Research reveals that nearly six in 10 global travelers pick their vacation destination because of the great food and drink on offer. So for the cheese-lovers amongst us, why not journey further than the fridge or local cheese shop to uncover the origins of some of the world’s favorite cheeses? In celebration of the most cheesiest month, we have identified some of the cheesiest stays for cheese lovers around the world to indulge in while exploring the destination that created some of their favourites. Gouda, Netherlands For cheese fans, this Dutch city is all Gouda, with its namesake cheese accounting for a massive 60% of Dutch cheese production**. Produced in the surrounding region, travelers to Gouda can purchase wheels of the local delicacy at the city’s Thursday morning market that takes place from April through to August. Having first started in 1395, this bustling market has kept its traditional charm, with farmers and traders ‘clapping hands’ to confirm a sale in front of the historic city hall buildings. Travelers should also visit “de Goudse Waag”, which means the Gouda scale, built in 1669 and originally used for weighing - you guessed it - cheese. Now it’s home to the tourist information office as well as the Cheese and Crafts Museum, which offers cheese tasting, tours and craft demonstrations. Where to stay: The Tannery Lane holiday home is the perfect home from home for cheese loving travelers, just a short stroll from the location of the Thursday morning market. This guesthouse, which is found on the city center’s smallest street, was originally built in 1879. From the outside it boasts a traditional charm, while inside the property houses all the modern conveniences needed for a comfortable stay in Gouda. Cheddar, UK Cheddar cheese is now the UK’s most popular cheese choice, accounting for 51% of the annual cheese market locally***, but has humble beginnings in the village of Cheddar in Somerset. Local legend says that Cheddar cheese was discovered by accident when a milkmaid accidentally let a pail of milk stored in the cool caves go bad, turning it into hard cheese. Adventurous visitors to the village of Cheddar can explore these chilly caves at Cheddar Gorge, the largest gorge in the UK. After exploring and working up an appetite, cheese-lovers can stop by the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, where visitors can see the cheese being made from start to finish at the working dairy and visitor center. Where to stay: Just a short walk from the Cheddar Gorge caves, The Bath Arms Hotel offers adult-only accommodation that is as charming as the picturesque village itself. With an onsite restaurant and bar, visitors will find all the amenities they need for a comfortable stay. The restaurant serves a daily menu with traditional pub favorites and during the warmer months guests can even dine in the outdoor beer garden. Monterey, California, USA Named after both its place of origin and the entrepreneur who began selling it commercially, Monterey Jack cheese has become a staple of many Americans’ fridge or cheese board. This white, semi-hard cheese made
Alas, there can only be one lucky winner and congratulations to Khun Mameaw Meawmeaw. You have won a 2-night stay at Centara Sandy Beach Danang, Vietnam. Please send us a message on or before 15 February 2020 to claim your prize. Thank you everyone for participating in our lucky draw. Keep an eye on lifestyle+travel page. Never know, it might be your name up in lights (more or less!) next time! The competition ended on the 10th February 2020 and the lucky winner has been selected and annouced on 11th February 2020. Thank you for your interest.
