Asian Trails Trailblazer

Issue September 2015

THE CEO STORY

A MOTORBIKE FOOD TRAIL THROUGH THE STREETS OF HO CHI MINH CITY


We all travel for different reasons - some to discover more of the world, others to do voluntourism, while the adrenalin junkies go for extreme experiences like conquering mountains or the depths of the sea.

Numerous surveys have shown how wide and varied travellers' preferences are when they take a holiday break. Example, Westerners love culture and the beach, while Asians prefer shopping. But one common trend rings true for almost all travellers, regardless of race, culture or religion, and that is food hunt! And my story is all about this - my adventure on a motorbike in search of food.

Most travellers to Asia associate China and Thailand as the region's culinary centres, but there's a new kid on the block that is giving these two countries a run for the culinary dollars - Vietnam.

Vietnamese food, like most Asian food, is all about the ying and yang, described as the balance of opposite/contrary forces that are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world. Good examples of these contrasting elements in Vietnamese cuisine are the sweet and sour dishes that are a typical mix of combining opposites into one delicious dish, lemon and black pepper, ginger and soi. The Vietnamese are masters at putting flavours in food, which surprise and intrigue at the same time.

During my visit to Asian Trails Ho Chi Minh's office last month Ms Tien, Managing Director of Asian Trails Vietnam, arranged a culinary tour on a Vespa motorbike for me to sample the city's street food delights. She knows that although I have a fondness for intriguing restaurants, I love the simplicity of local dishes even more.

Together we traversed the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City on the back of Vespas under the watchful eye of Mr. Phuong, the company's product manager, who made sure the driver made all the right turns. I have to admit it took a me a while to get used to the sight of hundreds of motorbikes coming from every direction, and the ceaseless honking of horns. But it's all part of the fun of a motorbike food tour, and I quickly get used to the "chaotic" scene.

Ho Chi Minh City comes alive after dark, and you have to go off the main streets to get the real feel of the city and its foodie culture. We drove through small alleys and narrow streets to district ten, one of the more residential areas where the city's smell gave way to the delicious aroma of street kitchens.

We stopped at the wonton street kitchen to sample delicious raviolis filled with meat and herbs. Next stop was a shop selling baguette, reminiscent of the French colonial food influences. We continued further down small alleys where gold shops and hairdressers are found among kitchens selling meat on skewers, duck noodle soups, sticky rice with sweet corn and other delicacies. The small flower market around the corner added more charm and fragrance to the area.

Back on our Vespas we left district ten to continue on our street food adventure in district four. This is one of my favourite places in the city, and I just love the street seafood restaurants at every street corner here. You can buy fresh seafood from the restaurants and stalls -crabs, shrimps, fish and mussels - and the local chefs prepared and cook them to perfection on the spot with lots of ying and yang thrown into the finished dishes. With a cold local beer to go with these seafood delights, life for a foodie doesn't get much better than this.

No food tour in Ho Chi Minh City is complete without one last stop - the local Vietnamese pancake shop in the city's centre. Located in a small street between two buildings this family business has been operating for more than 70 years spanning three generations. The shop has just one item on its menu - pancakes. They are prepared in the same way as when the shop was first set up, that is on a hot plate fired by wood that makes them crisp and moist at the same time. We ate this delicious treat at a long table sitting on small stools alongside locals. And it's a great way to make friends as food and conversation, even among strangers, go hand in hand.

To round up the evening we sat on the terrace of a coffeeshop to enjoy the famous Vietnamese coffee, happy and content with a few well spent hours relishing the sights, sounds, smells and food of a vibrant city and getting to know its inhabitants in the process.

As I had to catch an early flight the next morning I opted to return to my hotel instead of ending the night in one of the funky bars with some jazz thrown in, which I seldom fail to do when I am in Ho Chi Minh City.

Asian Trails Vietnam organises evening Vespa foodie tours, which I highly recommend to food lovers and the adventurous who want to try the exotic cuisine of a foreign land. If your clients prefer a more upmarket approach to Vietnamese food the choice of dining outlets in Ho Chi Minh City is just as amazing - from super posh restaurants serving international cuisine to hip roof top open-air eateries and the traditional local shops that are so much a part of the Vietnamese food scene.

 

Happy Trails! 

 

Laurent Kuenzle 

CEO 

Asian Trails

 

   

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    THAILAND

     

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR CLAUDIO F. KELLENBERGER


    Dear friends and partners,

    Bangkok is back to normal!

    After the incidents in mid-August in the Thai capital life has moved on in Bangkok the way we all wanted it to be - a fun, safe and excellent place to savoir the flavours of this amazing city. Tours, transfers and excursions are running as usual, and public transportation is operating as per normal. While we remain vigilant we can say with 100% certainty that Bangkok is continuously welcoming visitors from all around the globe.

    Ongoing messages of support, understanding and assurance from both customers and colleagues alike continue to pour in, and we at Asian Trails Thailand are profoundly thankful for them. It has been overwhelming, to say the least.

    We continue to receive questions about the situation, and a few of our partners remain hesitant to sell Bangkok. Asian Trails assures that these requests are taken very seriously and, where needed, we are more than happy to guide your customers over to some of the other stunning destinations in Thailand. There are numerous great alternatives ranging from beach destinations in the south to the mountainous regions in the north. Asian Trails is committed to listen to the wishes of your customers, and act accordingly to these requirements.

    Time is also flying fast. It is already September, and the next high season is at our door steps. We have had a busy summer with good arrival numbers from our Italian-Spanish and Portuguese friends - grazie, gracias, and obrigado!

    We are launching a new sales initiative, "flash sales promotions", in September when we feature top value-for-money packages in Bangkok combined with Phuket in 4* superior hotels. This will be combined, as usual, with the widely acknowledged Asian Trails service level - private services giving your clients the "personal touch". We aim to send you one of these promotions every month, and we would love to hear back from you with ideas or comments.

    Product development remains a key initiative for Asian Trails Thailand. We have successfully launched our "Expert Trails" in July, and will send you our newest product line, "Sustainable Trails", within the next few days. Again we would love to get your feedback and comments, so please share.

    We are also happy to announce that we have finished our 2015/16 tariff and that, in general, rates in Thailand remain stable. This will further help Thailand to boost sales, and remains as one of the top value-for-money destinations for travellers.

