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papua new guinea port moresby Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea, Pacific

Port Moresby is home to 200,000 people, with 700 diverse languages and cultures. The town consists of a complex traditional soc...

string(2286) "Port Moresby is home to 200,000 people, with 700 diverse languages and cultures. The town consists of a complex traditional society formed by historical bonds between the traditional land owners, the coastal Motuans and the inland Koitabu. Port Moresby fluctuates from the hustle of commercialisation to the serenity of a country town. Downtown at the waterside is the nostalgic Port Moresby. At the entrance of Fairfax Harbour are Lolorua and Daugo (Fishermen’s) Islands, favourite picnic areas for sailors. Beautiful views from Paga Point overlook Ela Beach and Koki Point. Juxtaposed to the metropolis is the partly stilt-based Hanuabada Village. Burnt after WWII, the big village was rebuilt by the Australian Administration. Despite cosmetic changes, the character of the village is still there and is renowned for elaborate ceremonies. Koki market on the waterfront is a favourite for trade in fresh seafood and has a colourful fruit and vegetable market. Be sure to visit PNG Arts and Beyond Art, to see PNG’s largest collection of tribal artefacts. The National Parliament, a symbol of modern architecture, contrasts with the dignity of traditional design at The National Museum and Art Gallery. The first permanent display of local artefacts was established here in 1978 and is well worth a visit. Located on the slopes of Independence Hill at Waigani, it’s open weekdays and Sunday afternoons. In September join in the celebrations of the Hiri Moale Festival to commemorate the historical trade between villagers around the Gulf Province and the Motuans and Koitabuans of Central Province. The festival features canoe races, processions, choirs, string bands, sing-sings and the Hiri Queen contest. The Sogeri Plateau (46 kilometres from Port Moresby) is where the Kokoda Trail became the centre of war between Japanese and Allied Troops during WWII. Variarata National Park is a spectacular mountain region, with views over Port Moresby and the coastline. If you get up early enough, you can catch the mist blanketing the ranges. Westbound from Port Moresby is the Hiritano Highway, connecting the city with Bereina, home of the Kairuku and Mekeo people. The Mekeos are renowned for their strong chieftain system and grand traditional costumes. "
Upolu

Samoa, Pacific

The gateway to Samoa, Upolu is home to the international airport, the capital city, Apia, and the bulk of the country’s populati...

string(3096) "The gateway to Samoa, Upolu is home to the international airport, the capital city, Apia, and the bulk of the country’s population. Upolu’s coast is surrounded by white sand beaches and blue lagoons. One of Samoa’s most pristine beaches, Lalomanu Beach on the southeastern tip of the island with its translucent lagoon, is a protected marine reserve, teeming with a magnitude of tropical fish species and marine life. Just a little further north, head off to Namua Island and swim with the endangered green turtle in its natural ocean environment. South of Lalomanu there’s even more fauna to explore, including the seabird nesting grounds on Nuutele Island. From behind the hospital at Lalomanu you can take a short guided walk to an extinct volcanic crater, which happens to be home to a whole army of flying foxes. Upolu’s interior exudes a very special and mystic charm. There are numerous tracks that lead deep through lush rainforests to a number or rivers and dramatically beautiful waterfalls. O Le Pupu-Pui National Park contains Samoa’s highest mountain, Mt. Fito at 1100 metres as well as Togitogiga Falls and some good hiking trails. Papapapai-Tai Falls, with a 100 metre drop makes these very spectacular falls. The Papase’ea Sliding Rocks are just six kilometres southwest of Apia. Soft vegetation under the water makes it possible to easily slide down the falls into the natural pool below. The idyllic To Sua Ocean Trench attracts those keen to enjoy a surreal swim in a giant swimming hole. Samoa’s capital, Apia is home to 38,000 inhabitants. Situated on a natural harbour, just 40 kilometres from Faleolo International Airport, Apia is the perfect place to acclimatise to island life, pick up some souvenirs, and immerse yourself in the cultural heritage and proud history of Samoa. The colourful Maketi Fou (food market) on Apia’s Fugalei Street, is a good place to stock up on fresh fruit like pawpaws or a bunch of sweet little ladyfinger bananas. About a 10-minute walk from the food market is the flea market, the perfect souvenir haunt where you’ll find everything from clubs and kava bowls to lava lavas (the Samoan sarong), baskets, jewellery and authentic Samoan music. The famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, famed for classic books such as Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, spent his final years in Samoa. He was known by the local people as Tusitala, Samoan for ‘teller of tales’. His beautiful mansion Vailima has been converted into a museum set within lush gardens and is open to the public. Visitors can also visit his grave located at the top of Mt. Vaea, along a trail named by the locals as “The Road of the Loving Heart”. The locals are famously hospitable and the city is easily explored by foot. Apia has a great nightlife, everything from busy pubs, nightclubs to cultural shows and excellent restaurants, where you can sing, dance and enjoy fresh Samoan cuisine. In addition to hotels in Apia there are some good resorts, guest houses and fales on the island."
Denarau Island

