Top 5 wedding destinations in Asia

P1_feature picture_HeryPortrait-OneThreeOneFour
Audrey Magazine (by Pauline Yang):
While this is surely an exciting time for engaged couples, you don’t need me to tell you that it can be stressful planning a wedding. For instance, those who have close relatives in foreign countries may end up with guests who simply can’t make it because a trip to America is expensive. This is just one of the reasons many couples are now opting for a destination wedding in Asia. It can be easier for some relatives to travel to, and with the right budgeting, a wedding in Asia can even be less expensive than having a wedding in America. Sounds like a win-win!

So if you’re considering a wedding in Asia, we’re here to help! Check out our top 5 wedding destinations as well as specific locations we recommend to have the wedding of your dreams.

1. Taiwan – Lakeside Luxury

P1_Fleur de Chine Hotel

Taiwan has become a global trendsetter in the wedding industry, inviting international couples to celebrate the beginning of a new life together on the beautiful island. Many find that they are able to have more lavish parties and photoshoots for a fraction of the price. Taiwan has proven to be a great choice for those on a budget but don’t want to compromise on their happy day.

Where in Taiwan?
One of the eight wonders of Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake is a scenic jewel in the island’s mountainous heart. The romantic lake transforms throughout the day to create different moods. In the early morning it is misty and mysterious. During the day it is a mirror of the mountains and forests that surround it. At sunset it shimmers with gold dust, and after dark, the lights of the villages and temples reflect gently across its surface. A stay at the Fleur de Chine Hotel, situated on the northern peninsula of the Sun Moon Lake, presents these magnificent views, as well as services and accommodations for an elegant outdoor wedding. Under the sun and moon, surrounded by the sky and earth, couples will surely take home sweet, unforgettable memories.

2. Indonesia – Island Dreams

P1_Nirwana Bali Resort

For those dreaming of a storybook wedding, Indonesia can provide dreamy backdrops and vivid imagery. With botanical gardens, intimate beaches and cliff top venues overlooking the Indian Ocean, Bali effortlessly sets the scene for romance.

Where in Indonesia?
Consider Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort for your stay and venue. The picturesque property transports guests to an otherworldly setting where postcards come to life. Pan Pacific’s grand location, luxurious facilities and excellent service was recently selected to host Miss World. Guests can play around on the award-winning Greg Norman golf course and enjoy spectacular sunsets over the Indian Ocean. The resort’s spacious coastline lawns serve as a perfect wedding location with incredible views of Tanah Lot and its iconic temple.

3. Singapore – Chic Cityscape

P1_Marina Bay Sands

If you opt for a more modern wedding in the city, Singapore is your place to go. The island country is known for its surreal city skyline. Singapore is not only considered one of the safest places to live, it is also boasted to be the food capital of the world. Sounds like a solid place for a wedding!

Where in Singapore?
Marina Bay Sands Singapore
is home to the futuristic Skypark, one of many iconic architectural buildings in Singapore. Its daring design and breathtaking rooftop decks, including the world’s largest infinity pool at 57 stories above ground, draw many couples to this contemporary resort. The Skypark’s landscaped rooftop gardens offers 360-degree views of Singapore and its offshore islands, easily becoming the most photogenic venue for couples tying the knot. World-class chefs and culinary concepts are also available to satisfy every taste.

4. Thailand – Golden Hours

P1_Four Seasons Golden Triangle

A country rich with culture and beautiful scenery, Thailand is one of the most versatile destinations for a wedding. From nature parks and beaches to Buddhist temples, there is a venue for every bride’s vision. Thailand’s prime location in the center of Asia also makes it a sensible choice for those inviting relatives from all over Asia.

Where in Thailand?
The Four Seasons Tented Camp, situated in an elephant sanctuary in the jungles of northern Thailand’s Golden Triangle, is right on the border of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Intimate tented camps perched on private platforms receive six-star service to ensure guests have the best experience during their stay. Still not convinced? Imagine dressing in soft Thai silks while riding a gentle elephant through the bamboo jungle before your wedding ceremony. Yes, it’s just as beautiful as it sounds.

5. India – Heaven in the Hills

P1_Tree of Life Resorts

There are many hidden gems in India when it comes to finding the perfect getaway. Its long history and strong cultural traditions make India a special destination to experience. For instance, the “pink city” of Jaipur is a popular choice for those interested in exploring the diversity of wedding venues available, such as ornate palaces, old mansions and private villas.

