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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 in ‘Relaxation & Romance’

Thailand’s backpacker image ‘outdated’

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Thailand is attracting a lot of honeymoonersThailand’s reputation for being a backpacker destination is "outdated", according to the editor of Luxury Travel Magazine.

Alyson Cook said:"Thailand has become a popular destination – particularly with the honeymoon market."

She added: "The boutique hotel market is a growing aspect of what they have to offer in that part of Asia … They have also perfected the spa side of the market and that, increasingly, is very high on the luxury travellers’ list; a decent spa is almost a pre-requisite."

According to the Kuoni Long Haul Report 2008, Thailand was the second most popular long-haul destination for British holidaymakers in 2007, coming second to the Maldives.

The report also found that boutique luxury continues to boom, and that holidays offering a very personal experience of a distant destination are growing in popularity.

Ms Cook said people can enjoy "wonderful" beach holidays in places like Koh Samui, as well as have the opportunity to travel up into places like Chiang Mai.

Relaxation and Romance – Wining and Dining – Dine in some unforgettable settings including the Eiffel Tower and in the shadow of the New York skyline.
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Thank You, Sex and the City

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FIRST OF ALL, I want to thank Sarah Jessica Parker (and Candace Bushnell) for making my name so trendy and cool. I am sure all of the (real!) Carries and Aidans out there can relate: we are now the (tragic!) victims of subconscious associations with sex, good looks and high fashion.

It’s amazing, the responses I get when I introduce myself to people—it’s almost like the general public has been hypnotized by SJP’s flouncy skirts and witty voiceover rants.

When I was a little girl, I never, ever imagined that when I grew up, a notable percentage of my introductory handshakes would involve the word “sex.” Instead, I was brainstorming ways to resolve the ongoing confusion in my family home: I was named after my dad (whose mother was incidentally a Cary Grant fan).

This may sound endearing—a baby girl named after her father—but picture yourself as an awkward preteen. What would you do if all incoming calls from potential suitors were filtered by your goofy dad, who refused to acknowledge the word “boyfriend” as a part of the English language?

“Yes, speaking” he would chirp into the receiver; “of couse this is Cary. Who did you think…?”

And the infamous: “oh, I see…you must be looking for Little Carrie. This is Big Cary. Why didn’t you say something sooner?”

(You’d probably think about changing your name to “Boyfriend,” too…)

SECONDLY, I’d like to thank the producers of the beloved Sex and the City Movie for spreading the buzz overseas, thus securing my sex appeal abroad. You even followed me to London with your glamourous international premiere, which was amazing! PICTURES HERE.

Right. It was actually terrible—I couldn’t see a thing, and I think that I experienced the second most claustrophobic moment of my life (first being Mardi Gras ’03) when I was trying to exit through one of the side streets. That was the last movie premiere I’ll go to in Leicester Square, or maybe anywhere…ever.

I applaud those who braved the cinema queues for the film’s 28 May opening night in London…I really do. I just might have to settle for the reviews (and a few good photos of Carrie’s wedding dress, of course.)

LASTLY, I would like to thank my co-worker Daniele for suggesting, to the sheer delight of the girls in my office ( – not!), that we be featured in the recent “Sex in Many Cities” Newsletter (which went out to over 600,000 people) as corporate counterparts to characters Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda.

For all of you die hard fans, the newsletter, which can be viewed here, discusses several behind-the-scenes and personalized Sex and the City Tours.

Sex and the City, you sure do make life interesting!

Let the Carrie Bradshaw Madness continue.

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The Search for Prince Harry

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Last weekend, I took a day trip to Windsor and Eton with one obvious objective in mind: to have a royal sighting.

I know, I know—lame, BUT I’m convinced that the chivalrous young prince would have fallen for my “lost tourist,” damsel-in-distress act.

Right?

According to our chirpy Windsor Castle guide Penny, the Queen was in residence that day…

Windsor Castle Tour

But what about our favourite royal soldiers? Where was Harry hiding?

Among the guards?

Changing of Guards at WIndsor Castle

At Eton College—his old stomping ground?

Eton College, UK

We finally decided that the princes were most likely cruising down the Thames in a yacht. It was, after all, a beautiful day. So we set sail ourselves, in a classy rowing boat:

Rowing on Thames in Windsor

Rowing On Thames in Windsor

 

No luck, unfortunately—we were hoping for a royal rescue when we crashed into the bank (Twice! Oops!)—but I still have high hopes. That’s why I am leaving this blog open for responses and comments.

Harry: next time you’re in London, I should be free for a drink. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday nights are pretty good for me. I’m also up for the weekend countryside adventure…but I’ll let you decide.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Carrie x

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Cultural Adventures, Part II: Spain

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Following my guide to eccentric past times in the UK, I have outlined some of the most intriguing traditions and festivals to experience this year in España.

