John Pond C& 17 June 2016

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The Hidden Gems of Indochina with Insider Journeys.  Indochina is well-known for its breathtaking beauty, history and heritage. It also has many lesser known delights that make it worth exploring further. Asia travel specialists Insider Journeys have developed a list of ‘hidden wonders’ of Indochina.

image001.jpgThere are actually 11 UNESCO World Heritage sites across Indochina. In addition to the expected sites of the Ancient Town of Hoi An, the historic town of Luang Prabang, the beauty of Halong Bay and the temples of Angkor, the first three items on Insider Journeys’ list are some of these lesser known UNESCO gems.

My Son Sanctuary, Vietnam: Nestled in the jungle, a two-hour drive from Hoi An or Danang are the remarkable tower temples of My Son. The site was the capital of the Champa Kingdom for most of its existence from the 2nd to the 15th century, a culture unique to the coast of Vietnam with spiritual origins based on Indian Hinduism.

image005.jpgVat Phou within the Champasak Cultural Landscape, Laos: The Vat Phou Temple complex is a planned landscape which has been preserved over 1,000 years. Associated with the Khmer Empire and designed to depict the relationship between humanity and nature as per Hindu teachings.

Temple of Preah Vihear, Cambodia: Dedicated the Hindu Deity Shiva, this temple pre-dates the more famous Angkor Wat. Its cliff-top location offers sweeping views of the plains below.

Exotic Culinary Delicacies. Indochina is also known for its delicious cuisines. Food is a local obsession, with lively markets, popular local eateries and street stalls abounding. Siem Reap is known for its bustling pub street, traditional jaew dips are a must while in Laos. Insider Journeys is an Indochina specialist offering 52 tours to the region with over 1,500 departures per year.

Starting from $6,185 per person twin share, the comprehensive 19 day Indochina Explorer takes in the history, culture and natural beauty of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It uncovers the museums and monuments of Cambodia, Vietnam’s bustling cities, sparkling bays, ancient relics and delectable cuisine and the ‘Asia of yesteryear’ pace of Laos, with its welcoming people. Visit

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HYATT REGENCY HOTEL FOR SYDNEY. The hotel, will be located at 161 Sussex Street and previously part of the Four Points by Sheraton brand, will be rebranded to Hyatt Regency Sydney at midnight on November 30, 2016, marking the Hyatt Regency brand’s return to Sydney. “We are thrilled to work with M&L Hospitality to bring the Hyatt Regency brand back to Sydney,” said David Udell, group president – Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Hyatt GH_med_1.jpgCorporation. “Hyatt hotels have been operating in Australia for more than 30 years, providing a solid foundation for future growth in what is a dynamic market. This hotel will resonate with business and leisure travelers alike, and furthermore, we believe this hotel will be a leader in providing outstanding exhibition and function spaces so meeting planners can enable attendees to have a great experience.”

Following a significant $250 million redevelopment and refurbishment, Hyatt Regency Sydney will enjoy an unparalleled location in the Sydney Central Business District adjacent to Darling Harbour, providing the perfect setting for corporate, leisure and meeting and events programs. This expansion will also include a new 24-story tower and 222 additional guestrooms, making Hyatt Regency Sydney the largest upscale, full service hotel in Australia with a total room count of 892.

The hotel will feature more than 37,100 square feet (3,450 square meters) of state-of-the-art meeting spaces for events, including two ballrooms that can seat more than 1,000 people. With a four-ton car lift and a four-ton goods lift, as well as a separate coach check-in facility for expedited registration for large groups, the hotel is positioned to become the preferred choice for conference organizers locally and globally. For more information, please visit

espresso.jpgFinest Chocolate and Coffee aboard Silver Spirit . Enjoy the delightful flavours and aromas of South America aboard Silver Spirit, as she sets sail on a 17-day voyage roundtrip of Barbados and Brazil. Taste the finest chocolate and coffee the region and this world has to offer, wander the picturesque rain forests, and explore exotic flora and fauna of the Amazon.

This incredible voyage offers guests the opportunity to savour daily coffee tastings by Illy’s Università del Caffè, and single origin chocolate presentations from Domori accompanied by coffee and chocolate presentations and tastings of Neapolitan cakes desserts and gelatos.

Chocolate.jpgDeparting Bridgetown, Barbados, on 21 November 2016, Silver Spirit makes her first ports at Bequia, St Vincent and Grenadines and St George’s, Grenada where guests can experience white-sandy beaches, secluded coves and be filled by the aromas of locally grown spices.

Silver Spirit continues her journey to Devil’s Island and French Guiana Santarém, Brazil, before travelling to Boca Da Valeria, Manaus, Parintins and Alter do Chãos to explore the villages of the native Amazonians.

Ultra-luxury Silversea has unveiled its new 2017 Voyages and Expeditions digital brochure, now available at The attractive picture book showcases a program of over 260 itineraries exploring seven continents and more than 800 destinations aboard its fleet of nine ocean and expedition ships. “Whether you’re looking for a relaxing voyage to picturesque shores or an exhilarating adventure in exotic lands, our new brochure presents a remarkable range of inspired itineraries and enriching programs that will help you create the perfect luxury vacation experience,” said Karen Christensen, Silversea’s General Manager & Director Sales / Marketing, Australasia.

Carnival Cruise Line Gets a Wiggle . Carnival Cruise Line has announced a new charity partnership in Australia, with its guests set to start wiggling for joy as they donate money to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Carnival Spirit Captain Adriano Binacchi, Carnival Cruise Line VP Australia Jennifer Vandekreeke and Aquanetta Nouata (8).jpgUnder the partnership, guests onboard every Carnival cruise sailing from Australia will be invited to take part in a special “Wiggle for Westmead” top deck dance party to raise funds for the hospital.

The dance event will be held on the last sea day of each cruise, with guests able to join the party by purchasing a special pack featuring a “Wiggle for Westmead” t-shirt and wrist band. Created by Carnival, the packs will cost $15, with 100 per cent of the purchase price donated to the hospital.

Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Australia Jennifer Vandekreeke said the dance parties were just the first step in a relationship which would see the cruise line support the work of the hospital in a number of ways. MORE call 13 31 94, see a travel agent or visit    Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to change. MORE:



About John Pond, J.P.

Pioneer in television as producer of thousands of hours of TV shows on Australian and American television including Graham Kennedy, Tommy Leonetti, People in Conflict, Hollywood Bowl, Major Specials and Dr John‘s Casebook TV Shows. TV manager J. Walter Thompson & McCannErickson Advertising and head of production for Columbia Pictures TV. John changed careers to the hospitality industry working for Sydney’s top 5 star hotel as director of sales and marketing and GM. Then with Harrah’s/Caesar's World, the world’s largest hotel and casino group in Nevada. Playboy Magazine in Chicago, head of worldwide PR/Marketing, for their Resorts, Clubs, Hotels & Casinos. Producer at Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Co-creator of hit US network TV show Joker, Joker, Joker, first TV show to give away a million dollars. Writer travel articles for magazines and newspapers including Washington Post, New York Times, American Playboy as well as local Australian papers and magazines. In the USA represented many personalities including Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, and many other major names. John is Editor at Sea of Australia’s leading cruise magazine, Travel & Cruise writer for The Retiree Magazine, Destinations Magazine and Spectator Group of Newspapers. John reviews cruise ships, Destinations and Hotels, and is ably assisted by his Associate Editor Sandra Tiltman.
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One Response to John Pond C& 17 June 2016

  1. Pingback: John Pond C& 17 June 2016 | – Cruise, Travel & Lifestyle

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