A short post

Un breve articolo per commentare come ho passato questi giorni festivi. Beh, non ho fatto assolutamente niente di interessante a parte perdere tempo con il computer e leggere 1q84 di Murakami (quasi finito). Volevo pulire il mio ‘flat’ e sistemare la mia stanza ma non ho deciso di rimandare i due lavori a questo pomeriggio. Da queste 4 righe potete capire che non mi va molto di scrivere su questo Blog quindi mi fermo qui. A presto nuovi articoli. Ora mi preparo per le grandi pulizie. Forse no.

I’ve spent the last few days doing nothing interesting, I wasn’t, and I’m not, in the mood. I had planned to tidy up my room and clean my flat but I could not bother to do something useful and needed. Not very inspired to write for this Blog either, so better to stop here and get mentally ready to clean and tidy up (afternoon tasks). Maybe not.

 

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Pattaya Firework Show

The International Fireworks Competition will take place on Pattaya Beach from 16-17 December and will feature a 3km stretch of fireworks in honour of the 84th Birthday of His Majesty the King. Eight countries will be involved in the two day event which will include a special display featuring fireworks which will explode at a height of 600 meters.

FLOODING IN THAILAND: SITUATION UPDATE

(27/10/2011)

The flooding in Thailand is mainly affecting the central provinces along the Chao Phraya River including Bangkok and Ayutthaya. Other popular tourist destinations in the central region including Pattaya, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi, and Koh Chang have not been affected by the floods. Flood waters in several provinces in northern Thailand have begun to subside. Provinces in the south of Thailand have not been affected by the floods.

Most areas of central Bangkok where tourists normally go are not flooded. The Chao Phraya River, which runs through Bangkok, is at a higher-than-normal level. This is causing some flooding at tourist attractions that are close to the river.

In the greater Bangkok Metropolitan Area, several suburbs and areas adjacent to the Chao Phraya River are experiencing flooding. As these areas are largely residential and industrial zones, they are not normally visited by tourists.

The TAT advises visitors to contact the TAT Information Line at 1672; check the latest reports in the local media; or get an update from the staff of the accommodations where they are staying if they are planning to visit tourist attractions that are located close to the Chao Phraya River.

Transportation:
Tourist destinations in the north, such as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Sukhothai, are best accessed by air as some roads and railways in the central provinces are closed due to the floods. Provinces in southern and eastern Thailand remain fully accessible by road and train.

Tourists planning to travel to areas affected by the floods are advised to check the latest weather forecasts for their destination and confirm arrangements with the transportation providers with which they will be travelling. Tourists can call the TAT Information Line at 1672 to check local conditions, or visit the Thailand Meteorological Department web site at http://www.tmd.go.th/en for updated weather forecasts.

In & Around Bangkok: 
–Transportation from Suvarnabhumi Airport into central Bangkok including taxis, buses and the Airport Link have not been affected by the floods and are operating normally.
— Transportation in most areas within central Bangkok including taxis, tuk-tuks, the BTS and the MRT are also operating normally.
— In the areas affected by flooding, public transportation is being rerouted in some areas and the availability of taxis is limited.

Airports:
— Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok has not been affected by the floods and is operating as per usual. The airport has considerable flood protection measures in place and officials are monitoring the situation closely.
— Don Mueang Airport, which is located in a northern suburb of Bangkok and handles domestic airlines serving a small number of provinces, has been closed until November 1st due to flooding.
— All other airports in Thailand are open and operating normally.

Roads:
–Highway 32, also known as The Asian Highway (AH-2), in central Thailand is partly affected by the floods. Inter-provincial buses between Bangkok and the north and northeast of Thailand are operating, but subject to detours and extended travel times.
— Inter-provincial buses to eastern, western, and southern Thailand are operating as per normal.

Train services:
–Train services from Bangkok to northern destinations are suspended due to the tracks being flooded. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is offering full refunds on tickets for travelers who want to cancel their trips to destinations where train service is suspended.
–Train services to other parts of Thailand are operating as per normal.

