Asian Trails Trailblazer

Issue November 2012

Dear Friends,

 

Asia is booming, not only in its economy but also in its tourism industry. Demand for hotel rooms, products and services in the countries in the Asian Trails network is very high, with most hotels and venues heavily booked.

 

The tight hotel room situation is exacerbated by high profile events being held in the region in the coming months - the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November 2012, APEC Summit 2013 in Bali, Indonesia and ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Vientiane, Laos in January 2013. This is also a testimony to the region’s growing importance as a MICE destination.

 

To meet this ever-growing demand new hotels are being developed at a frantic pace in most of the countries, specifically in China that is having a hotel boom, and new programmes and attractions are added to the Asian menu too - read more on this in the countries’ reports in this issue of TRAILBLAZER.

 

Our offices in the region are reporting very strong bookings for products and services as it is now the high season for travel (October to March). To avoid disappointment we recommend that you make bookings for your clients as early as possible.

 

We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to all our dear friends and partners for their invaluable support in 2012, and look forward to closer cooperation in the years ahead. Here's to a prosperous and successful 2013.

 

Happy Trails!

 

Luzi A. Matzig

C E O

 

QUICK LINKS

 

 

 

 

 

THAILAND

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR ROGER HAUMUELLER

 

Dear friends,

 

The year 2012 is already coming to an end and we would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your tremendous support.

 

We have seen an increased demand for Thailand this year and are confident that no ‘floods’ will make inbound tourism suffer again (remember - Bangkok’s city centre remained dry last year!).  Arrival figures are up, most notably from emerging markets like China or India. However, the more traditional source markets like Europe and US are also showing signs of recovery, making hotels and other suppliers ‘cautiously optimistic’, though without the often negative side effect of rate increases.

 

We are also delighted to inform you that our new DVD/tariff 2013 has just come out of the press. Our teams have, once again, been scouting new products and hotels all over Thailand  - to name just a few:

 

• Medical check-up packages in Bangkok: Take advantage of some of the world’s most advanced medical facilities and combine your stay in Bangkok with an extension to one of our beautiful beaches.

 

• 3 Days River Kwai at the new luxury "Float House", including visits to the River Kwai Bridge, a Mon tribe village and, of course, lots of nature.

 

• Segway tour in Chiang Mai: Glide through the ‘"Northern Capital" during this two-hour tour and visit landmarks such as Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang and the Three Kings Monument.

 

As you can see, Thailand doesn’t stop to re-invent itself and, together with your continued support, we hope that 2013 will turn out to be another year of success. We wish you already now a happy holiday season and all the best for 2013!

 

Happy reading!

Roger Haumueller

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS DVD TARIFF 2013

 

Asian Trails has launched its new DVD Tariff 2013. It contains up-to-date information such as rates, itineraries and photos on hotels, tours, attractions, transfers and related information on Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Bhutan and China for the period from November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2013.

 

 

3 DAYS RIVER KWAI FLOAT HOUSE

 

Asian Trails offers a 3-day tour for the eco-conscious travellers to explore Kanchanaburi including Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, War Cemetery, River Kwai Bridge, Mon Tribal Village, Mon Dance, Hell Fire Pass Memorial and Death Railway Train. Accommodation is at Float House River Kwai. This resort, consisting of 10 elegant boutique-floating villas (89sqm/villa), is made of teakwood and bamboo, and furnished with wooden furniture and equipped with a broad range of services and facilities. 

 

 

For further details and bookings, please contact us

 

3 DAYS MEDITOUR

 

Bangkok has modern technology and equipment plus experienced doctors who are available for any situation. If an illness is diagnosed at an early stage it can be cured without much disruption to one’s life. This is the reason for Asian Trails designing a Meditour package to encourage holiday- makers to visit Bangkok and have a health check-up at our selected award winning Phyathai 2 Hospital, which will provide you with a designated health check-up and health screening programmes. It is staffed with a multi-lingual team, which provides coordinated service on all hospital procedures during your visit.

 

 

For further details and bookings, please contact us

 

THAILAND TO HOLD MAJESTIC ROYAL BARGE PROCESSION ON NOVEMBER 9, 2012

 

Global travellers seeking to add another masterpiece event to their list of lifetime experiences should pencil November 9, 2012 into their calendars, and be in Bangkok to watch the majestic Royal Barge Procession along the Chao Phraya River, "The River of Kings".  One of the grandest spectacles in Thailand and indeed the world, the Royal Barge Procession is an ancient tradition, which was revived by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1959. This breathtaking water-borne procession is reserved for nationally auspicious occasions, and has been held only 16 times during His Majesty’s reign.

 

The main procession will be held between 15.00-16.00 hours on November 9, but full dress rehearsals by the Royal Thai Navy will also be held on November 2 and 6 at 15.00 hours. The procession consists of a flotilla of 52 traditional-style barges arranged in five columns and stretches 1,280 metres in length and 110 metres across, based on a battle formation from ancient times. A total of 2,200 sailors from various units within the Royal Thai Navy will serve as oarsmen. The procession takes approximately 55 minutes to make the 4.5-kilometre journey down the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun, covering the section from Thonburi Bridge to Phra Phutta Yodfa Bridge. The official ceremony is expected to end at approximately 17.30 hours.

 

 

For more details please click here

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

BANGKOK

W BANGKOK

 

W Bangkok, opening on December 7, 2012, is located on the bustling commercial district of North Sathorn Road. It combines a modern glass tower with a century-old, European-inspired heritage building. The 407 guestrooms and suites are designed with the international jet-setter in mind, with state-of-the-art in-room technology, including high-speed wired and wireless Internet access, flat-screen 40 or 46-inch LED televisions and jack pack stations with a sound bar system and a docking station for MP3 players.

 

Facilities in W Bangkok include the WOOBAR designed along the signature W bar concept, WET DECK pool bar and an all-day dining restaurant. The hotel also features the W brand’s signature Whatever/Whenever service philosophy, SWEAT state-of-the-art fitness centre, AWAY Spa, WIRED Business Centre and W Hotels The Store.

 

 

For more details please click here

 

CENTRA CENTRAL STATION BANGKOK

 

Centara Hotels & Resorts will soft open the new Centra Central Station Bangkok in November 2012. The hotel will have 150 spacious standard rooms and suites, with room size ranging between 26.6sqm and 64.5sqm. All rooms offer the choice of king or twin beds, making them suitable for couples, families and individual travellers, while the Family Suites are designed for larger families or groups. Room amenities include individual air conditioning, satellite TV, minibar tea and coffee maker, high-speed internet access and IDD telephone.

 

The new Centra Central Station Bangkok is located opposite to Bangkok's Hua Lampong mainline railway station and MRT subway, and within easy walking distance of Chinatown.

 

 

For more details please click here

 

THE EUGENIA

 

The Eugenia, centrally located on Soi 31(Soi Sawasdee) in the heart of the tourist district of downtown Bangkok, features just 12 unique suites, each with its own personality. A unique colonial inspired house recreating 19th century luxury, a stay here is an experience of old world architectural beauty artistically blended with modern panache.

 

Tasteful antique furniture and fittings adorn the hotel, which is the private collection of the owner and his family sourced from British Colonial Burma, India, Indochina, Thailand and Europe. With classic Western Oriental home atmosphere and friendly attentive Thai staff The Eugenia offers personalised service, fine wine and gourmet dining with vintage car airport transfer to arrive in the City of Angels in style.

 

 

For more details please click here

 

 

HUA HIN

THE REGENT RESORT CHA-AM HUA HIN:

 

Effective January 8, 2013, The Holiday Inn Regent Beach Cha-Am will be rebranded as The Regent Resort Cha-Am Hua Hin. The hotel’s owners have been working with the InterContinental Hotel Group for the past five years, and will continue to work under its own brand that has been well established for the past 30 years. They have spent more than 500 million Baht to renovate the hotel. This includes upgrading the guestrooms, meeting rooms, swimming pool, spa as well as the infrastructure and the security system in order to maintain high standards to ensure the most pleasurable experience for guests. The resort consists of two separate wings and villas in the garden near the beachfront area, offering a variety of accommodation to suit your personal preferences.

 

 

For more details please click here

 

 

KRABI

HOLIDAY INN RESORT KRABI AO NANG BEACH:

 

Sala Talay Resort is rebranded as Holiday Inn Resort Krabi Ao Nang Beach from November 1, 2012. One of the most trusted and respected hotel brands in the world, the management is focusing on improving amenities for guests including the bedroom, bathroom and arrival experience - all hallmarks of the Holiday Inn brand.

 

The resort is also undergoing expansion with the addition of a new building adjoining the current resort site. The 191 new rooms in the building will come with additional landscaped gardens, pools, retail space and an extended view of Ao Nang Beach. Construction works started in July 2012, and are scheduled to complete in November 2013. Please note that the foundation and piling work of the new building have been completed with minimal disruption to guests on the existing resort site.

 

 

For more details please click here

 

 

KHAO LAK

VILLA APSARAS KHAO LAK

 

Villa Apsaras soft opens on November 1, 2012 with the grand opening on November 23. It is located on the unspoiled sandy beaches of the resort town Khao Lak and only 95km north of Phuket International Airport. The resort is a well-designed hotel in contemporary style with lush tropical gardens and features 40 pool villas and 20 garden villas. Each villa features one bedroom, a separate living room, a walk in closet and a spacious private outdoor area. Each pool villa has a private 4x6sqm pool for each pool villa. Wifi is available throughout the resort

 

 

For more details please click here

 

 

KOH PHANGAN

BURI RASA KOH PHANGAN

 

The 65-room Buri Rasa Koh Phangan is scheduled to open on December 1, 2012. It is located on Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, hidden amidst swaying palm trees on pristine powdery white sand and clear turquoise water - just a 15-minute drive from the Koh Mar and 30-minute speedboat ride from Samui.

 

The resort offers luxurious beachfront accommodation with a private balcony, outdoor pool, restaurant and free wifi. Modern interiors and floor-to-ceiling windows feature throughout the stylish rooms. All the well-appointed non-smoking rooms have flat-screen cable TV and sofa seating area. The Beach Club is ideal for dining on the beach and offers a variety of Thai and European dishes. Recreational activities fishing, diving or relaxing traditional body massage.

 

 

For more details please click here

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

THAILAND INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FESTIVAL 2012
NOVEMBER 23-25, 2012
VENUE: CHIANG MAI GYMKHANA GOLF CLUB

 

The popular Thailand International Balloon Festival, the photogenic event of the year, has been running every year since 2007. It has been held in different places with different themes and different kind of activities. This year the festival will be in Chiang Mai with the theme, "Glow Night". Visitors will be amazed by the sky glowing at night as the balloons rise. They are also encouraged to wear or carry illuminated accessories to be part of the event. Activities during the festival will include music, games, lighting show, mass launching of hot air balloons and free tethered balloon ride for visitors.

 

 

For more details please click here

 

CHIANG MAI YI PENG FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER 27-29, 2012
VENUE: THA PHAE GATE, BANKS OF PING RIVER, CHIANG MAI

 

The Yi Peng Northern Lantern Festival In the northern Thai provinces, which were once part of the ancient Lanna Thai kingdom, is celebrated yearly. Tubular lanterns, resembling hot air balloons, are lit and released into the night sky as an offering to Lord Buddha. As hundreds of illuminated lanterns drift into infinity it conjures the same sense of wistful closure as the krathongs floating downstream. As part of the festival are the amazing procession of hanging lanterns, krathong design contest, Miss Yi Peng beauty contest, light and sound presentation on the Ping River, ancient Thai Lanna krathong activities, local cultural performances, and local handicrafts market in Lanna style.

 

 

LOY KRATHONG FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER 28, 2012
VENUE: BY RIVERS, PONDS OR SEA THROUGHOUT THAILAND

 

On the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar (usually around November) Thai people gather natural materials, like banana trunk and lotus, to make krathongs (lotus-shaped receptacle that can float on the water), which have candles, incense sticks and flowers on them. Sending the krathongs down the river is for good luck, as well as to ask for forgiveness. Celebrations at temples and tourist sites include contests in krathong-making, Noppamas beauty pageants, as well as entertainment shows at night including fireworks.

