Asian Trails Trailblazer

Issue January 2015

THE CEO STORY 

 

BIKING - PERSONAL, INTIMATE, FUN WAY TO DISCOVER A DESTINATION 

 

I love to explore new places on a bicycle. When I am on one of these trips I rise early, have a cup of coffee, and then set off, usually with no fixed destination, just going where the street or path takes me. It's relaxing. I stop when I want to, go where I fancy, and explore at my own pace to get a feel of the surroundings. Biking is indeed a great way to get to know a country or a city and its people. 

 

As a tourism activity biking is still relatively undiscovered, and there is some confusion surrounding it. So my story in this issue is more factual, different from my previous personal experiences of adventures in exotic lands, as I want to introduce the endless possibilities of discovering a destination on a bike through some of Asian Trails' biking tours. 

 

First, I wish to highlight what I enjoy most about our biking trips - their characteristics that differ from country to country, and from city to city. What is important from the professional aspect of selling a bicycle tour to customers is to understand the characteristics of these tours on offer.  

 

In Thailand, the famous "Colors of Bangkok Tour" takes you to parts of the city that tourists would not be able find on their own. This experience immerses you in a kaleidoscope of local markets, Buddhist temples, small streets along canals, plantations and cottage factories, a Thai kick boxing training centre, and local schools. Lasting 4-5 hours the tour stops for breaks and visits to attractions that include a meal at a simple local restaurant, and crossing the Chao Phraya River on long tail boats. You don't have to worry about your bike during the river journey, as your leader will take care of it. This is the best way to discover Bangkok for a healthy person who is able to ride a bicycle. 

 

Up north, the Chiang Mai bicycle tour takes you from the southern part of the city out to the rice fields, visiting along the way a Chinese temple, Buddhist monk school, candy factory, and local bakery shop. This tour has more of a countryside and cultural feel to it, and is also suitable for any healthy person. 

 

Moving to China, the bicycle tour through the former French Concession in Shanghai is a highlight in any traveller's journey through Asia's largest country. This is not a tour for people who like to sleep late, as we start early in the morning to watch the city waking up - a unique experience not to be missed. Riding through Shanghai traffic can be daunting even though there are bicycle lanes on most of the large roads. But you don't have to worry about the traffic, as the excursion avoids the main thoroughfares and goes along the back roads and small alleys in and around the French Concession. You ride through parks and the parts of the city not featured in the normal city tours. This is a wonderful way to see Shanghai in its diversity, and be immersed in its culture from a local perspective. 

 

In Beijing, China's capital city, we take you on a fun and informative biking journey through hutongs that are alleys formed by lines of traditional courtyard residences, where old houses and their history have been preserved. You cycle through ancient alleyways and observe the city's residents going about their daily lives. A wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal with an old preserved part of Beijing, which stands out in the midst of modernity and vast developments all around it. 

 

In Myanmar, there is no better way to see the ancient temples of Bagan than on a bike. Dusty roads lead you to temples away from the well-trodden paths through local villages and to sites you can't find on any map. Our local guides know the area inside out, and have numerous secret tips up their sleeves. They don't just show you temples and culture, but also the farming life and the "Buddhism live" aspect in the surrounding monasteries. This is a tour suitable for everyone, including children. 

 

Have you been on an electronic bicycle? If not, you can ride one in Angkor, Cambodia, to discover its ancient beautiful temples. You also have the flexibility to plan your cultural visits at your own pace away from the tourist masses. The bicycle tours here are tailor-made to suit the physical ability of the visitors. A typical Angkor bicycle tour lasts for 4 to 8 hours.  

 

Hue in Vietnam, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the ideal place for a bicycle tour. Lying in the middle of two modern metropolis it is like the central point of a balance pole where life is extremely slow moving, and a day seems to last longer than 24 hours. With Buddhism as the main religion, residents here prefer spiritual peace to material comforts where the pace of life moves in rhythm with the slow moving Perfume River. Adding to the charm are the green gardens and ancient villages surrounding the city, the latter a symbols of transition that bridges the royal legacy and rustic harmony. 

 

Join us to discover the delights of Hue on an exclusive themed bicycle tour, cycling around the ancient garden-houses, formerly residences of royal descendants and high-ranking mandarins. The nostalgic architecture of the garden-houses, the secrets of the art of Feng Shui, the family atmosphere over a home meal, and the uniqueness of Hue etiquette will open up a cultural space in which you will truly appreciate the city's way of life. This is both a journey back in time, as well as a journey in the present - combining the best of two worlds. 

 

Down to the south, the mighty Mekong Delta lends you the trails to cycle as far as you can or as short as you like, snaking through the maze of the coco palm shaded lanes, passing endless green fields and orchards. Join the locals in making handicraft, drink home-made honey tea, eat exotic fruits - all very fascinating as well as an eye-opener to the genial hospitality of the local people towards visitors. Brotherhood has been the survival factor for the Mekong people since their first steps of "territory opening" adventure hundreds of years ago, a trait carried down to today that is shown by their warm welcome for visitors and sharing with them what they have. 

 

All our bicycle tours are not "hard core", unlike those offered by biking specialists. 

 

They are suitable for anyone who wants to explore a country or a city in a more intimate, personal and relaxed way.  Additionally, they are not physically challenging, and are suitable for any healthy individual who is able to ride a bicycle.  

 

"So where is the best place for biking in Asia", a question many of my friends often ask me. I can't recommend any specific destination, as from my story any place in the vast Asian continent is great for biking. I, for example, am prepared for biking on my sailing trips. I have a folding bike on my boat, and whenever I reach a large island where biking is possible, whether it's in Malaysia or Thailand, I just hit the road. So be adventurous on your next trip to Asia, get on a bike and, who knows, you may just have some unexpected encounters that will make your trip a real journey of discovery.   

 

Happy Trails! 

 

Laurent Kuenzle 

CEO 

Asian Trails 

 

   

QUICK LINKS 

 

 

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    THAILAND

     

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR CLAUDIO KELLENBERGER

     

    Dear friends and partners 

     

    First and foremost I would like to thank all of you for your support towards Asian Trails Thailand and Thailand as a destination in general.  

     

    2014, for known reasons, was not an easy year, but it was very encouraging to feel the support and passion towards Thailand and its people throughout this past year. We are happy to see that the high season months of November and December 2014 were better than expected with very high hotel occupancies in Phuket, Khao Lak and also Chiang Mai.  

     

    The management (pictured below) and staff of Asian Trails Thailand are excited to welcome 2015 as an inspiring, successful vintage year. We wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year, and we thank you for your continued support!  

     

    Claudio Kellenberger 

     

     

     

     

     

    DESTINATION INFORMATION

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS WINS TTG TRAVEL AWARDS FOR "BEST TRAVEL AGENCY 2014 - THAILAND"

     

    Asian Trails Ltd. has been voted "Best Travel Agency 2014 - Thailand" at the prestigious TTG Travel Awards. The awards were determined by individual votes from readers across the various TTG publications, and it is the 9th TTG Travel Award for Asian Trails. 

     

    Mr. Laurent Kuenzle, CEO of Asian Trails, said: "Receiving international recognition from the prestigious TTG Travel Awards is a reward for our managers and staff who put in countless hours of work to make sure that the job not only gets done, but that it gets done well and on time. I am dedicating this award in particular to the Asian Trails Thailand team who can be proud of their achievement, and thank the readers of TTG for their vote of confidence." 

     

     

     

    WORLD WINGS INTERNATIONAL

     

    World Wings International, the worldwide association of former Pan Am cabin crew and flight attendants, recently held their annual convention in Bangkok. Asian Trails provided all the tours and excursions for the World Wings Chapter members before, during and after the convention.  

     

    Our Deputy Managing Director, Yves Van Kerrebroeck, attended the Gala Dinner on November 1, 2014 at the Royal Navy Convention Center in Bangkok. Asian Trails Thailand also donated part of its profits to Plan International, World Wing's selected local charity beneficiary.  

     

     

    For more information, Please click here

     

     

    VIVO BENE -GOLDEN AGE PEOPLE'S HOME IN CHIANG MAI

     

    Asian Trails now offer care packages of 2-4 weeks for Golden Age Clients wishing to try out Vivo Bene Village, which is located 18 kilometres east of Chiang Mai in the Doi Saket district, covers an extensive 36,000sqm in area that is luxuriantly planted with shady trees. Spread throughout the village are six one-storey pavilions, each with 12 light and airy rooms including a large communal area. Four spacious hotel villas, each with two luxurious rooms and terrace, overlook a small lake.  

     

    All Vivo Bene's facilities are wheelchair-accessible. A water-treatment facility, built according to Swiss specifications, ensures that tap water is portable everywhere. The clubhouse, with its large reception area, houses a cafeteria with its own bakery, and a Swiss restaurant, the "Roessli". The Care Center offers a large variety of professional therapeutic treatments and massages, and has a beauty salon. 

     

     

     

     

     

    For more detail and booking, please contact us

     

     

    BANGKOK AND PATTAYA GO ALL-INCLUSIVE

     

    Amari Watergate Bangkok and Amari Pattaya have introduced an all-inclusive package for groups. Breakfast, lunch and dinner with ala carte and group menus, unlimited drinks and, for larger groups, a free themed poolside dinner are included.  

     

    Amari's All-Inclusive package, introduced especially for the South African market, simply adds up to one great price per person per day. You no longer have to estimate and juggle group budgets as Amari brings you one all-inclusive price - guaranteed, affordable, and indulgent. 

