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What could be sexier than a plush pool villa?

No re-negotiation of Thai-Japan trade pact: Thai FM

OTOP to the World 2007 Fair Next Month

Thai Travel News

Chiang Mai Airline Guide

Promoting Thailand in Germany

What could be sexier than a plush pool villa?

When money is no object the pool villa can be yours

By Raini Hamdi, TTG Asia
In Phuket, Trisara has joined the ranks of Banyan Tree Phuket’s spa pool villa product and the venerable Amanpuri as among the world’s most gorgeous locations for honeymooners, say I, after a two-night stay at
the resort recently. My life-partner and I rented a car to drive around Phuket during our stay. We used it for all of 15 minutes, driving from the international airport to Trisara. After that, we were never seen by the resort’s front desk again.
What kept us in? It is not what you think – although it was that, too, and who could blame us! In the face of Trisara’s beautiful surroundings, in the comfort of our ocean view pool suite which had every modern luxury we could think of, in the care of the excellent kitchen team that dished up orgasmic meals, who could bother to step outside?
It took no time at all for us to feel relaxed and romantic in this “third garden in heaven”, (trisara in Sangskrit).
Trisara also got us going with a bottle of champagne and hand-made chocolates upon arrival and a floral turndown service complete with a candlelit bath.
Honeymooners will appreciate the privacy and seclusion Trisara affords. There are 42 pool suites and villas built over 16 hectares of landscaped tropical gardens. The resort sits above a private bay, on gently-sloping contours, from where it silently guards a stretch of coastline that is unspoiled by vendors, massage services, or whatever else that can be sold.
Located in north-west Phuket, which is not developed, its surroundings are green, pristine and fresh.
I was only reminded I was in Phuket by the local architecture of the resort’s main pavilions and the modern Thai décor and touches in the suite.
Here, it was all quiet and peaceful. The only sounds were leaves being rustled by the breeze and the lapping of ocean waves. It is surprising that a location so close to the airport did not startle with the sound of an aircraft now and then.
My suite, too, was remarkably quiet; thanks to I believe to be the quietest air-conditioning unit on earth. And there was not a draft anywhere. I never had to adjust the temperature or the fan speed throughout my stay, a first for me.
To me, this is a simple, but effective, reflection of a perfectionist at work.
Trisara general manager, Mr Anthony Lark, who is also a partner of the development, in fact, was general manager of Amanpuri for 12 years since its early days in 1988. It is not surprising, therefore, to see many Amanresorts touches in Trisara, such as its great library, well thought-out ideas for excursions, genteel service, the magnificent main pool with the ubiquitous white umbrellas, even a copy of The Gallivanter’s Guide with a review of the resort.
Now, his Trisara is a worthy competition to Amanpuri, which must have shaped Mr Lark’s idea of refinement and which he must have helped shape as the most desired beach resort in Asia back then.
With no expense spared on building the quality suites and villas, and on services such as a spa using organic products and a kitchen associated with renowned Australian chef, Neil Perry, Trisara may find its own junkies.
And who most likely than the couples who find heaven in its gardens, for whom a honeymoon is forever?
Tel: (66-76) 310-100 email: [email protected]
website: www.trisara.com
Room rates start at $556.00 (19,460Bht)


