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Posts in ‘Things to do in Asia’

Romantic Winter Getaways (Part 2)

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This is the second and final part of our feature on romantic experiences around the world. You can read part one of this feature here

1)    DINNER ON THE GRAND PEARL FLOATING RESTAURANT, BANGKOK

Wat Arun Temple at sunsetLeave Bangkok’s chaotic traffic behind and whisk your loved one for a delightful cruise along the Chao Phraya river in Thailand’s capital city. On board the luxurious Grand Pearl floating restaurant you will be able to marvel at famous Thai landmarks – Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the Grand Palace; shimmering in the night while you enjoy sumptuous Thai and international cuisine with your partner in a candle lit ambience.   

2)    PORTRAITS IN PARIS PHOTO SHOOT, PARIS, FRANCE

Portrait in ParisWrap yourself in the beauty and romance of the City of Love by booking a professional vacation photographer to capture your love story. Packed with charming vintage locations, Paris is a lover’s fantasy and a photographer’s delight. Get your photos taken in the most eclectic neighbourhood of Paris. Latin Quarter is situated on the left bank of the Seine, in the 5th and 6th arrondissement of Paris. There is no better setting to capture your engagement, honeymoon or anniversary photos.  

3)    MOUNT PILATUS EXCURSION FROM LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND

Cable car to the Swiss AlpsWith the snow-capped Mount Pilatus towering over the city, and the pristine Lake Lucerne in the heart of it, Switzerland is everything that a romantic getaway should be. After you and your partner are done gallivanting through picture perfect Swiss villages, medieval walled towns and enchanted castles, take a panoramic cable car ride (40 minutes) to Mount Pilatus, at an altitude of 2132 metres. Enjoy the vibrant skyline of the Swiss Alps and the snow decked slopes of Mount Pilatus while you savour traditional Swiss cuisine from the delectable restaurants or on the terrace where the views are to die for.

4)    METROPOLITAN OPERA & DINNER – WITH PRIVATE TRANSPORT, NEW YORK

When in New York City, a visit to The Metropolitan Opera is a must for Opera lovers. Make it extra special for our beloved by booking a luxurious package that includes a limousine pickup from your hotel, a meal at the popular Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse, drinks, and opera tickets for your favorite production. This is perfect for an elegant proposal or a Valentine’s Day treat!

5)    ROMANTIC PRIVATE HELICOPTER TOUR FROM QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND

Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New ZealandThe magnificent scenery and views around Queenstown can only truly be experienced from the air via a scenic helicopter flight which will fly you over the highpoints of Lake Wakatipu. Look down on snow-capped peaks, dense forests and gleaming blue waters. The highlight of the luxury helicopter tours has to be shutting down on a remote alpine peak to take some time out to enjoy a delicious gourmet picnic and sparkling wine while you take in the pristine beauty of the alpine landscape. Perfect for couples looking to celebrate a special occasion. 

6)    ALHAMBRA PALACE GUIDED TOUR AND HAMMAM EXPERIENCE, GRANADA, SPAIN

Hammam in Granada, SpainThe city of Granada has one of the most dramatic locations in Spain, poised right below the magnificent “snowy range” Sierra Nevada. It is the perfect setting for one of Europe's most stunning monuments – Alhambra Palace, a romantic palace-fortress of the Nasrid Sultans, rulers of the last Spanish Muslim Kingdom. This red castle in Granada contains some of the world's finest examples of Moorish architecture. Relive the charm, magic and opulence of Alhambra’s glorious past by dipping in Arab-style public steam baths or ‘hammam’ where you and your partner can unwind in warm thermal baths complete with an exotic oil massage. 

7)    NEW YEARS EVE IN GRINZING – TOUR FROM VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Celebrating in a traditional tavernCelebrate the end of the year in one of the most famous wine growing villages in Austria. Just minutes from Vienna lies the wine hamlet of Grinzig with its traditional taverns serving local wine and hearty food, often accompanied by live Viennese music. The district of Grinzing is full of such beautifully preserved establishments that lend the whole district a magical feel. Numerous vineyards are located nearby and make a great place for a tranquil, romantic walk. Welcome the New Year in a traditional tavern, with "dinner à la Grinzing", sparkling wine and classical Viennese music.

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Boryeong Mud Festival 2013, Seoul

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Boryeong Mud FestivalThe Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual festival that takes place at Daecheon Beach in Boryeing for over a period of two weeks in the month of July. Boryeing is a town that’s located around 200 km south of Seoul, South Korea.

Every year, more than 3 million visitors – in and out of Korea – descend to the beach to partake in this mud fest. This year will mark the 16th Mud Festival; and will be held from 19 to 28 July, 2013.

How did it all begin?

Back in the ‘90s, the people of Boryeong discovered that the sediment in the mudflats is wonderful for the skin. The mud is considered to be rich in minerals. So, they developed a range of cosmetic products out of it. To promote the products, they held an event – an event to convince the public that it was indeed OK to rub the mud on the face and body.

