The sun is not shining on Thailand’s Airbnb properties

Posted by - May 18, 2018

A THAILAND court has declared Airbnb bookings illegal for those who rent out rooms via Airbnb on a daily or weekly basis.
The court ruling was made by a judge in the Hua Hin district of Pra Khiri Khan province on Thailand’s western peninsula.
#TRAVEL HACKS
Get comfy with these seven flying essentials For now, the ruling only applies to those in the Pra Khiri Khan province, and for rentals of less than 30 days.
According to Bangkok Post, property owners are fearful the ruling will carry strict punishments, leading to businesses on Airbnb closing and customers having nowhere to stay.
What’s happened so far? A post shared by Daniel & Jessi • Weltreise (@life.to.go) on Sep 9, 2016 at 10:04am PDT
The first to feel the force of the ruling is the owners of Wan Vayla Condon in Kao Tao in three separate rulings.
The owners of the condo had to pay a THB5,000 (US$155.59) fine plus a further THB500 (US$15.56) fine for every day of a 20-day stay in the first case.
For another one of their properties, the court is making them pay another THB5,000 fine and 100 baht (US$3.11) for a staggering 81-day period.
The third case is still pending.
#TRAVEL TRENDS
Could a Unesco title be the demise of Thailand’s Death Railway? Up until now, there have been no rulings against Airbnb. Property owners insist their businesses are legal and Airbnb actively promotes business in Thailand.
However, Airbnb’s grey area occurs in the policies of the buildings the apartments are being rented out in.
Renters are supposed to ask the permission of every other resident of the building before leasing properties on Airbnb.
Equally, Airbnb has proven to come at a cost for hoteliers across the nation. The Thai Hotels Association has requested the government to close non-registered hotels including Airbnb apartment and condominiums, Bangkok Post reported.
What does this mean for you? A post shared by nusa penida and lembongan tour (@mariotour_nusapenida) on May 17, 2018 at 3:54pm PDT
If you’re traveling to Thailand and worrying about the looming prospect of short-term Airbnb rentals being banned, just look for alternatives.
Because there are plenty.
While Airbnb has revolutionized the accommodation market, it isn’t the only platform available to travelers.
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand recently became the most visited city in the world. It was the first Asian nation to top Forbes’ list.
With around 22 million visitors to the city and 35 million total international tourists in 2017, Thailand has invested and continues to invest in tourism its infrastructure.
If you’re a backpacker traveling to Thailand but don’t want to slum it in some back alley hostel, look at high-end hostels offering, comfort, cleanliness, safety, and like-minded guests.
Pajamas Hostel on Koh Chang island offers all this and is more of a boutique hotel than a backpacker’s property.
A post shared by Allison Hall (@allihallyall) on Apr 16, 2016 at 4:12am PDT
Alternatively, treat yourself.
Thailand boasts some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. From Banyan Tree Phuket to the spiritually connect Kamalaya hotel on Koh Samui.
Clamping down on Airbnb in Thailand won’t jeopardize your trip, just plan ahead to find the perfect place for the perfect price.
The post The sun is not shining on Thailand’s Airbnb properties appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Here’s what Japan did when a train was 25 seconds too early