Fiji, Pacific

Situated on Viti Levu, the largest of the 333 Fijian islands, Denarau Island is located across a tiny causeway separating the isla...

string(2054) "Situated on Viti Levu, the largest of the 333 Fijian islands, Denarau Island is located across a tiny causeway separating the island from the Nadi end of the mainland. This major tourism complex is a 20-minute drive from Nadi International Airport and includes The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sheraton Denarau Villas, Fiji Beach Resort & Spa (Hilton), Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island, Golf Terraces, an 18-hole championship golf course, a golf and racquet club and a private-berth marina. The resorts boast ocean frontage and an island shuttle runs frequent transfers between the resorts and Port Denarau, while golf carts whiz guests around and between the resorts. Apart from offering a sophisticated hotel and residential experience, Port Denarau, with its shops and growing marina, has become a major transit hub for Fijian tourism. With many of the smaller islands in the archipelago only accessible by boat, it is now the main transfer point for the resorts off the coast of Nadi in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Port Denarau is the principle departure point for vessels. Departing from the port are water taxis and jetboat transfers, chartered yachts and catamarans, island day cruises, multi-day island-hopping cruises and brigantines offering sunset dinner cruises. Sport is big on Denarau with the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club offering a spectacular 18-hole championship golf course. The course has been designed around the island’s extensive waterways. An impressive clubhouse comprising a pro shop and restaurant overlooks the 9th, 10th and 18th holes. A driving range and an adjacent tennis courts extend the club’s facilities. There is a yacht club and development is continuing on Denarau with other major up-market hotels under construction. There is also a commercial and retail centre, food and beverage outlets, and cultural attractions, making Denarau one of the leading integrated tourism destinations in the South Pacific. "
Nusa Dua & Tanjung Benoa

Bali, Indonesia, Asia

Whether you want complete luxury, peace and quiet, adventure or delightful local cuisine and culture, you’ll find it in Nusa Dua...

string(2715) "Whether you want complete luxury, peace and quiet, adventure or delightful local cuisine and culture, you’ll find it in Nusa Dua & Tanjung Benoa. Nusa Dua is located on the southern peninsula of Bali, just 20 minutes from the airport and the organised chaos of Kuta. The area is known for its generally fine weather (it is drier and cooler than the rest of Bali) and its protected white beaches. Coconut trees stud the coastal strip and it is a requisite that resorts built in Nusa Dua are to be no higher than the coconut trees, ensuring minimal impact on the region. The entrance to the resort area is flanked by traditional Balinese split gates leading to the expansive lawns and sweeping driveways of grand hotels. In the quiet enclave there are no hawkers, warungs, traffic nor pollution. Though it’s relatively isolated from Balinese community life, many hotels arrange visits by Balinese dancers and gamelan performances, and all of the major tourist attractions are a short drive away. The beaches at Nusa Dua have popular surf breaks way out on the reef and the best time to enjoy them is the wet season. At low tide the beach is shallow and difficult for swimming but at high tide it transforms into a picturesque lagoon. Camel Safaris run one hour camel rides along the beach. Many watersport activities such as diving, waterskiing, windsurfing and parasailing are based in Tanjung Benoa just to the north of Nusa Dua. A shopping complex in the centre of the resort specialises in textiles and handicrafts, has a range of kiosks and a games area for kids as well as a restaurant. It also stages regular Kecak and Legong dances and drum parades. Nightlife in Nusa Dua is limited to bars and lounges in the hotels, but it’s a short taxi trip to the lively areas of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. Tanjung Benoa is a peninsula that extends for four kilometres north of Nusa Dua. A Chinese population has resided here for centuries and has established a Chinese temple. There is also a Hindu temple and a mosque within 100 metres. Shops are generally cheaper than those in Nusa Dua and offer a shopping experience similar to Kuta. Tanjung Benoa has an extensive range of local restaurants, including the famous Bumbu Bali Cooking School. Diving, cruises and fishing trips at Tanjung Benoa can be arranged with most travel agents in South Bali while snorkelling, banana boat rides and glass bottom boat trips are offered along the main beach at reasonable prices. The area is also dotted with spectacular sea temples. Whether you want complete luxury, peace and quiet, adventure or delightful local cuisine and culture, you’ll find it in Nusa Dua and Tanjung Benoa. "
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."
Bali

Indonesia, Asia

Bali is a tropical paradise with an abundance of fresh fruit always available. Bali boasts lush green forests, beautiful beaches a...

