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Temporary Suspension for Lombok and Gili Island Travel

Dear friends and business partners

Following this morning’s announcement we would like to update you that Asian Trails Indonesia has decided to suspend all travel out to the Gili Island & Lombok until the 9th August.

During this time we will be consulting with local partners, government bodies and hotels in the area to assess the situation on Lombok and the Gili Islands and whether it is safe to send clients from the 10th August onwards. We will be contacting all agents and their clients to update them and discuss the options available to them

We have already started to move clients off of Lombok, however with no speed boat crossings, long ques for ferry crossings and limited flight availability, we anticipate that a large number of clients will still remain on the island tonight, with most opting to remain outside in an area which our local partners have set up for them within their grounds.

We will continue to keep you updated on the situation and will be contacting all affected agents directly with updates on their clients.

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Lombok Earthquake | An update from our Indonesia office

Following last night’s earthquake which hit Lombok island, Asian Trails Indonesia would like to update you on the current situation and we are working to try and minimise the impact on our guests currently on Lombok and the Gili Islands.

  • Currently there are 82 reported deaths which we believe to be locals, with no fatalities to foreign nationals currently reported.
  • The North East of Lombok where the earthquake hit was the most affected.
  • Some hotels in Senggigi  area and on the Gili Islands have received some light damage, but fortunately no one has been harmed. Most guests slept outside on elevated ground due to the risk of further tremors and a tsunami warning which since has been lifted.
  • There is currently a lack of boats from the Gilis to Lombok mainland but we are already moving affected guests from Gili islands to Lombok since the early morning hours and make sure that they are in safe hands until they can board the next flight.
  • We are now waiting for the government to confirm extra flights out of Lombok and will look to move clients off of Lombok once these flights are confirmed.
  • The earthquake was felt quite strongly in Bali and some minor damage has been reported on the island, but Bali is considered safe, with no reported casualties.

We will be in contact with agents who have clients on Lombok and the Gili islands, as well as those due to travel to Lombok to discuss the options available and provide the best possible solution for them.

Please bear with us a while we await news from the government regarding the extra flights from Lombok and for us to find alternative accommodation for clients upon their return to Lombok.

We would like to stress that although the earthquakes can be felt from Bali that is considered to be safe and we do not foresee any cause for concern with clients currently in Bali.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will update you accordingly.

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Lombok hit by Earthquake, effects felt on Bali

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Lombok island on Sunday evening local time.

The epicenter was located in the north of the island followed by further strong quakes. Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency issued a tsunami warning and guests on the Gili islands, Senggigi area and surroundings were moved to higher ground. The warning has been lifted an hour later.

Although the earthquakes were strongly felt as well on Bali the main damage has been reported on north Lombok. As of now, there have been 3 casualties from the event, all on Lombok and no foreigners.

We are currently trying to get in touch with all your guests on the Gili and Lombok islands to reassure that all is well. This effort will take some time due to overstretched telecommunication networks and a power outage on Lombok island and will last well into Monday, 6. August but we assume that all your guests are safe.

We will keep you updated directly on any further news.

Best wishes,
Asian Trails Indonesia

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Update on Bali speedboats and Lombok’s Mount Rinjani closure

Please find below the latest update on speedboat transfers between Bali & Lombok and also the closure of Mount Rinjani following last weekend’s earthquake.

Speedboat Transfers
We regret to inform you that speedboat transfers between Bali and Lombok are still affected by bad sea conditions with all operations currently suspended. There has been a limited operation which ran on the 31st July and 1st August, however the sea conditions have since worsened, resulting in the authorities cancelling all crossings until Monday, 6th August.

Flights remain an option; however there are very limited seats available on direct flights to and from Bali. Some flights routing through Jakarta also remain available.

Because of potential discomfort, long transport times and the likelihood of delays, we are not recommending local ferries at this time unless no other option exists.

Travelers who are currently on the island of Bali are advised to stay there until conditions change. We are working hard to arrange departure for Bali by plane or ferry for those currently in Lombok.

As we continue to look into solutions and alternative travel itineraries on a case by case basis, your Travel Consultant will be in touch about clients affected on the ground and will update overseas partners accordingly.

Asian Trails will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated.

Lombok’s Mount Rinjani
Following last weekend’s earthquake which resulted in major landslides on Mount Rinjani, trekking the volcano remains closed until further notice, with many of the guests housed in surrounding villages also closed as they make minor repairs to the damaged that was caused to their properties.

We will update you once Rinjani opens up to tourist, wishing to partake in trekking the volcano.

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4 Days Northeastern Thailand

A traditional lifestyle has prevailed in the Northeastern side of Thailand: a region where historical artifacts and temple ruins, reminiscent with the time that Angkor was the centre of the world, blends with defining elements of true authenticity.

Isarn fits the perfect picture for an impression or passing by rustic villages, where wooden stilt houses are primarily fill the town borders, fertile landscapes where farmers tend to their crop, and where children playfully welcome new faces with a smile. The Northeastern part also is home to crumbling temples of the Khmer empire, often located on an elevated part of the land, and signifying its religious importance. Kind-hearted, a cuisine that is just finger-licking good, and tropical landscapes that demand to be explored; it is all this that have drawn guests with an Explore Asia-cap on to a lesser-known part of Thailand. Expect 4 locally-themed days through the Kingdom’s answer to authencity.

