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.”

Head inland to enjoy Thailand

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https://www.nationthailand.com/blogs/lifestyle/travel/40024476

Head inland to enjoy Thailand

Head inland to enjoy Thailand

TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2023

What comes to mind if you are planning to visit Thailand? Beautiful sea views, island hopping, or Tom Yum soup? Why not leave those ideas behind and try something fresh, such as an inland tour to discover a different Thailand?

In the South Thailand province of Surat Thani, you will experience another side of Thailand. Granted the name from King Rama IV, Surat Thani means “city of the good people”. Most Chinese tourists are fascinated by the province’s islands, such as Koh Samui and Koh Tao.

Few have explored Thailand’s amazing inland, which includes one of the oldest evergreen rainforests in the world – Khao Sok National Park – or the magnificent Buddhist temples in the Khao Na Nai Luang Dharma Park, and boat trips along the rivers

For most travellers who arrive in Surat Thani by plane, the nearest site to explore will be the provincial centre. Located close to the sea, the provincial centre has countless small rivers connecting residences to the east Thailand Bay.

Taking a boat along the river, you can witness fishermen’s lives in the Bang Bai Mai community. Also known as “Nai Bang”, the community still lives in a simple way. In this area, hundreds of small canals flow into the Tapi river, which finally meets the ocean.

On a small wooden boat, you can see the mangrove nipa palm trees and coconut trees lined up on both sides of the canal. For animal lovers, the trip will provide a chance to closely observe local birds and water lizards.

Nipa palm trees are important to us. The leaves can be used for wrapping sweets or making brooms. It can be also processed to make desserts,” a boatman told us.

Every Sunday, the sightseeing boat can also take you to Bang Bai Mai Market – an old floating market in Surat Thani known for a wide selection of local dishes and Thai snacks such as Toddy Palm CakeBlack Coconut Sweet Pudding, and Mango Sticky Rice.

The market is surrounded by greenery and a canal, which makes it stand out from other markets in the city. While the market offers plenty of food stalls, it’s a good choice to try the deep-fried banana blossom and the Thai curry puff, each priced at about 30 Bhat ($0.89).

After exploring the market, visitors can drop by a nearby coffee shop with outdoor seating next to the canal. A local cafe named Korjak sitting at the riverbank is one of the most popular choices with a forestlike atmosphere due to its lush surroundings.

As some travellers may be interested in local coconut products, Suan Lung Song is on the recommended list. It is a knowledge centre where people can learn every aspect of coconut farming. They can also experience making cold-pressed coconut oil and soap.

Tourists kayak up the stream in Ban Nam Rat Watershed Forest where they can explore lagoons and admire the lush jungle. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)Tourists kayak up the stream in Ban Nam Rat Watershed Forest where they can explore lagoons and admire the lush jungle. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)

National Park

Surrounded by one of the oldest evergreen rainforests in the world, Khao Sok National Park will impress you with its huge limestone mountains, deep valleys, breathtaking lakes, exciting caves and wild animals.

Together with adjacent wildlife sanctuaries in Khlong SaengKhlong Yan and Khlong Naka, the combined area of the park is more than 3,500 square kilometres, making up an area more than half the size of Bali.

In the park, tourists can choose different ways to explore, such as personal elephant encounters, jungle trekking or canoeing. One of the most interesting areas is the beautiful Cheow Larn Lake in the heart of the national park, complete with floating raft houses and luxury tents.

On a limited budget, visitors have options to live in those small but cosy hotels or family stays at an acceptable price. It is convenient to book a tuk-tuk, the local motorcycle taxi, at the hotel to visit Cheow Larn Lake.

Among the Thai people, Cheow Larn Lake is famous for its landmark: three limestone peaks nicknamed mini Guilin. Guilin refers to the city in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, which is known for its karst landforms and limestone peaks.

For travellers who are willing to explore wildlife, Khao Sok is unmissable.

Thailand boasts some of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, and Khao Sok is one of them. Thanks to it being relatively unchanged over millions of years, Khao Sok has become a haven for a variety of birds, insects, reptiles and mammals.

According to the Khao Sok National Park’s official website, the park is home to 311 species of birds, 48 species of mammals, more than 30 species of bats, countless insects and reptiles, endangered tigers and an estimated 200 wild Asian elephants.

Moreover, there are around 200 species of plants per hectare in Khao Sok, with a combination of ginormous trees, trailing vines and exotic flowers. Some plants are unique to the rainforest. For example, the largest flower on Earth, rafflesia, can grow up to 90 centimetres in width.

The Khao Na Nai Luang Dharma Park consists a total of six pagodas in different shapes and colors from brick red to white and gold. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)The Khao Na Nai Luang Dharma Park consists a total of six pagodas in different shapes and colors from brick red to white and gold. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)

Jungle exploration

Nearby the Khao Sok National Park, there are two sites with jungle experiences. About 40 minutes by car from the Cheow Larn Lake, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Khao Na Nai Luang Dharma Park, especially in the early morning or evening with sunlight passing through the park’s front arch.

The Khao Na Nai Luang Dharma Park consists of a total of six pagodas in different shapes and colours from brick red to white and gold. The most impressive one to me is what local people called the “floating pagoda” with a small pond underneath it.

Both the pond and the pagoda are built on the top of a small mountain. Lotus and small fishes give the pond a sense of Zen. Religious text is written carefully in gold powder on the red bricks. Standing on the pagoda, an overhead view of the forest is an unforgettable moment.

After the soul baptism in the park, Ban Nam Rat Watershed Forest, which only takes 30 minutes by car, is a destination not to be missed. It offers crystal-clear waters of a flooded forest, consisting of a lake, various jungle canals and stunning lagoons.

“In the past, the forest used to be a small freshwater canal that looked like a peat swamp forest. This magical place, referred to as Khlong Rood by the locals, is a hidden gem and a true highlight of the region,” an officer from the forest ticket office said.

Limestone peaks stick out of the water in Cheow Larn Lake, which sits in the heart of Khao Sok National Park. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)Limestone peaks stick out of the water in Cheow Larn Lake, which sits in the heart of Khao Sok National Park. (YANG WANLI / CHINA DAILY)

The lake itself mirrors the various tree stumps and rocks that stick out of the surface, creating the illusion of no horizon. In the forest, visitors will see many species of plants, including water lilies, orchids and tropical pitcher plants.

You can kayak up the stream and explore breathtaking lagoons, surrounded by lush jungle greenery. You can have a fantastic end to the day by parking your kayak and taking a dip in the crystal-blue waters of the jungle among colourful fish.

China Daily

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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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https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/tourism/40024352

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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https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/tourism/40024304

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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https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/tourism/40024295

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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https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/tourism/40024293

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