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  • Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood believes that if his side had kept hold of Gareth Bale they would be fighting for the Premier Le

    • From: JohnDean
    • Description:

      The Welsh wizard became the world’s most expensive player after Real Madrid snapped him up from Spurs in an eye-watering £86m deal last year on the back of an impressive campaign. predator lz sambaBale was English football’s top performer last term, with his 26 goals in all competitions almost enough to cap a positive season at White Hart Lane with Champions League qualification. After a summer of transfer uncertainty Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy eventually accepted Real’s offer for the 24-year-old, replacing him with a series of stars from across Europe in a £110m spend. Few of these big buys have settled well, and Sherwood – who replaced Andre Villas-Boas over the winter – has been unable to keep the Londoners in the battle for Champions League qualification. adidas samba 2014 Bale netted a dramatic late winner in the Copa de Rey final against Barcelona in midweek, and the now Spurs coach feels that if the club still had him they would be battling for English football’s top prize: “We saw what he did last year: 21 goals and nine assists. He scored the winner in eight games.” He is quoted by Sky Sports. “We could do with that now, by the way. If you put those points that he accumulated for us on top of what we have got we would probably be challenging for the title.” internationaevencourage Sherwood then went on to lament the loss of Luka Modric a few seasons ago – the Croatian now also plays for Real: “The two best players on the pitch (in the Copa del Rey final) were Gareth Bale and Luka Modric and that says everything.” come from http://www.footballfancast.com/

    • 1 day ago
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  • Flemenco Beach Flemenco Beach

    • From: gdcall
    • Description:
      Beautiful Flemenco beach on the island of Culebra. One of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.
    • 3 weeks ago
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  • Cayman Brac Vacation Rentals Cayman Brac Vacation Rentals

    • From: JamesStillman
    • Description:

      Waking up and getting out of bed to find that you're only foot steps away from your very own white sandy beach... A pool, sun beds, bicycles, BBQs, kayaks and more-all at your fingertips. Stay at Cayman Brac Beach Villas and turn that dream into reality!

    • 1 month ago
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  • 10 Luxury Family Holiday Desti 10 Luxury Family Holiday Destinations 2014

    • From: dharmender
    • Description:

      As travel to the four corners of the world has become more accessible, an abundance of choice has been created for the family traveller. Yet at the same time as the globe opens up, the options available for a rarefied experience narrow. 

      For family holiday makers in search of luxury, the chance to provide their children with culturally rich excursions that expand their world view are proving to be key drivers in determining choice. To help, here is a list of ten destinations that offer children and adults alike the chance to indulge in the luxury of experience in the maximum of comfort. 

      Barbados 

      The culture the exotic island of Barbados is defined by is its West African, British and Indian historical legacy. This ensures that cricket, afternoon tea and Christianity remain staple passions of the local Bajans, who need no excuse to proudly boast of the fact that there are more churches than bars on the island. 

      The aesthetic too is shaped by this legacy, as the old stone churches and sugar plantations characterise the scenery of this Caribbean gem as much as the glorious white sandy beaches and dreamy ocean views. In terms of luxury hotels, Sandy Lane provides a plethora of activities and facilities to cater for every family need. 
       

      Dubai 

      As recently as 20 years ago, Dubai as we know it simply didn’t exist. Now, however, it’s a bustling ever-changing metropolis set in the heart of the Persian Gulf. A destination of complete opposites, the tranquillity of the desert close by provides a taste of traditional Arabia that is of stark contrast to the ultra-modern shopping malls and extravagant opulence found in the city. 

      Excursions and activities for the whole family are integrated into Dubai’s vibrant tourist economy. For example, one of the most expensive and extravagant hotels found anywhere in the world, the Burj al Arab, now runs the the Jumeirah project; a turtle rehabilitation programme that in its final stage allows children to release the reinvigorated reptiles back into the sea. 

      Egypt 

      Since the dawn of its ancient civilisation Egypt is a country that has been synonymous with luxury. And with its wide range of world class hotels and facilities, this statement is as true today as it ever was. 

      For family travellers looking to indulge into the rich history of Egypt, the city of Luxor provides the ideal central location to plan your adventures from, with the Valley of the Kings nearby. Similarly, as Egypt is home to two of the Seven Wonders of the World in the form of The Great Pyramid of Giza and the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the timeless options for families in search of cultural enrichment are plentiful. 

