Travel News Lost In Translation?

Photo © AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen- Courtesy
I've seen quite a few errors in the captions of photographs recently, but this one is probably the most misleading. The photograph appeared in the Pictures of the Week on the Denver Post Plog. 

Underneath the photograph is a caption that reads "Eman Mohammed, 7, holds a placard that reads in Arabic, "our army is over our head, and the parliament belongs to the ousted," during a protest in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. The parliament elected in Egypt's first legislative vote after Hosni Mubarak's ouster nearly a year ago held its inaugural session on Monday, with Islamists dominating the 498-seat chamber that will oversee the drafting of a new constitution."

This is incorrect, and is at a 180 degrees divergence from what is on the placard. The correct translation of the Arabic words on the placard is "Our Army is over our head (ie a colloquialism for being held in great esteem)...The Council belongs (or follows) the ousted (for the ousted Mubarak)."

The Council referred to on the placard is not the Parliament, but is the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. This is totally divergent from what the caption incorrectly states. The child is presumably one of the protestors who took part in a demonstration against the military council, not against the civilian Parliament.

I always wondered whether in such a case, would the error be that of the photographer (in this case, an Arabic speaker) or someone else?

Travel News The Hebrides

Photo © Josef Tornick-All Rights Reserved
"I am deeply happy to have found my place, camera in hand, in this world."
I normally do not feature much at all of European subjects, however Josef Tornick's beautiful black & white photographs of the Outer Hebrides and of the Aran Islands (a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of Scotland and a group of islands on the west coast of Ireland respectively) are so well composed, that I thought I'd redress this failing.

Josef describes himself as project-oriented humanist documentary photographer. After years of deep inward study and reflection, he tells is of an effortless flow of images from his camera, reflecting a long sought integration.

Having followed my blog's posts relating to the new Fujifilm cameras, Josef tells me he just bought a Fujifilm FinePix X100 and is amazed by its image quality, which he thinks is much better than his former Panasonic G1.

Travel News 5th Anniversary...Yes, 5th!!!

I always write a post at this time of year to observe the annual anniversary/birthday of The Travel Photographer's blog. I've started the blog five years ago (in London actually, and probably only because I was stuck at home as it was raining) and since then, it attracted an astonishing number of readers and visitors.

On the poster above, I haven't added my 5400 followers on Lightbox, an Android app (and soon to be on iPhone too as well).

Over two million unique visitors! Two million!!!

It established itself as a blog to read amongst a certain segment of the photography industry, and earned me the attention of many photographers (pros, semi-pros and non pros), photo retailers and industry experts. Yes, it's time-consuming (much less so now because it's well known, and requests from photographers find their way to my inbox on a weekly basis), but I still have enough self discipline to attend to it on a daily basis (well, 99% of the time).

And one of the most pleasant thrills I experience is being accosted in public and asked if I was "The Travel Photographer"...and this happens not infrequently, especially in New York City. If I may say so, adopting the brand name "The Travel Photographer" is one of the best ideas I've had in years. A self-pat on the back for thinking of it. A lesson to the younger photographers: brand yourself!!!

Onwards towards the 6th year.

As they say in my country of birth...Insha' Allah!

Travel News Bali Sorgawi Hotel at Kuta, Bali

After about 1 hour and 30 minutes travel from Ubud, we reached the Bali Sorgawi Hotel (S8.71066 E115.17131) at Kuta. We chose this hotel was because of it situated in the heart of Kuta town, shopping area is just a stone throw away...and there are many restaurants, cafes and night life happening here. But the main reason was it's nearby the Bali's Airport.

The alley to Bali Sorgawi Hotel

After the narrow alley (above) along Jalan Legian at Kuta, the Bali Sorgawi Hotel appear in front of us! Our check-in was smooth and we had a short rest in the hotel...

Bali Sorgawi Hotel at Kuta, Bali.

The Reception counter at Lobby of Bali Sorgawi Hotel

The Business Center was just located opposite the Hotel lobby

The swimming pool was just next to it...

The swimming pool just next to the Business Center

Crystal clear water and well maintain...

The cafe area also around the swimming pool area, it had a great view of the pool...

The cafe and restaurant area of Bali Sorgawi Hotel

I like the Balinese design very much!
After glance through the hotel surrounding, we proceed to our room which was at the first floor. Really impressed by the 'Clean and shining' corridor...!

