Hotel Cappuccino: Treat your taste buds to a foodie tour of Seoul

Posted by - September 24, 2018

If you’re asking yourself, “Why should I visit Asia’s center of technological innovation, stunning skyscrapers, luxury boutiques, enchanting culture and vibrant nightlife?”, we say go for the food.
Among all the exciting offerings of South Korea’s capital, one of the trendiest cities in the world, Seoul really knows how to put on a feast for the millions of visitors that stroll into the ancient walled city each year.
The city has a versatile and abundant culinary scene, bursting with spices especially in the form of smell-it-before-you-see-it kimchi, a fermented cabbage dish served alongside almost every South Korean meal.
Then there’s traditional Korean barbeque, a carnivore’s dream involving diners cooking up heaps of tasty meat including pork belly (samgyeopsal) and tender beef (bulgogi) to their liking. It’s then topped with kimchi and other fermented and stir-fried vegetables (banchan) and wrapped in a piece of lettuce for the tastiest food parcel you’re ever likely to have.
Also worth mentioning is bibimbap, white rice topped with a rainbow of vegetables; juk, nourishing Korean rice pudding; and tteok, moreish sticky rice cakes filled with bean or nut pastes.
Of course, there’s always more to try. The list is endless with plenty of fusion cuisines being added to South Korean menus by the day as locals and travelers ride the culinary crest of the Hallyu wave.
Seoul is neither short of a bustling food market nor does it shy away from fine dining options with 24 Michelin-starred restaurants in the city. This versatile blend of traditional meets contemporary is perhaps best displayed in Seoul’s high-end Gangnam district so if you’re looking to enhance your foodie tour of Seoul with a fantastic hotel stay, then look no further than Gangnam’s Hotel Cappuccino.
Hotel Cappuccino
With a motto like “A happy stay makes a lasting impression,” you know you’re in for a guest-focused vacation. You won’t have to worry about missing out on any delicious delights while you’re in the hotel either as it’s been named in The Michelin Guide, Seoul for two years running.
This is because Hotel Cappuccino boasts two vibrant eateries, excellent in-room dining service, and a gin-focused rooftop bar, perfect for sipping under the stars and planning tomorrow’s Seoul adventure.
Hotel Cappuccino sets itself apart from other quirky hotels in the trendy Gangnam district because of these taste buds-stimulating food and beverage options, alongside its uniquely designed rooms and thoughtful brand ethos.
Its ethos can be savored in every dish listed on Hotel Cappuccino’s menus, especially in the constantly creative Restaurant Hot Eatsue on the 17th floor.
Restaurant Hot Eatsue pays homage to classic Korean dishes and Seoul’s eclectic street food scene while playfully combining international tastes to serve comfort foods in a casual setting that boasts views over Gangnam and across the N Seoul Tower.
Restaurant Hot Eatsue. Hotel Cappuccino
*Hotel guests and inquisitive walk-in diners will have a tough choice deciding between aromatically Asian favorites including spicy Thai coconut curry with crab and Japanese cold soba with abalone and natto.
There are also bolder, more experimental dishes to get your palate in a frenzy, such as soy-flavored wagyu steak with rice a tarako pasta topped with salted pollack roe. But if the thought of Korean barbeque had you salivating earlier, then we recommend going to the Cappuccino Grill Platter to binge on shrimp, pork belly, pork chops, ribeye steak, and lamb.
Restaurant Hot Eatsue also caters to those with more of an inclination for liquor than solids with a late night light bites menu for patrons of the Rooftop Bar Gintoneria, also on the 17th floor. If this is more your scene, be prepared to taste bar snacks as you’ve never before: Spam fries with grilled sausage, garlic fried chicken, fried crispy rice, prosciutto, and vegetable sticks.
You can still call yourself a foodie, even if you’re more interested in sampling Hotel Cappuccino’s fine selection of premium gins, unique tonics, and imaginative garnishes.
If you find yourself nursing a gin-induced hangover the next morning and can’t seem to scoot out of your cozy bed or jump into the chic showers and lather yourself in the eco-friendly bath products by STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME!, call down to reception for a Bed Tray. This way, you can stay in bed, take full advantage of Hotel Cappuccino’s complimentary WiFi, and snack on dishes from Restaurant Hot Eatsue, the Rooftop Bar, and Caffe Cappuccino.
Room Service. Hotel Cappuccino
However, if you’re an early bird who managed to resist the often irresistible pull of Gangnam’s thrilling nightlife and want to grab a spot of breakfast before heading out to explore the city, grab an Anthracite coffee and a homemade croissant from Caffe Cappuccino on the first floor.
Apart from being a seriously cool hotel in Seoul’s trendiest district that dishes up the tastiest treats, Hotel Cappuccino also operates creating shared value programs throughout the property.
One way the hotel gives back to the local and global communities is through the Earn & Giveaway box containing extra amenities for guests. However, if the box is left untouched for the duration of the stay, guests can use the voucher on top to donate to Water.org.
A stay at Hotel Cappuccino promises to amaze, delight and inspire you, either through its menus, brilliant location, caring philosophy or curiously comfortable beds, so why not book a stay today?

