• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Sunrise Turtle Landing

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Today we received a quick newsletter from one of our suppliers AfriAsia.  This we thought was a wonderful turtle sighting and experience, and something that you yourself could witness if staying at this luxury resort in Malaysia:

 

Picture courtesy of YTL Hotels and TanJong Jara Resort

 

 

Picture courtesy of YTL Hotels and TanJong Jara Resort

 

 

 

 

This special early morning visit took place on the beach right under one of the resort’s sun umbrellas as the sun began to rise.
Once her eggs had been safely laid, this majestic creature returned to the South China Sea.

The Turtle Hatchery currently holds 25 nests and a total of 2274 eggs – of these, two batches of hatchlings have already been released. Guests have enjoyed witnessing this amazing experience and the Nest Adoption programme has become a great hit.

Picture courtesy of YTL Hotels and TanJong Jara Resort

Picture courtesy of YTL Hotels and TanJong Jara Resort

Hong Kong

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Hong Kong – More than just a city

Back in November, Angie visited Hong Kong and here’s what she thought –

Whilst for many, a visit to Hong Kong is a short city break en route to Australia or New Zealand, in my opinion it has plenty to offer as a ‘stand alone’ destination for a holiday of a week or even longer. With the recent addition of a direct flight between Gatwick and Hong Kong to complement the regular services from Heathrow and Manchester, Hong Kong has never been more accessible.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Alongside the most famous sights of the city, such as the iconic Star Ferry, the many and varied markets, the tram to Victoria Peak and the stunning skyline, there are plenty of things to see and do away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

 

Take a cruise of Victoria Harbour on a traditional junk ship, or take a longer cruise around Hong Kong Island to the south side and the town of Stanley. Home to a fantastic market with arts and crafts amongst other wares, Stanley is well worth a visit along with neighbouring Repulse Bay with its sandy beach and safe swimming.  A visit to Aberdeen Fishing Village can take in the renowned Jumbo Floating Restaurant as well as a sampan boat ride around the floating houseboats.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Spend a day on Lantau Island, taking the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to see the giant Buddha statue. From here, take a bus to Tai O – a traditional fishing village built on stilts over the water, where a sense of the Hong Kong of yesteryear can be understood, and take a boat trip out to see the rare Chinese pink dolphins.

There are many other islands to be explored too – Lamma Island offers a gentle hike between its two main towns, with great seafood restaurants the reward at the end. Cheung Chau Island is most famous for its’ Bun Festival in May, but is also home to plenty of seafood restaurants, a sandy beach and a temple.

A popular pastime for locals is horse racing, and to take in an evening of racing at Happy Valley or Sha Tin is an exciting experience to consider. Hong Kong even has two theme parks to offer – Ocean Park has thrill seeking rides along with a zoo, and is reached via a cable car ride. Disneyland offers fun for all the family in typical Disney style, and is located on Lantau Island.

All in all, a week to ten days in Hong Kong provides all of the ingredients for a great holiday destination – great weather (at the right time of year!), interesting history, fascinating culture and varied experiences.

If you would like to find out more about Hong Kong and put together your own bespoke tailor made itinerary, please contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

 

Visa Advice

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

With entry into many a country requiring the application of a visa or visa waiver prior to travel please do contact us for advice on the best way to do this if you are in any way unsure.  We suggest that you go directly to the embassy or government website concerned where you will be directed to complete the relevant information, and only charged the fee required for the actual visa or visa waiver.  There are many companies set up online who will be eager to action this for you, and in the process will charge you a service fee for doing so – this could amount to you paying well over the odds for your visa/visa waiver. 

We are always happy to provide the website links to the official sites so please do get in touch for assistance.  An ESTA for the USA, an eTA for Canada, an electronic visa for India and also for Sri Lanka are just some (but not all) of the locations where this is necessary.

Please contact us on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Tigers Tigers Tigers…

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Tigers

Being a huge fan of the African bush, when the opportunity came along to get into Central India in the hope of spotting tigers, I was right there. And so I find myself in searing temperatures in the mid 40′s (centigrade that is), sitting in an open safari vehicle in Kahna National Park, long lens attached hoping to spot one of these elusive creatures. Tigers are solitary animals, with males commanding their territory and rarely coming out into the open, so when word got around that there had been a kill, our expert Tajsafari’s guide lost no time in getting to the site. We were rewarded with the sight on a young male tucking into the kill – a young bison that had been brought down earlier that day.

