T R A V E L
FROM THE EDITOR

HOME OR AWAY?

                       W
                                 elcome to the
      ...
L E I S U R E




                                                                                                        ...
Karst away
   in bling and buy paradise
    From its gorgeous beaches and craggy karst islands to golden palaces,
    jung...
getting to KNOW
                                                                                                   THAILAN...
While it may be a giggle for tourists, some
   locals believe this cave contains the spirit of
   a drowned princess – and...
Thai massage                                                                                                       I Tradi...
to see Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat tem-
                                                                                 ...
Chic & boutique                                     I The funky Dusit
    In recent years,Thailand’s decorative cultural  ...
July/August 2009   The Travel & Leisure Magazine   13
14 The Travel & Leisure Magazine   July/August 2009
TRAVEL update

Does my tum look BIG in this?
W
              hen it comes to shopping,                                    ...
TRAVEL update

  Maldives
  specials
  T
          he perfect ideal of sun,     (approximately £78) per villa
          sa...
July/August 2009   The Travel & Leisure Magazine   17
Music
   City of
                                                                                                         ...
ESCAPE to…
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A day trip into Germany’s
   Sound of Music country                                                  Bavarian Alps can inc...
Salzburg facts
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22 The Travel & Leisure Magazine   July/August 2009
all ABOARD
                                                                                                     CRUISING F...
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf
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In this edition of The Travel & Leisure Magazine. Getting to know Thailand, Escape to Salzburg, cruising, Golf in Murcia, Visiting the Channel Islands, Coaching Holidays, London's Parks, Kwazulu-Natal South Africa. Plus win some cool travel products.

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The Travel & Leisure Magazine July Aug 2009.~Pdf

  1. 1. T R A V E L FROM THE EDITOR HOME OR AWAY? W elcome to the s u m m e r- t i m e issue of The Travel & Leisure Magazine. Traditionally, it is when we Brits make our annual pilgrimage to soak up the sun on distant beaches. But, according to several surveys, more of GETTING TO KNOW Thailand bling and buy 6 us are choosing to stay in the UK this year – either to cut down on the expense of going abroad, or to enjoy the “bar- TRAVEL UPDATE Travel news 15 beque summer” promised by the Met Office. Wherever you head, we hope you will take ESCAPE TO Salzburg – city of music 18 this issue with you. As ever, it is packed full of ideas for holidays, both overseas and at home. ALL ABOARD Cruising from UK ports + News 23 And with an eye on the weather, we look at London’s glorious parks and see what’s going on during the summer beyond the capital. OFF THE BEATEN TRACK KwaZulu-Natal 28 We head to Thailand, a perennial favourite for its beaches and good-value shopping, and sing LET’S TRY Escorted coach holidays 34 the praises of music city Salzburg. We also go on the buses to see how coach holidays have PACK YOUR CLUBS Spain’s Murcia region + News 41 changed. The Channel Islands are the focus for our look at holidays on your doorstep. Keeping the theme close to home we highlight cruises ON YOUR DOORSTEP The Channel Islands 47 from UK ports, which are growing in populari- ty. And we tee it up in Spain’s Murcia region for IN YOUR FLIGHT BAG 53 our golf spotlight. WIN – A stylish Travelwrap worth over £200 Sit back, enjoy the read – and catch those rays while they last. IN YOUR SUITCASE 54 Peter Ellegard PLUS – 5 Yale Travel Safes to give away BEST FOR Hotels news and review 68 4 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
  2. 2. L E I S U R E EDITORIAL TEAM OUT & ABOUT What’s on outside London 56 Editor Peter Ellegard Writers Peter Ellegard, Keeley Gordon, Sara Macefield, Dave Richardson, Debbie Ward and COMING NEXT What’s in store in the next issue 59 Frank Partridge Design Nick Blaxill Advertising Team Jeannette Cumbers, Beverley LONDON REVIEW London’s parks + London news 60 Sennett & Elaine Smith Admin/Accounts Wendy Barfoot Production Keeley Gordon, Loretta Prince Publisher Terry Stafford Digital Publisher Peter Lewsey FREE BOOKS for new READERS’ Published bi-monthly by Travel & Leisure Magazines Ltd subscribers – see page 59 First Floor, 103 Cranbrook Road, Don’t forget the LETTERS Ilford, Essex, IG1 4PU Tel: 020 8477 1529 Fax: 020 8514 4536 next issue of The We want to hear Email: info@tlmags.com Printed by Wyndeham Heron Travel & Leisure MAY/JUNE 2009 from you. Let us £2 where sold © Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited 2009 Magazine will be have your available from The publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. r Timeless wonde thoughts on & MARCH/APRIL 2009 £2 where CALYPSO sold REYKJAVIK CRUISING Whilst every care is taken, all material submitted to Travel September 2009. le Cool – and affordab n Caribbea FUNTASTIC island hopping ROCKofSTAR Wight FLORIDA TEE TIME IN & Leisure Magazines Limited is done so at its owner’s The Isle TRAVELLING IN STYLE The Travel & A real family affair SCOTLAND days in Perfect the home of golf risk and neither Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited nor railway Magical journeys WIN AVON CALLING NEWFplaygroundLAND Shakespeare OUND Subscription price £6 Leisure Nature’s Country its agents can accept any liability for loss or damage. KENYA Away from it holiday for two worth £4,000 to #A week’s all safaris Newfoundland Canada’s CUT£1,500 of Pride of Britain hotel vouchers # TO Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited is a completely inde- Guide 2009 copies, for 6 issues plus THE CHASE and more PLUS: Steam Heritage Magazine’s Royal Albert Hall Tornado hunters CRUISING tours WIN pendent company and can hold no responsibility for the Head for the Med receive a FREE Travel LONDON Theatres in focus MARRAKECH Book. new look, or # #A week’s holiday A city with souks Marrakech riad for two in a luxury appeal actions of outside agents. