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This awesome issue of NOW Travel Asia magazine is full of inspiring ideas to help you plan the perfect wedding, or if you want help with planning, many resorts offer great wedding or honeymoon packages. Whether you’re looking for a wedding venue or a perfect destination to spend your honeymoon, check out the best wedding and honeymoon destinations closer to home, including Krabi, Samui, Hua Hin and Phuket. We are excited to be announcing the nominees for the prestigious NOW Travel Asia Award 2018 and showing the full of wonders trip in Hong Kong, explore around Stanley Market, the local market including with little shops selling silk garments, sportswear, art, Chinese costume jewellery and souvenirs. In our Asia Culture column, we are introducing you to the beautiful cultural city of Luang Prabang. Learn about the traditions and culture of Luang Prabang through Buddhist temples such as Wat Xiang Thong and Wat Saen and see what local night markets has to offer before eating Laos cuisine like a local. Heading out of Asia, the Out of Asia column invites you to take a journey in Hallstatt, put on your comfy shoes and a photo-op-worthy outfit – we’re going to explore Hallstatt! Taking you to a calm blue lake mirroring the sky, mountain ranges setting a picture-perfect background, and pastel lakeside houses decked with flower boxes lending the historic town a storybook vibe. Asia Exploration column gets you up close to the one of city in China; Dunhuang, in north-west China, is situated at a point of vital strategic and logistical importance, on a crossroads of two major trade routes within the Silk Road network.
SPECIAL WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS ISSUE
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Contents MAR-APR 2018
16 SHOWTIME Update news and events about luxury hotel and fine dining around Asia . Special promotion from Venus restaurants and some new release product is waiting for you.
44 NOMINEES OF NOW TRAVEL ASIA AWARDS 2018-2019 Announcing the nominees for the prestigious NOW Travel Asia Awards 2018-2019
23 WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS Introducing you the best 9 destinations weddings & Honeymoons in Thailand and bringing you touch to the wedding venue or a perfect destination to spend your honeymoon and many resorts offer great wedding or honeymoon packages.
32 CITY UPDATE Taking you to Hong Kong city of local and luxury. Explore to Stanley market you will find an interesting array of little shops selling silk garments, sportswear, art, Chinese costume jewellery and souvenirs. Moreover, we provide you to lay down in luxury hotel like Conrad Hong Kong.
38 ASIAâ€™S CULTURE Introducing you to the beautiful cultural city of Luang Prabang. Learn about the traditions and culture of Luang Prabang through Buddhist temples such as Wat Xiang Thong and Wat Saen and see what local night markets has to offer before
eating Laos cuisine like a local.
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Contents MAR-APR 2018
44 ASIA EXPLORATION Exploring to the city of Dunhuang, in north-west China, is situated at a point of vital strategic and logistical importance, on a crossroads of two major trade routes within the Silk Road network. Lying in an oasis at the edge of the Taklamakan Desert and Mogao caves.
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58 IN FULL VIEW Flying throughout Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions. Touching experience which will make your flight a memorable; hiking and trekking and see Burana tower and fairy tale canyon.
64 OUT OF ASIA Put on your comfy shoes and a photoop-worthy outfit â€“ weâ€™re going to explore Hallstatt! Taking you to a calm blue lake mirroring the sky, mountain ranges setting a picture-perfect background, and pastel lakeside houses decked with flower boxes lending the historic town a storybook vibe.
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THAILAND OFFICE OWNER
NOW TRAVEL ASIA CO.,LTD.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kanapot Sitthiwong
ADMINISTRATION Anchalee Sriwichai
MARKETING DEPARTMENT Jiranuch Mingkwan Patcharapimon Kaewpa
GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Boontawat Comfun Chokchakrit Namchak
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CONTRIBUTING WRITER Vachapon Thisadeeruk
MANAGING DIRECTOR CHINA Harry Hua
IN FLIGHT MAGAZINE OF
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ALL RIGHTS IN THIS PUBLICATION ND THE NAME ARE OWN BY NOW TRAVEL ASIA CO,LTD.NO PART OF THIS MAGAZINE MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PERMISSIN OF NOW TRAVEL ASIA CO,LTD.ALLRIGHT RESERVED. NOW TRAVEL ASIA MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BEMONTHLY AND DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT THAILAND AND THE BEST OF ASIA
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elcome to the Summer of March and April. It’s time to explore the city of local and luxury in Hong Kong. Often described as New York City on steroids, Hong Kong’s frenetic pace, glowing neon lights, towering skyscrapers, and dense urban sprawl can overwhelm even the most experienced traveler. Hong Kong is such an exciting, lively and vibrant city, that really lives up to it’s term: “East meets West”. It has a great mix of both Western and Eastern, both when it comes to culture, food, shopping, and architecture. It is a city that has “everything”.
MARCH - APRIL 2018
SPECIAL WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS ISSUE
Aside of taking you in East meets West city, we bring you touch to the wedding venue or a perfect destination to spend your honeymoon and many resorts offer great wedding or honeymoon packages to take the pressure off. Last but not least, I hope the NOW Travel Asia Magazine will be a helpful of guide for anyone who plan to spend time in honeymoon. Let the sun take you to explore the new things !
Kanapot Sitthiwong Editor-in-Chief
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NOW TRAVEL ASIA 13 MARCH/APRIL 2018
ONLINE For insights into all that's hot and new on the creative scene visit...
NOWTRAVELASIA.COM Showtime Update news and event around Asia, special promotion and new innovation are waiting for you to check out!
Travel Collection of the best destination and the most stunning view around Asia and out of Asia. Get the travel news, guides, tips, special offers and more.
Fashion Shop the most up-to-date collection of new clothing around Asia and find the things you want in the styles you love.
Wedding The premiere destination restaurant, fine dining and beverage around Asia for guiding you the next meal with your loved ones !
Food The premiere destination restaurant, fine dining and beverage around Asia for guiding you the next meal with your loved ones !
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NOW TRAVEL ASIA 15 MARCH/APRIL 2018
AIRASIA WELCOMES PASSENGERS FLYING DIRECTLY TO CHINA NOW FLYING BANGKOK-CHENGDU AND PHUKET-KUNMING THE SANCHAYA INTRODUCES MINDFULNESS RETREAT WITH AN INDULGENT BENT. While most practitioners of mindfulness retreat to the pagoda and the sangha for space and community, The Sanchaya is stepping up as an alternative venue for a retreat that indulges silence and calm, to be sure, but great food and fine wine, as well. The intimate four-night retreat balances morning beach boot camp sessions, meditation workshops and afternoon yoga and pilates with delectable spreads from the resort’s kitchens, premium vintages from its cellars, European cheese and rarified conversation. As a fledgling community, or sangha, the retreaters will gather together to chat and share ideas at venues throughout The Sanchaya (Sanskrit for ‘collection’), just a short ferry ride from Singapore. These venues include the glass-walled wine cellar and wine and cheese tasting area, Decanter, and at the outdoor Tasanee Grill restaurant by the infinity pool with the ocean beyond.
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Fly Directly to China –Thai AirAsia inaugurates its Bangkok-Chengdu and Phuket-Kunming direct flights this 1st.February 2018, organising welcoming ceremonies at both Chengdu Airport and Kunming Airport to mark the already well-received routes. Thai AirAsia offers the most direct flights to China flying to 13 cities on 22 routes from Don Mueang Airport and other flight bases that include Phuket, Chiang Mai and Pattaya (U-Tapao).
