Spring is here, a season for renewing and growing.
We at Asian Trails, like Spring, are renewing and
growing our products/services and team members to
serve you and your clients better.
travel marts season is also starting. Asian Trails
will be at most of the shows, starting with ITB
Berlin this month, to touch base with you and to
showcase our wide range of products.
This issue of TRAILBLAZER (March-April 2013) is
yet another comprehensive compilation of what our
offices throughout the region have lined up, complete
with interesting stories and background facts of
some of the unique products.
like to advise that you make early travel arrangements
for your clients if they wish to travel during the
high season as most destinations, such as Myanmar
and Thailand, are reporting heavy demand for hotel
rooms and flights.
We are about to finish a very busy high
season, actually one of the busiest ever.
For the first time in decades Bangkok saw
98% hotel occupancy, not only during Christmas
and New Year but also well into January
2013. In April we will celebrate Songkran
(Thai New Year, April 13-16), which usually
marks the end of the high season and the
start of the low season. However, the booking
outlook even for this "low" season looks
very good, and we have added several reservation
staff to cope with this demand.
We thank you very much for your continued
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
DISCOVER BANGKOK ON A SEGWAY
Bangkok sightseeing cannot get any more
fun and exciting than doing it on a Segway
- a two-wheel self-balancing electric personal
transporter. This is an alternative new
cool and enjoyable way to explore and experience
the history, culture and people of Bangkok.
The route of the Old City includes beautiful
architecture and Bangkok's central backpacker
hub on Khao San Road. It is definitely an
experience to remember.
We take you on a magical tour of Chiang
Mai by bicycle. This old city never sleeps
as we ride through small back roads and
alleyways to see the lives of its people.
The fun starts just after sunset as we cycle
past a tranquil park where the locals practise
Tai Chi, ancient temples with their illuminated
golden spires, a night market that sells
various types of delicious local food and
other charming sights of this ancient city.
The tour is perfect for family and friends
who like to enjoy an easy 20km ride with
snack breaks and beautiful sights along
The tour starts with a speedboat ride to
Tachai Island, one of the most beautiful
islands in the Andaman Sea. Located 70kms
west of Phuket it has pristine white sandy
beaches and stunning crystal clear waters.
Go for a jungle walk or trek up to the island's
viewpoint to admire the breath-taking scenery.
The programme includes sightseeing by speedboat
around the island, as well as time for snorkeling
among some the most amazing coral reefs
in the region. Lunch is served on the island.
Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 is just steps
from the Bangkok's best shopping, nightlife
and dining destinations. It is also a quick
five-minute stroll to Nana BTS Sky Train
and MRT Subway stations for easy access
to Bangkok's biggest attractions.
The hotel offers 296 bright and breezy loft
rooms and suites. Each sports loft-inspired
modern design with nine-foot high ceilings
and extra large windows, which create a
free flowing energy. The signature platform
beds and spacious bathrooms are sleek, stylish
and utterly inviting. Every detail in the
hotel is designed to fit your lifestyle,
from streamlined storage to technology that
keeps you connected. So break the monotony
of travel and take some time to discover
this modern, fresh and fun destination.
Hua Chang Heritage Hotel is an impressive
new building, conveniently located near
the Bangkok's most famous shopping areas.
The essence of the hotel is inspired by
the new Thai colonial style, an exquisite
blend of Western-influenced architecture
and contemporary Thai design. The seven-storey
building deeply embodies the nostalgic charm
of King Rama V period architecture.
All the 80 beautifully appointed guestrooms
provide a luxury sanctuary where guests
can relax and unwind. Each room is stylishly
designed with modern decoration in three
different themes inspired by the colours
of the Thai lotus - magenta, purple and
cobalt blue - each creating a welcoming
Mercure Bangkok Siam is conveniently located
in the heart of the city's shopping district
and steps away from the National Stadium
BTS. It is within walking distance to the
city's numerous shopping malls such as MBK,
Siam Center, Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon,
Central World and Siam Square. The hotel
offers 189 superior, privilege and suite
rooms that feature modern decoration with
a local Thai touch, free Wifi, in-room safe, minibar and LCD TV.
Located in the heart of Bangkok and a short
walk from the National Stadium BTS Station,
the 189 room ibis Bangkok Siam offers fully
equipped facilities and contemporary dining
options. All the rooms are modern and well
designed with satellite LCD TV, functional
bathroom, free Wifi and internet connection.
The lobby bar and terrace are open all day
for light meals and refreshing drinks.
The Riva Surya Bangkok is a new stylish
boutique hotel on the east bank of the Chao
Phraya River, surrounded by some of the
city's most treasured historical sites.
The hotel features tropical colonial architecture
and interior design with a modern twist
- a unique and an integral
part of Thai history and culture.
Its 68 well-appointed rooms are spacious
and offer a variety of comforts to guests.
The hotel's market inspired café and lounge,
Babble & Rum, offers breathtaking views
of the river.
This luxury resort is a scenic
hillside creation, sloping down to the pristine
Laem Set on the Gulf of Thailand. An enchanting
tropical gem set among picturesque cascading
pools and scented by beautifully landscaped
gardens, Shasa Resort is an ideal romantic getaway for couples.
It features a charming private beachfront
villa and 32 chic suites with spacious sea-view
balconies, a hydrotherapy pool and spa.
ASEAN BARRED GROUND DOVE COOING
MARCH 2-3, 2013
VENUE: YALA PROVINCE, SOUTHERN THAILAND.
Thais have long believed doves to be creatures
that bring good luck to those who rear them.
The birds are also regarded as symbols of
purity and peace. Those with qualities specified
by ancient texts are believed to bestow
great wealth and honour upon the owner.
Given this belief, in former times, the
rearing of zebra doves was a popular past
time among Thais. The practice was widespread
throughout the lower southern provinces
and neighbouring countries. A local dove
cooing contest has now evolved into an international
event with participants from regional countries
PATTAYA INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL
MARCH 15-17, 2013
VENUE: PATTAYA BEACH
The Pattaya International Music Festival,
one of the biggest international beach music
festivals in Thailand and Asia, takes place
along the Pattaya beach road in Chon Buri.
This fun event brings together famous Asian
and Thai artists to show off their musical
talent. The spectators, usually numbering
almost a thousand every year, will be entertained
by Thai, Asian and international music comprising
various genres that include pop, rock, hip
hop and R&B. The performances are from 6pm
to 12 midnight throughout the festival.
- THAI NEW YEAR
APRIL 13-16, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT THAILAND
Songkran is a century-old festival, which
marks the beginning of the traditional Thai
New Year. It is a unique fun-filled festival
during when celebrants splash each other
with water so as to give and request blessing.
The word "Songkran" is derived from Sanskrit
and means "to pass" or "to move into". It
implies the moving of the sun, moon and
other planets into a new place in the zodiac.