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written consent. A seven-night Continental camping trip PLUS: Time Out guides, Billy Connolly Rough Guides, DVDs, riding lessons and more on any topic. All private advertisers are totally responsible for their own wording within their advertisement, and Travel & Leisure Take out a subscription The best letter will win a STAR PRIZE. Magazines Limited can therefore take no responsibility as Call 020 8477 1529 to their content. Please seek legal advice and thereafter 6 issues just £6, inc postage. SAVE 50% Email us at verify all the details of your purchase in writing before letters@tlmags.com proceeding. Front cover photo: Bournemouth Tourism July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 5
  3. 3. Karst away in bling and buy paradise From its gorgeous beaches and craggy karst islands to golden palaces, jungles and great shopping, it is hardly surprising Thailand is such a popular holiday spot. Debbie Ward is a Thai dyed-in-the-wool fan… “T here’s the big- paddle tour of scenic rock climbing; there’s a headed ghost” mangroves at Thailand’s cultural side – if you join said my guide, southerly resort of the monks (and the flashing the beam Krabi. My small monkeys) at the nearby of her torch into kayaking party not Tiger Cave Temple; Main photo and inset:Tourism Authority of Thailand the upper reaches only took in the “big- and, of course, there’s of the cave. I could make out a striped headed ghost cave” but some of the world’s most snake-like creature with a bulge and an eye also tunnels hung with gorgeous beaches to lie at one end. I did what any tourist would do, stalactites and leafy corri- your towel upon. I took a photo. dors where brightly-coloured I Wat Pho Buddha Low-key Krabi may not be As I was wearing flip flops and my only crabs crawled up exposed tree Thailand’s most popular resort (it means of escape was a kayak it’s just as well roots. lags in that respect behind Phuket and this was no malevolent monster but a 2,000 Krabi could be considered a small-scale Koh Samui) but if your mental image of the year-old cave painting, given its nickname showcase of the tourist appeal of whole of country is craggy limestone karst islands and by Thai fishermen. Thailand. There’s adventure – with kayak- long-tail boats decorated with ribbons in a My brush with ancient spirits came on a ing, jungle hikes to hot springs and even turquoise sea, this is where the photos you’re 6 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
  4. 4. getting to KNOW THAILAND recalling were mostly likely taken. The icon- ic karst islands were made famous when one I Long-tail boats and karst island off Krabi was used as a location for the villain Scaramanga’s hideout in the 1974 Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. Now popu- larly known as James Bond Island, Koh Tapu (translating as Nail island as it is virtually vertical) is in Phang Nga Bay and can be reached on a day trip from Krabi or Phuket. Island hopping Krabi’s main strip, Ao Nang, has something of a waterborne rush hour each morning as Debbie Ward long-tails start their noisy outboard motors to whisk day-tripping tourists into karst- studded Phang Nga Bay. My partner and I joined one of the island-hopping excursions By night we enjoyed browsing the restau- By day, when we weren’t on excursions for a lazy day of sunbathing and snorkelling rants at the quieter eastern end of Ao Nang, we made shorter hops, using the long-tails on and around five beaches of increasing checking out the catch of the day displayed as a ferry service to the attractive neighbour- loveliness. Some of the places we stopped on iced trays before tucking our legs under a ing beaches of Railay and, my personal at were nothing more than sandbars but bamboo table and tucking in to three or four favourite Thai beach, Phra Nang. Here, at enterprising Thais had turned their long- colourful stir-fry or curry dishes for under one end of the cliff-framed white sand strip, tails into floating cafes serving milkshakes, £10. Afterwards we’d head for a cocktail at a I found another surprise waiting in a cave – sandwiches and fruit. bar converted from an old VW campervan. rows of brightly-painted wooden phalluses. July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 7
  5. 5. While it may be a giggle for tourists, some locals believe this cave contains the spirit of a drowned princess – and I kept a respectful distance from the devotees offering prayers before the unusual shrine. Friendly people Thailand’s predominantly-Buddhist spiritu- ality is part of what makes it so famously friendly. Thais consider it a loss of face to resort to argument and you’ll rarely hear raised voices. The short-lived violence at the government protests of late last year was out Tourism Authority of Thailand of character in this usually-peaceful country. Buddhism also gives Thailand some of its most colourful sights, such as gold bell-shaped temple stupas and saffron-robed monks. My beach shrine was a far cry from the country’s more glitzy places of worship, the most I Relxation, Thai style revered of which lies within Bangkok’s key tourist attraction, the Grand Palace. On my visit I had my own lie down for a tance are the Bridge over the River Kwai, the You haven’t seen bling until you’ve wan- very affordable kneading at the massage so-called Death Railway built by WWII pris- dered this sprawling complex of gold leaf- school in Wat Pho’s grounds. oners of war, and Ayutthaya, the site of covered, jewel-encrusted buildings set Bangkok’s other must-sees, the pottery Thailand’s former royal capital. At the sec- beside the city’s Chao Phraya