Monday 18 February 2013


Credits: Nam Ho Travel
Article written for  

Greece is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, ranking in the world's top 20 countries. According to the Greek Ministry of Tourism, the nation received about 17 million visitors from January to mid August 2007, a large number for a small country of 11 million. Visitors are drawn to the country's beaches and reliable sunny summer weather, its nightlife, historical sites and natural beauty.


Visit the Historic Sites in Athens
When considering things to do in Greece, it only seems natural to schedule an itinerary for Athens. Athens has some of the most famous attractions in Greece, from the Acropolis to the Parliament Building at Syntagma Square. The world class museums in Athens, like the National Archaeological Museum and the Benaki Museum, are more than worthy of a visit, and will give added insight and understanding into the many historic Greece attractions spread throughout the country. Wander around the ancient agora and visit the Kallimarmaron stadium to see where the ancient Panathenaic Games were held.

Soak Up Some Sun in the Greek Islands
This is easily among the top things to do in Greece. Especially in the summer, the beaches of Greece are at the top of the list of attractions in Greece. While you can find plenty of isolated and serene beaches on both the mainland and the islands, the summer nightlife found at many island beaches is among the best in all of Europe. On islands like Crete, Santorini and Mykonos, the beaches are the place to be in the summer. Scores of tourists and native Greeks head to the Greek islands beaches to enjoy the refreshing blue waters of the Aegean Sea and take in the evening sunsets. There are also many naturist beaches in the Greek islands, if you are looking for them.

Take in a Show during the Hellenic Festival
Every summer in Athens, the Hellenic Festival is in full swing, and it is among the most popular and significant events in Greece. The Hellenic Festival celebrates the performance arts and at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre, musical and dance performances by international and national artists are featured. The ancient theatre provides a stunning venue for such shows. There are also popular music concerts held during the festival atop Lykavittos Hill and theatre performances at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus and the Little Theatre of Epidaurus. Where better to see a recreation of a Greek tragedy than in Athens?

Take a Bus and Guided Tour to Olympia
Among the many attractions in Greece, the ruins at Olympia are one of the most popular. From Athens, or the city of Pyrgos, you can arrange a guided tour to these ruins to get the full appreciation. Tourist attractions in Greece rarely get more historically significant than this. Olympia was the location for the ancient Olympic Games and here you will find the remnants of an old stadium and sprinting track, as well as the ruins of the once great Temple of Zeus. The Temple of Zeus once housed the great Statue of Zeus, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Visit the Soaring Rocks and Monasteries of Meteora
First of all, the landscape is amazing here. The rocks of Meteora are a conglomeration of natural rocks at the edge of the Pindus Mountains that rise to form pinnacles in the sky. These rocks were a place of refuge for monks who built an amazing series of monasteries dating back to the 13th century. Of the original 24 monasteries, only 6 remain, and they are almost unbelievably perched among the rocks. The Church of the Metamorphosis is the most famous remaining monastery and offers a wonderful small museum. This area easily ranks among the best Greece attractions.

Take a Wine Tour on the Islands of Crete and Santorini
Greek wine is steadily gaining popularity, and as if these islands weren’t already among the top tourist attractions in Greece, you can add a wine tour on them to your list of things to do in Greece. On the island of Santorini, the volcanic-rich soil makes for some unique tasting wines. On Crete, wine production can be traced back in history to the Minoans, and visiting one of today’s wineries is a nice diversion in between enjoying the mountains and beaches of Crete.

Capital of Greece: Athens
Official language: Greek
The currency: Euro(€)
Time Greece: GMT +2

Greece has a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine, mild temperatures and a limited amount of rainfall. 

Due to the country's geographical position, its rugged relief and its distribution between the mainland and the sea, there is great variation in Greece's climate. 

In summer, the dry hot days are cooled by seasonal winds called the meltemi, while mountainous regions have generally lower temperatures.

The winters are mild in lowland areas, with a minimum amount of snow and ice, yet, mountains are usually snow-covered. Moreover, a common phenomenon is the occurrence of different climactic conditions during the same season (for instance, mild heat in coastal areas and cool temperatures in mountainous regions).

Please check with your Travel Agent.

This article was submitted by Nam Ho Travel (A member of NATAS)

Wednesday 13 February 2013

The Confession of A Shopaholic: First Short Trip to Bangkok!

