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Home-stay improving living standards of locals in Ghale Gaun

With the increased attraction of tourists towards ‘home-stay’, living standard of the locals has also improved in the touristic village ‘Ghale Gaun’ of Lamjung district. Home-stay, where arrangements are made for visiting tourists to eat and sleep at a local home in the village — is becoming very popular in Ghale Gaun. More than 100 domestic tourists and 15 foreign tourists visit the village daily. Among the 120 households in the village, 33 houses are involved in the home-stay business and five are in the process of starting operation. The remaining houses engage themselves in reception of the guests, while some perform cultural events


Home-stays in Madi bring cheer to locals

Newly opened home-stays in Madi, Chitwan have been seen a spike in the number of visitors, with 11 home-stays serving more than 10,000 visitors. Home-stay operators in Madi, a rural area in Chitwan, say that they were encouraged by the surge in business. Home-stays are becoming a common sight in rural Nepal, where tourists pay to spend a few nights with locals in their homes, eating what they eat and living like locals. Despite being situated in the proximity of Chitwan National Park, Madi is still struggling to be recognized as a tourism destination. Visitors have to pass through 10 km of the forest area in the national park before reaching Madi.



150 black-necked cranes arrive in Bhutan

As of today, 150 black-necked cranes arrived in the country, their winter roosting grounds. 122 cranes are sighted in Phobjikha, the valley that receives the highest number of cranes every year.

Khotokha in Wangdue Phodrang received 13 cranes followed by nine at Bumdeling in Trashi Yangtse. While three cranes each were spotted in Lhuentse and Bumthang.

The Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) is keeping count of the cranes every year. They are expecting more cranes to arrive in the coming days.

Last year, the country saw 626 cranes.

Black-necked crane is listed as an endangered species in IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species and is legally protected in Bhutan.



Nine-storey Sangye Migyur Ling Monastery could be complete by 2019

The construction of the iconic nine-storey Sangye Migyur Ling Monastery at Ramitey in Phuentshogling is expected to be complete by the end of next year.

Ramitey is located some 10-kilometres from Phuentshogling towards Thimphu.

As of now, 80 per cent of the work is complete. The external structure of the monastery is almost complete.

Currently, works such as painting, flooring and maintenance of ground labels are being carried out.

The project began in 2013. The idea to build such a monastery came up after Lam Kezang Tsheltrim, the chairman of the project made a pilgrimage to Kham region in Tibet and saw the majestic Milarepa tower.

He then decided to build a similar one in Bhutan.

“The main reason for constructing this lhakhang in the south is to promote and preserve our country’s cultural heritage. Phuentsholing town shares a border with India, so this monastery will stand as an identity of Bhutanese culture,”

The nine-storey monastery will have biography of Milarepa, eight forms of Guru Padmasambhava and five Buddha families among others.

Once complete, the monastery will have a shedra, which will accommodate over 500 monks.

“During auspicious days such as Zhabdrung Kuchoe many devotees come here to offers prayers. It’s nice to see people already showing their devotion to the lhakhang and understanding the significance of Milarepa,” Once complete, the Sangye Migyur Ling Monastery also known as Mila Serkhar Guthog Lhakhang will become an important tourist sites in the southern region.



Preserving valuable and non-valuable cultural properties

The Movable Cultural Property Act of Bhutan 2005 clearly states rules and procedures around the sale or export of non-valuable cultural properties or non-antiques.

The transaction of non-valuable cultural properties is subject to approval from the Department of Culture.

The act also states rules around antiques or valuable cultural properties. Antiques usually are objects or items that are more than a hundred years old. The act doesn’t allow such objects to be sold or taken out of the country under any circumstances.

But not many are aware of these rules and restrictions, says the Department of Culture.

The eleven members of the Handicraft Association of Bhutan attended the meeting. They were briefed on the procedures involved in the sale of non-valuable cultural properties to the tourists.

They were explained about the requirement of approval from the Department of Culture while selling the non-antique items.

“Whether it’s the guides or a seller, they should obtain approval to make sure the items they bought can be taken out of the country.”

This is one method to protect our antiques from being taken out of the country.

The non-valuable cultural properties or non-antique items, according to the act, include old Tensum, ritual objects and handicrafts among others.

As for antiques or valuable cultural properties, it includes objects used for religious offerings and worship.


Imperial Hue named as one of five must-go destinations in SE Asia

The former imperial capital of Hue in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue is among the five must-go destinations in Southeast Asia listed by the Discovery DCODE (discoverydcode.com) TV channel.