Where in India?
Nestled in the undulating Aravalli hills is the gorgeous Tree of Life Resort & Spa. This venue features 14 luxury villas built using local styles and designs to reflect Rajasthan’s long architectural history. Complete with an infinity pool at its center and private outdoor spas for each villa, this resort was created with a vision of a heaven away from the bustle of city life. Guests also have the opportunity to dine in their villa from a personalized 4-course menu that guests can design daily with the head chef’s help. Talk about an extravagant getaway!

Chinese wealth transforms South Korea’s Jeju Island

Wall Street Journal/NY Times:

When Kim Ho-san opened an apparel store on South Korea’s southernmost resort island of Jeju in 2012, she was well-positioned to benefit from a rising flow of Chinese tourists.

Six months later, the 36-year-old was asked by her landlord to leave. As visitors from China drove up sales, the property owner told her he wanted to run his own shop on the site to cash in, she says.

Since then, the number of Chinese visitors to Jeju has soared, bringing wealth and jobs but also generating tension among locals, as well as some resentment toward the tourists. Locals say scuffles occasionally break out between Koreans and Chinese visitors in shops and bars.

A surge in property investment from China is also reshaping the local economy and juicing land prices. Condominiums, hotels and casinos are springing up around the island—a development welcomed by local officials eager to boost the sleepy island economy but opposed by some residents and businesses. One Korean-run hotel has erected a banner to deny rumors that it had been bought by Chinese after it was boycotted by some locals.

A map from Kim Tae-il, a professor at Jeju National University, based on data from the Jeju government, shows land owned by Chinese developers or individuals in Jeju.
A map from Kim Tae-il, a professor at Jeju National University, based on data from the Jeju government, shows land owned by Chinese developers or individuals in Jeju.

Land owned by Chinese individuals and developers on Jeju, known for its white beaches, volcanic landscape and clean air, more than doubled last year. One catalyst is South Korea’s offer of permanent-resident status for big foreign investors on Jeju, allowing them the same medical, education and employment benefits as South Koreans.

Kim Tae-il, a professor at Jeju National University, likens it to a real-estate frenzy in Hawaii in the late 1970s among Japanese investors who bought skyscrapers, condos and other property as the yen surged against the dollar.

The Chinese have come to town and have started buying without worrying about price—just like the Japanese did in Hawaii,” he said.

Reflecting rising incomes and eased travel restrictions, the Chinese were the world’s largest group of outbound travelers last year, taking more than 100 million trips outside the mainland. Research firm CLSA expects that figure to double by 2020, an attractive potential economic boost for countries that can lure in Chinese travelers.

South Korea has been particularly welcoming for Chinese visitors to Jeju, exempting them from visas needed to visit other parts of the country. The popularity of South Korean pop music and TV dramas in China and a gradual appreciation of the Chinese currency has also helped draw visitors. So has geography: Jeju is a one-hour flight from Shanghai and 2½ hours from Beijing. “The major reason for most people to travel to Jeju is that it’s visa-free. And the price for group travel is so cheap,” said Willa Wu, a Hangzhou, China, businesswoman who has traveled to Jeju several times.

The number of Chinese visitors to Jeju jumped 58% to 2.9 million people last year, almost a half of a record 6.1 million Chinese tourists to South Korea in 2014. In another move to jump start the local economy, authorities eased investment rules in February 2010, giving permanent residency to foreigners who purchase property worth at least 500 million won ($450,450) in designated districts and who keep them for five years.

Until tourism transformed Jeju, it was a sleepy island dedicated mainly to farming and fishing. So many men left the island for better jobs that the predominance of women was one of the three things the island was most known for. The other two were wind and volcanic rocks.

As South Korea’s economy exploded, the island became a favorite destination not only of South Korean honeymooners, but also for school trips. (Most of the 304 people killed in a ferry accident last April were students headed to Jeju.)

For a time in the last several years, Jeju was especially welcoming to the Chinese, whom officials thought could help vault the island from a regional destination to an international one.

Although South Koreans have long ensured that Chinatowns did not form in their cities, Jeju became the first province to give one of its busiest shopping districts a Chinese name. Baojian Street was named after a Chinese health care product company that brought 11,000 employees to Jeju on incentive tours in 2011.

Lisa Xue, 60, a Chinese tourist on a recent visit, said she and others were attracted to the island by its proximity — just a two-hour flight from Beijing — while wealthy Chinese saw it as a good place to buy property.

But in the last year or so, local news media and critics began accusing Chinese real estate investors of “encroaching upon” Korean land. They also complained that most of the Chinese tourists were brought to Jeju by Chinese tourist agencies and not only violated some social mores, but often stayed, ate and shopped in Chinese-controlled hotels, restaurants and shopping centers.

