Monday, 27 October 2014

Why Vietnam? Top Ten Reasons to Visit Vietnam

Vietnam has a wealth of attractions that make it one of the must-visit destinations in the world. It is a beautiful country with a stunning coastline, highland areas inhabited by colorful hill tribes, miles of lush green rice paddies, several World Heritage sites, a rich imperial history, delectable cuisine and fun-loving, friendly people.

Here are the top ten reasons to visit Vietnam, selected by Anita Sach of Luxury Travel and five star Emperor Cruises .

1. The people
It goes without saying that Vietnam is a particularly beautiful country, but this is enhanced by its people, who are hardworking, forward looking, hospitable and who have a wonderful sense of humour.

2. The variety
Vietnam is a country of contrasts with its lush green patchwork of rice paddies, dramatic mountains, unspoiled coastline and the watery worlds of the Mekong and Red River deltas. Other top attractions include the enigmatic limestone karsts in Halong Bay, bustling Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, laidback Hue and also Hoi An.

3. The accommodation
Whatever your budget there is somewhere to stay that is perfect for you from simple mini-hotels, through to welcoming mid-range hotels, stylish boutique hotels and smart international chains.

4. The food
Vietnamese food combines the best of Thai and Chinese cuisines with a twist of French heritage and Vietnamese creativity. Seafood is fresh and a hearty bowl of pho a must. Whether you choose to dine in a roadside café with the kitchen out front where you can watch your selection being freshly cooked or in a chic restaurant in an old colonial mansion, you won’t be disappointed. Of course, if you are hankering for a burger, curry or pizza, you won’t have to look far.

5. The culture
Culture vultures won’t know where to start! Take in ancient temples and pagodas such as the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, the Jade Emperor in Ho Chi Minh City and Cao Dai temple in Tay Ninh. In Hue, wander round the intriguing, beautifully landscaped tombs of the Nguyen dynasty emperors and try to imagine how the imperial palace would have looked in its heyday.

6. Colonial history
Wherever you look you will see the remnants of the French colonial period from the freshly baked French-style bread to the gorgeous old villas in the former hill stations. Dalat could be a typical Provencal town surrounded by alpine scenery. The hill tribes selling vegetables in the market are a reminder that you are actually in Vietnam.

7. Luxury journeys
With new luxury hotels and world-class golf courses opening as well as helicopter tours and sea plane flights over Halong Bay Vietnam is fast emerging as the world’s latest luxury destination. For train lovers, the evocatively named Victoria Orient Reunification Express is a must.

8. Cruising
From the decks of a smart river cruiser, enjoy viewing river life as you cruise along the waterways from the Mekong delta deep into Cambodia or overnight on Halong Bay.

9. Shopping
Leave plenty of space in your suitcase for those must-have items, clothes, silk bags and lacquerware all of which can be found in the colourful markets. Enter into the fun by bargaining hard!

10. Authenticity
Travelers always want new and exotic experiences, plus value, both in terms of personal value and value for money. They seek new destinations, new hotels and new experiences. They want to be the first to discover a destination. Many have moved towards a quieter understated luxury and plan their trips with a focus on authenticity and experiential travel, particularly enriching once-in-a-lifetime experiences. For travel experts, it is essentially about creating a experiential travel that is personal as well as authentic and memorable.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Service at the Highest Level

Garuda Indonesia Wins ‘World’s Best Cabin Staff’ at 2104 World Airline Awards

Garuda Indonesia has been named the Airline with “The World’s Best Cabin Staff” in the Skytrax Worlds Airline Awards.

The award was given to the Indonesian national flag carrier for the unparalleled level of service provided by Garuda cabin crew to the Airline’s passengers.
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bali tours,bali hotels,bali activities

In winning the award, Garuda beat out two other nominees: Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways.

The award ceremony naming Garuda for possessing “The World’s Best Cabin Staff 2014” formed a part of “The World Airline Awards 2014”held at the Farnborough International Airshow held in London, on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.

The CEO of Skytrax Edward Plaisted handed the award to the CEO ofGaruda Indonesia, Emirsyah Satar.

In receiving the award, Emirsyah Satar said: “The award as The World’s Best Cabin Staff’ is solid proof of hard work by the entire team, while at the same time reflecting the friendliness of the Indonesia people.”

The 2014 award from Skytrax follows Garuda winning The World’s Best Economy Class in 2013 and The World’s Best Regional Airline in 2012. The award given to Garuda is based on customer satisfaction surveys submitted by 18 million air passengers.

