Google Maps: Spotted – the moment Street View car runs into trouble with the law

Google Maps Street View is a handy 3D tool which allows users an on-the-ground look at far-flung destinations across the globe. In recent years there has been growing popularity among users finding unexpected scenarios, or weird and wonderful happenings. However, one user came across the moment the Google car’s driver apparently ran into a spot of bother with the law in Poland.

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The moment happens in Poland, very near to the border to Belarus.

It is a sunny day in the countryside, as the car apparently trundled along a lane bordered by foliage, trees and fields.

However, just beyond an intersection on a road in Podlaskie Voivodeship, a province in northeastern Poland, it seems the Google car was pulled over.

The Street View scene shows two officers dressed in police uniforms, although one Reddit user has suggested that they are actually members of border control.

The two men wear khaki trousers and matching hats, with an indistinguishable logo, as well as matching black uniform jackets.

It seems the two officers were tucked away in an unmarked green car at the side of the road, tow blue lights atop its roof are the only signifier that this car holds more power.

While the green car sits empty at the side of the road, the two officers are out of the car and walking towards the Google camera.

Often the Google camera is perched on top of a car which drives around snapping images for the software, so it is likely the two policemen are actually walking towards the car itself.

The officer in front holds up two fingers in an authoritative motion as he heads toward the car.

The second officer is slightly further back, his hand resting on a pair of binoculars which are hanging around his neck.

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Google tend to edit the car and camera out of the Google Maps app itself, which is why the car can not be seen, making it appear as though the officers are walking towards an empty field.

So, what exactly could have happened here?

Of course, there is no confirmation of the events that lead up to this moment, but Reddit users have speculated amongst themselves.

A few users discussed the officers being members of “border patrol”.

“This was near the border to Belarus, so it doesn’t surprise me that they are border patrol,” the user behind the snap comments.

Another user joked: “Do you know how many pictures/hour you were taking, sir?”

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Elsewhere in the world, Reddit users have shared similar car-related moments captured by Google’s cameras.

In Miami, two men were caught in a rather unfortunate predicament as the result of motor woes.

On a residential street, the friends were seen helping a driver who seems to have run into trouble.

A silver car looks as though it has broken down.

The two men dressed in black shorts are behind the car pushing it, presumably to get it started.

The driver of the car, meanwhile, remains anonymous.

Though the door of the car is left ajar, only a small peek of the back of the driver can be seen.

On the sidewalk beside the scene also appears to be a container of oil, presumably part of the operation to get the vehicle on its way.

While little is known about how this situation came to be, the two men lending a hand are seemingly a set of good samaritans.

The user who uncovered the moment posted it to Reddit with the caption: “Push that car boys”.

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Hand luggage: Beat the 100ml liquid rule with this simple hack – will you try it?

Passengers often choose to fly hand luggage only in order to cut both costs from checked luggage, and time spent waiting at the baggage belt. However, there are often many stringent rules passengers must abide by. Not only do airlines impose their own size and weight restriction for bags, passengers must also abide by airport security in place to keep travellers safe.

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One of these is the liquid ban, which bans liquids of more than 100ml being brought on board in luggage.

The ban states that all liquids must be in containers that are no bigger than 3.4 ounces or 100ml, and all containers must fit in a clear, one-quart sized  Ziploc plastic bag.

Passengers are not permitted to use a bigger bag. Containers that are bigger than 100ml are not allowed even if they aren’t full.

The ban came into place in 2006 after a transatlantic aircraft terrorist plot targeting flights from the UK to the US and Canada was foiled by British Police.

Attackers aimed to disguise explosives in soft drinks bottles which ultimately lead to authorities banning liquids of a certain size.

While in place for safety, the ban can cause a headache for travellers who want to take toiletries, such as makeup or toothpaste, that will last the duration of their holiday.

Luckily, there is one nifty way passengers can beat this liquid ban.

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High street chemist chain Boots offer airport services to help passengers ensure they have everything they need ahead of their travels.

Holidaymakers can order their chosen products at least three days ahead of travels and then pick them up from inside the terminal after going through security.

This means they can be fully stocked with their chosen toiletries, without having to do any last-minute shopping.

The chemist states: “You can pick up an Order & Collect delivery from a Boots airside airport store (after security), but please be aware that you need to place your order at least three days before you fly. Please choose the day of your flight as the day of collection.”

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However, this hack is only applicable to Boots shops that are beyond the security checkpoint.

Travellers can not take oversized toiletries through security.

Airports that house a Boots include Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, London Stansted Airport, London Luton Airport, Manchester Airport, Birmingham Airport and Leeds Bradford Airport.

