872 Search Results for "locals"
- From: tibettravel
With the modernization of major cities of Tibet, travelers to Tibet cannot find original Tibetan taste. Many Tibetan people in cities live a modern life, wearing fashion clothes, using latest new mobiles. What you see is just out of your expectation. But making a Tibet trek to remote areas of Tibet, you will find the traditional Tibetan style. But you may ask how to plan a Tibet trekking tour? Just follow Tibettravel org, you will get a perfect answer.
Where to Go
The inaccessibility of many areas of Tibet offers lots of chance for travelers to do a trek in Tibet. Trekking from one holy site to another one or just around a sacred mount or lake in Tibet is the most popular trekking way in Tibet, for instance, trekking from Ganden Monastery to Samye Monastery or from Tsurphu Monastery to Yangpachen Monastery, or trekking around holy Mt. Kailash.
Generally, Tibet trekking can be classified into Tibet pilgrimage trek, Tibet culture trekking and sightseeing trek, but most Tibet treks combine the three types together. During trekking in Tibet, you can visit sacred monasteries and other holy sites, view fabulous landscape of Tibet, drop a visit to a traditional Tibetan village, etc.
When to go
Tibet trekking is not feasible from December to March as the temperature goes very low and also the days become much shorter. During the snowfall not only the mountains are inaccessible but the highways that take you to the trail heads are blocked. Generally from April to October, the best time to travel to Tibet, is also great time to trekking in Tibet. Rain is not a problem for trekking in Tibet as it receives only little rain being in a rain shadow zone behind the Himalayas. Rather rainy season is the best time for trek, as the weather is mild and the ground in mountain valleys turn green and alpine flowers bloom in profusion.
Depending on the area you hope to visit in Tibet, you may need as many as four different permits. Of course, Chinese visa is the first permit you should apply for. Then, Tibet Entry Permit issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau is a must for foreign travelers to travel to Tibet. Besides, Alien’s travel permit is required if you visit places outside Lhasa and military permit is needed for visiting militarily restricted areas of Tibet. These Tibet permits cannot cost you too much and are easy to get thanks for the new policy on Tibet travel permit 2013.
Equipment for Tibet trekking
A trekking tour in Tibet is usually made at areas far away from main road and lack of tourist infrastructure, so you at least need a tent, a sleeping bag, and a stove to stay warm and well fed. All of these things can be purchased or rented in Lhasa, though quality may vary. White gas for western liquid fuel stoves is not available in Lhasa, though pressurized fuel canisters for canister stoves are found everywhere. Owners of multi-fuel stoves capable of burning regular unleaded will find gas stations in Lhasa. Ration 4-6 ounces of liquid fuel per person, per trekking day.
Besides, warm clothing and a good pair of shoes are essential for a Tibet tour, and can be purchased in Lhasa, but the price is usually a little high at the tourist city. It is best to buy clothes and shoes in your hometown or big cities of mainland China. Waterproof, high-top hiking boots are better suited than ventilated low-top trekking shoes to the snow covered high mountain passes common on Tibetan trekking routes. Gaiters, knee high canvas leggings that attach to your boots, are extremely useful if snow gets above the ankle level.
Food for trekking in Tibet
Usually, there are no restaurants or shops on the trekking route. So you need to prepare food by yourself or hire a cook to prepare food for you. It is a good idea to bring enough food for your entire trekking tour. Though western style dehydrated "backpacker meals" are not available in Tibet, a wide variety of non-perishable foods at the local supermarkets makes it easy to eat well on your trek. Hot chocolate, dehydrated fruits, candy bars, and instant noodles make good staples. If your Tibet tour is long, it is best to hire a cook to cook food for you.
Drinking-water for Tibet trek
Drinking large amounts of water is the most important key to beating the altitude. Tibet's backcountry is full of grazing yak, sheep, and goats so stream water must be treated before drinking. Lodine, chlorine, and mechanical filters are all good treatment options. Western filters cost a fortune in Lhasa, iodine isn't available anywhere in China or Tibet, and Chlorine tablets were in stock in limited quantities in Lhasa. Boiling water is effective, but Tibet's high altitude puts the boiling point lower. Bring water to a rolling boil for at least a minute before drinking.
Water from locals is a good way to fill water bottles when passing through small villages. Though they may not have much if anything to offer in the way of food, every family keeps a large thermos of boiled water on hand. Just be sure you know what you're getting before pouring, or you may end up with a water bottle full of yak butter tea.
Altitude and the related effects of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) should be taken seriously if you travel to Tibet. If ignored, AMS can progress into High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), both of which can be fatal. Before starting your trekking tour in Tibet, you should give yourself a few days to acclimatize. During trekking, move slowly and try not to sleep at the day's highest elevation. Most importantly descend to lower elevation immediately if any of your companions seem to act drunk, complain of a headache that is not relieved by ibuprofen, or become nauseous and vomit.
Hiring a Pack Animal
It is very hard to walk at high altitude with a heavy backpack. It is wise to hire a pack animal, usually a yak. Yaks can be rented in villages of almost any size, and can make a trek more enjoyable by taking weight off of your back. Yaks come with yak men to herd, handle, and feed them and some yak men can speak a little English.
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- 4 weeks ago
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Travel Packages in Rome Sellin Travel Packages in Rome Selling Out - Demand for Rome Rentals Increases as the Vatican Sets Date for Conclave
- From: villavacation
Bryn Mawr, PA (March 8, 2013) – As faithful Catholics and spectators await the Vatican’s announcement for the date the Papal Conclave to select the new Pope, travel agents are already seeing an increased demand for Rome rentals.
Doorways Villa Vacations, an agency that specializes in travel throughout Italy, offers an alternative to crowded hotels for the historic event and the Easter season. The company’s selection of Rome rentals includes furnished apartments with modern amenities, where guests can make a home away home and participate in the excitement, with a private property to come home to each night.
“The month of March is always a magical time in Italy,” says Kit Burns, president, Doorways Villa Vacations. “Fragrant wisteria blossoms begin to line the streets of ancient Rome, while locals and tourists alike fill the beautiful public parks, like Villa Borghese.”
While Rome rentals for the Easter season are quickly booking up, there are still last minute deals to be had. Some of Kit’s top picks include:
Cenci Apartment (Sleeps up to 6 people in 3 bedrooms)
This aristocratic apartment in the historic center of Rome has been newly renovated to offer space, elegance, comfort and convenience to the city’s most desirable attractions, including the Vatican. WIFI is available throughout the apartment, which also offers a fully-equipped modern kitchen and spacious living room and separate dining room.
Pallaro Apartment (Sleeps 2 people in 1 bedroom, 2 bathrooms)
This air-conditioned apartment offers a beautiful terrace. The Rome rental is very central, yet surprisingly quiet. Close to Campo Dei Fiori, a marvelous open-air market, guests can easily buy fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, bread, fish and cheese to take home to the apartment’s brand new fully equipped kitchen.
Villa d’Oro (Sleeps 10 people in 6 bedrooms)
Villa d'Oro lies in the heart of the Viterbo countryside, just an hour's drive from Rome; direct rail service is also available. Set among 20 acres of olive groves, this beautiful property offers an "infinity" pool with a panoramic view over the hills of Lazio. Guests traveling to Italy for Easter to see the new Pope will experience a combination of privacy and proximity to the city.
For travel tips and a full list of Rome rentals, availability and rates, visit villavacations.com
- Blog post
- 2 months ago
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- From: Bicycle_tours
Last September I joined a cycle tour in the Czech Republic. The tour took us from Prague in Central Bohemia to the rolling hills and charming medieval and Renaissance towns of South Bohemia and then through the gently-sloping vineyards of South Moravia. Some riders then cycled on to Vienna, whilst others chose to return to Prague. For many non-Czechs the countryside of the Czech Republic is unknown, secret, and undiscovered. This tour is a wonderful opportunity to discover what lies beyond Prague, a city that is deservedly visited by millions of people every year.