In a survey of 1,000 islanders last year, 68 percent said the growing number of Chinese tourists did not help Jeju’s development.

Pot-sticker paradise, hot-spring hotel just outside of Tokyo makes for a tasty retreat

feature

RocketNews 24:

Ask a Japanese person to give some examples of Chinese food, and they’ll likely reply with things like chaahan (fried rice) and the quintessential gyoza (pot-stickers). With their crispy fried outsides and juicy, flavorful insides, you can’t go wrong with gyoza, and many would say that Chinese food chain GYOZANOMANSYU (餃子の満州), based in the Kanto region of Japan, is the leader of them all.

Those wishing to take the gyoza experience a bit further can visit the hot-spring hotel Toumeikan in Gunma Prefecture, managed by GYOZANOMANSYU, and for a mere 5,900 yen per night (roughly US$59) you can stay in one of their cozy Japanese-style rooms, take a relaxing soak in the onsen hot springs, and get your fill at their breakfast buffet. Located deep in the mountains of Gunma, yet within a two- to three-hour drive from Tokyo, makes this a great place for a weekend getaway. Albeit one involving lots of garlic and chives.

Being located in the mountains means the area gets a bit of snow in the winter, so a word of caution to those making the trip by car – you may need to bring chains. If you’re not confident enough driving in the snow, it might be best to opt for public transportation instead, or to wait for spring.

1

2

3

After the long drive, what better way to unwind than by taking a soak in the onsen? The water is beautifully clean and the temperature just right for relaxing, and you can move freely between the indoor tubs and the outdoor bath (called rotenburo). You’ll want to make sure to wash yourself down first before hopping in, though, as is custom before entering the baths in Japanese onsen.

You’ll probably be hungry once you’ve finished your soak, so it’s GYOZANOMASYU to the rescue with some piping-hot gyoza to fill your belly and a cold beer to cool you off. Of course, you’re not just limited to dumplings – there are other Chinese dishes aplenty to satiate your cravings, and you can eat and drink your fill for around 1,500 yen ($12.50).

5

6

7

8

12

The breakfast buffet, which is included in the cost of your stay, includes various Chinese-style side dishes, a salad bar, rice, soup, and more.

9

10

11

If you’re looking to get away for the weekend, relax, and eat some great food without breaking the bank, Toumeikan may be just the spot.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Link

Five of Japan’s most unique snow-covered hot spring bathing sites

RocketNews 24:

6FFB51DFDC854389ABA5152459F9AEFB_L

If you’ve ever experienced a soak in a hot outdoor spring, or rotenburo, in the middle of the snow, you’ll know the incredible sensation of extreme cold and heat on your body is an experience that’s hard to beat. With the best of the snow still to come in January and February, we’ve found five of the best snow-covered hot spring destinations perfect for a weekend getaway. From water slides to goblin masks, this collection of winter snowscapes will help you beat the winter chill in the most unique way possible.

1. Kita Onsen, Tochigi Prefecture

If you’re looking for a little-known hot spring with gorgeous snow views not far from Tokyo, Kita Onsen is definitely the place to go. Hidden in a mountain valley and accessible only on foot, cars have to be parked a ten minute walk uphill from the tiny onsen town. While the baths here can be enjoyed throughout the year, the silence in winter as you approach the area is truly magical. Surrounded by wooden buildings from the Edo, Meiji and Showa periods, a journey here is like stepping back in time.

BE0F73EC72864961A12B332463642D29_L

▼ Kita onsen is said to have been discovered by a tengu, a long-nosed mountain goblin, about 1,200 years ago. A special bath is adorned with huge tengu masks in honour of its mythical founder.

7143B414947F4992B729698A15AFFA41_L

▼ The women’s bath, with a lovely view of snow, was used exclusively by daughters of noblemen in the Edo period.

C02ECF63007141D8984E63E439D026AD_L

▼ The most famous of Kita onsen’s three baths is the hot spring swimming pool. The 15 x 10 metre bath has a unique water slide popular with children and although it’s a mixed bath, for use by both men and women, towels and bathing costumes can be worn. Another unique aspect is that swimming, usually taboo in hot spring culture, is accepted here.

79D2B8FBB2094203B6AE8307C9E094EA_L

2. Tamago-yu, Takayu Onsen, Fukushima

The smell of sulphur in the area is a good sign of fresh hot spring activity and mineral-rich waters perfect for nurturing the skin. Tamago-yu, literally meaning egg spring, may sound a little off-putting but the bathwater is said to give you slippery smooth skin like that of an egg. The waters here flow 100% direct from the hot spring source, which is the most sought after type of onsen.

