As travel restrictions have been eased, Phuket Old Town is filling with tourists once again. Nevertheless, if you prefer hanging around quieter spots, or are just wishing to take a break from the crowds, here are our picks of not-so-touristy places in the old part of town for quality experiences. Museum Phuket The museum has long been located in the Old Town, but you may have walked past it many times without realising it as it sits within a beautiful Sino-Portuguese building. The museum showcases stories of Phuket’s rich history, Peranakan culture, Chinese influences and much more that will all help you appreciate and enjoy the island even more. Drawing Room Phuket Drawing Room Phuket is an art space with a slow bar serving handcrafted coffee made with an intelligent choice of coffee beans, as well as non-coffee drinks. If you are an epicurean, you should stop by when you are in town. Rosa Sweets & Chocolate Rosa is a new paradise for those with a sweet tooth! When you enter the shop, you will be delighted by the myriad choices of craft chocolate. There is seating so you may slowly indulge into some sweet treats, and coffee and chocolate drinks are offered here as well. You may even like to opt for a bottle of Prosecco to pair with your choice of confection. Pop Espresso Phuket This coffeehouse delivers the fine aromas and flavours of coffee, to be selected from an array of well-chosen beans and then transformed into a heavenly cuppa using either the pour-over method or with an Aram Espresso Maker. If you are looking for a spot to sip and chat, discover new coffee flavours and take a break from the outside sun, this is the place for you. Cloud Markt It is neither a grocery store, restaurant nor bar, but a terrific combination of all three! Open day to night, you will find local products like snacks and aromatic candles here and be able to enjoy tasty dishes, light bites and a range of drinks including craft beer, kombucha cocktails and natural wines with cold cuts to accompany those. Text and Photos by Pakvipa Rimdusit
The influence of Peranakan culture is one the biggest cultural charms to be discovered on Phuket. The province was once a destination for numerous immigrant Chinese who married with locals and merged their cultures into a harmonious blend, even incorporating some of the Western influences which had started to seep through. Even though the heart of Peranakan culture is still Singapore and Malaysia, the southern region of Thailand is rich with multiculturalism and Peranakan culture is most prominent in Phuket. Whether it’s Peranakan cuisine or architecture you would like to delve into, there are a number of places to experience them on Phuket. There are, however, two very elegant Peranakan manors that are eminent and not-to-be-missed. Baan Ar-Jor HISTORY: The three-storey mansion was built by Chinese tin-mining businessman Tan Jin Nugn in 1936. He was not only a successful entrepreneur, but a man who lived a compelling life. The house remained intact throughout decades of its occupants’ trials and tribulations, was abandoned for some more decades, and then thankfully revived by the original owner’s great-grandsons in more recent times. They have turned the mansion into a living museum that showcases rare collectibles and unveils the rich story of the family. The mansion-turned-museum’s name comes from the word ‘Ar-Jor’, which means 'great-grandparent'. STYLE: Peranakan architecture with a nostalgic ambience and décor, surrounded by tranquil greenery. HIGHLIGHTS: The mansion is home to Michelin-recommended Toh-Daeng Restaurant, which serves authentic Phuket dishes made from the family’s recipes which have been passed down for generations. All proceeds from the entrance fee (THB 200 per person) will be given to Baan Mai Khao School to support educational purposes. Artwork by the young students of Baan Mai Khao School are displayed at the museum, delightful to see and heart-touching. The mansion is also a homestay, so you can enjoy a very unique stay on the island. LOCATION: A few minutes’ walk from Mai Khao Beach. WEBSITE: www.baanarjor.com Baan Chinpracha HISTORY: The manor was built during the reign of King Rama V by Phra Pitak Chinpracha, a prosperous tin-mining businessman who was also a philanthropist. He lived in Malaysia prior to settling down in Phuket, and brought many Peranakan and Western influences with him, such as Western-style furniture imported from British Malaya (present-day Malaysia). The manor is considered to be the most beautiful and well-preserved Sino-Portuguese building in Phuket, and the descendants of the original owner still live here. STYLE: A Melaka-inspired Peranakan manor with luxurious architectural details. The architecture lets plenty of natural light in, since the house was built when there was no electricity available. The building was constructed with a traditional version of cement that allows breathability, and the pond in the centre framed by an arch not only acts as a visual delight but also serves to collect rainwater. There are more architectural details to amaze visitors, which they can learn about during their visit. HIGHLIGHTS: The kitchen preserves its original look and functions, and displays rarely-seen kitchen ware. Numerous antiques, collected for over a century, are showcased alongside a collection of intriguing vintage photos.
