Asian Trails Trailblazer

Issue September 2014

THE CEO STORY 

 

PREAH VIHEAR TEMPLE - A HISTORICAL JEWEL WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED 

 

It is eight in the morning at the Cambodian temple Preah Vihear, or Khao Phra Wihan in Thai, and there is not a single tourist in sight, only cool breeze and nature as my companions. It reminds me of the days when Angkor Wat was visited by only a privileged few.  

 

As I look at the temple one word comes to mind - magnificent! It has a spectacular location, perched majestically on top of a mountain cliff with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside, overlooking the Cambodian plain of Preah Vihear to the south and the natural valley marking the border between Thailand and Cambodia to the north.  

 

This architectural jewel, located about 150 kilometres north of Siem Reap near Angkor Wat, is probably one of the most controversial historical sites in the world. Sitting on an approximately four-kilometre piece of land, the area is being claimed by both Cambodia and Thailand as their national territory. As I am not in the business of politics I am leaving the territorial disputes to the politicians, and instead dwell on what this incredibly beautiful Khmer temple means for tourism and for cultural heritage.  

 

Preah Vihear has a rich history. Its construction started in the 9th century and was completed in the 12th century under the reign of King Suryavarman II, the builder of Angkor Wat. Dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, the temple incorporates elements of several architectural styles, and is an outstanding example of Khmer craftsmanship at its best. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.  

 

As I walk around the temple I marvel at how, more than 1,000 years ago, the workers were able to transport stones from hundreds of kilometres away, hauled them on to the top of a mountain, set a solid foundation and constructed a building that still stands today. I am also filled with wonder at the skill of these workers in carving the very intricate and delicate designs on the temple's stones.  

 

Until recently Preah Vihear was virtually inaccessible from Cambodia, but now it is possible for 4WD vehicles to drive up close to the temple's entrance with a newly constructed road. 

 

The temple is about three hours' drive on a good road from Siem Reap, and you can visit it in a full day excursion. However, I would recommend a two-day trip with an overnight at the lovely Preah Vihear Boutique Hotel to fully appreciate the beauty of Preah Vihear and its surroundings. 

 

The two-day journey could include visits to two other interesting temple sites outside of the traditional Angkor circuits - Koh Ker and Beng Mealea. On the way you may wish to make a stop at Anglong Veng, notoriously known as the home of Pol Pot who was responsible for the Khmer Rouge killer regime. Today, it is a peaceful provincial town. There is not much to see here except the residence of Ta Mok, the chief of staff during the Pol Pot regime, which is open to visitors. The residence compound is also the site of cages used to torture prisoners and an abandoned radio station that bear witness to the unspeakable atrocities, which earned Ta Mok the nickname, "the Butcher". Just a few kilometres away is Pol Pot's tomb, incredibly located less than 500 metres from a newly built casino at the Thai/Cambodian border. 

 

Preah Vihear is also accessible from Phnom Penh, but it is a long seven-hour journey. However, the newly completed road from Stung Treng to Preah Viehar makes it possible to travel from the Khone Falls in southern Laos to Preah Viehar in just one day - a perfect combination of cross border travel and of particular interest to cultural tourists and adventure enthusiasts.  

 

If you and your clients want to be among the privileged few to visit Preah Vihear Temple I would recommend that you do not to wait too long and start planning your journey now, before it sees a massive influx of tourists.

 

Laurent Kuenzle 

 

CEO, Asian Trails   

 

 

  

QUICK LINKS 

 

 

 

 
 

THAILAND

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR ROGER HAUMUELLER

 

Dear Friends,

 

Looking back on 15 years since the beginning of Asian Trails, I am touched and moved by many incredible moments and numerous wonderful experiences that I have shared with you all. We have worked hard together and have also navigated through some difficult times with natural disasters like the tsunami and floods, as well as SARS and political protests. Through these experiences and challenges, we have grown from a team of 50 to over 200 members!

 

Since Asian Trails' beginning in 1999, it has been a pleasure and an honour for me to be a part of this beautiful and rewarding process and team. And as with all exciting adventures and trails, there comes a time when we have to say farewell and until we meet again. 

 

Yes, my time has come and I would like to thank all of you for your support and encouragement during my years at Asian Trails. I have had the pleasure of getting to know each of you through very interesting discussions and negotiations, and many of you have now become very good friends. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! 

 

It is a pleasure to announce Claudio Kellenberger will be stepping into my position as of September 1, 2014. And I would like to congratulate him on the appointment. Following this date, there will be a two-month transitional period during which I will lead Claudio into his new position. I will still be involved with Asian Trails during this period, and is available to you for any matters. In the meantime, please join me in wishing Claudio all the best in his new appointment. 

 

As with any adventures and trails that part ways, there is the possibility of them converging and meeting up again, and this is how I would like to view my departure - with hope that one day our trails will meet again.

 

Happy trails to all of you, and may our travel paths meet again.  

 

Roger Haumueller  

 

 

 

 

Message from Claudio Kellenberger

 

Dear friends,

 

It is with excitement and honour that Asian Trails has entrusted me to head Asian Trails Thailand from September 1. Having been with Asian Trails for many years in different management positions in South East Asia, 2.5 of which in Thailand as Deputy Managing Director, I feel well prepared and confident for the challenges ahead. We have a motivated and experienced team of managers and staff all over Thailand, as well as loyal and happy clients from around the world that I will continue to serve together with my team to the best of my abilities. Thank you for your continued support for Asian Trails Thailand! 

 

I would like to thank Roger for his support and encouragement over the past years, and wish him all the best for his future.  

 

With best regards,  

 

Claudio Kellenberger 

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

NEW! EXPLORE 4-DAY BANGKOK "FOODIE" TOUR

 

This new Explore tour will tickle all your senses by diving into the exciting flavours and smells of Thailand's unique cuisine, which has made the country famous all over the world as a "foodie" paradise.  

 

A private guide will take you to Bangkok's hidden alleys and places known for its food to make the experiences even more unique. There is a dinner cruise on the mighty Chao Phraya River with stunning views of the city's evening skyline, while enjoying a mouth-watering menu on board. You will also learn about the history and versatility of Thai cuisine with excursion to the local markets and also to Chinatown, which is a favourite among "foodies" especially in the evening.  

 

 

For more information and booking, please contact us

 

 

 

CARTOON NETWORK AMAZONE OPENS

 

Cartoon Network Amazone, the world's first Cartoon Network themed waterpark, opened on August 14, 2014. The park, the world's largest aqua playground with over 150 water attractions, is located in the burgeoning resort hotspot of Bang Saray, just 10 minutes southeast of Pattaya. Set amidst 14 acres of lush coastal plains with ocean views and incredible evening sunsets, it has 10 entertainment zones. Guests can spend an entire day exploring the irrepressible world of Cartoon Network. From powering up with Ben 10 on all-new high-speed water rollercoasters to going vertical with Jake from Adventure Time, there is an exhilarating splash landing for guests of all ages. For the little ones, Cartoon Network's characters such as Gumball, Darwin and The PowerPuff Girls, await them at Cartoonival. 

 

 

For more information and booking, please contact us

 

 

 

 

WATER JUNGLE PARK, HUA HIN,  TO OPEN IN OCTOBER

 

Vana Nava Hua Hin Water Jungle, which has Asia's first water jungle concept, is due to open in October 2014. Touted as an "Oasis of Fun" for all ages, it will have over 19 attractions set in the lush tropical environment of Hua Hin. The park is full of thrilling twists and turns, including some of the world's fastest, most exciting rides and slides, world-class attractions, and interactive facilities with the latest technology  

 

 

 

For more information and booking, please contact us

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 
 

BANGKOK

 

NEW OPENING DATE FOR LE MÉRIDIEN SUVARNABHUMI, BANGKOK GOLF RESORT & SPA

 

Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok Golf Resort & Spa has rescheduled its opening from August to October 16, 2014.  

 

 

 

 

For more detail, please visit

 
 

PATTAYA

 

NEW - CITRUS PARC HOTEL PATTAYA

 

The new 4 star Citrus Parc Hotel Pattaya offers accommodation in peaceful surroundings near Pattaya Park, just minutes away from the dynamic downtown area and Pattaya Beach. It features 119 luxuriously furnished guestrooms and suites. Facilities include a spectacular swimming pool with fibre optic underwater lighting at night; Palate, an all-day dining restaurant; and Liquid, a three-level BBQ-poolside-rooftop bar and lounge. 

 

The hotel is an ideal choice for visitors seeking a quiet retreat in the cloistered Pratumnak area, and yet still within close proximity to the fun and entertainment Pattaya has to offer in the north, and attractions, theme parks and beaches of Jomtien and Na Jomtien in the south.  

 

 

For more detail, please visit

 
 

PHUKET

 

REBRANDING - DEEVANA PLAZA PHUKET

 

The former Mercure Phuket Deevana has been rebranded to Deevana Plaza Phuket. The hotel is located in the heart of Patong Beach, only a five-minute walking distance to the beach, night bazaar, entertainment areas and the Jungcelon Shopping Mall. All its 249 modern, well-appointed and spacious guestrooms and suites have built-in LCD flat-screen TV, separate shower, and bathtub.

