April 2015

San Agustin Church

If there is something we like at Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, those are Asian traditions and symbols. That´s why today we are taking you to Philippines to find out more about one of its most important monuments: San Agustin Church.

San Agustin Church is a Roman Catholic Church located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila. It´s the most antique church you can find in the country. It was named a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1976.

The Augustinian Order founded the church in 1571. Originally it was built with bamboo and wood, but after burning during a fire in 1586, it was rebuilt in stone and adobe in 1606. The San Agustin Church was the only building left intact after the Battle of Manila in 1945.

The church has a European architecture. People consider it to be almost an exact copy of Puebla Cathedral in Puebla, Mexico. It contains the tombs of Spanish conquerors Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, Juan de Salcedo and Martin de Goiti.

The San Agustin Museum is right beside the church. It keeps 26 huge oil paintings of different saints, diverse antiquities, numerous religious icons, the Capitulation Room, where Spanish signed the capitulation in 1898, and a crypt, where Philippine notables are buried.

Come enjoy a 100% Asian experience at the luxury resort Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa. Visit our Sanctuary of Wellness, where you will be able to balance your body and your mind thanks to our traditional massages full of ancestral wisdom.

Greenery Day

Today at the luxury hotel Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we celebrate the month of the flowers travelling to Japan to experience one of their most important holidays: the Greenery Day.

The Greenery Day or Midori no hi is a Japanese national holiday, which has been set for nature appreciation. It is held annually on May 4. It falls in the middle of the famous Golden Week, one of the longest holiday periods in Japan running from April 29 to May 5.

It was established in 1989. Until 2006, the Greenery Day was celebrated on April 29, on the Emperor Showa´s birthday, but in 2007, it was moved to May 4.

Originally, the Greenery Day coincided with the Emperor Showa´s birthday due to his love for nature and plants. Hirohito, whose reign lasted for six decades, from 1926 to 1989, is considered as the last divine emperor, descendant of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu.

Currently on April 29, Japanese people celebrate the Showa Day or Showa no hi, which is only and exclusively dedicated to Emperor Showa.

The Greenery Day is a national holiday dedicated to enjoy nature. Japanese culture gives a prominent place to the harmony between men and nature. During this day people plant trees all over Japan and celebrate events and activities related with nature.

At the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we also give special importance to nature. If you visit us, don´t miss out our Botanical Tour, a guided walk through the dense tropical gardens of our Asian corner in the Mediterranean.

The Summer Palace

Every corner in our luxury resort Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa takes you to a place in Asia. Today we are travelling to China, in particular to the country´s capital, to discover one of the most important tourist attractions in Beijing: its famous Summer Palace.

The Summer Palace or Garden of Peace and Harmony, is located in the Haidian District and it´s been opened to the public since 1911.

The construction works began during the Jin Dynasty in the 12th century to accommodate the upcoming emperors as a summer residence.

The Summer Palace was destroyed by the British and French troops during the Second Opium War in 1860. A few years later, in 1890 the Empress Dowager Cixi ordered its reconstruction and once the work was finished the building became known as the Summer Palace.

Surrounding the Palace we can find the Long Corridor, which is 700 meters long, the Marble Boat, the Seventeen Arch Bridge, the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity, and Suzhou Market Street, a recreation of a commercial street.

If you are looking for a place where you can spend your summer holidays and enjoy a few days off, we suggest you the luxury resort Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa. Discover our Asian Paradise!

Ayutthaya Historical Park

Today from the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we are travelling to Thailand, in particular to Ayutthaya, to discover one of the most important corners in the country: the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

The Ayutthaya Historical Park, located 76 kilometres north of Bangkok, contains the remains of the ancient city of Ayutthaya. The capital of the Kingdom of Siam was founded in the year 1350 and destroyed by the Burmese army in 1767.

The Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

The ancient capital of Thailand was one of the main cities of its period. It was one of the most important trading centres in the area. Many of the traders who dealt in Ayutthaya claimed that it was the most magnificent city they have ever seen. They called it the Venice of the East.

Before being attacked by the Burmese army, Ayutthaya had more than 1,500 temples and 4,000 statues. However, Ayutthaya Historical Park has much to offer to its visitors, from palaces to an elephant’s park.