SONGKRAN 2018 IN BANGKOK The hottest month of the year, April sees the entire country go bananas in friendly water fights and street parties that last nearly a week. During Songkran, most office buildings, banks as well as family-run shops and restaurants shut down completely, while big shopping malls usually remain open. Bangkok experiences a mass exodus, as at least half of its residents travel back to their home towns for family re-unions. In their place are tourists, who fly into Bangkok particularly to enjoy one of the most colourful and festive times of the year. Songkran in Thailand is officially observed between the 13th and 15th of April (three days national holiday), although in reality, celebrations often last the entire week!
y r a s r e v i n n A
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UENO SAKURA MATSURI (CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL 2018) Lined endlessly with a number of cherry trees, Ueno Parks main street is probably the first place that many Japanese people would think of when it comes to a beautiful scene of cherry blossoms in spring. During the festival, 1000 lanterns, which were originally intended for nighttime security, illuminate the park and invite people to celebrate the arrival of spring under a night sky. Located in the precinct of Toeisan Kaneiji Temple where the Tokugawa Shogunate family is buried, the park expects several hundred thousand visitors daily to come for the blossom viewing during the season. Stroll through the park tinted in pale pink by some 800 Somei-yoshino (Yoshino cherry) trees before you head to an antique market or other special events also held at the park from 21 March to 8 April 2018.
TRAVELODGE ANNOUNCES DEBUT IN VIETNAM CEO of Travelodge (Thailand) Mr. Jonathan Wigley is delighted to announce the first Travelodge hotel in Vietnam. The hotel is also the first Skye by Travelodge, which is the upper midscale brand of Travelodge Asia’s brand portfolio. Skye by Travelodge Arena Nha Trang will be ready to open in 2020. The 2,497-room Skye by Travelodge Arena Nha Trang, will have elegantly designed rooms and spaces offering exclusivity and privacy for guests. Facilities will include The Lodge, and all-day dining restaurant, a gym and large swimming pool. The hotel will be part of mixed use development incorporating beach club, performance arena, retail shops and restaurants.
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INGAPORE AIRLINES’ FIRST BOEING 787-10 TO SERVE OSAKA Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced on 8 February 2018 that Osaka will be the first scheduled destination for its new Boeing 787-10 fleet, with services expected to begin in May 2018. SIA will be the world’s first airline to operate the 787-10. SIA has 49 Boeing 787-10s on firm order, with the first aircraft due for delivery from Boeing’s North Charleston, South Carolina production facility in March 2018. Prior to the introduction of regular services to Osaka, the 787-10s will be operated on selected Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur flights for crew training purposes. SIA will also debut its highly-anticipated new regional cabin products on its 787-10s, fitted with 337 seats in two classes, with 36 seats in Business Class and 301 seats in Economy Class. More details will be revealed at a later date.
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BELMOND LAUNCHES ART & FASHION IN MOTION 2018 ON THE EASTERN & ORIENTAL EXPRESS On behalf of Belmond, we are delighted to announce the launch of Art and Fashion in Motion 2018 aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express. Art and Fashion meet travel as one of the nostalgic carriages received an artist’s makeover by Thai artist, Somnuek (Parn) Klangnok; with whimsical drawings evoking a sense of fantasy; and celebrating the glamour of travel, Thai fashion house Vvon Sugunnasil introduces stylish new uniforms. On behalf of Belmond, we are delighted to announce the launch of Art and Fashion in Motion 2018 aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express. Art and Fashion meet travel as one of the nostalgic carriages received an artist’s makeover by Thai artist, Somnuek (Parn) Klangnok; with whimsical drawings evoking a sense of fantasy; and celebrating the glamour of travel, Thai fashion house Vvon Sugunnasil introduces stylish new uniforms.
CELEBRATE THE TASTES OF SPRING AT YAMAZATO JAPANESE RESTAURANT
SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS From street performances to public film screenings, the Singapore International Festival of Arts may well be a celebration of the arts for everyone runing from 27 Arpil to 13 May 2018. For a whole month, Singapore celebrates the arts with a smorgasbord of theatre, dance and music performances. Organized and managed independently by the Arts House Limited, the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) brings together the best of local and international artists in the form of quality works in theatre, dance and music, and aims to inspire diverse audiences through great artistic experiences.
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The chefs at Yamazato, The Okura Prestige Bangkok’s Michelin Plate signature Japanese restaurant, welcome spring with special Gozen lunch platters and a Kaiseki dinner featuring the freshest of seasonal delicacies. Spring Gozen lunch and Kaiseki dinner are available from 2 22 April 2018, lunch 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. - 10:30 p.m., at Yamazato Restaurant Spring Gozen
E XPE R IE NC E TH E E XT R A OR D I N AR Y InterContinental® Hua Hin Resort lends to Thailand’s premier seaside community unrivalled style, sophistication and comfort. Combining Eastern and Western design heritage, the low-rise beachfront destination spans a prime stretch of white sandy beach alongside sparkling gulf waters – a truly alluring setting. Whether in Hua Hin on holiday, business or to attend a special occasion, all guests at InterContinental® Hua Hin Resort are certain to enjoy warm, gracious Thai hospitality and exceptionally attentive service.
COZUMEL MZAAR FUJAIRAH CHENNAI HUA HIN KOH SAMUI DANANG SANYA BALI OKINAWA
All InterContinental® Hua Hin Resort guests are entitled to complimentary unlimited access to Vana Nava Waterpark, Asia’s First water Jungle and True Arena Hua Hin, Sport Complex.
To make a reservation, please call (+66) 32 -616 -999 or e-mail to ichh. email@example.com. For more information, www.huahin.intercontinental.com.
Live the InterContinental life. NOW TRAVEL ASIA 21 MARCH/APRIL 2018
W W W. N OW TRAVELA S IA AWA R D S. C O M
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ASIA’S TOP LEISURE HOTELS
CONRAD HONG KONG
THE SALIL HOTEL SUKHUMVIT 57 THONGLOR
NA NIRAND ROMANTIC BOUTIQUE RESORT
SOFITEL MACAU AT PONTE 16
1. S31 Sukhumvit Hotel Bangkok, Thailand 2. Well Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20, Thailand 3. North Hill Resort, Chiang Mai, Thailand 4. Lanna Dusita Riverside Boutique Resort by Andacura, Thailand 5. Shangri-La Chiang Mai, Thailand 6. Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20, Thailand 7. The Ritz- Carlton Hong Kong, Hong Kong 8. Royal Cliff Pattaya, Thailand 9. StarWorld Hotel, Macau 10. Conrad Macao, Cotai Central, Macau 11. Guangzhou Marriott Hotel Tianhe, China
ASIA’S TOP BEACH HOTELS
NOMINEES OF NOW TRAVEL ASIA AWARDS 2018-2019
ASIA’S TOP BUSINESS HOTELS
1. Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20, Thailand 2. Conrad Hong Kong, Hong Kong 3. Marina Mandarin Singapore by Meritus, Singapore 4. Grand Hyatt Guangzhou, China 5. Langham Place Guangzhou, China 6. Swissotel Le Concorde, Thailand 7. The Ritz Carlton Beijing, China 8. JW Marriott Beijing, China 9. Sofitel Shanghai Hyland, China
ASIA’S TOP HERITAGE HOTELS
1. Victoria Xiengthong Palace, China 2. The Strand Yangon, Myanmar 3. Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai, China 4. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand 5. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Vietnam
1. New Star Beach Resort, Thailand 2. JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, Thailand 3. Intercontinental Hua Hin, Thailand 4. Royal Muang Samui Villas, Thailand 5. Beach Republic, Thailand
ASIA’S TOP DESIGN HOTELS
1. Siam @ Siam Design Hotel Pattaya, Thailand 2. VIE Hotel Bangkok, Mgallery by Sofitel, Thailand 3. Nook Dee Boutique Resort, Kata Beach by Andacura, Thailand 4. The Parisian Macao, Macau 5. Compass Skyview Hotel, Thailand 6. The Salil Hotel Sukhumvit 57 Thonglor, Thailand 7. Hotel Pullman King Power Bangkok, Thailand