 

 

 

For more detail, please visit

 
 

SAMUI

 

RENAMED - ROYAL MUANG SAMUI VILLAS

 

Muang Samui Villas & Suites has been renamed to Royal Muang Samui Villas. It is located on Choeng Mon Beach, about three kilometres from Samui International Airport and 25 kilometres from Nathon City and the ferry pier. The Thai style resort offers 63 luxurious suites and 14 pool villas.

 

 

 

 

For more detail, please visit

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

MIDNIGHT RUN

OCTOBER 18, 2014

VENUE: BANGKOK

 

This is the only race in Bangkok to be held at midnight. It offers competitors a choice of two distances - 6 kilometres or 12 kilometres. The city streets will be closed and protected by a police and security contingent of about 400 officers. Local residents and shop owners, together with the management and staff of the Amari Watergate Hotel Bangkok, support it along the route. The atmosphere is electrifying as over 5,000 runners, both locals and foreigners, run through the city's streets.  

 

The winners for the best record in the 12-kilometre race in both the male and female categories will receive the Royal Trophy of HRH Princess Sirindhorn. The winners in each age category, including the family team and the fancy dress team, will receive a trophy. All participants who cross the finishing line will receive a special commemorative medal. 

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

THAI SMILE MOVES THREE ROUTES TO DON MUEANG AIRPORT

 

Thai Smile Airways has shifted three domestic routes -  Chiang Mai, Phuket, Khon Kaento - to operate to and out of Don Mueang Airport. 

 

 

 

 

LUCKY AIR CONNECTS KUNMING WITH KOH SAMUI

 

Lucky Air, which is based in China's southwestern province of Yunnan, launched three times weekly service from Kunming to Koh Samui on August 12, 2014. It is the first airline to operate this route, and provides the first direct connection to Koh Samui from mainland China.  

 

The services are on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, departing Kunming's Changshui International Airport at 12.15hrs, and arriving at Koh Samui International Airport at 14.00hrs. The return service departs Samui at 15.00hrs, and arrives in Kunming at 18.45hrs. Lucky Air has plans to increase the flights to a daily service in the near future.   

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS AND VENUES

 

 

HEAVEN BANGKOK

 

Located right on top of ZEN World Tower in Central World, HEAVEN Bangkok comprises four amazing and unique concepts covering a total area of more than 6,000 square metres. Guests have a choice to dine at  Heaven on Zen, Horizons 360° Gastronomy, Shintori Japanese Art Cuisine & Sake Bar, and Zense Gourmet Deck & Lounge Panorama. 

 

 

 

LE CRYSTAL RESTAURANT- CHIANG MAI

 

Le Crystal Restaurant in Chiang Mai is a famous French restaurant located near the Mae Ping River. This fine dining restaurant is designed with glass walls and vaulted ceiling, enabling guests to capture the view of the flower garden and the river. Outdoor seating is also available on a back terrace.   

 

 

 

 

STAFF UPDATE

 

 

GOODBYE LUCIANO CENTOLANZA

 

Luciano Centolanza, who has contributed immensely to the strong growth and success of our Inbound Latin Department, is leaving Asian Trails at the end of October. We would like to thank Luciano for his great contributions to the company in the past seven years. Our team and partners will certainly miss him very much! We wish Luciano all the very best for his future professional endeavours.   

 

 

 

CONGRATS STELLA BOZZATO

 

Congratulations to Stella Bozzato on her promotion to Inbound Manager Italian market, effective September 1, 2014. An Italian national, she has held the Asian Trails Thailand Event Manager position since early 2013. Together with the Incentive Department manager, she was instrumental in handling the company's key incentive business to Thailand. We wish Stella all the best in her new position! 

 

 

 

WELCOME XAVIER ROBLES

 

 Xavier Robles, a Spanish national, joins Asian Trails Thailand as Inbound Manager, Spanish-/Portuguese-speaking markets on September 1, 2014. He is a well-known personality in the tourism industry, having worked in inbound tourism in Thailand since 2009. He is also a specialist on Thailand and South East Asian in general. We wish Xavier all the best in his new position! 

 

 

 

 

ANY OTHER NEWS

 

 

AN ORANGEY NIGHT PARTY FOR GUIDES AND DRIVERS

 

Asian Trails recently held a "Thank You Party" for its dedicated guides and drivers at Siam Niramitr.   

 

Photo: Asian Trails Operation team and Roger Haumueller (middle in white shirt).   

 

 
 
 

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LAOS

 

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR BJÕRN SCHIMANSKI

 

Dear Partners and Friends 

 

As you may know, I will leave Asian Trails Laos in-mid October after almost five years to replace Andre Seiler as Managing Director in Indonesia. I would like to thank all of you for the great support over the years, and send a warm welcome to Andreas Hofmann who will replace me. You can be assured that you will continue to receive all the support and assistance you are used to at Asian Trails!  

 

Enjoy this edition of the newsletter with interesting news from Laos! Happy reading and we are looking forward to welcome you to beautiful Laos!   

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

ALL LAO ELEPHANT CAMP

 

A new Elephant Camp opened recently. Located about half an hour outside of Luang Prabang, it is seen as a direct competitor to the famous Elephant Village. Both have similar programmes with short tours of up to six days, as well as Mahout programmes. They also offer accommodation in simple bungalows onside.  

 

We still recommend using primarily the Elephant Village due to its superior infrastructure and location.

 

 

 

ELEPHANT CAMP NEAR PAK OU CAVES - LUANG PRABANG

 

This local Elephant Camp is very basic, but is located at a great location. It can be an alternative for clients who visit the Pak Ou Caves, but do not have the time to spend half a day at the Elephant Village. There is currently a family of nine elephants on sight.  

 

 

 

NEW PRIVATE OUTDOOR LUNCH/DINNER VENUE  - LUANG PRABANG

 

Located around 30 minutes away from Luang Prabang on the way to Kuangsy Waterfall this is a great place to privatise for your group. It can accommodate between 20 to 70 pax.  

 

Please contact us for further details! 

 

 

 

JHAI COFFEE HOUSE - BOLAVEN PLATEAU

 

JHAI Coffee House is a non-profit organisation, which is supported by the United States. It buys coffee from coffee gardeners, and helps them with technical suggestions. 

 

If you want to learn about the whole process of producing coffee, the JHAI Coffee House is the right place to visit. Follow your guide from picking the right beans until the roasting process, and finish with a fresh cup of coffee! We recommend the visit during the high season (October to March) so as to enjoy the entre process.  

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

END OF THE BUDDHIST LENT - LAST BOAT RACES

OCTOBER 8, 2014 -BOUN OK PHANSA & FESTIVAL OF THE BOATS OF LIGHT

OCTOBER 9, 2014 -BOAT RACING FESTIVAL

VENUE: VIENTIANE

 

The end of the rainy season and Buddhist Lent is celebrated with the release of decorated boats on the Mekong, which symbolises the carrying away of bad luck and troubles. This colourful celebration marks the last and final boat races in Vientiane. 

 

 

 

HALF MARATHON "LA PROCESSION"

OCTOBER 12, 2014

VENUE: LUANG PRABANG

 

Luang Prabang will host the 2nd Charity Half Marathon, which is divided into three distances - 7, 14 and 21 kilometres. The race is over a mostly flat seven-kilometre circuit, which starts at the National Museum and passes by many of Luang Prabang's famous attractions. 

 

Please contact us if you wish to participate in this charity event or to get more information  

 

 

 

BOUN THAT LUANG FESTIVAL

OCTOBER 30-NOVEMBER 6, 2014

VENUE: VIENTIANE

 

Pha That Luang is the national symbol and most important religious monument of Laos. Vientiane's most important Theravada Buddhist Festival, Boun That Luang, is held here for three days during the full moon of the 12th lunar month. This year the festival will take place for about a week, and finish with two special events - the big and the morning alms on the last day. 

 

 
 

 

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CAMBODIA

 

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR VERONIQUE DUCASSY

 

Dear Friends and Partners,  

 

Cambodia is definitely a shining destination in 2014, with new products popping up all over the country. Two of our new tours will take you respectively from Laos or the Vietnam border to Siem Reap. On the way you will get to visit one of the most impressive, temples in Cambodia - Preah Vihear.  

 

Siem Reap is becoming THE destination in South East Asia, offering all kind of new experiences to visitors apart from a compulsory visit of the temples. With new products such as Vespa tours by night or to the countryside for an authentic experience, photography tour, and visit of temples by electrics bikes, a stay in this city will take a whole new dimension.  

 

And for the brave hearts a visit to the Bug Café - a new restaurant serving insects - is a must stop for a degustation of a fresh ants salad or a tarantula samosa. This will complete the well-established and ever growing culinary scene of Siem Reap.

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

INCREASE IN VISA FEES FROM OCTOBER 1

 

Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced that visa fees for both leisure and business travellers will be increased from October 1, 2014, as well as launched a new website for e-visa application. 

 

From October 1, a single-entry e-visa with three months' validity for a 30-day stay will cost US$20, with a mandatory US$7 charge for processing. An e-visa will cost US$30. Foreign leisure travellers will have to pay US$30 for a one-month tourist visa (Type T) instead of US$20, while business travellers will have to pay US$35 for a one-month business visa (Type E) instead of US$25. 

