ท่องเที่ยว

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Making merry with a berry

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Making-merry-with-a-berry-30276754.html

SEOUL

Ji Won Bae presents his organic strawberries at Gapyeong Strawberry Experience Farm in South Korea.

Ji Won Bae presents his organic strawberries at Gapyeong Strawberry Experience Farm in South Korea.

Kim Gi Chun shows off her fresh and juicy strawberries at Seng Seng Strawberry Farm.

Kim Gi Chun shows off her fresh and juicy strawberries at Seng Seng Strawberry Farm.

Fresh from the organic farm

Fresh from the organic farm

An organic farm in South Korea draws visitors eager to feast on its strawberries.

An organic farm in South Korea draws visitors eager to feast on its strawberries.

The Strawberry Bingsu is a shaved ice dessert with fresh strawberries, sweet bean, and strawberry gelato.

The Strawberry Bingsu is a shaved ice dessert with fresh strawberries, sweet bean, and strawberry gelato.

With a strawberry fondue, you just dip your berry in melted chocolate for a truly mouth-watering experience.

With a strawberry fondue, you just dip your berry in melted chocolate for a truly mouth-watering experience.

A pack of organic strawberries makes a perfect souvenir.

A pack of organic strawberries makes a perfect souvenir.

Visitors enjoy a strawberry workshop during their farm visit in South Korea.

Visitors enjoy a strawberry workshop during their farm visit in South Korea.

 

Planning a trip to South Korea? Then don’t leave a visit to one of the country’s delicious strawberries farms off your itinerary

SWEET… sweet strawberries! One of the best ways to enjoy Korea’s romantic winter scenes is to experience strawberry picking at the farms and taste some of the delicious desserts featuring the seductive strawberry as the star.

During a trip to Seoul last month, I took time out to visit Gapyeong, a popular weekend getaway from Seoul and tourist destination. A gateway to Nami island, which is best known as the setting of the much-loved Korean drama “Winter Sonata” and home to Petite France, a theme park featuring small European-style buildings surrounded by mountains and a lake, the area is also attracting both local and foreign visitors eager to pick – and nibble on – strawberries

Gapyeong native Ji Won Bae, 39, left his engineering job with an automobile company in Seoul two years ago to set up the Gapyeong Strawberry Experience Farm. He has three greenhouses where he grows organic strawberries in long plots and elevated trays.

Bae greets visitors personally and after sharing some facts about strawberries, shows you how to find the best ones. You then take your basket – thoughtfully provided by the farm – and make your way round the greenhouse picking those that are deliciously ripe. Visitors tend to prefer the elevated trays, as they are easier to reach and have the advantage of enabling you to sample the goodies without cleaning them first.

Unlike many farmers, Bae does not supply his fruit to retail distributors such as markets, department stores and discount stores. He prefers to meet his consumers in person and spend time with them as they enjoy the fruits of his labour.

Gapyeong Strawberry Experience Farm is understandably a popular destination for students as well as tourists. Kindergartens often take their young charges along for the day, not least because the entrance fee is a very reasonable 10,000 won (Bt300). Adults and children over the age of seven pay 15,000 won while groups of 20 pay 12,000 won. Kids under three get in free.

Adjacent to the province of Gangwon-do, the city of Gapyeong in Gyeonggi-do is surrounded by mountains and a river. It’s easily accessible from Seoul via the Gyeongchunseon Subway Line 7 from Sangbong Station. Exiting at Cheongnyangni Station, visitors can board the ITX Cheongchun train, which arrives in Gapyeong 40 minutes later.

Another strawberry farm easily accessible from Seoul is Seng Seng in Yangpyeong county owned by Kim Gi Chun. Five years ago, Chun, 52, and her husband decided to transform their vegetable plots into a strawberry farm in the hope of generating more income. It seems to have worked, with the number of Korean and foreign visitors growing steadily each year.

Here you can do more than just pick the fruit. The friendly staff are happy to demonstrate how to make a tasty strawberry cake while offering a variety of dishes and drinks including a strawberry smoothie, Bingsu strawberry (shaved ice with strawberries), strawberry fondue, and even strawberry pizza.

Just one hour by car from Seoul, Yangpyeong is largely undeveloped. Well on its way to becoming an eco-city, it is also referred to as Greentopia and offers breathtaking scenery, cycling along the Bukhan River and a chance to explore the rich farming land that produces safe and eco-friendly foods.

The number of strawberry farms in South Korea has grown significantly in recent years, says Calvin Oh, president of the Korean Strawberry Association, and strawberry-picking tours are particularly popular with tourists as they offer the chance to sample organic fruit. This has a knock-on effect when they return to their home countries as they will make a point of buying South Korean strawberries.

