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National Carrier - Nepal Airlines’ Corporation Second Airbus

Nepal Airlines’ Corporation (NAC) second Airbus A330-243 aircraft arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport from Toulouse, France on July 26, 2018. The aircraft with the registration number ‘9N-ALZ’-MSN 1878, was welcomed by a ceremonial water cannon salute after it touched down. This is the second A330-243 aircraft that has been delivered to the airline within the year 2018 and now the airline is the owner of two Airbus A330, two Airbus A320 and a vintage Boeing 757-2F8 aircraft in its fleet for international flight operation.

The two A330-243s, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, feature a two-class cabin configuration that will seat a total of 274 passengers—18 in business class and 256 in economy class where each seat equipped with RAVE Centric, the latest in-seat AVOD in-flight entertainment configurations, respectively. The second Airbus will enter into service in September, 2018. Both the Airbus A330-243 will facilitate flights to new sectors such as Seoul (South Korea), Tokyo (Japan), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and Sydney (Australia) along with currently flying major sectors like Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Doha.

Gautam Buddha International Airport Making Progress

The much-delayed upgradation of Gautam Buddha Airport in Bhairahawa has achieved 50 percent of physical progress in June and the international airport is on track to open by July 2019, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan) said. The 50 percent physical progress that the project has achieved is out of 70 percent of the overall civil works.After the first phase of upgradation, the airport’s handling capacity will be increased to 760,000 passengers annually. Lumbini is 22km from Gautam Buddha International Airport at Bhairahawa. The airport will also become Nepal’s second international airport and also serve as an alternate international air transport point in the event of poor weather conditions or in case natural calamity shuts down the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the only international airport in the country.

Nepal Would be Celebrating Gai Jatra on August 27, 2018

Gai Jatra is celebrated in the Kathmandu Valley signifying the festival cows. It is mainly of the Newars, to a traditional practice, each family, who has lost a member in course of a year, takes part in a parade the passes through streets with cows, considered a sacred animal, leading it. A young boy dressed as a cow has to head such a procession. There's a belief that the cow takes the deceased to the paradise.

SJI Opens Marketing Outlet for Local Products

The Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative (SJI) has opened a marketing outlet. The opening of the outlet is aimed at promoting locally made arts and crafts.

Cheku Dorji from SJI says craft products are generally meant for sale to tourists and heavily priced. But SJI’s marketing outlet aims to promote the products among the locals by selling at reasonable prices. We are targeting Bhutanese customers but we are not saying the tourists can’t buy,

Our main aim is to make it a space where our farmers can bring their products for the locals to buy. The outlet will also take in recycled and biodegradable products to promote them as alternatives to plastic.

SJI’s marketing outlet is the first handicraft shop to open in Samdrup Jongkhar town. A lot of tourists from Assam and North East India visit but there are hardly anything to see in Samdrup Jongkhar town. The outlet will serve as a space to exhibit local products for visitors from outside the country. It will also showcase and market indigenous cereals, which are now on the verge of disappearance.

Trashigang Dzong Renovation Complete

The renovation of Trashigang Dzong was completed last month as scheduled. The dzong is over three-and-a-half centuries old.

The restoration works were carried out to give the fortress a facelift after the 2009 earthquake that casused damaged to it. Several new facilities have been put in place in the dzong, such as water supply, toilets, a fire hydrant, a Drasha and a Tshokhang or dining hall for the rabdey monks. The east wing of the dzong, which faces Rangjung, is newly constructed and the west wing facing Monggar is partially new. It began four years ago and had 180 workers working on the various aspects of the project. Trashigang Dzong was built in 1659 by Third Druk Desi Chogyal Minjur Tempa.

Much awaited Amochhu Bridge Finally Inaugurated

The much-awaited bridge over Amochhu River, which connects Samtse and Phuentshogling, finally opened to traffic today.

The 175-metre long bridge, which took nine years to complete, is the longest permanent bridge in the country. It is also the country’s first semi-through steel arch bridge and links the 58-kilometre Phuentsholing-Samtse highway. The bridge had missed several completion deadlines. It was first scheduled for completion in September 2011.

Today, as the people of Tading Gewog and Dorokha Drungkhag of Samtse witnessed its opening, they described it as a historic moment. The works and human settlement, Dorji Choden, inaugurated the  bridge.

About five hundred people gathered to take part in the opening.

Sunflower Seed Farming Debuts in Tseza Gewog

The trial of commercial sunflower seed farming in Tseza Gewog under Dagana has received mixed reactions from its growers.

