- Published: 22/07/2010 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: Horizons
Web surfers around the world can now take a virtual tour of six of Thailand's royal palaces via http://www.palaces.thai.net.
Prasat Phra Dhepbidon at the Emerald Buddha Temple, as it appears during the virtual tour.
Run by the Bureau of the Royal Household, the website features the Grand Palace (including the Temple of the Emeral Buddha) and Vimanmek in Bangkok, Bang Pa-In in Ayutthaya, Phu Phing in Chiang Mai, Sanam Chandra in Nakhon Pathom, and Pak Phanang in Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Navigation is easy. Just take a look at the map of each palace, click the spot you wish to explore, and a 360-degree photo - which you can use the mouse to turn sideways or in any direction as well as zoom in and out at will - will pop up.
The virtual tour does not take you into the interior though. For that you'll have to actually visit the palaces.
Coast guards for Phuket
Phuket is employing a team of 83 coast guards to provide protection and first aid to tourists this monsoon season.
The provincial administration is spending 10 million baht to set up the coast guard team that will be on duty 9am to 7pm daily at popular tourist spots including Patong, Kamala and Mai Khao beaches.
New mall in Chatuchak
A new shopping mall is rising in the Chatuchak area of Bangkok not far from the weekend market.
Called JJ Centre, the eight-storey mall being built at a cost of some 4.5 billion baht is located on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road. Its builder, Deva Development, was granted a 30-year lease of the land which is owned by the State Railway of Thailand.
When the mall opens, towards the end of 2011, it will boast 40,000 square metres of space and, apart from the usual assortment of retailers and wholesalers, feature outlets selling Otop goods and handicrafts.
Aow Nang pollution
About 30 per cent of visitors do not want to return to Aow Nang Beach, one of the popular stops in Krabi, due to environmental pollution, according to a survey by the Tourism Association of Krabi.
The visitors were not happy with waste water management, they complained, was being channelled directly into the sea as well as the problem of garbage and taxi service.
The association will present the findings of the survey to the local administration in the hope to find a solution to the problems, for which it plans to enlist the support and cooperation from the public and private sectors.
THAI-KTB link up
Passengers flying Thai Airways (THAI) on domestic routes can now pay for their air tickets via Krung Thai Bank (KTB) ATMs.
The "Easy Fly Easy Pay" service allows passengers access to the bank's 7,011 ATMs nationwide, enabling them to buy air tickets any time of day.
Danut Boonnak of THAI said that after payment, passengers will get a confirmation message via SMS, and they must present the payment slip at the check-in counter to receive a boarding pass.
KTB will also provide free travel insurance, with maximum payment fixed at 200,000 baht per passenger paying for air tickets via its ATM.
Hawaiian Airlines has introduced a Honolulu-Bangkok service through a codeshare agreement with Korean Air.
Bangkok is the newest Asia-Pacific destination for which Hawaiian is teaming up with Korean Air to offer codesharing benefits, said Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley.
"The relationship with Korean Air allows us to offer our customers destinations in Asia beyond our own route network, while at the same time promoting Hawaii tourism by easing access to all of Hawaii from additional points in Korean Air's network," he explained.
Honolulu-Bangkok will be a daily flight with a stop at Incheon, South Korea. It will depart Honolulu at 12.30pm and arrive in Bangkok 11pm the following day. The return flight from Bangkok is at 12.30am and arrival in Honolulu at 10.10am the same day.
Turkish Airlines has launched a "Chef on Board" service for business and first class passengers on the Istanbul-Bangkok route.
The chefs will be serving up an international menu that will be rotated every three months. The airline said the service, first introduced last April on the Istanbul-New York flights and later extended to Chicago and Tokyo routes, is like a luxury restaurant in the sky.
The Amazing Thailand Grand Sale Fair 2010, which opens at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre on July 22, will feature about 800 booths that promise visitors attractive holiday packages and discounts of up to 80% on some leading brand name products.
Part of the Tourism Authority of Thailand's attempt to promote the country as a destination for shopping, the four-day fair that runs until Aug 1 is hoping to woo some 15,000 visitors with some very attractive packages put up by leading hotels, resorts, airlines and tour agents.
The event will also feature an "Amazing Thai Sweets and Fruits" zone as well as lots of family activities and fun. It will open 10am to 8pm.
Visit http://www.amazinggrandsale.com for more information.
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About the author
- Writer: Karnjana Karnjanatawe
- Position: Reporter