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Get to know Melbourne up close and personal by walking through the laneways and arcades that make this city famous. Or find your favourite foods – and discover something new! - at the Queen Victoria Market.\r\n\r\nPhoto provided by Tourism Australia...more

Melbourne, Australia

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Get to know Melbourne up close and personal by walking through the laneways and arcades that make this city famous. Or find your favourite foods – and discover something new! - at the Queen Victoria Market.

Photo provided by Tourism Australia

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Adults, Families, Young Adults, Children, Senior Travellers

  • The Southern Sky Light Show: The Southern Lights

    The Northern lights are considered one of the most majestic wonders the sky can offer to us, humans. People from all over the world fly to the uppermost part of the Northern hemisphere in the spring and summer months to experience a symphony of lights that dance across the sky. However, it is neglected that the Southern Lights can offer an equally pleasurable show of sparkling lights, shades, and colors. There is no competition between the Northern lights and Southern lights as they are both the effect of a scientific phenomenon only possible at the polar opposites of the earth. Although there are minute scientific differences which will later be explained, the aesthetic display and the astonishment these lights create are essentially the same. Yet, for some reason, the Southern Lights is the neglected twin that we will be showcasing through this article. Aurora Australis Photo by NOAA on Unsplash The Southern Lights’ are otherwise known through its original Latin name; ‘Aurora Australis’. This is a more phonetically beautiful translation as Australis means Southern and Aurora a light that touches the sky and historically it was more generally used to describe dawn.   What are the Southern Lights? Photo by NOAA on Unsplash In layman's terms without going into the whole academic field of understanding the effects of the electrons, protons, and the upper atmosphere which would need an entire science degree to understand; The Aurora are disturbances on a magnetic sphere space level which result in the emitting of a light varying in depths, colors, and complexity. The disorder creates an artistic landscape of wonder in the sky, never twice the same because the space weather is unpredictable.   How do they differ from the Northern Lights? Photo by Lucas Marcomini on Unsplash and ThatPhotoGuyNL on Unsplash Recent scientific research shows that the Southern Lights are not a symmetrical representation of the Northern Lights. The sun’s powerful magnetic field pressures the earth’s lines to elongate the lines of the night, elongating the Southern’s lights appearances. When the sun’s magnetic field aligns perfectly with the earth, the Northern and Southern lights can symmetrize, but this is a rare phenomenon. The phenomenon of these lights is only possible due to the activity, storms, and disturbances of the magnetic sphere space. The Southern lights are not the same as the Northern Lights because of the Sun and its magnetic pressures.   Best Time to See the Southern Lights? Photo by NOAA on Unsplash In the opposite fashion of the Northern Lights, the Southern Lights are in the Southern winter. This means the prime time to visit is June through to August, but they can begin as early as March and end as late as in September. They are perfect to catch and experience during the hotter months in the Southern Hemisphere. Although, it is difficult to track the exact moment a light show will open its curtains and start, there are online services available that offer an hourly forecast based on NASA spacecraft orbiting the areas. Remember to check the recommendations based on your desired location for more live information.   Where to see the Southern Lights? Photo by NOAA on Unsplash The choices to view these wondrous lights are surprisingly vast. The Southern lights are the perfect alternative for travelers who are not fans of the cold, icy temperatures of the Northern hemisphere. This article has picked the creme de la creme of the locations to view the Southern Lights.   Australia Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash If you consider the southernmost countries, then doubtless Australia is a territory that will cross your mind. If you are visiting Australia, you have a high chance of being able to witness the ballet of lights. There are highly accessible areas to view the Southern lights and speaking to locals will direct you to the perfect places to view the Southern Lights Victoria, Australia If you happen to find yourself in Melbourne or Victoria then you are in the lottery to view the Southern lights. Hop on a train from Melbourne to Victoria and try your luck to view the light show. The chances are lower here to experience the full Southern Lights but it is near impossible to miss the Milky Way. This option is especially useful for those visiting Australia instead of the lights specifically. Tasmania, Australia It makes perfect sense to look at the Southernmost territory of Australia, Tasmania, for a higher chance of viewing the lights at their supreme best. Tasmania is an island off the south of Australia with a chance of viewing the lights any night of the year. These chances increase when you visit between March and September and you find high altitudes. Tasmania has 38 peaks over the height of 1,220 meters giving you an array of choices on where to spectate and experience the lights. Mount Wellington, Hobart, and South Arm Peninsula are all regarded as great high locations for the display.   New Zealand Photo by Tobias Keller on Unsplash If your sole purpose is to view the Southern lights then New Zealand is the place to be. Not only a place for film stars and fantasy movie scenery, but New Zealand also is not often considered as a location for the Auroras. This is partly because we often imagine viewing these light phenomena in an igloo or surrounded by snow. However, it is completely logical to visit New Zealand for the Southern lights as it is the most Southern inhabited territory in the World. Queenstown, New Zealand Queenstown is a good location to base your stay in, based in-land of New Zealand but on the Southern part of the island, it has good access routes to Lake Wakatipu and Lake Tekapo. These lakes provide a magnificent view of the southern lights reflected on the wide expanses of water. It is important to bear in mind that any chances of viewing the Southern lights are diminished when close to a city and town with artificial lights, hence Queenstown should be a beginning to a means but not the final location. Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve located at Lake Tekapo is a well-known secret amongst star chasers. This reserve is often a pit stop for more than a night as the view and observatory are so perfectly situated it is impossible to experience quickly. The Reserve encourages star-gazers and chasers to stay awhile with facilities run in the night and even telescopes to get a closer look at the sky. Stewart Island Only accessible by ferry from Oban or Invercargill, other possible locations to view the light display of the South, Stewart Island is the most remote and most southern location in New Zealand. It is unobstructed by mountains or tall structures but there is the fear that the weather can cast a cloudy sky and obstruct your view. It is always best to have many options available before planning your Southern Lights adventure.   Ushuaia, Argentina Photo by Luuk Wouters on Unsplash Ushuaia or also known as the ‘end of the world’ is not often considered for it’s Southern Light views. In the winter, Ushuaia has up to 17 hours of darkness on average, really increasing your chances of catching the lights. However, as always it is paramount to find areas with little to no urban pollution and artificial lights as these can significantly interfere and disrupt the display.   South Africa Photo by Thomas Bennie on Unsplash As the name suggests we would assume that the Southern Lights are visible from South Africa, however, it is very hard to predict viewing them on the African continent. This is why we have erred away from suggesting South Africa. Now that we’ve exposed you to the wondrous Southern Lights and highlighted the possibilities of viewing the Southern Lights, we hope that you will consider the often neglected Southern Lights over the Northern Lights. Instead of flying over half the globe, we encourage citizens in the Eastern hemisphere to consider New Zealand and Australia for their next star-chasing adventure. However, if you travel to South America consider making a special trip to Argentina for this unique light upon light experience....

