Time flies and the first half of 2011 is already gone. The
past six months have seen vast developments, especially in
tourism products in the Asian region.
China leads the pack with hotels opening almost on a daily
basis and the much-anticipated high-speed rail link between
Beijing and Shanghai now operational.
The other regions are growing just as fast Cambodia with
its rich cultural attractions; Indonesia
unveiling more sun-kissed, charming islands; Malaysia adding
to its wide array of the best of Asia in one country; Laos
with its exciting tours on the powerful Mekong and charming
Nam Ou rivers; Thailands new out-of-the-ordinary EXPLORE
tours; Myanmars upcoming cultural festivals that are an
insight into the local way of life; Vietnam recognition by
US magazine, National Geographic, as having the Best Tours in Asia.
The regions attractiveness is
further enhanced by new and additional services offered by
both international and regional airlines, bringing Asia
practically to your doorsteps wherever you are. So come and
In this edition you
will find a special offer at the Le Bua for fans of the movie,
The Hangover 2. Scenes of the movie were shot at their famous
The main focus of
this edition is our resorts in the south with update of new
hotels and new flight connections.
ASIAN TRAILS KOH SAMUI WELCOMES SARNELLI KIDS
Asian Trails has helped to
make possible a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the beach in
Samui for the orphans of the Sarnelli House in Nongkhai by
sponsoring the transportation in Samui.
From the photos you can see
the happy children during their visit to Samui.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
EXPLORE FOR THE DISCERNING TRAVELLERS
Asian Trails has launched the new concept EXPLORE a
series of out-of-the-ordinary tours, suitable for all
categories of travellers. both individuals and small groups.
This is a programme for people who do not want to experience
what everyone else is doing. It is for seekers of a truly
authentic and sustainable travel experience in the great
outdoors, of local customs and charming hospitality,
flavourful traditional cooking, stimulating art and
We list below some examples of the
EXPLORE - EXPLORE PHUKET
Cycle by the sea through beautiful
valleys and coconut groves. This tour takes you to visit
many of Phuket's scenic views and natural attractions.
have the opportunity to experience Phukets lifestyle,
friendly local people and the clean air of the islands
Enjoy Thai food at local restaurants. Visit Thalang National Museum where you enjoy learning about
Phukets history, culture and the islander's way of life.
Then stop at Phuket Butterfly Garden & Insect World to
discover the wonders of these small creatures.
part of the Beluga School for Life project, which gives you
a taste of Thailands real culture.
Beluga School for Life invites visitors to become personally
acquainted with this extraordinary project. You are given
first hand information on the project onsite. Beautiful
landscapes and villages, largely untouched by tourism, are
found in the surroundings of the school. Additionally, you
can join a basic culture course that illustrates the do's
and don'ts in Thailand.
Khao", which means
"lets have lunch", is at the beautiful restaurant that
delicious local food. In the early afternoon you can either
explore the village with a look at the childrens exciting
projects or just relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.
Hangover 2, an American comedy and the follow-up to the
blockbuster The Hangover, which made US$450 million at the
box office, was filmed extensively at Lebua, the all-suite
luxurious hotel in Bangkok. With its near 360-degree views
of Bangkok Lebua was the setting for the scenes in the
movie, which was released worldwide on May 26, 2011.
One of the
chosen sites for many of the scenes was the Tower Club at
Lebua, and in particular the entrance to Sirocco, the
worlds highest open air rooftop restaurant on the 63rd
floor. The backdrop for the scenes is the dramatic and
amazing view of Bangkoks skyline, which can be experienced
from the renowned Sky Bar and Sirocco restaurant. Scenes
also included Lebuas famous golden Dome atop the recently
relaunched Mezzaluna, the hotels modern and innovative
haute eatery, where a helicopter appears in an all-action
packed scene. The hotel was turned into a live film set and
provided once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many of their
staff to be included as extras!
brings the fans of The Hangover 2 an opportunity to relive
the life of the characters from the movie with a special
two-night The Hangover 2 package. Fans can stay in The
Hangover Suite, a three-bedroom luxury suite that
accommodates up to six and has a fully stocked mini bar and
ample space to party like the guys from the movie. Guests
can also sample the Hangovertini, a special signature
cocktail made with green tea liquor, Martini Rosso, green
apple juice, rosemary infused honey.
Maikhao Dream Hotel and Resort opened two luxury beachfront
resorts in Phuket in the space of a week one at Natai
Beach on March 26 and the other at Mai Khao Beach on April
Good demand from high-end consumers from the United Kingdom,
Germany, Japan, South Korea, United States, Singapore, Hong
Kong and Australia prompted the move by Mai Khao Dream Co.
Ltd. to open the two new resorts. The company has also
opened regional offices in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia
to manage international reservations for the new Phuket
Thailand based Design Worldwide Partnership (DWP) was at the
helm overseeing the interior design for both resorts. With a
pricing frame, which includes a 56,800 baht (US$1, 900) per
night for the two-bedroom ocean front villa, the two
resorts target market is high-end clientele.
INDIGO PEARL DECREASES ROOM INVENTORY TO TARGET
The Bill Bensley
designed Indigo Pearl Resort in Nai Yang, Phuket is
decreasing its room inventory - from 260 to 177 to
reposition itself to target the luxury market and high yield
versus volume. The existing deluxe rooms is being renovated
into larger suites and two-bedroom pool villas will be
added. Renovation work started in mid-May and is expected to
be complete by the end of August.
a sustainable 5 star boutique organic resort offering a
sanctuary dedicated to the ultimate private rejuvenation of
body, mind and soul in the most natural yet sophisticated
The organic farm
is ideal for individual travellers and small private or
corporate groups who value privacy for either personalised
meetings, or teambuilding. It offers distinctive venues for
romance, weddings, special events or agricultural
experiences, as well as rejuvenating leisure activities,
creative art programmes and is a perfect training venue for
athletes. The innovative organic home style dining and
cooking make a stay at Thanyamundra Organice Resort an
ANDAMAN EMBRACE - FIRST PATONG BEACH SINO-STYLED
RESORT OPENS DECEMBER
The Andaman Embrace Resort & Spa is set to open in December
2011 as the first Sino-styled resort on Patong beachfront.
It replaced the Club Andaman Beach Resort, which closed its
doors on April 30 after more than 20 years of service. Major
renovations are begin carried to the former resort transform
it into a modern-day revival of Old Phuket Towns historical
Sino-Portuguese architecture. It will reopen as the Andaman
Embrace Resort & Spa in time to accept guests during
Phukets 2011/2012 peak seasons.
interior will be completely redesigned and the 200 guest
rooms will be refurbished to give the resort an entirely new
contemporary Sino-colonial look. The resorts transformation
from Club Andaman Beach Resort into the Andaman Embrace
Resort & Spa includes the addition of a 570sqm swimming
pool, an independently operated spa and a new restaurant.
features, such as the resorts tropical garden dotted with
18 lotus cottages surrounding an ornamental pond, remain.
However, they will be completely revamped to fit the
Sino-Portuguese architectural theme.
opposite Loma Park on Patong Beach, the newly branded resort
will be operated by Phuket-based hoteliers, Limsup Grand Co.
Ltd. The seven-storey hotel building and surrounding gardens
are one of the largest resort properties on Patong
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
BLOOMING KRACHIAO FLOWER FESTIVAL -
THE SIAM TULIP FESTIVAL OF CHAIYAPHUM
JUNE 1 - AUGUST 31, 2011
The unique geographical landscape of Chaiyaphum Province in
northeast hailand gives rise to a range of natural
attractions of exceptional beauty. Of these, the fields of
pinkish-purple Siam Tulip, or Dok Krachiao, comesto
full bloom in the early part of the rainy season from June
to August. Also commonly called patumma, bua sawan
(heaven lotus), or bua bok (the land lotus) the
flower is a member of the ginger genera Curcuma or
AMAZING THAILAND GRAND SALE 2011
JUNE 15 - AUGUST 15, 2011
VENUE: BANGKOK, CHIANG MAI, PHUKET, HAT YAI, PATTAYA,
HUA HIN AND KOH SAMUI
The Tourism Authority of Thailand and
Visa have joined hand to host the 2011 Amazing Thailand
Grand Sale, Thailand's biggest annual shopping extravaganza.
The month-long sale offers world-class shopping and a
diverse selection of quality products. There are special
discounts of between 10% to 80% and promotional offers by
leading department stores, shopping complexes, King Power
Duty Free shops, airlines, hotels, spas, hospitals,
jewellery shops and participating retail outlets along
designated shopping streets in Bangkok. The offers also
extend to golf courses and online travel agents, as well as
at special events held in the popular tourist destinations
of Chiang Mai, Phuket, Hat Yai, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Koh
The shopping streets provide visitors opportunity to spot
great buys for unique handicrafts and cottage industry
products including exquisitely hand-crafted decorative items
for home and living and fashion accessories. There are also
local shopping streets in all the participating cities.
This year, along with the brand-name products that are
traditionally the most popular purchased items, special
attention is paid to promote the sale of locally-made
products such as handicrafts, apparel, decorations, and
home-use products made under the umbrella of the One Tambon
One Product (OTOP) scheme.
The OTOP scheme allows villages all over Thailand to
specialise in making local products, with the Royal Thai
Government providing support for marketing, distribution and
sales. The scheme contributes significantly towards job
creation and poverty alleviation in the provinces.
BOON LUANG AND PHI TA KHON FESTIVAL
JULY 1 - 3, 2011
VENUE: DAN SAI DISTRICT, LOEI DISTRICT AND PROVINCE
The Phi Ta Khon
Festival is unique to the Dan Sai district in Loei Province
and reflects the local Isan belief in ghosts and spirits.
Held once a year, it is part of a grand merit-making
festival known as the Boon Luang Festival.
The origins of
the Phi Ta Khon Festival can be found in the tale of Lord
Buddha's last great incarnation before attaining
Enlightenment. In Buddhist accounts it is said that when
Prince Vessandara, the Buddha's penultimate incarnation,
returned to his city it was such a joyous occasion that the
village spirits came forth to join the welcoming parade.
This very colourful and vibrant Phi Ta Khon procession is
the central focus of the celebrations.
In a lively re-enactment of the tale
young men of the community dress up as "spirits", wearing
long trailing costumes made from colourful strips of cloth
6th THAILAND INTERNATIONAL WAX SCULPTURE
UBON RATCHATHANI CANDLE PROCESSION FESTIVAL
JULY 1 - 31, 2011
As the seasonal
monsoon rains descend over Thaland it also marks the
beginning of the Buddhist "rain retreat" and the Buddhist
Lent or Phansa, during which all Buddhist monks
retreat to the temples. This is also an auspicious time for
Buddhist ordinations as it marks a period of spiritual
Khao Phansa, the Buddhist Lent is a time devoted to
study and meditation. Buddhist monks remain within the
temple grounds and do not venture out for three months,
starting from the first day of the waning moon of the 8th
lunar month (July) to the 15th day of the waxing moon of the
11th lunar month (October).