Locally known as dal-ki, the country produces two species, namely Mae-Kyang and Seoul-Hyang. Today Korea is among the top five strawberry-producing countries in the world with total exports valued at US$33 million in 2015.

And visitors who time their trips for April can visit the Nonsan Strawberry Festival. The town, located in Chungcheongnam-do, is the largest strawberry producer in Korea and is accessible by train from Seoul.

In Thailand, Korean strawberries are available at Tops, The Mall’s Gourmet markets and Villa Market.

IF YOU GO

Strawberry picking is available from December through June. Farm admission fees vary from 12,000 to 25,000 won.

 

โฆษณา

Rooms with a view

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Rooms-with-a-view-30276755.html

CHECK IN

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

 

The newly opened Ocean Wing of Amari Phuket is close enough to Patong to party but far enough to escape the crowds

Patong, Phuket’s best-known beach, has long conjured up images of a resort town teeming with Chinese tourists and Western visitors, often drunk, populating the seedy strip known as Bangla. The Amari Phuket, however, offers a different outlook on Patong.

Tucked away on the western end of Patong Beach surrounded by tropical forest and perched on the hill that overlooks the resort, Amari Phuket is a cross between beach party paradise and hideaway for shaking off a hangover.

Now the Amari Phuket has taken comfort and convenience one step further with the opening of the Ocean Wing.

Perched at the top of the hill, the Ocean Wing offers unparalleled vistas of Patong Beach and beyond. The 183 rooms are divided into one and two-bedroom suites with both kitchen and dining areas.

I checked into Room 6231, a one-bed room suite that is ideal for holidaymakers taking an extended break in Phuket. Spacious yet cosy with light-brown walls and a white solid tile floor, the suite feels much more like a luxury apartment than a hotel room.

Cabinets are mounted over a countertop and sink, leaving plenty of space for food preparation. Easy chairs, sofa and flat-screen TV, a decent size refrigerator and a dining table that seats four add to the home-away-from-home ambience.

The bedroom is hidden behind a sliding door. The space is more or less taken up by a king-sized bed but leaving the sliding door open will restore a sense of space. Another television set is mounted on the wall, making sure you won’t miss important moments anywhere in the world.

The bathroom is big and cosy with choices of hand-held and wall-mounted showerheads.

Designed for contemporary and refined travellers, the Clubhouse is home to an infinity pool, sun deck and its own fitness room, all reserved exclusively for Club Ocean Wing guests. The Clubhouse lounge serves breakfast and an a la carte dining menu all day long. Complimentary tea, coffee and light snacks are also available throughout the day and complimentary sunset cocktails with pre-dinner canapes are served from 5.30 to 6.30pm daily.

Out of the comfort zone of the Ocean Wing, guests can enjoy a wide range of services. La Gritta, the chic Italian restaurant, is the pride of Amari Phuket for its authentic flavours and extensive wine list.

“La Gritta often has diners coming from outside of the hotel. Locals love the food here,” says general manager Pierre-Andre Pelletier, as I’m waiting for a bowl of minestrone. “It’s a destination by itself, and we’re proud of it.”

For a day of ultimate relaxation – or to shake off the excesses of the previous night – make your way to Breeze Spa for one of the wide range of body massages and facial treatments in the open-air pavilions on the hillside, all of which boast unrivalled views of the bay.

Amari Phuket is by far one of the best choices for guests wanting to make the most of Phuket – beach, partying and holistic spa break. Patong is within walking distance and the stroll along the beach is particularly pleasant early in the morning when you have Patong to yourself.

AT A GLANCE

High point: The Ocean Wing offers more space and privacy. Amari Phuket itself is on the right on Patong Beach, though the crowds tend to keep their distance.

Low point: The landscape is probably too hilly for the elderly.

Pay for it: Visit the Amari official website for the best deal

Find it: Western end of Patong Beach, Phuket

Call it: +66 (0) 76 340 106-14

Browse it: http://www.Amari.com/phuket.

 

Running through the rice fields

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Running-through-the-rice-fields-30276757.html

AROUND THAILAND

The Khon Kaen International Marathon returns to the Northeast province on January 24….

Running through the rice fields

The Khon Kaen International Marathon returns to the Northeast province on January 24 for a 42.195-kilometre run through the rustic yet beautiful countryside along canals and through hamlets and paddy fields. The event also features 21.1 km, 11.55 km and 4.5 km distances for those who don’t feel up to the real thing. Find out more at http://www.KhonKaenMarathon.com.