 

   

RIVER KWAI BRIDGE WEEK
NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 9, 2012
VENUE: RIVER KWAI BRIDGE, MUEANG DISTRICT, KANCHANABURI

 

This event is a trip back in time to World War ll through the River Kwai Bridge built by Allied prisoners-of-war. It was part of the "Death Railway", which spans the River Kwai connecting Thailand and Myanmar. The bridge cost the lives of thousands of lives of prisoners and local labourers who were forced by the Japanese to build it. Organized to commemorate those who died while building the bridge this event features a remembrance ceremony held at the Ailed War Cemetery, light and sound presentations, cultural performances, and historical displays and exhibitions.

 

 

PHUKET KING’S CUP REGATTA
DECEMBER 1-8, 2012
VENUE: KATA BEACH, PHUKET

 

The Phuket King's Cup Regatta is Asia's biggest and most popular regatta. Inaugurated in 1987 to celebrate the 60th birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the event has been held every year since during the first week of December. With Royal patronage the Regatta is organised by the Phuket King's Cup Regatta Organising Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy and the Province of Phuket.

 

 

For more details please click here

 

BIRTHDAY OF HIS MAJESTY KING BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ
DECEMBER 5, 2012
VENUE: SANAM LUANG, BANGKOK AND THROUGHOUT THAILAND

 

On December 5 Thailand celebrates the birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Buildings and homes all over the nation are elaborately adorned with flags, portraits of His Majesty and buntings, predominantly in yellow.  Around the Grand Palace and Ratchadamnoen Avenue and other areas in Bangkok thousands of vividly coloured marigolds decorate the streets. In the evening the streets around Ratchadamnoen and Sanam Luang are closed to traffic for spectacular fireworks displays. Thousands of people will throng the streets to take part in the festivities. The best way to enjoy the celebrations is to take a bus to the Rattanakosin area, and just walk along the crowded but traffic-free streets for a truly memorable experience.

 

 

NEW YEAR COUNTDOWN
DECEMBER 31, 2012-JANUARY 1, 2013
VENUE: CENTRAL WORLD BANGKOK AND THROUGHOUT THAILAND

 

The celebrations to welcome in the New Year in Thailand are always full of fun activities, including concerts, stage performances, fireworks displays and a mass countdown. A traditional way in the nation to welcome in a new year is to visit temples. Bangkok is one of the liveliest cities in Thailand to celebrate the New Year. The countdown event takes place in every corner of the city, but the main venue is the Ratchaprasong Intersection in the main shopping and business district. A variety of stage performances by leading Thai artists, followed by a magnificent fireworks display and the joyful sound of the countdown make a good start to New Year.

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

MYANMAR AIRWAYS ON EXPANSION PATH

 

Myanmar Airways International has taken delivery of two more Airbus A320s and plans new routes, including Mandalay-Bangkok services. It may also reintroduce flights, which were suspended. In October MAI started a thrice-weekly service linking Bangkok and Mandalay.

 

 

 

BANGKOK AIRWAYS’ NEW FLIGHT TO VIENTIANE:

 

From December 1 Bangkok Airways will commence a daily service to Vientiane, marking the carrier’s first-ever connection to the Lao capital. Using Airbus A319 aircraft the outbound flight will depart from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport at 8.15am and arrive in Vientiane at 9.30am. The return flight will leave Vientiane at 10.10am and land in Bangkok at 11.25am.

 

 

CAMBODIA ANGKOR AIR LAUNCHES SEIM REAP-BANGKOK SERVICE

 

Cambodia Angkor Air, the national carrier of Cambodia, will start flights to Bangkok this November from Siem Reap. The airline will operate four times weekly using an ATR72 aircraft. If passenger response is good the airline will increase flights to a daily service.

 

In 2013 the airline plans to start services between Siem Reap and Hanoi, and Phnom Penh and Hanoi. The carrier will also kick off its medium-haul scheduled services to cities in China and Japan from Siem Reap using two Airbus A320 aircraft, which are projected to roll into the fleet end of this year.

 

 

 

MALAYSIA AIRLINES UPS FREQUENCIES ON KL- BANGKOK ROUTE

 

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) increased frequencies on its Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur services from four to five daily starting October 29, 2012. The five daily flights offer 5,568 seats a week in each direction, a 25% increase on the current 4,448 seats.

 

Using a 160-seat Boeing B737-800 aircraft the new flight MH797 departs Bangkok at 6.20am and arrives in Kuala Lumpur at 9:30am, while the return flight from Kuala Lumpur departs at 9.55pm and arrives in Bangkok at 11pm. The additional services make it more convenient for business travellers to attend meetings in the Malaysian capital and return home on the same day. It is also more convenient to fly to Kuala Lumpur to connect with MAS’ long-haul services and to some ASEAN destinations.

 

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS & VENUES

 

JOE LOUIS THAI CUISINE BANGKOK

 

In 2002 Master Sakorn Yangkhiawsod (Joe Louis), well-known as the "National Artist" (Performing Arts Category: Small Theatrical Puppetry), founded the Joe Louis Theatre in Suan Lum Night Bazaar as the first permanent venue for the performances of the Thai classical small puppet in Thailand This is the only puppet troupe, which was the direct descendants of the master who was the founder and inheritor of this art form. 

 

In October 2012 Joe Louis opened his first restaurant at the Asiatique Riverfront Bangkok. This unique, exotic dining experience features authentic Thai cuisine. Diners can admire the marvellous display of original, traditional Thai puppets on display while enjoying their meals. The intricately detailed marionettes, their puppeteers and the creator, courtesy of the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre, have become famous worldwide.

 

 

 

 

STAFF UPDATE

 

 

WELCOME MARCEL GRIFFOL

 

Marcel Griffol has taken over the role of Head of Finance in Asian Trails Thailand from October 1, 2012. Marcel has been working with Kuoni Switzerland in different positions in the finance department for several years. He graduated with an MBA in the US earlier this year before moving to Thailand. We wish Marcel lots of success and satisfaction in his new role.

 

 

 

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LAOS

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR BJOERN SCHIMANSKI

 

Dear Partners and Friends,

 

First of all we would like to thank you for your support during 2012! It has been a successful year for Asian Trails Laos, and we are looking forward to an even more successful new year starting with the Asean Tourism Forum (ATF) in Vientiane in January 2013!

 

A big welcome to Benjamin and Mrs. Dalavanh who have just started working with us in our Vientiane office, and all the best for Philippe and his future plans!

 

Last but not least, I would like to mention that Asian Trails Laos continues to be strong in Corporate Responsibility by participating in the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea after a similar workshop in Vientiane and our Green Care weekend with local school children.

 

Happy reading, and we are looking forward to welcome you to beautiful Laos!

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

VIENTIANE  - JANUARY 2013

 

The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) will take place in Vientiane from January 17-24, 2013. As industry professionals from ASEAN and various parts of the world will converge in Vientiane for the travel mart and conference it will be difficult to confirm rooms for our clients during this period. The Lao government has already blocked the major hotels for the duration of this event. Even confirmed hotel bookings might be cancelled.

 

Do not hesitate to contact us for assistance

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

SANCTURAY HOTEL LUANG PRABANG

 

Sanctuary Hotel Luang Prabang is a new resort, which opens in early November. Located a short walking distance from the city centre it features 20 Superior and six Deluxe rooms, and two suites. Room rates are very reasonable.

 

The hotel is operated and owned by Sofimek, which also owns/operates Pakbeng Lodge and Mekong River Hotel (also known as Au Fil du Mekong).

 

 

 

LE SEN BOUTIQUE LUANG PRABANG

 

Le Sen Boutique Luang Prabang is another new hotel in the city, which is scheduled to open in early November. It is located about 25 minutes’ walk and five minutes by tuk tuk from the city centre. The hotel offers 16 very nice Deluxe rooms, two Suites and one Villa, as well as a swimming pool. Room rates are reasonable.

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

 

Hmong New year

 

The Hmong New Year takes place before the end of the 12th lunar calendar month, when the harvest is finished and foods are abundant. Each village independently decides when the celebrations start (this year it is from December 13-25). For the Hmong people, well known to be hard workers, this festival is a very special and enjoyable time and a good occasion to meet relatives from other villages.

 

The celebrations may last for three or more days. Festivities include ball tossing, song contests, Qeej performances and sporting activities such as top playing, kicking, and bull fighting. Hmong girls wear their most elaborately embroidered new outfits for the festivities.

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

LAO AIRLINES EXPANDS ITS SERVICES

 

Lao Airlines continues to grow by adding three weekly flights from Vientiane to Danang, which is the first direct connection between Laos and Vietnam. The service has stopovers in Savannakhet and Pakse before reaching the final destination, which makes it a five-hour flight.

 

The airline also adds direct flights to from Vientiane to Guangzhou in China, and to Seoul and Busan in Korea (three times per week).

 

 

 

 

STAFF UPDATE

 

 

 

VIENTIANE OFFICE WECOMES BENJAMIN, SAYS GOODBYE TO PHILIPPE

 

We are pleased to announce that Mr. Benjamin Schrameck (pictured top left), 41 years young and a French national, has joined our Vientiane office as Deputy Managing Director from October 15, 2012. Benjamin has called Laos his home for over 10 years, and has been working mostly in the DMC and hotel business in Luang Prabang. He holds a Master degree in Marketing from Aix-en-Provence University. He takes over most of the duties formerly held by Mr. Philippe Conod (pictured bottom left) who left as General Manager of Asian Trails Laos at the end of October 2012.

 

Philippe, who has been with the company in Laos for five years, decided to step down from his position so as to have more leisure time to pursue his interests. We deeply regret his departure, but wish him all the best in his future understanding and travel. Goodbye and we’ll keep in touch!

 

 

 

 

NEW TEAM MEMBER

 

We are pleased to welcome Mrs. Dalavanh Sivilay, a very experienced French-speaking guide, to our French-speaking market team as a reservation staff!

 

 

 

 

ANY OTHER NEWS

 

ASIAN TRAILS LAOS - CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY

 

In June 2012 Asian Trails Laos, together with the International Union for Conservation of Nature  (IUCN) and 34 NGOs, participated in a successful workshop in Vientiane on sustainable tourism development.

 

We were again invited to actively participate in a similar event at the IUCN World Conservation Congress on Jeju Island, South Korea from September 6-15, 2012. As one of the two main presenters of the workshop, Asian Trails Laos explained on how to integrate business skills into sustainable tourism operations to delegates from countries that include Madagascar, Korea, USA or Peru. 

 

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation with an official observer status at the United Nations General Assembly.

 

Sabaidee and welcome to Laos!

 

 

 

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CAMBODIA

 

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR JACQUES GUICHANDUT

 

On this sad period of National Mourning of the Passing of His Majesty King Father NORODOM SIHANOUK of Cambodia, the management and all team members of Asian Trails Cambodia join me in presenting our most humble and respectful condolences to His Majesty King NORODOM SIHAMONI of Cambodia, to Her Majesty Queen Mother NORODOM MONINEATH SIHANOUK and to all members of the Cambodian Royal Family.

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

ASEAN SUMMIT IN PHNOM PENH - NOVEMBER 17-21, 2012

 

Throughout this year ASEAN diplomats have been very busy in Cambodia holding many high-profile meetings in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to prepare for the 21st ASEAN Summit and related summits. These events will be held from November 17-21 in Phnom Penh, as Cambodia assumes ASEAN Chairmanship from January to December 2012. The AMM Retreat expressed full support for the Summit’s theme, "ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny", which provides an insight of a full ASEAN integration by 2015.

 

During the Summit almost all 4-star and 5-star hotels will be fully booked. There will be some traffic disruption during the transfers of the numerous official delegations. Visits to the Royal Palace will therefore be subject to confirmation before arrival. The authorities reserve the right to inform travel agents at the very last minute.