    With best regards

    Claudio F. Kellenberger
    Managing Director
    Asian Trails Thailand
     

     

     

     

    DESTINATION INFORMATION

     

     

    THAILAND'S NEXT BIG ISLAND HOPPING DESTINATION

     

    Thailand is probably one of the most famous island destinations on the planet with places like Phuket, Phi Phi and Lanta that consistently place help place the country in the top ranks of world travel guides. However, there are a few small gems in the sleepy province of Trang, which have remained elusive to all but the most savvy travellers.

    Koh Libong is Trang's biggest island, and travellers will find it easy to navigate the island thanks to a small paved road network. The best way to get around is to rent a motorbike or a Thai-style sidecar, which will take you through some picturesque landscapes across small fishing villages and rubber plantations.

    The islands of Koh Mook, Koh Kradan, and Koh Ngai draw travellers with their stunning beaches, and each has its own unique charms. Koh Ngai is a favourite with backpackers for its empty beaches and unspoiled jungles. Koh Mook attracts the more adventurous with its "secret" beach at Morakot Cave, which is only accessible at low tide.
     

     

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

     

     

    6-DAY ISLAND HOPPING

     

    Discover the best beaches and exotic islands of Thailand with this unique 6-day tour. It takes you on an exciting island hopping adventure with visits to Koh Lanta, Koh Mook, Koh Kradan, and Koh Ngai that are among some of the most beautiful islands in the world.

    For more information and booking, please contact us.

     

     

     

    NEW! PHOTOGRAPHER'S TOUR

     

    This is a tour for people who are in love with their cameras, and whose passion is to capture life's moments. It is designed to take you to Thailand's paradise islands, such as Koh Samui, to capture their beauty and cultural wealth.

    For more information and booking, please contact us.

     

     

     

    NEW! BEACH PICNIC TOUR

     

    This tour is different from the ordinary ones, and is specially designed for people seeking privacy and a flexible itinerary for the day. The tour's highlight is the beach picnic with a variety of delicious food and drinks on the menu. Guests can customise the food for the picnic by letting us know their preferences and dietary requirements.

    For more information and booking, please contact us.

     

     

     

    NEW! TREASURE OF THE SOUTH


    Join us on this interesting and fun excursion to show you a glimpse into the local life of Southern Thailand. Visit Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, the most important temple of Nakhon Si Thammarat and Southern Thailand. The pagoda, measuring 55.78 metres high, has a distinctive Sri Lankan architectural style and its top is entirely covered by pure gold.

    Lunch at local restaurant is included. After lunch the tour continues to the museum of the famous shadow puppet makers of Nakhon Si Thammarat city before returning to Koh Samui.

    For more information and booking, please contact us.
     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    BANGKOK

     

    RENAMED - ARNOMA GRAND BANGKOK (FORMER ARNOMA HOTEL BANGKOK)


    Arnoma Grand Bangkok is across the road from Central World, close to some of Asia's most renowned designer malls, and a short walk to the BTS Sky train. The hotel offers 369 rooms and suites. It has a selection of modern, flexible meeting rooms, including a ballroom capable of seating up to 800 paxs in theatre style. Its numerous dining options include Mango 99, which serves international lunch buffet and Thai cuisine.

    For more detail, please visit: http://www.arnoma.com
     

     

     

    REBRANDED - PULLMAN BANGKOK GRANDE SUKHUMVIT (FORMER GRAND MILLENNIUM SUKHUMVIT)

     

    The 5 star Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit is located at the Bangkok City Center of Sukhumvit, adjacent to the subway and sky train stations and a 30-minute drive from Suvarnabhumi Airport. It offers 325 rooms and suites featuring contemporary Thai decor, modern in-room technologies, and free WiFi. Facilities include four food and beverage outlets offering international and regional cuisine, meeting facilities, spa, fitness centre, and swimming pool.

    For more detail, please visit: http://www.pullmanhotels.com/gb/hotel-A096-pullman-bangkok-grande-sukhumvit/index.shtml

     

     

     

    NEW - AL MEROZ HOTEL

     

    Al Meroz Hotel is Bangkok's leading halal hotel conveniently located with easy access to downtown Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi Airport. It is also close to the Foundation of Islamic Centre of Thailand, which offers religious services and guidance to the Muslim Community.

    The hotel offers our guests 242 spacious and comfortable rooms, ranging from Superior and Deluxe to Suites. All rooms show the direction of Mecca, and contain a prayer mat and a copy of the Al Quran. One floor is reserved exclusively for female guests.

    The hotel is non-alcoholic, and all meals served in the restaurants are halal-certified. The leisure facilities are also suitable for both Muslim and non-Muslim guests.

    For more detail, please visit: http://www.almerozhotel.com

     

     

     

    CHIANG MAI

     

    NEW- AKYRA MANOR CHIANG MAI

     

    Akya Manor Chiang Mai is a five star 30-key all suite luxury hotel with 23 suites measuring 60 square metres and 7 larger suites at a spacious 199 square metres. The chic urban resort is created around a courtyard within a room concept. It is located on Nimmanhaemin Soi 9, known locally as 'Coffee Street'.

    For more detail, please visit: http://theakyra.com/chiang-mai

     

     

     

    REBRANDED - DUSIT PRINCESS CHIANG MAI (FORMER ROYAL PRINCESS CHIANG MAI)

     

    Dusit Princess Chiang Mai is located in the heart of Chiang Mai, providing a gateway to the city's famous night bazaar that is known for its traditional Thai arts and crafts.

    The hotel is a haven of warm personal service and Thai hospitality. It offers 98 well-appointed guest rooms and suites, which feature traditional Thai-inspired decor and design complemented by modern amenities and facilities. All have large windows that let in ample natural light.

    For more detail, please visit: http://www.dusit.com/dusitprincess/chiangmai
     

     

     

    PHUKET

     

    REBRANDED - WYNDHAM SEA PEARL RESORT PHUKET (FORMER SEA PEARL VILLAS)


    Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort is nestled atop Patong Hill with spectacular views of Patong Bay and the Andaman Sea. The resort features 179 luxury ensuite bedrooms and suites, each individually designed and decorated to combine comfort and convenience with sophistication and refinement. Each suite and room has its own Jacuzzi on the balcony, providing a sanctuary for private sunbathing and complete relaxation.

