‘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.

South Korea to expand tours to 3 places in North Korea

Posted by - June 15, 2018

THE TRUMP-KIM SUMMIT sure changed things around for the world.
Lauded by all, the historic meet in Singapore wrapped up with US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signing a joint document pledging to work together.
While total denuclearization could finally mean world peace for all, as we speak, South Korea is already considering expanding tours to the hermit kingdom.
#INDUSTRY NEWS
#InterKoreanSummit: What does a potential reunification mean for travelers? In North Korea, tourism is tightly controlled by its totalitarian government and the handful of travelers who have had the opportunity to visit the mysterious land have described it to be secretive.
Foreigners are strictly forbidden from interacting with the locals. Tours must be guided by government-sanctioned private tour operators with state-trained guides. No choice of accommodations or meals will be given because everything has already been decided for you.
Tourists have traditionally been restricted to Pyongyang and straying away from the group or wandering around the hotel after hours may land you in trouble.
Statues of Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung in Pyongyang. Source: Shutterstock.
South Korea currently does not permit its naturalized citizens to travel to North Korea. But, as aforementioned, that’s about to change.
South Korea’s Culture Ministry is mulling tour programmes in North Korea. Specifically, the ministry is looking at three places.
Mount Kumgang (Diamond Mountain) One of the best-known mountains in North Korea, Mount Kumgang is located in Kangwon Province, just a stone’s throw away from Gangwon Province, which hosted sites of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Before the division of Korea in 1945, Kangwon Province and Gangwon Province formed a single province.
An iron bridge over a river against the backdrop of Mount Kumgang in North Korea. Source: Shutterstock.
Mount Kumgang boasts a 5,374 ft-high Birobong peak and the area around the mountain has a specially administered “tourist region”. The region, which is home to a handful of holiday resorts, can be reached by either cruise ship or coach.
South Koreans were once allowed to visit Mount Kumgang, but the tours were suspended when a 53-year-old South Korean tourist was shot and killed while walking on a resort’s beach. She had reportedly crossed over a sand dune and was shot twice by North Korean soldier.
In 2010, the two Koreas held reunions for one hundred families separated by the Korean War at a hotel and reunion center in Mount Kumgang.
Mount Kumgang resort hotel in North Korea. Source: Shutterstock.
Currently, Hyundai Asan, an arm of the South Korean conglomerate Hyundai Group and a major investor in North Korea, has plans to expand the region with a proper ski resort to complement the current sleigh course and complete golf courses.
Kaesong Located in North Hwanghae Province in the southern part of North Korea, Kaesong was the capital of Korea during the Taebong kingdom (901 to 918) and subsequent Goryeo dynasty (918 t0 1392).
A view of the Kaesong city center in North Korea. Source: Shutterstock.
The city is close to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the only city to have changed hands from South to North Korean control as a result of the armistice agreement.
It used to house the jointly run Kaesong Industrial Region, a sprawling inter-Korean industrial complex with over 120 South Korean textile and other labor-intensive factories. However, it was shuttered in February 2016 when North Korea ran its fourth nuclear test and launched a long-range rocket.
South Korea used to run tour programmes to Kaesong but that has also been halted amid tensions and strained relationships between the two countries.
The Koryo Museum in Kaesong, North Korea is a part of Sungkyunkwan University and a Unesco World Heritage Site. Source: Shutterstock.
The city’s attractions include many Goryeo-era sites such as the Kaesong Namdaemun gate, the Koryo Museum, the remains of the Manwoldae Palace, the tombs of kings Kongmin and Wanggon, the Pakyon Falls, and the Pyochung Pavilion, just to name a few.
Mount Baekdu Also known as Mount Paektu, the 9,003 ft-high peak is an active volcano in the China-North Korea border. It’s also the highest mountain on the Korean Peninsula and one of the three “spirited” mountains, the other two being Mount Jiri in South Gyeongsang Province and Mount Halla in Jeju island.
Atop the mountain in a caldera lies a large crater lake of emerald water, called Heaven Lake. The caldera was formed by a violent eruption in 946.
The revered Heaven Lake, loved by North and South Koreans, as well as the Chinese. Source: Shutterstock.
North and South Koreans consider the volcano and its caldera lake to be their respective countries’ spiritual home.
Rumor has it that the 1,260 ft-deep Heaven Lake is home to mythical monsters that “could swim as fast as yachts”. In 2007, people in China reported sightings of giant seal-like or scaled and horned creatures in the lake.
It was later debunked by scientists, who said the water is too cold for large animals.
On the North Korean side of the mountain, there are a number of monuments, including one of the late Kim Il Sung in military attire.
Coaches park near the Mount Baekdu summit. Source: Shutterstock.
These days, tourists head to Mount Baekdu to hike and enjoy scenic views of the waterfalls, rivers, and hot springs.
To get there, tourists need to hop on a government provided coach at the airport in Samjiyon and get shuttled to the mountain.
#EXPERIENCES
Should we still be traveling to North Korea? When can South Koreans start touring the above North Korean destinations?
South Korea’s Culture Ministry has said it would be difficult to provide a time frame given the need to inspect tour facilities in the North as well as to work out details with companies.
However, a task force has been launched to prepare for possible tour programmes in the North by South Korean tourists, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.
The post South Korea to expand tours to 3 places in North Korea appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

