Petal power is drawing tourists to a field in Korat

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Petal power is drawing tourists to a field in Korat

Petal power is drawing tourists to a field in Korat

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 03, 2023

A field with 20 types of chrysanthemums approaching full bloom is drawing tourists to Nakhon Ratchasima’s Wang Nam Khiao district, local officials say.

The flowers spread over a six-rai field near Thai Samakkhi Subdistrict Administrative Organisation and more than 50% are in full bloom, they say.

Petal power is drawing tourists to a field in Korat

Misty mornings and cool weather are also drawing visitors to the field in the northeastern province, which is also known as Korat.

Petal power is drawing tourists to a field in Korat

Local officials are celebrating with a “Chrysanthemum Flowers in the Fog” festival that begins on February 5 and runs till the 25th. The entire field is expected to be in full bloom by Valentines’ Day, local officials say.

Petal power is drawing tourists to a field in Korat
Petal power is drawing tourists to a field in Korat

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Thailand ranks #1 outbound destination for Chinese travellers: Airbnb

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Thailand ranks #1 outbound destination for Chinese travellers: Airbnb

Thailand ranks #1 outbound destination for Chinese travellers: Airbnb

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 01, 2023

Within the country, Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Pattaya are the most searched for destinations by China guests on Airbnb.

Following the easing of China’s pandemic measures and the reopening of cross-border travel, Chinese travellers are once again planning overseas trips and Thailand is their #1 preferred destination based on guest searches.

Recent Airbnb data shows that within 24 hours of the government’s announcement on 26 December 2022 to lift inbound quarantine requirements, Thailand ranked as the top most searched outbound destination amongst guests from China on Airbnb.

Their top 10 most searched outbound destinations were:
01.Thailand
02. United States
03. United Kingdom
04. Japan
05. Australia
06. Canada
07. Korea
08. France
09. Malaysia
10. Italy

City and beach destinations remain popular choices for Chinese travellers, with Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Pattaya being the most searched Thai destinations on Airbnb.

Among the more than 60 Categories of unique stays launched by Airbnb last year, the number of guests searching for historical homes, domes, boat houses and camping tents has also risen rapidly, becoming the most anticipated searches by Chinese users in 2023.

Notably this Chinese New Year, Thailand emerged as one of the most popular destinations globally for nights booked by China guests on Airbnb, once again alongside the United States and Japan.

“After more than two years of travel restrictions, the desire for international travel amongst Chinese guests is at an all-time high. With Thailand being one of the most popular destinations globally, it is no surprise that Chinese travellers have ranked it top of their list of places to visit,” said Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb’s General Manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

He added, “It’s extremely encouraging to see this surge in international travel interest amongst guests from China on Airbnb. As Thailand’s international tourism recovery continues to rebound, we will continue working with our Host community and the Tourism Authority of Thailand in China to welcome travellers safely and with the iconic hospitality that Thailand is renowned for. We will also continue to spotlight and drive travel interest to off-the-beaten-track destinations, and spread the benefits of tourism to more local neighbourhoods and businesses towards supporting a more inclusive tourism recovery.”

Spectacular reservoir will remain a top spot to cool off during the hot season

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Spectacular reservoir will remain a top spot to cool off during the hot season

Spectacular reservoir will remain a top spot to cool off during the hot season

SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2023

The Royal Irrigation Department on Sunday assured local residents and tourists that a popular destination near Bangkok, the Bang Phra Reservoir in Chonburi, will not run dry during the hot season.

The massive reservoir set amidst forests and rolling hills will remain at full capacity so visitors can cool off during the hot season, said Prapit Chanma, director-general of the department. The hot season has already begun in eastern Thailand, he added.

The department has worked with the Provincial Waterworks Authority and the Eastern Water Resources Development and Management agency to refill the reservoir in Si Racha district to its full capacity, Prapit said.

A number of large tourist facilities and industrial estates depend on water from the reservoir. As a result, the department has been working closely with its two partner agencies to maintain the reservoir’s level to ensure visitors can continue to use it.

