Posts Tagged ‘Southeast Asia’

APAC Insider Magazine Announces the South East Asia Business Awards 2020 Winners

United Kingdom, 2020 APAC Insider Magazine has announced winners of the 2020 South East Asia Business Awards.

South East Asia has swiftly become a dominant force on the business landscape across a number of significant industries. Whilst other markets have stagnated in light of difficulties over the last couple of years, South East Asia has ploughed on, stronger than it was the year before. Even today, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, we can see the shining starts of the region evolve and adapt to the unique challenges the virus has bought about. There can be no doubt, then, that the businesses in South East Asia are defined by an entrepreneurial spirit and a need to be greater. Better. More innovative.

Awards Co-ordinator Katherine Benton commented on the success of the deserving winners: “I offer a sincere congratulations to all of those recognised in the South East Asia Business Awards programme. It has been a pleasure and a delight to run this year’s edition and recognize those businesses that truly deserve to be elevated above their peers.”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit https://www.apac-insider.com/ where you can view our full winners list.

ENDS

SEA Business Award 2020

south_east_asia_business_award_2020

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The What is “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration” (SHA) project

The Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration also just in short called SHA project is a result of cooperation between:

    • the Ministry of Tourism and Sports,
    • the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT),
    • the Ministry of Public Health,
    • the Department of Disease Control,
    • the Department of Health and
    • the Department of Health Service Support,
    • as well as government and private sector organizations involved in the tourism industry.

Together they aim to make tourism a part of Thailand’s disease prevention measures. To ensure that both Thai and foreign tourists have a positive experience, that they are happy and confident in the sanitation and safety standards of Thailand’s tourism products and services. Combining public health safety measures and establishments’ high-quality service standards, we can reduce the risk and prevent the spread of COVID-19. And it will improving Thailand’s tourism products and service standards.

Various boards, federations, and associations in the tourism industry are in charge of inspecting the checklist and certifying the result of improving a workplace according to the SHA (Safety and Health Administration) standards. Workplaces are divided into 10 types:

  1. Restaurants / diners,
  2. Hotel, Accommodation and Meeting place,
  3. Recreational activity and tourist attraction,
  4. Transportation,
  5. Travel agency (only local),
  6. Health and beauty,
  7. Department store and Shopping centers,
  8. Sports for tourism,
  9. Theater, Entertainment, and Activity,
  10. Souvenir shop and other shops.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) awards SHA (Safety and Health Administration) certificates, assigns a serial number to successful entrepreneurs. It records it in the database of the list of entrepreneurs who have received the SHA certificate. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) can also revoke the SHA (Safety and Health Administration) certificate if entrepreneurs fail to comply with SHA (Safety and Health Administration) standards.

SHA (Safety and Health Administration) provides sanitation and safety standards for tourists. During the re-opening period of establishments or services, tourists and service recipients are asked to provide any suggestions by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). This data will be used for further improvement. Establishments will be randomly inspected by the committee.

Another Project within Thailand is the cooperation of DMC’s which created an uniform Health & Safety Standards

more details about SHA 

 

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NEW DAWN FOR SMALL-SCALE SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN SOUTHERN MYANMAR

published by Mekong Tourism online magazinge and contributed by Keith Lyons

13th of March 2020

A tiny village in the backwaters of southern Myanmar is cleaning up its act and laying out the welcome mat, as Keith Lyons finds during a visit to a remote settlement sharing an estuary with Thailand.

Mergui Archipelago / Myanmar

Long-tail boats are used for transport, cargo and fishing in the estuary which divides Myanmar and Thailand at the southern-most tip of Myanmar.

As tourist destinations go, it would be hard to find any place smaller than ramshackle Wae Ngae. The tiny Burmese hamlet of a dozen rickety wooden stilt-houses looks out across a wide estuary to its more prosperous neighbour Thailand. The sleepy village, where small fish dry on racks in the fierce midday sun, is an unlikely test-case for a responsible tourism project which ambitiously aims to better lives, while conserving neglected habitats, as well as providing intrepid visitors with an authentic non-touristy experience, an antidote to commercial tourism and the catchphrase of 2019 – over-tourism.

Just launched is a new Community-Based Tourism (CBT) initiative along with efforts to improve waste management. “This is part of our efforts to promote responsible tourism models and practices in the Kawthaung area, involving small communities, civic groups, local government and the private sector,” says Istituto Oikos Country Director and STAR Project Manager Daniele Alleva. Italian NGO OIKOS (www.istituto-oikos.org/en), which employs European and Myanmar biodiversity and sustainable development experts, launched its STAR Program in 2018 in the southern Myanmar’s Tanintharyi region, having initially focused earlier efforts on Lampi Marine National Park in the Mergui Archipelago before extending its outreach to the mainland’s Kawthaung district. Funded by the Italian government and private donors, the three-year project aims to promote well-being and social inclusion, as well as working alongside communities to protect soil, water, forests and wildlife.

