Top Benefits of Singapore Permanent Residence (PR)

Singapore is known for its economic power within Southeast Asia. It is very tiny geographically, but the economy is strong. Many individuals from all over the world are in search of the opportunity to reside or work in this state. Due to the many advantages that come with living in Singapore, one of foreigners’ main reasons for working here is to obtain a PR.

According to Singapore’s collected data, almost a million people are PR holders. Although the whole process takes a lot of time, individuals are still willing to wait because of all the myriad of advantages that come with it. Here are some of them.

Lower Medical Charges

Access to healthcare services in Singapore is increased if you are a permanent resident. The country provides various ways of reducing the cash you use on matters relating to health. For instance, they can give you access to a polyclinic for no charge or for the same amount paid by a Singaporean citizen rather than the large sum that foreigners pay. If you need any medicine, it is also available at cheap prices.

Residence Stability

One of the major advantages of PR is that it offers a firm settlement status. This means freedom, having your rights, and other perks in the country. If, for example, you are a spouse of a PR holder, you can also benefit by getting a visit pass to Singapore.

Employment Bonus

It does not matter if you are self-employed and have just started a business venture, are employed by a company in Singapore, or are just earning income through a profitable business. Once you get a permanent residence, all these become easier to do. Companies in Singapore will also prefer PR holders because they do not need to invest more in getting job permits and the like.

Simplified Traveling

Having your traveling simplified is also one of the many advantages of obtaining a permanent residence. You can come and leave Singapore without any applications for different visas for traveling. You will also get a blue card that will act as an identification document. If you want to get a permanent residence visa for Singapore, visit Visa Express for more information.

Education and Child Support

There are a lot of childcare facilities in Singapore that receive the government’s support. And because of this, permanent residents enjoy a reduced cost when they need the services of childcare facilities.

If you are a PR holder and decide to include your partner or children when applying, then the benefits increase. You will be surprised to see your children being prioritized and joining public learning institutions of your choice.

Retirement in Singapore

Permanent residents of Singapore have the right to live in the country even after they have retired. They are also free to leave the country if they want to.

It is important to note that getting a PR in Singapore is a long process, and it may take six to twelve months. But with the above benefits, you have every reason to wait.

The best spots to visit in Vietnam

Vietnam is best-known as one of the true backpacking paradises in South East Asia. The famous route from the north to the south or vice-versa leads the travellers to the best spots of the country. With an interesting culture and incredible landscapes, Vietnam is a destination to fall in love with. The images of the locals with their traditional hats and their street food characterize Vietnam. With cheap accommodations and night-buses, the country is made for budget travellers. From the food to the people and the attractions – Vietnam does not disappoint.

The route through Backpacker paradise

The most convenient way for Backpackers to travel the country of Vietnam is taking the route from the North to the South, or from the South to the North. It leads all along the coast and includes all the highlights, which cannot be missed. By bus or by motorcycle – this route is a must for any traveller that truly wants to connect with the culture and not miss any spot in Vietnam.

The Top of the best spots to visit

In Vietnam, Backpackers can experience the culture and the background of the country in multiple ways. The busy life in the city with the millions of scooters offers a totally different perspective than the quiet rice fields or the limestone mountains. However, all those places together form the country Vietnam – one that needs to be on your bucketlist.

The Ha Long Bay

One of the most famous places in Vietnam is the Ha Long Bay. The bay is actually one of the 7 wonders of the world of nature and therefore cannot be missed on the backpacking trip through the country. After a 3-hour drive from Hanoi the countless limestone mountains greet the visitors. The bay can be best experienced with a boat trip, which takes you in the middle of the unique place.

The Ha Giang Loop

For those Backpackers who are dreaming of a multiple day motorcycle tour, the Ha Giang Loop is the place to go. Located in the very north of Vietnam, this route takes you to the rural areas. You come across the boarder to China and get unique insights into the life in the villages. With rice fields and mountains, this area is often seen as the most beautiful the country has to offer.

The city of Hoi An

Maybe one of the most beautiful and scenic cities in South East Asia: Hoi An. The ancient town is a part of the UNESCO world heritage and mainly known for its millions of lanterns. By night the city is one big colorful spectacle. By day, you can rent a bike and explore the old streets and get lost in the unique vibe.

The Old Quarter in Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and most likely to be the start of your adventure. The most beautiful part of the city is the Old Quarter. With the beer street and the old houses, this area tells the story of the city. It is also the best place to get to know the local food and enjoy the Vietnamese highlights on the menu. Make sure to also visit the train street and taste lots of coconut and egg coffee.

The viewpoint in Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is just a few hours away from Hanoi and the place where you will finally see the green rice fields which characterize Vietnam. You can rent a bike and explore the area by yourself. The best place for sunset is the viewpoint on the temple. You can overlook the whole area and watch the sun setting behind the mountains.

The desserts of Mũi Né

Most Backpackers do not expect to see a dessert in Vietnam. Mũi Néi s therefore a huge surprise for the travellers. With two giant sand dunes, one in white and one in red, Mũi Né offers a totally different experience. Watch the sunset or take a quad tour in the sand. This place is truly unique and should not be missed on the route along the coast.