Emirsyah said he sees the latest award as part of the transformational program “Quantum Leap 2011-2015” that is intended to render the Indonesian flag carriers into a five-star airline in 2015.

Article attributed to

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Jazz

Ubud Jazz Festival August 8-9, 2014

The Ubud Jazz Festivalreturns to Ubud August 8-9, 2014 sponsored by BRI Bank.

“Awakening Indonesia” has been adopted as the theme of the Ubud Jazz Festival that will see national and international stars take to the stage.

This year’s festival will also include an important educational element, presented in cooperation with The Dutch Jazz Summer School form South Korea. From August 3-8, 40 participants will follow a jazz school held in Ubud.

The “Jazz Camp” will offer 6 course of study including guitar, drum, piano, double bass, vocal and wind instruments with special focus sessions on music theory and jam session performance.

Advance sales tickets can be purchased on line from the Festival’s website.

Among the jazz performers slated to appear at Ubud Jazz festival 2014 are Gilad Hekselman Trio (USA), Dian Pratiwi and Uwe Plath (Germany), Astrid Sulaiman and Yuri Mahatma Trio (Bali), Balawan BID Trio, Rio Sidik, The GAPPProject. Feat Dave Barlow (Australia- Indonesia), Dwiki Dharmawan (Indonesia), Erica Tucceri (Australia (Bali), Ben van den Dungen Quartet (Holland), Deborah Carter (Holland), Endo Seiji (Japan) and Chika Asamoto (Japan-Bali).

The Ubud Jazz Festival traces its roots to 2010 when the first even was held.

Article attributed to

Lonely Planet guide to Vietnam

Provided by Luxury Travel Co.Ltd

A MECCA for foodies and a paradise for beach bums, Vietnam is also loaded with cultural interest
Unforgettable experiences are everywhere in Vietnam.
There’s the sublime: gazing over a surreal seascape of limestone islands from the deck of a Chinese junk in Halong Bay.
The ridiculous: taking 10 minutes just to cross the street through a tsunami of motorbikes in Hanoi.
The inspirational: exploring the world’s most spectacular cave systems in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
The comical: watching a moped loaded with oinking pigs weave a wobbly route along a country lane.
And the contemplative: witnessing a solitary grave in a cemetery of tens of thousands of war victims.
A local noodle delicacy called cao lau.
A local noodle delicacy called cao lau.

The Thais may grumble but in South-East Asia nothing really comes close: Vietnamese food is that good. Incredibly subtle in its flavours and outstanding in its diversity, Vietnamese cooking is a fascinating draw for travellers – the dozens of cooking schools in Hoi An are testament to this. Geography plays a crucial role, with Chinese flavours influencing the soups of northern Vietnam, spices sparking up southern cuisine and myriad herbs and complex techniques typifying the central region, rightly renowned as Vietnam’s epicurean epicentre.
If you’ve got the bills, Vietnam’s got the thrills and chills. Some activities require physical effort, like motorbiking up the jaw-dropping Hai Van Pass in central Vietnam. Others require even more sweat: kitesurfing the tropical waters off Mui Ne or hiking the evergreen hills around Bac Ha or Sapa.
Kitesurfers at Mui Ne
Kitesurfers at Mui Ne
And after the adrenalin rush, relax and indulge in Vietnam’s outstanding spas – from marble temples of treatments, to simple family-run massage salons with backpacker-friendly rates.

The Vietnamese are energetic, direct, sharp in commerce and resilient by nature. The locals love a laugh and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to socialise with them and hear their tales.
Generally, the rule is the more uncomfortable the (always tiny) seats in the bar or cafe, the more fun you’ll have.
Poor in parts but never squalid, Vietnam is developing at an astonishing pace and inevitably there are some issues to consider (including a few minor scams).
However, on the whole this is an extremely safe (apart from the traffic!) and wonderfully rewarding country to explore.
The Japanese Covered Bridge in Hoi An
The Japanese Covered Bridge in Hoi An
Vietnam’s most cosmopolitan and civilised town, this beautiful, ancient port is bursting with gourmet Vietnamese restaurants, hip bars and cafes, quirky boutiques and expert tailors. Immerse yourself in history in the warren-like lanes of the Old Town, shop till you drop, tour the temples and pagodas, and dine like an emperor on a peasant’s budget (and even learn how to cook like the locals). Then hit glorious An Bang Beach, wander along the riverside and bike the back roads. Yes, Hoi An has it all.
Perhaps Asia’s greatest culinary secret, Vietnamese food is on the radar but hardly a global phenomenon. Essentially it’s all about the freshness of the ingredients – chefs shop twice daily to source just-picked herbs from the market.
The result? Incomparable texture and flavour combinations. For the Vietnamese, a meal should balance sour and sweet, crunchy and silky, fried and steamed, soup and salad.
Wherever you are, you’ll find exquisite local specialities – the “white rose” of Hoi An, the canh chua of the Mekong Delta or the good ol’ pho of the north.