As tourism is flourishing again, the world's largest multi-attraction pass, Go City, has made an exciting debut of 'Go City Bangkok' – value-for-money travel passes with access to a number of top attractions and experiences in the vibrant metropolis. Go City's unique passes offer the opportunity to see the best of a city, from the top sights to unique off-the-beaten-path experiences, all at a massive savings. There are two options for the Go City Bangkok pass, each designed for a different type of travel style. Presently, the Go City Bangkok passes allows access to these unmissable experiences: King Power Mahanakhon Skywalk, Chinatown Food Tour and Bangkok Pub Tour, Ayutthaya Day Tour, Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise, Tuk Tuk Tour, and authentic Thai massage experiences. In the near future, Go City is planning to add more lifestyle options into the mix like stunning sky bars, mouth-watering food and beverages options, and others. On top of that, for Thai travellers who is taking a trip overseas, Go City has also expanded attraction options in various cities including London, New York, Paris, Stockholm, and Sydney. The Bangkok's All-Inclusive pass lets spontaneous customers maximise their visits and see as much of the city as they can for a set number of days. An Adult 2-Day All-Inclusive Pass is priced at THB 2,999 (approximately USD 89). The Explorer Pass offers flexibility for your exploration across 60 days, which you can choose ahead of time or upon arrival. An Adult 3-Choice Explorer Pass is priced at THB 1,899 (approximately USD 57). To learn more or make a purchase, visit GoCity.com/Bangkok, or download the Go City app from the App Store or Google Play.
When ‘wellbeing’ cannot be completed simply by massages or spa rituals, Dusit International, Thailand’s preeminent hospitality group, has stepped up its game by introducing the new group-wide wellness concept, Devarana Wellness, based on the three key principles: pause, focus, and growth. At Dusit Thani Hua Hin Beach Resort, Devarana Wellness Centre offers exceptional services for an elevated sense of wellbeing of guests. Blending in Thai wisdoms and Buddhist principles, plus organic ingredients to be turned into nourishing meals, the wellness experience here really goes beyond the spa. You can opt for various programmes and even customise your own retreat to match your unique needs. DETAIL MATTERS The wellness journey starts right at your room, with health-friendly minibar and complimentary fruits and treats to freshen you up throughout the day. To help enhance your deep sleep, aside from comfy mattress and smooth bed linens, there are various types of pillows on bed, so you can be sure to find the right one. WELLNESS AT ITS FINEST At the newly-refurbished Devarana Wellness Centre, soul-soothing sense would approach you on the first step with its calming sounds, refreshing scents, stylish design, and ample space. An array of wellness workshops and fitness classes will be held amidst this beautiful setting. For a spa session, there are a selection of over 30 treatments and therapies to be conducted by experienced staffs. Before the session starts, a mini singing bowl ritual will help you transport your busy mind into a more meditative state to help you obtain the best of restorative benefits of each session. Strongly recommended is the Devarana Signature Massage, a harmonious combination between Thai Ayuraveda healing, Shiatsu techniques, and Swedish influence ─ it is optimal for physically and mentally de-stressing. STAY WELL INSIDE AND OUT Emotional wellbeing is also the heart of the wellness concept. There are daily activities for you to improve your emotions including tai chi, sunset yoga, meditation in the garden, and numerous more. You can also indulge in special wellness events like full moon beach sound bath, reiki healing, among others. In addition, there will be wellness videos available on-demand throughout your stay, in collaboration with expert wellbeing coach and educator, Cat Lau. To find out more about Devarana Wellness at Dusit Thani Hua Hin, visit www.dusit.com/dusitthani-huahin/devarana-wellness
