What makes the perfect holiday ?
Is it the destination, the hotel, the food, the culture, the people or the activities you undertake when you get there.
It is a combination of all the above, but it can also be the reason your holiday is not the perfect escape you were expecting. We all differ in our aspirations of what makes the perfect holiday. Some of us research for hours to find that perfect escape and others our happy to grab a last minute deal. What might be the perfect holiday for one person may be anothers worst nightmare. So what can you do to make your next holiday the trip of a lifetime?
This may sound like I am teaching you to suck eggs but it is the basics that normally come back to bite you, have travel insurance, know the duration of your flight and get to the airport in plenty of time. Book through a fully bonded ABTA and ATOL agent whilst you may get cheaper online for your accommodation and flight separately, you will not be ATOL protected. Read reviews on Trip Advisor but do not take them as gospel as I said before one persons perfect holiday is another’s nightmare.
If you do book yourself, make sure you input your API (advanced passenger information) and print of your boarding passes for both outbound and inbound flights. It is now common practice for airlines to do spot checks on your travel insurance and you can be turned away if it is not valid. If you are travelling to the USA you now need one of the new digital passports and cannot go to the USA if you do not have one.
This may sound simple but research if you need inoculations, it could stop that Dehli belly or something more serious. Always a “must do” when travelling to faraway destinations. Always learn a little of the culture of the destination and even a few words of the local language it all makes the trip more memorable.
Check the FCO website for updates on travel in the country of your choice.
Alternatively you can take the stress out of your holiday planning and allow someone like a travel consultant to do your research, plan your trip with you and ensure your holiday is that perfect escape you have always dreamed of.
Koh Samui also known as Ko Samui is the second largest island of Thailand after Phuket, but the largest of the 80 in the Chumphon Archipelago which form the Ang Thong National Marine Park which is great for kayaking and snorkelling. Home to 40,000 residents of which 90% are Buddhist. The palm-fringed shoreline and coconut and fruit cultivation of the coastal lowlands rise to a central granite massive, the slopes of which are cloaked in virgin rainforest. At 25 km long and 21 km wide, Koh Samui is big enough for serious exploration by the adventurous and fit, but can be circumnavigated in just a couple of hours by motorbike or car.
Koh Samui may not be the country’s most beautiful island, but it is still an oasis of natural beauty with its white sandy beaches, dazzling coral, luscious lagoons, picturesque waterfalls, swaying coconut trees and crystal clear water. The water at Bophut Beach, though, is often murky, especially around December.
Unfortunately, development on Koh Samui is starting to take its toll and the beaches of Chaweng and Lamai are overcrowded in the high season.
At present there are no direct flights to Koh Samui. Malaysia and Eva Air offer 1 stop flights from Heathrow via Kuala Lumpur to Koh Samui. Etihad from Heathrow to Abu Dhabi, Bangkok and Koh Samui and Emirates from Gatwick to Dubai, Bangkok and Koh Samui. With no direct flights bear in mind the ground-time as not all connecting flights dovetail in a timely manner. Another option is to split the holiday with a few days and nights in Bangkok.
Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach – have been seriously developed over the last ten years turning them from hippy hangout to “party central” packed with bars and night clubs.
Mae Nam Beach This quiet beach, located in the north of the island is decent enough for swimming and sunbathing, especially for families with children, due to the shallow water.
Bophut Beach situated in the north of the island, is a popular starting point for diving tours. The place isn’t in any way as developed as Chaweng but there are still plenty of restaurants, shops, and bars.
Choengmon Beach is in northeast Samui just 10 minutes from Chaweng. Unlike the latter it is a perfect place for relaxing.
Big Buddha Beach Located in northeast Samui, Big Buddha offers visitors good swimming and lovely views. The area has developed a lot over the past few years and there are now many restaurants, shops, and bars.
Nathon – The island’s major seafront settlement where shops, restaurants, and tour agencies are concentrated.
