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
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
Our offices in the region are reporting very strong bookings
for products and services as it is now the high season for
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
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!
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
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.
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
THAILAND TO HOLD MAJESTIC ROYAL BARGE PROCESSION ON
NOVEMBER 9, 2012
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.
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.
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
& 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.
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
a stay here is an experience of old world architectural
beauty artistically blended with modern panache.
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
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.
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.
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
Buri Rasa Koh Phangan is scheduled to
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.
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.
THAILAND INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FESTIVAL 2012
NOVEMBER 23-25, 2012
VENUE: CHIANG MAI GYMKHANA GOLF CLUB
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
CHIANG MAI YI PENG FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER 27-29, 2012
VENUE: THA PHAE GATE, BANKS OF PING RIVER, CHIANG
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,
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
PHUKET KING’S CUP REGATTA
DECEMBER 1-8, 2012
VENUE: KATA BEACH, PHUKET
King's Cup Regatta is Asia's biggest and most popular
regatta. Inaugurated in 1987 to celebrate the 60th birthday
of His Majesty
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.
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.
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.
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
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
MALAYSIA AIRLINES UPS FREQUENCIES ON KL- BANGKOK
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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).
VIENTIANE OFFICE WECOMES BENJAMIN, SAYS GOODBYE TO
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!
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
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.
ASEAN SUMMIT IN PHNOM PENH
- NOVEMBER 17-21, 2012
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
CONDOR AIRLINES FLIES TO SIEM REAP FROM NOVEMBER 3
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
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
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.
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
TROPICAL GARDEN, HUE COMPLETES RENOVATIONS
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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:
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)
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:
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
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:
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 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
along with an events complex on the lower floors at ground
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN CHINA - 2013:
• NEW YEAR: December 30, 2012-January 1 (January 1
• 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
• NATIONAL DAY: October 1-7 (China National Day on October
SHOWS & EVENTS IN CHINA - 2013
• Guangzhou Furniture Show: March 18-21
• Guangzhou Spring Canton Fair: April 15-May 4
• Guangzhou Autumn Canton Fair: October 15-November 4
• F1 in Shanghai: April 12-14
• Auto Show: April 17 -20
• National Sugar & Wine Trading Fair: March 15 -20
• International Auto Show: September 15-22
• Western Expo: October 15-22
UNITED AIRLINES UNVEILS DREAMLINER’S ROUTES TO
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
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.
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
We hope, through such activities, to help promote
eco-friendly and sustainable tourism. We are already
looking forward to our next outing!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
ANANDA TEMPLE FESTIVAL
JANUARY 23-FEBRUARY 10 2013
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Malaysia Truly Asia!
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
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.
IBIS STYLES KUALA LUMPUR FRASER BUSINESS PARK OPENS
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
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
NOVEMBER 13, 2012
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA (EXCEPT LABUAN AND
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.
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,
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
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)
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
Entrance fee is
RM68 per night for "Jazz By The Beach" stage performances
on December 1 and 2.
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
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!
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
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
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
The Kuala Lumpur to Bintulu flights will be increased to 17
times weekly from 14, with operations commencing on November
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
IRAN’S MAHAN AIR LAUNCHES THIRD ROUTE TO KUALA
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
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
KLIA 2 STARTS OPERATIONS IN MAY 2013 WITH 10
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE
CRUISE IN LUXURY ON 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.
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
SAKALA BEACH CLUB AND RESTAURANT
Located in Tanjung Benoa-Nusa Dua, on the sunrise side of
the southeast coast of Bali, Sakalaoccupies 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
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.
SAMABE BALI RESORT & VILLAS
- BALI’S NEWEST LUXURY
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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