Perhaps the adrenalin epicentre of Vietnam, the relaxed, prosperous beach resort of Mui Ne is a kitesurfing capital with world-class wind and conditions, and excellent schools for professional training.
For those who prefer dry land, sandboarding and golf are popular alternatives.
The resort itself has more than 20km of palm-fringed beachfront that stretches invitingly along the shores of the South China Sea. From guesthouses to boutique resorts, designer bars to fine-value spas, Mui Ne has a broad appeal.
Rice terraces in Sapa in the country’s northwest
Rice terraces in Sapa in the country’s northwest
Dubbed the Tonkinese Alps by the French, the spectacular Hoang Lien Mountains soar skywards along the rugged edges of northwest Vietnam towards the Chinese border.
Shape-shifting clouds and mist ebb and flow in the mountainous area around Sapa, parting to reveal a glimpse of Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak. From the sinuous and spidery ridges, rice terraces cascade down into river valleys, home for several centuries to ethnic minority villages of H’mong, Red Dzao and Giay peoples.
5. HUE
The nation’s capital for 150 years in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Hue is perhaps the easiest Vietnamese city to love.
Its situation on the banks of the Perfume River is sublime, its complex cuisine is justifiably famous and its streets are relatively traffic free.
And that’s without the majesty of the Hue Citadel, with its royal residences and elegant temples, formidable walled defences and gateways.
On the city’s fringes are some of Vietnam’s most impressive pagodas and royal tombs, many in wonderful natural settings.

> Zone 9, Hanoi
Filling a former pharmaceutical factory with bars, galleries and art spaces, Hanoi’s Zone 9 precinct is the city’s hippest and most vibrant new destination.
> Hill Station Signature Restaurant
In chic surroundings in Sapa, learn how to cook H’mong cuisine at the Hill Station Signature Restaurant. Wash it all down with a tasting set of delicious ruou (traditional rice wine).
> Cat Ba Island Hotels
New hotels are opening up on private islands in the Cat Ba area, including Cat Ong Beach Cottages, which has its own private beach and bungalows.

Vietnam Airlines, the state-owned carrier, flies to 28 international destinations, including Australia.
Lonely Planet’s guide to Vietnam.
Lonely Planet’s guide to Vietnam.
Prepare yourself for the crazy driving: traffic can come at you every which way, and in the cities swarms of motorbikes reach biblical proportions.
Try to keep calm and consider arranging a massage after a long journey. Be aware that Vietnam has more than its fair share of scams; most concern overcharging.
Though very rare, there are some more serious dangers (like unexploded ordnance) to also be aware of. Relevant warnings are given in destinations throughout this guide.
In towns like Hue and Sapa, and beaches popular with tourists, expect plenty of hustle from street vendors, cyclo drivers and the like.
Off the beaten track there’s little or no hassle.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Garuda to use 'Wonderful Indonesia' logo on international-flight airplanes

The launch of the "Wonderful Indonesia" tourism logo for Garuda Indonesia aircraft was officiated on Tuesday by Tourism and Creative Economy Minister, Garuda Indonesia President Director, and Deputy Transportation Minister. 
“Up to 22 of Garuda's aircrafts will use the logo. Presently, eight of them have already attached it to the fuselage,it was reported at a press conference on Tuesday 1st July 2014.
The national flag carrier will put the logo on 11 Airbus A330-200, five Airbus A330-300, five Boeing B777-300ER and A-Check position aircrafts that fly to 17 international destinations, such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
This is part of the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding,  concerning tourism promotion between the Tourism Ministry and Garuda Indonesia that was officially signed on Feb. 21, 2012.
Since 2008, the airline had attached the "Visit Indonesia" slogan to its aircraft
Information has been added to the website Indonesia.Travel, regarding the new logo. So if tourists ask, they can easily look it up via the website.
In addition to the logo, Garuda will also play traditional music and offer local movies during flights as part of its efforts to promote Indonesia.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Special Offers - Elite Havens, Indonesia

EH newsletter 2014 - loading picture ...

