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Showing posts with label Tropical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tropical. Show all posts

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Indonesia - Bali & Beyond Travel Fair 2018 explores tourism potential

The 2018 Bali & Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) is currently being held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, Nusa Dua from June 26-30.

Organized by the Bali branch of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA), the fair will focus on "Exploring the Colors of Indonesia".

The fifth BBTF has invited experts to discuss tourism opportunities and trends, as well as the diversity of Indonesia’s cultures.

As a business-to-business event, the fair acts as a meeting place for sellers and buyers alike. It represents tourism at all levels, including hotels, tour operators, travel technology companies, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) players and representatives from travel companies. 

“Our biggest challenge is to create a harmonious synergy among all entities,” said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya on Wednesday, as reported by

He said that problems should be solved by considering the Penta helix model, involving all tourism stakeholders, namely businesspeople, government, the community, academics and the media.
“The success of the Bali & Beyond Travel Fair since its first staging is proof of the Penta helix. It has motivated us to fully support the BBTF, which has proven itself to be an acclaimed travel fair with an incredible track record,” Arief added.

Meanwhile, BBTF head I Ketut Ardana said it was proud to be a part of the development of Indonesian tourism.

“We chose 'Exploring the Colors of Indonesia' as the theme as we believe in the country’s potential, and how Bali can function as a market place,” he said.

According to Ardana, this year’s BBTF will be attended by 320 buyers from 41 countries, 68 trade buyers, 241 sellers, as well as 36 international media organizations. 

Foreign tourists’ growing interest in living among the locals in Bali also encouraged the BBTF organizers to feature nine tourist villages in Bali for the first time in the fair.
This is designed to introduce the villages’ potential, with homestay facilities that are almost parallel to three- and four-star hotels.
Source - TheJakartaPost

Saturday, October 21, 2017

#Indonesia - Mandalika on its way to become new Bali

Tourist attraction: This picture shows the serene view of Kuta Beach, part of Mandalika tourist area, in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated on Friday the Mandalika Special Economic Zone (SEZ), designated to be developed specifically as a tourist destination 

For a long time, foreign tourists have adored Indonesia’s top resort island Bali, famous for beautiful tropical beaches and majestic temples. However, that may soon change as the government’s plan to create 10 emerging tourism destinations, popularly known as “new Bali’s,” begins to take shape with Mandalika in neighboring island, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara  

Source - TheJakartaPost

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Just the ticket for girl time

Travel website has been busy finding out what types of trips ladies between the ages of 18 and 34 favour right now and unsurprisingly the results are almost equally divided between beach vacations (54 per cent) and city breaks (53 per cent).

The respondents indicated that most important factors were travelling to somewhere new, a relaxing getaway and great value for money.

The data was collected by from 12,781 respondents across 13 markets in September 2016. Respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in 2016 and had to be planning at least one trip for 2017. 

Interestingly, 65 per cent of Thais said that they took a beach vacation in 2016 with 51 per cent opting for a city break. 

 So whether you’re planning ladies nights or some quality mother-daughter time for 2017, one of the destinations below could well be what you’re after. 
For the Beach Lovers: Sydney, Australia 

A getaway to the sun-drenched capital, Sydney is a must on the wish list. Check out the most photographed ocean pool in Australia, Bondi Icebergs, have a picnic in the Botanic Gardens, take a hike through the Royal National Park, stroll from Bondi to Coogee or savour a cocktail or two with a view at the impressive Hacienda Bar. 

 Where to stay: Bounce Sydney is the perfect scene for travellers on a budget but who do not want to compromise on style. Bounce Sydney boasts an onsite restaurant, bar, BBQ facilities and a rooftop terrace offering views of Sydney. You and your girl squad can choose from shared dormitories to private rooms and can meet fellow travellers in the three communal lounges and the fully equipped kitchen.

For the City Girls: New York City, US
The Big Apple is the perfect fun-fuelled getaway for you and your friends, from the neon lights of buzzing Times Square, the famed Broadway theatres to the sprawling beauty of Central Park.