Posted by - May 18, 2018

WORLD renowned for both punctual transport and the need to “keep face” in professional dealings, Japan’s railway companies hold themselves to an exceptionally high standard.
This was demonstrated last week when a train company issued a public apology for a “truly inexcusable” incident where one of its trains left early – 25 whole seconds early.
#CULTURE
Arriving in Japan: What we can learn from the Logan Paul controversy According to a press release from West Japan Railways (JR West), a train stopped at Notogawa Station in Shiga Prefecture last Friday mistakenly left the station at 7:11:35am – 25 seconds prior to its scheduled departure of 7:12am, reported Sora News 24.
“The great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable,” it said.
There were a few customers who had not yet boarded and missed the train, said the press release.
“We will be thoroughly evaluating our conduct and striving to keep such an incident from occurring again,” JR West later added.
The 221 series local train at Maibara station in Shiga, Japan, operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West) for Biwako line (Kyoto – Nagahama). Source: Shutterstock.
According to SoraNews24, the conductor had thought that the train was supposed to depart at 7:11am, which was when he closed the doors to the 12-car train. He realized his mistake almost immediately and glanced at the platform, but he did not notice anyone there.
The train then pulled away from the station.
It is not the first time a Japanese rail operator has issued a public apology for a train leaving early.
Last November, Metropolitan Intercity Railway Co. in Tokyo apologized for the “tremendous nuisance” caused to its customers after a train left 20 seconds early from the platform.
In fact, at that time the company said there had been no complaint from travelers over the incident.
#THINGS TO DO
All aboard Asia’s most scenic train rides Japan’s metro system is known to be among the most reliable in the world, comparable only to Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore.
Missing a train could turn a commuter’s plans or day upside down, as it could cause them to miss other transfers on their way to their destinations.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site, Asian Correspondent.
The post Here’s what Japan did when a train was 25 seconds too early appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Why you should use #EgoTravel to your benefit

Posted by - May 18, 2018

MILLENNIALS are being blamed for the demise of Club 18-30 vacations.
Started by British travel agency Thomas Cook in the 70s, the vacations were angled at young generations looking for a party island destination.
#ADVENTURES
See more by cycling in these Asian cities These type of vacations spread across Europe and into notoriously party-themed destinations across Asia.
They often involve lots of drinking, striking up holiday romances and having a right knees-up away from parents.
But it seems these trips are drying up.
According to Thomas Cook, millennials are more interested in “ego travel” than hooking up with like-minded singletons and enjoying obscure sunsets on littered beaches while sipping cheap cocktails.
Instead, younger generations are opting for Instagram-worthy destinations, full of unique experiences and equipped to supply endless travel-bragging rights.
We know which one sounds better.
A post shared by Mauricio Morin (@maumorin) on Apr 20, 2018 at 7:17am PDT
Some publications, however, are “travel shaming” millennial’s desires, claiming the new trend to be the “narcissistic heart of modern holidaying.”
During the 1980s and 1990s, the party holidays were a roaring success. It meant young people could escape from their routine lives to let loose in the sun for a week or so.
But things have changed.
Thomas Cook’s Holiday Report 2018 revealed 52 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds polled said they would be more inclined to book a hotel based on its Instagrammability, rather than the party scene.
But it’s not just millennials. 15 percent of those 55 and older also agreed social media and bragging rights influence their decision in booking a vacation.
Because did you even go away if you didn’t get at least 10 likes on social media platforms?
Other recent polls have also revealed millennials would rather spend their money on mid-range to luxury holidays over buying materialist things.
These findings are somewhat indicative of social media likes becoming a new form of currency.
But what is “ego travel?” A post shared by Maria Inés (@inesgrajales) on May 15, 2018 at 5:39pm PDT
“Ego travel” have got a bad rep, but it sounds wonderful.
“Ego travel” is characterized by those looking for unique experiences in unknown destinations.
Contrary to other assumptions of cliched spiritual journeys and deep connections to a place you’ve just reached, “ego travel” is simply the desire to experience something different.
Such as trading in the beach parties for sleeping under the stars, or choosing to spend time taking detailed and appreciative photos of your food, opposed to wolfing down.
And opting for early morning hikes opposed to late night drunken food stops.
It sounds divine and many angered tweeters agreed.
Netizens are appalled that millennials are being blamed for the inevitable end of raucous package holidays.
So netizens are taking control of the situation “Ego travel” or: “wanting to go somewhere nice”. Damn these millennials wanting such a ludicrous thing.
— Chris (@cjwingyorks) May 14, 2018
So millennials are slowly stopping to go on 18-30 sun, sex and sea holidays as ‘ego travel’ seems to be pushing through.. its now about the “instagrammability” of destinations
— Ollie Holt (@hooolt) May 14, 2018
If you identify with the characteristics of the alleged “ego traveler”, give yourself a pat on the back.
You care about culture and you want to connect with a destination through more than just cocktails.
You’re proud of your travels and want to share them with your friends and followers – go for it, and ignore the haters.
The post Why you should use #EgoTravel to your benefit appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Get comfy with these seven flying essentials