ASIA’S TOP VILLA RESORTS
ASIA’S TOP FAMILY HOTELS
1. Pimalai Resort & Spa, Thailand 2. V Villas Hua Hin, MGallery by Sofitel, Thailand 3. Impiana Private Villas Kata Noi. Thailand 4. W Koh Samui, Thailand 5. Azur Samui, Thailand
1. Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, Thailand 2. Broadway Macau, Macau 3. Festive Hotel, Singapore 4. Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, Thailand 5. Grand West Sands Resort & Villas Phuket
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ASIA’S TOP SPA HOTELS & RESORTS
1. RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort Chiang Mai, Thailand 2. The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Thailand 3. Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16, Macau 4. Banyan Tree Macau, Macau 5. Fusion Maia Da Nang Resort, Vietnam 6. Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16, Macau 7. W Retreat and Spa Bali Seminyak, Indonesia
ASIA’S TOP WELLNESS SPA
1. Thai Oasis Spa China, China 2. Let’s Relax Spa, Thailand 3. Arom:D Spa, Thailand 4. The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Hong Kong 5. Alba Wellness Resort Hue, Vietnam NOMINEES OF NOW TRAVEL ASIA AWARDS 2018-2019
ASIA’S TOP AIRPORTS
ASIA’S TOP BUDGET AIRLINES 1. Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong 2. Incheon International Airport, South Korea 3. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore 4. Shanghai Pudong International Airport, China 5. Beijing Capital Airport, China
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1. Thai AirAsia, Thailand 2. Thai Lion Air, Thailand 3. Vietjet Air, Vietnam 4. Tiger Air, Singapore
ASIA’S TOP OUTSTANDING AIRLINES
1. China Southern Airlines, China 2. Oman Air, Oman 3. Singapore Airlines, Singapore 4. SilkAir, Singapore 5. Vietnam Airlines, Vietnam
FINE DINING RESTAURANTS
1. Acqua Restaurant Phuket, Thailand 2. Mix Restaurant & Bar, Thailand 3. La Vie Creative French Cuisine, Bangkok 4. Suhring Bangkok, Thailand 5. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, China
ASIA’S TOP CHEFS
1. Alessandro Frau, Thailand 2. Thomas & Mathias, Thailand 3. Magarita Fores, Philipines 4. Hiroyasu Kawate, Japan 5. Vicky Lau, Hong Kong
NOMINEES OF NOW TRAVEL ASIA AWARDS 2018-2019
ASIA’S TOP EMERGING HOTELS
1. Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay, Thailand 2. Grand Mercure Phuket Patong Resort & Villa, Thailand
ASIA’S TOP HOTEL CHAIN
1. Galaxy Macau, Macau 2. The Venetian Macau, Macau 3. Resort World Sentosa, Singapore 4. Andaman Village Shanghai, China
1. Paxton Vacances Hotel Management Group, China 2. Rhombus Group, Hong Kong 3. ONYX Hospitality Group, Thailand 4. Dusit Thani Group, Thailand 5. Okura Nikko Hotel Management, Japan
ASIA’S TOP LEADING SPA PRODUCT
1. Divana Nurture Spa, Thailand
WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS HOTEL & RESORT
1. NA NIRAND Romantic Boutique Resort, Thailand
THE 2018-2019 NOW TRAVEL ASIA AWARDS ARE BIGGER. BETTER AND MORE EXCITING THAN BEFORE. GET INVOLVED! LET’S VOTE FROM NOW, IT WILL BE YOUR CHOICE.
FOR VOTE WWW.NOWTRAVELASIAAWARDS.COM
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ong Kong 9-11 March 2018 Overseas
Wedding Expo 2018
HONG KONG EXHIBITION & CONVENTION CENTER HALL1DE
www.nowwedding.net organized by
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Weddings& Honeymoons IN THAILAND
The undeniable appeal of cerulean seas, powder soft beaches and whispering palm trees draws couples from across the globe to Thailand as their quintessential beach wedding destination. Exchange your vows amidst luxurious nature surrounds, such as those found in Phuket, Krabi and the island of Samui. These are where sand meets sea, thereâ€™s plenty of coastline and stunning sunset ceremony on fine white sand with an intimate, romantic setting or have a memorable celebration together for your guests to enjoy. NOW Travel Asia proud to present 9 wedding venue or a perfect destination to spend your honeymoon and offer great wedding or honeymoon packages to take the pressure off.
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THE PERFECT VENUE
for a new Beginning
LET A LIFELONG MOMENT BEGINS AT L E M E R I D I E N K O H S A M U I R E S O R T & S PA
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For the ultimate beginning to a new life journey, Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa offers an inspiring venue with limitless options, breathtaking scenic surrounds and authentic cuisines to suite any desire. Discover the resorts Ocean Pier floating 120-metres over the Gulf of Thailand; a unique venue for private dinners, celebratory sunset cocktails and intimate wedding ceremonies or receptions. Say “I do” in style with an awe-inspiring oceanic backdrop while guests literally float over the Gulf of Thailand or celebrate on the lush green lawn with panoramic sea views of Infinity Lawn with family and friends. Guests can choose from any of the 77 refined and luxurious suites or villa’s offering the most modern comforts
and amenities while keeping true to the islands culture and heritage. Relax into the world-class luxury Le SPA for pre and post treatments with a customized menu of rejuvenating experiences that combine ancient cultural methods and ingredients to revitalize mind, body and spirit. Celebrate a special occasion at Thailand’s newest luxury hideaway on the white sands of Lamai beach with our special package below: WESTERN WEDDING PACKAGE - THB 115,500 NET THAI WEDDING PACKAGE - THB 110,000 NET
Your dedicated event specialist will ensure a lifelong memory is created for you and your guests. For availability and enquiries, please call +66 (0) 2665 3293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Location: 146/24 Moo 4, Lamai Beach, Maret, Surat Thani, Koh Samui, 84310 Thailand www.lemeridienkohsamui.com
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NEW STAR BEACH RESORT
Life Consists of the Everyday
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A romantic honeymoon starts as soon as you step on Samui and check-in at New Star Beach Resort. Feel at home and flow with the contemporary lifestyle and easygoing attitude of Koh Samui. New Star Beach Resort sits on the peaceful Chaweng Noi Beach and offers a hideaway for couples seeking tranquility, comfort and personalized service in a tropical garden setting with a 200 meters oceanfront, and just minutes on foot to the famous Chaweng Beach. Perfectly suited to couples who need a getaway and recharge or rekindle the spark, each of the resort’s rooms and villas are furnished in natural tones and textures. The warmth of wood, the fragrance of flowers, the soft glow of lamps and candles, and the soothing ocean breeze provide an intimate ambience in the rooms. It’s then up to you to create your version of intimate memory! Walk through a white orchid entrance onto powdery pristine Chaweng Noi Beach and pass rows and rows of family and
friends to the altar where the groom awaits. Customize your dream wedding to match the stunning background of the Gulf of Thailand with the help personal wedding planner – available free of charge. New Star Beach Resort specialize in both western wedding and Thai traditional wedding ceremony. From floral arches to bridal bouquets, catering, music band and wedding cake to sparkling wine, staffs at New Star are trained to pay attention to each and every aspect of wedding so that you are left to enjoy the most unforgettable Koh Samui weddings day of your life.
Location: 83 Moo 3 Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani, Thailand. www.newstarresort.com
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PIMALAI RESORT & SPA
Wedding of a Life Time
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Because something as beautiful as love deserves to be celebrated amidst astounding beauty Pimalai Resort & Spa is spectacularly located, deeply nestled in the beautiful Ba Kan Tiang bay. The resort is set in 100 acres of natural tropical vegetation, with direct access to 900 meters of unspoiled pristine sandy beach and just 70 kilometers south of Krabi International Airport. The resort’s accommodation consist of a combined 121 units consisting of Deluxe Rooms, Bayfront Deluxe rooms, Pavilion Suites, Beach Villas and Hillside Pool Villas, all with a contemporary Thai style design. 40 years ago, Pimalai’s owner and developer fell in love with the lush hills and serene greenery of Koh Lanta. They envisioned building the perfect paradise here for their children. Several years later, dreams were turned into reality and they built Pimalai Resorts & Spa together.
