions, separate
bathtubs and showers, bathrobes and hair dryers. Wireless
Internet access is available, and business amenities include
a business centre and secretarial services. F&B outlets
include three restaurants and a bar/lounge. Among the
resort's facilities are a sauna, children's pool, concierge
desk, gift shops/newsstands, barbecue grill, smoke-free area
and kids wonderland. It is perfect for families.
Vana Belle, Koh
Luxury Collection Resort, opening in January 2013, offers a
retreat to a space that is spacious, elegant and filled with
opulence. Its 80 air-conditioned guestrooms offer
full-service facilities, an outdoor private pool,
complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access, iPod
LCD TV, DVD player and valet service. Facilities
exceptional dining venues,
pool, spa, fitness centre, yoga classes and a concierge
desk. The hotel is about 7 kilometres from Samui
CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL
FEBRUARY 9 - 10, 2013
VENUE: CHINATOWN, BANGKOK
Chinese New Year Festival on Yaowarat Road is the most
important event for the Thai Chinese community in Bangkok.
This area, also known as Chinatown, is also where most of
them live and ply their trade selling a variety of Chinese
good and operating Chinese restaurants and eateries, most of
which are along the road. During Chinese New Year the
Chinese here celebrate the festival on a lavish scale and
stage Thai and Chinese cultural performances. The colourful
festival is a must see for visitors.
BERJAYA AIR FLIES TO HUA HIN
Berjaya Air commenced three times weekly service between Subang Airport (Kuala Lumpur) and Hua Hin on November 8,
2012. It is the first regional airline service to fly direct
to Hua Hin. The flights are on Tuesdays, Thursdays and
Sundays, using the 70-seat ATR72 aircraft.
Berjaya Air currently flies to Tioman Island, Redang Island,
Pangkor, Langkawi in Malaysia and Singapore from its base in
AIRLINES, BANGKOK AIRWAYS BEGIN CODESHARE SERVICE
(JAL) and Bangkok Airways (PG) launched their codeshare
service on November 15, 2012. It is applicable on selected
flights between three airports in Japan and Bangkok operated
by JAL, as well as between Bangkok and four destinations in
Asia on PG.
Customers on both airlines travelling from Tokyo's Haneda
and Narita airports and Osaka's Kansai airport will see a
smoother transit through Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport and
onward to Mumbai, Koh Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai and vice
versa. The two carriers have also linked their mileage
programmes, enabling members on both sides to redeem award
tickets on either airline for departures on or after
A new year has begun and we guarantee that we will come up with
new innovative products over the year, while doing our best to
offer you the best value for money!
As in previous years we expect a stable environment in Laos with
almost the same volume of long haul travellers. This will ensure
that Laos maintains its uniqueness.
I especially would like to mention the new air connection with
Bangkok Airways (Bangkok to Vientiane), which makes it much more
convenient to connect to Laos with only very short waiting time
at Bangkok airport.
Happy reading and we are looking forward to welcome you to
ASEAN TOURISM FORUM IN
VIENtiane, January 2013
The Asean Tourism Forum takes place in Vientiane from
January 17-24, 2013. We look forward to meeting you at our
booth and welcoming you to beautiful Laos!
MANDALA HOTEL, VIENTIANE
Mandala Hotel, Vientiane is a boutique hotel is located in a
quiet street about a 15-minute walk to the city centre and a
15-minute drive from the airport. It has 17 rooms, including
five suites, in an old colonial building that has been
renovated. The hotel is ideal for FITs.
SPECIAL PROMOTION - PHOUVAO Orient express, Luang
Special promotion from Phouvao Orient Express:
USS100 resort credit to be spent at the resort
Applicable for new FIT bookings with 3 nights' minimum stay
Valid until March 31, 2013
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
LAO ELEPHANT FESTIVAL
FEBRUARY 17-19, 2013
VENUE: SAYABOURY DISTRICT
Laos, also known as the "Land of a Million Elephants'", will
host the 6th annual Lao Elephant Festival in the district of
Sayaboury from 17 to 19 February. Set up by ElefantAsia, a
non-profit organisation, it features 50 elephants as well as
a variety of activities and performances.
VAT PHOU FESTIVAL
FEBRUARY 23-25, 2013
VENUE: VAT PHOU
The annual Vat Phou Festival is held annually
during the full-moon night of the third lunar month. This
year it is falls on February 23 and the celebrations will
continue till February 25. Activities include parades,
traditional sports competitions such as boat racing,
concerts, market fairs, and light and sound stage shows.
Vat Phou was designated a World Heritage site in 2001. The
temple complex is about 8km from Champasak town, south of
Bangkok Airways relaunches BANGKOK-VIENTIANE SERVICE
Bangkok Airways resumed services on the Bangkok (BKK) to
Vientiane (VTE) route, which it previously operated during
the 2007/2008 winter season, on December 1, 2012. The daily
flights on the 500km route to the Lao capital city are
operated using the Airbus A319 aircraft.
The flight schedule is convenient for travellers as it
connects with long haul flights arriving in early morning at
Bangkok's international airport.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
Restaurant Ban Lakkham - Luang Prabang
Restaurant Ban Lakkham is located on the banks of the Nam
Khan River, overlooking the beautiful landscape of the
surrounding area and the mountains. There are more than 40
seats on the terrace, which is surrounded by big trees. The
restaurant serves Lao and Western dishes and is ideal for
lunch and dinner.
The year 2012 has been an
incredible one for all of us at Asian Trails Cambodia. We have
seen a big increase in the number of visitors to the Kingdom of
Cambodia, reaching almost 2.5 million. We hope 2013 will be even
My supportive Cambodian team and I wish all of you a healthy and
peaceful New Year 2013!
Happy New Year - Suorsdey Chhnam Thmey!
FUNERAL CEREMONIES OF H.M. LATE
KING FATHER NORODOM SIHANOUK: FEBRUARY 1-5, 2013
Millions of Cambodian people from all over the Kingdom and
all walks of life will throng the streets and areas around
the Royal Palace in the capital city of Phnom Penh to pay
their last respect and homage to His Majesty Late King
FatherNorodom Sihanouk during the five
consecutive day event.
DAILY BANGKOK- PHNOM PENH, SIEM REAP BUS SERVICES
The Transport Company launched a daily bus service between
Bangkok in Thailand and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia
on December 29, 2012. Crossing the border from Aranyaprathet
on the Thailand side to Poipet in Cambodia the bus operates
twice-daily service to Siem Reap and daily to Phnom Penh.
The service to Siem Reap, which is about a seven-hour
journey, departs from the Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal
This is the first public bus service between Cambodia and
Thailand, and the only alternative to airline services. A
rail service has been proposed. The rail tracks, expected to
be fully laid by end 2013, will be used for only cargo
SINGLE VISA FOR THAILAND AND CAMBODIA
A single visa
for Thailand and Cambodia was launched on December 27, 2012
at the countries' consulates and embassies. This is a test
phase of a wider project called ACMECS (Ayeyawady-Chao
Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy) Single Visa
involving Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar that
originated in 2005 under the concept, "Five Countries, One
The Thailand-Cambodia single visa is initially valid for 35
countries as of December 27. Tourists can now apply for a
visa at any consulate office of the two countries. However,
the process will take longer than applying for a
single-country visa as it will involve checking with the
partner country and, possibly, cross checking for security
FRANGIPANI ROYAL PALACE HOTEL
Royal Palace Hotel is located in the heart of Phnom Penh on
the edge of the city's art district, and a few minutes walk
from the bustling river front area and the historic Royal
Palace. With a roof top pool and restaurant, spa and
spacious comfortable rooms the hotel is the perfect base
from where to explore Cambodia's capital.
All the 80 guestrooms feature elegant contemporary Cambodian
design. Each room has a writing desk, mini bar, room phone,
70+-channel cable TV, tea- and coffee-making facilities and
complimentary drinking water provided daily. Internet access
is available in all the rooms via Wifi and cable connection.
The Sangkum, a boutique hotel, is conveniently located in a
residential area that used to be the old French colonial
heart of Phnom Penh during the protectorate. The 12 spacious
and comfortable rooms are equipped with telephone, plasma
TV, speakers' dock for MP3 players, safe box, hairdryer and
tea- and coffee-making facilities. Out of sight from the
busy streets, the garden and swimming pool area is a haven
of privacy and tranquillity. The restaurant
is entirely outdoor al fresco
and is directly linked to the garden, with the patio and bar
creating a large and cool open space
ANGKOR VILLAGE HOTEL TO CLOSE FOR RENOVATION
continuous effort to improve our facilities and enhance your
guests' experience, we would like to inform you that Angkor
Village Hotel will be undergoing a renovation programme from
April 23, 2013 until November 3, 2013. Angkor Village Resort
will remain open to welcome your guests during the hotel's
Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to
welcome your guests at Angkor Village Hotel again during the
next high season.