Feast for winter’s end

Yamazato, the award-winning Japanese restaurant at The Okura Prestige Bangkok, is presenting new Gozen and Kaiseki set menus for the Setsubun Bean Throwing Festival, which runs from January 28 to February 6. The Setsubun Festival in Japan marks the final day of winter in the ancient Japanese calendar. Setsubun literally means the “day before Spring”. The rituals include bean throwing to keep away evil spirits and the eating of an Ehomaki roll whilst facing towards the “lucky direction” for that year. The Gozen set menu is priced at Bt900 and the seven-course Kaiseki dinner at Bt3,000. Book a table at (02) 687 9000 or email yamazato@okurabangkok.com.

So magnifique

Make Sunday So special with the Magnifique Moet & Chandon Sunday Brunch at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhummvit. Voila restaurant offers an amazing culinary experience with the restaurant’s signature Canadian lobster bisque crowned with puff pastry and a shot of Napoleon brandy as well as lobster, smoked trout, Alaskan king crab, green-lipped New Zealand mussels and more. It’s priced at Bt2,200 with soft drinks, Bt3,750 with Chandon wines and cocktails and Bt4,750 with Moet & Chandon Champagne, wines and cocktails. Call (02) 126 9999 extension 3304.

That’s the spirit

Theo Mio, the Italian restaurant at InterContinental Bangkok hotel, introduces a special Ladies Night every Saturday from this week with such cocktails as the Moji Theo’s Passion, Very Sexy Daiquiri and Martini Therapy, as well as spirit-soaring prosecco mixes that combine Italian sparkling wine with fresh juices, spices and even cheese. Find out more at (02) 656 0444 extension 6273 or visit http://www.Bangkok.InterContinental.com.

Lovers in Lanna

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Lovers-in-Lanna-30276758.html

GETAWAYS

 

U Chiang Mai celebrates the month of love with the Be My Valentine Package.

Lovers in Lanna

U Chiang Mai celebrates the month of love with the Be My Valentine Package. The offer, created exclusively with lovers in mind, features 4 days and 3 nights in either a superior or deluxe room, candlelit Thai set dinner for two, 90-minute Thai Lanna massage for two, and Valentine’s chocolates and a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival. The deal is available from February 1 to 29 and priced at Bt19,227 for a Superior Room and Bt22,788 for |a Deluxe Room. Call (053) 227 000 or e-mail: reserve@uchiangmai.com. Visit http://www.UChiangMai.com.

BANGKOK

Seafood and sax

Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers invites you to spend a Friday or Saturday evening at Riverside Terrace and enjoy exotic cocktails and fresh-off-the-grill specialities to the sound of live jazz music by saxophonist Aht Gunlayanakupt. The jazzy nights run from 6 t0 8.30pm through February 27. For every Bt2,000 spent, you get chance to win 2 round trip tickets to Sydney, Australia with Thai Airways plus free accommodation. The promotion is available for Thai residents only. Call (02) 266 9214 or e-mail: events.rosh@sheraton.com.

Fruity treat

Experience the “Pomegranate Body Scrub”, a 45-minute treatment designed to give your skin a youthful, radiant glow at Spa Ten of Siam@Siam Design Hotel Bangkok. Pomegranate’s beneficial enzymes can help you turn back the clock through the natural removal of dead skin cells and decrease the appearance of age spots, as well as smoothen and brighten your complexion. Give your skin the indulgence and polish it deserves for just Bt1,800. Book a session at (02) 217 3000 extension spa ten or e-mail: spaten@siamatsiam.com.

Proud to be Australian

Celebrate Australia Day at the St Regis Bangkok from January 26 to 29. Presented by native Aussie Matthew Woolford, Viu will be featuring Australian-sourced premium ingredients including the award- winning Fullblood Blackmore Wagyu Beef, Bultarra Saltbush Lamb, Hiramasa Kingfish from the Great Southern Ocean, Spencer Gulf King Prawns, Spring Bay Mussels with a plump meaty texture and Petuna Ocean Trout. |Buy selected Australian wines by the glass, and receive a second glass free. |Call (02) 207 7777 or e-mail: fb.bangkok@stregis.com.

THAILAND AND BEYOND

A deal for spring

Eastin Hotels and Residences, situated in some of the most “must visit” locations in Southeast Asia and beyond including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket, introduce the “Value Spring” promotion. Available at all of the brand’s properties, the promotion features 25 per-cent discount on room rates and includes a US$25 restaurant or spa credit per room per stay. The offer can be booked from February 1 to 29 for stays of minimum two consecutive nights between March 1 and June 30. Reservations must be made through the hotel’s website using the rate code “ESPR”. |Visit http://www.EastinHotelsResidences.com.