6 toilets around the world take the throne for being the best

Posted by - June 15, 2018

CLEAN TOILETS are a big deal, especially when you travel. A good design or accessibility is a plus, of course.
And in some parts of the world, awards are be handed out to those that excels in a certain category. Yes, you read right. It’s a thing.
#PUBLIC TOILETS
Thailand to scrub down and clean up public toilets The 2018 International Toilet Tourism Awards judges toilets (or washrooms, or lavatories, or dunnies, or loos, or WCs, whatever they may be called where you live) for their design, quirkiness, location, accessibility, and economic contribution to their locality.
Now in their second year, the International Toilet Tourism Awards aims to show the close link between innovative, clean toilets with great design and a successful local tourism economy.

Among the submissions received were from tourism destinations across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Which ones took the throne in the end?
The winning tourism toilets from around the world across all six categories and the judge’s comments are:
Best Design Where: The Saskatchewan Science Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
“In judging this restroom, visual design scored very high.”
“The loo is a fully immersive experience by vision and sound. The toilets inside the science centre are like stepping into another world where you can do your business amid the sights and sounds of nature – without having to worry about bears. Overall, really well thought through.”
Best Economic Contributor Where: The Cummins Mosaic Loo, Cummins, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, Australia.
Oh aren’t we flushed about this! The Cummins Mosaic Loo at the Railway Triangle Park has won Best Economic Contributor at the International Toilet Tourism Awards! Congratulations to everyone involved! https://t.co/mpFDGoBOZN#explorecummins #toilettourism #eyrepeninsula pic.twitter.com/Q3fp0x35yO
— Cummins, South Australia (@cummins_sa) June 14, 2018
“The way the Cummins community re-invented what was an old existing facility to bring it back to life in a new and quirky way was excellent.”
“The public toilets in the town have become a tourist attraction in their own right, which shows smart thinking by the local community. Unlike some entries in the awards, Cummins has few visitors. They have therefore done a great job creating a ‘must-see’ attraction that generates income for local businesses.”
Best Location Where: Hotel La Jolla (A Curio Collection by Hilton), Shores Drive, La Jolla, California, USA.
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“Guests can enjoy absolutely stunning views of La Jolla and the Pacific from the rest rooms.”
“Facing the coast, the large windows let in natural light which complements the restrained earth tone hues of the bathroom interior. The view from the loo connects visitors to the beautiful destination that surrounds them. Guests experience a wonderful vista bathed in constantly changing ocean light.”
Best Accessible Toilet Where: Brisbane Airport, Queensland, Australia.
Our Changing Places facility and assistance dog toilets have won Best Accessible Toilet at the @TravelResearch0 2018 International Toilet Tourism Awards (yes, these awards are a real thing).
https://t.co/MlvyJqs7uD pic.twitter.com/FPsUka2zrb
— Brisbane Airport (@BrisbaneAirport) June 15, 2018
“Brisbane Airport’s accessible loos have set a new standard in enabling accessible travel.”
“Their whole approach has empowered travellers with disabilities and made it much easier for them and their carers to meet their needs with dignity and comfort. The loos for guide dogs also show that Brisbane Airport cares and takes a holistic approach to accessible travel.”
Quirkiest Experience Where: Bowl Plaza, Lucas, Kansas, USA.
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“The Bowl Plaza public toilet shows great community involvement that reflects Lucas town’s well-earned reputation as a leading grassroots arts destination.”
“The walls are covered with shards of porcelain, commemorative plates, kids’ action figures, toy cars, face masks and effigies. The whole space is a quirky altar to creativity run riot. Kids and adults love it. Bowl Plaza is now a major attraction in itself.”
Overall Winner and Category Winner for Overall Contribution to Toilet Tourism Where: The James Bond Loos at Piz Gloria, Murren, Switzerland.

