Travel Diary

Phuket – The Pearl of the Andaman

The culture of any destination is a manifestation of its civilization. Phuket culture is very captivating as well as fascinating. It tells regarding the people of the destination, their beliefs, and their lifestyle. I viewed the culture of Phuket that gave me a reasonable idea regarding the practices and traditions that are yet pursued by the locals. The attractions, the events, the festivals, all imitate the culture of Phuket. I met some local people of Phuket who have a quite high level of affluence and are fairly prosperous as well as being gracious and polite towards me and maybe to all travelers. Though, it was hard for me to talk with older people because they generally speak in their local language. The younger crowd, learned in the English lingo, is more amicable. Get nearer and be enthralled by the invigorating culture of Phuket.

I visited Baan Panwa Resort and Spa which is rightly situated for leisure and business visitors in Phuket. This hotel is situated at 5.13 km away from ko rok nok region in the city and 8.43 km away from Phi Phi Island. It is 31.25 km far from the nearby airdrome – Phuket airport. A 24-hour reception is available here for guests as well as the hotel provides free parking space. From the moment I entered to the time I left, I felt as if I was in a delusion. This is no doubt the greatest hotel I have ever lived in. The hotel staff were incredibly welcoming always greeting me with a beautiful smile and were indisputably happy to help me with whatever I needed.

The hotel was eye-catching, the rooms are furnished and are perfectly clean with excellent maid facility. The main swimming pool along with swim-up bar are all unbelievable as is the foodstuff. I also went to the Dream Beach Club often where the whole thing was the identical all to the high-standard with exquisite staff who oversee everyone and so you feel incredibly special. Again the food was awesome with a different menu to gratify most people’s necessities. The view was superb neglecting the Andaman ocean with the striking sunset. The amusement was again extraordinary and I also attended various evening programs which were exceptional. Unsurprisingly I would greatly suggest the Baan Panwa Resort and Spa unluckily my dream is over for the moment but I will be coming back as anyone visiting Phuket must go to Baan Panwa Resort and Spa to see how comfortable this hotel is. I genuinely found this hotel best in terms of locality and amenities.

Baan Panwa Resort and Spa also has a café that caters a range of beverages, snacks and food. The resort features an inclusive list of facilities to make the stay of all the visitors a comfortable one.  The service-minded staff of the resort is always ready to welcome and guide the visitors. Comfortable guestrooms at Baan Panwa Resort and Spa make sure a good night’s nap with some rooms offering amenities such as television, toiletries, air conditioning, refrigerator, and desk. You can also enjoy the resort’s leisure facilities which include fitness center, solarium, garden, private beach, outdoor pool, before getting back to the room for a well-merited rest. Close proximity, great amenities, and friendly staff are three big reasons you must stay at Baan Panwa Resort and Spa. There are various attractions in the city close to the Baan Panwa Resort and Spa. Some of the tourist attractions include Chalong Beach, Phuket Zoo, Boxing stadion Phuket, Chalong Temple, Clocktower, Tri Trang Beach, Phuket Aquarium, and many more.

After having some rest from travelling to the city I decided to go to the Ko Phi Phi Island. I spend a lot of time there and it was definitely the best time of my whole Thailand experience. Phi Phi is an attraction for young (typically gorgeous young Swedish) party lovers, and people with thoughts of discovering their Beach. The island is very chaotic and touristy, and fairly classy for Thailand. There are in fact more than a few islands, and most tours stop for a snorkeling journey on the way. Packed lunch is typically served once you arrive at PhiPhi Ley’s heaven-like Maya bay. As no one but campers and park rangers are permitted to stay here overnight. PhiPhi Don is more theatrical and was terribly overdeveloped earlier than the tsunami cleaned it all away.

A Fluid Mix of The Ancient and The Modern of South Korea

South Korea is a dream destination – an engaging, welcoming place where the benefits of a high-tech nation are balanced alongside a reverence for tradition and the ways of the old Asia. It might be scary to visit a war-infuriated country, but a quick visit to South Korea is actually worth your time and money!

Korea might be known as the ‘Land of the Morning Calm’, but dive into its capital Seoul, the powerhouse of Asia’s third-largest economy, and serenity is the last thing you’ll feel. This round-the-clock city is constantly on the move, with its work-hard and play-hard population, the epitome of the nation’s indefatigable, can-do spirit. You can hardly turn a corner without stumbling across a tourist information booth, a subway station or a taxi in this multifaceted metropolis where meticulously reconstructed palaces rub shoulders with teeming night markets and the latest technological marvel. In short, it is an urban marvel.

