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Thailand-to-Cambodia rail link

The Aranyaprathet train station. (Photo: Thanarak Khunton)

The railway service linking Thailand and Cambodia is expected to launch soon, according to Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.

The State Railway of Thailand spent about 19 million baht last year building a border train station in Ban Khlong Luek in Sa Kaeo's Aranyaprathet district. It also extended the railway network for 5.6km from the town of Aranyaprathet to the border station. The train service is expected to connect to the railway in Poipet town in the Banteay Meanchey province of Cambodia.

The rail network between the two countries was originally established in 1942, but the service was suspended in the 1970s due to the civil war in Cambodia. The Cambodian government renovated and opened the Poipet train station last year. The station is about 850m from the border.

The service is expected to generate more income for both border towns and will facilitate logistics and tourism, as travellers can take a slow train ride from Bangkok to Phnom Penh.

Flying green

The FlyGRN website has been launched as an alternative flight-search engine that offers a carbon-emissions offsetting service. The target is environmentally conscious travellers.

FlyGRN founder Jelle Bekirovic initiated the service because of his concern about the environment with growing global carbon-dioxide emissions, especially due to aviation.

Passengers will know the total CO2 emission of their flights. They can compare prices and flights of the website's airline partners. When passengers book and pay for their ticket, FlyGRN will receive a fee. It will use a portion of the commission to support carbon-offsetting projects. Today it supports a solar panel project in India that displaces fossil fuels.

Visit http://flygrn.com.


AIRLINES UPDATE

- Bangkok Airways has launched direct flights from Chiang Mai to Krabi.

According to the airline, the Chiang Mai-Krabi service is one of its strategic moves to use Chiang Mai as a hub. Moreover, the service will help promote cross-region tourism.

The route is serviced by Airbus A319 aircraft with 144 seats. The service is available every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday and will expand to a daily flight from April 30.

The outbound flight departs Chiang Mai at 12pm and will arrive at Krabi airport at 1.55pm.

However, the airline does not provide any direct return flight from Krabi to Bangkok. Passengers need to have one stop at Suvarnabhumi.

Visit http://bangkokair.com.

- AirAsia will launch a direct flight linking Phuket and Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The service will start on June 1 and will be available every Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

The launch is the response to the steadily growing CLMV market, a major source of tourism for Thailand, according to the airline.

The flight will depart Phuket at 6.15am and will arrive at Phnom Penh at 7.30am. The return flight will depart at 7.50am and will arrive at Phuket at 10am. Flying time is about two hours.

Visit http://airasia.com.


HOTEL DEALS & UPDATE

- Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa has launched the #LoveTravels LGBT-Friendly package. The offer includes in-villa breakfast, two cocktails per day, afternoon tea set for two persons per stay, the four-hour tour programme in Koh Samui, complimentary scheduled shuttle services to Chaweng Beach, and a late check-out guarantee until 2pm.

Room rates per night start at 10,000 baht for a Pool Villa Garden and 15,000 baht for Beachfront Pool Villa.

Visit http://marriott.com/hotels/travel/usmbr-renaissance-koh-samui-resort-and-spa.

- Dinsor Resort in Phuket has launched the Songkran Splash Fun package

The offer includes Thai lunch set, snack box, one-way songthaew service to Bangla Road at 1pm, a water gun, waterproof bag and goggles. The price is 999 baht net per person.

The 195-room property is about 2km from Patong Beach and 40km from Phuket International Airport.

- Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse will host The Surawongse Festival on April 6-7 to celebrate its first anniversary.

Holding a backyard-party theme, the event will feature arts & crafts products like handmade soaps, jewellery, leather goods and Thai fabric products. There will be food, music, workshops and family activities including face painting and balloon art.

The party will be held at the Surawongse Rooftop from 5–10pm.

Visit the hotel's Facebook page at http://facebook/marriottsurawongse.

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