    For more detail, please visit: http://www.wyndhamseapearlphuket.com
     

     

     

    KOH SAMUI

     

    CASA DE MAR SAMUI


    Casa De Mar Samui is a four-star beach resort located at North Chaweng in a quiet and serene setting away from the hustle of the city. It has 33 Superior rooms, 21 Deluxe Villas, 5 Beach Front Villas ,and 2 Beach Front Pool Villas. All are equipped with modern facilities, and are suitable for both business and leisure travellers.

    For more detail, please visit: http://www.casademarsamui.com
     

     

     

     

    FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

     

     

    MIDNIGHT RUN
    OCTOBER 18, 2015
    VENUE: BANGKOK


    This is the only run in Bangkok that is 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 the race 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 AIRASIA COMMENCES BANGKOK- BENGALURU SERVICE


    Thai AirAsia added Bengaluru, India, as one of its new destination, launching flights from Bangkok on September 1. The service from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport takes about four hours. Bengaluru is India's third most highly populated city.

     

     

     

    BANGKOK AIR LAUNCHES PHUKET-HAT YAI SERVICE IN OCTOBER


    Bangkok Air will launch a new route from Phuket to Hat Yai on October 25, 2015. The four times weekly service, which uses the 70-seater ATR 72-500/600 aircraft, are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

    Flight schedule:
    PG298 HKT-HDY Dep. 07.25hrs Arr. 08.30hrs AT7
    PG299 HDY-HKT Dep. 09.10hrs Arr. 10.15hrs AT7

     

     

     

    U-TAPAO INTERNAITONAL AIRPORT GAINING POPULARITY AS AVIATION HUB


    Kan Air, AirAsia, and Thai AirAsia have identified U-Tapao International as a promising hub in line with their flight expansion.

    In April Kan Air introduced new routes from U-Tapao to other Thai airports namely Chiang Mai, Don Mueang, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani.

    AirAsia has four flights per week from Kuala Lumpur to the airport. In October Thai AirAsia will commence services between China and designated cities in Thailand from U-Tapao.

     

     

     

     

    RESTAURANTS & VENUES

     

     

    SIAM GYPSY NIGHT MARKET


    Gypsy Market was once part of JJ Green, the 1.6-kilometre long swathe of road beneath the soon-to-be MRT Bang Son station. After a major revamp the market now sports an Oriental meets Wild West vibe. It is open every Thursday to Sunday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.

     

     

     

    THE HOUSE ON SATHORN


    The House on Sathorn is a 26-year-old colonial mansion that has been transformed into a hip venue offering artisanal Asian-inspired cuisine and cocktails. Located on the Sathorn and Narathiwas intersection next to W Bangkok, it is billed as Bangkok's latest culinary experience destination. The venue is also one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city, giving a nostalgic theatrical flair to the old-and-new juxtaposing scene. Its interior is designed for exclusive and intimate dining with only 40 seats, half of which is at the long wooden counter facing the kitchen's working space.

     

     

     
     

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    LAOS

     

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR ANDREAS HOFMANN

     

    Sabaidee!

    So far this year is becoming more and more like a year of change for Laos. The country is now in full preparations for the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of this year.

    Laos will welcome more visitors from ASEAN+3 (China, Korea, Japan) and the tourism infrastructure is expected to be improved in the coming years, especially in Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

    Sleepy Vientiane even now has the first modern cinema. It is also experiencing a construction boom with the development of local and international hotels, shopping malls (albeit still without any shops), small "skyscrapers", and an eclectic mix of new restaurants and cafes.

    There is also change up north in Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Phongsaly, Houaphane and The Plain of Jars but, while visible , is taking place at a slower pace. You should visit these off-the-beaten track (i.e. still old, bumpy roads) regions soon before modernity and commercialisation arrive there.

    The cool season will soon start, and we are looking forward to a busy high season.

    This Lao report is devoted to the interesting activities you can do in and around Luang Prabang such as learning to cook Lao food, be a farmer for the day, and immerse in the different ethnic cultures at the Ethnology Museum including a multi-ethnic lunch.

    Happy Trails!

    Andreas Hofmann
    Managing Director Asian Trails Laos

     

     

     

     

    DESTINATION INFORMATION

     

     

    TRADITIONAL ARTS AND ETHNOLOGY CENTRE (TAEC) SHOWCASES LAOS' MULTI-ETHNIC CULTURE AND FOOD


    The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) is a small museum centrally located on the slopes of Mt. Phousi in downtown Luang Prabang. It is a museum showcasing Laos' different ethnic groups of Laos, introducing to visitors the Khamu, Akha, Hmong, Lao Lue, and the majority lowland Lao.

    The museum is a good place to acquaint visitors with knowledge of the various ethnic groups before visiting their villages up-country, as detailed explanations of the peoples and their cultures are presented at the anthropological exhibition.

    TAEC also features a boutique with excellent artisan handicraft. The best part is you can sample different ethnic dishes by arranging for a lunch featuring these food. There is no better way to learn about different cultures than through the stomach. I know as I recently had such a lunch and the dishes were delicious.
     

     

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

     

     

    COOKING CLASS - LEARN NEW LAO RECIPES TO TAKE HOME


    What I like about Laos is the food. It is fresh and tasty and prepared with a variety of fruits, vegetables and lots of fresh herbs - most of which I do not even know. Learning to make your own Lao food is probably one of the best culinary souvenirs to take home after a holiday in Laos with, you can do. My favourite dish is "mok ba", which is fish with a variety of herbs steamed in a fresh banana leaf.

    We suggest you include an extra day in Luang Prabang or Vientiane while vacationing in Laos to attend a cooking class. Prices depending on the dishes included in the class and different styles of cooking ranging from fun or simple to the professional.

     

     

     

    LIVING LAND FARM - GET DIRTY AND BE A FARMER FOR THE DAY


    A visit to the Living Land Farm in Luang Prabang is a fun outing for both adults and children. The farm is a cooperative where nine families work together to show visitors how traditional agriculture is done Lao style. You can even plough the fields with a buffalo called Suzuki. There is nothing to fear from buffalos as they are gentle giants.

    Living Land Farm is located on the way to Kuangsi Watefall, and good for one to two hours' visit.
     

