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Jo Lane

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Joanne Lane is an Australian freelance photojournalist based in Brisbane. A love of writing from an early age led her to complete a university journalism degree in 1996 with the idea of pursuing sports journalism, but she soon found the constraints of the newsroom too much. The travel bug soon hit and Jo has now travelled to some 40 countries or moreand lived in a few as well, writing and documenting her experiences for newspapers, magazines and online sources around the world. For more details, see www.visitedplanet.com.

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A nice day for a white wedding in Shan State

April 16, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

The lyrics of the famed Billy Idol song “White wedding” could well be the theme of Shan weddings in Burma, albeit without the gothic overtones.

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Trekking to Langtang

April 9, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AFTER Everest and Annapurna, Langtang is Nepal’s third most popular trekking area but a world away from the busy teahouses and crowds on those routes. And thanks to its location north of Kathmandu towards the Chinese border it’s also very different culturally with a heavy Tibetan and Buddhist influence in the region.

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Trekking and homestays in Burma’s Shan State

April 2, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR a taste of rural Burma and the opportunity to enjoy homestays in villages along the way, head to Shan State in the country’s northeast. With rolling hills, few roads and welcoming locals, it’s an experience not to be forgotten.

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In pictures: Up close and personal with the cutest, hairiest and scariest beasts in the Asia-Pacific

March 23, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

WHILE Asia isn’t like the wilds of Africa with wildebeests, mass migrations and vast national parks there are an array of incredible animals that are unique to this part of the world that can be found in various contexts in the wild or domesticated. From China to Mongolia, India, Nepal and Malaysia, here are some…>

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5 river journeys in Brisbane

March 19, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Queensland capital, Brisbane, is often referred to as the river city, thanks to the way the longest river in the south east corner snakes and coils itself bend by bend through the city before emptying into Moreton Bay. Sharing geography with a river does mean the city suffers from time to time as the…>

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In pictures: Asia’s most ancient structures

March 11, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

YOU won’t travel far in Asia without bumping into a crumbling ruin, temple, city or landmark built by a civilization that no longer exists. While many of these have been abandoned and are in want of some repair, with nature at times already taking over, some have been restored to something of their former glory.…>

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Paddling down the Nymboida River, Australia

March 4, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Nymboida River in New South Wales is one of the best options for white water paddling on the east coast of Australia, particularly if you live in Brisbane. With cascades, rapids and pool sequences, it offers plenty of action, flow and fun whatever skill set you have.

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Top 5 national parks in Queensland

February 16, 2014 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

QUEENSLAND has a lot of national parks filled with native birds and animals, amazing flora, fantastic walking and great campsites. There are an absolute wealth of these on the islands, in the mountain ranges, and even the wild interior of the state providing every kind of geography and habitat you can imagine. While this list is hardly representative of the wealth and breadth of these, here are five of some of the best.

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In pictures: The Buddhas, temples and monasteries of Asia

February 10, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM enormous Buddha statues to monasteries perched on cliff tops or located in remote valleys, Buddhism plays a huge role across Asia.

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Eating your way through Australia’s bush tucker

February 2, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IN Australia the consumption of native animals like kangaroo, emu and crocodile has been going on for millennia. While it’s not a fully fledged commercial industry today, and there’s still some aversion to eating cute native animals, things that hop, run and slither do find themselves onto supermarket shelves, restaurant menus and kitchen tables around…>

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In pictures: the Bunya Mountains

January 25, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Bunya Mountains in Queensland’s South Burnett region are one of the state’s most distinctive set of peaks with an array of native animals and birdlife, excellent walks, fantastic rainforest and important grasslands, and really great camp sites. It’s the perfect place to escape into nature and get grips to Aboriginal culture and heritage while…>

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Brisbane named Australia’s hippest city by Lonely Planet guides

January 18, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR Brisbane residents, the naming of the city as Australia’s best in the recent country guide is something of a vindication to a truth already universally accepted by those that have called it home, thanks to the city’s laid-back and friendly atmosphere, great climate and urban renewal over the last 10-20 years. It’s no mean…>

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Waterfall hopping in south east Queensland

January 11, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

WITH summer in full swing in Queensland’s sultry south east corner, there’s never been a better time to hit the waterfalls and fresh rock pools of the region. From rainforest fringed falls that you can dive right into, to scenic but remote cascades that require a little hoof to bush track first, these falls give…>

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Where to keep cool in the Asia-Pacific region

January 5, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

SUMMER, or any time of year, can be hot in the Asia Pacific region but it doesn’t mean you need to lose your cool. There are plenty of places to go that will help you beat the sultry heat including anything from places like the highlands of Vietnam and Nepal to the wilds of Tasmania…>

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Top Asia-Pacific spots to ring in the New Year

December 27, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you’re looking for a good New Year’s Eve party spot you’re in the right part of the world. Asia and the Pacific know how to enjoy this time of the year and these  five locations should have you ringing it in in style from excellent firework displays to rooftop parties and traditional religious customs.…>

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5 most idyllic island hops in the Philippines

December 14, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE huge archipelago of the Philippines has 7, 107 islands for you to dive, snorkel, pitch a tent, be a beach bum, get a sun tan and wallow in aquamarine waters. But with so many islands where to start? Here are five to put on the list to get you started on your very own…>

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Top travel moments of 2013

December 6, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM the anniversary of the Everest climb to airways that charge per weight, the release of films that put tourism on the map and lots of travel awards, 2013 has brought a range of tourism experiences to the Asia-Pacific region.  January Qantas Airways passengers between Cairns and Port Moresby watched a large python clinging to…>

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Fantastic destinations to consider in 2014

November 28, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

EVEN if you’ve been almost everywhere in Asia, there is always more to see and hidden gems to discover. From China to India, Australia and New Zealand, this list could take you to a riverside town, a sandy beach, crumbling ruins or to meet wildlife in the Asia-Pacific region in the new year. Happy travelling. Fenghuang,…>

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Asia features in Lonely Planet’s ‘best in travel’ lists

November 24, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ASIAN destinations from Penang to Kerala and Sarawak all feature in Lonely Planet’s 2014 best of travel lists. Highlighting longhouse stays, the coconut trade, incredible cliffs and forests, and even remote icy enclaves, the lists are a celebration of some of Asia’s best regions and experiences that you may wish to add to your travel…>

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Unusual travel hobbies Down Under

November 13, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

DO you have an unusual travel hobby? Or have something you like doing when you’re on the road? Here are some unusual travels fetishes practiced Down Under that might give yours a run for its money. Books for the bush In Australia people called grey nomads drive thousands of kilometres carrying books. These they drop…>

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Five Christmas holiday locations in Asia

November 9, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR an exotic holiday with plenty of good cheer this Christmas consider taking your celebrations to the Eastern hemisphere. Not only can you leave your jackets and scarves at home with gloriously warm weather across much of the region, but many Asian nations do get right into the Christmas spirit with celebrations, trees, decorations and…>

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Holidaying with kids in Asia: 4 fantastic options

October 29, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TRAVELING with children doesn’t have to be difficult in Asia. Not only do the varying cultural delights offer interesting options for kids but there is wildlife, healthy food, affordable accommodation and excellent beach resorts and activities to keep them occupied. In addition to that, Asian cultures are excellent at including and catering for children so…>

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5 unforgettable Asia-Pacific cruise destinations

October 25, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM the sun soaked paradise of Fiji to the snowy mountains of New Zealand or the beaches of Australia, cruises take in some of the most romantic and scenic parts of the Asia-Pacific region. And they aren’t just for retirees. Cruise ships cater for children, families, singles and pensioners with something for everyone from remote…>

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On location: 5 Asian hotels on the silver screen

October 17, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM lake based palaces to neon-lit high rise or colonial elegance, Asia’s hotels have featured prominently on the silver screen. Featuring Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Thailand, these five hotels might be next on your accommodation list. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India The former royal summer palace of the Mewar dynasty has developed a…>

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Indonesia’s less traveled beach and island destinations

October 9, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

INDONESIA is renowned for its white sands, clear turquoise waters and beautiful marine life. But many of its beach and island locations are hardly undiscovered and it can sometimes feel you’re battling the crowds in search of that elusive paradise. Here are some beach and island locations where you might find you can get the…>

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In pictures: Winton Outback Festival

October 2, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM roo poo shooting to racing a dunny down the main street, the biannual Winton Outback Festival in western Queensland is a real feast for all senses. Yes roo poo shooting is exactly what it sounds like – you place a kangaroo poo in your mouth and shoot it through a cylinder as far as…>

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Vigan: 5 authentic experiences from an age past

September 26, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IMAGINE sitting in a horse and cart being clopped slowly through cobbled streets. Old wagon wheels line the paved walkways with white washed houses leaning heavily above them into the street. Dogs sleep in the doorways of old villas to soak up the warmth of the morning sun. Dark haired women hang washing from their…>

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Holy cow: India’s most sacred sites

September 20, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Indian sub-continent is the birthplace of several world religions and home to numerous holy places for Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Sikhs and others. Whether you have a religious inclination or not, these impressive cities, caves, temples and monuments with their age-old architecture, origins and traditions will help you touch some of the spirituality so…>

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Beyond the Barrier Reef: Australia’s ‘other’ best dive sites

September 13, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

A LIST of Australia’s best dive spots normally encompasses sites on the Great Barrier Reef, but while it is world renowned for diving it isn’t the only place to dive in Australia. This list features all the other places to dive you may never have considered on an underwater venture Down Under. And, should you…>

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10 other reasons to visit Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics

September 10, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

NOT even a nuclear disaster could stop the Japanese from securing the 2020 Olympic Games bid. Their successful campaign was based on an array of assets – a passion for sport, ability to host major sporting events  and a record as a safe and welcoming city, ripe with innovation and digital technology and flush with…>

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In pictures: India’s beautiful forts, palaces and havelis

September 4, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE forts, palaces and havelis of India are like something out of Arabian Nights. Complete with camels wandering nearby, the encroaching desert sands, women in brilliant saris and the smell of spices in the bazaars, they are a huge attraction for tourists visiting states such as Rajasthan and Gujurat. Jaisalmer fort, Rajasthan The Jaisalmer fort…>

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Asia on the page: 6 literary excerpts about Asian locations

August 30, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE beauties of Asia are often espoused through photographs and paintings, but the literary world has done much to put it on the traveller’s map too . These six literary excerpts describe in vivid detail the scenes, culture and experience of living, visiting and traveling in Asia. While chosen for their apt descriptions, they should…>

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In pictures: 10 most beautiful landscapes in Asia

August 22, 2013 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Asia-Pacific region is filled with scenic landscapes, soaring mountains, meandering rivers and rich historical sites. To choose just 10 beautiful places is but the tip of the iceberg, however these enormous bays, snowy peaks, reflective lakes and verdant fields are all worthy of mention. Halong Bay, Vietnam Find accommodation in Halong to suit your…>

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Fake food Japanese style that looks good enough to eat

August 15, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

CAN’T read or speak Japanese and don’t know what to eat? Enter fake plastic food replicas, or shokuhin sanpuru, that make dealing with Japanese menus a piece of cake, or sushi. They may even look good enough to eat. According to the Sydney Morning Herald anything from beer complete with suds, tasty looking sushi or deep-fried…>

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Asian cities rank among world’s friendliest

August 9, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

CONDE NAST TRAVELER’S recent readers choice survey on the world’s friendliest cities, has placed a number of Asian cities in the top 10. In fact seven out of the list were Asian locations, leaving this Travel Wire Asia correspondent with only one response really –  ”I told you so.” So if you were seeking a…>

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The loss of a Burmese icon: ‘Moustache Brother’ Par Par Lay passes away

August 7, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

MOST tourists that made the trek north to the Burmese city of Mandalay would have stopped by the Moustache Brothers for their nightly cultural shows. However, the comedic trio of U Par Par Lay, U Lu Zaw and Lu Maw lost the leader of their troupe last week when Par Par Lay passed away. Aged…>

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Do falling coconuts really kill 150 people each year?

August 6, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TODAY I received this tweet from @GreenpeaceAustP: Falling coconuts kill 150 people each year, 15 times the number of deaths attributable to sharks. This kind of statement might make you think twice about sitting under the idyllic swaying fronds of a coconut tree next time you’re on a beach in Thailand or Indonesia. However, sadly…>

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In pictures: The trek to Annapurna base camp in Nepal – Part 2

August 2, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Continued from Part 1 AVALANCHE chutes, ice and snow are a feature of the second half of the journey from Deurali to the 4130m high Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) on the Annapurna Sanctuary trek in Nepal. Part two of the journey now enters thin air also where acclimatization days are vital as is keeping warm…>

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In pictures: The trek to Annapurna base camp in Nepal – Part 1

July 29, 2013 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you like getting into thin air, the trek to reach the Annapurna base camp may well be the challenge you’re seeking. The popular hiking route, about a 10-day return trip from Pokhara in western Nepal, climbs to 4130m elevation, into the snow encased bowl of Annapurna base camp (ABC), where the trekker is rewarded…>

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5 incredible ski locations in New Zealand

July 24, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

NEW ZEALAND may be better known as the home to Middle Earth but it’s also home to some world class ski fields too, even if you can’t quite picture a dwarf or hobbit hitting the slopes. Thanks to mountains running right through the country, whatever your location on the north or south island you shouldn’t…>

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In pictures: The mountains of Asia

July 21, 2013 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM the snow peaks of the Himalayas in India and Nepal to the high country of Sri Lanka’s tea growing districts and Indonesia’s verdant volcanoes, the mountain ranges of Asia offer a variety of vistas, climates, villages and even agricultural methods. These images showcase a swathe of these mountains with everything from foot hills to…>

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Asian countries rank near the top of the happy planet index

July 19, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Happy Planet Index (HPI) is a scale used to measure how successfully a nation creates happy and healthy lives for its citizens, both now and in the future. This is different to focusing only on economic development or activity like GDP. Equally happily is that Asian nations rated highly on this list; however just…>

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In pictures: Watery sojourns on the Mekong

July 17, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

MEASURING a vast 4350km the Mekong River, the 12th largest in the world, runs like a vein through Asia, bringing life and industry to  China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and all the communities who live and work along its banks. For travellers too it has become an important part of an Asian sojourn.…>

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5 amazing hikes in Uttarakhand

July 12, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

INDIA might not be as high on trekkers’ list of hiking destinations, like near neighbour Nepal, but it has an amazing scope for snowy vistas, high mountains, colourful villages and wonderful alpine meadows that easily rival anything else you may find in the Himalayan region. What’s more many of the trails aren’t as busy as…>

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5 off the beaten path places to see in India

July 10, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THERE is a regular tourist circuit in India that usually includes places like the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) plus popular beach locations in Goa and Kerala and to the desert state of Rajasthan. But should you be seeking more meaningful, local experiences, here are five regions to visit that will get you off…>

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In pictures: the great Aussie road train

July 2, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you’ve ever spent any time in outback Australia, or even in regions just off the coast, you’ve no doubt become acquainted with the road train and developed a healthy respect for them. These great lumbering trucks are the largest and heaviest road vehicles in the world and they carry everything from live sheep and…>

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In pictures: the red hues of Australia’s MacDonnell ranges

July 1, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE MacDonnell ranges extend to the east and west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. They are a feast of Aboriginal lore in regards to the Dreaming, the creation of the natural order, and for those seeking some of Australia’s most dramatic landscapes. The ranges extend for 644km and consist of a liberal sprinkling…>

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5 colourful markets of Yangon

June 28, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE markets of Yangon offer fascinating insights into the ethnic diversity of the city, its produce, heritage and traditions. Whether you’re actually seeking to stock up on local handicrafts or just enjoy the chance to browse and interact with locals, a visit to any one of these markets is a must on a trip to…>

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10 best travel apps of 2013

June 27, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

WHETHER you’re hunting down good sushi, need to know when to sleep, want to sit on a beach or find your way around a town this list of travel apps will help you with all your needs and problems. It may even solve issues you never realized you might have such as dealing with jetlag…>

