Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Strand Cruise in Myanmar

Launched on 22nd December 2015, the Strand Cruise operates a schedule of three- and four-night itineraries between the ancient cities of Bagan and Mandalay. A reinvention of the legendary style of its sister property, The Strand Hotel Yangon, the 28-cabin ship is enhanced with latest technology such as individually controlled air conditioning and WI-FI from satellite communication. 

 The Strand Cruise is a genuine luxury cruise experience with access to many private moorings close to landmarks along the river. A highlight of the itinerary is an exclusive mooring overnight at Ava on the journey from Bagan to Mandalay, allowing passengers access the beautiful temple of Maha Aungmye Bonzan after the crowds have departed in the evening until the following morning. The Strand Cruise is also the only operator on the river to offer visits to the iconic U-Bein bridge on both north- and south-bound itineraries. www.thestrandcruise.com

CHRISTIAN MARTENA

EXECUTIVE CHEF, THE STRAND YANGON & THE STRAND CRUISE, MYANMAR
Raised in the Puglia region of Italy where his family had their own restaurant, Christian Martena honed his skills in some of the greatest kitchens in Paris and has a love of classic French and Italian dishes, which he finely balances and finishes with a contemporary twist gained from his time living and working in Asia. Christian spent many years as Executive Chef at the renowned Opus Wine Bar and restaurant in Bangkok, often playing host to the Thai Royal family, before opening his own restaurant, Sensi, in Bangkok, which went on to gain critical acclaim. He showcases his skills at The Strand Restaurant at The Strand Yangon, open for dinner four nights a week and serving a seasonal menu of classic Mediterranean dishes enhanced with locally sourced ingredients.

SYLVAIN ROYER

CHEF DE CUISINE, R&B LAB COMPANY
Chef Sylvain Royer is General Manager and Chef de Cuisine of R&B Lab Company , which operates multiple restaurants in South-East Asia including Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant in Bangkok, which received the “Wine Spectator Award for Excellence” in 2016; Scarlett Café & Wine Bar in Hong Kong; and 25 Degrees Burgers, Wine & Liquor Bar at the Pullman Bangkok Hotel G. Born in Reims, France in 1972, Chef Sylvain was raised by his father, a Charcuterie chef. At an early age, he developed the passion for gastronomy and followed his dream by completing an apprenticeship at “La Garrene” Restaurant. His dedication to his work has gained him much success in the culinary world, having been awarded his first Michelin as Commis and Demi Chef de Partie at his alma mater “La Garrene Restaurant” in 1988 and his second Michelin star as Second de cuisine & Chef de cuisine at Le Cheval Blanc Restaurant, France in 1991. Sylvain is well-known for his Farm to Table concept; choosing only the best and freshest products for his cuisine. Ingredients used are often organically and locally grown and combined with the best European ingredients from his home country. www.randblab.com.

Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand GET GLOBAL

MICE trade event, Get Global, has confirmed a strong New Zealand exhibitor contingent for the event, being held in Sydney this July. The one-day event is the first MICE business platform in Australia dedicated exclusively to outbound product.

Prestigious and innovative NTO, Tourism New Zealand, will be joined by Air New Zealand, Conventions & Incentives New Zealand, Hamilton/Waikato Tourism, Heritage Hotels NZ and Millennium Hotels NZ.

As one of the most pro-active tourism marketing organisations in the world, Tourism New Zealand will use Get Global to drive their MICE business for 2017 and beyond.

Lisa Gardiner, International Business Events and Premium Manager, Tourism New Zealand, says “New Zealand is an attractive business events destination and we are seeing incredible growth in international events coming to our shores. Get Global offers us a fantastic opportunity to meet with a large number of Australian based business events organisers who are looking for destinations. We look forward to attending the event and showcasing New Zealand's world class offering.”

Get Global provides an innovative and efficient business platform for international suppliers to connect with corporate meeting planners, incentive houses, PCO's, travel companies and anyone else that has international group business from Australia.