Destination Abu Dhabi

Posted by - September 18, 2018

Hilton Abu Dhabi
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the proud holder of many a world record, from the Burj Khalifa’s gleaming spire in Dubai still holding title as the world’s tallest building, to the Ferrari-themed Formula Rossa in Abu Dhabi, the world’s fastest roller coaster, it is a nation of firsts that is always raring for a challenge.
What used to be a quiet backwater is now the beating heart of the Middle East, welcoming more people than ever and securing a spot on the world tourism map.
The glitzy Dubai is often touted as the tourist city of the UAE, attracting in hordes of international visitors all year round. An impressive skyline of skyscrapers and miles upon miles of shopping pavements make it a major draw for business travelers and tourists with a knack for spending. A recent study also showed it is one of the most attractive cities in the world for expats.
However, to experience the real UAE, the capital city of Abu Dhabi is where you want to be.
Located on a T-shaped island surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf, a mere 147 kilometers from Dubai, Abu Dhabi’s wealth is built from the oil boom. It has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world and is currently the federation’s richest of seven emirates. It is no wonder why it has become a playground for the Gulf’s rich and famous.
Although no less slick and modern than its flashy neighbor, Abu Dhabi seems the more mature cousin in appearance and pace, its streets a seamless blend of progression and tradition. Beyond the walls of glass and steel that crowd its center lies a city steeped in history and culture, and that’s the charming appeal of Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The city may be growing at dizzying speeds but has remained firmly rooted to its heritage. Known as the cultural heart of the UAE, its intriguing culture is strongly embedded within Arabia’s Islamic traditions.
From the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, an architectural work of art with a capacity for an astonishing 40,000 worshippers, to the recently opened Louvre Abu Dhabi, a beacon bridging cultures and civilizations through art and history, the city has a bountiful of attractions to offer.
Even as you stroll down The Corniche, a lengthy stretch of beach that sweeps into a cinematic curve on the western side of the main Abu Dhabi island, you are bound to spot an establishment, a building, an activity, the odd thirsty camel, or a face that is sure to pique your curiosity.
Here, it is not uncommon to see fishermen passing the time with card games or to hear their laughter fill the early morning air as you jog along the dhow harbor. For them, each fishing trip to haul in the catch of the day is an adventure, and when the job is done, they simply like to kick back and relax, activities reminiscent of Abu Dhabi’s ancient past as a fishing village.
At midday, as you navigate its busy streets shaded by leafy date palm trees, make a pitstop at one of the many cafes to enjoy an afternoon ritual of traditional tea, a legacy of the UAE’s long-standing trade and cultural relationship with India.
Treat yourself to a refreshing glass of jallab, made from grape molasses, dates, and rose water, sure to cool you off on a hot day. Be sure to pair it with a side of sweet treats or savory bites to complete your afternoon tea experience.
If you have time to spare and souvenirs to buy, try your hand at haggling at one of its many souqs, a traditional open-air marketplace often bursting at seams with color and chatter, an unmistakable trait. Apart from giving you a taste of local life, Abu Dhabi’s souqs offer an eclectic variety of goods such as spices, silks, and perfumes, but also electronic goods, trinkets and bobs, clothing, and household items.
There is no better way to engage with the Gulf culture and observe how traditional business is done.
Abu Dhabi may be a little conservative, but it also has a healthy nightlife and a handful of fancy watering holes. So, when night falls, and the air cools to a soothing, balmy breeze, head out to one of the hidden gem bars in the sprawling city for a tasty happy hour tipple.
And if you would like, enjoy the aromatic shisha, a popular social activity in the Middle East. It is identifiable by its often-colorful pipe and glass bottle set, the trail of smoke it leaves behind, and the faint seductive whiff of fruity goodness in the air.
As you exhale, immerse yourself in the vibe of the mystical Arabian Nights before you retire for the day.
With so much to offer and an abundance of activities to do, it comes as no surprise that Time magazine has named it one of Asia’s greatest places to visit.
But no Abu Dhabi exploration would be complete without the perfect stay. Swanky luxury hotels are aplenty, but our Editor’s pick are Hilton’s properties in Abu Dhabi.
Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time.
In Abu Dhabi, Hilton has two great properties to cater to all tastes, Hilton Abu Dhabi and Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi:
Hilton Abu Dhabi
Hilton Abu Dhabi
Regardless of where your day takes you, this stunning beachside property in the heart of Abu Dhabi has all the trimmings to make you feel like you are on a dreamy island getaway.
Located on the vibrant The Corniche, Hilton Abu Dhabi offers stunning views of the Arabian Gulf and 11,000 square meters of private beach, the perfect base from which to explore Abu Dhabi.
Every one of its stylish rooms and suites is furnished with special touches to make you feel right at home, including flat-screen TVs, plush bathrobes, minibars, and complimentary tea/coffee facilities so you can simply lounge at your leisure. And with WiFi access, you will always stay connected no matter the time of day.
Whether it is work or play, Hilton Abu Dhabi, the recipient of the MENA Award for Best Conference and Convention Centre three years in a row, will assist you in maximizing efficiency with the expertise of its Conference and Events team.
The forward-thinking hotel boasts 14 meetings rooms furnished with state-of-the-art A/V equipment, two ballrooms, and a range of outdoor venues which can host anything from intimate business meetings for 10 to large events for up to 2,000 guests.
In addition to that, not only will Hilton Abu Dhabi’s Conference and Events team be on hand to ensure your event is managed to the highest level of professionalism, its dedicated chefs will also deliver personalized menus that reflect your guests’ tastes – a checklist for success.
Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi
The stylish Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi, which occupies a striking contemporary building with a colorful, curving façade, enjoys a great location in the affluent Abu Dhabi commercial district. It is close to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center and the Zayd Sport City, and the Abu Dhabi International Airport is just a short 20 minutes’ drive away.
Its 281 elegant rooms and suites have been kitted out with a host of amenities including flat-screen TVs and minibars, plus walk-in rainfall showers and high-thread-count sheets to soothe you after a long day. All rooms come with WiFi access, offering comfort and convenience for both relaxation and work.
Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi
With a selection of eight meeting rooms including a divisible grand ballroom all fully equipped with the latest A/V equipment at your disposal, Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi is also perfectly equipped for anything from small and intimate business for 10 to large events for up to 700 guests.
Coupled with bespoke planning services right down to the very last detail and personalized menus to suit every palate, Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi has all the resources you need to make your next event a memorable success.
And no perfect stay in Abu Dhabi would be complete without first getting on the perfect flight.
Taking inspiration from its home city to reinvent air travel, Etihad Airways, the flag carrier of the UAE, offers anything and everything to make your flight to the UAE as memorable as your stay.
No matter if you are up front in first class or seated a little further back in the cabin, the airline caters the latest in-flight entertainment systems, the finest dining, and impeccable service to all travelers on board. Because for Etihad, its guests are at the heart of everything it does.
Stretch out in comfort in Etihad Airways’ generously spacious seats as you enjoy its signature travel experiences.
If you are particularly conscious about your food, the airline recently introduced Weqaya, which means “prevention,” a health-focused menu for long-haul and ultra-long-haul flights. Alternatively, a Food and Beverage Manager is ready to guide you through the menu options and recommend accompanying drinks for your meal.
Once you have savored Etihad Airways’ delectable in-flight offerings, climb into the luxurious sleepwear provided, specifically designed for flying.
Thanks to its perfect geographical position, Etihad Airways seamlessly connects you and the rest of the world to Abu Dhabi via a network of over 110 passenger and cargo destinations across six continents, with a young and environmentally friendly fleet of more than 120 aircraft.
Ethiad Airways
True to its mottos, “From Abu Dhabi to the World; The World Is Our Home, You Are Our Guest; Flying Reimagined,” this innovative airline embodies the values of Arabian warmth and hospitality.
Change the way you fly. Get on board with Etihad Airways.
Immerse yourself in the true Gulf culture and invoke all your senses as you discover what makes this otherwise mysterious desert destination one of Asia’s best. You may just find more reasons to keep coming back.