Posted by - May 18, 2018

TRAVELING can either be extremely stressful or go off without a hitch.
Often it all boils down to how you prepare for a trip.
While you can’t do much about flight delays or misplaced baggage, there are a few things you can do to help yourself.
#AIRLINES
Saudia: You get WhatsApp, you get WhatsApp, everybody gets WhatsApp For example, putting together a pre-flight kit bag with all your traveling essentials that you can leave packed between every flight for a quick grab ‘n’ go.
Alternatively, plan it a few days in advance so you know it will suit your trip.
These are the seven airplane essentials to take on every trip:
Wet wipes A post shared by Felix- Flight Blogger (@insideflight) on Feb 20, 2018 at 12:09am PST
Whether you’re flying long or short haul, wet wipes are essential.
Many airlines hand out hot towels around the cabin, but in between those moments you’re going to want to wipe your face.
They’re also good for wiping mucky seats and tray tables – ain’t no germs going to ruin your vacation.
Hoodie A post shared by Meg Nordmann (@megnordmann) on Jul 5, 2015 at 9:26pm PDT
Planes either stream a constant chilly air through the cabin or make it too toasty. A hoodie makes sure you’re the perfect temperature.
It can also double up as a soft pillow, a welcome break from the scratchy “pillows” the airlines provide.
Power banks A post shared by TOPSY TURVY RETAIL PVT. LTD. (@topsyturvyindia) on Dec 24, 2017 at 4:02am PST
Picture this: you’re off the plane, ready to get the vacation started, and your phone dies. So do all your bookings, directions, and numbers.
You can cry, nobody will judge you.
However, taking along a power bank will prevent this situation.
But be careful, as not all power banks can fly.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organizations’ latest technical instructions, a carry-on power bank must have less than 100Wh (26000mAh) or risk security confiscating it.
A good book A post shared by LeighaD (@leighas_books) on Sep 29, 2017 at 5:39pm PDT
Whether it sits in your bag the whole time or you whizz through the pages at lightning speed, the comfort of knowing you have a book to read is a must.
Why not pack that classic you’ve always wanted to read? Or the latest thriller you haven’t had a chance to read at home?
“Shnaaaaacks”
When the mini pretzels and dinky meals don’t satisfy your cravings, you’ll be thankful you packed those extra snacks.
Try not to go carb-heavy on long haul flights though. Items such as protein bars, popcorn, and dried fruit are brilliant.
Hand sanitizer A post shared by Kelly Colantuono (@kellys_oil_zone) on Sep 30, 2017 at 4:25pm PDT
You’re sorely mistaken if you think your cabin crew has the time to individually clean every seat between journeys.
A quick sweep around the cabin and the next passengers are welcomed on board.
You can never be too sure of who was sitting in your seat just before you. Perhaps someone with a bad cold.
A hand sanitizer will ensure you don’t transmit any nasties into your mouth when you delve into those pre-packed snacks.
#AIRLINES
Plane seats get smart to combat germs Travel footwear A post shared by Bedroom Athletics (@bedroomathletics) on Jun 23, 2017 at 8:31am PDT
It’s no secret flying causes cankles – when your calves and ankles blend into one due to water retention.
Often your feet swell too, so you’re probably going to want to take your shoes off, right?
Well, spare a thought for others who may not want to see your hairy, potentially stinky tootsies.
Pack some fluffy socks or foldable slippers and be the comfiest, most non-offensive person on the plane.
The post Get comfy with these seven flying essentials appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

