AGODA

Sunday, September 17, 2017

#Bangkok - Tourism ministry participates in Incentive Travel and Convention Meeting Asia.


Tourism ministry is participating in the upcoming Incentive Travel and Convention Meeting (IT &CM) Asia at Bangkok Convention Centre, Central World Bangkok, Thailand slated to run from September 26 to 28.

The ministry is bringing 12 MICE tourism representatives from Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta and Bali to the exhibition where they will be stationed inside the 78-meter square area which consists of eight booths, that have been rented by the ministry.

IT &CM Asia is a regular international MICE exhibition organized by TTG Events that caters to business-to-business (B2B) model.


The ministry's Southeast Asia tourism promotion assistant deputy Rizki Handayani said it is important for Indonesia to participate in this event, the country has a lot to offer for MICE tourism. Not only does it have a lot of convention centers and halls, Indonesia’s culture and wildlife are also two forces to be reckoned with.

Rizki added that Indonesian booth will showcase the Coral Triangle area, archipelago textile and Phinisi boat. Visitors will also be pampered with spa service and refreshment corner.

According to the data from International Congress and Convention Association, in 2015 Indonesia took the 43rd spot in the world ranking with 78 meetings. The ministry is aiming for 119 events by 2019.
 
Source - TheJakartaPost

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Stonehenge road tunnel gets go-ahead despite protests.


Years of protests from druids and archaeologists have failed to derail plans for a new road tunnel near Britain's Stone Age site of Stonehenge, which received final approval from the government on Tuesday.

The 1.8-mile (2.9-kilometer) tunnel is planned to reduce frequent congestion on a major east-west road axis across England and has a budget of £1.6 billion (US$2.1 billion).
Officials have moved the planned route away from the UNESCO World Heritage site in response to criticism.

But Stonehenge Alliance, a group of non-governmental organisations, said it would cause "severe and permanent damage to the archaeological landscape".

"The project needs a complete re-think, not a minor tweak which still threatens major harm to this iconic landscape," said Kate Fielden from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, a member of the alliance.

Conservation groups English Heritage and the National Trust gave their approval to the plan, however.

"We welcome the amended route and believe it can, if designed and located with the utmost care, deliver a lasting legacy for the World Heritage Site and restore peace and tranquility to the Stonehenge landscape," the charities said in a statement.


 Transport Minister Chris Grayling said the new tunnel would provide "a huge boost for the region".

"Quicker journey times, reduced congestion and cleaner air will benefit people locally and unlock growth in the tourism industry," he said.

Stonehenge was built in stages, from around 3,000 BC to 2,300 BC.

Thousands of people gather at the mysterious circle of standing stones on Salisbury Plain for the pagan fest of the summer solstice every year.

It is one of the most impressive prehistoric megalithic monuments anywhere due to its size, sophisticated plan and architectural precision.

Archaeologists have identified similar prehistoric monuments in the area, including another buried circle of stones measuring 500 meters (yards) across.

Source - TheJakartaPost
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Monday, September 11, 2017

#Thailand - River to be secure for cremation of King Rama IX.


The Marine Department on Monday announced its preparedness to provide security and direct water traffic during the royal cremation ceremonies for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX) at Sanam Luang in Bangkok from October 25-27.

A water security co-ordination centre will be set up to oversee the operation around the clock during the period. 

Some 180 officers on 10 patrol boats would provide security in the Chao Phraya River from Krung Thon Bridge (Sang Hee) to King Taksin Bridge (Sathon) from midday to 9pm on October 25, from 6am to 11pm on October 26, and from 8am to 2pm on October 27.

All types of boat, except those from the state agencies providing security, will be banned from the immediate area. 
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 Chao Phraya Express boats will dock at Thewet and Yod Piman piers, because the Phra Arthit, Tha Chang and Rachinee piers will be closed. 

The cross-river ferries that normally provide services from Tha Phra Chan Nua, Maharat and Tha Chang piers would use Pin Klao pier on the Phra Nakhon side, while those normally providing services from Tha Tian would be temporarily based at Rachinee pier. Tourist boats will be able to use the Pin Klao pier in the north and the Rachinee pier in the south.

