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Myanmar Aviation To Be Supported by Japan’s ANA Holdings

Japan’s ANA Holdings will acquire a 49% stake in a Myanmar airline, the latest foray into a potentially lucrative market that is rapidly opening up.

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ANA Holdings intends to obtain the maximum portion allowed under local law as part of a plan to expand its network in Southeast Asia by using Myanmar as a hub, the Nikkei business daily said.

The company — the parent of major airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) — will spend nearly 3 billion yen (US$30.5 million) for the stake in Asian Wings Airways, the paper said, adding the payment would be made by the end of March 2014.

ANA said the company had no comment at the moment.

“If any decision is made, we will announce it promptly,” company spokeswoman Maho Ito said. Read More

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New Flights by Lao Air

Lao Airlines plans to increase flights on some of its domestic and international routes and add more aircraft to its fleet.

According to Lao Airlines’ commercial department, the airline plans to increase flights from Vientiane and Oudomxay, Bokeo and Luang Namtha  from three, or four flights weekly, to daily beginning this October.

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Flights between Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Champassak, Savannakhet and Xieng Khuang provinces will remain the same.

The department’s general director, Phoutthasone Vannachack said: “The airline also plans to add an extra flight on its Luang Prabang-Bangkok sector, and will increase flights on the Luang Prabang-Hanoi sector from one to two flights daily.” Read More

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New airport in Luang Prabang

It took almost a decade since it was first announced; Finally Luang Prabang got rid of its old terminal building and thanks to the generosity of China has now an air terminal which will welcome passengers in a more comfortable and cooling (due to air conditioning) environment. The new terminal was inaugurated in June and offers anything that a modern airport in Asia should offer today, from shops to air con, from passengers’ bridge to the restaurant. Among the improvements are now six passport control counters, one reserved for diplomacy and official visits. In order to get Visa on arrival, one has to go to the side counter.

On the departure side, the airport has now six check-in counters, a sufficient number as the airport only welcomes less than a dozen of flights every day. Able to land at the world heritage town.

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Vietnam among TripAdvisor’s most popular destinations for museums in Asia

China is competing with Vietnam for the most popular destinations for museums in Asia. Thailand is among the less attractive for museums despite the opening of new institutions in the last five years…

Only one museum in Asia made it in the top 25 world most popular museums as voted by Trip Advisor’s travelers. The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Xi’An made it at the top position in Asia and reached position 11 in the world. The impressive museum is one of the world’s most significant archaeological sites: the 16,300-square-meter excavation reveals more than 7,000 life-size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations and dating back to the third century. The Terracotta Army was discovered on 29 March 1974 to the east of Xi’an in Shaanxi by farmers digging for water.

Other museums in Asia however did not reach the top 25. The second most popular Asian museum is also Chinese and is the famous Palace Museum of Beijing. A third Chinese museum is the ShanghaiMuseum in the heart of the metropolis. China is only matched by Vietnam. WarRemnantsMuseum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and Vietnam Women’s Museum – latter two in Hanoi – made it to the list of TripAdivsor’s Travelers’ Choice Attractions at fifth, sixth and 11th place respectively. Read More

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Laos tightens tourism law to improve safety

The Lao government is tightening the screws on its tourism law to improve safety for visitors and protect historical sites.

The amendments to the tourism law will place travel security in the hands of local authorities, while public health and noise restrictions on entertainment near communities will be tightened.

National Assembly members considered an amended draft to its tourism law late last month.

The amended draft was introduced by Information, Culture and Tourism Minister, Bosengkham Vongdara, at the fifth ordinary session of the national assembly.

Local media quoted the tourism minister as saying: “This law has not been amended in nine years and needs refreshing. It does not reflect the new policy of the party and government, or conditions of this new era of regional and international integration, open policy in trade, investment and other services related to tourism that lead to economic growth.” Read More