 

We are expecting our customers’ itineraries of visits in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to be amended on the spot, and alternate choices and routings of visits will be offered by our guides, as well as for airport to town transfers and vice-versa.

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

PHNOM PENH

 

ARUN VILLA

 

Arun Villa is a charming boutique hotel with 12 unique rooms, located close to the well-known Russian Market in a residential area. It was constructed in a "tropical modern" style during the ‘80s. You will enjoy the big terraces and balconies, the tropical garden around the pool and the delicate warm colours of brown, grey and bamboo in the rooms. Every detail has been thought of to make your stay a serene and peaceful one in Cambodia’s bustling capital city.

 

 

 

SIEM REAP

 

ANGKOR VILLAGE RESORT IS MEMBER OF SMALL LUXURY HOTELS OF THE WORLD

 

Angkor Village Resort is delighted to inform you that it has been officially accepted as a member of the exclusive Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) portfolio. Featuring some of the best hotels globally SLH comprises more than 500 luxury properties in 70 countries, providing unsurpassed holiday inspiration.

 

 

 

MÉMOIRE D’ ANGKOR

 

Mémoire D’ Angkor Boutique Hotel is Siem Reap’s leading exponent luxury hotel combining stunning minimalist designs with state-of-the-art service and facilities. It is located in the one of the city’s prime business and tourists’ area with easy access to the commercial and entertainment hubs.

 

All the rooms are non-smoking with air-conditioning, flat screen TV, bath robe, slipper, well selected bathroom amenities, in-room safety box, emergency and evacuation map, writing table, two separate bathrooms, sofa bed in the Family Suite room and hammock swing with dining table in the Memoire Suite. Hotel services include all-day breakfast, complimentary airport shuttle, complimentary mini-bar, complimentary local phone call, complimentary laundry, complimentary shoeshine service, welcome fruit basket upon arrival and complimentary wifi.

 

 

 

SIHANOUKVILLE

 

OC BOUTIQUE HOTEL

 

OC Boutique Hotel is ideal for a luxurious stay. All its 28 rooms have been finely modelled to include richly decorated natural fabrics and with refined materials, technologically enhanced with data-ports and high speed Internet access. Equipped with king size bed each room can accommodate up to two guests.

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

OUR CITY FESTIVAL 2012

 

"Our City Festival", now in its 5th year, is Cambodia’s first and only public festival to bring together creative art, architecture and ideas in Cambodian cities to focus on urbanism and its influence on contemporary culture. It is an opportunity and a platform for creation, discussion and cultivating communities.

 

Between September 28 and October 7, 2012 the festival presented over 30 projects and performances in more than 15 venues and public spaces in Phnom Penh and, for the first time, in Battambang. Romeet Art Gallery in Phnom Penh was one of these venues. Our congratulations to Romeet's founding organisation Phare Ponleu Selpak, which is one of the recipients for the Prince Claus Award in 2012.

 

 

 

CAMBODIA INDEPENDENCE DAY
NOVEMBER 9, 2012
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA

 

This date marks the anniversary of the Independence of the Kingdom from France. His Majesty King Sihamoni will preside over the official ceremony at the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh. Please note that there may be some disruption to traffic in the city for the whole morning of the celebrations.

 

 

 

WATER FESTIVAL/BON OM THOOK
NOVEMBER 27-29, 2012
VENUE: PHNOM PENH

 

Thousands of people will converge onto the capital city of Phnom Penh from all over the provinces in the Kingdom to celebrate this festival. It marks the end of the monsoon season and the reversal of the Tonlé Sap River water flowing from the Tonlé Sap Lake back to the Mekong Delta and to the sea. A three-day Dragon boat race will take place in front of the Royal Palace and will be presided over by His Majesty the King and dignitaries.

 

This is perhaps the best time for foreign visitors to meet the Cambodian people and enjoy the country’s rich culture. Phnom Penh will be overcrowded during the festival and there will be traffic jams on most of the city’s streets, with some closed to all vehicles!

 

 

 

ANGKOR WAT HALF-MARATHON
DECEMBER 2, 2012
VENUE: ANGKOR WAT

 

Here is your chance to run at Angkor Wat, one of the world's greatest architectural wonders. The centre of attraction will be the spectacular Angkor Wat, from where the annual Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10km run will start and finish. The race is open to men, women, children and people in wheelchair or wearing artificial limb.

 

 

To register visit the website

 

 

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
DECEMBER 10, 2012
VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA

 

The United Nations-inspired holiday is celebrated in Cambodia, as well as all around the world. All government offices are closed for the holiday, but it is unlikely to affect travel arrangements.

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

CONDOR AIRLINES FLIES TO SIEM REAP FROM NOVEMBER 3

 

Condor Airlines, the new German airline, starts weekly flights from Frankfurt to Siem Reap from November 3. The Frankfurt-Siem Reap service is on every Friday, with the return flight on Saturday. All flights are operated via Phuket in Thailand.

 

Flight DE-5368 departs Frankfurt International on Friday at 12:35pm and arrives on Saturday at 6.05am in Siem Reap International. The return flight, DE-5369, departs Siem Reap International on Saturday at 7.25am and arrives on Sunday at Frankfurt International at 6pm.

 

Condor Air is the second European airline to fly direct from Europe to Cambodia after Air France.

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS & VENUES

 

 

SIEM REAP

 

ENJOY SPAIN RESTAURANT OPENS

 

There is a hot new flavour in town, and it is decidedly Mediterranean. The taste of Spain is slowly making its way to Siem Reap as Enjoy Spain Restaurant - an authentic Spanish restaurant - has opened in Angkor night market’s food court.

 

Ruben Alvarez and Mapi Rosas opened Enjoy Spain two months ago, and it is already much loved by homesick Spaniards and hungry locals with a yearning for paella. With dishes on the menu such as gazpacho, paella and meatballs along with the most popular Spanish potato omelette - the tortilla, this eatery is becoming very popular. It also brings a little piece of Spain into the eatery scene in the temple town for homesick Spanish tourists and locals alike.

 

 

 

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VIETNAM

 

A note from Managing Director Thuy Tien

 

In writing on this report for the last issue of TRAILBLAZER for 2012 I realised I have been writing a lot on Vietnam, not only as an emerging tourism destination but also as a "dreamland" capable of cateirng to all special needs of your clients such as golfing, honeymoons and weddings, but yet to talk about wellness.

I feel now is an appropriate time to talk about Vietnam as a wellness destination. Gifted with mild climate, mountains, pristine beaches and a friendly and skilful people the country is a wellness destination in its own right. It can offer not just good value for money spa packages, but also quality products to satisfy even the most discerning traveller in this niche market Among such products are new wellness and health resorts, innovative oxygen detox programmes, burn-out retreats and tropical detox products. If your clients wants a customised wellness retreat at a hidden paradise we could arrange for a wellness expert team to carry out an exhaustive treatment programme ranging from consultation, healthy eating and outdoor activities.

Upscale hotels in Vietnam are also catching up with this trend by giving spa treatment as bonus in place of wine, meals or free room nights. Another rising trend in propelling Vietnam as a wellness destination are the growing numbers of centres for yoga, qigong and taichi with classes conducted by trained therapists to help clients destress and rejuvenate.

Our team at Asian Trails Vietnam is working on some good wellness programmes. We would love to hear your inputs and requests on the types of wellness products your clients would like to see, and we are ready to go the extra mile to cater to their needs. With so many affordable choices in Vietnam we are confident that the country would soon become a preferred wellness destinaion in the region.

I and my team at Asian Trails Vietnam would like to take this opportunity to wish you a joyful festive season and a successful new year.
 

   

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

NEW ATTRACTION: WOMEN’S MUSEUM IN HANOI

 

Hanoi, Vietnm’s capital, has many interesting museums and cultural centre like the Ethnology Museum, History Museum and Fine Art Museum that are popular with both foreign tourists and locals alike. The Women’s Museum was recently added to the list of  "Most Attractive Tourist Attractions" in Hanoi.

 

The Women’s Museum was founded in 1987 as an entity within the Vietnam Women's Union. It is a community repository of cultural and historical knowledge about th lives of Vietnamese women across the nation’s 54 ethnic community groups. It is also a centre for cultural exchange with women from other nations with the goal of fostering"‘equality, development and peace".

 

 

NEW MUSIC DRAMA IN HO CHI MINH CITY TO ATTRACT TOURISTS

 

Ho Chi Minh City is hosting a new show, Ngoc Viet (Vietnam's Pearl), which features the arts of the country, to attract tourists, particularly foreigners. The show is held every Thursday and Sunday at the city's Workers Cultural Palace in District 1 from 7:30pm-8:30pm.

 

During the hour-long performance audience are entertained by a selected representation of the country's UNESCO-awarded intangible cultural heritage and folk arts, including Hat Boi (Vietnamese opera), drum performances, Dan Da (lithopone), Nha nhac (Hue court royal music), lion-dance, and gongs and Central Highlands' percussion performances.

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

CHARMING HOMESTAY IN MEKONG DELTA

 

Homestay is a concept, which has developed rapidly ithroughout Vietnam. However, to evoke a sense of a homestay experience is a challenge and in most cases it becomes just a poorly and purely "housestay". Therefore,  Asian Trails only recommend authentic homestay such as Moon Garden homestay in Son Tay, which is 50km from Hanoi, and Rustic Chay Lap in the heart of Phong Nha National Park in Quang Binh.

 

We also recommend the Ut Trinh and Ut Binh homes in the heart of Mekong, which are renovated from ancient houses of grand famillies. Both housese are charming and have private rooms with bathrooms, warm water, a large kitchen area to cook with the family and gardens planted with local fruit and herbs. Guests, while staying with the family, also have some privacy.


Please contact us for more information.

 

 

NEW ECO TOUR IN CAI LAY, MEKONG DELTA

 

Cai Lay in the Mekong Delta has stepped out recently and is viewed as a rare destination that is not "invaded" by mass tourists. It is located about two hours from Ho Chi Minh City and another 30 minutes before reaching Cai Be. Although the highlights are similar to other eco products such as a boat trip, visiting a local handicraft workshop, boat rowing and fruit tasting, the way it is operated is completely different. The local host is commiited to following the guidelines of ecotourism, minisimsing operations to a small scale. Group size is below 15 passengers, with a maximum of four groups per day.

 

The experience is thus truly authentic, while the local host is naturally hospitable and the activities are well run. There is no make up to pamper the tourists, and all activities are maintained as the local way of life. If you enjoy fruit tasting you can sit in the middle of a large orchard to have the best experience. You are also entertained to a home cooked lunch in an ancient house and not in local restaurant. The tour’s highlight is cycling, along shadowed rural trails bordering the snaky canals. We strongly recommend this tour to clients searching for a day out in Mekong Delta, away from the crowded tourist attractions.

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

SECOND HOTEL FOR MAISON D’HANOI

 

After four successful years of operations in Hang Trong, Maison d’Hanoi is expanding and has developed a second hotel property - Maison D’Hanoi Hotel 2. It is another boutique hotel, which is scheduled to open in mid-November 2012. Like the first hotel the new property is also located in the Old Quarter close to the historic Hoan Kiem Lake and in the heart of Hanoi. The property has 42 guestrooms, an all-day dining restaurant, Piano Bar, business centre and a meeting room. All guestrooms and suites are equipped with remote control air-conditioning, minibar, cable TV, safety box and Internet/wifi services.

 

 

 

NOVOTEL DANANG PREMIER HAN RIVER OPENING EARLY 2013

 

Novotel Danang Premier Han River, located in Danang CBD on the west bank of the Han River, is scheduled to open in early 2013. The 37-storey hotel features 323 rooms with three executive floors, extensive meeting facilities, international restaurants, bars and a wellness centre. The Aliseo restaurant and Vertigo panoramic bar on the rooftop offer stunning views of the city. The hotel positions itself as the venue for both business and leisure travellers.

