Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tips for the Ideal Berlin Weekend

Review and make some research

Proceed online or take a guidebook and do a little research to discover what the city can provide. If you enjoy museums look online and pick which ones you want to go to. If you are into a specific music style, ensure you catch on venues that play the material you prefer. Some attractions such as the Reichstag or the Sammlung Boros will require advanced booking so ensure if they are on your want to do list, that you book your ticket. You must know that most shops are shut on Sundays if you want to go shopping (but there are great selections of Sunday flea markets).

Make a tour but avoid scams!

Do a tour if it is your first time visiting Berlin. A tour will help you know the geography along with the culture and history of the city. There are many great companies offering a diversity of several tours. Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore bid a range of best walking tours from their general Berlin tour to more precise ones on topics like Third Reich History, Cold War, or Berlin Today. If you are considering something less mainstream, they also offer numerous walking tours which dig into Berlin's different scene where you'll get to see many of Berlin's street art and hear regarding their unique subcultures which make up Berlin. There are bike, bus, and boat tours on offer too if you do not like walking. Ensure you ask your guide for their hot tips for bars, clubs or usual restaurants you'll get some great local recommendations.

Determine what kind of weekend you crave

What do you want to do, is it a weekend of partying or do you want to hit the shops or markets, maybe it is a day of relaxing on the river with a cocktail your impression of perfection or are you enthusiastic to spend every waking hour plunging yourself in Berlin's rich history? To a certain extent you can mix a bit of everything, however you must have knowledge of whatever you like to get out of the weekend so you can slim down your choices.

Be flexible

If you are having a remarkable time in a bar, and your just met friends recommend a new cool bar or club go for it! Many have discovered some remarkable places this way, and providing you show some common sense as far as safety goes, there is not a lot that can go wrong. Make sure that this newly found friend isn’t a fraud first; we do not want to risk your security.

If terrible weather puts the kibosh on your outdoor schedules, use the chance to check out one of Berlin's museums or locate a local bar to spend some time in.

Think about where you are going to stay

Every locality has a diverse style and feel and will interest various kinds of visitor so make certain you do a bit of research. If you are considering to party hard you will want to stay in Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain. If you like Boutique shopping, try Charlottenburg, Mitte, or Prenzlauer Berg. Pick where you will stay centered on what you are typically planning to do. This will lessen your travel time/cost and you will be able to spend more time enjoying your weekend.

Discover where the locals go

You can have an excellent weekend hanging out with other travelers and getting drunk in the hostel bar or the German themed tourist restaurant. Inquire around, though, and you are about to find some gems that are out of your plan. Chat with hotel staff, shop keepers, and tour guides. If you ask politely, that they will have some favorite spots they will be delighted to share. Berliners are much honored of their city, and even though can be a bit abrupt or dry, they are normally very accommodating and warm hearted.

Warning! Keep your expectations realistic

Yes, Berlin is wonderful, and yes, everybody is frenzied about how incredible it is, however Berlin is a city which can sometimes take a little time to fall in love with as well. It is big, not remarkably beautiful, and the locals can sometimes come across as rude. And can be compared to Jakarta Indonesia regarding business and traffic. A weekend is a little time and if one plan goes crooked or the weather is bad it could expect disaster except you are prepared to go with the flow and turn things upside down.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Heathrow introduces world’s first ‘on-board picnic’ service

Travelers can take hampers arranged by Heathrow restaurants on flights, counting pizzas and meals by Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay.

Heathrow Airport is presenting passengers an “on-board picnic” dining selection where they can be able to convey a “bespoke hamper” with them on their flight. The service is offered from today at all of Heathrow's 118 restaurants thru its five terminals. The 49 varieties included diversity from chain cafés, like Pret a Manger and EAT, to restaurants counting Heston Blumenthal’s The Perfectionist Café and Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food, plus Caviar House and The Gorgeous Kitchen.

The hampers differ in price and size agreeing to venue, however usually cost between £5 and £50 and are around 40 x 20 x 10cm. All are collapsible and intended to be effortlessly stuffed away under the seat or in the overhead locker. Some hampers are insulated bags aimed to “ensure the food retains maximum taste and freshness at 35,000 feet”, maintaining hot food warm and cold food cool, like the ones from Caviar House which features an ice compartment. Passengers who give back their insulated bags to Caviar House are presented a 15 per cent discount on their next on-board picnic acquisition.

