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Tag archives for Asia Travel - Page 2

Drive Your Imaginations Wild with Scenic Beauty of Philippine’s Beaches

Philippine is known as beach capital of the Asia. The coastline of Philippines is twice to that of the United States. Phillipines is relatively undiscovered travel destination but it has magical islands with world class surfing and diving opportunities. You can enjoy the deep crystal blue waters of the China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Every beach has its own charm. If someone asks you to pick the best beach in the Philippines you will get confused. It seems that someone has asked you to choose the best child among your children. I am going to tell you the fantastic islands and beaches in the Philippines.

Chill out in El Nido, Palawan:

Chill out in El NidoIt is one of the beautiful islands in the Philippines. The Palawan is known as the last frontier of the Philippines while the El Nido is the gateway to the adventure. The fantastic views are something that is selling this place. You will love the powder fine beaches. The gin-clear water is enough to make you take a deep breath and calm yourself. When you are there capture the beauty of this piece of land in your camera. Get one and hang it on the wall of your living room to save the precious memories of Philippines. Have a lifelong adventure with fabulous surfing and diving here.

Boracay, Aklan:

It is the most visited holiday destination in the Philippines. The distinctive feature of this place is the white beach.  You can enjoy here the secluded trips to the caves, cliffs, sand and coves. The beach is famous for the night which is full of candle-lit sand castles giving a romantic and magical view. The major activity’s here are kite-boarding, scuba diving, snorkeling and windsurfing. You will love the place and the scenic beauty here.  The azure blue water is something that will make you turn to this place again and again. The white beach here is known as the “finest beach in the world”. So do not miss any more time and pack yourself for a wonderful trip to boracay Philippines.

Bohol Island:

Bohol IslandThe Bohol Island is also known as the chocolate island. It has large numbers of limestone hills that were formed of coral reefs of the last ice age. The things to enjoy are numerous. You can enjoy exploring the caves which are more than hundred in number. It has the wide range of animals and plant species, the Philippine tarsier is the distinctive one. The Bohol Island is bestowed with countless beaches with clear waters and fine sand. Relax yourself at these enchanting beaches and get lost in nature. You will fall in love with the water, sand and the surrounding cliffs.

Apo Island:

It is the most beautiful island in the Philippines. The dazzling clear waters and the striking coral formation are the distinctive features of this island which makes it unique to other islands in the world. The beaches of this island have white powdery sand that is perfect to lie down to enjoy the sun. The Apo Island has a wonderful and famous site for the scuba diving and snorkeling. The water here is full of marine life and the divers can enjoy some more than 600 species of marine life while diving under the dazzling waters. The coral formation here is awesome and it appears that god has places the corals here with his own hand. Besides the awe inspiring scenery you will enjoy the friendly nature of the people here. You can have any kind of help from them. So don’t be afraid of going to the Apo beach on this holiday season. These are the famous and enthralling islands with stunning beaches waiting for you.

What Indonesia has for Photography Lovers?

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world providing the stunning sites to click on for photographers. The natural serene beauty of Indonesian islands will drive the photographer mad. Indonesia has incredible natural beauty having superb mountains, world class serene beaches, awesome lakes and awe inspiring greenery. It attracts every kind of visitors including photographers from all over the world. It is the kind of sweet delight for all the tourists. Here I will tell you about some fantastic places which will treat your eyes and also a treat to the lenses of your cameras. Here is the list of photogenic places of Indonesia.

Lombok:

LombokLombok is one of the top icons of tourism in Indonesia.  It has some amazing sceneries which can amaze the people visiting it. The beautiful beaches are perfect place to take photos of the rising sun with clear waters. The white sandy beaches will make an adorable photo in the evening. The more you explore the Lombok, the more you will be surprised. The Mount Rinjani towering sky adds an enchanting charm to the island. You will also enjoy the richness of biodiversity on this island. Keep on exploring and do not put your finger away from the camera click button. You will get some extraordinary photos at this island.

