Hari Raya Celebrations in Malaysia – A colourful festival

The end of the Ramadan months signals the beginning of a festival called Hai Raya Puasa in Malaysia. With most of the population in the country being Muslims, the festivities are celebrated in on a grand scale. Here are some facts about Hari Raya Puasa.

Hari Raya Celebrations | Image Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/people/84493444@N00">William Cho</a>, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hari_Raya_@_The_City_2009_(3826110389).jpg">Hari Raya @ The City 2009 (3826110389)</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode" rel="license">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>

Hari Raya Celebrations | Image Credit: William Cho, Hari Raya @ The City 2009 (3826110389), CC BY-SA 2.0

Before the feast

Ramadan is said to be the 9th month on the Islamic colander is also one of the holiest months for Muslims. During this period, the devotees avoid eating, drinking and smoking during the day. This act of fasting and abstinence is for one to learn good virtues like patience, humility and spirituality while surrendering oneself to Allah. The period of fasting begins at dawn and ends at 4 pm.

Prayer time

During this one month of fasting, Muslims take an extra effort to engage in religious practices. The holiest act that a Muslim can do during this period is to read the Qur’an daily. Tarawih is a recital that includes reading all 30 sections of the Qur’an while at the mosque. It is imperative that the entire Qur’an has been recited throughout the month.

Getting ready

Preparing for Hari Raya means buying new clothes, spring cleaning and cooking up delicious food. Special foods such as dates, lemang (glutinous rice and coconut milk steamed inside bamboo sticks), ketupat (glutinous rice wrapped in weaved pandan leaves). The faithful serve themselves quite a large plate when breaking fast. All kinds of unique foods are sold at fairs only at this time of the year.


The ending of Ramadan is decided by looking at the moon. On the day of celebration, Muslims wake up before dawn and pray, afterwards, they dress up in brand new clothes and take part in special morning rituals. Once this is done, breakfast is served at home and then starts all the fun. If you will be in Malaysia in time for the festivities, try out the Ramadan buffet 2018 in hotels like The Westin Kuala Lumpur to get a taste of one-of-a-kind delicacies served.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

A Valentine Well Spent in Bali – Why this Island is the Pinnacle of Tropical Romance

Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, especially where the tropics are concerned. If you’re seeking a romantic getaway, this island landscape has much to offer.

Pura Taman Ayun

This beautiful temple garden complex is one Bali’s most treasured attractions and renowned across the world for its exotic beauty and tranquil ambiance. It is a place brimming with adventure as well as beauty.

File:1 pura taman ayun bali 2011.jpg

chensiyuan, 1 pura taman ayun bali 2011, CC BY-SA 4.0

Tanah Lot

This refers to a spectacular rock formation that rises out of the sea just off the beach in Tabanan. The name itself means “Land in the Sea”. The landmass was apparently discovered in the 16th century by a Hindu traveller, and eventually, a shrine and temple were built.

File:Pura Tanah Lot.jpg

Flickr user: Jos Dielis https://www.flickr.com/photos/dielis/, Pura Tanah Lot, CC BY 2.0

Ubud Monkey Forest

You don’t always discover a nature reserve and a Hindu temple complex in the same place, but this is the case of the Ubud Monkey Forest, which boasts over 600 Crab-Eating Macaques, and a beautiful Hindu temple complex from the 1300s. It’s easy to access from almost any Bali resort hotel such as the likes of Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort.

File:Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia 03.JPG

Saranabhi, Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia 03, CC BY-SA 3.0

Horseback Riding in Tegalang

Tegallalang is one of the most beautiful and lushly forested destinations in Bali, and experiencing the beauty of this region on horseback along with your partner is bound to be an unforgettable experience.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Thailand’s Royal Barge Procession – Experience an 800-year-old Phenomenon

Thailand is a nation that is full of all kinds of colourful festivities and celebrations. One particular occurrence that will definitely take your breath away is the Royal Barge Procession.

The Beginning

It is not entirely clear when the first royal barge procession took place, but it is widely believed to have been sometime in the 14th century during the Ayutthaya Period. There are many accounts from foreign visitors during this time of grand processions featuring ‘200 boats’.

Modern Processions

There is no concrete date when these processions take place, but are instead used to mark special ceremonies and occurrences. During the reign of the late King Rama IX, a total of 16 royal barge processions were conducted.

Major and Minor Processions

Depending on the occasion, the scale of the procession would change. Major processions are arranged into five rows while minor processions are much smaller in scale and feature less variety where barges are concerned as well.


The procession goes along the Chao Phraya River, commencing from the Wasukri Royal Landing Place and concluding at Wat Arun. This route is quite popular with Bangkok cruises and if you arrange one from an entity such as Anantara Cruises during the time of the procession, it’ll be an experience you won’t forget.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

New Years Eve on Krabi Beach – End the Year with a Bang!

