Banthai Beach Resort, Patong Beach #Phuket

Banthai Beach 1

Situated along Patong Beach, Banthai Beach Resort & Spa boasts 3 outdoor pools and a deluxe spa. Rooms come with a private balcony and an interactive entertainment system.

Banthai Beach 2

Beach Resort Banthai is about 500 metres away from the Jungceylon Mall and nightlife district Bangla Road. Phuket International Airport is 25 km away.

Banthai Beach 3

The Thai-style rooms feature a TV, a safe and a minibar. Beach towels, a bathrobe and slippers are provided. Free toiletries and a bathtub can be found in the en suite bathroom.

Banthai Beach 4

Guests can work out at the fitness centre, or indulge in the cigar shop and nail salon at the shopping plaza. The Banthai offers a free shuttle service to Phuket Town.

Banthai Beach 5

Several restaurants at the shopping plaza offer a variety of cuisines, ranging from French to Mexican. Beverages and snacks can be enjoyed at bars, an Irish pub and a coffee shop.

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Angkor Wat, ‪#‎Cambodia‬

Ankor-wat

The large array of about 100 temples at Angkor were built
during the glory days of Cambodian (Khmer) power, from the 9th to the 15th centuries.

The term “Angkor Wat” is generally applied to the entire, incomparable Angkor site.
However, Angkor Wat itself, pictured above, is only the largest, best known, and most spectacular temple.
Gloriously preserved, Angkor Wat is a true marvel.

ankor

The Angkor Wat towers change color at sunset, captured in a video.
This image of three towers is on the Cambodian
flag, a symbol of both the country and the monument.

Angkor Wat was originally constructed to honor the Hindu god Vishnu at a time when the Hindu influence predominated.
Vishnu is still here, but wearing the robes of a Buddhist monk and looking like Buddha.
It’s fair to say that Angkor’s religious affiliation has evolved to match that of the Cambodian people.

The interior of Angkor Wat contains countless galleries of carvings, and these are also Hindu in origin.

From inside the temple compound, here are two Angkor Wat towers, which can partially be climbed.

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Emirates has announced four new weekly flights between Phuket and Dubai starting on December 1.

emirates fitghts

Emirates to launch additional Phuket flights

Emirates has announced four new weekly flights between Phuket and Dubai starting on December 1. Adding a capacity increase of 57 per cent, the four new flights will introduce connectivity from most cities in the Americas for the first time, as well as improve connections to a number of key destinations in Europe and the Middle East via one convenient stop in Dubai. “Since the launch of our flights to Phuket in 2012, the demand has increased dramatically. The fact that we are now adding a further four weekly flights highlights not only the desirability of the destination but also the wish of passengers to travel with Emirates,” noted Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.

Emirates

Seafood sensations

Cha-Am Beach in Phetchaburi adds spice to your life next month as it hosts the “Shell Eating, Bird Seeing and Squid Angling Festival” from September 12 to 19. A trip to Cha-Am during this popular seafood festival usually means chilling out at the beachside restaurants of your choice and breaking your diet with barbecued squid, spicy seafood soup, steamed red snapper and more. Check out the hotel booths for fancy menus and fusion food.

Connecting Kazakhstan

Bangkok Airways has entered into a new codeshare agreement with the Republic of Kazakhstan-based Air Astana, increasing its code share partners. The partnership is set to link Air Astana’s passengers with Thailand’s most renowned beach destinations and will seamlessly enable Air Astana passengers to connect with Samui, Phuket and Krabi. Air Astana customers travelling on Bangkok Airways will enjoy the boutique airline’s check-through service, lounge access and in-flight meal. All Air Astana’s passengers on Bangkok Airways flights will receive boarding passes on check-in at their first international departure point for connection with their destination.

Feeding the hungry ghosts

Thingkrajard Festival returns to Suphan Buri province from Monday through September 4. This annual festival, which draws on Chinese traditions, aims to feed the hungry ghosts and wandering spirits of the underworld. There’s nothing spooky about it though and thousands of visitors turn out every year to enjoy the colourful parade and Chinese cultural show.

Source: The Nation

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Restoration of the Erawan Shrine in #Bangkok to be completed on Sept 3

Erawan Shrine 25-8Restoration of the Erawan Shrine to be completed on Sept 3

VIDEO

The restoration of the Thao Maha Phrom statue at the Erawan Shrine will take nine days and will be completed on September 3, Fine Arts Department Deputy Director General Sahaphume Phumtharittirat said Wednesday.

Sahaphume led officials of the department to inspect the statue of the Hindu god of creation Lord Brahma at 10 am to get preparation for the restoration.

