America’s 3,000 bus companies make appeal for economic relief amid pandemic #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

America’s 3,000 bus companies make appeal for economic relief amid pandemic

World

Jul 12. 2020William Torres, president of DC Trails, on his lot Wednesday in Lorton, Va., where many of his 70 motor coaches have been parked. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Marvin JosephWilliam Torres, president of DC Trails, on his lot Wednesday in Lorton, Va., where many of his 70 motor coaches have been parked. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Marvin Joseph

By The Washington Post · Luz Lazo · NATIONAL, BUSINESS, FEATURES, TRANSPORTATION, TRAVEL

In two decades, William Torres built one of the largest private bus companies in the nation’s capital, ferrying millions of people to destinations within and outside the Washington region. 

Last year his buses carried 1.4 million people in the region and traveled 4.2 million miles. 

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. The cancellations began to pour in. All the trips lined up for spring and summer – $5.4 million in business – were canceled within days in March. No new trips have been booked for the fall. Most of the company’s nearly 200 employees have been laid off, and many of its 70 motor coaches sit parked in a Lorton, Va., lot. 

“This knocked us back 10 years,” said Torres, a retired District of Columbia police officer who lives in Prince William County and runs DC Trails with his wife and two sons. “We are definitely, definitely in trouble.”

The pandemic has been a blow to the entire transportation industry, but the motor coach sector has been hit especially hard. 

Private bus trips came to a near-standstill as the pandemic forced schools to close, sporting events to cancel and people to stop traveling altogether amid the country’s shutdown. Four months into the crisis, nearly 90 percent of the nation’s private bus companies are still shut down, according to the American Bus Association, and there is little to no sign of recovery for the sector, which supports nearly 100,000 jobs.

Unlike the airlines and public transit, the private bus industry, also known for transporting commuters in major metropolitan areas such as Washington and New York, has received no economic relief from the government. Now some trade leaders and lawmakers say they hope that will soon change. 

Congress is considering a bailout for them. The Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act, introduced by Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, on July 2, would provide $10 billion in emergency relief funding in the form of grants to the industry. 

“The road to economic recovery for these businesses is already long and steep, and in order to get our economy working again, the federal government needs to extend assistance to this critical link in our transportation network,” said Reed, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. 

Bus operators provide essential transportation for millions of Americans, Reed said in a statement, noting that even during the crisis, motor coaches continued to serve communities, helping evacuate passengers stuck on cruise ships affected by the novel coronavirus, and to ferry troops. 

Bus operators and trade groups have been knocking on doors of members of Congress for months. In May, a caravan of motor coaches from across the country drove to the Capitol in a collective plea for federal aid. 

“You missed us. You missed the bus. You know, you’ve missed us,” Torres, of DC Trails, said he tells his congressional representatives. “Our industry transports almost as many people as the airlines; however, we didn’t receive any stimulus help from our government.”

The roughly 3,000 bus companies across the nation – many of them small, family-owned businesses – carry 600 million passengers each year, compared with the airlines’ 700 million domestic passengers. 

Although the industry is known mostly as the carrier for intercity travel and sightseeing group tours, it also provides critical transportation in local communities, from bringing air and cruise travelers to and from ports to taking grade school kids on field trips, college athletes to sporting events and commuters to jobs. The military contracts them to move troops between bases, to training and to and from deployments. When natural disaster hits, they are called in to evacuate people. 

Even so, said Peter Pantuso, president and chief executive of the American Bus Association, the industry was left to survive on its own while Congress made $50 billion in grants and loans available to airlines, $25 billion to public transit agencies and $1 billion to Amtrak. 

“Buses were the only form of passenger transportation that were left out,” Pantuso said. “We were very disappointed, and we’ve been going up to Congress, literally every day we’re on the phone with members of Congress, their staffs, their committees, talking about the help that this industry needs.” 

The bus association and the United Motorcoach Association have been lobbying for $10 billion in grants and $5 billion in loans to the $15 billion industry.

A growing number of lawmakers in both chambers and parties are rallying for a motor coach bailout. In April, nearly 100 members of Congress sent a letter to House leadership urging support to rectify a “grave oversight” of leaving the bus industry out of America’s largest bailout – the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package approved in late March.

In May, 27 lawmakers led by Sens. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., wrote a letter of support urging Senate leadership to include the motor coach industry in a future stimulus package. 