Komodo national park:

Komodo national park is one of the splendid sites to visit. The komodo is the giant dragon which is the largest living reptile on earth. The park derives its name from this giant reptile. The photographers come to this place very often especially those working for national geographic channel. They shoot the dragon from different angles trying to capture each and every movement of this giant. The park has not only the giant it has many other things to offer you. It has the best spot for diving under clear waters of red beach. You will enjoy a trip to komodo national park.

Bali:

baliBali is the beach paradise. It is the top destination for those seeking to spend time on beautiful islands. It is bestowed with magical beaches making Bali a unique and distinctive tourist’s attraction. You will enjoy the magical beauty of volcanic beaches of the west and soft sandy beaches of the south. Besides the famous beaches Bali has the treasure of hidden beaches which are nestled below the secluded cliffs and are difficult to get to. These islands are perfect sites for the day light photography. So turn on your cameras, get ready to capture the scenic beauty of these beaches and later on save this natural treasure by transforming photos to canvas UK to get the maximum delight on watching them.

Lake Toba:

Lake Toba is the beautiful lake surrounded by eye catching mountains and awe inspiring scenery. It is the second largest lake in the world. It is perfect spot for nature, historic and spiritual tourism. The morning scene with the mist hanging over the lake is indescribable view. It seems that you are in heaven while the soft breezes are crossing you. The site is a good one for photographers but to capture the morning scenes more light within their camera is required.

Have fun and make as many photos as you can. You will love all of them.

Getting the Most Out of your Travel in Hong Kong-The Shopping Edition

Shopping is one of the must-do activities in Hong Kong, in fact, a trip to the Ladies’ Market or Temple Street Night Market for souvenirs is right up there on the to-do-list in Hong Kong with a trip to the avenue of stars and Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade to see the spectacular city skylines.

But what are the places you could visit in Hong Kong that offer a great shopping experience? Let’s run down a list of four shopping destinations in Hong Kong starting with the Ladies Market and the Temple Street Night Market.

Ladies Market

Ladies MarketClothes, accessories, and souvenirs are some of the things you could get when you visit Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street. From the name itself, you can be assured of finding a ton of ladies wear in this market. You could get shopping bags, cosmetics, costume jewelry, and even ladies’ underwear. But you’ll also be able to get the perfect Hong Kong souvenir to bring home with you. Looking for an “I Love Hong Kong” shirt? Search among the hundreds of stores along the 1 km stretch of the market and you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. Be wary of fake products being sold at the market, although I’m sure you’re wise enough to avoid buying a “real” Louis Vuitton bag from a stall.

Temple Street Night Market

Located in Jordan and Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon, Hong Kong, Temple Street Night Market is a must-see place if you want to hear opera singers while getting your fortune told. Haggle hard for souvenirs, electronics, watches, and jade jewelry with a tasty takeout treat in your other hand. You could get to Temple Street Night Market by getting off the nearest MTR stations at Jordan or Yau Ma Tei.

Cat Street

If you’re looking for Chinese antiques, you need to go to Cat Street on Road and Upper Lascar Road in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island. The nearerst MTR station is the Central Station and once there, you could look for antique furniture or knick knacks from the Cultural Revolution. You can also shop for jade, silk products, and handicraft items on Cat Street.

Apliu Street Flea Market

If you’re itching to grab a bargain on electronics, Apliu Street Flea Market on Sham Shui Po in Kowloon is the place to go. You could get brand-new and second-hand electronics there or even antique coins and watches. Go to the market by getting off at the MTR Sham Shui Po Station, Exit C2.

Don’t Forget to Bring Cash and Your Credit Card When Bargain Shop in Hong Kong!

Ready to explore Hong Kong and take advantage of the many shopping places there? Don’t forget to bring your cash and credit card. Cash is always readily accepted by the vendors at the stalls at these markets but I’m sure your shopping trip will take you to Hong Kong’s many department stores where your credit card will be more readily accepted. You could also use your credit card at the many hotels and restaurants around Hong Kong so you don’t have to carry too much cash with you.

