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Island of Hawaii

Hawaii, Pacific

The Island of Hawaii is the youngest, the most diverse and the grandest of all the Hawaiian islands. Aptly nicknamed “The Big...

string(3508) "The Island of Hawaii is the youngest, the most diverse and the grandest of all the Hawaiian islands. Aptly nicknamed “The Big Island” it is larger than all the other islands put together. It’s a land of amazing contrasts with lush rainforests, monolithic cliffs, spectacular ocean vistas, white, black and even green sand beaches, plunging waterfalls, deserts, plains and active volcanoes. First discovered more than a millennium ago, the Island of Hawaii is where Polynesian mythology says Madame Pele, goddess of fire, dwells. She is said to live in the firepot of Halemaumau in Kilauea crater on the slopes of Mauna Loa, from where she actively pours new lava almost daily Hilo is the seat of government and near it are rainforests and black lava rocks hugging a serrated shoreline that is expanding thanks to Kilauea Volcano, the world’s most active volcano Volcanoes National Park is best accessed from Hilo. You can safely explore lava tubes and hiking trails around this amazing site. Nearby is Punaluu Beach Park with picturesque black sand beaches. North of Hilo the highway snakes between mountains and sea to Waipi`o Valley and Waimea through kilometres of fields where sugarcane once grew. Hidden amongst the mountains are a multitude of waterfalls including the impressive Akaka Falls. A must is a visit to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden where you can see more than 2000 species of tropical plants. Across the island, near Kawaihae, is Heiau, built by King Kamehameha, which is now an historical site. In Waimea, the Parker Ranch’s historic homes house a magnificent collection of Italian and French period pieces and more than a hundred original paintings by masters such as Renoir and Degas. In this region you can learn about a different side of Hawaii that is also home to paniolos, or Hawaiian cowboys. Lapakahi State Historical Park, north of Kawaihae, was once an ancient Hawaiian fishing village. A short drive from the park is King Kamehameha’s birthplace and Mookini Luakini Heiau believed to have been constructed about 480 AD. The Kohala Coast is home to magnificent resorts with breathtaking views of lava flows. Anaehoomalu Bay, with its picture postcard beach, curves between the shallow bay and an ancient Hawaiian fishpond once used by royalty. Once home to Hawaiian royalty, Kailua-Kona is now a vibrant resort and shopping precinct with a rich cultural heritage. It is also a great base from which to explore Kona coffee country and the unique Painted Church where columns form the trunks of painted palm trees. The Island of Hawaii produces 39 percent of the world’s macadamia nuts and Kona is the only place in the US where gourmet coffee is grown commercially. It also has the world’s largest anthurium and orchid flower industries. There are 20 golf courses on the Big Island, many with green fairways carved from ancient lava fields. Activities include fishing for marlin, a helicopter or small plane ride over red flowing lava and diving at night with giant manta rays. Getting around the Island of Hawaii is convenient and easy. The most popular mode of transport for international visitors is to hire a car and explore the island at leisure. There are also bus tours, shuttles and taxis. There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation on the Island of Hawaii. From charming bed and breakfasts to hotels, condominiums, lodges and five-star resorts, there’s something to suit every traveller and budget."
Micronesia Pohnpei Holiday Pohnpei

Micronesia, Pacific

This is the largest island in the Eastern Caroline Group and the capital of the FSM. It fits the typical South Sea island image...

