The world’s riskiest destination for travelers might surprise you

Posted by - June 25, 2018

According to report based on insurance claims, Thailand is the riskiest place on earth for travelers.
Data from a study conducted by UK-based insurance company Endsleigh has revealed that last year almost 23 percent of travel insurance claims to the provider was made in Thailand.
#TRAVEL TRENDS
Could a Unesco title be the demise of Thailand’s Death Railway? Following in joint second were Chile and the US with 15 percent of all claims made here.
Spain, Germany, Nepal, and Peru each held eight percent of the total claims made, while Bahamas and Brazil came in the least risky with just four percent of claims.
But it’s worth remembering insurance claims can be anything from slightly damaged baggage to emergency medical expenses and all the lost items in between.
What were the claims? 11 percent of all claims made to the insurer was for lost or damaged baggage, four percent for dental expenses and just two percent for missed departures.
71 percent of all travel claims made in 2017 were for emergency medical expenses with the average bill ringing in at US$1,750.
Not a cost you would want to be lumbered with.
However, the study also revealed 22-year-olds made the riskiest travelers, accounting for 63 percent of claims.
And given that Thailand is popular among the millennial demographic, the study’s results are nothing to be shocked about.
A post shared by @madeleiine_fi on Jun 22, 2018 at 7:30am PDT
Thailand is a nation known for its enticing party scene, scrumptious food, and Instagram-worthy beaches. And the new data shouldn’t deter travelers from exploring it in all it’s splendor, just a little more care should be taken.
Whether its renting scooters, partaking in extreme sports or even just falling asleep on a bus and not shutting a bag properly, taking a few extra precautions could render that inexpensive travel insurance unneeded – the best way to use it.
“Travelling in a foreign country is exciting, but there can be risks involved, particularly when you’re not familiar with the destination,” Endsleigh head of marketing Julia Alpan said in a statement.
“As well as staying safe, it’s important to do your research ahead of your trip to make sure you’re covered with the correct travel insurance.”
#ADVENTURE
Asia’s most dangerous diving spots Each of the top 10 nations featured on the world’s riskiest list is a firm favorite among travelers which naturally increases how many people visit them, raising the chances of a few travelers needing to use their insurance.
However, none of these nations carry foreign office warnings, so you’re good to go.
Just make sure you purchase some travel insurance before you head off.
The post The world’s riskiest destination for travelers might surprise you appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

China reaches for the stars with its space tourism program

Posted by - June 20, 2018

WE’VE ALL SEEN Nasa’s breathtakingly beautiful pictures of outer space and watched movies about space travel.
And that may soon become a reality, thanks to China and its rapid advancement in technology.
#DIGS
Intergalactic stay: New hotel to offer ‘out of this world’ experience The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, a prestigious developer of carrier rockets, is aiming to be the country’s first space tourism provider.
The academy’s engineers are currently working on a new spacecraft to send any aspiring space traveler on an intergalactic journey to get a closer view of the vast universe that surrounds Earth.
China has always been quick to embrace and support new technology, accounting for 20 percent of total world research and development (R&D) spending, with aims to become a global technology leader.
With companies offering “out of this world” experiences and racing to be the pioneer of space tourism, it was only a matter of time before China glides in with an ambitious program of their own.
Space tourism is set to become a thing and it’s not light years away. Source: Shutterstock.
Interested?
Here are some quick facts about the program:
The spacecraft is a fixed-wing aircraft without a vertical stabilizer, upright fin at the tail end and propelled by a rocket engine. The carrier rocket will blast off vertically but make a horizontal landing on a runway like an ordinary plane. It will function without pilots or controllers inside the spacecraft. Instead, it will use preset programs. All 10 square meters of its inside area will be capable of carrying almost 20 travelers. Only passengers between ages 18 and 65 and have neither heart disease nor hypertension can participate. Participating travelers will need to undergo training sessions for several weeks to prepare for the effects of gravitational acceleration and weightlessness. Travelers will no need to wear spacesuits during the journey as there will be oxygen and life-support instruments inside the spacecraft. The spacecraft will carry passengers to an altitude of more than 100km, 10 times the cruising altitude of a commercial plane. The half-hour-long flight will culminate in an over 10 minute-long sightseeing session. The magnificent view of the stars and the feeling of weightlessness comes with a price tag: US$200,000 to US$250,000. According to the plans, the reusable spacecraft is scheduled to enter service sometime in 2028. China Daily quoted project manager Han Pengxin as saying that the spacecraft will be safe and reliable since it will employ the academy’s cutting-edge technologies.
#TRAVEL TECH
A staycation at this hotel would definitely impress your date The academy’s senior researches of reusable spacecraft Cai Qiaoyan said maintaining the space tourism spacecraft would be easy, so it could be used for frequent flights.
“After one flight, our engineers will only need to make some simple examinations of the spacecraft and refuel it, which could be done in as little as two days, and then the spacecraft could be used for a new flight,” he said, adding that such a spacecraft could make some 50 flights before being retired.
The post China reaches for the stars with its space tourism program appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

