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Mamanuca And Yasawa Island

Fiji, Pacific

The Mamanuca Islands lie in a majestic arc only a short distance from the mainland of Viti Levu, curving to the northwest, and alm...

string(2807) "The Mamanuca Islands lie in a majestic arc only a short distance from the mainland of Viti Levu, curving to the northwest, and almost touching the Yasawa chain of islands. There are 20 islands and they all share in common pristine white sandy beaches, waving palms, crystal blue waters and, at night, the cooling influence of the trade winds. The Mamanuca Islands (pronounced Mah-mahnoo-tha) are essentially volcanic outcrops pushed up from the ocean floor in a gigantic earthquake thousands of years ago. Some are especially significant in Fijian folklore. From the air you can see that the Mamanucas islands are two clusters known as Mamanuca-i-ra and Mamanucai-cake. Within the Mamanucas is the Malolo group, five kilometres inside the barrier reef, extending in a curve for 120 kilometres. A number of resort islands are scattered throughout the Malolo group, each offering bure accommodation, a relaxing holiday atmosphere and a range of water activities. There are boat excursions, fishing trips, and watersports including surfing, SUP, jet ski safaris, parsailing, kiteboarding, kayaking and coral viewing for the kids. The islands of Malolo are the centre for most tourism to and from the Mamanucas. It has safe anchorage, a cosmopolitan community and an airstrip. The movie Castaway was also shot on Monuriki Island in the Mamanucas. At the southern end of the chain, Cloud 9 is a world-class wave that hosts the Fiji Pro International Surf Competition and recently hosted the World Stand-Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships. Here there is also a two-tier floating bar off Malolo Island on stunning RoRo Reef. The Yasawa Islands have a different ambience and are dotted with small resorts and backpackers accommodation. They are a chain of 16 volcanic islands and dozens of tiny islets stretching 80 kilometres in a northeast direction off the west coast of Viti Levu. They are special because their beautiful, isolated beaches, cliffs, bays and reefs and are less commercialised than the neighbouring Mamanuca Islands. Islands in the group include Waya, the highest with amazing scenery and Tavewa, a strikingly beautiful, small island that is about two kilometres long. In 1972 Richard Evanson bought Turtle Island while others in the group include Sawa-i- Lau Island with ancient limestone caves and Yasawa Island that has small villages and a five-star resort. Naviti is the largest island while Viwa is the most remote, sitting alone 25 kilometres northwest of Waya. The Blue Lagoon movie was filmed in the Yasawas. The limestone caves of Sawa-i-lau is a very popular day trip as are diving with manta rays and snorkelling with sharks. There are also multi-day island-hopping small ship cruises to the Mamanucas and Yasawas with three and seven day itineraries. "
South Kuta & Legian

Bali, Indonesia, Asia

The culture of multinational surfers, backpackers, wellheeled tourists, families and the forever friendly Balinese ensures South K...

string(2925) "The culture of multinational surfers, backpackers, wellheeled tourists, families and the forever friendly Balinese ensures South Kuta remains a unique place for tourists. The Kuta region is Bali’s largest tourist area and most visitors to Bali will visit it sooner or later. Centrally located, it is minutes from Denpasar and the airport. It offers a wide range of accommodation, a plethora of restaurants and tourist facilities in a buzzing atmosphere. Though Kuta isn’t for everyone, if you enjoy the beach and bar scene it is the best and most exciting place in Indonesia. Surfing is a hugely popular activity in Kuta with countless shops hiring out surfboards. Lessons and surf tours can be arranged as well. Australians once dominated the tourist scene however it is now much more diverse. French, English and Japanese tourists are all common and Kuta has become extremely popular with surfers the world over. Local activities include rafting, diving, bungy jumping and horseriding, which can all be organised through local travel agents. Waterbom Bali is hugely popular with children. It is supervised by lifeguards, and has assorted slides, pools and rides that the whole family will enjoy. Almost all hotels have a swimming pool and most will allow non-guests to use their pool for a small fee. Spa establishments can be found throughout Kuta for a true indulgence. Massages are available in most hotels but are much cheaper on the beaches. Kuta nightlife features music, arak (local alcohol) and happy hours that last all night. The busiest bars and clubs are along Jalan Legian, such as the new Paddy’s and the Bounty Ship. Merging almost seamlessly with Kuta to the south, is Tuban. It is a little quieter than Kuta but is thriving on tourism. Many tourists opt to stay in Tuban as it’s slightly further out from the epicentre of Bali yet still close enough to share all the facilities. It offers plenty of places to stay, eat and party. Tuban has colourful shops and markets as well as the larger Jalan Kartika Plaza and the Discovery Shopping Mall. Aside from all this, Kuta still remains a Balinese village with quiet compounds and small offerings to the gods left in every doorway. The culture of multinational surfers, backpackers, wellheeled tourists, families and the forever friendly Balinese ensure South Kuta remains a unique place for tourists. Legian The village of Legian was established as an alternative to Kuta and is now almost an extension of it with the two blending into each other along the main streets of Jalan Legian and Jalan Melasti. There is no shortage of places to eat in Legian, with roadside stalls (warangs) and restaurants in five-star hotels. Many exclusive hotels line the picturesque beachfront and its central location, burgeoning nightlife and accessibility to major tourist attractions make it a perfect alternative to Kuta. "
Outer Islands