He said the statue was damaged at four spots – the chin, the necklace, the right index and right shin. The roof of the statue was also damaged.

The restoration would take about Bt70,000 from the Erawan Thao Maha Phrom Foundation.

A grand rite will be held on September 4 celebrate the restored statue, he added.

Source: The Nation

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Restore

Holiday in Cambodia’s Koh Kong

The narrowest area in Thailand is in the eastern-most province of Trat, about 315 kilometers from Bangkok. It is just 450 metres wide and borders Cambodia’s Koh Kong province – one of the popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. In this photo gallery, we capture beautiful coastlines, green forests and the local way of life on the rapidly developing Cambodian island.  

ตราด-เกาะกง

Koh Kong is the capital of Koh Kong Province in Cambodia. It is located near the mouth of the Kah Bpow river in Smach Mean Chey district on the Gulf of Thailand. The city lies only 10 kilometres from the Thai border. However, it is 138 kilometres by Highway 48 to National Highway 4 at Sre Ambel and a further 133 kilometres to Phnom Penh. After the completion of the bridges on the Highway 48 in 2007 – 2010 the terrestrial link to Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville has significantly improved.


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Source: BangkokPost
(Photos by Chanat Katanyu)

Royal Phuket Marina

Phuket Royal Marina 5

Royal Phuket Marina (RPM) is strategically located along the centre of Phuket’s eastern seaboard, on the doorstep of Thailand’s famous Phang Nga Bay. The marina is Thailand’s first world-class ‘luxury lifestyle marina’ and has been developed over 30 hectares (190 rai) of prime land, right next to Phuket Boat Lagoon in Koh Kaew.

With 350 berths for yachts of up to 35 metres long and 400 luxury waterfront villas, penthouses and condominiums, the marina ranks among Asia’s premier boating hubs.

It is Asia’s most sophisticated and high-tech yachting infrastructure and the island’s only marina with a boat lock, non-tidal deepwater basin and private moorings on the doorstep of residences.

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Phuket Royal Marina 2
Royal Phuket Marina Facilities

In what is completely new lifestyle concept in Phuket, more than half of the Royal Phuket Marina development is devoted to leisure and shopping facilities set amidst landscaped parks and gardens. The most prominent resort facilities include:

The Fisherman’s Wharf-style waterfront promenade, which is over 8 metres wide and over 250 metres long will feature up market restaurants, bars, boutiques, gourmet supermarket and specialty stores, SKIPPERS Sportsbar, Les Anges Boutique Bakery, Pearl Spa & Beauty, Kai Tak Interiors & Furnishings
A 5 star hotel, swimming pools, tennis courts and RPM Health & Fitness.
Exclusive private beach club on a nearby tropical island, linked by speedboat shuttle.

Phuket Royal Marina 3a

Royal Phuket Marina’s Royal Villas

The five Royal Villas, the most prestigious homes available in the Royal Phuket Marina, open onto sweeping views of the Mediterranean-style marina with its profusion of luxury yachts and boardwalks.

These grand residences which have been designed in classic Thai style, blend seamlessly with the resort-inspired surroundings of the marina. Expansive outdoor terraces come with a private swimming pool with built-in Jacuzzi at one end and at the other a traditional Thai-style sala which overlooks the private boat berth. You can simply walk from your home directly to your boat parked at your doorstep.

Phuket Royal Marina 3b

ROYAL PHUKET MARINA
68 Moo 2, Thepkrasattri Rd, Kohkaew, Phuket 83200
www.royalphuketmarina.com

Phuket Royal Marina 3

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Bt10 million in reward offered, #Bangkok

Flying 22

TIP-OFFS SOUGHT ON KEY SUSPECT; BLAST AIMED TO HURT ECONOMY: SOMYOT

THE authorities believe bomb blasts at the Erawan shrine and Sathorn Bridge in Bangkok this week were aimed at discrediting the military government, national police chief General Somyot Poompanmuang has said.

Yesterday, several bomb hoaxes were reported at various locations in the capital.

The National Police Office is now offering up to Bt3million for a tip-off leading to the arrest of the man suspected of planting the bomb at the Erawan Shrine on Monday evening.

This is in addition to a Bt2-million reward that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has offered, according to a Facebook post by his son, Panthongtae. Moreover, Panthongtae said his father would provide another Bt5million to officials who contribute to the arrest, if made.

National Council for Peace and Order spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvari, meanwhile, announced that several agencies believe the blasts were intended to seriously hurt the economy and tourism.

He said inquiries into the blasts were progressing. “But the authorities cannot release details at this point, as that may affect ongoing investigations,” he said.

