The summer season is upon us. We at
Asian Trails have lined up an endless list of unique and
exciting products to meet your travel needs - whether you
wish to explore the rich cultures of Myanmar, see the
fascinating sights of Malaysia or discover the diversity
that is Thailand.
Asian Trails also specialise in MICE
(Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition). Have a
meeting cum team building exercise at one of the beautiful
resorts along the beaches of Danang or a team building
exercise in China's Forbidden City with lunch at the Bird's
Our teams throughout the region will be
happy to personalise and create holiday packages and
incentives/events especially for you to enjoy the best of
two worlds work and play at the same time.
You can discover more in this issue of
First of all, I would like
to take this opportunity to wish all of you a good start to the
Thai New Year. We had the Songkran festival from April 12-15
with numerous celebrations throughout the Kingdom.
Our Explore Tours are
gaining popularity. We have created new Explore ideas including
a four-day biking tour to Hua Hin.
In the past few years
Bangkoks first class hospitals have been recognised worldwide
for their outstanding facilities. Asian Trails offers now a new
Bangkok stopover, which includes a health check up.
Bangkoks newest luxury
hotel, the St. Regis, is just 300 metres or a five-minute walk
from our Bangkok office. We also highlight more new hotels
throughout the country in this edition, as well as a gourmet tip
for Chiang Mai.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
EXPLORE FOR THE DISCERNING TRAVELLERS
Asian Trails has launched the
new concept EXPLORE a series of out-of-the-ordinary
tours, suitable for all categories of travellers. both
individuals and small groups. This is a programme for people
who do not want to experience what everyone else is doing.
It is for seekers of a truly authentic and sustainable
travel experience in the great outdoors, of local customs
and charming hospitality, flavourful traditional cooking,
stimulating art and intriguing architecture. We list below
some examples of the EXPLORE programmes.
Cycle by the sea through
beautiful valleys and coconut groves. This tour takes you to
visit many of Phuket's scenic views and natural attractions.
You have the opportunity to experience Phukets lifestyle,
friendly local people and the clean air of the islands
countryside. Enjoy Thai food at local restaurants. Visit
Thalang National Museum where you enjoy learning about
Phukets history, culture and the islander's way of life.
Then stop at Phuket Butterfly Garden & Insect World to
discover the wonders of these small creatures.
Colors of Chiang Mai is a 4-5
hour bicycling tour through the southern part of the
hillside resort. Along the way see and experience Chiang
Mais rich cultural heritage. The route goes through quiet
roads and pristine countryside, passing temples and ruins
dating back hundreds of years. Visit
a special school for hill tribes children and a small
pottery where the workers produce differently shaped pottery
by hand. Ride along the Ping River and breathe in the local
atmosphere that makes Chiang Mai so special. Drinking water
and a small local meal are provided during the trip.
Bangkok is one of the regions
leading cities in health tourism as it has modern technology
and equipment plus experienced doctors. The doctors are
available 24/7 to give early diagnosis to most illnesses and
render treatment so patients can resume their normal life
Asian Trails has designed a
Meditour Package for holiday-makers to visit Bangkok and
have a health check-up at the same time. The check-up is at
selected award-winning hospitals, which provide designated
health check-up programmes. They are staffed with
multi-lingual personnel who provide coordinated services on
all hospital procedures for the check-up.
Seventy kilometers south west
of Bangkok the Mae Klong River spreads into a sprawling
delta before reaching the Gulf of Thailand. This low-lying
land is extremely fertile, and over the years extensive
networks of canals have been
built to aid irrigation.
The adventure starts cycling
from the reservoir, which is the source of many of these
canals, as well as riding along them during the exploration
of the southwestern part of Thailand. The trip passes
through different terrains and locations, making it a great
way to see and experience Thailands other side.
Starting from June 2011, RV
River Kwai Cruise will offer TWO guaranteed departures every
month WITHOUT minimum number of passengers required. The
dates are the FIRST and THIRD Monday (upriver cruise) every
month. CruiseAsia Ltd. guarantees such cruises even if only
one single cabin is booked. Other departures are on request
or require a minimum of four clients to operate.
RV River Kwai, the first
inland cruise ship in Thailand, is a newly built colonial
style river cruiser. It is based on designs used by the
original Irrawaddy Flotilla, which was founded in Burma in
1865 and grew to be the largest privately owned fleet of
ships in the world by the 1920s.
The cruise ship carries a
maximum of 20 passengers in 10 teakwood cabins (single
deck). It offers a 4-day/3-night year-round programme every
Monday-Thursday and Thursday-Sunday on both upstream and
downstream programmes alternately, as well as a
7-day/6-night year-round programme every Monday-Sunday.
RV River Kwai opens up an
entirely new area for river tourism in Kanchanaburi
province, west of Bangkok. There are land excursions every
morning and afternoon to attractions along the river
including temples, historic sites, Khmer ruins, waterfalls,
war cemeteries, hot springs and Bridge on the River Kwai.
The cruise ship is also
available for special Golf Charter Cruises on request.
The hotel, just steps away from
the heart of Bangkok and a minute walk to the BTS Skytrain,
is nestled in the seclusion and comfort of Rajdamri Road,
Bangkoks most prestigious location,
Endless and enchanting views
of Bangkok greenery, unrivalled architectural elegance and
timeless style, amenities to please the most discerning
traveller - this is the Hansar way of life. Its suites are
steeped in modern comfort and amenities, contemporary yet
timeless in style and adorned in Jim Thompson silk.
St. Regis Bangkok is a paean
to timeless elegance, situated along Ratchadamri Road,
Bangkoks most coveted address. This is also the citys key
commercial corridor where major corporations and elite
financial institutions make their home.
Chiang Mai is well known for
its extensive range of hotels, many of which are highrise
within the city centre. Unlike many of its counterparts Khum
Phaya Resort & Spa (formerly Prince Khum Phaya Resort & Spa
Chiang Mai), a member of the Centara Boutique Collection,
aims to deliver a friendly traditional Lanna (northern Thai)
Located in the heart of Chiang
Mai the resorts design and architecture are based on Lanna
traditions and customs, which are distinguished by the
artistic wood carvings. These are featured in most of the
resorts decorations and include the 80-year-old teak wooden
roof topping. The in-room furniture and facilities are also
in Lanna style. The pleasant landscape in traditional Thai
style, consisting of Thai mythological century-old trees and
flowers, makes Khum Phaya Resort & Spa a unique place to
U Inchantree Kanchanaburi
Resort is located on the north bank of the Kwai Yai River
close to the famous River Kwai Bridge.
The boutique resort features 26 rooms in a two-storey
building set around a courtyard, dominated by an ancient
Inchantree after which the resort derives its name. The
resorts overall design is styled after a rustic river
lodge, surrounded by landscaped gardens. Enjoy freshly
prepared cuisine at the restaurant offering spectacular
views of the River Kwai or sundowners at the sunset terrace
lounge suspended over the edge of the river.
Surrounded by Khoa Laks
pristine, breathtaking beach Casa de La Flora provides the
perfect getaway from the bustling city life. The hotels
well-preserved, majestic tropical trees and lush flowers
offer guests a haven of peace and serenity. The uniquely-
and well-designed hotel offers a neoteric lifestyle and
fashionable holidaying experience, in addition to its
tangible warmth, homegrown hospitality and graceful service.
Andakira Hotel is a brand new
property located in the heart of Patong Beach, minutes away
from the shopping centre, nightlife entertainment and the
beach, but yet is serene. It features 104 rooms and suites
with contemporary modern design. All the rooms are
beautifully furnished and designed for comfort. Hotels
facilities include an Infinity lap pool on the third floor
with a cosy pool bar, a day spa and free wireless Internet.
There is also a free shuttle to Patong Beach.
Ashlee Resort is conveniently located in the heart of the
popular tourist town of Patong on Phukets dramatic west
coast overlooking the Andaman Sea. A five minute walk takes
you to the endless soft, white sand and sparkling waters of
Strategically located the resort is just a short distance
from the areas entertainment and shopping centres such as
Jung Ceylon Shopping and Entertainment Complex, the bustling
Bangla Walking Street and the Central Festival Shopping and
Entertainment Complex. Tourist attractions and beautiful
beaches such as Kamala Beach and Karon Beach and Phrom Thep
Cape (Laem Phrom Thep) are easily accessible by road. Phuket
town is a 25-minute drive by car away, while the Phuket
International Airport is 40 minutes away.
Hansar, which means happiness and joy, is taken from the
ancient Sanskrit language.
concept and philosophy of Hansar Samui is to deliver an
experience to each guest that is happy, memorable and
Samui is about living life in full colours and finding joy
in every moment. The hotel offers luxurious, beach-front,
spacious accommodation with unobstructed sea views from
every room, and supersize private balconies and oversize
daybeds for outdoor living and entertaining. Open plan yet
intimate, each room has been artfully finished with teak
floors, terrazzo bathrooms and local textiles to provide a
sense of place. Chic custom furnishings and large flat
screen TVs balance the designs natural touches with a
In a country where agriculture
and farming sustains the livelihood of over 70 percent of
the population, the festivals and ceremonies associated with
a bountiful harvest are central elements of the way of life
in the rural communities. Agricultural productivity and
abundance are the principle objectives of both the royal as
well as the folk traditions. These rituals performed on
auspicious dates in the sixth lunar month (approximately in
May) signal the beginning of the planting season.
Born of the traditional
beliefs of the Isan people the sprightly Bun Bang Fai Rocket
Festival, the most celebrated of Isan's merit-making
rituals, has been strictly observed by the residents of Isan
for generations and is essentially an annual ritual to
ensure that the seasonal rains fall at the appropriate time
in the planting cycle. In this process Buddhist merit-making
traditions are also observed and reinforced.
Highlights of the annual Bun
Bang Fai celebrations include a procession of old-style
rockets mounted on traditional carts, a beauty pageant,
cheerleader contests and a traditional Palaeng I-san style
THE ROYAL PLOUGHING CEREMONY
MAY 13, 2011
VENUE: SANAM LUANG, RATTANAKOSIN ISLAND, BANGKOK
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony
is an ancient Brahminical rite dating back to the Sukhothai
period (1257-1350 A.D.) The ceremony, which heralds the
start of the new rice-growing season, was undertaken to
assure a successful planting season and an abundance of the
nation's crops. Festivities were held to boost the farmers'
morale urging them to strive for an abundant harvest for
consumption and to ensure sufficient reserves for times of
war and for export overseas.
