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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."
Visayas

Philippines, Asia

Within this stunning island group is Borocay Island, home to White Beach, which is considered the best tropical beach in the world...

string(2585) "Within this stunning island group is Borocay Island, home to White Beach, which is considered the best tropical beach in the world. The Visayas is the Philippines’ main island group. Situated to the east of Palawan, and between Luzon in the north and Mindanao in the south, there are multitudes of islands in the Visayas, large and small. The province of Cebu, probably the most well-known destination, comprises six of the 11 major islands in the country, and 161 smaller islands. Cebu retains much of its Spanish heritage in its historical and cultural attractions. It also provides an idyllic starting point for island hopping holidays, many within a couple of hours’ drive from downtown. Cebu City is a major gateway to the Visayas and, being the oldest city in the Philippines, it is often referred to as the ‘Queen City of the South’. Cebu’s five main cities are Cebu City, Toledo, Danao, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu (on Mactan Island). Cebu City is home to the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, the oldest fort in the country, Fort San Pedro, and the restored 19th century home Casa Gorordo. Mandaue on the coast is the manufacturing centre, with the San Miguel brewery, Coca Cola plant, and a number of other factories from glass to rattan furniture and handicrafts. While in the Visayas it is a must to visit Bohol, the tenth largest island in the Philippines, famous for its Chocolate Hills comprising more than 1000 oval limestone mounds. A cruise down the Loboc River passes through the towns of Loboc, Loay and Bilar, which has a man-made forest that is home to the tarsier, one of the world’s smallest primates. Like Cebu, Bohol has a range of resorts, especially in Panglao, and also boasts dive spots. Iloilo in the western Visayas is an hour from Manila by plane. The city has wide, attractive streets and a number of historical monuments including churches and ancestral houses. The island of Negros, wedged between Cebu and Panay, is divided into two provinces, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, each with an impressive number of well-maintained historic buildings. The province of Aklan, also in the western Visayas, lays claim to two attractions—the fantastic religious and festive zeal of the Ati- Atihan Festival, the nation’s week-long mardi gras held in January—and Boracay Island. The seven-kilometre long Boracay is widely thought of as the ultimate island in the Philippines. On Boracay is White Beach with fine white sand and clear water. White Beach is considered by many to be the best tropical beach in the world. "
palau pacific development inc Northern Mariana Islands

Micronesia, Pacific

The Northern Marianas Islands are a tropical paradise offering magnificent beaches and crystal clear waters, as well as the lively...

