Travel insurance available to tourists

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in conjunction with four local insurance companies will offer online travel insurance to encourage international tourism in Thailand.

According to TAT governor Thawatchai Arunyik, the insurance will be a solution for those who cannot buy travel insurance from their own countries because the Kingdom is under martial law. “TAT has initiated an insurance scheme called Thailand Travel Shield, allowing visitors to buy insurance coverage online for a broad range of unforeseen events ranging from accidents, trip cancellation, loss or damage of baggage or personal belongings to emergency hotel accommodation,” he said.

Travellers can be assured that if anything goes wrong, they’ll be compensated, he said, adding that the insurance packages will come with five options, depending on length of stay. One to seven day packages start at 650 and 1,100 baht and a year’s stay costs 6,900 and 12,000 baht, with a maximum of 2 million baht insured.

Also offered is 24-hour emergency assistance from Allianz Global Assistance, and medical and travel assistance services that provide medical advice, embassy referrals, weather and exchange rate information, and luggage and passport assistance. The insurance will not cover certain incidents, such as accidents while under the influence of alcohol, extreme sports, motorcycle riding or public brawls.

The insurance companies joining the programme are Muang Thai Insurance, Chao Phaya Insurance, Siam City Insurance, and Krungthai Panich Insurance.

Visit www.tourismthailand.org/thailandtravelshield.

Win a South Korea trip

The Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) has launched the “To:ur Imagination” campaign, in which it will award eight winners a four-day trip for two to South Korea in October and November.

To be eligible, one needs to register at www.tourimagination.com by Aug 31. KTO will randomly select eight winners through online events and post video footage of their Korean journeys.

KTO will also offer other gifts, such as autographed Big Bang CDs and the chance to be an official ambassador of the “To:ur Imagination” campaign, to other lucky winners.

Website compiles tourist scams

Good holidays can be spoiled by scammers.

The UK-based Just The Flight website has complied 40 common tourist scams of which to be aware in various top tourist destinations, including Thailand.

A common one in Bangkok is the incredibly cheap overnight bus that travels from city to city. Travellers will end up paying more, as bags in the luggage compartment tend to be rummaged through, the valuable items inside stolen.

Jewellery scams are also common in Bangkok. Travellers might be approached by a friendly tuk tuk driver who will take them to a place where they buy low-grade gems or diamonds.

Tourists should also be aware of fake Thai policemen who will ask to check for fake money in travellers’ wallets, returning them with missing money. These “policemen” may also ask to see passports or visas and pretend there is a problem, demanding a fine to solve the issue.

Another warning was issued for Koh Phangan, where a taxi or a tuk tuk driver will offer passengers drugs. If accepted, fake policemen will show up, demanding a large fine.

Visit http://bit.ly/1wThZ8W.

Hotel updates

X2 River Kwai has opened on the bank of Kwai Noi River in Kanchanaburi.

Located on a six-rai plot of land, the resort offers eight cabin rooms, a restaurant with an outdoor deck, bar, library, a riverfront pool with sun loungers and sunbeds, an in-room massage service, free Wi-Fi in common areas, and bicycles and iPads for rent.

Visit x2resorts.com/resorts/river-kwai.

Ascott, CapitaLand Hope Foundation and iCare Thailand Foundation will provide school dormitory furniture to needy students at Doi Wiengpa Pitaya School in Chiang Rai.

The donation includes 84 bunk beds, bed sheets, mattresses and individual storage boxes.

“The improved dormitories allow boys and girls who live too far away the opportunity to attend school. More education could lead these children to a healthier life and a better chance for a brighter future,” said Ascott country general manager Jean Keijdener.

Doi Wiengpa Pitaya School has 575 students, of which 85 board at the school.

Airline updates

Emirates has reopened its lounge at Suvarnabhumi Airport after finishing the 30 million baht refurbishment.

According to Jabr Al-Azeeby, the airline’s area manager of Thailand and Indochina, the 516m² lounge has a contemporary design and modern facilities to accommodate up to 136 passengers.

The new facilities include Wi-Fi, LED TVs, reading areas, shower rooms, a prayer room, dining area and a business centre.

Emirates operates 42 weekly flights to Bangkok with three A380 flights daily. It also provides a daily direct flight from Dubai to Phuket.

Email karnjanak@bangkokpost.co.thif you have any comments to share.

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