Selfie or die trying? Goa says, ‘Enough.’

Posted by - June 27, 2018

EARLIER THIS WEEK, a man in Jalpaiguri, India, was nearly strangled by a rock python.
It was purely by choice, as he had put himself in the compromising position.
#INSTAGRAM
#MeTourism: The hidden costs of selfie tourism Forest ranger Sanjay Dutta was called in by residents to catch the 18-foot snake after it had killed and eaten a goat.
But before putting it into a sack to transport it back to the wild, he draped the animal around his neck to take celebratory selfies.
A python is a python, and it will do what it does best – attempt to coil itself around a mammal. It was a narrow escape for Dutta as he was nearly entangled.

Two days before Dutta’s incident, a 33-year-old mother-of-three fell 500 feet to her death in front of her family while visiting Matheran, a hill station in India.
Sarita Rammahesh Chouhan is believed to have slipped just as she was trying to take a selfie at the popular beauty spot.
Just a couple of months earlier, a first-year college student was killed near Sulur in Coimbatore, India, while taking a selfie on the train tracks.
The 18-year-old was hit by a goods train traveling from Erode to Kerala.
And sometime last year, a 17-year-old boy drowned in a pond and his friends weren’t even aware as they were busy selfie-ing.
Student Drowned As Friends Took A Group Selfie From Just A Few Feet Away (Photos) pic.twitter.com/vng8EKkdiZ
— CityGistNews (@Elexgist1) September 28, 2017
Selfie deaths in India are a dime a dozen.
In fact, a study by Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information recorded 127 selfie deaths in the world from March 2014 to September 2016. Of these, a whopping 60 percent (76) deaths took place in India.
Goa, India’s popular sunshine destination famous for its white sands and warm emerald water, has had enough.
The state identified 24 ‘no selfie zones’ along its coast after a spate of drowning incidents involving people trying to get a good shot.
Goa’s rocky coastline is highly Instrgammable the perfect spot for #photooftheday enthusiasts, but it’s also where travelers slip and drown.
How about take a picture of the destination and not with it? Source: Shutterstock.
The unsafe selfie points that have been marked with signages are:
Baga River Dona Paula Jetty Sinquerim Fort Anjuna Vagator Morjim Ashwem Arambol Kerim Between Bambolim and Siridao (all beaches) Agonda Bogmalo Hollant Baina Japanese Garden Betul Canaguinim Palolem Khola Cabo De Rama Polem Galgibagh Talpona Rajbagh Meanwhile, Goa has made clear the no-swim zones on all its beaches, marking the spots with red flags.
Signage boards in the vicinity will feature pictorial instructions, dos and don’ts, and an emergency toll-free number.
#GOA
Walking on sunshine: Luxury hotels in Goa for the romantic in you Goa’s beaches are monitored and patrolled by the Beach Safety Patrol (BSP), and lifeguards are on duty from 7:30am till 6pm daily during the monsoon season.
Two lifeguards are also present at every lifeguard tower to handle emergency situations.
The post Selfie or die trying? Goa says, ‘Enough.’ appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Why you should always opt for transit flights

