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Recreation - page 7

Must-see places and can’t miss things to do from Malé to Bali

Celebrate the Year of the Rooster Phuket-style

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Head to Phuket to welcome in the Lunar New Year and be refreshed and invigorated in a gorgeous tropical island setting.

Phuket has a long history of migrant arrivals to its shores hoping for a better life, and its large Chinese-Thai communities descended from those long-ago fortune seekers still honour the traditions of their ancestral home. Though Chinese New Year is not a public holiday in Thailand, it’s one of the country’s most vibrant and colourful festivals. This coming year marks the Year of the Rooster, with most events taking place on and around January 28. Together with Bangkok’s Chinatown, Phuket is one of the main centres for Lunar New Year celebrations, with about one-third of its local population of Chinese heritage.

Phuket Town is the heart of the island’s Chinese community, and the streets here come alive with processions, street markets and performances throughout the festival. The Old Town’s colourful Sino-Portuguese buildings are adorned with strings of red lanterns, and families gather to sweep the old year out of their homes, prepare feasts to honour their ancestors and encourage a more auspicious year ahead.

Many Chinese Taoist shrines around Phuket Town including the beautifully restored Sang Tham shrine and the large Jui Tui shrine will be bustling with merry-makers and Thalang, Dibuk and Romannee roads will be closed to traffic in the evenings and transformed into walking street markets.

To learn more about Phuket’s bonds with China, be sure to visit the Thai Hua Museum on Krabi Road with its excellent displays and photos tracing the journey and traditions of its Chinese community from the island’s heady tin mining days of the 1800s to the present.

Chinese New Year festivities also provide a good opportunity to explore the town’s new street art, which covers the walls of several buildings. Throughout 2016, graffiti artists from Thailand and around the world, including the whimsical Alex Face of Bangkok, were invited to unleash their spray-painting talents at numerous locations around town, adding even more colour and eye-catching images to the pastel-toned historic streets.

wat-chalong-fairAnother highly anticipated event during Chinese New Year in Phuket is the annual Wat Chalong Fair, a pulsating ten-day festival with local food, open-air markets, music and games at the island’s largest Buddhist temple, about eight kilometres south of Phuket Town.

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Top 6 Bali Adventure Activities You Can’t Miss

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A holiday in Bali is only complete with these adventure-packed activities . From taking a boat trip to neighbouring islands to riding an elephant or rafting, Bali is the ideal place to bring your adventurous side out.

Bali Boat Trip

baliboattrip

Are you looking to snorkel at the pristine waters of Crystal Bay at Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, but not sure which boat trips are safe and reasonably priced? Bali Boat Trip is a smart and ideal choice. Bali Boat Trip is perfect for those who want their own island-hopping experience – luxury style.
Price: Starts at USD 695 for 5 pax
What’s included: Transfer to and from Serangan Harbour, snorkelling equipment, bottled water, BBQ lunch, fruits and snacks.
T: +62 361 210 5757
E: trip@baliboattrip.com
Exclusive Elite Experience Benefit: Receive 10% discount

Elephant Safari Park & Ride
balielephantsafari

Experience sitting on top of a Sumatran elephant through the lush Taro jungle in Ubud, hand-feed the elephants, bathe with them in a pool and learn amazing facts about them. Visitors to Bali are given the chance to get up close and personal with these friendly mammals at the Elephant Safari Park in Taro. Families with young kids will love this activity.
Price: Starts at USD 92 for 1 pax
What’s included: Hotel transfers, park admission, safari ride, hand-feed the elephants, lunch and insurance.
T: +62 361 721 480
E: info@baliadventuretours.com
Exclusive Elite Experience Benefit: Save IDR 300,000

Where to stay in Ubud
VWLIMO

VW Kombi Limo Bali at Canggu beach[1]

The fleet of colourful VW Kombi Limousines is ready to take you for a full-day cruise around Bali in style! All vehicles are soundproofed, equipped with in-car WiFi, amazing sound systems and a remote control mini bar. The guide will take you to historical sites in Bali too. A fun learning session to understand better about Bali’s history and culture is guaranteed.
Price: Starts from USD 245 for 2 pax
What’s included: Hotel transfers, an experienced guide, refreshments in car, lunch in rice field, blessing ceremony, entrance fee to all temples, insurance, donation to village and temples,

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Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2016

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With its dreamy sailing waters including the karst island-studded Phang Nga Bay and the Similan islands, Phuket has long been a leisure-yachting haven. But for sailors seeking a more challenging day out, Thailand’s largest island offers plenty of racing action as well.