Ratchathani province prepares for the Buddhist Lent the men
folks, both ordained and laymen, with artistic skills set
about the task of moulding and sculpting Lenten candles. As
these works of art are presented as Buddhist merit-making
offerings the artisans pour their heart and soul into their
craft. Many of these are fine examples of Buddhist art and
festival is unique to Ubon Ratchathani province, and the
customs and traditions related to this Buddhist festival
have been diligently preserved by local communities.
TAK BAT DOK MAI FESTIVAL
JULY 14 - 16, 2011
VENUE: WAT PHRA PHUTTHABAT RATCHAWORAMAHAWIHAN,
AMPHOE PHRA PHUTTHABAT, SARABURI
The Tak Bat Dok Mai floral offering merit-making ritual is
unique to Saraburi province and stands out from the
merit-making activities conducted in other parts of
Thailand. Apart from offerings of cooked rice, food,
incense, candles and other conventional sacred items the Tak
Bat Dok Mai ritual includes offerings of Dok Khao Phansa
flowers that only come into bloom during the Buddhist Lent,
hence the origin of its name. Some villagers call the flower Dok Yung Thong (golden peacock) or Dok Hong Thong
(golden swan flower).
PATTAYA INTERNATIONAL MARATHON
JULY 17, 2011
The seaside resort of Pattaya is home to the Pattaya
Marathon, an annual international event that features a full
marathon, half-marathon and a 10.550 km quarter marathon.
The event is along a
picturesque running route, and attracts
participation from local world-class runners.
BHUMIBOL DAM INVITATION INTERNATIONAL
MOUNTAIN BIKE CHAMPIONSHIP 2011
AUGUST 27 - 28, 2011
VENUE: BHUMIBOL DAM, TAK PROVINCE
Bhumibol Dam in
Tak province will host the Bhumibol Dam Invitation
International Mountain Bike Championships for the fourth
consecutive year in August. Noted for its scenic landscape
Bhumibol Dam provides an ideal setting for the mountain bike
The event is jointly organised by the Electricity Generating
Authority of Thailand (Egat) and the Tourism Authority of
Thailand (TAT) in cooperation with the Sports Authority of
Thailand (SAT) and Bhumibol Dam. It aims to promote
ecotourism in tandem with outdoor sports at both a national
and international level.
SOLAR AIR FLIES TO CHUMPORN
airline, Solar Air, operates a new route between Bangkok and
Chumphon, the southern of Thailand.
The flight on a 19-seat twin-engine propeller aircraft
departs daily from Bangkok's Don Muang Airport at 0945hr and
arrives in Chumhon at 1100hr. The return flight from
Chumporn is at 1400hr and arrives Bangkok at 1515hr.
Chumphon is only about an hour 45 minutes from Kho Tao
AIR BERLIN INCREASES SERVICES TO PHUKET AND BANGKOK
Air Berlin will
add one flight to each of its three routes Berlin-Phuket,
Berlin-Bangkok and Dusseldorf-Bangkok from November 2011.
will increase services between Berlin and Phuket to three
times weekly, up from twice weekly. Its Munich-Phuket
service will remain at twice weekly, the same as the
previous winter schedule. The two routes will give the
airline 1,515 seats per week per sector, up from 1,212
during the winter schedule.
Out of Bangkok,
services increase from seven flights a week to nine from
November.The Dusseldorf-Bangkok service will increase from
four to five flights a week while the Berlin-Bangkok service
will increase from three to four. Weekly capacity will
increase from 2,121 to 2,727 seats.
NEW TEAM MEMBER IN BANGKOK OFFICE
A warm welcome
to Mr. Shivaji Patil, aged 28, who joined Asian Trails
Thailand in May 2011 as our new Tour Administrator Indian
Department. An Indian national, he possesses a profound
knowledge of the tourism industry and has been working with
an Indian tour operator in Bangkok for few years. We wish
Mr. Patil a smooth start in his new job.
workers will start pulling down power poles along Thalang,
Dibuk and Theprasattri roads in Old Phuket Town by this
November if all goes according to plan, announced Phuket
Town Mayor, Somjai Suwansupapana.
Speaking at a
meeting in Provincial Hall recently Mayor Somjai said that
stage two of the project to install power and
telecommunication cables underground in the Old Town was
ready to begin. The municipality has held two public
hearings seeking feedback from local residents. So far, the
feedback has been positive, with most people living in the
area satisfied with the project.
Stage two is budgeted to cost 39,740,900 baht, comprising
26,476,600 baht from the Provincial Electricity Authority
(PEA) and 13,264,300 from Phuket City Municipality.
The project also requires involvement from the TOT, the CAT
and TT&T as telecom cables belonging to these companies will
also be installed underground. Work will start with the PEA
burying cables along Dibuk Road in June, with Krabi Road,
Phuket Road and part of Thepkrasattri Road next in line.
The work to be done will be much like that already
conducted along Thalang Road.
project will be more complicated along Phuket Road and
Thepkrasattri Road because high-voltage power cables are
involved and need to go underground as well, Mayor Somjai
Before work on stage two begins we will hold another
hearing to make sure all the people and agencies involved
have a clear understanding of what is being done, and the
effect the project will have on the area, she added.
The Lao tourism
industry has managed to go through the last years of financial,
political and meteorological turbulences without too much
damage. The country looks at the future with confidence and
several important projects related to tourism have started or
are in the air
The Luang Prabang airport will
be equipped with a new and longer runway, making it accessible
to medium size jet aircrafts, and using the latest air safety
Lao Airlines is
investing in new modern aircrafts (see below article)
Laos and China has
launched a high-speed train, which will connect the Yunnan
province to Thailand via Oudomxay-Luang Prabang and Vientiane on
a 420km track
Last but not least,
Lanith (Lao National Institute for Tourism and Hospitality) is
materialising the construction of a tourism and hotel school in
Vientiane, which will put an end to the permanent lack of
qualified staff in the industry
We wish you an
excellent summer and successful business for the next high
season to come
Philippe Conod and Asian Trails Laos team
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
TIP OF THE
4 DAYS ON THE POWERFUL MEKONG AND CHARMING NAM OU
This trip takes
you from the beautiful Golden Triangle area to Luang Prabang
by boat and
Day 1: Embark
on a traditional boat in Houeixay and cruise to Pakbeng,
stopping to visit villages on the way.
Day 2: Discover
the Elephant Village and take a one-hour ride on the mighty
beast. After lunch enjoy a short trekking trip to villages
Day 3: Travel
by road to Nong Khiaw, stopping to visit a few villages on
Day 4: Go for a
boat cruise down the narrow and charming Nam Ou River,
stopping enroute to visit fishermens villages and the
sacred caves of Pak Ou, before reaching Luang Prabang in the
Contact us for more details.
3 NAGAS LUANG PRABANG
The hotel's management contract with the former company has
been terminated. 3 Nagas is now operating under its original
name. The hotels manager and staff remain the same.
VILLA NAGARA - NEW BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Villa Nagara, a new lovely boutique hotel in the city of
Luang Prabang, has just opened its doors. Located on the
bank of the Nam Khan River and in the heart of Luang Prabang,
Villa Nagara offers four Classic Twin rooms and three Suites
with spectacular views of the Nam Khan River.
SPECIAL PROMOTION - VILLA MALY LUANG PRABANG
Luang Prabang is having a special promotion: Stay three
nights and pay for two; includes a Nava Mekong Dinner Cruise
for two persons
Validity: Until September 30, 2011
LAO AIRLINES UPGRADES TO JET OPERATIONS
Lao Airlines is upgrading its operations to jet aircraft
services. It will lease one Airbus A320 later this year, and
will introduce services to Singapore and Japan
The airline has also ordered a new A320 aircraft, which will
be delivered in 2014
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
NEW RESTAURANT - LA BODEGA RESTAURANT, VIENTIANE
Located slightly off the city centre and housed in a lovely
Lao style wooden house, La Bodega is decorated in a mixed
Spanish and French style. Cuisine is mostly French inspired,
but includes some Spanish dishes and a selection of tapas.
Closed on Sundays
TRIPS TO COLLECT INFORMATION
A few of our
reservations staff from the Vientiane office drove to the
south of Laos and visited Pakze, Taldo, the Boloven Plateau,
4,000 Islands and Champasak, where they collected updated
information on the local accommodation and tourist sites.
The rest of the
staff drove north through Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang,
continuing to Oudomxay, Muang Khua and then cruised down the
Nam Ou River.
They collected useful information from
the trips for the benefit of our guests visiting Laos.
GUIDE TRAINING IN
As part of our
ongoing programme to improve the quality of our guide
services in Luang Prabang, we conducted a two-day guide
training course for our English- speaking guides and a
one-day refresher course for our German-speaking guides.
Both courses were conducted indoors in classrooms, as well
as in the field. The courses cover the most important
aspects of tour guiding.
Look out for the new Louis Vuitton ad! I am proud to inform you
last May Asian Trails Cambodia was selected to organise Angelina
Jolie's trip to Cambodia for the coming Louis Vuitton campaign.
The photo shoot was done by famous New York based photographer,
Annie Leibovitz, in the lush green surroundings of Siem Reap/Angkor area
around the Tonlé Sap Lake and close to the Angkor temples.
DRESS CODE FOR TEMPLE VISITS
Authority has issued regulations on the dress code for
visits to Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei temple. Visitors are
to wear blouse covering the arms and shoulders. and long
skirts covering legs (no miniskirt or short trousers). They
must also observe the rules for photography and filming, as
well rules of conduct in the temples as they are sacred
places to the Cambodian people.
Asian Trails will help guests who are wearing clothing that
does not conform to the dress code, by proviidng fisher
pants and a krama scarf to them on the spot.
CAMBODIA'S CENTRAL MARKET REOPENS AFTER MAKEOVER
Cambodia's iconic Central
Market in Phnom Penh has reopened after seven years of
renovations. This is the first time the market has been
renovated since it was built in 1937, when the country was
under French colonial rule. There are more than 3,000
merchants in the market.
market is important as a business venue to stimulate Phnom
Penhs economy as well as to promote tourism, whiich is one
of the four pillars of economic development in Cambodia.
The website has
been designed to assist you in finding hotels in Cambodia,
which best suit your needs. From quick search by hotel name
or locations to advanced search by single or multiple
criteria, you will be able to find hotels in Cambodias
tourist areas based on categories, services (for FIT or MICE)
locations. Zooming in on the
map of Cambodia will help you locate the categories of
hotels you are searching for. You can also download the PDF
hotel fact sheet, create your own favorite hotel list,
search for hot deals and do much more well in advance of the
Please don't forget to
register at the site! It takes just a few minutes to create
your own account and start searching. We welcome any
suggestions and feedback to help us improve our services.
Happy friendly trails!
ROMEET GALLERY OPENS IN PHNOM PENH
Phare Ponleu Selpak
(PPS), a local NGO and non-profit organisation based in
Battambang province, has opened a permanent visual art
gallery, Romeets Gallery, in Phnom Penh. It is located on
the same street as the National Museum and the University of
Fine Arts. With a large space of about
150sqm professional artists
and students from the Visual Arts School will be able to to
exhibit their works for six days a week.
PPS, which also runs an art school and social centre, was
founded in 1994 in
Battambang by eight former Khmer refugees. Its mission is to
restore the destroyed culture and identity of Cambodia that
was lost during the Khmer genocide by raising the awareness
of its artistic culture throughout Cambodia and the world.