string(5647) "Bali is a tropical paradise with an abundance of fresh fruit always available. Bali boasts lush green forests, beautiful beaches and incredible rice paddies that spill down the sides of dramatic mountains. It has a strong Hindu spiritual life, with thousands of temples and a rich culture of dancing, music, art, architecture, rituals and festivals. The capital Denpasar in the south is a lively town, particularly after dark, when locals visit Pasar Badung, the biggest and busiest market on the island. It is worthwhile hiring a car, jeep or moped, or chartering a private cab to visit the island’s villages. Among those worth a visit are Celuk, which is noted for its silver and goldsmithing, and Mas for its excellent woodcarving. Near the village of Kutri is Pura Kedarman, which has a hilltop shrine with a panoramic view and stone statue of the eight-armed goddess, Durga. Ubud, at the base of the mountains, is the cultural centre of Bali and home of much traditional Balinese dance and music. This is where most accomplished painters, dancers, musicians, carvers and weavers live and work, so there are a number of excellent museums, art galleries and shops selling quality handicrafts. Not far from Peliatan is Goa Gajah or the Elephant Cave, carved into a rock face. Visitors enter the cave through the cavernous mouth of a demon. Also near Ubud, Tampaksiring is a small town where the most impressive ancient monument on Bali can be found: Gunung Kawi. The temple consists of 10, seven-metre high, rockcut memorials. The spectacular 16th century Tanah Lot is probably one of Bali’s best known and most photographed temples. Perched on a rocky islet and encircled by the sea, droves of visitors go to see it at sunrise or, more commonly, silhouetted against a brilliant red sky at sunset. On Bali’s western tip, the Bali Barat National Park covers nearly 20,000 hectares and includes 7000 hectares of coral reef and coastal waters. The region is ideal for trekking, has outstanding dive sites and pristine beaches. East Bali has Gunung Agung, and West Bali has the Gunung Batur crater, a magnificent sight at sunrise. Penelokan, on the edge of the crater, offers superb views of Mt Batur and down to the lake. The village of Batur used to be inside the crater, but after a violent eruption in 1917 when thousands were killed, the village was relocated onto the crater’s rim, with the village of Kintamani. Kedisan, by the lake, is the base from which you can take a boat across to Trunyan. Or walk for a couple of hours on the track around the lake to Toyah Bungkah passing through the old village of Songan. Nearly 1000 metres up the slopes of Gunung Agung is Bali’s most important temple, Besakih. North of Denpasar is the temple of Taman Ayun in Mengwi, spacious and memorable for its moat and large grassy outer courtyard; and Bedugul, which has a leisure park at the southern end of Lake Bratan and lovely botanical gardens. It is the south of Bali that is the real tourist mecca: the areas of Kuta, Tuban, Legian and Seminyak. Kuta has an incredible concentration of shops and services, as well as Bali’s most famous beach—the only place in Bali where the surf breaks over sand instead of coral. Kuta and Legian come alive at night, with shops and market stalls selling every Balinese handicraft imaginable. Various cultural performances are staged nightly, with one of Bali’s best Kecak (traditional dance) performances to be seen in Kuta. The increasingly busy area of Tuban is situated close to the attractions of Kuta and Legian but with a more tranquil beach. Safer swimming combined with Bali’s only watersports park, Waterbom Bali, makes it an appealing option for family holidays. Southern Bali, encompassing Nusa Dua, Sanur and Tanjung Benoa, is where most of the island’s international five-star hotels are located. Sanur has a palm-lined beach and its waters are protected by reefs making it ideal for watersports. Reasonably priced restaurants are found in Tanjung Benoa and Bualu village, and the nightlife is relatively sedate. There are other beaches at Lovina in the north, and Candi Dasa in the east. Popular activities on Bali range from surfing, scuba diving and sea walking to indulging at pristine spas or attending an exciting cooking school. As it continues to attract an increasing number of international visitors every year, dining in Bali is very cosmopolitan yet inexpensive. Bali has amazing fresh seafood and the local lobster, sold at prices that will have you coming back again and again, is not to be missed. A huge range of international cuisines including Chinese, Malaysian, Italian, Greek, Moroccan and Mexican, to name just a few, are available. Be sure to enjoy local delicacies such as nasi goreng and sate campur. Bali is also recognised as a shopper’s paradise. Whether you are looking for casual or tailored clothing, locally crafted jewellery, handicrafts, antiques and artefacts or leather goods including leather coats, jackets and handbags, you will find it all at amazing prices. Don’t forget, bartering is the local custom at the markets so have fun and get the best price you can. If you need a quieter pace, try the fixed-price department stores in Denpasar. Bali offers every standard of accommodation ranging from modest, yet charming bungalow-style hotels nestled in lush tropical gardens through to some of the most exclusive and sophisticated hotels in the world. There is without doubt something to suit every budget. The abundance of cultural and historical sites here makes for a fascinating holiday. "

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