Laem Yai – Set on the Northwest tip of the island, a secluded beach overlooking the islands of Ang Thong
Samui South Beach – the small beaches of Ban Hua Thanon, Na Khai, Laem Set, Bang Kao and Thong Krut
Namtok Hin Lat – This waterfall is easily accessible by car. Some of the numerous tiny levels have large basins for swimmers.
Namtok Na Mueang – A local road leads to the Na Mueang 1 Waterfall. A walk of about 30 minutes ends up at the more scenic Na Mueang 2 Waterfall. Purple rocks surround the stream of water, which gushes in from an impressive height of around 79 m.
Old House – This Chinese-style house, aged almost 200 years, represents Samui’s cultural identity. Grandpa Si and Grandma Maen Hancharoen, the present owner, open the house to visitors.
Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks – These odd-looking rocks situated on Lamai Beach bear a striking resemblance to male and female sexual organs and they have turned into one of the island’s biggest attractions. Truly Mother and Father Nature at its best.
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand with over 11 million inhabitants. Sitting on the banks of the Chao Phraya River Bangkok is one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities with magnificent temples and palaces, authentic canals, busy markets and a vibrant nightlife that has something for everyone. A national treasure house that is Thailand’s spiritual, cultural, political, commercial, educational and diplomatic centre.
Just 14° above the equator, Bangkok is a tropical metropolis that is also one of the most traveller-friendly cities in Asia. A furious assault on the senses awaits visitors as they are immediately confronted by the heat, the humidity, the pollution and the irrepressible smile that accompanies many Thais. Crime is low in the city so safe to travel around.
Like all major cities Bangkok has around 50 districts. Around Siam Square you will find the modern commercial area, with modern malls and hotels. Silon Road area is the financial district by day, but when the sun goes down are when the quarters like the infamous Patpong come alive. Rattanakosin between the river and downtown lies the densely packed “Old Bangkok”, home to Bangkok’s best-known sights, such as the Grand Palace and Wat Pho Temple. Sanam Luang Square is where major festivals are celebrated and marks the centre of historical Bangkok.
Please remember strict dress code has to be observed when visiting the Palace and all the temples. Dress lightly but you do need to cover up. Because of the humidity make sure you drink plenty of water, there are plenty of outlets to buy bottled water and water refill stations for as little as 1 baht.
Image of Grand Palace
Ratashadaphisek district since its connection to the metro has become an entertainment mecca for the locals. The side roads of “Ratchada” are popular clubbing spots, as is Royal City Avenue (RCA). Along Yaowarat Road you will find Bangkok’s Chinatown, while Phahurat Road is the home of the city’s sizable Indian community. This multicultural district is filled with temples, shrines, seafood restaurants and street markets.
Getting around the city there are various options from local taxis, rail and bus and regular services from Suvarnabhumi Airport, located 30km east, into the city. If travelling to Downtown and Siam Square then a trip on the futuristic BTS Skytrain is a must.
You can take a boat trip around the canals to get a better view of the waterside districts.
From the Chatuchak Weekend Market that has more than 8,000 stalls selling anything and everything under the sun, to roaming the stalls of street food, whether air conditioned Malls and Restaurants there is plenty to enjoy in Bangkok.
Asides from being the producer of some of the world’s greatest coffee, Java is an incredible Indonesian island with a lot to offer even the most intrepid traveller. Boasting breathtaking jungle, undulating grassland hills, tropical wildlife, bustling cities and impressive volcanoes, a tour of this island alone would make an exceptional holiday.
We began our trip to Java after staying on the beautiful island of Bali. The two islands virtually touch – travel between each island only involves a short 30 min ferry trip from Gilimanuk across the Java Strait. Once we embarked at Banyuwangi (Ketapang) in Java, we were picked up by pre-booked road transport to take us across the large island and up into the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, which encircles the magnificent Mount Bromo.
