New post on my trip to the famed opium-producing triple border of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. I visit all three in one wild day. Click here to read about it.
The Destination Luxury Awards are the brainchild of Destination Deluxe, a travel and wellness publication that picks and recognizes the top hotels, spas, treatment, skincare and wellness brands in the world. This is the inaugural edition for the awards.
There are 28 categories for the awards. The winners are chosen by a group of distinguished industry experts based on quality, transparency and originality. There are three ranked winners for each category.
Song Saa Private Island is the top awardee in the Eco-Hotel of the Year category. Soneva Fushi in Maldives and Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge in Nicaragua are also on the list.
The Khmer Tonic Spa in Shinta Mani Wild is number one in the Eco-Spa of the Year category. The others in the list are Fivelements Retreat Bali in Indonesia and FieldSpa GoldenEye in Jamaica.
Shinta Mani Wild itself is the runner-up in the New Hotel of the Year and Hotel Design of the Year awards.
“It is both an honour and very humbling that Bensley Collection-Shinta Mani Wild has been the recipient of ten awards in its first year of operation and a tribute to the GM and his team for their dedication, commitment and hard work on a daily basis,” Bill Bensley, the world-renowned designer behind Shinta Mani Wild, said.
“Shinta Mani Wild has an important eco and sustainability message, especially with our Wildlife Alliance partnership and their daily patrols to protect the forest and its inhabitants. These awards also bring much-needed awareness to the work we do in this regard,” he added.
The two Cambodian luxury destinations have reaped numerous international awards between them in recent years.
Shinta Mani Wild, which sits on 160 hectares of land between the Cardamon, Bokor and Kirirom national parks, said that it “provides the highest level of luxury while also working to protect the environment around it”. It opened two years ago.
Last year, it was included in the National Geographic Traveller (UK) Big Sleep Awards 2019, Time magazine’s “100 Greatest Destinations on Earth”, Condé Nast Traveller (UK) Hot List 2019, Harper’s Bazaar Ultimate Travel Guide 2019 (UK) : 100 Greatest Experiences in The World, among other recognitions. Located in Preah Sihanouk province, Song Saa Private Island is an ultra-exclusive and luxury getaway said to be frequented by some of the richest and most famous people in the world.
Last month, Luxury Travel Intelligence named it as among the “top 10 best luxury hotels built this decade”.
I stayed at km 35 and always felt comfortable but as soon as I ventured beyond Pakxong, the temperate spiked and it was really hot.
At that time of the year, many people can’t sleep because of the hot weather. Residents of large towns such as Vientiane and Pakxe have to use air conditioning to help them sleep.
But in Pakxong there is no need to use an artificial cooling device and Mother Nature will ensure you remain comfortable. The fresh air that surrounds you throughout the night will keep you refreshed so you don’t wake up feeling exhausted.
Some Thai visitors have been known to say they don’t need to go to Europe to enjoy a cool climate but can come to Pakxong district instead.
I don’t know if things are still the same in Pakxong because I haven’t been there for 15 years. But some people who have spent time in this beautiful area recently tell me that it’s as pleasing as ever.
The Bolaven Plateau runs through Champassak province’s Pakxong district, Saravan province’s Lao-ngam, and Xekong province’s Thataeng district, and boasts a wealth of scenic beauty.
Some of the most dramatic waterfalls in Champassak are Nheuang, Fan, Phasuam, Nong Luang and Champee Nang Sida.
There are also three more waterfalls of note in Saravan province, namely Lo, Hang and Xeset, and then there is the Sinouk Resort in Xekong province, which are all very popular with both local and foreign visitors.
The Bolaven Plateau is set to be developed as the country’s top agri-business and agri-tourism destination thanks to its year round temperate climate and picturesque landscape.
When visiting Champassak province over the past few years, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has advised officials to seek more investment from domestic and overseas sources so that the coffee industry can be further developed and other crops can be cultivated on the Bolaven Plateau and nearby.