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7 fantastic free things to do in Sydney

June 23, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Find accommodation in Sydney to suit your budget on Agoda.com WHILE tourists may well have heaved a sigh of relief as the Aussie dollar started to drop against other curriences in recent months, cities in Australia are still amongst the world’s most costly. However they don’t always have to be. There are plenty of places…>

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Off the tourist trail: Alternative treks in Nepal

June 19, 2013 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR many, trekking in Nepal is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But it’s also an increasingly popular trekking destination, with thousands taking to the tracks each year. Enjoyable as the views, landscapes and people are, some trekkers may find battling the crowds on popular routes too much. If that’s you and you can’t face the idea of…>

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Trekking in Nepal: to be or not to be guided

June 9, 2013 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

TREKKING in Nepal is a big reason people visit the country. It’s exotic, it’s challenging and it’s worth every penny spent getting there. But do you need a guide? Should you hire one? Ultimately the decision is up to you, but this list of pros and cons may help you make up your mind. The…>

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Ashrams, temples and tranquility: Religious tourism in Asia

June 4, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

RELIGIOUS tourism, or faith tourism, is a growing travel market. Holy cities like Mecca, Jerusalem and Varanasi attract huge numbers every year that travel to see various religious sites, while others travel to places for reasons of pilgrimage, as missionaries, for fellowship, to relax, receive teaching or undertake study. According to the World Tourism Organization…>

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Great modern buildings of Asia

June 2, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

INNOVATIVE, arty and experimental, Asia’s spectacular modern buildings often raise an eyebrow. While some of these creations have been endearing, others have also been controversial and even earned a nickname or two. Whatever your thoughts on the list below, they may well worth be adding to your to-do list during your next trip.   Esplanade…>

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10 weird and wonderful hotels in Asia

May 29, 2013 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you’re looking for something with a little character during your next Asian sojourn, take a look at some of these unique hotels. Stay in these tree houses, flush toilets, capsules or boats and you may well find you’re writing about your hotel next time you email home, and not the destination itself. Hang Nga…>

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10 best bookstores in Asia

May 25, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you fancy a good read when you’re traveling around Asia, make note of these bookstores. Most of these places are more destinations than just shops and you may spend more time, and money, than planned. They are also part of the experience of visiting these locations so do plan them into your itinerary. Gertrude…>

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10 crisp Asian beers to help beat the tropical heat

May 21, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ASIANS are good beer drinkers and Kingfishers, Tigers, Bintangs and various hop concoctions can be found across the region. While Europeans still consume more beer on average, the surge in popularity and production of beers in Asia is notable. Most of these are light, crisp beers that are perfect for the tropics and for some…>

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Six of Australia’s outback tracks

May 19, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you like adventure and remote places then Australia’s numerous 4wd tracks should be high on your travel wish list. Most people that journey to these places like the challenge of being self sufficient and fully prepared for terrain that could encompass sand dunes, desert and gibber plains. Whatever route you choose, make sure your…>

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Asian locations in the world’s most expensive holiday

May 12, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you had $1.5 million and two years spare to visit all 962 UNESCO World Heritage locations would you do it? Well one Chinese traveller has signed up to what could be the most expensive holiday ever, offered by the luxury site VeryFirstTo.com. And according to news.com.au, an Italian industrialist might soon be joining him.…>

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In pictures: the faces and sights onboard the Yangon circular train

May 11, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TRUNDLING around on Yangon’s circular train is a great way to take in the sights, sounds, smells and people of the city. While somewhat of a snail’s pace it provides a great patchwork experience of all aspects of life in Yangon from the crush and hurry of the inner city to the rural areas on…>

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Nepal in pictures: Into thin air on the trek to Mardi Himal

May 8, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

MARDI HIMAL (5587m) is the most southerly peak of the Annapurna range in Nepal. The multi day walk to reach its base camp is a fantastic off-the-beaten-path trek that not only takes you away from the main trekking routes but into high altitude pastures replete with grazing yak, blooming rhododendron and authentic village life. Mardi…>

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5 amazing views from around Asia

May 7, 2013 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

YOU don’t always have to venture out into remote territory and onto mountain tops for incredible vistas. These five locations feature Ferris wheels, trams, telecommunications structures and bridges from around Asia. While some are scary, exhilarating or inspiring they all have one key ingredient – great views. Bubble Tram, Guangzhou, China The Bubble Tram is…>

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Asia’s most unusual swimming pools

May 2, 2013 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

SEASIDE, sky high, panoramic, scary and with vanishing edges, waves or volcanoes… there’s plenty of reasons these swimming pools made this list. Pack your swimming costume for this pool ride around Asia. Cantilever Indoor Swimming Pool, Shanghai If you’ve got enough pluck to brave this indoor pool, you can enjoy the experience of floating 100…>

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10 unique Asian beverages

April 28, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR a real experience of Asia get your mouth and tastebuds around some of these beverages from across the region. With sake, butter tea, coconut juice and local whiskeys on offer, imbibing on the local plonk is one way of getting in touch with culture, experimenting with new flavours and trying to cope with the…>

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Volunteering in Nepal: The where, the why and the how

April 25, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THOSE that have travelled a lot will probably agree that the trips where they have given of their time, skills and efforts have been the most meaningful. Volunteer tourism has become a popular way to holiday and undertaking this in Nepal is a way to help and meet locals, while learning about one of Asia’s…>

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In review: Burma travel in 2013

April 23, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

HAS Burma really become the global tourism hotspot? This question dogged me as I flew back to Burma last month to see what changes had taken place since my last visit in 2012. Would my favourite spots be overrun by tourists? Would it be hard to find a room? Had they finally introduced an ATM?…>

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Nilaya Hermitage: Boutique luxury in Goa

April 22, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

GOA’S leading boutique hotel needs little introduction for those in the know, and it really is second to none. From the moment you enter the 20 acre parkland in which the hotel lies, you leave the rest of Goa and the known world far behind. Nilaya, meaning abode in blue heaven, is a real oasis…>

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Padmini Niwas: A homely hill station retreat in Mussoorie

April 16, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THIS regal 1920s bungalow is one of the oldest buildings in Mussoorie, a scenic hill station nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Northern India. It once belonged to the Maharaja of Rajpipla and today the luxurious furnishings such as Raj era fireplaces and magnificent chandeliers do much to uphold this lofty heritage. Padmini Niwas enjoys…>

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4 great walking areas in SE Queensland

April 9, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ONE of the best ways to explore south-east Queensland is by some of its excellent walking tracks. This region might not be particularly noted for places to pound out the miles, but given the wonderful all-year weather, the varied animal and birdlife you can enjoy, and delightful scenery it is in fact a superb place…>

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O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat: Nature and tranquility in SE Queensland

April 8, 2013 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

O’REILLY’S Rainforest Retreat is the perfect place to stay and experience the wonders of Australia’s World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, two hours south of Queensland capital Brisbane. Lamington National Park is one of the most bio-diverse spots in the country and O’Reilly’s offers a wealth of opportunities to experience its fauna and flora. There…>

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In pictures: Faces of Nepal

April 8, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

NEPAL is estimated to have about 102 castes and ethnic groups. Those of Nepali origin are divided between Khas and Mongoloids and include groups such as the Chhetri, Thakuri, Bhramin, Magar, Newar, Tamang, Sherpa, Rai and Limbu. With different languages, cultural practices, religions and dress they form a dynamic part of the experience of visiting…>

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Elephants and rhinos: The Chitwan National Park experience

April 3, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

CHITWAN National Park is a 932-square-kilometre wilderness in Nepal’s Terai lowlands with rhino, elephant, tiger, deer, crocodiles, wetlands, forest and plenty of adventure activities to experience. Located some 180km from Kathmandu, it’s usually one of the must see-places in an itinerary of Nepal and suitable for people of all ages. The vegetation in this area…>

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Walking Tasmania’s Overland Track: How to do it

April 2, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Overland Track is one of Australia’s best known walking tracks (click here for images). This 65km route in Tasmania is a true wilderness walk traipsing remote and scenic spots with lakes, mountains, tarns, rainforest and waterfall sprinkled liberally throughout the route. As the track is quite an undertaking here’s some advice on how to…>

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In pictures: Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma

March 29, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

SHWEDAGON Pagoda is Burma’s most famous Buddhist monument. It rises like a beacon above the city skyline in Yangon which is no mean feat, given the high-rises springing up around the city today. Located near downtown Yangon, the pagoda is both a signature landmark but also a place of great reverence. Even locals passing in…>

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Eternity Springs Art Farm: Eco wellness in New South Wales

March 27, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ETERNITY Springs Art Farm is located in the rainbow region of New South Wales, west of Byron Bay, and is a wonderful place to experience the vibrant natural beauty of the area. Here farming, ecological practices and sustainability are all par for the course and Eternity Springs Art Farm very much embodies this philosophy. It…>

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In pictures: Patan durbar square

March 23, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

KATHMANDU has seven world heritage sites and the Patan durbar square is one of the most atmospheric. Built in the 3rd century by the Kirat dynasty, it is a hub of daily life with anything from tourists to religious pilgrims, jewellery sellers, old men talking and women collecting water visiting throughout the day. Beyond the…>

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In pictures: The parasols of Pathein

March 22, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

PATHEIN, on the Ayerwaddy delta, is famed for its umbrella workshops where the colourful handmade parasols are made. These are known as “Pathein Hti” and are available for sale in workshops such as Shwe Sar, which has been operating for generations. I made a quick visit to the workshop to meet the current family and…>

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In pictures: The Noosa Everglades

March 20, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Noosa Everglades are a small section of waterways north of the Noosa river and its network of lakes in Queensland, Australia. Closed to motorised traffic the Everglades are the domain of birds, native wildlife and paddlers. In the early morning when the water is still it appears like silk with trees and sky are…>

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Maneland Jungle Lodge: Lost in nature in Gujarat

March 20, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TO experience a real jungle setting look no further than the Maneland Jungle Lodge on the fringes of the Gir Sanctuary a few kilometres outside Sasan village. Located inside a sanctuary that contains such exotic animals as the Asiatic Lion, the Maneland doesn’t disappoint with animal sightings. Lions and leopards are spotted on the lawns…>

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Into the delta: Yangon to Pathein by boat

March 18, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ONE of the many boat rides you can undertake in Burma (Myanmar) is the trip from Yangon to Pathein out into the delta area of the Ayerwaddy River, a journey of about 190km (by road). Pathein is the most important delta port in the country outside of Yangon. Boats for Pathein leave the Lan Thit…>

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5 great Sunshine Coast hinterland walks

March 16, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Sunshine Coast is a fantastic area to hike. While it may not be renowned as a trekking destination there are plenty of excellent short and full day walks to keep you happily occupied whilst exploring some of the beauties of the region, if walking is your thing. Here are some of the walks to…>

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Hotel Bougainvillea: Serenity and affordability in Goa

March 13, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ALSO known as Granpa’s Inn, Hotel Bougainvillea is a rambling, heritage-style building that is family owned and run. Whether eating at the lovely restaurant on the verandah, relaxing in the dense green garden or luxuriating in the pool, it all feels worlds away from the high-paced beachfront of world-famous Anjuna just 10 minutes drive away.…>

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5 things to do on a Burmese beach

March 11, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ALTHOUGH it’s not renowned as a beach destination, Burmese beaches are actually quite beautiful and culturally interesting to visit. I don’t make a habit of visiting beaches but during a recent trip to Yangon with a weekend free I ventured out to Chaungtha to see why Yangonians head here for their holidays. Here are five…>

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In pictures: Ostang Bou street, Kashgar

March 6, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

KASHGAR is a remote town in Xinjiang, one of the final calling points in China before the isolated and rugged region gives way to mountains and finally Pakistan. Despite its remote location Kashgar has long been a thriving market town where arts and crafts have been practiced for centuries. One of the streets to find…>

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Pumicestone passage: 35km canoe trip in south east Queensland

March 2, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IT’S an epic one day canoe trip – 35km of gorgeous river estuary that has to be well planned to run with the tides – and one so taxing that we ended up designing certificates for our efforts at the end of the day. In all it’s a fantastic canoe day trip but first let…>

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In pictures: Getting around in Yangon, Burma

February 28, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE former Burma/Myanmar capital doesn’t have the bustle and cacophony of sounds of other high-powered Asian centres such as Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Tokyo. Still there is traffic with bicycles, trucks, buses and cars plying the streets amidst the colonial buildings and wide boulevards. As much as changing in Yangon at present much of…>

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In profile: New Zealand’s Great walks

February 23, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

NEW Zealand is renowned for its tramping with numerous multi day walks criss crossing its national parks and mountainous regions. Trekkable much of the year, these tracks take you right into the wild with endless views of snow peaks, alpine valleys, crystal clear lakes, flowing waterfalls and amazing vistas. The paths are well maintained by…>

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5 top bike rides in southeast Queensland

February 21, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE subtropical climate of south east Queensland and its variable natural environments makes it an excellent location to bicycle all year round. These five rides include some of the best features of the south east including coastal, mountainous and woodland areas. For locals these rides are part of weekly circuits, while for visitors the easy…>

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Riding the rails: Beijing to Mongolia

February 20, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Trans Mongolian runs between China and Russia via Mongolia. It is one of the world’s epic train journeys with images of desert, vast steppe, wilderness and great cities all from the comfort of the rail carriage. The section outlined here is the first part of the journey from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital,…>

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In pictures: Lhasa’s pilgrims

February 16, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

LHASA means “place of the gods” and a pilgrimage to the holy city remains a dream for all Tibetans. The importance of this is clear once you make it to the once isolated city and see just how many Tibetans are visiting from the countryside to see the same sights you are, although perhaps with…>

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Romantic travel destinations in Asia this Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

HERE are some ideas for a romantic trip with the one you love this Valentine’s Day. Seaside break There are plenty of sunny destinations to bask in together around Asia with numerous archipelagos, coastal locations and sandy shores for holidaying couples across the region. Bali, Flores or Lombok in Indonesia are perfect for evening strolls,…>

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9 tips for planning a multi-day walk in Asia

February 12, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE preparation phase for a multi day trek is just as important as actually doing it. A bit of time spent planning and organising packs, gear, food and other details could be the difference between an enjoyable trek and biting off more than you can handle. 1. Get fit Unless you’re 21-years-old or an avid…>

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In pictures: Waterside at Burma’s Inle lake

February 8, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

INLE LAKE is one of Burma/Myanmar’s most beautiful places. The 22km long and 11km wide lake has 17 stilt villages around its picturesque shores. On any given day these could be bustling with floating markets, while trades such as silversmithing, woodwork and weaving continue regardless. The villages are also filled with ancient temples and monasteries.…>

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In pictures: Asia’s picturesque fields and terraces

February 6, 2013 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

THE beautiful agricultural fields and terraces of Asia are amongst the most beautiful images most people take when traveling around. These images are of locations as varied as Burma, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Each indicates something about the economic makeup of the area, the geography and the amount of work locals, and the generations before…>

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Hobart in the spotlight: what makes the harbour city so great

February 1, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Hobart is another city on the make. It’s also the second city in this series featuring the Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities of 2013. I’m happy to note I visited Hobart in 2012 and ran three posts last year that featured the harbour city: In pictures: Tasmania unplugged In pictures: Old Hobart town In pictures:…>

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Into the orient: Beijing

February 1, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

BEIJING is ranked third in this analysis of Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities of 2013. So did they get it right listing Beijing as one of the best places to visit this year? Let’s take a look at what they said. Běijīng Capital on cusp of greatness Best for: Culture, value for money, food Běijīng…>

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Magnificent 7: Kathmandu’s world heritage sites

January 31, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

KATHMANDU has seven monuments that are UNESCO World Heritage listed. Not only are these monuments an incredible testimony to the craftsmanship and traditions of the Kathmandu Valley, they still represent the beating heart of life in the Valley. Visit any of these monuments and you’ll come across strolling locals, souvenir sellers, cafes, religious activity and…>

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In pictures: Sunshine Coast and the hinterland, Queensland