10th SAMUI INTERNATIONAL YACHT REGATTA
MAY 30 - JUNE 4, 2011
Held for the 10th consecutive
year this leading lifestyle and sporting event continues to
attract competitive and social sailors from around the
world. The five-day regatta is one of Asias most glamorous
sailing events and is part of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix
Championships. It is also firmly established as a must
attend event on the international sailing circuit.
Spectator boats will provide a
unique opportunity for members of the public to get up close
and personal with all of the on-water sailing action.
There are also many fun parties during the regatta. Public
tickets are available for the legendary off-water parties
that take place most evenings during the regatta and feature
renowned bands and fabulous entertainment.
Headquarters for the event
will again be the Centara Grand Beach Resort, which has been
the home of the regatta since its conception and has played
host to crews from far and wide yearly.
Note: In last years regatta
the fabulous sailing conditions enabled the staging of a
round-the-island race for the first time in the events
TRAVEL MART PLUS AMAZING GATEWAY TO THE GREATER
MEKONG SUBREGION (TTM+2011)
JUNE 8 - 10, 2011
CENTRE HALL, IMPACT MUANG THONG THANI
Tourism Authority of Thailand
(TAT) and the Thai tourism industry,will jointly host
Thailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater
Mekong Subregion (TTM+GMS), the lcountrys argest B2B
event, from June 8-10.
The event, first organised in
2001, has the objective to promote the tourism and service
business in Thailand and its Greater Mekong Subregions
(GMS) counterparts. The regions small and medium
entrepreneurs (SMEs) will be on show with an array of their
products to showcase to International markets (buyers) that
include Europe, South East Asia, Eastern Asia, the United
States, Australia and New Zealand. Emerging markets, such as
the CIS countries, Eastern Europe, Middle East, South
America and South Africa will also be represented at the
PHI TA KHON & BUN
JUNE 24 - 26, 2011
VENUE: DAN SAI
DISTRICT, LOEI DISTRICT & PROVINCE
The Phi Ta Khon Festival is
unique to the Dan Sai district in Loei Province and reflects
the local Isan belief in ghosts and spirits. Held once a
year, it is part of a grand merit-making festival known as
the "Boon Luang" festival.
The origins of the Phi Ta Khon
Festival can be found in the tale of Lord Buddha's last
great incarnation before attaining Enlightenment. In
Buddhist accounts it is said that when Prince Vessandara,
the Buddha's penultimate incarnation, returned to his city
it was such a joyous occasion that the village spirits came
forth to join the welcoming parade. The colourful and
vibrant Phi Ta Khon procession is the central focus of the
celebrations. In a lively re-enactment of the tale the young
men of the community dress up as "spirits" wearing long
trailing costumes made from colourful strips of cloth sewn
BUSINESS AIR INCREASES PHUKET-INCHEON FLIGHTS
Bangkok-based airline Business
Air has announced plans to increase its flight frequency on
its Phuket-Incheon (South Korea) service from four times
weekly to five times weekly. The extra flight will make it
easier for holiday-makers to travel between the two
destinations during the high season for tourism. This move
is also in line with the airlines strategy to focus only on
big travel groups, working with tour operators with a large
Business Air also plans to
increase its Bangkok-Incheon service to seven times a week.
The airline will take delivery
of its fourth aircraft early next year to meet with the high
market demand between Thailand and South Korea.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
AUBERGE CHIANG MAI
Auberrge Chiang Mai comes
highly recommended for its fine French cuisine. Its
architecture captures the classical and magical atmosphere
of Paris, exuding both grandeur and warmth. The restaurants
selected menus with dishes, which excite the palate of even
the most discernable diner, make dining here an
unforgettable experience. It is conveniently located about
10 minutes from downtown Chiang Mai and the international
By the time
my note reaches you, Laos would have celebrated the Buddhist New
Year and entered into the Year 2554 of the local calendar.
days of intense celebration, marked by numerous visits to
temples and heavy throwing of water, life has returned to
normal, a peaceful and leisurely one.
season is also over. Luang Prabang has resumed its tranquil pace
that visitors love so much, and the Vientiane capital rightly
deserves its reputation as the quietest capital in South East
for the new season is under way as the tourism industry doesnt
stop. Laos and Asian Trails are ready to welcome visitors and
friends in the coming summer
Pimai and Happy New Year to all of you
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
4 DAYS EXPLORE TOUR: SOUTHERN LAOS
beautiful new active Explore programme combines the
waterfalls and minority villages of the Bolaven plateau with
the 4,000 islands in the area. We took some time to inspect
the sites and can truly say that this will be a rewarding
new product for our clients.
Start the Bolaven circuit and see some of the most
beautiful waterfalls in Laos and learn about coffee
production in the area.
Leave your lodge next to the river and start trekking through various minority
villages of the region. You will be return to the lodge for lunch and have the
afternoon to explore the village of Tad Lo or to go for a swim. In the early
evening catch the spectacular sunset with views over the plateau on top of a
waterfall an event not to be missed.
The days journey takes you further south, but not before
visiting the famous Vat Phou Temple and seeing the main
sights of Pakse town. Stay for the night on one of the
biggest islands on the Mekong.
Take the boat to the Lao/Cambodian border. Learn to fish the
Lao way, cycle on another Mekong island towards a big sand
beach from where you take another boat to spot the rare
Irrawaddy dolphins. Finish your day with a visit to the
biggest waterfall in South East Asia.
us for more details.
SUNSET HOUSE - LUANG PRABANG
beautiful Sunset House is the ideal venue to enjoy great
comfort in a beautiful setting. Relax by the swimming pool
in between visits to the Heritage City of Luang Prabang. The
House can accommodate 2-8 persons and is ideal for small
groups and families. Hotel-like services, car and guide are
available, with additional services provided on request.
us for prices. Low season promotion available
LAO CHARMING HOTEL - OUDOMXAY
first boutique hotel in Oudomxay is good news for all
clients who wish to travel to Northern Laos and stay in a
comfortable hotel without hurting their budget too much.
Charming Hotel has 13 rooms comprising 10 deluxe rooms and 3
suites. A handicraft centre is attached to the hotel. It is
very centrally located, with nice views from the hotels
restaurant over the Oudomxay valley.
NOVOTEL VIENTIANE REBRANDS
Novotel Vientiane was
officially rebranded as Mercure Vientiane on the April 27,
2011. The Mercure brand, which is also part of the Accor
Hotels & Resorts, gives more flexibility in terms of the
SPECIAL PROMOTION AMANTAKA
upgrade: May 1 - October 31, 2011
low season Amantaka offers all guests who stay for a minimum
of 3 nights a complimentary upgrade to next category of
rooms (subject to availability at time of reservations)
included is a free breakfast and airport transfer
Tip of the month
XAYOH GRILL HOUSE
Grill House opened its doors in late March, and is ideally
located near the centre of Vientiane.
restaurant has a large air- conditioned room, as well as al
fresco terrace dining. Meat-lovers will love this restaurant
as it offers a large selection of local and imported meats.
It also has a wide menu for fish lovers and vegetarians.
LAO AIRLINES REINSTATES
announcing the suppression of certain routes during the
next summer schedule, Lao Airlines has officially reinstated
the three weekly Pakse Bangkok (via Savannakhet) service,
as well as the daily Luang Prabang-Bangkok. Definitely very
good news for all travellers.
37-year gap Air France has resumed his services to Cambodia,
with three weekly return flights between Paris and Phnom Penh.
The inaugural flight, AF274 operated on an Airbus 340-300,
landed at Phnom Penh international airport March 28.. I am happy
to say I was on board this iflight. The new services are on
Monday, Wednesdays, Fridays for departures and Tuesdays,
Thursdays and-Saturdays for return.
Air France is
the first European airline to operate scheduled flights to
Cambodia. This is due to French tourists' interest in Cambodia,
the country's economic buoyancy and strong cultural ties with
Guillaume, Air Frances Cambodia Director, said the airline is
committed to contributing to the economical development of
Cambodia, as well as providing a competitive, quality and
efficient service with the complete range of KLM and Skyteam
products on the ground and in-flight services, with the Air
New on our
We are also
pleased to launch a special link on our website dedicated
exclusively to hotels in Cambodia. The site includes maps,
detailed descriptions of products and services, and special hot
decades Koh Kong villages, such as Chi Phat, have little
contact with the outside world. Marginalised by a lack of
infrastructure, presence of the Khmer Rouge that lasted into
the late 1990s and some of Southeast Asia's wildest,
least-explored terrain, the region remained virtually
off-limits to outsiders.
new roads now penetrate the jungle and scale the hills, and
new bridges traverse the area's numerous rivers. Thanks to
this new accessibility travellers are now discovering the
area's awe-inspiring biodiversity, which includes one of
South East Asia's largest tracts of virgin rainforest, about
60 threatened species including the endangered Asian
elephants, tigers, Siamese crocodiles and gibbons. This is a
virtually untouched 12-island archipelago in the Gulf of
Thailand, with sand beaches and crystal-clear aquamarine
- NEW ARRIVAL
We are very pleased to
announce that the installation of a new tethered balloon in
the Angkor zone has been completed. It has been in
operations since March 29 and is open to customers
PHOCEA MEKONG CRUISE
Mekong is a cruise boat built in 1999 and was previously
named Le Deauville. It has recently been renovated and
refurbished to turn it into a comfortable and luxurious
floating vessel. It can accommodate 25 passengers and has a
comfortable indoor cabin equipped with a DVD system, modern
toilets and a kitchen.
way to discover Oudong and Tonle Sap River and avoid the
busy roads is on the one-day cruise with Phocea Mekong. It
takes you on a voyage of discovery to Oudongs historical
site, Cambodias ancient royal capital. Along the way you
can see how the people along the Tonle Sap River live their
daily life, while enjoying stunning views of the river and
the countryside. Breakfast, lunch, drinks and cocktail are
served on board with tuk-tuk transfers to Oudongs site.