     

     

    For more detail and booking, please contact us

     

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

     

     

    ASIA BOAT CLUB

     

    Asian Trails offer Asia Boat Club's yacht/boat charter services for various day trips and overnight trips on Andaman Sea. This professional team is multi-cultural and includes a wide variety of people with backgrounds in yachting, boat building, fishing, setting up charity projects worldwide, travel and finance. These backgrounds all blend into an energetic team who love the Phuket Yacht Charters they help to organize.

     

     

     

     

    For more detail and booking, please contact us

     

     

    JUNGLE SURVIVAL COURSES FROM PADDLE ASIA

     

    Paddle Asia offers a variety of jungle survival courses in Thailand. One of these courses is in Khao Sok National Park. It combines jungle survival with wildlife viewing from a comfortable kayak. The instructor will show you rare plants, some of which are not edible. We advise that you do not pick any uncommon or rare plants. We only sample plants that are very common and are capable of growing back rapidly, and there are many plants in this last category. You will get to eat directly from the jungle.  

     

     

    For more detail and booking, please contact us

     

     

    EPIC KOH SAMUI TOUR

     

    This is one of the most amazing Island Discovery Tours on Koh Samui, when you get the opportunity to explore the daily life and cultural habitats of the Thai people.  

     

    Epic Koh Samui is a full day adventure tour in an open-air jeep going through local villages and temples, and discovering the island's enchanting beauty. The first stop is at a typical coconut house where you will see how the coconuts are still processed. Then a short ride to Koh Samui peak to enjoy the breathtaking view of the surrounding archipelagos and endless horizon, before proceeding to the Mountain Thai Temple where you will enjoy a delicious lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, the discovery continues to Samui's refreshing waterfalls, the OTOP coconut handicraft centre, the Dusit Dhewa that is known as the cultural centre of Asia, and the Hinta Hinyai Grand Father Rock.  

     

    The Epic Samui tour operates on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 

     

     

    For more detail and booking, please contact us

     

     

    NEW! SAMUI ISLAND CRUISE

     

    Discover Samui's diverse shoreline, from the vibrant tourist areas of the north and east coast to the undeveloped picturesque southern and western shores. Sail around the whole of Samui Island through the Five Islands and Koh Tan.  

     

     

     

     

    For more detail and booking, please contact us

     

     

    NEW! SECRET OF TA PI RIVER

     

    This tour departs from Samui for Surat Thani Town on the local public ferry and minibus. Enjoy sightseeing in a small traditional boat to absorb the rural life along Tapi River. After lunch visit the first monkey school in Surat Thani, which offers educational and fun demonstration of how monkeys are trained to harvest coconuts. Return to Koh Samui on the local public ferry and minibus.  

     

     

     

    For more detail and booking, please contact us

     

     

    NEW! MARINE PARK DISCOVERY CRUISE

     

    The joint sailboat cruises to the Ang Thong Marine Park take a step back in time to explore uninhabited islands, spectacular limestone rock formations, abundant wildlife and deserted beaches - a true natural marvel.  

     

     

     

     

    For more detail and booking, please contact us

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    BANGKOK

     

    NEW - HOTEL INDIGO BANGKOK WIRELESS ROAD

     

    Hotel Indigo Bangkok is located in the centre of Bangkok on Wireless Road, which is the site of international embassies and consulates. This brand new boutique hotel has 192 modern and vibrant guestrooms featuring locally inspired artwork, plush bedding, hard wood floors, spa-inspired bathrooms, complimentary high speed WiFi throughout the hotel, fitness centre, and infinity-edge pool. Discover an authentic taste of the neighbourhood at the restaurants and bar.  

     

     

     

    For more detail, please visit

     

     

    KRABI

     

    THE L RESORT, KRABI

     

    The L Resort is a newly renovated living lifestyle resort located in the Ao Nang Beach area of Krabi, right in the middle of the town's main promenade with its restaurants, bars and shopping. All its 29 rooms are decorated with bright colours, and feature lifestyle facilities. The property has an intimate design to enhance your holiday experience.  

     

     

     

    For more detail, please visit

     

     

    KHAO LAK

     

    REBRANDED - MORACEA BY KHAO LAK RESORT (FORMER KHAO LAK RESORT)

     

    The rebranded Moracea by Khao Lak Resort has been designed in a new dimension of comfort and luxury, yet maintaining the original concept of a private holiday retreat within a natural and peaceful environment. The resort slopes gently down from an elevated position on the lower part of Khao Lak Hill to the 400-metre long beachfront. It offers 191 rooms in bungalows scattered around the resort to the beachfront area, and 7 Pool Villa.  

     

     

     

    For more detail, please visit

     

     

    REBRANDED - MANATHAI KHAO LAK (FORMER ROYAL BANGSAK BEACH RESORT)

     

    Thai hospitality group, Manathai Hotels & Resorts, has launched its unique collection of boutique properties at the World Travel Market 2014 in London. Manathai Khao Lak, a boutique in the collection, recently started operations.  

     

    The resort, located about an hour's drive north of Phuket along the unspoiled coastline of the Andaman Sea, offers 158 rooms starting at 48sqm in size. It is the perfect base to explore the surrounding natural wonders such as canoeing in the breath-taking Phang Nga Bay, diving in the Similan Islands, or trekking in Khao Sok National Park.  

     

     

    For more detail, please visit

     

     

    REBRANDED - PARK HOTEL KHAO LAK BEACH RESORT (FORMER KHAOLAK SOUTHSEA)

     

    Khaolak Southsea will be rebranded as Park Hotel Khao Lak Beach Resort in the second quarter of this year.  

     

    The resort is situated along a stretch of the Andaman coastline of exceptional natural beauty. The pristine Pakarang Beach in Khao Lak, Phang Nga Province, is only a 90-minute drive from Phuket International Airport and 15 minutes from Khao Lak town centre. Its 125 guestrooms are located steps away from the beach, and offer generous living space including a balcony or terrace. The Deluxe room is 38sqm in size and has a standing shower, while the Premier room is 55sqm and has both a bathtub and separate shower.  

     

     

    For more detail, please visit

     

     

    KOH SAMUI

     

    REBRANDED - SHERATON SAMUI RESORT (FORMER IMPERIAL SAMUI BEACH RESORT)

     

    Starwood Hotels & Resorts is set to expand its presence in Thailand with the opening of Sheraton Samui Resort in Koh Samui. It has entered into an agreement with TCC Hotels Group, one of Thailand's leading developers, to renovate and rebrands Imperial Samui Beach Resort to Sheraton Samui Resort from March 2015. Post renovation, this sea-facing beach resort will feature 141 guestrooms, a swimming pool, a spa, a fitness centre and a restaurant. 

     

     

    For more detail, please visit

     

     

    KOH YAO

     

    NEW LOOK - PARADISE KOH YAO RESORT & SPA

     

    Paradise Koh Yao Resort and Spa, a boutique beach resort and spa located on idyllic Koh Yao Noi in southern Thailand, has been successfully operating for nearly 10 years. To continue delivering on its brand promise of "Back to Nature in Total Comfort" and "Barefoot Luxury", the resort underwent a new "shabby chic" look and branding changes.  

     

    The resort's new colour palette reflects the beauty of the natural environment within which it nestles - the untouched national parkland on one side and the secluded, exclusive bay on the other. Crisp whites and turquoises are complemented with sand beige and a pop of tropical orange for accent. Wave motifs and natural materials, such as stone and "washed out" wood, are used throughout the resort.

     

     

    For more detail, please visit

     

     

     

    FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

     

     

    CHIANG MAI FLOWER FESTIVAL
    FEBRUARY.6-8, 2015
    VENUE: SUAN BUAK HAD PARK, THA PAE GATE PLAZA, AND NAWARAT BRIDGE, CHIANG MAI

     

    The annual Chiang Mai Flower Festival is the biggest flower show in Thailand. It showcases an impressive display of traditional and contemporary floral art and Lanna culture. Chiang Mai takes great pride in having maintained its tradition of hosting this annual festival for the past 38 years.  

     

    The ancient Lanna Thai kingdom - Land of a Million Rice Fields" - was also famous for its tradition of artistic excellence. Chiang Mai is known as the "Home' of the Legendary Lanna Thai Artisans". Long recognised for it exquisite craftsmanship, this northern region is also noted for its elaborate traditional floral art installations. 

     

     

     

    CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL
    FEBRUARY 19, 2015
    VENUE: CHINATOWN, BANGKOK

     

    Chinese New Year Festival on Yaowarat Road is the most important event for the Thai Chinese community in Bangkok. This area, also known as Chinatown, is also where most of the Chinese residents live and ply their trade, selling a variety of Chinese good and operating Chinese restaurants and eateries, most of which are along the road.  

     

    The Chinese celebrate the festival on a lavish scale, and stage Thai and Chinese cultural performances. The colourful event is a must see for visitors.  

     

    We recommend that you send us your hotel bookings as early as possible as Thailand, in particular Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Phuket, experience high demand from travellers from China during the Chinese New Year period. 

     

     

     

     

    AIRLINE INFORMATION

     

     

    QATAR CELEBRATES START OF 2015 WITH NEW A380 SERVICE

     

    Qatar Airways started the new year with the operation of its double-decker super jumbo Airbus A380 aircraft on the Doha-Bangkok route. The Thai capital is the first Asia Pacific destination to receive this aircraft. 

