• Lonely Planet selects top 10 Asian destinations 2017

    Ramesh Tiwari
    July 13, 2017
    Lonely Planet selects top 10 Asian destinations 2017

    TravelBizNews Online —

    London : Lonely Planet has released its 2017 Best in Asia list – a collection of the continent’s 10 best destinations to visit this year.

    According to Lonely Planet ,  Gansu, China is  the number-one destination , while the urban scene South of Tokyo, Japan is second  and Northern Kerala, India  comes  at number three.

    “Asia is such a vast and diverse continent for anyone dreaming of an escape,” said Lonely Planet’s Asia-Pacific Media spokesperson Chris Zeiher.

    “Our experts have combed through thousands of recommendations to pick the best destinations to visit over the next 12 months. From Astana in Kazakhstan, to Xi’an in China, this is a line-up to inspire a multitude of travellers – whether they’re based in Asia, or maybe they’ve already visited some of the region’s heavy-hitting destinations.”

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Asia 2017

    1. Gansu, China: “Blissfully well-connected thanks to high-speed rail services and upgraded highways, and a new metro will ease traffic in provincial capital, Lanzhou, when it opens this year … Gansu’s crown jewel and world-class Buddhist art site, the Mogao Grottoes, received a huge upgrade in 2015, but – just like the entire region – remains underrated and relatively crowd-free.”

    1. South of Tokyo, Japan: With Japan currently on many travellers’ bucket lists, “two cities south of Tokyo are well worth making time for. Yokohama … is just a 20-minute train journey from the capital and packs considerable appeal with its bayside location, eclectic architecture, microbreweries and tasty cuisine…Less than an hour from Tokyo, classy seaside town Kamakura is known for its surfing scene, but also offers a tempting selection of relaxed cafes and restaurants …”

    3. Northern Kerala, India: “Northern Kerala has long been the underrated half of the state, concealing its backwater charms and emerging slowly like a butterfly from a chrysalis. 2017 marks India’s 70th year of independence and the opening of a new international airport in Kannur – Kerala’s largest – which will provide an easy introduction to the north. The beaches around Kannur, Thottada and Bekal are pristine…”

    4. Keong Saik Road, Singapore: “Once a crime-riddled red-light district, Keong Saik Road has reinvented itself to become the poster-child for hip ‘New Singapore’. Behind the beautiful colonial and art-deco buildings you’ll discover the best of Singapore’s famed dining scene … fabulous rooftop views and super-slick cocktail bars … draw a trendy crowd, and you can sleep it all off in a boutique hotel room…”

    5. Astana, Kazakhstan : “From mid-June to mid-September 2017, Astana will host the World Expo on the subject of sustainable energy. And as of 2017, citizens of 45 countries may visit Kazakhstan without a visa for up to 30 days. Furthermore, the introduction of LTR (light rail transit) and improvements to the existing bus network are making a visit to this modern, cosmopolitan city even easier.”

    6. Takayama, Japan: “The time to treasure Takayama is now … Secluded in the mountainous Hida region of central Japan, Takayama is a place where Japanese history and tradition flourish in the 21st century …The Hida region has … come into the spotlight anew following the success of the 2016 blockbuster film Your Name (Kimi no Na Wa) – history’s highest grossing anime feature – as devoted fans have made the Hida region a pilgrimage destination for location spotting.”

    7. Xi’an, China: “Xi’an’s diverse heritage is supreme … And then there’s the biggie: the Army of Terracotta Warriors, celebrating 30 years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. Xi’an is vast, but a relaxed tempo reigns and recent openings have boosted an already superb accommodation market; throw in a crop of new bars and cafes plus the 72-hour visa-free policy and there’s never been a better time to visit.”

    8. Sri Lanka’s Hill Country: Sri Lanka may be “so hot right now”, but Lonely Planet recommends getting ahead of (and away from) the pack by taking “a scenic train to Sri Lanka’s idyllic Hill Country for a wonderfully temperate escape from the nation’s humid coasts …This tropical isle is endowed with a mountainous interior that is every bit as scenic as the coast, blessed by pleasantly cool temperatures that rarely tip 21ºC.”

    9. Melaka City, Malaysia: “Boat rides along the meandering Melaka River are popular and soon water taxis will connect Melaka Sentral bus station with downtown. Check out the waterfront gallery space Zheng He Duo Yun Zuan … or rummage for souvenirs at the Trash & Treasure flea market … Then head to the Shore Shopping Gallery … where the rooftop Sky Tower provides panoramic views across this alluring metropolis.”

    10. Raja Ampat, Indonesia: “Packed with white-sand beaches, lush jungle and unusual mushroom-shaped islets, Raja Ampat is a biological hotspot … home to some of the richest, most diverse coral reefs on the planet – over 200 diving spots are still pristine – and this, paired with a growing ecotourism offering, means Raja Ampat will no doubt remain king of the islands.”

    July 2017

    • Connecting you with the world of travel and tourism

      News Brief

      Kabul: Afghan security forces have regained control of Intercontinental Hotel, hours after the gunmen burst into the hotel shooting at guests and staff. At least five civilians were killed and six were injured in the siege. Three of the attackers have been killed and more than 150 guests were rescued. No group has said it carried out the attack, but the Taliban targeted the Intercontinental hotel in 2011.

      Beijing: China’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2017 according to official data – the first time in seven years the pace of growth has picked up. The figure beats Beijing’s official annual expansion target of about 6.5%. Gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 82.71 trillion yuan (about 12.84 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2017, with the service sector accounting for more than half of the total.

      Shanghai: China Eastern Airlines and other domestic airlines have begun to allow mobile phone use on their aircraft or announced plans to lift a ban. China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines began to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices (PED), such as smartphones and tablets.China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines announced they would allow mobile phone use on all their flights this week. – Agencies

      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

      Wildlife in Chitawan , Nepal

      Window of Nepal Tourism

      http://www.nepaltournews.com/