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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Tacking a luxury vacation to Singapore will put you in a city that is world-famous for fantastic shopping that almost rivals its award-winning cuisine.

Gardens-by-the-Bay-globotours-netAlthough not necessarily a shopping destination it’s worth  visiting the Garden by the Bay when in Singapore. The Garden is crowned with a canopy of 18 metal Supertrees that range from 82 to 160 foot tall, two glass conservatories that showcase an amazing and dazzling lush garden landscaped with flowers, exotic plants, waterfalls and lights plus a 72 foot high aerial walkway that weaves through the park for an impressive ultra-modern experience. Once you’ve taken in the new Garden by the Bay, it’s time to get some shopping done.

Dempsey Road
asia-tour-singapore-globotours-netDempsey Rd is located just west of the Singapore Botanic Gardens just off Holland Rd, and is now known more for high-end restaurants and boutique bars. However the arts and antique shops that populated the area offer a wide range of wonderful trinkets to buy plus during the daytime hours it’s a peaceful, almost rustic area to explore. You can find just about anything from Middle-Eastern rugs and wood furniture to outdoor ornaments and of course, lots of antiques.


Orchard Road

asia-tour-singapore-globotours-net01Orchard Rd inspires awe with its glittering street adorned with reflective windows and outdoor colored lights. Considered an iconic experience when traveling to Singapore, Orchard Road is flanked by pedestrian malls and the area contains numerous upmarket restaurants, coffee chains, cafés, nightclubs and hotels. It’s also the site for the official residence of the President of Singapore. If you’re into shopping and exploring, set a few days apart to visit Orchard Rd and take advantage of its vast shopping experience.

Little India
asia-tour-singapore-globotours-net02If you’re more of a window shopper who only likes to buy the occasional unique item then Little India’s streets is the browser’s delight. The streets of Little India is where you’ll find art, antiques, textiles, delicious India food and live music. Near the center is Mustafa Centre department store, opened 24-hours and worth an experience onto itself. Travelers to Singapore can find cut-priced electronics in Little India as well as handicrafts, attire and boutiques shops.


Haji Lane

asia-tour-singapore-globotours-net03Haji Lane is the place for Singapore’s youths and trendy fashions with original shops that cater to the hip. The boutique lofts tend to change rapidly but the attire selection tends to stay electronic, retro, street chic and all around modern avant garde. You wont find much in the way of designer cloths, electronics or antiques in this neighborhood but you will find plenty of original designs and who knows, even inspiration of the fashion sense.


VivoCity

asia-tour-singapore-globotours-net04VivoCity is the largest shopping mall in Singapore and is located in the Harbor Front district. It could possibly be one of the most genuine local shopping experience when on vacation to Singapore. It was designed by the Japanese architect Toyo and it’s name is derived from the word vivacity. VivoCity is meant to evokes a lifestyle experience that is modern, stimulating and accessible to everyone. It’s vast size, distinctive architecture and odd primitive-style facade offers a unique shopping destination. The Sentosa Monorail will leave it’s passengers just inside the main building and it’s a pleasant place to shop as it offers lots of open space, an outdoor kids’ playground, a rooftop park where kids and adults alike can splash in the paddling pools and a large Golden Village cineplex.

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Low Tourist Traffic
Since Burma or Myanmar, opened to tourism in the mid 90s, the world is slowly discovering it’s Southeast charm and simple tropical beauty. Burma’s culture is largely a result of Indian culture intertwined with Chinese influences and local traditions. As possibly one of the last less-traveled Asian destinations, Burma offers real thrills for exploration without a major tourism industry that makes everything feels exciting, new and where the only time you might see another tourist is at your hotel.

Golden Temples and Mysterious Architecture
One of the most breathtaking temple complex to visit in the world is Bagan. Built between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan valley and of which the remains of over 2,200 temples and pagodas still survive, scattered and grouped throughout the valley that creates an amazing view.  To really understand its vastness you may need to take a ride on a hot air balloon, available between October and March, from where you can take in the entire plain.

Discover the City of Mandalay
Travel to Mandalay, the second largest city of Myanmar, is like traveling into a monk city.  This city conjures an ethereal sense of calm, romance, and serenity, mixed with old colonial buildings that line bustling streets.  You can enjoy a vast scene of street foods, snacks and market stalls.  Mandalay offers modern comforts, five-star hotels and restaurants along side British colonial buildings, temples and charming city parks. Another iconic location to visit is the Mandalay Palace, the last royal palace of the last Burmese monarchy.

Value and Easy Bargains
You can get good bargain on electronics and clothing is China or Singapore, but in Burma you can get great value on gems, precious and semi-precious stones like jade, ruby and sapphire. Gold and silver jewellery is also a great buy. Plus in the souvenir markets where price gouging might be expected, starting prices are surprisingly reasonable and shop-keepers tend to avoid strong arm bargaining that may be used elsewhere in Asia.

Fascinating Inle Lake
Inle Lake can be described as a wonderful world of floating gardens, stilted villages and charming stupas. Mountains tumble down towards the lake shore, blurring the distinction between the horizon and the water’s edge. For many travelers to Inle Lake it has been described as a paradise on earth and a place where you can pass the time canoeing, cycling and walking through the lush countryside. The local Intha people are famous for their unique method of leg rowing, and a monastery where monks have taught the cats how to jump. Inle Lake deserves a slow and romantic visit where many travelers end up staying for longer than they expected.

Handmade Lotus Silk Goods
The stilt village of In Phaw Khone in the middle of Inle Lake is the only place in the world where people spin thread from lotus root fibers.  Standing in the workshop, you can watch craftsmen expertly turn lengths of sticky brown root into some of the most valuable fibers on earth.  It’s a meticulous process, taking over two months of work to produce one pound of fiber. That silk fiber is then used to create reams of fabric and robes, generally given as gifts of devotion to Burma’s monks. Lotus fiber fabric and clothes are available for sale but because of the amount of labor involved and the rarity of the raw materials, they may not be a cheap item.

Golden Shwedagon Pagoda
According to legend, the Shwedagon Pagoda has existed for more than 2,600 years, making it the oldest historical pagoda in Burma and the world. The Shwedagon temple complex is a vast collection of golden Buddhist pagodas in various sizes and age. One may feel as if they are in a forest of glittering golden shrines surrounded by the perfume of sweet incense and local devotees. The large platform that supports the great stupa contains a variety of other stupas, pagodas, prayer halls, sculptures and shrines. A number of these are associated with the eight “days” as Wednesday is divided into morning and afternoon. Each has an associated planet, direction and animal sign, all wonderful to discover and learn.

Friendly Locals and a Delicious Cuisine
image01In every village, town and city you’ll be greeted by smiling faces.  Everyone is friendly and very eager to talk to you about your tour to Burma and hear your stories of home.  It’s a friendly place and everyone’s English is so good that you could easily talk away for hours. Plus the cuisine is mouthwatering good. Food presentation and basic ingredients are similar to Thai food, but with a more Indian approach. One of our favorite dishes is the Burmese Biryani a rice and chicken dish that uses curry as a seasoning and whole peanuts. Regardless of what you decided to try, you will find yourself in a cuisine paradise as well as a tropical getaway.