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fiji kadavu Matava

Fiji, Pacific

Find your spirit of adventure as you experience the magnificent beauty of a remote, unspoiled tropical Fijian island. Untouched...

string(1555) "Find your spirit of adventure as you experience the magnificent beauty of a remote, unspoiled tropical Fijian island. Untouched paradise Matava is the ultimate in romantic, environmentally friendly island getaways in the South Pacific, your own piece of Paradise in Fiji. Here, plunging volcanic rainforest slopes meet azure coral lagoons and the Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef, a rare untouched slice of nature unfolds before your eyes. No roads, no noise, no stress. Traditionally crafted bures hug the jungle fringes. Private sun decks gaze over turquoise lagoons. Solar powered lighting, solar hot water and no carbon footprint. Matava offers the unique blend of eco lodges and a little bit of luxury. Carefully positioned for absolute privacy, all accommodation is set against the brilliantly contrasting backdrops of sun-soaked beaches and rocky shores, crystal clear water and untouched wilderness. Relax in the splendour of your private en suite bure as you contemplate the stunning sunset and anticipate a dinner of fresh fish, fruits and organic vegetables, grown right before your very eyes and served by lantern light on the ocean terrace. Dive the world renown Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef in style from the on-site award winning PADI five-star dive centre. Fish, snorkel marine reserves, explore jungle trails, kayak mangrove bays, experience the real Fijian culture, picnic deserted beaches or just pamper yourself at the spa. Far from the maddening crowd, unplug and recharge at Matava, Fiji’s premier eco-adventure resort."
Central Thailand, Bangkok & Hua Hin

Thailand, Asia

From bustling cities, serene temples and beautiful relaxing beaches, Central Thailand has something for every traveller. On the...

string(3671) "From bustling cities, serene temples and beautiful relaxing beaches, Central Thailand has something for every traveller. On the fertile plains stretching north from Bangkok are 21 provinces, sometimes called ‘the rice bowl of Asia’, that are responsible for producing much of the country’s rice. Ayutthaya was one of the greatest mercantile centres in Asia and its incredible temples and palaces are built around the confluence of the Chao Praya, Lopburi and Pasak rivers. Hundreds of visitors on day trips from Bangkok are drawn to the remains of monuments that stand among more modern buildings. At Kanchanaburi is the infamous River Kwai bridge and ‘Death Railway’, the Japan-Burma railway built by the Japanese during World War II, when thousands of Asian labourers and Allied POWs died. Nearby are two war cemeteries, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery and Chong Kai Cemetery and the JEATH (Japan, England, Australia, Thailand and Holland) War Museum is housed in a reconstructed POW detention hut. Bangkok Bangkok is a thriving, bustling capital city catering to all kinds of tourists. Taxis or minibuses take visitors directly to their hotel via the convenient new expressway. Bangkok proper seethes on the east side of the Chao Phraya River and can be divided in two by the main north-south train line. Old Bangkok glitters in the portion between the river and the railway and it is here that most of the older temples and the original palace are located while new Bangkok is east of the railway For a bustling city, Bangkok surprisingly offers quiet escapes. Step out of the street noise and into the calm of one of the city’s 400 temples and monasteries. The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo complex is the city’s premier tourist attraction and home to Phra Kaeo, the small, sacred and renowned emerald Buddha, the most revered image of Buddha in Thailand. The Grand Palace is a must-see for visitors, with temples and pavilions shimmering in gold leaf, porcelain and glass while not far away is the Marble Temple, considered one of the country’s most beautiful buildings. The Dusit Zoo is near the Royal Plaza, where the Thai royal family live in the Chitralada Palace. Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn is one of the city’s major landmarks with its central monument symbolising Hindi-Buddhist cosmology. The Temple of the Golden Buddha houses a unique, gleaming, 18-carat gold, four-metre high, 13th century Sukothai Buddha. Other sights include the Wat Sai floating market in Thonburi, a boat trip through the city’s extensive network of canals, and the renowned Oriental Hotel. For a shopping indulgence, head to central Bangkok’s Siam Square. This bustling shopping mecca is littered with alleyways jam packed with cheap, independent designer boutiques as well as numerous major shopping malls. Hua Hin Hua Hin is a favourite coastal destination for Thais who flock there to enjoy its beaches, multicultural buzz and numerous cafés and bistros that offer a wide range of cuisine. It is situated in the southwest of Bangkok and is recognised as Thailand’s first beach resort and extends some kilometres to a headland where Buddhist temples cling to the cliffs. Powdery white sand, resort hotels lining the coastline and visitors enjoying numerous watersports give the beach town its distinctive ambience. Stunning Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park, 45 kilometres south of Hua Hin is one of the best-managed protected areas in the country. Kaeng Krachan National Park, northwest of Hua Hin, is Thailand’s largest protected area and is home to elephants, tigers, leopards, gibbon and many species of birds. "
Savai’I

