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Makua Beach Kauai

Hawaii, Pacific

The fourth largest and the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai is about 888 kilometres square in area, formed from one massive v...

string(3019) "The fourth largest and the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai is about 888 kilometres square in area, formed from one massive volcano of which Mt Waialeale forms the eastern rim. The main road circles the coastline with the exception of a 24-kilometre stretch at the north shore cliffs which is inaccessible. When Captain Cook came ashore in January 1778 he was received as a god. Today, visitors to this beautiful island of gardens and rainbows are greeted in much the same friendly way. Lihue, the capital of Kauai, still has few buildings taller than a coconut tree. Yet the island offers visitors all the ingredients for a perfect holiday including luxury accommodation, gourmet cuisine, a host of watersports and activities including world-class golf. Po`ipu, a leisurely 30 minutes by car south of Lihue, has been called Kauai’s playground, with its pristine beaches protected by a necklace of offshore reefs. Just one kilometre from the resort area is sailing, diving, deep-sea fishing and daily boat tours from Kukuiula Harbour. At nearby Spouting Horn, a turbulent wave action causes surf to shoot through a lava tube and out a hole in the coastal rock. This geyser sometimes reaches heights of 18 metres and more. On the west side of Kauai you’ll find what Mark Twain called the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’, Waimea Canyon, 1097 metres deep in parts, with red and green vistas punctuated by waterfalls. North from Lihue you can stop off to take a ride on one of the flat-bottom river boats that takes you to the Fern Grotto. Further north past the Coconut Coast you pass by the turnoff to The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge which shelters thousands of seabirds. Near Princeville and Hanalei, made famous by the song Puff the Magic Dragon, is Ke`e Beach. Close by are the wet and dry caves, prominent in ancient Hawaiian myth and the start of the 17 kilometres Kalalau hiking trail. Further south is Lumahai Beach the famous nurse’s beach in the movie South Pacific. On the island’s north shore the scenery runs riot, grey mists hang over the sheer Napali cliffs, waterfalls tumble into deep valleys. Much of this region and the island’s interior cannot be reached by road, so a helicopter or fixed wing plane tour can give you a perspective otherwise unobtainable. Kauai is called the Garden Island with good reason. The National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Lawai Valley and the Allerton Estate Gardens, as well as the Limahuli Gardens in the north, are among the major attractions that showcase nature at her best. Kauai’s diverse scenery has lured filmmakers to her shores for decades and such classics as Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark and of course, South Pacific mean visitors can occasionally experience déjà vu. Also Kauai is also popular with practitioners of the healing arts giving it the reputation of being a special place for those seeking rejuvenation and relaxation combined with a taste of traditional local culture. "
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. "
Island of Hawaii

Hawaii, Pacific

The Island of Hawaii is the youngest, the most diverse and the grandest of all the Hawaiian islands. Aptly nicknamed “The Big...

string(3508) "The Island of Hawaii is the youngest, the most diverse and the grandest of all the Hawaiian islands. Aptly nicknamed “The Big Island” it is larger than all the other islands put together. It’s a land of amazing contrasts with lush rainforests, monolithic cliffs, spectacular ocean vistas, white, black and even green sand beaches, plunging waterfalls, deserts, plains and active volcanoes. First discovered more than a millennium ago, the Island of Hawaii is where Polynesian mythology says Madame Pele, goddess of fire, dwells. She is said to live in the firepot of Halemaumau in Kilauea crater on the slopes of Mauna Loa, from where she actively pours new lava almost daily Hilo is the seat of government and near it are rainforests and black lava rocks hugging a serrated shoreline that is expanding thanks to Kilauea Volcano, the world’s most active volcano Volcanoes National Park is best accessed from Hilo. You can safely explore lava tubes and hiking trails around this amazing site. Nearby is Punaluu Beach Park with picturesque black sand beaches. North of Hilo the highway snakes between mountains and sea to Waipi`o Valley and Waimea through kilometres of fields where sugarcane once grew. Hidden amongst the mountains are a multitude of waterfalls including the impressive Akaka Falls. A must is a visit to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden where you can see more than 2000 species of tropical plants. Across the island, near Kawaihae, is Heiau, built by King Kamehameha, which is now an historical site. In Waimea, the Parker Ranch’s historic homes house a magnificent collection of Italian and French period pieces and more than a hundred original paintings by masters such as Renoir and Degas. In this region you can learn about a different side of Hawaii that is also home to paniolos, or Hawaiian cowboys. Lapakahi State Historical Park, north of Kawaihae, was once an ancient Hawaiian fishing village. A short drive from the park is King Kamehameha’s birthplace and Mookini Luakini Heiau believed to have been constructed about 480 AD. The Kohala Coast is home to magnificent resorts with breathtaking views of lava flows. Anaehoomalu Bay, with its picture postcard beach, curves between the shallow bay and an ancient Hawaiian fishpond once used by royalty. Once home to Hawaiian royalty, Kailua-Kona is now a vibrant resort and shopping precinct with a rich cultural heritage. It is also a great base from which to explore Kona coffee country and the unique Painted Church where columns form the trunks of painted palm trees. The Island of Hawaii produces 39 percent of the world’s macadamia nuts and Kona is the only place in the US where gourmet coffee is grown commercially. It also has the world’s largest anthurium and orchid flower industries. There are 20 golf courses on the Big Island, many with green fairways carved from ancient lava fields. Activities include fishing for marlin, a helicopter or small plane ride over red flowing lava and diving at night with giant manta rays. Getting around the Island of Hawaii is convenient and easy. The most popular mode of transport for international visitors is to hire a car and explore the island at leisure. There are also bus tours, shuttles and taxis. There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation on the Island of Hawaii. From charming bed and breakfasts to hotels, condominiums, lodges and five-star resorts, there’s something to suit every traveller and budget."
Kosrae Strand Kosrae