Amsterdam is a lively city with a central downtown district that does not find time to rest. Here, remnants of the city’s maritime past are interwoven with elements of contemporary life that include bars, shops, cafés and vices with a broad spectrum of appeal. The liberal Dutch society tolerates cannabis usage and prostitution, much to the delight of those from neighbouring countries who travel here to celebrate buck’s parties or inquisitive tourists hailing from countries that are more conservative. While the legality of cannabis is hazy, this raunchy side of Amsterdam appeals to some while most are simply inquisitive and curious onlookers. When most travellers think of Holland and its largest city Amsterdam (The Hague is the capital), images of windmills, wooden shoes called clogs, wheels of Gouda cheese and fields of multicoloured tulips spring to mind. However, the reality is that the closest encounter most visitors will have with these Dutch icons is the endless rows of souvenirs displayed in tourist precincts like Bloemenmarkt, a floating flower market. However, visitors will definitely encounter bikes, dykes and lights while exploring the sights of this lively, multicultural and cosmopolitan city of just 800,000 residents. CENTRAL AMSTERDAM Holland has always intrigued me and even more so, when I realised that a quarter of the country is below sea level with its gateway Schiphol Airport situated on a former lake, several metres below sea level. As my KLM plane approached Schiphol, I checked beneath the seat for the lifejacket, just in case. Of course, planes do not land on water thanks to Holland’s ingenious network of ancient dykes and polders that keep the seawater at bay. I checked a map of Amsterdam to appreciate that the city and surrounding areas are indeed a network of canals, lakes, rivers and dykes holding back the waters of the North Sea. Amsterdam’s famous dykes are not so obvious but without retaining walls and floodgates to keep out the seawater, there would not be much to see of Amsterdam as basically it, and much of Holland, has been reclaimed from the sea. This reclamation has been ongoing for centuries and explains why the Dutch are such great hydrological engineers. I also discovered that one of the functions of windmills in days gone by was to pump water from the land out to sea to keep the seawater in check. Canals are one of the main attractions and a canal cruise is the best way to admire just how important these were for Amsterdam’s original settlers. While the River IJ divides Amsterdam, most visitors do not appreciate it as the main tourist attractions are in central Amsterdam just to the south of the river. From an elevated vantage point at the rear of the main railway station, I appreciated that the River IJ waterfront divides central Amsterdam and Amsterdam Noord. Both parts of the city are visible from the Centraal Station located in a lively port precinct where large ocean-going cruise ships moor at the nearby docks. Visitors emerge from the city side of Centraal Station on
For those Thais looking for the ultimate romantic getaway this Valentine’s Day, Airbnb announces that one lovestruck couple will be the first to spend the night in the historic home of Shakespeare’s Juliet in Verona, Italy. Casa di Giulietta has inspired generations with its iconic balcony that reflects Shakespeare’s description in Romeo & Juliet. And now one winner and their partner will be given unprecedented access to the 13th century building, to step back in time and relive the powerful words of Shakespeare. To enter and have the chance to win this unique Only On Airbnb stay, Thais must pen a letter to Juliet, sharing their own poignant love story and explaining why they and their partner would be perfect guests. Entries can be submitted at airbnb.com/juliet until 11:59pm EST on 2nd February 2020 (11:59am on 3rd February 2020 Thailand time). Working with an Italian architect, Airbnb has transformed the centuries-old building into a sumptuous stay fit for a modern day Romeo and Juliet: one couple will be waited on by a personal butler and treated to a romantic candlelit dinner prepared by two Michelin star chef Giancarlo Perbellini in a glittering dining room filled with crystals, candles and flowers. And after a busy day of feasting, exploring and reading Juliet’s love letters, they will retire for the night to Juliet’s medieval-themed bedroom which features “Letto di Giulietta”, the original bed used in Zeffirelli’s classic 1960s movie ‘Romeo and Juliet’. The 13th century townhouse is a celebrated landmark and museum in the center of Verona and thanks to Airbnb and Verona’s Municipality, the building will be turned into a home for the first time since the 1930s. “Juliet’s House is the most important museum in the City of Verona, attracting millions of visitors every year. Partnering with Airbnb brings the widely known Shakespearian myth of Romeo and Juliet to life in a way never before offered. We are excited to promote our cultural heritage, share traditions that were previously safeguarded, and bring international visibility to the City of Verona,” said Federico Sboarina, Mayor of Verona Municipality. Highlights from the Stay include: A Romeo and Juliet inspired exploration of Verona, the city of love. Private tour of the most romantic home in the history of literature. Reading and replying to some of Juliet’s most recent love letters. Exclusive access to Michelin star chef Giancarlo Perbellini while he prepares the romantic feast. Candlelit dinner for two prepared by Giancarlo in Juliet’s sumptuous dining room. A night in Juliet’s traditional bedroom transformed for the evening into a romantic boudoir. “Every day countless new connections are made across the world by people travelling on Airbnb - creating new friendships and sometimes new love. Since 2008, an estimated one million guests have hosted their weddings on Airbnb. This Stay will give one couple the unique chance to celebrate their love in what is possibly the most romantic home in the history of literature,” said Giacomo Trovato, General Manager for Italy at Airbnb.
