Three Reasons To Consider Koh Samui For Your Wedding

28 Apr

weddings elephantKoh Samui, also known as the Coconut Island, has evolved at such a frantic pace, from a spectacular island escape, an adventurous island for travelers, a honeymoon paradise into a more sophisticated and very popular wedding destination. Nowadays, people dream of Thailand as their perfect wedding destination. The wedding industry in the country is one of the most flourishing. From its charming coral reefs and white sandy beaches, to a plethora of natural resources, the number of people signing up for weddings in Koh Samui is overwhelming.

A wedding on Koh Samui Island is exotic and fascinating, whether it’s traditional or a Thai Western style wedding. There are several modern facilities on the rise and excellent resorts and hotels available for couples and their friends and families to choose from.

The island has over the years, earned a worldwide reputation as an idyllic Thai wedding location in addition to being a boutique beach resort. A wedding in Koh Samui will surely live up to the romantic image created in any brochure you see. Here are some reasons why you should consider the island as your wedding destination.

Romantic Venues
Weddings on Koh Samui are among the most romantic weddings in the world. The island is simply spectacular. From the white sandy beaches, blue sea waters to the tropical mountain landscapes and a peaceful environment, the island provides a perfect backdrop for a truly romantic Thai beach wedding. Visitors cannot get enough of the island because of it is one of the best in Asia. The light blue green sea water bordered with the finest sands is an ideal and magical backdrop while you say “I do”.

Fantastic Reception Food
Koh Samui is a diner’s delight, with some of Thailand’s most interesting food. The island has it all; from street food to simple restaurant food to international dining, you are sure to enjoy some of the best and popular Thai dishes at your wedding reception. Tease your friends and family members’ palate with spring rolls, seafood curry and a variety of sweets like Khanom Kareaw; a sweet bread intertwined and Khanom Tuay Foo. It is also possible to serve your favorite foods from home to taste something familiar.

Sweet Honeymoon
This is another primary reason to consider signing up for a Koh Samui wedding- the venues are so romantic and couples don’t require another venue for their honeymoon. You can therefore look forward to a hassle-free romantic honeymoon. Instead of travelling far from your wedding venue, lavish your island setting and explore the island’s wonders with a great dose of delicious food. You can go to the spa, have an intimate dinner sundown and get all the privacy you want.

Conclusion
Weddings on the island are getting raves because it offers amazing venues and a relaxing tropical beach vibe that’s very romantic or a wedding. If you are preparing for an island wedding, Koh Samui is popularly known for, so you are bound to have a memorable celebration. With the above reasons, you can look forward to having an island wedding of your dreams.

You can find more information about Thai weddings at http://www.watdee.com/traditional-thai-wedding.html

John Chen is a travel writer currently located in Bangkok, Thailand. He likes writing about Thailand and he writes not only about traveling in Thailand, but also about business, culture, economy and food.

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What Makes Marbella The Ultimate Place To Live

28 Apr

Marbella’s beautiful topography, soothing climate and golden sandy beaches make it one of Andalusia’s most enchanting places both for holiday making and permanent living. The town, belonging to the province of Malaga, was developed by the Mediterranean. The coastline was created over thousands of years by the erosion of nearby mountains. The view of the sea and the touch of moist air on the face can be felt from any part of the city. The coastline is further dotted with green golf courses and magnificent villas. But Marbella is not only about sun-bathing on the beaches. It has a rich archaeological history and is also considered one of the cultural hubs of the region. A number of concerts and opera performances are organised here round the year, entertaining and satisfying the finer tastes of both the local people and tourists.

