Muay Thai ceremony cancelled

Mass wai khru ceremony. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The 16th World Wai Khru Muay Thai ceremony will be cancelled this year due to concerns with the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

During the past 15 years, the event was organised on March 17 at Wat Mahathat inside the Ayutthaya Historical Park in Muang District of Ayutthaya. TAT aimed to promote Thai culture and honour muay Thai masters including Nai Khanomtom, the legendary muay Thai boxer born in the Ayutthaya period.

About 1,500 muay Thai boxers from about 60 countries attended the ceremony last year.

In addition, TAT and the Food Truck Club (Thailand) postponed the first Food Truck Festival, aiming to break the world's record and to promote street food. The event was scheduled to open on March 7-8 at Impact Lakeside, in Nonthaburi. TAT gave the reason that it wanted to stop the spreading of the virus.

Safe cities for females

Bangkok ranks as the 28th Best Cities for Female Solo Travellers, according to Tourlane, a booking platform for multi-day tours.

The aim is to help women identify the world's most female-friendly destinations. The information is based on an evaluation of many aspects including gender equality, safety including at night where a woman can walk alone and still feel safe, accommodation and taxi rates, mobile internet speed and the 2019 Women, Peace, and Security Index produced by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

The safest city for female solo travellers is Ljubljana which is the Slovenia's capital, followed by Singapore, Vilnius in Lithuania, Tallinn in Estonia, Sydney, Vienna, Hanoi, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Barcelona.

In Southeast Asia, the top city is Singapore (second), followed by Hanoi (seventh), Bangkok (28th) and Kuala Lumpur (43rd).


New bus lines added

Nakhonchai Air bus operator will launch a Bangkok-Lamphun service next month.

The company will use First Class coaches with 30 seats. Each seat is equipped with an automated foot massage, personal touch screen TV and tray table. The bus also has a restroom, a CCTV system and GPS.

The interprovincial bus operator will add the First Class coaches to its Bangkok-Surin route and Bangkok-Buri Ram routes in June. The service to Surin will increase from 10 to 14 rides a day while the service to Buri Ram will have additional five rides to 16 a day.



- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urges aviation regulators worldwide to suspend the rules of airport slots for the 2020 season due to the impact of the Covid-19.

The rules state that airlines must operate at least 80% of their allocated slots. Failure to comply with this means the airline loses its right to the slot the next equivalent season.

The Covid-19 crisis has had a severe impact on air traffic. A hub carrier reporting bookings to Italy down 108% as bookings collapse to zero and refunds grow. Many carriers report 50% no-shows across several markets.

Regulators have already waved the slot rules primarily for operations to China and Hong Kong. Suspending the requirement for the entire season or until October will help airlines to respond to the situation, and to avoid flying with empty services in order to maintain slots.

"We are calling for regulators worldwide to help the industry plan for today's emergency, and the future recovery of the network, by suspending the slot use rules on a temporary basis," said IATA's director-general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.


- Centara Hotels & Resorts has launched Centara Reserve, a luxury hotel brand.

Centara Reserve Samui will be the first member of the Reserve collection. Formerly known as Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, the property will be renovated and will be open at the end of this year.

The hotel will feature 184 rooms including pool suites and beachfront pool villas, bar, restaurants, beach club and Cenvaree Reserve Spa.

Centara plans to introduce two more properties to the Centara Reserve collection within the end of the year.


- Novotel Phuket Phokeethra has offered a "Book Now, Pay Later" promotion.

Rates start at 2,720+++ baht including breakfast.

Located on Chana Charoen Road in the city of Phuket, the midscale hotel features 180 rooms and suites, fitness centre, spa, indoor swimming pool, restaurant, sky lounge, four meeting rooms and Grand Ballroom which can accommodate up to 850 guests.

The hotel is about 40 minutes drive from Phuket International Airport.


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