  • Travel News Wrap: 5 October Week

    We are back with more travel news to update you on the things that are happening in the travel world. There has been quite a number of developments around the world this week.   Qatar Airways Offering Free Tickets for Teachers in 2021 Image Credit: Jan Rosolino on Unsplash Qatar Airways shocked everybody when they announced that they will be giving away complimentary Economy Class return tickets to any destination operated by the airliner. The giveaway opened on World Teacher’s Day, 5 October, and closed yesterday, 8 October at 03:59 (Doha time). The tickets will be valid for travel until 30 September 2021. There are over 21,000 complimentary tickets up for the giveaway and it was open for teaching professionals from over 75 countries, which concurrently are places where Qatar Airways currently operates at. The giveaway was allocated and staggered over the countries and the three-day campaign period. Those successful in getting the tickets will receive one Economy Class return ticket to anywhere on Qatar Airways’ current flight network.   Japan and South Korea Restarting Business Travel Image Credit:  Louie Martinez on Unsplash According to multiple sources, Japan and South Korea are planning to restart business travel between the two countries, starting from 8 October. This is an attempt to improve the relationship between the two countries. Japan and South Korea have been in talks to launch and resume this travel arrangement since July, in hopes of improving their bilateral ties. With this arrangement, South Korea will be the second country after Singapore which allows for short-term and long-term travel into Japan. The arrangement here will be that both countries will allow for short-term and long-term essential travel for official and business purposes. The agreement states that those on short-term business trips will not be required to go through the 14-day self-isolation if they are tested positive for COVID-19. As for long-term travelers, they will only be allowed to enter after going through a two-week quarantine period. Please refer to the authorities for more details on the requirements and safety measures on travel.   'Cruises to Nowhere' from November Image Credit:  Peter Hansen on Unsplash After the whole ‘Flight to Nowhere’ saga with SIA, comes another COVID-travel method. ‘Cruise to Nowhere’. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has partnered with two cruise lines to get the ball rolling. Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream and Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas were chosen for the first to be part of the ‘Cruise to Nowhere’. The cruise will be round trips with no port of call while sailing at a lower capacity than usual to make it safer for the current times. Currently, the cruises will only be open to Singapore Residents. This experience is being called a "Seacation" for the residents of Singapore. Safety has been taken largely into consideration with a number of measures. Other than the reduced passenger load, passengers will have to show negative COVID-19 test results before boarding. While sailing, the cruise ships will have to follow strict sanitation guidelines to minimize the risk as much as possible. Including the already normal safety measures like wearing masks when outside of their rooms, the boarding and disembarking will be staggered to prevent crowds from building. The first cruise will begin on 6 November this year.   Singapore Air Travel Bubbles Image Credit:  Mike Enerio on Unsplash Similar to what is being done by India, Singapore has taken a similar approach to resume flights in and out of the country. Currently, Singapore is moving towards setting up Air Travel Bubbles with a number of countries, that have been deemed safe by the authorities. These travel bubbles differ from the already established Reciprocal Green Lane arrangements as the travel bubbles will not need a controlled itinerary when traveling. The number of travelers per day will be controlled as a form of risk management. In addition, travelers will still have to adhere to COVID-19 safety measures and protocols such as COVID-19 testing and acquiring air travel passes before coming here. This news comes in hand with the other travel resumptions relating to the arrangements with other countries. An example is Japan’s recent removal of a ban on overseas travel to Singapore. All in all, it looks like travel resumptions are on the horizon as for now. Please refer to the authorities for more details on the requirements and safety measures on travel.   Hawaii Quarantine Requirement Dropped Image Credit: Cristian Guerrero on Unsplash Continuing on with the development in Hawaii last week, starting from 15 October onwards, travelers will be allowed to skip going through quarantine if they are able to provide a negative COVID-19 test result. The test has to be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Travelers who do not want to be tested can still opt to go through quarantine. Previously it was reported that they were planning to launch something similar but due to the spike in cases, it was postponed. Please refer to the authorities for more details on the requirements and safety measures on travel.   AirAsia Japan Shuts Down Operations Image Credit:  sayhitobel on Unsplash Another casualty of the global pandemic, the low-cost budget airline, AirAsia Japan, has decided to fold its operations starting this week. Hit hard by the travel restrictions and uncertainties the low demand for travel has been put as the cause of the cessation of operations. All flights operated by AirAsia Japan has been canceled. To avoid confusion, this will only affect domestic and international flights operated by AirAsia Japan with the code DJ and does not affect the other flights in and out of Japan which are operated by other airlines under the AirAsia Group.  All is not bad for the group though as their restaurants serving its in-flight food, Santan, are planned to expand with over 100 branches across the world, by 2022. Read more on similar in-flight offerings that airlines are turning to in this pandemic on our blog “Get The Full Airline Experience Without Leaving the Ground at these Hotels & Restaurants”   Singapore Airlines Reinstate Flights to Four Destinations Image Credit: Troy Mortier on Unsplash Inline with the announcement of Singapore’s intent of resuming travel, Singapore Airlines, the country’s national carrier has announced that they will be reinstating flights to four destinations. The four being Fukuoka, Male, Brunei, and Kathmandu. The reinstation will be done over the next three months. Furthermore, the frequency of the flights to some existing routes will also be increased in the next three months. Some reported changes:   Now By December Singapore-Melbourne 1 Daily 2 Flights Daily Singapore-Bangkok None 1 Daily While flights to Dhaka, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong will also be increased in frequency.   Interstate Travel Ban Imposed in Sabah, Malaysia Image Credit: Andy Wang on Unsplash Due to the recent developments of the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia, an interstate travel ban has been imposed on the Malaysian state of Sabah. Banning travel from the state and the Peninsula, Sarawak, and Labuan. Currently, the ban will be enforced from 12 October to 25 October 2020. In addition to this, anyone entering the state of Sabah must undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival. Please refer to the authorities for more details on the requirements and safety measures on travel....

  • Planning To Travel After Covid-19? Here Are 10 Best Road Trips in Australia You Need To Check Out