Where to stay: Located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side is Sanctuary NYC Retreats. Offering retreat-style accommodation complete with an onsite yoga studio, Stanton Street Yoga and free unlimited classes for guests, this is the perfect scene to recharge your batteries after hitting the town.

For the Zen Seekers: Ubud, Bali
Bali is the perfect beach getaway. Discover tropical rainforests, terraced rice paddies, Hindu temples and shrines, ancient holy sites and breathtaking coastlines fringed by swaying palm trees. Be sure to check out the Goa Gajah Elephant Cave and the Ubud Monkey Forest!
Where to stay: Alam Ubud Culture Villa and Residence boasts two spring-water swimming pools and stunning views of the river valley and forest. The spacious villas are set on the hillside and come with modern Balinese decor.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

#Indonesia - Bawah Island of Anambas Islands nominated for most popular diving spot.

Dubbed one of Asia's top five tropical island paradises by CNN in 2012, Anambas Islands in Riau Islands province has been nominated in the Most Popular Diving Spot category for this year's Indonesian Tourism Awards (API).

Other destinations competing in the category are Gosong Senggora in West Kotawaringin regency, Banda Islands in Central Maluku regency, Karampuang Island in Mamuju regency, Tomia Island in Wakatobi regency, Lembeh Strait in Bitung city, Tanjung Pasir Moyo in Sumbawa regency, Maumere Bay in Sikka regency, Tomini Bay in Tojo Unauna regency, and Tulamben in Karangasem regency.

“Bawah Island [of Anambas Islands] has the most beautiful underwater scenery; no wonder people from all over the world come here to snorkle and dive,” said Anambas Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports Agency head Iwan K. Roni.

 API 2017 consists of 15 categories with 10 nominees for each category, an increase from last year that only featured 10 categories.

The voting period runs from June to October. The awards ceremony will be held in November.

Voting is open to the public and those who want to vote for Bawah Island can visit or send a text message by typing API (space) 5C and sending it to 99386.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The world’s best hidden beaches? Thailand's Trang archipelago

