Hua Hin, Thailand, has been a glamorous vogue for the Thai high society and an escape for the Royals as early as in the 1830s. Sitting in the peninsula of the country, the area is famous for its warm and soothing climate with stretches of beaches, away from the hustle of Bangkok and Pattaya. The district is now a major destination for a tranquil getaway for luxury chasers.
Where To Eat.
A half hour drive from downtown Hua Hin are the vineyards of Monsoon Valley. The hilly terrain and the dry sandy soil produces the country’s only award-winning wines. The winery offers a reasonably sized tasting menu at its bar & restaurant which provides a spectacular panoramic view of the vineyards. You can also join the winery for its vineyard tours and grape-picking adventure.
Where To Play.
Hua Hin is blessed with a high density of the best golf courses in the country. The courses are not only a challenge for golfers but are set in some picturesque landscapes with greens set aside long beaches and mountains in the background. Banyan Golf Course is one of the most prestigious courses, with a gorgeous view over the ocean and clubhouses and restaurants overlooking the greens built in Lanna-style architecture.
What To See.
This royal Victorian-style retreat, Mrigadayavan Palace, was built in the 1920s as the first summer palace in Hua Hin. The complex is made from teak wood and painted light blue. The beach-side palace is linked by elevated walkways connecting bed chambers and reading rooms decorated with open windows and high ceilings. King Rama VI was a literature enthusiast and photos of him in his study room composing poetic works with curtains dancing in the seas breeze are exhibited in the theater hall.
Where To Sunbathe.
Hua Hin’s main beach is usually over-crowded. To indulge into a private and relaxed coze, head to a beach side resort for a drink or lunch where you can at the same time enjoy the resort’s private beaches and lap pools. Rest on a daybed or soak yourself in the sun on the sands. Intercontinental Hua Hin is a popular go-to with the most decorative beach-side lounge in the area.
Where To Shop.
The Santorini Park is a shopping outlet and a treasure for local wall art. Step into a slice of Greece at this theme park and admire the colorful streets here. Remember to have your camera ready, as the park is filled with art displays that are replaced every few months. If you visit during spring, the theme park blossoms with floral trees that overhang the pebbled walkways and corridors.
Where to Relax.
A holistic escape will not be complete without a spa session at Hua Hin. Endless beaches mean endless amounts of beach side resorts and a handful of spas to choose from. Each resort in Hua Hin has a unique characteristic at its spa. So Sofitel Hua Hin has a signature LED-lighted cocoon, where you can wind-down under some shining lights and relax with complimentary hot tea after your treatment.
It isn’t just the tire-maker-turned-gourmet-guide Michelin that’s in the restaurant rating game these days. Another organization has emerged on the scene and grown in scope the last few years. The World’s 50 Best organization has moved beyond just ranking the top restaurants around the globe, it now has regional lists as well. Last fall, the group crowned the top 50 restaurants in Latin America. Today, they declared Gaggan in Bangkok, Thailand, the restaurant by chef Gaggan Anand, to be the very best restaurant in Asia for the fourth year in a row.
Den in Tokyo, run by chef Zaiyu Hasegawa, who fans of the Netflix show Ugly Delicious will recognize from the fried chicken episode, takes second place. The modern French restaurant Florilege in Tokyo is third, Thomas and Mathias Sühring’s German spot in Bangkok is fourth, and French restaurant Odette in Singapore rounds out the top five. Japan features the most entries on the top 50 with 11, with Thailand and Hong Kong trailing closely behind with nine each.
While it’s quite the laurel for a restaurant, this list is certainly not without its flaws. Unlike Michelin, which creates its ratings by actually eating at restaurants around the world, the World’s 50 Best organization takes a much different, and perhaps controversial, approach. The group convenes a panel of 300 experts across Asia “made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded ‘gastronomes,’” it says. That has allowed gender bias to permeate these lists for years, rarely recognizing women-led restaurants as great.
This list is mostly the restaurant industry reflecting on itself and its own values right now. Is Gaggan truly the best restaurant in all of Asia. Perhaps, but more importantly for this list, the restaurant intelligentsia believes it is. So, have fun reading the complete list below, but realize there are some real limitations in how it’s made.