LE FLAMBOYANT RESORT
Le Flamboyant Resort, located at the foot of Kep National
Hill Park, re-opened on December 1, 2012 on completion of
its renovations. The 10 existing bungalows have been
upgraded, and an additional 18 news bungalows were built in
the big garden. New facilities that include a second
swimming pool, a new restaurant-bar and a conference centre,
extends the resort's range of services for its guests.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
VICTORY DAY OVER GENOCIDE
JANUARY 7, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA
This national holiday commemorates Vietnamese-backed troops
taking over the capital city Phnom Penh from the Khmer Rouge
in 1979. It marks the end of the Kampuchea Democratic regime
after its defeat by the Vietnamese. The day also honours
those who were killed in the genocide and who sacrificed
their lives in restoring peace to the country. Colourful
ceremonies are held at the Independence Monument (Vimean
Ekareach) to celebrate Victory Day.
CHINESE NEW YEAR
FEBRUARY 10, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA
The first day of Chinese New Year 2013 (Chun Jie/春节)
will be celebrated on Sunday, February 10, 2013. Chinese New
Year is the biggest annual event for the Chinese communities
when families gather for reunion dinners and friends visit
each other. The Chinese people also decorate their houses
with paper-cuts and couplets displaying auspicious words
such as "happiness", "wealth", "longevity" and "good
fortune". The essence of Chinese New Year is to pacify,
reconcile and forgive each other's mistakes and is welcomed
with great joy.
ANGKOR WAT INTERNATIONAL FILM
FEBRUARY 1-3, 2013
VENUE: SOFITEL ANGKOR PHOKEETHRA GOLF & SPA RESORT, SIEM REAP
The mission of the Angkor Wat International Film Festival is to showcase and celebrate
feature films, documentaries and short subjects, both in
live action and animated, created in digital or film media,
whose subjects and themes deal with the preservation of
culture and environment.
The festival is sponsored by and will be held at Sofitel
Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort in Siem Reap. The
organisers will give all proceeds, funds and donations to
children's charities in Cambodia.
MEAK BOCHEA DAY
FEBRUARY 25, 2013
VENUE: WATS (PAGODAS) THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA
Meak Bochea is celebrated on the full moon day of the third
lunar month. It is an important Buddhist celebration, which
marks the spontaneous gathering of 1,250 monks to listen to
Buddha's sermons. The gathering was attributed to four
miracles occurring nine months after Buddha's enlightenment
on the day of the full moon during the third lunar month.
The priests observed Buddha's three primary principles - do
excellently, avoid bad activities, and cleanse the brain.
Cambodians from all over the country go to wats (pagodas) on
this day to pray and make offerings of food to the monks.
QATAR AIRWAYS TO FLY DAILY BETWEEN DOHA AND PHNOM
Qatar Airways will operate a daily flight between Doha and
Phnom Penh from February 20, 2013. The new flights will
enable passengers from both cities to connect with
destinations worldwide served by Qatar and its partner
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
adventurous? Then red ant fritters are on the menu at Marum,
a new training restaurant and sister restaurant of Romdeng,
the successful Friends International eatery in Phnom Penh.
Friends International-run Marum aims to train 35 students
while serving a mix of "creative Cambodian cuisine" in its
leafy garden setting in Wat Polanka area. As for the food,
Marum combines the traditional Khmer food of Romdeng with
its tapas-style menu. It is open from 5pm to 10pm, Mondays
MIE CAFE RESTAURANT
Mie Café Restaurant is one of Siem Reap's best-kept secret
with its array of innovative and tasty dishes cooked by a
young, talented Cambodian chef who puts his heart in his
menus and in the kitchen. A seasoned chef, he has worked in
Dubai, Cayman Islands and in a famous three star Michelin
restaurant in Switzerland.
We would like to say a big
thank to our dedicated Product Manager, Mr. Vichana Huot
(pictured), who is leaving Asian Trails Cambodia to take up
a new position in the hotel industry. He has contributed a
lot to the company and did a very good job during his tenure
with us. We wish him good luck and success in his future
professional and personal life.
Mr. Pao Putsereyroth takes over the position of Product
Manager effective January 1, 2013.
Chúc mừng năm mới - Happy New Year! We will say farewell to the Dragon soon and
welcome the Snake on February 10, 2013 when Chinese worldwide
celebrate Chinese New Year. 2013 is the Year of the Black Snake,
or Year of the Snake sleeping in winter. Some astrologers warn
that there may be some hard times ahead. However, according to
popular beliefs a snake in the house could mean luck. There is
also a saying, "go ahead if you see a snake, step back if you
see a turtle". We are thus convinced we would overcome any
crisis in the new year.
The snake also inspires us to move fast and be smart. Our team
will be enlarging the travel horizon, snaking into the
spectacular mountains, evergreen forest, through immense caves
or along the rivers, countryside to bring you fresh insights of
new destinations, beautiful places to discover and enchanting
people to meet.
Like the snake we want to be smarter and more flexible in
accommodating individual needs and surprising our guests. We are
working hard to be innovative and offer exclusive travel
experience. The new art of travel will help you and us gain
confidence and revitalise the thirst of travelling for our
clients. Together we will forge ahead successfully as we set to
welcome the Year of the Snake.
INCREASE IN FEES FOR
VISA ON ARRIVAL
Vietnam Ministry of Finance has issued a
new regulation that requires all
foreigners applying for Visa on Arrival
(VoA) to enter Vietnam to pay higher
fees from January 1, 2013. The new fee
for a single-entry visa has been
increased from USD25 to USD45,
applicable to foreigners and Vietnamese
holding foreign passports. The rate for
multi-entry visa is also increased to
USD65 for a period of less than one
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need further
HUE IMPERIAL CITY UNDERGOES RESTORATION
The People Committee of Hue City and Hue Monuments
Conservation Center will star intensive restoration projects
on some key monuments this year. Ngo Mon Gate and Dien Tho
Pavillon (King's Mother Pavilion), built inside Imperial
City, are on the list for restoration. During the renovation
period the whole site remains open and visitors to the
Imperial City will not be affected much by the ongoing work.
The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre will undertake work to
preserve the brick foundations of the former Quoc Tu Giam
(Royal College) following its excavation last September. The
excavation could help archaeologist better preserve the
vestiges of the former Hue Imperial City.
HUE AIRPORT EXPECTED TO CLOSE FOR EIGHT MONTHS
Hue Airport is expected to close for eight months from March
to November 2013 for runway repair. However, there is no
official announcement from Vietnam Airlines on the closure
yet. We are working on a back-up plan and some itineraries
might have to be re-arranged, as clients have to fly to and
from the central region through the Danang hub.
For existing confirmed bookings our travel consultants will
contact you in due course once there is confirmation of Hue
CAO BANG: NEW RESORT TO BOOST DESTINATION
Cao Bang is a province in north eastern Vietnam. It shares
borders with Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Bac Kan and Lan Son
provinces within Vietnam. The province is home to many people belonging to Vietnam's
ethnic minority groups, the most notable being Tay, Nung,
Dao and Hmong. Tourist attractions are handicraft villages,
the spectacular Ban Gioc Waterfall, Nguom Ngao Cave and
other historic sights. So far, it has been frequented by
domestic tourists and the more adventurous travellers in
search of natural beauty, trekking and willing to stay in
Recently, Saigon Tourist has started the construction of a
four star resort at Ban Gioc waterfalls in Trung Khanh
district to attract more tourists to the province. Covering
31 hectares Saigon-Ban Gioc Resort will have 60 rooms, 24
villas, a 200-seat conference hall and a recreation area.
The first phase of the project is expected to be operational
by late 2013. The resort is the first of its kind in Cao
Bang province, and is expected to play an important role in
provincial tourism development.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
WELLNESS SERVICE IN HOI AN
Tourists to Hoi An looking to rejuvenate and destress will
find the Wellness & Healing Center the ideal venue. This
health retreat is located in a peaceful area by the river,
about five minutes from the ancient town. Owned by a French
couple it is a simple but relaxing place with a beautiful
garden that is arranged according to the spirit of the
proposed activities and feng shui rules.
The owners practise traditional Chinese medicine
(acupuncture and massage) and teach qigong, tai chi,
meditation and yoga. There are several health packages
ranging from half or full day, as well as for groups (from
two to 10 people). The packages comprise the following:
practice of qigong and/or tai chi, yoga, meditation;
lectures on basic principles of Chinese medicine; individual
treatments or massages; healthy drinks made of local
products & herbs; tasty lunch made with the best seasonal
and local products cooked by a Vietnamese chef.