Samoa, Pacific

Scenic Savai’i is Samoa’s largest island at 80 kilometres long and 40 kilometres wide. Less populated, it is renowned for its ...

string(2204) "Scenic Savai’i is Samoa’s largest island at 80 kilometres long and 40 kilometres wide. Less populated, it is renowned for its slower pace, natural beauty, and lava fields. Its size and lack of population make Savai’i the ideal place to get away from it all, immerse yourself in true Polynesian culture and explore incredible landscapes. Savai’i is accessible by ferry from Upolu. The island’s main town and arrival point for ferries from Upolu is Salelologa in the southeast, accessible by the main road that encircles the island. Savai’i has plenty of pristine beaches, caves, blowholes, great snorkelling, kayaking and diving. Near Salelologa, in the southeast, the Afu Aau Falls plunge down a rock face to a deep freshwater pool. Stroll across the dramatic Saleaula lava fields where molten lava from the Mt Matavanu eruption buried five villages over a century ago. In the interior, Mount Silisili is Samoa’s highest peak. In the west, the Falealupo Rainforest Preserve features the Canopy Walkway. Cape Mulinuu is Samoa’s westernmost point, according to legend, this is also the place where the dead pass into the underworld. There are several archeological sites of interest in this area including Devil’s Haden, Vaatausili’s Cave, Paepae o Apaula, Vai Sua Toto (Blood Well), Lualotooalii Pool, Spirits Meeting Ground, and Fusipotopoto Pool. Aganoa Beach, on the southeast coast, is renowned for surfing. A wide range of accommodation options are available in Savai’i along with some of the best local food experiences in Samoa. Getting around is easy. Rental cars are available or can be brought over from Upolu by ferry. All visiting drivers in Samoa must have a temporary drivers’ licence. Riding one of Samoa’s brightly coloured buses is a must-do local experience. In Salelologa, buses depart from the wharf or market. There are no bus stops, simply wait on the side of the road and wave your bus down. Bicycles are another popular way for visitors get around Savai’i, and you can hire a bike or join a guided bike tour of the island. Taxis are reasonably priced but don’t have meters so its it’s best to agree on a price at the start. "
Pacific Cook Islands Rarotonga 001 Rarotonga

Cook Islands, Pacific

Surrounded by a clear, turquoise blue lagoon, Rarotonga is 32 kilometres in circumference. The lagoon often extends more than a...

