In this issue: ① Another Year has Gone ② Malaysian Elections ③ Crossing the Lines ④ Of Instagram, Selfies and the Hitting the Reply All Button ⑤ Bali, Bali and Some More Bali ⑥ So Many Good Reasons to Work with LAT⑦ Stone Turtle ⑧ Scoot enters IATA ⑨ Singapore World Most Expensive City ⑩ Michelin Starred Restaurants In Malaysia ⑪ Komodo New Entry Fees ⑫ Meet us at FITUR
Another Year Has Gone
We are leaving behind us a very eventful year, exiting a long global pandemic and entering a new era of geopolitics where liberal hegemony physically clashes with nationalism and realpolitik. Whatever that means, it brings about a lot of tension and a terrible war with no clear exit strategy and victors. Decades of cheap moneys, quantitative easing and government largess have finally triggered inflationary process exacerbated by the supplying chains disruptions brought about by the pandemic and the spiking up of energy prices triggered by the Ukraine war. The consequent tightening monetary policies to contain inflation are driving several countries into recession.
Not really a pretty picture to look at the future with optimism. But we do believe that changes and adjustments are necessary and through those, man progresses. We hope pragmatism will prevail, that personal cult nostalgia of absolute monarchs, war mongers aspiring to a sphere of influence that no longer exists, and utopian and aggressive liberal hegemons will come to see the practical aspect of things, that the status quo is only dangerous for us all!
In our region we are moving forward. Even though we are pushed to take sides on the global arena, we don’t! We play diplomatic cards as it was clear at the G20 hosted by Indonesia, at the ASEAN summit hosted by Cambodia, and at Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation hosted by Thailand.
We also see decisive moves towards more pluralistic and democratic societies like in Malaysia where following the general elections held in November, a coalition of several parties has emerged. The era of the winner takes it all is over. Also, Malaysia is done with the dividing and inflammatory politics of race and religion as clearly expressed by the will of the popular vote, the demands of the king and the statement of the council of rulers.
Those worried by the Indonesian parliament passing a law banning extramarital sex should know that it will not be applicable before three years from now. It is therefore subject to long parliamentary debate, amendments, and changes. It does not provide for intrusive inspections but provides for action taken only upon complaints from relatives such as spouses and children. It is a political act of appeasement of the most conservative sectors of society. Follow this link for further information.
Myanmar remains under the thumb of a ruthless and possibly uneducated military junta which has released almost 6,000 of the more than 16,000 people it has arrested since seizing power in a coup in February 2021. Among the freed are a former British diplomat and three other foreign nationals. Despite the show of grace, the regime’s war against pro-democracy fighters and ethnic militias continues, while the economy lies in ruins.
Unfortunately, in November another powerful earthquake struck Indonesia’s main island of Java killing at least 162 people, injuring hundreds more and shaking tall buildings in the capital, Jakarta, 60 miles away from the epicentre.
We would like to thank the many readers of our bulletin and all our esteemed clientele for the interest shown throughout the year in what we have to say, and the trust placed in our ways of working! We would like to seize this opportunity to reassure all that while business and creation of wealth remains important to us and our community, endeavouring to live by our own principles stays equally, if not more relevant. Our sense of responsibility remains strong as clearly stated in our website and we will not back off from that. Being well informed (which implies reading and paying attention) is essential to act responsibly and contribute (it doesn’t matter how small that contribution) to the sustainability and welfare of all the stakeholders, our teams, clients, visitors, community, and world at large.
We also believe in good, effective, and courteous communication and behaviour. They are instrumental to proper understanding and efficiency rendering pleasant the exchanges across diverse peoples and cultures. In the name of dignity and working towards a better future such lines should never be crossed, by no one.
We would also like to appeal to our readers and esteemed clientele to refrain from blindly hitting the reply all button, when corresponding by email. Most of the recipients won’t read those messages, a pointless multiplication of data that chokes inboxes and storage space in the cloud, which is not an ethereal intangible gasified entity holding on our gazillion gigabytes of data, but massive equipment made of solid hardware, containing rare earth components, difficult to dispose of, occupying vast swaths of land and consuming enormous amounts of energy.