Micronesia, Pacific

The State of Kosrae is one of four states in the Federated States of Micronesia and, as well as the island of Kosrae, consists of ...

string(2972) "The State of Kosrae is one of four states in the Federated States of Micronesia and, as well as the island of Kosrae, consists of several islands and islets, the most significant being Lelu Island. Roughly triangular in shape, Kosrae covers an area of approximately 110 square kilometres. The most eastern of the Caroline Islands, Kosrae has a population of approximately 7000 people and is located north of the equator between Guam and the islands of Hawaii. The coral reefs that surround the island are kept in a pristine condition through an extensive mooring buoy system and the area is becoming a favourite destination for scuba divers from all around the world. The island’s interior is covered with deep vegetation and steep mountains that keep it largely undeveloped. European contact with Kosrae in 1824 reported a highly stratified society that was typical of the surrounding islands at that time. Its cultural features included matrilineal lineage and clans with a feudal structure of nobles who controlled the land that was worked by commoners. The settlements consisted of small groups of relatives who shared a single cookhouse, usually with at least one earth oven. The first missionary post was established in 1852 after American missionaries felt the need to protect the people of Kosrae from the large numbers of whalers and beachcombers who had made the island, which they considered a paradise, their home. Even today religion plays an integral role in the culture of Kosrae. Sunday is considered a day of rest and most stores and shops are closed on that day. In 1874, the pirate Bully Hayes was shipwrecked on Kosrae when his ship, the Leonara, was stuck in Lelu harbour during a storm. During his stay of several months on the island, Nully terrorised the local people. He was finally arrested by Captain Dupuis aboard the HMS Rosario but managed to escape on a boat built of timber from the wrecked Leonara. Traditional foods on the island include breadfruit, coconut, banana, taro, yam and sugarcane. Woodcarving, traditional canoe and cottage construction, fishing, farming and fine weaving using hibiscus, pandanus and coconut palms continue to be an integral way of life on the island. The weather in Kosrae is warm and humid throughout the year with an average temperature of 25℃ and rarely exceeding 32℃. It has two distinct seasons, dry and rainy and during the rainy season, November to April, be prepared for showers everyday. Casual and summer clothing is worn throughout the year although swimsuits and shorts are not acceptable in the villages. Be respectful—cover your shoulders and knees, and don’t forget a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Kosrae is a wonderful gem, yet to be discovered by most modern travellers. A visit guarantees the experience of a lifetime—from the unhurried, friendly lifestyle and warm, island hospitality that are as unforgettable as the magical Micronesian sunsets. "
Ubud

Bali, Indonesia, Asia

A visit to Ubud isn’t complete without going to the Monkey Forest Sanctuary south of the village which is inhabited by cheeky mo...

