Green flag for Thai airlines

October 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Editor's Post, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 16 October 2017” Thailand’s aviation industry heaved a sigh or relief, earlier this month, when the International Civil Aviation Organisation removed its red flag on the country’s safety and compliance standards.

A green flag opens the way for Thai airlines to once more add international services to countries that had earlier capped flight levels.

In truth, the country’s airlines were not strictly at fault. They had maintained high safety standards independently of government checks. The problem was government oversight, which proved to be shoddy. Read more

Sanchava introduces festive agenda

October 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Singapore, Travel Logs

BINTAN ISLAND, Indonesia, 11 October  2017: Sanchaya is lining up festivities for travel planners looking for new venues to  celebrate Christmas and New Year.

Sanchaya is a a short ferry ride from Singapore and a popular venue 20 December to 1 January for exclusive corporate and family celebrations.

It will stage end-of-the festivities including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve gala dinners, as well as caviar and Champagne evenings, a private philharmonic performance, a croquet afternoon by the ocean with rosé, strawberries and live music. Read more

How accurate are tourist spend estimates?

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

CHIANG RAI, 10 October 2017: I always thought I got the best beach deal on a room when in the early 1970s I stayed in an A-Frame wooden “villa” with a rickety balcony and a view of the entire expanse of Phuket’s Karon bay stretching 7 km into the distance.

Run by a Karon-born family, the cluster of A-Frame huts was a perched on a rocky outcrop at the southern tip of Karon.  For THB300 a night the owner threw in a hearty breakfast. There were no plus, plus calculations when the bill arrived and the only proof you had of your stay was a scratchy record in a crumpled exercise book.

I was telling this tale to a 23-year old traveller, who is heading for Phuket this week. We were sharing travel notes separated by almost 50 years. Read more

Bangkok’s best temples to visit in October

October 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Thailand, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 3 October 2017: October marks the start of Thailand’s high season and most people visiting Thailand will stop for a few days in Bangkok.

Vsitors should be aware that during October the country will pay homage to the late King Bhumiphol Adulyadej. The state funeral will take place 24 to 29 October 2017 with the actual cremation on the 26 October.

This is an immensely important and sad occasion for all Thais and Bangkok is expecting a vast crowd of grieving citizens to view the cremation rites during this period. Read more

Air travel dominates with cheap fares

September 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 28 September 2017: Thailand’s latest tourism statistics through to the end of August indicate that 85.2% of all visits are air arrivals, clocked in at immigration counters in airports, leaving just 13.6% to cross at overland borders and 1.2% to disembark at seaports.

Air travel dominates even for travel from neighbouring countries. Fares are cheap than ever before, while overland bus travel is considered risky and time consuming.

In August alone arrivals by air reached 2,670,430 as opposed to 425,634 by land and 37,347 by sea. Read more

Tourism sidesteps Rohingya crisis

September 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Travel Logs

YANGON, 21 September 2017: Myanmar Tourism Marketing has made repeated impassioned pleas for tourists to continue visiting the country.

Nothing wrong with that, MTM is the official body that promotes the country’s tourism on behalf of its stakeholders.

Membership is made up of a multitude of travel firms, hotels and airlines and the government’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has a strong say in MTM directives. Read more

Sports and travel a perfect match.

September 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Editor's Post, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 19 September 2017: After 19 years, Malaysia farewells the Formula 1 series later this month, while neighbour Singapore has signed a new contract to keep its famous F1 night race roaring for another five years.

Hosting mega sports events are the Holy Grail for nations keen to create awareness and boost tourism earnings.

Malaysia lowered the curtain on its F1 Grand Prix claiming it was no longer cost effective. Singapore after several rounds of negotiations secured a financial package that should give it bottom-line benefits for the next five year. Read more

Clean up Thai beaches

September 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Editor's Post, Travel Logs

Thailand identified its cleanest beaches and not a single one was a popular beach destination rated by the likes of TripAdvisor.

The Pollution Control Department bases its top 10 list on a scorecard of strict environmental checks of land and sea conditions at all of the country’s beaches.

Predictably, the top beaches were in national parks protected from consumer activities such as hotel and tourism developments.  Some of them close for six months to allow the sensitive environment to recover. Read more

Bare-bones travel

September 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 4 September 2017:  Current flights and fare trending in Europe and North America will generally end up being adopted in Asia some time soon.

An example of the so-called bare-bones flying experience was highlighted by the Los Angeles Times at the weekend. It identified Norwegian selling a ticket to the US for USD89 one-way and Iceland-based airline, Wow Air, shaving even that fare to an incredible USD69.

That’s about the same price as a low-cost airline quote for a roundtrip Bangkok to Chiang Mai flight. Read more

Cruise beyond money matters

August 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Myanmar, Travel Logs

BANGKOK: Heritage Line a river cruise operator in Myanmar is a mite shy about sharing its prices online so discovering just how amazing the latest offers are becomes problematic for the online booker.

But there is definitely demand for river cruises in Myanmar from travellers who want to explore rural scenes beyond the popular urban destinations; Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan.

Just this week a Singaporean traveller asked me what I thought about cruising between Mandalay and Bagan? Read more

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