     

    Starting from January 5, 2015 passengers travelling between Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport and Doha's Hamad International Airport can enjoy the super jumbo's facilities. 

     

     

     

    THAI SMILE ADDS NEW ROUTE CONNECTING BANGKOK TO LUANG PRABANG

     

    THAI Smile has launched four roundtrip flights per week from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport to Luang Prabang, Laos. The services on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, are operated with the Airbus A320-200 aircraft.  

     

    Flight TG 576 departs Bangkok at 12.25pm to arrive in Luang Prabang at 2pm. The return flight TG 577 departs Luang Prabang at 2.50pm, arriving in Bangkok at 4.25pm. 

     

     

     

    NOK AIR COMMENCES NEW SERVICE TO LAMPANG

     

    Nok Air has launched its latest domestic route from Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok to Lampang with two daily flights. All flights are operated with Nok Air's new Bombardier Q400 aircraft, which seats 86 passengers. 

     

    Flight DD 8504 to Lampang departs at 6.05am and arrives at 7.30am, with the return flight DD 8522 departing at 5.30pm and arriving in Bangkok at 7pm. Flight DD 8505 to Don Mueang departs at 8am to arrive at 9.25am, with the return flight DD 8523 departing at 7.30pm and arriving at 9pm. 

     

     

     

    CHARTERS FROM APSARA INTERNATIONAL AIR

     

    Apsara International Air has started daily charter flights between Siem Reap in Cambodia and Krabi in southern Thailand using the Airbus A320 aircraft. 

     

     

     

     

    RESTAURANTS & VENUES

     

     

    MEJICO - MEXICAN RESTAURANT AND TEQUILA BAR

     

    Mejico is a new restaurant and bar located at Groove @ Central World, level 2. This trendy and modern restaurant has the best Mexican cuisine including tasty tapas, with the food made with authentic Mexican ingredients. It also has a large selection of cocktails and tequilas, serving only 100% Agave Tequila.  

     

    The restaurant has 133 seats (119 table seats and 14 bar seats). Its long interactive bar, front groove patio, open air terrace, and a long table for large groups make this an ideal dining venue for anyone looking to have a truly authentic Mexican meal. Adding to the lively atmosphere is a DJ playing upbeat music. Service is good with the staff going the extra mile to make sure every customer is comfortable.

     

    Mejico is open from Monday to Sunday at 11am until late.  

     

     

    For more detail, please visit

     

     

     

    STAFF UPDATE

     

     

    WELCOME SIMONE RUGGENINI

        

    Simone Ruggenini, an Italian national, joined Asian Trails Thailand last November as the new Assistant Manager, Italian market. He worked with Asian Trails from June to October 2014 as Representative/Customer Relations in Bangkok and Koh Samui. Simone is fluent in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and English, and brings with him 10 years of experience in various tourism related fields. He is assisting Stella Bozatto on all matters related to the Italian market.   

     

     

     
     

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    LAOS

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR ANDREAS HOFMANN

     

    Dear Partners and Friends, 

     

    Sukdee Piimai - Happy New Year!  

     

    It has not only been Western New Year, but also Hmong New Year in Laos, as we describe in our story below.  

     

    2015 will be a good year for Laos, which continues to grow. It is, in fact, developing more quickly than other countries and has one of the highest GDP growth rates in the world. This has a positive impact on tourism, and the number and quality of hotels, restaurants and activities is improving quickly. For example, Laos is increasingly becoming a destination for coffee lovers, and you can visit coffee plantations to learn how to roast and brew your own perfect coffee.  

     

    A promotion by Hotel de la Paix is an excellent way to enjoy high quality hospitality for a competitive price - money you save from accommodation can be used for coffee in one of the numerous nostalgic cafés, and have a relaxed round of petanque with the locals while enjoying your cuppa.   

     

    We look forward to welcome you to an active 2015 in Laos! 

     

    Joyful Holidays and Happy New Year 

     

    Andreas Hofmann 

     

     

     

     

    DESTINATION INFORMAITON

     

     

    THE LURE OF LAO COFFEE

     

    It is an open secret that Southern Laos is a prime destination for coffee lovers, due to the region's long tradition of coffee planting. Arabica coffee was first introduced in Laos around 1920 under the French colonial rule on the Bolaven Plateau. After World War II Robusta coffee was increasingly grown. In the 1990s a new Arabica variety was introduced. Many coffee plantations came up from then on, and today there are about 80,000 hectares planted with coffee throughout the country. 

     

    Laos held its first coffee festival in October 2014. However, you can travel to coffee plantations and boutique roasters throughout the year to learn all about coffee, from roasting to brewing your own cuppa.  

     

    Laos' capital city of Vientiane has been given the unofficial status of being a "united nations of coffee" due to the large variety of coffee shops there, ranging in style from Lao, Vietnamese, French, Korean to Japanese. So when you are next in the city, take a day off to test the brew at these "national" coffee shops.

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    HOTEL DE LA PAIX "STAY 3 PAY 2 PROMOTIONS"- LUANG PRABANG

     

    Why not stay some days in Luang Prabang to enjoy the French colonial style cafés of the UNESCO World Heritage city? A garden suite at the five star Hotel de la Paix likewise offers the best deal among four and five star hotels in the Luang Prabang. The price includes one set menu for two paxs at sister hotel, 3 Nagas, and a one-hour massage for two, as well as a 50% discount for cooking classes at Hotel de la Paix. This promotion is an easy way to upgrade your programme without extra  

     

    Contact us for more details and for activities, such as petanque or a picnic in the rice field. 

     

     

     

     

    FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

     

     

    HMONG NEW YEAR

     

    The Hmong New Year is celebrated in late December. The Hmong is an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. 

     

    The celebrations start on the morning of the first day of the New Year and lasts for three days or more. They include the famous Hmong style of flirting, which is based on ball tossing. Groups of young people toss tennis balls, and the players may just end up with their mates for life. Rule of the game is simple - a player throws the ball at someone he/she likes, if the feeling is reciprocated the ball is thrown back, if not it is passed on. At the end of the game there are usually a number of people paired off as couples. 

     

    There are also song contests, "Qeej" pan flute performances and sporting activities, such as top playing, kicking, and the immensely popular (and harmless) bull fighting.  

     

    Hmong girls wear their most elaborately embroidered new outfits, and their style could reveal which clan in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam or China they are from. 

     

     
     
     

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    CAMBODIA

     

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR VERONIQUE DUCASSY

     

    2014 has seen a strong development and improvement of tourism infrastructure in Cambodia. Many new products have been created, offering genuine and original activities to your clients around Angkor temples. New airline routes between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and major destinations in South East Asia have opened, facilitating connections with neighbouring countries. It is time to come and visit sunny and smiling Cambodia!  

     

    Suorsdey Chhnam Thmey! Happy New Year 2015! 

     

     

     

     

    DESTINATION INFORMATION

     

     

    NEW SHOW IN SIEM REAP - "SWEPT AWAY" BY NCA

     

    Siem Reap's cultural landscape is rapidly changing. The Bambu Stage is part of that change, creating a platform for new dancers and theatrical performances to shine in Cambodia.  

     

    NCA is a new generation of four young and independent female dancers from Siem Reap. Their style is very NOW, but firmly rooted in Cambodian tradition. In "Swept Away" they portray four cleaning ladies who dance away from their daily routine to end up as Cambodian pop stars of the 60s. 

     

    There are three weekly shows on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Door and bar open at 7.30pm, show starts at 8pm, and finishes around 9pm. 

     

    Please contact us for more information. 

     

     

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

     

     

    SPECIAL PROMOTION ON TOUM TIOU CRUISE

     

    The Mekong River, the world's 12th longest river, is filled with mystique and mystery. It meanders past six countries in Asia, giving love and life to millions of its denizens. 

     

    What better way to embrace this mighty river than cruising on the Toum Tiou boats? These are small, authentic and intimate boats that provide a great cruise experience. The excursions are designed to give you a fascinating glimpse into the real Cambodia and Vietnam. Cruise programmes range from 8 days/7 nights (Saigon to Siem Reap and vice-versa) to a short 3 days/2 nights (Phnom Penh to Angkor and vice-versa). 

     

    Please contact us for more information and quotes. 

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    PHNOM PENH

     

    AWAY GREEN OASIS VILLA -BOUTIQUE HOTEL

     

    Away Green Oasis Villa offers 12 traditional Khmer and modern styled rooms and suites decorated with Cambodian artefacts and local crafts. The suites and apartments have rain showers, plants-filled balconies and kitchens. All rooms are equipped with flat screen televisions, fridges, fans and air-conditioning. There is also free Internet connection. Recommended for FITs. 

     

     

     

    TEAV BASSAC BOUTIQUE HOTEL AND SPA

     

    Housed in a modern white building and with a secluded garden, Teav Bassac Boutique Hotel and Spa is only one kilometre from the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. It features 19 stylish and contemporary rooms (Deluxe, Premier and Suite). Every room has a sitting area and is equipped with a DVD player, minibar, ensuite bathroom with hot-water showers, hairdryer, and plush bathrobes. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, and free Internet access. Recommended for FITs. 

     

     

     

    DOUBLE LEAF BOUTIQUE HOTEL

     

    The new Double Leaf Boutique Hotel is located near the famous Russian Market. It offers 48 rooms and suites in three room categories - Double Leaf Superior, Double Leaf Deluxe and Double Leaf Suite. Facilities include 24-hour service, a beautiful swimming pool, fitness centre, Sky Bar & Lounge, and a spa on the top floor. Ideal for families, couples and small groups. 