AIRLINE OFFER

Bargains in the skies

Emirates is launching its global sale to encourage travellers to explore new destinations and revisit their favourite cities. For destinations across Asia, Economy Class fares start from Bt4,365 and Business Class fares from Bt11,640. Fares to the Middle East starts from Bt5,820 (Economy Class) and Bt19,400 (Business Class). Europe prices start at Bt9,700 (Economy Class) and Bt53,545 (Business Class). Africa prices start from Bt12,610 (Economy Class) and Bt57,230 (Business Class). Flights to Australasia start at Bt8,540 (Economy Class) and Bt60,140 (Business Class). North American destinations starting at Bt10,670 (Economy Class) and Bt87,300 (Business Class), while prices for South and Central American destinations start at Bt41,710 (Economy Class) and Bt145,500 (Business Class). Tickets are available from today for travel dates from January 15 to November 30. Visit http://www.Emirates.com.

Asian budget carriers tops in passenger load

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Asian-budget-carriers-tops-in-passenger-load-30276594.html

AVIATION

A Tigerair plane at Changi Airport, Singapore. Photo/The Straits Times

A rising middle class in India and China, and budget carriers still in their infancy in Northeast Asia especially, will fuel growth in the sector.

Asian budget airlines – including AirAsia, Tigerair and Jetstar – carried more passengers last year than their European or North American counterparts.

In just over a decade, the Asian airlines have gone from an almost-zero presence to carrying 31 per cent of global budget travellers last year.

European carriers – which include Ryanair – accounted for 30 per cent of total traffic while North American airlines had 26 per cent market share, according to preliminary data compiled by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Globally, budget airlines carried more than 950 million passengers last year, which is about 28 per cent of all air travellers, compared with 27 per cent in 2014.

Asia’s share of the pie is expected to continue to grow, analysts said.

A rising middle class in India and China, and budget carriers still in their infancy in Northeast Asia especially, will fuel growth in the sector, they said.

Growth will be slower in Southeast Asia where overcapacity in the past few years hit profits and forced budget carriers to scale back their operations.

Brendan Sobie, a Singapore- based analyst at aviation think- tank Centre for Aviation, said: “There will still be growth in this region, but it won’t be at the level we saw in 2012 and 2013 when year- on-year growth was more than 20 per cent. We are probably looking at high single-digit growth.”

He noted that budget carriers already account for almost 60 per cent of all intra-Southeast Asian travel.

Much of the growth in this region this year will be in the long-haul budget sector, analysts said.

Singapore Airlines’ subsidiary Scoot, for example, has gone from eight Boeing 787 aircraft in October last year to 10 now, with more to come in the next few years.

The airline, which already has a strong presence in the region, including in Australia and China, is also planning its foray into the Middle East and India later this year.

Overall, total global passenger traffic on both budget and full-service airlines grew by 6.4 per cent last year to hit 3.5 billion, ICAO said.

Despite sluggish economic growth in some advanced economies and most emerging markets, demand for air travel continued to rise, the United Nations body said.

This was due in part to a 40 per cent dip in the average jet fuel price, which gave airlines some flexibility to lower airfares, which in turn stimulated demand, ICAO said.

Travellers can expect the lower fuel prices and competition among carriers to keep fares attractive this year, analysts said.

A tale of two cities

Published มกราคม 8, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/A-tale-of-two-cities-30276323.html

CHINA

The granite rock formations of Mount Hua are worth the hike up to its peak. The mountain is located in Shaanxi province.

The granite rock formations of Mount Hua are worth the hike up to its peak. The mountain is located in Shaanxi province.

One of the writer’s welcome dishes in Xi’an: fried scorpions with egg white.

One of the writer’s welcome dishes in Xi’an: fried scorpions with egg white.

Despite the city’s 7,000-year-old history, the buildings in Ningbo are modern and futuristic. One example is the Ningbo Museum.

Despite the city’s 7,000-year-old history, the buildings in Ningbo are modern and futuristic. One example is the Ningbo Museum.

 

Xi’an and Ningbo are as alike as chalk and cheese but they both have their charms

I’d never seen anything like it – a mini mountain of fluffy egg white paste, with menacing, fried scorpions jutting out of it. And this was for dinner?

I was on unfamiliar ground, out of my comfort zone and on a journey to get to know two Chinese cities in eight days, courtesy of fellow ANN member China Daily. As quirky as this welcome dish was when I first arrived in Xi’an city, it had a more elegant meaning. My hosts explained that it symbolises the majestic peaks in Shaanxi province, situated in China’s Northwest.

The egg white denoted the sometimes snow-capped mountains in the province. And such elevated grounds are habitats for scorpions, which, when fried and served to a true blue Malaysian girl like me, tasted like crunchy, salty anchovies in nasi lemak!

This dish was a rather apt introduction to my visit to Shaanxi, where I drank in the breathtaking sights of Mount Hua and Mount Taibai, the tallest mountain in East China. Xi’an, the one-time ancient capital of China, brings to mind the famed terracotta warriors, buried together with the Emperor to guard him in the afterlife.