Useful Contact Numbers: 
TAT Call Center: 1672
Thai Airways: +66 (0) 2356 1111
Bangkok Airways: +66 (0) 2265 8777
AirAsia: +66 (0) 2515 9999
Nok Air: 1318 or +66 (0) 2900 9955
Orient Thai Airlines: 1126
State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Call Center: 1690
Transport Co.,Ltd. Hotline:(Inter-provincial bus service) 1490

Major tourist destinations not affected by the floods include:

North:
Chiang Mai
Chiang Rai
Lampang
Sukhothai

Northeast:
Loei
Ubon Ratchathani
Nakhon Ratchasima
Udon Thani

Central:
Hua-Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan
Pattaya, Chonburi
Kanchanaburi
Ratchaburi
Ko Chang, Trat
Rayong

South:
Chumphon
Phuket
Krabi
Ranong
Nakhon Si Thammarat
Songkhla
Narathiwat
Satun
Pattani
Surat Thani
Phang Nga
Trang
Phatthalung
Yala

English-language sources:
The Government Public Relations Department
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)

Thai- language sources:
Flood Relief Operations Center 
BMA Flood Control Center 
Airports of Thailand
State Railway of Thailand

English-language newspapers offering continuous updates on the flooding situation:
Bangkok Post
The Nation

Source: Tourism Authorithy of Thailand (TAT)

Colours, Fun and Knowledge to Come Together at Thailand Tourisn Festival, June 8-12

Bangkok, 3 June 2011 — More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the Thailand Tourism Festival 2011 (TTF 2011), the annual travel and tourism showcase event targetting Thai and expatriate residents, to be held during June 8-12, 2011 at the Challenger Hall 1-3, Impact Muang Thong Thani Exhibition Centre between 10.00-21.00 hrs.

This event is being specifically held in conjunction with the Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2011, so that it may be visited by international trade visitors and help to further boost the publicity and promotional value for the variety and uniqueness of Thai tourism products and services from all regions.

The five-day event is expected to generate an estimated 150 million Baht, both directly and indirectly. One of its primary objectives is to promote domestic tourism and meet the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s 2011 target of 91 million domestic trips and estimated revenue of 432 billion Baht (US$13.03 billion).

“We want to stress the importance of domestic tourism to the national economy, especially in these days of frequent global crises which invariably have an impact on international visitor arrivals.”

This year, TTF is designed to focus on promoting sustainable tourism activities under a new campaign slogan, “Travel with a New Heart for a Sustainable Thailand”. The numerous promotional activities are divided into three categories:

Exhibition “The auspicious occasion of 7th cycle 84th birthday of His Majesty the King”: Participants will have a chance to send greetings and blessings to His Majesty the King through information technology.

Creating Awareness and Disseminating Tourism Knowledge: This section will be sub-divided into seven zones, as follows:

Zone 1 Tourism Authority of Thailand:
TAT will highlight the latest campaign “Travel with a New Heart for a Sustainable Thailand” and feature an exhibition of the TAT’s history, information technology, 1672 call centre, TAT magazine, etc.

Zone 2 Identity of each tourism destination in the five regions:
TAT together with related agencies from each region of Thailand will present and highlight the unique identities of major tourist attractions, tourism activities and products under the following themes:
Central region: “Variety of Tourism”
Northern region: “Valuable Culture, Beautiful Nature”
Northeastern region: “Destination for Learning, Places of Civilization”
Eastern region: “Colours of the East”
Southern region: “Beautiful Forest and Sea, Variety of Cultures”

Zone 3 “Travel with Knowledge, Preserve Tourist Attractions”:
This will highlight the many activities of the TAT under the 7 Greens campaign — Green Heart, Green Logistics, Green Attraction, Green Community, Green Activity, Green Service and Green Plus. In addition, the Thailand Tourism Awards “Hall of Fame”, ecotourism and adventure activities, health and wellness ;such as, salt spa and demonstration of different styles of Thai massages from the 4 regions will be presented in this zone.