    Planning a getaway to restart your life after the pandemic? Great idea! Why not plan for a road trip, especially in Australia since it has some spectacular routes and scenic drives as you traverse this large island continent? A road trip will also give you an opportunity to revive long-standing relationships with friends whom you have been social distancing from recently. And, you can do this while taking in the awe-inspiring scenes, hidden natural wonders, and some out-of-the-way places which can only be reached via a road! What is more, a road trip does away with the tedious tasks of extreme budgeting, applying for visas, considering travel restrictions, and embarking on a long flight to reach your destination. It allows you to travel at your own pace, it can nicely work out on a limited budget, and there is no fuss on what to wear – comfort-wear is the way to go! Most importantly, it enables you to create your own unique route while traveling.  Road trips are a convenient way for you to travel with your friends after Covid-19 and it is expected to rise with domestic travel will begin to recover first. To help you plan for your next road trip, here are 10 best road trips in Australia!  via GIPHY  1. The Great Ocean Road, Victoria Image Credit: Mateusz Glogowski on Unsplash This is one famed road trip route taking you across the southern coast of Australia from between Torquay and Warrnambool, Allansford, or a little further to Port Fairy in Victoria. The Great Ocean Road, completed in 1932 as a First World War memorial, showcases breath-taking clifftop vistas, wildlife, shipwrecks, and the never-ending coastlines while passing through quaint towns and rain forest. Things to do and see: Bells Beach, 12 Apostles, Erskine Falls, Apollo Bay, Port Campbell National Park, Loch Ard Gorge, the Island Archway, the cliff-face Gibson Steps, Cape Otway lighthouse, Great Otway National Park, Lorne, Anglesea, Peterborough, the historic fishing village of Port Fairy, and many delicious eateries along the way. Time frame: The route is about 9.5 hours (approximately a 250-kilometre drive). So, a day-trip is possible and done often if you want to enjoy only the passing scenery. But the best way to take in all the sights and sounds and venture further afield is a three to four-day road trip along these most famous road trip routes. 2. The Great Beach Drive, Queensland Image Credit: Tim Foster on Unsplash; You can get a nice view of the beautiful sunrise at Hervey Bay while on this route. For those of you living in Queensland, you need not go too far to catch some scenic views and some of the best routes for a road trip. The Great Beach Drive is the famed road trip on some of the Sunshine Coast’s most stunning beaches leading to Fraser Island and the Fraser Coast while meandering through UNESCO Heritage sites, national parks, and many historically significant landscapes. While traversing this most wonderful of road routes, you will be privy to whale, dolphin, turtle, platypus, kangaroo, and rare bird sightings. Don't miss out on the Hervey Bay; you can get a nice view of the beautiful sunrise and sunset here! Things to do and see: Noosa Biosphere, Great Sandy Biosphere, wildlife sightings, picnics, camping inside national parks, off-road driving, Double Island Point lighthouse, Hervey Bay, Teewah beach, Rainbow beach, surfing, kayaking, swimming, Great Barrier Reef, hiking and trekking, and Fraser Island - the largest sand island in the world. Time frame: The route is about 168 hours (a 380-kilometre drive). Take a three to seven-day road trip along the Great Beach Drive or even longer, depending on how long you want your getaway trip to be and what you want to explore with your friends. 3. The Grand Pacific Drive, New South Wales Image Credit: Mara Page on Unsplash; The Grand Pacific Drive will lead you to some of the iconic places in Australia such as the whitest sand beach, Hyams beach at Jervis Bay. For those in New South Wales, the Grand Pacific Drive will lead you along some of the territory’s most memorable places and coastal scenes through a 140-kilometre bitumen road. Things to do and see: Sydney’s Royal National Park, Wollongong, Shellharbour, Sea Cliff Bridge, booming blowholes at Kiama, Austinmer Beach, Nan Tien Temple, hang-gliding, paragliding Minamurra Rainforest, whitest sand beaches in the world at Jervis Bay, and Jamberoo Action Park. Timeframe: The route is just a few hours (approximately a 