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Showing posts from 2009

The wonderful food of Thailand

Thailand’s food is one of the highlights of any visit here, and after many years of travelling to the Country, the staff at Escape Worldwide have their own view of it! Karen used to be the biggest wimp in the office when it came to spicy food, but over the years she’s developed a real taste for Thai food. “I tend to stick to dishes that I know I like, so I don’t get any unexpected surprises. Everything is so fresh, and the seafood in particular tends to be superb – and so well priced, compared to the UK. In fact, I tend to go a bit overboard in Thailand as the food is really good value – crab cakes or spring rolls as a starter for £ 1, a main dish of a Thai curry for maybe £ 1.50, all washed down with copious quantities of Singha or Chang beer – and you still won’t have hit a fiver!” Natalie remembers one meal in particular. “I think the hottest meal I’ve ever had was in Bangkok, when I thought I’d try a Thai Green Curry. The restaurant our hotel, the Dusit Thani, sugges

Latest Holiday ideas from Escape Worldwide

Hi fellow travellers, Winter is truly here so why not get away. Check out our latest offers and ideas: This weeks newsletter features some photos and a blog following Karen's recent visit to India. Get to experience the amazing Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Amber Fort and more through Karen's pictures. More blogs to follow! Or why not a safari in Kenya, now this is a truly memorable holiday. Latest time I was in Kenya, I same a cheetah and her 2 cubs amongst loads of other animals. What ever you decide to do.......happy travelling! Darren

Teaching English in Vietnam

Darren spent a morning teaching English to Vietnamese kids when he was in Central Vietnam! “It’s alarming what you’ll agree to after a few beers in a bar. I was on the last day of a Vietnam trip and I was in the seaside town of Nha Trang. I’d seen so much of Vietnam over the past week or so that I was planning a relaxed evening of good food and plenty of beer – not difficult in Vietnam! I’d dined well, with scrummy spring rolls for starters and local seafood for a main course, and was now looking for a few beers to finish off the evening. I’d been recommended a local bar called the Crazy Kim Bar, named after the larger than life owner, Kim. The beer was cold and cheap (as it always tends to be in Vietnam!) but the Crazy Kim Bar was slightly different to the other bars in Nha Trang. During the day, Kim ran classes for local street kids, where visitors could spend a few hours teaching English to them – no experience needed. I signed up on the spot! Early next day and I was back i

Great touring holiday ideas

Hi fellow travellers, Why not check out our latest touring holiday ideas: Cuba is simply an amazing place and our Comprehensive Cuba Tour is a great way of seeing pretty much all that this great country has to offer. We also have a number of shorter tours if 14 nights is to long for you, check out Tanzania is a fantastic place for a safari, I know I was there a month ago! You truly get memories of a lifetime and on this trip I got to see 2 of the elusive Leopard…..amazing! Check more of our great East African safaris: Where ever you decide to go, happy travelling! Darren Escape Worldwide

Visit Thailand in 2010!

Escape Worldwide now have their full Thailand 2010 programme available. Check it our at . Or see our new newsletter with some highlights: I’m a massive fan of Thailand and it has so much to offer. I have to own up and admit that the picture of the pool villa was my room….. simply stunning and far more affordable than you might think. Bangkok is a great…mad place and defiantly worth a few nights…. Why not give us a call! 020 8555 5505! Happy travelling Darren

Latest Special offers from Escape Worldwide

Hi fellow travellers, the following is a like to our latest special offers: We have a great offer to the stunning Maldives . I was there last year and it is a truly amazing place with powered white sand and crystal clear waters…..paradise! We also have a good deal on a Kenya safari…. I have been to Kenya before and it is a brilliant place for a safari….. Have just got back from a safari in Tanzania and also a short stay in Zanzibar so watch this space for my blogs! Happy travelling! Darren

