Thursday
Oct242013

Agoda.com readies the welcome mat for Loy Kratong deals in Thailand

Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN), is offering great hotel deals for travelers who would like to experience Loy Kratong, long one of Thailand’s most popular festivals, and widely considered its most romantic and beautiful celebration.

On November 17th this year, the night of the 12th full moon on the traditional Thai calendar, celebrants will head to Thailand’s many rivers, lakes and canals to take part in a tradition that’s hundreds of years old. Honoring Phra Mae Khongkha, the Goddess of Water, the festival gives people a chance to pay respect and give thanks for a (hopefully) bountiful year past, and to ask for continuing good luck in the coming one. Thailand, as a culture with a heavy reliance on agriculture, has long had a deep and vital tie to the availability of water, so it’s no surprise that Loy Kratong is still seen as an important event.

The name of the festival is unique in that it describes – in Thai – exactly what participants are expected to do. Around most any large body of water throughout the country are dozens of vendors offering a huge variety of round little boats – or kratongs – that range from small and simple to large and ornate. Made from wood, bread or cross-sections of bamboo and banana trees, they are often adorned with flowers, leaves, candles, incense and other decorative items. After choosing a kratong, participants head to the water, say a prayer, and float – or loi – their kratong away from shore. For an extra bit of karma, some even include a fingernail clipping or a few strands of hair to symbolize new beginnings.

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Wednesday
Oct162013

Agoda.com gets hotel deals ready for the high-flying Dubai Skyview

Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), is presenting special deals on hotels to help celebrate the Dubai Skyview, a world-class aeronautics event open to the public that runs parallel to the industry-only Dubai Airshow, one of the world’s biggest aerospace events.

First held in 1989, the Dubai Airshow this year has moved into the newly completed Dubai World Central, opening up space to build a new exhibition area where the public can enjoy flying performances and shows. The gargantuan Dubai World Central houses logistics, leisure, commercial and residential districts, all surrounding the giant Al Maktoum International Airport.

For the first time, aviation enthusiasts and lovers of airplanes and aeronautical technology can attend a public event at the same time as the industry event. Taking place from 18-21 November, Dubai Skyview features games, food, and a purpose-built grandstand with room for 6,000 attendees. These front-row seats provide the best view for the displays overhead, as planes rocket back and forth in daring mid-air acrobatics, and some of the biggest, fastest, loudest and deadliest airplanes from the military and civilian sector show off their moves.

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Wednesday
Oct092013

Agoda.com lines up hotel deals for the fun & quirky Lopburi Monkey Festival

Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), is providing special deals on hotels to help celebrate one of the strangest and certainly hairiest festivals in Thailand – the annual Lopburi Monkey Festival. This year the festival will be held on 25 November.

Located about 140km north of Bangkok, the city has long been an important strategic location for various tribes and kingdoms over the past 1,000 years or so. However, these days the town is more famous for its large population of monkeys – specifically, the long-tailed macaque – which are closely identified with the city and can be seen climbing temples, bathing in the river, and scavenging for food throughout the area.

In 1989, a local businessman came up with the idea of organizing an event around the monkeys to bring in tourists and celebrate the town’s most visible natural asset, and the Lopburi Monkey Festival was born. In the 23 years since, it has grown into a major annual event, and this year will provide over 4,000 kg of food for the 3,000 odd monkeys that inhabit the city!

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Wednesday
Oct022013

Agoda.com lays out red carpet deals for the Rome Film Festival

Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), is lining up great hotel deals in Rome in the leadup for the world famous Rome Film Festival.

First held in 2006, the event has quickly become a major occasion for those working within the film industry as well as those who are merely fans. Directors, producers, writers and stars descend on Rome to celebrate their love of the art, participate in seminars and round-table discussions, and attend world premieres from some of the industry’s leading names.

This year the event will be held from November 8-17 at the magnificent Auditorium Parco della Musica, the world’s most-visited musical facility, and will include the world premiere of 16 feature length films, 12 gala screenings of international and European premiere films. There will also be various programs featuring short films, documentaries, exhibitions, meetings and master classes.

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Wednesday
Sep182013

Agoda.com offers great hotel deals for iconic boat race in French Polynesia

 

Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), is showcasing a number of indulgent hotels in French Polynesia, the remote and beautiful Pacific Island nation, to celebrate one of the region’s most famous and grueling events – the annual Hawaiki Nui Va’a boat race, which this year will be held from 6 – 8 November.