The Philippines promises a ‘Better Boracay’ in October

Posted by - August 6, 2018

The rehabilitation period is almost coming to an end. Source: Shutterstock.
IN APRIL, the resort island of Boracay officially closed off to tourists to allow for a six-month-long restoration project.
The dramatic tourist ban came under scrutiny with claims that it violated a handful of things including the constitutional right to travel. The Philippines’ armed forces swooped in to shuttle remaining tourists off the once pristine shores of Boracay.
Boracay, with its pristine white sand beaches and crystal blue waters, sees an estimated US$772.5 million in revenue every year.
Considered as one of the Southeast Asian country’s major tourist destinations, it attracts approximately two million annual visitors, close to half of which are foreigners.
Boracay is especially popular with Chinese and South Korean tourists.
The closure led to airline companies such as AirAsia suspending all flights to the destination, offering instead other alternatives and service recovery options. Hotels and resorts on the island scrambled to attend to guests with affected bookings.
The hiatus also affected restaurants, cafes, vendors, and other businesses on the island.
Source: Shutterstock.
Two issues that are being addressed in Boracay’s rehabilitation are the setting up of sewage treatment plants for hotels and proper relocation sites for illegal wetland occupants, according to Rappler.
However, the rehabilitation period will soon come to an end and Boracay will once again be ready to receive tourists in October.
The Philippine Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) confirmed visitors will be able to enjoy a “Better Boracay” on Oct 26, 2018.
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, who is in charge of the Save Boracay Task Force (SBTF), said he will make sure that each beach resort on Boracay maintains its own sewage treatment plant.
Task force officials will ensure strict enforcement of environmental laws once the establishments resume operation.
Source: Shutterstock.
Meanwhile. the Philippine Department of Tourism has vowed to do its part to sustain Boracay’s rehabilitated state.
“We need to strike a balance between nurturing our natural endowments like Boracay and sourcing our people’s livelihood off them,” PDOT Secretary Bernadette-Romulo-Puyat said, stressing the need for environmental protection and a sustainable and inclusive tourism program.
“The task force will see to it that only compliant establishments will be open for business to ensure that our guests will get the world class service they deserve,” said Puyat.

Lainey Loh | @laineyx
A certified daydreamer, when she's not physically travelling, she's often going places in her head. Her first love is coffee & her second, wine – & she accepts bribes in either forms. She's also entirely capable of deep conversations about life & random musings just for laughs, but do excuse her if she appears AWOL mid-chat – she's just going places in her head.

In pictures: The Hawaii of Asia

Posted by - August 6, 2018

Why you should make Hainan the first place you visit in #China. Source: Shutterstock.
HAINAN’S tourism department is pulling out all stops to boost tourism to the island, positioned to be China’s Hawaii.
Its Tourism Development Commission recently engaged Xiaozhu.com to leverage the rise of home sharing and develop rural tourism, including through establishing a Hainan Tourism B&B Association.
Located in the southernmost province of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Hainan consists of various islands in the South China Sea. Hainan Island is the largest and fifth most popular island under PRC rule and makes up the majority of the province.
There are 10 major cities and 10 counties in Hainan Province. Haikou on the northern coast of Hainan Island is the capital while Sanya is a well-known tourist destination on the southern coast.
The other major cities are Wenchang, Qionghai, Wanning, Wuzhishan, Dongfang, and Danzhou.
Source: Shutterstock.
Beijing-based Xiaozhu, often called China’s answer to Airbnb, offers listings in over 400 locations globally and raised US$65 million last November. Existing investors include Joy Capital, Morningside Ventures, Capital Today, and Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital.
The Hainan Tourism B&B Association aims to regular the development of the B&B industry in Hainan, establish a mechanism for police-citizen interaction, solve problems in B&B operations, improve the industry’s service level and drive competition.
On top of that, the agreement between Xiaozhu and the association will also see the partners jointly promote villages in Hainan, build village B&B accommodation for poverty alleviation, and establish a B&B industry association.
Source: Shutterstock.
Village home-sharing in Hainan Island has become a driver of village rejuvenation. Xiaozhu now has over 30,000 village B&Bs and each village B&B creates six local jobs on average.
Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission deputy director Ao Liyong shared there are about 516 rural tourist sites across the island, bringing about CNY1.75 billion (US$256.7 million) in revenue in the first half of this year, up 14.2 percent year-on-year.
It has created a historic opportunity for China’s economic development and the country is ramping up efforts to grow the island’s international tourism intake, first by allowing visa-free access for 59 countries for a 30-day stay.
Source: Shutterstock.
For years, the province has been developing its tourism industry. China also aims to make Hainan an international free trade zone by 2020 to help increase its tourist numbers by 25 percent annually to at least two million.
Will China succeed in making Hainan province – with its warm oceans, golden beaches, green palm trees, luxury resorts – an international tourism destination?
Take a look at what the island has to offer:

Lainey Loh | @laineyx
A certified daydreamer, when she's not physically travelling, she's often going places in her head. Her first love is coffee & her second, wine – & she accepts bribes in either forms. She's also entirely capable of deep conversations about life & random musings just for laughs, but do excuse her if she appears AWOL mid-chat – she's just going places in her head.