HAINAN AIRLINES UPS BEIJING-BANGKOK
From March 31, 2013 Hainan Airlines will
double the frequency of its Beijing-Bangkok
flights from three times weekly to six times
weekly. The service is operated using the
Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
THE DRINK GALLERY, LIBRARY
RESORT - KOH SAMUI
Semi-minimalist and totally chic, Drink
Gallery is Chaweng's new kid on the block.
It is very laidback and offers both unique
and traditional cocktails, smoothies and
long drinks. Feast on tasty West-meets-East
cuisine with a homely feel and great presentation.
The menu has a select choice of finger food
and main courses. Open for brunch onwards,
this brand new venue comes into its own
once the night gets underway. Diners can
choose to sit in the air-conditioned restaurant
or on the decked terrace.
AIR BAR - KOH SAMUI
The stunning Air Bar literally hangs
over the cliff, appearing to float' above
the Gulf of Thailand. It provides a sophisticated
yet relaxed setting to sit back and soak
up, what is probably, the best view of Koh
Samui. Retreat to the comfortable Thai-style
seating for a pre-or post-dinner drink or
enjoy one of the signature cocktails prepared
by expert mixologist consultant, accompanied
by fresh sushi, sashimi or tapas.
Asian Trails Laos organised a memorable
evening during the ASEAN Tourism Forum in
January 2013 for its valued clients and
We privatised the traditional Lao textile
museum on the outskirts of Vientiane, and
all the guests took part in creating their
own silk scarves. A traditional Lao evening
would not be complete with a proper Baci
ceremony, which was followed by an excellently
prepared dinner by the owners and family
of the museum. But the real highlight was
the screening of the silent movie "Chang"
(means, Elephant in Lao and Thai) in the
lush garden of the museum. A whole Lao
orchestra of 14 musicians travelled
800km from southern Laos to play live
music and mimic the sounds of the
animals and people in the movie. A real
highlight and a premiere for Laos!
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
- AN IDEAL REST & RELAX
Van Vieng, located between Luang Prabang
and Vientiane, finally seems to be moving
in the right direction after receiving a
lot of bad publicity in recent years for
being a lawless party town for backpackers
from all over the world.
The bars along
the river have been shut down, and it seems
this time the authorities are serious about
it. There are many nice hotels along the
river. With the recent opening of the Riverside Vang Vieng Resort we finally have an up-market
boutique resort in town. It is really a
nice place to stay, and we can now recommend
a two-night stay in the town to enjoy its
beautiful surroundings and landscape.
Van Vieng is also moving to be a destination
in its own right, and not just a stopover.
Instead of flying we recommend you take
the overland tour and stay a night or two
- you will not be disappointed.
HOTEL - LUANG PRABANG
Sada Hotel is a
3+star boutique hotel,
which opened early this year. It has 31
rooms and is about a 15-minute walk from Luang Prabang city centre. This beautifully
decorated hotel is ideal for GITs.
TIP OF THE MONTH - AMANTAKA'S ACTIVITIES
IN LUANG PRABANG
Amantaka has been providing excellent services
in the best accommodation in Luang Prabang
for the past few years. It now offers a range
of interesting activities that include lunch
or sunset cruises, catering in the waterfalls,
cooking class, meetings with local artists,
and Buddhist retreat. It is perfect for
Please contact us
for detailed information.
SPECIAL PROMOTION - MAISON SOUVANNAPHOUM, LUANG PRABANG
Stay 3 nights, pay for only 2 in Maison Souvannaphoum, the
former house of a Prince, in Luang Prabang.
Located in the town centre it has a swimming
pool and spa service.
The promotion is valid
from May 1 to September 30, 2013. Contact
Asian Trails Laos for this special offer.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
LAO NEW YEAR & WATER FESTIVAL
APRIL 13-15, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT LAOS
The official festival lasts for three days, from April 13-15. However, the
celebrations can go on for more than a week
in towns like Luang Prabang where there
is an annual beauty pageant to crown Miss
Peemai Lao. The celebrations also include
traditional Lao music, mawlum and lumvong
that our offices will be closed to celebrate
Bangkok Airways RETIMES bangkok-VIENTIANE
Bangkok Airways has retimed its daily morning flight from Bangkok to Vientiane
from 8.15am to 9.45am. Longhaul travellers
who connect with Lao Airlines via Bangkok
can check their luggage through to Vientiane.
I wish to inform my dear friends and valued
clients that I will be leaving my position
as Managing Director of Asian Trails Cambodia,
with my resignation effective April 30,
2013. I take this opportunity to thank all
of you for your strong support for Asian
Trails Cambodia and me during my tenure.
And we count on your continuing support
in the years ahead.
has appointed Veronique Ducassy, currently
Managing Director of Asian Trails China
(pictured below), to be the new Managing
Director of Asian Trails Cambodia. She will
move to Cambodia in April. We wish her all
the best and good luck in her new post.
Meanwhile, the staff of Asian Trails Cambodia
takes the opportunity to thank Jacques for
his tremendous contribution to the establishment
and for guiding the growth of Asian Trails
Cambodia over the past 15 years. "We wish
him all the very best in his future plans
and endeavours, and good luck in his future
undertakings," they said in their farewell
PAYING LAST HOMAGE TO HIS MAJESTY
KING FATHER NORODOM SIHANOUK
In January a delegation from Asian Trails
Cambodia paid respect to His Majesty, the
late King Father Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia
at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, and joined
the Cambodian people to present the last
homage to the Father of the Khmer nation.
The national funeral and elaborate traditional
ceremonies were held from February 1-6.
PHARE: CAMBODIAN CIRCUS PERFORMING
IN SIEM REAP FROM FEBRUARY 8
The famous artists of Phare Ponleu Selpak,
after their performances in Battambang and
around the world, are now offering a unique
show in Siem Reap. This famous Cambodian
circus is a mix of traditional and modern
theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling
and beautifully- choreographed dances, all
weaving into a delightful story about Cambodian
lives in an ever-changing contemporary Khmer
The circus performs daily from
February 8, 2013 at 7.30pm at a temporary
outdoor venue located behind the Angkor
LE BLANC BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Le Blanc Boutique Hotel is a bold new approach
in accommodation, redefining business travel
with a full range of services tailored to
your business needs with luxury accommodation,
competitive edge and unique concierge service.
Strategically located within the Boung Kengkang
area in the heart of Phnom Penh the hotel
is close to the city's business area of Norodom Boulevard, entertainment and shopping
centres, and within walking distance to
tourist attractions including the Royal
Palace, Riverfront, National Museum and
white coloured hotel has an interesting
feature of a painting on its wall that runs
from the receptionist area through to all
the guestroom's doors, a new story creative
under Khmer traditional living style in
the Angkor area. It offers just nine guestrooms
- six deluxe rooms, two luxury rooms and
one suite, all offering views of the pool.