This article by Money Hero, a Hong Kong’s leading financial comparison website. Compare a broad range of financial products, from credit cards to travel insurance plans.

Things to do in Thailand-Fabulous Five

Thailand Tourism promises a memorable stay to all its tourists and delivers it in style. There are a large number of things to do in Thailand and one may fall short of time no matter how well he plans his vacation due to the innumerable options available to him. Here is a list of some of the things one has to do while in Thailand:

thailand travel

  • Eating: If you are in Thailand then you are in for a treat. With a score of restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world, Thailand is a paradise for food lovers. The Thai cuisine is well known and appreciated throughout the world due to its exotic flavours and unique preparation. There are restaurants to fulfil everyone’s appetite and to suit everyone’s style. From a quiet little place to eat and relax to a place with loud music and cheerful people. You can find cheap to moderate to high end restaurants serving delicious food with a smile. Eating will definitely be one of your favourite things to do in Thailand.
  • Sightseeing: Thailand is a country with a very rich cultural heritage and a glorious past.  There are a number of places to visit which are of great significance to the country. Wat Phra Kaew, Doi Suthep-poi National park, Dusit Palace Park, Sanam Luang, Khao Yai National Park are some of the places that you can’t afford to miss while in Thailand.
  • Shopping: Thailand proves to be heaven for shopaholics by offering a large number of spots for lightening their wallets. There is something for everyone and you can go from a market of small stalls to high end malls dealing in luxury brands to let yourself loose and shop till you drop. Some of the top shopping spots are MBK Centre, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, Damnoen Saduak Floating market, Siam Paragon and many more. Shopping is one of the things to do in Thailand which you will love to do.
  • Beaches: The beaches in Thailand are known throughout for their breath taking beauty, white sand, perfect scenery, clear waters, limestone cliffs and exotic flora and fauna. When you are in Thailand you will feel like just laying back on a recliner on one of these beaches and sipping your favourite cocktail or maybe taking a good massage. For the adventurous souls there are a number of activities such as diving, rock climbing, snorkelling etc. Some of the best beaches of Thailand are Railay beach, James Bond beach, Freedom beach, Koh Chang beach etc. These beaches are all gems of Thailand Tourism.
  • Partying: If you are a party animal then this is one of the best things in Thailand for you. Thailand’s night-life is one of the best in the world and its late night beach parties are unmatched by anywhere else in the world. With a large number of pubs, clubs and discotheques to choose from you can party according to your own style and to your kind of music.

This guest post is by Chandralekha, a Travel enthusiast, currently working with ixigo, an online India Travel Guide helps you to plan your trip. This time she has written on Thailand Tourism. Hope this information will help you to plan your trip to Thailand.

The Women of Muay Thai

The modern version of Muay Thai we see today was first developed in the 1920s. As the years progressed, there were accounts of women getting into the combat sport and fighting in small competitions that were never fully organized. The rarity of women in the sport was not just because of gender oppression, but also attributed to the fact that the women during these times were just not into it.

Women of Muay ThaiDuring the time when Muay Thai was purely a means of attack and self-defense used in real life situations, the women of Khunying Mae-yamo, meaning ‘respected mother,’ fought alongside the men who used Muay Thai to fight off territorial invaders.

When the gender renaissance swept the world during the 60s and 70s, things began to favor the female demographic. Fights were set up in Rajadamnem participated by daughters of well-known gym owners, and even the government-owned Lumpinee Boxing Stadium ran a series of female fights. However, this female surge in the sport was just momentary.

