Philippine Travel: Ongpin Aka Chinatown

If your Asia tour includes a long stay in the Philippines, we suggest that you add in a visit to Ongpin or Chinatown, which is how most people call it as well, as part of your travel program, especially if you’ll in Manila – the capital city of the country – for a while yet.

Ongpin or Chinatown may not be as popular as other places in the Philippines but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be part of your travel schedule. Not only is a visit to Ongpin guaranteed to be delightful in more ways than one, it also won’t cost you much because prices in Ongpin are more affordable than what you’d find in other cities like Makati or even Quezon City.

Ongpin is also mainly a residential town so it’s easier to tour the place rather than other cities, which would require you to take on huge buses and six-wheeler trucks just to cross the street.

Because Ongpin is not that big a town, the streets are mostly narrow, winding and filled with people. If you’re planning to drive your own car to Ongpin, you might be forced then to park somewhere and walk for the rest of the time you’ll be spending in Binondo. But that’s not really much of a punishment – except for your feet, if you’re wearing high heels! – because a lot of people really prefer to wander around Ongpin by foot.

Food Shopping

Fruits – Almost all kinds of fruits are sold in the streets of Ongpin and if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you could try out some of the exotic fruits being offered by street vendors such as the mangosteen or the huge apple-mango. Highly popular with the Filipino Chinese residents of Ongpin are rambutan, longgans, lanzones and chicos. When you get to Ongpin, be sure that you do try all those fruits and more since one can never get fat with fruits, anyway.

Delicacies – When you get to Ongpin, do be sure that you’ll be able to make a pit stop at any of the Chinese food stores of Ongpin. One of the most popular stores of this type is Eng Bee Tin. There, you’ll be able to find all sorts of Chinese delicacies that people back home would surely be delighted with.

Main Dishes – Tired after walking nonstop for an hour or so? If that’s the case, we suggest that you try relaxing your feet on any of the restaurants located in Ongpin. Try out popular Chinese dishes and the exotic ones as well so your trip to Ongpin will be truly memorable.

Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

One of the most interesting places to visit in Asia is Kuala Lumpur and one of the major attractions there is the Petronas twin towers. These magnificent structures stand 458 meters tall and have 88 floors. The foundation of these towers stretches 120 meters underground. The towers themselves are made primarily of reinforced concrete and steel with a glass façade. Construction on these towers was finished in 1996.

Visitors are allowed to go to the 41st floor to see the sky bridge. From this vantage point you can see the park below and on a clear day all the surrounding cities of Kuala Lumpur. In order to get into the sky bridge it is necessary to get a pass. These passes are given to about 1400 people every day, and usually they are all distributed before noon, so make sure you get there very early to ensure that you manage to get one.

In a building this massive it would seem logical that the elevator system be huge and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. There are 3 groups of  elevators that together service all the floors in the building. The elevator cars are two stories, so one story handles the even floors and the other handles the odd floors. These elevators are also specially equipped with a number of safety devices. The one that is the most interested is the way that one elevator can go up beside another elevator and evacuate people from it if it gets stuck or jammed between floors.

The petronas Company is the one and only tenant of tower one. The other tower called Tower 2 is available for rent to other tenants’. Currently Accenture, Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Microsoft, Reuters, and a large number of smaller firms all call this tower home.

At the base of the towers there is a shopping plaza called Suria KLCC. It has a large number of shops featuring all kinds of different merchandise. On the 4th floor you will find the petroleum development centre.

Just outside the plaza is the KLCC Park. This park has jogging and walking paths, a wading pool, and a children’s playground. It has a very large water fountain with built in lighting that puts on a fantastic show, as the water blasts high into the air. Getting to the towers is easy. Take the Putra train right to the towers.

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Odaiba – Tokyo’s Most Visited Attraction

Aqua City, Venus Fort, and Rainbow Bridge. While they may sound like the settings for the next big battle of 21st century superheroes, they are in actuality just three of the attractions which have made Tokyo’s Odaiba one of the city’s most frequented destinations.

Odaiba stands on two of six islands which the Togukawa shogunate built and fortified to protect Tokyo Harbor from Western intrusion, which arrived in the person of Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853. It received its name from the Japanese word ‘daiba,” for fort. When Japan experienced its enormous economic boom in the early 1980s, the third and sixth of the fortified islands were extended, and named Tokyo Teleport Town for the ultramodern business city which was to be constructed on them.

The economic boom went bust, however, and in the 1990s, new plans permitting Odaiba to be commercially developed saw it quickly inhabited by the entertainment and commercial enterprises which make it such a huge draw today. Among Odiaba’s most impressive attractions are the replica of France’s Statue of Liberty wtching over its Aqua City shopping center; Venus Fort, another shopping mall designed to resemble eighteenth–century Venice; and Oedo Onsen Monogatari, an Edo-period style bathing park built around a 1400-metre deep hot spring.

The Odiaba Kaihin Park, near the Rainbow Bridge and the possessor of one of Tokyo’s two sand beaches, is a favorite spot for romantic assignations, but swimming in Tokyo’s less-than-pristine bay is not recommended.  For the technologically inclined, Odaiba has the Miraikan, Japan’s Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, the Fuji Television Building, and the Toyota Mega Web.

Accessing Odaiba from either the Rainbow Bridge or the Yurikamome elevated train will afford visitors some splendid views of Tokyo Bay.

The park-like grounds and private waterfront balconies of the five-star Odaiba Nikko Hotel, the first built on Odaiba, offer visitors an escape from the bustle of Tokyo with its. The Odaiba Nikko is a perfect spot for romantic getaways.

National Park Vacation At Borneo’s Mesilau Nature Park

One of the most popular Borneo destinations is undoubtedly Kinabalu National Park, where Mount Kinabalu resides. Each year, thousands of visitors visited Kinabalu National Park for either a refreshing National Park Vacation to escape the hot tropical sun and catch a glimpse of the highest mountain in South East Asia, or to conquer the mystical Mount Kinabalu.

Nevertheless, for a unique National Park Vacation in Borneo, you must make sure that you drop by at the lesser known Mesilau Nature Park, which is just about 30 minutes by road away from Kinabalu National Park. From Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, Malaysia Borneo, it only takes approximately 2.5 hour drive to reach Mesilau Nature Park.

Mesilau Nature Park is located within the vicinity of Kinabalu National Park on the Pinosok Plateau near Kundasang town. The stretch of the road from Kundasang town to Mesilau Nature Park, which is about 2,000 metres above sea level, is extremely steep and winding. However, the road condition has improved immensely in recent times, which makes the ascending ride a breeze.

On the way, you will surely be captivated by the spectacular views of the Kundasang valley with terraced hill slopes planted with highlands vegetables, and parts of the scenic beauty of the Kundasang Mount Kinabalu Golf Course, a challenging 18-hole golf course for avid golfers, undeniably, the highest golf course in South East Asia.

But once you get to Mesilau Nature Park, you will notice that the place is more natural and “virgin” than the now “commercialized” Kinabalu National Park. As the Park lies at the base of Mount Kinabalu, Mount Kinabalu will look even more spectacular with a sheer wall of granite towering a few thousand meters from the virgin forest floor and ending in jagged peaks. This breathtaking sight is aptly called the Mesilau Pinnacles.

To experience the best of what Mesilau can offer, you will need to spend a night or two at the eco-friendly Mesilau Nature Resort, which is nestled amongst the trees at the foot of the mountain within the Park. The Resort itself is amazing since it was carefully planned and built to blend into its natural surrounding.

The chalets are on slopes surrounded by trees with the full view of the Mesilau River flowing below. And for food, the Kedamaian Restaurant is famous for its piping hot steamboat, and barbecue dinners, which makes it a good excuse to stay overnight.

Mesilau Nature Park is also the starting point for the alternative and more challenging route up Mount Kinabalu. If you are of an adventurous kind, do trek the route up to a kilometres or two even if you are not planning to climb Mount Kinabalu. Since the Mesilau Summit Trail is relatively newer and less crowded than the old summit trail, your chance of encountering (tamed) wildlife is also brighter.

One prominent feature of the route is the seemingly abundance of orchids (Rhododendrons) and pitcher plants. The world’s largest pitcher plant, the “Nepenthes Rajah”, is recorded to grow in abundance here. For most visitors, a less taxing guided nature walk around the Park is recommended. It will leave you with lasting “natural” memories.

Mesilau will not fail to enchant you with its cool temperate climate (temperatures vary around 17-21 degree Celcius during the day and 10-15 degree Celcius at night) and serene surroundings as a truly astonishing nature’s paradise. Mesilau Nature Park and its Resort is an ideal venue for relaxation or retreat.

The bio-diversity of the flora and fauna found here makes Mesilau a haven for naturalists. It is one of the best locations in Borneo for an unforgettable National Park Vacation.

Mount Kinabalu: Southeast Asia’s Tallest Mountain

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest peak in Southeast Asia and a National Park of Malaysia.  Standing 4101 metres above sea level, the mountain is in Sabah, the East Malaysian state on the isle of Borneo.  It is located about 2-3 hours away from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital.

Top 3 Things About Mount Kinabalu:

1. Scenic Walk:  Take in the fresh air as you walk up and notice your surroundings change from the large tropical trees to scrubs to rock.  The whole mountain area is a national park – many flora not found at sea level are sighted here.  The large venus fly-trap is one to look out for as you walk.  You may catch the odd wildlife too.

2. Leisure Climb: At 4101metres, Mt Kinabalu is manageable for the average tourist – not climber or moutaineer – tourist – ladies climb too!  There are steps cut all the way up to the top of the mountain, good water fountain supplies (water is probably your heaviest item) and resthouses.  You must be accompanied by a guide when you climb, and these folks are willing to carry up to 10kg of your stuff all the way up the mountain for you for what it very little.  There may not be many such mountain climbs with all these features available.

3. Sunrise: You have absolutely got to see the sunrise from up there.  For many, it may be the highlight of the walk up!  From Laban Rata where you stay overnight, there is a buzz as you hike up to get to the peak by sunrise.  As you are walking up, the sun just breaks through the clouds, the air is cool and the scenery 360 degrees all round is just reward for 2 days’ climb.

Top Things To Be Wary About:

1. Rain: Its the tropics, you’re walking and.. it pours! Raincoats are essential to make sure you are not drenched, especially when you’re high up in the mountains far from camp!

2. Mountain Sickness: The good news – at 4101metres, if you do get mountain sickness, it may be just a mild headache, dizziness, shortness of breath and at worst, nausea.  The bad news – *ugh* – it still sucks.  To prevent this, walk slowly, especially as you are going higher.  You can also take measures like eating plenty of carbohydrates, drinking a lot of water, and staying away from alchohol during your overnight stay up in at Laban Rata.

3. Why Don’t Asians Visit It? Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in Southeast Asia.  Its one of the highlights of Malaysia and is really quite a sight.  You have got the Brits, the Germans, the Aussies, the Japs.. where are all the Southeast Asians?!

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Mount Abu – The Paradise In The Rajasthan Desert

Mount Abu is an oasis amongst the desert in the state of Rajasthan, India. Mt Abu is situated at the southern tip of the Aravali range and because of its foliage it has a cool climate. Mount Abu is considered a summer retreat but it also has a stunning array of attractions; the Delwara Marble Jain Temples, dating back 11th- 13th centuries, makes it a popular pilgrimage center.

Mount Abu has an extensive religious history, having been home to many sages and saint.

The main sites in Mount Abu are:

Gaumukh Temple: The temple gets its name from a natural spring which flows through a sculpted cow’s head. It is said that the yagna’ of sage Vashishtha was performed here. A beautiful marble image of Nandi (the celestial bull rescued by Aebuada) is situated nearby.

Delwara Jain Temple: these temples were built between the 11th and 13th century. They are beautifully carved temples built from marble and dedicated to the jain Tirthankaras. The oldest temple is the Vimal Vasahi temple. Build in 1031AD, by Vimal Shah-a merchant and representative of then Gujarat ruler, is dedicated to the first Tirthankara. A superb example of temple architecture, the central shrine has an image of Rishabhdev and large courtyard with 52 small shrines. Each houses a beautiful statue of thirthankaras with 48 elegantly carved pillars form the entrance to the courtyard. Another finely crafted temple is the Lun Vasahi Temple. It was built in 1231AD by brothers Vastupal and Tejpal who were Ministers of Raja Vir Dhawal, a ruler of Gujarat which belonged to the Porwal Jain Community. The fine craftsmanship of the Lun Vasahi Temple includes beautiful door casings, pillars architraves and sculptures on the porticos.

Adhar Devi Temple : The Adhar Devi Temple is a favoured spot for tourists. You have to walk up a flight of 360 stairs to reach the temple chiseled out of a huge rock.

Sunset Point: At the sunset point you can watch the sun setting and covering the surrounding hills with a beautiful golden glow. A spectacular site. Honeymoon Point: Also known as Andra Point, it offers an enchanting view of the verdant plains and valleys. The place looks most beautiful during the dusk hours.

Shri Raghunathji Temple: Dedicated to Shri Raghunathji, this temple was built in the 14th century AD. It is situated near the Nakki Lake and contains beautiful sculpted work of the deity. It was built by famous Hindu preacher Shri Ramanand.

Gardens and Parks: throughout the hilly paradise of Mount Abu there are many beautifully laid parks and gardens. The more notable gardens include Ashok Vatika, Gandhi park, Municipal Park, Shaitan Singh Park and the Terrace Garden.

Nakki Lake : situated in the center of the city is the perfect location for a romantic evening.

Mount Abu is a popular destination for many reasons, both as a summer retreat and for tourists looking at taking in some of the history that this beautiful part of India has to offer. World-class tourist facilities are available at Mount Abu including star and heritage class Hotels and Restaurants.