Spacious with contemporary designs they
provide utmost comfort for both leisure
and business travellers. Hotel facilities
include the Le Blanc Studio library,
Le COCO restaurant, 24-hour front desk, garden,
swimming pool, luggage storage and snooker
FRANGIPANI LIVING ARTS HOTEL AND
Located in a quiet residential street near
the Russian Market (Psa Toul Tom Pong),
the Frangipani Living Arts Hotel and Spa
was designed by architects who specialised
in tropical architecture. It is the first
four star hotel in Toul Tom Pong, an increasingly
fashionable neighbourhood in southwest Phnom
The 10-storey hotel offers 123 guestrooms
rooms, all of which feature lovely wall
art and balconies that look out to the city
or the pool. It has two swimming pools,
rooftop fitness centre, lounge, spa, a business
centre, banquet facilities and a meeting
room capable of seating up to 130 people.
ROYAL BAY INN ANGKOR RESORT
- ANNOUNCEMENT OF CLOSURE
Effective April 2013 Royal Bay Inn Angkor
Resort will enter a new stage in its development,
as it will hand over the management of its
operations to the Shinta Mani Group. It
will close for renovations in the same month
and reopen under the new management in late
August 2013, which is to be confirmed at
a later stage. The hotel will most likely
resume operation under its own brand.
As of now, all bookings are confirmed with
check out date prior to April 20, 2013 latest.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
KHMER NEW YEAR
APRIL 14-16, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA
The Chinese just celebrated their Lunar New Year
- the Year of the Snake.
In April Cambodia will usher in her very
own Khmer New Year, which marks the end
of the harvest season. This will be a three-day
holiday with colourful celebrations throughout
the Kingdom. The Cambodian people will spend
time visiting family and friends, as well
offering alms and donations to Buddhist
Please note that some
local markets and businesses, and the Royal
Palace will be partly closed during these
dates. Suorsdey Chhnam Thmey!
CAMBODIA ANGKOR AIR MAY LAUNCH DIRECT
FLIGHTS TO INDIA
Cambodia Angkor Air, Cambodia's national
carrier, is considering launching direct
flights to main cities in India following
an appeal by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
for air services between the two countries.
The premier made the suggestion to his Indian
counterpart during his trip to New Delhi
to attend the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-India
dialogue partnership last December. Direct
flights between Cambodia and India will
enhance tourism, as well as economic and
CAMBODIA ANGKOR AIR'S NEW SERVICES
TO BANGKOK AND HANOI
Cambodia Angkor Air inaugurated a daily service
the popular tourist destination of
Siem Reap toBangkok,
Thailand. The launch
of this flight, using the ATR72 aircraft,
broke Bangkok Airways' monopoly on the route.
However, with 35 weekly flights the Thai
carrier still provides the lion's share
of capacity on this route.
The airline also launches daily flights
between Phnom Penh to Hanoi, capital of
Vietnam, using the Airbus A321 aircraft.
This makes Cambodia Angkor Airthe first carrier to
fly the 1,100-kilometre route between the
two cities. As this is the first air link
between Phnom Penh and Hanoi it is hoped
the new service will help boost social and
The restaurant of the Phare Ponleu Selpak
Association in Battambang PPS has been closed
since January 26. Visitors to the association
can still discover the many activities of
the school and its social projects.
The festive seasons are over and it is
now time to shake off the holiday mood
and work for another successful year.
Vietnam will be hosting a number of
travel marts and events in different
cities. Apart from the International
Travel Mart in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh,
major cities are also competing in organising tourism events that include
Buon Ma Thuot with Coffee Festival, Ha
Long Carnival, Hue Craft Festival,
Danang International Firework
Competition and Nha Trang Sea Festival.
Many of the cities are also integrating
cultural identity and heritage into
tourism, an effective way to reinforce
destination competitiveness and
sustainability. For example, Hanoi is
hosting shows promoting traditional
music and the renowned water puppet
show. Ho Chi Minh City presents shows in
English showcasing Vietnamese culture
featuring the unique Hon Viet (Viet
Soul). The Lang Toi (My Village) circus
has recently returned to Vietnam to showcase the
best of the country's simple yet
delicate scenes of daily life.
These efforts need the support of everyone, from the travel industry
players to visitors, to survive and stay
healthy over the introductory phase. We
thus hope for your patronage. Schedule
your clients' travel plans to coincide
with these marts and events so they
could attend the shows and, at the same
time, discover Vietnam's rich culture
HISTORIC WAR BUNKER IN HANOI OPENS
A secret war bunker,
which was used by leaders of the Vietnam
People's Army between 1965-1975, has been
opened to the public for the first time.
The bunker, located in the Thang Long Citadel
Complex in downtown Hanoi, provided shelter
to the military leaders from the atomic
bombs. From under the piles of bricks they
worked day and night to protect the north
and the surrounding regions. They were stationed
in the bunker throughout the American attacks
in the north, and it was from here that
they planned war strategies during the 12
days and nights of heavy US bombing during
Christmas of 1972. Remains of the
French and American wars in Vietnam have
remained in Hanoi's many vestiges and monuments.
"Hanoi wartime immersion", conducted by
an experienced guide, is a journey through
these remarkable relics with the iconic
Hanoi bunker as part of the tour. After
enjoying this unique experience enjoy lunch
in a restaurant and recalls Hanoi's subsidy
period (1975-1986) or relax in an ancient
blockhouse coffee overlooking the West Lake.
Please contact us for more information.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
LANG TOI (MY VILLAGE) CIRCUS RETURNS
Lang Toi, a unique circus show that has been touring and gaining fame throughout
Europe, has finally made a happy return
to Vietnam. Last February it opened to audience
in Ho Chi Minh City for the first time.
There are three performances per week, and
the hour-long show starts from 6pm.
Lang Toi, which means "My Village", presents a new concept in circus art.
It introduces Vietnamese culture to audiences
through the language of rustic bamboo, which
are used throughout the performance as set
decoration and props. The artists manipulate
the bamboo poles, up to 4.5 metres long,
to perform contortions, acrobatics, juggling
and tumbling. These manipulations are one
of the most powerful and moving features
of the show as performers weave the poles
to create varied images. Traditional daily
activities of village people such as manual
ploughing, watering, house building and
festive celebrations are demonstrated by
the performers and musicians dressed in
clothing usually worn by farmers. The show's
original music, featuring various Vietnamese
cultures and races, is truly the soul of
the entire programme.
Lang Toi, with its innovation in circus
art, is a must-see for tourists visiting
Ho Chi Minh City.
Please contact us for
CARAVELLE HOTEL IS NOW A NON-SMOKING
In anticipation of the anti-smoking law
set to take effect in Vietnam in May 2013 Caravelle Hotel, located on Lam Son Square,
was converted to a non-smoking hotel on
January 1, 2013. All its 335 rooms and suites
are designated non-smoking spaces.