Zone 4 “77 Dining Places, 77 Shopping Places in 77 Provinces”:
A showcase of outstanding dishes, famous menus, delicious fruits,and souvenirs from Thailand’s 77 provinces.

Zone 5 New dimension of “Holding Hands, Feeling with the Heart, Hug Thailand, Let’s Go Together”:
This will highlight the long-standing cooperative efforts between TAT and the many government agencies and private-sector bodies; such as, Ministry of Commerce, International Arts and Craft Promotional Centres, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Office of Commerce in Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Provincial Office of Tourism and Sports, etc.

Zone 6 Entertainment:
Thai cultural performance, contemporary art performance and entertainment ;such as, Thai folk songs, Thai folk concert, magic show, Thai classical dance, pantomime (Khon) and mini puppet show will be shown on the main stage. There will also be a mock up of a temple fair atmosphere with fun games and outdoor cinema.

Zone 7 Technical seminars:
On June 9, consumers can attend three informative seminars on the following topics: “Destination Branding” from 09.30-12.00 hrs, and “Modern Destination Marketing” from 14.00-16.00 hrs. On June 12, 2011, a seminar on “Tourism Onward: Past and Present” from 09.30-17.30 hrs will bring together a number of Thai experts invited to share their views. All the seminars will be conducted in Thai.

“Travel Linkages Promotion”: Dozens of exhibitors from the public and private sectors including tour operators, travel agents, diving schools and equipment suppliers, spas, accommodation, airlines, golf courses, car rental companies, souvenirs, local handicrafts, local foods and entertainment suppliers are participating in this promotion.

People who buy travel packages at this event will have a chance to win special prizes as well.

Visitors who join the activity of “Travel with a New Heart, Travel Thailand Every Month” can collect the 12-points stamp on the TAT passport and have a chance to win a gift of “New Heart” from TAT.

For further information on the Thailand Tourism Festival 2011, please check http://www.tourismthailand.org or Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext 1336, 1337

International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: prdiv3@tat.or.th
Web site: http://www.tatnews.org

Annual Travel Survey

Tripadvisor published the result of its survey on air travel. I agree with most of the things mentioned by the respondents but I also would like to highlight something you might find a bit controversial, I find babies and children very annoying both in short and long flights. I’d like to start a petition to have ‘adults only’  flights. 

The following are some results of the survey:

“Fee’d” Up with Airline Charges

Forty-six percent of travelers think checked baggage fees are the most annoying fee airlines now charge, followed by 24 percent for seat selection fees and 18 percent for carry-on baggage fees. Seventy-two percent of respondents expect the overall cost of airline fees to rise during the remainder of the year. Travelers expect priority seating fees (49 percent), carry-on baggage fees (46 percent) and seat selection fees (41 percent) to either be added or expanded by some airlines in 2011.

Flyers Beg for Leg Space

Uncomfortable seats and limited legroom topped the list of traveler gripes about air travel, with 26 percent of respondents saying it was their biggest complaint. This was followed by the 23 percent who said airline fees and the 17 percent who cited rising airfares. When asked what one thing airlines should do to make the in-flight experience better, the vast majority – 43 percent—cited more legroom.

Sick or Smelly, Whoa Nelly!

Twenty-eight percent of respondents said that a sick seatmate was the worst kind of seatmate to have on an airplane. This was followed by the 27 percent of travelers who said a smelly seatmate and the 13 percent who responded a “space intruder.” When it comes to socializing with their seatmate during a flight, 74 percent of travelers said that a little small talk is fine, but that they like to keep to themselves for most of the flight. Only 12 percent of respondents said they enjoy socializing with their seatmate during a flight.

Additional Air Travel Tidbits:

  • The number one carry-on essential for travelers was a book, according to 74 percent—more than an iPad/tablet, laptop, and portable music player combined.
  • 54 percent of travelers chose the aisle as their favorite seat, while 42 percent pick the window.
  • 82 percent of respondents think passengers of size should be required to purchase tickets for two seats on their flights if they infringe on the seat next to them.
  • 35 percent said they often take advantage of frequent flier points, 13 percent said they always do.
  • 77 percent of respondents said they would go on a last minute trip if they found a great deal on a flight.