The most important temples at Ayutthaya Historical Park are the Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, one of the first ones to be built at the request of Uthong, founder of Ayutthaya, the What Maha That, the Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, the Wat Lokaya Sutha, which is famous for its huge reclining Buddha image, and the Wat Chaiwatthanaram, one of the most beautiful and best kept ones.

If you are an Asian culture lover, we suggest you to visit the 5 star resorts in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa. Every corner in our hotel takes you to a different place of Asia.

Indian wedding traditions

At the 5 star hotels in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we keep travelling around Asia to find out more about its culture and traditions. Today we are taking you to India to talk to you about its wedding traditions.

A traditional Indian wedding means much more than the marriage between a man and a woman. It is also the union of both families. Indian people celebrate many rites, traditions and ceremonies before, during and after the wedding. These rituals change according to the region, family or caste.

Traditional ceremonies start once the fiancé proposes to his fiancée and she accepts his wedding proposal. However, in order to be able to get married, the couple must go through some rites to check if the union between both of them is right.

First, an astrologer will have to compare their birth cards in order to verify their degree of compatibility and which is the most appropriate date to celebrate the wedding. In addition, a priest will check their family trees for guaranteeing they are not related to each other.

Once the wedding date is set, the groom and his family visit the bride´s family house to determine the dowry. Although law punishes this practice, it remains between Indian families.

Between the rituals Indian people celebrate before the wedding there are: the engagement party, where the couple exchanges the rings and the bride´s family gives gifts to them and his family. The sangeet ceremony, which is exclusively for women, is the bride´s bachelorette party. And the Menhdi, the henna ceremony where women decorate their bodies with henna tattoos.

The wedding day everything focuses on colours. The groom arrives at the wedding on a horse, accompanied by his closest friends and family members, who dance to the rhytm of drums. The bride enters the place with her family and friends. Indian brides usually wear red or pink saris and decorate their bodies with beautiful jewellery. They always wear a necklace, which symbolizes the marriage. The couple lead the celebration seated on a throne.

During the ceremony, the bride must look down and don´t seem happy. She must show through her face that she is sad because of leaving her family house. After the wedding, the bride becomes part of her family in-law.

The celebration can last for days. After the wedding, it takes place the famous Vidai ceremony, which marks the leaving of the newly married couple.

If you are looking for a place to celebrate your wedding, we suggest you the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa. You will surprise your guests due to its magic Asian atmosphere, which will make even more special that day.

The Malacca Straits Mosque

Today from the luxury hotel Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we are travelling to Malaysia to learn more about one of its national symbols: the Malacca Straits Mosque.

The Malacca Straits Mosque, which is known as Malacca´s floating mosque, is located in the famous Strait of Malacca, the longest and busiest strait in the world. UNESCO declared Malacca as a World Heritage Site in 2008.

Malaysia´s King Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail officially opened the mosque on 24th November 2006. It is the one and only mosque built at the coast of the Strait and at the water level. When the water tide is at the right height, it looks likes is floating on the ocean.

One of the reasons that make it stand out from the other mosques is that it is located at a man-made 40 hectares island, which is called Pulau Melaka or Island of Malacca.

This mosque is an extraordinary example of the modern Islamic architecture. Its facade is decorated with beautiful stained glass windows with Islamic motifs. Four big turrets topped with traditional Malaysian rooflines and a minaret, which stands out due to its striking and unusual design; guard the main dome of the mosque.

Originally the mosque was only used as a church and a place of worship, but currently it has become one of the main tourist attractions in Malaysia. Despite its short life, it is already in the spotlight of photographers and architecture enthusiasts.

If you love discovering new Asian corners, we invite you to come to our luxury resort in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa and enjoy our small Asian paradise in the Mediterranean.

The Li River

At the 5 star hotels in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we keep travelling around Asia to discover the hidden secrets of its culture. Today we are taking you to South China to find out about one of the most famous rivers in the country: Li River.

The Li River or Lijiang borns in the Mao’er Mountain in Xing’an County, and flows in southern direction through the cities of GuilinYangshuo and Pingle. Due to its landscape, the river has become one of the main tourist attractions in China. CNN has included it in a ranking of the world’s 15 best rivers for travellers.