Built on love, Pimalai Resort & Spa is the perfect place to say “I do”, or reconfirm your vows to that special someone. Pledge your love for each other amidst the 100 acres of natural tropical surroundings, overlooking the beachfront which spans more than 900 meters at Koh Lanta, Krabi. Kan Tiang bay sets the scene with its serene, romantic back-drop, adding a touch of magic to your special day. After all, there’s a reason Pimalai was featured by the newspaper, the Independent (UK), in their list of the 50 best wedding destinations in the world. Pimalai is also the ideal location for your honeymoon. You’ll fall head over heels in love with nature, just as you have for that special someone in your life. And you’ll finally understand why Pimalai is the perfect place to say “I love you” time and time again.
Pimalai Resort & Spa 99 Moo 5, Ba Kan Tiang Beach, Koh Lanta, Krabi 81150, Thailand. Tel: +66 (0)75 607 999 Fax: +66 (0)75 607 998 Bangkok Sales & Reservation Office Tel: +66 (0) 2320 5500 Fax: +66 (0) 2320 5503 Email: email@example.com
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CAPE SIENNA PHUKET
Make every moment a memorable
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Cape Sienna Phuket adds an elegant touch of sophistication to the calm tropics of Phuket. Located on a dramatic west coast headland, this chic, yet romantic resort commands beautiful panoramas of Kamala Beach and beyond from its luxury villa accommodations, as well as impressive facilities, including sleek restaurant and bar. The design and architecture of Cape Sienna stylishly attract an exciting mix of customers who demand affordable style and service in a new and unexpected location along the Millionaireâ€™s Mile of Phuket. Privacy and intimacy are the keys to romance at Cape Sienna. The hotel offers a wedding setting for extravagant and intimate groups which is unmatched in Phuket. Discover spacious bridal rooms with
views of the sparkling Andaman Sea, and find unique possibilities for a memorable wedding, from Vanilla Sky Weddings to Poolside receptions or intimate dinner at PLUM. Your special day will be just the way you have dreamt and more!
Location: 18/40 Moo 6, Nakalay Road, Kamala Ban Kamala, Phuket, Thailand www.capesienna.com
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SAMUI PALM BEACH RESORT The Ultimate Samui Beachfront Experience Location and surrounding area Welcome to Samui Palm Beach Resort, a beachfront resort famous for its 270-meter long beach area, the longest in all of any resorts or hotels in Koh Samui. Located in Bophut, a former fisherman village which combined Thai and Chinese styles from back in the days, this amazing location at the northeast tip on the island allows guests to have easy access of pretty much everything this gem of the Gulf of Thailand has to offer; pristine sandy beaches, stunning tropical paradise views, shopping arcade, entertainment venues both day and night, natural exploration, one-of-a-kind activities and all the once-in-a-lifetime moments that you’d expect from Koh Samui and its surrounding neighbors.
Accommodation room (design concept, in room amenities, types of room)
Our 2 conference rooms; The Vanli Ballroom A, and The Vanli Ballroom B, have modern and stylish furnishings and offer not only a unique conference rooms but also provide extensive technical equipment from a small board meeting to grand conference with maximum capacity of up to 500 attendees. Our experienced staffs can ensure a satisfying event for you from start to finish. After a long day in the conference room, you can relax right away on our pristine beach which is just a short walk from the room.
Other services: Dining options, Spa, Fitness, Pools, Activities, etc Staying true to the meaning of “Luxury Resort”, Samui Palm Beach Resort has various services to make sure that our guests can relax and have a wonderful day within our resort from wake-up to sleep. With our experienced professionals, we are ready to make your day even more special without leaving the resort.
Samui Palm Beach Resort has 129 guest rooms to welcome our guests all year round. Spacious, crisply designed, warmly decorated, and spotless clean. Our rooms are surely above average and make you feel like home.
Location: 175/3 Thaveerat-Pakdee
Conference & Event
Fax +66 (0) 77 425 358
Whether you are planning a company conference, an anniversary celebration, a wedding or a gathering of friends, Samui Palm Beach Resort’s very own multi-purpose venue is the place to be.
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Road Surat Thani 84320 Koh Samui District Thailand Tel +66 (0) 77 425 494-5
CELES BEACHFRONT RESORT Location and surrounding area
Short for celeste, Celes truly draws its inspiration from the definition of the word which refers to blue sky. Set on the serene Bophut beach with breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean and Koh Phangan, Celes spreads 270 meters across the beach making it the only five-star resort with the longest beachfront on the tropical island of Samui.
Indulge in a deep relaxation at our exclusive spa. Offering a fullrange service and 5 treatment rooms, guests can get pampered with Thai massage, aromatherapy, Lanna massage, facial treatment, body scrub and body wrap. The spa operates daily between 10:00-22:00 hrs. Reservation is recommended.
Accommodation room (design concept, in room amenities, types of room)
One of Celesâ€™ main highlights is the outdoor beachfront pool. Guests can take a dip to cool off in our 7x23 meter saltwater, lounge by the pool for sun time or take advantage of happy hour at the pool bar. Families with kids can also enjoy the 4x7 meter kid pool.
The accommodations at Celes are purposefully designed to capture the pure essence of nature and serenity. The property consists of 50 rooms in Botanical Zone and 18 private pool villas. The interiors of the accommodations are furnished with light wood decor against white walls allowing sunlight to brighten up the rooms and provide a relaxed ambience. Along with the designs, the rooms and villas are also modernized with gadgets and amenities that guarantee for a comfortable stay.
Other services: Dining options, Spa, Fitness, Pools, Activities, etc Dining Whether you are looking to satisfy your hunger or tickle your taste bud, our experienced chefs have carefully crafted food and drinks menu with inspirations from around the world. The all-day dining restaurant serves Thai and international dishes everyday from 07:00 hrs to 22:30 hrs.
Activities A small island with a lot to offer, Samui is more than a tropical island with many hidden gems to explore. Staff at the tour desk can help organize sightseeing tours within the island or to the nearby island according to your interests. Those who prefer to stay in can take Thai cooking lessons or cocktail classes. Location: 175/3 Thaveerat-Pakdee Road Surat Thani 84320 Koh Samui District Thailand Tel +66 (0) 77 900 999 Fax +66 (0) 077 900 555 Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.celesresorts.com
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WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE
YOUR WEDDINGS AND HONEYMOONS
IN THAILAND! Every year, more and more of you are deciding to hold your wedding thousands of miles from your home town. Destination Wedding Venues are popping up all over the world and none more so than on Thailand’s increasingly popular and stunning islands. Why? Here are just a few reasons why a destination wedding might be right for you.
Tropical Climate Weather in Thailand is tropical. First let’s get this straight – this does not mean every day is hot, dry and sunny – there will be showers, there will be storms. But then again, that is all part of the charm of this exotic country.
Breathtaking Venues Forget the dated registry office or the busy road blaring behind your treasured photos instead why not opt for a breathtakingly beautiful villa, the sea lapping gently on white sand, palm trees waving and lanterns hanging below a starlit sky? Such scenery is plentiful on any of the stunning Thai islands.
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Honeymoon Heaven Deciding on a honeymoon venue is always tricky – so why not make it easier by starting in one in the first place! There are a million and one corners of Thailand waiting to be explored so you needn’t even remain at the wedding venue.
Pre-wedding stress? Leave it to the wedding planner If getting married in your home country, it’s highly likely that you would be intimately involved in every detail. Choose the good wedding planner company that will allow you to have control over the important things – the colours, the theme, the entertainment; somewhere that will be flexible where possible, to make the day fit to your dreams.
Amazing weddings at affordable prices The average cost of a wedding in the UK or Australia costs is high price. This is the cost of a deposit on a house or a new car. In contrast, the average cost of a Faraway Weddings organized wedding in Thailand (with 30 guests) is low buget. This is the best choice seems pretty simple.