For passengers who don’t want to shell out for new items, a travel expert revealed her own top tips.

Her hack is to avoid taking toiletries altogether and to plan ahead, provided you’re staying in a hotel.

“You can massively cut down on your toiletries by doing a little bit of forward planning,” travel journalist Lizzie Pook told Cosmopolitan.

“If you’re staying at a hotel, take a look at its website to see if there are any mentions of the toiletries provided in the bathroom.

“If not, send an email and ask, then you don’t need to take those products with you.”

Meanwhile, another expert recommends reconsidering how long you are going away for and whether you really need as many products as you might think.

Blogger Travel Mad Mum, Karen Edwards’ recommends decanting toiletries into smaller travel-sized containers.

“Use miniatures,” she advised.

“Pouring toiletries into smaller containers will not only take up less space but will limit the weight.”

Source: Read Full Article

These are the best places to celebrate the holidays in 2019


In anticipation of what Andy Williams crooned “the most wonderful time of the year,” 10Best set out to find North America’s best seasonal events – light shows, holiday parades, Christmas markets and festive hotels – and we asked our readers to help. For the past four weeks, you’ve been voting for your holiday favorites, and the results are in.

Click on each category below to see the full list of winners.

Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights: A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

a close up of a flower garden: Winning garden puts up half a million lights

During A Longwood Christmas, Longwood Gardens celebrates the shapes of the season. The outdoor gardens are sheer magic with more than half a million lights by way of illuminated trees to glowing orbs to dancing fountains. Outdoor fire pits and carolers add a note of holiday cheer.

Inside, the celebration continues with elegantly adorned spaces and towering trees inspired by the contours of ribbons to confectionery to snowflakes.

Full list of winners: Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights »

Best Holiday Historic Home Tour: Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee

a living room filled with furniture and a fireplace: This is the second straight win for Elvis's home

Graceland is one of the most-visited private homes in the nation. Every year, more than 600,000 people go to Elvis Presley’s former estate in Memphis.

The Christmas season at Graceland kicks off with a lighting ceremony mid-November, after which visitors can tour the home decorated for the season with traditional lights, a live-size nativity scene and Santa. Presley family Christmas artifacts are on display during this special time of year.

Full list of winners: Best Holiday Historic Home Tour »

Best Holiday Market: Carmel Christkindlmarkt in Carmel, Indiana

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: A festival highlight is the 33-foot Glühwein Pyramid

The Carmel Christkindlmarkt brings a bit of Saxony, Germany to Indiana during this annual festive event. The market features the only Glühwein Pyramid in the U.S., standing 33 feet tall with more than 3,000 lights.

Full list of winners: Best Holiday Market »

Best Holiday Parade: America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit

a group of people on a city street: Detroit parade also won in 2018

Detroit has been hosting America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van since 1924. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest and most popular parades in the country, complete with marching bands, helium balloons and colorful, larger-than-life floats making their way down historic Woodward Avenue each Thanksgiving morning.

Full list of winners: Best Holiday Parade »

Best Hotel for the Holidays: The Roosevelt New Orleans

a fountain in front of a flower: Winning hotel decks their halls with more than 100,000 lights

During the holidays, the lobby at The Roosevelt New Orleans gets adorned with 135,572 lights, 1,004 feet of garland, 698 hand-tied bows and 2,200 glass ornaments decorating 44 Christmas trees and 3,328 feet of winter white branches.

Full list of winners: Best Hotel for the Holidays »

Best Public Holiday Lights Display: Bentleyville “Tour of Lights” in Duluth, Minnesota

a harbor filled with lots of colorful lights: Winning event is nation's largest free walk-through holiday event

Bentleyville “Tour of Lights,” America’s largest free walk-through lights display, invites visitors to walk amid more than 5 million lights spread across a 20-acre park on the shores of Lake Superior. Guests can get their photo taken with Rudolph, visit with Santa and enjoy free cocoa, cookies, roasted marshmallows and popcorn.

Full list of winners: Best Public Holiday Lights Display »

Best Theme Park Holiday Event: An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri

a view of a christmas tree: This is the fourth win for Silver Dollar City in this category

Branson’s Silver Dollar City gets decked in 6.5 million colorful, twinkling lights during its annual holiday celebration, An Old Time Christmas.

It’s bigger and brighter than ever in 2019, with festivities centered on an 8-story-tall special effects Christmas tree, with 1,000 other decorated trees around the park, two Broadway-style holiday productions and an illuminated parade featuring Rudolph and his reindeer friends.

