The Finest Spas – Asia and Oceania

May 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Attractions, General Fun

Taking a break from your travels to enjoy a spa break can be the highlight of any trip around the world. The quality of spa resorts in many regions of Asia and Oceania is truly exceptional, with spa packages offering treatments found nowhere else in the world.

If you appreciate the benefits of a truly good pampering, you will rejoice in the tranquil calm of spa days at these unique resorts. Factor just one of them into your holiday or traveling excursion and experience first hand the remarkable expertise of some of the world’s best practitioners of massage, beauty treatments and relaxation techniques.

Fiji Beach Resort and Spa, Fiji

Managed by the Hilton hotel group, the Fiji Beach Resort and Spa is one of the world’s most exclusive and unique places to spend a relaxing vacation. Located on Denarau Island and spread over 1.5 kilometres of idyllic beachfront, the resort offers world class spa days in a setting that will take your breath away. Unique experiences such as the tropical beach Massage Bure have helped the resort win nominations for two Pervonia Asia Pacific awards, and the resort’s spa manager Lauren Hudson will make sure that your visit to the spa exceeds all your expectations.

Waiwera Thermal Resort and Spa, New Zealand

Just north of Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island, the Waiwera Thermal Resort and Spa attracts over 350,000 visitors each year. For over 100 years, the resort has been welcoming travellers to the invigorating warmth of its natural thermal pools, and in 2011 a visit to Waiwera offers a whole host of unique experiences, such as being able to watch your favourite films in the Movie Pool.

The spa offers a wide range of beauty treatments, theraputic massages and acupuncture healing sessions, all within a resort that has an other-worldly feel to it. Waiwera is a great place for people traveling with children, with its many fun pools and water slides.

Chiva-Som Resort and Spa, Thailand

Nestled amid seven acres of lush tropical gardens, the beachfront resort of Chiva-Som in Hua Hin on the gulf of Thailand is one of the world’s best-loved spas. The gleaming array of awards that adorn the entrance to the resort tell their own story, while the standard of accommodation, food and facilities at this world-renowned relaxation centre is peerless. The spa includes experiences such as a kinesis studio, private watsu pools, kneipp baths and holistic health treatments. The spa cuisine, like everything else at Chiva-Som, has won numerous awards for providing guests with a sensational, cleansing diet during their stay.

Kusatsu Onsen Hot Sptin and Spa, Japan

Two hours from Tokyo, in Gunma prefecture, Kusatsu Onsen attracts 3 million visitors to its naturally-cooled spring waters every year. Japan boasts more natural hot springs than any other country in the world and treats them with reverential respect, protecting the purity of the water to ensure that the bathing experience is physically and spiritually enriching. ‘Spring quality first’ is the motto of the resort, which claims: “The theraputic benefits of Kusatsu’s water are so high, the traditional Kusatsu folk song praises it as able to ‘cure everything but love sickness’.” As well as hot spring bathing, Kusatsu offers truly unique accommodation and cuisine – this place has to be visited to be appreciated.

The Zuri Kumarakom, Kerala Resort and Spa, India

Dubbed ‘God’s own Spa’, the Maya Spa the Zuri Kumarakom aims to help its guests achieve the full potential of their body and mind. The spa won the award for Best Resort Spa in India in 2007 and 2008 and continues to wow its guests with therapies and treatments like Ayurveda, hydrotherapy, solar therapies, Swedish and Thai massages, Sabai stone therapy and a range of steam rooms, saunas and pools. Food and accommodation at the resort is among some of the finest in the region, offering luxurious lodgings and dining against a backdrop of emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves.

If you are planning a visit to Asia, don’t forget to check out Unearthing Asia, the best Asia travel portal focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. We have got some of the best travel ideas and car rental information in the region of Asia, such as this list of must-try Malaysian foods.

A Backpacker’s Guide to India

India is one of the most varied and beautiful countries in the world – a heady mix of beautiful beaches, lush rice fields, holy temples and hectic cities. Its city streets are a riot of color, and its peaceful natural landscapes and breathtaking architecture inspire even the most jaded traveler to find his inner guru.

With cheap food, welcoming locals and hundreds of hostels in India, it’s no surprise this country is a well-trodden stop on the backpacker trail, but visiting such a massive place can be overwhelming – do you start off by trekking around the Himalayas, seek out a hippy-chic beach break or dive in to the dusty streets of Mumbai?

Here is a guide to the destinations that should be at the top of every backpacker’s list!

Goa. Photo credit - Christopher Chan.