Donna Kessler, Director and founder of Get Global, “The choice of activities and abundant product available in New Zealand makes it an ideal MICE destination. As one of the world's greatest destination marketing organisations, Tourism New Zealand is motivated to attract MICE business from Australia as demonstrated by both TNZ and Air New Zealand joining forces with the best MICE product in New Zealand”

Gary Bender, Director and founder of Get Global, “We are thrilled so many of New Zealand's best destinations and venues will be exhibiting at Get Global. It validates the need for a highly-targeted business platform like Get Global. We're sure other destinations will also want to be represented and encourage them to register before the March 1st deadline.”

Get Global will be held in The Gallery, at the International Convention Centre on Friday 28th July, 2017. Find out more: www.getglobal.com.au

Donna Kessler - donnak@getglobal.com.au, Gary Bender - garyb@getglobal.com.au

Valentine's Day @ NUO

NUO invites you and your special someone to celebrate the most romantic holiday of the year with fine food, wine and a dash of passion. Show your beloved how much you care with a well-prepared Valentine's Day dinner. Enjoy a variety of dishes, including aromatic Cantonese dim sum, masterful Middle Eastern fare, ocean-fresh sashimi, and a sea of sensuous desserts. Seduce your loved one under the glow of flickering candles and the romantic adornment. Come and start your remarkable Valentine's Day.

Date:2017.02.14
  • N'Joy Valentine's Dinner Buffet RMB 999 per couple (including free-flow of sparkling rose and wine) 
  • O'Bar Valentine's Package RMB 1,888
  • U'Deli Valentine's Cupcake
  • Price is subject to service charge and tax.
For more information or reservation, please call +86 10 5926 8281

NUO Hotel Beijing

NUO Hotels celebrates the depth and richness of Chinese culture and shares it generously for the pleasure of guests in a contemporary way with the opening of its 5-star flagship property - NUO Hotel Beijing. Located near Beijing's Art Zone 798, the pulse of China's dynamic art movement, NUO Hotel Beijing is a contemporary showcase of unique design inspired by the “Golden Age” of prosperous Ming Dynasty heritage literature, art and culture, the perfect example of tradition blending in harmony with the future of contemporary China.

As art, literature and music are the ultimate expressions of culture, NUO Hotel Beijing proudly positions it centre stage of the guest experience in striking ways. The hotel serves as an art destination in its own right, with dedicated artworks in the hotel lobby, guestrooms and suites, food & beverage outlets acting as backdrops for a stunning series of carefully curated pieces by the country's most critically acclaimed artists, from newly emerging to world-renowned, including four exclusive, custom-created artworks by Zeng Fanzhi, considered by international art experts as “China's greatest living artist”. In his role as Beijing NUO Hotels Management Co., Ltd. honorary art consultant, Mr. Zeng created two majestic masterpieces, “Le Shan”, a silver and bronze sculpture, and “Landscape 2014”, an oil painting, as the dramatic centre pieces of the hotel's grand lobby.

A lifestyle destination with key interiors designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates, NUO Hotel Beijing is comprised of 438 guestrooms and suites as well as an Executive Club Lounge, all with floor-to-ceiling views of the city. Elegant furnishings in warm woods and leather, hushed jewel-toned accessories, plush silk-patterned walls, rich wooden and textured marble floors combine harmoniously in a contemporary interpretation of Ming Dynasty-inspired residential style. Guestrooms bring the hotel's art destination experience vividly to life with each room featuring an artwork originated from Zeng Fanzhi's paintings on paper, an interpretation of “Stepping on Snow to Look for Plum Flowers”, “ Mountain”, and “Rempike”.

All guestrooms have been thoughtfully designed and equipped with the modern traveller's security, comfort and productivity in mind: complimentary broadband and wireless Internet access, flat-screen high-definition televisions, Bluetooth-enabled Bose stereo speakers, in-room bars and Nespresso coffee machines, walk-in wardrobes, ensuite laundry and valet delivery cabinets, sophisticated air purification systems and high-level soundproofing, all-marble bathrooms with large soaking tubs, glass-enclosed rainforest showers and custom NUO Pu'er tea-infused bed and bath accessories. Guests may avail of the hotel's round-the-clock butler service, in-room dining and lifestyle concierge whilst Club accommodation and suite guests have exclusive access to the hotel's 25th floor Executive Club Lounge.

