Sunday, July 26, 2015

Anantara Golden Triangle Champions Natural Elephant Interaction with New 'Walking with Giants' Experience

Anantara Golden Triangle Champions Natural Elephant Interaction with New 'Walking with Giants' Experience: Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is renowned for its highly acclaimed onsite Elephant Camp, which offers guests an inspirational range of fun, interactive and educational experiences with its friendly herd of rescued gentle giants. In a natural extension of these ethical elephant activities, a new two hour Walking with Giants experience has been introduced offering a more personal and enriching encounter...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Get Up & Go: A Closer Look: What It’s Like to Be Under Quarantine

Get Up & Go: A Closer Look: What It’s Like to Be Under Quarantine

A Closer Look: What It’s Like to Be Under Quarantine

Norovirus pops up in the news when passengers fall ill onboard ships. Get Up & Go was on a ship in January 2014 with writer Sally MacMillan when she succumbed the the flu. We saw a guard urside her door and thoughtht he worst. Here she tells of how well she was looked after - she writes about an experience she had with Norovirus.
When you’re sorting out your travel insurance just before you leave for a well-earned break, the possibility of lost luggage or missed connections might flash through your mind. But coming down with Norovirus? It wasn’t on the top of my concerns when I flew from Sydney to Auckland for a 10-day R & R cruise on board Celebrity Solstice.
But oh dear: Almost as soon as I boarded the ship I felt decidedly under the weather. I thought it was just a side effect from some medication. I coped by spending a leisurely afternoon unpacking and reading, and dipped out of dinner with my group that evening, choosing a Spartan soup and bread-roll dinner from room service instead.
Next morning, I loaded up with anti-nausea pills, drank gallons of water to counter the light-headed feeling that was adding to my unpleasant sinking stomach and headed out to the lawn deck for a walk. That worked for a while. But after another day and night of self-imposed exile in my balcony cabin, I had to accept I’d been hit with a gastro bug.

Celebrity Today, the daily newsletter, advised anyone who might be suffering any sort of stomach symptoms to report to the medical facility for a complimentary consultation and treatment (if necessary). With dreaded word “Norovirus” now on the table, off I went to Deck 2 where a very efficient nurse interviewed me.
Because my symptoms were indeed consistent with a possible Norovirus, I was given some Imodium pills. I was also asked to sign a document stating I consented to being isolated in my cabin for 24 hours, and possibly longer if the symptoms hadn’t subsided.
The documents I signed made it very clear that if I attempted to break out of my isolation I would be “subject to disembarkation from the ship,” and could be reported to the local port’s health authorities if I attempted to leave. If I left the ship, I would also be ineligible for any compensation the cruise line would offer me for missed activities.
Not that there was any chance of escaping even if I’d wanted to. My keycard was deactivated on the spot and a cabin steward escorted me from the medical center to my cabin. Somewhat bemused by this not-in-the-brochure situation, I frantically tried to contact the friend I was due to meet in Wellington in the morning to say I might be stuck on the ship and then settled in to contemplate the next 24 hours.
One upside: I could now give in gracefully to doing nothing but relaxing, reading, watching movies and taking in the views, and recover. The information  emphasized the necessity of frequent and thorough hand-washing with soap and hot water. Because I was on a restricted diet, I had to call a special number to order its delivery. No sneaky treats allowed and certainly no chocolates were going to be left on my pillow.
The choice of dishes for passengers isolated for Norovirus-type symptoms is simple: white rice, baked potatoes, chicken broth, chicken breast, watermelon (not honeydew or any other variety), white bread, mint or chamomile tea, and bottled water. Over the next 24 hours, my regular cabin steward delivered this fare on plain black plastic trays with disposable plates accompanied by plastic cutlery and paper napkins — and while he wasn’t covered in hazmat gear, he didn’t hang around to chat.
Nobody likes being sick on their vacation and as this was more or less a stricter version of the diet I’d already put myself on since I’d first felt queasy, I was happy to stick to plain food in order to feel better as soon as possible. By the time my isolation period was up — I didn’t have to report for a personal examination — I was able to report that all symptoms had abated and I was allowed to leave the ship for a couple of hours in Wellington. My keycard bleeped at the gangway and security had to check that I was officially cleared.  Yippee, I was free.
As far as I know, there had been no massive outbreak of the virus on the ship; certainly I didn’t see many people in the medical center. While there was no self-service in the Ocean View Cafe or Aqua Spa Cafe for the first three days of the cruise, I believe this was largely precautionary.
The rest of the cruise was everything I had wanted. My account was credited with the for-fee movies I’d watched during the lockdown; and while some passengers suffered involuntary isolation from seasickness during the rocky Tasman Sea crossing, I relished the conditions to the point of having a huge dinner at Murano.