What You Should Know When Traveling To Shanghai

Shanghai is China’s second city with a large population.  It has been nicknamed “The Pearl Of The Orient”.  Shanghai is also the place where a lot of business including financial, is transacted.  Shanghai also has a port that brims with activity.  Unlike Hong Kong, you won’t find a lot of cultural areas here.  Even with that, you can still find things to do and places to go here.  Shanghai has a lot of shops and places to eat.

The city of Shanghai is located on the Huang Pu River.  This River is located in the central-eastern area of the country.  Since it is considered a city located on the coastal area, the level consists of flat and low lands.

In Chinese, Shanghai means “on the sea”.  Shanghai is bordered on the East China Sea and the Hangzhous Bay on the west and the south ends.  It is also split by the Huang Pu River and has two sections, Puxi and Pudong.  Puxi is located on the west side of the river and Pudong is located on the east side of the river.  In Puxi, you will find older buildings that have been there for years.  In Pudong, you will find new construction to include taller buildings.

There are several things that you will be able to see from a distance when you’re viewing them from either side.

The population of Shanghai is said to be around 17 million.  Of course, that’s not a definite figure because you have to factor in those that come to look for employment.  You will find that getting into China via Shanghai is easier than you thought.  You will find lots of airplanes flying in and out of this area each day.

As far as the weather is concerned, you have your revolving seasons.  The summer season is the longest, starting in April and continuing through September or October.  During the fall season, which is from September to November, is short and is one of the driest seasons in Shanghai.  The winter season in Shanghai, which is from January to March, provides cold air, but not much else.  You will hardly find snow in this area of China.

The best time to visit Shanghai is in the fall.  If you come during the spring season, you may have to encounter lots of rain or additional cold weather.  You can try coming between April and May, when the weather is acceptable.  You will get a chance to see the plants and flowers grow.

The trees start to branch out.  If you decide to come during the fall season, you will be in the midst of a warm climate and the skies will still be clear.  You’ll get a chance to bask in the warmth of fall and you probably wont’ encounter any rain.

Whenever you do decide to come to Shanghai, you may want to bring a raincoat and umbrella in the event you get caught in a shower.  Also, bring some walking shoes if you’re interested in touring some of the old historic buildings in Shanghai.

Whatever you decide to do, you will not have a chance to waste time on this trip.

Hokkaido Holiday Vacation

Hokkaido is one of Japan’s 4 main islands and is located northern most part of Japan and when translated, Hokkaido literally means “Road of the North Sea”. The island is a very popular destination for tourists on vacation holiday in Japan because of its natural beauty, especially during winter.

The island of Hokkaido is actually a huge land mass and is about twenty three percent of Japan’s entire land mass. Even if you visit Hokkaido in summer, the weather can be very pleasant because of its low humidity.

Before the mainstream Japanese considered the island as suitable for human habitation after the Meiji Restoration, the island was home only to a few exile samurais and the native Ainu people who are the aboriginal tribesmen. The Ainu people are the last of Japan’s indigenous people most of whom are still dwelling in Hokkaido.

In the past, the island’s inhabitants are very concerned about their survival and thought that the island is spooked with the restless spirits of Ainu gods who often belch fire from the mountains (volcanic eruptions) and trampled the earth in anger (earthquakes).

There are many natural tourist attractions since the island is well endowed by the beauty of nature. For instance, you can travel to Mount Daisetsu National Park, which is sometimes called The Roof of Hokkaido and gaze in amazement the snow peaked mountain ranges or visit the Kushiro marshland which is home to many adorable marsh dwelling animals including the sacred crane.

If you are into adventure tourism, then the Shikotsu Toya National Park must be included in your holiday vacation itinerary. You will find many magnificent volcanoes and breathtaking scenic lakes in this national park and if you are tired after your sightseeing trips, go pamper yourself with natural spa treatments at the many hot springs such as in Noboribetsu, Jouzankei and Sohunkyo.

If you are in Hokkaido during winter, then you must make a beeline to Sapporo, which is Hokkaido’s vibrant capital city which is famous for its pulsating nightlife and the extraordinary Snow Festival every February. Sapporo, with a population of about 1.8 million people is a city of fine restaurants and luxurious hotels. If you enjoy winter skiing, you may like to check into some winter ski resorts.

This outback island is sometimes referred to as Japan’s ‘Wild West’ and still retains a distinct pioneer feel. This is the reason why the island is really the land of the backpackers.

Adventure tourists can enjoy exploring the vast wilderness, go winter skiing, even be a trout fisherman or go trekking in countless trails along rugged coastline, through wildflower fields or up the summits of snowcapped mountains.

So if you are going to Japan for your holiday vacation, do make sure you do not miss the beauty of Japan’s Wild Wild West, the island of Hokkaido.

What To Do While You’re In Hong Kong

China is one of the most popular countries that people like to visit.  There are also certain places that people should go that are some of the most popular.

For instance, Hong Kong is a nice place to visit because not only will you be able to tour there, but you will also be able to find reasonable accommodations for yourself.  A lot of the name brand hotels are in the city.

If the hotels are out of your budget, Hong Kong has a hostel association that has a lot of hostels in the city.  These don’t cost as much as the name brand hotels; the only thing is you may have to bunk with other people you don’t know.

When you eat in Hong Kong, you have your choice of Chinese food, such as Cantonese.  Cantonese food is one of the best kinds of gourmet Chinese food available in Hong Kong.  It is also one of the best tasting.

When cooking Cantonese food, the cooks always use fresh ingredients.  Their seafood meals are out of this world.  They will also cooked steamed food for you.  The way they cook seafood and fish is different than what other people are used to.

If you’re shopping in Hong Kong, you will be able to find name brand items at reasonable prices.  You will find name brands such as Prada, Burberrys and other name brand stuff to choose from.  The best time to go is probably when they first open.  Otherwise, waiting later can force you to spend more time waiting in line and fighting the crowds.

Since most of the electronics are made in Hong Kong, you will be able to purchase them here for less than what you would pay for them else where.  They have cell phones, computers and other electronics that you can purchase for little of nothing.  The shops have so many items to choose from.

If you’re one of those that like to look at the skyline and the stars, then Hong Kong is the place for you.  There are several places where you can look at Hong Kong’s breathtaking night skyline.  If you look at some of the buildings, you will be able to see lots of colors all over the place.  If you like boats, you can take a ride on the ferry to get a closer view.

Hong Kong’s skyline not only attributes to the night time, it also attributes to the atmosphere and environment during the day.  At the harbor, you will see lots of buildings that are adjacent to the island side.  Different colors make this area exquisite in the evening.

Whatever you do when you get to Hong Kong, these are some of the things that you should consider doing.  You will be amazed at some of the things they have here, along with the food, shopping and numerous other things.

Whenever you come to China, Hong Kong should be your first stop.  With all that there is to do, it may end up being your only stop on the trip.

Food In South East Asia

The rich culture of South East Asia lies at the tastiest food in the world. Once known as the land of the spices, the food of the Thais, Filipinos, Vietnamese, and Indonesians are among the most famous exotic creations. Much of the identity of South East Asia lies on the different food that come from unique, yet common backgrounds following the influences of Indian, Chinese, and the European colonizers along with the local flavor.

The food has both common and binding ingredients. These include coconut milk, lemon grass, sugar, basil, fish paste, and chili. To an outsider’s taste buds, this food is described as spicy, tangy and sweet, all mixing together to present a unique taste. Curry, which is an Indian food, has evolved to be a staple dish in South East Asia.

Thai food is the most popular cuisine coming from South East Asia. It takes in five different flavors from the different regions in its traditional kingdoms which are sour, salty, sweet, spicy, and bitter. The famous southern curries are traditional Indian adaptations that have local ingredients like coconut milk. Thai food uses generous servings of fresh spices and fish sauces. Like any other Asian country, rice is the staple food of the Thais. If you travel to Thailand, you will encounter a very unique experience in tasting the different variety of Thai food. The most famous dishes are Pad Thai, and Red Na.

Filipino food meanwhile offers a range of different flavors all scrambled together to present a bulk taste. It is the most unique among South East Asians because it took more foreign influences from their colonizers as compared to their neighbors. As an example, it has more meat than Thai food or Vietnamese food. It also has fewer spices. Instead they use the taste of the meat just like the Spanish and the Americans. Filipino food as compared to South East Asian food is roasted more just like the Western style. This makes Filipino food a popular choice among American and Western tourists.

Like other South East Asia cuisine, Vietnamese cuisine follows the tradition of the Indians and Chinese. It uses a lot of soy sauce and fish sauce, which is both an Indian and Chinese influence. Religion plays a large part on Vietnamese cooking as most dishes are vegetarian as compared to Filipino foods which are very meaty.

Vietnamese food follows the spicy and sweet taste and like any other South East Asian country, rice is the popular choice. Vietnamese cuisine is also known for their rich soup concoctions. These soups along with the countless dishes are very popular in North America, France, and Russia.

How To Get Around In Hong Kong And Beijing

Not everyone in Hong Kong gets to ride on the roadways.  This is because the government has put limitations in place as to who can have and drive a vehicle.  There are so many people that ride the roadways in Hong Kong; the government felt there was not a need for everyone to have a vehicle.

When this rule was put forth, a lot a vehicles remained off the roadways.  However, the increase in people driving nowadays seems to be creeping back up again.

However, there are people who are turning away from their vehicles and embracing public transportation.  Hong Kong’s system uses buses, ferries and streetcars.  In addition to that Hong Kong uses a rail system, electric railway and a minibus.

Most people in Hong Kong use the buses to get to and from their destinations.  They also utilize the minibus service.  There is a certain area in Hong Kong that uses a cable car service.

The city also provides ferry services to places from Hong Kong to Macau.   If you’re going to Kwangtung from Hong Kong, you would do best by taking a small airplane.  If you use the electric railway, you can get to places like Sha Tin and Tai Po.

More people are starting to use this.  As a result, ridership from using the electric railway has increased with passengers.  In addition to carrying passengers, this railway is responsible for transporting livestock and other pieces of freight.

The city of Beijing is growing in number, and they have to do something in order to accommodate the influx of people coming to their city.  Therefore, the government has started to implement methods of transportation that will get people to their destination faster and are reliable.

This is especially important with the upcoming 2008 Summer Olympic Games.  People will need to get to their destinations quickly and safely.  It’s important that this is implemented because the world will be looking at them to see how they operate in this capacity.

The city uses three modes of public transportation:  taxis, subways and buses.  The city’s subway is about three decades or more in age.  The system is in good shape, but it could use some upgrades, especially with the 2008 Summer Olympic Games right around the corner.

The subway consists of 16 stations, which are housed among two rail lines.  Another rail line is responsible for housing 21 rail stations.  To use the service, you will need what is called a journey ticket.  The tickets don’t cost a lot.  If you’re looking to go to downtown Beijing, you can take either of these rail lines to get there.

Within the bus system, there are a little less than 650 bus routes that will take you anywhere within the limits of the city.  You may have to stand once you get on because the buses are always full to capacity.

You won’t have any problems finding a taxi because there are so many of them.  They are currently not connected to other systems yet, but that’s about to change soon.  They are looking to have wireless systems in each taxi soon.

Escaping To Beautiful Boracay

Of the 7,107 islands that make up the Republic of the Philippines, one particular island has made it to the list of the top ten beaches of the world. Shaped like a butterfly, the island of Boracay has become a popular vacation destination. As of 1997, over 150,000 tourists have visited this beautiful island. That number has been steadily increasing over the years. Boracay is located in Western Visayas, at the northwestern end of Panay. Majority of the people that visit this island paradise come from Asian countries such as Korea. Its powdery, sugar-white beaches and affordable accommodations make it an ideal retreat from the stress of work and all other aspects of everyday life.

Getting There

The most practical and hassle-free way to get to Boracay is to board a plane from Manila to Caticlan. However, this might be difficult during the high season, which is from November to June. A good alternative would be to book a flight to either Kalibo or Roxas, which are just about two to four hours away from Caticlan.

Pump boats ferry people between Caticlan and Boracay every fifteen minutes, beginning at 6 am to 6 pm. The boats dock at either of the three boat stations on White Beach, which is the most visible and most populated among all three of Boracay’s beaches. The other two beaches are Bulabog Beach, which is to the east and Puka Beach, which is to the north.

Fun Activities

There are lots to do in Boracay. Numerous resorts and sport centers offer boating and different water sports, diving and snorkeling, golfing, horseback riding, massage, and even shopping.

For the athlete, water sports can be organized from hotels, resorts, or water-sport centers located along the beach path or from one of the many vendors that roam around, selling trips and activities. Among the exciting things offered are boating, jet-ski rentals, kayaking, skim boarding, and kite surfing. For diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, there are over 30 dive sites around Boracay to explore. These dive sites are just minutes away from each other and boast of gorgeous corals and majestic fishes.

For the shopaholic, there are vendors selling clothes, accessories, and novelty items. Some vendors set up stalls along the beach path, while others prefer to carry their wares with them as they roam about the beach. Boracay also has an outdoor mall called D’Mall, which houses shops, restaurants and bars.

A good massage is the best way to end the day after hours of sports or shopping. Massages can be arranged through the hotel or resort, or through the vendors. Dining out is an experience in itself, with the great food that different restaurants in Boracay have to offer. Bars offer wild, crazy and exhilarating evenings. Happy hour usually begins at around 4 or 5 pm. Most bars close at around 1 am to 3 am.

Consider Boracay when planning your honeymoon, your next family vacation, or bonding time with your friends. It is the best island to escape to when you just want to get away.

Getting Around Shanghai – How To Do It

If you’re taking an international flight to Shanghai, more than likely you will fly into Pudong International Airport.  This airport is less than an hour away from Puxi, which is the other section of Shanghai.  There is transportation called the Maglev train that is adjacent to the airport and also interacts with the rail system in Shanghai.  If Pudong is not your final destination, then you’re better off riding in a taxi.

The airport has different taxi lines, so you have to make sure you use the right one.  You may have to pay a higher fare if you get a taxi within the airport.  If they try to come up and get you as a passenger, just shoo them away.  You’re there to spend money, but not to have people get over on you financially.  Just go outside to the official line and get a legitimate taxi.