“These businesses provide crucial transportation services for both commuters and long-distance travelers, and also support Maryland and the national capital region’s tourism industry,” Van Hollen said in a statement. “The Congress must continue working to provide support to those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ll be looking for ways to include this relief in the next package.”

Operators are hopeful the bipartisan CERTS Act will pass but say they need the aid soon. 

“Some of us aren’t going to survive without help, and I could very well be one of those ones,” said Albert Spence, owner of A.S. Midway Trailways, a small, family-run company of 15 employees in Baltimore.

His seven buses have not made a trip since mid-March when the fleet returned home from the canceled Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference basketball tournament in Norfolk. The March Madness trips were canceled. Then the spring school field trips gone. So were group tours and conventions. 

“There’s no explaining how devastating this has been,” said Spence, 64. “And it’s just a bleak look for the fall right now.”

Bill Moberg, who operates a fleet of 80 buses in central Florida, said his company would usually make the year’s earnings in March, April, May and June, ferrying cruise ship guests to and from port and taking students to end-of-year excursions. 

“Within four or five days we went to zero revenue, and we have pretty much been there since,” Moberg said. Hope for business in the months ahead disappeared in late June, he said, when news came that the cruise lines would not return this summer as previously thought and that Florida was turning into a national coronavirus hot spot. 

“Things are getting rough now, so this may even extend a lot longer,” Moberg said. Close to 100 employees have been laid off. Buses are parked, and every two weeks Moberg himself starts them and drives them around the lot to keep them in condition. 

So much of the motor coach business depends on other parts of the economy opening and people regaining confidence in group travel. Will schools reopen in the fall and resume field trips? Will seniors feel safe going on group tours? Will conventions resume? Will workers return to the office? Will people travel? 

“There are so many unknowns,” Moberg said. The prospects for any return to normalcy this year are slim. Even the popular intercity trips are not returning quickly enough, nor are the commuter trips as more people work from home, trade leaders say. 

Spence, who chairs the Maryland Motorcoach Association, said in the Free State alone, of 35 member companies only a handful have active jobs – doing some of the commuter runs for the Maryland Transportation Administration. 

The MTA reduced commuter operations in mid-March, as the state enforced a shelter-at-home policy and ridership dropped by 95 percent. The state contracts with six companies to run commuter buses at a cost of $55.5 million. When bus service is reduced, private buses don’t make trips or money. 

Commuter service, however, may be the first source of revenue for the industry to return. Maryland, for example, is planning to resume normal operations July 27. Still, that’s only a small portion of the industry’s business.

Intercity operations are also slowing returning. Providers such as Megabus and Greyhound have recently announced they are resuming some trips. 

Sean Hughes, director of corporate affairs at Coach USA, one of the country’s largest bus companies and the parent company of Megabus, said it only recently resumed D.C.-to-New York trips and other routes across the country. The D.C.-to-New York line is doing three round trips a day, compared with 25 round trips pre-pandemic. As a safety precaution, buses are restricting capacity to 50 percent. 

Coach USA, which owns other private bus companies that provide airport transportation, tours and commuter services in 35 states, said 3,000 of the company’s 5,000 workers are furloughed, and those working took a 40 percent pay cut starting at the end of March.

“We have high hopes that the [CERTS] bill will be picked up and move forward, because the overall industry needs relief,” Hughes said. 

In Washington, Torres said his family has already poured its life savings into the business. In late May, the company called back some workers when it obtained a contract with Metro to transport commuters along a segment of the Orange Line that is closed because of a platform project. The contract, good until early September, has secured jobs for about 50 DC Trails drivers, he said. 

The company also resumed daily D.C.-to-New York trips, though it is only making eight trips instead of the usual 60, he said. Everything else – the contracts with Prince William County for senior trips, with Fairfax County Public Schools for field trips and with Georgetown and American universities for their athletes’ travel – are halted. 

“If they don’t go, we don’t get paid,” Torres said. 

Logjam of tourists at Glacier National Park #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Logjam of tourists at Glacier National Park

World

Jul 12. 2020With only one entrance open to Glacier National Park, outdoors-eager visitors have faced long lines to get to the wilderness in this corner of northwestern Montana. MUST CREDIT: Glacier National Park webcam.With only one entrance open to Glacier National Park, outdoors-eager visitors have faced long lines to get to the wilderness in this corner of northwestern Montana. MUST CREDIT: Glacier National Park webcam.

