The low season for travel to the Asian region is ending, and the high season is beginning soon. Demand for products and services will be very strong, so please ensure your clients make their bookings early to avoid disappointment.
In tandem with the high season all destinations in the Asian Trails group have ramped up their products range. For example, China has a new culinary tour, Myanmar and Laos are offering new hotels and restaurants, while Cambodia. Indonesia and Thailand continue to delight visitors with both seasoned and new products.
Malaysia, meanwhile, is gaining prominence as a preferred destination for business events in Southeast Asia, and in Vietnam the rise of airlines have make travel to and within the destination very affordable.
All are detailed in the country reports. So please read on and discover more of Asia’s wonders.
ASIAN TRAILS’ TOUR COUNTER AT SOFITEL BANGKOK SUKHUMVIT HOTEL
Asian Trails has been operating a new tour counter at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel since June 2012, to cater to excursions for the hotel’s guests and our clients. The hotel is centrally located on Sukhumvit Soi 13-15, within easy walking distance of Nana BTS Station.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
CALYPSO CABARET SHOW
The famous Calypso Cabaret show has moved from Asia Hotel to the brand new Asiatique Riverfront complex (see article on Asiatique Riverfront in Trailblazer May/June 2012).
3-DAY HMONG SOFT ADVENTURE
This soft adventure tour is a journey of exploration with visits to several hill tribe villages, going down the rapids along a scenic river on inflatable rafts, trekking through the forest on elephant backs and biking on the hilly roads in the countryside. Also experience an overnight stay at the Hmong Hill tribe Lodge located in Mae Rim district, just an hour’s drive from Chiang Mai, which offers unique traditional Hmong culture amidst striking natural beauty.
Novotel Bangkok Fenix Ploenchit has changed its name to NOVOTEL BANGKOK PLOENCHIT SUKHUMVIT. Ideally located at Sukhumvit Road, it s only steps away from Bangkok’s shopping paradises of Siam Paragon, Central World, MBK, Terminal 21 and Central Chidlom, all connected by BTS sky train right in front of the hotel. This contemporary four star hotel features 370 well-equipped guestrooms, premier floors and lounge, fitness and outdoor pool, meeting rooms and indoor parking. This hotel is a perfect choice for both business and leisure travellers.
This Chao Phraya Riverside traditional style garden homes are fitted with fully modern facilities and finely decorated Thai style rooms, blissful baths in ideal natural setting and kitchen boutiques. Every room enjoys the Chao Phraya River view, as well as the green garden of fruitful trees, the fragrance of Thai flowers and the singing of little birds at dusk. Here you will experience high quality healthcare services for your physical as well as mental relaxation, including weight loss programmes designed to help decrease the risk of major illness. All sets amidst pristine natural beauty in lush and green environment surrounded by the cool and refreshing Chao Phraya River. Amazingly, you can experience this tranquillity only 45 minutes’ drive north of Bangkok.
137 PILLAR HOUSE IN CHIANG MAI
This luxury boutique hotel opened in March 2012. It consists of 30 rooms, all of them suites. Room size for the lowest category is 70sqm and 135sqm for the highest category. The hotel is situated very centrally, just some minutes walking from the riverside. Heart of the hotel is the former headquarter/office building of the East Borneo Company, built in 1896, which is now completely restored and functions as restaurant/lounge and bar.
DOUBLETREE RESORT BY HILTON PHUKET – SURIN BEACH
Formerly known as Courtyard by Marriott at Surin Beach, the resort style hotel is being rebranded and scheduled to reopen in September 2012. Doubletree Resort by Hilton Phuket provides modern comfort and offers rooms and suites with a private balcony or terrace. It is situated on Surin Beach and about 30 minutes’ drive from Phuket International Airport. Facilities are two outdoor pools, Kids’ World, fully equipped fitness centre and spa, all- day dining in Asia Alive, and poolside drinks in The Boardwalk bar. Modern meeting rooms for up to 30 people and high-speed Internet access are also available.
Formerly known as Courtyard by Marriott at Kamala Beach, this idyllic island retreat is right by Kamala Beach and about 30 minutes’ drive southwest of Phuket International Airport. Swissotel Resort Phuket offers 180 luxurious one- to three-bedroom suites, each with a separate bedroom, living room and private balcony. Facilities include three restaurants and bars offering a wide range of local and international dishes and drinks, a lagoon swimming pool, spa and fitness centre, and Kids World – an amusement zone for children.
BANYAN TREE PHUKET REBRANDS VILLAS INTO SEPARATE HOTEL UNITS
Bordered by the Andaman Sea, Banyan Tree Phuket offers luxurious tropical getaways with award-winning fine dining options and full spa services. The hotel is renowned for its service and luxury villas.
Banyan Tree Phuket has rebranded and is marketing its different villa categories as three independent hotel units – Banyan Tree Phuket, Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary and Double Pool Villas by Banyan Tree. Each unit has its own check-in facilities and services levels. However, most common areas, such as restaurants, are open to all guests from other units.
Banyan Tree Phuket comprises 135 luxuriously appointed villas inspired by traditional Thai architecture. Every villa features a king-sized bed, spacious bedroom, his and hers dressing areas, open-air sunken bath and private landscaped garden. Amenities include mini-bar, tea and coffee-making facilities, hair dryer, in-villa safe, IDD telephone, LCD TV and DVD player with sound system. All rooms are tastefully furnished with Thai art and fine woodwork.
BANYAN TREE SPA SANCTUARY
The 14-Spa Pool Villa is secluded and enshrined by lush gardens, designed to provide a sanctuary for the senses, enlivening the soul and relaxing both the body and mind. The luxurious Banyan Tree SPA Sanctuary offers Thai-style villas with a private pool and in-villa spa facilities. Surrounded by tranquil lily ponds, the spacious villas are decorated with pure Thai silks and have free Wi-Fi. Attached bathrooms have spa toiletries and sunken bathtubs. There is also free high tea.
The premier 24-Double Pool Villa boutique resort provides an intimate and serene environment for relaxation, shrouded by elegant, refined and luxurious surroundings. Each villa measures over 1,300sqm. It comes with two private pools – an infinity pool and a wading pool around the bedroom. A private villa host takes care of the guests’ needs during their stay.
A spectacular location on a magnificent hillside bordered by lush tropic jungle vegetation, overlooking the stunning bay of Bang Po and nearby island of Koh Phangan. All residences are inspired by contemporary design and complemented by verdant vistas. Guest accommodations consist of 65 residences with spectacular sea views. They represent a contemporary interpretation of modern and tropical living. All Infinity residences have one, two, three or four bedrooms and bathrooms and a beautiful integrated pool.
DEVA SAMUI RESORT & SPA
Located in Bophut, Deva Samui Resort & Spa has been designed to the highest standards in tropical modern style. Its 79 rooms and villas feature jacuzzis and private balconies, have luxurious furnishings, stylish decor and amenities. Each room also has a small kitchenette counter, microwave oven, iPod dock and DVD player for guests’ entertainment.
OUTRIGGER PHI PHI ISLAND RESORT AND SPA
Outrigger Hotels and Resorts will take over management of the idyllic Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort and Spa, its third in Thailand. The resort will continue to operate under its current name until November 1, 2012 when it will be rebranded as Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa. Located on the quiet northern peninsula of Phi Phi Don Island, it has 112 villas, four restaurants, two bars, a spa, fitness centre and a dive and activity centre. Over the next year 38 new villas will be built, bringing the total number of villas in the resort to 150.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
ANANTARA 2012 KING’S CUP ELEPHANT POLO
SEPTEMBER 12-16, 2012
VENUE: ANANTARA HUA HIN
Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas has announced the dates of the highly popular King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament for 2012. The charitable event, now in its 11th year, has to date raised over half a million dollars in charity to help Thailand’s elephants. This year’s event will be held in the Thai royal seaside town of Hua Hin from September 12-16, and promises to have more nail-biting action both on and off the field.
PHUKET VEGETARIAN FESTIVAL
OCTOBER 15-23, 2012
VENUE: PHUKET TOWN & VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN THAILAND INCLUDING TRANG, KRABI, BANGKOK, CHIANG MAI
This is a colourful event celebrated by the Chinese community and held over nine days in October during the ninth Lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Celebrants pray to the Nine Emperor Gods during the nine days of the festival. They also adhere to a strict vegetarian diet, abstaining from meat and various stimulants to achieve purification of the mind and body and, at the same time, be in good health. The festival also honours the gods, as well as expresses the people’s happiness at surviving what was, in the 19th century, a fatal illness.
ILLUMINATED BOAT PROCESSION
OCTOBER 23-31, 2012
VENUE: NAKHON PHANOM PROVINCE
This festival was originally aimed at paying respect to Lord Buddha. Then the competition of the illuminated boat processions was organised to add colour to the event. As the night sets in Nakhon Phanom visitors are treated to the amazing sight of the brightly illuminated boats sailing gracefully down the Mekong River. The boats, typically made from bamboo or banana leaves and intricately decorated, are a symbol of Thai homage to Lord Buddha. In typical Thai fashion the festival also features a colourful street parade, long boat races, food fair and various cultural performances.
DRAGONAIR COMMENCES HONG KONG-CHIANG MAI DIRECT FLIGHTS
Hong Kong-based Dragonair launched direct Hong Kong-Chiang Mai flights on July 1, 2012. This seasonal service will operate until October 14, 2012. The flights, on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays use the narrow-bodied Airbus A320 aircraft. This service gives passengers easy access to Dragonair’s network of over160 destinations around the world.
MANDALA ADDS JARKARTA-BANGKOK SERVICE
Indonesian budget carrier, Mandala Airlines, commenced daily Jakarta-Bangkok service on August 10 as part of its international network expansion. Bangkok is the airline’s third international destination after Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. It took to the skies in April after more than a year’s hiatus due to financial difficulties
FIREFLY UPS FLIGHTS TO THAILAND
Malaysia’s Firefly launched three times weekly services from Penang (Malaysia) to Samui on August 11, 2012. The flight departs Penang at 1415hrs and arrives in Samui at 1445hrs. It does a quick turnaround at 1505hrs and land in Penang at 1735hrs.
