Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cheap Travel Destinations in Asia

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore presents you cheap travel destinations in Southwest Asia aside from the usual Jakarta Indonesia or Beijing China.

Taipei, Taiwan


Maybe because of its unglamorous reputation, Taipei does not frequently get recognized for the low-priced bliss it is. Although taxis and hotels can be more costly that the other places on this list, what matters most is the food and shopping. The boundless night markets run a way to pamper in visible ingesting and stuff your face on the cheap. The subway charges are likewise unbelievably sensible, topping off around US$2. The city covers all the international eases of home on a noble price scale, flawlessly mingling comfort and pleasure.

Penang, Malaysia


Reviews say Malaysia tends to be left last on must-see lists, however the country is inexpensive and stunning, and the food is delightful, given that a trifecta of whys and wherefores to visit. Penang bids an astounding mixture of cultures, architecture and food so that all tourists are certain to discover something to right their budget. Must-see museums such as the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion charges just US$4 for a guided tour, whilst climbing Penang Hill or the Temple of Supreme Bliss is free. The extensive range of culinary satisfactions, whether from street stalls, Little India or local pastry shops make bellies and wallets contented. But be also very watchful of some scams in the country.

Chiang Mai, Thailand


It isn’t a fraud when you say Thailand’s capital continues to be inexpensive and jolly, however it’s the northern part of the country that truly contents wanderlust and a tight fist. Even wallowing out on a hotel does not automatically mean a broken budget. Low-priced eats overflow, and the night markets are besides wallet-friendly. In Chiang Mai, there are a plethora of free or crazy cheap things to do, many with an tinge of adrenaline to them. Cliff jump, go zorbing, or ride an elephant for nothing or next to it, and then relax at the hot springs or with a massage at the women’s prison.

Sapa, Vietnam


As a whole, Vietnam is a sanctuary for saving money. The country’s home to the world’s low-priced beer, hoi bia, and it basically needs additional effort studying how to order it in Vietnamese than it does to pay for it. In Sapa, rent a motorbike for the day for around US$5 to do some traveling. Sapa is likewise a perfect location as it sits in the center of some of Vietnam’s best view. Grab the motorbike and find Silver Waterfall, one of the many markets or close villages. Going in winter as well cuts costs, as the entry visa is cut-rate compare in summertime.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Westhill Consulting Review: Hiking Mount Bromo

WESTHILL CONSULTING, TRAVEL & TOURS, INC., Singapore provides services such as booking, tour facilitation, travel documentation and other related services to Southeast Asian. This article will present you other destination in Indonesia aside from Bali and Jakarta.

Without a doubt the furthermost popular rationale people come to the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park is to hike the collapsed yet nevertheless penetratingly smoldering Mount Bromo. There are three mountain peaks situated in the Mount Bromo area, identified as the Tengger Highlands. Mount Bromo is the most well-known and sited at the center of the Tengger Highlands caldera, bounded by a huge, unreasonable Sea of Sand. Protecting Mount Bromo from the north and south, Mount Batok and Mount Kursi appeared. The whole area is merely denoted to as Mount Bromo by the locals. Reviews will tell you how beautiful the place is according to its previous visitors.

The most popular preference for travelers considering hiking Mount Bromo is to doze in the close village of Cemoro Lawang. From the village of Cemoro Lawang, there are distinct paths that will take you less than an hour to walk up Mount Bromo.


To reach Mount Bromo, basically take the left fork at Cemoro Lawang’s private crossing, then and there head down the ramp into the caldera and then through the caldera to the Hindu temple (Poten) at the bottom of the mountain. Starting at the temple, keep an eye on the sheer path of 250 concrete steps that leash to the verge of Mount Bromo’s crater. It is a delightful walk up to the crater, nonetheless in instance you don’t feel like walking, numerous villagers bargain horseback rides. A round-trip on horseback charges 100,000 IDR ($10 USD) and a single trip back charges 30,000 IDR ($3 USD). Bear in mind that the views of Mount Bromo’s otherworldly landscape are finest just as the sun rises. The sun rise occurs around 5:30 AM, which means you’ll have to be up by 3:30 AM to hike to the watch point in time for daybreak. Luckily, the Mount Bromo area is concerned with early-morning activity and there will be eateries open and ready to serve you breakfast. Not-so-fortunately, a warning it is surely cold at this hour so make sure to dress warmly. Note: There are numerous guides and tours accessible to and around the Mount Bromo area, however the national park is without difficulty can be explored on your own. Watch out for scam and fraud tourists guides.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours Review: What to Know Before Traveling to Jakarta

Be cautious during the flood season
Aka “Banjir” which happens during December to April, particularly in lower parts of the city, flooding is pretty rampant. This happens more especially in areas nearby rivers.