River. Despite studded temple of dawn – Wat Arun – and ond of these I was charmed to discover the the crowds it’s a peaceful place to be, with the small Royal Barges Museum are close odd crumbling stone Buddha statue respect- Thais making incense and lotus blossom by and reached on a river boat tour. Just fully clothed with saffron robes or patched offerings and kneeling before the precious beware of locals telling you the attraction with gold leaf among the restored temples statue that’s the focal point of the Temple of you seek is closed for lunch, flooded or oth- and atmospheric ruins. Most people arrive the Emerald Buddha. Next door to the erwise unavailable and helpfully suggesting at Ayutthaya by road but it’s possible to Grand Palace, Wat Pho is home to a giant, alternative sights. They’re invariably drum- make a romantic two-night, three-day jour- reclining Buddha with feet inlaid with moth- ming up business for a mate with a tuk-tuk! ney aboard a converted rice barge er of pearl. Out of Bangkok but within day-trip dis- (www.manohracruises.com). G When visiting Bangkok’s Royal Palace wear enclosed Cultural tips shoes or sandals with straps around the heels to save queuing to hire appropriate footwear. G It is considered rude to point your feet at people in G Be prepared to cover your shoulders and remove shoes Thailand and especially at images of Buddha.Take care to inside temples. tuck your feet behind you when sitting on the floor, G The Thai royal family is highly-revered, so derogatory particularly in temples. comments about them and disrespectful treatment of G It’s also taboo to touch someone’s head, or to touch Baht notes bearing the king’s image will not be monks. appreciated. Tourism Authority of Thailand I The Royal Palace, Bangkok 8 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
  6. 6. Thai massage I Traditional Thai massage. Below left: Thai massage ingredients Thailand’s unique and effective form of massage combines stretches with reflexology-like stimulation of pressure points. Much attention is focused on the feet but the masseur will also pull your pyjama-clad limbs into slightly scary but ultimately muscle-easing positions, which is why this technique is sometimes called “passive yoga”. If you’re nervous, start with a foot massage or the more gentle Thai treatments involving warm herbal poultices.Whatever you choose, your relaxation will be aided by the low cost.While you’d commonly pay £1 a minute for a massage at home, £4 an hour is more typical in Thailand’s clean street or beachside centres (look out for the reflexology charts outside) and as little as £30 in a plush hotel spa with a range of international treatments. All photos:Tourism Authority of Thailand Cycling tour inside what looks like the belly of a bright from recycled animal feed sacks and eating On another visit to Bangkok, I made my white space ship. Glamorous skyscraper-top dinner under a chandelier hung with Barbie escape from the city on one of the capital’s bars such as Sirocco Sky Bar dolls. While not everyone will love the new cycling tours. Thankfully this didn’t (www.thedomebkk.com) at State Tower or quirkiness of this place there are several route me through Bangkok’s traffic-choked Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar boutique hotels in the capital where the style streets; instead, our small group was led by (www.banyantree.com) atop the Banyan is more traditional, meaning you no longer the guide along quiet paths through nearby Tree offer a different perspective with city have to go large for a bit of city chic. farming areas, creating our own refreshing views that stretch to the horizon. breeze as we went. During an enlightening Bangkok’s hotels also pack that wow fac- Bargain shopping day, we stopped to ask farmers the secrets of tor and nowadays size isn’t everything. I recommend hitting Bangkok last if you the famously-stinky durian fruit and called I’ve been lucky enough to stay in several can. Not only will you have shed in at a local infant school to watch an plush marble-lobbied giants on the your jetlag in a more relaxed English lesson in progress. Flinging our riverfront over the years but, on environment but you’ll mountain bikes into a boat for a short ride my last trip, I chose to down- have got to grips with up river, we ended up at Koh Kret, an island size to Reflections Rooms I Shop for haggling and the known for its pottery making and where we (www.reflections-thai.com), local crafts exchange rate watched freshly-moulded incense burners a bizarre and very afford- before you hit the being loaded into kilns. able establishment where a capital’s shopping While the big sights of Bangkok are about host of artists have been highlights. history, one of its other key attractions – its given free reign with the Most tourists nightlife – is bang up to date. Among the decor. I found myself beat a path to the most famous venues is Bed Supper Club crunching my way across my rather seedy streets (www.bedsupperclub.com), where you can room on silver bubble wrap around Patpong for dance, or recline to eat and sip cocktails flooring, sitting on a sofa made the ever-popular night 10 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
