Archive for the ‘Asia’ Category

Pacific Delight Waives JFK Add-On for NYC Departures of Japan & China Tours

May 11, 2016
Japan-Pacific Delight e2

Pacific Delight Tours is waiving its $200 per person NYC add-on fee for JFK departures for its 10-day Highlights of Japan & China Escapade Experience on bookings received by May 31.

NEW YORK, NY– The Orient just became a little closer for New York City residents as Pacific Delight Tours ( is waiving its $200 per person NYC add-on fee for JFK departures for its 10-day Highlights of Japan & China Escapade Experience on bookings received by May 31 (excludes Aug. 10 and Dec. 7 departures). Additionally, travelers who book departures Oct. 12 – Nov. 9, 2016, will receive an extra $100 per person discount.

After the promotional discounts, the program starts at $4,099 per person (reflective of all discounts factored into the price).

The Japan segment of the program takes guests on a scenic journey from Tokyo to Kyoto, stopping along the way to view amazing vistas from the vantage point of Mount Fuji (pictured right).

Passengers will also be treated to three nights in Beijing, where they will observe historical treasures including the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace.

Accommodations for the 10-day Highlights of Japan & China Escapade Experience may include the New Otani Garden Tower Hotel in Tokyo, Kyoto New Miyako Hotel and Beijing Marriott Hotel City Wall. Pacific Delight reserves the right to substitute for similar accommodations at its discretion.

Air-inclusive pricing is based on travel from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and also includes all intra-Asia air and land transportation, cultural activities and performances, meals as per the itinerary, taxes, fees and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program.

For 45 years, Pacific Delight Tours has been America’s leading tour operator to China and Asia. Among numerous industry awards, the luxury tour operator is a proud winner of the TravelAge West WAVE Award from 2008–2016, the 2009 Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Award, and the 2016 Travvy Award from travAlliancemedia for Best Vacation Packager – Pacific Asia. The company is also a proud member of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).

Pacific Delight remains dedicated to providing unparalleled luxury vacation experiences for its discerning clientele. Its long-standing reputation within the travel agent community is a testament to its unrivaled quality assurance, extensive expertise and top-notch customer service.

For more information, consult your local travel agent, contact Pacific Delight Tours at 800-221-7179, or visit


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Japan Week Returns to New York’s Grand Central Terminal, Feb. 18-20

February 8, 2015

Japan Week PosterJapan Week is back in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall on February 18-20, 2015, featuring ticket giveaways and specials from travel companies.

Japan Week, now in its fourth year, offers access to tourism experts, free literature, showcases of Japanese art, food, and fashion, discounted travel packages, and even free trips to Japan to lucky attendees.  Highlights include:

HOKURIKU SHINKANSEN – Beginning for the first time this Spring, a new bullet train will connect Tokyo and the Hokuriku region in 2 – 2 ½ hours. Famous for its authentic Japanese traditions, picturesque mountains, skiing, seafood, crafts, and resorts, Japan’s Hokuriku region is a remote paradise that’s never been easier to access.

DEPACHIKA FOOD EMPORIUM – Feast on sweets from nine regions across Japan and sample additional authentic Japanese eats including ramen noodles, mazemen noodles, miso soup, green tea, tofu, and takoyaki octopus balls.

CASTLES AND HOT SPRINGS – Japan’s castles were once the homes of royalty and now destinations that will make you feel like a king. Onsen are traditional hot springs said to have restorative powers. Learn about both and how to take a trip back in time.

LUXURY WEDDING KIMONO – Japanese kimono are works of art and wedding kimono are some of the most beautiful and ornate. This year, three different New York couples will present the first ever wedding kimono fitting live in Grand Central.

TICKET GIVEAWAYS AND SPECIALS – Japan Week offers New Yorkers multiple chances to win free tickets to Japan from Delta Air Lines, and all attendees can take home specials from Japanese travel companies and free guides to a wide range of Japanese destinations.

More information on Japan Week’s events, exhibitors, giveaways, and activities will be revealed at, and for all the latest details, follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Last year was a record year for tourism in Japan, with over 13,000,000 traveling to the country from around the world, and Japan Week plans to make 2015 even bigger.  Japan Week is organized by the Japan Tourism Agency and Japan National Tourism Organization.  Its sponsors include Delta Air Lines, Seiko, NHK World, JR-EAST, Amnet, Beard Papa, HIS, House Foods, IACE, ITO EN, the Japan Sake and Sochu Makers Association, Kamakura Shirts, Marukome, Minamoto Kitchoan, Sharp, Sun Noodle, VIZ Media, and Watabe Wedding.  Famous Japanese characters Doraemon and Domo will make special appearances and pose for photos with fans.