You can get a rental car, but it’s not always in your best interests.  People that come here from other countries would rather have someone drive them around rather than do the driving themselves.  Using a taxi would better serve you in order to move around the city.  In fact, taxis are very cost effective and you end up spending less than $2.00 to get to your destination.

If you don’t want to do the taxi, another cost-effective way to get around the city is to take public transportation.  The city does have a bus system.  The buses are usually comfortable, and depending on where you’re going, you can ride it for less than a dollar.  Hopefully, if you decide to do this, you’re not in a hurry to get anywhere soon.  Buses get stuck in traffic just like vehicles do.

Shanghai Airport would be your destination if you are flying within a city in China.  This airport doesn’t have a public transportation hookup yet.  The government is currently working on this project.  However, there are taxis available to accommodate you.

With the subway rail system, Shanghai has five rail sections available.  The government is working on expanding the system so that it can accommodate more people.  The price for riding the rail is very cheap, starting at under $.50.  This is a great way to get around the city and you have easy access to a lot of places in Shanghai.  The trains are kept spotless and at each station, the signage is in both Chinese and English.

In Shanghai alone, there are two rail venues that are able to match up with other Chinese rail systems.  Using the rail is one of the best ways to travel in Shanghai.  You also have trains that are designated for people who are riding overnight.  For instance, if you’re going to Beijing from Shanghai, you will spend at least a half a day on the train.

As with anywhere else, be careful of your surroundings.  This is important, especially if you’ve never been to Shanghai before.  The last thing you want is your trip to be ruined by you missing something.

Enjoy Sabah’s Eco-Treasures

Adventure seekers flock to Sabah to climb Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South-east Asia, or go scuba diving at Spidan, touted as one of the world’s best dive spots.

Sabah is located on the northern tip of Borneo, the third largest island in the world. Its capital, Kota Kinabalu, is a 2 and 1/2 hour flight from Singapore.

The other name to Sabah is “The Land Below The Wind”. It is blessed with some of nature’s most breathtaking wonders.  It has the world’s oldest rainforest’s and lots of sandy beaches, tropical islands and colorful coral reefs.

For nature lovers and shutterbugs, this is also the place to come face to face with a reat diversity of wildlife in their natural habitats, such as orang utans, proboscis, monkeys, sea turtles and, if you are lucky, the world’s largest flower, Rafflesia

Forest and Hot Springs in Sabah

Do not like to climb mountain? Well, you can still enjoy the sights and sounds around Moutn Kinabalu without doing much vertical exercise.

Just take a drive to Kinabalua Park, which is juts about 2 hours from Kota Kinabalua. The park is Malaysia’s first Unesco World Heritage Site. It encompasses Mount Kinabalua and covers an area larger than Singapore.

From the park’s headquarters, take a stroll on one of the walking trails and enjoy the serenity, fresh air, tiny creatures and flora along the way. Go on a guided tour if you want to identify what you see. Include Poring in your itinerary if you want to try the canopy walkway and hot springs. It is about 40km away from Kinabalua park HQ.

Sabah may be home to Rafflesia, the largest flower in the flower, but it is difficult to see one because it takes nine to 15 months to bud and lasts only seven days in bloom.

Rivers and Monkeys

If you want to see wildlife, go on a river safari, such as Klias Wetlands which is 20km from Kota Kinabalua. But bear in mind that a river safari is not a zoo. So do not expect the animals to perch prominently on tree branches for you to gawk at as your boat sail by.

But the fun is that if you look hard enough, you will spot them. M sharp-eyed travel mate managed to spot a family of proboscis monkeys before our boatman did. Look out for other monkeys, birds, fireflies and crocodiles too. Bring along your binoculars or a camera with zoom lens. And do not forget to take a poncho because you never know when it might rain.

The Sand, Sea and Seafood in Sabah

In less than 20 minutes, you can hop from city to coral life – that is how close the nearest snorkel and drive sites are to Kota Kinabalua.

The Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park has five islands, which are surrounded by extensive coral reefs. You an take a short boat ride from the mainland or check into one of the island resorts for an idyllic escapade. Do not worry if you cannot swim or snorkel. You can walk under the sea while keeping your head dry and your glasses on – with the Sea-walker air-hosed helmet.

While you may feel a bit clumsy with the bulky fish-bowl helmet, you can breathe through your nose underwater. And to refuel what you have lost from all that swimming, sea walking or lazing around, hop to Manukan Island for a yummy barbecue buffet lunch under the shade of the coconut trees.

Romantic China Vacations

When choosing a romantic vacation for you and your spouse, you might want to think about choosing china for your vacation destination. China vacations are becoming popular because of the exotic culture and rich tradition that has been maintained in the country for thousands of years. Though visiting the sites is a good reason to go to China, a couple can find romantic getaways to rekindle the flames of their love and at the same time have a wonderful, exciting vacation that they will never forget. China vacations come in all sorts of packages, but there is one that the couple in love will go for more than most.

Whether you are looking for a place to honeymoon or a place to rekindle old love, China offers many romantic hotels with features you would only expect to find in Europe or in American. A China vacations package can offer a stay in the Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai.  It is only a twenty minute drive from the Hong Qioa International airport and offers beautiful view from over five hundred room and luxurious suites that were created with the romantic getaway in mind.  The hotel will offer the finest in quality and service and if you are mixing business with pleasure the hotel has state of the art conference rooms and catering services that will please any business guest. When staying at this hotel, you and your significant other can enjoy great shopping. The hotel is located right in the middle of the commercial and shopping district.

Even if you do not want to leave the hotel and just bundle up in your room, you can enjoy some of the best dining Shanghai has to offer. They have six restaurants and lounges that are awarding winning with their mix of culinary delights and variety of cuisine. They even have a health club where the couple can work out together and a pool and hot tub to relax in after a hard day of seeing the site. China vacations and a stay at the Ritz can even offer entertainment. The hotel is located only ten minutes away from the Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Shanghai Museum.

Other China vacation packages may even offer airfare and ground transportation to go along with your stay at the Shanghai Ritz. Your imagination is the limit as you jet off to this romantic vacation spot.  The culture is so rich and historical you will be amazed at the split between the ancient and modern architecture you will see around the city. One building will look like a sky scrapper you would see in New York and the next building will be built thousands of years ago and you will see the site perfectly preserved in the original cultural manner.

So when you and your significant other sit down to plan your next romantic getaway, remember that china vacation packages can cater to your every whim. You can visit a distinct culture and see historical sites that are thousands of years old and at the same time you can bring your relationship together and have a stronger bond between the two of you. Otherwise, you may opt to visit Jungle Vista Inn and enjoy you holiday to the fullest, too.

Do And Don’t For When Your Stay In Pattaya

What is considered good manners in one culture may be considered rude in another. For example, in English speaking Western countries it is usually considered good manner to bring a bottle of wine when coming to someone’s house for dinner. In France, however this is considered insulting as it suggests the hosts are unable to provide their own good wine.

In Arab countries it’s rude to display the soles of your feet or touching somebody with your shoes, Also eating with left hand is extremely offensive; for the left hand is reserved for bodily hygiene.

In the United States, it is rude not leaving a proper tip for a server at a restaurant. While in other countries some establishment may add a gratuity to the bill, in the United States this is not usually done and is up to the patron to leave an adequate tip, usually 15 percent.

Here are a few points that you should observe while staying in Pattaya, Thailand.

1. Always take your shoes off when you enter somebody’s home, unless the owner insists you not to take it.

2. Always take your shoes off when you enter a temple hall.

3. No tank-tops, shorts, sleeveless-shirts, allowed in a temple ground and palace ground. Do not climb on stupas (chedis) and Buddha statues.

4. Doorway thresholds are considered a sanctuary for spirits, it’s important not to step on a raised threshold, but rather to step over it. Keep this in mind especially when visiting temples.

5. Thais revere their King greatly, so treat portraits of the King and Queen with respect. Do not step over or standing in bills or coins (they all have the face of the king).

6. Do not point at something with your foot.

7. Do not touch somebody in the head (in Buddhism the head is the most pure region of the body).

8. Tipping is not necessary then eating at mom-and-pop food shops. For high-end restaurants and hotel restaurants, 10-15 percent gratuity is usually included in the bill.

9. Never passionately smooch and kiss in public.

10. Do not feel offended when someone asks you, ”When do you want” they don’t’ mean to be rude , they just don’t know it’s a bad connotation.

11. Other than that, use your common sense. Do what the Romans do.

This is special Advice for new comer in Pattaya Thailand

1. Beware of unauthorized people who offer their services as Pattaya guides. For all tourist information, ONLY contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tel : 1672. For information about Pattaya, contact the Pattaya Tourist Information.

2. Observe all normal precautions, as well as the safety for your assets. Walking alone in night on streets or deserted areas is not recommended. Be sure that all your money, jewelry, and important information are properly protected from stolen. Visitors needing assistance relating to safety, or other matters, please call the Tourist Police (1155).

3. Do not get yourself involved with drugs. Penalties for drug offences are very severe in Thailand.

4. Do not support any manner of wild animal abuse. Never purchase any products or souvenirs made from wild animals like snakes, monitor lizards, and also turtle shell and ivory.

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Three Great China Vacation Destinations

When looking over China vacations packages you might want to visit one destination or take a sweeping tour of the country. China is a big country with a lot of historical sites and beautiful landscapes that are unique to only this part of the world.  You could pick one city or district in China and not see the whole thing even in a week and in some districts, a month. So when planning your China vacation, keep in mind what you really want to see and what you have time for. You may want to too keep one or two places in reserve if you find you have more time that you thought. Any where you choose, you can be assured that your vacation will be unique and exciting.

You might want to visit Yongding.  Here you can visit the circular fortresses of the Hakka minority. These famous fortresses housed hundreds of members of the same family name and kept the ancestral history that is thousand of years old intact. Not only did these fortresses protect the families from the barbaric hoards but they stood as palaces and castles that showed the wealth of a family name and the honor it was to belong to that family. It is one of the most impressive architecture that demonstrates the domestic family ties that are abound in China.

Another China vacation destination is Yushu in the Qinghai province. Here Tibetan culture is mixed with the Chinese culture and you can have the best of both worlds. Though the Chinese government has put political pressure on the Tibetans, these descendants of great warriors will welcome you into their town. You can shop the local markets and visit Tibetan monasteries that have overshadowed the town for a thousand years. This cultural adventure will be the highlight of any China destination that you choose.

If you want to add a religious experience to your China vacation, you cant miss the town of Jianshui in the Yunnan district. This town was built during the Han dynasty and here you will see the third largest Confusion temple in the country. Also you will see a mixture of Qing and Ming dynasty architecture that will weave a rich tapestry of culture and history right before your eyes. Rice farming is abundant here and you can bicycle or hike through terraced fields that you may have only seen in your fourth grade geography book.

No matter what city, province, or district you choose on your China vacations package, you will find friendly people who are just as curious about you as you are of them. Through the thousands of years of history, this country and its people can offer you a vacation of a lifetime and an education of a culture that has been and will be an influence to the rest of the world for another thousand years to come. If you want to know more about each of the sites listed above, do a little research on the internet, and find out more. Once you get a little taste of what is offered there, you will be planning your China vacation immediately.

Destination Philippines: Dumaguete – ‘The City Of Gentle People’

Located at the southern tip of Negros Island in the province of Negros Oriental, Dumaguete is fast becoming the destination of choice for a wide variety of people. Foreign and local tourists alike, favor Dumaguete for certain advantages that this place has over the other tourist spots in the Philippines. It isn’t as busy as Cebu or Davao, certainly more affordable than Boracay or El Nido, Palawan, not as crowded as Baguio, and has as plenty to offer its visitors as any place else in the country. As a tourist destination, Dumaguete is as good as it gets.

Dumaguete can lay claim to four contributing factors to its popularity. It is a venue for excellence in education, unparalleled natural wonders, nightlife that is at par with any major metropolis, and as a virtual Mecca for shopping.

Tagged as the “Learning Center of the South”, Dumaguete is the home of the world-famous Siliman University. Founded in 1901, Siliman had served as the learning institution of choice for both Filipino and foreign students. St. Paul’s University – Dumaguete, Foundation University, and the Negros Oriental State University are also popular choices for persons seeking higher learning. The city also takes pride in serving as host to three other colleges, nine secondary schools, and 12 elementary schools.

Dumaguete also fails to disappoint when it comes to presenting its vast array of natural wonders. Snorkeling, deep sea diving, spelunking, cave exploration, windsurfing, and engaging in dolphin and whale watching are just some of the activities that the place can offer. Describing the backdrop of Dumaguete as picture-perfect may be an understatement. Some of the more popular venues are the Apo and Sumilon Islands. These two places are “must see” places for first-time Dumaguete visitors with its majestic natural coral reef formation and fabulous marine wildlife. Taking a vacation here would not necessarily burn a hole in your pocket as the going tour rates are one of the most affordable in the country.

For some of the people who think that a decent nightlife can only be found in metropolitan areas such as Manila, Makati, Cebu, Davao, Baguio, and Iloilo are sadly mistaken. Rizal Boulevard offers a vast array of discotheques, watering holes, live band performances, and theme-inspired venues. You want to try Mexican, then go to Coco Amigos. In the mood for some casual drinking and dining, they’ve got the Barefoot Bistro. Want to hear music, then you might want to consider El Camino Blanco, Why Not Music Box, and Hayahay in Escano Beach. Practically everything that an urban “night owl” wants can be found within the three-quarter kilometer stretch of Rizal Boulevard. Even the Dumaguete City Public Market is turning out to be a popular tourist hangout at night as fresh produce and other items can be found here even during unholy hours.

Shopping for locally manufactured items such as bags, wallets, purses, and other personal accessories made from indigenous materials such as coconut husks, dried raffia, capiz, native wood, and freshwater pearls may prove to be addictive. The craftsmanship of the people of Dumaguete offers originality, charm, superior quality, and a distinctive quality that they may call their own. Home decors like custom-made chandeliers, candelabras, and wood carvings can also be purchased here.