The real reason why women were hindered in getting involved with Muay Thai is a mix of the nation’s deep religious and superstitious beliefs. Since Thailand is predominantly Buddhist, it is Muay Thai tradition for monk to bless fighters in a moving ceremony, with the monk walking over a fighter’s limbs. Women can’t engage in this ceremony since Buddhist monks are forbidden to be in physical contact with women. They believe that women represent desire, which must be suppressed to achieve nirvana—a belief that is not something to be taken lightly.

This religious belief was reinforced by an incident that happened at an event in Rajadamnem during the late 70s. A female television producer stepped into the ring to direct a shoot, after which every match of the night ended with the fighters seriously injured. Naturally, her presence in the ring was blamed, proving that women did not belong anywhere near the ring. An unofficial ban was imposed on female fights and they were not even allowed to so much as touch the fighting rings in gyms and stadiums.

Fortunately, the ban was temporary. Women in families that owned gyms continued to train in Muay Thai, and it didn’t take long for female bouts to eventually resume. If there was someone fighting worth placing a bet on, the men allowed the women to fight, but just not in Bangkok’s main stadiums or the larger ones upcountry. Female bouts were then scheduled last, so the beliefs the people adhere to won’t be affected, and they even had them go under the top rope when entering the ring, so they do not set themselves higher than the spirits.

As the years slowly passed, the women attending fights at larger stadiums grew in number. As the standard of female fights improved, the betting stakes increased and the interest exploded. And with help of the World Muay Thai Council, an organization run mostly by foreigners, there was more openness in promoting female fights, further boosting its popularity.

Today, both female and male fights in Thailand are on the same level, with five, three-minute rounds that allow elbows. However, the stakes involved are still greater in the men’s bouts. Regardless, the women in Muay Thai have come a long way since then, and it looks like there is no stopping them from soon dominating the sport.

Bio: Marie Felipe is an online writer for more than 6 years now promoting the importance of being fit and healthy. She realized it is quite difficult to stay fit especially if you work online and just sits every day. Luckily with a help of a little diet and hours in a Muay Thai gym she stays fit.

The Ultimate Credit Card Guide to Traveling to Southeast Asia

If you are planning to go to Southeast Asia, bringing travel credit cards is definitely a great idea. Credit cards offer great convenience to travellers; you can use them for almost anything you’ll need on the road, and at the same time, they can give you peace of mind and a sense of security. Carrying cash going from place to place has oftentimes proved to be more trouble than it’s worth if you are in a strange land.

malaysia Along with itinerary, budget, and other important concerns, your overseas travel plans should also include financial management. This ultimate guide on the best travel credit cards discusses some of the ideal options for travellers as well as some simple but important guidelines to ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for your trip.

Before You Go

  • It is an absolute must for you to call your bank to tell them that you are leaving the country. If you are a VISA credit card holder, you will be required to submit a Traveling Out-of-State Form for your own protection.
  • It would also be a good idea to check on the Credit Card Union to get information on daily spending limits, withdrawal restrictions, cash advances, and other relevant information.
  • Write down your card account numbers and keep the information secure but within easy access. You can leave it with a friend or family member whom you can call for the information in case of emergencies.
  • Save your bank’s customer service hotlines on your phone. It will come useful in case you need to report a lost or stolen card.
  • If you are going away for a long time, see if you can set up online access to your credit card. This enables you to transfer payments from other existing savings or checking accounts. At the same time, it is easier to keep up with your credit card bills.

Managing Your Travel Credit Cards on the Go

  • When you use credit cards for travel abroad, remember that you will be charged foreign transaction fees. Rates vary with each credit card, usually from 1% to 3%, and are applied on ALL transactions incurred, regardless of currency.
  • Foreign transaction fees can easily accumulate. Save up on credit card transaction fees by taking a few extra trips to the ATM.
  • ATMs are still the best and easiest way to get cash from your card wherever in the world you may be. Look at the back of your card to see which network you are on (VISA or MasterCard) and simply look for a corresponding ATM in your location. International transaction fees may apply.