We were a very diverse group. Our party consisted of seven Australians, a British couple, a couple from Brazil, a New Zealander, an American, and our Czech guide, Jiri (George) and driver, Jindrich (Henry). And me – I’ve been living and working in Prague for six years, but I’ originally from London, UK. Age-wise, collectively we covered every decade from early thirties to (almost) seventy. As those who have been on tours like this before, there is a camaraderie amongst cyclists that transcends continents and ages.
Our First Day: Prague to Ceske Budejovice by mini-bus
Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov by bike
After collecting everybody from their hotels on a quiet and overcast Prague Sunday morning, we group of strangers, soon to become brave companions of the trail, gathered together in the cellar meeting room of the tour company to introduce ourselves and to receive a full briefing. We were given a detailed itinerary for each day, a safety briefing and a small glass of slivovice (a local plum brandy that some people quite like).
Then it was outside to hitch up the bike trailers to the mini-buses, check on helmets and water-bottles, and on to Ceske Budejovice. After a two and a half hour drive, we parked up in the city centre and everyone was allocated their bikes for the week. The bikes are already pre-selected for individual size, weight and experience by the company. Some people had brought their own pedals and these were quickly fitted by the ever-helpful staff.
Ceske Budejovice is of course the home of the Czech Republic’s second most famous beer, Budvar or Budweiser. It is an old town with a lot of green spaces and a very large Renaissance square, where we took the first of many group photographs.
We made our way through the town and down to the River Vltava (Moldau), the same river that runs through Prague. It was a great way to start, riding along the flat cycle path following the river to test out the comfort and settings of our bikes. After a while, we reached a rocky outcrop – our first hill! After climbing above the river, we coasted down a winding forest path to the small settlement and large monastery of Zlata Koruna (Golden Crown) founded in 1263. Here was a chance to stock up on a well-deserved bowl of soup and plate of sausage.
After suitable refreshment, the last stage of the day’s short ride was down to the fairy-tale chocolate-box town of Cesky Krumlov, dominated by the second-largest castle in the country built on sheer rocks which rise up from the river. It is spectacularly beautiful and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. George gave us a tour of the town, but sadly it was raining quite hard at this stage, so we were very glad to arrive at our hotel. The luggage had already been delivered to our rooms and we had time to freshen-up before dinner.
Dinner was in a lovely medieval restaurant where the food was prepared on an open fire. We sat at long wooden tables and had a chance to get to know each other better. However, what really bonded our group together was the next stop in a lovely crowded pub with a piano player who took requests. I’d like to think that our lusty singing of old standards was enjoyed by the locals as much as it was by us.
Kilometres cycled: 27
Second Day:Cesky Krumlov to Trebon
After a fine and hearty breakfast, we gathered in the courtyard of the hotel to reacquaint ourselves with our bikes and make some final adjustments to them. And so we set off. It’s a long climb out of the valley of Cesky Krumlov, nestled on a bend of the river, where in high summer canoeing and rafting are very popular. We rode along paved cycle tracks and forest paths before stopping at a village restaurant for lunch. It was quite a strenuous day’s cycling and some of our valiant company took respite in the mini-bus for the more hill sections. The mini-bus is never far-away and is stocked up with water, fruit and energy bars.
I should add that the day was quite testing; not only because of the distance and terrain, but it was also quite cold and raining, so it did test the morale of the group. However, the week’s forecast was good and the outlook was for sunny weather. Some of us rode the mini-bus into Trebon, while others pressed on through the mud and rain to arrive later.
After a welcome shower, we met for a meal in the hotel restaurant, which was served with élan and charm by our hosts. Some opted to take a walk around the town afterwards to take in the Renaissance square, the Marian column, the charming castle and a local hostelry to taste the renowned local brew.
Kilometres cycled: 61
Third Day: Trebon to Telc
Trebon has been the centre of the Czech fish industry for five centuries. Over this time many fish-ponds and man-made lakes have been developed to produce carp and other fish. Carp is a traditional Christmas meal in the Czech Republic. It is a flatter area of South Bohemia, so a good chance to get in some faster cycling along paved forest paths. It was raining lightly and misty but this added to the mystique of riding through the dark, silent pine forests of Central Europe. All very atmospheric, all very Brothers Grimm.
After about 25 kilometres we left the woods and the land began to undulate through fields. We met up with Henry and the mini-bus for snacks and refreshments, and to mend a couple of punctures.
We pushed on through the rain. This was the most gruelling day, the furthest to cycle, nearly 80 kilometres and the second two-thirds were fairly hilly. We stopped for lunch at a country pub-restaurant, but otherwise it was head-down and concentrate on getting to Telc and South Moravia.
The town of Telc is another UNESCO World Heritage site. It has a breath-takingly beautiful and extensive square, consisting entirely of Renaissance buildings from the 16th century, decorated in the typical brightly-coloured and sgraffitoed style of the time. It’s a great photo opportunity.
We stayed in a very fine hotel not far from the main square, which had been a large farm and dairy complex. The tasteful reconstruction provided spacious rooms and a fine restaurant which served an excellent and well-deserved dinner.
We were all pretty tired after this day, but we went to bed knowing that the following days would be sunny with temperatures rising to 25 degrees Celsius. Indian summer weather!
Kilometres cycled: 78
Fourth Day: Telc – Vranov
This was a shorter day than the day before but we had some hilly country to tackle as we followed the spectacular rocky and wooded valley of the Dyje river, which flows into the Danube.
By mid-morning the sun had begun to shine and the temperature to rise. We rode through sun-dappled forests and fields and stopped at a large 17th century convent complex, where we stocked up on snacks and looked around the old buildings perched on top of a hill with lovely views of the Moravian landscape we were to cycle through.
In the afternoon, after lunch in a country village restaurant where some of our party were brave enough to assay the delicacies of the bull, we cycled through deeply-forested paths with short steep climbs and satisfyingly long downhill runs.
We passed the 11th century castle Bitov, high on an outcrop of the river, and climbed up to take a short tour of the castle. It was extended during the 15th to 17th centuries and had a fine library and impressive collection of hunting weapons: bows, crossbows and guns.
A short distance away is another castle called Zornstein (Angry Rock). This is a quite different structure to Bitov, having been abandoned in the Middle Ages and largely derelict. It is however an impressive ruin of medieval fortifications. There were fine views to be enjoyed from this historic vantage point over the blue skies and green forests of the winding valley of the River Dyje.
From Zornstein, it was a short ride down to the river and along the bank to Vranov.
Kilometres cycled: 44
Fifth Day: Vranov to Znojmo
This was also a shorter day in terms of distance, but again there were some tricky hills and off-road forest tracks to be negotiated.
However, we did have the chance to tour the castle which sits upon a rocky crag that dominates the small town. The castle was modified extensively in the Baroque style in the 18th century and so offered a completely different style to the previous day’s visits. It really was a most impressive place giving an insight into the opulent way of life of the aristocracy during Hapsburg rule.
After the informative tour, we saddled up again and rode out of Vranov towards the major wine-producing town of Znojmo. This was another enjoyable day during which we mostly followed the border between the Czech Republic and Austria. The trails pass through forest and paved tracks in an area which had been off-limits for forty years during the days of the Iron Curtain. The natural habitat is therefore unspoiled.
The last section of the ride was quite taxing as we had to climb up away from the border towards Znojmo, situated on a steep hill above the river Dyje. It is a impressive sight with several ancient spires and towers rising above the houses perched on the hillside.
After the steep ascent, we were pleased to arrive at the hotel, beautifully modernised with glass staircases, large rooms and comfortable beds.
Kilometres cycled: 40
Sixth Day: Znojmo to Mikulov
For me this was the finest day for cycling. The weather was beautiful, warm and sunny, and the terrain was gentle passing through undulating wine-growing lowlands.