Public transit is untrustworthy and irregular
Buses and trains are not the best method to get around. Expats who live in Jakarta usually have drivers. Fortunately, taxis are common; but it could be problematic catching one during rush hour. Rush hour occurs during 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Watch out for taxi scams
There are a few different choices taxi companies Jakarta. It is typically best practice to stick with the higher end Silverbird taxi line (Mercedes Benz vehicles) to avoid being taken “the scenic route.” In this cases fraud always occurs.

Motorcycle taxis are not legal
But they do exist illegally. Maybe after you experience motorcycle taxi, you may tell yourself, never again. Definitely for the native Indonesian hitching a motorbike ride to work may be well and good but for the foreigner, it is a perfect way to be caught in scam.

Be watchful with your belongings
According to some reviews, common travelers had more problems in places like Barcelona than Jakarta. Resembling to any tourist destination just be conscious of your surroundings. And if you decide to make way to a more penurious area, or basically a busy mall, don’t carry a designer bag and wear a diamond necklace. No need to make yourself a major target.

On the whole, Jakarta is pretty safe
According to a blogger, she has never felt any imminent threat while living there. And it is not only her living in the city; she has a family, too.

Traffic is terrible
This is probably what you always see in reviews. I don’t think there could be any guide/overview of Jakarta without stating the horrific traffic. In fact, one of the biggest hazards may be crossing a busy intersection. Seemingly it makes Bangkok look like rush hour in the middle of Nebraska.

Warning! Don’t drink the tap water… period!
Even if there is a filter, like they have at many upscale hotels. Avoid it. This rule basically applies throughout Southeast Asia.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Westhill Consulting Tours Review: Jakarta Street Food

Jakarta Street Food is a piece of the overall Java / Javanese cuisine, a chief ethnic group in Indonesia. It is well-known for dishes that are sweet, along with being simple. Java / Javanese cuisine can be separated into three main groups, Central Javanese, East Javanese and Common Javanese, all of which are extensively accessible in Jakarta. More and more food reviews are appreciating Jakarta’s cuisine.

Food in Jakarta can be seen in pushcarts along the streets, in cafes, mid-range eateries or fine restaurants. Meals usually consist of white rice, a salad or soup, a main dish of meat or seafood, and finished with a dessert. One dish meals are furthermore very usual. Ingredients that are normally used consist of palm sugar, white rice, potatoes, rice vermicelli, coconut milk, shrimp paste, ginger, turmeric, galangal, tamarind, carp, tilapia, gurame, catfish, chicken, goat, mutton, beef, chili, peanuts and bananas. Pork and beer is rarely consumed being most of Indonesia is Muslim.

Breakfast in Jakarta is typically a one dish, sit down meal, complemented by tea or a fruit juice. Busy office workers normally eat at pushcarts along the streets after work, whereas fried snacks are widespread through the day. Local fast-food, regularly a one dish meal of noodles or rice, is much more normal than International fast food brands. Local desserts are abundant, and variety from savory to sweet.

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore: Gathered sample street food that you will never have complaints for sure.

Bandrek / Spiced Ginger Tea is a hot, spicy, sweet beverage from West Java in Indonesia, and consists of ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, coriander, cardamom, lemongrass, palm sugar, sweet condensed milk, coconut milk, and young coconut meat. Bandrek / Spiced Ginger Tea is a warming drink, often consumed during cold or rainy weather, and is believed to help ailments such as cough, sore throat, and other minor throat irritations.

Bubur Kacang Hijau / Mung Bean Porridge is a warm sweet dessert, popular in Jakarta. Bubur Kacang Hijau / Mung Bean Porridge is made with mung beans / green beans boiled in water, palm sugar and pandan leaves till extremely soft, then garnished with coconut milk.

Emping / Melinjo Chips is a popular snack in Indonesia, and is a type of cracker / chip made from deep fried gnetum gnemon (Belinjo) nut flour. Emping / Melinjo Chips can be consumed plain, and it has a slightly bitter aftertaste. It can also be served salty, sweet, or spicy. Besides being consumed as a snack, Emping / Melinjo Chips is also used as a garnishing for dishes in Jakarta.


