Monthly Archives: April 2014

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Central Festival Samui

 The Central Pattana Public Company Limited (CPN) unveiled its latest retail development on March 29th, the Central Festival Samui.

Central Festival is ideally situated in central Chaweng on the beach road. The Executive Vice President of Marketing for CPN said “CPN sees Koh Samui’s great growth potential owing to the island being recognized as one of the world’s top tourist destinations, drawing visitors with high purchasing power from all over the globe including Europe, Australia, Russia and Asia.

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Shopping, Dining & Party..

Koh Samui attracts 1.9 million visitors a year, 80% of whom are foreigners. In addition Koh Samui has seen dramatic growth in residential property development. CPN intends for Central Festival to be a new landmark for the island, standing out both in terms of design and the extensiveness of offerings. The shopping centre’s design features elements and details that are unique to Samui and will be the first themed mall developed by CPN. Its world-class design allows customers to have a resort-style shopping experience under the “Reminiscence of Southern Lifestyle” concept. Shoppers can relax while enjoying their shopping sprees.”

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The shopping centre does indeed represent characteristics of Koh Samui such as the vintage Chaweng Port theme with the use of decorations such as birdcages that remind people of the day to day life of Samui residents. The mall’s décor also features Chino-Portuguese influences and colonial style architecture with a charming East meets West blend. Central Festival is certainly a haven for shoppers and indeed for diners. The Central Department store is certainly home to a myriad of big brand names and other anchor stores such s Tops Market, Power Buy, SuperSports and B2S have brought a whole host of items to shoppers that were not previously available on the island.   004 Central Festival has more than two hundred other stores of local and international brands such as Rip Curl, Oakley, Playboy, Uniqlo, CCOO, Esprit, Giordano, Jaspal, Psylo, Adidas, Nature Art Gallery, Helen Mark and Jim Thompson. The Night Bazaar is a great place to while away an evening and the extensive ranges of dining options makes it the ideal place for a spot of lunch or a relaxing evening meal at one of the many gastro bars. Indoor and outdoor dining spaces can be found at B Bistro, Zazen, Zen Sushi and Sake, Coffee Club, Starbucks and Copa Cabana.

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Pirates of Marioland

For kids and big kids alike there is plenty of fun to be had at the Mario Land amusement park, decorated under the theme of “The Pirates of the Caribbean”. Central Festival has a variety of events and campaigns plans for the whole year to entertain the residents and visitors of Koh Samui.

Ms. Yuwadee Chirathivat, the president of Central Department Store, said a budget of 425 million baht was spent on building the two-floor Central Department Store at Central Festival Samui. The store has total gross floor area of 8,000 square metres. It is the first and only Central Department Store with only two floors. It features a contemporary resort design concept and touts the natural beachfront atmosphere. Glass panels and windows are used in order to give an airy feel to the building. There is a garden in-between the escalators. As there are only two floors, customers can choose to walk up the stairs, use the escalators or ride the lifts.

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Songkran Festival (Thai New Year)

Koh samui islandThere are a million and one great reasons to visit Koh Samui , it is easily accessible thanks to the international airport, the climate offers warmth all year round, the beaches go on for miles, the locals are friendly, the island offers a culinary adventures that will take you from one end of the globe to the other and offers everything from penny bargains on the street markets to world class five star cuisine in top restaurants run under the watchful eye of Michelin star chefs.

In addition to that you have superb attractions such as the butterfly farm, the aquarium, a world class golf course, bars, cabarets, nightclubs, Thai boxing, sailing, yachting, diving, fishing, world class spas and endless shopping that will take you from the local markets to the recently opened Central Festival Shopping Mall in the heart of Chaweng.

SongkranKoh Samui is a fun and exciting place to live or visit at any time of the year, but there is no better time to experience Thai culture and the Thai sense of fun than during the Songkran Festival when the Thais celebrate their traditional New Year. Thai people are known for ‘sanuk’ (fun) and if you want to catch them having the most fun of all then Songkran offers a unique opportunity to do just that.

