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Sabah

Malaysia, Asia

Situated on the beautiful island of Borneo, Sabah is one of the thirteen states of Malaysia. It is the second largest state in ...

string(2644) " Situated on the beautiful island of Borneo, Sabah is one of the thirteen states of Malaysia. It is the second largest state in Malaysia and shares the island of Borneo with Sarawak, Brunei, and Indonesian Kalimantan. Sabah is richly blessed with nature’s diversity, unique cultures, fun adventures, beautiful beaches, and fantastic cuisines for the adventurous tastebuds. From the world’s largest flower, the rafflesia, to one of the highest mountains is Southeast Asia, Mount Kinabalu, and one of the world’s top dive sites, Sipadan Island, Sabah has it all. Not only will you be amazed by the places to see and things to do here, you will also be treated with unique Sabahan hospitality. Explore the unique culture and tradition of Sabah and get ready to experience memories that will last a lifetime. Traditionally, Sabah’s economy was lumber dependent. However, with the increasing depletion of natural forests as well as ecological efforts to conserve the rainforest, palm oil has proven to be a more sustainable resource. Sabah also exports other agricultural products including rubber, cocoa, vegetables and seafood. Tourism, particularly ecotourism, is presently the second largest contributor to the economy. In the downtown area, you can get around quite easily on foot between hotels, restaurants, tour operators, markets, and the tourism office. For longer trips, taxis are readily available. Just 24 kilometres from Tawau town is Tawau Hills Park with sprawling grounds, lush green foliage and a sparkling river. It is a popular destination for visitors who want to experience nature at its best. Enjoy the rich vegetation of the park that changes as the altitude increases. There are plenty of hiking trails with some leading to a hot spring area and waterfalls. For a rich, cultural experience visit the Linangkit Cultural Village in Tuaran and meet the Lotud people, one of the 32 diverse ethnic groups in Sabah. Situated in Kampung Selupoh, approximately an hour’s drive away from the heart of Kota Kinabalu, the Linangkit Cultural village offers an indepth look into the social and cultural heritage of the Lotud people. The choice of accommodations in Sabah is endless. Sabah offers five-star resorts with the latest amenities and facilities to comfortable lodgings for the budget conscious. They all feature Sabah’s common aspect of warm hospitality. Signature championship golf courses surrounded by serene vistas, a world-class marina for sailing enthusiasts, and endless island accommodations are just few reasons that will ensure that every moment of your holiday is lively and fun filled. "
Micronesia Yap Holiday Hotels Yap

Micronesia, Pacific

Part of the Federated States of Micronesia, Yap is situated in the Western Caroline Islands, between Guam and Palau. It is made...

string(3199) "Part of the Federated States of Micronesia, Yap is situated in the Western Caroline Islands, between Guam and Palau. It is made up of four main islands, Yap South, Gagil-Tomil, Maap and Rumung. The landscape consists of rolling hills with lowlands covered in thick jungle-like vegetation. Most of the coastal areas are mangrove with occasional coral beaches. Like other FSM islands, there is a coral reef, so snorkelling is popular as is diving in the clear lagoon with the giant manta rays which appear throughout the year. The town of Colonia on Yap Main Island is the capital and is more urbanised than the village areas. Yap also has about 130 outer islands stretching nearly 1000 kilometres east of Yap Main Island. Most of the outer islands are coral atolls and are sparsely populated by a people that differ from those from the Yap Main Island both in culture and language. Four indigenous languages are spoken. These are Yapese Main Islander, Ulithian, Woleaian and Satawalese. English is the official language spoken every day, though some local government organisations still conduct business in their own vernacular. Because of its position, Yap was minimally affected when the Spanish colonised Micronesia in the 1500s, and again during German occupation from the end of the 1800s to the beginning of the First World War. The same thing occurred during the Japanese occupation, so by Micronesian standards, Yap remains relatively unaffected by modern society and influence. Most of the lands outside of Colonia downtown are privately owned properties so visitors are asked not to litter or to take any pictures of people without securing their permissions first. The stone money of Yap (largest in the world), though not legal tender in the international currency marketplace, is still used as legal tender on the island. The value of these limestone, disk shaped coins varies, though not according to size but to the stories behind them. Today, the money is still owned but not moved, even though ownership may change. Visitors can still see some of the traditional houses in the villages. The villages of Yap Main Island still retain the foundations of meeting houses and platforms used by the elder male residents to discuss community matters. Only a limited number of tourists visit Yap each year, and the locals, who are naturally warm and friendly, are more responsive to those who respect their culture and customs. All land and beaches on Yap Main Island and the outer islands are privately owned by the traditional leaders and chiefs. If you want to get off the beaten track, request to explore further by asking permission from the village/island elders. You may also have to pay a small fee for the privilege. Yap remains a distinctive destination because of the way the people value their culture, custom and history. The traditional dress is brightly coloured loin cloths for men and colourful grass or woven hibiscus skirts for women. The official currency is the US dollar and credit cards are not widely accepted. Therefore traveller’s cheques and cash are recommended for hotels, restaurants, shopping, diving and all other purchases. "
Denarau Island