What’s driving tourists in Japan?

Posted by - August 3, 2018

It’s true: We (travelers) are very visual people and this theory proves it. Source: Shutterstock.
JAPAN is one of Asia’s top 10 countries in terms of international tourist arrivals in 2017 and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
At least not for the next five years or so, with Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics. Japan will continue enjoying a surge in inbound travelers for sure.
In 2016, there were about 40 million departures from Japan, including 17 million by Japanese nationals.
In 2017, the country attracted a record 28.68 million tourists, reflecting the sixth consecutive yearly increase. As for departures, Japan saw around 45.2 million leaving its shores in the same year.
On top of strong promotional pushes by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the East Asian country already welcomes a steady stream of travelers ready to check out its dark tourism, sakura season, food tourism, heritage tourism, night tourism, fall foliage, and a whole lot more.
But what’s really driving the tourists in Japan these days? It’s not just tourism campaigns and guidebooks for sure.
Source: Shutterstock.
Destinations that are more off the beaten track like Nagano, the capital city of Nagano Prefecture in the Chūbu region of Japan for example, saw more than one million visitors last year.
Which is every bit impressive for the landlocked area as it marks a 36-fold increase in just three years.
How did this happen? First, CNN described Nagano as one of Japan’s most beautiful places, which spurred an influx of postings featuring Nagano’s sights flooding Instagram.
Since then, Instagram’s numbers have seen a steep increase, with Nagano becoming one of the most active markets on the platform.
Zenkoji Temple, one of the most important and popular temples in Nagano, stores the first Buddhist statue ever to be brought into Japan. Source: Shutterstock.
As of June 20, 2018, Instagram has reached one billion monthly active users.
And a majority of these users turn to the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app to match #ootd coordinations, decide where to eat, get suggestions on things to do, and add things to their travel bucket list.
“Instagram is different from other social media because users are the ones taking the initiative to post and spread pictures, not the local municipalities,” Travel And Tour World quoted marketing firm Full Speed Inc.’s Kazukiyo Yonemura of Full Speed Inc. as saying.
Source: Shutterstock.
For Nagano alone, there are more than a handful of Instagram hashtags chalking up thousands of posts such as:
City officials expressed their sheer surprise to see people of all ages visiting the mountains to get a shot of its shrine, with the mass crowds leading to four-hour-long traffic jams.
“We widened roads, built toilets and increased parking from 24 to more than 100 spaces this April,” Nagano city tourism division’s Erika Watanabe said.
The multiple foreign currencies, 27 to be exact, found in the shrine’s offertory box proved that many of the visitors were from overseas.
Last year, Instagram joined hands with the JNTO to introduce a new hashtag, #UnknownJapan, which led to more than five million foreign visitors sharing posts.

Have home-sharing platforms finally met their rival?

Posted by - August 3, 2018

HYATT Hotels Corporation, home to franchises of luxury hotels, resorts, and vacation properties, has rolled up its sleeves to counter home-sharing companies by rolling out a new product.
Enter, Hyatt House.
#BOOKINGS
Airbnb: 3 most wish-listed accommodations in Asia-Pacific What is Hyatt House? It’s extended-stay hotel kitted out with the same offerings that you would find in a home-shared unit. Think residential-style hotel.
“Feel at home in apartment-style spaces, with areas to work and relax. Our studios and suites include up to two bedrooms, plus bathrooms, separate living areas, and fully equipped kitchens – think refrigerators, microwaves, stovetops, and islands,” Hyatt House said.
Inspired by extensive research of guest experiences, Hyatt launched the Hyatt House range of hotels back in 2012, targeted to those “who believe that being away from home doesn’t mean giving up the life that one usually lives.”
Source: Hyatt House.
It currently has more than 60 locations throughout the US. But it wasn’t until 2017 that the Hyatt House in Asia opened its doors to travelers and locals in China with the 103-room Hyatt House Yinchuan Dayuecheng.
This was closely followed by Hyatt House Shenzhen Airport, Hyatt House Shanghai Hongqiao, Hyatt House Shanghai New Hongqiao, and Hyatt House Chengdu Pebble Walk.
Recently, Hyatt House opened its first house-like hotel in Southeast Asia – Hyatt House Kuala Lumpur Mont’Kiara.
Source: Hyatt House.
Located in an exclusive and cosmopolitan enclave in the Malaysian capital, Hyatt House Kuala Lumpur Mont’Kiara overlooks the city skyline of Kuala Lumpur. Ideal for both business and leisure travelers, the property is just a short drive away from world-class malls and the bustling city center.
Not only is Hyatt House Kuala Lumpur Mont’Kiara the first Hyatt House in Southeast Asia, it’s also the largest Hyatt House in the world, with a wide range of comfortable facilities – much like those that one would find in a home-sharing unit.
The comfortable 298 residential-style suites and studios come with fully equipped kitchens, free Wi-Fi, and free parking for long-stay residents.
Source: Hyatt House.
But also, Hyatt House has taken it up a notch by offering free shuttle service, free buffet breakfast, a 24-hour workout and games room, rooftop sky pool, a bar offering refreshing drinks and home-cooked comfort food all day, and a market providing grab-n-go items such as fresh sandwiches and salads 24 hours a day.
A friendly “House Host” will also available to check-in guests, provide directions, or help with other needs to help guests feel at home.
“Traveling has increasingly become a necessity rather than just a leisure activity. So, whether it’s because of temporary relocation for work in a new city, or traveling for an extended period of time for bleisure visits – people are looking for ways to travel while staying rooted to their routines,” Hyatt House said.
#LUXE
Give your furkid a taste of luxury at these pet-friendly hotels in Asia Best of all, Hyatt House Kuala Lumpur Mont’Kiara is pet-friendly, so rest assured you won’t be without your furkid by your side for the entirety of your long stay.
So, have home-sharing platforms like Airbnb, Homestay, Home Exchange, and the likes finally met their match?
For more information on Hyatt House, visit its website.
The post Have home-sharing platforms finally met their rival? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