There are also plenty of ways to get there. The country’s major airlines offer daily flights to Dumaguete City from Manila. Traveling by sea is also an attractive alternative as the major seaports all over the Philippines offer service routes to this destination. Once there, you also need not worry about finding a place to stay. Hotels and resorts can be found virtually everywhere at very reasonable rates.

China Vacations and the Dos and Don’ts at the Custom Office

China vacations are fun and adventurous. As with every vacation abroad you need to do’s and don’ts when you are entering and leaving the country.  A faux pas could get you into some serious trouble with China and you may not be allowed into the country and you worse you may even be deported or jailed. It is wise to know the customs and quirks of the country but it is more important to know what is legal and illegal. A country’s law should be respected and without this respect the tourist is setting themselves up with some serious consequences. The following is some do’s and don’t when you are planning your China vacation. To not follow them could mean that your vacation ends at the customs office.

If you are a smoker or drink alcohol there are some pretty tight regulations of what you can bring into the country. You can have two hundred cigarettes which is usually a carton. If you try to get anymore into the country they will be destroyed in the customs line. There are cigarettes for sale in China, but they may be of lesser quality than the brand you are used to smoking. You are allowed fifty cigars and Cuban cigars are legal in China. You can purchase Cubans at many of the tobacconist in the major cities. Don’t ruin your China vacation because you have a large smoking habit. Stick by the rules and you will be able to have one of the best vacation experiences you have ever had.

You are allowed to take into and out of China only two 1.5 liters of alcohol. Unless this is a gift it would be wise to purchase your alcohol in China. Your China vacation can’t go without you trying some of the local alcoholic beverages. There are many varieties of rice beer and liquor that will tempt your palette and at the same time you the same high you would receive from American or European beers and liquors. Some Chinese restaurants brew their own spirits, but be careful of these, some are mixed with chemicals that will give it a kick, but may be dangerous to your health and your senses.

On your China vacations make sure you declare your electronic equipment whether you are entering or leaving the country. China has a large inverstmet in the electronics market and they keep a close eye on any electronic devise coming into the country. Computers, word processors, cameras, and even ipods are scrutinized carefully. If you buy an electronic device in China declare it on the way out to avoid any confusion in the customs office. You done want to be accused of black marketing. You could be deported or thrown into the Chinese jail.

When on your China vacation, pay attention and learn the rules that govern what you can take into the country and can take out. If you don’t know, ask. China welcomes tourism, but they do not want their economy or cultural heritage ruined by a non-compliant or ignorant tourist.

Climbing Kilimanjaro Tips, Questions And Answers

In brief this article covers a few questions commonly asked about climbing Kilimanjaro.

Q. We hear the Marangu route is overcrowded and should be avoided?
A. Marangu route must be booked in advance, this route uses huts for accommodation and to avoid overcrowding numbers are strictly supervised.  It is or at least was the most popular route for first time climb.  Most operators now recommend the Machame route for your first attempt on Kilimanjaro.

Q. Does an extra day help acclimatization?
A. Most guidebooks recommend that climbers spend an extra day during the Marangu route climb.  Statistics can be quoted to back up an argument for or against an extra day for acclimatization.  Every person I have ever spoken to who took the extra day did not regret it.  All other matters aside an extra day spent on the ascent is great because it makes the whole climb more relaxed and gives an opportunity to go on some pleasant walks.  The most important factor for success is the overall approach to the climb, listen to your guide.

Q. If there is a problem on the mountain what are the rescue procedures?
A. The national park operates a rescue service, and the huts on the Marangu route are linked to each other and to the park headquarters by radio. In the vast majority of emergency cases, the problem is altitude related and the solution is an immediate and rapid descent.  All registered guides are experienced at dealing with such cases and can bring climbers down to safe altitudes very quickly and without park assistance

Q.The success rate on Kilimanjaro is less than forty percent. Is this true?
A. Some people climb Kilimanjaro without taking the climb seriously and have a nasty shock as they realize what they have let themselves in for.  Therefore they may be inadequately equipped and fed; they then have a miserable time ending up with a fruitless climb. Make sure that you are properly informed and equipped.  I would say most guides have [or at least claim to have]  a success rate to the crater rim in excess of  90% and to Uhuru peak at around 85%.   It is said that reaching the summit is a bonus, but should never be seen as the sole aim of the climb – but who starts to climb Kilimanjaro without wanting to reach the summit – to do this be prepared and listen to your guide because he knows best!

Q.How cold does it get on Kilimanjaro?
A. The temperature at the top of the mountain vary; at times it is only a degree or two below freezing, but it is possible to have temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius, especially in with wind chill factor.   At times there are snow blizzards and to walk across the saddle in a blizzard is hard work.  It has been known for snow to stop climbing on the mountain for short periods.

Q.What should I know about altitude sickness?
A. There are different types of altitude sickness. “Acute mountain sickness” is common, and is not as frightening as its name suggests. The symptoms are headaches, nausea and vomiting, though not everyone suffers from all the symptoms. Normally, symptoms fade after a few hours, but if they do not a climber may need to turn back, especially if vomiting is leading to dehydration.

A much more serious type of altitude sickness is called oedema. This is a build-up of fluid in the body, and when the fluid collects in the lungs or the brain a serious condition develops which requires immediate action which is a rapid descent to a lower altitude, where recovery is usually miraculously fast.

I recommend sun creams with SPF 30, as the sun near the equator is very strong. Don’t forget to have something to protect your lips as well and not forgetting personal items & toiletries toothpaste & tooth brush, body lotion, toilet paper and other personal hygiene items.

Travel to Korea

South Korea is one of the smaller nations in Asia, with a size comparable to the state of Indiana. What it lacks in size it makes up for in abundant culture, turbulent history, exquisite cuisine and a generous and welcoming society.

A Little Background before You Travel to Korea
The Korean peninsula has been literally and figuratively stuck between a rock and a hard place, namely Japan and China, for most of its existence. The region was prosperous under the three kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla during the first four centuries AD until the Mongolians raided the land and built an empire. The 16th century brought the end of the Mongolian Empire and the beginning of a massive game of tug-of-war between China and Japan over the strategic landmass. After World War II Korea finally broke free from Japan, with the USSR managing the North and the United States occupying the South. Today the North and South are two sovereign nations separated by a demilitarized zone. South Korea is officially known as the Republic of Korea (ROK) and commonly referred to simply as Korea.

There’s Still Soul in Seoul
Despite the fact that Seoul was largely burned to the ground during the Korean War (1950-53), the northern part of the capital city is still home to hundreds of spectacular palaces and shrines. The Chosun Dynasty’s Gyeongbokgung Palace is a 5.4 million square foot landmark with a 500-year history and stands among the remaining four palaces in Seoul. Nearly an entire day is necessary to explore the regal palace in all its magnificence. The Jongmyo Royal Shrine is a perfect next stop, as it was where the Chosun Dynasty worshipped. On the first Sunday of May each year a traditional memorial ceremony is held at the Shrine with all the grandeur of the occasion 500 years past.

The southern part of Seoul is the commercial center of the city and boasts a fascinating blend of traditional and hyper-modern architecture. It is also home to World Cup Stadium, intricately weaving shopping streets and even an amusement park, Lotte World. Make sure to visit the city gates, and then venture beyond into the strikingly lush and green landscape to travel Korea more personally.

When to Travel to Korea
Korea has a temperate clime, which results in heavier rain in the summer months (July and August) and a drier winter. Winter is white and snowy all over Korea and the ski season from November to March is extremely popular. There are 13 ski resorts in South Korea alone! After a day on the slopes it is common to relax in one of the many spas with natural hot spring baths. Summer is extremely crowded and very wet in Korea. For milder weather it is best to travel Korea in the spring or fall.

Traveling to South Korea any time of year is sure to be an exciting and rewarding experience, regardless of the weather!

China Vacations and Cultural Etiquette

Whether you are traveling for business or you are taking that dream China vacation, you need to know the cultural etiquette do get along with the people of the country. You don’t want to make a cultural faux pas or embarrass or anger your host. The best thing to do is to learn the etiquette of China before you even get on the plane. Chinese people are a gracious host, but you are in their country and it is always polite to follow the ways of the land instead of insulting them with your western manners. A few tips will go along way in sealing that business deal or making friends on your China vacation.

If you are going to do business in China you better have your ducks in a row. Chinese businessmen expect you to know everything about their company before your come to the table. To not know about the company is an insult that will not lie easily. They expect you to want to do business with them because of their reputation, not because there is profit in it for you. Also make sure you have a qualified interpreter. There are different dialects in the Chinese language and if your interpreter does not know a inclination in the dialect, your business deal will go sour quickly.

Let the Chinese business partners know upfront that your company has a code of conduct when dealing with business matters and you are bound by it.  If you are to employ Chinese people to work in your business, you should have a code of conduct for them to sign. The code of conduct lets the Chinese business know that you are a honorable company that is looking out for both partners in the deal. To come to the table without a code of conduct or even mentioning one would set you up for disgrace and your company will be seen as a embarrassment.

While on your China vacation, you must watch what you say and do. Never take a picture of a Chinese citizen unless you have their permission. They are still a little paranoid of tourists and their paranoia is founded in their decades under communist rule. Politely ask by using gestures. Nine times out of ten they will give you permission, but they may be really angry if you take a shot without their permission. Your camera may even be confiscated by local police if there is a complaint about you. Ask first, then shoot. It is only polite and courteous for you to follow this simple rule.

Vacations in China can be fun if you are just courteous and polite. The ugly American icon still floats around the country so what you do and say can be a representation of your country. Follow the laws, rules, and customs and if you do not know, just ask. If you are uncomfortable take yourself out of the situation. Etiquette is an important rule to follow and your vacation in China will be fun and never forgotten.

Cheap Holidays To Japan

Cheap holidays to Japan at Christmas have become quite popular. Although Japan never recognized Christmas as a national holiday, it is catching on more as many people travel to the area to see the beautiful Christmas trees and the stores that go all out with Christmas lights and decorations. In Japan ladies, the traditional Christmas gift for buying is diamonds and other superb pieces of jewelry. In Japan, Christmas has become an event that was never celebrated as we do, but with the overwhelming attendance of Americans for Christmas holidays, the area has taken hold of the holiday excitement and now you will see many celebrations of Christmas, not only at the stores, but all around the area.

Although Christmas is through the New Year, Japan removes Christmas decoration on the 26th and start preparing for the Japanese New Year, which you must stay and enjoy. It is something that you can only see on television, but being there and feeling the excitement can only enhance your thrill of celebrating a new year. Since you are going to want to see different areas of Japan leading up the New Year, you should invest in a rail pass to take you to other areas of Japan. This is just another way to accommodate your cheap holidays to Japan.

Something you never think about doing in Japan is camping. They have some nice campgrounds and the weather is perfect for that night out under the stars. You can do this for one night or two and then move on to another area of Japan. You are going to fine the flea markets fun to shop at as well as the restaurants with all their different cuisine. They have more than just Japanese food, you can find a fast food restaurant that the kids will enjoy called McDonald’s.

New Year’s is a great time to visit the ski resorts and treat the family to a New Year’s weekend with ski and warm, crackling fires at night by the fireplace. Make sure you enjoy a warm Japanese drink before bed to warm you and help you have a peaceful sleep. You will not forget this Christmas and New Year’s adventure, but you may want to try another experience next year. With all the available travel options and cheap holiday packages, you can enjoy a week or two weeks visiting the area and experience how other cultures celebrate the holidays.

When you book your cheap holidays to Japan, ask for other specials such as rail passes, meal passes, day passes and do not forget about the special ski packages. You will enjoy your travels and when you plan early or even find a late deal, you will have even more savings than you could have expected. When you arrive in Japan, find your hotel and take a day to explore the area before heading out on your Christmas and New Year’s tours of the areas. Do not miss the fun that Japan has to offer during the holidays.

Travel to Taiwan

To Travel to Taiwan is to Understand Diversity
A gem in the China Seas, Taiwan embodies a unique entangling of ancient and modern, East and West. From the bustling commercial center of the capital city, Taipei, to the cascading volcanic mountains of Yushan National Park, Taiwan offers the world traveler an unmatched experience. It is no coincidence that Portuguese explorers named this island ‘Ilha Formosa’, or the beautiful island.

Officially known as the Republic of China (R.O.C.), Taiwan should not be confused with the People’s Republic of China, which refers to mainland China. Within the past 200 years the island has been ruled by the Dutch, become part of Japan, has been “returned” to China and is currently striving to become an internationally recognized sovereign nation. Taiwan’s tumultuous and fascinating history of the Aboriginal, Taiwanese and Chinese people is revealed through the many cultural festivals held throughout the year. Travel to the island in February for the Taiwan Lantern Festival or in June to watch the world-famous Dragon Boat Races during the Dragon Boat Festival.

One of Taiwan’s most prominent cultural symbols is Taipei 101, the world’s tallest building, measuring 508 meters and 101 floors. Finished in 2003, the tower signifies Taiwan’s substantial economic growth from the periphery of the global economy to become one of the four Asian Tigers, as well as the government’s dedication to a democratic society separate from that of China. Tainan, the oldest and fourth largest city on the island, offers a more authentic and less commercialized window into Taiwanese culture. Temples and Memorial Arches define this city where the Ching Dynasty once prayed to the God of War.