Alternatively you can go on the BBQ dinner cruise,
journeying from Wat Phnom to the Royal Palace and crossing
EFEO'S WORKS ON SHOW IN ARTISANS DANGKOR, SIEM REAP
dAngkor will present to the public the photographic
archives of the Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient (EFEO), or
the French School of the Far East, at Angkor. The exhibition
in June and July will also highlight the patient work of the
restoration of temples carried out by teams of Cambodian and
EFEO is a French
institute dedicated to research in archaeology and the study
of Asian societies. It was founded in 1900 with headquarters
before moving it to Paris. Since 1907 the EFEO has been in
charge of conservation work at the archaeological site of Angkor.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
AMAZING ROAD BUGGY TOURS
specialist tour company is offering visitors an original and
unique way to explore the Cambodian countryside and jungles
on off-road buggies.
buggies are of the latest design and have a water-cooled
engine, which means they can be used in both the dry summer
heat and the humid rainy season. With a maximum speed of
85kmh these mean machines are sure to get your adrenalin
buggies have rollover bars, side impact bars and disc
brakes. With a ground clearance of 320mm they tackle steep
inclines with ease and can get you out of almost any sticky
situation. They also come with dual 4-point safety belts and
big sports seats to ensure your journey is comfortable, safe
VILLA SREY, PHNOM PENH'S HIDDEN GEM
Enjoy a quiet setting and warm
hospitality in Villa Srey, a boutique hotel in Phnom Penh.
This colonial building has been entirely refurbished with
modern amenities with Wifi and air- conditioned in all the
eight rooms, which are refurbished with modern amenities and
designed in Western and Asian style. The villa also has a
swimming pool and is surrounded by a tropical garden.
Conveniently located within
walking distance of the Independence Monument, the popular
riverside precinct and Phnom Penhs business district, Hotel
Nine offers guests a secluded and tranquil refuge from the
bustling city. It has 15 newly refurbished air-conditioned
rooms, an on-site cafe and bar and a luxurious swimming
pool. There is a fully equipped business centre with Internet
access for guests to stay connected while away from home.
Siddharta Hotel is located
behind Le Meridien Angkor on the way to the temples.
Designed for comfort Cambodian style, it offers 24 spacious
rooms, two family suites and two honeymoon suites. All are
equipped with modern amenities that include flat TV with
over 80 cable channels, king size bed, IPod and MP3 player.
The honeymoon suites are specially designed for comfort,
with each room having its own private terrace overlooking
the lush tropical garden and the salt-water pool. The
rooftop restaurant on the eastern wing and lounge on the
western wing offer unparallel views over the city, and are
perfect for watching the sunset over cocktails.
BEST WESTERN SUITES AND SWEET RESORT
Best Western, the worlds
largest hotel chain, is set to take over the former Suites
and Sweet Resort in Siem Reap. Inspired by the floating
village design and with only 18 (figure to be updated)
luxurious and comfortable 68sqm suites. Each suite has its
own private mini-pool and a large terrace in precious exotic
wood overlooking an ornate tropical pond in the purest
Cambodian tradition and style. The resorts unique setting
gives it an intimate sense of a small and exclusive village
far from the madding crowd.
Private Island, a new resort in Cambodia's untouched Koh
Rong Archipelago, is scheduled to open this October. It
spans the two islands of Koh Ouen and Koh Bong and is
connected by a footbridge over a marine reserve. The latter
has been established to safeguard the islands' reefs and
marine life including dugongs, seahorses and exotic species
of tropical fish.
resort, currently under construction, is set a new standard
in responsible high-end luxury. It features 25 rainforest,
beach and over-water villas built from sustainable materials
in perfect harmony with the sparkling turquoise ocean,
rainforest and white sands. Each villa has a private pool,
top-of-the-range sound system and Wifi broadband. The resort
about 30 minutes on its luxury speedboat service from the
newly opened Sihanoukville International Airport.
PHNOM YAKLOM HOTEL
Phnom Yaklom Hotel is a
tranquil retreat located on top of a beautiful mountain
peak, just 1km from Yaklom Lake. The location is known for
its incredible sunrise and magnificent sunset. Enjoy
trekking, camping, observing wildlife, riding elephants and
overnight stay in the forest. The 19 modern, clean,
air-conditioned rooms and traditional Khmer bungalows are
surrounded by a manicured garden just above the clear waters
of Yaklom Lake. Free Internet and Wifi are available
throughout the property.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
BIRTHDAY OF HIS MAJESTY KING NORODOM SIHAMONI
MAY 13-15, 2011
The Kingdom of Cambodia
celebrates the 58th birthday of His Majesty King Norodom
Sihamoni with three public holidays from May 13-15. Various
posters of His Majesty are erected on main boulevards and
road throughout the Kingdom to commemorate the special
occasion. King Norodom Sihamoni is the third monarch to
reign in Cambodia in its 60-year history after his father,
His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk, and grandfather, His
Majesty King Norodom Suramarith.
VISAKHA BOCHEA DAY
MAY 17, 2011
Bonn Pisakh Bochea on the full
moon day of May marks the Birth, Enlightenment and the
Entrance into the Nirvana (Death) of Lord Buddha. The
Cambodian people celebrate the day with colourful ceremonies
held in the Angkor Archeological Park and in pagodas where
thousands of monks and devotees pay homage to Buddha.
ROYAL PLOUGHING DAY
MAY 21, 2011
A good place to take part in
the colourful celebrations is at the Veal Mèn near the Royal
Palace in Phnom Penh. A series of activities take place here
after the field is ceremoniously ploughed three times and
the royal oxen or sacred cows are offered a choice of
seven crops and drinks that include ice, corn, sesame seeds,
beans, grass, water and wine. Royal soothsayers then make
predictions for the coming harvest season from the chosen
oxen. They interpret from what the oxen ate and predict
events that include epidemics, floods, good harvests and/or
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
"SMILE OF ANGKOR"
"Smile of Angkor" is a
75-minute long spectacular show that is divided into six
chapters - Dialog with God, Prosperous Dynasty, Revived
Gods, Churning the Sea of Milk, Pray for lives and Smile of
Angkor. The performance features traditional Cambodia dance
and culture, such as Shiva Dance, Apsara Dance, Soldier
Dance, Peacock Dance, Bathing Dance, Monkey Dance, Bokkator
(Cambodia fighting skills), and Palace Candle Dance. The
performers use their talent to make a dreamy and fantastic
performance of Cambodias culture.
"Smile of Angkor" is produced
by Siem Reap Performance & Arts Co., Ltd. It uses huge LED,
lasers, water curtain, special on-stage smog, modern
lighting and sound system to create the special effects.
EMPERORS OF CHINA
This new Chinese restaurant in
Phnom Penh is decorated in a style befitting the emperors of
ancient China. Its grand interior has classical Chinese art
pieces and replicas of the famous terracotta warriors. The
ground floor has private room and well-placed tables for
open dining, while on the first floor are VIP rooms. It
offers fine Chinese cuisine including dim sum
GOODBYE TO THIDA
Sovathida, our long serving happy and enthusiastic
Reservation Supervisor for the International Market at Asian
Trails Phnom Penh office is leaving us to join Song Saa
Island Resort Company as Sales Manager in May.
Thida has been with Asian
Trails since February 2002. Our team members and overseas
partners will miss her dearly. We wish her all the very best
and success in her future endeavours. Thank you Thida for
the good work and the business yields for Asian Trails!
Pic: ATV team
with MD Ms.Thuy Tien (3rd left) & Luzi Matzig, AT Group CEO (4th
A note from Managing Director Thuy
ASIAN TRAILS VIETNAM CELEBRATES 10TH ANNIVERSARY
It seems like only yesterday that we opened Asian Trials Vietnam
office way back in 2001. And this year we are celebrating our
In the 10
years of operations we have achieved a lot as a team. Together
we have overcome difficult times brought on by the outbreak of
SARS and bird flu, as well as the 1997-1998 financial crisis
that collectively had brought travel, both outbound and inbound,
to almost a halt. However, we are happy to have overcome these
setbacks and have moved forward to consolidate the companys
Today, Asian Trails Vietnam is
proud to say we have 80 team members in all our offices
throughout the country. We look forward to an inspirational
gathering in mid-May at Diamond Bay Resort in Nha Trang, a
beautiful beach resort that hosted Ms Universe Contest in 2008
and Ms Earth Contest in 2010. This will be a chance for all the
team members to get to know each other better and have fun at
the same time There will be activities galore cooking contest,
musical competition and a full day of team building exercise
with the theme, Survive on Desert Island. Our hope as we leave
our retreat is that our team spirit will be further reinforced
so together everyone can achieve more.
CENTRAL VIETNAM'S BEAUTIFUL BEACHES & CITIES
Indochina has a single rainy season during the south
monsoon between May and October. But on the coast in the
central parts of the country, which faces the northeast, the
season of maximum rainfall is between September and
February. Thus, in contrast with other parts of the country
the climate in Central Vietnam, with its dry and hot
weather, is perfect in the summer months for beach holidays.
visit is the famous China Beach in Danang, Hoi An, listed as
an UNESCO World Heritage site. It offers an inimitable
glimpse of the classic Asian culture. The Old Town retains
the true essence of Hoi An of yore. The relics here are true
heirlooms of the city's Golden Age from the 15th-19th
century. Its well-maintained structures are a rare sight in
today's world where renovation and redesigning has changed
the face of most ancient cities. The town offers various
options of luxurious accommodation.
of all the ravages of war Hue has a lingering charm of its
own. Huong Giang or the Perfume River, a major landmark that
demarcates the old city and the Imperial Citadel on the
northern end from the new city on the south, has most of the
restaurants and hotels in Hue. The riverside is dominated by
a striking promenade and park, punctuated by wacky pieces of
sculpture. It is a charming and historic place to visit.
Most of the beach resorts offer promotions during the summer
WORLD CLASS HOSPITAL FOR VIETNAM
Hanoi Urban Development Joint Stock Company will build a
VinMedicare medical centre that will position itself as the
first world class hospital facility in the country.