Full list of winners: Best Theme Park Holiday Event »

Best Zoo Lights: PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo

a colorful cloudy sky over a body of water: PNC Festival of Lights also won in 2018

During the annual PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo, some 3 million LED lights illuminate the night. Visitors can meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, watch a lights show on Swan Lake, drool over a gingerbread village, munch on s’mores or ride the Toyland Express train.

Full list of winners: Best Zoo Lights »

Congratulations to all our holiday winners.

10Best is a part of the USA TODAY Network, providing an authentically local point of view on destinations around the world, in addition to travel and lifestyle advice.

Source: Read Full Article

The 8 best places to travel in Asia in 2020



Slide 1 of 9: 
  
    Travel &
    Leisure released its list of 
    50 Best Places to Travel in 2020.
  The list is compiled by Travel & Leisure editors as well
  as travel writers, advisors, and other experts.
  
  Destinations were chosen based on their prominence in the
  "global conversation" as well as "perennial favorites that are
  reinventing themselves in exciting ways," according to a press
  release.
  
  Eight Asian destinations made the list, including Sri Lanka,
  Singapore, and Kyoto, Japan. 
  
  
    
      Visit
    Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
    
  
  Travel &
  Leisure has released its list of 
  50 Best Places to Travel in 2020.
  The list, which is compiled by Travel & Leisure editors as
  well as travel writers, advisors, and other experts, includes
  places that are "at the forefront of the global conversation" as
  well as "perennial favorites that are reinventing themselves in
  exciting ways," according to a press release.
  In Asia, eight destinations made the list, including Sri Lanka,
  Singapore, and Kyoto, Japan.
  Here are the best places to travel in Asia in 2020, according to
  Travel & Leisure.
Slide 2 of 9: 
  
  In the past year, China's capital has seen the opening of
  
  a $25 billion, 7.5 million-square-foot new airport designed
  by Zaha Hadid as well as a new Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing,
  which "has a boutique hotel feel, with 73 capacious rooms, yet
  offers big-time amenities like a state-of-the-art spa, a sleek
  fitness center with a lap pool, two on-site restaurants, and a
  library," Scott Bay wrote for Travel & Leisure.
Slide 3 of 9: 
  "Travel to Malaysia, and you're likely to be headed to its
  alluring beaches or the historic Straits cities of Penang and
  Melaka," Carey Jones wrote for Travel & Leisure. "But a
  recent explosion of chic hotels and restaurants has put Kuala
  Lumpur in the spotlight."
  Chic boutique hotels as well as Four Seasons and the W opened
  locations in Kuala Lumpur in 2018, and the dining scene is having
  a moment, Jones reported.
Slide 4 of 9: 
  "As visits to Kyoto continue to climb, a trend that will only
  intensify when the Olympics come to Japan this summer, innovative
  hotels and museums are opening," Lawrence Osborne wrote for
  Travel & Leisure.
  These openings will include an Park Hyatt Kyoto, an Ace Hotel,
  and Aman Kyoto, which sits in the forested foothills northeast of
  the city, according to Osborne.
  "The Aman's guest pavilions, all minimalist in style and largely
  made of cedar, are set along a mountain stream," Osborne wrote.
  "The surrounding garden is landscaped with monumental stone walls
  and pathways ... The whole effect is one of simplicity and
  understatement."

Slide 5 of 9: 
  In 2019, Singapore's iconic Raffles Hotel reopened after a
  two-year renovation, and next year the city-state will introduce
  new green spaces, pedestrian walkways, and reconstructed railway
  stations, Lila Harron Battis reported for Travel & Leisure.
  Then there's 
  Changi Airport, which has consistently been ranked among the
  best airports in the world and which Battis describes as having
  "the feel of an enormous botanical garden, thanks to lush
  plantings and a towering central waterfall."
Slide 6 of 9: 
  Rural Songyang County in China's eastern Zhejiang province has
  been experiencing an architectural renaissance, according to
  Battis.
  "Since 2014, architect Xu Tiantian has been radically overhauling
  the region's villages, bringing over a dozen serene, striking
  buildings that serve as both tourist draws and community hubs,"
  Battis wrote for Travel & Leisure.
Slide 7 of 9: 
  "Sri Lanka has long been popular among surfers and adventure
  travelers," Madeline Diamond wrote for Travel & Leisure.
  "Though the country is still on the mend after last Easter's
  bombings in Colombo, a new crop of resorts opening in 2020 make
  the island nation a luxury destination to be reckoned with."
  These openings include Haritha Villas & Spa and new
  sustainable resort Alila Koggala, Diamond reported.
Slide 8 of 9: 
  "The colors, creative traditions, and opulent palaces of
  Rajasthan are what many of us picture when we think of India -
  but this coming year, even those who think they've been there and
  done that should plan a return trip," Flora Stubbs wrote for
  Travel & Leisure.
  In 2020, luxury hotel operators Six Senses and Raffles will both
  open their first properties in India, according to Stubbs.
Slide 9 of 9: 
  Travelers should look beyond Taipei to Taiwan's mountains in
  2020, Chadner Navarro reported for Travel & Leisure.
  "Seventy percent of the island is covered with craggy peaks, but
  until recently, red tape made hiking permits tough to come by,"
  Navarro wrote.
  Now, the government has streamlined the application process,
  Navarro writes, making it easier for travelers to visit "the very
  best of the island's scenery, such as the Lake Jiaming National
  Trail, which runs through a hemlock forest, and the Nenggao
  Cross-Ridge Historical Trail, an ancient trade path used by the
  indigenous Atayal and Seediq tribes."