A sketch of the suspected bomber at the Erawan Shrine was released on Wednesday but immigration officials have not spotted him at any checkpoint.

Monday’s blast killed 20 people and injured more than 100. The Sathorn Bridge blast did not cause any casualties as it exploded in water near the Chao Phraya River.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday urged the public to be eyes and ears for soldiers and police in a bid to ensure public safety and he called on people to quickly inform the authorities if they see anything suspicious.

However, he said people should not be fearful of the situation to the extent that they stay at home and do not spend money because that would hurt the economy. Several other countries had faced similar security situations or much worse but their people lived normal lives, he said.

“This is our home and country, so don’t allow outsiders to play an excessive role. We ought to chart our own future, but we also have to listen to outsiders’ voices,” he said.

The premier said foreign countries have offered to help the authorities such as the US, which has sophisticated technology that would help with the investigation, especially in terms of identifying a suspect captured on CCTV.

Meanwhile, police yesterday found a suspect package at Benjakiti Park on Ratchadaphisek Road next to Queen Sirikit Convention Centre. When the package was unwrapped, a brand-new rattan ball and sand were found inside, creating the impression it might have been a bomb and causing panic.

A suspicious bag was also found near the Metropolitan Police Bureau. Police said they would summon the taxi driver who left it there for questioning. The owner of the bag told police he accidentally left it in the cab.

Education Ministry permanent secretary Dr Kamjorn Tatiyakavee revealed that an unknown man phoned the ministry and claimed that something bad would happen there.

“Now, we have stepped up security at the ministry compound,” he said. “Someone might have wanted to spread a climate of fear.”

In related news, examination of CCTV footage has revealed a possible suspect in the Sathorn Bridge attack. Long-distance footage shows the potential suspect walking towards the pier under the bridge on Monday evening – the night before the attack – carrying a plastic bag that could have contained an explosive.

The man kicked the bag into the river around 7.30pm, about half an hour after the Erawan Shrine explosion. He wore a blue shirt and trousers and may not have intended to cause casualties as the bomb exploded in the water.

Police said the suspect could be Thai.

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#Bangkok blast: the Hindu shrine beloved by Buddhists now Reopend

Hindu shrine
Hindu shrine at Ratchaprasong Intersection.

The Bangkok shrine hit by a bomb blast Monday was originally built to appease superstitious construction workers and morphed into a popular attraction that typifies the kingdom’s unusual blend of Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

Few visitors who make their way to Bangkok’s main shopping mall district fail to notice the Erawan Shrine which sits at the foot of a luxury hotel on one of the city’s busiest intersections.

The smell of sandalwood incense and the jangle of temple music wafts above the din from the city’s gridlocked streets providing a welcome respite for both devotees and curious onlookers.

The shrine itself was erected in 1956 after a string of mishaps befell the construction of a government owned luxury hotel.

An astrologer recommended building a shrine to the four-faced Hindu god Brahma, known locally as Phra Phrom. Local legend states that once the shrine went up, the problems besetting workers stopped and devotees have flocked there ever since.

Such shrines are not unusual in Buddhist majority Thailand, a nation which has forged a syncretic relationship with animist and Hindu traditions.

Shrines to the Hindu gods Ganesha and Shiva can be found just a few hundred metres away from the Erawan while Thais have their own version of the Ramayana epic — the Ramakien.

In recent years Chinese devotees in particular have flocked to the shrine, fuelled by the belief that prayers and donations there will bring them good luck and fortune.

The fervour with which locals treat the shrine is so great that in 2006 a mentally ill man who attacked the statue of Brahma with a hammer was beaten to death by an angry mob.

The shrine has also been witness to key recent moments in Thailand’s febrile political history thanks to its location at the Ratchaprasong intersection.

The key crossing has been taken over by both sides of Thailand’s political divide at various times during recent street protests.

In 2010 much the intersection was the scene of a military crackdown against Red Shirt supporters loyal to ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

When the crackdown finished a large mall opposite the shrine was gutted by fire.

Five years on the shrine has once more been witness to violence in the capital.

Source: BangkokPost  

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Tourism an immediate casualty, #Thailand

khao-san-road-bei-tag
Tourism an immediate casualty, Thailand

Business leaders believe Monday night’s explosion at the Ratchaprasong intersection will hurt tourism but expect the overall negative effect on the economy will be more psychological and short term.

Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said tourism would be the sector hit hardest by the horrific blast at the Erawan Shrine, whose victims included Thais and foreign tourists alike.

“In the long term, we’ll have to wait and see what exactly the real impact on foreign investors will be,” he said.