The journey to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park takes you across a picturesque panorama – coffee plantations, towering areas of bamboo and the telltale shapes of a string of volcanoes in the distance. Java is located on the famous pacific Ring of Fire and is one of the most volcanically active areas in the world. Although home to nearly 57% of the Indonesian population, most Javanese people live in the big cities of Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Medan and Semarang. Outside of these cities, the countryside feels quiet and remote, with only small villages peppering the landscape.
We stayed in a cosy lodge hotel with a very welcoming host, who gave us an interesting insight into Javanese culture and history. Despite the generally warm climate in Java, the air had cooled considerably as we climbed higher into the mountainous foothills. If you plan to stay at this altitude, you will need to bring some warm layers with you. After a delicious Indonesian supper, we headed to bed at 9pm, preparing ourselves for our next-day volcano adventure.
After a very early start at 3am, we awoke weary but excited. It was really cold at this hour, so we wrapped ourselves up in jumpers, scarves and woolly hats. Our pick-up drove us to Pananjakan, the highest peak where we walked for 15 minutes until we reached the viewing platform. The sun rose majestically across a sea of white clouds which soon dispersed, revealing an ethereal unworldly vista. We felt as if we were standing on another planet. With plenty of people selling snacks, drinks and goods, we swapped our own hats for thicker woolly ‘Mount Bromo’ labelled hats to keep our heads warm from the cold mountain air. Once you are able to pull yourself away from the spectacular view, you can either walk or pony-trek back down the mountain.
From the Pananjakan peak, our guide drove us to the alien landscape of the Ijen crater. This part of the tour involves some trekking, but when you finally reach the sulfuric crater, it is well worth the walk. Wearing goggles and masking our noses from the egg and ammonia smelling fumes, you can literally see and hear the steaming bellows of the volcano. You will also see the Kawah Ijen Crater Lake; a stunning aqua-marine acid lake. If you are feeling daring, it is possible to trek to the crater lake at night to witness the eerie blue flames, which are a result of a mix of hydrochloric acid and burning lakeside vents. Kawah Ijen Crater Lake has been described as “the world’s largest acid soup”.
After several hours of volcano-hopping, we returned to relax in our hill-cabin for the rest of the day, taking in the clean air and enjoying the delicious local Javanese coffee. The next morning, we started our long journey to the bustling city of Surabaya. As you’re weaving your way through the twists and turns of rural hills, there are coffee plantations and more nature reserves along the way, which you can also book into your trip. Visit the famous Seloliman Nature Reserve located on the slopes of the Penanggungan volcano, which is sacred in Hindu mythology.
In truth, Surabaya is only worth visiting as a travel hub to get to your next destination. Located 3 hours away from Mount Bromo, it has the nearest airport with cheap flights to multiple Indonesian, Malaysian, and other international destinations. Due to Surabaya also being a business hub, you will find high quality hotels at decent prices, so it is well worth taking the opportunity to enjoy a bit of luxury before you fly to your next stop.
If you are interested in traveling to Java or another part of Indonesia, please call Not Just Travel on 01455 240522. Whether you’re interested in a stop-off, a bespoke tour or an all-inclusive holiday, we will always tailor your trip to meet your needs.
The Raffles Hotel – Singapore is currently undergoing a careful and sensitive restoration that is being carried out in three phases.
Phase One has begun in February 2017 and Phase Two started on 13 August 2017. While most of the hotel is currently closed for restoration, a selection of suites and the Raffles Gift Shop continue to be available. All dining experiences, including Singapore Sling, will be served at Bar & Billiard Room. As our spa, pool and fitness centre facilities will not be available, special arrangements have been made for our guests to enjoy these facilities at our sister property, Fairmont Singapore that is located just across the street.
Phase Three will start middle of December 2017 with the hotel fully closed. A grand reopening is planned middle of 2018. To learn more about the restoration.
The year was 1887 when the doors to the Raffles Hotel – Singapore first opened. Since then, this luxury five star hotel in Singapore has become an icon that epitomises the romance of the Far East – an intoxicating blend of luxury, history and colonial design.