January 29, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

I SPEND every Christmas/New Year on the Sunshine Coast swimming, eating at cafes, enjoying the beach and visiting art galleries and markets in the hinterland. While online during this recent period I noticed former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was also up in the area. His tweet read something about being glad to be up on…>

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Unearthing a hidden gem in Hyderabad

January 26, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

In a previous post I heralded the experiences to be had visiting Darwin, one of Lonely Planet’s top cities to visit in 2012. Well as you would expect, Lonely Planet has put out a new top 10 list for 2013 and there are four Asian locations on it: Hyderabad, Beijing, Christchurch and Hobart. As I’ve…>

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For Australia Day, Aussies rename McDonald’s to ‘Macca’s’

January 25, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IN true Australian style whereby names are shortened, a vowel or a ‘y’ is added and the meaning sometimes made almost indecipherable, McDonald’s has agreed to change the name of some of its restaurants downunder to the Aussie nickname Macca’s. For those not familiar with the Australian penchant for changing and altering words see this…>

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Staying safe: Sexual harassment and female travellers

January 24, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you’re a woman and you’ve traveled abroad you’re bound to have experienced some form of sexual harassment. While the public outcry over the recent rape and murder case in Delhi has brought out the problems of this nature in Indian society–as explained in an interesting piece this week by Neeta Lal for Asia Sentinel–I’m…>

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Two wheels good: Celebrating the resilience of the humble bike

January 23, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

WE’VE all heard tales of China’s, and indeed all of Asia’s, rising middle class spending their money on all kinds of things from cars, to luxury foods and travel thanks to their booming economy. However one of the latest fads has been high end bicycle models. This is probably most surprising as bikes have long…>

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Walking into the clouds: Climbing Mt Ramelau in East Timor

January 19, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

MT Ramelau is East Timor’s highest mountain at 2986m and a popular climb for those living in or visiting the capital Dili. The mountain is also known as Tatamailau meaning “grandfather of all” and has cultural and religious significance. In 1997 a statue of the Virgin Mary was erected on top and there are pilgrimages…>

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In pictures: From the top end, Darwin unearthed

January 17, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IN 2012 Lonely Planet named Darwin as one of the world’s best cities to visit. I didn’t visit Darwin because of this but I did happen to pass through in 2012 and I was suitably impressed. I hadn’t been to Darwin in about 10 years and the transformation was impressive. Not that I would have…>

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House of MG: A home away from home in Gujurat

January 15, 2013 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

THE House of Mangaldas Giridhardas is a real oasis of calm and taste in the Gujurati capital of Ahmedabad. It’s also the only boutique heritage hotel. While it caters primarily for business travellers it would also suit foodies, families and those seeking a relaxing break. Here you’ll not only find excellent modern equipped rooms, but…>

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International tourism reaches 1 billion in 2012

January 13, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ON December 13, 2012 the one-billionth tourist of the year crossed an international border. This was a record for international tourism and well up from just 435 million of only two decades ago. It is also indicative that one in seven people in the world are traveling. Europe leads the outbound tourism by region category…>

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Superman views over Asia

January 12, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

To get the best views of Asia’s cities and landscapes you need to take to the skies. And with the Superman perspective in mind, the Perth based Pixelcase has used Canon cameras, stitching together the shots to form panoramas. The Pixelcase Showcase is a self funded side project by John Colebrook – CEO of Pixelcase…>

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Another Australian dies after partying in Asia

January 11, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THIS week another Australian died in Asia after drinking a potentially fatal cocktail. Darwin man, Kane Scriven, died after a night of drinking in Laos. He was 40-years-old. It’s not the first time this has happened, in fact in recent years this has become an all too common occurrence. Last year I ran a piece on…>

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A taste of paradise: Paddling the Clarence River Gorge

January 10, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ABOUT an hour and a half from Grafton in northern New South Wales, is one of Australia’s most beautiful gorges. The Clarence River gorge, or simply “the gorge”, is heritage listed and the scenery is suitably stunning. While it takes some time to reach – almost 400km from Brisbane – it’s worth it. Not only it…>

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In pictures: Beating the heat Down Under

January 9, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AUSTRALIA is sweltering. We’re not talking a few above average temperatures here, we’re talking record breaking heat waves across the country with the nation recording an average of 40.33 degrees on Monday, January 7. These are the weather forecasting charts now being used by the Bureau of Meterology; the purple indicates temperatures of 54 degrees,…>

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In pictures: Boat travel in Asia

December 28, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

RIVERS form much of the landscape and lifeblood of Asia, providing not only vital resources such as water, fish stock and  crop hydration but a means of transport too. Boats are essential in places such as the Ganges in India, the Mekong in Indochina, and lakes and rivers in Nepal and China. Here are some…>

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In the news: Christmas around Asia

December 26, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

On the beach, in churches and from bungee chords – here are some ways Christmas was celebrated around Asia yesterday. Happy Christmas season to all from Visited Planet. Philippines – from CNN Known as the country with “the longest Christmas season in the world,” Filipinos get the Christmas festivities rolling in September, and extend them…>

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Unearthed: 6 Asian travel destinations for 2013

December 25, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AS travel continues to change and develop, there’s an ongoing search for unexplored and pristine destinations. Here are some to consider for 2013. East Timor War and conflict is all over in East Timor, making it one of the newest tourism destinations waiting to be discovered. Just one hour by flight from Darwin, East Timor…>

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Top travel moments of 2012

December 22, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

PARACHUTING from the edge of space, commemorating the RMS Titanic and social media highs are just some of the amazing travel moments that have taken place in 2012. Many of these have been covered on Visited Planet / Travel Wire Asia this year. Let’s take a look back at the year in travel. January –…>

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The day the world didn’t end around Asia

December 22, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

If you missed the end of the world yesterday, don’t worry, it didn’t happen. While December 21 was heralded by some as the potential end of the world, according to how they read the Mayan calendar, it seems most people didn’t really take the predictions too seriously. However I was asked on Facebook yesterday from…>

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How to avoid paying baggage fees? Wear all your clothes!

December 21, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

According to the Guangzhou Daily a man at Gungzhou Baiyun International Airport wore 70 items of clothing to avoid paying excess baggage fees. When the man discovered his luggage exceeded the airline’s limits he put on more than 60 shirts and nine pairs of jeans to board a flight to Nairobi, Kenya. Dressed like a…>

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In pictures: Christmas around Asia

December 19, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

WHILE Asia doesn’t have the snow, the reindeer and cold over Christmas it doesn’t mean celebrations aren’t in order. From Santas to Christmas kangaroos here are some unique ways the event is heralded in Asia. The Variety Santa Fun Run Held every year in Brisbane, Australia, the 5km event can be run, walked, skipped or…>

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12/12/12 marked by mass weddings in Asia

December 15, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Authorities in Hong Kong, China and Singapore reported a spike in weddings this week as the auspicious date of 12 December 2012 rolled by. Some 696 couples in Hong Kong and 540 in Singapore tied the knot seeking a lucky and happy future together, a fourfold increase on the usual daily average in the former…>

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NASA mistakes Indian mountain for Everest

December 14, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

NASA has admitted it mistook an Indian mountain for Everest. The US space agency posted a picture of the mountain, taken by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, captioning it as Everest. However it was later revealed to be Saser Muztagh in the Karakoram Range of Kashmir in India. The incorrect posting drew notable ire from the Nepalese.…>

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The doomsayer’s travel guide

December 14, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE world as we know it could end on December 21, just a few days away. So if there are things you want to get done before the end of the world, here’s your last chance to write a travel bucket list. This top 10 list should get your travel juices going, and if of…>

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Australia vs New Zealand: which country is better?

December 10, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

USUALLY anything titled “Australia vs New Zealand” involves sporting teams and a very hotly contested competition. But Aussie comedians Hamish Blake and Andy Lee decided to settle the long running dispute about which nation is greater by hitting the road in caravans and testing them in their thrills department. The result was a recent series…>

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12 days of Christmas travel bucket list

December 10, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

I HAVE some friends with a unique Christmas tradition: their family goes to a different location in Asia together every year. They have been to Japan, Malaysia and Thailand so far. As it’s an effort to get my jet setting family in the one country we all tend to rendezvous back in Australia. But still,…>

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The world in travel: images, news and video

December 9, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

Here are some popular travel videos, photos and stories currently hitting cyber space. An image posted on reddit.com by Samantha Busch for her overly protective mother. Read more here. A Danish advert from Midttrafik about just how cool public transport can be. A health conscious orangutan that brushes its teeth in Borneo, Malaysia. See more…>

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Two Aussie cities make Trip Advisor’s 2012 list

December 9, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

HOBART and Perth both made the “10 destinations on the rise” Trip Advisor list of 2012. The list is developed using noted increases in positive traveller feedback and interest on the website. Mar del Plata, Argentina, topped the list, and other central and south American locations also did very well. Of the best ranked Asia/Pacific…>

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Be inspired: National Geographic’s Traveler of the Year awards

December 9, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

NATIONAL Geographic Traveler has posted its annual list of individuals out there exploring the world in unique, amazing and inspiring ways. The ten travellers chosen for this year’s list have established cultural exchanges between Colorado students and the Maasai, walked from Capetown to Cairo to raise funds for clean water projects, circumnavigated Australia in a…>

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What kind of traveller are you? 6 travel personalities unearthed

December 4, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

“SHOULD we book the elephant online?” my friends asked before their planned trip to India. “It might be booked out.” I frowned, straining to keep images of an elephant checking email out of my mind. “Um… I’m sure it can fit you into its schedule,” I finally managed. We’ve all got them – friends that…>

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The real Middle Earth: 5 locations from The Hobbit

November 30, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

THE premiere of The Hobbit was held in Wellington on November 28, giving audiences in some parts of the world at least, the chance to see the fantastic scenery used in the film. Given the scenery was the reason so many people fell in love with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, here are some…>

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Hobbit plane takes to the skies

November 29, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

CASHING in again on its status as the airline for Middle Earth, Air New Zealand’s has just shown of its latest 777-300 that features the world’s largest ever graphic. The Hobbit-themed plane comes just as the latest Middle Earth film of Peter Jackson’s, “The Hobbit: an unexpected journey”, is set to release in Wellington on…>

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Australian tourism buoyed by Chinese visitors

November 29, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Chinese visitors continue to lead the way in the recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. According to the bureau, visits from China were up 26.5 percent from the same period last year. The 43,000 Chinese in September were not the only Asian market to have increased. Singapore and Hong Kong visitors were…>

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Asian 007 unearthed: Bond-inspired Asian destinations

November 27, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE latest Bond epic, Skyfall, has been hitting screens all around the world this month and breaking box office records, showing the world is not sick of 007 yet. With a backdrop featuring one of Asia’s great cities, Shanghai, it seemed fitting to take a look at some of the other Asian destinations to have…>

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In pictures: Charming Kochi on India’s south coast

November 18, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

KOCHI, formerly Cochin, is a port city on the west coast of India. What makes Kochi unique is that it was once the centre of the Indian spice trade. Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Greeks, Romans, Jews, Arabs and Chinese all traded here and all left their influence on the city in a collection of religious establishments,…>

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In pictures: Partial solar eclipse in Brisbane

November 13, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

DARKNESS fell on Brisbane this morning at 6.55am when the moon covered 83 percent of the sun. While it obviously wasn’t the full totality as enjoyed by eclipse watchers in north Queensland, it was still pretty spectacular. The anticipation in Queensland over the last few days has been palpable. Radio, television and other media have…>

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Exploring the wilds of Borneo: Bako National Park

November 13, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

YOU don’t have to go far in Sarawak to find the jungle. In fact you see it from the plane as you descend into the capital Kuching – a tangled green mass stretches out below you, actually covering three quarters of the state in Malaysian Borneo or 8.7 million hectares. Even if you’re not too…>

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The Melbourne Cup – the race that stops the nation

November 6, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

If you’ve been to Australia during November you’ll have heard of the Melbourne Cup. If you haven’t, it’s time to get educated about this race that literally brings the entire nation to a standstill. This year it takes place at 3pm Melbourne time on Tuesday 6 November. This year the Melbourne Cup is up to…>

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North Queensland on countdown for solar eclipse

November 5, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Nature is set to put on a spectacle in north Queensland on November 14 when residents and visitors will be treated to a rare total solar eclipse. Eclipses occur when the moon passes between the earth and the Sun. While a partial solar eclipse will be seen across Australia the best place to see a…>

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Great Walks of Australia

November 4, 2012 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

Australia is full of wonders, and now it’s even easier to see them. Great Walks of Australia has just been launched highlighting seven amazing walking destinations around the country encompassing some of the best coastline, wilderness, animals and landscapes Australia has to offer. Happily I’ve been to many of these and can recount some experiences. Let’s…>

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Outback Queensland prepares for Royal visit

November 3, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE small rural town of Longreach in west Queensland is all a do over the pending visit of Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, previously Camilla Parker Bowles, next week. Fortunately Longreach recently won first class honours as Queensland’s Tidiest Town for 2012 but still efforts are being made to further spruce…>

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How to take 250 friends on holiday

November 2, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IT might seem like a fairytale but one Sydney woman has just won the trip of a lifetime – and that means the opportunity to take 250 friends along for the ride. Julie-Anne Foster entered a competition on AirAsia’s Facebook page to fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the weekend. All she had to do…>

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In pictures: East Timor

October 31, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

East Timor isn’t usually considered a tourist destination on the mainstream Asian circuit, but this fledgling nation not only celebrated another successful democratic election this year, but continues to make strives with economics, infrastructure, transport and tourism. With beautiful golden beaches, unspoilt landscapes and an array of adventure events like the annual Dili marathon and…>

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In pictures: Garwhal, North India

October 26, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

The Garwhal is a mountainous region in Uttarkhand, a north Indian state that borders with Tibet. It was actually once part of the Kingdom of Nepal many years ago and the hills are terraced in similar fashion. The name itself means land of many ghars or forts, and once upon a time chiefs with their…>

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Eating 101 in India – 6 tips for avoiding belly gripes

October 24, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Eating anywhere abroad can be a bit of an ordeal for the gut and the taste buds, but nowhere more so than in India. While there are plenty of dishes you’ll love here, unfortunately–and I won’t beat about the bush–some can set your stomach and bowels on edge also. I’ve just had a dose of…>

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In pictures: Mussoorie, Queen of the hills

October 18, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Mussoorie, in Uttarkhand, India, is often called the “Queen of the Hills” and for very good reason, as these photos should attest. Nestled into the foothills of the Himalayas in a region known as the Garhwal, there are abeautiful views from every angle whether they be of the resident monkey population, the dusky hills at…>

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The hike to Dodital

October 15, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Trekking in the Indian Himalayas isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. There are high trails to traverse that can be knocked out by landslides, the temperatures can plummet overnight and there are few, if any, services along the way. But as I found out on a recent trek to Dodital, in Uttarkhand, north India, the rewards…>

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Beach time in Kovalam

October 13, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Kovalam beach in Kerala is one of the most sought after beach destinations in India. While it doesn’t rival Goa to the north for its wealth of golden sand beaches, nor its hippy vestiges, it doesn’t have the crowds or price tag either. And that could be a welcome relief for those looking for a…>

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In pictures: Indian railways

September 27, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Indian Railways is one of the world’s largest railway networks. In just one day it moves the entire population of Australia around, or 20 million passengers. While this a small portion of India’s 1.2 billion population, it is some achievement to shunt this mass of humanity around 115,000 km of track to some 7,500…>

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Malaysia: Festival of the Hungry Ghosts

September 26, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

MALAYSIA has a large Chinese population so it’s no surprise just how many Chinese festivals are celebrated, or with how much aplomb they are heralded. I was fortunate to happen across one of these when visiting Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. I have to admit I knew nothing about the Festival of the Hungry Ghost…>

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4 things not to miss in Hyderabad, the city of pearls

