Vietnam promises a rich setting and does not disappoint with a fascinating and picturesque country. Despite a history which appears tragic, the stunning scenery and captivating culture make it a must-visit destination. With steely determination, Vietnamese approach the new milieu with optimism shedding its old cloak of war and communism. Stunning coastlines, bountiful fields and rural scenery continue to elude the capitalistic world that beckons.


Located on the bank of the Red river is the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi where one will find a fusion of both east and west intermingled with Chinese and French effects. Despite years of revolutions, the city today appears rising like a phoenix. Architectural influences from the 1970s and 1980s are distinctly visible around the city centre.


Visitors to the city will be amazed at the lush landscapes and colonial buildings creating a salubrious environment. The steep history of the city offers many sites of historical importance to visit and admire. The prehistoric site known as the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is a popular haunt. Declared a world heritage site, this edifice resonates the country’s preserved relics. Other places of note include the Temple of Litereature, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and the Water puppet theatre to name a few.


A symbolic building in the capital is the Hanoi Opera House. Located in the center of the town, this architectural masterpiece was constructed and designed by the French. As a result, European renaissance structures are prevalent in the design. Initially limited to only the performances of western artists, latterly this include all major entertainers and even conferences and meetings of repute were hosted in this venue.


Renowned as the largest theatre in the country, recent renovations has seen the state of the art amenities that are helping to propel this building into the world arena. The recent renovations add further grandeur to the edifice.


A short distance away from the Hanoi town is the Somerset Hoa Binh. This Serviced Apartment Hanoi is the ideal venue to unwind. These Hanoi apartments are spacious offering superlative conveniences in a comfortable and stylishly serviced residency. The Somerset Hoa Binh’s personalized services will definitely provide an exceptional experience contributing to the perfect getaway.




Swan valley is where the wonders of this western Australian region come together to enthrall its visitors with its native greenery, extensive wine yards rich with the aroma of breweries, its historic ruins and buildings and secluded footpaths and picnic grounds. This wonderland in Western Australia is surprisingly close to the Perth city centre being a mere 25 minute drive away while it is also 10 minutes away from the local airport. As the oldest wine growing region in the district, many wineries in this area still belong to the descendents of the European immigrants.

The best way to experience swan valley would be to journey along its winding path of Swan valley food and wine trail which stretches to 32 km with as many as 150 places of interest along the way from wineries to breweries to restaurants and shops. Strolling along this path, one comes upon a great many scenic locations where the abundance of trees as well as foot paths and nearby waterfalls make great picnic locations. Extensive wine yards and breweries throw their tempting aromas to the morning breeze and indeed, a taste of these fineries is possible along the way at the wine cellars. For the art and history fans, there are galleries as well as ancient heritage sites that lie along this path waiting to be explored. There are also plenty of activities to be tried such as cycling, horse riding and golf for the more enthusiastic and sporty traveller. While the extensive assortment of wines can cure your thirst for a rich, seductive flavor, a bite of those freshly baked goodies from one of the many restaurants along the way can do wonderful things to your palate. Many festivals, especially those where fine wines are a definite accompaniment, happens at swan valley and these include the wine show and the famous spring in the valley festival.

Finding a great place to unwind when visiting Perth need not be nerve wracking. Even for the business traveller or the leisure seeker, there is the modern contemporarily styled range of residences and Perth apartment accommodation available at Somerset St Georges Terrace including studios, spa studios and one bedroom apartments. Perth serviced apartments cannot get any better than this with the contemporary residencies offering an optimum range of facilities within chic interiors.


Flowing down across the border of Burma and Thailand, Mae Kok River passes the districts of Mae Chan, Mueang Chiang Rai, Wiang Chai and Chiang Saen. In a world with few opportunities to enjoy an eventful yet pleasant cruise along a famous river at a reasonable price, Chiang Rai boasts the Mae Kok River Cruise offered at an inexpensive price. The Thaton-Chiang Rai boat service run by Chiang Rai’s Mae Kok Boat Service Company offers trips that last for nearly three hours packed with an abundance of captivating sights.