Why Buy Properties in Marbella

Investment on properties involves considerable expense and hassles, particularly if the destination happens to be outside one’s own country. For this and other reasons, anyone willing to buy a property would look forward to more solid reasons for doing so rather than being captivated by sapphire blue waves crashing on sandy shores. Yet, it remains an undeniable fact that buyers find the beauty of the Marbella thoroughly irresistible. This applies for the young honeymooners who visit the place on their honeymoon trip and fall in love with it. And, the wiser more level headed 65 year old retirees who look forward to setting up a nest here in the quest of a simpler and quieter pace of life. Marbella offers an unparalleled standard of living in the entire Andalusia. The cost of living in comparison is nominal. It is also very far from being a quaint sea-side town. The posh city offers a range of activities, from sports to culture, for everyone to participate in and enjoy. The warmer climate suits people visiting Marbella. The surrounding area is full of natural wealth that could be explored by hiking, trekking, cycling and other means. It is absolutely not impossible to live here and maintain an active professional life by working from here. Facilities such as electricity, telephone and broadband internet services are available. The healthcare facilities are modern. Reputed international schools are there in the city taking care of the education of the young members of the family. Finding jobs here, specifically in the hospitality industry, are not difficult for qualified expatriates with knowledge of Spanish. Courtesy the real estate investment-friendly policies of the government and initiatives of the local council, people buying properties here may also obtain residential permit from the very beginning under certain conditions.

Points to Take a Note of

If you are not fluent in Spanish do consider taking the help of a linguist or translator before embarking on a house hunt. Do employ lawyers aware of the laws of the country during the process of purchase. Check each and every document scrupulously. Avoid the rush in August for buying a property there. And, be prepared to be patient with Spanish bureaucracy. Opportunities for buying fashionable villas, in all shapes and sizes, would be aplenty after a recent spate of property development in the area. Nearly all the houses would come with their own manicured gardens, the size of it would depend on the depth of your pocket, for you to stroll in early morning or late afternoon. The beachfront properties naturally cost the highest as is the case in other parts of the world. Adjacent to the beach or at the foothills of the mountains, you may always be sure to spending time in very close proximity with nature.

 

Samuel Edwards is a keen traveller, he is always on his feet moving from country to country, while on the move he blogs to help pay for his extravagant lifestyle, he has written articles for a number of online magazine such as Alta Vista Property. He wants to eventually one day have his own travel magazine online.

Why Do Savvy People Go To Lapland To See The Northern Lights?

28 Apr

Isn’t television wonderful? From your couch you can examine Sydney Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay, fly over the Grand Canyon, see Tower Bridge open or close, or even observe gannets nesting on the Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth. Except, of course, you don’t really. Imagine watching cookery programmes and yet never being allowed to actually eat any food. Wouldn’t it be great to genuinely climb Sydney Harbour Bridge? Or, bob out on a small boat towards the Bass Rock and feel the salt spray, hear the call of thousands of birds, and even experience a fairly unique smell?

Immersing yourself in an unforgettable experience
The Northern Lights feature on many bucket lists. Why not add it to yours? Recently, there have been displays of light across parts of the UK, and folk will excitedly tell you “I saw the Northern Lights”. Not the complete and total experience to be gained on a trip to Lapland though.

A few minutes outside your own home surely can’t compare with spending time in Lapland – a place where it’s constant twilight for almost two months. This certainly isn’t anything like the misery of a murky and dank winter day at home. It’s a proper experience of life in a cold but fascinating corner of the planet, and one that those lucky people who have already enjoyed it know they simply won’t forget.

Luckily a bright moon helps at night, but, of course, that’s not what you’re there to truly experience. Lapland is the place to see the Northern lights, incidentally, there’s an ancient belief that those who experience them live happily ever after – but, sadly, this can’t quite be guaranteed.

Around sixty miles above your head, electric particles accelerated by Earth’s magnetic field, collide with air molecules and disperse the energy in intense and stunning dancing arcs and waves of spectacular green yellow and red light. Stand there and you’ll soon know that nature is gently reminding you who’s really in charge.