We had a long lunch at a traditional pub-restaurant and passed by the only section of preserved pre-1989 defences with fences, originally electrified, tank defences and a cleared, and previously mined, dead zone. It was quite creepy to see the physical embodiment of the ‘Iron Curtain’ and difficult nowadays to understand how peoples could have been so brutally divided after the Second World War.
About 15 kilometres before Mikulov we stopped at a small wine-cellar, little more than an underground shelter, where the proprietor talked us through his current production and we tasted Burcak, the deceptively first fermentation of the grape juice. It was interesting to see the small scale of the production, but it is clear the the best of the wine never reaches the export market.
Feeling refreshed, we pushed on through the glorious afternoon sunshine to Mikulov which we could see jutting out of the surrounding plains from far away. We had our farewell dinner in a restaurant adjacent to the hotel and then repired to a wine bar for prize-giving and valedictions.
Kilometres cycled: 70
Seventh Day: Mikulov to Vienna
Mikulov to Vratice – Lednice area
Mikulov is a charming small town with a population of about 8,000 which was at one time a major centre of Jewish trade and scholarship. It is very interesting and thought-provoking to walk through its square with its pretty church and then through the adjacent Jewish quarter with its 15th century synagogue.
After breakfast, our fellowship was broken. Eight of our party had planned to end their tour in Vienna and they set off with George guiding. After a day’s ride they were driven the remainder of the distance to Vienna and delivered to their hotels by the ever-reliable Henry.
The rest of us spent an enjoyable day riding a circular route from Mikulov to Valtice and Lednice. This area is another UNESCO World Heritage site and is thought of as the most architecturally valuable region in the country. This was a great day’s cycling to end the tour. We cycled along deserted roads to Valtice through the heart of Moravia’s prime wine region. We paused in Valtice to have a look at the impressive chateau and then pressed on to Lednice. The route took us through the forested parklands of the Lichtenstein family which are studded with ostentatious monuments including the Temple of the Three Graces and a shrine to the patron saint of hunters, Saint Hubert. After lunch in Lednice, we went to walk around the glory of the neo-Gothic chateau.
Then it was back to Mikulov along a series of ribbon lakes following the border to meet up with the driver, Tonda, who drove us back to Prague and delivered us to our hotels, safe, sound and tired after a most enjoyable cycle tour through some of the finest countryside and towns that the Czech Republic has to offer.
Kilometres cycled: 47
Total kilometres over the week: 367
Guided Group Tour by: www.bicycle-tours.cz
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- 2 months ago
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- From: ajjordan2
My friends and I had a birthday celebration in Oahu, Hawaii- a perfect combination of beach time and nightlife. Here are some suggestions for visitors that would like to experience a range of activities from snorkeling to bar hopping in the tourist hub of Waikiki Beach.
Where to Stay:
Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach
We stayed in a two bedroom, two bath suite at the resort, which included a king bed in one room and two queens in the other. These accommodations were convenient for the six of us to spread out without feeling cramped. According to sales manager, Susan Koehler, "what makes the property stand out from other resorts is our extra space, value, and location”.
The sundeck, Jacuzzi, and pool-side bar are perfect amenities for a chill out session. Some insider tips include checking out their free yoga classes Tuesday and Friday mornings and catching the fireworks that take off from the Hilton Hawaiian Village each Friday.
DoubleTree by Hilton
We decided to spend our last night at another Hilton property, the DoubleTree hotel in Waikiki. The DoubleTree contains 317 guest rooms, each featuring a private balcony. Other amentities included complimentary WiFi in the lobby, 24-hour fitness center, and heated pool for swimming laps. The location of the DoubleTree allowed us to see the other end of Waikiki, which was close to the Ilikai Marina and the Ala Moana Beach. Our last day was spent touring these two areas.
Where to Party:
First Fridays in Chinatown is the place to view the local artists and showcases; the downtown area is lively with bars and lounges open for the streams of visitors. Addiction nightclub is located at The Modern hotel and caters to the 21 through 30 year-old crowd. They play a range of music from Hip Hop to Pop, and many locals gravitate to the club Thursday nights.
The Sheraton has an outdoor bar/lounge called Rum Fire that attracts a grown and sexy crowd from 21 through 40; lighted torches surrounding the bar and a glowing pool gives off an aura of a sultry Hawaiian night. Moose McGillycuddy’s is the go-to dive bar for inexpensive drinks and a packed crowd.
Activities to Try:
A 2-3 minute walk from the Embassy Suites puts you right on the strip of the Waikiki Beach, where you can rent a umbrella to lay out, as well as kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or rent a paddleboat. We got some great shots out on the wooden pier.
A 20 minute ride from Waikiki puts you in Hanauma Bay, an ancient volcanic crater-turned bay, which is packed with marine life; excellent for snorkeling. We camped out on the beach after we went snorkeling (tip: map out the areas of the ocean beforehand where reef is not widespread for better snorkeling).
Enjoy hiking? Check out Manoa Falls, a waterfall surrounded by a verdant rainforest that can be reached via a hiking trail (the destination is site of many films, including Jurassic Park and Hunger Games). We hiked the 2 mile trail, and ended up at the base of the waterfall. Of course we had to take a dip for photo ops.
For an authentic luau, and a colorful end to your vacation, try Germaine’s Luau, with offers a Hawaiian cultural ceremony at sunset, an all-you-can-eat buffet, and 3 free drinks.
- Blog post
- 4 months ago
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- From: activetravelasia
1. Forget What Road Rules You Already Know
Riding a motorbike in Vietnam (or any vehicle in South East Asia for that matter!) is very different to what you may be used back at home. The first thing you should know is that while road rules do exist, when on the road they cease to exist-if you get my drift! Forget trying to indicate, using your mirrors or going the speed limit-it just doesn't happen. At first this may take some getting used to but after a while it works. So many times we would see Vietnamese on their Moto’s pulling out of a road onto a major highway without even looking! It’s just a given that everyone moves around them or out of their way. Now while I’m not saying you should never look when pulling out (a lot of things you’ll still do instinctively) but rather you need to flex your rules to how the Vietnamese do things. For example, while Anthony was riding, if we needed to cross lanes, merge, turn or even slow down I would just stick my hand out (either left or right depending which way) and give it a little shake. Who needs indicators when you have a good old hand wiggle! The thing is, it worked. People knew where we were trying to go. It might seem a little awkward at first, trying to adapt but after a while their driving becomes second nature.
2. Keep Up With The Flow Of Traffic
This is probably one of the most important things you can do whilst on a bike. When you first get on, you make feel like you want to go slow (because it feels safer) but in all honesty, doing that will get you into an accident. In larger cities-because there are so many motorbikes-there is an ebb and flow to the traffic. Keeping up with this so called ‘pulse’ makes it easier to move on the road. If you’re travelling on major highways, always keep to the very edge of the road and try and go about 60km/h. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to go any faster and going slower is likely to cause more accidents.
3. Have Tea Breaks
If you’re on the road for most of the day, it is important to stop for tea breaks. Along both main and country roads there are countless teahouses that will offer you an ice-cold cup of ‘tra da’ (iced tea) for less than a dollar. Many of these places will also serve a soup or a rice dish too if you’re hungry. These stops are important so you can stretch your legs and have a bit of a break from riding, but they are also a great place to meet locals, have a chat with them and get a view into their daily life.
4. Get A Decent Road Map
Now while it may sound adventurous and rather ‘Bear Grylls’ of you to travel without a map, it is smarter idea to carry one with you on your trip. Not only can you decide where you want to ride to next, you can also pick and choose places a little more easily. We bought maps (from a bookstore near Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi) that were detailed, had how many km’s there was between towns and also had tourist sites for some places.
Road signs are actually pretty good in Vietnam and many places/roads were labelled and corresponded to our map. On the off chance they didn't or we weren't sure where we were going, we just pulled up somewhere and asked the locals for some help. We would show them the town on the map and then they would point us in the right direction. Everyone we met was willing and happy to help (so boys, don’t worry about asking for directions!) Not only will a map help keep you safe it is also great to keep check of everywhere you visited in Vietnam.