By Special To The Washington Post · Kathleen McLaughlin · NATIONAL, HEALTH, SCIENCE-ENVIRONMENT
As Montana warily reopened last month to pandemic-weary tourists, an isolated community held firm with closures and stay-at-home orders. Few outsiders would have paid much attention but for one detail: The Blackfeet Nation borders Glacier National Park, and its decision blocked access to much of the vast wilderness there.

The result this month has meant throngs of visitors crowding into a tiny corner of Glacier – a crown jewel of the park system – with long lines of cars at what is now the only entry point. 

And the bottleneck won’t disappear anytime soon. Tribal leaders recently announced they would keep the eastern entrances and roads to Glacier, which lie on reservation land, closed at least through August.

“Our number one objective is to keep people alive,” said Robert DesRosier, who leads the tribe’s covid-19 incident response team. “We don’t want one person to die. Our elders are the keepers of the culture, and we can’t afford to lose them.”

The Blackfeet’s fears are well-founded. Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has ravaged some Native American communities. In Montana, state data show that more than a third of the people to have died so far identified as Native American, though natives make up less than 7 percent of the population. In the Southwest, the Navajo Nation has been one of the country’s worst hot spots. 

The National Park Service and local tourist companies are backing the Blackfeet. Boat and bus operators are shut down for the summer, as are hotels and restaurants on Glacier’s east side, and Park Service officials are weighing Glacier’s first-ever ticketing and reservation plan to deal with the crush of traffic. The park, which extends north to Canada, encompasses a million acres of glacially carved peaks, turquoise-colored lakes, trails and wild country. Until a controversial land agreement in 1895, all of it was Blackfeet country.

Just one thruway – the evocatively named Going-to-the-Sun Road – traverses Glacier. Because snow and ice at Logan Pass, elevation 6,646 feet, routinely obstruct the road into July, most of the park’s 3 million annual tourists come during an abbreviated summer season. 

With the east side locked up, rangers have been dealing mostly with traffic management near the west entrance. Many locals have wondered why the area reopened at all given the risk of travel amid the pandemic. 

Most tourists have respected the tribe’s decision, according to DesRosier. Blackfeet wildland hotshot fire crews are patrolling roads on the reservation, keeping any outside traffic moving through and allowing nonresidents to stop only for gas – and only if they’re wearing masks and gloves. A few angry voices have complained on social media, with one man suggesting that the National Guard be mobilized against the sovereign nation, but there has been no serious pushback.

“We rousted out some campers who said, ‘We didn’t know this was Indian country,’ ” DesRosier said. “It’s all about education.”

Montana’s Native American nations have been a priority for Gov. Steve Bullock, a two-term Democrat now running for the U.S. Senate, as his administration manages the state’s response to the coronavirus. The governor visited all seven reservations in recent weeks and put them first in line for increased testing, promising the state will respect any additional closures and measures they take to protect members.

“Right from the time we declared a statewide emergency, we’ve been in regular contact with tribes to make sure they have what they need to keep tribal members safe and healthy,” Bullock said in an interview Monday. Many families live in multigenerational households and have higher rates of underlying health conditions, which increase their risk. “Our tribal communities are that much more important to protect.”

It’s a stark difference to the situation in South Dakota, where Republican Gov. Kristi Noem in May asked the White House and the Justice Department to intervene after leaders of the Oglala and Cheyenne River nations set up boundary checkpoints to stop non-reservation traffic. Last month, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump, the Interior Department and Bureau of Indian Affairs for interfering with the tribe’s efforts to prevent coronavirus infections. 

Bullock said he has no intention of countering the Blackfeet’s border closures, including at the national park. Montana, like many states, has seen a spike in coronavirus infections since it eased caps on restaurants, bars, gyms and movie theaters; more than half of roughly 1,600 cases have been confirmed just since June 10. On Friday, the state recorded another daily record of 127 new cases, and Bullock warned that some restrictions could be reimposed.

The governor considers local events like weddings and dances a larger concern for transmission than out-of-state travelers. Not everyone dealing with tourists agrees. 

Paul Doughtery, a teacher who works summers at a recreational equipment company inside Glacier, said the crowds worry him. While the park is encouraging everyone to follow certain protective measures – “Don’t arrive with a bear face! Please wear a mask!” – Doughtery thinks the state has sent a mixed message by lifting quarantine requirements on visitors. Montana residents are being treated like service staff for vacationers, he complains. 

