Unusual tourist destinations
Thailand's anti-government protests, now in their third month, have taken a heavy toll on tourism in the bustling capital Bangkok, but sparked an upturn in arrivals at beach and mountain resorts, officials say. Ten people have been killed in sporadic outbursts of violence since late November. Thailand attracted a record 26 million-plus visitors last year, up 19.63 percent from a year earlier, but arrivals fell by half to about one million in January from December. The tourist high season runs from November to January, but the hotel occupancy in the capital is hovering at about 50 percent, according to the Thai Hotel Association, well below the usual 80 percent occupancy rate. "Some hotels in the capital and near Bangkok are less than 50 percent full," Tourism Minister Somsak Phurisisak told Reuters. "This is highly unusual." China and the United States have warned their nationals to avoid protest areas in the city, which are near some of the top five-star hotels and raunchy … [Read more...] about Life’s a beach: Protests drive tourists from Thai capital
It has karaoke and fresh coffee, but the bathrooms on the lower decks are out of water and some guests sleep on the floor. Welcome aboard North Korea's first cruise ship. Keen to boost tourism and earn much-needed cash, authorities in the impoverished nation have decided to launch a cruise tour from the rundown northeastern port city of Rajin to the scenic resort of Mount Kumgang. In a highly unusual move, the reclusive regime invited more than 120 journalists and Chinese tour operators on board the newly-renovated, 39-year-old Man Gyong Bong ship for a trial run of the 21-hour journey. The vessel left one of Rajin's ageing piers on Tuesday to the sound of rousing music, as hundreds of students and workers holding colourful flowers stood in line and clapped in unison. "The boat was only renovated one week ago," said Hwang Chol Nam, vice mayor of the Rason special economic zone, as he sat on the top deck at a table filled with bottles of North Korean beer, a large plate of fruit, and … [Read more...] about North Korea seeks adventurous tourists for cruise
The Christmas season might be famous for carols and colored lights where you're from, but it's also the perfect time to experience new destinations and check out their holiday customs as well. From the jazz music and Nativity parades of New Orleans, to the Santa hats and sandy beaches of Australia, there's no better opportunity than Christmas to try seeing the holiday season in a brand new light. Online travel adviser Hotwire.com (www.hotwire.com) has compiled a list of its Top 10 most festive destinations for this year's holiday season. Reuters has not endorsed this list: … [Read more...] about Top ten Christmas destinations
VietNamNet Bridge - A Wednesday article by Live Science magazine reporting that Vietnam recorded unusually high numbers of shark attacks in 2010 is unreliable, said a local expert. It said that unprovoked assaults by sharks last year include six in Vietnam, 14 in Australia, eight in South Africa and six in Egypt. … [Read more...] about VN had unusually high numbers of shark attacks?