      France 

      From the romance of Paris right through to the mountainous vistas of the Alps, France is home to a rich and varied landscape. In terms of culture, food and drink is central to the way of life. Therefore France is the perfect country to refine the palette of young and old, with dynamic markets, top class restaurants and hidden eateries aplenty.      

      The Evian resort, just 3km away from the gorgeous Lake Geneva on the Swiss border, provides a fantastic family choice regarding accommodation. For more information on the Evian resort and the activities on offer there, visitwww.totstoo.com/destinations. An additional consideration for those with a very young family intent on embarking on a foreign holiday is the relatively short travel times between the UK and destinations in France. 

      Italy 

      An expedition to Italy offers families a varied spectrum of classical ruins, impressive architecture and fine food, that as a collective represent an amalgamation of culture and history which any place in the world will struggle to compete with. 

      Venice and Florence are just two of many cities that offer a multitude of iconic and beautiful experiences. Whilst Lake Garda which resides within the foothills of the beautiful Dolomites, presents a package of gorgeous hotels, stunning scenery and outdoor pursuits to satisfy even the most demanding of luxury family holiday makers. 

      The United Kingdom 

      For those families with a large brood, travelling abroad in search of a luxury experience can be a daunting and stressful experience. This is why many are choosing keep their holiday plans restricted to local shores, as destinations can be reached simply by jumping in a car or on a train. 

      Rural escapes like the Yorkshire Moors, the Cotswolds and the Jurassic Coast provide rugged and beautiful landscapes full of adventure and opportunity for exploration. Furthermore, cities such as London and Liverpool offer vibrant, multicultural environments that provide an illustration of what defines modern Britain.  

      Seychelles 

      Even though the land mass is small, the Seychelles landscape is diverse, encompassing mountains, tropics, coral islands and  isolated beaches that are the epitome of paradise. For tourists that hold nature close to their hearts, the islands are home to the world renownedCousin Island Special Reserve, a national park teeming with wildlife that is famed for its approach to conservation and eco-tourism. 

      As tourism is the lifeblood of the island, there is a number of beautiful and facility laden hotels and resorts optimised for family comfort. All things considered, the Seychelles offers a unique opportunity for families to explore and absorb the rarest of things; paradise on earth. 

      Finnish Lapland 

      It’s not just the prospect of seeing Father Christmas that makes Finnish Lapland a magical family holiday prospect. Situated near the Arctic Circle, the country is one of the few places on earth that is ideal for viewing the spectacular skies that the Northern Lights produce. 

      Surrounded by amazing alpine surrounding, Hotel Kakslauttanen presents the perfect winter bolthole complete with a range of family-centric activities nearby. These include snow rides led by both huskies and reindeers that traverse icy roads and a possible visit toSanta’s resort.

      It goes without saying that for the best experience families should visit during the festive period, and although this will be expensive, children will be provided with an experience they will never forget. 

      Oman 

      Sweeping deserts and idyllic coastlines provide the unadulterated beauty that has seen Oman fittingly referred to as the Jewell of Arabia. Juxtaposing modernity and tradition the country of Oman delivers a holiday experience that is unique to anywhere in the world. Although because of the extreme heat experienced in the summer months, the best time to visit Oman is between October and March. 

      The influx of wealth to the country has ensured that holidaymakers are able to enjoy access to an innumerable range of world-class, child-friendly facilities, which include resorts, shopping districts, attractions and hotels that cater for every family need conceivable. The most accessible part of the Oman coast resides near the capital of Muscat, where there is the opportunity to embark on dolphin watching tours that will cast each generation in a state of awe and provide an unforgettable experience.  

      Greece 

      For children who are old enough to appreciate it, a visit to Greece offers the chance to appreciate the uniquely rich cultural heritage of a country that has shaped much of what continues to define western civilisation. 

       

      Made up of over 2,000 islands, Greece includes golden sandy beaches, seafront taverns and amazing hotels, including Westin Resort Costa Navarino. From here families can engage in water sports and other activities, as well as using it as a hub for nearby excursions which take in the countries rich historical legacy. 