- Gaggan – Bangkok, Thailand
- Den – Tokyo, Japan
- Florilege – Tokyo, Japan
- Sühring – Bangkok, Thailand
- Odette – Singapore
- Narisawa – Tokyo, Japan
- Amber – Hong Kong, China
- Ultraviolet By Paul Pairet – Shanghai, China
- Nihonryori Ryugin – Tokyo, Japan
- Nahm – Bangkok, Thailand
- Mingles – Seoul, Korea
- Burnt Ends – Singapore
- 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana – Hong Kong, China
- Le Du – Bangkok, Thailand
- Raw – Taipei, Taiwan
- Ta Vie – Hong Kong, China
- La Cime – Osaka, Japan | Highest New Entry
- Mume – Taipei, Taiwan | Highest Climber
- Indian Accent – New Delhi, India
- L’effervescence – Tokyo, Japan
- Locavore – Bali, Indonesia
- The Chairman – Hong Kong, China | Highest Climber
- Waku Ghin – Singapore
- Lung King Heen – Hong Kong, China
- Ministry of Crab – Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Jungsik – Seoul, Korea
- Sushi Saito – Tokyo, Japan
- Il Ristorante Luca Fantin – Tokyo, Japan
- Les Amis – Singapore
- Fu He Hui – Shanghai, China
- Paste – Bangkok, Thailand
- Neighborhood – Hong Kong, China
- Eat Me – Bangkok, Thailand
- Hajime – Osaka, Japan
- Jade Dragon – Macau, China
- Corner House – Singapore
- – Bangkok, Thailand
- Quintessence – Tokyo, Japan
- Issaya Siamese Club – Bangkok, Thailand
- Belon – Hong Kong
- Ronin – Hong Kong, China
- Toc Toc – Seoul, Korea
- The Dining Room at the House of Sathorn – Bangkok, Thailand
- Jaan – Singapore
- Nihonbashi – Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Caprice – Hong Kong, China
- Shoun Ryugin – Taipei, Taiwan
- La Maison De La Nature Goh – Fukuoka, Japan
- Wasabi By Morimoto – Mumbai, India
- Whitegrass – Singapore
source: Robb Report
SET-listed BTS Group Holdings Plc expects its operating revenue to surge by 200% in fiscal 2019, starting from April 1 this year, largely driven by the mass transit business. Kavin Kanjanapas, the company’s chief executive, said this year will be important for the company as its developments will be a catalyst for a multi-year period of unprecedented growth.
The growth will not only be driven by the company’s mass transit business, but also its media and property arms that are expected to greatly benefit from the roll-out of new mass transit lines BTS recently won.
The company estimates its revenue in fiscal 2018 ending March 31 this year was 10-13 billion baht, up from 8.6 billion in fiscal 2017.
Mr Kavin said BTS’s mass transit business is expected to recognise several channels of growth including 20-25 billion baht worth of expected revenue from the construction of the Pink (Min Buri-Khae Rai) and Yellow Lines (Lat Phrao-Samrong). The two lines, operated by BTS and developed together with Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction Plc and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc, were awarded the concessions for both lines in June 2017.
Additional income of 7-9 billion baht is expected from the procurement of trains for the Green Line extensions and electrical and mechanical system installation services for the Mo Chit-Khu Khot extensions. BTS also expects to recognise interest income of 600-700 million baht related to the procurement of trains for the Green Line’s extensions and the construction of Pink Line and Yellow Line.
Core network ridership is expected to grow by 4-5% from the previous year. Within the first 11 months of the company’s fiscal 2018, which ends March 31 this year, the BTS network served 220.3 million passengers or 743,027 passengers per weekday. Organic growth on the network will be further boosted by the official launch of the entirety of the Green Line’s 12.6-kilometre southern extension from Bearing to Samut Prakan.
The nine stations of the southern extension are expected to be officially opened in December 2018 and will significantly supplement revenue to BTS and feed ridership into its network in the last quarter of fiscal 2019. Ridership growth on the core network continues to be fuelled by property development along mass transit stations, worsening road congestion and urbanisation in Greater Bangkok and adjacent provinces. Total operation and maintenance revenue is targeted to soar by 30% from the previous year largely from the full commencement of the Green Line southern extension.
BTS’s media business under VGI Global Media Plc is also expected to continue to aggressively expand its out-of-home media presence. VGI is also poised to benefit from the economic recovery and emerging synergies with Rabbit Group through online-to-offline media.
Following a slew of acquisitions, VGI is now a comprehensive media solutions provider that is better able to respond to the contemporary lifestyles of consumers and offer more targeted advertising on behalf of its clients. Media revenue in fiscal 2019 is targeted to reach 4.4-4.6 billion baht.
This fiscal year the majority of BTS’s property business was transferred to an associate company, U City Plc. U City is the designated property development vehicle for BTS Group. U City has undergone restructuring and significant expansion following acquisitions of a hotel business in Europe and office buildings in the UK. U City expects to record revenues of 6-7 billion baht this year.
BTS’s total expected capital expenditure is estimated at 27-34 billion baht this year. More than 90% of the amount or 26-32 billion baht will be earmarked for investments in the mass transit lines. The remaining amounts of 1.1 billion baht and 400 million baht will go to support growth in the media and property businesses, respectively.
