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STA Travel Blog

5 top sights in Japan…once you’ve done Tokyo!

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?!), 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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6 unconventional winter breaks

Winter is here and the familiar exodus to the beaches of Corfu begins (and nothing wrong with that – Corfu is beautiful). But if you fancy going a little further afield this year we’ve rounded up six of our top most unconventional winter holiday hotspots.

Rajasthan

A glimpse of Rajasthan's local landmarks

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Asian Adventure: Vietnam on a Shoestring

Today’s blog comes from Laura Jenkins, a Travel Expert in our London Goodge Street store.

Now I’m an STA Travel Expert and I spend my days advising people on their adventure plans, but last year I was another travel lover in desperate need of a quick getaway. I grabbed an STA Travel brochure and flicked through the pages. I knew I wanted Southeast Asia. I knew I only had two weeks to play with. I knew my funds had seen better days. What I needed was the perfect culture-time-budget combo…and suddenly it jumped out at me, Vietnam on a Shoestring. The small group trip seemed like the best way to see the most of Vietnam in a short time on a pretty small budget, and meet some great travel buddies as I was flying solo. I was not wrong…

Lanterns
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12 things you have to see in Beijing

Today’s blog comes from Mary Bulgin, one of our fab student ambassadors at Cardiff University.

Beijing is a must visit city where the charm of traditional Chinese culture meets the exciting rush of city life. As the political hub of China, Beijing is the perfect place to soak up the country’s rich history whilst immersing yourself in the changing society of modern China. Whilst many tourists restrict their stay in the bustling city to just a few days, I recently spent an action packed ten days there. So (for the more intrepid travellers) I’ll let you in on some of the less well known spots, just off the tourist beaten track, to help you experience more of this vibrant city.

Great Wall
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A photo diary of an Indonesia adventure

Today’s blog comes from the winner of our photography competition we ran earlier this year John Crux. He embarked on his tour of Indonesia in June and (unsurprisingly) came back with some killer photos.

Originally from the UK, I’ve been regularly travelling on different adventures around the world for over five years now. 50 countries in, I’ve amassed a library of around 50,000 travel images, one of which was lucky enough to be selected as the winner of STA Travel’s photography competition earlier this year! This gave me the opportunity to join an adventure tour through Java to Bali in Indonesia. Having spent a few months in Indonesia in 2009 and deciding it was one of my favourite countries, I was very eager to get back there, and so in June I started my first G adventures trip which was a great experience!

I’ve always been better with images than words so I’ll let the photos do the talking.

borobudur

Borobudur temple, Java

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