  7. 7. to see Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat tem- ples is another great combination. Here’s a regional round-up of Thailand’s key resorts: Andaman Sea Krabi and Phuket both front the spectacular island-studded Phang Nga Bay, a scenic playground of beautiful beaches, caves and cliffs for lazing, kayaking and snorkelling. Phuket, Thailand’s most popular resort, is by far the liveliest of the two. This is the place to come for big resort facilities, party action and international fast-food favourites. The large island, linked to the mainland by road bridge, has also gained some peace- ful and stylish retreats in recent years, par- ticularly on it’s east and north-west coasts. For divers, Phuket is the gateway to Thailand’s world-class sites of the Similan Islands, Surin Islands and Burma Banks. Quieter Khao Lak, on the mainland just above Phuket, is even closer. Classy resorts have sprung up on some of the islands in Phang Nga Bay, including Koh Lanta, Koh Racha and day-trip favourite the Phi Phi islands – famous as the filming site for The Beach. Gulf of Thailand While most of Thailand is best visited in the winter months, sheltered Koh Samui to the south of the Gulf of Thailand has an opposite season. It’s a honeymoon favourite so there’s plenty of romantic accommodation while I Elephant riding in northern Thailand family attractions like a training centre for coconut-picking monkeys are strung along the island’s loop road. Offshore, you can market. While I’ve had fun singing along to bites put paid to the mas- tour around Angthong National Marine Park Tom Jones impersonators at Radio City bar sage marathon I had or linger on neighbouring islands Koh Pha and snapping up a few bargains here in my planned on my last visit, I Ngan – famous for its full moon parties – time, for serious browsing I head to still got to make like a celebri- and Koh Tao, a top spot for beginner Chatuchak. This colossal weekend market ty by having a Bangkok tai- divers. (also known as JJs), beside the northern lor (most are concentrated Just around an hour’s drive from SkyTrain stop of Mo Chit, boasts over around Sukhumvit Road Bangkok, brash Pattaya is a party 15,000 stalls. and top hotels) run resort with big-name facilities. Its You’ll find bargain silk scarves, hand- me up silk skirts seedier side has been somewhat made candles, wood carvings and ornate and blouses to my cleaned up in recent years and it’s cutlery sets but half the fun is the spectacle. own designs. a well-established favourite with This is where Thais shop for anything from The classic families who stay at quieter furniture to pets to plastic fruit. I once even Thailand holiday Jontiem beach and enjoy nearby spotted a monk choosing a hamster! combines Bangkok attractions such as water parks, If you prefer the air-conditioned comfort with a beach and go-karting, an Elephant Village of a mall, you’re spoilt for choice with giant sometimes a third stop and Sriracha Tiger Zoo. shopping centres catering for trendy teens to in the green and cul- Golfers flock to Pattaya, too, the well-heeled clustered around Siam tural North. The as there are several quality Square and surrounding streets. country is also courses nearby. The great thing about buying anything in often linked with Hua Hin and Cha Am, Thailand is that it’s very affordable. This is its neighbours on also within driving distance one of the few places in the world I can enjoy tours of South East of Bangkok, are quiet neigh- my favourite indulgences, cocktails and spa Asia. A Thailand hol- bouring resorts favoured by treatments, on a daily basis. While mosquito iday with a side trip the Thai royal family, while July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 11
  8. 8. Chic & boutique I The funky Dusit In recent years,Thailand’s decorative cultural D2 hotel at Pattaya traditions have been given a twist and the country has become something of a hotspot for chic contemporary design – not least in its accommodation, with attractive new boutique hotels making a particular splash. Just some of the stylish offerings include: G The funky Dusit D2 brand hotels at Chiang Mai, Pattaya and, soon, Koh Samui (www.dusit.com). G Philippe Starck-designed The Yamu, opening on Phuket this year with a chocolate room and a recording studio (www.theyamu.com). G Back-to-nature and spa-focused Soneva Kiri by Six Senses, on the island of Koh Kood in the gulf of Thailand (www.sixsenses.com). G Minimalist The Racha on Koh Racha, off Phuket (www.theracha.com). G And the cheery, oriental chintz-themed Dusit D2 Shanghai Mansion, in Bangkok’s Chinatown (www.shanghaimansion.com). the large, up-and-coming island of Koh Thailand facts Chang offers a mountainous interior and day-trip possibilities around its 50-plus When to go: neighbouring islands. Koh Samui is best from June to September and the rest of Tourism Authority of Thailand Thailand November to March. Thailand’s North Not everything worth seeing in Thailand Visa: comes with a sea view. The country’s lush UK passport holders do not need a visa for stays up to 30 days. and mountainous North is packed full of adventure and culture. Getting there: Thailand’s second city, Chiang Mai, is the Thai Airways (www.thaiairways.co.uk), EVA Air (www.evaair.com), gateway to the North and is famed for its night British Airways (www.ba.com) and Qantas (www.qantas.com) fly direct. market, handicraft villages and sanctuaries for You can also go direct to major resorts on charter flights. elephants that once worked in the logging industry. Farther north, Chiang Rai is a small- Tour operators: er hub and close to the Golden Triangle where UK operators featuring Thailand include: Kuoni (www.kuoni.co.uk),Travel Thailand, Laos and Burma meet in scenic 2 (www.travel2.com), Funway Holidays (www.funwayholidays.co.uk), splendour around the Mekong River. Jasmine Travel (www.jasmineholidays.co.uk), Premier Holidays, You can trek to visit hill tribes in the (www.premierholidays.co.uk) and Silverbird (www.silverbird.co.uk). North though the tourist path is pretty well- worn these days. Soft-adventure experiences Getting around: like mountain biking and white-water raft- Bangkok Airways (www.bangkokair.com) and Thai Airways ing are also centred in the region as are some (www.thaiairways.co.uk) have extensive domestic flight networks. good golf courses. To head North in style, Beat the gridlocked daytime traffic in Bangkok by taking the SkyTrain, take the Eastern & Oriental Express underground, or river ferries. Iconic three-wheeled tuk-tuks are fun for (www.orient-express.com) from Bangkok short trips (haggle the price beforehand) but metered taxis (check the to Chiang Mai, or, if you’d rather chill-out meter is on) are safer and more affordable.Take the less-congested toll somewhere up-and coming, consider the laid TL expressways in Bangkok. Cycling tours are offered by Bike & Travel back retreat of Pai in Mae Hong Song (www.cyclingthailand.com) and Spice Roads (www.spiceroads.com). province. Ferry services and cheap long-tail boat taxis operate to the islands. A travel journalist for over a decade, Tourist information: Debbie Ward writes for numerous Tourism Authority of Thailand: call 0870 900 2007 or visit publications. She has a wardrobe full of Thai clothing from her many Thailand visits. www.tourismthailand.co.uk 12 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