VinMedicare will cover an area of 24,670sqm. When completed
the hospital will begin a marketing campaign to attract
medical business from around the region. There are also
long-term plans to set up similar hospitals across the
country under the same brand. This development will play a
crucial role in reinforcing the competitiveness of Vietnam
as a destination for medical tourism.
HALONG BAY CHASES NEW 7 WONDERS
famous Halong Bay is listed as one of the finalists in the
New 7 Wonders of the World. It has embarked on an aggressive
campaign since August 2007 to be selected as on of the New 7
Wonders. To achieve this Halong Bay has to collect over 60
million votes, including a substantial number from
foreigners who have visited the bay. In the first seven days
of 2011 Halong Bay attracted 56,000 visitors, with 94% being
foreigners, the largest visitor count ever. The official
declaration of the New 7 Wonders of the World will be on 11
help Halong Bay to be one of the New 7 Wonders of the World
by voting for it.
Vietnams Hoi An, a world
heritage town near Danang in the countrys central coastal
region has been selected as one of Asias top 10
destinations for 2010 by Smart Travel Asia, a Hong
Kong-based online travel magazine. It came in second with
96% of readers votes.
BA BE NATIONAL PARK
Ramsar Convention has named Ba
Be National Park in the northern province of Bac Can as a
wetland site of international importance. The site was
designated as an ASEAN Heritage Park in 2004.
The national park, which
covers an area of 100.48sqkm, is home to 1,268 species of
flora and fauna. It acts a protective shield for a
freshwater lake along with surrounding limestone and lowland
evergreen forest. Located 240km northwest of the capital
city Hanoi, the park is the only site that has a natural
lake surrounded by a mountainous karst ecosystem.
Ba Be National Park is the
third wetland area designated for its international
importance in the country.
The others are Xuan Thuy National Park in Nam Dinh province
and Bau Sau in the Nam Cat Tien National
Park across the provinces of Dong Nai, Lam Dong and Binh Phouc.
INFO KIOSKS AVAILABLE IN DANANG
The Peoples Committee of the
central coastal city of Danang has authorised the
installation of 10 automated tourist information machines
(Info Kiosks). These kiosks, to be installed by the citys
Culture, Sports and Tourism department, provide information
in Vietnamese and English to travellers to Danang city. They
will be located at public places, principal tourist spots
and bus stations.
Danang is a major tourist hub
of Vietnam, near Hoian and Hue. Last year the city welcomed
1.77 million visitors representing an increase of 36% from
1.3 million in 2009.
DANANG'S DONG DINH MUSEUM OPENS
Danang recently saw the opening of
Dong Dinh Museum, touted to be the largest museum in
Vietnams central region. The privately owned museum
compliments what tourists experience at the world heritage
coastal village of Hoi An by displaying old artefacts. Some
of these artefacts date back 2,500 years and were collected
from the central and highland tribes belonging to ancient
cultures such as Dai Viet, Sa Huynh and Cham Pa. However,
there is a section devoted to modern architecture and
displays of contemporary paintings and statues to balance
the museums appeal for visitors.
The museum is open to the public on weekends and public
holidays. It can also be booked for tour groups.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
HOMESTAY IN CAI BE'S MEKONG LODGE
Adventurous travellers looking
for an authentic homestay when visiting the Mekong Delta,
which were not easily available before, can now find it in
the Mekong Lodge in Cai Be. It is about a three-hour drive
from bustling Ho Chi Minh and offers a true escape in
simple, rustic accommodation.
The only way to reach Mekong
Lodge is by boat as it is situated on Tan Phong island and
lies just beside the Tien River. The lodge has 30 private,
comfortable bungalows and a riverview restaurant, stretched
over an area of more than 12.000sqm. It is currently the
only eco-resort in the Mekong Delta.
Schedule a 2-day/1-night stay
as there are numerous activities for the lodges guest.
Cycle along the delta passing lush vegetation, orchards and
rice fields, take a lesson in making local delicacies, watch
the breath-taking sunset while sipping a glass of wine or
visit the colourful Cai Be floating market in the early
morning to experience the simple lifestyle of the local
FOUR HOTELS & RESORTS IN
Four hotels and resorts in Vietnam have found a place in
Conde Nast Travellers 17th Annual 2011 Gold List of Worlds
Best Places to stay. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Life
Heritage Resort Hoian, Evason Ana Mandara & Six Senses in
Nha Trang, and Park Hyatt Saigon were honoured in the
January issue of the magazine.
Life Heritage and Evason were also among Conde Nast
Travelers 20 Best Resorts in Asia last November, with Evason Ana Mandara & Six Senses in the eighth position
followed by Life Heritage Resort Hoian in the ninth.
BHAYA CLASSIC 4 ARRIVES IN HALONG
Bhaya Cruises in Halong received its newest vessel, Bhaya
Classic 4, on May 1. Previously sailing under the Hai Long
Suites brand, Bhaya Classic 4 combines classic oriental
style with contemporary luxury. It has 16 luxurious cabins
that can accommodate over 30 guests, a restaurant for
gourmet dining, open-air massage and spa area and a spacious
partly covered sundeck bar for relaxing and socialising.
With the fourth Bhaya Classic vessel added to its fleet,
Bhaya Cruises now has a total of 80 cabins and suites,
placing it as the largest premium cruise operator in Ha Long
MONDIAL HUE OFFICIALLY OPENS
The four star Mondial Hue
officially opened on March 26. The seven-storey hotel has
100 guest rooms and facilities befitting its star status. It
has been in operations since November last year with an
average 40% of occupancy. It has successfully organised
numerous event sand meetings, and has received positive
feedback. The hotel is expected to add more choice for
travellers to the lovely city of Hue lovely destination.
Mondial Hue was built at a
cost of VND75 billion (US3.8 million) by Mondial Hue Co. Ltd
in collaboration with others partners.
AN LAM NINH VAN BAY VILLAS
Hotel management company,
Epikurean Villas Hotels & Hideouts, launched the high-end An
Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas in the Vietnamese city of Nha Trang,
Khanh Hoa province on April 2.
The resort covers an area of
20 hectares and features 35 beachfront villas, with 18
villas opened in April. Room rates start at US$400 a night.
Located 16 km from Nha Trang city it is a 30-minute drive
from Cam Ranh Airport.
Epikurean Villas Hotels &
Hideouts is a privately owned group and with its local
affiliate, Hotel Collection Indochine, manage six properties
NAME CHANGE FOR SAILING CLUB MUI NE
Sailing Club Mui Ne will
change its name to Mia Mui Ne Resort. The reason is the
companys expansion that will see the opening another resort
in Nha Trang. The new name is reflective of the companys
expansion. The resorts holding company retains the name of
Anantara Hotels, Resorts &
Spas has announced the launch of Anantara Mui Ne Resort &
Spa, the former LAnmien Mui Ne Resort & Spa, in summer.
The group took over the
resorts management in April this year. It will spend the
next few months making enhancements and upgrading the resort
to ensure it meets Anantaras level of five star luxury. The
resort remains fully operational throughout this period and
all guest bookings remain unaffected.
Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa
is set directly on an enviable beachfront position. It has
90 rooms, suites and pool villas designed in contemporary
harmony with local culture, creating a relaxed gateway to
the distinctive cultural charms of south-eastern Vietnam.
VICTORIA VIETNAM PART OF THIEN MINH GROUP
Victoria Vietnam Group has
become part of the Thien Minh Group. The combination of the
Thien Minh Group, a company operating in the global travel
and tourism industry, and Victoria Hotel & Resorts, which
has built a good reputation in the last 15 years, will take
the Victoria brand to new heights of excellence.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
VENUE :PHONG NHA-KE
BANG NATIONAL PARK. QUANG BINH
Quang Binh, a province in
central Vietnam is known for its magnificent grottos of
Phong Nha and recognised as a Natural World Heritage site.
However, the grottos have not been able to attract the
foreign tourists who visit Hue, Hoian and Danang.
To promote the national park
and the grottos the Peoples Committee will organise a cave
festival in May. Most of main activities will be held at
Phong Nha-Ke Bang, including Phong Nha and Thien Duong
caves. The festival aims to promote the provinces numerous
spectacular caves, to attract both domestic and
international visitors, as well as investments to the area.
JUNE 11-15, 2011
VENUE : NHA
biennial Sea Festival will be held in the central coastal
city of Nha Trang on June 11-15 with focus on the Truong Sa
introduce the archipelago in a photo exhibition, a music
show and a conference on the Truong Sa District.
The festival will open with a
fireworks display and feature various activities at the
beaches in Nha Trang, Doc Let beach, and Bai Dai. The event
will also promote environment protection activities
including the cleaning up of rubbish in the city and a
scientific conference on preserving Nha Trang Bay.
SEPTEMBER 14-17, 2011
VENUE: HO CHI MINH
years exhibition titled Four nations- one destination
aims to promote tourism in the four countries of Cambodia,
Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. It expects to attract 270
pavilions from 210 businesses and 11,000 visitors.
The exhibition is the coordinated effort of the State and
private businesses to develop tourism industry with the
focus on infrastructure investment and improvement of
product and service quality. The four nations have agreed to
cooperate in exchanging information, developing human
resources for tourism, opening more direct flights and
setting up business relations to boost tourism development
in the region.
HUE'S AIRPORT CLOSES FOR A MONTH
Airlines announced that Hues Phu Bai Airport would be
closed from May 5 until June 5 to allow for urgent repairs
and an upgrade of the runway. As the airport has only one
runway both inbound and outbound operations will be
suspended. All flights to and from the airport during this
period will be cancelled. Passengers who have booked flights
during this period can change flights and, in instances
where alternatives are not possible, receive a full refund.
Airport is used almost exclusively for domestic services and
until repairs are completed, Danang Airport, 66km away, is
the nearest point for travellers heading to Hue. Most of the
bookings are thus being redirected to Danang Airport, from
where mini-bus take travellers to Hue on the 90-minute
journey via hilly and beautiful coastal road. For clients
travelling with Asian Trails we will make necessary
arrangement and communicate with the agents individually.
