Friday, 25 July 2014

Indian Ocean holidays with Escape Worldwide

The islands of the Indian Ocean are amongst the most beautiful in the world, and we’re huge
fans of this region having visited most parts of it over the years. From the castaway beaches
of the Maldives to the culture of India & Sri Lanka, this is a truly fascinating part of the world.

Holidays to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a particular favourite of ours and we’ve all been several times - to our mind the best way to see this island is with your own private car & driver, to explore the interior before heading to the beach - or onwards to the Maldives. Sri Lanka is one of the friendliest destinations you’re likely to visit, with an incredible history and beautiful scenery.

Beach holidays to the Maldives

The nearby islands of the Maldives are just dots on the map, but their beauty really does take your breath away. Each island is individual so getting the right one is important - some have loads of facilities, some are total chill-out. Our favourites include stylish Velassaru, Kuramathi Island with is range of dining options, and chilled Reethi Island.

Stunning Beaches of Mauiritus

The beautiful island of Mauritius offers quality accommodation including some of the best family facilities in the Indian Ocean. The island itself is well worth exploring for its scenery and interesting culture, although we struggle to be dragged away from the beach!

Beaches of the Seychelles

The Seychelles are the epitome of island paradise, where rainforest comes down to the beach and the emphasis is on relaxation rather than exploration - the perfect destination for a special trip such as a honeymoon or anniversary.

Escape Worldwide - Home of Long Haul Holidays

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Africa with Escape Worldwide

Africa is a real passion of ours - we’ve all been, and there’s nothing like being on the Masai
Mara at sunrise, exploring the dunes of Namibia’s Sossusvlei or experiencing the Serengeti
during the annual wildebeest migration. From Cape Town to Zanzibar, we’re hooked!
A good safari will combine different areas to give you a variety of wildlife and landscapes. A driving safari is great value and really opens up a country, while a flying safari makes easy work of long distances by light aircraft. 

Holidays to Zanzibar

A safari in Kenya is like working your way through a guidebook of game, while the national parks of Tanzania are incredibly varied. Hot air ballooning is possible in some locations. It’s easy to follow most itineraries with a stay on the beach, with the likes of Mombasa and Zanzibar being perfect for a beach break with or without a safari!

Safari holidays to Kenya

South Africa is one of our favourites, and lends itself perfectly to a fly-drive or escorted tour with its mix of history and culture, breathtaking scenery and superb food & wine - start an adventure in Cape Town, one of the world’s most magical cities. 

Holiday to Sossusvlei and the Namib-Nakluft National Park, Namibia

Nearby Namibia combines incredible natural beauty with excellent wildlife opportunities, and again lends itself well to a fly-drive option. Elsewhere in Southern Africa, Zambia is home to the incredible Victoria Falls, which should be on anyone’s ‘must see’ list, while Botswana is one of Africa’s friendliest countries and offers extraordinary wildlife experiences such as canoe safaris. Sometimes its hard to know where to start with an African adventure, so we’d be delighted to help!

See all our African Holidays at:

Escape Worldwide - Home of Long Haul Holidays

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Karen has just got back from Thailand........

Exploring Bangkok on the canal boatsKaren just got back from a superb trip to Thailand, taking in city, countryside and beach in a three-centre trip - Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin. Today, back in the office, she's full of tales about riding elephants, learning Thai cookery, visiting floating markets and singing karaoke (there was quite a lot of Singha beer involved!) so we thought we'd bring you some of her highlights from her trip, plus details of how you can do the exact same trip too (the karaoke is optional!)


"My trip started in Bangkok, which is a place I've been to a few times before, but there's always so much to see and do - it would be hard for me to visit Thailand and not have at least a few days in Bangkok! I spent a full day exploring the city, travelling by skytrain, tuk tuk and boat to take in places that I hadn't been to before - the flower markets in Chinatown, the beautiful teak house of the famous silk entrepreneur Jim Thompson, and the fabulous new Platinum Mall - the best place for buying clothes I've ever found!