More great holiday offers

Hi all, We have some great holiday offers to Pattaya in Thailand, Cairo in Egypt and a great tour of Vietnam this week. Check them out: I was fortunate enough to go to Vietnam last year and it is a truly amazing place. The people are so open and friendly, which is surprising considering their checkered history. The food is great and there is so much to see and do. I loved Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), it's a mad place with motorcycles all over the place and it is a true challenge just to cross the road! Cairo is another great place and when I came up to the Pyramids at Giza was pleasantly surprise to see that they didn't disappoint ! Happy travelling! Darren

Pattaya Day and Night

Mark discovered how Thailand’s party resort, Pattaya, is full of excitement and interest, day and night. “Pattaya is one few parts of Thailand I hadn’t previously visited, so on a recent trip to Bangkok and Phuket I decide to make the short journey across from the capital to see what all the fuss is about! My whole trip to Thailand was only for four nights, so I extended by 24 hours just to get a feel for the place. Pattaya’s a fairly large place – you’ll often see it described as a city on the beach – and unlike some of Thailand’s other beach resorts such as Phuket or Koh Samui that have their resort areas spread out, Pattaya is all in one location, giving it the feel of a bustling, lively, exciting location. If you want to chill out and relax on holiday, this place may not be for you, but if you want fun-filled days with water sports, shopping and excursions, and exciting evenings of tasty Thai cuisine and lively nightlife, Pattaya is perfect! I stayed just to the north of Pattay

Latest Special offers from Escape Worldwide

Hi fellow travellers! Check out our latest special offers: This week we have a great tour of China from only £989 per person. The tour is a great introduction to this amazing country and is exceptional value as it includes all your meals, tours and even your visa! (if you're a UK passport holder that is!) Alternatively why not Zanzibar! This is a simply stunning island with amazing beaches and top quality hotels! Whilst you're there you should pay a visit to fascinating Stone Town! In fact I love the place and am going back again in a couple of weeks! Why not check out some of the great holidays we offer at: Happy travelling! Darren

Wildlife from the Great Rift Valley

We’ve just received a wildlife for the last few weeks from Loldia House, an old farmhouse converted and run by Governors Camps, most famous for their wonderful Masai Mara properties. Loldia House is located in the Great Rift Valley, so is ideal for exploring this fascinating part of Kenya. LAKE NAIVASHA July and early August brought dry weather and a chilly start to the day with early morning temperatures of as low as 17 degrees centigrade but by mid day temperatures had warmed to between 28 and 30 degrees centigrade with a mild north easterly wind blowing in the afternoons. With no rain falling since June the grasslands on the ranch are drying out and the lake level has been ping forcing the Hippos to move into the deep waters of Lake Naivasha. There has been lots of animal traffic around the shores of the lake with big herds of waterbuck, eland, zebra and buffalo all grazing along the shoreline. Birdlife has also been good with nice numbers of white/pink pelicans, terns, spoonbills

Top 5.... Food Experiences

Hi fellow travellers! Our latest newsletter focuses on various food experiences our staff have encountered during their travels. From Satay in Malaysia to Lamb and Date stew in Muscat, we’ve had some fun trying out the local grub! Check it out: More details of our various culinary delights can also be found on our website: Bye for now! Darren

Another week.... even more great offers

Hi everyone, Blimey another week has pasted already, where does the time go? Anyway, check out this weeks great long haul holiday offers: Some great destinations this week, with probably one of my fav, Cuba fly drives. Cuba is an amazing place and the best way to do it is on a fly drive! Also we have a great Bali and Kuala Lumpur twin centre offer, chill out in gorgeous Bali before shopping for bargains in KL! Happy travelling everyone! Darren

Holiday Costs in Singapore

Mark was asked to get some up to date holiday costs from Singapore for one of our guests visiting soon. “Overall, the thing I found with Singapore is that prices vary depending on where you are, as they do in most major cities, so it's a case of keeping an eye on prices if you don't want to over-spend. Some parts of Singapore (mainly the office areas of the city centre or the expat hangouts) tend to be pricey (I'd equate them to London prices) but elsewhere it can be better value for money. If you like Indian food I’d recommend staying in the hotel we stayed in, the Parkroyal on Kitchener Road. This hotel is located on the edge of the Little India area of Singapore, so within two blocks of the Hotel are literally dozens (if not hundreds!) of dining options for Indian cuisine. Our best meal of our stay in Singapore (I'm travelling on this trip with my colleague Natalie, and it's her first visit to the region) was at a local food centre closer to the city centre, wh