“Apart from the wonderful scenery at Mt Schilthorn, the James Bond bathrooms are also now a fun reason to go.”
“The toilets have immortalised James Bond and added a surprising humorous element to sightseeing in the one of the most dramatic locations in Europe.”
The post 6 toilets around the world take the throne for being the best appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Soak up culture while sipping on coffee in charming Hanoi

Posted by - June 14, 2018

CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, the capital of Vietnam is not Ho Chi Minh (more commonly known as Saigon).
It’s Hanoi, a metropolis located in northern region of the country.
#TRAVEL TRENDS
Vietnam’s tourism sector spreads its wings, aims for the sky The “Hanoi vs. Ho Chi Minh” debate is not new, but if you’re hankering for a holiday destination with history (Hanoi’s stretches back 4,000 years while Ho Chi Minh City is at just 300 years), coffee, culture, and charm, then Hanoi should be your top priority.
Known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese, and French influences, Hanoi’s tourism has been gaining traction as of late. This is in large part due to the rise of low-cost carriers such as AirAsia, Scoot, and VietJet, making the charming destination easier to reach from just about anywhere in the world.
It’s also the second cheapest Asian country to travel around, according to Skyscanner, which makes a Hanoi vacation a bang for the buck.
In fact, VIETNAMNET Bridge reported that Hanoi served more than 13 million tourists in the first five months of 2018, a year-on-year rise of 10 percent.
What draws people to Hanoi? Plenty of things.
The main names that will turn up in search results when you Google “tourist attractions in Hanoi” include (but not limited to) the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, water puppet theatre, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, The Perfume Pagoda, Ngoc Son temple, Dong Suan market, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi Opera House, Ba Vi National Park, and the Temple of Literature.
The Temple of Literature entrance decorated with flags and lanterns for the mid-autumn festival in Hanoi. Source: Shutterstock.
Let’s not forget the heart of Hanoi, the chaotic but endearing Old Quarter, where Hoan Kiem Lake (Turtle Lake) is.
The fascination never ends as you walk along the narrow streets of the Old Quarter that are dotted with well-preserved colonial buildings. Scooters and bikes may whizz past you carelessly as you explore the town. Just take deep breaths and stay on your path because the area is best explored on foot.
The streets are arranged by trade, which makes shopping a breeze. Sidewalk food stalls selling pho (rice noodles with herbs and meat in broth) and bahn mi (baguette sandwich various savory ingredients) are a dime a dozen, and you can fill your tummy with satisfyingly delicious Vietnamese food for pennies.
Heads up though, the kiddy-sized low stools and tables will take some getting used to. But nothing an adventurous traveller can’t handle, for sure.
Stuff your bahn mi any number of protein options, from sweet minced pork to sardines and even pate. Source: Shutterstock.
Be sure to wash it all down with a generous serving of Vietnamese ca phe (coffee), famed for the way it’s made – with a small metal drip filter. For those who are particularly bold, the yummy ca phe sua chua (yogurt coffee) is a must-try.
Don’t forget to take a leisurely stroll at Hoan Kiem Lake, a central feature in Hanoi.
Legend has it that Hoan Kiem Lake is where the Golden Turtle God (Kim Qui) lives. In reality, the lake is home to large soft-shell turtles. If you’re planning to visit, don’t forget to walk across the striking red Huc Bridge to get to Ngoc Son Temple on the small island in the center.
By day, Hoan Kiem Lake bursts with activities, as it’s a popular place for joggers, couples on a date, the elderly practicing tai chi, locals line dancing, and families enjoying themselves.
Hoan Kiem Lake at night with the striking red Huc Bridge. Source: Shutterstock.
After sunset, however, the lake becomes beautifully illuminated, giving it a romantic atmosphere.
What else is there to do? Its prime location makes Ha Long Bay, a Unesco World Heritage Site and the most visited tourist site in the north of Vietnam, very accessible. The bay is only about 170km east of Hanoi.
“Ha Long” means “Bay of Descending Dragons”, but it’s likely that no actual dragons were spotted there. It’s more famous for its scenic views, as it boasts hundreds (1969, to be exact) of limestone islets in different shapes and sizes rising up from the water.
Hạ Long Bay is known for its emerald waters and hundreds of towering limestone islands topped by rainforests. Source: Shutterstock.
To really experience Ha Long Bay, stay on board a cruise for a night. It’ll give you ample time to explore the bay on a smaller bamboo boat, visit hidden caves and floating villages, kayak or even swim if you’d like, before retiring and falling asleep beneath the stars on the top deck of your cruise.
How to get there? There are no direct flights to Ha Long Bay but getting there is fairly simple and straightforward.
The most popular and inexpensive way is to get on a local coach. The journey should take you about four to five hours long. Prices are anywhere between US$3.50 to US$7. Get your ticket to your ride here.
Alternatively, you can hire a private car and have yourself a little road trip from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay. Prices depend on car and day (can be higher on weekends and holidays) but you should expect to splurge about US$25 to US$65 per day. Go to this website for more information.
There are a number of ways to get to Ha Long Bay from Hanoi. Source: Shutterstock.
Finally, the easiest and most fuss-free option of making your way to Ha Long Bay is to book a cruise package here or here.
Most packages include a roundtrip transfer in which a shuttle will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel’s doorstep.
#ENVIRONMENT
How to be an eco-friendly, alternative traveler Meanwhile, Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem district launched its own tourism website to promote its tourism potential and attract more tourists to the area.
The Hanoi Department of Tourism has also been working with CNN to give its promotional efforts more mileage via CNN’s “Destination Hanoi” programme.
This year, Hanoi expects to serve more than 25.4 million holidaymakers, including 5.5 million foreigners, which will bring in some VND75.78 trillion (US$3.33 billion) in revenue.
The post Soak up culture while sipping on coffee in charming Hanoi appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

