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Saturday, January 5, 2019

#Cambodia - Tourists flock to military frontier

A wooden staircase with over one thousands steps, built in August 2017 to transport supplies to soldiers on the site of a contentious military frontier with Thailand, has now become an unlikely tourist attraction for many in the Kingdom.

The staircases’ 1181 steps lead to Than Temple at the summit of the Dangrek mountain range – in which Cambodian troops patrol in a long running border dispute with neighbouring Thailand – offering breathtaking views over the national frontier into the Thai countryside.

Located in Samrong town’s O’Teuk Chaol village, Oddar Meanchey province, the wooden staircase was initially built for the benefit of soldiers to transport supplies to the mountain’s peak, but it now also attracts tourists who want to experience the views from the top.

“Soldiers make a bit of money from selling food and beverages to tourists,” Oddar Meanchey provincial Department of Tourism head Thiny Mony Raksmey said.
Before reaching the temple, tourists encounter a giant ancient grinding stone mill that was carved into the mountain’s rock hundreds of years earlier, as well as the somewhat newer bunkers dug by soldiers as part of the ongoing dispute.

It is recommended that tourists refrain from taking photos or videos of military personnel on the site due to the sensitive situation.

The current Cambodian-Thai border dispute began in June 2008, but it is merely the latest in a century-long dispute between the countries involving the area surrounding the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple in the Dangrek mountains straddling northern Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province and Thailand’s Sisaket province.

Nearby Than Temple on the Dangrek mountain range, tourists are able to combine their tour with a visit to O’Teuk Chaol waterfall and Ta Krabey Temple.

Source - PhnomPenhPost

Bora Bora tops list of trendiest millennial destinations in 2019

It should come as no surprise to Instagram users to see Bora Bora head up a list of top-trending destinations for millennials in 2019.

After looking at the most popular destinations being followed or “watched” by its millennial users, flight tracker and booking app Hopper found that Bora Bora experienced the biggest spike in interest for 2019 (24 percent increase from last year), followed by St. Martin and Aspen Colorado.

Hopper users can set trip “watches” up to one year in advance. The average Hopper user sets up watches up to 90 days in advance of when they would typically begin seriously doing their travel homework.

With more than 1.2 million posts tagged with the hashtag #borabora, and Instagram feeds of beautiful, young influencers posing against palm-fringed beaches and overwater villas, French Polynesia has become a trendy bucket-list destination for globetrotting millennials.
Meanwhile, if you've got a trip coming up, Hopper's data suggests booking a flight now in January while domestic round-trip airfares are at their lowest, before rising back up in February.
 According to their data, domestic US destinations like San Antonio, Miami and Tampa are most likely to drop in price this month. International destinations most likely to dip in January include Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, Oranjestad, Aruba and Delhi, India.

These are the trendiest millennial destinations of 2019, according to Hopper:

1. Bora Bora
2. St. Martin
3. Aspen Colorado
4. Denpasar, Indonesia
5. Kahului, Hawaii
6. Dublin, Ireland
7. St. Lucia
8. Tokyo, Japan
9. Palm Springs, California
10. Anchorage, Alaska

Source - TheJakartaPost

Friday, January 4, 2019

#Vietnam opens new international airport 50 km from Halong Bay

Vietnam opened a new airport, Dec. 30, on the island of Van Don, close to Halong Bay. Previously, travelers had to reach the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site via the capital, Hanoi, a four-hour drive away.

While the Vietnamese authorities have extended visa exemption for nationals of certain countries for stays of up to 15 days until 2021, the country has also opened a new airport, billed as Vietnam’s most modern, located close to the popular tourist destination of Halong Bay.

Business looks good for the junk boat cruises at this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site, as Van Don International Airport, which cost around $350 million and is managed by a private company, will allow visitors to travel directly to Halong Bay, without traveling via Hanoi.

Visitors will be able to reach the port in one hour’s drive, thanks to a new highway, compared to previous travel times of three to four hours, depending on the route. Note that domestic flights to and from Hanoi are operated by Vietnam Airlines and VietjetAir.
Vietnam was aiming for 17 million foreign tourists in 2018. In the end, it welcomed some 15.5 million visitors, up 19.9 percent on the previous year. For 2019, the country’s goal is 18 million international arrivals. The Halong site is just one of the destinations set to help draw visitors, as the country also aims to develop tourism in the wider Quang Ninh province, which has 250km of coastline. Perhaps the beaches of Minh Chau and Ngoc Vung will one day become as popular as those of Phuket or Koh Phi Phi in Thailand. These new facilities, which took barely three years to create, were also envisaged to boost tourism and trade with Taiwan, South Korea, Cambodia and Singapore.

Van Don International Airport expects to see two million annual passengers by 2020 and some five million by 2030.

As well as the airport, Vietnam opened its first international cruise port, specially designed for cruise ships, located in Halong. This new infrastructure, designed by architect Bill Bensley, can accommodate up to 8,460 passengers at once. 

Source - TheJakartaPost

Thursday, January 3, 2019

#Thailand - Angthong National Marine Park closed for 3 days due to approaching storm

The Angthong National Marine Park, off the coast of Surat Thani province, is closing for three days from tomorrow (Thursday) as tropical storm ‘Pabuk’ is expected to hit the southern Gulf coast.