Committed to serving authentic cuisine, NUO Hotel Beijing carefully sources ingredients from partner local green farms and producers, which are then creatively prepared in the hotel's six restaurants and bars by a team of global culinary experts from several different countries. Diverse dining and entertainment venues at NUO Hotel Beijing include Jia, the hotel's signature Chinese restaurant; N'Joy for international all-day dining; NUO'Ki for contemporary Japanese cuisine; sleek avant-garde O'Bar with its craft cocktails and outdoor terrace; gourmet boutique U'Deli as well as the hotel's sumptuously elegant, art-bedecked Lobby Lounge.

The tradition of tea is a significant highlight and unique to NUO Hotel Beijing is the Yuan Tea House, with its graceful interiors evoking an exquisite courtyard and garden in a contemporary interpretation of a Ming Dynasty-era tea house, and where a variety of premium teas sourced directly from tea plantations in Yunnan, Anxi and Wuyi mountain regions are offered, including bespoke teas created exclusively for NUO Hotel Beijing.

For relaxation and wellness, guests may avail of NUO Fitness' well-equipped lifestyle gymnasium and a 25-metre heated indoor swimming pool, and NUO Spa with its eight treatment rooms. With its opening, NUO Hotel Beijing unveils a total of 2,500 square metres of conference and banqueting facilities, including 14 function rooms and the pillar-free 1,600-square metre Yongle Grand Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 1,500 guests and features natural daylight, a 9 metre-high ceiling designed for flexible lighting installations, LED dynamic lighting to change the room's mood, and direct-access elevators with the capability to accommodate cars. Event organisers benefit from a dedicated events manager on standby at all occasions.

A fleet of limited-edition supplied by NUO Travel as the hotel's exclusive limousine service, are deployed to meet NUO Hotel Beijing's guests' transport needs. Proudly “Made in China”, the iconic “Red Flag” limousines were luxury vehicles used for the transport of foreign dignitaries in China's past and have recently experienced a nostalgic resurgence in popularity.

In keeping with NUO Hotels' commitment to “low-carbon green intelligence”, NUO Hotel Beijing is equipped with a sophisticated air-purification system with high performance “F8 classification recognised by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), an intelligent lighting system and an energy-saving curtain wall system designed by German firm Schüco which reduces air-conditioning and heating wastage in the hotel. The hotel has stayed faithful to the “green building” template, carefully adhering to gold-level certification standards in LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Building Rating System), as well as achieving gold level pre-certification.

2017 Set to Welcome Major Sporting Events in Tropical North Queensland

Sports unites. It starts friendships. It stops a nation. Around the world, it defines the time of the year.

How do we do sport in the tropics? For one, we certainly don't let the heat hold us back. Whether actively participating or enthusiastically spectating, 2017 promises to be an epic year of sports for fans and players alike in Tropical North Queensland. Here's a rundown of events you won't want to miss.

GREAT BARRIER REEF MASTERS GAMES

When: 25 – 28 May
Where: Cairns

Website: www.gbrmg.com.au

With over 2,000 participants, 23 individual and team sports, and four days devoted to sports, the third biennial Great Barrier Reef Masters Games is set to take it up a notch this year. From futsal to judo, the only requirement for most sports is a minimum age of 30 (although this may be less on some occasions – it's a good idea to check with the specific sport). And like any self-respecting Masters competition, there is a busy social program to rival the sports offering! Exclusive to registered participants, live bands and DJs, themed party nights and great food in the heart of Cairns are all on the agenda for the whole weekend.

CAIRNS AIRPORT ADVENTURE FESTIVAL

When: Between 5 – 13 June
Where: Cairns, Palm Cove, Green Island and Port Douglas depending on the event.

