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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. "
Phuket Ko Samui Ko Pha Ngan Ko Tao Holiday Beach Resort Villas Phuket

Thailand, Asia

A holiday in Phuket gives travellers the chance to escape to pristine beaches, crystalline waters, sumptuous cuisine and a pulsa...

string(3041) " A holiday in Phuket gives travellers the chance to escape to pristine beaches, crystalline waters, sumptuous cuisine and a pulsating nightlife. Phuket has it all. Dubbed ‘Pearl of the South’ by the tourist industry, Phuket is Thailand’s largest, most populous and most visited island. A whirl of colour and cosmopolitanism, Thailand’s only island province revolves around and thrives on tourism but still retains a spark of the real Thailand. Phuket has a long history. In centuries past, it was an important trading post. Two centuries ago, extensive tin mining drew thousands of Chinese labourers to the island and their influence has remained, leaving the province of Phuket with the highest percentage of ethnic Chinese in the country. The southern and coastal areas of the island were predominantly inhabited by Muslim fisherman. Whether it’s world-class diving in the Andaman Sea, golf at the world standard championship courses or exciting eco-adventures in tropical forests, it is the place to extend your horizons. Take an exhilarating speedboat ride to the surrounding islands or enjoy a serene cruise around mystical Phang Noa Bay. Or why not enjoy the vibrant nightlife at legendary Patong Beach with its bewildering mix of restaurants, bars, discos, live music clubs and cabarets. Inexpensive deals abound for this stunning destination and there is a wide variety of holiday packages available that need not break the budget. Phuket is more than a provincial capital; it is also a fascinating location for enthusiastic shoppers with all kind of budgets. You will find items ranging from antique Asian art and crafts, clothing boutiques, household knickknacks to bolts of famous Thai silk with bargaining the order of the day. With its idyllic tropical weather, Phuket is a favourite with beach lovers. There are, broadly speaking, two seasons: the dry and the wet. The dry season begins in December and lasts until April, when the rainfall increases. Wet or dry, temperatures remain remarkably consistent, nestling around 30°C and always with a dash of humidity. Just a 45-minute speedboat jaunt and a 90-minute ferryboat ride from Phuket are the towering limestone outcrop of the twin Phi Phi Islands. The larger and inhabited island, Phi Phi Don attracts hundreds of visitors to stay on its lovely shores. It is paradise perfected with beautiful beaches, stunning rock formations and vivid turquoise waters teeming with colourful marine life. Without roads, there is no hustle and bustle, no reason to hurry. Longtail boats make the many secluded beaches around Phi Phi Don accessible. The sheer limestone walls of the smaller Phi Phi Leh are dotted with caves and passages and the island’s shallow blue-green lagoons and coral gardens are a snorkeller’s paradise. So whether you want to snorkel the day away, relax in the sun, dance ‘til dawn at a club, or indulge in Thai specialty cuisines, it’s not difficult to see why Phuket is considered the ultimate holiday destination in Thailand. "
Palawan

Philippines, Asia

Voted World’s Best Island in 2013 and 2015, Palawan, often referred to as the last ecological frontier of the Philippines, has m...

string(2024) "Voted World’s Best Island in 2013 and 2015, Palawan, often referred to as the last ecological frontier of the Philippines, has much to offer its visitors. Officially the Province of Palawan, it is an island province that is located in the Mimaropa region. The biggest island in the Philippines, Palawan. It is part of an archipelago with more than 1700 islands on the western side of the country and its eco diversity includes grasslands, jungles, mountains and pristine beaches. The northern part is characterised by incredible clear waters, white beaches that line the coast and many species of flora and fauna. One of the most visited places, El Nido, is known for its sandy beaches, coral reefs and is the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago, a group of islands with steep limestone cliffs. The area has many dive sites, including Dilumacad Island’s long tunnel leading to an underwater cavern. When El Nido is crowded during the peak seasons and you prefer a quieter environment, Taytay is a great place to visit. It has loads of things for visitors to do. You can swim in the many hidden lagoons, kayak on beautiful Lake Manguao, swim around the beautiful waterfalls, snorkel or island hop. The capital of the province is the coastal city of Puerto Princesa. It is a great base from where visitors can take boat trips through the huge limestone caves as well as the underground river in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Around the city are great dive sites that are only five to 40 minutes from the beach inside Puerto Princesa Bay with the closest being White Beach and Red Cliff. They offer slopes and walls just seven metres under the surface where colourful fish, turtles and rays can be seen. Not to be missed is a visit to the 19th-century Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral. The cheapest option for getting around Palawan is by local jeepneys and tricycles. Getting from one island to another is possible with daily boat trips available. Car and van rentals are also available."
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. "
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. "
Sanur

Bali, Indonesia, Asia

As well as a beautiful white sand beach and a safe swimming area, there are plenty of restaurants, nightspots and good shopping in...

string(2875) "As well as a beautiful white sand beach and a safe swimming area, there are plenty of restaurants, nightspots and good shopping in Sanur. Sanur, a five kilometre east-facing stretch of picturesque coast, is an idyllic location. It is an upmarket alternative to Kuta, yet not as exclusive (or expensive) as Nusa Dua. The area has a relaxed holiday atmosphere without the hustle and bustle of central Kuta. As well as a beautiful white sand beach and safe swimming area, there are plenty of restaurants, nightspots and good shopping. From the 13th to the 16th centuries, chronicles refer to the importance of Sanur priests and scholars and today, Sanur is one of the few communities still ruled by priests of the Brahmana caste. These priests recognised both the threat and opportunity that tourism presented and imposed the famous rule that buildings cannot be taller than the highest coconut tree and established village co-operatives to ensure that a share of economic benefits remains within the community. Known throughout Bali as a home to sorcerers and healers, Sanur is often revered. The black-and-white chequered cloth seen around Bali is emblematic of Sanur. Symbolising the balance of good and evil, it can be found adorning the many temples in the region. A string of ancient temples can be found near the beach. Their low-corralled walls and platform altars are peculiar to Sanur. Anniversary celebrations at these temples are exuberant and strange to Westerners. Sanur is also home to the oldest dated artefact found on Bali—a pillar, with inscriptions on it recounting military victories more than a thousand years ago and making reference to King Sri Kesari Varma who came to Bali in AD 913 to teach Buddhism. Prior to World War II, Sanur was popular with a few prominent Western artists such as Adrien Jean Le Mayeur, writer Walter Spies and anthropologist Jane Belo. The Belgian artist Le Mayeur lived in his house in Sanur from 1935 until 1958 and it is now a museum. Activities in the area include camel rides, cycling and a plethora of watersports such as sea walking and snorkelling at the nearby reef. Sanur is renowned for its spectacular kite flying competitions during July, August and September which are staged by the local community councils. The kites can be up to 10 metres long, require a dozen men to launch them and traffic is halted when they’re carried down the roads. Part of the charm of Sanur lies in its tranquility. Mainly a resort for families wanting to experience genuine Balinese culture, the nightlife is limited to the bars and discos in the larger hotels. A huge advantage is its proximity to inland destinations, such as Ubud, which is around 40 minutes away. Sanur is a place of remarkable contrasts. It is rich in culture, history and activity and is bound to intrigue any visitor. "

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