5TH FREEDOM RIGHTS FOR TURKISH AIRLINES
a recent agreement between Thailand and Turkey on fifth
freedom rights, Turkish Airlines is now able to pick up
traffic between Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City (HCNC). To
celebrate the airline has launched a promotion for economy
class offering fares that is almost the lowest offer among
full services carriers operating on the same route.
on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays TK068 departs
Bangkok at 1520 and arrives in HCMC at 1650. From HCMC TK069
departs at 2030 and arrives in Bangkok at 2200.
Turkish Airlines started
flights to Ho Chi Minh City as an extension of its existing
Bangkok service in December 2010, but without fifth freedom
rights to pickup local traffic. It gained local rights on
the sector in early February his year.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
CHEZ CAROLE RESTAURANTS, PHU QUOC ISLAND
Carole Duong Dong on Phu Quoc Island was opened in 2004.
Centrally located in the heart of the city centre this
restaurant and bar offers all-day dining with cuisine,
especially fusion food from Europe to Asia. It also serves
international standard beverage.
Chez Carole Cua Can joined this luxury restaurant chain as
the second restaurant in Phu Quoc. With a beachfront
location it has the best landscape o the island. It is a
great venue to enjoy fine cuisine, good wines and relax
while enjoying the beautiful views.
NEW CHIC ARMANI COFFEE
Coffee, a new Italian restaurant and bar, has opened on the
first floor of Vincom Centre in Ho Chi Minh City. This is a
famous F&B brand, derived from the prestigious fashion brand
of Giorgio Armani. It is an excellent venue for people who
want to enjoy fine food and good coffee in a luxurious and
ANY OTHER NEWS
NEW BRIDGE BRINGS ECONOMIC BENEFITS TO MEKONG DELTA
The construction of the Co
Chien Bridge has started in the Mekong Delta province, Tra
Vinh. This is one of four major bridge projects on National
Highway No. 60.
On completion in 2013 the
bridge will connect Tra Vinh with Highway 60 in Tien Giang
Province. It will ease traffic on 1A Highway and reduce the
distance between the province and Ho Chi Minh City by about
70 km. The bridge will also benefit economic expansion in
both agricultural and industrial projects. Additionally it
will boost domestic travel and, subsequently, international
travel to the marvellous delta because the cost in term of
time and distance will be much decreased.
TSUNAMI WARNING SYSTEM FOR DANANG
Danang Citys People Committee will install 10 tsunami early
warning stations off the coast of Danang, a major port and
resort area in central. This is a pilot project as part of a
countrywide effort to help safeguard coastal provinces,
which could face the threat of tsunamis in the future. The
initial stations in Danang are expected to be completed
within three months.
will see the setting up of 100 tsunami early warning
stations just in the central region, considered aprime area
for tourism development.
GERMANY FUNDS HERITAGE RESTORATION
will fund cultural heritage projects in Hanoi province and
the ancient imperial capital of Hue valued at US$135,000.
German government had funded two earlier preservation
projects. It now extends an additional budget to restore two
cultural heritage projects - the Tran Dang Communal House in
Hue Son Commune, Ung Hoa district, which is one of the
districts in Hanoi province, and Hue in Thua Thien
prefecture. Both projects should be completed by 2012 and
will be supervised by a group of experts from the German
Conservation, Restoration and Education Project.
To date Germany has spent
US$1.65 million on cultural heritage projects in Vietnam.
Prior to this Germany had provided funds to restore images
on walls and ceilings at the An Dinh Palace, as well restore
walls and partitions in the Tu Duc Tomb in Hue.
Since its creation more
than one year ago our MICE department has been very creative
with new activities like team building in the Forbidden
City, and new venues for events including the Bird's Nest
for lunch, gala dinner within the Forbidden City, lunch on
the Great Wall and many more.
China and Beijing, in
particular, offer a wider range of venues and activities for
Our MICE and special tours team
is happy to show you our ideas and creations for your next
incentive or event in China. Please contact us for details.
BEIJING'S NATIONAL MUSEUM
After more than three years of
reconstruction and expansion, the National Museum in Beijing
reopened to the public in early March for the first time
since 2007. Located on the east side of Tiananmen Square
the newly expanded floor space of 192,000 square metres
makes the museum the worlds largest.
The project, which cost 2.5
billion Yuan, saw the addition of new
facilities that include a
theatre capable of seating 800, a multi-function hall with
300 seats, a broadcast studio and stores selling books and
The museum also includes halls
with collections from Europe, the Americas and Africa, which
host periodic international exhibits. Illuminative Arts, the
first, was held in coordination with the Berlin National
Museum, the Dresden National Art Collection Museum and the
Bavarian State Picture Galleries on April 1. Its 600 pieces
of works from Germany will be on display until next year.
Another exhibition, exploring the history of ancient Peru
from the 1st century to the 7th century, opened April 28 in
the Americas Room. The collection includes 180 cultural
relics including potteries, textiles and stoneware.
The National Museum has hosted
many top exhibitions. Ancient China, held in the museums
basement, is one of them. It displays 3,000 antiques from
the Old Stone Age to Qing Dynasty and includes pottery,
bronze ware, porcelain, jade, stoneware, calligraphic art
and paintings, weavings and other handicrafts. Another is
Road to Revival, which reviews the countrys significant
recovery from the Opium War in 1840 to the last Emperor
Aisin-Gioro Puyis edict to end Qing rule in 1912.
The museum has an interesting
history dating back to 1912 when it was a preparatory office
for a history museum located in todays Imperial Academy. In
2003 it was combined with the National Museum of History and
the National Museum of Revolution and given its present
name. Specialising in the nations general history the
museum has collected more than 1 million cultural and
The new museum expects to
receive up to 8 million visitors, three times more than it
did before its renovation. Basic exhibits will be free to
the public. It can accept 2,000 group visitors and 1,000
individuals each day. Group visits have to be booked in
LU XUN MUSEUM, BEIJING
Located at no 19, Fuchengmen
Inner Street, Xicheng district is a tiny courtyard house,
and almost squashed to one side of the 12,000 sq metre
compound is the Lu Xun Museum.
This was where Lu Xun
(1881-1936) who, many say, gave Chinese literature its
modern form lived in 1923. It was here that he spent most
his time writing poems and short stories.
The Lu Xun Museum has,
perhaps, the most detailed show on the life and times of
China's best-known man of letters of the 20th century, whose
life has been described as a battle of "a warrior of the
revolution". The show also throws light on Lu Xun as a
multi-faceted man with powerful artistic sensibilities,
extraordinary passion and overwhelming concern for humanity.
There are 21,482 cultural relics in the Lu Xun Museum.
EASTERN ZHEJIANG PROVINCE
Eastern Zhejiang Province is
one of the most romantic regions of China. The idyllic
corridor between the ocean and mountains has inspired
legions of movie-makers, drawn to its natural beauty and
picture postcard towns.
Shipu: This fishing port,
about 149km from Ningbo, has become famous after the
shooting of a movie here in the 1930s. It is a colourful
place with traditional fishing boats, which are lacquered in
black and white with gaudy bars of green and red. Residents
follow local traditions and the pace of life is slow and
quiet. Typical activities include drinking a glass of grass
jelly while listening to stories narrated by the towns
elders, watching opera at the Temple of Lord Guan and eating
seafood on street corners.
Qiantong Ancient Town:
Located about 85Km from Ningbo, Qiantong is one of the
largest towns on the southern reaches of the Yangtze River.
It has thousands of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911)
dynasties-styled houses, ancestral halls, memorial archways
and pavilions that are well preserved. The town people still
draw water from the Bai Rivulet. It has cobbled roads and
walking along them is like having a foot massage.
Taozhu Ancient Town: The town
nestles beside a mountain and is embraced by the city walls
and a river. Taking a walk along the city walls is the best
way to enjoy the town's sights.
When night falls a stay at
Lang's Old House is a nice experience. This is the only
place in the town that provides accommodation, which is very
basic. A visit to the market, which stretches from the west
gate to the east gate and crowded with vendors, is a must.
On sale in the market are fruits, vegetables and traditional
attire in vivid colours.
LIANGZHU MUSEUM, HANGZHOU
A trip to Liangzhu in suburban
Hangzhou's Yuhang district, will not only take you to
blooming orchids and green countryside, but also 5,000 years
back to China's primitive civilization. Here, before
the age of written records,
are found jade items scattered all over the hillsides and
villages. These artefacts reveal the life and culture in the
Yangtze Delta then, especially around the lower range of
The excavation in Liangzhu
began more than 80 years ago. In the latter half of the 20th
century some important tombs were discovered on the hills in
the area, and large numbers of jade items were found. There
are all kinds of remnants of the Neolithic Yangtze River
delta people - handiwork artefacts of jade, silk, ivory,
lacquer and black-burnished pottery.
The highlight of Liangzhu
heritage is jade. More than 10,000 jade objects have been
excavated. The most important pieces are collected in the
Zhejiang Museum in downtown Hangzhou, and more than 10,000
are kept in the Liangzhu Museum.
In early March this year the
Liangzhu National Heritage Park opened to the public.
Ancient stonewalls, archaeological sites and the Liangzhu
Museum, where scenes of daily life have been reconstructed,
are on display.
SHAANXI PROVINCE: HUASHAN
Huashan, at 2,155 metres above
sea level, is the highest of the five sacred mountain groups
in China. Famous for its rich cultural and spiritual
connotations, this is the place where Taoism flourished
for more than two millenniums. The rugged landscape is among
the earliest sacred mountains worshipped by both emperors
and ordinary people in ancient dynasties.
The mountains took centre
stage in ancient culture because they are only 120 km from
Chang'an (today's Xian), the capital of many dynasties
including the powerful Han (206 BC-221 A.D.) and Tang
(618-907 A.D.) dynasties. It took less than a day for
emperors and officials to ride from Chang' an to Huashan.
In ancient times the height of
mountains was also a factor that emperors and officials
considered when selecting a mountain to worship. Ancient
people believed high mountains were places nearer heaven,
which was the abode of Immortals. China's native religion,
Taoism, highlights the pursuit of immortality. Meditating on
Tao - or universal rules - in a serene environment was
believed to offer a path to immortality, so a number of
Taoist Temples were built on top of the mountains. The most
famous are Yuquan Garden, Jintian Palace and Zhenwu
The Yuquan Garden, also called
Quanzhen Temple, has been the centre of the Taoist Quanzhen
sect for nearly 1,000 years. The founders of Quanzhen Taoism
are today usually remembered as great kungfu masters skilled
in martial arts.