140-kilometre drive) and an ideal one-day road trip for anyone from Sydney, Canberra, or other neighboring areas. However, there is nothing to stop you from making this road trip a longer vacation by staying over in any one of the towns or reserves along the way. 4. Great Alpine Road, Victoria Image Credit: Linda Xu on Unsplash; Experience the beauty of lush mountains at Mount Buffalo National Park  Another scenic drive starts off at Wangaratta in Victoria and traverses through the Victorian High Country and ends at Metung in the Gippsland Lakes region. The Great Alpine road trip will stun you with its fabulous Alpine scenes, mountain ranges, deep valleys, wine country, and sparkling waterways. This route will let you revel in the beauty of the mountains while enjoying some relaxation time with close friends whether you live in New South Wales or in Victoria! Things to do and see: Be inspired and rejuvenated by the lush mountains and rain forests, Mount Buffalo National Park, Gorge Lookout at Mt Buffalo, unique rock formations, and waterfalls. You can also try activities like mountain biking, trekking, and horse riding with your friends. Drive through Victoria’s highest alpine village, and view the 1,750 meter above sea-level Mt Hotham. Don't forget to visit towns such as Beechworth, Bright, and Omeo to experience the local hospitality.  Time frame: The road trip is approximately 500 kilometres and best enjoyed through a week where you can take in the scenes and enjoy the local hospitality. 5. Cairns to Cape York Peninsula, Queensland Image Credit: Photo by Pierre-Henry de Soria on Unsplash; Drop by the Palm Cove while on this route, and spend some time with your friends, catching up.  A Sunshine Coast epic journey is the road trip starting from Cairns and ending at the Cape York Peninsula. While this route is not common, unlike the Cairns to Cape Tribulations road trip, it will take you through the World Heritage-listed, Great Barrier Reef to the ancient World Heritage Daintree National Park across red sand, rain forests, many national parks, indigenous history and culture, and scenic views like no other. While the drive is said to be bumpy and does not boast much comfort, it is a once in a lifetime adventure and a chance to experience a simple lifestyle! Things to do and see: Palm Cove, Port Douglas, Daintree National Park, river crossings, ancient rock art at The Quinkan Galleries at Laura, rainforests, Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, camping, Lakefield National Park, traverse the Old Telegraph Track, and walk to The Tip – the northern most point of Australia. Time frame: The route is about 14 hours (approximately a 1,000-kilometre one-way drive). Considering the dirt roads, raw terrain, and the need to do a round trip while exploring places and experiences the region, a minimum two-week road trip is called for. If you really are short on time, consider a one-way drive and return by air. 6. Gibb River Road, Western Australia Image Credit: jancolaco from Pixabay; Enjoy the Kimberley gorges on the Gibb River Road.  Western Australia’s Gibb River Road is another epic Australian road trip route for the adventurous. This route beginning and ending from Derby to Wyndham, or vice versa, will take you through the Kimberley region. Traveling through the outback on dusty roads will require a four-wheel drive, but the journey will take you through national parks, waterfalls, plateaus, gorges, natural wonders and lets you soak in the 50 to 60 thousand-year-old indigenous Australian culture. Things to do and see: Crocodile sighting; Windjana Gorge National Park; Mitchell Falls and Mitchell Plateau; El Questro; ziplining; King Leopold Ranges; visit outback cattle stations; compare and contrast between the Adcock, Manning, Galvans, Leonard, and Bell Gorges; Zebedee Springs; and Tunnel Creek. Time frame: Approximately a 660-kilometre route with only two roadhouses along the way – at Imintji and Mt Barnett. An ideal road trip would be a week-long, and more if you plan to stay and visit some out of the way places. Be prepared with extra fuel which can be expensive to purchase. 7. Red Centre Way, Northern Territory Image Credit: Philippe Wuyts on Unsplash; Kings Canyon, a must-visit to enjoy spectacular views!  