South Korea’s compact size and superb transport infrastructure mean that tranquillity can be found within an easy reach of the urban sprawl. Hike to the summits of craggy mountains enclosed by densely forested national parks. Some of those same mountains transform into ski slopes come winter. Get further off-the-beaten-path than you thought possible by sailing to remote islands, where farming and fishing folk welcome you into their homes and simple seafood cafes. Chill out in serene villages surrounded by rice fields, sleeping in a rustic traditional wooden guesthouse called ‘Hanok’.

A packed calendar of festivals and events means there’s almost always a celebration of some sort to attend wherever you are – it might be Boryeong for its mud fest, or Gwangju for its Biennale or its annual salute to that most Korean of foods: kimchi. Friendly Koreans are always delighted to share their culture with visitors – often that means over a shared meal with a tantalising array of dishes and plenty of toasts with local alcoholic beverages.

There are loads of activities to indulge in when you are in South Korea. Learn how to make tasty kimchi at the Kimchi Academy House! At the Kimchi Academy House, you can learn about Korean history and culture through kimchi. Visitors can take kimchi-making classes taught by a professional kimchi instructor. Participants can taste the kimchi they make, have it vacuum-packed, and take it home with them.



An amazing site you could visit in the neighbourhood is the humongous Gwongeumseong Fortress, which is the site of castle ruins located on Seoraksan Mountain. At the left side of Sogongwon, past the Biryonggyo Bridge over the ravine, there is a path which leads to Gwongeumseong Castle, but it takes over an hour of travel through a steep, rocky path, so a cable car is used. You could also hike through the beautiful mountains up there. Another amazing place is the Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is arguably the most beautiful, and remains the largest of all five palaces in South Korea. It also houses the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum within the premises of the complex.

Amid the majestic mountains of Seoraksan National Park sits an ancient Zen Buddhist temple and a monument to a peaceful unification for Korea. The temple is not only for local monks; it is also available for multi-day paid Mountain Temple Stays by visitors looking to experience Zen meditation and asceticism.

On the path to Sinheungsa, there is a great bronze statue called Bronze Jwabul Statue, which is well over 10 meters high. The Great Unification Buddha sits on a lotus pedestal, flanked with 16 inscribed panels, is the largest seated bronze Buddha statue in the world, at 14.6m high, excluding the halo, lightning rod and pedestal.

If you thought office places are plain and boring, you ought to visit the Blue Palace. The Blue House; literally “pavilion of blue tiles”, is the executive office and official residence of the South Korean head of state. The signature markings of the Presidential Residence of Cheong Wa Dae are its blue tiles. It is the first thing that catches one’s attention upon entering the premises. The blue tiles and the smooth roof blend beautifully with Bugaksan Mountain in the backdrop.

To your surprise, Ginseng is one of the most protected items in Korea, but the Matinal Ginseng outlet gives you a peek into this secret. Here, you will be briefed on the different types of Ginseng and the quality and usefulness. The Korean government has blocked and prevented 6-year-old ginseng is sold to other countries. 4 years old Ginseng and below are allowed to be sold to other countries. You will also learn how to plant and the way to take a look at Ginseng which is so sensitive to land use.

Here are some rules of thumb you need to keep in mind when visiting South Korea:

                     Don’t call a person over with your palm facing up

                     Don’t take a seat on the first half of the bus

                     Don’t tip in restaurants

                     Try your best not to refuse food or drinks

                     Learn the social conventions for friendships

                     Do get out and experience South Korean festival culture

                     Korea is a country with a rich drinking culture. So, do drink!

No matter when you travel to South Korea, you will be surprised with breath-taking seasonal changes in nature, such as cherry blossoms in the spring, flower fields in the summer, colourful foliage in the fall and a white wonderland in the winter. So, pick a date from your calendar and head straight to this heavenly destination for your next trip with Travel Treasures!