The airline added a new service on August 17, linking Subang Airport on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur to Hat Yai a commercial town in Songkhla province. The four times weekly service departs Subang at 0950hrs and lands in Hat Yai at 1010hrs The flight departs Hat Yai at 10.30hrs and arrives at Subang at 1300hrs
THAI SMILE TAKES OFF TO MACAU
THAI Smile, a sub-brand airline of Thai Airways International, commenced its first international flights to Macau on July 7, 2012. The twice-daily Bangkok-Macau service has a two-class configuration and operates with the new Airbus A320-200 aircraft. This new service adds to Thai Airways’ existing six daily Macau-Bangkok connections.
SPRING AIRLINES SOARS TO BANGKOK
Spring Airlines, China’s only low-cost carrier, started a daily flight between Shanghai and Bangkok August 10, 2012. It marks the carrier’s first service to Southeast Asia, in addition to its 25 domestic destinations. Using an Airbus A320 aircraft the flight departs Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport at 1330hrs and lands at Suvarnabhumi International Airport at 1710hrs. It does a quick turnaround at 1810hrs to arrive in Shanghai at 2335hrs. The airline’s lowest fare is about 20% to 35% lower than those of full-service carrier.
Spring Airlines’ fleet consists of 27 Airbus A320-200 aircraft, with five on order, configured in a single class with 174 seats.
NOK AIR RAMPS UP FLIGHTS
Nok Air added one more flight to Ubon Ratchathani on August 1, 2012 lifting the frequency from three to four flights daily. From September 1 Sakhon Nakhon is served by three flights daily, up from two, while Roi Et gets three weekly flights with evening departures, giving the city two flights daily. Phitsanulok services have two more daily flights, increasing from three daily to five. From Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Udon Thani services have increased from two to three daily. The carrier has also increased frequencies to Chiang Mai and Hat Yai from four to five flights daily. On October 1 it will commence a daily service to Chumporn.
EMIRATES TO LAUNCH DUBAI-PHUKET DAILY SERVICE
Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, continues its network expansion with the launch of daily services to Phuket from December 10, 2012. To be serviced by a three-class Airbus aircraft, flight EK378 will depart Dubai at 12.45pm and arrive at Phuket International Airport at 9:55pm. The return flight, EK379 will depart at 12:35am and arrive at Dubai International Airport at 4.35am.
Phuket will be Emirates’ second destination in Thailand. It will also be the 15th route launch for the airline this year and the second in Southeast Asia, following on from Ho Chi Minh City that was launched in June.
TRAVEL ADVICE FOR VIENTIANE – NOVEMBER 2012
As previously mentioned we would like to highlight two main events, which will bring perturbation to the daily life and touristic organisations in Vientiane
This year the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) will take place in the Lao capital, Vientiane, from November 5-6, 2012. This is the biggest event ever held in the country and most hotels will be blocked during this period. The main meetings will take place on November 5- 6, but hotels will be blocked from November 4-7 with some even from November 1-7.
Asian Trails Laos will be happy to assist you if you need help during this period.
VIENTIANE – JANUARY 2013
The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) will take place in Vientiane from January 17-24, 2013. As industry professionals from ASEAN and various parts of the world will converge in Vientiane for the travel mart and conference it will be difficult to confirm rooms for our clients during this period. The Lao government has already blocked the major hotels for the duration of this event. Even confirmed hotel bookings might be cancelled.
Do not hesitate to contact us for assistance
TRAVEL TIP – 2 DAYS /1 NIGHT MEKONG CRUISE
We offer a simple tip to make your trip a comfortable and enjoyable one:
Pack an overnight bag the day before your cruise on the Mekong River to avoid the hassle of having to carry your main luggage to the lodge, and run the risk of damaging it. Your main luggage will stay on board under the watch of the boat’s crew
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
TIP OF THE MONTH – 6 DAYS/5 NIGHTS NORTH LAOS
Fly from Vientiane to Oudomxay and take a short drive to the beautiful Muang La Resort. Spend two days visiting local villages, either by car or on foot. Cruise down the beautiful Nam Ou River for two days, with overnight stay in Nong Kiao Riverside Resort, before reaching. The next two days are spent exploring this magnificent World Heritage City. This is a trip conducted in comfort and amid natural peace
BURASARI HERITAGE LUANG PRABANG
The upmarket hotel chain Burasari from Thailand has taken over the former Chang Hotel, and is bringing it a complete new look and upgrading its services. With 23 rooms and suites at a perfect location along the Nam Khan River, Burasari Heritage Luang Prabang, opening in November, will complete the first class range of hotels in Laos.
RIVERSIDE BOUTIQUE RESORT – VANG VIENG
Good news for travellers looking for comfort and service. The Riverside Boutique Resort, sister property of Green Park Boutique Hotel in Vientiane, has opened. It offers 34 rooms and suites, and is located directly along the Nam Song River in a quiet and lovely environment. It is by far the best hotel in Vang Vieng.
HOTEL PROMOTION: RESIDENCE PHOU VAO BY ORIENT EXPRESS – LUANG PRABANG
Enjoy one of Luang Prabang’s very best addresses, as well as one of the best tables with this promotion:
Book 14 days in advance until the end of September, or 30 days in advance until the end of December, and get a 10 % discount on the room rate (new bookings only)
Sabaidee and welcome to Laos
“ONE TOURIST, ONE TREE” CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
Cambodia is tapping the green tourism market with a tree-planting campaign in the fertile soil of Koh Trong, a small island in the middle of the Mekong River opposite Kratie provincial town. The nation-wide campaign, launched by Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism in July, was advertised on TV and travel websites. Its aim is to encourage tourists to help revive forests while enjoying their vacations. More than 4,000 trees have been planted by local and international tourists since the campaign’s launch.
To participate in the campaign tourists pay US$5 for a seedling, small shovel and a piece of land to plant their own tree or a ‘family tree’, as well as a wooden name plaque to put next to their seedling. People from the community will take care of the trees planted by the tourists. In three or six months every participating tourist will receive an email informing him/her of the progress of the growing tree together with a photo of the tree and the wooden plague bearing his/her name.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
CHILDREN OF BASSAC PERFORMANCE – CAMBODIAN LIVING ARTS
Following the success of Children of Bassac’s last season the show is making a comeback with a bigger and better programme. In addition to the renowned Classical and Folk Dance performance there will be two extra shows featuring different art forms and showcasing 60 emerging artists.
The performances start from October 25. It will be on for six nights per week, from Monday to Saturday, in the garden facing the National Museum in Phnom Penh. The one-hour show is from 7pm to 8pm. Entrance fee is USD10 per person.
Strategically located in a residential area Arun Villa is an excellent address to start the discovery of the dynamic city of Phnom Penh. The hotel has 12 tastefully designed rooms with amenities that include air-conditioning, desk, minbar, blocked water and ventilator. It also offers room service and Wifi in public areas. Known for its impeccable service Arun Villa has a lovely garden for guests to relax in and a parking lot.
FRANGIPANI VILLA FINE ARTS HOTEL
Frangipani Fine Arts Hotel is tucked away down a quiet side alley close to the campus of the School of Fine Arts on the edge of Phnom Penh’s bustling art district. This contemporary boutique hotel has 22 fully equipped rooms on three floors. The hotel is cleverly built around a leafy central courtyard, which ensures it s naturally well lit and airy. The spacious rooms are examples of contemporary Cambodian design featuring polished concrete floors, terrazzo bathroom styling, furniture and fittings in wood, silk and other natural materials manufactured by leading Cambodian producers. The Fine Arts Restaurant is on the ground floor.
SIHANOUKVILLE-SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND HELICOPTER SERVICE
Song Saa Private Island has introduced a helicopter transfer service between Phnom Penh and Song Saa Private Island. The flight, which lasts for one hour 20 minutes, operates on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Flights depart from either the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Helipad or Phnom Penh Airport.
Helicopters Cambodia is Cambodia’s premier helicopter service. The Canadian/Cambodian company was the first commercial helicopter service to operate in the country, commencing operations in 1998.
Please contact us for luxury packages, detailed rates and further information.
SALA KOH TRONG RENAMED RAJABORI VILLAS
We would like to inform you that Sala Koh Trong Guesthouse on Koh Trong Island in Kratie has been renamed Rajabori Villas with immediate effect. Located north of the island this small resort has eight independent traditional Khmer wooden houses. For its electricity supply the villas use a mixed system of a generator, which operates for part of the night, and solar panels, which provide the service during the day and late at night.
Rajabori Villas’ unique location allows travellers to experience a deep immersion into an unspoiled part of old Cambodia, and is a haven for nature lovers and those who are fond of authenticity and discovery. Access is by boat to the island, then cart or moped to the resort.
JASMINE VALLEY ECO RESORT
The resort is nestled just below the National Park, in the beautiful jungle-covered mountains of the seaside town of Kep. The six “tree houses” offer wonderful views across the bay, as well as spectacular panorama of the jungle. Each room is simply decorated, but fully equipped with its own solar system for lighting and with inverters installed for fans and charging phones. The furniture is basic and decoration simple, but the environment makes this place a paradise for relaxation and rejuvenation.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
SEPTEMBER 24, 2012
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA
This public holiday celebrates the signing of the Cambodian constitution by King Sihanouk on the same day in 1993. The constitution was adopted by a constitutional assembly elected under the auspices of the United Nations.
BONN PCHUM BEN
OCTOBER 14-16 OCTOBER, 2012
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA
The three-day Bonn Pchu Ben is celebrated mostly by Cambodian Buddhists. During this festival they pay their respects to deceased relatives. According to Buddhist traditions Cambodians visit pagodas over two weeks. They offer food, flowers, rice and gifts to the monks who then convey them to the deceased so they do not haunt the living
Please note that all government institutions and some companies will be closed on Wednesday October 17 as a compensation for the holiday falling on Sunday, October 14.