string(3558) " This is the largest island in the Eastern Caroline Group and the capital of the FSM. It fits the typical South Sea island image with lush vegetation, abundant rainfall and tumbling waterfalls. Unlike other Micronesian islands it has tropical jungles, mist-covered mountains, one of the healthiest mangrove swamps and exotic f lora in the Pacific. Situated in the northwestern Pacific, it is 880 metres high, 21 kilometres wide and shaped somewhat like a circular tent. Also known as the garden island of Micronesia, its boldest landmarks are Sokehs Rock and Nan Madol. Nan Madol is an ancient stone city built on the tidal f lats of the eastern part of Pohnpei. There are approximately 100 artificial islets constructed of basalt logs of various sizes up to 70 tons each, making Nan Madol the largest and one of the most mysterious archaeological sites in the Pacific. The first European to visit the island group was Spaniard Diego de Rocha in 1526. The islands were originally called the New Philippines until 1696 when they were renamed the Caroline Islands. Occupied by Spain, Germany, Japan and the USA, Pohnpei experienced 100 years of foreign rule because it proved to be an ideal supply stop for the Pacific expeditions. Pohnpeian is the native language, however, both English and Pohnpeian are used in business. Archaeologists and engineers are attempting to discover more about the race which constructed the island city of Nan Madol. The stone fortress was built on a reef south-east of Temwen Island by the rulers of Pohnpei around 500 AD until it was taken over by Isokelekel, the warrior who installed the present traditional system in the 1520s. Nan Madol is reached by boat from the main town of Kolonia about 45 minutes away. It’s a full day boat tour which includes a visit to the spectacular Keprohi Waterfall and snorkelling in the lagoon. A 20-minute ride out of Kolonia takes you to the Nanpil River where further along are the spectacular Liduduhniap Twin Waterfalls, complete with thatched huts where you can picnic in a jungle setting. A day trip to privately owned Black Coral Island in the lagoon is the perfect way to safely snorkel the reef and, for a family day, visit Langer island with its simple cottages where visitors can stay overnight. In Kolonia you can see the Spanish Wall, built in 1889 as a boundary for Fort Alphonso XII. Nearby is the Catholic Mission Bell Tower, all that remains of the old German church torn down by the Japanese during WWII. Also take a stroll into the Polynesian village and watch the craftsmen whittle ornaments from locally grown ivory seed. Most tours operate from Kolonia, and many of the waterfalls and areas of historical and ecological importance can only be reached by guided tour. Accommodation is in both traditional Pohnpeian thatched roofed bungalows with garden showers, and Westernstyle hotels. There is no public transport, only taxis and rental cars, but most hotels offer shuttle services. Tourist facilities are clean and the service is friendly. A visit to the Pohnpeian cultural centres is a must for anyone wishing to experience traditional Pohnpeian life. Each centre has a distinctive program and performances include traditional dancing, singing, music, ceremonial sakau making, handicraft arts, and food preparation. The village shops specialise in handicrafts and popular items include carvings of sharks, fish, dolphins and canoes. When it comes to relaxing, try sakau, the numbing local drink which is used in ceremonies and also sold in bars. "
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."
Langkawi

Malaysia, Asia

The archipelago of 99 islands that make up Langkawi almost matches Singapore in land size and boasts modern amenities and infrastr...

string(2573) "The archipelago of 99 islands that make up Langkawi almost matches Singapore in land size and boasts modern amenities and infrastructure, while still retaining its traditional culture. Shrouded in myths about ogres, gigantic birds, warriors, fairy princesses, battles and romance, it’s a natural paradise unmatched anywhere else in Southeast Asia. Its geological history dates back 500 million years and the islands contain many unique rock formations including numerous caves with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. The outstanding geological landscape and features of Langkawi led to its classification as the first Geopark, not only in Malaysia, but Southeast Asia by UNESCO, with the aim of preserving and maintaining its unique attributes through conservation and ecotourism. The Chuping Limestone at Pulau Dayang Bunting dates back some 280 million years and it is this kind of history that makes Langkawi so spectacular. Nestled among Langkawi’s mist covered hills, limestone outcrops and lush forests are awe-inspiring waterfalls, like those of Telaga Tujuh, as well as mysterious caves and a rich diversity of f lora and fauna. Those looking for a holiday with a difference might try jungle trekking or taking a boat trip up the rivers and around the many islands. Kuah, located on the southeastern side of Pulau Langkawi, is the capital and entry point to the islands by ferry. Kuah is a thriving centre of modern hotels and, because of its duty free status, a shoppers’ haven. A visit to the Teluk Burau Oriental Village is recommended. Designed as a new concept in resort shopping, more than 30 specialty outlets offer a diverse variety and range of brands and products which can often be purchased very cheaply, from alcohol and perfume to electrical goods and tobacco. Langkawi International Fashion Zone (LIFZ) is a prominent international factory outlet showcasing many international fashion brands, like Gucci, Versace and Hugo Boss. Beaches such as those of Pantai Cenang on the west coast and Pantai Kok on the opposite side of the island from the capital offer relaxation while the clear, emerald waters around the islands are ideal for watersports and recreation. Nightlife is a special experience in Langkawi, as some of the bars are located right on the beach. Most popular nightclubs are located at the bigger resorts, however most of the local bars offer live music and performances as entertainment. There is a wide choice of dining options, from local fare to Western and Eastern gourmet cuisines with Asian spices. "
North of Thailand's local foods Northern Mariana Island’s Cuisine