The climb to these mountains
was far from easy. Today, a hike up Huashan is said to be
one of the hardest and most adventurous feat in the ascent
of the sacred mountain ranges.
The best time to visit Huashan
is from April to October - spring may be rainy or foggy but
is best time to see the blossoming wild flowers; summers
clear skies provide a spectacular sight of the sun rising
above a sea of clouds; autumns clear days and rich colours
of changing leaves are sights to marvel at.
SIX SENSES QING CHENG MOUNTAIN
Bangkok-based Six Senses
Resorts & Spas will open its first resort in China in 2013.
Located at the foot of Sichuan provinces Qing Cheng
Mountain a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site
Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain will encompass Taoist and
Chinese architecture and design principles.
The property, to be built
entirely of natural and sustainable local sources where
possible, will also have a Six Senses Spa.
SHERATON XIAN NORTH CITY HOTEL
Xian North City Hotel will open in early May. Located 10
minutes by car from the main train station and with easy
airport access, the hotel is an ideal base for exploring
Xians myriad attractions.
hotels 491 inviting guest rooms and suites provide a refuge
for the travellers from the days stress. The spacious
deluxe rooms have stylish and tasteful furnishings. All
rooms are equipped with Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds,
32-inch LCD TV, a mini bar, direct-dial telephone with
voicemail, high speed Internet access, and a personal safe
box that is large enough to store a laptop.
staying in Executive Club rooms and Suites have exclusive
access to the Executive Club Lounge. This stylish space
features wireless internet, coffee and tea with light snacks
served throughout the day, evening cocktails, a separate
breakfast area and meeting rooms. The executive rooms have
natural earth tones colours, are furnished with king or twin
beds and feature a bathroom with separate bath and shower.
They offer stunning views of Xian and the Daminggong Palace.
Sheraton Xian North City Hotel
also has a fitness centre, indoor pool, spa, lounge, several
restaurants, business centre and meeting rooms - all
designed for the comfort of guests and enable them to stay
connected during their stay.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL
JUNE 6, 2011
The Dragon Boat Festival falls on the 5th day of the 5th
Lunar month or June 6. To celebrate the festival every
family eats Zongzi, which is glutinous rice wrapped in reed
leaves. Eating Zongzi is memory of Qu Yuan, a high-ranking
official of the State of Chu during the Warring States
period (475-221B.C.) who made great contributions to the
state. Wrongly accused of corruption he was removed from
office by the Duke and banished. Impoverished he spent his
life wandering. Overwhelmed with sadness he drowned himself
in the Miluo River on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar month.
The people of the State of Chu recognised his contributions
and, as a mark of respect, threw rice into the river as a
sacrifice to him. Afraid that the fish and shrimps would eat
the rice thrown into the river they wrapped it in reed
leaves and bound silk threads around the packages before
dropping them into the river.
This custom continues until today and celebrated during the
Dragon Boat Festival. This years event is celebrated over a
long weekend in China, from June 4 to 6, which are public
holidays. Work will resume on June 7.
APRIL 11-OCTOBER 11,
VENUE: XIAN CHANBA
ECOLOGICAL DISTRICT, XIAN
This 183-day Expo is must-see
event. Xian is the third Chinese city to host the Expo,
preceded by Kunming in 1999 and Shenyang in 2006. The Expo's
park covers 418 hectares, 188 of which are covered by water.
It features four buildings - a 90m high tower, a nature
pavilion, a greenhouse and a mina gate. Master gardeners
from Europe, US, Australia and China each designed a subpark.
All nine parks remain open to the public even after the Expo
concludes. Participants in the Expo are from 40 foreign and
60 Chinese cities. It expects to attract 12 million visitors
to Xian who can enjoy a variety of garden styles, view
flowers and plants from all over the world and to hone their
ANY OTHER NEWS
NEW OFFICE FOR ASIAN TRAILS CHINA
Since March 2, 2011 Asian
Trails China has moved to its new office. Listed below are
out new address and contacts.
Suite 1401, Scitech Tower22,
Jianguomenwai Avenue Beijing 100004 - China
The past four
months have been quite an exceptional time here in Myanmar. The
tourism industry is prospering again, and we could call it a
boom judging from the number of tourist arrivals. The months of
January and February saw, for the first time in years, some
hotels being sold out as well as fully booked flights on the
main tourist circuits.
As a further
boost to the industry Air Bagan has announced the start of two
times weekly flight from Yangon to Phuket. Details of the new
service are under Airline Information section of this report.
We can truly rejoice with this new
upswing trend, and hope that this will continue into the future.
to say that we are facing major problems with our incoming
and outgoing emails. This situation is beyond our control as
it is due to the unreliable nature of the local servers. We
kindly ask you to please resend any email if you do not
receive a reply from us within 48 hours. Also please feel
free to call our office at any time.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
RV MAHAYTHIS NEW CRUISES
Mahaythi Cruise Company, which currently operates various
short river cruises from Yangon, is now offering multi-day
tours to the Irrawaddy Delta area. The area is not much
known to tourists and is worth exploring, especially for
repeat guests who know Myanmar well.
from September 2011 the company also plans to operate
cruises to the Chindiwn River, as well as the upper reaches
of the Irrawaddy. These cruises, operated with smaller
boats, are ideal for guests looking for more privacy.
For more details please
JOURNEY TO MT POPA & BAGAN ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
Experience a combined excursion by train, car and horse cart
to Mount Popa, the famous extinct volcano located about 50
km from Bagan.
the morning from Bagan by local train to Kyaungpadaung
(about 2½ hours), from where a horse cart will take you
around the local market. Continue by car to Mount Popa.
Climb the 777 stairs to the top, where stands a shrine
dedicated to animist spirits known as nats. From the
mountain top is a spectacular view of the surrounding
countryside. After lunch journey back to Bagan. Enroute
visit a local village and a toddy palm plantation. This
journey gives you the opportunity to experience first hand
the local way of transportation.
NEW MYANMAR/CAMBODIA PROGRAMME: COMBINING TWO
WONDERS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA
imminent launch of the new direct flights between Siem Reap,
Cambodia (pictured top) and Yangon, Myanmar (pictured
bottom) we are offering a 12-day package that offers the
most beautiful highlights of both countries.
contact us for more details.
BEACH HOTELS CLOSED FOR RAINY SEASON
We would like to remind you
that during the monsoon from May to September hotels in
Ngapali and Ngwe Saung are closed. During this period heavy
rains occur along Myanmars coastline, so travelling to the
beaches and areas along the cost is not recommended.
However, visits to other major tourist attraction such as
Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake region are possible as they
experience mild weather with few showers.
HOTELS UNDER RENOVATIONS
following hotels will undergo renovation during the low
Hotel, Yangon: The hotel will undergo renovations from May
until September Renovations will be carried out on the
Deluxe rooms, Executive Suites, Deluxe Suites, Traders Cafe
and Lobby Lounge. Due to this refurbishing exercise the
hotel will have only Traders Club rooms and three different
categories of suites on the 20th, 21st and 22nd floors
available during the renovation period.
Hotel, Yangon: The hotel will close for renovations from
June 1 July 31, 2011.
Thiripyitsaya Hotel, Bagan: The hotel will close for
renovations from June 1 until July 10, 2011.
Princess Resort Hotel, Inle: The hotel will close for
renovations from June 1 until June 30, 2011.
AIR KANBAWZA, NEW DOMESTIC AIRLINE
Kanbawza (KBZ), a new domestic airline in Myanmar, started
operations on April 1. It operates daily service between
Yangon and Myanmars main tourist destinations, using the
ATR 72-500 aircraft with 64 seats - all economy class.
The airline took delivery of a
second aircraft at end April, with two more aircraft to be
delivered in October, in time to serve various domestic
airports during the next high season. The airline plans to
launch international routes in the near future.
VOA FOR MAI ARRIVALS FROM GUANGZHOU & SIEM REAP
Arrival (VOA) is now available for all nationalities
visiting Myanmar and flying on Myanmar Airways International
(MIA) from Guangzhou, China (8M712) and Siem Reap, Cambodia
(8M492) to Yangon. Visitors arriving in Myanmar on other
flights/airlines still need to apply either for a visa from
a Myanmar embassy or a pre-arranged VOA (only for countries
with no Myanmar embassy).
Air Bagan started operating
twice weekly return flights from Yangon to Phuket (Thailand)
from April 11. The services, on Mondays and Fridays, are on
the Fokker 100 aircraft. This new flight brings Air Bagans
international routes to two, the other is Chiang Mai, also
NEW ASSISTANT SUPERVISOR -TICKETING
Ms Wai Mar recently joined
Asian Trails as new supervisor in its in-house ticketing
department. She has been in the tourism business for more
than five years and brings her good experience to the
company. We warmly welcome Wai Mar to our team and are happy
to have her onboard.
MMC SPORTS DAY 2011
The annual Sports Day organised by the Myanmar Marketing
Committee (MMC) took place this year at the Inya Lake Hotel
on April 9. Our team, joined by our new staff, succeeded to
be among the top five teams. Congratulations to all the team
members, and good luck for the 2012 event.
ANY OTHER NEWS
MYANMAR CELEBRATES WATER FESTIVAL
The annual water festival,
known as Thingyan, is held on the eve of Myanmar New Year to
cleanse the evil deeds of the previous year by spraying
This year the festival was
celebrated on April 13 to 16, with the New Year starting on
On the festival days young
people enjoyed themselves, while the elders took shelter in
monasteries and pagoda precincts. The streets of Yangon and
the other cities and towns throughout Myanmar were filled
with people dancing, throwing water at each other and having
a good time. The atmosphere was electric and people behaved
in a different way as they usually do during this time of
the year. Tourists were not spared either as water was
thrown at them too. Many of them joined in the fun and the
GLOBUS REISEN ROUND THE WORLD 2011
The Globus Reisen Round the
World 2011 flight included a stop in Myanmar this year. We
were happy to welcome the 200 guests in Mandalay from March
26 to 28. Highlights of the visit were the sunset boat trip
on the Irrawaddy River and the noviciation ceremony at the
Its good to be back in Kuala
Lumpur after a fruitful ITB where I had the opportunity to catch
up with agents, and am now following up on my sales calls and
preparing for the forthcoming high season. I must say that it
looks positive and we are targeting more business in the
We have a new Operations Manager
on board, and Im happy to say that implementation of new
procedures are in place to bring our delivery to the next level.