     

     

     

    SIEM REAP

     

    SOKKHAK BOUTIQUE RESORT

     

    The 10-room Sokkhak Boutique Resort derives its name from the Sanskrit word for tranquillity. It is a unique hotel, which combines both modern and traditional style and set within private tropical gardens and surrounding a rejuvenating salt-water pool. Situated on the edge of Siem Reap, the hotel is less than a 10-minute tuk tuk ride from the Angkor site, the heart of Siem Reap, the Old Market and lively Pub Street. Recommended for FITs. 

     

     

     

    KIRIROM

     

    KIRIROM MOUNTAIN ECO LODGE

     

    Kirirom Mountain Lodge is a newly refurbished mountain property, which nestles in the cold Kirirom Mountain. It in just a two-hour drive from Phnom Penh. The two newly restored villas host six guestrooms and a restaurant serving local and Mediterranean food. Guests can enjoy trekking and biking in the dry pine forest of Kirirom National Park.

     

     

     

    FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

     

     

    VICTORY DAY OVER GENOCIDE REGIME
    JANUARY 7, 2015
    VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA

     

    This national holiday commemorates Vietnamese-backed troops taking over the capital city Phnom Penh from the Khmer Rouge in 1979. It marks the end of the Kampuchea Democratic regime after its defeat by the Vietnamese army and honours those killed in the genocide and sacrificed their lives in restoring peace to the country. Colourful ceremonies are held at the Independence Monument (Vimean Ekareach) to commemorate the day. 

     

     

     

    MEAK BOCHEA DAY
    FEBRUARY 3, 2015
    VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA

     

    Meak Bochea Day is an important Buddhist celebration, which marks a spontaneous gathering of 1,250 monks to listen to Buddha's sermons. The gathering is attributed to four miracles, which occurred nine months after Buddha's enlightenment on the day of the full moon during the third lunar month.  

     

    Today, Meak Bochea is a colourful festival with monks gathering at the temples and praying from Buddhist scriptures. The wats (pagodas) are filled with Cambodians who come to pray and offer tributes of food to the monks. 

     

     

     

    CHINESE NEW YEAR
    FEBRUARY 19, 2015
    VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA

     

    The first day of Chinese New Year 2015 (Chun Jie/ 春节) falls on Thursday, February 19, 2015. This will be the Year of the Goat (Yang).  

     

    Chinese New Year is the biggest annual event for the Chinese community when families gather for reunion dinners and friends visit each other. The festival is widely celebrated in Siem Reap and around Cambodia, and the celebrations attract many tourists. 

     

     

     

     

    AIRLINE INFORMATION

     

    NEW AIRLINE, BASSAKA AIR, TAKES FLIGHT

     

    Cambodia's new airline, Bassaka Air, started operations with flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap on December 7. 2014.  

     

     

     

     

    For more detail, please visit

     

     

     

    ANY OTHER NEWS

     

     

    HALF MARATHON IN SIEM REAP

     

    The team from Asian Trails Cambodia took part in the Half Marathon in Siem Reap, which took place inside Angkor temples, participating in the 10-kilometre race. Since 1996, this event has raised funds for the victims of anti-personnel mines in Cambodia, and has attracted participants from all over the world. There were 8,000 participants in this year's marathon. 

     

    We would like to congratulate the following runners for their participation in the charity event (Photo left to right): Mr Samnang Chon, Mr Sovannrath Va, Ms Chanvoleak Meas, Mr Chea Piset, Ms Dy Channe, Mr Sothea Rean, Ms Veronique Ducassy, Ms Chanmony Nguon, Ms Samnang Ros, Mr Thibault Vidal, Ms Soreapki Serey, Mr Saram Dork, Mr Sothea Pensin, Ms Maryna Meas. 

     

     
     
     

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    VIETNAM

     

    A note from Managing Director Thuy Tien

     

    2014 has just passed us at speedy pace like the Horse and it's time to welcome 2015, the Year of the Goat. The zodiac of the Goat predicts a year of creativity, intelligence and calmness. These are also the cores of Asian Trails Vietnam's product innovation - to catch up with the new travel trends. We have seen over the past years that in order to grow healthily against market challenges, we need to stand out with unique ideas.  

     

    While still blazing off-the-beaten path of beautiful Vietnam we do not intend to recommend out-of-the-reach destinations, but instead focus more on out-of-the-ordinary experiences. At each place we define its own story and tastefully pick distinct local characters such as culinary, architecture, lifestyle, art, local crafts to create cutting edge experiences.  

     

    We invite you to enrich your Vietnam's offer by integrating our experiential, live, immersive items. Our team will be happy to go the extra mile to help meet any of your special requests.  

     

    "Chuc mung nam moi." May the intelligent, innovative and calm Goat bring you more fulfilment. 

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    NEW - 4 STAR ALMA OASIS LONG HAI

     

    The 4 star Alma Oasis Long Hai is scheduled to open on February 1, 2015. It is under the same management as the Fusion Maia in Danang, and operates with a similar concept with a daily spa treatment included in the room rate. 

     

    Located in Long Hai, about two hours from Saigon, the hotel stretches along gentle hills, and has a beautiful garden with direct access to the beach. It offers five pool villas and 24 bungalows with a total of 69 rooms, all decorated in bright colours and equipped with modern facilities. The beach restaurant serves international cuisine, Vietnamese specialities and fresh seafood. There is also a poolside bar to relax over drinks and cocktails. 

     

     

     

    NEW -NAMAN BEACH RESORT, DANANG

     

    Naman Beach Resort, a boutique hotel in Danang, will soft open in February 2015. It is located on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and between two world-class golf courses - the Montgomerie Links and Danang Golf Club. Bustling Hoian is only 15 minutes away.  

     

    The resort offers 102 rooms, and each one reveals a unique experience. The 32 Babylon rooms are 45sqm and the Pool Villas 100-150sqm with private pools. They are comfortable and equipped with the latest interior and high-end facilities. F&B options include the Lobby Bar, Pool Bar, Beach Lounge, Tapas Bar, and the Hay Hay Restaurant that serves Vietnamese and international food. The spa has 21 treatment rooms, sauna, Jacuzzi, and a detox and relaxation room. 

     

     

     

    NEW - ROYAL RIVERSIDE HOTEL, HOIAN

     

    Royal Riverside Hotel in Holan opened on December 24, 2014 in time for Christmas. This brand new boutique hotel is located on the bank of the Hoai River, and is within walking distance to the Japanese Bridge and the Old Quarter. It offers 45 rooms overlooking the river and town.  

     

    Hotel facilities include a spa, sauna, Jacuzzi, gym, swimming pool and beauty salon. It also has an ala carte restaurant with 90 seats offering Asian and Western meals, lobby lounge, bar, and a street café. 

     

     

     

    VILLA SONG SAIGON

     

    Villa Song Saigon was once part of the Thao Dien Village complex in Ho Chi Minh City's District 2. It was closed for two years. It reopened in December 2013, completely refurbished and rebranded into a modern boutique hotel. It is styled as a 1930s colonial getaway with a touch of Indo-Chinese architecture, whitewashed and with minimal décor.  

      

    The hotel is located on the banks of the Saigon River, and has beautiful gardens where guests can dine and enjoy drinks. It offers 22 elegant rooms overlooking the river or the pool. Daybeds are available on request. Facilities include a swimming pool, a small spa and gym. Its restaurant has a nice decor, a great wine cellar and serve excellent food, with a piano player providing he entertainment. 

     

    Villa Song Saigon is easily accessible by speedboat from downtown, or a 10-minute taxi ride from central Saigon. 

     

     

     

     

    RESTAURANTS & VENUES

     

     

    BAMBOO BUDDHA - NEW BAR, LOUNGE AND RESTAURANT IN  HOIAN

     

    Bamboo Buddha is a new French managed restaurant with three floors, which can accommodate up to 150 paxs. It has a small garden where guests can dine and enjoy Vietnamese and French cuisine. 

     

    The cosy restaurant is located on An Hoi Islet, just a two-minute walk from Bach Dang and the Japanese Bridge in Hoian's Old Quarter. It is a cool venue to chill and unwind over drinks and fine meals. 

     

     

     

     

    STAFF UPDATE

     

     

    KAROLINA IS NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER FOR EASTERN & CENTRAL EUROPE

     

    We have the pleasure to introduce and welcome Karolina Vojvodova as our new Business Development Manager for Eastern- and Central Europe.  

     

    Karolina has a good background in tourism, having worked as Travel Manager Asia for a tour operator in Prague, Czech Republic. With her communication and organisational skills, ability to speak a few languages and a network of contacts, she will be a great asset to our team. You will have the opportunity to meet Karolina on her sales trips to Europe or at one of the European travel trade shows. 

     

     

     

     

    DIBYENDU JOINS ATV AS NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, INDIAN MARKET

     

    We are delighted to introduce and welcome Dibyendu Bhattacharyya as our new Business Development Manager for the Indian market. The introduction of direct air services between India and Vietnam brings new business opportunities for Vietnam. We thus decided to have an Indian national to take care of this market.  

     

    Dibyendu has an excellent background of 14 year in sales across the tourism, hospitality and aviation industries in India. We believe that with his professional and personal skills Dibyendu is the right person to really understand the local mentality and the needs of the Indian market to do successful business. 

