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Update October 26, 2016

Baan Dam Museum in Chiang Rai to collect entrance fees

The famous Baan Dam or Black House of Chiang Rai will begin collection an 80 baht entrance fee from December 1, 2016. Photo courtesy of

Nopniwat Krailerg

The famed Baan Dam Museum in Chiang Rai will begin collecting entrance fees from December 1, 2016 as the increasing numbers of tourists has seen growing maintenance costs. The museum, which has been open for 40 years and never collected fees, will begin charging visitors 80 baht per person on December 1, 2016. Initially it had been planned to start on November 1 but the Museum is waiving fees during the mourning period for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The Museum has been affected by weather and termites and requires constant maintenance as well as wear and tear from the growing numbers of tourists. Each visitor will receive a free booklet on the history of the museum and will offer special exhibitions and cultural performances on weekends.

Excepted from the entrance fees will be children under the age of 12, students in uniform or with student ID, government officials in uniform or with ID card, monks and priests of all religions, pregnant women, the disabled and people over 60 years of age.

Baan Dam Museum in Chiang Rai Province was created by the famed national artist Tawan Datchanee and comprises around 40 buildings, some of which are not open to the public.

Update October 19, 2016

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai unveils Rim Tai Kitchen Cooking Studio and Restaurant

Four Seasons Resort introduces their new Rim Tai cooking school and kitchen, offering guests a unique culinary experience in a beautiful setting.

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai introduced their new personalised culinary experiences in an authentic environment at Rim Tai Kitchen.

Designed by the renowned Bill Bensley, dubbed “the king of exotic luxury resorts” by TIME magazine, the cooking school takes the guest on a culinary adventure.

“Rim Tai” refers to the sub-district in which Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is located which is one of the greenest areas of Chiang Mai province. As such, Rim Tai Kitchen focuses on local natural products, most of which are organically cultivated.

Inspired by the ancient Lanna Kingdom and occupying a Thai teak house surrounded by tropical garden and banyan trees, the studio operates as an open kitchen concept equally well adapted to a single cooking demonstration or to utilise multiple live cooking stations.

The latest kitchenette experience is complemented by authentic Thai-style seating. Large hoods above the stoves add to the aesthetics while several Thai seasoning bottles and cans stacked on upper shelves bring a market touch. A breath-taking chandelier is poised over the central communal table and an array of traditional utensils enhances the Lanna cultural experience. Sliding glass walls allow opening of the whole live kitchen area to sweeping views over the resort’s own rice field.

Thai culinary experiences include morning classes with vibrant market visit or Chef’s organic garden tour and preparation of your meal. The school’s instructor chefs share their passion and expertise to showcase authentic curries, wok dishes, herbal drinks, tea and coffee traditions as well as classic Thai fruit carvings.

Afternoon cooking classes offer a new approach with courses designed to guide you on the art of creating healthy juices and smoothies using organic fruits and herbs from The Royal Project, Northern Thailand. Afternoon sessions will also feature courses that offer an introduction to the organic teas from Doi Mae Salong plantation or coffee pairing experiences with Thai confectionaries. Alternatively, you can choose to learn the art of creating quintessential Thai fruit and vegetable carvings.

In the evening, the Cooking School acts as an open kitchen style restaurant presenting interactive dining experiences. The “Thai Live kitchen” concept showcases an active, convivial and educative Thai culinary experience followed by Chef’s Table. Live entertainment will accompany theme dinners with Thai dancers and a kim player to entertain the guests with cultural performances.

Rim Thai Kitchen cooking studio also offers a unique banquet venue for business groups and internal or external private events. Groups can be accommodates on the terrace, sala and chef’s table. The Cocktail Lawn near the cooking school sala offers an ideal location for pre- and post-dinner drinks. Themed events such as Farmer’s Market, Ancient Lanna or Loy Kratong, and Sunday Brunch, are among other signature experiences offered.

