Sunday, June 30, 2019

Your New Zealand experience starts here

Boasting breathtaking natural landscapes from our favourites movies, New Zealand is a culturally-rich metropolis with much to discover. Walk along its unspoiled beaches, indulge in succulent seafood with a glass of New Zealand wine or immerse yourself in Maori culture, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a full and rewarding Kiwi experience.
Travelling to New Zealand just got easier. From October 2018, Air New Zealand will be operating and additional flight that departs Singapore at 06.40 pm and reaches Auckland the following day at 9:90am.

This new service will allow Indonesians to connect easily from Indonesia to Singapore and for them to commerce their journey within the North Island on the same day or provides the choice to connect easily on our domestic flights to the South Island.
Fly with the Award Winning airline and Be rewarded
Air New Zealand is a member of Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance. It is also rated as the Airline of the Year for 5 consecutive years by
Be rewarded with a Changi Transit Reward valued at S$20 to offset your shopping during your transit at Changi Airport when you travel on Air New Zealand.
Air New Zealand operates the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from Singapore to Auckland and brings premium air travel to the next level. Featuring larger windows, you can enjoy spectacular aerial views on your flight and if you wish to take a nap, just dim the adjustable tint and enjoy a peaceful zone (no more shutters!). An advanced air purification system delivers cleaner, healthier air throughout the flight, you’ll no longer feel exhausted but be refreshed and ready for an adventure.
Air New Zealand inflight entertainment amenities include a 9” HD touch screen with a Seat Chat feature that allows passengers to message and chat with friends and family members onboard their flight, without leaving their seat.
City of adventures
As one of New Zealand’s most populous cities. Auckland is an all-inclusive destination in itself. Its activities and attractions stretch from the city to it beaches and rainforests.
Put sky Tower at the top of your to-do list when you are in Auckland’s central business district .the 328m high tower is New Zealand’s tallest man-made structure and it is from here that you will get the best views of Auckland. To get to the viewing platforms, rider up in a glass-fronted elevator, if you are brave enough, don’t stop there. Go for a Sky Walk, where you will inch along a narrow walkway around the ledge of the Sky Tower, 192m from the ground.

Gardens and Springs in Christchurch
There is no better place to celebrate the dawn of spring than in Christchurch – “The Garden City” where you will be greeted by fresh blossoms, bluebells and daffodils aplenty on the Avon River.
Don’t miss the picturesque Christchurch Botanic Gardens in its full picture-perfect glory and explore more than 10 different flourishing gardens on its grounds; or immerse in a field of a million cherry daffodils at the Otahuna Lodge.

You can take a leisurely stroll on forest trails, bask in the invigoratingly fresh alpine air and soak in the mineral goodness of the therapeutic hot sulphur pools.
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park – Home of the Highest Mountains
Set against a stunning backdrop of Aoraki (Mount Cook), the highest peak in New Zealand, Lake Pukaki is situated on the brinks of the great mountain’s namesake national park and along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin.
To take in the panoramas in the lap of luxury and comfort, stay at the historic Hermitage Hotel where you can dine-dine and enjoy award winning fish and game dishes.
Or rough it out by catching your own brown and rainbow trout dinner at the gorgeous lakes and rivers of the basin.

There are also fresh salmon in the city, fast-flowing water that sweeps down the mountains to the Mount Cook. Salmon Alpine farm near Lake Tekapo.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

'Dark Tourist' A journey through unorthodox holiday spots

Is Netflix’s new travel-documentary series Dark Tourist edgy entertainment or does it take an irreverent view of others’ misery and cultural traditions?

