Ironman champ Phuket bound

The two-time Ironman World champion will join the Laguna Phuket Triathlon and the Ironman competition in Phuket for the first time. Chris McCormack is a 39-year old Australian triathlete who has won 200 races around the world since 1993 as well as claimed 12 Ironman victories. He is also the only triathlete ever to be Olympic Course and Ironman World Champion.

"I've heard so much about Laguna Phuket over the years but have never managed to make it there _ I'm really looking forward to finally going there and racing in this iconic triathlon location," said Mr McCormack.

He has signed up to compete in the Laguna Phuket Triathlon on Nov 25 and Ironman 70.3 Laguna Phuket on Dec 2.

Victory for monumental clean-up

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to give a new look to the Victory Monument and its surrounding areas in order to make the roundabout more attractive, safer and better facilitate commuters.

Within 150 days, one of the capital's busiest transportation hubs will have new walkways and resting spaces around the monument.

"New Era of the Victory Monument for Bangkokians" will also construct new 33 vertical gardens to give the area a greener feel, while 28 security cameras and more lights while ensure pedestrians' safety. The current 30 public toilets will be replaced by 40 new ones which the BMA claims to be of the same standard as those at five-star hotels, and with facilities for the handicapped and the elderly. The Victory Monument, which was built in 1941 as a memorial to commemorate those who lost their lives during the Franco-Thai conflict over the territory reclaimed by Siam from France, will also be cleaned and repainted.

The face-lift project is expected to be finished by Feb 14, 2013.

Airlines update

- Thai Airways will reschedule its night flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai during this Wednesday's Loy Krathong festival.

According to THAI president Dr Sorajak Kasemsuwan, locals will join the traditional Loy Krathong event by releasing floating lanterns at nights.

To avoid the floating lanterns being sucked into the engines of airplanes, all flights operated after 6.30pm between Bangkok and Chiang Mai will be temporary halted from Nov 27-29. Flights between Bangkok and Chiang Rai, on the other hand, will be rescheduled a couple of hours earlier. The flight departing Bangkok at 6.20pm will be rescheduled to 3.40pm, while the return flight will be changed from 8.25pm to 5.45pm during the festival.


- Malaysia Airlines has launched a 50% discount promotion allowing its frequent flyer programme members to redeem tickets for any routes using half the normal collected miles. The campaign is part of the airline's celebration of its 40th year of operation. The promotion will run until Dec 31 for the travel period from Feb 1-June 30, 2013.

Hotels update

- McFarland House, a wooden two-storey restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, has been given an architectural heritage building award by Hua Hin Municipality and the Office of Policy and Plans on Natural Resources and the Association of Tourism Business in Cha-Am/Hua Hin.

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About the author

Writer: Karnjana Karnjanatawe
Position: Travel Reporter