string(3032) "Surrounded by a clear, turquoise blue lagoon, Rarotonga is 32 kilometres in circumference. The lagoon often extends more than a hundred metres to the reef and then slopes steeply to deep water. The reef fronts the shore to the north of the island, making the lagoon there unsuitable for swimming and watersports, but to the southeast, particularly around Muri, the lagoon is at its widest and deepest. This part of the island is the most popular with tourists for swimming, snorkelling and boating. Agricultural terraces, flats, and swamps surround the central mountain area. Rarotonga is the main island of the Cook Islands and caters to almost 90 percent of the country’s tourist accommodation and offers many activities. The population is approximately 13,000, mostly indigenous Cook Islands Maori and almost half living around Avarua on the north coast. The Maori ancestors landed on the Cook Islands in their magnificent, giant double-hulled canoes that are still proudly part of the traditional way of life. They were guided by their knowledge of the stars and the famous power of Polynesian navigation. Rarotonga is a small volcanic island with a landmass of only 26 square miles. It is dotted with pretty villages, a friendly atmosphere, lovely mountain views and hiking trails. It has a reputation for excellent snorkelling off the beaches that line most of the coast. Rarotonga enjoys a climate that is warm and sunny all year round. There is more rain and higher humidity between the summer months of December to March. The high season for tourism is during Christmas when New Zealanders and Australians visit during their summer school holidays. Tradition and a cultural heritage are trademarks of the island. Music is an integral part of the culture and part of the islander’s daily routine. Stunning chants and hymns emanate from the churches and local string bands use a combination of electronic and traditional ukuleles made from coconut shells to entertain. Visitors will often be invited to join with the hip-swaying dancers when the music begins. Fishing, paddling, sailing, stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling and swimming are just some of the activities that abound in this tropical paradise. If you feel like more adventure, take a trip into the hinterland and experience the unique flora and fauna of the lush rainforests. Take time to listen to the legends of ancient wars and love affairs that stretch far back into an almost forgotten time. Getting around Rarotonga is easy. With no traffic lights to be seen, relax and meander on a bus around the island. Buses uniquely travel both clockwise and anticlockwise on the road that circles the island and obliging drivers will pick-up and drop-off at will. Scooters are also a popular mode of transport. While nurturing its culture and tradition with sensitivity and pride, Rarotonga is also very much part of the present and offers everything today’s visitors expect. Experience Rarotonga and you will not be disappointed. "
North Bali & Other Regions

Bali, Indonesia, Asia

Renowned for its variety of picturesque landscapes, lovely beaches and villages where traditional ways are preserved. There are...

string(2859) "Renowned for its variety of picturesque landscapes, lovely beaches and villages where traditional ways are preserved. There are a number of other regions on the island of Bali which are popular with travellers. On the northeastern coast lies the small village of Tulamben which has a friendly atmosphere and wonderful food. Tulamben is best known for spectacular dive spots including a drop-off and the sunken American ship, Liberty, torpedoed by the Japanese in 1942. Now encrusted with marine flora, it is home to thousands of tropical fish. The area boasts picturesque rice fields with massive black rivers of volcanic rubble from the 1963 eruption of Gunung Agung. As Bali’s highest and most revered volcano, it dominates the easternmost district of Karangasem which is not only renowned for its variety of scenic landscapes and lovely beaches but also for villages such as Manggis where traditional ways are preserved. The mountainous region of Kintamani is located in the northeast of Bali and centres around the spectacular caldera of Gunung Batur with its deep crater lake and hot springs. Kintamani has a range of accommodation but is easily accessible for day trips from Kuta. It is great for trekking, sightseeing and shopping. Gunung Batur is still active but much of the crater is farmed by villagers with water from Lake Danau Batur. Every three days, a colourful market is held where fresh produce and handmade clothing is sold. In the northwestern corner of Bali is Pemuteran, a small village untouched by tourism. Bordered by the Java Sea and jagged mountain ranges, the area is too dry for rice cultivation so the local people traditionally live off the sea. Following years of destructive fishing around the offshore coral reef, a conservation project has been instituted. This has resulted in greatly increased numbers of marine life, perfect for snorkelling and diving. Visitors to Pemuteran may also be interested in Menjangan Island just off the coast, the dramatic Pulaki Temple which is perched on the side of a cliff, the botanical gardens at Bedugul and Sing Sing waterfall. Natural wonders continue to be a drawcard in the west of the island. The Bali Barat National Park is renown for its dive sites, flora, fauna, great trekking and pristine, beautiful beaches. Off the east coast is Nusa Lembongan, a small island covered with coconut trees, mangrove forests and small farms. Most people visit Nusa Lembongan to enjoy its quiet beaches, surfing or diving on day cruises from Bali. The village of Jungutbatu is charming with quiet lanes and a few temples. A popular temple is Pura Segara, which has an enormous banyan tree within its complex. About four kilometres away is Lembongan Village where visitors can take a tour of the eerie underground house where a man excavated his cave with a spoon."
colourful surfboards stacked up on Waikiki Beach at sunset Oahu

Hawaii, Pacific

Oahu suits beachcombers, honeymooners and adventurers of all ages. With its perfect weather, tropical f lowers, pristine valley...