The island Phú Quốc

It would not be a backpacking destination, if it hadn’t one of those paradise beaches everyone dreams about. In Vietnam, they can be found on the southern island of Phú Quốc. Enjoy the paradise, have a cocktail and go snorkeling. This is the perfect end of any trip through Vietnam.

A must for any Backpacker

Vietnam remains one of those destinations, that any Backpacker has to visit one day. If you are now planning your route around the country, visit the German website Backpackertrail for more information and professional planning.

Must Visit Attractions in Bali

Are you flying from Hong Kong to Bali? Have you planned your trip yet? Bali is Indonesia’s main tourist destination, a popular island destination rich in natural beauty, culture and history. It is famous for its highly developed arts, dance, sculptures, leather, music and metalwork. The island’s essence is captured in this list of must visit attractions that anyone would enjoy.

1. Ubud Monkey Forest

Ubud Monkey Forest (Mandala Suci Wenara Wana), is in fact a sanctuary and natural habitat of the Balinese long-tailed monkey, named Macaca fascicularis. It is a temple, lush forest and home to about 1049 monkeys. There is no fence in the forest and monkeys are allowed to roam freely. The natural charm, fresh cool air drawn tourists all over the world and enjoy the company of playful monkeys throughout the visit.

2. Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple is nestled at the edge of a cliff high above the sea. It has more cultural value than what you can see. Tourists can learn local culture and customs in one visit. Remember you should respect the local culture – bring some clothes to cover your shoulders and knees if you are a woman; also keep your personal stuff safe as monkeys here are notorious for stealing items! If you are going to the Uluwatu Temple, I recommend arriving just before sunset, find a spot on the far right side of the temple on the wall and get ready for the best sunset of your life.

3. Seminyak

Seminyak is one of the most touristy areas of Bali. Tourists can find everything from small and humble traditional shops to high-end designer boutiques. Seminyak is also famous for its busy and stunning beach, and also a good place if you are a beginner at surfing. The sea can get busy easily but the beach is so big there is plenty of space for everyone to catch their wave. After surfing, sit down at one of the vibrant beach bars, enjoy food and drinks while listening to live music and watching the sunset over the beach.

4. Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Bali is famous for its natural beauties and the terraced rice fields in Tegalalang is one of the most famous and iconic sights you should not miss. It offers tourists a splendid sight of nature and the local’s valuable culture and customs. The rice field is just a short 20-minute drive from Ubud. There is no entry cost but you will find local farmers who ask for a small donation to protect the environment and keep their farm running. Visit in the morning to avoid the crowd, breathe fresh air and explore the location and its neighbourhoods.

5. Besakih Temple

Besakih Temple is also known as the ‘Mother Temple of Bali’. It is not just one temple but more like a complex of temples, set on the slopes of Mount Agung. The complex comprises at least 86 temples but some of them are closed to the public for private occasions. The main temple is called Pura Penataran Agung (the Great Temple of State). Many locals and worshippers actively participate in rituals every day. Each year, numerous religious ceremonies or celebrations are hosted here and attended by Hindu devotees all over the island. This temple is however a bit far from other points of interest, so it may take you some time to get there.

6. Mount Batur

Mount Batur is an active volcano that last erupted in 2000. It is also one of the island’s sacred sites. To best appreciate Mount Batur, sign up for an early morning trek tour, as you will need a registered coach to summit the peak. Excursions usually depart 2 or 3 am in the morning and climbers will then make the 2-hour journey to the top of the volcano while it is still dark. This looks like a tiring activity but your effort will pay off with amazing sunrise views of Mount Agung and the surrounding mountains.

7. Munduk Village

Munduk is a tiny town in northern Bali. It is a great place to visit if you would like some fresh cool air, green environment and charming natural attractions away from the bustling Ubud. The waterfalls and hills in Munduk are world-class, making the village one of the most popular trekking destinations in Bali. It was also the Dutch’s favourite place to retreat during the colonial era, the historic episode decorates the location with European architecture and historical buildings.

8. Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach may not be the best beach in Bali but it is one of the beaches located close to the airport. Many tourists often head there right after they land in Bali. It is not hard to understand why – the beach is a lively spot that offers countless fun activities, from dawn to late at night.It is also one of the favourites for young travellers who surf or would like to learn surfing. The west of the beach makes it one of the best spots to admire sunset and if you are here for a sunset walk or sunset photo shoot.

9. Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul Temple is a traditional spring water temple not far from Ubud and the Tegalalang rice terraces. It is a sacred place for Hindus and locals believe the water flowing at the temple has healing power to cleanse their body and soul and when visiting you should dress in appropriate temple attire. There are several pools in the temple and while soaking in the spring water, you can enjoy the serene and beautiful surroundings. Even if you are not going to bathe in the holy water, it is still a great place to look at the surrounding Hindu temples and architecture to see the traditional side of Bali and the Hindu region, and simply walk around the area and enjoy the serenity and tranquility.