PULCHRA RESORT, DANANG OPENS
Pulchra Resort in Danang soft-opened in
January 2013. Located a kilometre from Marble
Mountain and Non Nuoc B it has 31 luxury
villas, which feature Champa culture. There
are 11 one-bedroom pool villas overlooking
a large lagoon, two two-bedroom villas beachfront,
while the rest are one-bedroom villas. The
two bedroom villa can link with the one-bedroom
villas to form a three-bedroom villa complex.
Each has a gate and tree fence to provide
privacy. The resort is surrounded by vast
landscaped gardens and lots of greenery.
EDEN RESORT PHU QUOC
Eden Resort Phu Quoc opened a new wing of 42 luxury bungalows on January
10, 2013, bringing its room inventory to
106. Also opened are luxury spa houses that
include four massage beds for Vietnamese
and Thai body massages. They are located
on Lotus Lake overlooking the resort's swimming
pool and the ocean.
The resort has daily performance by a Filipino
band, which performs from 6pm-9.30pm. There
is a daily shuttle bus service from the
resort to the night market from 9pm.
SALINDA PREMIUM RESORT & SPA, PHU
QUOC, TO OPEN IN MID-2014
Island is the site of a new five star
resort -Salinda Premium Resort & Spa
that is being built on 2.1ha piece of land.
It will have 120 guestrooms and villas of
international standard. Facilities include
conference and meeting rooms, F&B outlets,
entertainment areas, swimming pool and health
care centre. The hotel, built at an estimated
to cost USD25 million, is scheduled to open
in mid-2014. It will be most luxurious resort
in Phu Quoc, and will help market this destination
to international holiday-makers.
REX HOTEL'S WEST WING UNDERGOES
The West Wing of Rex Hotel is being refurbished, with the work scheduled
to finish by October 31, 2013. On completion
of the project the new West Wing will have
114 rooms comprising 38 suites and 76 deluxe
rooms. All the rooms will be standardised
with new furnishings, décor and facilities.
The renovation work is being carried out
from 9am to 6pm. The hotel's management
is making every effort to minimise inconvenience
to the guests, but some intermittent noise
disturbance may be experienced.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
VIETNAM INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL MART
APRIL 18 - 21, 2013
VENUE: HANOI INTERNATIONAL CENTRE
FOR EXHIBITION (ICE HANOI), HANOI
The first ever Vietnam International Travel
Mart (VITM) will be held on Hanoi from April
18-21, 2013 at the Hanoi International
Centre for Exhibition (ICE Hanoi). Themed
"Discovering the Red River Delta - the Cradle
of Vietnamese culture", it is organised
by Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA) in
conjunction with Vietnam National Administration
of Tourism and Hanoi People's Committee.
VITM Hanoi 2013 is a showcase for stimulating
travel, tourism, hospitality, leisure and
other related industries both within Vietnam
and abroad. Up to 400 Vietnamese and foreign
travel companies, hotels and travel related
organisations will participate in the event.
There will be conferences alongside the
mart on topics that include "Trademark of
Vietnamese Tourism", "Promoting the Value
of Hanoi Cultural Heritage", "Aiming to
Develop Tourism" and "Strategies to Raise
Awareness of Responsible Tourism". Also
on show are souvenirs and handicrafts from
the different regions I Vietnam, as well
as cultural performances.
NHA TRANG SEA FESTIVAL 2013
JUNE 8-11, 2013
VENUE: NHA TRANG CITY
Nha Trang City will host the four-day Sea
Festival, which is held once every two years.
The event features more than 60 events that
include a photography exhibition introducing
100 Nha Trang attractions, bird nest and
seafood festival, coffee festival, international
sand sculpture competition, culinary shows,
seminars, sports competitions and flower
arrangement and painting contest.
HUE'S PHU BAI AIRPORT
Hue's Phu Bai Airport will close for nine months, from April to December
2013 for reparation, according to an announcement
from the Airports Corporation of Vietnam.
The company has disclosed that the airport's
runway is in deteriorating conditions and
has to be repaired.
Some itineraries may have to be rearranged,
as clients will have to fly to and from
the central region through Danang International
Airport, which is located 90 kilometres
away. Extra road transfers will be necessary
to reach Hue city, resulting in shortening visiting time
in the city. For those clients affected
by the closure of Phu Bai Airport your travel
consultant will contact you soon with suggested
Please do not hesitate to contact us for
MOSCOW-NHA TRANG DIRECT ROUTE OPENS
National flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, launched a direct air route connecting
Moscow, Russia and Vietnam's central coastal Nha Trang on January 28, 2013. The first
flight is scheduled for April 5, with a
weekly service on Friday in summer, using
the Boeing B777-200 aircraft. The frequency
will increase to two flights a week from
To celebrate the launch of the new service
Vietnam Airlines is having a special promotional
campaign, offering a 10% discount for two-way
tickets for the route until June 30.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
- NEW RESTAURANT IN HOI
Market is a new restaurant located in Nguyen
Hoang pedestrian street in Hoi An, and has
the same owner as Cargo's. The concept is
similar to Ngon Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh
and Hanoi, which offers a variety of traditional
dishes and street food. The setup is slightly
different, but the food is just as good
and the price is reasonable. It is an ideal
venue for clients who want to enjoy authentic
local food in a cosy environment.
SOCHEATA IS NEW MANAGER LUXURY &
We are very happy to inform you that Socheata
Sun joined Asia Trails Vietnam as Manager
Luxury & Special Tours on January 2013.
A French and Cambodian national, she also
speaks Mandarin and intermediate German.
She worked as MICE Manager
at Asian Trails China for about two years,
and has a strong background in MICE, sales
and marketing. With her intensive expertise
and dynamic personality we are confident she will do
an excellent job to accommodate all the
needs of luxury travel to Vietnam.
This newsletter from Asian Trails China office will be the last one for me
to write, but not the last one within the
Asian Trails Group. By mid-April I will
be writing to you from our office in Cambodia
where I will succeed Jacques Guichandut
as Managing Director of Asian Trails Cambodia
Asian Trails has appointed Mr Kris Van Goethem,
currently General Manager in China
(picture below left), to be the new
Managing Director of Asian Trails China.
We wish him all the best and good luck
in his new position.
I take this
opportunity to thank all of you dear
friends and partners for your strong
support for Asian Trails China, and we
count on for your continuing support in
the years ahead.
I also thank the China
team for its contributions to the fast
development of the company during the
Looking forward to receiving
your support in Cambodia!
Note: Veronique will
leave China at the end of March. Kris will
assume his new position as Managing Director
of Asian Trails China on April 1.