5. Take Back Roads
When you can, take the back roads to your next stop. Not only will they allow you travel slower and be less crowded, but more often than not the sights are breathtaking and the people very friendly.
Running pretty much the entire length of the country is Highway 1. It’s busy, dusty and very fumy. However, to get to coastal towns, there are times when you’ll have to travel on this. Otherwise opt for the scenic and beautiful, Ho Chi Minh Trail. This road is very quiet, smooth and much more pleasant. Take your time and travel these smaller quieter roads, wherever possible.
6. Don’t Ride At Night For Long Periods
Riding at night is ok if you’re just going out to eat or visit markets etc, but try not to travel at night on your bike. Many of the roads have no streetlights, so at night it is more difficult to see what may be ahead of you. There are many dogs, chickens, cows they are constantly on the road, so running into one of them on the road wouldn't be pleasant or safe. Also, some Vietnamese don’t travel with their headlights on which makes them harder to see. The bottom line-don’t travel at night for a long period of time.
Now Enjoy The Freedom!
With these tips in mind, get out there are enjoy riding through Vietnam! You now have the freedom to go wherever and whenever you’d want. Stumbling upon little towns you never thought existed or meeting some of the friendliest people in the world, will surely be an amazing experience. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it just as much as we did!
Recommended Vietnam motorcycling tours by ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA
This trip offers a stunning motorcycling route with great exploration of nature and culture of northern Vietnam. The trip is organized for first time rider and easy adventure.
- Awesome scenery
- Homestay in villages
- Beautiful quiet road
- All inclusive
Details program are available here
- Blog post
- 4 months ago
- Views: 8
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- From: x123456
I was planning to go to Qinghuangdao Island located in the northeast of Heibei Province in China. I took a train from Beidai River to Shanhaiguan, a scenic area in Qinghuangdao City which has some parts of the features of ancient Great wall, after I bought a train ticket in Beijing at 9 o’ clock in the morning. At the Liuzhuang Village, I took the bus number 34 to the Coastal Bus Station, where there are buses number 22 and number 5 going to the train station of Beidai River. I got off from the number 34 bus and then a few minutes later comes the bus number 22. I just got on the bus without studying any difference of the routes between the bus the number 5 and the bus number 22. However, I was told that there are 8 more bus stops if I take the bus number 22 rather than the number 5 bus to the train station. Having compared the bus route of the bus number 22 with that of the bus number 5 on the map, I was a little worried about whether I have enough time to get to Shanhaiguan, since I thought that it would take 1 hour for the bus number 22 to pass 27 bus stops. However, it took only half hour. In the waiting room, I waited for 40 minutes, during which I got a little hungry and got some food to eat. Half hour later, I arrived at the shanhaiguan train station by bullet train. Out of the exit, I saw there was a bus stop opposite. I took the bus number 25 to Laolongkou bus stop and I got off there. Across a crossroad, I came to a scenic area called Laolongkou. Beside the road, there is a garden where people were taking photos. Since it’s much earlier than I had thought, I went to a small restaurant and ordered a pancake with smoked meat in it and a cool noodles to eat. It spent me 25 Yuan in total. The food there was ok. I was not going to buy tickets to visit parks, but was just walking around, hoping that I would find a way to the sea. On the map, I found the way at the south of the crossroad. I was walking along the road and went through a defensive wall. After a few minutes, a beach came into my sight. There, the locals run the business like riding horses on the beach. I felt the sand is very soft somewhere on the beach, as I walked down to the beach covered with sundried seaweeds as well as some pebbles. As I kept walking to the south of the beach, I came to the scenic area Laolongtou Defensive Wall, but I didn’t go inside. Instead I walked to a rock near the sea, on which there are a lot of sea snails and shells. I sat down on the one sea waves could not impact on, just to have a good look at the sea before I left Qianghangdao Island. A yacht went by me at a quick speed, with white waves behind. At further distance, different-sized ships were sailing on the sea, with the sunlight shinning on it.
When I passed by the train station nearby by bus number 21, I saw very high defensive walls and gate buildings. Since I stayed in Xian for 7 years, they are very familiar to me when I saw them. Getting off at the yingwen bus stop, I planned to have lunch, but the restaurant I went to had been pulled down. Therefore, I had to go shopping with an empty stomach. Going through the city gate of Yingenmen, I saw the West Street where shops are all designed very traditionally with woods. At the end of the street, there is a tourist attraction that is visited each by people from around the world. A friend of mine took a picture of me in front of an ancient building and the trip was almost over. Having looked at time, I found that there was much more time left for me to walk around, than I had thought before, so I just took my time to do it. Every few minute, I could see simple retail shops which have no fence, with a broad at the door on which its retailed goods are written in white chalk. As time went by, it’s dinner time.
The trip in Qinghuangdai Island ended at 8 pm with my having dinner at a restaurant with a good view.
- Blog post
- 4 months ago
- Views: 710
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- From: x123456
Since I was a child, I have been looking forwards to seeing the sea one day. In summer, as it’s getting hot, it’s the right time to do that. At night in Friday, I bought a train ticket to Beidai River.
At 7 pm, the train started off from the Beijing train station and arrived at the Beidai River’s in two hours.
At 4:30 in the early morning after I brushed my teeth and washed my face, I walked out of my hotel and arrived at the Pigeon Park at 5 am. However, I didn’t plan to go in there. A middle-aged woman was walking to me and asked if I wanted to see sunrise and that if I did, she would charge 10 Yuan for taking me to see sunrise, but I said no. I kept walking further to the end of Gechi Road and I finally saw the sea. On the sea level arises the sun which looks like a red yolk and its sunlight was not very strong. Seeing the beach surrounded by a wall that shut out my sight, I walked further along the wall for about more than 200 meters and saw the broad beach where there were a lot of tourists. Some people there were suggesting going fishing, but I couldn’t swim although I grew up in a family where my father and mother can swim. Therefore I gave it up to go fishing with them. I was impatient to wait and just running towards the beach, where I was seeing waves of the sea impacting the sea bank, treading on the wet sand. Since it’s the first time I saw the sea, I took many of pictures of the sea. As the sun gradually rises, the seaweeds were on the bank and rocks came out of sea water after tide slowly faded. After the tide fell, some people who live nearby came and were picking up some seafood for dinner like shrimps, crabs and so on. Walking along the sea coast to the south, I saw that a few of locals were fishing, sitting on the rocks and a couple of tourists were taking a walk. Then I walked to a rock, and faced to the sea without thinking of anything, while the sun was shinning on me. I heard from time to time sea waves were impacting on rocks and felt sea water was splashing on me occasionally. It’s really a kind of enjoyment and relaxation for those who work in the office.
last, I went to a costal beach park to see sunset. In the park, there is no transportation. Walking on the road, you may have no idea what will happen in the next second. Sometimes you can see people in swimming suits walking in the park and at this time, you could feel kind of regretful if you don’t wear the suits. Last time, it just happened to me. I just took off my shoes and socks and rolled up my trousers to run to the sea. As the sun slowly goes down behind me, sea waves impacted on my legs and I felt so cool. Back to the hotel, I went to a seafood restaurant to have a dinner, where I ordered a cool noodle, dumplings with seafood fillings and a stretched noodle from Lanzhou.
Thus the trip ended.
- Blog post
- 4 months ago
- Views: 284
- Not yet rated
- From: sharm
Pick up from Sharm port upon arrival with a modern air conditioned van for a short drive to the Ras Mohamed National Park, your guide pointing out interesting features on the way. Then we will drive to the only place in the northern hemisphere where the Mangrove trees grow in the salt water and see the Fiddler crabs around the waters edge, we will also take you to see what the locals call the 'Earth Crack', a fissure formed during an earthquake thousands of years ago, and the Magic Lake, a beautiful salt water lake formed by a sand bank from the Red Sea. Take the opportunity to swim in this lake which is supposed to have magical properties! We will stop at three different locations along the coast offering opportunities to swim or snorkel around the coral reefs from some of the parks famous beaches. The waters here are beautifully clear and warm and the corals give a home to over a thousand different species of colorful tropical fish. Transfer back to the port.
