Thailand’s Ang Thong National Marine Park, the ‘new’ Maya Bay

With Thailand’s Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi Ley remains closed
indefinitely to allow the tourist-magnet some much-needed time to
recover, it’s time to look for another natural wonder.
 
One of Thailand’s astonishing natural wonders, not as well known as Maya Bay,
is the Ang Thong National Marine Park, located about 40 kilometers north
west of the coast of Koh Samui. Some would argue it’s even more
spectacular and worthy of at least a full day visit. 
 
There are manytours available to the National Park.
 
The Ang Thong National
Marine Park is made up of 42 islands spread over 102 square kilometers. Travelers will find beautiful beaches, limestone cliffs, caves, rock
formations and countless photo opportunities. Enjoy some views from the
air…
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It will take you about an hour to travel there from either the Surat
Thani mainland or from Koh Samui by speedboat. There are slower
ferry-style boat trips as well but you’ll lose a lot of time travelling
there (usually for day trips) and the speedboats can get into much
shallower waters.
 
Tours usually also squeeze in a visit to Koh
Phaluai, the park’s biggest island, where there’s a popular  stilted
restaurant in the island’s fishing village, serving a delicious seafood
lunch.
 
Another popular island worth visiting is Koh Wua Talap,
famed for wildlife spotting and what might just be the most beautiful
viewpoint in the entire park.
 
FUN FACT: Though
the 2000 movie “The Beach,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed in
Koh Phi Phi’s Maya Bay in the Andaman Sea, the book by Alex Garland upon
which the film was based was actually set in Ang Thong in the Gulf of
Thailand.
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Source – The Thaiger
 
 

 

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#Vietnam – Rough Guides names Ha Long Bay among world’s 100 best places to visit

 British travel magazine Rough Guides has voted for Ha Long Bay as one of the 100 most beautiful places to visit next year.
 
In the “The Rough Guides to the 100 Best Places on Earth,” the magazine described “the scattering of limestone pinnacles jutting out of the smooth waters of Ha Long Bay”, around four hours east of Hanoi, as an “incredible sight.”
It is the only Vietnamese destination in the list, which covers many historical and cultural sites around the world such as the Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Forbidden City in China, Kamniške-Savinja Alps in Slovenia, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, and the Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue in Mongolia.
 
Dropping anchor in the bay to explore small islands and caves is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Rough Guides said, adding that “the best junk boats have private cabins and serve gourmet food and in the early morning you can pull back the curtains to watch the sunlight dancing on the emerald green water.”
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Since its recognition as a UNESCO natural world heritage in 1994 Ha Long Bay has entrenched itself on the global tourism map, receiving rave reviews from travel bloggers and filmmakers. Around 5.2 million foreigners visited the bay last year, up 22 percent from a year earlier. A total of 15.6 million visited the country.
 
In its latest conservation move, the Ha Long Bay management said all tourism services in the bay would limit the use of plastic bags and straws from September 1. Fifteen local firms providing tourist boats, kayaks and high-speed boats will embark on a pilot program, banning the use of plastic products on sightseeing boats, starting August 1.
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The recent improvements in infrastructure have made traveling to and around Ha Long much easier for foreigners. Last December Van Don International Airport, 50 kilometers from Ha Long Bay, opened.
 
An expressway connecting the Hanoi-Hai Phong Expressway with Ha Long, opened to traffic last September, reducing the Hanoi-Ha Long commute by 50 km to 130 km.
 
In addition to the popular kayaking and cruise tours, visitors can book Ha Long Heli Tours, a new helicopter tour, through Fastsky, the country’s first helicopter ride-sharing service offered by ride-hailing firm FastGo.
 
The South China Morning Post recently named Ha Long Bay in its list of 10 most popular Asian attractions. British magazine Woman and Home last May labeled the bay one of the most mentioned global cruise destinations on Instagram.
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Source – VN Express

 

Phu Yen, #Vietnam’s land of the rising sun

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 The easternmost province is a top choice for adventures and to enjoy the beauty of nature including some out-of-the-world landscapes.Phu Yen, located on the south central coast, is the first point on the Vietnamese mainland to welcome the sun every morning.

It has a diverse topography consisting of mountains, rivers, lagoons, bays, and islands and a myriad of beautiful natural sights for visitors to explore.

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Phu Yen’s sunny season is from January to around August, and is perfect for sightseeing. There are also lots of local festivals during these months, so remember to check their dates if you want to see them.But April and May can be quite hot, so visitors who choose to go during this period should be mindful and take sun-protection gear and water.

From May until the end of July is the peak domestic tourist season, and during this period Phu Yen can get pretty crowded. It might not be an ideal time for those who prefer a quiet and relaxing holiday.