The date of the Thai New Year was originally set by astrological calculations. Songkran marked the beginning of the New Year until 1888. After 1888 up until 1940 the 1st of April officially marked the start of the New Year. From then on, as in the west, Jan 1 was used.

songkran festDespite the change in official dates Songkran is still the Thai New Year National Holiday and the celebrations, which are said to have been adapted from an Indian festival, enthusiastically take place all over Thailand.

The traditional greeting at this auspicious time of year is สวัสดีปีใหม่” (sa-wat-dee pee mai) and the festival was traditionally celebrated by visiting respected elders, family members, friends and relatives as well as giving prayer and food to monks and cleansing Buddha images and household shrines with water and Thai fragrance to bring about good luck and prosperity.

songkranAlthough traditional celebrations are still observed in many parts of the country, more typically, these days, the New Year is welcomed by wildly enthusiastic water fights where locals and visitors alike roam the streets armed with water guns and buckets of iced water, that are often mixed with mentholated talcum powder, to drench passersby.

Pick-up trucks, packed with excited adults and children, armed with water pistols drive around the island complete with huge barrels of water. During this time household hose pipes are on full blast during the lively celebrations to ensure everybody gets refreshingly soaked during this colorful festival that falls at the hottest time of the year. Even the police taking care of safety on the roads are no exempt from being drenched with water and white powder as they direct the traffic.1331595977-the-songkran-festival-on-khao-san-road_1103100

If you want to experience Samui at its best then what better time than Songkran when locals and residents alike welcome you to pick up a water pistol and join in with the fun.

Discover Bali

bali beachBali is an island and the smallest province in Indonesia. As a province Bali includes the main island and a few small neighbouring islands such as Nusa Penida. Bali has an area of some 5,780 Km2 and a population of about 4,220,000. The capital of Bali is Denpasar and it is known by several different nicknames, Island of Peace, Morning of the World, Island of Gods, Island of Hinduism and the Island of Love.

Bali lies 3.2km east of Java and is about 8 degrees south of the equator. East to West the island is approximately 153 km wide and spans approximately 112km north to south. Peaks in the islands center reach over 3,000 meters, the highest being Mount Agung known as the mother mountain which is an active volcano. The islands volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility along with high rainfall that supports a highly productive agriculture sector.

The island is surrounded by coral reefs, the beaches in the south of the island have white sand, while those in the north are black. There are no major waterways in Bali, however the Ho River is navigable by small boats.ubud_bali

In terms of the ethnic demographic, the Balinese people make up around 89% of the population, Javanese 7%, Baliaga 1% and Madurese 1%. 84% of the population are Hindu and 13.3% are Muslim, the remainder are generally either Buddhists or Christians.
The official language is Indonesian, although Balinese and English are both widely spoken.

A popular haven for tourist for many decades, Bali was first inhabited around 2000 BC by Austronesian people who migrated from Southeast Asia and Oceania. Linguistically and culturally the Balinese are closely related to the people of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The first European contact with Bali is thought to have been in 1585 when a Portuguese ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula. In 1597 Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived and with the establishment of the Dutch East India Company in 1602 the stage was set for two and a half centuries of Dutch control. Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840’s in the north and by the late 1890’s struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control. During World War II Imperial Japan occupied Bali. Following Japan’s Pacific surrender in August 1945 the Dutch returned to Indonesia, including Bali and reinstated their pre-war colonial administration. Bali was included in the “Republic of the United States of Indonesia” when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.

The tourism industry in Bali is largely focused on the south of the island, as well as other significant parts of the island. The main attractions include Kuta with its white beach and outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak, which were once independent townships and the town of Sanur once the only tourist hub. Other popular areas include Ubud in the centre of the island and to the south Jimbaran and the newer developments of Nusa, Dua and Pecatu.

---Beach-horse-ridingAs well as tourism Bali has a thriving real estate industry that has been rapidly developing in Katu, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi and many 5 star projects are under development in the Bukit peninsula in the south of the island.

Multi-million dollar villas have been developed along Bali’s southern cliffs and beaches making it a highly popular holiday destination as guests can rent these villas through Mambo Retreats

TANALOT TEMPLEBali is a fascinating place to visit with a rich history, a distinctive cuisine, art forms such as painting, sculpture, woodcarvings and handcrafts and it boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing art cultures in the world with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals and public shows.HDtimelapse.net_Landscape_0482_hirez