The bison are the kings of this particular jungle and it is rare to see a tiger kill one. Our guide correctly deduced that this male tiger was one of a family still together and it is likely that it took two or three of the family to bring the bison down. This particular family is also quite rare – it is a mother and four cubs, two male and two female, all of whom have survived to nearly a year old. A young litter of this size is difficult for the mother to protect, but she is an experienced mother and has clearly done a superb job!

Tigers

 

As the young male fed, he was joined by one of his sisters and as they filled their bellies and wandered off to a nearby waterhole to drink, the second sister joined in the feast. We did not see mother – she had probably had her fill earlier and was resting up close by while her family ate, keeping a close eye on them and ready to protect them if necessary. At one point, another bison came onto the scene, clearly disturbed at the sight he saw and ready to take on the young male. He was angry, as well he might have been, and we watched quietly as the two had quite a stand off before the bison rightly decided that he was not going to take them on!

Tigers

 

We returned the next morning to the same site, but this time, only the bare bones of the carcass remained – the tiger family had stripped it clean. At the neighbouring waterhole, three of the five tigers lazily wallowed in the water, full bellies and resting up as the heat of the day increased.

We felt truly honoured to have witnessed Mother Nature at her magnificent best. To learn more about tigers in India, call and speak to Jackie on 01323 446550 or emailJackie@experienceholidays.co.uk

Hong Kong…

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Cathay Pacific

With effect from 8th December 2014, Cathay Pacific are launching their new route from Manchester to Hong Kong. This opens up all sorts of Far Eastern and Australasian options for those for whom Manchester is their closest airport. With some excellent fares in economy, premium economy and business class, not only to Hong Kong, but using their connections to Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phuket, Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland this news is a welcome addition to their already excellent services from London Heathrow.

Hong Kong

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

The Far East and Australia/New Zealand are high on many peoples wish list and with exchange rates currently in our favour, this could be the time for you to start planning your next adventure.

Call us on 01323 446550, or email us on info@experienceholidays.co.uk to find out more.

Good News For Locals!

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Picture courtesy of Cathy Pacific Airways Ltd

Picture courtesy of Cathy Pacific Airways Ltd

Good News – Cathay Pacific has announced that they will be launching a new service offering direct flights from Gatwick to Hong Kong four times a week. This is in addition to their longstanding routes between Heathrow and Hong Kong, and between Manchester and Hong Kong.

This new route is great news for those living in the South East wishing to visit Australia and New Zealand, as there will be connections through to key hubs in both countries from Hong Kong.

The new service is due to commence in September 2016 with Cathay Pacific’s new Airbus A350-900 with refreshed Business Class cabin and new Premium Economy Class seats.

Hong Kong makes a great stopover location, as well as a holiday destination in its own right. For more information on this, and how these flights could work well for your future holiday plans, give us a call on 01323 446550, or email us at info@experienceholidays.co.uk.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Honeymoon in Sri Lanka

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

As some of you know, I recently went to Sri   Lanka for just over 2 weeks on my honeymoon. This is my third visit here; the first being back in 1969 as a wandering teenager exploring the world. It was Julie’s first time here – a change from me dragging her to different parts of Africa.

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

IMG_2289

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

We truly loved it from that first breathe of extremely warm air when we got off the plane in Colombo to our final night in colonial splendour in the Galle Face Hotel. With a recorded history longer than ours, ancient ruined cities only rediscovered 150 years ago, fantastic food, beautiful beaches, more wildlife and sea life than you expect and very friendly people, what is there not to like.

 

 

 

There is a huge variety of experiences, climates, scenery and culture to explore and the option of staying in varying levels of accommodation, many of which allow you to explore the locality right outside your room.

