Cambodia – Tourism feels shifting axis

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While Vietnamese visitors continued to top the list of international tourist arrivals to Cambodia in 2016, their numbers dipped as the number of Chinese tourists continued to surge and looks set to take the top notch this year, according to newly released Tourism Ministry annual figures.

The data showed total tourist arrivals from Vietnam fell 3 percent to 950,000 last year, while Chinese arrivals surged 19 percent to 830,000 over the same period.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), expressed confidence that China would soon overtake Vietnam as the main source of the Kingdom’s tourists.

“Following the strengthening of the relationship between Cambodia and China and the government’s strategy to promote more Chinese tourist arrivals, China will soon be the leader for tourism visits in Cambodia,” she said yesterday.

Sivlin noted that the Ministry of Tourism still needs to increase the number of direct flights to the Kingdom in order to reach the country’s target of welcoming 7 million tourists by 2020, including 2 million Chinese visitors.

“Compared to neighboring countries, the number of international arrivals is still small because the shortage of direct flights is limiting international arrivals,” she said. “The government needs to speed up the process of approving direct flights to reach its tourism goals.”

According to the Ministry of Tourism, total tourist arrivals topped 5 million in 2016, from 4.8 million a year earlier, while total revenue from tourism decreased to $3 billion in 2016, from $3.5 billion in 2015.

Sivlin said one reason for the decline in tourism revenue was a failure to recognise the changes in tourist demographics. She pointed to the high number of souvenir products sold in the country imported from China, Vietnam and Thailand, which were difficult to sell when many tourists came from those same countries.

“We sell souvenir products that are not produced locally, and this is not attractive to international visitors when they know it is from their country,” she said.

Ang Kim Eang, general manager of Great Angkor Tours, said the marginal decline in Vietnamese arrivals had no significant impact on the tourism sector as most Vietnamese visitors arrive by bus and do not spend large sums of money. On the other hand, the higher number of Chinese tourists was good news for Cambodia as they tend to be more prolific spenders.

“Chinese tourism offers great potential for the local tourism sector because they like to spend a lot on entertainment services,” he said.

And with China’s outbound tourists topping 122 million last year, far more than the entire population of Vietnam, government initiatives to attract a larger share to Cambodia are hardly surprising.

“Chinese tourists are one of the main targets for promoting the Cambodian economy,” Eang said.

Source: PhnomPenhPost

We take you to the Pearls of the Orient

CAMBODIA Siem Reap – Here you will find influences of French colonial and Chinese architecture. With the Tuk Tuk service to the ancient city of Angkor Thom, to visit Angkor Ta Prohm, one of the famous temples of Cambodia. In the afternoon with a Jeep to the Angkor Wat Temple. MYANMAR Mandalay – After arriving…

via Pearls of the Orient — NEWS & TRAVEL GURU MAGAZINE

An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas, Vietnam

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An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas 1

Featuring luxurious villas with private pools, An Lam Ninh Van Bay offers peaceful stays in rolling green landscapes overlooking Ninh Van Bay. It features an infinity pool, full spa facilities and fine dining.

An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas 2

Opening out to stunning sea views, tastefully furnished villas feature a flat-screen cable TV, iPod dock and coffee machine. Other comforts include semi-outdoor bath areas and rain showers.

Guests can start the day with a lesson at the yoga platform before exercising at the gym. For convenience, the hotel provides free Wi-Fi, business and tour services.

Featuring an outdoor terrace, the restaurant serves seafood specialties and Vietnamese dishes. In-villa dining with a private chef can be arranged.

An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas 5

An Lam Ninh Van Bay is 16.1 km from Nha Trang’s city center. The property offers airport shuttle service.

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Battambang Resort, Wat Kor Village, Battambang, Cambodia

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Battambang Resort 2

Battambang Resort is located in Wat Kor Village, 4 km from Psar Nat shopping area, Battambang Resort features bright and modern rooms with free Wi-Fi and views of a garden or lake. Home to an outdoor pool, restaurant and bar the resort is surrounded by rice fields and provides free private parking.

Battambang Resort 1

A 10-minute drive from Battambang Resort is Wat Kor Pagoda. The Hotel is 4 km from Battambang Railway Station and Battambang Town.

Battambang Resort 3

Each air-conditioned room is also equipped with a fan. All rooms have a telephone, hairdryer and fridge. Some rooms include a tea/coffee making facility.

Battambang Resort 4

Battambang Resort has a 24-hour front desk. Tour, ticketing and laundry services are available.

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Daily breakfast is served at the resort’s restaurant, which features Asian and Western dishes. Choose from a selection of wine and local beer at the bar. Room service is also available.

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Baumanburi Hotel, Patong Phuket

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Baumanburi Hotel 1

One of the top picks in Patong Beach. Baumanburi Hotel offers luxury rooms with a spacious design, just a 5-minute walk from Patong Beach. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, a spa and a fitness centre. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby.