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  • Cayman Brac Vacation Rentals Cayman Brac Vacation Rentals

    • From: JamesStillman
    • Description:

      Waking up and getting out of bed to find that you're only foot steps away from your very own white sandy beach... A pool, sun beds, bicycles, BBQs, kayaks and more-all at your fingertips. Stay at Cayman Brac Beach Villas and turn that dream into reality!

    • 1 month ago
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  • Cayman Brac Beach Villas Cayman Brac Beach Villas

    • From: JamesStillman
    • Description:

      Waking up and getting out of bed to find that you're only foot steps away from your very own white sandy beach... A pool, sun beds, bicycles, BBQs, kayaks and more-all at your fingertips. Stay at Cayman Brac Beach Villas and turn that dream into reality!

    • 1 month ago
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  • Victor Emmanuel Monument Victor Emmanuel Monument

    • From: Brettgrane
    • Description:

      Officially known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, the enormous white marble monument that dominates Piazza Venezia was built as a tribute to the first king of a united Italy, Victor Emmanuel II.

    • 1 month ago
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  • Fly to Indonesia with Airasia Fly to Indonesia with Airasia for best experience

    • From: mansumseo
    • Description:

      Indonesia is the home of the second largest natural biodiversity in the world, with animals and plants of both Asian and Australasian origins. Visitors to the Islands can still experience tigers, orangutans and elephants in their natural environments. Taking the opportunity to fly to Indonesia with airasia is the best experience when you want to see the Indonesian forests using Indonesia airlines, as well as its beaches and volcanoes may be one of the best decisions you make.

      Forest adventures

      Over 60% of Indonesia is covered with forest. While the areas are in decline they still host a wide range of plants and animals that can no longer be seen in many other countries. Flying into Sumatra puts you close to the heart of some of the most rugged landscape that Indonesia has to offer. From here you can see many of the world's most endangered species.

      Wonders of the water

      If you prefer the water to trees then make your destination Sulawei. Here you can experience some of the most amazing underwater sights Indonesia has to offer. There are plenty of professional diving schools and centers on offer. Divers of most levels should find their needs catered for. Lesser Sunda also offers the opportunity for spectacular diving, as well as sightings of the wonderful Komodo Lizards that can be found sunning themselves in this area.

      Beach life

      Vacations don't have to be all about hikes, dives and activity. Sometimes it is nice to find a quiet spot on the beach and just relax. If this is more of your type of break then book your flight to land in Bali. The island is small enough to drive around in just one day, but it has a lot to offer in this small space. You will find stretches of quiet crisp white sand, busy commercial beaches and areas of jet black sand. If you decide that you need a break from the sea and sand then there are plenty of historical and culturally significant sites for you to visit. Bali is the home of Pura Luhur Ulu Watu Temple. It can be found perched high in the cliffs and overlooking the ocean below.

      City life

      If you want to see Indonesia at its most culturally diverse then book your flight to arrive into Java. Here you are in the heart of some of the most diverse cities on earth and in easy traveling distance from Jakarta. The sights and smells of Jakarta will take more than one visit to fully appreciate. You can begin your journey by visiting the Museum Sejarah Jakarta or the Museum National to gain an insight into the history of the islands.

      If your idea of a city break is more about shopping then you will be amazed by the diversity and quality available in Jakarta. There are a plethora of markets and street shops selling traditional goods and foods. There are also several large malls, such as the Plaza Indonesia, that sell high end fashions and luxury goods.

      You are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to go in Indonesia. To make sure you get the best of your time away plan your travel carefully. Consider what it is you most want to be able to experience and choose your destination accordingly. 

    • 2 months ago
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  • red, white and blue on Reykjav red, white and blue on Reykjavik street

    • From: joeguggenheim
    • Description:
    • 4 months ago
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  • It's Cold Out There! It's Cold Out There!

    • From: Donna Carroll
    • Description:

      Flying into Salt Lake City Utah a day after first snow of winter season this year.

    • 4 months ago
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  • GROOVE TO THE LEGENDRY EIGHTIE GROOVE TO THE LEGENDRY EIGHTIES TUNES IN DUBAI

    • From: sarahmacadams
    • Description:

      Remember the bodaciousmusic videos of late eighties and early nineties? Those wild colours, eccentric dance moves, and revolutionary tunes that emerged during this glam era? Since the nostalgia of these years never seem to end, the popular beach lounge Barasti every Wednesday gets you grooving to thislegendary music.