CORONATION DAY OF HIS MAJESTY KING NORODOM SIHAMONI
OCTOBER 29, 2012
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA
This public holiday celebrates the anniversary of the coronation of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni. The Royal Palace is lit at night and beautifully decorated for this special occasion. It will be closed to visitors on this day for Palace ritual ceremonies.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
BOTANICA GALLERY CAFE
Botanic Cafe and art gallery serves a combination of cafe shop food, herbal beverages and green dishes with local vegetables. It also promotes health fruit drink. Apart from the cafe there is a souvenir shop where works of local artists are promoted. Specially designed art works and souvenirs for export, made locally from Cambodian natural materials, are also on display.
An art gallery is located on the second floor of the building. This space is for artists to take part in activities, which include painting, photography, exhibitions, performances and yoga lessons.
ASIAN SQUARE RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE
Asian Square, which is opening end September 2012, is the newest contemporary culinary destination in Siem Reap. It features a restaurant, a lounge, a cafe and an alfresco area for dining under the stars. The flavours and dinning experience at Asian Square promises to be an out-of-the-box gastronomic adventure – with a deep focus on fresh, organically grown ingredients and exciting new interpretations of food. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner the restaurant/lounge is also the perfect spot for light snacks, coffee, tea and exquisite potions for the cocktail hours. Its space can also be reconfigured to accommodate events, large group bookings and celebrations (up to 200 seats).
A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR THUY TIEN
The summer season is almost over and we have recorded a positive trend that shows more and more Vietnamese are able to travel to more exotic destinations within the country, as well as to nearby countries. One reason for this is the average Vietnamese tourist is able to buy air tickets at affordable price.
In 2007 the Aviation Law came into effect, which allows for the establishment of private airlines. In the last two years, competition has surged with the entry of new private carriers bringing the total number of airlines in the country to five. Vietjet and Mekong Air are privately owned, while Jetstar Pacific Airlines is jointly owned by Vietnam Airlines and Australia’s Qantas. While Vietjet Air heats up the market occasionally with tickets from approximately USD1 for new domestic segment, Jetstar promises promotional rate every Friday. However, Vietnam Airlines is still the best and most reliable choice for domestic and regional routes.
We do not expect a considerable reduction in prices, but believe that the competition will bring positive effects on domestic airline market. The airlines will also compete with each other to improve their availability and quality. This means more flexibility and more attention to customer service, and our guests will benefit from these improvements to have an excellent all-round experience to Vietnam.
NEW LOCATION FOR MUSEUM OF HUE CULTURE
The Museum of Hue Culture has moved to a 6,000 square metre French colonial style building overlooking the Huong (Perfume) River at 23-25 Le Loi Street. Since its founding in 1989 the museum has moved several times. With this relocation, and after 23 years, the museum has returned to its “own house”.
The Thua Thien-Hue Province authorities will spend VND53 billion (US$2.5 million) to renovate the building, which was previously used by the city’s People’s Committee. The museum contains items that feature Vietnamese and Cham bronze and ceramic artefacts, and photos and documents related to historic events in Hue.
HOANG SU PHI TERRACED FIELDS RECOGNISED AS NATIONAL HERITAGE
The Ha Giang Province will organise a ceremony on September 16, 2012 to receive the decision of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on recognising Hoang Su Phi terraced fields as a national heritage.
The terraced fields are situated on six communes and were planted hundreds of year ago by the labour force of the people of the La Chi, Dao and Nung ethnic minority groups. Travellers to this hidden corner usually stay at Panhou Eco Resort, which is a good base for either a one-day or multiple days’ stay for trekking.
LAGUNA LANG CO GOLF COURSE
The Faldo-designed Laguna Lang Co Golf Course situated between Danang and Hue is nearing completion. Most aspects of the project are on schedule to be ready for opening in late 2012;including the championship golf course, practice facilities and all golf-related infrastructure.
Set on the beach and within a 75 minutes’ drive from Danang’s two other golf courses (Danang Golf Club and Montgomerie Links) and close to Banyan Tree Resort, Laguna Hue is set to become one of Vietnam’s best golf courses and will bolster Danang’ s reputation as an international golf vacation destination.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
NEW MUD AND MINERAL WATER BATH CENTRE IN NHA TRANG
The I-Resort, located in rustic setting about 4km from the centre of Nha Trang city and surrounded by Cai River, is offering a relaxing experience in its unique mud and hot mineral water bath centre. As the resort currently has limited availability for accommodation it is best to just enjoy the mud bath for half or full day. There are various choices to suit all needs. Please contact us for more information.
MEMENTO COUNTRY HOME
Located in south eastern Vietnam, about 11km from Nha Trang coastal town, Memento Country Home is an extension of a 70-year ancient house. It comprises a dozen of thatched bamboo old cottages, which offer guests a relaxing setting of a green peaceful country home. It is not only a great choice for tourist looking to stay in rustic surroundings away from bustling Nha Trang, but also a good base for cycling trips around the countryside, visits to orchards and the local market or participating in a fun cooking class. Its location is also perfect to be included in the Nha Trang to Da Lat transfer.
NAME CHANGE FOR NOVOTEL PHAN THIET OCEAN DUNES AND GOLF RESORT
Novotel Phan Thiet Ocean Dunes and Golf Resort changed its name to Duparc Phan Thiet Ocean Dunes & Golf Resort from August 1, 2012. The resort is managed by Vina Properties Development’s hospitality division arm. The acquisition of the property was a key element in the parent company’s long-term growth plan to establish itself as an integrated life style service provider in Vietnam. As part of the rebranding the hotel is keeping to its commitment to continue delivering quality accommodation and service, for which it is known, to all its guests.
NOVOTEL SAIGON CENTRE, HO CHI MINH CITY OPENS
Accor has opened the 247-room Novotel Saigon Centre on the corner of Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Hai Ba Trung Street. It marks the French hotel operator’s return to Ho Chi Minh City after it stopped managing a building near Tan Son Nhat Airport about two years ago.
Accor also manages Novotel properties in Halong Bay, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet. The hotel group has more hotels and resorts under development in Danang, Phu Quoc, Hue and Hanoi.
BEST WESTERN INKS LAO CAI HOTEL DEAL
Hotel management group Best Western has signed a deal with Biti’s Co Ltd to manage the latter’s Sapaly Hotel, the first five-star property in the northern province of Lao Cai. The 189-room hotel, located at the heart of Lao Cai City, will open in early 2013.
Best Western manages six other hotels and resorts in Hue, Hai Phong and Nha Trang.
LAN VIEN, NEW 4 STAR HOTEL IN HANOI
Lan Vien, a new 4 star hotel, has opened in Hanoi. Located at the intersection of Ly Thuong Kiet and Hang Bai Street in the heart of the French quarter, the hotel is only five minutes’ walk to Hoan Kiem Lake in the centre of Hanoi. It has 115 deluxe rooms offering street views. A restaurant is on the 12th floor and its serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is also a large gym with a terrace.
VICTORIA PHAN THIET BEACH RESORT & SPA UNDERGOES RENOVATIONS
Please be informed that Victoria Phan Thiet Beach Resort & Spa is renovating the roof of all its Beach Front bungalows and Villas starting from July 15 to October 30, 2012.
Renovation works are on daily, from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Works are carried out on only one bungalow at a time and one per week. Noise is also kept at minimum level as heavy machines only operate when the work is being carried out. Disturbance to guests is thus minimal. The resort also ensures that guests are roomed away from the work site wherever possible.
MAKEOVER FOR PANDANUS RESORT’S BLUE LAGOON RESTAURANT
The Cafe Blue Lagoon Restaurant at Pandanus Resort is closed for renovations for replacement pf its flooring. It is closed September 3 until its scheduled reopening on October 25. Breakfast and ala carte dininer is moved to the Sun Terrace, which remains open 24 hours until the renovation of the Blue Lagoon is complete.
SOFT REFURBISHMENT AT THE NAM HAI
The Nam Hai is carrying out a soft refurbishment programme for the renovation of the wooden deck of its main pool. Work started on August 27 and is expected to finish within two weeks. From September 13 minimal work will be carried out on The Restaurant Terrace to replace its canvas roofing.
The renovations are being carried out progressively and steps are taken to keep disturbance to guests to the minimum. Guests can still continue to enjoy using the two other infinity swimming pools – The Lap Pool and The Upper Pool. They are also invited to take part in other activities in the resort like meditation and yoga sessions, art and crafts workshops, tennis, badminton and beach volleyball.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
CRAFT VILLAGE FAIR
SEPTEMBER 25-30, 2012
VENIUE: NAM DINH
The annual Craft Village Fair, held in Nam Dinh (mid-way Ha Noi to Ninh Binh), aims to boost trade and tourism activities, popularise images of craft villages and their products, as well as honour local craftsmen. It will also contribute to the preservation and development of national cultural identities.
The fair will have about 300 stands, which will display and sell different type of handicrafts from villages form various localities in the country. There will also be demonstration of craft making. During the fair the final round of the 9th Vietnam Handicraft Contest will take place. The winning products will be displayed at a special area to for visitors to view.
4TH INTERNATIONAL CIRCUS FESTIVAL 2012
NOVEMBER 10-16, 2012
VENUE: CENTRAL CIRCUS, VIETNAM CIRCUS FEDERATION, HANOI
This is a cultural event on an international scale with participation by the arts sectors of Vietnam’s circus and countries that include Russia, Luxembourg, Germany, Sweden, Italy, China, Laos, Cuba, Australia, Cambodia and America. Vietnam will be represented by one team in the festival. It will also feature some typical artists and items that have won achievement at the National Circus Festival.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
1960 PRESIDENTIAL CLUB
1960 Presidential Club, formerly a private club in Ho Chi Minh City is now opened to the public. it is also an exclusive venue for FIT leisure travellers or small groups.
Located on the roof floor of the Sailing Tower Building the club offers a breath-taking panorama of the Reunification Palace – a historic building built along Vietnamese architectural style in 1962. Its interior is inspired by the style of Sai Gon in the 1960s, making the Club stand out among other similar establishments.