 

The new website for e-visa application is at www.evisa.gov.kh, replacing the previous site at https://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

 

2 DAYS TRAPAING KREAL (VIETNAM CHECK POINT)/VOEUNG KAM (CAMBODIAN CHECK POINT) - STUNG TRENG-PREAH VIHEAR-KOH KER-BENG MELEA-SIEM REAP

 

Travel "off of the beaten track" from Laos to Siem Reap by land, and explore the undiscovered temples of Northern Cambodia. Along the way explore  the impressive site of  Preah Vihear, the single pyramid temple of Koh Ker, and Beng Mealea Temple offering the "Indian Jones" kind of environment. This tour is more suitable for individual travellers or small groups.  

 

Contact us for more information.

 

 

 

4 DAYS LE THANH (VIETNAM CHECK POINT)/O YADAO (CAMBODIAN CHECK POINT)BANLUNG-PREAH VIHEAR-SIEM REAP

 

Travel from Vietnam to Northeast Cambodia by land, explore Rattanakiri province before heading to Preah Vihear Temple and Siem Reap. Ratanakiri is a remote province located in the northeast part of Cambodia. It is renowned for its unique natural beauty and wealth of natural resources. The physical and environmental characteristic of the province forms an impressive range including hills and mountains, a level plateau, crater lake, rivers and waterfalls.  

 

Contact us for more information.

 

 

 

MICRO FLIGHT OVER ANGKOR TEMPLES.

 

Siem Reap's popular microflight, which ceased operations for two years, is now flying again. It offers trips lasting from 15 and 20 minutes to one hour (one person per flight). This is a very exciting way to discover Angkor Temples  

 

Contact us for more information.   

 

 

 

MOTORBIKE AND QUAD TOURS IN CAMBODIA

 

Discover Cambodia and all its off-the-beaten tracks with your own motorbike or quad. The four to nine days motorbike and quad tours are suitable for between five to 15 persons. Quad trips around Sihanoukville, from an hour to a full day, can also be arranged.  

 

Contact us for more information.   

 

 

 

GOLDEN CRUISE PHNOM PENH RESTAURANT.

 

Golden Cruise Phnom Penh Restaurant is a boat, which offers sunset cruise and dinner cruise on the Mekong River. It serves traditional Khmer cuisine on board. The boat will start operations in mid-September.  

 

Contact us for more information.   

 

 

 

NEW ECO-TOURS - CAMPING IN KIRIROM NATIONAL PARK AND ON KOH TA KIEV ISLAND.

 

Not many people visiting Cambodia can claim to be a camper without sleeping on the ground. You now have the opportunity to do this at the community-based eco-tourism site of Chambok. Cycle and trek through the countryside with wild bamboo and beautiful waterfalls. Or discover the untouched island of Koh Ta Kiev and enjoy a Robinson Crusoe lifestyle.  

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 
 

PHNOM PENH

 

RIVER PALACE HOTEL

 

River Palace is now part of Best Western International, the world's largest hotel chain. The hotel offers international standard facilities and excellent service with distinct Asian hospitality. it is ideal for both business and leisure travellers.

 

 
 

SIEM REAP

 

HERITAGE SUITE HOTEL.

 

Hotel Management will leave the Relais & Châteaux Association effective December 31, 2014. This strategic decision is in line with its wish to feature Heritage Suites Hotel as a small independent, owner-managed and guest focused upscale boutique.  

 

 

 

SOKHAROTH HOTEL

 

Sokharoth Hotel is a new 3 star hotel, which is conveniently located in the centre of Siem Reap and within walking distance to the famous Pub Street, popular local handicraft shops, old market and the night market. It offers 57 deluxe rooms. Facilities include a bar, restaurant, swimming pool, fitness centre, and sauna and massage service.

 

 

 

HOLLYWOOD ANGKOR BOUTIQUE HOTEL

 

The new boutique hotel is centrally located, overlooking the banks of the meandering Siem Reap River and opposite Wat Preah Prohm Rath Pagoda. The hotel's 22 rooms and suites are intuitive and feature stylish décor, which embodies the richness of Khmer culture yet embraces a chic modern style and design.  

 

 
 

KOH KONG

 

KOH KONG ISLAND RESORT

 

Nestled secluded on the shore of exotic Koh Kong Island in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Kong Island Resort is a jewel of unique beauty, remotely set and eco-friendly.  

 

The hotel has five basic yet comfortable bungalows and six well-appointed superior ones.   

 

 
 

KEP

 

STARLING RIDGE PLANTATION RESORT TO OPEN ON OCTOBER 1

 

Starling Farm is one of the biggest producers of the world renowned Kampot Pepper. The increasing number of visitors to the farm through the years has prompted the owners to build a pepper shop, a restaurant and the first bungalow resort, Starling Ridge Plantation Resort, at the Kampot pepper farm.

 

The resort, located in the region of Kep in the Kep National Park, is due to open on October 1, 2014. It will feature bungalows, private villa, swimming pool and many other facilities.  

 

 
 

KRATIE

 

MEKONG DOLPHIN HOTEL

 

Located on the bank of the Mekong River, Mekong Dolphin Hotel is a new property in Kratie. It features 84 rooms (15 Superior, 25 Deluxe, 40 Deluxe Riverview and 4 VIP room). This hotel is ideal for groups.  

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

CONSTITUTION DAY 

SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 

VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA

 

This public holiday celebrates the signing of the Cambodian constitution by King Sihanouk on September 24, 1993. It was adopted by a constitutional assembly elected under the auspices of the United Nations. 

 

 

 

BOON PCHUM BEN

SEPTEMBER 22-24, 2014

VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA

 

Boon Pchum Ben, celebrated mostly by Cambodian Buddhists, is a time for the paying of respects to deceased relatives. Buddhist tradition demands Cambodians to visit many pagodas over two weeks. Food, flowers, rice and gifts are given to the monks to convey to the departed so they do not haunt the living. 

 

Please note that all government institutions and some companies will be closed on those date. Asian Trails Cambodia offices will have a reduced team on duty to handle urgent matters only.

 

 

 

CORONATION OF HIS MAJESTY KING SIHANOMI

OCTOBER 29, 2014

VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA

 

This is a public holiday to celebrate the anniversary of the coronation of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni. The Royal Palace is lit at night, looking resplendent throughout the celebrations. The Royal Palace will be closed to visitors during that day for ritual ceremonies carried out by the Palace. 

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

ASIA ATLANTIC TO LAUNCH DIRECT PHNOM PENH-TOKYO SERVICE

 

Asia Atlantic will mount three weekly flights between Phnom Penh and Tokyo (Narita), Japan, from September 2, 2014. The flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays uses a Boeing B767 aircraft.  

 

From October the airline will also have direct flights to and from Siem Reap on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.   

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS & VENUES

 

 

BUG CAFE - SIEM REAP

 

Bug Café is the first dedicated insect restaurant in Cambodia serving crickets, scorpions, grasshoppers, ants, bees, water bugs, silkworm and spiders combined with Khmer and Western products and seasoning. Some of the dishes on the menu include fresh ants salad, tarantula samosa and insects spring rolls. 

 

Bug Café aims to promote modern and ecological nutrition, and to improve local Khmer farmers' income. Please note that the restaurant also serves free insect food.   

 

 

 

POR CUISINE RESTAURANT - SIEM REAP

 

Por Cuisine is a new addition to the sophisticated food scene in Siem Reap. A contemporary restaurant with a fusion theme, its four-course experience will challenge your taste buds and create a lasting impression at a reasonable price.   

 

 

 

 

  

STAFF UPDATE

 

We are happy to introduce to you our teams who will be in contact with you.

 

 

 

PRODUCT DEPARTMENT

 

From left to right: Mr Vichana HUOT (Product Manager), Ms Poren TITH Chan (Senior Product Officer), Ms Sophearun LAUTH (Assistant Product Manager), Ms Sopheap YUOK (Product Officer & Web Coordinator), Mr Chanthou CHRIN (Product Officer), Mr Kruy SENG (Senior Product Officer).   

 

 

 

INBOUND DEPARTMENT

 

From left to right: Mr Chanseyha SAMITH (Inbound Supervisor), Mr Sonic THOEUN (Inbound Officer, Group Dept), Mr Thibault VIDAL (Inbound Luxury Officer), Ms Mala SO (Assistant Inbound Manager), Ms Rachana SEM (Inbound Manager), Ms Maly CHAN (Senior Inbound Officer), Ms Kanika NHEP (Inbound Officer, Group Dept), Ms. Sovirya KATH (Inbound clerk, FIT Dept), Mr Vuthera TEL (Inbound clerk, FIT Dept). 

 

 

 

KUONI DEPARTMENT

 

From left to right: Mr Saren BOEUR (Kuoni officer), Mr Sopheak PHALLY (Kuoni Senior Supervisor - he manages the team), Ms Kimea LIM (Kuoni senior officer), Mr Thearith RATH (Kuoni clerk)   

 

 

 

 

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VIETNAM

 

 

A note from Managing Director Thuy Tien

 

Dear Friends and Partners. 

 

We hope you all had a great summer, and are now recharged with energy and creativity for the new season ahead. Here at Asian Trails Vietnam we continue "blazing new path in travel" to bring you new ideas and travel concept. 

