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Hello Vietnam!

Posted by: Prestige Discoveries

For all its fascinating history, breath taking scenery, exotic cuisine and vibrant energy, Vietnam can become your home away from home.

Most well-known international airlines fly into Vietnam from all over the world. Traveling by air is the first choice for travelers within Vietnam. There are three international airports in Vietnam: Noi Bai in Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang in Danang city. Most tour packages commence with the beautiful capital of Hanoi.

Founded over 1000 years ago, Hanoi is rich in history with its streets in the Old Quarter dating back to the 14th century. In the midst of its tree-lined lanes you can hear the bustle of modern cafes, visit world-class restaurants and various art galleries.

Ideally the best time to visit Vietnam is May to October which is the country’s monsoon season. But if you are interested in trekking through the rice paddies in Sapa, then October until December is the time to visit as temperatures are warmer.

One of the most famous tourist spots is the Ha-Long Bay. Travelers can get close and personal with its amazing limestone islands, rock formations and caves. “Hạ Long”, literally means “descending dragon”.

However, there’s much more to northeast Vietnam that Ha Long Bay. The area immediately northeast of Ha Long Bay is part of Bai Tu Long National Park which is in its initial stages as a destination. The best way to see the picturesque islands of Bai Tu Long Bay is from a cruise. The bay and its islands are unpolluted and undeveloped which, for many travelers can be a more relaxing option than Halong Bay.

Vietnam obtained its cultural wealth from thousands of years of history, sprinkled with a handful of outside influences. Through it all, the Vietnamese have retained their strong sense of pride in their traditions and way of life.

As part of our series in exploring Vietnam, we will divide Vietnam into North, Central and Southern Vietnam to give our readers a sense of why Vietnam should be on their visit list.


Explore the Land of the Himalayas

Posted by: Prestige Discoveries

For those seeking adventure, history, mystery and culture, North India is the best region to visit. The essence of the Himalayas is best explored with a journey starting from the sacred city of Amritsar. The Golden Temple has withstood the test of time and is a testimony of unfailing brotherhood and equanimity. Chandigarh, the first planned city of India presents travelers with a modern outlook while Shimla, the summer capital of the British Empire is popular for its landscape. The Toy Train ride on the Kalka-Shimla Railway Line, a UNESCO World Heritage site provides a never-to-be-repeated experienced to tourists.

The pristine beauty of the mountains is reinforced at Dharamshala which is also the seat of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The next stop over is at Rishikesh, the Yoga Capital of the World.

Set deep in the Indian Himalayas on the western edge of the Tibetan plateau, is Ladakh, also known as ’Little Tibet of India. Leh-Ladakh is graced with mountains, valleys, snow covered peaks, frozen lakes, trekking routes, rivers, mountain passes etc. It is an adventure seekers paradise! With its culture closely resembling that of Tibet, the beauty of Ladakh is its remoteness, hidden in the greatest heights of the Himalayan Mountains and the icy glaciers.

The spine-thrilling experience of visiting the higher altitudes from Leh (capital of Ladakh) at 3500 meters to Pangong Lake at 4250 meters can provide life-thrilling experiences to all travelers.

The quickest and most comfortable way to travel to Ladakh is by air. Many flights come into Leh from the metro cities of India like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru.

For tourists seeking extreme adventure, biking to Ladakh is a must. It has the world’s top three highest mountain passes that can be scaled on a vehicle. If choosing to bike there, you can choose one of two scenic routes that are open during the summer months of May-September/October.

Ladakh also hosts several Tibetan cultural festivals. You can witness the cultural extravaganza in September when the Ladakh Festival takes place.

Leh is the cultural heartland of Ladakh with many Buddhist monasteries (gompas), magnificent palaces and serene lakes. From high-altitude scenic treks to white water rafting in the Indus and Zanskar River, Ladakh and North India has numerous ways to indulge you.


Discover Uganda- The Pearl of Africa!

Posted by: Prestige Discoveries

Discover Uganda which is a land locked country in East Africa and home to around 15 primate species, nearly 100 mammals and over 1,000 bird species. Coupled with spectacular scenery this makes Uganda a nature lovers paradise. Winston Churchill affectionately dubbed it as the ‘Pearl of Africa’.

Uganda is also home to Africa’s Big Five animals, the Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo alongside half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. If Mountain Gorilla tracking in Uganda is high on your list of things to do, then Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the place to go. It was recently named as one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is also one of the best places on the planet to go birdwatching.

Uganda has a rich, diverse culture with over 50 tribes all with their own customs and traditions. You can visit schools, farms and cultural/religious sites.

Even though Uganda is a landlocked country, guests can enjoy a beach holiday. One can visit the soft white sands of the Ssese Islands, an archipelago off the shores of Lake Victoria.

Whether you choose to fly or drive, Uganda is easy to get around. A large number of airlines fly into Entebbe International Airport.

Did you know that, even as a landlocked country, guests can enjoy a beach holiday? Visit the soft white sands of the Ssese Islands, an archipelago off the shores of Lake Victoria, for a picture-perfect backdrop.

Not forgetting Kampala itself. As a vibrant, cosmopolitan and modern city, it is home to museums, galleries, shops and international restaurants.

From safari adventures to cultural activities, and road trips to birdwatching tours, Uganda really does have it all. Whatever your choice, you will go home feeling relaxed and refreshed and full of ideas for your next holiday to Uganda.


