Southeast Asia

  • Tourism

    In the absence of Chinese tourists, TAT pins its hopes on short-haul markets

    With the Chinese market showing no signs of a revival any time soon, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is turning to the neighbours. According to a Bangkok Post report, the TAT says it plans to attract 1.5 million tourists from Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Australia. Thanet Phetsuwan says if travel restrictions are eased in Southeast Asia, Thailand should be…

  • World

    Myanmar’s army accused of holding children and teachers hostage

    On Sunday, a newspaper in Myanmar accused the country’s military of taking 85 children and 10 teachers hostage during fighting with rebels. Reuters could not independently verify the report, and a spokesman for Myanmar’s junta did not respond to requests for comment. But the country’s National Unity Government, which opposes the junta, said some children were younger than five years…

  • Crime

    Two Texas women who allegedly helped stab woman to death arrested in Cambodia

    Two women who allegedly helped stab another women to death in Texas in 2020 were caught in Cambodia last week. They had fled to Cambodia after they escaped house arrest in December. The women are Nina Marano and Lisa Dykes. Marano is 50 years old, and Dykes is 58. The woman they allegedly helped murder, Marisela Botello-Valadez, was 23. One…

  • World

    Indonesian earthquake survivors need food, shelter, and supplies

    Indonesian rescue teams are still searching today for six people who may have been buried under a landslide after a devastating earthquake. The 6.2 earthquake happened on Sumatra Island yesterday morning, and killed at least eight people. At least 86 others have been injured, and 10 people’s injuries were considered serious. A statement by Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency said…

  • Vietnam

    Vietnam resumes flights to 20 countries, prepares to welcome international tourists in March

    Vietnam has reopened air routes to 20 countries and regions in an effort to resume socio-economic activities – compared to 28 in the 2019 winter flight schedule pre-pandemic – a transport official says. The Vietnam Ministry of Transport says the resumed routes included those to Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, the Vietnam…

  • World

    Cambodia among first countries to give Covid-19 vaccines to children under 5

    Yesterday, Cambodia became one of the first countries to give Covid-19 vaccines to children younger than five years old. Children as young as three are now getting vaccines. Most countries haven’t started vaccinating this age group. This month, the United States postponed consideration of vaccinating kids under five. Other countries vaccinating children under five include China, Bahrain, and Cuba. China…

  • Thailand

    Thailand’s businesses appeal to government to lower labour import cost

    Thai businesses say they need more workers, and have appealed to the Labour Ministry to reduce costs of importing migrant workers from surrounding countries like Myanmar and Cambodia. Labour ministers said business operators are concerned that if not enough workers are brought in on time, their businesses won’t be able to meet orders and will have to pay fines. PM…

  • Vietnam

    Vietnam’s vaccine passport pilot programme for international travellers enters phase 2

    Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has released guidelines for implementing the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccine passport pilot programme to welcome international tourists. Phase 2 will continue from now until the country’s full reopening of arrival and departure tourism activities via air, land, and sea routes, which is set for March 15. Read: Tourism officials in Vietnam…

  • Thailand

    Songkhla man arrested on suspicions of trafficking Burmese migrants to Malaysia

    Following last month’s arrest of 31 Burmese migrants trying to cross through Songkhla province into Malaysia, police have now caught a man suspected of trafficking them. Yesterday, police in Sadao district arrested Saiyid Ratdaewa after finding him in a house he was renting. Police say they found that Saiyid was a job broker for migrants seeking jobs in Malaysia. Police…

  • Thailand

    Karen soldiers from Myanmar clash with Burmese army on Thai border

    Soldiers from the Karen National Union and People’s Defense Force attacked the Burmese army with mortar guns and grenade launchers in Palu village in Myanmar on the Thai-Burmese border yesterday. A reporter for Nation Thailand said the Burmese army fired back with their own mortar guns, and called for backup help from a helicopter dispatched to shoot at the enemy…

  • World

    Bali reopens to international tourists after almost 2 years

    Yesterday, Bali reopened to foreign tourists with its first international flight in almost two years. The flight was with Singapore airlines, with 109 foreign travellers, and 47 Indonesians. The foreign travellers are required to quarantine in a designated hotel for three to seven days. There are 27 designated hotels for them to choose from. The governor said he hopes in…

