Monthly Archives: December 2015

Thai International’s Popular Destinations Of Bangkok & Hong Kong Are Fantastic For Chinese New Year

Bangkok and Hong Kong are two of the major cities in which to celebrate Chinese New Year. As major travel hubs, both are served extensively by flights from around the world and for those revelers wanting to experience the celebrations in both places there are daily flights linking the two operated by numerous carriers including Thai national flag carrier Thai Airways International.

 

Chinese New Year’s Day in 2016 is on 8 February, and celebrations can stretch for about two weeks up to the Spring Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the new Lunar Year.

 

In the Thai capital Bangkok, Chinese New Year celebrations are mainly centered around the large Chinatown area, known locally as Yaowarat, which becomes thronged with crowds of people. While Chinese New Year is a big event, the Lunar New Year is not an official national holiday and government offices and services remain open. Some businesses may close for the Chinese New Year.

 

On the day before Chinese New Year, Chinatown bustles with various events and small parades in an entertaining build up to the following day. On Chinese New Year’s day itself drummers, lion dancers and a long dragon make their way to major temples.

 

The next day is largely considered a day of rest, although there are still events taking place around Chinatown.

 

The Spring Lantern Festival marks the official end to the Spring Festival and colourful lanterns can be seen everywhere.

 

In Hong Kong a central element of the Chinese New Year celebrations is the International Chinese New Year Night Parade in the Tsim Sha Tsui tourist district of Kowloon. Each year tens of thousands line the streets to watch this dazzling spectacle of local and international performers that transforms the habourfront area into a giant outdoor street party.

 

In 2015 the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade saw around 150,000 people take to Tsim Sha Tsui’s streets, and the 2016 event is promising the usual fantastic spectacle.

 

In Hong Kong most government offices, banks and public utilities close for the Chinese New Year public holidays. However, most shops and restaurants in the busiest districts remain open, some shopping malls may extend their service hours and major attractions, theme parks and public transport operate as usual.

 

Street markets and stalls usually close on the first and second day of the Chinese New Year (8 and 9 February in 2016) and resume business from the third day.

 

The Hong Kong Pulse 3D Light Show that lights up the nighttime Hong Kong sky by Victoria Harbour, will coincide with Chinese New Year celebrations from 10 to 29 February 2016. This spectacular 3D light show with exciting audiovisual effects plays four times each night at 8.20 pm, 8.45 pm, 9.15 pm and 9.45 pm with each session lasting about eight minutes.

 

The show is a sight to behold, as it turns the iconic Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui into colourful canvases, adding to the festive ambience.

 

As the Thai national flag carrier, Thai Airways International or THAI flies to Bangkok from more than 60 destinations around the world, including 48 points in 19 countries in the Asia Pacific region, 11 cities in Europe and two in the Middle East. This provides plenty of choice for travelers to book international flights to Thailand and also to book flights from Bangkok to destinations like Hong Kong.

 

They can search the Thai airline’s website for great deals on flights to Thailand, and if traveling from Europe or the United Kingdom, for example, can book flights from london to Bangkok, flights from Frankfurt to Bangkok or flights from other destinations in the region.

 

While online they can also read up on the Royal Orchid Holidays product of THAI and the rewards to be enjoyed as a member of the Thai airline’s Royal Orchid Plus frequent flyer program.

Travel Wrap Versus Baby Blanket

Most parents would not even consider a travel wrap, they are familiar with the baby blankets and that is what they assume they will need when they have a baby. However, people who have discovered them have realised they are not just a gimmick invented so you will feel obliged to spend money on yet another baby product, but actually a really great improvement of the standard blanket.

There are several wraps that I am aware of on the market but the particular travel wrap that I am familiar with is fantastic because it has so many uses and solves so many problems. I think people feel put off by the fact that they will need to spend a bit more and that a cheap baby blanket will do the same job, but of course that is simply not the case.

The travel wrap fits into a buggy or car seat or anything with a three or five point harness; it is shaped so it lays flat within the seat. The straps thread through the holes so the wrap almost becomes part of the seat, as soon as you are ready to go out on a journey you simply but the baby or child into the seat and strap them in as you would normally.

If you then need the blanket because its chilly you can wrap them up, of course if you do not need it you can simply leave it unwrapped. You dont need to prepare when you go out because the travel wrap is always there ready to go. The wrap incorporates a hood which means you can also keep their head warm and avoid the need to buy hats. Of course the additional benefits are that, because it covers the seat it protects it, so any mess or spills can easily be removed by taking the wrap out and washing it, there is no need to wash or scrub down the buggy or car seat.

