7 Theme parks to visit around Asia Pacific

Perfect for theme park junkies, kids, or just the young at heart, theme parks can provide all-day fun under the sun. If you find yourself in Asia Pacific looking for some to pay a visit to, here are a few to add to your list.

Waterbom Bali, Indonesia

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Located in Bali’s tourist centre, Kuta, Waterbom is waterslide galore nestled in 3.8 hectares of lush tropical greenery. This would be the perfect destination for the adrenaline junky family.

Everland, Yongin, South Korea

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South Korea’s largest theme park, Everland consists of several parks including a water park and a zoo. Also number 16 in the world, Everland accommodates about 7.3 million people per annum.

Movie World, Gold Coast, Australia

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One of the most popular theme parks in Australia, Movie World is a movie-related park based on Warner Bros’ works, comprising movie-themed rides and street shows.

Legoland, Johor, Malaysia

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Ideal for the Lego enthusiast or just the big kid, Legoland Malaysia comprises two parks; the Theme Park and the Water Park, both equally fun and thrilling with its roller coasters and water slides.

Universal Studios, Singapore

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Walk into your favourite movies at Universal Studios Singapore and live it through exciting rides through the streets via its seven different theme parks, all in one place!

Disneyland, Hong Kong

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Say hello to Mickey and Friends as you live out your Disney Princess dreams in Hong Kong Disneyland! Don’t forget to check out these 10 tips and tricks for your adventure when there!

Lotte World, Seoul, South Korea

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Consisting of the world’s biggest indoor theme park and an outdoor theme park, Lotte World is known for their thrilling rides and being home to one of the largest ice-skating rinks around.


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Songs you need to add to your holiday playlist

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Arguably, the perfect companion when it comes to travelling is music as it has the knack of providing the soundtrack to pretty much everything – from picture perfect moments to the ones of frustration. Being travellers ourselves, the team at Touristly has come up with a list of our picks when we are on the road.

For bus or plane rides

Sufjan Stevens – Chicago
The Proclaimers – 500 miles
Radical Face – Wandering
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car

For the beach

Slim Smith – Burning Horns
Incubus – I Wish You Were Here
All Saints – Pure Shores
Kokomo – Beach Boys

For long walks

Vanessa Carlton – A Thousand Miles
Travis – Flowers in the window
American Authors – Flowers in the window
Plastic Bertrand -Ca Plane Pour Mo

For quiet nights

Jamie Cullum- All at Sea
José González -Cycling Trivialities
Astrud Gilberto – Girl from Ipanema
John Mayer- Gravity

For romantic getaways

Frank Sinatra – Strangers in the Night
Katie Melua – Nine Million Bicycles
Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
Elvis – Can’t Help Falling in Love with You

For long layovers

Jennifer Paige – Stranded
Axel Flóvent – Forest Fires
Lenny Kravitz – Fly away
The Kinks – Tired of Waiting

For lazy mornings

Bruno Mars – Lazy Song
Zee Avi – Concrete Wall
Daughter – Candles
Hozier – Cherry Wine

For times when things aren’t going according to plan

Savage Garden – The Animal Song
Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla
Aaliyah – Try again
Snow Patrol – Run


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7 things you must have in your hand carry luggage for your flight

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Hand carry luggage space is precious as most airlines cap it somewhere between 7-8 KG (15-17lbs) and you should make the best of it, especially for long distance flights, long layovers and just in case you have an emergency. In the event of any of the mentioned, the last thing you want is to be grumbling at yourself at a lack of preparation so here it is: the seven things you must have in your hand carry:

1. Baby Wipes

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Both for the toddler and the adult who can’t seem to keep food off his shirt, baby wipes can be a life saver. Use it to save yourself a trip to the bathroom to wash your hands when you’re stuck in the window seat or to wipe down armrests and table trays which are reported to be amongst the dirtiest things on an airplane.

2. Dry snacks

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One of the most important things you can bring, dry snacks such as a protein bar, a small bag of trail mix or the chocolate bar can be a real life saver in situations when you are stuck in boarding gates or small airports with no access to cafes or restaurants. Just throw one or two rations in your hand carry and you will not need to worry about the potential tummy rumbling that may come from unexpected situations. This is especially important if you are travelling with kids.

3. Scarf

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As important as a towel in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the scarf is the multipurpose must have in your hand carry. Use it as a blanket, roll it to be used as a pillow or wrap it around your head when you are experiencing bed head after that long nap. One piece of cloth, many uses and you will be glad to have this one item with you, may it be in the terminal or during your flight.