The Taiwan Terrain: Recreation and Ecotourism
Exploration of the thriving urban centers is only one of many ways to get in touch with Taiwan. The rugged topography of Taiwan is adorned with magnificent peaks, lush valleys and dramatic waterfalls. Yushan National Park is home to the island’s tallest peak, Jade Mountain, which towers at 2,610 meters. Hike to the summit and take the more technical route down or simply enjoy the breathtaking view from the Tatachia Visitor Center, accessible directly from the new Central Cross-Island Highway. From Jade Mountain, descend deep into Taroko Gorge on Taiwan’s rocky and secluded east coast. This 12-mile-long canyon is home to the natural open-air Wenshan hot springs and the Atayal people, one of Taiwan’s remaining aboriginal tribes. The rocky cliffs at the canyon’s end are a starting point for those who wish to travel farther into Taiwan’s history. The surrounding Pacific Ocean is sprinkled with beautiful green islands that have unique native histories and are mostly accessible by plane or ferry. Most of the pristine and dramatic destinations are protected by Taiwan’s National Park Department, which offers an array of lodging and guiding services and has proven to be a well-organized resource for the outdoor sightseer.

From the island’s tallest building to its tallest peak, Taiwan has something exceptional to offer every kind traveler. Travel Taiwan’s thriving society and come face-to-face with an Asian Tiger.

How To Customize Your Tour In China

If you’re looking to visit China, you can try one of the many tours they have available.  You can inquire about these with your travel agent.  You can also find some online to see what you might want.

However, if you already know what you want with the tour, you should try one that is customized.  Your travel agent will work with you to customize your tour in China.  They can set up a great package for you with what you want.  The travel agent will provide you with destinations that will suit your interest.

The tour can just be for you or you can include family and friends.  If you’re not familiar with the Chinese language, you should request a tour guide that speaks the English language to assist you.

If you want you can rent a vehicle.  You can either drive it yourself or pay for a driver to chauffeur you around China.  In addition to that, you can choose what food you want for your meals while you’re on the trip.

It’s recommended that people make arrangements to visit China at least one time in their life.  There are many things you can see while you’re there.  Some of them include The Great Wall of China, the Tibet temples, and the Summer Palace.  There are more things that you can see, but these are just a few of the more popular attractions.

A lot of the touring companies that are based in China have different types of touring deals at different prices.  You may want to try some of the services that are based there.  The price of the tour will depend on what you’re going to get.

When you get to China, the tour guide will be there waiting on you.   They will accompany your for the entire tour.  As far as hotel booking and other items go, your travel agent will assist you with that.

You will get a copy of your tour schedule and a description of what you will be doing on what day.  You will also have information with the currency exchange, how to get around, clothing and other items pertaining to your trip.

Depending on how long your tour is, you may be able to visit a handful of cities in China.  You will probably go to places such as Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing.  The tours that include these cities will probably be the most popular.

You will be able to visit some of the museums or go on a cruise in the Li River.  Something like this would run you in the low four-figure range for each person.

However you decide to set up your tour, it will be enjoyable for you and anyone else that is accompanying you.  A tour to China is one of the greatest experiences you can ever have.  It’s something different that lots of people haven’t attempted to do before.  Customizing your tour is ever better because you will explore the things that you want to see.

Cebu – Pearl Of South Philippines

Why travel to Cebu, Philippines of all places? What makes Cebu, Philippines special among all other places in the whole country – or the world even? If your travel plans for this year includes Cebu, here are some reasons why we’re certain that you won’t regret your decision on choosing Cebu as your travel destination.

What Makes Cebu Popular
Even if we weren’t to talk about any of the famous tourist spots of Cebu, Philippines, there are still other things that make Cebu so very popular with the tourists. First, there’s the food. If you love those ripe yellow mangoes, you absolutely must go to Guadulupe because their mangoes – served dried or not – can never fail to make taste buds water.

And then there’s chicharon or pork rind; if you’ve never tasted chicharon yet, a good place to start would be at Cebu. Other food to explore in Cebu would be “puso”, the hanging rice, dangit, a dried fish usually eaten for breakfast and budbud, another type of rice.

And then there are the souvenirs or other accessories that you may only purchase in Cebu, Philippine. If you come from a country experiencing all four seasons – people back home would probably appreciate if you give them the beautifully hand woven blankets made from Argao. People with deep faith would no doubt appreciate as well gifts of the Medallions of the Christ Child. For fashion lovers, jewelry made from Mactan stone, corals or seashells are very much popular.

Lastly, there are the guitars. People with fine ears for music can’t help but appreciate the quality of guitars manufactured in Cebu. If you also want to see with your very own eyes the manufacturing process of a guitar, from start to finish, LapuLapu City of Cebu is the place to travel to.

And now finally, we come to the places…

Magellan’s Cross – Since the Philippines began to be of interest to the world thanks to Ferdinand Magellan’s discovery in 1521, tourists might as well begin their travel plans by visiting Magellan’s Cross which is found in Magallanes Street of Cebu City. This place is of much historical value to the Philippines because it’s also where the baptismal rites of the earliest Filipino Christians were held.

Mactan Island – Water sports have always been a favorite activity by tourists when visiting the Cebu and if you’re fond of this as well, make sure that you drop by Mactan Island because the waves there are alike no place else!

Cebu is also the jumping point to other exciting destinations like Dumaguete, Bohol and Sumilon.

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Pattaya Travel Guide

Thailand is the place where many people would love to go to. Due to its warm climate and beautiful natural resource, such as mountaineer geography in the north, and coastal beach in the east and the south. We are going to look at the eastern region, which Pattaya city is located. You may have heard a bit or have been there before if you had a chance to visit Thailand. It is the place where a lot of tourist would like to visit and it has millions of visitors each year. This is due to its beautiful beach and night life which give people endless enjoyable activities.

However, for someone who want to visit Thailand or Pattaya at the first time, they may want to visit some information resource that provide info about Pattaya travel guide and there are a lot of websites provide comprehensive information such as the website of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) or you may want to visit lonelyplanet.com can also be used as a information reference.

Even though Pattaya gain it reputations from its beach and night life but there are also many tourist attractions that tourist could have activity with. For example, there has been an fish aquarium that recently opened and this aquarium is the largest in Southeast Asia region. Apart from that, you can enjoy activities like rock climbing, hiking or even just ordinary relaxing on the beach.

Hotel accommodation in Pattaya also offers excellent service. You can find wide range of hotel types available for all of budget availability. Top luxurious hotels provide very private environment and services so you can be sure that your holiday will not be disturbed. Massage and beauty service in Pattaya are also gain reputation, particularly traditional Thai massage and facial therapy massage in Thai ancient style, which you will experience of using traditional Thai herbs to cure disease through elaborated massage method.

Pattaya is divided into three different parts; North Pattaya, Central Pattaya and South Pattaya. Each area has unique characteristics such as beach and travel attraction. North Pattaya is close to other attractions near by such as Sila Village where produce mortars or if you would like to enjoy city life and beautiful beaches, you have to visit Central Pattaya.

People and environment in Pattaya are also very pleasant. Even though it is a place that has more urban area than suburb area but there still be a good environment and very less of pollution. People are also very friendly and always willing to help all of the tourists.

Even though there are a lot of travel guide for Pattaya available on the internet, some in Thai and some in English language, but you have to compare all the detail with two or three different websites and choose the most update and reliable one. Otherwise you may get the wrong or out of date information. And as a result you may get lost or miss some important information that may lead you to trouble during the visit and you will find that you have to return to this place once again.

The History Of The Great Wall Of China

The Great Wall of China refers to several walls that were constructed in the 5th Century, B.C.  There were also some that were constructed in the 16th century.  The ones that were constructed during the latter century were used as a shield for China’s northern borders.

At this time, China was ruled by empires with successive dynasties.  The most notable wall was constructed by China’s fist emperor. Nowadays, there’s not much of it left.  There is currently a wall there that was constructed by the Ming Dynasty.

The length of the Great Wall of China is about 4,000 miles from Shanhaiguan to Lop Nut.  However, the total number of miles is 4,160.  When the Ming Wall was at the top, there were about a million men available to guard it.  However, on a sad note, there were at least two to three million Chinese locals that succumbed during the construction of the Great Wall.

During the Song Dynasty, the Museum of the Construction of the Great Wall was in place.  Another name for this great wall was Shanhaiguan Great Wall.  Shanhaiguan is a word that means “Number One Pass Under Heaven”.

There are some areas of the wall that need to be fixed because they look bad.  Some people may think that they can be used for playgrounds or the construct homes or roads.  There are also parts of the wall that people like to use to display their graffiti artwork.  There are some parts that have been damaged or destroyed because of construction in the area.  No one knows how much of the wall will stay intact.

For the wall of Gansu, it is not certain how much will be left.  It’s been predicted to fall apart because of the erosion that has settled in.  It used to be taller than what it is today.  There were prominent images that are no longer existent.  Since the majority of the western sections are made from mud, it’s more likely that these sections will be the first to go.

The Great Wall is considered more like a thread.  You would not be able to see this thread from at least one hundred yards away.  It has not been proven that anyone, including an astronaut could see the Great Wall from where the moon is situated.

Can the wall be seen from earth orbit?  Some say that you can hardly see it and that the conditions have to be just right for you to do so.  An astronaut tried looking at the Great Wall with binoculars, but the perception was not very good.  Other astronauts and politicians claimed to have seen it, but their thoughts were dismissed by other people.

According to space stories on the recent articles found on https://outdoorempire.com/best-rangefinder-reviews-advice/, another astronaut decided to take photos from the space station where it showed the Great Wall.  After looking at the photo, still it was not determined whether or not it was legitimate.  Eventually, it was decided that the Great Wall could be seen under special circumstances.  You would be able to see it, once you knew where to search.

Beijing Major Tourist Attractions

Beijing is the capital of china and is one of the most visited cities in Asia. It offers tourists an almost limitless number of places to see and things to do. It is a very busy metropolis that mixes modern living with ancient history unlike any other city in the world.

The cities main attraction is the “Forbidden City”. It contains 800 buildings and was closed to the public for a very long time. Today it is one of the best preserved sections of ancient china. This was the imperial palace and it was constructed in 1406. It took 200,000 workers 14 years to complete and its buildings contain 8700 rooms and halls.

The second most popular site in Beijing is the Tiananmen Square. In contrast to the Forbidden City, it was built in the 20th century under the Mao dynasty. It is a large open area flanked by the Museum of Chinese history, the great hall of the people, and Mao’s mausoleum. This particular place became infamous when a young demonstrator was killed during a pro-democracy demonstration.

Another fascinating place to visit in Beijing is the national Museum of China. This museum was founded in 1926 and it has a collection of some 300,000 historical artifacts of witch about 5,500 are on display at any one time.  The displays include painted pottery, bronze ware, and ceramics. Located in the same area as this museum, is the Museum of the Chinese Revolution which focuses on the history of the communist party in china.

One more site of great interest in the Sun Yatsen Park. It was originally the site of the temple and was named after Sun Yatsen,  a leader of the 1911 revolution. The park includes a number of cypress trees, and a great marble arch.

Beijing has many things to see and do for tourists wishing to explore the city. The above list is just a small sampling of some of the places to see while in the Beijing area. For a more detailed list please consult your local travel agent.

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Travel To Mumbai – Travel Information

Situated on the Arabian Sea, at the very western edge of India’s subcontinent, lies the country’s most populous and prosperous metropolis. Mumbai, formerly Bombay until 1995, is a massive island city bursting with life at every turn. Mumbai is home to the Hindi film and television industry, also known as Bollywood, and offers hundreds of movie houses including the largest IMAX dome in Asia.

Travelers to Mumbai may find themselves struck by the incredible disparity in wealth and lifestyle among the island’s inhabitants; however, most travelers will also notice a general friendly cheer during their daily excursions. Almost all of Mumbai’s population is not native to the island, which creates an eclectic mix of ethnicities, beliefs, cuisine and culture that has encouraged acceptance among most of the people.

Mumbai from the Outside

Mumbai has one of the most heavily traveled ports in India, making the large Bombay metropolis India’s commercial and financial capital. Visit the spectacular Gateway of India, the magnificent basalt structure built for King George V and Queen Mary in 1911 that greets nearly all travelers arriving in Mumbai by boat. From here you can catch a ferry to Elephanta Island to witness the most famous and intricate cave temples of Maharashtra. For people watching, head down to the Marine Drive Chowpatty and enjoy the beach breezes, shop the street-side vendors and get yourself a relaxing head massage.

Within the city limits lies Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which serves as a necessary sanctuary for breathable air in the north of Mumbai. Make sure to catch Bombay’s famous prowling leopards during your visit. There are also many walking and boating tours available as a means to experience the city. This is the best way to get your initial bearings and learn the general history and architectural background of Mumbai/Bombay.

A Bombay Treasure Island

The Mumbai municipality is a literal treasure hunt for the adventurous explorer. Centuries of history are written in the architecture, museums, bazaars and personal accounts littered all about the lively neighborhoods. St. Thomas’ Cathedral is a reminder of the British rule in Bombay and also the oldest English building in the city. The remarkable contrast of the whitewashed church against the detailed and ornate backdrop of Mumbai is a noteworthy sight. Visit the Prince of Wales Museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum, and discover ancient remnants of Maharashtra while inside an architectural landmark set among splendid gardens.

Mumbai, and certainly all of India, is the place to be your adventurous self. The first step is finding airfare to Bombay right here on cFares. Once you touch down on the tarmac in Mumbai, indulge your senses in the flavors of curry, the treats of street vendors, and the delicacy of fresh sweet pastry. Expand your senses and stretch your mind in a yoga class or meditation session, many of which are open to the public. This is your opportunity to discover the most unique and welcoming city in India, dive in!

Planning To Vacation In Japan?

Visiting Japan can be like transporting yourself to another world. Life revolves around ancient traditions and the beauty of nature.

Nagasaki

Be sure to visit the Spectacle bridge near Nagasaki.  This gorgeous ancient stone bridge resembles a pair of glasses when viewed with the reflection of water flowing under the bridge and is a popular tourist stop. Visiting the beautiful red and yellow shrine known as Confucius Shrine and Museum of Natural History near Nagasaki can provide you with glimpses of Chinese treasures on loan form Beijing.  Chinatown dates back to the seventeenth century and can be a haven for food lovers visiting Japan.  Dejima is an artificial island once used to confine Dutch workers and now houses a museum and many historical buildings.