‘Peter Pan’, ‘Frozen’, ‘Tangled’ stars get their own Tokyo DisneySea ports

Posted by - June 15, 2018

TOKYO DISNEYLAND operator Oriental Land Co. has announced a US$2.3 billion investment in Toyko DisneySea.
Together with the large-scale enhancement of the park scheduled to begin in 2020, the expansion will mark the company’s biggest investment in nearly 20 years.
#DISNEY PARKS ASIA
Tokyo Disney Resort’s rumored new park will be sky-themed DisneySea’s development comes at a time when other Disney parks around the world are also getting upgrades, such as the Marvel-themed rides and properties coming to Hong Kong, Paris, and California.
While Tokyo’s Disneyland and DisneySea are the only Disney parks in the world not to fully or partly owned by the Walt Disney Company, Disney still has total autonomy over the park’s creative direction.
And what dazzling creative control it’s exercising over the new expansion.
What do we already know? The announcement, made on Thursday, detailed plans to create a magical spring which will lead guests into a port where the world’s of three Disney animated films spectacularly collide.
Once inside the port, guests can explore Elsa and Anna’s Kingdom of Arendelle from Frozen, roam through the forest and up the tower from Tangled, and hang out with Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and Tinker Bell in Neverland.
According to Attractions Magazine, the expansion also incorporates a new exclusive hotel with a special wing, set to be the most luxurious accommodation at the Tokyo Disney Resort.
Here’s a sneak peak of the new lands:
Frozen Guests can explore the Kingdom of Arendelle where Elsa and Anna live in the film. Upon boarding a boat, guests will experience the sisters’ heartfelt journey while singing along to the famous songs.
The Frozen-themed restaurant can be found inside Arendelle Castle at the foot of snow-capped mountains.
Source: Oriental Land Co., Ltd.
Tangled Rapunzel’s tower stretches tall out of the charming forest in this land. The theme follows Rapunzel’s “best day ever” as she journeys with Flynn to the lantern festival.
Guests will also board gondolas to the lantern festival with a sing-a-long finale.
Source: Oriental Land Co., Ltd.
Peter Pan Perhaps the most enchanting port of them all is Neverland from the story of Peter Pan. Guests can explore the villainous Captain Hook’s ship, Skull Rock, and the mountains.
Guests will embark on a rescue mission with Peter Pan to save Wendy’s younger brothers who have been kidnapped by pirates via an immersive 3D experience.
Then, they can take a stroll around the oversized world of Pixie Hollow where Tinker Bell hangs out.
Source: Oriental Land Co., Ltd.
The hotel The fantasy-themed hotel will be located inside the park and offer 475 deluxe-type and luxury-type rooms.
There will also be a gift shop on the first floor for park-goers to pick up a souvenir or two.
Source: Oriental Land Co., Ltd.
Guests can explore the different magical lands via pathways between the Arabian Coast and the Lost River Delta.
#ADVENTURES
All you need to know about Indonesia’s Cartoon Network theme park Upon completion of the proposed expansions across Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland, the licenses between The Walt Disney Company and Oriental Land will be extended from 2046 to 2076.
So, that’s 58 more years of guaranteed Disney fun.
The post ‘Peter Pan’, ‘Frozen’, ‘Tangled’ stars get their own Tokyo DisneySea ports appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Why Mongolia should be next on your bucket list