Welcomed by your guide and driver, we head straight out of the capital and head towards the rural side of the country. Before making our way towards Thailand’s oldest national parks for the night over and spending time exploring this popular holiday retreat, the importance of Phra Buddha Babh with its shire to revere the holy foot print of the Lord Buddha cannot be skipped. After our lunch in Saraburi, we enter the Khao Yai National Park area with another visit to a Buddhist temple, and meet the traders and buyers at a nearby wet market. Dinner and overnight will be just near the entrance of Khao Yai National Park.

It takes a full day to see everything in Khao Yai but with the Haew Suwat waterfall, we tackle an amazing natural phenomenon before heading to the gateway of the East – Khorat. One of Thailand’s largest cities has ample to offer to fill the day, but the highlight of the day will definitely the Khmer style temple of Phimai, Thailand’s answer to the Angkor temples in terms of magnificence. From statues to natural phenomenon, we end the afternoon at your Khorat-based overnight address for dinner and a well-deserved night’s rest.

Continuing our exploration of the ancient and spiritual, Prasat Phnom Rung, located on an extinct volcano and the nearby Prasart Muang Tham, affirms the influences of neighbor Cambodia during the Angkor era. A morning, including a local lunch, that comes to an end as we head over to one of the unofficial elephant capitals of Thailand, called Surin. The prangs of Prasat Hin Sikhoraphum complete another day in the fabulous east, as we afterwards head to our hotel for dinner and the night over.

The Khmer influences from a bygone era keep your days filled with awe. On our last day before heading back to Bangkok, Isarn landmarks such as the Prasat Wat Sa Kamphaeng Yai and its smaller brother – Prasat Wat Sa Kamphaeng Noi – move us nearer the Laos border. Ubon Ratchathani will be the final stop before flying back to the capital. We include visits to one of the oldest villages in the country and you admire beautiful collections of artifacts are on display at to Ban Kan Lueang Archaeological Site. It is time to head to the airport for a 1-hour flight to Bangkok (ticket not included), followed by a comfortable transfer to your Bangkok hotel.

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Announcement; Lombok Earthquake and fast boat services

It is with sadness that we are updating you in regards to the 6.4 magnitude earthquake which struck the island of Lombok, resulting in 14 deaths and 162 injuries.

The quake struck the east coast of the island away from any major tourist areas and fortunately no guests were injured as a result.

Our team on the ground has been working closely with guest in country who are currently on Lombok or due to travel there, answering any questions and reassuring them of their safety on the island.

The earthquake has resulted in a landslide on Mount Rinjani and currently all tours to Rinjani have been stopped until further notice.

There have been a number of mini aftershocks since the quake struck, however geologists do not anticipate another quake and we therefore deem that it is safe to travel to Lombok and all bookings made will operate as per usual.

For those travelling by boat to Lombok and the Gili Islands the boats are still not operating and this has been extended again until the 1st August, however this is likely to be extended again. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with clients in country on a case by case basis.

Please speak with your Asian Trails representative for any further information or to discuss any clients which may be affected by both of these incidents.
Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost people in Saturdays earthquake and we wish a speedy recovery for all that were affected.

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Updates on Indonesia speed boat crossings between Bali & Lombok/Gili Islands still closed

Following to the update on Monday, 23 July regarding the closure of speedboat connections to between Bali, Lombok, the Gili Islands as well as Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida, we regret to inform you that there has been an official announcement from the harbor master today that this will be extended until the 29th July. Therefore there will be no speedboat connection running until Monday 30th July at the very earliest.

Guests with speed boat transfers between the islands during this time will be affected and need to have their itineraries rearranged. Direct flights between Lombok and Bali airports are fully booked until 29th July, while some connections passing through Jakarta remain open. Because of potential discomfort, long transport times and the likelihood of delays, we are not recommending local ferries at this time unless no other option exists.

Travellers who are currently on the island of Bali are advised to stay there until conditions change. We are working hard to arrange departure for Bali by plane or ferry for those currently in Lombok. As we continue to look into solutions and alternative travel itineraries on a case by case basis, your Travel Consultant will be in touch about clients affected on the ground and will update overseas partners accordingly.

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Malaysia Airlines revises baggage allowance on Domestic routings

According to an official release from Malaysia Airlines (MAS), the national carrier of Malaysia has announced it will revise its baggage allowance on all domestic flights, booked and ticketed from 1 August 2018 onward. The airline’s reason for this change in luggage restrictions is to be more competitive in the domestic market.

The new regulations allow customers to take a maximum of 20 kilograms for check-in luggage and 7 kilograms for hand luggage in economy class. Other services such as in-flight entertainment and meals remain unchanged.  The statement says that Malaysia Airlines will enforce these regulations for all domestic departures.

Malaysia Airlines will revise its allowance by 10 kilograms on domestic routes – currently, the airline still allows 30 kilograms of check-in luggage, on par with its international allowance policy.