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Latest News from A&K Thailand
Maya Bay Closed for Rejuvenation
The ever-popular Maya Bay will be closed for a four-month rejuvenation period to help preserve the quality of coral and marine life in the beautiful crystal cove. A favorite stop on most Phi Phi islands speedboat tours from Phuket, Maya Bay and its beautiful beach became increasingly popular since being featured in the film 'The Beach' in 2000. The islands have seen a large influx of visitors, which has had a major impact on the surrounding natural eco-system.
From now until made 30 September 2018, visitors will only be able to view Maya Bay from a distance. However, there are several other equally stunning beaches and islands to explore in the nearby area. A&K guests can still enjoy private excursions by speedboat from Phuket to the Phi Phi Islands, visiting alternative and lesser-visited parts of the islands.
Satun becomes Thailand's first UNESCO Global Geopark
In April 2018, Thailand received its first UNESCO Global Geopark designation! Satun Geopark, was recognized by UNESCO for its diverse geological heritage as well as cultural significance. Thailand now joins a league of 37 countries that are working to protect geodiversity through active engagement with local communities.
Overlooking remote islands of the Andaman Sea, the geopark encompasses two national parks and one wildlife sanctuary. The area is home to multiple cultures and groups, including Buddhists, Muslims and Christians, as well as smaller ethnic groups, who live together in harmony among the beautiful limestone mountain ranges.
Satun Geopark can be reached by land from Krabi, Phuket’s close neighbor and a popular beach destination in its own right. For more information, contact us at email@example.com.
A&K Southeast Asia Supports ChildSafe
Abercrombie & Kent Southeast Asia is now a proud partner of the Friends International ChildSafe Movement. Belinda Shillcock, Regional Managing Director for A&K Southeast Asia, recently signed a collaboration agreement in support of the movement which aims to protect the rights of children around the world and addresses key issues such as underage labor, child abuse and exploitation.
At Abercrombie & Kent, we believe that children from any background deserve an opportunity to learn and grow and should be protected from harmful or exploitative situations and we are committed to ensuring that our operations do not place any child at risk in any way.
By following and promoting the Seven Tips for Travelers outlined by the ChildSafe Movement, we hope to improve awareness and understanding among travelers and empower our teams as well as our guests to act appropriately. The seven tips in a nutshell:
- Children living or studying in schools, orphanages or slums are not tourist attractions and should not be exposed to tourist visits
- Despite good intentions, volunteering with children is a job for local experts, not for travelers who are just passing through
- Do not give money, food or gifts to begging children as this encourages them to continue begging, which prevents them from going to school and locks them into a cycle of poverty.
- When you see a child in need, the best thing to do is to contact local professionals. Trying to help personally may place you and the child at greater risk.
- Report incidents of child sex tourism to a local authority.
- Report incidents of underage labor to a local authority.
- Ensure you are a ChildSafe traveler and use ChildSafe-certified businesses when planning your holiday.
A&K is the leading DMC for Sustainable Events in Thailand
Abercrombie & Kent is one of the few companies officially certified to deliver sustainable events in Thailand.
Our Regional MICE Manager, Jo Aigner recently attended the Sustainable Event Professional Certificate course organized by the Events Industry Council and Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).
Through this certification A&K shows its commitment to reducing the impact of events on the environment. Any event can be made more sustainable simply by reducing consumption of resources such as energy and water, improving accessibility and selecting the right suppliers in all areas, from food and beverage, venues and accommodation to audio visual, transportation, materials resource management, marketing and exhibitions.
Sustainable events are not only good business practice, they can also help local communities to thrive through effective community service projects.
For more information about how we can help you create a sustainable event, please contact Jo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thailand's First Michelin Guide is Launched
The first ever Michelin Guide Thailand was launched this week at a gala event celebrating the 98 Bangkok restaurants listed in the guide. Of those, 17 have received Michelin stars.
Many familiar names made the list including Gaggan, Le Normandie and Mezzaluna which have two stars each.
The Michelin inspectors visited several restaurants across the city anonymously and judged them based on quality of their ingredients, cooking techniques, chef’s personality, value for money and consistency.