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Immigration Increases Visa-On-Arrival, Passport Fees - Indonesia


The Indonesian immigration office on Wednesday 2nd July 2014 announced an increase in fees for some of its services, including visa-on-arrival application fees for foreign nationals and new passports for Indonesians.

“The price for immigration [services] charged on the public will change starting July 3, 2014, in line with the issuance of the 2014 government regulation… on the types of non-tax revenues and the tariffs imposed on them as regulated by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights,” the immigration office said in a statement signed by its spokesman Heriyanto.

The price for a seven-day visa-on-arrival has been set to $15 from the initial $10, 

while the price for a 30-day visa-on-arrival will be increased to $35 from the initial $25.

In the regulation, the government has also set a new passport application fee.

The cost of a 48-page passport will be increased to Rp 355,000 from the initial Rp 255,000, while electronic passport application fee remains the same at Rp 600,000.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

We are proud to represent The Elysian, Seminyak, Bali

Recent postings on Tripadvisor

5 of 5 stars June 2014

The Elysian hotel is one of the finest we’ve ever stayed in. It is beautifully designed and the villas are somewhat palatial. But it is the staff that really set this place apart. Case in point: Last night I left my IPhone in the back of a taxi. Ardi, one of the front-of-desk staff, leapt on his motorbike and shot off after the taxi while calling the company to report the loss. He actually did find the taxi but on searching his car we realized that I must have left it in another taxi I’d used slightly earlier in the evening. Now I’d really given up but Ardi took me in the hotel car to the area I’d hailed the first taxi and we put the word out among drivers. He then continued to call around, using his personal phone, and 2 hours later a driver pulled up and returned the phone. Ardi didn’t have to take a personal interest in helping me but his energy and persistence resulted in success. And while he was doing this rushing around, his colleagues at the hotel were calling the taxi company and trying to call my phone directly. I hope Ardi is suitably recognised for all his hard work but this really reflects the spirit of the entire resort. We’ve staying in hundreds of hotels. The Elysian is hard to beat on all counts.

5 of 5 starsJune 2014
Beautiful staff, incredible surrounds: everything and more that first time visitors to Bali could want. We felt so at home, had access to everything we needed and the staff were so helpful and gracious. We loved it and will definitely be back.

5 of 5 starsJune 2014
My husband and I returned to the Elysian after a great stay 15 mths ago. We had a lovely spacious pool villa, beautifully equipped with everything you could want. The gardens on the property are stunning, the main pool area is so inviting. The little extra things like free afternoon tea, free cocktail hour, shuttle transport all value add to the experience.
Having said all of that, the best thing about this amazing hotel is the staff. We were remembered from our previous visit and were made to feel very special.
We had a wonderful time and will return.
Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple

Bon Voyage Air France Commences Daily Flight from Jakarta to Paris

Air France has announced plans to operate a daily service between Jakarta andParis’ Charles de Gaulle Airport with a stopover in Singapore.

The new service begins on July 10, 2014.

Air France is offering promotional fares in economy, super economy and business class to celebrate its new service. Conditions apply.

The new service will be operated with Boeing 777-300 configured with 303 seats, that includenm 8- first class, 67-business class, 28-seats in premium economy and 200-economy seats.

This new route is supplemented by a daily service by KLM Royal Dutch Airline from Jakarta to Amsterdam, with an intermediate stop in Kuala Lumpur and from Denpasar to Amsterdam with a stop in Singapore.

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to

Monday, 30 June 2014

Vietnam Family Vacations 8 days

Luxury Travel Vietnam ( ) is launching Vietnam Family Vacation 8 days this summer.

This summer, along with other short tour packages, Luxury Travel promotes a 8-day family package for those who love to fulfill their passion of travelling. Knowing the trend of multi-generational family travel, the company launches this package to meet the expectation of clients in the niche market.

Life is a collection of special moments and family reunions. Summer is perfect time for travelling, especially for the whole family to gather and enjoy the time together. Here is also the time when clients will be offered the great price while experience the upper luxury services from the best hotels and resorts in Vietnam.