Having originated in this location due to the existence of the river which was the main trade artery between Chiang Rai and the Thaton-Fang, the Thaton boat service currently runs primarily for the passengers. An ideal way to behold the backwoods of Chiang Rai Province, the boat ride departs from the dock in Thaton.

An exciting activity to indulge in whilst visiting Northern Thailand, the boat ride progresses through portions of dense jungle and one will see hill-tribe villages on the banks at occasional intervals. It is crucial to keep in mind that during and right after the rainy season, the river is deep and some parts of it become rapids which must be traversed only by people with skill.

The river consists of hundreds of miniature islets which are widely visited by trekkers taking boat trips from Thaton. A village named Karen, where locals raise elephants to use them in their daily work is located between Thaton and Chiang Rai. Those in a boat travelling along the Mae Kok River can easily see this village, and if it is in the late afternoon they may also get to see the elephants taking baths in the river.

In addition to these boat rides, charter boat trips, rafting trips, overnight camping and hiking trips are also available for the eager tourists.

Discerning travellers to this area in search of Golden Triangle hotels will be delighted to discover the exemplary Anantara Golden Triangle, Thailand. Housing elegantly furnished rooms and suites with alluring décor amid spectacular vistas, the hotel is a standout among all Chiang Rai resorts ensuring its guests an unforgettable stay.

The most popular attraction in the entire Waikato region, The Hamilton Gardens attracts around 600,000 visitors every year. When travellers venture in to the gardens for themselves, it soon becomes apparent why.

The gardens are divided in to four subsections each of which houses several smaller gardens inside. These main areas are known as Paradise Garden Collection, Cultivar Garden Collection, Productive Garden Collection and the Landscape Garden Collection respectively. Each of these areas has been lovingly crafted, presenting an aesthetic sensation that will astonish the senses.
The distinct appearances of each area will truly give visitors the impression that they have stepped in to another land altogether.

Hamilton Gardens is also the site of over 2000 events including The Pacific Rose Bowl Festival and the Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival. A host of musical performances grace this destination, encompassing an impressive range of musical genres in a showcasing of local talent.

A variety of art exhibitions are also held at Hamilton Garden further widening its artistic appeal. The displays all relate to specific art themes while some even present the chance to walk away with a fabulous piece of art for your home.

With a diverse offering of aesthetic beauty, musical and other art Hamilton Gardens is a destination that delivers a compelling creative world to explore. Entry to the garden is completely free while opening hours are from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm during the winter months and 7:00 am to 8:00 pm during the summer months. With so much on offer, visitors to Waikato have no excuse for missing this destination.

Guests wishing to visit this destination will find staying in a Hamilton New Zealand hotel such as Kingsgate Hotel Hamilton provides an accommodation option that provides convenient access to this destination. Guests of this Hamilton hotel will also enjoy exemplary service combined with an array of amenities during their stay.

Before Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts made it the eponymous setting of their silver screen love story, Notting Hill of West London was the ultimate Bohemian playground. The vibrance of its Portobello Market, the quaint tea shops and pubs where gathered folk from eclectic walks of life and the cobblestone streets lined with Victorian townhouses was what drew the producers of the film in the first place. Not to mention the fact of its stunning cultural diversity and ultra-cosmopolitan nature. From its first development in the 1820s, Notting Hill has always been a magnet for alternative cultures and artists.

Ironically, in the wake of the film’s popularity, real estate prices have ratcheted up, forcing its original Bohemian charm to give way to the more up-and-coming, ultra-chic elements of London society. Today, Notting Hill is a markedly affluent area of town, with high-end retail outlets, fashionable restaurants and the addresses of some of London’s notable personalities. However unrecognizable the streetscape now seems when compared with the 1997 film that brought it to international attention, at least three elements of Notting Hill remain constant – the Portobello Market, the area’s multi-ethnic character and the Notting Hill Carnival.

Notting Hill Carnival harks from the 1960s, when the area was the rather seedy residential area of several disenfranchised immigrant communities, most notably those of the West Indies.

The present-day incarnation of the Carnival has its roots in two separate places, the joining of whom was purely coincidental. The Carnival was first launched in 1959 as a counter to the Notting Hill racial riots that had cast a pall over the community the previous year. This was an in-door event organized by Claudia Jones, a Trinidadian expatriate who is recognized as the “Mother of the Carnival”. The Carnival’s other component was a more diverse outdoor event organized by Rhaune Laslett in 1966, with more hippie overtones and geared more toward cultural unity. The two events encountered one another when the Carnival steel band accidentally joined the neighbourhood children’s street festival. And the rest, as they say, is history.

It is however agreed that the common inspiration for the festival were the 19th century Caribbean carnivals that celebrated the abolition of slavery and freedom from the slave trade. This flavour became particularly pronounced by 1976, where it saw approximately 150,000 people in attendance.

Today, that number has climbed up to an average of 1.5 million, making it one of Europe’s largest street festivals. It is viewed by the people as one of the city’s most dynamic celebrations of its cultural diversity, celebrating the best of Caribbean traditions. London steel bands still feature heavily and the 3-mile parade is also a key highlight of the event. Altogether, the Carnival boasts 20 miles worth of flamboyant costumes, Caribbean food stalls and 40,000 volunteers to oversee it all.

The Notting Hill Carnival kicks off on the Saturday in August before the Monday Bank Holiday, with a steel band competition. Sunday is the day for the kids’ activities and costume parties while the main parade is scheduled for Monday. This procession of floats and gregarious street performers begins of the Western Road onto the Westbourne Grove via the Chepstow Road, finally winding up in Ladbroke Grove. The after-parties carry on well into the wee hours, long after the floats have departed.

Travellers who find themselves staying at London hotels or London serviced apartments on business or pleasure should definitely clear their schedules to look in on this affair of pomp and spectacle. Those looking for a luxury serviced apartment in London need look no further than Ascott London Mayfair. This centralized luxury accommodation at the heart of London’s most exclusive residential area affords access to a wealth of London’s cultural and art hotspots, including those in Notting Hill.

A magnificent and majestic natural formation in New Zealand, Huka Falls offers far more than a just a waterfall to be looked upon. Stepping in to the area surrounding this famous waterfall will send travellers in a soothing journey amidst nature.

Formed by the passage of the Weikato River in its journey towards Lake Taupo, the path of the river enters a narrow point with a gap of only 100m between the banks. From here the water is squeezed through a hard volcanic rock formation that creates a build up of pressure before it shoots out over the 11 metre drop of Huka Falls.

For those who wish to see this build up for themselves, the hike between Spa Park and Huka Park is a popular option as it takes travellers a chance to see the shifting water flow. This trek will last approximately one hour and begins at a section where the Waikato River is still fairly gentle.

A footbridge crosses over the top of the falls allowing visitors to get an up close look at the tremendous force of water colliding against rock. The feeling of fresh air and naturalistic scenery will truly invigorate all who visit.

When travelling to the Huka Falls visitors will be struck by the extremely picturesque nature of the area that almost looks like it could only exist in a postcard. The water is pristine, while the mountainous landscape on either side presents a stunning backdrop to the entire experience. The area surrounding Huka Falls is pleasant with it being completely enclosed by nature, which presents a stark contrast from the city.

For those seeking to visit the falls, staying in New Zealand hotels near Tapua Falls will reduce the hassle of travelling considerably. Copthorne Hotel Taupo presents New Zealand hotel packages that lets you make the best of the prominent Lake Taupo Business Centre from which the falls is easily accessible.