Mythical and magical, a diamond shaped island of spectacular volcanic mountains and lakes, enchanting rice terraces, ancient temples and palaces, surrounded by sparkling coral seas, Bali is alight with cultures and traditions.
With its hulking skyscrapers and ultramodern hotels, Bangkok is one of the most contemporary cities in Asia. Thankfully, it never lost its Thai charm, with the museums, temples, food and, of course, people that make Bangkok both quintessentially Thai and culturally diverse. One great way to think about your exploration of Bangkok is to traverse the streets for a taste of the modern, but to get a feel for the historical, more old-style Bangkok, take to the canals.
These islands are close to the Malaysian island of Langkawi and are characterized by towering rock formations and beautiful beaches. Crystal clear seas team with marine life, ideal for snorkelling and diving or simply enjoying a relaxing swim.
Belawan is the port of Medan, the third-largest city in Indonesia and gateway to the wonderful Lake Toba region in the highlands of northern Sumatra. It is a stunningly scenic area of lush rain forests, canyons, waterfalls and active volcanoes. The Toba Batak who live in this isolated area are among the fiercest tribes in Sumatra. Indeed, cannibalism was one of the nastier forms of defense practiced by this warlike people.
Known as the "Island of the gods," lush, idyllic Bali sits in the center of the shimmering sapphire waters of the Indian Ocean. Ayung River rafting is Bali´s most exciting one-day adventure! Professionally trained guides asist you into inflatable rafts. Float through the astonding gorges of the Ayung River, savoring the pristine scenery as you glide down the river.
Beqa (pronounced M-bengga) was formed as a strato-volcano 5 million years ago, and its conical form can still be seen by satellite or air photograph. There is a fringing reef around both the 42-mile barrier reef of the lagoon, and the island of Beqa itself. They’re comprised of colorful coral, developed over thousands of years. The conditions for coral reef are excellent: light and shallow water, water temperatures never below 18 °C, and a supply of zooplankton food for these plant-like animals. Additionally, a wide variety of fish, dolphins, turtles, all sort of crustaceans, and shellfish all make their home in the waters surrounding Beqa. Where the reef is broken and the corals are eroded to sand, sand clays are formed and surface as little sandy islands during low tide. All nine villages that form the District of Beqa are located along the coast. Some have a communal generator, while all have a water supply. There are no roads, and the narrow footpath winds around parts of the island. All transportation is done by boat.
Wedged between two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo, Brunei is as exotic and unexplored as its name implies. Despite the fact that oil has made it the richest sultanate in the world, the friendly water-villagers of Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital, maintain their traditional values, living in stilted houses on the river. Only the TV antennae, the huge golden-domed mosque and the sultan´s opulent 1,000-room palace reveal the vast wealth that this tiny jungle nation enjoys.
Cebu City is the capital and the main city of the island of Cebu. It is one of the oldest cities of the country. Even though it's old, Cebu is a very lively place with many places to go out, eat and have fun. It's a great base for seeing the rest of the island as well as making trips to Bohol, Philippines (with its famous Chocolate Hills), Mactan island (just off the coast of Cebu) or even Mindanao.
Vietnam's new port of Chan May provides easy entree to Hue, the Imperial City on the banks of the Perfume River. Legacies of both the ancient Champa Kingdom and years of colonial rule are alive in the city's art and architecture, including the Forbidden Purple City and the moated Imperial Citadel.
Da Nang is Vietnam's fourth largest city. Spectacular sights include the Cham Museum, with its stunning collection of Cham art and sculptures; the Marble Mountains and famous China Beach; and the ancient city of Hoi An.
El Nido is a municipality located at the northwestern tip of the province of Palawan in the Philippines. El Nido is named after the edible nests of Swiftlets (Collocalia Fuciphaga) found in the crevices of its limestone cliffs. These nests, "nido" in Spanish, are the main ingredient for the gourmet nido soup.
The unspoiled beauty of the Solomon Islands is a sight to behold. Mountain spires, rugged rocky coastlines, dense rainforest and spectacular waterfalls are only a few the natural jewels adorning this necklace of islands in the South Pacific. Honiara is the capital of the most populous island, Guadalcanal.
