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Archive for January, 2011

Quirky International Places To Spend Valentines Day

January 31st, 2011 by

While roses, candy and a romantic dinner are the staples of a Valentine’s Day celebration, more adventurous couples can make this romantic moment more unforgettable by spending it in an unusual or even outrageous location.

Here are six quirky places to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Loveland, Jeju Island

Photo courtesy of steveslep.

Jeju Loveland, South Korea

This sex-themed park was developed by businessmen in Jeju Island, a popular getaway for honeymooners. By displaying all sorts of erotic statues all over the park grounds, newlyweds and other lovers can get ideas on how to spice up their own love lives. Visitors can choose among several hotels in Jeju and visit many other sights that enthrall both lovers and families alike.

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A Day Guide For Singapore

January 28th, 2011 by

There are people who visit Singapore and make it a point to stay for a week or more.  There are also those who pop in for a day. If you qualify for the latter, check out some must-see stops and activities in the foremost city-state.

Photo credit

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Shops and almost all of the major malls in Singapore open at 10:00 a.m. The Botanic Gardens, however, opens at 5:00 a.m. – perfect for early risers. Join local residents and take a brisk stroll, run or practice tai chi. The park is also a good place to have a typical Singaporean breakfast of toast with kaya spread and soft boiled eggs procured from a nearby food stall.

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Celebrate Federal Territory Day in Malaysia

January 28th, 2011 by

Malaysia offers a ton of special events and holidays in which to participate. Hari Merdeka, for one, or Independence Day, involves the entire country, from Kota Kinabalu to Langkawi, and takes place every August 31. The de facto national day commemorates the formal dissolution of British colonial rule and establishment of a true Malaysian state.

Merdeka Square – Photo credit

Muslim holidays, of course, form a big part of the annual calendar, from Hari Raya Puasa, which marks the end of Ramadan, to Hari Raya Haji. Other important holidays in eclectic, multi-cultural Malaysia include Chinese New Year, Duanwu, Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, Diwali, Thaipusam, Vaisakhi and Wesak. Suffice to say that young residents of Malaysia receive a deep cultural education, practically by osmosis, by virtue of the diverse cultural, religious and secular holidays that populate the calendar. Read the rest of this entry »

Six Great Cities For Street Photography

January 25th, 2011 by

Travel photographers may have the best equipment and years of experience but the choice of subject matter can spell the difference between a successful photo shoot and a drab one. Some cities are perpetually beloved by photographers for the richness of their visual impact and the variety of contrasting elements they offer.

Here are six cities around the world that give street photography a good name.

Hong Kong

Photo courtesy of  Ryan Holst.

Hong Kong

This dynamic economic centre is a sparkling jewel from afar and a startling contrast of oriental and occidental influences. Nothing captures the magnificence of the city like the view from the Kowloon side at night, as the mighty edifices blot out the darkness with sparkling radiance. Walking the streets of Hong Kong offers glimpses of historic temples, modern skyscrapers and British colonial sites together with dazzling commercial establishments. Finally, the sheer density of the island means you can snap away as soon as you step out of your Hong Kong hotel.

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Chinese New Year Traditions

January 21st, 2011 by

Just when everyone is slowly starting to get over the holiday fever, the world finds another reason to be merry once again and join the Chinese community in celebrating the year of the Metal Rabbit.

Photo credit

Here are several rituals and customs that are associated with Chinese New Year observance.

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10 Luxurious Spas in Hong Kong

January 21st, 2011 by

As the most vertical city in the world and with a population density well over 6,000 per km2, Hong Kong is a place where it pays to know a good massage therapist. A frenetic hive of activity, Hong Kong throbs with a vertigo-like pace that thrills and, indeed, exhausts even the most ardent adrenaline fiend.

This, of course, is where the best spas in Hong Kong come in.

The Peninsula Spa by ESPA
Salisbury Road,
Kowloon, Hong Kong

The Peninsula is synonymous with genteel colonial charm in Hong Kong and is the most historic hotel in the special administrative region. ESPA, a haven of wellness sensibility, is a plush destination in the city, with fourteen distinct treatment rooms that overlook Victoria Harbour.