It also aims to improve the
social and professional development of vulnerable children
and local communities through education and the practice of
arts. Vocational training is also provided in visual arts,
music and circus.
The Willow Boutique Hotel, a recently redecorated tradtional
Cambodian villa in Phnpm Penh, is conveniently located
within a short walk from Independence Monument and the
citys nightlife and restaurants.
The hotel's 16 guestrooms retain the villas authenticity
and charm, while providing the latest in modern luxury and
accommodations. It evokes an ambience of charm and
sophistication to create a home away from home for its
guests with its luxurious amenities and excellent service.
LE SAFRAN LA SUITE
La Safran La Suite
is a boutique hotel located in a quiet street of the
just a few steps from the Independence Monument and close to
the trendy shopping streets and cosy restaurants.
Its design, conceptualised by a French space designer, is to
join two quality services. On one side is the restaurant -
Le Safran - where guests enjoy original and delicate Khmer
food, as well as French dishes, both cooked by an
experienced French-Khmer chef. On the other side is the
hotel - La Suite with 14 rooms, a charming suite, an
artist gallery, a shop and a swimming pool where guests can
chill with a glass of home-made fresh fruit juice.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
PHNOM PENH CAREER FORUM 2011
The 7th Cambodian
Career Forum was held at the new convention centre on
Diamond Island from June 25 to 26. The forum is a platform
for university graduates to meet their future employees, and
for companies to promote their activities. Organised by the
French-Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, this years event
attracted more than 15,000 visitors.
Asian Trails Cambodia WAS one of the 50 exhibitors at the
forum. We encourage young, talented people to seek a career
and gain working experience in the promising tourism
industry of Cambodia.
THEAM'S HOUSE, SIEM REAP
For more than 10
years Theam, the artistic director of Artisans dAngkor, has
launched a new project that includes training a team of
artisans-apprentices, as he is now embarking on a new
creative journey of his own paintings.
As an artist-designer
Theam is one of the few overseas educated
Cambodians involved in helping to revive the Cambodian craft
sector since 1995. After receiving a sound artistic and
technical education at the École Boulle, then at the
prestigious École des Beaux-Arts de Paris, he returned to
his native country to be reunited with those he had left
on the main road to
Angkor Temple, the
Atelier and Art Studio with its lush tropical garden
welcomed all visitors who are looking for unique and
authentic designer-made products.
Various savoir-faire and works-in-progress can be observed
at the workshop, such as painting, fine sculpting and
of the Cathay Pacific group,
uses Hong Kong as its hub and currently flies to Phnom Penh
seven times per week. These flights are becoming
The airline is considering
the expansion of its services in Cambodia and may mount new
services to the tourism centre of Siem Reap.
Kingoom is open to new flights and additional frequencies by
airlines as the Cambodian government wants to develop the
tourism industry and increase tourist arrivals to the
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
CUISINE WAT DAMNAK
Wat Damnak offers a unique opportunity for visitors Siem
Reap to sample Cambodian food at its best.
Joannès Rivière, the former chef of Hotel de la Paix in Siem
Reap, offers the finest culinary experience to its guests as
he changes the restaurants menus every week and features
premium ingredients available in Cambodia.
Wat Damnak's team of well trained staff is on hand to help
guests customise menus to suit special occasions or events
by suggesting dishes such as for a vegetarian meal.
Cuisine Wat Damnak is open six days a week. It is closed on
The rays of early
morning sunlight, the blue sky and the pleasant breezes have
signalled the advent of summer in Vietnam. It is the most
appropriate time for professionals in the hospitality industry
to reward themselves with a solo holiday or one with the family
after an intensive yet rewarding season organising holidays for
Summer is also the
time to enhance staffs knowledge and skills by conducting
efficient training and in-depth fam trips, or to study potential
products so as to deliver to clients the best quality services
in the coming high season.
It is also the time
to enjoy more added value from the summer promotions of our
hotel partners. Bonus nights, special discounts or kids stay
and eat free (offered by The Nam Hai for couple travelling with
kids) are just a few of these special offers. Asian Trails is
continuously striving to seize on all valuable opportunities and
recommend them to you and your clients who deserve all the extra
benefits of off-season holidays. Consult our regular hotel
update to catch the hottest deals.
Summer is the time to go on holiday; it is the time to come to
VIETNAM IN TOP 13
"BEST TOURS IN ASIA"
National Geographic has listed Vietnam in the top 13
"Best Tours in Asia". The magazine introduced Hanoi and Ho
Chi Minh City as a private family excursion, which is
action-packed with quintessential Vietnamese experiences.
bio-diverse Hoang Lien National Park, meet members of the
Zay hill tribes in the Black Hmong villages, cruise through
the limestone peaks of Halong Bay, and dine with descendants
of the royal family in Hue, is how National Geographic
describes the excursion on its website.
Lonely Planet recently included Sapa, situated in the
northern mountainous province of Lao Cai, in its "Top 10
Places to Walk". We will feature Sapa in the next issue of
CO LOA SEEKS UNESCO CULTURAL HERITAGE STATUS
The Center for Preservation of Co Loa Relics - Thang Long Ancient Citadel -
has asked for permission to conduct research and compile a
dossier for the Co Loa Ancient Citadel to seek world
cultural heritage status.
Co Loa is
located in the suburbs of Hanoi, about 20 kilometres from
the centre of the city. Covering nearly 500ha it is the
place to worship King An Duong Vuong and Princess My Chau of
the magic crossbow legend, which has been woven into the
anti-foreign aggression history of the Vietnamese people.
The citadel and
its remains are a significant cultural heritage of the
archaeological sites have been discovered there, reflecting
the continuous development of the nation in many periods,
especially the Dong Son culture of the Bronze Age.
SON DOONG, ONE OF WORLD'S MOST BEAUTIFUL CAVES
Son Doong Cave,
the world's largest cave located in Vietnam's central
province of Quang Binh, has been selected by the BBC
(British Broadcasting Corporation) as one of the most
beautiful caves in the world.
over 5km long, 200m high and 150m wide Son Doong Cave is
five times larger than Phong Nha Cave, the biggest cave in
Vietnam. Its size also far exceeds that of the huge Deer
Cave in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, which measures 2km
long, 100m high and 90m wide.
The cave was first discovered by a local man named Khanh in
2008. However, it was not explored and assessed until a
group of explorers from the UK made a survey of it in Phong
Nha-Ke Bang from April 10-14, 2009.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
- THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE
personalised, culturally immersive - these words best
describe Saigons Vespa Tours.
Vespa scooters are the perfect combination of elegance,
class and comfort. These 150cc classic bikes from the golden
era of the 1960s and 70s have all been lovingly restored.
We offer three
local tours. Guests ride pillion behind safety-conscious
drivers. The tours are:
- Insiders Tour of Saigon: Offers an open-air, street-level
view of the urban landscape, its iconic sites and its many
After Dark Tour: Part night excursion, part street food
adventure, during which guests experience Saigons cuisine
and nightlife the way locals do, all from the back of a
vintage Vespa scooter.
Wartime Memories Tour: Focuses on the sites, the landmarks
and the stories surrounding the infamous 30-year struggle
that unified modern day Vietnam. Leave the guidebooks behind
and see a side of Vietnam, which few travellers have
experienced. We also offer tailor-made tours according to
your needs and requirements.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
ACCOR MAKES INROADS INTO VIETNAM
global hotel management group, is expanding its portfolio of
hotels in Vietnam, with three new hotels in Hue, Danang and
- Novotel Hue
will be a newly built 230-room hotel located in the centre
of Hue, Vietnams ancient capital. Its facilities include
three F&B outlets, a ballroom, meeting facilities, swimming
pool and spa.
- Novotel Danang
Han River will be the second Accor property in Danang after
Mercure Danang, which opens later this year. This 346-room
hotel is located near the Han River in the city centre.
- Mercure Sam Son
will be a new 200-room hotel in Sam Son, a coastal city in
Thanh Hoa province, 170km south of Hanoi.
has development commitments for a total of 15 properties and
3,700 rooms in Vietnam. The 279-room Mercure Danang is due
to open in August. The 197-room Pullman Danang Olalani
Resort, 350-room Pullman Vung Tau, 175-room Novotel Dalat,
234-room Novotel Phu Quoc Resort, 250-room Novotel Saigon
Centre, and 222-room Mercure Hanoi Hado are scheduled to
open in 2012.
Launching in 2013 are the Novotel Hue, 290-room Pullman
Saigon Centre, 300-room Pullman Hai Phong Island Resort,
200-room Mercure Sam Son, 170-room Ibis Saigon South and
338-room Ibis Saigon Centre.
ACCOR PARTNERS SAVICO IN MERCURE HOTEL, DANANG
announced its partnership with Savico, local trade and real
estate services firm, to manage and develop Mercure Son Tra
Resort in the central coastal city of Danang.
open in 2013, the 120-room hotel is expected to help to
attract more visitors to Danang and the Son Tra Peninsula.
The latter is a pristine national park filled with wildlife
and rich flora and fauna, which is located 12 kilometres
from the heart of Danang City and a 20-minute drive from
Danang International Airport.
MERCURE HUE GERBERA RENAMED GERBERA HOTEL HUE
Tourist Co. Ltd and AAPC Singapore Pte Ltd have announced
the termination of the management contract by Accor for the
Mercure Hue Gerbera, effective April 30, 2011.
The hotel has since been renamed Gerbera Hotel Hue. The name
change does not affect existing and future bookings and the
standard of service. Guests are assured of the same good
service and comfort that the hotel is known for.
MORE THAI HOTEL CHAINS IN VIETNAM
hotel chains are expanding and reinforcing their presence in
and Resorts bought the 36-villa Chen La Resort and Spa Phu
Quocinto in March. It renamed the resort as Chen Sea Resort
and Spa Phu Quoc as part of its Centara Boutique Collection.
Resorts and Spas makes its foray into the country in July
with the rebranding of L'Anmien Resort and Spa as Anantara
Mui Ne Resort and Spa. The 90-key resort is located 200km
north-east of Ho Chi Minh City.
Absolute Hotel Services, another Thai-based hotel management
company, has lined up openings of four properties ― U GTC
Hanoi, U Hang Choiu Hanoi, U Ho Chi Minh and Thuy Tu Hotel
Danang ― within the next few years.
SIX SENSES AMONG WORLDS 50 BEST HOTELS
The Six Senses
Hideaway Resort on Con Dao Island is listed on the 19th
position of the "50 Best Hotels" in the world by Travel &
Leisure, a New York-based magazine. In 2010 the hotel
also received a Property Award for the "Best Hotel
Construction and Design for Small Hotels" in Asia Pacific.
The resort covers over 13ha of land with 50 wooden villas
spread along the beach for about one kilometre. It is the
ideal destination for visitors to Vietnam who want to
explore the wild beauty of Con Dao. Here they can escape
from the hustle and bustle of urban life with numerous
activities - discover the regions rich past, enjoy the
oceans colourful coral reefs or explore the pristine
forests with their abundant flora and fauna.
BEST WESTERN OPENS HOTEL IN DALAT
International recently opened the Best Western Dalat Plaza
in Vietnam. The 91-room hotel enjoys a beautiful location in
the heart of Dalat city, facing Xuan Huong Lake and the
Lighting City Park.
