Monday, 21 May 2018

Ly Son Island to have new night market

Ly Son
The island district of Ly Son, 30km off the coast of the central province of Quang Ngai, will open a night market for tourists on the island in May.

According to Vice chairwoman of the district’s People’s Committee, the night market will be located in front of Muong Thanh Ly Son Hotel in An Vinh commune.

Huong said the market, which will run from 6pm until 10:30pm daily, will host 40 pavilions selling souvenirs, dried seafood and specialties of the island as well as an entertainment centre.

She said a lack of night entertainment and shopping service has hampered tourist attraction.

Last year, Ly Son Island and An Binh islet hosted more than 200,000 tourists.

The island has 18 hotels, guesthouses and homestays providing accommodation for 1,000 tourists at present.

The islanders of Ly Son offer local cuisine and garlic and onion farming experiences for tourists during a sea trip from Sa Ky port in summer.

Ly Son and a vast coastal area of Binh Son district may receive Global Geo-Park recognition from UNESCO.

It has been well-known as the ‘King of Garlic’ in Vietnam with 21,000 inhabitants, most of whom make their living from farming garlic and spring onions and fishing.

Islanders harvest onions on Ly Son island,
 off the coast of Quang Ngai province
(Photo: VNA)
According to archaeologists, Ly Son Island is a dormant volcano. The terrain of the island was created from eruptions 25 to 30 million years ago, leaving landscapes with rocks, caves, cliffs, rock arches and a lake.

The island has abundant relics related to the Sa Huynh, Champa and Dai Viet (or Great Viet) cultures that existed on the island for thousands of years.

Islanders still preserve the annual Hoang Sa festival to pay tributes to local men who enlisted in the Hoang Sa flotilla hundreds of years ago.

The flotilla was set up under the Nguyen dynasty to patrol the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos and salvage goods from wrecks, catch fish and maintain a Vietnamese presence in the area.

The festival, which includes a requiem for those who had died on the sea patrol missions, a procession of four supernatural creatures and the release of lanterns, has been recognised as the National Intangible Heritage.
Source: VNA

ATLANTIK, DMC Icelandic stars and celebrations!

The biggest news in Icelandic tourism are however the first 5-star hotels along with the first Michelin-star awarded restaurant in Iceland.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon - The first 5-star hotel in Iceland
The world famous Blue Lagoon SPA opened the first 5-star hotel in Iceland this April. The new hotel, which is called The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, is featured with luxurious suites, its own private blue lagoon, exceptional SPA experiences and world class restaurants. The hotel has raised the standard of luxury in Iceland with exceptionally high service level, unique scenery and great experiences.

Marriott Edition - The first 5-star hotel in Reykjavik
The luxury lifestyle hotel,Marriott EDITION,will be the first 5-star hotel in Reykjavik. The hotel is currently under construction and is set to open late 2019. The hotel is located in the heart of Reykjavik overlooking the old harbor and connected to the award winning conference and concert hall Harpa. The hotel will be welcomed by those who wish to stay at a local boutique hotel with the hospitality of a global brand.

Michelin-star cuisine
The Icelandic restaurant scene has never been stronger and numerous restaurants have opened recently. The distinguished Michelin restaurant guide has awarded the Restaurant Dill the first Icelandic star and few other restaurants received recommendations from the guide. What all the awarded restaurants have in common is the New Nordic Cuisine with emphasis on purity, simplicity and freshness with seasonal ingredients.

Atlantik DMC is celebrating its 40-year anniversary in 2018!
Atlantik has been Iceland s leading DMC now for four decades, where the firm has operated many of Iceland s largest and most challenging incentive groups. Atlantik has kept to the values of professionalism, initiative, team spirit, & respect throughout the years to meet the goal of being The Best DMC in Iceland!

Atlantik, with now 30 devoted Project Managers, looks forward to continuing leading the way in Iceland as a DMC for the unforeseen future and offering their clients high value and unforgettable experiences.