The Peninsula Hong Kong – Photo credit Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese New Year Celebrations Around The World

January 18th, 2011 by

As the Chinese have migrated to other lands over the centuries, they have brought many of their own traditions and cultural customs along with them. One of these is the celebration of their most important holiday, the lunar new year, and even as they embrace new ideas and values, a lot of their ancient ways have remained intact.

Here are some Chinese New Year 2011 celebrations from around the world.

San Francisco Chinese New Year dragon dance

Photo courtesy by davidyuweb.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco Chinese New Year festival originated during the 1860s Gold Rush and is now the largest Asian event in North America. Two major fairs, the Chinese New Year Flower Fair and the Chinatown Community Street Fair, both conclude during the Chinese New Year Parade. Floats, costumes, dragon dancers, drums and firecrackers all tour the streets of Chinatown, from Market Street to Kearny Street. The grand finale features the Golden Dragon, a 201-foot-long ornament that is decorated with colored lights, silver rivets and white rabbit fur. Visitors can find the best spots to watch the parade along Portsmouth Square and the review stand area at the end of the parade.

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Discover El Nido’s Magic This Valentine’s Day

January 14th, 2011 by

With just a month to go before Valentine’s Day, a lot of people are starting to secure flights and tickets to different destinations for a romantic celebration.  A trip to El Nido in Palawan certainly ranks as just that.

Photo credit

El Nido is at the northernmost tip of the main island of Palawan in the Philippines. People who have been to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam or to Krabi in Thailand will find the limestone cliffs and rock formations in El Nido equally impressive.

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15 Best Restaurants in Beijing

January 14th, 2011 by

Beijing’s place as a top food city is often a topic of fierce debate among gourmets, street food aficionados and culinary connoisseurs. What is not, however, is the fact that the colossal capital of the People’s Republic of China has some remarkable restaurants. From mid-range to high-end, here are 15 of the best tables in Beijing.

Green T. House

This ultra-swish designer tea house/art gallery/restaurant in the Shunyi Villa District of Beijing is as much a museum of contemporary décor as a temple of haute-gastronomy.

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Celebrate Chinese New Year In Hong Kong

January 11th, 2011 by

While Hong Kong is a thoroughly modern city, it retains many traditional customs from the mainland. Chinese New Year, for starters, is one event that truly stops the city in its tracks and a perfect time to arrange accommodations in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Chinese New Year

Photo courtesy of antwerpenR.

To kick off 2011, the Year of the Rabbit, visit famous Wong Tai Sin Temple. The important shrine attracts 30,000 devotees for Chinese New Year and features a vital ritual, wherein each visitor grabs a tube of fortune sticks and shakes it until one drops. Each stick has a number, which, with the aid of nearby fortune tellers, supposedly guides your fortune throughout the new year.

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Season Greetings!

Japanese TempleFrom castles to shopping malls and business districts, Sendai is vibrant and fast paced but this bustling city also boasts the name of “City of Trees” for its tranquil parks, the Hirose-gawa River and the beautiful zelkova trees that border the city’s streets. Bellhop Picks: Read more about other attractions in our Japan guide. See what fellow travellers have to say in the Japan tales section.
  • Polls

    Top 5 Romantic Spots in Asia

    • Palawan, Philippines (39%, 182 Votes)
    • Boracay, Philippines (36%, 168 Votes)
    • Bali, Indonesia (31%, 143 Votes)
    • Agra, India (18%, 84 Votes)
    • Batangas, Philippines (17%, 79 Votes)
    • Male, Maldives (16%, 77 Votes)
    • Jeju Island, South Korea (16%, 75 Votes)
    • Sentosa Island, Singapore (15%, 72 Votes)
    • Krabi, Thailand (13%, 60 Votes)
    • Macau, China (10%, 49 Votes)
    • Halong Bay, Vietnam (7%, 34 Votes)

    Total Voters: 467

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