BANGKOK: Thailand cancelled flights to a popular tourist island, battened down beachside resorts and evacuated offshore oil rigs as the first tropical storm in nearly 30 years menaced its southern shores on Thursday (Jan 3).Tropical storm Pabuk approached southern Thailand with winds of up to 65kph, threatening to batter the southern part of the kingdom with heavy rains, wind and 7m waves ahead of its expected landfall on Friday.Bangkok Airways, which has a virtual monopoly on the air route to Koh Samui, cancelled all flights to and from the popular holiday destination, potentially stranding tourists. Media also reported that ferry services to and from the island were suspended.Authorities prepared shelters for tourists who decided to wait out the storm or who could not secure seats on ferries for the mainland before services are suspended late Thursday.Some hotel operators reported a few early checkouts and said they were prepared."Since the morning we … [Read more...] about Thailand cancels flights to holiday island as storm threatens
BORACAY, Philippines (AFP) – The Philippines shuttered its most famous holiday island Boracay to tourists on Thursday (April 26) for a six-month clean-up, which the government has imposed with a muscular show of its security forces. Assault-rifle wielding police were posted at entry points to the once-pristine island that has become tainted by heavy commercialisation and overdevelopment. Regional police head Cesar Binag told AFP the shutdown began past midnight, with tourists barred from boarding the ferry that is the main way onto the island. “Boracay is officially closed to tourists. We are not closing establishments but tourists cannot enter. We are implementing the instruction of the president,” Binag said. About 600 policemen were deployed, with some performing life-like drills including riot officers battling bottle-hurling protesters and mock hostage taking of sunbathers – all before startled locals. "It looks like we are at war," Jessica Gabay, a grocery … [Read more...] about Philippine holiday island Boracay closed to tourists for 6-month clean-up
Malaysia's veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad will run at an upcoming general election on the holiday island of Langkawi, the opposition announced Sunday, as he seeks to oust the scandal-plagued government. Mahathir has come out of retirement and joined the opposition alliance to take on his former protege, Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has become embroiled in a massive corruption controversy. The May 9 poll will be a tough test for Najib's coalition, which has governed Malaysia for six decades. But 92-year-old Mahathir, the opposition's prime ministerial candidate, is still not expected to beat the party he led for years. About 5,000 supporters gathered at a rally late Sunday on Langkawi, which attracts hordes of foreign tourists each year to its palm-fringed beaches, for the announcement of his candidacy. "Najib came and gave a lot of money to Langkawi people, but these people gave the money to us to fight Najib," he told the cheering crowd. "He thought cash is king -- but the … [Read more...] about Malaysia’s Mahathir to contest on holiday island in election
Jejudo, known in English as Jeju Island is the largest island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, and the main island of Jeju Province of South Korea. The island lies in the Korea Strait, south of South Jeolla Province. The island contains the natural World Heritage Site Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes. Jejudo has a moderate climate; even in winter, the temperature rarely falls below 0 °C. OK, that’s the Wikipedia stuff, now down to the good stuff. Getting There And Getting Around: I’d recommend the bus service. There are two main terminals from which services radiate – one at Jeju City, the other in the south at Seogwipo. English language information is provided at the bus station and when you’re on board an LED screen announces the next stop in English. There’s digital information at bus stops too, telling you the time until the next bus. On board, you just press a button on the wall to tell the driver that you want to get off. Few … [Read more...] about Jeju. A quick introduction to the South Korean holiday island.
Indonesian authorities are investigating the use of bitcoin in the holiday island of Bali, amid warnings by the central bank in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy over the risks posed by virtual currencies, an official said.The probe started after the central bank on Dec. 7, 2017 issued a regulation banning the use of cryptocurrencies in payment systems, said Causa Iman Karana, head of Bank Indonesia’s representative office in Bali.“We found out from some postings on social media that Bali appeared to have become a haven for bitcoin transactions,” said Karana.Central bank officials and police went undercover at the end of 2017 to investigate scores of businesses in Bali advertising online that they offered bitcoin payment services, said Karana.The team found two cafes still using bitcoin as a means of payment, but 44 businesses including car rental outlets, hotels, travel companies and jewelry stores, previously offering the service, had now stopped, he said.One … [Read more...] about Bitcoin use under scrutiny in Indonesian island of Bali