Lots more to “lap” up
Ignoring the dreadful pun, it’s easy to be confused about where Lapland actually is. Many of us have been brought up to believe that it’s the home of Santa Claus, but it’s just as tricky to pin down as Mr Claus himself. Technically, Lapland is a region that stretches across four countries, and is largely within the Arctic Circle. Taking a trip to experience the Northern Lights, you’ll most likely find the best option is to be part of a tour, where you can be taken by experts to terrific and proven vantage points to enjoy the show, think front row stalls at the theatre – rather than being stuck in a “restricted view” area.

Such trips to Lapland can also give you the chance to enjoy other wilderness aspects, such as a snowmobile safari, a forest trek, even an expedition to listen to the call of wild huskies. There are also likely to be reindeer! Some travel companies even supply thermal boots.

If you want a memorable break, then Lapland certainly provides one of the most unforgettable of all winter holiday destinations.

 

Amy Wilson caught the travelling bug just after she graduated from university. She has since travelled across Asia and America before taking up work on a cruise ship. She visited lapland for the first time in 2013.

Four Former Warzones Now Perfect For Family Holidays

28 Apr

If your initial reaction to this headline is: “Why on earth would I want to take my family to such places?” the key is in the word “former”. A moment’s thought will likely confirm that the area where you live was, at some stage in the past, part of a war zone. Whether you live in London, Orkney, Shrewsbury or Durham there is almost certainly a stage in the history of your home area when conflict scarred both the landscape and people.

Time allows us to move on from such dreadful moments, and to become more than what we were or even return to the best of what we used to be. Here are four delightful and peaceful locations for long stay winter holidays that would offer a special welcome…

Sarajevo – A poignant reminder of the timely past
The city of Sarajevo teems with history, especially important this year as the site of the assassination which lead to World War One. It offers much more now, a place where east truly meets west. It was nominated to be European Capital of Culture and has appeared on “top ten cities to visit” lists. A few days can help you fall in love with a place which has been settled since Neolithic times and is now rich in everything from museums to music.

Mostar – Spreading your wings further
There is, of course, so much more to Bosnia-Herzegovina than simply stunning Sarajevo. It’s history as the boundary between the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires allows it to present a truly unique east-meets-west identity. It remains a welcoming destination for a traveller who wants more than simply big-city or beach time. A visit to the small city of Mostar, a magnificently recovered victim of an appalling 18-month siege just twenty years ago, allows you to enjoy the peace as you stroll across the beautiful Neretva River on the astonishingly-reconstructed and legendary Stari Most Bridge, indeed the city itself is named after the “bridge-keepers”.

Dubrovnik – An interesting Posip-le choice
The pun refers to one of the enduring tastes of time spent in Dubrovnik, one of Croatia’s stunning destinations. Posip is a light and glorious Dalmatian white wine which seems to reflect so well a vibrant, fashionable and modern city that pays equal respect to its rich history as to its lively designer boutique present. A journey by cable car allows you to savour the stunning waterside setting of a memorable location.

Hvar – Hvar a great time
An amazing choice among summer or winter holiday destinations if you do long for the beach and more. The small island of Hvar, set just off the Croatian coast, offers rolling hills and rugged mountains, fabulous vineyards, coves and inlets – plus medieval history and restful beaches. The rich and famous increasingly bring their yachts and join the vibrant party scene.

Enjoying the future past
These locations have worked hard, over the last few years, to move on from some terrible times by celebrating and encompassing the best of their past and moving into a friendly and truly welcoming future. Your first visit is highly unlikely to be your last.

David Keller is an intrepid traveller and father of two. He has travelled near and far across the world with his family and frequently blogs about his experiences.

Getting From Koh Samui To Koh Tao And Enjoying The Beaches

21 Apr

koh tao ThailandSerious travelers and divers who are interested in relaxing on a less developed, scenic island tend to love Koh Tao. This is a relatively small island shaped like a kidney bean. Most of the popular beaches in Koh Tao face the west. The interior of the island is still undeveloped and rugged.

However, areas around the beaches are well developed, especially around Mae Haad. Thus, such areas don’t feel secluded. Although the island has been attracting more travelers with every passing year, Koh Tao still offers a relaxing atmosphere for divers from around the world. Getting from Koh Samui to Koh Tao is quite easy and less time consuming.

