Chinese visa deal boosts web searches

Chinese visa deal boosts web searches

TRAVEL
Chinese visa deal boosts web searches

In an effort to promote tourism, Thailand and China recently signed a mutual visa exemption agreement for citizens holding ordinary passports and those for public affairs, which kicks into effect on March 1.

Travellers from Thailand and China will not be charged to enter, exit or transit the other country for up to 30 days. The entire length of stays in any 180-day period must not exceed 90 days, unless they are staying, working, participating in media activities, or engaging in other activities that need official approval in advance.

Following the reciprocal visa waiver agreement, Trip.com's data insights showed that search popularity for terms related to Thailand grew on its Chinese platform by more than seven times month-on-month.

Searches for hotels and flights jumped by more than six times month-on-month, with more people from Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Sichuan and Shandong searching for information on Thailand.

Chinese travellers are particularly interested in visiting Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Pattaya. Over the previous day, Trip.com Thailand saw a more than four times rise in the popularity of search keywords relating to China. The most popular search terms among Thai travellers were Shanghai, Chengdu, Harbin, Shenzhen, Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing and Zhangjiajie.

Kanchanaburi

Ride Death Railway on a Japanese train this Valentine's

On Feb 10 and 11, the State Railway of Thailand celebrates the season of love with a romantic two-day trip from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. To discover Thailand's natural grandeur and history, couples can pay 3,999 baht to board the classic KIHA 183 train from Japan for a pleasant ride to several historical sites and popular tourist destinations.

The train departs Hua Lamphong station at 6am with breakfast provided on board, arriving at the River Kwai Bridge at 8.45am. From there, passengers can take a 30-minute sightseeing tour to travel back in time to when the Japanese army invaded Siam and constructed the Death Railway into Myanmar.

With a meandering railroad, the train then winds its way to Tham Krasae, which is perched on a cliff and surrounded with sparse woods. Passengers have 20 minutes to worship a Buddha statue inside the cave while taking in a stunning view of the peaceful River Kwai.

In the afternoon, guests may go rafting down the Kwae Noi River and you then enjoy a romantic dinner in a garden, where singer Warunee Suntareesawat will perform a live music show. The next morning, travellers may give alms to five monks at a resort before continuing to Captive Cave, which was formerly used as a refuge for Allied prisoners of war from the Netherlands, Australia and England. At 2.30pm, the train leaves Kanchanaburi and arrives in Bangkok at 6.20pm.

Visit dticket.railway.co.th or call the SRT hotline 1690.

AirAsia

AirAsia offers 11 China flight deals

To mark the visa waivers between Thailand and China, AirAsia provides a special offer for direct flights from Bangkok to China at an all-inclusive price of 2,490 baht each trip.

Passengers can book their flights until Feb 11 for travel from Feb 15 to Sept 30. The airline serves 11 destinations -- Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Changsha, Kunming, Chongqing, Xi'an, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Shantou.

Visit airasia.com.

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