Reference:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Westhill-Consulting-Travel-TOURS-INC/577899938919864

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rethinking Jakarta


Weshill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore: Rethinking Jakarta

It is a objectively usual incidence that when people are plotting their exciting campaign through Southeast Asia they will get into Indonesia, skip over Jakarta and dot the ‘i’ in Bali. Where it is right that Jakarta is a scorching metropolis of government and business that has usually frightened off tourists, a prosperous of modern amenities, attractions, mixed with inlaid charms make it an interesting destination choice for culture and history enthusiasts and you are assured of a no complaints travel.

Old Batavia
Conventional to the action then—Old Batavia is the tourist epicenter of Jakarta. Deliberated Asia’s answer to Holland, the streets and architecture of this small .50 square mile (1.3 square km) town is recognized as the historical and cultural hub of the city. Although in rough shape these days, the town is in spite of everything in its own rite a captivating landmark of Dutch colonialism, like the cobblestone lain Taman Fatahillah (town square), whole with leftovers of the original 17th century town, comprising Museum Sejarah Jakarta (Museum of Jakarta History), and to the east the famous art museum, Balai Seni Rupa.

Jalan Surabaya
Talking about bringing home souvenirs, if you have any curiosity in exploring antiques, consider this Mecca. The Jalan Surabaya or Surabaya Street Market, is recognized for years as a place where you will learn the one exotic treasure you never imagined yourself buying. The market is a living curiosity with more than 500 meters of shopping room, full of interesting nuggets of history. Beginning with cultural masks, to statues, to imported porcelain, to carvings, paintings, and even unanticipated memorabilia, you perhaps won’t be walking out of this marketplace empty handed. The added value of its location in a shady part of town makes the browsing experience all the better you are not scorching in the heat. A word to the wise, like many market places in developing countries, prices are completely negotiable, and need some amount of bargaining if you don’t want to see the bottom of your wallet but be very watchful of frauds and scams..

Pramuka Bird Market
One of the more interesting trades in Indonesia is indeed, of its avian inhabitants even though wildlife conservationists may not like to hear it. This specific market, situated in central Jakarta, can occasionally have up to 300 different tropical species and time-to-time features infrequent and exotic birds, like the sought after Bali Starling, or White Peacock. The Indonesian Forestry Ministry has cracked down on the trade of illegal wildlife, over the years, and much of the capture methods are legal, however don’t be shocked if you come across more unusual fare. None-the-less, from a spectator’s point of view, the Pramuka bird market is an intriguing part of Indonesian culture that cannot be ignored. Many reviews were all in favor of this destination

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Things to See in Jakarta Indonesia


The foremost tourist attractions are situated in the heart of the city. There are numerous touring trips that arise from here and then advance to the historic waterfront and the Kota district, and lastly weave their way inland headed for the Gambir and Menteng districts. You are guaranteed to leave the country with no complaints at all.

Kota: The tourist hub of Jakarta and the center of old Batavia, the Kota district. The main action is focused in the historic Taman Fatahillah, a cobbled square that appears to fit to another era. Visit Sunda Kelapa, the old port area, and you can appreciate the schooners recurring from the high seas to trade their exotic spices, an image immortalized in Joseph Conrad reminiscent portrayals. The luminously painted sailing ships are Jakarta’s most unforeseen attractions.

Taman Fatahillah: This lovely Old Dutch quarter is home to some old and ancient monuments. This is a famous place to view some imposing colonial architecture. The chief fascinations here are the oldest church in Jakarta, the Gereja Sion and Si Jagur, the cannon which represented fertility.

Maritime Museum: Situated in Sunda Kelapa, this museum which was until the 19th century a warehouse for the Dutch, is currently home to the maritime museum. Model boats and faded sepia photos bring to life the numerous adventures at sea counting the voyage to Jakarta from Europe via Aden. You can take in the spectacular views of the surroundings from the old watchtower.

Puppet Museum: The museum is a treasure house of puppets from Indonesia and Southeast Asia. You can appreciate an interesting collection of traditional Indonesian puppets like wayang kulit and wayang golek and delight in puppets shows, which are a consistent feature of the museum.