While the Myanmar partly-democratic government has recognized the important role of tourism in the nation’s post-dictatorship economic development, the southern (and largely neglected) region has been identified as an area with untapped potential. Past exploitative forestry, mining and fishing practices have damaged the environment, with vast plantations producing palm oil and rubber and a smuggler economy meaning little of the region’s wealth from natural resources trickles down to ordinary Burmese.

There is no road access to Wae Ngae, a ‘new’ village established by Burmese from further north in search of new opportunities in fishing, farming or manual labor. There is no boat or ferry service to the villages dotted beside the estuary or up tributary rivers, says Shwe Fun from the partner organization Parchan River Conservation and Development Association (PRCDA). There are many challenges, including lack of facilities and infrastructure. Neither his organization, nor the government’s fisheries department (part of the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development), are adequately resourced or empowered. The only way for him (and the fisheries officer inspecting the oyster and mussel farms) to reach the settlements is to hitch a ride from the port of Kawthaung on a long-tail boat for the two-hour journey upriver.

longtail to the remote villages Myanmar

There aren’t enough resources and the estuary area bordering Thailand is lacking infrastructure, says Shwe Fun partner organization Parchan River Conservation and Development Association (PRCDA), who is working to improve livelihoods and protect the environment.

Passing the large flotilla of fishing boats docked at Kawthaung, most which catch squid and fish for the Thailand ‘grey’ market (there are no processing facilities in Kawthaung), any visit must be timed with the tides. Across the estuary of the Panchang river, which is sometimes turbulent in windy conditions, Thailand is tantalisingly close. On the Thai side, the river is known as Kraburi, and beyond Thailand’s largest preserved mangrove forests are the bright lights of Ranong, with its 7-Elevens, and menial jobs for those lucky enough to be able to work legally (or illegally).

The inequalities are highlighted at Wae Ngae village, where residents struggle to survive, fishing at night the river estuary, trapping crabs and farming oysters and mussels on the tidal mudflats and mangrove forest riverbanks.

Despite the subsistence existence of the inhabitants of Wae Ngae (and its larger twin settlement of Wae Gyi), a banquet of freshly-prepared dishes is served for visitors upstairs in a newly-constructed stilt-house. A locally-harvested medicinal root, similar to cassava, is served in a tonic drink with honey, preserved in whisky.

As brahminy kites and sea eagles soar and circle on thermals, Alleva says for adventurous visitors there are opportunities for bird-watching, spotting dolphins, visiting fish and shellfish farms, and kayaking in the mangroves. “This project is ultimately run by the community, to ensure sustainability,” he says.

As well as the CBT initiative OIKOS has undertaken waste awareness campaigns in many villages. “Wae Ngae is one of five villagers where we are promoting social inclusion by income-generating activities including a waste management project to enable participants to earn money instead of discarding trash,” says ecologist Cristina Tha, an assistant project manager with OIKOS, showing the area behind the settlement set aside to consolidate the rubbish.

Waste Managment program - Mergui Archipelago

Trash is separated for re-use, sale, recycling and disposal at a small estuary village in southern Myanmar, as part of a waste management program and community-based-tourism project by Italian NGO OIKOS

Later the open-air downstairs area is used for a meeting about the village’s waste recycling program which sees rubbish sorted for re-use, recycling, or disposal. Plastic which cannot be re-used is burned at high temperatures, while glass and cans along with scrap metal are ferried to Kawthaung or across the river to Thailand, where it can be sold. “It has been a challenge to get community buy-in, but at Wae Ngae they have an incentive to sort the trash, as the village makes money by selling it, mainly to Thailand, if the price is better than available in Kawthaung,” says assistant project manager Giulia Cecchinato, who has a background in forest and participatory forest management.

From Wae Ngae it is a pleasant 15-minute walk through leafy areca palms which yield betel nut, and rubber plantations where the bark is cut to bleed white latex into coconut shell cups, to Wae Gyi, where an open rubbish dump sits between the shoreline and the primary school and hilltop Buddhist monastery. Visitors to the area will be able to venture up a tributary of the Panchang River where ancient mangrove forest line the tidal stream, and clamber up a hillside for a panoramic view of the tropical jungle, before heading back to the bright lights of Kawthaung or Ranong, or the Andaman Club Casino on a nearby island.