Guests enjoy well-appointed guestrooms combined with a range
of services that include concierge, room service and a local
shuttle. The hotels conference and meeting facilities can
accommodate up to 200 delegates. The on-site City Park
Restaurant serves a wide range of dining selections of
Western, Asian and Vietnamese dishes.
FIRST RESORT IN LAKE TUYEN LAM TOURIST AREA
The Resort Dalat
Eden recently opened in the Lake Tuyen Lam tourist area in
Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province, after three years of
construction and at a cost of US$20 million.
The resort, the
first tourism product in the area, is located on
of land close to Lake Tuyen Lam that is one of the most beautiful sites in Lam Dong. It has 28
villas (112 rooms) designed in Western style, restaurants, a
convention hall for 2,000 people, sporting and entertainment
services, and a spa centre with standards on par with other
famous spas in Asia.
VINPEARL OPENS TOURISM COMPLEX AND GOLF COURSE
recently launched two new projects - Vinpearl Luxury Nha
Trang and the Vinpearl Golf Course.
Located on Hon
Tre Island in Nha Trang City the Vinpearl Luxury Nha Trang
covers an area of 1.800sqm, the first tourism complex in
Vietnam to offer a five-start plus service.
Golf Course is the first 18-hole island golf course in
Vietnam, covering an 182ha area in the Vinpearl Nha Trang
In addition, Vinpearl announced a new strategy aimed at
sustainably developing, investing in and managing luxury
tourism projects with two trademarks called Vinpearl luxury
and Vinpearl Resort.
LE SPA DU METROPOLE,
ONE OF ASIAS BEST SPAS
The Le Spa du
Metropole in Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi has been listed
as one of the 28 most relaxing spas in Asia by CNN
This is how CNN
describes the spa: "Take a bow as the grand dame of Hanoi
learns new tricks with the opening of its theatrical Le Spa
du Metropole. Drape yourself in textiles and colours, the
reds of the Hoa Dao (cherry blossom) room, the sleek greys
of Exquis, the turquoise-beige combo in the Tonkin Suite.
Mosaics, ceramics and artefacts, youre in old, rich
Vietnam. Traditional Dieu Cham facials and herbal poultices
are the extra lime in the pho."
Cruises fleet of two boats provides a total of 34 luxury
cabins and suites, which can accommodate 68 passengers.
Built in accordance with traditional Vietnamese style and
modern-day luxury the boats are used for Ha Long Bay cruises
or hosted events such as weddings, corporate retreats,
incentives, and meetings and conferences.
All the deluxe cabins and suites are well appointed, with
traditional Vietnamese hardwood, creating lavish warmth.
Light materials and clear windows ensure that each cabin is
bright and airy. Hand-crafted furniture and delicate
upholstery further enhance the warmth and light in each
MAINTENANCE WORK AT VICTORIA CAN THO RESORT
Victoria Can Tho Resort is carrying out maintenance work in
its first and second floors guestrooms from June 5 and
August 5, 2011. The public areas of the hotel are not
affected and remain open throughout the maintenance period.
The work is carried out from 8am to 5pm daily, with noise
level kept to a minimum so as not to inconvenience the
REFURBISHMENT AT PARKROYAL SAIGON
is undergoing refurbishment from July 1 to September 30,
refurbishment is carried out in phases covering 131
guestrooms, guestroom corridors, guest lifts, the Orchid
Club Lounge, spa, fitness centre, lobby and reception areas,
Lotus Bar, ballroom and some additional meeting rooms.
All efforts are
made to ensure that any inconvenience or noise is kept to a
minimum, which is largely limited to the demolition and
removal phase. However, some light noise may be experienced
during the day, from 9am-5pm daily, throughout the
refurbishment period. Access for workers and deliveries are
restricted to the back of house areas and should pose no
inconvenience to the hotels guests.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
THUA THIEN-HUE PROVINCE TO HOST NATIONAL TOURISM
central Thua Thien-Hue Province will host the national
Tourism Year 2012 to highlight the areas rich cultural
city of Hue is among Vietnam's most valued national treasure
in terms of history and heritage. It was
the capital of
Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) and here is
where the Nha nhac (royal court music), a masterpiece
of oral and intangible heritage of humanity, has been
Monuments has been recognised as a World Culture Heritage by
Hue is also well known for its cuisine, craft products and
folk festivals, including the Cau Ngu (Fish Praying)
festival, the boat race on the Huong (Perfume) River and the
biannual Hue Festival.
VIETNAM'S FIRST INTERNATIONAL TEA FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER 11 -15, 2011
VENUE: THAI NGUYEN PROVINCE
world's fifth leading tea exporter, will host the nations
first International Tea Festival in the northern province of
Thai Nguyen from November 11 -15, 2011.
The event will
feature various cultural activities including a tea seminar,
a beauty contest for contestants from tea planting areas
across the country, a street festival, a tea culture
festival and an international trade and tourism expo.
include enterprises and importers from 10 countries and
territories including China, India, Russia, Japan, and the
US, as well as 25 local companies and 50 traditional
handicraft villages from 30 provinces and cities in Vietnam.
The event expects to receive 400,000 visitors. ,
Vietnam has a strong tea culture dating back over 3,000
years, with green tea as the best and the most popular.
Serving and drinking of tea also has a great social role in
the local culture. It is a ritual preliminary to conducting
business, scholarly meditation, getting acquainted and even
to romance. Vietnamese tea is sold to 110 nations and
VIETNAM CONFIRMS NEW AIRPORT PROJECT
Vietnam's Prime Minister has given the go-ahead for the
construction of a mega airport - the Long Thanh airport -
near the business hub of Ho Chi Minh City, about 50
kilometres (35 miles) from the town centre. The airport,
estimated to cost US10 billion, will create a network to
connect air transportation for the whole region. When
completed it will be able to handle annually 52 million
passengers and 1.5 million tonnes of cargo up to 2035.
AIR MEKONG FLIES NON-STOP FROM HANOI TO PHU QUOC AND
Mekong has been flying non-stop flights from Hanoi to the
southern island of Phu Quoc. This is the longest domestic
air service and cuts flying time between the two
destinations by half, as it removes the transfer in Ho Chi
Minh City. The flight is on the Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft
with sitting capacity for 90 paxs.
On June 1 Air
Mekong launched a new service between Ho Chi Minh City and
Quy Nhon City in the central province. The seven times
weekly flights are on the CRJ 900 aircraft.
The airline launched its first flight in October last year
with 14 domestic routes. It plans to add 50 more aircraft to
its fleet by 2014.
JETSTAR PACIFIC AIRLINES REINSTATES HANOI-NHA TRANG
Jetstar Pacific Airlines reinstated its Hanoi-Nha Trang from
May 24, with two daily flights. The airline
discontinued the flights on this route last September due to
low passenger volume.
TURKISH UPS FLIGHTS TO HCMC
increased the Istanbul-Ho Chi Minh City service from four
flights weekly to daily from July 3. The airline has been
operating this route as an extension of its daily
Istanbul-Bangkok flights since December 29, 2011.
TK068 departs Bangkok at 1505 and arrives at HCMC at 1635.
The return flight, TK069, departs at HCMC at 2025 and
arrives in Bangkok at 2150.
NEW CAN THO-CON DAO AIR LINK
Services (VASCO) launched the four times weekly Can Tho-Con
Dao flights on June 1. The flights on the 200km route are on
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, using the
65-seater ATR72-500 aircraft.
VASCO is also operating the HCM City-Con Dao air service
with 24 to 28 flights per week using the ATR72-500 aircraft.
ADDITIONAL KL-HCMC SERVICE
Malaysia Airlines will add one more flight to its Kuala
Lumpur-Ho Chi Minh City service in its summer schedule,
increasing the number of flights between the two cities to
21. The schedule is three daily flights from Monday to
Saturday, and three flights on Sunday.
VIETNAM AIRLINES EXPANDS OPERATIONS AND FLEET
is ramping up flight frequencies and expanding its fleet and
route network in Asia-Pacific.
From April 28
the airline launched the new direct flights between Danang
and Hai Phong with an initial five frequencies.
From June 14
Vietnam Airlines boosted its Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh
City-Melbourne service from five times weekly to seven times
weekly, while its Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City-Sydney services
increased from six weekly flights to seven weekly.
From June 16 the
airline introduced a direct daily flight between Hanoi and
Kuala Lumpur, bringing its services between Vietnam and
Malaysia to three times daily.
From July 16
Vietnam Airlines will double its Hanoi-Bangkok service from
one to two flights per day, and boost its Hanoi-Singapore
service from four times weekly to a daily flight.
plans to launch flights to Londons Gatwick Airport from Ho
Chi Minh City and Hanoi by the end of 2011. It will operate
four flights per week with two flights from each city,
increasing to daily flights by 2014.
The airline is also expanding its fleet, from 70 to 115
aircraft by 2015. It is scheduled to receive 34 Airbus
A321-200s during this period.
VIETNAM AIRLINES USING FRANKFURT AIRPORT'S NEW
has been using Terminal 2, the new terminal at Frankfurt
Airport in Germany, one of the worlds largest airport, for
its seven weekly flights between Vietnam and Germany since
May 29. The switch from Terminal 1 to 2 is to enhance
service for its passengers between the two countries, as
well as on flights to European and American countries.
Vietnam Airlines has also switched to the new terminals at
Changi Airport in Singapore, and Charles De Gaulle Airport
NEW KUONI MANAGER
Ms. Ngoc Anh joined Asian Trails in May as the new Kuoni Manager. She has
been in the tourism business for more than five years and
brings valuable experience to the company.
We warmly welcome Ngoc Anh to our team and are happy to have
GOODBYE FABIEN, WELCOME RICCARDO
(pictured right) has been appointed Inbound Manager of Asian
Trails Vietnam from June 1, 2011. He succeeds Fabien
Cuttelod (pictured left), who left the company after two
years to pursue new career opportunities.
been working with Asian Trails since May 2009 as Customer
and Relations Manager at our branch office in Hanoi. He
looks forward to the new challenge with this appointment and
to further develop his career in the tourism industry.
We wish Riccardo all the best, great success and fulfilment
in his new role. We also thank Fabien for his excellent and
professional work during his time with the company, and wish
him all the best in his future endeavours.
ANY OTHER NEWS
MEKONG DELTA ROAD OPENS
opened the 147km Nam Song Hua Road south of the Hau River to
connect Can Tho City and the Mekong Delta provinces of Hau
Giang, Soc Trang and Bac Lieu. The road will ease traffic
flow along the Can Tho Bridge and the Ho Chi Min City-Trung
Luong highway, and improve travelling times in the southwest
The construction of the road started in 2005 and was built
at a cost of US$158 million. It is paved and has 39 bridges.
VIETNAM RECORDS BOOK CENTRE IS ASIA BOOK OF RECORDS'
Records Book Centre is the official representative of the
Asia Book of Records, following an agreement signed in
Faridabad, Haryana, India, on May 4. This cooperation is to
promote proposals from Vietnam to the Asia Book of Records
Centre and exchange information between them.