Founded in 2012, Japan Week is a promotional event encouraging travel to Japan. It is a cooperative effort between the Japan Tourism Agency, Japan National Tourism Organization, diverse businesses in both New York City and Japan, and local Japanese governments.  It is supported by the Consulate General of Japan in New York.  Japan Week is free and open to the public and encourages New Yorkers to explore Japanese tourism through a wealth of materials on destinations across Japan and displays of traditional Japanese art, food, and fashion.  More information about travel to Japan can be found at


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Pacific Delight Tours Introduces Air-Inclusive Japan & China Program; 10-Day ‘Highlights’ from $3599

February 6, 2014
Meiji Shrine, a Shinto monument to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, in Tokyo, one of the highlights on the 10-day air-inclusive Pacific Delight Tours © 2014 Karen Rubin/

Meiji Shrine, a Shinto monument to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, in Tokyo, one of the highlights on the 10-day air-inclusive Pacific Delight Tours © 2014 Karen Rubin/

Pacific Delight Tours (, is launching new air-inclusive itineraries, such as the 10day Highlights of Japan & China program, starting at $3,599 per person, based on double occupancy, which features some of the most recognizable and iconic sights in Asia.

The tour begins at Tokyo Tower, where guests will enjoy a stunning panoramic vista of the city, followed by a visit to Meiji Shrine, a Shinto monument to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.  Next, the program moves to Tokyo’s Imperial Palace located at the former site of Edo Castle, which was demolished after the Tokugawa shogun was overthrown in 1867.  The Imperial Palace now serves as the royal residence of Japanese Emperor.  Guests will pass the Akasaka Guest House as well as the meeting place of the Japanese House of Representatives and the House of Councilors on their way to the Ginza, Tokyo’s upscale shopping district.

Visitors will drive through Japan’s picturesque Kanagawa Prefecture to Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest, stopping halfway up the mountain for remarkable views.  They’ll view the volcanic terrain of Hakone from the vantage point of a double-wired gondola lift on their way to Owakudani Boiling Valley, referred to locally as the “Valley of Hell” due to the steam escaping from its rugged mountains.  Their experience of Tokyo’s countryside culminates with a tranquil cruise along Lake Ashi revered for its views of Mt. Fuji.

In Kyoto, guests will see Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the Tokugawa Shogunate era in the 17th century, before continuing to Kinkakuji Temple, a Zen temple and garden complex dating back to the late 14th century.  They will also visit Kyoto Imperial Palace, the former residence of Japan’s emperors until 1869.

The program concludes in Beijing, where travelers will observe Tiananmen Square and the extravagant Ming-era Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City.  They’ll also visit the renowned Great Wall as well as the Summer Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the last night of the tour, visitors will have the chance to attend an optional Legend of Kung Fu performance.

This World of Difference® Escapade experience provides travelers with three nights in Tokyo’s New Otani Garden Tower hotel, two nights at the New Miyako hotel in Kyoto and three nights at the Marriott City Wall in Beijing.  The tour also includes transpacific air (LAX/SFO, add $200 for JFK), intra-Japan transportation, an intra-Asia flight, guaranteed land transportation with two passengers, initial arrival and departure transfers, English-speaking guides, eight breakfasts, three lunches and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program.  The program starts at $3,599 per person, based on double occupancy.  Transpacific airfares include all government taxes, fees and airline surcharges.  There is a single supplement available starting at $899.

Travelers seeking a longer tour may opt for Pacific Delight’s air-inclusive 15-Day In-Depth Japan & China program, extending the highlights experience to Xi’an, Shanghai and Wuzhen from $4,199 per person, based on double occupancy.

For more information or to book, consult your local travel agent, contact Pacific Delight Tours at 800-221-7179, 212-818-1781, or visit

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Japan Restaurant Week in NYC, Feb 17-Mar. 16 Evokes Century-Old Culinary Tradition

February 4, 2014
Thirty participating Japanese restaurants will transport diners 100 years back with special traditional dishes during Japan Restaurant Week in New York City, Feb 17-March 16.

Thirty participating Japanese restaurants will transport diners 100 years back with special traditional dishes during Japan Restaurant Week in New York City, Feb 17-March 16.