 

 

 

HANOI HORISON BECOMES PULLMAN HANOI

 

On November 1, 2012 Hanoi Horison officially became Pullman Hanoi. The hotel’s recently refreshed Pullman rooms are cocoons of calm where guests can rest, work and connect. With "Signature Pullman bedding" and bathroom products from Paris-based Roger and Gallet, each room is designed for both business and leisure guests’ comfort , or as they say at Pullman "B-Leisure". F&B options include the best of International clssics and regional culinary specialties, as well as a selection of fine wines from the Vinoteca The hotel group has also introduced "Co-Meeting" concept to ensure flawless success for meetings and events.

 

 

CENTARA TAKES OVER MANAGEMENT  OF SANDY BEACH RESORT, DANANG

 

Centara Hotels & Resorts took over management of Sandy Beach Non Nuoc Danang Vietnam by Centara from October 11, 2012. The property is undergoing renovations and upgrading, which is expected to take a year. During this period the hotel remains open. On completion the hotel will be renamed Centara Sandy Beach Resort Non Nuoc Danang.

 

Centara Sandy Beach Resort is a four star 118-room resort located within 17 hectares of gardens on the beachfront at Non Nuoc Beach, Danang. Room types are 61 standard, superior and deluxe, 52 bungalows, and five villas. The upgrading plan will increase the number of rooms by 80, bringing the total room inventory to 198 rooms.

 

This is Centara's second property in Vietnam. The first is Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, Centara Boutique Collection that was opened in 2011.

 

 

 

NAME CHANGE FOR KIM DO-ROYAL CITY HOTEL

 

We would like to inform that Kim Do-Royal City Hotel changeD its name to ROYAL HOTEL SAIGON from October 1, 2012. The address and contact details remain unchanged.

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

INTERNATIONAL SEA TRAVEL EXPO, NHA TRANG 2013
JUNE 6-8, 2013
VENUE: NHA TRANG

 

The 1st International Sea Travel Expo  at Nha Trang (ISTE) will take place on the sandy shores of Vietnam next year from June 6-8 as part of the sixth Nha Trang Sea Festival in Nha Trang town. Themed "Sea, Island and Tourism Development", ISTE will feature around 200 booths and various activities designed to promote sea tourism. Seminars on international cruise tourism, a tourism awards ceremony, as well as the Open International Tourism Golf Tournament will all be part of the festivities. There will also be a Vietnam Night to present the cuisine, culture and arts of the coastal provinces. Pre-show and post-show tours will be available for international buyers.

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

ETIHAD AIRWAY EXPANDS TO HO CHI MINH CITY

 

Etihad Airways started a daily non-stop flight between Abu Dhabi and Ho Chi Minh City on 1 October, 2012. It is the third Middle East carrier to offer flights to Vietnam, after Qatar Airways (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City via Bangkok) and Emirates (Ho Chi Minh City nonstop from Dubai).

 

The airline uses a two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft with 262 seats, which gives the new route a weekly capacity of 3,668 seats round-trip. It previously sold fares to both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City via Bangkok but through a codeshare partnership with Vietnam Airlines.

 

Etihad has developed an extensive network routed through its home base in Abu Dhabi turning the Middle East city into a gateway to Asia Pacific. The additional non-stop flights to Vietnam will further erode Bangkok’s position as the region’s aviation gateway.

 

 

 

THAI  AIRASIA UPS FREQUENCY ON BANGKOK-HO CHI MINH ROUTE

 

Thai AirAsia will increase frequency on its Bangkok-Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) route from two to three flights daily from November 16, 2012. The additional flight will depart from Don Mueang in Bangkok at 19.35hrs and arrive in HCMC at 2105 hrs. The return flight will depart HCMC at 2135hrs and arrive in Bangkok at 2305hrs. The existing two daily flights depart Bangkok at 0745hrs and 1555 hrs and return from HCMC at 0945hrs and 1755hrs.

 

 

VIETJET AIR EXPANDS DOMESTIC & REGIONAL NETWORKS

 

Vietjet Air, a new and successful low cost carrier in Vietnam, is aggressively expanding both its domestic and region networks. The airline will launch its first regional service to Bangkok on December 14, 2012, and add four more domestic routes during the last two months of this year.


Having taken delivery of an additional three Airbus A320s aircraft the airline has doubled its fleet to six aircraft. The new aircraft are used to kick off two domestic routes, Ho Chi Minh City-Vinh (daily) from November 15, 2012 followed by Ho Chi Minh City-Hue (daily) from November 22, It will also launch services from Hanoi-Dalat (daily) from December 7 and Ho Chi Minh City-Phu Quoc (twice daily) from December 20.
 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS & VENUES

 

OLA DE TAPAS - NEW SPANISH RESTAURANT IN HANOI

 

Located in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter and nestled in a small corner along narrow streets, Ola de Tapas is an authentic Spanish restaurant. The owner is Carles from Valencia, Spain, who is also the main cook, The spacious, cosy restaurant offers a varied menu that include Spanish tapas such as Chorizo, Queso Manchego, Tortilla Española, Gambas al ajillo, Calamares a la Romana and several kinds of magnificent Paella. Spanish expatriates have rated these dishes to have the true tastes and flavours of the original Spanish dishes. The restaurant is popular among both Spansih residents and tourists to Hanoi, as well as local Vietnamese.

 

 

 

TROPICAL GARDEN, HUE COMPLETES RENOVATIONS

 

We would like inform that Tropical Garden Restaurant has completed its renovations. This is a classical Vietnamese restaurant in Hue, which  offers gourmet al fresco dining. It has a relaxing ambiance of the restaurant with performance of traditional live music nightly. Here you can always find an intimate corner to have a special  delicious dinner of Hue delicacies.

 

 

 

 

STAFF UPDATE

 

 

NEW INBOUND MANAGER & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT ASIAN TRAILS VIETNAM

 

We are please to welcome Phillip Hill (pictured top left) as new Inbound Manager for Asian Trails Vietnam. He replace Riccardo Mereu who left the company on September 28, 2012. Of French nationality, Phillip has been living in Vietnam for more than 18 years. Apart from his extensive knowledge of tourism products and passion for the destination, he has a strong background in sales, marketing and management.

 

We also welcome Oleg Shafranov (pictured bottom left) as our new Business Development Manager. He joined the company on October 1.  A Russian, Oleg also speaks Spanish and Polish and has been living in Vietnam for more than four years. He has extensive knowledge on tourism products in South East Asia and strong background in sales, customer care and quality control. He has also worked in Chile, UK and Peru.

 

We wish both Phillip and Oleg great success in their new roles. A big "thank you" to Riccardo from all the staff and management of Asian Trails Vietnam for his contributions and hard work in the past three years, and we wish him all the best for his future professional endeavours.

 

 

 

 

ANY OTHER NEWS

 

ASIAN TRAILS VIETNAM’S CHARITABLE WORK

 

Asian Trails Vietnam is a co-sponsor of a football tournament, which supports a charity programme promoting the building of a synthetic turf football pitch for disadvantaged children in Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh province, about 170km southwest of Hanoi. The programme is part of  a project called "Faster" initiated by Dang Phuong Nam, a well-known former national team football player, aimed at helping children properly learn and be able to play football in remote and rural areas of Vietnam. Funds for the project have been raised by communities, companies, and social networks. The football tournament is a part of annual activities by Thang Long football club in Hanoi, in which several staff of Asian Trails Vietnam are members.

 

 

 

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CHINA

 

 

A note from Managing Director Veronique Ducassy

 

Dear Friends and Partners,

 

Enjoying an Indian summer in Beijing Asian Trails China is happy to send you the latest news - more hotels, new ideas for excursions, and a new way to discover Guilin. Also a reminder of the fantastic prices we have for the winter for a short break in Beijing or Shanghai, or both cities. Christmas shopping is in fashion in China; treat yourself with a stay in one of the two main cities. 

 

And before this year ends the Asian Trails China team joins me to thank you for your support in 2012, and we look forward to continuing support for 2013.

 

   

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

BEIJING: QING DYNASTY TOMBS

 

Few people outside China are familiar with the Eastern Royal Tombs of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1922) - the largest, most complete and best-preserved extant mausoleum complex in China. It is located in Zunhua county, Hebei Province's Tangshan city, and is only 125 kilometres northeast of Beijing. The location’s feng shui is considered among the very best as the mausoleum complex is embraced by five major mountains with two rivers flowing to both east and west like belts of jade.

 

The first emperor of the dynasty, Shunzhi, was so impressed with the region’s natural beauty and harmonious surroundings that he decreed that his Imperial mausoleum would be built there. Records show that five emperors, 15 empresses, a dowager empress, 136 imperial concubines, three princes and two princesses of the Qing dynasty are buried at the complex. Of all the royal tombs in Chinese history that of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799), the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty, is regarded as the most splendid.

 

Contact us for more information.

 

 

 

 

GUILIN AND YANGSHUO REINVENTED

 

We recently revisited Guilin and Yangshuo, an area known for the Li River cruise, karst mountains and its idyllic scenery.  We would like to share with you some innovative ways to get more out of your visit:

 

WALKING: Have you ever considered a walking tour of Guilin? A few years ago the city has linked up all the beautiful lakes of Guilin (as it was in the ancient days), and discovered the old city gates, the hills, and the princely palace grounds dating back to the Ming dynasty. (Picture top left)

 

CRUISE CHARTER: Do you wish to upgrade your cruise experience? Then charter your own luxury vessel with a maximum capacity of 60 paxs. As the cruise timings are flexible it will help to avoid the large crowds. (Picture bottom left)

 

 

GUILIN AND YANGSHUO REINVENTED: IMPRESSIONS LIUSANJIE

 

The show is the first of its kind in China.  It was created from a Chinese musical movie made in 1961, choreography by the legendary Zhang Yimou (this show inspired him for the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008).  It is a major production with 500 singers, dancers, bamboo boats and cormorants birds.

 

We recommend you to stay the night in Yangshuo at the Green Lotus Hotel, which has a beautiful view of the Li River

 

 

 

GUILIN AND YANGSHUO REINVENTED: BAMBOO DRIFTING

 

Away from the busier section between Guilin and Yangshuo is Fuli, which is about 10km from Yangshuo. Embark here to take a bamboo raft (six paxs maximum) or a larger boat for groups. The "drifting" on the bamboo raft/boat lasts approximately 90 minutes. The scenery along the way is just as beautiful as the more popular part of the region.

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

WINTER PACKAGES TO CHINA

 

Winter is a nice time to visit China and enjoy very competitive rates. Asian Trails China has prepared packages for Beijing or Shanghai and a combination of the two cities with a ride on the bullet train. Why not choose Beijing for your Christmas shopping? It is a good opportunity to discover the capital city and shop for your Christmas gifts. Contact us for further information.

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

HOTEL BOOM IN CHINA

 

China is enjoying a continuous hotel boom, with approximately 1,000 new top hotels under development. The Middle Kingdom is still a hot spot for hotel investments. The country does not think in small numbers when it comes to the expansion of available room capacity in its towns and cities that include Shanghai, Guangzhou or Beijing.

 

 

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL GUANGZHOU

 

Four Seasons Guangzhou opened at the end of July 2012 as the brand's 88th property. Located on the top third of the 103-storey new Guangzhou International Finance Center Guangzhou (GZIFC), the new hotel occupies 30 floors of the building along with an events complex on the lower floors at ground level. It introduces a new level of personalised service to China’s economic powerhouse city.

 

 

 

FOUR SEASONS SHANGHAI

 

Smart, sexy and stylish Four Seasons Shanghai is the latest addition to the Pudong hotel skyline. Centrally located in Pudong's Lujiazhui business district in the 55-storey 21st Century Tower - locally known as the "jewel box" - the hotel rises above the urban melee with art-filled interiors that are inspired by Shanghai's Golden Age during the 1920s and 30s art deco period.  

 

The hotel features 187 rooms and suites, fabulous options for dining and drinking, an exclusive spa and health club and some of the city's most popular event spaces.