When it comes to New Year’s Eve Krabi has plenty to put forward to travellers, from lush greens to busy markets.

Ride around

Hire a car or bicycle and head off. Krabi has amazing scenery, and a bike ride is the best way to truly enjoy it all. From the lush green forests to limestone karsts that jut out from the deep sea, it’s a sight for the sore eyes.

Now showing Photo, Cycling

Image Credit: Anantara Si Kao Resort

Warm dips

Located in a small jungle, close to the Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve, the hot springs are pools that have been created from the water in smooth rocks, with the hot water passing through volcanic chambers.

Beach parties

Beach parties are an obvious hit when it comes to New Year Eve plans and at Krabi resorts, it is no different. If you are staying at a property like Anantara Si Kao Resort, for example, all you have to do is ask your help desk for the hottest party spots of the night.

Ao Nang Beach

Walk to the beach after an amazing spa or warm dip, and stick around to watch the lanterns and wait for the clock to strike midnight. The spectacular fireworks display will leave you speechless as you welcome the year 2018 with joy.

Rocket, Red, Orange, Fireworks, New Year'S Eve

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Yas Marina Grand Prix – Home to Formula One

The Yas Marina Grand Prix, located in the busiest and one of the most advancing cities in the Middle East, Abu Dhabi attracts the world’s best racers every year to race on this world-class track.


Yas Marina Grand Prix | Img by: Rob Alter via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0

The Race

The Yas Marina Grand Prix is held every November where popular sporting stars such as Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastien Vettel and others head over to the track to race and try their luck at this circuit. As there are a number of tour packages to Dubai, do check how you can attend this star-studded sporting event.

Yas Island

Yas Island is a manmade island off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The Yas Marina Circuit is the second in the Middle East that was constructed for Formula One.

About the track

The track measures a length of 5.554 km, with an area of 161.9 ha. The longest straight measures 1140 m.

Other attractions

If your trip is organized by a tour provider such as My Prime Trip Powered by Hemas Travels, some of the other attractions you can visit is Ferrari World; home to the world’s fastest rollercoaster and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi.





Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

The Vegetarian Festival of Phuket – A Festival to Honour the Nine Emperor Gods

The Vegetarian Festival of Phuket is an annual event that commences on the 20th of October 2017 and lasts a total of eight days.

What is it for?

The vegetarian festival celebrates the Chinese belief that refraining from the consumption of meat and other stimulants will help the believers in obtaining peace of mind and good health.


It is believed that a Chinese opera group contracted malaria while touring the island. Over the next few days, they adopted a vegetarian diet and prayed to the Nine Emperor Gods. After their prayers were answered, the locals celebrated with a festival to honour the Gods.

The Ceremonies

Some of the ceremonies which are held to please the gods include body piercing; with large rods, knives, skewers etc., firewalking and other self-mortification acts.

Where do these take place?

Each of these ceremonies takes places inside the six temples around Phuket; the main one being Jui Tui Shrine, located in the main town. As this is a popular time to visit Phuket, hotel deals are quite easy to find, especially at properties such as Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas. If you’re planning to head here during this time, pre book your stay!

The Commitments

Those participating in the event are to abstain from consuming meat, alcohol and intercourse. Participants are required to ensure their body is clean and white attire is compulsory. People who are mourning, pregnant or menstruating are not allowed to attend or participate in the festival.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.



Artists performing at the Aspire Kite Festival

Artists performing at the Aspire Kite Festival | Doha Stadium Plus Qatar via Flickr , (CC BY 2.0)

Doha, the Qatari capital is a blend of timeless, hallowed Qatari traditions and fast paced modern living. The city attracts visitors by the score who come to sightsee and absorb Qatari culture, manage business and take advantage of a city that is also a shopper’s paradise. Special events like the Doha Kite Festival are also big draws. Souq Waqif is a large souq in Doha selling spices, traditional clothes and many other goods and is home to many restaurants and Shisha Cafes. There are several Souq Waqif hotels and if you want to enjoy Doha with all comforts then the Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels would be a suitable option.

Kite flying is an age old tradition in the Arabian Peninsula and in Qatar this tradition goes back over a 100 years. The modern Doha International Kite festival is a grand celebration of this timeless tradition. Professional kite making traditions are handed down from generation to generation and individual designs and motifs are integrated into kites. Katara is a cultural village Doha’s eastern coast and the area’steady winds are conducive to kite flying. The Doha Kite Festival is held in Katara annually. Beautiful and vibrant hued kites fill the sky and kites with lights make a stunning show.Indian, American,Japanese,Chinese and South Korean Kiting Pilot Teams display their prowess along with others from the world over. The Katara beachfront is clogged with kite vendors and customers and shops are open 24 hours a day. Families also make kites and set up small shops in their homes to sell them.

