Story Behind the Image | Loy Krathong Festival

In Thailand and parts of Laos and Myanmar, Loy Krathong is celebrated on the full moon of the 12th month in the Buddhist Calendar.

Giant paper lanterns float through the sky

Traditionally and still today, Buddhists and especially couples float Krathongs – small floats made with banana leaves – and a burning incense stick on rivers throughout the country.

In parts of the country and especially in the north, the mood is even more festive as people celebrate with an abundance of fireworks.  Here, a girl lights a traditional firework made of bamboo which is then swung and released into the darkness, creating a dramatic and sparkling orange aura around her. In the distance revelers and locals light giant paper lanterns, resulting in a magical scene along the Chiang Mai skyline.

 

If you would like to see the Loy Krathong Festival yourself, we can help.  Click here to contact us.

Supernatural Asia

In many western countries, the Autumn holidays and festivals of Halloween and the “Day of the Dead” are just around the corner. Although some Southeast Asia countries have adopted these traditions, we would like to share with you some of the magical, supernatural and mythological stories from our destinations to get you in the “spirit” of the season.

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Diwali, Festival of Lights

Diwali candles

Diwali is known as the “Festival of Lights”

Tomorrow, many Hindus will celebrate Diwali, also known as the “festival of lights.”  The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night. In the Western calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.

" The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. "

Diwali also marks a major shopping period in India. In terms of consumer purchases and economic activity, Diwali is the equivalent of Christmas in the west. It is traditionally a time when households purchase new clothing, home refurbishments, gifts, gold and other large purchases. The festival celebrates Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and investment, spending and purchases are considered auspicious. Diwali is a peak buying season for gold and jewelry in India. It is also a major sweets, candy and fireworks buying season, with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of firecrackers are consumed in India over the Diwali season.

Traditions & Beliefs | Traditional Medicine

Traditional medicine is alive throughout Indonesia

.  Traditional medicine is alive throughout Indonesia. Javanese curers called ‘dukun‘ deal with a variety of illnesses of physical, emotional, and spiritual origin through combinations of herbal and magical means.

In north Sumatra, some ethnic curers specialize; for example, Karo bonesetters have many clinics. Herbal medicines and tonics called jamu are both home blended and mass produced.

Did You Know? | Ba Na Cable Car

Did You Know…

…that the cable car in Ba Na, Vietnam was named as one of the “10 Most Amazing Cable Cars Worldwide?”

Ba Na boasts the longest one-line cable car in the world (5,771 m), the largest difference in height between departure and destination (1,369 m), the longest non-stop cable (11,585 m), and the world’s heaviest cable rolls (141 tonnes).

“10 Most Amazing Cable Cars Worldwide”

Does the Ba Na cable car sound like fun? ICS Travel Group has several excursions from Danang to Ba Na mountain.  You can take the cable car up to Ba Na and then to the peak of Chua Mountain at 1487m.  You will visit the monkey area in the the Ba Na forest and the Rainbow waterfall with an arch of colors formed by the sunlight.

After lunch, continue by the Cable Car to Ba Na By Night visiting former French horse cages, wine cellars, the meditation Garden, Old Villas, the Linh Ung pagoda, and the 27m tall Sakyamuni Buddha Statue!

Let us tell you more!  Contact us at sales@is-intl.com

Insider Tips | Pink Beaches and Dragons

We asked Claudia Rogalla (Sales Executive, Munich) what would be her Bucket List trip in 2014…

All the pink beaches worldwide can be counted on two hands

Her answer: “To find a pink beach and a dragon…I want to visit Pink Beach on Komodo Island, Indonesia once in my lifetime.  It is said that the number of pink beaches existing worldwide can be counted on two hands.  Pink Beach on Komodo Island is one of them and is also a World Heritage Site.  The amazing pink colour comes from tiny pieces of coral in the sand.

" During the 6-day cruise aboard the Plataran Komodo I would not only get to visit the beach during the daytime but would also have the chance to do a night dive here. "

In addition, there are guided treks through the two islands of Komodo and Rinca to get a closer look at the legendary Komodo Dragons along with water buffaloes, monkeys, deer and other protected animals. There is also plenty of time to explore the fascinating underwater world by snorkelling and scuba diving. I could swim with the manta rays at Pante Makassar, as well as dive or snorkel at other well-known diving sites including Bidadari Island, Sabolo Island, Batu Bolong, Tatawa, Crystal Rock and the Light House. Sailing on a beautiful intimate wooden boat surrounded by stunning scenery is what a perfect holiday should be.”

If you’d like to find your own pink beach and dragon, contact us at sales@is-intl.com

ICS Bali Donates to Help Fund Craniofacial Operations

On Monday 28 August 2017, our ICS team in Bali delivered donated items to the Smile Shop, a secondhand shop operated by the Yayasan Senyum Indonesia foundation in Nyuh Kuning, Ubud. The sales of secondhand items will be used to fund craniofacial operations. Read more

Ceremonial Blessing at ICS in Yangon, Myanmar

On 7 July, our team in Yangon, Myanmar came together for a monk blessing ceremony in our office for the Full Moon Day of Waso.

The blessing ceremony is a traditional part of Burmese life that has been passed from generation to generation. It combines Buddhist beliefs with social values and Burmese customs and is a wonderful opportunity for people to gather and enjoy the moment together.