Latest holiday offers

Check out our latest holiday offers: We have some great deal to the Maldives at the moment, especially the 5* Sheraton Full Moon, which Karen in our office loves! Or check out the deal we have to the Evason Hotel in Hua Hin. I stayed here in June and it is a beautiful hotel, perfect for a relaxing break....and what a deal too! See you soon! Darren

BA Club World and First Class service

Karen recently went to San Francisco with British Airways on a work educational (someone has to!) and flew out in Business Class and back in First Class, to fully test their in-flight service. “I’ve seen quite a bit of the world since I started working at Escape Worldwide, but never flown in any class other than economy, so this was a completely new experience and one I thoroughly enjoyed, as you can imagine! The difference between Economy and Business Class is very impressive, and I can now appreciate why people are willing to pay quite a lot of money for it - the main difference being the fact you can get a decent night’s sleep! There are about 20 seats in Club World (British Airway’s Business Class service) in pairs which are next to each other, but the two people are facing each other. There’s a screen in between the two seats if you wish to put this up for extra privacy – personally, my neighbour was such a pleasure to chat to that I didn’t feel the need for the extra privacy! T

London 2012 - Working by the Olympics building site

Escape Worldwide’s offices are located in Stratford, East London, home of the 2012 Olympic Games. Over the past months we’ve gradually watched various venues being built, and with the Olympic stadium being just a 15 minute walk from our office, it’s been an interesting period – if somewhat chaotic! With three years to go, the pace is hotting up. So here we are, 2 years after the initial announcement was made that the world was coming Stratford in 2012, and we have to admit, from our window we are very impressed with what has been going on. We’ve had a lot of disruption to normal life, with unannounced road closures causing traffic chaos being commonplace, noise from the demolition and reconstruction process becoming quite draining, and a semi-permanent layer of dust and dirt over everything, but the area is undergoing a really major transformation, so it’s nothing we didn’t expect. Just outside our office block, Channelsea House, is a walkway and cycle path called the Greenway, which

Facebook - Everyone's in it!

Everyone I know seems to be on Facebook, so not wanting to be left out Escape Worldwide has created a little page there! Check it out at: Why not become a fan, we love seeing the numbers go up! Cheers

Creating a twin centre holiday

Creating the perfect twin centre holiday requires the combination of a number of factors, and with our experience we can put together the ideal itinerary. The first thing to consider is time, and how much of it you have. In many destinations, if you try to do things too quickly your memories will only be a blur, but if you spend too long in certain cities, things may get a bit much. Also bear in mind your total duration, of course. In busy cities such as Bangkok, three or four nights would be ideal to get to grips with it and to take in the main highlights – if you tried to do it all in a day you probably won’t remember much, but stay too long and the traffic will get to you! In Singapore, however, where things are more organised, a shorter trip will allow you to take things in without getting too hot & bothered. Next thing is location. If you’re only looking at a short stopover before hitting the beach, then the location of your hotel is an important factor when it comes to maki

Wild man of Borneo and the Beach!

Karen visited the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre when she was on holiday in Borneo. “Ever since I’ve worked in travel I’ve had a fascination with Orang Utans, and have always wanted to see them in the wild. Every time I’ve booked a holiday to Borneo I’ve got quite excited at the possibility of going myself, so when two of my friends suggested we went on holiday to the Far East together, I persuaded them to include Borneo in the trip! We spent a few nights at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, a lovely hotel set close to Kota Kinabalu town but right on the beach – a perfect combination of high standards and relaxation plus local restaurants, bars and shops close by. One of my friends spent a few days diving while we chilled out on the beach – an ideal way to relax after a hectic few days shopping and sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur! We’d booked an overnight trip to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, located a short flight from Kota Kinabalu on Borneo’s east coast. The centr

A few place that Escape Worldwide has visited!

