What's New

Presenting information on new facilities, ideas, destinations or topics of current interest for incentives, meetings and special interest travel in Thailand, Indochina and Myanmar. This page is updated every 3 months, so please visit us again


Bangkok World's Best City

For the first time, Bangkok has topped Travel + Leisure's World's Best City list. Bangkok has consistently placed in the top five for the last three consecutive years on the US-based travel magazine's list, but the survey results announced July 10, 2008, marked the first time that the Thai capital was able to snatch the top ranking. The city of Bangkok has always been a perennial winner of tourism awards given by international organizations, and consistently scores high in readers' surveys conducted by leading travel magazines such as Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler.

Bangkok was named World's Best City 2008 with a score of 87.61, ahead of Argentina's Buenos Aires, last year's runner up, and Cape Town, South Africa, which jumped from no. 10 in 2007. Thailand's Chiang Mai has retained its no. 3 ranking for two successive years, remaining one of the most preferred destinations among visitors to Thailand.

The accolades reflect Thailand, especially Bangkok's popularity among travelers which augurs well as a motivational destination for incentive travel programs. Statistics show that some 64% of foreign arrivals to Thailand are returning visitors which does prove the destination's popularity.

The diversity of attractions and activities helps in designing appealing programs which circumvent popular 'touristic' features and offering experiences for the lucky winners to remember for a long time.

It is the DMC's job to present Thailand at its best, to suit specific demographics of an audience when a travel program is being planned, and to show that the especially created activities cannot be repeated.

CDM thrives on such opportunities to showcase Thailand for memorable programs - truly 'incentive' programs.


Bangkok's Hot New Hotel & Venue

Finally, a fully integrated and innovative hotel, convention venue, retail, and leisure complex ideally situated in the heart of Bangkok!

Centara Grand at CentralWorld, one of the largest in Asia Pacific and featuring 505 luxurious rooms and suites, is located within the central business district. The hotel features 9 executive floors including one floor of World Executive Club, 9 restaurants and bars including Fifty Five (an unforgettable outdoor roof top venue with impressive views across the city skyline), and 5 star-hotel facilities.

Bangkok Convention Centre (BCC), complemented by the Centara Grand and World Ballroom on the 22nd and 23rd floors, is the new stunning landmark on the city's skyline. The centre's dynamic design was inspired by the unique shape of a "Blooming Lotus"

that combines the symbolic theme of the four elements of life; water, earth, air, and fire, and together captures the true spirit of this new Bangkok icon. This state-of-the-art convention centre offers over 10,000 m2 with ceiling height of 13.5 m. and the ability to accommodate up to 6,000 delegates in a single pillar-less environment, complemented by a number of breakout and meeting rooms. Bangkok Convention Centre has achieved the prestigious Green Globe Benchmarked Bronze status under the globally recognized Benchmarking program.

Restaurants include Fifty Five, a 122-seat gourmet dining & grill dramatically perched on the 54th and 55th floors with great vistas of Bangkok serving the very best of earth, water and air, cooked on the best of fires. Red Sky, chic urban bistro, wine bar and martini bar with 230 indoor and outdoor seats on the 55th floor with breathtaking alfresco vistas of the city. Ginger, modern Japanese, authentic Thai and trendy Chinese.

The World on the 23rd floor, for 24-hour cosmopolitan dining inspired by the 5 continents, and Globe – Late night lounging of 170-capacity with cool sounds. Enjoy an unsurpassed Thai approach to easing stress, relaxing one's mind and renewing one's energy by facial and body treatments in the SPA Cenvaree.

The hotel is well equipped with facilities expected of a 5-star international property suitable for events which require central location and close proximity to attractions and convenient transportation.

The Centara Grand at Central World is expected to quickly gain popularity among planners and attract lots of events to Thailand. Contact CDM for inspirational programs which take full advantage of Thailand's attributes.


Elephant Polo

Thailand's highly popular King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament returns to the hills in 2008. Event organizer Anantara Resorts announced that the 2008 tournament will take place from March 31 to April 6 in the northern-most region of the country known as the Golden Triangle.

As one of the games founding fathers, Jim Edwards of 'Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge' in Nepal puts it: "Elephants polo is like playing golf from the back of a slow – moving Range Rover." It should be pointed out that the World Wildlife Fund has declared that this sport poses no threat to the elephants participating in the games.