The Thai Boats Association’s boat rides for people heading to Sanam Luang to attend the royal cremation ceremonies will be available from Nonthaburi pier to Pin Klao pier and from Sathon pier to the Yod Piman pier.

Source - TheNation


 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Mexico, France, Greece lead destinations to enjoy this fall


For young, commitment-less travelers, childless couples and empty nesters, National Geographic Travel has rounded up a list of the best fall destinations for 2017, when summer cedes to winter in a stunningly dramatic transformation of colors.

While younger families may be tethered to school calendars in the fall, that doesn’t me
an that the travel world stops spinning. Here’s a selection of travel ideas this autumn, whether it be for a weeklong getaway or a weekend escapade for the whole family:

Celebrate the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico

Despite its macabre moniker, Day of the Dead is a colorful and festive holiday that honors the memory of fallen friends, family members and ancestors, and sends well wishes to the dead on their spiritual journey.

The tradition is inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The city of Oaxaca offers one of the biggest and liveliest editions in Mexico, with processions, marching bands, fireworks and lots of Mezcal. The Day of the Dead takes place October 31 to November 2.


Grape harvest in wine country, France

Wine lovers and Francophiles will want to consider delaying that long overdue holiday to France for mid-September, when the crowds have thinned, the temperatures have cooled slightly, and the grape harvest begins in Burgundy. If you’re more about drinking the grapes and not picking it, Paris throws its annual Fete des Vendanges harvest festival in October, when the Montmartre area transforms into a street festival lined with winemakers from across the country and food stalls that sell everything from fresh oysters to sizzling sausages and homemade nougat.

Olive harvest, Greece

It’s not just wine that can be described as liquid gold or divine nectar. If you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty for the chance to sample freshly pressed olive oil and snack on plump, rich olives, consider an olive harvesting trip in Crete or Kalamata (yes, that Kalamata). Visitors can help out with the harvest for a one-day or one-week part of their Hellenic holiday.

 
National parks, United States and Canada

For the best display of nature’s mood-shifting ways, bookmark a weekend away to a local national park, where the trees are singing their last swan song in hues of burnt orange, red and yellow. All national parks in Canada are free until the remainder of the year, to mark the country’s 150th birthday, while the crowds have thinned at major national parks in the U.S. following the summer rush.

Source - TheJakartaPost

Sunday, September 3, 2017

#Thailand - Three must-visit places in Chiang Rai


Situated in the northern part of Thailand, Chiang Rai slips under the radar of Indonesian tourists as the area is not as popular as its neighboring city Chiang Mai.

However, Chiang Rai actually offers one-of-a-kind attractions, varying from a majestic white temple to Akha tribe tradition, which cannot be found anywhere else.

Those wanting to know more about Chiang Rai may consult the list below:
Wat Rong Khun

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While other temples in Thailand are painted with gold, Wat Rong Khun, popularly known as the White Temple, displays white color and pieces of glass. The two architecture elements make the temple sparkling, making it among the must-visit places in Thailand.

The temple reportedly had been around for over 100 years. However, Thai visual artist Chalermchai Kositpipat rebuilt the temple in 1997, giving a touch of contemporary design.
Here, visitors can learn about Buddhist teachings, enjoy contemporary murals that feature modern characters, such as Superman and Doraemon, as well as write down their wishes on lucky leaves.


 Pha Mee village

Women of Akha hill tribe.

Located in Mae Sai district, Pha Mee village is home to the Akha hill tribe. In the past, the village was known as an opium producer and conflict area. However, with the help from the late King Rama IX, Pha Mee has transformed into a peaceful village.

During Asean Travel Journo Camp – a nine-day trip organized by Thai Journalists Association and Thai AirAsia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Association of Southeast Asian Nations – The Jakarta Post discovered that the tribe recently developed a community-based tourism program, allowing tourists to catch a glimpse of their daily lives through various activities.

By contacting local guides such as Local Alike or go to the Pha Mee directly, tourists can expect to learn about Akha hill tribe tradition, the village history, sample the local Arabica coffee or hop on the village’s giant swing.