Travel &
Leisure has released its list of
50 Best Places to Travel in 2020.

The list, which is compiled by Travel & Leisure editors as
well as travel writers, advisors, and other experts, includes
places that are “at the forefront of the global conversation” as
well as “perennial favorites that are reinventing themselves in
exciting ways,” according to a press release.

In Asia, eight destinations made the list, including Sri Lanka,
Singapore, and Kyoto, Japan.

Here are the best places to travel in Asia in 2020, according to
Travel & Leisure.

(Photo: The northern Indian state of Rajasthan is one of T+L’s best places to visit in 2020)

Beijing, China

In the past year, China’s capital has seen the opening of

a $25 billion, 7.5 million-square-foot new airport designed
by Zaha Hadid as well as a new Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing,
which “has a boutique hotel feel, with 73 capacious rooms, yet
offers big-time amenities like a state-of-the-art spa, a sleek
fitness center with a lap pool, two on-site restaurants, and a
library,” Scott Bay wrote for Travel & Leisure.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

“Travel to Malaysia, and you’re likely to be headed to its
alluring beaches or the historic Straits cities of Penang and
Melaka,” Carey Jones wrote for Travel & Leisure. “But a
recent explosion of chic hotels and restaurants has put Kuala
Lumpur in the spotlight.”

Chic boutique hotels as well as Four Seasons and the W opened
locations in Kuala Lumpur in 2018, and the dining scene is having
a moment, Jones reported.

Kyoto, Japan

“As visits to Kyoto continue to climb, a trend that will only
intensify when the Olympics come to Japan this summer, innovative
hotels and museums are opening,” Lawrence Osborne wrote for
Travel & Leisure.

These openings will include an Park Hyatt Kyoto, an Ace Hotel,
and Aman Kyoto, which sits in the forested foothills northeast of
the city, according to Osborne.

“The Aman’s guest pavilions, all minimalist in style and largely
made of cedar, are set along a mountain stream,” Osborne wrote.
“The surrounding garden is landscaped with monumental stone walls
and pathways … The whole effect is one of simplicity and
understatement.”

Singapore

In 2019, Singapore’s iconic Raffles Hotel reopened after a
two-year renovation, and next year the city-state will introduce
new green spaces, pedestrian walkways, and reconstructed railway
stations, Lila Harron Battis reported for Travel & Leisure.

Then there’s
Changi Airport, which has consistently been ranked among the
best airports in the world and which Battis describes as having
“the feel of an enormous botanical garden, thanks to lush
plantings and a towering central waterfall.”

Songyang County, China

Rural Songyang County in China’s eastern Zhejiang province has
been experiencing an architectural renaissance, according to
Battis.

“Since 2014, architect Xu Tiantian has been radically overhauling
the region’s villages, bringing over a dozen serene, striking
buildings that serve as both tourist draws and community hubs,”
Battis wrote for Travel & Leisure.

Sri Lanka

“Sri Lanka has long been popular among surfers and adventure
travelers,” Madeline Diamond wrote for Travel & Leisure.
“Though the country is still on the mend after last Easter’s
bombings in Colombo, a new crop of resorts opening in 2020 make
the island nation a luxury destination to be reckoned with.”

These openings include Haritha Villas & Spa and new
sustainable resort Alila Koggala, Diamond reported.

Rajasthan, India

“The colors, creative traditions, and opulent palaces of
Rajasthan are what many of us picture when we think of India –
but this coming year, even those who think they’ve been there and
done that should plan a return trip,” Flora Stubbs wrote for
Travel & Leisure.

In 2020, luxury hotel operators Six Senses and Raffles will both
open their first properties in India, according to Stubbs.