Just some of the places that the staff at Escape Worldwide have visited: Create your own travel map or travel blog Airfare comparison at TripAdvisor

Exploring Cape Town

Following a recent visit to South Africa, Mark ended up in Cape Town after a week-long drive along the Garden Route: “South Africa is such a diverse country that a drive through part of it turned out to be really rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable. I’d never done a driving holiday before, but I really liked the flexibility and independence, being able to go where we wanted, when we wanted. Picnics on the beach for breakfast (as dolphins swam past on one morning!), seafront cafes for a quick break, stops to take in the view over False Bay to the Cape of Good Hope or to see the penguins at Betty’s Bay, just because we wanted to! We’d driven about 1500 km from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, via Knysna, Wilderness, Arniston and Hermanus, arriving in to Cape Town from the winelands at Stellenbosch and the Cape of Good Hope National Park. After the best part of a week on generally peaceful roads and in small towns, Cape Town was a bit of a culture shock! We drove in via the Lion’s Hill pass

Bargain Hunting in Chiang Mai Thailand

Karen spent some time experiencing Chiang Mai’s excellent shopping options! “Chiang Mai is one of my favourite parts of Thailand – I love the mix of modern and ancient, with beautiful temples next to buzzing street markets and funky bars. The shopping here is fabulous – there’s everything from modern department stores and glitzy shopping centres to night markets and the renowned night bazaar – it’s a shoppers paradise! I was staying close to the night bazaar in Chang Klan Road – each evening this area of Chiang Mai comes to life as the street is lined with shops and stalls selling everything from souvenirs to clothes – there’s a huge range of goods with what I can only presume are less-than authentic credentials, including CD’s and DVD’s, t-shirts, handbags, sunglasses and watches. Prices here seem cheaper than Bangkok – even though Bangkok itself seems remarkably low when you first arrive! This is a good location to stay in if you visit Chiang Mai – it’s a short taxi ride to the old

A place we have been....The Maldives

Darren visited the Maldives last year: “The Maldives is one of those destinations that’s never really interested me, so when the opportunity came up to go, I was fascinated to see what all the fuss was about – and I was so glad I made it! Much as I love beach holidays, I also like things to see and places to visit while on holiday. The thought of spending a week or two on one island, in one hotel, doesn’t really appeal – I need local restaurants to try, local bars to discover and shops to buy souvenirs in. I’m not very good at lazing around and doing nothing, be it on holiday or at home! As the Maldives doesn’t really offer this style of holiday, I was a little apprehensive – but I shouldn’t have been! The first thing that struck me was the sheer beauty of the place – I hadn’t realised that beaches and the sea could be so stunning. Small islands often encircled by white sand, clear blue seas teaming with coulourful fish – there are no dramatic landscapes, no historic sights and no

Natalie Visits Havana

Natalie visited Cuba recently: “It was my first trip to this fascinating place - I visited Varadero, the beautiful countryside of Pinar del Rio and historic Trinidad, but my favourite place was Havana. I’ve been to various parts of the Caribbean in the past, but nowhere quite like Havana – it seems at times like half of it is falling down, but the charm is immediate and the character is like nowhere else I’ve been. I loved the atmosphere of the place – some of Havana’s buildings look like they’re about to collapse, and you don’t come here for the shopping, but this all added to the feeling of a city that’s worth exploring. We had a walking tour of Old Havana (I never really did get my bearings, though, as it’s a maze of cobbled streets, lovely squares and touristy markets) and my favourite bit was having a leisurely coffee in Plaza De Armas, just watching the world go by! It’s the kind of city I could spend a lot of time getting to know, so I’m already planning a return trip! I think m