Posted by - June 15, 2018

TRAVELERS looking for authentic experiences and unique adventures shouldn’t overlook Mongolia.
Sandwiched between Russia and China, the landlocked nation is made up of vast steppes and plateaus which hold centuries of history and culture.
#THINGS TO DO
The heart of heritage: A glimpse of Bangkok’s Chinatown Despite Mongolia being the fifth largest country in Asia, it has a small population of only around 3 million people.
And 30 percent of its population are certified nomads or semi-nomads who constantly roam the plains to find lush pastures for their herds to graze.
While there is plenty of self-sustaining communities across Mongolia, farming, mining, and processing animal products such as pelts and meat have been the most common industries for thousands of years.
But after the fall of the strict Soviet Union rule in 1990, Mongolia has been making every effort to establish a dedicated tourism industry.
A post shared by Round Square Adventures (@roundsquareadventurers) on Jun 13, 2018 at 5:00am PDT
Just under 500,000 international tourists visited Mongolia last year, and the nation hopes to welcome one million by 2020, creating a revenue of US$1 billion.
Recently, environment and tourism minister Namsrai Tserenbat said Mongolia wants “to increase the number of tourists by 30 percent per year in the coming years to reach this goal.”
“We are working to develop tourism products, better services, and tourism safety plans,” Tserenbat added.
One of these products is the hotline service for foreign travelers. It offers access to information about destinations, ongoing events and provides emergency help.
Mongolia has also declared 2018 the year of tourism to kickstart the race to a million visitors by 2020.
A post shared by Eva zu Beck (@evazubeck) on Jun 11, 2018 at 4:07am PDT
So what better time to visit the Land of Eternal Blue Sky than at this very moment?
Here’s a glimpse of the fun to be had in Mongolia.
The beauty of the Gobi A post shared by Федорович Андрей (@andreifedorovich) on Jun 5, 2018 at 6:06am PDT
The Gobi Desert is one of the largest on Earth. But unlike those that sweep across Africa, the Gobi is cold with frost frequently covering the dunes.
The desert stretches from southern Mongolia across to northern China and is bounded only by the incredible Altai Mountains and verdant steppes.
Whether you choose to explore the Gobi the traditional way on camelback, add speed in a four-by-four, or by foot, be sure the check out the Flaming Cliffs and the Khongor dunes.
A post shared by Narek Kazaryan (@kaznarek) on May 14, 2018 at 11:15am PDT
The Flaming Cliffs, real name Bayanzag, was the first place a nest of fossilized dinosaurs eggs was discovered. To this day, ancient relics of prehistoric times are still being unearthed, making it a proper haven for archeology junkies.
The top of Khongor dunes reveals panoramic views across the Gobi Desert.
A post shared by Olga Bogatyreva (@scriptoria) on Jun 1, 2017 at 2:40am PDT
If you can tear your gaze from the never-ending horizon, you’ll notice the sand changes color by the hour. Starting red at dawn and creeping through every shade of yellow and silver throughout the day until it appears red again.
The Khongor dunes are also a good place to watch an extraordinary sunset.
Endless adventures A post shared by David Joshua Jennings (@roaddiaries) on Jul 31, 2015 at 5:38am PDT
Mongolians are known for their resilience to extreme conditions and love of hazardous sports, such as Yak polo (or sarlagan polo) and Mongolian wrestling.
For the serious adventurers among you, Mongolia hosts a 100-mile trek through the Altai Mountains once a year. The walk showcases some of Mongolia’s most outstanding beauty while delivering a heart-thumping sense of adventure to anyone who journeys it.
A post shared by thephotosociety (@thephotosociety) on Mar 12, 2013 at 8:41am PDT
The walk follows the footsteps of the fearless Kazaks, an ethnic minority in Mongolia, who trek through the harsh conditions every year to reach western Mongolia where food is more available for the cattle.
Then, there are the horseriding expeditions in the Arkhangai region which parade through mountainous landscapes and into central Mongolia.
The horseback treks weave through valleys and cross crystal clear lakes, providing the perfect campsite setting.
A post shared by Horse Trek Mongolia (@horsetrekmongolia) on May 1, 2018 at 4:10am PDT
If all things aqua get you excited, how about rafting down the Kherlan river in Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve?
Surrounded by dense forest and abundant wildlife, it may be the closest you get to being at one with nature.
A post shared by Will Martin (@will.holmgaard) on Feb 28, 2015 at 12:22pm PST
Perhaps you’re a snowsports enthusiast but think the Alps are so 1989 and Vermont is full of posers?
Now you can consider Mongolia as your next ski destination.
In winter, Darhad Valley in the remote northwestern corner of Mongolia provides sapphire skies, frozen lakes, and snow-covered hills creating brilliant ski conditions.
A post shared by Khasar Sandag (@inomad) on Mar 13, 2015 at 6:54pm PDT
Mongolia is also one of the best places in the world to stargaze.
Given it’s free to camp anywhere in Mongolia, what’s stopping you packing your travel telescope and heading outdoors?
A post shared by Sangmi Lee (@sanmilee_99) on Jul 29, 2017 at 12:25am PDT
Discover tons more adventures on the official Visit Mongolia site.
Heaps of history and culture Mongolia seeps rich history and vibrant culture at every turn. But one of the must-sees is the ancient capital Kharkhorin.
A post shared by eva dragounova (@edragounova) on Jul 25, 2017 at 5:54am PDT
Established in the 13th century by Genghis Khan, it is now a Unesco World Heritage Site and a monument to the Mongol Empire.
Nearby Kharkhorin is the oldest surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, dating back to 1585.
But only parts of the Erdene Zuu Khiid monastery survived communist leader Khorloogiin Choibalsan’s warpath to eradicate religion from Mongolia in the late 1930s.
A post shared by Gan-Erdene Traveler (@world_nomadic) on Feb 2, 2017 at 5:07pm PST
Another way to absorb Mongolian culture is by staying with a nomadic family.
These families have been living in the wilderness for centuries and can provide you with one of the most memorable traveling experiences.
Learn how to hunt with eagles, practice your wrestling techniques, and cook the traditional way.
A post shared by @secondhandslut on Jul 6, 2017 at 7:59am PDT
It will undoubtedly leave you with a newfound appreciation for supermarkets and running water.
Food If you travel with your stomach in mind, you won’t be disappointed by Mongolia’s delicacies.
Although fresh fruit and vegetables are hard to come by, the hearty stews and buttery dumplings make up for it.
A post shared by ༄ཿTibetan Portraits (@tibetanportraits) on Sep 15, 2017 at 7:33am PDT
Because of the freezing winters, Mongolians sustain themselves on fats, protein, and starchy foods.
Most rural families drink yak’s milk and eat sheep’s cheese daily. Sometimes, an older member of the cattle herd will be used for a meaty stew too.
If you’re traveling through and don’t plan on a homestay, try to find a restaurants serving buuz.
A post shared by Erdem Dymbrylov (@erdem_khuurchin) on Oct 21, 2017 at 7:31pm PDT
Buuz is a Mongolian steamed dumpling often stuffed with mashed potato, cabbages, and minced mutton.
Describing these golden pockets as moreish is an understatement.
#ENVIRONMENT
Malaysia plans to develop Sabah for tourism, but is it ready? Whatever you’re seeking from your travels, be it food and adventure or history and culture, Mongolia has a treat under its eternally blue sky for everyone.
The post Why Mongolia should be next on your bucket list appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Here’s your guide to Asia’s best in-flight meals