Visitor numbers to Kawthaung have increased in recently years, as the border port is the gateway to Mergui archipelago’s new resorts, though many of the visitors are day trippers from Thailand, or foreigners on a quick visa run. There’s hope that backwaters on the estuary and among the mangroves such as Wae Ngae and Wae Gyi might benefit from the growth in tourism. Last week, the village of Wae Ngae received its first guests.

Interesting in visiting this amazing area?

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How to cross the border from Ranong/Thailand to Kawthaung/ Myanmar

To cross the border in Ranong / Thailand to Kawthaung in Myanmar is quite easy and a great start into your Mergui Archipelago adventure. You must cross the border river which separating the two countries. For those who try to make this way by themselves we did a step by step guideline how to do and what you need 😊

Kawthaung in Myanmar

There are a few things you need to bring along with you on the journey. Bring your passport, a copy of your passport and the little white departure card, you received when you entered Thailand (TM6). For the Myanmar side, you need the printout E-Visa form or the visa which is already stamped in your passport from a Myanmar Embassy, as well as some new, nice, and crisp US$ Notes. The officers do not accept any other currency or old US$ notes. The amount payable depends on the length of stay in Myanmar. The Myanmar Authorities do not accept any other currency than US$.

Start point is the Saphan Pla Pier and Immigration Checkpoint in Ranong.

The Saphan Pla Pier in Ranong is a small pier hidden behind the PTT petrol station and the 7/11 convenience store.

Ranong Immigration Checkpoint   Immigration Ranong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google map: 9.948098, 98.594781

Here are the directions in Thai, in case you want to show them to your driver:

กรุณาไปส่งที่   ท่าเทียบเรือ
เทศบาลตำบลปากน้ำระนอง
ถนน เฉลิมพระเกียรติ

As soon you arrive many of tout will offer you a boat to cross over to Kawthaung, the gateway to the Mergui Archipelago. The prices are different and most of the time these guys are trying to fill up their long tail boat with more people, so maybe it can a little bit time to departure.  But you can also negotiate for a private boat.  The usual price is around 300-500 THB per longtail or if you join in the prices per person is between 50 – 100 THB.

But before you jump into one of the longtails, do not forget to visit the officer at the Thai Immigration Checkpoint as you must check out of Thailand.  The Immigration office are 2 small windows on your right side when you come in. Please make sure you have your passport ready.

The Officer will ask you where you are going and how long you are going to be away for, because they are looking for people who try to do multiply visa runs by crossing the border. By Thai Immigration Law, every foreigner can cross the Thai Border per land only two times per calendar year.  If you needed a visa to visit Thailand, please make sure to get a re-entry visa before leaving Thailand, if you are planning to return to Thailand after your trip to Myanmar and your adventure within the Mergui Archipelago.

After you got your passport with an exit stamp in it back, just walk to the Longtail boat pier. The small and somewhat adventurous looking boats there, are the only available transport option to Kawthaung.

A tip: Bring a copy of your passport as the little boats need a copy for the passing checkpoints.  Otherwise you can make a copy at the little shop next to the Pier in the little kind of supermarket, the longtail guys are also happy to make a copy for you the prices are usually between 5-10 THB.

Crossing the river

The Longtail boats have a cover, so you are protected from the sun. Please put one of the life Jackets before the boat departs.

On the way to Kawthaung, you will stop an Immigration points, where Thai passports were taken up to be stamped. There was a Customs checkpoint next to it. Sometimes they will ask you to show your passport, sometimes not. The process is always different, but you do not have to leave the boat as your captain and crew will take of this whole process, just hand them over your passport which you will get returned as soon as they back.

30 – 40 minutes later you will arrive in Kawthaung, the entry point to the Mergui Archipelago.

On the Way

 

 

 

 

 

After this quick stop at the Thai Immigration Checkpoint you will pass the Thai Customs before you get out to Ranong area to cross the river between Thailand and Myanmar. Enjoy the cruise along stilt houses on your way.

 

On the way you will pass on a tiny island the Thai Army station.

Before you reach the mainland of Myanmar you will stop or slow down at another tiny island with Myanmar Army present, also here you must show the passport by just holding it up, you do not have to get of the boat.

 

Sometimes the driver just must show the passport to the officers by collecting your passport, but you will get them back immediately as before.

Arriving in Kawthaung, Myanmar

In Kawthaung you will be welcome from many touts and men on motorbikes.  Just ignore them and make your way to Immigration.

After disembarkation, turn left along and walk along the road until you get to the:  Walk along this road to get to the Immigration Office which is located at the Myo Ma Jetty also called the Myanmar Immigration Pier, on your left-hand side.  Just have a look for the sight that says, “Warmly Welcome and Take Care of Tourist”.