Taiwan’s mountains

Travelers should look beyond Taipei to Taiwan’s mountains in
2020, Chadner Navarro reported for Travel & Leisure.

“Seventy percent of the island is covered with craggy peaks, but
until recently, red tape made hiking permits tough to come by,”
Navarro wrote.

Now, the government has streamlined the application process,
Navarro writes, making it easier for travelers to visit “the very
best of the island’s scenery, such as the Lake Jiaming National
Trail, which runs through a hemlock forest, and the Nenggao
Cross-Ridge Historical Trail, an ancient trade path used by the
indigenous Atayal and Seediq tribes.”

Source: Read Full Article

Missing Klimt Painting Turns Up 22 Years Later at the Gallery Where It Was 'Stolen'

A Gustav Klimt painting that was considered stolen from an Italian gallery in 1997 may have been hiding in the gallery’s walls for more than 20 years.

"I was returning from my lunch break and they called me, 'Come, there's an artwork here,'" a gallery worker told German press agency dpa. "I thought it was a prank."

Stolen Klimt, Piacenza, Italy - 11 Dec 2019

A gardener was clearing ivy from around the building of the Ricci Oddi modern art gallery in Piacenza, Italy when he came across a hidden cavity in the wall covered by a metal panel. Inside the hideaway was a large plastic garbage bag with the painting inside.

The gardener alerted gallery staff who took the painting to gallery security who then took it to the police. It is reported to be “in excellent condition” with no missing parts. Its authenticity is currently being evaluated.

“We are not excluding the possibility that the painting has been there the whole time,” Carabinieri General Robert Riccardi, head of the Italian force’s cultural patrimony unit, told ArtNet News. 

The work, titled “Portrait of a Lady” is considered particularly important since it was discovered that Klimt had painted this portrait over another one previously considered “lost.” It is believed to be the only “double” Klimt painting in the world and is currently valued at $66 million.

It dates between 1916-17 and was acquired by the gallery in 1925, less than a decade after Klimt's 1918 death. 

In 1997, the painting went missing from the gallery under mysterious circumstances. Authorities believed the thieves used fishing line to hook the painting off the wall and lift it through a skylight in the ceiling. Months after it went missing, a skilled forgery of the painting was wrapped up and sent to a disgraced Italian politician.

The mystery led to several art world conspiracy theories, including that it was an inside job by gallery staff.

The painting is currently in police custody. 

Source: Read Full Article

Enrich launches Hotel Booking Platform ·

Enrich launches Hotel Booking Platform

Members of Malaysia Airlines’ Frequent Flyer Programme can now earn and redeem Enrich Miles for their hotel stays

Enrich, the frequent flyer programme of Malaysia Airlines continues to enhance its world of rewards with the launch of Enrich Hotels, a convenient platform to book your next hotel stay.

With an extensive selection of over 400,000 hotel properties worldwide ranging from boutique hotels to international resorts that suit all needs and preferences, Enrich members can choose how they want to get rewarded. They can earn up to 15,000 Enrich Miles for every night of their stay or redeem for free or discounted room stays from as low as 1,000 Enrich Miles.

Lau Yin May, Malaysia Airlines’ Group Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer, said: “We want to create more avenues to maximise Enrich members’ travel and lifestyle experience. With Enrich Hotels, our members can earn Miles for hotel bookings and use their Miles for free flights on Malaysia Airlines or for another free night stay. Self-booking has become increasingly popular and Enrich Hotels is a compelling, relevant product as it differentiates itself by providing Miles rewards to drive usage and loyalty among our frequent flyers.”

The booking platform offers great deals and promotions to get travellers on vacation faster. From today until 31 December 2019, Enrich members who have made successful bookings at Enrich Hotels will automatically be in the running for the contest to win 10,000 Enrich Miles. Non-members can sign-up for free vie the Malaysia Airlines website.

Earn and redeem Enrich Miles today with Enrich Hotels at enrichhotels.com. For more details, visit https://www.malaysiaairlines.com

Source: Read Full Article

Why we should all be flying in economy class

How well did your election prediction go? Wide of the mark, perhaps, like mine.

Well, here’s a travel prediction for you that I believe will come true over the next few months and years. It will have a profound effect on the aviation industry, or at least on those airlines that devote themselves to cosseting passengers with premium products.

One day soon, a wise organisation such as a not-for-profit concern will tell its travelling executives: “Economy class only from now on, regardless of the length of the flight.”

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The carbon footprint you make as an airline passenger is in proportion to the actual footprint of your seat. Business class is a waste of space and burns an absurd amount of fuel.