HOSTED by David Farrier, a New Zealand journalist who also co-directed 2016’s intriguing documentary Tickled (which pulled surprising depth out of the world of competitive tickling), Dark Tourist focuses on the trend of dark tourism, in which vacationers visit unorthodox spots for pleasure — or pleasure through pain, in some cases.
The eight-part series takes Farrier around the world — America, Japan, Africa, Europe, “the Stans” and to Southeast Asia including Indonesia (Toraja in South Sulawesi to be exact). They take a fish-out-of-water perspective that similar series have done before. Whether they do so successfully varies in each episode.
Though Farrier manages to balance his droll sense of humor (often very funny in its ability to be improbably subtle and confrontational toward interview subjects of skewed morality) with the more-conventional TV show host’s roundup of what’s going on on-screen (plenty of acceptable platitudes as the end credits arrive), there is no denying the “yikes-look-at-this-weird-person/habit/perspective” aspect that is supremely difficult to balance in shows such as these.
Shows such as Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, which managed to be entertaining yet respectful to its surroundings, are not a given but a miracle.
This certainly has a lot to do with the catch of Dark Tourist, which exclusively presents Farrier in situations where sarcasm and drollery may feel like the only natural response, a part from outright hysteria.
And fair play to Farrier, who manages to mostly keep his cool throughout – but the show’s positioning of itself as showcasing these “dark” tourist spot means that more often than not, the catch is simple morbid curiosity.
When the background to this morbidity is the suffering of others it makes it difficult. This happens when he meets as assassin who worked for drug lord Pablo Escobar. The man is certainly an interesting psychological case, but it is difficult to embrace him at all, as he wallows almost in gleeful pride in his exploits – becoming a celebrity of sorts.
Witness the destination in the Japan episode. Here a guided tour takes Farrier and other curious minds to Fukushima, which of course is the Japanese prefecture that became famously radioactive after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns at a nearby nuclear plant.
Visually, it is a fascinating episode, with ghost towns and a sense of conspiracy and dread permeating through government offices and silent, haunting roads and dead shops and arcades. Its cinematic prowess is bested by the way the show also focuses on other tourists, as well as the native Japanese guide.
The former are made up of a mix of personalities, from social media fixated buddies who take what can arguably be considered impropriate selfies to those whose semi-jovial curiosity quickly turns to fear as their Geiger counter shows increasingly high-levels of radiation.
Along with the guide – a man who is at peace with the reality of the situation and his own spirituality – these glimpses of the people who engage this trend of “Dark Tourist” are the closest the series gets to true revelations.
As in the final episode, which introduces Russ McKamey, an American who runs the McKamey Manor, a free-to-visit haunted house or “extreme haunt”, in his own San Diego property.
McKamey charges nothing except dog food for his pets .how someone who is seemingly so rational finds his deepest enjoyment in terrifying people in such extreme ways – they are essentially tortured willingly, both psychologically and physically, through challenges that could run for eight hours and include drowning, hair cutting, forced feeding and more – is fascinating.
Thought it never gets as deep as it could (more perspective from the people who sigh up for this would have been appreciated), it presents the series with something more than visual feasts.
A fellow “Dark Tourist” who goes with Farrier through “the Stans” (which include Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) is another individual who it would have been interesting to get to know deeper, a family man who travels to places like warzones to get his thrills, and is literally laughing as he gets deeper into a radiation zone.
The other elements of it are less investigative and more curiosity-driven making for more predictable spectacles. Local viewers will take particular interest in his trip to Toraja, where he reacts to the tradition of keeping dead relatives at home, their bodies treated as if still alive, sometimes for years.
Farrier is visibly taken aback by the burial ceremony’s ritual sacrificing of animals (as a feast for the whole village), and for the most part tries to be as respectful as he can throughout the whole endeavor – even when he is given the chance to present money to a corpse that has been dug up by her family.
While entertaining, the show lacks a deeper focus. Theme-wise, it describes destinations that do not really connect, other than being in the same country Dark Tourist might need more time (meaning more seasons) to truly find itself.  For now, it is simply a Netflix show with a freak factor to rope people in. it is definitely watchable, but not with much value to it.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Sherpa shortage takes a toll on Everest

#Office view: Sherpa guide Ang Tshering Lama poses during an interview at Everest base camp, some 140 km northeast of Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 23. The Everest industry is suffering from a dangerous shortage of its most important resources experienced Sherpa Guides.

