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stdClass Object ( [ID] => 33661 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2014-12-05 10:47:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-05 10:47:55 [post_content] => TRAVEL is always beset with highs and lows and this year in the Asia-Pacific region it has been no different. While the Malaysian air tragedies, the ferry disaster in South Korea and the avalanches in Nepal have painted the year in sadder hues, there have also been brighter moments as well. Covering India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia and Nepal, here are some of the best and worst travel moments of 2014. Malaysian flight tragedies Sadly 2014 heralded some of the world's worst ever air disasters with MH 370 going missing enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March. The flight is still missing and presumed lost, its exact location still unknown. There were 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers onboard from 15 nations. Flight MH 17 was shot down in July on its journey from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukraine. There were 298 people on board. Read more here. [caption id="attachment_33722" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Pic: AP."][/caption] The Air New Zealand Safety Video Air New Zealand has ridden the back of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit wave for many a year and this year they released another safety video in October to commemorate the third and final film in The Hobbit Trilogy. It's a fantastic way of enjoying some of New Zealand's best known scenery, movie characters and personalities such as Sir Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood, while inadvertently learning how to brace for a crash, put on a lifejacket or fix your oxygen mask. Their original hobbit safety video apparently garnered more than 12 million views on YouTube. When the G20 comes to town the locals go to ground Residents departed Brisbane en masse in November when the 7,000 delegates, media and world leaders arrived for the G20 Leaders Summit. Fearful of safety issues and concerned they would have to exist in a virtual lock down many of the inner city's 30,000-40,000 residents chose to leave, thanks in part to being granted a public holiday on the Friday before the official meetings. This event will therefore go down in 2014 as one of the biggest mass exodus in Brisbane history, although it was still far from a ghost town over the weekend. Read more here. Nepal snowstorm disaster On October 14 this year a snow storm and a series of avalanches in the Annapurna region took the lives of at least 43 people, including more than 21 trekkers. Some 400 people were rescued from areas such as Thorong La, Manang and Mustang. Local authorities were criticisied for not providing sufficient warnings but some believe the trekkers were either inexperienced or inadequately equipped. More emergency shelters, better monitoring of trekkers, improved weather tracking and communication have been recommended in light of the disaster. Read more here. [caption id="attachment_33713" align="aligncenter" width="654" caption="Trekking in the Annapurna region. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption] Modi mania The election of new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi isn't really a best or worst in travel moment, but the fact that thousands travel to see him when he speaks at rallies and events around the world means it makes the list. Modi is universally popular with Indian communities and when he was in Australia in November his public address at Sydney's Olympic Park attracted over 20,000 people while millions of viewers watched on from India. Hundreds of Australia's Indian community in Melbourne went to the address on the "Modi Express" a 12 hour chartered train ride replete with cheering, dancing and laughing people. In New York's Madison Square Garden in October there were similar scenes with 19,000 cheering fans coming to a rally where he spoke. Read more here. [caption id="attachment_33663" align="aligncenter" width="484" caption="Narendra Modi welcomed in Brisbane during the G20 in November 2014. Pic: narendramodi.in"][/caption] South Korean ferry tragedy The sinking of the MV Sewol in April was particularly tragic as not only were there 476 people on board but most were secondary students from Danwon High School. 304 people died in the disaster. The ship is believed to be carrying twice its legal cargo limit at the time and the previous captain had warned the company about safety issues onboard. Read more here. Prince George downunder Prince George may not yet be 12 months old but he was one of the biggest celebrities to travel to Australia and New Zealand this year and his every move was watched and remarked on from what gifts he was given to how much he loves Australian wombats and the Kiwi police puppies. The visits were no doubt a boom for tourism operators in Australia and New Zealand who must have been pleased parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, otherwise known as Will and Kate, took him to such tourism hot spots as Taronga Zoo in Sydney and the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. His parents also added a bit of star power to a sunset visit of Uluru in central Australia. [caption id="attachment_33724" align="aligncenter" width="624" caption="Prince George in Australia with parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Pic: AP."][/caption] Asia hits best of destination lists Asian countries and cities made Lonely Planet's best of lists in 2014 thanks to such amazing experiences as longhouse stays, its cliffs and forest, beaches, family destinations and value holidays. While none of this comes as a surprise to those who know and love holidaying in Asia, the acknowledgement is merited. Read more here. [caption id="attachment_33723" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="From our article on cycling in Malaysia. Pic: fauziyusoff, Flickr."][/caption] Preparing for a galactic liftoff Space is the new travel frontier, if you believe Sir Richard Branson. The entrepreneur continues to advance his long planned commercial space operation Virgin Galactic. The inaugural space flight did take place this year with plans for it to reach 62 miles above the earth, however the rocket plane crashed in the Mojave Desert in October, killing one of the two pilots. Virgin Galactic had hoped to fly tourists next spring and already presold 700 tickets. The company has yet to advise if things will continue to schedule. Ebola travel scare The impact of Ebola was also felt on travel with some countries such as Australian issuing a ban on travel from West Africa, while North Korea, despite the low number of tourists that cross its borders, said it would quarantine all foreigners in October. [post_title] => The 10 best and worst travel moments of 2014 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-10-best-and-worst-travel-moments-of-2014 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-12-12 03:37:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-12-12 03:37:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.travelwireasia.com/?p=33661 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )

The 10 best and worst travel moments of 2014

The 10 best and worst travel moments of 2014
December 5, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

TRAVEL is always beset with highs and lows and this year in the Asia-Pacific region it has been no different. While the Malaysian air tragedies, the ferry disaster in South Korea and the avalanches in Nepal have painted the year in sadder hues, there have also been brighter moments as well. Covering India, Malaysia, New…>

Lanterns banned near airports for Thailand’s Loy Krathong festival

Lanterns banned near airports for Thailand’s Loy Krathong festival
November 4, 2014 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

REVELERS in northern Thailand have been asked not to launch sky lanterns near airports to avoid airborne accidents during a popular festival later this week.

Thailand lifts curfew in Phuket, Pattaya and Samui

Thailand lifts curfew in Phuket, Pattaya and Samui
June 3, 2014 - 1 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

THAILAND’S military junta has lifted a curfew at three popular beach resorts but said the restriction imposed after its May 22 coup will stay in place for the rest of the country, including the capital, Bangkok.

6 of Queensland’s ultimate sports events

6 of Queensland’s ultimate sports events
April 30, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

AUSTRALIA’S sunshine state, Queensland, is a mecca for outdoor events, so if you like combining your holidays with a bit of hoof to pavement, an ocean swim, a triathlon or bike ride, this is the place to come.

6 places to enjoy the Asia-Pacific love affair with camels

6 places to enjoy the Asia-Pacific love affair with camels
April 25, 2014 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

CAMELS grace the deserts, grasslands and mountains of Asia-Pacific from places as diverse as India, China, Mongolia, Pakistan and Australia. They are much loved and even celebrated around the region for their contributions as working animals and for providing milk and meat and hair.

More Philippines airlines to fly to US after safety ruling

More Philippines airlines to fly to US after safety ruling
April 10, 2014 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

OFFICIALS say U.S. aviation authorities have cleared Philippine airlines to increase flights to the United States after safety standards improved.

Osaka to host all-star concert on International Jazz Day

Osaka to host all-star concert on International Jazz Day
March 5, 2014 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

HERBIE HANCOCK reckons he’s performed more often in Japan than in his hometown of Chicago. The pianist will be back next month for an all-star concert at Osaka Castle Park highlighting the third annual International Jazz Day.

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Comments

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  • avatarHannah Kim { I'm going to go to Singapore on August 9, 2016 with my friend, Sierra Hirko because Singapore is in Southeast Asia. They're not Communist, but... } – Oct 26, 2:22 PM
  • avatarLee { is Korea that bad? :( } – Oct 18, 6:27 AM
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