With this luxury packages, visitors will enjoy a 3-night holiday in Nha Trang and the other 4 nights in HCM and Hanoi. Within very short days of summer visitors have a first glance of the country. The highlight of the trip is Nha Trang destination where is famous throughout the country with many beautiful beaches and luxury resorts. Under the tropical sun and enjoy all-inclusive resorts at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Nha Trang – one of the best luxurious hotel in the world.

Furthermore, Nha Trang is blessed with a stable weather through-out the year with hundreds miles of coastal line and white sand.

“The summer months are for more than simply relaxing,” says Hung Nguyen, Director of sales and marketing. “I believe they are a time for extraordinary adventures and unforgettable experiences, as do the majority of our clients. This is why my team and I search Vietnam for the most amazing beach places imaginable, and go that extra mile to find the most memorable ways to experience each location.”

This family vacation package includes accommodations & access to fun activities and luxury amenities. The tour is designed to focus on the convenience of high class clients when travelling with children. Children’s Clubs that are separated by into different age groups, so kids are able to satisfy their curiosity and meet new playmates.

For more information, please visit:

Garuda Indonesia goes with SITA

Garuda Indonesia has chosen air transport tech company, SITA, to look after its international network infrastructure as well as standardise its IT infrastructure and help set up its new reservation system.
The new 5 year agreement with SITA means that it will go from only managing its international network to also its domestic network and some airports, as well as handling end-computing services and operational messaging.
In turn, this will simplify the airline’s administration’s billing system and provide cost savings.
Garuda Indonesia director strategy, business development & risk management, Judi Rifajantoro said that SITA would now provide top quality IT services across Garuda’s operations.
“SITA is providing a one-stop shop that meets all our IT needs, including offering additional expertise and know-how to help with our transformation program,” Ms Judi Rifajantoro said.
“With SITA managing our IT infrastructure, we are reducing our costs, simplifying our IT solutions and future-proofing our network, which will position us well to take advantage of future growth,
“We are now able to provide high-quality network solutions to all our offices around the world.”
As the first part of the project, SITA helped Garuda migrate to a new reservation system.
Source = ETB News: Tom Neale

Monday, 23 June 2014

Feedback on The Elysian Boutique villa Hotel, Seminyak, Bali

To the Elysian Team,

Thank you so much for the wonderful experience on our first trip to Bali! You definitely live up to your name of providing exceptional service with your warm, attentive and friendly staff. The villa is cosy and clean yet spacious for two. 

We were extremely impressed and taken aback with the delivery of the surprise birthday cake on my friend's birthday itself. As no pre-arrangement was made with the resort, this kind gesture touches our heart.

Last but not least, we would like to commend and highlight that Ardi, your frontline staff is an asset to your resort. From the very first day we stepped in, he has shown us nothing but his warmth and care. He even went out of the way to assist us in our various queries and we sincerely appreciate his help. Please help to extend our appreciation to him as well.

Elysian, you will definitely be the place we'll stay the next time we're in Bali.

With thanks,


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Bluefields Bay - Cool off on our New Boat!!

Summer 2014 on Bluefields Bay

 Dear Friends,

Our Bluefields Bay summer is turning out to be fantastic!  After years of contemplation, we are in the process of adding a great new amenity. 

In view of our mission to benefit the local community, we commissioned a local builder to construct our first boat. It is a 29' long x 10' wide glass-bottom boat with roof (shown above) and includes everything we feel our guests will want:  glass windows to view the fish and coral without leaving the comfort of the boat; a large roof to shade guests from the sun and to provide snorkelers with welcome relief; an easy platform for boarding the boat; stairs that go into the water to simplify getting in and out of the sea; and of course plenty of space to enjoy drinks and snacks too!  We expect its completion and delivery in early July.

We are delighted to announce a partnership with the local Bluefields Bay Fishermen's Friendly Society to maintain and operate our boat. With Jamaica known for over-fished waters, Bluefields Bay is happily now the most successful of Jamaica's 7 protected fish sanctuaries.  This means that local fishermen must fish less until fish stocks increase, and providing them with new sources of income (stewarding and maintaining this boat) is something we hope our guests will welcome and support.  Please know the local fishermen have navigated these waters safely for many years.  

With this boat, we will be able to offer:

  • Morning birding tours to Bird Island, a group of mangroves with thousands of nesting birds  
  • Snorkeling at both reefs located in Bluefields Bay
  • Glass-bottom daytime boat cruises to see the successful revitalization effort
  • Sunset cruises in Bluefields Bay-style with served drinks and appetizers

 We also want to mention that, due to an El Nino, the National Hurricane Center is predicting a well-below-normal year for hurricanes.  We hope they are correct.