On August 9, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.  Be sure to visit the museum dedicated to this tragedy when visiting Nagasaki as well as Nagasaki Peace Park.  Glover Gardens is an open air museum featuring nine western style homes including Glover Mansion. Nishizaka Hill located in Nagasaki is the site of a religious monument to the twenty six martyrs who were crucified on this spot for practicing Christianity in the 1600’s.

Tokyo

Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is an interesting tourist stop and is a sushi lovers paradise.  It is the largest wholesale market in Japan.  Asakusa in  Tokyo is a popular neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants along with the famous Senso Temple.  The East Gardens are located near the outside of the Imperial Palace and are open to the public.  Yasukun jinja is the site of a large, torii gate that stands at the entrance to this shrine built in memory of those who lost their lives defending Japan. Many officials still come and offer prayer annually on August 15, anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War.

The Kabuki Theater hosts traditional Japanese Kabuki performances and is located in the Ginza district. The Edo Tokyo Museum displays artifacts and architecture depicting Tokyo’s history. Exhibits include replicas of an ancient Kabuki theater and the original Edo Castle. The Hama Rikyo park is located next to Tokyo Bay and is one of the most beautiful gardens in the city.  The Tokyo National Museum is a must see with the largest collection of Japanese artifacts and artworks in the world.  It features over 100,000 pieces and room to display only 4,000 so exhibits are rotated constantly. The Mori Art Museum is located in Roppong Hills, is one of Asia’s, largest collections of contemporary art.

Hiroshima

While visiting Hiroshima, be sure to see the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. This park commemorates the explosion of the first atomic bomb. It houses the Peace Memorial Museum.  The Hiroshima Castle and the Atomic Dome are also must see sites when visiting Hiroshima.

Learning The Cultural Training Of China

If you’re looking to do a business tour in China, you must know some things about the country; one of them is its culture.  It doesn’t make any sense to go there and you’re uninformed and dumbfounded about what’s going on.  You must also get information about the way China does business in regard to global business, which includes importing and exporting goods.

If you need to get more information, one of the best things to do is take a class to learn about the ins and outs of doing business in China.  You have to know their business protocol.  This is important because you will know how they operate and what are their likes and dislikes.  Their sense of business style is different than in other countries.

When you get your cultural training, you will learn how to:
Not waste time, instead learn to manage your time properly
Chinese business procedures
Proper business dress
Create a nice first showing to potential business contacts
Shake hands properly, look business people in the eye when speaking
Adapt to their business culture

Other things that you need to know include body language and how to present yourself to others while doing business with the locals.

Training for this is good because then you’ll know what to expect when you meet with businesspeople in China.  You will know how to adapt to their culture.  Of course, it will be different than yours.

You will know the procedures and more likely to be picked as a business partner with the Chinese businessmen.  You should get as much information as you can about knowing how to do business in China, prior to going over there.

This way, you will be prepared when you get there and you’ll know what to do.  You can even take training courses on the internet.  If you’re looking to getting into import/export of goods, there are many training classes available online just for that purpose.

You will need to have good communication skills in order to relate to the businessmen in China.  This is important regardless if it’s for business or not.  If you can’t relate to them outside of business, how are you going to do it in business?

Proper communication will determine the success you will have in doing business with China.  The training you get to learn their culture is invaluable and should never be forgotten.  Communication with the Chinese businesspeople, if done right will take you a long way for future business deals with them.

You can also use the training to benefit you with business transactions, such as importing and exporting of goods.  You will be wiser after taking the training and you will also be able to make more profits by knowing how you should approach the business sector in China.

There are a lot of opportunities to make money and it keeps growing and growing.  As long as you stick to the principles and ethics involved, you will be able to do business with the Chinese many times over.

Beijing Less Well Known Tourist Attractions

When you visit Beijing as a tourist, the capital city of China, you will inevitably be taken sightseeing by your tour guides to view monumental and historical attractions like The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City and The Ming Tombs amongst many others.

However, more and more of the residents of Beijing are saying that there are many less well known tourist attractions that you must visit and these lesser known places, on their own accord also have many charms and delights for tourists.

For example, Cui Jian, a famous Chinese rock star who performed on a Rolling Stones act in Shanghai in 2006 was known to have said, “I am not at all interested in all that historical kingdom culture, stuff that shows this was once the greatest kingdom or something like that”.

Cui recommends that tourists when visiting Beijing should also soak up the atmosphere in the 798 art district in Beijing’s eastern Dashanzi instead. This1950s period factory zone has been transformed into a bohemian community of art galleries, cafes and bistros, outdoor sculptures, colorful graffiti painted on factory walls among many other interesting features.

Another Beijing resident, Wu Jianxin, who is an owner of a private wine club, grew up near Houhai, which was once a quiet lakeside village, which is now being overrun by noisy bars and boat rentals for tourists. Wu likes to take leisurely strolls in Baiyun Guan or White Cloud Temple.

This Taoist temple ground has a certain mystical charm about it and without the tourist crush like those in the major attractions,is a wonderful place to just enjoy a leisurely paced sightseeing. A sight to behold when you are in the 800 year old Baiyun Guan are regular traditional ceremonies and rites being performed by Taoist monks. This ancient temple is also the headquarters of the Chinese Taoist Association.

Li Jing, who is a designer by profession, prefers to take his walks in the Nanluoguxiang area. This area has well preserved stretch of backstreets although situated in downtown Beijing, is almost unknown to many tourists. These backstreets are home to many local bars, hostels and boutiques. The area exudes the ambience of old Beijing when contrasted against the city’s modern superstructures.

For tourists who like to bring home unconventional souvenirs should visit Jindian Consignment Shop. Here, you will not find the usual replica dragons or jade chopsticks which you can find in souvenir shops all over Beijing. Instead, you will discover unusual and remarkably quaint souvenirs to bring home, such as old bus passes, Chinese antique clocks and flying pigeon bicycles (whatever that is).

Having visited Beijing on a number of occasions myself, I have to disagree with the locals who only recommend the less well known tourist attractions. My recommendation is to see everything Beijing has to offer including the major tourist attractions many of which will leave you awestricken.

Beijing Travel Information

The best way to kick off your Asian travels is in China’s progressive and even tragically hip capital city of Beijing. Traditional relics like the Tiananmen gate stand juxtaposed against the imposing modernist architecture of recent history, most notable in the Dashanzi Art District. The People’s Republic of China has its financial industries mainly in Shanghai and Hong Kong, but Beijing remains the nation’s true cultural and political center.

Orange County Meets Ming Dynasty in Beijing

When many travelers think of Beijing, they imagine the dictatorial atmosphere of Mao Zedong or television images of protesting citizens; however, Beijing has a tremendous history beginning as early as the 1st century BCE and has persevered through Kublai Kahn’s Mongols, Japanese invasion, and the Communist Civil War victory in 1949.

The Forbidden City is a fascinating journey through 500 years of Imperial secrecy. The head of state no longer resides here and the beautiful buildings and breathtaking gardens are open to the public year-round. The entrance to the Forbidden City is the infamous Tiananmen Square and gate, protected by four formidable marble lions. Nearby, the Temple of Heaven is another sublime representation of an era of dynasties and royal architecture. With airfare to Beijing, you also have the extra opportunity to see the Great Wall of China, which is only one and a half hours away by bus.

Although there are hundreds of historical sites in Beijing, the rapidly sprawling metropolis is also overflowing with contemporary wonders and luxuries. The National Zoo houses the largest inland aquarium in the world as well as China’s famous pandas. Next to the Imperial Palace, the Wan Fung Art Gallery provides insight into the artistic transition from regal and traditional to cutting edge contemporary. Most interestingly, the suburban sprawl has witnessed the creation of a $60 million American-inspired community called Orange County, complete with town homes and tract housing.

Chinese Cultural Centrifuge in Beijing

Experience two cultural traditions in one at the Laoshe Tea House where you will be both charmed by Chinese opera and soothed by a variety of traditional teas. For world-class shopping in Beijing, visit Wangfujing, or you can find your way into the many enchanting smaller districts for traditional Chinese shops and boutiques. Beijing is also home to several notable temples like the Miaoying, and even a mosque that was built in 996.
With such dynamic experiences to offer and the immaculate preservation of its past, Beijing is truly an international city and there’s no wonder the cosmopolis has been chosen for the Olympics. Get your airfare to Beijing now or wait for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Travel To Bali, Indonesia

Traveling to Indonesia is definitely a trip you will never forget.Plan for a long ride to get there, as it is a 31 hour flight from New York. Bali is a wonderful area with an array of fun filled activities to choose from. It is the main tourist area of Indonesia.

The people of Bali are very friendly, and enjoy having visitors come to their area. Many speak English to interact with tourists. They have chosen to preserve their culture for all to see rather than change it to become like other countries. The beaches are a main attraction with surfing being one of the most popular activities. Others enjoy renting a boat for the day to relax on the open waters.

Lodging in Bali ranges from small bungalows to huge fancy hotels, all with basic accommodations to meet the needs of tourists. The view from your hotel will be wonderful because of the rich beauty of the area regardless of where you choose to stay.

The people of Bali are very artistic. They enjoy painting, weaving, carving, basket making, and other arts. Children are taught art from a very early age. They often display their makings to sell to the tourists.

Temples are a main attraction in Bali. They are called Pura. The temples provide an opportunity to explore religion and art of the culture. The people of Bali are still very religious, and it is very important that those visiting the Temples show respect for their religious beliefs.

Art galleries exhibit creative and attractive art work to view. Wildlife and nature reserves are popular in Bali. Many people go to get a glimpse of the very dangerous Komodo Dragon, a large lizard that is found only in the area and is extinct. The rare Java tiger is also displayed.

There are more than 400 volcanoes in Indonesia, 128 are still active. They offer a historical view of this natural creation to observe. Botanic Gardens are also a very popular attraction. Displaying flora and fauna as well as promoting conservation, people are drawn to the beauty of such attractions.

While Indonesia is a beautiful and serene place to visit, it is strongly advised at this time to be cautious with such visits due to the possibility of terrorist attacks. If you do choose to travel to the area do not travel alone and make sure you have registered with the US Embassy.

Traveling And Money In China

Money: The currency used in China is the Renminbi/RMB Yuan (CNY). The Yuan is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. RMB is not traded outside China and we still cannot exchange £ or $ into RMB easily outside of China.

You can exchange some cash in the airport you arrive.  Travellers cheques, preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. Normal banking hours are Mon-Fri 0900-1200, 1400-1700.

Import and export of local currency is limited to RMBY20000. Import of foreign currency is up to US$1000 (US$5000 for non-residents). Higher amounts should be declared upon arrival. Export of foreign currency is limited to the amount imported and declared.

The larger hotels and the special ‘Stores’ designed for foreigners will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards (e.g. visa and master cards) are accepted in the main cities at various establishments, but outside the major cities acceptance is limited. ATMs are scarce outside the main cities. So please do carry extra cash when you are traveling outside of major cities.

Although tipping is not required, gratuities may improve service. For the porters or waiters, 1 – 5 US dollars may be appropriate as the tip. However, local people rarely tip in restaurants as a 10% service charge is always included in the bill.  My rule is not to give beggars any changes as a lot of them a professional network; more beggars will appear in front of you once you start giving.

Keep money safe. Always bargain at no price listed shops, local people always quote foreigners 3-4 times more expensively.

If you are staying China for a relatively long period of time, you can open a local bank account.

Foreigners can open accounts in China and the process is fairly straight forward. Initially, it is essential that the bank account is opened with the Bank of China, and in most of larger city branches, there will be an English-speaking member of staff who can assist. A passport is required together with a small deposit. A bank book will be issued with a bank card. Deposits can be made in several currencies such as RMB, US Dollars and UK Pounds, while withdrawals must be in the same currency as the deposit.

Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can be exchanged only within China’s borders.

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Disability Preparations When Traveling Internationally

Before deciding to go abroad, you have to check first with your physician whether or not it would be advisable to go on a trip abroad. If your physician agrees, then off with your preparations to travel internationally. But, if you are given some health precautions, be sure that you follow it to be able to secure a healthier trip.

There are countries that have different standards of accessibility for travelers who are disabled. While some countries have laws that do not discriminate the disabled in order to protect the traveler from any kind of problem, other countries don’t. Preparation has always been the best key in order to have an enjoyable and at the same time safe trip abroad.

Being disabled doesn’t have to exempt you from enjoying the different things outside your country. You are allowed to roam anywhere you want provided that you can handle yourself well despite of whatever circumstance that may occur. Review materials regarding your condition in order to educate you with the different places that do not discriminate travelers with disability.

Some of the effective tips in order to attain a safe and pleasurable travel are:

•    Advance research – Countries are subject to giving equal treatment to the people around them ruling out any kind of discrimination. Consider the health care resources that are available in the country where you want to go and the types of transportations that you have to cope with. Upon reservations, you have to inform the travel carrier or agent of your disability. In this case, you will be able to be given assistance that is needed. If necessary, you have to tell the different equipments that should be used in cases of attacks or problems. Whatever the case may be, always ask that it should be documented.

•    Ask for medical assistance – inform your physician of the details of your travel like the activities that you have planned and your current physical condition. Ask if you need to have immunizations because there are countries that have epidemics of diseases that can be immunized with. Ask for a letter from your physician stating your current medical condition which includes your medicines and prescribed interventions.

•    Bring your medications – be sure that once you leave your place, your medicines can outlast your trip. Medications like these will help you greatly in cases of attacks. This will also help to prevent complications and relapses. Bring prescribed medicines and supplements. Pack all your medications inside your carry-on bag for easy access to the medicines. Your prescriptions must always be labeled.

•    Evacuation and health insurance – when you go abroad, it is a must that you have sufficient coverage of your insurance that’ll include your medical evaluation.