Responsibility starts from small steps and gestures, like refraining from taking millions of selfies and hitting the reply all button.
Bali, Bali and Some More Bali
Though less travelled than the southern beaches and the spiritual heart of Ubud, East Bali possesses numerous cultural and natural attractions. From majestic volcanoes, and pristine beaches to richly ornate temples, exploring this region is a true pleasure.
Venturing across East Bali, one realises that this land is as diverse as anywhere on the planet. Dramatic sights are the norm here, with the mighty Mount Agung presiding over tropical forests and rice paddies. Further north, Batur caldera, which is often shrouded in fog, holds its own secret. Along the coast, black sand beaches embrace deep blue water which is brimming with marine life.
Dotted throughout this lush landscape are intricately decorated Hindu temples. Two of them – the Pura Besakih and the Pura Lempuyang – are among the island’s holiest sites. There are also villages of the Bali Aga – the original Balinese who have retained a traditional lifestyle for centuries.
Far from the overcrowded and chaotic southern beaches, the shoreline of East Bali features a rugged, wild beauty. Here, volcanic beaches show a striking contrast to the deep blue ocean and the surrounding lush forests. This jet black sand is the result of the island’s volcanic activity — lava hits the ocean and shatters into tiny fragments as it cools rapidly.
Under the water’s surface, a wonderful world is waiting to be explored. You can expect to see a huge variety of corals, fish, and other marine life in this area. Some dive sites, such as the reefs called Blue Lagoon, are suitable for beginners, with little waves, and nearly perfect visibility.
So Many Good Reasons to Work with LAT
Established in 1991
Independently owned and operated
Purely B2B with travel industry partners
Online booking engine with immediate
confirmation of hotels, tours and transfers
Skilful Contents Provider and Technology user
Knowledgeable and efficient reservations personnel
Long and proud association with the MICE industry in all Lotus destinations
Fully committed to Sustainability and CSR; ‘Travelife’ partner
Carbon Neutrality for all packages and services on offer
Extensive selection of scheduled group departures and innovative product lines
Direct access to a vast pool of local professional contributors
Owns small boutique island hotels strategically located
LAT Indochina subsidiary operating in Thailand and Vietnam
Multilingual guides in all destinations
Operations offices throughout its destinations
Centralised bookings and payments for multi destination tours
Assistance in language
Against the background of a remote island, the Malaysian time-travel revenge thriller "Stone Turtle" (2022) by Kuala Lumpur-based director Woo Ming Jin, builds up a magnetic tug of war between masculinity and femininity, violence and innocence, deception and natural balance that has already impressed international film critics.
In August, Woo's film was the first feature in the Bahasa Malaysia language to compete in the main category at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, where it bagged the coveted International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize. The jury was impressed by the "multiplicity of perspectives on urgent themes such as violence against women, the question of who has a right to citizenship, and the way we deal with our natural environment," FIPRESCI reported on its official Twitter page.
Scoot enters IATA
Scoot, the low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines Group with a rather uncanny name has attained full International Air Transport Association (IATA) membership, joining a community of 300 IATA members across 120 countries. Go happily booking it through your CRS.
Singapore World Most Expensive City
New York and Singapore are the world’s most expensive cities, according to the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey from EIU, The Economist’s sister company. The survey, which compares the prices of more than 200 products and services in 173 cities, finds that living costs are rising at their fastest clip for at least 20 years. Prices in major cities are up by an average of 8.1%, in local-currency terms, over the past year. Stop asking for low prices, please!
Four New Michelin Star Restaurants in Malaysia
Four restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and Penang were awarded Malaysia's first ever Michelin stars when the inaugural Michelin Guide Kuala Lumpur and Penang 2023 was unveiled on the 13th of December 2022: Dewakan and DC by Darren Chin in Kuala Lumpur, and Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery and Au Jardin in Penang.
Komodo New Entry Fees
The new tariff of Rp3. 75 million (approx. USD 250) will take effect on January 1, 2023.
Contact us for further details here.
Meet us at FITUR
Meet the LAT team at FITUR 18-21 January 2023 in Madrid and discover the new world of LAT tours and hospitality services. Write to us here for appointments.