The heart of heritage: A glimpse of Bangkok’s Chinatown

Posted by - June 14, 2018

BEYOND BANGKOK’S bustling markets is one of the lesser-known destinations in the city that’s quickly transforming into one of the hippest areas.
Chinatown. A neighborhood with such rich history and steeped in culture, it’ll take you back in time.
#BANGKOK
Steals, deals, chills for night owls at Bangkok’s best offbeat markets Located along Yaowarat Road, Bangkok’s Chinatown was founded in 1782 when King Rama I moved the Thai capital to the east bank of the Chao Phraya River and served as the home of the Teochew immigrant population. To this day, it’s a hub of Chinese culture, with temples and shrines, a staggering array of shops selling traditional goods, and a gastronomic bonanza.
Help yourself to a piping hot bowl of chubgung noodles (pork and vegetable noodles) from a street vendor before heading off to Sampeng Lane market, a hidden gem and one of the city’s largest and cheapest places to purchase wholesale fabrics and custom jewelry.
It’s particularly interesting to visit Chinatown during festival times, such as Chinese New Year and the Vegetarian Festival, when the scent of burning incense fills the air and worshippers rush to make merit.
If you’re lucky enough, you may even get a glimpse of the traditional Chinese opera performances that take place around the temples and shrines.
Festivals at Bangkok’s bustling Chinatown are always exciting occasions. Source: Shutterstock.
Just be sure to avoid bumping into locals in the midst of all the hustle and bustle as the district has narrow lanes.
For travel photographers, Bangkok’s Chinatown is “eye candy central” as it boasts charming old shophouses and brightly lit roads with a myriad of overhead signs reminiscent of Hong Kong’s streets. These days, the area has also seen lively bars and quaint coffee joints mushrooming in and around the traditional food scene, giving it a pleasant contrast.
Whether you’re penning Chinatown into your itinerary because you’re craving for a delectable Chinese breakfast or you simply can’t wait to earn some bragging rights when you spam your Instagram feed with pictures, the vibrant neighborhood is a must-see.
And it will keep you wanting to go back for more.
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How to get there:
Take the MRT subway to Hua Lamphong MRT station. Alight at Hua Lamphong then either take a tuk-tuk (auto rickshaw) or walk a distance to Chinatown. Take Chao Phraya Express Boat and get off at Ratchawong Pier. The pier is just a few hundred meters from Yaowarat Road and Sampeng Lane. The post The heart of heritage: A glimpse of Bangkok’s Chinatown appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Speed through Java in Indonesia’s luxurious sleeper train