The great outdoors has always been a thing in New Zealand thanks to the country's sensational landscapes full of skyscraping mountains, dense woodlands, and soul-soothing rivers. A road trip may offers you convenience as you relish the nature's glamour, but trekking allows you to access off-the-beaten places and provide you with one-of-a-kind immersive experiences amidst stunning nature. If you are up for some adventures, the stunning Great Walks may already be in your bucket list. Here are some of the multi-day treks in New Zealand that you should not miss: Abel Tasman Coast Track Easy / 2–5 days Ideal for beginners and families with young children, the Abel Tasman Coast Track lets you easily stroll along the well-marked trails and overnight at huts or campsites (advance booking is required). It takes just around 2-4 hours per day, and the terrain is relatively flat, so it's good for people of all ages. In addition, you may opt for kayaking in the pristine ocean if you want to add a different zest of adventure to your trip! More details on the Abel Tasman Coast Track: HERE Rakiura Track Easy to intermediate / 3 days The 32-km circuit takes hikers on an island adventure along open coastline. The trail's peaceful surroundings are top-notch and it offers you a chance to discover Māori land and early Māori settlement sites, as well as to spot tokoeka, the native brown kiwi. Being the southernmost Dark Sky Sanctuary, Stewart Island can surprise you with breathtaking Southern Lights. More details on the Rakiura Track: HERE Heaphy Track Intermediate / 4–6 days For those who are ready to embark on a bit more adventurous days, this ancient trail in the Kahurangi National Park is a great choice. The lush track was once walked by Māori pounamu (jade) hunters, and you can discover native plants, ancient rocks, and rare wildlife including the great spotted kiwi and Poweilliphanta, world's largest carnivorous snail. Mountain biking is allowed from May to November. More details on the Heaphy Track: HERE Routeburn Track Intermediate / 2–4 days This trail lets you revel in otherworldly landscapes within both Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park. What you'll find along the way are soaring mountains, majestic valleys, cascading falls, and gleaming lakes, as well as native birds. Different seasons offers you different challenges and vistas, but if you are not an experienced hiker with full-option hiking gears, it's better to take a walk in the Great Walks season from November to April. More details on the Routeburn Track: HERE Milford Track Intermediate to difficult / 4 days Optimal for trekking from October to April, the historical route is known as the 'world's finest walk' thanks to its jaw-dropping sceneries that can be witness throughout the tramp – mesmerising waterfalls, untouched nature, and awe-inspiring mountains. This is quite a challenging hike so make sure you are fit and well-equipped enough for steep terrains and lengthy distance in each day. More details on the Milford Track: HERE Source: New Zealand Tourism
The long-awaited water-splashing is returning soon! Even though this year's Songkran Festival is not yet optimal to celebrate the days with a huge crowd, there are plenty of compelling options to make this year another one to remember with your family, whether it's a relaxing getaway to the beach, feasting on unlimited tasty foods, or enjoying a mini-celebration and other funs. 10-30 April: Meliá Chiang Mai The new star of Chiang Mai City celebrates its very first Songkran Fest with a special offer: a two-night stay in a Meliá Room including breakfast for two, a round-trip airport transfer, a complimentary cocktail for two at Mai The Sky Bar with spectacular 360-degree panorama of the Ping River and Doi Suthep, only at THB 4,599 nett per room! Thailand's 'We Travel Together' discount can be applied and it will cost THB 2,760 nett only! To get this special price, book now until 16 April 2022, applicable for a stay period from 10-30 April 2022. To book: +66 (0) 52 090 699 / firstname.lastname@example.org 13-15 April: Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queens Park Throughout 3 days, Goji Kitchen + Bar will present tasty times filled with mouth-watering Thai and international dishes and sweet treats, with a focus on Thai favourites, as well as special station for Thai traditional summertime cuisine – 'Khao Chae', chilled rice in jasmine-infused water topped with refreshing condiments. The Songkran Feast is available for lunch and dinner, priced at THB 1,698++ per person (except dinner on 15 April, which is priced at THB 2,199++ per person). An optional beverage package is also available for just THB 1,488++. Marriott Bonvoy and Club Marriott discounts apply. To