checkpoints. Tourists can now legally enter Laos from these new
international border crossings:
1. Nam Khan in Xieng Khuang province (bordering Nghe An, Vietnam)
2. Na Phao in Khammouane province (bordering Chalo, Vietnam)
3. Thakhaek (bordering Nakorn Phanom, Thailand)
1. Sam Neua (bordering Vieng Xai, Vietnam)
the Last Wild Tigers of Myanmar
The Tiger once a symbol of power, majesty and grace, is now no longer.
A thousand years of clearing lands that were Tiger habitats for
human settlement, and a hundred years of severe persecution to supply
the trade in trophies and medicinal stimulants has brought Tigers
to the brink of extinction in many parts of its formerly vast range.
cannot say for sure, the information at hand suggests there are
probably 125-150 tigers left in Myanmar today. Many of the places
where Tigers used to exist now no longer support Tigers or are places
where Tigers no longer hold viable populations.
But we do not
intend to be prophets of doom. While the situation for tigers is
indeed dire Myanmar still has many suitable areas for Tiger habitat
and there is political will to protect and preserve this habitat
and the tigers in them. With international cooperation and help
from outside funding agencies, we can save tigers in some areas
in the longer term.
Wild Cat Survey in Southern Coastal Myanmar
non-profit organization for the conservation of natural habitat
is working in the coastal region of Myanmar in the Myeik (Mergui)
archipelago and coastal Tanintharyi (formerly Tenasserim, the southern
district of Myanmar) for the conservation of biodiversity. Its main
project is focused on a survey of the presence and abundance of
wild cats in the region, the first on cats in the Myeik archipelago.
area is thought to support a high biodiversity because it is nearly
uninhabited and access had been forbidden for 50 years until 1997
for security and political reasons. Moreover it includes the meeting
point of two zoogeographic regions, the Indo-chinese and the Sundaic
that overlap in the Isthmus of Kra.
This note reports
the results of interviews about encounters with wild cats by local
people inhabiting some of the islands and the villages on the coast.
It also makes some recommendations for safeguarding these animals.
Extinct, Siamese Crocodile is Photographed
A team of conservationists
led by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society have re-discovered
the Siamese crocodile in Thailand (formally known as Siam), capturing
the animal on film while surveying for tigers. The crocodile, estimated
at seven feet, was photographed by a remote camera trap as it lumbered
along a riverbank in an isolated forest near the Thai-Myanmar border.
Except for a single animal that has lived in a park for years, scientists
believed the Siamese crocodile was extinct in Thailand until this
an extremely exciting find," said Dr. Antony Lynam, a Wildlife
Conservation Society biologist who led the survey team. "We
knew the area had the potential to support tigers, but had no idea
we would find a Siamese crocodile."
survey in the area by WCS conservationist Dr. Steve Platt revealed
tracks from a smaller crocodile a few miles from where the first
one was photographed. "With two crocodiles we have a population,
albeit a small one," said Platt. "We're not sure it's
a viable population, but it certainly is naturally protected by
the lay of the land, and by tropical diseases that keep out a lot
of would-be poachers."
Up until the
early 1990s, Siamese crocodiles were thought to be extinct in the
wild throughout its former range, which included Vietnam, Cambodia,
Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia, along with Thailand. But recent wildlife
surveys by WCS and other groups have revealed isolated populations
living in Laos and Cambodia. However, WCS estimates that the total
population numbers no more than a few hundred individuals, making
it one of the most endangered crocodilians in the world.
were part of a training exercise by WCS and the Thailand Royal Forest
Department, which included a team of 30 foresters, students and
researchers studying wildlife in Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand's
largest protected area. The training program was supported by WCS,
and the Save the Tiger Fund, a joint project of the U.S. National
Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the ExxonMobil Corporation. The
Wildlife Conservation Society is currently seeking additional protection
of the park and surrounding
landscape, calling it one of the last true wilderness areas of Southeast
The team set
41 remote camera traps that automatically photograph animals or
humans that walk in front of them, along trails and rivers in deep
jungle in the center of the park beginning in January. When Lynam
and his team picked up the traps last month, he found that eight
had been stolen and two were lost to elephants, which pummeled them
losses, the survey yielded 348 photographs of 26 species of mammals
including tigers, leopards, panthers, elephants, and Asian wild
dogs, along with several birds, monitor lizards, and the Siamese
crocodile, all from a 75-square-mile area.
lucky to record the crocodile," said Lynam, who has studied
tigers and other cryptic fauna in Thailand since 1990. "It
was number 37 on a roll of 36 exposure film. The other pictures
on the film included otters, macaques and a Buddhist monk on walkabout
in the forest."
