Grand Millennium (5 Star) Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Situate opposite Fahrenheit, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur is located along Bintang Walk beside Pavilion Shopping Mall. Offering free WiFi access, it also has a health club with a spa, air-conditioned squash courts and 4 dining options.

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Grand Millennium’s stylish, modern rooms are equipped with a tea/coffee maker. Cable TV and in-house movie channels are provided. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer lovely views.

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Guests have the option of taking a refreshing swim in the outdoor pool or relaxing in the sauna. A well-equipped fitness centre is available for workout sessions. The Club Lounge features 3 separate levels with an internet hub overlooking the Petronas Twin Towers.

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Asian and Mediterranean cuisines are served at The Mill Café, while Lai Ching Yuen features Cantonese dishes, including dim sum. For traditional Japanese dishes, head to Hayana Japanese Restaurant. An alternative dining option is Bistro 160.

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Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur is situated 50 km away from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

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Bukit Bintang is a great choice for travellers interested in family friendly exploring, fashion bargains and entertainment.

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This is our guests’ favorite part of Kuala Lumpur, according to independent reviews.

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visit also our other “BestHotels” sites

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PARKROYAL Hotel, Yangon Myanmar

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PARKROYAL 1

Featuring 5-star luxury in the cultural heart of Myanmar, the PARKROYAL Yangon features an outdoor pool and full spa services. In addition to 5 dining options, it has a modern gym and tennis courts.

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The Hotel PARKROYAL Yangon is within a 10-minute drive of historic Shwedagon Pagoda and Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market). It is a 30-minute drive from Yangon International Airport.

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The air-conditioned rooms are fitted with classic furnishings and carpeted floors. They include a minibar, free tea/coffee-making amenities and a safe.

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Guests can arrange day trips at the tour desk, or rent cars to explore the city. The hotel also provides a souvenir shop and laundry services.

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Hearty international buffets are available at Spice Brasserie and Shiki-Tei features a sushi counter. Chinese specialties can be sampled at the Si Chuan Dou Hua before heading to The Music Club for a cocktail.

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*****

Pura Tanah Lot, magic temple on Bali

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Pura Tanah Lot

This Balinese temple stands on a rock in the sea and that delivers beautiful pictures!

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Pura Tanah Lot means literally “Tanah Lot temple” but what is a Tanah Lot? Tanah Lot is a rock formation in the sea off the southwest coast of Bali. Pura Tanah Lot is overall a temple on a rock formation in the sea of Bali. And that makes this temple so special!

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Then why do not you might wonder: the temple was already there when Tanah Lot was still attached to the mainland? No! One Dang Hyang Nirartha claims to have built the temple when Tanah Lot was already an island. According to him, Tanah Lot was a sacred place to be worshiped from the Balinese sea gods. It is one of the seven sea temples on the south coast of Bali. From any sea temple is to see another sea temple.

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Tanah Lot is located about twenty kilometers from Denpasar, capital of #Bali.

*****

Royal Muang Samui Villas, Koh Samui

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RM1

Royal Muang Samui Villas are located on the white sands and clear waters of Choengmon Beach, Royal Muang Samui Villas offers rooms, villas and pool villas with free WiFi. This beachfront property also features an outdoor pool and 24-hour front desk.

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Suites and pool villas feature an LCD television, CD and DVD player and en-suite bathroom with a large spa bathtub. Room service is provided.

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Guests can experience aromatherapy and a variety of treatments at Cave Rai Ra Beach Spa. Other facilities include a fitness centre and a tour desk.

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Samui Sailor Bar & Grill serve Thai and Italian favourites with fresh seafood. Guests can enjoy wines and cocktails at Spice Beach Restaurant.

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Royal Muang Samui Villas is a 10-minute drive from Chaweng’s shopping and nightlife area. Bophut, Big Buddha Beach and Maenam are nearby, while Samui Airport is a 15-minute drive away.

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Check-out is a leisurely 12:00, so you can relax with another cup of coffee.

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The Village Coconut Island Beach Resort, Phuket

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The Village Coconut Island 1

Luxury awaits at Village Coconut Island, with its peaceful beach, spacious suites and in-villa private pools. Offering free bike and kayak rental, it has a spa and beachfront restaurant.

The Village Coconut Island 2

Spacious suites and villas are decorated with modern furnishings and abstract prints. They come with flat-screen TVs and well-equipped kitchenettes. Most rooms feature outdoor pools or hot tubs in private gardens.

The Village Coconut Island 3

Maintain regular workouts at Village Coconut’s fitness centre and tennis courts. Alternatively, enjoy water sports including fishing and diving, or take a day trip to Rang Yai Island.

The Village Coconut Island 4

Stunning beach views accompany grilled specialities and Western dishes at Tamarind Restaurant. Meals can also be served in the privacy of villas.

The Village Coconut Island 5

Phuket International Airport is a 35-minute drive from the property. Phuket Town is a 15-minute ride away. The Village Coconut Island offers 24-hour water taxi services.

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Bangkok – Holiday travel: more buses to be put on during New Year period

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Mo Chit - Bus Terminal - Bangkok

Good news for Bangkok residents traveling to the provinces for the holidays: officials announced today they would put on more inter-province buses to accommodate the mass influx of travelers during the New Year period.

The Transport Company said this would serve up to 135,000 people daily during the holiday. It will also offer a 15 percent discount for tickets bought in advance.

Officials also announced cheaper boat fares today, following the drop in diesel price.

Starting today, the fare for the Saen Saeb canal route will be cut by THB1 from the usual price, Marine Department deputy director Nut Jabjai said.

The department had promised to cut the fare for that route once the diesel price dropped below THB21 per liter, which it did on Wednesday when it dropped by 70 datang to THB20.59, Thai PBS reported.

Officials will also consider cutting other boat fares for routes along the Chao Phraya river.

Source: Coconuts

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Exploring a Japanese mangrove forest by canoe

Mangrove Forest, Japan

Exploring a Japanese mangrove forest by canoe

A KEEN canoeist for years, I was delighted to discover on a recent trip to Amami-Oshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture, that it was possible to explore a mangrove forest in Amami’s Sumiyocho district by canoe.

“This is a good tide,” said my guide Kazuhisa Saijo, 53, pointing upstream as I boarded a canoe from a dock at the river mouth. “We are going to a waterway that’s passable only at full tide.

My fellow participants on the 90-minute tour started paddling their one-person canoes. We moved ahead while looking at a mangrove forest on the banks of the river. One of the attractions of canoeing is that the paddler’s eye level is closer to the surface of the water than on a ship, making you feel like a part of nature.

Every tree in the mangrove forest grows in marshes, so these trees take firm root in the soil, with their roots spreading like an octopus’ legs. Even during stormy seas, it’s quiet in the forest, according to Saijo.

“There is no tree named mangrove,” Saijo explained. Mangrove actually refers to trees growing in brackish-water regions, where fresh and salt water are mixed. Around the mouths of the Sumiyogawa and Yakugachigawa rivers, trees grow in clusters on about 71 hectares of land.

This is Japan’s second largest mangrove forest, following that on Iriomote Island in Okinawa Prefecture.

Sourse: 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

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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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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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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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