As I noted before, there is still time to make 2008 a year of cultural adventure! So take a chance, and discover some of Europe’s most bewildering and unconventional pastimes.

A guide to some of Spain’s most unique celebrations.

1. La Diada de Sant Jordi (Lovers’ Day).
What
: Like Valentine’s Day, except boys get books (?)
Where: Barcelona, Spain.
When: 23 April 2008.

Get ready for a little spring sunshine…and lots of Latin love!

This April, hopeless romantics will unite in the streets of Barcelona to honor Saint George, who, like our man Valentine, inspires thousands of young lovers to make their passions public via reciprocal gift giving. Stroll down Las Ramblas, and immerse yourself in the amorous buzz as you delight in street performances, quirky architecture, and, of course, the colorful merchandise of nearly every florist and book seller in Catalonia! Join in on the tradition: gentleman, woo your novias with roses, and ladies, make your men blush with some heartfelt selections of prose. continue reading

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College Spring Break 2008

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I know, I know—you want your Mexican rendezvous to involve the least amount of planning possible. It’s Spring Break, for crying out loud, and as long as there’s booze, sun, sand and some like minded crazy kids, you’re fine. The only thing you need to “plan” is what kind of plastic container you are going to hide your coconut rum in when packing your suitcase. Trust me, I’ve been there.

But before you hop on the plane in a few weeks (or, if you’re kicking it old school, jump in a van), I want you to do two things:

  1. Remember your passport or photo ID (the real one!), whichever you need for your chosen route of debauchery. And don’t lose it.

Put it in one of those dorky Samsonite pouches or something. Trust me, the overworked people at the airport/border do not care how much you’ve spent on your ticket/hotel, or who your dad is. They don’t. Forget/lose your ID, and you are screwed.

  1. Take 30 minutes to actually think about what is going on in and around the place you are visiting, and book a few things to do.

By this I mean: there are going to be plenty of opportunities to get drunk and sunburned. There are going to be thousands of people running around you all day long doing just this. At first it will all seem fantastic (and it is). But by the third or fourth day of non-stop drinking up with the Joneses, you will crash. There are plenty of cool and exciting day excursions that you can do to switch things up a bit. Many are cheap and take only a few minutes to sign up for.

You may be thinking, “oh, I’ll just figure it out when I get there…they will be selling tours to see the Mayan ruins left and right.” Yes, they will, and no, you won’t. After 72 hours of spending all of your saved up dough on daiquiris, forgotten toiletries, and expensive burgers, the last thing you will want to do is fork over a wad of cash for an overpriced tour to a perky sales agent. It will be even harder to talk a friend into doing it with you. So take a few minutes, and plan. continue reading

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Ladies: now is your chance.

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One of my closest friends prays for a husband every night (let’s call her Lena…for her sake). You may laugh, but Lena is dead serious. Has been since the age of 18, when ‘the one’—her childhood confidant and first love—unexpectedly broke it off, hurling her into a long cycle of failed relationships with men from all walks of life and corners of the world. From Guadalajara to Melbourne, her spiritual quest for love has been an intercontinental roller coaster of false hopes and nightmare endings, yet she will not give up. Day in and day out, Lena dreams of the perfect engagement weekend: prince charming bursts through the doors of her fifth floor bedsit with an armful of roses and sweeps her off to Paris, diamond ring in back pocket and Seine cruise tickets in hand. And they live Happily Ever After, etc.

You may still be smirking at the notion of nightly candlelit séances and wistful chants for a Hollywood happy ending, but Lena’s prayers are not far from the concerns of many late twenty- and thirty-something working professionals with maternal ambitions and not-so-responsive male companions. Yes, this is 2008, and there are ‘no rules’, per se, in an era of Las Vegas whims and three-way ‘unions’, but, for women like Lena, tradition is king. He has to do the legwork; she has to sit pretty. Ladies, if that’s your mindset, then maybe the occasional offering to your deity of choice isn’t such a bad idea…

Okay, so maybe St. Valentine (or rather Cupid, Venus and, more importantly, Tiffany’s) let you down this year. And like Lena, your wilting roses are now staring you in the face—along with your barren ring finger. With no foreseeable milestone events on the calendar until your November birthday, you begin to panic. But let’s be honest, you can only casually escort your man past the ‘first kiss’ landmark so many times before he will begin to catch on.

My advice to Lena (and to all of you with similar, yet perhaps less overt, matrimonial aspirations): channel your energies towards patron St. Patrick. Not only is his holiday about good luck, but also, according to folkloric legend, it was this innovative bloke who first declared an official calendar date for female marriage proposals back in the fifth century. This once bizarre concept has since evolved into a leap year tradition, making this February 29th your big chance to make a move. continue reading

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