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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts from October, 2008

Fun at the recording studio!

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Hallo und Willkomen be isango Kundenservice…

Bonjour, et bienvenue au service client d’isango…

Hello, and welcome to isango! customer service!

Yesterday was another fun day at Tony Aitken’s recording studio:  this time, isangoites Julia and Jade joined us to record the voiceovers for the German and French custover support lines, respectively.

Jade and Julia recording studio

Jade (left) sadly had to take all of my stupid American jokes out in her French translations—she said that that they “just wouldn’t sound right in French”…and that we might actually scare away the customers.  (hmph!)

Julia (right, in a mid “thumbs up” stance) insisted on recording original vocals for the German hold music.  Pretty amazing, if you ask me…

Today I will return for a bit of ENGLISH English recording.  That’s right, you Brits won’t have to endure my American nasal-ness, nor my sing song interpretation of English RP.  We’re bringing in a (gasp!) “real” Londoner—my talented actress friend Jairus.

Good times.

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Adventure travellers sleep solo

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Adventure travellers are increasingly requesting single rooms while on holiday as they seek a restful night”s sleep away from snorers and sleepwalkers, it has been revealed.

Research conducted by Explore Worldwide found that a decreasing number of travellers are happy to share accommodation with others in destinations in isolated areas around the globe, such as South America or Africa.

A company spokesman told the Times: "People aren”t willing to risk snorers, sleepwalkers or people who go to the bathroom ten times a night. They tend to be younger travellers who are used to their privacy and comfort."

The findings suggest that this might be a age-related issue, as older travellers tend to accept sharing as part of the experience, more willing to rough it and risk an interrupted night”s sleep.

"It”s a generational thing," said the spokesman, suggesting that as adventure travel increases in popularity attitudes towards what it should and shouldn”t entail are changing.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18817080-ADNFCR

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New Zealand offers good times and great wine

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New Zealand has long been well thought of as a tourist destination, despite its substantial distance from our shores.

But now it is emerging as one of the top wine-producing regions in the world, meaning tourists who like to try a drop of the local vintage when on holiday have even greater scope to explore new tastes and varieties.

According to wine experts Neil Phillips and Chris Scott, New Zealand is one of the best destinations for oenophiles.

“One of the key places to go to is New Zealand. It”s been phenomenal, particularly the development of the Sauvignon Blanc in the Marlborough region,” said Mr Phillips.

Mr Scott added: “The new world has the best set up for wine tourism.” It also appears the Marlborough region underlines this suggestion.

The area is the largest wine-producing region in the New Zealand, with around 65 wineries and nearly 300 grape growers.

Grape-growing in the area covers over 4,000 hectares, which produce a wide variety of grapes – one of the most highly-regarded of which is Sauvignon Blanc.

In 2007, New Zealand exported 22.6 million litres of wine to the UK, along with exports to Canada, USA, Germany, Japan and many other countries.

For the nature lovers there are also beautiful gardens to visit in New Zealand where you can enjoy breathtaking views, historic buildings, museums, sculptures and art, and get closer to wildlife.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18816916-ADNFCR

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Film-loving holidaymakers find locations at their fingertips

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Holidaymakers with a passion for cinema and travel can now plan trips around destinations featured in their favourite famous films.

A new website – Famouslocations.com – lists millions of filming spots for a huge range of titles, from early Hollywood classics to modern day blockbusters.

This means holidaymakers can find out if there are any connection to their favourites movies in addition to the activities and tours they”ve booked for their trip.

As modern shoots don”t always use the setting of the movie when filming, there might be a few surprises hidden among all the information.

After the success of the US television series Sex and The City, visitors were able to go on tours of locations around Manhattan used in the show – a tour which is no doubt more popular since the movie version became a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic following its release earlier this summer.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18816752-ADNFCR

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Dubai plays host to the Rugby Sevens

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Sevens rugby has grown in profile in recent years, thanks in no small part to events like the iRB World Sevens Series, which kicks off in Dubai this November at the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club.

Featuring sixteen national sides, the event showcases some of the best up-and-coming talent in world rugby, alongside some veteran players who have made the reduced version of the game their own.

For those uninitiated in the way the game is played, the tournament takes place over a weekend and the matches are timed at seven minutes per half. Groups of teams compete to win a place in one of three finals, at which point the length of the halves is extended to ten minutes.

The Sevens tournament began life in 1975 as the brainchild of the Hong Kong Rugby Union, but did not initially gain any credence with the sport”s governing body and was a club competition until it was upgraded to an international event.

Its appearance at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002 further raised the sport”s stature, and it continues to grow in popularity and participation numbers today.

Dubai – A true modern metropolis Dubai boasts a fine range of tourist facilities including the refined Burj al Arab hotel.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18814652-ADNFCR

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The City of Lights smiles for the camera in November

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Paris”s biennial Month of Photography will once again be held through November this year, marking its twentieth anniversary.

It was founded to promote the photographic arts on a global scale and ensure it was considered as a refined and legitimate art form alongside more traditional mediums.

The festival unites the best that the photographic world has to offer in exhibitions, masterclasses and events from the best-known photographers in the world.

All of this is, of course, set against one of the most beautiful and most photographed cities in the world.