One of the most practised activities by tourists and Chinese citizens is the Li River cruise. The most famous trip is the one that goes from Guilin to Yangshuo, over 83 kilometres long.

This is the best way to see the different and attractive corners the region hides such as the Karst Mountains surrounding the river, which have led to many proverbs and legends. Geologists affirm this area was part of a huge ocean 300 million years ago and due to the movements of the continental landmasses the peaks have become what they are today. Another important attraction is the Elephant Trunk Hill, which is known as the symbol of Guilin; the Mural Hill, the Seven Star Park, and the Reed Flute Cave, a cave with a large number of stalactites, stalagmites and rocky curtains.

From the boats people are also able to see the traditional cormorant fishing. Fishermen use cormorant birds to catch sweetfish.

One of the main curiosities behind the Li River is that the image on the reverse side of the 20-Yuan note shows scenery around the river. Besides, the river was part of one the most ancient and important trade routes in South China.

If you like to contemplate Asia´s beautiful natural sceneries, we invite you to discover the pools of our luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa. You will love their spectacular Asian design and the materials used in their construction. Your chance to visit Asia without leaving Spain!

The Jatiluwih rice fields

Every corner in our luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa takes you to a different place in Asia. Today we are travelling to Indonesia, in particular to Bali, to discover one of the wonders of the island: the famous Jatiluwih rice fields.

The Jatiluwih rice fields, whose name in the Balinese dialect is translated to Beautiful Teak, are located about 20 kilometres from Tabanan .There have been named a UNESCO Cultural Landscape. The Jatiluwih rice terraces are one of the largest fields in Bali, as well as one of the most popular tourist attractions. People can go through them either by foot or by car. The intense green colour of the rice fields and the palm trees surrounding them are stunning.

Rice farming is very important for Balinese people. It is the main sustenance in the island of Gods.

The rice fields have existed for over 2,000 years. A ritual always follows the sowing rice; Balinese people must make offerings to the goddess of rice and prosperity Dewi Sri in order to express their gratitude for the good crops and for having such a fertile land.

Jatiluwih´s location, in the plateau of Watukaru Mount, has made farmers design a new organic agriculture system called subak, an intricate system of irrigation paths running in between.

At the Jatiluwih rice fields you will be able to capture postcard moments, but if you are a nature lover, we invite you to the 5 star resorts in Spain Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa and visit our amazing tropical gardens. You will be able to walk around over 50 different species of palm trees! Discover the charm of our Asian garden in the Mediterranean.

Mount Fuji

Today from the luxury hotel Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we are travelling to Japan to discover one of the most important symbols in the country: the Mount Fuji.

The Mount Fuji is an active volcano, located on Honshu Island. It stands on the border between Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures. It is with 3776 meters the highest mountain in Japan. It is considered a national symbol.

UNESCO declared the Mount Fuji as a World Heritage Site in 2013 due to its cultural tradition. The mountain has inspired numerous poets and artists throughout history.

The Mount Fuji is the most photographed place in the country. On a clear day, it can be seen from Tokyo. People can reach the top; it takes about 6 to 8 hours and Japanese people believe that it is something that must be done before dying. The best time to reach the summit is during the summer holidays, when the Fuji is clear of snow.

During the Obon week, between 12 and 20 August, thousands of people climb to the top of the Mount Fuji. This festival commemorates Japanese´s ancestors. People believe their spirits come back to visit their family for these days. All the Fuji´s cabins are decorated with big lights and lanterns, which point ancestors out the path.

There are many legends and curiosities about the Mount Fuji. The snow located on the top of the mountain gets different shapes depending on the season and the melting point. According to Fuji´s residents, the snow found on the north hillside shows the shape of a huge phoenix.

The snow and the clouds on top of the volcano were used to predict the weather and agree on the harvest season. Japanese people also believed they could predict their fortune by observing the shapes of the Mount Fuji´s snow.

At the 5 star resorts in Spain Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we also have our Asian sacred sites. We invite you to discover our wood canoe. Visit Asia without leaving Spain!

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