But that does not mean long-haul travellers must endure miserable journeys. A shrewd employer will let their staff choose civilised flying times and allot extra time for the journey so that the traveller gets some proper sleep, in a real bed.

It’s a win-win-win. Damage to the environment is reduced, not least by drastically cutting the carbon footprint per passenger. The employer saves money. And while the traveller forsakes a lie-flat bed, elaborate meals and buckets of frequent-flyer points, they will actually have a less gruelling journey.

Here’s how it could work on a UK-Australia journey. From Heathrow or from Manchester there is a civilised Emirates departure at around 9am for Dubai. The Airbus A380, which features an excellent economy class, reaches the Gulf in good time for dinner – and a night in a nearby hotel. Next morning, another SuperJumbo awaits at 10am to whisk you to Singapore, with a civilised mid-evening arrival. And day three dawns with a wide choice of morning departures to Sydney, Perth and other cities, getting in around teatime.

The concept of daytime flying represents a step back to an age before ultra-long-haul flights could take you nonstop from London to Australia. In the early days of intercontinental air travel, passengers flew during the day and slept in proper hotel beds at night (with the crew also benefitting from some decent rest).

Sure, the overall journey will take perhaps twice as long, but the passenger will feel twice as good and their individual carbon emissions will be about one-third of those of the business-class passenger. Meanwhile, the employer has typically saved two-thirds of the cost of a premium ticket.

A sensible traveller really doesn’t mind economy travel during the day: there are films to watch, meals to eat, naps to grab. It is on overnight flights that the value of business class rockets, along with the financial and environmental cost. Subtract the night flights, and all-economy is easy. 

We have yet to establish whether the new government has any sense. But if our leaders want a quick, popular win, they should adopt my cunning plan early in the parliament. Because this business-travel policy simultaneously saves taxpayers’ money and signals virtue in limiting the harm caused by aviation.

Airline passengers can do much besides to minimise their carbon footprint, by flying on airlines that pack their planes almost full to the brim (eg easyJet and Ryanair) and which have fleets made up mainly of the most modern aircraft (Qatar Airways and Norwegian, at least when the latter gets all its Boeing 737 Max and 787 jets in the air again).

But short of stopping flying, the biggest step any of us can make is to shun the premium classes. I invite you to vote for my economy manifesto.

Source: Read Full Article

Inside the sci-fi hostel that boasts ‘galaxy pod’ rooms and spaceship interiors

If you want an out of this world experience, you don’t need to venture from Earth.

There are plenty of space-themed attractions that can satisfy your Sci-fi obsession.

And one of the most exciting is the The Galaxy Pod Hostel in Reykjavik.

The accommodation will make you feel like an astronaut because it resembles the interior of a space ship.

Replica buttons and control panels, as well as circular windows, look like something straight of Star Wars.

But thankfully, you won’t have Stormtroopers or a 0 gravity environment to deal with.

While the hostel’s main selling point is its aesthetics, it’s a pretty practical place to stay too.

Each pod features bed with a comfy memory foam mattress.

Guests can also adjust light sightings to whichever mode that suits them.

Security boxes, power plugs and mirrors also ensure you can use all your home comforts.

When guests aren’t in their rooms, they can venture out for more fun.

The hostel has plenty of communal areas – so it’s easy for solo travellers to meet other holidaymakers.

It also boasts a lounge, kitchen and cinema room.

A night at The Galaxy Pod Hostel can be snapped up from £37.92 per night with Hostelworld.

And as the affordable accommodation is nestled near Reykjavik landmarks, it’s bound to be popular with tourists.

Want to read about more quirky accommodation?

Previously, a hotel that looks like a bum hole opened.

Meanwhile, a Berlin hotel offers punters the chance to sleep in a coffin.

And here are 15 of the world's most unusual hotels .

Source: Read Full Article

Langkawi, Malaysia: adventure, luxury and relaxation – A Luxury Travel Blog

Langkawi, on the west coast of Malaysia, is an idyllic archipelago of 101 islands sun-bathing in the warmth of the Andaman Sea.

It can be an action-packed, high adrenaline destination with jet-skis and zip wires. For nature lovers, it is one of the most bio-diverse environments on the planet. And for those who just wish to relax, it has luxurious hotels with infinity pools and the sugary white-sand beaches.

New flights from Qatar Airways have made Langkawi an accessible paradise for everyone: for honeymooners seeking a supremely romantic destination, for families and for those seeking adventure.

Qatar Airways

Winners of the Skytrax 2019 Airline of the Year Award, Qatar Airways is the uber- luxurious choice for travellers heading to Langkawi.