* Port pickup & drop off service
* All transfers by Ac Vehicle
* Tour leader of your language
* Entrance fees to the National park
* Water and soft drinks onboard
* All services charges and taxes
* Snorkeling equipment
* Personal expenses
* Tipping Kitty
Prices per person:
* From 2 to 3 pax: 80 Usd
* From 4 to 6 pax: 60 usd
* From 7 to 10 pax: 55 Usd
- Blog post
- 4 months ago
- Views: 394
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- From: indochinasails
Description:Surrounded by thousands of limestone mountains, Ha Long Sea creates a charming beauty for the bay and makes it unbelievably unique. Coming to Halong Bay, you will be entering a world of water wonders.Exciting water sportsImmense water surface in Ha Long is home to a number of water sports such as rafting, kayaking and swimming. Tourists who love adventures can try water motor driving or parachute-pulled canoeing offered on Bai Chay or Tuan Chau beach. While high speed of the water motors brings about thrilling moments, a parachute-pulled canoe tour gives tourists a bird-eye view to spectacular scene of the bay below.For those wishing to spend more time on sightseeing and discovering the bay by themselves, kayaking is surely the perfect choice. The most impressive moment is when the kayak began moving into the cave. The further one goes inside, the darker and cooler it is. The cave is filled with falling stalactites, and sometimes, one has to crouch down in the boat to avoid hitting his head on them.Scuba Diving in Halong Bay- New and ExcitingSpacious underwater world in Ha Long with diversified marine creatures is a paradise for snorkeling and scuba diving. The period from April to December, when the temperature of water ranges from 26-29 degree Celsius, is the best time for these kinds of sport. Just put on scuba glasses, diving fins, scuba cylinder, and then jump into the water, a wonderful ocean worldwouldinstantly be opening in front of tourists’ eyes. Thousands of splendid corals such as sun mushroom, leather or stag-horn and colorful fishessuch as sergeant major or Clark’s anemone would definitely amaze anyone.In addition, internationally- licensed and friendly scuba divers and assistants promise safe dive andunforgettable experience to tourists.Soft sandy beaches fringed with coconut palms are not only ideal places for sunbathing or relaxation but also for energetic sport activities like beach volleyball or football. Besides matches played for fun and good health, occasional international competition such as Asian Women’s Beach Volleyball Championships draws attention of many locals and travelers.Overnight on luxurious junksLuxurious junk is movable accommodation, a perfect combination of upscale hotel and convenient transportation. Guests can enjoy marvelous beauty of the world heritage site any time they want while lying on the bed, enjoying coffee on the boat terrace, having lunch in dining room or sunbathing on the top deck.Besides taking tourists to the highlights of Ha Long Bay, the tour offers them interesting sports and entertainment activities such as scuba diving, kayaking or Vietnamese cooking class.Particularly, tourists who love to wake up early to appreciate the bay’s beauty in the dawn can also join morning Taichi class on the deck.Floating fishing villagesFamous for unique scenery with thousands of limestone islands floating on the water, Ha Long attracts tourist by its cultural value as well. In recent years, visiting floating fishing villages in Ha Long such as Vong Vieng or Cua Van have been more popular.The locals here live on floating houses and mainly earn a living by fishing and marine aquaculture. They go fishing in the morning, selling their catches to bigger boats, which later sell the catches to the mainland. On the way of sigh-seeing around Ha Long Bay, travelers can see some floating markets of the local peopleselling goods for daily use such as vegetable, fruits, rice and fishes.Tourists can get an insight into the locals’ life byvisiting fish cultivation area. It would be much more interesting if one can have ahome-stay and try daily work of fisherman like rowing boat, casting and hauling the fish net, sitting on coracle and listening to folk songs at night. Besides, there are plenty of souvenirs made from shells and pearls by the locals available for choices. Despite language barrier, friendly and cheerful locals would surely make guests feel comfortable like staying at home.Supported by Indochina Sails – The most luxury and safest cruises in Halong BayINDOCHINA SAILSHanoi OfficeAdd: 27 – A6 – Dam Trau Quarter – Hai Ba Trung District – Hanoi – VietnamTel: +84 – 4- 39842362Fax: +84 – 4 – 39844150Email: email@example.comWebsite: www.indochinasails.com (http://www.indochinasails.com/en/)
- Blog post
- 5 months ago
- Views: 298
- Not yet rated
- From: Brianmcquillan
The westernmost capital city which sits on Swan River, Perth is known for its sunshine, natural beauty and relaxed pace. Beyond its tranquil river and balmy beaches, the city has lively city precincts with great shopping, nightlife and dining options to meet the locals and experience its vibrant culture. There are so many things to see and explore. So take a Perth cheap flights and enjoy some amazing things about city.
King Street is lined with art galleries and elegant boutiques. For shoppers there is no better place than Murray and Hay streets. The Edwardian theatre is a great place to enjoy a day out with your family and friends. It stages large scale ballet, opera theatre and orchestra productions. There is nightlife every night of the week in Northbridge which sits just behind the city centre. You can enjoy your meals in top value restaurant along with aromatic café or cocktails between William, James, Aberdeen and Parker Street which are adorned with great assortment of clubs, bars, cafes and top value restaurants.
Leederville is a place for students, families and professional to hang out. If you love music then catch some live music in Mount Lawley where the art-deco Astor Theatre hosts various programs for popular Australian musicians. From culture to cocktails, Perth’s compact, friendly and energetic city precincts have much to entice you. So Book low fare london perth flights and enjoy your visit to one of the most beautiful destinations of Australia that has something for everyone. Some must see attractions of city include.
- Perth Zoo
- Adventure world Perth
- The Aquarium of Western Australia
- The Perth Mint
- Yellaghonga Regional Park
- Blog post
- 6 months ago
- Views: 214
- From: Brianmcquillan
Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest city which is an economic hub of country, and increasingly for rest of Africa. It represents spirit of South Africa and there are many things that are unique to Johannesburg. Capital of Gauteng province it is endearingly known to locals as Joburg, jozi or Egoli. There are various things that are unique o Johannesburg. It is largest city in the world that is not situated on a lake, navigable river or by the coast. With around 6 million trees, Johannesburg is most likely world’s largest man made urban forest. So book cheap flights to Johannesburg and explore some very interesting facts about this largest South African city.
Whether you are watching wildlife from a safari truck or an elephant, exploring cultural villages of city, there is so much fun in doing each activity. The city also acts as a base to explore nearby scenic destinations on excursions or day trips.
Some amazing excursions from Johannesburg include
Sun City: - Sun City is the name which is known to most of passionate tourists coming to South Africa is truly majestic. It is a place where there is heaven between the mountains, is 2-1/2 hour’s drive from Johannesburg. The Palace of Lost city at Sun City is a fairytale African Palace that towers over valley is visible from almost anywhere on the resort .It is unique and most opulent and extravagant hotel at Sun City. The palace has 38 spacious rooms decorated with a distinctly African feel.
Pilanesberg Game Reserve:-Right next to Sun City, this game reserve is easily accessible from Johannesburg and is free from malaria. The Big five all inhabit in Pilanesberg but white rhinos and elephant sighting are very common is a good destination for day trip.
Maropeng: - It is the key site in the Cradle of Humankind world heritage site. Important fossils of our ancestors have been found in nearby Sterkfontein Caves and are thought to be up to 200,000 years old.
So book fights to Johannesburg from London as the city and its nearby places offer plentiful of scenic attractions.