Clean and comfort corridor of the Hotel

Another block of guests room just opoosite the block we stayed...

Our room was the last at 1st floor...yes! It was number '205'.
Every room has 2 wooden chair and a small table outside the room, it was the nice place where I had my 'Bintang' beer during night time! :)

Our room at Bali Sorgawi Hotel.

We took the Family room with bed configuration of 1 queen bed and 1 single bed, package included simple breakfast to 3 persons, Nice fried noodle! (mee goreng). It cost USD60 (about MYR188.00) per day. Well, it was a reasonable price and the room was Spacious!

The booking was simple enough by just sent an enquiry via email to the hotel, no deposit is required. They even have airport transfer if you does not engage a driver. If you pay by credit card, 3% extra will impose in the hotel bill.

Let me show you the room...

1 queen bed and 1 singke bed

Nice Balinese deco of the table...

Spacious sofa area, with a small fridge.

The bathroom is equipped with a bathtub...

Bathroom with bathtub

The room was really spacious enough for 3 persons, and the room also provided the 'international travel adapter' for every visitor from the World, that was Great!

We were satisfied with it except...the 'Unbearable stain' in the bathtub and the 'rusty' wash basin sink!  And I can't find any glass in the room! Weird?!

The staffs here were not quite freindly (hardly to see their smile) my experience. Because they don't provide Hot water to the room, when I call to the room service...they asked me to get it myself at the cafe area.'s the hotel policy!

Anyway, we were OK for A night stay here, I had to say it was really convenient because of the location.

Bali Sorgawi Hotel
Jalan Legian Kelod, Kuta Beach
Bali 80361, Indonesia
phone. +62 (361) 755 266, 763 220
fax. +62 (361) 755 266 

Location map of Bali Sorgawi Hotel at Kuta, Bali

Travel News 2m Visitors Visited Global Village

2m Visitors Visited Global Village
Global Village, a major entertainment venue in Dubai, achieved a new record by hosting two million visitors since its opening on November 1 to the end of December.
This was the highest number of visitors that Global Village attracted, more than any entertainment project in the region with over 200,000 visitors in some weekends, said a statement.
Entertainment and arts performances brought from around the world are witnessing high turnouts, a statement said.
The various products offered by more than 29 pavilions from 45 countries from around the world are attracting large number of buyers, it said.
Out of its keenness to provide more entertainment options, Global Village increased the Fun Fair’s area this year by 30 per cent and added new games suited for all ages.

Travel News Budget Hotels Eyeing Qatar

Mid-Market & Budget Hotels Eyeing Qatar
International hotel chains compete for space in Qatar, a growing number of mid-market and budget hotels have also been eyeing the landscape, hoping to get a piece of the FIFA 2022 action.
More than US $100 billion worth of infrastructure is expected to be developed by 2022 including the construction of 77 new hotels and 42 hotel apartments in Qatar bringing a total of 21,107 new rooms into the Qatari hospitality market.
The growth of mid-range hotels in Qatar (and the greater Middle Eastern region) looks set to mirror Europe’s budget hotel growth twenty years ago, according to a recent report by consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle.
The country has already been tapping into the MICE market with two new conference centres that have been developed and a host of events taking place in 2012, from the World Travel Awards 'Grand Final Gala Ceremony' at Katara Cultural Village on January 11, 2012, to the UN environmental summit in December.

Travel News Sunset of the Tanah Lot Temple, Bali

Visited the Tanah Lot Temple (S8.62073 E115.08705) again in our 2011 Bali's Trip. This is one of my Favorite places in Bali Island. The purpose of this visit was purely for photography, yeah...I'm trying to catch the spectacular sunset of Tanah Lot Temple...
You can view my last blog post about Tanah Lot Temple here.

But that seems like not a good weather for sunset, it was Cloudy...

Cloudy at Tanah Lot Temple, Bali

Let me share some of the photos of Tanah Lot Temple...

Tourists are queuing for the Temple Holy Water...

Pura Tanah Lot, Bali

The wave...

This time I tried to explore more...went to another cape...Scenic view! Breathtaking!

The path to another cape at Tanah Lot Temple area

Nice view but too bad it was cloudy...

This was the dangerous area! No railing at both side till the end of the path! Beware! But it was the Beautiful area for photography...