Photos: Cape Sienna Phuket
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Living by the Sea
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A Secret World
Wedding by Design
KO H SA M U I T H A IL A N D
email@example.com | Tel: +66 (0) 77 425 357 | www.peaceresort.com firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: +66 (0) 77 960 123 | www.thescenthotel.com
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HONG KONG LOCAL AND LUXURY S H O P S - S I G H T S - S TAY S
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EXPLORE TO STANLEY MARKET Stanley Market is one of the mustgo places for tourists when they visit Hong Kong. You will find an interesting array of little shops selling silk garments, sportswear, art, Chinese costume jewellery and souvenirs. While a bit “touristy” if you are a tourist it will certainly help you to cross off all the items on your souvenirs-to-buy-Aunt-Jane shopping list. A hard morning of shopping is also nicely finished off by a good lunch at one of the many restaurants, which are the reason that Hong Kong locals also frequent the area.
O N E DAY TRIP IN STANLEY MARKET Don’t want to get caught out and waste your vacation time at Stanley Market? Spend a little time to plan your visit and see not only the Market itself but also the other attractions in the Stanley area of Hong Kong. Decide what you want to spend more time on and make sure that you get your souvenirs, your lunch and some time. Less crowded than the Ladies Market of Mongkok or Temple Street Night Market the atmosphere is a little more relaxed and laid back in Stanley. Being away from the city and close to the beach encourages the holiday feeling as for whether you eat in the Stanley Plaza, along with the promenade at one of the many alfresco restaurants you’ll certainly feel at home.
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Beyond the market and the beach and if you keep walking, you will find Stanley Plaza Square which is an open area overhung with old trees. Go up the escolator into the Stanley Plaza itself which is a modern indoor shopping arcade and an excellent way to avoid the heat while
DON’T MISS Choi Hung Estate is an old publice housing estate. Theses homes were painted like a rainbow to uplift resident spirits. Many tourists visit here for the Instagram photo. Take the MTR to Choi Hung station on the Kwun Tong line, then take exits C3 or C4.
LOCAL HONG KONG
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STA NL E Y M ARK E T
Stanley Market is a unique combination of shops and gets particular busy on weekends. If you don’t like the crowds we highly recommend visiting during the week. you often have a better bargaining position and get some real good bargains if you start your sightseeing around the opening hours of market.
Bike If you want to see sighseeing like beach, promenade, Murray House and other things you might want to see can be reached by bicycle, the best way to chill out in Stanley Market.
continuing your shopping. Interior décor shops sit side-by-side with restaurants and fast food. You’ll find banks here to draw some more cash if you want to continue shopping in the market! Check out the “Lover’s Terrace” with great views over Stanley Bay, Murray House and of course in the distance Blake Pier. Stanley has been inhabited for hundreds of years and was once a major fishing port, as a prosperous and important small town it has its share of temples which are well worth a visit. They are actively in use as places of worship so some respect should be shown, but local worshipers are very used to tourists having a look around, so there won’t be an issue if you want to take a few pictures in the temples. The bus or
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minibus or a taxi will stop near or on Stanley Market road and it is just a few steps downhill into the market proper. The beach, promenade, Murray House and other things you might want to see can be reached by walking through the market first. So take a quick pass through the market as far as the promenade and make your own decision as to how much time you’d like to spend on actual shopping vs sightseeing and dining. As there are many things to see at Stanley and most of them are best enjoyed in the daytime, it is best to set off early for your day and arrive no later than mid morning. Though some shops and stalls open earlier, you won’t find everything available until that time.
If you are in a hurry but not on a budget then a taxi from anywhere in Hong Kong is the easiest way. Every taxi driver knows the way, and the name “Stanley” in English.
Each shop or stall in Stanley Market arranges its own opening hours, while the market street itself is actually accessible 24 hours a day. A few shops open at 9am but it isn’t until 10am that most are open, while a few don’t start trading until 11am.
Bus The bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 from Exchange Square bus terminus in Central will take you there. They are air-conditioned and comfortable as buses go.
MTR Taking the MTR to Chai Wan station, leave the station via Exit C and catch green minibus 16M which will also take you to the Stanley market.
LUXURY HONG KONG
LAY DOWN IN LUXURY
The best luxury hotels on Hong Kong with the full range of fancy facilities, in room amentieis, service that goes the extra mile and those little extras that seperate good hotels from great ones, Hong Kong’s best luxury hotels will impress everyone and then some. Take a look at our full list below.
CONRAD HONG KONG LUXURY H OTEL
Address: Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Towering above Pacific Place entertainment complex in the heart of the city’s business district, Conrad Hong Kong is within 3-mintue walk to the interconnected MTR admiralty station and is only 40 minutes away from Hong Kong International Airport. Superb. Genuinely first-class. Today’s travelers agree stays are memorable at Conrad Hong Kong. Soaring 61 stories above Pacific Place in the business district, the hotel offers sleek guest rooms and suites, a blend of home-like comforts and
high-tech amenities, award-winning dining at six restaurants and lounges, and sincere hospitality. Stays are impressive at Conrad Hong Kong, a luxury base in an epicenter of activity. Towering above the vibrant business district, Conrad Hong Kong is close to all your destinations. The tram, bus, railway and ferry are nearby, or walk to Pacific Place’s designer shops, restaurants, businesses and entertainment. The spacious guest
rooms and suites offer WiFi, a media hub, mini bar, and marble bathrooms with a deep-soaking tub. See views of Victoria Harbor, mountains, the city skyline or Victoria Peak out every picture window - best enjoyed in your fluffy bathrobe and slippers. The pillow menu offers extra bliss during your stay.
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B E S T PANORAM A VIEW
HOTEL PANORAMA BY RHOMBUS Hotel Panorama by Rhombus is the tallest triangular deluxe business hotel overlooking Victoria Harbour in Tsim Sha Tsui. A mere 2-minute walk from the MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui Station. one stop from the MTR Hung Hom Station and a 5-minute drive from the Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal. Contemporary guestrooms range in silver to Gold and club Harbour view to Executive club Harbourview, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour or the city. Each is with complimentary handy smartphone with unlimited local international and unlimited mobile internet. Located at the lobby level, CafĂŠ Express offers casual dining experience while AVA Restaurant Slash Bar on the 38th floor with a breathtaking Victoria Harbour views is set to impress. Other facilities include Rhombus
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Club Executive Lounge, Meeting Rooms, Fitness Centre, Business Centre and Sky Garden â€œInternational calls can be made to Canada, China, Singapore, South Korea and USA. Hotel LKF by Rhombus Hotel LKF by Rhombus is a deluxe boutique hotel located in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, with a 4 minute walk to the MTR Central Station and a 5-minute drive to the Airport Express Hong Kong Station. Major commercial buildings, luxury shopping malls. art galleries are all within walking distance.
Address: 8A Hart Avenue, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
LUXURY HO T E L
THE RITZ-CARLTON, HONG KONG Address : International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Hong Kong Occupying floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is the highest hotel in the world. The hotel’s 312 guest rooms all offer spectacular city and harbour views. With six dining venues including the state-of-the-art Michelin-starred Italian restaurant, Tosca; two-star Michelin Chinese restaurant, Tin Lung Heen; The Lounge and Bar, which features an international all-day dining menu; and Café 103, which serves signature chocolate afternoon tea. The rooftop bar, Ozone, is truly a stunning venue at 490 meters above sea level. For those wishing to relax and indulge, The RitzCarlton Spa by ESPA located on the 116th floor features nine deluxe treatment rooms and two couple’s suites, redefining the urban spa experience in the city and across Asia. The hotel features a fully equipped fitness center and an indoor pool on the 118th floor with a 28m x 7m LED screen on the ceiling, as well as one of the largest ballrooms in the city at 870sqm. Complemented by an additional four meeting rooms, the ballroom has become the major social venue for Hong Kong and has set the benchmark for wedding banquets, meetings and events in the region.
THE PARK LANE HONG KONG, A PULLMN HOTEL The Park Lane Hong Kong, a Pullman Hotel, breathes ultra-chic with powerful artistic stimulations and compelling distinctiveness. 832 modern guest rooms equipped with free WIFI offer breath-taking views of Victoria Harbour, Victoria Park or Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan urbanscape. Located in the city centre, the hotel is within minutes’ walk to public transportation, offices and tourist locations, a perfect vantage point for both business and leisure travelers.