See more by cycling in these Asian cities

Posted by - May 17, 2018

IN the advent of the shareable-bike era, there really is no reason not to put on a sturdy helmet and explore a city via the pedal.
It is surely one of the best ways to get around a city. Driving often incurs hours of traffic jams and means missing out on the hidden treasures only found by walking or cycling.
#INDUSTRY NEWS
What does New Zealand’s tourism tax mean for you? Before the days of bike-sharing, you could be forgiven for not wanting to trek to a bike hire store and be limited by rental times.
But the sharing-economy is springing new ventures at every corner, as China knows all too well.
China has 13 of the world’s 15 biggest public bike shares with Ofo and Mobike leading the way.
Around 350,000 bikes are hired from docks around Chinese cities every day.
It’s not just the nation’s residents whizzing around town on two wheels either. If you have a smartphone and the downloaded app, anyone can access these bikes.
A post shared by Mobike Singapore (@mobikesgp) on May 14, 2018 at 11:36pm PDT
But China isn’t alone. Across Asia, hundreds of cities offer bike-sharing systems, all for crazily low prices.
Not only will you be saving money, but you can also take solace in the fact you’re choosing a healthy way of exploring a city.
After which, you can reward yourself with local cuisine when you reach your destination – completely guilt free.
Some of these cities have been built for bikes, while others have seamlessly incorporated cycling into their road infrastructure.
However you chose to access your bike, these two-wheeled green machines will be the key to unlocking your Asian adventure.
Take a look at Asia’s most bike-friendly cities.
Kaohsiung, Taiwan A post shared by bicycle map project (@cyclingkualalumpur) on Mar 5, 2016 at 4:51pm PST
The Taiwanese government loves telling visitors Kaohsiung City is the most bike-friendly destination in the whole country.
And it’s true. The cycling infrastructure here could rival Copenhagen and Amsterdam in Europe.
With over 150km of cycling lanes and widely affordable bike hire all around the city, cycling in Kaohsiung is truly a pleasure.
Singapore A post shared by FootLoops (@footloops.sg) on May 5, 2018 at 9:41pm PDT
By 2030, Singapore plans to have 700km of cycling paths across the island. But you needn’t wait another 12 years to strap your helmet on.
Singapore is a super safe nation overall, and it’s no different when it comes to cycling.
The dedicated cycling routes already on offer create traffic-free, stress-free paths for those wanting to discover the inner city, botanical parks and have off the beaten track adventures.
Jeju, South Korea A post shared by 잘 노는 것을 고민하는 – 비.플레이 (@jeju_b.play) on Nov 16, 2017 at 6:09pm PST
The South Korean island of Jeju is truly magical. The continuous coastline offers cyclists and keen racers 182km of picturesque adventure.
Highway 12, the road which rings Jeju, is mostly traffic free and has two dedicated cycling lanes on each side.
Visitors can either cycle from bay to bay as part of their trip or circumnavigate the whole island in around three to five days.
Seoul, South Korea A post shared by Feature Account (@vastlyasia) on Oct 5, 2016 at 5:15pm PDT
Back in the city, Seoul’s civilized cycling routes are a biker’s heaven.
The government invested huge amounts into building safe cycling routes around the city.
One of the most scenic routes is the 1,757-km Riverside Bike Trail stretching from Hangang through Geumgan, Yeongsangang and Nakdonggang rivers.
Inner city cycling is just as popular with tourists and locals alike. Not only does it serve as a key mode of transportation around the city, but it is also a leisurely past time.
Hoi An, Vietnam A post shared by Jen and Tom (@coupleofsuitcases) on May 28, 2017 at 3:56am PDT
Known for its ancient preserved town, Hoi An on the central coast of Vietnam is unlike the other bustling cities on this list.
It is also one of the few cities in Vietnam that has taken steps to become bike-friendly, from the car and motorbike-free old town to the lush rice fields and white beaches and around My Son Sanctuary.
Stop whenever you feel like it, take photos, interact with locals and enjoy local cuisine.
Kyoto, Japan A post shared by Cathy Wong (@chinaconnect) on Dec 30, 2015 at 10:17pm PST
Everyone cycles in Kyoto. Glamorous ladies on their way to work, suited and booted men, school children, and grandmas on their way to the market.
The lack of cycling infrastructure doesn’t seem to deter anyone, and it shouldn’t put you off either.
Traffic in the city is orderly and alleyways make for shortcuts and adventures.
Tokyo, Japan A post shared by Loveinn Japan (@loveinnjapan) on Jun 25, 2017 at 5:48pm PDT
It’s estimated about 14 percent of all trips in Tokyo are made by bicycle. Surprising, given that there isn’t a huge amount of cycling infrastructure in the city, just 10km of bike lanes.
But it works because car users respect cyclists and cyclists respect cyclists.
In fact, everyone just gets along in true “Gaman” style.
#ADVENTURES
‘Let’s-a go’ join the Mario Kart tour, take Tokyo for a spin Beijing, China A post shared by Colin (@colinmorgan58) on Oct 24, 2016 at 12:25am PDT
One of the most fascinating things about Beijing is the weaving hutongs (narrow street or alley), only accessible on foot or bike.
There may be the occasional car trying to sneak through but it’s the people who rule these colorful streets.
You can spend hours getting lost on a bike in the hutongs, stopping for delicious treats and watching kids play.
Again, Beijing doesn’t have masses of designated cycling lanes, so it’s worth observing how Beijingers cycle on the busy roads and maneuver around other cyclists.
Either hire one of the 2.35 million docked bikes from around the city using your phone, or if your Mandarin is good enough, negotiate with a local bike rental shop.
The post See more by cycling in these Asian cities appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