The farming practice was introduced in the gewog for efficient land-use and to provide farmers with an alternative source of income. Seventy two- year-old Tshokey is among the farmers in Tseza, who took up sunflower seed farming. He planted sunflower on 50 decimals of wetland. He says, although growing sunflower requires a lot of work, the first harvest looks promising

Ho Chi Minh City Ranked Amongst TOP TEN DESTINATIONS in Asia

Leading international travel guide publisher Lonely Planet includes Vietnam's southern metropolis Ho Chi Minh City in a list of top ten places to visit in Asia. Lonely Planet says “Aging apartment blocks are being colonized by vintage clothes stores and independent coffee shops, innovative breweries….and it appears this buzzing Asian megalopolis is in no danger of going out of style”

The city that crowds with skyscrapers, French colonial buildings and war relics is third on the list of the best 10 places to go in Asia in 2018. With more than 3.83 million foreign tourist arrivals in the first half of this year, the city’s popularity continues to soar as it seduces globetrotters with its local music scene, craft beer parlors, street food and nightlife.

The War Remnant Museum in District 3, a 15-minute ride from the Ben Thanh Market in the heart of Saigon are the among the places recommended by the Lonely Planet. The museum, home to more than 20,000 artifacts, images and documentaries relating to the Vietnam War, is a graphic record of the atrocities, including war crimes, perpetrated by colonial and imperial forces, as also consequences that continue to impact the lives of millions of Vietnamese citizens to this day.

Last April, the prestigious U.K.-based travel site, Rough Guides, included Ho Chi Minh City in its list of eight best places to experience nightlife in Southeast Asia.

Ha Long Bay Among 100 Most Beautiful UNESCO World Heritages

The US newspaper Newsweek has listed Ha Long Bay of Vietnam among the Top 100 most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which include both natural and man-made wonders.

Ha Long Bay, a must-go place for those who spend holidays in Vietnam, which has been twice recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Ha Long Bay has been named one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Ha Long Bay, in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Ha Long Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species.

Ha Long Bay, literally “descending dragon bay”, spans 1,553 square kilometers and includes 1,969 islands of various sizes. The newspaper says that the site’s outstanding scenic beauty is complemented by its great biological interest while most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence due to its precipitous nature.

Hoi An Named Under World’s 15 Best Cities

The ancient town of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam was named among 15 best tourism cities of the world in a recent readers’ vote of the US travel magazine Travel & Leisure.

Hoi An ranked eighth in the list, down one spot from last year.  For the second year in a row the ancient town has made it to the list of 15 Best Tourism cities on earth. According to the magazine, most of the voted cities are pedestrian-friendly, possess ample green space and have a rich history that is being thoughtfully preserved as the city grows.

Hoi An boasts many temples, pagodas and old houses. The ancient city was a leading trading port in Southeast Asia in the 17th and 18th centuries.

It’s slow pace and tranquil atmosphere, difficult to find elsewhere, make it stand out from other places in the country.

U.S. news network CNN recently listed Hoi An as one of the 16 best places in the world to relax and de-stress. Hoi An ranked second in a list of 10 safest and most exciting places on this earth for solo travelers compiled by travel editors at Momondo, a U.K based travel site.

Sri Lanka Beckons Indians to its Ramayana Sites

The official website of the ‘Ramayana Yatra’ was launched at the second day of the 106th edition of the ‘India International Travel Mart’ (IITM)

With close to four lakh Indians having visited Sri Lanka in 2017 alone, the island nation is hoping to double this number by educating its biggest tourism market about its connection with the epic Ramayana

Vivanta by Taj Bentota Re-branded as Taj Bentota Resort & Spa

Vivanta By Taj Bentota Re-branded as Taj Bentota Resort & Spa with effect from 1st August, 2018 due to be in line with the overall re-branding the Vivanta brand of the Taj Group of hotels in India.

Surrounded by lush gardens and overlooking the Laccadive Sea, this beachfront resort is 4 km from Kande Viharaya Temple. Elegant rooms and suites have balconies or terraces with either sea or garden views.

BIA to Get a Domestic Flight Terminal

The Government is to build a separate new terminal at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) for the use of domestic flights in order to promote domestic air travel for the benefit of tourists, with the development of all domestic airports and using bigger aircraft.

‘Aarunya’ luxury boutique nature resort and hideaway launched in Kandy

At the halfway point between Kandy and Sigiriya, banked by winding roads that lead to the city of Alawatugoda, lies the idyll retreat ‘Aarunya’, which is one of the latest additions to the emerging collection of high-end Sri Lankan boutique properties.

Launched in June 2018, the retreat directly faces the beautiful Knuckles range, lending an immediate advantage to the place, making it a showstopper.

Aarunya which means “First rays of the Sun” in ancient Sanskrit, can be experienced at this resort location every day during sun rise with the backdrop of the Knuckles mountain range.