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5 Offbeat Things to do in Niseko this Summer

in Culture/Destinations/Families/Recreation/Tips by

As the winter recedes, so do the crowds that throng Niseko for its dreamy powder snow. And in their wake, they leave behind a countryside that seems to slowly stretch out and rise from its winter slumber. The grinding sound of ski ploughs and the whir of ski lifts is replaced by melodious songs of summer breeze and chirping birds. The country blooms all around, unaware of its unpretentious innocent beauty yet not needing the crowds to confirm what it already knows. That Niseko is divine in the winters, but it is in summer that Niseko truly displays its mesmerising self.

It is a step towards the unknown, but curiosity is well rewarded. If you truly want to explore the heart of the countryside, why not take a walk away from the beaten path and indulge yourself with these quirky offbeat activities instead?

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Beat the Rush for Powder: 7 Things to Do in Niseko

in Culture/Destinations/Families/Recreation/Tips by

The perfect snow, with adequate depth and powdery white texture – welcome to Niseko, where you can chase your ultimate powder dream. It’s the ideal place to ski, snowboard or try a host of snow-filled activities. From snowshoeing to gliding on your snowmobile, and even water-rafting in spring-time rapids, Niseko gives frozen water a good name.

Its increasing popularity as a ski-destination is further fuelled by the availability of high-end chalets for individual families as well as groups. But don’t follow the crowds. Beat the rush for powder by coming to Niseko a few weeks early to discover what the season truly offers. Explore the winter dream minus the crowds. It isn’t just about skiing!

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Songkran Festival in Phuket

in News by
songkran waterfight

Songkran is Thailand’s most famous Festival and possibly the largest water fight in the world.

WHEN IS SONGKRAN?

Songkran Festival starts 13 April. In some areas of Thailand it only lasts for three days, the 13th, 14th and 15th, and in other areas it lasts for seven days.

Songkran is not only Thailand’s most famous festival but it’s also one of the most important events on the Buddhist calendar. The event marks the beginning of the traditional Thai new year.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF SONGRKRAN?

The festival originated centuries ago as a purification rite, in both a physical and spiritual sense.  Temples, Buddha images, and houses where tidied and cleaned as a way to clear away negative influences. Traditional celebrations involved a gentle sprinkling of scented water.

HOW IS SONGKRAN CELEBRATED?

Over the years, Songkran like many other centuries-old festivals has become commercial. Water guns and bright-coloured Hawaiian shirts (more on these later) are on sale in shops weeks before the event and every marketing department scrambles to get their Songkran message heard through a downpour of advertising.

songran festival crowds

Songkran has become arguably the biggest water fight in the world. The throwing of water (er, mass water fights) have become a huge part of the celebration over the past two decades everywhere in Thailand, so don’t be surprised if you get splashed with icy cold water, well when we say splashed, we mean drenched in water, shot at you from every angle form a variety of colored water pistols, buckets and anything else that can hold water. You will also become covered in powder, which is… Well, even to this day after being in Thailand for eleven years, I have no idea what it is.

WHAT IS SONGKRAN LIKE IN PHUKET?

The whole of Phuket island stops on the 13th of April when families, friends and communities set up make-shift water splash stations on the side of every road. Think of a fun road stop checkpoint, with blaring music coming out of a 1980 speaker which has been blown out ten years ago, and everybody drenched in water and covered powder, dancing around in these bright Hawaiian shirts.

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10 Bali Villas for Corporate Groups and Wellness Retreats

in Tips by
Sanur villas for groups

Mix business with pleasure at your next corporate meeting, training or wellness retreat and lap up the luxury of one of Bali’s fabulous villa estates.  Let’s face it, nowhere does villas like Bali does, and unlike large, impersonal resorts, a villa grants you absolute privacy and exclusivity, with your own state-of-the-art facilities. Best of all, service is highly personalized with a round-the-clock team of butlers, housekeepers and security at your beck and call– not to mention highly skilled chefs who can cook exactly what you want when you want it. Healthy meeting snacks? Canapés and cocktails at sunset? Seafood barbecue by the pool? Balinese themed dinner with live dance performance?  You name it and villa staff will provide it, all with the smiles and warmth of hospitality that Bali is famous for.

