With long, leafy boulevards, Chiang Mai presents an alluring alternative to the Thai capital, Bangkok. Instead of traffic-choked urban sprawl, travellers find a picturesque downtown easily navigated on foot, where the air is clean and the climate mercifully cool. Here's our guide of what to see and do in Thailand's less hectic destination.
A recently updated index from Henley & Partners – a London-based consulting firm that specialises in citizenship services – ranking 104 of the world’s passports put Germany on top and Afghanistan on the bottom – with Myanmar at #95.
Even though they will not be allowed to operate, over two dozen “limbo” hotels in historic Bagan can finish up construction, a recent directive said. The properties still cannot accept a single guest, but will be permitted to function as a private residence instead, according to the Bagan Heritage Management Committee.
Great things are expected from incoming tourism minister U Ohn Maung.
Tourism will continue to boom in the coming year, thanks to the country’s political stability as demonstrated in last November’s elections, says the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. The ministry predicts that the number of international visitors will grow from last year’s 4.68 million to 6 million in 2016.
Bagan residents want more. Outraged at the disclosure that only 2 percent of the takings from the entrance fees paid by tourists goes toward the upkeep of the ancient religious buildings that constitute one of the country’s premier tourist sites, they are taking up the matter with the incoming government.