Friday, February 7, 2020
Thailand continues to implement an intensive and unremitting screening and surveillance for the 2019-nCoV to protect all from being exposed to the virus.
Bangkok, 31 January, 2020 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to inform local and international travellers that Thailand’s annual events and festivals, scheduled between now and March, 2020, are taking place as usual.
Amid the international concerns of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China, TAT would like to reiterate that Thailand continues to implement intensive and unremitting screening and surveillance for the 2019-nCoV at the international points of entry. Within the country, the public and private sectors have stepped up preventive actions to protect all from being exposed to the virus.
TAT would like to remind all to strictly adhere to everyday hygienic habits which can help prevent the spread of several viruses, especially when you are out and about enjoying travel experiences at events and festivals in Thailand.
Makha Bucha Day – Thai Buddhists will celebrate the Makha Bucha Day on 8 February with traditional activities at temples across the kingdom. Key locations with unique celebrations are the Phrathat Phanom Festival from 1-9 February at Wat Phrathat Phanom in Nakhon Phanom.
Valentine’s Day – There is a number of memorable and unique ways to “tie the knot” in Thailand during this month of love, from 13-15 February, including the annual Underwater Wedding Ceremony in Trang.
Sports events – Amazing Thailand Marathon Bangkok 2020 on 2 February in Bangkok, 23rd Bay Regatta from 5-9 February in Krabi, Buri Ram Marathon 2020 from 8-9 February at the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram, Inthanon Challenge on 9 February in Chiang Mai, GSB Thailand Open 2020 presented by EA from 10-16 February in Hua Hin, Ultra Trail Thailand 2020 Zero Edition from 14-16 in Chiang Mai, Honda LPGA Thailand 2020 from 20-23 February in Pattaya, and the Asian LE MANS SERIES from 21-23 February at the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram.
Music, art and entertainment events – MAYA Music Festival 2020 Powered by King Power from 31 January – 1 February in Pattaya, International Balloon Fun Fest 2020 from 1-2 February in Nakhon Ratchasima, International Balloon Fiesta 2020 from 12-16 February at Singha Park in Chiang Rai, and Krabi Naga Fest 2020 from 28 February to 1 March in Krabi.
Flowers, culture and food events – Nai Lert Flower & Garden Art Fair 2020 from 30 January – 2 February in Bangkok, Thai Kite Festival from 1-3 February in Ranong, Ban Chiang World Heritage Festival from 7-9 February in Udon Thani and Chiang Mai Flower Festival from 7-9 February.
Other events – Japan Expo Thailand 2020 from 31 January to 2 February at CentralWorld in Bangkok and Chiang Mai International Air Show 2020 from 21-23 February in Chiang Mai.
Music, art and entertainment events – 16th World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony from 16-17 March in Ayutthaya.
Flowers, culture and food events – Ayutthaya World Heritage Fair from 13-22 March at the Ayutthaya Historical Park.
Sports events – PTT Thailand Grand Prix 2020 from 20-22 March at the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram and International Fishing Competition from 21-22 March at Ko Chang in Trat.
For more information and the calendar of Thailand’s events and festivals, visit: http://thailandfestival.org/en
For additional questions regarding the 2019-nCoV, please call:
Department of Disease Control Hotline 1422
or Tourist Police Hotline 1155.
AOT ready to halve landing and parking fees to lure more flights
Airports of Thailand’s (AOT) board approved the latest flight schedule management for AOT’s 6 airports namely Suvarnabhumi Airport, Don Mueang International Airport, Phuket International Airport, Chiang Mai International Airport , Hat Yai International Airport and Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai
Six Thai airports declared no smoking zones from 3 February 2019
Bangkok, 7 February, 2019 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is advising all tourists and travellers who are planning air travel via the kingdom’s six major airports that all smoking rooms inside the terminals have been closed from 3 February, 2019.
The six airports are Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai, all operated and managed by the Airports of Thailand (AOT).
According to AOT, the move to close all smoking rooms is in line with the 2017 Tobacco Control Act. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Health’s official announcement in November 2018, has also listed “public areas of airports” among several new zones where smoking of tobacco is prohibited.
The new smoking zones at AOT-operated airports will carry a fine of up to 5,000 Baht.