Fiji, Pacific

Situated on Viti Levu, the largest of the 333 Fijian islands, Denarau Island is located across a tiny causeway separating the isla...

string(2054) "Situated on Viti Levu, the largest of the 333 Fijian islands, Denarau Island is located across a tiny causeway separating the island from the Nadi end of the mainland. This major tourism complex is a 20-minute drive from Nadi International Airport and includes The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sheraton Denarau Villas, Fiji Beach Resort & Spa (Hilton), Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island, Golf Terraces, an 18-hole championship golf course, a golf and racquet club and a private-berth marina. The resorts boast ocean frontage and an island shuttle runs frequent transfers between the resorts and Port Denarau, while golf carts whiz guests around and between the resorts. Apart from offering a sophisticated hotel and residential experience, Port Denarau, with its shops and growing marina, has become a major transit hub for Fijian tourism. With many of the smaller islands in the archipelago only accessible by boat, it is now the main transfer point for the resorts off the coast of Nadi in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Port Denarau is the principle departure point for vessels. Departing from the port are water taxis and jetboat transfers, chartered yachts and catamarans, island day cruises, multi-day island-hopping cruises and brigantines offering sunset dinner cruises. Sport is big on Denarau with the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club offering a spectacular 18-hole championship golf course. The course has been designed around the island’s extensive waterways. An impressive clubhouse comprising a pro shop and restaurant overlooks the 9th, 10th and 18th holes. A driving range and an adjacent tennis courts extend the club’s facilities. There is a yacht club and development is continuing on Denarau with other major up-market hotels under construction. There is also a commercial and retail centre, food and beverage outlets, and cultural attractions, making Denarau one of the leading integrated tourism destinations in the South Pacific. "
Outer Islands

Vanuatu, Pacific

With diverse terrains and a plethora of natural wonders, the islands of Vanuatu are small pockets of beauty and adventure. An ...

string(2283) "With diverse terrains and a plethora of natural wonders, the islands of Vanuatu are small pockets of beauty and adventure. An exploration of the outermost of the nation’s 83 islands will reveal famous volcanoes, magnificent coral reefs, historic shipwrecks and traditional villages. The southernmost inhabited island of Vanuatu is Aneityum Island. The northernmost islands of Vanuatu are the Banks and Torres Islands, volcanic in origin and home to active volcanoes on Gaua and Vanua Lava islands. Tanna Island Tanna Island is famous for its volcano, Mt Yasur, its wild horses, its custom villages and the cargo cults that have grown up there. It is possible to take a day trip to Tanna however there is plenty to see and do, so visitors who wish to truly experience. this extraordinary island should arrange a stay of at least two nights in order to see the island’s many attractions. A night trip to the crater edge of mighty Yasur Volcano is a great experience. Also visit the White Grass Plains, home of the wild horses, and go to a custom village to experience the age-old village culture, where people still dress and live in the traditional ways. Espiritu Santo The largest and oldest island in the group, with a wide range of natural sights, Espiritu Santo is a truly romantic island and a great place for diving. You can visit the SS President Coolidge, the largest intact shipwreck accessible to scuba divers in the world, the destroyer USS Tucker lying outside the channel and Million Dollar Point, the place where war surplus equipment was dumped after WWII. See a large experimental plantation and farm, stay in Melanesian-style bungalows, refresh yourself in a natural pool, and go to famous Champagne Beach in the north. Pentecost Only on Pentecost Island can you see the mind-boggling land dives. There is minimal accommodation for visitors, so you can either do a weekend package or a day trip. As many as 25 jumps may be performed in a day from one tower and as the height of the jumps increases, so does the tempo of the traditionally-dressed men and women dancing and chanting alongside. It’s an experience you’ll always remember. This annual event occurs during April, May and June on every Saturday and some other weekdays. "
Maui, path near the ocean and sunset Maui

Hawaii, Pacific

This beautiful isle was born in a fiery explosion of two volcanoes. To one side of Maui is the 1764 metre Kukui and on the othe...