Posted by - June 14, 2018

THE late, great travel legend and culinary master Anthony Bourdain once told Bon Appetit, “No one has ever felt better after eating plane food. I think people only eat it because they’re bored. I don’t eat on planes. I like to arrive hungry.”
This sentiment was echoed by the infamous 2008 e-mail sent to Virgin Atlantic boss Richard Branson by a passenger describing his experience as a culinary “journey from hell.”
The passenger, Oliver Beal, then went on to describe his in-flight meal as a “crime against bloody cooking.”
#TRAVEL HACKS
8 savvy weight-saving secrets of packing We get it.
In-flight meals have had a bad rep since time immemorial. They are often packed with sodium for flavoring and contains every shade of beige. For passengers flying economy, this is a dinnertime fate they will have swallow.
But in business and first class, the story gets a whole lot more colorful. And a new partnership between Mandarin Oriental, Taipei hotel and Thai Airways perfectly illustrates this.
Chefs from the five-star hotel will be preparing Michelin-starred meals for business class passengers between June 1 and Aug 31, 2018, on the Taipei to Bangkok route.
The dishes will use fresh ingredients, inspired by French, Italian, Southeast Asian and progressive American fare.
A post shared by Thai Airways (@thaiairways) on Mar 5, 2018 at 3:47am PST
We wouldn’t be surprised if a few sneaky economy class opportunists “accidentally” wander towards the front of the plane around supper time.
The new collaboration only earns Thai Airways another star on its already glowing onboard meal report.
“The food on Thai Airways flights tend to be very good, especially if it’s Asian food, which I think works great for an airline,” chef and television presenter Ken Hom told Telegraph Travel.
And Thai Airways isn’t alone. Airlines across the globe have drafted in celebrity chefs to advise them on in-flight menus, and true to style, they have delivered.
Here are five of Asia’s best business and first class airlines based on the in-flight meals:
Singapore Airlines A post shared by Lewis (@lewisl40) on Apr 21, 2018 at 10:00am PDT
Singapore Airlines’ culinary panel includes Alfred Portal, Carlo Cracco, Mathew Moran, and Suzanna Goin – all award-winning chefs.
The airline is renowned for its “Book the Cook” service which lets those in business and first class chose from a premium selection of dishes created by the culinary panel at least 24 hours before take off.
Qatar Airways A post shared by J A M E S L I U (@cateringnotassured) on Sep 30, 2017 at 1:11am PDT
“The new age of airline dining revolves around you,” Qatar Airways announced on its website.
The airliner roped in four of the world’s best chefs – Nobu Matsuhisa, Tom Aikens, Ramzi Choueiri, and Vineet Bhatia – who spent months designing the tantalizing menu.
With delights such as pumpkin and ricotta ravioli, spicy seafood soup and chicken shawarma bites, a flavor from every corner of the world has been included in the menu.
Cathay Pacific A post shared by Apple Wong (@imapplewong) on Mar 4, 2018 at 2:39am PST
Hong Kong’s flag carrier airline, Cathay Pacific, was the first commercial airliner to have rice cookers, skillets, and toasters on board.
This enables the cabin crew to prepare fresh rice and cook eggs to a flyer’s liking. But this was merely the beginning of Cathay Pacific’s culinary journey.
With the help of a talented culinary team, the airline put together a Western and Asian-inspired menu including dishes such as Angus beef steak, Peking duck, lamb chops, wok fried prawns and a fine selection of cheeses.
Check out the sample menu here.
#AIRLINES
Do you know which pharmaceuticals are banned in Asia? Air New Zealand A post shared by Andrew Aleman (@amaralandrew) on May 27, 2017 at 1:23pm PDT
The business premium menu was created by two of New Zealand’s most celebrated chefs, Michael Meridith and Peter Gordon.
It features regional delights such as kiwi fruits, honey, lamb, sweet potato and of course seafood.
One of the most notable mains has to be the salmon dusted with New Zealand lemon kelp and sesame, shiitake, and spring onion rice with steamed baby bok choy.
Emirates A post shared by Sascha Marx (@sascha63456) on Sep 29, 2017 at 12:30pm PDT
Those in first class can order room service to their enclosed suites on some Emirates flights.
Each course in first class has been specifically picked for your flight and is served on Royal Doulton fine china.
Along with the wines on board, the meals reflect your destination and always showcase incredible flavors.
Whether it’s caviar, prime beef or lamb noisettes, Emirates promises to rival some of the world’s top restaurants with its onboard menu.
Flyers can see what’s on offer before departure via Emirates’ website.
The post Here’s your guide to Asia’s best in-flight meals appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