The Rose-Red City of Petra

On a trip to Jordan, Mark explored the famed city of Petra. “I’m a huge fan of the Middle East’s history, with locations such as Abu Simbel in Egypt and Crac Des Chevaliers in Syria amongst my favourites. Somewhere like Jordan packs so much history in to such a small country – it’s truly fascinating. Petra has always been on my list of places to see (probably as a result of the Indiana Jones movies!) so when I was in Aqaba, there was no excuse not to visit. Being August, though, high temperatures meant that it was going to be hot going! The entrance to Petra is really breathtaking – you’ve probably seen it on TV, but the narrow gap in the rocks known as the Siq that opens up in to the city itself makes for a spectacular entrance – with 200 metre high cliffs towering above you, the sense of adventure is at its height. Petra itself covers a fairly large area, so I found it useful to break it up in to different areas, to make the most of the location – and to avoid overdoing things in the

New wedding section added to our website

Hi, We have added a new wedding section to our website at . The new area of Escape Worldwide's website: includes wedding packages to some of our most popular destinations. These include weddings in Kenya, Tanzania, Bali, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and many more. Check out the links for your chosen area: East Africa: Weddings on safari in Kenya or Tanzania or weddings on the beach in Zanzibar or Mombasa: Indian Ocean: Wedding in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Zanzibar: Far East: Weddings in Thailand, including Phuket, Koh Samui, Hua Hin, Krabi and Koh Lanta. Wedding in Bali: Our staff at Escape Worldwide have travelled to pretty much all of the destinations so we have first hand knowledge of these place. Happy travelling!

Bath time in Sri Lanka

A while ago Karen visited the Pinnawella Elephant Orphanage as part of a tour of Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka has to be one of my favourite countries – I’ve visited a few times now, and on each occasion I see new places and a different side to the Island. There’s so much to take in, so it’s hard to say where my favourite location would be, but I think I’d put the Pinnawella Elephant Orphanage top of my list! It’s quite easy to get to from the coast, too, so even if you visit Sri Lanka on a beach holiday rather than a tour, try to get here. If you get here quite early, you can see the elephants in their forested area, a short way from the river and with plenty of space for the elephants to roam around in. The younger ones are fed huge bottles of milk, which are glugged down in seconds! Then it’s off to the river for bath time! It’s a short walk from the elephants (and for the visitors!) from their fields to the river, and a local restaurant offers a great viewing area – and is also perfect for

Shopping in Hong Kong

“Hong Kong is renowned for its shopping, and we spent a day taking in some of the different options on offer. First stop was the renowned Nathan Road, often called the “Golden Mile” for its shopping opportunities. Starting at the harbour and heading north, Nathan Road is Hong Kong’s commercial heart, and offers everything from jewellery and souvenirs to hi-fi’s and cameras. It’s a hectic, full-on part of the City, although Kowloon Park, located part way up Nathan Road, offers a welcome respite to the hubbub of the shopping. We weren’t just window-shopping, though – we were on a mission! First on our list was a Sony PSP, so we headed to the shopping centres of Tsim Sha Tsui East, where the cheapest electronic gadgets could be found. This area of Kowloon is built on reclaimed land and is home to various shopping centres – compare prices in different shops before you buy, and be sure to take your knowledge of other shops prices with you to barter the prices down. We managed to get the pri

Getting Around Bangkok

Bangkok’s traffic congestion is notorious, so on a recent trip to the Thai capital, Mark looked at different ways of getting around! “The first time I came to Bangkok was 1991, and I can remember to this day taking four hours to get from the edge of town to the city centre – a journey that should have taken half an hour on a good day. 17 years later, things have improved with new forms of transport, but the City’s traffic is still amongst the worst in Asia. Beating the jams is considered sport in Bangkok! The best thing to happen to Bangkok’s transport system is the fantastic Skytrain, an easy to use monorail network that links most of the areas of the city that are important to the visitor. Frequent and air-conditioned, the high-level tracks give excellent views of the city centre and the stations are well located. An unlimited day pass costs about £1.50 – worth it for the air-con alone! For a more traditional view of the city, take the Skytrain to Taksin station and walk down the st