     

     

     

    LUCA MARRA IS NEW ITALIAN STAFF FOR INBOUND DEPARTMENT

     

    We have the pleasure to introduce Luca Marra, an Italian national, who joined our inbound team in Vietnam on January 1, 2015.  

     

    Luca successfully completed six months of internship in our operation offices in Hanoi and Danang, and supported the sales team in the Inbound and MICE departments in Ho Chi Minh City. His main task is to support the sales team for the Italian and Spanish-speaking markets, communicate with clients in the local languages, and assist clients arriving in Vietnam. An active, enthusiastic and motivated young man, he will be a great asset to our Inbound department. 

     

     
     
     

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    CHINA

       

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR KRIS VAN GOETHEM

     

    2014 was a good year, and we believe 2015 will be even better! In 2015, we will have the International Athletics World Championship in Beijing, a new Exhibition Center in Shanghai, a high-speed train on the Silk Road, more international flight connections to Europe and the rest of the world, and most importantly, we will be welcoming your esteemed clients to China!  

     

    The China team wishes you a healthy and successful New Year! 

     

     

     

     

    DESTINATION INFORMATION

     

     

    LANZHOU -XINJIANG HIGH-SPEED RAILWAY STARTS OPERATIONS

        

    The 530km section of the 1,776km- long Lanzhou-Xinjiang high-speed railway began operations on November 16, 2014. It connects Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and the region's Hami Prefecture. 

     

    The Lanzhou-Xinjiang high-speed railway is the first such service in China's far west. It has five stations - Urumqi, Turpan South, Shanshan north, Tuha, and Hami. The service shortens travel time between Xinjiang and other provinces, allowing people to have more time to experience Xinjiang rather than spend most of the time on the road. When fully operational this high-speed railway will cut travelling time from Urumqi to Lanzhou from 21 hours to 8 hours or less. 

     

     

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

     

     

    BIKE TOUR OF BEIJING'S LEGATION QUARTER

     

    Asian Trails' Explore team has created a new and unique tour in Beijing - Bike Tour of the ancient Lagation Quarter. Discover the area's unveiled secrets and learn from the past to better understand the present, as well as discover stories on the Boxers and the Emperors. Come and explore this interesting Quarter with us on bikes. 

     

     

     

    THE CHARMS OF ANCIENT XIANGXI

     

    The ethnic groups of Tujia, Miao, Hui, Yao, Dong and Bai inhabit the northwestern part of Hunan Province, Xiangxi Tujia and the Miao Autonomous Prefecture. The area is also home to the Wulingyuan Scenic Area (also known as Zhangjiajie or Avatar Mountains), Fenghuang (phoenix) Ancient City, Hongjiang Ancient City and Langshan Moutain.  

     

    The Mengdong River Scenic Area in the northeastern part of Xiangxi boasts the 1,000-year-old town of Laosicheng and the ancient town of Wangcun. The Fenghuang Ancient City was known as the "most beautiful small city in China". The tranquil surroundings in Mount Nanhua present a beautiful and unearthly saint.  

     

    There are also other tourist attractions such as Qiliang Cave in Fenghuang Ancient City, Baxian Lake in Jishou, the Grand Canyon in Mount Wulong and the Gumiao River in HuaYuan County.  

     

    As the cluster of the Miao and Tujia ethnic groups, Xiangxi has a variety of traditions and folk cultures. Folk legends and historical myths make Xiangxi a place of stories, adding its appeal to tourists from around the world.   

     

     

     

    PUTUO, A SACRED BUDDHISM MOUNTAIN

     

    Embraced by the East China Sea, Putuo is an archipelago district formed of 455 islands of Zhoushan city in Zhejiang Province. It represents a variety of aspects of China's sea culture.  

     

    Putuo Mountain is one of the four sacred Buddhism mountains in China; the other three are Mount Wutai, Mount Jiuhua, and Mount Emei. The name "Putuo" is derived from "Potalaka", which is the mountain residence of Guanyin in the Avatamsaka Sutra. Historical records show that the earliest worshipers came to Putuo in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). It is located on a 12.5 square kilometre island with views of the ocean, temples, cliffs, caves and sandy shores. The island is regarded as one of the most serene places in China. 

     

     

     

    LINFEN, A COUNTY OF NATURAL BEAUTY AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY

     

    Tourists and history buffs in a rush to get to neighbouring Xi'an to see the terracotta warriors often overlook Linfen, which is a historically important city in its own right. With diverse local customs and a rich cultural heritage, Linfen County in Shanxi province has all of the charms of China's golden eras. The city was the capital of Yao, the fourth of five legendary Chinese emperors who ruled more than 4,000 years ago.  

     

    Linfen has more than 3,000 relic protection sites and 140,000 relics. The Jin Kingdom Museum in Quwo County displays ancient marquis tombs, some of which were excavated as recently as 2001. A visit to the Ding Village in Xiangfen County is like travelling back in time. The Yao tomb and temple, which date back more than 1,300 years and host annual temple fairs, is a popular site for people to offer sacrifices to their ancestors. 

     

     

     

    MACAU CHOSEN AS ONE OF THE TOP 10 REGIONS FOR TRAVEL IN 2015

     

    Macau has been selected as one of the top 10 regions for travel in 2015 by Lonely Planet's "Best in Travel 2015" annual publication. The world's largest travel guide publisher highlighted Macau's Portuguese heritage, its unique fusion cuisine and various attractions. 

     

    Lonely Planet's description of Macau reads: "Its Portuguese heritage has created a fusion cuisine that combines European, African, Indian and Chinese elements. Where else can you make an incense offering at an ancient Chinese Buddhist temple, take the world's highest bungee jump, have a Michelin-star meal and a street food midnight snack?" 

     

    The number of tourist to Macau from the Chinese mainland reached 18 million in 2013, compared with 1.6 million in 1999, accounting for over 60% of total tourist arrivals. 

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    W BEIJING-CHANG'AN OPENS

     

    Steps from the mystical Forbidden City, vibrant Silk Market and famed Tiananmen Square, W Beijing - Chang'an lights up bustling downtown's exclusive Diplomatic District with a potent remix of high style, exhilarating history and pulsating nightlife.  

     

    The new hotel, located on Beijing's main Chang'an Avenue, offers 349 rooms and suites. All feature tablet devices to control the lighting and mood, 48-inch LED TVs and Bluetooth sound systems with Bose speakers. The king bedrooms and suites have round bathtubs. The Extreme Wow Suite, the hotel's top room category, covers 345sqm in area and includes a two-metre-wide circular bed and a Jacuzzi positioned next to a ceiling-to-floor window. 

     

     

     

    LE ZAI NAN LUO COURTYARD - NEW BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN BEIJING

     

    Le Zai Nan Luo Courtyard, a new boutique hotel, is located at the most iconic and renowned tourist destination in Beijing - Sha Jing Hutong of the Nan Luo Gu Xiang. The history of the courtyard can be traced back to a hundred years. Its layout and property title had gone through many changes, as the Chinese social changes until it became the typical "da za yuan" (compound occupied by many households) of the old town of Beijing.    

     

    The hotel covers an area of 1,000 square metres, and offers 12 guestrooms. They are located in four small courtyards - the Spring Courtyard, the Summer Courtyard, the Autumn Courtyard and the Winter Courtyard.  Each room is named after a Chinese traditional solar term, and has a different interior design according to its original architecture.  

     

     

     

    SUNRISE KEMPINSKI HOTEL BEIJING OPENS ITS DOORS IN DECEMBER

     

    Beijing's first large-scale five-star luxury resort was unveiled in December 2014 when the Sunrise Kempinski Hotel Beijing opened its doors. It is located in a natural setting along the shoreline of the scenic Yanqi Lake with magnificent views of Yanshan Mountain and the Mutianyu Great Wall. It offers 240 exquisitely furnished rooms and 66 suites, all with views of the lake or mountain.  

     

    The hotel offers a brand new exciting option as a MICE destination in Beijing. Its meeting space spreads over 2,866 square metres and includes a ballroom, 12 meeting and boardrooms, and ample outdoor event space amidst beautifully landscaped natural gardens. All the meeting rooms are multi-functional and equipped with meeting aids, including wireless Internet, audio-visual equipment and intelligent light and sound facilities.  

     

    The 2014 APEC economic leaders' meeting in November 2014 was held at Sunrise Kempinski Hotel. 

     

     

     

    A HILTON GARDEN INN FOR LIJIANG

     

    Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang is situated in the centre of Lijiang's new business district with easy access to major roads and attractions including the Black Dragon Pool, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Lijiang Dayan Ancient Town.  

     

    The hotel has 172 guestrooms, including four suites and 10 family rooms with signature architecture, and equipped with modern amenities to make guests feel at home. The lounge bar is a comfortable place for enjoying a cocktail and the all-day dinning restaurant serves Chinese and selected authentic Sichuan and Yunnan cuisine, as well as international favourites. 

     

     

     

    LUX LIJIANG - A SHOWCASE OF NAXI ARCHITECTURE

     

    Located in a typical courtyard-shape residence, LUX Lijiang banishes thoughtless patterns and offers a simple, fresh and sensory approach to showcase this renowned "city of bridges". 