For further information, contact Atlantik DMC at


Battleship Iowa
History’s alive at this Los Angeles-area landmark, the Battleship Iowa Museum. Built in 1940 and decommissioned in 1990, the USS Iowa is the West Coast’s only battleship and has played host to more U.S. presidents than any other ship in service.

A 30-minute drive from the Anaheim Resort brings visitors to the museum housed aboard this historic vessel. A self-guided tour, included in the price of admission, is enhanced with narration from a mobile app that uses historic images and augmented reality technology to tell the maritime past of the USS Iowa. The app allows the public to view areas of the ship closed to the public and as well as hear oral histories from ship veterans from World War II and the Korean War. Children may also enjoy a scavenger hunt adventure onboard the ship, following clues left behind by USS Iowa’s canine mascot Victory.

For an enhanced experience, head up to the flight deck. A fully restored Korean War-era Piasecki HUP-2 helicopter represents the aviation history of the USS Iowa—it’s one of the last remaining aircraft of its kind in the United States. A special ticketed exhibit allows guests to become honorary pilots inside the Navy Flight Theatre, which features six different in-flight simulations.

Two immersive tours are also offered on weekends for an additional fee. The two-hour guided Full Steam Ahead tour recommended for ages 10 and up takes visitors through areas of the ship typically off-limits to the general public, such as the engine room, boiler room, sick bay and Combat Engagement Center. A lengthier, comprehensive Curator’s Tour provides a four-and-a-half-hour VIP experience, including a behind-the-scenes history presentation, access to off-limits decks, a short exclusive film and buffet lunch. Tickets for the tour series are limited, so advance reservations are recommended.

Battleship Iowa Museum is located at 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA 90731. Tickets and additional information can be found at

TAT celebrates ‘Women’s Journey Thailand’ at Variety’s Power of Women: New York

‘Women’s Journey Thailand’
The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) New York Office in partnership with Variety, the entertainment industry’s leading media authority, recently organised an exclusive luncheon to announce the 2018 honourees of the fifth annual ‘Power of Women: New York’ event as part of TAT’s ‘Women’s Journey Thailand’ project.

The event, which took place on 13 April, celebrated female empowerment and was attended by over 600 participants including travel industry leaders, entertainment insiders and a-list Hollywood celebrities.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: “TAT was delighted to be the official and exclusive destination partner with Variety, during this co-sponsored event. Women’s Journey Thailand is all about celebrating women. We are showcasing all that the Kingdom has to offer as women are travelling to Thailand on their own personal journeys of self-discovery in record numbers.”

Variety’s Power of Women: New York was the perfect opportunity to highlight Thailand’s efforts to promote the Kingdom to women who love to travel. The event recognised philanthropic women across the entertainment industry and the work they have achieved for their causes, including award-winning author of the international bestseller ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, Margaret Atwood (Canadian Women’s Foundation), Golden Globe® nominated actress and star of the upcoming Disney musical ‘Mary Poppins Returns’, Emily Blunt (Malala Fund), American civil rights activist and founder of the ‘me too’ Movement, Tarana Burke (‘me too’ Movement), Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning actress and creator of the upcoming musical ‘Mean Girls’ on Broadway Tina Fey (Reading is Fundamental), and Grammy®award-winning musician Alicia Keys (Keep a Child Alive).

The Women’s Journey Thailand campaign is dedicated to women travellers around the world and entices them to enjoy cultural activities, special deals, discounts and privileges in Thailand.

In addition to the ‘Variety’s Power of Women Gift Bags’, TAT also handed out the ‘Women’s Journey Thailand Gift Bags’ to attendees who signed up to receive updates from TAT and Mae Chaem’s handwoven jacket from Chiang Mai to all honourees and presenters.

As a special part of the Women’s Journey Thailand campaign, TAT offered guests the opportunity to enter-to-win a 12-day trip to Thailand, in partnership with Cathay Pacific, Banyan Tree Bangkok, Banyan Tree Phuket, Soneva Kiri, and the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai.

