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Home & Away with Robert Walshe Harvey’s Point Hotel was named ‘No 1 Hotel in Ireland’ in Trip advisors annual Traveller’s Choice awards, and No 11 in Europe. The top 25 hotels in Ireland for 2012 threw up a lot of familiar names but a few surprises as well:1 Harvey’s Point, 2 Hayfield Manor, 3 Killarney Park, 4 Lough Eske, 5 Glasson Country House, 6 Mount Juliet, 7 Inchydorney, 9 Merrion Hotel, 9 Wineport, Athlone, 10 Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt, 11 Four Seasons Ballsbridge, 12 Castle Macroom, 13 Aghadoe Heights Killarney, 14 Ballygarry House Tralee, 15 Westport Plaza, 16 Ariel House, Ballsbridge, 17 Adare Manor, 18 Doonbeg Lodge, 19 Europe Hotel, Killarney, 20 Croke Park Hotel, 21 River Lee, 22 Ashford Castle, 23 Bayview. Ballycotton, 24 Kelly’s, Rosslare, 25 Twelve Hotel, Barna. As part of the same process, Tripadvisor announced their 2013 world champions. Top Hotel in the World: was the Four Seasons Hualalai Hawaii, Best Bargain Hotel the SeaCoast Inn, Hyannis, Mass, the best Hotel for Service was the £35 a night Lauriston Court Hotel, Llandudno, Wales. The Top Small Hotel was Anastasis Apartments, Imerovigli, Greece, and the best B&B and Inn was Casa Portagioia, Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy. www.tri-

Holiday Hotspot – Ngapali Beach, Myanmar

The Southeast Asian country of Myanmar stretches across more than a quarter-million square miles of densely forested, largely rural land. The country 1,200 miles of coastline meets the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea and contains a number of rarely visited beaches. Arguably the best beach is Ngapali, said to be named by a homesick Italian. The beach provides a 1.9mile stretch of sand backed by palms and fronted by the enticing waters of the Bay of Bengal It is the best place for those leading a modern life in urban areas and looking for a place to enjoy the nature beauty of the beach itself. The beach is unlike like other beaches around the world where it is very crowded and hawkers persuading visitors to buy their products. The turquoise water, the rich marine life and the white sandy beach are all ideal for anyone seeking an enjoyable escape. Here are plenty of chances to swim, surf and relax under palm trees fringing the seaside. Off the beach, visitors can explore some nearby small villages and


Ngapali Myanm sort Sunset in ography). Re h ac Be g n Amazin tesy of John Baltaks Phot (Photos cour

Pet’s Corner...

local markets, ride a bike through the spectacular countryside or board a boat to some offshore islands. All Myanmar beaches have opportunities for fishing, and those without equipment can pay a local fisherman to take them out for a day. Those interested in riding can hire ponies at Ngapali Beach, and you also can join a boat trip for some snorkeling off the reefs. Outside of monsoon season, visitors will generally find the seas of Myanmar’s coastline calm and relatively safe. The country has a very low crime rate where foreigners are concerned, mostly due to the severe punishments given to those caught. Nevertheless, try not to leave anything valuable on the beach when swimming or snorkeling. The Amazing Ngapali Resort is just a five minute drive from the Sandoway Airport in Thandwee village and a 45 minute flight from Yangon City. We loved the charming and cosy sea view deluxe villas featuring traditional decor with modern facilities, as well as your own terrace where you can while away the hours with a good book as the calming breeze of the Bay of Bengal sweeps in. However you can choose from three villa types including a range of ocean front accommodation all providing total escapism and relaxation. Spa Thuka is the perfect place to unwind with treatments that harness the beauty and restorative assets of the land & seascape The Zee Pyhu Restaurant at Amazing offer all day dining with an emphasis on Asian & European dishes. The fish dishes in particular are wonderful and most of the ingredients are fresh. For best rates The best place to eat on the beach is the trip-advisor recommended “ Ngapali Kitchen “ Our friends enjoyed chilli bean barracuda pieces with an avocado