The Floating Market at Damnoen SaduakOn one day I headed out of Bangkok for half a day, to the floating market at Damnoen Saduak, on the edge of the city. The market is as much a tourist attraction as it is a market, but it's great fun and very colourful, and I'm amazed how these little wooden boats are used to prepare, cook and serve incredible Thai food while floating around the town - how they do it is beyond me!

I also visited a few hotels when I was in Bangkok - I stayed at a new hotel, the Centara Watergate Pavillion, which I'd really recommend for good standards at a great price (you can upgrade to a Deluxe room for just £3 per person per night at most times of year - bargain!) plus I returned to an old favourite of mine, the Shangri-La Bangkok, set right on the river and with some of the best standards in the city - the hotel is also handily located (take the free boat service!) for the Asiatique shopping area, which has a great mix of upmarket shops and bargain stalls, with great food available and cold beers, all along the riverfront. On my last evening I visited a rather different night market, the famous Patpong market, where the souvenir stalls are set our amongst the bars and clubs of this infamous strip - it's definitely a great place for people-watching!"

Chiang Mai 

“It's a few years since I've been to Chiang Mai, but it's such a great place I'd always recommend visiting here for a few days to take in the temples, markets and countryside. After staying in Bangkok, Chiang Mai seemed so much calmer and more manageable, so it was a bit of welcome relief! I stayed at the beautiful Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, which is really central but surprisingly tranquil, as its set in big grounds by the river. On my first night in Chiang Mai I headed to the night bazaar, which is very close to the hotel, and picked up a few bargains (it's great for cheap clothes and souvenirs) before heading to the Good View Bar, one of the best places in Chiang Mai for Thai food, cold beer and a great atmosphere!

Elephants in the river at Chiang Dao, near Chiang MaiNext day was probably the highlight of the whole trip for me, as I got to ride an elephant! I did the full day Elephant Jungle Trek, Rafting & Hilltribe tour. We headed out to Chiang Dao, outside of the city, passing through some beautiful countryside, and when we arrived we were introduced to the baby elephants, and helped feed them (whole bunches of bananas seemed popular!) We then got on to our rides for the morning, and spent about an hour and a half on our elephants, passing through beautiful countryside and wading through the river too. After lunch we boarded traditional bamboo rafts and gently floated downstream for about an hour, which was so relaxing, passing local villages.
My last stop in Chiang Mai was the impressive Wat Suthep, a beautiful temple perched on top of a mountain, outside of town - climbing all the way to the top via the 309 steps is a bit of a killer, but it's well worth the effort as the temple is beautiful and the views across Chiang Mai are superb!"

Hua Hin 

"The beach resort of Hua Hin is a great option for a relaxed end to a trip if you've already taken in other areas of Thailand - this was my first visit here, and I fell in love with it almost immediately! For me Hua Hin has the perfect mix - a relaxed atmosphere but with plenty to do, great restaurants and bars but not tacky. I stayed at two hotels here - the Hilton Hua Hin, which is right in the town centre so is perfect if you want to try some of those fabulous places to eat (if you come out of the hotel and turn right you'll find some of the best seafood in the area!) and the Dusit Thani Hua Hin, a little further out and with a more relaxed feel, but still not remote.

The beach at they Hyatt Regency Hua HinFinishing with a few days on the beach in Hua Hin was a perfect way to end my trip - it has a very Thai feel, but also has some excellent quality hotels including various options from international hoteliers such as Hyatt and Sheraton, so there's something for everyone. At the Anantara Resort Hua Hin (probably my favourite of all the hotels I visited as it has a distinctly Thai feel) I did a Thai cookery course - I'm still no expert, but it was great fun and I got to eat my own efforts for dinner! The hotel's full day course costs around £90 and includes a trip to the market to buy your ingredients, learn how to cook four dishes (plus eating them too!) and you get to take home your recipes, apron and chopping board!"

This was a great trip to Thailand, seeing lots of different places and visiting some of our most popular hotels. If you're planning a trip call us and we'll share our experience with you!

Escape Worldwide - Home of Long Haul Holidays