The Bayview Beach Resort is planning a range of festivities around
the upcoming water festival, including oxcart races, special Rakhine
beach games and excursions to Thandwe. In addition, the hotel plans
nightly beachside BBQ parties with plenty of fresh Ngapali seafood
and traditional Myanmar dishes.
Melia Hanoi adds new ballroom.
The Melia Hanoi has added a new function space, the 'Thang Long
Ballroom.' Built in response to the growing demand for meeting space,
this ballroom is the second largest in Hanoi, with a capacity of
800 persons/meeting and 500 persons/ banquet style. It is fully
equipped, with a 250-inch LCD screen for multimedia presentations,
and features a pre-function area and open-air terrace for cocktails,
coffee breaks or exhibitions.
Resort receives award.
The Anoasis Beach Resort in Long Hai has been acclaimed as "The
Best Resort in Southern Vietnam" from The Guide Awards 2002.
A fully equipped, bungalow style hotel, set among 32 acres of tropical
garden, this beach retreat is easily reached from Saigon, within
two hours' drive.
restaurant at Ana Mandara.
Ana Mandara has opened a second restaurant next to its new swimming
pool, with a view over the beach, sea and nearby islands. It features
a market-style buffet, from which guests select seafood to be cooked
to order in the open kitchen. There is an a la carte menu also.
The Beach Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner each day, with
complimentary cocktails for guests every Wednesday.
on Danang route reduced.
Thai Airways International (TG) and Vietnam Airlines have ceased
operating their Bangkok - Danang services, effective from the end
of March. PB Air will continue the previous TG routing with 3 flights
weekly, using a 79-seat Fokker.
Lao Aviation has relaunched itself as 'Lao Airlines,' with the national
flower, the 'dok champa' or frangipane, as its new logo. This change
is effective from the publication of the new summer schedule, valid
from 31 March to 26 October 2003. We would like to draw your attention
to a new direct flight from Vientiane - Luang Prabang - Jinghong
(Yunnan in China), which will operate on Mondays and Thursdays.
New summer timetables!
We now have Siem Reap Airways International and Mekong Airlines'
summer schedules, valid from 30 March to 25 October 2003. Please
contact us for further information.
and Wat Phou Cruises.
Effective from this low season, Luangsay Cruise will cease to operate
its 3-day program, focusing instead on their 2-day itineraries.
Both Luangsay and Wat Phou Cruises will undergo routine maintenance
during June, and will not operate during that time.
in balloon services. Due to the onset of the low season, Balloons
over Bagan will pause operations from May to September 2003,
resuming services on 1 October 2003.
Address: P O
BOX 820, HP9 2JG, England
Tel: +(44) (0)973 231 446,
The Mekong Club
is an informal, non-political, non-commercial association, primarily
concerned with promotion of the cultures of the "Mekong Region"
(i.e. Viet Nam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and adjacent regions) in
the UK. The Club will act as a forum for exchange of information
and experience by:
- The promotion
of social and cultural events, tutorial groups and other meetings
of a world wide web page and an address list for circulars on
'events and ideas'.
open to all, but it is envisaged that the club will be of particular
from the Mekong Region living in the UK, with particular encouragement
given to 2nd and 3rd generation family members.
- British (and
other European) citizens wishing to maintain in contact with people
and issues in the Mekong Region.
from the Region needing temporary support whilst in the UK.
in the Mekong Region, wishing to develop contacts in the UK.
The Club will
be organised by a chairperson, secretariat and webmaster, with a
single, annual business meeting combined with a social event. The
secretariat will be responsible for financial stewardship, with
a "minimal" fund consisting of contributions for individual events
and newsletters. An annual membership fee of £5 is envisaged per
adult. For further details, please write or telephone the above
Mekong Club Application:
would like to join the Mekong Club
enclosed the payment for membership of £5 and my/our voluntary contribution
of £… Total: £…. (Cash or cheque payable to Mekong Club)
P.O. BOX 820, HP9 2JG.
Vietnam | | Thailand | |
Burma | | Laos | |
Cambodia | | China | |
New Tours | | Special Offers |
| Mekong Travel | |
Brochure | | Information request
Travel, 2000 - 2007