Please contact us for consultation on the right option.
UNIQUE SALTED RICE FEAST REVIVED BY HUE'S CULINARY
In the olden days salted rice was prepared and offered in
honour of special guests. The salted rice feast is the
best-kept secret of Hue royal cuisine, which has been
preserved for generations. It is an art to prepare this
special meal. Rice is pounded and cooked in a small
earthenware pot in a special way that it remains dry when
cooked. The salt used has been kept for more than 10 years,
and then roasted before it is added to the rice.
The salted rice feast is not much known, but one of
Vietnam's living treasures has revived this unique
gastronomical delight and presents it to visitors. For this
the talented lady has been granted the title, "Culinary
Artisan of Hue", which is certified by the prestigious
French and Vietnamese Gastronomy Institutes. This legendary
Hue lady offers salted rice feast, street food tour, cooking
class, home hosted meals are just a few that the legendary
Hue lady devoted to amaze you, in her typical traditional
BHAYA CRUISES UPDATE: BRAND NEW FOUR-CABIN BHAYA
The elegantly designed new four-cabin Bhaya Legend is the
largest boat of the Legend private fleet, It is perfect for
individuals, couples, families and friends wishing to
experience an exclusive, private, customized charter cruise
in Halong Bay and The Gulf of Tonkin.
With emphasis on comfort, space and light, all four ensuite
cabins feature a private balcony, a wide floor-to-ceiling
glass door and a large bathroom with a bathtub and a
separate rain shower. The private butler in service during
the entire cruise and an amazing open kitchen complete the
feeling of exclusivity.
BHAYA CRUISES UPDATE: AU CO LAUNCHES SECOND SHIP
Au Co has launched its second vessel in Halong, Au Co 2,
which continues on the success of its sister ship that has
been cruising since April 2012. The first-class twin vessels
offer state-of-the-art-design, each offering 32 spacious and
luxurious cabins, all with private balconies.
Au Co is the first and only cruise operator offering
continuous 3 days/2 nights voyages with daily departure to
explore the beauty of Halong Bay and the less frequented
destinations of the Gulf of Tonkin.
BHAYA CRUISES UPDATE: EMERAUDE's NEW CABINS
The Emeraude's annual rite of passage through northern
Vietnam's dry docks concluded recently and the cruising
vessel emerged with deluxe bathrooms and completely
refreshed cabins. The new bathrooms feature rain
showerheads, new sinks and repositioned toilets. The
makeover also trades in the old school nautical feel for
softer mosaics new wallpaper that adorns the cabin walls,
new mattresses, and new bed linens.
UPDATE ON FUSION ALYA HOI AN
We would like to update you on the progress of construction
works at Fusion Alya Hoi An. Although most of the
construction has been completed a change in investors for
the project has unexpectedly delayed its opening, mainly due
to legal matters. Its scheduled opening is now in May 2013.
Bookings for stays from May 15 2013 onwards will be
OPENING OF EDEN SAIGON HOTEL
The four star Eden Saigon Hotel will open in late January
2013. Located right in downtown Saigon, just five minutes'
walk to the famous Ben Thanh market, it offers 129
comfortable well furnished guestrooms with simple designs.
Facilities include a massage area. fitness centre, outdoor
swimming pool, bar with view of the city, and 600sqm of
conference space to accommodate more than 400 people. The
hotel is ideal for both business and leisure travellers.
HERITAGE LINE CRUISES' ANNUAL MAINTENANCE
We would like to inform you that Heritage Line Cruises will
undergo its annual maintenance during Summer 2013. Below is
the schedule for your update. Please contact us for more
Ginger: May 1-31, 2013
Jasmine: June 1-30, 2013
Violet: September 1-30, 2013
Jayavarman: April 20, 2013-August 2, 2013
Jahan: April 27, 2013-May 31, 2013
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
5TH HUE TRADITIONAL CRAFT
APRIL 27-May 1, 2013
The festival promotes the achievement of traditional craft
and is held once every two years. Themed "Craft villages in
tourism development", it will take place at the centre of
Participating in the festival are the traditional craft
villages in Thua Thien Hue and other provinces that will
introduce products like palm-leaf conical hats, paper
flowers, lanterns, kites, silver and gold jewellery, and
embroidery to visitors. Main activities include exhibition
and introduction of handicrafts, as well as shopping service
for visitors. There will also be a craft village fair, art
photo exhibition on craft villages, instruction of making
traditional handicrafts; artisans meeting and art
performance. Visitors will get to sample selective culinary
specialty food such as spring rolls (nem), grilled chopped
meat (cha), and sour shrimp (tom chua).
NEW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OPENS IN PHU QUOC
Phu Quoc International Airport became operational on
December 2, 2012. The new airport replaces the old Phu Quoc
Airport in Duong Dong Town, which has been shut down. It is
located a bit further from the main resort stretch.
The 900-ha terminal, with a 3,000 metre-long and 45
meter-wide runway, is capable of receiving Boeing 777s,
Boeing 747- 400s, and similar aircraft, and some 2.6 million
passengers a year.
Since December 12, 2012 Vietnam Airlines has added five
flights per week from Hanoi to Phu Quoc, the longest
domestic flight (2 hours, 25 minutes) in the country.
Private budget carrier, VietJet Air, operates a daily flight
from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc.
VIETNAM AIRLINES LAUNCHES DIRECT ROUTE TO INDONESIA
Vietnam Airlines, has launched a direct route linking Ho Chi
Minh City and Jakarta in Indonesia. The flights are on every
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
This new connection not only serves the growing demand for
transport between Vietnam and Indonesia, but also
contributes to strengthening bilateral relations and
boosting ASEAN connectivity and integration towards an ASEAN
Community aviation market by 2015.
FINNAIR TO OPEN A DIRECT ROUTE TO HANOI IN SUMMER
Starting on June 14, 2013 Finnair will begin three times
weekly service to Hanoi from its hub in Helsinki in its
summer schedule until October 27. The flights, using the
Airbus A330 aircraft, will be 10 hours 10 minutes from
Helsinki to Hanoi and 10 hours 55 minutes on the return leg.
The airline does not add capacity with this route, but will
make small adjustments to its summer schedules. Hanoi will
be the airline's 12th destination in Asia.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
BAMBOO BUDDHA RESTAURANT IN HOI AN
We would like to introduce Bamboo Buddha, a new gourmet
restaurant and lounge in Hoi An. It is located on An Hoi
islet, a 2-minute walk from Bach Dang and the Japanese
bridge in the city's ancient quarter. With spacious seating
in the restaurant, bar and the lounges on the first floor
and in the courtyard. Bamboo Buddha is the newest and
coolest venue in Ho An to meet for a meal or drink, chill
HILL STATION SIGNATURE RESTAURANT OPENS IN SAPA
Hill Station Signature Restaurant is a newly opened
restaurant from Hill Station Delicatessen & Boutique, a
European style delicatessen. Located in a traditional house
with contemporary interiors it has a capacity for up to 80 paxs. and offers spectacular view of the valley. This is the
first restaurant in Sapa to serve traditional ethnic cuisine
from different villages around Sapa. The chefs cook the food
live on an open fire inside the restaurant so customers can
see and experience how the food is traditionally prepared.
ANY OTHER NEWS
A NEW WORLD
RAMSAR SITE FOR VIETNAM
This southernmost province's Mui Ca Mau (Ca Mau Cape)
National Park has been recognised as a new world Ramsar
site, the fifth in Vietnam. The World Environment
Organisation announced the official recognition of the park
on December 13, 2012. Of the other four Ramsar sites, two
the north and two in the south.
The national park is one of the three main parts of the Ca
Mau Cape global biosphere reserve, which was recognised by
UNESCO on May 26 2009. The 41,862-hectare site, including
15,262 hectares of land and 26,600 hectares of coastal
areas, is mainly saline wetlands. It is home to 93 species
of birds, 26 species of animals, 43 species of reptiles,
nine species of amphibians, 233 fish species, including many
rare ones. With this new title Ca Mau hopes to attract more
tourists to discover its diversified wildlife and ecosystem.
China will celebrate New Year twice - 2013 New Year with a
three-day public holiday from January 1 to 3, and Chinese New
Year on February 10.
Asian Trails China office will be closed from January 1 to 3.
Asian Trails China would like to say thank you for your
continuous support and look forward to welcoming you in China.