Posted by - June 27, 2018

LONG-HAUL FLIGHTS can be a pain, especially when it stretches on for more than 10 hours.
In that regard, sometimes, transitting midway can be a lifesaver.
#AIRPLANES
The future of in-flight connectivity: Beyond passenger entertainment Relatively cheaper Just like off-peak tickets, indirect flight tickets can be easier on the wallet.
Source: Shutterstock.
Regarding flight prices, it’s not about the distance or the destination, but how much demand there might be for that flight. Non-stop flights tend to be in higher demand and thus, pricier.
With the help of booking websites like Skyscanner or cleverlayover, you can even pick and choose your desired travel and transit time.
See the in-between destination Ordinarily, planes flying long-haul make stops to refuel. But it’s also an excellent opportunity to make the most out of your travel.
Source: Shutterstock.
In Asian destinations such as Tokyo, Japan; Singapore; Seoul, South Korea; Bangkok, Thailand; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the city is just a quick train ride out.
So get out there for a couple of hours, and maybe pick up some travel souvenirs while you’re at it.
You may even gain a new immigration stamp at the border control to add to your passport’s collection.
Fill ‘er up Airplane food can be quite bland and depressing, especially if you’re flying eco-no-money.
Source: Shutterstock.
Particularly, the way airplane food is prepared and presented and the portions make it unappetizing and not the least bit filling,
Use your transit time to savor local-ish food at the airport. Most airports have a variety of restaurants and cafes so take your pick.
Walk it off Leg and foot swelling during air travel is no fun.
Source: Shutterstock.
“The most likely culprit is inactivity during a flight. Sitting with your feet on the floor for a long period causes blood to pool in your leg veins. The position of your legs when you are seated also increases pressure in your leg veins,” Mayo Clinic wrote.
A quick and breezy transit will give you the opportunity to stretch your legs at the airport and relieve the swelling.
Disco nap If you’re the type of traveler who finds it a challenge to sleep on flights, a stopover will “heal” you right up.
Source: Shutterstock.
Major international airports such as South Korea’s Incheon International Airport and United Arab Emirates’ Dubai International Airport has nap areas for tired travelers.
If your transit exceeds five hours, book up in an airport hotel to catch a few winks.
Freshen up Nobody likes to be greasy-faced or stinky after spending half a day on a long-haul flight.
Source: Shutterstock.
Luckily for you, a transit equals ample time to freshen up and for the ladies, touch up their makeup.
With a spare bag of toiletries in your carry-on, head to the airport washroom to give your face a good scrub or brush your teeth before you jump on the plane again.
Kids’ timeout Traveling with children? Give your kids (and yourself) a break.
Source: Shutterstock.
Being cooped up in a metal tube can result in cranky and lethargic adults as well as children. Let them run around and explore the airport for a bit.
Some airports, such as Singapore’s homely Changi Airport, has play areas and activities that are fun for the whole family.
#AIRLINES
Flying with children? Here are some family-friendly airlines Last but not least, it’s just nice to be able to get a breath of fresh air.
Just remember to travel on partner airlines so that your ticketing and luggage transfer is seamless the entire way.
As long as you don’t miss your connecting flight to your next destination, you’ll be fine.
The post Why you should always opt for transit flights appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

What’s in the most luxurious in-flight amenity kits?