Are you ready to begin your journey in Bali? Book the flight now through Cathay Pacific. Our mission is to make the most out of your travel…this applies when you fly from Hong Kong to Bali. Book your tickets now on http://www.cathaypacific.com

Travel Destinations in Indonesia: Gili Gede

If you mention the Gilis, many people may come back with, “What are the Gilis”? The more enlightened may respond, “Oh the islands to the Northwest of Lombok”. Of course they would not be entirely wrong. Gili translates as “Island”, and the 3 Gilis to the Northwest of Lombok, Trawangan, Meno and Air, are the best known.

There are in fact 26 Gilis in the warm coastal waters of Lombok. To the Southwest there is one of Lombok’s better secrets, Gili Gede. This is probably one of the most natural and still un-spoilt island destination for the explorative traveler. Gili Gede translates as “Big Island” and the pronunciation of Gede is very close to the typical Australian greeting, “G’day”.

Tourism has not spoilt this blue water paradise, in fact Gili Gede is still very much a working island. With its small population still sustaining life through pearl farming and fishing, as it has done for centuries, tourism is very much down played. But the small numbers of explorers that visit the island are made very welcome, the locals are friendly, accommodating and somewhat, attractively, inquisitive towards their visitors.

Why Gili Gede?

Apart from never feeling like and intruder, Gili Gede is about being away from the hustle and bustle, the neon clubs and bars, the thumping music, glitzy shopping malls and high end fashion. Gili Gede is all about enjoying its peaceful natural beauty, both on land and in its warm waters, on and below the surface. At just 4km x 1.6km, the island may be small, but it is a little piece of true paradise, one of the few that remain on our over exploited planet.

For the traveler that is not so worried about their budget, there is a luxury resort on the East coast, Kokomo Resort. The resort sports sea view villas, 1 and 2 bedroomed, with private pools. Its magnificent restaurant is, of course, heavily influenced by local, traditional cuisine, but also embraces that of the wider Asian region, and there are even some Italian nuances which add to its wonderful culinary experience.

There is also the resort’s luxurious spa. To a backdrop of the waves gently lapping at the soft white sand, guests can enjoy manicures, pedicures, or a very self-indulgent traditional Sasak massage. For those that are a little more energetic, the resort has its own fully air conditioned gym. Lifting weights or cardio vascular workouts will help you to keep in trim during your, otherwise, relaxing holiday.

However, most of the visitors to Gili Gede are budget travelers, for which the island is ideal. Many budget travelers opt to rent a traditional Pondok, basic dwellings which are cheap and can be found across the island. A little more comfortable, and still affordable, small rental bungalows are popular, be they sited by the mangroves or the beach front, they are an idyllic and rather enchanting way to reside on the island.

Gili Gede is not for the hedonistic traveler. Apart from within the resort confines, there are no bars or clubs, no high street fashion retail and no ATMS, be ready for that! For the most part, entertainment comes from convivial company and being as close to real, natural living in as beautiful surroundings as it is possible to get.

What to do on Gili Gede?

Apart from feeling at peace with yourself and the environment, the island does have other appeal. Simply walking and exploring the island and the watching the locals go about their daily business, is in itself an enlightening experience. Awakening early is worth the effort to watch the sunrise, and with no light pollution the sunsets, followed by the night sky, is truly transmogrifying.

But what for the more active visitor? Gili Gede is not only a land paradise, beneath its silky blue waters lies an amazing marine world waiting to be explored by diving and snorkeling. There are un-spoilt coral reefs to explore and the plethora of colourful marine life that they support. There are dive sights for the beginner through to advanced divers, and there are numerous instructors operating on the island.

In addition to diving, surfers will not be disappointed. Perhaps not known outside the hardcore surfing world, Gili Gede has the longest left handed wave breaks in the world. Coming in off the East coast of the island, these barrel waves can reach up to 300 meters in length. If you are unable to bring your own board, there’s no need to worry. There are plenty of boards for hire, along with expert local knowledge to advise the experienced surfer and instruction for the novice.

Getting to Gili Gede

Bali Ferry services operate fast and regular services to Gili Gede with modern fleets departing from convenient locations in Lombok and Bali. Be it for a day trip or a long stay, for the laid back, or the adventurous explorer, getting to Gili Gede is fast, simple and affordable.

WHY YOUR NEXT TRIP SHOULD BE TO FUKUOKA

When you want to go on a trip that will give you a fresh experience and not just another cliché, you should book a flight to Fukuoka. It is the capital city of the larger Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan and also the biggest city in the island of Kyushu. This city provides you with a unique travel experience that you’ll definitely remember for years to come. With a wide array of activities to choose from such as surfing, bird watching, nature walks, and fine dining, coming up with the perfect itinerary might be quite the tedious task. In order to help you avoid sifting through tonnes of information, here are some of the reasons why Fukuoka should be your next travel destination.