      That does not mean just playing dance music from the likes of Rick Astley, Madonna, or Expose. In the 80s, we loved to dance to rock music, so enjoy plenty of Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, A-Ha, Prince, Guns ‘n Roses and many more legends.Situated at Mina Seyahi’s pristine beach, the venue gives its hip crowds enormous sea views, two floors of a bustling bars, cozy beach settings and playful menus to relish.

      Against this mesmerisingsight imagine tapping to "Every Breath You Take" by the Police or the "Boys of Summer" by Don Henley or the "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams, as well as A-ha's "Take On Me," which took the black and white to another level with comic-style animation.Yes!You do reminisce the tunes as you sip your favourite drink and shake some style on to the floor. The ‘watchers’ may sit and sink into the harmonies or enjoy the company of other enthusiasts as they bring the beach to life.

       

      The acclaimed Marty Metcalf, Rohan Nunez & DJ Venus know how to take you back in time to a festival of twisted 80s & 90s favourites on the beach. So get your flip flops on, or even better get those funky eighties neon colours, perm-ridden hairstyles or those wicked hairbands and relivea cherished era on the sands of Dubai.  

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    • 4 months ago
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  • SUNRISE OVER HALONG BAY SUNRISE OVER HALONG BAY

    • From: activetravelasia
    • Description:
      Written by Jenmodelm
      We all waited and waited for the sun to rise over the giant rock mountains. It was nearly 6:30am before the sun peaked over the rocks.It was a glorious magnificent sunrise.
      Sunrise from the boat…a lovely sight.

       Breakfast was served shortly after, it was an Early start to the day. I couldn’t wait for coffee.Each got one fried egg and as much dry white toast as we wanted.

      After breakfast we had to be checked out of our rooms by 9am so the boat men could get ready for the next tour. We were stopping by the floating village. We were greeted by the sound of blasting techno dance club type music coming from somebody’s shack. It was so odd. We got in groups of four and ladies came in small wooden row boats to take us around the small village of 300 people; the biggest floating village in halong bay. They even had a little floating primary school. Most parents don’t want their children to go to the city to get more education because it costs money and they want them to stay and hell fish.
      The wooden houses floated on large ice chest sized styrofoam or big blue plastic tanks the size of a beer keg. Few people smiled or waved. I think there’s mixed feelings of tourists snapping away photos and strolling through their little village. They have to get at least one tour group a day– minimum. It’s low season here I’m Vietnam too. Our tour guide also said some local people are not so thrilled about the tourists visiting and have been doing so for the last sight years now. The people moved from the mainland to the floating villages because there is more fish available out in the open waters, they don’t have to pay taxes and they prefer the lifestyle.
      After seeing the floating village we had two and a half hours back to the mainland. While most people took refuge in the shade I relaxed on the Sundeck soaking in the suns rays and view. Even though our boat went very slow and the scenery was similar I enjoyed soaking as much of it in as I could. I was so relaxed I failed to put sunscreen on my tummy.
      A local  fishing boat in the bay
      Once back on the mainland we had a quick transfer to our ethnic travel van and an hour drive north towards the Chinese border. We would depart from another Fishing port to our next destination. A small long skinny island with essentially no tourists but ourselves.We had seafood lunch on the boat. Always so good.
      A local rows a boat in the bay. Many locals still live and work on the water in the bay.
      We were able to kayak one more time, although this time much less impressive than the first. There were no large rock formations or caves to go under.Instead it seemed we were kayaking in a big lake. It was strange to think it was still actually the ocean. We went for a quick swim and jumped off the boat being careful not to get stung by any jellyfish.
      Kayaking is a great way to get up close.
      The boat continued on for another hour and we sat on the roof of the boat watching the sun set. It was glorious. The sun was just a bright orange ball. Like a Japanese sun in Vietnam. It was really stunning.We arrived at the pier and it was nearly dark. Two tuk tuk scooters picked us up to our homestay.
      Sunset in the bay left a golden glow. A great reason to do an overnight junk boat.
      I was surprised to get my own room. Unlike the homestays in sapa where mattresses are set side by side, our tour guide said that ethnic travel paid for this family’s Home to be extended into.More of a guesthouse. They wouldn’t make any Money for three years to pay off the house,Thereafter they would make money from it. The family is retired, so they seemed happy to be doing it.
      Dinner was served at 7 and we helped to make fresh spring rolls with thin rice paper. Afterwards they were fried and ever so fresh and hot. Soo good! I also noticed that our leftover rice from lunch was being dried on the roof of the boat. They used it to make this amazing popcorn- tasting dried rice with corn. Never had anything like it.
      After one beer at dinner and a full belly I was sapped. I called bed time at 9. Took a shower and Crashed just a little before 10.
      ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA would like to recommend  Kayaking Halong Bay tour. Halong Bay, located in the Gulf of Tonkin, covers an area of 1500 square km. with more than a thousand limestone peaks soaring from its crystalline emerald water. The calm sea provides an ideal location for sea kayaking as we paddle through a maze of islets amid dramatic natural scenery. With our modern kayaking equipment, we are able to maximize on speed and maneuverability as we explore the open sea and the many hidden lagoons and stalagmite caves that are difficult to access by any other means. After a day of paddling we unwind on our boat and enjoy dinner. This tour offers longer kayaking expedition of Halong Bay. We will paddle amongst islets, visit hidden caves, lagoons, unspoiled beaches, floating fishing village and talk with local fishman. 
      Highlights: 