Posted by - June 26, 2018

FLYING and luxury are now seamlessly synonymous. If you can afford it, that is.
Flying has evolved from a mode of transport into a luxury experience, one that could rival dining at Michelin-starred restaurants or sleeping in the Four Seasons’ Presidental Suite.
#AIRLINES
Here’s your guide to Asia’s best in-flight meals Airlines have put together experienced culinary panels which include kitchen veterans such as Tom Aikens, Peter Gordon, and Nobu Matsuhisa to create bespoke menus for business and first class passengers.
The revival of comfort and space is also emerging out of a “cram-as-many-as-we-can-in” era of commercial aviation, with whole onboard apartment-style cabins fitted with beds, desks, and bathrooms.
But what’s the point in high-flying showers without opulent toiletries to match?
Well, the world’s leading airlines have you covered.
Airlines such as Emirates, Qantas, and Etihad have teamed up with respected designers and sought-after cosmetic brands to keep their first class flyers feeling refreshed from take-off to landing.
Let’s take a look inside aviation’s most indulgent amenity bags and see how much it would cost in the shops.
United Airlines Source: United Airlines
United Airlines partnered with UK spa brand Cowshed to create its amenity kits.
Cowshed products are known for their natural ingredients and purifying, refreshing qualities, precisely what’s needed after a long-haul flight.
The bags are presented to business and first class passengers in a faux leather wash-bag. The kit contains lip balm to counter the effects of air-con, eye balm to fight signs of jetlag and moisturizing face and hand creams.
For added comfort, goodies such as a padded eye mask, cotton socks, earplugs and a toothbrush can also be found in the bag.
The cost to buy:
Eye balm: US$33 Toner: US$22 Face cream: US$42 Hand cream: US$22 Faux leather wash bag: US$60 Total: US$179
British Airways Source: British Airways
Keeping the quintessentially British theme running through the UK’s flag carrier, British Airways (BA) has teamed up with Liberty London to create an indulgent goodie bag.
Those fortunate enough to fly first class on BA flights will receive wash bags covered in distinct Liberty prints and filled with products from Aromatherapy Associates.
Aromatherapy Associates’ brand focuses on finding time for you and indulging in mindful beauty.
Where better to do so than on a long-haul flight?
The cost to buy:
Cleansers: US$53 Hand lotion: US$31 Moisturizer: US$66 Liberty London wash bag: US$66 *The amenity bag also includes products not available in store such as the deodorant stick.
Total: US$216
Qantas Source: Qantas
Melbourne born designer Martin Grant was called upon by Qantas to design its cabin crew’s uniforms in 2014, modeled by Miranda Kerr.
After which, Australia’s national flag carrier pursued the collaboration further and asked Grant to design the first class amenity bag.
Grant’s uncluttered and contemporary style can be seen in every aspect of the bag, from the unisex cotton pajamas to the eye cupping, padded sleep mask.
Alongside Grant’s designs are a range of bespoke hydrating ASPAR by Aurora Spa products.
The cost to buy:
Lip balm: US$10 Hand cream: US$37 Moisturizer: US$18 Cleanser: US$24 *The products designed by Martin Grant for Qantas cannot be bought instore, but people sell their kits online for around $60. Cheaper than a first class ticket.
Total: US$89
Qatar Airlines Source: Qatar Airlines
Qatar Airlines teamed up with BRIC’s luggage to create cute washbags that replicate the iconic full-size BRIC’s bags.
Every long-haul business and the first class passenger gets a dinky amenity kit full of Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio products, including lip balm, hydrating facial mist, anti-aging moisturizer and BRIC’s luggage tag.
Accompanying the ultra-luxe toiletries are sleeper suits and cotton slippers designed by The White Company.
Medium-haul business and first class passengers get Nappa Dori canvas bags printed with images of Thailand, the Netherlands, China, and Doha, along with Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio lip balm, socks, and eyeshades.
The cost to buy:
Lip balm: *only available on Qatar Hydrating facial mist: *only available on Qatar Anti-aging moisturizer: US$180 Toiletry bag: US$117 Luggage tag: US$25 Total: US$322
#TRAVEL TECH
Which technologies are helping companies transform the travel industry? Emirates Source: Emirates
Emirates has pioneered sleepwear specifically designed for flying.
First class passengers can get comfy in cotton sleepsuits, fluffy slippers, and faux sheepskin comforters.
The luxury toiletries include Bulgari’s signature woody floral fragrance, Eau de Parfumée au thé noir, moisturizers, eye cream and hand lotion.
Passengers will also receive a dental kit, razor, deodorant, and hairbrush so they can land looking and feeling their best.
The wash bag comes in a silvery grey for women and a deeper grey for men.
The cost to buy:
Fragrance: US$71 Moisturizer: US$37 Body lotion: US$58 Washbag: US$80 Total: US$216
*All prices are based on full-sized toiletries from direct online stores.
The post What’s in the most luxurious in-flight amenity kits? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

The world’s riskiest destination for travelers might surprise you

Posted by - June 25, 2018

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

Should ‘voluntourism’ be a thing?