Thirty participating Japanese restaurants will transport diners 100 years back to Japan with special traditional dishes during Japan Restaurant Week; a sweepstakes tied to the event can win trip to Japan

Japan Week, a public-private partnership that promotes Japanese culture, food, and travel to Japan, announces today that Japanese Restaurant Week 2014 will begin in New York City from February 17 – March 16, 2014 with nearly thirty participating restaurants. The special dishes served will evoke the “100-Year-Old Flavors of Japan” theme, with a focus on the regional cuisines of Japan.

The event is being tied to a sweepstakes to win a free round-trip ticket to Japan.

Highlights of Japan Week include creations that showcase the popularity of Japanese meat from a century ago, such as Wagyu beef and Bluefin tuna sushi from Megu New York, and sukiyaki from Restaurant Nippon. Regional cuisines such as Kanazawa-style curry, sweet-and-sour fried chicken from Miyazaki, mizutaki hot pot from Kyushu, Edo-mae (Tokyo-style) sushi platters, and more.

Some of these dishes will be available for purchase at the Japan Week festival in Grand Central Terminal during March 6-8, 2014.

The participating restaurants are: Go Go Curry, Hakata Tonton, Hakubai, Hatsuhana, Ichie, Inakaya, Izakaya Ariyoshi, Izakaya MEW, Izakaya on Smith, Jado Sushi, Katsuno, Koi SoHo at Trump SoHo NYC, Kuboya, Megu New York, Mira Sushi & Izakaya, Misoya, Ni Japanese Deli, Ramen-Ya West Village, Restaurant Nippon, SakaMai, Sobakoh, Sunrise Mart, Sushi Ann, Sushi Azabu, Sushiden, Torishin, Wasan and Yuba Restaurant.

Additional Japan tourism information and cuisine history will be available at each participating restaurant and on On this website, you can enter a sweepstakes to win a free round-trip Delta ticket to Japan and taste these unique foods in their regions of origin.

Founded in 2012, Japan Week is a promotional tourism event aiming to encourage travel to Japan. It is a cooperative effort between the Japan Tourism Agency, diverse businesses, and local Japanese governments. The multi-dimensional event is open to the general public and promotes Japanese tourism through culture, food and beverages. For more information about Japan Week, visit, Facebook at and follow on Twitter at @JapanWeekNY.

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Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas Offers 29 New Southeast Asia Sailings for 2014-2015

November 19, 2013

Royal Caribbean International has unveiled 29 new Southeast Asia sailings aboard Mariner of the Seas. Starting in November 2014, Mariner of the Seas will homeport at Singapore and sail three- to five-night itineraries, calling at ports such as Phuket, Thailand, and Penang, Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) in Malaysia.

A special seven-night itinerary, departing February 11, 2015, will overnight at Bangkok (Laemchabang), Thailand, and call at Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam. Mariner of the Seas’ winter season will conclude with an eight-night itinerary from Singapore to Shanghai (Baoshan), China, departing on March 7, and featuring an overnight at Hong Kong with calls at Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) and Xiamen, China.

Mariner of the Seas is among six Royal Caribbean ships that exclusively feature the DreamWorks Experience at sea.  Guests can partake in parades, themed activities and other onboard events based on DreamWorks Animation’s popular feature-film characters, including Po of “Kung Fu Panda;” Shrek and Fiona of “Shrek;” and Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, and the Penguins from “Madagascar.” The ship also is equipped with a 3-D movie theater playing the latest DreamWorks Animation films.

Royal Caribbean’s younger guests can enjoy an exhilarating line-up of activities, games and adventures rooted in the popular DreamWorks Animation films in the complimentary and award-winning Adventure Ocean children’s program.

Guests of all ages can meet their favorite characters over the DreamWorks Character breakfast in the main dining room and take advantage of plenty of photo opportunities throughout the day. Additionally, guests can tune-in to DreamWorks Animation programming on a dedicated RCTV channel in every stateroom.

Guests also enjoy the industry’s largest and most premium selection of duty-free shopping, including the first standalone IWC Schaffhausen boutique and the largest luxury and fashion watch store at sea.

The ship’s Casino Royale offers more than 30 table games and nearly 300 slot machines throughout the 9,600 sq. ft. space. Additionally, high-rollers have exclusive access to parlors for high-stakes gaming in comfort, style and privacy.