Exploring the numerous shrines

Fukuoka is known for its numerous shrines that have stood for thousands of years. Visiting these historic sites is a great way to learn about the culture of the locals. Hakazaki Shrine is known to be one that has great importance in the history of Japan. In 1274, Mongolians invaded the city and burnt down the original shrine, since then it has been rebuilt and attracted many tourists from around the world. Another shrine to visit is the Atago Shrine. It is located on a hillside and provides a nice view of the whole city all the way to Hakata Bay. As a bonus, this is also the area where storks are known to nest which attracts many bird watching enthusiasts. Sumiyoshi Shrine is another one of the many shrines found in Fukuoka. It is located near the Naka River and was not constructed in the normal Buddhist style.

View the city from the Fukuoka Tower

Standing tall at a height of about 234 meters, it’s no doubt that the views from the Fukuoka Tower will leave you in awe. The tower also has a restaurant on its top floor that gives you an amazing dining experience with the panoramic vistas it offers. The tower is also considered as one of the national symbols of the city of Fukuoka.

Speaking of dining in the sky, Cathay Pacific provides the most comfortable experience that can be likened to it. Cathay Pacific has world class comfort that will ensure you get value for your money. On top of that, their in-flight entertainment promises a flight that is far from boring. With their return trip fares going for quite pocket friendly price, Cathay Pacific promises a wonderful flight experience that will leave you refreshed and ready for your vacation without breaking the bank.

Go Surfing

If you like an adventure that also incorporates a workout, surfing is the way to go. Fukuoka has numerous beaches dotted around city that provide amazing surfing conditions. You can visit these beaches during the summer when the waves aren’t too big if you’re only a beginner.

Watch a sumo match

If you’re like many visitors of Japan and you’re looking to immerse yourself in the culture of the locals, then watching a sumo match should be part of your itinerary. Fukuoka is the best place to experience this amazing sport especially around November when the season is at its peak. Some of the popular wrestlers can even be seen on the streets promoting their fights.

Check out amazing robots at Robosquare

When visiting Fukuoka, you should definitely explore Robosquare to see and interact with some cool robots. You’ll also get to see some of these robots being built and repaired. In addition, there is a gallery where you can learn about the mechanics behind some of the robots. This place beckons cybernetics enthusiasts and is also ideal for younger visitors since it provides an avenue for them to learn about robotics.

Checkout the roof garden at ACORS Building

The ACORS Building is located in the wider Tenjin Chuo Park and is especially popular for its roof garden. The garden hosts up to 75 different species of trees with a total of about 35,000 plants. The best time to visit the garden is in the morning when you can catch the plants glowing during sunrise. Unfortunately the park closes at 4pm which doesn’t allow for the plants to be seen during sunset.

5 Truly Vietnamese Coffee Drinks to Try in Hanoi

It was the French that brought coffee and coffee culture to Vietnam, but the Vietnamese have found ways to make it well and truly their own. The country is known for its strong robusta coffee, a bitter and intense coffee variant that most locals temper with the taste of sweetened condensed milk in a drink called cà phê nau in the north and cà phê sữa in the south.

Indeed, Vietnam has become a mecca of sorts for people who love their cup o’ joe, but the country has so much more to offer by way of coffee drinks. If you love coffee in all its forms, a visit to its coffee capital of Hanoi on a combo tour package with Traveloka should prove both meaningful and enjoyable. Book one today by visiting https://www.traveloka.com/vi-vn/packages/vietnam/region/ha-noi-city-10009843 and read on for some of the best Vietnamese variations on your favorite beverage.

Cà Phê Sữa Đá (Iced Milk Coffee)

Iced drinks are prevalent in Vietnam, where the climate is somewhere between sultry and temperate. The most popular coffee-based beverage in the country is cà phê sữa đá (known as cà phê nâu đá in the north), where Vietnamese-grown coffee meets sweetened condensed milk, ice, and water. This is also the basis for many other Vietnamese coffee drinks.

Why condensed milk? In the old days, fresh milk was hard to come by in Vietnam. The dairy farming industry was only just getting started, and access was restricted to those who could pay for the privilege. Additionally, condensed milk can be stored for a long time without spoiling, which used to be an advantage in a hot and humid country. It also was—and still is—the perfect counterbalance to the extremely dark and strong robusta coffee and the way it’s preferred by many Vietnamese: coarsely ground and filtered through a phin or a French drip. The result is extremely concentrated and almost impossible to drink without sweetening. Vietnamese iced milk coffee is sold everywhere, from the major cities to the coastal towns. Just nip into any establishment that sells coffee, and it should be the first listed item on the menu.

Cà Phê Trứng (Egg Coffee)

Cà phê trứng is a uniquely Hanoian specialty, an improvised concoction borne out of necessity in 1946, during the Anti-French Resistance War. Hard times brought on a milk shortage in the city, which forced a bartender named Nguyen Van Giang to devise an innovative solution to continue serving his regulars at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel. He added whisked chicken egg yolks as a milk replacement, and it proved enough of a hit that the drink continues to be served all over the city even today, long after the end of the war.