Hong Kong’s Light Show

Two spectacular light shows over Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour — the new version of the internationally acclaimed nightly multi-media light show A Symphony of Light and the winter version of the Hong Kong Pulse Light Show — unveiled on 1st December 2017. The two world-class shows, best viewed from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, will brighten up Hong Kong’s Christmas with dynamic lighting effects and the illusion of an icy atmosphere at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The new version of A Symphony of Lights features dynamic rays of light sent out in rhythm from 40 buildings and locations on both sides of the Victoria Harbour. The new show incorporates a variety of exciting lighting effects such as coloured searchlights, lasers, and all-new beam lights sent out like a special fan-shaped lighting effect from the roof of the Central Government Offices and the Revenue Tower. Ten LED panels on a number of harbourside buildings are for the first time joining the multi-media show, displaying images and messages to encourage audience participation.

The show is complemented by music from Asia’s leading classical orchestra the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, providing visitors with a thrilling and unforgettable sound-and-light experience. The 10-minute show begins at 8pm every evening.

Immediately after A Symphony of Lights, the winter version of Hong Kong Pulse Light Show begins at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Spectators can view it from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza. The 3D projection show begins with a snowstorm which covers the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in snow and ice and blows away the numbers on the Clock Tower, stopping time just before Christmas arrives.

An ingenious dragon then sets out to find the missing numbers which are scattered across Hong Kong landmarks. The dragon eventually finds them and restarts time to save Christmas. During the show, the piazza is decorated with snowing effect along with glowing LED balls and a giant crystal ball. The 8-minute performance runs from 1st to 28th December 2017.

Embrace the creative side of you in Balinese Dance

Photo courtesy of Nusa Dua Beach Resort

We were recently enchanted when we had a chance to visit and attend to some of the Balinese Cultural Creation centre, located in Denpasar. We were so happy to get to meet the local actors and dancers in person and participate in different workshops. Walking through the complex we could experience how beautifully green the plants were and feel the odor of their flowers. The scent of earth, water, wind, and flowers imbued our senses and mind, leaving us in romantic space. My five year-old, especially, appreciated this chance to meet this side of nature she rarely get a chance to see at home, so she couldn’t be happier. Moreover, she was having his birthday party among the trees and on grass, and then she surprised me by saying that he would want to learn to dance Balinese Dance.

I was not sure what she was talking about at first, because she kept uttering and repeating “Balinese, Balinese,and Balinese”. This occurred after she had visited a local event that performed Balinese dance however I was not sure what it was, so I looked it up online.

It turned out that Balinese is a beautiful traditional form of dance, performed by Balinese people that have been part of their religion and their culture since ancient times. I have gotten so puzzled to know first-hand what this dance was all about, especially since there was plenty chance to attend different activities,both outdoors and indoors at one’s own convenient time. This represented an ideal opportunity to keep my son occupied by artistic yet dynamic activity, all year long.

As soon as I found Balinese Cultural Creation, I was impressed they offered so many activities and cultural activities, at such affordable terms, that I immediately booked a stay, to my own and my daughter’s amusement. Once we got there I was amazed at all the activities we could take part in so we both enrolled in a class in Balinese dance. From the minute I sat down to watch the dancers I was mesmerized, wishing to teach myself these wonderful invigorating movements, while my daughter was overwhelmed by excitement and joy. On the beginning I was clumsy with moves, but my daughter caught on like a pro, since kids are like sponge easy to adopt new skill when they are young and loving it.

Photo courtesy of Four Season Jimbaran

The instructors were particularly motivating and patient with us and everyone else, applying right balance of being friendly, yet enforcing everyone to learn the dance movements and rules correctly. However, this beautiful dance was hardly our only activity -we learned how to make a kit for example from beautiful natural materials. My daughter was successful and let his kit go fly in the sky, while I have not had much luck making it. I learned about Indonesian philosophy which includes learning how to dance as each step, each movement represented some deep insight into the nature of life and universal law surrounding us. The garments, the costumes, the colors all represent a unique aspect and harmony of life. My daughter and I learned a lot; more about the dance for her, and for me about the life philosophy.

Other activities that we participated in together included batik painting a t-shirt, with a paintbrush and colored paint, while my daughter was assisting me. She was such really enjoying showing off her artistic skills for the first time in his life. With paintbrush in hand, colors by the side we were ready – Balinese Art of batik painting is attractive with bright colors among lovely designs, traditional and quite unique. Philosophy, culture, and the respect for natural order can be seen through all their art, dance, and more.

Trying out and eating Indonesian cuisine meals together was also great fun, playing games with the other kids, and learning a new culture will definitely make my daughter more versatile woman when she grows up. I highly recommend everyone bringing your children to this kind of magical place. You will never be the same again, as it would leave you feel enriched, content, and more intimate to each other. The smile on my daughter’s face was what made the trip worth it.