The other great benefit is that the child is sitting on the travel wrap so it is impossible for it to fall off and get dirty or lost. You dont need to dress your child in outdoor clothing such as coats or snowsuits, because when they are wrapped they are completely covered and it keeps them warm all the way round, not just their front. Therefore saving you even more time and making going out a joy instead of a chore.

Of course if you find a travel wrap too expensive you could always ask friends and family to contribute towards it or look around for second hand options. Its something that you will get a lot of use from and of course you can always hand it down to other children you may have or to someone else when your baby has grown out of it.

Why Are Grizzly Bears Hunted

While thankfully, due to modern day conservation efforts, the practice is in decline, Grizzly Bears, and indeed other species of bears, have been hunted by some cultures for centuries. Hunters have always favoured them as a prize because of their perceived ferocity and size, but hunting practices vary depending on location, species, and laws.

Hunting methods and the reasons for hunting these magnificent animals have also changed throughout history.

Pelts for Warmth

People hunt bears for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is for their pelt. A bears fur comprises two layers: the under fur, which is thick, soft and insulating, and the outer guard hairs that are coarser and protect the animal from dirt, insects and debris. While the fur of Grizzly Bears has always been sought after, it was the fur of the Black Bears that was held as more valuable in the American West. The animals’ fur was used to make the bearskins that were used as part of a uniform of many army regiments. In other parts of the world, the Inuit use the fur of Polar Bears to make warm clothing.

Food

Throughout history, bear meat has always been considered a delicacy, although in the Middle Ages it served a more symbolic than culinary purpose. In Russian and Ainu cultures bear meat was eaten regularly and paws and thighs were believed to be the tastiest parts. The Inuit, of course, eat Polar Bears and often bake or boil the meat into a stew. (Polar Bear liver is highly toxic due of the high levels of vitamin A, so the meat has to be well cooked.) Whatever species, bear meat is an acquired taste, being sweet, coarse and greasy. The fat was historically used in cooking by American settlers and Native Americans and also used to fuel lamps.

Medicinal Purposes

Some Native American tribes used bear fat for medicinal purposes and in Chinese medicine it is the gall bladder that is highly sought after. Traditional Chinese medicine denotes that the urso-deoxycholic acid found in a bears gall bladder can help combat rheumatism, gallstones and bad eyesight.

So, as with most animals, throughout history Grizzly Bears have been hunted mainly because of the value placed on their physical attributes. With today’s more forward thinking conservation efforts focusing on the preservation instead of decimation of the world’s wildlife, the Grizzly Bears, along with their cousins from other species, can look forward to a far more certain future and some level of protection from human hunters.

Reason The Bear Do Hibernation

Hibernation is one part of their existence that always proves a popular topic among wildlife enthusiasts. If you have booked on to one of the range of organised bear tours, you will no doubt be travelling at a time when animals are no longer in hibernation, as you would be unlikely to see any otherwise. But what is hibernation, really, and why do these animals spend months in a deep slumber surviving with no sustenance at all?

Why do Bears Hibernate?

Bears hibernate through pure necessity. Conditions in their habitat can be harsh and, particularly in winter, the animals find it very hard to function efficiently when food is often scarce and temperatures plummet. It is therefore easier and more effective for them to become dormant and sleep through the hard times, thus conserving energy and staying warm. During hibernation their metabolism slows down and fat reserves are used up at a slow and steady rate. They eat and drink nothing when they hibernate and therefore do not need to eliminate waste either.

What About in Captivity?

If you don’t get the opportunity to go on any of the fantastic bear tours available, you can always visit a zoo to observe the animals up close and personal. While its nowhere near the same experience, bears in captivity do not need to hibernate so you can usually observe them at any time. Food is plentiful, as is water, so therefore the animals do not need to become dormant to survive. They may, however, simply through an evolutionary mechanism, slow down in the wintertime and become more listless and eat less. A bear in captivity displays much the same behaviour as one in the wild and so, due to instinct, it will often sleep during the day. Pregnant bears in captivity usually still hibernate as a way of conserving energy for their offspring.

How Long do they Hibernate?

Hibernation begins in October and comes to an end sometime in April or May. Spring brings with it new growth and a plentiful supply of nutrient-rich food sources, which encourages the reflex to awaken and replenish their reserves.

If you embark on one of the excellent bear tours run by a reputable and experienced wildlife travel company, the trip will be led by an expert guide well versed in the animals’ behaviour and their yearly (and daily) cycles. You’ll be able to gain a fascinating insight into these wonderful creatures.