Along with the flying of kites many other cultural artistic events take place and both on the ground and in the air and its family fun time at the Doha Kite Festival. Vendors will hawk varied food including traditional Qatari and other Arabian food. There will be displays of traditional dance and live music will rend the air.Face painting and storytelling will thrill the kids. Visitors should get to Katara early for the Kite Festival to avoid traffic jams and parking problem.

META: Watch Doha skies become a kaleidoscope of colour with vibrant hued kites and enjoy fun events at the Doha Kite Festival.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan

The phenomenon of the full moon has become an integral aspect of folklore and tradition in many cultures for a multitude of reasons. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that there are a number of celebrations, events and parties that take place commemorating the full moon. While the full moon is of special religious significance to Buddhists, who engage in meritorious deeds and visit the temple during this time, the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon is another event of significance that takes place in Indiana in the United States of America. The Farmer’s Almanac also give different names to the various full moons that occur each month while the ‘Long Night’s Moon’ is considered to be the last full moon of the year. There are also a number of Hindu Festivals that are celebrated during the full moon.

Tourists who visit Koh Phangan during the full moon will be able to witness the vibrant celebration called the Full Moon Party. Having its origins in Haad Rin in Koh Phangan, this particular party takes place on the day of the full moon and lasts through the night. Its popularity is so great that nearby resorts such as Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas even have transport packages that allow guests to partake in the festivities. Tourists who opt for such packages often leave their accommodation early, grab a bite to eat at a Koh Phangan restaurant and make their way to Haad Rin.

On the eve of every full moon, anywhere between five thousand to thirty thousand tourists come together to celebrate the event until the rays of the sun make an appearance in the wee hours of the morning. It has become so popular that many tourists consider it a ‘must-do’ activity when in Thailand. Previously, other editions of the party, such as the ‘Half Moon’ or the ‘Quarter Moon’ party also existed but all these versions were banned by the Government in 2014. At present, only the Full Moon Party takes place.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.


Ramadan Celebration in UAE – A Celebration Like no Other

The UAE is a great destination for tourist who are interested in learning about the Islamic culture and also exploring the great architecture. The UAE as opposed to the other Middle Eastern nations is more relaxed and welcoming towards tourists. One of the greatest periods to be here would be during the Ramadan month. Even though the city takes a much calmer stride, the after fast activities and the festival itself is great to be a part of. An Abu Dhabi luxury hotel would be a great place to start as most hotels have breaking fast meals and they also organise activities and excursions throughout the city. Hotels such as Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara offer a great Iftar spread which gives guests a chance to savour true Arabian delicacies.

During Ramadan, Muslims should not eat, drink or smoke between sunrise and sunset. It is also believed that this allows people to understand what the underprivileged would go through by putting themselves in their shoes.

Sunset marks the period where Muslims break their fast, known as Iftar. This occurs after the evening prayer.

This is a great moment when friends and families come together to share a meal. Often non-muslims are also invited to these. In the UAE tents are set up on streets and especially near mosques to provide those in need with food.

However, if you are a non-Muslim in the UAE during Ramadan there a few things to keep in mind. Eating, drinking and smoking between sunrise and sunset are a punishable offence. Almost all restaurants remain closed for lunch. However one is free to do whatever he or she pleases within their homes.

Eid ul Fitr is a great family celebration which marks the final day of the fasting period. Most companies grant 3 to 4 days holidays.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.


Ramadan in the Maldives – A Venerated Occasion

Ramadan in Maldives

Ramadan in Maldives , Pixabay , CC0 Public Domain


The time of Ramadan is the holy month in the Islamic world and therefore visitors to regions such as Maldives, Abu Dhabi, Qatar for that matter ought to take into account the acceptable practices during this time. During this time of the year, a wide number of restaurants will be closed from sunrise to sunset although luxury Maldives hotels such as the Anantara Hotels, Resort & Spa are usually not affected by this holiday season. Particularly the evening meal of iftar, when the faithful break their fast, is considered to be a social occasion; throughout the country, ifthars are organized where people of diverse nationalities join together in the spirit of the festival.

Muslims are required to fast and to also refrain from drinking liquids, smoking and engaging in sexual activity during this holy month. It is illegal to eat and drink in public places during the month of Ramadan. Most of the shops, too, close during the daytime during the month of Ramadan. However, they open shortly after breaking fast and continue to stay open until midnight, some even later. During this month, it is common to find sales and bargains so keep your eyes peeled for that.

However, as any music other than religious is prohibited during this period, do not expect to go clubbing or relax with a beer after a tiring shopping spree while listening to live music – alcohol is usually not sold during the month too. End of the feasting period is celebrated in a grand manner with Eid el Fitr. It is a massive celebration where the entire community comes together to celebrate. Do join in on the celebrations and be a part and parcel of this unique culture with those who live and breathe the roots of Islamic life.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.