Each of the restaurants in the guide are worth visiting. However, one notable mention is Jay Fai, the only Bangkok street food restaurant with a Michelin star to its name. Located in an old part of town, the humble shop-house restaurant delivers a range of hearty local dishes, served fresh and made to order.
Be sure to stop by here or try another of Thailand's Michelin Guide restaurants on your next visit to Bangkok.
For more information about Michelin Guide Thailand, please visit https://guide.michelin.com/th/en/bangkok/restaurants
LiveShareTravel Visit Chiang Mai Mushroom Farm
Travel bloggers Sarah and Terry from LiveShareTravel recently visited the Chiang Mai Mushroom Farm to participate in a cooking contest as part of a campaign sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The Chiang Mai Mushroom Farm is an Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) project helping single mothers and pregnant women towards a life of independence and self-sufficiency, providing a sustainable source of income as well as food security and work skills training.
Sarah and Terry competed in creating their best Thai dish using mushrooms and vegetables picked from straight from the farm. Sarah created a delicious “Tom Yum”, a typical Thai spicy soup, while Terry made a tasty dish of stir-fried mushrooms. The two creations were served to the women and children living at the property who voted on the winning dish.
Although both contestants produced a fabulous entry with their own unique twists, it was Sarah’s delicious broth that came out on top. Congratulations to both contestants for their participation and helping to create a fun and enjoyable day at the home.
If you are interested in following Sarah and Terry’s journey, you can find them on Twitter at #DiscoverThailand or Facebook at www.facebook.com/LiveShareTravel.
A visit to the Chiang Mai Mushroom House can be easily combined with any journey to Chiang Mai. Please feel free to contact our sales team for more information at email@example.com or learn more about the Chiang Mai Mushroom House and other AKP projects at akphilanthropy.org.
A&K Thailand Makes the Switch to Non-Plastic Bottles
We are proud to announce that A&K Thailand has recently signed an agreement with Avitez, becoming the first DMC in the country to offer the locally-sourced, non-plastic and environmentally friendly bottled drinking water.
Avitez water is sourced from a natural flowing source high in the remote mountains of Kanchanaburi, a province in the west of Thailand. The true benefit of Avitez, however, is its bottle, which is made from a non-plastic and 100% plant-based material.
Production of Avitez bottles claims to use up to 60% less greenhouse gases than oil-derived bottles and as they are made entirely of plant materials, the bottles maintain the purity of the water as there are no harmful oils or chemicals contained within the packaging.
Switching to these new bottles is part of A&K Thailand’s ongoing commitment to the environment, another step in our efforts to minimize our carbon footprint.
Look out for this natural and environmentally friendly drinking water on your next Bangkok excursion with A&K Thailand. Avitez water will be provided as complimentary to all guests traveling with A&K in Bangkok.
For more information about this or any other news in Thailand, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chiang Mai Mushroom House Developments
Our newest AKP project - the Chiang Mai Mushroom House and Organic Farm was introduced earlier this year and we are delighted to update you on the encouraging progress.
Since establishing our partnership with a local community home that provides natal care and job-skills training to single mothers and pregnant women, this AKP project has already had a great impact on the lives of the women and children who live in the home.
The first mushrooms were planted in January and within two months, they were ready to be harvested and sold. The women harvest almost four kilograms (8.8 pounds) of mushrooms each day and have sold a total of almost 350 kilograms (770 pounds) since harvesting began in March. Sales represent approximately 75% of the mushroom yield with the remainder being consumed in the home. This means that the residents are not only benefiting from the income received from selling the mushrooms, they also have a ready supply of fresh and healthy food, available free in their garden.
The first A&K guests to visit the project enjoyed a wonderful experience meeting the residents, learning about their daily life and how they grow, harvest and then prepare the mushrooms for selling and eating.
This unique and rewarding experience can be easily added to an itinerary visiting northern Thailand as the project is located within easy reach of Chiang Mai city and is a convenient stop on a land transfer between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
For more information about this or any other AKP Projects in Southeast Asia, please contact our AKP Coordinator, Emily.
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