Vanuatu, Pacific

With diverse terrains and a plethora of natural wonders, the islands of Vanuatu are small pockets of beauty and adventure. An ...

string(2283) "With diverse terrains and a plethora of natural wonders, the islands of Vanuatu are small pockets of beauty and adventure. An exploration of the outermost of the nation’s 83 islands will reveal famous volcanoes, magnificent coral reefs, historic shipwrecks and traditional villages. The southernmost inhabited island of Vanuatu is Aneityum Island. The northernmost islands of Vanuatu are the Banks and Torres Islands, volcanic in origin and home to active volcanoes on Gaua and Vanua Lava islands. Tanna Island Tanna Island is famous for its volcano, Mt Yasur, its wild horses, its custom villages and the cargo cults that have grown up there. It is possible to take a day trip to Tanna however there is plenty to see and do, so visitors who wish to truly experience. this extraordinary island should arrange a stay of at least two nights in order to see the island’s many attractions. A night trip to the crater edge of mighty Yasur Volcano is a great experience. Also visit the White Grass Plains, home of the wild horses, and go to a custom village to experience the age-old village culture, where people still dress and live in the traditional ways. Espiritu Santo The largest and oldest island in the group, with a wide range of natural sights, Espiritu Santo is a truly romantic island and a great place for diving. You can visit the SS President Coolidge, the largest intact shipwreck accessible to scuba divers in the world, the destroyer USS Tucker lying outside the channel and Million Dollar Point, the place where war surplus equipment was dumped after WWII. See a large experimental plantation and farm, stay in Melanesian-style bungalows, refresh yourself in a natural pool, and go to famous Champagne Beach in the north. Pentecost Only on Pentecost Island can you see the mind-boggling land dives. There is minimal accommodation for visitors, so you can either do a weekend package or a day trip. As many as 25 jumps may be performed in a day from one tower and as the height of the jumps increases, so does the tempo of the traditionally-dressed men and women dancing and chanting alongside. It’s an experience you’ll always remember. This annual event occurs during April, May and June on every Saturday and some other weekdays. "
Modern Commercial City (Bangkok) 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. "
Micronesia Guam Sunset Holiday Guam

Micronesia, Pacific

Like an emerald glistening in a velvet blue jewel case, the green peaks of Guam emerge from the surrounding waters of the Western ...

