A model of Phra Pok Klao Skypark. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Thailand’s first “skypark” over the Chao Phraya River is expected to open next year.

Renovated from the unfinished skytrain structure in 1984, the public park will be 280m long and 8.5m wide. It will be located between the in-and-outbound lanes of Phra Pok Klao Bridge. The bridge runs in parallel to Memorial Bridge (Saphan Phut) and is not far from Pak Khlong Talat, the famous flower market on the Bangkok side and Wong Wian Yai in the Thon Buri area.

The project will be called “Phra Pok Klao Sky Park”. It was initiated by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) in the middle of last year and was recently approved by the Bangkok Metropolitan Council.

The project, designed by the Urban Design and Development Centre, will have an entrance on both Bangkok and Thon Buri sides. There will be staircases and lifts to facilitate the elderly and those who use wheelchairs. The cost of investment is estimated at 129.61 million baht and it will need 360 days for construction.

The BMA expects the project to be completed in 2019. The elevated public park will be a new landmark where people can enjoy a view of the Chao Phraya River and will help promote tourism in the capital.

Highway 12 expansion

The expansion project of Highway 12 from Tak to Mae Sot will be completed in June next year.

The winding 86km-long road will widen to four lanes. The total cost of investment is about 4 billion baht, according to the Department of Highways’ Tak Office director Sanit Thongma.

The project, which was kicked off in 2015, is currently in the third phase of expansion and half of it has been completed.

The hilly road is known as dangerous but noted for its beautiful surroundings.

The highway expansion is expected to reduce the number of accidents and facilitate border-trade transport between Thailand and Myanmar.

Amour Asia Pacific

The first “Amour Asia Pacific 2018” will be organised in Bangkok next week.

The event will be hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the London-based Worldwide Events. It will be the luxury travel trade fair for romance travel buyers and destination wedding planners to meet with destination management companies in the region, according to TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

There will be 77 buyers and 84 exhibitors across the Asia Pacific. The event is from Feb 14-17 at the Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park.

TAT expects that the event will further the country’s reputation as the destination of choice for lovers and honeymooners from around the world.

Airlines update

Bangkok Airways will launch its first direct flight from Chiang Mai to Hanoi on March 25.

The service will be available daily. The flight will depart Chiang Mai airport at 9.55am and will arrive at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi at noon. The return trip from Vietnam’s capital will be at 12.45pm and the arrival time in Chiang Mai will be 2.50pm. The travel time is about two hours. In addition, the airline has also increased the number of flights between Bangkok and Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s resort island, to five weekly flights.

The airline currently uses a 70-seater ATR72-600 aircraft on the route. The new flight departs Suvarnabhumi airport at 11.30am and arrives Phu Quoc International Airport at 1.10pm. The inbound flight departs at 1.50pm and arrives at Suvarnabhumi airport at 3.35pm.

Visit bangkokair.com.

Asia Atlantic Airlines has launched direct flights between Bangkok and Ordos of Inner Mongolia, China.

The flight is available once a week on every Saturday. It departs Suvarnabhumi airport at 1.45am and arrives Ordos Ejin Horo Airport at 7.20am. The return trip will be 9.20am and will arrive in Bangkok at 12.55pm. The flying time is four hours and 35 minutes.

Visit asiaatlanticairlines.com

Hotels update

Hong Kong-based Asia Prestige Management (APM), a real estate investment and development company, has opened Zazz Urban Bangkok.

Located on Rama IX, the seven-storey hotel features 48 rooms including two suites. The room sizes are 20m² for its smallest Z Room type, 25m² for Plus Z type which includes a bathtub and 45m² for a suite. Other facilities are two restaurants, rooftop bar, co-working space area and meeting room.

APM also plans to open more Zazz hotels including Zazz Urban Thailand on Chaturathit Road in Bang Kapi, Zazz Urban Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City and Zazz Escape Maldives.

Visit zazz-hotels.com/zazz-urban.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will launch its fourth Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Singapore this year.

Located at the crossroads of Little India and Serangoon, the Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon will feature 120 rooms, a restaurant, meeting room, fitness centre and a grab-and-go-service.

According to IHG, the mid-range hotel chain is one of its fast-growing brands. Currently, there are 2,572 Holiday Inn Express hotels offering 258,002 rooms worldwide and there are over 740 hotels in the pipeline.

Visit ihg.com.

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News Reporter

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