Asian Trails Trailblazer

Issue November 2014

THE CEO STORY 

  

A JUNGLE ADVENTURE IN MALAYSIA'S OLDEST RAINFORESTS 

  

I am not a big fan of manicured jungle journeys but I must admit that Taman Negara, Malaysia's National Park and the country's oldest rainforests, offers an authentic jungle experience for both the young and the old, adrenaline junkies, as well as families with children. 

  

Taman Negara is in the state of Pahang on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Most visitors are drawn to the Park by its canopy walk, the longest in the world. Walking on wooden bridges connected between trees at 45 metres above ground is indeed a dizzying way to see the jungle and its rich flora and fauna.  

  

The National Park is also one of the few places in the world where you can do a jungle walk at night without having to be in a zoo or a fenced off area, or in fear of being attacked by wild animals. You walk on wooden planks in the dark through the jungle, with torches providing the only source of light. It is actually quite eerie being in almost total darkness with the nocturnal sounds of the jungle and its inhabitants all around you. 

  

Taman Negara is home to a large variety of incredible insect species. To me, the most amazing is the giant spider, which is the size of a dinner plate, with long hairy legs. It reminds me of the unique "stars" of programmes like Animal Planet, which I am not sure I really want to meet up close and personal. 

  

My favourite activity in Taman Negara is the boat ride up the Tahan River to the waterfalls. "The journey is the destination" is most apt to describe this activity. The waterfalls are not spectacular, but you can swim under the falls and in the pools. What is truly beautiful is the narrow riverbed overgrown by giant trees. You can take a nice walk of about 20 minutes along this river, suitable for by anyone who is reasonably fit, which comes to as close to an authentic jungle experience as you can get without going on a trek. 

  

Emir Cherif, Asian Trails' managing director in Malaysia, and I wanted to test our jungle survival skill; so we decided to try one of our company's Taman Negara adventure trips. There are many programmes of varying duration. Most are for several days that incorporate daily walks lasting four to eight hours and overnight stays in caves, tree houses or tents.  

  

We opted for the latest journey that treks for about an hour, but takes you right into the heart of the jungle. This experience is not for the faint hearted or the physically impaired, or recommended for families with children as it comes with what you would expect from the jungle - giant spiders, mosquitoes, leeches and thorny bushes.  

  

One of our trip's highlights was the encounter with the Orang Asli, the indigenous minority peoples of Peninsular Malaysia (the name is a Malay term for "original peoples" or "first peoples"). There are not many of Orang Asli left in Malaysia today and most make their living from hosting tourists to their villages. I was happy to see them hunting in the jungle with bows and arrows, to see that some of them continue with their traditional way of life despite the encroachments of the modern world.  

  

Our accommodation for the night was a wooden hut perched high up in the trees with a lookout for animals. Unfortunately it was raining and the animals did what we did, hid in their habitat. However, on clear nights and with a bit of luck you could see monkeys, wild boar, deer, a tapir or even a wild elephant. Don't have high hopes for spotting a tiger, as I don't know of anyone who has ever seen one in Taman Negara.  

  

We spent the night on a hard wooden bench, and woke up in the early morning to the sounds of the jungle, a symphony of insects and birds. The trekking guide cooked us a simple dinner and breakfast. Don't expect any fancy meal while on this adventure!  

  

If you plan to go on the multi-day and new jungle trek experience you have to bring your own camping gear including mattress, sleeping bag, pillow and towel. Don't forget to bring a lighter and alcohol, the former to burn off the leeches and the latter to disinfect the bite. However, these are not required for the regular trips to the Park. 

  

Taman Negara is a four-hour drive up north from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital city. There are few places of interest along the way. Many visitors prefer to stop in Kuala Tembeling to take the three-hour boat ride upriver to the entry point into the Park. 

  

After the jungle adventure you can explore more of the east coast by driving up north to Kuala Terengganu (Terengganu) or Kota Bharu (Kelantan), which borders Thailand. Or go back to the west coast to Cameron Highlands, Ipoh (Perak) or Penang. A train journey is also an option, going up to Kota Bharu or all the way down south to Singapore.   

 

Happy Trails! 

 

 

Laurent Kuenzle 

CEO 

Asian Trails 

 

 

   

QUICK LINKS 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THAILAND

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR CLAUDIO KELLENBERGER

 

Dear friends, 

  

It is my pleasure to "meet" you today in my new role, which I have taken over from Roger Haumueller at the end of October. I have already been in contact with many of you over the last six years I have been with Asian Trails, and I look forward to meet all of you in the near future.  

  

I would like to thank Roger for his support over the last three years in my previous position as Deputy Managing Director in Thailand, and to Laurent Kuenzle for his coaching and trust since I started with Asian Trails Vietnam in 2008.  

  

I'm proud to have a team of over 200 motivated staff and managers here in Thailand with only one goal in mind: to serve you and your clients, and to prepare and operate high quality travel experiences while travelling with Asian Trails Thailand. 

  

We once again invested in our "customer experiences" by creating a new customer relations team for our German-, English- and French-speaking clients in Bangkok. In addition, we are one of the first companies to offer now year-round customer services for our Spanish- and Italian-speaking guests in Koh Samui and Krabi, as well Portuguese services in Phuket (during the winter months).  

  

The above is only a small part of our preparations for the high season, which is starting now, as well a long-term investment into quality services and experiences for your clients. 

  

I thank you for your continued trust and support for Asian Trails Thailand! 

  

Claudio Kellenberger 

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

NEW! 3-DAY THAI LIVING AT SAMPRAN RIVERSIDE

 

Discover and experience traditional Thai culture and the livelihood of the locals through the art and craft workshops set up at different Pavilion stations around the village. Learn about health benefits and the concept behind Thai food. Enjoy cultural show and elephant demonstration that highlights the Thai way of life reflected through everyday activities, festival and traditional celebrations.  

 

 

 

For more information and booking, please contact us

 

 

NEW! 3-DAY THAI WELLNESS EXPERIENCE AT SAMPRAN RIVERSIDE

 

Our definition of Thai Wellness is living a balanced life in harmony with nature. Sampran Riverside is a 70-acre riverside resort where its daily activities revolve around nature, culture and health. Our 3 days/2 nights Thai Wellness Experience programme will provide you an insight into how Thai people lead an healthy and balanced life the traditional way.
 

 

 

For more information and booking, please contact us

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

BANGKOK

 

 

 

NEW - HOTEL ROYAL BANGKOK CHINATOWN

 

Hotel Royal Bangkok Chinatown is a new 4 star hotel in the heart of bustling commercial centre of Bangkok's historic Chinatown. It is a new luxury collection hotel with a modern residential interior design, which reflects a new essence to serve both business and leisure travellers.  

  

The hotel is a convenient 15-minute drive away from the Hua Lampong Railways Station and the MRT Subway, Hua Lampong Station. Its 290 well-appointed guestrooms and suites feature IDD telephone, minibar, in-room personal electronic safe, and complimentary tea- and coffee- making facility.  

 

 

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

 

 

NEW - U SATHORN BANGKOK

 

U Sathorn Bangkok opened in October 2014. It is located in a peaceful part of the capital where natural beauty sits alongside the hustle and bustle of this busy Bangkok district.  

  

Luxuriously appointed, U Sathorn consists of 86 rooms comprising Superior, Superior Garden, Deluxe Garden and Suite accommodation in three Slow-rise wings. They are set courtyard style surrounded by restful green areas with a swimming pool as the centrepiece. The overall design of this urban resort was conceived in a French colonial style with a contemporary twist, inspired by Sri Lankan Geoffrey Bawa who was regarded as one of the most influential Asian architects of the twentieth century.  

 

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

CITRUS SUKHUMVIT 11

 

Citrus Sukhumvit 11 is a brand new hotel featuring 132 stylish rooms and four spacious suites. Located in the bustling Sukhumvit 11 Street, it is only a short stroll to dining and shopping venues and close to the local transport BTS Nana Station. Hotel facilities include the Munch Restaurant, rooftop pool and fitness centre. Free WiFi connection is available throughout the hotel. This s a non-smoking hotel, but has designated smoking areas. It is an ideal hotel for business and leisure visitors.

 

 

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

PATTAYA

 

A-ONE STAR HOTEL

 

A-One Star Hotel is located in central Pattaya, just steps away from Beach Road in Soi 3, about 50 metres from the beach. Here the scene shifts nightly along with the entertainment, guaranteed for an adventure and a new experience.

 

 

  

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

 

NEW - OZO PATTAYA

 

OZO Pattaya opened in September 2014. It is just a 10-minute walk to Pattaya Bay and another 10-minutesto Pattaya Walking Street. A cosy sanctuary for amazing sleep, all its 164 guestrooms feature modern rooms, walk-in shower with Breeze spa amenities, curtains that block out the light, flat screen TV, multimedia panels, and free WiFi. 

 

 

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

KOH KOOD (TRAT)

 

SONEVA KIRI KOH KOOD'S PRIVATE AIR SERVICE TO ANGKOR WAT

 

Soneva Kiri launched its twice-weekly flights by private plane to/from Koh Kood to Siem Reap, Cambodia, in November 2014. The new air service is on every Sunday and Wednesday. with an average flight time of between 50 to 60 minutes.  