4. Pen

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So you’ve gotten off the plane and now you have to fill in your immigration card and you’re left without a pen. The queues are filling fast and much to the resentment of a pen owner, you sheepishly ask if you can loan his/her pen. Don’t be that person! Bring your own pen, which will be much needed for instances like these. For good measure, bring along a notebook just in case you need to jot down something important.

5. A change of clothes

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For emergencies like delayed flights or missing check-in luggage, a clean change of clothes can be like that breath of fresh air you need after hours of sitting in the same clothes so do yourself a favour and pack everything from trousers, a top to the much needed clean underwear that you will need. Your mum will be so proud!

6. Toiletry kit

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Not exactly something you would need to worry about if you are travelling business or first class but for those in economy class or budget, it is almost imperative to have a toiletry kit with you. It gives you the chance to freshen up, wash you face, touch up that make up, brush your teeth, spritz a little cologne or perfume lest you come out of the plane looking like a hot mess. Just make sure you have the essentials like dental floss, toothbrush and toothpaste, face wash, moisturiser, body spray, and for the ladies, basic makeup items.

7. Phone charger

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An absolute essential in today’s world, make sure you have your cable charger with you in your hand carry as many planes nowadays offer USB ports at your seat and sometimes a book or in-flight entertainment just does not cut it. For even better measure, purchasing an additional cable and keeping it in your hand carry as a backup for emergency situations is not exactly a bad idea.


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Fancy taking USD100 off your holiday?

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The Eid Mubarak festivities are just around the corner and we want to celebrate this occasion with you! The best celebrations are the ones that are shared with friends and family and in light of this, we are giving away 3x USD100 coupon codes for your upcoming holiday itinerary. Go on that quad-bike tour around the rice fields in Bali or get in touch with your inner Indiana Jones on a tour around the Angkor Wat temples, on us!

That sounds amazing! What do I need to do?
Step 1: Log into Touristly
Step 2: Create a trip with your preferred destination
Step 3: Add attractive activities to your trip
Step 4: Share your trip on Facebook with the hashtag #touristlyholidays so we can find you (psssst, don’t forget to change your post settings to ‘Public’)

That is easy! When does this start?
From the 22nd of June 2016 until the 4th of July 2016 so make sure you create a super amazing itinerary and share them between those dates.

How will I find out if I’ve won?
We will be making announcements on Facebook, via comments on the winners’ post. Make sure you have liked and are following Touristly on Facebook so you don’t miss out if you have won.

Are the coupons only available for use during the Eid Mubarak holidays?
Good news! These coupon codes will be made available for you to use until the 31st of August 2016.

What are the terms and conditions?
For more information, head over to the Terms and Conditions page on our Touristly website.


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Prepare for your hike with these hacks.

There’s nothing quite like getting in touch with nature and one of the simplest ways to do that is by going on a hike.

Planning for a hiking trip, however, can be a little daunting especially for the novice or beginner hiker as one may not know what to expect but with these simple hacks thanks to GOASEAN, hiking can be a lot more enjoyable!


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Travel hacks that you could use on your holiday [Infographic]

Being away from home can be difficult at times but it does not have to be devastating. With all the right tips and tricks, your holiday can be smooth sailing all the way, until your flight home.

The people at Baltic Travel Company  were kind enough to share 21 of their travel hacks with us. Keep these in mind when you travel to optimise on your holiday’s enjoyability!

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How to avoid getting hacked while travelling

thepennyhoarder.com

Gone are the days when the last thing a person would think of packing was a charger. Nowadays, it is considered a norm to bring along all, if not most of your electronics with you, especially for the remote worker.

One of the last things you would want while on the road is getting locked out of your device, or finding that your accounts have been compromised. To avoid that from happening, here are a few measures you can take to keep yourself from getting hacked while on holiday.

1. Fully update software on your devices before travelling

Many people overlook the importance of updating operation systems, anti-malware, security, and anti-virus software always leaving it for later. Updates patch up ‘holes’ in your software that could potentially leave your device vulnerable to hacking. For greater measure, make sure you update your software on a regular basis.

2. Change passwords before travelling

One thing that could possibly put a damper on your holiday is finding out that you have lost access to your accounts. To reduce the chances of that happening, change all your passwords before hitting the road. Make sure that you use strong passwords with upper and lower case, numbers and symbols.

3. Be wary with public WiFi

One of the worst things you can assume is that the WiFi in a building is safe because it is named after the establishment. Hackers are able to create a fake hot spot, potentially enabling them to obtain your data and passwords should you connect to their network. Using mobile data from a SIM card may be a better option should you require to access the internet.