September 21, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE capital of Andra Pradesh in southern India is known for its pearls. And indeed if you’ve come to buy the shiny jewels you’ll have plenty of choice, however there is far more to Hyderabad than just this. Here are four things not to miss. Golconda fort The 16th Century Golconda fort is a must…>

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In pictures: Houseboating on Kerala’s backwaters

September 19, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THIS languid style of travel leaves you little to worry about except where the next coconut drink might come from and even then there are plenty of stops to cater for that too. The watery houseboat sojourn through the backwaters of Kerala is an understandable favourite amongst travellers to the southern state of India. It’s…>

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A Day in the Life: Langkawi

September 11, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

LYING 30 kilometres off the coast of northwest Malaysia, between Penang and the Thai border, is Langkawi, a stunning 99-island archipelago and one of Malaysia’s most popular tourist destinations. It is not really surprising that Langkawi has become one of Malaysia’s top holiday spots. The beaches are long and beautiful, the locals are friendly and…>

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Discovering Malaysian Borneo in seven days

September 2, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Straddling the equator and taking in three of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating countries, Borneo is one of the world’s great islands. In terms of sheer size it is only second to Greenland and New Guinea, and it remains one of the most ecologically diverse destinations on the planet. Although most of the island is taken…>

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Close encounters of the primate kind – visiting the Semenggoh Rehabilitation Centre

August 31, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

By Joanne Lane Borneo is famous for its orangutans and the highlight for many travellers here is to see them in the wild. While it is possible to join trips going deep into the jungles of Sarawak and Sabah, these can be expensive and while there are an estimated 20,000 or so orangutans in Borneo…>

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Enjoying the hospitality of headhunters in Borneo

August 31, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

By Joanne Lane Rumah Bundong is a 60 year-old, 50-door longhouse near Kapit in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is inhabited by about 40 families of Iban ethnicity, who are famed, amongst many things, for headhunting. Yes that’s right—headhunting—and 40 families means there are a lot of them. Still, I’m encouraged to learn they…>

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Six atmospheric bars and cafes in Malaysia

August 30, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

By Joanne Lane Malaysia is renowned for its wonderful dining experiences in its many streetside stalls, markets, hawker centres and fine restaurants. But it also offers travellers equally fine opportunities to have a quiet drink or two, be that a high tea, a juice or cocktail. This selection of bars and cafes from across Malaysia…>

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Hiking in the Cameron Highlands

August 30, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

By Joanne Lane The Cameron Highlands is a hill station perched on a corner of the Titiwangsa Range in Pahang. It is considered one of the last remaining stretches of virgin forests in peninsular Malaysia and if you like walking you’ll love the nature walks and mountains here. Plus there are plenty of chances to…>

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Regatta Lepa – a boating festival Sabah style

August 30, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

By Joanne Lane Most people go to Semporna in far southeastern Sabah for the world class diving sites that lie just off the coast – Sipadan immediately springs to mind for many. But for me, it was a small notation in Lonely Planet that got me hooked: “This mainly Bajau town really comes alive at…>

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The Mooncake Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival in Malaysia

August 29, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

By Joanne Lane The Mooncake Festival in Kuala Lumpur is held in September, the eighth month of the year. Now before you think I’ve been eating too much mooncake or drinking too much moonshine, let me tell you why. It’s simple. The Chinese New Year begins in February so September is not actually the ninth…>

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Best artisanal buys in Malaysia

August 29, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

By Joanne Lane Like all travellers I’m not averse to buying a few souvenirs and can tend to be a bit of an impulse buyer, but it’s always nice to know what some of the signature arts and crafts are to buy from a particular country or region. Given the diversity of ethnic groups in…>

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唐人街的一天

August 28, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

瓊安·萊恩 因為每年都會來吉隆玻遊覽數次,所以我覺得自己對這裏就像本地人一樣熟悉。我一直用來打發時間的地方就是當地人的唐人街。 如果整個晚上都呆在吉隆玻,可能會有點悲哀——通常,我在唐人街逗留的時間更長些——我每次都到唐人街同樣的店鋪,用同一個理髮師並且總是去同一個酒店。 我已經形成了自己的常規路線,每次行程都沒有太大的變化。如果你習慣了外面的某個地區,做著同一件事情,身處旅遊區,而不感覺像遊客,那麼在熟悉的周邊溜達就是一件很爽的事情。 下面是我的計畫及我喜歡做的事情,不敢保證對所有的人都適用。  抵達 我通常會在吉隆玻廉價機場(LCCT airport)降落,因為那裏有通往吉隆玻中環廣場的班車(buses),單程車費為RM 8元,往返RM 14元即可。這些班車幾乎全天24小時運行,所以,從來不需要等太長時間。那裏同時也有去吉隆玻國際機場(KLIA)、雲頂高原和其他的地方的班車。如果你在吉隆玻國際機場降落,同樣也有類似的公車服務和火車服務。 我一下飛機,拿上行李,就直奔班車走去——離開出站口,向外走,走到右邊進站的地方,就能看到許多公車。 下了飛機之後我常常覺得很累,因此我會設法在公車上睡一會兒,因為公車上相當平穩且路途較遠,足夠睡上一覺(大約持續一個小時)。 我從吉隆玻廉價機場乘坐輕軌交通到達中央藝術坊,然後步行一會兒即可到達賓館。  住宿 我總是住在Matahari Lodge賓館(卡斯圖裏號街,電話+603 2070 5570)。數年來,或者說從它開辦以來,中間甚至還換了主人,但我每次都住在那裏。那裏費用低廉,提供的單人間異常乾淨整潔。雖然盥洗室共用,但也無可挑剔,此外,賓館還提供浴鞋。那裏也有無線網路,並供應早餐。 食物 食物可供選擇的種類很多——粘土堝雞,香蕉、巧克力麵包,沙爹雞肉串、烤魚等,全都免費自助(通常在午飯時間,擺放在敦陳禎祿路的天橋下面)甚至還有更多。你可以吃街邊小攤,也可以找個地方坐下來就著老虎牌啤酒慢慢享用。我喜歡這裏的一切。也喜歡在附近溜達,看看那些正在釀造的、烹飪的或者吃的東西——難以描述的榴槤果(不適合我),大米、黃豆、對蝦、椰子還有很多叫不出名字的食物。  享受 我總是計畫在唐人街放縱享受一下。這雖然是旅行,但我之前在那裏的時候,曾享受過中環街市二樓很棒的中國反射按摩。那裏的經理告訴我他們的職員流動很快,但是服務品質比茨廠街要好的多——我同意他的觀點。每小時大約RM 60元。 我曾經在黑根黑根酒吧(Reggae Bar)附近理過幾次發(在街角附近),那裏的理髮和按摩特別棒。  購物 由於,我經常去吉隆玻,所以回家的時候我總是到中環街市(Central Market)買一些紀念品。我的外甥女喜歡小knicknacks,所以過去幾年,我總會到那裏買一些聖誕禮物回家。馬來西亞基本上沒有鉛筆玩具,可愛的臘色錢包,儲物小箱子,廚具、圍巾這樣的東西。在這裏幾乎不用花錢,都是些你不需要的東西。 遊玩 如果時間充裕,我通常會到茨廠街參加一些娛樂活動。這是一個歷史名區,有著眾 多有趣的中國店鋪和寺廟,通常我會選擇其中的一兩家拜訪一下,如位於突尼斯街角的關帝廟。我喜歡坐那兒的角落裏看來來往往的人們進進出出,焚香,祈禱、做功德,場面壯觀。 啟程 一到這裏,回吉隆玻廉價機場或國際機場就變得易如反掌了。但還是要核對一下乘公車離開吉隆玻中環廣場的計畫,萬一你不得不在那裏等一會兒,不要錯過航班。 如果你喜歡本文並且想要瞭解更多關於去馬來西亞旅遊的知識,那麼請訪問馬來西亞旅遊網站。 ____________ 筆者簡介 瓊安·萊恩(澳大利亞) 瓊安·萊恩是一位元澳大利亞自由攝影記者,在布里斯班工作。幼年時對寫作的愛指引著她追求體育新聞,並於1996年完成了大學新聞學位,但她很快發現新聞編輯的限制太多了。於是,她對旅遊的濃厚興趣就表現了出來,喬目前為止已經遊歷過40個國家,或許更多,還在其中幾個國家生活過,現在她為各大報紙、雜誌、網路資訊機構寫作記錄自己的經歷,遍及世界各地。詳情登錄www.visitedplanet.com。 Translated from: 24 hours in Chinatown, by Joanne Lane

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唐人街的一天

August 28, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

乔安妮·莱恩 因为每年都会来吉隆坡游览数次,所以我觉得自己对这里就像本地人一样熟悉。我一直用来打发时间的地方就是当地人的唐人街。 如果整个晚上都呆在吉隆坡,可能会有点悲哀——通常,我在唐人街逗留的时间更长些——我每次都到唐人街同样的店铺,用同一个理发师并且总是去同一个酒店。 我已经形成了自己的常规路线,每次行程都没有太大的变化。如果你习惯了外面的某个地区,做着同一件事情,身处旅游区,而不感觉像游客,那么在熟悉的周边溜达就是一件很爽的事情。 下面是我的计划及我喜欢做的事情,不敢保证对所有的人都适用。 抵达 我通常会在吉隆坡廉价机场(LCCT airport)降落,因为那里有通往吉隆坡中环广场的班车(buses),单程车费为RM 8元,往返RM 14元即可。这些班车几乎全天24小时运行,所以,从来不需要等太长时间。那里同时也有去吉隆坡国际机场(KLIA)、云顶高原和其他的地方的班车。如果你在吉隆坡国际机场降落,同样也有类似的公车服务和火车服务。 我一下飞机,拿上行李,就直奔班车走去——离开出站口,向外走,走到右边进站的地方,就能看到许多公车。 下了飞机之后我常常觉得很累,因此我会设法在公车上睡一会儿,因为公车上相当平稳且路途较远,足够睡上一觉(大约持续一个小时)。 我从吉隆坡廉价机场乘坐轻轨交通到达中央艺术坊,然后步行一会儿即可到达宾馆。 住宿 我总是住在Matahari Lodge宾馆(卡斯图里号街,电话+603 2070 5570)。数年来,或者说从它开办以来,中间甚至还换了主人,但我每次都住在那里。那里费用低廉,提供的单人间异常干净整洁。虽然盥洗室共用,但也无可挑剔,此外,宾馆还提供浴鞋。那里也有无线网络,并供应早餐。 食物 食物可供选择的种类很多——粘土埚鸡,香蕉、巧克力面包,沙爹鸡肉串、烤鱼等,全都免费自助(通常在午饭时间,摆放在敦陈祯禄路的天桥下面)甚至还有更多。你可以吃街边小摊,也可以找个地方坐下来就着老虎牌啤酒慢慢享用。我喜欢这里的一切。也喜欢在附近溜达,看看那些正在酿造的、烹饪的或者吃的东西——难以描述的榴莲果(不适合我),大米、黄豆、对虾、椰子还有很多叫不出名字的食物。 享受 我总是计划在唐人街放纵享受一下。这虽然是旅行,但我之前在那里的时候,曾享受过中环街市二楼很棒的中国反射按摩。那里的经理告诉我他们的职员流动很快,但是服务质量比茨厂街要好的多——我同意他的观点。每小时大约RM 60元。 我曾经在黑根黑根酒吧(Reggae Bar)附近理过几次发(在街角附近),那里的理发和按摩特别棒。 购物 由于,我经常去吉隆坡,所以回家的时候我总是到中环街市(Central Market)买一些纪念品。我的外甥女喜欢小knicknacks,所以过去几年,我总会到那里买一些圣诞礼物回家。马来西亚基本上没有铅笔玩具,可爱的腊色钱包,储物小箱子,厨具、围巾这样的东西。在这里几乎不用花钱,都是些你不需要的东西。 游玩 如果时间充裕,我通常会到茨厂街参加一些娱乐活动。这是一个历史名区,有着众 多有趣的中国店铺和寺庙,通常我会选择其中的一两家拜访一下,如位于突尼斯街角的关帝庙。我喜欢坐那儿的角落里看来来往往的人们进进出出,焚香,祈祷、做功德,场面壮观。 启程 一到这里,回吉隆坡廉价机场或国际机场就变得易如反掌了。但还是要核对一下乘公车离开吉隆坡中环广场的计划,万一你不得不在那里等一会儿,不要错过航班。 如果你喜欢本文并且想要了解更多关于去马来西亚旅游的知识,那么请访问马来西亚旅游网站。 ____________ 笔者简介 乔安妮·莱恩(澳大利亚) 乔安妮·莱恩是一位澳大利亚自由摄影记者,在布里斯班工作。幼年时对写作的爱指引着她追求体育新闻,并于1996年完成了大学新闻学位,但她很快发现新闻编辑的限制太多了。于是,她对旅游的浓厚兴趣就表现了出来,乔目前为止已经游历过40个国家,或许更多,还在其中几个国家生活过,现在她为各大报纸、杂志、网络信息机构写作记录自己的经历,遍及世界各地。详情登录www.visitedplanet.com。 Translated from: 24 hours in Chinatown, by Joanne Lane

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24 hours in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur

August 28, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

I VISIT Kuala Lumpur so often each year I’ve started to feel like a local. That is a local of Chinatown where I invariably spend all my time. It’s probably a little sad but if I’m only in KL overnight — frequently I am there longer also — I go directly to Chinatown to the…>

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Running in Malaysia

August 28, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

I AM one of those travellers that always packs a pair of running shoes in my bag even if I don’t really have space. There are some really good places to run in Malaysia, on the beaches and islands in particular. However, even in the cities you will find nice places to run. Beating the…>

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マレーシアで味わえる6つの雰囲気のよいバーとカフェ

August 23, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ジョアン・レーン マレーシアは通りの屋台、マーケット、ホーカーセンター、高級レストラン、どこに行っても素晴らしい食事を体験できることで有名ですが、同時に食事と同じように旅行者がお酒、お茶、ジュースからカクテルまで、素敵なお茶を楽しむことのできる機会がたくさんあるのです。ここで紹介するマレーシアのバーとカフェでは植民地時代の魅力、クラシックな建物、ヒップなシーンまたは最高のロケーションを味わうことができます。 ジオグラファーカフェ、マラッカ 歴史的マラッカにあるこのジオグラファーカフェは慌ただしいジョンカー通りの角にある古い中華料理店です。ここは古い町や100年以上も前の建物の特徴と魅力などを味わう機会がある最高のロケーションです。実はマラッカで一番古い中華寺院とイスラム教のモスクがここの近くにあるのです。ジオグラファーカフェは食事、デザート、オリジナルのカクテル(アルコールなしもあり)を楽しめる最高の場所です。定期的にライブミュージックやジャズのプログラムもあります。 83 Jalan Hang Jebat, Malacca Town, Tel: +606-281-6813 ファークワー・バー、イースタン&オリエンタルホテル、ペナン 素晴らしいイースタン&オリエンタルホテルの一部にクラブルームのような雰囲気のあるこの英国スタイルバーはあります。ペナンの元中尉知事のロバート・タウンゼンド・ファークワーが名前の由来であり、クラシックな木製の羽目板、バーの木製の安楽椅子、さっと一杯飲むための深い腰掛椅子などがあります。ビールとオリジナルドリンク、イースタン&オリエンタルスリングを含むカクテルや伝統的なパブ料理も提供しています。同じホテル内にもう一軒、サーキーズコーナーがあり、月曜から金曜まで弁当ランチを提供しています。店内からは芝草と海の眺めを楽しむことができます。 このイースタン&オリエンタルホテルがイギリス植民地時代の証そのものであり、今日ではペナンの歴史において重要な要素であると考えられています。1884年にここを設立したサーキーズ兄弟はシンガポアにもラッフルズホテルを設立しています。常連であった作家、ソムセット・モームの小説にも幾度か登場しています。 10 Lebuh Farquhar, Tel: +604-222-2000    チャーリーズレストラン&バー、ヘリテージステーションホテル、クアラルンプール トレインステーションの周りのムーアのリバイバルスタイルとわずかな空洞性がこのヘリテージステーションホテルをクアラルンプールの植民地時代に舞い戻ったような舞台に整えます。宿泊はしなくてもこのバーで十分その帝国の空気を味わうことができます。チャーリーズレストラン&バーでは古い壁掛け、ムーアのアーチ型の窓、そして1910年からのオリジナルの床タイルが特徴的です。ベーシックなお部屋へ宿泊している方へ格安で食事と飲み物を提供しています。現在このヘリテージホテルは遺産建物となっており、ノスタルジックな雰囲気に浸れる古いエレベーターは乗ってみる価値あり、です。 Bangunan Stesen Keretapi, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, Kuala Lumpur, Tel: +603-2273-5588    スモークハウスホテル&レストラン、キャメロンハイランド マレーシアのイギリス植民地の歴史そのものを体験したいときにはこの1939年にさかのぼる英国チューダースタイルのホテルがおすすめです。キャメロンハイランドに位置しており、涼しく、霧っぽく湿気が多い天気がイギリスとよく似ている最高の場所であり、ここの暖炉の前で飲むお酒や外の庭園でいただくお茶とストロベリージャムのスコーンは最高です。 Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, Tel: +605-491-1215  フランジパニ、クアラルンプール   これまでに紹介した場所と比べると植民地風の雰囲気は若干劣りますが、フランジパニはかっこよく、流行の雰囲気があります。また、新しくモダンな雰囲気が全体的に漂い、来ている人たちにも似たような雰囲気が漂います。ここはカクテル楽しみ、さまざまな人たちと過ごし、その後レストランへと移動してもよいでしょう。ここではフランスから影響を受けたメニューが特徴的です。新しいワインバー、ビビタスが1階にあり、ここでもワインのテーマがフランスとなっています。 25 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Tel: +603-2144-3001 キャメロンバー、レイクハウス、キャメロンハイランド ハイランドにあるこのチューダースタイルのカントリーハウス、キャメロンバー、またはパブは昔の暖かい魅力に浸れる最高の方法です。英国パブの本格的で特徴的なインテリアと暖炉がここを日没後やディナー後の最高の場所として準備してくれます。レイクサイドのテラスでは毎日午後3時から5時半まで英国スタイル午後のお茶とスコーンとジャムを提供しています。 30thMile Ringlet,…>