 

 

 

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

CHIANG MAI

 

NEW - EASTIN TAN HOTEL CHIANG MAI

 

Eastin Tan Hotel Chiang Mai is scheduled open in December 2014. The 4 star hotel is located on the main road of Huay Kaew and in the corner of the Nimanhemin Road Shopping and entertainment area - the most popular area for tourists with its small designer shops, home furnishing centres, art galleries and restaurants. It features 128 rooms and suites with sizes ranging from 34sqm to 160sqm. There are available options for one- to three-bedroom suites, as well as dedicated family floor with a play area for children.  

 

 

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

KOH SAMUI

 

CODE SAMUI

 

Code Samui is designed in a tropical contemporary style with furniture individually designed with the finest quality materials. They complement perfectly the modern clean lines and the state-of-the-art appliances to create a highly sophisticated and functional living space. It won the award for "Best Interior Design - South East Asia" at the Virgin Atlantic International Property show.  

  

The hotel is located on Koh Samui's north coast, just a five-minute drive from the shores of Bang Por Beach with its excellent selection of traditionally charming Thai restaurants and bars. Its 40 suites at Code Samui are designed with an exemplary focus on both comfort and styling to keep guests in the lap of luxury.   

 

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

LANNA SAMUI  

 

Lanna is a contemporary and truly chic resort featuring beautifully appointed suites from designer studios to decadent penthouses. It is located in the heart of the bustling beachside village of Bangrak and is just a five-minute stroll to the postcard perfect tropical shores of Big Buddha Bay. Hotel facilities include a fusion cuisine bistro and cocktail bar, spa, fitness centre, tennis courts and an oversized central swimming pool with hydrotherapy beds. 

 

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

 

PHUKET

 

SAIYUAN BURI AND RESIDENCES PHUKET

 

Saiyuan Buri Resort & Residences Phuket offers the ambiance of a Thai village complete with Thai hospitality. It is located on a serene location of Rawai, just 45 minutes from Phuket International Airport, 15 minutes from Central Festival Shopping Mall, and 10 minutes from Naiharn Beach. All tourist attractions and hidden treasures in Phuket Island are near the hotel. It has 75 nicely decorated rooms equipped with modern facilities, a swimming pool, fitness area, business centre, and restaurant

 

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

LOY KRATHONG FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER.6, 2014
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 such as banana trunk and lotus, to make krathongs (lotus-shaped receptacle that can float on the water) that 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, and entertainment shows at night including fireworks. 

 

 

 

RIVER KWAI BRIDGE WEEK
NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER.7, 2014
VENUE: KANCHANABURI


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

 

 

 

NEW YEAR COUNTDOWN
DECEMBER 31, 2014-JANUARY 1, 2015
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. Visiting temples is a traditional way in Thailand to welcome a new year.  

  

Bangkok is one of the liveliest cities in Thailand to celebrate the New Year. The countdown event takes place in every corner of the city, but the main venue is the Ratchaprasong intersection in the main shopping and business district. A variety of stage performances by leading Thai artists, followed by a magnificent fireworks display and the joyful sound of the countdown, make a good start to New Year. 

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

FIREFLY LINKS PENANG WITH KRABI

 

Malaysia-based community airline, Firefly, has launched its first flight to Krabi from Penang. The thrice-weekly Penang-Krabi service is complemented by the four times weekly flights to Phuket and three weekly flights to Koh Samui, bringing a total of 10 weekly flights between Penang and Thailand.

  

FY3490 departs Penang at 8.35am and arrives in Krabi at 8.45am (local time). The return flight, FY3491, leaves Krabi at 9.35am (local time) and reaches Penang at 11.45am.

 

 

 

QATAR AIRWAYS INTRODUCES NON-STOP FLIGHTS TO PHUKET

 

Qatar Airways has launched non-stop lights from Doha to Phuket using the Airbus A330 in a two class-configuration of 24 seats in business class and 236 seats in economy. The new non-stop service facilitates shorter travel times for the growing number of tourists to Phuket and for those heading out of Thailand. The airline currently flies the Doha-Phuket route daily via Kuala Lumpur.  

  

Europe is a particularly strong growth visitor market for Phuket with the UK, Russia, Germany, France and Italy among the top five feeder markets. The new non-stop service will increase the two-way traffic between Qatar and Thailand. 

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS AND VENUES

 

 

THE GALLERY RESTAURANT, CHIANG MAI

 

The Gallery Restaurant in Chiang Mai is decorated in a combination of Chinese and Lanna style, offering a charming, relaxed riverside experience in one of the oldest wooden structures in Chiang Mai. There is also an art gallery. It is open from 12pm to midnight. 

 

 

 

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

 

STAFF UPDATE

 

 

A WARM WELCOME TO YVES VAN KERREBROECK

 

Yves Van Kerrebroeck, a Belgium national, is Asian Trails Thailand's new Deputy Managing Director, taking over from Claudio Kellenberger. Yves holds a Master Degree in Marketing and Communications. He has been working in the tourism industry for 12 years in various positions, the last 3.5 years in Vietnam where he held the position of Regional Director of Products at Indochina Services.  

  

We wish Yves success and all the best in his new position!   

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS' NEW CUSTOMER RELATIONS TEAM

 

Marek Bis, a Czech national (pictured right) and Elies Rostane, a Swiss national from the French-speaking part of Switzerland (pictured left), are heading our new customer relations team in Bangkok effective November 1, 2014. Marek has been with Asian Trails since 2012. They will visit clients, give welcome calls, offer assistance, and liaise with our travel agent clients on all matters related to client services.  

  

We wish Marek and Elies success and satisfaction in their new exciting roles.  

 

 

 

 

Go back to top, please click here

 
 

LAOS

 

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR ANDREAS HOFMANN

 

Dear Partners and Friends, 

  

There has been a change at Asian Trails Laos, and I am happy to take over from Mr. Bjoern Schimanski as the new Managing Director. I appreciate coming back to Laos having worked in culture tourism development on the UNESCO World Heritage nominated Plain of Jars before.  

Compared to the bustle and hustle in Thailand and Vietnam, you can slow down in Laos.  

  

Laos does not have beaches or spectacular attractions. Instead of rushing from highlight to highlight, Laos is about meeting people and learning their stories. What I love about this country is that people always surprise me with their hospitality and good humour. 

  

I look forward to doing business with you in Laos, and continue the good cooperation with our partners in the country. As always, we are looking forward to welcome you and your clients to simply beautiful Laos over the holidays, or at any time of the year! 

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:  SLOW TRAVEL IN LAOS - LIVING BUDDHIST CULTURE

  

Laos is a very spiritual society that, with its living Buddhist culture, takes us back to another more serene age. Traditions, customs and festivals are part of the yearly calendar. When travelling in Laos you will almost certainly witness one or more festivals. Of course, there is the famous alms-giving ceremony in Luang Prabang. There are also many small ceremonies, like the national ceremony called Baci - the assembly of the 32 parts of your soul.  

  

We can arrange such a ceremony during your visit to Luang Prabang or elsewhere. Your Lao hosts will be happy if you join in! 

 

 

 

NEW PANDAW CRUISE - JOURNEY ALONG NORTHERN MEKONG IN LAOS

 

Pandaw Cruise is in the process of finishing their new boat - RV Pandaw Laos to traverse the Northern Mekong in Laos. From Vientiane, the old French capital and so redolent of L'Indochine, the cruise will be the first river expedition since pre-war days to cross all of Laos.  

  

RV Pandaw Laos will stop for two nights at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang with its dazzling wood carved monasteries. It will then continue deep into the mountains, through rapids and gorges on the high-powered little Pandaw. This will be followed with visits to tribal villages, and exploration of the jungle and countryside.  

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

 

HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS -VIENTIANE

 

The Lao capital of Vientiane is gradually improving its high-end appeal with numerous developments in the hospitality sector.  

 

Ansara Boutique Hotel (pictured) is keeping its style with the addition of more rooms.   

  

Lao Plaza Hotel is continuing with the upgrade and refurbishment of the standard rooms.  

  

The famous French restaurant, NaDao, has reopened at Mandala Boutique Hotel.  

 

 

 

HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS - LUANG PRABANG

 

The UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang is continuing to see incremental improvement in the hotel sector.  

  

Hotel de la Paix and 3 Nagas are now managed by ACCOR.  

  

My Dream Hotel Luang Prabang is building My Dream2, which will add three new bungalows suitable for families.  

  

Maison Dalabua is also adding new rooms and a swimming pool. 

 

 

 

 

STAFF UPDATE

 

 

ESTELLE IS ATL'S NEW INCOMING AND PRODUCT MANAGER

 

Estelle, a French national, has been appointed as Asian Trails Laos' new Incoming and Product Manager. She originally came to Laos purely by chance, and fell deeply in love with the culture and the Lao people. Estelle has five years' experience in the tourism industry in Asia. She started her career in Laos before moving to Myanmar, and finally returning to Laos and joined the Asian Trails Laos' team. 

 

 

 

 

Go back to top, please click here

   

 

CAMBODIA

 

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR VERONIQUE DUCASSY

 

Dear business partners and friends, 

  

The high touristic season has begun and looks very promising. Our professional and dedicated team is ready to welcome your clients to Cambodia!  