Posted by - June 22, 2018

VOLUNTEER TOURISM, or voluntourism, is a travel and tourism trend that claims to be linked to “doing good”. But some deem it to be quite controversial.
Well-established organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children, CARE International, and World Vision have been pushing initiatives to promote voluntourism to raise money for orphans and vulnerable children.
But it has come under severe criticism.
#ENVIRONMENT
Lesser-known Gili island to get major makeover In “Queen of Pop” Madonna’s I Am Because We Are documentary, the singer claimed Malawi is in a “state of emergency”, with over a million children orphaned by AIDS living on streets, in abandoned buildings, and are being abducted, kidnapped, or raped.
Malawi’s situation was also something that UNICEF has highlighted in the past, but Madonna’s claim was inaccurate. According to Capital FM Malawi, citing government data, Malawi has over 10,000 street children.
Because Madonna is such a high profile artist with such a big influence, what she did could have adverse effects.
What this does is give aspiring voluntourists a false perception of the place and the struggles of the people. The same way what poverty-stricken and suffering-filled images of Africa will lead people to believe.
Exaggerations and false claims can draw unwanted attention and encourage exploitation. Source: Shutterstock.
This draws attention from to-be amateur humanitarian workers, usually high school and college students, who are interested in seeing new places but also serve the community all at the same time.
Although they believe that by lending a helping hand, they’re directly addressing suffering, they have very few relevant skills to be humanitarian workers. The travels will ideally only serve the traveler, not so much the people or the children.
“Instead, volunteers take part in service projects like basic construction, painting, tutoring in English and maths, distributing food, or ‘just being a friend’ to children perceived as alone and in need of social support,” The Conversation wrote.
Therefore, despite the good intentions, they could come across as not so helpful after all and their travels superficial.
Think you know all there is to know about voluntourism? Source: Shutterstock.
The other things to consider is the legitimacy and genuineness of the organizations and their programs. Modern technology such as social media makes calling out for help easy, but are they all as sincere as they make themselves out to be?
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today show, Harry Potter author and activist J.K. Rowling broached the subject of voluntourism.
“They may not realize it, but they are driving what is sometimes a lucrative business model, they are keeping the institution open as a magnet for funding or private donations, they are driving a system that we know from eighty sound years of research irreparably harms children,” she said.
Rowling added that abusive orphanages sometimes traffic malnourished children around various institutions to encourage wealthy donors to send money, or sexually abuse the children in their care.
“There are children that are being severely abused and neglected, but children tell us that they are told they have to smile and sing and tell the volunteers they love them, otherwise they’ll be beaten or locked up or they won’t get food.”
The issue is prevalent in Cambodia. Cambodian Children’s Trust and the Cambodian government are currently racing to rescue Cambodian children (starved, beaten, and raped) from orphanages exploiting them for profit.
Don’t be a part of the voluntourism problem. Source: Shutterstock.
This doesn’t mean that voluntourism shouldn’t be a thing. For all intents and purposes, it’s a good travel and tourism trend to heal the world. But there are things people should know before jumping on the bandwagon.
For example, those interested in volunteering must study the political, social, economic, and cultural histories of the places they intend to visit. Mutual respect is needed so general knowledge is important.
Volunteers should also do due diligence and put some research into the organization that they’re applying through. If need be, volunteers should ask for a breakdown of where the money goes as well as a request for evidence of previous volunteers and the difference they’ve made.
Case in point: People and Places, a social enterprise committed to responsible volunteering, publishes its figures.
#ENVIRONMENT
UNWTO ambassadors Messi, Hello Kitty promote responsible, sustainable tourism More importantly, aspiring voluntourists should go with a mindset that it’s a cultural exchange and not humanitarian relief.
The post Should ‘voluntourism’ be a thing? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Should ‘voluntourism’ be a thing?