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Dai Lanh Cape, around 35km from Tuy Hoa, the capital city of Phu Yen, is the first place in the country where the sun rises. The best spots to catch the sunrise from are up the lighthouse or on Mon Beach, both spectacular places.Visitors can spend the night at Mui Dien lighthouse, and, when the time comes, take in the view of the bay and the ocean wide open right before their eyes. The feeling when standing on the top, with the wind carrying the smell of the ocean and caressing your skin and hair, and watching the spectacular scene unfold is indescribable.

You need to call up the lighthouse and make arrangements the day before. Tickets cost around VND10,000 ($0.43)

Camping on Mon Beach for the night and waiting for the sunrise can be an unforgettable experience. The beach is located behind Dai Lanh Lighthouse.

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Vung Ro spreads over an area of 16.4 square kilometers, with beautiful beaches and the ocean on one side and forested mountains like Deo Ca and Hon Ba, and the highest peak, Da Bia (Tombstone Mountain), on the other.It is situated in the commune of Hoa Xuan Nam, Dong Hoa District, at the edge of Ca Pass. The drive, whether from the south or north, is extremely scenic. The coastal road offers a magnificent, unbroken view of the bay’s blue waters, fishing villages, the craggy pass, the green mountains, and the white sandy beaches.

There are hundreds of floating homes, fish farms and wooden fishing boats in the main bay. From here, visitors can take a boat to visit seafood farms, try to be a fisherman for a day and learn how locals catch lobsters or go catching fish or squid.

The seafood at the floating restaurants here are obviously as fresh as it possibly can be as it goes straight to the kitchen from the floating farms around. Some beers while floating on the blue lagoon, and this becomes an experience one just should not miss.

There are also other recreation options such as jet-skiing, snorkeling and visiting historical relics for visitors.

 Vung Ro Bay has 12  beautiful, pristine beaches such as Lach, Mu U, Chua, Chan Trau which are perfect for a refreshing dip in the cool, clear water or just unwinding in a tranquil, quiet place on the white sand.

 

Jamahal Private (5 Star) Resort and Spa, Bali Indonesia

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This property is a 6-minute walk from the beach. Jamahal Private Resort & Spa is located on the southern tip of Bali, less than 400 m from Jimbaran Beach.

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Boasting a private beach club, the resort offers free WiFi and free shuttle services to Jimbaran Beach.

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The Balinese-style villas come with cable TV, a DVD player, and a safety deposit box. Each villa is fitted with wooden furnishings and Asian décor. Some include a private entrance, outdoor pool, and garden.

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All guests enjoy access to a private beach club, which is a 5-minute walk from the resort. Traditional massage treatments using organic ingredients can be enjoyed at the spa. Guests can also exercise in the fully equipped gym.

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The resort offers continental dishes for breakfast. Meals may be served in the Lounge or delivered to guests’ villas.

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Jamahal Private Resort & Spa is about 2 km from Ngurah Rai International Airport. The trendy Kuta and Seminyak areas are a 20-minute drive away.

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This property is also rated for the best value in Jimbaran! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.

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Pearl Farm Beach (5 Star) Resort, Davao Philippines

Pearl Farm Beach 1

Situated along the shores amidst lush greenery, Pearl Farm Beach Resort offers tranquil and comfortable accommodation with free WiFi access in the public areas. It features an outdoor infinity pool, a 24-hour front desk and business facilities on site.

Pearl Farm Beach 2

Tastefully furnished, air-conditioned house comes equipped with a wardrobe, minibar, a personal safe and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Fitted with a bathtub, the en suite bathroom also includes shower facility, hairdryer, bathrobes and free toiletries.

Pearl Farm Beach 3

At Pearl Farm Beach Resort, guests may indulge in a pampering massage at the spa or enjoy activities such as canoeing and beach volleyball. Airport transfers and shuttle services are available, while laundry services and sightseeing tours can be arranged.

Pearl Farm Beach 4

Housing both buffet and a la carte restaurant, the staff can assist to prepare special diet meals upon request. A wide variety of after-meal drinks can also be enjoyed at the bar.

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The property is a 1-hour boat ride followed by a 30-minute drive to Davao Airport.

Pearl Farm Beach 6

This property is also rated for the best value in Samal! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.

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Alila Seminyak (5 Star Resort), Bali Indonesia

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Located in Seminyak, this luxurious 5-star resort is set on the beachfront. It has an outdoor swimming pool, a spa and a fitness centre. WiFi is provided for free and available in all areas. Guests also enjoy complimentary scheduled shuttle service to nearby area.

Alila Seminyak 3

The air-conditioned elegant rooms and suites offers a refined décor and electric kettle. Some rooms feature a balcony, a personal safe and a flat-screen TV.