SERVICE OFFERED BY THE HOTEL Internet access Fitness Lounge Complimentary mineral water in the room
Address: 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Free accommodation for up to 1 children under 12 years old sharing the parents’ room by using existing bed configuration. Free breakfast for children under 6 years old. From 6 to 11 years old: 20% discount on breakfast.
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C H I NA
THE ANCIENT CITY OF DUNHUANG
The city of Dunhuang, in north-west China, is situated at a point of vital strategic and logistical importance, on a crossroads of two major trade routes within the Silk Road network. Lying in an oasis at the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, Dunhuang was one of the first trading cities encountered by merchants arriving in China from the west. It was also an ancient site of Buddhist religious activity, and was a popular destination for pilgrims, as well as acting as a garrison town protecting the region.
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The Silk Road routes from China to the west passed to the north and south of the Taklamakan Desert, and Dunhuang lay on the junction where these two routes came together. Additionally, the city lies near the western edge of the Gobi Desert, and north of the Mingsha Sand Dunes (whose name means â€˜gurgling sandâ€™, a reference to the noise of the wind over the dunes), making Dunhuang a vital resting point for merchants and pilgrims travelling through the region from all directions.
ECHOING-SAND MOUNTAIN (MINGSHA SHAN) Have you ever heard of a mountain that echoes to the sound of sand as you slide down its slopes? Can you image a perennially limpid lake in an area of desert sand? Here in Dunhuang, Gansu Province, you will have the chance to enjoy the wonderful spectacle of the EchoingSand Mountain.
The mountain is five kilometers (about three miles) away from the city of Dunhuang. Seen from afar, the mountain is just like a golden dragon winding its way over the horizon. As you approach you become aware that the sand has many colors ranging from red to yellow, green, black and white. On days when a strong wind blows, the fast shifting sand roars; but when the wind is little more than a light breeze
THE SAND PRODUCES GENTLE, DULCET SOUNDS AKIN TO MUSIC.
It is the same when you are sliding down the mountainside. At first, the sand under your feet just whispers; but the further you slide, the louder the sound until it reaches a crescendo like thunder or a drum beat. Some say that the sand is singing, while to others it is like an echo and this is how the mountain gets its name. You may wonder why the sand makes these different sounds. An old legend said that a general and his soldiers meet a fierce battle with their enemies here. As the two sides were deep in fighting
each other and the battle was at its height, a large wave of quicksand suddenly came with a great gust of wind. All the warriors were buried in the sand and the sand mountain was formed. Thus, the sound you hear is said to be the roar of the soldier ghosts who have gone on the fight for such long beneath the sand. However, the real cause is the friction and static created as the wind shifts the sand or you slip down the mountainside.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Dunhuang is between April to September. Avoid the winter season, as winters here are very bitter and dreary. As is common of desert climates, the temperature fluctuates a lot from day to night. Visitors should bring along warm clothes. The air is also extremely dry with strong winds, so there is no harm in packing along extra moisturizers and lip balms.
TIP The sun can be strong during summer in Dunhuang so don’t forget your sunscreen!
YUEYAQUAN (CRESCENT MOON LAKE) Easily reached from Mingsha Shan, Yueyaquan is an oasis surrounded by sand dunes and naturally shaped like a crescent moon. Along with Mingsha Shan, Yueyaquan is one of Dunhuang’s Eight Great Landscapes. Next to the lake is a traditional pagoda where visitors can stop for a short break, stock up on refreshments and purchase some souvenirs.
Must Know Visitors can visit EchoingSand Mountain and Crescent Lake many times in three days since they buy the entrance tickets. Visitors who plan to make three-day multiple visits need to record their fingerprints together with their entrance tickets at the ticket barrier before they finish their first visit and leave. More importantly, those who enjoy free entries can’t enjoy this policy.
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HOW TO GET THERE
The traveler finds the Mogao Caves, a shrine of Buddhist art treasures, 25 km (15.5miles) from downtown Dunhuang on the eastern slope of Echoing-Sand Mountain (Mingsha Shan). A network of plank reinforced roads plying north to south 1600 meters (5, 249 feet) long lead to the cave openings, which are stacked five stories high some reaching up to 50 meters (164 feet). By the way, Mogao means high up in the desert.
Taxi It costs CNY30 -50 from the railway Station. Usually, the drivers don’t run the meter so that visitors need to bargain with them.
THE ‘CAVES OF THE THOUSAND BUDDHAS’ (QIANFODONG), also known as Mogao, are a magnificent treasure trove of Buddhist art. They are located in the desert, about 15 miles south-east of the town of Dunhuang in north western China. By the late fourth century, the area had become a busy desert crossroads on the caravan routes of the Silk Road linking China and the West. Traders, pilgrims and other travellers stopped at the oasis town to
secure provisions, pray for the journey ahead or give thanks for their survival. Records state that in 366 monks carved the first caves into the cliff stretching about 1 mile along the Daquan River. large number of trails, many of which exist since Soviet times.
Bus Take regular mini-bus from Dunhuang Hotel. The bus passes by Silk Road Hotel and Dunhuang Railway Station. It costs around CNY 8. Additionally, the earliest one departs at 08:00.
How to go there from Dunhuang Airport Walking out of the airport gate, visitors can take mini-buses to the railway station. It costs around CNY 3.
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A JOURNEY TO CULTURAL CITY IN LUANG PRABANG 62 NOW TRAVEL ASIA MARCH/APRIL 2018
Luang Prabang is a beautiful cultural city. This charming town is located in north central Laos. Luang Prabang is an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial. Visitors to Luang Prabang are charmed by the friendly atmosphere of this small town. The town itself offers several unique insights into the history of the region, through excellently preserved Buddhist temples, museum and a variety of Lao, Tai-Lue, Burmese, Chinese and Tai architecture at the Night Market. Luang Prabang sells a large variety of traditional goods.
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he town is famous for its unique textiles and beautiful mulberry paper. Famous foods in Luang Prabang are ‘Aur Lam’ (a thick stew made with the forsted herb), ‘Sakhan’, (meat and eggplants), ‘Jaew Bong’, (a sauce made with hot chilies and buffalo skin) and ‘khai Pan’ (dried river weed lightly fried with sesame seeds and garlic).
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EATING LAOS CUISINE LIKE A LOCAL
JA E W B O N G
A U R LA M
is a spicy Lao chili paste made with Lao chilies, galangal and other ingredients commonly found in Laos.
is a mildly spicy and thick Laotian stew mostly cooked with dried buffalo meat and yard long bean.
Tamarind Restaurant This great restaurant in welcoming homely environment is perfect to start your journey in Lao cuisine. The restaurant is created with the aim to introduce the Lao specialties to all guests. Offer at Tamarind is a selection of set menus featuring variety of Lao cuisine. Every Friday, a Barbecue Fish Feast takes place. Start your meal with Lao Lao cocktail, made with potent rice whisky and continue to Laap and Lemongrass stuffed with chicken and Herb, the signature dishes at Tamarind. Location: Kingkitsarath Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos Opening hour: 11.00 AM – 9.00 PM
BAGUET T E B R E A D
is a Laotian snack made of fresh water green algae, vegetables, and sesame seeds.
(Khao Jee) is French bread. It is Lao famous breakfast as convenience and easy to have it.
