Wednesday, October 21, 2020

What You May Not Know About China

Great Wall of China
Photo by Hanson Lu 

As China is a gigantic country, it serves as home to countless places which contribute to its tourism industry. There are famous cities and provinces, but there are also some left unknown to many.

China is a vast country, one of the largest in the world. It is home to more than a billion people, the largest population indeed, who take pride in their prevailing history. It is a place where ancient eras beautifully convene with modern times, emphasizing the richness of its heritage. It is a place where the past and present both make a great deal to the development of a future that will continuously let the nation thrive.

With the omnipotent presence of Chinese influence, it is fairly explainable why the world seems to know a lot about the country. But when it comes to the towns, provinces, and cities occupying this enormous piece of land, to what extent is the people’s knowledge? Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and other more famous places are the firsts to pop up in many people’s minds – places which most China tours put focuses on; but how about the other worthwhile locations?



Photo by yang miao

What was once home to the political dreams of Mao Zedong, Changsha had primarily earned its fame as the first major city that received full defense from the Chinese forces against Japanese occupancy during World War II. But over time, it had developed from an ordinary territory to an impressive allure. In support of its burgeoning economy, this capital of Hunan Province improves to draw in tourists from Singapore and all parts of the world through its unscathed nature, remarkable history, and highly regarded heritage.

Every trip to Changsha should highlight a visit to the famous Hunan University. Where the historical Yuelu Academy of the Golden Song Dynasty once stood, it is now more known for its dramatic mountain sceneries. There is also the Wulingyuan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that takes pride in its glorious natural scenery consisting of sandstone pillars and towering trees the mist consistently kisses. Particularly in the area of Zhangjiajie, giant salamanders can be found.

Changsha proposes an invitation for tourists to delve into its heritage through the west side area of Xiang River where culinary delicacies are served with delight. The place is known for its spicy dishes, similar to Szechuan recipes.


Photo by Robert Bye

Almost four years ago, CNN Travel classified Shenzhen as one of the most underrated cities in China. Four years after, it had evolved into one of the most important tourist destinations in the country, enjoying the title of one of UNESCO’s Creative Cities.

A populous city indeed, Shenzhen is located just adjacent to Hong Kong and is thus a common detour destination for many tourists. But it had proven its independent charm worthy of visitors over the years; although admittedly, there are still some people who have minimal knowledge about it.

Shenzhen is a fairly developed city that is greatly known for the creativity of its people. Art galleries, art-themed bars, and restaurants, design districts, and craft markets – these are just some of the usual venues where locals come together to vent out all their creative innuendos.

Many think that Shenzhen is a boring city that puts highlights only its shopping and massage industries. However, photo enthusiasts and nature lovers will surely find themselves pleased with the impact the city intends to impress on its visitors. The lovely parks like the Lianhua Mountain Park, Fairy Lake Botanical Gardens, and Wutong Mountain National Park provide impeccable venues for family and friends bonding moments. The dramatic backdrops of nature in these places are so much worth the trip.

Playing roles in the historical development of China, Shenzhen is also home to some remarkable sites like the Xin’an Ancient City, Dapeng Ancient Fort, and the Chiwan Left Fort.


Photo by Lavinia Arances

Vibrant and totally alive, these are the two words often used to describe Xiamen. A coastal city in Fujian, it holds an essential role in the economic development of China for being one of the earliest Special Economic Zones. With its name literally translating to ‘door to the house’, it is indeed a portal to the country that has been opened centuries ago.

Tourists are drawn to the stunning combination of tradition and modernity that is Xiamen. Finding solace in its unique heritage are different attractions that captivate people’s attention. Among the most famous destinations are Nanputou Temple, Yundang Lake, Hulishan Fortress, and Xiamen University.

However, the distinction offered by Xiamen is actually found mainly at Gulangyu Island, a famous tourist destination just roughly five minutes of ferry ride away from the harbor of Xiamen. It is a small place one can easily explore on foot. Cars and motorcycles are banned, contributing to their beautiful individuality, although battery-operated golf-cart type taxis are now being used by some people.

There is more than meets the eye indeed; and whether on first-class or cheap flights to China, people are invited to discover the beauty within what is common – to explore what some other people might not know.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ways to Avoid Getting Sick During Long Flights

Airplane seats
Photo by Suhyeon Choi

It’s natural for some people to experience sickness during long flights. Dizziness, nausea, sweating, and vomiting are only some of the sicknesses that one can have while staying in an airplane for long hours. There are lots of ways to avoid or cure airplane sickness. Here are some of them:

  • When you buy air tickets, make sure to choose a seat over the wing part of the plane.
 This part of the plane has less movement compared to the others, so staying here will minimize the chances of you getting nauseous. It will also depend on other factors, such as the size of the plane. You will most likely feel dizzier in small planes since turbulence and movement are more noticeable.