In pictures: Why Kyrgyzstan should be your next destination

Posted by - August 2, 2018

WITH Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, and China to the east, Kyrgyzstan is hemmed in the middle of Central Asia, boasting copious amounts natural beauty and lots of adventure to be had.
The ancient nation is often overlooked by its tourism-dominating neighbors, but Kyrgyzstan, officially the Kyrgyz Republic, has so much to offer travelers and summer is the perfect time to explore.
#THINGS TO DO
In pictures: Old world charm Ipoh The unspoiled nation was a popular vacation destination in the 80s when the Soviet Union ruled. Tourism numbers reached more than a million people per year. However, when the Soviet Union collapsed in the 90s, so did Kyrgyzstan’s tourism industry.
In 2016, Kyrgyzstan emerged from a bleak period of political uncertainty and travelers began bouncing back to the pristine nation with visitor numbers exceeding 1.2 million.
A post shared by Eline Rousseau (@rousseaueline) on Aug 1, 2018 at 6:02am PDT
With a population of just six million people and nearly 200,000 square kilometers of land to explore, there’s a good chance you could go days without seeing a single soul up in the unspoiled mountainscapes, but watch out for snow leopards.
Whether you want to camp beside Lake Issyk-Kul, the world’s second largest alpine lake and ponder the ancient stars to sand ratio or have a truly authentic experience living with semi-nomadic, yurt-dwelling shepherds, Kyrgyzstan will exceed your wildest expectations.
A post shared by Leonard Fong (@leonardfong_travel) on Aug 1, 2018 at 6:19pm PDT
Timing is crucial when visiting Kyrgyzstan. Only visit in the winter if you plan to ski or snowboard as temperatures drop to minus 30 degrees.
The best time to visit is mid-summer when the semi-nomadic shepherds perch their yurts on the mountainside, blooms of wildflowers coat the valleys, and all the tourist attractions are open.
Kyrgyzstan also has super relaxed visa restrictions meaning a handful of nations don’t need a visa at all, and many others can stay for up to 90 days before acquiring a visa.
Also, established airlines such as Emirates and Malaysian Airlines fly part way to Kyrgyzstan from destinations across Asia.
With visa-free travel, easily available flights, and an abundance of historical, cultural, and gastronomical delights to entice travelers, Kyrgyzstan the perfect place to start your Central Asian adventure.
Adventure A post shared by @selenbori on Jul 28, 2018 at 9:31am PDT
Kyrgyzstan has been voted as Central Asia’s second best destination for adventure tourism. Glaciers cover four percent of the country, and only eight percent of the land is cultivated, making it an explorer’s paradise.
A post shared by Chloe Campbell (@librarianchlo) on Oct 8, 2016 at 1:20am PDT
Its encompassing mountains have created an atmosphere of seclusion for those living in Kyrgyzstan. But this isolation has maintained centuries of vibrant culture and traditions that can still be seen and enjoyed today.
A post shared by JKS Kyrgyz Travel Company (@jks_kyrgyztravel) on May 30, 2018 at 12:01am PDT
Trekking is a hot favorite with travelers. The renowned 16-day Bishkek to Bishkek tour guides hikers through the Fann Mountains, Chon Kemin Valley, through Kol-Kogur, past the never-freezing Lake Issyk-Kul, across the Boz Uchuk Pass, along Tosor and then back to the capital.
A post shared by А_J_Travel (@a_j_travel.kg) on Jul 28, 2018 at 12:27am PDT
On any hiking adventure, it’s worth camping out a few nights to experience the beauty of the unpolluted star-filled skies above Kyrgyzstan. If you enjoy your creature comforts but want to experience the yurt-life, Airbnb is the answer.
Good night…#Travel #Reise #Viaje #Viaggio #Voyage #Seyahat #Путешествия #여행 #旅 #Nature #Mountains #Kyrgyzstan #Sky #CentralAsia #Night #Stars #Tour pic.twitter.com/M0LPWIHZ2s
— Visit Kyrgyzstan (@visitKGZ) July 29, 2018
Enjoy a US$15 a night stay in a comfy, clean and ideally located yurt next to Lake Issyk-Kul. Wake up to the sounds of the wind on the lake, the purest sunshine beaming on your face and the freshest air you’ll ever inhale.
A post shared by Tours to Kyrgyzstan (@kyrgyzstan_travel) on Apr 30, 2018 at 2:51pm PDT
Believe it or not, Kyrgyzstan also has some of Central Asia’s best ski resorts, with a total of 93 kilometers of slopes and 32 ski lifts servicing 22 resorts.
Toguz-Bulak is the country’s top resort for all levels of skiing ability, guaranteeing fresh snow and minimal skiers, meaning no crowds or queues.
Also, apres-ski takes a different meaning in Kyrgyzstan. Instead of hot cheese fondue, try a plate of horse meat sausage, washed down with mare’s milk. But don’t worry, beer is still plentiful.
A post shared by Almerekov ILyas NG (@ialmerekov) on Jan 25, 2018 at 10:31am PST
If you want to see the outstanding natural beauty in Kyrgyzstan, but don’t consider yourself to be an active person, head out on horseback and traverse the unblemished alpine landscapes.
You won’t be hard pushed to find a skilled rider who doubles up as a local tour guide as horses have played an integral part of Kyrgyzstani life for thousands of years.
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Natural beauty Kyrgyzstan is affectionately nicknamed “the Switzerland of Central Asia” because of its numerous mountains, but there are also stunning lakes, beaches, and valleys which shouldn’t be missed.
The most obvious and arguably the most beautiful is the previously mentioned Lake Issyk-Kul.
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Lake Tulpar-Kol in the Osh province is also worth a visit and an ideal place to camp.
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From the Instagram-focused travelers, head to Lake Kel Tor near Kegety Gorge at sunrise and sunset to capture the beauty of this lake.
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Between mountain peaks and lakes, there are also gorges which resemble an angelic stairway to heaven.
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And rolling hills to rival New Zealand’s.
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Culture If you’re anything but a package holiday lover or a beach-bum vacationer, you’ll probably want to experience and understand the local culture.
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Book onto a Highlights of Kyrgyz Culture tour to experience life inside a yurt and dine on traditionally cooked plov, a true Kyrgyz dish.
After lunch, you can watch Kyrgyz eagle hunters practice their ancient art and enjoy a traditional soul folklore performance to round off the day.
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In the southwest of Kyrgyzstan is the millennia-old city of Osh.
The area is surrounded by lush steppes and plays host to a busy bazaar which was once a major stop-over point for those traveling the perilous Silk Road.
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The bazaar is perfect for souvenirs and vibrant enough in color and atmosphere to add a priceless picture to your Instagram.
Food If you’re still not convinced that Kyrgyzstan should be your next vacation destination, perhaps you’ll be swayed by some of Central Asia’s most interesting dishes.
#ENVIRONMENT
In pictures: Australia’s rare rainbow lake The nation revolves around cattle, so mutton, goat, beef and even horsemeat feature highly on the menu.
Beshbarmak is the most traditional Kyrgyz dish in the country. The hearty meal consists of shredded lamb, noodles, and potatoes served in hot broth.
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If you can stomach eating horse, try Kazy Karta. The dish is just medallions of cured horsemeat often served as an appetizer or added to dishes such as Beshbarmak.
Traditional meals you can easily recreate at home are samsa and plov.
Samsa consists of little bread pockets filled with meat and cooked inside a clay oven, but your conventional gas oven will suffice.
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Plov is a staple dish throughout Central Asia.
Kyrgyzstan’s take on the hearty dish is a mix of stewed beef and vegetables packed into fragrant rice.
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Kyrgyzstan is just the start of your Asian journey. From here, you can head in any direction and find more adventure, culture and culinary curiosities.
But get there before the mass crowds do because the “Stans” won’t remain a snippet of history with untouched beauty in this globalized, tourism-frenzied world for long.
The post In pictures: Why Kyrgyzstan should be your next destination appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