Such is the scope of the affair, many events spill over into December and even January,

The Paris month is part of the wider European Month of Photography, which began in 2004 and now includes events across the continent including Berlin, Bratislava, Luxembourg, Rome, Vienna and Moscow.

At the centre of the festival is the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, which is a major centre for contemporary photography.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18814359-ADNFCR

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Awareness raised and stigmas challenged at White Party Week

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Some 15,000 men and women will descend on Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami, Florida from November 26th to December 1st this year to celebrate the annual White Party Week.

The theme of the event is thought of by many as pleasure with a conscience, as it aims to raise money to fund HIV and AIDS services around South Florida.

Organised by Care Resources, attention and praise from all over the world has been attracted to the week-long series of fundraisers aimed at bettering the quality of care for men, women and children affected by the disease.

The week ends with the famous White Party, which has many versions globally, but is renowned in Miami for being the most famous and fabulous.

This year”s theme is Mount Olympus, with many expecting some seriously outrageous costumes worn and events held throughout the week of festivities.

Care Resources was established 25 years ago to address the rising problem of HIV and AIDS in the South Florida area, and in its quarter-centenary year this even promises to be the biggest White Party Week yet.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18814345-ADNFCR

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London Office Update!

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Apparently (so I’m told) we have some ‘regular’ readers (other than my parents), who check this page daily for the latest rants, raves and ideas that we have to share.  How cool!

First off, thank you (yes, YOU) for checking us out; we hope that you enjoy both our informative newsfeeds and anecdotal blog posts.  We are always open to suggestions and feedback; do let us know if there is anything specific that you would like to read about…travel plans that you want help with…burning questions about the universe that you need answered, etc.

Some of you might be wondering why, of late, we have been posting blogs less frequently.  There are a few reasons for this: for starters, check out the Beckham Bone Blog, which explains why I haven’t been getting around town to do all of the exciting/cool things that would inspire a juicy blog post…

More significantly, though, the last few weeks have been absolutely crazy here in London.  We’ve recently moved offices in order to accommodate our ever-expanding team of specialists.  An office move requires all sorts of fun little (and big!) tasks, which I never would have imagined.

Carrie at recording studioIn addition to helping my colleague Emma with the selection and ordering of new office furniture and decorations (as well as a Nintendo Wii…pictures to come), I was assigned the task of writing and recording the voiceovers for our new customer service call line.  What fun!  I actually got to go to a real recording studio—that of Mr. Tony Aitken, a most talented professional voice artist, who offered guidance and advice as we recorded the varied, numerous (and arguably humourous) tracks that will comprise the new customer service line.

You should definitely call in to listen for some hidden surprises (if not to book one of our tours!)—it will be the most fun you’ve ever had whilst ‘holding the line’, we promise.  I’ll post the new numbers once the line is up and running.

Other things to look forward to:

1. Videos:

We are in the process of adding a video function to our blog, which should prove to be entertaining.  I plan to upload some clips of different events going on around the city.

2. More tour reviews:

Lots of things to do and see in (and around) London!  Our top priority at the moment is our London Bike Tour; we want to get out there before the clouds…and rain…and cold…take over. (You should, too!)

Is there a particular tour you would like to read a review about?  Let us know.

3. New contributions:

Our Perfect Holiday Contest was a huge success.  We received so many creative entries!  We are always interested in new blog contributors; let us know if you have an exciting story to share.

That’s all for now!

Until next time…  :)

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Vietnam”s hot spots revealed

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Vietnam”s capital Hanoi is one of the country”s best destinations, according to a travel expert.

The historic city offers a range of street markets, beautiful colonial architecture and the famous Ho Chi Minh museum and mausoleum.

Elsewhere in the country there is even more to see, according to Caroline Phillips of [travel agency?] Explore.

Other destinations include Sapa in the North West, which is great for "meeting hill tribes and some fine trekking" and Hoi An, described as a "laid-back historic town with great food and tailors” shops".

Those after a memorable coastal spot should look no further than the Mekong Delta, which is "rightly famed for its floating markets, fruit orchards and delightful scenes of waterlife," Ms Phillips said.

According to recent figures by the World Travel and Tourism Council, Vietnam currently employs more than 1.5 million people in the travel and tourism industries, with a rise to 1.7 million expected by 2018.

The Vietnamese government has estimated that international arrivals to Vietnam so far this year were 3.3 million, increasing by 5.9 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18811437-ADNFCR

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Vietnam”s hot spots revealed

0

Vietnam”s capital Hanoi is one of the country”s best destinations, according to a travel expert.

The historic city offers a range of street markets, beautiful colonial architecture and the famous Ho Chi Minh museum and mausoleum.

Elsewhere in the country there is even more to see, according to Caroline Phillips of [travel agency?] Explore.

Other destinations include Sapa in the North West, which is great for "meeting hill tribes and some fine trekking" and Hoi An, described as a "laid-back historic town with great food and tailors” shops".

Those after a memorable coastal spot should look no further than the Mekong Delta, which is "rightly famed for its floating markets, fruit orchards and delightful scenes of waterlife," Ms Phillips said.

According to recent figures by the World Travel and Tourism Council, Vietnam currently employs more than 1.5 million people in the travel and tourism industries, with a rise to 1.7 million expected by 2018.

The Vietnamese government has estimated that international arrivals to Vietnam so far this year were 3.3 million, increasing by 5.9 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18811437-ADNFCR

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