string(3685) "Like an emerald glistening in a velvet blue jewel case, the green peaks of Guam emerge from the surrounding waters of the Western Pacific. Guam is the largest and most southern island in the Mariana Islands archipelago in the northern area of the Pacific Ocean, covering 34159 square kilometres and with a population of approximately 167,000 people. Situated approximately 2494 kilometres south of Japan and 6115 kilometres west of Hawaii, Guam has pristine beaches, championship golf courses, world-class diving and snorkelling. Visitors can experience a variety of cultural and historical sites, outdoor activities as well as recreational events. As the largest and most developed island in Micronesia, Guam serves as a transportation and communications hub and is the gateway to Micronesia, a region of 2000 islands and atolls spread over five million square kilometres of the Pacific. Guam is also America’s airline link to Asia with an average flight time of around three hours to most Asian cities. The terrain of Guam is a startling contrast of limestone plateaus. The steep cliffs and narrow coastal shelves in the central and northern parts of the island are wonderful to observe. Volcanic hills range up to 204 metres which is the height of Mount Lamlam that is the tallest mountain in the world from below sea level as a result of Guam’s proximity to the Mariana Trench. Southern Guam features lush jungles and quiet seaside villages. The central area of the island has all the modern conveniences of suburban living, with restaurants, bars, shopping centres and international class resort hotels fronting Tumon and Agana Bays. Guam’s earliest settlers were the Chamorros who make up about 37 percent of the island population today. They are thought to have travelled by canoe from South-East Asia to the Mariana Islands, where they lived isolated from the rest of the world for centuries. The Chamorros flourished as an advanced fishing, horticultural, and hunting society and were skilled craftsmen who built unique houses and canoes well suited to this region of the world. They are also skilled in intricate weaving and detailed pottery making. In 1521, Ferdinand Magellan, the explorer sponsored by the Spanish court, arrived on Guam and forged a link between Spain and the Chamorros. The Spaniards’ influence lasted more than 300 years until the island became a US Territory in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. The Japanese briefly occupied the island until 1944 when it was liberated by American forces. Today, even with modern suburban living, Guam still offers abundant natural beauty. The island is blessed by year round balmy tropical weather and cooling trade winds. Stunning coral reefs and clear crystalline blue lagoons, teeming with colourful aquatic life ring Guam’s white sand coastline. Its verdant interior is lush jungle with hidden waterfalls, rivers and volcanic ridges. Guam’s natural offerings have something for everyone above and below water. There is fishing, hiking, golf, kite and windsurfing, parasailing, scuba diving, snorkelling, jet-skiing, dolphin watching and cultural tours to name but a few. History and geography have given Guam a vibrant cosmopolitan population. The charm and warmth of the people originates from the eclectic blend of Spanish, indigenous Chamorro, Asian and Western cultures. The mix of East, West and Pacific traditions and cultures is evident and is infused in the arts and crafts, language, and especially the food of this island nation. Guam is truly an undiscovered Pacific gem and deserves to be shortlisted as one of your next holiday destinations. "
Micronesia Marshall Islands Diving & Snorkelling Marshall Islands

Micronesia, Pacific

Marshall Islands, also known as Majol is an island nation in the Central Pacific Ocean. There are more than 1200 islands and islet...

string(2834) "Marshall Islands, also known as Majol is an island nation in the Central Pacific Ocean. There are more than 1200 islands and islets in two parallel chains of coral atolls. Marshall Islands were settled around the beginning of the Christian era, some 2000 years ago by Micronesians. The islands were later sighted by a Spanish navigator in 1529. British naval captains explored the Marshall Islands in 1788 and did some mapping. More mapping was done by Russians in the early 1800s. U.S. and Hawaiian missionaries began efforts to convert the islanders in the mid 1800s, and even Germany had inf luence in the islands in the late 1880s. Japan seized the islands in 1914, and remained until the United States liberated the Marshalls during WWII. From 1947 to 1986, the islands remained under the jurisdiction of the United States. Then it became the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and remains friends of the USA with a Compact of Free Association. From 1948 to 1958, the US conducted nuclear tests on Bikini and Enewetak Atolls. The USA continues to be the protector of The Marshalls, and maintains a missile range and base on the island of Kwajalein. To get to the Marshall Islands, there are two major airlines f lying in daily, United Airlines and Nauru Airlines. Air Marshalls f ly routes between the Atolls in small commuter propeller planes. The only two islands that have an international airport are Majuro and Kwajalein. Boats are used to traverse between the atolls also. Government owned ships make scheduled trips between the islands, and other commercial cargo lines service the islands. Majuro has a commercial dock complex, and many of the outer islands have lagoons that ships can anchor in. Marshall Islands offers tremendous outdoor activities that are exciting, adventurous, and historic. The beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world and are surrounded by crystal clear water for swimming, snorkelling, and wildlife viewing. The water remains warm all year long. There are many historic sites from WWII scattered among the outer islands and day trips and longer excursions can be made to these sites from the capital city of Majuro. Other adventurous activities include joining in on year round cultural events and engaging with friendly locals. Visitors also enjoy shopping for local handicrafts with an array of beautiful baskets, jewelry and decorations. The islanders are known for their weaving using pandanus leaves, coconut fonds and shells. Throughout the Marshall Islands there are many choices for hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation. On Majuro you will discover a range or hotels with a variety of services and rooms. There are also many exciting opportunities to experience the outer islands and distant atolls and to meet the people of the Marshall Islands. "

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