Modern cà phê trứng has come a long way from its frugal origins. Robusta coffee is topped with whisked eggs, sugar, and condensed milk to create a beverage that is closer to a sip-worthy indulgent dessert reminiscent of custard or Italian tiramisu. Certain establishments even go as far as to serve cà phê trứng with other creamy ingredients such as cheese and butter, further upping the “dessert” factor. In Hanoi, it is said that this coffee is made best at the Giang Café, which is owned by the family of its inventor.

Cà Phê Dừa (Coconut Coffee)

In this variation, robusta coffee is blended with condensed milk and coconut cream to create a beverage that’s distinctly tropical in flavor. There’s nothing more refreshing if you order it with ice or as an ice-blended beverage on a hot day in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

For the best cà phê dừa or cà phê cốt dừa in Hanoi, head to The Note Coffee in Hoàn Kiếm, a well-respected establishment when it comes to Vietnamese coffee. There’s also Spacebar, a co-working space-slash-café, if you’d like to get a bit of work done while enjoying your cup. Coconut coffee is also well-enjoyed as a beachside drink For the best cup and a phenomenal view, head to Cộng Café in Da Nang, where it is one of the specialties.

Sữa Chua Cà Phê (Yogurt Coffee)

Yogurt was also brought to Vietnam by the French, and it has been incorporated into many a dish and dessert here. Vietnamese yogurt is creamy, rich and luxurious, making it the perfect base for toppings such as fresh fruit or granola. In Hanoi, however, an 83-year-old café has mixed it with coffee, and thus sữa chua cà phê was born.

Created in 2012 by the proprietor of Duy Tri Café, sữa chua cà phê is a straightforward concoction that consists of a full glass of thick yogurt topped with a layer of coffee that’s black as night. You can have it with ice if you so choose, but the yogurt has already been frozen beforehand, so all you need to do is stir and enjoy.

The establishment creates their own special blend of coffee by roasting their own mix of robusta andarabica beans, setting them apart from other shops in the area. Visit them in Yen Phu or just search for sữa chua cà phê—they’ve become so popular for this drink that Google maps will lead you straight to them.

Cà Phê Bạc Xỉu (Saigon-style Coffee Milk)

Described as “coffee for people who don’t like coffee,” cà phê bạc xỉu is a variation on the more famous cà phê sữa đá. The ingredients are the same: dark robusta coffee, sweetened condensed milk, water, and ice. What differs is the proportions; where cà phê sữa đá is still recognizably a cup of coffee, cà phê bạc xỉu is better described as a glass of condensed milk, flavored with a bit of coffee and loaded with ice. The specific ratio is about 3 parts condensed milk to 1 part coffee—or even less.

Bac Xiu is a truncated Chinese expression commonly used by the people of Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City. The full expression is “Bạc Tảy Xỉu Phé,” which roughly translates to “white glass with a little coffee.”  It’s a good start for people who aren’t yet fond of the beverage, and is often given to little children. You can order it anywhere you can order a regular iced milk coffee.

With so many cà phê variations in Hanoi alone, no coffee lover will ever be bored—perhaps just a touch over-caffeinated. Be sure to drink plenty of water between your cups of Vietnamese joe! Also, keep in mind that most traditional Vietnamese coffee shops do not serve food; the local custom is to eat elsewhere and then relax and unwind at a café after a meal, so fill up before heading out.

Author: I’m  Jaylin: SEO Expert of Leelija Web Solutions. I am a content manager, and the author of travelforu.info and a full time blogger. Favorite things include my camera, travelling, caring my fitness, food and my fashion. Email id: editor@leelija.com

How to mix the old and new on a Japanese holiday

Japan is a juxtaposition of ancient and modern life. From zen gardens and Buddhist temples, to flashing neon signs and bullet trains. The culture in this magnificent country is truly unique as the old and new blend seamlessly into one another. If you’re travelling to Japan in the near future or you’re looking for inspiration for your next holiday destination, you’ll want to make the most of everything the country has to offer. There’s a multitude of Japan tour packages on offer, so it’s not always easy to decide.

Below we’ll look at how you can get the perfect mix between ancient culture and modern living in some of Japan’s top destinations. This guide will discuss the must-see sites, best dining experiences and the perfect places to stay during your visit. Read on to learn more about this cultural, and equally futuristic nation.

Visit ancient historic sites

In order to get a feel for the culture of Japan, you absolutely must visit some of its best ancient and historical sites. Below are just some of the temples, landmarks and cities you should visit in order to experience traditional Japan.

  1. The Atsuta Shrine

The most important shrine in Japan, the Atsuta Shrine can be found in the city of Nagoya. Attracting more than five million visitors a year, this religious site dates back to the first century and is most famous for its preserved Imperial insignia.

  1. Hiroshima Peace Memorial

While technically classed as modern history, you’d be hard pushed to find someone who hasn’t heard about the horrors of the Hiroshima bombing back in 1945. The city has since been rebuilt and there has been a memorial placed at the centre of where the bomb exploded, to commemorate all those who lost their life on that fateful day.