Book your Off-Peak Season 2014 vacation now with promo code "Boat".  The first 2 bookings get 1 complimentary night.  The next 3 bookings get a $500 credit for new boat trips or spa services.  After those first 5 bookings, you receive a 2 hour snorkel trip free once the boat is delivered.  If it is not yet delivered, you get a free Couples Massage.*  

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

We Ought to be in Pictures BALINALE – Bali Film Festival Returns October 12-18, 2014

The BALINALE – the Bali International Film Festivalreturns to the Indonesian tropical island for the 8th year October 12-18, 2014.

Recognized internationally for the quality and diversity of its programming, delivery of the associated film industry events and the opportunities offered foreign filmmakers to experience the country's rich culture, diverse locations and unique story ideas for possible film projects - BALINALE provides an important platform for showcasing Indonesian films to a global audience while networking with international filmmakers.

Women in Film

BALINALE’s 2014 program will continue to bring a mix of interesting and entertaining guests and films. This year BALINALE will focus onWomen in Film, acknowledging the enormous contribution women make in all aspects of the filmmaking process. Invited Indonesian and international filmmakers; writers, producers, director and actors will travel to Bali share their unique perspective.

BALINALE 2014 is partnering with American Film Showcase (AFS)program where over the past month, two distinguished award winning American filmmakers - Freida Mock and Richard Pearce, have conducted workshops, and master classes in Java, Kalimantan and Sumatra. BALINALE will carry on this unique program in showing a series of AFS films in a lead up to the festival.

Another highlight of the pre-festival program is the prestigiousSundance Institute Film ForwardBALINALE will take part in its first in Indonesia international touring program by exhibiting films, workshops and conversations (September 6-13, 2014).

is affiliated with two ASEAN Film Festivals, the Asian Film Commissions Network’s 20 member countries, supported by Motion Picture Association and has been appointed as the Asia Pacific Screen Awards Consulting Organization in Indonesia. 

2014 Calls for Film Submissions will open 10 April.


World Premieres, People Choice Awards, Film Industry Forums and a yearlong series of Educational Workshops conducted by award-winning filmmakers are all an important part of past festival programs. There is also an annual Children’s Charity Program where under privileged children experience the world of cinema for the very first time.

Established in 2007 by Bali Taksu Indonesia Foundation, co-founders Christine Hakim and Deborah Gabinetti see film as a viable means of promoting Indonesia, the Country’s creative individuals and essential support industries.


© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to

Bali Kite Festival - Bali Kite Festival Returns June 18-20,2014

The Bali Kite Festivalwill again be held on the beach of Padang Galak near Sanur June 18-20, 2014.

Hundreds of Kites – some as large as a truck or a bus – will be sent soaring by teams of young men traveling from banjars across Bali to compete with other kites lovingly assembled over the weeks leading up to the event.

Technical meetings between the competing teams are now underway to socialize the rules governing the three categories of kite and guidelines to enhance the safety of participants and spectators alike.

Open to the public, the Bali Kite Festival and the colorful teams in obligatory Balinese dress have  become a staple event on Bali’s calendar.

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to

A Month-Long Tribute to the Arts - 36th Bali Arts Festival June 14-July 12, 2014

The 36th annual Bali Arts Festival will take place June 14- July 12, 2014 featuring dance, music and performance arts from Bali and around the world.

The provincial government of Bali has allocated Rp. 5.6 billion (US$487,000) to the month long event.

Most events will take place at theTaman Budaya Center in downtown Denpasar.

The theme for this year’s Bali Arts Festival is “Kertamasa” and will be dedicated to the dynamics of Bali’s agrarian society.

It is expected that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will open this year’s Bali Arts Festival on June 14th with a traditional grand parade through downtown Denpasar.

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to

Monday, 16 June 2014

"The Magic Of The Night" is currently being held at the Tasik Marina, Putrajaya, until June 22, 2014.

Enjoy a dazzling evening with the glittering lights of decorated floats brought in from every state in Malaysia. This event features Malaysia as one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Enjoy a grand showcase of the country’s flora and fauna as well as the attractions found in the different states in Malaysia.