The Everest industry is suffering from a dangerous shortage of its most important resource: experienced Sherpa guides.
Ethnic Sherpas from the valleys around Everest have become synonymous with high altitude climbing.
With their unique ability to work in a low-oxygen, high altitude atmosphere, they are the backbone of the industry, hauling clients and equipment to the top of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain.
The number of Everest climbers has more than doubled in two decades, however, and the Sherpa supply has not kept pace. Raw recruits are now being used to reach the top and it has already taken a toll.
Dawa Sange Sherpa, 20, summited Mount Everest last year—a first for him and the climber he was with.
On the way down, the cold, lack of oxygen and exhaustion took hold. The pair collapsed just below the summit and were found hours later, barely alive.
"My friend said to me, 'He's done'. But I found a small pulse in him," said guide Ang Tshering Lama, who found Sange.
Everest victim
Lama dragged the unconscious Sange back down the mountain while others helped his client.
Both had severe frostbite. Sange lost all of his fingers, spelling the end of his short career on Everest.

#The number of Everest climbers has more than doubled in two decades but the S..

Sange was not meant to be guiding that year. He was planned to be carrying equipment up the mountain, a job many young Sherpa do before graduating to become guide.
"I was in the second team, in which untrained Sherpa usually carry the equipment and food from the base camp to camp two, three and four," Sange said.
But his employer, Seven Summit Treks, the largest Nepal-based expedition operator, had more than 60 clients on Everest and needed someone to take a paying climber to the top.
Head of Seven Summit Treks Mingma Sherpa said Sange was ready to be a guide and had previously summited Everest. Sange said he had not.
Nine other Sherpa from Seven Summit Treks were rescued on Everest that year, but Mingma denied there were any problems.
"A Sherpa can summit five times, eight times but sometimes he gets a problem. That's the body," he said.

#Mountaineers walk from Camp 3 to Camp 4 as they push for the summit of Mount ...

With the climbing season barely started, so far this year at least four Sherpas from Seven Summit Treks have already sustained frostbite, according to base camp sources.
'Risky business'
No qualifications are needed to work on Everest. Some expedition operators require staff to do one of two short courses for mountain workers. Others do not.
Mingma dismissed the Nepal Mountaineering Association courses as worthless, saying everything could be learned on the mountain.
"My Sherpa don't have any training with NMA. NMA training for us is not enough, we should do our own training on the mountain," he said.
Dawa Steven Sherpa of Asian Trekking requires all staff to have done the NMA course. He said that budget expedition operators hire inexperienced Sherpa to cut costs.

#Summit route on Mount Everest. The Everest industry is suffering from a dangerous...

"As long as his name is Sherpa," he quipped of the recruitment criteria.
Experienced Sherpa guides can make up to $10,000 in the April to May climbing season, more than 14 times Nepal's average annual income. The lowest paid will barely scrape together $1,000 for two months' risky work.
"It's the fault of the clients as well if they just close their eyes and go cheap," said Lama, who rescued Sange.
Seven Summit Treks—which charges about $20,000 to climb Everest, less than a third of other operators—blames rivals for the shortage, accusing them of not investing in the next generation of Sherpa guides.
"They take only experienced Sherpas. They don't want to spend extra money to train new Sherpas," Mingma said.
Phurba Tashi Sherpa, head Sherpa with the Himalayan Experience company, who has summited Everest 21 times, said it was becoming more difficult to find experienced Sherpa for his team.

#A climber walks through base camp below Everest, which is suffering from a...

dangerous shortage of its most important resource: experienced Sherpa guides
"The young Sherpa are very strong and they think they can do everything, but actually they can't. The older Sherpa go slow and steady," he said.
Sherpa have been helping Everest climbers since the first British teams set their sights on the summit in the 1920s.
Their unique physiology, adapted over thousands of years of living at high altitudes, has made them essential since. A recent British study found that Sherpas use oxygen more efficiently than lowlanders.
But climbing Sherpa have arguably become a victim of their own success, and the community is now at a generational turning point.
Many experienced Sherpa who started working for the first commercial expeditions in the 1990s are retiring. Others have left Nepal for rival mountaineering countries buoyed by their reputation for being strong and dedicated.
They have earned enough money to educate their children in Kathmandu, or even in India and the United States.