After its level dropped to 112 million cubic metres in early October, the three agencies joined forces to begin diverting water into the reservoir from the Chayanuchit Canal and Bang Pakong River on November 1. It has recently been back to its full capacity, the department chief added.

“The Royal Irrigation Department would like to assure Chonburi residents that they will have plenty of water for use during the dry season. The Bang Phra Reservoir is full,” Prapit said.

The department expropriated land around the reservoir in 1972. It was built in 1975 and can hold 117 million cubic metres of water.

Spectacular reservoir will remain a top spot to cool off during the hot seasonAs the area around the reservoir became more fertile, it drew more wildlife, including deer, civets, slow lorises, and fishing cats. More than 130 species of birds now live in the area.

The reservoir rises as much as 35 metres above sea level. Its vast size, green embankments and surrounding hills provide spectacular views. The site is only an hour-and-a-half drive from Bangkok, making it a popular day trip for the capital’s residents. Many local residents visit daily for jogging, swimming and relaxation.

Chiang Mai elephant camp eagerly awaits return of Chinese tourists

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Chiang Mai elephant camp eagerly awaits return of Chinese tourists

Chiang Mai elephant camp eagerly awaits return of Chinese tourists

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2023

An elephant camp business in the northern city of Chiang Mai province is placing its hopes on the return of Chinese tourists to Thailand.

Wassana Thongsuk, an executive of Mae Taeng Elephant Park and Clinic in Chiang Mai’s Mae Taeng district, said on Thursday that her business had started to hire new employees after having had to lay off many staff during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

With the imminent return of Chinese tourists this year, Mae Taeng Elephant Park is looking for new staff to meet an expected increase in visitors, Wassana said.

She added that the elephants who were sent back to their owners during the Covid-19 crisis would be called back to cope with increased demand.

Chiang Mai elephant camp eagerly awaits return of Chinese tourists

Chinese tourists accounted for as much as 80% of the elephant camp’s visitors before Covid-19 severely struck the Thai tourism industry in 2020, she said.

“The return of Chinese tourists will be good news for us. We are waiting for their return,” she said.

Wassana said that her elephant camp has received many tourists from Europe, Asia, and the United States after Thailand started to fully reopen to foreign visitors last year, but their numbers were still limited.

“The incomes [from those tourists] are still insufficient to keep the business running at full capacity. We still need tourists from China to get enough revenue to feed the elephants,” she said.

The expenditure on each elephant at the camp is 1,000 baht per day, or 30,000 baht per month, for food, medicines and other needs, she said.

She expected the country’s tourism situation to improve this year, although it would not be as good as the pre-Covid period.

Chiang Mai elephant camp eagerly awaits return of Chinese tourists
Chiang Mai elephant camp eagerly awaits return of Chinese tourists

After tough few months, luxury hotel staff end 2022 on high note

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After tough few months, luxury hotel staff end 2022 on high note

After tough few months, luxury hotel staff end 2022 on high note

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2023

Luxury hotel JW Marriott Phuket was the biggest gainer in the year-end celebrations, earning total service charges of 79,980 baht, making it number one in Thailand, according to a Facebook page.

The hotel was followed by Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Chiang Rai, whose staff earned 65,939 baht in service charges, and Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui with 64,520 baht.

The staff at many five-star hotels received on average 30,000-50,000 baht per person and some hotels added extra bonuses for their services during the high season.

The high earnings at the year-end have made more people eager to get jobs at luxury hotels.

Staff at Anantara Layan Phuket Resort earned service charges of 58,480 baht, while both Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas and Avani Plus Mai Khao Phuket Suites earned 57,150 baht.

According to Hotel Service Charge Update Facebook page, many five-star hotel staff had high earnings during the year-end.

Many people congratulated the staff in the comments section, as many of them had to face hardships during the Covid-19 pandemic when hotels had to remain closed or had very little business, leading to pay cuts and retrenchment.

Many hotels rewarded the staff for their efforts during the high season. Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket paid 32,325 baht to each of its staff, while KatathaniThe Shore and The Sea Galleri both paid 34,470 baht per staffer.

