Friday 20 September 2019

Global village: Beyonce and Jay Z thrill in Thailand

Electrifying: Beyonce
Electrifying: Beyonce

Anna Coogan

Beyonce and Jay Z recently holidayed in Thailand with their three-year-old daughter Blue Ivy, and the family was spotted having fun together on a beach.

Thailand is known for its warm welcome to tourists, and for being a country with an abundance of Buddhist temples, exotic wildlife, and spectacular islands. A big part of the holiday experience is Thai food and massage.

Around 95 per cent of Thai people are practitioners of Theravada Buddhism. Of the country's 65m citizens, seven million live in the capital city, Bangkok, which is where most visitors begin their holiday.

Accommodation varies from five-star luxury spa hotels to beachfront bungalows, and prices, while always good, depend on whether you are visiting during Thailand's off-peak season (May to August), or during the high season (December to February).

The western coast was most affected by the 2004 tsunami but has now recovered.

The family who volunteers together...

Dad of two John Marshall was looking for something different to do for a family holiday, along with his wife of 20 years Traca, his 17-year-old son who was about to leave home, and his 14-year-old daughter who spent her days immersed in social media.

He hoped a trip around the world would be a chance for his family to have fun times together. Without money for luxury, he volunteered his family's time and skills in developing countries.

The Marshalls lived in a monkey sanctuary in Costa Rica, taught English in rural Thailand, and cared for orphans in India.

Marshall's new book, Wide-Open World: How Volunteering Around the Globe Changed One Family's Lives Forever, will be published this month by Ballantine Books.

A new watch for loved-up travellers

Planned for release this year, the Apple Watch will display boarding passes and flight itineraries, as well as emails and travel apps. So there'll be no excuse for missing a flight with one of these on your wrist.

However, a very cute thing about this piece of shiny new technology is how it will let you stay in touch with friends and loved ones while travelling.

You can let loved ones know that you're thinking of them with silent, gentle tap patterns that they'll feel on their wrist if they are also wearing an Apple Watch.

You can customise taps for different people.

Or when you press two fingers on the screen, the built-in heart rate sensor records and sends your heartbeat. A sweet and intimate way to stay in touch.

Fun on a budget around the globe

It's a truth that countries where the cost of living is cheap, can make for good budget holidays if you're watching the cents. has listed the cheapest places in the world to live, and in Europe they include Portugal, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In Asia, places where you'll find exceptional value for money in accommodation and food include Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and the Philippines.

Should you fancy splashing out on a long-haul ticket to a Latin American country on the condition that you'll get great value for your euro when you're there, the places listed are Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

Sunday Independent

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