Travel

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Celebrate Songkran at Four Seasons Chiang Mai
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Festival du Feminin Bangkok at VIE Bangkok March 24 and 25
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Sharing love and fun with your family at Dhara Dhevi
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New book on the early days of Thai tourism
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Banyan Tree  Samui’s  coconut celebration
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Romantic Valentine Dinner inspired by Michelin Star Chefs at La VIE
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2017 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament set for March 9-12
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Christmas and New Year celebrations at SALA
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SALA Phuket welcomes Superyacht Rendez-vous 2016
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Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi now open for business

Celebrate Songkran at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR FEATIVALS in Thailand is the Songkran, which attracts hundreds thousands of visitors every year. It’s really different.

Every April, Thailand ushers in a brand-new year in stunning, vibrant style with the festival of Songkran: a celebration like no other – from its sacred ancestral rituals to the spirited aquatic games in streets across the country.

The use of water holds a special place in these ceremonies: it is believed to grant good luck, bring much-needed rain, and wash away past sins.

The water-play of Songkran is accompanied by a myriad of other cherished traditions that provide an insight into the rich heritage of Thailand: Temple visits, offerings for the monks, elaborate meals with family and friends, the creation of sand pagodas, vivid processions, blessing rituals, and local contests.

Depending on which part of the country you are in, the celebrations can last anywhere between three to seven days.

Chiang Mai is the best place to ring in the Thai New Year, with the festivities lasting an entire week and featuring many a unique sight.

The old town, fringed by the moat, is the heart of Songkran celebrations in the city, where revelers begin splashing each other with water at dawn, and the merriment lasts until the sun goes down.

The surrounding moat is cleaned up and transformed into a convenient refilling station for water guns and buckets, with ice adding a welcome relief on hot days.

Perhaps the most famous Songkran event in Chiang Mai is the spectacular parade held on the first day of the New Year: Scores of beloved Buddha images are placed on intricately decorated floats and carried through the city, where they are sprinkled with water by residents and visitors as a sign of respect and for good luck.

Other smaller processions can also be seen such as that of the Mai-Khum Saree – a long piece of wood that is taken to support a local Bodhi tree. It was under the shade of a Bodhi tree that the Buddha gained enlightenment, which is why it holds a special place in Thai tradition.

Four Seasons Chiang Mai offer:

Head into Chiang Mai town to join the spectacular parade with the resort management team and enjoy the water games with your very own Songkran survival kit. After the lively celebrations, return to the resort, nestled amid glimmering rice fields and lush mountains. The offer also includes plush accommodation, round trip airport transfers, daily breakfast and a special meal credit.

Valid from April 12-16, for a minimum stay of two nights. To book, visit fourseasons.com/chiangmai/offers/Songkran-package

 

Festival du Feminin Bangkok at VIE Bangkok March 24 and 25

GET READY FOR a women-only event at VIE Hotel Bangkok, MGallery by Sofitel on March 24 and 25, dedicated to the exploration of the feminine through 20 interactive workshops.

The two- day time and space will be devoted to body-mind experience, women’s personal growth, the healing arts and spirituality hosted by an array of local and international experienced workshop facilitators.

The Festival du Féminin is a worldwide registered trade name in France, USA, Canada, India, Colombia, Morocco. It is the second edition in Bangkok before heading to Singapore, Hong Kong, and is being developed further in Kenya, Iran, Japan and Malaysia from next year.

The festival is about transmitting and sharing in sisterhood, connection, fulfillment and empowerment.

Learn and enjoy joyful powerful practices to help guide the woman in her inner path, to challenge her shadows, to heal her wounds, to reinvent herself and the world, as part of a bigger international calling to awaken the sacred feminine power and beauty.

When : March 24-25, 2017

Where: VIE Hotel Bangkok, MGallery by Sofitel

E-mail: bangkok.womenfestival@yahoo.com

Contact: Sylvie Baradel, organizer

Tel:  66 85 0204 777

Program & registration: www.festivaldufeminin.com/en/bangkok-2/

 

 

 

Sharing love and fun with your family at Dhara Dhevi

THE DHARA DHEVI CHIANG MAI is now offering an exclusive “Fun Family Bonding” package created to satisfy the whole family while also ensuring a luxurious escape.

From getting to know the resident water buffalos on the Colonial Lawn every morning during breakfast to splashing in the two expansive swimming pools, giving alms to local monks for a colourful cultural experience to taking an old-fashioned horse carriage through the lush grounds, you and your kids will find an endless array of exciting activities over this 60 acres of a destination resort.