  

We are also proud to share with you that 10 Asian Trails Cambodia staff will attend to the Siem Reap half marathon on December 7, which will take place inside the Angkor temples area. We wish them good luck for the race. 

  

There are a few public holidays in Cambodia until the end of December 2014 to celebrate festivals and special events namely the Water Festival (November 5-7), Cambodia Independence Day (November 9 - holiday on Monday November 10), and Human Rights Day (December 10). Please note that during these days only a few staff will be on duty to handle emergencies. 

 

As this is the last issue of 2014, the team at Asian Trails Cambodia and I wish you a very happy and successful end of the year. We hope to welcome you and your clients to Cambodia in 2015. 

  

Happy Trails! 

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

CAMBODIA LAUNCHES NEW E-VISA SITE AND INCREASES VISA FEES

 

Cambodia has launched a new website for e-visa applications for both leisure and business travellers. E-visa application is now hosted at www.evisa.gov.kh, instead  of at https://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh 

  

On October 1, 2014 the new visa fees for all foreign nationals visiting Cambodia Came into force. The fee is now USD 30 for a one-month tourist visa (Type T) instead of USD 20, and USD 35 for a one-month business visa (Type E) instead of USD 25. 

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

VESPA TOUR - AFTER DARK FOODIES

 

To enjoy the real Cambodian food scene in Siem Reap some exploration is required, as it is not easy for short-term visitors to know the best places to eat. We have thus designed the Vespa Tour - After Dark Foodies, a special ride that bypasses the main tourist areas to venture into the real Khmer nightlife.  

  

This is ideal as an optional tour in our programme, and can be booked as a joint or private tour. 

  

Contact us for more information. 

 

 

 

 

GREEN E-BIKES

 

Green bike is a fun and eco-friendly way to discover the temples of Angkor without effort, pollution or noise. Your exploration of the temples will take a whole new dimension thanks to these electric bikes.

Contact us for more information.
 

 

 

 

ELEPHANT TREK IN SIEM REAP - NEW SCHEDULE AND PRICING.

    

The price of the Elephant Trek will be increased to USD20 from January 2015.  

  

The 20-minute tour takes visitor on the back of the elephant around Bayon Temple or from the South Gate of Angkor Thom to Bayon 

  

The tour is available in the morning, with departure between 8am and 10am, and in the afternoon with departure at 3.30pm. 

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

PHNOM PENH

 

IROHA GARDEN HOTEL AND RESORT

 

Iroha Garden Hotel and Resort offers 22 different themed rooms and suites with free WiFi, an outdoor pool, tropical garden and spa. Meals are served at the restaurant while free private parking is available.  

  

The hotel is a five-minute drive to the Royal Palace and Riverfront Park. Guests have access to barbecue, water sports, and luggage storage facilities. 

 

 

 

SIEM REAP

 

LA RESIDENCE BLANC D'ANGKOR

 

La Residence Blanc d'Angkor is a new boutique hotel in Siem Reap. It has 29 contemporary designed rooms, and a swimming pool. 

 

We recommend this hotel for FIT guests. 

 

 

 

GRAND SOLUXE ANGKOR HOTEL RENAMED AS ANGKOR PALACE RESORT & SPA

  

Grand Soluxe Angkor Hotel has ended its partnership with Soluxe Hotels Group, and it has been renamed as Angkor Palace Resort & Spa. The management team and service staff remain unchanged. 

 

 

 

KEP

 

SAMANEA BEACH SPA RESORT

 

Samanea Beach Spa Resort is a new property spanning two hectares of land in the middle of a botanical park surrounded by the sea and mangroves. With its own private beach, the resort has 10 Khmer-style villas, an infinity pool and a 300-metres long pontoon. 

 

 

 

RATANAKIRI

 

RATTANAK RESORT

 

Rattanak Resort features 16 bungalows, each with a balcony offering captivating views over the beautiful landscape of Ratanakiri province. There are 10 Doubles bungalows and six that are suitable for families. It has an infinity pool, which offers spectacular view of the hills, forests, crop farms and tree plantations -ideal for relaxing and enjoying the sunset with your favourite drink. 

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

WATER FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER 5-6, 2014
VENUE: PHNOM PENH, SIEM REAP

 

The Water Festival, a national holiday, was established to commemorate ancient Cambodian navy soldiers under King Jayavarman VII during the Khmer Empire. It returns to the capital Phnom Penh for the first time since 2010. The Royal Palace will be closed in the afternoon, but the National Museum will remain open. 

  

The festival is also celebrated in Siem Reap. There will be boat racing on November 5-6 along Siem Reap River. 

 

 

 

CAMBODIA INDEPENDENCE DAY

NOVEMBER 9, 2014
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. There may be some traffic disruption during the morning of the celebrations. 

 

 

 

ANGKOR WAT INTERNATIONAL HALF MARATHON
DECEMBER 7, 2014
VENUE: ANGKOR WAT

 

The internationally recognised Angkor Wat International Half Marathon raises funds for the victims of anti-personnel mines in Cambodia. The marathon started in 1996 with the support of many Japanese running enthusiasts. Today it attracts participants from all over the world. 

  

Asian Trails Cambodia will have a team at the marathon. Join us at the event. 

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

VIETJET'S NEW SIEM REAP TO HANOI ROUTE.

 

Vietjet introduces a new route connecting Hanoi and Siem Reap on November 3, 2014. The daily direct flight departs Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi at 17.15hrs and Siem Reap International Airport at 18.05hrs.  

  

The new route will leverage demand for travel between the two hubs, further boosting the development of trade and tourism between Vietnam and Cambodia. 

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS & VENUES

 

 

SIEM REAP

 

MAHOB RESTAURANT

 

Mahob, the Cambodian word for "food", best embodied this culinary hotspot. It takes traditional Khmer cuisine to a new level, using only the freshest local ingredients to tantalise your taste buds.  

 

The restaurant is in a traditional wooden house, and is just a few minutes from the centre of Siem Reap and five minutes from Angkor Wat. Located in a cosy garden setting surrounded by trees, flowers and a lotus pond, Mahob is away from the hustle and bustle of Pub Street.

 

 

 

 

STAFF UPDATE

 

 

NEW LUXURY MARKET OFFICER FOR ATC PHNOM PENH OFFICE

 

Asian Trails Cambodia has appointed Mr. Thibault Vidal as Luxury Market Officer in Phnom Penh effective from October 26, 2014. Thibault started his adventure with Asian Trails as a trainee in the Bangkok office. He has been in Cambodia for a year. 

 

We wish Thibault all the very best in his new endeavors.  

  

For any queries on the luxury market please contact: Thibault@asiantrails.com.kh and res@asiantrails.com.kh

 

 

 

 

Go back to top, please click here

 

 

VIETNAM

 

 

A note from Managing Director Thuy Tien

 

Dear Friends and Partners, 

  

This is the last issue of Trailblazer for 2014 and, coincidentally, it is also the start of a new season. The ending and the beginning, the old and the new meet as one, like Yin and Yang, like a circle. I take this opportunity to renew your perception about Hue, a "sleeping beauty", and a well-known but fallen-into-disfavour destination.  

  

Hue is a must-see city on the tourist map, but gradually it is losing its competitiveness to more tourist-centric destinations. Years ago the city faced a lack of hotels, closure of the airport, and above all limited touristy and sightseeing options. It also has difficulty to retain tourists for a longer stay. However, in recent years relevant improvements were made with more qualified hotel rooms at affordable rates, an upgraded airport with better flight frequencies and facility to cope with bad weather, and more importantly there are more authentic and innovative experiences to sell. 

  

Culturally, this imperial city inherited the most typical assets of Vietnamese culture in its delectable cuisine, intriguing architecture, festivities, and well-kept Buddhist and religious practices. Notably, the nearby ancient villages are genuine symbols of transition and harmony with their mingling of royal legacy and rustic lifestyle. There are great potential for nature-based activities such as an immersive excursion to Tam Giang Lagoon that has numerous photography opportunities, or a day trek to Bach Ma National Park that is only 60 kilometres from the city centre.  

  

With all these attractions, Hue deserves a minimum of two to three nights stay. There are add-on options for a leisurely themed cycling tour to the countryside, a night foodie tour by cyclo, a hands-on experience to create unique art/handicraft pieces or cook some home food, and an excursion to the Tam Giang Lagoon or Bach Ma National Park. We have a list of creative activities to suit your interests.  

  

Let us guide you through Old Hue with new experiences. 

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

ROAD CLOSURE AT HO CHI MINH CITY CENTRE

 

Ho Chi Minh City is getting a Metro line in the next few years, and the construction has just started in the city centre. The Nguyen Hue Boulevard is closed from October 11, 2014 until February 13, 2015. The road will be converted into a beautiful square, with a part of the square, the outer lanes, to open by February 14, 2015 for vehicles. There is limited access to hotels along the road namely Duxton, Paradise and Kim Do Hotel during the construction period. 