Hampers can be custom-made to meet any dietary necessities upon demand at each of the restaurants and can be ready-to-go or ready in about 15 minutes, liable on the type of meal chosen. The Perfectionists’ Café is believed to offer pizzas to go in about a minute.

Travellers can taster the offerings of the on-board picnics offered in Terminal 2 at a pop-up “park” which launches at the terminal to mark the fresh service.

The park space, set up in partnership with the Royal Parks Foundation, features the “scents of freshly cut grass and plants, the sounds of birds chirping” and sunlight-type lighting in addition to a park bench, a lamp post and even street signs to help generate a urban park-like feel.

Passenger can get into the "park" and the food tasters from this month between 7am-8am, 12pm-1pm and 7pm-8pm every day until September 24.

British Airways (BA) said it welcomes the new picnic service, and doesn't envisage it affecting cabin space usage or creating too much extra rubbish to be cleared from passengers who bring a hamper on board.

"If customers wish to bring their own food on board, they are very welcome to," said a spokesperson for BA.

Beginning at £5, the new picnics might even be a more within your means in-flight dining option for travellers when matched to budget airline food prices.

Passengers on an easy Jet flight can anticipate paying about £6.20 for a meal that contains a sandwich, a snack and a soft drink, or £6.90 when ordered with either a hot drink or soup as a substitute.

Ryanair's in-flight food prices array from about £3.57 (€4.50) for a sandwich and between £1.19-£4.76 (€1.50-€6) for snacks, to £1.59-£2.78 (€2-€3.50) for a soft or hot drink.

According to research by Travelsupermarket.com, last year, airlines were found to charge up to 2,600 per cent more than supermarkets for in-flight food and drink.

Budget carriers like easy Jet and Ryanair were singled out for harnessing the major mark-ups while the largest price upsurges were discovered on hot drinks.

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore is more than happy for their customers to announce this news above. The company is not only servicing SE Asian Countries such as KL Malaysia, Bangkok Thailand, Jakarta Indonesia and many more but all in whichever part of the country you may wish, even Europe perhaps.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Stomach-turning Foods You Will Find around the World

While Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore arrange your tours to whichever part of the world you want, they furthermore look at some global treats that may make you feel queasy; here are some tastes of it! 

Kopi luwak: defecated coffee
Occasionally branded as "cat-poo coffee", this so-called delicacy originates from beans that have been eaten and defecated by an Indonesian civet, an animal that looks like a cross between a mongoose and, if you squint, a cat. There are times, kopi luwak coffee was glorified as a hot fresh trend. The unusual "urgh" aspect endorsed prices up to £60 per cup and it was presented as a do-before-you-die experience in the 2007 film The Bucket List. 

Jakarta Indonesia serves the coffee if you want to try!

Sannakji: live baby octopus
If observing your plate of food aggressively wiggle in front of you doesn't turn your stomach then nothing will. In Korea, sannakji is a plate of live baby octopus (nakji). It's the residual nerve activity that maintains its movements and it is normally served drizzled with sesame oil. Warning! Eat it at your own risk: the active suction cups have been famous to get gummed to the mouth or throat while swallowing, that will cause choking. 

Chapulines: toasted grasshoppers
Forget gourmet burgers and jam-jar cocktails, eating insects is the hot latest trend, it seems that – or so specific London restaurateurs would like us to consider. Wahaca, the Mexican street-food chain, put grasshoppers on the menu at its South Bank outlet earlier this year and, before long, we were getting helpful guides on where to eat insects all around the city. Obviously, this was soon ensued by an insect-only, pop-up supper club. In Mexico, grasshoppers, known as chapulines, are not just a passing craze. Served toasted with seasoning, they have long been popular in Oaxaca. Well, some review says, it tastes good! 