What does New Zealand’s tourism tax mean for you?

Posted by - May 17, 2018

IF you’re a frequent traveler, especially to Asia, you’ll know discount privileges aren’t readily available to you.
Traveling to tourism hubs such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia mean you’ll incur tourism tax.
And now New Zealand has announced they are joining their Asian neighbors in charging international visitors a tourism fee.
#TRAVEL FAILS
Taking pictures here could get you arrested At the Trenz tourism conference last week in Dunedin, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis spoke of the levy being charged to foreign visitors to ensure a strong tourism infrastructure.
New Zealand has seen a tourism boom in the last few years and as Bloomberg reports, there is a huge need for investment in the sector.
Last year, 3.5 million short-term arrivals rocked up on the rugged lands of New Zealand and they are predicted to rise to 4.5 million by 2022.
There is currently a shortage of hotels across New Zealand. This has resulted in delayed passengers being put up in sports facilities and traditional Maori meeting spaces when all hotel rooms are full – something the tax wants to resolve.
A post shared by UNILAD Adventure (@uniladadventure) on May 15, 2018 at 7:00pm PDT
This is the kind of bad experience Davis wants to avoid visitors leaving with, as he explains, “the last thing we [the government] want is for visitors to go away with a bad experience or impression of New Zealand.”
Davis adds that the predicted rise in visitor numbers only illustrates the need for the tourism tax.
He’s hoping to publicly announce the proposal within the next few weeks and impose it by 2019.
How much is the tax? A post shared by Backpacker Travel (@backpackerinc) on May 15, 2018 at 12:16pm PDT
The tax is rumored to be NZ$25 (US$17) upon entry to the country, included in the airfare or at a hotel.
However, it’s not yet confirmed who’ll be eligible to pay this fee.
But if you’re an international visitor with no diplomatic rights, you’ll probably need to get your wallet out.
#BEACHES
Have you visited Asia Pacific’s most Instagrammed beaches? How else will the tourism tax help? A post shared by (@juno_1105) on Apr 22, 2018 at 6:26am PDT
The levy is expected to raise about NZ$75 million (US$52 million) for tourism, conservation, and creating world-class facilities for visitors without putting the monetary burden on residents.
The funds will be put towards facilities like public toilets, car parks, and building more hotels to give visitors more variety.
The post What does New Zealand’s tourism tax mean for you? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Is it safe to go to Indonesia?

