#Philippines to rein in visitors to Boracay island, strained by tourism

The Philippines will limit the number of visitors setting foot on its
most treasured island resort each day when it reopens to tourists on
October 26 after a six-month rehabilitation effort, an environment
official said on Wednesday.
Boracay, located off the northern tip of the central island of Panay,
is famed for its sugary white sands, turquoise waters, lively nightlife
and abundant water sports, which attracted nearly 2 million domestic
and foreign visitors last year.
But in April, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of the
island, calling it a “cesspool”, because of sewage dumped into the sea
and buildings constructed too close to the shore.
About a third of the 600 to 700 resorts on Boracay, about 308 km (192
miles) from Manila, the capital, were operating without permits,
authorities found.
Just 19,000 tourists will be allowed on the island on any given day,
with the number of workers capped at 15,000 daily, the environment
official, Sherwin Rigor, said in a television interview.


 Only half of the island’s 12,000 existing hotel rooms will be allowed
to open each day, he added, to ensure the number of guests on the tiny
10-sq-km (4-sq-mile) island is below its “carrying capacity” of 55,000.
Rigor, who is an undersecretary at the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources, added that authorities would ban beachfront parties,
and activities such as eating, smoking and drinking there.
The closure of Boracay, which earns the Philippines more than a
billion dollars in tourism revenue every year, weighed on gross domestic
product in the second quarter. Growth slowed to a near three-year low
of 6 percent in April-June.
Source – TheJakartaPost



#Thailand – Conservation plan for hornbills


THE NATIONAL Parks, Wildlife, and Plant
Conservation Department announced yesterday that it would develop a
national plan for the management and conservation of hornbills.


 This plan would be in line with an
international action plan introduced yesterday for the critically
endangered helmeted hornbill.


A working group will be set up to develop the national plan, Pinsak Suraswadi, the department’s deputy director-general, said.

He said Thailand is committed to protecting the majestic bird’s habitat
as well as reducing trafficking and trade of the bright-billed bird. The
future plan will also focus on reintroduction programmes so hornbill
populations can be restored in natural habitats.

 The country also recognises the importance of research and training
while engaging all sectors, he said, and thus the Centre for Research
and Training of Hornbill Conservation will be created.
Pinsak also praised the international plan and lauded Thailand’s
decision to adopt…

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#Vietnam’s Golden Bridge among Time’s top 100 destinations this year


Just months after it opened to public, Vietnam’s amazing Golden Bridge continues to grab the world’s attention.

The Time magazine has listed it in its list of top 100 World’s Greatest Places for 2018.

Remarking on its architectural creativity, the magazine’s Julia Zorthian
notes: “The two massive stony hands emerging from the mountains of
central Vietnam may look mossy and cracked like ancient ruins, but don’t
be fooled: they’re brand-new wire mesh and fiberglass supports for a
striking footbridge that opened in June.”
Images of the two giant hands holding up the 150 meters long bridge at
Ba Na Hills near Da Nang have gone viral and many international media
outlets have remarked on the bridge, including AFP, Reuters and CNN.
Vu Viet Anh, Design Principal at TA Landscape Architecture that designed the pedestrian walkway, told Reuters that the bridge was designed to stimulate the…

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Thailand – Wastewater poisoning #Phuket canal


Residents near Mudong canal in Wichit,
Phuket, are calling for officials to stop wastewater flowing into the
canal and out to sea. Dead animals have been found floating on the


Yesterday (August 22) officials from the Environment Office Region 15 Phuket and others inspected the Mudong canal.
Residents said the water is black and has a bad smell all along the
canal. Dead shrimps, crabs and fish have been found floating on it.
The environment office’s Kanchit Sunthornkarn said: “At this stage we
have found that wastewater is coming from sewage produced by the
community. There are housing estates, restaurants and houses. 
“We have to control the wastewater problem from the original sources.
The law must be enforced by officers. We still don’t have the technology
to solve wastewater in the canal once it has made its way into the
canal system…

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#Vietnam trip among the easiest on the pocket


Vietnam trip 1

A leading Indian news site has introduced Vietnam as a “super cheap” travel destination for budget-conscious globetrotters.

Indian newspaper News Nation has picked Vietnam among the top five most affordable places to visit.

It highlights Da Lat city in the Central Highlands for its natural beauty and cool weather all year round. 

It notes that the Hang Nga Guesthouse, dubbed “the Crazy House” is highly recommended, with U.K. travel magazine Lonely Planet recognizing it as being among the 120 most breathtaking human constructions on earth.

Once forgotten, it has now emerged as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vietnam’s city of love, where visitors pay VND50,000 ($2.2) for an entrance ticket.

News Nation also tells its readers that Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi, has done well to retain some of the French cuisine from the colonial days. You can find “some great patisseries producing croissants,” the site…

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#Vietnam – Cat Ba Island


Vietnam - Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba is the biggest island in the world famous Ha Long Bay, so it is easy to understand why it is well known to most tourists who visit Vietnam.

This has helped add comforts and conveniences for the visitors. These days, in the heart of the island, Cat Ba Town, hotels and homestays are no longer an unknown development.

At the same time, nature lovers can breathe a sigh of relief because it is still several steps away from becoming an urban jungle. This is because almost half of Cat Ba and its adjacent waters belong to a national park established in 1986 to protect the island’s diverse ecosystem.

A few days of proximity to nature in Cat Ba, therefore, can comfortably rejuvenate you.

Vietnam - Cat Ba Island 2

There are several ways to reach Cat Ba from the capital city of Hanoi.

You can get a bus from Hanoi to Hai Phong and…

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On Thai Island #Phuket, hotel guests check out of plastic waste



For the millions of sun seekers who head to
Thailand’s resort island of Phuket each year in search of stunning beaches and clear waters, cutting down on waste may not be a top priority.

But the island’s hotel association is
hoping to change that with a series of initiatives aimed at reducing the
use of plastic, tackling the garbage that washes up on its shores, and
educating staff, local communities and tourists alike.
“Hotels unchecked are huge consumers and users of single-use
said Anthony Lark, president of the Phuket Hotels Association
and managing director of the Trisara resort.
“Every resort in Southeast Asia has a plastic problem. Until we all
make a change, it’s going to get worse and worse,”
he told the Thomson
Reuters Foundation.
Established in 2016 and with about 70 members – including…

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