We strongly recommend our guests to try the Club’s traditional herbal bath and signature spa package before enjoying its delicate cuisine.
ANY OTHER NEWS
HO CHI MINH CITY TO OPEN TOURIST BUS ROUTE
The Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department announced it would open a bus route connecting major tourist attractions in the city centre on September 15. Bus number 127 will stop at major tourism destinations like the Reunification Palace on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, the Saigon Zoo, Botanical Garden and several museums in the downtown area.
The bus will depart from Ben Thanh Bus station, located across from Ben Thanh Market and September 23rd Park and just a few minutes walking distance from the “westerner quarter” – a neighbourhood filled with hotels and foreign eateries cantered on Pham Ngu Lao Street in District 1. Ten new buses with automatic ticket selling systems will be used on the route. The buses are also designed to serve handicapped passengers in wheelchairs.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
CULINARY TOUR IN CHINA
Asian Trails has created a tour combining classic sightseeing with special lunches and dinners to sample the large variety of Chinese dishes. A cooking class and a visit to a local market is included in the tour.
Food lovers, you are welcome to join us for this special tour!
WINTER PACKAGES TO CHINA
Winter is a nice time to visit China and enjoy very competitive rates. Asian Trails China has prepared packages for Beijing or Shanghai, and a combination of the two cities with a ride on the bullet train.
Contact us for further information.
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN BEIJING
Why not do your Christmas shopping in Beijing? It is a good opportunity to discover the capital city and shop for your Christmas gifts at the same time.
Contact us for further information.
W GUANGZHOU OPENS ON DECEMBER 31
W Guangzhou arrives in Guangzhou, one of Asia’s most dynamic cities, on December 31, 2012. Located amid old Chinese opera stages, charming dim sum teahouses and dusty curio shops the hotel will be a cosmopolitan hub in the heart of Zhujiang, a new upscale district featuring luxury shopping and world-class entertainment.
W Guangzhou’s customary Chinese etiquette will meet W’s signature sleek designs, creating a lavish ambience for style connoisseurs to indulge in some of the hotel’s fine facilities that include Bliss® Spa, SWEAT® fitness centre and the wish-fulfilling Whatever/Whenever® service.
JUMEIRAH STRENGTHENS FOOTHOLD IN CHINA
Dubai luxury hotel chain, Jumeirah Group, is set to augment its presence in Greater China with new hotels over the next three to five years.
The 205-room Jumeirah Guangzhou will open in 2013. This will be followed by the 139-room Jumeirah Thousand Islands Lake Resort, Qiandaohu; the 250-room Jumeirah Hangzhou; the 250-room Jumeirah Clearwater Bay Resort, Sanya; and the 250-room Jumeirah Macau.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL TO OPEN FIRST HOTEL IN GUANGZHOU
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is set to open its inaugural property, Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou – later this year. Located above TaiKoo Hui in Guangzhou’s Tianhe CBD, the five-star hotel is part of a 450,000sqm mixed-use development comprising luxury shopping outlets, office spaces and a cultural centre.
The hotel, with interiors designed by Tony Chi & Associates, features 233 rooms, 30 suites and 24 serviced apartments. Each guestroom offers spa-inspired bathrooms with separate “wet” and “dry” rooms, circular bathtubs and rainforest spa showers.
Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou has five dining and cocktails venues, including a signature grill restaurant, a Cantonese restaurant and the Mandarin Cake Shop. Other facilities include a 750sqm ballroom, a nine-room spa, fitness centre and a 25m heated outdoor pool.
GHM MARKS CHINA’S DEBUT WITH CHEDIS IN SUZHOU, HUANGSHAN
General Hotel Management (GHM) will make its inaugural foray into China with the launch of two new Chedi properties in Suzhou (Jiangsu Province) and Huangshan (Anhui Province).
The Chedi Club Suzhou, China (pictured) will open in Q1 2013 at The Global 188 mixed-use development in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. The boutique hotel, which will be the group’s “very first truly urban hotel”, will offer 36 rooms, as well as private apartments. It also features a rooftop restaurant, spa, pool, health centre and event facilities.
The Chedi Taiping Lake, China will open in 2015 at Mount Huangshan, Anhui Province. It offers 52 rooms, 45 club villas and eight residences with private courtyards and balconies. The hotel will also feature a hot spring spa, health club, four dining outlets, Gary Player-designed golf course and a golf academy.
GHM recently entered into a joint venture with Beijing Tourism Group to introduce Ahn Luh, an upscale hotel brand targeting Chinese luxury travellers. Demand (for GHM properties) is mainly from first-tier cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.
WYNDHAM AUGMENTS CHINA’S PORTFOLIO WITH FOUR NEW RAMADA HOTELS
The Wyndham Hotel Group is strengthening its presence in China by entering into franchise agreements with four different Chinese developers to construct new hotels under its Ramada brand. All four properties will open in 2013, adding to the group’s 46 Ramada hotels currently operating in China.
The 293-room Ramada Plaza Chengdu West (pictured), set in Xingfu Town, Dujiangyan in Chengdu city, is part of a large-scale commercial complex. Its facilities will include a fitness centre, eight meeting rooms and three restaurants.
The 289-room Ramada Huizhou South is located near Dayawan Petrochemicals Industrial Park and about an hour’s drive from Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport. It will have an outdoor pool, sauna, ballroom and six meeting rooms totalling 2,000sqm.
The 179-room Ramada Kunming North is situated in a 428-hectare real estate development area, which includes a horse racing club, two 18-hole golf courses, a conference centre, luxurious residences, entertainment facilities and a natural wetland park. The hotel’s business amenities will include a grand ballroom, five meeting rooms and six boardrooms with over 1,000sqm space.
Ramada Hotel Pingtan, located in Pingtan’s Experimental Zone and 65km from Fuzhou Changle International Airport, will offer 150 rooms and four meeting rooms totalling 500sqm.
STARWOOD PURSUES AGGRESSIVE EXPANSION STRATEGY IN CHINA
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is aggressively expanding its portfolio in China, fuelled by the country’s increasing affluence, as well as growing demand for second- and third-tier cities. After surpassing its 100th hotel milestone in China earlier this year the hotel group has another 100 hotels in the pipeline.
Sheraton, which is leading Starwood’s expansion in China, is on track to reach 90 hotels in Greater China by 2016. Other brands with openings in the works include W Hotels, The Westin, Le Méridien, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and St. Regis.
The group’s inaugural W Hotel in China will debut in Guangzhou in early 2013. Another four W Hotels are scheduled to open in Macau, Beijing, Shanghai and Changsha by 2017.
The Hongta Hotel, Twelve at Hengshan in Shanghai (pictured) and The Royal Begonia on Hainan Island, China’s first Luxury Collection resort, will open this year under Starwood’s Luxury Collection brand. Five more Luxury Collection hotels will be launched in Dalian, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Xiamen and Nanning by 2016.
Starwood’s first dual-branded ski resort, The Westin and Sheraton Changbaishan, opened in July this year.
SOLIS HOTELS & RESORTS EXPANDS REACH IN CHINA
Singapore’s Solis Hotels & Resorts will open its third property in China – the 260-room Solis Guangzhou – by the end of 2013.
The hotel, which is currently under construction, will feature a cultural centre, four restaurants, a library, spa, fitness centre, an executive club lounge and a rooftop infinity pool. It also offers 1,780sqm of meeting space including a Grand Ballroom that can seat up to 350-pax, a VIP stateroom and a VIP private banquet room.
Solis Guangzhou is said to be the only five-star hotel along the Pearl River, and the only one with its own jetty and docks.
SWISSOTEL TO MANAGE LUXURY GOLF RESORT IN SANYA
Swissotel Hotels & Resorts will manage a 300-room luxury golf resort, Swissotel Sanya in Sanya, Hainan Island, as part of a mixed-use development scheduled to open in 2015.
Located approximately 10km from Sanya Phoenix International Airport, Swissotel Sanya will feature four restaurants and bars, a large outdoor pool, Purovel spa and over 2,000sqm of meeting and banqueting space. The hotel will form part of the Sanya Dragon Valley Hot Spring & Golf Resort, which will feature an 18-hole golf course, over 1,000 luxury villas and 80,000sqm of retail, F&B and entertainment space.
SOUTH CHINA GETS A LANGHAM IN SHENZHEN
Langham Shenzhen, the inaugural Langham property in South China, will welcome guests in September 2012. The five-star hotel is part of a mixed-use development comprising serviced apartments, luxury retail and commercial space in Futian, the city’s new business and commercial district.
The hotel comprises 352 guestrooms including 19 suites. Leisure amenities are the Chuan Spa, a 24-hour health club & gymnasium, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. It also features several MICE venues including a 600sqm grand ballroom, five function rooms of various sizes, and a permanent boardroom with capacity for 10 paxs.
There are six F&B options namely a lobby lounge, poolside bar, chocolatier, Chinese restaurant serving Cantonese food, Western eatery with a wine cellar, and an all-day dining outlet serving international cuisine.
SWIRE HOTELS TO OPEN SECOND EAST IN BEIJING
Swire Hotels will unveil EAST, Beijing in September this year, following up on the launch of EAST, Hong Kong – the maiden property under the brand – in January 2010.
Situated within INDIGO, a mixed-used development by Swire Properties and Sino-Ocean Land in Beijing’s Chaoyang District, EAST, Beijing offers 369 rooms, including 23 suites. All rooms come equipped with a built-in array of international power points, iPod touch technology and WiFi broadband Internet connectivity. The executive floors and executive lounge are located on the 24th and 25th levels of the property.
Dining and entertainment are provided by Feast (Food by EAST), an all-day dining restaurant serving up international favourites; Hagaki, a Californian-inspired Japanese eatery; and Xian, a multi-element bar, lounge and music venue on the ground floor. MICE facilities are available at The Workshop, the hotel’s meeting and events space on the third floor. Other facilities include a gym, swimming pool and an outdoor splash pool.
EAST, Beijing is Swire Hotels’ second hotel in the Chinese capital and fourth in Asia after The Opposite House at Sanlitun Village.