See the Du Hang Pagoda, a fine 17th century example of classic Vietnamese architecture, and the Hang Kenh House, famed for its elaborate wood carvings. You can travel about 65 miles to Hanoi, the country´s capital, whose numerous lakes, temples, and museums are a feast for sighteers. Hanoi´s Old Quarter, which reflects its French colonial past, is an especially fascinating area.
Halong Bay is located on the northern coast of Vietnam. The spectacular bay features thousands of limestone islands and rocks rising from tranquil turquoise waters and offers some of the most beautiful scenery in Asia. According to legend, a great dragon, twisting and thrashing his way into the sea, gouged out the seascapes of Halong Bay. The result is pure fantasy.
Perfectly situated in The Great Barrier Reef, amongst the 74 Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island offers an experience like no other: glorious weather, azure waters, brilliant beaches, awe-inspiring coral reefs, fascinating flora and fauna, fine food and wines, and activities almost too numerous to mention.
Ho Chi Minh City, also referred to as Saigon, is Vietnam's most bustling and spirited city. Breathtaking in its scope of activities, culture and excitement, Ho Chi Minh City is a modern metropolis with attractions such as museums, art galleries and botanical gardens, along with cultural sites like elegant palaces and stunning pagodas.
The most striking thing about Hong Kong is its pervasive mix of old and new. With ramshackle apartment buildings flanked by uber-modern high-rises, a rickety street-level tram clanking by above a state-of-the-art subway system, and wheelbarrows being pushed through the streets alongside Rolls-Royces, Hong Kong is a study in contrasts that constantly surprises. Add the former British colony's strange brew of Asian and Western cultures to this endless series of odd contradictions and one thing's for certain: this is a place you'll never get tired of exploring.
Hong Gai is gateway to Halong Bay and the Red River Delta. This region, the Bay of the Descending Dragon, is dotted with more than 3,000 mountainous islands, each with its own unique landscape. The islands are famous for their dolomite and limestone rock formations, many of which have been given names. Natural grottos, fjords, land tunnels and inlets are also common. During the Vietnam War, numerous large ships sailed through the open waters of the bay. At the western end of Halong Bay is the limestone Cat Ba Island, where Chinese and Vietnamese pirates settled during the late 19th century. Today a large section of the island is devoted to a protected national park.
Huangpu, Whangpoo or Hwangpoo, river, 60 mi (97 km) long, rising in the lake district of Shanghai Municipality, E China, and flowing NE past Shanghai into the Chang estuary at Wusong. It is a major navigational route. Its dredged channel, lined with wharves, warehouses, and industrial plants, provides access to Shanghai for oceangoing vessels. The river is also a major water source for Shanghai, and as the city has grown it has suffered from water shortages and polluted drinking water; in 1996 a project to divert water from the Chang River (Yangtze) to the Huangpu was completed.
Situated on the northern bank of the scenic Perfume River, Hue is one of Vietnam's most important historical, cultural and religious centers. Once the capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen dynasty, it is a city that harks back to Vietnam's colorful past with its countless tombs, temples, pagodas and palaces.
Ishigaki Island is the main island of the Yaeyama Islands and the region's transportation hub. Ishigaki City, the Yaeyama's only and Japan's southernmost city, is the site of the region's major airport and boat terminal. Ishigaki offers several nice beaches and fantastic snorkeling and diving in the surrounding coral reefs. Ishigaki's rivers, while not quite as wild as those of nearby Iriomote, also offer a jungle like scenery and are nice to explore by canoe. Various hiking opportunities exist in the island's hilly interior.
Indonesia's capital is Jakarta and is situated in the northwest of the island of Java, which is home to around 100 volcanoes. Jakarta is the country's main commercial port, a continually expanding centre in both demographic and economic terms, and a megalopolis brimming with contradictions, but also full of attractions for tourists from all over the world.
In Jayapura, a picture-postcard harbor with a backdrop of eternally green hills greets the trickle of travelers who visit this Indonesian part of New Guinea. Indeed, the only access is by sea, and aside from a few roads around the town, the only means of travel to the interior is on foot or by light aircraft.
