BUSINESS & TRAVEL
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Lush, green foothill setting for new Coffee Shop

Wild Asia Awards’ eight finalists include three Thais

Sino-Thai military relations to be strengthened

Lush, green foothill setting for new Coffee Shop

Andy Archer
Star Toose Coffee, a new gay friendly coffee shop, opened September 21 near Wat U Mong, in the foothills of Doi Suthep.To get there, follow the recognised scenic bicycle route from Suthep Road.

Star Toose Coffee Shop, set in the green foothills of Doi Suthep.

Travel south past Wat U Mong, bear left and turn right at the T Junction. Continue for about 1.5 kilometres, past Wat Rampoeng on your left. Turn right into a small soi just past Wat Pong Noi; the coffee shop is on the left. If you’ve managed to find it, you’ll have noticed that you are now in a beautiful, lush green area at the foot of the mountain – a journey well worth while as the noise and stress of the city is far behind. The coffee used is grown by the Agricultural Faculty at Chiang Mai University, and is very good indeed – fruit juices and Swiss cakes are also available, and, to make a pleasant afternoon complete, scented roses and rosemary van be bought to perfume your home. For further info please contact Seksan Dangohat (Eew) on 089-288-4897 or cnx1eew @hotmail.com.


Wild Asia Awards’ eight finalists include three Thais

Elena Edwards
The third annual Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards 2008, open to contestants from all over Asia, now has 8 finalists, including three Thai resorts. Six Senses’ Hideaway at Phang Nga is a finalist in the luxury/boutique sub-category, Faasai Resort and Spa, Chanthanaburi, in the budget sub-category, and Andaman Discoveries, again in Phang Nga, is a finalist in the community run home-stay category. The other five finalists’ locations vary from India and Sri Lanka to Indonesia and the Philippines.
To qualify for entry into the awards contest, candidates have to fulfil strict criteria in matters related to the environment and economical and social objectives, and are visited by representatives of the organising body after filling in a detailed questionnaire. The aim of the contest is to promote awareness of these essential issues in order that the necessary economic “evil” of tourism does not destroy the environment which initially attracts visitors’ attention. The publicity, particularly online, accorded to responsible practices within the tourism industry will help visitors to make informed choices about their destinations. Many tourists at present are looking for genuinely “green” destinations, realising that over-development of facilities can cause enormous ecological damage. Awareness of local traditions and customs is also high on responsible visitors’ lists. Results of the contest and full details of the award-winners will be announced at a Responsible Tourism seminar to be held this November. For further details, please visit www. wildasia.net.


Sino-Thai military relations to be strengthened

Elena Edwards
The Chinese Defence Minister, Liang Guanglie, announced recently that China and its military are willing to strengthen ties with Thailand in all fields, including the military, in order to boost bilateral friendship and cooperation. The announcement was made during the visit to China of Thailand’s Permanent Secretary of Defence, Winai Phattiyakut, as the guest of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence.
In his speech, Liang commended the recent cooperation between the Royal Thai Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during their joint exercises in Chiang Mai province, and said that the exercise had promoted Sino-Thai relations in that fruitful results had been achieved. He added that, “We would like to keep intense contact and cooperation with the Thai side so as to upgrade friendly ties between the two countries and militaries to a new height.” In reply, Winai stated that Thai and Chinese armed forces had cooperated successfully in the past, and added that, “Thailand values its friendly relations with China and hopes to cement them further in the future.”
The joint operations between representatives of the two armed forces were held earlier this year, focusing on non-traditional security areas and regional peace and security. During 2007, Thai forces held an initial joint training session with the PLA in Guangdong; the first time Chinese forces had held such sessions with another country.