It was soon discovered that the mud is more lucrative as a tourist attraction than using it (the muddy fields) for agriculture. The Festival has grown incredibly popular ever since – attracting lots of international visitors.

What exactly is the event all about?

For the event, the mud near Boryeong is dug up, trucked to the Daecheon Beach area, and dumped at a ‘Mud Experience Land’.

The fun then begins with the introduction of pools of mud, slides, mud paints, wrestling pits, inflatable bounce obstacles courses, as well as other contests and games. Then there’s the mud prison for those who want to serve (mock) jail time!

At sunset, the beach comes alive under the stars with the festival-goers cooling off from the daytime’s exciting events. Music, singing, dancing, street parades, cultural performances, concerts and fireworks display on the beach follow all through the night.

There’s no restriction for the fest; everyone can participate in the mud marathons. From sliding down a hundred foot super mud slide to wrestling competitions to mud body-painting contest and mud sculpture contest, there’s just so many things you can partake in. Talk about having a good, clean erm… dirty fun!

Highlights for 2013

For this year's event, a huge mud tub, various mud slides, coloured mud zone, mud attack, mud fountain and a lot more mud activities await you.

Are ya ready to get dirty? It’s going to be MUDTASTIC!

 

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Top 5 Asian Beach Tours of 2012

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How about a quick get-away this Easter holidays by hitting the beaches? And enough of the Spain sun this or Spain that; or other European destinations for that matter. Why not hit the wild Asian beaches for a change? Below are the top 5 Asian Beach Tours we have selected for you this summer 2012:

Gili Trawangan; Credit: Jeda Villa Bali

  1. Gili Trawangan, Indonesia: One of the three Gili Islands, Gili Trawangan is situated in northern Lombok. The place has become easier to reach thanks to speedboats that cover the journey from Bali in 90 minutes. Here, you can go snorkelling in its sparkling clear waters or soak up the sun.  It also provides excellent opportunities for underwater photography.
  2. Koh Larn and Pattaya, Thailand :  Located in the gulf of Thailand, Koh Larn has a warm, inviting sea with silver-sand beaches. And at the beautiful seaside resort of Pattaya, you can explore the colourful coral reefs, go snorkelling, scuba diving, windsurfing, skiing and para-sailing.
  3. Goa Beach, India: Another awesome beach escapade, Goa Beach in India is famous for its sun-kissed beaches and exotic sea food. Lay back and enjoy the calm and beauty of the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, whilst sipping coconut water.
  4. Phang Nga Bay and Lawa Island Cruise, Thailand: Also known as James Bond Island for being featured in the James Bond Film, ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, Phang Nga Bay is bounded by Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi provinces of Thailand, and covers more than 100 islands. You can enjoy swimming and snorkelling, or/and sunbathing at the beautiful Lawa Island.
  5. Pa-La-U Waterfalls, Thailand: A 15-level waterfall along a creek stretching out to the Burmese border, the Pa-La-U waterfalls is the ideal destination for a perfect family get-away. The waterfall is surrounded by a forest of over a thousand years old and is filled with rare wild animals as well.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets now and explore the wild Asian Beaches this Easter!

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An Evening Singaporean Safari

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bluesheep3
As the sun sets over the Singapore Safari, a four-legged creature stirs from its daytime drowse.  Although short and dense in stature, there’s something that makes this horned animal standout.  At first glance, its slate grey coat seems normal.  Upon a second look, however, a bluish tint shines through.  Can this be?

Inside Singapore Zoo’s Night Safari, the Himalayan blue sheep is one among the more than 1,000 animals that begin their day as the moon appears.

The world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals, Night Safari houses 120 species of endangered wildlife.  The park is divided into eight distinct geographical zones, each of which is featured on the Night Safari tour.

As the open-air tram carefully maneuvers between the safari’s physical features—flowing rivers, lush trees, and dirt paths—its inhabitants remain undeterred.  The glowing moon illuminates the strong Cape buffalos that play in the fields, African bongos that feed in grassy fields, and striped hyenas that prowl within the 40 hectares of tropical forest.

Following the four-hour tour, the Night Safari continues with a guided trail walk.  Offering an in-depth look at these nighttime critters, the trip features flying squirrels and bats that glide from tree to tree, and leopards that stalk their intended prey.

What promises to be an evening adventure chockfull of awe and animals, Singapore Zoo’s Night Safari will be a memorable experience.

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A to Z of Places to See (Cities T-Z)!

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York Manor - Indigo Goat

York Manor - Indigo Goat

T is for Tallinn, Estonia: Though it’s got one of the smallest populations of the EU nations, there’s still plenty to see in this Baltic city. Tour the area’s two well-preserved old towns, Toompea, and, well, Old Town. Estonia is also home to beautiful marshlands, forests, and hiking trails, visit Lahemaa National Park, and talk a walk around.

U is for Utrecht, Netherlands: Utrecht serves as the religious centre of the Netherlands, and home of the Archbishop of Utrecht. It is also the home of the Netherlands largest university (Utrecht University), and has a huge variety of museums for its tourists to choose from.