- Blog post
- 6 months ago
- Views: 167
- From: Brianmcquillan
Bangkok, a tropical metropolis is one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities which will surely impress you with its magnificent Buddhist temples, authentic canals, busy markets and vibrant nightlife. The city is now turned out to be a hub of Thailand’s spiritual, cultural, political, commercial, diplomatic and educational activities. All these make Bangkok as one of most traveler- friendly cities in Asia. Just take a bangkok Cheap flights and visit Bangkok city which is full of hidden gems waiting to be explored.
While enjoying Bangkok holidays guests can come across several amazing things that they can’t afford to miss. The high levels of humidity and warm temperature helps in growth of exotic orchids and delicious fruits everywhere makes it even more beautiful. The city offers its guests a sophisticated dining experience. Thai cuisine is justifiably famous, varied, and affordable .Various cooking style traditions, exacting chefs, aromatic ingredients and demanding consumers have contributed to make Bangkok a great food city. Don’t forget to enjoy a memorable dinner cruise adrift the Chao Phraya River. Tuck tuk ride, Ladyboy show, Thai Massage, Muay Thai are some amazing things that you can only enjoy in Bangkok.
A cycle tour is the best way to explore the corners of Bangkok. With little more than the clank of your bicycle gears, a cool breeze touching your face and company of locals, there is nothing more adventurous then this two wheeler journey.
So book your cheap Flight London to Bangkok and do visit
- Temple of Emerald Buddha
- Saim Niramit
- Damneon Saduak Floating Market
- Candle light Dinner by Grand Pearl Cruise
- Blog post
- 6 months ago
- Views: 170
- From: Roger.Rhodes
Living like Locals in London
By Roger and Linda Rhodes
My wife and I decided to visit London for a week and live like the locals. I had purchased the tickets last June for our flight in September. The flowers are still blooming in the window boxes as the first frost hasn’t set in yet.
Our tickets, Cincinnati, via Charlotte N.C. to Gatwick Airport were purchased through www.cheapoair.com. They were $800.00 for each person, rt. It is cheaper to buy air tickets on a Tuesday afternoon when prices go down, and plan a stay over a weekend, with a return on Tuesday.
We prefer the area of Belgravia. It is within walking distance to Victoria Station where transport is available via the Tube, local coaches, or trains. The week before we left I found a bed and breakfast, The Melita House Hotel. It was 812 pounds for 6 nights, ($1232.00 USD) and that includes an English breakfast.
We drove to Cincinnati Airport and left our car 7 days, $59.00 at ValuePark. We had a 4:00 p.m. flight to Charlotte, N.C. and an hour layover, and then the ‘overnight’ to Gatwick, getting into London at 7:20 a.m. We took the Gatwick Express from the airport to Victoria Station. Be sure and buy the ‘return’ as it is cheaper. It is ½ hour on the Gatwick Express direct to Victoria Station. The cost is 32 pounds pp including (return). Our room was ready so we did have a little nap, before ‘supper out’. We found a nice little Italian restaurant on Belgrave Road, O Sole Mio. We would go back several times that week. Then back to the hotel for an evening in front of the telly.
Getting up early I found an internet café down the street and made it my morning ritual to go and have a half hour on the internet for 1 pound. After an English breakfast we were off on our first day adventure of taking the train ‘out’ to Jane Austen’s house. We found a Sainsbury’s grocery store on the way. I went to the ticket window in Victoria Station and asked for two train tickets to Alton. We had to change in Clapham Junction. We met Mark Hudson and his taxi at the train station, and for a couple of pounds he took us directly to Jane’s house. There is the Jane Austen Learning Center and gardens, and gift shop. Across the street is Cassandra’s Tea Shop. After spending time at the Centre, and the tea shop, we took a walk down the road and I photographed the architecture of some of the village houses. It was a bright sunny and warm day in the country. Mark had told us when we wanted to return ask for Don, the bartender across the street at Greyfrier’s Pub, and he would call Mark to come and pick us up. We met Don and after lunch, we caught the taxi back to the Alton train station changing at Clapham Junction we were in Victoria Station before we knew it, and then a short walk home.
After breakfast the next morning and a short walk down Buckingham Palace Road we took the tour of Buckingham Palace. The palace is only open August and September. We purchased the tickets for the 11:00 a.m. tour. We had to go through ‘security’ before entering the palace. You wander through 19 State Rooms with an ‘audio guide’, stopping and pressing the corresponding buttons on the audio guide wherever you want to listen. It is a very educational tour with lots of highlights, and this also included the ‘Queen’s Diamond Exhibit’. Cost of the tour was 16 pounds per person. We exited through the Garden Café then a nice walk through the gardens and you are out. We caught the coach back to Victoria and after a bit of shopping at Sainsbury’s we walked home. After a rest, we walked back to Victoria Station and caught the Tube to Covent Garden for a Friday night out. There are lots of shops, and restaurants, and don’t miss the Christopher Wren church which was the opening scene in the movie My Fair Lady. Dinner was at The Steak and Company. I had seen a sign for St.-Martn’s in-the-Fields concert the next night of the Faure Requiem, the Vivaldi Gloria, and Mozart. We purchased tickets for the Saturday night concert.
After our ‘usual’ morning we then took the coach from Victoria Station to shop at Harrods. Later we took the coach to Oxford Street and had a nice lunch at a very busy Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. It was very crowded. Londoners love the Colonel. Then a walk through all the stores. Then a coach ride back to Victoria Station and the walk home. After regrouping, and dinner out, we were at St. Martin’s for the concert.
The weather had turned cloudy and rainy, so Sunday we opted for a day indoors at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The coach from Victoria to the museum let us off at the Aquila Hotel, where we had a warm up of tea and lunch before setting out across the street to the museum which is free to enter. Several hours later after seeing as much of it as possible we took a cab to the Hard Rock Café for supper. This is the ‘original’ Hard Rock Café. Then a short cab ride home. Resting was on the agenda for Sunday night, and some telly time. And there on the telly was the new season of Downton Abbey! It was several episodes into the new season, and it was very different watching Maggie Smith and Mary plotting to have Shirley McLaine save Downton from financial ruin.
Monday we went to Hampton Court. A short walk to Victoria, and a train ride to Clapham and change and you are in Hampton Court. They have an ‘audio tour’ and so you proceed at your own pace through the palace. We had watched The Tudors so we were excited about being there. Hampton Court is also home to the Royal Needlework Society and its gift shop, plus the Hampton Court gift shop. Lunch was at the restaurant across the street and then back over the bridge to the train station, and the ride back to Victoria and the walk home.
I listen to the internet radio station www.classicfm.co.uk and before leaving for London I heard they were having their 20th anniversary concert at Royal Albert Hall, and I had bought tickets online before going.
We got up the next morning and took the Gatwick Express back to the airport for a 10:00 a.m. flight to Charlotte and home. We are eagerly looking forward to next years trip!
- Blog post
- 7 months ago
- Views: 268
- Not yet rated
- Views: 359
- Since: 8 months ago
- Not yet rated
- From: rovingjay
Where and What is Gumusluk?
Gumusluk is in the northern corner of the peninsula, and takes about 40 minutes to reach, via dolmus, from Bodrum Town.
It's famous for it's fish restaurants, not only with European Tourists, but the literati that pour into this corner of Turkey, from Izmir, Anakara and Istanbul each summer.
The main hub of restaurants are clustered along the Gumusluk's harbour, and have a waterside view of Rabbit Island. At peak times during dinner, and weekend, these restaurants are throbbing with activity, and you may have a wait, at the restaurant of your choice. Reputation and location help drive the price of meals in this destination, but if you want to visit Gumusluk, but not break the bank there are still plenty of options available to you.
Gumsuluk Belediyesi Tea House
The Tea House is open round the clock, and is the perfect location to enjoy a glass of tea, or Turkish Coffee. Frequented by locals, this establishment is operated by the local municipality, and offers refreshments at a fraction of the price charged by some of it neighbours. While it isn't directly on the harbour's edge, it is close by, and there's a view from the tables at the front.