     

    The hotel features traditional Naxi architecture, a timber-framed structure enriched by elements of the Han and Tang dynasties combined with striking design elements. The main two-storied building is home to 10 luxurious yet contemporary rooms, the Cha Ma Dao Library and the main courtyard. The adjacent building features the exclusive hotel restaurant and the bar where Tea Horse Road's storytellers and local musicians liven up the winter evenings. There is complimentary high-speed WiFi throughout the hotel. 

     

     

     

    THE PARK LANE HONG KONG REBRANDS AS PULLMAN

     

    The Park Lane Hong Kong has entered a franchise agreement with Accor, which sees the former rebrand as Pullman and manage its own operations from January 1, 2015.  

     

    The Park Lane is one of Hong Kong's most beloved hotels, boasting 834 rooms in the centre of Causeway Bay. While the hotel is very well maintained, a full renovation programme has begun to bring it to Pullman's exacting global standards. The refurbishment will include a makeover of the Park Lane Suites, executive floors, dining outlets, meeting rooms and executive lounge.  

     

    With its rooftop garden terrace boasting spectacular views over Hong Kong, the Park Lane features three restaurants and bars, 14 meeting rooms with a total of 964sqm of event space, a gym, and a wellness centre complete with sauna and steam bath. Its rooms come in a range of styles to suit every type of traveller, from business executives to families in one of the best locations in town.  

     

     

     

    THE TEMPLE HOUSE CHENGDU TO OPEN THIS YEAR

     

    Following the successful launch of The Opposite House in Beijing and The Upper House in Hong Kong, Swire Hotels is set to unveil its third House, The Temple House in Chengdu, later this year. 

     

    Designed by UK-based Make Architects, the 100-room hotel and its 42 adjoining serviced apartments form an integral part of the city government's conservation project to preserve the surrounding heritage buildings next to the thousand-year-old Daci Temple. The three-dimensional woven façade combines modern design with the traditional Chengdu architectural elements of timber, brick and step stones. Elegant bamboo trees frame the hotel's entrance, which is set in a beautifully restored hundred-year-old Chinese courtyard building first built in the Qing Dynasty. 

     

    The goal of the hotel is to create a highly individualised hotel, which houses a series of dynamic restaurants and uniquely designed facilities.  

     

     

     

     

    FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

     

     

    CHINESE NEW YEAR
    FEBRUARY 19, 2015
    VENUE: THROUGHOUT CHINA

     

    Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival will be celebrated on February 19. This will be the Year of the Goat (or Sheep). The animal occupies the 8th position in the Chinese Zodiac, and symbolises creativity, intelligence, dependability and calmness.  

     

    People born under the Goat sign are comfortable being alone to ponder the workings of their inner minds, enjoy being part of a group but prefer being on the sidelines rather than in the centre of attention. Home and alone is where they feel most comfortable. When travelling or seeking entertainment, Goats prefer groups or venues that hold many people. They spend money on fashions that give them a first class appearance. Although they enjoy spending money on the finer things in life, they are not snobbish. 

     

     

     

     

    AIRLINE INFORMATION

     

     

    CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES TO CONNECT KUNMING WITH PARIS

     

    China Eastern Airlines is to launch the Kunming to Paris service, the first direct air link between the Chinese city and Europe.  

     

    Flights will operate three times a week, departing Kunming's Changshui International Airport every Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 00:05hrs, arriving at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport at 05.50hrs. The return flight will leave Paris at 11.50hrs, to reach Kunming at 06.00hrs the next day. 

     

     

     

     

    RESTAURANTS & VENUES

     

     

    SHANGHAI'S NATIONAL CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTER OPENS IN 2015

     

    This year will see the gradual opening of the long-awaited National Convention and Exhibition Center (NCEC). It aims to serve China and the world with its cutting-edge design and multiple facilities.  

      

    NCEC will be the largest single block building and exhibition complex in the world with a total construction area of 1.47 million square metres, of which 1.27 million square metres are above ground. It is only 1.5 kilometre (straight-line distance) away from the Hongqiao Transportation Hub, and is connected with Hongqiao Airport and Hongqiao Railway Station via the city's Metro Line 2. 

     

     

     

    GREEN T. HOUSE BEIJING

     

    Set in over 15,000 square metres of courtyard gardens in the prime high-end residential Villa quarter on the outskirts of Beijing, Green T. House transports its guests to a space that vitalises the senses and soothes the spirit. The vision of talented Beijing personality, JinR, it draws on the traditions of the teahouse as a social gathering place at the centre of Chinese culture and culinary heritage, and mixes them with energizing elements of New-China. 

     

    Green T. House provides versatile venues for any kind of events. The White Pavilion, a Zhanguo period-inspired structure conceived and decorated by JinR, rising gracefully from expansive, terraced courtyards of white stone, has been a favourite venue for many world-class luxury brand events. The Reflection T. Room has just been redesigned and is now perfect for private group dining, meetings or breakout space. All venues offer panoramic garden views. 

     

    The venue boasts the "T. Cuisine", which is inspired by traditional Chinese cuisine and stunningly reconstructed with tea and innovative presentations. Winner of numerous awards, its dining is guaranteed to wow its guests. 

     

     

     

     

    ANY OTHER NEWS

     

     

    PARTY TIME

     

    Our partner hotels and hotel groups have been hosting a large number of Christmas parties and annual events last December. We expect more to come before Chinese New Year.  

     

    We thank our partners for the wonderful events we have attended. 

     

     

     

    ANNUAL SUPPLIERS MEETING

     

    Asian Trails held an annual suppliers meeting in Xian in early December last year. Our key partners from all over China attended the meeting. The theme, "One team, one dream", provided operational excellence and created wonderful stories and memories for our guests to take home! 

     

     
     
     

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    MYANMAR

     

     

    A note from Managing Director Thomas Carnevale

     

    Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

     

    The past months of November and December were very busy in Myanmar. The number of arrivals is increasing tremendously, and we are confident this trend will continue into the New Year.  

     

    We would like to thank all of you for your great efforts in supporting us despite the many challenges we are facing. Please rest assured that in 2015 we will continue to provide you with outstanding services at the most competitive prices available. 

     

    I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year. 

     

    Thomas Carnevale 

     

     

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

     

     

    GOLDEN EAGLE BALLOONING IN BAGAN

     

    Golden Eagle Ballooning launched its hot air balloon operation last November in Myanmar's ancient city of Bagan. Three balloons are operating with a total capacity of 24 passengers for sunrise flight. The company plans to launch similar operation in other destinations in Myanmar such as Mandalay and Inle Lake.  

     

    The balloons are manufactured by Ultramagic from Spain, one of the best and well-known balloon manufacturers in the world, and approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). 

     

     

     

    ALL ABOARD! THE STEAM TRAIN IS BACK ON TRACK

     

    A vintage steam train has started operations between Bagan and Kyaukpadaung. It runs every Tuesday on the 110-kilometre (78-mile) return trip between the two cities. The journey includes a short stop in a local village, meals and transportation by car to and from nearby Mount Popa for passengers alighting at Kyaukpadaung.  

     

    Zaw Weik, director of Bright View Steam Locomotive Tours commented on the new train service: "I am not only seeking business success but also the improvement of the tourism industry. I want the historical record to show that we have had a steam train run in Bagan." 

     

    The train can accommodate up to 120 passengers. It is the perfect product for incentive groups, and an experience not to be missed by anyone who loves trains. 

     

     

     

    HERITAGE LINE INDOCHINA CRUISES INTO MYANMAR

     

    Heritage-Line Indochina, the luxury Collectors, Artisans and Hosts of luxury, boutique cruising in Southeast Asia, is adding a new vessel to their fleet. Slated for launch at the end of 2015, the Shin Arahan will ply the waters of the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. 

     

    The new 65-metre, purpose built paddle-wheeler will have 23 elegantly appointed cabins along with spacious public areas and a host of upscale amenities. 

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    NEW  - HSIPAW RESORT, HSIPAW

     

    Hsipaw Resort is the newest addition to Hsipaw, a peaceful town in northern Shan State and the increasingly popular trekking capital of Myanmar.  

     

    The resort is located on the eastern bank of the Dokhtawady River. It offers 20 river view rooms in duplex bungalows equipped with air conditioners, ceiling fans, hair dryers, minibar, tea- and coffee= facilities, and personal safe. 

     

     

     

    NEW - KH HOTEL, YANGON

     

    The new, modern 3 star KH Hotel is located about 6.7 kilometres away from Shwedagon Pagoda and 9.5 kilometres from Sule Pagoda. Its 49 well-appointed guestrooms and junior suites are equipped with IDD telephone, minibar, in-room personal electronic safe, and complimentary tea- and coffee- making facilities. 

     

     

     

    HPA AN LODGE SOFT OPENS

     

    The 3 star Hpa An Lodge has soft opened with 18 individual wooden and tastefully decorated cottages. It is surrounded by scenic landscape due to its strategic location in the valley of Mt. Zwe Kabin near the Dat-da-lun Monastery, and along the road to Myawaddy bordering Thailand. The lodge is the gateway to a scenic river journey down to Mawlemine. 

     

     

     

    NEW - M HOTEL, YANGON

     

    M Hotel is a new 3 star hotel located in a residential area in Yangon, only a 15-minute walk away from Inya Lake. It offers 38 rooms ranging from Junior Deluxe to Royal M Room, and all are equipped with modern amenities. Hotel facilities include a swimming pool and a fitness centre. It is ideal for travellers looking for a relaxing holiday. 