Kemaman Port is a major seaport located on the east coast of Malaysia in the state of Terengganu. It is the deepest port in Malaysia. Chukai is a major town located near the port and which serves as the district capital of Kemaman.
This privately owned island was purchased by the people of Vaitupu for around $5,000 in 1947. The 300 Polynesian inhabitants have a unique culture all their own.
These islands are situated 40 kms. west of Ko Tarutao being famous about sea turtle eggs, residential area of Chao Le...the sea gypsy having several neighbouring islands such as Ko Li Pe where beautiful undersea nature can be seen, Chao Le community with a school; Ko Hin Ngam where very beautiful unusual looking rocks are seen; Ko Khai , a small island with a strange looking natural stone arch where sea turtles laying eggs; and beautiful beaches and coral reefs at Ko adang-Ko Rawi, etc.
There is more visible historical evidence of past eras in Thailand than in any other South-East Asian country, so if you're interested in ruins, temples and deserted cities, this is the place to go. For pure holiday-making magic, Thailand's islands and beaches are working definitions of heaven (once you get out of the shadows of the evil multinational hotels). And as for urban delights, the huge metropolis of Bangkok, although it can alarm with its chaos and its scale, tends to so charm visitors with its energy and cultural treasures that the steamy soupy diesel mixture that passes for air in this city is more than forgiven.
Hong Islands comprises a number of large and small limestone islands. Ko Hong itself is the largest island. These limestone island have a beach and coral reefs in both deep and shallow water levels. Boats leave for Ko Hong from Ao Nang and the trip takes about one hour. A canoe trip to Ko Hong organised by some travel agents at Ao Nang is a popular activity among tourists.
Situated off the coast of Phuket, the island of Khai Nok or Ko Khai Nok ('Ko' means 'island' in Thai) is an idyllic tropical paradise. View spectacular views of Phuket's coastline which can be seen on the horizon and white sandy beaches that are lapped by a crystal clear sea, perfect for watersports and teeming with marine life.
Clear Sky, Superb Blue Sea, White Beaches and Ko Kood Cabana. This is the last unspoilt and natural resource in Thailand, where the fisherman style of life is as old as the island. Warm sea temperature is suitable for snorkeling and seeing beautiful coral reefs. The island has the famous "Klong Jao Waterfall" which King Rama V used to visit.
Ko Kradan is an island in the Hat Chao Mai National park. Ko Kradan is excellent for snorkeling or diving. For those who love surfing, there are small basins which regularly have big waves rattling against the shoreline.
Ko Lipe, or Ko Lee Pay, is a small island in Southern Thailand and is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park. You can reach Lipe Island by ferry from Pak Barra (Thailand) and Langkawi (Malaysia) during high season.
Ko Miang is actually two islands connected and forms the second largest land mass in the group after Ko Similan. Ko Miang is eminent for its beautiful beaches and colorful coral gardens. Scuba gear is not necessary as Ko Miang is perfect for snorkeling and the best location is at the channel between Ko Miang and Ko Payu.
These twin islands south of Phuket offer rather different experiences. The good facilities, white beaches, mountain top viewpoint and surrounding corals, in Ko Racha Yai guarantee a convenient and enjoyable visit. Skilled divers, on the other hand, will enjoy the deep sea, strong currents, abundant fish, and beautiful beaches in the atoll Ko Racha Noi. The latter is not good for swimming.
Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Ko Samui is a lush, tropical island filled with pristine beaches, coconut palms, and friendly people. In this idyllic spot you´ll find serene Buddhist temples, beautiful scenery, and charming rural villages - truly an escape from the everyday world. Snorkel in the coral reefs of Lamai Beach or seek out the beautiful Hin Lad waterfall near the main town of Na Thon.
On this hilly, volcanic island, you will have an opportunity to view Komodo´s legendary "dragons." They are actually members of the lizard family although their enormous claws, heavy tails, and long tongues would lead you to believe otherwise! These carnivores can grow to a length of 10 feet and weigh as much as 300 pounds.