  1. Kyoto

The city of Kyoto was unspoiled by WWII and as a result has remained relatively unchanged over the last 1000 years. For this reason, it attracts more than 10 million visitors each year. You can really get a feel for Japanese culture here as you explore the old streets and traditional architecture of the Imperial family.

  1. Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace can be found in the nation’s capital, Tokyo, and is one of the most famous landmarks there. Dating back to the 17th century this beautiful palace is surrounded by parks, walls and even a moat.

  1. The Island of Miyajima

You’ll need to take a ferry from mainland Hiroshima, but Miyajima Island is well worth a visit. Known as the Shrine Island, it is home to the Itsukushima Shrine built for the princess daughters of the wind god Susanoo. Many of the buildings here are built up out of the water and the shrine itself dates back to the eighth century.

  1. Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle was built in 1586 by Japanese warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi. At this time the castle would have been the largest and most important fortress in the country. Though it has since been rebuilt, what you see today stays true to the original building.

Experience modern life in Japan

In contrast with the ancient and historical sites, you should also visit some of the modern wonders of Japan. Again, we’ll outline a few of the must-see spots and experiences below.

  1. Akihabara

Also known as ‘Electric Town’, Akihabara is a haven for electronics and second-hand gaming stores. When it’s all lit up at night you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that it resembles the giant billboards and big lights of Times Square.

  1. Shibuya Crossing

The busiest intersection in Japan can be found in Tokyo. With as many as one thousand people crossing at any one time, you can imagine just how bustling this area of the city truly is. This is the pinnacle of modern life in a busy Japanese city and you can watch in awe as the sheer number of people pass each other almost seamlessly going about their day. It’s also been featured in many movies, including Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift.

  1. Tokaido Shinkansen

This is the name given to the high-speed ‘bullet train’ which runs between Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Travelling up to 200 kilometers per hour this is one of the most iconic feats of engineering in Japan. Despite its speed, it is famous for being extremely safe to ride.

  1. Naoshima Island

Naoshima Island is also known as ‘Art Island’ and is a remarkable hub for arts and architecture. Covered in sculptures, museums and installations you can experience the nation’s most creative forms of expression.

Experiment with cuisine

Whenever you visit a country that isn’t your own it’s always nice to try the traditional and local cuisine. It’s no secret that Japanese food is delicious, the growing popularity of sushi and other dishes across the world speaks for itself. But how you dine when in Japan can really give you a taste of the old and the new.

Of course, you should try traditional dishes such as sushi, yakitori, miso soup, tempura and ramen, but you can enjoy these in very different ways. If you don’t fancy anything too crazy, just a traditional Japanese restaurant will do. However, in true Japanese style you can also dine in some of the most eccentric and unique experiences the world has to offer. The country has everything from high-tech dining with iPads and conveyor belts, to robot run restaurants and railway themed eateries where your food arrives on a model train.

Mix up your accommodation

You can even mix the old with the new when it comes to choosing your accommodation. Why not spend a few days in an authentic Japanese inn called a Ryokans. There are plenty of these all over the country, so you won’t struggle to find one you love, but these are the perfect way to immerse yourself in the culture.

What’s more, as with the futuristic (and just plain crazy) dining experiences, there are some pretty unique places to stay in Japan too. You can stay at a Godzilla themed hotel, or a hotel in which you’re checked in solely by robots, and these are either female androids or a scary dinosaur. But if it’s relaxation you’re after there are also a number of eco-friendly hotels out there that offer quirky and tranquil stays.

Written by Sarah McCann, Blog Editor at MyBaggage.com a luggage delivery company who have helped many travelers make their trip to Japan stress-free.

4 Ideal Locations for a Family Vacation in Indonesia

Source: Unsplash | Christopher Alvarenga

Family vacations are great. Family vacations abroad are even better! Not only do you get to bond and create new moments to remember, you also get to explore new places.

That being said, one of the most popular destinations for Southeast Asian families going on vacations abroad is Indonesia. It has ancient monuments, natural wonders, exotic flora and fauna, and, of course, plenty of gorgeous beaches. It doesn’t matter if your family is laid-back or adventurous, or if the children in your group are younger or older. Indonesia is a country where every member of your family can enjoy.

Here are some suggestions for places to see on your next family vacation in Indonesia.

Ocean Park BSD Serpong

If you’re looking for a no-fuss, fun-filled day in the pool with your little kids, Ocean Park BSD Serpong in Tangerang City is the perfect destination. This water park (or waterboom, as they’re called in Indonesia) is more or less just 45 minutes away from Terminal 3 Soekarno Hatta Airport, so you can immediately jump in and have some fun! It’s a little smaller compared to similar attractions in Indonesia, but you’ll get more attentive service in return. What’s more, the place rarely gets crowded so you can enjoy the pools, slides, and rides better. There’s a wave pool, too, if you prefer bouncing with the water. Meanwhile, young children will have lots of fun in the huge splash area. Finally, to satisfy your hunger pangs, there’s a food court with personnel walking around and carrying copies of the menu. You can order directly from the staff, and they’ll “deliver” the food you ordered.