Best Travel Credit Cards

VISA credit cards are accepted in more places in Southeast Asia than any other card. If you are a MasterCard carrier, you won’t have much of a problem getting by either, as a lot of banks in Southeast Asia partner with major global financial networks.

Also, note that Southeast Asia is still mostly cash-centered. You can save a lot by resorting to other options like traveler’s cheques, ATM cards, debit cards, and of course, some amount of local currency, on top of your travel credit cards.

Michael Vincent writes for Compare Hero, Malaysia’s leading financial comparison website, allowing you to compare the prices of a broad range of financial products, from credit cards to insurance plans.

5 Tips to Feeling at Home When Traveling Abroad

Does it take a certain skill to feel at home when traveling abroad?

We’ve heard people say home is where the heart is. Thing is, falling for a place – so much so you’re thinking about extending your stay – may take time. The process might even take longer if you keep searching for the familiar.

Homesickness is then inevitable especially for those going overseas the first time. You cannot remain blue throughout though. Your trip is temporary and soon you’ll be going back to ‘real’ life. So live in the moment, and indulge yourself in your new environment.

tourist with local

Here are few tips how you can do so.

Travel on foot. Going to your next stop? If your schedule allows, walk your way instead of riding vehicles. Do your homework about possible routes and tag your travel buddies along for safety purposes. There’s nothing wrong asking locals for directions but do not panic when you feel you’ve lost your way. Surprises come in unexpected packages. You might just experience the best of your trip during this time you’re uncertain where you and your friends are heading to.

Commute with locals. Ditch the cabs and cars for rent, and commute with locals. If you are going to an island destination, take the passenger boat instead of the private ones. If you must hire a vehicle to navigating the town, consider two-wheels instead. If there is no issue with any of your travel buddies, then check out public transportation utilities available in the area. They’re generally cheaper, plus, you get to mingle with locals. People might throw you occasional glances but let it go. You’re the new kid in town, that’s why. Smile back at them.

Go where people eat. Refrain from eating in chain establishments. While the menu may have been altered for a more local appeal, still, nothing beats food served in local eateries. This is even more favorable for budget travelers. If you notice people flock to a food stall or restaurant, chances are items sold there taste great and come cheap. You also would not have to worry about food safety. The fact that patrons gather around is one indication they trust the establishment. Dine in these places. Take out your phrasebook for some help deciphering the menu.

Stop by neighborhoods. Who says tourist attractions are the only places you can check out when traveling? Even non-touristy sites could turn out interesting. Exploring neighborhoods is one way you can witness and experience for yourself, the local culture. If you’ll limit your stops to particular sites recommended to travelers, chances are all you will encounter are foreign travelers like you. That is not what you signed up for.

Visit in time for festivals. Yes, this is considered as among the peak seasons when the price for everything soars. But with adequate planning you can successfully go over trips right at this time, without spending a fortune. Even locals encourage travelers to visit because festivities lend for a perfect timing for socialization. The atmosphere is fun. Food is everywhere. Locals are celebrating their culture. And the more exciting it becomes when you are taking part in activities the place is known for such as “Holi” or the Festival of Colors in India.

Going to a place you’ve never been gives you that sense of confidence and fulfillment. When you get back home, then you can start a conversation with friends or write my essay online about memories you’ve created abroad. You might just appreciate your original home even more, and realize it’s possible that you survive on the other side of the world.

Nettie Gray hasn’t experienced extending trips abroad although she felt the urge to do so many times. Family and work always make her come back home as planned.