The decision has been based on weather warnings from the TMD, which says the storm “Pabuk” will bring unseasonal heavy downpours and high waves in the Gulf of Thailand from Thursday into the weekend.

Entry into the national park area will be banned for three days and park officials are asking for everyone’s cooperation. They say the public will be notified if there are any changes to the announcement.
The Angthong marine park is comprised of 42 islands and was named a national park in 1980.
Though “Pabuk” is expected to be less powerful than Typhoon Gay, which devastated Chumphon and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces in 1989, it could still cause more damage than the tropical storm that ravaged 12 southern provinces in 1962.

Nearly one thousand people died when “Harriet” cut across Nakhon Si Thammarat through Krabi, Phuket and Phang Nga provinces. Tropical Storm Harriet made landfall in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, causing a storm surge that wiped out villages in Laem Talumphuk, Pak Phanang District, killing over 900 and leaving over 10,000 people homeless.

Source - TheNation

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Bali's beaches are the top attraction on the resort island

Indonesia remains an attractive destination for Chinese tourists to visit during the year-end holiday season, according to a survey, despite the series of disasters hitting the archipelago throughout the year. 

As reported by news agency Antara, a survey conducted by Chinese travel portal reveals that the most attractive countries for tourists from mainland China during the current year-end holidays are Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, France, Italy, Switzerland, Indonesia and Germany.

Countries in Europe are the preferred destinations for Christmas, but those who want the warmth of the sun and pristine beaches choose Southeast Asian countries, such as Indonesia and Thailand, especially since these countries allow visa-free entry.
 Indonesia remains an attractive destination for Chinese tourists, according to the survey, which shows that a series of natural disasters and a fatal airplane accident in 2018 did not deter tourists.

The Tourism Ministry, however, has fallen short of its targeted 2.6 million tourist visits from China during the period of January to October, with only 1.87 million having visited.

According to Tuniu’s survey, conducted among respondents between 19 and 35 years of age, young Chinese travelers mostly opt for holidays in the northern hemisphere, such as Finland, Norway, Iceland or Denmark. Yet some prefer to fly to the southern hemisphere for some warmth, including to Australia, New Zealand or Mauritius.

The survey also shows that 70 percent of the respondents spend only three days on their year-end vacation, typically from Dec. 30 to Jan. 1. About 64 percent of the respondents were women, most of whom said they would go on vacation with their friends or parents.

Ticket sales for the holiday season rose 30 percent in China, according to the survey, with fast trains still the main choice for domestic tourists.
Source - TheJakartaPost

Top destinations to welcome 2019, according to Agoda

Big cities like Tokyo, Paris and New York have been named the top destinations for a New Year's vacation among travelers from all over the world, according to online travel agent Agoda

Japan's capital city of Tokyo is among to top 10 New Year's Eve celebration destinations for many market segments. For the Chinese and Singaporean market, Tokyo is the first choice to ring in the New Year, as reported by

During New Year celebrations, Tokyo is enlivened with music concerts, parades and lights, making it the perfect destination to celebrate the start of 2019.

Meanwhile, Paris is often filled with numerous parties to welcome the New Year. There are many countdown celebrations in popular places across the city, which are also suitable for some family fun. 

The lively atmosphere among the classic French architecture makes Paris the most popular destination in Europe for New Year's Eve celebrations.

For tourists from Britain, Israel, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, Paris is ranked first in their choice to celebrate the New Year.
The ball drop in New York’s Times Square in the United States is one of the most iconic celebrations in the world. So, it is no wonder that New York is included in the popular list as the top destination in North America for global tourists.

In a separate list of destinations in Asia, Indonesia's resort island of Bali ranked ninth for global tourists.

Meanwhile, in a separate list compiled by Indonesian travelers, Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok are the most popular Asian choices for New Year's Eve celebrations. For travelers from Jakarta, Bali is the most popular destination to celebrate the changing year.

Notably, top global favorite Tokyo is also one of the most popular destinations among Indonesian tourists for celebrating New Year's. Tokyo rose to fifth place among Indonesian tourists, climbing three places from 2018.
Source - TheJakartaPost

Wednesday, December 26, 2018



On a quiet Christmas day, I thought and searched back.

My grandmother say on her last birthday many years ago: ''Keep the family together''

Years later my beloved mother say similar: ''generations slide on''

Now we have Internet, and we can search for our family.

It is a shame that the whole our family fall in parts.

On this quiet Christmas day , I searched for aunts, uncles, cousins and more .....

And saw many already passed away, and not much more left.

I have only a narrow contact with my only sister, the live also their own lives.

It does not scare me to death, but I'm a little frightened when the time goes so quickly.

I not have more contact with my own 3 children, the hate me about my divorce in the nineties, and my lifestyle.

But the live also like grasshoppers, and have children with different partners, what a shame. 

Their children lose their identity, and search later also about their backgrounds / roots.

Now I think: ''What I'm'' - family, a father, a uncle, a grandfather, a stepfather, a step-grandfather, a stranger, .....

I don't know more what I'm  ?