4. Activate device encryption when you are travelling

Encryption scrambles the information that you store, rendering it useless to a certain party unless you have a ‘key’ to unscramble the information. You can download a third-party encryption tool if your device does not come with one.

5. Use incognito/private browsers when using a public computer

Web browsers have the knack of keeping a history of your visited web pages, downloads, and the lot and if you don’t want others knowing what you are up to, use Incognito mode on Google Chrome or a private window/browser which will clear all your cookies and cache once you are done.

6. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tool on your devices

A VPN tool will send your information through a discreet tunnel, encrypting it along the way, making it a secure connection as it allows you access a private network through public networks, making it harder for hackers to obtain your information.

7. Password protect your smartphone

This may be a bit of a hassle but it is better to be safe than sorry. The harder it is for people to access your smartphone, the better it is for you when it comes to keeping your information safe.


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Taboos you need to know to avoid committing cultural faux pas in Asia

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It can be pretty exciting to immerse yourself in a completely different culture and when that is happening, a sense of respect for the place you are in is crucial. As the say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” and here are a few taboos you should avoid committing while being a guest in another’s land.

China

Don’t rest or stick your chopsticks in food, especially if it’s rice as it is considered offensive and bad luck. This is only done during funerals and it also is reminiscent of joss sticks used during prayers.

India

When it comes to eating or handling food, only do so with your right hand. In Indian culture, the left hand is used for ‘bathroom activities’ and considered unclean.This also applies when you are passing objects or gifts to other people.

Thailand

Don’t pat people or children on the head when in Thailand. The top of one’s head is considered the most sacred part of their body and should be respected. Feet, the lowest point of the body should never be used to touch another person to point at something or someone as it is considered disrespectful.

Japan

Don’t eat while walking as it is considered to be bad manners in Japan. Japanese people respect their food and the hands that produced it and one should sit down to fully savour the food that nourishes.

Malaysia

Pointing with the index finger is considered rude and is frowned upon. Should you need to gesture at something, hold your hand lightly like a fist, and point with your thumb facing upwards or point with an open hand instead.

Taiwan

In Taiwan, it is very rude to curl your finger in a ‘come here’ manner with your palm facing upwards. If you would like to call someone to where you are, gesture with your fingers with your palm facing downwards.

Hong Kong

When given presents or giving presents, it is considered rude if the receiver opens the gift in front of the giver. This is to make sure that the giver is not discredited should the gift be considered inappropriate or is something undesired.

Indonesia

Indonesians are generally a peaceful bunch and do not like public displays of anger. Make sure you don’t shout or use aggressive gestures that might attract attention because it is considered disrespectful and rude.

South Korea

When eating and you are having a bit of a runny nose, make sure you do not blow your nose at the dining table as it is considered very rude. If you feel the need to clear your nose, make your way to the bathroom instead.

Vietnam

Taking pictures in Vietnam, don’t be shocked if a local refuses to be in a picture with you and another friend as having three people in-frame is taboo. In Vietnam, the number ‘3’ is considered sacred and the locals believe that if you take photos of three, the devil will take one away.


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Do’s and Don’ts when visiting a Buddhist temple

 

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In Southeast Asia, Buddhist temples are more or less everywhere and the last thing that a traveller would want to do is offend the locals on sacred ground. Before you plan on visiting a Buddhist temple, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind.

Take your shoes off around temple grounds

Just like in most homes in Asia, footwear is not allowed indoors and this is also practiced in temples so do as the locals and find the closest shoe rack or area to leave your footwear before entering a temple. In some places, they might give you a plastic bag to carry your shoes. For good measure, remove your hat as well.

Refrain from pointing at Buddha statues

Pointing can be considered rude in Asian culture and is considered offensive when it comes to statues of Buddha. If you need to gesture at something, do it with your right palm facing upwards instead. Also, back away when exiting a temple instead of turning your back as a sign of respect.

Do not point your feet at the main statue

Feet are considered the lowest and dirtiest point of one’s body in Buddhist culture and pointing your feet towards a statue, or another person can be considered very offensive. A good way to sit in a temple is by tucking your feet under your legs.

Dress decently

Leave your tank tops and shorts at home when visiting a temple. It can be considered offensive if you expose your knees and some temples might prohibit you from entering should you dress indecently. It might be a good idea to bring along a scarf in case you need extra coverage.