No re-negotiation of Thai-Japan trade pact: Thai FM

Thailand will not seek to renegotiate any part of the finalized free trade agreement with Japan, Thai Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram told the powerful Japan Business Association during his recent visit to Japan.
Mr Nitya assured senior Japanese executives that the Thai government would stand by its commitments to more liberal trade and investment with Japan - its top export market and largest foreign investor - although several members of the National Legislative Assembly, academics and NGOs have called for a rethink.
Critics of the FTA feared the proposed agreement could pave the way for dumping of hazardous wastes and for the protection of micro-organism inventions under Thai patent law.
“We merely ask Japan to put our common understanding reached during the negotiations into words in the relevant paragraphs of the text, so that it can never be misinterpreted by anyone otherwise,” Mr Nitya said at the luncheon speech at Japan Business Association.
He said it would be in the mutual interest of all the parties that Japan-Thai Economic Partnership Agreement does not encounter protests or public disagreement before or after signing. He hoped the Keidanren could help resolve the issues so that the pact could be signed soon.
The Thai foreign minister was in Tokyo to mark the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations of Thailand and Japan and to make preparations for an official visit of Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, tentatively in the spring. It is planned to coincide with the delayed signing of the economic partnership agreement.
Thai chief negotiator Pisan Manawapat added that the meeting had helped clear the air and he believed the agreement would be signed soon.
Meanwhile, Mr Nitya said he was asked during a meeting with Sadako Okata, head of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, about the political developments in Thailand. He said the Japanese side was satisfied with his explanation about the steps the interim government was taking to return the country to democratic rule.
He told Ms Okata that Thailand was drafting a new constitution which would be put to a national referendum before general elections could be held later in the year. TNA


OTOP to the World 2007 Fair Next Month

Thousands expected to attend

The highly successful OTOP trade fair is to be held next month at the Challenger Impact in Bangkok. Organizers of the event have set the dates for April 17-22 and thousands of buyers, sellers and visitors are expected to attend.
The One Tambon One Product (OTOP) project was initiated in 2001 to promote local communities by applying their skills to produce a number of different products using natural resources and raw materials available in their areas, thus generating more income for local people. The Thai government then assists the villagers in giving direction for product development and placement into local and international markets.
The Department of Export Promotion and the Ministry of Commerce organizes and sponsors the yearly trade fair in Thailand and in other countries. Their goal this year is to add value to the OTOP products and create additional sales distribution channels.
The event is open to buyers on Trade days: April 17 - 20 (10.00 - 18.00 hrs.) and then to the public on: April 21 - 22 (10.00 - 21.00 hrs.) Additional information can be found on www.thaitradefair.com


Thai Travel News

Almost 14 million tourists arrived
in 2006

The Tourism Authority of Thailand statistics based on Immigration bureau figures show 13,821,802 international tourists arrived in 2006 at all border points, all over the country. The number was slightly over its target of 13.8 million, and a 20.01% growth over 2005.
Malaysians topped the list with 1,591,328 tourists mostly arriving by land, followed by Japanese at just over 1.3 million, Koreans with just over 1 million, Chinese with about 950,000, then British at 850,000 ahead of Americans, Singaporeans, Australians, and Germans.
All other nationalities were less than 500,000 arrivals. The nationalities with the highest growths were Saudi Arabians at 99%, Russians at 83%, East Europeans at 54% and Egyptians at 51% and the rest were less than 50%.
Suvarnabhumi to become Smile
Airport 2 years
Airports of Thailand (AOT) is set to resolve all problems which have arisen at Thailand’s flagship Suvarnabhumi Airport and promote it as the “Smile Airport” for the region in the coming years.
Serirat Prasutanont, Suvarnabhumi Airport director, revealed that AOT plans to develop the airport and step up efforts to cope with problems the airport is facing such as insufficient toilets, taxiway and runway cracks, and inefficient internal services, to get the showcase facility back on track.
He believes Suvarnabhumi will be one of the world’s top 10 airports in the future when all problems are resolved.
“Unless there are unforeseen risk factors such as political and economic woes, and terrorism, we believe Suvarnabhumi will become the Smile Airport and the region’s aviation centre in the future,” he said.
Re-opened Don Muang may initially operate in the red
Bangkok’s former international airport at Don Muang scheduled to start operating direct domestic flights on March 25 may operate at a loss in the early stage of its reopening, Deputy Transport Minister Sansern Wongcha-um said.
Initially, only three airlines will operate direct domestic flights from Don Muang which comprise 17 percent of the total domestic flights scheduled from the capital. They are now preparing to move back to the airport and to resume providing services there on March 25 as approved earlier by the cabinet, Sansern confirmed.
The three airlines are Thai Airways, Nok Air and Orient Thai.
Nok Air’s 58 daily flights back to Don Muang Airport
Nok Air’s airport office will be located at the Domestic Terminal, Don Muang Airport, with eight check-in counters, counter numbers 27 to 34. In addition, Nok Air has three ticketing counters, two of which are located by the Departure Gate on the second floor, next to the entrance, and another one at an Arrival Gate on the ground floor.
Although Nok Air will begin its full operation at Don Muang on March 25, there will be flights coming in to Don Muang during the evening of March 24, 2007; Nok Air’s Flight DD8327 from Chiang Mai to Bangkok on March 24th departing at 9.50 p.m. will arrive at Don Muang at 11.00 p.m.
On March 25th all of Nok Air’s flights will operate to and from Don Muang. For additional information call 1318.