  

 

  

Would I recommend Sri Lanka as a holiday destination – Yes I would and it will not be too long before Julie and I return (still so much more to explore)

Look out for more detailed bespoke ideas about touring Sri Lanka on our website or just give me a call to talk about this fabulous destination on 01323 446550 or email peter@experienceholidays.co.uk

Peter

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Top Tips for Japan

Posted on:
Posted by:

Amanda Skingle

 

Picture courtesy of JNTO

Picture courtesy of JNTO

If you are planning a visit to the land of the rising sun, whether it is independent travel, private tour or as part of an escorted group, here are some top tips to note before you travel:

 

–          The best times to take a trip to Japan are either late March/April when the cherry                        blossoms are out or the end of September/October for the autumn colours.

–          A visit to Japan would not be complete without a trip on the bullet train, either as a one               off journey or multiple journeys using a Japan Rail Pass.

–          Stay in a traditional Ryokan (Japanese Inn) and enjoy a Japanese Spa

–          Visit the Snow Monkeys and see them bathing in the hot springs.

–          Japan is a great destination for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.

–          Hiroshima – take a trip to see the AtomicBombMuseum and the MemorialGardens

–          There are two Imperial Palaces for you to visit, one in Tokyo and the other in Kyoto.

–          Japan is largely a cash based society, so most places do not accept credit cards.                             Change your money to Yen before you travel as not all ATMs accept international cards.

 

If you’d like us to help plan your bespoke, tailor made holiday to Japan then please contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk and we would be happy to discuss your personalised itinerary.

Picture courtesy of JNTO

Picture courtesy of JNTO

 

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

Gaya Island Resort

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

 

GIR Pool - cropped

Picture Courtesy Of YTL Hotels

Tucked amidst the protected mangroves and sheltered coral reefs of Borneo and curled around the stunning sandy coast of Malohom Bay you’ll find Gaya Island Resort.

This beachfront resort blends in perfectly with the natural environment and offers a collection of hillside villas with views that feature the mangrove forests and surrounding canopy to the breathtaking Mount Kinabalu.

For the nature lovers among us this is the perfect place to stay and here are just a few reasons why:

–          The Proboscis (Long nosed) monkey – you will have the chance of a lifetime to see these endangered and unique monkeys in the jungle of Gaya Island Resort.

–          Turtle Rescue – this programme was set up to rescue, rehabilitate and release sea turtles. You can find more information about this at the Marine Centre on site.

–          Red Giant Flying Squirrels – take an evening stroll through the resort gardens and keep an eye out for these beautiful animals gliding from branch to branch or foraging for food.

–          Mangrove kayak – let the resident naturalist take you through the 100 year old mangrove jungle. Watch out for mangrove crabs, oriental pied hornbills, monitor lizards and many more fantastic creatures.

 

So if you’d like to know more about a bespoke, tailor made trip to this amazing resort and the island of Borneo please contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk for more information.

Picture Courtesy Of YTL Hotels

 

0001156_0

Picture Courtesy Of YTL Hotels

 

0001157_0

Picture Courtesy Of YTL Hotels

Great Rail Journeys of the World

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

We are often asked what and where is the best rail journey in the world? So in answer to this we have detailed below some of our must do Great Rail Journeys of the World:

  • Consider the luxury rail experience offered by the Eastern and Oriental Express, operating between Singapore and Bangkok and taking two or three nights depending on the direction of travel. Enjoy vistas of tea plantations, rolling farmland, colonial cities and historic temples.
  • Take a rail journey in Vietnam, from the bustling city of Hanoi to the village of Sapa, located in the mountains overlooking spectacular views of the Ta Van valley’s terraced rice fields. The train operates overnight in both directions.
  • Think about the super-fast Shinkansen ‘Bullet Train’ in Japan. There are a number of routes on offer, but no trip to Japan is complete without at least one trip in the iconic Bullet Train.
Picture courtesy of JNTO

Picture courtesy of JNTO

 There are three iconic rail journeys available in New Zealand, one on the North Island, and two on the South.

  • On the North Island, the Northern Explorer runs from Auckland to Wellington through diverse countryside comprising of rolling farmland, towering viaducts and beautiful hidden valleys.
  • On the South Island, the Tranz Alpine train runs from Christchurch in the east to Greymouth in the west through stunning scenery. A stop is made in the small mountain town of Arthur’s Pass, where a stay enables a closer inspection of this Alpine region.  The Coastal Pacific runs from Picton (tying in perfectly with the ferry from Wellington on the NorthIsland)  south to Christchurch. This rail journey stops in Kaikoura en route, where a stay gives the opportunity to take a whale watching cruise.