In addition to the resort’s event-packed Kid’s Club and various child-friendly dining specials, families can now enjoy even more fun together with the “Family Fun Bonding” package.

The offer is inclusive of three days two nights for families of two adults and up to two children under the age of 12. Available from now until Dec. 15, 2017, with price start from 19,550 THB per suite per night, and comes with the following benefits:

An accommodation in selected room type; complimentary one extra bed set up for kid under the age of 12; daily buffet breakfast at Akaligo for two adults and one child; one set dinner for two adults and one child at Fujian restaurant or Le Grand Lanna; private rice planting experience for the entire family; complimentary scheduled activities for kids each day; and roundtrip transfer from and to Chiang Mai International Airport.

The offer requires a minimum of two-nights stay and advance reservation and booking must be made directly with the hotel in advance.

To make a reservation, the reservations office at 053 888 888 or e-mail:  reservations@dharadhevi.com

 

 

 

New book on the early days of Thai tourism

A NEW BOOK that charts the development of Thai tourism over the past 60 years – Thailand Tourism: The Early Days – has been published by Dusit International, in partnership with Bangkok Bank, Boon Rawd Brewery, Central Group, Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Jim Thompson, Siam Piwat, Thai Airways, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The book was written by Thailand-based journalist and lecturer, Steve Van Beek, and edited by Roy Howard, the original advertising manager of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited.

The book examines in rich detail the challenges faced by these early pioneers and, through profiles, anecdotes and quotes, underscores the need to preserve their stories.

Among the key figures profiled in the glossy, full-colour book are His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani, president of the Royal Project Foundation; General Prem Tinsulanonda, former prime minister of Thailand; Lt. General Chalermchai Charuvastra, founder of the Tourist Organization of Thailand; Niels Lumholdt, former executive vice-president of Thai Airways International; Dr Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, founder of Bangkok Airways; Kusa Panyarachun, founder of Thailand’s first travel agency; Chin Sophonpanich, founder of Bangkok Bank; Samrit Chirathivat, founder of Central Group; and Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui, founder of Dusit International.

A special section dedicated to Thailand’s royal family highlights how projects initiated by His Majesty the late King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, have had a positive effect on tourism.

Chanin Donavanik, Dusit International, hopes the book will not only help to preserve the stories of the early pioneers, but also inspire a new generation of hospitality workers to follow in their footsteps.

The travel industry is one of the most important industries in Thailand, and today employs almost 15% of the population and contributes 17% GDP to the Thai economy, said Mr. Chanin.

“I think it’s vitally important that the new generation understands what happened in the past, and how the risks and opportunities taken by the early pioneers ultimately shaped the industry as we know it today.

“In producing the book, we hoped to preserve the inspiring stories and wisdom of our forebears by featuring as many influencers from 60 years ago as possible.”

In keeping with Dusit’s aim to help boost hospitality education in Thailand, copies of the book will be distributed for free to schools, colleges and universities offering tourism, hotel management and culinary programs in Thailand. A free ebook, available in English and Thai, will also be available at www.thailandtourismtheearlydaysbook.com.

The book is also available at Asia Books and all Dusit hotels in Thailand, priced at 1,500 THB.

In remembrance of His Majesty the late King, all proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to the Royal Project Foundation, which helps to improve the living conditions of Thailand’s rural communities.

For more information visit www.thailandtourismtheearlydaysbook.com.

 

 

Banyan Tree  Samui’s  coconut celebration

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BANYAN TREE SAMUI is offering a special experience that enables guests to sample the coconut spirit of Samui ,while relaxing in the comfort of the pool villas set amid the privacy of the resort’s bay, or pampering themselves at the award-winning Banyan Tree Samui’s spa, or enjoying the resort’s  cuisine at the its signature restaurants.

Banyan Tree Samui’s villas, each with its private pool, are evenly dotted around the hills. All villas that are the same, retaining a unique charm and featuring scenic views of the Gulf of Thailand.

On checking-in, guests will receive a personalized handbag made from coconut wood for use during their stay. The Lobby Lounge is perched on a headland, with a panoramic view of the resort and surrounding sea.

Guests can enjoy the taste of coconut in one of the resort’s restaurants, when ordering such traditional Thai dishes as Kanom Buang Chao Wung (Thai style crêpe prawns with crab meat and young coconut filling), Mieng Som O Goong Sod (spicy pomelo salad with shrimps, roasted coconut and shallot) or Panang Mhoo Maprao Onn (dried red curry pork and young coconut accompanied by grilled palm heart, pumpkin and asparagus), or the signature cocktails including Tom Kha (based on Malibu, coconut cream, lime, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaf and red chili) or Banyan Tree Iced Tea (based on Malibu, gin, vodka, triple sec, lime juice and young coconut juice).