TAT understands that AOT has designated smoking areas outside the terminals. For more information, tourists and travellers passing through these six airports are advised to contact the AOT Contact Centre by calling Tel.: 1722 or visit the airport information counter.
Also, TAT would like to express thanks to each and every tourist and traveller for their understanding, as Thailand’s proactive smoking ban is aimed at maintaining a clean and safe environment for all.
Thailand became a party to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on 27 February, 2005. Since then, the country has become one of the world’s forerunners in the fight to ban smoking from public places. This include the recent smoking ban on Thai beaches.
Discovering ancient Lamphun and the Hariphunchai Kingdom
Founded in the 7th century by Queen Chamathewi, Lamphun is one of Thailand’s oldest cities and as such boasts an impressive history.
Lamphun was the capital of the Hariphunchai Kingdom and the northernmost city of the Mon Kingdom of the Dvaravati period, and in 1281 was brought into the new Lanna Kingdom by King Mengrai of which Chiang Mai was made the capital. In the late 19th century, Lamphun became part of Siam.
Lamphun is most often visited as a day trip from Chiang Mai although it certainly warrants an overnight stay. It’s a 40-minute drive south from Chiang Mai passing through the exotic Northern Thai countryside and, if one takes the old Highway 106 route, along what’s known as the Rubber Tree Road. Much as the name suggests, a stretch of the road is lined with lofty rubber trees along both sides and makes for a pleasant photo opp.
Ancient Lamphun and Hariphunchai Tour
Once in Lamphun town, the provincial seat, the first place to visit for many is Wat Phrathat Hariphunchai, the province’s most famous temple. Its earliest origins date back to around 897 when the king of Hariphunchai is said to have had what is now the central stupa built to house a hair strand of the Buddha. Legend has it that the Buddha visited this area and in the temple compound’s southwestern corner there are footprint indentations said to be his.
While Wat Phrathat Hariphunchai’s central stupa is from the 9th century, the temple compound was built during the 11th century. There was restoration work carried out in the mid-15thcentury, and then in the 1930s, renovations were done under the Buddhist monk Khruba Sriwichai, a Lamphun native who in his lifetime was involved in the repair and construction of over 100 temples, roads and other projects.
Along with its two chedis, Wat Phrathat Hariphunchai – upon which Chiang Mai’s famous Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep temple was modelled – has a 19th century library, several Buddha images including one from the 15th century, and an enormous bronze gong said to be the largest in the world. The main chedi has at its top a nine-tiered umbrella made from almost 6,500 grammes of gold.
A short distance from Wat Phrathat Hariphunchai is Wat Chamthewi, a smaller temple but one highly revered for it is believed the ashes of Queen Chamthewi are enshrined in one of the pagodas here. Also known as Wat Ku Kut, the temple’s wihan or worship hall features murals depicting the life and times of the warrior queen and there’s also a small museum dedicated to her.
For a glimpse into Lamphun’s celebrated history, the Hariphunchai National Museum next to Wat Phrathat Hariphunchai houses exhibits and artefacts from the Dvaravati, Hariphunchai, Lanna and Rattanakosin periods. Items on display include utensils, carvings, amulets, inscription stones in Mon and Lanna scripts and prehistorical human skeletons. Behind this museum is the Lamphun Community Museum, which focuses on a more modern era; it displays texts, photos, radios, gramophones and other items from the past century.
Local Art and Culture
The downtown area is also home to the Institute of Hariphunchai Handwoven Cloth, a centre that plays a key role in helping to preserve and promote the woven cloth art Lamphun is famous for. The unique yok dok pattern is a cultural heritage of Lamphun, and yok dok silk cloth’s history dates back more than a century. The Institute’s founder was also instrumental in getting GI status (geographical indication) for the silk cloth in 2007.
Natural Attractions and National Parks
Speaking of national parks, there are three in Lamphun province including one of the country’s newest.
An hour’s drive some 60 kilometres northeast of the provincial seat, Mae Takhrai National Parkwas officially listed as a national park in December 2017 and covers a 356 square kilometre area of Lamphun’s Mueang and Ban Thi districts and Chiang Mai’s San Kamphaeng, Doi Saket and Mae On districts. Its mountain and forest terrain is home to such wildlife as macaques, gibbons, tigers and various bird species like parrots, hawks and egrets, and there are waterfalls to visit.
