Sunday, September 23, 2012

Charice, Glee Singer - Youtube Star Philippines

Age 20, Charice, Sunshine from "Glee," looks destined to become the best-known Philippine-born musical star.

Charice singing an acoustic version of Billboard hit "Pyramid."

Is there another country where popular music and entertainment are considered such mainstream current events, ice-breaker topics cutting across lines of class and region? In the Philippines, conferences, reunions and celebrations are occasions for participants to break into song or break out an instrument. Filipinos keep up with popular music in the Philippines, United States, the greater Hispanic world and to some extent Southeast Asia. 

Movies are another popular topic. When I was in the Philippines in 2011 during the Oscar awards, of course everyone knew that the little girl in "True Grit" had a Filipina grandmother. I'm glad I read the newspapers sufficiently to know that Filipino-Americans involved behind the camera were also Oscar contenders. 

I don't know if Charice Pempengco, age 20, can yet claim to be the Philippine musician best known outside of her home country. (Although, with her tomboyish new look, she can claim to be the best known Filipino gay musician now.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Vegetarian Festival - Best Annual Events Thailand

a cube of tofu

It's easy to find vegetarian food all over Thailand during these ten days every autumn.


Vegetarian Festival 2014 dates: September 23 - October 3.

The yearly vegetarian festival has Chinese origins but all Thais partake of the food and many adopt the spiritual practices.

Food court stands, sidewalk stalls, hotel restaurants and small family restaurants all get into the act. To spot the first two eateries, look for small yellow flags. Bigger places will indicate their vegetarian choices on menus. Every hotel dining room will have a vegetarian offering, if not an entire buffet.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Airlines in Cambodia - Offices, Contacts, Phones

Cambodian flag

Phnom Penh and Siem Reap office addresses, telephones, contacts for AirAsia, Bangkok Airways,  Cambodia Angkor Air, SilkAir and 12 other airlines operating in Cambodia. 

Updated 20 January 2015!

Below is contact information for airlines with offices in Phnom Penh. It is followed by airline contact information in Siem Reap, the base for the Angkor temples. Specific Cambodia  international and domestic air routes and the airlines that fly them are summarized in this article.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Airlines Serving Cambodia - International and Domestic

cockpit of Cambodia Angkor Airways airplane
An incredible 17 airlines are now flying directly to and from Cambodia but you probably only need to know about Bangkok Airways, cheap airlines AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, Thai Smile and a few others.

Updated March 16, 2016.

Below I have compiled the international air routes to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and the airlines flying them. This section is followed by the meager offerings in domestic routes served by Cambodia Angkor Air. Then I describe the three (arguably four) types of airlines operating along these routes and how to find the best airfare to Cambodia.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bangkok's 2 Airports - How to travel between? Which airlines?

green tunnel airport interior

Nine scheduled airlines now fly out of Bangkok's old Don Muang Airport while the others continue to use Suvarnabhumi Airport over 40 kilometers away. How to travel between them?

Updated 4 June  AirAsia, Orient Thai's 1-2-3-Go, Kan AirMalindo Air, Nok Air, Scoot, Lion Air (aka Thai Lion Air), and Thai Smile airlines now fly out of Don Mueang Airport. So do Tiger Airways flights to Taipei.

THAI Smile, Thai Airways' new budget airline, is still in the process of moving all its flights to Don Mueang. So far, that means some domestic flights such as Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Khon Kaen and Bangkok-Phuket are now based at Don Mueang (and flying from Terminal 2 there.)

However: most THAI Smile flights are still based out of Suvarnabhumi, including Bangkok-Chiang Rai and Bangkok-Samui. So are its international flights: flights between Mandalay and Bangkok and between Bangkok and Macau are using Suvarnabhumi. Check with THAI Smile's website or, better yet, a travel agent if you are considering the other THAI Smile routes. (No, it's not your computer; THAI Smile's website must be loaded with huge images. It could churn for hours.) THAI Smile primarily flies domestic routes but also has three international routes: Bangkok-Luang Phrabang, Bangkok-Macau and Bangkok-Mandalay.

In December 2015, a second terminal has opened at Don Mueang. It's the old domestic terminal, Terminal 2,  once again serving all domestic flights from Don Mueang. Taxi drivers will ask which you want,  the shuttle buses (from Suvarnabhumi or the BTS stations) will stop at both, so pay attention! Give yourself time if you're switching between domestic and international AirAsia flights. 

All international flights will continue flying out from Terminal 1. 

Known for decades as Don Muang Airport, Don Mueang was the sole Bangkok airport prior to Suvarnabhumi's opening in 2006. 

All Airlines Flying to/from Myanmar (Burma) - International Routes

All Airlines Flying to/from Myanmar (Burma) - International Routes

Here are the 25 airlines that fly to Myanmar (Burma) and their air routes. These airlines fly directly on  regularly scheduled flig...