Goa. Photo credit - Christopher Chan.

Goa – More than a Hippy Paradise

Goa has been a hippy paradise since the 1960s, when bohemian travelers would head for hedonistic holidays on the 105km sandy coast. The area is still popular with backpackers, who have left a trail of good Goa hostels in their wake.

Most people come for the sun and surf, and trance-y beach parties under the stars. But there’s far more to Goa than meets the eye – this former Portuguese enclave is peppered with historic churches, interesting architecture and a cuisine all of its own.

The Himalayas. Photo credit - FreeBird.

The Himalayas. Photo credit - FreeBird.

Scaling the Heights of Himalayas

The mountain scenery of the Himalayas in the North of India is worth braving even if you are afraid of heights. In the winter ski-enthusiasts flock to the snow-capped peaks, and in the summer adrenaline junkies can try their hands at trekking, rafting, and paragliding. A chairlift to the top promises breathtaking views of one of the most dramatic landscapes in India.

Mumbai. Photo credit - lecercle.

Mumbai. Photo credit - lecercle.

Chaotic Mumbai

Mumbai is one chaotic city – everything seems to be crammed into this sprawling metropolis, from the slum housing to the slick skyscrapers and glamorous restaurants. But the glitzy home of Bollywood is well worth a visit, with ancient Bazaars for bartering, more colonial monuments than you can shake a stick at, and cricket at the Oval.

You may not want to mingle with Mumbai’s mega-moguls in the expensive bars and nightclubs, but there’s something for everyone away from the crowded center. Beach bums can unwind at Chowpatty beach, before marveling at the Shiva sculpture and temples carved out of the rock at Elephant Island.

Calcutta. Photo credit - RickyDavid.

Calcutta. Photo credit - RickyDavid.

Colorful Calcutta

Despite its poverty-stricken reputation, Calcutta is a fascinating and vibrant city to visit. The home of Mother Theresa, Calcutta has a rich cultural and intellectual heritage, and as the former home of the British Raj, is full of remnants of colonial architecture, from the Victoria Memorial to the Palladian Villas.

North Calcutta is fiercely Bengali, where you’ll find the bust streets of Shambazar thick with colorful market stalls, the city’s oldest church and an impressive Marble Palace. More scenes of local life abound at the Kali Temple at Kalighat.

Delhi. Photo credit - Rob & Ale.

Delhi. Photo credit - Rob & Ale.

Delhi, a tangle of Old and New

The capital is a captivating tangle of old-world villages and ultra modern residences, and you’ll find some of the most fascinating ruins jostling alongside modern shopping malls and cinemas in New Delhi. Check out the ruined 13th century palace along the banks of the Yamuna river, Qtab Minar in the south of the city and Huaz for more awe-inspiring relics.

Delhi is one of the oldest cities in the world, and has racked up an exhausting list of cultural sights – make sure you see the Red Sandstone Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and the Qutub Complex of Mosques and Minarets, a UNESCO world heritage sight with beautiful gardens.

The Taj Mahal in Agra. Photo credit - Stuck in Customs.

The Taj Mahal in Agra. Photo credit - Stuck in Customs.

Impressive Taj Mahal at Agra

An industrial and sprawling city, Agra draw hordes of tourists for the magnificent Taj Mahal, which more than lives up to the hype. But Agra is also home to other impressive architecture left by the Mughal emperors, with grand forts and grand riverside tombs such as the ‘Baby Taj’ Itimad-ud-Daulah.

If you visit Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal on the same day you get a Rs 50 reduction in the ticket price- great for cutting the costs of cultural excursions!

Kerala. Photo credit - Negi.

Kerala. Photo credit - Negi.

Kerala’s Calm Shores

After a hectic city tour, Kerala’s calm shores and sleepy backwaters makes a welcome change. Pace of life is chilled in the heart of Southern India, and the lush green forests are abundant with wildlife. The network of rivers and canals characterize Kerala for most travelers, with lagoons leading to rice paddies, coconut groves and secluded villages.

You can spend a few days stretching out on a slice of golden sand, take a boat trip to traditional towns, or head inland to the hilly Ghats for trekking and spotting exotic animals. The local cuisine is an attraction in itself– food is flavored with cardamom from the spice plantations, served in a banana leaf and eaten by hand, and washed down with coconut milk.

About the Author. Lauren Smith. Lauren writes for HostelBloggers, the Insider’s Guide to Budget Travel. She wants to travel the world on a shoestring, and tries to cram in as much backpacking as possible when she’s not at work!