With immediate effect, Indonesia has increased the cost of the mandatory visa on arrival from US$25 to US$35 per person.
It is a question I am frequently asked by clients who have heard about the rapid expansion of new hotels. First of all some background…
I first visited Bali 30 years ago, when it attracted just a few Australian surf enthusiasts and hardly any Europeans. Gradually over the years, it increased its popularity, both regionally and internationally, and by the early 90’s, it was firmly established as one of the major destinations in Asia. Initially tourism was focused in the Sanur area, or for the younger surfing crowd, Kuta. Both are located in the southern point of the island, on opposite sides of the peninsular. Kuta then gradually expanded to include the much more upscale Seminyak area…
I would love to take credit for the phrase above, but it was first uttered by Leonardo Da Vinci (the man, not the turtle) just a few years ago!
In my travels I come across so many hotels where the desire is to be the tallest, largest, biggest… The most grand and opulent with expensive design influences from around the world, then attempted to blend into something traditional to give it local relevance. I can see the appeal commercially, but at times it is nice to see something delightfully simple.
The Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2014 is Thailand’s largest and most important travel trade event held annually every June at the Impact Convention and Exhibition Centre in Bangkok. Held just two weeks after Thailand experienced a coup d’état, the TTM plus was even more successful than previous years as the country carried on with a ‘business as usual’ mentality.
Our very own David Kevan was in attendance one again and was interviewed. He shares his thoughts on why Thailand is such a great destination and all that it has to offer. The interview doesn’t start until the 4.02 minute mark.
As you will have noticed I visit Asia rather frequently. Of all the countries within, Thailand probably has the most innovation in terms of product and is never stale. I always find new resorts, and because of fierce competition, even existing hotels have to constantly reinvent themselves just to stay fresh and relevant.
The Anazoe Spa is one of the most acclaimed and award winning spas in the region. Beautifully designed and instantly relaxing. A particular feature is the use of olive oil – allegedly discovered in the nearby Palace of Nestor – an ingredient of many of the unique treatments. A list of treatments can be found here: anazoespa.com
Everyone is looking for an angle, something that sets you apart. This bar in Phuket seems to have found a niche marketing plan. The wives can enjoy the shopping of the resort, knowing that the husbands are also enjoying some cultural R&R.
We spoke about Andreas Franke’s Phantasy Fairytale underwater art exhibition in the Maldives awhile back. Here are some great videos giving you a behind the scenes look at the artist and the installation of his work.
Don’t forget to check out the two fantastic hotels that showcased his work under the amazingly beautiful waters of the Maldives.
Like most airports, Bangkok Airport is designed to entice the last baht from your credit card.
All the brand names are here, plus King Power, who are one of the largest retailers in the region and seem to have numerous outlets within the airport. As many of you will know, they also own Leicester City football club, so of course you have a shop selling shirts, etc. Makes a change to the Man U / Chelsea domination you find everywhere else.
Dk’s Last night in Thailand, and in Bangkok.
As mentioned earlier the curfew was officially lifted today, and #Bangkok is obviously in the mood to party. The streets are jammed, the shops busy and the restaurants have been doing a roaring business from mid day. I am always amazed the Thai ‘s stay so slim, as eating seems to be a way of life, they never stop.
I leave for Bangkok early tomorrow, so my last day in Samui.
I first came here almost 30 years ago when it had no airport, so access was by ferry from Surat Thani. It was instantly magical, totally tropical.
As predicted, the Thailand curfew has been lifted from all parts of the country.
In my travels around the country in the last 8 days, it is very much business as normal, and I have seen confidence returning almost day by day.
Tourism is a vital component of the Thai economy, and I have every confidence it will bounce back quickly and will continue to be the most popular Asian destination for UK travellers.