Once the province of pirates and war lords, the northern coast of Borneo is relatively unspoiled by tourism. The bustling port city of Kota Kinabalu boasts gardened homes and busy shopping districts with colorful native handicrafts. Just beyond the city limits lie the tropical jungle and the shrouded peak of Mount Kinabalu.
Krabi town is very close to the river mouth that opens to the great Andaman Sea. Krabi river flows about 5 km through the town and opens into the Andaman sea at Tambon Pak Nam. Quite a few other rivulets originating from the mountain ranges in the province , Kao Panom Benja ; the Klong Pakasai, Klong Krabi Yai and Klong Krabi Noy, also joins the sea at this area.
Located on banks of the Sarawak River, Kuching was shaped by the British "White Rajah" Brooke family that ruled as a dynasty until the state became a British Crown Colony in 1945. Chinese and Malay architecture dates back to this period. Many inhabitants still live in stilt houses in water villages.
Karimunjawa is an island chain stretching in a northwesternly direction from Jepara (Central Java). Karimunjawa Ocean Park, the home of shipwrecks, a diverse range of sea life and scenic uninhabited islands, is just three hours from Semarang, Central Java. Kura Kura Resort, located on Menyawakan Island, a one-hour boat ride form Karimunjawa Island, is the most up-market facility in the area. Boasting vast white sand beaches, turquoise water and swaying coconut trees, the resort is the perfect getaway for romantic couples, bookish singles and water-sports loving groups of friends.
Laem Chabang is a modern harbor complex that serves Bangdok, Thailand´s capital. The gentle Thai people have raised folk dance to high art, created a unique cuisine and built a capital city of fluted spires and golden domes. High on the list of "must see" sights are the Floating Market, Royal Palace, Reclining Buddha, Golden Buddha, and Temple of the Dawn.
The Langkawi island group, in the western part of Malaysia, is unspoiled and barely inhabited. The local population numbers only 20,000. The natural splendor of the islands will command your attention. The beaches are glorious and there is even a beach composed entirely of black sand - an amazing sight.
The island of Lombok is located east of Bali island. Lombok is gradually becoming more of a tourist destination. Visitors are attracted to the simple pleasures of sun, sand, unique culture and eco-adventure tours.
The most popular location in Papua New Guinea for divers, Madang Province consists of reef-fringed lowlands backed by some of the most rugged mountains in Papua New Guinea and offshore volcanic islands. Colourful Madang township has been called the "prettiest town in the South Pacific". Its peninsula setting is a show-place of parks, waterways, luxuriant shade trees and sparkling tropical islands. Although small, the town has modern urban facilities, including hotels, department stores, markets and artefacts shops.
Majuro, capital of the Marshall Islands, lies on the eastern end of a 60-mile-long (97-km-long) boomerang-shaped atoll of the same name. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is made up of 29 coral atolls and five single islands spread out over nearly 1,000 square miles (2,590 square km). It is one of only four atoll nations in the world and one of the world's youngest nations, independent since 1986.
Echoes of Portuguese, Dutch and British occupations resound amid the centuries-old fortresses and churches of this historic city. Its location put it right in the center of the silk and spice trades, and whoever ruled this port controlled formidable wealth. Today Malacca is simply a treasure to explore. Visit the Chinese Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the Malacca museum and the renowned ´stadthuys´ built by the Dutch. As you wander down twisting alleys and narrow streets, you´ll find much of the "Old Asia".
The teeming city of Manila is the center of the Philippines´ 7,000 sun-drenched islands. Colorful jeepneys carry citizens up and down the boulevards past cricket fields, yacht harbors, historic forts, impressive statues, and lively neighborhood marketplaces. Not far from Manila are excellent snorkel and scuba opportunities.
Though small in size, Brunei-Muara is of great importance to the nation as the district housing Brunei's capital, Bandar Seri Begawan. As such, it is usually the first stop of any visitor to Brunei - and one of the most memorable. Outside the capital lie some of the nation's most world-renowned attractions. In the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, visit the National Museum, the new natiional mosque and see the outside of the Sultan´s 1,788-room palace.