From Koh Samui to Koh Tao
If you want to get from Koh Samui to the island Koh Tao, there are several transportation alternatives. You can take a catamaran or express boat. There are two most popular operators:

● Seatran Discovery – Ferry from Bangrak Pier (Time of Departure – 8 AM and 1.30 PM)

● Lomprayah – Catamaran from Maenam Pier (Time of Departure – 8 AM and 12.30 PM)

At times, it can be rainy and windy from October to December. Thus, visibility during this period is not very good. The best time to visit Koh Tao is from January to September. Good visibility and bright sunshine can make your trip more exciting and fun.

It is very easy to buy tickets at the pier. You can also buy them from any travel agency in Koh Samui. It won’t take long to arrive in Mae Haad. In recent years, it has grown into a small town. Once you visit Koh Tao, you can spend time on some of the most popular beaches in Thailand.

Sairee Beach
This is one of the longest beaches on Koh Tao. It is also considered to be the most popular. Sairee beach is located in the northern direction from Mae Haad on the west coast of Koh Tao. It is about 3 kilometers in length. On the beach, you can easily find many different diving centers and schools. There are also fine dining restaurants and 7-Eleven stores.

Chalok Beach
Chalok Baan Kao is another popular and shallow beach located in a bay. This beach is located in the southern region of the island. It is about 2 kilometers in the southern direction from Mae Haad.

Tanote Bay
This has become one of the best spots for snorkeling. However, it may be a bit hard to reach this place. It is located in the eastern region of Koh Tao.

Other Beaches
Koh Tao also has some other beautiful bays and beaches like Sai Tong, Aow Leuk, Rocky Bay and Hin Wong. Since Koh Tao is a small island, it is always better to rent a bike for travelling around the island. Getting from Koh Samui to Koh Tao is quite easy.

If you want to snorkel, dive or swim among tourists in a relaxing atmosphere, Koh Tao will be your best choice. You can even rent a kayak or canoe for a day trip around this island or visit Koh Nang Yuan.

 

John Chen is a travel writer currently located in Bangkok, Thailand. He likes writing about Thailand and he writes not only about traveling in Thailand, but also about business, culture, economy and food. You can buy ferry tickets online at www.ferrysamui.com

7 Tricks Most People Don’t Know To Make Your Flowers Last

7 Apr

There’s nothing quite like a bouquet of fresh flowers on your birthday, Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s Day. Fresh flowers bring a smile to your face and communicate that you’re loved in a way unlike any other.

Whether you use an international flower delievery company like flora2000, or receive them domestically, there’s one bad thing about getting flowers delivered at home or abroad. It’s the thought you try to bury under the fragrance of that beautiful rose. You can’t escape it; they won’t last.

You do everything you can to give them a good start. You trim the stems, then provide lots of fresh water. You put them in a clean vase, and give them a misting of cool water every day. You try to keep them out of direct sunlight, and protect them from the curiosity of children and pets. What else can you do?

There are 5 things in your house right now that will extend the life of your beautiful bouquet.

1.     Soda
The old soda trick has been used for decades to make flowers stay fresh for longer. It only takes ¼ cup of soda in the water to perk up your flowers for a few days more. The sugar adds some nutrition to the water, and the acid fights bacteria so they can keep blooming past their expiration date. Colas and other colored sodas work fine but leave your water looking a bit dingy. If your flowers are in a clear vase, use something like 7 Up or Sprite.

2.     Aspirin
No, your mother wasn’t crazy when she put a crushed up aspirin in with her roses. It works for all cut flowers. Change the water and aspirin every few days and you’ll have happy flowers.

3.     Hairspray
A little spritz on the underside of leaves and blossoms will keep your flowers looking great longer. The downside? If you use too much, you might aid your flower’s death march, not to mention mask any fragrance your flowers naturally have.