PEAK DESTINATION: HUASHAN
Huashan is one of China's five sacred mountain ranges, located in Huayin
city, Shaanxi Province, about 100km east
of the provincial capital of Xi'an. It is
one of China's few scenic areas, which is
opened 24 hours a day. It attracts tourists
with its steep slopes and ancient Taoist
temples. Every emperor since the Western
Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD) had travelled
to this holy complex to offer sacrifices
to the God of Huashan and to pray for national
peace and prosperity.
compound is an example of ancient Chinese
architecture's perfect symmetry. Visitors
can relish at the tableau, which is just
like a traditional ink painting when standing
atop the compound's highest point- the Longevity
Pavilion. Young people climb the mountains
at night to reach the summit to catch the
spectacular sunrise, and conquer all the
five peaks within a day. This is also the
most economical way to enjoy the alpine
range. The cable car is a good choice as
climbing up the slope on foot is no easy
PEAK DESTINATION: DERUNG
SPACE AND TIME
Derung is located in west Yunnan near the
Nujiang (Salween) River. The Derung people,
who live in the Dulong River Valley, have
a very striking feature - facial tattoos
on women, usually among the older ones.
They had the tattoos applied at the onset
of puberty, usually between 12 or 13 years
This practice had its
origins in the early days when foreign invaders
attacked the Derung land. To deter the foreign
invaders from abusing the girls the elders
decided to make them "ugly" by tattooing
their faces. The tradition continues till
today, but now the indelible facial markings
represent courage and a prerequisite for
marriage. However, the younger women do
not have these tattoos on their faces. Currently
there are only 34 tattooed women left in
the township, with the youngest aged 56.
With deaths among these women every year
all traces of this ancient tradition could
disappear within a decade.
SHANGHAI: CHINA PAVILION REOPENS
AS CHINA ART PALACE
The China Pavilion, which was a must-visit
highlight at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai,
reopened to the public as the brand new
China Art Palace on October 1, 2012.
Art lovers can feast their eyes on masterpieces,
which were rarely displayed because of space
constraint at the former venue. The Art
Palace is 10 times larger than the former
pavilion. It is also big enough to provide
individual exhibition halls for Chinese
master artists, putting it on par with the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and
the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.
SHANGHAI MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY
The Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum is rebuilt from the Future Pavilion
on the Puxi side of the old World Expo Park.
The renovation retains the building's 165-metre
high chimney, and expands the interior by
6,000sqm to more than 41,000sqm. Also known
as the Power Station of Art, or PSA, the
museum has 12 exhibition halls.
BEIJING: LAOSHE TEAHOUSE
A PRICELESS SIP OF OLD BEIJING
Laoshe Teahouse, located in Qianmen, Beijing
started in the early days of the economic
reform of the 1980s. At that time visitors,
who arrived at Tian'anmen Square by train
had nowhere to quench their thirst. Yin
Shenxi, the teahouse's founder, applied
for a license to sell tea and set up shop
at the west gate of the Qianmen
watchtower. Tea was served in a big
bowl, known as "dawancha",
with each sold for 2 fen (US$0.03).
At the turn of the 20th century these big
bowls of tea were sold everywhere at roadside
tea stands - a convenience for travellers,
visitors and residents. However, after New
China was established in 1949 the tea stalls
were abolished. As business boomed the Laoshe
Teahouser was restored in 2004 by Yin Shenxi
- now seen a reminder of the past and a
last visage of what was, what had been.
BEIJING: ART MUSEUM OF STONE CARVINGS
Beijing Art Museum of Stone Carvings is
inside the Five Pagoda Temple tucked in
a quiet alley and housed in an Indian-style
Buddhist temple of the Ming Dynasty (1938-1644).
It is a little-known place in Beijing, but
is not to be missed by those interested
in religious art and history.
The temple complex was damaged by fire in
1860, during the Second Opium War, and again
in 1900 by the Eight-Nation Alliance. The
stone structure of the five-pagoda proper
was the only structure that survived the
destruction. The wooden halls perished,
but the pedestal that once supported the
Big Treasure Hall remains unharmed.
BEIJING: TIANNING TEMPLE
Tianning Temple, located in the southwestern
park of Beijing, is famous for its pagoda,
one of the oldest pagodas in China. It was
built around 1100 to 1119/1120, during the
Liao Dynasty (915-1125). The 13-storey,
5738m-tall octagonal-shaped pagoda is made
of brick and stone, yet imitates the design
of wooden-constructed pagodas from that
era featuring ornamental dougong (bracket
supports). Liang Sicheng (1901-1972), the
architectural historian known for discovering
and documenting the oldest existing wooden
structures in China, lauded the temple's
pagoda as a pristine architectural design
BEIJING: DONGJIAO MINXIANG
Dongjiao Minxiang, formerly known as the
Peking Legation Quarter, is the area in
Beijing where a number of foreign legations
were located between 1861 and 1959. With
a total length of 1552 metres it is the
longest alley in Beijing. Dongjiao Minxiang,
which still has Beijing's most significant
collection of Western-style architecture,
is now home to high-end restaurants and
luxury retailers as well as shops and eateries.
SHANGHAI: CHENSHAN BOTANICAL GARDEN
For some fresh air and greenery head down
Chenshan Botanical Garden, which covers
more than two square kilometres in Songjiang
district. The garden has a distinctive pit
with peculiar landforms. To date, it has
a collection of more than 9,000 species
of distinctive plants, and has the biggest
collection of native plants from East China.
Sgnages in Chinese, English and Braille,
as well as voice systems are available in
SHANGHAI: QIBAO ANCIENT TOWN
If you wish to experience local life in Shanghai then a visit to the ancient
town of Qibao is a must. Apart from the
ancient-style buildings, stone bridges and
small rivers, the town is a food haven,
offering traditional food from regions such
as the Yangtze Delta. It is easy to find
where the main food thoroughfare is - just
follow the human traffic and be led by your
WETLAND -CHONGMING ISLAND
If you are a nature lover then Dongtan Wetland
in Chongming Island is the perfect choice
to see nature at its best. The wetland,
covering more than 240sqkm, is the biggest
and most well preserved beach wetland in
the Yangtze Delta region. It contains 290
species of birds. More than one million
water birds transit in this area every year.
Visitors are advised not to wear bright
coloured clothes, which might disturb the
birds known for acute vision, as well as
not to use flash when taking photos.
ANANTARA XISHUANGBANNA RESORT &
Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort & Spa is the first five star hotel to open
in Xishuangbanna, a stunning and relatively
untouched part of Yunnan province, about
90 kilometres north of the Laos border.
Set within lush gardens on the banks of
the Luosuo River, which flows into the mighty
Mekong, it comprises 80 deluxe guestrooms
and 23 one-, two- and three-bedroom Pool
Villas. Hotel facilities include an expansive
outdoor swimming pool set amidst extensive
landscaping and a 24-hour fitness centre.
Dining at the hotel is a gastronomic journey
with its all-day dining restaurant serving
international cuisine, lobby lounge bar,
poolside bar and snack zone.
Guests can discover the breath-taking countryside
and the region's unique culture through
various activities such as visits to the
many ethnic tribes in the area that include
tea-picking with the Jinuo tribe, which
is China's last minority group to be recognised.
Xishuangbanna is also home to one of the
largest tropical gardens in the world -
the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden.