The recently concluded Malaysian
GP in Sepang was a huge success as there was a significant
increase in arrivals. We are looking at ways to work closely
with the organizers for next year where we hope to come up with
some interesting F1 packages.
Last but not least, as we watched
the aftermath of the earthquake and the monster tsunami that
struck Japan on March 11, our thoughts and prayers are with the
people of Japan. In this respect, Malaysia is truly blessed as
there are no such natural disasters in this country due to its
Malaysia Truly Asia!
LEGOLAND TO SPUR MORE TOURISM DEVELOPMENTS IN
Legoland Malaysia will be among the first leisure and
tourism products to be completed in Iskandar Malaysia,
Johor, a region that is three times the size of Singapore.
Spread over 31 hectares and built at a cost of RM720 million
(US$236 million), Legoland's first park in Asia will feature
over 40 rides, shows and attractions targeting children from
two to 12 years old. Sites next to Legoland have been
earmarked for a themed hotel and a business hotel.
HYATT REGENCY KINABALU COMPLETES RENOVATIONS
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu in
Sabah has completed a stylish renovation of its guestrooms,
suites, Regency Club Lounge and swimming pool. The rooms are
well appointed with modern conveniences and feature a
contemporary interior design that complements the tropics.
JAPAMALA TIOMAN UPGRADES ROOM CATEGORY
Japamala Tioman on Tioman
Island has upgraded its Jungle Sarang to Jungle Luxe Sarang
category. This new category was created after the
completion of renovations during the low season. The new
category offers completely new rooms of the same size as the
former category, but with a new indoor natural white look,
new gadgets like flat TV and new features that include an
outdoor plunge pool.
BEST WESTERN TO OPEN FOUR HOTELS IN MALAYSIA IN 2011
Best Western Internationals
flagship property in Malaysia, Best Western Premier Dua
Sentral, is scheduled to open in Kuala Lumpur by the third
quarter of this year. Three other properties are set to
launch in Malacca, Sandakan and Pangkor by end-2011.
The 361-key Best Western
Premier Dua Sentral will offer six room types, ranging from
superior/deluxe to one- and two-room suites. Its facilities
will include five restaurants and bars, as well as 10
meeting rooms, the largest of which will be able to
accommodate up to 250 people banquet-style.
BUNGAH BEACH HOTEL TO CLOSE FOR RENOVATIONS
The Tanjung Bungah Beach Hotel
in Penang will close temporarily for renovations from
January 1, 2012 until further notice. The renovation work is
expected to take between six to nine months. We will keep
you updated on the progress.
THE ANDAMAN, LANGKAWI RENOVATES
The Andaman Resort, Langkawi
started refurbishing the guest bathrooms in the hotels
South Wing rooms on May 2. The bathrooms will be given new
contemporary touches. The finished look will be fresh and
stylish, offering an experience guests will appreciate. Work
is expected to be completed by June 30, 2011 During this
period, The Andaman will upgrade all bookings to the North
BERJAYA REDANG RESORT
- RENOVATIONS UPDATE
On successful completion of
the first few phases of its renovations there is a down size
of the rooms in Berjaya Redang Resort on Redang Island to
keep up with the resorts intimate, boutique-style ambience.
The 155 suites and rooms are currently equipped with finer
touches of quality and services. The remaining 35 suites are
currently undergoing restoration, which includes some
structural works, electrical, plumbing, painting, decorating,
furnishing and fittings. Expected completion is in June/July
EQUATORIAL CAMERON HIGHLANDS UGRADES ROOMS
The Equatorial Cameron
Highlands is enhancing the level of comfort for its guests
through the latest refurbishment and renovations. The
upgrading works started on April 15 and will be completed on
October 15, 2011. The refurbishment includes the bathroom,
new floor carpet finishes, new paint work and ceiling fans
in the 147 superior rooms.
The work is carried out in
accordance to the work-in-progress schedule, which minimises
the inconvenience and disturbance to guests. Daily
operations are as per normal during the period of the
upgrading works. Guests can continue to enjoy the resorts
facilities and their vacation in comfort.
BERINGGIS BEACH RESORT
- RENOVATIONS UPDATE
Beringgis Beach Resort and Spa
has partially closed its main lobby area to allow for
renovations to be carried. Renovations started on April 3
and is expected to be completed by June 2011. The hotel is
taking various measures to minimise the noise level during
the renovation period.
SUNWAY RESORT HOTEL & SPA UPGRADES
The pool at Sunway Resort
Hotel & Spa is closed from March 6 2011 until May 31, 2011
for upgrading works. During this period hotel guest can use
the Surf Beach @Theme Park and the pool at Sunway Lagoon
Transport (both ways) is
provided to guests who want to use the lagoon pool. The
concierge at the hotels Main Tower will arrange for the
transport. The pool is open from 7.30am to 6.30pm
ROOM CATEGORIES CHANGE AT THISTLE JOHOR BAHRU
The Thistle Hotel Johor Bahru
has streamlined the names of its rooms
Deluxe Room (Seaview)
Executive Room (Sea View)
Formerly Known as
Sea View Room
Thistle Club Deluxe
Thistle Club Sea
LANKAYAN ISLAND RESORT TO CLOSE FOR MAINTENANCE
Lankayan Island Resort will
close for maintenance from January 6 until February 15
,2012. The resort is a peaceful untouched piece of paradise
on Lankayan Island, a jewel-like tiny island in the Sulu Sea
that is an hour-and-a-half boat ride north of Sandakan,
Sabah. Ringed by white sandy beach the resort offers elegant
and exquisite accommodation in 23 wooden, roomy and
perfectly appointed seafront chalets.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
BORNEO JAZZ 2011
MAY 12 - 15, 2011
VENUE: MIRI, SARAWAK
musical event at the Miri Resort City features jazz groups
from around the world. About 7,000 spectators and
participants, comprising locals, expatriates and visitors,
are expected at this exciting musical galore.
INTERNATIONAL PAHANG RIVER RAFTING EXPEDITION
MAY 8-14, 2011
VENUE: PAHANG RIVER,
Traverse the Pahang River on a
raft to experience the charming sights and sounds along the
riverbanks. This annual event draws participants from around
COLOURS OF 1MALAYSIA
MAY 21, 2011
VENUE: DATARAN MERDEKA,
Malaysias anuual premier
Enjoy a cornucopia of
spectacular traditional performances, colourful parades and
exhibitions that showcase the countrys arts and crafts.
TADAU KAAMATAN GRAND
MAY 30-31, 2011
the annual Harvest Festival of Sabahs ethnic group, the
Kadazandusun. Join the local folks as they celebrate with
songs, dances, food and traditional games. This is also the
main stage for the final round of the Unduk Ngadau pagent
(State Harvest Beauty Queen).
MELAKA RIVER FIESTA
JUNE 1-30, 2011
VENUE: MELAKA RIVER SQUARE & SPICE GARDEN, MELAKA
Enjoy the excitement of the
numerous activities staged along Melaka River, which are
specially selected to make the festival a memorable one.
PENANG INTERNATIONAL DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL
JUNE 11-12, 2011
VENUE: TELUK BAHANG DAM, PENANG
Penang is world famous for
dragon boat races with the regions first race held there in
1956. The canoe-styled dragon boats are long and narrow with
beautifully carved prows resembling a dragon. Teams race
each other in these boats on the Teluk Bahang Dam. The
pounding of drums and cheers from the spectators act as
impetus for the competitors to row faster.
GAWAI DAYAK OPEN HOUSE CELEBRATION
JUNE 12, 2011
Celebrated in Sarawak, Gawai
Dayak is a colourful festival that reflects the traditions
of the ethnic communities. Visitors are invited to enjoy the
exciting cultural shows, savour local delicacies and
experience the joyous celebrations.
MALAYSIA MEGA SALE CARNIVAL
JUNE 15-AUGUST 31, 2011
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA
The annual sale carnival
offers products, from most- designer labels, home decor
items, computer peripherals to electrical appliances at
SUPER GT INTERNATIONAL SERIES MALAYSIA
JUNE 17-19, 2011
VENUE: SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT (SIC), SELANGOR
Malaysian leg of the Super GT, Japan's biggest racing
series, is one of the most exciting event on Malaysias
racing calendar. All action at the Sepang International
5TH KK JAZZ FESTIVAL
JUNE 17-18, 2011
VENUE: KOTA KINABALU, SABAH
The KK Jazz Festival, into its
fifth year, promises to be another ground breaking
experience with a great line up of local and international
artistes. This fund raising event supports various community
projects in Sabah.
26TH SABAH DRAGON BOAT RACE
JUNE 18-19, 2011
VENUE: LIKAS BAY, KOTA KINABALU, SABAH
This traditional Chinese
event, which evolved from myths and legends, has grown into
an annual highlight in the city. The exciting race attracts
teams from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Singapore and
FRASER'S HILL INTERNATIONAL BIRD RACE
JUNE 25-26, 2011
VENUE: FRASER'S HILL, RAUB, PAHANG
Frasers Hill is recognised as
a world-class bird-watching destination as it is home to
about 247 species of birds. The bird race is an excellent
opportunity for locals and tourists alike to see a variety
of migratory and montane birds, which are very different
from those in the lowland forest. There are also bird
species from Northern Siberia and the islands north of
Japan. Dont miss this unique event.
FIREFLY SPREADS ITS WINGS
Firefly, Malaysias community
airline, has established two hubs for its jet aircraft
operation - at Kota Kinabalu International Airport in Sabah
and Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru. This is in
addition to its existing hubs in Kuala Lumpur for its jet
aircraft, and in Subang and Penang for its turboprops.
