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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 the wing of a plane during a two hour flight in January. Unfortunately the three metre snake was dead on arrival. Read more.

The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) held its annual tourism conference in Laos in January with a focus on the development of eco-tourism in the region. The host country, itself underdeveloped and therefore quite unspoiled, plans to develop sustainable practices and become a player in nature tourism. Read more.

McDonalds agreed to let some of its Australian operations change the name of the popular family restaurant to Maccas, in honour of the popular slang term used in the country. The change was only evident over the Australia Day period but had American reporters asking questions. Read more here.

February

It may have been Valentines Day around the world on February 14, but in Japan they actually celebrate this exactly one month later and call it White Day, an observance day when women give chocolate to men and they return the favour. It's not the only interesting observance in Japan. There are 15 such days in the annual calendar. Click here to read more.

March

TripAdvisor's list of the world's top 25 destinations highlighted eight diverse locations in the Asia Pacific for their culture, style, food and nightlife. Among them were Sydney, Bangkok, Queenstown and Shanghai. To see which other places ones made the cut read more here.

[caption id="attachment_32585" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Chiang Mai, Thailand. Pic: AP."][/caption]

April

Samoa Air became the first airline in the world to introduce pay by weight tickets for its international flights with prices determined by the weight of the passenger and their bags. Previously the airline had introduced the same system for its domestic flights. No one has refused to be weighed yet. Islands in the Pacific have the highest rates of obesity in the world. Read more.

May

Nepal celebrated the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest on May 29. The achievements of Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa were honoured by Mount Everest Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Kathmandu and at a party under the shadow of the mountain itself. However many fear their success has created an industry that is now ruining the peak. Read more.

[caption id="attachment_32578" align="aligncenter" width="552" caption="A photo taken on May 23, 2013 of mountaineers on the summit of Mount Everest. Photo: AFP"][/caption]

The capsule hotel experience in Japan swings to the fore, reducing the hotel world to a miniature version. Read more.

[caption id="attachment_32574" align="aligncenter" width="601" caption="Capsule hotel rooms. Pic: AP."][/caption]

June

Peter Jackson's first installment of The Hobbit trilogy begins to make an impact with tourism to Middle Earth, aka New Zealand, after its release in December 2012. Figures released by Tourism New Zealand showed international visitors to New Zealand rose 10 percent between January and April in 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Their survey also showed 8.5 percent of visitors listed the movie as one of their traveling reasons and 13 percent took part in hobbit-themed tourism like visiting a film set.  Read more.

 

TripAdvisor listed the world's top 25 landmarks of which five were in Asia including Angkor Wat and the Taj Mahal. Read more.

 

[caption id="attachment_32584" align="aligncenter" width="599" caption="Angkor Wat Photo: Luciano Mortula, Shutterstock."][/caption]

July

Condenast's Readers' Choice Surveyranked Asian cities among the world’s friendliest. Seven out of the top 10 cities were in the Asia-Pacific and included Hobart, Thimpu, Queenstown, Paro, Margaret River, Mandalay and Ubud. Read more.

[caption id="attachment_32580" align="aligncenter" width="599" caption="Hobart. Pic: cntraveler.com"][/caption]

August

Burmese icon and ‘Moustache Brother’ Par Par Lay passes away after an illness, a huge blow not only to the transition to democracy in Burma/Myanmar but also to tourists who made the nightly trek to Par Par Lay's house to see him perform, along with other members of his comedic trio. Read more.

[caption id="attachment_32573" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="From left to right: Lu Maw, Par Par Lay and Lu Zaw. Pic: From the Facebook Page for the Moustache Brothers."][/caption]

Thailand considers introducing compulsory travel insurance for foreign visitors, partly thanks to the burden of costs in treating foreign visitors, some who can not or do not pay their hospital bills. The 500 baht insurance package was proposed as a way to combat these costs. Read more.

September

Tokyo is awarded the 2020 Olympics to cheers of "Banzai" as Japan outdid rivals Istanbul and Madrid. Despite the recent nuclear disaster Tokyo clearly won the final round with strong public support. Read more here and here.

[caption id="attachment_32577" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Japanese celebrate after Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Olympics Games, in Tokyo early Sunday morning, Sept. 8, 2013. Photo: AP."][/caption]

October

Lonely Planet releases its lists of best in travel for 2014 featuring locations from across Asia in categories such as where to feel like one of the family, best beaches and small islands, best adventure travel and best honeymoon locations. Read more.