Polynesian culture is often recognized but seldom celebrated outside of the islands where it originated, and this race is a great opportunity to combine a world-class vacation with a unique sporting event steeped in tradition. Indeed, the sport is borne of the very same activity that led to permanent settlements on these extremely remote islands. Approximately 2,500 miles from both Hawaii and Auckland, New Zealand, early Polynesian settlers arrived here in special outrigger boats – narrow canoes with a stabilizing float on the side – called va’a in the local language.

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Wednesday
Sep112013

Agoda.com prepares great hotel deals to celebrate Nepal’s trekking season

Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), is offering amazing deals on hotels for hikers, trekkers and adventure seekers in Nepal, one of the most rugged, remote and beautiful countries in the world. The September-November trekking season is a perfect time to go, with cool weather, and generally clear skies.

Trekking in Nepal has become a major part of the country’s economy and its largest source of revenue, so it’s surprising to learn that only a few decades ago it wasn’t even something that existed as an organized activity. In 1965 Jimmy Roberts, a British Colonel and member of the famed and feared Gurkha military unit figured that people might enjoy breathing the crisp, cool air as they trekked across pristine mountain passes in the shadow of some of Earth’s tallest mountains. He devised a system wherein visitors would walk, assisted by Sherpas and support animals that would carry supplies. His idea immediately gained popularity, and visitor numbers have continued to climb ever since – Nepal had almost 600,000 tourist arrivals in 2012.

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Wednesday
Sep042013

Agoda.com presents fantastic hotel deals for an amazing summer trip to Paris

Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), is providing great deals on hotels in Paris to help celebrate the coming end to Summer, as well as many of the fantastic trade shows, exhibitions and fairs that populate the city during this time.

Paris during peak summer travel time is often uncomfortably hot, but once nearer to the end of the season, it becomes an absolute pleasure to stroll around in. Musicians play on street corners, long hours are spent eating and drinking on patios, and there are festivals, fairs, and events large and small that bring in attendees from all over the world. Below Agoda.com presents a few that are worth checking out.

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Wednesday
Aug212013

Agoda.com highlights top hotels for Munich’s Oktoberfest

Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), is getting ready to lift a glass in celebration of the world’s largest fair – the yearly celebration of Oktoberfest, held for 16 days every October in Munich, Germany. This year the festival will be held from September 21 to October 6.

The image of Oktoberfest around the world is one of smiling girls in traditional German Dirndl dresses, holding a 10 or 12 giant mugs of beer. While this is definitely a big part of celebrating with the locals, the festival has come to encompass so much more in its 203-year history.  In 1810, Munich citizens were invited to a giant field to celebrate the wedding of Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The celebrations were held on Theresa’s Meadow – Theresienwiese in German. Both the name and the tradition stuck, and today the celebration is known to locals simply as die Wiesn.

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Wednesday
Aug212013

Agoda.com pinpoints 10 hotels with easy access to Mt. Fuji

Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), is helping travelers to Japan realize one of the most coveted views in the whole country with 10 hotels perfectly located to reward guests with breathtaking vistas of Mount Fuji, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June.

Long considered a sacred home to ancient spirits and a source of great power, Fuji-san, as it is known to locals, is a nearly perfectly symmetrical cone that rises gently out of the surrounding plain. For centuries artists have been reproducing its distinctive shape in every medium imaginable, a practice that boomed when Edo – now Tokyo, and only 100km away – was named the capital in 1600. Indeed, most people are probably familiar with the 19th-century woodblock print titled The Great Wave off Kanagawa, part of the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series by famed artist Katsushika Hokusai. The print shows a massive wave towering over several small boats, with Mount Fuji standing silently far in the background.

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Wednesday
Aug142013

Agoda.com winds up hotel deals in Hong Kong to celebrate world famous exhibitions on gems, jewellery and watches

Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), is calling fans of jewellry, gems and timepieces to Hong Kong for two events that represent the very best of these specialized industries – the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, and the First Asia Haute Horlogerie Exhibition.

Held this year from 11-15 September, the Jewellery & Gem Fair is the world’s number one jewellery event, hosting over 50,000 buyers from around the world who come to inspect the wares of over 3,500 exhibitors displaying a huge variety of jewellery, gemstones, equipment and services.

In fact, the event is so big that it must be held in two venues – the AsiaWorld-Expo and the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre – offering a total of 135,000 sq.m of exhibition space. Attendees can browse an unprecedented range of products, talk with exhibitors from 22 countries, and visit the 16,000sq.m diamond pavilion, assembled under the banner of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and the Israel Diamond Institute.

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