now browsing by category
Barely three months ago, were bombs detonated in popular resorts in Phuket and Hua Hin on successive dates. It inevitably raised concern and panic, especially among the hospitality and tourism sector. But most importantly they are worried that it will stain the beautiful image of the country as a crowd puller among tourists. After all, Thailand has consistently attracted millions of tourists on a yearly basis, and consistently for decades now. Many golfers that were in the area on a Golf Tour were worried when the incident happened, but organizers in several golf club in Thailand were professional and quick to appease them.
It was a short-lived anxiety and within a few days, there was business as usual, even in the tourism industry. Thailand gets 10,000 golfers per year just from one gold tourism organizer alone. The catch? ‘Golf in a Kingdom’, a golf trail so elite that links the country’s top courses together. A total of seven of these golf club in Thailand, particularly in Hua Hin and Chiang Mai are linked together in ‘Golf in a Kingdom’.
When the bombing incident happened, the golfers just went on golfing. They were assured that the golf course is the safest place at that point, which is true, as the security was tight. The golfers stuck to their golf itineraries because the staff in the golf tour industry were all very professional and reassuring. Aside from the golf tour staff, there was immediate action from the authorities as well. Nothing is more reassuring than the authorities making it feel safe and sound, as per a tourist visiting from Australia. Justin Brown who is from Melbourne also added that if he had visited Thailand few days after the bombing and nobody told him about it, he wouldn’t have noticed such an incident have happened as the police were doing a great job. Paul Dean, who was from Perth, also agreed with Brown. Mark Siegel, an American who moved to Thailand in 2005 and owned a golf tour business, said that in the last decade that he stayed in Thailand, he noticed that the people are always resilient and quick to shrug off unfortunate events to move on. The country set itself a steep goal of 33 million Tourist visit for 2016, and as of this writing, the Tourism Authority of Thailand said they are still on track to meet the projection.
Comic-Con International is one of the biggest cosplay conventions held annually. This convention is full of visual treats. Famous celebrities grace their presence during Comic-Con, and studios start promoting upcoming movie releases, etc. However, the most significant part of a convention is the attendance of fans who take part in cosplaying and dressing up.
Cosplay is shortened from costume play. This simply refers to persons dressing up as superheroes or characters. Movie Costumes are the most commonly used form of costume play. Other costumes are taken from video games and comic books. The popularity of cosplay escalated when Japanese manga became popular in the United States in the 90s.
Anyone is welcome to cosplay. Cosplayers are everywhere but they usually go out in multitude during conventions like Comic-Con. In conventions, these cosplayers get to show off their amazing costumes to fans who can recognize their characters.
Cosplays are done since participating in them is fun. This is just like any other hobby or form of leisure. The main reason is that cosplayers enjoy it.
There is also a term called crossplay where a person dresses up of a different gendered character. An example is below.
There are also varying levels of commitment. Some will go to extreme lengths to personalize and prepare their costumes by hand. Some people see cosplaying as a performance art, and some design their costumes for weeks to compete in competitions.
There are competitions for cosplaying. In San Diego Comic-Con, it is called Masquerade. The cosplayers showcase their costumes in front of judges and audiences to win prizes.
Other people have made this a career. They start by showcasing their skills at events in order to get jobs in costume designing.
There has been some controversies in relation to this especially for women cosplayers. Women characters in comics are depicted unrealistically in terms of body proportions. Some are also scantily dressed. Aside from this, women are bullied due to weight as being too fat to partake in cosplays. There are also harassment happening in conventions. This is an ugly downside when cosplaying is made for fun. The good thing is there are movements against these issues which are gaining popularity.
Book a night train from Hanoi to Sapa when time is limited to squeeze in trekking in the rice terraces of Sapa in the Lao Cai province. Although there are many other activities that can be done in Sapa, trekking is a way to experience the real Sapa and interact with the locals.
Taking the night train from the Hanoi train station is not a hassle since there are a lot of schedules starting from 8 in the evening. The train ride usually takes 7-8 hours in average and stops in the Lao Cai station. From there, you can hire a taxi or ride a minibus to Sapa for 1 hour. Even before you reach Sapa, you will be greeted by a beautiful landscape of mountain ranges with rice paddies.
