Thursday, May 28, 2015

Improve your Cruising Experience

Are you now tired of the usual beach vacation but you love the sea? Are resorts already overcrowded? You might want to try cruising, then. 

Some people think that traveling in a yacht is too expensive. Yet, this kind of adventure has been very popular. Many people say that it would be worth it to experience it even once in your life.  But how do you make your cruising experience fun and memorable?

To avoid the hassle or prevent untoward circumstances, Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours has provided you some tips to make sure that you cruise safely and make each moment memorable.  Get There the Night Before
Sounds simple, but hundreds of cruisers literally miss the boat each year because of delayed flights, traffic, bad weather and other unforeseen troubles. Others board by the skin of their teeth, panting and screaming at one another. Who needs that sort of stress? Fly or drive into your port city the night before and you simultaneously bypass pre-departure jitters and add a day to your vacation. Check and review tourist boards for stay-and-cruise information.

2. Stay Away From the Pool
With large cruise ships, there is a great possibility that every passenger will be eyeing the use of the pools. Unfortunately, there are only a fraction of the chairs necessary to accommodate everyone. It may not be a good idea to insist your way into the crowded place. Instead, duck the hubbub. Most new vessels have adults-only areas, some with pools, and almost always less crowded. Also, scope out ship deck plans for a place to call your own.

3. Eat on Your Terms
Many major cruise lines continue to encourage group dining at a prescribed time. If making small talk with the same strangers every night at the same time is your thing, go for it. But myriad options abound to break up the routine: If the ship is in port late, slip off and have dinner, preferably something native. Order room-service breakfast (it’s included in most cases) and have a picnic on your balcony. Make reservations at an extra-fee specialty restaurant.

4. Stay on the Ship.
It doesn’t matter if you are in the Caribbean or in some part away from the island of Jakarta or Sumatra, Indonesia where there are a lot of nice places to look at. But in most cases, you can only look at it from afar, on your deck outside your cabin. If you can stand not spending 6 hours crammed on a tour bus, stay onboard. Most facilities are still open, and you’ll have them to yourself. Besides, you’ll skip the risk of being left by your ship.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The World is a colorful Place

I know we all cannot get enough of colors. People say that there are mental effects of seeing colors which brighten up moods help stimulate happy hormones in our life. Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours provides you more colorful places to visit around the world:

Keukenhof Park, Lisse, The Netherlands
                Also called the “Garden of Europe,” Keukenhof Park (which covers 80 acres) is planted with over 7 million flower bulbs every year. Though the park is only open from March to May, it has been around since 1949 and remains a major attraction for tourists and dignitaries alike. Many people who have visited the place have thought that the flowers which is sprayed with tulips, roses and other wild flowers are fraud but when it seems too good to be true, they are actually real array of colors.

Kelimutu crater lakes, Indonesia
Far from the buzzing busy street of Jakarta, Indonesia, Kelimutu, one of hundreds of volcanoes in Indonesia, is unique in that it is topped with three crater lakes of drastically different colors. Tiwu Ata Mbupu (“Lake of Old People”) sits apart from the other two and appears deep blue or even black. Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (“Lake of Maidens”) is separated from Tiwu Ata Polo (“Enchanted Lake”) by a shared crater wall. These lakes tend to be bright blue-green and red, respectively. The colors of these lakes have been known to change depending on the chemical composition of the water and the position of the sun.

Guilin Rice Terraces, Longji, China
Located in southern China close to Vietnam, the Longji terraced rice fields cover an area of almost 20,000 acres and rise as high as 3,600 feet into the air. These fields, nicknamed the “Dragon’s Backbone” because of their resemblance to scales, first appeared in this area around 1300 AD and take on a different appearance in every season, depending on the life cycle of the rice being grown. Many reviews has also been written on this place which shows petitions for it to be declared as one of man-made wonders of the world.

Lake Retba, Senegal
Literally translating into “pink lake,” this body of water north of the Cap Vert peninsula in northwest Africa is known for its high salt content, and gets its pink color from large concentrations of Dunaliella salina algae, which produce the red pigment as a byproduct of their metabolism. Coincidentally, Dunaliella salina is one of few organisms that can survive in such salty conditions, making Lake Retba an ideal home for the algae species.

Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, India
Located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the 2500-year-old city of Madurai, the Meenakshi Amman Temple is dedicated to the gods Meenakshi (Parvati) and Sundareswarar (Shiva). The temple consists of 14 gopurams (gateway towers), all between 100-170 feet high, and two vimana (shrines).

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Introducing Lombok

Indonesia is known as one of the world’s most tourist destination. Its archipelagic geography gave it an advantage for different spots and abundant supply of natural beauty. Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours has the pleasure of introducing Lombok, Indonesia, one of the prides of the country.

Tourism is an important source of income on Lombok. The most developed tourism area of the island is on the west coast of the island and is centered about the township of Senggigi. Lombok is only a few kilometers from the country’s capital, Jakarta, Indonesia which made it more accessible to tourist to visit the place.

We have reviewed some of the most sought-after adventures in Lombok as follows:

1. The Lombok Chili Pepper
Since the word lombok means chili in Bahasa Indonesia, you'd expect the locals to know a thing or two about spicy food. The green and red Lombok chilies are often made into sambal — a fiery condiment — with locally grown naga jolokia peppers, garlic and shrimp paste. Sample it as an accompaniment to local dishes like ayam taliwang (grilled wild chicken) and sayur nangka (jackfruit curry).

