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

Customers Reviews

I want to tell you that the arrangements you made were perfect.  Everyone was very happy with the accommodations, guides, drivers, and overall the wonderful welcoming and kind nature of the Lao people.  We thoroughly enjoyed both Settha Palace and the idyllic Burasari Heritage places, our full day sightseeing in Vientiane and in Luang Prabang, and the Mekong cruise to the cave and lao lao village.

Specifically, Xou never stopped talking filling us with history and personal information that we all were absorbing as much as we could.   Similarly, Khen was open and accommodating to everyone’s desires, rich with historical detail, and personally open about his family and earlier life as a novice for 8 years.

Thank you for doing such a wonderful job of making my group’s experience in Laos so positive.  We all left yesterday with compassionate feelings for these warm genuine people.

Mark Stein
Atlas Cruises & Tours, Inc

We had the best time!  It was such an incredible trip and one we will remember forever!  Everything was great.  The Ritz was amazing and the perfect way to end our trip.

We loved it all!  If you want any reviews about specific places, hotels, etc just let me know.  I’d be happy to give more feedback.

Thank you again for all of your help in planning such an amazing honeymoon!

Cheryl F.

My husband and I just returned from the Thailand for which ICS Travel Group provided the tour guides, tours and ground transportation. I wanted you to know that we had an excellent experience! We really enjoyed the sights that were included in our tours, but our guides really elevated our experience to the next level.  They were all very knowledgeable and gave us great insight into the sights, culture, people, customs and meanings of painting and carvings we saw.


One other quick note.  My husband was born in Bangkok and was hoping to find some of the foods he remembers from his childhood.  Krishnant really went over and above to make sure that we found specific items in the market!  We can’t thank her enough for what she did for us.

People are generally quick to complain but not as quick to offer praise and compliments.  I wanted you to know how pleased we are and ask that you pass this information on to the local offices.

Thank you again.  I will be at the Signature conference in Las Vegas next week and hope to meet you in person.

Kind regards,

Victoria Tularaksa, CTC

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.

What Clients are Saying

Thank you for everything you did for my daughter and me for our trip to India in May. Everything went perfectly and I really appreciated all the time and good advice you gave to us. Our guides were absolutely wonderful – knowledgeable and friendly.

Every hotel was perfect and beyond our expectations. It was just great being back in India and seeing it through my daughter’s eyes. I can’t thank you enough for all your great, professional effort and the excellent planning all around.

All best – Robin

Robin Murphy
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications
The Conservation Fund

I was able to speak with our clients regarding their trip. They LOVED it! They loved all the hotels, all the guides were great! They especially liked the foodie evening tour in Bangkok, their female guide was excellent there.

Thanks again for all of your hard work on this one.

Judy Nidetz
Travel Experts

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Our week in Phuket was the trip of a lifetime and I cannot thank you enough for all of your work putting the trip together. Our flights were perfect. Pick up from the airport was smooth and easy and before we knew it we were being whisked away. The villa was stunning and turned an already amazing vacation into an experience we’ll likely be chasing the rest of our lives.

It was an absolutely incredible experience that you should insist on for any future customers headed to Phuket. In short…we had the best vacation ever. Thank you for your hard work and guidance, it was the perfect week in paradise.


Megan Jones

“Top 10 Trip Pics” Bali, by Kwanchanok Meechai

“Top 10 Trip Pics” is a series of posts by ICS staff members around southeast Asia sharing their 10 best pictures from their own trips in our destinations.

“Top 10 Trip Pics” Bali, by Kwanchanok Meechai

Showering on Ayung River.

I went down to check out rafting at Ayung River.  It was very good fun to paddle with your team, scream, and giggle when the guide entertains the team members along the river.  The guide stopped for a shower at a small waterfall along the river.  The water was cold, refreshing and so enjoyable. This tour is great for tourists who love adventure activities and walking. Read more