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[Travel Bits] Round up of travel news from around the world

Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival

The annual Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival is a celebration of all thing lotus flowers, while highlighting the importance of preserving wild flowers. As part of the festival celebrations, the event features a variety of lotus flower experience programs such as lotus paper origami and flower soapmaking. This year’s festivities will run from July 8 to 17 at Buyeo’s Seodong Park.

Although nowhere near as popular with tourists as Seoul and Busan, Buyeo continues to strengthen its image as a tourist destination. Located nearby the festival grounds are a number of Baekje cultural and historic sites such as the Baekje Wangneungwon (royal mausoleum), Nakhwaam and the Baekje Historical Museum. 

‘Fun Taipei’ all-inclusive discounted travel package

In an effort to promote travel to Taiwan’s bustling capital city of Taipei, Fun Taipei has unveiled is new all-inclusive discounted travel package.

The Fun Taipei travel deal offers guests round-trip airfare from Incheon to Taipei with China Airlines, hotel accommodation for two nights, two days of free Wi-Fi, a one-day “Easy Pass” travel card as well as a free travel guidebook, all starting at the low price of 274,000 won (excluding taxes and fees). 

The promotional deal will be offer via 18 major Korean tourism agencies including Hana Tour, Mode Tour and YB Tour. Participating hotels include the Taipei Hotel Bstay, Gloria Prince Hotel, Ferrary Hotel, Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel and others.

The Fun Taipei offer will be available for the rest of the year until Dec. 31.

Busan Sea Festival

The annual Busan Sea Festival is gearing up for its 21st year, kicking off this year’s weeklong festivities on Aug. 1.

The festival was launched 20 years ago in an effort to promote the harbor city of Busan as a port-side tourist destination and was Korea’s first general ocean festival. However, now the event has grown to be one of the city’s biggest festivals, offering visitors of all ages the opportunity to view and experience various cultural programs and performances. The festival will also feature a handful of star-filled concerts such as the Cass Summer Concert, Busan International Hip-hop Festival, the Busan International Rock Festival and the 7080 Family Love Concert.

Busan Sea Festival will be held on five beaches throughout the city: Haeundae, Gwangalli, Songdo, Dadaepo and Songjeong until Aug. 7. For more information, visit www.seafestival.co.kr.

Moonlight Tour at Suwon Hwaseong

Similar to the Seoul palaces’ nighttime tour openings, the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress will soon be available to visitors who want to take a nighttime stroll in the historic structure.

From May 21 to July 17, the Suwon Cultural Foundation will open the gates to the UNESCO World Heritage Suwon Hwaseong and Hwaseong Haenggung Palace to the public for a special nighttime program known as “Moonlight Tour at Suwon Hwaseong.” Participants can enjoy various programs such as exploring the palace, attending poetry reading and watch various traditional performances.

Tickets are listed at 20,000 won and must be purchased in advance at interpark.com.

Boryeong Mud Festival 

One of the country’s most highly anticipated festivals of the year, the annual Boryeong Mud Festival attracts the largest number of international visitors of all the country’s top festivals.

Not only can visitors enjoy a myriad of energetic and wild actives such as mud wrestling, mud sliding and even swimming in the mega mud tub, but festival participants can also take part in the marine mud-training course for some added competition and fun as well as enjoy a relaxing mud massage. In the evening, visitors can head to the beach for a lively outdoor party atmosphere with live music and fireworks.

This year’s festival will be held from July 15 to 24.

American Airlines to reward based on dollars, not miles

American Airlines announced it will no longer reward its airlines members with perks based on how many miles they fly, rather with how much passengers spend on tickets. The change, which matches those at Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, starts with flights on Aug. 1 and rewards the airline’s highest-paying passengers.

Elite-status members of American’s AAdvantage frequent-flier program will earn bonus miles for every dollar they spend.

AAdvantage is the oldest and biggest major airline loyalty program, with about 100 million members. American said most members will earn five miles for every dollar they spend on base fares and carrier-imposed fees. That multiple rises to seven, eight or 11 for elites -- gold, platinum and executive-platinum members. (AP)





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