2. Hit the Beach
Lombok's beaches are second to none and a blessed relief after Bali's busy strips. Head for the island's southwest to really escape the crowds. Surfers love the big waves at Bangko-Bangko (also known as Desert Point); if its long-walled and hollow left-hand breaks sound too taxing, then try the tiny island of Gili Nanggu, 15 minutes by boat from the town of Tawun.

3. Two Wheels Good
Public transport on Lombok is unreliable. Many visitors opt to hire a car and driver, which can be obtained at very reasonable rates, but if you're feeling adventurous try renting a motorcycle — available from shops all over the island. At just over 80 km at its widest point, Lombok is easily traversable and its roads are in great condition for Indonesia — the beneficiaries of recent infrastructural investment. The excellent 21-km coastal stretch from Senggigi to Pemenang winds past beautiful inlets and beaches and is an easy, exhilarating ride. Other, smaller roads meander through rugged highlands, passing secluded waterfalls and verdant rice paddies.

4. Hot, Roasted Worms
The largest and most colorful festival is the Bau Nyale or Sea Worm Festival. Every February at Kuta beach, the Sasak people commemorate a mythical princess who drowned herself in these waters rather than enter a politically vexatious marriage. The festival is timed with the spawning of marine worms, which are eagerly caught and eaten — often after being wrapped in banana leaf and roasted — and the celebrations last for four days. The locals never had any complaints on the taste of worms in the spirit of the festival.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

It’s Nice Having a Boring Long Road Trip

Have you ever been in a long trip and got bored along the way? Wouldn’t it be worse for your kids? Well, Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours thinks it shouldn’t be boring. Try to be more creative. This long boring trip may be a way to secure your bonding with your colleagues, family and friends with you. Here are some games you can review and play along the way:

1. The Alphabet Game

Everyone knows how to play — you go up and down the alphabet picking letters out of words you see from the car. Some people play where you can use license plate letters, which is total bullcrap.

The double alphabet game is a great variation. Only words that have at least two instances of one letter can count. 'Alligator' - A, 'Blueberry' - B, and so on. No one in recorded history has ever finished a round of the double alphabet game.

2. Car plate Abbreviation

This is the game Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours staff had invented when we were traveling Jakarta, Indonesia. Try to make up a meaning out of car plates that you pass by. You will be surprised on how hilarious this game will be. 

3. Fortunately / Unfortunately.

One person makes a statement, and the next person has to counter. Example: Person A: Fortunately, we have lots of snacks in the car. Person B: Unfortunately, they’re all covered in mold!

4. Name a country. 

The next person has to name a country that begins with the last letter of the previous country.

5. Car Colors. 

Everyone picks a color, and each person counts all of the passing cars in that color. Whoever reaches X number of cars first wins.

6. Would you rather X or Y?

Best game ever. All parties MUST answer. Example: Would you rather be able to read minds or be invisible? You might get a lot of complaints and heaps of laughter with this one. 

7. Alphabet Signs

Players must watch signs out the windows. The goal is to go through the alphabet (in alphabetical order), finding a word that begins with each letter while you are are "on" it. This is great for beginning readers and older people alike.

8. Alphabet Search

Same premise as alphabet signs, but in this game you are not looking for signs. You are looking for actual objects or physical entities that begin with the letter you are "on." This is much more challenging than it seems, because most people tend not to see visually and think in terms of words simultaneously.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How to Avoid Travel Scams

Travel Scams are rampant nowadays that reports in these cases have reached wider scope from underdeveloped countries in Africa, developing cities like Jakarta, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and even already developed countries and states like America. As your trusted travel consulting partner, Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours has listed some tips that you may follow on how to avoid scams and any other fraudulent acts there.

If you have been offered a great bargain on a cruise or resort vacation, but you cannot seem to get all the details unless you pay the company first, you may be dealing with a travel scam.

Retain a healthy dose of skepticism. Be extremely skeptical about unsolicited e-mail, postcard and phone solicitations saying you've been selected to receive a fabulous vacation or anything free. Be especially wary of firms requiring you to wait at least 60 days to take your trip.

Do your homework. Some offers might sound great on the surface, but be sure to read the fine-print. Certain offers impose so many requirements and restrictions, such as black-out dates and companion fees, that you will either never have the chance to take the trip or you will end up paying more than had you made the arrangements on your own. Remember, the devil is in the details

Run a "background check." You should vet the companies from which you purchase travel services.

Keep private information private. Never give out your credit card number unless you initiate the transaction and you are confident about the company with which you are doing business.

Get the facts. You should receive complete details in writing about any trip prior to payment. These details should include the total price; cancellation and change penalties, if any; and specific information about all components of the package.

Follow up. Once you have the complete details of your trip, contact the hotel and transportation companies on your own to make certain the reservations have been made.

Know where you stand. If you insist on replying to an e-mail or calling a 900-number in response to a travel solicitation, understand the charges and know the risks.

Know when to walk away. High-pressure sales presentations that don't allow you time to evaluate the offer, or which require that you disclose your income are red flags to be heeded.

Protect yourself. Always pay with a credit card if possible. Even legitimate companies can go out of business. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, credit card customers have the right to refuse paying for charges for services not rendered.