From Vientiane, tourists can reach Champassak by either road or air transport. And thanks to shared borders with Thailand and Cambodia, there are close tourist links with both those countries.
The local food is another attraction, with a wide variety of dishes on offer that will satisfy all palates. Set a date for a visit soon!
Source – Vientiane Times
The Chi Lang Temple is currently being built by the lake as a spiritual
and cultural complex to cherish the historical values of Chi Lang.
indefinitely to allow the tourist-magnet some much-needed time to
recover, it’s time to look for another natural wonder.
is the Ang Thong National Marine Park, located about 40 kilometers north
west of the coast of Koh Samui. Some would argue it’s even more
spectacular and worthy of at least a full day visit.
Marine Park is made up of 42 islands spread over 102 square kilometers. Travelers will find beautiful beaches, limestone cliffs, caves, rock
formations and countless photo opportunities. Enjoy some views from the
Thani mainland or from Koh Samui by speedboat. There are slower
ferry-style boat trips as well but you’ll lose a lot of time travelling
there (usually for day trips) and the speedboats can get into much
Phaluai, the park’s biggest island, where there’s a popular stilted
restaurant in the island’s fishing village, serving a delicious seafood
famed for wildlife spotting and what might just be the most beautiful
viewpoint in the entire park.
the 2000 movie “The Beach,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed in
Koh Phi Phi’s Maya Bay in the Andaman Sea, the book by Alex Garland upon
which the film was based was actually set in Ang Thong in the Gulf of
THE closure of the glittering Thai bay made famous by the movie The Beach has been extended for another two years to allow a full recovery of its corals and wildlife, an official said on Thursday, drawing a sharp rebuke from the tourism industry.
Maya Bay, ringed by cliffs on Ko Phi Phi Ley island and surrounded by azure waters, was made famous when it featured in the 2000 film starring Leonardo Dicaprio.
It was shut last June by Thai authorities due to worries the white-sand paradise was suffering from the pressure of thousands of day-trippers arriving by boat.
Authorities had initially said the beach – a massive draw for Thailand’s more than 38 million tourists – was going to be closed for four months, but the re-opening was repeatedly postponed.
Thon Thamrongnawasawat, adviser to the Department of National Parks, on Thursday said the ban on visitors will be extended until mid-2021.
“The resolution of the Department of Parks yesterday [May 8] is to extend the closure of Maya Bay for another two years to allow its ecology to fully recover,” he said.
After it is reopened, measures such as limiting the number of daily visitors and banning boats from parking within the bay’s waters will be enacted, Thon said.
Before Maya Bay’s closure, up to 5,000 tourists visited daily, causing trees and smaller vegetation to be uprooted, creeping soil erosion, and severe damage to the corals in the bay.
A majority of the visitors were ferried there from tourist hotspot Krabi province by local longtail boatmen or tour operators who touted the movie-famous bay as a key attraction for day trips.
“Maya Bay is the heart of our tourism,” said Wattana Rerngsamut, chairman of Krabi Provincial Tourism Association which represents some 200 tourism and hotel operators.
Calling the two-year extension “unfair”, Wattana said the Department of National Parks should conduct public hearings so they can find “common ground . . . so that local people can earn a living”.
Chinese visitors, making up a quarter of Thailand’s tourists, have “plunged 50 per cent [in Krabi]”, he added.
Thailand experienced a three-month slowdown in tourism last year, most noticeably since July when a ferry sank and killed 47 Chinese visitors off nearby Phuket.
Since the tragedy, the government has rolled out inducements aimed at regaining trust and making travel easier – including exempting Chinese visitors from paying a visa-on-arrival fee.
Less than a year after its closure, blacktip reef sharks have been sighted swimming in Maya Bay, with conservationists saying their return signals signs of a recovery to the ecology.
Source – ThePhnomPenhPost