string(3711) " This beautiful isle was born in a fiery explosion of two volcanoes. To one side of Maui is the 1764 metre Kukui and on the other Haleakala, a 3055 metre dormant volcano with a Manhattan size crater that houses a vast desert of unusual flora including the rare Silversword. Add to this 190 kilometres of dazzling coastline, both dramatic and diverse for surfing, snorkelling and canoeing plus waterfalls plunging 300 metres, rainforests bursting with exotic vegetation and a stark lunar landscape so barren that the astronauts practised their moon landing here, and you have the extraordinary island of Maui. The dramatic variations in climate and land formations are a large part of what makes Maui so exciting. The West Maui Mountains are rugged and verdant, with jagged peaks and deeply grooved valleys hiding waterfalls. Central Maui and the slopes of Haleakala are agricultural areas where the rich volcanic soil supports sugar, pineapple and ranchlands. The south shore, except where irrigated, is desert and scrub because Haleakala snags the rain clouds and empties them before they cross her peak. The second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui was settled by Polynesians and had its own ruling family. King Kamehameha’s warriors overthrew the kingdom of Maui to unite it with the other Hawaiian Islands. He made Lahaina in Maui his capital in 1802. Today Maui has evolved into a peaceful agricultural island of charm and rustic beauty, particularly Lahaina which has been restored to its previous colonial splendour. The non-profit Lahaina Restoration Foundation which began over 36 years ago has preserved and restored a rich collection of historical sites in Lahaina. The Maui Historical Society Museum in Wailuku is a delightful structure built between 1833 and 1850 and was the home of missionary Edward Bailey. Baldwin Home, built in 1838, is the oldest standing building in Lahaina and is made of thick walls of coral, stone and hand-hewn timbers. The banyan tree came to Lahaina from India when only eight feet tall. William O. Smith, the Maui sheriff, planted it in 1873 to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of Lahaina’s first Christian mission. Today the banyan has 12 major trunks, varying girths and reaches upward to a height of 15 metres stretching outward over a 61 metre area. The Carthaginian, a replica of a 19th century brig which now houses a whaling exhibit, graces the harbour, which is also the departure point for a multitude of cruises and whale watching tours (in season). However, if it is off season, Whaler’s Village in Ka’anapali houses an excellent whale museum. Lahaina Jodo Mission Cultural Park, on a point of land known as Puunoa, was once a small village fronting the royal grove of coconut trees. Now the best known landmark in the area, the largest Buddha outside of Japan sits in the small park commemorating the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in 1868. Don’t miss a journey on the famous Sugar Cane Train, modelled after the turn of the century railroads that transported Valley Isle sugar to Lahaina mills. The steam driven locomotive runs between Lahaina and Ka‘anapali and visitors can hop aboard at Puukolii and Ka‘anapali as well. While on Maui, you can explore the Maui Tropical Plantation which consists of 45 hectares of crops. Learn how to husk a coconut, create a delicious tropical fruit boat and string a fragrant lei. Then catch the Tropical Tram on a 40-minute circuit to see fruit cutting demonstrations, visit the marketplace and learn how to start your own tropical garden. At the Sugar Museum you will see the production of sugar, once one of Hawaii’s biggest cash crops, from beginning to end. "
Northern Islands

Fiji, Pacific

Vanua Levu and Taveuni, respectively Fiji’s second and third largest islands, along with dozens of smaller outer islands are ano...

string(3149) "Vanua Levu and Taveuni, respectively Fiji’s second and third largest islands, along with dozens of smaller outer islands are another world from the bustle of Viti Levu and the more-touristic islands. Here discover a hidden paradise of verdant rainforests with hidden lakes, spectacular coral reefs, waterfalls and tall mountain ranges that are an adventurers’ playground. Vanua Levu is located 64 kilometres to the north of the larger Viti Levu and is accessible by air with regular flights to Labasa and Savusavu. The dry north coast is scattered with sugarcane farms, while the hillier south is dominated by tropical rainforest and huge coastal coconut plantations. Labasa is the island’s largest city, and is predominantly occupied by Indo-Fijians. To the south, Savusavu is a quaint coastal town backdropped by verdant emerald hills. Its large protected harbour is a stop for yachts cruising the Pacific. There is a growing number of restaurants and cafés on the idyllic waterfront and a number of luxurious hotels nearby. The Waisali Rainforest Reserve is a spectacular 300-acre stretch of rainforest that blankets Vanua Levu’s hills and valleys and is home to a diverse range of exotic flora and fauna as well as picturesque waterfalls and natural pools. Spectacular reefs can be found minutes from the mainland. Discover pristine dive sites at Namena Marine Reserve, or head to the island’s northern coast for one of it’s best kept secrets, the Great Sea Reef. Nearly 200 kilometres long, it’s one of the largest reefs in the world. Taveuni, the Garden Island, is Fiji’s third largest island just eight kilometres across the Somosomo Strait from Natewa Peninsula, Vanua Levu’s southeast tip. This long, lush, coconut palm-covered has, in recent years been rediscovered by those who want a more ‘natural’ vacation. The Bouma National Heritage Park protects approximately 80% of Taveuni’s land, sheltering scenic waterfalls, rivers, creeks, and canyons, which offer numerous opportunities to swim, climb, and hike. The Lavena Coastal Walk commences on a secluded beachfront sprinkled with rock-pools and small lagoons, its serene pathways navigate an unusual black-sanded volcanic beach, lush rainforest and passes through a charming Fijian settlement, finishing at the spectacular Wainibau Waterfalls where you can cool off. High in the interior mountains is beautiful Lake Tagimaucia, a 900-metre–high crater lake. A beautiful wild flowering plant named tagimaucia grows only on the shores of the lake from which it takes its name. Taveuni is a mecca for deep-sea fishing enthusiasts and experienced divers have access to some of the world’s best dive sites on Rainbow Reef that stretches for 31 kilometres. Somosomo is the port for inter-island ships and there is an airport in the north, making Taveuni easily accessible by air from the main island, Viti Levu. The small islets just off the east coast of Taveuni are home to some of the worlds most luxurious resorts. Among them, Qamea boasts wide bays lined with gorgeous white sand, palm-fringed beache backdropped by emerald-green peaks."

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