The Northern Territory’s Red Centre Way is another epic and very cliched Australian road trip over sealed and unsealed roads. The route takes you through several mountain ranges, red earth deserts, isolated rocks, fresh swimming holes, ancient Aboriginal rock art sites, and historic towns. So, get ready for one epic Australian outback road trip experience! Things to do and see: Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, and West MacDonnell ranges; walking and hiking; Finke Gorge National Park; Watarrka National Park, the only place to see the red cabbage palm; the spirited lands of mulga forest; and the spinifex. Time frame: A loop route of about 1,135 kilometres starting at Alice Springs and taking you through Uluru and Kings Canyon is a 5 to 6-day road trip. 8. The Nullarbor Plain, South Australia to Western Australia Image Credits: Simon Maisch on Unsplash; Create unforgettable memories with your friends here at Nullarbor, South Australia If you are living somewhere in South or Western Australia, consider taking the Nullarbor Plain road trip which stretches across Ceduna/Adelaide in South Australia and Perth in Western Australia. While quite remote, the desert highway is an easy route meandering through the goldfields of Western Australia and the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. If you enjoy off-road driving, then use a four-wheel drive to ride through wide-open spaces, sand dunes, and wooded hills while re-hashing some legendary UFO stories and old-time myths with friends.  Things to do and see: Bragging rights to having seen and driven on the largest piece of limestone on earth; strange landscapes which the Nullarbor Plain is renowned for; wildlife such as giant wedge-tailed eagles, emus, kangaroos, dingoes, and camels; whale watching beneath the world's longest line of sea cliffs; the world’s longest golf course; unique caves; riding over sand dunes; ruins of Eucla Telegraph Station built in the 1870s; and camping under the starlit skies. Time frame: An ideal 6-day road trip of 1,256 kilometres which requires some preparation due to it being remote. So, carry enough fuel, water, and other essential supplies. 9. Heritage Highway, Tasmania Image Credit: Samuel Scrimshaw on Unsplash; Rural Building at Tasmania, Australia.  Living in Tasmania? No worries… This little island has quite a few road trips on offer from the Tassie Loop, to the route from Hobart to Freycinet, and of course the famed Heritage Highway. The Heritage highway which runs between Hobart and Launceston is a 200-year-old road built by convict road gangs in the 1800s. The highway meanders through some scenic views of farmlands, Georgian villages, grand rural estates and the authentic scenes of Tasmania’s historic midlands. Things to do and see: Visit the towns of Oatlands, Longford, Evandale, Cressy, and Perth; enjoy some gourmet food; Heritage Highway Museum and Visitors Centre in Campbell Town; Shene Estate & Distillery; and the Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary. Time frame: A short 2 to 3 days road trip of approximately 200 kilometres. 10. The Big Lap, Australia Image Credit: Martyna Bober on Unsplash; Visit the Bondi Beach at Sydney, one of the most famous beach destinations.  Last but certainly not the least… we have “The Big Lap”, a spectacular adventure around the entire country. Try this fabulous road trip of 15,000 kilometres using Highway One around the edge of Australia as you take in the changing scenes and landscapes of the country’s diverse territories and mixed natural environs. The big lap route will take you through seven capital cities, ride through rain forests and the red earth deserts, cruise along the coastline, and enjoy the vast emptiness of the outback. Things to do and see: Everything and anything that you fancy from the coastline between Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Broome, Perth, Esperance, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Hobart. Time frame: To truly experience the big lap, you will need at least six months, so, consider this a final hurrah kind of road trip adventure!   In ending this article, let me say that depending on the amount of time you have for a vacation, some of these road trip routes can be combined with some fun activities to make it a super adventure. So, take this chance; do not agonize about limited overseas travel, but instead, make the most of exploring your own country and enjoying a relaxing, fun-filled time with your friends! Don't forget to download the HalalTrip App, here, for more travel tips, prayer times and Qibla Direction, and many more!    via GIPHY...