Just under an hour’s drive east from town, the 255-square-kilometre Doi Khun Tan National Park straddles the mountainous terrain separating Lamphun and Lampang provinces and offers hiking trails, waterfalls, bungalow accommodation and camping.
A renowned manmade feature of the Park is the Khun Tan Railway Tunnel, which at 1,352 metres is the longest in Thailand. It also took the longest time to build, with well over a decade spent on its construction beginning in 1907. It is said over 1,000 workers died during the construction from suffocation, accidents, malaria and tigers, and a monument in front of the Tunnel is dedicated to them and the German railroad engineer Emil Eisenhofer who directed the project.
Around a two and a half hours’ drive from the provincial seat – this time just over 130 km to the south via Route 106, Mae Ping National Park spans 1,003 square kilometres across Li district in Lamphun, Doi Tao district in Chiang Mai and Sam Ngao district in Tak. Its mountain and forest terrain offers trekking, birdwatching, camping and bungalow and floating raft house accommodation, while the local wildlife includes deer, wild pigs, gorals and macaques, langurs and gibbons.
The Park’s picturesque Ko Luang Waterfall is considered to be among the ‘must-see’ of Thailand’s waterfalls. Its water changes colour with the seasons, from turquoise in the summer months of February to May to cerulean in the cooler months of November to February. The nearby lime caves are known for their stalactites and stalagmites.
Enroute to and from Mae Ping National Park a stop can be made in Li district, about 25 km from the Park, to visit Ban Phrabat Huai Tom. This thriving Karen community are skilled weavers, and there is a handicraft and cultural centre selling their beautifully woven fabrics and textiles. The Ban Phrabat Huai Tom villagers are vegetarian and mostly farmers, and visitors can learn about their lifestyle and culture.
Other places to visit in the area include the impressive Phra Mahathat Chedi Sri Wiangchai, a golden-coloured pagoda standing 40 metres wide and 70 metres high (said to be the biggest in Thailand) and which is surrounded by many smaller pagodas and Buddha images. The chedi is not actually a temple itself, this is located just over a kilometre away. Known as Wat Phra Buddha Bat Huai Tom, this picturesque temple is under the care of the Phra Bhat Huai Tom Royal Project Development Centre.
The Land of Longan Fruit
Lovers of longan will love Lamphun, for the province is a major producer of this small round fruit that’s similar in taste to lychee. The season for longan (Lamyai in Thai) is July to August and this is when Lamphun puts on its annual longan festival, amid the other unique festivals and nationwide festivals it celebrates throughout each year. There are stalls selling longan and longan-related snacks, longan fruit and longan beauty queen contests, a parade and musical performances all in celebration of Lamphun’s favourite fruit.
As one of the 55 secondary destinations being promoted in the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s ‘Amazing Thailand Go Local’ campaign, Lamphun is a wonderful add-on to its famous neighbour Chiang Mai. But visiting can work best when included in a five-to-seven-day road trip starting in Chiang Mai, and stopping in Lamphun, Lampang, Phrae and Nan.
TAT welcomes Bangkok’s newest sightseeing bus service Siam Hop
ewest sightseeing bus service Siam Hop
Bangkok, 06 February, 2019 – The launch of Siam Hop, a new hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus service that covers many of Bangkok’s major tourist sights and entertainment, business and shopping locations, is much welcomed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
According to Siam Hop’s press statement, the service is designed to help tourists plan trips in Bangkok with comfort and safety, as well as provide greater use of their time. There are four different routes available:
HOP Heritage: The Irresistible Charm of Siam: comprising 15 stops, this route focuses on the famous landmarks of Rattanakosin Island, which is Bangkok’s historic district and home to such icons; as the, Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
HOP CBD: The 10 stops on this route offer flexibility to explore the urban charm and vibrancy of the Silom, Suriwongse and Charoen Krung business districts.
HOP Entertainment: This route also of 10 stops makes its way through the Ratchadaphisek and Ladprao areas, making it an ideal choice for those tourists with entertainment on the mind.
HOP Shopping: Perfect for indulging in the shopping wonderland that is Bangkok, there are 14 stops on this route along the famed Sukhumvit shopping district.