 

In this issue you will find our inspirational and exciting journey from Central Vietnam to Angkor. This is a new border crossing, linking exotic cultures, ancient civilisations, and historic heritage sites of Indochina. Border crossings in Indochina are always associated with adventure. Le Thanh/O'Yadaw is a small checkpoint, but is the most important due to its close proximity to the nearby towns. The package is designed to fully incorporate the places and experiences in Central Vietnam and Angkor with an easy extended module to Southern or Northern Vietnam as pre- and post-tour, or a beach stay after visiting Siem Reap. 

 

Join us on this new path, and create a new "out-of-the-ordinary" discovery! 

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

ONE PILLAR PAGODA IN HANOI REOPENS TO VISITORS

 

The famous One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi is reopened to visitors after undergoing renovations. This historic Buddhist temple is one of the most iconic in Vietnam, and is an important highlight in Hanoi sightseeing tours. Its unique architecture never fails to fascinate and mesmerise visitors. 

 

 

 

ANNUAL CLOSING OF HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM, HANOI

 

We would like to inform you that the annual closing period of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi is from September 5, 2014 to December 5, 2014. Visitors can still visit the Ho Chi Minh complex as per normal without any limitation. 

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

 

NEW - A JOURNEY FROM CENTRAL VIETNAM TO ANGKOR

 

The journey starts from Central Vietnam, and takes you to explore the country's most important World Heritages sites including the complex of monuments in Hue, the ancient town of Hoi An and the ancient Champa Kingdom of My Son. The tour is also designed to help you immerse into the truly local art of living, before taking you up to the highlands.  

 

Take some time to wander around the ethnic village in Kontum, Pleiku in the Central Highlands. Then cross Le Thanh border, wind your way through Northeast Cambodia by land, and explore Ratanakiri province before heading to Preah Vihear Temple and Siem Reap. As you are travelling to off-the-beaten track destinations, the accommodation and restaurants in the Central Highlands and Cambodia's remote areas are often limited. Although we try to find the best available accommodation that suits this theme tour, it is still not up to international standard.   

 

 

 

TREKKING AND CAVING IN TU LAN CAVE SYSTEM

 

Hong Nha-Ke Bàng, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is situated in Quang Binh Province in north-central Vietnam, about 500km south of Hanoi and 160km north of Hue. So far, tourists on a classic journey tend to stop in Quang Binh for one night and pay for a half-day excursion to Phong Nha National Park, including a boat trip on Son River to Phong Nha Caves.  

 

The recent discovery of new spectacular caves and the opening of Son Doong (the world's largest cave), which make up the spectacular Tu Lan Cave system, have made Quang Binh famous worldwide. However, we have to point out the Son Doong Cave expedition is a special and intensive adventure for seven days with camping inside the cave.  

 

 

 

SAPA - LAND OF SPECTACULAR SCENERY AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY

 

Located at 1, 500 metres above sea level in Vietnam's remote northwest mountains, Sapa is famous for both its cultural diversity and spectacular rugged scenery with deep valleys, green rice fields, waterfalls and winding rivers. It is also home to a great diversity of ethnic minority people with their colourful customs and rich traditions. 

 

Visit ethnic villages and colourful local markets to get a taste of the local life and experience its rich culture. Spend the night in a remote homestay in Nam Cang village, and share the daily life of the local people. Have dinner with a local family, try a medicinal bath prepared from secret recipes, and enjoy the hospitality of the Red Dao, one of the largest ethnic groups in Vietnam.   

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

LOTTE HOTEL, HANOI - NEW 5* HOTEL

 

Lotte Group of Korea is planning the grand opening of its new luxury 5* Lotte Hotel, Hanoi. The hotel is situated in the upper part of the 65-floor grand Lotte Tower in the heart of Hanoi between the old town and the new business district. It offers 318 luxurious and comfortable rooms with the latest standards in facilities. Its F&B outlets include Tim Ho Wan Dimsum House, the first Michelin rated dimsum restaurant in Vietnam; Grill 62; and Pharaohs Bar.

 

 

 

VINPEARL RESORT, PHU QUOC - NEW 4* RESORT

 

Vinperarl Resort, Phu Quoc, is a beautiful new beach resort scheduled to open on November 1, 2014. Located at Vung Bau Beach in the Northern Island, the hotel offers 750 air-conditioned rooms. All the rooms are of modern design with separate bathtubs, rain showers, designer toiletries, bidets, bathrobes and slippers. Complimentary wireless high speed Internet access is available. Facilities include a full service spa, an outdoor. pool, and a health club. There is also an 18-hole golf course on site. 

 

There are several regional attractions around the hotel to visit like the Dinh Cau and its temple, Phu Quoc National Park and the wonderful beaches around the island.   

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL EXPO 2014

SEPTEMBER 11-13, 2014

VENUE: HO CHI MINH CITY

 

The International Travel Expo in Ho Chi Minh City is the largest and most established travel event in Vietnam and the Mekong. This annual travel exhibition presents the perfect platform for both local and international companies to collaborate and discuss inbound and outbound tourism for leisure and MICE. Over 7,000 trade and 8,000 public visitors are expected to attend the Expo.  

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS & VENUES

 

 

RUE LAMBLOT - NEW VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT IN HANOI

 

Discover "the spirit of ancient cuisine in Hanoi" at Rue Lamblot, a newly opened Vietnamese restaurant located at a busy street in the city centre. It has a colonial atmosphere, and serves reasonably priced and quality Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant's terrace and rooftop lounge offer panoramic view of the streets and vibrant life of Hanoi.

 

 
 
 

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CHINA

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR KRIS VAN GOETHEM

 

Autumn is promising more moderate temperatures across China after a hot summer. It is also the peak season for both leisure and incentive and MICE business to the Middle Kingdom.   

 

We will be celebrating the 65th anniversary of the People's Republic of China on October 1. And just four days before this anniversary we will be eating mooncakes, as it will be the Mid-Autumn Festival. Busy times are ahead!

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

LIJIANG-SHANGRILA RAILWAY UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

Construction of the Lijiang-Shangrila Railway, an important part of the Yunnan-Tibet Railway and railway network in west China, started on July 22, 2014. 

 

The Yunnan-Tibet Railway, the second railway to Tibet, is a sky road connecting Tibet with other regions of China. It represents the Central Government's concern for ethnic minorities, and the rail link is to help development to the region and improve their livelihood.  

 

The Lijiang-Shangrila Railway runs for 139.66 kilometres, and will play an important role in improving transportation in Yunnan's north-western regions. More importantly, the railway will extend to the north, and connect with the railway lines of Lhasa to make up the Yunnan-Tibet Railway. 

 

 

 

GUILIN OFFERS VISA-FREE STAYS  

 

Guilin is offering 72-hour visa-free stays for transit air passengers. Travellers entering through Guilin Liangjiang International Airport, who hold an onward ticket to a third destination within three days of their arrival, are now allowed to stay in the city without having to obtain a visa prior to arrival.  

 

Guilin, the capital of southern China's Guangxi region, is the ninth Chinese city in the 72-hour visa waiver scheme, joining Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenyang and Dalian. 

 

With its picturesque scenery and limestone karst hills, Guilin is a popular tourist destination in China. The city now has direct flight connections to numerous regional hubs including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Bangkok and Hong Kong.   

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

THE SILK ROAD AND GRAND CANAL -WORLD HERITAGE WONDERS

 

China gained its 46th and 47th listings on the UNESCO World Heritage Site roster, as well as its 32nd and 33rd World Cultural Heritage designations on June 22, 2014. The listings also included parts of the Silk Road (top photo) and the Grand Canal (bottom photo). 

 

The portion of the Silk Road included under the World Heritage Site listing passes through China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. It is one of the biggest World Cultural Heritage areas in terms of geographic distribution, and is the first World Heritage site co-owned by China and other countries. The main line of this ancient route, which connects the east and west. was in use from the 2nd century BC to the 16th century AD and stretched for more than 8,700 kilometres during its peak use. 

 

The Grand Canal, the world's longest at 1,776 kilometres, connects the Yangtze River with the Yellow River. Its oldest segments date back to the 5th century BC. Starting at Beijing, the canal first goes through Tianjin and then Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces to Hangzhou, southwest of Shanghai. Of the total 58 historical sites of the Grand Canal, 11 of them are in Hangzhou. After the announcement that the canal had been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Hangzhou declared that the city would create a system to protect and manage the canal to ensure that it will survive for another 2,000 years. 

 

 

 

MOUNT DANXIA - A WORLD HERITAGE SITE

 

Mount Danxia is a noted scenic area near Shaoguan in the northern part of Guangdong province. The mountain was formed from reddish sandstone, which has eroded over time forming a range of mountains surrounded by curvaceous cliffs and unusual rock formations. In the 2010 UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, Mount Danxia was listed as a natural World Heritage Site as part of China's Danxia landform. 

 

The Danxia landform refers to various landscapes found in southeast, southwest and northwest China, which "consist of a red bed characterised by steep cliffs." Such landforms are unique types of petrographic geomorphology found in China.  

 

The Danxia landform is created from red-coloured sandstones and conglomerates mainly from the Cretaceous Age. It looks very much like karst topography that forms in areas underlain with limestone, but since the rocks that form the danxia are sandstones and conglomerates they are referred to as "pseudo-karst" landforms.  