•    Equipment maintenance – be sure that your medical equipments are checked before you leave. It is always proper to make sure that your equipments are properly working in order to make it work for your advantage.

•    Have a written plan – Remind yourself to carry plans of your activities, people you want to meet and different directions of where you must go. This will help you if in case that you are lost.

With all these precautions and tips, you’ll have a more pleasant trip because you know that you have planned and prepared well in order to experience a more pleasurable stay in the foreign country of your choice.

Bali Liveaboard Scuba Diving

What can be a more adventurous and fulfilling scuba diving vacation experience than liveaboard luxury yacht cruising and scuba diving in the tropical islands of Bali?

Contrary to what many scuba divers think, liveaboard scuba diving may not be as expensive as you think. In fact if planned properly, live on board diving vacations may even save you money and inconveniences. Firstly, you will on transportation time and costs traveling to your dive operator’s boat and then after your dive, returning to your hotel or resort lugging your cumbersome scuba diving gear with you and repeating the same process for the next couple of days during your vacation in Bali.

Next, you save money on hotel or resort accommodation because since that you are living on the dive boats, there will be no need for hotel or resort bookings. Furthermore, you do not need to hunt for expensive meals in your hotel or resort since all liveaboard scuba diving packages will include delicious meals which will also mean that you will be probably having very fresh and delectable sea food caught by the crew while you are enjoying your cruise or are scuba diving.

The highlight of your liveaboard Bali vacation is that you can dive in many exotic dive locations instead of only the dive spots near where you stay. This is because since that you need not return to your resort or hotel to retire for the day, the liveaboard dive yachts will cruise away to far flung scuba diving locations while you are sleeping. This again saves you time and best of all, you get to save more money by diving in more places for the same price.

Here is a typical example of a liveaboard Bali scuba diving itinerary. It is a 7 days Bali scuba diving excursion.

Day One – Visit one of Bali’s most interesting street on the way to Pemuteran & Menjangan North West Bali which will also include a stopover in View Point Restaurant Sanda. You will scuba dive in Pemuteran House Reef & Reef Project or Secret Bay in Gilimanuk

Day Two – Your liveaboard boat will cruise to Menjangan Island. You will be diving at the National Park, Walls, Anker Wreck, Coral Garden, buffet lunch on the white powdery sandy beach of the island. The boat will then land and send you to the north coast and visit a well kept secret Waterfall and a hot spring.

Day Three – Scuba diving activities will be at Amed Tulamben or Secret Spot, Drop Off, Liberty Wreck Dive (American battle ship sunk during WW2) & some wall diving.

Day Four – Some land excursion to enjoy the view of Bali’s world famous terraced rice fields in the morning. Then your liveaboard yatcht will take you diving at the Blue Lagoon & White Beach. There will also be a night dive at the Blue Lagoon.

Day Five – Continue your Bali vacation by cruising to Gili Mimpang & Gili Tepekong or Gili Biaha for fantastic dive sites.

Day Six – More scuba diving activities at Gili Biaha or Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan. The sea at these diving locations could be rough at times, so the dives would very much be dependant on the weather. However, if the weather allow, you will be scuba diving in one of the most breath taking underwater scenery in the world.

Day Seven – More scuba diving at the Blue Lagoon, White Beach and the Channel and then off to Bali airport to your next scuba diving adventure.

So if you want to save time and money during your Bali scuba diving vacation, why not try liveaboard luxury boats instead?

Generalized Tips For Traveling Internationally

In order to avoid certain kinds of problems when traveling internationally, you have to put your mind set on the different things that may occur while you’re away. To ensure safer and easier trip, here are tips to ease your worries out…

Tip # 1 – Register to the proper authorities

Before you leave, make sure that you register to your respective state in order to get assistance when emergencies arise. You can either go to the office of the State Department or just go online and register your plans of leaving. This will be of big help especially when you start to experience different kinds of complications along your travel. Furthermore, in cases of emergencies that happened while your away, like family crisis or accidents, the government can inform you as soon as possible. If you are worrying about your private travel, information will not be stated unless emergencies arise or without authorization on your part.

Tip # 2 – Fill in information and sign your passport

Before you leave, make sure that you have your visa and passport signed or otherwise fill in the emergency page of your passport. Being safe is better than being sorry. Details like these must be filled out in order for identification.

Tip # 3 – Leave copies of important documents

There will come a time when you will lose your important documents like your visa or passport. If this happens, you are into big trouble especially with the immigration. Therefore, it is important that you leave itinerary copies of your data. You can entrust things like these with your family and close friends. This will make you more confident that in case something happens, you will be immediately notified.

Tip # 4 – Check your insurance coverage

Importantly, you have to secure your international medical insurance. Check with you insurance company if certain policies apply if you go overseas. Ask if the medical insurance covers different kinds of health-related expenses like medical evacuation. It is good if your insurance answers such circumstance but if not, better consider an insurance that’ll supplement your needs.

Tip # 5 – Be familiar with local laws

Entering into an unfamiliar country doesn’t give you the reason to be deemed innocent with the crimes that you can unknowingly make. You are always subject to the laws of that certain county and therefore abide by its regulations. You are not exempted no matter how much you say that you don’t know the laws. You have to be responsible in, at least, educating yourself with some of the most common laws of the place.

Tip # 6 – Always take precautions

It is never a crime to be safe therefore practice safety precautions. To prevent being targeted with crimes, act like a local. Never flaunt yourself and what you have for you are enticing the robbers to be hooked on you. As much as possible, do not wear accessories and do not bring large amounts of money while you are outside your room. Never leave your things unattended and most importantly, never give your trust to anyone. Some people are most likely to pretend when meeting a stranger.

Always take necessary preparation precautions when traveling abroad. If cases of emergencies, equip yourself with your government’s information number so that you can contact them and ask for necessary help.

Bangkok: A City Of More Than Angels – Travel Information

Simultaneously the geographic, cultural and political heart of Thailand, Bangkok bustles with enthralling nightlife, charms with enchanting histories, and sooths with its blooming relaxation industry. Therefore, the world explorer may find that travel to Bangkok is an all-encompassing experience of modern Southeast Asia’s many diverse offerings. And luckily, finding airfare to Bangkok right here on cFares is not nearly as mysterious as navigating the charming but winding streets and canals of the city itself.

Bangkok is officially known as Krung Thep, “City of Angels” in Thai, and Bangkok is actually only a small district that is home to the original village situated along the Chao Phraya River. The Bangkok of today certainly offers a taste for every palate. The infamous nightlife is overactive while the temples, museums and walking tours are abundant.

Travel Bangkok through the Ages

The palaces and wats are a wonderful place to begin your Bangkok journey. Begin with the Grand Palace, which was the home and headquarters of the King of Thailand from the 18th to 20th centuries. The breathtaking complex sits on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and is built in moat-wall fortress fashion to shield the Royal Family from invasions. Do not miss the Wat Phra Kaew, which contains the legendary Emerald Buddha – a solid jade figurine donning pure gold robes that are changed by the King with the seasons. To the north, Wat Pho is home to the world’s largest reclining buddha, 15 by 46 meters of solid gold. The modern Royal Family resides at Chitralada Palace, a phenomenon of architectural landscaping and a bastion of education (there is a school on the grounds) and environment.

The best way to experience the different districts of Bangkok and the city’s evolution resulting from global and local events over the last few centuries is to walk down the main avenues as they pass through changing scenes. Khao San Road is famous for its international diversity marrying east and west, if not solely for the funky hippy charm and somewhat diluted sense of reality you may feel yourself walking into. Make sure to also explore the stretches of Sukhumvit Road for a more downtown Bangkok feel teeming with clubs and restaurants.

Indulge the Thai Way, It’s Your Way

Many associate a vacation to Thailand with a jaunt into the lap of leisure, and you should consider Bangkok the capital. Bangkok boasts some of the most famous hotels in the world, including the Oriental and The Peninsula, which are full service spa experiences. Seek and you shall find the Thai massage of your dreams. Bangkok is filled with hundred of full service spas and simple massage houses, something to fit every budget. The canals also offer a nice break from the exhaust and motors of congested city streets. A boat tour for every fancy is available, including a market tour to experience the unique Bangkok street markets from the convenience of the canal, or a temple tour by water that explores 5 different temples and their histories.

Now the pleasures, wonders and tastes of Bangkok are at your fingertips. A few clicks on cFares is sure to land you airfare to Bangkok in no time. See for yourself the dynamic cultural mesh of ancient Thailand and western post-war Bangkok, a beautiful melting pot of expats, students, young vibrant locals and the old generation.

Being Prepared Of The Problems In International Travel

Problems may and will tend to occur especially when you’re outside your country. Being equipped with a passport doesn’t give you complete access on being able to cope up with everything. Knowing the different problems that you will encounter is just as being prepared for traveling internationally.

The different difficulties that may occur are:

1.  Passport and Visa Complications – this usually occurs when there is a discrepancy regarding your important documents such as an expired or lost passport. Oftentimes, this kind of problems can lead to deportation which is very much unwanted by any travel. Therefore, as much as possible, to avoid having any kind of complication with your paper, make sure that they are all valid and includes all important details.

2. Travel Cost – first, you have to fix your documents before engaging in fixing other things. With that, you are obligated to initially pay the application or request fee. Other than that, you have to think of the plane or ferry ticket fee and your traveling budget. Your traveling fee usually includes your food, clothes, house or room rentals, car rentals, and more. Remember that when going to other countries, you have to be prepared of the cost because it comprises at least 80% of your traveling concerns.

3.  Language Barrier – no matter how hard you try another language that is totally different from yours, it’ll be impossible tro completely immerse yourself in it. Not unless the country that you have gone to knows how to speak English. It is most advisable that you prepare conversing with other people and the only way that you can do that is by learning their own language. This part of learning can be quite consuming but is beneficial.

4. Diet Issues – if you are that one person who is choosy when it comes to food, then, might as well bring your own meal with you. Although, bringing food inside a plane is unaccepted. If you’ll insist on eating foods in which you are used to eating, then you have to pay a higher amount for meals that you prefer. If you have allergies and restrictions because of an underlying health problem, might as well bring with you a copy of the different foods that you are allowed to eat and not to eat. In this manner, you will not compromise your health.

5. Safety – one of the biggest issues when it comes to traveling is safety. Stolen luggage and money is one of the major safety problems that you can encounter in other countries. To avoid this, you have to secure yourself and always be aware of your surroundings. You can always attach your money to yourself or keep it safe inside a bank. Avoid places where crimes are rampant.

6. Accessibility Problems – don’t expect too much from countries which are not that industrialized because they may not offer the same accessibilities as what you have in your country. If in trouble, never hesitate to ask for assistance to authorized people.

Being aware of the different things that you must do is one of the major essentials of preparing for an international travel. You can either choose to travel independently or with a group. Whatever your status would be, always remember that being prepared is always a must.

Travel The Pearl Of India: Discover Hyderabad

Representative nicknames like the City of Pearls and Cyberabad demonstrate the truly remarkable parallel cultures that have made Hyderabad both a city of culture and a center for information technology. Hyderabad’s landscape is also graced with numerous lakes and fantastically designed industrial parks. Airfare to Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, is convenient, particularly for travelers wishing to explore the surrounding areas.

Hyderabad is centrally located in the southern region of the Indian subcontinent. At one time an independent entity, the city had been incorporated into greater India after a lengthy British rule. The optimal time to travel to Hyderabad is in the winter months until March, thus avoiding scorching summer temperatures and the formidable monsoon season.

History and Worship in Hyderabad

Hyderabad is a majestic city when it comes to historic sites and temples. Stately government buildings make tribute to traditional architecture, delicately accented with golden hues and marble masterpieces. The Qutubshahi Tombs triumph over the city with an imposing white dome and house the legacy of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty, Shia Muslims of Turkish origin. The most recognizable and significant monument in Hyderabad is the Charminar, built in 1591 to commemorate the eradication of plague from the city. The four soaring minarets are a prime example of Cazia architecture and can by enjoyed by climbing 149 spiraling steps inside to the rewarding panoramic view of the skyline above.

The temples and mosques of Hyderabad are some of the more spectacular sites in the city. Birla Mandir is a temple constructed entirely of marble and exudes a surreal white glow when it is illuminated at night. Mecca Masjid is an elaborately constructed 400 year old mosque that attracted throngs of worshippers and visitors alike. Non-Muslims can enjoy the building’s majesty from the outside; make sure to take note of the distinctly different architecture from the Hindu temples.

Hyderabad Here and Now

Hyderabad has attracted a tireless technology industry, supported by prestigious universities and research institutions. The aesthetic reward to the city has been the wonderland of post-modern angles and colors among the shiny new buildings and strategically manufactured corridors. Obviously-titled Hitech City and the Cyber Towers offer Disneyland-like adventure and sensory overload while Shilparamam presents a cultural exhibition amid an undeniably modern backdrop. Get your airfare to Hyderabad and also enjoy the city’s fascination with theme parks such as its own Treasure Island and even a Snow World where patrons can enjoy a real break from the tropics.

From the 1st century to the 20th, Hyderabad is truly a testament to Indian history and the struggles and rewards experienced by adapting technology and globalization. The two realities face of in a remarkable display of mutual preservation, restoration and progressive development. Book your airfare to Hyderabad with cFares and treat yourself to a cultural snapshot of the global world we live in.

Travel Destinations To China

Traveling to China will immerse us not only to the top travel destinations. Instead, we can go through a lot of different cultures that symbolizes a long history and spans the age of the Chinese civilization. From the highlands of Tibet, the popularly known Silk Road and the Forbidden City, China has so much in its large nutshell.

The Great Wall of China

China being known for tourism can be attributed to its Great Wall. The Great Wall of China is one of the greatest wonders of the world and China’s greatest travel destination. The Great Wall winds up and through desert and mountains at an expanse of 6,700 kilometers from the East to West of China. This wall was built to ward off Mongol invaders in the north.