10 Anthony Bourdain quotes to inspire your next travel

Posted by - June 13, 2018

ANTHONY BOURDAIN: Passionate “rockstar” celebrity chef, renowned author, esteemed television personality, and more importantly, inspiring travel documentarian.
One that has even had the pleasure of slurping bun cha (Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodle) with former US President Barack Obama in Hanoi, Vietnam.
#TRAVEL HACKS
Don’t make these cultural Pho-pas when eating in Asia In his lifetime, he taught us about cultural differences and impacts, shared narratives that were raw and real, showed us how to eat, and wrote beautifully about his experiences at various destinations around the globe.
Anthony, Bourdain or as he would prefer, Tony, changed the world of food and travel.
Last Friday, the American celebrity chef was found dead in France, where he was working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning series, Parts Unknown. News of his death sent TV viewers and fans around the world reeling from shock.
“..you feel immediately gutted, like someone has blown a hole not just in your stomach, but through your entire being,” wrote Sam Slaughter of The Manual.
But very quickly, tributes began to pour in. A testament of how much he was loved by all.
Anthony Bourdain and Mario Batali take a selfie at The (RED) Supper on June 2, 2016 in New York City. Source: Noam Galai/Getty Images/AFP.
“His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much,” CNN, which airs Parts Unknown, said in a statement.
Italian actress Asia Argento, who had been dating Bourdain or the past year, remembered him as someone who “gave all of himself in everything that he did.”
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper paid a tearful tribute to his friend, saying, “He gave me hope” before airing an hour-long memoriam that showed clips from Bourdain’s shows and friends sharing their memories of the television personality.
Meanwhile, Obama tweeted, “He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him.”
A makeshift memorial outside Brasserie Les Halles in New York City for the late celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain. He worked here in the ’90s. The location closed in 2016. Source: Shutterstock.
Although he has gone where we can’t follow, he certainly will never be forgotten. He was everyone’s friend, someone we followed as he traveled across the globe. And his legacy is one that would be hard to erase.
So here are 10 Anthony Bourdain quotes to inspire your next travel:
“Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.” – from Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook.
“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”
“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” – from Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook.
Anthony Bourdain doing what he does best – chowing down while traveling. Source: Giphy.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”- from No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach.
“I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”
“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” – from The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones.
Anthony Bourdain speaks at the Treme, The Heart Of New Orleans dinner on Feb 22, 2014, in Miami Beach, Florida. Source: Dylan Rives/Getty Images for Food Network SoBe Wine & Food Festival/AFP.
“It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough – to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom, at least for me, means realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” – from No Reservations Season 2 Episode 3 (Peru).
“I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”
“The journey changes you. It should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, your consciousness, your heart and on your body. You take something with you and, hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – from No Reservations Season 1 Episode 5 (Malaysia: Into the Jungle).
Anthony Bourdain attends The Inaugural World Street Food Congress 2013 at Spice Market in New York City. Source: AFP PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Michael loccisano.
“It’s been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” – from Kitchen Confidential.
Thank you, Tony. Rest in peace. We’ll miss you.
The post 10 Anthony Bourdain quotes to inspire your next travel appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Malaysia plans to develop Sabah for tourism, but is it ready?

Posted by - June 12, 2018

THE state of Sabah rests on the northern part of Borneo island, East Malaysia.
The sapphire waters, abundant wildlife, white beaches and lush rainforest make it a paradise-like destination.
#WILDLIFE
Tourists flock to see Indonesia’s dragons In the first quarter of 2018, Sabah received 1,256,448 tourists, with the majority coming from China and South Korea.
And the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) has said it wants to continue developing Sabah’s tourism potential by working closely with the state government “without compromising local cultures, traditions, habitats, and wildlife.”
Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said in a statement, “We are glad to note that the new state government has assured us of its commitment towards the preservation and conservation of Sabah’s wildlife and natural resources which is the main drawcard to attract tourists to Sabah.”
The assurance means Matta can focus on developing rural tourism, commercializing eco-tourism products, adding tourism activities and spreading tourism to Tawau, Sandakan, and Kudat.
While the tourism push is already active in the region, Matta is focusing on enticing visitors from the UK and European Union countries this year.
#DESTINATIONS
Could the landscape of elephant tourism be changing? But before the desired increase of foreign travelers arrives on the island, Matta and the state government are keen to conduct an in-depth study on capacities to house tourists.
“(Capacity) differs greatly between city, diving resorts and nature-based attractions,” said Tan.
“This is to prevent overcrowding and also to identify business opportunities for entrepreneurs to build and offer facilities to tourists, creating jobs and boosting the economy.”
With Matta and the state government focusing on protecting what already exists in Sabah and promoting the region to reach its full tourism potential, Sabah is shaping up to be a hot new destination.
Could it be next on your travel itinerary? Well, if you’re all about unique experiences and want to combine culture, history, and adventure on a wilderness break, then Sabah is perfect for you.
You can take a hike up Mount Trusmadi, an alternative to Mount Kinabalu, and enjoy the sunrise when you reach the top. Also, the climb is relatively leech-free so that’s one less worry.
A post shared by Aldro (@wgealdro) on Feb 2, 2017 at 2:30am PST
What would a mountain be without a waterfall? Some of the most impressive ones can be discovered in the Maliau Basin, Southeast Asia’s ‘Lost World’.
The stunning seven-tiered Maliau Falls is four days from civilization and as close to nature as you’ll ever get.
A post shared by Martin Hinteregger (@anywaynes) on Feb 28, 2016 at 2:01am PST
Sabah also boasts hundreds of kilometers of pristine beaches and clear waters, perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling, or scuba diving.
A must-see beach is Pantai Dalit, Tuaran. Surrounded by 400 acres of tropical flora, the calm blue waters provide the perfect conditions to dive, swim, bathe or just admire the surroundings.
A post shared by DIGITAL 🅷🆃 (@lfm999) on Dec 6, 2017 at 6:59pm PST
Sabah is fortunate enough to have three coastlines that all fall into three separate seas. The South China Sea takes the west coast, the Sulu Sea to the north and the Celebes Sea on the east.
Each has an array of marine life and diving challenges, depending on your skill level.
A post shared by Blue Latitudes (@rig2reefexplorers) on Dec 29, 2017 at 12:28pm PST
One of the most famed islands to dive from is Sipidan off the lower east coast of Sabah.
Above the water, Sabah’s diverse variety of wildlife will delight any nature aficionados.
A post shared by Ines (@iines_xo) on May 31, 2018 at 3:48am PDT
Take a cruise along the Kinabatangan River to spot orangutans, pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys and birds of paradise.
The Tabin Wildlife Reserve is your best bet to spot the endangered Sunda clouded leopard and Selingan Island is great for those interested in turtle conservation.
A post shared by Sabah, Malaysian Borneo (@sabahtourism) on Feb 1, 2018 at 7:24pm PST
Sabah is directly reachable from West Malaysia, China, South Korea, Japan, Taipei, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia.
Those traveling from further afield can catch a connecting flight from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The post Malaysia plans to develop Sabah for tourism, but is it ready? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