 

 

 

QINGCHENG MOUNTAIN - A BIRTHPLACE OF TAOISM

 

Qingcheng Mountain, one of the birthplaces of Taoism, is located in southwest of Dujiangyan, Sichuan province. It is about 68 kilometres from Chengdu, and 10 kilometres from Dujiangyan Water Conservancy Project. The main peak, Laoxiaoding, is 1,260 metres above sea level. 

 

The mountain is divided into two parts - the former mountain and the back mountain. The former mountain is the main part of the Qingcheng scenic spot with an area of 15 square kilometres. It has beautiful landscape, rich historical sites and cultural relics. The main scenic spot here are Jianfu Palace, Tianshi Cave, Chaoyang Cave, Zushi Palace, and Shangqing Palace. The back mountain is about 100 square kilometres with clean water, serene forests, and grand hills. 

 

In 2000, Qingcheng Mountain was listed into UNESCO's World Culture Heritage catalogue along with Dujiangyan.   

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

GRAND HYATT LIJIANG OPENS IN SEPTEMBER 2014

 

Grand Hyatt Lijiang, which opens in September 2014, is located within the Jinmao Whisper of Jais de Dragon Complex at the north end of Shangri-La Avenue in Lijiang. It is within walking distance of Shuhe Ancient Town and its unparalleled natural and recreational settings.  

 

The hotel ingeniously combines the quintessential elements of modern fashion and Naxi traditional ethnic architecture to create an aura of impressive natural and cultural fascination. It has 312 luxury guestrooms including 50 suites and 8 villas, which perfectly combine Naxi elements and modern comfort. Each has a balcony, which offers spectacular views of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Facilities include four restaurants with local features offering both local and foreign cuisine. 

 

The hotel also boasts a 3,000sqm multi-functional venue for meetings and events, which includes an elegant and magnificent Grand Ballroom and a residence-style function space room with natural lighting. Equipped with state-of-the-art communication facilities and wireless network, they are ideal for business or private events.   

 

 

 

SOFITEL SHANGHAI HYLAND'S NEWLY RENOVATED GUESTROOMS

 

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland in Shanghai has unveiled its newly renovated deluxe rooms. The revamped 145 deluxe classic rooms and 49 prestige suites are on levels 9 to 18 of the hotel. They feature contemporary wood and glass furniture, new wallpaper with pattern of 1920s Shanghai with rickshaws, 42-inch LCD televisions with WiFi and MP3 player docking systems.

 

 

 

ANGSANA XI'AN LINTONG OPENING IN 4TH QUARTER OF 2014

 

Angsana Xi'an Lintong, due to open in the last quarter of this year, is located in China's Shaanxi Province and sits at the foot of evergreen Lishan Mountain. It is only five minutes away from the renowned Huaqing Palace, and 15 minutes from the famed archaeological site of Emperor Qin's Terracotta Warriors and Horses. 

 

Designed to resemble a Tang Dynasty court, the resort features a collection of low-rise buildings surrounded by gardens, lakes, courtyards and pavilions. There are 403 rooms including a range of one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. Facilities include the Angsana Spa with 25 natural outdoor hot springs, seven restaurants and bars, a kids' club, swimming pool, gym and yoga studio. For corporate guests, Angsana Xi'an offers meeting facilities for up to 800 persons.

 

 

 

GRAND MERCURE BEIJING -IDEAL FOR BUSINESS AND LEISURE

 

Grand Mercure Beijing Dongcheng, which opened in August 2014, is superbly situated in the heart of Beijing. The hotel is a short stroll away from some of the historical tourist attractions, such as the renowned Yonghe Lama Temple and Beijing Guo Zi Jian. Its unique location makes it ideal for both business and leisure travellers.  

 

The hotel offers 200 elegantly appointed guestrooms and suites. All the rooms are designed with a combination of contemporary design and traditional luxury. F&B outlets include the all-day dining restaurant that serves an extensive buffet selection along with a la carte menu, and the lobby bar to relax and escape the stresses of the city. The hotel's dedicated event area features a magnificent pillarless Grand Ballroom, capable of hosting over 300 guests with its 8-metre high ceiling, 18sqm LED screen and seven naturally lit multi-purpose function rooms equipped with modern technology.   

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL

SEPTEMBER 8, 2014

VENUE: THROUGHOUT CHINA

 

The Mid Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, is one of the most important festivities in China. This year it falls on September 8. 

 

The festival's celebrations dated back to more than 2,000 years. During feudal times the Chinese emperors prayed to Heaven for a prosperous year. They chose the night of the 15th day of the eighth lunar month to hold a ceremony in praise of the moon. This ancient custom became prevalent during the Tang Dynasty with people enjoying and worshipping the full moon. In the Southern Song Dynasty, however, people sent round mooncakes to their relatives as gifts to express their best wishes for the family reunion. 

 

Today, the Mid-Autumn Festival is an evening celebration when families gather together to light lanterns, eat mooncakes, and appreciate the round moon. On that night the full moon appears at its roundest and brightest and is regarded as a symbol of family reunion, which is why it is also known as the Festival of Reunion.  

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN CHINA 2014

 

• MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL: September 8  

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

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES FLIES TO TORONTO

 

China Eastern Airlines has launched thrice-weekly flights connecting Shanghai to Toronto in Canada. Flights depart Shanghai's Pudong International Airport every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 12.40hrs, and arrive at Toronto's Pearson International Airport at 14.25hrs the next day. The return service leaves Toronto at 16.25hrs, and arrives in Shanghai at 18.40hrs the next day.  

 

The services are operated using the 322-seat Airbus A340-600 aircraft. The route will be upgraded to a daily service next year when China Eastern takes delivery of its new Boeing B777-300ER aircraft.   

 

 

 

CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES LINKS WUHAN WITH MOSCOW

 

China Southern Airlines has launched a new route connecting Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, with Moscow in Russia. Commencing on July 30, 2014, the three times weekly service continues on to Guangzhou. It marks the airline's first direct flight to a European city from Wuhan.  

 

The three times weekly service continues on to Guangzhou. The Guangzhou-Wuhan-Moscow service uses an Airbus A330-200, with flights on every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. This service runs alongside China Southern Airlines' existing four times weekly flights from Guangzhou to Moscow via Urumqi. With these two services China Southern Airlines now offers daily services to the Russian capital.   

 

 
 
 

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MYANMAR

 

 

A note from Managing Director Thomas Carnevale

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

 

We have been hard at work 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 getting more bookings then in the past years. There are also more enquiries on facilities on the ground.  

 

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

 

Many new properties are opening and we are highlighting some of them in this newsletter under "HOTEL INFORMAITON".

 

Please always keep in mind that our colleagues are more than happy to give you more input on new products ideas, itinerary design, and related matters.  

 

We thank you for your support throughout the years, and look forward to a successful 2014/2015 season.  

 

Best regards, 

 

Thomas Carnevale

  

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

E-VISA GOES ONLINE FROM SEPTEMBER

 

Myanmar's Ministry of Immigration and Population has announced that starting from September 1, 2014, an e-visa service will go online. More information can be found at:  

 

http://www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm/   

 

 

 

RENOVATIONS AT SHWEDAGON PAGODA

 

The Shwedagon Pagoda Board of Trustee announced that the gold cover of the stupa at Shwedagon Pagoda would be renewed from mid-September 2014. Normally this exercise takes place once every three years, with the work lasting three to four months. During the renovations some parts of the stupa will be covered by bamboo scaffolding and will not be visible. The pagoda remains open to the public during the work period with no change in the serene atmosphere. 

 

Please inform your clients in advance of the ongoing works. On our side our guide will also inform clients upon arrival.   

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

NEW PROGRAMME - ON THE TRAIL OF WORLD HERITAGE SITES

 

Many of you may have read that Myanmar now has three cultural heritage sites officially enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The three sites are Sri Ksetra near Pyay, Beikhtano, and Hanlin.

 

It is with great pleasure that we introduce our new programme, which follows the trail of these three famous sites, and also includes other important tourism highlights of Myanmar. This programme will give enough time for cultural enthusiasts to explore these sites with the help of our always friendly, knowledgeable and professional guides.  

 

Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and more information. 

 

 

 

CHANGES TO SERVICES ON BELMOND'S TWO SHIPS

 

Belmond has made some exciting changes to their service offered on their two ships. The changes are listed in the revised product inclusions for Belmond Road to Mandalay and Belmond Orcaella 2014/2015 season, offering the finest service (on and off board).  

 

We will be most happy to send you the detailed list with all the new services. Please contact us for more information and to get the list.   

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

HOTEL PARAMI YANGON TO SOFT OPEN IN OCTOBER

 

The 4 star international class Hotel Parami Yangon is due to soft open in October 2014, with the grand opening slated for end December. Located in the prime location of Parami Road, the hotel is just 20 minutes from Yangon International Airport and 15 minutes to Yangon's central business district. 

 

Hotel Parami will soft open with 70 rooms, with an additional 39 rooms to open at the end of December. The well-designed luxurious rooms come with free WiFi, flat screen TV, iron and ironing board, in-room safe, and coffee-/tea-making facilities. 

