Lonely Planet has launched Best In Travel 2013, covering the top 10 countries, regions and cities to visit next year.
The lists were selected by Lonely Planet staff, writers and the online community. "We present a year's worth of travel inspiration to take you out of the ordinary and into some unforgettable experiences," said Lonely Planet's statement.
- The first of the top 10 countries is Sri Lanka because the island is best for "culture, off the beaten track and value for money", according to Lonely Planet. Montenegro is second, followed by South Korea, Ecuador, Slovakia, the Solomon Islands, Iceland, Turkey, the Dominican Republic and Madagascar.
- The top 10 regions are Corsica in France followed by the Negev in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Mustang in Nepal, the Yukon in Canada, Chachapoyas and Kuelap in Peru, the Gulf Coast in the United States, Carinthia in Austria, Palawan in the Philippines, the Inland Sea in Japan and Campania in Italy.
- The Top 10 cities are San Francisco, Amsterdam, Hyderabad, Londonderry, Beijing, Christchurch, Hobart, Montreal, Addis Ababa and Puerto Iguazu.
For more details, visit www.lonelyplanet.com
Thailand gets more Google maps
Google has added seven more provinces in Thailand to its Street View service.
"Street View is not only a useful resource when you are planning a route or looking for a destination, but it can also magically transport you to some of the world's picturesque and culturally significant landmarks," said Pornthip Kongchun, Google Thailand's Head of Marketing.
From the recent updates in Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai, the map has added 360-degree panoramas in Chiang Rai, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Nayok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon.
"You can explore many new places directly in Google Maps like Phra Pathom Chedi, the tallest stupa in Nakhon Pathom, or Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai without ever leaving home," she added.
In addition to Thailand, Street View has also updated its service with new locations in Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Sweden, Norway, Italy, the United Kingdom and Denmark as well as Canada and the United States.
Visit maps.google.com/streetview for more information.
Sukhoi eyes Thailand
Sukhoi, the Russian aircraft manufacturer, plans to expand its customer base to Thailand.
According to Alexander Klementiev, the company's deputy director-general, Thailand is a potential market as the aviation business is growing. The Sukhoi Superjet 100, or SSJ-100, its first civilian aircraft, could benefit commercial airlines because Sukhoi uses new aviation technology which can help increase cost efficiency, he said.
The SSJ-100 is a 100-seat plane powered by two new PowerJet engines designed to reduce fuel consumption by up to 15%, and lower carbon emission and maintenance costs by up to 20%, said Andrey Bakhmurov, deputy vice-president sales. The cabin is 2.11m and 3.23m wide, supporting five passenger seats in a row. The cabin is the largest in the narrow-body aircraft segment, Bakhmurov said. Compared to other popular short-haul planes such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 which have six passenger seats in a row, the SSJ-100 is slightly smaller.
"We are an alternative to both market segments," he added.
The aircraft can be redesigned to serve corporate or VIP customers by offering a soft bed, a lounge, a meeting room fully equipped communications systems or additional fuel tanks, he noted.
Since the company introduced the SSJ-100 at the beginning of the year, Sukhoi has already delivered 10 aircraft to Aeroflot and one to Armenian Airlines. Although the SSJ-100 suffered a setback after a tragic crash caused by human error during a demonstration tour in Jakarta in May killing all 45 people on board, Sukhoi has still received orders from Indonesian airlines including Kartika Airlines and Sky Aviation.
"We have about 15 customers who have ordered 174 SSJ-100 aircraft," said Mr Klementiev, adding those customers also include Phongsavanh Airlines in Laos, Pearl Aviation in the United State and Aeroflot, who ordered 30 more units.
Sukhoi also plans to add a new long-range version of the Superjet family to support 130 passengers.
Akaryn Hospitality Management Services (AHMS) invites couples to auction for a wedding location in three of its properties _ Aleenta Phuket Phang-Nga, Akyra Chura Samui and Akaryn Samui.
The idea is for those who want to host a private wedding party for up to 20 guests. The auction price will cover a wedding cake, a photographer for four hours, a bridal bouquet and corsage for the groom, make-up and hair styling for the bride, a bottle of champagne and an hour-long couple's spa treatment. Food and beverage are not included.
For more details, visit www.ahmshotels.com
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About the author
- Writer: Karnjana Karnjanatawe