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Ideal Retreats for Health and Fitness Enthusiasts

The idea of being fit and healthy is slowly but surely permeating the way of life of modern man. Health-club industry’s global market size has seen a sharp increase in revenue, rising from 67.19$ billion in 2009 to 83.15$ in 2016, a staggering increase of 15.96 billion U.S. dollars in only half a decade. This increase in fitness-related activities has resulted in more and more people seeking active vacation options, which is reflected in the growing number of tourist destinations that not only enable such activities but use them as their main advertising point. Which begs the question, what are the best destinations for health and fitness enthusiasts around the world?

1.     Cas Gasi, Ibiza

Cas Gasi, Ibiza People associate winter with very cold temperatures and an abundance of snow. However, winter in Ibiza is described by people as delightfully silent and often quite sunny. The White Isle’s Cas Gazi offers a whitewashed and secluded 12-bedroom retreat perched on top of the Santa Gertrudis hills. Visitors are encouraged to try out the famous vinyasa or “flow” yoga or simply lay back and enjoy a soothing delight that is La Biosthétique massages and facials. Add cycling, walking and personal training to suit, as well as healthy meals made using local fruits, vegetables and olive oil and you’ll instantly fall in love with this little slice of heaven.

2.     Crete, Greece

Crete boasts an amazing fitness retreat nested beneath the mountains in the form of an eco-village called Milia. A redecorated farm building and breathtaking rock dwellings set inside the White Mountains National Park offer a one-of-a-kind culinary experience and an abundance of outdoor activities including climbing, hiking, running and enjoying the gorgeous view. The resident chef will tell you all about where the local food is grown, how it needs to be prepared and what type of impact it will have on your body.

3.     Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Australia’s Gold Coast is home to a number of well-known retreats where you can try out the ancient, yet quite wonderful art of qigong while enjoying the unforgeable sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. You can explore numerous walking trails, try out your luck with various dancing classes or hit the local open gyms and break a sweat using the more traditional exercise equipment. After a tasty, organic lunch, you can swim in the warm waters of the Pacific or one of many private plunge pools of your choice.

4.     Koh Samui, Thailand

Thailand might be famous for its natural wonders, but tourists from around the world are flocking to the island of Koh Samui to give the holistic boot camp a try. All your physical, psychological and social needs will be met during the, now famous fitness programs aimed at helping people lose weight and achieve an unprecedented clarity and peace of mind via indoor and outdoor fitness sessions that include cardiovascular workouts, exercises on the beach, Pilates, Muay Thai kickboxing and even weight training.

5.     Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hidden inside the lush green tropical rainforests of Kuala Lumpur lies the world’s first organic wellness retreat. Malaysia is the go-to destination for those who need to relieve stress and re-energize their bodies. Your physical and psychological shape will be evaluated in order to help you pinpoint the exact triggers of stress and provide you with different means of alleviating it, including mounding biking, trekking, organic farming or playing a relaxing game of golf.

Getting into the fit mindset can be rather difficult, considering our everyday commitments and work-related obligations. Taking a retreat far away from the stresses of the modern world is not only recommendable but necessary if we wish to preserve our health and much-needed peace of mind. Fortunately, these retreats offer both recreation and active relaxation in order to cater to our growing fitness needs and allow you to do more than simply waste our days lying in the bed.

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 awesome diving locations in Malaysia

There are a number of excellent dive locations in Malaysia. On the island of Borneo, in the southern region of Sabah is where divers can find some of the finest dive sites in Malaysia. The east coast of Peninsular Malaysia is where some of the most easily reachable dive sites are located, although between October and March the region is prone to the monsoon season that arrives every year. Nonetheless, below is an overview of five of the most interesting locations to dive in Malaysia based on their attractiveness, bio-diversity and dive conditions.

1. Mabul Island, Kapalai Island & Sipadan Island

In the whole of Malaysia, perhaps the best dive sites can be found around these three islands. When it comes to truly enjoying scuba diving in Malaysia, Sipadan is by far the most excellent place and diving there is not quite easy due to the restricting rules. For spectacular muck diving conditions, divers should head over to Mabul Island. Although Kapalai is not very interesting for diving since it is just a small sand bank, but a really exclusive resort built on stilts can be found there. Nontheless, if you visit Sipadan for diving then you should make sure that you do not miss Mabul or vice versa.

2. Lankayan Island

It is quite common to sight a whale shark when diving around Lankayan Island. Lankayan Island is a small island located in eastern Sabah, north of the city of Sandakan. There is only a single but luxurious resort on Lankayan Island that is all about diving and relaxing. Anyone who is really interested in diving around Lankayan Island will surely be able to afford accommodation there. After Sipadan, the best diving conditions and dive spots in Malaysia can without a doubt be found at Lankayan Island.

3. Layang-Layang Island

Layang-Layang is not exactly an island. Rather, it is a concrete landing strip with a big sand bank situated just below sea level, which has a marine base and a resort on it. Layang-Layang is situated in a secluded area, where no human being has managed to affect the underwater world. Corals are in untouched conditions there. Thus, along with diving, Layang-Layang is a place to see big schools of fish and big species.

4. Mataking Island and Sibuan Island

Unlike the nearby islands of Mabul and Sipadan, the diving conditions in the area surrounding Mataking and Sibuan may not be as great, but still some really amazing dive sites, especially for muck diving, are offered there. Moreover, Mataking Island is a marvelous place to stay for divers. The island is home to a luxurious resort from where dive trips can be enjoyed in the area.

5. Redang Island

Redang is also one of Malaysia’s most interest dive locations even though it is not located in Borneo. The island lies at the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, nearby the city of Kuala Terengganu within the Terengganu Marine Park. Perfect dive conditions and superb dive sites are offered at Redang. It is an excellent place where divers can begin their diving adventure due to the really affordable prices of a 4 day PADI. It is not possible to visit Redang between October and March due to the monsoon season.

Of course, there are numerous other wonderful places to enjoy diving in Malaysia, but the above were the most interesting ones where divers are sure to have a great time.