salad while our choice of sweet & sour deboned red snapper, stirfried vegetables, and home made fish fingers were to die for ! www. The best time to visit Myanmar beaches is between November and n Ngapali Beach, February, which Myanmar is the period with the least rainfall that still is warm enough to enjoy being services of an agent and outside. The southwest mon- “One Stop “deliver on all soon begins in late May, sub- counts. www.onestop-myjecting the country to heavy Award winning rain, heat and humidity until Australian photographer early October. John Baltaks has travelled to The northeast monsoon, many places throughout the between December and world and capturing many April, brings milder tem- intimate pictures including peratures, less rainfall and those included in this feature lower humidity. One Stop on my trip to Myanmar Travel & Tours based in Etigon with branch offices at had operates 10 flights a Mandalay, Bagan, Inle, Nay- week from Dublin and daily Pyi-Taw offers a reliable and flights from Manchester and professional service and will Heathrow to Abu Dhabi and organise your tours, hotels over 85 destinations includ& domestic airline transfers ing numerous daily conwhich are next to impossible nections to Bangkok and to organise independently. onwards to Yangon with its Once we arrived in Ngapali, code share partner Bangkok One Stop met us at the air- Airways. In business class to port, confirmed our next Bangkok expect award-winitinerary with flights and re- ning fully flat beds in an innomained in contact with us on vative 1-2-1 layout – all seats several occasions during our have aisle access and are trip to ensure that all was forward facing. Expect the going to plan. Due to Myan- services of a dedicated Food mar’s infrastructure it’s re- & Beverage Manager offering ally important to engage the restaurant quality dining-on-

demand, boutique wines, and a unique “kitchen anytime option “. Enjoy over 600 hours of on-demand entertainment on some of the largest personal screens in the sky – as well as MP3 player connectivity and universal power sockets. For best fares visit www.etihad. com

Weekly Best Buy

Don’t forget your swimming gear when you book two nights in the Glenview Hotel, Co Wicklow for €99pps with dinner one evening and 15 per cent off spa treatments (up to the end of March). Robert Walshe is a travel broadcaster with Q Radio Network and Travel Editor for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland.

Weekly Best Buy Extra Authorities in India  and  China  have relaxed restrictions on tourist visas in an attempt to encourage more foreign visitors. India’s government announced that many tourists – including those from  Britain  – will no longer be affected by an unpopular re-entry rule, which was introduced after the  Mumbai  terrorist attack. The policy had prevented travelers from re-entering the country less than 60 days after leav-

ing it without special permission from the Indian High Commission. It meant that travelers planning two individual trips to India in quick succession, or anyone hoping to hop over the border to neighboring Nepal or Bangladesh, and then return, were often unable to do so. Meanwhile travelers’ from the European Union will, now be able to visit Beijing for up to 72 hours without applying for a visa at all.

with Kathleen Murray

How should dogs play together? Not all dogs get along and older dogs do not appreciate an unmannerly pup jumping all over them. As dogs need dogs in their lives, and dogs are great for using up each others energy, it is always good to make sure that you socialise your dog from a very early age. If a puppy hasn’t been around other dogs from the time it leaves it’s mother (8weeks) until it is several months old then it will have forgotten a lot about how to be a dog. As it will have been with humans it will not know how to play and may be a little too rough or a little too nervous in the presence of other dogs. If it has had a bad experience when it was very young (attacked by a strange dog) then it may become ag-

gressive towards other dogs when it comes up to about 1 year old. Dogs that have not been around other dog enough when they were young can often not recognise other dogs as their own species when they reach adulthood and can end up attacking other dogs as if they were a cat or rabbit. Socialisation is very important. What is also very important is how it is done. A puppy should never be introduced or left with dogs that are “not stable” or haven’t got any experience with pups. It is always good to introduce dogs to each other in controlled circumstances. If you know someone with a pup then you could go to visit each other and let the pups get used to each other, on

leads at first and then just playing together on their own. An alternative is to bring them to my training class where introductions and playtime are supervised. Always keep them in sight as one pup may become a little too over excited or bite the other pup too hard. This is normal when pups play (they won’t injure each other) but how you handle it is very important. Do not pick up the underdog and make a fuss of it or sympathise with it in a human way. Slow the other pup down by distracting it or holding it beside you for a little bit until it becomes calm again... then let them resume. Just deal with the enthusiasm in this way until they learn to mellow the play. Never let it get

out of hand as growling and defending comes into the play then and that is not what you want. A leader would not allow any high jinks between young dogs as this would be seen as a challenge to his leadership further down the line. This is worth paying good attention to. When you step in to break it up or calm it down then the pups (and adult dogs) need to pay attention to that. You need to be seen as an authority... not as a Playmate or a Mammy. Playing is a very important part of a dog’s life. They learn valuable lessons from it and it keeps them sociable. If you have a dog that is nervous around other dogs or ag-

gressive then this needs to be dealt with. This should not be done by the owner unless they have been given clear instructions by a professional first as they may make the situation worse instead of better. People often take advice from “a man down the road” or a neighbour. This is not good as they may not diagnose the dogs problem properly therefore the treatment may cause more problems than what was there to start with.

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