book: +66 (0) 2 059 5999 / email@example.com or HERE 13-15 April: Banyan Tree Samui Take your family to the tropical paradise and enjoy the splashing away the heat in style at Banyan Tree Samui. On 13 April, the elegant resort invites you to enjoy the 'Splash Party' at its private beach with unlimited drinks, light bites, and ice-cream (THB 799 per person, free of charge for children under 12) at daytime, and revel in delectables at a beachfront street market along with amusing Thai folk dance (THB 1,500 nett per person, free of charge for children under 12) in the following evening. On April 15, don't miss out on the High Tea Buffet with a breathtaking view at Saffron Restaurant (THB 1,550 nett per couple, including a complimentary Sanctuary Day Pass). You can also opt for a special 5-course dinner featuring finest tastes of Thai cuisine (THB 2,1000 nett per person) throughout the week. To book: +66 (0) 77 915 333 / firstname.lastname@example.org 13-16 April: Anantara Chiang Mai The five-star riverfront resort offers the sweet 'Songkran Escape' with special rates for a two-night stay and an additional 'Khao Chae' meal, starting from THB 9,000 per room. On 15 April, Friday fun is elevated in this year's festivity at Anantara Chiang Mai Serviced Suites with an exclusive pool party on its rooftop, featuring all-you-can-savour ice-cream and an array of activities (THB 799 per adult / THB 400
Now that international tourism is gradually reopening, many travelers from across the globe plan to revel in the magic of Switzerland. One of the country's unmissable spots is, undoubtedly, the famed Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe, where you can witness the fabled snowscape and enjoy a variety of funs in the region. With the launch of the V-Cableway and the Eiger Express, experiencing the top destination of Switzerland is more convenient than ever. The leading-edge V-Cableway has been built to offer visitors a heavenly trip to the Top of Europe with much reduced time, with an emphasis on sustainability. The new cableway will ensure the success of tourism in the Jungfrau region as a whole in the medium and long term, making it a year-round destination for Swiss tourism. It provides the foundation for the region's development into a premium destination and will provide Switzerland with a top winter and summer destination with modern public transport connections. THE EIGER EXPRESS - THE MOST MODERN TRICABLE GONDOLA The Eiger Express, the world's most modern tricable gondola, has been officially launched for a year already, allowing visitors to save 47 minutes on their journey with the direct transport link with the Berner Oberland-Bahn stop at the state-of-the-art terminal in Grindelwald Grund. Additionally, it takes only 15 minutes from Grindelwald terminal to the Eiger Glacier station. The heated seats in modern cabins are equipped to keep you comfortable all year round. THE NEW GRINDELWALD TERMINAL The Grindelwald Terminal has become the most modern terminal in the Alps, featuring a number of shopping options for top Swiss products and international brands, eating experiences, a sports shop and ski depots for rental. For those who prefer to get there by car, there are over 1,000 parking spots available at the multi-storey car park, with advance reservation for spaces allowed. Besides, the Platinum Lounge pampers guests who book a VIP package with free drinks and snacks while they are waiting to get into the luxurious VIP gondola. There is also the COVID-19 walk-in test centre, offering both RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests. BUILT FOR THE FUTURE When designing and constructing the cableways, Jungfrau Railways has placed a huge emphasis on the use of the latest technology while keeping sustainability in mind. The construction periods were planned in accordance with the breeding season of ptarmigans, as well as keeping the existing plant species for re-planting, and other measures to keep the environment flourishing for the future generations. In addition, the tricable (3s) technology offers high safety while requiring only a few supports, ensuring wind stability, all without the need to cut through forests. The modern technology also lets the Eiger Express takes visitors from Grindelwald to the Eigergletscher station in just 15 minutes. Check out the video below for a preview of the marvelous experience or visit www.jungfrau.ch for more further information.