Settled on the Mekong riverside, saffron cafe is 2 beautifully designed wooden houses offering seating on both levels of the restaurant and on a small patio to overlook the Mekong River. Owned by an American and Lao couple, the café offer a slice feel of west with delicious, strong Lao coffee. Aside of scent coffee, other offers are ranged from breakfast, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, desserts and a few local dishes. To sip a cup of aromatic coffee or grab a bite and admire the spectacular view, this cafe is a great choice. Location: Khem Khong Road | Ban Wat Nong, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos Opening hour: Mon-Fri 7:00 am - 8:00 pm, Sat-Sun 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
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Luang Prabang Night Market
P L AY
The Evening Market is a nightly event that takes place between 17:00 and 23:00 beginning at Wat Mai and running along Sisavangvong Road to the town centre. The street is closed off to vehicles. Apart from the market vendors, shop-houses and hotels lining both sides of the road are also open for business. The range of products include handmade souvenirs, Lao coffee beans, homemade whiskeys, books, all the way to street-side noodle stalls tucked away in a small lane and hotel sidewalk cafés serving drinks and, of course, Beer Lao. For a serious meal, though, head over to the end of the market (where Sisavangvong Road meets Settathilat Road) and you will find the Night Food Market as well as food vendors down the narrow lane just next to it. Note that the market can get very crowded after 20:00.
Learning the traditional through Buddhist temples The wonderful thing about Luang Prabang is its scale: there’s plenty to see, but a few morning strolls can take most of it in. The earlier the better in fact, since most folk roll out of bed at 6am to offer alms to the resident monks (in a ceremony known as takbat). Luang Prabang has no shortage of either monasteries or wats and for many visitors this is the source of its charm. Wat Xiang Thong is the grandest. Located near the tip of the northern peninsular, it was built for the royal family in the 16th century and is a prime example of the area’s temple architecture. Look out for the large tree of life mosaic on the rear wall. The conical Phou Si wat at the top of the town’s central mound provides a great lookout for sunset, while the longboats stored at Wat Saen give you a sampler of the town’s boat festival in the autumn.
T RAVE L
GUIDE Sightseeing and Adventure Tours
You’ll not be short of options when it comes to tour providers. As well as the many lining Xiang Thong, even the tuk tuk drivers will have printed rates for trips. Look at half-day tours to the lovely limestone Kuang Si and Tad Se waterfalls – good for a splash and a picnic – and the caves at Pak Ou, which offer a good excuse for a boat trip. Chock full of old Buddha statues the caves are a sombre sight. Other adventures can of course be taken farther afield. Explore hidden rivers in kayaks, ride elephants through the forest, or trek through the hills and lay your hat at Hmong and Khmu village homestays along the way. Great insights are on offer on some educational trips that make considerable effort to impart local knowledge beyond the neat ‘tourist’ package.
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HOW TO CATCH A TUK TUK IN LUANG PRABANG? Tuk Tuk has long been a unique symbol and a part of Luang Prabang’s bustling urban life. Today, Laos have a lot of traffic by car, but Tuk Tuk is still a common vehicle and the pride of this country. If you want to catch one tuk tuk, take out one arm, palm down, wave Tuk Tuk drivers down. Then, immediately there will be a bunch of tuk tuk ready to serve you.
Victoria Xiengthong Palace Located in the heart of Luang Prabang, surrounded by the golden spires of the town’s famous Buddhist temples is Victoria Xiengthong Palace, the last residence of the Laos Royal Family. This beautiful boutique property has been lovingly restored to its former glory, and once more sits proudly on the banks of the Mekong River. Victoria XiengThong Palace is a 2-minute walk from Heritage House and Wat Pak Khan. It is located in the middle of the peninsula and Luang Prabang Airport is 5.6 km away. Ayu Spa features relaxing massage, steam baths and manicure treatments. Guests can hire nature guides and arrange day trips at the tour desk. Laundry services as well as luggage storage are available. Location: Kounxoau Road, Ban Phonehueng, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, Luang Prabang, Laos Rd., Ban Thatluang, Luang Prabang District, Luang Prabang Laos
Muang Thong Hotel The Muangthong hotel is located just on the outskirts of the city centre, away from all the hustle and bustle but still close enough to be only a short 5-10 minute walk. The buildings, with large wooden pillars are of modern Lao design with a French colonial flavour and traditional Lao roofs. There is a choice of double or twin rooms. The rooms are large, bright and colourful, have high ceilings, feature all the modern facilities and are decorated with traditional Lao textiles. They either overlook or lead out on to the central courtyard and swimming pool. Location: Oupalathkhamboua Rd., Ban Thatluang, Luang Prabang District, Luang Prabang Laos
Nestled in Ock Pop Tok grounds in Luang Prabang, Passa Paa is a design and print boutique studio. This studio features a creative center for both local and international designers, artisans and interns. Merging traditional Hmong handicraft skills with modern print aesthetic, they offer the contemporary handcrafts ranging from tote bags, clutches, purses to cushion covers, tea towels, placemats, to scarves, handkerchiefs, as well as leather bowls. Found yourself a unique and beautiful one at Passa Paa. Location: Sakkarine Road, Ban Vat Sene, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Opening hour: 8.00 AM – 9.00 PM
The Grand Luang Prabang The Grand Laung Prabang Hotel is a spectacular panoramic view of the picturesque mountains surrounding Luang Prabang, approximately 4 kms southwest of Luang Prabang town centre. The resort is situated on the 59 thousand square meters’ estate of Xiengkeo Palace which belonged to the nationalist hero Prince Phetsarath. The 75 guest rooms were built while preserving the French colonial design with Laotian touch, all accommodations are furnished tastefully with wooden furniture to reminisce the heritage of the building. Location: Ban Xiengkeo, Khet SangkalokP.O. Box 1191Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang, Laos
TAEC Boutique Settle on Sakkaline Road, the main street of Luang Prabang, TAEC Boutique is a sister shop to the Museum Shop of the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre. Collected from 12 provinces of Laos, the offer is ranged from handmade jewelry, clothes, bags, decorative pieces, textiles made in Laos and features the exclusive Heirloom Collection. Each piece sold in this boutique is made of the highest quality materials by the most respected artisans. Discover the cultural diversity of Laos at TAEC Boutique. Location: Sakkarine Road, Ban Vat Sene, Luang Prabang Opening hour: 9.00 AM – 9.00 PM
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IN FULL VIEW
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C EN T RA L AS IA
LAND OF CELESTIAL MOUNTAINS Pristine valleys. Crystal clear mountain lakes. Powerful mountain rivers. Rich flora and fauna embracing rare species. Discover the virgin nature of Kyrgyzstan!
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yrgyzstan is a Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions. Landlocked and mountainous, it borders Kyrgyzstan to the north,Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the southeast. It is called the Switzerland of Central Asia. Backpacking Kyrgyzstan is often considered to be a highlight of travel through “The Stans” and for good reason. The scenery is breathtaking, the people are warm and welcoming and best of all, there is no visa required to enter the country! Not only is it easy to get into Kyrgyzstan, but once you’re in, it is the easiest country in Central Asia to travel around.
Hiking & Trekking Kyrgyzstan is a true heaven for trekking and outdoor enthusiasts thanks to its beautiful mountain sceneries, large number of sunny days and huge choice of trails with varying degrees of difficulty from easy to extreme. There are a large number of trails, many of which exist since Soviet times.
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THE MOST FAVORITE AREAS FOR HIKING ARE: In north: Ala Archa, Alamedin, Issyk Ata, Chon Kemin, Altyn Arashan and Karakol gorges, Eki Naryn valley, the plateau of Son Kol lake, Talas range.
In south: Karavshin gorge, Chatkal valey and Arslanbob valleys, Sary Chelek lake, Aigul Tash mountain.
M O U N TA I N E E R I N G About 95% of Kyrgyzstan’s territory is covered by mountains, which belong to two major mountain systems of the world – Tien Shan and Pamir mountain ranges. There are great opportunities for both beginners and professional mountaineers and climbers. Pobeda Peak is the highest and most difficult to climb due to unpredictable weather conditions. On the other hand, the second highest peak of Lenin is the most accessible of seventhousanders for the ascent. The route has no particular technical difficulties and does not require specialized technical equipment. Khan Tengri is in world climbers’ elite list and every self-respecting mountaineer at least once in a life must climb it.
Pobeda Peak Pobeda Peak is the highest and most difficult to climb due to unpredictable weather conditions. On the other hand, the second highest peak of Lenin is the most accessible of seventhousanders for the ascent. The route has no particular technical difficulties and does not require specialized technical equipment. Khan Tengri is in world climbers’ elite list and every self-respecting mountaineer at least once in a life must climb it.