 

The hotel offers a wide range of facilities and services to meet the needs of both business and leisure travellers. Opening in October 2014 will be the all-day dining Cafe Café, Lobby Lounge and Pastry Corner. Coming online in December will be Bistro@9, Club 9, Space@6, rooftop swimming pool, and meeting rooms.   

 

 

 

KAN YEIK THAR HOTEL - YANGON

 

Kan Yeik Thar Hotel is located close to the city centre. It offers 40 rooms, which are equipped with amenities to make guests' stay a comfortable one. Hotel facilities include a restaurant, coffee shop, business centre, laundry service, and room service.  

 

 

 

SHWE PO EAIN HOTEL - BAGAN

 

Shwe Po Eain Hotel is located in the downtown area of New Bagan and only a five-minute walk to the market. The hotel, located in a three-storey building, has 63 rooms, a restaurant and a swimming pool. 

 

 

 

RUPAR MANDALAR'S EXTENSION - MANDALAY

 

Rupar Mandalar has extended its hotel facilities by adding 24 new deluxe rooms, which are housed in a building next to the pool. All the rooms are well equipped with amenities. This unique property also has numerous facilities for the guests, in addition to its good service.
 

 

 

SEDONA HOTEL MANDALAY‘S MAJOR RENOVATIONS - MANDALAY

 

Sedona Hotel Mandalay has undergone major renovations to its rooms and public areas, as well as the reopening of its famous Italian restaurant, Orzo.   

 

 

 

HOTEL WHITE AVENUE - NYAUNG SHWE

 

The 24-room Hotel White Avenue is located in a two-storey building, which is built with traditional materials. The hotel features a nice rooftop restaurant offering great views of the surrounding mountains. 

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

MYANMAR AIRWAYS FLIES TO OSAKA AND SEOUL IN OCTOBER

 

Myanmar Airways International (MAI) is to launch thrice weekly scheduled flights to Osaka (Japan) and Seoul (Korea) from October this year. Passengers flying on these two new routes will get Visa on Arrival (VoA) at Yangon International Airport.

 

 

 

YANGON AIRPORT INAUGURATES FIRST FBO FOR PRIVATE JETS

 

Yangon International Airport has begun operations of its first private aviation Fixed Base Operators (FBO) in a joint venture with MJets, a Thai-based FBO and private jet operator, and local enterprise, Wah Wah Group.

 

 

 

AIR MANDALAY PURCHASES 10 MITSUBISHI REGIONAL JETS

 

Air Mandalay has signed an aircraft purchase agreement with Mitsubishi Aircraft for an order of six firm MRJ90s, with an option for an additional four MRJ90s. 

 

 

 

 

ANY OTHER NEWS

 

 

THE CODE WORKSHOP

 

The Code is an internationally recognised initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry to prevent the sexual exploitation of children. The focus is on integrating child protection into the industry via its six criteria.  

 

Asian Trails actively supports the efforts of the Code, and participated at its latest workshop in July 2014 in Yangon.   

 

 
 

 

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MALAYSIA

 

 

A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR EMIR CHERIF

 

Dear friends, 

 

Warm greetings from Kuala Lumpur! 

 

I had the opportunity with our CEO, Mr. Laurent Kuenzle, to visit Taman Negara in a different way than what most of our clients do. We did it backpacker style, and had to trek for about one hour to reach our camping site. It was very basic, and the whole experience can be called adventurous. The most amazing part is the sound of the jungle, and some scene on the river crossing the park. Clients who are interested to book such a trip, please do not hesitate to contact me or my reservations team. 

 

We are also celebrating our 15th anniversary on September 9. I am happy and proud to be part of the Asian Trails Malaysia team. On this happy occasion I would like to thank all our partners for their continuous support and trust. We will do our utmost to meet your expectations. 

 

Kind regards, 

Emir 

Malaysia, Truly Asia!

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

MALAYSIA LEVIES ENTRY PERMITS CHARGES ON SINGAPORE VEHICLES

 

Singapore-registered vehicles entering Malaysia will be expected to pay for a vehicle entry permit (VEP) in the near future. 

 

Private vehicles from Malaysia can enter Singapore 10 times a year free of charge, after which a fee of S$35 (US$28) per day is imposed for entry between 02.00hrs and 17.00hrs from Mondays to Fridays   

 

 

 

INCREASED INTEREST IN MALAYSIA AMONG INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS

 

A study by TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, reveals the largest and fastest growing markets showing interest in visiting Malaysian holiday destinations. Findings show that Malaysia continues to be a favourite destination among international travellers, particularly long-haul travellers from North America and Europe. It examines those markets in which travellers have shown the largest increase in year-on-year interest in Malaysian properties. 

 

The study reveals good news for Malaysian hospitality businesses - travellers from long-haul markets are clearly becoming more interested in Malaysia as a destination. The United States, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany represent four of the most significant markets when it comes to increased interest from travellers looking at Malaysian accommodations. These markets, therefore, represent increasingly important sources of business for Malaysian hospitality industry.  

 

Top 10 markets with biggest increase in traveller interest for Malaysian accommodations (year-on-year growth):  

1   United States 26.9% 

2   Canada 26.2% 

3   The Netherlands 19.6% 

4   Germany 11.8% 

5   Saudi Arabia 6.6% 

6   Japan 5.8% 

7   India 2.8% 

8   Spain 1.3% 

9   Philippines 1.3% 

10 Australia 0.1% 

 

Top 10 markets for Malaysian accommodations (overall traffic): 

1   Malaysia 

2   Singapore 

3   Australia 

4   United States 

5   United Kingdom 

6   Japan 

7   China 

8   India 

9   Indonesia 

10 Germany  

 

The top reviewer markets for Malaysian accommodations on TripAdvisor are consistent with those researching Malaysian accommodations on the site. Travellers from Malaysia, Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore and the United States have contributed the most number of reviews on Malaysian accommodations in the past year. 

 

A closer look at the average TripAdvisor review ratings given to Malaysian accommodations by the top reviewer markets uncovers some interesting insight - that Malaysians are their own toughest critic. In 2013, travellers from Malaysia gave accommodations in their own country an average TripAdvisor review rating of 3.64 (out of a possible 5), compared to the 3.88 average global review rating for Malaysian accommodations. In contrast, Russia travellers are the most satisfied guests, giving Indonesian accommodations an average TripAdvisor review rating of 4.2.  

 

The TripAdvisor study shows that while Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) are the top three most searched Malaysian destinations by TripAdvisor travellers in the past year, accommodations in these destinations do not necessarily commend the highest average review ratings. Out of the top 10 most popular Malaysian destinations, accommodations in Pantai Cenang, Langkawi (4.21), Batu Ferringhi, Penang (4.12) and Georgetown, Penang (4.08) are given the highest average TripAdvisor review ratings.   

 

 

 

 

ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

 

 

MALAYSIA'S FIRST OWL MUSEUM

 

Malaysia's first Owl Museum is located on Penang Hill, Penang’s main tourist attraction, over an area of 2,500sqft. A art and craft museum, it has a unique owl collection of over 2,500 exhibits. It is dedicated to introducing the fascinating world of owls and their cultural relations to humans.

 

The museum is open from 9am to 6pm daily. Admission fee is RM10 (US$3.20) for adults, and free free for children under 12. Senior citizens, aged 60 and above, and students are entitled to a 50% discount.  

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

BERJAYA TIOMAN RESORT AND REDANG ISLAND RESORT CLOSE FOR MONSOON SEASON

 

Berjaya Hotels & Resorts (BHR) is closing of its two island resorts - Berjaya Tioman Resort (Tioman, Pahang) and Redang Island Resort (Redang, Terengganu) for four months starting from November 1, 2014 due to the monsoon season. During this period tourism activities will be put on hold temporarily, and the resorts will carry out their annual maintenance work.

 

The two resorts will resume operations after March 1, 2015 with the introduction of full board packages. This marks BHR's entry into the full board segment, which will enable  the resorts to redefine their hospitality service and product offerings.   

 

 

 

SWISS GARDEN HOTEL & RESIDENCES MALACCA TO OPEN IN NOVEMBER

 

Swiss Garden Hotel and Residences Malacca is due to to open in mid-November, and will be in full operation by December this year. It is located in "Old" Malacca, minutes away from historical sites and Jonker Street. The property comprises two towers - the 32-storey Hotel tower with 306 rooms, and the 42-storey Residence tower with 484 rooms. All rooms, measuring in size from 42sqm, offer spectacular view of the Straits of Malacca and the iconic Malacca River. 

 

Hotel facilities include two infinity Olympic-siized pools on the ninth floor, and a ballroom that seats 800 paxs comfortably with five break up rooms. Aslternative function rooms are on the hotel's 30th and 31st floors, with capacity for 450 paxs, and fitted with ull glass panels offering a panoramic view of the whole of Melaka. 

 

The whole complex consists of four floors of shopping with Tangs as the main anchor tenant. There are 268 retail shops two Japanese restaurants, Korean restaurant, Thai reataurant, a vegetarian restaurant and a high end food court, Hutong. There is another Huton in Lot 10 shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur.  

 

 

 

UPGRADING WORK AT THE ANDAMAN LANGKAWI

 

The Andaman Langkawi will be undergoing a reformation process, which will give the resort a fresh and stylish look. 