“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life–learn some as well as think some and also draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” – Robert Sharma


Indulge your ceramic interest at Jenggala Keramik

Bali is a most memorable destination hotspot for many international and local tourists. This is because the islands of Bali are graced with gorgeous and breathtaking scenery, bountiful cultures, delectable cuisines and cocktails in the various restaurants and bars and a place to explore and indulge in many watersports as amply availed by the various clear water beaches with fine white sands.

One of the reasons I was inspired to come over to Bali was to soak in all the knowledge I could regarding the vast Balinese culture. And as I went along visiting as many historical places as I could manage and talking to the indigenous people, it was brought to my attention to visit Jenggala where I could find and indulge in the Jenggala Keramik.

Jenggala Keramik is a ceramic warehouse where clay is given the utmost respect and treatment to create beautiful tableware and home ware pieces that many restaurants and homes all over Bali use. And as in the case of the international tourists, the exquisitely handcrafted products are a beautiful way to gift your friends and family back home or keep as souvenirs of your visit to Bali.

The clay for over thirty years that is used is the finest of its kind to create the wondrous formulas used to create and showcase their aesthetic products. Also various techniques are employed like casting and throwing on a potter’s wheel but for the most part are all handcrafted. The technique to be used depends on the intricacies of the product in question. A lot of time is given in the thought, design and quality control processes of each and every product. These ceramic Balinese inspired products are offered in a wide array of shapes and colors, in sets as well as in single pieces. A gallery with a wide inventory is right round the corner where anyone that wants to purchase a piece or two can go right ahead and do so. All of them are at affordable prices and there are discounts and promotions available making the shopping experience all worthwhile and interesting.

For the most part, my time at the Jenggala was spent participating in the ‘Make a Pot and ‘Color a Pot’ program that is provided by the Jenggala Keramik team to its visitors. And I must say that it was time well spent indeed in that well air conditioned space. It reminded me of all the fun I had making various home ware pieces out of soil with friends as I was a very little girl. The beauty of this program is that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and sizes, as a group or as an individual. I am pretty sure that many kids preferably of three years plus get a kick out of creating something using their own hands. For the adults, I believe that aside from being a fun way to spend time with friends and family, it is a very good activity for soothing oneself and get one with nature.

Everyone is given a chance to come up with their own design idea and the staff is always there to lend a hand if needed. I love that the visitors get to test and build their creative side. You are left to your own devices and you can create a mug, a bowl, a plate and so on. These have to be fired and so will be ready after four or five days. Hence make sure that your activity is well planned for so as to get to enjoy your final ceramic pieces. Your creation can be made as beautiful as you would want for paints and glazes are provided for your use.And if anyone is interested in having a one on one class, all can be arranged. All one needs to do is ask. I have found that large parties attending these workshops and they can be as fun filled as one wants them to be. So if you want to have a birthday party or anniversary party activity, then Jenggala Keramik is the way to go. All your guests will thoroughly enjoy themselves. Payment for participation is not set but depends on the number of pieces one wants to make or paint.

However if you are also one of those people that would rather feast with your eyes rather than participate directly, it is quite alright. A viewing area is provided for you to view whatever is going on in the studios.

My love for food greatly appreciates the fact that there is a café and restaurant a few minutes’ walk from the workshop and gallery where anyone can feast on the various mouthwatering Balinese cuisines on offer. So after a hard work on your special project, it is a great place to relax and catch one’sbreath with a very good cup of coffee in hand.

All in all, a visit to the Jenggala Keramik is one that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a fun activity in Bali that will also draw them closer to Balinese history. Just make sure to secure a booking ahead of time so as not to be inconvenienced. It is also the place to be if you are looking for a venue to keep your guests entertained for whatever occasion you might have in mind. Visit Jenggala Keramik today and witness the magic.


Bus Access in South Iceland

South Iceland offers a rich amalgamation of attractive locations to visit as it has a reputation of being home to the most exotic natural wonders in Iceland. The area offers a splendid blend of glaciers, geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs and how can we forget the multiple UNESCO listed historic marvels at Thingvellir. South Iceland is the most regularly and fervently visited tourist attraction. The joy of visiting marvelous locales of South Iceland would become twofold if you tour the amazing sites by bus. So, for your convenience, we are listing the top locations that can be easily reached by bus.