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

HUE - A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY TO THUY BIEU, AN ECO VILLAGE

 

This is a five-hour excursion to Thuy Bieu, an eco village, located about seven kilometres Hue city centre, by bicycle and boat. Cycle along the peaceful village trails, learn to make local handicraft such as votive objects, visit typical monuments representing the legacy of Nguyen Royal family, and visit an ancient house and help to prepare the lunch with garden sourced ingredients. This is an experience to relax and truly absorb the village's rustic atmosphere. This excursion is best fitted with the afternoon sightseeing of Thien Mu Pagoda and the Citadel.  

  

Please contact us for more information. 

 

 

 

HUE - A FOODIE EVENING BY CYCLO

  

Explore Hue's relaxed life style through a slow ride by cyclo. This is an easy night out with sampling typical Hue delicacies, experiencing local eating habits and learning some easy Vietnamese expressions that will be handy on your journey through Vietnam. The tour lasts for three hours, and starts from 6pm.  

  

Please contact us for more information 

 

 

 

A DAY WITH THE FISHERMEN OF TAM GIANG LAGOON

 

Drive north of Hue for about 25 kilometres to immerse in the life of the fishermen on Tam Giang Lagoon, the biggest lagoon system in Southeast Asia. Cycle or walk in the countryside and have fun with some hands-on experience. Immerse into the daily life of a fishermen village by taking a boat ride across the lagoon, an opportunity to try traditional fishing and photograph the beautiful surrounds. Enjoy a tasty lunch cooked with local ingredients and freshly catch seafood. Then take a leisurely walk on the wild beach, observe the colourful tombs known as a "city for the dead", which is an inspirational way to end the day. The best time for the tour is from March to August.  

  

Please contact us for more information. 

  

 

 

JOURNEY THROUGH THE LAND OF THE MUONG

 

In the spirit of blazing new paths we recently explored Ngoc Son Ngo Luong Nature Reserve (NSNL NR), a lesser-known destination located near Pu Luong Nature Reserve. We first introduced this region in our programmes in 2012.  Both nature reserves are off-the-beaten-track destinations, but still closer to Ha Noi (compared with Sapa or Ha Giang) and have good connectivity with neighbouring attractions for a longer itinerary.  

  

If you are looking for such immersive experiential tours please contact us, and we will tailor a programme to meet your needs. 

  

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

NEW - MERCURE PHU QUOC RESORT & VILLAS

 

Mercure Phu Quoc Resort & Villas on Phi Quoc, Vietnam's largest island along the Gulf of Thailand, is a new 4 star bungalow resort. Opened recently it is surrounded by tropical gardens, and features 73 spacious rooms and villas. There are two bars, a restaurant, and a pool bar. 

  

Facilities include a 350sqm swimming pool located at the beautiful remote beach line, fitness centre, two tennis courts and a spa. A water sport centre offers hobby cat, windsurf, kayak, canoe, snorkelling, as well as a 5 star scuba diving instructor to give lessons. 

 

 

 

NEW - LIBERTY CENTRAL SAIGON CITYPOINT HOTEL

 

Vietnamese hotel chain Liberty Hotels opened its seventh property, Liberty Saigon Citypoint Hotel, on August 28, 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City. Located in the city centre it is close to the business and commercial centre, as well as the shopping area.  

  

The hotel is well designed with a large and stylish lobby. It offers 171 chic rooms and suites. Facilities include a rooftop swimming pool with great view, spa, and a large restaurant offering buffet and ala carte menu of international and Asian cuisine. 

 

 

 

NEW - REVERIE SAIGON HOTEL

 

Reverie Saigon Hotel, a new luxury property under the Windsor Management Corporation, will soft open in December 2014. It is located in the heart of Saigon at the edge of the most prestigious and exclusive Nguyen Hue Boulevard and Dong Khoi Street, surrounded by numerous department stores, boutiques and art galleries.  

  

The hotel is the highest hotel in the city located on the 27th to 39th floors. It offers 223 rooms and suites, measuring from 42sqm to 312sqm. Room amenities include HD TV, walk-through wardrobes, DVD player and Nespresso machine. The bathrooms are modern with two basins, separate rain showers, toilet washlets and LCD bathroom TV. Other hotel facilities include several restaurants, lounges and bars. 

 

 

 

PARADISE SAIGON BOUTIQUE HOTEL REOPENS

 

The newly renovated 3 star Paradise Saigon Boutique Hotel reopened recently. It is located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, a five-minute walk to the main shopping centres and Ben Thanh Market. Its 68 comfortable rooms are elegantly designed. There are two suites with jacuzzi on the balcony that offers panoramic view of the city. The hotel also offers good authentic European and Asian food created by its talented chefs. 

 

 

 

CRYSTAL SPA, FIRST SPA EXECUTIVE LOUNGE IN HO CHI MINH CITY

 

Crystal Spa, a well-known spa brand in Thailand just recently opened in Ho Chi Minh City. It offers an extensive range of innovative treatments, as well as exceptional spa experience tailored to suit individual needs. Its tranquil surroundings enchant the senses while calming the mind and allowing the inner self to relax and rejuvenate. It is the perfect place to visit before or after a long flight. 

  

The spa is managed by arom:D, the world's first academic spa. Its contemporary emotional inspired design style provides distinctive treatment concept sensually designed from different emotional balancing treatment and unique mood therapy designed atmosphere. 

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

NEW - VIETNAM AIRLINES' DIRECT SERVICES BETWEEN PHU QUOC, SINGAPORE AND SIEM REAP

 

With the opening of numerous new 4 and 5 star hotels on Phu Quoc Island in the Gulf of Thailand, Vietnam Airlines is launching new international direct flights between the island, Singapore and Siem Reap (Cambodia). 

  

The first flight between Phu Quoc and Singapore started on November 2, 2014 with initial twice-weekly service using an Airbus 321.  

  

The new route, Siem Reap-Phu Quoc, will operate from December 18, 2014 using ATR-72 with three weekly flights. 

  

These new flights provide opportunities for interesting city, culture and beach combinations for leisure holidays, as well as for MICE business.  

 

 

 

JET AIRWAY'S NEW DELHI-HO CHI MINH CITY SERVICE

 

Jet Airways started flying daily between New Delhi (India) and Ho Chi Minh City (via Bangkok) from November 5, 2014. This service opens a new tourism market for Vietnam. 

 

 

 

 

Go back to top, please click here

 

 

CHINA

 

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR KRIS VAN GOETHEM

 

Autumn has been extremely busy, and we have had the privilege to receive travellers from all over the world. More and more clients elect to travel by high speed rail. With an ever-expanding network of lines and glitzy railway stations and facilities, rail will just become more and more popular as an alternative to air. 

 

Mid-November will herald the beginning of the winter season, time for reflection and preparation for 2015!   

 

Asian Trails China will be at EIBTM in Barcelona (November 18-20). Please contact me for more information. 

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

CHENGDU-MIANYANG-LESHAN HIGH SPEED RAIL STARTS SERVICE AT END 2014

    

The Chengdu-Mianyang-Leshan passenger line has been completed, and is now being test driven. The new line is the first high speed railway in southwest China. It starts in Jiangyou and stretches to Emeishan in Sichuan Province, running a total distance of 312 kilometres. It takes only 40 minutes from Chengdu to Emeishan. It will start operations at the end of 2014. 

  

Asian Trails' suggestion: Take the high-speed train to Emeishan, and relax for two nights at the newly opened Anantara Emeishan Resort & Spa. 

 

 

 

GUIYANG-GUANGZHOU HIGH SPEED RAILWAY BEGINS OPERATIONS BY YEAR END

 

The construction of the Guiyang-Guangzhou high speed rail has been completed. Its debugging is being carried out to make sure the line is put into operation by the end of the year.   

  

The standard speed of the Guiyang-Guangzhou line will be 250 kilometres per hour. With a total length of 857 kilometres the high speed rail will start from north Guiyang, stopping at Longli, Duyun, Danzhai, Rongjiang, Congjiang, Guilin, Gongcheng, Hezhou, Zhaoqing, Sanshui and Foshan to arrive at its terminal Guangzhou. 

  

There are 21 stops in total, and eight stops are inside Guizhou province. The new line will reduce travelling time Guiyang to Guangzhou to only four hours from about 20 hours previously. 

  

Tunnels will carry more than 80% of the Guiyang-Guangzhou high speed railway. There will be 3G and 4G network in most of the tunnels for travellers' convenience. 

  

Asian Trails suggestion: Enjoy a two-night break at the newly opened Banyan Tree Yangshuo before taking the high-speed train to Guangzhou. Or unwind in Yangshuo after a business trip to Guangzhou!

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

YAMDROK YUMTSO LAKE - HOLY LAKE IN TIBET

 

Yamdrok Yumtso Lake lies to the south of Yarlong Tsangpo River in the Shannan Region of Tibet. Yamdrok means "upper pasture" and Yum means "green jade" in Tibetan. From a bird's-eye view the lake looks like a big piece of sapphire inlaid in the mountains. 

  

This is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, and is about 14,570 feet above the sea level. Measuring about 81 miles long and 43 miles Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is the largest freshwater lake at the south foot of the Himalayas. 

  

The Yamdrok Power Station, well known for its high elevation, is located here and is a rich source of  hydroelectric power. To the south of the lake stands the magnificent Samding Monastery, the residence of Dorje Pamo who is the only female Living Buddha in Tibet. 