Garuda Indonesia goes higher in its Quantum Leap

Garuda Indonesia is making inroads in its 2011-2015 restructuring plan, with a new Boeing 777-300ER service to be launched between Sydney and Bali, Denpasar and building new routes.
This year, Garuda Indonesia has already received a Skytrax 5 star rating for its customer service, secured its own dedicated terminal at Denpasar Airport, will fly to all provincial airports on the Indonesian archipelago and fly to the USA with United Airlines.
The Quantum Leap, which is the key part of the plan, includes growing and dominating the Indonesian domestic market, developing its international presence, building on its LCC Citilink’s potential, expanding its fleet, using the new brand colours to develop a better identity, enforcing cost discipline and investing in human capital.
By 2015 (Quantum Leap Year), Garuda also aims to have its first dedicated service for Muslims going on Hajj as well as an expanded fleet of 154 aircraft with an average fleet age of less than six years and carry 35.2 million passengers per annum across its international and domestic routes.
Garuda is also positioned to do very well from the potential of the Indonesian aviation market, with 21 per cent growth in the last few years and the current low propensity of Indonesian people to travel per head of population (0.8 per cent per capita).
Garuda will begin flying its new Boeing 777-300 service between Sydney and Denpasar and Sydney and Jakarta in future.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Garuda Indonesia Airways says hello to Amsterdam

Garuda Indonesia Airways will fly directly from Jakarta’s International Airport to Amsterdam, after the airline was inducted into the SkyTeam global airline alliance.
The airline will fly between the two destinations using its new Boeing 777-300ER plane and fly five times per week and will ensure transit is only 14 hours.
Previously, Garuda flights between Jakarta and Amsterdam had included one stopover in Abu Dhabi.
Garuda Indonesia president and chief executive officer Emirsyah Satar said that Garuda’s inclusion into SkyTeam was an excellent opportunity for the airline to have a direct European flight.
“Following Garuda’s official joining of the SkyTeam, the opportunities presented by the established SkyTeam hub at Amsterdam are too significant to pass up, as it will be an alternative gateway for passengers who wish to travel beyond Europe,” Mr Satar said.
”They will be able to choose from 1,064 destinations in 178 countries served by the SkyTeam member airlines.”
The flight will depart from Jakarta (GA088) at 17.55 UTC (00.55 LT) and arrive in Amsterdam at 07.40 UTC (09.40 LT). Meanwhile, the return flight from Amsterdam (GA089) will leave at 10.35 UTC (12.35 LT) and arrive in Jakarta at 00.15 UTC (07.15 LT).
Garuda Indonesia will also reinstate its London service via Amsterdam. 

Summer Campaign 1: Best of Vietnam's Highlights 10 days

Adventure To Launch New Deluxe SIC Tours To Meet The Market Demands

(Hanoi, Vietnam) – is launching summer campaign with the best of Vietnam’s highlights 10 days for hi-class seat-in-coach tour.

The market is changing and offers summer tours for strong markets, ranging from few days on the beach to 10 days North to South in new way to discover Vietnam without breaking travelers’ bank accounts.

The "Best of Vietnam's Highlights 10 days" tour will depart on a daily basis throughout the year from Hanoi and end in Ho Chi Minh City.

In the 10 days, travelers will visit the must-see cities in Vietnam from north to south, stay in luxury hotels and taste different Vietnamese flavors. However, they still have free time to discover destinations on their own. All departures are accompanied by an English-speaking tour guide to ensure the best interpretive experience. However other language speaking guide such as French, German or Spanish is still available on request for certain groups.

This tour meets the expectation of travelers who travel alone or in a small group and want to share their trip with others but still maintain the high standard. Only small groups from 2-12 guests per departure so tailor-made services are ensured. Besides, on the first and the last day, private airport transfers are provided to suit the flight time of each person, therefore travelers will not have to wait so long or arrive too early at the airport. That makes the trip flexible and everyone can master their time. We design the trip to bring the best convenience for them” says Hung Nguyen, Director of Sales and Marketing.

Hi-class seat-in-coach tour is a new trend satisfying the increasing demand of travelers around the world.

It’s not like any other group tour before. We create this chance for visitors who share the same passion of travelling to meet each others. It is guaranteed to depart on any date with a minimum of 2 persons and discount 5% for any group of 4 person booked. Besides, the number of participants is limited to ensure the services of the tour.” Hung says.

Vietnam offers a magical mix of tropical beaches, post-colonial charm, a string of world heritage sites, stunning inland scenery, world-renowned cuisine and a home-grown flair for hospitality. The country also boasts many attractions, including beautiful resorts, spas, majestic scenery, a rich traditional culture, easy going and welcoming locals and an improving tourist infrastructure. This makes Vietnam a more attractive destination for travelers seeking authenticity and Vietnam becomes more affordable.