  9. 9. July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 13
  10. 10. 14 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
  11. 11. TRAVEL update Does my tum look BIG in this? W hen it comes to shopping, highlights the trends in the USA’s top five women are the natural champi- inbound markets: Canada, Germany, Japan ons. After all, a girl can never and Mexico plus the UK. have too many shoes. Or dresses. Or hand- Most British shopping travellers are bags. repeat visitors, it reveals, and good value and And that lovely, sparkly jewellery is just variety are the most important elements of perfect for those new outfits... their shopping experience. New York City is Yet it seems the tables are turned when the top destination for British shoppers, at we go on holiday to the USA. New research 39%, followed by Orlando (20%) and Las shows that men outshop the girls once they Vegas (14%). cross the Atlantic, and by some considerable Shopping accounts for 25% of British margin, too. visitors’ spending on US trips, averaging The International Shopping Traveller $968 out of a total trip spend of $3,845. Study shows that for almost 50% of British G Chelsea Premium Outlets opens its visitors shopping is either the key reason for Cincinnati Premium Outlets in August and the trip or is a factor in their choice of desti- has just completed The Promenade exten- nations – with men representing 56% of sion to Camarillo Premium Outlets, near British shoppers, compared with just 44% Los Angeles. Extra discounts on labels for women. such as Hugo Boss, Diesel and Brooks I Step aside, girls: men are the biggest bargain hunters The survey, unveiled at the recent Pow Brothers as well as boys toys favourites Wow international travel trade marketplace company Taubman Centres in partnership Sony and Bose are available by visiting show in Miami, was commissioned by the with the US Department of Commerce www.premiumoutlets.com and joining Shop America Alliance and shopping mall Office of Travel & Tourism Industries. It the VIP club. Flagging up Britain’s Ferry good value – and Fido can go, too best beaches Take an Irish Ferries cruise from Holyhead to Dublin or Pembroke A record 184 to Rosslare in July and August and awards have enjoy a free night and three-course been given to dinner at Wexford hotel Carlton Millrace and UK coastal areas in Kildare hotel Carlton Abbey. Prices, from £214 recognition of high qual- per person, include three nights with breakfast ity under the Blue Flag and return Sunday-Thursday ferry crossings. See beach award scheme – www.irishferries.com which is good news for If the dog needs a holiday too, DFDS Seaways the five million Britons (www.dfds.co.uk) now offers the DEFRA Pet Travel Valerie Cameron planning to holiday in Scheme (PETS) on both its Newcastle-Amsterdam the UK this year. I Thanet’s Blue Flag- and Harwich-Esbjerg routes, with pet travel from Although this year’s winning Minnis beach £19 each way. Pets, which can include rabbits, mice 72 Blue Flags is down by and rats, must be booked in advance and fulfil the 10 on 2008, mainly due respectively), followed G The Greek island of DEFRA scheme criteria. Call 0871 882 0885. to flooding, it is still a by Thanet on 11 (seven/ Rhodes has more Blue huge increase from the four) and, both with 10, Flag beaches than any EARLY BIRDS: Early-bird offers in Funway 45 awarded in 2002. A Southend (three/seven) other European island, Holidays’ expanded 2010 Far East brochure total of 113 Quality and Scarborough (two/ at 33. Greece is second include a 14-night Thailand tour from £969 per Coast Awards were also eight). Bournemouth in the world rankings, person this autumn, with three nights in Bangkok made to British beaches. and neighbouring Poole with 424 Blue Flag and a free city tour, three nights in Chiang Mai and Top areas, with a total each have four Blue beaches, behind Spain eight in Phuket, with flights, for bookings by of 14 each, were the Isle Flag beaches. Visit (493). In all, 3,300 September 30. New for 2010 are Vietnam, of Wight (two Blue Flags www.blueflag.org/uk beaches around the Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, China, Japan, South and 12 QCAs) and for a list of all award- world have the presti- Korea and Taiwan. www.funwayholidays.co.uk Torbay (five and nine winning UK beaches. gious accolade. July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 15
  12. 12. TRAVEL update Maldives specials T he perfect ideal of sun, (approximately £78) per villa sand and sea, the per night including breakfast. Maldives are now even www.hilton.co.uk/maldivesirufushi more accessible – and afford- Nineteen individual houses I Save on stays at stylish Naladhu able – with a new three-times- make up the stylish and exclu- a-week winter flight series from sive Naladhu resort, visited by (www.sonevaresorts.com) is offers 28 nights in a Soneva Gili British Airways and special celebrities such as Wimbledon offering 14 extra nights free on top Villa suite from £6,675 per per- offers from some of the islands’ champion Roger Federer. On its of a two-week stay, in return for son, including flights and transfers top resorts. own private island and equipped four days of community work at – saving £5,800 per person. Book a beach villa at the 52- with antique furnishings and a the Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili G British Airways also has new acre Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi personal butler service, you can resorts. Up to December 22, winter services from Heathrow Resort & Spa private island get 25% off if you book 60 days guests can help by doing things to Las Vegas and from Gatwick