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Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world, and although its nightlife is a major drawcard, it is also known for its dazzling temples, spectacular palaces, a world-famous floating market and colourful Chinatown.

The flight from Auckland to Bangkok takes around 12 hours and 15 minutes. Contact your local Mondo Travel Specialist to find the best possible airfares and suggestions to design your ideal holiday - call 0800 110 108 or email info@mondotravel.co.nz.

Although the capital city of Thailand is known to the world as Bangkok, local people refer to it as Krung Thep but even this is a shortened version of the actual name which consists of 169 characters and makes for a challenging tongue twister. The full name is: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahinthara Yutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Mahasathan Amonphiman Awatansathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukamprasit.

This roughly translates to: City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s behest.

Aside from Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn), which are all quite close together, there are a number of other temples fit for exploration.

  • Golden Mount – Wat Saket (an Ayutthaya-era temple on top of a hill in the middle of Bangkok)
  • Wat Khaek – Sri Maha Mariamman Temple (a Hindu shrine in Silom)
  • Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (a chinese temple in Chinatown with Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian deities
  • Wat Traimit (also in Chinatown, containing the world’s largest seated gold Buddha, weighing 5.5 tonnes)
  • Wat Bang Phra (the original sacred tattoo temple, which is just outside Bangkok)

Yaowarat the local Chinatown in Bangkok is the world’s largest Chinatown and is home to over a million Chinese people. Yaowarat is also one of the most vibrant places in Bangkok to shop and eat.

Bangkok is built over a dozen of canals, and its buildings stand on stilts just like Venice. Although most canals have now been filled and paved, Bangkok is still popular with tourists as Venice of the East.

Spread over 27 acres of land and divided into 27 sections, Chatuchak Weekend market is one of the world’s biggest weekend markets and a heaven for foodies and bargain-hunters.

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

Air New Zealand is boosting its Bali seasonal service  in 2020, increasing capacity on the route by 80%, or 30,000 additional seats, compared with the current season.

The airline currently operates three services per week between Auckland and Bali’s Denpasar International Airport from late June to mid-October using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, increasing up to four services per week during peak periods such as the school holidays.

Next year the airline will operate its seasonal services from 11 April through to 24 October with up to six services per week (subject to regulatory approvals).

Air New Zealand's chief revenue officer Cam Wallace says Bali has continued to be a popular holiday spot for Kiwis. 'By extending our flying season by more than two months, ultimately putting on close to 50 extra return flights, it’s going to be easier than ever for Kiwis to experience Bali,' says Wallace.

Source: Travelinc

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

After several years of exploration, followed by construction with the greatest respect for fauna and flora, the private atoll of Nukutepipi, in French Polynesia, is now ready to be inaugurated and to welcome its first visitors. Housed in the endless blue of the ocean and framed by beaches of pristine white sand, this island embodies paradise and invites relaxation.
 
"Nukutepipi is a place of rest, inspiration and discovery for the senses. Appreciating and preserving local flora and fauna is the essence of this seaside resort project, as is the desire to pay tribute to the Polynesian cultural traditions to which the island belongs ", explains Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, the One Drop Foundation and Lune Rouge.
 
Nukutepipi is a stunning island of beauty, as well as a natural sanctuary in which many species live in harmony. Preserving and cherishing the ecosystem of this exceptional atoll is a priority and several initiatives aimed at food self-sufficiency have been instated in recent years.
 
The island is home to many sports facilities (tennis, volleyball, fare yoga, gym, etc.) in addition to a spa, a games room and a cinema. It is also possible to practice a wide range of water activities. In addition to its guests, Nukutepipi also hosts artwork from the Lune Rouge Collection, including internationally acclaimed artists such as Wim Delvoye, Jim Dine and Damien Hirst. Canvas on bark cloth, tikis or bas-reliefs: the chosen pieces all pay homage to the richness of the Polynesian culture.
 
Nukutepipi in numbers :

  • Nukutepipi is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, less than 1,000 km from Tahiti;
  • The island can accommodate up to 52 guests;
  • There is a main villa, 2 junior villas and 13 beach bungalows;
  • The perimeter of Nukutepipi is 9.54km;
  • There are more than 15 varieties of birds on this atoll.

Nukutepipi is part of Sunset Luxury Villas, a portfolio of private properties carefully selected by Guy Laliberté.

Source: South Pacific Management

submitted by -- Tony Terrill