Posted by - May 17, 2018

INDONESIA is still reeling after a series of suicide bombings and terrorist attacks rocked the nation.
It is said to be the deadliest violence in the country since the Bali bombings 16 years ago in which 202 people were killed.
#ENVIRONMENT
4 Indonesian provinces declare disaster alerts “The gruesome church attack on Sunday, which involved using children as suicide bombers and left 13 people dead and more than 40 injured, also follows another pattern – an uptick of violence linked to the terrorist group in Southeast Asia,” Asian Correspondent wrote.
Four days later, four samurai sword-wielding men attacked the Riau police headquarters on the island of Sumatra.
“The individuals crashed a vehicle into the entrance of the police station and began attacking officers,” CNN quoted National Police Spokesman Setyo Wasisto as saying.
The police shot and killed the four suspected terrorists.
The scene following an attack at the entrance of a police station in Surabaya on May 16, 2018, taken by Antara Foto. Source: Reuters.
It is a double whammy for Indonesia, as the attacks came just one day after safety fears over the Mount Merapi volcanic eruption, which sent plumes of thick smoke into the air
So is it safe to go to Indonesia? The US, UK, Australia, Singapore, UAE, and Malaysia have reportedly issued travel advisories for their citizens in Indonesia.
“If you’re in the area, you should monitor local media, exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities,” the UK government wrote in their travel advisory.
And according to PerthNow, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is monitoring the situation closely, advising Australians traveling to Indonesia to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ when they visit the country.
What does it mean for travelers? Travel advisories are meant to inform travelers who are unaware of safety and health situations in the country they intend to visit.
This includes information and updates concerning terrorism, public crime, civil unrest, disease, and weather.
#INDONESIA
Take a tour of Indonesia via Jokowi’s vlogs Countries issue travel advisories as it is their responsibility to alert their citizens and help them make informed decisions about traveling to various places in the world.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are banned from going to the said destination.
The Jakarta Post quoted Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Arief Yahya as saying that travel advisories meant a country was still safe to visit, explaining that there were three levels of alerts, namely travel advisory, travel warning, and travel ban.
Arief added that the warning is considered to be lighter than the one during Mount Agung’s eruption in Karangasem, Bali last year when several countries issued a travel warning.
Kenjeran Beach is one of the allures of metropolitan Surabaya. Source: Shutterstock.
So be vigilant, monitor the news closely, avoid crowded places, update your family and loved ones often, and ensure that you have all the necessary contact numbers on hand.
Safe travels!
The post Is it safe to go to Indonesia? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Did Etihad Airways just win at the tourism video game?

Posted by - May 17, 2018

DO you remember Sophia the artificially intelligent robot with Saudi Arabian citizenship?
Well, she’s back on the scene.
#TRAVEL FAILS
Just how serious are bomb jokes at airports? She was developed in Hong Kong by Hanson Robotics in 2015 and made her first public appearance at South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in 2016.
That same year, she received citizenship from the notoriously closed country of Saudi Arabia.
Sophia can imitate emotions and human gestures and have simple conversations with humans about everyday topics such as the weather.
She also has seven siblings, two of whom are academics. But it’s Sophia the world is interested in.

In November 2017, Sophia was named the United Nations Development Program’s first-ever Innovation Champion for Asia and The Pacific.
She will help to unlock innovation to work toward achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
She has appeared in plenty of interviews around the world, including the BBC and CBS’ 60 Minutes with Charlie Rose.
She has also featured in reputable publications such as Forbes and The New York Times.
Most recently, she became the focus of the latest Etihad Airways promotional video alongside popular UAE influencer, Khalid al Ameri.