It spreads over 900 hectares with 35 different
garden habitats, featuring a total of over
10,000 species of tropical plants.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
QINGMING FESTIVAL (TOMB SWEEPING
DAY/ALL SOULS' DAY)
APRIL 4, 2013/1ST DAY OF 5TH SOLAR
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CHINA
The Qingming Festival is an important day
for the Chinese people as it is a time for
them to remember and honour their ancestors
at gravesites. Both the old and young pray
before their ancestors and food, tea, wine,
chopsticks, joss paper accessories, and/or
libations to them. They also "sweep" or
clean the tombs. The day is also a spring
outing for the people to enjoy themselves.
and admire the blossoming flowers and nature's
The Qingming's rites have a long
tradition in Asia, especially among farmers.
Filial piety or obedience to one's elders
or ancestors is a very important concept
in Chinese culture. Traditionally, the Chinese
believe the spirits of their deceased ancestors
look after the family. The offerings of
food and spirit money keep the departed
happy in the spiritual world and, in turn,
the living family continues to prosper through
good harvests and many children from their
LISTING OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS, SHOWS
AND EVENTS IN CHINA
To keep you updated on the annual events/shows
and public holidays in China, Asian Trails
China publishes this list (see below)
in every newsletter. Asian Trails will provide,
on request, more detailed information for
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN CHINA - 2013:
QING MING FESTIVAL (Tomb Sweeping Day):
April 4-6 (festival on April 4)
DAY, MAY 1: April 29-May 1
DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL: June 10-12 (festival
on June 12)
MID AUTUMN FESTIVAL: September
19-21 (festival is September 19)
DAY: October 1-7 (China National Day on
SHOWS & EVENTS
IN CHINA - 2013
Guangzhou Furniture Show: March
Guangzhou Spring Canton Fair: April
Guangzhou Autumn Canton Fair:
October 15-November 4
F1 in Shanghai: April 12-14
Auto Show: April 17 -20
National Sugar & Wine Trading Fair: March
International Auto Show: September
Western Expo: October 15-22
BEIJING'S SECOND AIRPORT TO TAKE
OFF IN 2018
Beijing's second international airport is
set to take off in 2018. The Chinese authorities
have the green light for the airport's development,
which would help ease the crunch at Beijing
Capital International Airport. Cost of building
the airport is estimated to be 70 billion yuan (US$11.2 billion). It will be able
to handle 70 million passengers annually
by 2025. Located south of Beijing the airport
will have six runways for civilian aircraft,
and a seventh for military use.
Beijing Capital International Airport has
been ranked the world's second busiest airport
after Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, US,
moving 81.8 million passengers in 2012.
The past season has been quite an exceptional
time here in Myanmar. The tourism industry
is prospering as never before. and we are
enjoying a boom with the high number of
tourist arrivals. Hotels were fully booked
in the past months, as well as flights on
the main tourist circuits.
upswing also brings its challenges, especially
hotel rooms as it will be difficult to get
bookings due to the high demand. Clients
are advised to book as early as possible,
or to travel during the low season from
May to September.
I take the
opportunity once more to thank you all for
the support, and look forward to meet many
of you at ITB in Berlin in early March.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
MORE ACCESS TO BAGAN TEMPLES
To prevent overcrowding the terraces of five more temples in Bagan have been
opened to visitors to watch the sunrise
and sunset. The authorities have also implemented
rules and regulations to prevent the erosion
of temples' structure, including restriction
to the number of visitors to the temples.
BEACH HOTELS CLOSED FOR RAINY SEASON
We would like to remind
that May to September is the monsoon season
in Myanmar, and hotels in Ngapali and Ngwe
Saung (pictured) are closed. During this
period heavy rains occur along the country's
coastline, and travelling to the beach and
other areas along the coast is not recommended.
All other major tourist attractions such
as Bagan, Mandalay and the Inle Lake region
are suitable for visits as usual, and guests
will find a mild climate with only scattered
JADE MARINA RESORT
The recently opened three star Jade Marina Resort is located on the white
sand beach of Ngapali and is about 20 minutes
from Thandwe Airport. It features 32 rooms
comprising deluxe and beach-front villas.
Facilities include a fitness centre, swimming
pool and spa.
DIAMOND NGAPALI HOTEL
The two star Diamond Ngapali Hotel is situated
on the white sand beach of Ngapali in front
of Pearl Island and just 10 minutes away
from the fisherman village. It features
24 rooms and has a swimming pool.
AVENUE 64 HOTEL
This new modern style hotel in Yangon is
a 15-minute drive from the airport. It has
39 rooms divided into three categories -
superior, deluxe and suite. Facilities include
a well-equipped fitness centre, sauna, steam
room and whirlpool.
HONEY MOON VILLA - KALAW
Honey Moon Villa is a small two star hotel
located in the former British Hill station
of Kalaw. This family run hotel is surrounded
by native pine trees and offers 10 rooms.
It is an ideal base for trekking to the
surrounding villages, which are home to
the area's different ethnic groups.
After its recent renovation this two star
hotel, located in New Bagan, now offers
34 well-furnished superior rooms and four
deluxe rooms. Coffee- and tea-making facility
and Wifi are provided free of charge. It
is only a 10-minute drive away from Old Bagan.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
WATER FESTIVAL 2013
APRIL 13-16, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MYANMAR
The water festival, known as Thingyan, is
held on the eve of the Myanmar New Year
to cleanse the evil deeds of the previous
year by spraying water. The New Year is
celebrated on April 17.
people go out to enjoy themselves, while
the elders retreat to monasteries and pagodas
to pray and make offerings. The streets
of Yangon and throughout Myanmar's cities
and towns are thronged with people dancing,
throwing water at each other and having
a good time. The atmosphere is electric
and people behave in a different way than
they usually do during other times of the
year. Tourists please be aware that you
will not be spared from having water thrown
AIR KBZ EXPANDS FLEET SIZE
In April 2013 Air KBZ will increase its
fleet size to four aircraft with the delivery
of an ATR72 aircraft. According to the airline,
it will further expand its fleet with additional
aircraft as well as open new routes.
MYANMAR AIRWAYS STARTS DIRECT MANDALAY-BANGKOK
Starting from March 31, 2013 Myanmar Airways
International (MAI) will operate a daily
return flight from Mandalay to Bangkok in
Thailand. The service will be operated with
an Airbus A320 aircraft.
RESTAURANTS & VENUES
- NEW RESTAURANT IN YANGON
The newly opened restaurant is
converted from a two-storey white house,
made cosy with rattan, bamboo and wooden
decors. Guests can choose to eat indoors
or outdoors in an informal ambiance right
on the shore of Inya Lake.
ANY OTHER NEWS
GREENING THE ENVIRONMENT PROJECT
AT INLE LAKE
Asian Trails Myanmar's local station office
in Shan State has started a new environmental
project, with the aid of local villagers.
The project aims to clean the precinct area
of Inn Thein Pagoda, and make it greener
by planting trees. Educational talks with
the villagers, especially with children,
on environmental awareness are an important
part of the project.