string(5140) "The Northern Marianas Islands are a tropical paradise offering magnificent beaches and crystal clear waters, as well as the lively bustle of nightlife, shopping, a world class casino, a wide range of restaurants, golf and a multitude of outdoor activities. A commonwealth of the United States, The Northern Mariana Islands consists of fourteen islands with a majority of the population residing on the Islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota. The weather is comfortable all year round. Short, direct flights to Saipan are available from Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong, Manila, Guangzhou and Busan. Scheduled inter-island flights connecting Saipan to Rota, Tinian and Guam operate daily. Saipan The largest of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan boasts gentle beaches and a lovely lagoon on the western and southern coasts, a rugged and rocky eastern coast, a hilly interior and dramatic cliffs in the largely undeveloped north. Plunge into a variety of watersports including swimming, snorkelling, paddle boarding, kayaking, banana boat rides, parasailing, kiteboarding and windsurfing. Discover underwater wonders and hidden wrecks with a shore, boat, wreck, or cavern SCUBA dive. Managaha Island is a short boat ride away where the crystal waters of the lagoon offer award-winning snorkelling. The cavernous Grotto is rated as one of the top dive spots in the World. The CNMI Museum of History and Culture is a good starting point for first time visitors to grasp the expanse of this island’s 4,000-year history. The American Memorial Park offers a look at the island’s World War II history. Don’t miss a stop at the ‘Last Command Post’ of the Japanese Imperial Army or the other historic and natural wonders of the Marpi area. Garapan is where many of the restaurants, bars, and shopping centres are located. Relax and rejuvenate mind, body and soul by indulging in one of the many top spas on the island. Golf, deep sea fishing and sporting events of all kinds abound, and Saipan boasts the only International Standards Casino operating in Micronesia and the fourth largest grossing casino in the World. Tinian Tinian is the closest island to the capital of Saipan, and is easily accessible by air via a 10-minute flight. History abounds on Tinian, from huge prehistoric stone monoliths called Taga Stones to the very runways and loading docks that put atom bombs aboard the Enola Gay to stop WWII. Tinian is all that and more with temple ruins in the Jungle and quaint, boutique hotels to accommodate your visit. Tinian also has many clean and beautiful white sand beaches. The pristine water, colourful marine life and coral reefs surrounding the island offer an ideal environment for snorkelling, scuba diving, and bountiful fishing. Rota Known as ‘the friendly island’, beautiful Rota possesses a unique character and charm that wins over just about everyone that goes there. On the western side of the island, take a refreshing dip in the cool, clear water at Rota’s famous Swimming Hole. Take some great photos at Tweksberry Park with its perfectly lined rows of coconut palms. Continue east along beautiful Sasanhaya Bay and get a great view of Wedding Cake Mountain. See two well-preserved Japanese swivelling cannons and other interesting sights in an awe inspiring back road driving tour. No trip is complete with sampling local delicacies, from in-season ayuyu (coconut crab) to kadun pika (hot spicy beef soup), the choices abound and are served best in the company of newfound friends in this friendly community where everyone waves at visitors.Along the beautiful western coastline, this sprawling oceanfront resort boasts a sugar-white sandy lagoon and aquamarine waters. Facilities include a spa, tennis courts, fitness centre, four restaurants and three refreshing pools. At the beach, join a playful game of beach volley ball or bask on the shoreline and gaze at the blue, pink and purple hues of the horizon. You’ll be delighted with the activities including relaxing outdoor pools and a kid’s only pool for younger guests. Don’t miss exquisite sunset dining Saipan’s best cultural show featuring artistic Polynesian and Micronesian dancers or indulge in a cocktail at the World Café and authentic Japanese cuisine at Mai Teppanyaki, along with its special events calendar, make it a gathering place for visitors from around the world as the local community. The resort presents exquisite oceanfront accommodations and superior service with a selection of 416 rooms and suites that feature private balconies with splendid views of Saipan’s white and beaches, as well as a range of amenities and friendly team of staff. For special occasions and events, the resort has established itself as one of the best meeting locations on island with expansive venue space and expert on-site planning services. Whether you choose to simply bask in the sunshine, be surrounded by the tropical landscape or enjoy a refreshing dip in the sea or pools, Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan ensures the finest services for a complete gateway."
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. "
Central Vietnam

Vietnam, Asia

Da Nang is central Vietnam’s largest city and is home to some extremely picturesque sites including the Ngu Hanh Son (Five Eleme...