Chiang Mai Airline Guide

Domestic airlines including Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, Nok Air and Orient Thai Airlines operate several flights daily between Chiang Mai and Bangkok.
Thai Airways also operates domestic flights from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, and Phuket. International flights to and from Chittakong (Bangladesh), Khunming (China), and Tokyo Narita (seasonal) are also provided. Call 02 628 2000 (Bangkok), 053 211 044-7 (Chiang Mai), or visit http://www.thaiairways.com for more information.
Bangkok Airways also offers several daily flights on the Bangkok - Chiang Mai route, some with a stopover at Sukhothai and a Chiang Mai-Samui non-stop. International routes to and from Jinghong and Xian are also available. Call 02 265 5555, 265 5678 (Bangkok Office) or 053 27 6176 (Chiang Mai Office) or visit http://www.bangko kair.com for more information.
Air Asia flights and schedules visit http://www.airasia.com
Nok Air flights and schedules call 1318 or visit http://www.nokair.co.th
Orient Thai Airlines schedules call 02 267 2999 or visit http://www.orient-thai.com
Foreign Airlines operating flights from Chiang Mai to several destinations include:
Air Mandalay operates flights between Chiang Mai and Yangon on Sundays and Thursdays. Contact 053 818 049 (Chiang Mai office), visit http://www.myanmars.net/airman dalay or write to [email protected] for more information.
Air Asia operates a daily flight from Chiang Mai to Kuala Lumpur. Visit http://www.air asia.com for more information.
Mandarin Airlines operates seasonal flights between Chiang Mai and Taipei three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. For more information call, 053 201 268-9 (Chiang Mai office) or visit http://www. mandarinair.com
Lao Airlines operates flights to Luang Prabang and Vientiane route three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Call 053 223 401 (Chiang Mai office), visit http://www.laoairlines.com or write to [email protected] for more information.
Silk Air operates seasonal flights between Chiang Mai Singapore three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Call 053 276 459 053 276 495 (Chiang Mai office) or visit http://www.silkair.com for reservations.
Tiger Air operates flights between Chiang Mai and Singapore four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. More information www.tigerairways.com


Promoting Thailand in Germany

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Pornsiri Manoharn revealed that the TAT spent 15 million baht to promote Thai tourism to foreigners at the International Tourism Borse (ITB) in Germany which was held from March 7th to 11th in Berlin, Germany. More than 126 private tourism businesses, including travel agencies, hotels, and spas, participated in this tourism promotion campaign with an aim to reinvigorate the Thai tourism industry.
At the event the TAT highlighted the new and small resorts in Thailand to the international community, as well as 46 hotels from the South and 12 from the East. This year the TAT also focused on promoting new travel destinations and resorts.
Mrs. Pornsiri expressed confidence that this campaign was worthwhile as the private companies are launching various promotions and alliances to boost their businesses. Representatives from 150 countries were registered at the 41st ITB in Berlin. The event attracted 10,856 sellers and approximately 160,000 guests attended the travel trade fair.