When it comes to Norovirus, myths abound. Let us help you separate facts from fiction.
Not familiar with Norovirus? Check out our guide to everything you need to know about the disease and its spread.

Get Up & Go: Do you buy souvenirs?

Get Up & Go: Do you buy souvenirs?

Do you buy souvenirs?

With the weakening Aussie dollar, more and more travellers are becoming savvier and looking for value for money when planning a trip abroad. Research from InterContinental Hotel Group has revealed that for those travelling overseas, there is one thing that travellers are not willing to skimp on: souvenirs.
The humble souvenir still plays a big part in our travel experience – in fact, 7 out of 10 travellers say that they still purchase a souvenir while on holiday. So, what are the motives behind our souvenir purchases?

                                         Little friars - souvenirs

Hey, big spender

·         Australian’s don’t skimp when it comes to souvenirs - 25% of Australians are prepared to spend a huge $130 when purchasing souvenirs for themselves, compared to the average traveller who spends $54…
·         …contrary to what we may think, souvenirs are out of vogue with older travellers – only 68% above the age of 45 would purchase a souvenir on a trip
·         And despite the fact that experience is everything with the younger traveller, 76% of under 25s still seek out souvenirs when travelling to bring home a slice of new and exciting cultures.

Different souvenir customs
·         In Japan, bringing souvenirs back for your colleagues is customary. When it comes to the kind of gifts, 46% of Japanese travellers prefer to bring food items back from a trip
·         Travellers in Japan are most likely to accommodate a souvenir request (60%), while Aussies are least likely with only 15% saying they would bring a souvenir back
·         In The Middle East 42% say that jewellery is the most popular souvenir gift to receive
·         Travellers from Australia, South East Asia and The Middle East are more likely to think of their partners first when purchasing a souvenir, and family second

It’s all about the cultural experience

·         Surprisingly, despite Australia’s strict import laws on bringing food into the country, food is one of the most popular souvenir choices, with art and antiques close behind
·         Modern travellers prefer a cultural experience when shopping for souvenirs - 42% of travellers think that local markets are the most popular place to hunt for a take home gift, compared to 23% who would buy a souvenir at a landmark
·         Shopping malls are out of fashion when it comes to purchasing a take-home memory - only 5% of travellers would purchase a souvenir from a mall, and only 7% would buy a take-home gift from an airport
So if you’re on the souvenir hunt and want to immerse yourself in some local culture, we’ve handpicked the top markets across the country to pick up a perfect Australian souvenir:

Australia’s top markets
New South Wales

·         Glebe Markets, Sydney
Situated in the heart of Sydney’s hipster Glebe, Glebe markets are the perfect place to find an on-trend handmade item of jewellery, item of vintage clothing or handmade candle.
·         Mudgee Farmers Market, Mudgee
A four hour drive north of Sydney, Mudgee is one of Australia’s best food and wine regions. This bustling farmers market takes place on the third Saturday of each month – here you can find a whole host of tasty treats including fresh produce, meats, cheese and confectionery.
·         Kirribilly Markets, Sydney
With stunning views of Sydney Harbour, the monthly Kirribilly market is the perfect place to find something special – from vintage clothing, to handmade goods, there’s a souvenir for everyone here.


·         Camberwell Sunday Market, Melbourne
Camberwell is Melbourne’s biggest marketplace for pre-loved wares, with a huge 370 stalls in total. From the most delicate string of vintage pearls to retro furniture, this market is perfect for those looking for an authentic take-home souvenir.
·         Mornington Race Market, Victoria,
From new clothing, to hand made goods, cakes and pies, there’s nothing you won’t find at Mornington Markets, whether you are a fashionista or a foodie.



·         West End Twilight Markets, Brisbane
The West End Twilight Markets feature a diverse mix of treasures, food and live performance, every second Saturday afternoon into the early evening.

·         Eumundi Markets

The Eumundi Markets are Queensland's favourite, attracting customers with its vibrant atmosphere, mouth-watering street food, diverse array of produce and inspired artworks and homewares.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Get Up & Go: Neck and neck, a tale of three scarves

Get Up & Go: Neck and neck, a tale of three scarves: They keep our necks warm, they are lovely companions, they can be roiled up into a little ball as a pillow, they accessorise the plainest ...