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Archive for March, 2008|Monthly archive page

Asia is a great destination for female travellers

In Asia Travel, Travel on March 20, 2008 at 10:40 am

Full moon party is one of the favorite

Full moon party is one of the favorites

It’s not only a group of men love to travel to Asia for exciting entertainment night lifes. Supporting international findings that girlfriend getaways have become an increasingly popular trend, which has noted a marked increase in the number of reservations made by Western women to Asian destinations in the past year. Many statistic data from researchers such as a recent Mastercard report ‘Women Travelers of Asia Pacific’ which suggests that around 4 in every 10 Asian trips are made by women travelers – a big jump up from the 1970s estimate of 1 in 10.

According to Australian national Maryanne Jaques, a holiday with the girls is always fun and relaxing as there is no pressure to appease the opposite sex and its safe when traveling with a group. “Going somewhere exotic with a tropical climate that’s accessible and has great hotel options at great rates makes places like Bali and Thailand favorites among my friends,” said the radio DJ.

Marion Walsh, an expat living in Thailand and Brand Manager for the boutique Anantara Resort Group, agrees with Jaques, “Without fail, Thailand is always a favorite for a relaxation holiday, whilst Hong Kong and Shanghai are high energy, high octane weekends. It goes without saying that Asia provides a well priced option in comparison to Europe or the US .Also the diverse cultures, beautiful scenery and the friendly smiles that you find here in Asia are second to none!”

In light of this trend, hotels are fast realizing the profitability of girlfriends going East. From indulgent spa treatments and shopping marathons to beach getaways and fine wining and dining options, hotels are catering, promoting and pandering to the sisters and their traveling pants.

Hotels in Thailand, such as the Banyan Tree, JW Marriott Hotel, Marriott Resort & Spa Millennium Hilton and Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok have all hosted exclusive women-only packages, often incorporating shopping and spa into itineraries with temple visits and river tours. Meanwhile, Phuket has strong female appeal with its mixture of nightlife, beaches and national parks.

In Indonesia, women traveling with women might stop for a sojourn in the bustling city of Jakarta for its shopping, followed by the beautiful beaches and hillside environs of Bali. The Alila Hotel in Jakarta has a women’s only executive level floor to afford women a safe and comfortable atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the stunning environment, friendly people and entertainment options of Bali also make it a favorite choice among female travelers. Luxury resorts are heavily promoting their spa services to women too including the exclusive Oberoi Resort, the Melia Bali Villas and Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa.

For avid shoppers looking for an Asian cultural experience where everything is clean, convenient and organized, the metropolises of Hong Kong and Singapore are a girl’s best bet. Hong Kong’s plush Fleming Hotel has a dedicated ladies floor aptly called “Her Space” which involves all sorts of female-friendly touches from a health-conscious mini-bar and yoga mat to L’Occitane toiletries and aromatherapy. Meanwhile centrally-located, shopper-friendly hotels in Singapore include the Meritus Mandarin Hotel, Pan Pacific and the charming colonial-styled hotels Fullerton and Raffles.

 

Bottled baggage: Advice on how to lug liquids

In Travel, Travel Tips on March 12, 2008 at 4:43 am

With more best airports adopting stricter regulations on carrying liquids, it was time to look at the whys and what’s of hand luggage security.Ferrying liquid-based items abroad these days has become a complicated and confusing business. Especially as there have been discrepancies in airport regulations. But most countries prefer to err on the safer rather than sorrier side of precaution these days and are complying with global security standards. 

The banning of certain liquidized items onboard airplanes began in 2006 when a major transatlantic aircraft plot involving the detonation of liquid explosives was foiled in Britain. Immediately after the incident, strict regulations were imposed on bringing liquids and aerosol products on board. Most of these regulations are still effective today, with the majority of airports adopting American Transport Security Administration (TAS) protocols.

According to TAS regulations, the basic rules are these: All liquids in containers exceeding 100ml are prohibited on board planes with the only exception being liquid baby food (including milk) and prescription medications. Popular banned items are everyday things such as drinking water, butane lighters, hair gel, hand lotion, perfume, toothpaste, moisturizing lotions and any other liquid-based products. To bring liquids on board, all items must come in containers less than 100ml and fit into quart-size re-sealable, transparent plastic bags.   

Most major airports in Asia implemented the US security standards on liquids this year including Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi, the world’s newest airport. For many travelers in Southeast Asia – particularly Bangkok – the newly implemented regulations came as a surprise.

So, in order to avoid losing valuable goods, Here’s a series of tips to prepare you for take-off:

  • Create a checklist before you pack which highlights items that you are prohibited from packing in your hand luggage (check the travelinsider.info for useful tips on packing or go to the TSA website for an easy-to-read brochure);
  • Pack all toiletries into your check-in luggage rather than hand luggage;
  • When purchasing duty-free items, check with the sales staff about how the products have been sealed and what regulations will apply after you have opened them;

When bringing ‘essentials’ in your hand luggage make sure they are under 100ml and packed in a ziplock bag. It may be handy to purchase travel-friendly toiletries to avoid the hassle of packing individual items. To travel in style, try Khiels travel packs for guys or beauty packs by Ren or Crème De Lamer for women.

Lost In Transit?

In Asia Travel, Travel, Travel Tips on March 7, 2008 at 7:39 am

Looking for some navigations

Looking for some navigations

We’ve all been there. Lodged in some fluorescent-lit transit room where the only place to sleep is on a conjoined, plastic seat arrangement that the airport sign mockingly refers to as a “lounge”. Well, thankfully as the world has become more travel-savvy and service-minded, our transit options have evolved. Here are some tips on how to survive layovers, and maybe even savor them.

Know your airports – Before booking your ticket why not research a little on the airports you’re passing through? Prefer a bit of shut eye or a back rub while in transit? Not every airport provides these services, or if they do, they may come at an extortionist price. Increasingly, Asian airports are becoming favored stopovers due to their friendly hospitality, quality services and inexpensive hotel prices. The below list includes the most frequented international passenger airports in the world and a quick description of their services.

Day tripping – There can definitely be more to layovers than sleeping and showering. Why not pick an airport that has high speed train access into the city and leave your luggage (either checked-in or in a locker) and go explore? Other airports that make for easy day trips downtown and have been acclaimed for their modern, friendly services and unique design include: Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Munich Airport and Sydney Airport.

Explore and Snore – Another option that can alleviate painful transits or the jetlagged conclusion of a lengthy non-stop is to plan a layover mini-break. For many flying across the globe, a layover can provide further opportunity to enhance a travel experience – especially somewhere exotic. Asian destinations are ever-popular for this reason with their colorful culture, piquant foods and wonderfully eclectic shopping opportunities. Not to forget, their affordability. Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore are proving to be hotspot stopovers for those wanting to spice up their itineraries.