     

     
     

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    CAMBODIA

     

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR VERONIQUE DUCASSY

     

    Dear Partners and Friends,

    We hope you all had a great summer. We have been busy preparing for an exciting upcoming high season.

    Siem Reap is fast becoming a very attractive destination in South East Asia, offering visitors a large choice of trendy boutique hotels, urban chic cocktails bars and some of the best fusion cuisine restaurants in Asia. The shopping in the city is also on par with some of the trendy destinations in the region.

    Happy reading!

     

     

     

    DESTINATION INFORMATION

     

     

    INCREASE IN PREAH VIHEAR TEMPLE ENTRANCE FEE TO USD10


    The Preah Vihear National Authority increased the entrance fee to the Preah Vihear Temple to USD10 per person effective July 1, 2015. The old fee was USD5. Entrance is free for children under 12 years old.

     

     

     

    ROMEET GALLERY IN PHNOM PENH CLOSES


    Romeet, Contemporary Art Space is closed from July 31, 2015. Opened in 2011, the organisation's mission was to help expose Phare Ponleu Selpak's artists to the art scene. The project was a success with many exhibitions held in Cambodia and abroad.

    It is natural that every organisation evolves and changes over time. Phare Ponleu Selpak wants to take the opportunity to develop new projects, which will provide the best possible opportunities to a new generation of talented, motivated students.

     

     

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

     

     

    CHANGE IN PERFORMANCE TIME OF PHARE, THE CAMBODIAN CIRCUS - SIEM REAP


    From November 1 the daily performance of Phare, The Cambodian Circus will change from 8 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. During the high season (November to March) there will be an extra show on Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 6 p.m. The performance is about an hour and 15 minutes long.

    Phare Boutique and Phare Café, which are part of the circus and located next to it, is open daily at 4:30pm

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    PHNOM PENH

     

    THE PALM BOUTIQUE HOTEL


    The Palm Boutique is a new boutique hotel centrally located in Phnom Penh. The hotel has 35 rooms, which have modern designed furniture, high ceiling, and a choice of king size or twin beds. There are two room categories - superior and deluxe, and two suites categories - junior and family. The restaurant and swimming pool are located on the roof top, offering a nice view over Phnom Penh.

    We recommend this hotel for FITs and small groups.

     

     

     

    SIEM REAP

     

    RENOVATIONS AT NAVUTU DREAMS RESORT & SPA


    Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa will be closed from September 3 to 10, 2015 for renovations and upgrading. It will reopen on September 11 on completion of the renovation work.

     

     

     

    LA RIVIERE D'ANGKOR


    La Rivière d'Angkor Resort is a new upscale boutique hotel centrally located on the promenade of the Siem Reap River. It features 13 Suite Villas and 1 Family Suite. The spacious, comfortable and stylish rooms are ideal for couples, honeymooners and families. Guests can relax at the poolside, dine in the colonial restaurant, or relax on the suite terrace overlooking the garden.

     

     

     

    KONG KEA RESTAURANT TERRACE AT ANGKOR MIRACLE RESORT AND SPA UNDERGOES RENOVATIONS


    Kong Kea Restaurant Terrace at the Angkor Miracle Resort and Spa is currently undergoing renovations. Work started in August 2015 and will last for about three months. The restaurant is closed during the renovations ,and will reopen in November, 2015. Facilities such as the swimming pool and the garden wings remain open during the renovation period.

     

     

     

    KOH RONG ISLAND

     

    SOK SAN BEACH RESORT


    Sok San Beach Resort is located on the island of Koh Rong, a quiet tropical getaway off the coast of Cambodia with white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and verdant forest.

    Tucked away from the major tourist spots, the resort can be reached from Sihanoukville in less than one hour, making it a secluded yet convenient retreat. The Khmer-style beach resort offers a blend of nature and comfort with its six room types comprising 120 rooms.

     

     

     

     

    FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

     

     

    BOON PCHUM BEN
    OCTOBER 12-14, 2015
    VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODI


    Boon Pchum Ben, celebrated mostly by Cambodian Buddhists, is a time for paying respects to deceased relatives. It is one of the most important celebration in Cambodia.

    Please note that all government institutions and some companies will be closed on those days. Asian Trails Cambodia's offices will have reduced teams on duty to handle urgent matters.

     

     

     

    CORONATION OF HIS MAJESTY KING SIHANOMI
    OCTOBER 29, 2015
    VENUE: THROUGHOUT CAMBODIA


    This is a public holiday to celebrate the anniversary of the coronation of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni. The Royal Palace will be closed to visitors on that day for ritual ceremonies.

     

     

     

     

    RESTAURANTS & VENUES

     

     

    L'ANNEXE, FRENCH RESTAURANT - SIEM REAp


    French restaurant, L'Annexe, is conveniently located on Sok San Road about 200 metres from the town's main thoroughfares. It offers a lush setting with a friendly atmosphere for dining. The chef from Alsace, France, passionate about his country's cuisine and works meticulously to prepare typical French dishes in true French tradition.
     

     

     

    BUGS CAFÉ IN SIEM REAP CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY


    Bugs Café celebrated its first anniversary on July 25, 2015. This unique café offers guests a gastronomical journey discovering French and Khmer fusion cuisine with insects as the main ingredients. Insects including crickets, scorpions, grasshoppers, ants, bees, silkworms, and spiders are cooked into delicious dishes with Khmer and western seasonings. However, if you are too squeamish to dine on insects there are also other non-insect dishes on the menu.
     

     

     

    OSKAR BISTRO - PHNOM PENH


    Oskar is a casual bistro offering quality comfort food at great value for money. It is located right on the riverside, and is an ideal place to start a night in Phnom Penh.
     

     

     

    MEZZE - SIEM REAP


    Located above the streets of Siem Reap, Mezze is one of the town's most unique venues. Lavishly decorated with contemporary art and soft intimate lighting, and elegantly furnished for comfort it is the perfect venue to unwind to the beat of invigorating electronic music.
     

     

     

     

    ANY OTHER NEWS

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS CAMBODIA'S TEAM TO PARTICIPATE IN ANGKOR WAT INTERNATIONAL HALF MARATHON


    A team of eight from Asian Trails Cambodia will take part in the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon on December 6, 2015.

    The marathon will have three categories - half marathon, 10-kilometre road race and 3-kilometre family run. Disabled people will also be able to compete. This year event will be the 20th Anniversary Charity Race of Angkor Wat.