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말레이시아의분위기 있는 바와 카페

August 23, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

조안 레인   말레이시아는 수많은거리 가판대, 시장, 노점에서부터 고급 레스토랑에 이르기까지 어디에서나훌륭한 식사를 즐길 수 있는 것으로유명하다.조용하게 한 두 잔의  하이 티(high tea), 쥬스, 칵테일을 마실 수 있는 장소들 역시 많다. 말레이시아 전역에 있는 바들과 카페들 중 엄선된 이 곳들은 식민지 시절의 양식 혹은 고전적인 건축물들이 남아 있거나 최신 유행을 느낄 수 있는 멋진 장소에…>

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말레이시아의 최고급 공예품 구매

August 20, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

조안 레인  다른 모든 여행객들처럼 나 역시 기념품 몇 가지 사는 것을  즐기고 약간의 충동 구매 경향도 있다. 하지만 마구잡이로 구매하기 보다는 그 국가나 지역의 특징적인 예술품과 공예품 몇 가지를 미리 알아두는 게 좋을 것이다. 말레이시아에는 여러 인종들이 함께 살고 있기 때문에 각 지역에서 서로 다른 공예품들을 볼 수 있다. 다양한 공예품들을 한꺼번에 구매하기 위해서…>

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야생 오랑우탄과의 조우, 세멘고흐 재활원

August 20, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

조안 레인 보르네오는 오랑우탄으로 유명하다. 여행객들에게 가장 흥미로운 부분은 그들을 야생에서 만나는 것이다. 사라왁과 사바흐의 정글 깊은 곳으로 가는 여행 길에서 야생 오랑우탄을 만날 수도 있다. 하지만 이 코스는 비용이 비싸고 보르네오에 대략20,000마리 쯤의 오랑우탄이 있다고 해도 여행 중 이들을 실제로 볼 수 있을지는 장담할 수 없다. 오랑우탄은 본능적으로 겁이 많은 동물이고 대부분 나무 위에서…>

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카메론 고지대에서의 하이킹

August 20, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

조안 레인 카메론 고지대는 페낭과 티티왕사 레인지의 코너 사이 언덕에 위치한 휴양지다. 시원하게 쭉 뻗은 카메론 고지대는 말레이시아 반도의 마지막 처녀림들 중 하나로, 걷는 것을 즐기는 사람에게 이 곳 자연 속에서의 산책과 풍경 감상을 추천할 만하다. 말레이시아의 카메론 고지대에 티 광경, Pic: Will Ellis from Reading, England, Flickr. 더욱이 카메론 고지대에서는 멋진 난초를 포함한 식물군들을…>

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사바의 보트 축제, 레가타 레파

August 20, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

조안 레인 말레이시아를 찾는 많은 관광객들은 다이빙을 위해 사바(Sabah)의 셈포르나 (Semporna)를 방문한다. 먼 동남부 해안에 위치한 셈포르나는 세계적인 다이빙 명소로 이름 나 있기 때문이다. 하지만 나를 사로잡은 것은 ‘외로운 섬(Lonely Planet)’셈포르나에 세워진 작은 푯말이었다. “화려한 색채로 물들여진 레가타가 열리는 3월 말이면 평소에는 조용한 바자우 마을이 활기를 띈다.”고 쓰여 있었다. 사바에서의 레가타 레파? 전통 외 돛단배를…>

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보르네오의 ‘친절한 인간사냥족’을 만나다

August 20, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

조안 레인 루마 분동이란 말레이시아 사라왁 주의 카피트 근처에  있는 50개 문을 가진60년 된 롱하우스(long house)를 가리킨다. 이 거대한 롱하우스에는 ‘인간 사냥’의 풍습으로 유명한 이반족 약 40가구가 살고 있다. 40가구나 되는 수의 ‘인간 사냥꾼’들이라니, 좀 위험하지 않을까 하는 생각을 한 것은 물론이다. 나는 그들과 함께 이틀 동안 전통 체험을 하게 되었고, 그들이 ‘딴 생각(나를 사냥하겠다는!)’을…>

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In pictures: Salamanca markets, Hobart

August 2, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE weekly Salamanca Markets in Hobart, Tasmania are a feast for all the senses be they auditory, gustatory, visual or involving the nose. The smells of cooking crepes, hot coffee and freshly made bread waft between stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, the reddest apples you’ve ever seen, brews of fabulous Tasmanian mead, home made…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week – July 16-22

July 18, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

MUD, film, cabaret, folklore and giant floats are some of the festivals being celebrated around Asia this week. Gion Matsuri, Kyoto, Japan, 1-29 July The famed annual Gion Festival takes place throughout July but the Yamaboko Junko parade on July 17 is a key highlight. On the three nights leading up to the parade the…>

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Asia’s most dangerous destinations – Part 2

July 16, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

CONTINUING on in this list is the remainder of places listed by the Australian official website Smart Traveller as places requiring caution for Australians in Asia. Please see Part 1 here. Indonesia Summary from smarttraveller: We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Bali, at this time due to the…>

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In pictures: The beauty of China’s Feng Huang

July 14, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FENG HUANG is Chinese for Phoenix, the mythical bird of good omen and longevity. It is believed two of these birds flew over the town and found it so lovely they didn’t want to leave. This feeling is not uncommon amongst visitors today. The flagstone streets, the high gabled wooden houses and the beautiful river…>

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Asia’s most dangerous destinations – Part 1

July 12, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

BRIAN CRISP from the Australian Sunday Mail’s Escape did an assessment recently of the top 12 most dangerous countries for Australians to visit. While this was interesting in itself, I decided to look only at the Asian countries on the list. Using Smarttraveller as the reference, Australia’s official travel advisory body, it was interesting to note…>

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Australia’s weird place names – Part 3

July 11, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

COME to Australia and it might not just be the snakes, spiders, weather and roads you have to battle with. Pronouncing the names of places is hard enough with tongue twisters like Chinkapook and Gooloogong on the menu. This is the final installment in this three part series of weird Australian place names. Also check…>

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5 great arts and crafts to buy in Burma

July 9, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

MOST visitors might not think Burma the ideal place to buy arts and crafts, but there are some true gems to be found in the markets, shops and factories of the country. The crafts practiced in Burma are centuries old and many of these make for excellent gifts and a way of supporting the Burmese…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week – July 9-15

July 9, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM food festivals to beer can boats and camel races, there’s plenty happening around Asia this week. Singapore International Jewellery Show 2012, 12 – 15 July If you love diamonds, gemstones and fine jewellery this four-day show is definitely not to be missed. Held as part of the Great Singapore Sale, there will be shows,…>

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5 notorious, and potentially dangerous, party spots in Asia

July 7, 2012 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

DRUGS, alcohol, drink spiking, scams, assaults and even death. Despite being touted as must-see places during an itinerary in Asia, the following notorious party places are where many backpackers have also gone adrift. Vang Vieng, Laos The beautiful riverside village of Laos is often a highlight for travellers to Laos. Tranquil and peaceful it is…>

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In pictures: Climbing Fanjing Shan

July 6, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FANJING Shan is considered a sacred Buddhist mountain in Guizhou province, China and is a popular pilgrimage site. At 2494 metres it is the highest peak of the Wuling Mountains, a World Heritage site famed for its craggy peaks, valleys and gullies. It is also home to the rare Guizhou monkey and renowned for its…>

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Shoppers seeking cheap fakes left disappointed in Beijing

July 2, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ANYONE hoping to pick up a good fake brand in Beijing’s Silk Market last week encountered an unusual problem – there was simply no bootleg merchandise to be found. While usually rolling in Abercrombie & Fitch jumpers or Prada, Gucci or other labels, a copyright convention taking place in the city scared shopkeepers across Beijing…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week July 2 – 8

July 1, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

EAT, run, row, smell flowers and enjoy culture at this list of events around Asia this week. Surfers Paradise Festival, 20 June – 14 July, Queensland This annual festival celebrates the many wonderful facets of life in the southeast corner of Queensland and that includes music, food, film, art, fashion and of course sport. Expect…>

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5 end of the world places in Asia

June 30, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THERE are plenty of remote places in the world that can kind of feel like you’ve dropped out of the modern universe. In Asia these can range from deserted beaches to primal forest, the far reaches of a train line or mountainous terrain. These five locations around Asia are all places you could well quote…>

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Star trail images from the Australian outback

June 29, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IT’S that time again of course when the outback beckons wandering Australians and overseas travellers with promises of stunning landscapes and night skies. Winter is indeed the perfect time to go into the great swathe of the Australian continent and explore. But here’s a reminder to look up as much as you should around. Victorian…>

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In pictures: Old Hobart town

June 26, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM the lofty heights of Mt Wellington to the pretty waterfront of the town and its green squares and old buildings, there’s something very endearing about Hobart.  Somehow the town manages to cling to its colonial past while remaining inherently modern and fun with things like the MONA art gallery that blends old and new,…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week – June 25 – July 1

June 26, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Keep yourself busy with these festivals and events in Asia this week. Queenstown Winter Festival, 22 June – 1 July, New Zealand It’s already under way but you’ve still got time to get to Queenstown and enjoy all the fun of this annual winter festival celebrating the snow, ice, culture and rhythms of vibrant Queenstown.…>

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Tourism Australia winning the mouse click game

June 23, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

BACK in January 2012 the Tourism Australia Facebook page was considered the most popular destination page in the world with more than two million fans. Less than six months later and it has now surpassed the three million mark. In fact even here in Australia it’s a rare week that goes by without seeing one…>

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8 great cocktail bars around Asia

June 21, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

WITH a choice of up-and-coming locales, established favourites and sophisticated hangouts, Asia is an ideal place to sip your favourite cocktail, or try out some of the local variations on the old classics. Below we’ve listed eight of our favourite spots across the region to sip a cocktail on a balmy summer evening. Whether it’s…>

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Farmer takes 5,000 ducks for a walk in China

June 21, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

A STORY making headlines around the world this week was of a Chinese farmer from Taizhou taking his flock down to a local pond. While that in itself is probably nothing unusual in China, it is when there are 5,000 of them, strolling down the road between motorbikes, trucks and cars. The farmer, and another…>

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Titanic II set to bring historic steamer to life

June 20, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

AUSTRALIAN mining tycoon Clive Palmer’s dream to rebuild Titanic looks set to become a reality, with plans already under way. While Palmer’s assertion in April that he would build a replica ship was initially met with skepticism, latest reports indicate he has already engaged a firm to undertake a review of safety and structural compliancy…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week – June 18-24

June 18, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

EVENTS heating up Asia this week include a celebration of all things French, winter ice and snow, dragon boats and even birds. Read on for more details… Le French May Arts Festival 2012, 12 April – 24 June, Hong Kong If you haven’t had a chance to see this long-running festival yet, and you love…>

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Australia’s weird place names – Part 2

June 17, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

CONFUSING, unusual and downright funny place names like Humpty Doo, Grong Grong and Ozenkadnook often leave visitors to Australia scratching their heads. Here is the second part in the series of Australia’s weird place names. Gin Gin, Queensland It might sound like people had such a penchant for liquor they used it, twice, in the…>

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5 green getaways in Sri Lanka’s tea country

June 15, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

IT IS  known by a lot of names — Ceylon, the Teardrop of India and the Resplendent Isle — but nowhere is Sri Lanka’s beauty more prevalent than in the rolling hills of the central highlands. Known as the hill country, this region, just 100km from the capital, is often swathed in mist and cloud,…>

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In pictures: Sri Lanka’s hill country

June 12, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE high country of Sri Lanka is a verdant carpet of misty mountains, tea plantations, cool air, forested hills, old colonial hotels and wonderful landscapes. The region is often a welcome respite for travelers from the humid tropical coasts of Asia. And the picturesque settings, laid-back nature and natural beauty of the region is a…>

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Are Aussie travellers dumb, drunk and racist?