Targeting business travellers looking for a relaxed, convenient and contemporary environment EAST hotel brand standards include a paperless check-in and checkout experience, and a one-stop front desk service team. The brand’s philosophy is to create a lifestyle business hotel that rejuvenates you when you are tired, energise you when you are in search of fun, and support you when it’s time for business.”
HOLIDAY INN HITS 60TH HOTEL MARK IN CHINA WITH INAUGURAL SKI RESORT
Holiday Inn has unveiled its 60th hotel in China, Holiday Inn Changbaishan Resort, which is also its first-ever ski resort in the country.
Situated within the Changbaishan International Resort in Jilin province, Holiday Inn Resort Changbaishan and Holiday Inn Changbaishan Suites are nestled among the Changbai Mountains on the border between China and North Korea.
Holiday Inn Resort Changbaishan offers 368 guestrooms and 1,900sqm of meeting space including a 985sqm pillar-free ballroom and seven meeting rooms. Holiday Inn Changbaishan Suites has 235 one- to three-bedrooms suites, each with a fully equipped kitchenette and refrigerator.
F&B options at the resort include the Ji Cafe featuring fresh seafood, imported steaks and local cuisine, and the Feng Bar that stocks 30 different brands of local and imported beer. Facilities include a ski ranch engineered by Canadian company Ecosign, 43 ski runs covering a total area of 6.5sqkm, an indoor swimming pool, spa and fitness centre.
BANYAN TREE EXPANDS CHINA’S PORTFOLIO
Luxury hospitality operator, Banyan Tree, debuts its urban resort concept in China with the upcoming launch of properties in Shanghai and Tianjin later this year. Following on the concept’s success in Bangkok, Seoul and Macau the group’s newest urban resorts fuse its signature luxury offerings with the facilities and services of a premier city-based retreat.
Banyan Tree Shanghai On the Bund and Banyan Tree Tianjin Riverside, opening in October and November respectively, are elegant new additions to the hospitality landscape in these vibrant, fast-growing cities.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
SEPTEMBER 30, 2012 – 15TH DAY, 8TH MONTH (LUNAR CALENDAR)
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CHINA
This year the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Lunar Calendar or September 30. This is an important time for reunion of families and loved ones. In China there is a saying that if you cannot be with the one you love, at least you can share the same moon and feast on mooncakes, a Chinese delicacy offered to friends, colleagues or business partners. On this special day Chinese people throughout the country enjoy eating mooncakes while watching the full moon.
NATIONAL DAY HOLIDAY
OCTOBER 1, 2012
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CHINA
China celebrates its National Day on October 1. The country takes a long holiday break from October 1 to 7 in conjunction with this national event. During this period government offices and most companies will be closed.
Asian Trails China office will close for three days, from October 1 to 3.
HAINAN AIRLINES TO LAUNCH BEIJING-CHICAGO SERVICE
Hainan Airlines has received approval from US regulatory authorities to launch Beijing-Chicago services. Scheduled to take off in 2013 it will be the first-ever direct flights between Beijing and Chicago, and the airline’s second non-stop American flight after Seattle.
According to Hainan Airlines’ Beijing office, the carrier plans to operate four-weekly services on the Chicago route, using the Boeing B787 Dreamliner aircraft.
In a related development Hainan Airlines will resume its services from Shenzhen to Sydney on October 29, with thrice-weekly flights from Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport to Sydney International Airport. The Shenzhen-Sydney flights will be operated using the Airbus A330-300 aircraft, with a configuration of 30 premium-flatbed and 254 economy seats.
CHINA EASTERN TO MOUNT DIRECT CAIRNS-SHANGHAI FLIGHT
China Eastern Airlines will commence direct flights from Shanghai to Cairns in Queensland, Australia on October 30. The carrier will operate thrice-weekly services on this route, using the Airbus A330-200 aircraft configured with 24 premium-flatbed and 238 economy seats.
VISA ON ARRIVAL FOR BUSINESS TRAVELLERS
Visa on Arrival for business travellers was introduced on June 1, 2012 at Yangon International Airport. According to a statement by the immigration department, it is also planning to expand this service to Mandalay and Naypyitaw airports for the upcoming high season 2012-13.
Corporate travellers need a five-month-valid passport, two recent colour photos, an invitation letter from the sponsoring company, copies of the company registration, the business licence or another evidence of permission to do business in Myanmar.
Conference, workshop, event or ceremony attendees must show a letter of invitation from the relevant ministry instead of the sponsoring company. This entry visa does not allow any other kind of work other than that stated on the visa form.
No official announcement has yet been published for Visa on Arrival for tourists. We will update our partners and clients as soon as we know the details.
Every year at this time we would like to remind that starting from the middle of October all hotels on Myanmar’s beach destinations will reopen for the high season.
Myanmar has two main beach areas, both located along the Gulf of Bengal
Coast in the west of the country.
• Ngapali Beach (pictured), in Rakhine (Arakan) State, is easily accessible by short flights from Yangon, Bagan and Heho. It offers guests a wonderful and unspoiled beach with excellent swimming possibilities. Snorkeling trips to nearby islands can also be arranged.
• Ngwe Saung Beach in the Irrawaddy Division entails a longer journey, as it is accessible by a five-hour trip by car from Yangon. It also offers a long beach with excellent swimming possibilities as well as snorkeling trips to the surrounding area.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
CULTURAL SHOW – KANDAWGYI PALACE HOTEL, YANGON
Kandawgyi Palace Hotel in Yangon is now offering a delightfully diverse cultural show with dinner.
SAVOY HOTEL YANGON COMPLETES RENOVATIONS
Savoy Hotel Yangon has completed its renovation in all its rooms that included upgrades to the bathrooms, amenities as well as plumbing and electricity supply. All rooms now feature flat screen television.
TRADERS HOTEL YANGON RENOVATES
Traders Hotel Yangon is undergoing major renovation works, which include all public areas such as restaurants, bar, lobby, meeting rooms, gym and swimming pool. The rooms have received a major overhaul, and the new Traders Club rooms are fully refurbished with bright new furnishings.
ALPHA HOTEL REOPENS – YANGON
Alpha Hotel in Yangon has reopened after being closed for 10 years. Catering for budget conscious travellers the hotel has.90 rooms divided into Junior Suites, Queen Deluxe, Queen Standard and Twin Standard. All rooms are equipped with air- conditioning, bathtub, hot and cold water, colour TV, refrigerator and a desk. Facilities include one restaurant serving mainly traditional Myanmar food, a business centre, 24-hour room service, laundry service and safety boxes.
OPENING OF HOTEL SHWE PYI TAR – MANDALAY
Hotel Shwe Pyi Tar is located on the historic Lake Aung Pin Lae, about 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre. A spacious and historical countryside hotel its offers two different types of accommodation themes inspired by Myanmar’s architecture.
The standalone villas are mostly constructed from teak wood and other tropical hardwoods. The hotel’s 60 deluxe rooms and suites are located in the main building at the back. All rooms are equipped with IDD telephone, satellite TV, minibar and air conditioning. Facilities include a restaurant, business centre, limousine service, 24 hours medical assistance, 24 hours room service, baby-sitting service, laundry service and souvenir/jewellery shop.
OPENING OF HOTEL 7 MILE – YANGON
Hotel 7 Mile is located in a quiet residential area about 20 minutes drive from down town. The hotel consists of 53 rooms that are divided into standard, superior and deluxe rooms. All rooms are equipped with IDD telephone, satellite TV, minibar, safety box, hair dryer and ensuite facilities. Deluxe rooms come with tea/coffee facilities, as well as a bathtub. Facilities include one restaurant serving European and Chinese cuisine, a bar, coffee shop a business centre and free parking.
OPENING OF HONEY PINE HOTEL – KALAW
Honey Pine Hotel is a four-storey brick building off Kalaw’s main road. Catering for the budget conscious traveller, the hotel offers spacious rooms decorated with pine wood to reflect the hotel’s name. All rooms are equipped with TV, telephone, mini bar and shower with hot and cold water.
ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS TO LAUNCH DIRECT YANGON-NARITA SERVICE
From mid-October 2012 All Nippon Airway will offer three times weekly direct flights between Yangon and Narita (Japan).
DIRECT YANGON-SEOUL SERVICE ON KOREAN AIR
Korean Air will launch four times weekly direct flights between Yangon and Seoul (Korea) from mid-September 2012.
EVA AIR OFFERS DIRECT TAIPEH-YANGON FLIGHT
Eva Air will launch three weekly flights from Taipeh (Taiwan) to Yangon starting in October 2012.
CHINA AIRLINES ADDS YANGON FLIGHTS
China Airlines will expand its services to Yangon, operating five weekly flights from mid-September 2012.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
LE NACHA RESTAURANT YANGON OPENS
Le Nacha Restaurant in Yangon, which recently opened, serves a mix of Burmese cuisine blended with Thai elements. The restaurant is located on a main road but in a big compound, which shields it from roadside traffic.
ANY OTHER NEWS
STAFF FAM TRIP TO INLE LAKE
The staff of Asian Trails Myanmar recently went on a fam trip to Inle Lake. The group took the overland bus from Yangon to Kalaw. The ride, which took about 15 hours arriving the next morning in Kalaw, is a journey for the adventurous.
After a hearty breakfast on the first day the staff set out to explore the trails around Kalaw and hiked to exciting new spots. The second day was dedicated to hotel inspection in Kalaw. On the third day they did hotels inspection on and around Inle Lake to get updates on their facilities and services. On the fourth day the group explored the lesser-known areas in and around Inle. The knowledge gained from the trip will help to create even more interesting itineraries, which will soon be made available to all our esteemed clients.
LENGGONG VALLEY, PERAK GETS WORLD HERITAGE SITE STATUS
UNESCO has recognised the Lenggong Valley in Perak as a World Heritage Site on June 30, 2012. The declaration was made following the discovery of artefacts, which were more than 1.8 million years old through excavation works by the country’s archaeologists.