Spring is close and we are getting very
busy with bookings for he next summer season.
I suggest to any agent who needs a foreign-speaking
guide, especially French or Spanish ones,
to book the services as soon as possible
to avoid any disappointment in the future.
I'll be at ITB Berlin and I'm really looking
forward to meet you. Our booth is at Hall
26.B/207. See you there.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
COURTYARD BOUTIQUE HOTEL, KUALA
Courtyard Boutique Hotel, located in Kuala
Lumpur's tourist belt of Bukit Bintang,
is a modern colonial house offering stylish
accommodation. It is right in the heart
of the city's "Golden Triangle", within
a 10 minute-walk to Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur's
famous "food street". Adjacent to shopping
complexes like Lot 10, Pavilion and Starhill,
the hotel is the perfect gateway for you
to explore Kuala Lumpur and its myriad attractions.
E&O RESIDENCES KUALA LUMPUR OPENS
E&O Residences Kuala Lumpur, a luxury lifestyle
serviced apartment managed by Eastern &
Oriental Berhad (E&O), is opened. Located
in Kuala Lumpur's central business district
at Jalan Tengah, off Jalan Sultan Ismail,
it is part of the St. Mary Residences development,
occupying one of the three towers at the
site. Comprising 200 units of chic and elegant
apartment suites the E&O Residences is the
ideal choice for traveling professionals,
corporate relocations, long-stay medical
visitors or tourists seeking the privacy
and comforts of home while away.
The E&O Residences is the first service
suites to share the name and pedigree of
the legendary E&O Hotel in Penang, bringing
with it the level of hospitality that is
synonymous with the luxury heritage brand.
SHANGRI-LA RASA RIA RESORT:
UPDATE ON OCEAN WING PHASE 2 EXTENSION
Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort in Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah, began work on extending the resort's
Ocean Wing on November 2012, starting with
the piling works. The extension comprises
two new blocks with 81 rooms, new lobby,
spa, restaurant and pool. These new facilities
are scheduled be ready by the third quarter
During the ongoing construction work all
of the hotel's facilities; such as the swimming
pools and rooms at both the Garden Wing
and Ocean Wing, restaurants, spa, golf and
recreation activities are operating as usual.
The recently renovated Garden Wing rooms,
located well away from the Ocean Wing extension
site, is not affected by the ongoing
work. Additionally, the hotel has a special
team that is available 24 hours a day to
communicate with and handle inquiries from
guests to ensure a seamless delivery of
BAYVIEW BEACH RESORT PENANG: RENOVATION
Bayview Beach Resort in Penang started extensive
renovation of the guest washrooms at the
lobby (first level) on February 25, 2013.
Work is expected to take four weeks. Both
the male and female washrooms are being
renovated simultaneously. Alternative washrooms
are available on the ground level for public
usage. The renovation area is sealed so
there is no dust or debris affecting the
guests. All other guest facilities are available
as usual. During the renovation period the
hotel is offering special promotions and
discounts at the pool bar area.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
RAPTOR WATCH WEEK
MARCH 9-10, 2013
VENUE: TANJUNG TUAN, PORT DICKSON
The Raptor Watch Week is an annual ecotourism
event, which celebrates the migration of
raptors (birds of prey) flying back north
to their breeding grounds.
Bird-watching enthusiasts will get a rare
chance to see hundreds of migratory raptors
honey-buzzards and sparrowhawks,
flying across the Straits of Malacca in
their annual journey back to the northern
hemisphere. Tanjung Tuan is an excellent
venue to catch this natural spectacle.
MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX SALE
MARCH 10-APRIL 15, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA
The Malaysia Grand Prix (MGP) Sale, held
in conjunction with the F1 Petronas Malaysia
Grand Prix, begins on March 10 and ends
on April 15. This annual shopping festival
features a wide choice of goods at attractive
prices, which will excite visiting F1 fans
and local shoppers. Shopping malls and departmental
stores in the Klang Valley, as well as throughout
the country, will be offering great bargains
and promotions. So gear up for the race
of the season and a colourful shopping
festival, which brings you some of the
2013 FORMULA ONE PETRONAS MALAYSIAN
MARCH 22-24, 2013
VENUE: SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT,
Catch the blazing action of cars racing
at one of the most challenging tracks in
the world - the Seoang International
Circuit. Racing under extreme hot and
wet conditions the circuit tests the
skills of the world's finest racers to
the limit. This year there will be an
unprecedented six world champions at the
starting grid. Be there to witness the
exciting race live!
5TH PUTRAJAYA INTERNATIONAL HOT
AIR BALLOON FIESTA
MARCH 28-31, 2013
VENUE: MONUMEN ALAF BARU, PRECINCT
Watch colourful hot air balloons soar in
the skies of Putrajaya. The event, themed
"1 World, 1 Malaysia, 1 Fiesta", features
23 balloonists from Malaysia, Belgium, USA,
the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and
MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL SHOE FESTIVAL
MARCH 28-31, 2013
VENUE: PUTRA WORLD TRADE CENTRE
From glamorous stilettos to stylish sandals,
classic pumps and trendy boots, the shoe
festival at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC)
in Kuala Lumpur takes visitors on a fascinating
journey into the world of designer footwear.
LABUAN INTERNATIONAL SEA CHALLENGE
APRIL 26-28, 2013
Cool the tropical heat with some water sports.
Enjoy jet ski races, parasailing, kayaking,
yachting, boat rides, fishing and other
APRIL 26-28, 2013
VENUE: SEMPORNA, SABAH
Semporna in Sabah comes to life with the
Bajau seafarers in the unique Regatta Lepa,
which features the beautiful traditional
sailboats Witness telematches such as the
boat-tug-war and kayak and boat races.
MALAYSIA AIRLINES UNVEILS FIRST
AIRCRAFT IN ONEWORLD LIVERY
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) recently rolled
out its first aircraft decorated in the
livery of the oneworld alliance. The Malaysian
flag carrier joined the alliance at midnight
on January 31, 2013 in one of the most significant
steps in its 40-year history.
The aircraft, with its new-look, was unveiled
at a special ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur
International Airport by MAS Group Chief
Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya accompanied
by counterparts from oneworld and its other
member airlines. Another two aircraft in
the MAS fleet will be decorated in the alliance
livery in the coming months.
With ITB round the corner we are pleased
to announce that Indonesia has been appointed
the show's official partner country this
year. This marks a milestone for the world's
largest archipelago as Indonesia is the
first ASEAN country to be named a partner
country of the world's largest tourism fair.
Indonesian President Mr. Yudhoyono will
personally attend the opening ceremony on
March 5, together with the German chancellor
and the Indonesian Minister of Tourism.
Over 4,000 guests from the tourism industry
and the media are invited to this event.