Mount Hua, dubbed the “Western Great Mountain” is 120 kilometres from the city and accessible by a slow, steady cable car with transparent walls that climbs up steep elevations to get closer to the peak. The ride can be unnerving but the view makes it all worth while. Like traditional Chinese paintings of mountains leaping to life, Hua Shan basks in glory on a sunny day.

The beige, granite rock formations with trails of green shrubs running along its sides, gently being blown by the wind, bring to mind a mighty ancient warrior with rock-hard muscles standing tall in the misty air.

Named “Hua” after an official from heaven who met a monk, the mountain is considered a romantic spot, with love-locks adorning the railings along the way to the peak.

Mount Taibai is even taller at 3,511m above sea level and its peak is occasionally covered with snow though sadly not on the day of my visit.

Back on lower ground as we drove back into the city, my bus passed through the imposing Xi’an City Wall. Its long arms protectively wrap around the city centre, spanning about 14km in length.

Built during the Ming Dynasty, the 12m-high wall is now the pride of the city and, for tourists, a chance to cycle on the platform to soak up views of this historic city. From there, one can see the Bell and Drum Tower which, according to legend, was erected by the Xi’an people to stop earthquakes caused by a dragon living underground.

After engaging with soulful Xi’an, I make the acquaintance of her dynamic and unique sister, the coastal city of Ningbo in the Zhejiang province in eastern China.

Meaning “serene waves”, Ningbo is said to be one of the oldest cities in China, and a major port, thanks to its proximity to the sea. But despite its 7,000-year-old history, the city pulses to a modern beat and belies its true age.

With its trendy bars, futuristic architecture and many ongoing development projects, the city is young at heart and full of promise for so much more. From its growing High-Tech Industrial Development Zone and robust Ningbo Port, it is obvious that the place is poised to springboard itself into a highly advanced city.

I found myself more intrigued by the town’s subtle nuances, including the exceedingly fresh and succulent local seafood. One of the specialities is another multi-legged creature – the crab.

The crab, which is served raw, had a naturally sweet and juicy flavour and was followed by Ningbo’s signature glutinous rice balls with black sesame filling.

Betraying Ningbo’s seemingly youthful vibe is the Temple of King Asoka, built in 282 CE and the only ancient temple more than 1,000 years old in China. The structure was built by King Asoka from India, who became a Buddhist after he dreamt that the Buddha told him to stop killing off his rivals.

The temple also houses one of the 100 relics from the Shakyamuni Buddha’s remains, a holy artefact revered by followers.

Ningbo is also home to several significant figures, including Tu Youyou, who was recently awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for her contribution towards creating a drug to treat malaria that has saved millions of lives. The 84-year-old’s family home in the city, which has been preserved for its traditional architecture, is open to visitors.

It is also the birthplace of Chen Yumen, the inventor of mah jong and his former residence, also in the city, has been turned into a mini museum for the public.

At night, Ningbo lets her hair down and transforms into a marvel of light and sound. One can easily soak up the vibrant atmosphere by taking a stroll along the charming and scenic Nantanghe Block.

Decked with rows of food shops and cafes, the block has a traditional Chinese façade and attracts many locals eager to relax over a meal.

For a stiffer drink, Ningbo folks and tourists alike converge at the hip joints near The Old Bund and bars overlooking the Yong River, which runs through the city.

Despite its rapid development and advancements, the other side of Ningbo coaxes you to just kick back, relax and drink it all in.

 

In tune with the times

Published มกราคม 8, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/In-tune-with-the-times-30276325.html

JAPAN

The Shibuya Modi building, which reopened on November 19 with the goal of attracting more adult consumers. Shibuya Parco, rear left, is also slated for an overhaul.

The Shibuya Modi building, which reopened on November 19 with the goal of attracting more adult consumers. Shibuya Parco, rear left, is also slated for an overhaul.

Tokyo’s Shibuya district sheds its youth image as the professional crowd moves in

Long known as one of the fashion centres of Japan, particularly for young people, Tokyo’s Shibuya area is shedding its image as a “young person’s town,” as the growing number of mainly information technology companies and ongoing redevelopment bring in more and more working adults.

From the 1970s to the ’90s, Shibuya Koen-dori avenue was a centre of youth culture, characterised by the vogue “DC Brands” of Japanese designers and the Shibukaji (Shibuya casual) fashions worn by young people.

Now, however, department stores and commercial facilities have begun large-scale renovations with adult customers in mind.

Marui City Shibuya, a fashion building facing the avenue, reopened as Shibuya Modi on November 19.

Before its renovation, the building’s shops offered clothing mainly for young people, but it now targets adults of refined taste.