Mariner of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s Voyager class of ships, which first introduced the active cruise vacation concept. The ships feature iconic Royal Caribbean International amenities such as the rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, a nine-hole mini-golf course, full-size basketball and sports court, and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship and is flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques.

As a truly global cruise brand, Royal Caribbean International caters to an international clientele and deploys its cruise ships throughout the world. On Mariner of the Seas’ Asia cruises, Royal Caribbean offers a culturally enriching cruise experience, in which vacationers will find that the majority of fellow guests are from the Asia-Pacific region and speak languages from the region. While guests will enjoy a more authentic regional experience, including additional onboard choices that reflect the region’s tastes and flavors, English is always spoken by the ship’s staff and crew.

For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow on Facebook at or on Twitter @RoyalCaribbean.

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Malaysia’s New ‘MYPass’ Travel Card Makes It Easier to Travel in Country, Save Money

September 14, 2013

The newly launched ‘MYPass’ travel card enables visitors to Malaysia to conveniently travel within the country and save money. ‘MYPass’ is a prepaid and discount flash card issued by Touch ‘n Go, Malaysia’s leading e-payment service provider. ‘MYPass’ can be used to pay for products and services, in cities such as Kuala Lumpur (KL), the country’s capital, and wherever the Touch ‘n Go signs are displayed, including KL’s public transport, retail stores, restaurants, theme parks, attractions and more.

The card can be reloaded from as low as RM10 and up to a maximum of RM1,500 at convenience stores, transit stations, petrol stations and selected retail outlets. Visitors can purchase, reload, and refund their ‘MYPass’ pack from the ‘MYPass’ Mini Hubs at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Departure Hall Level 5 and The Zon, Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), the moment they land.

‘MYPass’ also comes with a complimentary SIM pack, which includes discount vouchers. Visitors simply need to present the card along with the voucher to enjoy exclusive discounts and other great benefits.

KL’s public transport is operated by different entities. However, visitors can use their ‘MYPass’ to pay the fare on all of the different transit systems including KLIA EKSPRES, the non-stop airport rail service and the fastest way to reach city center. Avoid having to stand in line to purchase tickets or figuring out the fare schedule. Visitors only need to get their ‘MYPass’ and the transit map, and they are set to go. It is recommended that visitors have a minimum of RM10 per day to cover public transport needs during their stay in Malaysia.

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Victoria Cruises Offers Complimentary One-Night A La Carte Dining Upgrade on Yangtze River China Cruises

March 13, 2013
Victoria Cruises operates a variety of itineraries on the Yangtze River in China ranging from four to nine days.

Victoria Cruises operates a variety of itineraries on the Yangtze River in China ranging from four to nine days.

As it prepares its newly renovated fleet for the 2013 cruise season on China’s Yangtze River, Victoria Cruises ( is launching a complimentary one-night à la carte dining upgrade offer. Passengers will enjoy one dinner in the Dynasty Dining room with à la carte dining menu service – an amenity normally reserved for guests enrolled in the cruise line’s VIP Executive Program.

Victoria Cruises works with Philadelphia-based Concepts By Staib, Ltd. to continually improve its culinary program. Internationally-acclaimed chef Walter Staib and his team routinely travel to China to equip the ships and train the culinary staff with the necessary skills and recipes to prepare high-quality Western dishes.

Travelers who book passage on applicable Victoria Cruises’ vessels as part of a packaged vacation from leading U.S.-based tour operators will also have access to the one-night à la carte dining upgrade. For a complete list of operators featuring the cruise line’s Yangtze River sailings, contact Victoria Cruises at 212-818-1680. Visit to learn more about river cruising on China’s mist-shrouded Yangtze.

New York-based Victoria Cruises established new standards of excellence for sailing China’s Yangtze River when its first ship edged out of port in 1994. Victoria Cruises remains the service leader and the only American-managed luxury cruise line on the Yangtze River with the coveted five-star rating from the China National Tourism Administration. Victoria Cruises has earned numerous awards and recognitions over the years including the 2011 TravelAge West WAVE Award Editor’s Pick for Best River Cruise Line as well as Best New River Cruise Ship in 2010 with the launch of the luxurious Victoria Jenna. Travel Weekly also recently selected the Victoria Jenna as a Silver Award Winner for the Magellan Awards’ River Cruise Ship category. The cruise line operates a variety of itineraries on the Yangtze ranging from four to nine days.