Website: ap.ironman.com

This festival is a true fitness fanatic frenzy, particularly for those who love to swim, bike and run. Designed to appeal to a broad range of competitors – whatever their age, fitness level, or discipline – the healthy choice of events reflects this. From the 5km Cairns Post Bright Night Run to the gruelling IRONMAN Cairns race; the 1.5km or 3km reef swims in the sparkling waters off Green Island; or the IRONKIDS triathlon, there is bound to be a race for everyone. For those into mountain biking or ocean racing, the RRR Mountain Bike Challenge and the Ocean Challenge are the events to check out!

NRL SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS | Round 19

When: 4pm, 16 July
Where: Barlow Park, Cairns

Buy tickets: www.tickets.nrl.com

This will be the fifth season the Rabbitohs bring a home game to Cairns. And with last year's sold out clash attracting nearly 15,000 supporters, plus high-profile players taking to the field – including the much-loved Jonathan Thurston – 2017's is set to be a sell-out game as Cairns becomes the focus for league fans again this year.

AFL WESTERN BULLDOGS v GOLD COAST SUNS | Round 18

When: 4.35pm, 22 July
Where: Cazaly's Stadium, Cairns

Buy tickets: Tickets on sale in February

Meeting for the 4th time in Cairns, the clash between the Dogs, reigning Premiers of 2016, and the Suns promises to be a fierce one, with the Dogs fighting to remain undefeated in Cairns. Showcasing growing support for the game in Tropical North Queensland, more than 10,000 fans are expected to descend on Cazaly's Stadium forr the twilight game.

CAIRNS AMATEURS

When: 1 – 2 September
Where: Cannon Park Racecourse, Cairns

Website: www.cairnsamateurs.org.au

This spring racing celebration is lauded as one of the biggest on the region's social calendar. With a broad selection of events to choose from, like Fashions of the Field, the Cairns Amateurs Ball and, of course, the actual race, the Cairns Amateurs will bring glamour and entertainment to all punters!

UCI MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

When: 5 – 10 September
Where: Smithfield Mountain Bike Park

Website: www.mtbworldscairns.com.au

This September the world's best cross-country and downhill mountain bike riders will descend on Cairns for THE event on the mountain biking calendar. Attracting thousands of spectators, 300 riders from 35 countries will compete in team and individual races along the purpose-built Smithfield Mountain Bike Park. An adrenalin-packed event, the World Championships will be televised internationally to more than 6 million people.

TROPICAL JOURNEYS GREAT BARRIER REEF MARATHON FESTIVAL

When: 21 – 22 October
Where: Port Douglas

Website: www.greatbarrierreefmarathon.com.au

Starting on the iconic stretch of sand of Four Mile Beach with the sun rising over the horizon, the course of the full marathon race is considered one of the most beautiful, taking runners from beach to bush, through rainforest and past sugar cane fields. Dubbed the “world's best adventure course” by Olympic champion Steve Moneghetti, the marathon is a gruelling but rewarding race. There are also a range of shorter runs to pick from, including a junior run of 2.5km (for under 14s), 5km, 10km and half marathon, all showcasing the stunning landscape of the region.

RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP

When: On 29 October, a double header will take place at Barlow Park starting at 2pm with Scotland and Tonga battling it out, followed by Ireland and Italy. On 11 November, Samoa will play against Scotland.
Where: Barlow Park, Cairns

Website: www.rlwc2017.com

With origins dating as far back as 1935, when the French started campaigning for a competition, the games are now held every four years. With 14 teams, 28 games and five weeks of games, the 2017 competition will be hosted in 13 cities throughout Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. This is the pinnacle event for international Rugby League. Cairns is set to host three of the games, including a double header on Saturday, 29 October.

The Remaking of an Iconic Landmark: The Murray, a Niccolo Hotel, Hong Kong


It is good to discover the hottest new places hitting the hotel scene and especially those with a unique story. Luxury hotel brand Niccolo Hotels, is set to catapult into the limelight with the announcement of its exciting new flagship property in Hong Kong.

The Murray, a Niccolo Hotel, Hong Kong will open in October this year bringing new life to one of Hong Kong's most iconic historic buildings....

