A touch of Thai vehicles

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched "A Touch of Thai Vehicles" campaign to promote local means of transportation and communities.

"Travelling by local vehicles will open up a new perspective of discovering Thainess. Many times, travellers especially foreign tourists know very well that they have to try a tuk-tuk ride in Bangkok. The question is how they can take these vehicles and have community-based experiences at the same time," said TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

With that in mind, TAT introduces four local vehicles with sample routes in four provinces.

In Bangkok, TAT promotes tuk-tuk rides with a night tour and a route from farms to tables.

In Krabi, the highlight is to travel with ruea hua thong (a type of long-tail boat with the high curved prow) to natural and cultural sites. In Lampang, visitors must try exploring the old town with rod ma (a horse-drawn carriage).

In Loei, TAT encourages visitors to try skylab (a motor-tricycle, which is also known as Isan tuk-tuk) to tour around historical and cultural attractions, as well as scenic areas around Mekong River bank.

Full details of each route and tourism information is available in the e-book format at www.tourismthailand.org/tourismproduct.

Coral lounges expand

Andaman Aurora Company plans to expand its Coral executive lounge in Don Mueang, Chiang Mai and Krabi airports.

Founded by Naphaphat Subsoonthornkul, the company offers the lounge to passengers as an alternative to airlines' exclusive lounge services.

Facilities include sofa seats, food, snacks, beverages, Wi-Fi, kids corner, foot massage services, iPads, notebooks and magazines. Also provided is Fast Track Immigration service for both arrivals and departures.

In Bangkok, the Coral lounge is at Terminal 2 of Don Mueang international airport and will be opened at Terminal 1 for international passengers around the end of this year.

In Phuket, it has relocated the facility to the new international terminal and officially opened the lounge last month.

For Chiang Mai, the service is available for international arrivals with a plan to open another lounge for domestic passengers soon.

The service is available daily from 6am to midnight. The fees start at 1,000 baht for 2.30 hours of lounge usage. It also provides promotions with airlines and mobile phone operators.

The company also plans to open a lounge in Krabi airport.

Visit www.coralthailand.com.

New fine arts warehouse

The Fine Arts Department is building a new warehouse in Khlong Luang district in Pathum Thani.

It invested 491.5 million baht for the facility, according to the department director-general Anandha Chuchoti. The warehouse is in Khlong 5 where HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the foundation stone laying ceremony last Saturday.

The new warehouse will have 10 rooms with a total space usage around 30,000m² and can store up to 200,000 specimens. The department will apply international safety standards with real-time security systems to protect national heritages from fire, natural disasters or robbery.

The new facility will be a learning and R&D centre for ancient and historical artefacts for other museums in and outside the country, said Anandha. Construction is expected to be completed in 2018.

Airlines update

Thai Airways has last Saturday launched its first direct flight between Bangkok and Tehran, Iran.

According to airline president Charamporn Jotikasthira, Tehran is a city with abundance in culture and traditions that is considered the Pride of Persia.

In Iran there are 20 world heritage sites, beautiful architecture and Persian carpets, he said, adding that Iran is also one of the world's pistachio production centres and has a rich tea culture.

The airline flies four days a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday with Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

The departure time from Suvarnabhumi International Airport is 3.30pm and the return leg from Tehran is 9pm. The flying time will be rescheduled around the end of this month to 3.10pm for the departure flight from Bangkok and 8.45pm for the return flight from Tehran.

Visit www.thaiairways.com.

Qantas has introduced a new service allowing travellers to attach updated photos of their journey with the generic out of office auto email reply.

Called "Qantas Out of Office", the programme can connect an email address with Instagram photos that are tagged with the hashtag #qantasoutofoffice.

"The traditional out of office message can be both generic and impersonal in nature and from our research, 60% of employees say they appreciate receiving something more creative," said Qantas group executive brand, marketing & corporate affairs Olivia Wirth.

To use the new auto-reply, users need to go to qantasoutofoffice.com, connect their Instagram account and email address, enter dates they are out of the office, where they are travelling to, and a simple message.

The service is available globally to anyone with Hotmail and Gmail, including other domains that use the Gmail inbox.

The airline hoped the new out of office travelogue would inspire more colleagues, friends and family to travel the world.

Visit www.qantasoutofoffice.com.

Hotels update

AccorHotels has launched Novotel Phuket Phokeethra, a four-star hotel, in the town of Phuket.

The hotels offers 180 rooms, including suites with space usage up to 154m², fitness, spa, an indoor pool, a restaurant, sky lounge, meeting rooms and a ballroom which can accommodate up to 850 participants. The hotel is about 40 minutes drive from Phuket International Airport.

Visit www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-9932-novotel-phuket-phokeethra/index.shtml.

Email karnjanak@bangkokpost.co.th if you have any comments to share.

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