Being James Bond

“On a recent trip to Southern Thailand, we were looking for some adventure, but nothing too strenuous – no mountaineering, white water rafting or getting up close to wildlife. We preferred a softer option, with a bit of glamour thrown in. We decided to hire a speedboat for the day and head out from Krabi to the surrounding islands and coastline of Phang Nga Bay. This has to be amongst the most beautiful coastlines in the world, and as we were visiting in July, when the area was quiet due to it being low season, it felt like we had the whole area to ourselves! This is an excellent time to travel if you don’t mind some rain, generally in the evenings, and can take advantage of the lower prices and more peaceful beaches. Our day of glamour and excitement started at breakfast, when there was a call to say that our speedboat had arrived at the jetty for us – not your usual start to the day. Our twin engine speedboat, complete with two crew, was going to take us to wherever we wanted to go –

Temples. Rugs and Pigeons

I was recentlyh on a trip to Egypt with #EscapeWorldwide. I’m a big fan of Egypt and its history – to my mind it’s the kind of history that’s obvious. Perhaps I was scarred at school by visits to Roman ruins that looked more like a pile of rocks than the remains of a powerful civilization, but these days I’m not too in to historical sights, but Egypt is different. Here, history comes alive and you can really see how these temples and statues that are thousands of years old would have been in their heyday. What’s more, you don’t have to travel too far, or get too far off the beaten track, to take it all in – my idea of ideal history! Luxor itself is the main gateway to Upper Egypt’s historical highlights, and while you won’t get to see the Pyramid at Giza from here, most other well-known Egyptian sites are easily accessible for the town. It’s a fairly small town that’s straightforward to negotiate, focussed along the east bank of the Nile, giving the town an impressive setting. The Corn

Lazy Days in the Maldives

Darren recently spent five nights in the Maldives, hopping between islands to check out the facilities on offer, and generally doing very little in the Indian Ocean sun – he’d call it hard work but we know better! “I’d be the first to admit that the Maldives isn’t the kind of destination I’d normally go for, as I tend to like getting out and about, exploring local places and eating in different restaurants when I’m on holiday. However, after a few days here, I’m smitten! I’m amazed just how easy I found it to do absolutely nothing, and I’m already planning a return trip. Take somewhere like Kuramathi Island, for example – three resorts on one island stretching over 2 kilometres, with some shared facilities and enough going on to keep me entertained, but plenty of space to chill out. After a leisurely breakfast we set off to the tip of the island, not really realising that we’d be covering the entire 2 km to get there! At the tip of the island is a sand bar that stretches off in to the

More of our safari experiences!

Mark visited the Masai Mara in April. “I was lucky enough to go on safari earlier this year, and loved every minute of it! I’ve been to Kenya several times in the past, but as with many of the trips I do, most of the time is spent visiting the hotels Escape Worldwide features - this time, though, I spent more time on safari, really getting to experience Kenya’s amazing diversity. It’s great visiting different hotels around the world, but sometimes it’s more fun to do what holidaymakers actually do while away! One morning on the Masai Mara we did a game drive for a few hours, setting off as the sun was coming up. We were staying at the Mara Serena Lodge, an impressive property with spectacular views across the sweeping plains of the Mara from its position on top of a ridge, and the area around the property was rich with wildlife. It was so quiet, and the scenery was stunning. The highlight of the game drive (if not my whole trip to Kenya!) was when we came across a cheetah and her two c

Elephants on the move in Kenya

On a trip to the Masai Mara, Darren found himself in the middle of a family of elephants – quite literally. “One of the best things about a safari is that every day is different, and you never know what you’re likely to encounter. I spent one night at the Governors Camp on the Masai Mara, and did two game drives in to the local area. This area of the western Masai Mara is really rich in wildlife, and is particularly well know for its cats – so much so that the BBC film the ‘Big Cat Diaries’ in this area. However, on this particular trip it was the local elephant population that caught my attention. On the first afternoon of my stay our driver had spotted a herd of elephants in the distance – I still don’t know how he’d seen them as they were well out of my view, and even when they were pointed out to me they still looked like dots on the horizon! As we drew closer, the driver stopped our vehicle and turned the engine off, right in the path of these amazing creatures. They continued wit