Thailand Latest Feature Feed from 2015-10-07 to 2015-10-09 Latest Feature2003-2007 Tourism Authority of ThailandTAT_RSS Generator Latest Feature Thailand15099Thailand selected ‘Best Tourist Country in the World' in Norwegian Awards.Once again, Thailand has been voted the ‘Best Tourist Country in the World’ by the 2009 Norwegian Grand Travel Award, organized by Fagbladet Travel News – an independent Norwegian travel trade magazine. His Excellency, Ambassador of Thailand to Norway, Mr. Jullapong Nonsrichai, together with Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Scandinavia, Mr. Manit Boonchim, jointly accepted the prestigious travel trade award on behalf of the Kingdom of Thailand. It is the seventh consecutive year that Thailand has won the prestigious title in the 14 years that the awards have been given. Thai Airways International won the 2009 Norwegian Grand Travel Award for Best Intercontinental airline, the fifth consecutive year that Thai Airways has won the award.What's new, 10 Jan 2010Koh Kood featured as top 2010 destination by New York Times.In its list of 31 places to visit in 2010, The New York Times featured Thai island Koh Kood at #6, suggesting the quiet escape in Trat province might become the next Koh Samui. While acknowledging the early allure of Koh Kood for adventure travelers who also ‘discovered’ Samui decades earlier, the Times credited the airport in Trat and the new Sneva Kiri resort from Six Senses with heralding a new phase of interest in the island by high-end international and domestic travelers.<br><br>The 31 Places to Go in 2010 <br><br>1. Sri Lanka<br>For a quarter century, Sri Lanka seems to have been plagued by misfortune, including a brutal civil war between the Sinhalese-dominated government and a separatist Tamil group. But the conflict finally ended last May, ushering in a more peaceful era for this teardrop-shaped island off India’s coast, rich in natural beauty and cultural splendors.<br><br>The island, with a population of just 20 million, feels like one big tropical zoo: elephants roam freely, water buffaloes idle in paddy fields and monkeys swing from trees. And then there’s the pristine coastline. The miles of sugary white sand flanked by bamboo groves that were off-limits to most visitors until recently are a happy, if unintended byproduct of the war.<br><br>Among the most scenic, if difficult stretches to reach, is Nilaveli Beach in the Tamil north. While a few military checkpoints remain, vacationers can lounge on poolside hammocks under palm trees or snorkel in its crystal-clear waters. Or they can order cocktails at the Nilaveli Beach Hotel (, a collection of recently renovated bungalows with private terraces.<br><br>An international airport in Matara, on the island’s southern shore, is under construction, which will make the gorgeous beaches near the seaside village of Galle easier to get to. Decimated by the tsunami in 2004, the surrounding coastline is now teeming with stylish guesthouses and boutique hotels.<br><br>Unawatuna, a crescent-shaped beach a few miles south of Galle, may be furthest along. Higher-end hotels there include Thambapanni Retreat (, which features four-poster beds, yoga and an ayurvedic spa. The Sun House (, in Galle, looks like a place where the Queen of England might stay, with its mango courtyard and colonial décor. One stylish place tucked within Galle’s city walls is the Galle Fort Hotel (, a refurbished gem merchant’s house run by a couple of Aussies. — Lionel Beehner<br><br>2. Patagonia Wine Country<br>Ten years ago, a group of adventurous winemakers set their sights on an Argentine valley called San Patricio del Chañar, an unusually fertile and eerily beautiful corner of Patagonia. They plowed, planted and waited. The outcomeω A blossoming wine country with delicious pinot noirs and malbecs and smartly designed wineries.<br><br>One of the area’s pioneers, the 2,000-acre Bodega del Fin del Mundo (, which works with the influential wine consultant Michel Rolland, is racking up international medals for its complex merlot, cabernet and malbec blends. And NQN (, which is associated with the Argentine oenologist Roberto de la Mota, has seen its 2006 Colección NQN Malbec get 92 points from Wine Enthusiast. Nearby is the new Valle Perdido winery (, which includes an 18-room resort surrounded by vineyards. At the spa, ask for antioxidant wine-infused treatments. — Paola Singer<br><br>3. Seoul<br>Forget Tokyo. Design aficionados are now heading to Seoul.