  • 10 Best Virtual Museum Tours In 2020

    The COVID-19 situation has placed some business on a halt, some may have even closed their doors. We have seen how entertainment centers, tourist attractions, zoos, and even museums were affected by this outbreak. There is no denying that technology has made life simpler, making us feel that the world is at our fingertips. As travel bans have been imposed all around the world, you may have heard about virtual traveling. Exploring the world at the comfort of your home might not give you the best experience but think about its convenience; you don't have to deal with the crowd! Even better, some of these tours are free! From the deepest part of the world to local zoos to historical and art museums; there's an abundance of virtual tours made available for you. Can't travel to visit these iconic museums? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are 10 best virtual museum tours you need to check out in 2020!  via GIPHY   1. The British Museum, London Image Credit: Ryan Stefan on Unsplash The British Museum in London was opened in 1759 and was the first national public museum in the world. You can learn about human histories and culture dated way back to over two million years.There are several ways for you to enjoy these historic artifacts. Explore the virtual museum tours through Google Street View. You can visit up to 60 over galleries like the Egyptian sculpture gallery and The World of Alexander. You can also view an infographic timeline of each artifact through History Connected. You can easily read through the facts or even listen to the audio made available. It is very informative and must not be missed by all history buffs! For those of you who had always dreamed of visiting this museum, this is your chance. And the best part is, it's free! Website 2. The Broad, Los Angeles Image Credit: Tu Tram Pham on UnsplashThe Broad in Los Angeles features contemporary art from the 1950s to the present. With almost 2,000 pieces of artwork, you can find collections from influential contemporary artists like Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama.Get inspired by the effort made by The Broad to bring this wonderful experience to you at home. Watch one of The Broad's famous installations, Yayoi Kasuma's Infinity Mirrored Room, over some lights and sounds environment. If you want to find activities you can do with the kids, get inspired through the family workshops at home series. It contains step-by-step tutorials that you can enjoy with your family. If you can't get over the Infinity Mirrored Room, then you can learn how to create one from one of the videos.Website 3. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Image Credit: Mitchell Luo on Unsplash National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, is one of the oldest museums to exist in the country. Founded in 1861, you can find artworks from both local and international artists, ranging from contemporary art, fashion, architecture, and dance.Fans of KAWS, you no longer have to feel disappointed about missing this exhibition. Now available via virtual tours, head down to the website to visit KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness exhibition. Other exhibitions you can visit virtually includes the 'Japanese Modernism' and 'Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines.' The latter exhibition is worth visiting as you can listen to the audio tour by the curator himself. Wonderful isn't it? Website 4. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul Image Credit: National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has established four museums in different venues; Gwacheon, Deoksugung, Seoul, and Cheongju. It is one of the most famous museums in Korea that showcases Korea's art and culture. The four museums are unique; each showcasing different aspects of art and culture in Korea but are geared towards a common goal which is to provide a rewarding cultural experience to visitors. You can find various artworks ranging from literature to calligraphy, architecture to design, and family-oriented space and children's museum.One of the ways you can enjoy a tour around the museum is through the official website. You can watch tour videos on Jonathan Borofsky's Singing Man or Kim Whanki's Two Moon. Meanwhile, on Google Art & Culture, you can view more collections from renowned artistes or even go on a virtual tour on all levels.Website 5. Musée d’Orsay, Paris Image Credit: Armand Khoury on Unsplash Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France, holds French artworks dated way back in 1848 to 1914. These artworks range from painting, sculpture, furniture, and photographs. Fans of impressionist will find solace in this museum, witnessing artworks from renowned painters like Monet and