4.     Pennies
The copper in pennies in the water creates a little acid, which keeps bacteria away and keeps flowers healthier longer. It’s also said that a penny in the water helps tulips stand up straighter.

5.     Apple Cider Vinegar

A few tablespoons of vinegar along with a few tablespoons sugar in the water do much the same thing as the soda. A little acid and some sweetness are the yin/yang of flower longevity.

6.     Vodka
A few drops of vodka, or other clear spirit in the water will keep bacteria at bay. Nothing will kill your flowers faster than bacteria, microorganisms, and fungi. You can use any alcohol, but clear is best or your water will have a slight, dirty-looking tint.

7.     Bleach
If you don’t have any vodka around, you can use bleach instead. A few drops (no more than ¼ tsp.) keep bacteria away and clean the water. Add some sugar to give your flowers something to eat.

To sum it up–
Florists say you can expect about a week out of your bouquet. These tricks will let you extend your joy for a few extra days.

Mahima Narula has been in the floral business for over a decade. Currently, she is the head of business at Flora2000. They are the industry leaders in international flower delivery. Please visit their website at flora2000.com for more information.

Add Light To Any Kitchen With These Simple Tips

4 Apr

kitchen

Ways to Lighten up Your Kitchen

Often times people who have a dimly lit or dark colored kitchen overcompensate by turning everything stark white. This is a common mistake and robs the kitchen of any personality. It also makes the kitchen appear cold and uninviting. Here are some ways to lighten up your kitchen without compromising style and personality.

Walls

The first thing you may want to do is paint the walls with an off white or neutral semi-gloss paint that will reflect the light. Use high gloss tiles for the backsplash. Mirrored tiles can be used, but they’re more difficult to keep clean and shiny in a kitchen area.

Cabinets

If you have dark cabinets and money is no object, you can replace with a lighter wood cabinet. If you’re on a tight budget, you can paint the cabinets a light, bright color in an enamel finish so they’re easy to clean and also reflect light. You can accent the cabinets with porcelain or light metal knobs.

Windows

If there is money in the budget for some architectural changes, you may want to consider replacing small windows with large casement windows. It’s best to use windows without dividers. You can move the window up in height to capture more sunlight. Large casement windows behind the sink can give you the feeling of standing outside. Likewise, a large picture window in your breakfast nook can add light and outside color for enjoyment while you sip your morning coffee.

Opening Up Walls and Doorways

If your kitchen is divided up into cubicle like rooms, consider taking down a wall to open up the space. Open kitchen designs are very popular since this room is often the gathering place for socializing while cooking. If you have an outside door in your kitchen, consider replacing it with an all glass door. If the door opening is large enough, installing French doors will increase the light and also provide a more open and inviting atmosphere.

Lighting

Installing track lights will brighten up your kitchen and provide functional lighting. Warm LED lighting is a bit pricier, but since it uses less electricity, it’s a long term money saver. LED lighting does not emit heat, like incandescent and halogen lights, so it won’t add to the warm temperature in your kitchen while cooking. Use LED lights for under cabinet lighting. This” task lighting” will brighten up the space and it looks classy.

Utilize empty wall space with a nice piece of artwork. Install an adjustable light or two which you can shine on both the wall and the piece of art. This gives the feeling of light coming in from a window, and really enhances the look of your kitchen.

Accessorize

You can lighten the room using small, decorative, reflective pieces. Decorative mirrors, strategically placed throughout the kitchen, create the illusion of a bigger space. You can also use decorative, silver metallic pieces to reflect light and add décor. Consider spray painting dark, decorative items with a shiny, silver metallic. Keep decorative pieces to a minimum. Less is more, when you want your kitchen to appear open, bright and inviting.

Finally, if there is room for a kitchen table, you may want to opt for glass. This gives the illusion of more space and light. A light wood or light tile top table is also an option.

 

This article was written by Christine Schworer, a passionate interior designer on weekends and a professional writer for BobHeinmiller.com during the week.