They generously contributed to give one lucky winner the chance to experience all four of Thailand’s distinct regions:
  • Cathay Pacific: Two round trip Premium Economy Class tickets to travel in style to Thailand.
  • Banyan Tree Bangkok: A three-night stay in the Serenity Club Room complete with Club Lounge access and breakfast for two.
  • Banyan Tree Phuket: A three-night stay in the Banyan Pool Villa with breakfast for two.
  • Soneva Kiri Koh Kood: Two nights in the breath-taking Bayview Pool Villa Suite with dinner at the View and roundtrip air transfer between Bangkok and Soneva Kiri for two.
  • Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai: A three-night stay in the Garden Pavilion with daily breakfast for two.


News - Events Seminar talks ways to preserve folk music of northern minorities

folk music of ethnic minorities
A scientific seminar discussing ways to preserve folk music of ethnic minorities in the northern mountainous region took place in the province of Dien Bien on May 10.

Co-hosted by the Vietnam National Academy of Music (VNAM) and the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the event was part of a plan to conduct a national study on urgent measures to preserve and uphold values of folk music of Vietnamese ethnic minorities during the 2016 – 2020 period.

Nguyen Thuy Tien, a representative of VNAM, said the academy has collected and recorded various genres of folk music of ethnic minorities in the northern mountainous region to conserve and popularise them over the past two decades.

At the seminar, researchers and cultural artisans from Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Hoa Binh, Cao Bang provinces talked about socio-cultural and artistic values of folk music genres in the region, their role in the spiritual lives, and measures to preserve and uphold them in the current life.

Reports at the event mentioned practising Then singing in 11 northern mountainous provinces, folk music in ethnic groups in Dien Bien and preservation measures.

Participants suggested launching drives to teach and learn traditional musical instruments, raising public awareness of the values of folk music, and offering incentives to artists dedicating to preserving music heritages in localities.
Source: VNA

ParkARTs – Painting Landscapes

In these art-sessions we will use simple drawing and collage techniques to create beautiful landscapes from different locations within the Park. 

No experience necessary, all skill levels welcome and catered for. 

Come enjoy the sights and sounds of Centennial Park and take home a meaningful piece of your experience.

General Information
Tue 22 May 201810.00 am - 12.00 pm
Tue 29 May 201810.00 am - 12.00 pm
Times: 10.00 am - 12.00 pm
Venue: The WILD PLAY Discovery Centre, off Dickens Drive, Centennial Park
Price: $40 per person for one class or $110 per person for four classes

Sunday, 20 May 2018


Regional Express (Rex) and the City of Orange have teamed up to introduce a special Rex Community Fare as well as five return air services each week between Orange and Sydney for the next five years.

The $109 Rex Community Fare is available on 30 per cent of seats between Orange and Sydney for advance bookings at least 30 days prior to departure. All remaining seats one day prior to departure will be at the Community Fare level.

Rex General Manager of Network Strategy and Sales Warrick Lodge said, “Orange is only the seventh regional community on Rex’s network of 60 destinations that will now enjoy this unprecedented fare offering.”

Orange Mayor Cr Reg Kidd said the new agreement would encourage growth by making air travel in and out of Orange more attractive to consumers.

The Rex Community Fare is available for purchase via



Sanctum Inle Resort 
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has proposed to extend a $6 million long-term investment for a luxury resort in Inle Lake, Shan State.

Sanctum Inle Resort is a five-star hotel with 97 rooms in Inle Lake, owned and operated by Sanctum Inle Resort Co. Ltd. The business has created over 130 jobs, mostly for members of the local community, The company is owned by Su Su Tin (90 percent) and U Than Toe Kyaw (10pc), her husband. Su Su Tin is a local entrepreneur in the tourism and hospitality sector and has founded and managed Exo Travel Myanmar, a joint venture tourism firm, and Annam Myanmar Group Co, an import and distribution company for retail products.

The 97-room hotel was established in April 2016 and has totaled US$20 million through a combination of bank loans, investor loans and equity. The project currently needs long-term funding. The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has proposed to invest $6 million in a long-term financing facility for the firm. The long-term capital for the project will replace the short-term loans and will optimise the balance sheet of the firm.