The hotel suites from famous movies you can actually stay in

Posted by - July 30, 2018

ASIA is home to some of the world’s most iconic movie scenes.
From Danny Boyle’s 2000 blockbuster The Beach to Sophia Coppola’s tender rom-com, Lost in Translation, Asia’s cityscapes and natural beauty provide directors with an array of ideal filming locations.
#POP CULTURE
If film directors made travel posters this is what they would look like It’s no secret that people travel the world to discover these locations and get the perfect picture to prove they’ve been there.
There’s something undeniably satisfying about treading in the footsteps of movies stars, but imagine if you could stay in the same beds as they did too.
While a lot of movie interior shots are filmed in the studio, these Asia-based blockbusters utilized charming hotel suites to create authentic scenes; and you can check in to them for your very own cinematic experience.
The Hangover Part II, Thailand
In the second installment of the outrageous “bachelor party gone wrong” film, The Hangover Part II, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and the gang head to Bangkok, Thailand for Stu’s (Ed Helms) wedding.
The group ends up with facial tattoos, a monkey, a severed finger, and no memory.
Many of film’s scenes were shot in Lebua at State Tower hotel, a property known for its lavish suites, breathtaking views, and iconic rooftop bars.
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A one-night stay here starts at US$107, but if you’re going in for the true Hangover experience and want to stay in the original suite, it’ll set you back US$931.
However, the suite from the movie sleeps 11 people, so it could be a great choice for a raucous bachelor party of your own.
Address: State Tower, Yan Nawa 1055 Si Lom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand. Telephone: +662624999. Lost in Translations, Japan
“The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you,” Bob Harris (Bill Murray) tells Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) in Lost in Translation as they lay on a bed in Park Hyatt, Tokyo.
Park Hyatt’s elegant oasis is an antithesis of Tokyo’s chaotic atmosphere and a stay in the Lost in Translation suite starts from around US$750 per night.
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Head up to the New York Bar on the 52nd floor to sip whiskey and plenty of other delights just like Bob and Charlotte did in the film.
Address: 3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, Japan. Telephone: +810353221234. Octopussy, India
“Bond, James Bond,” is one of the most iconic movie lines ever and James Bond, a fictional spy, is an archetype of British culture.
He’s traveled the world, from Russia to Hong Kong and Italy to India, which is where the stunning Taj Lake Palace hotel from the 1983 Octopussy starring Roger Moore as James Bond can be found.
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Often referred to as one of the most romantic hotels in the world, the marble-clad Taj Lake Palace is set on Lake Pichola and only accessible via boat.
You can dine on the terrace where James Bond wooed one of his many ladies and experience the luxury suites for as little as US$281 per night.
Address: Postbox 5, Udaipur, Rajasthan – 313001 , India. Telephone: +910294248800. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, India
This endearing film stars some of Britain’s biggest names such as Dame Judy Dench, Bill Nighy, and Dev Patel.
The Best Marigold Hotel features in the film as a blissful retirement home for foreigners but in reality, it is the Ravla Khempur hotel.
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All the rooms are exactly as they appear in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, if not a little better after its recent refurbishment.
For those going to India to seek culture and an authentic experience, Ravla Khempur hotel is a wonderful place to stay especially if you want to take 40 winks in the same bed Bill Nighy slept in, and for only US$53 per night.
Address: Khempur Village, Mavli, District, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, 313203. Telephone: +91295537154. #DESTINATIONS
Asia’s most enchanting tourism videos The Impossible, Thailand
The Impossible recounts the tragic story of one of the tens of thousands of families caught up in the catastrophic 2004 tsunami which hit Thailand, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Malaysia and many other nations bordering the Indian Ocean.
In the film, the family stays at the Orchid Beach Resort in the Khao Lak region, directly on the seafront. In a heart-wrenching tale, viewers see the family yanked apart by the devastating wave then embark on a harrowing journey of survival and defiance.
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The resort was in fact damaged by the tsunami but has since had a beautiful renovation. It offers four types of accommodation for singles, couples, families and friends, all with stunning ocean vistas.
A vacation in this beautiful setting starts from US$44 per night depending on which month you go.
Address: 61 Moo 3, Khuk Khak Beach, T.Khuk Khak A.Takuapa, Phang Nga, Thailand 82190. Telephone: +660764862212. The post The hotel suites from famous movies you can actually stay in appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