June 11, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AN interesting piece from Doc Holiday on news.com.au this week addressed this very question. Given that more Australians are travelling than ever, thanks to the high Aussie dollar, he considered whether downunder residents do in fact fit this stereotype or others. He raised a number of stereotypes and addressed each based on his experience. Here’s…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week – June 11-17

June 11, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

EVENTS heating up Asia this week include guitar and writing festivals, Dragon Boat racing and major shopping events. Read on for more details… Bali Arts Festival,  June 11 – July 9, Indonesia It’s already under way but there’s still plenty of time to get to Indonesia to enjoy these festivities that take place over an…>

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In pictures: Local life in the Kathmandu Valley

June 8, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Kathmandu Valley is one of the most vibrant parts of the country. Not only is it home to the biggest city, Kathmandu, but it also contains seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites and more than 100 other important monuments. While there is a big concentration of the population there remains much that is naturally beautiful…>

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When history meets luxury: Asia’s finest heritage hotels – Part 2

June 8, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

FORMER Maharaja Palaces, the abode of war correspondents and rooms that have attracted the rich and famous from around the world feature in this second part of Asia’s best heritage hotels. Featuring locations from India, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam all of these hotels are renowned not only for their historical value but their architectural style,…>

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When history meets luxury: Asia’s finest heritage hotels – Part 1

June 5, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THEY might be hallmarks of a past now long gone, but Asia’s oldest hotels remain some of the the world’s finest  and many have reached almost iconic status and even been immortalized in literature. Stretching from places like Singapore to Vietnam and Burma, a step through their doors is almost like stepping back through time.…>

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Great Barrier Reef could be in danger, says UNESCO

June 4, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

UNESCO’s much anticipated report on the Great Barrier Reef has validated concerns about the health and future of the natural wonder. The report gives the Queensland and Australian governments eight months to address issues facing the reef, or they will list it as “World Heritage in Danger”. The report has criticized the way the reef…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week – June 4 – 10

June 4, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

KEEP yourself busy with this array of festivals and events happening around Asia this week. There are anime festivals in Kuala Lumpur, dance performances in South Korea and even a marathon in Thailand. Busan International Dance Festival (BIDF), June 1-5, Busan, South Korea It’s already under way but you’ve still got time to make it…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week – May 28 – June 3

May 28, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ARTS, the harvest, culture and tourism are just some of the events being celebrated around Asia this week. Singapore Arts Festival, 18 May – 2 June, Singapore This event that got underway last week continues through to the weekend showcasing the arts of Singapore’s diverse communities. The theme this year is “Our Lost Poems” which…>

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In pictures: A wrinkle in time in Pokhara

May 24, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

POKHARA might be the second largest city in Nepal after the capital Kathmandu, but it’s a world away in terms of population, pace and activity. While it has developed a lot in the last decade as tourism has increased in Nepal, it remains sedate and laid back in comparison to the bustle of the Kathmandu…>

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Australia’s wonderfully weird place names – Part 1

May 23, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM Woop Woop to Gin Gin, Nowhere Else and Humpy Bong some of Australia’s place names really are just plain weird. While things can and do get a little topsy turvy downunder this is not just because it’s at the bottom of the earth. The penchant for using Aboriginal names for towns, hills, waterholes and…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week – May 21-28

May 21, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

A LITERARY festival in Bhutan, Dragon Boat races in Hong Kong and shopping sales in Singapore are just some of the events happening around Asia this week. Singapore Arts Festival, 18 May – 2 June, Singapore This long running festival aims to bring to light the arts of Singapore’s diverse communities. The theme of this…>

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Shipping accident a near miss for Great Barrier Reef

May 21, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

A 26,070 tonne bulk sugar carrier came close to clipping Shark Reef northeast of Cooktown yesterday – a popular destination for tourists visiting Queensland’s famed Great Barrier Reef. The Hong Kong ship ID Integrity had a broken-down engine and thanks to the efforts of crews and tug boats it was hauled away from the World…>

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Asia treated to rare solar eclipse

May 21, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

EARLY this morning, May 21, Asian stargazers were treated to a heavenly display – the first annular solar eclipse in 25 years. The “ring of fire” takes place when the moon passes in front of the sun. It was visible in places like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul. News.com.au posted a gallery of images…>

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There’s an app for that: Have travel guidebooks had their day?

May 18, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

APPS have become such a big thing in travel of late that the humble guidebook seems to be slowly being pushed off the scene. After all who wants to lug around a heavy book when everything can be accessed at the touch of a button on your handy, light weight device? So has the end…>

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In pictures: Kathmandu, Nepal

May 18, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

RE-EMERGING as a tourist hot spot after years of unrest, the largest city and capital of Nepal lies in the beautiful Kathmandu Valley with one million inhabitants. Featuring all the colour of exotic markets and bustling centres it’s also replete with ancient architecture, historic temples and pilgrimage sites and more laid back village life right…>

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Asia rocks! The best live music and festivals of 2012

May 17, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

THE rise in disposable income across Asia in recent years has been attracting more and more Western acts to these shores. And this year Asia’s ecstatic fans are looking forward to everything from Elton John to Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry and the Backstreet Boys, plus an incredible line up of multi-day and multi-act events.…>

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Driven to distraction: The world’s worst intersections

May 16, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

News.com.au published a gallery of the world’s worst intersections this week. Featuring all kinds of maddening roundabouts, a jumble of lanes and beguiling traffic flows, these intersections are enough to give you a headache. From England to France, Russia, Vietnam and China, the gallery features pedestrian overpasses, tangles of freeways and confusing traffic flow that…>

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Trekking in Nepal: Poon Hill – Ghandruk

May 15, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

THOSE with little time on their hands but still want superb views of the Annapurna regularly embark on the Poon Hill – Ghandruk circuit. This four-day route is a popular one and something of a tourist treadmill these days with increasing numbers heading to Nepal each year for trekking, but when you see the villages…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week – May 14-20

May 14, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM a lantern festival in Seoul to a fashion exchange in Singapore and writers festival in Sydney, there are plenty of events happening around Asia this week. Sydney Writers’ Festival, Sydney, May 14-20 The Sydney Festival attracts huge names in the world of literature and this year features Pulitzer prize winners, Man Booker prize winners,…>

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Never too old to travel: Australia’s oldest backpacker

May 13, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

APPARENTLY 95 is not too old to travel according to Keith Wright. If you thought you were getting a little long in the tooth to hit the road, keep reading. At just five years short of his century birthday, Keith Wright from the Gold Coast in Queensland hits the road every second year with backpack…>

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In pictures: The old and new Yangon

May 12, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

WITH one foot embedded in the past and the other taking its first steps into the present, Yangon is very much a city of the old and the new. Here you’ll find some of the best preserved colonial structures left in Asia, vintage-style trains and age-old monasteries filled with red robed monks. But you will…>

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Perfect Mother’s Day escapes

May 11, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

SPAS, beach holidays, good food, wildlife experiences… here are some perfect ways to treat your mum this Mother’s Day around Asia. Spa and health holiday Asia is brimming with resorts with health treatments, massage, yoga and wholesome meals. * Book her into an Ashram in India or a Buddhist retreat in Burma for some soul…>

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Is Burma Asia’s next expat haven?

May 10, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IT has been widely reported that Burma is experiencing a tourism boom as the government continues to relax its iron grip on the nation and introduce reforms. In 2011 numbers jumped 30 percent and as a whole numbers have been on the increase since Aung San Suu Kyi dropped her call for tourists to boycott…>

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Where to shoot stunning photos in Asia

May 10, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TRAVEL and wonderful photography seem to go hand in hand in Asia. There are numerous destinations providing an array of portrait opportunities, fantastic landscapes, colourful markets and amazing street scenes. Here are five of Visited Planet‘s favourite destinations for photography. Bali, Indonesia The landscapes in Bali vary from good surf breaks and rugged coastlines to…>

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Melbourne building rates amongst world’s top 10 eyesores

May 9, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

THE quirky Pixel Building in Melbourne rates among the world’s ugliest. Travel website Trippy.com put together a list of the world’s ugliest buildings based on staff and travellers’ opinions. Boasting the weird, the not so wonderful, the dreary and even the most brutal of designs, these might be places not to visit if you’re heading…>

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Travel photo contest from National Geographic Traveler

May 9, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

NATIONAL Geographic Traveler has launched their 24th annual photography contest and it runs through until July 11. Digital entries can be submitted in four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. It costs $15 to enter until June 28, then $10 extra after that. Prizes include a photography expedition to the…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week – May 7-13

May 8, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FASHION, jazz, food, blues and sustainable tourism forums are just some of the events happening around Asia this week. The 10th Biennial Asia Tourism Forum 2012, Bandung, Indonesia, May 8-10 This tourism forum was developed with the need to address the rapid development in Asian tourism and has been held successfully throughout Asia over the…>

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In pictures: Mongolia’s Nadaam festival

May 6, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

EVERY year in July, Mongols of all ages and ethnicities take to the steppe to celebrate one of Asia’s most vibrant festivals. Nadaam is all about Mongolia’s three manly sports – wrestling, horseback riding and archery – although they do allow women to participate in the archery. The festival runs for three days from July…>

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Essential websites for travel in Asia

May 5, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

WITH all the fuss about travel apps these days it’s sometimes easy to forget the good old fashioned assistance of travel information available on the web. Travel websites can help you find a hotel, work out how to get to/from somewhere, convert your money to a currency you understand, compare airline prices and tell you…>

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5 great places to volunteer in Asia

May 4, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

ASIA is filled with volunteering opportunities for those that feel they want to contribute to a part of the world that is still developing. Voluntourism has become a big part of the travel business and opportunities can range from teaching English to orphans, to helping endangered species or even working in a newsroom. Whether you…>

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In pictures: Mabul Island, Borneo (Malaysia)

May 2, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ONE of Malaysia’s little known paradises, Mabul island off the coast from Sabah is a fantastic location for diving, snorkelling or simply a superb island stay. These images of life in and above water should give you a taste of the fishing, corals and lifestyle the locals enjoy.              …>

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Burma: Travels on the Ayerwaddy river

May 1, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Ayerwaddy river is the major water source in Burma (Myanmar) and winds and twists through the country from north to south for 2000 kilometres. For many visitors to the country a trip on part of the river has become a highlight. Not only is there splendid scenery to behold but it’s a chance to…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this week: April 30 – May 6

April 30, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

KEEP yourself busy with this array of festivals and events happening around Asia this week. International Buddhist Film Festival 2012 Hong Kong, March 16 – May 12 Already under way, this feast of Buddhist films is continuing in Hong Kong until May 12. Films feature happiness, redemption, forgiveness, personal transformation and other themes along the…>

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Feeling the heat: How to survive the hot season in Asia

April 29, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

WE’VE all experienced it – that prickly sensation when you just can’t seem to keep cool or drink enough fluids. It makes you irritated, bad tempered, unhappy and travel just is no longer any fun. Thanks to its location close to the equator, Asia can be hot most of the year. For those that are…>

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In pictures: Regatta Lepa, Semporna, Borneo

April 29, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AT the end of April each year, the small town of Semporna in the far east of Sabah (Malaysia) comes to life with boats, parades, lanterns, music and dance for their annual regatta. The Regatta Lepa, now in its 19th year, is a colourful local festival in which many of the traditions of the region…>

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5 classic travel fails

April 17, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

WHEN you travel things can and do go wrong. Some of these wrongs may be due to a lack of planning, others to inexperience and some simply to stupidity. Here’s a list of five common travel fails to avoid to help ensure a pleasant trip. Passport expiration The passport is a small document that is…>

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In pictures: the back streets of Kolkata

April 9, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

KOLKATA is one of the most thrilling cities you’ll encounter in Asia. There’s rarely a dull moment as live chickens, rickshaws, overcrowded buses, sleeping bodies, nuns and flapping laundry all rival each other for space on everything from the alleys to the major arterial roads of the city. While it can be a very much…>

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In pictures: The charm and elegance of Kuching, Malaysia

April 8, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

KUCHING has to be one of the most laid back, elegant and attractive centres in Southeast Asia. Lying on the banks of the Sarawak River, it’s the capital city of the province of the same name in east Malaysia. And while just 90 minutes by aeroplane from the national capital of Kuala Lumpur it’s a…>

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In pictures: Halong Bay, Vietnam

April 6, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE UNESCO World Heritage listed Halong Bay in Vietnam’s north east is a perennial favourite with travellers and for good reason. The bay features numerous karst outcroppings and isles that pop liberally out of the beautiful aquamarine waters. And the opportunity to tour through these or even stay overnight on a houseboat attracts thousands to…>

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Remembering Titanic around Asia

April 5, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ON the night of April 15, 1912, RMS Titanic sank into the cold depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Among the 1,500 passengers that died that night were people from Australia (2), Japan (1) and China (8). The Titanic Project also lists some from Thailand (3) and India (6). So as the 100-year anniversary of the…>

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Good reads about Burma

April 5, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

BURMA is enjoying a heightened tourism boom as policies relax and travel becomes easier. If you plan to join the crowds heading there, here’s some reading to get yourself up to speed with some of the social, political, historical and cultural aspects of life in both the Burma of old and that of the future.…>

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Crucifixions, egg hunts and penance: Easter festivals in Asia

April 4, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

CRUCIFIXIONS, Roman soldier reenactments and fleet blessings are just some of the unusual events taking place in Asia this Easter season. While Asia doesn’t have as many Easter traditions as perhaps parts of the West, there are significant Catholic and Christian populations that do commemorate the season. Here are some of the more interesting events…>

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In pictures: Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur

April 3, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE crowded and colourful area of Chinatown in central Kuala Lumpur teems with shoppers, markets, great food and historic Chinese shophouses. Here you can pick up some Indian sweets, visit a mosque, pray in a Chinese temple, hang out in a backpacker bar, pick up some cheap movies on DVD, eat some tantalising food, go…>

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5 travel spots for an Easter vacation in Asia

April 2, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

EASTER is a beautiful time to travel in Asia. It’s a fantastic season when the winter has begun to ease in northern parts of the region and Spring breaks through with flowers and melting ice. While in the south the full brunt of the summer and monsoon season have not yet begun either, making for…>

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Delays, what delays? Through BKK airport in record time

April 2, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

DESPITE all the reported three to four hour processing times and people missing flights, the most eventful part of checking in at Bangkok’s international airport for me this week was an incident at a cafe – a passenger left a bag behind and one of the staff sprinted after them in flip flops. It was…>

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Asia’s top cycling destinations

March 30, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you’ve always wanted to put your pedal yourself across Asia’s beautiful rice terraces, over its mountains and into its stunning valleys here’s a list of locations to consider for an adventure with a real difference. These cover day trips and some long haul options for people of all endurance levels. Vietnam The more hardcore…>

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In pictures: Mandalay uncovered

March 28, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE road to Mandalay is one of the prime undertakings visitors to Burma undertake during their sojourn in the remote Asian nation. And there’s good reason to. Burma’s second largest city was the last royal capital and is rich in monasteries, architecture, crafts, food, and various modes of transport. Lying on the Ayerwaddy River it…>

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5 of Asia’s best surfspots

March 27, 2012 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you do plenty of saltwater dreaming and hunting around for the ultimate surfing haven, consider Asia for your next sojourn. Not only is the water warm all year round, you’re guaranteed good weather and affordable prices for the privilege. Here are five places to check out. Gold Coast, Australia How you can possibly pick…>

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Brisbane named among world’s most livable cities

March 24, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

The Queensland capital Brisbane has made the short list of cities in line for the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize. While New York was the ultimate winner, judges in Singapore yesterday gave seven cities a special mention including Brisbane, Ahmedabad (India), Copenhagen, Malmo (Sweden), Vancouver and Khayelitsha (South Africa). The award is particularly…>

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Exploring the volcanoes of Indonesia

March 23, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

INDONESIA lies on the Pacific rim of fire which can unfortunately mean earthquakes, tsunamis and eruptions. But it also means the landscape is rich in plant life, there are absolutely stunning vistas and plenty of chances for exploration. Indonesia has more active volcanoes than any other country and some, like Merapi, are probably cemented into…>

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Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 23

March 23, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM jelly bean singers to playing golf on airlines, there’s some weird and wonderful stories gracing the headlines of Asia travel news today. Read the full wrap-up here. Jellybean singer sells out three shows at Sydney Opera House Heralded as the next Justin Bieber, Californian singer Kina Grannis, has managed to sell out three Sydney…>

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Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 22

March 22, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

CHAOS continues at Bangkok airport, Qantas pilots get up to speed using a flight simulator, there’s a video of a classic outback loo and new images of the Titanic come to light. These stories and more in today’s Asia travel news round-up. Indie travel take down competition Bootsnall’s March madness is hotting up with the…>

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Destination: Kolkata, India

March 22, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

EVEN if you’ve done your research, seen the movie ‘City of Joy’ or know of Mother Teresa’s work; being in Kolkata defies description. It’s a mass of humanity, limbless bodies, hacking taxi drivers, overwhelming traffic and rubbish piles. But there’s also much beauty here and this is largely thanks to Kolkata’s inhabitants. Bengali people have…>

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Danger Down Under: 9 of Australia’s ‘deadliest’ things

March 21, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

“COME to Australia, you might accidentally get killed” were lyrics in a tongue-in-cheek ad campaign by the Alt-Tourism Authority (well worth watching). And it’s certainly a recurrent theme in most of the conversations Australians have with foreign travellers when asked about poisonous snakes and spiders, the dangers of travel in the outback and even –…>

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Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 21

March 21, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TEA fertilised by Panda poo, new airport runways in Hong Kong and a “hole” in a Russian airplane are just some of the stories in today’s Asia travel news wrap-up from around Asia. Chinese tea with a Panda poo twist Tourists visiting Sichuan might soon be treated to a wonderful organic green tea with one…>

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Aussie beer company leases island for blokes’ paradise