Blue flags

If you are planning an holiday in Italy this post might help you to identify your next destination. Blue flags certify the cleanest sea around the world. The following list includes all 125 places awarded the blue flag in Italy.

PIEMONTE (2) Cannero Riviera (Verbania); Cannobio Lido (Verbania)
LOMBARDIA (1) Gardone Riviera (Brescia)
FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA (2) Grado (Udine); Lignano Sabbiadoro (Gorizia)
VENETO (6) San Michele al Tagliamento – Bibione, Caorle, Eraclea mare, Jesolo, Cavallino Treporti, Venezia – Lido di Venezia
LIGURIA (17) Camporosso, Bordighera (Imperia); Loano, Finale Ligure, Noli, Spotorno, Bergeggi, Savona, Albissola Marina, Albisola Superiore, Celle Ligure, Varazza (Savona); Chiavari, Lavagna, Moneglia (Genova); Lerici, Ameglia – Fiumaretta (Lerici)
EMILIA ROMAGNA (9) Comacchio-Lidi Comacchiesi (Ferrara); Lidi Ravennati, Cervia-Milano Marittima; Pinarella (Ravenna); Cesenatico, San Mauro Pascoli-San Mauro mare (Forlì-Cesena); Bellaria Igea Marina, Rimini, Cattolica, Misano Adriatico (Rimini)
TOSCANA (16) Forte dei Marmi, Pietrasanta, Camaiore, Viareggio (Lucca); Pisa-marina di Pisa-Tirrenia-Calambrone; Livorno-Antignano e Quercianella, Castiglioncello e Vada di Rosignano Marittimo, Cecina, marina di Bibbona, Castagneto Carducci, San Vincenzo, Riotorto-Piombino: parco naturale della Sterpaia (Livorno); Follonica, Castiglione della Pescaia, Marina e Principina di Grosseto, Monte Argentario (Grosseto)
MARCHE (16) Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Fano, Mondolfo-Marotta (Pesaro-Urbino); Senigallia, Ancona Portonovo, Sirolo, Numana (Ancona); Porto Recanati, Potenza Picena – Porto, Civitanova Marche (Macerata); Porto Sant’Elpidio, Porto San Giorgio, Cupra Marittima, Grottammare, San Benedetto del Tronto (Ascoli Piceno)
LAZIO (4) Anzio (Roma); Sabaudia, San Felice Circeo, Sperlonga

ABRUZZO (14) Martinsicuro, Alba Adriatica, Tortoreto, Giulianova, Roseto degli Abruzzi, Pineto, Silvi Marina (Teramo); Ortona, San Vito Chietino, Rocca San Giovanni, Fossacesia, Vasto, San Salvo (Chieti); Scanno (L’Aquila)

MOLISE (1) Termoli (Campobasso)
CAMPANIA (12) Massa Lubrense (Napoli); Positano, Agropoli, Castellabate, Montecorice-Agnone e Capitello, Pollica-Acciaroli Pioppi, Casal Velino, Ascea, Pisciotta, Centola-Palinuro, Vibonati-Villammare, Sapri (Salerno)
BASILICATA (1)
 Maratea (Potenza)
PUGLIA (8) Rodi Garganico (Foggia); Polignano a Mare (Bari); Fasano, Ostuni (Brindisi); Ginosa-Marina di Ginosa (Taranto); Otranto, Melendugno, Salve (Lecce)
CALABRIA (5) Cariati, Amendolara (Cosenza); Cirò Marina (Crotone); Roccella Jonica, Marina di Gioiosa Jonica (Reggio Calabria)
SICILIA (6) Lipari (Messina); Fiumefreddo di Sicilia-Marina di Cottone (Catania), Ispica, Pozzallo, Ragusa-Marina di Ragusa (Ragusa); Menfi (Agrigento)
SARDEGNA (5) Santa Teresa di Gallura-Rena Bianca, La Maddalena-Punta Tegge Spalmatore (Olbia-Tempio)