While popular Thai destinations such as Koh Samui and Phuket stagger under the weight of development, these southern islands retain a sleepy, tropical charm.
 Haad Farang (Haad Sai Yao), Koh Muk
Framed by jungle-draped limestone karsts, this small but striking bay has serene waters free of riptides, making it safe for families to splash around in the sun. As its nickname implies – farang is Thai for foreigner – you’ll find a large concentration of backpackers here. Still, with only a few sun-loungers and a couple of ramshackle food stops, it’s a far cry from the chaos of Chaweng beach on Koh Samui or Kamala on Phuket. Most of the bungalows, restaurants and Koh Muk’s near-nonexistent nocturnal scene are tucked out of sight in the adjacent woods.
Rent a sea kayak (100 baht) and paddle around the corner to Tham Morakot (the Emerald Cave), a winding stalactite-lined cavern that opens up to a sheltered cove walled by dense foliage and frequented by bands of monkeys. It is awe-inspiring, but to fully appreciate it, be sure to pack a torch to avoid slamming into cavern walls and other kayaks.
To avoid congestion, make the trip in the late afternoon, after the longtail boats (from £14) carting other travellers disperse.
Perched up on one of the limestone outcroppings, the aptly named Ko Yao Viewpoint Restaurant is the best place for sundowners. Skip the saccharine cocktails in favour of an icy Chang beer and bask in the last rays of the day.
In the evening, watch the sun melt into the waters of the Andaman, while perched up on one of the limestone outcroppings.
Ao Kham, Koh Muk
On the eastern side of the island, about 30 minutes walk or a speedy £1 tuktuk ride from Haad Farang, Ao Kham is both longer and more peaceful than its westward-facing counterpart. 
Luxury bungalows line the edge of the sand, but are set back far enough so as not to intrude on the panorama. In lieu of the clamour of hawkers, you’ll mostly find couples wading through the glass-clear water. Early in the morning, the speckled tracks of hermit and sandcrabs outnumber human footprints.
Early in the morning, the speckled tracks of hermit and sandcrabs outnumber human footprints Sivalai Beach Resort has an extended menu of standard Thai and western dishes and is popular for evening meals. However, prices are high and the quality tends towards the mediocre. A bit further inland, Boon Chu (+66 82 268 3073) has a more local feel and affordable prices, though service is often slow. Meanwhile, Koh Mook De Tara Beach Resort has some of the more authentic dishes on the island. Though the waterfront bar’s claim of the “best margarita in the world” may sound dubious, plates such as massaman curry – with slow-braised, bone-in chicken in a rich sauce with crimson coconut oil – are excellent.
Sunset Beach, Koh Kradan
In recent years Koh Kradan has become the most popular of the Trang beaches. With sands the colour of Carrara marble and azure waters, it’s easy to see why. Cashew trees lend their distinctive fragrance to the air, and at low tide the ripples of the Andaman Sea recede to reveal wide sandbars so bathers can stroll far out into the sea. Even if this island no longer quite qualifies as untouched, the majority of the land is protected by Hat Chao Mai national park, keeping development to a minimum. Bucket bars, beach parties, and other tourist trappings are conspicuously absent, as are convenience stores and ATMs. Most visitors stay and sun on Kradan Beach, a skinny, 2km palm-fringed strip. For a more secluded spot, ride a longtail boat for roughly half a kilometre to this cove on the western coast. The beach’s popular nickname says it all: go at the end of the day to watch the sky flare into magenta, scarlet and saffron.
 Haad Man Sai, Koh Rok Nai & Koh Rok Nok
Ringed by a sprawling coral reef submerged just a few metres below the water’s surface, Koh Rok Nai and its twin Koh Rok Nok lure eager snorkellers from Koh Kradan, Koh Ngai, and Koh Muk. Technically, both are part of Krabi Province, but the spectacular scenery more than merits the more than two-hour longtail boat ride from the Trang islands.
Mu Ko Lanta national park has shielded Koh Rok from greedy hoteliers, meaning monitor lizards still outnumber humans and an unruly tangle of jungle occupies most of the land. The majority of the boats moor at Haad Koh Rok, an expanse of crushed-coral sand that looks as if it has been plucked from the pages of a glossy magazine. If even a few fellow travellers are too many, walk to neighbouring Haad Man Sai, an equally lovely beach hidden from view by a few boulders. Note that a number of tours shut down during the rainy season between May and October.
Mu Ko Lanta national park has shielded Koh Rok from greedy hoteliers, meaning monitor lizards still outnumber humans.
Haad Lang Kao, Koh Libong
The largest Trang island may lack the picturesque, powder sands of some of its more fashionable neighbours, but it more than makes up for it with untamed swathes of mangrove and a low-key vibe seldom found on more frequented shores. Aside from a few fishing villages that house Koh Libong’s 6,000-plus Thai-Muslim residents, there’s little here to intrude on the sublime stillness. Many visitors come here with hopes of spotting one of the dugongs that nibble on the abundant sea grasses just offshore, though sightings of the shy creatures are rare. Haad Lang Kao, a golden strip of coast covered with coarse sand and pebbles, may house all of the island’s resorts, but it still feels relatively remote. The resorts diligently remove driftwood and garbage that washes ashore, keeping these sands in better condition than some others.
Ao Kuan Tong, Koh Ngai
One of the busier islands in the area, Koh Ngai (also known as Koh Hai), officially belongs to Krabi Province, but is so easily accessible from Koh Muk and Koh Kradan that most travellers include it in their Trang island-hopping itinerary. A string of mid-range resorts and low-key restaurants and cafes dominate the main beach, giving it a bit more bustle than Koh Muk. Still, the warm, crystalline waters and white sands are very inviting.
Ban Koh Beach, Koh Sukorn
Also known as Koh Muu, or “pig island,” this speck in the Andaman Sea makes sleepy Koh Muk seem positively action-packed by comparison. Unlike Koh Kradan or Koh Ngai, where much of the local population is involved with the modest tourism trade, most of the roughly 3,000 Thai-Muslims that inhabit these shores work in fishing or farming. A bike ride along the island’s single 17km road passes undulating rice paddies and groves of rubber and coconut trees. Three out of four of the small resorts are clustered on Haad Lo Yai, the island’s main beach, leaving just a handful of bungalows over on somnolent Ban Koh Beach. Avoid the rainier months of the year between May and October.
A bike ride along the island’s single road passes undulating rice paddies, as well as groves of rubber and coconut trees.
Lao Liang Phi Beach, Koh Lao Liang
Ambitious climbers flock to the cliffs jutting up from the sandy shores of Koh Lao Liang Nong and Koh Lao Liang Phi. Though there are fewer routes, the vertiginous rock faces and sweeping views of sapphire seas easily equal anything on perpetually packed Koh Phi-Phi. Sea caves riddle the limestone formations and while the underwater reef cannot quite match Koh Rok’s, it still more than merits a snorkel. Of the two islands, the larger Koh Lao Liang Phi has the bigger beach and tends to be overlooked by touring longtail boats in favour of its sibling.
Koh Phetra
Virtually devoid of any of the major hallmarks of civilisation, this is the forgotten island of your dreams. Few roads and even fewer inhabitants mar this slip of land covered with towering limestone cliffs. Unlike the majority of the other 30 protected islands in Mu Ko Phetra national park, Koh Phetra boasts a sand beach lapped by gentle turquoise waves.
Source -