    The Asian Trails team will participate in the 10-kilometre road race.

     

     

     
     

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    VIETNAM

     

     

    A note from Managing Director Thuy Tien

     

    Dear Friends and Partners,

    We recently went back to Cao Bang, which is known for the stunning Ban Gioc Waterfall. This time we took a different approach and had a more insightful experience. We walked through rice fields, along meandering rivers, admired the morning mist at the giant waterfall, and watched spellbound the golden sunset over the limestone valley.

    We met friendly Tay ethnic farmers, and felt really at home staying with them in their homes. We experienced their daily life, and got to know about their cultural values and local beliefs over conversations during meals.

    The area's landscape is stunning, the villages are charming. If you travel the way we did you will have a real authentic experience exploring Cao Bang and getting to know its people, as well as their culture and traditions.

    From this trip we have created a new soft adventure that focuses on Cao Bang's genuine hospitality and pristine nature. We believe this type of experience will show what real authentic travel is.

    Going on a vacation is not only about the joy of doing nothing, but also about connecting with the land and its people. So come to Vietnam and go off the beaten track to experience authenticity at its best in the country's North-East mountains.

     

     

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

     

     

    EXPERIENCE HUE FOOD ON RICKSHAW


    Through the centuries there is a common saying in Vietnam, "The masses regard food as their heaven", which means that food is the people's primal want. Hue was the imperial city of the Nguyen Dynasty, and this metaphor clearly illustrates the significance of food in Hue culture that is still very distinctive today. The most inspiring way to explore Hue is through its three traditional cuisines: royal cuisine, vegetarian cuisine, and popular cuisine.

    In the evening take a laid-back rickshaw ride and immerse with the local lifestyle. Stops are made at selective insider's shops for an exciting foodie experience. Savour imperial spring roll over a welcome cocktail, explore the creative vegetarian dishes, eat lemon grass pork skewers by an open fire, and taste the colourful variety of sweet soups. Apart from the food you also get immersed in the local lifestyle.

    Please contact us for more information.

     

     

     

    ANCIENT VILLAGES, LOCAL IMMERSION, AND HOME MEALS


    This is an excursion to the ancient villages around Hue such as Thanh Toan, Thuy Bieu, and Kim Long. We include in a cooking experience with local farmers or royal descendants of Hue. Take part in a "farm to table" preparation, and enjoy typical dishes in an exclusive setting by an organic farm or a beautiful garden house.

    Please contact us for more information.

     

     

     

    EXPLORING VIETNAM'S NORTH-EAST MOUNTAINS


    Let us take you to the remote corner of the North-East mountains of Cao Bang and Bac Son. You get to explore at a leisurely pace the giant Ban Gioc Waterfall, walk along the river and rice fields, and stay in remote non-touristy yet welcoming villages. The accommodation is rustic, but the lifestyle is authentic and the hospitality of Tay ethnic families unrivalled.

    Please contact us for more information

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    NEW: VINPEARL HALONG BAY RESORT 5*

     

    Vinpearl Halong Bay Resort will open its doors on October 30, 2015. Exclusively located on its own private island of Dao Reu it offers spectacular views of the limestone pillars stretching across the Gulf of Tonking

    All the 384 air-conditioned rooms and suites have private balconies overlooking the Pacific Ocean or the lush tropical gardens and surrounding pools. They are comfortably furnished, and the bathrooms are stocked with ample amenities. WiFi Internet connection is also available.

    Facilities in the hotel include six restaurants and bars, a 1,025sqm outdoor swimming pool, the luxurious Vincharm Spa, health club with professional trainers, and two tennis courts. It also offers six modern meeting venues with the latest technology including a 658sqm ballroom, which can accommodate up to 500 people.

     

     

     

    NEW: VINPEARL PREMIUM NHA TRANG BAY 5* - NHA TRANG


    In June Vinpearl Resorts opened a new 5 star deluxe resort on Hon Tre Island in Nha Trang - Vinpearl Premium Nha Trang Bay. Located on the north-western corner of the island amidst lush greenery and fronting the beach coastline, it is the third property for the hotel group.

    The resort offers 481 rooms and 173 luxurious villas. It also features the signature Vincharm Spa, a kids club, four restaurants, and three bars.

    There is a tuk tuk shuttle service for guests to Vinpearl's leisure facilities that include the Land Amusement Park, Water Park, Underwater World, games zone and the musical fountain. There is also a buggy service to the 18-hole championship Vinpearl Golf Club.

     

     

     

    NEW: FUSION RESORT NHA TRANG 5*- NHA TRANG


    The new Fusion Resort Nha Trang will officially open on October 1, 2015. It is an exceptional beach resort along the beautiful coastline of Cam Ranh in Nha Trang. Perched on a 12-metre high sand dune, it spreads over an area of 13.6 hectares.

    The resort has 72 luxurious suites and pool villas. It operates with an all-spa inclusive concept, and guests can indulge in complimentary spa and wellness programmes during their stay. It is ideal as a family getaway, and for beach and spa lovers

     

     

     
     

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    CHINA

       

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR KRIS VAN GOETHEM

     

    Autumn started on August 8 according to the Chinese lunar calendar, and the best time of the year to travel to China is ahead of us! Look out for our winter specials in the extreme north (Harbin Ice Festival) and the extreme south (Hong Kong and Macau).

    We are full steam planning for the near future. Creativity and proactivity will be our driving forces for the Year of the Monkey, which will start in 2016. Before that we have a very busy autumn season ahead, filled with high-speed trains, cruises, and mooncakes!
     

     

     

     

    DESTINATION INFORMATION

     

     

    BEIJING AND ZHANGJIAKOU TO JOINTLY HOST 2022 WINTER OLYMPICS

     

    Beijing has won the bid to host the XXIV Olympic Winter Games, also known as the 2022 Winter Olympics, beating Almaty (Kazakhstan) by 44 votes to 40, with one IOC (International Olympic Committee) member abstaining. This makes Beijing the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

    Beijing and Zhangjiakou will jointly host the XXIV Olympic Winter Games. Beijing will stage the ice events, while Zhangjiakou will host the snow events.