Red rocks under the blue sky in the canyon Skazka, Kyrgyzstan.
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S I G HTSEEING
Issyk-Kul Lake and its Beaches Surrounded by dramatic mountains, including the UNESCO-listed Tian Shan Mountain Range, Lake IssykKul is located in eastern Kyrgyzstan, close to the border with Kazakhstan. Being easily accessible from the capital, Bishkek, Issyk-Kul is a destination that finds its way onto many traveller’s itineraries. But, as an independent traveller. Lake IssykKul is the second highest alpine lake in the world.You’ll want to take a cruise on the lake. Surrounded by the Tian Shan Mountains, it’s stunning. Although it’s further away from the sea than any other country, the beaches along the lake will make you feel like you’re at the ocean.
Burana Tower Being once a minaret of a mosque, Burana Tower is located near Tokmok in the territory of Balasagun, which was a medieval capital (9th - 14th centuries) of Karakhanid Khanate and home to famous medieval poet Yusuf Balasaguni, author of the poem Kudatgu Bilig (Beneficial Knowledge). The tower was built in the first half of the 11th century. With time, the mosque got completely destroyed, and the minaret was partially ruined by an earthquake in the 15th century.
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TIP Kyrgyzstan has a relatively short optimum trekking season with July through to mid-September being ideal and you shouldn’t tackle the AlaKul trek alone outside of this time frame as conditions can change quickly. In some areas it may be possible to hike from mid-May until mid-October, although the weather is more unpredictable: it gets cold and there may be some rain.
Fairy Tale Canyon The Fairy Tale Canyon is located on the southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake, 4 km from Tosor village. This is a true natural wonder. Water, wind, and sun have produced whimsical, fabulous shapes here. While some resemble mythical creatures (dragon ridge), the others look like other ordinary animals (camels, hippos, and elephants), while others portray amazing intricate structures such as castles, towers, and even China’s Great Wall. Due to particular nature of the soil, it is recommended to visit the canyon in dry weather. Entrance fee: 200 som per car (US$2.80)
Burana tower, tall and large minaret in the ruins of the ancient site of Balasagun, in Kyrgyzstan
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OUT OF ASIA
HALLSTATT PHOTOGENIC TOWN IN AUSTRIA
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calm blue lake mirroring the sky, mountain ranges setting a picture-perfect background, and pastel lakeside houses decked with flower boxes lending the historic town a storybook vibe. It’s easy to superimpose a vision of yourself enjoying a little holiday in this charming town. Hallstatt is a tiny town bullied onto a ledge between a selfish mountain and a swan-ruled lake, with a waterfall ripping furiously through its middle. The big draws of Hallstatt are its village and its lakeside setting. Come here to relax, nibble, wander, and paddle. Beyond lies the Salzkammergut region, a gentle land of lakes, forested mountains, and storybook villages.
Almost every flower-decked house along the lake is photogenic these are residences and private properties so don’t go climbing up someone’s balcony! Always be respectful and keep your voices down.
Put on your comfy shoes and a photo-op-worthy outfit – we’re going to explore Hallstatt! Even if you’re not a morning person, you’ll want to get up early for this town. Besides, you can just head to bed early as there’s nothing much happening at night. The mornings, though, are absolutely magnificent. Start at either end of the town. If your hotel is near the market square, the north end is nearer. If you’re staying outside town along Malerweg, you can start at the south end.
Walk around the market square and visit the little shops along the lake Take a postcard-perfect photo of Hallatatt and stroll along Lake Hallstatt Walk all the way to the north, past the ferry station. When the road bends, look back and you’ll see this absolutely breathtaking view of Hallstatt. The Lake Hallstatt connects three small towns in the Salzkammergut: Obertraun, Bad Goisern and Hallstatt. It is about 125 meters deep and was the most important and only way to transport the mined salt. Today, visitors come to admire the lake from the top of the close mountains, swim in its clear water, or take a boat trip to discover more about the history of Hallsatt and its surroundings, the Salzkammergut.
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Just walking along the boardwalk, looking up at the pastel houses with their charming flowerboxes, and peeking into the souvenir shops is a great way to spend the day. Even better if you get to do this while the rest of the town is still asleep – so aim to be up and about by 7 AM at least. Make your way to the market square and weave in and out of the streets. Remember that Hallstatt is really small. The Market Square is located in the city center of Hallstatt and is the major attraction there. The Market Square has a statue of the Holy Trinity and is surrounded by beautiful buildings. Visitors will find restaurants, cafes, hotels, a bar and a range of souvenir shops. Throughout the year there are different events, like the traditional Corpus Christi procession in spring, various concerts, and the Christmas market in winter.
CLOCK WISE FROM TOP: View of famous Hallstatt mountain village with Hallstaetter Lake in the Austrian Alps: A building of traditional house in Hallstatt alpine village. The modern train towards the salt mines climbing up the mountains: Pasta with shrimp sauce at market square.
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See the view from the Skywalk Once up on Salzberg, check out the “World heritage” views from the Skywalk. It extends over a sheer drop with the Hallstatt old town directly below. Hallstatt Skywalk “Welterbeblick” offers a bird’s-eye view over an alpine valley that was home to prehistoric miners during the early Iron Age. The platform hovers 360 metres above the ground, protruding 12 metres from the mountainside into the abyss. Try to go on a clear day, but not in the middle of the day when the sun is almost blinding. The walk to the top is quite challenging, so it’s best to take the cable car up to the viewing platform and then walk back down. Prepare for the crowds. Put Hallstatt Skywalk “Welterbeblick” on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Hallstatt trip itinerary builder.
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The world-famous charnel house in St. Michael’s Chapel Alongside the world’s oldest salt mine and the idyllic,world-famous postcard view, the charnel house or ‘Bone House’ in St. Michael’s Chapel is one of the most interesting tourist sites in Hallstatt. The chapel dates back to the 12th century and is located next to the catholic parish church. Each year, visitors from throughout the world come to admire the unusual collection of over 600 artistically painted skulls. Many of the skulls were decorated at the end of the 18th century, but a few are from even the 20th century.
Kalvarienberg Church This church was built in the year 1711 and was donated to the town by a childless married couple of court secretaries. It is located on the Kalvarienberg, which is a nearby mountain with an impressive view over Hallstatt, its lake and surroundings. This church was built in order to offer a place for the inhabitants of the town to pray, and as the final resting place of the married couple. This church is a true masterpiece of baroque architecture.
TIP Guests will find Restaurant zum Salzbaron in the Seehotel Grüner Baum, directly on the Market Plaza in the city. Guests can choose from a menu of fresh fish from the Hallstatt lake and other traditional and regional specialties. The restaurant also offers the best quality wines, focusing on Austrian grapes.
CLOCK WISE FROM TOP: Beautiful White Architecture at Market Square of Hallstatt: View over Hallstatt center with houses and church: The decorated ball from Hallstatt market square in Christmas Day: Tourist visiting and shopping at Hallstatt market square with historic mountain houses.
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Natural, Partner, Elegance, Warm, Unique Deriving from Franca, Paxton Vacances Hotel Management Group perfectly merges Pax (harmony) and Ton (balance) to composedly keep own brand concept. Moreover, it also adheres to the service concept â€˜By Your Sideâ€™, to constantly improve the quality of rest and vacation of guests. Paxton has four hotel types which is vacation, business, economic and design respectively. Furthermore, they are spresd over many resorts, developed cities and emerging markets, such as Chengdu, Shenzheng, Suzhou, Xichang, Sanya, Kangding and Nanjing, Huahin (Thailand), etc.
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Now Travel Asia Magazine Special Weddings & Honeymoons Issue March - April 2018 By NOW Travel Asia Ltd.
Published on Mar 30, 2018
Now Travel Asia Magazine Special Weddings & Honeymoons Issue March - April 2018 By NOW Travel Asia Ltd.