Monday, April 3, 2017

West Java national park offers fun treks for the family

Those seeking a fun outdoor family activity might consider a trek in Mount Halimun Salak National Park (TNGHS) in Kabandungan district, West Java.
With up to 70 percent of the park consisting of tropical rain forest, the park is a nature laboratory for research and monitoring of endangered species such as the Javan leopard (Panthera pardus melas), silvery gibbon (Hylobates moloch) and Javan surili (Presbytis comata).
There are several trekking routes available at the site. There are 2, 5 and 7 kilometer routes, as well as a long route that requires visitors to stay overnight. Along the route, trekkers can expect to witness the silvery gibbon's movement in the surrounding trees, learn about a variety of herbs and flowers and, during rainy season, see luminous mushrooms at the research center, reported
The park is also a habitat for the Javan hawk-eagle (Spizaetus bartelsi), making it an ideal place for bird-watching.
 How to get there
Visitors can reach the national park by private car or public transport. Those using private vehicles can depart from Sukabumi or Bogor. As for public transport, visitors can take a train from Bogor city center to Sukabumi, stop at Parung Kuda station and continue by public transport to reach the site.
Where to stay
Those who want to spend a night in nature may build a camp at the camping ground at Citalahab village. Cikaniki research station also offers a lodge that can accommodate 20 people. Homestays at villagers' houses are also available with prices ranging from US$5.57 per person. 
Source - TJP 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Thian Ok Beach Koh Tao, Thailand

Thian Ok Beach; image of tropical paradise

 Thian Ok Beach is quite unusual for Koh Tao, and quite special.  Here the beach has flat land behind, and this is almost fully occupied by a single, sprawling resort that keeps the area as a park-like coconut grove.  It is especially beautiful, and their accommodations here are quite elite. There is a restaurant, bar and beach club, all part of Jamahkiri, the resort lucky enough to have such a beautiful spot almost to itself. Almost to itself, but not quite all – because there is just one other small bungalow establishment on this beach, Rocky Resort, and a few private bungalows at the far west end of the beach.

The look of paradise:  Coconut palms shade the 300 metres of sand here and lush green hills stand tall on three sides behind.  Clear water gently laps at the sand, from which interesting, low trees grow, creating shady niches for beach-lovers, and lovers – it's the classic look of a tropical paradise. Perhaps the only thing that holds off complete perfection is the shallow water.  The standard offshore reef keeps this bay full of sand and coral rubble, and at low spring tides the bay dries out completely, exposing dead coral and sand flats.  Only at high tide is there enough water for swimming.