For more information or reservations, please contact Four Seasons Chiang Mai Food and Beverage at +66 53 298 181 or E-mail [email protected]

Update October 5, 2016

Chiang Mai Airport welcomes Golden Week travelers

AoT officials including Director of Chiang Mai International Airport Gp. Capt. Wisuth Jantana welcomed Chinese tourists from Wuhan on China’s National Day, the start of Golden Week, which sees millions of Chinese travel in China and abroad.

Arrivals from Wuhan were greeted with souvenirs at the International Arrivals hall at Chiang Mai International Airport to celebrate the start of Golden Week.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai Airport officials, government and airline employees welcomed Chinese travelers to Chiang Mai International Airport for the major Chinese holiday period known as Golden Week. Golden Week, which runs from October 1 – October 7, sees hundreds of millions of Chinese traveling in China; Suvarnabhumi International Airport expects 17,000 Chinese passengers through that airport per day. Chiang Mai and Koh Samui are the two top destinations for Chinese travelers according to the Airports of Thailand.

Gp. Capt. Wisuth Jantana, Director of Chiang Mai International Airport, Airport of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) was accompanied by executives and staff of Chiang Mai Airport, representatives of airlines, and government officials working in Chiang Mai Airport in welcoming passengers of CA707 flight coming from Wuhan on the occasion of Golden Week, handing souvenirs and performing a Lanna traditional dance in the International Arrival Hall.

The Director of Chiang Mai International Airport said that there are currently 11 airlines operating direct flight from China, including Thai Airways, Thai AirAsia, Dragon Airs, Hong Kong Express, China Eastern, Air China, Spring Airlines, Juneyao Airlines, China Southern, Chengdu Airlines, and Sichuan airlines. Cities served include Hong Kong, Macao, Kunming, Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Changsha, Chongqing, Hangzhou, and Chengdu. There has been a total of 889,044 Chinese passengers arriving and departing from Chiang Mai International Airport from January to August 2016. That is a 16 percent increase from the same period last year and it is expected that the airport wills see more than 1.3 million Chinese passengers using the airport for 2016, an 18 percent increase from 2015.

Take a walk in the hills and discover Nong Hoi

Doi Mon Chaem

If you’ve ever trekked in the forests of Northern Thailand and occasionally looked out over a vista of tree-covered slopes, stretching to the horizon, you may have presumed that this region has been relatively untouched until modern times – the primeval realm of Mother Nature. But the truth is that these hills have long been home to a wide array of tribal people – half a million in number, living off the land, cultivating crops in small holdings and doggedly preserving their unique customs and cultures.

The greenhouses at Nong Hoi’s Royal Project Crops Development Centre.

These hill-tribes are thought to have migrated from China and the Tibetan Plateau over the last few centuries to settle in Myanmar, Lao PDR. and Thailand. Now they make up six major groups – the Akha, Lahu, Karen, Hmong or Miao, Mien or Yao, and Lisu; each with a distinct language and culture of their own. Until recent years, these hill-tribes led a pastoral life raising animals and growing crops, including small amounts of medicinal opium. But as the modern world intruded, and the Vietnam War gathered pace in the 1960s, modern communications exposed the hill-tribe communities to a more unscrupulous outside world and opium became a cash crop with all the misery that entails.

So the Nong Hoi Royal Project Development Centre, Chiang Mai in Mae Rim sub-district was set up in 1984 by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej to help the tribal people in the region to move on from the production of opium while improving their lives and the reputation of the country. The Project has been a resounding success – new farming methods, training and equipment, brought in by experts, have meant sustainable and saleable crops are now grown on slopes once reserved for opium poppies.

Much of this success is due to the fact that the region in which the tribal people live, lies between 850 and 1,460 metres above sea level and has a mean temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, perfect for growing a range of crops that can’t be cultivated on the hotter plains of Central Thailand. These fruits and vegetables include artichokes, lemon thyme, mint, camomile, rosemary, plums, seedless grapes, strawberries, red olives, herbal teas and tomatoes – many of these fresh ingredients are sent directly to Chiang Mai’s restaurants and hotels, which seek out sustainable and high-quality food sources.