 

 

 

GRAND DORSETT CHENGDU SOFT OPENS

 

Dorsett Hospitality International (formerly Kosmopolito Hotels International) soft opened the Grand Dorsett Chengdu in early September. Situated in the historical Luoma Market area of Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, the upscale hotel offers 556 guestrooms and suites, all equipped with iPod docks and complimentary high-speed Internet connectivity. Its meeting facilities include a 700sqm pillarless multi-functional hall and eight private meeting rooms.

 

 

MARRIOTT OPENS SIXTH RENAISSANCE HOTEL IN SHANGHAI

 

Marriott International has opened Renaissance Shanghai Caohejing Hotel, the group’s sixth Renaissance hotel and 19th property in this vibrant city. This latest opening also illustrates the strength of the Renaissance brand, which continues to grow in China."

 

Situated near Metro Line 9 in the Caohejing New Technology Development Zone in Xuhui district, Renaissance Shanghai Caohejing Hotel boasts easy access to the Hongqiao and Xujiahui districts. It offers 383 deluxe rooms, clubrooms and suites. Facilities include 14 meeting rooms of varying sizes, a divisible, pillar-free 570sqm Grand Ballroom, four restaurants, a fitness centre and a spa.

 

 

PAN PACIFIC NINGBO OPENS ITS DOORS

 

Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts officially launched its third Chinese property in Ningbo, a city in northeast Zhejiang province, last August, Situated beside the Ningbo International Conference & Exhibition Centre in the central business district, the 415-room hotel comprises two hotel towers - Pacific Tower and Ocean Tower.

 

The hotel offers nine separate meeting and conference venues including a 420sqm multi-purpose auditorium and a 2,000sqm pillar-less ballroom. F&B options include a Cantonese restaurant Hai Tien Lo; Italian eatery Avanti Culina; Café Pacifica serving Asian cuisine; and Japanese restaurant, Keyaki.

 

Business travellers to Ningbo can also look forward to the impending launch of Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Ningbo, which is located on the same site as Pan Pacific Ningbo. Occupying its own tower within the hotel complex the 175-suite property will offer a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. Recreational facilities will include a fitness centre, an outdoor tennis court, a squash court, an indoor swimming pool and a spa.

 

 

IHG MAKES INROADS INTO GREATER CHINA WITH 10 NEW CROWNE PLAZAS

 

The Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) continues its growth in Greater China with 10 Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts opening this year. The latest development will bring the total number of the brand’s properties operating in Greater China to 63.

 

Opened in August 2012 are Crowne Plaza Huangshan Yucheng, Crowne Plaza Shanghai Anting Golf, and Crowne Plaza Xi’an. September saw the opening of Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East and Crowne Plaza Zhenjiang. Crowne Plaza Xuzhou Dalong Lake, Crowne Plaza Lanzhou and Crowne Plaza Tianjin Meijiangnan will open their doors in the last quarter of the year, while Crowne Plaza Hefei will be opened by the end of December 2012.

 

The Dai Palace-inspired Crowne Plaza Xishuangbanna in southern Yunnan (pictured), which opened in October, forms part of the brand’s push into China’s top resort destinations to tap both inbound and domestic tourism. It features 520 rooms, a 1,500sqm ballroom that can accommodate 1,000 paxs in banquet style, two junior ballrooms and 12 meeting rooms.

 

By the end of 2012 Crowne Plaza will become the largest upscale international hotel brand in Greater China, with properties across 50 cities and another 50 scheduled for opening in the next five years.

 

 

HOTEL INDIGO TIANJIN HAIHE

 

In Tianjin’s former German concession lies an array of well-preserved German historical architecture. One of these historical buildings- the former German Consulate - was renovated and opened as Hotel Indigo Tianjin Hayne on September 15. Located in the heart of the concession the hotel combines vintage elegance with modern facilities.

 

More than upscale architecture the hotel's red-brick facades and ornate cupolas are imbued with stories of the city's past. In 1878 the country's first modern post office was set up in Tianjin and the "Big Dragon" stamps, the first set of stamps in China, was printed and issued here. The hotel's lobby wall depicts the birthplace of this postal service with historical images of the building, as well as stamps and letters printed and used during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

The hotel sparks guests’ interests with its 96 rooms of different types. Some rooms have fireplace, some have windows and others have balconies. It also creates a unique experience for sophisticated travellers who are curious of the area’s history.

 

This is Hotel's Indigo third property in China. The global branded boutique hotel group opened its first hotel in Shanghai in 2010 and Xiamen in 2012.

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

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 will publish this list (see below) in every newsletter. Asian Trails will provide, on request, more detailed information for your clients.   

 

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN CHINA - 2013: 

• NEW YEAR: December 30, 2012-January 1 (January 1 included) 

• SPRING FESTIVAL/CHINESE NEW YEAR: February 9-15 (1st day of Chinese New Year on February 10)

• QING MING FESTIVAL (Tomb Sweeping Day): April 4-6 (festival on April 4)

• LABOUR 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)

• NATIONAL DAY: October 1-7 (China National Day on October 1)

 

SHOWS & EVENTS IN CHINA - 2013

 

GUANGZHOU:

• Guangzhou Furniture Show: March 18-21

• Guangzhou Spring Canton Fair: April 15-May 4

• Guangzhou Autumn Canton Fair: October 15-November 4

 

SHANGHAI:

• F1 in Shanghai: April 12-14

• Auto Show:  April 17 -20

 

CHENGDU:

• National Sugar & Wine Trading Fair: March 15 -20

• International Auto Show: September 15-22

• Western Expo:  October 15-22

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

UNITED AIRLINES UNVEILS DREAMLINER’S ROUTES TO SHANGHAI

 

United Airlines (UA) has unveiled the line-up of maiden international routes for its fleet of new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Starting March 30, 2013 UA will operate daily nonstop B787 services between its Los Angeles hub and Shanghai.

 

The UA’s 787 aircraft is configured with 36 seats in United Business First, 72 seats in United Economy Plus and 111 seats in United Economy.

 

 

 

 

STAFF UPDATE

 

 

JOHNSON IS ATC’S NEW IT MANAGER

 

We welcome Johnson Shi as our new IT Manager, and wish him great success at Asian Trails China.

 

 

STAFF OUTING - BIKING IN BEIJING

 

Eight bike lovers from Asian Trails Beijing office uncovered the secrets of the hutongs on a bright autumn day in September. We gathered at the ancient Observatory and from there dived into the narrow alleys, known as hutongs, which are well off the beaten track from the "regular" hutong tours. We did not come across any tourists as we cycled through the hutongs where the daily life of the "village' of Beijing unfolded. During our excursion we found a 600-year old imperial granary and visited a hidden temple harbouring treasures from old dynasties. We feasted on noodles in a local restaurant, and finished in style with a glass of wine on a terrace overlooking the rooftops of the timeless Forbidden City.

 

We hope, through such activities, to help promote eco-friendly and sustainable tourism.  We are already looking forward to our next outing!

 

 

 

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MYANMAR

 

A note from Managing Director Thomas Carnevale

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

 

We have been very occupied preparing for the upcoming winter season, which looks extremely busy. From the feedbacks and the reservations we are receiving there are clear signs that Myanmar is currently receiving many more bookings then in the past years and just as many enquiries about facilities on the ground.

 

We urge you not to delay your bookings for too long and to book at least nine months in advance, as availability is tight in all areas of the country.

 

We would like to wish you and your families the very best for 2013, and thank you for the enormous support for Asian Trails Myanmar over the past years.

 

Best regards,

 

Thomas Carnevale 

 

   

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

EARLY BOOKING ADVICE

 

Myanmar is getting ever more popular especially during the high season from October to March. To avoid disappointment we recommend that you make bookings for your clients as early and as fast as possible.

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

BEACH SAFARI PROGRAMME - NGAPALI

 

The Beach Safari programme is an ideal add-on to your clients’ trip to Ngapali. However, this is not a product for everyone but for those who enjoy an "off-the-beaten-track" experience. Clients can explore authentic village life in Ngapali Beach for a day trip or an overnight homestay and enjoy home-cooked meals. Transport to Ngapali is by car and boat.

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

SHWE INN GYIN HOTEL - MANDALAY

 

The hotel is centrally located, just in front of the Mandalay Railway Station. It opens the first 32 rooms in October this year. There will be 64 rooms in total when the second 32 rooms are completed in January 2013 as scheduled.

 

 

 

BLUE BIRD HOTEL - BAGAN

 

This is a small beautiful boutique hotel with only 24 rooms in Bagan, set in a beautiful garden. Equipped with modern facilities the Blue Bird Hotel has a perfect design and aims to provide warm and personalised hospitality to its guests.

 

 

 

GOLDEN EMPRESS HOTEL - NYAUNG SHWE

 

The hotel, previously known as Golden Express Hotel, has been recently renovated and upgraded as a small charming two-storey building. The nine Superior rooms come with a private balcony and are on the second level (upstairs). The remaining four rooms are on the ground level (downstairs). The rooms are simple but clean and spacious, and are nicely decorated with pinewood flooring and walling.

 

 

 

LA MAISON BIRMANE - NYAUNG SHWE

 

La Maison Birmane is a small but very charming and exclusive resort with well-decorated chalets. Rooms are very spacious with beautiful interiors and well-equipped bathrooms. It is perfect for small groups (six to eight guests) for a buy-out. The resort is managed by a French architect and his local partner.

 

 

 

AUNG MINGALAR HOTEL - NYAUNG SHWE

 

A small budget hotel set in a large garden, Aung Mingalar Hotel is just a 15-minute walk from the boat jetty to Inle Lake. The hotel consists of two Superior Bungalows and 10 Standard Bungalows, and is well managed by the local family owner.

 

 

 

MANAW THUKHA HOTEL - NYAUNG SHWE

 

A small mid-range brick hotel with 16 superior rooms. All rooms are spacious and have clean bathrooms with bathtub and shower. The hotel is operated family style and well looked after by a local lady.

 

 

 

KYAIK HTO HOTEL - KYAIK HTEE YOE

 

There are currently only three hotels operating for both local and international travellers in Kyaik Htee Yoe, namely Golden Rock, Mountain Top and Kyaik Hto Hotel. Kyaik Hto Hotel was taken over by a new management on October 1, 2012. All the rooms have since been upgraded.

 

 

 

GOVERNORS RESIDENCE ACCEPTING BOOKINGS FOR SUMMER 2013

 

Governor’s Residence is pleased to announce that its tentative plan of renovations from May to September 2013 has been postponed. Therefore, it will be opened for the mentioned period.

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

ANANDA TEMPLE FESTIVAL
JANUARY 23-FEBRUARY 10 2013
VENUE: BAGAN

 

The Ananda Festival, named after Bagan's most important temple, will take place from January 23 to February 10, 2013 Locals from near and far come to enjoy the festival. Pilgrims and festival goers use bullock carts to travel to the festivities. In front of the pagoda there is a fairground with market stalls and restaurants. Alms bowls, filled with crops, are offered to monks who wait in long lines. Visitors are welcomed to join in the celebrations.

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

SINGAPORE AIRLINES LAUNCHES DAILY FLIGHTS TO YANGON

 

Singapore Airlines launched daily flight service to Yangon on October 28, 2012, using the 323-seat Boeing B777-200 aircraft.

 

 

 

ISO 9001:2008 CERTIFICATION FOR AIR BAGAN

 

Air Bagan received ISO 9001:2008 certification on June 8, 2012 in recognition of its customer care service. The airline operates frequent flights to all major tourist destinations countrywide. It also expands its network on a regular basis, operating with its fleet of ATR-72, ATR-42 and Fokker 100 aircraft.

 

 

 

 

STAFF UPDATE

 

 

MR. MAURIZIO MANDL RETURNS TO ATM

 

We would like to welcome Mr. Maurizio Mandl back to Asian Trails Myanmar as public relations and customer care manager for the high season. He will be with the company until April 2013. Maurizio has been working for Asian Trails during the high season since 2004 in the same capacity.

 

 

 

ATM WELCOMES MRS. SHWE ZIN TO THE TEAM

 

We would also like to welcome Mrs Shwe Zin as our new assistant sales & reservation manager. She brings with her over a decade of experience in management. She was previously working for a leading DMC in Myanmar.