Lenggong Valley in upper Perak is where the earliest human skeletal remains in the peninsula, the 11,000 year-old Perak man, was found in 1991. It is an important archaeological site where evidence of human settlement from the Palaeolithic age was found. 100,000 year-old stone tools have been excavated and there also appears to be proof that it was a site of bronze manufacture during the Bronze Age. The Lenggong Archaeological Museum has a wide collection of the artefacts excavated from the area.
LEGOLAND MALAYSIA, FIRST IN ASIA, OPENS ON SEPTEMBER 15
Malaysia will soon be home to the world’s newest and Asia’s first Legoland theme park and the sixth in the world – Legoland Malaysia. Scheduled to open its gates to the public on September 15 the park is located in Johor, the southernmost and one of the most progressive states of Peninsular Malaysia. It is just a 10-minute drive from the second link connecting Singapore to Johor and a 20-minute drive from Senai Airport.
Legoland Malaysia is a 76-acres theme park packed with more than 40 rides, shows and attractions. Nearly all of the rides are hands-on so you can push, pull, pedal, programme, steer, squirt, splash, crawl, climb and, yes, build your way through a full day of non-stop fun. The amusement park is divided into seven themed areas, each theme designed to entertain people of all ages. With features like Lego experiment centres, roller coasters, water attractions and shows the whole family can experience a day-long voyage of discovery and adventure.
PUTERI HARBOUR THEME PARK, JOHOR SET FOR MID-NOVEMBER LAUNCH
The Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park, filled with an exciting mix of home-grown names and globally renowned characters, is set to open in mid-November this year. It will be home to LAT’s Place, the first live animated themed restaurant in the world; the first Sanrio Hello Kitty Town outside of Japan; and characters such as Bob The Builder, Barney and Friends, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu the Penguin and Thomas and Friends from The Little Big Club – the first time in the world that all five cartoon characters from The Little Big Club are placed under one roof.
Situated within the Puteri Harbour waterfront development the four-storey indoor theme park is part of a mixed hotel, retail and entertainment complex making it a one-of-a-kind tourist destination.
GRAND HYATT KUALA LUMPUR OPENS
The five star Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, Malasysia’s inaugural Grand Hyatt, opened on August 24. It is strategically located within walking distance of popular shopping malls, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) and tourist attractions. The hotel’s 370 spacious guestrooms and 42 opulent suites are all fitted with modern conveniences. The size of guestrooms starts at 47 square metres (505 square feet). The arrival experience is a unique feature as guests are whisked to the sky lobby on the 38th floor via dedicated express elevators.
CROWNE PLAZA MUTIARA KUALA LUMPUR TO CEASE OPERATIONS FROM JANUARY 2, 2013
Tradewinds Corporation Berhad, the owner of Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur, recently announced that the site currently occupied by the hotel and the adjacent Kompleks Antarabangsa, will make way for the new Tradewinds Centre. This project is slated to commence in early 2013. As a result of this redevelopment Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur will cease operations from January 2, 2013.
UPGRADE FOR GRAND MILLENNIUM KUALA LUMPUR’S EXECUTIVE CLUB ROOMS
Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur embarked on the upgrading of its Executive Club Rooms and Lounge on levels 17 and 18 from 21 July. The refurbishment is expected to be completed by mid-October this year. During this period the hotel is taking care to ensure its operations are business as usual.
REFURBISHMENT UPDATE AT MERITUS PELANGI BEACH RESORT, LANGKAWI
The following areas at Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort in Langkawi have been completed recently:
Entrance to the resort
Meritus Club Lounge
Spice Market Restaurant – Coffee House
Phase 2-105 newly renovated guestrooms available from 1 August 2012
Work is currently ongoing for Phase 3 on another 116 rooms, and is expected to be completed in mid-November 2013.
UPDATE FROM THE ANDAMAN, LANGKAWI
The Andaman Langkawi is adding in numerous new facitilies for guests’ enjoyment. Guests can look forward to the Rainforest swimming pools and a gastronomic delight soon to be revealed at the award winning beachfront. Jala (translated as “Fisherman’s Net”) will be the resort’s new and exclusive seafood dining venue and a destination restaurant for Langkawi. At the same time, the Beach Bar will undergo a transformation, all set to charm with a fresh new look while maintaining a relaxed ambiance.
The resort has assured guests that they will experience minimal or no disruptions from this project as works will be carried out at a cordoned portion of the upper beach area only. To make up for any inconvenience caused the resort will extend a 20% discount off food and beverages consumed in the resort, and a 15% discount off spa treatments to all guests between now and October 31, 2012. Terms and conditions apply.
BERJAYA LANGKAWI RESORT COMPLETES ROOM REFURBISHMENT PROGRAMME
Berjaya Langkawi Resort completed renovation of 28 rooms located on Track 1 on June 1, 2012, which marks the completion of the entire rooms refurbishment for the resort.
Works on the rooms were mainly upgrading of the Superior Chalets and Deluxe Chalets; and in some cases the conversion into a third category – Rainforest Chalet (formerly Superior), Seaview Chalet (formerly Deluxe) and Rainforest Studio (two Superiors converted onto one). These new room categories are separated into five elements and, as such have their distinctive colour scheme (drapes, artwork, etc) depicting sea, sand, wood, sun and forest themes. Other changes include a slighter larger bathroom, larger windows, high quality fittings, flat screen televisions and room safes. Energy efficiency was also a key factor in the design, which includes LED lighting and dual flush toilets.
The new Rainforest Chalet, Seaview Chalet and Rainforest Studio allow the resort to offer a higher standard of comfort and experience.
SERI CHENANG RESORT & SPA – A NEW LUXURY RESORT IN LANGKAWI
Seri Chenang Resort & Spa in Langkawi, a luxury boutique resort, opened on September 1, 2012. It consists of six villas of different sizes and unique characteristics, built to replicate Malay traditional houses.
Perched on the banks of Kuala Chenang River next to the popular Chenang Beach, the resort is set in lush tropical foliage with sweeping views of the paddy fields, mountains and the sea, nestled within the more quiet and exclusive fishermen village of Kampung Sungai Kuala Chenang. Facilities in the resort include an infinity swimming pool, a small gymnasium, an art gallery, a resort boutique and the exclusively designed Kayangan Spa.
BERJAYA PENANG CHANGES NAME TO GEORGETOWN CITY HOTEL
Berjaya Penang Hotel has changed its name and is now known as Georgetown City Hotel. This takes effect from July 18, 2012.
BEST WESTERN PREMIER DUA SENTRAL OPENS FOR BUSINESS
Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, Kuala Lumpur opened its door on July 1. It is located in the up-and-coming business and transportation hub of KL Sentral. The 364-room flagship property marks Best Western’s entry into the Malaysian capital and is also the inaugural Best Western Premier hotel in the country.
The hotel offers rooms with sizes ranging from 34sqm to 183sqm. Hotel facilities include eight function rooms with space for 12 to 192 paxs, three F&B outlets, an infinity-edged swimming pool and a spa.
FACELIFT FOR LE MERIDIEN KUALA LUMPUR’S MEETING FLOOR & LOBBY
Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur is undergoing a facelift project of the Level 6 meeting floor, as well as the hotel lobby entrance from August 1 until mid-November 2012. During this period the closure of affected areas are carried out in phases, and all efforts are made to ensure minimal inconvenience to the guests.
LOBBY LOUNGE MAKEOVER AT INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur embarked on Phase 2 of its refurbishment programme on Auguest 1, which sees the Lobby Lounge being given a makeover. The lounge and the side entrance are closed for the duration of the renovation. The new lounge will be unveiled in November 2012. The renovation may incur some noise disturance, and the hotel is doing its utmost to minimise any inconvenience to its guests. Alternative arrangements are in place to ensure a smooth arrival and stay experience.
SHANGRI-LA’S RASA RIA RESORT, KOTA KINABALU COMPLETES REFURBISHMENT
Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah has upgraded all its 326 rooms and suites in the Garden Wing, the Lobby, Lobby Lounge and the gym. The resort also opened a new internet Cafe. The Garden Wing Pool, kids pool and the landscape have all been enhanced with additional features.
REFURBISHMENT AT PROMENADE HOTEL, KOTA KINABALU
The Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu in Sabah has embarked on its refurbishment, which involves contemporary style makeover of all rooms. Work started on August 15, 2012 and is expected to be completed by the end December 2013. Work is carried out from 9am to 5pm daily between buffer floors to minimise any noise.
TUNAMAYA RESORT, TIOMAN ISLAND TO CLOSE DURING MONSOON SEASON
Please be informed that Tunamaya Resort in Tioman island will be closed from October 15, 2012 to February 28, 2013 due to the monsoon season. It will reopen on March 1, 2013.
APARTMENT BLOCK AT BELLA VISTA RESORT & SPA LANGKAWI CLOSES FOR RENOVATIONS
The apartment block at Bella Vista Resort & Spa Langkawi (Kuah town) is closed for renovations from July 23 until further notice. As such, both the two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments are out of the inventory until further notice.
BAYVIEW BEACH RESORT, PENANG TO HOST 9TH PENANG INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
The 9th Penang International Jazz Festival will once again be held in Bayview Beach Resort. This international event will take place in the hotel’s garden on December 1-2, 2012 from 7pm-12am.
The festival will feature jazz artists from all over the world and a show not to be missed.
Please be advised there may be some noise issue (loud music), which could be heard from the rooms during the festival. The noise may be intermittent during the afternoons when the artists are doing sound check, and at night when the festival is on.
DAMAI BEACH RESORT, KUCHING UNDERGOES REFURBISHMENT
Damai Beach Resort in Kuching, Sarawak has started its refurbishment programme on its Beach Wing rooms and the common areas such as the adult and kid pools and the restaurants. A new ballroom is also currently under construction. The refurbishment of rooms is expected to be completed by September this year while the construction of the new ballroom will be ready by end April 2013. During the renovation period hotel guests can use the pool at the Hilltop Wing.