Tourists can choose from three convenient Siam Hop packages at varied prices, including a one-day package for 799 Baht, two-day package for 1,300 Baht, and three-day package for 1,700 Baht. Further flexibility is provided with the tickets having a validity period of six months.
Along their chosen route, Siam Hop passengers will find the Siam Hop stops are clearly displayed. Most of the stops are situated on the roadside.
The Siam Hop application provides useful information on the different routes operated and their schedules, details on tourist attractions in the eight languages of English, Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German and Thai, and updates on hot dining and shopping spots at each location.
Free Wi-Fi and USB ports for smartphone charging are also available on the buses, which are air-conditioned and certified by the Department of Land Transport.
The annual Hua Hin Marathon 2019
The second Hua Hin full marathon will be held on Sunday 12th May, 2019 at Wat Khao Krailart, Hua Hin, Thailand. This exciting event is managed by the Preserve Hua Hin Group, an organisation engaged in environmental and social education programmes that promote sustainable practices for Hua Hin’s community. HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn trophies will be awarded to the first male and female marathon winners. The Hua Hin Marathon has a number of coequal aims:
• To motivate the public to engage in physical fitness for good health and longevity,
• To raise awareness of environmental and social sustainability, and
• To continue to preserve and develop “Krailart Niwate” as the eco-spiritual tourism center at the last remaining urban mangrove in Hua Hin.
Preserve Hua Hin Group comes under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and, along with the Hua Hin municipality, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, is co-organising the full marathon. Officials of the event are expecting approximately 5,000 runners.
The race route starts and finishes at the Buddhist temple ‘Wat Khao Krailart’ in Khao Takiab. The routes are based on the different categories. As well as roads and paths, runners will be able to enjoy the early morning sunrise over Hua Hin beach as they run on the white sand.
The event is broken into the following categories:
MARATHON 42.195 KM
The first male and female finishers will receive trophies that have been kindly endorsed by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn as a sign of her approval of the project.
Runners start at 3.00 a.m. from Wat Khao Krailart, then run along a small road in Khao Takiab to Petchkasem road, past the Vana Nava Water Park, True Arena and continue along the street in Soi 112 for 3.7 km then U-turn and head up to cross the flyover bridge, running on flat road for 9.7 km on Petchkasem road then U-turn at Hua Hin Airport and head south, running along Petchkasem road, across the flyover, continuing along the track to Seapines Beach, running along the beach for 2 km and heading back onto the road in Khao Takiab to the finish line at Wat Khao Krailart.
Male age groups: 18-39, 40-49, 50 and over. Female age groups: 18-39, 40-49, 50 and over. The marathoners who run through the finish line will receive a “Finisher T- Shirt” and an after race massage by Chiva-Som massage therapists.
Entry fee: 1,200 Baht
*Timing chip system, cut-off at 7 hours, limited to 900 participating runners.
HALF MARATHON 21.1 KM
Runners start at 5.00 a.m. from Wat Khao Krailart, and run along a small road in Khao Takiab to Petchkasem road, past the Vana Nava Water Park, and True Arena then run along the street in Soi 112 for 3.7 km then U-turn and back to the track to pass Vana Nava Water Park again, then along past Kasetsart University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Hua Hin, turning left to Seapines Beach then run along the beach for 2 km and continue to the road in Khao Takiab to the finish line at Wat Khao Krailart.
Male age groups: 16-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50 and over. Female age groups: 16-29, 30-39, 40 and over. The runners can enjoy an after race massage by Chiva-Som massage therapists.
Entry fee: 800 Baht
* Timing chip system, cut-off at 3.5 hours, limited to 1,400 runners participating.
MINI MARATHON 10.5 KM
Runners start at 5.30 a.m. from Wat Khao Krailart and run along a small road in Khao Takiab to the beach, running along the beach for an 8.5 km round-trip taking a mid-point U-turn to the finish line at Wat Khao Krailart.
Male age groups: 15 and under, 16-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50 and over. Female age groups: 15 and under, 16- 29, 30-39, 40-49, 50 and over.
Entry fee: 500 Baht
* Timing chip system, limited to 2,000 runners participating.