The Indonesian Pavilion is located in Hall
26 and covers over 500 square metres of
space this year. Not far from it and
just a short distance down the aisle is
the Asian Trails booth (no. 207), where
visitors can receive first hand
information about Indonesia. We look
forward to see you in Berlin!
NEW AIRPORT FOR MEDAN
The city of Medan in North Sumatra is to
have a new airport by second quarter of
2013 when the first phase of its construction
is completed. It will replace the existing
Polonia International Airport.
a 1,365ha land area in Kuala Namu, 20km
north east of the current airport the new
airport is expected to become the new international
transit centre in Sumatra and the western
part of Indonesia. The project is part of
central government programme under its Acceleration
and Expansion of the Indonesian Economic
Development, and one of the strategies to
handle ASEAN Open Sky Policy in 2015.
airport will be Indonesia's second largest
after Soekarno Hatta International Airport.
Its 118,930sqm-passenger terminal has a
capacity for 50 million passengers, a figure
if realised today would place the airport
in the top 10 busiest by passenger numbers
in the world. With a 3,750m by 60m runway
and 53 aprons it will be equipped to accommodate
wide-body aircraft including the Airbus
A380. The 13,000sqm cargo area is able to
handle three carriers with 65,000 tones/annum.
The 50,820sqm parking area can accommodate
405 taxis, 55 busses and 908 cars. The airport
will also have 10 door gates. Accessibility
to the airport will be increased with another
highway (non-toll road), a toll road and
non-stop rail link to Medan.
Phase 1 of the new airport, which will have
a capacity for nine million passengers annually,
is scheduled to be operational by second
quarter of 2013.
Phase 2, when
completed by 2025, will see the airport
servicing 14 million passengers, 4.5 million
international and 2.63 million internal
Batavia Air, which recently announced its
bankruptcy, is no longer operating flights
from Bali to Maumere. Seatrek therefore
has decided to revise the cruise programme
of its vessel, Katharina, during
summer this year. Instead of running the
return Maumere to Bali route the boat now
sails from Bali to Labuan Bajo and back
to Bali again. Although the programme has
changed the price and length of the cruise,
including schedule, remain the same.
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
SAILS TO KOMODO ISLAND
The luxurious wooden phinisi boat. Alila
Purnama, is now sailing on the Flores
Sea to Komodo Island from the port of Labuan
Bajo. A three-night adventure commencing
Mondays to Thursdays and Thursdays to Sundays
is now available for individual bookings
on a joint basis (based on a minimum of
two passengers), subject to demand and capacity.
Guests fly direct to Labuan Bajo from the
tropical island of Bali. Sailing is via
Rinca Island, where Komodo dragons reside,
to east Sumbawa in the Flores Sea. When
not mesmerised underwater guests can choose
to relax on golden sandy beaches, perhaps
with a picnic and a chilled glass of champagne.
Or explore island life, taking a walk through
villages or tropical rainforests, spotting
beautiful birds of paradise in their natural
Kalimantan Tanjung Putih in Central Kalimantan
is the best place in Indonesia for watching
orangutans and wild animals. Discover its
wildlife and age-old jungles and visit the Tanjung Puting National Park on the Kalimantan
Explorer, which offers three to four
is a klotok (traditional local boat) built
by Buginese boat builders from South Sulawesi,
and is the essence of such boats that have
plied the Spice Islands for decades. It
was recently renovated with the finest hand-made
and recycled resistant tropical hardwoods.
The boat has one master cabin, and there
is space on the upper deck for another bed
for those who prefer to sleep outside with
a mosquito net. It offers the comforts and
security that one would expect from a boat
in its class for your clients.
MORE ROOMS AT MANAMAYA RESORT
MahaMaya Resort, located on the beach at Turtle Point on the northwest coast
of Gili Meno in Lombok, has opened an additional
nine rooms. The stunning pool-view suites
are just steps away from the fresh water
swimming pool, the first of its kind on
the island. With views across the pool and
the tropical garden you can choose between
the comfort of a king size or twin suites,
all with your private terrace. All rooms
have outdoor showers, hot and cold fresh
running water, safety deposit boxes and
unlimited complimentary drinking water.
Gili Meno is the smallest and prettiest
of the three Gili islands. In Sasak, the
local language, "Gili" means "small island"
and "Meno" means "middle". It is by far
the most idyllic, non-commercial island
easily accessible from Bali. This natural
coral-fringed island has a reef designed
for snorkelling, and if you are lucky you
will have turtles swimming alongside you.
The island truly offers a slice of paradise
with crystal clear turquoise waters and
secluded white sand beaches. You can walk
round the island in 60 minutes or take the
only form of transport on the island - a
horse-cart known locally as a cidomo.
LV8 OPENS AT CANGGU BEACH
Lv8 is located on Berawa Beach Canggu, one
of Bali's few treasured secret areas with
rice fields that stretch along the coastline
with a legendary eight world class surf
breaks. The area is tranquil where travellers
can escape the pressures of modern living,
but still be close enough to enjoy shopping,
nightlife and dining in neighbouring Petitenget
and Seminyak that are only 10 minutes away.
The resort is 15 minutes away from the Nirwana
Golf and Country Club, designed by Greg
Norman, 30 minutes away from bustling Kuta
and 40 minutes from the airport.
GARUDA TO LAUNCH JAKARTA-LONDON
FLIGHT IN Q4
Garuda Indonesia is set to start six weekly
services from Jakarta to London's Gatwick
Airport in the fourth quarter of 2013. The
airline will be using its newly delivered
314-seater B777-300ER aircraft on this route,
comprising eight First Class, 38 Business
Class and 268 Economy Class. There will
be Wifi and a Chef on Board service in the
First Class cabin.
route will be Garuda's second service connecting
Europe with Indonesia. Currently the airline
flies Jakarta to Amsterdam via Abu Dhabi.
It also has a cooperative arrangement with
GARUDA TO BOOST DOMESTIC CONNECTIONS
WITH NEW AIRCRAFT
Garuda Indonesia has signed up for 18 Bombardier
CRJ 1000 NextGen, with an option for another
18 aircraft. The airline will use the new
aircraft to expand its domestic opens and
open new routes to emerging destinations.
The first of the 18 new aircraft will operate
from Garuda's Makassar hub to several cities
in Indonesia's eastern regions that include
Makassar-Ternate (return), Makassar-Mataram
(return), Makassar-Kendari (return), Makassar-Surabaya
(return), and Surabaya-Denpasar (return).
With arrival of more aircraft the airline
will also serve cities from its hubs in
Medan, Balikpapan and Surabaya.
CITILINK ORDERS 50 ATR 72-600 AIRCRAFT
Citilink Indonesia has ordered 50 twin turboprop ATR 72-600 aircraft to expand
its domestic and international services.
Five of the new aircraft will be used this
year and will be based at the airline's
hub in Batam [Riau Islands]. They will connect
Batam to cities in Sumatra and Batam to
international destinations such as Singapore,
Kuala Lumpur and Penang.