China opens Bangkok tourism office

June 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Mekong, News, North Asia, Thailand

BANGKOK, 26 June 2017: China National Tourism Administration opened a bureau in Bangkok, last week, the authority’s 22nd overseas office according China Radio Online.

Officials attending the opening ceremony said the two countries enjoy strong two-way travel.

The opening of the China National Tourism Office in Bangkok will also encourage more tourism exchange and provide support for projects linked to China’s “one belt, one road” policy. Read more

HCMC to ban cars downtown

March 28, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY, 28 March 2017: Ho Chi Minh City authorities have submitted a proposal to transform streets in the city’s downtown district into walking streets.

Tuoi Tre News reported the municipal Department of Transport has tasked the Urban Traffic Management Unit No 1 create a network of walking streets in the city’s centre.

The proposal will prohibit private cars from a circular zone about 7 km in circumference and covering sections of Le Duan, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Pasteur, Hai Ba Trung, Mac Dinh Chi, Nguyen Binh Khiem, Dong Khoi, Nguyen Hue, Nguyen Du, Ly Tu Trong and Le Loi. Read more

Preparing for the Songkran nightmare

March 21, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 21 March 2017: Thailand’s Cabinet announced, last Tuesday, a waiver of  inter-city tollways for motorists during the upcoming Songkran festival next month.

According to the Cabinet’s document, motorway travel will be free during the Songkran festival, from 0001, 11 April to 2400, 18 April, to encourage Thais to travel by car to visit friends and relatives in the provinces.

It didn’t say why it was encouraging Thais to travel by car. The holiday is notorious for the annual killing spree on roads that usually ends with around  500 fatalities and in excess of 3,000 serious injuries, blamed on speeding and drunk driving. Read more

Ho Chi Minh City cleans up streets

March 2, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY, 2 March 2017: Ho Chi Minh City authorities will reclaim sidewalks from vendors, roadside stalls cars, and motorbikes in a bid to clean up the city’s tourism image

Tuoi Tre News quoted the municipal Traffic Safety Committee deputy head, Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, saying it has become a ‘lifestyle’ for citizens to occupy the sidewalks to run their business.

Peddlers and roadside food vendors encroach on the city’s sidewalks to earn a living, but they are forcing pedestrians to walk on busy streets adding to traffic congestion. People use the sidewalks to park their cars, while motorbike riders take short cuts on the pavements. Read more

Ritz Carlton will top up your car

August 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Hospitality, News

NEW YORK, 10 August 2016: Ritz Carlton Hotel Company says it is taking the lead by installing electricity charging stations at properties, worldwide.

But it could still be years away before there is enough demand to justify a hotel owner investing in chargers for electric-powered cars in Asia.

The exception is China, where some luxury electric cars are on the roads mainly as status symbols. Read more

Paris icon car-free

May 9, 2016 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

PARIS, 9 May 2016: The sight of traffic thundering down Paris’s most famous boulevard was replaced Sunday by people strolling, cycling and taking selfies as the Champs-Elysees went traffic-free.

The first instalment of a monthly series of pedestrian-only days was hailed as a resounding success by Parisians and tourists alike on the 2 km-long (1.2-mile) avenue leading to the Arc de Triomphe.

“Oh la la. Look at that, it’s magnificent,” said Roger, 67, who lives just off the Champs-Elysees as he got his first look at the thousands of people strolling in the sun where normally cars and motorbikes would be thronging the road. Read more

Caravan rolls out

November 20, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 20 November 2015: Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Tourism Authority of Thailand is promoting caravan tourism with partner Toyota Motors Thailand to highlight a route through Mekong region countries.

The “Hilux Revo: Discover Thainess to AEC Routes Caravan” 26 November to 3 December helps to promote the latest version of Toyota’s pick-up truck that will be used to transport caravan participants on rips to Chiang Rai and neighbouring countries.

Speaking at a press conference, Thursday, Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said the opening of the ASEAN Economic Community era at the end of this year will provide an opportunity for Thailand and neighbouring countries, particularly Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, to boost overland tourism by private car.

Read more

Vietnam’s car rules ease

June 30, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HANOI, 30 June 2015: Travel companies and event sponsors overseas will be have an easier time getting their overland caravans into Vietnam starting 1 August, if the cars are left-hand drive.

The improvements are not perfect, but they remove a seat capacity obstacle that made it difficult to organise car caravans in Vietnam with cars that had more than nine seats.  The government confirmed last week it has amended  the regulation on managing foreign vehicles that enter Vietnam for tourism purposes.

It issued Decree 57, 16 June, that replaced Decree 152 that has been effective since 2013.

Read more

Google: A safer travel world

April 22, 2015 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

DETROIT, 22 April 2015: Self-driving vehicles hold the key to reducing traffic fatalities and will transform the automobile industry, a top Google executive predicted Tuesday.

Ray Kurzweil, a leading expert in artificial intelligence who joined Google in 2012, told the annual conference of the Society of Automotive Engineers that the rapidly declining cost of computing power and the advances in artificial intelligence will make autonomous driving a reality.

Kurzweil told the audience that autonomous driving, utilising artificial intelligence, is definitely coming.

Read more

Car free days in Vientiane

March 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Laos PDR, News

VIENTIANE, 23 March 2015: Vientiane city authorities want to introduce walking streets to promote tourism following successful trials earlier this year.

The car-free street trial occurred twice in along the road skirting the Mekong River, 31 January to 1 February 1 and 7 to 8 February from 1700 to 2130.

Chao Anou and Francois Ngin streets nearby the Ong Teu, Chanh and Mixay temples were designated car-free areas for the trial and now there are plans to extend the trial on a permanent basis most likely on Saturdays or a public holiday.

Read more