In the same neighbourhood as the Tea House is a row of covered row of beach shops and bakkals, and here you'll find the Dalgiç Restaurant. This local restaurant has been serving traditional Turkish dishes for over 15 years. They're also open 24 hours during the summer time, and have plenty of covered seating.
If you wander past the harbour, through the covered row of beach shops, you'll reach the other side of Gumusluk Bay. The beach is lined with bars, restaurants and pensions, and the vibe is decidedly more chilled along here. At night, the sun loungers are tidied away, and the tables and chairs are set up along the sand. Pensions offer a broad selection of home cooked specialities, at a lower cost than the harbour front restaurants. So it's worth wandering a little bit off the beaten path, to explore your culinary options.
Before heading home, make sure to stop at the collection of craft stalls just behind the harbour. Here you'll find an ecclectic mix of hand made crafts, that you won't find anywhere else on the peninsula. There's no hard sell, and it's a perfect place to walk off your dinner, and buy yourself a unique gift.
- Blog post
- 10 months ago
- Views: 337
- Not yet rated
- From: indochinasails
Description:A hot-line including phone numbers, fax and email have been officially released by QuangNinh Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism on July 3. The province possessing numerous stunning tourist destinations and a new wonder of the world - Ha Long Bay, is trying to tell tourists they are always ready for customers’ pleasure. The line is available for both locals andinternational travelers.“The newly initiated line is for a better reputation of our province tourism. Tourist coming to the place is increasing excitingly and so does their demand”, said Trinh Dang Thanh, deputy director of the department.For the first 6 months of 2012, QuangNinh has welcomed 4,262,000 tourists, 12% higher over the same period of 2011, in which international ones make up 8%. The most popular attraction to international tourist isHa Long Bay with exciting tourism genres such as leisure and adventure tourism.Tourists should call (+84) 913 265 009, (+84)333 847 347, fax to (+84)333 845 027 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org for information and help.Tourist Information:Visa Information: Visas for Vietnam are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above, except nationals of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden for stays of up to 15 days;Getting there: Vietnam Airlines offers daily flights from Bangkok to Hanoi, then from Hanoi tourists can buy bus tickets to Halong Bay. The travel time between Hanoi and Halong bay is around 3 hours and 45 minutes.Travel Packages: Indochina Sails, offers daily 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights trips to Halong Bay.For more information about itinerary, please visit our website http://www.indochinasails.com/en/itinerary.htmlINDOCHINA SAILSHanoi OfficeAdd: 27 – A6 – Dam Trau Quarter – Hai Ba Trung District – Hanoi – VietnamTel: +84 – 4- 39842362Fax: +84 – 4 – 39844150Email: email@example.comWebsite: www.indochinasails.com
- Blog post
- 10 months ago
- Views: 326
Tips for enjoying Descending D Tips for enjoying Descending Dragon Bay without going completely insane
- From: indochinasails
Description:By far one of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth can be savored while sitting on the deck of a boat in “Descending Dragon Bay,” otherwise known as Halong Bay, off the coast of North Vietnam. A beautiful ocean landscape, Halong Bay is riddled with the kind of limestone karsts you find jutting out of the waters in Krabi, Thailand – only it is said to be even more dramatic and otherworldly.You float along on boats designed to replicate ancient Chinese junks, gaping at the looming towers of jungle-covered rock, and I must admit it is one of the more humbling experiences of a lifetime.But traveling in Halong Bay can be a jading travel experience due to the extreme commercialism going on there. It has become one of the major stops on the southeast Asian backpacking trail – couple that with the often “money-grubbing” attitude of many tourist-industry locals towards foreigners and you’ve got a situation where people are herded through like cattle with little thought to whether they are enjoying themselves or having a good time.So is this monumental landscape still worth the trouble then? It can be if you follow these tips to maintain your sanity en-route.1. Know what to expectFirst off, the treatment of tourists in Halong Bay comes served at its most sour when you don’t realize what you’re getting yourself into. Your tour guides back in the big city will likely pump you up by selling you a vision of a peaceful bay tour with people waiting on you hand and foot, but that’s not how things really go down.So visit the place because the scenery is out of this world, but realize that there will be challenges involved. Prepare yourself mentally.2. Do your research and pay extraAs in many places in Vietnam, I uncharacteristically urge you to pay a premium price and go with a more luxurious tour. In Vietnam, and indeed Halong Bay, the old adage that you get what you pay for rings truer than ever.Add in that it has become second nature for tour companies to scam you and lie to you in Hanoi, thinking they’ll never see you again, and doing your research ahead of time is crucial.Talk to other tourists about their trips, post on forums like the one mentioned above to ask for referrals, and find a boat company that is setting themselves apart by offering world class tours to people who are willing to pay more.I saw some Asian tourists on other boats who had done this and were riding lavish indeed, and best of all, you’ll get real customer service rather than the cheap Halong Bay variety.3. Start at Cat Ba IslandAnother way to get the most out of Halong Bay is to avoid the bus/boat combo tickets and shoot straight to Cat Ba. From there, you can get to know the people at your hotel and book day tickets off of the island, circumventing the scammers who often come from Hanoi. Cat Ba also offers great trips trekking across the island or kayaking through karsts in the smaller, more unspoiled Lan Ha Bay.4. Pay attention to the seasonAny trip to Halong Bay will be a little more sane if you go in the off season from around late September to June. Not to mention that if you decide to stay on Cat Ba Island, the hotel rooms will go for a fraction of the price during off season – I had an ocean-view room for a mere $10 a night with one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve seen in all my travels.5. Advoid it completelyYou don’t have to go to Halong Bay to see the scenery it has become famous for. As noted in The Lonely Planet, the limestone-studded waters continue all the way up to Southern China, and the view is just as breath-taking. Ask around about Bai Tu Long Bay to get a sense of what Halong Bay was like before the tourists arrived.The waters there are largely untouched and don’t have the crowds or water pollution you find in Halong. It’s definitely off the beaten track, but with a little extra effort, you can make it happen. People are starting to get word about these other places but still largely avoid them because the lack of tourist infrastructure.Source: tikikiki
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
- Views: 242
- Not yet rated
- From: EricRojo
After a great 3 day marathon in Puebla, the great Popocatepetl (Smoking Mountain in Nahuatl) bade me farewell with a magnificent spectacle of steam and ash brightened by the early morning sun as it hiccupped as it has for many centuries. Snowcapped alongside theIztaccíhuatl (Sleeping Woman) they frame the Valley of Puebla with eternal beauty.
As a frequent visitor to Puebla taking in this view gave me pause to review what happened in the last three days between business meetings and planning for the visitors that will arrive son to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Puebla.
