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STA Travel Blog

Soaking Up (or Just Getting Soaked) at Songkran

Songkran, the famous Thai New Year festival, is upon us once again. From Monday, this infamous festival where thousands of Thais celebrate the end of the dry season by ‘cleansing’ themselves with water… in open warfare! Not only is it one of the most celebrated Buddhist festivals in Thailand, Songkran is also the world’s largest water fight.

Although Songkran is celebrated in most Thai cities, Chiang Mai and Bangkok are the two best places for the super-soaking festivities. We asked two STA Travel staff to give their personal accounts of this crazy, wet and seriously interactive festival.

I had a blast at Songkran, Thailand.

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Cruising the winding backwaters of Kerala, Southern India

Last week we introduced you to Alyce, one of our new India Tailor Made specialists, in her blog about her whirlwind tour of India’s Golden Triange and Rajasthan. She’s here to help you plan your perfect trip to India, based on exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it and how you want to do it.

This week, Alyce is back, to take us through her favourite experience in India so far, cruising the backwaters of Kerala on a traditional Indian house boat.

Alyce, and our other India Tailor Made specialists Thomas and Nick, have been trained to create bespoke and personal trip itineraries in India, so we sent them on their own adventures there to make sure they are super clued up and ready for your call. Here’s Alyce’s favourite memory of her trip to India’s beautiful south…

Take a traditional Indian house boat for a relaxing cruise down the beautiful backwaters of Kerala, India.

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5 Unmissable Locations to Add to your Travel Bucket List this Year

On 28th May this year Qatar Airways start their new service flying from Edinburgh, opening up their network of 125 destinations to the northern part of the UK, via their base in Doha.

That’s exciting enough, but wait, here’s some more exciting Qatar Airways related news: did you know they’re the only airline to offer a complimentary glass of champagne to their economy class customers? True that.

So, with those two golden nuggets of information ringing in your ears, let’s take this opportunity to remind ourselves of our 5 favourite destinations you can reach using Qatar Airways – now via Edinburgh (champagne in hand).

Perth.

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Shakedown, Singapore

Expect sun, sea, sand and shopping… lots of it. This tiny country, found at the southernmost tip of Asia is jam-packed full of all the goodies. Get ready to Shakedown Singapore where you’ll find the ‘how to’ on everything from a boat tour through the bustling waterways, to throwing away the map and exploring Little Arabia, to shopping in the mall metropolis that is Orchard Road, and partying the night away in Clarke Quay.

The Singapore Skyline.

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High Five… Japan!

West meets east in this fascinating country filled with diverse landscapes, massive cities, incredible traditions and thousands of years of culture waiting to be discovered.

We’re assuming the epic metropolis of Tokyo is on your list (why wouldn’t it be?!) so we’ve left it out, but there’s much more to Japan than its capital. Here’s our pick of 5 other awesome highlights Japan has to offer.

Our Favourite Five Experiences in Japan

Kyoto

Kyoto is not only a buzzing city (1.5 million people and growing) it’s also the cultural centre of Japan and a brilliant place to get to grips with the fascinating imperial history of the islands. Kyoto actually means ‘capital city’ and it served as one for over a thousand years leaving it chock full of shrines, temples, gardens, palaces and the ancient Geisha district.

If you happen to be in Kyoto in mid July you’ll have a chance to witness the Gion Matsuri parade – a large procession of traditional floats – some of which can weigh up to 12 tonnes – that makes their way through the centre of the city.

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