     

     

     

    KEMPINSKI HOTEL, A LUXURY PROPERTY IN NAY PYI TAW

     

    Kempinski Hotel is located in the heart of Nay Pyi Taw, adjacent to the Myanmar International Convention Centre (MICC), and just a five-minute drive to the Gem Museum. A world of luxury, it offers 1,000 rooms from Deluxe to suites including the Palace suite. The hotel was the venue of the ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, and US President Barrack Obama was among the famous guests staying there. 

     

     

     

     

    FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

     

     

    KAKKU PAGODA FESTIVAL
    MARCH 4, 2015
    VENUE: KAKKU NEAR TAUNGGYI, SHAN STATE

     

    The annual Kakku Pagoda Festival takes place on March 4, which is the full moon day of Tabaung (the last month of the Myanmar lunar calendar), at Kakku in the Shan State. This is not just a four-day religious festival, but is also an occasion for the Paoh people (one of the countless Myanmar ethnic groups) to trade, have fun and socialise with other. 

     

     

     

     

    AIRLINE INFORMATION

     

     

    AIRASIA'S NEW KUALA LUMPUR-NAY PYI TAW FLIGHT

     

    AirAsia introduced a daily direct flight between Kuala Lumpur and Nay Pyi Taw on November 10, 2014. This is the airline's second destination in Myanmar from Malaysia after Yangon.  

     

    The launch of this new route makes AirAsia the only airline to fly between Nay Pyi Taw from Kuala Lumpur. 

     

     

     

    TIGERAIR SHARES ROUTES WITH GOLDEN MYANMAR AIRLINES

     

    Singapore's budge carrier, Tigerair, has entered into a codeshare agreement with Golden Myanmar Airlines (GMA) on the daily Singapore-Yangon-Singapore flights. GMA sells the tickets for the flights, while Tigerair shares the flights in order to reduce costs.  

     

    Both airlines have plans to expand the codesharing arrangement to other Myanmar destinations such as Mandalay and Bagan.  

     

     

     

    GOLDEN MYANMAR AIRLINES LAUNCHES NEW DOMESTIC ROUTES

     

    No frills Golden Myanmar Airlines expanded its domestic network last October with the launch new flights to Myeik, Putao, Bhamo, Lashio, Myitkyina from different airports in Myanmar.   

     

    Additionally, Yangon and Chiang Mai in Thailand are connected by three times weekly services from last November, using an ATR72 aircraft.  

     

     

     

    MYANMAR AIRWAYS CODESHARES WITH GARUDA INDONESIA

     

    Myanmar Airways International (MAI) and Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, signed a codeshare deal last November to share flights to better promote tourism between the two countries. 

     

    The codeshare arrangement provides passengers between Myanmar and Indonesia with smooth and convenient connections through the two international gateways of Yangon and Jakarta.  

     

     

     

    AIR MANDALAY SUSPENDS OPERATIONS

     

    Air Mandalay, Myanmar's first private airline, temporarily suspended its operations from December 10, 2014 due to unforeseen delays on the scheduled arrival of leased aircraft.  

     

    We will keep you updated and advise when advance flight booking is available again.  

     

     

     

     

    STAFF UPDATE

     

     

    WELCOME BACK MRS GU GU

     

    After a-two year absence Mrs Gu Gu has returned to work with Asian Trails Myanmar. She is in charge of our series team with the position of Tour Consulting Supervisor. She was working with the company for many years before she left to take up new challenges. 

     

    Mrs Gu Gu has gained vast experience working with both big and small destination management companies in recent years. Her knowledge in the tourism industry, relationship with various suppliers, and a good understanding of company's culture and expectations will help to market our products in a competitive market. 

     

    We are happy to welcome Mrs Gu Gu back to our team again. 

     

     

     

     

    ANY OTHER NEWS

     

     

    MAGIC SHOW FOR A GOOD CAUSE

     

    The children of Mary Chapman School for the Deaf in Yangon had a touch of magic at a special magic show last December. The show was organised by My Red Elephant with the sponsorship of Asian Trails Myanmar.  

     

    It was very special moment to see all the smiling faces and hear their laughter. Magic brings happiness without the need for words. 

     

     
     
     

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    MALAYSIA

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR EMIR CHERIF

     

    Dear Friends, 

     

    My team and I would like to wish you a Happy and Successful New Year 2015, and thank you in advance for all your support and trust.  

     

    2015 has been declared as the Year of the Festivals (MyFest) by Tourism Malaysia. We will do our best to inform you about possible events, which your clients can attend in case their stay overlaps with one of these events. It may be an interesting added value to experience a local celebration. 

     

    The Malaysian government will impose GST at 6% April from 1, 2015. Some of the prices have been adapted based on the GST rate. We thank you in advance for your understanding. 

     

    In the last issue of the newsletter we related on the adopting of a nest of hawksbill turtles in Pom Pom Island. I am happy to inform that they have hatched, and 32 baby turtles were released to the sea safely. 

     

    We look forward to welcoming your clients in 2015. 

     

    Kind regards, 

     

    Emir 

    Malaysia, Truly Asia! 

     

     

     

     

     

    DESTINATION INFORMATION

     

     

    ANGRY BIRDS THEME PARK IN JOHOR BHARU

     

    A new indoor theme park, the Angry Birds Activity Park, opened on October 31, 2014 in Komtar JBCC, a new shopping centre in Johor Bharu, Johor. It is just a 20-minute drive from the Woodlands Checkpoint.  

     

    Named after the popular mobile game, Angry Birds, the Park features similar games and characters like Laser Bird Shoot, Red Bird Goal, Piggy Shooting Gallery and Captain Black Bird Ship. 

     

     

     

    SPECIAL IMMIGRATION LANES FOR ASEAN VISITORS AT KLIA AND KLIA2

     

    Malaysia opened special immigration lane for Asean nationals at the KL International Airport (KLIA) and klia2, the international budget terminal, on January 1, 2015. 

     

    The Asean Immigration Lane, as it is called, is an effort by Malaysia to ease the flow of national from the 10-member Asean bloc, as the country assumes the Asean chairmanship in 2015. It is also introduced as part of the Asean Economic Community's (AEC) initiative. 

     

    The special Asean immigration lane will also bring a sense of belonging and being a part of the Asean family.  

     

    Three Asean lanes are already in place at the international departure hall of KLIA, with two more in the international arrival hall. klia2 has two Asean lanes at the international departure hall and two in the international arrival hall.  

     

    Similar immigration lanes will be opened at other airports and entry points throughout Malaysia by the first quarter of 2015 to facilitate tourism and official matters.  

     

    This is the third time Malaysia is assuming the Asean chairmanship, having held that position in 1977 and 2005. 

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    RENOVATIONS AT ANDAMAN LANGKAWU COMPLETED

     

    Andaman Langkawi on Langkawi Island has finished the refurbishment of its Deluxe Rainforest rooms, Luxury Pool Access, Luxury Garden Terrace rooms and the lobby. 

     

     

     

    REMODELLING AT HYATT REGENCY KUANTAN DELAYED TILL MID-2015

     

    Hyatt Regency Kuantan in Pahang has delayed the renovations and remodelling of all its 330 guestrooms, suites and public area to mid-2015. This is due to the extensive work involved. 

     

    We will keep you informed of further developments related to the project. 

     

     

     

    RENOVATIONS AT MANDARIN ORIENTAL KUALA LUMPUR

     

    Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur is undergoing several upgrading projects.  

     

    Building podium works 

    • Level 2: Meeting rooms renovation - closed from January 2 to March 31, 2015. 

    • Level 3: Health, beauty, spa and pool areas -  closed from January 2 to May 31, 2015.     

    Alternative spa and beauty saloon located at Level 25; alternative swimming pool access at designated nearby hotels.  

     

    Building tower works: 

    • Level 4-8: Apartment renovation - closed from April 1 to September 30, 2015. Alternative long stay rentals in Park and Club Suites. Sound buffer floors will be implemented to minimise any noise due to the construction.   

    • Level 27-30: Guestrooms (Club Floor) and suites renovation - cosed from October  1 to December 31, 2015. Sound buffer floors will be implemented to minimise any noise due to the construction. 

     

     

    MANDARIN ORIENTAL KUALA LUMPUR INTRODUCES NEW MANDARIN ROOMS

     

    For more information on the new Mandarin rooms,  please contact our reservation department at: res@asiantrails.com.my 

     

     

     

     

    FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

     

     

    SKYRIDE FESTIVAL PARK
    THROUGHOUT 2015
    VENUE: PUTRAJAYA LAKE, PUTRAJAYA

     

    Enjoy a magnificent view of Putrajaya from 150 metres above ground. Held for the first time, this festival offers the opportunity for visitors to ride on a giant helium balloon with a gondola measuring 13 metres that can accommodate a total of 30 passengers per ride. 

     

     

     

    MYFEST 2015 GRAND LAUNCH
    JANUARY 10, 2015
    VENUE: DATARAN MERDEKA, KUALA LUMPUR

      

    Delight your senses with the grand launch of MyFEST, which kicks off 2015. The ceremony will showcase Citrawarna to celebrate the vibrant colours, diverse culture and natural attractions of Malaysia in the colourful performances. An event not to be missed.  

     

     

     

    KL LIGHT FESTIVAL
    JANUARY 11-17, 2015
    VENUE: KUALA LUMPUR

     

    The KL Light Festival is a dazzling showcase of large light displays, dancing fountains, water screen, pyrotechnics and multimedia laser shows, and video mapping projected on the city's prominent buildings. The festival will also bring together international and local musicians to create music on a single platform, and to promote the theme. 