Posted by - June 22, 2018

VOLUNTEER TOURISM, or voluntourism, is a travel and tourism trend that claims to be linked to “doing good”. But some deem it to be quite controversial.
Well-established organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children, CARE International, and World Vision have been pushing initiatives to promote voluntourism to raise money for orphans and vulnerable children.
But it has come under severe criticism.
#ENVIRONMENT
Lesser-known Gili island to get major makeover In “Queen of Pop” Madonna’s I Am Because We Are documentary, the singer claimed Malawi is in a “state of emergency”, with over a million children orphaned by AIDS living on streets, in abandoned buildings, and are being abducted, kidnapped, or raped.
Malawi’s situation was also something that UNICEF has highlighted in the past, but Madonna’s claim was inaccurate. According to Capital FM Malawi, citing government data, Malawi has over 10,000 street children.
Because Madonna is such a high profile artist with such a big influence, what she did could have adverse effects.
What this does is give aspiring voluntourists a false perception of the place and the struggles of the people. The same way what poverty-stricken and suffering-filled images of Africa will lead people to believe.
Exaggerations and false claims can draw unwanted attention and encourage exploitation. Source: Shutterstock.
This draws attention from to-be amateur humanitarian workers, usually high school and college students, who are interested in seeing new places but also serve the community all at the same time.
Although they believe that by lending a helping hand, they’re directly addressing suffering, they have very few relevant skills to be humanitarian workers. The travels will ideally only serve the traveler, not so much the people or the children.
“Instead, volunteers take part in service projects like basic construction, painting, tutoring in English and maths, distributing food, or ‘just being a friend’ to children perceived as alone and in need of social support,” The Conversation wrote.
Therefore, despite the good intentions, they could come across as not so helpful after all and their travels superficial.
Think you know all there is to know about voluntourism? Source: Shutterstock.
The other things to consider is the legitimacy and genuineness of the organizations and their programs. Modern technology such as social media makes calling out for help easy, but are they all as sincere as they make themselves out to be?
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today show, Harry Potter author and activist J.K. Rowling broached the subject of voluntourism.
“They may not realize it, but they are driving what is sometimes a lucrative business model, they are keeping the institution open as a magnet for funding or private donations, they are driving a system that we know from eighty sound years of research irreparably harms children,” she said.
Rowling added that abusive orphanages sometimes traffic malnourished children around various institutions to encourage wealthy donors to send money, or sexually abuse the children in their care.
“There are children that are being severely abused and neglected, but children tell us that they are told they have to smile and sing and tell the volunteers they love them, otherwise they’ll be beaten or locked up or they won’t get food.”
The issue is prevalent in Cambodia. Cambodian Children’s Trust and the Cambodian government are currently racing to rescue Cambodian children (starved, beaten, and raped) from orphanages exploiting them for profit.
Don’t be a part of the voluntourism problem. Source: Shutterstock.
This doesn’t mean that voluntourism shouldn’t be a thing. For all intents and purposes, it’s a good travel and tourism trend to heal the world. But there are things people should know before jumping on the bandwagon.
For example, those interested in volunteering must study the political, social, economic, and cultural histories of the places they intend to visit. Mutual respect is needed so general knowledge is important.
Volunteers should also do due diligence and put some research into the organization that they’re applying through. If need be, volunteers should ask for a breakdown of where the money goes as well as a request for evidence of previous volunteers and the difference they’ve made.
Case in point: People and Places, a social enterprise committed to responsible volunteering, publishes its figures.
#ENVIRONMENT
UNWTO ambassadors Messi, Hello Kitty promote responsible, sustainable tourism More importantly, aspiring voluntourists should go with a mindset that it’s a cultural exchange and not humanitarian relief.
The post Should ‘voluntourism’ be a thing? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Body, mind, soul, plus other things to pack for a yoga retreat