Borobudur Temple

Does your family love touring historical and cultural sites? Then Borobudur Temple is arguably the best place to visit in Indonesia for you. Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Indonesia’s most visited tourist destination. It’s also a popular pilgrimage site during Vesak, drawing thousands of Buddhists from all over Indonesia. Made of volcanic stone, it was built in the 9th century under the Shailendra dynasty. Borobudur has nine platforms and three tiers: the base, body, and superstructure. These three tiers match the spheres of the universe according to Buddhist cosmology: kamadhatu, rupadhatu, and arupadhatu.

On top of the temple is a central dome surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each with their own stupa. Other decorations include 2,672 bas relief panels, considered to be some of the most elegant in ancient Buddhism. These bas reliefs depicting mythical beings in the Buddhist tradition and various facets of daily life in 8th-century Java have all been used as references for research.

Pemuteran Beach

Bali is world-famous for its many beautiful beaches, which means the island can get a little too crowded with tourists at times. Don’t fret, though. There are parts of Bali that aren’t as “touristy” as other beaches. This includes Pemuteran Beach on the northern coast. This black-sand beach is home to the largest artificial Biorock reef project, which aims to help restore coral reefs, protect the seas against global warming, and prevent beach erosion, among others. On the western end, you can climb a small peak to catch a view of the coastal area. Other popular activities in Pemuteran include snorkeling, diving, and even hiking in the nearby hills.

There’s also a Monkey Temple just a couple of kilometres to the east of Pemuteran. The monkeys here are quite friendly and, if you want, you can try feeding them with fruits. Just be careful to hold your bags firmly since the monkeys can be quite naughty and are known to snatch people’s belongings to play with them! Your family may also want to participate in regular clean-ups of the beach, where tourists pick up trash left on the beach. This is a great activity to help instill in your children the value of taking care of nature.

Green Village

For a more educational vacation, you can visit Green Village. Located by the Ayung River in Bali and founded by Canadian artist John Hardy, Green Village is a compound with 13 bamboo houses and villas. All of these are hand-constructed by the IBUKU architectural team using black and white bamboo. Everything in these structures are made from these sustainable materials, from the floors and walls up to the ceilings and roofs. These houses and villas are also designed to withstand both sun and rain and have been treated with boron, a natural chemical element. This makes the bamboo inedible to insects.

While at the Green Village, you can also visit PT. Bamboo Pure or the Bamboo Factory, where you can see how bamboo is prepared to become strong materials for building sustainable houses and furniture. There’s also the John Hardy Jewelry Factory, an open-air workshop where artisans create beautiful jewelry.

As you can see, there’s something for everyone in Indonesia. It’s indeed an ideal location to treat your family to a fun and worthwhile vacation. So what are you waiting for? Book that trip now and have a blast with your family!

Top Things to see and do in Thailand

Renowned for its gracious royal palaces, tropical beaches, and baroque temples magnified with images of Buddha and ancient ruins, located in the Southeast of Asia, Thailand is indeed a beautiful country. The country hosted over 22 million visitors and holiday makers in 2018 alone which connotes that Thailand is a destination for everyone seeking fun, recreation and educational trips.  Below is a quick guide on top activities for everyone planning their next trip to this paradise.

1. Visit the Elephant Nature Park

Situated in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, the Elephant Nature Park is a rehabilitation centre where elephants and other animals are rescued and bred with the full support of volunteers and visitors. Being the largest and best managed sanctuary in Thailand, it is actually a place for every fun seeker to witness. Elephant riding is highly prohibited in the park unlike other sanctuaries that chain the innocent animals to be ridden on.

Some of the elephants have been subjected to cruel upbringings so the sanctuary protects them against any form of unkindness. Some of the memorable activities tourists could engage in include- walking side by side with elephants, feeding and bathing them, learning about their behavioral patterns, give them medicines.

2. Stopover at the Floating Markets

Ever seen a market that floats on water?, then make a quick stop at the floating market. The market is literally filled with ramshackle boats loaded with beautiful and colourful local produce such as yellow longan, pungent durian and custard apples. There are three famous floating markets in Thailand namely-

  • Amphawa Floating Market, Samut Songkhram
  • Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi
  • Taling Chan Weekend Floating Market, Bangkok

Visit any of them quite early before they get rowdy, also bring your camera along to take some pictures

3. Tour the Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw

Located in Bangkok, this magnificent famous palace was built in 1782 and had been home to Thai Kings for over 150 years. It is undoubtedly a glittering wonder every tourist must see before leaving Thailand. Don’t forget to keep your camera by your side for the best memories

4. Have a Cocktail at the Sky Bar

Call it the 8th wonder of the world and you wouldn’t be wrong. It stands high over all the swanky rooftop bars in Thailand and acclaimed to be the world’s highest open-air bar. Situated on the 63rd floor of State Tower, the sky bar has a perfect 360-degree panoramic view of the entire city of Bangkok. The 820 ft tower springs above countless number of skyscrapers and it’s an ideal spot for every tourist as it host live outdoor music

5. Jungle Fishing In Thailand

Your vacation in Thailand is basically incomplete if you fail to do jungle fishing in Thailand. Thailand has the biggest fish species in the world so be sure to carry one of those fishes in your arms, but this can be achievable through an experienced Thai fishing guide. Beyond every reasonable doubt, the River Monsters Thailand have proved over the years to be the best guide any tourist would need; their lake is filled with the biggest fishes such as 3 metres long Arapaima, 200lb Carp, Redtail and Chayo Praya Catfish etc. Comfortable accommodation spaces and professional services are also guaranteed.