#Tents at Everest base camp. No qualifications are needed to work on ...

the mountain and although some expedition operators require staff to do a short course for mountain workers, others do not
"They are educated so they can find other jobs," said Kami Rita Sherpa, who has been guiding on Everest since 1994 and admits he would never allow his son to work in such a "risky business".
"If the old climbing guides don't bring their kids into this sector, the number of climbing Sherpas will definitely decline," he continued.
"Those from the next generation won't join this field."

Thursday, June 13, 2019

HOLIDAY with a rainforest on your doorstep on Tiarasa Escapes

WHEN Puan Sri Tiara jacquelina was a child, she would let her imagination run wild while reading books like Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree and Secret Seven Series.
She would play outdoors for hours on end, thoroughly enjoying nature, in an era when the most sophisticated form of communication was a string tied between two cups, long before the invention of smartphones and the internet.
It was these happy childhood memories that made her determined to give her children a similar experience, and later, to dream up a resort that would drive people out of the city to experience nature.
Thus, the idea for the luxury tented accommodation Tiarasa Escapes in Janda Baik, Pahang, was born.
On a recent Monday evening at the resort, located just under an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, the director, producer and actress broke fast at a private BBQ next to the poolside, chatting casually about Enfiniti Group’s latest project.
“Every now and again I like to get away, to recharge and find creative inspiration and new ideas. One of my most memorable getaways was when I stayed in a Berber tent at Sir Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco,” said Tiara, dressed in khaki, relaxing after an entire afternoon of landscaping and adding design touches to the resort.
“I fell in love with the idea of living and waking up so close to nature. Marrakesh sparked an idea which excited both the wanderlust spirit and the serial entrepreneur in me, and I felt I had to bring the experience to Malaysia.”
#Tiarasa Escape’s lagoon-themed wading pool perfect for cooling off on a hot afternoon
Four years after this particular visit to Morocco, we are roaming the resort of Tiara’s dreams – with 20 safari-style tented villas and five treetop villas sprawled across seven acres of rainforest, it’s interesting to see how her dream has become a reality.
At Tiarasa Escapes, the night is so still you can hear the chorus of crickets, frogs and other insects, and the night sky is so clear you can see thousands of stars.
“I have personally curated each experience at Tiarasa Escapes in Janda Baik so that families, groups of friends, a wedding party or colleagues on a creative corporate retreat will leave with unforgettable memories, having enjoyed the experience of camping whilst staying in a comfortable tent, surrounded by the sounds of nature, wrapped in mountain mists,” added Tiara.
Rainforest dwellings
You would be hard pressed to find any other venue worthy of the term “Glamping” (a combination of “glam” and “camping”).
The safari-style tented villas and treetop villas include attached bathrooms, hot showers, deep-soaking bathtubs, air-conditioning and free wifi, each individual dwelling tailored to a specific theme.
With names like “Hornbill”, “Dragonfly” and “Rajah Brooke” named in accordance to the type and size of the villa, they feature chic ethnic accents, including personal touches of Iban Pua Kumbu fabrics, traditional artefacts such as baskets and games like congkak, with elegant drapings and high quality fittings.
#Plenty of light and fresh air fills each tented villa, decorated with ethnic elements