 

 

 

JINCHENG ATTRACTS WITH ITS RICH CULTURE AND NATURAL SCENERY

  

Jincheng is an ancient city in Shanxi Province in north China, located at the northern end of the Taihang Mountains. Gifted with alluring natural scenery, the city is one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilisation. It is believed that human life started in the city in the Upper Paleolithic era. It is home to about one third of China's ancient architecture built before 1234 AD.  

  

Qinglian Temple, or Blue Lotus Temple (pictured), is a major tourism attraction in Jincheng. It is one of the oldest temples in China, and is famous for its role in religious history.  

  

Art lovers may particularly enjoy visiting Yuhuang Temple, or Jade Emperor Temple. The 3,520-square metre Taoist temple is home to about 260 colourful statues from four different dynasties and wall paintings that stretch for nearly 67 square metres. 

  

Wangmangling National Geographic Park is a popular place to enjoy Jincheng's natural beauty. Xiyagou canyon in the park is said to be as spectacular as the Grand Canyon of Colorado. Jincheng's Manghe Natural Reserve is home to nearly 300 animal species and nearly 900 plants. 

  

Jincheng's pleasant climate makes it a favourable place to visit during any season.  

 

 

 

QIKOU TOWN AND LAONIU BAY

 

The ancient town of Qikou (pictured), which sits long the Yellow River, was once a vital trading point. It flourished as a good transportation centre along the waterway and brought in large numbers of visitors. This once bustling hub is now a quiet town, home to a population of about 30,000. Many residents still live in local-style caves. 

  

Laoniu Bay is about 300 kilometres from Qikou. Situated on the border of Shanxi province and Inner Mongolia autonomous region, it is the only place where the mighty Yellow River shakes hands with the Great Wall. Regarded as one of the 10 most beautiful canyons in China, the area has been made into a national geological park. 

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

BANYAN TREE YANGSHUO OPENS

 

Banyan Tree Yangshuo opened for business on October 28, 2014. Located in Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, in the southern part of China, the hotel is one-and-a-half hour drive from Guilin Liang Jiang International Airport and 15 minutes from the city of Yangshuo. 

 

The modern resort offers premium resort living, exceptional mountain views and idyllic riverscapes. A stay at Banyan Tree Yangshuo transports you into a realm of simplicity and romance. 

 

The waterways around Fuli Town provide bamboo rafting opportunities. Guests can trek through the Karst Mountains meeting locals along the way. The Yangshuo Countryside Experience allows guests to explore scenic spots in Fuli town including the Mazu Temple, Karst Cave, Dutou Village and the Three-Colour Pond, each telling its own historical or cultural story. 

 

The 56-square-metre suite offers unrivalled views of ageless, nature-hewn scenery of sheer mountains, misty peaks and weather-carved river to lift spirits and soothe the soul. The resort's four restaurants and bars lead guests through an extraordinary journey of culinary discovery. 

 

Asian Trails' opinion: The resort is a great choice for small meetings and incentive groups, and a perfect getaway for honeymooners! 

 

 

 

RADISSON BLU KASHGAR, CITY'S FIRST INTERNATIONAL HOTEL

 

Kashgar, "The Pearl of the Silk Road", has been an important trade centre between East and West for thousands of years. Today, China's western-most city is a flourishing city. One of its distinguished landmarks is Radisson Blu Hotel Kashgar, which is the city's first international five-star hotel in Kashgar. 

  

The hotel is conveniently located just 15 kilometres from Kashgar Airport, and is adjacent to Asia's largest traditional marketplace, The Grand Bazzar. Nearby the hotel are a number of scenic attractions, including Abakh Hoja Tomb, Id Kah Mosque, Karakul Lake, The Stone City and Three Immortals Buddhist Caves. 

  

Radisson Blu Hotel Kashgar offers 261 well-appointed guestrooms, all equipped with 42-inch LCD television, an iPhone/iPod multimedia dock and free WiFi access. The three restaurants offer local dishes, traditional Chinese cuisine and Hong Kong delicacies. 

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

AIR CHINA UPS BEIJING-LONDON FLIGHT TO TWICE DAILY

 

Air China adds a second daily service to London Heathrow Airport. The new flight departs Beijing's Capital International Airport at 14.30hrs and arrives at Heathrow at 17.50hrs. The return service leaves London at 20.25hrs, and arrives in Beijing at 14.45hrs the next day. 

  

The new service complements Air China's existing daily London flight, which departs Beijing at 12.30hrs and leaves London at 17.40hrs. 

 

 

CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES LINKS DUBAI WITH NORTHWEST CHINA

 

China Southern Airlines established a new link between northwest China and Dubai with its latest route. The service flies from Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province, to Urumqi, the capital of the far north-western region of Xinjiang, and then onwards across Central Asia and the Middle East to Dubai.  

  

The four times weekly flights are on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. 

  

China Southern Airlines said the new route would cut the travel time between Lanzhou and Dubai to half, and passengers would not have to travel to Dubai via Beijing or Shanghai. With the journey time at approximately five hours, the Urumqi-Dubai sector is also the shortest route between China and the UAE. 

 

 

 

CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES' DIRECT SHANGHAI-DUBAI SERVICE

 

Eastern Airlines' launches a new point-to-point service between Shanghai and Dubai using the 298-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The twice-weekly flight departs Shanghai Pudong International Airport every Wednesday and Sunday at 14.00hrs, arriving at Dubai International Airport at 19.15hrs. The return leg leaves Dubai at 20.45hrs, and arrives in Shanghai at 09:20hrs the next day. 

 

 

 

 

Go back to top, please click here

 

 

MYANMAR

 

 

A note from Managing Director Thomas Carnevale

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

  

Welcome to Myanmar winter season.  

  

As we all know Myanmar has been changing very fast, and recently the country introduced an online E-Visa system for the first time. You will also see here in the newsletter some other efforts related to tourism improvements by the government authorities. 

  

Our products for the 2014/2015 season are ready, and we are looking forward to welcome our high season guests. Please have a look at a number of new product ideas in our DVD, which we will send to you shortly. Or you can pick it up at our booth at World Travel Mart 2014.   

  

I remain as always at your complete disposal for any information, advice, or information requested. 

  

We would like to wish you and your families the very best for 2015, and thank you for the enormous support towards Asian Trails Myanmar over the past years.  

 

Best regards, 

  

Thomas Carnevale 

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

MORE COUNTRIES GRANTED E-VISA

 

After the initially 43 countries that have been granted online E-Visa, an additional 24 more countries have been just added into the approved list of E-Visa. This is indeed a good step in the right direction. 

  

 

 

 

 

For more information, please visit

 

 

CURFEW LIFTED IN SITTWE REGION

 

The curfew order, which was imposed in Sittwe Region due to past riots, was finally lifted last month. The impact of the curfew had hurt the region's tourism during the past year, as many Foreign Offices in overseas have strictly warned the visitors to avoid travelling to the area.  

  

According to the recent newsletter from the Union of Myanmar Travel Association (UMTA), it is going to request foreign embassies to help revoke the travel warning to the area as soon as possible 

 

 

 

REMOVAL OF ROYALITY FEES FOR TOUR OPERATORS

 

Myanmar's Ministry of Hotels & Tourism has removed the royalty fees imposed on tour operators organising chartered flights, cruises, cars, motorbikes and bicycles rally with immediate effect. 

 

 

 

YANGON-NGWE SAUNG BEACH SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE

 

Two SIC shuttle buses, Asia Dragon and Golden Star, are available between Yangon and Ngwe Saung Beach from October 24, 2014 to May 31, 2015. Both the shuttle services leave Yangon for Ngwe Saung Beach every Friday at 9pm. The return trip from Ngwe Saung to Yangon is every Monday at 9am.  

  

Asia Dragon has one additional service, which leaves Yangon for Ngwe Saung Beach every Tuesday at 9pm, with the return trip to Yangon at 9am every Friday. The bus will pick up and drop off guests at their respective hotels. 

 

 

 

SHWEDAGON PAGODA'S RENOVATIONS

 

Shwedagon Pagoda has started renewing its gold cover, and is completely covered up. According to latest news from the pagoda trustee board, the work will take up to April 2015. The pagoda's serene atmosphere remains unchanged, and its compound is still filled with visitors despite the ongoing work. 

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

MORE MULTI-COUNTRIES OVERLAND PROGRAMMES

 

Asian Trails Myanmar, taking advantage of the new borders opening between Myanmar and Thailand, has made inspections in that area. As a result, we are adding both shorter and longer combination options in addition to our existing programmes. The new combinations are 7-day and 9-day overland to Myanmar and Thailand, and 19-day overland to Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. 

 

 

 

CRUISE ON SANCTURY ANANDA

 

We had the opportunity to inspect Sanctuary Ananda after its completion, and was impressed with its tastefully combination of local traditional design and modern facilities. It has 21 spacious and luxurious suites on three decks namely MANDALAY, BAGAN and BHAMO. There is a reception area, small library, two restaurants, the Kinsi Panorama Lounge and Bar, small pool on the sundeck, gallery room, small gym and two spa treatment rooms. Medical, butler and laundry services are available for the suites on BHAMO deck. Suites with connecting doors are available on the MANDALAY deck and suitable for families.  