The Asia centre
is now processing the first Asia Book of Records, and the
Vietnam centre submitted 20 records in the fields of culture
and life. The entries include the unique architecture of
One-Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, the biggest bronze pagoda at Yen
Tu Pagodas Complex in the northern province of Quang Ninh,
the largest butterfly collection by Nguyen Viet Vui and
sound imitator Quach Ho Ninh. These will be the foundation
for selecting new records created by Vietnamese.
The first meeting of Asian record makers and others from
other parts of the world will be held in November in
Vietnam's southern coastal city of Vung Tau.
VIETNAM PROMOTES TOURISM ON BBC
Broadcasting Company (BBC) is airing a commercial promoting
Vietnam as a tourism destination from July 2011.
The 15-second commercial is broadcast three times daily for
three months. It focuses on promoting coastal tourism
and introduces various beach destinations from north to
south, including Ha Long, Nha Trang, Mui Ne and other
destinations in the central region.
Frenetic China. When you read the number of hotels opening
under the "Hotel Information" section of this report you
will understand why we refer to China as such. The
developments don't stop, and every day sees new properties
opening all over the country - various brands with all hotel
categories to offer a wide choice to your clients.
Not only hotels are opening. In Beijing the Soho Galaxy complex
will become a landmark in the city when completed in 2011.
Definitely a new venue to add to Beijings sightseeing list.
We are happy to keep you updated on these and future
developments as much as we can, with more information in the
next issue of TRAILBLAZER.
And last but not least, Hainan Airlines is launching a new
flight between Istanbul (Turkey) and Urumqi, Xinjiang province
- opening the ancient Silk Road from Byzantium to China.
Travellers who have always wanted to explore this famed region
are now able to do so with this new service.
FUTURISTIC BEIJING SOHO GALAXY
Beijing SOHO Galaxy is the latest project of Zaha Hadid, the
queen of deconstructivist architecture. It is an undulating
series of buildings and bridges complete with a garden and
atrium, which flow into one another to create a retail and
The structure in northeast Beijing, within the 2nd Ring
Road, covers nearly 3.5 million square feet and is based on
old Beijings traditional courtyards. When completed in 2012
SOHO Galaxy will transform Beijings Chaoyangmen
neighbourhood, giving it an alien spacecraft look. It will
also contrast sharply with its staid surroundings, including
the nearby Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If the cutting-edge
stadiums built for the Beijing Olympics are any indication
of popularity, then SOLO Galaxy will be an instant hit with
This is Zaha Hadid's second project in China, her first is
the new Opera House in Guangzhou.
BEIJING -SHANGHAI HIGH SPEED RAIL TRAIN BEGINS
The high-speed railway linking
Beijing to Shanghai opened on June 30. The 1,318 km railway
line runs 90 pairs of high-speed trains daily, travelling at
either 300 km/hr or 250km/hr. The travel time between the
two cities is four hours and 48 minutes, about two hours
shorter than the current high-speed trains.
Work on the high-speed US$33 billion railway started in
WALDORF ASTORIA SHANGHAI
The century-old No 2 building on the Bund, which has been
left unused for about 10 years, has been restored to its
former glory, and officially re-opened in April as the
Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund. This is the brand's
first hotel in Asia.
The two-building hotel complex consists of the Waldorf
Astoria Club, the century-old heritage building named after
its original identity as the Shanghai Club, and the Waldorf
Astoria Tower, a newly-built annex building. They are
connected by an outdoor courtyard that parallels the
renowned meet-me-at-the-corridor walkway, which joins the
two towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York, the brand's
iconic property in the United States.
The Waldorf Astoria Club has been discreetly restored based
on photographs, records and recommendations from the city's
archives. The wooden and marble floors on the first and
second floors, the pillars and the triangle-shaped old
elevators boast a history of 100 years. It has 20 suites in
neo-classical style, each with a private housekeeper to
provide immaculate service, from packing to showing the
guests around the city. The 252 rooms and suites in the
Waldorf Astoria Tower are decorated in a style similar to
the suites in the heritage building, but with a more modern
touch. Half of the rooms offer panoramic views of the
skyline along the Huangpu River.
The hotel has six restaurants and bars, each of which has
its own character and attitude. The legendary Long Bar is
definitely a must-visit. Its 34-metre bar top counter was
the longest bar in Asia in the 1910s when it was an
exclusive British club. The bar has since been restored
exactly what it looked like a century ago.
With its rich history, prime location and luxurious
offerings the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is becoming a
landmark in the city.
HOTEL INDIGO SHANGHAI ON THE BUND
The Intercontinental Hotel Group has opened the first Indigo
hotel in the Asia Pacific region - Hotel Indigo Shanghai on
the Bund in Shanghai.
Indigo hotels are the industry's first branded boutique
hotels that reflect the local culture and character of the
environs, with the aim of making guests feel part of the
neighbourhood. In the case of Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the
Bund this means feeling old Shanghai on the city's most
famous stretch of real estate, and with jaw-dropping views
of the Huangpu River and the skyscrapers of futuristic
Pudong just across the water.
The 182 rooms, including 21 River View Suites and two
Spacious Garden Terrace Suites, are an eclectic mix of
heritage and contemporary, featuring hardwood floor
panelling and the grey bricks that are typical of Shanghai's
traditional Shikumen townhouses. Lantern-style lights,
cushions and rugs provide vibrant splashes of colour, and
with great attention to detail in the selection of
Rooms offer Bose music sound system, a fully stocked
mini-bar and an espresso machine. Guests can choose from a
selection of pillows and enjoy 24/7 room service.
A short walk away is The Cool Docks, tipped to become the
Bund's newest cultural hub with its many cafes, restaurants
The 29th-floor Char Grill is a fine-dining hot spot
featuring char grills and international and local
favourites. The Char Bar on the top floor is an alfresco
haven for pre-dinner cocktails and relaxing soirees.
Breakfast and all-day dining are available at the Quay.
JUMEIRAH HIMALAYS HOTEL
The first Jumeirah hotel in Asia Pacific, Jumeirah Himalays
Hotel in Shanghai, soft opened on March 30.Designed by world-renowned architect, Arata Isozaki, who
also created the Barcelona Olympic Stadium and Los Angeles
MoMA, the 401-room hotel is a masterpiece infusing modern
luxury with Chinese soul, and classic Chinese feng shui elements. Its impressive interiors are designed by KCA
International whose iconic portfolio includes Burj al Arab
in Dubai, another landmark Jumeirah property.
Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel is part of the landmark Himalayas
Centre, a spacious new arts and cultural hub that includes
the 1,100-seat DaGuan Theatre, Himalayas Art Museum, a
shopping mall and the 5,000sqm Infinity Garden. It boasts
direct underground access to both the Shanghai New
International Expo Centre and the city-wide metro system. It
is also a short walk to the Maglev train station, which
takes commuters to Pudong International Airport in seven
minutes. Featuring four eclectic restaurants and lounges,
two ballrooms that can accommodate 1,330 persons and a
5,000sqm rooftop garden with 300sqm event stage, the hotel
is the perfect venue for conference, exhibition, meetings
and events in any style.
KERRY HOTEL, PUDONG
Located in the heart of Pudong in the Kerry Parkside
integrated complex, the Kerry Hotel, Pudong in Shanghai is
the first of a new luxury hotel brand of Shangri-La Hotels
Within easy reach of the Shanghai New International Expo
Centre, the expansive Century Park and the Kerry Parkside
shopping mall and office tower, the hotel is a vibrant and
happening place. It offers extensive business, meeting and
recreation facilities, innovative dining and entertainment
choices, and warm and spontaneous service.
Room size ranges from 42sqm to 63sqm. All rooms and suites
have wide-view windows, and offer complimentary wired and
wireless Internet access in a spacious and relaxing
environment with fresh contemporary design and modern
comforts to make guests feel at home.
Guests get to enjoy a variety of food experiences from the
designer show kitchens and the gourmet merchandising shop at
The COOK or taste, at The BREW, the speciality home-crafted
beer from the hotels resident brew-master. For meat lovers
there is the casual-yet-stylish steakhouse and grill at The
MEET. Blossoms, with its exclusive collection of private
dining rooms, is the place for authentic Cantonese and other
EAST, BEIJING TO OPEN IN 2012
EAST, Beijing is scheduled to open in Q1 2012, following the
successful opening of EAST, Hong Kong in January 2010.
The hotel is located in Jiang Tai, Chaoyang district of
Beijing, between the 4th and 5th Ring Road, and within
INDIGO, a mixed use development by Swire Properties Limited.
The location at one of the most attractive new business
addresses in Beijing, home to some of the most prestigious
local and multinational corporations, makes EAST, Beijing
for business travellers.
The hotel is only 15 minutes away from Beijing Capital
International Airport and is conveniently close to the
capital's infamous 798 and CaoChangDi Art Zones. It is less
than a 15-minute drive to the CBD and embassy districts and
30 minutes by rail to the South Railway station that has
frequent express train services to Tianjin. INDIGO will also
be accessible via the Beijing Subway Line 14.
As a hotel designed for business traveller EAST, Beijing
offers a wonderfully balanced approach to life. When it's
time for work EAST is plugged into business. When it's time
to unwind you'll find everything (and everyone) at EAST calm
and very relaxed. EAST soothes and rejuvenates the tired and
energises those in search of fun. Your stay at EAST is what
you want, where you need it most.
TIBET - LHASA
SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, LHASA OPENS IN 2012
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts will open the 350-room
Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa in Tibets capital in 2012. The
luxury urban resort nestles among the tallest peaks in the
world, offering a striking mountain landscape of glaciers,
valleys and lakes, considered sacred by many.
Located on Lingkor Road the hotel is just 1.5 kilometres
from the Potala Palace, the famous 7th century complex at
the centre of Lhasa. It is half a kilometre from other
notable Lhasa landmarks including Chokpori, known as Iron
Mountain and one of the four holy mountains of central
Tibet; Norbu Lingka, the summer palace originally built in
1755; and the Tibet Museum.
Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa is beautifully decorated with modern
interpretations of traditional Tibetan architectural motifs,
while its interiors feature locally produced arts, crafts
and fabrics. The guestrooms are designed for comfort,
beginning at 36sqm, with many offering views of the Potala
Palace. Service touches include Tibetan welcome rituals and
the local hand churned butter tea. There is also a full
service clinic with medical staff to attend to the guests.
The hotel's dining and entertainment options include an
all-day dining restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a bar and a
lobby lounge. Among the recreational facilities are an
indoor swimming pool and health club. Meeting and banqueting
facilities feature a 1,700sqm grand ballroom, complemented
by several smaller function rooms.
HILTON XIAN OPENS IN AUGUST
Xian will see the opening a new hotel this August Hilton
Set within the city's ancient wall the unique hotel combines
contemporary design and Tang Dynasty artwork. It is just a
few minutes' walk from major cultural and entertainment
attractions. With its convenient downtown location and range
of amenities Hilton Xian is perfect for both business and
The hotel's spacious guestrooms and suites have generous
work surfaces, luxurious Hilton Serenity Beds and wireless
Internet access. More than 2,400sqm of flexible space is
available for business and social events, including a
stunning 1,200sqm ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,000
guests and features the very latest in audio/visual
equipment. There are three innovative dining outlets - an
exquisite fine dining venue, an all-day dining area and a
specialty Chinese restaurant. Other facilities include the
complimentary Fitness Centre by Precor®, an indoor pool or
and a luxury spa.