After I spend about 2 hours enjoying the breathtaking view, a deep breath and end my photography session...
There were still crowded during I walked back...

Many tourists still around...

The different view of Pura Tanah Lot, Bali

Well, I couldn't snap a nice sunset photo of Tanah Lot Temple this time, guess I still need to come back again! :)

Sunset of Tanah Lot Temple 

Location map of Tanah Lot Temple at Bali.

Travel News Bishkek a new route by flydubai

Bishkek a new route by flydubai
Flydubai, a fast growing low-cost carrier, will fly twice weekly to Bishkek in the Kyrgyz Republic, making the city its 50th destination.
This will also expand the airline’s global network to 28 countries across the GCC, Middle East, Africa, Indian Sub-Continent, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe in two and half years of operations.
The new service, which is due to begin on February 7, makes flydubai the first UAE airline to offer direct flights between the Emirates and Kyrgyz Republic.
Flights will depart Dubai on Tuesdays and Fridays, with flights from Bishkek to Dubai leaving on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The Kyrgyz Republic has opened its economy to foreign investment in key industries including metallurgy and is developing its tourism potential. Beauty spots such as Issyk Kul Lake are growing into popular tourist destinations while trekking and camping trails as well as skiing bases are developing all over the country, drawing in travellers locally, regionally and internationally.

Travel News Emirates launches New services

Emirates launches Dublin services
Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, launched its new Dublin route today. It is the third new route to be added to Emirates’ route network in the opening days of 2012 as the airline forges forward with its global expansion.
After the launch of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina on 3rd January 2012, the Irish capital took its position as Emirates’ 118th destination, opening up a new efficient channel via Dubai to key markets such as Australia, India, Thailand, China and the Philippines.
Emirates will serve Dublin daily with an A330-200, providing First Class, Business Class and Economy Class travel.  EK 0161 leaves Dubai at 0700hrs daily and arrives at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 at 1130hrs. EK 0162 departs Dublin at 1255hrs and lands in Dubai at 0025hrs the next day.

On inaugural flight from Dubai were Tim Clark, President, Emirates airline; Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe & Russian Federation; Ram Menen, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President-Cargo; Ciaran Madden, Ireland’s Ambassador to the UAE; Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport; Colm McLoughlin, Vice Chairman, Dubai Duty Free and Niall Gibbons, CEO Tourism Ireland.

“The launch is a tremendous development for both Irish business and Irish tourism,"said Tim Clark, President, Emirates. “We are now connecting Ireland not only to Dubai, but also to over 100 destinations throughout the world. Solid early bookings have demonstrated that the demand is there, opening up new markets for passengers and cargo to and from the Republic.”

Ireland has a population of around 4.5 million. Around 5,000 Irish nationals live in the UAE and approximately 80,000 in Australia, which is a key market. More than 70 passengers on the 237-seat inaugural flight came from bookings in Australia.

Emirates has 70 flights per week to Australia, including an A380 service to Sydney, offering the popular Onboard Lounge, where passengers can meet and chat over a drink at 43,000 feet.

Emirates has received an enthusiastic response to its Ireland launch after announcing the new service in September 2011. Last month, the airline hosted more than 800 guests at a high profile gala event to promote the new service at the Convention Centre Dublin, throwing in a surprise performance from musical legend Lionel Richie.

Emirates Holidays, Emirates’ tour operating arm, will feature Dublin in its 2012 A World of Choice brochure. The annual brochure features over 100 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Indian Ocean, Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Americas, around the airline's network.  Nine hotels and resorts – including six Dublin City hotels and three resorts outside Dublin – will be included in the brochure, as well as additional properties available on request.

Along with the new routes to Dublin, Rio and Buenos Aires, Emirates will start flights to Lusake and Harare on 1st February, Dallas from 2nd February, Seattle effective 1st March, and Ho Chi Minh from 4th  June.

Travel News Made Cafe Bagus Cafe at Jimbaran Bay, Bali.

After the disappointed sunset at Tanah Lot Temple, we proceed to Jimbaran Bay for dinner. This time we decided to try another cafe/restaurant other than LIA Cafe. The duration took us about 30-45 minutes from Tanah Lot Temple to Jimbaran Bay.

We chose the Made Cafe & Bagus Cafe (S8.78052 E115.16482) which was recommended by our drivers.

