Posts tagged ‘asia’


goa beachesA tropical paradise located on the west coast of India, Goa offers some of the best beaches in Asia. Goa has a varied and rich past being a Portuguese colony with a large number of cathedrals and Christian architecture, and although it is India’s smallest state it boasts one of the largest Christian populations. The capital of Goa, Panaji offers a breath of local culture topped with rich ambience that makes it one of the country’s favourite tourist destinations.

Most holiday packages to Goa are tailored around beach holidays and most flights to Goa transit through Mumbai, but there are also first class coaches that travel between Goa and Mumbai.

Once in Goa, there is no shortage of what to do or places to visit. The state is renowned for its sandy beaches, water sports, easygoing lifestyle and exotic festivals. Goa also boasts a rich tropical flora and fauna habitat that preserves a wild range of exotic wildlife.

Goa has a large collection of hotels that range from basic to five star ones which offer superb amenities of luxurious standard. You can always find cheap flights to Goa with a lot of travel companies offering packages and flight deals.

What makes Goa stand out as a perfect holiday destination is that it has a diverse and rich history influenced by being a former colony of the British Empire and the Portuguese colony which embolden the spirit of the state leading to a flowering, creative and undeviating character of its people. Goa is a place with soul, history and because it’s not so well know, is an excellent place to go to discover new horizons.

Discovering Asia

thailandAsia is the largest continent in the world and an ever popular tourist destination. With so many countries to choose from, each with their unique culture, traditions and attractions, it is sometimes difficult to decide where to go. Asia is too massive and diverse to conceptualize as a single digestible travel “destination”. Even defining the borders of this continent is difficult – from the mountains around the Black Sea in the west, to the snow fields of Siberia in the east, there are more people and cities in Asia than outside of it.

Thailand, China, India, Japan…….the list of destinations in Asia goes on. Thailand has its paradise islands, Buddhist temples and beautiful capital Bangkok; China has its architectural wonders such as the Great Wall, as well as sacred buildings and a unique culture; India has its own manmade wonders such as the Taj Mahal, not to mention a rich smell of spices coming from the wonderful restaurants in Delhi, and Japan has its spectacular Mount Fuji and cherry blossom trees.

Checking out the price of airline tickets online is perhaps crucial to the decision-making process. Search and comparison websites allow you to enter in the flight criteria so that you can price airfares for different destinations and book the cheapest you find. Asia’s largest airports by number of intercontinental connections include Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Mumbai and Singapore. For the Middle East, Dubai is by far the largest hub, with Doha and Abu Dhabi also having reasonably good connections.

Flights to Thailand

flights to thailandThailand has fast become one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Backpackers flock to Bangkok; honeymooners retreat to Phuket and nature seekers head to Chiang Mai. Its paradise islands, luxury resorts, charming capital and natural beauty are its most appealing assets. Thailand is the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia, and for a reason. You can find almost anything here: thick jungle as green as can be, crystal blue beaches that feel more like a warm bath than a swim in the ocean and food that can curl your nose hairs while tap dancing across your taste buds. Exotic, yet safe; cheap, yet equipped with every modern amenity you need, there is something for every interest and every price bracket, from beach front backpacker bungalows to some of the best luxury hotels in the world. And despite the heavy flow of tourism, Thailand retains its quintessential Thainess, with a culture and history all its own and a carefree people famed for their smiles and their fun-seeking sanuk lifestyle. Many travelers come to Thailand and extend their stay well beyond their original plans and others never find a reason to leave. Whatever your cup of tea is, they know how to make it in Thailand. These features, along with the rising popularity of this country as a holiday destination mean that finding cheap flights to Thailand is not always easy.

It goes without saying that booking in advance increases the chances of finding cheap flights. However, doing a simple price check on search and comparison websites is another good way of getting bargain flights. The main airlines which operate flights from worldwide destinations to Thailand are Delta Airlines, Thai Airways International, Jet Airways and Emirates. To help you decide which airline to fly with, check out airline reviews. Search for customer feedback on airlines, airports and hotels so that you can find out about other travellers’ experiences and it will help you pick the right travel deals. Life is easy with the internet.