#ILTMJapan    #ILTM 

GC2018 Volunteers Ready to Put Out Welcome Mat

  • Search for 15,000 helpers starts on February 6, 2017
  • All kinds of volunteer roles available
  • Gold Coaster goes for third Games

Putting his hand up to help has become a proud habit for Mark Grant.

The 54-year-old business owner from Robina on the Gold Coast was among the first to sign up to be considered as a volunteer at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

On his track record, there's a good chance Mark will get the nod to help welcome more than 6600 athletes and officials from 70 Commonwealth nations and hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Gold Coast in April 2018.

Mark volunteered at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and also the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

The avid hockey fan and keen cyclist says getting involved in the Gold Coast's hosting of the XXIst Commonwealth Games, from April 4-15, 2018 was a no-brainer.

“All my life I have been a sports nut and with the Games being in my backyard, I thought why not be part of it?,” Mark says.

“Why just sit at home and watch it on TV? Why not get out and live it, breathe it, smell it and grow with it?

“I love learning about different cultures and we will have athletes, officials and visitors from 70 different countries here at the one time. You'd be crazy to miss it!”

Being involved in major sporting events is also a bit of a family tradition for the Grants.

Mark's late father, Ian “Stripey” Grant, was in the Australian hockey train-on squad for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, only to miss out final selection due to injury.

He also was a legendary sailing and hockey writer for publications including The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail newspapers and his name was synonymous with the annual Brisbane-to-Gladstone Yacht Race.

Mark, who was born in Brisbane and has lived on the Gold Coast for more than 10 years, says his hometown will welcome the world with open arms next year at what organisers pledge will be one of the most diverse and inclusive Games ever staged.

“We are one of the most diverse nations in the world and that's how we grow up. That's how we accept people,'' Mark says.

“Australians are unique because I believe we are so friendly, warm and welcoming.

“Every visitor will be part of our family while they are here and they will go home knowing where the Gold Coast is.”

As a Games volunteer, Mark says he will be telling visitors that the Gold Coast, and indeed Australia, is the “land of opportunity”.

He also will advise visitors that “there's more to the Gold Coast than just the sand between your feet”.

“Anyone who says they have been to the Gold Coast and haven't been to the Hinterland, they haven't been to the Gold Coast,” he says.

“The Hinterland is so untouched . . . you could be a million miles from anywhere but in fact you are less than an hour's drive from the beach.”

True to his word, Mark and his wife Allison love the Gold Coast Hinterland so much – they bought a tiny piece of it.

The couple “own” a row of Semillon grapes at O'Reilly's Vineyard near Canungra, about 36km inland from Surfers Paradise.

A nameplate at the top of the row signifies their support for the vineyard and they get a case of wine from the first harvest.

“Every time we go down to the beach, or the Coast's great shops or sports facilities, or go up into the Hinterland, I always think how lucky we are,” Mark says.

“That's what I will be telling visitors in 2018 – they really are in the lucky country.”

Former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, who is chairman of the Games organising committee GOLDOC, said 2017 would be vital in the preparations for the 2018 Games and delivering on the slogan Greatness Rarely Seen.

“We leave behind 12 months of very good planning (in 2016) and head into a new year of delivery that will see us launch more eye-catching elements of Greatness Rarely Seen and some very significant community programs,” he said.

“These include our call for volunteer nominations in February, the start of the international leg of the Queen's Baton Relay in March and the beginning of our ticket sales, the GC2018 Transport Operations Plan and One Year to Go celebrations in April.

“It is our hope that everyone - every man, woman and child in the Commonwealth - gets swept up in the excitement.”

VOLUNTEERING DETAILS

Expressions of interest to be a GC2018 volunteer, across a range of areas from medical support to meet and greeting are now open.
Applications to volunteer open on Monday, February 6, 2017. Go to: gc2018.com/volunteering
Up to 15,000 volunteers will be needed at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, which run from April 4-15, 2018.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Calling all ABBA fans - Trundle Abba Festival

All you dancing queens and kings! Be sure to take a chance on the Trundle ABBA Festival! See the world's number one ABBA tribute band, Bjorn Again (AUSTRALIA), perform on 6 May, 2017! #ABBA#ABBAFestival #Trundle

MANDARIN TOURS OF THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM

Australian Museum
Visit Australia’s first museum and discover its treasures on a Mandarin-language guided tour.