Rocky Mountain oysters: testicles
Give this dish a wide berth. These have not anything to do with those high-class delicacies seen in shells at the bottom of the sea: they are plain-and-simple bulls' balls. Served with cocktail sauce and camouflaged with thick batter, the dish is frequently used for clutching out unwary tourists in Oklahoma and Texas.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dates to Keep away from When Planning a China Tour

If you are arranging a 2014/15 China tour there are dates you must avoid, like "Golden Week" and those times when flights to Asia and within China are very costly. Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore lowdown will help you plan your vacation. (Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore arrange tours in many countries. i.e. SE Asian Countries such as Beijing China, KL Malaysia, Jakarta Indonesia, Bangkok Thailand and many more)

The "Golden Week" of National Day Holiday
September 29 – October 10

Nearly all Chinese people will have a seven-day holiday at the start of October, due to the celebration of Chinese National Day. Usually a lot of Chinese people will take this government-given chance to travel to domestic cities, producing crowds everywhere and super busy traffic. Hotel and transport prices swell, causing high-budget travel during this period.  

Warning! Avoid this period when planning a tour of China.

With people everywhere, traffic will be hectic, and you will devote longer time on the road, which can also mean more scams on street. Booking of hotels and flights can be very problematic. Hotels are much more costly. You may be required to wait in line for around one hour to go in the popular attractions, and may necessitate waiting for a long time at restaurants. Traveling in this period is a matter requiring exhaustive preparation. 

You possibly will observe that the National Day ends at October 7, but we incorporate the succeeding week in this peak period. The means of transport are most jam-packed during the period from September 23 to October 7, however they are less congested in the week succeeding "the Golden Week", when hotels charge peak prices.

Labor Day Holiday
April 28 – May 4

The Labor Day holiday period must be avoided when planning a tour of China whilst its Chinese National Day holiday.

Although the holiday only takes three days, usually May 1 to May 3, the tourist peak will last from April 26 to May 4. Review says, the crowds at attractions, high travel costs, long waiting times, and hard transportation during this period may create your tour to China unsatisfying.

The Spring Festival Rush with Congested Transportation
February 4 – March 15 in 2015

In China, during the Spring Festival rush, the transportation is crowded and people are all over the place, particularly in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and other big tourist cities.

The Spring Festival rush continues 40 days. But, there are five days that are suggested for traveling between domestic cities during these 40 days: the first five days of the new year (February 20 – 24 in 2015). Throughout these days, a lot of Chinese people will remain at home for family time and the Spring Festival celebration, which lessens the burden on transportation and grants you with perhaps easier-than-usual travel circumstances. Keep in mind that inexpensive flight tickets are offered during these five days!

February 4 – February 19 2015 is one of the most jammed time on China's transport will be, when people are homeward bound. One more busy time will be February 25 – March 15, when millions of migrant workers and college students return to their work places and colleges. So traveling in China throughout these periods is probably a challenge.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tipping & Etiquette While Visiting Indonesia

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore: Tipping & Etiquette While Visiting Indonesia

Major hotels:  Lots of hotels services include a 21% tax. 10% is a compulsory government tax; the other 11% is a lawfully unenforceable service charge. Tipping is not required. But, if you must tip, maybe give 5-10% of the total bill. 

Restaurants: There are restaurants will comprise 5-10% service charge to their bill. However if they don't impose any service charge, you can tip between Rp10,000 to 10% of the full bill. A 10% Government required restaurant tax is valid, but smaller restaurants and definitely warungs will not be charging that and would possibly never pay it to the government if they did.

Taxi drivers: Tipping is not obligatory and you shouldn’t be hearing complaints from them. While all taxis are metered, some drivers oftentimes do not carry either coins or small notes, or may not be able to find them when needed but a lot of commuters round up their bill instead.

Car-hire drivers: It is not needed; but if service is pleasing a basic Rp 20,000 tip is estimated suitable but a full day Car-hire drivers commonly expect a larger tip. Warning, watch out for scams in this country

Airport porters: You don't have to get their help, however for very minimum amount of money they can be a big help particularly going through customs and it makes a difference to them. It varies from Rp. 20.000 - Rp. 50.0000 for 1-2 travelers. It is advisable to approve rate in advance to avoid arguments and complaints afterwards.

Service industries: Even though it is not required to give tip for services like hair salons and body massage, tipping for service industries are normal and anticipated in Indonesia. Many Indonesians give tip to their hairdresser or massaeur after they finished the service. 5-10% from the bills is suitable.