Posted by - June 21, 2018

ACROSS THE GLOBE, yoga enthusiasts are preparing to observe the fourth International Day of Yoga (IDY) on June 21, 2018.
In India, the birthplace of yoga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead about 55,000 enthusiasts in performing asanas in Dehradun.
“About 5,000 events will be held across the country to mark International Day for Yoga (IDY),” The Times of India quoted a senior AYUSH ministry official as saying.
#TRAVEL
Transformative travel, wellness retreats: Which one is right for you? IDY aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.
The first IDY was observed all over the world on June 21, 2015. 35,985 people, including Modi and a large number of dignitaries from 84 nations, performed 21 yoga asanas (postures) for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi.
It established two Guinness world records – one for the largest yoga class and the other for the largest number of participating nationalities.
This year, the theme is “Yoga for Peace”.
Yoga is the journey from ‘me’ to ‘we.’ It promises balance, calm, helps boost concentration and gives immense strength.
As we approach the #4thYogaDay, I urge people around the world to make Yoga a part of their lives. pic.twitter.com/A4zk3ybNye
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 18, 2018
Yoga tourism and spiritual tourism, which sit under the wider umbrella of wellness tourism, has seen an exponential growth in recent years.
Of course, India is the world’s fastest growing wellness tourism destination, with other Southeast Asian countries tailing close behind.
“Wellness travel — any tourism associated with the goal of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being — is now a US$439 billion industry worldwide within the US$3.2 trillion global tourism industry, representing 14 percent of all tourism spending. It’s estimated to have a trillion dollars worth of economic impact,” HuffPost Lifestyle reported.
According to BookYogaRetreats, a handful of the world’s top yoga retreats are in Asia: Rishikesh (India), Goa (India), Bali (Indonesia), Koh Phangan (Thailand), and Koh Samui (Thailand).
Thinking of heading to any of the above wellness destinations for some quality body, mind, and soul “me time”?
Here are some essentials you need to include in your check-in luggage:
Workout gear If you’re going somewhere particularly hot, you should probably be packing body-cooling, sweat-absorbing gear. Lightweight gym clothes will do the trick.
Source: Shutterstock.
For the ladies, sports bras are the way to go. Pack a couple since you’ll mostly be up and out and about in your workout clothes.
Throw in some waterproof ones while you’re at it just in case you get caught in the tropical rain or if you’re going to be doing some hiking.
Yoga props Of course, you can’t have a proper yoga retreat without the necessary yoga props.
That includes yoga tops, yoga pants, and a yoga journal (if you don’t have one, you can start one).
Source: Shutterstock.
Bring your own yoga mat especially if you’re a germophobe and iffy about the ones that resorts offer.
Comfortable footwear Aside from yoga sessions, some wellness retreats also offer walks or hikes. So you need to be prepared.
Explore the surrounding areas in a good, sturdy pair of walking shoes.
Source: Shutterstock.
If you’re hitting a retreat that’s by the beach or has a swimming pool, then don’t leave your flip flops/sandals at home.
Water bottle This is a no-brainer since you’re on a wellness vacay.
Source: Shutterstock.
Hydration is key so you’d want to chug down lots of water. But you also want to be kind to the environment, not just your body.
Instead of buying bottled water, pack your own reusable water bottle and save the Earth, one refill at a time.
Summer accessories Most Southeast Asian countries have year-long summers.
Source: Shutterstock.
To survive being in the sun and the heat, make sure that you’ve got your sunglasses, hair tie or cap, and sweat-resistant sunblock.
You may also need to slather or spray on some bug repellant as you’ll be spending a lot of time surrounded by nature.
#RETREATS
Not convinced about wellness travel? Here’s what you need to know And most important of all, remember to bring your positive energy.
Happy yoga-ing!
The post Body, mind, soul, plus other things to pack for a yoga retreat appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Body, mind, soul, plus other things to pack for a yoga retreat