Getting to Thian Ok Beach is not nearly as difficult as getting to some of the other beaches on Koh Tao.  In 2012 the road was in reasonable condition, and the rough patches were no real danger to motorcycles.  Thian Ok lies in the far southeast of the island, facing the same direction. From high vantage points you can see Koh Phangan, some 33 kilometres to the south. Koh Samui, 54 kilometres off in the same direction, can be seen in clear weather.

 Just two accommodations on Thian Ok; 1 luxury, 1 basic

Jamahkiri Spa Resort is certainly one of the most beautiful and up-market sorts on Koh Tao. It occupies one of the most stunning beaches here, yet this is only the beach club and accommodation annex to the main resort, which sits high on the adjoining headland among boulders and trees. The swimming pool and most public areas sit near the top of the hill, with great views across ocean, bay and beach. As the photos show, the buildings, walkways and pool have been crafted to fit into the island's beautiful rocky landscape. This also has the luxury of a private jetty below.
Rocky Resort, which sits on the rocky shore of the headland below Jamahkiri, offers basic bungalows with a nice view down the beach.



Saturday, September 26, 2015

The new Manathai resort in Khao Lak, #Thailand

If Phuket's busy beaches can be compared to upbeat music fit for a good cardio workout, then the newly launched Manathai Khao Lak is surely the equivalent of new age sounds designed for yoga practice and sleep. A 90-minute drive north from Phuket, the resort is located on Bang Sak beach, a slice of unspoiled tropical beauty dipping down to the Andaman Sea.

 Manathai Khao Lak is the latest addition to the independent Thai hospitality group Manathai Hotels & Resorts. It boasts 158 spacious rooms, the smallest a generous 48sqm in size. Facilities includes a swimming pool, a fitness centre, a 24-hour reception and concierge service, complimentary Wi-Fi, room service, luggage storage, in-room dining, a childcare service, and an activities and tour service. 

 The porters seem confused by our arrival but nonetheless rush forward to deal with the group's more than 10 pieces of luggage and their friendly smiles give us confidence that the cases will indeed find their way to the right rooms.

 The towering open-air lobby is a beautiful space from which to admire the sea and the tropical greenery and the proffered cold welcome drinks and iced towels are gratefully accepted on this hot and humid afternoon.

While waiting for our rooms to be ready, we decide to have a late lunch at Colours, the hotel's all-day dining restaurant. The sun is right overhead so we opt for the air-conditioned area instead of the terrace, which we will no doubt check out the next morning when we breakfast al fresco. Colours' menu offers both international and Thai dishes and while the choice is not large, it is adequate for our needs. 

 The room has with LCD TV with cable channels, coffee maker, refrigerator and a safety deposit box. The bathroom is well equipped too with a shower, bathrobes, hair dryer and slippers. Additional amenities include complimentary toiletries and blackout curtains.

Dark wood against white walls and careful placement of Thai artefacts accentuate the peaceful ambience. Thai textiles and soft light from the rattan birdcage lamps make the room elegant but cosy.

I almost fall off the bed when a lady steps on my terrace and reaches to open the glass door. As she sees me, she looks embarrassed and confused and after she's walked away, I go out on the terrace and look around. Her mistake could happen to anyone. All the rooms look the same from the garden and there is no room number.

 n the late afternoon with the sun beating a retreat, I head out of air-conditioned comfort to check out the pool and the beach. Surrounded by serene landscaped gardens, the pool is a fine place to take a leisurely dip when the waves are too rough or to splash around with the kids. The adjacent Pool Bar offers light bites and refreshing drinks throughout the day and Pad Thai, the resort's poolside restaurant, celebrates one of Thailand's most iconic and best-loved dishes.

The warm grains of sand massage my feet as I stroll along the beach. Children are building sandcastles while their mothers sip fresh juice and concentrate on their tans. It is a place to forget about your hectic city life and enjoy the best the sun and the sea have to offer.

Heading back to the hotel's beachfront, I sink into a hammock with my favourite e-book. With the cool sea breeze, the rhythmic sound of the waves rushing to the shore, the swaying coconut palms plus a cocktail in my hand, I take a deep breath and enjoy every lazy second as I wait for the sun to set.