 

Details of the renovations: 

 

• Project duration:: September 10-October 26, 2014 

• Areas affected: Lobby, The Restaurant and south wing rooms  

• Working hours: 9am-5pm daily 

• Expected noise levels: Minimal 

• Updates: Breakfast to be served on Level 2 

• Safety measures: Areas under construction will be completely cordoned off. 

 

The resort's management will send out pogress updates and any changes in scope of work regularly. 

 

To make up for the inconvenience caused by the renovations, the hotel will be upgrading all existing room bookings for the south wing to the recently elevated and enhanced north wing. This upgrade will be applicable for bookings from September10 until October 26, 2014. In addition, all bookings will receive resort credits* that may be used throughout that particular stay. It is the intention that disruptions to the guest experience during these projects are kept to a minimum. 

 

• Current bookings for Deluxe Rainforest will be upgraded to Deluxe Treetop, 

• Current bookings for Luxury Garden Terrace will be upgraded to Luxury Seaview. 

• Current bookings for Luxury Pool Access will be upgraded to Jacuzzi Studio Suite. 

 

(*) Please note that resort credits cannot be exchanged for cash, used for retail items or 3rd party operated tours or events and are only applicable for resort Food & Beverage and V Integrated Wellness Spa.

 

 

 

RENOVATIONS UPDATE: SHANGRI-LA'S RASA RIA RESORT, KOTA KINABALU

 

The extension work of the new 81 luxurious guestrooms and an Italian restaurant at Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, is on track for completion in the first quarter of 2015.  

 

From late September until mid-December this year, the Spa at Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club will be closed for renovations. During this period, all Spa services will be relocated to the Garden Wing. 

 

Apart from the current upgradings work some of the completed projects are:  

• Renovation of Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club  

• Clubhouse completed in mid-May, 2014 

• Relocation and construction of a new Water Sports Centre in front of Nature Interpretation Centre for better views of the sunset from Sampan Bar 

• A children's pool at the Ocean Wing was renovated into a 182sqm outdoor Jacuzzi pool, and was completed at the end of June 2014. 

• Introduction of new activities - Segway, hydrobikes and standup paddle boats   

 

 

 

RENOVATIONS UPDATE: THE MAGELLAN SUTERA RESORT, KOTA KINABALU

 

The Magellan Club rooms at The Magellan Sutera Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, were reopened to guests in August 2014 on completion of their renovation. 

 

This is the last part of the hotel's refurbishment works, as the Harbour and Marina wings have revealed their brand new look. New additions to the rooms in these two wings include new plush carpeting, 30cm-thick mattress, eight pillows of different sizes, new wing chair, 42" flat screen TV, ceiling fan, wicker balcony chairs, new mini bar and an in-room safe. The bathrooms are also refurbished with coloured bath linens, adjustable shower head with a handle for the bath area, toilet with bidet, and additional drawer storage.   

 

 

 

SABAH HOTEL, SANDAKAN UNDER RENOVATIONS

 

Sabah Hotel in Sandakan, Sabah, are currently renovating its guestrooms. The work started on July  20, 2014, and will be completed on December 4, 2014. The renovation is carried out floor by floor from 10am to 5pm daily.

 

 

 

 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

 

ROYAL PAHANG BILLFISH INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE

SEPTEMBER 12-24, 2014

VENUE: KUALA ROMPIN, PAHANG

 

The Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge is an annual offshore "catch and release" fishing competition. It is held at Kuala Rompin whose waters are one of the natural migration routes for the Billfish. The concept of this competition is to create a healthy activity while preserving the fish species.   

 

 

 

SARAWAK REGATTA

SEPTEMBER 5-7, 2014

VENUE: TEBINGAN KUCHING, SARAWAK

 

The Sarawak Regatta is a popular event in Kuching featuring a race between traditional longboats. The longboats are decorated with colourful designs, and are of differing lengths with some having up to 30 paddlers and others with just a few. The race dates back to the 1800s, and was held to end the warring among the local tribes.  

 

 

 

MALAYSIA DAY CELEBRATION

SEPTEMBER 16, 2014

VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA

 

Malaysia Day is held on September 16 yearly to commemorate the establishment of the Malaysian Federation on the same date in 1963. Celebrations are held in various parts of the country. 

 

 

 

 

ASIA PACIFIC IRONMAN LANGKAWI

SEPTEMBER 27, 2014

VENUE: LANGKAWI, KEDAH

 

Ironman is a triathlon's marquee challenge and the world's most captivating and testing single-day endurance race. It consists of a 3.8km swim, a 180km cycle, and a 42.2km run. It has been a respected name in triathlon since its inception 31 years ago, and is regarded as the pinnacle of the sport.

 

In 2012, more than 124,000 athletes from across the globe competed for slots at the prestigious Ironman World Championships held every October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Thirty-one Ironman Triathlon races were held throughout the world to qualify for the championship. The qualifying events included nine races in Europe, 14 in North America, one in South America, five in Oceana, and two in Africa. In 2013, the championship moved in a new direction with only two exclusive full distance races in Asia - one in North Asia and one in South Asia.   

 

 

 

MALAYSIAN OPEN KUALA LUMPUR 2014/ATP WORLD TOUR 250

SEPTEMBER 20-28, 2014

VENUE: PUTRA STADIUM, BUKIT JALIL, SELANGOR

 

The Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur celebrates its sixth anniversary this year as the country celebrates Visit Malaysia Year. Sanctioned by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia, the Malaysian Open is one of the more popular events on the ATP World Tou 

 

Tennis fans are in for a lot of excitement and thrills, as three of the world's top 10 tennis players have confirmed their participation. The star line-up include Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro, world No.7 and US Open winner;  Kei Nishikori, currently ranked #10 ad the second Asian man to reach the world's top 10; Canadian Milos Raonic.

 

Tickets prices range from RM10 (US$3.20) to RM160, with free admission between September 20 and September 23.   

 

 

 

AFRICA MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL FASHION SHOW

SEPTEMBER 24-28, 2014

VENUE: AVENUE K SHOPPING MALL, KUALA LUMPUR

 

The Africa Malaysia International Fashion show is the first and biggest African event of its kind in Asia. This unique and innovative show aims to raise global awareness for both African and Malaysian fashion designers.   

 

 

 

FABULOUS FOOD 1MALAYSIA

OCTOBER 1-DECEMBER 31, 2014

VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA

 

Fabulous Food 1Malaysia, which was first organised in 2009, showcases the diversity of Malaysian cuisine for three months. The event is divided into the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival, Asian Food Heritage Trail, Street Food Festival, and Restaurant Food Festival. Selected hotels will feature specialties, cultural shows, and handicrafts from the various states in Malaysia as well as from around the world.

 

 

 

HARI RAYA AIDILADHA

OCTOBER 5, 2014

VENUE : THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA

 

Hari Raya Aidiladha, also known as Hari Raya Haji and Hari Raya Qurban, marks the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca performed by millions of Muslims annually. Muslims throughout the country celebrate the festival with prayers and the sacrifice of cattle. 

 

 

 

STANDARD CHARTERED KL MARATHON 2014

OCTOBER 12, 2014

VENUE : KUALA LUMPUR

 

The Standard Chartered KL Marathon starts and finishes at Dataran Merdeka. It is flagged off directly beneath the clock tower of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. The route passes through several city landmarks that include  the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, National Monument, colourful Little India, National Mosque, the King's Palace, and Parliament Building. The marathon had its inaugural race in 2009 with 13,500 runners. Last year 33,000 runners took part.  

 

 

 

MOUNT KINABALU INTERNATIONAL CLIMBATHON - ADVENTURE SERIES

OCTOBER 19, 2014

VENUE: KUNDASANG, SABAH

 

The Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon-Adventure Series covers a challenging 23-kilometre route. It takes participants up the Summit Trail to Laying Layang (2,072 metres above sea level) before descending to Mesilou, and heading on to the finish line in Kundasang. The race offers spellbinding vistas of Kinabalu Park's tropical and sub-tropical mountain forests, summit peaks, and river valleys.  

 

 

 

DEEPAVALI - FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

OCTOBER 23, 2014

VENUE : THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA

 

Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, is celebrated by Hindus with prayers, family gatherings and festivities. Open houses are held when family and friends visit each other, and enjoy delicious traditional goodies. The festival is celebrated nationswide except in Labuan and Sarawak.   

 

 

 

SHELL ADVANCE MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX

OCTOBER 24-26, 2014

VENUE: SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, SELANGOR

 

This is the premier event of the motorcycle racing calendar. It is held at the Sepang International Circuit in Selangor, one of the most challenging circuits in the world. A must-watch event for those who love full throttle action from some of the world's top racers.

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

MALINDO AIR STARTS JOHOR BAHRU-PENANG AND KUALA LUMPUR-KUANTAN SERVICES

 

On July 23, 2014, Malindo Air launched daily Johor Bahru to Penang service, and five times weekly Kuala Lumpur (Subang) to Kuantan flights. 

 

The Johor Bahru-Penang-Johor Bahru service departs and arrives at the Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru and the Penang International Airport. 

 

The Kuala Lumpur-Kuantan-Kuala Lumpur service flies to and from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang, and the Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport, Kuantan, on every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. 