<br><br>They have been drawn by the Korean capital’s glammed-up cafes and restaurants, immaculate art galleries and monumental fashion palaces like the sprawling outpost of Milan’s 10 Corso Como and the widely noted Ann Demeulemeester store — an avant-garde Chia Pet covered in vegetation.<br><br>And now Seoul, under its design-obsessed mayor, Oh Se-hoon, is the 2010 World Design Capital. The title, bestowed by a prominent council of industrial designers, means a year’s worth of design parties, exhibitions, conferences and other revelries. Most are still being planned (go to for updates). A highlight will no doubt be the third annual Seoul Design Fair (Sept. 17 to Oct. 7), the city’s answer to the design weeks in Milan and New York, which last year drew 2.5 million people and featured a cavalcade of events under two enormous inflatable structures set up at the city’s Olympic stadium. — Aric Chen<br><br>. Mysore<br>You’ve completed 200 hours of teacher training, mastered flying crow pose and even spent a week at yoga surf camp. What’s nextω Yogis seeking transcontinental bliss head these days to Mysore, the City of Palaces, in southern India.<br><br>The yogi pilgrimage was sparked by Ashtanga yoga, a rigorous sweat-producing, breath-synchronized regimen of poses popularized by the beloved Krishna Pattabhi Jois, who died at 94 in 2009. Mr. Jois’s grandson is now director of the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute ( First month’s tuition is 27,530 rupees, or $600 at 46 rupees to the dollar. Classes generally require a one-month commitment.<br><br>Too much time or moneyω Mysore’s yoga boom now has shalas catering to every need. Off the mat, the yoga tribe hobnobs at Anu’s Bamboo Hut or the Regaalis Hotel pool, studies Sanskrit, gets an ayurveda treatment or tours the maharaja’s palace. — Mary Billard<br><br>5. Copenhagen<br>As thousands of environmentalists heckled world leaders in Copenhagen last month for the climate summit, a solitary unifying note could be heard amid the cacophony of discord: the Danish capital has already emerged as one of the world’s greenest — and maybe coolest — cities.<br><br>Copenhageners don’t simply preach the “progressive city” ethos, they live it. Long, flat urban thoroughfares are hemmed with bicycle paths where locals glide around the city, tourists saddle up on the free bikes that dot the city center, and fashion bloggers take notes on the latest cycle chic (see Over in the harbor district, a public bath at Osterbro, due to open in 2010, will complement the two swimming areas set off on Copenhagen’s inner harbor, a formerly polluted waterway recently transformed into the city’s summertime hub.<br><br>Away from all the modernism and the happy cyclists, cultural thrill-seekers are being coaxed to the once dangerous district of Norrebro, which has arguably become Copenhagen’s edgiest hub. A heady mix of hipsters, students and immigrants mingle in the cafes and galleries around the district’s focal square, Sankt Hans Torv, and the city’s young and excitable night owls can be found dancing in local clubs until the early hours. — Benji Lanyado<br><br>WAITING IN THE WINGS<br><br>6. Koh Kood<br>Is this the next Koh Samuiω The Trat islands are emerging as Thailand’s new luxury outpost. Inaccessible for many years because of tensions with neighboring Cambodia and a poor transportation infrastructure, islands like Koh Kood are starting to draw venturesome paradise seekers, thanks in part to new direct flights to the port city of Trat. The recent opening of Soneva Kiri, a 42-villa suite retreat by the Six Senses brand (, definitely ratchets up the high-end quotient on this Robinson Crusoe-like island. Coming soon: X2 Koh Kood (, a designer eco-resort with 14 pool villas. — Gisela Williams<br>TATFeatures, 09 Oct 2015Thailand Wins Top Honors in Conde Nast Traveler: 2009 Readers' Choice AwardsEvery year since 1988, a select sample of readers has taken the Conde้ Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Survey. This year, Thailand won top honors in several categories, including the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai, which claimed the world’s highest rated resort. Published in the November 2009 issue of Conde้ Nast Traveler, the Readers’ Choice Awards also honored seven additional Thai hotels, Bangkok and Chiang Mai as top cities in Asia (#2 and #4 respectively), Phuket and Samui as top islands in Asia (#3 and #5 respectively), and Thai Airways International as the #10 best air carrier in the world. TATFeatures, 09 Oct 2015