    Zhangjiakou, known as "Beijing's Northern Door", is a prefecture-level city in northwestern Hebei province in northern China, bordering Beijing to the southeast, Inner Mongolia to the north and west, and Shanxi to the southwest. Due to its position on several important transport arteries, it is a critical transport node for travel between Hebei and Inner Mongolia and connecting northwest China, Mongolia, and Beijing. Historically it was the chief northern gate in the Great Wall for Europeans travelling along the Tea Road.

    To ensure easy transportation between the two cities, which are about 200 kilometres, during the 2022 Winter Olympics the Chinese government plans to build or a new express railway that will cut travel time to only 40 minutes.

     

     

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

     

     

    QIANMEN TO BE NATIONAL INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE EXPOSITION DISTRICT



    Beijing plans to make its 600-year old Qianmen Street, a pedestrian street located in the central axis of Beijing, into a showcase for intangible cultural heritages by 2016.

    The intangible cultural
    heritage expo park will cover an area of approximately 400,000 square metres, and will cost a total investment of 24 billion yuan (US$3.8 billion). About 200,000 square metres will be put into use by this October. More than 200 world intangible cultural heritage items including copper sculptures, cloisonné and Suzhou embroidery, will be displayed at the expo park. An estimated 3,000 folk artists will also show off intangible cultural heritages once the project is finished.

     

     

     

    LANGZHONG ANCIENT TOWN - SICHUAN


    Langzhong Ancient Town was built in 314 BC, and is the only town in China that has retained its original name. Although it is a major tourist attraction in Sichuan and is surrounded by a large modern city, the town is very well maintained and has not been ruined by commercialisation.

    Langzhong's well-preserved ancient architecture is one of its main charms. Its layout and design are in accordance with the Feng Shui geomatic principles laid down during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). It has about 90 streets and lanes, one-fifth of which were built during the Tang and Song dynasties (960-1279). The courtyard houses are topped with the famed grey-tiled roofs and upturned eaves. Most of the other buildings were built during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    HYLANDIA BY SHANGRI-LA OPENS


    Hylandia by Shangri-La in Diqing has just opened in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province. Its name is inspired by the word "highland" to represent the topography of this very special land, and the unique experiences staying there.

    The hotel has 166 rooms spread out from levels two to nine. All the rooms are spacious with a minimum size 43 square metres. Suites measure up to 187 square metres of luxurious space. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the garden or the mountains from the comfortably decorated accommodation designed along Tibetan architecture style.
     

     

     

    FIRST HOTEL IN CHENGDU FOR HILTON WORLDWIDE


    Hilton Worldwide will open its first hotel in Chengdu, Sichuan province in September. Situated opposite the rapidly expanding Tianfu Software Park, the hotel is about 10 minutes from the new International Exhibition & Convention Center, and near to offices, shops and entertainment outlets in the New Century Global Center. All the 395 guestrooms and suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and comprehensive in-room facilities.

     

     

     

    SANYA MARRIOTT HOTEL DADONGHAI BAY


    Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay overlooks a beautiful sandy bay at the foot of Lu Hui Tou Mountain. It is just a short drive from downtown Sanya, and within easy access to several picturesque natural attractions.

    The 292 spacious guestrooms and suites in the New Wing offer scenic views of Dadonghai Bay and the rainforest-covered mountains. Their fresh, modern interior design with earthy, natural colours is the work of internationally renowned interior design firm, Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA).

    Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay is the ideal choice for events. The impressive 1,747sqm of meeting space is conveniently located on a single floor, and is complemented by several outdoor terraces and a spacious seafront lawn. The 916 sqm pillarless Grand Ballroom features state-of-the-art audio-visual technologies, plus a large ballroom foyer for cocktail receptions and breakout meetings. There are also a VIP reception room and eight function venues, which are perfect for small to medium sized business meetings and events.

     

     

     

     

    FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

     

     

    THE MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL
    SEPTEMBER 26-27, 2015
    VENUE: THROUGHOUT CHINA


    The Mid-Autumn Festival, or The Moon Festival, is one of the most important festivities in China. The celebrations dated back to more than 2,000 years. In feudal times when 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 in the Tang Dynasty when people enjoyed and worshipped the full moon. In the Southern Song Dynasty, however, people sent round moon cakes to their relatives as gifts to express their wishes for the family reunion.

    Today the Chinese people celebrate the festival with family reunions at night when they get together to light lanterns, eat mooncakes and admire the round moon that is at its roundest and brightest. The full moon is also a symbol for family reunion, which is why it is also known as the Festival of Reunion.

     

     

     

    PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN CHINA 2015


    Victory over Japan Day, September 3-5: The Chinese government ratified a national holiday for this year's celebration of the 70th anniversary of the country's victory in World War II.

    Moon Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival): September 26-27

    National Day Holiday: October 1-7

     

     

     

     

    AIRLINE INFORMATION

     

     

    AIR CHINA TO LAUNCH DIRECT PARIS-CHENGDU SERVICE


    The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), China's aviation authority, has announced in a statement on its website that Air China plans to launch a new direct Paris-Chengdu service in October this year. If approved, the route will operate four times a week between Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport and Paris' Charles de Gaulle, using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
     

     

     

    NEW DIRECT FLIGHTS CONNECT GUANGZHOU AND BEIJING TO NAIROBI AND JOHANNESBURG

     

    On August 5, 2015 China Southern Airlines started direct service Guangzhou to Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya (pictured). The flights are on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, departing from Guangzhou's Baiyun International Airport and arriving at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

    On August 30, 2015 Air China launched direct flights from Beijing to Johannesburg in South Africa. The service is on every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

     

     

     

     

    RESTAURANTS & VENUES

     

     

    TAJINE MOROCCAN RESTAURANT & LOUNGE


    Tajine Moroccan Restaurant is the place to be for delectable Moroccan food, which is served course by course in an artful way. All items on the menu are house made from Moroccan local seasonal ingredients. The restaurant has a great wine selection to match the Middle East spices and appetisers served in tapas-style, which allow guests to share and taste more flavours. Enhancing the dining experience is the restaurant's cosy, intimate and eclectic atmosphere as well as its impeccable service.

     

     

     
     

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    MYANMAR

     

     

    A note from Managing Director Thomas Carnevale

     

    Dear Friends and Colleagues,

    During the past two months we have been busy welcoming our summer guests to Myanmar. We are also preparing prices and quotations for the upcoming winter season, which looks extremely busy from the signs we are getting.