“There’s just a carelessness” among visitors despite the pandemic, Dougherty said. “To be fair, they’re doing everything the state has said is safe. I can’t shame and blame them too much, it’s the state that has abdicated responsibility here.”

On the Blackfeet Reservation, home to around 10,000 people, staying closed was not an easy decision. Businesses owned by tribal members have suffered severe financial losses, and the cancellation of gatherings like North American Indian Days – an annual parade, rodeo and powwow celebrating native traditions – have taken an emotional toll.

Angelika Harden-Norman and her husband, Darrell, a Blackfeet artist, own a tepee lodge and gallery that sits just outside the small town of Browning on the road to Glacier. While 2020 has been incredibly difficult for them and all other local businesses, she says the pain is necessary.

“We get guests from all over the globe every year, exactly what we don’t want right now on the reservation,” she noted.

The tribe was able to hold the virus at bay for months; its mask order, issued in March and broadly supported by the community, remains in place.

But only days after leaders announced that the east side of the park would stay closed, nine Blackfeet tested positive. The reservation has suffered no deaths linked to covid-19.

“We went 105 days and kept the virus out of here,” DesRosier said. “Then some things happened around us, the state of Montana went to Phase II, and people let their guards down.”

Disney World set to reopen despite severe outbreak unfolding in Florida #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Disney World set to reopen despite severe outbreak unfolding in Florida

World

Jul 10. 2020

By The Washington Post · Jennifer Hassan · BUSINESS, FEATURES, TRAVEL

Orlando theme parks Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are set to reopen Saturday even though coronavirus cases in Florida are surging and experts are calling for the state to be shut down as the United States struggles to control the health crisis.

The Disney parks, which have been closed since March, will reopen under stringent new health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus, which so far has claimed at least 130,000 lives nationwide.

Guests age 2 and older must wear a face covering, and those who enter the park will be subject to temperature screenings. Those with a temperature above 100.4 degrees will be refused entry, as will their companions.

Visitor numbers will be reduced, and hand-sanitizing stations will be available for staff and guests to use. Visitors will not be allowed to hug their favorite Disney characters, and they will be asked not to pay in cash.

“The magic returns beginning July 11,” reads a statement on the official Walt Disney website, although many have expressed concerns that the attraction’s return could be far from magical.

Health-care workers in Florida say the situation is dire and that hospitals are “overfilled and understaffed.” Fedrick Ingram, president of the Florida Education Association, said the state is going backward in its handling of the crisis.

Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Product, said last month that the health and safety of staff and visitors were “top of mind” and that although the parks will be operating under new measures, the Disney experience would not change. “We recognize the trust that you have in the Disney brand, and we will continue to earn your trust every day,” he said.

Disney World’s other main parks, Epcot and Hollywood Studios, will reopen July 15, while Disneyland in California will remain closed until further notice.

Singapore’s staycations can’t fill $20 billion tourism gap #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Singapore’s staycations can’t fill $20 billion tourism gap

World

Jul 08. 2020A cyclist passes the Merlion Statue in a near-empty Merlion Park during the lockdown in Singapore on May 20, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Lauryn Ishak
A cyclist passes the Merlion Statue in a near-empty Merlion Park during the lockdown in Singapore on May 20, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Lauryn Ishak

By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Low De Wei, Faris Mokhtar · BUSINESS 

In Indonesia, locals can soon fly from Jakarta to the beaches of Bali for a domestic vacation. Tokyo residents can escape the pandemic stress with a hike in the mountains, and New Yorkers can head to the Hamptons on Long Island.

Residents of Singapore, a city-state smaller than New York City, have few such options, presenting a massive problem for its battered tourism industry. With borders closed to foreigners, hotels and tourist attractions need to count on ‘staycationers’ to plug the gap in an industry that brought in almost $20 billion in revenue last year. It’s a tall order.

“Unless we have a return to international business, the hotel industry is going to be decimated as up to 90% of our bookings come from international travelers,” said Michael Issenberg, chief executive officer of Accor SA’s Asia Pacific unit, the largest hotel operator in Singapore.

While tourism everywhere has been hammered by the pandemic, the gradual opening of some domestic travel has given a shot in the arm to airlines and hotels in places like Australia and Vietnam. Rosewood Hotel Group has seen occupancy rates as high as 70% at some of its China properties as leisure travel picks up, said CEO Sonia Cheng.