UPDATE ON FRANGIPANI LANGKAWI RESORT & SPA’S REFURBISHMENT
Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa in Pulau Langkawi has extended the upgrading and refurbishing of its rooms in phases from June till November 2012. The refurbishment works only affect the rooms in the resort’s right wing, which are about 40 metres away from the rooms in the left wing. The noise level is being kept to a minimum during this period.
MANAGEMENT CHANGE FOR PUTRAJAYA SHANGRI-LA FROM OCTOBER 1
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts will cease management of Putrajaya Shangri-La with effect from October 1, 2012. A new management will be appointed to operate the hotel, and the announcement will be made in due course.
TRADERS HOTEL, PUTERI HARBOUR, JOHOR OPENS IN DECEMBER
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts will operate Traders Hotel, Puteri Harbour in Johor that is set to open on December 1, 2012. The four-storey 283-room hotel is located in the heart of Nusajaya, one of the five flagship zones in Iskandar Malaysia, in the waterfront precinct. It will form part of an integrated complex that comprises an indoor theme park, a family entertainment centre and a 100,000 square foot retail centre.
Guestrooms will be a minimum of 36 square metres, with a selection of themed rooms. Food and beverage outlets will include an all-day dining restaurant, a lobby lounge, a sky lounge and a bar. A 620 square metre ballroom and a range of function rooms for small to large events will cater to MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) guests. Recreational facilities include a rooftop swimming pool, health club, and a rooftop garden.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
SEPTEMBER 8, 2012
VENUE: MONSOPIAD CULTURAL VILLAGE, TANJUNG ARU, SABAH.
Magahavat celebrates the sago, one of the staple diets in Sabah. It is cooked traditionally into a sticky porridge and is eaten in small portions with sour soup for a contrasting taste. Another favourite is the sago grub, known as butod, which feeds on the sago tree bark.
The Monsopiad Cultural Village is a historical site and the heartland of the Kadazandusun people. It was built to commemorate the life and times of the legendary Kadazan headhunter warriors.
SEPTEMBER 14-16, 2012
VENUE: KUCHING WATERFRONT, SARAWAK
Historically and culturally significant, the Sarawak Regatta traces its origins to the days of the Rajah Charles Brooke. The regatta relives its former glory with traditional long boat and dragon boat races, as well as a host of traditional contests and games.
MALAYSIA DAY CELEBRATION
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
Malaysia Day is held on September 16 yearly to commemorate the establishment of the Malaysian federation on the same date in 1963. Celebrations are held throughout the country.
MALAYSIAN OPEN ATP WORLD TOUR 250
SEPTEMBER 22-30, 2012
VENUE: PUTRA STADIUM, BUKIT JALIL, SELANGOR
Visitors can enjoy great action at this tennis tournament. Catch the slick moves of the players as they vie for the coveted medal.
NINE EMPEROR GODS FESTIVAL
SEPTEMBER 23, 2012
VENUE: TAOIST TEMPLES THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA
The Nine Emperor Gods Festival is a Chinese festival to celebrate the return from heaven to earth of the Nine Emperor Gods, who are worshiped as one deity known as Mazu, the Taoist Goddess of the Sea and Queen of Heaven who represents health, wealth and prosperity. The festival falls on the ninth day of the ninth moon in the Chinese Lunar calendar. Devotees flock to temples throughout the country for the festival.
TEXTILE CRAFT PROMOTION
SEPTEMBER 27-OCTOBER 8, 2012
VENUE: KUALA LUMPUR CRAFT COMPLEX, KUALA LUMPUR
This promotion showcases the beautiful textiles of Malaysia such as batik and other materials. Browse through the outlets selling a variety of textiles and visit the exhibitions and demonstrations.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2012
VENUE: CENTRAL MARKET, KUALA LUMPUR
The Lantern Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn or Mooncake Festival, traditionally signifies the end of the harvest season. Malaysian Chinese homes celebrate with family get-togethers, prayers and mooncakes, while kids show off their latest lantern designs. Malls and landmarks in the city, like Petaling Street, will be gaily decorated with thousands of lanterns, while various activities add to the festive atmosphere.
FABULOUS FOOD 1MALAYSIA
OCTOBER 1-31, 2012
VENUE: CENTRAL MARKET, KUALA LUMPUR
Get ready for a delectable feast as gourmet restaurants and top chefs whip up a variety of special dishes and delicacies using fine, quality ingredients. Travel around the country and savour delicious culinary creations.
19TH MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL JEWELLERY FESTIVAL 2012 – AUTUMN EDITION
OCTOBER 5-8, 2012
VENUE: KUALA LUMPUR CONVENTION CENTRE, KUALA LUMPUR
The only dedicated international jewellery fair in Malaysia, the Malaysia International Jewellery Festival returns with its autumn edition. It will feature glittering exquisite and fined masterpieces from the world’s premium jewelleries, presented by international exhibitors from countries including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Italy, Japan, USA and Singapore, Cambodia.
MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX
OCTOBER 19-21, 2012
VENUE: SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, SELANGOR
Catch the world’s best riders and bikes in action at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, held over three days at the Sepang International Circuit.
MT KINABALU INTERNATIONAL CLIMBATHON
OCTOBER 20-21 2012
VENUE: MT KINABALU, SABAH
Dubbed as “The world’s toughest mountain race”, Mt Kinabalu International Climbathon is a true challenge to the spirit of human endurance. The average climber takes two days to climb the 4,095.2m high mountain but participants of the race can make it in less than three hours, up and down, with a total distance of 21km. The race is divided into categories for men, women and man veterans.
The Climbathon is part of the Sky Runners World Series Circuit for the 9th consecutive year, and is the only race that is in the circuit held outside Europe. The Sky Runner World Series is regulated and coordinated by the Europe-based Federation for Sport at Altitude (FSA).
HARI RAYA AIDILADHA
OCTOBER 26, 2012
This festival, also known as Hari Raya Haji, marks the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca that is performed by millions of Muslims annually. It is also known as Hari Raya Qurban. Muslims in Malaysia celebrate the festival with prayers and the sacrifice of cattle.
MAS BEGINS DAILY A380 FLIGHTS TO LONDON
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) received its second Airbus A380 recently, paving the way for the national carrier to operate daily A380 flights between the KL International Airport (KLIA) and London’s Heathrow from August 12. MH2 departs KLIA daily at 11.40pm and arrives in London Heathrow at 5.50am the next day. The return flight, MH3, departs London Heathrow at 12pm and arrives in KLIA at 7.25am the next day.
The airline is also on track to provide the A380 service on the main Kangaroo Route, between London and Sydney when the third A380 begins daily operations on the Sydney-Kuala Lumpur route by end November this year.
FIREFLY TARGETS FOREIGN TOURISTS FOR TWO NEW ROUTES
Firefly is targeting foreign tourists for its two new routes, Kota Bharu-Singapore and Penang-Koh Samui. which were launched on August 10 and 11 respectively. The airline also restarted its Subang-Hat Yai route August 17. The Kota Bharu-Singapore and Subang-Hat Yai flights are on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Service on the Penang-Koh Samui route is on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
AIRASIA STARTS KUALA LUMPUR-KATHMANDU FLIGHTS
AirAsia started twice weekly flights on the Kathmandu (Nepal)-Kuala Lumpur route on July 3. The services on Tuesdays and Thursdays operate with a 377-seater Airbus A330 aircraft. The airline will increase the flight frequency to three times weekly from September 15 in response to the strong and growing travel demand to and from Kathmandu.
MAS FLIES TO KATHMANDU ON SEPTEMBER 1
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) commences its thrice-weekly direct service between Kathmandu and Kuala Lumpur effective September 1. The flights are operated with a two-class configured Boeing B737-800 aircraft comprising 144 economy class and 16 business class seats. The outbound flight departs Kuala Lumpur at 8.35am to arrive at Kathmandu at 11.30am. The return flight takes off from Kathmandu at 12.20pm and lands at the KL International Airport at 6.55pm.
MAS UPS MALAYSIA-INDIA DAYTIME FREQUENCIES
Malaysia Airlines introduced new daytime frequencies between Malaysia and India from September 1. As the only carrier providing daily direct full service connections between Kuala Lumpur and the main Indian hubs of Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, MAS is providing better travel options for customers to enjoy improved connectivity to destinations in the airline’s network.
MALAYSIA AIRLINES TO FLY DAILY ON ADELAIDE-KL ROUTE
Malaysia Airlines will fly daily non-stop flights between Adelaide (Australia) and Kuala Lumpur from 31 October 2012. The airline currently operates six flights on this route. The additional service will be on Wednesdays, leaving Adelaide at 10am, arriving at Kuala Lumpur at 3:10pm.
KLM TO ADD 3 WEEKLY FLIGHTS ON KL-AMSTERDAM ROUTE
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will mount three additional flights per week from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam (Holland) between October 29 2012 and March 30 2013 as part of its new winter schedule. This will bring the airline’s total weekly flights to 17, of which seven are codeshare flights on aircraft operated by Malaysia Airlines.
The extra flights provide extra capacity for KLM, especially as the KL International Airport in Sepang is a good hub for passengers travelling from Europe to Australia and New Zealand. The new daytime flights complement the existing night flights to offer passengers more options and flexible timing. Passengers travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam on the three new daytime flights will be able to save a day by arriving in Amsterdam on the same day. Meanwhile, travellers from Amsterdam will arrive in Kuala Lumpur early in the morning to enjoy a full day, be it for work or leisure.
ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES FLIES TO KUALA LUMPUR IN NOVEMBER
Ethiopian Airlines will launch flights to Kuala Lumpur from November of this year. The new service will enhance networking opportunities with countries in South Eastern Asia such as Singapore and the Philippines.
QATAR AIRWAYS BOOSTS KL-DOHA FLIGHTS
Qatar Airways has increased its twice-daily flights on the Kuala Lumpur-Doha route to thrice daily. The extra flight provides passengers with more travel options to Doha and better connectivity to the carrier’s 118 leisure and business destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas.