Van Gogh.As Musée d’Orsay used to be a railway station, you may catch a glimpse of its history through an online exhibition called From Station to the Renovated Musée d'Orsay. Apart from that, get inspired by the canvas painting and oil painting made available for you in Google Art & Culture. You can now enjoy the artworks from this exhibition in the comfort of your home!Website 6. China Paper Cutting Museum, Yangzhou Image Credit: China Paper Cutting Museum on Discover China  The China Paper Cutting Museum in Yangzhou holds a diverse collection of paper-cutting arts from around the country. With almost 400 pieces of artwork, its genre ranged from landscapes, birds and flowers, and plants, and insects. Paper-cutting art has always been important to Chinese folk culture. These delicate and detailed arts may leave you in awe and keep you inspired in many ways.You can view the artwork virtually from local artistes via the online exhibitions made available. If you wanna try making some paper cutting art, how about watching the online exhibition called 'The Art of Cutting Paper by Zhang Muli?' All you need is just a pair of scissors and some paper. Time to get crafty! Website 7. Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts, Kyoto Image Credit: Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts The Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts, also known as Fureaikan, features Kyoto's traditional crafts. With almost 500 collections ranging from Kimonos, lacquerwares, and textiles, there is always something to see and learn on Kyoto crafts.The traditional garment Kimono has always featured beautiful and intricate designs. Learn its history from the online exhibition, 'The Ancient History Making and Wearing a Kimono' and 'Historical Development of Kimono Pattern'. The beautiful textiles of a Kimono will leave you in awe, as you learn to appreciate them more given that the time and effort it takes to make the textiles can be excruciating. Website 8. Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Image Credit: The Singapore Art Museum The Singapore Art Museum is dedicated to contemporary art based in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Whether the museum is closed for major transformation or due to the COVID-19 situation, you can still visit the museum and view the exhibitions virtually. Singapore Art Museum has been an organizer for the Singapore Biennale in four different years. If you missed it, you may get the chance to view the last years' collections in the online exhibition 'Singapore Biennale 2019: Every Step in the Right Direction.' You can also go on a virtual walk in the museum and explore all levels that are made available.Website 9. National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung Image Credit: National Museum of Natural Science on Taichung Travel Net If you want to skip the art and history, or if you are just into nature and science, then this museum is for you! The National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung, Taiwan, covers exhibitions like astronomy, space science, and ecology. With over 50 permanent exhibitions to look out for, there is always something for everyone to learn from, be it adults or children.As one of the most visited museums in Taiwan, there shouldn't be a reason to skip this museum especially when you can visit it virtually!. Run through the 100 specimens of different departments; geology, botany, zoology, and anthropology in this online exhibition. You will never leave this virtual tour without learning something new, we promise! Website 10. Fubon Art Foundation, Taipei Image Credit: Fubon Art Foundation Fubon Art Foundation may be a little different from the rest of the museums on this list. Its aim is to promote art education and support art-based events. To incorporate art into one's lifestyle, it is not necessary to visit a museum or a gallery. Hence, "Very Fun Park" is established where people can experience art from the streets and alleyways in the city.Don't be sad if your trip to Taiwan is canceled, and you can't witness these awesome artworks. Now, you can navigate through the online galleries and view the various installations from different contemporary visual artists. The colorful and unique installations are interesting to look at; it makes you want to witness them in real life too!Website If you think that you can't experience new things without leaving your house, then you are wrong! This list of virtual museum tours will occupy your time, give you some inspiration, relax your mind, and perhaps, allow you to learn something new. If these museums piqued your interest, then you can include them in your itinerary the next time you are traveling!  via GIPHY...

  • It's Time To Start Planning For Your 2019 Long Weekend Escapes From Singapore!