Singapore’s tourism sector faces a tougher challenge, as the hotels were just given a green light last week to request approval to welcome domestic tourists. Many locals like teacher Najeer Yusof prefer to save their money and wait for travel to resume in nearby hotspots like Thailand and Malaysia rather than spend it on a hotel down the street.

“There’s more to see and experience overseas at a cheaper cost,” said Yusof. There’s also the “awe factor — getting to see or experience something I won’t otherwise be able to in Singapore, like the mountains and national parks in Indonesia and activities like diving and surfing.”

Though the country of 5.7 million people has reopened its economy after a lockdown of more than two months, its borders are still largely closed. It recorded a historic low of just 750 foreign visitors in April, down from 1.6 million in the same month last year. May’s numbers weren’t much better, at 880.

“In the short-term, hotels, eateries and attractions can re-orientate to draw interest to staycations, attractions or food discounts,” said Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. “However, our inherent small domestic market size implies it may not be a longer-term sustainable solution.”

Tourism has been an increasingly important industry for Singapore, helping to diversify the economy from its traditional strengths of finance, oil refining and shipping. Attractions including the Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino, the Universal Studios theme park and the Singapore Zoo have drawn tourists from around the world.

Last year, Singapore hosted a record 19.1 million visitors, while tourism receipts rose to $19.8 billion (S$27.7 billion), from $19.2 billion (S$26.9 billion) the year before. Singapore’s tourism sector, which employs about 65,000 people, contributes about 4% to gross domestic product. The Singapore Tourism Board doesn’t track the share of local versus international tourism.

The border closure means Singapore needs to persuade locals to spend more money at home. Even with overseas travel off limits, Singapore residents will still want to venture out, said Tourism Board CEO Keith Tan.

“They may therefore be open to take time off in their own city and rediscover all that Singapore has to offer,” he said in an emailed statement.

Singapore has set aside S$90 million for the tourism sector and a task force is developing domestic and international recovery plans to be shared soon, Tan added.

The board also aims to strengthen Singapore’s brand abroad by spending S$2 million to encourage content creators to produce compelling stories about the city-state, Tan said.

Hotels including the Shangri-la are also getting a small boost from the thousands of Singaporeans and expats who had been traveling abroad and are slowly being allowed back in. When they arrive, most are being forced to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel, at a cost of about S$2,000.

With occupancy running at just 15% for August, the iconic Raffles Singapore is offering a two-night special for about S$795, complete with a complimentary Singapore Sling, free breakfast, city tour and spa discounts.

Some tourist spots are also offering price cuts to attract residents who’ve been cooped up in their apartments for weeks. Sentosa Development Corp., which manages a resort island with attractions including Madame Tussauds and Universal Studios, has waived admission fees until the end of September, said Lynette Ang, the chief marketing officer.

Lo & Behold Group, which operates the Tanjong Beach Club just 15 minutes from the financial district, is launching a new concept called “Dine In Nature,” which includes curated gourmet picnic baskets. It hopes this “will fulfill a growing demand from local residents for polished, thoughtful dining experiences,” said Chief Operations Officer Andrew Ing.

For Singapore’s tourism industry, a full recovery isn’t likely before 2022, and largely depends on countries avoiding additional waves of the virus and the development of a vaccine, said Wong King Yin, a lecturer in marketing at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

“Although domestic travel can be a solution at the beginning during the recovery stage, the tourism industry cannot rely on staycations to survive,” she said.

Nakhon Phanom’s mystical serpent deities celebrated despite new normal #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Nakhon Phanom’s mystical serpent deities celebrated despite new normal

Thailand

Jul 08. 2020

By The Nation

Despite changes brought on by the new normal, Nakhon Phanom province has gone ahead with its yearly Naga Festival in all its glory, though the number of dancers were reduced from 2,000 to just 500 from eight ethnic groups.

The festival is marked every year from July 7 to 13 to celebrate mystical divine deities in the form of serpents – a belief that prevails in the culture of many South Asian and Southeast Asian nations.

Governor Sayam Sirimongkol said this was a great opportunity to stimulate tourism in the province, as well as make its Naga Monument a better known landmark.The Naga Monument is popular among punters seeking lucky lottery numbers, and its believed that prayers at this site has resulted in up to Bt500 million being won.The governor said all guidelines will be followed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Satun’s fascinating limestone mountain range beckons #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Satun’s fascinating limestone mountain range beckons

Thailand

Jul 07. 2020

By The Nation

Satun’s Prasat Hin Phan Yot limestone mountain range is being promoted as one of the best options for people thirsting for the magnificent atmosphere of the Andaman Sea.

