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Showing posts from June, 2009

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 http://www.escapeworldwide.co.uk . The new area of Escape Worldwide's website: http://www.escapeworldwide.co.uk/weddings 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: http://www.escapeworldwide.co.uk/weddings/wedsaf.shtml Indian Ocean: Wedding in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Zanzibar: http://www.escapeworldwide.co.uk/weddings/wedind.shtml Far East: Weddings in Thailand, including Phuket, Koh Samui, Hua Hin, Krabi and Koh Lanta. Wedding in Bali: http://www.escapeworldwide.co.uk/weddings/wedfar.shtml 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