HveragerðiHveragerdi or the Flower Village is the charismatic gateway town to South Iceland. It is situated in a huge geothermal area. The town features the largest array of greenhouses in the entire country and hence received the nickname flower village. You can visit a number of highly active hot springs that discharge colorful mud and warm water into the air, which needless to say is a rare feat. Also, you can enjoy trout and salmon fishing in the Varma River and berry picking during summers.


Höfn í Hornafirði
Höfn í HornafirðiHofn town in Hornafjordur is home to the biggest glacier in Europe called Vatnajokull. The scenery at Hofn is breathtaking. The largest national park in Europe, the Vatnajökull National Park, is also situated here. You can enjoy diverse range of services over here including camping sites, restaurants, swimming pools, hiking trails, golf courses, shopping arenas and multiple museums. The much popular Lobster Festival is also being held every year in summer.


Jökulsárlón The incredible Glacier Lagoon Jokulsarlon is situated on the edge of Vatnajokull National Park. To enjoy icebergs in a wide range of shapes and styles from charcoal black soot to powder blue chunks and white streaked logs to glass like translucent formations, there is simply no end to their versatility. The Skaftafell glacier hike is the tipping point of your glacier voyage at Jökulsárlón. It is a very popular and picturesque location, where various Hollywood movies have been filmed.


LaugarvatnLaugarvatn Fontana, located at the mesmerizing Laugarvatn Lake, is a very relaxing place where tourists get to relish the authentic Icelandic adventures and get a taste of the geothermal pools and natural saunas. There are three steam rooms that are called GUFAN. These steam baths are a treat for people from all age groups. The depth, size and temperature of the steam baths vary as these have been built over natural hot springs gradually since 1929 so you can expect the weather to be between 40°C (104°F) and 50°C (122°F). At the Grids, the steam rooms’ floor, visitors can hear and smell the boiling hot spring present underneath, which is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Vík / Mýrdalshreppur
MýrdalshreppurSouth Iceland’s most frequently visited tourist destination is the Vik and in its Mýrdalur district’s western part lays the Dyrhólaey at a 120meter high promontory. It is a popular location where the mystic rock arch is located. The major portion of the fourth largest glacier in Iceland the km2 Mýrdalsjökull glacier is also situated in Vik. Around 600m below the ice you can expect to witness one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland, the dormant sub-glacial volcano Katla. Vik features a number of sea and land attractions such as you can enjoy salmon and trout fishing, horseback riding, dogsledding and ice-climbing on the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, snowmobile trips, sight-seeing in boats, wool center and fish farm, etc. It won’t be an overstatement that there are very few other locations in Iceland that offer such amazing contrasts of natural attractions than Mýrdalur.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur In olden times, Kirkjubæjarklaustur village was known as Kirkjubær, which means Church Farm. The name refers to the fact that this location served as an important farming estate. The name of the village is also used as a tongue-twister in Iceland because of its complex pronunciation. The Church Floor called Kirkjugólf is a well-protected natural pavement and a famous attraction in the village. It is a natural pavement at the basalt columns. The basalt columns’ shape has been modified by wind and waves and they give away the look of a paved church floor now.

Author: John Grotti


Le Marais – The City of Light

Le MaraisParis is full of wonderful treasures, but the Le Marais is one of the best jewels in the city of light. Spanning in the third and fourth districts, the Le Marais has become one of the most exotic and popular city of Paris. However, it is quite far from as being a gay area when it had just established a stronghold in the late seventeenth century. The Marais has a beautiful, palpable cosmopolitan atmosphere, where you will definitely feel very comfortable.


Actually, the gay community blends with the local artists and as well as the Jewish community, who have a good and strong presence. In addition, to this, the neighborhood is quite very lively. You can easily treat yourself to a bit of shopping and can purchase beautiful and elegant products. The neighborhood perfectly offers a good mix of the luxury labels, specialty boutiques and some beautiful thrift shops.

See the numerous art galleries that are located throughout all the Marais. These walls are quite beautiful as framed by genuine artists. To start exploring the area the perfect place to start is to just take a metro to the Bastille unless you walk from the Notre Dame and as well as the Hotel de Ville. Musse Carnavalet, Musse Picasso, Institut Sudedois and the Le Carreau du Temple are some of the exotic nearby destinations that you can see in the Le Marais.

Freelance Writer: Sue Ann Klosterman Becker