Expansive, fully-staffed villas in fabulous locations around the island are well set up for groups, with large capacity common areas for group activities and special events. Most offer all the mod cons, from Satellite TV to high speed WiFi and business centre facilities, alongside generous en suite bedrooms, stunning pools set in lush gardens, sensational spa services, and plenty of space for everyone to spread out.

Sound good? Here are our top ten villa picks for your next corporate event, training or wellness retreat.

Sanur Residence – Sanur

Sanur is the most southerly town on Bali’s ‘Sunrise Coast’ and retains its laid back charm with leafy streets, art galleries, cosy cafes and atmospheric seafront promenade. The three sleek, supremely spacious villas that make up Sanur Residence are wonderfully located on the quiet beach of Padang Galak, just minutes from town and accommodate up to 18 people. The epitome of contemporary elegance, each stylish villa has expansive en suite bedrooms, kitchen and open plan living areas, with one villa housing an ocean-facing, semi open-air banquet/meeting/dining room with the capacity of a 20m² meeting table or up to 40 people in 8 round tables, ideal for presentations or panel discussions. A 23-metre infinity pool, delightful manicured gardens, expansive roof terraces and huge lawn create ample space for socialising and soaking up the endless ocean views.

Villa Pushpapuri – near Sanur

If you like the idea of being slightly more remote, a Pabean Beach villa near Sanur is an inspired choice.

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Phuket Rendezvous 2018

in Recreation by
Thailand Yacht Show 2

Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.  – Coco Chanel 

The Phuket Rendezvous, the definitive yachting and lifestyle event

The inaugural Phuket Rendezvous is set to berth at Royal Phuket Marina from the 4th to 7th January 2018 and will bring the best of the best of luxury lifestyle and is set to boost Phuket as the leading position as Asia’s premier luxury yachting and lifestyle destination.

After successfully hosting the inaugural Singapore RendezVous, the experienced and passionate team at Asia Rendez Vous Pte. Ltd. is ready to bring their own touch of luxury to Thailand’s most desirable and upmarket destination, Phuket.

Phuket rendezvous 2018The four-day event will not only showcase high-end luxury experiences and attractions both on land and sea but will transform Royal Phuket Marina to a bustling hub for all things luxury, from gourmet cuisine to properties, watches to supercars, fashion, and art, the Phuket Rendevous will attract some of the biggest brands from all over the globe.

There will be an on water display, which will host the regions leading brokers and dealers and visitors will have access to over 40 yachts. Visitors can also meet with high-end property developers, luxury travel organizers (including private jet and helicopter operators) as well as auctions, art and investment specialists and classic cars.

VIP guests will enjoy exclusive access to selected attractions and superyachts, while members of the public are free to explore the exciting exhibits at the Phuket Rendezvous in the full air-con exhibition hall.

Luxury aficionados from Asia (China, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.), Europe (Russia, Germany, United Kingdom, France, etc.), as well as Bangkok and Phuket, are expected to attend the show and take part in this unique experience which is set to be one of Phuket’s biggest events of the year.

Thailand Yacht Show 3

An exciting programme of live entertainment and fashion shows, art exhibitions, panel discussions and sailing workshops and wine and food tastings will enhance the visitor experience and, with more emphasis on superyachts, a Mariners’ market and the prestigious Christofle Yacht Style Awards, the Phuket Rendezvous will have something for everyone!

The venue Royal Phuket Marina has hosted the Phuket International Boat Show, commonly known as PIMEX, for the past 12 years and is an ideal venue for the first ever Phuket Rendezvous which has now replaced PIMEX.

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