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Best of Indonesian Travel, 2017

If you’re looking for one last travelling experience to indulge upon in the year 2017, then let that be a travelling experience that takes you through Indonesia. You should do so because, whether it’s bustling cities or serene nature that you prefer to see when you travel, Indonesia has it all to offer. For advice on exactly where you should head to whilst travelling Indonesia, and what to do whilst you’re there, make sure to read.

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The Province of Bali

There are a host of beautiful islands to head to on our planet, but none are more beautiful than the Indonesian islands. And, none of these 17,508 Indonesian islands are better than Bali.

Bali is the most recognised Indonesian island and is probably one of the most recognised places in Indonesia in general, and it is so for good reason. It is so because it offers fun for the whole family, no matter how old they are. For children, for instance, there are a host of different activity parks that will keep them entertained for hours on end. There is the Waterbom Park, located on the world famous Kuta street, that is home to a plethora of water rides that allow children to have wild and wet fun like no other place in the world. And, there is the Treetop Adventure Park, a park that is dedicated to getting children (and adults) as close to nature as possible in as fun a way as possible. This park is home to a number of different courses and circuits that allow those that follow them the chance to move from tree to tree in as a safe a way as can be.

But, Bali isn’t just about waterparks and treetop assault courses that will keep the children entertained for days and day, it’s about things that provide fun for adults, too. Specifically, it can provide all you inquisitive adults out there who love finding out about different cultures a chance to, well, find out about Bali culture and Indonesian culture in general. For instance, there is the town of Udud that plays hosts to forests filled to the brim with many different monkey species that call this corner of the world their home; there are many Hindu temples to explore around and learn about (would you expect anything less from a place that is known as the Island of the Gods?); there are the foothills of Mount Batur, an active volcano, to explore; and there are locally farmed rice terraces to take a look at. Basically, there are a host of things to look at that, when looked at, will provide you with an insight as good as any into Indonesian culture.

Bandung, Bali

Bandung is a regency found in the wider reaching province of Bali, but deserves its own credit simply because of how much it has to offer for nomads of all travelling dispositions.

For instance, some of the most interesting Dutch Colonial architecture to be found in all of Indonesia is plotted in Badung, which means this is a great place for historians, especially those concerned with the history of European Colonialism in Southeast Asia, to visit. And, there are just as many cultural attractions to be found here, too, so that those who aren’t as keen on history can enjoy themselves just as much. There is, for example Jalan Legian which offers much in the way of shopping and nightlife, and Pandawa Beach that offers even more in the way of tranquility and relaxation. It is for these reasons, and the fact that it is much cooler in relation to other parts of Indonesia, that makes Badung a hotspot for travellers. In fact, these reasons make Badung not just an ideal place to travel to but they make it an ideal place to move to for those who truly wish to relocate to Southeast Asia, too. If anybody wished to do just, then they would have to access a trustworthy site such as https://rumahdijual.com/bandung/ in order to find themselves the perfect Badung residence. And, once they’d found this perfect residence, they’d have to book themselves a one way flight to Ngurah Rai International Airport!

Sumatra, Sunda Islands

Indonesia is known as The Emerald of the Equator, a name given to it by Dutch writer Eduard Douwes Dekker, because of its abundance of beautifully natural and lush rainforests. And, there is no place in Indonesia that is famed more for its rainforests than Sumatra.

The rainforests In Sumatra, that have been given UNESCO World Heritage credibility and now come under the prestige title of being national parks, really are a sight to behold. There is the forest known as Gunung Leuser, the forest known as Bukit Barisan Selatan and the forest known as Kerinci Seblat, and upon a visit to any of these forests you’ll be able to see a host of native things. You’ll be able to see flora and fauna that is only found in this specific part of the world and nowhere else in Southeast Asia, let alone in the world. And, you’ll be able to see specific types of animals that also cannot be found anywhere else in the world either. Yes, you’ll see tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants, cuckoos and orangutans, but you’ll types of these animals that are native to this part of the world, and hence have the term Sumatran prefixing their name. So, you won’t just see a tiger (at a safe and controlled distance, by the way), you’ll see a very specific type of tiger called the Sumatran tiger!

Sumatra isn’t just a place to visit for those of you out there who have horticultural tendencies or just love seeing types of animals that you’ve never seen before. No, there are many other things to do in Sumatra that don’t include trekking through a rainforest. You could, for instance, visit the infamous Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman mosque and take in the sight of its minaret, white walls and black dome for yourself rather than just looking at pictures of it on postcards. Or, you could pay a visits to the extremely sad but extremely poignant Tsunami Museum. Here, you would be able to see just what devastation the not-so-long-ago Tsunami caused on this part of the world; the walk down the tunnel that mimics Tsunami waves is something that can’t be missed upon a journey here. Or, those of you who like to live on the wild side could not only journey up the volcano known as Gunung Sibayak, but could take the forest path that leads to it; this is a path that is deemed to be that dangerous that a professional guide will have to go with you if you do decide to take it!