Imperial Hue was the seat of the 13th Nguyen Dynasty which ruled the country from 1802 until the end of the feudal era in 1945.

Located on Vietnam’s central coast, Hue City proceeds at a leisurely pace unlike Hanoi and HCM City.

It is home to the glories of Vietnam’s feudal past with its Imperial Citadel and royal tombs that have made it a top tourist destination for years.

In the first 11 months of the year, more than four million tourists visited Thua Thien-Hue province, up 19.7 percent from a year ago, including 1.73 million foreigners.


Australian Finder chooses Da Nang among global destinations of 2019

Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang has been chosen by Australian travel website Finder as one of the best travel destinations in 2019.

Da Nang has been ranked 6th among the top destinations and trends in the world for 2019.

The site gives tips on how to make the most out of a trip to Da Nang. The site writes "Da Nang has a beautiful beach, but it's also only an hour's drive from Hoi An. Split your time between both (because you can) and take the fast route by taxi between each. These are quite inexpensive, so it won't blow too much of that budget."

Lisbon (Portugal) tops the Finder’s list, followed by Malta, Turkey, Jordan, Japan, Da Nang (Vietnam), Perth (Australia), the Netherlands, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Durban (South Africa) and Bacalar (Mexico).

Earlier this year, the central city was voted by travel magazine Live and Invest Overseas as one of the most livable cities in the world.

Da Nang has become a destination for both domestic and foreign tourists thanks to its location near world cultural heritages, diverse tourism products and a port system which can serve international cruise ships.

The city is seeking to develop cruise-based tourism as an increasing number of tourists from Australia, China, Germany, Spain, and the UK have come to Da Nang city and the Central Highlands region on famous cruise ships like Star Cruises, Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Dream Cruises and Holland America Cruises.


New bus service from Tân Sơn Nhất airport to Vũng Tàu

HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Committee has instructed the Department of Transport to operate a bus service between Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport and the resort city of Vũng Tàu 110km to the east.

The bus, to start this month, will run from midnight to 11.30 pm. The new bus will be equipped with Wi-fi and air conditioning. Assistance regarding flight booking, check-in and luggage will also be provided, according to the news source.


Wattura Resort & Spa set to open in Sri Lanka

A resort for all ages, children will be pampered and entertained by professionally certified staff at the Wattura Kids area – an expansive space spanning 7,200 sq. ft including an indoor retro arcade game experience, pool and foosball tables, toddler lounge, mini theatre and a water playground.

Meanwhile adults will have plenty of time to switch off and relax in pristine coastal surroundings and indulge in the impressive Wattura Spa, which forms the heart and soul of the resort.

The spacious and secluded Wattura Kids area is located adjacent to the lobby and designed to ensure kids are constantly engaged with a wide range of activities.



This Sri Lankan beach town is the latest nomad hotspot

On Sri Lanka’s south coast, a once scrappy beach village is now the off-grid headquarters of a new wave of multi-tasking, surf-loving entrepreneurs from all over the globe.

It always starts with rumours of a beach. Some place where the surf is steady and life is slow. Maybe in Byron Bay. Or Canggu. Or Kauai. Where travel-weary wanderers look to finally put down roots, or big-city-burnouts head for a barefoot new life. Recently, that mythical magnet has been a tiny speck on the south coast of Sri Lanka: Hiriketiya. A spot where surfers and yogis, potters and designers, all full of big ideas, have arrived and set up their ever-growing number of projects between ocean and jungle.



OQ non-stop flight services to Colombo

In Winter 2018/19, Chongqing Airlines (OQ) will be operating non-stop scheduled flights between Chongqing and Colombo, Sri Lanka. Tickets are available on China Southern Airline ticket offices and authorized travel agencies.

Starting from December 28, 2018, Chongqing Airlines offer passengers to take advantage of non-stop scheduled three weekly services between Chongqing (Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport) and Colombo (Bandaranaike International Airport). The flights will be operated by modern Airbus A320 neo with three-class cabin configuration – Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class.



Lanka to host Adventure Racing World Championship – 2019 Featured

Sri Lanka will be the venue for the Adventure Racing World Championship – 2019 (ARWC-2019).The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Canberra initiated this world event that is scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka from December 3-13, 2019.This would be the first time that such an event will be staged in Asia, having being held annually in other parts of the world since 2001.