For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 57-08 39th Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377; phone (800) 348-8084, (212) 818-1680; fax (212) 818-9889. Send e-mail to or visit

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Context Travel launches scholar-led ‘walking seminars’ of Tokyo, Kyoto

March 2, 2013
A girl with her father admires one of the dolls on view at the Tokyo National Museum © 2013 Karen Rubin/

A girl with her father admires one of the dolls on view at the Tokyo National Museum. Context has a new walking tour of Tokyo that features the Tokyo National Museum © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Context, a critically acclaimed walking tour company whose small-group, scholar-led “walking seminars” have revolutionized day tours in cities across Europe and North America, is continuing its expansion into Asia with the opening of tours in Tokyo and Kyoto. Working with local historians, Context has opened with five innovative tours in each city, designed to help curious visitors understand and appreciate Japanese history and culture.

Offerings in Kyoto include a thematic walk on Japanese garden and landscape design that visits the Golden Pavilion, as well as a tour on Shinto and Buddhism in the historic Gion neighborhood. Context also offers a woodblock printing workshop with a well-regarded master of the craft as part of its ongoing “experiential tours” program in all cities where it operates. Context’s Kyoto experts include historians of 19th century Japan, architects, and culinary writers.

Context’s Tokyo program includes a tour of anime, manga, and other forms of pop culture, focused on the Akihabara neighborhood, an epicenter of such otaku culture. The organization is also offering a walk on Japanese aesthetics in the Omotesando and Harajuku areas, as well as a visit to the Tokyo National Museum, and a three-hour Welcome to Tokyo program in which a local expert meets travelers at their hotel and assists them with the basic logistics of visiting this large, complex city.

“We have been blown away by the local scholars we’ve pulled together in Tokyo and Kyoto,” says Jessica Stewart, expansion manager at Context. “From an anthropologist in Kyoto who researches ghost possession and religious healing to a pop-culture expert in Tokyo who’s authored several scholarly treatments of this topic, we’ve gathered an amazing array of docents. Our clients, who’ve come to expect immersive experiences when they join our walks, are going to love Context in Japan.”

In both Tokyo and Kyoto Context offers walks privately on request and as regularly scheduled shared group walks. Private walks start at ¥32560 for the party, while group walks start at ¥7040 per person.

Context Travel is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead “walking seminars” in twenty-one world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Istanbul, Athens, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Shanghai and Beijing. A certified B Corporation, Context was named one of the fastest growing American companies in 2011 and 2012 by Inc Magazine. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context, visit:


Day One in Tokyo: Hitting Tourist Highlights and slideshow

Day Two: A day in Tokyo spanning all the days of Japan and slideshow

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Kuala Lumpur ranked among top 10 cities for shopping by CNN; Malaysia Year-End Sale goes to Jan 1

November 29, 2012

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) ranked fourth in CNN’s survey on the top 10 best shopping cities in the world, ahead of well-established shopping hubs such as Paris, Hong Kong and Dubai. The top three best shopping cities in the world were New York, London and Tokyo, respectively.

The judging was based on four categories comprised of ease of getting around, value, variety, and experience. Kuala Lumpur scored a total of 30 out of a maximum 40 points: 6 points for getting around, 10 points for value, 8 points for variety, and 6 points for experience. According to CNN International’s travel website, CNNgo, Kuala Lumpur’s impressive score came from its winning combination of high quality shopping, affordable prices and reliable sales, which can stretch for several months, citing 1Malaysia Year-End Sale as an example.

The Malaysia Year-End Sale held this year from November 10, 2012 to January 1, 2013, aims to encourage shoppers from all over the world to come to Malaysia to celebrate the last two months of the year with a fabulous shopping experience. Shoppers have 55 days to take advantage of great discounts and special offers put together by various shopping malls nationwide.

Shopping is a lucrative sector of Malaysia’s tourism industry. It holds the second biggest share of tourist expenditure after accommodation. Last year, tourists spent RM17.5 billion on shopping which constituted 30% of the total receipts of RM58.3 billion. Its important contribution to the economy has led the Government to focus on developing the shopping sector as one of the main tourism drivers. Efforts include positioning the country as a duty-free shopping destination for tourist goods, designating KLCC-Bukit Bintang as a vibrant shopping precinct and establishing three new premium outlets in Malaysia.

The country has more than 320 shopping malls and the top 10 largest shopping malls are bigger in size than the top 10 shopping malls in the UK.

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