XIN NIAN KUAI LE! GONG XI FA CAI. Happy New Year from the Asian
Trails China team
ETERNAL KASHGAR - XINJIANG PROVINCE
In ancient times Kashgar was a crossroads for traders and
gathering place for tribal people across the region. Today,
it reflects all the cultural flavour of many ethnic groups
who live in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The atmosphere
of the city is more like Central Asia's neighbouring
countries - the colours of the women's clothes, the smell of
the food and the bustling crowd.
A unique sight is the Tower houses, which stand on a
40-metre high and 800-metre long cliff at the north-eastern
end of Kashgar old town alongside the new city areas.
Another attraction is Karakul Lake (pictured), which is
about 191km away from Kashgar City and accessible through
the Gobi Desert and past snow capped mountains. Situated
3,600 metres above sea level the lake is said to be the
dressing mirror of the nearby mountains. The gleaming snow
and marshmallow clouds set off the extraordinary blue
plateau lake, adding a poetic element to the scene. Only a
short drive away is the Pamir Plateau, with the 5,100-metre
high China-Pakistan border nearby.
CLIMB, PLAY AND PRAY: MOUNT WUTAI - SHANXI PROVINCE
Mount Wutai is one of the numerous holiday destinations to
recharge from the hustle and bustle of the cities (the rest
are in articles following this).
Located in the north-eastern part of Shanxi Province Mount
Wutai is about half way between Taiyuan, the provincial
capital, and Datong. It has five peaks, as in its name, and
all are accessible. It is home to many of China's most
important monasteries and temples. Designated as a UNESCO
World Heritage Site, Wutai boasts 53 sacred venues. It is
also believed to be the ashram or spiritual hermitage of the
Bodhisattva of wisdom, Manjusri.
NEDONG COUNTY - TIBET
Located in Shannan prefecture in Tibet autonomous region,
Nedong County is an oasis of tranquillity. It is home to the
region's first palace, as well as Tibet's first formal
Buddhist monastery. The place is known as the cradle of
Tibetan history and culture.
The Samye Monastery is Tibet's oldest monastery, and was the
site of "The Great Debate" (AD 792-974) between the Indian
Mahayanists and Chinese Zen Buddhists. It is widely believed
to be Tibet's first formal Buddhist monastery.
Another must-see is the Yambulakang, the first Tibetan
Palace that was built over 2,000 years ago by Nyatri Tsenp,
the first Tibetan King. It is perched precariously on the
top of the Mount Tashitseri overlooking the Yarlung Zangbo
River valley, which is considered the place of origin of
SHAOLIN TEMPLE - HENAN PROVINCE
Shaolin Temple, as the birthplace of Chinese martial arts
and Zen Buddhism, boasts a wealth of cultural relics that
makes it popular among tourists and Buddhists alike. Nestled
on Mount Songshan it is believed to be at the centre of the
world, and therefore a repository of energy or qi.
The Pagoda Forest is a cemetery containing the ashes of
monks stored in more than 200 pagodas and steles donated by
foreign martial arts schools.
The hills west of the temple are also worth exploring. The
750-metre high Wuru Peak is marked by a three-storey-tall
white coloured statue of Damo, the patriarch who first
taught Shaolin monks martial arts and positioned the temple
as the birthplace of Zen Buddhism in China.
MOUNT WUDANG - HUBEI PROVINCE
Located in Shiyan, Mount Wudang is the Mecca for Taoists and
kung fu lovers. The site in Hubei Province is known for its
Taoist monasteries, as well as the birthplace of a martial
arts style popular the world over.
You don't have to be a Taoist to appreciate Wudang's beauty.
Embraced by nature and its misty vicissitudes the
structures, mostly built in during Ming Dynasty (1368-1644),
have an imperial grandeur but are toned down by simplicity
and restraint. The scenic spots in Wudang are almost all
associated with one mythological figure, the great Emperor
Zhenwu. The Prince Slope and the Yellow River Wall of Nine
Curves are also must-sees.
MOUNT TAISHAN - SHANDONG PROVINCE
Mount Taishan rises 150 metres above sea level in the city
of Tai'an to 1,545 metres at the Jade Emperor Peak.
According to many ancient Chinese creation myths, Taishan
was the point from where the world originated. Traditional
belief also maintains that each day begins with the sun
rising in Taishan before it starts its westward journey
across the world.
While trekking up the mountain you will come across a few
historically significant spots including the Longetivity
Bride, which spans a small waterfall feeding the Black
Dragon Pool. Here you can catch the spectacular sunset, and
the best vantage point is on the western side of the Jade
EUNUCH CULTURE MUSEUM
The Eunuch Culture Museum in Beijing is the only such
museums in the world. It is
located in the premises of the tomb of Tian Yi, a famous
eunuch of the Ming Dynasty
who lived from
1534 to 1605. It
is the best preserved eunuch mausoleum in China as most
other eunuch mausoleums were destroyed, and thus deserved
to be better known among the 130 museums of China's capital
on display consist of articles left behind by Sun Yaoting,
the last of the imperial palace eunuchs, who died aged 93 in
1996 at his home in Beijing. It includes a yellow jacket
given to him by the last emperor of China, Puyi. The museum
also has a range of records and historical evidence on the
lives and times of the eunuchs.
Eunuchs mainly served the emperors of China and were
castrated so they could not have children and thus would not
be tempted to seize power from their masters. They also
intermediaries and power brokers and helped in palace
Towards the end of the Ming Dynasty there were some 70,000
eunuchs in China.
LANGHAM PLACE HOTEL, DATONG - SHANXI PROVINCE
Langham has announced the signing of an agreement to manage
a new luxury hotel in Datong, Shanxi Province, which is
scheduled to open in 2014. Located in Yudong New Area,
Datong's future commercial centre, the five star Langham
Place will feature 293 guestrooms including 37 suites.
Guests will enjoy an array of innovative dining options
including Ming Court Chinese restaurant, the group's
Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong.
LANGHAM PLACE HOTEL, SHANGHAI
Langham Place Hotel, Shanghai will open in late 2014. The
400-room hotel is located in a 380,000sqm landmark
development within walking distance of the Shanghai's Hong
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
CHINESE NEW YEAR - YEAR OF THE
FEBRUARY 10, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CHINA
On February 10, 2013 Chinese throughout the world will
welcome the Year of the Snake. It will herald the start of
the guĭ-sì 癸巳year (Water Snake) and will last until January 30, 2014
according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
The Snake occupies the sixth position out of the 12 signs in
the Chinese Zodiac, which symbolises intelligence,
gracefulness and materialism. People born under this sign
possess these traits. They are extremely analytical and do
not rush into making rash decisions. They are also effective
at getting the things they want, even if it means they have
to scheme and plot along the way.
Snakes are very materialistic creatures, preferring to
surround themselves with the finest that life has to offer.
This is especially evident in the homes where luxurious
furnishings and surroundings help Snakes seek the peace they
need in order to thrive.
Asian Trails China office will be closed from February 11to 13 (inclusive) to celebrate the New Year.
DOOR GODS - A CHINESE NEW YEAR TRADITION :
During the build-up to Chinese New Year many Chinese homes
have Door Gods on their external doors. This is an age-old
tradition dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618 AD-907 AD).
It was said the Emperor, who had fallen ill, had a dream in
which ghosts came to the palace searching for him. He
recounted this dream to his officials the next day, and the
story quickly spread through the Imperial Court.
The Emperor's top two generals then decided to stand guard
outside his bedroom door to protect him. He slept soundly
knowing he was protected by his generals, and had no more
dreams of the ghosts. However, after a few nights he became
concerned for the generals who had to guard him every night.
He ordered two paintings to be made, one of each general. He
then had them hung on his room door to take the generals'
place. This tale soon spread throughout the country. The
common people too made paintings of these Door Gods and hung
them on their houses' doors. This tradition has continued
15TH DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CHINA
The Lantern Festival dates back to the Han Dynasty (206
BC-220 AD) when Buddhism flourished in China. One of the Han
emperor heard that Buddhist monks would watch sarira, or
remains from the cremation of Buddha's body, and light
lanterns to worship Buddha on the 15th day of the 1st lunar
month. He issued an order to light lanterns in the Imperial
Palace and temples to show respect to Buddha on this day.
This Buddhist rite later developed into a grand festival
among common people, and its influence expanded from the
central plains to the whole of China. The festival is
celebrated until today when it is held yearly throughout the
country. Lanterns of various shapes and sizes are hung in
the streets, attracting countless visitors. Children walk
around the streets of their towns or villages holding
home-made lanterns or those bought from shops. People eat
yuanxiao or rice dumplings to celebrate and that is why
it is also known as the Yuanxiao Festival.
During the day performances such as dragon lantern and lion
dances staged, while at night fireworks light the sky. The
festival marks the end of the New Year festivities.