Posted by - June 13, 2018

INDONESIA’S rail service just got a major business class-worthy upgrade that’s bound to be the envy of Asian railway operators.
The country’s state-owned railway operator, PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI), launched a new luxury sleeper train today.
#THINGS TO DO
All aboard Asia’s most scenic train rides The train, which will be coupled with the company’s existing KA Argo Anggrek, will travel from Gambir Station in Jakarta to Pasarturi Surabaya Station in East Java.
“The exclusive service provided in this train car is similar to an airline’s business class,” PT KAI Operation Regional (Daop) 3 Cirebon public relations manager Krisbiyantoro said.
Ordinarily, the 718.4km trip from Jakarta to East Java will take about 11 hours by car. But a long road trip confined in the cramped space of a car is only as comfy as it can get – which is not at all comfy.
KAI’s new train, on the other hand, will get you from destination to destination in less than 11 hours. And from the looks of the company’s Instagram posts, the sleeper is every bit of posh comfort.
A post shared by Kereta Api Kita (@keretaapikita) on Jun 9, 2018 at 11:33pm PDT
Each passenger will be offered luxury-grade amenities such as a 170-degree electrically reclining seat, electric footrest, 12-inch TV and a pair of headsets for private entertainment, USB charging power source, a foldable food tray, trash bin, cup holder, mirror, shoe storage compartment, and a coat hanger. KAI will even throw in a pillow and blanket to keep the passenger extra comfy.
And what good is a foldable food tray if KAI wasn’t going to be serving food? In fact, sleeper train passengers will be provided with meals and beverages, absolutely free.
The train’s large windows guarantee that passengers will enjoy the view, aptly, as there would be many sights to see when the train speeds through Bandung, Central Java, and Yogyakarta.
To add on, passengers can also rest assured that there won’t be overcrowding in the train as each wagon is limited to only 18 passengers.
A post shared by Kereta Api Kita (@keretaapikita) on Jun 10, 2018 at 7:15pm PDT
Tickets are initially being offered at a promotional rate of Rp900,000 (US$64.50) for one month. Bookings can be made via numerous KAI ticket reservation channels.
The post Speed through Java in Indonesia’s luxurious sleeper train appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Uber doubles down, sheds weight to appeal to India

Posted by - June 13, 2018

HAVING EXITED both China (to DiDi) and Southeast Asia (to Grab), Uber is now doubling down to appeal to one of the only places in Asia where it’s still functioning – India.
To do so, Uber is shedding some weight.
#TRAVEL TECH
So Uber got Grabbed but what does it mean for travelers? Locals in India will be the first people in the world to have the luxury of using the smaller, uncomplicated version of the ride-hailing app, Uber Lite. And it really is light.
To put this into perspective, Uber’s regular app is 180MB in size whereas Uber Lite is five megabytes.
Source: Uber.
As of December 2017, the number of mobile internet users in India stood at 456 million and it’s estimated to touch 478 million by June 2018. However, despite the large online market and attractive data plans, the country still lacks in providing higher quality connections largely due to poor infrastructure and overcrowding.
This means slower downloads and streaming, which in turn affects how some apps function. Such as the regular Uber app.
Currently available in Delhi, Hyderabad, and Jaipur, Uber plans to roll the app out to more places in India and also other countries later this year.
“We continue to see exponential growth outside of the US, and are thinking a lot about building for the next hundreds of millions of riders who we hope will choose Uber to get around,” Uber Head of Product for Emerging Markets Shirish Andhare wrote in a blog post.
Source: Uber.
Here are some quick facts about Uber Lite:
At just five megabytes, the app takes up the space of just three photos. The app has a 300-millisecond response time. It has all the support and safety features that the regular Uber app has. If a network connection or GPS location tracker is slow, Uber Lite will show a selection of popular pickup locations. Users will also be able to tap popular destinations instead of manually typing them out. Opting out of showing the map will switch to showing a progress bar and ETAs instead. For now, the app is cash only. It’s only available on Android phones, the larger cell phone market. Other features to come include the ability for riders to choose their preferred language for the app during sign up and request a ride even when they are offline.
The post Uber doubles down, sheds weight to appeal to India 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.