However, the Thai-European Business Association (TEBA) thinks differently, saying the bomb has had only a minimal effect on foreign investors, with most of them still expressing confidence in Thailand’s fundamentals and investment atmosphere.

Check-in 19-8

The impact of Monday’s bombing at Ratchaprasong Intersection in Bangkok will be only short-term and the government will be able to control the situation, business leaders said yesterday.

They also reiterated their confidence that gross domestic product would grow by 2.5-3 per cent this year as the authorities have targeted.

Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said the deadly explosion would affect the confidence of investors and travellers. However, the seriousness of the impact on investors would depend on how the government managed this situation and prevented similar attacks in the near future.

He said the attack should not have an immediate effect on the economy but it would certainly affect short-term investment. He called for the government to communicate to the public clearly about the situation, as well as to both local and foreign media.

Prasarn Trairatvorakul, governor of the Bank of Thailand, said the bomb blast is unlikely to affect Thailand’s economic stability and financial sector as the numbers of financial institution branches near the Ratchaprasong Area that have closed down temporary are very limited.

“If the situation does not spread widely than it is unlikely to impact the economic stability,” he said.

“Most of the financial institutions are open for operation as normal while some of the ones that have branches near the affected have asked for permission to closed down temporary and they were allowed but their number is very small,” he added.

He explained that there will be some impact on the tourism industry but the full effect will have to be monitor later as the impact is not wide spread throughout the whole sector.

Kalin Sarasin, vice chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said private enterprises were confident the government could control this situation and the blow to tourist confidence would be temporary.

He said the TCC had been in touch with the chairman of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT), who said he “understood the situation and was confident that the government can handle the situation and end the problem very soon”.

Kalin also said that although this was a serious problem, Thais had shown good spirit in helping one another, which should create a good image for the country.

Saowanee Thairungroj, president of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the impact should not be prolonged and the economy should still be able to meet the university’s previous growth projection this year.

She added that the Cabinet reshuffle should help create confidence among businesspeople.

Tongurai Limpiti, deputy governor for financial institution stability at the Bank of Thailand, said tourism would be most affected by the incident, with some impact on the volatility of the stock market and the currency. However, these would be short-term impacts, so confidence is expected to resume quickly.

Commercial banks with branches near the Ratchaprasong bombing and in nearby shopping malls were in business as usual yesterday except TMB Bank, which closed its branch. Tongurai said the banks had business continuity plans they were able to execute in emergency situations.

Chartsiri Sophonpanich, president of Bangkok Bank, said the government would handle the situation well, so the bank was not seriously concerned as the incident would have limited impact.

Paiboon Ponsuwanna, adviser to the Thai National Shippers Council, agreed that the bombing should have only a short-term impact to the economy and investment.

However, he said some foreign buyers, especially from the United States, the European Union and Japan, had started to ask questions and express concern about the situation. Some may cancel their business trips planned for the third quarter for meetings or to order goods from Thailand for the upcoming festive season.

PTT president and chief executive officer Pailin Chuchottaworn said the actual impacts on the economy would depend on how the government came up with effective measures to revive confidence.

“Taking the case of Korea, which witnessed a 90-per-cent drop in tourist arrivals because of a disease outbreak, the tourism industry can recover fast,” he said.

Commerce Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya has instructed Thai trade representatives overseas to cooperate with Thai diplomats to explain the situation to foreign traders. He also insisted that international trade fairs planned for the remaining months of the year would go ahead.

Sinthu Peatrarut, managing director for media-client relations at Nielsen (Thailand), said the work of restoring foreign visitors’ confidence must be done as soon as possible. Domestic consumption would drop for a short period, hence retail business would be affected.

Foreign investors confident

Stanley Kang, chairman of the JFCCT, said the tragedy that had transpired was “deeply saddening” and his organisation, which covers 30 foreign chambers and business associations representing almost 9,000 companies, wanted to know the real reason behind the hideous attack.

“There is expected to be some short-term effect on the tourism sector but the chambers still have full confidence in Thailand’s potential and its future. We will continue to invest here, but we still want to know what really happened from the findings via official investigations before we can provide any further comment on its impact,” he said.

Thai European Business Association president Uli Kaiser said the initial impact, if any, from the “despicable act” on foreign investors would be minimal as the increased interest in the Kingdom and the Asean region since the beginning of the year was expected to continue.

“It is hard to comment on such a terrible act but overall, the impact on foreign investors is very little, and the surge of interest from European and American investors that I have talked to recently, especially in the automobile industry, is expected to continue,” he said.