The staffs here were friendly, we took the packages for total of 7 adults and 1 child. It included 2 glass of Balinese Red Wine and the seafood....
The foods served on our table about 20 minutes, was fast enough!

At first, the chili and the dark sauce were served on table...then following by the vegetables...

The chili and the sauce...

The vegetables

Then follow by all the seafoods...

Balinese baked prawns



Balinese baked lobsters

Balinese baked fish

Every dishes served double...
All dishes were Delicious!! I like the baked fish very much! The lobsters were a bit dry but still Nice! We like the Balinese taste and my daughter had a lot of the prawns...all of the dishes went well with the Bintang Beer!
This is one of the recommended Seafood Restaurant at Jimbaran Bay!

The Bintang beer

The Damage : around IDR800,000 (about MYR285) for 7 adults and 1 child included drinks. That was reasonable!

We took more than 2 hours to enjoy our meals together with the sea breeze...sometimes it's fun to watching the planes take off and landing at the Ngurah Rai International Airport at the other end...

If you visit Jimbaran Bay for seafood dinner, I will recommend you to try this cafe! You won't regret. :)

After the dinner, we said bye-bye to Bali on the next day...Bali, I'll see you again!

Made Cafe & Bagus Cafe at Jimbaran Bay, Bali

Location map of Made Cafe & Bagus Cafe at Jimbaran Bay, Bali

Travel News Bahrain Air to take part in Air Show

Bahrain Air will participate at Bahrain International Air show 2012
Bahrain Air, the kingdom’s second national carrier, will participate at the 2012 Bahrain International Air Show 2012, set to be held from January 19 to 21 at the Sakhir Air Base in Manama.
Captain Ibrahim Al Hamer, managing director, said: “Bahrain Air today operates to 18 destinations and plays a major role in linking Bahrain, the financial center of the Middle East, to major cities in the GCC, Levant, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Europe through Istanbul, with a fleet of modern Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft.”

Richard Nuttall, CEO, Bahrain Air, said: “Whilst 2011 was a difficult year for all in the industry, we are expecting traffic to improve in 2012. Bahrain Air plans to launch six more destinations this year. We have successfully migrated to a new flight booking reservations system, giving our customers more flexibility and additional options for services when they book with us. A passenger can choose from different fares depending on whether price, flexible travel dates or class of service is most important.”
“We are also gradually introducing services such as the ability to select seats, blankets, insurance or even a celebratory cake. We encourage our customers to book early to avail the early bird incentive, where a portion of our tickets are sold at up to 35 percent less than usual market rates,” he added.

Bahrain Air has also enhanced the information and usability of its website based on customer feedback including dedicated sections for both passengers and corporate clients.

Naeem Mahamoor, marketing manager, Bahrain Air, said: “The website is available in both English and Arabic with future regional customisation in the pipeline. Our prime focus for 2012 will be increasing value-added services that offer flexibility and consistency for the various market segments that we serve including business travel, leisure, pilgrim, charters and Mice.”
“Aircraft will soon be refitted with a new business class seat configuration and introduce state-of-the-art on-board entertainment systems for premium class passengers. Such services will be implemented to tailor to the business community’s needs and naturally provided through attractive and competitive fares. We are also revisiting our menu on the different sectors to providing the best localized options to our passengers, Bahrain Air being a hybrid airline, will add value to our premium  class customers in providing a product tailored to the business community’s needs at an attractive fare as we continue to make Bahrain Air the country’s favourite airline”.

Travel News Sofitel’s first incursion into India

Sofitel’s first incursion into India
The new Sofitel Mumbai BKC fits perfectly into the city’s financial hub in the Bandra Kurla Complex, in Sofitel’s first incursion into India.
This five-star luxury hotel offers 302 rooms and suites, nine function spaces, five of Mumbai’s most innovative dining outlets and the sanctuary of a Sofitel So SPA. A heaven for business and leisure travellers, Sofitel Mumbai BKC exudes the seductive charm and vital energy of this dynamic Indian city, graced with French flair and elegance.  Sofitel Mumbai BKC is an ideal blend of French design and Indian culture, reinventing ancient heritage with a modern twist. Drawing its inspiration from Indian temples, carvings, iconic monuments and art, and infiltrated by famed French design, rich history and culinary savours. Re-interpretation of these two complementary worlds creates a whole new experience in a hotel that is one of a kind.