Welcome to our ‘Experience Asia’ Newsletter for October 2023
Please read below for details about product and hotel news in our destinations
Experience Asia News / ‘Faith Based Tourism’
There are ever-greater numbers of travellers seeking unique experiences that will provide them with a sense of spiritual fulfilment. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is responding to this phenomenon by promoting 60 fascinating sites related to faith and culture in Thailand.
‘Connecting to Spiritual Thailand’ (below) is a beautifully illustrated, 100-page publication written by a team of veteran travel writers and researchers to foster understanding of everyday Thai religion among foreigners.
Thailand News / ‘Visa Free Travel’ for Chinese Citizens
The Thai government’s decision to implement a five-month visa-free travel period for Chinese tourists, starting from September 25th until February 29th, 2024, has been met with great enthusiasm. Thailand hotels achieved 30% growth immediately following the implementation of this policy
Thailand Hotel Choice / ‘Panacea Estate’, Samui
‘Panacea Estate’, is a new luxury resort with Thai-style villas, featuring unparalleled luxury and exclusivity in Bophut Beach in Samui. Located on a jungle-covered hilltop with sweeping island views from each villa, all come with 20-metre private pools, outdoor salas and lavish bedrooms
Thailand Festivals / ‘Loy Kratong Festival’
‘Loy Krathong’, or the ‘Festival of Lights’, is one of the most popular festivals in Thailand.
In Thai, the word Loy means “float” and Krathong means “container” hence people float a krathong decorated with candles and flowers onto rivers and canals during the festival
Originally a ritual to honour and seek forgiveness from the Goddess of Water, the annual event is will this year fall on November 27th and is best enjoyed in Chiang Mai
Unique Thailand Hotels / ‘New Luxury Tent Camp in Chiang Rai’
A New luxury tented camp is set to officially open in the mountains of Chiang Rai, northern Thailand. The ‘Visama Mae Chan Luxury Tented Camp’ opens on 1 November and will be run on ‘not-for-profit’ principles to benefit the local ‘Friends of Thai Daughters foundation’. This foundation helps prevent child trafficking by empowering girls from hill tribe communities. ‘The Ambalama’ is the camp’s gathering place for storytelling with talks by guest speakers such as authors and historians.
Thailand Hotels / ‘Le Méridien Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort’
Le Méridien Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort has recently opened, introducing a new era of culturally infused hospitality to Phuket’s stunning sunset coast. Le Méridien Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort, features 244 bright and inviting rooms and suites. Room types range from 41 to 110 square metres in size and are designed in a contemporary local style
Cambodia Tourism News / ‘New UNESCO Heritage Site’
The archaeological site of Koh Ker is a sacred site with numerous temples and sanctuaries, including sculptures, inscriptions, wall paintings, and archaeological remains. Constructed over a twenty-three-year period, it was one of two rival Khmer Empire capitals (the other being ‘Angkor Wat’) and was the sole capital from 928 to 944 CE
Indonesia Tourism News / ‘First Bullet Train in Southeast Asia’
Indonesia has just launched Southeast Asia’s first high-speed bullet train named ‘Whoosh’
The train was inaugurated by the Indonesian President and runs from capital Jakarta to Bandung in West Java. It slashes the journey time of three hours to under an hour on the 142 km route, with trains capable of reaching speeds of 350 kmh. The 209-metre trains have a seating capacity for 601 passengers.
Indonesia Tourism News / ‘Bali Tourism Tax’
All foreign nationals arriving in Bali from 14 February 2024 are required to pay a fixed fee of USD 10 per person. Payment counters are being set up at the airport for payment in cash or by credit card. Officials claim it takes just a few seconds per traveller to process. There are discussions about an advance online payment system, which may be implemented before the tourist fee payment goes live
Indonesia Hotel News / ‘La Reserve 1785’ in Bali
The ‘La Reserve 1785’ resort is close to Bali’s legendary ‘Echo Beach’ yet away from the hustle and bustle of Canggu. La Reserve 1785 is an exclusive hideaway. Drawing on its heritage as the former residence of a French antiques collector, the interiors fuse French flair with Balinese artistry – think crystal chandeliers, four poster beds, and, in some cases, private plunge pools
Last Words / ‘Thailand Tattoo Culture’
Dating back to the ‘Khmer Empire’ at ‘Angkor Wat’, locals in Asia have long sported intricate tattoo designs believing that they not only protected them from danger, but that they also gave them power. Tattoos in Thailand also displayed a man’s status and military level. Angelina Jolie made the sacred ‘Sak Yant’ tattoo popular after receiving two of them in 2004, but ‘Sak Yant’ tattooing dates back to thousands of years ago. Most Thai people believe they offer protection against danger and death, and bring luck, power, and courage.
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Wishing you all Safe and Happy Travels
Stephen McEvoy / Managing Director
Travel adventures in Thailand, Indochina and Indonesia