HYATT REGENCY XIAN IS NOW GRAND METROPARK HOTEL
The management of Hyatt Regency in Xian expired on June 30,
2011, and management has been handed back to Hong Kong CTS.
The hotel is now operating as Grand Metropark Hotel,
starting from July 1, as part of Hong Kong CTS Hotels Co.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
THE BIRDMEN OF BEIJING
The birdmen of Beijing are one of the capital's iconic
cultural features. Walking the dog is a normal scene
anywhere in the world, but when was the last time you took
the bird for a stroll? In China men, both young and old
(mostly old) are famous for walking their pet birds in the
early morning. They walk while gently swinging the ornate
bamboo bird cages, which are covered with white or black
On arrival at a park or a scenic street garden they stop to
remove the cloth from the cages and hang them on the lower
branches of a tree. The birds hop and chirp inside their
cages, while their owners sit below the trees. They spark up
conversation with friends, perform tai chi, play
cards or take on a friend in Chinese chess. This is a
typical daily scene, not only in Beijing but also in other
cities across the country.
The hobby of walking pet birds has been popular in China
since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The tradition has
continued till today,
with many people still taking pleasure from this simple
ALITALIA FLIES NON-STOP ROME TO BEIJING
Starting from June 10 Alitalia offers non-stop flights from
Rome (Italy) to Beijing, using the new Airbus A330 aircraft.
The four times weekly services are on every Wednesday,
Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Flight AZ 790 leaves Rome at
3.40pm to arrive in Beijing the next day at 8.00am.
AIR CHINA'S NEW MILAN-BEIJING FLIGHT
Air China launched its new Milan-Beijing service on June 15,
making it the only Chinese airline to fly direct between the
two cities. As part of its network expansion in Europe the
new Milan-Beijng service also gave Air China the most
European routes among China's domestic airlines.
The flights on an Airbus A330 aircraft are on every Monday,
Wednesday and Saturday. The journey is 11 hours and 30
minutes each way.
HAINAN AIRLINES' DIRECT ISTANBUL-URUMQI/SHANGHAI
Hainan Airlines will commence direct Istanbul-Urumqi/Shanghai
service from July 11, 2011. The twice-weekly flights are on
Tuesdays and Fridays. Flight HU 7922 will leave Istanbul
(Turkey) at 1.30am to arrive in Urumqi the same day at
12.40pm and in Shanghai at 6.50pm. This flight opens new way
to travel along the Silk Road from Istanbul, "the Gate to
Orient", to China.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
AGUA MOVES TO NEW LOCATION
Aqua Restaurant, formerly located in the Legation Quarter at
Qianmen, 23, has moved to Sanlituns Nali Patio, a mecca for
lovers of all things Spanish.
The restaurant lives and breathes Spain and captures the
countrys soul. Intimate and chic, its stylish interiors are
inspired by the warm browns and textures of natural Spanish
woods. It specialises in contemporary Spanish cuisine with
Mediterranean influences, beautifully prepared by
award-winning chef, Jordi Valles. The food is full of robust
natural flavours featuring aromatic herbs and rich olive
oils, which when married with the freshest produce, conjure
up the essence of Spain.
LUNCH AT THE OLYMPIC STADIUM
Asian Trails China invited its team for lunch at the Bird's
Nest, which is located within the Olympic Stadium. The
restaurant, situated in the Bird's Nest, offers a stunning
view of the stadium. The venue is ideal for groups, both
large and small.
ANY OTHER NEWS
ASIAN TRAILS CHINA'S NEW OFFICE
Since March 2, 2011 Asian Trails China has moved to its new office. Listed below are out new address and
The past two months
in Myanmar have been quite quiet as May and June are the lowest
season. We are now busy preparing prices and offers for the
upcoming high season, and also getting ready to welcome our
guests arriving in July and August.
We would like to
highlight in this newsletter the upcoming festivals in the
country for the next few months (See Festivals and Events). As
you know festivals are great opportunities to indulge in the
local traditions and culture, especially in Myanmar as they give
an in-depth insight into the local way of life.
As always, we remain
at your disposal for any clarification and information you may
need and look forward to welcoming your clients to Myanmar.
PASSENGER SERVICE TAX FOR DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
Please note that as of June 1, 2011 every
domestic air passenger, both local and foreign, has to pay a
passenger service tax. The clients have to pay this tax
themselves directly at the airport.
YANGON- NGWE SAUNG SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE: NOVEMBER 1, 2011 - APRIL 30, 2012
A return regular
shuttle bus service will operate between Yangon (Kandawgyi
Hotel) and Ngwe Saung from November 1, 2011 to April 30,
The service from Yangon is on every Tuesday and Thursday,
leaving at 11am and arrives in Ngwe Saung about five hours
later. The service from Ngwe Saung leaves from Areum Hotel
every Wednesday and Friday at 9.00am and will arrive in
Yangon about five hours later.
PARADISE - NGWE SAUNG
Paradise is a newly opened hotel under the same management
as Sunny Paradise and Dream Paradise. The objective is to
offer a more affordable alternative to the Sunny Paradise
and Dream Paradise hotels.
Situated a bit
further away from the beach Ocean Paradise is open year
round. It has 48 superior rooms. All rooms have ensuite
bathrooms with showers and bathtubs, TV, air-conditioning
and minibar. There are three suites, which are bigger in
size than the superior rooms and are equipped with a DVD
player, refrigerator (instead of a minibar) and a safety
at Ocean Paradise are free to use the facilities provided at
Sunny Paradise and Dream Paradise such as the massage
parlour, beauty spa, karaoke room, swimming pool and
restaurants. As all the three properties are interconnected
guests can also enjoy the beautiful landscaped gardens.
- NYAUNG SHWE
Eco-Lodge sits on the edge of the canal leading the
magnificent Inle Lake in the colourful village of Nyaung
Shwe in the southern Shan state.
The lodge consists of 20 luxurious Cottage Suites. They are
built on pilings on Viewpoint Lake using traditional
eco-friendly construction techniques of the Shan people.
Every suite has modern bathroom, wireless Internet access,
telephone, plasma TV, and unlimited movies and music.
Pricing is affordable without compromising on comfort and
the unique ambience of the lodge.
Hotel Loikaw is located near the Htee Ngar Yar Lake, just a
few minutes drive from the city centre. It has 10 superior
rooms and six deluxe rooms. All rooms have ensuite bathroom,
individually controlled air-conditioning and minibar.
AYARWADDY RIVER VIEW HOTEL
The Ayarwaddy River View Hotel is located on the bank of the
Ayarwaddy River, just five minutes from the city centre of
Mandalay. It has eight superior rooms, 44 deluxe rooms and
four suite rooms. Each room consists of ensuite bathroom,
individually controlled air-conditioning, minibar, TV and
IDD telephone. The hotels best feature is its terrace
overlooking the Ayarwaddy River.
AMATA BOUTIQUE HOUSE
The latest tourist attraction in Bagan is the Amata Boutique
House. Within its compound are three houses one is a fine
dining restaurant and coffee shop, another is a gift shop,
and the third is a spa.
HILL TOP VILLAS HOTEL UNDERGOES RENOVATION
The Hill Top Villas Hotel in Kalaw will undergo renovation
during the coming rainy season, and will be completely
closed during this period. The hotel is scheduled to reopen
on August 1, 2011
CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED AT THESE HOTELS
Please note the
following hotels accept Visa and Mastercard. This service
is only available for in-house guests. The hotels charge
4% to 7% service charge for each transaction.
Inya Lake Hotel
Mandalay Hill Resort
Mandalay View Inn
would like to highlight that clients should not
only rely on credit cards, but should bring enough cash to meet all their travel needs. Credit cards
only be processed when the Internet speed is decent. In cases of slow connection or if the internet is completely down credit cards could not be
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
AUGUST 8 - AUGUST 13, 2011
VENUE: TAUNGBYONE, MANDALAY DIVISION
Six-day ceremony ending August 13, held to worship two
Taungbyone spiritual figures. The area during the
celebrations is a major gathering place for spirit mediums.
PHAUNG DAW OO PAGODA FESTIVAL
SEPTEMBER 28 - OCTOBER 15, 2011: 1ST
WANING DAY OF THIDINGYUT
VENUE: INLE LAKE, SHAN STATE
19-day festival ending October 15. As part of the festival
four Buddha statues are ceremoniously transported clockwise
around Inle Lake on the royal barge. One leg-rowed boat
races are also held throughout the celebrations.
OCTOBER 10 - OCTOBER 12,, 2011: 14TH
WAXING DAY OF THADINGYUT
VENUE: THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY
3-day festival ending October 12. The festival is to commemorate the day
when Lord Buddha descends from heaven to earth after
observing three months of the Buddhist lent.
People throughout Myanmar welcome Lord Buddha's return to
earth with colourful
illumination offerings to the deities. They also hoist
balloons up to the sky as part of the celebrations.
NOVEMBER 5 - 10, 2011: WAXING DAY OF TAZAUNGMON
VENUE: TAUNGGYI, SHAN STATE
5-day festival ending November 10.
During this typical Pa-O festival hot air balloons are released in the
sky day and night.
Please feel free to contact us for any offers connected with
these special events highlighted.
AIR BAGAN's NEW DOMESTIC ROUTES
From June 8 Air
Bagan flies from Yangon to Bhamo in southern Kachin State
(via Mandalay) every Wednesday and Saturday.
Since May the airline also flies from Yangon to Kyauk Phyu
(via Sittwe) in western Rakhine State every Tuesday and
AIR BAGAN SUSPENDS FLIGHTS TO PHUKET
After only a few months in service Air Bagan has suspended
its twice-weekly flights to Phuket, Thailand until further
AIR MANDALAY'S NEW DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
Since May 2011
Air Mandalay has launched new domestic flights.
from Yangon to Tachileik (via Heho and Mandalay) in eastern
to Kawthoung flights (via Dawei) in the most southern tip of
Thrice weekly Yangon to Myeik (via Dawei) services in the
Taninitharyi Division on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
BIGGER VENUE FOR GREEN ELEPHANT RESTAURANT
The popular Green Elephant Restaurant has relocated, and is
now in a bigger more modern environment.
MRS. NANG NANG LEAVES ATM
five years with Asian Trails Myanmar Mrs. Nang Nang, one of
our reservation supervisors, leaves the company to take up a
new venture outside the tourism industry.
We thank Mrs. Nang Nang for her hard work during her years
with us, and wish her all the best for the future. We will
announce her replacement once we find a suitable person to
fill the post.
ANY OTHER NEWS
EDUCATIONal PROGRAMME ON ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
On May 29 Asian Trails' branch
office in Taunggyi (Inle Lake) started its educational
programme on waste management and environmental awareness at
Inn Dein Pagoda Treasures. The programme is conducted in
cooperation with the temple and students from a school in
the region. The aim is to make the young students be aware
of the importance of a clean and proper environment, basic hygiene rules as well as to
generally raise environmental awareness.