Flying from London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports as well as Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester the airline provides easy access for travellers on their way to Doha; the first leg of the journey to Langkawi.

As Qatar Airways also scooped the Skytrax 2019 awards for Best Business Class and Best Business Class Seat the first flight of around seven hours to Doha, with so much to enjoy on the Oryx Entertainment system, almost passes too quickly.

Qatar Airways provide crisp white table-clothed restaurants, aspiring to Michelin star standards, at high altitude. This is fine-dining complete with amuse-bouche, three-warm breads with a choice of three oils and Godiva chocolates to finish.

After a welcome glass of Champagne or orange juice, staff take your order from the menu and wine list. Impressively. passengers not only select what they want to eat but also when they want to eat.

Watch a film on the 17-inch screen with noise-cancelling headphones before having your cocktail and starter delivered. Take advantage of an hour’s free Wi-fi to catch up on some e-mails, then savour your main course and dessert.

With a two hour turn-around in Doha there’s the opportunity to sample Qatar Airway’s sleek Business lounge before the next flight.

Flying over the Indian Ocean it is time to take advantage of the 14 button control panel to create an 80 inch long flat-bed. Use the toothbrush in the bathroom, put on the complimentary pyjamas, pull-up the blanket and get some good quality sleep. Breakfast, with a Starbucks-like range of coffee or tea, will be served when you order it.

The Danna Langkawi

Approaching its 10th birthday, The Danna Langkawi is Langkawi’s version of Singapore’s Raffles but with the advantages of a prime beach-front location and sheltered harbour. White blossoms from the tall frangipani trees float serenely on the vast infinity pool. It is no surprise that the Danna, just 15 minutes from the airport, is first choice for so many honeymoon couples. A few years later, pining for the Danna’s colonial chic luxury, they return to book their off-spring into the Kids’ Club.

Nostalgic pictures of Penang in the days of the British Empire, cooling fans, rattan chairs on extensive verandas and deep luxuriant baths recall the comforts of colonial days.

If the spacious rooms are luxurious then the secluded villas, with direct access to the beach and a private swimming pool, are A-List celebrity opulent. Rather than heading to the 9 treatment rooms in Danna’s spa, the masseuse will provide a treatment on a dedicated table in the privacy of your villa.

Live the colonial lifestyle with a game of billiards before dinner or a cocktail from the bar. With 118 varieties of gin on offer the Danna has one of the widest selections in Asia.

Planters’ Restaurant menu celebrates Malaysian food as one of the great fusion cuisines. Once located on one of the world’s busiest trade routes, Chinese and Indian and Sumatran travellers all brought tasty influences to the Malaysian dinner table. As Langkawi is close to Thailand’s southern border there is a strong influence of aromatic rice and fragrant noodle dishes too.

The Malaysian Tasting Platter of sea bass sambol, chicken percik, beef rendang, king prawn curry, papadum, Malay pickle and steamed rice is the perfect introduction to Langkawi’s diverse culinary traditions and the skill of Planters’ chefs.

Planters’ Champagne Breakfasts also provide the opportunity for a feast, either Asian or Western style, from an immense buffet. Then for lighter options – or just a coffee – there is also the more informal Straits and Co.

The Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa, Langkawi

Designed in the style of a Malaysian village the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa, Langkawi consists of 355 rooms and suites spread over 34 acres specialising in heartfelt 5* hospitality. As soon as you arrive there is a chilled flannel and cool fruit juice welcome.

Skilled topiary shapes Casuarina trees into natural sun-umbrellas as guests relax on sun-loungers along the one kilometre of white sanded Cenang Beach. It’s a beach that eventually leads into a lively stretch of local bars, fire jugglers, restaurants and shops.

Rooms are spacious, efficiently cooled and dark-wood colonial stylish. Large balconies look out across the azure Andaman sea to other islands in the Langkawi archipelago or on to one of the resort’s two swimming pools or ornamental lakes.

Breakfast at the Meritus Pelangi takes some planning. The Spice Market, with scores of tables both inside and out, offers the ultimate Asian breakfast buffet. A tour of the restaurant is essential to assess what’s on offer from Chinese, Indian, Malay and Thai classics.

If you still prefer a Western breakfast, ordering your eggs as you like them and topping up on pancakes and toast, there’s also CBa. Phonetically it’s “sea-bar” which sums up its beachside sand-between-your-toes laid-back location. Come sunset, it’s a favourite romantic choice for honeymooners’ al fresco dining.

Sumptuous afternoon tea was always a key element in the decadent colonial lifestyle and that is just one of the reasons to belong to the Club Lounge. Hot and cold drinks throughout the day, as well as complimentary cocktails in the evening, also build the case.