Its stores include HMV, which features books and miscellaneous goods classified by themes such as “travel and cuisine”, a luxury karaoke store and a kimono speciality shop.

“We’ll make the building a place that offers lifestyles that go beyond generations and is suitable for today’s Shibuya,” Marui Group president Hiroshi Aoi says,

Seibu department store’s Shibuya branch reopened its renovated fifth floor for women’s clothing in late August.

The floor features an enhanced line-up of clothing aimed at executive women in their 40s and 50s, including high-quality one-piece dresses and jackets that cost from 100,000 yen (Bt30,300) to less than 200,000 yen.

Sales during the three months after renovation increased by 50 per cent from a year earlier.

Shibuya Parco, from which Koen-dori is believed to derive its name (Koen is park in Japanese, parco means park in Italian), has led youth culture since the 1970s with its innovative advertising.

The building is also slated for renovation, to attract people of working age.

Shibuya encompasses many schools and used to attract crowds of young people, while the number of companies in the area was relatively small.

In the 1990s, an area called Shibuya Centre-gai attracted attention as a gathering place for many juvenile delinquents called “teamers” and young girls called “ganguro,” who sported tan makeup, bleached hair and platform shoes.

In response, Tokyu Corp, which operates railways that terminate at Shibuya Station, has promoted the construction of complex buildings to lure adults with high purchasing power to Shibuya.

In the 2000s, such complex buildings as Shibuya Mark City, Cerulean Tower and Shibuya Hikarie opened in quick succession, and many IT firms began to gather in Shibuya.

According to a survey by Video Research, people younger than 30 accounted for 44.2 per cent of those who visited the area around Shibuya Station during a specific period in 2006, while those aged 30 or older accounted for 55.7 per cent.

However, in 2014, those younger than 30 decreased to 39 per cent while those aged 30 or older increased to 60.9 per cent.

A total of eight complex buildings, including offices and hotels, are scheduled to be opened mainly by Tokyu Group between 2018 and 2027.

Many people are interested to see how Shibuya will become more adult-oriented in the future.

Understanding wine

Published มกราคม 8, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Understanding-wine-30276328.html

TRAVEL TIPS

Les Caves du Louvre in Central Paris, France

Les Caves du Louvre in Central Paris, France

Visitors explore the A to Z of wine through an interactive experience set in an 18th-century vaulted hotel particulier (a listed monument with cellars that predate the private mansion by several centuries).

Understanding wine

Discover Les Caves du Louvre in Central Paris, France, an immersive new wine museum created by author and sommelier Olivier Magny and Nicolas Paradis of O’Chateau, the city’s largest wine bar. Visitors explore the A to Z of wine through an interactive experience set in an 18th-century vaulted hotel particulier (a listed monument with cellars that predate the private mansion by several centuries). The structure underwent an extensive overhaul to create a clever visual play on volume, light, texture and scent that enriches a mobile app and guides guests through a sensorial tour covering about 600 square metres of rehabilitated underground space. The app is available in 10 languages. Find out more at Facebook.com/lescavesduparadis.

KFC in thin air

The Tibetans will soon be taking their first bite of Kentucky Fried Chicken, as the popular fast food chain opens in a Lhasa shopping mall this month. The two-storey restaurant will serve American-style fried chicken and is expected to appeal to tourists in the city, which is growing as a world-renowned destination. – China Daily/ANN

People behaving badly

Tourists who behave badly and threaten security at Beijing Capital International Airport will be placed on record, which could affect their future travel plans. The Beijing Commission of Tourism Development signed a deal with the airport’s security company recently, allowing the blacklist to be set up for those who violate regulations. The deal aims to improve tourist behaviour, enhance safety awareness and help with customs clearance procedures. A tourist surnamed Zhou was the first to be placed on this list for pulling open an emergency hatch on a flight from Kunming to Beijing last January. His bad behaviour record will be kept for two years. – China Daily/ANN

More Chinese to visit Nepal

Nepal is expecting more tourists from China following the waiver of visa fees for the country’s nationals. The hassle-free visa deal aims to improve and develop the tourism industry. The Chinese government reciprocated the Nepali gesture by lifting the travel restriction on their citizens to Nepal with immediate effect. In a bid to lure more tourists from China, two Nepali carriers, Nepal Airlines and Himalaya Airlines, are set to join four Chinese airlines already in operation on Nepal-China routes. Himalaya Airlines plans to operate Kathmandu-Lhasa flights, while Nepal Airlines plans to operate Kathmandu-Guangzhou flights by the first quarter of 2016. – The Kathmandu Post/ANN

More room at the inns

Italy is planning to convert dozens of red-ochre government buildings dotting scenic countryside roads into rustic hostels for tourists. They will offer stops for so-called slow-tourism travellers starting this year. Painted in dark Pompeii red, the first lodges were instituted in 1830, before the unification of Italy, to provide accommodation for road maintenance workers, but out of the current total of 1,244, about half have fallen into disuse. Highways agency ANAS has selected a first batch of 30, located along scenic routes such as the Franciscan Trail in Tuscany, near ski resorts in the Alps and by Lake Como, and is scouting for proposals on how to turn them into more productive use.