     

     

     

    TIOMAN SURFESTIVAL 2015
    JANUARY 29-31, 2015
    VENUE: KAMPUNG JUARA, PULAU TIOMAN

     

    This is an exciting surfing competition, which was first held in Pulau Tioman. It is organised within the South China Sea, a beautiful location where the wave heights are ideal for new surfers getting to know the water sport. 

     

     

     

    WORLD KITE FESTIVAL
    FEBRUARY 11-15, 2015
    VENUE: BUKIT LAYANG-LAYANG, PASIR GUDANG, JOHOR

     

    An annual event featuring the cultural, sporting and recreational activity of kite flying. The festival is a definite crowd-puller enjoyed by people of all ages. The event will see the global participation of 30 countries. 

     

     

     

    CHINGAY PARADE
    FEBRUARY 26, 2015
    VENUE: JOHOR BAHRU, JOHOR

     

    The Chingay Parade is a street procession and part of the Chinese New Year's celebrations. This event was first introduced in Johor Bahru in 2006. There are about 145 groups participating, and the parade stretches as far as 15 kilometres throughout the city. The parade usually lasts from mid-afternoon to after midnight with an array of lion dances, acrobatic performances, and decorated parade floats. 

     

     

     

    MALAYSIA CHINESE NEW YEAR OPEN HOUSE

    FEBRUARY 28, 2015
    VENUE: TELUK INTAN, PERAK

     

    The Chinese community ushers in the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 19, with lion dances and festivities. Join in the celebrations at the Chinese New Year Open House on February 28 in Teluk Intan, Perak. The event brings people together to celebrate the festival in the spirit of 1Malaysia with cultural performances and a menu of traditional delicacies.

     

     

     

     

    AIRLINE INFORMATION

     

     

    MALINDO AIR ADDS PENANG-MELAKA AND MELAKA-PEKANBARU TO NETWORK

     

    Malaysia's hybrid airline, Malindo Air, has launched its five times weekly flights from the Melaka International Airport, Batu Berendam, to Penang and Pekanbaru, Indonesia. The services, using the ATR-72-600 aircraft, are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.  

     

    The Penang-Melaka flight, which takes one hour and 20 minutes, leaves Penang at 10.10am with the return flight at 3.15pm. The Melaka-Pekanbaru flight, which takes one hour and five minutes, leaves Melaka at 11.50am with the return flight at 12.50pm. 

     

     

     

    MALINDO AIR LAUNCHES KUALA LUMPUR-SINGAPORE SERVICE

     

    Malindo Air commenced three daily direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore on its brand new dual-class Boeing B737 aircraft. The flights are from klia2. 

     

     

     

    MALINDO AIR FLIES TO KATHMANDU IN FEBRUARY

        

    Malindo Air will commence daily direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu, Nepal from February 6, 2015. A Boeing B737NG aircraft will be deployed on this service. 

     

    The flight will depart Kuala Lumpur at 7.05pm and touch down at Tribhuvan International Airport at 9.30pm local time. The return flight will leave Kathmandu at 10.20pm and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 5.15a, the next day. 

     

     

     

    AIRASIA LAUNCHES THE ASEAN PASS

     

    There is now a cheaper way of travelling on AirAsia within Asean with the AirAsia Asean Pass, which is available from January 15, 2015. A multiple travel pass, it enables the airline's guests to board a flight in Kuala Lumpur, travel onwards to Jakarta and other Asean destinations. 

     

    The Pass is essentially a prepaid ticket, which enables a traveller to book flights at a fixed rate across selected routes throughout the ASEAN region. The first option is a one-month pass for 10 flights anywhere within the region at a flat rate of RM499 (US$143), excluding airport charges. The second option is a 45-day pass for 20 flights, costing RM800-RM900.  

     

    Pass holders can purchase flights to over 137 routes throughout Asean. The pass also comes with numerous benefits including BIG points, which can be used to redeem free AirAsia flights. 

     

     

     

    NARITA IS AIRASIA X'S NEW DESTINATION

     

    AirAsia X has commenced services to Narita in Japan from Kuala Lumpur. Narita is the airline's second airport in Tokyo after Haneda, which was launched on December 9, 2010. This new service extends the airline's reach into the North Asian market.  

     

    Narita, which is a city located in Chiba prefecture, attracts both domestic and foreign visitors with its cultural heritage and tourist attractions that include the famous Tokyo Disney Resort, Shisui Premium Outlets, and Katori Shingu Shrine. 

     

     

     

    AIRASIA FLIES DIRECT FROM KUALA LUMPUR TO NAY PYI TAW

     

    AirAsia launched daily direct flight between Kuala Lumpur and Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on November 10, 2014. It is the only airline to fly direct to Nay Pyi Taw from Kuala Lumpur. 

     

     

     

    LUFTHANSA TO INTRODUCE PREMIUM ECONOMY CLASS FOR KUALA LUMPUR SERVICE

     

    Lufthansa German Airlines, the flag carrier of Germany. will introduce the premium economy class on its weekly non-stop Frankfurt to Kuala Lumpur flights by the middle of this year.   

     

    The airline's premium economy class seats make up 10% of the entire seating capacity on its wide-bodied aircraft. 

     

     

     
     

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    INDONESIA

     

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR BJÖRN SCHIMANSKI

     

    After 15 years and after living in such diverse countries like Spain, Ireland, Germany, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos I finally return to Indonesia. This huge archipelago with its 250 million people was the first country in Asia where I lived, and you can imagine how big the impact was on a young student like I was at that time.  

     

    Now, I am very proud to be back and to head Asian Trails Indonesia with its excellent team and local managers! After only one month back in the destination, I already feel totally integrated and part of this great team.  

     

    A big thanks to my predecessor and friend, Andre Seiler, with whom I spent a lot of time during the two-month handover period. We assure you that we will continue to deliver the excellent service and standard you are used from us!  

     

    Best wishes from Indonesia, Björn   

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    KARMA REEF RESORT ON GILI MENO BY KARMA RESORTS

     

    Located on northwest Lombok and with access to the world's most beautiful coral reefs, Karma Resorts has expanded its footprint with the opening of the Karma Reef Resort on Gili Meno. Ten two-storey beachfront bungalows are designed in Lumbung-style, and are equipped with modern furniture.  

    The resort is perfect for honeymooners looking for a romantic escape, as well for holidaymakers seeking an intimate and quiet place to rest and relax. 

     

     

     

    ALAYA KUTA BALI BY ALAYA

     

    The Alaya brand is expanding with the launch of Alaya Kuta, scheduled to open in April 2015. This 116-room property is located in the famous beachside district of Kuta, surrounded by natural tropical beauty. Guests can expect a collection of rooms giving the same attention to detail as Alaya Ubud. 

     

     

     

    REGENT BALI REBRANDS AS FAIRMONT SANUR BEACH BALI

     

    Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has taken over management of the former Regent Bali from December 2014, and rebranded the hotel as Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali. 

     

    The 120-all-suite and villa beachfront resort is located in Sanur on four hectares of lush tropical gardens and lies along 200 metres of golden beach.  

     

    Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali is the first resort, which Fairmont Hotels and Resorts opened in Indonesia.  

     

     

     

    SATWA SUMATRA ELEPHANT ECOLODGE, LAMPUNG, SUMATRA

      

    Satwa Sumatra Elephant Ecolodge is located in a lush tropical garden. It is just a 500-metre walk to the entrance of Way Kambas National Park, which houses the protected rare Sumatran elephants, rhinoceros and tigers. The lodge has four cottages, each with two wide rooms and space that can accommodate up to four people. All the cottages are powered by renewable solar energy. 

     

     

     

     

    AIRLINE INFORMATION

     

     

    GARUDA INDONESIA FLIES BALI TO BEIJING THREE TIMES A WEEK

     

    Garuda Indonesia is expanding its services in China and is complementing its current Jakarta to Beijing route with a new service from Bali. The three times weekly Bali to Beijing flights will launch on January 18, 2015 using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft. 

     

     

     

    BANGKOK AIRWAYS AND GARUDA INDONESIA CODESHARE

     

    Bangkok Airways and Garuda Indonesia inked a codeshare agreement on December 15, 2014. The new partnership allows passengers to benefit from the wide connectivity of the networks of both airlines flying between Thailand and Indonesia. 

     

     

     

     

    ANY OTHER NEWS

     

     

    FAMILIARISATION TRIPS TO JAVA, SULAWESI AND KOMODO

     

    In October and November 2014 Asian Trails Indonesia organised three separate group inspections to Java, Sulawesi and Komodo. The staff enjoyed the beautiful landscapes and breathtaking sceneries, and developed a genuine feeling for these places. They not only gained experience. but also acquired knowledge of the destinations to deliver the best services their clients. 

     

     

     

     

    STAFF OUTING TO BANDUNG

     

    The Asian Trails Indonesia team went on the annual staff outing to Bandung from November 29-30, 2014. Bandung is one of the most popular gateways for Indonesians due to its pleasant climate and colonial heritage.  

     

    The team explored the stunning Tangkuban Perahu Volcano, and visited a tea plantation including a tea factory. There was, of course, time to shop for bargains at the many shops in and around Bandung. The trip's highlight, however, was a very touching and beautiful gala dinner with all the members of the Asian Trails Indonesia family.   

     

     
     
     

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