 

 

 

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MALAYSIA

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR EMIR CHERIF

 

Warm Greetings from Malaysia

 

Time surely flies as we’re now approaching the end of the year. Each year we challenge ourselves to raise the bar and 2012 is no exception. We have met challenges as a company and have grown stronger for our determination and perseverance. We are very appreciative of the loyalty and support from our agents which, of course, is a point of pride from our perspective as well as a driving force to continue to outperform and innovate. For the opportunity of being able to both provide service and to further develop our relationships, we thank you.

 

On the home front, Malaysia is increasingly becoming more popular as a MICE destination. The country has everything you need for a successful event be it a board meeting, incentive trips, conferences, teambuilding or exhibitions. Good infrastructure, multi-cultural attractions, friendly people, a stable political situation and competitive pricing are key components in making Malaysia an ideal venue. Major events, such as the Oil & Gas Asia Exhibition and the International Beauty Expo, are confirmed in Kuala Lumpur for 2013.

 

Many new hotels opened this year, and more are expected to open in 2013. Notable brands are the Grand Hyatt, Best Western Premier, Ibis Style and E&O Residences in Kuala Lumpur and the YTL-owned Gaya Island Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The St Regis Kuala Lumpur and The Banyan Tree Residences Kuala Lumpur will be new additions in the near future.

 

On behalf of myself and the whole Asian Trails Malaysia team, please accept our very best of wishes for prosperity and success in the coming New Year.

 

Best regards

Emir

Malaysia Truly Asia!

 

   

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

FREE TRIPS ON NEW GO-KL CITY BUSES

 

Brand new pink buses are now plying Kuala Lumpur's main tourist sites and hotels as part of the ongoing efforts by the Malaysian government to attract more people to take public transport. Called Go-KL, these buses run on environmentally friendly natural gas, are air-conditioned and offer fast wireless Internet. They also have on-board information kiosks about the capital city's facilities and attractions. Best of all, the service has been free since it started at end August this year.

 

The aim of this new bus service is to help improve public mobility into the city’s Central Business District (CBD) by improving access to public transportation. It is also to help tourists enter the CBD conveniently for its shopping attractions and points of interest.

 

 

RELIVING THE LIFE OF TIN MINERS IN SUNGAI LEMBING

 

Visitors to Sungai Lembing near Kuantan in Pahang will be able to experience the challenging life of the subterranean tin miners when the rehabilitation and upgrading work for the underground tunnels is completed in December 2012. Visitors will be able to enter the former subterranean tin mine from three entrances and explore about 500m of tunnels using a special form of transport. Throughout their journey visitors will enjoy a spectacular light and sound experience similar to underground museums overseas, especially those in Australia.

 

Located 42km northwest of Kuantan, Sungai Lembing was a major producer of underground tin and has among the largest and deepest tunnels in the world. The combined length of the tunnels was said to have stretched up to 322km, with a depth of between 610m and 700m. The town was built in the 1880s when the Pahang Consolidated Company Limited was given a 77-year lease to mine the area. In the 1940s about 1,400 people worked in the mine. The pit mines were closed in 1986 due to high operational costs and low yields, but during its heyday Sungai Lembing was the richest town in the state and was known as the El Dorado of the East.

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

IBIS STYLES KUALA LUMPUR FRASER BUSINESS PARK OPENS NOVember 1

 

Ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur Fraser Business Park opened its doors on November 1, 2012. It combines convenience and comfort in the heart of one of the city’s newest shopping and lifestyle developments. Centrally located in Kuala Lumpur the 3.5 star premium economy international chain hotel features 500 rooms, a restaurant, bar and four meeting rooms.

 

 

E&O RESIDENCES KUALA LUMPUR TO OPEN ON DECEMBER 1

 

E&O Residences Kuala Lumpur, a luxury lifestyle serviced apartment managed by Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O), is scheduled to open on December 1, 2012. Comprising 200 units of chic and elegant apartment suites it 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 offers a choice of one- or two-bedroom apartments measuring 1,13sq ft and 1,442sqft respectively. Each unit is beautifully furnished with quality linen, modern furniture and a fully equipped kitchen. Broadband wifi Internet access, home entertainment system, iPod docking station, microwave oven and refrigerator, washing machine and dryer are among the standard features.

 

 

RENOVATION UPDATE: HOTEL ROYAL, KUALA LUMPUR

 

Hotel Royal is currently upgrading its rooms, function rooms, F&B outlets, lobby and façade to provide the best and latest product in its category. On completion the hotel’s room inventory will be increased from the current 225 to 287.

 

The renovation work is taking place in stages, and the hotel remains open throughout this period. All precaution is taken to contain working materials and ensure noise level is kept to a minimum to ensure the comfort of the guests. Work with unavoidable noise is carried out when guests are anticipated to be out and about and will stop during early evenings. The renovation is expected to take about eight months to complete. We will keep you updated on a constant basis on the progress.

 

 

RENOVATION UPDATE:  THE DATAI, LANGKAWI

 

The Beach Club restaurant at The Datai Langkawi is currently closed for upgrading works. This is to facilitate the new Beach Villa, as well as a multipurpose venue for luxury experience and themed culinary events to cater to group events and weddings. There will also be improvement to the romantic beachfront setting offering sumptuous all-day dining.

 

The Beach Club area has been cordoned off and the noise levels are kept to a minimum. Most of the heavy work has been completed. Work currently being carried out is in the interior building and installation work such as the fitting of the equipment, which has been measured and cut off site.

 

The upgrading works is expected to be completed by the first week of December 2012. During the renovation period three restaurants are available for dining - the Dining Room for Western cuisine, The Pavilion for Thai food and Gulai House for Malaysian curries and Indian specialties.

 

The resort has opened four units of Beach Villa, which sit right on the white sandy beach overlooking the Andaman Sea. The remaining nine units are being fitted with interior works. All 13 units of one-bedroom villas and one unit of two-bedroom villa are expected to be available by December 2012

 

 

 

MANAGEMENT CONTRACT FOR PUTRAJAYA SHANGRI-LA EXTENDED TILL MARCH 31, 2013

 

Contrary to the earlier report please be informed that the management of Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts and the hotel’s owner have agreed to extend the management contract for Putrajaya Shangri-La to March 31, 2013.

 

 

 

MAXIMS GENTING UPGRADES LOBBY AND LOUNGE

 

Maxims Genting is carrying out upgrading works to its new lobby and Maxims Lounge from October 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013. During this period guests’ registration is relocated to satellite counters at the new M-Spa Reception and Business Centre. Maxims Platinum members’ check-in is at the temporary reception at the third floor foyer.

 

 

 

OCEAN WING EXTENSION AT SHANGRI-LA'S RASA RIA RESORT, KOTA KINABALU

 

Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah is constructing an extension to the Ocean Wing commencing from November 2012. It will include an additional 81 guestrooms, a new lobby, a new spa, a new restaurant and pool. All rooms will have similar features to the current Ocean Wing rooms, which are tastefully designed with traditional touches and modern amenities.

 

The piling period will take approximately eight weeks through November and December, and substantial disturbance is expected during this part of construction. No work will be carried out from December 21, 2012 to January 4, 2013. The resort continues to operate as usual with uninterrupted service and every effort made to ensure guests’ comfort and safety.

 

The recently renovated Garden Wing rooms are not be affected by the planned work. The resort has a special team available 24 hours a day to communicate with and handle inquiries from guests and to ensure a seamless delivery of service.

 

 

 

EXPANSION OF JUNGLE VIEW ROOMS AT GAYANA ECO RESORT, KOTA KINABALU

 

The Gayana Eco Resort, Kota Kinabalu in Sabah is in the midst of renovations for the Rimba Villa (Jungle View). Once completed the Rimba Villa will have a balcony, which faces Pulau Gaya’s tropical rainforest.  During the renovation period the construction works may disrupt the quiet surroundings nearest to the affected villas. As work is taking place in stages the Jungle Villas are still available for bookings.

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

SABAH WOMEN PAINTERS ART EXHIBITION
NOVEMBER 8-16, 2012
VENUE: PUSAT KONSERVASI BALAI SENI LUKIS SABAH

 

This exhibition aims to encourage women artists to be more active and to contribute towards the development of a special creative movement and style in the country. Exposure of their artistic creativity to the public is necessary to uncover and introduce the distinctive quality of their works.

 

 

 

TRADITIONAL COSTUMES EXHIBITION
NOVEMBER 10, 2012
VENUE: MONSOPIAD CULTURAL VILLAGE

 

Learn about Sabah’s traditional costumes and accessories, which identify the uniqueness of the ethnic tribes they originate from. Take the opportunity to try on one of these exquisite costumes and have a photo taken as a keepsake.

 

 

 

TAMU BESAR KOTA BELUD
NOVEMBER 25, 2012
VENUE: TOWN PADANG, KOTA BELUD

 

The Tamu Besar is the biggest traditional open-air market held in Sabah. Organised annually in Kota Belud district the main highlights are the Bajau horsemen (fondly known as the "Cowboys of the East") parade, Ratu Sarimpak beauty pageant and water buffalo race.

 

Kota Belud, situated 70 km northeast of Kota Kinabalu, is about an hour’s drive by car, and is Sabah’s most scenic and culturally rich district. Visitors will definitely find Kota Belud's diversity of traditional costume displayed, dance, music and ceremonies a unique cultural experience that renders an excellent attraction for those who come from other communities or live in the fast lane of city life.

 

 

 

REMEMBRANCE DAY
NOVEMBER 11, 2012
VENUE: LABUAN WAR MEMORIAL

 

This special day is to commemorate and honour the fallen heroes who have fought selflessly for freedom and country during World War II. The Remembrance Day ceremony is held every first Sunday closest to November 11 of each year. The Labuan War Memorial is Malaysia’s largest war grave where about 3,908 soldiers, mostly Australians, British and Indian, are buried.

 

 

 

MALAYSIA YEAR END SALE
NOVEMBER 10, 2012-JANUARY 1, 2013
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA

 

Malaysia Year End Sale is back with great discounts! It is the season eagerly awaited by Malaysians and visitors alike for the unbelievable discounts, bargains and promotions. Load your shopping carts with gifts, souvenirs, branded items and everything else you need for the year-end festive season.

 

 

 

DEEPAVALI
NOVEMBER 13, 2012
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA (EXCEPT LABUAN AND SARAWAK).

 

Hindus celebrate Deepavali, or the "Festival of Lights", with prayers, family gatherings and festivities. Open houses are held when family and friends visit each other and enjoy delicious traditional goodies.

 

 

 

AWAL MUHARRAM
NOVEMBER 15, 2012
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA

 

Celebrated by Muslims, the day symbolises two happy events in a Muslim's life. The start of Muslim year or calendar, Muharram, coincides with Prophet Muhammad's journey from Mecca to Medina on the first of Muharram in 622AD.

 

 

 

RAJA MUDA SELANGOR REGATTA
NOVEMBER 16 - 24, 2012
VENUE: ROYAL SELANGOR YACHT CLUB, PORT KELANG, SELANGOR

 

The Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta is a challenging offshore sailing race organised every year by the Royal Selangor Yacht Club in association with the RORC. It consists of three overnight passage races, some 240 miles in total, plus three days of harbour racing in Penang and Langkawi. With regatta dinners almost every night, a rickshaw race and lots of opportunities to socialise, onshore activities are just as demanding as the sailing.

 

The event attracts a large variety of yachts, from top class IRC1 racers to slow classic cruisers dating back over 100 years. All of them have to cope with unpredictable weather and changing tactics during the nine-day mix of races past tropical islands.

 

 

 

BAMBOO MUSIC FESTIVAL, TAMPARULI, SABAH
NOVEMBER 25, 2012
VENUE: PEKAN TAMPARULI, SABAH

 

This lively music festival, which celebrates the versatility of Sabah's bamboo music instruments, will be held at the Dewan Tun Hamdan in Tamparuli. The famed Kinabalu Bamboo Orchestra will take centre stage, with participants taking part in the monogunggak (bamboo idiophone) competition. Other exciting outdoor activities include the bamboo raft house and model building contest, and the rampanau (bamboo stilt walking) race.