Alila Seminyak 4

Vehicle rental, day trips and area shuttles can be arranged by staff at the tour desk, while luggage can be stored at the 24-hour front desk. Guests who wish to stay in can relax on the sun terrace by the pool or indulge in a pampering massages. Other facilities offered include laundry, dry cleaning and ironing services. Kids club and babysitting services are also available.

Alila Seminyak 5

A fine selection of Asian cuisine can be enjoyed at the on-site restaurant, while the famous Ku De Ta is just a 4-minute drive away.

Alila Seminyak 6

Alila Seminyak is an 8-minute walk from Potato Head and a 30-minute drive from Ngurah Rai Airport.

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This property is also rated for the best value in Seminyak! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.

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Pullman Phuket Arcadia, Naithon Beach

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Perched on the headland overlooking the Andaman Sea with direct access to Naithon Beach, Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach offers guests a tranquil and relaxing getaway. Featuring a spa centre, this luxurious resort boasts 2 outdoor pools, a children’s pool and a a gym. Guests can head to any of the 3 bars, bakery or 2 restaurants on-site.

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The property is a 10-minute drive from Phuket International Airport, a 12-minute drive from Splash Jungle and a 15-minute drive from Blue Canyon Golf Course and Laguna Golf Course. It is a 30-minute drive from Big Buddha and Royal Phuket Marina. Central Festival Department Store and Patong Beach are a 40-minute drive away, while Phuket Aquarium is a 45-minute drive away.

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Soundproof rooms at Pullman Phuket Arcadia are stylishly furnished with contemporary décor. Each one comes equipped with a balcony, a flat-screen cable/satellite TV and an iPod docking station. It has a seating area, a coffee machine and a minibar. Free toiletries are included in an en suite bathroom with a separate bathtub and rain shower.

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Staff at the 24-hour front desk can assist guests with currency exchange, luggage storage and laundry. The hotel also has meeting facilities, a library and a business centre. Other services include a shuttle service and a tour desk.

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Guests can enjoy a variety of international dishes at the restaurant. In-room dining option is available upon request.

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Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel – Mactan, Philippines

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Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel 1

Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel has comfortable accommodations by the white sands of Mactan Island. The hotel features a private beach, 2 outdoor pools and massage treatments. Free private parking is also available.

Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel 2

The modern rooms at Costabella feature a cable TV. The private bath has a hot/cold shower. A minibar, tea and coffee-making facilities and a safe are also provided.

Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel 3

Guests can enjoy activities such as beach volleyball, biking and diving at the hotel’s exclusive beach. The hotel also provides trip planning services at the guest service desk. Currency exchange, airport shuttle and vehicle rental are also available.

Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel 4

Casual dining is featured at the Costabella’s main restaurant, which serves modern Asian cuisines.

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Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel is in Buyong, Mactan Island, Cebu, and is approximately a 20-minute drive from Mactan International Airport.

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Baumanburi Hotel, Patong Phuket

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Baumanburi Hotel 1

One of the top picks in Patong Beach. Baumanburi Hotel offers luxury rooms with a spacious design, just a 5-minute walk from Patong Beach. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, a spa and a fitness centre. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby.

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Baumanburi is a 5-minute walk from Jungceylon Shopping Mall, and a short walk away from other shopping and entertainment options at Patong Town. Phuket International Airport is 45 km away.

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Rooms are air-conditioned and feature cable TV, a minibar and a tea/coffee maker. A curtained window separates each bedroom from its bathroom. Some rooms come with a private balcony.

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Guests at Hotel Baumanburi can unwind with a massage or in the sauna, or they can get active with a game of table tennis. Travel arrangements can be made at the tour desk.

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Baumanburi Hotel’s restaurant Siam Flavours, which opens from 06:00-23:30 hrs specialises in local, Chinese and international dishes. The pool bar serves a wide range of beverages. Socialise and recharge after a workout at Lobby Cafe, opens till 23:30 hr. Room service is also available.

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Pura Tanah Lot, magic temple on Bali

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Pura Tanah Lot

This Balinese temple stands on a rock in the sea and that delivers beautiful pictures!

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Pura Tanah Lot means literally “Tanah Lot temple” but what is a Tanah Lot? Tanah Lot is a rock formation in the sea off the southwest coast of Bali. Pura Tanah Lot is overall a temple on a rock formation in the sea of Bali. And that makes this temple so special!

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Then why do not you might wonder: the temple was already there when Tanah Lot was still attached to the mainland? No! One Dang Hyang Nirartha claims to have built the temple when Tanah Lot was already an island. According to him, Tanah Lot was a sacred place to be worshiped from the Balinese sea gods. It is one of the seven sea temples on the south coast of Bali. From any sea temple is to see another sea temple.

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Tanah Lot is located about twenty kilometers from Denpasar, capital of #Bali.

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