       

      • Amazing limestone formations
      • Inclusive junk for overnight
      • Beautiful and different kayaking route
      • Support boat all the time
      • All meals included
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    • 6 months ago
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  • San Francisco Plantation San Francisco Plantation

    • From: gmaso
    • Description:

      River Road outside New Orleans is filled with plantation homes on both sides of the Mississippi; some available for tours and some not.

      The San Francisco Plantation is one of the closest to New Orleans and the tour usually very interesting; the guides vary. Most original furnishings are gone but the home has a number of documents provided by family members, especially from Germany. The house is obviously one of the prettier having been painted something other than just white and the interior woodwork and ceilings have been restored.

      The hand carved column capitals are as can seen extremely ornate.

    • 6 months ago
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  • San Francisco Plantation San Francisco Plantation

    • From: gmaso
    • Description:

      River Road outside New Orleans is filled with plantationhomes on both sides of the Mississippi; some available for tours and some not.

      The San Francisco Plantationis one of the closest to New Orleans and the tour usually very interesting; the guides vary. Most original furnishings are gone but the home has a number of documents provided by family members, especiallyfrom Germany. The house is obviously one of the prettier having been painted something other than just white and the interior woodwork and ceilings have been restored.

      Unfortunately industrialization along the Mississippi has obscured the views of many plantations and wires and signs obscure the views of many such homes. Somewhat incongruously San Francisco is surrounded by a very large Marathon Oil facility including docks along the river itself. On the other hand, it was Marathon that funded the restoration of the house rather than see it torn down.

       

    • 6 months ago
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  • San Francisco Plantation San Francisco Plantation

    • From: gmaso
    • Description:

      .

      River Road outside New Orleans is filled with plantationhomes on both sides of the Mississippi; some available for tours and some not.

      The San Francisco Plantationis one of the closest to New Orleans and the tour usually very interesting; the guides vary. Most original furnishings are gone but the home has a number of documents provided by family members, especiallyfrom Germany. The house is obviously one of the prettier having been painted something other than just white and the interior woodwork and ceilings have been restored.

      The house has two above ground cisterns which used to supply the water.

    • 6 months ago
    • Views: 183
  • San Francisco Plantation San Francisco Plantation

    • From: gmaso
    • Description:

      River Road outside New Orleans is filled with plantationhomes on both sides of the Mississippi; some available for tours and some not.

      The San Francisco Plantationis one of the closest to New Orleans and the tour usually very interesting; the guides vary. Most original furnishings are gone but the home has a number of documents provided by family members, especiallyfrom Germany. The house is obviously one of the prettier having been painted something other than just white and the interior woodwork and ceilings have been restored.