Uncover the story of Indigenous Australians and Pacific cultures, and discover native animals, skeletons, minerals, precious gemstones, dinosaurs . . . and much more!

The tour is made up of two half hours: an orientation tour introducing each of the AM galleries, followed by a tour of our exhilarating new blockbuster exhibition Spiders – Alive & Deadly. Entertaining and informative, the tour the perfect way to immerse yourself in Australian culture, history and nature.

Tours are run entirely in Mandarin, for a maximum of 10 people. Tours run for 60 minutes and are recommended for ages 16 and up. Price includes general admission to the AM and entry into Spiders – Alive & Deadly.

Dates & times: 27 January – 12 February: 10am and 11.30am daily, Evening tours: 1 & 8 February: 5.30pm and 7pm

Price: $33 General Admission / $23 Concession / $15 AM Members

Australian Museum - 1 William Street, Sydney NSW 2010


澳大利亞博物館普通話專遊

加入普通話專遊,一起參觀澳大利亞歷史最悠久的博物館,探索館藏珍品,回味無窮。

揭秘澳大利亞原著居民的傳說和大洋洲的文化,探索原生動物、骨骸、礦石、稀有寶石、恐龍化石,數不勝數!

本專遊分兩部分,各半小時:首先是熟悉環境,給大家介紹博物館的各大展館,其次是參觀本館特展《蜘蛛 — 活生生、毒猛猛》。本專遊資訊豐富,知識性強,是陶醉於澳大利亞文化、歷史和自然的最佳途徑。

專遊全程以普通話講解,每場限10人,需60分鐘,適合於16歲以上人士。票價包括門票與特展

日期與時間:
1月27日至2月12日:每日早上10點和11點30分兩場。
晚間特別場:2月1日與8日:下午5點30分和晚上7點兩場。
票價:普通價$33 /優惠價$23/會員價$15
澳大利亞博物館地址:1 William Street, Sydney NSW 2010

“South of the Clouds”: Ten Insights into old world Yunnan

While the word “China” often conjures images of Beijing or Shanghai, the south western province of Yunnan offers one of the most stunning and diverse landscapes in the country. A land of snow-capped peaks, fluttering prayer flags, traditional tea houses and ornate pagodas, it’s also home to more than 25 minorities.

Asia specialists Insider Journeys have compiled their top 10 reasons to visit this corner of old world China that has so much to discover:

1. A glimpse into ‘traditional’ China

Yunnan is a province of quaint villages, peaceful temples, cobbled streets and authentic tea houses - a glimpse of old-world China a world away from the commotion of its major cities.

2. Incredible natural scenery

Snow-capped mountains, undulating rice terraces, shimmering lakes, vast gorges and the foothills of the Himalayas: Yunnan has no shortage of natural wonders to explore.

3. Tiger Leaping Gorge

No trip to Yunnan is complete without traversing Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world, on the Jinsha River just north of Lijiang.

4. Charming Lijiang

Cobbled lanes, traditional timber houses, quaint market squares: the charming ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ of Lijiang is like nowhere else in China, and a must-visit while in Yunnan. Breath-taking views over the old town are available to those who climb Lion Hill. 

5, The Bai People of Dali

Not only is the walled city of Dali incredibly beautiful, it is also home to the Bai people. The Bai are one of 56 recognised minorities in China, and are responsible for building the iconic Three Pagodas.

6. Naxi Culture

Lijiang is the perfect place to absorb another of Yunnan’s many ethnic minorities, traditional Naxi culture. Wandering the market square often provides the chance to catch a traditional music performance.

7. Tibetan Culture

A taste of Tibet is available to those who head to Shangri-La (Zhongdian). Perched high in the mountains, this hillside town is a predominantly Tibetan community, complete with strings of prayer flags, Buddhist monasteries and traditional wooden dwellings.