The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, held every year in early December, is one of Asia’s best known and biggest sailing events. This prestigious race was first held in 1987 in honour of His Majesty the King of Thailand. Every year since the first celebration, it has attracted a mix of sailors with a competitive spirit, from royals to the Royal Thai Navy to expat yachtsmen who join races worldwide.

Now part of the Asian Yachting Circuit, the King’s Cup includes several competition classes and brings in hundreds of yacht owners and crew from around the world. But more than just a sailing race, the King’s Cup is also one of Phuket’s most-anticipated social events, with glittering parties held each evening and a chance for local and international sailors to mingle and explore the island beyond the regatta circuit. Those not joining the race are encouraged to at least make a sunset visit to Kata Beach during King’s Cup, where most of the regatta’s yachts are moored after a day of racing. It’s a picture-perfect sight!

Phuket Raceweek is a newer regatta, held every July in what are considered more challenging conditions than those of the calmer, fair-weather month of December. Sponsored by the Cape Panwa Hotel, races are held off Phuket’s picturesque east coast over four days, with gala events each night at the resort’s gorgeous beachfront location.

6-1200x700Local yacht design skills are on full display at Raceweek, with one of the most popular divisions being the single-design Firefly 850 Sports Class – a fleet of sleek racing catamarans designed and built in Phuket. Another one-design class making a comeback in 2016 is the Platu class, a monohull design that’s popular among the Pattaya and Phuket sailing crowd. Championship titles in the IRC 1, 2 and Cruising, Multihull and Bareboat Charter classes are all up for grabs, with yacht charters available for those without their own boats on Phuket looking to join in the action.

Chinese New Year brings another week of sail races, with the Phang Nga Bay Regatta taking place each year around the Lunar New Year month.

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Lombok: Bali’s Quieter Side of Paradise

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If a glittering azure sea meeting pure white sands of a blissfully unaffected by mass tourism remote beach is your holiday desire, then Lombok whispers your name.

Lombok is an exquisite getaway full of local charm, dream waterfalls, magnificent luxury villas and some of the region’s hottest surfing, diving and trekking destinations.

Wake up to sunbeams shooting through tropical jungles just moments away from pristine waters of Sira Beach. Villa Sepoi Sepoi is perfectly convenient if you are looking forward to swimming in the crystal clear shallows, as it is situated alongside the picture-perfect white sands of Sira Beach. Six acres of tropical gardens, an outdoor cinema-style projector and screen, six large themed bedrooms are just a few highlights of this villa.

The Three Magical Gilis

Evenings are made of pink and purple sunsets as the sun drops into the ocean behind Lombok’s three gorgeous islands know as the Gilis. Those three magical Gilis – which is Sasak for ‘island’ – are a quick boat trip away and a must-do day trip.

Each island is wildly different from the next. Gili Trawangan is a bustling place full of backpackers while Gili Air is laid-back and gorgeous, where push bikes and pony carts rule – no cars here. Dotted with lovely little shops, a cooking school, diving and (plenty of) snorkelling centres, there are a range of restaurants and a beach club or two. It’s uber-family friendly.

Gili Meno offers Robinson Crusoe panache as a barefoot paradise that has a hand full of visitors seeking seclusion. Expect to see your feet through the water and spot turtles in the coral gardens just offshore. While Meno is the remote choice, it does have some great dining and few shops that sell emergency snorkelling gear, sunblock, fruit and snacks. The local hawkers offer local pearls and other desirable adornments too.

Lombok’s Fabulous Waterfalls

Back in Lombok, traditional villages, coconut groves and the sea surround the small tourist town of Senggigi. It is the go-to spot for ATMs, pharmacy and a few cafés and restaurants.

Lombok is fabulous for waterfalls that float the imagination. Rent a bike, hire a driver or take a tour to one of the many waterfalls on the island. Don’t expect a morning café latte at these stunning places, instead, have a dip in a spring feed pool in an absolute privacy.

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Pick up the Racquet

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Arnalaya Beach House, Canggu - Tennis court

Arnalaya Beach House Canggu Bali Tennis Package
Arnalaya Beach House - Canggu, Bali

Arnalaya Beach House is a sophisticated yet supremely relaxed family friendly villa on the beachfront in Bali’s beautiful Canggu district, with a large team of staff on hand to ensure that every whim is gracefully met. An ocean-front bale offers alfresco seating, overlooking the Indian Ocean and a crystal clear 20-metre swimming pool.

Tennis retreats - email Karina.Bonanno@elitehavens.com

For further information

Call or email Karina +62 81 1380 7676
karina.bonanno@elitehavens.com

Villas with Tennis Courts

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