8 savvy weight-saving secrets of packing

Posted by - June 12, 2018

WATCHING the numbers on the scales creep over your baggage allowance is a sure fire way to get a vacation off to a bad start.
And it seems vacations and overpacking go hand-in-hand. Instead of throwing out that shirt you haven’t worn in nine years, you pack it, with the sentiment “oh I might wear that.”
#BOOKINGS
What does Japan’s new vacation rental law mean for travelers? It’s something every excited vacationer is guilty of, but going over the luggage allowance can incur a hefty fee. Which means waving goodbye to that indulgent back massage on the beach.
Singapore Airways, for example, charges up to US$110 per overweight bag, and while each airline has its policy, it’s not worth finding out the small print.
So, whether you’re a planner-packer or a chuck-it-in-the-night-before packer, take note of these space and weight saving tips to glide through check-in.
Let’s start with the trunk A post shared by KASSIDY SOPKO (@ksopko) on Jun 8, 2018 at 6:00am PDT
The type of suitcase matters just as much as what you put in it. While you grandpa’s old leather trunk might look cool, it will be cumbersome.
Opt for a modern lightweight suitcase from trusted brands such as Delsey Luggage and the first step to reducing weight is ticked off.
What are your clothes made from? A post shared by Ayushi Kothari Kachhara (@ayushikothari8) on Aug 1, 2017 at 10:15pm PDT
If you’re off to soak up the sun and swim in the open ocean, you’re already off to a head start with your lightweight clothes: bikinis, trunks, light dresses, cotton t-shirts.
Try to go for synthetic materials, not only are they lighter they also dry quicker. So, if you’re feeling a midnight dip in the ocean, odds are you, and your clothes will be dry by the time you get to your accommodation.
If you’re heading out on a snowy adventure, your suitcase will bulge with winter coats and boots. But you only need one.
Leave the four other jackets you think you might wear at home and invest in one that goes with everything.
Equally, wear the bulky jacket and boots to save room in your case for other essentials.
Only pack for seven days A post shared by Mya_Mateo_mommy (@mya_mateo_mommy) on Jul 24, 2017 at 11:03am PDT
Unless you are moving to a different country or you’re Beyoncé, you won’t need more than seven outfits.
Being creatures of habit, we accumulate new clothes all the time but often only wear a select few items.
Packing fewer clothes and finding a laundrette is far easier than lugging around that impulse-buy flamingo-print shirt that you’ve never worn and never will.
Pack in outfits A post shared by instax HQ (UK) (@instaxhq) on Jun 9, 2018 at 1:00am PDT
Once you realize which select few items in your wardrobe make you feel great, use these as the foundations for all your holiday outfits.
Pack a top that can be worn in the daytime with some shorts but transformed at night with a skirt or smart slacks.
Toiletries A post shared by Mainely Styled (@mainelystyled) on May 6, 2018 at 3:08am PDT
Unless your doctor has prescribed you special shampoo and body wash, your destination is likely to have the same brands you use.
Most hotels offer complimentary toiletries too.
Toiletries contribute massively to the weight of a bag. So, if you can leave them in your bathroom at home and pick what you need in duty-free of when you land, do it!
De-materialize A post shared by Google Maps (@googlemaps) on Apr 20, 2018 at 10:55am PDT
Centralize all your digital and physical needs into your smartphone and notice your bag get a whole lot lighter.
While a camera is the obvious one, things such as notepads, maps, guidebook, books, flashlight, translations, travel games and transport booking apps can be confined to your device.
#LUXE
These hotels in India give luxury a new meaning Why a sarong is your best friend A post shared by quietflight_nsb (@quietflight_nsb) on May 17, 2018 at 3:40pm PDT
While the Sarong remains the national dress of Malaysia, much of the world has adopted it as a fashion accessory for the beach. Popularized in the early 2000s by none other than soccer player, David Beckham, sarongs should have a place in every suitcase.
Firstly, the act as a beach and shower towel, eliminating the need for thick towels. They also act as a changing screen, a privacy screen (for shared dorms), hair scarfs, cover-up at religious sights, bed throws and the list goes on.
But above all else, they’re usually beautiful and a handy souvenir from your travels.
Personal luggage scales A post shared by LauraLeah (@super_mommy_101) on May 31, 2014 at 8:38pm PDT
Personal luggage scales, such as the Tarriss Jetsetter, let you easily weigh your bag as you would your fruit in a supermarket.
The scales are compact and can easily be taken on vacation to let you know how many souvenirs you can bring home.
The post 8 savvy weight-saving secrets of packing appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

What does Japan’s new vacation rental law mean for travelers?