8. Yak Butter Tea

Shangri-La is the perfect place to try a Tibetan delicacy – yak butter tea, and for some lucky travellers, the chance to sit down with a Tibetan family to try this traditional drink with the locals.

9. Sample Yunnan’s unique cuisine

Yunnan’s best known dish is Guoqiao, or ‘crossing the bridge noodles’. It is a rice noodle soup similar to Vietnamese Pho – not surprising as Yunnan shares a border with Vietnam.

10. ‘The Spring City’, Kunming

Kunming is the modern capital city of Yunnan Province. Its spring-like climate makes it ideal to explore its many museums or wander Green Lake Park (Cuihu Park). With its picturesque bridges, pavilions and abundant lush vegetation, Kunming is heaven for photographers.
Insider Journeys offers an 8 day Mountains & Monasteries private itinerary that includes Dali, Xizhou, Lijiang and Zhongdian (‘Shangri-La’). For details, visit: www.insiderjourneys.com.au or call 1300 365 355.

Great value rates and packages at Metro Hotels & Apartments Australia-wide and Groote Eylandt Lodge

Metro Hotel Perth
Metro Hotels & Apartments is offering some great value specials at its network of properties Australia-wide (please email me if you would like high-res images of any of the properties below):

Metro Hotel Perth 

– New discounted Autumn rates
Metro Hotel Perth is offering the following discounted rates for stays between March 1st – May 31, 2017 (Thursday – Sunday nights only).
  • Standard Room:$129 per night
  • Superior Room: $149 per night
  • Executive Room (Aspire Wing): $159 per night

All rates include complimentary breakfast for two adults, plus kids under 12 stay and eat breakfast for free (Standard & Superior rooms) Valid for stays 1 March – 31 May 2017. Terms & Conditions apply. Subject to availability. Book online only at www.metrohotels.com.au

Ipswich, Queensland

Metro Hotel Ipswich International
Ballooning, Accommodation, Breakfast & Dinner Package from $870 for two adults
Hot Air Ballooning operator, Floating Images, has teamed with Metro Hotel Ipswich International to offer a unique opportunity to combine a city and country balloon flight over the Great Dividing Range in Queensland with an overnight stay in the historic city of Ipswich, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner. 

The Package is priced from just $870 for two adults and includes one-hour city and country balloon flight; one night’s accommodation for two people in a Superior Queen Room at Metro Hotel Ipswich International; dinner for two at Harvest Restaurant & Bar; breakfast for two following the balloon flight and commemorative flight certificate. Valid until March 17. To book the Package ring Floating Images on 07 3294 8770.

Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory

Groote Eylandt Lodge– Father & Son Sports Fishing Adventure - $4,999 for two people

Save $800 on this perfect father and son fishing adventure. Includes return Airfares Darwin/Groote/Darwin, 3 nights share twin accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, two days private guided sports fishing, all transfers on Groote. Price valid for bookings made up until 28 February for stays up to 31 May 2017. To book plan or enquire call 1800 977 077 Email: Tours@GrooteEylandtLodge.com.au
Metro Apartments
Darling Harbour

Metro Apartments Darling Harbour,  Sydney, NSW

from $225 per night Sunday to Friday (doesn’t include Saturday night)

Metro Apartments Darling Harbour is offering a standard room from $225 per night Sunday to Friday (minimum two night stay). Rate includes free Wifi and free upgrade (subject to availability). Valid until March 31, 2017. Terms and conditions apply. Must be booked online at www.metrohotels.com.au with promo codes SUMMER.

Metro Hotel Marlow Sydney Central 

– Aladdin Family Package – from $250p/n
Stay in a Superior room for 2 adults and 2 children (*aged 12 years and under), full buffet breakfast for 4 people, kids pack and free WiFi from $250 p/n. Offer valid for duration of show. Does NOT include tickets to the show. Terms and conditions apply. Book online at www.metrohotels.com.au or ring 1800 004 321.