Enter the pier area and turn behind the little building left to the small Immigration Building.

Get in and give the officer your passport, a copy of your passport and visa. They will stamp your passport and take a picture from you, same as they do in Thailand. If the camera is not working, what can be happen sometimes, have a passport picture ready.  After the Check in process you are ready to enjoy your time in Kawthaung.

Outside the Mya Ma Jetty English-speaking touts will await you to give directions and be waiting for you to exit the office to offer a taxi ride, hotel, guide or suggestions on things to do in Kawthaung.

Welcome to Kawthaung and the Mergui Archipelago!

 

Kawthaung Border Crossing Wrap-Up

Paperwork to bring:  Passport, 2 copies of your passport and proper Myanmar and Thailand Visa, one Passport picture (just in case)

Price of boat: 300-500 THB for a boat or 50-100 THB to join in

Time on boat: 30-40 minutes including all the Immigration stops around 60-75 minutes

Time Zone:  Myanmar is a half hour behind Thailand time : 7:00 pm Myanmar is 07:30 in Thailand

The Myanmar Immigration Office is open from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm local time

 Explore the amazing Mergui Archipelago on one of our amazing Cruises or unique Resort. Combinations between them is also possible

How to cross the border from Kawthaung / Myanmar to Ranong / Thailand

Kind of the other way around.

  • Check out at the Myanmar Immigration office (Check your exit stamp)
  • Make your way back to the Myanmar Longtail pier and find a boat to bring you to Ranong
  • Arriving at the Longtail pier in Thailand, go to the immigration office and collect your TM 6 arrival form
  • Fill out the form and see the officer again to check you into Thailand (Check your entry stamp and expiration date)

If you need any transfer to or from Ranong within Thailand visit below link with many option of taxi, van, bus and train

Your booking engine for land transfers around asia

 

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Major Events, Festivals and Holiday within Thailand

Find below a little a summary of the major events and festivals during Thailand’s calendar year. These events are often spectacular occasions and can be great fun to visit.

Hundreds of festivals and temple fairs are celebrated throughout Thailand. Thais are fun-loving, sentimental people and annual festivals, both commemorative and celebrate, play important roles in Thai life.

Many Thai festivals are colorful and joyful events that invite visitors’ to join and participation. Others feature solemn, eminently photogenic ceremonial. Whatever their character, whether Buddhist devotion, dazzling processions, exotic ritual or uninhibited merriment, each affords the visitor pleasant memories and gives you a insights into the cultural heritage that makes Thailand  Asia’s most exotic and amazing country.

Most festivals are connected either with Buddhism, the annual rice-farming cycle or commemorations honoring Thai kings. Some occur on fixed dates, others, particularly those associated with Buddhism, are determined by the lunar calendar. And if one of these holidays falls onto a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday, will also a holiday and government offices and many commercial offices will be closed.

 

JANUARY

New Year’s Day – 2 January   (Public Holiday)
The beginning of the western New Year is a national holiday in Thailand, one of three “new year” holidays celebrated every year. more…

 

FEBRUARY / MARCH

Makha Bucha – February  (Public Holiday)
Makha Bucha celebrates the Buddha’s first sermon (around 2.500 years ago) in to his disciple and is one of the hoist Buddhist holy days, it Day marks the occasion when saint-disciples of the Buddha spontaneously gathered to hear his preaching.
The holiday may also known as Magha Puja or Lord Buddha Day and is considered Day of Love in Buddhism. Most Thai Buddhists will go on Makha Pucha Day to a temple to pay their respects to the Lord Buddha. Magha is a Pali and Sanskrit word meaning the third lunar month, and Puja is a word in the same language that means to venerate or honor and pronounced in Thai as Makha Bucha. The exact day of this second important Buddhist festival day depending on the Lunar cycle. more…

 

APRIL

Chakri Day – 6 April  (Public Holiday)

The Chakri Day commemorates the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty which has been ruling Thailand since 1782. This dynasty was founded by Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (King Rama I) in 1782 who came to throne on that day. On this day people of Thailand recognize the contributions of all the kings in the dynasty and to pay respect and reverence to their former kings as well as the present King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradeba­yavarangkun (King Rama X). More …

 

Songkran Festival Day – 13-16 April (Public Holidays)
Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year, joyfully celebrated throughout the country with rituals of merit making, honoring the elders, and parades of dancers, music troupes and water splashing.  The throwing or pouring water during the annual Songkran Festival originally dates back to the spring cleaning of Thai houses, and welcoming the rainy season. Devout Buddhist will particularly pour scented, blessed water over images of the Lord Buddha to pay respect, asking for a blessing and washing away of bad omens. A fun festival for everybody to join in.