Dubai – The “Paris of the Middle East”

Posted by: Prestige Discoveries

Dubai, one of the world’s few locations where modern city life, sandy beaches and the desert are all within easy reach. Its captivating charm, distinctive culture and enchanting character perform a luxurious way of living that many have dream about.


In Dubai, there are a vast number of world-class hotels, luxury accommodation at reasonable cost, and very good leisure, entertainment and sporting facilities. One of them is the world’s tallest hotel that offers a staggering view across the city skyline from the observation deck on the 124th floor. Dubai is also known as a shopper’s paradise, with imported goods from around the world available in high quality shopping malls. Its traditional souks is also a very famous attraction for travellers. All the goods are sold tax-free.


Other unique attractions including the Dubai Aquarium which houses 140 species of sea life in the huge suspended tank; Jumeirah Mosque, the most beautiful of Dubai’s mosques and a fine example of Islamic architecture; the Jumeirah Beach, which  has excellent facilities with plenty of sun loungers, restaurants and water-sport operators offering jet skiing.

There is often a perception that Dubai is a playground only of the rich and famous. However, the government is now heavily promoting the city for international tourism. After all, the city will always be family-friendly with a variety of festivals and activities waiting to be discovered.


Turkey – A “Crossroads of Civilization”

Posted by: Prestige Discoveries

Turkey is a paradise of sun, sea, mountains, and lakes that offers the vacationer a complete change from the stress and routine of everyday life.

Images of Turkey recall bazaar stalls filled with vibrant silks and flashy jewels or perhaps sumptuous palaces filled with veiled belly dancers, accompanied by insistent, hypnotic music. A treasure house of history, culture and food (Turkish cuisine is considered one of the world’s greatest), Turkey offers much – much more.

Turkey is characterised by a central plateau surrounded by chains of mountains on the north, west and south and a rugged mountainous region in the east with an average elevation of 1050 metres. In the west, the mountains descend gently towards the sea.

Mount Ararat is the country’s highest mountain peak at 5165 metres or 16,946 feet is, and is situated in the north east. It is believed to have been the resting place for Noah’s Ark.

Pamukkale Calcium Terraces

Due to Turkey’s diverse geography, one can experience four different climates in any one day. The rectangular shaped country is surrounded on three sides by three different seas. Its shores are laced with beaches, bays, coves, ports, islands and peninsulas. The summers are long, lasting as long as eight months in some areas.

Turkey is also blessed with majestic mountains and valleys, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and grottoes perfect for winter and summer tourism and sports of all kinds.

The country is rich with hot springs, healing waters and healing muds, which come highly recommended by the medical authorities as a remedy for many diseases.

Turkey, a country that embraces two continents, is a land of historic treasures from 13 successive civilizations spanning thousands of years. The Western part of the country’s largest city, Istanbul, is in Europe, with the Eastern part in Asia, both divided by the magnificent watercourse known as the Bosphorus.

With a glorious past as the intellectual, cultural and political center of the world, Turkey remains today an extraordinary and cosmopolitan country. We begin and end in Istanbul, the former capital of three successive empires: Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, where last year the city enjoyed the role of 2010 European Capital of Culture.

When you can combine reasonable prices with great things to eat and experiences beyond compare you have a fantastic recipe for a truly unique holiday and journey of a lifetime.


Some things you will find in Turkey:

–          Over 300 natural and 130 artificial lakes

–          Mountain ranges

–          Extinct volcanoes

–          Plateaux with cracks & crevices leading to valleys and plains

–          Three sides of the country surrounded by warm seas

–          More than 10,000 species of plants – 20% of which are found only in Turkey

–          Over 114 species of mammals

–          400 species of indigenous or migratory birds – some of which are extinct in Europe such as the black vulture (Turkey is an important stopover for birds migrating between Africa, Asia and Europe)


Tunisia – The “Pearl of North Africa”

Posted by: Prestige Discoveries

Tunisia has a lot to offer for clients looking to venture into a more unusual destination and yet still feel safe and that some comforts of home are available. Visitors will be surprised at how western the dress is and that English is widely spoken. The food is excellent and there is a great variety of both local and western cuisine to sample at most restaurants and hotels.

Tourists will enjoy the mix of historical ruins (there is a wonderful Roman coliseum at El Djem about 3 hours south of Tunis), the quaintness of the oasis towns and the uniqueness of the Berber homes. For a unique activity from a cultural standpoint a visit to Eden Palm in Tozeur, is a wonderful experience. Eden Palm is a complex containing, a museum devoted to the production of dates, palm use, along with a working palm grove.  Having the ability to learn more about date production at Eden Pam will be an eye opener.

Most westerners will find it difficult to believe there are over 150 varieties of dates. There are adventure activities available such as “camel-riding” and the opportunity to learn about the Berber people and how they have adapted to live in a harsher climate. Many of the finer hotels offer spa programs with some unique treatments which are also perfect for a relaxing getaway or couples retreat. The fact that there is a mix of experiences available is very appealing – spend a couple of days relaxing on a Mediterranean beach, visit some traditional and Roman historical sites, cool off in an oasis and get out into the Sahara.

For shoppers there is quite a variety of goods in the local markets, including local specialties such as pottery, leather goods and carpets. Tunisia is a wonderful cultural experience waiting to be discovered.