Give Yourself A Chance To Explore Asian Places And Their Culture

Source: Wikipedia

Asia is one of the biggest and most populated continents of our globe. Also, the continent that has experienced a vast number of historical events.

Other than this, Asia is the continent that has a vast number of culture and places which a person will surely desire to experience. And I was one of those who really want to feel the Asian culture and learn about the history and mystery related to these places.

So, to satisfy my inner bugs, I made a list of places to visit and experience their culture. Then, I pack my bag, made my air Canada booking (you can also select other flights) as per your travel route. In case, you too traveling on the same flight then I advise you to first go through the air Canada baggage information, Flight information, and policies regarding your travel.

So here I share some of the places from my list you should visit once to experience the various cultures around the globe:

 

Songkran Festival, Thailand

 

There is a Songkran festival in the south of Thailand, called Maunnak, which is a big event taking place every five to six months, but it’s the southern part of Thailand, as it is called.

In the past, it was known as the Phuket Festival, but now it is called Songkran. It’s a big one! The songs sung around the day of the festival are the local culture, but they’re also the culture of the Chiang Mai island.

Songkran festival has a different atmosphere, and you will get to meet some lovely folk and visit some beautiful places. Don’t be surprised if you spend a lot of time just watching with your favorite person.

 

Terracotta Army Museum, China

 

The Terracotta Army Museum is one of Beijing’s oldest cultural institutions. Visit the Terracotta Warriors exhibit in the Chinese consulate. It holds some fascinating stuff. This is the only place in the world to see all of the Terracotta Warriors (from front to back side) in one place:

The Museum provides an incredible overview of the ancient world and is the best place to learn about the history of the Terracotta Warriors. This unique collection of ancient sculptures have been studied and researched since the mid-1970s and are still used in China today.

The Museum also maintains the largest and most complete knowledge base about the history of the Terracotta army. The Terracotta Warriors represent all of China’s glorious past that is hidden behind the facade of history.

Visiting the Museum of the Terracotta Warriors in CHINA will bring an unforgettable historical experience with world-renowned and spectacular pieces of ceramic making history. The Museum has a unique collection of historical artifacts which are the result of hundreds of thousands of years of preparation.

 

Holi, India

 

The festival Holi in India is a famous festival for all Indians, which celebrates both Hindus and Buddhists. In fact, one person can be considered the ultimate king of India.

This festival is also a spiritual and cultural landmark as some people can become gods of their respective states.

I started to look around to find a festival that was more than simple traditionalism. So I chose Holi in India and found this interesting festival with many different aspects. This festival will provide a warm welcome to all.

So, for one day and night, you will be able to celebrate the Holi tradition with friends, family members, and even strangers. Here is what you need to know.

 

Bali, Indonesia

 

Bali is beautiful. And when you’re there, you get to experience the entire Indonesian archipelago to its fullest potential. The beautiful Bali region is a beautiful and remote region of Southeast Asia that’s really the epitome of a country, of a culture and a place.

If you want to explore every culture and history on this island, you can. From the jungle of Papua to the caves of the North Island, Bali is home.

Bali might be the most photographed island in the world, but that doesn’t mean it offers the best experiences. If you’re looking for a quiet, beautiful island to spend some time for a week, then Bali is the home country.

If you’re looking for an easy way to visit Bali with your family or friends you shouldn’t have to spend a significant amount of time there. As the locals know, a simple visit can help everyone relax!

 

La Tomatina Festival

 

La Tomatina Festival. It’s free, it’s beautiful, and it’s got everything you could wish for! It’s La Tomatina Festival! And that’s great. But don’t let that lull you into your shell. This is truly an extraordinary festival for a reason: It’s fun.

Every year, thousands of people from around the world come to explore the island of La Tomatina, live music and festivals, food and cocktails, and the incredible beauty and nature all around it. If you’ve ever been to La Tomatina Festival, I sincerely suggest you try it out!

The Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual festival held by the Boryeong Province Tourism Administration (GRTA) and has about 30 attractions. The festival was launched in 2003, but there are still thousands of visitors during its three festival days.

It makes the Boryeong Mud Festival a wonderful and unique event for visitors of all ages and experiences and makes this will be the best chance to discover Boryeong’s unique tradition in a whole new light.

Last Words

Our globe is an amazing place that holds various histories to mysterious, mountains to beaches, different weathers, cultures. Traveling is a beauty that every person once experience and believe me guys; traveling will bring various cultures in front of you. So, pack your bags and explore the ASIA.

Enjoy your Journey!