Posted by - June 21, 2018

ACROSS THE GLOBE, yoga enthusiasts are preparing to observe the fourth International Day of Yoga (IDY) on June 21, 2018.
In India, the birthplace of yoga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead about 55,000 enthusiasts in performing asanas in Dehradun.
“About 5,000 events will be held across the country to mark International Day for Yoga (IDY),” The Times of India quoted a senior AYUSH ministry official as saying.
#TRAVEL
Transformative travel, wellness retreats: Which one is right for you? IDY aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.
The first IDY was observed all over the world on June 21, 2015. 35,985 people, including Modi and a large number of dignitaries from 84 nations, performed 21 yoga asanas (postures) for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi.
It established two Guinness world records – one for the largest yoga class and the other for the largest number of participating nationalities.
This year, the theme is “Yoga for Peace”.
Yoga is the journey from ‘me’ to ‘we.’ It promises balance, calm, helps boost concentration and gives immense strength.
As we approach the #4thYogaDay, I urge people around the world to make Yoga a part of their lives. pic.twitter.com/A4zk3ybNye
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 18, 2018
Yoga tourism and spiritual tourism, which sit under the wider umbrella of wellness tourism, has seen an exponential growth in recent years.
Of course, India is the world’s fastest growing wellness tourism destination, with other Southeast Asian countries tailing close behind.
“Wellness travel — any tourism associated with the goal of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being — is now a US$439 billion industry worldwide within the US$3.2 trillion global tourism industry, representing 14 percent of all tourism spending. It’s estimated to have a trillion dollars worth of economic impact,” HuffPost Lifestyle reported.
According to BookYogaRetreats, a handful of the world’s top yoga retreats are in Asia: Rishikesh (India), Goa (India), Bali (Indonesia), Koh Phangan (Thailand), and Koh Samui (Thailand).
Thinking of heading to any of the above wellness destinations for some quality body, mind, and soul “me time”?
Here are some essentials you need to include in your check-in luggage:
Workout gear If you’re going somewhere particularly hot, you should probably be packing body-cooling, sweat-absorbing gear. Lightweight gym clothes will do the trick.
Source: Shutterstock.
For the ladies, sports bras are the way to go. Pack a couple since you’ll mostly be up and out and about in your workout clothes.
Throw in some waterproof ones while you’re at it just in case you get caught in the tropical rain or if you’re going to be doing some hiking.
Yoga props Of course, you can’t have a proper yoga retreat without the necessary yoga props.
That includes yoga tops, yoga pants, and a yoga journal (if you don’t have one, you can start one).
Source: Shutterstock.
Bring your own yoga mat especially if you’re a germophobe and iffy about the ones that resorts offer.
Comfortable footwear Aside from yoga sessions, some wellness retreats also offer walks or hikes. So you need to be prepared.
Explore the surrounding areas in a good, sturdy pair of walking shoes.
Source: Shutterstock.
If you’re hitting a retreat that’s by the beach or has a swimming pool, then don’t leave your flip flops/sandals at home.
Water bottle This is a no-brainer since you’re on a wellness vacay.
Source: Shutterstock.
Hydration is key so you’d want to chug down lots of water. But you also want to be kind to the environment, not just your body.
Instead of buying bottled water, pack your own reusable water bottle and save the Earth, one refill at a time.
Summer accessories Most Southeast Asian countries have year-long summers.
Source: Shutterstock.
To survive being in the sun and the heat, make sure that you’ve got your sunglasses, hair tie or cap, and sweat-resistant sunblock.
You may also need to slather or spray on some bug repellant as you’ll be spending a lot of time surrounded by nature.
#RETREATS
Not convinced about wellness travel? Here’s what you need to know And most important of all, remember to bring your positive energy.
Happy yoga-ing!
The post Body, mind, soul, plus other things to pack for a yoga retreat appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