 

  • An impressive and popular rail journey on the Devil’s Nose section of railway in Ecuador could be a part of your holiday itinerary.  Named Devil’s Nose due to the many deaths amongst workers as well as difficulty of building it, the route connects the Alausi and Sibambe stations taking a stunning trip down the rocky slopes of the Andes through breath-taking scenery.
  • Board the tourist train in Peru taking you on a journey through the Urubamba Valley or Sacred Valley of the Incas, to the marvellous mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu.
  • One of the more popular rail routes is the Coast Starlight which takes you along the west coast between Seattle and Los Angeles stopping in Portland along the way. Why not take a day out of your itinerary to treat yourself by taking a trip on the Napa Valley Wine Train where you can relax on-board the exquisitely restored vintage rail cars and experience fine dining service, multiple course meals and the stunning Napa Valley scenery. Most people see the Grand Canyon from the skies but since 1901 the Grand Canyon Railway has been taking people right through the heart of this amazing place and you could be one of them, you’ll feel like you’re travelling back in time. For something a little different during your visit to Colorado why not travel along the 45 miles of 3 foot narrow gauge track on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway which has been running since 1881. However long your journey is travelling by rail is a definite must do during your USA holiday.
Picture courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer

Picture courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer

  • The most famous rail journey in Canada has to be the Rocky Mountaineer. With a variety of routes available you can spend a couple of days or a couple of weeks on board. One of the more popular routes is the Journey through the Clouds which takes you between Vancouver and Jasper with an overnight stop in Kamloops. With different grades of      service available this is a must no matter how big or small your budget is. If you want to travel the width of Canada in comfort and without missing the scenery as you concentrate on driving then take a ride on The Canadian. In the space of four nights and three days, you’ll get to see the lakes in Northern Ontario, the lush boreal forest, the western Prairies, and the magnificent Rocky Mountains as you travel between historical Quebec and modern Toronto.
  • Australia has some of the most iconic rail journeys in the world. There isn’t enough room here to talk about them all but here are some to whet your appetite. The Indian Pacific gets its name because it covers 4352km between Perth on the Indian Ocean and Sydney on the Pacific Ocean. The whole journey takes three nights, although you can break it up with a stop in Adelaide. You’ll travel through a variety of landscapes from towns and cities to the desert like Nullarbour Plain, from the outback to the forest of the Blue Mountains. So we’ve taken you East and West, but what if you want to go North and South? Named after the Afghan Cameleers who travelled this route, the Ghan will take between Darwin in the North to Adelaide in the South going straight through the centre of Australia. If it’s just a day on a train that you would prefer then a trip on the Kuranda Scenic Railway is perfect. It was built between 1882 and 1891 and is made up of 15 hand made tunnels and 37 bridges taking you from Cairns into the Barron Gorge National Park on your way to Karunda, known as the village in the rainforest.

 

  • Africa has a wealth of train experiences that cover the whole spectrum from world leader to leaving a lot to desire.  Rovos Rail has exciting itineraries that stretch from Pretoria, in South Africa through all their southern neighbouring countries and even a trip to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Where possible they travel during the day. The Blue Train is another South African luxury train that travels from Johannesburg to Durban and Cape Town or vice versa.
Picture courtesy of SA Tourism

Picture courtesy of SA Tourism

For further information, and for assistance planning your next bespoke, tailor made holiday which could incorporate one of these great rail journeys, please call us on 01323 446550, email us at  info@experienceholidays.co.uk 

 

 

 

img.centered { display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; }

Newsletter

To receive all the latest tips an advice enter your email address below

 

CLICK HERE >>> to see Newsletter Archives.

Follow Us

 

Experience Holidays is fully bonded under the Civil Aviation Authority ATOL scheme and is a member of the Worldchoice Consortium.
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays sold by us on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate
Book your holiday with confidence, safe in the knowledge that your money is protected and your holiday is in safe hands.