    As November looms around the corner, we are already on the homestretch of 2018! It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a fantastic year or not because we can always look forward to a new year full of hope and possibilities! Some of you have probably booked a flight for your year-end trip and just counting down the days to that long-awaited vacation. While waiting, you should try planning for great weekend getaways in 2019!  Great news: There are FOUR LONG WEEKENDS spread out across the year, making sure you'll always have that well-deserved break! Plan for your long weekend trips with our travel inspirations: 10 Muslim & Children Friendly Destinations To Visit in 2019! GOOD FRIDAY (19 - 21 April) Krabi, Thailand This is the perfect time to visit Krabi because it is just before the monsoon season where blackouts are a norm. This is your chance to relax on the beautiful beaches, go island hopping, indulge in dirt-cheap body massages, and feast on awesome Thai street food! If you prefer to live near Ao Nang beach, Ao Nang Princeville Resort is the place for you! Completely Muslim-friendly, this resort offers halal dining options so you never have to worry about finding halal food. Definitely a great place to stay because of its central location! In fact, this resort offers convenient Spa services, a restaurant, outdoor pool, hot tub, and a sun deck—perfect for lazy days! Address: 164 Rural Road Krabi 1010, Krabi Chang Wat Krabi 81180, ThailandContact: +66 75 637 971 VESAK DAY (18 - 20 May) Jakarta, Indonesia Picture: University of Melbourne Jakarta is a beautiful, bustling city that is great for a quick weekend getaway. Sometimes, we all need a shopping holiday and this is just the perfect place to get everything done under one roof! The iconic roundabout at the Selamat Datang Monument is the place for all things convenient because right beside it lies Plaza Indonesia, a shopping heaven for locals and tourists alike! For accomodation, you can stay at the Grand Hyatt Jakarta right next to Plaza Indonesia. Take as much rest as you can in their classy rooms so you have sufficient energy to shop till you drop right after. This grand hotel is decked with luxurious furnishings that will make you feel like royalty. They have all the amenities in place to ensure that you are comfortable throughout your stay. They offer a fitness center, room service, outdoor pool, laundry service, a spa, and even an airport shuttle! Address: Jl. M.H. Thamrin No.Kav. 28-30, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10350Contact: +62 21 29921234 NATIONAL DAY & HARI RAYA HAJI(9 August - 12 August) Bandung, Indonesia  Picture: OhFact! Coincidentally, National Day and Hari Raya Haji fall on the same weekend so this means that we are rewarded another long weekend. However, this time it's an even longer one that lasts for FOUR DAYS! Bandung is definitely perfect for a four-day getaway because it has so much to offer. Since we have covered beach destinations and shopping paradise so far, let’s head for some nature time as you bask in the beautiful landscapes that Bandung has to offer! Bandung is home to magnificient mountains, gorgeous green landscapes and many more natural tourist attractions such as Lake Patenggang—a picturesque lake with stunning views. Picture: GH Universal Hotel Bandung You’ve probably seen the GH Universal Hotel circulating around the internet—an architectural beauty right in the heart of Bandung with European-style (more accurately, Italian Renaissance) furnishings. You should try staying at this hotel at least once. You will feel like royalty from the moment you step into this beautiful plush accomodation. This hotel is fully equipped with an outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness center, a patisserie (yes, desserts!), a rooftop bistro offering majestic panoramic views of the city, and yes—airport shuttle! Address: Jl. DR. Setiabudhi No.376, Cidadap, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40143Phone: +62 22 2010388 DEEPAVALI (26 - 28 October)  Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Picture: Consolato Generale Take a step back into history during your trip to this city. Ho Chi Minh City has so much to offer in terms of historical monuments. Make sure you set aside a day to see the Cu Chi Tunnels (and crawl in one too!) that the Vietnamese used during the Vietnam war. You should also visit Mekong Delta and marvel at the beautiful rivers while sipping a fresh coconut drink on a small boat. For café-lovers, this is a city filled with affordable cafes! Simply take a stroll down the city and you will find great cafes offering really refreshing coffees (yes, Vietnamese coffee) for your caffeine needs. Do visit the Café Apartments along the Saigon Walking Street. This historical building used to be a home to government and military personnels (also the only building that wasn’t bombed) but is now a hipster haven full of eclectic cafes. You will be greeted with majestic views of the city from the café balconies as you sip some good old Vietnamese coffee. Perfect for a late-night wind-down. Picture: Ostrovok This is a crowd favourite hotel because it is right next to Ben Thanh Market (The place to go to for your grocery needs and night market!) as well as the Malaysian Street. The Malaysian Street is packed with halal food options from Malaysian food to authentic Vietnamese food. You will be happy to know that some diners even offer free food delivery services right to your hotel! The hotel offers a spa, a fitness centre, and airport shuttle for your convenience. There are also a few major mosques nearby. Address: 289-291 Lý Tự Trọng, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamContact: +84 28 3828 2888 Start planning and get yourself ready to explore all these amazing getaway destinations in 2019! Read more about destinations to visit in 2019...



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