How to stay healthy during frequent business travels

Posted by - June 20, 2018

TRAVELING as part of the job is a big perk, but often, business travelers who are constantly jet-setting around the world struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
According to a study, people who travel for business more than three weeks per month are more likely to become obese, compared to those who travel just one to six nights per month.
This is due to unhealthy or few food options and the lack of time or facility to exercise.
#TRAVEL HACKS
Learn the art of combining business with leisure Business travelers who jet off for two weeks to a month at a time are also more likely to have trouble sleeping than those who travel one to six nights monthly. The sleeplessness could manifest in many things: physical, mental, and behavioral changes due to poor health.
Aside from weight gain (which could lead to cardiovascular and blood pressure issued), mental health issues such as anxiety and depression may also result from the trips. This could lead to excessive smoking and alcohol dependency.
Mailman School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology Andrew Rundle, who led the study, said, “Business travel can surely be educational and even fun, not to mention necessary for many people. But the wear and tear resulting from constant trips may not be altogether worth it.”
Is constantly jet-setting and attending back-to-back meetings good for you? Source: Shutterstock.
Rundle wrote that the physical and mental conditions among extensive business travelers may harm even the health of the organizations they work for.
The health issues can result in low productivity levels, poor performance, short-term disabilities, and medical claim costs.
How to keep yourself in check By choosing to travel the healthier and more productive way.
Other than taking responsibility for the decisions you make while you’re on a business trip about food, exercise, alcohol, and sleep, you can also pick and choose which trips to go for.
Skip those that are not as urgent and opt to Skype into a meeting instead. You’ll save time, money, and most of all lower the risk of mental and physical health complications.
#BUSINESS TRAVEL
Surviving Asia’s 5 most expensive destinations for business travel Employers should also give employees who travel extensively all the support they would need, including training their workers to manage stress better.
Perhaps throw in accommodations that have access to physical activity facilities and healthy food options.
The post How to stay healthy during frequent business travels appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Shenzhen: From dirty to one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities

Posted by - June 19, 2018

LIKE MOST CITIES IN CHINA, Shenzhen has been battling pollution, one of the biggest environmental issues in the country.
Shenzhen, a modern metropolis with a booming industrial zone that links Hong Kong to China’s mainland. It has a vibrant economy and is home to major tourist attractions. But for years, a dark secret hung over the city like a smog.
#ENVIRONMENT
The big Asian clean-up: How Asia is tackling plastic pollution Known for spewing clouds of toxic smoke and dangerous levels of air pollutants, which caused widespread environmental and health problems, Shenzhen has since succeeded in turning itself around.
In 2002, Shenzhen received a top award by the United Nations for being one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities, an accolade that both shocked and impressed its neighbors.
In less than a decade, the city reduced its air pollution levels by around 50 percent, according to its authorities.
It’s nearly impossible to go out without a face mask in China. Source: Shutterstock.
How did Shenzhen achieve that?
Much has been done to clean up and transform Shenzhen into China’s most sustainable city and a poster child for the country.
For starters, the government has been aggressive in cutting roadside air pollution and planting trees along the streets.
Shenzhen also made global headlines for being the first major city in the world to roll out an all-electric public bus fleet – all 16,000 of them. To put it into perspective, the city has more all-electric buses than the combined number operating in New York City, LA, Toronto, New Jersey, and Chicago.
Chinese firm Build Your Dreams (BYD) manufactures Shenzhen’s all-electric public bus fleet. Source: Shutterstock.
Unlike the diesel-guzzling buses, electric buses are not only better for the environment but also quieter. They’re cheaper to operate and maintain as well.
And for every 1,000 battery-powered buses in operation, the country cuts down on 500 barrels of diesel fuel, according to calculations by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It was this all-electric fleet that helped the city meet its air quality goals in both 2016 and 2017.
That’s not all. It also has an electric taxi fleet that runs its streets.
Currently, about 62.5 percent of all Shenzhen’s taxis are electric and the city aims to turn the fleet all-electric. The city plans to electrify all its taxis by 2020.

China, being quick to embrace new technology and practice forward-thinking as well as its declaration of war against pollution, has allowed for positive changes in Shenzhen.
Between 2013 and 2016, levels of toxic PM 25 dropped by over 30 percent.
Last year, the Shenzhen municipal government offered CNY3.3 billion (US$514.4 million) in subsidies for e-buses and the construction of charging facilities. The city also encouraged taxi operators and private investors to invest in charging poles and stations for e-taxis.
The post Shenzhen: From dirty to one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.