FOR SOME PEOPLE, MYANMAR IS A SECRET COUNTRY THAT CUTS THEM OFF FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD. IN FACT, THERE ARE LOTS OF BEAUTIFUL TREASURES FOR ALL TRAVELLERS TO EXPLORE. AFTER YOUR FIRST TIME TRAVELLING IN THIS GOLDEN LAND, YOU WOULD PLAN FOR MORE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS NOW EASIER TO ACCESS AND MORE CONVENIENT FOR ANY STYLES OF JOURNEY. I took the morning boutique flight of Bangkok Airways from Bangkok to Yangon. After one hour and 20 minutes, I landed at Yangon International Airport where I could see the construction of the new terminal to welcome more visitors in the future. Later on, I was greeted by the limo chauffeur who passed me the Wi-Fi password on board and showed me around with his fluent English. From the airport to downtown, I think Yangon has changed a lot in terms of development, such as public bus service instead of the local mini-trucks, the young generations wearing more pants not just Sarong and Longyi. By the way, the buildings from the British colonial period and the faces of people are still beautiful to me as always. Only 45 minutes from the airport, I saw Sule Pagoda majestically standing in a distance. It meant that we were now arriving at the heart of Yangon. A few minutes later, our limo arrived at Pullman Yangon Centrepoint, the brand new hotel located nearby Sule Pagoda and more attractions in Yangon. In my opinion, this hotel is situated in a perfect location for all travellers who love to walk around the neighbourhood area like me. I could see the Maha Bandula Public Park and the City Hall on the opposite site, surrounded by the wonderful colonial style buildings, while my heart was beating faster when I entered my room and saw the perfect scenery of Yangon river through the window. But it is not enough, the hotel staff told me that the Bogyoke Market and the railway station is located a few blocks from here. That would be my itinerary for tomorrow because this afternoon we had to start our journey off with a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar. This Buddhist sanctuary is where the local people and overseas visitors come here to pray and make an offering. From Pullman Yangon Centrepoint, we can see apparently it was built with tons of gold and it is true! Religion is important to the people in Myanmar. Although, the technology tries to conquer the world but people still come here to pay homage to the Buddha, mediate and donate; that’s why Shwedagon Pagoda is the tallest pagoda in this country. After spending a couple hours for worship, we returned to the hotel for dinner at E’cucina Italian Restaurant. It is highly recommended for anyone who wants to enjoy the original Italian taste in Yangon. As I mentioned before, I wanted to visit the neighbourhood area so I went to bed early and fall asleep so quickly in the softened bed of Pullman standard. The next day, I woke
Once a highly prosperous capital city of the country, today Sukhothai welcomes visitors to get up close to the glory of the bygone era – packed with traces of ancient history, as well as verdant scenery. In one fell swoop, Sukhothai features plentiful charming spots to experience and unwind. And here is the recommended checklist that is tested and tried. ● SUKHOTHAI HISTORICAL PARK The remaining structure depicts the glory of the Sukhothai era and how Buddhism flourished during the period. Inside the majestic 70 sq km area of Sukhothai Historical Park sit the significant vestiges, which are recognised as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Noen Prasat is the remains of the former royal palace, and small-sized Wat Sa Si appeals to visitors with its graceful and unique beauty. The washed-out remains of Wat Mahatat still look grandiose and serene. ● KING RAMKHAMHAENG MONUMENT At the heart of the Sukhothai Historical Park is the bronze statue of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great, who is regarded as a benevolent ruler in Sukhothai era and as the “Father of the Thai Language”, as his major achievement was the compilation of a system of writing and a new set of Thai alphabet which he adapted from the various forms of Khmer script that were previously used. His invention is still being used in the present. The Monument is grandly done and you are welcome to pay homage to the late king and to ring the solid bell as a gesture of respect. ● WAT SI CHUM Actually part of the Sukhothai Historical Park but situated about two kilometres away from the central compound, and requiring a new entrance ticket (THB 20 for Thais), Wat Si Chum is the notable ancient temple with gigantic sacred Buddha Statue which is housed in the fitted chapel. Local Thais and tourists alike come here to worship with flowers, incense and candles. This is one of the most photogenic temples in Sukhothai, thus don’t forget to get a snap with respect to the place. ● RAMKHAMHAENG NATIONAL MUSEUM Situated right opposite the ticket office to the historical park, the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum is unfortunately often neglected, which is a real pity as it houses numerous valuable ancient objects that were found within the compound and from nearby archaeological sites. In addition, to present a linear development of cultures in Thai territory and the link between the regions in the past featuring objects from archaeological sites of other regions are also displayed. The exhibition is divided into five zones; the Graphic Exhibition in Lai Sue Thai Memorial Building, The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum Building where antiquity gallery took place, Stucco Sculpture Gallery, Wooden Pavilion and the Museum’s Yard with replica of Sangkhalok kiln, elephant at the base of chedis. The entrance fee is THB 30 for Thais and THB 150 for foreigners. The Museum opens daily from 9am-4pm. ● MAI KLANG KRUNG RESTAURANT A very local eatery where you can savour the true taste of Sukhothai, while imbuing the artifacts decorated within the restaurant compound which make perfect Instagrammable shots. A choice of food
With Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday this year, replace the standard chocolates or long-stem roses with a short fairy-tale getaway at one of these luxury and upper upscale hotels and resorts. From romantic city escapades to dreamy beach retreats, We invite weary couples to hit pause, take a breather from the daily grind and embark on an amorous yet rejuvenating trip with their Valentine. Indulge in a mindful escape in urban Singapore Surrounded by lush green foliage and exuding timeless colonial charm, Hotel Fort Canning is the perfect base for spending some quality time together in Singapore. Lovebirds can experience the “Crazy Rich Asian” lifestyle this Valentine’s - indulging in retail therapy at the popular Orchard Road shopping belt, savouring the very best of culinary delicacies from fancy restaurants to authentic street eats, and feeding the mind with knowledge at the city’s various racial, religious and cultural enclaves. Take it up a notch with the hotel’s Love Blossoms special, where couples are treated to a complimentary bottle of Prosecco, a box of chocolate pralines, premium bubble bath with floral petals, and a pair of Hotel Fort Canning Love Squirrels. Enjoy a romantic tropical beach retreat on the coast of Da Nang, Vietnam For corporate warriors who need some Vitamin Sea, the sunny coast of Da Nang, Vietnam is perfect for a weekend rendezvous. Renowned as a beach lover’s paradise, the city is home to countless beaches with crystal-clear waters and soft powdery sand. Furama Resort Danang offers the ultimate Valentine’s Day retreat with their Honeymoon package. The two-night experience includes a private candlelit dinner with a bottle of house wine on the pristine Bac My An Beach, 60-min spa treatment and two glasses of “Honeymoon Cocktail”. Guests are also entitled to complimentary round-trip airport transfers allowing for a sweet celebration in style. Other than a revitalizing time at the resort, we recommend experiencing the magical underwater world at the Cham Islands, a beautiful spot off the Vietnamese coast teeming with marine life as well as diving and snorkeling activities as a couple. Embark on an extraordinary wellness journey in Seoul, South Korea Discover a different side of Seoul with a wellness itinerary that puts the spotlight on creating private and intimate moments for couples. Begin with a hike through Cheonggyesan Mountain on the scenic Wonteogol Trail, followed by a visit to Gangnam for Korean medicinal balance spa treatments at the flagship store of a well-known Korean beauty brand. For a memorable romantic experience, couples can immerse in beautiful sunset views while strolling along the Hangang River in the evening. Take the romantic wellness getaway a step further with the Promesse d'amour package at Lotte Hotel Seoul. Staying in the Executive Tower, guests will be greeted with a complimentary bottle of red wine, mini cookies and flowers when they step into the Junior Suite. The package also includes free access to the Le Salon executive lounge, as well as a private meal at Pierre Gagnaire à Seoul where the exquisite “Esprit” menu awaits guests. Experience the ultimate pampering in Lugano,
Lausanne, also known as the “Olympic Capital”, has been the home of the modern Olympic Movement for more than a hundred years. Today, more than 50 international sporting organizations call this region their home. Because of that, sport and the positive values that it carries has become a part of Switzerland’s DNA. Therefore, delivering the Youth Olympic Games' vision to inspire the youth of the world to adopt and live according to the Olympic values of Respect, Friendship and Excellence right from the heart of the Olympic Capital was an idea that made a lot of sense for the people of the city, the region and of Switzerland as a whole. From January 9 to 22 2020, Lausanne will be welcoming the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games. 