LISTING OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS, SHOWS AND EVENTS IN
To keep you updated on the annual events/shows and public
holidays in China, Asian Trails China will publish this list
(see below) in every newsletter. Asian Trails will
provide, on request. more detailed information for your
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN CHINA - 2013:
NEW YEAR: December 30, 2012-January 1 (January 1
SPRING FESTIVAL/CHINESE NEW YEAR: February 9-15 (1st day
of Chinese New Year on February 10)
QING MING FESTIVAL (Tomb Sweeping Day): April 4-6
(festival on April 4)
LABOUR DAY, MAY 1: April 29-May 1
DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL: June 10-12 (festival on June 12)
MID AUTUMN FESTIVAL: September 19-21 (festival is
NATIONAL DAY: October 1-7 (China National Day on October
SHOWS & EVENTS IN CHINA - 2013
Guangzhou Furniture Show: March 18-21
Guangzhou Spring Canton Fair: April 15-May 4
Guangzhou Autumn Canton Fair: October 15-November 4
F1 in Shanghai: April 12-14
Auto Show: April 17 -20
National Sugar & Wine Trading Fair: March 15 -20
International Auto Show: September 15-22
Western Expo: October 15-22
CHINA TO BUILD NEW AIRFIELDS FOR CORPORATE JETS
China plans to build dedicated airfields for corporate jets
around major cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing, to
support the development of the corporate aviation sector.
Corporate aviation in China has witnessed strong growth in
recent years on the back of a rapid boom in executive jet
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
MERCATO - SHANGHAI
Italian restaurant Mercato, located on Three on the Bund,
offers a stunning view over the Bund avenue and Pudong
Financial district on the other side of the Huangpu River. A
must-visit restaurant in Shanghai, it is gorgeous space that
bridges the organic and natural with elegance and emotive
modernity. Reclaimed wood and warm leather tones serve as a
gentle complement to the exposed steel, iron and glass to
create an atmosphere that is polished yet warm and inviting.
The inspired design imparts a sensual feeling of comfort and
lightness that redefines the idea of "farm chic".
The Pizza Lounge is illuminated by the glow of an Italian
wood burning oven from which chef Jean-Georges unveils his
new "light as air" pizzas, which are perfectly charred, soft
and tenderly crackling below the brightest and most savoury
toppings. Mercato Bar features an original selection of
cocktails made with the finest Italian spirits, freshly
muddled fruits and aromatics, as well as a diverse and
fascinating array of Italian wines.
CHAR AT HOTEL INDIGO SHANGHAI ON THE BUND
CHAR is the new contemporary bar and grill on the top floor
of Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund, offering spectacular
views of this 21st century straight-out-of-Bladerunner city.
The restaurant's focus is on simplicity of flavour and
playfulness in presentation of its cuisine. Executive chef,
Julie Donohoe, prides herself on only using the freshest of
both local and international ingredients sourced from
Shanghai's finest providers. The menu is changed constantly
according to the season.
CHAR prides itself of being the only place in town serving
Wagyu eye-fillet beef from David Blackmore's award-winning,
environmentally sustainable ranch in Australia. The beef is
served with grilled lobster, seared foie gras, black
truffles and wild mushrooms. Beef-lovers can choose from
among six different hand-crafted steak knives imported from
around the world, as well as five varieties of mustards and
flavoured sea salts - all presented to them at their tables.
Another item not to be missed is the banana cheesecake,
which is served in a traditional Brie cheese box from
Ms Socheata Sun, Asian Trails China's MICE Manager, is
leaving after three years with the company to join Asian
Trails in Vietnam. We thank Socheata for her commitment and
dedication to the company. and wish her good luck in
XIAOLIN TAKES OVER INCENTIVES
Ms Xiaolin Zhang, Asian Trails China's Manager for French,
South European and Latin American markets, will take over
the management of incentive groups. We congratulate Xiaolin
on her promotion and wish her good luck.
ANY OTHER NEWS
TRAIN LINKS HABIN AND DALIAN
A new high-speed railway linking China's major north-eastern
cities of Harbin and Dalian will begin operations soon.
Experts predicted this USD15.7 billion infrastructural
investment could accelerate social and economic cooperation
right across northeast Asia.
HIGH-SPEED TRAIN LINE BEGINS SERVICE BETWEEN BEIJING
The high-speed rail route from Beijing to Guangzhou in
southern China commenced service on December 26, 2012. This
is the world's longest high-speed train line with a distance
of 2,298 kilometres. The new service cuts the journey between
the two cities from 22 hours to around eight. The designated
speed of this route is 350km per hour.As one of the most important parts of China's high-speed
railway network, the Beijing-Guangzhou railway will enhance
transportation capacity between different regions.
72-HOUR VISA FREE STAY FOR VISITORS TO BEIJING AND
Beijing and Shanghai started a 72-hour visa free stay policy
for citizens of 45 countries on January 1, 2013. Tourists
holding third country visas and plane tickets can apply for
transit without visa at Beijing Capital International
Airport and Pudong/Hong Qiao International airports.
Foreign visitors have to register at a police station or
hotel during check-in within 24 hours of their arrival, as
they are doing now. They are not permitted to leave Beijing
or Shanghai to go to another Chinese city during the 72-hour
This new policy benefits transit passengers and business
people and make both cities more accessible.
For more details please contact Asian Trails China office.
The past months of
November and December were very busy here in Myanmar. The number
of arrivals is increasing at a high rate, and we are confident
this trend will continue into the New Year.
We would like to
thank all of you for your tremendous efforts in supporting us
despite the many challenges we are facing. Please rest assured
that in 2013 we will continue to provide you with outstanding
services at the most competitive prices available.
I would like to take
this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy and Prosperous New
US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA VISITS MYANMAR
Obama came to Myanmar last November, the first serving US
president to visit the country. His historic visit
a meeting with Nobel Peace Prize winner, Daw Aung San Suu
Photo shows President Obama at Shwedagon Pagoda
MASTERCARD ENTERS MYANMAR
Mastercard holders visiting
Myanmar can now use their debit and credit cards to withdraw
cash from Co-operative Bank automatic tellers (pictured).
ATMs accept MasterCard=, Maestro- and Cirrus-branded cards.
Initially services are limited to debit cards.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
CRUISE TO THE IRRAWADDY DELTA
Enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the Irrawaddy Delta on a
two-day exciting river cruise from Yangon to Maubin.
Relax in complete comfort and style on Dora Ship while
enjoying nature as well as life on the river and the
exclusively chartered ship offers three cabins, which can
accommodate up to six passengers.
MYANMAR ANDAMAN RESORT
Resort is the only lodge on Macleod Island in the Mergui
Archipelago fronting the Andaman Sea in southern Myanmar.
Its new general manager, Adrian Zdrada, aims to transform
the resort into an eco-lodge.
The hotel caters
to visitors who want to enjoy their holidays in a secluded
island with a pristine beach, proximity to spectacular dive
sites and direct access to the treasures of unspoiled
ALPHA HOTEL YANGON
The recently renovated three star Alpha Hotel is located
close to downtown Yangon. The 10-storey hotel features 90
rooms, which are furnished to provide comfort such as
air-conditioning, desk, in-house movies, bathtub and mini
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
MARCH 24-27, 2013
VENUE: TAUNGGYI, SHAN STATE
Four-day ceremony ending March 27. Thousands of
Shan-style thin and slender pagodas are compactly built in
geometrically pattern, which turns the pagodas complex into
something extraordinary and unique. Thousands of local
tribal people from the surrounding regions like Shan, Pa O,
Palaung, Lishaw and Dano flock to Taunggyi to enjoy and take
part in this annual pagoda festival.
NEW AIRLINE FOR MYANMAR
A new airline, Golden Myanmar Airlines, will start its
operation from early 2013. It will operate from Mandalay
International and Yangon international airports on domestic
and regional routes using the Airbus A320 aircraft.
QATAR INCREASES SERVICE TO
Qatar Airways has increased its operation between Yangon
to/from Doha, offering a daily flight on the Airbus A319
aircraft with a two-class cabin configuration.
DRAGON AIR LAUNCHES FLIGHTS TO YANGON
Dragon Air is launching four times weekly flights from
Yangon to/from Hong Kong starting from January 10. The new
service is operated using the Airbus A321 aircraft.
ANY OTHER NEWS
AEGEAN ODYSSEYMAKES MAIDEN CALL TO YANGON
Voyages to Antiquity's cruise ship. Aegean Odyssey,
made its inaugural call to Myanmar on December 1, 2012. The
organised land arrangements included either an excursion to
Bago or a one-day trip to Bagan/Mandalay by plane. A
half-day city tour in Yangon ended the programme the
following day before the ship left Yangon.