Author: Sophia Loh
Article written for
Copyrighted, 2013

I’ve always hear people telling me how Bangkok (BKK) is a shopping paradise, and I couldn’t wait to grab on that opportunity to travel to BKK when I was having my vacation. Embarking on a 4D3N Trip, I was about to discover the true meaning of a “shopaholic”.

Prior to travelling, I checked with my family and friends who have been to BKK before and ask them for their advices on where I should go to. I also did my own research – it’s helpful and it cuts down unnecessary time that could be better spent exploring the capital! So here’s a few that I have gathered, for those who have not been to BKK before and would like to have an awesome shopping trip!

* Note: The suggested are just some of my preferences; moreover, I did not have the luxury for spending more days at Bangkok. Bangkok has way too many shopping malls to suit every kind of lifestyle and budgets, so take time to find yours!

1) Platinum Fashion Mall, Pratunam: 

Do not be deceived by the appearance of this shopping mall – Not only is it MEGA-HUGE, I believe spending 1-2 days at the Platinum Fashion Mall might not help you to truly cover every retail shop. If my memory did not fail me, there are 2 sections in this mall. Do plan your time wisely as you will not realize how fast time passes in the indoor shopping mall!

Also, one of the hotel front office personnel told me that Platinum Fashion Mall is more for tourists/ shopaholics who are interested in Thailand’s modern and street style fashion. The Platinum Fashion Mall is also “Thailand’s largest stylist wholesale & retail fashion mall”! Indeed, it is fantastic place for buyers interested in getting wholesale! As a frequent customer who patronizes online blogshops, you can imagine my horror when I found out that I could get the same items at half the price over at the Platinum Fashion Mall.

Remember to keep your tummy full amidst the shopping craze, you can easily purchase a value card at the food court if you intend to spend more than 1 day at this shopping mall. The unused value can be refunded back as well! J

2) Chatuchak Market: 3 Words – SHOIK & HOT!

Endless Crowds
Street Performances
If you have ever been to a pasar-malam in Singapore or to Bugis Street, you will find yourself at a familiar scene in Chatuchak Market. This is a ‘MUST-GO’ place during weekends and oh my, the shopping here is beyond your imagination.

The Chatuchak Market is made up of 26 sections and different sections may stand for different categories. For example, Section 3 and 4 is Clothing/Accessories and Section XX may be Garden Equipment. Do refer to the below picture for a clearer illustration! My friend and I wanted to explore the section of ‘Fighting Cock’ but the market is simply way too big to really make sense of your exact location. It is like a huge maze and my advice is: If you see something that you really like, you should buy it straight away! Because the chances of finding the same stall is slim.

I spent my weekends mostly at the Chatuchak Market because I really had such a great time shopping at the market. Head on early to the Chatuchak Market because they close their stalls rather early – by 6pm I supposed. Some of the things sold at the Chatuchak Market can also be found at shopping malls such as the Platinum Fashion Mall but at a slightly cheaper rate!

Oh did I mention about the weather there? It is really hot and humid!!! Thank goodness to the drink stalls along the way. I would highly recommend the coconut drink because it is really refreshing! If you are hungry, fret not. Food stalls are available and they are really yummy too!

3) MBK, Siam: 

This is the place to go if you are into IT gadgets and sports equipment! You can get really good deals at MBK but do take your time to find the best deal if you are interested in let’s say, getting a canon camera or a mini-ipad. J The gadgets should be really cheaper over at MBK because I see tourists lugging big television sets; it is those scene that you will see at Courts mega-sale!
Outside of MBK, you will also discover many small stalls set up along the roads. Sadly, I only found out about this on the last day of my trip!

4) CentralWorld, Siam: 

Lastly, this is the shopping mall to visit for those who are interested in ‘Atas’ shopping, or rather, anyone who has no budget constraints! I would say CentralWorld is like our Ion/Paragon. Certainly, I do not think you can bargain over here because the brands featured in CentralWorld are international brands such as Zara, Timberland, Naraya, Cath Kidson etc. I enjoy my short visit at the CentralWorld and you can take beautiful pictures at night outside CentralWorld!

Of course, no shopping trips are completed without foot massages! Simply ask the taxi-uncles or the hotel staff for directions. If you are a self-confess shopaholic, or are intending to revamp your entire wardrobe, you will definitely not want to miss those $8 foot massages deals – something that you can never find in Singapore!

So till then, this sums up my short trip over at Bangkok! :) 

The author is a student of University of Las Vegas (UNLV)