It has been a busy
and interesting period for us as we prepare ourselves for the
summer season. I recently visited the islands of Redang, Lang
Tengah and Perhentian in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia
and was fascinated by the pristine white sandy beaches and the
crystal clear water. The beauty and the tranquil ambience of
these islands located in the South China Sea makes it a unique
and beautiful product, and the summer months is the perfect time
to visit these islands. I had the opportunity to inspect many
resorts and must say that I was particularly impressed by the
location, quality and level of service at the Berjaya Redang
On another front,
Asian Trails Malaysia recently handled three MICE groups from
France, Norway and India with a combination of Peninsular
Malaysia and Borneo in the itinerary. I am pleased to say that
the trips were very successful and the feedback was excellent.
We're now looking
forward to the Middle East season. I must stress that visitors
will be amazed by the transformation of Bukit Bintang (a major
shopping area) that has an Arabic feel with the many Middle
Eastern restaurants, as well as the many signages in Arabic.
Malaysia Truly Asia!
WHALE OF A TALE FOR TOURISTS
operators and villagers on Pulau Mabul, close to Sabahs
famed Sipadan Island, literally had a whale of a tale on
June 15 when they rescued a rare pygmy sperm whale that was
beached on shallow waters. Quick thinking and ingenuity by
the rescuers helped float the stranded 3.5m whale back into
the Celebes Sea. The mammal resurfaced twice as if to say
thanks before disappearing into the blue ocean as tears of
joy flowed freely among the rescuers.
Chalet staff of
Borneo Divers first spotted the stranded whale at about 8am.
They then informed staff of Scuba Junkie Mabul Beach Resort,
who had available boats. A rescue operation was immediately
launched with many of the tourists joining in. The group
placed life jackets under the whale to create buoyancy and
gave rescuers a chance to lift and guide the mammal towards
Based on visual identification through videos and
photographs four different experts had identified the
rescued mammal as a pygmy sperm whale, which has been
classified as endangered and near extinction. The waters of
Semporna off Sabah's east coast are believed to be a
breeding ground for this rare whale.
FUNICULAR TRAIN TO PENANG HILL REOPENS
The new Penang
Hill funicular train service reopened to the public on April
25 after upgrading works, which started in February 2010.
The journey up the hill before the upgrading took about 30
minutes, with passengers changing cars at the mid-point
station. The train also stopped at other intermediate
stations upon request. The new train does not require
passengers to change trains as it runs non-stop.
The Penang Hill Railway has been operating since 1923,
providing 87 years of service until it stopped operations
for the recent upgrading. The modern train now has
air-conditioned Swiss-made coaches capable of carrying up to
100 passengers each way. It runs every half hour from 6.30am
to 9pm daily.
BUNGA RAYA ISLAND RESORT WINS AWARD
Bunga Raya Island Resort and Spa in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah was
the winner in the resort development category at the Fiabci
International Prix d' Excellence Award 2011.
This resort is a luxurious jewel set on a coral reef island
just off the coast of Borneo. A secluded island hideaway of
47 timbered villas, it is tucked away on a tranquil and
hidden bay framed by crescent shaped white sand beach on one
side and the centuries old virgin jungle on the other.
private villa is rough hewn and hand-crafted by local
tradesmen, terraced into the hillside reflecting the
traditional simplicity of the Borneo architectural style,
blending seamlessly with the comforts and needs of the most
sophisticated and discerning luxury traveller.
SHANGRI-LA'S TANJUNG ARU RESORT AND SPA COMPLETES
Shangri-Las Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa in Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah has completed its six-month renovations. Guests are
now able to enjoy the new facilities, which include the
mesmerising azure blue 2,000sqm swimming pool complete with
a disappearing infinity edge. Or luxuriate in the charming
custom-built jacuzzi beds around the pool
BEST WESTERN SANDAKAN OPENS IN JULY
Best Western International
is opening its newest hotel in Malaysia, Best Western
Sandakan Hotel and Residence in Sabah, in early July. it is
the second property to have joined the chains expanding
presence in East Malaysia. Its convenient location makes it
ideal for both leisure and business guests.
Designed in a contemporary style the hotels 110
well-appointed guestrooms, ranging from Superior rooms to
three bedroom apartments, feature Select TV - an Interactive
Progressive Television (IPTV) system that enables guests to
work online, send and receive messages, order room service,
access cable TV/radio channels plus view their bill at any
Each room has a comfortable working area,
refrigerator, coffee/tea making facility and hairdryer.
Hotel guests are able to surf the web with complimentary Wifi access in all rooms and public areas of the hotel a
service that is standard throughout all Best Western hotels
worldwide. It also has of three dining and entertainment
CASA DEL MAR REFURBISHING ALL ROOMS
Casa del Mar in
Langkawi Island is undergoing a room refurbishment project
from June to October 2011.
The new rooms
will feature additional storage space, timber flooring, new
lighting, new "heavenly" beds, new furniture and curtains.
Timber decking will be laid at the porch and terrace area.
Existing glass panels and entrance door will be replaced
with glass sliding door enabling guests to enjoy the sea
Other new room amenities include power socket panel
with universal adaptor next to the working desk, wall
mounted flat screen TV and iPod docking station. A dedicated
area at the lounge will feature a separate shower, for
checked out guests who are on late flight.
During the renovation period some noise is inevitable. The
hotel is working with the contractors to keep the noise
level and the inconvenience to guests to a minimal.
HILTON EXPANDS DOUBLETREE IN MALAYSIA
has signed a management agreement with the Hatten Group to
operate the DoubleTree by Hilton in Melaka. The deal will
see the second DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Malaysia and
Hiltons entry into Melaka.
open in 2014 the 265-room DoubleTree by Hilton, Melaka will
form part of a mixed-use development. Located in downtown
Melaka the development features the hotel, extensive retail
offerings and residential apartments.
operates five hotels in Malaysia - Hilton Kuala Lumpur,
DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Hilton Petaling Jaya,
Hilton Kuching and the Batang Ai Longhouse Resort.
NEW ROOMS AT PACIFIC SUTERA
Sutera Hotel in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, has embarked on a
refurbishment programme for all its 500 guestrooms and
suites. This is part of its ongoing initiative to ensure
guests enjoy the best in services and facilities.
rooms exude an effortless contemporary elegance combining
dark wood and fittings in warm overtones of crème and brown.
The spaciousness of the room is accentuated with the elegant
textured carpet in appealing shades of lime green. Large
windows allow streams of natural light to flood the room
during the day, creating a bright open environment. The
spacious ensuite bathroom, which offers a view into the
bedroom, is fitted with a separate bathtub and cubicle.
Other room facilities include complimentary Internet
connectivity and a 32-inch LCD TV.
The programme, being carried out in different phases, is
expected to be fully completed by end December 2011, with 50
rooms coming online in the middle of this year.
MAJOR RENOVATIONS AT PAN PACIFIC KUALA LUMPUR
Kuala Lumpur International Airport has embarked on major
renovation of its guestrooms, Pacific Lounge, guest lifts
and guest room corridors. This is part of the hotels
ongoing exercise to enhance its facilities for guests
comfort and enjoyment.
The hotel enhancements, scheduled to begin in July, will be
completed by end March 2012. To ensure the comfort and
convenience of its guests are not compromised the hotel will
carry out the renovations in phases, blocking off 90
guestrooms at a time. As most of the guests arrivals are in
the evening the renovation work is scheduled to take place
between 9am and 6pm daily. There may be intermittent noise
during the renovation period, but the hotel management will
ensure disruption is minimised.
REONOVATION FOR GENTING HOTEL'S ROOMS
Genting Hotel in
Genting Highlands has permanently taken out 174 rooms,
located between 7th to 9th floors, out of its room inventory
for renovations and refurbishment. These rooms will be
converted to Maxims when refurnished.
The renovation is expected to be completed by end August
During this period there may be intermittent noise, but
everything is being done to ensure disruption is minimised.
The 6th and 10th floor are the buffer floors.
PELANGI BEACH RESORT UNDERGOES RENOVATION
Beach Resort on Langkawi Island is undergoing a series of
exciting new enhancements. The renovation covers the
frontage landscape, driveway (already completed), lobby,
lounge, lobby restrooms and reception areas. When completed
guests will get an inspiring experience of comfort and
luxury, which is expected to set new benchmarks for
hospitality in Langkawi.
are being carried out in phases to ensure that inconvenience
to guests is kept to a minimum. There may be some occasional
noise disturbance from drilling and hacking works and the
management is making every effort to ensure guest comfort
during this period.
management will give regular update of the renovations
progress. It will provide available visuals of each area,
which has been completed, for guests and clients to preview
the facilities new look.
The resort also plans to refurbish the guestrooms and F&B
facilities in the next phase of its renovation programme.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
KUALA LUMPUR FESTIVAL
JULY 1 - 31, 2011
VENUE: THROUGHOUT KUALA LUMPUR
An exciting event, the month-long Kuala Lumpur Festival
features a colourful line up of activities and performances.
Launched in 2006, the festival has united Malaysians from
all walks of life through the spirit of creativity and
6TH MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL DIVE EXPO 2011
JULY 1 - 3, 2011
VENUE: PUTRA WORLD TRADE CENTRE, KUALA LUMPUR
The Malaysia International Dive Expo (MIDE) was initiated in
2006 and since then has been held yearly. The expos
objective is to promote Malaysias waters as Asias best
diving sites and one of the worlds best dive destinations.
CHARITY JAM 2011
JULY 2, 2011
VENUE: RP ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, THE SAUJANA.
Every year the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH)
organises this event together with the Chefs Association of
Malaysia (CAM), the Malaysian Food & Beverage Executives
Association (MFBEA) and Malaysian Association of
Housekeepers (MAHIR). This is in line with the associations'
Corporate Social Responsibility programme to raise funds for
needy children in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
of the University Malaya Medical Centre.
MALAYSIA CONTEMPORARY ARTS TOURISM FESTIVAL
JULY 2 - SEPTEMBER 30, 2011
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA.
This prestigious event gives an insight into Malaysias
fascinating contemporary art scene. The unique platform
showcases both the established and up-and-coming names in
the art scene.
ANNIVERSARY OF UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE CITY
JULY 7, 2011
VENUE: MALACCA & PENANG
On July 7, 2008 UNESCO declared Melaka and Penang World
Heritage cities. The annual celebrations are to
commemorate this historic occasion. The cities
heritage buildings, cultural enclaves and places of worship
are popular with history buffs and tourists who come from
all over the world to admire them.
RAINFOREST WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL
JULY 8 - 10, 2011
VENUE: SARAWAK CULTURAL VILLAGE.
Dance to the rhythm of diverse ethnic music amidst the
magnificent rainforest of Sarawak. One of the largest
musical events in Malaysia, the Rainforest World Music
Festival aims to celebrate world music with performances by
ethnic musicians from around the world.
JULY 9 - 17, 2011
Don't miss the chance to watch floral exhibitions and
ornately decorated floats in various hues at the flora
festival. Putrajaya is transformed into an enclave of
beautiful flowers during the floria.
BON ODORI FESTIVAL
JULY 16, 2011
VENUE: SHAH ALAM & PENANG.
The 35th Bon
Odori Festival 2011 will be held in both Shah Alam and
Penang. Bon Odori (meaning simply Bon dance) is an
event held during Obon to remind people to be grateful to
one's ancestors. It is also a showcase of Japanese culture,
art, dances and food.