Situated in the heart of the business and civic district, Raffles Singapore is a veritable oasis in the city. Its classic colonial architecture has been perfectly preserved and provides a stark but lively contrast against its modern-skyscraper neighbours.
Through the decades, liveried Sikh doormen have welcomed some of the most famous personalities, from writers to celebrities, politicians and members of royalty, such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
No visit to Singapore is complete without a stay at this iconic all-suite luxury Singapore hotel. Each suite features period furnishings, lofty 14-foot ceilings and modern conveniences expected of a 21st-century hotel. Raffles butlers, legendary for their charming and graceful service are available to fulfil requests both ordinary and extraordinary.
With the Long Bar closed for restoration, the Singapore Sling will be served at Bar & Billiard Room till middle of December 2017.
Phase One has begun since February 2017 with Long Bar, Long Bar Steakhouse, Raffles Courtyard, Ah Teng’s Bakery, the Shopping arcade and our banqueting facilities closing for restoration. The Singapore Sling experience has moved to the Bar & Billiard Room.
All of our event venues are currently closed for restoration and new, reimagined spaces will reopen in Fall 2018 along with the grand reopening of the hotel with a refreshed look and updated technology.
Phase Two has since started on 13 August 2017 involving restoration works on some hotel suites and the hotel lobby. While most of the hotel is currently closed for restoration, a selection of suites and the Raffles Gift Shop continue to be available. All dining experiences, including Singapore Sling, will be served at Bar & Billiard Room. As our spa, pool and fitness centre facilities will not be available, special arrangements have been made for our guests to enjoy these facilities at our sister property, Fairmont Singapore that is located just across the street.
Phase Three will start in the middle of December 2017 where the hotel will be fully closed.
A grand reopening is planned for Fall 2018.
The restoration of Raffles Hotel – Singapore is designed to ensure that we retain what is so special about Raffles – the ambiance, the service, the charm and the heritage of the hotel. It is also designed for Raffles Singapore to stay relevant and distinctive by moving with the times and with its guests and adapting to the changing needs of the well-travelled and Singapore’s community. With a planned reopening in Fall 2018, you can expect to experience Raffles’ charming ambiance and legendary service and enjoy newly opened bars, restaurants, courtyards, and social areas; spaces designed to make Raffles the place to meet, spend time, shop and celebrate.
During this time, we will continue to deliver the level of service and comfort that is expected of Raffles in all remaining areas. It is our priority that our guests will be able to continue to enjoy their stay with us, receiving our best care and attention at all times.
The Raffles Hotel Original Singapore Gin Sling Cocktail
1 1⁄2 ounces gin
1⁄2 ounce cherry heering
1⁄4 ounce Cointreau liqueur
1⁄4 ounce benedictine
4 ounces pineapple juice
1⁄2 ounce lime juice
1⁄3 ounce grenadine
1 dash bitters
Shake with ice.
Strain into an ice filled collins glass.
Garnish with cherry and slice of pineapple.
15 ml Cherry Brandy.
120 ml Pineapple Juice.
15 ml Lime Juice.
7.5 ml Cointreau.
7.5 ml Dom Benedictine.
10 ml Grenadine.
A Dash of Angostura Bitters.
Garnish with a slice of Pineapple and Cherry.
Sister to the Kindat and identical in design the RV Kalaw was launched with her in 2014. RV Kalaw is named after the PS Kalaw launched in 1917 and sunk in 1942 in the War. Paul Strachan witnessed the salvaging of the Kalaw in 1998 and managed to acquire her name plate and bell, the former of which has been reused on her namesake. Again this ultra light ship combines one of the shallowest drafts on the river with one of the highest passenger space ratios afloat.
The ship has quality mountain bikes for your independent exploration.