November

Sydney hosts the International fleet review, drawing thousands of spectators to the famed habour, including Prince Harry, for a feast of warships, cruisers and destroyers. Read more.

[caption id="attachment_32576" align="aligncenter" width="512" caption="Australian warships HMAS Perth sails past the Opera House as she arrives in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 during the International Fleet review. The Fleet Review is a commemorative event celebrating the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy's fleet into Sydney Harbour on Oct. 4, 1913.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)"][/caption]

Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines bringing widespread and horrific destruction, however the Department of Tourism issued a statement to encourage tourists not to cancel their plans as many places remain unaffected and resorts and areas that rely on tourism have been hit by 30-40 percent cancellation rates. Read more here and here.

[caption id="attachment_32579" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="This image provided by the U.S. Naval Research Lab shows Typhoon Haiyan approaching the Philippines. Pic: AP."][/caption]

The summer of cricket started in Australia, with the first of the Ashes test series held at The Gabba in Brisbane. The famed clash between Australia and England brings in thousands of tourists from other cricket loving countries, including the famed Barmy Army, supporters of the England side. Read more.

December

The Desolation of Smaug, the second in the Hobbit trilogy, is released on December 13, perhaps heralding a new wave of tourism to New Zealand. With that in mind Air New Zealand releases a new video about life in Middle Earth titled "Just another day in Middle-earth" and has a dragon painted on the side of a 777.

Do you have a travel moment of 2013 to share? Add your comments.

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Top travel moments of 2013

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…>

Great modern buildings of Asia

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…>

5 amazing views from around Asia

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…>

Asia’s most unusual swimming pools

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…>

5 unusual Asian eco-breaks

5 unusual Asian eco-breaks
June 15, 2012 - 0 Comments - Graham Land

A GREEN respite around a highly developed city-state; a retro journey into 1960s nostalgia; exploring Central Asia’s best-kept secret; an eco-centered version of the classic Southeast Asian island holiday; and a budding adventure destination in the Middle East. These are just five of Asia’s more uncommon travel destinations for the environmentally minded or nature-interested holidaymaker.…>

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

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…>

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

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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Places to stay

Eternity Springs Art Farm

Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Eternity Springs Art Farm

A creative eco-retreat

1 Bedroom, sleeps 2
1 Bathroom View

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

Canungra, Queensland, Australia

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

World heritage rainforest retreat

2 Bedroom, sleeps 4
1 Bathroom View

Hullet House

Hong Kong, Kowloon, China

Hullet House

Restored Colonial Designer Chic

View

L’Hotel Nina at Convention Center

Hong Kong, The New Territories, China

L'Hotel Nina at Convention Center

Centrally located budget hotel

1608 Bedroom, sleeps 2
1 Bathroom View

The Mercer

Hong Kong, Sheung Wan, China

The Mercer

Tasteful contemporary design

55 Bedroom, sleeps 2
1 Bathroom View

Comments

  • avatarBloggs { The circle of life above is stupid, filthy, depraved rubbish and should never have bene allowed in public. } – Apr 03, 11:09 AM
  • avatarGracey { This includes many stereotypes of Australian culture, although you might find that some of them are more common in the rural areas. :) } – Mar 31, 3:25 AM
  • avatarPlan volunteering Nepal { Volunteering in various project Teaching at School Teaching at monastery Help in an orphanage Medical project environment Program Home stay and Cultural Exchange Trekking and... } – Mar 27, 3:43 AM
  • avatarEmily Hulme { I agree Polly! Easyjet staff in London made my 85 year old grandmother stand for an hour in the waiting area. No chair could be... } – Mar 26, 10:54 AM
  • avatarEmily Hulme { I am sure this happens more than Easyjet let on. I have several friends who have been in this predicament before. We need to start... } – Mar 26, 10:26 AM
  • avatarPolly { Easy jet are renowned for poor customer service and lack of response to complaints. I had a horrendous experience flying with them where the plane... } – Mar 26, 10:18 AM
  • avatarHenry Baker { Just one example of how little easyjet care about their customers. } – Mar 26, 10:05 AM
  • avatarloy man { Liverpool star Suarez below only Messi & Ronaldo – Bellamy agen bola terpercaya Cityholidaybet.com reported - Cardiff City forward Craig Bellamy believes that there are... } – Mar 25, 2:30 AM
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