I wish you again a
Happy and Successful 2013. By the time this newsletter is
published we are approaching Chinese New Year, and I take this
opportunity to wish you as well a Happy Snake Year and "Gong Xi Fa Cai".
If you are reading
this newsletter it means that the world has survived the Maya
Doomsday Prophecy, and our beautiful world did not come to an
end. Therefore, I recommend you to take this opportunity to
visit Malaysia, our beautiful destination, by indulging yourself
and celebrating our survival. Whether it is hot springs,
excellent hotels and spas, warm climate or amazing landscapes,
Malaysia has it all.
High-speed train service operator, Express Rail Link (ERL),
expects the 2.14km line extension from the KL International
Airport (KLIA) to KLIA2, the new Low Cost Carrier Terimal,
to be completed by end March 2013. ERL forecasts the line
extension to increase its passenger load by 40%,
translating into 60% additional revenue yearly.
It currently handles over 5.3 million passengers annually.
MANAGEMENT CHANGE AT RENAISSANCE MALACCA
Please note that the Renaissance Hotel Malacca is no longer
under the Renaissance brand. It is now managed by Wyndham
International and renamed Ramada Plaza Melaka with
effect from January 1, 2013.
CHANGE OF ROOM CATEGORY AT FAVE HOTEL, LANGKAWI
informed that Fave Hotel at Cenang Beach on Langkawi Island
has reclassified its room category to the following:
RENOVATION UPDATE AT MERITUS PELANGI BEACH RESORT &
Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi is currently undergoing
a comprehensive multi-million refurbishment programme, which
will reposition it as the "Jewel of Langkawi".
date, the resort has completed the initial phase of its
refurbishment programme that covered the frontage landscape,
driveway, lobby, lounge, reception areas, Spice Market
Restaurant, New Meritus Club Lounge, Phase 1 of the guest
chalets, beachfront fitness centre and the C BA Restaurant
(formerly known as The Boat House). The renovation is
expected to be completed in June 2013.
Renovation works are carried out in phases to ensure minimal
disturbance to the guests and
their comfort and hospitality experience are not
RENOVATION UPDATE AT PAN PACIFIC KLIA
As part of the vision to create memorable experiences Pan
Pacific Kuala Lumpur International Airport started the
renovation of all its guestrooms from mid-June 2012. The
renovation is expected to be completed by end March 2013.
Apart from changing of beds, furniture, carpets, wall paper
and bathroom the renovations also include a number of other
enhancements including flexible lighting solutions and more
efficient work spaces to complement the new and improved
technology infrastructure. Guests can look forward to a
modern contemporary look and feel in the newly renovated
rooms, which will include an enriching blend of cultures
reflective of Malaysia and the Pacific Rim.
To ensure that the comfort and convenience of the guests are
not interrupted the hotel is carrying out the renovation in
phases. Work is scheduled to take place between 9am and 6pm
daily. During this period there may be some intermittent
noise, but steps are taken to ensure the disruption is
TANJUNG RHU RESORT, LANGKAWI UPGRADES TO ENHANCE
commenced in November 2012 on 36 rooms in the resort's
western wing. This involves refitting the rooms' interior
with an improved layout, new furniture and fittings, new
wall and ceiling panel, as well as electrical and plumbing
improvement. On completion of these rooms by end April 2013
a progressive programme will see all guestrooms upgraded
year end. (Work ceased during the 2012 Christmas/New Year
peak period and will recommence in late February 2013.)
restyling the restaurant will begin in March 1, 2013. It is
scheduled to reopen by October 1, 2013 with a new interior
look, new furnishings and an upgraded kitchen.
The resort has taken the initiative to offer its guests
daily recreational activities on a complimentary basis
during days of heavy upgrading work to ensure they have a
restful sojourn. The daily recreational programme ncludes
island tours, mangrove tours, nature walks, fish and eagle
spotting, and cooking classes.
RENOVATION UPDATE AT WESTIN LANGKAWI RESORT & SPA, LANGKAWI
transformation project at Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa is
going on as scheduled. All 71 refreshed rooms, which is part
of phase 1 of the renovation proeject, are completed in
RECLASSIFICATION OF ROOM CATEGORIES AT HATTEN HOTEL
Please be informed that the room category at Hatten Hotel,
Malacca has been reclassified as below with immediate
Standard reclassified to Studio Suite
Superior reclassified to Junior Suite.
reclassified to Deluxe Suite.
All other catégories remain unchanged.
TRADERS HOTEL, PUTERI HARBOUR TO OPEN IN APRIL 2013
Traders Hotel, Puteri Harbour in Johor is scheduled to open
in the first week of April 2013. It will be the only
prominent international brand in Nusajaya to provide a
relaxing and inviting oasis for both business and leisure
travellers. It has an ideal location that makes it a perfect
getaway - 20 minutes from Senai International Airport,
30minutes from Johor Bahru, and just minutes away from
Singapore and acclaimed theme parks.
SABAH HOTEL, SANDAKAN UNDERGOES EXTENSIVE RENOVATION
Sabah Hotel, Sandakan in Sabah is getting a total makeover
through a series of comprehensive renovations. Phase 1 of
the renovation is from October 31, 2012 to
3, 2013 involving Ming Restaurant, Amadeus and the
construction of two "mock up rooms".
The hotel's management is taking all measures to ensure
guests' comfort during the renovation period, but some noise
may be expected.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
JANUARY 4-6, 2013
VENUE: CHERATING, PAHANG
This is the time of the year when the sea is rough and
fishermen are not able to go to the sea, but is ideal
weather for surfers to show off their skills. The event is
jointly organised by Pahang State Tourism and Malaysia
Ministry of Tourism.
ROYAL LANGKAWI INTERNATIONAL
JANUARY 7-12, 2013
VENUE: LANGKAWI ISLAND
See famous yachtsmen from various countries competing in
this event on Langkawi Island. The event's underlying aim is
to provide competitive and enjoyable racing for all crews,
irrespective of the design or vintage of their yachts. The
Regatta is organised by the committee of the Royal Langkawi
International Regatta 2013 in conjunction with the Malaysian
Yachting Association (MYA-National Authority) under the
patronage of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club.
JANUARY 14, 2013
VENUE: MOST HINDU TEMPLES & HINDU HOMES THROUGHOUT
Ponggal is a thanksgiving occasion. Its highlight is the
Ponggal cooking ceremony of boiling rice till it overflows,
symbolising wealth and harvest. The festival is celebrated
over a four-day period.
PROPHET MUHAMMAD'S BIRTHDAY
JANUARY 24, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA
Prophet Muhammad's birthday, also known as Maulud Nabi, is
celebrated by Muslims during the month of Rabiulawal, the
third month of the Muslim calendar. The day is commonly
marked by religious lectures and readings of the Quran.
JANUARY 27, 2013
VENUE: BATU CAVES, SELANGOR
Thaipusam is a key Hindu ceremony, which is held each year
during the 10th month of the Hindu calendar. The most
spectacular, colourful and dramatic part of the event, and
much photographed by tourists, is the carrying of kavadi
(ornamental structures) by devotees. The kavadi is attached
to the devotees' bodies by hooks and steel spikes, with some
inserting metal skewers through their cheeks and tongues.
The kavadi also contains two small pots of milk, which are
used to bathe the statue of Lord Subramaniam. The kavadi-carrying
devotees have made vows in the past year and are repaying
for the fulfilled vows through this display of faith, which
is also an act of thanksgiving.
FEDERAL TERRITORY DAY
FEBRUARY 1, 2013
VENUE: KUALA LUMPUR, LABUAN & PUTRAJAYA
The Federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya celebrate Federal Territory Day,
or Hari Wilayah Persekutuan, on February 1every
year. The date marks the anniversary of formation of Kuala
Lumpur as a Federal Territory in 1974. Ten years later, in
1984, Labuan became the second Federal Territory, with
Putrajaya becoming the third in 2001. The day is celebrated
with colourful parades, fireworks display, exhibitions and
cultural shows. Most events are open to the public free of
PASIR GUDANG INTERNATIONAL
FEBRUARY 1-28, 2013
VENUE: PASIR GUDANG, JOHOR
This internationally acclaimed event has been held yearly
since 1995 and is renowned worldwide, attracting many
visitors and kiting enthusiasts from all over the world.
Last year over 180 international kite flyers from 25
countries came to Pasis Gudang to participate in this well
organised festival. The year's festival celebrates the
event's 18th anniversary. During the month there will be
domestic and international contests, demonstrations,
spectacular ground displays and some of the most amazing
kites you will ever see.