The new hubs allow Firefly to
boost aircraft rotation and increase frequency on existing
routes. Its Kota Kinabalu-Kuala Lumpur services will
increase from thrice daily to six times daily from May 15,
and its Kuala Lumpur-Kuching flights will increase from four
to seven times daily from June 1.
FIREFLY FLIES TO EAST MALAYSIA FROM JOHOR BAHRU
Firefly takes over two
domestic routes from national carrier, Malaysia Airlines,
which connect Johor Bahru to the two East Malaysian cities
of Kuching (Sarawak) and Kota Kinabalu (Sabah).
Firefly will launch operations
from its new southern hub of Johor Bahru with twice daily
return flights to Kuching on May 19, and twice daily, return
flights from to Kota Kinabalu on June 16.
From August 1 Firefly will
mount twice daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Sandakan
ATM WELCOMES TWO NEW TEAM MEMBERS
Huzaimi (left) came on board as Operations Manager in March this
year. He brings with him a wealth of experience having work
in the service industry since 1999.
(right) joined us in January as Inbound Officer, Asia
Department. She graduated with a degree in Tourism
Management and had a short stint in a car rental company
before joining us.
We welcome both our new
colleagues and wish them a long and successful career with
Asian Trails Malaysia.
In the last issue of TRAILBLAZER
we announced that we would move our office in Yogjakarta and
employ one more staff. In the meantime the 33rd Asian Trails
office opened as a branch office during a Javanese ceremony on
April 12. About 60 suppliers from the tourism and hospitality
sector from Yogjakarta and Central Java joined us during the
office is conveniently located inside the Yogjakarta Plaza Hotel
in the heart of the city. Having more presence in Java is
important for us following the increasing numbers of tourists on
overland roundtrips, commencing in Yogjakarta and ending in
Photo shows Mr. Laurent Kuenzle,
Group MD of Asian Trails, Ms. Sari, Mrs. Wirati and Mr. Andre
Seiler from the Asian Trails office in Bali; Mr. Happy and Ms.
Dayu, who are in charge of the Java operations, together with
Jakarta based Mr. Tono (not in the picture).
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT
RACING THROUGH THE WATERS OF BALI
Following the traditions of
Bali, Asian Trails is working together with the local
fishermen community of Sanur to offer Prahu boat race for
groups of up to 100 participants. The one-hour race in the
fishermens colourful outrigger boat is along the scenic
coast of Sanur and Serangan Island. Guests are under the
supervision of a boat captain. To increase the sailing speed
during the race the competitors can also paddle so as to
be the first to reach the finishing line. All boats are
equipped with life jackets.
FIRST MARRIOTT HOTEL IN INDONESIA
Marriott Courtyard, the
first Marriott branded hotel in Indonesia, recently opened
its doors in Nusa Dua.
This is the chains 900th property worldwide.
The 250-room hotel, situated along the southern coast of
Bali, features 250 guestrooms with 32-inch LCD panel TVs and
satellite channels, minibar, Wifi and
great twist of
Balinese architecture. The MoMo Cafe, Courtyard's Asian
culinary outlet, includes an open kitchen and wood-fired
oven, while the MoMo 2 Go kiosk is open 24-hours a day,
providing on the run snacks like sandwiches, pastries and
BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN JIMBARAN
Kupu Kupu Jimbaran, located in the heart of the fishing
village of Jimbaran, is a charming boutique hotel. It
nestles above the Jimbaran Corner an area that will become
a new concept in holiday leisure in Bali. The hotel offers
30 ethnic decorated luxury suites, which are divided into
three categories - the Uluwatu Suite, Muaya Duplex Suite,
and Balangan Suite and Jimbaran Family Suite. Each is
equipped with the latest high tech gadgets.
With its fun and new approach to the regular hotels found in
Bali, Kupu Kupu Jimbaran is also a gourmet destination with
its selection of fine restaurants.
RESORT- TRUE JUNGLE RETREAT
The Menjangan Resort offers a unique chance to experience
the natural treasures within the Bali Barat National Park
(West Bali National Park) near Menjangan Island. Set amidst
382 hectares of pristine forest the totally renovated resort
provides the opportunity to experience some of Balis
untouched jewels. The resort offers three types of
Monsoon Lodge: This is a true retreat in the heart of the Bali Barat
The rooms are set around an idyllic pool and Jacuzzi. They
are spacious and beautifully designed with wooden floors,
traditional alang-alang grass roofing and ensuite
bathrooms crafted in natural stone. Services include a
24-hour concierge, full air-conditioning and complimentary
wireless Internet access. Room rates include a full gourmet
Available in either twin or double, the deluxe room is a
wonderful space to relax after a days adventure. Every room
is fully air conditioned with an ensuite bathroom. With the
pool lagoon on the doorstep and the reception offering
anything you may need, the Deluxe room offers the luxury of
a resort surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Suites: Encompassing the ultimate in luxury and timeless design, the
Suite offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of the forest.
Each spacious room is bathed in natural light and has been
carefully designed for the ultimate experience in relaxation
or socialising with your family and friends. Immerse
your senses in the sounds of the forest and the call of
birds. Look out the windows to watch the animals wandering
in your private garden areas or relax in the bathroom
flooded with natural light.
The Menjangan Resort will soon have villas on the beach,
which are currently under construction. Also included is a
ACCESS TO MELASTI BEACH AT BANYAN TREE UNGASAN
Guests of Banyan Tree Ungasan
now has access to Melasti Beach daily from 1000 hours to
1800 hours. Direct access is via a short buggy drive from
the resort, including a short and scenic walk down a stretch
of staircase offering a breathtaking view of the Indian
Ocean. There is an array of beach activities and a selection
of light gourmet snacks for a relaxing and serene day on the
FIRST GRAND MAS HOTEL OPENS IN AUGUST
Grand Mas, a new hotel group, is set to open the first of
its five planned properties, Grandmas@seminyak, in August
2011. It is located within walking distance of the shopping
centre, international restaurants and a few minutes from the
beach. Offering 117 rooms the 3 star hotel has a chic
design. The air-conditioned rooms have LCD TV, in-room safe
Grand Mas plans to add another four properties to its
portfolio of hotels - in Legian, Kuta, Tuban and Jimbaran.
WESTIN RESORT NUSA DUA
Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali, has completed the second phase
of a major refurbishment project. It saw the revamping of
two suite categories - Ocean View Suite and the Family
Suite, with the latter now positioned as the resorts top
The newly-renovated Family Suite offers two bedrooms and a
family room with a 42-inch flat screen TV, PlayStation and
board games, DVD player, bean bag and mini table set for
children, dining table and lounge. The master bedroom is
furnished with Westins signature Heavenly Bed, while the
second bedroom for children has a pair of double beds and a
daybed that can accommodate an extra adult.
The two-bedroom Ocean View Suite features a living area with
42-inch flat screen TV, dining area, study and lounge. It
offers direct ocean views.
KAMANDALU RESORT RELAUNCHES
The Kamandalu Resort in Ubud has completed its renovations
and now presents a total of 56 villas in five categories. Each
villa offers its own enchanting panoramic view across the
lush valley of Ubud and Petanu River. All materials built
into the villas were specifically picked for a specific
reason, which is to present guests with the best possible
blissful experience. All the villas feature natural stone
finishing and indigenous grass (alang-alang)
roofing. Most have their own private bale bengong
(traditional outdoor day-bed) for the perfect enjoyment of
the art of doing nothing.
NEW PROPERTY FOR SOL
Sol Melia has signed an agreement to open a new five star
hotel in Indonesia. Opening in 2013 the Melia Adhiwangsa
Surabaya will increase the Spanish hotel group's presence in
Indonesia to five properties, following existing locations
in Bali, Jakarta and Yogyakarta.
The new Melia Adhiwangsa Surabaya
will form part of a major leisure complex that includes a
shopping mall and golf course. It will feature 300 rooms, a
spa, swimming pool, childrens area, two restaurants, and
extensive facilities for meetings and events.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
FREMANTLE-BALI YACHT RACE
The Fremantle to Bali Yacht Race returns to the agenda of
the Fremantle Sailing Club in Western Australia. The start
of the race is on 23 April 2011 at 12:00 at Fremantle
Harbour, with musical entertainment and Balinese-inspired
cuisine. Before departure the boats will be blessed for
their three days journey to Bali, crossing the Indian
Ocean. The award ceremony will be held at Sanur Beach Hotel,
while the boats will be anchored up in nearby Benoa Harbour.
GARUDA'S BACK ON TRACK
Following its best ever
financial report Indonesias national carrier, Garuda
Indonesia, now sets its eye on an even better 2011. The
airline will add another six Boeing 737-800 NG and 2 Airbus
330-220 aircraft to its current fleet of 87 aircraft. The
two Airbus aircraft are to mount more frequencies on
international routes, while the smaller Boeing aircraft is
set to open new destinations within the Indonesian
On June 1
Garuda will increase frequency on its Denpasar-Seoul service
from three to five times weekly, and double its
Jakarta-Bangkok flights to twice daily. The carrier is
planning to start Jakarta-Taipei services in November.
domestic front, the airline is increasing services on its
Jakarta-Surabaya route from 15 to 16 flights daily,
Surabaya-Denpasar from three to four flights daily, and
Jogjakarta-Denpasar from two to three flights daily.
Additional domestic routes to launch this year are
Balikpapan-Surabaya and Makassar-Jogjakarta.
AIR ASIA INDONESIA EXPANDS
Air Asia Indonesia has increased its flight frequencies to
Bali and Medan (North Sumatra) from April 12, 2011 until
further notice. it is also gearing up for additional flights
from its existing hubs of Jakarta and Bandung. With the new
frequencies the number of daily flights between Jakarta and
Bali has increased to seven from the current five. The
Bandung-Bali and Bandung-Medan flights have increased to
twice daily from their current one time daily.
HONG KONG AIRLINES TOUCHES DOWN IN BALI
Hong Kong Airlines has
launched daily flights between Hong Kong and Bali. Using one
of its new Airbus 330-200 aircraft the airline now connects
Indonesia with an its extensive network throughout China.
The flight leaves Hong Kong at 19:10 for the 4hours and 35
minutes flight to Bali, returning to Hong Kong at 00:50.