 

 

 

PENANG ISLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER 29-DECEMBER 2, 2012
VENUE: BAYVIEW BEACH HOTEL, PENANG

 

The Penang Island Jazz Festival returns to mark its ninth edition, beginning November 29 to December 2, 2012. It will feature its main stage performances at the Bayview Beach Resort with a line-up of international musicians.

 

A number of supporting musical activities will also be held within the festival’s four-day period to maintain its objective of creating a "total music festival experience". These include the afternoon Fringe Stage programmes held in three different venues - Bayview Beach Resort, Hard Rock Hotel and Parkroyal Penang Resort. Other activities include workshops; Island Jazz Forum; Jazz Gallery Exhibition of Posters, Photographs, Paintings and Percussions; "Jazz With A Heart" Charity Dinner; the "10 minute" Platform; Creative Malaysia Programme; Community Drum Circle; and After Hours Jazz Jam.

 

Entrance fee is RM68 per night for "Jazz By The Beach" stage performances on December 1 and 2.  

 

 

 

MONSOON CUP
DECEMBER 3-8, 2012
VENUE: PULAU DUYONG, TERENGGANU

 

The Monsoon Cup has not only catapulted sailing into the Malaysian mindset, but is also the catalyst in promoting Terengganu both as a tourist destination and in developing marine based business activities. It has also brought some of the world's most famous people together. The lure of this prestigious event sees celebrities, royalty and VIPs gracing the shores of Pulau Duyong. Many have gone back mesmerised by the sheer magnitude and charisma of the Monsoon Cup. Pulau Duyong has morphed from a small quiet fishing island in Terengganu to a world-class host to Malaysia's second biggest sporting event.

 

 

 

PENANG INTERNATIONAL CHINGAY COMPETITION 2012
DECEMBER 15, 2012
VENUE: ESPLANADE, PENANG

 

See Chingay star contestants showing off their creativity, flexibility and superb skills with stunts in balancing the towering flagpoles on their fingers, foreheads, shoulders and teeth. The event will be held from 7pm until 11pm.

 

 

 

1MALAYSIA TUARAN FEST
DECEMBER 15-16, 2012
VENUE: TUARAN, SABAH

 

This event, which aims to promote Tuaran as a prime tourism destination in Sabah, highlights the colourful cultures and traditions of ethnic communities such as the Bajau, Dusun, Chinese and Malay. Be sure to make pit stops at other interesting attractions found in and around this picturesque and budding district.

 

 

 

DONGZHI FESTIVAL WINTER SOLSTICE
DECEMBER 21, 2012
VENUE: THROUGHTOUT MALAYSIA

 

Dongzhi is an important Chinese festival. Chinese families gather on this day to pay homage for a good year and celebrate by eating tang yuan. This is a traditional dish made of rice flour stuffed with sesame seeds or red bean paste, served in a clear soup made of sugar and water and seasoned with pandan leaves and ginger. Dongzhi is also a time for reunion with families and friends and to rekindle old friendships.

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS
DECEMBER 25, 2012
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA

 

The Christmas spirit is made merrier with Malaysia's tropical weather and friendly people. Visitors will be spoilt for choice as there are many restaurants, bistros, shopping malls and hotels that offer great promotions planned specially for the occasion. Join in the celebrations and have a sunny Christmas in Malaysia!

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

AIRASIA DOUBLES KL-YANGON FREQUENCY

 

AirAsia increased the frequency of its Kuala Lumpur-Yangon (Myanmar) services from daily to twice per day, starting October 8. The additional flight departs Kuala Lumpur at 6.55am and arrives in Yangon at 8am. The return flight takes off from Yangon at 8.30am and lands in Kuala Lumpur at 12.50pm.

 

AirAsia launched the Kuala Lumpur-Yangon flights on July 20, 2010. The existing service departs Kuala Lumpur at 5.10pm and arrives in Yangon at 6.20pm. The return leg leaves Yangon at 8.50pm and reaches Kuala Lumpur at 11.05pm.

 

 

 

SABAH GETS THIRD PHILIPPINES LINK WITH AIRASIA’S DAVAO FLIGHTS

 

AirAsia commences daily flights between Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Davao (Philippines) from November 1, making it the third air link connecting Sabah and the Philippines.

 

The other airlines operating between these two destinations are Cebu Pacific Air with thrice-weekly services between Manila and Kota Kinabalu, AirAsia with daily Clark-Kota Kinabalu flights and SEAIR with three weekly flights between Clark and Kota Kinabalu.

 

 

 

AIRASIA BOOSTS CONNECTIVITY TO SABAH AND SARAWAK

 

AirAsia is boosting connectivity from Kuala Lumpur to Sarawak and Sabah with additional frequencies to Tawau, Bintulu and Kuching.

 

The Kuala Lumpur to Tawau flights will be increased to 25 times weekly from the present 21, and takes effect on November 12.

 

The Kuala Lumpur to Bintulu flights will be increased to 17 times weekly from 14, with operations commencing on November 13.

 

The extra flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching will be available 16 times weekly from the current 12, beginning December 1, 2012 to February 5, 2013. The extra frequency will operate on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

 

 

 

CEBU PACIFIC FLIES TO KUALA LUMPUR IN DECEMBER

 

Philippines' Cebu Pacific (CEB) will inaugurate twice-weekly services to Kuala Lumpur from Cebu on December 9, 2012.

 

 

 

INDONESIA AIRASIA LAUNCHES SURABAYA-JOHOR BAHRU ROUTE

 

Indonesia AirAsia (IAA) launched four weekly Surabaya-Johor Bahru flights on October 19, 2012. The new route is the airline’s fourth international service out of its Surabaya hub after Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Bangkok. The flights are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. It departs Johor Barhu at 1.10pm and arrives in Surabaya at 2.35pm.

 

 

 

AIRASIA UPS SERVICE TO YOGYAKARTA

 

AirAsia increased the frequency of its Kuala Lumpur-Yogyakarta (Indonesia) service to twice daily from once a day beginning October 31, 2012.

 

 

 

MAS TO INCREASE CAPACITY TO LONDON AND PARIS

 

Malaysia Airlines will introduce double daily Airbus A380 services on its Kuala Lumpur-London (Heathrow) route beginning November 24, 2012. The move will raise the weekly seat capacity on this sector from 5,971 to 6,916 seats in each direction, an increase of 16%.

 

The flag carrier will also commence daily A380 operations to Paris effective March 1, 2013, replacing its existing daily service with the Boeing B777 aircraft.

 

 

 

MAS OFFERS DAYTIME FLIGHTS TO CHENNAI

 

Malaysia Airlines launched four times weekly daytime flights between Kuala Lumpur and Chennai, India starting from September 1, 2012. The new services on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, complement the current daily night services to Chennai.

 

The daytime flight departs Kuala Lumpur at 9.35am and arrives in the south Indian city at 10.45am. The return flight departs Chennai at 11.45am to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.15pm. The new flights use the Boeing B737-800 aircraft, which has a total capacity of 1,280 seats in both directions. This is on top of the existing capacity of 3,206 seats on the A330-200 daily evening flights.

 

 

 

MAS BEGINS 5TH KL-BANGKOK DAILY SERVICE

 

Malaysia Airlines commenced its fifth daily service between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok on October 28, 2012, celebrating the 40th anniversary of its flight operations between the two cities.

 

The new daily flight, MH796, departs Kuala Lumpur at 9.55pm and arrives in Bangkok at 11.00pm. The return flight from Bangkok departs daily at 6.20am and arrives in Kuala Lumpur at 9.30am. The flights are operated using the 160-seater Boeing B737-800 aircraft comprising 16 Business Class and 144 Economy Class seats.

 

The airline continues with its twice-daily Boeing B737-800 services between Phuket and Kuala Lumpur. It also maintains its code-share operations with Bangkok Air for Bangkok-Koh Samui (31 times weekly flights), Bangkok-Phuket (14 times weekly flights), Bangkok-Chiang Mai (14 times weekly flights), Koh Samui-Phuket (14 times weekly flights) and Koh Samui-Kuala Lumpur (daily flight).

 

 

 

CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES FLIES DIRECT TO KOTA KINABALU

 

China Southern Airlines started its direct flight to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah from Guangzhou on August 31, 2012. The airline had previously operated charter flights to Kota Kinabalu.

 

 

 

AIRASIA INCREASES FLIGHT FREQUENCY TO TRICHY

 

AirAsia increased the frequency between Kuala Lumpur and Tiruchirappali (Trichy), India from seven to 11 weekly flights effective October 15, 2012. The new frequencies are on every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, complementing the existing daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Trichy. Flight AK1235 departs Kuala Lumpur at 2.45pm and arrives in Trichy at 4pm, while AK1236 departs Trichy at 4.30pm and arrives in Kuala Lumpur at 11pm.

 

 

 

BERJAYA AIR FLIES TO HUA HIN

 

Malaysia’s Berjaya Air will commence three-weekly service between Subang Airport, Kuala Lumpur and Hua Hin, Thailand starting from November 8, 2012. The airline has yet to finalise the schedule, but it will operate three weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays using the 70-seat ATR72 aircraft.

 

The airline used to operate flights to Samui, but has halted the service since last March. Its current destinations are Tioman Island, Redang Island, Pangkor, Langkawi in Malaysia and Singapore flying from its base at Subang Airport in Kuala Lumpur.

 

 

 

IRAN’S MAHAN AIR LAUNCHES THIRD ROUTE TO KUALA LUMPUR

 

Mahan Air expanded its network to Southeast Asia from August 14, 2012 when the private Iranian airline started its Tehran-Kuala Lumpur service. Due to bilateral limitations the flights are operated with two weekly frequencies only, using the 195-seat Airbus A310 aircraft. The airline has been serving Kuala Lumpur from two other Iranian airports, Mashhad and Shiraz, since 2010.

 

 

 

AIRASIA TO FLY TO NANNING

 

AirAsia will commence thrice-weekly services between Kuala Lumpur and Nanning, China from December 11, 2012. This new route makes AirAsia the sole airline to provide direct links between the two cities.

 

 

 

BB AIRWAYS INCREASES CONNECTIVITY ON KL-KATHMANDU ROUTE

 

BB Airways, a private carrier based in Nepal, arrived at the KL International Airport on October 17, 2012, offering more connectivity for the Kuala Lumpur-Kathmandu route.

 

The KL International Airport (KLIA) now offers 14 flights weekly to Kathmandu with Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia X and Royal Nepal Airlines flying to the home of Mount Everest. Passengers also have more privileges in terms of greater choices and flying options between Kuala Lumpur and Kathmandu.

 

 

 

KLIA 2 STARTS OPERATIONS IN MAY 2013 WITH 10 AIRLINES

 

The new Low Cost Carrier Terminal, KLIA 2 in Sepang, is set to host 10 frills-free airlines when it is operational in May 2013. Among them are Zest Airways, Lion Air, Tiger Airways, Cebu Pacific Air, Malindo Airways and AirAsia.

 

KLIA 2 is being constructed at a cost of nearly RM4 billion to replace the temporary Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), which was built in 2006. The new airport, located just two kilometres from the main KL International Airport (KLIA) with a total area of 242,000sqm, will be the largest low cost terminal in the region on completion.

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS & VENUES

 

 

MARINI’S ON 57 @ PETRONAS TOWER 3

 

The latest and most iconic rooftop destination in the city, Marini's on 57, is located on Level 57 of Menara 3 Petronas in Kuala Lumpur City Centre. It is a dazzling jewel in the city's skyline with unparalleled views, and is set to impress you and your guests.

 

Housing a chic and fabulous bar, a warm and contemporary Italian restaurant and an exceptional cigar and whisky lounge, Marini's on 57 pulsates even when the rest of the city is asleep. This is the place to close that business deal, the location to host that special occasion, to relax after a hard day’s work, or just to enjoy the evening with family and friends.