  • Choose a window seat.
You can reserve or ask for a window seat, which can help ease your dizziness during the flight. During the nighttime, try to take a nap since you can’t see anything from the window.

  • Avoid eating heavy meals before boarding the plane.
Heavy food can make your stomach feel queasy during flight and can make you throw up. Just take a small meal before the flight, preferably one that does not contain spicy or greasy foods.

  • Take anti-nausea medications before the flight.
This will help control the dizziness and will make you feel more rested during the trip. Most medications require you to take them an hour before boarding the plane.

  • Stay hydrated during the flight.
Dehydration can cause dizziness and queasiness, so make sure to drink lots of water and juice while on board. Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake because this can make your skin dry.

  • Put candy or crackers in your hand carry.
When you start feeling sick, you just eat these and you will feel better. Gums and ginger candy are recommended for those who have motion sickness.

  • If you are suffering from diseases such as epilepsy or diabetes, always carry the name and contact number of your doctor in your bag.
This can save your life just in case you fall ill during a flight.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Malaysian Nationals with Biometric Passports Allowed for Visa-Free Entry to Japan Beginning July 1, 2013

Japan Mt Fuji

Beginning July 1, 2013, Malaysian nationals holding biometric passports are now allowed to book flights to Japan without hesitation as entrance to the country without a visa is now permitted. This is after the government of Japan had signed the visa waiver agreement in celebration of the 40th ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation.

In a press release circulated by the Japan National Tourism Organization, it is said that the biometric passport should have an embedded microchip that complies with ICAO standards. Bearers of this passport may stay in Japan for not more than three months. If exceeding, applying for an appropriate visa is necessary.

Due to this development, the number of Malaysians who travel to Japan is expected to escalate.
Japanese Visa Waived for Thais and Malaysians
Japanese Visa Waived for Thais and Malaysians

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dealing with Travel Websites for Air Fare Deals and More

Booking air fare tickets online

With the advent of technology, a lot has changed. What people usually do manually may now be done in just a few clicks on the computer. With a well-functioning computer and a reliable internet connection, what we leave the house for in the past may be accomplished in a matter of few minutes and in the comfort of our homes; and that includes buying cheap flight tickets and planning tours.

In pursuit of adapting to the now-highly technical market, many travel agencies had set up their official websites. Through these homepages, they can reach out to the traveling public easier than before. Since most people nowadays are endowed with knowledge of the internet, marketing has become significantly simpler for agencies.

But with all the hoaxes roaming around the World Wide Web, many people have gone doubtful about the credibility of travel websites, particularly when money is involved. However, one just needs to conduct proper background checking to realize that legitimate travel websites are actually helpful to the traveling public.

One thing that makes travel websites of great assistance to people is that – as said – it simplifies everything. Instead of leaving the house and dealing with traffic, everything can be settled online. A few clicks, a few strokes on the keyboard; and the task is completed. Necessary proofs of the transaction can be sent through email, and there is no need to pick things up from places.

Furthermore, online transactions with travel agencies would allow people to land good deals. Usually, airline companies offer different promotions on air tickets through their partner agencies. Most of the time, these promotions are hailed as exclusive only to online customers.

If lucky, people can also spot different budget package tours advertised on the website – basically allowing them to save money without sacrificing the fun. Many travel agencies arrange tours to different wonderful places, concentrating on divulging their history, culture, and attractions to the tourists.

Dealing with travel agencies through their websites provides flexible payment options too. Aside from bank deposits and debit cards, most companies honor major credit cards; thereby assuring flexible payment options and easy transactions. As for trust issues, credible agencies do not disclose confidential details and do not do hideous scamming.

All in all, relying on travel websites would certainly allow people to land on great flights promotion. It might be a little doubtful at first, but it surely does great for the people who wish to travel the world once proven legitimate. Finding a credible travel agency is somehow easy though. Most of the time, these are those who have been in the business for years – and during that span of time have developed good professional relationships with big airline companies around the world.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Singapore Inbound Tourism Seen to Boost, Chinese and Indian Markets to be Tapped

Marina Bay Singapore
Photo by Mike Enerio
SINGAPORE -  Inbound traffic of travelers, mainly from China and India, is expected to be the source of a huge boom in Singapore tourism for the next few years. This is after a recent survey shows that outbound tourism will slightly decline as many Singaporeans are quite contented already with the amount of travel they had gone through.