The Best Diving Sites in Asia

phuket divingAsia provides some of the best diving sites in the world. In fact, divers seem to have come to some sort of consensus that regards Asia (and the Pacific Southeast specifically) as being the best in the world when it comes to top-rate diving locations. A lot of this consensus has to do with the sheer number of dive sites located in Asia. This also means that the more diving sites to choose from, the harder it is to come up with a list of the best. However, we must try…so here it goes.

Let’s begin with Thailand. The Similan Islands and Burma Banks are located up the coast from Phuket. Although due to Phuket’s popularity the waters can get busy, they seldom disappoint with their clear waters, granite islands, and sandy beaches. What makes it such a great diving spot is the fact that the islands are protected under Thai law, which shields the area from fishing. Diving is easy and navigation is simple, making for comfortable dives. Along the north end are whale shark populations, as well as several species of rays, and the leopard shark.

Papua New Guinea dive sites may be difficult to get to, but they are well worth the effort. Kavieng features current-swept channels, which attract a variety of big fish. You can observe eagle rays, mantas, tuna, barracudas, reef sharks, and oceanic white tip sharks. Kavieng is also home to miles of reef walls which drop away to great depths and are covered in big fans, sponges and beautiful hard corals. This area is also home to several World War II wrecks.

Sipadan in Malaysia is an Asian diving classic. It contains more than most, as it is at the epicenter of one of the richest marine habitats in the world. Groups of greenback and hawksbill turtles, barracuda, big-eyed trevallies, manta rays, eagle rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks, and whale sharks all call this area home. There is also a mysterious turtle tomb hidden beneath the reef in an underwater limestone cave. It contains many skeletal remains of turtles, but is dangerous for humans as well, as divers have died here. So don’t attempt this without cave experience and a first class local guide.

Raja Ampat in Indonesia provides all that could be desired in terms of diversity. The waters are home to more than 1,000 species of fish and the diving offers diverse terrain and marine life. Most dives are drift dives due to strong currents, and large schools of fish populate the region such as sharks, manta rays, mobula rays, dolphins, whales, and turtles. Some sites have huge rocks rising up from the ground and water, surrounded by barracuda and manta rays. Rare animals like the wobbegong shark can also be spotted, as well as the epaulette shark which is only a foot long and is indigenous to the region.

Finally, the tiny nation of Palau is a great dive site for jellyfish. The popular lagoon near the island of Malakal has World War II wrecks and pelagic fish. Palau’s amazing Jellyfish Lake is in the Rock Islands. Visitors can swim with millions of soft jellyfish. These jellyfish have evolved without any stinger as there is no predator in the vicinity.

Asia’s Best Beaches

Mai Khao beachAsia is home to the longest as well as some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. Since Asia is such a vast continent that covers many tropical areas, it stands to reason that it would have many beautiful, sandy beaches. There are, in fact, so many beaches to choose from that coming up with a list of the best is quite difficult.

Mai Khao Beach in Phuket, Thailand, is one of the few remaining beaches that are quite and almost deserted. It is just 17km of peaceful, beachfront. In fact, it is the longest beach on Phuket, with only one resort. This is the place to go to experience some serenity. April provides some excitement however, due to the hundreds of baby sea turtles that are released into the ocean.

Tanjung Rhu in Langkawi, Malaysia is another secluded and private beach. It is a huge, secluded cove that contains the one of the longest stretches of private beach anywhere. The beach is wide with soft sand and the deep blue water is perfect for swimming. There is also only one resort, making it a perfect romantic getaway, or just a private taste of paradise.

Lombok, off the coast of Bali, Indonesia has pure white-sand beaches with clear aqua-blue water. It is so private that sometimes you may have the beach all to yourself. Considering that Lombok is just a short ride from Bali, it is a wonder that it remains so secluded.