Indonesia is a great place to travel to now and will undoubtedly continue to be a great place to travel to for years to come. It is a place where culture can be felt immeasurably. It is a place where history and the modern day is celebrated fervently and in equal measures. It is a place when young and old can have the experience of a lifetime. It is the only place where specific types of wildlife can be found. It is one of the only places where a true Southeast Asian travelling experience can be experienced safely and without much restriction. Truly, it is just a place that must be visited in your lifetime!

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The Asian Adventure: Thai Up Those Loose Ends Before You Go!

The area of southeast Asia has long been a popular place for budget backpackers and those wishing to experience a totally different culture to what they are used to. There’s a good reason for that – you can stretch your cash so much further in this corner of the world than in others. It’s an absolute must to include Thailand on your list of places to visit when you choose to roam the globe, especially as you can travel through Thailand for a good few months on the same budget you’d spend in the USA in 2 months!

 

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There are a lot of guides out there for different types of travel, whether that be solo travelling adventures or group travelling with https://www.gadventures.com. There are a lot of loose ends to get tied up before you go globe-trotting, and we think we’ve got them down pat for you. Before you set foot on a plane to Thailand or any of the southeast Asia area, you need to read this list:

 

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  1. Visas. Jet-setting across the globe is fun, but the fun soon stops if you haven’t got the right visas in your possession. The requirements will vary from country to country in SE Asia, so don’t make the mistake of assuming you can just show up with your passport for a stamp. This is an important loose end you need to tie up before you go anywhere, so have a look here at the requirements for Thailand!
  2. Manners. If you were raised right, you would have been taught that each culture and country has their own customs. A beach holiday in Phuket may be your goal, but it doesn’t mean you should just show up with packed bikinis. Thailand is a modest country, so do your research before you get on the plane. Learn where you can and cannot wear shoes and immerse yourself in the culture. It pays to be polite!
  3. Insurance. Before you plan to go anywhere, you need to look at travel insurance and how you can make sure you don’t get taken advantage of abroad. Wherever you go, there will always be someone somewhere who will see you as a tourist and sometimes this comes with extortion (that tuk-tuk may not NEED to go around the houses, but they will!). Check out this link for information on most common scams you could come across while abroad.
  4. World Differences. When you travel from a developed country to another not-so-developed area of the globe, you could find yourself feeling a little shocked and out of place. Accommodation may not be what you are used to and the locals have really been through the mill. Be prepared to step up and take notice of your surroundings.

Your travels are going to become a part of who you are and who you want to be. Going to Thailand for the scenery is a nice idea, but make sure you are well-prepared to see things you didn’t anticipate. You’ll love each experience as long as you are ready for them!

 

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Pattaya: The Gem Of Thailand’s East Coast

Source: Wikimedia



Since its beginnings as a sleepy little sleeping village, Pattaya has thrived to become one of the most prominent resort cities in all of Asia. Famous for the way its bustling nightlife intermingles with ancient religious treasures, this city is the gem of Thailand’s east coast, and that reputation certainly isn’t going anywhere! If you’re planning a stop in this fascinating city, here are some of the attractions you should really make a point of seeing.

Walking Street, South Pattaya
Source: Flickr



If you’re stressed out from the hours of air travel and all the complications that come with it, then Walking Street should be your first stop in Pattaya. The incredible sounds and sights here are unlike anything you’ll find in other Thai destinations. This 500-metre strip is the centre of the famous Pattaya Thailand nightlife. Every other building you’ll see is a bar, club, or high-end restaurant, making it the perfect place to unwind while getting your first taste of the local culture. During the day, it’s almost empty and everything is closed. After 6pm though, all the traffic stops and the clubs open their doors. This is where the name “Walking Street” comes from. This is the one sure-fire place to experience a nightlife vastly different from what you’re used to, so make sure you don’t miss out!

Nong Nooch, Na Jomtien
Source: Wikimedia



After all that partying on Walking Street, you’ll probably want to chill out for a while, and maybe go a little easier on that pain in your head! Nong Nooch is a beautiful tropical garden, stretching almost three kilometres and full of some of the most beautiful horticulture you may ever see. You don’t need to be a landscaping enthusiast to appreciate the sheer amount of care and work that’s gone into this garden. You’ll be able to learn something about the local climate by checking out over 670 hybrids of Thai orchids, and avoid homesickness with some of their prim European gardens. Nong Nooch also plays host to regular Thai boxing, drumming and dancing displays, which will really give you a taste for the country’s amazing culture.