Kaiser said international media had been blowing the Bangkok incident out of proportion. “If we are to compare the incident to other catastrophic events around the world, such as what happened in Tianjin, then the impact from what happened on investors’ confidence should be minimal.”

Leigh Scott-Kemmis, president of the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the obvious short-term impact from the bomb blast was reflected in the reaction of the country’s stock market as equity investors had taken a step back to see what actually happened. Meanwhile the impact on foreign investors’ interest in Thailand remained to be seen.

“Business activities here have been quite robust from the beginning of the year until now as Australian investors’ confidence has been rising from the increased political stability. But with no confirmation of the [motive for the attack], it is hard to see the real reaction from investors at this time,” he said.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) extends its condolences to the victims of the bomb attack that took place in the centre of Bangkok on Monday night.

David Scowsill, president & CEO, WTTC, said: “I am extremely saddened by the news of the bomb attack in the centre of Bangkok yesterday. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of all the victims of this incident.”

“It is highly regrettable that Thailand, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, has been the target of this violence. Fortunately Thailand has shown its resilience in the past from natural disasters and other disruptions, and we hope that the situation will stabilise and return to normal very quickly”.

According to WTTC reports Travel & Tourism generated over Bt2,345 billion ($US 72.2 billion) or 19.3 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2014. The sector supported over 5 million jobs, representing 14 per cent of total employment.

Thailand’s annual visitor exports, which is money spent by foreign travellers in the country, have more than doubled in the last decade, increasing from Bt629 billion (US$19.4 billion) in 2005 to Bt1,309 billion (US$40.3 billion) in 2014.

RSTA statement

The Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association (RSTA) yesterday released a statement expressing “deep regret to the families of those innocent people who were injured or lost their lives in Monday’s bomb attack close to the Erawan shrine at the Ratchaprasong intersection”.

The association is cooperating with police officers in its full attempt to provide useful information regarding the incident, so that the government can identify the bomber, or bombers, it said.

All shopping malls in the area – Gaysorn Shopping Centre, CentralWorld, Amarin Plaza and Arawan Bangkok – were open for business as usual yesterday.

Despite the powerful blast, the Erawan shrine itself was not damaged and will be open for the general public to pay homage to the victims from today.

In cooperation with all shopping-mall members, the RSTA said it was intensifying security measures in the area.

These include security checks of all vehicles at all building entrances/exits, no overnight parking allowed, and security searches of visitors at all building entrances/exits.

Twenty-four-hour walking patrols have also been deployed both on the Skywalk and all sidewalks, in addition to an increase of 25 per cent in the number of security personnel in the area.

The RSTA said it remained “highly confident that the authorities would be able to restore normal sentiment to the Ratchaprasong district very soon”.

Source: The Nation / BangkokPost

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Cambodian Khmer Apsara dancers

Apsara - Khmer dansers
Cambodian Khmer Apsara dancers

An Apsara (also spelled as Apsarasa) is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.

English translations of the word “Apsara” include “nymph,” “celestial nymph,” and “celestial maiden.”

Apsaras represent an important motif in the stone bas-reliefs of the Angkorian temples in Cambodia (8th–13th centuries AD), however all female images are not considered to be apsaras. In harmony with the Indian association of dance with apsaras, Khmer female figures that are dancing or are poised to dance are considered apsaras; female figures, depicted individually or in groups, who are standing still and facing forward in the manner of temple guardians or custodians are called devatas.

Angkor Wat, the largest Angkorian temple (built AD 1116–1150), features both apsaras and devata, however the devata type are the most numerous with more than 1,796 in the present research inventory. Angkor Wat architects employed small apsara images (30–40 cm as seen at left) as decorative motifs on pillars and walls. They incorporated larger devata images (all full-body portraits measuring approximately 95–110 cm) more prominently at every level of the temple from the entry pavilion to the tops of the high towers. In 1927, Sappho Marchal published a study cataloging the remarkable diversity of their hair, headdresses, garments, stance, jewelry and decorative flowers, which Marchal concluded were based on actual practices of the Angkor period. Some devata appear with arms around each other and seem to be greeting the viewer. “The devatas seem to epitomize all the elements of a refined elegance,” wrote Marchal.
Khmer classical dance
Khmer classical dance, the indigenous ballet-like performance art of Cambodia, is frequently called “Apsara Dance”.

Champa
Apsaras were also an important motif in the art of Champa, medieval Angkor’s neighbor to the east along the coast of what is now central Vietnam. Especially noteworthy are the depictions of apsaras in the Tra Kieu Style of Cham art, a style which flourished in the 10th and 11th centuries AD.

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