FUN RUN 5 KM
Runners start at 5.45 a.m. from Wat Khao Krailart and run along a small road in Khao Takiab to the beach, running along the beach for a 3 km round-trip with a mid-run U-turn back to the finish line at Wat Khao Krailart. Open and non-competitive
Entry fee: 400 Baht
*No timing chips, limited to 700 runners participating.
All runners will receive the following:
• A medal for everybody who completes the course.
• A 2019 running shirt and Goodie Bag.
• A certificate for the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Mini Marathon finishers that can be downloaded on the website one day after the event.
• Accident insurance during competition for all participants.
• Free download of race day pictures on JogAndJoy.Photos.
• Free Dinner on Saturday 11th May and breakfast on Sunday 12th May (after the race).
• The Wat Khao Lan Thom courtyard nearby allows overnight camping for all runners and participants.
For further information and registration, please contact http://www.huahinmarathon.com/
ABOUT PRESERVE HUA HIN
Preserve Hua Hin Group was formed as a community development organization on 10 June 2004. Khun Boonchu Rojanastien, the founder of Chiva-Som International Health Resort and honorary chairman of PHHG, enlisted support from private and public sector organizations to spearhead the development of PHHG and organize activities to promote environmental awareness and preservation, The aim is to increase social interaction in the local community. Khun Krip Rojanastien is the president. HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has graciously endorsed her support of Preserve Hua Hin Group since 13 October 2010.
ABOUT KRAILART NIWATE
Krailart Niwate is the mangrove preservation project spearheaded by the Preserve Hua Hin Group and Chiva-Som that aims to preserve the last remaining urban mangrove ecosystem in Hua Hin, Thailand providing scientific understanding, knowledge and appreciation for nature. Krailart Niwate is a reconstructed wetland project, promoting eco-spiritual tourism in the community and also providing a natural environment for the general public to walk, run, relax and experience a unique ecosystem.
Chiva-Som Hua Hin is Asia’s first comprehensive wellness resort, providing proven transformations towards optimal wellness. Nestled in seven acres of tranquil grounds, it’s a beachfront resort dedicated to revitalising the mind, body and spirit (represented by its tri-part logo). Western practices and Eastern philosophies are brought together in the wellness resort which provides services for guests to develop healthy habits and lifestyle transformations; it has been recognised by readers and industry experts alike as one of the most outstanding wellness resorts in the world since its launch 24 years ago.
The Resort is committed to operating at the world’s highest environmental standards in all levels of operation. Since its launch, the Resort has been dedicated to operating as ethically and sustainably as possible. A dedicated CSR team has implemented many initiatives, policies and practices for energy efficiency and conservation, waste water treatment and reuse, fresh water conservation, waste minimisation and recycling, air quality management and environmentally friendly product usage.
A few other recent awards include:
• ‘1st in Best Spa’- Traveler’s World Magazine 2019 (Germany)
• ‘Top ranked Asian Spa in Top 20 Destination Spas’- Conde Nast Traveler The Readers’ Travel Awards 2018 (UK)
• ‘Top 5 Favourite Destination Spa’- Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Travel Awards 2018 (India)
• ‘Thailand’s Best Wellness Retreat 2018’- World Spa Awards (UK)
• ‘#13 of Top 25 in Asia, Best 100 Spa List’- Condé Nast Traveler (China)
• ‘Green Era For Sustainability Award’- Otherways Association Management & Consulting Awards 2017
• ‘Medi Spa of the year’ - Asia Spa Awards 2017
• ‘Outstanding Wellness Spa Destination in Thailand’ - Asian Lifestyle Tourism Awards 2017
• ‘Top 6 of the Best Overseas Luxury Health and Wellness Property 2017 (1st Runner up)’ - Luxury Travel Award (Australia)
• ‘Best Global Wellness Resort of the Year’ - Spa China Awards 2017
The beachfront resort is located in the town of Hua Hin, which lies 185 km south of the capital of Bangkok. It can be reached by car in under three hours, private plane in 25 minutes from Bangkok and chartered helicopter in 40 minutes from Bangkok.
Kewalin Sukumjittanon Chalinee Potipraisiri
Head of Communications
Tel: +66 (0) 2711 6900-12
Tel: +66 (0) 3253 6536