Amanpuri Phuket and Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort paid 50,253 baht and 35,852 baht, respectively.

Banyan Tree Krabi paid 46,729.88 baht to each of its staff, while Devasom in Prachuap Khiri Khan province paid 31,375.35 baht.

In Chiang Rai province, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort paid each staffer 40,774 baht.

In Bangkok, Park HyattNovotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam and Mandarin Oriental paid 35,375 baht, 32,700 baht and 30,000 baht, respectively. Carlton Bangkok paid each staffer 26,547 baht plus one and a half months’ bonus.

Russian visitors and furry natives chill out in Yasothon

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Russian visitors and furry natives chill out in Yasothon

Russian visitors and furry natives chill out in Yasothon

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2023

Thailand’s chilly temperatures have brought thousands of wild ducks to a Yasothon reservoir after their 5,000-kilometre journey from Siberia.

Lam Thuan Reservoir in Muang district provided a treat for birdwatchers on Wednesday as the migrating flock basked in the cold 13C sunshine of the northeastern province.

Yasothon has declared the reservoir a no-hunting zone to protect the ducks and other wild birds that have migrated from the frozen Siberian tundra in Russia.

Wild ducks arrive in large flocks on Yasothon waterways around this time of year to spend the winter fattening up in Thailand. They fly back north during the summer months when temperatures in the Land of Smiles are too high for them to mate and lay their eggs.

Russian visitors and furry natives chill out in Yasothon

The plummeting mercury in Yasothon has also brought macaques out in force.

About 1,000 of the creatures flocked to a spot in front of the Pu Ta Shrine in Pa Tio district to bathe in the warming rays of the sun on Wednesday.

Tourists visiting the shrine panned their cameras around to catch the sight of monkey families sunbathing and parents grooming the fur of their young.

Russian visitors and furry natives chill out in Yasothon

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Cabinet approves 5th phase of tourism subsidy scheme

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Cabinet approves 5th phase of tourism subsidy scheme

Cabinet approves 5th phase of tourism subsidy scheme

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2023

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the fifth phase of the tourism subsidy scheme with a budget of 2.016 billion baht, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after the weekly Cabinet meeting, Phiphat said the Cabinet had approved the fifth phase of the Rao Thiew Duay Kan (We Travel Together) scheme as well the budget for the subsidy.

Phiphat said the government expected to allow Thai tourists to register for the subsidy from next month. The ministry forecast that the subsidy rights would be grabbed by some 112,000 people and the programme would generate a tourism revenue of 12.539 billion baht.Cabinet approves 5th phase of tourism subsidy scheme

He said the fifth phase of Rao Thiew Duay Kan will have the following conditions:

■ The government will subsidise 40% of room rates with a maximum 3,600 baht subsidy per room per night. A total of 560,000 subsidy rights will be available.

■ Each tourist can receive no more than five room subsidy rights.

■ Each subsidy right will include a cash voucher of 600 baht for buying foods or services.

■ The government will not subsidise airfare as in the previous phases of the scheme.

Phiphat said the ministry had yet to consult Krung Thai Bank on how to prepare the Pao Tang app’s system to accommodate the latest phase of the programme.

The minister added that the Cabinet also had approved a budget of 1.93 billion baht for other tourism promotion measures.

Cabinet approves 5th phase of tourism subsidy schemeHe said 518 million baht from the budget would be used to promote tourism among foreign markets and 582 million baht would be spent to stimulate tourism in the country.

Another 445 million baht would be spent for producing merchandises or holding activities to promote tourism, and 385 million baht would be a PR budget, Phiphat said.

Chachoengsao temple opens glass bridge above sea as new attraction

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Chachoengsao temple opens glass bridge above sea as new attraction

Chachoengsao temple opens glass bridge above sea as new attraction

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2023

Wat Hong Thong, a popular tourist destination in Chachoengsao province, has opened a glass bridge high above the sea expecting it to serve as a magnet for tourists.

The temple announced on its Facebook page on Sunday that the glass skywalk, which it calls “sea walk”, is now ready to be visited by tourists.