In Bali compare to Jakarta the minimal salary is reasonably low and that is the reason why everything looks comparatively inexpensive to many visitors. Workers expect tips to get extra income. In Bali, in small hotels and restaurants tips are usually shared. Yet, if you really have no money to tip, most Indonesians will understand it. Try to sympathize concerning their low pay rates; this also relates to those of you travelling on a budget. Given that, if ever you get short of cash and don't give tip or if you overlook to bring cash for attendants, it is unlikely somebody will get distraught or be nasty toward you.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

India Reintroduces Attention On Tourism To Improve Economy

Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley has highlighted the part of tourism in generating jobs for the country, referring to it as a low-hanging fruit, the tourist economy complaints.

Stressing the role central state planning might take part in the development of the sector, he said India was well positioned to take greater advantage from the benefits of tourism.

The minister was talking at a conference of tourism ministers in Delhi. One more aspect of the decline is the scam that targets tourists.

He also requested the states to decrease taxes on tourism and aviation fuel so that more benefits could be expanded from this section for the country.

Tourism minister Shripad Naik said that from next year the conference would be held for two days to enable greater interaction and participation of the states and other stakeholders.

He added that the newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi was giving much focus on tourism, which is part of the five thrust areas.

As portion of the plan, skill development and promotion of circuits will be provided consideration, and niche products and maintainable tourism standards will also be developed.

Whereas in other Indian tourism news, the government has exposed plans to begin offering electronic visas for foreign tourists by October.

“The e-visa scheme is expected to be rolled out shortly.

“We are trying to make it operational by October,” tourism minister Sripad Naik said after a national conference of state tourism ministers.

In order to endorse cleanliness at tourist sites, the ministry will recompense states.

A fresh classification will be instituted from 2016 in its yearly National Tourism Awards to identify the best efforts made by all states making sure cleanliness at their prominent places of tourist implication.

The states will be compensated on the basis of a Cleanliness Index being evolved by the Ministry.

The Index will rank the cities on the centering in cleanliness at ten popular destinations, one market place and three entry-exit points for each city.

Then the three cleanest destinations and three cleanest cities will be awarded.

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore arrange tours to Asian countries such as India, Jakarta Indonesia, China and many more is in full support to India tourism economy boost.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Caribbean Visitor Arrivals Escalate

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore who arrange tours not only to Southeast Asian countries such as Jakarta Indonesia, KL Malaysia, Bangkok Thailand and many more is happy to announce that Caribbean visitor arrivals surge which Westhill also arrange tours in.

The Caribbean documented an increase in visitor arrivals during the first half of this year, retaining pace with the world average and none of the visitors had complaints, in fact reviews were getting all positive feedbacks.

The director of research and information technology at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Winfield Griffith, announced on the CTO’s television programme, Destination Caribbean, the region delighted in a 4.3 per cent upsurge through the first six months of the 2014, much in line with the world average of 4.7 per cent.

Mr. Griffith exposed that just under 14 million long-stay tourists visited the Caribbean amid January and June, with nearly half this number ( 6.87 million) coming from the United States of America matched to 6.61 million during the same period in 2013.  This signifies a 3.9 per cent increase in arrivals from the US market.

“There is enough evidence to suggest that there is growing economic confidence in the region’s biggest neighbor and this is releasing much pent-up travel demand caused by a long recessionary period”. Mr. Griffith said.

The CTO research head said that merely 21 countries in the region were able to categorize their tourist arrivals by destination during the report.  From the most current statistics it was distinct that more Europeans and Canadians are settling to the region showing upsurges of 6.0% and 4.3% correspondingly.

For the winter time signified by the initial four months of the year, as a minimum five countries specified double digit progress. These destinations remain to power throughout the present summer displaying signs of doing remarkably well this year.

Griffith furthermore announced that the cruise sector enjoyed an 8 per cent increase in passenger arrivals to reach 13.1 million after the first two quarters of 2014.