  

Sanctuary Ananda offers several options on both short cruises of 3,4,7 nights, and longer cruises of 10 and 11 nights along the lower and upper Irrawaddy River and Chindwin River. 

 

 

 

UPGRADED INDEVI (INN DEWI) BOATS FOR SERVICE AT INLE LAKE

 

Authentic Inle Lake now offers upgraded boat service for visitors to Inle Lake. The boats have undergone safety and stability tests at the Myanmar shipyards before being deployed for services to the lake. The design and the service are also based on a study of the existing boats to determine where improvements could be made such as reducing engine noise, larger seats with padded cushions, sun shade umbrellas, and blankets to ensure the comfort. Lifejackets and navigation lights have also been provided to ensure safety.   

  

Please contact Asian Trails Myanmar for more information 

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

THE LOFT - YANGON

 

The Loft is located in the heart of Yangon, and within walking distance to the city's famous tourist attractions. The boutique hotel has a cosy atmosphere, tastefully decorated interiors and offers modern comfort and personalised service. It has 32 rooms, comprising Deluxe, Junior Suite, Junior Duplex Suite and Executive Suite and Duplex Suite. All rooms have water purification system, free WiFi, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facility, and safety box. The Suites have large king bed, separate living and working area, and more spacious bathroom. Hotel facilities include the Sasazu Restaurant and Executive Lounge. 

 

 

 

NEW CAR PARK BUILDING FOR CHATRIUM HOTEL YANGON

 

Chatrium Hotel Yangon is currently building a new car park building as part of its upgrading to meet guests' needs. Works are conducted from August 2014 to March 2015 from 9am to 6pm from Monday to Sunday. There may be some noise disturbance during the construction period and the hotel management asks for guests' understanding for any inconvenience caused during the construction period.  

  

We have asked Chatrium to assign our guests rooms away from the construction site. We have also informed our agents of the ongoing construction for future booking. 

 

 

 

BAGAN KING - MANDALAY

 

Bagan King, a new hotel in Mandalay, opened in October. The five-storey building in Bagan style has 29 spacious comfortable rooms with full amenities and free WiFi. It is located in a corner of two big main roads, and is about a five-minute drive from Mandalay's Royal Palace and Moat. 

  

Please contact us for more information and pictures of Bagan King. 

 

 

 

NOVOTEL INLE LAKE MYAT MIN OPENS

 

Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min is now opened, with its 121 rooms fully operational. Facilities such as the restaurants, swimming pool, spa and fitness centre are also in operation. Official pictures of the hotel will be distributed in the next few weeks. In the meantime, follow the hotel on its Facebook page - www.facebook.com/novotelinlelake

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

NEW CULTURAL SHOW LIGHTS UP BAGAN

 

The Dandaree, a new cultural show, in Bagan starts from November. It features 100 performers and crew members from Myanmar and other South East Asian nations, and comprises dance, sports, and martial arts performances.  

  

The show is organised in collaboration with Bagan Myanmar Tourism Company, Thailand-based Index Creative Village and Myanmar officials. The 80-minute show is at the Bagan Golden Palace, close to Tharabar Gate and is on daily from 7pm  

  

To purchase tickets, please contact Asian Trails Myanmar. 

 

 

 

BALLOON-FLYING FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER 1-6, 2014: 10TH WAXING DAY OF TAZAUNGMON
VENUE: TAUNGGYI, SHAN STATE

 

Six-day festival ending November 6. During this typical "Pa-O" festival hot air balloons are released in the sky during the day and at night. The fire balloons are really unique and confined only to this region. They are made from thin glossy color paper and are of animal figures.  

 

Another of the festival's unique highlight worth watching is the lantern procession. Hundreds of people wearing traditional ethnic minority dresses from each living quarter of the town take part in this very colorful and delightful event. Each participant holds a paper lantern and heads toward the Sulamuni Pagoda in a long procession. Music troupes, dancers of various races follow the procession to make it more lively and impressive.   

  

Asian Trails Myanmar offers a three-day tour of the festival. 

 

 

 

ROBE WEAVING CONTEST
NOVEMBER 5, 2014: 14TH WAXING DAY OF TAZAUNGMON
VENUE: SHWEDAGON, BOTATAUNG, KYAIKKASAN AND OTHER PARTS OF MYANMAR

 

The Robe Weaving contest is held annually throughout the country's famous temples and pagodas. On the 14th Waxing Day of Tazaunmon groups of young women take part in competitions held on the platforms of the pagodas. Robes have to be finished flawlessly overnight, and offered at dawn to the images of Lord Buddha around the pagodas. 

 

 

 

SHWE-ZI-GON FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER 6, 2014: FULL MOON DAY OF TAZAUNGMON
VENUE: BAGAN

 

As part of the celebrations candles and fireworks are carried in procession before they are offered at the pagoda on full moon day (15th Waxing day). Alms bowls are offered to monks, as they do at Ananda Festival on full moon day. There is a fairground with stalls and restaurants in front of the pagoda for local residents and visitors. 

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

MYANMAR AIRWAYS FLIES TO OSAKA AND SEOUL

 

Myanmar Airways International (MAI) has launched thrice weekly scheduled flights to Osaka in Japan and Seoul in Korea from October 2014. 

 

 

 

ATM'S PSA AGREEMENT WITH MANN YADANARPON

 

Asian Trails Myanmar has been offered PSA agreement with Mann Yadanarpon, a domestic airline that operates with new ATR 72 aircraft.  

 

 

 

E-TICKETING WITH ASIAN WINGS

  

Asian Wings has become the fourth domestic airline to use the E-ticket system after Air Bagan, Air KBZ, and Mann Yadanarpon. This simplifies booking, ticketing and payment, and will help to improve the workflow between the airline and local DMCs. 

 

 

 

 

 

STAFF UPDATE

 

 

 

OFFICE PROMOTIONS

 

We are pleased to inform that Ms Mya Marlar Thein (top photo), currently working in the accounting department in Asian Trails Yangon office for the last 13 years, has been appointed as the Executive Secretary from September 2014. She is very familiar with the company, its goals, its culture and the people we deal with internally and externally. These are indeed great attributes for her to overcome any challenges in this position.   

  

We also congratulate Ms Yin Min Myat (lower photo), one of our tour consultants from AdHOC Group Team, on her promotion as supervisor of the team starting from September 2014.  

  

Both are well accepted by the whole team, and we congratulate them for their achievement. 

  

 

 

 

ANY OTHER NEWS

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS MYANMAR WINS AWARD AS BEST PERFORMER

 

Asian Trails Myanmar has been awarded the "Best Performer Joint Venture Tour Operator of Myanmar for 2014" for the second time in the last four years since the award was introduced. The company won the award based on criteria that included tourist arrivals, taxes paid, CSR activities, service quality, eco initiatives, and clients' comments. 

  

We want to thank our colleagues and clients for their support through the years.

 

 

 

FAM TRIP TO ARAKAN AND KYAING TONG

 

Asian Trails Myanmar organised two group inspections to Arakan and Kyaing Tong in September and October for its entire sales staff. A few of the staff from the Asian Trails Thailand office also joined in the fam trips.  

  

The staff enjoyed the nature and landscape in both destinations, as well as the lifestyle of tribes, religious sites and history, local colourful markets and local cuisine. The trips enable our staff to gain knowledge of both destinations and will help them to deliver even better services to our esteemed clients.

  

 

 

 

Go back to top, please click here

 

 

MALAYSIA

 

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR EMIR CHERIF

  

Dear partners, 

  

Sunny greetings from Kuala Lumpur! 

  

Now that the high season is over in Malaysia and we look forward to welcome our clients for the end of year vacations, we are conducting inspection trips in Singapore, Borneo and different parts of Peninsular Malaysia for products update.  

  

I chose the inspection trip to the PomPom Island resort, which is located on a beautiful island in the east coast of Sabah. We are happy to report that it, suprisingly, exceeded our expectations in terms of  infrastructure, service, facilities, as well as its turtle conversation programme.  

  

The resort has beautiful well-kept rooms, serves excellent western food, and has gym and spa facilities. Despite the security concerns in this region, our team never felt threatened. It also has two conservations programme - one for turtles and the other for corals. You can adopt a turtle eggs nest or plant corals underwater, which will carry your name. 

  

We were very lucky to be able to adopt a nest of the very rare and endangered species of turtles called the Hawksbill Turtle. There were 83 turtle eggs in our adopted nest. Our baby turtles are expected to hatch between November 26 and December 11, and we are waiting for the marine biologist to send us the pictures as soon as they hatch. 

  

We definitely recommend PomPom  for honeymooners, divers and nature lovers. 

  

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to get more information about the resort, which is a very good beach extension for your clients visiting Borneo. 

  

As the end of 2014 is approaching, I would like to wish you in advance a Merry Christmas and a successful and Happy New Year in 2015. 

  

Kind regards, 

  

Emir 

Malaysia, Truly Asia! 