In the bowels of the Earth

Tunnels built by the Nazis under Ksiaz Castle in Lower Silesia in Poland will soon be open to tourists, the Polish tourism office says. The castle, a baroque palace on a long-fortified rock, is located about 70 kilometres from Wroclaw. Until now the tunnels have been used by the Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IGF) as an earthquake measuring site, but worldwide interest in legends about a Nazi gold train underground in Poland have made tourists eager to explore. Some 3,200 square metres of the tunnel system, which runs 15 to 50 metres below the castle, will be made accessible as a tourist route. An exhibition about the tunnels’ origins is also planned. – DPA

Childrens’ Day special for kids and adults

Published มกราคม 8, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Childrens-Day-special-for-kids-and-adults-30276318.html

MUSEUM

Spiderman at Madame Tussauds Bangkok wax museum

Spiderman at Madame Tussauds Bangkok wax museum

Madame Tussauds Bangkok joins hands with AIS in special offer for Children’s Day 2016

Madame Tussauds Bangkok wax museum unveils its special gift to mark this year’s Children’s Day, providing free entry for youngsters aged 3-11 years on the occasion, which falls on Saturday, January 9, while their parents and accompanying adults get a generous discount on tickets.

The offer is exclusively for AIS customers with monthly bills exceeding 100 baht. Simply dial *545*19*3# to get a free entry right for one child aged 3-11 years (from normally 350 baht for Thais and expats and free admission for children under three years old). One telephone number per one redemption. Parents or accompanying adults can dial *545*81# to be entitled to buy tickets at the special price of 250 baht (from normally 450 baht for Thais and expats). Requests are valid from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm of Saturday 9 January 2016.

Young visitors will be welcome to enjoy themselves with their favourite cartoon characters like Hello Kitty, Doraemon and Khan Kluay; Marvel superheroes such as Spiderman, Wolverine and Captain America, as well as notable historical figures and world-famous personalities in the show business, sports, arts and science. Many interactive activities are also available for increased enjoyment. Madame Tussauds Bangkok is located on the sixth floor of Siam Discovery.

INFORMATION

Call (02 658 0060 or visit www2.madametussauds.com/bangkok/en/

Celebration time, come on!

Published มกราคม 6, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Celebration-time-come-on!-30276226.html

FESTIVAL

Baliem Valley Festival, Indonesia. Courtesy of Indonesia Tourism

Baliem Valley Festival, Indonesia. Courtesy of Indonesia Tourism

Songkran Festival, Thailand. Photo/Nation

Songkran Festival, Thailand. Photo/Nation

Bali Art Festival, Indonesia. AFP

Bali Art Festival, Indonesia. AFP

Tet Nguyen Dan, Vietnam. AFP

Tet Nguyen Dan, Vietnam. AFP

Thaipusam, Malaysia. EPA

Thaipusam, Malaysia. EPA

 

We take a tour around the newly formed Asean Economic Community |and preview the best festivals to check out in 2016.

Thailand and her neighbours welcomed 2016 as full members of the Asean Economic Community, opening the doors to tourists from all over the globe to make friends with some 600 million people in 10 countries and understand more about their cultures.

Of course, the best way of learning about those cultures is to travel around the region and experience how each country celebrates its religious and traditional festivals.

We look at what the region has in store for 2016. Check them out and book your tickets now.

ATI-ATIHAN, The Philippines

Jan 17 to 26

Colourful costumes, tribal dancing and feasting headline this famous festival in Kalibo, the capital of the Philippine province of Aklan, honouring Santo Nino or the infant Jesus. Originally a pagan festival until Spanish missionaries added a Christian meaning, it’s best described as a tribal version of the Brazil carnival, with black-painted faces, feather headdresses and animal bones creating an arresting visual impression. Drumming and dancing break out at dawn and continue on until the festival ends at a masquerade ball. A mass outdoor procession follows a sacred image of Santo Nino from the Kalibo Cathedral to Pastrana Park.

Kalibo International Airport is the main transportation hub for the resort island of Boracay.