The island of Koh Phangan, Thailand in the Southern Gulf has developed rather rapidly over the past 20 years as it’s become a tourist hotspot. The tiny island has lots to offer: fabulous beach and water perfect for swimming and snorkeling, lots of accommodations to choose from, outdoor activities, and a big party scene. If you would rather be surrounded by fellow beach goers, then this is your perfect destination.

Tioman Island may be small, but it is vast in beauty. With its lush jungles, crystal-clear streams, and dazzling white-sand beaches, you will never want to leave. It is also not as developed as some other beaches in the area, making it a dream destination for those seeking something off the beaten track. Juara Bay is as isolated as you can get – a quiet beach on the east coast, braced by three rivers leading to waterfalls in the jungle.

The beaches in Boracay, Philippines provide a laid-back atmosphere, but still draw crowds nonetheless. The 4km of sparkling sand that makes up White Beach is claimed by some to rival the beaches of the Caribbean. The water is shallow, the sand is like powder, and the shops and services surrounding it cater to every need and budget.

Last but not least, you cannot have a list of best beaches without mentioning the Maldives. The tiny island nation southwest of Sri Lanka contains many beaches that remain undisturbed. The white sand and turquoise waters make it heaven on earth. Plus the government has stress quality over quantity when it comes to its tourism, meaning that the beaches should remain somewhat undisturbed for years to come.

Bangkok, the City of Angels

bangkokOne aspect of Bangkok that never ceases to fascinate and intrigue me is the kaleidoscope of contrasts ever-present throughout the city. Indeed, the Thai capital is hardly alone in this regard. Extensive travel throughout Southeast Asia has brought me in close touch with simple, humble Buddhism on the one hand and raw, furious capitalism on the other. I have seen elegant reverence for ancient traditions one minute and total, all-in embraces of Western excess the next.

This is not to suggest that as a city, Bangkok has a patent on this kind of cultural dichotomy. Far from it. I can certainly name others that offer displays of venerable, quiet dignity by day and colourful flourishes of libertine, carnal gluttony by night. With Bangkok however, the flagrant contrasts are much, much more extreme. I think this is a key factor in the city’s vast allure.

One enclave of Bangkok where a lot of this comes together is Silom. Part corporate and financial district, the area is also the most notorious nightlife hub in Asia and arguably, the world. Silom after all, is home to Patpong.

The diminutive but infamous red light, entertainment and go-go bar district spans two parallel side streets between Surawong Road and Silom Road. Thought a fair number of locals frequent Patpong, the chaotic area is expat, backpacker and farang tourist central. Some come for the ridiculous spectacle that is Patpong, some for sheer curiosity’s sake and some for more nefarious reasons. The backdrop of Miss Saigon and The Deer Hunter is worth a look however, no matter how narrow.

High above the seamy veneer of Patpong’s go-go bars is Silom’s extraordinary skyline. You want to talk about contrasts, just stroll down this de facto “Wall Street of Thailand” which runs into the adjacent riverside district of Bang Rak. Luxury hotels, Fortune 500s, banks, shiny malls and upmarket shops all crowd for space in this Bangkok economic nerve centre. Though cultural points of interest are few and far between in Silom, visitors can always explore the oasis-like environs of Lumphini Park. The heritage home of former Thai Prime Minister M.R. Kukrit is a welcome respite from the skyscraper-red light contrast as well. Last but not least, I always recommend visitors in Silom district catch a Muay Thai event at Lumphini Stadium and check out Assumption Cathedral.

Nightlife, beyond the dense confines of Patpong, assumes other forms as well. Thanks to a plethora of phenomenal hotels in Silom district, the Bangkok ‘hood is chock full of superb bars, restaurants and even the occasional upscale rooftop lounge. If you want to get posh in the Thai capital, Silom is the place to do it. A number of reliable mid-range restaurants and bars in the district help keep the budget in line but many of Silom’s nobler digs are well worth a look-see. Splurge one night in Silom and slum it up the next – this is what makes Bangkok so spectacular.