CHINESE NEW YEAR
FEBRUARY 10, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA
Chinese New Year
is a festival celebrated for 15 days, and is the most
important annual festival for the Chinese community. Each
year is designated to one of the 12 animals in the Chinese
Zodiac. This year it is the Year of the Snake.
Houses are cleaned and decorated to prepare for the big day.
Debts are settled, prayers and offerings are made. New
clothes are bought and different kinds of auspicious food
are cooked. Family members from far and near return home for
the traditional reunion dinner. Open houses are held to
welcome family members and friends. Ang pows (red
packets containing money) are given out to children by the
elders. Lion and dragon dance performances are also staged
to commemorate the festival.
CHINESE NEW YEAR OPEN HOUSE
FEBRUARY 16, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA
This is a Malaysia event held throughout the country to
celebrate Chinese New Year. People of all races join in the
celebration at the open houses, where everyone enjoy the
delicious Malaysian cuisine, and entertained with lion
dances. Ang pows are also given out at the open
NATIONAL CRAFT DAY
FEBRUARY 20-MARCH 4, 2013
VENUE: KUALA LUMPUR CRAFT COMPLEX
the arts and crafts at the Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex. You
may be able to find some souvenir here. Fashion shows and
cooking demonstrations are also held in conjunction with
LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI
FEBRUARY 21-MARCH 2, 2013
VENUE: DATARAN HELANG, KUAH, LANGKAWI
Le Tour de
premier cycling event, is back! The race will go through
seven states namely Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor,
Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and two Federal
Territories of Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.
MALAYSIA AIRLINES RESUMES PERTH-KOTA KINABALU
Airlines (MAS) reintroduced direct services between Perth
and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah from December 10, 2012
complementing the current 10 non-stop weekly flights between
the Australian city and Kuala Lumpur.
The new non-stop service operates once a week with the
flight from Perth departing every Monday at 12.40am and
arriving in Kota Kinabalu at 6.25am. The flight from Kota
Kinabalu departs at 6pm every Sunday and arrives in Perth at
11.25pm the same day. The service is operated using a
two-class configured 160-seater Boeing B737-800 aircraft
with 16 seats in business class and 144 in economy.
MALAYSIA AIRLINES UPGRADES FLIGHTS BETWEEN KOTA
KINABALU AND TAIPEI
Airlines (MAS) upgraded its daily flights between Kota
Kinabalu, Sabah and Taipei, Taiwan from the present
144-seater Boeing B737-400 aircraft to the 160-seater
B737-800 aircraft beginning November 15, 2012. The upgrade
adds 112 seats weekly in each direction.
Effective February 19, 2013 MAS will also introduce an
additional four weekly B737-800 flights to the existing
daily B737-800 services between Kuala Lumpur and Taipei. The
new flights will depart Kuala Lumpur at 1.35am and arrive in
Taipei at 6.20am every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and
Sunday. The inbound flights depart Taipei at 7.55am and
arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 12.45pm on the same day.
AIRASIA FLIES TO KUNMING FROM KUALA LUMPUR
AirAsia launched direct flights linking Kunming in Yunnan,
China and Kuala Lumpur on December 10, 2012. The route
operates with the Airbus A320 aircraft, which has a seating
capacity of 180. The four times weekly flights depart from
Kunming Changshui International Airport on Mondays,
Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
AIRASIA ENHANCES CONNECTIVITY FROM EAST MALAYSIA TO
AirAsia enhanced its east Malaysian connectivity with
southern China with the launch of the Kota Kinabalu (Sabah)
to Guangzhou (China) service on December 25, 2012. This is
the airline's 25th route from Kota Kinabalu International
AIRASIA X ADDS SHANGHAI TO ITS NETWORK
AirAsia X will expand its network in China in February 2013 with the
launch of flights to Shanghai from its base in Kuala Lumpur,
making the city its 14th Chinese destination. It will
operate six weekly flights to Shanghai Pudong International
Airport from February 19, with the service increased to
daily from May 1.
Lumpur-Shanghai flights from February 19 will depart Kuala
Lumpur every day, from Tuesday to Sunday, at 19.35hrs to
reach Shanghai at 00.45hrs. Flights on the Shanghai-Kuala
Lumpur leg depart every day, from Wednesday to Monday, at
01.45hrs touching down in Malaysia at 06.55hrs.
The service will be retimed from May 1, with daily Kuala
Lumpur-Shanghai flights to take off from Kuala Lumpur at
18.35hrs and arrive in Shanghai at 23.45hrs. Return flights
will also operate every day, departing Shanghai at 01.05hrs
and 06.15hrs. The route will be served by the Airbus
A330-300 with a configuration of 12 premium flatbed seats
and 365 economy seats.
AIRASIA INCREASES KUALA LUMPUR-HANOI FLIGHTS
between Malaysia and north Vietnam is set to receive a boost
in January 2013 when AirAsia raises its Kuala Lumpur-Hanoi
flight frequency from daily to 10 times weekly.
The new frequency, to start from January 22, 2013, will see
the AK1440 depart Kuala Lumpur at 18.30hrs and arrive in
Hanoi at 20.30hrs every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday on
top of the current daily flights. Return flights leave the
Vietnamese capital at 21.00hrs and touch down in Kuala
Lumpur at 23.15hrs on the same day.
MALINDO AIR TO COMMENCE OPERATIONS IN MARCH 2013
Malaysian-based Malindo Air has brought forward its
commencement date to mid-March 2013, two months earlier than
its original scheduled date of May. It will start operations
with two Boeing B737-900ER aircraft in a two-class
configuration comprising 2 business seats and 168 economy
seats. It offers Wifi on board and in-flight entertainment.
Malindo Air is operated by Malindo Airways, a joint venture
between Indonesian's Lion Group and Malaysia's National
Aerospace and Defence Industries (NADI).
AIR FRANCE TO FLY TO KUALA LUMPUR
Air France will operate three weekly flights from Kuala
Lumpur to Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport starting April 22,
2013. The service will be operated using the Boeing B777-200
aircraft with a seating capacity of 247. This new service is
in addition to the 205 weekly flights operated between
Paris, Amsterdam and Asia by Air France and KLM.
ROYAL BRUNEI UPS FREQUENCY TO KUALA LUMPUR
Royal Brunei Airlines added three additional flights a week
on its Bandar Seri Begawan-Kuala Lumpur route from December
13, 2012, bringing the total number of weekly flights from
seven to 10. The three extra flights depart on Mondays,
Thursdays and Saturdays, doubling the number of flights to
the Malaysian capital on these days. The flights leave Kuala
Lumpur at 12.20hrs, arriving in Bandar Seri Begawan at
ZEST AIRWAYS LAUNCHES MANILA-KUALA LUMPUR SERVICE
Zest Airways launched the Manila-Kuala Lumpur service on
October 22, 2012, its fourth international route from the
Philippines capital. The four weekly flights are operated
with the 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft
DRAGONAIR EXPANDS HONG KONG-KOTA KINABALU FLIGHTS
Dragonair will increase the frequency of its Hong Kong-Kota
Kinabalu (Sabah) service to daily for the summer schedule
beginning end-March 2013 to meet growing demand both ways.
The carrier currently operates six flights weekly between
the two destinations. An Airbus A320 aircraft will be
deployed for the additional flights, the same aircraft used
for current operations.
ANY OTHER NEWS
STAFF ANNUAL OUTING TO TAMAN NEGARA
The team took a well-deserved break with a trip to Taman
Negara in Pahang from November 30 to December 1, 2012. The
themed dinner, "Going Back to School", saw everyone dressed
in colourful school uniforms. The night was filled with
laughter as they played games, which emphasised on teamwork,
and lucky draws. There was also adventure on the trip as the
next day the team went jungle trekking, canopy walk and
rapid shooting in one of the world's oldest rainforest.
After a very busy year the Asian Trails Indonesia team took a
well-deserved break to discover the beauty of Mt. Ijen in East
Java during our staff outing. Most of us managed to reach the
crater rim to enjoy the views over the turquoise lake and the
continuous smoking caldera. The small path to the top, built by
sulphur porters, is becoming more and more popular with locals
and international tourists alike, and the hike only takes around
90 minutes per way.
While we are now entering the low season for the coming months
we look forward to another successful year of cooperation with
our partners. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all
of you for your excellent support for our organisation.
The trend for travel to Indonesia in the coming year clearly
shows the country is gaining popularity as a round-trip
destination, and demand is not just for beach hotels in Bali.
Our aim in 2013 is to develop more tours in lesser-known areas
of Indonesia to attract more repeat clients who fell in love
with our archipelago during their visits. With the large number
of new hotels in Bali we also expect the booking situation not
to be as tight during the high season in previous years, which
allows us to confirm more last minute bookings.
We wish you all the best for
the coming year 2013!