Although currently being refurbished, there will soon be a small water park for children as well as a petting zoo, to add to the Kids’ Club programme.

Meanwhile grown-ups can keep themselves occupied with the spa, the sea-view fitness suite with steam-room, archery, cookery courses, mini-golf, squash and tennis.

What to do in Langkawi

Langkawi can be a high-octane destination with jet-ski island-hopping safari, provided by Mega Watersports, skimming over aquamarine seas.

Or high-adrenaline flying with the Umgawa Legendary Adventures zipline  whizzing through the rain-forest canopy of flying squirrels, flying snakes and eagles. Alternatively, Langkawi is a book, cocktail and sun-lounger destination on pristine sugary-white-beaches.

Cruising through the mangroves with – Dev’s Adventure Tours – and visiting the limestone caves, travellers can see why Malaysia is one of the planet’s most bio-diverse destinations. Cave bats consume 400 mosquitoes an hour whilst outside eagles soar above the tree-line.

Stepping back in time, the Old Langkawi Charm Experience, again provided by Dev’s Adventure Tours, takes visitors through paddy fields where white egrets perch on the backs of water buffalo to arrive at a traditional Malaysian house for a cookery course, creating your own dinner.

Another unmissable highlight is a sunset cruise through a seascape resembling Vietnam’s Halong Bay or a James Bond movie set. Avante Boat Charters provide dinner, unlimited drinks, live music, dancing and an incredible feel-good party vibe.

Talk to anyone who has visited Langkawi and they will have thrilling memories of the Sky Bridge.

The world’s steepest cable car ascends to the Sky Bridge, a 410 feet curving pedestrian bridge, at 2,170 feet above sea-level. It gives astounding views over both the Langkawi Peninsula and across to Thailand too. Back down almost at sea-level at the Oriental Village there are also SkyRex, SkyDome (3D Cinema) and a 3D Art gallery to visit all provided for us by the Langkawi Development Agency.

Disclosure: Our visit was sponsored by The Danna Langkawi, Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Qatar Airways. 

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Sneak peak of new Cirque Du Soleil At Sea ·

Sneak peak of new Cirque Du Soleil At Sea

MSC Cruises has revealed stunning new images of the brand-new and original Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows exclusively on MSC Grandiosa. In COSMOS, Journey to the Unbelievable, guests experience a breathtaking voyage across the galaxy with a brave astronaut on a quest for self-discovery. Audiences of EXENTRICKS, Expect the Unexpected, are caught off guard at every turn in this high-spirited spectacle.

The new acrobatic performance ‘Ginger Rope’ in COSMOS sees three artists use a unique acrobatic apparatus developed specifically for the show. Aerialists fly gracefully in orbit on the rotating stage on moving ropes embodying rings around the planets. For the first time for any Cirque du Soleil at Sea show, EXENTRICKS puts guests in the centre of the show with audience participation playing a vital role in the story, bringing MSC Cruises guests closer to the artists than ever before.

Each Cirque du Soleil at Sea show is an original production exclusively created for MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia generation ships. With six original shows, Cirque du Soleil is constantly pushing its creative boundaries, reinventing its processes, challenging the status quo and exploring new territories to create inspiring and captivating experiences that are sure to delight MSC Cruises guests. For a taste of all six Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, visit here

About MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and the number one cruise line in Europe, South America, South Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. A game-changer in the world of cruises, the Company has achieved 800% growth in its first ten years, building a global reputation in the industry and one of the youngest cruise fleets at sea. MSC Cruises is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

The MSC Cruises fleet currently comprises 16 ultra-modern, highly innovative and elegantly designed ships, offering an unparalleled holiday experience with always delicious and authentic food, award-winning entertainment, plenty of relaxation, comfortable accommodation, as well as impeccable service and expertise.

Under its ambitious industry-unprecedented €13.6 billion investment plan, the fleet is set to expand to 29 cruise ships by 2027. To date, MSC Cruises has designed six new large ship classes, all prototypes that push the boundaries of marine architecture and design, and an ultra-luxury class with ground-breaking options for guest comfort.

MSC Cruises feels a deep responsibility towards the physical and human environments in which it operates. The Company operates with the greatest respect for the world’s oceans and is on an ongoing journey to further develop innovative ways of lowering the environmental impact of its cruise passages.

MSC Cruises’ vacation experiences are sold across the globe through a distribution network in 70 countries. The Company employs over 23,500 people worldwide, both ashore and on board its ships. MSC Cruises is part of MSC Group which is comprised of leading transport and logistics companies.

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