The survey showed that almost 7.3 million trips from Singapore were conducted since 2010; whereas in China, only 4 percent of the population had gone out of the country. India has 1 percent. These statistics had driven the authorities to assume that the two nations are proven lucrative markets, and are worth the tap.

Therefore, it is presumed that given that the industry will exert more effort to reach out to the Chinese and Indian markets, better inbound tourism will be in order. The trick is to lure travelers by opening more attractions that would cater to all age groups, and provide more opportunities for entertainment and fun for the people.

This is not exactly a difficult thing to do because Singapore has already been at it since day one. Spearheading the lists of attractions that travelers would buy air tickets for to see are Resorts World Sentosa, Universal Studios Singapore, and Gardens by the Bay. The fact that Changi International Airport is one of the world’s best also contributes to its reputation.

Furthermore, Singapore promises particular attention to the various needs of travelers. Safety is the top-most priority, and that is basically what people from India, China, and other nations are after. 

Basically, this move does not just improve the number of tourist arrivals. It also strengthens tourist takings. Singapore hotels will particularly benefit from this – especially those hotels located in Little India and Chinatown – as travelers are expected to find a place to lodge while in the country.
Singapore, in spite of being a rather small nation, is indeed up for some spectacular leaps in inbound tourism for the next few years. It is totally equipped to cater to the needs of Chinese, Indian, and other nationalities. Though it is already ahead of others in the race, Singapore vows no stopping in furthering what it can give to people in terms of tourism. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Celebrating Songkran Festival

Songkran Festival

On April 13-15, 2013, Thailand will be once again embraced with a festive atmosphere as the world-renowned Songkran Festival gets celebrated. It is an important event that locals and foreigners alike cannot get enough of it. This explains why Singapore to Thailand flights are selling like hotcakes nowadays. Songkran is basically the most fun and exciting festival in Thailand and everybody is invited to partake in this momentous celebration.

During this festival, the whole nation turns literally ‘watery’ and ‘wet’. Buddha images are bathed and young people visit the elders to perform the rod nahm dum hua ceremony wherein the young ones pour scented water on the hands of the elders as homage. 

In courtyards and monasteries, people also build sand replicas of stupas as part of the festival. They also set birds and fishes free.

But the fun begins when the locals and foreigners come out to the streets to splash water on each other. It’s a free-for-all water-throwing and it is customary to get wet. Armed with water guns, water hoses, and pails, people bond with each other in joy and exhilaration.

Songkran Celebration
Photo by Lucas Mellec

Songkran Festival is basically observed in all parts of Thailand. But the best place to celebrate it is in the northern province of Chiang Mai where events are held close to mayhem. Nonetheless, peace is observed and everything is just done for fun. 

Water fun

It is best to book Thailand tours which coincide with Songkran Festival early to avoid hassles. There would be no hesitations for sure. It will only be fun.

Get to know more about how Thailand Celebrates Songkran Festival by checking out these resources:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hong Kong Ocean Park Milestone

Hong Kong Ocean Park
One should not be surprised if Hong Kong tours suddenly become more in demand these days. This is after Ocean Park authorities announced the birth of a king penguin in the park. It is a momentous event since it is the first of its kind to be born in Hong Kong.

Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park had recently stated that the newborn animal ambassador is doing well in its environment. It is thought to be highly curious as it goes around its habitat with its parents. Ample foods are given to the family, as well as various vitamins to keep it strong. The baby penguin is to stay in a safe zone where it can avoid constant disturbance from the onlookers. The said zone is also guarded by the team to make sure that the chick is kept safe as it still cannot swim.

Hong Kong Ocean Park's King Penguin
The King penguin after 20 days. 
source: The Guardian

Definitely, the presence of the king penguin will attract travelers from major parts of the globe to Hong Kong. However, the birth of this lovely creature is not the lone reason why tours to Hong Kong are expected to double, and why there is a cause for celebration. Ocean Park has announced that in 2012, it recorded a total of 7.5 million visitors. 50% of which comes from China; 35% comprises local visitors, and the remaining 15% encompasses arrivals from other countries.

These record-high statistics are believed to be because of the completion of the Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP). Meaning, more facilities and attractions are opened to cater to the growing demands and needs of the tourists. 

It is not entirely a secret that Ocean Park Hong Kong is striving hard to provide its guests with the best kind of facilities. It is determined to retain its title as the first-ever Asian winner of the Applause Award, a prestigious recognition given to elite theme parks around the world. The head of the amusement park said that they owe gratitude to the people who have constantly patronized the beauty of Ocean Park.

Indeed, Hong Kong Ocean Park has gone a lot better with the birth of the king penguin, and the completion of its developments. Therefore, Hong Kong air tickets are expected to sell like hotcakes these days. Well, it’s not like it’s not a usual thing, right?