Thai Air News Newsletter from Connectedglobe.com
30 March 2003
 
In this newsletter we are visiting Tibet. As usual, we have found some excellent pictures and some very interesting travelogues from people who have visited Tibet. We start with news of the Thai Airways International plans for the Songkran Festival and a reminder of the "Buy One Get One Free" promotion which lasts until October.
 
 
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited will increase its flight operations for Songkran Festival, during 11 - 16 April 2003, in order to meet the increase in demand from air travelers who wish to travel during the Festival.
Mr. Kanok Abhiradee, THAIís President, said THAI will increase its flights on the following routes:
  1. Bangkok - Phuket, v.v.: additional 2 flights per day from 13 flights on April 12, 2003; additional 1 flight on April 13, 14 and 15, 2003. Total of 5 additional flights or 3,614 seats.
  2. Bangkok - Chiang Mai, v.v.: additional 1 flight per day from 11 flights on April 11, 12, 15 and 16, 2003. Total of 4 additional flights or 2,4840 seats.
  3. Bangkok - Krabi, v.v.: additional 1 flight per day from 3 flights on April 12 and 15, 2003. Total of 2 additional flights or 596 seats.
THAI will closely monitor flight reservations in case of increased reservations on other routes, whereby THAI will consider increasing flights in order to meet the demand in increased passenger traffic accordingly. For further information, please contact tel. 0-2628-2000 or THAIís 24-hour reservation service at tel. 0-2280-0060.
We remind you also of the "Buy One Get One Free" promotion for travel in Royal First Class and Royal Executive Class to celebrate THAI's 43rd Anniversary on 1st May 2003. THAI's "Buy One Get One Free" special offer is available from March 1 - October 31, 2003 for travel in Royal First Class on all routes, and on most international routes in Royal Executive Class.
Purchase one full fare round-trip ticket and receive a second one free. Available to customers living in Bangkok, London, Sydney or almost anywhere on our international network. Both passengers must travel together on the first sector, but have the freedom of travelling separately for the remainder of the itinerary.
 
In the summer of 1997, Martine Vos and Frans Cornelissen traveled by tandem bike from Kunming, Yunnan, China to Kathmandu, Nepal via Tibet. They have written up the journey in two forms - a long version and a shorter version illustrated by photos. I recommend reading the short version, with its excellent photographic record, to get a good idea of what the journey was like and what Tibet really looks like. You can then go on to the long version if you want more detail.

The trip was certainly eventful, and a challenge in every respect, but this determined Dutch couple overcome every obstacle they meet, physical and administrative, and we can enjoy their experiences in comfort!
The Tibet by Tandem site is at:
http://cornelis.med.rug.nl/Tibet/index.html
 
The Himalayan Art site is a virtual museum and international research database containing over 8,000 records, 10,000 images and 700 thematic sets. With such a vast content it is difficult to know where to start or what to see. For this reason I am presenting separately two sections and the link I give below takes you straight to the Tibet House Museum, New Delhi which was established in 1965 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the purpose of preserving the unique cultural heritage of Tibet at a time when it faced extinction in its homeland, as well as for providing a centre for Tibetan and Buddhist studies.

The pictures are of excellent quality and if you are not familiar with Tibetan art you will find it full of surprises. Take a look at:
http://www.himalayanart.org/search/set.cfm?setID=685
 
The second section of the Himalayan Art site that I am reviewing is a thorough introduction to the subject, with illustrated articles and, surprisingly, several galleries of photographs of Tibet taken between 1930 and the present day. The illustrated articles of of very high quality, though they are serious reading rather than a popular account. They are definitely worth the effort and consist of:
  • Buddhist Artifacts as the Support of Spiritual Realization by Tulku Thondup
  • Tibetan Religious Thangkas and their Religious Significance by Tulku Thondup
  • Visual Dharma: The Buddhist Art of Tibet by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
The photographs are arranged in the following galleries:
Tibet in black and white:
The images presented here reflect aspects of journeys in 1990 and 2002. Matthew T. Kapstein.
Chortens in Amdo:
A Photographic Album by Rob Linrothe
The Great Applique Tangka of Drepung Monastery
a photo essay by Nancy Jo Johnson
Historical Photographs of Tibet
primarily made by Sonam Gyatso Thartse Khen Rinpoche (1930-1988)
Recent Photos of Tibet Ancient sites in Tibet and the Himalayas
by Michael Katz
Images of Kham Photos from the 1990's
of the monasteries, people and landscape of Eastern Tibet, by Joseph Duane
Shalu Association Photographs
documenting conservation and restoration projects in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR)
On:
http://www.himalayanart.org/exhibits/
 
"Not every newly-wed couple goes on holiday with their witnesses... " is how this comprehensive and informative travelogue begins. Well not only did they share their honeymoon with their friends, they have also shared an extremely interesting trip to Tibet with us, and what a gem of a site this is. Well illustrated, well written and full of useful information, this site is one of the best Tibet travelogues I have found. They share all of their experiences and observations in an enjoyable and keenly observed way. For example "In the Inner Sanctum starts a ceremony as well and we stay and enjoy it for a long time. Not all the monks are as serious with mumbling their prayers, some are even throwing pellets at each other!"

You can enjoy this delightful site on:
http://gejamike.freeservers.com/tibetengels.html
 
This is part of Beefy's Nepal and Tibet page, which contains lots of information, pictures and descriptions of travel in Tibet. However, the Frequently Asked Questions page is an invaluable resource for anyone thinking of travelling to this fascinating country. The description given on the site says it perfectly:
"Tibet is a highly popular Asian destination for people wanting to travel somewhere just that bit different. People expect it to be difficult to travel there and yes, getting into Tibet is difficult. The actual act of travelling there is probably one of the easiest aspects of journeying to Tibet, the biggest difficulty coming with the red tape, which is more likely to prove a hindrance than the altitude sickness or terrain.
Following is a list of some of the most commonly asked questions in the Usenet newsgroups and chat pages, along with a brief answer to each, which will hopefully clarify the situation for those completely confused with travelling to the 'Roof of the World'."
Prepare yourself in advance:
http://www.tibet.freeserve.co.uk/tibet_travel.html
 
For useful books if you intend to travel to Tibet, I would recommend thoroughly these two which are available from Amazon Books: A more comprehensive lsit can be found at:
 
There is excellent hotel accommodation available in Asia at international standards. However, you don't need to pay international prices. There are substantial discounts available if you know where to look. Our research suggests that the best deals are usually available from the Agoda reservations system which you can find on:
 
Back issues of this newsletter are available. You can find them on:
http://www.connectedglobe.com/thaiairnews/

The countries covered in other issues are:
 
Far East Air Fare deals from ConnectedGlobe
There are some excellent prices to be found on flights to Tibet. For flights originating anywhere in the world use the ConnectedGlobe fare finder page.
 
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