#TrumpKimSummit: The delightfully Western-Asian fusion lunch menu

Posted by - June 12, 2018

SO THE HISTORIC HANDSHAKE between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has happened.
The Trump-Kim Summit today saw millions around the world tuning in from as early as 8am (GMT +8) to witness the momentous occasion, a half-day summit during which a sitting US president will meet the leader of North Korea for the first time.
#BUSINESS TRAVEL
Trump-Kim summit: Here’s why Singapore was chosen The highly anticipated meet took place at the ultra-luxurious Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island, Singapore.
As the summit went on, the hashtag #TrumpKimSummit quickly trended on Twitter, as spectators wired in to grab any slivers of information that they could get their hands on, retweeting at rapid speed.
The #TrumpKimSummit wrapped up with a working lunch, also at Capella Hotel, in which both leaders were joined by their aides. Trump was joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and a few other aides.
Kim Jong Un was joined by his top aide Kim Yong Chol and others.
The historic handshake lasted about 10 seconds and was capped off by a pat on the shoulder. Source: Giphy.
Thanks to the magic that is Twitter, we’re getting a glimpse of what was on the menu. And it appears to be a delightful Western-Asian fusion to accommodate its patrons.
Highlights include mango kerabu, a refreshing salad dish made of fresh unripe mango tossed in a tangy dressing; Yangzhou fried rice (Yeung Chow fried rice), a popular Chinese-style wok fried rice dish which originates from the city of Yangzhou, Jiangsu province in China; Oiseon, a Korean dish of cucumbers stuffed with beef, brown oak mushrooms, and egg white and yolk garnish; Beef short rib confit, beef shot rib slowly cooked in fat or oil; and Daegu Jorim, soy-braised codfish with radish.
The meal was topped off with a selection of desserts including Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice-cream with cherry coulis and Tropezienne, a dessert pastry consisting of a filled brioche, thus ending the #TrumpKimSummit on a sweet note.
Here’s what Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are having for lunch pic.twitter.com/rSpZrsduIb
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) June 12, 2018
Meanwhile, in a press conference held after the #TrumpKimSummit, the US president described his day with Kim Jong Un as “very intense” but also praised the latter, calling him “very talented”.
Trump explained that “real change is indeed possible” and he’s prepared “to start a new history” and “write a new chapter” between the two nations. “The past does not have to define the future,” he said.
The post #TrumpKimSummit: The delightfully Western-Asian fusion lunch menu appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

All you need to know about Indonesia’s Cartoon Network theme park

Posted by - June 12, 2018

THE WORLD got its first Cartoon Network theme park, Cartoon Network Amazone, in 2014 when it opened its doors in the coastal plains of Thailand’s Bang Saray, Pattaya.
The park comprises 10 themed entertainment zones spanning 14 acres featuring some of the network’s biggest stars such as Adventure Time’s Finn and Jake, Johnny Bravo, Powerpuff Girls, and more.
But now, Indonesia is about to get its own exciting edition of a Cartoon Network-themed park.
#MALAYSIA
Did you know Malaysia has some of Asia’s most epic theme parks? Turner Asia Pacific has announced a licensing partnership with Indonesian real-estate and hospitality investment company, The MAJ Group.
Turner Asia Pacific President Ricky Ow said in a statement, “Turner and The MAJ Group share the same vision of creating the ultimate family destination in Indonesia, and the entertainment park will combine world-class design with unparalleled Balinese hospitality.”
“Above all, it will offer guests genuine fun powered by Cartoon Network, Asia’s leading kids entertainment brand.”
Bali is already a paradise destination, attracting 600,000 foreign tourists each month, come rain or shine, or a rumbling volcano. With the upcoming new addition, The MAJ Group hopes to position Bali as a family-friendly destination.
If you’ve ever been doubtful about visiting Bali someday, perhaps this will give you a little push towards the “Yes!” direction. Source: Turner International.
Aside from the concept art, not much has been revealed about the park.
But here’s a little something to get you excited:
Bali’s Cartoon Network theme park will be a key part of the MAJ Nusa Dua complex. At 10 acres, it will be the biggest water park on the island. It is also Indonesia’s first internationally-branded theme park. Fans can expect to run free or get soaked with their favorite characters as the park will offer both indoor and outdoor attractions. It will house thrilling water rides, surf rides, massive wave pools, an entertainment center, and more. There will also be live entertainment and performances featuring characters from Ben 10, We Bare Bears, Powerpuff Girls, and Adventure Time. The park is projected to be complete in 2020.
Aside from Cartoon Network Amazone in Thailand and the upcoming park in Bali, other Cartoon Network-branded projects licensed by Turner International include IMG Worlds of Adventures in Dubai, Amaazia in India, and Cartoon Network Wave cruise liner in Asia Pacific.
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