ANY OTHER NEWS
NEW CURRENCY NOTES FOR MALAYSIA
Malaysia’s Bank Negara issued into circulation new currency notes in denomination of RM100, RM20, RM10, RM5 and RM1, on July 16. The RM20 note makes a comeback in this series, while a new polymer substrate is used for the RM5 and RM1 notes.
The new notes are in bright colours and have motifs depicting Malaysia’s cultural heritage and nature. The enhanced security features, are a shadow image, clear window, watermark portrait with pixel and highlighted numerals, colour shifting security thread, micro lens thread, perfect see-through register and coloured glossy patch. A tactile identification feature has also been included to aid the visually impaired to identify the denominations.
NO MORE SHARK FINS IN SOUP
Berjaya Hotels & Resorts has joined in the efforts of other major hotels chains to protect the world’s rapidly declining shark’s population from rampant overfishing. The hotel group recently signed a corporate pledge to join the “I’m FINished With FINS” (Save The Shark) campaign.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and The Peninsula Hotels made similar pledges before this year’s Chinese New Year.
CLOUDED LEOPARD CAUGHT ON CAMERA IN SABAH FORESTS
The elusive Clouded Leopard, the biggest cat on Borneo island, has been captured by a cameral trap as it roamed the Malua Forest Reserve close to the famous Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Lahad Datu, Sabah. The camera was set up by Cardiff University student, Penny Gardner, who was doing a study on wild cattle, known as banteng or tembadau. The elusive Clouded Leopard’s population in Borneo is estimated to be around 5,000.
MORE GREEN TURTLE LANDINGS IN PAHANG
More Green Turtle landings have been reported along the Cherating coast in Pahang, with 158 landings recorded up to June this year. The numbers are expected to surpass the 176 landings in 2011 when the landing season ends in September. If the landings continue to increase, there is a good chance that the Green Turtles could be saved from extinction.
TOURISM MINISTRY TO HELP MARKET MAH MERI WOOD ART PRODUCTS
Malaysia’s Tourism Ministry will assist the Mah Meri community to market their traditional wood art products, especially those that have been internationally recognised. Tourism Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, said this after opening the Mah Meri sculptures exhibition, “From Dreams To Reality”, at the Malaysian Tourism Information Centre (MATIC) recently.
The Mah Meri community is famous for their beautiful handcrafted wood sculptures and masks based on their own imagination and belief. These sculptures and masks have been recognised at the international level and also by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
THE BAY BALI – NUSA DUA NEWEST DINING AND SHOPPING VENUE
Located at the shore of Nusa Dua beach, The Bay Bali is elegantly nestled in a secluded cove overlooking the Bay of Nusa Dua. Seduce your appetite at one of the six restaurants within the complex, serving cuisines from around the globe.
New to Nusa Dua is the entertainment centre where young and old can have fun, whether it’s at the Pirate Bay, Ocean Walk or at the spa there is something for everyone.
MOZAIC BEACH CLUB IN SEMINYAK
Following the success of the award-winning venue in Ubud, Mozaic has opened a new beach club just north of the W Hotel in Seminyak. It has a nice pool surrounded by family gazebos and day beds, which visitors can rent. While they cook excellent degustation menus in Ubud, there is a choice of ala carte dishes at the restaurant or tapas in the bar. Chef James Ephraim, who previously cooked at the Mozaic in Ubud, is now in charge in the kitchen of this new exciting venue.
KUPU-KUPU BARONG INTRODUCES NEW JUNGLE RETREAT ROOMS
This new room category reflects the warmth of the island of Bali and gives contemporary Balinese design an inspiring new direction. The extensive use of indigenous timber and touches of local artistry soothe the senses for heightened relaxation. Each room comes with a private terrace and a spa-inspired ensuite bathroom. Located just footsteps away from the main pool, the Barong Suite celebrates the evolving face of tourism in Ubud.
Features: complimentary Wifi connections, DVD/CD Player with CD collections and IPod station.
SENSE HOTEL SEMINYAK OPENS
Sense Hotel Seminyak is a new semi boutique hotel located in the heart of Seminyak. A modern tropical hotel, it is designed to be a blend of the contemporary with a Balinese touch and fashionable homey atmosphere.
The accommodation meets the standards of luxury décor, and textures create a warm ambiance to ensure that guests feel perfectly at home. It has 68 stylishly furnished rooms and suites, which offer all the comfort you can expect from a semi boutique four star property. All rooms are equipped with Wifi.
Leisure facilities include a sizeable swimming pool and spa facilities that offers a variety of relaxing and special treatments for rejuvenation of your mind, body and soul. To indulge your appetite the Rasa Restaurant and Bar offers a wide selection of cuisines, or you can round off the day with dinner surrounded by pool.
QUNCI VILLAS – THREE HOTELS IN ONE
Qunci Villas opened its third hotel in July 2012, which is located exactly in between the two existing Qunci hotels. All three hotels are now merged into one known as Qunci Villas. (Qunci Hotel and Qunic Pool Villas are no longer referred to). The hotels are seamlessly connected along Mangsit Beach, facing Bali. This provides guests with more than 150 metres of beachfront luxury, including three beachfront swimming pools, two of which are 30 metres long.
The new Qunci Villas has:
- 25 Ocean View rooms
- 18 Partial Ocean View rooms
- 19 Garden View rooms
- 10 one-bedroom pool Villas
- 1 two-bedroom pool Villa
The above categories are located on Mangsit Beach.
- Villa Qusia – one three-bedroom luxury villa
- Villa Qunang – one two-bedroom luxury villa
- Villa Qumbang -one one-bedroom luxury villa
The villas are located up the hill, 200 metres from the beach
Komodo Resort is located 30 minutes by boat from Labuan Bajo, within the National Park of Komodo. Home of the world’s most pristine reefs, Komodo Island offers what many claim to be the “best diving in the world,”
The resort has a total of 14 bungalows. Eight of these are deluxe bungalows and are equipped with minibar and are air-conditioned, while the rest have only a fan. All bungalows have hot water and safe. Each bungalow is 42sqm with a verandah, which offers great views of the surrounding landscapes.
The bungalows fit perfectly into the surrounding landscape, enriching and making the place absolutely fascinating. The buildings are made of teak wood, which is either recycled or comes from controlled plantation. The bungalows are spread over a 360m-beachfront and guarantee total privacy to guests. All are suitable for long-term stays.
Komodo Resort’s strategic location allows a number of daily excursions:
50 minutes boat ride: Rinca tour to see the Komodo dragons
25 minutes boat ride: Mawan Island with its white beaches
1.30 hour boat ride: the pink beach at the foot of the Padar’s rugged rocky hills
1.30 hour boat ride: the pink Komodo beach, which overlooks one of the most spectacular reefs in Indonesia
45 minutes boat ride: Kalong, where at sunset an incredible number of Flying Foxes bats darken the sky when flying away to look for food in the Flores forests.
ASTON INTERNATIONAL ON EXPANSION PATH
Aston International opened two more favehotel in Indonesia. Its second property is favehotel Solo Baru in Solo, Central Java. The new fave occupies a strategic location on Jalan Raya Solo Baru in the immediate vicinity of Solo Baru’s popular Pandawa Waterworld and approximately 20 minutes from downtown Solo.
With 153 fun, fresh and friendly rooms the new favehotel Solo Baru aims to become the area’s best in class select service hotel. It provides facilities and amenities usually found in more up market hotels that include functional meeting rooms, a semi basement with covered car park, a lobby shop, a café with outdoor seating and a bar.
The group’s third trendy select service favehotel is in Bali – favehotel Umalas, Bali, which is also the 50th Aston International managed hotel in Indonesia. This fave occupies a privileged spot on Jalan Petitenget-Kerobokan bordering the village of Umalas, and in the direct vicinity of some of Bali’s most famous eateries and nightclubs.
favehotel Umalas has 121 fun, fresh and friendly rooms. It follows the recently-opened fave in Seminyak and offers facilities and amenities usually associated with more up market hotels such as an adult and children’s swimming pool, modern and functional meeting rooms, an attractive and contemporary hotel lobby, fast and complimentary Wifi and an eclectic café.
AIRASIA FLIES TO LOMBOK IN OCTOBER
AirAsia will offer thrice-weekly service between Kuala Lumpur and Lombok starting October 12. Lombok will be the low cost carrier’s 15th destination in Indonesia. Tickets are already on sale for the route on AirAsia website.
The flight schedules are:
AK1408 Kuala Lumpur (KUL)-Lombok (LOP) Depart 0835hrs, arrive 1145hrs
AK1409 Lombok (LOP)-Kuala Lumpur (KUL)Depart 1215hrs, arrive 1525hrs
GARUDA ADDS SINGAPORE-BALIKPAPAN
Garuda Indonesia’s Singapore-Makassar service has been operating via Balikpapan since July 27 2012. The flight is an extension of the Makassar-Singapore (return) route, now with a stop in Balikpapan, both outbound and inbound. The four times weekly service are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sunday. The route is operated with the Boeing B737-500 aircraft with a capacity for 96 passengers with configuration of 12 executive class and 74 economy class.
MANDALA AIRLINES LAUNCHES JAKARTA-BANGKOK FLIGHTS
Indonesian low cost carrier Mandala Airlines, which resumes operations on April 5, 2012, launched a new daily route to the Thai capital, Bangkok, on August 10. The flights from Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, are operated with the airline’s 180-seat A320s. This is the airline’s third international route after Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The new route is part of the airline’s plan to connect Jakarta with major cities in Southeast Asia.
AIRASIA BUYS STAKE IN BATAVIA AIR
AirAsia is acquiring a stake in the Indonesian low cost carrier, Batavia Air, to accelerate its expansion in Indonesia. Launched in 2002, Batavia Air currently operates a fleet of 33 aircraft on 41 domestic routes. The carrier recently expanded its network to international destinations, offering flights to Singapore, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuching, Dili and Guangzhou. The Batavia Air deal is expected to provide greater domestic connectivity and an extensive feeder network into Indonesia AirAsia’s existing hubs in Jakarta, Bandung, Denpasar, Medan and Surabaya. Batavia Air will keep flying under its current name with no immediate plan to change.