Travel Tips for Visiting Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an amazing place to visit and an even better place to live.  I would recommend visiting the city for a long weekend.  But with a long weekend you will be able to go to all the site Hong Kong has to offer.If you want to spend even longer then there is few thing in here that will interest you to see as well. Take out Annul Travel Insurance before heading off and exploring the great city of Hong Kong

Accommodation

  • I recommend finding a hotel on the Island, but if you are looking for a slightly cheaper hotel then look on the Kowloon side of HK.  The price of a room in a hotel is pretty expensive, compared to the rest of the world.
  • Be prepared for hard beds in the hotels, it is just how beds are in Hong Kong. There meant to be good for your back.
Sites
  • Take the train up to the top of the peak or take the bus (a little scary, but great views). The train and buses can be found in the central district.  The view from the peak is stunning if you are lucky with the pollution level. You can get a great view of most of the island from the peak.  It is practically spectacular if you are up at the Peak during sunset, when the skyscrapers turn the lights on.
  • Mongkok Night Market.  Mongkok is on the Kowloon side of HK, there is actually 2 markets in Mongkok that are both good, and are close to different MTR line exits.  If you love shopping then this is the place for you to visit, You can find lots of cheap clothes and electronics in the market, you have to remember to haggle a little bit to lower the price.
  • Kowloon Bay, It is worth going over to the Kowloon side of the bay and looking at the HK Island, they do a light show every night at around 7-8 pm and it is an awesome sight to see.  At the same time you can take a look at the bronze statue of Bruce Lee.
  • Beaches; there is plenty of beaches in HK, some are on the Island and the others are on the Kowloon side and are outside of the city.  The beaches closest to the city, are very nice. The Beaches are around Stanley region of the island and are lovely and easy to get to by bus.  A little bit more difficult to get to are the beaches and islands around Tia Po.What you are probably thinking at the moment is, isn’t the water really dirty and polluted, and the answer is yes.  But it’s not as bad as you imagine and if you are over there in the summer months then you will be happy to get into the water.  The water is very salty and warm so it is easy to float.  When I lived there I went into the water dozens of times and I didn’t get any negative effects.
  • The Tian Tan Buddha or the big Buddha is located on the Lantau Island, what is also where the airport is.  The Buddha is made from brass and it was made in 1993.  It is one of HK must attractions and is very much worth a visit.
  • Hiking; you may be surprised to hear. There is actually a lot of hiking to be done in HK, once you get out of the city hub. The rest of HK is perfect for a hike up the hills.  You can reach most destinations by bus and a beach is at the end of the walk.
  • Macao: Technically Macao is not in Hong Kong, but it is about a 1 hour ferry ride away. It is known at the Las Vegas of Asia, with a lot of the casinos in Las Vegas, having a similar if not identical casino on the island.  Macao used to be a Portuguese Colony, and you can see the differences that the Portuguese have made to the Island compared to the English in Hong Kong.  If you take a walk through the town and up to the ruins of the church, then you will see some beautiful courtyards that you would expect to see in Portugal or Spain.
  • The last activity is my favourite in HK, It is going on a junk boat.  It entails hiring out a boat, normally with about 30 people on-board with you. They come with staff and driver. Often the people are friend-of-friends, basically if you have been invited by someone, then you can invite people to come as well.  Often you only know about 5-10 people on board.  The boat then heads out off the harbour and around the coast to a secluded part of HK and drops anchor.  Often you take a small speed boat as well and once anchored everyone goes banana boating, wakeboarding and other activities, or they just jump into the water.  Food and drink is provided on the boat and everyone has a blast.  It is a great day out.

Restaurants

  • In Hong Kong there is lots of great restaurants from across the world, the majority are Chinese or Asian.  The best thing to do when looking for a restaurant is, do what the locals do.  Use the website OpenRice to look for restaurants that are in HK.  The best thing about the website is that you can sort the restaurants out by price, area, and type of restaurant.  So explore the site and find some restaurants that you want to eat at.
  •  Another helpful bit of advice for ordering in restaurant most of them will have a picture menu.  But you can also just point to what other people are ordering, it isn’t rude to order your food like that.

About Author: Oliver Smith has spent an extensive amount of time living in Hong Kong.  He is a travel writer working with CoverMore.  He is currently living in Beijing.  Take out Quality Travel Insurance before discovering the wonders of HongKong.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of Cover-More Insurance.