The following day starts with a trip to local coconut farms –  a short distance of the resort. Here, among the coconut trees, you can sample the freshest coconut juice; buy authentic oil and watch specially trained monkeys  climb and pick coconuts from the trees.

After the fun-filled day, Banyan Tree’s award-winning spa beckons, or be treated in the privacy of your own Spa Sanctuary Pool Villa, nestled in the lush hillside. Coconut oil, widely used for its healing effect, is the key ingredient in a soothing 120-minute Coconut Immersion package that includes a 30-minute Pineapple & Coconut Scrub; 60-minute Island Dew Massage; 30-minute Refreshments and Relaxation. The coconut oil is always freshly made in-house from the local coconuts grown at nearby farms.

There are even coconut souvenirs to remind you of your magical time in Samui, such as handcrafted bags, coconut soap and coconut oil available at the resort’s retail outlet, Banyan Tree Gallery Samui.

For reservations and enquiries, visit www.banyantree.com

 

Romantic Valentine Dinner inspired by Michelin Star Chefs at La VIE

LA VIE – CREATIVE FRENCH CUISINE in VIE Hotel Bangkok, MGallery by Sofitel is offering a special Valentine’s set dinner tasting menu of dishes inspired by the Michelin Star Chefs on St. Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

Valentine’s Day at La VIE features an elegant atmosphere designed for romance, with candlelight, soft piano music and a complimentary mini bottle (200 ml) of sparkling Spanish Cava Rosé per couple.

The menu for our special Valentine’s Day Set Dinner begins with a lightly poached Tsarskaya Oyster, Champagne Sabayon; moving on to roasted Hokkaido scallop, coconut and cauliflower, truffle emulsion; a perfectly prepared 45 ̊C Tasmanian Ocean trout, avocado, blood orange, coriander; and breast of Muscovy Duck, salt-baked Celeriac, Cassis.

The sweet table features “Rouge” Raspberry, Rosé and Lychee desserts.

The five-course Valentine’s Day Set Dinner is 5,000 THB per couple.

 

 

 

2017 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament set for March 9-12

WHERE? Bangkok. WHEN? March 9-12.

Now in its 15th  year, the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament has become one of the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia with over US$1.3 million (BHT 46 million) raised and donated to projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population.

Thirty unemployed former street elephants will take part in this year’s festival, during which they will be given full veterinary checks and care, much needed food and drink and essential vitamin supplements for the duration of the event.

The welfare of the elephants that participate in the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is of paramount importance, with strict rules ensuring that the pachyderms are well cared for at all times.

By imposing a “no micro-chip, no game” rule, Anantara, which sponsors the annual event, guarantees that all participating elephants have been domestically bred and not captured from the wild or smuggled in from neighbouring countries.

The King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament recently awarded a silver medal for Sports CSR Initiative of the Year at the Asia 2016 SPIA Sports Industry Awards.

Organized by Sport360° and MMC Sportz, in partnership with the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Sports Authority of Thailand, the awards applauds sports industry leaders that demonstrate a balance between business, community and environment.

The 2017 event will have 10 teams encompassing over 40 players, including Thai celebrities, supermodels, professional horse polo players and New Zealand All-Blacks rugby players.

The four-day festival will have something for everyone including an impressive Opening Parade, Children’s Educational Day, Ladies Day, known as The ‘Bangkok Ascot’, and fun elephant related activities.

Anantara has long been associated with elephant conservation efforts with the formation of The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which has performed over 40 rescues of elephants off the streets of Thailand, as well as bringing the hugely successful Elephant Parade to Bangkok.

For more information on the 15th Annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, visit www.anantaraelephantpolo.com

 

Christmas and New Year celebrations at SALA

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SALA PHUKET is celebrating Christmas Eve with an evening of holiday cheer that includes the Mao Kilao primary school choir singing carols at the resort’s poolside Christmas Eve cocktail  party, followed by a screen of A Wonderful Life on the lawn under the stars.

For further information, email info@sallaphuket.com or call 66-763-888.

SALA Samui Choengnon Beach will mark Christmas Eve with a festive dinner, complete with Christmas pudding, a children’s dance and a fire show. For further information, email chefsamui@salasalasamui.com or call 66-7724-5888.

At SALA Rattanakosin Bangkok, it’s a night on the riverside; and savouring Italian dishes at SALA Chiang Mai.

The place to be on New Year’s Eve is at SALA Samui Choengmon Beach, with a live Khim Thai performance, followed by music arts and a contemporary take on the traditional Thai performance, and a thrilling fire dance show.

