Ten diaspora restaurants set to promote Indonesian tourism Reply

THE JAKARTA POST Saturday March 24, 2018

Dijakarta Bali Indonesian Restaurant, Paris. (Courtesy of Nina Hanafi/File)

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Ten diaspora restaurants across three continents signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tourism Ministry during the 2018 Tourism National Coordinating Meeting in Bali on Friday as part of their support for promoting Indonesian tourism. More…

Jalan Tokong: A Stroll down Malaysia town Melaka’s harmony street Reply

By Kenny Mah  The Malay Mail Online Saturday February 11, 2018

The gate-pyramid or gopura of the Sri Poyatha Moorthi Temple (left). The white pagoda-like minaret of the Kampung Kling Mosque (right)

MELAKA, Malaysia – Jonker Street (or its official name, Jalan Hang Jebat) is indisputably the focus of everything touristy in Melaka.  The historical heart of Malaysia has other heritage attractions, such as the Stadhuys and clock tower in the Red Square or the emblem of the town, the ruins of the A Famosa fortress. But by sheer throngs of visitors, Jonker Street has every other place beat.

Away from the shops selling antiques, souvenirs and more chicken rice balls than one can imagine possible in a single street, however, is one unique places in Melaka: Jalan Tokong. More…

There’s no place like Ubud, Bali for yoga Reply


BALI, Indonesia – Bali is not all about beaches and waves. Travelers may want to cool down in Ubud, Gianyar regency, after a few days of sunbathing, water sports and partying. Ubud, which means obat (medicine) in Indonesian, may indicate that the town has healing powers.

Those powers may come from the mystical temples and vast rice fields of Ubud, providing the perfect setting for wellness centers. Expect to find yoga classes and studios in many corners of the town. There are so many of them that Tempo.co commented, “yoga places are mushrooming in Ubud, just like minimarkets.” More…

Indonesia village Banyuwangi Sets 77 Tourism Agendas Throughout 2018 Reply


Jaran dance, Banyuwangi, East Java. ANTARA FOTO/Zabur Karuru/ama/16

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Banyuwangi releases 77 tourism agendas throughout 2018, on Thursday, February 1. The release event held in the Tourism Ministry’s Sapta Pesona Building was attended by Tourism Minister Arief Yahya and Banyuwangi Regent Abdullah Azwar Anas. More…

Myanmar to Host First Tour for ASEAN Travel Bloggers, Writers Reply

By LWIN MAR TUN  The Irrawaddy  February 2, 2018

Visitors inside a temple in Bagan / The Irrawaddy

YANGON, Myanmar –  The Myanmar Travel Bloggers Club will host media and bloggers from across Southeast Asia for the first “ASEAN Media Bloggers Familiarization Trip to Myanmar” starting Feb. 12.

“The main purpose of this trip is to try to promote the beauty of Myanmar as well as our traditional products,” said event organizer Ma May Zune Win, who won Myanmar Influencer of the Year 2017 in the travel category and runs the blog I Love Travelling. More…

Yangon-Mandalay train journey will shorten to 8 hours by 2023 Reply

By AYE NYEIN WIN The Myanmar Times January 16.  2018

The new diesel electric trains bought from China for the Yangon-Mandalay express debuted in 2016. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times

YANGON, Myanmar – Japan has thrown its weight behind Myanmar’s railway development by funding the Yangon-Mandalay railway, according to the country’s foreign minister Taro Kono who held a joint press conference in the capital with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on January 12.

The railroad upgrade programme is expected to cut travel time between Yangon and Taungoo to 3.5 hours and the overall Yangon-Mandalay one-way journey to eight hours. The Yangon- Taungoo part is scheduled to complete in 2020.

Taungoo is a town in Bago Region between the capital and Yangon.

“By 2023, the travel time between Yangon and Mandalay will be eight hours, and this will help the people’s travels as well as easing and speeding up trade,” Taro Kono commented.

The railway connecting Yangon and Mandalay stretches over 380 miles and is a popular route for travellers. Commuters need at least 12 hours to go from one city to another, and the time can go up to 15 hours due to the deterioration in the physical infrastructure.

ODA funded

The project will be funded by an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan from Tokyo. ODA is broadly divided into bilateral aid, in which assistance is given directly to developing countries, and multilateral aid, which is provided through international organisations.

There are three phases for the scheme. The first priority is to build the Yangon-Taungoo line, covering 166 miles; then Taungoo-Yamaethin will be constructed, spanning 118.5 miles, followed by 100 miles between Yamethin-Mandalay.

“The upgrade programme for the Yangon-Mandalay railway is in progress and the progress is on-going. We signed the agreement for a loan in 2014. But the implementation has been slow. The programme includes a lot of work, such as adding stone to the railroad and upgrading it,” general manager U Htun Aung Thin from Myanma Railways said.

For the Yangon-Mandalay railway, over 3,000 passengers take the train on a daily basis. Hence, Myanma Railways is seeking to revamp the route and shorten the time to eight hours after the upgrade.

The revamp will involve a lot of other work, such as the signalling, the traffic lights guiding the roads which intersect the railway as well as the gates guiding the traffic flow.

“Since two years ago, Japan has set a policy of public-private partnership [PPP] assistance totalling 800 billion yen along a five-year period in order to support peace and reconciliation among the people in Myanmar, which will enable democracy to take root and economy to develop.

“Special assistance will be provided for Yangon’s urban development, transport improvement, power supply, Yangon-Mandalay upgrade programmes which will raise the living standard of the Myanmar people,” Mr Kono explained.

“Now Myanma Railways is already implementing the work for the upgrade and the Japanese are also in preparation for the ongoing project,” U Htun Aung Thin added.

In 2016, Myanma Railways yesterday launched its new Yangon-Mandalay service with diesel electric locomotives and carriages bought from China. The 2000-horsepower locomotives, currently the most powerful in Myanmar, were made by China’s CSR Sifang. The total cost of the contract was put at 11.3 million euros (US$12.3 million).

But that does not shorten the time of travel, which could only be achieved by upgrading the railways with the help from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Japanese government, through JICA, will upgrade the infrastructure. Myanma Railways would be responsible for upgrading the track and tendering the existing 38 stations for redevelopment.



From: THE MYANMAR TIMES (MYANMAR) January 16, 2018

Malaysia firefly light blinking out as Kuala Sepetang mangrove loses more trees Reply

By John Bunyan The Malay Mail OnlinreWednesday January 10, 2018

The view of fireflies at night along the Kuala Sepetang river in Kampung Dew. MALAY MAIL/ Marcus Pheong

About nine berembang mangrove trees which served as a natural habitat for fireflies along the Kuala Sepetang river have been cut down. — Picture by Marcus Pheong

TAIPING, Malaysia – The glow from fireflies dancing along the Kuala Sepetang river in Kampung Dew here is fading fast as deforestation cuts into their habitat.

Nine more berembang mangrove trees in the area, estimated to be over 80 years old, disappeared over the weekend, not three months after 3,000 trees spread over two hectares were chopped down to make way for what locals believe will become an oil palm plantation. More…