V is for Vienna, Austria: Though Vienna is Austria’s largest city, things here still move at a relaxed pace. Once you’ve toured the city’s highlights, visit a Viennese café for some of the city’s famous coffee. The city is also home to the Vienna Boys’ Choir, one of the most well-renowned in the world. continue reading

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A-to-Z of Places to See!

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Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland - conner395

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland - conner395

A is for Athens, Greece: Not only is Athens the largest city in Greece, but it’s one of the oldest in the world, with plenty of ancient monuments to show for it. An afternoon of sightseeing will undoubtedly take you to the Parthenon on the Acropolis; just don’t forget that there are canals, tombs, sanctuaries, and beaches to explore too!

B is for Berlin, Germany: Though once thought to be home to little more than war ruins, Berlin has become a thriving cultural city. Festivals take place throughout the year, and the city is home to the original technicolour Love Parade. Visit one of the many art museums or galleries around the city, take a historical tour, or see the famous Blue Man Group.

C is for Cádiz, Spain: Located at the very southernmost tip of Spain, Cádiz is home to some of Spain’s most beautiful beaches. Come for the Carnival of Cádiz, one of the world’s most famous fiestas, and once you’ve had enough song, music, and dance, it’s easy to take a day trip to Morocco via ferry or bus! continue reading

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Cappadocia, a Natural Gem of Turkey

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8051_2_cavusin A beautiful region that is defined in both ancient Christianity and modern tourism as a site of natural wonders, the people of Cappadocia have made the most of their surroundings. It is home to the people who Biblically heard the gospel in their own tongue during the Pentecost and later resisted the rule of Alexander the Great. Current draws to the region are “fairy chimneys”, dovecotes, rock carvings and underground cities.

continue reading

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The Singapore Flyer “Towers” Above the Eye

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I’ve been in London for nearly three weeks and I’m finally ready to dig into some of the more touristy adventures that the city has to offer! But as I’m preparing to board the world-famous London Eye, I find out that its already been beaten! That’s right, London’s not the only place to import tons upon tons of steel and glass in order to reconstruct a huge, spinning wheel that flies (slowly) skyward…sure, I’ll stand in the winding queue of tourists waiting for an unbelievable view of the city, and, sure, it will be beautiful and majestic, but what about its rival? The Eye is unbelievably tall, but the Singapore Flyer, pardon my pun, just flies a little higher.

The Singapore Flyer

I must admit that ever since watching Anthony Bourdain’s episode on Singapore, I’ve been dying to go! Yes, I just admitted to loving both the Travel Channel and Anthony Bourdain, but don’t knock ’til you’ve tried..er…watched it! Bourdain does an amazing job of discovering the local cultural and culinary hot-spots of each city he visits, and Singapore’s no exception. Not only does the Republic of Singapore provide a rich combination of Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian cuisines, but also a huge variety of tours, activities, and sites to keep even the pickiest tourist (like myself) entertained! continue reading

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Hollywood Movies with isango! – Slumdog Millionaire Experience and Mumbai Sightseeing Tour

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Mumbai Slumdog Millionaire Sightseeing TourShining like glow worms in the darkness of this year’s world recession are heart warming tales of hope and triumph. One of the brightest is perhaps the story of movie Slumdog Millionaire, the low budget Indie with no major stars that stormed the Oscars and carried off no less than eight coveted awards. And as we all now know, this film, which stunned everyone by its unlikely success, is a story of outside chance – the boy from the hovels of Mumbai who routed his enemies and found his lady love by winning a TV quiz show.

And Slumdog Millionaire’s grand slam is likely to have all sorts of knock-on effects. According to industry pundits, Mumbai – the pulsating city where the movie is set – may have a tourist boom this year despite the economic gloom.

If you loved the movie and can make the trip, you must go too. It’s well worth it. With sensations and surprises around every corner, Mumbai provides the kind of full-on experience that makes you feel truly alive. continue reading

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Macau to host series of spring events

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Travellers taking Macau tours over the coming months will have plenty to remember their trip by as the destination plays host to a number of unusual events.

One of the highlights will be the Feast of the Drunken Dragon, a tradition based on an old Buddhist tale that will be held on May 2nd.

Local fishermen participate in the festival by performing a ‘drunken dance’ with wooden dragon heads and tails as part of a procession that leads from Senado Square towards Macau’s inner harbour.

The 20th Macau Arts Festival will take place between May 2nd and 30th this year and will feature orchestral concerts, exhibitions, dance shows, Chinese opera and more than 70 performances by artists from Europe and the UK.

Bringing the month of May to a close on the 28th will be the Macau International Dragon Boat Festival, which will see local and foreign teams competing against one another on the Nam Van lake.

Macau is one of the two special administrative regions of China, the other being Hong Kong.

Hong Kong – Part mystical Chinese city, part 21st Century metropolis, Hong Kong combines temples and skyscrapers.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19117144-ADNFCR

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