Sophia and Khalid meet in the first class cabin of an Etihad Airways plane bound for Abu Dabui, or the “center of the world,” as Sophia describes it.
A short while after landing, Khalid realizes Sophia has left her memory stick on the plane and so ensues a wild robot chase around UAE’s capital.
The film sees Sophia become the world’s first AI robot to race around the Yas Marina Circuit track, ride on the world’s fastest rollercoaster at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and take in the views at Louvre Abu Dhabi.
She also visits a waterpark but understands electronics and water don’t mix, before heading into the desert where Khalid finally catches up with her.
Kahlid asks if she “loves a good sunset,” to which Sophia replies, “I think I do Khalid, I think I do. I feel different like I had an update.”
The post Did Etihad Airways just win at the tourism video game? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Japan bucket list: Peanuts-themed hotel

Posted by - May 16, 2018

SNOOPY is coming to town! By “town”, we mean if you’re anywhere in Japan or if you’re planning a trip to Japan.
Famed for being the “land of cute things”, the upcoming Peanuts comic strip-themed hotel will be yet another adorable addition to the country’s attractions.
#POP CULTURE
Here’s your first look at the magical ‘Ghibli Park’ Set to open in Hyogo prefecture near Sannomiya Station located in the heart of Kobe, the hotel spans six floors of rooms and facilities.
It embodies its motto, “It’s nice to have a home where your guests feel comfortable”.
Guests would be delighted to know that they will be getting a Peanuts Cafe (first floor), a Peanuts Diner (third floor), and three upper floors of guest rooms themed, “Imagine”, “Love”, and “Happy”.
A post shared by PEANUTS HOTEL / ピーナッツ ホテル (@peanutshotel) on May 13, 2018 at 8:14pm PDT
The hotel’s Peanuts Cafe offers the same menu as the Peanut Cafe in Tokyo’s Nakameguro neighborhood, filled to the brim with casual Snoopy-themed food and drinks that are totally Instagrammable.
Peanuts Diner, on the other hand, will serve a slightly more adult menu, complete with pasta and Japanese specialties such as Kobe beef.
And what’s a Peanuts hotel experience if there’s no merchandise?
Peanuts Cafe and Peanuts Diner will also sell Snoopy-themed goods such as T-shirts, tote bags, printed serviettes, and mugs, so you can take a piece of Peanuts hotel home with you.
A post shared by PEANUTS HOTEL / ピーナッツ ホテル (@peanutshotel) on Mar 21, 2018 at 10:01pm PDT
More importantly, be ready to be overwhelmed by the sheer cuteness of the guest rooms.
Each of the 18 rooms will boast its own design and decorations based on different comics from the Charles M. Schulz franchise.
So don’t forget to whip out your camera and snap away.
A post shared by PEANUTS HOTEL / ピーナッツ ホテル (@peanutshotel) on Apr 26, 2018 at 2:15am PDT
Interested? Reservations will start from 10am on July 9, 2018.
The Peanuts hotel will open in Kobe, Japan in August 2018.
Check out their website for more information.
The post Japan bucket list: Peanuts-themed hotel appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

#WorldCup: What is Russia spending nearly US$12bn on?

