Travel news: Get festive in historic Penang this month

Plus, take a stroll on new walking tours of Japan and Hilton opens in Stone Town, Zanzibar.

The rooftop Taarab restaurant at the new DoubleTree by Hilton Zanzibar. Courtesy DoubleTree by Hilton Zanzibar
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Get festive in historic Penang this month

Travellers to Malaysia have two more weeks to enjoy the George Town Festival, which runs in the capital of Penang until August 31. The annual festival draws about 200,000 visitors to the Unesco World Heritage-listed old town, for a wide selection of local and international events and performances encompassing history, literature, food, art, photography, local crafts (including binding, ceramics and jewellery), dance and film.

The event coincides with a shopping carnival that’s held in Kuala Lumpur until September 1.

For more details of the festival and to see its programme, visit For general information on tourism to Malaysia, visit

Take a stroll on new walking tours of Japan

A Japan-based walking and cultural-tours specialist is offering two new tours for visitors to the country, which is becoming an increasingly popular destination for travellers from the UAE. The Walk Japan trips depart in November, allowing visitors to see the autumnal colours of the Japanese countryside.

The first trip, the 10-day Kunisaki Trek, begins on the island of Kyushu and finishes in Yufuin a hot-springs resort near Mount Yufu. With a guide, the group explores local life through ancient trails, with high-quality food and accommodation. Prices start at Dh14,000 per person, including accommodation, guide, food and internal transport; departures are on November 5 and 19.

The second trip is a six-day circuit of Mount Fuji, departing on November 10, starting in Tokyo and finishing in Hakone. The trip is a walking tour of the hills and countryside surrounding Japan’s iconic peak, and it also offers a range of autumnal colours and a mixture of urban, rural and mountain terrain that introduces both historic and modern Japan, with views of Mount Fuji and the surrounding mountains and lakes. The final day is spent relaxing in the thermal hot springs of Hakone. This trip costs from Dh8,760 per person, including accommodation, guide, food and internal transport.

To book, visit

Hilton opens in Stone Town, Zanzibar

Visitors to the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar now have a more mainstream accommodation option in Zanzibar City's historic centre, Stone Town. The new DoubleTree by Hilton Zanzibar sits in a refurbished old building among other historic structures in the Unesco-listed old town. The property has 58 rooms, featuring hand-carved furniture, 40-inch TVs, a roof terrace, restaurant and cafe. It's the brand's third hotel in Tanzania. Rooms from US$87 (Dh320) per night, including taxes (; 00255 242 234 062).

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