Top Things to Do While Traveling in Asia

angkor watAsia provides a huge array of things to see and do over a vast amount of land and nations. Although it may take several trips to see all of it, Asia contains some awe-inspiring sites and major historical monuments. Its temples, unmistakable cuisine, and beautiful scenery will make you never want to leave. I’ve assembled some of the top things to do while traveling in this fabulous continent.

  • Japan’s Mount Fuji makes the top of everyone’s list and it’s not hard to see why. You could easily spend a weekend exploring the vast dormant volcano and its surrounding Lake Ashi, and Hakone National Park. The views are incredible, and with the proper preparation you can even accent Mount Fuji’s 12,388 feet to the summit to watch the sunset/sunrise. What a memorable experience that would be.
  • The giant Temple kingdom of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia is a once in a lifetime sight to behold. It is quite possibly the most impressive thing you will ever see in a jungle. This UN World Heritage Site sees thousands of visitors each year. The massive size of it is truly compelling when you think of how old it is and that it is surrounded by water and jungle. Angkor Wat is a true testament to human achievement and is a fascinating place to visit.
  • Ha Long Bay in Northwest Vietnam is simply outstanding as it is flooded with limestone rocks jutting out of the sea. You can take a boat tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that will take you around some of the 2000 islands which protrude out of the water in the Gulf of Tonkin. The area is absolutely breathtaking, and deserves to be experienced.
  • Take a tour of the Singapore Zoo either in the morning or at night depending on the types of animals you wish to see. Singapore Zoo is massive and provides the animals an opportunity to live in the wildest environment possible. During the morning tour, you can breakfast in the wild while exploring the zoo, and then get a closer look at the orangutans in their natural habitat. In the night tour, you weave through the Himalayan foothills at night on a safari tour to spot nocturnal animals in their natural habitat. It’s one of the best things to do in Singapore.
  • What better way to discover a forest than by elephant? At Khao Yai National Park in Thailand, you can enjoy the outdoors, wildlife, and lush forests as well as explore Pakchong Creek by elephant. It provides a truly majestic experience and one that is definitely one of a kind.
  • Stay in a Buddhist Monk temple in Korea. There’s no better way to understand the lives of these modern day monks than by participating in a temple stay program. During the weekend stay, you get to rise before sunrise to serve breakfast, do chores and meditate, all while experiencing firsthand the everyday lifestyle of the Buddhist Monks. You even get to dress up in traditional monk clothes for the duration of your stay.

My Thai Adventure

chiangmaiI took a two week group tour of Thailand which took us all over the mainland as well as to beaches and a couple of islands. As it was my first trip to Asia, I thought traveling by tour was a great way to be introduced to the continent. I wasn’t quite brave enough to travel completely solo, so I decided to travel via group and have the added bonus of leaving all the planning to the tour company.

I flew into Bangkok solo, and arrived in the early afternoon Thai time. The tour didn’t officially start until later that night so I had a few hours to experience the city on my own after checking into the hotel. After wandering the streets for a bit, I had to meet up with the tour group and get acquainted with my fellow travelers. We all went out to eat together to get to know each other better. I had my first traditional Thai meal of Pad Thai which became my staple during the rest of my travels. After dinner, we headed out to see what Bangkok’s nightlife had to offer. We discovered a sidewalk beer garden which I had never even heard of before, and then went out to a proper night club. A night out proved to be the easiest and best way to bond with my new friends.

One of the first stops on my trip was to Bangkok’s incredible Royal Palace of Chiang Mai. It’s set on 61 acres and is full of beautiful buildings and multi-colored murals. I found the information on the Royal family and the Thai beliefs incredibly interesting. Next, we visited the Emerald Buddha Temple. It also had fantastic architecture and murals, and interesting history.

I enjoyed the klongs of Bangkok. The city has a series of canals that it is built around and we were able to take a tour of them on a typical Thai boat. It gave us a great view of the city from the water. The backwater canals also allowed me to see everyday Thai life as we went past many houses and buildings, and viewed locals going about their days. Also while in Bangkok, I was able to spend some quality time shopping for unique souvenirs. Siam Square was also great for shopping for higher-end clothing and other items. I ended up buying quite a lot of stuff.

