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STA Travel Blog

The Most Amazing Experiences to be Found on New Zealand’s South Island

Lakes so blue you’d think they’d been photoshopped if you hadn’t seen them with your own eyes, mighty ancient glaciers, rolling green hills, snow capped mountains and rugged beaches where you can spot whales and dolphins playing between the waves.

If you like a bit of breathtaking beauty thrown in with your travel experiences then this could be your little slice of heaven. Here are our favourite ways to really get the very best from your time.

Watch the whales in the ocean off Kaikoura.

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Quick Start Quide to the Andaman Islands

Today’s blog comes from James Greenslade who, after abandoning STA Travel headquarters, has returned to his native Australia to pine for the awful summers and “friendly” locals of the UK. He still writes a bit though.

Lesser known than their Thai neighbours to the east, the Andaman Islands offer visitors destinations just as beautiful, and even quieter. Sitting in the Bay of Bengal – and actually geographically closer to Thailand than India which they are administratively attached to - only a dozen or so of the 300 islands in the archipelago are open to visitors.

But what gems they are. Think pristine beaches, jungles, clear waters and, possibly best of all, hardly any people…

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7 Things to Do in Hong Kong

Today’s blog comes from STA Travel’s Amy McGuire who grew up in Hong Kong before leaving for the “sunny” North East of England. She can most commonly be found running around London parks through rain and sleet, and dreaming of snowboarding anywhere with snow.

Hong Kong is a crossroads. A metropolitan melting pot where east meets west, island-life meets the mainland and tradition meets modernity. Look hard enough and within the high-rise buildings you’ll find little gems of architecture including Chinese temples, colonial residences and even the odd zoo. Oh and the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator, but more on that in a minute.

Then there’s Kowloon, an urban sprawl that seeps out into the New Territories before connecting to Mainland China. There are also over 200 outlying Islands that can only be accessed by boat. Despite all of its diversity many people rush through Hong Kong, Spending no more than a couple of days in the city before travelling onwards. Here are our top seven things to do in the city that’s more than a city.

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Top Festivals in Sydney and New South Wales!

We all know that there are more things to do on a regular day in Sydney and New South Wales than you can shake a didgeridoo at (and if you don’t know that already, get on it!), but the state is also home to some fabulous festivals.

Read on for 5 ways to pass the time when stunning beaches, unique eco-systems, brilliant breaks and the friendliest people on earth just aren’t enough for you.

Vivid 2014 – Image Credit Andrew Smith

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Why You Should Take a Trans-Mongolian Adventure

Let’s get one thing straight from the start, you’ve got to at least be able to tolerate trains. Preferably, you’ll have a kind of quiet delight for the idea of being gently rocked to sleep while travelling at (slow) speed through the Mongolian steppe. At the thought of having up to 5 days in front of you with nothing to do but read, watch half the world go by out of the window, walk to the dining car, walk back, and repeat.

But, aside from the time on the train, you should also be ready to experience travelling in a whole new way. To take the slow route and have a better trip because of it. Here are just a few reasons we think you should hop on board the Trans-Mongolian railway.

Just one of the routes available for the Trans-Mongolian

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