Posted by - June 11, 2018

AS Japan clamps down on private lodging services across the country, accommodation vendors such as Airbnb are acting quickly to avoid costly penalties.
From June 15, Japan will enforce a new law for minpaku (private lodging services). The law aims to provide the vacation rental industry with a clear legal framework.
#HOTELS
Take a look inside the Trump-Kim Summit hotel If rental companies do not adhere to the new rules, they could pay more than US$9,000 (JPY1 million) in fines.
The minpaku law will apply to every rental opportunity from single bedrooms to entier houses, most of which currently straddle a grey area of undefined rental law.
But the minpuka law is about to make this clear for all.
What does the new law state? A post shared by Edward Hsieh (@edamameedward) on May 23, 2018 at 9:23pm PDT
By June 16, all rental properties must be registered with the local government. In light of this looming regulation, one of the major players in the rental market, Airbnb recently unlisted 48,200 of its unregistered properties.
Additionally, landlords can only rent properties for a maximum 180 days per year, and local governments can enforce further restrictions, such as stipulating days or weeks of the year when owners can’t rent properties.
Also, every rental must display its registration number on the outside of the property and take measures to prevent noise, garbage, and fire problems.
Landlords must also make an effort to provide overseas tourists with information about facility access and emergency escape plans in foreign languages.
Lastly, the new law has done away with the minimum two-night stay rule but states a management company must be employed to look after the property if owners do not live onsite.
A post shared by arbol (@arbol_architect) on Jun 8, 2018 at 3:02am PDT
Earlier this month, Airbnb issued a warning to its Japanese property owners, stating it would not list rentals until they could prove their registration.
Minpuka law aims to protect neighborhoods and ensure guests are safe.
But until property owners are officially registered and adhere to all the aspects of the regulation, travelers might find themselves with limited options.
#HOTELS
Marriott has big plans for Sheraton brand However, as Japan sees a tourism boom ahead of the 2020 Olympics, the government is investing in accommodation infrastructure to cater for increased tourist numbers.
Earlier this year The Japan Times reported the Organization for Promoting Urban Development would be revising its financing rules to loan hotel developers up to 50 percent of hotel construction costs.
With brand new hotels and registered rentals on the horizon, travelers won’t have to wait long for secure and legal stays. But in the meantime, here are two accommodation booking platforms for those off to explore the Land of the Rising Sun.
Japan Experience A post shared by @japan_experience on Jan 24, 2016 at 2:51am PST
Japan Experience is a tour operator providing accommodation, tours, transport, and real information about the country from those who know it well.
It has traditional and contemporary properties in Kyoto, Tokyo, Kanazawa, and Takayama and offers “Tour Angels” to assist you when you arrive in a new city.
Whether it’s one night or a month-long stay, Japan Experience offer hard-to-beat rates in excellent locations.
Beyond resting your head, Japan Experience gives travelers in-depth tours, either self-guided or expert-led.
Just a glance at the website will reveal how well it knows the country and provide a wealth of information for traveling families, couples, friends and solos.
Rakuten Travel A post shared by 楽天トラベル (@rakutentravel) on Feb 15, 2018 at 12:45am PST
Booking with Rakuten Travel makes you part of something bigger than the accommodation industry.
Rakuten is an innovative e-commerce platform that knows a thing or two about offering competitive hotel rates.
It has 31,000 hotels and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) on its books and constantly offers exciting deals.
The post What does Japan’s new vacation rental law mean for travelers? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