Source: Bangkok Post
Thailand is notoriously famous for its festive water celebration, The Songkran, every April. This year, Songkran will start on the 13th and last till the 16th. The emphasis has shifted from being religious and cultural towards a scene of enjoyment and fun, where travelers will travel across the globe to take part in this festival. How was Songkran originated and where are all the fun?
The Origin of Songkran Festival
Songkran is the most traditional holiday in Thailand and South East Asia and Yunnan, China. On the first day of Songkran, locals will rise early to bath their Buddhas to purify the late year and bring luck towards the coming year. During the celebration, locals will gather on the streets with water guns, buckets and hose pipes. A four-day long water fight will take place across the entire Kingdom.
The festival originates from the myth of the Seven Songkran Goddesses, whose father’s head was beheaded by an India God. Believed that if their father’s head fell to the ground, the world be entirely flooded, each goddess takes turn to protect their father each day. Hence, each year, depending on which day Songkran falls on, the festival will have a different name. This year, Songkran falls on a Friday, hence it is called Kimnia Songkran.
The Cultural Traditions of Thailand’s Songkran
Bathing the Buddha: Locals will rise early in the morning to bathe their Buddhas at home using water along with fresh scented flowers. Some will also bath their monks using a silver tray filled with water either at home or at pagodas.
Building Sand Dunes: As a tradition, locals will make miniature sand dunes at the entrances of the pagodas, as a way to build luck and fortune for the coming year.
Putting on White Powder: Locals will mix a special powder made from volcanic rocks to paint their faces and foreheads as a tradition to wish for wealth and luck.
Splashing Perfume: Thailand’s traditional perfume is made from dry medicine and natural ingredients. The scent is suppose to be smelt miles away and help reduce body heat during this hot festival season.
Where the Fun Begins
Bankgok: as the largest city in Thailand, no matter where you are on Songkran, you will not be able to avoid being splashed and soaked with water. For the most epic water fight in the city, join Bangkok’s locals and get soaked!
Pattaya: is known for its night and beachlife. During Songkran, the streets are lined with water cannons. During the second to third day, the city will host a giant bubble bath for its visitors and a color show at its night market.
Chiang Mai: would be the best city to visit for its beast-kept traditions and cultural values during Songkran. Besides the water wars that go on in the city, the city has kept its authenticity with Songkran ceremonies retained from the ancient past.
Autthaya: is a small city which stood as the ancient capital of Siam and hosts some of the most spectacular architecture from the time. On the day of Songkran, trained elephants will parade around the city and paint the city’s views on a giant canvas at the ancient pagodas.
Amphawa: has stayed as a traditional water market-like city. Here, Songkran is especially unique as it takes places on wooden boats. As you pass by each other on the water, get ready to fire your water guns. At night, locals will glide in the water to watch Fireflies and host tours for visitors.
The Thais believe that water is spiritually purifying: it cleanses you of any bad luck or grievances from the past year, and blesses you with fortune and happiness for the year ahead. So to say, Sawadee Bee Mai! (Happy New Year!)
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Sharp Corporation has recently signed a two-year memorandum (MOU) to jointly promote the ‘Amazing Thailand, Amazing 8K’ tourism campaign, Sharp will be using its latest AQUOS 8K ultra-high definition technology to produce a series of videos of Thailand’s destinations to promote its tourism industry.
TAT and Sharp Thailand will partner this April to begin the campaign production. The campaign will be majorly broadcasted through the TAT’s marketing and media endeavors. The partnership will set an example for the ASEAN region to harness the power of partnerships between the government and private corporations. Sharp will feature Thailand’s best destinations with its latest AQUOS 8K HD television technology in the best possible light worldwide.
A team of specialists from Taiwan trained in 8K production will be attending the Songkran Water Festival (April 13-15) to produce the first excerpts for the upcoming videos. The team will then set on to film the country’s popular destinations, cultures and festivals. Sharp’s new technology will bring its viewers an incredible viewing experience showcased in pixels up to 7680 x 4320. Thailand’s natural landscapes, iconic Siam architecture and the colorful palate of Thai gastronomy will be recorded through the series of videos produced.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governer said, “the campaign is part of the Thailand 4.0 initiative and we are excited to partner with Sharp to promote our country with its advanced 8K Aquos technology. We are also excited to partner up with private sectors in order to elevate the country’s tourism image.”
Sharp’s Executive Managing Officer and Head of President Office, Mr. Yoshihiro Hasimoto believes, “Thailand was one of the first overseas countries the company invested in nearly 90 years ago. I would like to thank the Thai government for this partnership opportunity. The Songkran Festival will be the first collaboration of TAT and Sharp’s newest 8k technology to promote Thailand’s tourism. I look forward to the oncoming possible partnerships that the AQUOS 8k technology may bring to Sharp.”
Source: Liberty Times Net