Equipment consists of a standard polo ball and six to nine foot cane (similar to bamboo) sticks with a polo mallet head on the end. The pitch is three-quarters of the length of a standard polo pitch, due to the slower speed of the elephants, 3 to a side. Two people ride each elephant; the elephants are steered by mahouts, while the player tells the mahout which way to go and hits the ball.

This popular event, ranked as the 6th largest event on the Thai tourism calendar was introduced to Thailand in 2001 and is a charitable event that raises money for the country's National Elephant Institute in Lampang, Northern Thailand. The tournament taking place in the far North ensures that international spotlight is focused onto a very unique and special part of Thailand, showcasing the beauty of the natural landscape of the Golden Triangle region the natural home of elephants. This is indeed a fitting gesture as the elephants of Thailand have stimulated the country's industrialization and modernization, lending it to become a pivotal symbol of the Kingdom.

Through its own Elephant Camp located within the grounds of the Anantara Resort Golden Triangle, the property's focus on the future of Thailand's pachyderm population and forms an integral part of the resort's operations. On an on-going basis, resident Director of Elephants, John Roberts, works closely with the Thai government's Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang to develop Anantara's camp as an elephant sanctuary. The funds raised from the 2006 tournament are being used to custom-build an elephant-sized ambulance which will be donated to the National Elephant Institute.

To date the tournament has raised over US$175,000 for the National Elephant Institute, which provides medical care, sustenance, employment, welfare and mahout training to Thailand's elephant population. It is estimated that Thailand has around 2500 domesticated elephants and 1500 wild elephants. This is down from an elephant population of around 50,000 in 1950 and 100,000 in 1900.

Past tournament winners whose names are now engraved on the King' s Cup trophy are Chivas Regal (2001), Mercedez Benz Germany (2002 and 2003), Mobile Easy Thailand (2004) and Chivas Regal (2005).

Anantara Resort Golden Triangle is located 60km north of Chiang Rai's international airport. Groups might consider participating in the tournament with accommodation packages or if not, the Resort might be convinced to stage a private tournament for your corporate client. Training sessions precede games which will certainly make for corporate teaming event of a different kind.

WINTER 2007: Loy Krathong

The Floating Festival of Lights

Thailand, rich in culture and traditions, celebrates several festivals throughout the year, some having to do with religions, some influenced by seasonal changes effecting livelihood and some conveying lifestyle all expressing the good nature and family oriented characteristics of the Thai people.

The most colourful and enjoyable of festivals is the Loy Krathong or the Floating Festival of Lights, celebrated annually throughout Thailand on the full moon night of the twelfth Lunar month which falls in November.

"Loi" means "to float", "Krathong" is a raft about a handspan made of banana tree trunk and leaf elaborately folded and decorated with flowers, candle and incense sticks. During the full moon night, Thais light the incense and candle and release the Krathong onto water in the act of thankingthe Mother of Waters, letting go of misfortunes and making wishes for the future. A beauty contest usually accompanies the festival whereby Nang Nopamas the beauty queen is carried on a palanquin in a village parade to float a grand Krathong which precedes floating by other festival revelers.

The ritual is believed to originate in India as a Hindu festival similar to thanksgiving to the deity of the great river with floating lanterns for giving life throughout the year. In Thailand, the first recorded festival took place in the Sukhothai reign around 14th century and has been a deep tradition ever since, celebrated nationwide, with celebrations in Sukhothai, Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya being particularly well known. In Tak in north Thailand, the unique Loi Krathong Sai uses coconut shells threaded together and launched simultaneously appearing as ling chains of hundreds of glittering lights on the river.

Loy Krathong is the most visually impressive of all festivals held in the Kingdom of Thailand. Anyone is certain to be moved by the sight of a November full moon with thousands of candles and incense sticks flickering and burning on floating Krathongs refecting against water.

Loy Krathong can be re-enacted for incentive or meeting events to offer guests the enchanting experience as an opening
or closing of the event. An evening at a hotel, a resort or the Rose Garden Riverside with a firework extravaganza finale is certain to leave a lasting memory of a most successful program in Thailand.