March 21, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AUSTRALIAN men may soon have the opportunity to travel to paradise. Well it’s paradise if you like beer, a one hole golf course and the company of your mates. XXXX Gold has leased out the 6ha Pumpkin Island in the Southern Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia for three years and plans to send groups…>

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Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 20

March 20, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM Bali’s beaches to the madness of Bangkok’s international airport, and Australia’s weirdest sights to India’s plans to replicate Angkor Wat, today’s Asia travel news digest brings you the latest from around the region. Queues grow at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport Debate continues to rage over the status of Bangkok’s international airport as queues at Suvarnabhumi…>

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Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 19

March 19, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THERE’S a distinct Thai flavour to news today with the nation winning tourism awards and preparing for annual Songkran festivities, amongst other stories. India also hits the headlines as a major aviation market and Asia celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in style. Read these stories and more in today’s Asia travel news round-up. Thailand scoops Asian…>

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Paradise lost: 5 dangerous places for Australians abroad

March 18, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE once sleepy town of Vang Vieng in Laos has garnered much media attention in recent days, particularly since the death of two young Australians tubing on the river. But it’s not the only place that has inherent dangers for Australians abroad, many with a no-fear, no-holds-barred approach to international travel. Between February 2011 and…>

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6 magical Burma festivals

March 16, 2012 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

To really appreciate the culture, traditions and lifestyle of Burma, you should attend one of the local festivals. While there is pretty much something on in every calendar month around the country there are some big festivals you shouldn’t miss that involve water throwing, elephant dancing and one-legged rowing. For all the highlights read on.…>

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5 great places to spend St Patrick’s Day in Asia

March 16, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

ST PATRICK’S Day takes place on March 17 and all around the world people will be getting into the spirit of all things green and Irish. Thanks largely to the number of Irish pubs around the world you’ll never be too far from one of these celebrations, but if you’re not too clear what to…>

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Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 16

March 16, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ASIA prepares to go Irish, Japanese tourists become stranded driving to an island and Malaysia starts a virtual travel fair. For these stories and more read today’s Asia travel news round-up. Japanese students come unstuck after attempt to drive to island Three tourists from Tokyo had to abandon their car 500 metres from shore as…>

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Room of the Week: Cradle Mountain Lodge, Tasmania

March 15, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

SIMPLY put there is little that beats the view from Cradle Mountain Lodge. The lodge lies in Tasmania’s most iconic wilderness area, providing fantastic access to the World Heritage National Park of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair replete with its tarns, rainforests, alpine lakes, dramatic mountains and button grass moors. What makes it special? Accommodation on…>

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Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 15

March 15, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

BEIJING musicians veg out, the travel version of  ’Face book’, and Lonely Planet’s list of unsung Asian destinations. Read these stories and more in today’s Asia travel news round-up. Beijing musicians veg out… Next time you’re in Beijing you might want to check out some of the city’s most famous musicians. With a repertoire of…>

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Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 14

March 14, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FANCY a winter holiday escape from Australia, a visit to Asia’s first LEGOland or an encounter with a Phuket lifeguard? Read these stories and more in today’s Asia travel news round-up.  Malaysia to open Asia’s first LEGOland theme park… In an Asian first, Lego has announced a new LEGOland theme park will open in Malaysia…>

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In pictures: Tasmania unplugged

March 13, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM its sweeping coastal views to alpine ranges, vibrant street markets to community gardens there’s a little bit of everything in Tasmania’s varied land and town scapes. To top all that there’s an abundance of native animals – wombats, quolls, seals, Tasmanian devils and more – and plenty of adventurous activities be that wine tasting,…>

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Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 13

March 13, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TODAY’S daily digest has a distinct sky bound theme as we take a look at Thailand’s transgender air hostesses, the changes in Air Asia X,  fuel surcharges on FireFly and the fabulous new additions due at Hong Kong airport. Read on for your daily dose of Asia travel news. Transsexual Thai air hostesses get to…>

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Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 12

March 12, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR more about fur and feathers, Singapore’s ‘get lost’ message, the world’s best travel apps and some deadly locations in the Asia Pacific, read today’s Asia travel news round-up. WorldMate takes line honours for Best Mobile Travel App Award… If you’ve been eyeing travel apps for some time, WorldMate might be one you’ve come across…>

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5 great art galleries in Yangon, Burma

March 9, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE art scene in Yangon (Rangoon), Burma has been developing quietly despite the other struggles the nation has faced. Many of the galleries in the city reflect work from artists that have effectively portrayed some of the rich culture, religion, landscapes and colours of Burma. There are a number of very talented artists that feature…>

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Daily Digest: Today’s Asia travel news at a glance – March 9

March 9, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TODAY our Asian travel news wrap up takes a look at spiders on the move from flood water in Australia, space adventures of the Lego kind, how to take metal objects through an airport scanner and much more. So sit back and enjoy the ride on today’s armchair travel around Asia. Authorities place curfew on…>

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In pictures: Australia’s Overland Track, Tasmania

March 8, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Overland Track is one of Australia’s best known and popular walking tracks. It’s also a true wilderness walk. The 65 kilometre traverse takes in some of Tasmania’s best scenic spots including lakes, dolerite mountains, tarns, rainforest and waterfalls. More than 8000 walkers take on the track each year and can be treated to weather…>

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5 essential Singapore travel apps

March 7, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AS you would expect given its high-tech geek status, the Lion City has produced some great local Singapore travel apps that help locals and visitors eat, sleep and enjoy their lives. There are plenty of these savvy apps out there, but here are five that come recommended, and more importantly are free. If you would…>

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Destination: Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

March 1, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Marlborough Sounds is often the first part of New Zealand’s south island that tourists see on undertaking the ferry crossing from Wellington across the Cook Strait. And what an introduction – in good weather that is – with views over turquoise blue waters to secluded beaches on various islets and peninsulas dripping with lush…>

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5 unmissable Australian walks

February 29, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ONE of the best ways of appreciating Australia’s startling and diverse landscapes is by exploring on foot. Traveling as the indigenous Australians once did is the best way to experience the vast and rugged beauty of the continent from its high mountains to rugged deserts and beautiful oceans. Here are some of the most popular…>

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A taste of Yangon: 6 must-try Burmese dishes

February 28, 2012 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

THE wonderful thing about eating Burmese food is that much of the cuisine is a blend of other Asian food. Here you can find Chinese, Indian and Mon influences. Rice and noodles are pretty important to most meals but so too are the soups, tea and coffee, salads, curries and sweet dishes. As popular as…>

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5 destinations for the perfect Asian wedding

February 27, 2012 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

STAYING at home to get married might just be too run of the mill and rather expensive, depending on where you’re from. Asian weddings offers plenty of unique places and locations for the ceremony, reception, celebration or honeymoon and don’t have to cost a fortune. Besides, if you’re there to get married you’re already on…>

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Essential iPhone apps for traveling in Australia

February 24, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you need a loo, disaster relief assistance or a national park, Australia’s iPhone apps can help you. Featuring a wide range of services that will even keep track of how many drinks you’ve had and how to decipher the Aussie lingo, this list of iPhone apps might just be the ultimate Aussie lifesaver.  …>

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In pictures: Bhutan – land of the Thunder Dragon

February 21, 2012 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

ONE of the best known things about Bhutan, a landlocked kingdom in the Himalayas, is that they use happiness as a gauge on national health. Gross national happiness is not the only unique thing about Bhutan. It was an absolute monarchy until 2008 when the King literally abdicated, made the nation a constitutional monarchy, and…>

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5 amazing traveling dogs

February 21, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

YOU’VE got to hand it to these five pooches, they knew how to get around. From the bleak expanses of England to Australia’s dusty red soils and the Canadian wilderness these five dogs have been winning hearts and minds for generations in books, on television and on the silver screen. Some took buses, others jumped…>

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In pictures: Otago Central Rail Trail, New Zealand

February 17, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Otago Central Rail Trail has fast become a highlight for adventurers on the south island of New Zealand. Traipsing for 15o kilometres it goes through varied scenery from rocky tor country and dramatic gorges to open plains and farmland. The trail can be completed in roughly 3-4 days of easy but continual cycling but…>

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Bangkok bombings: Is it safe to travel to Thailand?

February 17, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

THE smoke is only just clearing after the explosions in Bangkok Tuesday in which five people were injured, but no doubt travelers will already be revising or rethinking their plans about travel to the Thai capital. For full details of what happened see Bangkok Pundit’s appraisal on Asian Correspondent. We hope this article might give you…>

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4 great things to do in Langkawi, Malaysia

February 16, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THINK stunning turquoise seas, irridescent paddy fields, friendly locals and a wealth of things to see and do and you’ll soon realize why the 99-island archipelago of Langkawi is one of Malaysia’s most popular tourist destinations. Located 30 kilometres off the mainland off northwest Malaysia it’s easily accessible by sea or plane (just one hour…>

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Asia’s best diving destinations

February 16, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THERE is always a piece of coral out there somewhere for underwater aficionados, but there are dive spots and dive spots and some simply should not be missed. For lovers of pelagic species, coral, and all things marine and wonderful, here are some places you should consider on your next underwater Asian sojourn.  Encompassing Australia,…>

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Asia in love: Valentine’s Day with a difference

February 13, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

VALENTINE’S DAY might be a western concoction, but people across Asia are certainly not adverse to getting romantic and sentimental on the date. While the majority of celebrations of this nature do take place on  or around February 14, there are other events celebrating the same idea at other times of year. From underwater weddings to…>

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What’s in a name – Burma or Myanmar?

February 10, 2012 - 4 Comments - Jo Lane

I AM always amazed at the utter confusion on people’s faces if I ever mention the name Myanmar. Yes Burma they know but Myanmar – where’s that exactly? Well there are plenty of places in the world that have changed names over the years such as Kolkata (Calcutta), Iran (Persia) and Cambodia (Kampuchea). There are…>

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5 must-try budget eats in India

February 8, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

DOSAS, idlis, roti, chai, lassi, samosas, gulab jamins – there are just so many fantastic things to eat in India and once you can get your mouth around the names you can also try getting your mouth around the food too. While a full meal won’t exactly break the rupee bank, tucking into the more…>

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Vietnam road trip: Saigon to Hanoi on a Honda Dream – Part 6

February 8, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IN July-August 2010 Jo Lane travelled 1700km from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on a $300 scooter. This is her story…  [if you've just joined us, you can read Part 1 of the series here]   COOL, verdant with flowers and vegetables, dripping with waterfalls and sprinkled with minority villages – it’s no wonder Dalat…>

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Australia: Lost camera reunited with owner

February 7, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

A CAMERA lost on Sydney’s Bondi Beach on New Year’s Eve was reunited with its owner this week, after images from the camera were posted on Facebook and picked up by other media as part of a campaign to locate the owner. Part of the solution to the puzzle were images on the camera that…>

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In pictures: Tibet – Images from the roof of the world

February 7, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

THE roof of the world has long held a magical pull for travellers, even before the time of Heinrich Harrer. And for those that have been, the allure is no less strong to return. From rugged snowy mountains to alpine lakes and verdant green pastures teeming with yak, wild geese and cranes, the natural beauties…>

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Offroading in Australia: 5 great outback tracks

February 6, 2012 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

THE remotest swathes of the sunburned country are still places where another car might not pass for days. There’s little fuel or water and corrugations and washouts rip the road to pieces. Despite the lack of civilization and some of the most difficult conditions you’ll find in the nation, they are also some of the…>

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Vietnam road trip: Saigon to Hanoi on a Honda Dream – Part 5

February 3, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IN July-August 2010 Jo Lane travelled 1700km from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on a $300 scooter. This is her story…  [if you've just joined us, you can read Part 1 of the series here] – THERE’S an assumed knowledge required for navigating in Vietnam and I don’t have it. Getting to Dalat and the…>

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In pictures: Cockroach racing on Australia Day

February 2, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

SOME Australia Day festivities might have been cancelled across the state due to wild weather in the last week, but nothing stops the annual Story Bridge hotel cockroach races. Every year for 31 years under the iconic bridge of the same name, they’ve raced the kitchen corner-dwelling insects across the floors of the pub. And…>

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Luxury layovers: Asia’s top 5 airports

February 1, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

NO matter what list you use for the world’s top airports, Asian ones feature at the top of these lists year after year. What’s remarkable about these airports is not just their quality and facilities, but they have some of the largest passenger numbers passing through and yet they retain such a high level of…>

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5 great travel myths

January 31, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TRAVEL myths are a lot like old wives tales – they seem to last and do the rounds, but they are often complete poppycock. Some might have been true–or partially so–decades ago, but even though situations have changed these myths have become regarded as gospel. Unfortunately the exaggerated half-truths that make up a travel myth…>

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In pictures: Burma’s Buddhist monks

January 27, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE red robed monks of Burma (Myanmar) are a common sight wherever you go – travelling on public transport, in Internet cafes, at monasteries, markets, intersections and everywhere else in between. They are as much a part of the experience of being in Burma as the famed Shwedagon Pagoda or the Ayerwaddy River that snakes…>

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5 great ways to celebrate Australia Day

January 25, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AUSTRALIANS do what they do best on their national day: relax, have a barbecue and a heck of a good time. There’s plenty of clean family activities such as the annual parades, ceremonies, fireworks and sports events, but some irreverent ones too, such as racing cockroaches – yes you read correctly. If you feel you…>

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In pictures: Burma’s many modes of transport

January 25, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

EVER wondered just how people get around in a nation that has had such little exposure to the outside world? Well transport in Burma (Myanmar) is probably not that much different than you might have thought, or even seen elsewhere. With buses, trains, boats, motorbikes, bicycles, taxis, horse and cart, buffalo carts and trishaws there’s…>

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Australians unite in search for mystery girl from holiday snaps

January 24, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

MEDIA outlets in Australia have been helping in the search for the owner of a camera that turned up on Bondi Beach. The camera contained images of a girl feeding a wallaby, diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and on board a sailing ship. Tourism operator Passions of Paradise posted the photos on their Facebook…>

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Vietnam road trip: Saigon to Hanoi on a Honda Dream – Part 4

January 24, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IN July-August 2010 Jo Lane travelled 1700km from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on a $300 scooter. This is her story…  [if you've just joined us, you can read Part 1 of the series here] THE beautiful coastal town of Mui Ne is located about 200km from Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam. So…>

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Top 6 Australian outback pubs and roadhouses

January 20, 2012 - 4 Comments - Jo Lane

AUSTRALIAN outback pubs and roadhouses are as true blue as a meat pie, t-bone steak, thongs, board shorts and a cold beer. In fact don’t be surprised if you find all the above in the one place, even in the middle of nowhere. These vestiges of outback civilization are often the life blood of these…>

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Vietnam road trip: Saigon to Hanoi on a Honda Dream – Part 3

January 19, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IN July-August 2010 Jo Lane travelled 1700km from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on a $300 scooter. This is her story…  [if you've just joined us, you can read Part 1 of the series here] SOMEONE told me that traffic in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) only really stops for two hours each day. I…>

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Travel ethics: Is it okay to visit Burma?

