#Macau promotes multi-destination trips to Indonesian travelers

Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) promoted multi-destination trips to Indonesian travelers through a media session and seminar on Monday.

Held in Jakarta, the event highlighted opportunities for travelers to visit several areas, including Macau, Hong Kong, Guangdong, Guangxi, Pingtan, Qingyuan, Shenzhen, Zhongshan, Zhuhai and Nansha.

The multi-destination trips are designed to attract travelers who want to visit several places in a single trip.

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Hong Kong Tourism Board senior manager trade development for Southeast Asia, Raymond Chan, said that there were many Indonesian travelers visiting Macau and Hong Kong in one journey and sometimes to Shenzhen and China as well, which is one of the reasons why they created the event.

Meanwhile, Betty Fok, MGTO head of destination marketing, said in a press release, “[The event aims] to highlight Macau as the easy connection to Hong Kong and neighboring provinces, such as Guangdong, Guangxi and Fujian.”

In regard to visas, Fok explained that Indonesian travelers could enjoy a free visa while traveling to Macau and Hong Kong. As for those wanting to visit Guangdong from Hong Kong, they can use the 144-hour visa facility. However, they will still need to apply for a visa to explore other parts of China, such as Fujian and Guangxi.

Star-packed Berlin film festival

Penelope Cruz, Hugh Jackman, Catherine Deneuve, Richard Gere and Robert Pattinson are among the high-wattage stars due on the red carpet at February’s Berlin film festival, organisers said Tuesday as they unveiled the line-up.

The 67th Berlinale is the first major cinema showcase in Europe each year and presents nearly 400 productions from around the world. 

The 11-day event will kick off in the German capital February 9 with the world premiere of the French biopic “Django” about Gypsy-jazz great Django Reinhardt and his family’s persecution in Nazi-occupied Paris.

Eighteen films will vie for the Golden Bear top prize, which last year went to harrowing Italian refugee documentary “Fire at Sea” from a jury led by Meryl Streep.

This year Dutch director Paul Verhoeven (“Basic Instinct”, “Elle”) will lead the seven-member jury including US actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and Mexican actor and director Diego Luna (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”). 

Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick told reporters that the event, known as the most politically minded of Europe’s top festivals, would shine a light on what he called dark times in the West.

“The programme we have put together features films that deal with themes of courage and confidence and do it with a whole lot of humour,” he said. 

“You never know what is going to be happening in the world when you start assembling the line-up but it’s as if the filmmakers were able to look into the future and see current developments. But despite all the turmoil in the world, it’s an upbeat programme.”

Veterans and popcorn fare 

In keeping with its long post-war tradition, the festival will mix arthouse cinema from European veterans including Poland’s Agnieszka Holland (“Europa Europa”), Britain’s Sally Potter, Germany’s Volker Schloendorff, previous Golden Bear winner Calin Peter Netzer of Romania and Aki Kaurismaki of Finland with popcorn fare.

The latest Wolverine instalment of the X-Men superhero series “Logan” starring Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Richard E. Grant will have its world premiere in Berlin and “T2: Trainspotting”, the sequel to the drug-fuelled Scottish cult classic will get a gala screening.

Potter (“Orlando”), one of four women directors in competition, has pulled together a cast including Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Kristin Scott Thomas and Timothy Spall for the comedy “The Party” set in a house in present-day London.

Gere stars with Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall and Chloe Sevigny in the thriller “The Dinner” by US director Oren Moverman (“Love and Mercy”), an adaptation of the Dutch novel by Herman Koch.

Cruz joins Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”) in the Spanish production “The Queen of Spain” set in the 1950s under Franco, screening in the Berlinale Special sidebar section.

French production “The Midwife” by Martin Provost stars Deneuve as the mysterious former mistress of the title character’s father.

And Pattinson is due in Berlin for a screening of James Gray’s “The Lost City of Z” an adaptation of a bestseller by David Grann of the New Yorker.

Source: TheNation / News Guru

Bangkok – Chinese New Year Festival cancelled

Bangkok’s China Town will not hold a Chinese New Year Festival this year because the country is still mourning the passing of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

“The organising committee for the Yaowarat’s Chinese New Year celebrations has resolved to not hold any event,” Samphathawong District Office director Yuttana Pamai said yesterday.

Chinese New Year is Saturday.

Normally, Chinese New Year celebrations in Bangkok’s China Town are a big event with dragon and lion dancing and various other performances.

The late monarch passed away on October 13 last year. The government has announced a one-year mourning period for the government sector.

Source: TheNation

 

Thailand – Today is Children Day

Children can sit in PM’s chair, but only today

Children will get a chance to sit on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chair at  Government House today to help celebrate Children’s Day.

They can also take a tour on his office in Thai Khu Fah Building and take part in guided tours of other important rooms. After the tour, they would be encouraged to write cards to the Prime Minister.

The Cabinet meeting room would also be opened for youngsters.

The Prime Minister was reported to have prepared gifts for them, including CDs of the Late King’s book “The Story of Mahajanaka”.

He will preside over the event, welcoming them with advice and taking part in a photo session.

The highlight of the event is expected to be dinosaur models of various species prepared by the Mineral Resources Department, along with other child learning games.

Source: TheNation

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