string(3191) "A visit to Ubud isn’t complete without going to the Monkey Forest Sanctuary south of the village which is inhabited by cheeky monkeys waiting for visitors with peanuts. Located in the lush slopes leading up towards the central mountains, Ubud is the cultural centre of Bali. A sanctuary for artisans, this quiet Balinese village is 60 minutes by car from Ngurah Rai International Airport. Ubud has a peaceful atmosphere and is a haven from busy Denpasar and Kuta. Complementing the ancient temples and palaces is the unspoiled countryside that offers picturesque rice paddies, rivers and gorgeous scenery. There are many wonderful walks in every direction from Ubud, through the rice terraces, villages, jungle gorges and grassy hilltops. Organised walks cover a variety of themes including birdwatching and exploration of historic and cultural sites. Ubud’s beautiful surroundings and gracious way of life have drawn artists from all over the globe in recent decades, some of whom have even adopted Ubud as their home. The main gallery areas are Jalan Raya, running from the Peliatan crossroads in the east all the way up to Sayan in the west; the main street through Peliatan; Pengosekan Village; Batuan Village; Penestanan Village; and the town of Mas, where the big-name woodcarvers have palatial galleries with impressive facades and enormous signs. Ubud is also known for its selection of Batik fabrics, carvings, jewellery and paintings. Ubud also has several art museums. To gain a true appreciation of Balinese art, visit Museum Neka which features mostly modern works by Balinese, Indonesian and Western artists who have worked in Bali, and also take time to see Museum Puri Lukisan—Ubud’s “Palace of Art”. Founded around 40 years ago by a group of artists and patrons from the Ubud royal palaces, it is set in a peaceful garden with fountains, statues and pools. The main crossroads in front of the Puri Saren palace is the ‘navel’ of Ubud— its cultural and historical focal point. Away from the main streets, Ubud is a quiet place featuring small lanes lined with homestays, warungs and Balinese compounds extending north and south from the main road. A visit to Ubud isn’t complete without going to the Monkey Forest Sanctuary south of the village which is inhabited by cheeky monkeys waiting for visitors with peanuts. The interesting Pura Dalem Agung (Temple of the Dead) is also located in the forest and features amazing ancient trees and sculptures. Ubud features a range of accommodations including luxury properties with great spa settings and facilities, wonderful health retreats and spectacular views. There are cultural shows on nearly every night and organised tours can be easily arranged to visit other parts of Bali. Its central location makes it easy to get from Ubud to the mountains, beaches and major towns. The main street is also lined with restaurants and cafés with a wide range of delicious foods to cater for all tastes. Although visitors often outnumber residents during peak periods, Ubud retains its charming, unhurried atmosphere and distinctive way of life of a small rural community. "
Suva

Fiji, Pacific

Welcome to Fiji’s capital and the largest and most populated city in the South Pacific. Unlike its more far-flung islands, Suva ...

string(3726) "Welcome to Fiji’s capital and the largest and most populated city in the South Pacific. Unlike its more far-flung islands, Suva offers a buzzing cosmopolitan atmosphere, brimming with colonial buildings, modern shopping plazas, a plethora of restaurants, farmers markets and entertainment, culminating in a truly exotic urban metropolis. Delve into the rich and diverse cultural influences that thrive here; a wonderful blend of Indian, Fijian, Chinese and Japanese culture. Full of history, Suva is well worth a visit when you land in Nadi before moving onto the other islands, to find out more about the island nation itself; from its remnants of colourful colonial architecture to the Fiji Museum showcasing the archaeological, linguistic, political and cultural history of the Fijian archipelago. For the foodies, Suva offers an eclectic range of dining spaces, from affordable cafes and hangouts, to fine dining restaurants. As the day turns to night, Suva boasts an admirable selection of bars and clubs, with the O’Reillys bar reigning as a popular spot amongst locals and visitors. For exploring the city, the Tropic Towers Apartments couldn’t be more convenient and affordable; great for families, business travellers, tour groups or holidaymakers, this is the perfect base from which to soak up all of the cultural, historical and cosmopolitan experiences you’re sure to have here. Convenience is the name of the game here, and Holiday Inn in Suva not only boasts harbour views, but is just steps away from the best of the city’s attractions. For those looking for an added grand touch, the captivating Grand Pacific Hotel gives guests a taste of colonial grandeur and impeccable service and is widely recognised as a gem of the South Pacific, delivering the wonder of old-world charm. There’s something for everyone in Suva.Suva is the capital of Fiji and is a beautiful harbour city built on a peninsula reaching out into the sea. The city is perched on a hilly peninsula between Laucala Bay and Suva Harbour in the southeast corner of Viti Levu. The mountains north and west catch the southeast trade winds, producing moist conditions year round. An exciting multi-racial city, Suva began as a late Victorian village with frame houses and stores along the beachfront. Much of its past still survives, for there are many small, quaint wooden bungalows in the old section that sit in juxtaposition to the modern offices and shopping plazas. On Sundays it’s well worth attending church to hear the choral singing that is magnificent. Most churches have services in English, but none compare with the 1000 strong Fijian service at Centenary Methodist Church on Stewart Street. A vital centre, Suva offers a great selection of restaurants including Chinese, Indian, traditional Fijian and European cuisine. There are tours to landmarks such as the Thurston Gardens next to Government House, the official residence of the president of the Republic of Fiji. The Fiji Museum is recognised as one of the best of its type in the South Pacific which holds a remarkable collection of archaeological material dating back 3,700 years and cultural objects representing both Fiji’s indigenous inhabitants and the other communities that have settled in the island group over the past 200 years. Not to be missed is the sprawling complex of municipal markets near the waterfront that comes to life on Fridays and Saturdays. Here you’ll find an assortment of artifacts and handicrafts for sale, made by Fijians throughout the Island group. For those who like history, there’s Albert Park where Charles Kingsford-Smith landed his plane Southern Cross on his trans- Pacific flight in 1928."

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