This bright Sunday morning I arrived in the direct flight from Houston and headed to check in at the Camino Real Hotel in the heart of downtown Puebla. Once installed, met my colleague in the project and headed to my favorite Sunday stop, the flea market at the Los Sapos (Toads) fountain park. There looked for antique toys, books, helmets, medals, coins, jewelry surrounded by dozens of many other old and new items that make for a great start of the day. This area of downtown Puebla has sprawled over the last ten years to the many colonial era streets that connect Los Sapos with the Zocalo or main plaza, the Parian, the artists’ colony; the gran crafts market leaving only space to walk and marvel at what is new almost with every visit. There are a growing number of boutique hotels, carved out of decaying colonial buildings and old homes, each with a unique style and competing cuisine. There are many vendors of food, snacks, popular and high end restaurants. The Zocalo, border by arched portal buildings on three sides –these with every form of eating establishment-, and the magnificent cathedral on the other, is a pedestrian paradise on Sunday. Children play, there are great offers of colorful balloons and many other toys, concerts and many other activities. We were met by other friends as we replicated the walking tour we planned for our visitors, tasted mole, candies, took a peek at many of the monuments, stopped for lunch at a preselected traditional kitchen restaurant and enjoyed judging the various options offered by the owner and settling for one of Puebla’s signature dishes “Chiles en Nogada”. After we made our way to have coffee with an old friend who owns and produces some of the most magnificent pieces and sculptures in the Talavera pottery style that is unique to Puebla. We talked about his production of special Talavera pieces with Cinco de Mayo themes and motifs, for special gifts and to offer to visitors during and after the festivities. Someone mentioned that later we could attend and open air concert by a known contemporary singer and an open air play showing life in Puebla in the XVIIth century. We decided that there was time to see the plan and catch the end of the concert. On our way, we stopped to have a “pasita” (a raisin) which is a tradition to stop and have a shot glass of this raisin liqueur dispensed at a rather quaint shop that seems to have thousands of objects and probably sells other things, but the lines are to have a “pasita” as a rite of passage for visitors and locals alike. As we continue walking making our way to the candy street (one of Puebla’s great products is it immense variety of candies and chocolates, set side by side with dozens of locally imagined fruit liquors) we browse through antique shops, colonial furniture; we stop at City Hall, a rather handsome neoclassic building where a placard tells us that at this site in April of 1863, who after a month long siege –almost a year after the famous battle- they refused to surrender to the French army that was twice the force of that of 1862. Our meandering takes to the larger crafts market of Analco. We take a peek the Palafoxian library on one side of the cathedral with is thousands of books from colonial times that is open during daylight as it has no electric lights.
A bit later as we turn to the street leading to the candy shops we pass by the Santo Domingo Temple and the Rosario Chapel, their interior lined with impressive Baroque altars and a onyx pulpit; and the Capilla del Rosario, one of the most elaborately decorated Baroque chapels in Mexico, completely covered with ornate sculptured walls and vault in gold leaf and plaster. From passing all the temptations of candy we do surrender to some magnificent local chocolates as we arrive at the Teatro Principal, dating 1760 and seating some 1600, still in use today with an offering of great plays. The theater borders the Artists Quarter and there is a colonial patio where we arrive to see a play that depicts life in Puebla 26 years after being founded over 400 years ago (Puebla is a planned city). The visual staging was admirable as with a cast of dozens the play recreated a market scene that carried us in time with great delight. At the end we had time to catch the end of the concert at the zócalo still full of life as the clock showed it was past 10 pm. Time to say goodnight and reflect on the magic of a Sunday in Puebla were time seems to go so slow that we could do all of this on foot and never feel the rush of time.
Monday and Tuesday do change our pace as there meetings to attend in various parts of the city and now we need to get into the car and meet the challenge of urban traffic. Our meetings take us from traditional downtown to modern Puebla in Angelopolis with its eight lane roads, buildings showing the accomplished designs of Mexican architects that mix creativity with earthquake proof structures, university campuses (we have a presentation at the BUAP on Tuesday), golf courses, hotels, hospitals and housing developments. The afternoon takes us to the Battle Park to see the May Fair were we find hundreds of stands with dozens of variations of popular food, crafts and games. Of great interest is the Mexican Army exhibit showing a modern and professional force, well trained, well equipped and highly disciplined. To my personal pleasure the exhibit included two type aircraft I flew in my Army days. We had a chance to navigate at the intense building pace in completing the segregation of the Battle Park from the urban area that surrounds it. Our stop there was the ceremony re inaugurating the Planetarium, showing the renewed Imax and Sky projectors all done with and by Puebla technicians. As the Planetarium is located within the Park, it is also planned to be part of the visitors orientation and will show videos of the Battle that will help the visitor visualize what happened there 150 years ago. We close the day by having dinner at one of the two dozen open air restaurants found in the porticos around the Zócalo. Tuesday we return to Angelopolis to make a presentation sponsored by the Center of Innovation and Business Competivity of the BUAP were we presented a concept for the market of historic memorabilia as a foundation for the tourism business and a growth perspective for export of 5 de Mayo crafts and memorabilia. Mixing business with pleasure, we had lunch at the Murales de Puebla restaurant, a new place for me. There we find ourselves surrounded by fascinating murals –there is a new one to be installed shortly full of 5 de Mayo and period history- we had the pleasure to see one of the greatest selections of mescal (tequila is a form of mescal) and taste two recommended by the owner. More important is the variety of choices in their menu full of traditional and innovative dishes. I settled for one of their signature dishes –enchiladas of three moles- will go back for more. For dessert we had one of the best flans I have ever tasted. One of our last stops was the studio of world famous painter Washington Iza who is doing a specially commissioned work that depicts the Battle of Puebla juxtaposing the Lincoln-Juarez relationship, so important to the successful outcome of both wars. The day finds its end by sharing literary and history opinions, and some good tequila with a friend. Back to the hotel and ready to depart in the morning.
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Door County, Wisconsin is a quaint community of intriguing ancient history and lore that contains golfing grounds that once lay home to French immigrants 11,000 years ago. Named after the treacherous passage where the turbulent waters of Green Bay meet the open body of Lake Michigan, this “door” caused dozens of shipwrecks and thus gave birth to the name, Door County. Referred to as the Cape Cod of the Midwest by locals and vacationers alike, Door County, Wisconsin attracts thousands of golf lovers every year. The 483-square mile county is the largest county in Wisconsin, and offers a plethora of golf choices on its vast stretch of land.
The aquatic layout of Door County grants scenic golf course landscapes. Sweeping views of the waters of Green Bay, Lake Michigan, and 400 million-year old limestone bluffs along the shorelines are some of the awe-inspiring sights to take in while golfing. Each of the 11 golf courses in the county are unique and challenging in their own way.
The Alpine Golf Resort features 36 holes, with the 9th hole on the Blue course famed as being the most scenic hole in Wisconsin. It features an exciting tee-off at 300 feet over a bluff, with the hole at ground level. According to Steve Habel, a seasoned golfer from Texas, the challenging Orchards at Egg Harbor is his favorite golf course in the county. The Orchards is a 72 par course with bent grass tees with at least 4 sets of tees on each hole, allowing for variable challenges.
A popular destination for travelers to Door County is Washington Island, Wisconsin’s largest island at 36 square miles. Here, you can find swimming and snorkeling at one of the island’s three beaches, cave tours, museums featuring local artifacts, and Icelandic horses ready to giddy up. Also located on the island is the 9-hole Deer Run Golf Course, where chances of a deer ambling across your path are favorable. The course has been recently renovated to feature more doglegs, elevated tee boxes, and challenging greens. Another course, the 18-hole Idlewild Golf Course located in Sturgeon Bay was given a 4-star rating by Golf Digest as “One of the places to play”. The course is meticulously landscaped with lakes and elevated views of the nearby Potawatomi Park.
To experience the local’s choice for golf, visit the 18- hole Peninsula State Park Golf Course. Dotted with cedar, oak, birch, and maple trees, the course offers a scenic backdrop of rolling woodlands. Views of Green Bay, Eagle Harbor and the village of Ephriam supplement this beautiful landscape. Also available in the Peninsula State Park are recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, and swimming. During the winter months, you can enjoy snow sports such as skiing and snowmobiling. Another prominent Door County golf course is the Cherry Hills course located in Sturgeon Bay. This 18-hole course offers three sets of tees on each hole, and is manicured with the popular local cherry tree.
Take a break from golf and enjoy some of the area’s off-the-green activities. Door County is one of the major contributors to the billion-dollar boating industry in the Great Lakes region. Take a sailing cruise or rent a boat at one of the marinas (Sister Bay or Sturgeon Bay). During the day, visit some of the wineries and breweries that offer free tours and wine tasting, such as Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery & Brewery. In the evenings, catch a performance at the American Folklore theatre (the oldest folklore theatre in the country), take part in quaint shopping in local villages, and sample boiled fish, one of the native cuisine choices in Door County.
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