    In this report you will find information about the latest developments in the country's tourism industry. The continuous surge in demand has revived the hotel market, leading to the opening of new hotels, as well as renovations by many existing properties

    New road trips will be possible once the road from Loikaw to Mae Hong Son province in Thailand is officially opened for foreigners, connecting Myanmar with neighbouring countries.

    I remain as always at your disposal if you need any information or advice.

    Best regards,

    Thomas Carnevale

     

     

     

     

    DESTINATION INFORMATION

     

     

    SEVERE FLOODING IN MYANMAR


    At the end of July Myanmar was hit by the worst flooding ever experienced in the country. Over 200,000 people were affected, and a state of emergency was declared in four states. Rakhine State was the worst hit. The major tourist sites of Sittwe and Mrauk Oo were also badly affected. Other tourist areas such as Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake, as well as Yangon received over average rainfall but no major damage wee reported.

    We will continue to monitor this impact. However, we do not expect any major disruption for the coming high season.

     

     

     

    BEACH SEASON


    Every year at this same time we would like to remind that all hotels on Myanmar's beach destinations will reopen for the high season starting from the middle of October.

    Myanmar has two main beaches -Ngapali Beach and Ngwe Saung Beach - located along the Gulf of Bengal Coast on the west of the country.

    Ngapali Beach in Rakhine Arakan State (pictured) is easily accessible by short flights from Yangon, Bagan and Heho. It a beautiful and unspoiled beach, excellent for swimming. Snorkeling trips to nearby islands can be arranged.

    Ngwe Saung Beach, in the Irrawaddy Division, is accessible by a six-hour trip by car from Yangon. It also has a pristine long beach that is excellent for swimming. Snorkeling trips to the surrounding areas can also be arranged.

     

     

     

    NEW ROAD CONNECTION TO THAILAND


    A new bridge over the Thanlwin (Salween) River was recently opened, which allows for smooth travel to Thailand's border connecting Loikaw with the Mae Hong Son province. The border point is near Mese, day's drive from Loikaw. There are no tourist hotspots along the way, but visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery and local traditional village life.

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    HOTEL HAZEL OPENS - MANDALAY


    Hotel Hazel in Mandalay opened recently. It has 48 superior rooms located on the second and third floors. The hotel also features a nice pool, as well as all amenities for a property of this category.

    Please contact us for more details on the hotel.

     

     

     

     

    AIRLINE INFORMATION

     

     

    AIR KBZ FLIES TO LOIKAW


    Starting this coming high season Air KBZ will launch services connecting Loikaw from Yangon. The services are on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

     

     

     

     

    ANY OTHER NEWS

     

     

    STAFF FAM TRIP TO INLE LAKE


    A team of staff from Asian Trails Myanmar travelled to Inle Lake to get updates on new tourist hotspots, as well as find hidden treasures. They had an enjoyable time doing that.

     

     

     

    JOURNEY TO BAGAN FOR UPDATES ON NEW HOTELS

     

    In the last few months Bagan has a number of new hotels including some rebranded properties. A team from Asian Trails Myanmar went on a fam trip to the city to get updates on these hotels. They also took the opportunity to visit some of Bagan's most important tourist sights.

     

     

     

    ATM TEAM VISITS ANCIENT CITIES IN PYAY

     

    A third team from Asian Trails Myanmar went to Pyay where they had the chance to explore the nearby ancient Pyu cities of Sri Ksestra. Beikthano, Hanlin and Sri Ksestra. These three cities were included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in June 2014.

     

     

     
     

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    MALAYSIA

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR EMIR CHERIF

     

    Warm Greetings from Asian Trails Malaysia!

    Malaysia is a year-round destination and, therefore, we do not face extreme strong seasonality.

    We have had busy months behind us, and are looking forward to continue with the high demand over the coming months.

    During the European summer season the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, with its sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, was at the top of the list of the most requested destinations in the country. For the coming winter season, the demand will switch to the west coast of the peninsula with its cultural sites and festivals.

    We have many new itineraries combining the must-see spots and the experience of a local festival spread throughout the year. Please contact us, and we will be more than happy to share our ideas with you.

    Emir
    Malaysia, Truly Asia

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    A NEW PULLMAN FOR ACCORHOTELS IN KUALA LUMPUR


    AccorHotels expanded its portfolio in Malaysia with a fourth Pullman in the country when it took over management of the former Prince Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur on August 1, rebranded as the Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel & Residences.


    The hotel has 445 rooms and 157 serviced apartments, six dining options, fitness centres, an outdoor pool, kids play area and meeting spaces. It is undergoing a two-year refurbishment programme to bring it up to Pullman standards, with the hotel remaining open throughout the refurbishment period.

     

     

     

    THE STRAITS HOTELS & SUITES IN MALACCA OPENS


    The Straits Hotels & Suites has opened in Malacca. Located at Melaka Raya, it is within walking distance to Melaka Parade shopping centre and Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall.

    The contemporary hotel has 352 guestrooms with four room categories. The deluxe and luxury suites offer kitchenette facilities. The premier and straits suites feature large bathrooms with a bathtub and standing rain shower, a sofa set and dining area.

    An infinity pool is available on the hotel's 23rd floor, offering a panoramic view of the city and the Straits of Malacca. Facilities to open by the end of this year are an all-day dining restaurant, rooftop bar and lounge, gym, sauna, a kid's zone and five multi-functional rooms.

     

     

     

     

    FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

     

     

    SARAWAK REGATTA
    SEPTEMBER 1-30, 2015
    VENUE: TEBINGAN KUCHING, SARAWAK


    Sarawak Regatta is a popular event in Kuching featuring a race between traditional longboats. They are decorated with colourful designs and are of differing lengths, with some having up to 30 paddlers and others with just a few.

    The regatta dates back to the 1800s as an event to end to the warring of the local tribes.

     

     

     

    ROYAL PAHANG BILLFISH INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE
    SEPTEMBER 11-13, 2015
    VENUE: KUALA ROMPIN, PAHANG


    The Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge is an annual off-shore "Catch and Release" fishing competition held at Kuala Rompin, which is one of the natural migration routes for the fish. The concept of this competition is to create a healthy activity while preserving the bird species.