Naha, the capital and largest city of Okinawa Prefecture, boasts a unique Japanese culture. As the region's transportation hub, Naha connects travelers with other parts of Okinawa, Japan and Asia; consequently, Okinawans have grown accustomed to openly sharing their distinctive customs with visitors from all over the world - right down to their very own dialect, Uchinaguchi.
Situated upon perhaps the most scenic coastline in Vietnam is the city of Nha Trang. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and pristine beaches, this city is fast becoming a favorite among snorkelers, scuba divers and sunbathers. In fact, Nha Trang Bay is considered to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
The Balinese believe that after death they will live forever in a place just like their present island home. You too, may find little to separate Bali from a vision of paradise. It is beautiful, fertile and deeply spiritual. Its people marry art with life, and work and with music and dance, in an endless pleasant cycle of celebration.
Pangkor Island, the paradise island, is one of the famous and well known islands in Malaysia. Pangkor Island is an idyllic and beautiful island resort for a carefree and relaxing holiday. Its natural scenery of green hills and palm-friged beaches of fine white sand lapped by the warm blue waters of the Straits of Malacca is truly magnificent.
Gorgeous beaches. Abundant culture. Rich history. Excellent food. Truly, there is more to see and experience in the "Pearl of the Orient" than one person can possibly handle, but we still think you'll like it. One of the most multicultural cities in all of Asia, Penang is like a concentrated version of the entire continent, while at the same time it maintains an identity all its own.
Phang Nga, a land of tin mines and beautiful scenery, nestles among soaring mountains which rise up around the town. The area is bordered to the west by the Andaman Sea and consists of plenty of spectacular islands.
Acclaimed worldwide, the Phi Phi Islands form part of a protected maritime park and are known for their white sandy palm fringed beaches and stunning limestone monoliths that rise from the Andaman Sea. The Islands are located some 48 kms east of Phuket and 42 kms south of Krabi and consist of the larger inhabited Phi Phi Don, and the smaller Phi Phi Lei, which obtained repute from the blockbuster movie THE BEACH. Access to the islands is by ferry or speedboat from either Phuket or Krabi.
Whether you are on a wide boulevard admiring the French Colonial architectural influence, or in a bustling market haggling with a street vendor, you cannot escape the culture and history of this bustling city. Ho Chi Minh City is home to many colorful pagodas, cathedrals and palaces-including one of the city's oldest, Giac Lam Pagoda, dating from 1744. Explore Reunification Hall, which has been left almost exactly as it was when Saigon fell in 1975.
Located in the Andaman Sea, the island of Phuket in Thailand was one of the earliest tourist developments in Southeast Asia. Though most folks come for the beaches, Phuket boasts amazing snorkeling, windsurfing and trekking for the adventurous types. Hills dominate this tropical island and the views from the top shouldn't be missed.
Bustling Port Kelang is the principal port of entry for Malaysia. The country´s capital, Kuala Lumpur, is a surprisingly modern city of domes, minarets and spacious, tree-lined avenues. The grounds of the gracious Lake Gardens provide a serene setting for the National Museum and impressive government monuments.
Legend attributes the name “Puerto Princesa” to a princess-like maiden who in the early days is said to have roamed around the place on certain nights of the year. On the other hand, practical people attribute the name to the geographical advantages of the place as a seaport - naturally protected the whole year round and endowed with a depth that can accommodate any size of shipping – a royal heaven for vessels or a virtual princess of ports as thus indicated by Spanish Colonizers on the country’s map.
Pulau Seribu means a "Thousand Island" consisting of almost 128 small islands located in the Bay of Jakarta in the Java Sea. The surrounding reefs are home to a wide variety of fishes, making Pulau Seribu an ideal spot for diving, Snorkeling and fishing.
Qui Nhon or Quy Nhon is a coastal city in the centre of Vietnam. More than 100 years ago, the town was born officaly, however, town's forming and developing history goes with to 11th Century Champa culture, Tay Son dynasty and Thi Nai seaport from 18th century. Nowaday, Qui Nhon is recognized as a the second city with a geograhpy priority, a seaport, a developing city infrastructure. Our government defined the town is one of three commercial and tourism centres of South Central part coastal (with Da Nang and Nha Trang).