string(3909) "Da Nang is central Vietnam’s largest city and is home to some extremely picturesque sites including the Ngu Hanh Son (Five Element Marble Mountains) which lie close to the sea and have caves and pagodas, and Da Nang Beach which stretches for several kilometres between Monkey Mountain and Marble Mountain. The city of Da Nang is surrounded by the three UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites of Hoi An, Hué and My Son. Thirty-two kilometres south-east of Da Nang is the ancient town of Hoi An, an important international port from the 17th to 19th centuries and now Vietnam’s most popular destination beyond Hanoi and Saigon. Its combination of charming heritage streets and riverside setting, bustling markets, Chinese assembly halls, Japanese remnants, quaint restaurants and cafés, and local tailors and handicraft outlets, have made it a must-see for visitors to Vietnam. It is also a rapidly developing beach resort, with a huge stretch of beach just five kilometres from the town and many modern resorts. Outside Hoi An is My Son Sanctuary, the capital of the kingdom of Champa from the 5th to 12th centuries. From here, there’s a great view of Champa from the Mountain Church (Nha Tho Nui) which is on top of Buu Chau Hill in the town of Tra Kieu. Hué, located approximately a 2.5 hour drive north of Da Nang, is widely regarded as the most beautiful city in Vietnam. Hué is situated alongside a large, deep river adjacent to a mountain range. Traditionally Hué was one of the country’s cultural, religious and educational centres, and was also Vietnam’s capital from the years 1802 to 1945. The city of Hué is known worldwide as an architectural treasure with palaces, royal tombs and mausoleums, pagodas, and temples all framed by the natural landscape on either side of the Huong (Perfume) River. The ruins of its huge, moated citadel contains many interesting sites, such as the Nine Holy Cannons, the Imperial Enclosure, the Palace of Supreme Harmony and the Halls of the Mandarins, although the Emperor’s Getaway, the Purple Forbidden City, was largely destroyed during the wars. The Royal Tombs are 15 kilometres south of Hué. One of Vietnam’s best beaches, Thuan An is just 13 kilometres north-east of Hué, and from here visitors can take sampan trips up the Perfume River. From Hué, tourists can go by car to visit the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the remarkable tunnels of Vinh Moc, used during the wars. The Hai Van Pass divides North and South Vietnam. A 21 kilometre-long road over Hai Van Pass, opened at the end of the 19th century, winds back and forth to a height of 435 metres above sea level. Its name means ’Pass of the Ocean Clouds,’ since the peak of the mountain is in the clouds while its foot is close to the sea. Hai Van is considered to be the largest frontier post in Vietnam From the top of the pass, one can admire Lang Co Beach to the north and Da Nang to the south. The curving railway through Hai Van Pass is 3200 metres long with sections running through seven tunnels. There are endless forests to the west of the pass and the ocean is to the east. Hai Van Pass is a real challenge for drivers, as well as for adventurers. Dalat located in the Central Highlands region is renown for its relaxing, natural verdant environment. A popular tourist destination, it is probably one of Vietnam’s best-known vacation sites and is a popular honeymoon mecca. The many sites include Emperor Bao Dai’s Summer Palace and the colourful fresh food and flower markets. Picturesque crumbling French Villas from the 1930s dot the surrounding hillsides. Nha Trang is on the south central coast of Vietnam and arguably boasts the best beach in the country. Its turquoise waters are perfect for swimming and boat trips are available to interesting offshore fishing villages and islands including Monkey Island with diving options also available."
North Thailand

Thailand, Asia

Northern Thailand offers a great diversity of interests, from ancient monuments and the markets of Chiang Mai, to the incredible m...

string(2965) "Northern Thailand offers a great diversity of interests, from ancient monuments and the markets of Chiang Mai, to the incredible mountains, rice fields and spectacular national parks. Northern Thailand, home of the ancient Lanna kingdom, offers a great diversity of interests, from ancient monuments and museums, the markets of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, to the incredible mountains, forests (some of them teak), rice fields and spectacular national parks. Located 700 kilometres north of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, the ‘Rose of the North’, has numerous ancient Buddhist temples and other monuments within its city gates. Close by are Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, one of the most revered Buddhist shrines in Northern Thailand. Major attractions on the thickly forested mountain of Doi Suthep include waterfalls, a Hmong village and the English-style gardens of Phuping Palace, the summer residence of the Royal Family. Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second most important city, the literal meaning of its name is ‘new city’ though it was founded back in the late 13th century. It is one of the world’s largest centres of cottage industries and it is interesting to visit the numerous craftspeople making anything from jewellery to umbrellas and silks, using skills passed down through the generations. While the city is an ideal base for mountain treks, it is also well known for its excellent shopping, fine restaurants and accommodation. Compared to Bangkok, Chiang Mai’s evenings are cool and conducive to strolling around the central night bazaar. Pai has a fast-growing reputation as one of Northern Thailand’s top beauty spots, and is popular with trekkers and lovers of mountain scenery. The town and surrounding area include amongst their population Lisu hill tribes, Muslims from Myanmar (Burma) and Yunnanese from China. One of the most unusual sights in Mae Hong Son is the Padaung, or Karen, a hilltribe community farming rice, tea and tobacco. The women are distinguished by their long necks, lengthened from childhood by brass rings. The countryside east of Pai is famous for a seasonal phenomenon known as Thale Mok, or Sea of Mists, when from November to December mountain valleys fill with clouds and provide a spectacular sight in the early morning. The far northern region of Chiang Rai is developing as a popular tourist destination for its spectacular geography. The area remains synonymous with the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet, historically connected to the opium and heroin trades. There’s much more to the area than this, however, with superb views, hilltribe villages and the historical towns of Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong. Mae Sai is Thailand’s northernmost town, separated from Myanmar only by a bridge. South of Mae Sai is Tham Luang, a large cave complex with crystals that change colour in the light. Further south are more caves, Tham Pum and Tham Pla, which have lakes inside. "

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