Baumanburi Hotel 2

Baumanburi is a 5-minute walk from Jungceylon Shopping Mall, and a short walk away from other shopping and entertainment options at Patong Town. Phuket International Airport is 45 km away.

Baumanburi Hotel 3

Rooms are air-conditioned and feature cable TV, a minibar and a tea/coffee maker. A curtained window separates each bedroom from its bathroom. Some rooms come with a private balcony.

Baumanburi Hotel 4

Guests at Hotel Baumanburi can unwind with a massage or in the sauna, or they can get active with a game of table tennis. Travel arrangements can be made at the tour desk.

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Baumanburi Hotel’s restaurant Siam Flavours, which opens from 06:00-23:30 hrs specialises in local, Chinese and international dishes. The pool bar serves a wide range of beverages. Socialise and recharge after a workout at Lobby Cafe, opens till 23:30 hr. Room service is also available.

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The seven best waterparks across Thailand to escape the heat

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Vana Nava - Hua Hin

The seven best waterparks across Thailand to escape the heat.

When the sun moves out of Pisces in April, the heat starts to get serious. Temperatures rise to 40 degrees Celsius and beyond and drain us of all our energy. Some of us are lucky enough to live within walking distance of the country’s best beaches, others cycle to the nearby waterfalls and cascades to take a break from the heat. But for those of us who are stuck in the urban jungle, the choices tend to be staying cooped in an air-conditioned room or making tracks out of town to the nearest waterpark.

This week, we look at the seven best waterparks at which to chill.

SCENICAL WORLD KHAO YAI, NAKHON RATCHASIMA

Tucked away in Pak Chong district, a popular destination with Bangkok’s get-out-of-towners, Scenical World Khao Yai is a new kid on the block. A heady combination of amusement park, shopping mall and hotel, it’s also home to Splash World, where you can experience the water in a variety of playful and adventurous ways. In pride of place is the Splash Coaster where you sweep down, twist, turn and climb on a thrilling run of 180 metres. The brave can get their adrenaline kicks by whizzing along the circular slide at high speed before plunging into the Space Bowl.

Scenical World - Khao Yai -

CARTOON NETWORK AMAZONE, PATTAYA

Leave it up to the kids and they’ll probably choose to spend every single day of the long school holidays at Cartoon Network Amazone in Pattaya. Here, at the world’s first Cartoon Network theme park, the young and not-so-young can have fun with much-loved characters such as Ben Ten and the Powerpuff girls. The most popular rides include the Omniverse, which is as high as an eight-storey building and home to six of the fastest and steepest water roller coasters, and the gravity-defying Goop Loop roller coaster where you clamber into an enclosed capsule to drop into a 12-metre free-fall that generates maximum G-force. The XLR8TOR is the park’s tallest and steepest ride, drawing its inspiration from Ben Ten’s lightning-quick reflexes and ability to reach speeds in excess of 480kph.

SIAM PARK CITY, BANGKOK

Billed as the “Beach of Bangkok”, Siam Park City is Bangkok’s very first waterpark and was built almost 40 years ago. Michael Jackson came to Siam Park to enjoy the water during his 1993 Dangerous World Tour, and the waterpark is still worth a day trip especially during the hot season. As well as the slide – which in 1970 held the world’s record for the highest at 75 feet – there is an inland sandy beach and a sea with giant waves right in downtown Bangkok.

VANA NAVA HUA HIN WATER JUNGLE, PRACHUAB KIRI KHAN

Thailand’s best waterpark is located in Hua Hin – the country’s leading beach holiday destination.

Vana Nava is built to mimic a tropical lagoon with palm trees and rock pools spread over 3.2 acres. As well as Boomerango, Thailand’s longest water slide, this waterpark also has the Abass – the largest ride of its kind, which soars to a height of 28 metres then keeps your spinning at 45kph before plummeting and splashing down into a pool.

FLOW HOUSE, BANGKOK

A different style of waterpark from the usual slides and rides, Flow House targets the urban dude and wannabe surfer. With artificial waves and water runners, the fun is real as thrill seekers dare to ride the waves and spin their boards. It’s a place to see and be seen and occasionally transforms into a party scene with DJs where a dude can roam around and show off this tattoos. Make sure you book in advance if you want to ride the waves as the surf house is always packed.

SANTORINI WATER FANTASY, PHETCHABURI

Inspired by the blue-and-white tones of Santorini Island in the Aegean Sea, this water park is an excellent choice if you want to avoid the queues at Vana Nava. The Vulcan’s Kamikaze ride from 18 metres might sound scary but it’s addictive. For a bigger adrenaline rush, try the park’s signature Ares’s King Cobra slide that keeps you running over 78 metres from the tail to the head of the snake-like ride.