In pictures: The best of Bali

Posted by - July 30, 2018

LOCATED at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands with Java to the west and Lombok to the east, Bali is one of Southeast Asia’s most enchanting islands.
The island has seen a significant rise in tourists since the 1980s and makes up for most of the tourist numbers to Indonesia. In fact, tourism-related businesses make up 80 percent of its economy.
#ISLANDS
Singaporeans seem to love this Indonesian island a lot Home to the biggest Hindu population in Indonesia, Bali boasts a multitude of exotic religious sites set against stunning natural backdrops such as the cliffside Uluwatu Temple and the Besakih Temple.
Travelers will enjoy the island’s warm hospitality and highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music as well.
Aside from cultural and spiritual charm, the island is also known for the beachside city of Kuta with lively bars; popular resort towns Seminyak, Sanur, and Nusa Dua; cliff-guarded “hidden” shores of Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Dreamland, and Bingin; and yoga and meditation retreats.
Whether you fancy taking a walk along its chic cafe-lined streets or shopping at one of its many designer boutiques or hitting one of its many world-class diving and surfing spots, Bali promises there will never be a dull moment.
By sunset, as the night rolls in, the island pulsates with exciting clubbing venues with packed dance floors spread throughout the southern regions of Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak.
It’s almost impossible to discover all of Bali on one trip alone.
Take a look at all that Bali has to offer:
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The post In pictures: The best of Bali appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Where are the most popular glamping sites in Asia?