Floating Market, Jomtien
Source: Wikimedia



No holiday would be complete without some shopping, and in Pattaya there’s only one place for it; the Four Regions Floating Market. Though you may be on the east coast, this is where you can sample the rich varieties of culture that exist throughout the country. The market is structured based on the North, South, East and West of Thailand, and is teeming with dozens of fascinating shops and stalls. From local cuisine to crafts to clothing, you’ll find it all here in this fascinating district. You may be wondering about the name. Well, Pattaya’s floating market is built on a river that runs towards the coastline, and dozens of the vendors there do indeed float! As you walk around the shops, you’ll see people in traditional Thai canoes drifting by with all kinds of local curiosities on display. The rest make up a beautiful stilted village with quaint covered walkways and bridges.


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Akihabara and the Many Cafes

Japan is one of our favourite destinations. We love Japan and the many sights to be seen. Not to mention, the trinkets, the oddity, the food, and the cafes to try.

I am very happy to have visited Tokyo last Dec. 2013 with my husband and daughter for a brief pre-Christmas get-away gift for our daughter. She loves Japan and anime stuff so much so visiting Japan as her Christmas present was the perfect choice. We were lucky enough to visit Akihabara, a nice area for cafe and cosplay lovers.

Akihabara has plenty of cosplay and maids’ cafe for various types of people. It is also home to many action figure shops and souvenirs. During our visit, we didn’t see much cosplayers because it was during the weekday. We saw some staff wearing costumes along the streets near the west side of Akihabara Station but we could not take picture of them.

The whole place is really interesting. We managed to spend almost an hour in one of the buildings with claw machines and those that dispenses capsule containers with toys inside. We did spend a lot there but the experience was worth every penny! We managed to get lots of kawaii trinkets too from those machines. And we also realised that people actually spend their time (and money) there for fun. I thought we were the only foreigners sucked in there out of curiosity. But the whole building is just meant for those machines or what the Japanese call as gashapon. It is quite addicting! I had to stop because I was spending way too much on the dispensing machines just to try my luck completing a set of miniature toys.

We strolled along Akihabara but didn’t go inside the cafes. Some cafes were not open when we visited in the morning after our stop from Shibuya. It was fun to stroll along the many themed cafes and I bet, it would have been more fun if we went inside to check them out.

We also went to some shops with action figures for our collections. I managed to buy a toy robot (I forgot which one) for my brother.  Akihabara is also known as the Electric city.

Visiting Akihabara is just one of the many things you can do while in Tokyo. It’s easy to reach by train.

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Visiting Penang? Top Things To Do During Your Stay

Penang is beautiful tourists destination in Malaysia. It’s often called the pearl of Malaysia and offers a huge variety of tourist attractions for everybody to enjoy. It’s a wonderful place rich with natural beauty, history and culture. Not to mention it has some of the best shopping centres in Malaysia. To know how to make the most of your trip I’ve found three things you absolutely must do during your stay. Each of these suggestions will allow you to soak up every aspect of Penang, and it’s interesting culture. Read on to find out more.



1. Go for a ride in a Beca

A Beca, otherwise known as a Trishaw is the ideal way to sightsee around Penang. This novel and traditional means of transportation are wonderful if you prefer doing your sightseeing at a slower pace. This is becoming an ultimate activity to do here. Many tourists enjoying the nostalgic feeling of sitting in the three-wheeled vehicle. Try to find a guide that has good English skills. This will give you great local insight on interesting places to visit or dine at, which the travel agents may not know about yet. Georgetown is the ideal spot for a ride in a Beca. It has a wonderful heritage trail where you can find out more about the history and culture of Penang. Definitely an absolute must when visiting the area.



2. Try out the local cuisine


Penang is famous for it’s love of food. It has a world famous culinary scene and has won many accolades over the years for it’s diverse choice of food. With such a multicultural background, Penang has wonderful food options from all over the world. As well as traditional Malaysian dishes they also have Indian, Chinese and even Western food on offer. These are just to name a few. Look at any reviews of Penang and you will notice that the food is often their favourite thing about the region. Prepare to eat like you’ve never eaten before.