37CCA5FA1CD5454A8B9488541D53FE00_L

▼ Tamago-yu is located inside a picturesque thatch-roofed hut. Filled with natural light during the day and lamplight by night, this hut was built in the Meiji era (1868-1912).

s_0_VcContents_C-0_VcContentsTextArea_C001

▼ The mixed bath inside the hut is revered for its waters which come direct from the hot spring source. While the water is originally clear, once it comes into contact with the air it takes on a milky appearance.

47

▼ The design of the hut allows for air to flow freely through the structure, giving you the outdoor experience but with a greater amount of privacy.

1582116EB260435F988906EDF9DA5B7A_L

3. Jigokudani Monkey Park, Nagano Prefecture

The hot spring in Jigokudani, literally “hell’s valley”, is famous for being the only place in the world where monkeys can be seen bathing in hot springs. The family of Japanese macaques, commonly known as snow monkeys, draw thousands of tourists to the area every year.

地獄谷の猿たち02_2

地獄谷の猿たち03_2

▼ When the monkeys come down to the spring from their homes in the mountains, they feed only on small seeds scattered by workers. Visitors aren’t allowed to feed or touch the wild animals, which means the monkeys run around without even acknowledging the people around them.

DSC04961

▼ Korakukan Ryokan is just across the river from the monkey park. The outdoor spring at the inn is reserved for humans but monkeys often take a dip here too. The entire valley becomes a stunning snowscape in winter.

DSC04944

DSC05014

▼ The Monkey Park and inn can only be accessed by foot. The 30 minute walk from the nearest car park in winter takes you through some gorgeous scenery.

DSC05064

4. Yagen Onsen, Aomori Prefecture

At the northernmost tip of the Japanese mainland lies a hot spring with a 400-year-old history. Easily accessed from the Hotel New Yagen, you can get an indication of the snowfall around here from the height of the snow on the signboard.

C07110C5DA80435EBBC5F8DDA7665FAC_L

▼ The Yagen hot spring is accessed from a long corridor which goes through a national park and winds up at the side of a mountain stream.

2DB1FDAD1C0640EC8E983E70A5DF10A8_L

▼ While there are other outdoor onsen in the area, this one is popular as it provides some shelter from the cold while also being open to nature. Many visitors commend the fact that the return trip to their rooms is covered, which helps keep the warmth from their soak in their bodies.

5A176AF15A284DCD971BD79A5494EA72_L

5. Magoroku Onsen, Akita Prefecture

Akita’s well-known Nyuto onsen town is famous as a hot spring destination but one of its most beautiful springs is actually a secret, hidden spring known as Magoroku Onsen. Located deep in the mountains, the rustic inn on site offers a series of baths along the river which send out plumes of steam, creating a beautiful atmosphere.

EC2AD1A54A71453EA69A41FE25AFC630_L

▼ One of the baths inside a small hut is called Ishi no furo, or stone bath, and is said to be great at weather forecasting. If the water is muddy, there will be bad weather and if the water is clear, the weather will be fine.

キャプチャ2

▼ The hot spring water from utase-yu, cascading hot spring water, is great for soothing sore back muscles.

キャプチャ3

▼ A quick run from the indoor bath to the outdoor bath is an invigorating experience!

キャプチャ4

With landscapes and experiences as beautiful as these, we hope you get a chance to step outdoors over the break and brave the winter as it descends itself upon Japan. The best way to fight the chill is with some warmth, and there’s no better place to get it than with a good, long soak in an outdoor tub!

Check out this link:

Five of Japan’s most unique snow-covered hot spring bathing sites

Link

There is a resort in Japan that’s basically a “Cloud Palace”…

This is Tomamu Resort which sits on the island of Hokkaido, Japan.

This is Tomamu Resort which sits on the island of Hokkaido, Japan.

The terrace of resort (Unkai Terrace) sits so high on the mountain top that it’s above the cloud cover.

The terrace of resort (Unkai Terrace) sits so high on the mountain top that it's above the cloud cover.

And you basically feel like an Asgardian demigod looking out over the five realms.

And you basically feel like an Asgardian demigod looking out over the five realms.

Or Rainbow Dash chilling in her epic cloud palace.

Or Rainbow Dash chilling in her epic cloud palace.

As your neighbors, Khaleesi’s dragons fly by.

As your neighbors, Khaleesi's dragons fly by.

Basically let’s all quit our jobs, go to Japan, and live in the sky.

Basically let's all quit our jobs, go to Japan, and live in the sky.
Check out this link: