Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wonderful Asia: English Proficiency and Language Barrier, Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours Review

One of the reasons why many westerners hesitate on traveling to Asia is because of language barriers. Indeed, Asia is a home for thousands of different tongues on top of hundreds of cultures. Communication may be a problem, relaying the message you want may be a daunting challenge and surviving may be questionable. Or, it may not be an existing problem at all.

According to English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Asian countries are not altogether illiterate in speaking and understanding the universal language. If so, there are countries which can even speak English as fluent as any native can. Surprise surprise! They also have educational system which teaches English language and international affairs where English language is being used to properly communicate. Business districts in many capitals like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Jakarta, Indonesia use English in a day to day basis.  You may even be surprised to meet a young child who has not gone to school or mingled with foreigners but can speak and understand English. So for those who are just finding some dumb excuse to visiting Asia and its wonders, your complaints are invalid.

But if you must, you can learn simple tips to overcome language barriers.

1.            Learn simple phrases beforehand
It does no harm to review new language as it does not mean that you will totally abandon your own mother tongue. Simple greetings like thank you, good morning or excuse me can be a good start. To get by, you can learn basic conversational phrases revolving around things like restrooms, food and directions. Simply perfecting “how do you say this” or “what this is” can be simple ways of learning bits of the language.

2.            Pay attention to non-verbal languages
90% of human communication comes from non-verbal languages. Gestures are of a global scale and it can be understood by anyone regardless of culture or tradition. Smiles and nods can reach a long way to foreigners and locals alike while touching and eye contact can vary depending on customs. In Republic of Korea and Vietnam, it is rude to offer or receive with only one hand. Gifts should be given or accepted with both hands and a bow.

3.            Bring a notebook

Although you have a sharp mind, you cannot always trust it. Jotting down the simple phrases you have learned can help you in dealing with the same situation later on. You can also use your smartphones to avoid hassle. Just make sure you hold your gadgets tight as there are a lot of fraudsters in Asian streets.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hygienic Traveling Tips

While traveling, you do not want any hygienic issues hamper your trip. Being a first time tourist, you must be surprised of how challenging it is to keep your health rituals and hygiene. There may be unavailability of water, the change of environment or the different feel of the new place that makes you awkward to get through your own beauty habits. Whatever the factors that you are experiencing, it shouldn’t hinder you from doing what you have to do.

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, a group of professional travelers who contribute great ideas and suggestions on traveling understands the issue incorporated with keeping good hygiene and staying clean all throughout your travel even when you are walking through the Sahara desert, trekking on the Amazon jungle or getting stuck on traffic in Jakarta, Indonesia. The following are some of the must-haves that you shouldn’t travel without:

1. Tissue and Toilet Paper

Make sure you have packed your own toilet paper. When you are traveling to public places, these are oftentimes not included in public restrooms. You cannot expect these in rural areas as well which does not promise that much of a facility.

2. Sanitizer

While doctors highly advise of using soap and water while washing your hands, there are times that this is not a highly likely option for travelers. Fortunately for travelers of today, there is the invention of sanitizers. A bottle or two can greatly help in easing your sanitary problems which makes it one of the must-haves when traveling.

3. Water

When you are traveling there is a high risk of getting infected through the water that you drink. This warning heightens more when you are traveling rural and isolated areas. Bottled water is the best option to avoid contradictions.

4. Facial Wash

When you are traveling, it cannot be avoided that you can either get an oily or dry face. The condition of your face depends on the condition of the weather on the place you are going to. If you are concerned you’ll get haggard, make sure you pack a lot of facial wash and cream.

5. Mouthwash

There are times that you cannot find a good place to brush your teeth, your water may be limited or it can be too unsafe to use. Mouth wash is a very useful especially if you want to interact to other people but can’t be too near. Don’t sacrifice your travel just because of a smelly breath.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Best Honeymoon Destinations in Asia

Honeymoon should be a time of romance and love. As a celebration of two individuals starting their lives together, honeymoon is set to be enjoyed for the more joined experiences later on. There is just nothing like the feeling of being newlyweds.

Asia is one of the best places to go to while during honeymoon. As home of pristine beaches, hilly terrains and other must-experience adventures, Asia has a lot to offer to make your sweet start of life as husband and wife.

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, you’re traveling guide based in Singapore, has the following list of today’s top honeymoon destinations in the heart of the largest archipelago to review and visit:


Maldives is already gaining popularity to being one of the most dreamt honeymoon destination. This tiny island offers diverse bask of adventures secluded from other prying eyes. In this island, you will find the world’s top spa retreats, white beaches and a picturesque and scenic view. No fraudulent experts can ever copy the majesty of Maldives.

Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand is a center of diverse culture and rich heritage fit for couples who like a little adventure and peak in the past. A good honeymoon itinerary would include going through the Chao Phrya River in a canal boat ride and visiting Royal Barges National Museum. Honeymooners may also want to visit Buddhist temple and pay little homage or ask for a blissful years of couple life to come.

Despite being a city, Jakarta offers a wide variety of activities hidden within its boundaries. A good place to say would be in Nihiwata, Sumba which is perfect if you want to achieve both city and beach honeymoon. The Marangga villas of Nihiwatu in Sumba offer an unobstructed view of the Indian Ocean from the terrace of your room, complete with private pool and the privacy that honeymoon couples need.


Borneo offers more of the natural adventures of honeymoon. Seeing an orangutan during your romantic days wouldn’t seem a weird idea once you are already there. You don’t need to be a nature lover to appreciate the spectacular wildlife that roams free in this country

Lombok Island, Indonesia 

Lombok Island has the most heavenly atmosphere and the beautiful underwater scenery. The waves, which are not too big and quiet, of course will add romance honeymoon. Watching the sunset while holding hands by the shore is just one of the fantasies that can come true in this island.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Diversities and Complexities

Indonesia is composed of 17,000 islands, more than 200 languages and with a population of more than 200million. Java and Jakarta holds the most number of inhabitants and has actually been listed by UNESCO World Heritages in its list of the most diversified country in the world.

Indonesia is a melting pot of races cultures, languages, religions, traditions and histories.

In reviews of the archipelago’s events, Madurese bull-racing, Kerapan Sapi, is a festival that takes place annually on the island of Madura, whilst the traditional Sundanese marriage ceremony involves nine formal stages, and many Javanese people do not typically have surnames.
People may identify themselves according to their ethnicity, birthplace or family, and hundreds of languages are spoken throughout the country, however most Indonesians are united through the national language, Bahasa Indonesia, as well as through the national philosophical foundation of Pancasila. These five principles come from age-old traditions and are said to define Indonesia’s nationhood:
  • Belief in the one and only God
  • Just and civilized humanity
  • The unity of Indonesia
  • Democracy guided by the wisdom of deliberations among representatives
  • Social justice for all the people of Indonesia

Aside from the people, Indonesia is also known as a country rich in natural resources and a haven of paradise. According to Westhill Travel and Tours, Indonesia is the top country in South East Asia when it comes to pristine beaches and nature adventure. From mountain trekking to cave hopping, Indonesia offers varieties of explorations.

Facilities within the country can also accommodate to any ethnicity and nature. No complaints have been heard about Indonesia’s hotels. Those in the archipelago are second to none. In fact, many of our luxurious and unique hotels have constantly been listed as some of the best in the world, located on white sandy beaches, overlooking green river valleys, or situated in the heart of busy capital Jakarta. While Indonesia’s cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, or Makassar are a hive of activities for business and leisure and a paradise for shoppers, offering upscale boutiques selling top brand names, to local goods at road-side stalls. Here gourmets can treat themselves to the many regions’ delectable spicy cuisine or dine sumptuously at international restaurants. And for sheer relaxation, Indonesia Spas are also dominating the list around the world.

From hospitable people and locals, to nature, to facilities, Indonesia is fast growing and developing. We can definitely expect more from this country in the years to come.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Banks and Money Exchange in Indonesia

Indonesian rupiah has more zeroes and digits on its tail. You can easily be a millionaire in this country. Having any currency above $150 equals to millions in Indonesian rupiah.

With the confusion that comes from counting changes and subtracting the money needed to make your way through Indonesia and even on the central business district of Jakarta, having an advanced knowledge and keen eye on the exchange is a must.

A warning reached Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours on the current fraud happening in exchange stalls scattered around Jakarta. With a quick sight of hand and a good acting skill, any scammer can deceive foreigners in slacking some bills off of your money.

•              Beware of places where money changing is a secondary business. It may not be legitimate or they are doing a part time con on top of what they are earning.

•              Indonesian rupiah is composed of IDR1000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, and 50,000, and Rp 100,000. Always ask for a bigger note. One of the scammers’ tactics is to confuse you by making you count bundles of 2,000 unless you are very sharp.

•              Start to wonder if there are two people at the counter. The other may be talking to you and being friendly while the other is counting your money. This may be another scam to confuse you and take your concentration away from the money. If this happens, just politely ask the one talking to leave you alone since you have to give 100% attention on you money.

•              The exchange person will give you a bundle of calculated notes to be counted by you. Count the notes carefully and bundle them in the order you calculated but don't mix them up just yet. Keep the notes closer to you once you have counted correctly. If the guy proceeds to take the entire bundle back to re-count, stop him and do the counting yourself. If he insists, don't waste your time. Walk away with your foreign notes. Because he is going to take some money off until you give in. 

•              If the guy pulls out a load of smaller 10,000 or 20,000 notes, just walk away as it is just going to be a guaranteed con.

Never let the money leave your sight while it is countered and checked, or you could find the total shorter when it comes back. Everyone should just be cautious and keen in doing their business.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Things to Do in Indonesia Before You Die

Indonesia remains to be the world’s most populous island country in the world and the world’s largest archipelago with 17,800 islands in its territory. It is no wonder why there are a lot of things to do in this country.

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours advices these following must-do in the country:

1.         Eat Strange Things

Head to the Mangga Besar district of Jakarta and dine on such wondrous delicacies as lizard, frog, bat, snake, or even dog. A little warning though, some parts of the city may also offer you a head of a monkey served on a platter while you are eating its brains (talk about cannibalism)

2.         Go Fishing with a Local Fisherman

As stated earlier, Indonesia is an archipelago. It is basically a given when in every place you see a harbor. Get up at dawn and climb into a tiny little fishing boat which is soon rocking and swaying in the increasingly big waves which splash over the sides of the boat soaking you to the bone while the insides of your now rumbling stomach are threatening to push their way up and out of your throat. No matter how much you complain, you won’t get back to shore in a few more hours. No worries, you probably would have the chance to catch a mackerel and maybe an old flip –flop if you are lucky.

3.         Snorkel a coral Reef

Indonesia is one of the countries rich for its natural resources. Its coral resources are no different. Experiencing its underwater natural resources is a need and a must when you are in Indonesia.

4.         Climb a Volcano

Indonesia is home to 129 volcanoes and it would be a waste if you don’t climb even just one of them. It is best to climb at dawn and, if you are lucky, take a glimpse of the sunrise atop some volcanoes. Believe me, up there is to experience a little bit of heaven.

5.         Take a trip from Jakarta to Bangkok without Flying

In the age of high speed communications we forget that the real beauty of going somewhere is not just in getting there but also in the journey. If you have the time, a really cool thing to do is to get to Bangkok from Jakarta by sea and overland.  You can actually try island and country hopping through buses and boats. From the harbor of Tanjung Priok to Tanjung Pinang to Singapore, then ride buses and trains to Malaysia and another train towards Bangkok.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Experience Spa, Experience Indonesia

Indonesia is known to be a home of the best spas and leisure activities. In its popularity, many expatriates and foreigners come to this archipelago just to get the best from the best. From massages and meditations, to facials and body scrubs, a spa is guaranteed to offer something to help you relax. Indonesian spa’s range all the way from secluded hideaways in beautiful natural surrounds to serene parlors tucked away in the streets of big cities to review and experience. From Jakarta to Bali to Sumatra, there are a lot of spa treatments and clinics to go around. Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours introduces some of the places to be when it comes to spa and relaxation. 


In beautiful open-air rooftop pavilions or cozy treatment rooms, sensory pleasures are sharpened as professional therapists skillfully ease tension and stress away. Using the ancient art of aromatherapy and a therapeutic sense of touch, a range of specially blended massage oils, floral-based essential oils soothes you through aromatherapy treatments, body wraps and scrubs, massage and facial.

Banyan Tree Spa

Secluded from the busy streets of modern life, Banyan Tree is located in the luxurious Banyan Tree Bintan retreat. Amidst a beautiful natural environment, intimate spa pavilions offer the utmost privacy during personal pampering services. Banyan Tree Spa takes a holistic approach to physical and spiritual wellbeing, providing a sanctuary for the senses.

Ciater's Revitalizing Hot Springs

The cool highlands of Subang in West Java provide an idyllic setting for an unforgettable personal experience where the crisp mountain air and the refreshing sounds of bubbling mountain streams soothe the soul. The town of Ciater is known for its natural hot springs with their healing qualities which promote physical well. With its nice effects, you can never complain. 

Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay

Overlooking the spectacular Jimbaran Bay, The Spa at Jimbaran Bay offers head-to-toe all natural spa treatments that use sea salt crystals, seaweed and aromatics. To cleanse the body, revitalize the skin or balance the senses, island spices, exotic flowers, tropical fruits and essential oils are part of the Jimbaran health and beauty rituals that are derived from ancient Balinese and Javanese traditions.

Puri Santi - Garden of Relaxation 

A Day Spa in the heart of South Jakarta in Cipete. It is easy to reach from Senayan, Kuningan, Kemang or Pondok Indah. Puri Santi’s provides ultimate relaxation by combining traditional Spa approaches from Indonesia and other Asian countries with natural products. They offer private treatment room, ensuite showers and bathtubs, and a VIP Suite for couples with built in jacuzzi, steam bath and private bath room.