My favorite part of the Thailand trip was Chiang-Mai. Chiang-Mai’s old quarter is surrounded by a moat and ancient walls and is so pretty and old-world. I loved just wandering around the city. We also got to experience the night bazaar which was huge and incredibly busy. The Wat Phra That temple was my favorite part of Chiang-Mai. The temple itself is situated atop the tallest mountain overlooking the city. As part of the tour, we got to listen to the pilgrims ringing the bells, and even got to take part in Buddhist rituals. It was a very unique experience.

The beaches of Thailand provided a completely different aspect to the trip as I was able to relax and lie on the gorgeous beaches and soak in the beautiful surroundings. My Thailand experience was incredible and I can’t wait to go back.

Traveling Around in Asia Cheaply

singapore marketAs the title says, if you are looking forward to explore each and every destination of Asia at cheap price, then you are at the right place. We have here designed some of the basic tips which you must follow in order to get your self a good bargain. Most of the Asian countries are quite cheap due to their low economy but still these tips will be helpful for you in the long run. So pay a close attention to it. it will not take more than 5 minutes of yours.

➢ While traveling across in Asia try to use as much public vehicle as possible. Since they are cheap and quite efficient, you will enjoy the journey on it and that too at a cheap rate.
➢ When shopping for souvenirs like handicrafts and clothing stay out of tourist shops in airports and shopping centers. Try local markets and small shops where there will likely be the same souvenirs (or better) at far lower prices.
➢ In most of the Asian countries, bargaining is quite a usual trend, so don’t ever hesitate while bargaining with them. Don’t worry about communication gap or any other thing, just be polite and place your offer. I am sure that you will get some good results to see.
➢ Make friends with locals. Free meals, rides and a place to stay are benefits that can save you a lot of money and not to mention give you a more memorable travel experience.
➢ In various Asian countries, there are various special offers stick to them, so you must try to explore as much as possible. Either search it on the net or gain information from the people out there, but be alert and you will get on the right track for sure.
➢ Plan your day and how you’re going to get where you’re going. Unnecessary transportation costs because of poor planning and indecision can really add up, so plan a logical route for your day and how you’re going to get from place to place.

These are the efficient and easy tips which you must follow while you are on a trip to Asia, I am sure that it will not only keep your trip under your budget but you will also have a great fun out there.

Tips while traveling to Asia

travelAsia has always been one of the best travel destinations for the people all over the world. If you are also among them, then I will not be surprised. Asia is not only the biggest continent in the world, but it is also immensely filled with lots of different countries having their own distinct culture and traditions. Now only this but inexpensive accommodation, food and local transport make this region one of the world’s most popular backpacker and cheap travel destinations. So if you have decided to visit this place physically then you must go forward.

India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, China and many others all offer you some thing or the other to have fun with. You will never bore in this pleasant continent. I assure you of that. Some of the most popular holiday destinations in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand’s beach resorts, are naturally more expensive than less-travelled areas in Laos, Cambodia or Myanmar, but most Southeast Asian countries offer something for all travel budgets from rock-bottom cheap to five-star luxury.

There you will never face any problem with the accommodation facilities or food facilities. Yes, food is another amazing standard which you can explore out there. There are so many tastes to be explored that you might take a whole long year to have them. Most of the people just don’t feel like moving away from this special continent. It is evenly filled with natural landscape, vaulting mountains and with splashing rivers. These all special features make them for you lots of opportunities to be explored out there.

Now if we talk about the traveling medium out there, then also there is hardly any problem which you will face out there. Several low-cost airlines operate on the Indian subcontinent, and budget airlines connect most of Southeast Asia’s big cities. But the cheapest (and a more environmentally friendly) way to travel in Asia is by public transport. Local trains and buses in most Asian countries are very affordable. So what are you waiting for?

Just check out the Asia and then you will have a feel of that you have explored any travel destination. Enjoy it in style.