  • World

    Cambodia delays internet gateway activists say would “devastate” free expression

    The Cambodian government decided to delay implementing an internet gateway that would funnel all web traffic through a state-controlled entry point. Cambodia’s secretary of state for the Telecommunications Ministry said the gateway, which was supposed to be implemented yesterday, is being postponed because of Covid-19. The country’s foreign affairs department attacked foreign media for criticising the gateway, but activists and…

  • World

    It’s official: Vietnam will reopen to tourists on March 15

    In a move made three months earlier than planned, Vietnam will completely reopen to tourists starting March 15. Visitors to the country will still have to quarantine for 24 hours, and test negative for Covid-19 before departure and upon arrival. The Vietnamese government said in a statement that the reopening is part of its new response to controlling Covid-19, which…

  • Taiwan

    Taiwan to ease entry restrictions, cut quarantine to 10 days in March

    Taiwan plans to relax its strict COVID-19 quarantine policy beginning in March, in order to reopen to the world and gradually resume normal life, the government said on Tuesday. Since the start of the pandemic, Taiwan has enforced a blanket two-week quarantine on everyone arriving to the island, even while its neighbours in Asia began implementing reopening strategies last year,…

  • Events

    Makha Bucha Day 2022: All about the public holiday in Thailand

    For Thai Buddhists, Makha Bucha, also written Māgha Pūjā, is a day of abstinence, reflection and visits to the local temple, which culminate in picturesque candle-lit ceremonies in the evening. For those who don’t follow the Buddhist traditions, it’s a day of no alcohol sales. In fact, there is always a 24 hour alcohol ban imposed on the day, from…

  • Vietnam

    Tourism officials in Vietnam push for a full reopening to foreign travellers on March 15

    Vietnam plans to reopen borders for foreign travellers on March 15, although the date is not yet official. According to the local media outlet VN Express, a draft proposal is in the works to fully allow inbound and outbound tourism starting in mid-March. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is now getting input from relevant agencies before submitting the…

  • Indonesia

    Lombok expects to welcome 64,000 visitors at Indonesian Motorcycle Grand Prix

    At least 64,000 visitors are estimated to flock to Indonesia’s Lombok for the 2022 Indonesian Motorcycle Grand Prix next month, with locals on the island’s special economic zone Mandalika expecting a boost. One said it’s the first time their resort has been fully booked since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The five-day event will start on March 18 with…

  • Philippines

    15 passengers denied entry at Philippines airport over vaccine certificates

    Following its reopening of borders to fully-vaccinated visitors last week, the Philippines immigration reportedly denied entry to 15 Malaysians due to their vaccination in Malaysia yesterday. Their passports are reportedly being held and they will be deported from the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport tomorrow. A passenger told The Star reporters that the Philippines immigration officials did not accept the…

  • World

    Sharp rise in Southeast Asia flight bookings as countries ease border controls

    Online flight search engine Skyscanner has reported a sharp rise in flight bookings for Southeast Asia as several countries ease border restrictions. This will come as welcome news to the region’s airlines, after international travel in Asia-Pacific plummeted 93% last year, compared to pre-pandemic levels. According to a Reuters report, many carriers are relying heavily on the cargo market to…

  • Indonesia

    Indonesia purchases six Rafale fighter jets from France

    The defence minister in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta says the country is buying six Rafale fighter jets, confirming that a deal was signed with France yesterday as part of an order of 42 warplanes. Jakarta is replacing its ageing fleet of warplanes, which are mostly American F-16 fighter jets and Russian Sukhoi fighter jets. Indonesia’s first order for French fighter jets…

  • Singapore

    Singapore’s Formula 1 Grand Prix takes steps to reduce carbon footprint this year

    Organisers of Singapore’s Formula 1 Grand Prix are taking steps to reduce the event’s carbon footprint. One step is using sustainable fuels to replace fossil fuels as part of their sustainability goals in the upcoming night race at Marina Bay Sands this September. The tournament is reportedly developing its own 100% “sustainable” fuel, including components derived from carbon capture, municipal…

  • Myanmar

    Interpol turns down Myanmar military’s request to assist them counter “terrorism”

    In response to the Myanmar military’s appeal to assist them in countering “terrorism” threats in the post-coup nation, the international police organisation Interpol turned down the request and said it will not intervene in any nation’s domestic political affairs. An Interpol spokesperson told CNA that the organisation does not comment on specific cases or operations of member countries unless in…