Monday, October 6, 2014

British Tourists Maintain To Rule Spanish Market

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore who arrange tours not only to Southeast Asian countries such as Jakarta Indonesia, KL Malaysia, Bangkok Thailand and many more is happy to announce that British tourists continue to dominate Spanish market which Westhill also arrange tours in.

Throughout July 2014, Spain accepted more than 1.9 million UK visitors, generating the UK the leading international tourism market to the country and indicating 23 per cent of all international tourists which non has had major complaints from their visit.

The monthly number signified a year on year upsurge of 4.6 per cent.

France was the second strongest incoming tourism market to Spain in July 2014, a 12.4 per cent year on year increase, accounting for 17 per cent of all international visitors.

While in the tourism expenditure in Spain, July 2014 met a total spend of €8.1 billion, up 4.5 per cent year on year. And reviews are saying all positive feedbacks.

The UK accounted for the largest part (19.6 per cent), next is Germany (13.1 per cent) and France (10.8 per cent).

Meanwhile cumulatively in January 2014, Spain has embraced over 36.3 million international tourists, an increase of seven per cent year on year, counting over 8.4 million UK visitors (up 5.5 per cent).

Tourism disbursement in Spain since January 2014 to the end of July 2014 has likewise risen by seven per cent to €34.5 billion, with the UK accounting for 19.7 per cent (up 7.1 per cent), next is Germany (15.8 per cent) and the Nordic countries (10.6 per cent).

For the duration of July 2014, 75 per cent of all international tourists to Spain arrived by plane (up three per cent) whereas road entrée accounted for 23 per cent of overall arrivals, a year on year growth of 13.1 per cent.

Although most visitors chose for hotel accommodation (57 per cent) in July 2014, rented accommodation saw a year on year upturn of 14.1 per cent and accounted for 13.6 per cent of visits.

Meanwhile cumulatively in January 2014, hotels were the accommodation of selection for 64.4 per cent of visitors which none has experience scam and fraud within the city.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Qatar Airways Opens Direct Flights to Phuket, Thailand

Effective October 26th, 2014, Qatar Airways will improve services to Thailand with the introduction of non-stop flights to Phuket.

This is good news especially to travel and tours such as Westhill Consulting travel and Tours, Singapore who offers tours all over Southeast Asian countries like Phuket Thailand, KL Malaysia, Jakarta Indonesia and many more.

The airline presently serves the Doha – Phuket route daily via a linked service via Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

According to Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, “The start of non-stop services from Doha to Phuket offers travellers from around the world access to the popular tourist destination in a reduced time, from across our expanding global network.

“With the upcoming winter holidays, this is a great opportunity for travellers from the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas to plan their break with a beach vacation to Phuket.

“Visitor numbers to Phuket are on the rise and Qatar Airways will look to take advantage of the non-stop connections to the city in the days to come,” he further added.

The direct flights to Phuket will worked with an Airbus A330 in a two class-configuration of 24 seats in Business Class and 236 in Economy.

Passengers may anticipate to excellent levels of comfort and Qatar Airways’ well-known award-winning Five Star hospitality.

Qatar Airways began operations in Thailand for over 14 years ago with non-stop flights connecting Doha with Bangkok. Reviews from consumers says, everyone was very delighted of this news.

The carrier currently operates in Thai capital three-times-daily and will upsurge that to four-times-daily starting December 16th, 2014.

From Doha to Phuket via Kuala Lumpur in 2010, Qatar Airways launched daily flights and there were no major complaints.

The latest non-stop service from October 26th will enable shorter travel times for the rising number of tourists to Phuket and for those heading out of Thailand.

Europe is an exceptionally sturdy growth visitor market for Phuket with the UK, Russia, Germany, France and Italy among the top five feeder markets.

This brands Doha a tactical linking point for long-haul trips, acknowledgments to the start of the world’s latest aviation hub, the state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport.

Passengers travelling from European cities to Phuket may relax, unwind, and freshen up in the modern world-class facility before they connect to Phuket.

“A dedicated non-stop Phuket service will help meet the growing demand the airline has for this particular destination.

“Moreover, Europe is an extremely popular destination for a number of Thailand-based locals as well.

“We are therefore very pleased to be able to continue to offer more options to those looking to travel with us and enjoy our award-winning five-star service,” added Al Baker.