New Year’s Eve at SALA Phuket includes a Sky Fall cocktail party between 7.30 pm and 10.30 pm; Spectre dinner, and music by international DJ Rui from 10.30 pm into the New Year; and Casino Royale Ice Bar at the SALA Ice Bar from 11 to midnight.

At SALA Khaoyai, there’s a barbecue served on the roof of each pool villa; and at SALA Rattanakosin, a six-course set dinner with live entertainment; and a New Year’s Eve BBQ buffet with unlimited drinks from 8.30 pm to midnight.

 

 

 

 

SALA Phuket welcomes Superyacht Rendez-vous 2016

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FROM THE 16TH TO 18TH OF DECEMBER, shores of Phuket welcome Superyachts, their owners, captains and VIP guests to the Asia Superyacht Rendez-vous.

This exclusive invite-only event welcomes sail and power superyachts over 70 feet from all over the world for three days of excitement.

This year SALA Phuket Resort and Spa will be host to the Rendezvous. For the first time there will be a cup for the winner but yachts are also encouraged to participate in pleasure sailing (if racing does not appeal to them), they will be welcome to get the sails up while leisurely cruising around the course and motor yachts are encouraged to anchor around the course.

SALA Phuket Resort invites guests to experience this unique event in style at the resort, with rates starting from THB 5,838 THB.

For further information, contact info@salahospitality.com

 

 

 

Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi now open for business

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CENTARA HOTELS   & RESORTS expanded its presence in Krabi, one of Thailand’s prime tourist destinations in the South, with the opening of its third property – Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi.

“Emerging as one of the world’s top holiday destinations, Krabi has enormous potential for the future to attract more visitors. With our latest Krabi resort, adventurous travelers can easily explore Krabi’s diverse natural attractions while getting an unforgettable experience of Centara’s warm hospitality at extremely affordable prices, said Thirayuth Chirathivat, Centara Hotels & Resorts CEO.

Centara opened its first Krabi resort, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, in 2006. A second resort, Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa Krabi, followed in 2012

Located near Ao Nang beach, one of Krabi’s most convenient transport junctions, the new Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi was designed using the story of Hanuman, God-king of the apes, a central figure in the Hindu epic Ramayana, as a decorative theme. Hanuman was originally the Indian name that the Andaman Sea was known by, and so the reference is appropriate, as the resort is located in Krabi, a quaint, charming province situated on this very stretch of coastline.

Krabi is the dream destination for adventurous travellers: diving in the Andaman Sea, discovering rocky caverns on a kayak, rock climbing at Railay Bay – and it’s all within easy reach from the brand-new Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi. This affordable resort is a contemporary, low-rise oasis of peace and tranquility which is the perfect place for couples, families and groups alike to unwind and soak up the peaceful atmosphere.

The resort also offers guests great views of the area’s iconic mountain scene, which ensure that island-hopping trips, diving and snorkelling hold a perennial appeal. Krabi International Airport is 35 minutes’ drive from the resort, and all-day shuttle buses are available from the resort to the heart of Ao Nang beach, which takes only five minutes.

Designed as a cluster of low-rise buildings, the resort has 158 light and airy guestrooms in total, ranging from 24 to 49 square metres, with views of either the swimming pool or the surrounding mountain view.

Guests will have access to the full range of facilities expected in a modern resort, including an all-day restaurant, outdoor pool for both kids and adults, CenFit – fitness centre, tour information desk, bicycles for rent, and full Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the property.

The resort also contains state of the art meeting facilities, ideal for conventions, seminars and other functions. The Rama Room has capacity for 120 people, and this feature combined with the resort’s close proximity to the Ao Nang area with its shopping and dining makes this a perfect base to explore what Krabi has to offer for both business and leisure travelers.

Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi also makes it easy for guests to eat well without effort. Mix Bistro, the resort’s all-day dining restaurant serves up a range of both authentic Southern Thai-style dishes such as Rice Vermicelli with Crab Curry Sauce, as well as delectable international favourites such as Black Tiger Prawn Salad, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio Topped with Bacon and Gyros Pork House Wraps. In-room dining is also available.

“The addition of the third Centara property means that Centara Hotels & Resorts can now serve the needs of all guests who visit Krabi with three distinct brand offerings available – Centara Grand, an iconic five-star resort in prime beachfront locale, Centara, a specious four-star resort renowned for its service excellence, and Centra by Centara, a quality value option in an ideally convenient location,” said Mr. Chirathivat.

Centara opened its first Krabi resort, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, in 2006. A second resort, Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa Krabi, followed in 2012.

 

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