There are few walls in the entire campsite, with minimal concrete or even wooden structures save for doorframes and bathroom ammenities – each tented villa has plenty of light, thanks to the “windows” made from mesh (over which curtains can be drawn for privacy).
The five treetop villas come with spacious wraparound verandahs, decorated with whimsical tribal furnishings, mandalas, dreamcatchers, a teepee and a hammock.
Three bespoke villas, the Maui Treehouse, the Lion Sands Tent and the Marrakech Tent come with a backstory that inspired their decor, reflecting Tiara’s personal journeys and passions.
Be warned though, that this being a resort in a rainforest, you can expect wildlife and insects to come creeping into your tent and around it. However this is minimal due to the pest control precautions the resort has taken to ensure the comfort of its guests. (Note: not a single mosquito was encountered during this review)
The to-do list
If you’re coming here to escape from the hustle and bustle of city living by simply lazing around, enjoying nature and doing absolutely nothing while also having access to top hotel facilites, then this venue is the ideal choice.
However, if you’re travelling with children or enjoy having your day filled with activity, there’s no shortage of things to do at Tiarasa Escapes.
Which child doesn’t enjoy splashing about in a swimming pool, or a river? Over here, they have the option of both!
The lagoon-themed wading pool has a mini water slide and pool toys and floats upon request, while the cool waters of the Enderong River that runs along the property can be a more adventurous choice for fearless city kids (and their parents!)
Teepees and swings are placed throughout the resort for kids to have fun with, and for winding down or for the less outdoorsy, the resort library has a collection of books and board games available at all hours.
#Puan Sri Tiara Jacquelina regularly does her rounds at the resort to see which areas need improvement

This being the sister company of Enfiniti Academy, it’s no surprise that children of all ages are encouraged to immerse themselves in arts, crafts and traditional games.
Sketch or paint, sculp or even try your hand at batik-painting, and learn how to fold origami paper boats to be released into the resort creek.
The resort also organises traditional group games like tarik upih, Batu Seremban, congkak, gunny sack races or tug-of-war.
Nature walks and bird-watching are also on the itinerary, where guests will be loaned binoculars to search for the resident bird species such as the Hornbill, woodpeckers, cuckoos and a variety of others.
At night, recline on a bean bag, lawn chair or picnic mat under the stars for a family movie or classic film projected onto a screen. (There are no TVs in the villas, so here’s your chance to get a dose of screen time)
One experience you may not get anywhere else is the “Daily Lighting Of The Magical Bonfire” ceremony, where guests will gather in the heart of the resort at sunset, for the lighting ceremony of tiki torches and the bonfire.

#Create an origami paper boat and float it down the Enderong River.

For the resort’s VIG (Very Important Glampers) aka the children, several activities promise to leave a lasting impact on their little minds.
Plant and name your own herb before leaving the resort, a symbolic ritual to make the VIG officially a part of the Tiarasa Tribe, and also an activity to encourage the youth to be environmentally conscious.
For VIGs with an artistic flair, or those eager to explore drama and performing arts, holiday workshops and camps as well as singing and dancing sessions organised by Enfiniti Academy are in the works.
Finally, for youngsters who want to experience what actual camping in the wilderness is really like, there are bell tents and sleeping bags for hire, which the on-ground staff can help pitch with the children. (The tents will be at a comfortable watching distance, along with the resort’s Security Rangers)
Of course, if the jungle pyjama party with their siblings and friends gets too intense, there’s always the option to jump right back into your villa with mum and dad.
Dining options
While the resort is situated in the rainforest, there’s no need to actually hunt and cook your own dinner, as there are plenty of options for food in the area.
Complimentary breakfast baskets are delivered to the villas, or to a picnic spot of your choice.
Baskets include nasi lemak, granola or cereal accompanied by freshly-squeezed juice and fresh milk.
For afternoon tea, pick a teepee or a shaded grassy area by the river for the Tiarasa Picnic Tea.
Choose between locally sourced kampung favourites such as keropok lekor, cekodok pisang, goreng pisang and goreng keledek or a choice of healthy options which includes plenty of fruits.
There’s something so peaceful and rejuvenating about sitting cross-legged on the grass, listening to the ebb and flow of the river, while munching on a delicious spring roll fresh out of a tiffin carrier, sipping on teh tarik from a camping mug.
#Enjoy a splendid spread for afternoon tea.