Wat Hong Thong is a well-known temple with a chapel and a three-storey chedi building surrounded by the sea.

Phra Palad Watchara Panyawachiro, abbot of the temple, said Wat Hong Thong built the glass bridge above the sea to install a large Buddha image 2.50 metres wide base and 4.70 metres tall.Chachoengsao temple opens glass bridge above sea as new attraction

The Buddha image will be placed on its base at the end of the glass bridge on February 15, but the temple is already allowing tourists to walk on the glass bridge to enjoy a view of the sea.

The sea walk will be officially opened to tourists in April the abbot added.

The bridge can accommodate about 200 tourists at a time. It is 40 metres long and three metres wide. It is made of 240 large pieces of glass in three layers, each layer 10mm thick.Chachoengsao temple opens glass bridge above sea as new attraction

The temple initially had 22 rai (3.52 hectares) of land, on which the chapel and chedi building stood, but most of the land was claimed by the sea, leaving only 8 rai of dry land. The chapel and the chedi were surrounded by sea water and became a magnet for tourists.Chachoengsao temple opens glass bridge above sea as new attraction

Clad in kimonos, Thai women savour the Japan experience among Loei’s ‘Thai Sakura’ trees

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Clad in kimonos, Thai women savour the Japan experience among Loei’s ‘Thai Sakura’ trees

Clad in kimonos, Thai women savour the Japan experience among Loei’s ‘Thai Sakura’ trees

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2023

A large number of female tourists are visiting Phu Lom Lo or the “pink mountain” in Loei province to pose for photos with “Thai Sakura” trees for a virtual experience of Japan.

The trip has become popular among Thai women, who carry their own kimonos.

At this time of the year, the Phu Lom Lo mountain in Tambon Kok Sathon of Loei’s Dan Sai district turns pink with the lush blossoms of the Himalayan cherry trees, known among Thais as “Thai Sakura” trees.

There are over 100,000 Himalayan cherry trees spread over 1,200 rai (192 hectares) of land on the mountain, which is part of the Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park, according to the park office.Clad in kimonos, Thai women savour the Japan experience among Loei’s ‘Thai Sakura’ trees

A woman, who was visiting the mountaintop on Monday with several friends from Phetchabun province, told The Nation that each of them had prepared two kimono dresses to pose for photos with the blooming Thai Sakura flowers.

She said she and her friends enjoyed the cool weather and they did not have to travel far to Japan to pose for photos with Sakura flowers.

Some women also dressed in Hanbok Korean traditional costume.

Phu Lom Lo mountain rises about 1,542 metres above the median sea level.

Clad in kimonos, Thai women savour the Japan experience among Loei’s ‘Thai Sakura’ treesTourists must park their vehicles at the tourist service centre in Tambon Kok Sathoin and must travel to the mountaintop by using one of nearly 100 SUVs provided by local people at the rate of 150 baht per person.Clad in kimonos, Thai women savour the Japan experience among Loei’s ‘Thai Sakura’ trees

Tourism gateway to Thailand’s largest lake opens in June

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Tourism gateway to Thailand’s largest lake opens in June

Tourism gateway to Thailand’s largest lake opens in June

MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2023

A 10-kilometre scenic road bounding Thailand’s largest natural lake will open in June to draw more tourists to Songkhla province and reduce holiday traffic jams, the Rural Roads Department said Monday.

Construction of the 10.655-km long two-lane road along Songkhla Lake in Krasae Sin district is 70% complete and scheduled to finish in June.

The Sor Khor 4009 rural road starts from kilometre marker 0 in Ranode district and runs along the northeastern shore of Songkhla Lake to the intersection with Highway No 4083 in Ban Krasae Sin village at kilometre marker 10.

The road, which is 7 metres wide and will carry traffic in both directions, is being constructed with a budget of 124 million baht.

Tourism gateway to Thailand’s largest lake opens in JuneThe department said it will supplement the existing road network in the southern province and promote tourism on one side of the 1,040-square-kilometre Songkhla Lake.

The road is part of Cabinet’s Thailand Riviera project to promote tourism on the western coast of the Kingdom, it added.