In contrast, tourism on the other side of the country is less buoyant.

Colliers International’s annual market report on Ngapali’s hospitality industry, released this month, concluded that political upheavals surrounding Rakhine State have taken a toll on the region.

“In 2017, hoteliers in Ngapali witnessed sluggish demand as foreign booking cancellations became noticeable,” the report stated. Average occupancy rate dropped by 11 percentage points in 2017, to 42pc but older developments had comparatively healthy occupancy levels. Colliers said the resilient performance of some resorts stems from repeat guests, seasoned travellers and local visitors. In addition, full-year average daily rates dropped across the board and in all room categories.

Read full article at The Myanmar Times:


Photo: Nikkei Asian Review
The Lao government is set to enhance the quality of tourism services to attract more foreign tourists, especially from China, local daily Vientiane Times reported Monday.

Tourist arrivals in Laos reached 3.86 million in 2017, decreasing from 4.23 million in 2016. This year, the figure is expected to increase to about 5 million.

Meanwhile, the number of Chinese visitors to Laos during 2017 increased by 17 percent to about 639,000.

Some 210,000 people entered Laos via border checkpoints with the other 429,000 entering the country on planes, the Lao daily quoted Deputy Director General of Tourism Marketing Department under Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism Sengsouda Vanouvong as saying at a recent cooperation exchange promoting “Visit Laos Year 2018” in Vientiane.

More than 20 Chinese travel agencies were present at the event. Organizers also invited representatives from Lao government agencies to enable the invited travel agencies to fully understand the regulations and procedures for entry into Laos.

There are about five Lao and Chinese joint venture travel companies in Laos, and China has become the largest foreign business operator of hotels, entertainment venues and restaurants in Laos, Sengsouda said.

Read full article at Xinhua:

Christchurch urban food production

Kākano Café and Cookery School at its
previous location in Peterborough Street
Once tagged as ‘the garden city’, Christchurch might now be classed as ‘the city in a garden’. Its people are bringing food production into the CBD, from a hotel with beehives on the roof to an inner-city café with its own vegetable patch.

Kākano Café and Cookery School
Kākano Café and Cookery School opened a couple of years ago and recently moved to its new home in Manchester Street, where its wooden garden beds spell out ‘Kakano’, which means ‘seed’. The business belongs to Jade Temepara, a busy mother of five, who says the café champions a “revamped version” of indigenous Maori cuisine.Kākano Café and Cookery School at its previous location in Peterborough Street

Hotel Montreal
An increasing number of CBD businesses are investing in rooftop hives, including Hotel Montreal and Christchurch’s popular Ballantynes department store. Hotel Montreal has a handful of hives on its rooftop and the chef uses the honey produced in specialty dishes in the Polo Bar & Restaurant kitchen.

Ōtākaro Orchard
Ōtākaro Orchard is under construction but once finished it will be New Zealand's first urban food hub, where people will be able to grow and share food, enjoy cafe cuisine and learn about the city’s sustainable local food system. It will feature Christchurch’s first ever commercial earth building, which will house a food information centre and café. Those behind Ōtākaro Orchard say the project is about “reimagining our urban green spaces as edible ones”.

C1 Espresso
C1 Espresso operates out of an old post office building in central Christchurch – one of the few heritage buildings left standing after the city's 2010/2011 quakes. The café grows ingredients for its kitchen in its urban organic gardens and has a vineyard in the forecourt. C1 Espresso recycles all organic waste, glass, plastic and cardboard and is heated using waste energy from the coffee roastery and kitchen. The café’s tables and joinery are made from recycled demolition timber.

Sustainable urban agriculture
Sustainable urban agriculture is on the cards for an area of Christchurch known as the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor. It may form part of a mix of activities in an 11-kilometre stretch of land described as the “residential red zone” following the Canterbury earthquakes, owing to the houses that once occupied urban sections there. The land is currently under the microscope as local agency Regenerate Christchurch leads a decision-making process about its future. Other land uses may include wetlands, community spaces and adaptive housing.