These hotels in India give luxury a new meaning

Posted by - June 11, 2018

DID YOU KNOW: India’s luxury hotel scene is one of the best in the world.
Of course, it’s not always been known to be luxe capital of Asia. Neighboring nations such as the Maldives and Sri Lanka are more often associated with an exclusive paradise atmosphere.
India, on the other hand, is usually better known for its rapid urbanization, vibrant festivals, and fiery cuisine.
But these properties aren’t just visual and experiential representations of those sentiments, they add on a sinfully generous helping of luxury too.
#HOTELS
Take a look inside the Trump-Kim Summit hotel They effortlessly offer guests cultural heritage and sublime luxury combined with faultless service and decadent dining options.
Let us waltz you through some of India’s unbeatable properties so you can plan your next vacation.
Rambagh Palace, Jaipur A post shared by Front Office basics knowledge (@front_office_with__hospitality) on May 21, 2018 at 2:37am PDT
Imagine staying in a residence once occupied by the Maharajas of Jaipur.
Now you can at Rambagh Palace in the northern city of Jaipur. The hotel was a former hunting lodge and royal residence occupying 47-acres.
The regal characteristics can be seen everywhere throughout the property.
From the mighty high ceilings in every bedroom to the perfectly placed antiques that weave historical charm through the hotel.
Each of the lavishly furnished suites is fit for a king, but the Suka Niwas Suite steals the show, at the impressive cost of US$563 (INR38,000) per night.
A post shared by WedWise.co.in (@wedwise) on Jun 3, 2018 at 12:54am PDT
There are only two of these presidential suites at Rambagh Palace, each fitted with arched stonework, crystal chandeliers, gold-leaf frescoes, panoramic views, Hermes bath amenities, a four-fixture bathroom with marble Jacuzzi and a bath butler.
Uh. Wow.
A post shared by Photography (@best.of.photographs) on May 18, 2018 at 1:51am PDT
There isn’t a moment to be bored here either. Guest can watch the peacocks strut their stuff around the grounds, swim in the indoor and outdoor pools, indulge in spa treatments, swing a round of golf and discover a new lust for henna tattoos.
Restaurants: Suvarna Mahal and Rajput Room
A post shared by Rambagh Palace (@rambaghpalace) on Apr 25, 2018 at 5:24am PDT
Suvarna Mahal seamlessly combines regal dishes from the princely states of Rajasthan, Awadh, Punjab, and Hyderabad and serves them in a rich heritage setting which curtseys to a time of erstwhile rulers.
A post shared by Expedition2india (@expedition2india) on Apr 30, 2018 at 12:45am PDT
For a multi-cuisine experience overlooking the groomed gardens, diners can head to all-day-dining restaurant Rajput Room.
You’ll leave Rambagh Palace feeling like the most pampered Maharaja.
The Leela Palace, Udaipur A post shared by @theleela on Nov 28, 2017 at 6:18am PST
The Leela Palace is hugged by Lake Pichola and the Aravalli mountains making it one of the most breathtaking hotel settings in India.
Each of the 80 rooms and suites offers lake views, so come morning your only alarm is the glistening sun beaming off the lake and illuminating your elegantly furnished room.
The Aravalli mountains provided Udaipur with natural barriers against invasion, even from the fierce Mughal armies. The peace and tranquility of the undisturbed region have been absorbed by The Leela Palace hotel.
A post shared by @theleela on Sep 19, 2017 at 10:31pm PDT
Relaxation comes effortlessly here. Guests can dip in the azure pool and unwind in the spa by ESPA.
From restorative oils to cleansing muds and revitalizing massages to softening facials, ESPA will renew balance to the mind and body.
The colorful city center is just a heartbeat from the hotel where guests can immerse themselves in cultural heritage, explore shops with unusual trinkets or fly kites with locals beside the lake.
Choose to do nothing or everything in Udaipur, either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Restaurants: Dining Room and Sheesh Mahal
A post shared by @theleela on Feb 14, 2018 at 10:59pm PST
At the Dining Room, you can pick your wine from the walk-in cellar before sitting at a candlelit table overlooking the lake, a spectacular sight.
Indulge in an eclectic choice of world cuisines with freshness guaranteed.
A post shared by Luisa Accorsi (@luisa) on Apr 1, 2018 at 11:04am PDT
Sheesh Mahal is focused on perfecting royal Indian dishes, which they do wonderfully. This is arguably the best restaurant in Udaipur for real Indian flavors with contemporary nuances, devoured under the open stars.
The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra A post shared by The Oberoi Amarvilas,Agra (@oberoiamarvilas) on Jun 1, 2018 at 4:21am PDT
There is love around every corner at The Oberoi Amarvilas, and also out of every window.
This luxury hotel boasts undisturbed views across to the original testament to love, the Taj Mahal, located just 600 meters away.
A post shared by The Oberoi Amarvilas,Agra (@oberoiamarvilas) on May 17, 2018 at 1:54am PDT
Everything about this property illustrates Mughal emperors’ eye for splendor.
From the enormous entrance quadrant with cascading fountains to the octagonal glass-paneled rain shower in the luxury suite.
A post shared by The Oberoi Amarvilas,Agra (@oberoiamarvilas) on Jan 23, 2018 at 9:50pm PST
By day, guests can summon a private golf buggy to whisk them off to the Taj Mahal, swim in the sunken turquoise pool and enjoy being looked after in the spa.
Come nightfall, the stars illuminate Agra creating a Taj Mahal silhouette, enjoyed best with a cold beverage on the private balcony.
A post shared by The Oberoi Amarvilas,Agra (@oberoiamarvilas) on Mar 3, 2018 at 8:51am PST
Restaurants: Bellevue and Esphahan
Whether it’s pleasing different tastes or dining for the view, the brightly lit, all day dining Bellevue restaurant is a great choice.
A post shared by The Oberoi Amarvilas,Agra (@oberoiamarvilas) on Feb 17, 2018 at 10:48pm PST
However Esphahan steal’s the limelight at The Oberoi Amarvilas with its carved wooden doors, marble pillars, candlelit tables and dishes created by passed-down recipes.
A post shared by The Oberoi Amarvilas,Agra (@oberoiamarvilas) on Nov 11, 2017 at 12:27am PST
From crispy fried yogurt kebabs, Mughal curries and soft Indian flatbreads to chef’s special vegetarian and non-vegetarian platters, thalis and traditional desserts.
Is your mouth watering yet?
The post These hotels in India give luxury a new meaning appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.