Saipan is the largest island with good tourist infrastucture and shopping facilities. Its western shore is encircled by a barrier reef, creating a lagoon with white sand beaches. Attractions on Saipan include the last command post of the Japanese Imperial Army known as Banadero, with World War II cannons, tanks and artillery preserved in a limestone cave.
This Malaysian coastal trading town was once the capital of the province of Sabah. Surrounded by thickly jungled mountains where wild orchids grow, it serves as a loading port for the rich tropical hardwoods found in the interior of Borneo. About 15 miles from Sandakan, Sepilok is the home of the famous orangutan sanctuary, one of the few places in the world where you can see these animals in their natural setting.
Semarang is located in central Jaca. It is one of the biggest cities of Indonesia. From the hills that surround the city you get great views over the sea, the rice paddies, the hills, the city and the harbour.
Cambodia is best known as the occasional side trip to Angkor Wat, the famous temple in northern Cambodia, on your way to or from Thailand. But all that is changing with the revitalization of Sihanoukville, Cambodia's one and only beach resort. Located in the south, it's part resort, part backpacker hangout, part working port and all big city.
The Similan Islands, located about one hundred kilometers northwest of Phuket, are composed of nine granite islands covered in tropical jungle, washed by a clear blue tropical ocean and blessed with some of the world's finest beaches. Similan comes from Malay fisherman who named it "The Nine Islands" (Sembilan is "nine" in Malay) and now the islands are identified by a name-in Thai-and a number; for example, Ko Huyong (Island #1), located at the southern end of the chain. The islands have achieved national park status and thus are fully protected under Thai law. The National Park Authority maintains their presence on two of the islands: Ko Similan (Island #8) the largest, and Ko Miang (Island #4). Recently, the islands have come to the special attention of the Thai Royal Family which further protects them from possible abuse.
At first glance, this diamond-shaped island just off the coast of Malaysia gleams with modernism and commercialism, making it seem more Western than Eastern. But as you continue to discover the city-state, you'll uncover the eclectic mix of cultures, religions, ancient treasures and British colonial impressions that give rise to a unique Singaporean identity. The cultural fusion is perhaps best expressed in Singapore's unofficial language, Singlish, a unique patois of English, Chinese and Malay.
Sulawesi (or Celebes) is an island of the Indonesian archipelago east of Borneo, from which it is separated from it by the Makassar Strait. It is the third largest island of the archipelago, after Borneo and New Guinea.
The Surin Island chain are a series of jungle covered granite outcrops that are ringed with coral reefs to a depth of 25-30 meters. These islands were designated as a national park in 1981, and are famous for excellent diving and sport fishing.
Taveuni (pronounced Tah-vee-ew-nee), the "Garden Isle" of Fiji, is rugged, wet, verdant, and pristine. It lies only 4.3 miles off the southeast coast of Vanua Levu (Fiji's second largest Island). Taveuni is an archetypically beautiful tropical island, thick with vegetation and resplendent with tropical flowers. With a population of around 12,000 inhabitants, Taveuni is sparsely populated. Once the home of fierce warriors, Taveuni residents still exude pride and confidence in their step.
The main reason to visit Vung Tau are its beaches. There are four of them (Front Beach (or Bai Truoc), Rear Beach (or Bai Sau), Pineapple Beach (or Bai Dua) and Foreigners' Beach (or Bai Dau)).
Wewak is a really great place. The main beach occasionally has a great surf and there are nearby uninhabited islands that have sulphur springs (as in about 30cm in diamater pumping at about 3000 litres per minute) with white sandy beaches. It's the closest thing to heaven on earth next to The Trobriand Islands.
Ancient Burmese culture endures in this exotic city on the Irawaddy River. The jewel of the city formerly known as Rangoon is the Shewedagon Pagoda, one of the world´s great Buddhist shrines, which is literally swathed in gold as well as diamonds, rubies and other precious stones.