     

     

     

    MALAYSIA DAY CELEBRATIONS
    SEPTEMBER 16, 2015
    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 at various parts of the country
     

     

     

    MALAYSIAN OPEN KUALA LUMPUR 2015 ATP WORLD TOUR 250
    SEPTEMBER 26-OCTOBER 4, 2015
    VENUE: PUTRA STADIUM, BUKIT JALIL, KUALA LUMPUR


    The Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur celebrates its 7th anniversary this year. Tennis fans are in for excitement and thrills, as three of the world's top 10 players have confirmed their participation. Once again the specially built indoor courts at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil will be the host venue for the US$1,041,540 ATP 250 tournament.
     

     

     

    DIVERSECITY: KUALA LUMPUR INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
    SEPTEMBER 1-30, 2015
    VENUE: KUALA LUMPUR


    The festival promises an exciting programme curated by the artistic greats of Malaysia including Datuk Ramli Ibrahim (UNESCO Living Treasure and multi-awarded Odissi artist), Harith Iskander (Asia's best of stand-up comedian and "godfather" of the art in Malaysia), and Michael Veerapen (one of leading Asia's jazz musicians). It will also feature Pusaka led by Eddin Khoo who, since 2002, has worked with distinguished traditional performers in the region to revitalise their living heritage. Tickets are now on sale.

    More information is available at the website: www.diversecity.my

     

     

     

    HARI RAYA AIDILADHA
    SEPTEMBER 24, 2015
    VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA


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

     

     

     

    MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL GOURMET FESTIVAL - MIGF 2015
    OCTOBER 1-31, 2015
    VENUE: THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA


    The Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) was first held in in 2001, and since then has established itself as the pinnacle of gastronomic excellence in the region. Now into its 14th year this year's event has as its theme "Red Hot Chefs".

    For the month of October outstanding chefs from the country's best restaurants will offer diners specially created festival menus at exclusive prices together with a host of offers.

     

     

     

    MOUNT KINABALU INTERNATIONAL CLIMBATHON - ADVENTURE SERIES
    OCTOBER 17-18, 2015
    VENUE: KUNDASANG, SABAH


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

     

     

     

    SHELL ADVANCE MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX
    OCTOBER 23-25, 2015
    VENUE: SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, SELANGOR


    This is the premier event of motorcycle racing. Held at one of the most challenging circuits in the world, the race is a must-watch for those who love full throttle action.

     

     

     

    UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE EXHIBITION
    NOW UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2015
    VENUE: SULTAN ABDUL SAMAD BUILDING, KUALA LUMPUR


    The UNESCO World Heritage Exhibition features the four UNESCO World Heritage sites in Malaysia namely the cities of Melaka and George Town, the Archaeological Heritage of Lembah Lenggong, Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, and Kinabalu Park in Sabah.

    The exhibition, although small, is packed with many interesting exhibits and information about each UNESCO site. It is a great stop for tourists before they visit any of the four heritage sites.

    Admission to the exhibition is free.

     

     

     

     

    AIRLINE INFORMATION

     

     

    AIRASIA TO LINK KUALA LUMPUR WITH THE MALDIVES


     

    AirAsia will begin thrice-weekly direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to the Maldives from October 22, 2015, becoming the only airline to operate this route.

    The flight schedule for the new service allows travellers from South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Australia to connect easily via the carrier's Fly-Thru service. Destinations offering this service include Incheon, Osaka, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Bangkok, Penang and the Gold Coast.

     

     

     
     

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    INDONESIA

     

     

    A NOTE FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR BJÖRN SCHIMANSKI

     

    We have been through an excellent high season, with great business and a strong increase in pax numbers. However, the frequent airport closures in Bali, Lombok and Surabaya have affected many of our clients. Although we did not always receive clear information from the airlines we tried our best to assist all your guests with new transfers and update them whenever possible about their new departure times.

    We hope the mighty Mount Raung in Java calms down now, or at least for the constant easterly winds to keep the ashes away from our shores. In any case, we are here to assist all your guests in the best possible way as always!

     

     

     

     

    ASIAN TRAILS PRODUCT UPDATE

     

     

     

    ENJOY THE SOLAR ECLIPSE WITH NAMASTE CRUISE


    In the last issue of Trailblazer we highlighted the upcoming total solar eclipse in 2016, and a new cruise operated by Namaste. We are happy to announce that Namaste Cruise is organising a special sailing tour to witness this spectacular event in Papua.

    The 8 day and 7 nights Eclipse Cruise starts on March 5, 2016 and ends in Sorong. Highlights are the solar eclipse on day five and, of course, the beautiful scenery of Raja Ampat. This area in East Indonesia is well known for its rich diversity of marine life and untouched beaches. In combination with the Eclipse, this sailing journey is one of the highlights of 2016.

     

     

     

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION

     

     

    ALILA HOTELS & RESORTS TO OPEN ALILA SOLO IN CENTRAL JAVA


    Alila Hotels & Resorts is expanding its footprint in Indonesia with the opening of Alila Solo in Surakarta, Central Java, in October 2015. The hotel is within easy reach of the city's main attractions, and just a 15-minute drive from Adi Sumarmo International Airport.

    Alila Solo offers 255 rooms and suites, all with city views. The resort has 15 meeting spaces and two ballrooms, which can be combined in.to a grand ballroom to hold up to 3'500 persons

     

     

     

     

    RESTAURANTS & VENUES

     

     

     

    BALI FOOD SAFARI

     

    Bali Food Safari offers a unique experience called Mystery Dining Adventure. It takes guests to an array of mystery venues in one exciting evening of dining in a selection of the best restaurants in Bali - both discovered and undiscovered - and exploring the most exceptional and delicious delights the island has to offer.

    Guest can choose between three areas such as Seminyak, Ubud or Jimbaran. They visit three or four venues, sampling a variety of dishes, ranging from local cuisine to Italian tapas and modern dishes.

     

     

     

     

    ANY OTHER NEWS

     

     

    CELEBRATING SARI'S 10 YEARS WITH ASIAN TRAILS INDONESIA


    On August 5 Asian Trails Indonesia celebrated General Manager Ratnasari Harjono's, fondly called Sari, 10 years with the company. The managers celebrated her decade anniversary with lunch at Ikan Bakar Cianjur in Renon.

    We thank Sari for her valuable contributions to the company, and we look forward to celebrating the next decade with her.

     

     

     
     

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