Over 150 years ago, the first luxury Orient Express train was launched, and the one-off experience will return in 2023 with the 'Orient Express La Dolce Vita' to take you on an unforgettable expedition through Italy, offering a new way of experiencing the country: an environmentally-friendly adventure where forgotten roads are explored, hidden treasures discovered and where architectural triumphs take centre stage. Throughout the journey, you will be pampered with 5-star service on board, savouring the Made in Italy' beauty and excellence through award-winning Italian wines and exclusive haute cuisine. The 'La Dolce Vita' inspired design embodies the Italian art of living and all its beautiful traditions with a more contemporary spirit of travel. The train’s sumptuous decor will adorn 12 Deluxe cabins, 18 Suites, and one Honour Suite and restaurant, all boldly celebrating the craftsmanship, design and creativity of the 1960s and 1970s. The Orient Express La Dolce Vita which will welcome its first passengers in 2023. Six trains will embark through several iconic itineraries across 14 regions and beyond, including three international destinations from Rome to Paris, Istanbul and Split. A magical stopover in Rome will feature the very first Orient Express Hotel, Minerva, scheduled to open in 2024.
Whether you plan to celebrate New Year's Eve and step into 2022 with your loved ones in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, or other favourite places, we have compiled a list of cool spots where you can make the evening and night even more memorable. COOLING TOWER, CARLTON HOTEL BANGKOK Up on the 34th floor, enjoy the last light of the year and spectacular fireworks as you step into the new year with your friends, with DJ Poyjii and live saxophone to get the groovy beats going throughout the night. Time: 17:00 till late Price: THB 1,500++ per person inclusive of 2 beverages Book at: +66 (0) 2 090 7888 / Fbreservations@carltonhotel.co.th RED SKY, CENTARA GRAND AT CENTRALWORLD Bid farewell at one of Bangkok's most popular rooftop bars with special 8-course Gala Dinner, featuring French-influenced cuisines cooked with premium imported ingredients. All bookings will receive a complimentary a bottle of Exclusive G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon N.V Champagne per couple. Time: 19:00 till late Prices: THB 11,999++ per person (outdoor) / THB 9,999++ per person (indoor) Book at: +66 (0) 2 100 6255 / email@example.com Yào Rooftop Bar, Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse Revel in the sensational celebration with mesmerising views from the evening until late. Pamper your taste buds at the pre-countdown session featuring Dim Sum Tower for two and a bottle of sparkling wine or house wine, then get the party started at the Ultimate Countdown sesh with numerous fireworks lighting up the sky. Time: 17:00 - 19:30 for pre-countdown / 21:00 till late for the countdown event Prices: THB 2,288++ per set for the pre-countdown / the countdown starts at THB 5,888++ for 2 persons with a bottle of champagne or wine Book at: +66 (0) 2 088 5666 / LINE OA @marriottsurawongse sala ayutthaya Savour tasty fares inspired by the Chao Phraya River at sala ayutthaya eatery and bar, comprising mouth-watering 'Massaman Goong Maenam' – giant river prawns in spiced potato curry to be indulged with roti. Time: 11:00 - 22:00 Price: THB 1,899++ per set Book at: +66 (0) 35 242 588 / firstname.lastname@example.org DUSIT THANI HUA HIN Take joy in a special 3-day 'Local Feast New Year Celebration', a market-style feast with local products and foods, sustainability workshops, film screening, live music, nighttime paddleboarding, and more. On 31 December 2021, ring in to the new year at a lively countdown event with live music and fireworks display. Date: 30 December 2021 - 1 January 2022 Time: 17:00 - 22:00 (17:00 - 24:00 on 31 December 2021) Price: THB 1,000 net per person (free for children under 12) for entrance fee Book at: +66 (0) 32 520 009 / www.facebook.com/DusitThaniHuaHin HYATT REGENCY KOH SAMUI For New Year’s Eve, Yangna Cuisine will host a barbecue gala dinner with a live band, and SESUN will let you celebrate in style with DJs, live performers and a fireworks display will see out 2021 and usher in 2022 at a lavish countdown party. Book at: +66 (0) 77 448 777 / email@example.com Khao, FOUR SEASONS CHIANG MAI For a heart-warming get-together on the special day, Khao will offer a fireside BBQ dinner featuring juicy grills and Thai favourites in a tranquil