Once in Sapa, you can now start with the trekking. There are full day and half day hikes depending on your preference. It is best to hire a local guide from the hill tribes. These hill tribesmen have lived in the mountains their whole lives and it is like them showing you their homes. They also know the best spots to go since they know the place too well.
After meeting up with a tour guide, the trek will begin with an hour journey up the beautiful green mountains of Sapa. Below, you can see rice paddies along the hills.
The gorgeous views of the rice paddies in Sapa might overwhelm you but that is the point of the trip.
The descent through muddy hills can be tricky but with proper trekking shoes and attire, there isn’t anything challenging you can’t face. You will pass through farm houses and some villages. You will meet a lot of friendly locals along the way. Don’t forget to smile!
You can even have an encounter with water buffalos along the way.
To make the most out of the experience, be sure to come prepared. You should pack light and not bring unnecessary things during the trek. Make sure to bring snacks and water. Lastly, take a lot of pictures.
The best part of traveling is opening your heart and mind to new experiences. You will meet different people and you will experience various cultures. Travelling however can also become a challenge because you have to ensure that you do not get lost during your tour around a city.
I arrived in Japan on a Friday afternoon and after the long flight I was just too eager to get out of the airport and experience the city of Tokyo. My friend James was patiently waiting for me and we quickly got out of the overcrowded airport to take a bus to where he lives. All around us were thousands of cars and people and it was simply overwhelming.
James accompanied me on the tour around the city. I don’t think I am prepared to face the challenge of visiting Tokyo alone because I would surely get lost in the huge crowd. We walked to the Imperial Gardens and then to the Ginza Shopping Market where we ate a late breakfast at a tiny Ramen Noodle restaurant that tasted authentically Japan.
From there we took a bus to the other side of Tokyo that looks almost like New York Times Square at its busiest. There we met with some of James friends so that we can try the hundreds of vending machines that we found in almost every corner of the arcade. We also tried some of the video games and paid for an hour at a private karaoke booth.
Afterwards, we ate at one of restaurants that serve authentic Japanese cuisine. The meal was typical Japanese with sushi, oysters, rice with miso soup and tempura. Without much hesitation, I grabbed my chopsticks and started on the sushi. It tastes different from the sushi served in Japanese restaurants back home.
It was my daughter’s birthday wish to visit Disneyland Hong Kong. We arrived on a hot sunny Wednesday afternoon at the Hong Kong International Airport and decided to take a taxi to our hotel. There was public transport everywhere but I was uncertain if the bus will pass by our hotel at Disney Resort. I certainly do not intend for the family to get lost on our first day in Hong Kong.
Disneyland is a must see in Hong Kong even for adult travellers. The park is quite huge with exciting rides and lot of activities. It took us more than 20 minutes to travel from the airport to Disneyland Resort. There are two hotels inside the resort that are decorated in the typical Disneyland theme. The kids were obviously ecstatic with happiness and anticipation at finally seeing Mickey Mouse in person.
As we walked through the streets of Disneyland, we had the opportunity to meet some of the well-loved Disney characters. Everything was so beautiful and breathtaking. We proceeded to Tomorrow Land where there were long queues to enter the halls. It seems that Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster is a crowd favorite as well as the Space Mountain with its famous indoor roller coaster.
Our next stop was Fantasy Land where we enjoyed the 3D movie of this colorful mini world of Donald Duck and the Golden Mickeys. We also tried the famous “It’s a Small World” where we took a boat ride to see the moving statues of different Disney characters.
The food inside Disneyland restaurants is actually good and it is not as expensive as expected. The security guards at the gate informed us that we are not allowed to bring in food and drinks. All sorts of food including snacks were available and but the attention of the kids were on the stuffed toys and Disney costumes.
Overall, Disneyland is one of those good places to experience being a child all over again. However, the family has other plans because we intend to go and visit Victoria Peak tomorrow. Friends have been telling us to visit Victoria Peak so that we can view Hong Kong and its twinkling lights after dark.