Santorini Water Fantasy, Phetchaburi,

SPLASH DOWN, PATTAYA

While many amusement parks lay the claim for the “biggest, longest, fastest” accolade, Splash Down takes the form of a lake filled with inflatables designed to hurl thrill seekers into the sky and, of course, into the water. These include the Big Blob, where you jump and see how far you can fly and Big Red Balls that demand you bounce your way across eight, big ball without falling into the pool. Designed for adult and teenagers, this isn’t a place for the little ones.

Scenical World  - Khao Yai 2

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SONGKRAN, (Water Festival) Thais New Year

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SONGKRAN, (Water Festival) Thais New Year

Songkran 2016

Khao San Songkran shortened to 2 days to save water

Khao San Road is one of the most popular places in the city to water fight for Songkran. It has amongst the biggest, and wildest, crowds. But this year the party in the backpacker district will be shortened to just two days due to the worst water shortages in 20 years and government requests to save water.

Khao San Songkran will take place on April 13 and 14, between Banglampoo intersection and Kokwua junction from the morning of the 13th until 9pm each evening, according to Pol. Col. Rangsarn Praditapohn, superintendent of the Chanasongkram police station.

Songkran on Khao San is beloved for many reasons but one of them is the joy of seeing locals and tourists playing together with abandon. The shortened celebration means less of that but it’s also a hardship for many of the vendors who depend on making a lot of money during what is usually a three-day event on Khao San.

Piyabutr Jiuramonaikul, president of the Khao San Business Council, said that business owners of Khao San are pleased by the two-day celebration limit. He expects that tourists will use water guns but hopes that people won’t use talcum powder or show too much skin.

In response to the initiative to keep the water festival alcohol-free, he doesn’t expect the authorities to have much luck, especially trying to enforce the initiative on foreign tourists.

Alcohol is a big part of the modern Songkran celebration, and Khao San is one of the locations where people can imbibe heavily. Piyabutr thought that they may be able to cut consumption by 10 percent this year and maybe another 10 percent the following year. He doesn’t expect that they can remove alcohol completely from the celebration.

To keep the area safe, over 150 CCTV cameras will be recording and nine new security gates to keep weapons or alcohol from being brought into the closed streets. 300 police officers will also be patrolling the area 24-hours a day for the two-day celebration, according to Thai PBS.

Source: Coconuts

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Chaolao Tosang Beach Hotel, Chanthaburi Thailand

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Tosang 1

A Resort-style Hotel on Chaolao Beach, Chaolao Tosang Beach Hotel is just 5 minutes’ drive from Kung Kraben Aquarium. It features an outdoor pool, a seafood restaurant, and free Wi-Fi.

Tosang 2

Chaolao Tosang Beach Hotel is a 20-minute drive from Oasis Seaworld. Suvarnabhumi International Airport is a 3-hour drive away.

Tosang 3

Featuring bright colours, the air-conditioned rooms come with a TV, a fridge, and a private bathroom. Some rooms have private balconies, while some have sea views.

Tosang 4

Guests can relax with a Thai massage, or simply enjoy the beach. The hotel provides rentals of kayaks, bicycles, and safety deposit boxes. Laundry services can be arranged at the 24-hour front desk.

Tosang 5

Specialising in fresh seafood, Tosang Seafood Restaurant also serves Thai, Chinese, and Western dishes.

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Hotel Nikko Saigon, Vietnam

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Hotel Nikko, Saigon 1

This 5-star property features a full-service spa, an outdoor pool and fitness facilities. Situated beside Now Zone Shopping Mall, its modern rooms have a cable flat-screen TV and bathroom.

Hotel Nikko, Saigon 2

Offering city views from over-sized windows, the spacious rooms feature warm lighting and calming earth tones. They have a tea/coffee maker, a minibar and free Wi-Fi.

Hotel Nikko, Saigon 3

Guests can take a dip in the hot tub or relax with a soothing spa massage. Nikko Hotel Saigon also has a business centre, concierge services and a souvenir shop.

Hotel Nikko, Saigon 5

Hotel Nikko, Saigon 6

Hotel Nikko Saigon is a 10-minute drive from Saigon Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Reunification Palace. It is a 20-minute drive from Tan Son Nhat International Airport and has free parking.

Hotel Nikko, Saigon 7

Outdoor Pool

Hotel Nikko, Saigon 8

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Beautiful places in Thailand hotels where you want to have sex in.

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The outdoor bedroom above Bang Krachao at Bangkok Tree House

Amazing places for a romantic date

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Four Seasons, Chiang Rai

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The round beds at Le Meridien on Surawong Road, Bangkok

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The glass bedroom at Sri Panwa, Phuket

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The swinging basket daybeds at Keemala, Phuket

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Totally private Sala Villa at Sala, Phuket

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The open-air treatment area at The Barai, Hua Hin

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The Oriental mega-bed at Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, Royal Suite

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The bathroom at the Pool Villa Courtyard suite at The Siam, Bangkok

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The open-air Jacuzzi tub with views until forever at Santhiya, Koh Yao Yai

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Source: BK Asia City
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