January 19, 2012 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

TO go or not to go? This debate has been raging in travel circles for many years. But it’s an important question that every traveler should ask before packing their bags for Yangon or electing to go elsewhere. Long considered a military dictatorship with a questionable human rights record, Burma (Myanmar) has faced both tough…>

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In pictures: The stunning beauty of New Zealand’s South Island

January 18, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM its beautiful aquamarine lakes to dramatic high country and snow capped mountains, the south island of New Zealand is a region that offers enough scenic variety to startle, charm and inspire. These images display the adventure, solitude and wildlife of the nation. From the mountain ranges To the valleys and the plains The spirit…>

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Vietnam road trip: Saigon to Hanoi on a Honda Dream – Part 2

January 17, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IN July-August 2010 Jo Lane travelled 1700km from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on a $300 scooter. This is her story…  [if you've just joined us, you can read Part 1 of the series here] It was surprisingly difficult to leave Saigon. After a week in the city I had found my favourite bar…>

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Thailand’s budget airlines: A quick guide

January 17, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

WITH new budget airlines opening up routes across Thailand, there are now even fewer places you have to endure the bumpy long bus journeys of old. The ease of access also means destinations across northern Thailand are opening up like never before. With many offering free on board services such as refreshments and seat allocation,…>

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AirAsia X to fly to Sydney

January 17, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Just a few days ago travelers who use AirAsia X, the long haul branch of the budget airline Air Asia, bemoaned the news that the carrier would no longer fly to Europe and India. However there’s some good news on the horizon, with the possibility of Sydney being added as another long haul route as…>

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Vietnam road trip: Saigon to Hanoi on a Honda Dream – Part 1

January 13, 2012 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

IN July-August 2010 Jo Lane travelled 1700km from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on a $300 scooter. This is her story…  MY search for a motorbike in Saigon hit the jackpot today thanks to English expat Kevin Raven, who makes a business of finding and doing up old bikes. At just US$300 my Honda…>

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Insider’s View … Dunedin, New Zealand

January 12, 2012 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

MY name is Josh Jenkins. I am a tourism graduate from the University of Otago and have enjoyed living in Dunedin for the past six years. I work for Tourism Dunedin, the organisation responsible for marketing Dunedin as a place to visit both internationally and domestically. My role is digital marketing. Why do you love…>

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Tourism Australia takes Facebook by storm

January 11, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

The Tourism Australia Facebook page is the most popular of its kind in the world – that is as a tourist destination site. It seems things like photos of koala joeys and Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks have been a real hit with likes, comments and shares helping to tip the page over the two…>

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In pictures: Happy Feet travel the world

January 10, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TRAVELERS Tom and Verity Robinson give you a travel album with a difference: their feet in the stunning landscapes of the world they’ve visited. And their feet have been a lot of great places: from Europe to South America, Asia and the Pacific. Take a look at these below or click through for the full…>

WATCH: Horror fall for Aussie tourist as bungee cord snaps

January 9, 2012 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

AN Australian woman miraculously survived a 111m bungee jump after the cord broke and she plunged into the Zambezi River in Africa. Despite a river infested with crocodiles and a trailing cord that snagged in the rapids, 22-year-old Erin Langworthy managed to make it to shore where she was rescued. Watch the video to see…>

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Quick guide: Discovering Sydney’s markets

January 7, 2012 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

A VISIT to Sydney is incomplete without visiting at least one of its many markets. Dotted all around the city on varying days, these markets are a fantastic way to take in some of the varied life and colour of the city. From markets in beach suburbs like Bondi, the eclectic offerings on Oxford Street…>

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Travel Therapist: Overland travel in Australia

January 6, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

WHAT preparations do I need to travel overland in Australia? Should I buy or rent a car? What is the condition of the roads? And where should I go? Australia is a vast continent and travelling around does need a bit of preparation. Without doubt however an overland trip is a great way to see…>

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Discovering Asia’s fish markets

January 6, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

PUNGENT, colourful and filled with the racuous cries of hawkers, Asia’s fish markets are amongst its greatest attractions. This selection of six fish markets will take you around the smelliest but also some of the most interesting locales in Asia. Visiting these markets will not only give you the chance to meet locals but could…>

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6 great Asian travel destinations for 2012

January 4, 2012 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE start of a new year is the  perfect time to start flirting with the idea of exciting and different travel destinations. They could be places you’ve long wanted to visit, or somewhere that just offers something different for the 2012 travel palate. Whatever your wish might be here are six places to consider ticking…>

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Top events in Asia this month – January 2012

December 31, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Chinese dragons, camel beauty pageants, buskers and country music are just some of the things being celebrated throughout Asia this month. So pull out your Chinese fan, cowboy hat, desert scarf or general revelry kit for your chance to join in some of the world’s most colourful and exotic events this January. 1. INTERNATIONAL NEW…>

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A night in … Hanoi, Vietnam

December 30, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

MANIC, commerce, tangled, claustrophic, wild, motorbikes, heart pumping, hawkers… These are just some of the words that come to mind when you first arrive in the Vietnamese capital. But don’t let that put you off for melting pot, charm, grace, colonial, baguettes, chic, coffee, noodles and shopping come just as easily to mind also. This…>

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6 of the best bars in Yangon

December 29, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

YOU might not associate Yangon with nightlife but if you do find yourself at a loose end of an evening there are certainly some classy and happening places around where you can sip a cocktail or beer into the late night hours. Many of these are located in the city’s upmarket hotels and offer stunning…>

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Bar of the week: Opera Bar, Sydney, Australia

December 28, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

OPERA BAR, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA Where? Lower Concourse Level Sydney Opera House, Sydney, www.operabar.com.au, ph. 612 -247-1666, open from 11.30a.m. What makes it special? The Opera Bar simply has the best view in the house. And that’s before you even go inside. With a superb location on the lower concourse level of the Sydney Opera House,…>

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Six of the best iPhone Apps

December 27, 2011 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

Travel apps have literally transformed the way we move about. There’s almost little need to carry around a guidebook any more with all the information you need at the touch of your finger tips. While there are new apps being added every week, and this list (see my previous also) is hardly the be all…>

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A Beach House at Byron: Seclusion by the sea

December 27, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

A BEACH HOUSE AT BYRON, BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA Where? 12 Giaour Street (Belongil Beach), Byron Bay NSW 2481, www.abeachhouseatbyron.com, 0413-622-777 What makes it special? Given Byron Bay’s ever increasing popularity, A Beach House at Byron is a real find as it offers both seclusion and quality accommodation. There’s ready access to Byron should you desire…>

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6 of the best Burma/Myanmar treks

December 24, 2011 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you’re thinking of a walking holiday Burma (Myanmar) is probably the last place in Asia on your list. But if you do like to trudge about, there are some good opportunities for doing so. I’ve listed some of the more accessible places first, followed by two entries for the more intrepid, financed and adventurous…>

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Bar of the Week: Reggae Bar, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur

December 21, 2011 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

REGGAE BAR, CHINATOWN, KUALA LUMPUR Where? 158, Ground Floor, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, http://reggaebarkl.com/rb2/gallery.html, 03-2026-7690, Mon-Sun 12 noon til late What makes it special? If you like Bob Marley, travellers and the idea of “Love all, feed all” – the bar’s catchphrase – the Reggae Bar in Chinatown will be just for…>

Travel therapist: How to get a visa for Burma (Myanmar)

December 21, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

What’s the easiest way to get a tourist visa for Burma? I’ve just returned from Burma (Myanmar) so can provide some up to date information on the situation. Latest news In May 2010 visa-on-arrival was introduced for arrivals in Yangon International Airport then suspended in September just four months later, just prior to the general election…>

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Inside View: Surviving Indian trains

December 19, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

I AM Navneet Arora, short name ~ Vini ~ a resident of Delhi, La Capital de India. I am a graduate in Tourism from the University of Delhi and have enjoyed three decades in the industry. I run a small travel company, VINstring Holidays, specializing  in mid-budget travel through India for individuals, small group travels,…>

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A night in… Noosa, Australia

December 14, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

NOOSA is a beach resort town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on this stretch of coast boasting beaches, idyllic canal side accommodation, the winding Noosa river, wilderness areas such as Lake Cootharaba and the Cooloola Sand Patch. Add to this the excellent dining options and it’s a…>

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Travel therapist: The best budget airlines in Asia

December 9, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

Help! I want to organize some air travel within Asia to save time traveling overland but there are so many budget airlines out there and I’m not sure exactly how to book. Is it safe to travel with these carriers and to make a booking online? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve taken a…>

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6 of the best… walking tracks in Queenstown

December 9, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you’re in Queenstown and preparing for one of the more serious jaunts across Fiordland’s wonderful walking tracks, why not get your fitness up to par with some walks around town. From alpine lakes to valleys filled with flowers, the tracks around Queenstown offer views, good hill walking and plenty of chances to picnic along…>

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Bar of the Week: The Strand Hotel, Yangon, Burma

December 9, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

What makes it special? The Strand bar in Yangon is without doubt the classiest place to down a martini or three in Yangon. Rivaling other hotels like the Raffles in Singapore or the Continental in Ho Chi Minh City, this hotel reeks of an era of British colonialism that is now long gone. Unlike other…>

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Top festivals and events in Asia this month – December 2011

December 2, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM jazz to giant floats and New Years celebrations there is plenty happening in Asia this month. PENANG ISLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL Dates: 1-4 December Where: Penang, Malaysia The superb backdrop for this fantastic music festival is the lovely island of Penang replete with mixed colonial heritage and Chinese and Malay influences. With live action on…>

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6 of the best… Asian Christmas destinations

November 29, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM the beaches of Malaysia and India to the cool climes of Tasmania, we’ve chosen six top Asian destinations for your Christmas holiday Christmas is a great time to visit Asia for a number of reasons. First, if it’s cold at Christmas where you live, rest assured you’ll enjoy the balmy, temperate climes of Asia…>

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In pictures: Maluku Islands, Indonesia – Part 2

November 26, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

CONTINUING on from the last post on the Maluku Islands here is another series of images featuring this part of the Indonesia archipelago. One thing that really struck me while in the Maluku Islands was how active people were. Fair enough they had to work to live, and it was largely hand to mouth, but…>

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In pictures: Maluku Islands, Indonesia – Part 1

November 24, 2011 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

I RECENTLY spent a bit of time in the Maluku Islands, one of Indonesia’s northeastern provinces and also an archipelago in its own right. Given it is less accessible to tourists and definitely well off the beaten track, I thought Travel Wire Asia readers might like to be treated to a photographic essay through the area I…>

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Tourism Australia’s winning photograph

November 18, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TOURISM Australia has been running the nothinglikeaustralia.com website for awhile that allows travellers to submit a photograph and their favourite experience from a travel location. Their latest promotion, Aussie Holiday Dream Team, closed with the following winner and this super photograph of Uluru: The final winning photo from Tourism Australia’s Aussie Holiday Dream Team promotion…>

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5 things Obama should have done in Australia

November 17, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

WELL Mr President you can’t do much in Australia in 21 hours, still most of us here consider your visit late yesterday afternoon to Canberra a case of third time lucky and better than nothing. The US President Barack Obama cancelled two previous visits to Australia last year due to domestic problems (healthcare bill and…>

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5 great Asian train journeys

November 14, 2011 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR those that love the roll and rumble of journeying by train here’s a list of some fantastic rides around Asia. Trans Mongolian Beijing-Mongolia: The route from Beijing through the Gobi desert was my introduction to Mongolia – where I worked in 2007. And what an introduction: we were showered with sand throughout the night, the…>

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Gold Coast wins Commonwealth Games 2018, Sri Lanka feels the snub

November 14, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you haven’t yet caught up with the news about the 2018 Commonwealth Games yet then check out the Gold Coast bid site with the simple image “We did it”. This of course refers to the Gold Coast’s successful bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, a win of 43 votes to 27 over Hambantota…>

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Brits vote Australia top holiday destination

November 9, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AUSTRALIA has been voted the best place on the planet to visit in the 2011 British Travel Awards . The award saw Australia finish ahead of Spain and Italy. From news.com.au: This year’s British Travel Awards were handed out after compiling nominations from people in the tourism industry and a public vote by more than 700,000…>

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Discovering Coober Pedy: Australia’s underground town

November 8, 2011 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

IN Coober Pedy in the summer it can reach a scorching 47 degrees. For this reason the local population have taken to living underground in houses that are literally carved into the hillside. Today houses, churches, museums, shops, hotels, pools and even the campground are excavated into the rock to keep temperatures a constant 25…>

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The ongoing disputes over Qantas

November 7, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AS they say it’s not over until the fat lady sings and in the case of Qantas and its warring unions, there is still a lot to be sorted out yet despite the fact the planes are back in the air. The dispute that saw Qantas ground its entire fleet and leave thousands of passengers…>

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Best iPhone apps for traveling in Asia

November 7, 2011 - 5 Comments - Jo Lane

LIKE grains of sand on the seashore there are now so many iPhone Apps to help you with your travels, it gets a bit hard to know where to start looking. However with that idea in mind – giving you a head start – here are some apps to consider for your next sojourn. iTranslate…>

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Our fair dinkum guide to Aussie slang

November 4, 2011 - 3 Comments - Jo Lane

THONGS, sangers, grub, barbie and chook? ‘Stralian, or Australian English, can be more than confusing for international travellers largely thanks to the Aussie tendency to abbreviate or twist commonly used words into something that sounds a lot like gibberish to the uninitiated. Here’s a help guide to get you through some well used phrases during…>

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A brief history of the Australian meat pie

November 3, 2011 - 2 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Australian meat pie is so well liked around the nation it could almost be termed a national dish. Where the Americans eat hot dogs at their football games, for Aussies the meat pie is the cuisine of choice at their own sporting fixtures and indeed any other event. Basically this pie consists of a…>

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Transit Terror: Asia’s worst airports

November 2, 2011 - 4 Comments - Jo Lane

You may have read lists extolling the virtues of Asian airports such as Singapore’s Changi Airport that has regularly topped the world’s best lists for its modern amenities and restaurants. However, Asia is home to some pretty bad airports too. Here’s a look at the worst: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1, Manila, Philippines…>

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Asia’s weirdest sports

November 1, 2011 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

From boating in empty beer cans to playing polo with elephants, Asia has its fair share of the weird and wonderful in the sporting world. And while some are considered unusual or quirky in their own right even at home, some are in fact regular and seriously contested events. Here’s a few you might not…>

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Top events and festivals in Asia this month – November 2011

November 1, 2011 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR the weird, wonderful, exotic and downright unusual happening in Asia this month consider one of these festivities. 1. Loy Khratong, Thailand, Laos and Burma (in Shan state) In this colourful annual festival ornately-decorated krathong (floating sections of banana trunk) are set adrift down the rivers and waterways making for a colourful and romantic spectacle.…>

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Australia’s top 10 beers

October 31, 2011 - 5 Comments - Jo Lane

There has been a pervading image of the beer swilling Australian around for a long time – but what exactly are they drinking? Is it Tooheys, XXXX or Fosters? The answer for many years has largely been decided on where that person is from, with drinkers preferring their state-based beers. However, with an increasingly mobile…>

A nice day for a white wedding in Shan State

A nice day for a white wedding in Shan State

April 16, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

The lyrics of the famed Billy Idol song “White wedding” could well be the theme of Shan weddings in Burma, albeit without the gothic overtones.

Trekking to Langtang

Trekking to Langtang

April 9, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AFTER Everest and Annapurna, Langtang is Nepal’s third most popular trekking area but a world away from the busy teahouses and crowds on those routes. And thanks to its location north of Kathmandu towards the Chinese border it’s also very different culturally with a heavy Tibetan and Buddhist influence in the region.

Trekking and homestays in Burma’s Shan State

Trekking and homestays in Burma’s Shan State

April 2, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR a taste of rural Burma and the opportunity to enjoy homestays in villages along the way, head to Shan State in the country’s northeast. With rolling hills, few roads and welcoming locals, it’s an experience not to be forgotten.

5 river journeys in Brisbane

5 river journeys in Brisbane

March 19, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Queensland capital, Brisbane, is often referred to as the river city, thanks to the way the longest river in the south east corner snakes and coils itself bend by bend through the city before emptying into Moreton Bay. Sharing geography with a river does mean the city suffers from time to time as the…>

In pictures: Asia’s most ancient structures

In pictures: Asia’s most ancient structures

March 11, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

YOU won’t travel far in Asia without bumping into a crumbling ruin, temple, city or landmark built by a civilization that no longer exists. While many of these have been abandoned and are in want of some repair, with nature at times already taking over, some have been restored to something of their former glory.…>

Paddling down the Nymboida River, Australia

Paddling down the Nymboida River, Australia

March 4, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Nymboida River in New South Wales is one of the best options for white water paddling on the east coast of Australia, particularly if you live in Brisbane. With cascades, rapids and pool sequences, it offers plenty of action, flow and fun whatever skill set you have.

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