3. Go Shopping


Penang has some of the largest and best shopping malls and plazas around. Penang’s first avenue mall is located in the heart of Georgetown. It has fashion, entertainment and dining all under one roof. So there’s something to please everybody. They offer a wide variety of local and international brands such as H&M, Starbucks and Converse to name a few. They also have beauty salons and cinemas for you to enjoy. It is also located near to plenty of hotels and other points of interests. To find a budget hotel in Penang that’s right for you, research the local area and read tourist reviews. If you would prefer a more cultural experience, also check out the local Penang markets.


So there are the top three things you should definitely do during your trip to Penang. Remember Penang is full of plenty of other things you can do on your trip too. It’s a place of outstanding natural beauty, which you are bound to fall completely in love with.

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5 Reasons to Visit Japan

Photo credit: deshow.net
As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Japan welcomes millions of visitors each year. Here are just five reasons to consider joining the crowds for a visit to the Land of the Rising Sun.

1: The Food

From savory chazuke to exotic wraps of onigiri, you’ll find plenty of culinary adventures in Japan. Don’t forget to down a few shots of sake and top it all off with the sweet flavor of anpan!

2: The History

If you’re a fan of history, Japan will delight you from the tips of Chusonji Temple to the lowest levels of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace. Thousands of years are packed into these religious and cultural landmarks, and it’s actually impossible to see them all during a single trip.

3: The Company

Japan is famous for its friendliness to foreigners, especially in big cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, where strangers will walk right up to you and ask if you’re free for dinner. They don’t have any bad intentions; they just want to practice their English on you!

4: The Size

For all its diversity, Japan is a small country, meaning that you can travel from the remote hills of Hokkaido to the gleaming metal of Kagoshima all within a matter of days. It’s like having multiple vacation experiences in a single trip!

5: The Fun

More than anything else, Japan is a place where omoide are made. Click here to learn more about the Asian holiday you could be taking right now.

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A Weekend in Macau

A weekend in Macau is an escape to paradise. An enthralling blend of Chinese and Portuguese culture, Macau draws tourists from around the world. The city’s historical appeal and state-of the-art contemporary architecture provide one of the most beautiful backdrops imaginable. Enchanting resort-spas, hotels, tourist attractions, lavish shopping, casinos, and nightlife create the perfect weekend getaway.

Tourist Attractions

The famous ruins of St. Paul’s and the ruins of St. Paul’s College provide a picturesque look back in time. Both stand as reminders of the Jesuit influences from the early 1600s. St. Paul’s College, Mount Fortress, and the Church of Mater Dei are additional structures that were constructed when the Portuguese settled in the region of Macau. The St. Paul ruins provide a testimony to the first Western-style University built in Macau. Today, the remains provide a unique view of the past to weekend visitors. The Mount Fortress bears further proof of the complex historical events that occurred throughout the ages. Additionally, tourists will find the ancient A-Ma Temple, with its various gates, arches, and pavilions to be a fascinating example of the cultural diversity that the city of Macau is built upon.

Hotels and Resorts:

Macau features more than 28 casino- hotels, many of which provide the ultimate amenities and comfort. The largest of these is the Venetian Casino Resort in Macau, situated in Cotai. The Venetian Casino provides gamblers with eight hundred table-games, ten poker tables, and well over three-thousand poker, slot, and video games inspired by gorgeous online casino versions. You can actually see some of the beautiful graphically-inclined games when you place your bet at Betsson and other online casinos. Located in the Far East, Macau is an enticing gambling destination. The Cotai Strip was developed during a land-reclamation project that serves to connect the islands of Taipa and Coloane. The strip is similar to the Las Vegas Strip in the United States. It is a thriving casino attraction, ideal for weekend guests from around the world. Additionally, aside from the traditional casino style gambling, sports-betting lounges, horseracing, and greyhound tracks draw millions of visitors each year.

Fine Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment:

One of the best ways to spend time during a weekend in Macau is to enjoy meals at any number of the exotic restaurants. The exotic blend of Chinese and Portuguese cuisine has been enhanced over the past 400 years. Macau is the perfect destination for gourmet eating. Garlic, sauces, fish-croquettes, coconut chicken, and intoxicating meats are some of the favourite treats. Many people travel to Macau just to purchase the delicious custard tarts and Portuguese breads.

Gourmet cuisine, glittering lights, and countless tourist events set the stage for fun and festivities.

Retail in Macau is another popular draw. High-fashion, bargain prices, and designer labels, attract shoppers from all regions. The Macau International Dragon Boat Races, the Macau Arts Festival, the House of dancing Water, the International Fireworks Display Contest, the Macau Grand Prix, and the Food Festival draw tourists to some of the most exciting attractions imaginable.

Macau has something for everyone! Just a short distance from Hong Kong and the Philippines, the city is one of the world’s most awesome destinations for weekend travellers!

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