before August 17 to travel in advance. Prices start from including teaching at local schools to Montego Bay (Jamaica), before August 31 and take $989 per room per night. or hospital volunteer work. Punta Cana (Dominican advantage of its two-for-one www.naladhu.com Elegant Resorts (01244 897517, Republic), Sharm el Sheikh offer; prices start from just $129 Soneva by Six Senses www.elegantresorts.co.uk) (Egypt) and Innsbruck (Austria). I Atlantis, The Palm Anyone for tennis? I nspired by this year’s Wimbledon championships? Retallack Resort and Spa, Cornwall’s five-star self- catering resort, is offering budding ten- Dubai kids don’t nis stars the opportunity to hone their game on holiday. A new tennis coach- need to buy ing programme provided by experi- enced Lawn Tennis Association- licensed coaches costs from £4.50 per For a family holiday with with two paying parents. person for a group lesson or £37 per a difference this year, Many restaurants also person per hour for private lessons. take advantage of the have free kids’ meals. Prices start from £600 a week for a Kids Go Free campaign Dubai attractions are two-bedroom lodge. Visit in Dubai. From now also offering free entry www.retallackresort.com I Tresco I Flying Boat Club cottages until September 20, to children under 16, for more details. bedroom Emirates is offering a among them Sega Tennis is also on beach-front houses on free return flight to Republic, Dubai offer at the stylish new the site of the old Royal Dubai for one child Aquarium and Under Flying Boat Club on Naval Air Station. under 16 travelling with Water Zoo and Dubai the island of Tresco, in Guests have use of the both parents, and 75 top Ice Rink; while Atlantis, the Scilly Isles. Prestige indoor swimming pool, hotels, including the The Palm is offering free Holidays is offering a gym, steam room and Ritz-Carlton, Grosvenor entry to its attractions three-night package there free tennis on the Astroturf House and One&Only and children can eat this autumn from £315 per courts as well as free golf on Royal Mirage, are free at any Atlantis person, including return helicopter the nine-hole St Mary’s course. offering three nights’ restaurant when dining flights from Penzance to Tresco and For more information contact free stays for one child with an adult. heliport transfers. Prestige Holidays on 01425 480600 or You can rent one of the 12 luxurious visit www.prestigegrouptravel.co.uk 16 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
  13. 13. July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 17
  14. 14. Music City of I Mozart Dinner Concert in St Peter’s Cellar From Mozart to the von Trapps, there’s no escaping Salzburg’s musical heritage. With its beautifully-preserved centre and lots to see beyond it, you don’t have to be music mad to enjoy a visit – but it helps. Peter Ellegard sings its praises V isit the pretty Austrian ing different genres during the year. Hence – a traffic-free pedestrian precinct apart alpine city of Salzburg its soubriquet, the Festival City. And even if from early-morning deliveries. Tour groups and you will find it isn’t you’re not a particular fan, there are plenty swarm in front of the building like bees just the surrounding hills of other things to do and see which make the round a honeypot, and the rest of the street that are alive with the city a great escape for a long weekend. also throngs with visitors day and night with sound of music, it is the There’s far more to Salzburg than its ancient buildings, quaint alleys and hid- whole city itself. Mozart, of course, but the two are inextrica- den courtyards full of cafes and restaurants. For Salzburg is not only where much of bly intertwined, as visitors soon discover. The cramped building houses numerous The Sound of Music was set and filmed, but The imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress, exhibits including his original instruments, it is also where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart which stands guard on a clifftop high above letters and family portraits. was born, in 1756. the ancient rooftops and church spires, may Mozart’s Residence, the family home The whole city went Mozart mad three be the city’s most visited attraction, but the from 1773, is a more spacious affair in years ago to celebrate the 250th anniversary next most popular sites are the two museums Markplatz and was where he wrote a num- of the birth of its favourite son, with a year- set in Mozart’s homes. And even in the ber of his works. It has also been preserved long series of concerts, operas, exhibitions fortress you can’t escape the maestro. as a museum to him. and other events. For those with a real appetite for the great But even though the celebrations are long Quaint alleys man’s music, you can choose from several gone, the city is still one of the best places to Mozart’s Birthplace, where he lived for 26 themed dinner concerts during the summer go if you love music. Salzburg has more years, is in the heart of the old city on its tourist season. The Mozart Dinner Concert than 4,000 music and theatre events cover- historic, narrow main street, Getreidegasse offers a three-course dinner prepared from Peter Ellegard Peter Ellegard Peter Ellegard I Hallstatt village I Old Town, Salzburg I Salzburg Cathedral 18 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