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

GOOD GROWTH IN TOURIST ARRIVALS TO MALAYSIA IN FIRST HALF OF 2014

 

Malaysia has seen a healthy growth in tourist arrivals for the first half of this year despite some major tragedies the nation had to face. This is due to Tourism Malaysia's aggressive promotional efforts and commitment from industry players in line with the celebration of Visit Malaysia Year 2014. The combined efforts have contributed to the continuous growth of the country's tourism industry.  

  

From January to May, Malaysia welcomed a total of 11.53 million (11,532,859) tourists, registering a hike of 10.1% compared to 10.48 million (10,478,419) tourists for the same period last year. The top 10 tourist generating markets were Singapore (5,799,383), Indonesia (1,113,502), China (754,696), Thailand (574,255), Brunei (488,199), India (328,498), the Philippines (265,555), Japan (229,982), Australia (253,370) and Britain (199,741).  

  

Throughout the month of May the ASEAN region continued to be the largest contributor of tourist arrivals with 75.7% share (1.72 million) of the country's total arrivals. Brunei registered the highest growth of 41.5%, followed by Vietnam (+28.9%), the Philippines (+21.3%), Indonesia (+17.9%), Laos (+14.4%), Thailand (+12.6%), Cambodia (+11.8%), and Singapore (+10.8%). 

  

The medium-haul markets contributed 17.9% or 406,036 tourists to Malaysia's total arrivals in May. Countries that registered double-digit growth were South Korea (+50.2%), Oman (+42.7%), Egypt (+36.9%), the United Arab Emirates (+29.6%), Pakistan (+21.1%), India (+19.1%), and Saudi Arabia (+13.9%). 

  

A total of 143,556 tourists or 6.3% of Malaysia's total arrivals were contributed by the long-haul markets in May. The markets that posted double-digit growth were Spain (59%), Italy (26.2%), Germany (18.8%), Ireland (14.6%), the Netherlands (10.7%) and Switzerland (10%). 

  

The distinct growth in arrivals from Spain was due to the sponsorship on Sevilla football club since March. The Visit Malaysia Year 2014 logo on the jerseys allowed the campaign to get a wide coverage in Spain and worldwide. The increase in arrivals from Italy was attributed to the additional air connectivity offered by Turkish Airlines from the cities of Bologna, Pisa, Naples and Catania, through Istanbul to Malaysia. 

  

Tourism Malaysia's participation in international tourism exhibitions including CMT (Caravanning, Motor and Tourism) Stuttgart, Reisen Hamburg, and ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) have also contributed to the growth in arrivals from Germany. 

  

Note: Article reproduced courtesy of The Star Online October 16, 2014. 

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

SWISS GARDEN GOLF RESORT & SPA DAMAI LAUT REBRANDS

 

Swiss-Garden Golf Resort & Spa Damai Laut in Perak has been rebranded as Swiss Garden Beach Resort Damai Laut effective August 18, 2014. This is in line with the company's corporate marketing strategy and with the new of identity, which see the resort position itself as the preferred beach resort destination in Malaysia. 

 

 

 

SWISS GARDEN RESORT KUANTAN REBRANDS AS SWISS-GARDEN BEACH RESORT KUANTAN

 

Swiss-Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan, Pahang, has been rebranded as Swiss-Garden Beach Resort Kuantan effective immediately. In line with the company's corporate marketing strategy, the new identity further enhances its brand positioning to become the preferred beach resort destination in Malaysia. 

 

 

 

ENHANCEMENT WORKS AT SUTERA HARBOUR RESORT

 

Magellan Sutera Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, is carrying out three enhancement programmes, starting from September 2014, as part of its move to provide a memorable holiday experience guests. 

  

Replacement of the wooden deck at the Magellan poolside: Scheduled to complete within six to eight weeks. Involves hammering and drilling work. This does not affect usage of the pool as the work area is fenced off to protect the privacy of the guests.  

  

Renovation of the Magellan Club Lounge: The lounge is closed. Guests can still enjoy the Magellan Club amenities at Tarik's Lounge and Five Sails. Work is expected to finish by early December 2014. 

  

New seaside bar/lounge: Work will take three months. There is controlled noise pollution with work from 10am to 6pm only. This new outlet, when opened, will be the perfect venue to watch Kota Kinabalu's beautiful sunset. 

 

 

 

FRANGIPANI LANGKAWI RESORT & SPA RENOVATES ITS ROOMS

 

Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa on Langkawi Island is upgrading and refurbishing rooms in phases from September until early December 2014. The affected rooms are in the far left wing of the resort. Only two room categories - the family room and the Royal Suites - are closed. The Deluxe rooms are on limited availability. The salt-water pool, which was closed in September, reopened in October.  

  

Hoardings have been placed around the construction site to minimise noise and keep the building works out of sight. Functional rooms surrounding the site are also blocked. 

 

 

 

ROOM RECLASSIFICATION AT SHERATON IMPERIAL KUALA LUMPUR

 

Sheraton Imperial's rooms have officially been reclassified with immediate effect. The updated room classification and inventory are as follows:  

  

Category Units Views 

Deluxe Room: 271 (City view) 

Sheraton Club Room: 87 (City view) 

Deluxe Suite: 25 (City view) 

Ambassador Suite: 1 (City view) 

Imperial Suite: 1 (City view) 

  

The Deluxe and Sheraton Club rooms continue to feature an expansive 42sqm of space. The feeling of space is enhanced in Deluxe Suites measuring 84sqm, Ambassador Suite (168sqm), and the Imperial Suite (336sqm). All other facilities and amenities in these guestrooms remain unchanged, including walk-in wardrobes, WiFi/broadband connectivity, and a hospitality port for connection to personal laptops, iPods or other entertainment units for viewing on the 40" LCD television. 

 

 

 

GAYA ISLAND RESORT REVISES CONSERVATION FEES

 

Gaya Island Resort revised its  conservation fees starting from October 1,, 2014 to aid in the efforts of Sabah Parks in the conservation of the terrestrial and marine parks in the state. Guests are required to contribute MYR30 (US$9) for their first day of stay, and an additional MYR20 for each day thereof. The conservation fees are collected upon check-out and transferred to Sabah Parks for the preservation ofthe region's  rich ecosystem. 

  

The new fees are only for bookings made after October 1, 2014. Guests who reservations prior to that date will be charged at the previous rate. 

  

Sabah Parks manages, promotes and conducts the administrative works of various terrestrial and marine parks in Sabah, and produces conservation programmes and sustainable eco-tourism practices. 

  

Gaya Island Resort, located on Pulau Gaya and nestled on within the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, is a natural sanctuary located on the hillside of an ancient rainforest and stretches along the coast of Malohom Bay. It  is part of the conservation triangle abundant in marine species and wildlife. 

 

 

 

MANDARIN ORIENTAL KUALA LUMPUR RENAMES ROOM CATEGORY

 

Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur has renamed the Premium City View and Club Premium City View room category to Twin Tower View and Club Twin Towers View respectively. 

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

TERENGGANU KENYIR LAKE FISHING COMPETITION
NOVEMBER 3- 7, 2014
VENUE: PENGKALAN GAWI, TASIK KENYIR, TERENGGANU

 

The annual Kenyir Cup International Fishing Competition, which started in 2012, has increased the popularity of Lake Kenyir as a tourist destination for international freshwater fishing. The competition tests the patience and skills of anglers in luring freshwater fishes found in Lake Kenyir. The "Catch and Release" competition is judged by the catch, length, weight and photo of the fish before it is released back into its original habitat. 

 

 

 

1MALAYSIA YEAR-END SALE
NOVEMBER 15, 2014-JANUARY 4, 2015
VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA

 

YES, the 1Malaysia Year-End Sale is back - bigger and better with events and activities in hundreds of shopping outlets all over the country for nearly two months. Bargains can be found in trendy malls to open-air markets throughout the country. 

 

 

 

PENANG BRIDGE INTERNATIONAL MARATHON
NOVEMBER 16, 2014
VENUE: QUEENSBAY & PENANG BRIDGE, PENANG

 

The Penang International Marathon caters to serious runners, as well as amateurs from both Malaysia and foreign countries. The 10.5km long Penang Bridge, the longest in Malaysia, is the venue for the expected 30,000 participants. 

 

 

 

FORMULA E 2014 PUTRAJAYA RACE
NOVEMBER 22, 2014
VENUE: DOWNTOWN PUTRAJAYA

 

The future of motor sports has arrived in Malaysia, and it's electric! Formula E is a new FIA championship, which puts the most advanced electric powered formula cars on the streets of 10 iconic cities around the world. Catch the electrifying action as top drivers and renowned teams go head-to-head through the streets of Putrajaya at speeds reaching 250 kilometres per hour. 

 

 

 

TEXTILE CRAFT PROMOTION
NOVEMBER 27-DECEMBER 7, 2014
VENUE: KUALA LUMPUR CRAFT COMPLEX

 

This promotion showcases the beautiful textiles of Malaysia, such as batik and other materials. Browse through the outlets selling a variety of textiles and visit the exhibitions and demonstrations. 

 

 

 

URBANSCAPES
DECEMBER 6, 2014
VENUE: HORSE RANCH, RESORT WORLD GENTING

    

Urbanscapes is the first and only all-day user generated creative arts festival. It aims to bring together communities and participants from the fields of music, arts, lifestyle and film under a single banner to showcase the best of the local music scene. 