Singha Park

 A picturesque oolong tea plantation at Singha Park.
 
Singha is recognized as a Thai beer producer. However, in Singha Park, visitors would not see brewery or the likes, but instead a picturesque oolong tea plantation.

Meanwhile, tucked inside the park, the Phu Phi Lom restaurant is ready to satisfy your taste buds with Northern Thai delicacies.

Source - TheJakartaPost

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Four #Indonesian diving destinations where you can spot manta rays


The manta ray is one of most-exotic marine creatures, capturing the heart of divers with its gentle, elegant ocean dance and gigantic flat shape.

Unlike the grey sting rays which always sit on the bottom of sea and have a poisonous tail, manta rays are harmless, playful and not afraid to approach divers.

As an archipelago with rich marine life, Indonesia is a sanctuary for manta rays. The country made an official statement in 2014 announcing it would protect the fish to attract tourists.

There are several areas where this giant fish can be seen in Indonesia, and here are those places.

Manta Point, Nusa Penida, Bali

Manta Point is the manta rays’ favorite cleaning station, a spot where the marine creatures can swim near the reef and let wrasses clean them from parasites. Often coming in groups, they swim very close to the surface and are even visible to snorkelers.

 
Unfortunately, the visibility in Manta Point isn’t really that good. On brighter days, you can clearly see them from afar, but most of the time visibility is only around 10-15 meters.

The spot can be reach by taking a local fishing boat from Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan island, or by arranging a trip with one of the diving operators on the Bali mainland.
Aside from manta rays, divers also have a chance to see mola mola fish between July and August here.

Karang Makassar, Komodo Islands, East Nusa Tenggara

Take a liveaboard, or make a long trip in a fishing boat to Karang Makassar, the manta ray diving spot of choice near the Komodo Islands, famous as the home of the rare giant lizard, the Komodo dragon. It is also known to have islets with scenic hills, and amazing coral and marine life, including Karang Makassar.

Aside from manta rays, divers can also spot colorful tropical fish such as bumphead parrotfish and eagle rays. Just be careful, as the current here is quite strong, so don’t stray too far from the boat.

Alor, East Nusa Tenggara

Dive Report said that any manta rays encountered by divers in Alor were purely by chance, although they might appear from mid March until mid January.

No worries though, as you have higher chance of encountering other exotic sea animals including a school of hammerhead sharks and even the rare mola mola fish. No wonder Alor is often referred to have a world-class diving site.

Manta Ridge, Raja Ampat, Papua

One of Indonesia’s hottest diving spots, Raja Ampat, in the easternmost province of Papua, lures avid divers and ocean lovers with its stunning landscape and rich marine life including giant sea creatures like manta rays, whalesharks and pristine coral reef.

The site consists of four islets: Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo, hence why it is named Raja Ampat (Four Kings).

Manta rays are sometimes visible in the surrounding area, but one has a higher chance to spotting them in the central region.

In a spot called ‘Manta Ridge’, you’re likely to see up to 30 mantas during your dive. 

Source - TheJakartaPost 

Friday, September 1, 2017

#Indonesia - Jepara regency offers new diving spot at Panjang Island.


If you’re still unsure on what to do over the long weekend, here’s a suggestion: Snorkeling or diving at Panjang Island, Jepara regency, Central Java.

This relatively new diving spot has the depth of 2.5 to 5 meters and houses plenty of fish species such as clown fish and kete kete.

To go there, tourists can travel by boat from Kartini Island. Diving equipments and tour guides are available on site.

 
“All of the tour guides have snorkeling certifications. We’ve also prepared special underwater cameras for tourists,” said Jogoloyou Jepara maritime and fisheries monitoring society (POKMASWAS) head, Mustain.

Visitors will also learn about the importance of preserving coral reefs at this place. The POKMASWAS community itself has been actively doing coral reefs transplantations and attachments since 2012.

Jepara regency has plenty of tourist attractions to explore such as Karimun Jawa and Ombak Mati beach in Bondo. The latter one is a rather unique place as the beach has no waves, hence the name ombak mati (dead waves).

As for accommodation, there are more than 1,200 places to stay in the Jepara province.
 Source - TheJakartaPost

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