Be prepared to get soaking wet, as the streets will filled with water-throwing revelers, using anything that can contain water. The country will be at an almost complete standstill during these days, joining fellow Thais and visitors in a refreshing escape from the humidity and heat.  More detail about Thailand’s most fun festival and its culture background

 

MAY

National Labor Day – 1 May (Public Holiday)
International Labor Day is also celebrated as a national holiday, even though there isn’t much ado about it. Some businesses may be closed. more …

 

Coronation Day – 4 May  (Public Holiday)
The day when the reigning Maha Vajiralongkorn was crowed as the 10th king of the Chakri Dynaaty in 2019 over a three-day coronation. On the 4th of May he was to be anointed and crowed, on the 5th of May a royal procession took place and on the 6th of May the king grant an audience. more…

 

Wisakha (Visakha) Bucha Day – Full Moon Day in May (Public Holiday)
The holiest Buddhist holiday celebrates the three events of Budhda – the birth, enlightenment and his achievement of Nirvana.

Buddha Purnima is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar. It is the most important festival of the Buddhists and is celebrated with great enthusiasm.

The exact date of Vesakha is celebrated on the full moon of the sixth lunar month or the first full moon in the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. The date varies from year to year in the Gregorian calendar but is typically in May. More detail and background…..

 

Phuetcha Mongkhon or the Royal Ploughing Ceremony (May) – goverment holiday
This ceremony marks official commencement of the annual rice-planting cycle and takes place  in Bangkok’s Sanam Luang, an open field and public square in front of Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace to usher in the new planting season with good luck and hopes. As Royal Ploughing Day is a holiday for state employees, government offices will be closed.  more…

 

JUNE

 

H.M. The Queen Suthida’s Birthday – 3 June   (Public Holidays)
His Majesty the King named General Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya the new queen on May 1st 2019 and conferred upon Queen Suthida the formal title of Her Majesty the Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana on May 4th 2019.

The Queen Suthida’s Birthday is a national holiday in Thailand.

 

 

JULY

Asarnha Bucha Day (Substitution for Asarnha Bucha Day) – July   (Public Holidays)
Celebrating the Buddha’s first sermon in which he set out to his five former associates the doctrine that had come to him following his enlightenment.

Asahna Bucha is a national Holiday in Thailand. It replaced Buddhist Lent as a gazetted holiday in 2007.

The date in the western calendar depends on the Lunar cycle. It is also known as Asalha Puja or Dhamma Day.

 

AUGUST


H.M. The Queen’s Birthday – 14 August 2017 (Public Holiday)
Mother’s Day was first introduced to Thailand on 15th April, 1950. In 1976, Mother’s Day was changed to 12th August to commemorate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit ,the Mother of all Thai people. 

The birthday of her Majesty Queen Dowager Sirikit  remains a holiday as National Mother’s Day

 

OCTOBER

  The Passing of King Bhumibol – 13 October   (Public Holiday)
For decades, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the only king the people of Thailand knew, and became a symbol of stability and was much beloved by the people of his realm.

Born on 5 December, 1927, Bhumibol Adulyadej died on 13 October, 2016. He took the throne in 1946, reigned for 70 years, and came to be called “Father of the Nation”.  After a long struggle with illness, he finally passed away, at the age of 88. One year later, the king was cremated and transported on a restored, golden royal chariot in an elaborate procession to Phra Merumat, to be interred with many of his ancestors of the Chakri Dynasty. Shrines were erected in the king’s honor all over the nation, and the mourning over his death lasted a full year. more…

 

Chulalongkorn Memorial Day – 23 October   (Public Holiday)
The day commemorates King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who passed away on October 23rd 1910. He was the fifth monarch of Siam from the House of Chakri and is considered one of the greatest kings of Siam (now Thailand). He is remembered as the king who introduced many social and political reforms that helped to modernize Siam including the abolishment of slavery. more…

 

DECEMBER


H.M. The King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Birthday – 5 December  (Public Holiday)

The 5th of December commemorates the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and is celebrated throughout the country,

It is also Thailand’s National Day and is the day when Father’s Day is celebrated in Thailand.

 

Constitution Day (Substitution for Constitution Day) – 10 December  (Public Holiday)
Celebrates the date in 1932 when the country was granted its first constitution. more…

 

New Years’ Eve – 31 December  (Public Holiday)
The day before the Western New Year day is always marked a national holiday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When are the exact dates for holidays in Thailand?  Just click here to get the update calendar

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