New eco-tourist draw in Korat

New eco-tourist draw in Korat

The stream in Khon Buri district, about 70 kilometres south of the provincial town, is fed by Wang Tao Waterfall originating in Thap Lan National Park that also extends to parts of neighbouring Prachin Buri Province.

According to a member of the provincial council, Pornchai Amnuaysap, 14 million baht has been earmarked to build a visitor information centre, public toilets and jetties, including new trekking routes along the stream, as well as building a resting area by the Lam Chae reservoir on the outer fringes of the national park. Construction of these facilities should take six months to complete and Kaeng Wang Tao should be ready to cater to visitors by early next year.

Until then, for accommodation, visitors can choose from 18 homestay facilities at Mabkrad village or raft houses that sit on the reservoir.

To get to Kaeng Wang Tao, take Highway 224 from the provincial town to Chok Chai district and continue on Route 2071 to tambon Khok Krachai in Khon Buri district. There, a two-hour boat ride across the Lam Chae will deliver visitors to a point from where they can trek to Wang Tao Waterfall for some decent rafting since the stream is lively this time of the year.

Makkasan skywalk

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) plans to build a 130-metre-long skywalk linking the Makkasan train station with the MRT subway on Phetchaburi Road and later expand the facility to other stations in central Bangkok.

Construction of the skywalk, scheduled for completion next year, is expected to cost 65 million baht. The SRT, meanwhile, will spend another 50 million baht on a new bridge linking Asok Road with Makkasan to facilitate motorists.

Cathay promotion

Cathay Pacific Airways has launched the “Hong Kong Earlybird” promotion online at http://www.cathaypacific.com/th.

The promotion include round-trip air tickets either from Bangkok to Hong Kong or Phuket to Hong Kong together with three nights accommodation at one of a choice of four hotels – Kowloon Shangri-La, Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and The Peninsula Hong Kong. Also included is round-trip transfer between the hotels and airport.

Prices start from 18,800 baht, excluding taxes and surcharges. The promotion is valid until September and the travel window is for the period Nov 15 to Jan 31, 2011.

For more information, call 02-263-0606.

More ‘historical’ sites

The Fine Arts Department will soon register 25 places as new national historical sites.

Of these 17 are located in Bangkok and include Wat Kanlayanamit Woramahavihan, Wat Chinorasaram Woravihan, Wat Bang Khunthian Nok, Wat Phrayakrai, Wat Ratchasingkhon as well as old buildings, Ban Sanguansuk and Ban Wannakovit, and Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University.

The other eight are in provinces: Wat Yang in Phetchaburi, Sam Roi Yot cave in Prachuap Khiri Khan and the old city wall in Ratchaburi.

Once registered, the department will set aside an annual budget for their upkeep and renovation.

At present there are more than 2,100 national historical sites in the country of which 191 are located in Bangkok.

New public park

Bangkok will have a new public park in December.

Christened “Nakhra Phirom” by HM the King, the park on the Chao Phraya River occupies 3.3 rai. The land it sits on is the former site of the Department of Internal Trade in Tha Tian area on Bangkok side of the river making it the newest facility for public recreation in the city.

Meanwhile, the city administration plans to renovate a five-rai plot near Mahakan Fort on Ratchadamnoen Avenue and turn it into a public park. Built by King Rama I, the fort was registered a “National Ancient Monument” in 1949, but for a long time since its every attempt to preserve the site as a national heritage has been thwarted by the refusal of residents in the area to pack up and relocate.

Some families, though, have recently moved out. For those still refusing to follow, a budget of 70 million baht has been set aside to expropriate and compensate them for their land.

Travel mart

The Tourism Authority of Thailand will organise the “Thailand Travel Mart Plus: Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion” (TTM+ 2010) from Sept 8-10 at the Impact Convention Centre in Muang Thong Thani.

The event will promote travel and tourism around Thailand and in countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

“The event is very important for us because it comes as part of our recovery programme from the recent political unrest,” said TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni.

There will be some 428 booths offering various products and services at the event. They will be representing hotels, resorts, tour operators, travel agents, spa operators, airlines, golf courses and entertainment parks.

Some 340 international outfits from 49 countries have registered to join the event including representatives from India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and Korea.

TAT also plans to invite buyers from Brazil, Mexico, the UAE, Turkey, Lithuania, and Kazakhstan to test Thailand’s tourism products. For details, visit the website http://www.thailandtravelmartplus.com.

Adventure Samui

The ibis Koh Samui Trophy 2010 Adventure Race and Fun Run will take place Oct 2 with Bophut Beach as the start/finish point.

Part of the Amazing Thailand Adventure Race Series, it’s supported by ibis Hotels, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Tourism Association of Koh Samui and the Thai Hotel Association of Koh Samui.

The race will comprise two divisions: “adventure” for newcomers, and “extreme” for experienced racers and involves teams of two people hiking and running through jungle, kayaking, swimming in a sea and cycling over hills. Also on the cards is a five-kilometre fun run open to everybody.

To enter, register online at the websites http://www.kohsamuitrophy.com  and http://www.ama-events.com.