string(4833) " Oahu suits beachcombers, honeymooners and adventurers of all ages. With its perfect weather, tropical f lowers, pristine valleys, rainbows and waterfalls, quiet beaches and fiery sunsets, it’s truly a jewel. Honolulu, the capital, is surrounded by beautiful white sandy beaches and attracts some seven million visitors each year. It offers plazas, five-star restaurants, nightclubs, world-class shopping, great art and architecture, exquisite hotels and friendly people with old fashioned Aloha spirit. Enjoy all the convenience of city living with the ambience of the tropics. A great way to get an overview of Honolulu is to take the Historic Waikiki Trolley Tour, a two-hour narrated tour on a turn-of-the-century designed trolley which stops every 15 minutes at 20 locations allowing you to spend time at as many stops as you like before rejoining the route. Stops include Honolulu Zoo, Chinatown, Aloha Tower Marketplace and the Hawaii Maritime Centre, King Kamehameha Statue, Restaurant Row and several shopping locations. There are more than a dozen specialised walking tours in Honolulu and many focus on historical sites such as the Kawaiaha`o Church, Hawaii’s oldest. Chinatown has many buildings with architecture reminiscent of a bygone era. Stroll through the arcades past the exotic herb shops and see the famous open market. More than one million visitors a year experience a taste of old Polynesia and the charm and beauty of the seven South Pacific villages at the Polynesian Cultural Centre. While there, visit the Imax theatre, experience a luau and see the spectacular Polynesian show. Take a nostalgic trip to Pearl Harbour where you can visit the USS Arizona Memorial or step aboard the USS Bowfin, a real WWII submarine. You can learn more about this compelling wartime attack by visiting the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Centre displaying WWII naval history and see a film about the attack. Outdoor attractions include Sea Life Park on Oahu’s South East Shore which has the world’s only ‘wholpin’, offspring of a false killer whale and an Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin. Waikiki Aquarium houses several endangered and rare species, interactive exhibits and a world famous collection of tropical fish. At Waimea Valley Audubon Centre on the North Shore experience Hawaiian cultural and ecological treasures in a natural park. Numerous cruises offer the opportunity to see the spectacular Waikiki/Honolulu coastline and whale watching cruises are a highlight in season. Another way to sightsee is in a glass-bottom catamaran in Kaneohe Bay on Oahu’s East Coast, where you can enjoy the sail and make viewing stops along the coral reefs. A safe and interesting way to see the natural wonders of the reef is to take a trip in a high tech Atlantis Sub to a depth of 30 metres and see a visual feast of reef fish and mysterious ocean predators. Other Oahu ‘musts’ include a visit to Diamond Head crater which has a one mile hiking trail leading to the 231 metres summit where there are spectacular views of Waikiki and Honolulu. No visit to Hawaii would be complete without a swim or at least a walk along the promenade at famous Waikiki beach. Surfboards and boogie boards are available for rent with the option of lessons for the novice ‘guaranteed to get you up’. Other activities on Oahu include wind-surfing, sailing on catamarans, kayaking, waterskiing and jetskiing. Parasailing under the direction of an experienced captain is a great way to view Honolulu and Waikiki from a new perspective, nine to 91 metres above the ocean flying tandem or by yourself. The Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve, Hawaii’s most famous snorkelling spot, aims to preserve nature and educate visitors about the fragile ecosystem. As well as having unlimited activities, Honolulu is a gourmet’s paradise with cuisine that is a blend of the spices of Asia and the Pacific with European styles and sauces. It is also a shopper’s paradise with everything from the International Marketplace ‘souvenir heaven’ (built around a 100-year-old banyan tree) to famous Ala Moana, one of the largest open-air shopping centres in the USA. With nearly 50 new retailers, the Waikiki Beach Walk is the largest development in Waikiki’s history. Nearly three hectares along well traversed Lewers Street is a colourful show-case and gathering place. This outdoor entertainment plaza includes several dining establishments and hotels, and benefits from the island’s cooling trade winds and year-round excellent weather. Where else in the world can you snorkel a crystal lagoon, climb a dormant volcano, surf huge waves, kayak along a pristine coastline, picnic on a sandbar, soar in a glider over tide pools, scuba dive over sunken aeroplanes, play golf at a championship course and sail into the sunset? "

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