Several tourists decided to spend their holidays just gone by on beaches in Satun, which has a host of beautiful islands.Khao Yai Island’s Prasat Hin Phan Yot, located in Mu Ko Petra National Park, is one of the most popular parks in the province.It is marked by outstanding geological features, including picturesque pinnacle karsts, inviting sea caves and a beautiful lagoon.All tourists who visit this attraction are required to comply with anti-Covid-19 measures that include wearing face masks.

Kaeng Song Waterfall roars back to life as tourists descend on the area #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Kaeng Song Waterfall roars back to life as tourists descend on the area

Thailand

Jul 07. 2020

By The Nation

Tourists have flocked to Kaeng Song Waterfall in Phitsanulok to chill out during the holidays.

The waterfall is one of the most popular tourist attractions and with continuous rain it has roared back to life.

Restaurants and cafes located in its vicinity are benefiting hugely as tourists return, with the lockdown having been lifted.

Business operators, while excitedly recommending the best spots to enjoy the waterfall, are also warning tourists about dangerous areas that can lead to nasty mishaps.

Holiday delight for visitors as Phitsanulok national park reopens #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Holiday delight for visitors as Phitsanulok national park reopens

Thailand

Jul 05. 2020

By The Nation

The pleasant drop in temperatures at Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park in Phitsanulok province has drawn large crowds of Thai visitors during the long holiday weekend.

Temperatures in the park have dropped to 17-18 degrees Celsius.

Supakul Chanla, the head of development of the park, said the park was closed for three months due to the lockdown measures and was reopened only when restrictions were eased.

The reopening coincided with the holidays for Asalha Bucha and Buddhist Lent while the weather was cool as the rainy season had begun.

People are enjoying their free time in the beauty of nature, observing the sea of fog and feeling the refreshing breeze, he said.

The park has several cliffs from where visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the evergreen mountains and take beautiful photos. The park is open from 7am to 5pm every day.

Like any other tourist attraction during the Covid-19 pandemic, visitors are required to follow the new normal rules of wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing.

Chiang Mai conceives a new cultural attraction #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Chiang Mai conceives a new cultural attraction

Thailand

Jul 05. 2020

By The Nation

Two new landmark projects are coming up in Chiang Mai province. One is a monument dedicated to Thai belief in serpents while the other will be a floating night market incorporating scope for entertainment.

The Thuluthai Foundation, together with musicians, singers, actors and The Sacred Arts held a press conference in the Bueng Buakhao area, in Chiang Mai’s San Sai district on the project to build the Great Naka Hall of Fame and the launch of the San Sai Night Floating Market. The project includes a ‘Tawinaka PanPow’ grand show performed through music, dance, light, and sound on a floating stage that will be permanent stage for other artists.

The Great Naka Hall of Fame is a project about beliefs and legends about serpents that has been with Thai society for a long time. Most of the beliefs are related to Buddhism.

The Great Naka Hall of Fame will be built as a gathering place, telling the story of Chiang Mai, the Lanna [ancient Chiang Mai] way of life, stories of various streams using the serpent as a conductor, and also exhibiting various branches of art such as painting, sculpture, musical instruments as well as digital images, including 3D images showing the stories of the Naga.

The hall will be built in the floating market area in the midst of a large white lotus pond [Bueng Bue Kaw] over 200 rai. There will be beautiful landscaping and a clear view of Doi Suthep, they said.

Entrepreneurs said that the night floating market will be a centre for selling food, including raw food, ingredients and cooked food. It will be the first night floating market in Thailand.

Nakhon Phanom set for week-long Naga religious ceremonies #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Nakhon Phanom set for week-long Naga religious ceremonies

Thailand

Jul 04. 2020

By The Nation

The ceremony to worship Phaya Sri Satta Nakarata, a well-known Naga landmark in Nakhon Phanom province will be held from July 7 to 13.

The province governor will preside over the opening ceremony at Nakhon Phanom Municipality on July 7 at 2.30pm. The ceremony features religious rituals and ceremonial dance throughout the seven days.

In addition, venues in the province will offer discounts of up to 77 per cent on products to stimulate the economy.

To contain the spread of Covid-19, the province will refrain from setting up food banks and inviting celebrities.

To participate in this event, visitors’ body temperature will be screened, they must wear face mask, maintain social distancing and wash their hands regularly.