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
DAY CRUISE TO RINCA ISLAND IN FLORES
The day cruise to Rinca Island in Flores is a new product
idea for travellers interested in seeing the gigantic Komodo
Dragons, but with limited time to spend.
Plataran Cruises offers the daily cruise, starting at 8am,
from Labuan Bajo to neighbouring Rinca Island on one of
their traditional wooden Phinisis Schooners. Included in the
tour is a snorkelling excursion in one of the splendid reefs
of Komodo National Park. After the trek to spot the Komodo
Dragons a lunch is served onboard while sailing to a smaller
island for snorkelling. The excursion ends with the return
cruise to Labuan Bajo, arriving at 3pm latest. The programme
is offered on a joint basis with other passengers.
NEW VILLAS AT ALILA UBUD
Alila Ubud opened four new Terrace Tree Villas at Alila Ubud
in November 2012. The villas' interiors combine the warmth
of wood and recycled teak with the comfort of elegant
furnishings inspired by the local setting.
Each one-bedroom villa has flat screen 40' TV offering
movies as well as a selection of documentaries of "old
Bali", Wifi, safe deposit box, illy coffee and TWG tea
selection, bathroom with shower and bathtub, and an outside
terrace as living room. The bathroom features His and Her
vanities with complete range of superior quality locally
sourced organic Alila bathroom amenities. Services and
facilities include a private host (butler), private bar and
KURA KURA RESORT OFFERS OVERNIGHT STAY ON KRAKAL
Kura Kura Resort, located on one of the islands in the
Karimunjawa Archipelago, is offering a unique tropical
experience on Krakal, a pristine desert Island with crystal
clear waters located 30 minutes away from the resort. It was
used solely for day-trip excursions, but now the resort's
management has extended to its guests an exclusive overnight
stay on it.
The resort has added accommodation on Krakal, which includes
a Bedroom (with separate toilet and shower) and Living Room
so guests can enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of
having a beautiful desert Island at their disposal. As
Krakal has no electricity or kitchen facilities guests are
provided with petrol lamps (torches and candles etc), a
picnic hamper, a mobile phone to contact Kura Kura Resort,
and transfers (from/to the resort). Guests can also choose
if they wish the local caretaker to remain on the island
during their overnight stay.
THE LOVINA, BALI OPENS
The Lovina is located on the northern shores of Bali away
from the tourist hustle and bustle of Kuta and Seminyak. It
features 68 ocean-facing suites and villas, villas with
garden view and rooms with mountain view.
All Mountain View rooms in this new boutique resort look out
to the imposing Kalibukbuk Mountain Range and surrounding
The Beach Suites have an open plan accommodation that
combines kitchen, dining and living area - all opening up to
a balcony overlooking the ocean. The stylishly furnished
suites are available in one or two bedrooms, each with
The Garden Villas have been individually designed to provide
a calm and luxurious environment encircled by the rich
greenery of tropical gardens. Each has a private pool
resting in the middle, an airy open plan kitchen and living
L HOTEL SEMINYAK
L Hotel Seminyak, located in the heart of Seminyak, offers
comfortable guestrooms with views of paddy fields or the
ocean. This boutique property boasts a modern stylish
interior with 24-hour butler service. Every room has in
room safe, hair dryer and Internet Wifi access. Recreation
and leisure facilities include an outdoor pool and massage
JEEVA BELOAM BEACH CAMP, LOMBOK
Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp is located near the far north east
tip of East Lombok's Tanjung Ringgit peninsula, and is some
58 kilometres from the new Lombok International Airport.
Also known as "The Soul of Beloam" it is one of the few
untouched places in the world where you can truly return to
the rhythm of life.
Jeeva Beloam's five "off the grid" recycled wood and alang
alang beach front berugas combine the elements of Robinson
Crusoe with East Indonesia aesthetics to create a
comfortable and unique beach-front camping experience. The
berugas are exceptionally large with 60 square metres of
covered living space providing unexpected comfort within a
rugged camping environment. The sleeping area is
air-conditioned and boasts a king size mosquito netted bed.
They are also equipped with a personal safe and sarongs. A
mix of coffees and teas are provided in the room with hot
water provided daily. The bathroom and terrace areas are
covered but are not fully enclosed. As electric power is
limited air-conditioning is only available in the evenings.
A small library shares the reception area, while a spa
offering basic local massage treatments is located on a
small knoll behind the dining tent.
THE GIRI SET TO BECOME BALI'S FIRST TENTED RESORT
The Giri, Bali's first deluxe
tented-rainforest-resort, will be opening soon. This
tented rainforest resort nestled
peacefully in the cool mountains of Jatiluwih, a world
heritage site, surrounded by evergreen dense rainforest.
The Giri consists of only eight deluxe
tents with ensuite bathroom and large private terrace. Enjoy
beautiful panoramic view of the dense mountain rainforest
and spectacular sunrise from each terrace. Activities
include nature walks through the rainforest or Bali's
beautiful terraced rice paddy fields, or relax at
waterfalls, rivers and natural hot springs. Bird watching,
mountain biking and mountain hiking are popular activities
restaurant prepares Western BBQ menu
and specialises in authentic Balinese food using edible wild
grown rainforest vegetables, leaves and roots.
PREMIER INN TO OPEN FIRST INDONESIAN PROPERTY IN
Premier Inn is making its Indonesian debut with Premier Inn
Bali Jimbaran, expected to open in the second half of 2013.
The hotel will be built in partnership with Alda Bali
Indotel and features a swimming pool, restaurant and bar.
PAPAU PARADISE ECO RESORT, RAJA AMPAT
Papua Paradise Eco Resort is located on Birie Island in Raja
Ampat, East Indonesia, and is managed by Lotus Hotels
Indonesia. The resort offers unforgettable diving holidays
on the island, which is surrounded by peaceful white sandy
beach and stunning coral reefs.
The island is divided into two main parts - guest side and
service side. On the north west guest side are 10 bungalows
built over the coral reef with natural materials by
traditional construction method. The service side and the
workers' bungalows are on the south east side of the island
Each spacious 60sqm bungalow on the guest side has its own
20sqm massive terrace on which guests can enjoy the slight
breeze and the beautiful sunset. It also has a 6sqm indoor
bathroom with eco warm water. Fresh water on Birie Island
runs in the bathrooms and drinking water for guests is
provided from gallons. The slight ocean breeze delivers
air-conditioning naturally, and the sun heats up the water
at daytime for a nice hot-water shower after a long diving
Facilities in the resort include a sea-view restaurant
serving Indonesian meals European dishes, library, bar and
dive centre. Non-divers can go on boat trips to nearby
VIETNAM AIRLINES CONNECTS HO CHI MINH CITY TO
Airlines has launched four times weekly direct flight from
Ho Chi Minh City to Jakarta, using the Airbus A321 aircraft.
The flight departs Ho Chi Minh at 10.40hrs to arrive in
Jakarta at 13.40hrs. The return flight leaves Jakarta at
14.40hrs, arriving in Ho Chi Minh City at 17.40hrs.
This new route increases Vietnam Airlines' network in the
region. and helps promote bilateral trade and cultural
exchange between Vietnam and Indonesia.
AIRASIA INDONESIA EXPANDS
AirAsia Indonesia is adding several new domestic and
international routes to put it on a competitive footing with
Lion Air. The additional services start from December 1,
2012 to January 13, 2013.
Schedules are as follow:
Jakarta - Surabaya
Medan - Banda Aceh
Medan - Pekanbaru
Surabaya - Semarang
Makassar - Jakarta
Makassar - Balikpapan
Penang - Medan
Kuala Lumpur - Solo
Kuala Lumpur - Lombok
4x daily (Starting
GARUDA UPS JAKARTA-BANGKOK FREQUENCY
Garuda Indonesia increased its Jakarta-Bangkok services from
two to three times daily from December 1, 2012. The new
GA864 flight leaves Jakarta at 16.20hrs to arrive in Bangkok
at 20.10hrs, while the return GA865 flight leaves Bangkok at
06.35hrs, arriving in Jakarta at 10.10hrs.
The airline currently serves the Jakarta-Bangkok route with
the Boeing B737-800 aircraft with 162 seats in a two-class
NEW ROUTES FOR GARUDA IN 2013
Garuda Indonesia is launching new services to London,
Brisbane and Auckland in 3Q2013 with the delivery of 24 new
aircraft. The aircraft comprises four B777-300ER, 10
B737-800 NG, two Airbus A330-200, one A330-300 and seven
Bombardier CRJ-1000 NG.The B777 aircraft is to be used for the Jakarta-London route
due to take off later this year. The airline also plans to
fly to Brisbane and Auckland using the A330 aircraft within