 

 

 

 

ANY OTHER NEWS

 

 

DATAI BAY GOLF CLUB CLOSED FOR UPGRADING

 

The Datai Bay Golf Club in Langkawi is closed for upgrading works and its reopening will be postponed until July 2013. The tennis courts are also not available during this period. As an alternative we would like to recommend the Gunung Raya Golf Club, which is located approximately 30 minutes by car from The Andaman.

 

Please contact us if you need any additional information or should there be anything we can assist you with.

 

 

 

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INDONESIA

 

A note from Managing Director Andre Seiler

 

WEST SUMBA - INDONESIA’S UNDISCOVERED BEAUTY

 

Bali is just one hour flight from the provincial airport of Tambolaka in West Sumba. While most neighbouring islands are located on the border of two tectonic plates, Sumba sees no volcanic activity and is relatively flat with dry savannah. The beaches of Sumba are famous for their white sand and turquoise water, while all other volcanic islands nearby often have darker sand beaches.

 

Sumba is also home to a large population of horses.  This also explains why the tribal warriors attending the annual Pasola Festival in February and March fight with spears against each other on the back of their horses. The remote villages on top of hills can only be reached by foot, and the villagers practise animism. Their dead are buried in megalithic tombs in front of their houses. The roofs of the houses are of a design found only on Sumba.

 

The road system has been recently improved, so visitors can easily stay in the comfortable Sumba Nautil Resort and visit different sights during day excursions. The hotel offers all necessary facilities, has a nice pool overlooking the ocean and a very good semi-open restaurant. The deserted beach is within walking distance. More exclusive and located right on the beach is the Nihiwatu Resort, an eco property offering a variety of  activities such as surfing or fishing.

 

 

Please contact us at res@asiantrails.co.id for more information about packages to West Sumba.

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

BALI PLAYS HOST TO APEC SUMMIT 2013

 

The upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2013 in Bali was originally scheduled to be held in November. We have just received the revised dates of this important event from a hotel partner, and it will be held from October 1-10, 2013 at the Bali International Convention Centre and the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre.

 

Due to the important nature of the event and the participation of many country leaders we expect increased security measures and full hotels in the Nusa Dua resort area in early October 2012. Prior to the summit the new International Terminal and expansion at Ngurah Rai Airport, plus the road improvement project in South Bali, are scheduled to be finished, according to the local authorities.

 

 

PASSENGER SERVICE CHARGE INCLUDED IN GARUDA INDONESIA’S DOMESTIC TICKETS

 

Starting October 4, 2012 Indonesian flag-carrier, Garuda Indonesia, pioneered the inclusion of Passenger Service Charge (PSC/airport tax) into its airfare for domestic flights. Passengers previously had to pay the PSC with cash upon departure at appointed counters at the airport.

 

The PSC, currently applicable only on Garuda’s domestic flights within Indonesia, is between IDR 25,000 to IDR 40,000 (USD3 to USD4.50) per person, depending on the airport. Consequently, Garuda has increased its domestic airfares by the same amount. The other airlines have not confirmed if they will follow the policy.

 

The international departure airport tax, which is IDR 150,000 per person, remains excluded from the airfare and has to be paid cash upon departure at airport.

 

Asian Trails is applying the new fares for new bookings with immediate effect. For existing bookings for future flights, which were issued before October 4, passengers still have to pay the PSC at the airport.

 

 

NEW REGULATION FOR PURCHASE OF TRAIN TICKETS IN JAVA

 

Many of our itineraries in Java include a pleasant train ride from either Bandung to Yogyakarta or from Yogyakarta to Surabaya. Travelling by train is also popular with Indonesian tourists, especially since traffic on the roads is increasing.

 

Recently some brokers have purchased whole stacks of tickets in order to resell them for higher fares to domestic travellers. To prevent these people from manipulating the prices of tickets, especially during public holidays, the Indonesian Railways make it mandatory that tickets can only be purchased against the name and passport number of the travelling passenger. This new rule was implemented on September 1, 2012.

 

Our Inbound staff will contact you to request for the passport numbers of each guest who is booked for a train journey of an existing file for arrival from September 1 onwards. For new files with train bookings we kindly request that you provide us with the passport numbers of your esteemed clients.

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

CRUISE IN LUXURY ON SALILA

 

Salila is a luxury expedition yacht, which was launched in the summer of 2011. Accommodating up to 20 guests, she is available for exclusive charter throughout remote areas of the Indonesian archipelago. On board is a complement of 20 crew providing unrivalled services including restaurant, spa, bars and in-house cinema.

 

Salila is an exceptionally well built boat, constructed from superior steel and meticulously maintained - a poster child for expedition yacht conversion. The interiors feature natural materials such as white oak, limestone and marine-inspired materials such as mother-of-pearl, and local products like crackled coconuts and straws. The off-white and cream upholstery fabrics are accented with multiple shades of blues and azures.

 

The sun deck is accessed via stairs port and starboard on the upper deck. Forward on the sun deck is a full wet bar, lounge area and ample deck space for dancing. Just aft of the bar area is a large open air jacuzzi surrounded by sun beds.

 

 

SAKALA BEACH CLUB AND RESTAURANT

 

Located in Tanjung Benoa-Nusa Dua, on the sunrise side of the southeast coast of Bali, Sakala occupies a 3,000 square metre venue in a two-story Balinese style tower. Walking into Sakala guests encounter the LED Glass bar, offering an intimate lounge experience. Drawing focus in the Main Room is the 15-metre long-400 bottles wine cellar and DJ booth. The Beach Lounge is an intimate boîte with beach views, projection wall and outdoor seating area. In tribute to the tradition on classic mixology the bar menu features specialty cocktails with a modern twist.

 

Sakala is great place for outdoor events. For more information contact our MICE team at: mice@asiantrails.co.id

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

SAMABE BALI RESORT & VILLAS - BALI’S NEWEST LUXURY RESORT

 

Samabe Bali Resort & Villas in Nusa Dua, Bali’s newest luxury resort, occupies eight hectares of landscaped tropical gardens overlooking the sparkling blue Indian Ocean with kilometres of fine white sand stretching along the coast. It features 39 beautiful full Ocean View Suites (13 suites comes with private pool) and 42 pool villas, with one to two bedrooms, each with its own luxurious private pool.

 

A signature feature of Samabe Bali Resort & Villas is its luxury all-inclusive concept, "Unlimited Privileges". It is a fresh new concept of luxury benefits that includes special welcome amenities, the full gamut of premium meals and beverages on tap, a wide selection of Samabe signature activities, entertainment, meeting room facilities and spa treatments (certain benefits are subject to terms and conditions). Other facilities include a gourmet restaurant and ocean view grill restaurant and bar, tropical spa villas, ocean view swimming pool, wedding chapel and romantic caves.

 

 

THE STONES LEGIAN BALI OPENS

 

The Stones Legian Bali, an Autograph Collection by Marriott, is located on the southern tip of Legian Beach. It offers guests the perfect vantage point to experience all the island has to offer - all with a sense of style and a splash of the extraordinary. The resort is a haven of elegance and style with iconic architectural design meeting eclectic. It offers dazzling vertical gardens, oversized pool, entertainment deck, spa, three innovative restaurants and luxuriously appointed guestrooms.

 

 

 

HEATED POOLS AT VICEROY BALI

 

Viceroy Bali is heating the indoor pools in the Garden Villas and outdoor pools in the Terrace Villas. The water in the pools reaches a comfortable water temperature of about 29ºC (84.2ºF). The outdoor pool in the Deluxe Terrace Villas, Vice Regal Villas and Viceroy Villas are without heater and the water temperature is between 24-25ºC (75.2º-77ºF).

 

Viceroy Bali features 25 spacious luxury individual villas with swimming pools. It nestles in the serenity of the Lembah Valley, offering spectacular views over the Petanu River Gorge and tropical forests.

 

 

ACCOR ADDS FOURTH MERCURE RESORT IN BALI

 

Accor has opened the 201-room Mercure Bali Nusa Dua, its fourth property under the Mercure label in Bali. The hotel has a restaurant, lobby and pool bar, a fitness centre and a swimming pool that is divided over two levels and connected by a waterfall. There are three meeting rooms with a capacity of up to 200 paxs for conferences, weddings and other events.

 

The resort is located behind the first row of the existing beach hotels close to the Bali Tourism Development complex, major convention centres and the Bali Collection Shopping Mall that offers numerous shopping, dining and entertainment options.

 

 

ALAYA UBUD OPENS ITS DOORS

 

The De Daun Group has opened Alaya Ubud, its brand new property under its corporate banner in the cultural village of Ubud. This is a stylish boutique hotel, which reflects Bali as an artistic destination and meets the needs of international travellers.

 

Located in downtown Ubud the resort shares the same rice terrace views as the renowned Bebek Bengil Restaurant, and is within easy walking distance to the Monkey Forest. The area is also vibrant, filled with specialty shops, art galleries and cafes along with lifestyle activities for health conscious guests. It features 60 tastefully appointed rooms, a main swimming pool and a restaurant specialising in cuisine from around the Indonesian archipelago.

 

Alaya Ubud was designed exclusively by Grounds Kent Architects, which is responsible for iconic resorts such as Four Seasons Jimbaran and St. Regis Bali. Landscaping is by Made Wijaya, Bali’s very own authority on tropical gardens. The resort is set to become a modern interpretation of Bali’s local building culture through the combination of indigenous materials and innovative examples of island-inspired artistry.

 

 

 

LOVINA BEACH RESORT IS OPENED

 

Lovina Beach Resort is the newest luxury hotel to open on Lovina Beach in North Bali. All its villas and suites are designed for indulging in the tranquillity of the tropical north Bali shore, without sacrificing luxury and comfort. They are elegantly furnished in Balinese contemporary style and are equipped with the latest technological equipment and conveniences. Facilities include a spa, fitness centre studio, kids club and meeting and conference facilities.  

 

 

 

ASTON LAUNCHES "HOTEL NEO BY ASTON"

 

A new hotel brand, "Hotel NEO by Aston", was launched recently with a significant portfolio of 20 properties, all of which are currently under development across Indonesia. The first Hotel NEO will open by end November this year in the Legian area of Bali. Five other NEOs will follow in Bali, along with six in and around Jakarta, and secondary and tertiary cities across Indonesia, including Yogyakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Semarang, Makassar and Balikpapan.

 

According to Aston, Hotel NEO is "hip and new" offering a "light-filled, visitor-friendly atmosphere". Properties will be designed along contemporary style with open spaces and modern amenities, but will be priced at the level of an economy hotel. This is Aston’s sixth brand and joins its existing favehotel collection in the select service market.

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

GARUDA INDONESIA AND ETIHAD AIRWAYS CODE SHARE

 

Garuda Indonesia and Etihad Airways entered into a code share agreement on October 28, 2012, which allows the two companies to mutually help develop their destinations and expand their network. Under the agreement Garuda becomes Etihad’s partner in expanding its eastern-bound destinations. In turn Etihad will help the Indonesian flag carrier to develop its western-bound destinations.

 

Garuda can sell flight tickets to more than 27 Etihad destinations through Abu Dhabi. Etihad can do the same for Garuda’s destinations in Asia, Australia, Japan and Indonesia. In line with the agreement, which comes into effect on December 2, 2012, Garuda will also change its four times weekly flights between Jakarta and Amsterdam to go through Abu Dhabi instead of Dubai. Passenger of the Indonesia flag carrier will be connected to more than 80 destinations in 50 countries served by Etihad.

 

 

 

MANDALA AIRLINES CONNECTS PADANG WITH SINGAPORE

 

Mandala Airlines will launch the Padang Singapore-Denpasar (Bali) route on December 1, 2012. It will be the first airline with direct connection from Singapore to Padang, the capital city of West Sumatra, once the new service takes off. The daily service will be operated using the Airbus A320 aircraft. The flight will depart from Padang at 07.55hrs and arrive in Singapore at 09.55hrs. It will then take off from Singapore at 10.35hrs and reach Denpasar at 13.10hrs.

 

 

 

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