      This ceiling is in the gentlemen's salon and restored to the original. Some guides allow you to take interior photos in the San Francisco house and some don't. We lucked out with one who allowed limited photography.

    • 6 months ago
    • Views: 154
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  • Nottoway Plantation Nottoway Plantation

    • From: gmaso
    • Description:

      River Road outside New Orleans is filled with plantation homes on both sides of the Mississippi; some available for tours and some not. Nottoway is the largest antebellum mansion in the South with some 60,000 square feet of living space. Not only is it available for tours but it also operates as a resort with a restaurant, spa, and several out buildings.

      This is the White Room in which my wife made me dance with her when we stayed there several years ago. The mansion is open for guests at night and you can wander through the building at will (other than occupied rooms obviously.)

      It has an interestiing history and has been used in many movies over the years.

    • 6 months ago
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  • 9 Stunning Landscapes of Vietn 9 Stunning Landscapes of Vietnam

    • From: activetravelasia
    • Description:
      At just three percent of the land mass of the United States, what most surprised me during our time in Vietnam was the diversity of the scenery. From white sand beaches and turquoise water to black rock forests and mountains that hug the clouds, here are some of the most amazing landscapes we came across.
      With a coastline of over 2025 miles, it's no surprise that Vietnam has a ton of beautiful beaches. And when the rest stop during your bus trip looks like this, you don't have much to complain about.
      Rest stops in Vietnam are sometimes on beautiful beaches
      The biggest beach destination in Vietnam is likely the town of Nha Trang, which boasts all day boat tours and all night parties. If you're missing Miami while in SE Asia, this is the closest we found. The beach in the main town is pretty nice, but the offshore islands are where you want to head if you're looking to snorkel or dive. With perfect visibility, good quality coral, and thousands of multicolored fish flitting about, having a great day is easy, especially since the all day island-hopping tour costs approximately $6.
      Great beach for snorkeling near Nha Trang
      But Vietnam's coastline isn't all sparkling white sand and clear blue water. Our favorite coastal landscape was the sand dunes around Mui Ne, which come in both red and white varieties. Whether you jump, run, or slide, it's hard not to let the beauty of the dunes overwhelm you. Stretching for what seems like miles, the dunes are something you'd expect to find in Africa. Instead, they're here, only a few minutes away from one of the best places in the world to learn to kitesurf.
      Red sand dunes of Mui Ne
      Most countries with a coastline have beaches, but they don't all have rice terraces, especially ones that look like this.
      Rice terraces of Sapa
      The terraces in Sapa were carved over two thousand years ago by hand and are still inhabited primarily by the Black Hmong tribespeople. These mountain dwellers live off the land, planting and harvesting rice year in and year out in order to sustain their families.
      A Black Hmong man takes a break from working in the rice terraces outside of Sapa
      Tourists can explore the terraces by taking a multiday trekking tour with a Hmong guide. You'll stay in homestays run by the local villagers, get knee deep in mud, and appreciate rice way more than you ever have.
      Wide view of Sapa's rice terraces
      Further north and to the east of Sapa lies the unexplored Vietnam of the Ha Giang province. You need a permit to stay the night and a camera with lots of battery power to take all of the photos of the immense scenery that surrounds you as you drive by on your motorbike. The most beautiful part of the road, and arguably one of the most beautiful drives in the world, is the leg between Dong Van and Meo Vac. Here the road darts in and out of rock crevices and up and down mountains and valleys.
      Windy road in Northern Vietnam
      Children in traditional tribal outfits scream "hello" from above and below as they carry double their weight of sticks in bamboo baskets. Men wear high-necked black tunics and matching berets and women wrap electric pink scarves over their hair, giving the game of "I Spot" a whole new meaning.
      Rock forest in Northern Vietnam
      Perhaps the most quintessential scene of Vietnam is the floating limestone karst formations of Halong Bay. Best seen on a multi-day boat tour, these rocks rise out of the still water and emerge through the mist forming, if you look hard enough, the shape of a descending dragon. At least that's what the locals tell you, and how Halong Bay gets its name. Kayaking through some of these formations is a must, as is sitting back on your boat tour and letting the scenery and mist envelop you.
      Kayaking Halong Bay
      Source:huffingtonpost

      ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA would like recommend Motorcycling adventure in Northern Vietnam  tour.The mountainous area of Northern Vietnam has long been famous for its beautiful scenery and great diversity of ethnic minorities. With our adventure motorcycling trip you will make a big loop to experience all the bests that area can offer. Starting in Hanoi you will explore Northwest before jumping into Northeast, back to Hanoi after a day relaxing in Ba Be Lake. The perfect itinerary and the support crew ensure you get the most out of the trip in terms of comfort, enjoyment and adventure. Along the way we encounter dramatic landscapes and sweeping panoramas as the rural population goes about its business. Highlights include the terraced valleys of Sapa, beautiful Ban Gioc Waterfall and many different colorful minority groups.
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    • 6 months ago
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  • Enchanting Sapa through the le Enchanting Sapa through the lens of Thai photographer

  • Three reasons why Japan's Izu Three reasons why Japan's Izu Peninsula is the perfect budget getaway

    • From: ataylor0307
    • Description:

      Tokyo in the summertime is surprisingly humid, for a non-tropical region. If you plan to go outside, even to make a dash from your hotel to the train station, in the name of all that is holy don’t leave without a rag or you’ll regret it. Nothing says summer fun like blinking the burning sweat out of your eyes.

      Don’t worry, relief can be found not north, but just a couple hours west, on the Izu Peninsula. If you’re in the Tokyo area, I highly recommend taking a detour there for a couple of days. It’s still hot, but not as humid, and the sea is only a few steps away. In fact one of my best memories of living as an expat in Japan is packing up and taking over a beautiful, Japanese style hostel in the area with a group of friends.

      K’s House Ito OnsenK's House Ito Onsen

      K’s house is a popular hostel chain in Japan. I’ve been to a few, but none have left their mark on me like the one in Ito. Though modern, the interior retains a traditional Japanese aesthetic. Rooms floored in tatami are hidden away by sliding paper screens. A path of cool, smooth stones leads to the kitchen and common room. And best of all, the hostel has its own public and private onsen (hot springs). There’s nothing like taking a long soak in the hot spring after a day at the beach. The feeling of water just this side of boiling on my aching muscles is bliss, and I always come out feeling like putty. The next stop is the common room, which has a big sliding door opening onto a terrace, a peaceful view of the river right below the hostel, and green hills in the distance. Sitting out there after the hot spring, with the sound of the crickets and the breeze on my still steaming skin, is the closest I’ve ever gotten to Zen.

      This place gives the impression of staying at a traditional and expensive Japanese Inn at less than half the price: about $30 USD for a bed in the dorm, or up to $60 USD for a private room ensuite room.

      Shirahama BeachShirahama Beach

      Shirahama beach in Shimoda is a little bit of a journey from Ito, but worth the trip. Besides, the view from the train is gorgeous, and the ride will cost you around $15 USD one way. About an hour long train ride beside lush, green mountains, palm-tree lined roads and sparkling blue sea leads to Izukyu Shimoda station, on the Izukyu line.  From there the bus, which is about $3.50 USD, goes straight to the beach. There’s also a grocery store five minutes’ walk from the station, perfect for getting cheap snacks.   

      Shirahama beach is popular, and it’s easy to see why. In summer the water is warm and clear, with soft rolling waves. The sky is a luminous blue not marred, but enhanced by the white clouds trailing across it. The scenery is as beautiful as any beach in the Caribbean, but at the edge of the beach is a slight cliff. A rocky path leads to the summit and there sits a Shinto shrine, fronted by a red torii, or gate, which stands aloof and proud as if to say, remember, this is Japan.

      Ito Eats

      Within 10 minutes’ walk of the station is a shopping arcade with a few restaurants, including some Izakaya—traditional Japanese restaurants serving many appetizers and cocktails. Izu, so close to the sea, has some of the freshest and tastiest sushi and sashimi you’ll eat in all Japan. It melts in your mouth, and the restaurants in the area serve it up with delicious miso soup, fluffy rice and pickled vegetables. There are also a variety of other foods. The most daring of us tried basashi—raw horse meat. I really like the fried crocodile. Dinner and drinks is no more than $30 USD a person, and often much less, making Ito, and a stay at K’s Hostel, one of my favorite budget getaways.

       

       

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