This fantastic journey includes exploring the treasures of 4 world heritages sites include Hue, Hoi An, My Son and cruise in the wonder of the famous Halong Bay, not to mention many intangible heritages and highlights of each destination.

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Luxury Travel Ltd To Launch New Adventure Travel Division To Benefit Local Communities

Hanoi, Vietnam-- Luxury Travel eyes active vacations and communities by launching its adventure travel department. The brand  has an attractive slogan "creating better places to live and visit" and the company has appointed a voluntourism veteran, Xuan Truong, as head of the new department from 1 June 2014.
 "We are constantly coming up with innovative ideas and looking out for opportunities. We create a new brand for them and let them behave like small independent businesses as part of our 'string of pearls' strategy," said Pham Ha, Founder and CEO of Luxury Travel Ltd.
 “Adventure tourism has evolved over the years from a tiny niche market to become one of the nerve centers of growth and development within the travel industry. This form of traveling is increasingly popular amongst people who’re in search of leisure or holiday destinations combined with vibrant environmental, cultural and natural experiences.”
 Though popularly known for its war history, Vietnam has theperfect setting for outdoor adventure now being discovered by travelers: stunning hills, mountains, valleys, rice paddies and deserted beaches! Travelers can trek in the mountains of Sapa, go cycling on the Ho Chi Minh trail or indulge in rock climbing and kayaking near the colonial hill station of Dalat.
 Verdant patchworks of rice paddies, iconic conical hats, a country ravaged by war, and economic repression – these are the international images of Vietnam seen on worldwide television and read about in the newspapers. But there are other scenes to be found: ones of natural beauty, ethnic culture, and imperial history, of timeless traditional villages, idyllic sea resorts and dynamic cities.
 Even the forests have unique wildlife, which can be experienced at the Cuc Phuong or Nam Cat Tien national parks. Around 70% of Vietnamese live in the countryside and remote mountainous areas and travelers can support communities in need by participating in charity or voluntourism projects, while discovering the country in a responsible way.
 A Condé Nast Traveler report states that in the past year there has been a spike in educational experiences and adventure as a motivation for travel. Condé Nast Traveler points out that adventure travel is no longer solely about risky extreme sports, but about culture, learning and experiencing life.
 “Adventure and luxury used to be at polar ends of the spectrum, but now we’re seeing more and more product coming out that’s a blend of each of them,” said the author of Condé Nast’s report. “People want to go and do some hardcore mountain biking in the day but they still want to come back to a great lodge, great meal, spa and all the other amenities as well.”
 According to the report, adventure travel is defined as going to exotic, far away destinations (84%), exposure to new and different cultures 84%, outdoor/sports activities (54%), safari (49%), not having a planned itinerary (45%),ecotourism/voluntourism (25%) and extreme sports (20%).
 Luxury Travel Ltd ( intends to expand its product range by creating its own specialist brand for the niche adventure market focusing on voluntourism in order to create better places for people to live in and to visit.  Adventure Vietnam will pioneer tourism projects for communities in the north, centre and south of the country to give something back to communities in these regions through sustainable development and poverty reduction.
 “I am excited about our new tourism projects for communities, and proud of being the first company in Vietnam to pioneer ecotourism/voluntourism, and 5% of our net profits will be contributed to LuxCare for our mission to create better places for people to live in and visit. I believe that the special adventure tours of engage the mind, body and spirit of travelers. The beauty of the tour is the first-hand knowledge and truly specialist services provided by local travel experts. ” said Xuan Truong, Adventure Travel Specialist and Head of Department.
 Luxury Travel is headquartered in Hanoi and has offices in Indochina and sales offices in the main markets in the USA, Australia, the UK, Germany and Argentina.
 For interview or information, visit
 About, a division of Luxury Travel Ltd, an award-winning local travel and tour operator/DMC based in Vietnam, mainly focus on responsible tourism for communities and also offer a wide selection of soft adventure tours in the Mekong Region: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar, including hiking, trekking, biking, motorcycling, kayaking, overland tours and family travel packages. The adventure travel packages and customized itineraries will take active travelers through exotic destinations to really experience the culture, history and nature of Vietnam and the Mekong sub region.  
Thank you and best regards,
Doan Hong Linh (Ms)
Marketing Executive