RV KALAW ACCOMMODATION
WINING & DINING
SAFETY & SECURITY
The first ship we built in Vietnam in 2008, the OP has seen service in five countries now – Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysian Borneo and now Burma. Where next? And in each of these countries she was re-commissioned according to local religious rites – Confucian, Budddhist, Animist and now she is a Buddhist again in the Golden Land. Despite a huge mileage the Orient chugs along as if fresh from the yard. Her design was based on the Tonle Pandaw, which was copied in every detail by the Vietnamese and indeed this design has been repeated three times on her three – all larger thirty cabin vessels.
The ship has quality mountain bikes for your independent exploration.
RV ORIENT ACCOMMODATION
WINING & DINING
SAFETY & SECURITY
Clear waters, warm winds and the thrill of adventure at sea, island hopping. Whether you’re a newbie looking to find your sea legs, or an old hand who already knows the ropes, we offer sailing holidays for sailors of all ability and experience levels. Go your own way and relish ultimate freedom on a bareboat charter. Or blend superb sailing with lively socials and the support of a lead crew on a Sunsail flotilla. Looking to take things easy? Add a professional skipper and let them tackle the hard work as you enjoy the cobalt seas and chase endless horizons.
Creating the world’s finest charters doesn’t happen overnight. It comes from years of experience. Years spent listening to and acting on what sailors want from a yachting holiday. And we keep refining Sunsail Holidays to make them even better. That way they don’t just live up to your expectations, but go beyond your wildest dreams.
Our sailing holidays span 25 worldwide destinations, from the magical Mediterranean to the colourful Caribbean and even more remote and exotic destinations. We’ll take you to the world’s best cruising grounds. All you have to do is choose which option suits you best, and prepare to set sail.
BVI Flotilla sailing holidays Sailing schools
Croatia Flotilla sailing holidays Sailing schools
Greece Flotilla sailing holidays Sailing schools
Italy Flotilla sailing holidays
Spain Flotilla sailing holidays
Portsmouth Sailing schools
Thailand Sailing schools
Whitsundays Sailing schools
The freedom and flexibility to set your own itinerary and sail independently.
Let a Sunsail skipper take control; perfect for those new to sailing.
Social sailing in the world’s best destinations guided by our expert lead boat.
We’ll support your journey to becoming an independent sailor in the UK and abroad.
Our world-class fleet of nearly 500 yachts means you’re sure to find the perfect boat for your sailing holiday. Enjoy the beamy proportions of a well-appointed catamaran or relish the exhilarating open water performance of a monohull. From cosy 32 footers perfect for couples’ getaways all the way up to roomy 53 footers ideal for families and groups, we have a yacht for every holiday and every destination.
Ultimate sailing performance
With its classic, single hulled template, the monohull is the original sailboat. Designed with performance in mind, our monohulls give you optimal control whether the conditions are flat and calm or rough and wild.
Choose from our world-class fleet of monos, ranging from compact 32 footers to spacious 53 footers. Our scrupulously maintained, well appointed yachts offer every creature comfort, as well as power aids including electric winches and the latest furling systems. Catch a mistral in the Med or tame Vancouver’s Salish Sea—these elegant yachts deliver whether you’re heading upwind or down.
Classic Yachts: Our Classic Yachts are usually no more than eight years old, meticulously maintained and well equipped to provide you with great value and an excellent, rewarding sailing experience.
Premier Yachts : With a maximum of three years’ service under their belts, our Premier Yachts offer a high standard of comfort and performance coupled with the latest technology and equipment.
Premier Plus Yachts : have fewer than 12 months’ service behind them. These brand new yachts offer optimal comfort and performance, with the highest standard in technology, equipment and amenities.
Stable, spacious and comfortable
Comfort is king in a catamaran. The twin-hulled design of a catamaran guarantees spacious proportions, full height cabins, on-deck lounging areas and a wide cockpit for maximum space and comfort. Designed by expert multihull specialists Robertson and Caine, Sunsail catamarans are all about stability, simplicity and the space to roam.
If you want more details then contact Tracy Allen on 01455 240522 or email : email@example.com