Because this is such a lovely area, coupled with the unique local lifestyles, Nong Hoi has become a tourist attraction in itself. In the fresh clean air of the hills, there are amazing walks to enjoy, stunning views and the chance to learn about sustainable development. Book a visit in advance, and a specially-assigned staff will give your group a briefing on the Project’s background, and you’ll get to taste some of the fresh goods and herbal teas which grow all around.

Perhaps the most important building at Nong Hoi is the Royal Project Crops Development Centre, where experiments are carried out in an effort to increase the types of temperate climate fruit and vegetables that can be grown by local hill-tribe farmers. Government scientists and students often come here to conduct research, but visitors can also stop by to have a look, and there are some fascinating demonstrations of organic and hydroponic growing techniques for herbs and vegetables. (TAT)

Update October 3, 2016

Bangkok Airways Voted Best Regional Airline 2016 by TTG Asia

Mr. Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, President of Bangkok Airways PLC (Middle),  Mr. Michael Chow, Group Publisher – Travel group of TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd (2nd from left) and Mr. Pierre Quek, Online Publisher, of TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd (2nd from right).

Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited led by Mr. Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, President, received the "Best Regional Airline 2016 Award" from Group Publisher – Travel group of TTG Asia Media, Mr. Michael Chow at the 27th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2016 Ceremony and Gala Dinner held at the World Ballroom, Centara Grand at Central World.

Mr. Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, President of Bangkok Airways commented, "On behalf of everyone at Bangkok Airways, I am delighted and proud to have received this honorable award from TTG Asia. I would like to extend our thanks to all the readers of TTG Asia, TTG China, TTG India, TTG Mice, TTG-BTmice China, TTGassociations and TTG Asia Luxury for casting their votes for us. This achievement not only reflects our internationally recognized level of service and safety standards, yet it also manifests our continuous commitment to delivering the best possible products and services in the industry."

Organized annually by TTG Asia, The TTG Asia Travel Awards honors the best of the best in the Asia-Pacific travel trade. This prestigious travel industry event marks a time for the industry to recognize the exemplary organizations that raise the bar of excellence.

Thailand wins TTG Travel Awards Destination of the Year 2016

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Executive Director of the Advertising and Public Relations Department (second from left), received the award on behalf of Thailand.

Thailand has won the TTG Travel Awards for the “Outstanding Achievement Awards: Destination of the Year 2016”, making it the sixth time the country has won this accolade, having received it previously in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2012 and 2013.

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Executive Director of the Advertising and Public Relations Department of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) received the award on behalf of Thailand at the 27th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2016 Ceremony and Gala Dinner in Bangkok, Thailand on 29 September, 2016, at the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre, CentralWorld.

Mr. Chattan said, “I would like to extend my gratitude to TTG’s editorial team for honouring Thailand with this prestigious award. We are indeed honoured and proud that the continuous efforts being made by the Thai tourism industry to strive for higher standards are delivering results, and being recognised. Thailand will certainly continue our tireless efforts in taking steps and initiatives to strengthen the development and promotion or our thriving tourism industry.”

Organised by TTG Asia Media’s Travel Trade Publishing Group, the TTG Travel Awards have been recognising the best of the Asia-Pacific’s travel industry since 1989. (TAT)


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Baan Dam Museum in Chiang Rai to collect entrance fees

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai unveils Rim Tai Kitchen Cooking Studio and Restaurant

Chiang Mai Airport welcomes Golden Week travelers

Take a walk in the hills and discover Nong Hoi

Bangkok Airways Voted Best Regional Airline 2016 by TTG Asia

Thailand wins TTG Travel Awards Destination of the Year 2016