Do not engage in public displays of affection

This is a bit of a no-brainer but one would be surprised at the number of visitors who show indecent displays of affection on temple grounds. Keep hands off your significant other when visiting temples to avoid disapproving stares from locals and monks.

Keep your voice at a low volume

As a sign of respect, speak at a lower volume as loud conversations can disrupt those in prayer or meditation. Also, make sure that you refrain from using profanity on temple grounds as there is no tolerance for swearing or offensive remarks in these places.

Do not eat inside temple grounds

Some monks do only eat in the mornings so it might not be a good idea to be snacking around them. Also, accidently spilling a drink or potato crisps all over the floor would be frowned upon, especially when you are a visitor.

Lower your head when passing by people or Buddha statues

The head is considered the highest point in Buddhist culture and as a sign of respect and reverence, make sure you keep your head below the level of Buddhist statues and images. Also, do not touch the top of people or the Buddha statue’s head as this is extremely offensive in their culture.

Be aware of your conduct with monks

Monks are revered in Buddhism are to be respected when you are visiting a temple. When in conversation with a monk who is sitting, make sure you sit down first. Women should also refrain from touching monks as it is prohibited and should you give or receive something from a monk, make sure it is done with your right hand.

Do you have any other do’s and don’ts to share? Do let us know in the comments below. 

 


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The ultimate food list: Must eats for the foodie in Penang

Known as the Pearl of the Orient, both local and foreign travellers flock to the North of the Malaysian Peninsular to feast on what is arguably the best state in Malaysia for food. A melting pot of culture, Penang is where you can find various local cuisines, from Malay to Chinese to Indian and more.

Asam Laksa

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passionpassport.com

Full of mackerel and tamarind goodness, Asam Laksa is a fish noodle soup dish that originates from Penang. Dubbed #7 of the World’s 50 Best Foods by CNN Go in 2011, no trip to the Northern state is complete without savouring a bowl of Asam Laksa.

Visit: Pasar Air Itam Asam Laksa, Jalan Pasar, Paya Terubong, 11500 George Town, Pulau Pinang. 

Chee Cheong Fun

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vkeong.com

Different from the Hong Kong version of Chee Cheong Fun, the Penang Chee Cheong Fun is essentially are silky smooth rice noodle rolls served with a black sweet sauce, sesame seeds, fried shallots, sesame oil and chilli sauce. A light meal, this would be ideally eaten for breakfast or as a snack.

Visit: Seow Fong Lye Cafe, 94C, Macalister Lane, 10400, George Town, Penang

Hokkien Prawn Mee

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A local favourite in Penang, Hokkien Prawn Mee is a dish that consists of the richly flavoured stock that is made from the shells and heads of prawns. Served with noodles and a myriad of condiments like pork belly, prawns and bean sprouts, it is safe to say that one bowl is never enough.

Visit: Old Green House Prawn Mee223, Jalan Burma, George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Nasi Kandar

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goasiaplus.com

Of Penang Indian-Muslim or ‘Mamak’ origin, Nasi Kandar is a meal of rice and a mixture of curries and side dishes. Before Nasi Kandar restaurants became popular, a Nasi Kandar vendor would balance a pole or ‘kandar’ on their shoulders containing pots that held these dishes, hence its name.

Visit: Hameediyah Restaurant164, Lebuh Campbell, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Char Kway Teow

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jeroxie.com

Char Kway Teow or Fried Kway Teow is one of the top dishes that one cannot miss when in Penang. A fried noodle dish with seafood, chilli, eggs, bean sprouts and flat rice noodles, Char Kway Teow started off as a poor man’s dish served by fishermen and cockle-gatherers but eventually became one of the most sought after dishes in Penang.

Visit: Sister’s Char Kway Teow, 185, Jalan Macalister, George Town, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Mee Rebus

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hungryonion.com

Directly translated as ‘boiled noodles’, Mee Rebus is an Indian-Muslim dish of noodles served with a thick and slightly spicy curry-like broth and condiments such as fried tofu, bean sprouts, eggs, lime and fried flour fritters.

Visit: Hameed Pata Special Mee, 6, Kota Selera Padang Kota Lama, Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Beef and mutton soup

malaysiabest.net
malaysiabest.com

If you are aching for a hearty bowl of soup, this would be your best bet! A little on the spicy side, these Indian-Muslim soups come with a variety of meats. Paired with soft slices of local Roti Benggali, or Benggali Bread this is perhaps the best kind of comfort food on the island.

Visit: Sup Hameed, 48, Jalan Penang, George Town, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang

If you want someone else to do the leading when it comes to food, you could always go on a food tour around Georgetown.


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