Posted by - May 16, 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is drawing near, and the excitement from football fans around the world is picking up.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st FIFA World Cup, and it will be hosted in 11 cities in Russia.
#OLYMPICS
PyeongChang 2018: Let the Games begin Among them are Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg. Moscow will host 12 games at two different venues.
32 teams will take part in the competition: Russia and 13 national teams will represent the European zone, five national teams from the African zone, 10 from Asia and South America, and three from the North American zone.
Moscow expects to welcome over 1 million international visitors, and more than three billion people from all over the world are expected to tune in during the games.
Between now and the start of the tournament, let’s take a closer look at how Russia is prepping ahead.
Multi-billion dollar investment A whopping total of US$11.8 billion has been spent on hosting the tournament, and a chunk of the budget was invested in building a handful of stadiums.
12 stadiums will host a total of 65 matches from June 14, 2018, to July 15, 2018.
Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium where the matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held. Source: Shutterstock.
Out of 12 stadiums used for the tournament, three (Luzhniki, Yekaterinburg, and Sochi) have been extensively renovated and the other nine stadiums to be used are brand new.
Luzhniki, which will be the focal point of the 2018 FIFA World Cup as it will host both the opening as well as the final matches, recently received the green standard certificate.
It is the first stadium in Russia to have such a certificate.
“In accordance with FIFA regulations, each World Cup stadium must attain a certificate confirming their sustainability. The basic principles of rating include water conservation, energy efficiency, transport access, comfort and quality of surroundings, waste management, environmentally friendly materials, conservation of biodiversity, and access for people with limited mobility,” RT wrote.

Water-saving technology at Luzhniki stadium allows the venue to save 490,000 liters of water over the course of just one match at full power.
Also, LED lamps installed in the venue will allow an electricity saving of 70 percent.
Infrastructural facilities get good But in all the best ways and for all the best reasons.
According to this FIFA fact sheet, plenty of infrastructure facilities have been upgraded.
For example, the Khrabrovo airport in Kaliningrad got a reconditioned and extended runway in January 2018. Its terminal’s refurbishment is expected to completed any day now.
A photo taken on May 12, 2018, shows the security check at the entrance of the newly built Platov Airport outside of the Southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. Source: AFP.
In the city of Volgograd, the Gumrak airport will open a new terminal this month while an existing one is being refurbished, according to CAPA’s Global Airport Construction Database.
Meanwhile, Russia also added three new metro stations, reconstructed 31 railway stations in the 11 host cities, and built 12 roads and junctions.
Old, new tech assistance For the first time in a FIFA World Cup tournament, Russia will use video assistant referees (VAR) in the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches.
The tech was approved by the FIFA Council in March 2018.
The video assistant referee system is placed beside the pitch before the Club World Cup semi-final football match between Mexico’s Club America and Spain’s Real Madrid at Yokohama International stadium. Source: AFP.
The video assistant referee (VAR) is a football assistant referee who reviews decisions made by the head referee with the use of video footage and a headset for communication.
The official signal for a video review is the referee making the outline of a rectangle with his index fingers (indicating a video screen).
The process begins with the video assistant referee(s) and the assistant video assistant referee (AVAR) reviewing the play in question on a bank of monitors in the video operation room (VOR) with the assistance of the replay operator (RO).
Video assistant members check monitors at a video operations room ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup round of 16 football match between Mexico and Senegal in Incheon. Source: AFP.
If the VAR finds nothing during the check, then communication with the referee is unnecessary, which is called a “silent check.”
If the VAR believes there has been a potential clear error, he or she will contact the referee with that judgment.
Beefing up security Amidst hooliganism fears and terrorist threats, the organizer is doing everything possible to ensure the matches are held in a safe and peaceful atmosphere, and to protect football fans heading to the country.
This includes working with the UK police.
Less than a month to go. Who’s counting down? Source: Shutterstock.
“We are ready to continue cooperation with the Russian police in order to ensure the security of the tournament … We will continue to offer our support and advice on working with fans coming to the World Cup from the United Kingdom,” UK Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts told Sputnik.
To add on, security forces have been rehearsing for emergencies at the Fisht stadium in Sochi in the weeks leading up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Russian government has also set up a special operational headquarters to coordinate the police, the military presence, the intelligent services, and the emergency services.
Drones will also be flown around the stadiums to pre-empt, detect, and combat law-breaking or attacks.
Russian services take part in a simulation of the riot at Krestovsky Stadium. Source: Shutterstock.
At the time of writing, 86 percent of 1,300 hotels in Moscow have been booked out for the period of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Russia will kick the tournament off on Thursday, June 14, 2018, at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
The post #WorldCup: What is Russia spending nearly US$12bn on? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.