  15. 15. ESCAPE to… SALZBURG city. Many of its magnificent architectural landmarks were used, and you can take a Sound of Music Tour to visit outlying vil- lages, lakes and mountains where other familiar scenes were shot. Whether you are a fan of the musical or not – and I must admit I am not – it is well worth a visit to nearby Hellbrunn Palace, one of the settings used in the movie. Its ornate palace and beautiful gardens are a delight for all ages, notably for the ubiqui- tous fountains which spring many surprises for the unwary. I won’t spoil the surprise, other than to advise not wearing your Sunday best and to visit on a warm day when clothes will quickly dry. We made the mistake of visiting on a rainy day… Year-round appeal Salzburg can be visited any time of year and the experience will be just as enjoyable. Key attractions are open year-round and there Salzburg Tourist Office are events in all seasons. In winter, the rooftops twinkle with fresh snow – a taster of what lies in store at the many ski resorts less than two hours away – and the 500-year-old Christmas Market (Salzburger Christkindlmarkt) livens up the recipes of the 17th and 18th centuries, served claim to fame revolves around The Sound of Cathedral Square (Domplatz) in the heart of in the Stiftskeller St Peter (St Peter’s Cellar) Music. A whole new generation of fans has the Old Town from late November with craft – the oldest restaurant in Central Europe, been created by the latest stage production stalls, choirs, gluhwein and roast chestnuts first mentioned during Charlemagne’s visit of the musical, currently touring Britain, and and almonds. The annual 10-day Mozart in 803 – during the intervals of a recital by the successful BBC series, How Do You Week music festival (www.mozarteum.at) musicians in period costume. Solve A Problem Like Maria?, which made takes place each January, featuring many Connie Fisher an overnight success, repris- international artists. High on Mozart ing the role originally made famous by Julie Spring brings crisp days, flowers galore and My wife and I opted for an alternative din- Andrews. ner and concert in the 930-year-old Based on pre-war events Hohensalzburg Fortress, dining on high which happened to the local von with stunning views across fields and ham- Trapp family, the movie lets to the nearby mountains, followed by a was filmed in and Mozart performance in the elegant State around the Rooms overlooking the city. A magical experience, made even more special by the glorious setting sun lighting up the rooftops, cupolas and towers with streaks of gold. Salzburg’s more recent Salzburg Tourist Office Salzburg Tourist Office I Mirabell Palace I Salzburg and the Salzach River July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 19
  16. 16. A day trip into Germany’s Sound of Music country Bavarian Alps can include a boat trip on Konigsee lake Fans of The Sound of to St Bartholoma chapel Music can tour some of and a visit to pretty the locations in the mountain town countryside beyond Berchtesgaden with views Salzburg used in the film, to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest which was based on the mountain-top fortress real-life story of the retreat. singing von Trapp family. A village north of Salzburg You can even sing along to has another musical claim the music as the original to fame.The boatmen’s soundtrack is played church of St Nicholas in the during the four-hour tour, village of Oberndorf was which visits the beautiful where Christmas carol Salzkammergut lake district. Silent Night was first sung Highlights include: Salzburg Tourist Office in 1818.The town was later Leopoldskron Palace, the moved upstream after a front exterior of which was lake, as well as the villages devastating flood, but a used as the von Trapp family of Gosau,Abtenau and Silent Night Memorial home; Hellbrunn Palace, Golling, and the 9,855-foot Chapel was built on the site notable for its trick summit of Mount Dachstein, of the original church in fountains; Fuschlsee lake, Styria’s highest mountain. 1937.A four-hour tour featured in the film’s Salzburg was founded on takes in the chapel and opening sequence; the the fortunes of salt, first Silent Night Museum in pretty village of Gilgen on mined in the nearby nearby Arnsdorf. the shores of Wolfgangsee mountains by the ancient Zell am See is another lake; and Mondsee Celts.The 450-year-old popular excursion.A five- Cathedral, where the Salzwelten Salzburg salt hour trip visits the lake- wedding scene was filmed. mines at Bad Durrnberg side town and 11th century Longer tours also visit the are open year-round and a Hohenwerfen Castle, with World Cultural Heritage guided tour features a raft a cable car ride up to the Site village of Hallstatt, by ride on a subterranean salt Schmittenhoehe mountain Peter Ellegard the shores of Hallstattsee lake. summit. trees bursting with blossom in and around the vivid reds and yellows of trees adding tlement once stood. city. And more music, of course. The Salzburg splashes of colour to the city’s majestic Allow plenty of time to explore the won- Easter Festival (www.osterfestspiele- architecture. The Salzburger Kulturtage derful Old Town area in the heart of salzburg.at) is an annual celebration of classi- (www.kulturvereinigung.org), a more Salzburg, designated a UNESCO World cal music and opera. intimate version of the main Salzburg Heritage Site in 1997. Most of it is a traffic- Summers are usually long and warm, Festival featuring a series of concerts, free pedestrian precinct. I have spent hours with the odd rainy day. Plus the avant- opera and theatre, takes place in October. wandering through the labyrinth of streets, garde dance festival, SommerSzene alleyways and squares as well as venturing (www.sommerszene.net), over 14 days Easy to explore into some of the many stately buildings in June and July, which also features the- Salzburg is easy to explore, both on foot or which grace the skyline. atre, films and visual arts as well as music. by bus – and the good-value Besides the Getreidegasse, other lovely That is followed by the Salzburg Festival SalzburgerLand Card gives free entry to all old streets to amble along, window shop or (www.salzburgerfestspiele.at), the the city’s major attractions as well as free gaze up at facades include Judengasse, city’s long-established music and drama travel on the city’s buses and the Goldgasse, Kaigasse, Linzergasse and festival in July and August which includes Hohensalzburg Fortress cable railway. Steingasse. Their buildings cover the Middle a concert broadcast on an open-air screen The Salzach River cuts the city into two Ages, Romanesque, Baroque and in the city’s Kapitelplatz. halves and is spanned by bridges including Renaissance periods, as well as elegant and Autumn hints at the winter to come the pedestrian-only Mozart, Makart and classical monarchy-era burghers’ houses. with its cooler days (although October is Mulln footbridges. The left bank comprises You can also take in the Old Town sights on the driest month) and chilly nights, the the older part of the city where a Roman set- a traditional fiaker horse and buggy. 20 The Travel & Leisure Magazine July/August 2009