For dinner, the communal BBQ may end up being the highlight of your stay – bond with your family and meet other glampers as you enjoy a meal prepared by the resort’s Kitchen Rangers as you sit by the bonfire.
If you’re honeymooning and want a little more privacy, there’s the option of prearranging your very own private BBQ right outside your villa.
Everyone gets a little peckish at some point during the day, so worry not about those random hunger pangs, as the resort has other dining options such as their on-site restaurant and poolside cafe.
Rasa in the Rainforest, a beautiful restaurant tent manufactured and fitted out by Escape Nomade Bali, is open for lunch, tea and dinner.
Its menu includes Malaysian dishes like Laksa Sarawak and Nasi Ulam from Tiara’s personal kitchen, as well as western dishes.
The Red Dragonfly Poolside Cafe features a more casual menu of snacks and light bites, where you’ll also find a library, board games and a craft activities corner.
Whether your stay at Tiarasa Escapes is a family getaway, a team-building session or a couple’s trip, be rest assured that there will be plenty to do and eat at this unique rainforest resort.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Quick Travel Ala Nagoya

City industry offers fun destination, by Junior Respati, photo taken from google, executive summary by darmansjah.

Did not have much time while in Nagoya-shi? Follow the steps I traveled quickly browse the city became the center of civilization Aichi Prefecture in central Honshu Island this. I guarantee you will enjoy fast pulsating industrial town.

I only have about eight hours to complete the adventure Nagoya in some time ago. Of population numbers, Nagoya became the fourth city encouraged. The city became a center of Chukyo metropolitan area, in addition to Tokyo and Osaka.

Traces of Nagoya as the trade since past is still visible. Coastal town in the Pacific Ocean this could be the home of Tokugawa Ieyasu, a Shogun Japanese authorities in the 17th century. Thus, we can easily search for places that describe the development of industry in the capital city of this central Japan. I hope you can also draw a red thread as well enjoy it like me.


History of the world's biggest carmaker.

Rows of machines over a century old, looks like a newly activated several years. I was amazed to see how the old machines they operate. Tunable mechanical sounds to lull the ear. One other thing that indicates that they are old technology used is simplicity. A highly sophisticated technology ever at the end of the 19th century.

Sweet scars historical journey through a long a story. With an attractive presentation, this place also shows the resolve of the owners to take care of him. So, I was enjoying the inside of the Toyota commerative Museum of Industry and Technology, located in the Nishiku.

I know Toyota as the world's largest automotive company. That is why I was interested drop by the museum. Excursion into the history of the legendary brand store long story that would make my knowledge extends.

When observing the shape of the building from the outside, I bet you'll wince. The shape is more like a fortress than a house museum in general. I had trouble getting directions or information boards. Once inside the lobby, then believe me, my goal was not wrong. I am more excited to find out more in the museum.

Part lobby turned out to save the uniqueness. There were no cars to show off here. I just get treats a giant loom, which is placed near the entrance. Well, is there a relationship between the textile and automotive in the journey of Toyota? I'm curious.

Like to make a surprise for every visitor, museum managers deliberately arranging objects unexpected history might lay in the front. Apparently. Toyota is not only closely related to the automotive industry. Sakichi Toyoda, who founded the company at the end of the 19th century is also known as one of the textile machinery makers. Well, one of his phenomenal looms large is on display in the lobby.

I continue to follow the course of history. I see rows of textile machinery is on display in an area of ​​3864 square meter pavilion. In the pavilion dedicated to the works of these Sakichi Toyoda, I was also able to learn the history of the world textile processing. Because, the museum also displays a variety of textile machines at that time, in order to assist these tools work Toyoda company. I deserve to give an A to the manager, because successfully mesmerized by showing how the old equipment had as its function. The final result of the visit I get a souvenir a small torque that is still warm due to coming out of the manufacturing.

Logistics transport: There are domestic flights operated by J-air, landed at the  Komaki airport which is located in Komaki and Kasugai. Nagoya train station serving the fast train Tokaido Shinkansen. When using the public bus, traveling 5-6 hours (estimated cost of US$ 30-US$ 90).

Accommodation: Rooms are special in Nagoya Tokyu Hotel (from U.S. $ 100-US $ 200) Nagoya Kanko Hotel is a great choice for you who want to do business (prices ranging from U.S. $ 95). For an economical option you can stay at the Best Western Hotel (prices start at USD45).