Posted by - July 27, 2018

ONE of the biggest misconceptions about glamping is that the best or most popular glamping sites are in faraway places such as the US or Europe.
But that is not entirely true.
#ADVENTURES
Is glamping for you? Glamping (glamorous camping) is an increasingly popular travel trend, so much so that it has become more than just a trend – it is a new, fully immersive way of travel.
It allows glampers to get up close and personal with nature and feel alive without having to rough it. So you can rest assured that you will be able to connect with nature in comfort and sometimes, luxury.
Blessed with lush forests, rolling mountains, white sand beaches, warm breeze, sprawling fields, and four distinctive seasons in some places, Asia is on the rise as the choice destination for glamping.
From a forest canopy in a treehouse to an ecolodge in a sprawling field, to a tent by the beach or a yurt on a mountaintop, glampers can pick and choose the exact type of experience that they want to gain from their travels.
Whether you’re considering going glamping for the first time or the umpteenth time, here are some of the most popular glamping sites in Asia:
Sri Lanka: Tree House near Sigiriya Rock Located in four acres of forest, this luxury furnished tree house rental can be found near Sigiriya Rock and is perfect for a glamping vacation.
It can sleep up to four guests and is ideal for groups or two couples as it has two double beds. The well-built wooden steps lead to the hand-crafted, comfortable beds.
The lounge deck is a spacious, open area that easily accommodates up to four adults.
Source: Glamping Hub.
Downstairs, at the base of the tree, guests will find an open lounge to relax and sip an evening cup of tea or coffee.
The modern toilet is attached nearby and has a designer open format shower area, with hot and cold water for a long shower under the stars.
Just 30 minutes away, guests will find Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks where the world famous Wild Elephant Gathering takes place.
Price: From US$107 per night.
Sri Lanka: Family-friendly Cottages If you are looking for a vacation rental in Sri Lanka that is secluded in stunning, lush wildlife, then look no further.
This luxury camping site in Sigiriya consists of seven unspoiled acres of wilderness that is home to elephants, butterflies, birds, and more.
The site has two family cottages for rent, which have been elevated slightly and completely powered by solar electricity.
Source: Glamping Hub.
Each has a private bathroom with a toilet, a sink, and a shower with hot water. There is also a shared living area connecting the two cottages.
Mosquito nets are provided, and there are huts for lounging and dining at this glamping site near the lake.
These vacation rentals are suited for older people and small children, and they can accommodate two to four guests.
Price: From US$85.60 per night.
Sri Lanka: Elephant Villa This site is located in the Southeastern Uva Province of Sri Lanka, on a 16-acre property on the banks of a river bordering the country’s leading wildlife sanctuary, known as Yala.
The unique, elephant-shaped villa is a 40-feet, two-story mammoth. It consists of two large bedrooms and a lounge on the upper deck.
It is made entirely of wood and straw, serving as a reminder of the beauty of nature.
Source: Glamping Hub.
There is a bathroom with running hot water and two toilets, and electricity.
The restaurant on this property serves authentic Sri Lankan cuisine to ensure that you fully experience the local culture.
You will be offered traditional dishes from the area, as well as traditional meals with interesting and unusual twists to allow your taste buds to try something new.
Price: From US$171.20 per night.
Indonesia: Wellness Retreat Villa in Bali This five-star wellness retreat boasts seven different suites with a spacious private terrace overlooking the sacred Ayung River landscape, perfect for rest and recuperation with a partner.
Each suite has been furnished with traditional textiles and antique touches, giving it an authentic luxury ambiance.
There is a unique hot water “al fresco” bathroom where guests can bathe under the stars, and the area is fitted with chromotherapy lighting.
Source: Glamping Hub.
In the suite, there is air-conditioning, a sound system with an iPod dock, and Wi-Fi access throughout.
Glampers can relax and take advantage of the wellness spa at this retreat which offers a full range of authentic beauty rituals featuring super-food ingredients.
There is also an option for fresh organic bathing and skincare massages, guaranteed to leave you feeling revitalized.
Price: From US$211.86 per night.
Vietnam: Wooden Bungalows This eco-tourism glamping site is situated 100 kilometers south of Hanoi and 200 kilometers southwest of Ha Long Bay.
The rentals are in the middle of a valley surrounded by multiform limestone pitons and a private lake, with balconies that offer unforgettable views across the lake and steep mountain ridges of Ninh Binh province.
Each room has been meticulously designed with a delicate, functional romanticism to generate a harmonious ambiance, with modern facilities for your greatest comfort such as a quality mattress, a mini-bar, and a private hot water shower.
Source: Glamping Hub.
The balcony is furnished with a hammock, long chairs, and a table, and the bed is fitted with a mosquito net to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.
At the onsite Mountain Lake Restaurant, the chef is committed to serving delicious local cuisine made with fresh ingredients.
The geography of the region affords fantastic cave exploration, mountainous hiking, and of course, photography.
Price: From US$58.85 per night.
Thailand: Luxury Huts This lovely property is located in its own private jungle setting, in front of the lovely and romantic lagoon in Klong Prao.
Guests will find themselves just 200 meters from the stunning white sands of Klong Prao beach, which is a spectacular spot to watch the sunset.
The luxury beach rental is perfect for couples to enjoy a getaway in Koh Chang, fully furnished and equipped with everything you will need to relax in style.
Source: Glamping Hub.
The stunning double bed is perfect for a relaxing sleep after a busy day exploring and there are full bathroom facilities, along with a luxury outdoor pool where guests can relax and cool off.
Not forgetting, glampers will have access to air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and a television as well.
There is also a lovely lounge area where guests can enjoy chilling out.
Price: From US$84.53 per night.
Thailand: Unique Dome This cozy rental is set on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, just a two-minute walk from the beach, giving guests easy access to a day of lazing in the sun or swimming in the clear, blue Thai waters.
It is surrounded by stunning woodland and its own garden area, ideally suited for two people
There is a queen-size bed in the dome and a private bathroom with a hot shower complete with supplied towels and toiletries for guests to use.
Source: Glamping Hub.
The dining area can also be used as a workstation for those who need to work remotely.
Outside, guests can sit out in the garden and in the evenings, they can start a campfire to relax in front of after a long day of activities and excursions.
The dome is close to numerous areas with outdoor activities such as Paeng Waterfall which leads to viewpoints and jungle walks.
Price: From US$51.36 per night.
Thailand: Tented Cabins This glamping property can be found nestled in the south of Thailand in a beautiful national park and large forest known as Khao Sok.
You will find yourself surrounded by a picturesque mountain scenery as the animals wander around in their natural habitat and the vegetation flourishes with a life of its own.
There are a total of 15 tents at this property.
Source: Glamping Hub.
Each includes individual air conditioning, comfortable beds with duvets, a modern Thai-style dressing table, a Thai-style desk with a lamp, a refrigerator with complimentary bottled water, and Wi-Fi access.
Nature lovers will love the private balcony which offers a panoramic view of the breathtaking surroundings.
The property also offers a restaurant, tour service, taxi service, and a local mini-mart.
Price: From US$61.19 per night.
Thailand: Beach Tents This remote beach rental is located at the southern tip of Phuket island near Rawai Beach.
The beachfront luxury tent can accommodate up to four guests, with two queen-size beds or one queen-size bed and three twin beds, depending on the request of the glampers.
It is beautifully decorated on the inside and outside to complement the lovely Thai beach and ocean views.
Source: Glamping Hub.
On-site, there are many spaces for relaxing, including picnic areas with umbrellas and seating looking out over the ocean
There is an outdoor swimming pool, a full bar, a gourmet restaurant, and a snack bar.
Glampers can swim, sunbathe, or request a rejuvenating massage at an extra cost. Everything provided here is for a truly relaxing experience.
Price: From US$63.13 per night.
Cambodia: Safari Tents Brimming with ethereal wonder and a mystical atmosphere, this property is the perfect gateway to the Angkor complex of ruins just 15 minutes away – truly an archaeological spectacle to behold.
Guests are sure to be in awe of its splendor, as the jungles surrounding Angkor are full of exotic wildlife, from the formidable elephant to the howler monkey.
These immaculate tents are built with the finest of organic materials and delicate fabrics, providing an exotic getaway in a lightweight yet durable setting.
Source: Glamping Hub.
They are outfitted with one king-size bed complete with fine linens, as well as a private bathroom with a shower, vanity basin, and mirror.
There is a kitchenette area with a kettle and minibar, and you will be provided with complimentary slippers and bathrobes.
Outside, there is a pri..