 

Malindo Air recently took delivery of two more ATR72-600 aircraft, which are deployed for the new services.   

 

 

 

AIRASIA TO RESUME FLIGHTS TO CLARK IN THE PHILIPPINES

 

AirAsia will reintroduce its direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Clark in the Philippines from October 17, 2014 after an 11-month break. The four times weekly service will be operated by Malaysia AirAsia with the flight code AK on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.  

 

AirAsia stopped the thrice-weekly Kuala Lumpur to Clark on October 31, 2013, as part of a realignment of its route network. Clark will be the airline's fourth destination in the Philippines from Kuala Lumpur after Manila, Cebu and Kalibo.  

 

 

 

 

AIRASIA TO REINSTATES DIRECT JOHOR BAHRU- BANDUNG FLIGHTS

 

AirAsia will resume direct flights from Johor Bharu, Johor, to Bandung, Indonesia, with three times weekly frequency from October 16, 2014. The service will be on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

 

Flights to Bandung were previously operated by AirAsia Indonesia (flight code QZ). They will now be operated by Malaysia AirAsia (flight code AK). AirAsia is the only airline flying direct from Johor Bharu to Bandung.  

 

Bandung will be AirAsia's fourth Indonesian destination from Johore Bharu, the airline's southern hub, after Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Lombok.   

 

 
 
 

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INDONESIA

 

 

A note from Managing Director Andre Seiler

 

We have reached the peak of the high season again in early August following the school holidays in Europe. As in previous years Indonesia remains a very popular long haul summer destination, and we are happy to see that many of our clients visit more and more secondary destinations apart from Java and Bali.

 

Flores and the Komodo National Park are extremely popular following the mounting of new flights by Garuda Indonesia. Our entire team has their hands full at this moment, and we are happy to see how attractive Indonesia remains with our clients from all over the world.

 

I wish to take this opportunity to announce that after almost seven years with Asian Trails in Indonesia and 11 years with the Asian Trails Group, I have decided to leave my position to move back to my native country of Switzerland for family reasons. My successor will be Bjoern Schimanski, who is currently leading our office in Laos. I will only leave at the end of this year, and I look forward to another four more exciting months with this great company. 

 

 

 

 

DESTINATION INFORMATION

 

 

INCREASE IN VISA ON ARRIVAL (VOA) FEE

 

The Indonesian Immigration Department increased the Visa on Arrival (VoA) fee from USD25 to USD35 from July 3, 2014, for a 30-day visitor visa. This applies to all international entry points to Indonesia.  

 

 

 

 

BALINALE 2014 - BALI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2014

 

The 8th annual Bali International Film Festival or BALINALE 2014 will be held from October 12-18, 2014 at various locations in Bali including Ubud, Sanur and Kuta beach. 

 

Now in its eighth year, BALINALE provides an important platform to showcase Indonesian films and their talented filmmakers to a global audience while creating networks with international filmmakers. The festival's programme will also include award-winning fiction, documentary, features and short films from around the world. 

 

Workshops and seminars are an important part of the festival programme, offering students and young filmmakers an opportunity to learn from established Indonesian and international professionals. 

 

 

 

UBUD WRITERS AND READERS FESTIVAL

 

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival will take place from October 1 to 5, 2014, in Ubud. The event features 150 writers from more than 25 countries with the theme of "Saraswati: Wisdom & Knowledge". A number of literary legends will also participate, bringing Indonesian and international writers on to the world stage to present global issues and celebrate contemporary literature. 

 

 

 

 

PRODUCT INFORMATION

 

 

NEW - BALI LAND ROVER TOUR

 

Our new exciting tour takes you round Bali in a Land Rover to discover the real heart of this enchanting island. Drive through small villages where children greet you enthusiastically, and cross mountains lined with beautiful rice terraces. Stop for a coffee/tea break served with typical Balinese sweet with a Balinese family in their traditional house. This is followed with a visit to the historical Tamba Waras Temple. Lunch is a local restaurant with views to the rice terraces.

 

Throughout the journey your guide will give you an insight into Balinese customs and explain the rice fields' unique water irrigation system called "Subak", famous in Bali for its unique way of watering the fields. And don't forget to bring along a camera, as there are many great photo opportunities on this tour. 

 

 

 

 

HOTEL INFORMATION

 

 

 

NEW - DOUBLETREE BY HILTON HOTEL JAKARTA-DIPONEGORO

 

Hilton International is expanding its footprint in Indonesia with the opening of a DoubleTree hotel in Indonesia's capital city, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jakarta Diponegoro. It is ideally located away from busy traffic, and is close to the business areas, embassies and leisure options.

 

The hotel offers 253 guestrooms comprising executive rooms and 11 suites. Among the facilities are three dining outlets, a ballroom and meeting rooms, as well as an outdoor swimming pool and a 24-hour business and fitness centre. 

 

 

 

MARRIOTT OPENS NEW COURTYARD IN BALI

 

The new Courtyard by Marriott Bali has opened in Seminyak, one of the most popular areas for business and leisure travellers in the island. It offers 266 designed rooms and 24 suites, a restaurant, bar, large swimming pool, Kids' Club, 24-hour fitness centre, and conference and banqueting space for up to 350 people. 

 

 

 

CENTARA'S THIRD BALI PROPERTY TO OPEN IN 2015

 

Centara Hotels & Resorts will open its third property, Centara Crystal on the Bay Nusa Dua, in early 2015. It is ideally located on the southern peninsula with direct access to the ocean and surrounded by lush greenery,  

 

The modern architectural designed resort will feature 210 rooms including Deluxe, Suites, Pool Suites and Jacuzzi Suites. On the rooftop are the infinity pool and terrace, restaurant and bar, offering a spectacular view of the bay. Facilities include a spa, wedding chapel, two swimming pools, pool bar, an all-day dining restaurant, Kids' Club, and meetings facilities.  

 

 

 

ASTON SOLO HOTEL OPENS

 

Aston Hotels has opened the new 4 star Aston Solo Hotel in Solo, Central Java. The strategically located luxuriously designed hotel offers 168 rooms of various categories, including suites. Facilities include a semi-roof top pool, Cashmere Restaurant, an outdoor dining bar and Chiffon Lounge, as well as conference meeting rooms.  

 

 

 

FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON MAKASSAR SET FOR MAY 2015 OPENING

 

The first Starwood Hotels and Resorts hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Makassar, will open in Makassar city, Sulawesi in May 2015. Offering 261 rooms, the hotel will also feature a swimming pool, full-service dining and fitness centre. It will also have the largest convention centre in Makassar, which has two ballrooms and 16 meeting rooms. 

 

 

 

NEW: GAJAH MADA HOTEL JAKARTA BY ALL SEASONS

 

The newly opened Gajah Mada Hotel by All Seasons is located in the entertainment and business district area near Chinatown. The hotel features 150 rooms and 7 suites with modern design, creating a fresh and relaxing ambience. It is ideal as a business and events venue with its numerous meeting rooms fitted with the necessary equipment. F&B facilities include the Streats Restaurant and Lounge Bar, which are perfect to chill in and take a break from the busy city life.

 

 

 

SANAK HOTEL MUNDUK, A TRANQUIL RETREAT

 

Sanak Hotel is the perfect gateway to the off-the-beaten-track of Buleleng in North Bali. It is ideal for visitors looking for a retreat to immerse in the Island of the Gods. Surrounded by traditional agricultural land and beautiful landscapes, the hotel offers 10 bungalows and a three-bedroom private villa with plunge pool. They feature a spa, kitchen table and bar for a comfortable cosy stay.  

 

 

 

FC RESIDENCE BALI, A PEACEFUL HAVEN

 

FC Residence Bali is a restful haven located in a quiet environment OF Canggu, West Bali. The resort's extensive landscaped gardens, coupled with the eight designed suites, bring guests into the island's true essence and its natural beauty. You can book all the eight suites for the exclusive use by groups or extended family, or for corporate events. Facilities and services include the FC Bar & Grill, massage suite and private cooking classes. 

 

 

 

RESTAURANT TABLE 8 IN MULIA RESORT, BALI

 

Table 8 by Mulia originally opened in Mulia Hotel Jakarta, and it is now in the Bali at The Mulia Bali on Nusa Dua beach. It is the perfect venue for a sumptuous Chinese dinner of exquisite Szechuan and Cantonese specialties. The restaurant is decorated in Chinese architectural style with a homely atmosphere. 

 

 

 

 

AIRLINE INFORMATION

 

 

GARUDA INDONESIA'S NEW ROUTES TO WEST PAPUA

 

Garuda Indonesia plans to open new flight routes from Jayapura to join the hinterlands of the Indonesian Papua this year. The national carrier will serve Dekai in Yahukimo regency, as well as Nabire and Wamena in Jayawijaya regency. The service will operate with two ATR 72-600 aircraft, which has a capacity of 72 passengers each. The new flights will make the Baliem Valley more accessible.

 

 

 

SILKAIR TO SUSPEND FLIGHTS TO SOLO IN OCTOBER

 

SilkAir will suspend its twice-weekly flight services to Solo in Central Java from October 26, 2014. However, the airline will continue operating flights from Singapore to Semarang and Yogyakarta. 

 

 

 
 

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