Chiang Mai's building boom

A new community mall has opened in the town of Chiang Mai.

Newin poses with his bike.

Called The Harbour, it was built under the concept of a port town in southern France, according to the project's owner Nakorn Kornhiran who is also CEO of Wuttisak Clinic Group.

The project cost 300 million baht and the mall is located on a nine-rai plot of land on Huay Kaew Road.

"I created the project because I love Chiang Mai although I was not born here," Nakorn said, adding that the community mall would be the latest city landmark where people can enjoy photo shooting opportunities: there is a lighthouse, Roman-style sculptures, and cute shops for selling clothes, accessories and food. The Harbour is open daily from 11am to 11.30pm while an evening walking street inside is open every Wednesday to Friday.

In addition to The Harbour, a number of community malls are set to open in Chiang Mai. One of these is The Chill Park, with British-style structures housing 22 restaurants on a four-rai plot of land near the intersection of the second Ring Road and Chiang Mai-Hot Road. Some restaurants have opened and the official launch of the community mall is expected to be in April.

Central Festival Chiang Mai is under construction with a 6 billion baht investment. The project is located on a 68-rai plot of land on the Chiang Mai-Doi Saket Highway and is scheduled to be open in November.

Also in the list is the Chiang Mai Platinum Fashion Centre, focusing on fashion and accessories, which will be located on an eight-rai plot of land on Chiang Mai-Lampang Superhighway Road and is scheduled to be opened next year.

New roadway planned

The Department of Rural Roads plans to build a six-lane road and bridge linking Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon. The aim is to shorten travelling time and reduce traffic on the Rama II Road in southern Bangkok.

According to department director-general Chartchai Thipsunawi, the project will cost about 49 billion baht including 8 billion baht for compensation to 900 households. The department will start to build the 60km long road from the southern ring road in the town of Samut Prakan, passing Phrasamut Chedi and Bang Phli districts to Bang Khunthian District in Bangkok before crossing Tha Chin River to Rama II Highway in Samut Sakhon. The project is expected to start in 2017 and will be completed in the year 2020.

Buri Ram off and racing

A mega motorsport circuit will be built in Buri Ram to promote the province as one of the top five tourism and sport destinations.

Initiated by the former Buri Ram member of parliament Newin Chidchob, the circuit will be called Buri Ram International Circuit (BRIC) and will cost about 2 billion baht. Mr Newin has hired the former car racer Hermann Tilke, the German engineer whose company Tilke Engineers & Architects has designed many racetracks around the world such as Fuji International Speedway, Moscow Raceway and Shanghai International Circuit.

Mr Newin said he hired the world-renowned track designer because he wanted the BRIC to meet the standards of both Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

The idea came about because of his passion to have a place where big bike lovers like him can have a fun and safe place to race. The circuit will be built on a 500-rai plot of land next to the i-Mobile Stadium, the home stadium of Buriram United (formerly called Buriram PEA) Football Club, of which Mr Newin is president.

Construction of the BRIC will start in June. It will have a 4.7km track with 16 curves and a capacity of 50,000 spectators. The project will be completed in October next year.

Mr Newin expected that this project will break even within five years and bring another one million visitors a year to his province.

Bangkok Airways gets dynamic

Bangkok Airways has partnered with Amadeus, a leading travel technology provider, to implement an Amadeus Dynamic Availability solution. This will allow travel agents worldwide to access real-time flight availability information and accurate postings from Bangkok Airways' inventory system. The solution can help increase efficiency in the airline's booking system.

"The implementation of Amadeus Dynamic Availability will help us to deliver more customised availability offers to all Amadeus subscribers in Thailand and worldwide, based on real-time, accurate Bangkok Airways flight availability. We are confident that this partnership with Amadeus will help to increase sales and enhance customer satisfaction," said the airline's vice-president of marketing, Prote Setsuwan.

Hotels update

- The Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa Koh Samui has set aside a 170 million baht budget for renovations from April 16 to November 15.

The resort will refurbish not only its 106 guest rooms and suites, but also food outlets, lobby and meeting rooms.

"Guests will benefit from a wider choice of luxury accommodation, as well as thoughtfully enhanced restaurant, bar, relaxation and event facilities, culminating in an impressive improvement to the overall guest experience," said the hotel's general manager, Manish Jha.

- The Shangri-La Hotel has spent 45 million baht to renovate its health club.

Located on 11th floor, the 800m2 facility offers more than 50 pieces of brand new equipment including 18 cardio and 17 strength machines, vibration training, Muay Thai workout accessories, a suspension training system, group fitness workout implements, stretching stations and weights.

The health club also provides access to a swimming pool, a 25m lap pool and separate wet areas for a sauna, steam room and whirlpool. The changing area also has a new feature with high-tech magnetic lockers with durable wristbands.

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About the author

Writer: Karnjana Karnjanatawe
Position: Travel Reporter