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore: It was established by a group of people who are travel enthusiasts. They wanted to fulfill a long time dream of travelling the world and they wanted to fulfill others' dream as well.

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah: This extensive 100-hectare park in Jakarta is an interesting alteration. You can learn Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage. There are pavilions for each of Indonesia’s provinces with shows of regional handicrafts and clothing. There is a big ‘lagoon’ where you can row around the islands of this archipelago or take in a bird’s eye view from the cable cars. As well, there are museums, theatres, restaurants and a bird park with a walk-in aviary. Inquire the people of Jakarta and they will tell you that if you visit the park then there is no need for you to go to any other part of the country. For them the park ‘is whole of Indonesia under one roof.’ You can walk, drive your own car, or take a free shuttle to go around the park just be careful with scams.

National Museum: No hoax but this is reflected to be the Jakarta’s most striking museum, the National Museum offers interesting insights into the history of the city and Indonesia. Exhibits here consist of early Chinese ceramics, pieces culled from Java’s myriad temples and a bronze elephant that was gifted to the museum by the King of Thailand.

Monday, August 25, 2014

5 Money Saving Tips for Exchanging Foreign Currencies

Headed overseas for summer vacation? It's easy to get hit with extra fees and expensive exchange rates when switching currencies. Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours

Some currency exchange tables in airports and tourist areas offer bad rates, taking more of your money. And some credit cards and banks can add fees when you buy something with your card.

Your best bet is to bring a credit card that doesn't charge currency exchange fees and some cash for backup. Most purchases should be done on the credit card, says James Gambaccini, a certified financial planner at Acorn Financial Services. That's because credit cards offer fraud protection. If you lose cash, or it gets stolen, you won't get it back. Lost credit cards, or fraudulent charges, are easily replaced or fixed, says Gambaccini.

"Walking around with a money belt and a large amount of cash is not relevant anymore," he says.

Here are five tips to maximize your dollars:

1. GET AN APP

Before boarding the plane, download a currency converting app on a smartphone you plan to use on vacation. You can open up the app to see if you're getting a good deal when exchanging money. With the apps, you type in the amount you want to exchange and it will calculate a figure in the new currency. There are several free ones to choose from, including XE Currency and GlobeConvert.

2. ASK BEFORE YOU EXCHANGE

Be wary of currency exchange places that say they don't charge fees or advertise really good exchange rates. "Don't trust it," says Stan McGahey, an international tourism professor at Saint Leo University in Florida. Often, they will offer you a worse exchange rate to make up for the low fees or have caveats that they don't advertise. Instead of just handing them your money, ask how much you would get for the amount you want to exchange first, McGahey says. That way you will know exactly what you're getting.

And always do currency exchanges in the country you're visiting. You're likely to get a better rate than if you do the exchange at home, McGahey says.

3. FIND THE RIGHT CARD

Get a credit card that doesn't charge a foreign exchange fee. Some will charge a 2 per cent to 3 per cent fee for every purchase made with a foreign currency, says Matt Schulz, a senior analyst at credit card comparison site CreditCards.com. There are many that don't. Not sure if your card charges a fee? Call and ask.

If you don't have a fee-free card, it may be worth applying for one, says John Ganotis, founder of credit card comparison site CreditCardInsider.com. As long as you're not charging more than you can afford to pay, it could be a better deal than exchanging cash. Most credit cards designed for travellers let you earn benefits, such as miles or points to use for a future trip, Ganotis says.

Another benefit: credit cards often will offer exchange rates that are an average over the past month. That could be helpful if you are travelling to place where the currency is volatile, including some South American countries, Gambaccini says.

(Incidentally, you should call your credit card company before travelling to let it know where you are going. If the credit card company doesn't know you're travelling, it could think it is being used fraudulently and temporarily block your card from making charges.)

4. SAY NO TO HOTEL EXCHANGES

If a hotel or another business asks if you want them to convert the bill into American dollars for you, decline. The exchange rate can be bad, Gambaccini says. Instead, let the hotel bill you in the country's currency and let your credit card do the exchange.

5. CHECK OUT CHECKING ACCOUNTS

As with credit cards, make sure your bank doesn't charge foreign exchange fees if you plan to use a debit card. Some may charge a flat fee for using a foreign ATM on top of a percentage for currency exchanges. Checking accounts at some online banks don't charge foreign transaction fees. Call your bank and ask if you're not sure if they charge fees.