BALI ART FESTIVAL, Indonesia

June 13 to July 11

Bali is known for its unique art and culture, and the Bali Art Festival offers a full month of performances, handicraft exhibitions and cultural activities. The festival begins with a Grand Parade on opening day, starting from the Bajra Sandhi Puputan field in Renon and ending at the Denpasar Art Centre. Each regency is represented with a gamelan orchestra and people dressed in their regional costumes. Often tall, towering offerings are carried on the heads of colourfully dressed women, once again showing the diversity Bali has to offer. There are performances of both traditional and contemporary dance and music nightly while the daylight hours are devoted to handicraft and food stalls showcasing the best of each regency, with delights for everyone of every age.

BALIEM VALLEY FESTIVAL, Indonesia

August 11 to 15

A fabulous opportunity to explore remote Papua island, the Baliem valley is nearer to the Stone Age than the digital age. Home to the Yali, Dani and Lani tribes, the Baliem Valley Festival features mock battles between the tribes, pig races, spear throwing, cooking contests and tribal music and dance presentations.

There are regular flights from Jakarta, Makassar and Bali to Jayapura, capital of the province of Irian Jaya/Papua. From there you can take a connecting flight to Wamena.

VAT PHOU FESTIVAL, Laos

February 18 to 22

Vat Phou, the Unesco World Heritage sites in Champassak, was a Hindu temple before the arrival of Buddhism. Built during the first part of the 11th century, it is located at the base of mount Phu Kao and the front section, made of sandstone, is occupied by four Buddha images. If you plan to visit Vat Phou, make it next month when the Lao celebrate the Vat Phou Festival. This annual rite is held on the full moon of the third month of lunar calendar and features elephant racing, buffalo fighting, cock fighting and performances of Lao traditional music and dance.

SONGKRAN FESTIVAL, Thailand

April 13 to 20

Warm, wet and wild is the best way to describe Thailand’s Songkran Festival. Celebrated for a week across the country, it is also known as the water festival, as the throwing of water is the festival’s highlight. Aimed at anything moves, water in plastic bags, in buckets or from a huge water gun ensure that everyone enjoys a good soaking. The best places to celebrate include Khao San Road in Bangkok. Tha Pae Gate in Chiang Mai, Phra Pradaeng in Samut Prakan Province and Pattaya.

TET NGUYEN DAN, Vietnam

February 8

Tet Nguyen Dan – the Vietnamese New Year – is the most festive day in Vietnam’s calendar and marks the arrival of spring. Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam’s South is the place to rub shoulders with the Vietnamese before Tet when the markets are packed with people stocking up on goods. This is a busy period in the family home as the women cook the many special holiday delicacies. Take a stroll down the city’s Nguyen Hue, which is transformed into a floral wonderland in the week before Tet.

HUNGRY GHOST FESTIVAL, Singapore

August 28

The Hungry Ghost Festival is to Chinese-speaking folks is what Halloween is to the Americans. The souls of the dead, according to Chinese beliefs, will roam the Earth sometime in August and the living ignore the dead at their peril. To appease the hungry ghost, the folks in Singapore organise a feast and entertainment for the dead after dark. You don’t have to leave your living form to join the festival. Check it out for Chinese operas, stand-up comedy, and dance.

THAIPUSAM, Malaysia

January 23

A Hindu festival celebrated in Kuala Lumpur on the first full moon night of 2016, Thaipusam honours Lord Subramaniam, who represents virtue, youth and power, and is the destroyer of evil. It’s the most spectacular Hindu festival in Malaysia and features Hindus piercing their bodies with metal skewers and carrying pots of milk on their heads along a four-kilometre procession to the Batu Caves.

HPAUNG DAW U PAGODA FESTIVAL, Myanmar

September – October

The Hpaung Daw U Pagoda Festival is one of the largest Buddhist festivals in Myamnar. Held over 18 days at Inle Lake in Shan State, the festival sees four of the pagoda’s Buddha images placed on a replica of a royal barge designed as a hintha bird and taken throughout the lake. Thousands of people from communities around the lake and the surrounding mountains show up with fruits and flowers on lacquer trays in their own boats before heading to the holy pagoda.

HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI, Brunei

Hari Raya Aidilfitri, or Eid al-Fitr, is the festival of breaking fast. It’s celebrated in Brunei as well as other Muslim communities in Asean at the end of Ramadan – the month of Holy Fasting. A home-coming event where everyone feasts together and seeks forgiveness from elder members, it’s particularly special in Brunei because Istana Nurul Iman, the official residence of the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, is open to the public. Buffet meals and a palace tour are available for visitors.

KHMER NEW YEAR, Cambodia

April 14 to 16

Millions of Cambodia mark Bonn Om Toeuk along the Tonle Sap in Phnom Penh, Spectators, revellers and oarsmen gather for spectacular dragon boat racing. The race, with more than 400 boats from around Cambodia, marks the New Year as well as a unique natural phenomenon – when the Tonle Sap River reverses the flow of its current. Firework displays and cultural shows add to the colour.

 

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