  17. 17. Salzburg facts When to go Any time of year is good to visit Salzburg, with festivals and events throughout the calendar. Be prepared for all weathers and pack a brolly, sweater and warm jacket. Getting there British Airways (www.ba.com) and EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) fly direct to Salzburg from Gatwick during the summer. Ryanair Peter Ellegard (www.ryanair.com) flies from Stansted. Winter charter flights operate for skiers I Ornate rooftops heading to nearby resorts.You can also fly to nearby Munich, with services operated by BA, EasyJet, Lufthansa (www.lufthansa.com) and Aer Lingus (www.aerlingus.com) from London area airports. Accommodation There are a number of hotels in the old part of Salzburg and across the Salzach River.The Blaue Gans boutique art-hotel (www.blauegans.at) makes an excellent base.The oldest inn on the historic Getreidegasse street, this stylish 74-room design hotel is set in one of the city’s oldest houses. Peter Ellegard Tour operators Many operators offer short breaks to Salzburg, including Kirker Holidays I Residence Square (www.kirkerholidays.com), Inghams (www.inghams.co.uk), Crystal (www.crystallakes.co.uk), First Choice (www.firstchoice.co.uk) and Fregata Travel (www.fregatatravel.co.uk). I Salzburg has many fine, old buildings Getting around/attractions Grand edifices Salzburg is walkable, but it is worth Squares include Residence Square investing in a SalzburgerLand Card. It (Residenzplatz) with its ornate equine fountain, combines free entry to 190 sights and Old Market Square (Alter Markt), University attractions in the city and neighbouring Square (Universitatsplatz) and Mozart Square SalzburgerLand region, with free use of city (Mozartplatz), which has a memorial to the buses and discounts off car rental, tours and musical maestro and a tourist information office. cultural events. A six-day card costs 43 Then of course there are its grand edifices. euros for adults and 21.50 euros for Besides the Cathedral (Salzburger Dom) and children, with 12-day cards costing 52 and Peter Ellegard Hohensalzburg Fortress, must-sees include 26 euros respectively. Buy it online at the Residence Palace (Residenz), St. Peter’s www.salzburgerlandcard.com, or from Abbey (Stift St Peter) and its fascinating I Hellbrunn Palace local information centres and some hotels. cemetery, and Mirabell Palace (Schloss Mirabell) with its romantic gardens on the Tourist information right bank of the Salzach. This is one of the Salzburg Tourist Office (Salzburg city): www.salzburg.info city’s most popular places for taking pictures. SalzburgerLand Tourist Office (Salzburg region): www.salzburgerland.com But perhaps best of all is to relax with a coffee Austrian National Tourist Office: 0845 101 1818, www.austria.info or beer in a street-side café/bar or beer garden TL and just let the world go by as you gaze out across one of the world’s most beautiful cities. July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 21
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  19. 19. all ABOARD CRUISING FROM THE UK Home waters Forget the hassles of flying off for the start of your cruise holiday and join the growing numbers of passengers setting sail from Britain. The choice of departure ports and cruise itineraries is surprisingly large, as Sara Macefield explains I Queen Victoria at Southampton H ow do you fancy starting no escaping the buzz and anticipation as the your next holiday from departure time nears and the ship’s band strikes Cruise tips Southampton, Dover, up for the traditional “sailaway” party on deck. G You can take as much luggage as Harwich or even Tower The excitement grows as the funnel blasts you want on ex-UK sailings Bridge? Not only will you and the ship starts to move away from the because there’s no baggage limit, miss out on the stress and quayside. Passengers waving flags and drink- but remember that it’s got to fit in hassles of flying and battling through airport ing brightly-coloured cocktails add to the your cabin. security queues, but you’ll be joining the party atmosphere as they celebrate the start of G Beware the Bay of Biscay. Cruises growing band of British holidaymakers who a journey which, in some cases, will take from the UK to the Mediterranean have discovered the benefits of taking a cruise them from UK shores around the world. have to pass through this, so if from the UK. you’re at all prone to sea-sickness, After all, what could be easier than load- Where can you go? take precautions. ing up the car, driving to, say, Southampton There’s never been a bigger choice of cruises G On Med cruises, pick a ship which and simply stepping aboard? from the UK. has plenty of onboard facilities so It really is as simple as that. All you need Holidaymakers who don’t want to fly can you won’t get bored on the sea to do is drive up to the port terminal, hand now choose from a huge variety of different days spent sailing to and from the over the car keys to a parking attendant and cruise lines and sailings that start at various UK. check in. points around the country. G If you’re sailing south to the sun, Don’t worry about struggling on with suit- These can range from a two-night mini- remember to take some warm cases as they get sent to the cabin separately, cruise to Bruges or Amsterdam right up to a clothes as it can still be chilly in leaving passengers free to go aboard, settle in three-month world cruise or a transatlantic the English Channel. and explore. crossing to New York. The holiday starts immediately, and there’s But the most popular sailings are to the Cunard July/August 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 23

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