26 years after obtaining the title of Olympic Capital, Lausanne will become an Olympic city by hosting the second largest multisport winter event after the Olympic Winter Games. This event will offer a unique and unforgettable Olympic experience to young athletes. The combination of culture, performance and education will give rise to a genuine celebration of sports. The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is an international Olympic sporting event of the highest level for athletes aged 15 to 18. They combine sports performance, culture and education in an authentic celebration of sport with a festive atmosphere. The aim is to encourage young people to adopt and represent the positive values of sport – respect for others, for themselves and for our environment; friendship between people and cultures; and, excellence in self-giving – and to become sports ambassadors throughout the world. The Lausanne 2020 Torch Tour starts 21 September to 9 January! As is tradition, the Lausanne 2020 Olympic torch will be lit in Athens, Greece, on September 17. The next day, it will make its way back to Switzerland, where it will make an appearance at a Swiss Games for the first time since the Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz in 1948. From 21 September, the torch will travel through the 26 Swiss cantons for a four-month trip that will end on the evening of the opening ceremony of Lausanne 2020, on 9 January. For more information on The Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 please click here Beau Rivage Palace is looking forward to welcome guests for the YOG Lausanne 2020. In conjunction with YOG Lausanne 2020, the entrance to the nearby The Olympic Museum will be free of charge from Monday 6 to Sunday 26 January 2020. Since 1861, Beau-Rivage Palace has been proving that tradition and innovation – just like cultural heritage and modernity – complement each other very well. Ideally situated on the banks of Lake Geneva, Beau-Rivage Palace is nestled in a natural beauty spot just a stone’s throw away from the centre of Lausanne. Like the neighbouring International Olympic Committee, the palace is an institution in the Ouchy district. Merely 10-minutes away from the vibrant city centre, the hotel benefits from the Mediterranean atmosphere of the nearby harbour. The hotel’s four hectare large garden and splendid terrace form an oasis of
From the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade—which officially kicks off the holiday season—to the Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center and the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square, New York City offers unparalleled experiences for visitors and locals alike. NYC hosts classic and surprising ways to celebrate the holidays with vibrant performances, tours, lightings and more taking place from early November into January. These include the awe-inspiring window displays at stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s Herald Square and the new Nordstrom Women’s Store, and the return of the NYC Winter Lantern Festival in Staten. Following are 25 things to see and do across the boroughs this holiday season in New York City. Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes November 8–January 5 Midtown, Manhattan The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes returns to Radio City Music Hall, dazzling audiences of all ages. The production sparkles with incredible costumes, festive songs and the iconic synchronized high kicks. The Origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural History November 25–January 12 Upper West Side, Manhattan One of New York’s beloved traditions includes a 13-foot tree and 1,000 origami models. Hosted at the American Museum of Natural History, the signature Origami Holiday Tree has been an annual tradition for over 40 years. Volunteers, including local, national and international origami artists, fold year-round. Each year, the tree features a different theme relating to special exhibitions or collections at the museum. NYC Winter Lantern Festival November 20–January 12 Randall Manor, Staten Island The NYC Winter Lantern Festival is returning for a second year to Staten Island. Sponsored by Empire Outlets and venue partner Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, eight acres at Snug Harbor will be lit up by more than 50 LED installations. The LED lanterns will be accompanied by live performances of traditional Chinese dance and art. Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo November 21–January 5 Fordham, the Bronx Returning for the first time since 2007, the stunning light displays at the Bronx Zoo will cover several acres in a walk-through experience with wildlife-themed LED displays, custom Asian lanterns and animated light shows on Astor Court. Entertainment will include holiday-themed music, performances, ice carving, train rides, seasonal treats and souvenirs. New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show November 23–January 26 Fordham, the Bronx Head to the New York Botanical Garden to be enchanted by model trains zipping through a display of more than 175 New York landmarks, each re-created with bark, leaves and other natural materials. The New York Botanical Garden is conveniently accessible via the Metro-North Railroad from Grand Central Terminal. Gingerbread Lane at New York Hall of Science November 23–January 13 Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens Holding the record for the largest gingerbread village, Gingerbread Lane at the New York Hall of Science is back and more edible than ever. Visitors are invited to witness the vast collection of gingerbread structures which are embellished with candy canes, chocolate and frosting. Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade November 28 Manhattan The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is