The Shah Alam event is jointly organised by the Selangor
State Office, the Ministry of Tourism and The Japan Club of
IPOH INTERNATIONAL RUN
JULY 18, 2011
Catch the action as nearly 1,200 participants race across
Ipoh city! Participants are both local and foreign, the
latter from various countries that include Thailand,
Nigeria, United States, Singapore and Indonesia.
6TH SABAH INTERNATIONAL FOLKLORE FESTIVAL
JULY 22 - 24, 2011
VENUE: SABAH CULTURAL VILLAGE
Dance troupes from around the world gather in the
Below the Wind" for this festival. Its objective is to
promote cultural tourism among participating countries and
to introduce the states rich and unique cultures to the
PORT DICKSON INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON
JULY 22 - 24, 2011
VENUE: PORT DICKSON
Catch the live action as athletes compete in a test of
endurance and stamina that include swimming, cycling and
running. Dont miss the chance to be in Port Dickson, the
most popular beach on Peninsular Malaysias west coast.
AUGUST 1 - 30, 2011
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA.
As Ramadhan, the Muslim fasting month begins stalls
and bazaars are set up throughout the country offering an
array of delicious fare for Muslims to break their fast.
Sample the authentic delights on sale for the entire month
HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI
AUGUST 30 - 31, 2011
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA.
At the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan Muslims
throughout Malaysia celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri. On this
auspicious day Muslims attend special morning prayers in
mosques and visit the graves of their loved ones. Decked in
traditional finery, families and friends from near and far
come together to celebrate this joyous occasion. There will
be a large variety of tasty delicacies to make the
celebration more memorable!
MALAYSIA NATIONAL DAY
AUGUST 31, 2011
VENUE: KUALA LUMPUR.
Be enthralled by the parades, fireworks displays and
concerts as Malaysia celebrates its National Day. Join in
the festivities and share the joy as people from all walks
of life come together as one to celebrate the anniversary of
the countrys independence.
AIRASIA EXPANDS BANDUNG SERVICE
AirAsia (IAA) recently expanded its Bandung-Kuala Lumpur and
Bandung-Singapore services, using an Airbus A320 aircraft.
The Kuala Lumpur
route has an additional two daily flights and the Singapore
route one extra daily flight. With the ramped-up services
AirAsia now has five daily services between Bandung and
Kuala Lumpur, and three between Singapore and Bandung.
Capacity ha also increased from 149 to 180 seats. The
increased frequency and capacity will strengthen the
airlines business out of Bandung, one of the most popular
Indonesian destinations among travellers fro Malaysia and
The Derawan Islands is a group of 31 islands located off the coast
of East Kalimantan in the Sulawesi Sea, which is still a white
spot on the map of international tourists.
I made a short afternoon visit to Sangalaki Island, an island with
few inhabitants, but which is the nestling place for the Green
Sea Turtles to lay their eggs. I then went back to Derawan
Island, the biggest island in the island group where I stayed
for a fortnight. Derawan has one hotel of local three stars
standard. Better accommodation is available on the other
islands, such as Maratua Island that is located an hour away
from Derawan Island by speedboat.
Another island worth a visit is Kakaban Island where a rare
species of jellyfish dwell in the pristine fresh water of
Kakaban Lake. The species is only found in this lake and in
Palau Island in the Philippines. There are many other islands in
the Derawan group, all of which have one common attraction to
offer visitors - its natural underwater beauty.
The Derawan Islands are well known to the world as one of the best
diving spots in the region where you can easily spot manta ray,
stingray, sea turtles and many other species of marine life. Sea
turtles can be seen just steps away from the jetty, and you can
feed them by throwing fresh banana leaves into the water.
How to get there: Derawan Island is a 1.5-hour speedboat
ride from Berau, which is a 30-minute flight from Balikpapan. A
few international airlines fly to Balikpapan such as Singapore
Airlines from Singapore and Garuda International from Jakarta.
Bali will host the ASEAN Summit from November 16-20, 2011.
During this period hotels in the Nusa Dua area will be under
very tight security as more than
20 heads of state from the ASEAN countries will be staying
in hotels in the area.
Due to the high level of security guests staying around Nusa
Dua may experience some inconvenience.
We strongly recommend that you advise your clients to amend
their dates of stay or reconsider their arrival at any of
the hotel/resort in the Nusa Dua area before, during or
after the ASEAN Summit.
OASIS LAGOON SANUR'S READY FOR BUSINESS
The new Oasis Lagoon Sanur is ready to open its doors. The
four star resort is located in the heart of Sanur opposite
the Batur Jimbaran Restaurant. it has 126 rooms comprising
deluxe and duplex rooms, and family and honeymoon suites. It
also features a lagoon pool that runs through the centre of
the resort, and visible from the rooms furnished balcony.
The Café de Dapoer offers a variety of international, local
and Asian cuisine, and is the perfect venue for both dining
SEMINYAK'S NEWEST RESORT OPENS
The Semara Resort and Spa, in the heart of Seminyak, has
opened its doors. It is conveniently located 150 metres from
the beach, between W Resort and Ku De Ta. With 10 Poolside
Rooms, 44 Superior Suite Rooms and 4 Deluxe Suites, the
resort is a perfect fit for families who wish to blend a
holiday in chic Seminyak with numerous activities for
The luxury boutique resort is set amongst superbly
landscaped tropical gardens where guests can take in the
ambience from their own private balcony, or enjoy a cocktail
or sumptuous tasty treat by the pool. Two restaurants
provide guests with dining experiences of the quality
expected in the Seminyak region.
MACA VILLAS OF SEMINYAK
The Maca Villas & Spa Seminyak comprises 25 one- and
two-bedroom villas, united not only by a carefully
considered sense of place and inspirational design, but also
by an unwavering commitment to answer the core needs of
The fully furnished one-bedroom villa is enveloped by lush
tropical landscaping and has an abundance of natural light.
It includes a beautifully designed bedroom and luxurious
ensuite bathroom with LCD flat screen televisions in both.
The living room opens on to a spacious wood deck, which is
ideal for relaxing before dipping into the shimmering waters
of the private lap pool.
The two-bedroom villa offers spacious stretched living room
that flows seamlessly into the swimming pool, pool deck and
covered day bed (bale) with lush tropical landscaping
beyond. Natural light floods the living areas from the pool
and inner courtyard garden. Two beautifully designed
bedrooms with luxurious ensuite bathrooms surround the pool
and pool deck. All bedrooms and bathrooms have LCD flat
A CHIC LEGIAN
The 101 Legian emphasises the smart, stylish experience for
design, service, destination and living, the first and only
one in the Legian area. It is a fresh concept and a new
atmosphere. It is minimalist but stylish, totally a new
Legian providing a total escape from the stresses of life.
The resort offers 198 rooms in four stylish categories -
Superior, Deluxe Balcony, Deluxe pool access, Deluxe Family
and the 101 Suite.
The innovative gastronomic team at 101 Legian conceives each
meal as an experience of culinary discovery, where guests
dine on chic, healthy and mouth-watering dishes that are a
result of a fabulous cooking art process.
LUXURY AT GILI TRAWANGAN
Ombak Sunset, the first large luxury resort on the island of
Gili Trawangan, is set to receive its first guests this
summer. Situated on the secluded eastern side of the island
the resort is a haven for visitors seeking the tranquillity
of an untouched tropical isle. Located in a position, which
puts in front of the magnificent sun setting over Balis
Mount Agung, the view from the resort is breath-taking.
Ombak Sunset offers four exclusive room types with luxury
amenities that include fresh and hot water in all rooms,
minibar, coffee- and tea-making facilities, LCD TV with
satellite channels, DVD player and a fresh fruit plate upon
TAUZIA OPENS 7TH HARRIS HOTEL IN JAKARTA
Hotel management company, Tauzia, on behalf of Harris Hotels
and Resorts, opened its newest property - the 88-room Harris
Suites at Sudirman in Jakarta. This is the groups seventh
Harris-branded property and the third in the Indonesian
The hotel group has another four Harris-branded properties
scheduled to open this year in Bandung, Batam, Sentul and
Bali. Its property in Kuta - Harris Kuta - will be
undergoing renovations to become part of the new Sheraton
Bali Kuta Resort complex.
H2O - BALI DYNASTY RESORT'S NEW CHIC RESTAURANT/BAR
Bali Dynasty Resort has launched H2O, a new chic
semi-open-air poolside restaurant and bar, complete with a
rooftop sunset deck. With its central poolside location and
chic design it has become one of Bali's social hubs and the
resorts in place for poolside cocktails, hearty
international fare and fun!
H20 is suitable for private dinners and events. it is also
open for breakfast, lunch, and nightly themed buffets with
entertainment. The restaurant presents a different themed
buffet dinner daily - Pizza & Pasta On Mondays, Dine Around
the World on Tuesdays, Wild West Wednesdays, Sate Night on
Thursdays, Malam Bali on Fridays, Aussie BBQ on Saturdays,
and Roast Nights on Sundays.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
BALI KITE FESTIVAL
JULY 28-31, 2011
PADANG GALAK FIELD, SANUR BEACH, BALI
Bali Kite Festival is set to return for
33rd time, at
the Padang Galak field on Sanur Beach. The three-day
festival starts on July 28 and ends with the finals on July
Participants are from all over the world including Germany,
France and South Africa. The contestants can take part in a
few categories, but all the teams are required to wear
traditional Balinese attire.
The festival is held daily from 9am to 5pm. It expects to
attract thousands of local and foreign visitors. We expect
to see a lot of high flying during these three days.
GARUDA INDONESIA LAUNCHES SINGAPORE
SERVICE, ADDS NEW ROUTES & FREQUENCIES
Garuda Indonesia has started operating its newest routes,
Makassar to Singapore. The daily seven times weekly direct
service is operated with a Boeing B737-800 aircraft, which
has a seating capacity of 96 seats comprising 12 seats in
business class and 84 seats in economy.
Garuda Indonesia also launched new return flights from
Makassar to Balikpapan (Kalimantan), Makassar-Ternate, and
Surabaya-Ambon effective June 1. All flights are on the
To meet an anticipated increase in passengers Garuda
Indonesia has increased frequencies on several of its routes
in both the domestic and international sectors.
Jakarta - Palembang
from 8 to 9 flights per day
from 2 to 4 flights per day
Jakarta - Padang
from 3 to 4 flights per day
Jakarta - Surabaya
from 15 to 17 flights per day
Jakarta - Balikpapan
from 7 to 8 flights per day
from 2 to 3 flights per day
Surabaya - Denpasar
from 3 to 4 flights per day
Surabaya - Makassar
from 1 to 2 flights per day
Jakarta - Singapore
from 7 flights to 8 flights
Jakarta - Bangkok
from 1 flight to 2 flights per
Jakarta - Beijing
from 3 flights to 5 flights
Denpasar - Seoul
from 3 flights to 5 flights
LUFTHANSA ADDS MORE
FLIGHTS TO JAKARTA
On October 30, 2011 Lufthansa
will increase its flights to Indonesia by adding a new
Munich-Jakarta service via Singapore. The route will be
operated with an Airbus A340-300. This new flight is in
addition to its existing Frankfurt-Jakarta service. .