Hong Kong hosts boat races

May 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Festivals, News, North Asia

HONG KONG, 30 May 2017: Hong Kong’s annual Dragon Boat Festival gets underway 2 June for three days of boat races on the famous harbour as well as carnival celebrations along the Central Habourfront.

Traditionally known as Tuen Ng Festival, it pays tribute to Qu Yuan, a great poet in the Zhou Dynasty on the 5th day of the fifth month on Lunar calendar. Read more

Lessons from Inle Lake boaties

May 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Myanmar, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 16 May 2017: They make it look so easy, but the most difficult feats look that way whenever the well practiced demonstrate precision skills.

Up front on the still surface of an Inle Lake channel, skirted by floating gardens, a single oarsman stands on one leg as straight as a ramrod on the tiny stern of his wooden boat. It is as if he is imitating a nearby white crane. Both are seeking clear vision over the tall grass to identify the watery path home. Read more

Quang Ninh ups Halong bay fees

May 5, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

QUANG NINH, 5 May 2017: Quang Ninh People’s Committee approved, Tuesday, new fees for tourists passing through Tuan Chau international port that is a base for boats cruising Halong Bay.

Local media reported tourists, effective 28 May, will pay VND40,000 (USD1.8) for a two-way ticket and VND20,000 (USD0.9) for a one-way ticket.

The new fees are double those that have been valid since November 2016. Read more

Halong Bay brings back Kayaks

May 3, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

QUANG NINH, 3 May 2017: Kayak tours are making a comeback on Halong Bay after the Quang Ninh People’s Committee gave boat operators the green light effective 1 May.

Halong city’s authorities halted kayak tours, 1 April, prompting protests from travel firms. They argued it was an arbitrary decision without first seeking feedback from the travel industry.

Kayak sightseeing trips, usually sold by overnight cruise boats on Halong Bay, are popular with tourists, according to the Halong City People’s Committee. But authorities said tour companies were over charging tourists and boat crews were leading kayak tours instead of attending to the safety of their cruise boats. Read more

Halong bay kayaks are back

April 12, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

QUANG NINH, 12 April 2017: Quang Ninh province authorities have lifted the ban on kayaking trips on Halang Bay after the city’s authorities faced huge opposition from travel firms that feature boat trips.

Local media reported that the ban of kayak service on Halong Bay came into effect, 1 April, prompting protests from travel firms.

Tour operators complained that they were given just three days notice before the ban took effect, leaving them little time to make changes to their scheduled tours. Read more

Halong Bay boats in hot water

March 13, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

QUANG NINH, 13 March 2017: Six tourist cruise boats in Halong and Bai Tu Long bays have been permanently beached by the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh province’s Halong City.

Local media reported the action was taken, last week, to restore a positive image for Halong Bay cruises after several boat fires in recent years.

Five of the six banned boats, coded Hung Long QN-1156, Hoa Phuong 02 QN-4239, White Dolphine QN-4894, Sunrise QN-2287 and Aphrodite 11 QN-6299, were damaged by fires during the last two years. They are not allowed to return to service despite having undergone repairs. Read more

Phnom Penh considers water taxis

February 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Cambodia, News

PHNOM PENH, 14 February 2017: Boat services will be launched next year to ease traffic congestion in Phnom Penh by providing scheduled river and canal ferry services.

Khmer Times reported that the project called Water Taxi Service could cost USD22 million to establish and will need to be operated by municipal authorities.

The capital’s Department of Public Works and Transport director, Saing Piseth, said the service would cover 25 km of waterways from the Prek Phnov bridge on the northern outskirts of Phnom Penh south to Takhmao City in Kandal province via the Tonle Sap and Tonle Bassac rivers. Read more

Danang tightens marine safety

November 4, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

DANANG, 4 November 2016: Danang will ban modified fishing boats from transporting tourists on the Han River from 2018 onwards.

There are also new regulations governing the working life span of a boat, as well as the maximum and minimum seating capacity as prescribed by law.

Vietnam Net Bridge media reported that the city’s People’s Committee, relevant agencies and departments inspected cruise boats and ships sailing on the Han River and granted licences to 24, 50-seat boats and five newly built vessels. Read more

Vietnam reviews waterway rules

June 28, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HANOI, 28 June 2016: Vietnam will fine passengers who travel on ferries, but fail to wear a life jacket in a move to improve safety.

Tuoi Tre News reported passengers  who fail to wear life jackets when on ferries or cruises will be fined between USD4.5 and USD9, effective 1 July.

According to the Vietnamese government’s new regulations governing waterway traffic, ferry and boat passengers are now in place to tighten safety measures. Read more

Safety: A pipeline or pipe dream

June 17, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 17 June 2016: Three Thai government departments are responding to a spate of marine accidents in May involving tourists saying they will tighten safety standards and revisit regulations governing marine transport.

Three well-publicised boat accidents at tourist islands in South Thailand and Rayong province, two of them with fatalities,  rocked the comfort zone of the Ministry of Transport, the Marine Department, and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, commented during  TTM 2016, last week, that she was investigating each of the three cases to “understand what had gone wrong and what measure should be taken to improve safety.” Read more

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