Tourists stay clear of Nepal

April 26, 2016 by  
Filed under News, South Asia

LANGTANG, NEPAL, 26 April 2016: Former guesthouse owner, Tenzing Lama, remembers when foreign tourists thronged Nepal’s Langtang valley, trekking through the breathtaking Himalayan wilderness and soaking up the tranquillity.

But the massive earthquake that ripped through Nepal one year ago killing almost 9,000 people, obliterated the valley, part of the country’s oldest national park, along with the tourism industry on which it relied.

Villagers have since returned to the valley and started the Herculean task of clearing trails and rebuilding homes and guesthouses flattened in a massive quake-triggered avalanche. Read more

Nepal: Slow recovery after quake

April 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Nepal, News

LANGTANG, 25 April 2016: Langtang in Nepal is now little more than a graveyard. The once tranquil mountain village was obliterated last April when a massive earthquake shattered a glacier, raining tonnes of ice, snow and rock down into the valley below, where hundreds of bodies still lie buried.

Scientists estimate the avalanche hit the ground with enough force to cause a blast more than half the strength of the nuclear bomb, dropped on Hiroshima, making it a miracle that anyone survived.

Those who did are making a hesitant return. Still struggling to come to terms with their loss, unable to forget the horror, they are nonetheless attempting to rebuild their lives. Read more

TG continues Fukuoka flights

April 18, 2016 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

BANGKOK, 18 April 2016: Thai Airways International continues to operate flights to Fukuoka, Japan, but it will waive penalty fees for passengers postponing travel.

According to the airline’s website statement, due to last week’s massive earthquake at Kyushu Island, Japan, that caused, casualties, damage and distress, passengers travelling to and from Fukuoka, can change their travel itineraries without penalties.

Fees can be waived for passengers holding THAI tickets that were issued from Thailand before 15 April  for the roundtrip route Bangkok-Fukuoka-Bangkok, including THAI domestic tickets that are part of the Bangkok-Fukuoka-Bangkok itinerary. Read more

Everest trek declared safe

August 9, 2015 by  
Filed under News, South Asia

KATHMANDU, 11 August 2015: The vast majority of guesthouses and trails on the popular Mount Everest trekking route emerged unscathed from Nepal’s devastating earthquake, said an assessment report released last Friday.

Tourism-dependent Nepal had called in international experts to examine trekking routes in the Everest and Annapurna region following April’s disaster to certify that they were safe for hikers.

A team of structural and geotechnical engineers led by US-based firm Miyamoto International surveyed the Everest trail on foot and on a helicopter to check for quake-triggered destruction and hazards.

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Test climb on Kinabalu

August 8, 2015 by  
Filed under Malaysia, News

KUCHING, 10 August 2015: The earthquake-hit Mount Kinabalu will be partially opened for day climbs after  88 climbers successful climbed to Laban Rata on the trail to the summit, 8 August.

The trail beyond Laban Rata remains closed until the first week of September. In the meantime, the test climb’s success opens the way for limited access to the lower part of the trail.

The mountain has been closed since the deadly 5.9 earthquake, 5 June, that claimed the lives of 18 climbers and mountain guides and caused serious damage to the trail used by thousands of climbers annually.

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World Bank funds Nepal renewal

June 25, 2015 by  
Filed under News, South Asia

KATHMANDU, 25 June 2015: The World Bank announced Tuesday it will provide up to USD500 million for reconstruction in quake-devastated Nepal which is preparing to host a major conference to increase donations.

The twin quakes that struck in April and May killed more than 8,800 people, destroyed nearly half a million houses and damaged another 280,000, leaving thousands in need of food, clean water and shelter.

“We are working with the Government of Nepal and its international partners to help the country get the resources it needs to build back better,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.

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Nepal’s travel falls off cliff

June 22, 2015 by  
Filed under News, South Asia

POKARA, 22 June 2015: Boatman Hem Gurung waits listlessly on the deserted banks of Lake Phewa in the shadow of Nepal’s spectacular Annapurna mountain range for tourists that do not come.

“Since the earthquake, Pokhara has been empty,” Gurung complained to AFP in the lakeside resort, which once thronged with tourists attracted by its Himalayan vistas and outdoor adventure activities.

“Without tourists there is no work. I should be making thousands, but at the moment we are lucky to earn a hundred or two (USD1 to USD2) a day,” said the 49-year-old, who has worked as a boatman and tourist guide in Pokhara for 15 years.

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Nepal faces safety worries

June 16, 2015 by  
Filed under News, South Asia

BHAKTAPUR, 16 June 2015: Nepal reopened its temple-filled Durbar Squares to the public, Monday, despite warnings over safety, trying to woo back tourists after a deadly earthquake that left much of the country’s cultural heritage in ruins.

Traditional dancers and musicians performed at a ceremony in the historic town of Bhaktapur, home to one of three former royal squares in the Kathmandu Valley that date back as far as the 12th century.

Hundreds of people gathered in Bhaktapur Durbar Square, whose historic Hindu temples, statues and opulent royal palaces drew tourists from around the world before the quake.

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Kinabalu climbs suspended

June 12, 2015 by  
Filed under Malaysia, News

KOTA KINABALU, 12 June 2015: Mount Kinabalu has been closed to climbers for three weeks, following the 5 June earthquake that triggered deadly avalanches that killed 18 climbers.

Sabah Parks announced, yesterday, that mountain activities would be suspended for at least three weeks.

This includes Kinabalu Natural History Gallery, Poring Hot Springs (canopy walk), Butterfly Farm, Kipungit Waterfall and Langanan Waterfall will be closed to visitors with immediate effect.

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Summit nude arrested in Sabah

June 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Malaysia, News

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 June 2015: Malaysian authorities on Monday arrested a European man for allegedly stripping naked and urinating on Mount Kinabalu, reports said, an act that some in the country say angered tribal spirits and caused a deadly earthquake.

The 38-year-old was arrested in Kota Kinabalu, capital of the state of Sabah on Borneo island, on charges of causing a public nuisance, The Star newspaper reported on its website.

It cited Sabah’s state criminal investigation chief Sallehuddin Abdul Rahman.

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