Northern Mariana Islands, Micronesia, Pacific

Being a part of the U.S, you can expect a wide range of American cuisine. So if you are a western tourist, you will ...

string(898) " Being a part of the U.S, you can expect a wide range of American cuisine. So if you are a western tourist, you will find familiar food here. There are many restaurants that serve American and American fast food is also available. Don’t forget to try the local delicacies like apigi, which is young coconut roasted in banana leaves, chicken kelaguen (shredded chicken, onions with lemon seasoning, served with tortillas). Many of the local dishes are garnished with a local pepper called donne sali. There is even a Hard Rock Cafe in Saipan Island (talk about international choices!). Do note that you can’t buy alcohol in the Northern Mariana Islands if you are less than 21 years old. You can easily get beers like Miller, Budweiser, Victoria and Fosters. Other brands like Sapporo, Corona, San Miguel, Tsingtao are also available. "
Pacific Papua New Guinea Highlands Sepik highlands The Highlands & The Sepik

Papua New Guinea, Pacific

The Sepik is an immense, lush, grassland reserve, surrounded by one of the world’s greatest river systems, running 1126 kilometr...

string(3389) "The Sepik is an immense, lush, grassland reserve, surrounded by one of the world’s greatest river systems, running 1126 kilometres from its origins high in the mountains to the sea. The people along the river depend heavily on it for transportation, water and food. Their cultural links with the Sepik River are symbolised in many of their ancient and spiritual rituals, such as the manhood initiation. This requires painful carving of flesh on the backs of young men with razor blades. Patterns are that of a crocodile lying on the banks of the river. The history of the Sepik region reflects the influence over the years of the missionaries, traders, labour recruiters and administrators. Here river and crocodiles, man and nature have learned to live in mutual respect. Parts of the Highlands remain untouched just as they were when first ‘discovered’ in 1933. The people are hardy and village life depends on subsistence farming. Visitors will be fascinated by the bright ochre colours and two–metre high head-dresses swathed in plumes of the Bird of Paradise worn by the tribal elders. Dancing is proud and fierce at traditional sing-sings, with drums beating long into the night. The Eastern Highlands Province is a one hour flight north from Port Moresby or half an hour from Lae or Mt Hagen. Once there, you are surrounded by steep, rugged mountains covered in dense rainforest graduating to sub-alpine vegetation. The valleys are blanketed in grass and the panoramic views contain every imaginable shade of green. Altitude varies from 600 metres in the south to Mt Michael’s 2750 metre summit. Goroka, the largest town and capital, lies at 1600 metres above sea level. The Sepik River has no actual river delta and stains the sea brown for up to 50 kilometres. It is said that islanders off the coast can draw fresh water straight from the sea. The Sepik River is navigable for almost its entire length and winding its way through the land it resembles a huge, brown, coiling serpent. The force of the river tears great chunks of mud and vegetation out of the river banks and at times these drift downstream and appear as floating islands. You can cruise the middle Sepik aboard the quaint Sepik Spirit, a slow house-boat. In addition, Kilibobo Spirit is available primarily for charter, though it doesn’t have a schedule. On special occasions the ship operates expeditionary cruises to the Sepik and the PNG Islands. West Sepik or Sandaun Province is near the West Papua (Irian Jaya) border and is inhospitable terrain. It is home to the Upper Sepik people who move around in long, narrow dugout canoes. Travel is always difficult as there are no roads and the rivers are narrow. The centres are Vanimo and Amanab and villages around here have strong religious beliefs centred on deities that are believed to hold supernatural powers that are vital for survival in this remote and dense countryside. East Sepik is the middle and lower region from Angoram to Wewak town. There are a number of large rubber and cocoa plantations along the river flats. Wewak is an attractive palm-fringed town, which felt the might of Japanese troops who ‘discovered’ its isolation and its hidden ports around Kairiuru Island. Many war memories remain around the plantations and a Japanese gun still points from the eastern end of the island. "

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