 

 

 

PENANG INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
DECEMBER 4-7, 2014
VENUE: BATU FERINGHI, PENANG

 

Batu Ferringhi will be transformed into a jazz theatre with the highly anticipated Penang Jazz Festival. Be mesmerised as renowned local jazz musicians' belt out melodious traditions. This is also a platform for aspiring jazz musicians to showcase their talent. 

 

 

 

4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON TOURISM RESEARCH (4ICTR)
DECEMBER 8-11, 2014
VENUE: PACIFIC SUTERA, SUTERA HARBOUR RESORT & KINABALU PARK, SABAH

 

4ICTR's theme is "Rural Mountain Tourism: Preserving Culture and Heritage of Mountain Minorities and Indigenous Peoples". Its main objective is to provide a forum for research collaboration and the mentoring of emerging tourism and hospitality researchers, as well as to celebrate International Mountain Day at Kinabalu Park. Expected attendance for the three-day conference is about 200 to 250 presenters and participants from the academia, tourism students and researchers, industry players and government officials.  

  

The conference is organised by the Faculty of Hotel & Tourism Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Cawangan Sabah in collaboration with the Sustainable Tourism Research Cluster of Universiti Sains Malaysia. 

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS
DECEMBER 25, 2014
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 celebration and have a sunny Christmas in Malaysia! 

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE CELEBRATION
DECEMBER 28, 2014
VENUE: JOHOR BAHRU, JOHOR

 

The Christmas Open House brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate Christmas and foster unity and harmony of the 1Malaysia spirit. The programme includes cultural performances with traditional delicacies served to guests. 

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

AIRASIA'S DAILY SERVICE FROM KUALA LUMPUR TO BALIKPAPAN

 

AirAsia launched a daily flight from Kuala Lumpur to Balikpapan, Indonesia, on October 16, 2014. 

 

 

 

AIRASIA RECOMMENCES KUALA LUMPUR-HYDERABAD SERVICE

 

AirAsia will recommence the Kuala Lumpur to Hyderabad (India) from December 8, 2014 with daily flights. The resumption of this route marks the LCC continuous efforts to launch new services to connect Malaysia with the Asian region.

 

 

 

RAYANI AIR TAKES FLIGHT IN JANUARY

 

Rayani Air, Malaysia's first boutique airline based in Malacca, will begin operations in January 2015. It will launch thrice-weekly flights to five domestic destinations - Penang, Langkawi (Kedah), Kota Bahru (Kelantan), Kuching (Sarawak), Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) - from its hub at the Malacca International Airport in Batu Berendam. It will operate Fokker 50 for these flights.  

 

 

 

MALINDO AIR TO LAUNCH KUALA LUMPUR-BANDUNG FLIGHT

 

Hybrid airline, Malindo Air, is set to launch daily services between klia2 and Husein Sastranegara International Airport, Bandung, Indonesia on December 19, 2014. 

  

The flight will depart Kuala Lumpur at 1pm and arrive in Bandung at 2.05 pm, while the return flight from Bandung will depart at 2.45 pm and arrive at klia2 at 5.50 pm.  

  

On October 26, 2014, Malindo Air started daily services to Kota Bharu in Kelantan from klia2. Currently, the airline operates eight daily services between Subang Skypark (Kuala Lumpur) and Kota Bharu using the ATR72-600 turboprop aircraft. 

 

 

 

BRITISH AIRWAYS TO RESUME KUALA LUMPUR-LONDON FLIGHTS

    

British Airways will resume direct daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to London from May 27, 2015, after suspending the route in 2001.  

  

The all-inclusive return fare on this route starts  from RM3,696 (US$1,114) for World Traveller economy class, RM5,390 for World Traveller Plus premium economy class, RM15,264 for Club World business class and RM29,658 for First Class. The airline is the only one to offer premium economy seating between London and Kuala Lumpur. 

 

 

 

 

Go back to top, please click here

 

 

INDONESIA

 

 

A note from Managing Director Andre Seiler

  

The Asian Trails Indonesia team is happy to welcome our new Managing Director Bjoern Schimanski to Indonesia. On the first week of his arrival to the country he was sent on inspections right away to ensure that he was well prepared to attend the World Travel Mart (WTM) in London in early November to represent Asian Trails Indonesia. 

  

I will also be attending WTM for the last time on behalf of the company before I leave at the end of the year. We hope to see as many of our partners as possible during the show.  

  

Since 2014 is ending soon and with it the best season our company has experienced, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for your excellent support to our company. We look forward to work with all of you in 2015. 

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

GARUDA'S PASSENGER SERVICE CHARGE TO BE PAID AT AIRPORTS

 

As of October 1, 2014 passengers on Garuda Indonesa's flights are required to pay the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) at Garuda's or the interlines check-in counters at the airport on both international and domestic sectors. This is because the PSC is no longer included in the ticket fare. There is no PSC for all other airlines flying to Indonesia or within the country. 

 

 

 

NEW AIRPORT TERMINAL IN LABUAN BAJO

 

In June 2014 the Labuan Bajo Airport switched its operations from the old, decrepit terminal to a new one. The new terminal has an ATM but no WiFi, lounges or other amenities. It is a simple but functional airport. 

  

Labuan Bajo is the gateway to the Komodo National Park. There are no flights with Garuda from Denpasar, Bali.  

  

Photo shows the new terminal on the left and the old one on the right side. 

  

 

 

NEW DOMESTIC TERMINAL IN DENPASAR, BALI

  

The new domestic terminal in Denpasar, Bali opened its doors on September 17, 2014. All domestic departures now operate from the new terminal, and no longer from inside the international terminal. The domestic airport tax has also increased to IDR 75,000 for departures from Denpasar Airport. 

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS INDONESIA EXPANDS FLEET

 

Asian Trails Indonesia is proud to introduce three new Toyota Commuters to its fleet. The minibuses are the newest and the best in Indonesia. Each has nine seats with seatbelts, and is very comfortable. Two of the new vehicles are based in Bali, while the third is used to service the overland routes in Java. 

 

 

 

DRAGOON 130 YACHT EXCURSIONS IN GILI

 

Dragon 130 Yacht offers half-day cruises in Gili every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The yacht is completely built of teak wood featuring quality amenities such as led lightning and Bose loudspeakers. Its 400-metre deck can accommodate up to 120 persons. Luxurious facilities for the guests to enjoy include an open bar, dining area, jacuzzi, karaoke room and a huge sun deck space. 

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

THE CHEDI CLUB JIMBARAN BY GHM

 

GHM is expanding its footprint in Bali with the opening of The Chedi Club Jimbaran in the first quarter of 2015. Located about 20 minutes from Bali's international airport, the resort offers 34 intimate pool villa. This will be GHM's fourth property of GHM in Bali.  

 

 

 

THE CLUB VILLAS SEMINYAK BY TJENDANA VILLAS

 

The Club Villas Seminyak is an elegant property, which offers a peaceful holiday atmosphere in the ideal location of Seminyak. It offers 34 villas, all designed with a mix of luxury, modern style and Balinese flair. Each villa has a private swimming pool and sun deck surrounded by tropical garden. Boutiques, restaurants, bars and night entertainment are only walking distance away. 

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

GARUDA INDONESIA WINS PASSENGER CHOICE AWARD 2014

 

Garuda Indonesia has been named winner of the Passenger Choice Award 2014 in the category "Best in Region: Asia and Australasia" for its role in offering the best in passenger experience and continuous improvement. It won over four other airlines that were finalists, namely Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Korean Air and EVA Air. The airline has won the award for two consecutive years 

 

 

 

GARUDA INDONESIA FLIES BALI TO TIMOR LESTE

 

Garuda Indonesia is opening a new route from Denpasar in Bali to Dili in Timor Leste. The daily service started in October, 2014. The airline launched this route to meet market demand, as Merpati is not flying this sector anymore due to its collapse. 

 

 

 

 

GARUDA INDONESIA LAUNCHES LONDON ROUTE

 

Garuda Indonesia has launched a new service  from Gatwick to Jakarta via Amsterdam. The five times weekly flight uses the new Boeing 777-300ER. The new route is part of the airline's strategic international network expansion programme offering customers the fastest and only direct connection between Europe and Indonesia. 

 

 

 

 

ANY OTHER NEWS

 

 

HIGH SEASON BREAKAWAY FOR A GOOD CAUSE

  

The Asian Trails Indonesia team took a short break from the high season on August 30 for a team building exercise. The aim of the event was to build bicycles for children in a playful way. The bicycles will be donated to an orphanage with the help of the Salvation Army.  Apart from the fun, the most rewarding moment for us was to see the children smiling during the handover ceremony. It was simply teamwork for a good cause. 

 

 

 

"I'M AN ANGEL" FOUNDATION HELPS THE UNDERPRIVILEGED  

  

"I'm an Angel" is a non-profit organisation whose objective is to improve the living standard of country communities related to resource scarcity and socio-economic challenges. For 12 years the foundation has helped the very needy Balinese people around the island through community-based programmes. The main focus of these programmes is children education, starting with the distribution of school packages such as uniforms and school materials. This is aimed at helping the children to attend classes. 

 

 

 

 

 

Go back to top, please click here