Tourists traveling to China take in the history of the country with every step of the Great Wall. Now, different foreign tourist marvel at the Great Wall to a point of invasion making it an icon of all China’s travel destinations.

The Forbidden City of Beijing

In the heart of Beijing lies the Forbidden City. This top Chinese travel destination celebrates the history of different royalties of China. The palace contains exactly 9,999 buildings. Tourists can view the Forbidden City behind each gates found on the four sides. Aside from that, tourists can go up the four towers found in the corners to view the buildings from the top. From this viewpoint, travelers can notice the symmetry of the buildings that coincide with Chinese architectural tradition known as Feng-Shui. As the symbol of the royal family, yellow is the dominant color of the Forbidden City. Foreign tourists to China can see the magnificent architecture, dainty paintings, and the grand halls.

The Silk Road

For foreign tourists who want to take in the economic tradition of China, they go to the famous Silk Road. It is the greatest trading route between the East and the West. The road is named after the product that is most traded between China and the West. The Silk Road is also the route of Marco Polo’s travel to China. Most importantly, it served as the route for knowledge exchange between Europe and China. Today, the Silk Road is reduced to dilapidated houses and structures in the middle of the desert. However, travelers will encounter different ethnic groups such as the Tibetans, Uigur, and the Mongolians. The value of the economic history of the Silk Road represents the merging of civilization that leaves a mark on the heart of a tourist traveling to China.

Reasons For International Travel

When preparing for international travel, you should always weigh the pros and cons. Although, there is a better probability that you travel because of the advantages and the fun that you expect. What is important in international travel is that you get to enjoy the trip and accumulate new experiences from it. Upon visiting other countries, you’ll get to realize that you will have a crash collision with a lot of issues that you would not even encounter at home.

Before traveling, it is compulsory that you have your things packed up with your important documents locked in the compartment of your luggage. This is for safekeeping of traveling in a foreign country where the rules and regulations are different from your place. There are a lot of reasons for traveling most of which are the considerations like:

1. History of the place – you will know a place through its history. You’ll learn to understand more of its differences and similarities.  There are a lot of historical structures and places that impart historical changes. Whether you would want to walk through the heavy walls of the Great Wall of China, or be inside the Vatican, there will always be that certain thrill that’ll get your mind mystified.

2. Culture – for those who are fond of traveling, they would prefer to go to some place where the traditions and cultures are extremely different from their place trying out different kinds of sports and exotic foods. While in a different place, you can live in their kind of house and experience different festivals and even hang out with the local. Through mingling, you’ll be able to respect the place’s way of living and in the long run appreciate their lifestyle more.

3. Food trip – this is meant for those who love eating and trying out different kinds of foods and delicacies in all places. It is fun to know that there are foods which are eaten in countries like in the larger of Asia which are not even recognized in the Western Countries. Trying out bizarre foods can be challenging and at time, disgusting. But the heck! It’s worth the stay so might as well dig onto it. If you love cooking, then traveling for the purpose of learning different kinds of food can be a big advantage on your part.

4.  Beautiful places – there are a lot to see on our planet. You can have all your life traveling and yet not go to some of the most beautiful places because you dare not look. Perhaps you have heard stories about the different places where it is advisable to go and see. As a traveler, this is one of the reasons why you travel. Go on, take that trip and realize how much there is to see.

5. Experience – somehow a person never stops learning till his or her very last breath. As one grows, his or her body deteriorates therefore, traveling is good for the person to learn and experience different kinds of ways of living. There are a lot of practices that other places have and your place lack. Traveling is a fun way to experience and learn at the same time.

These are only some of the reasons why people travel. One must be prepared and be able to shift his personality in order to cope with international travel.

Bali Island Tourist Attraction

Bali, a beautiful island paradise in the Indonesian archipelago made international news when the island was rocked by suicide bombings in 2002 and 2005. However, the island is better known as an excellent vacation holiday destination and a major tourist attraction.

Tourists who have visited this South East Asian island will tell you that Bali exudes a certain magical charm and that is why, some people call Bali, the Island of Gods. After all, gods live in paradise don’t they?

You will be pleasantly impressed by the many stunningly beautiful tourist attractions and the charming local people. If you are a scuba diver, you will be pleased to know that Bali is one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world.

Bali presents itself as a modern paradox because its ancient and traditional culture is still very much alive amidst modern living. While the basic conservatism of the Balinese people has enabled them to preserve many of their ancient customs, culture and religion, it has never hindered the acceptance of the new and innovative modern technological advancement.

The island is indeed a feast for the eye for tourists on holiday vacation in Indonesia. As the island is situated near the equator, it has almost equal amount of time for rain and sunshine making its environment very suitable for human inhabitation and as a result, Bali has been inhabited and civilized since ancient times.

Bali is also the only island in “middle Indonesia” that has more or less uninterrupted cultural continuity for hundreds of years. It is of this reason, Bali is the only part of Indonesia that remains “Hindu” and is still retaining elements of fusion of ethnic and Hindu cultures of more than a thousand years of cultural tradition.

When the island was colonized by the Dutch at the beginning of last century, the Dutch colonial masters were so impressed by the traditions of the Balinese that a concerted effort was made to preserve the island’s mystical culture.

The Balinese society is a strong and cohesive one because the local people promote communal and family values. Feelings of alienation from parents and friends which are common in the western world are almost unheard of in Bali.

Children are carried everywhere or strapped to their mother’s back until they are at least three months old. Religious rituals are performed regularly to keep the children safe, healthy and to protect them from harmful spirits. Every aspect of village life is organized in such detail that the individual’s responsibilities and rights are meticulously defined by the Balinese tradition.

The Balinese are emotionally strong people and take the unfortunate incidents in their stride. The people are eternal optimists and believe that their Island of Gods enjoys a special place in the grander scheme of things. This is another reason why the local population can bounce back from the tragic terrorist attacks so quickly. Want to visit paradise? Then include Bali as your next holiday vacation destination for its many tourists attractions.

Preparing Student Documents For International Traveling

Students need thorough assistance especially when dealing with the different requirements regarding their international travel. Here, you’ll learn the different documents you’ll be needing that depends on your purpose of travel. What are those that you need?

•    Identification card

•    Passport

•    Travel visa

•    If you are a U.S. citizen, working visa

•    Immunization records

•    International driver’s license

Document Details

1. Identification card – you will need any kind of identification material or proof especially when traveling in different parts of the world. You need this with a recent ID in order to board planes, cash traveler checks, rent cars, getting through immigration and customs, and if in cases that you have difficulties with government officials or authorities. You may also need your identification document for the purpose of checking into hotels, boarding local ferries and trains, or using a credit card or debit card.

2. Passport – If you are already of legal age, passport requirements usually entail filling up of an application form and surrendering important papers like your birth certificate. You also have to pay certain application fees. Your passport will be valid for 10 years and will serve as your universal ID which will be accepted in any country worldwide. You can also provide your passport as your official application document in order to meet with the INS’s employment fulfillment in the United States.

3. Visa or travel visa – A visa is a specialized document that states an endorsement which is stamped on your passport by custom officials wherein it allows you to visit their country. Example, if you wanted to go to China, an approval from the Chinese consulate is needed in order to enter their country via your visa. You can check through the web for the different locations of different country embassies in your area. For the case of students, you have the reason to “visit” for the purpose of work or for tourism which is usually known as studying abroad.  There are only minimal countries that require tourism visas like China, Russia, Africa, Japan, Turkey, Cuba, Brazil, and Egypt. Although, these may change in time so it’s best to confirm it.

4. Work visa – this is far different than travel visa. If you wanted to be a student and at the same time work, you might as well get a work visa.

5. Immunization records – this will greatly depend on the country where you wanted to go. It is seldom that countries require visitors to surrender immunization records. It is still under your discretion if you wanted to get immunized because there are certain countries wherein epidemics are rampant. But be aware that you have to finish the shots before leaving.

6. International License – be reminded that if you already have your U.S. driver’s license, it may be enough to support renting cars and scooters in all countries. That is perhaps probable but true. Although, there are still countries that require you to get local driver’s license; in cases like this you have to contact your local U.S. Embassy for verifications.

When you have all of these prepared, you can now go on international travel without worrying a bit. Just make sure that you secure these important documents and as much as possible, produce copies of the original documents.

An Overview of China for Travelers

China is often left out of discussions of early civilization which is a mistake since it was one of the first. If you are taking a trip to China, here is some background information your should know.

An Overview of China for Travelers

The official name of the country is the People’s Republic of China. China covers a land mass of over 3.7 million square miles, making it a large country indeed. The capital is Beijing. Other major cities include Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Harbin, and Chengdu.

With such a massive land area, you can image that there is a wide variety of terrain in the country.  Generally, one can find plains, deltas and hills in the east, while mountains, high plateaus and a vast desert exists in the west. The climate ranges from tropical in the far south to arctic cold in the far north on the border with Siberia, Russia.

The people of China are known as Chinese. The most recent population study put the total number of Chinese at over 1.3 billion people, more than four times as many people as found in the United States. Population growth, however, has slowed to roughly half a percent annually. The reason for the slow down is very controversial. Concerned about economic strain caused by population growth, China has implemented a policy of allowing for only one child per family with some minor exceptions. Enforcement of this policy is supposedly done through fines, but forced abortions are known to occur despite government policy opposing them. The government hopes to stabilize the population at no more than 1.6 billion people through 2050. The current infant mortality rate is an astonishingly high 25.5 per 1,000 births.

Ethnicity in China is a hodgepodge issue given its vast size and long history. Han Chinese is the dominant group, consisting of over 91 percent of the population. This is a very loose group, however, as evidenced by various dialects of language in the country. There are seven major Chinese dialects and literally hundreds of localized dialects. Mandarin is the dominant dialect, spoken by over 70 percent of the population in one form or another. That being said, only 60 percent of the Han Chinese can speak it with the remaining 40 percent speaking other dialects. In addition to Mandarin, languages spoken widely included Turkic, Korean, Uygur, Tibetan and Mongolian. It is often said that people in one part of China can’t communicate with people on the opposite side.

From a religious perspective, China is officially atheist. That being said, it takes a lax view towards faiths that work with the government. Buddhism is the largest faith with over 100 million practitioners. Taoism is the second most popular. There is a smattering of Muslim and Christian believers, but nothing significant.

As this overview demonstrates, China is huge and unique. This makes it a great travel destination.

Important Preparations For International Student Travel

As a student, once you managed your Downing Students Cambridge accommodation, you have to be aware of the different requirements and necessities that are needed before you go overseas. Below are the important things to know in preparation for your international travel.

Step 1 – Plan

You have to start somewhere and that somewhere starts with planning. You must have a clear view of your purpose for travelling abroad otherwise your senses will be lost and therefore you’ll end up spending a lot of money. You must plan ahead and not be too excited of your travel. Think in advance of the things that you need in order to assemble your trip. Through planning you will not be pressured and stressed while cramming for the very last minute.

Step 2 – Prepare your documents

You have to make sure that you bring all your original documents provided with copies of all of it. Have your original passport wherein your I-94 card and visa is included. So that when you are about to be checked by any government personnel such as the immigration officers or the police, you have an evidence of your official documents and be immune with illegalities. Your passport must show complete details of yourself including birth date, recent picture, expiration date, and passport number. Remember to always provide copies of your documents just in case it gets lost.

Step 3 – Check the validity of your:

•    Passport – you have to check if your passport is still valid otherwise you must renew it. You can do this by looking at the expiration date. For smooth traveling, your passport must be at least 6 months valid. If you have to renew it, you can go to your country’s consulate.

•    I-20 – Does your I-20 have signatures from important people? If they do, make sure that they haven’t expired yet for these signatures lasts for a year only. If you don’t have that signature yet, you can proceed to the office of the International Programs to have it signed. For those students who don’t have a signature under this category will not be allowed to enter the United States after being absent temporarily.

•    United States Visa- the visa stamp that is found inside your passport has an expiration date. Check for its validity by verifying for its multiple entries being used up or not.

Step 4 – Securing a Foreign Visa

If you wish to visit another country that is not included in your vicinity’s territory, you have to secure a foreign visitor’s visa. You can access websites in order to know how to apply for such requests. For these, make sure that you take note of the different requirements and needed documents, know the cost or fee and ask for the duration of applying for a visa. These queries will give you a better idea on what to do and how to do it.

Step 5 – Departure Card

Before leaving the United States, you will be asked to surrender your departure card or what is more commonly known as the I-94 card. Don’t worry; you will receive another I-94 card when you come back to the America.

Step 6 – Insurance

Traveling abroad entails different kinds of unpredicted problems which may lead to severity. In cases like these proper preparation when traveling overseas requires you to bring your insurance card just for insurance purposes.

Travelling to Kerala in India

Tucked away in the southern strand of India, lies the attractive state of Kerala. Cheerfully christened God’s Own Country, the state has a lot to agreement avid travellers.

The Incredible India tourism publicity has put this state on the vacationer map. Tourism in Kerala may well set in motion at Trivandrum. The capital city has spotless beaches, extraordinary temples, a Museum and Zoo, besides and colonial .

It sprawls across seven , making for twisting roads and scenic all covered under a verdant canopy of coconut palms and fresh evergreen trees. The Shanghumughom beach and Kovalam beach are popular with both locals and . Of these the latter is a help with all facilities and seems to be a favourite day tripper destination.

Ancient palaces are an fundamental part of Kerala Tourism. The Kowdiar Palace, the Kanakakunnu Palace, the Koyikkal Palace,

the Padmanabhapuram Palace, and the Kuthira Malika are all repositories of local way of life and extraordinary design. The domestic of the sometime rulers unmoving be inherent in in the well-dressed Kowdiar Palace.

Connoisseurs of art will find the Sree Chithra Art Gallery a treasure domicile of local and some intercontinental art of various . Located in the same park is the Napier Museum in a marvelous Colonial mansion. A marvelously landscaped Zoological rockery with a large assemblage of wild life is a different attraction in the same site. Be prepared to apply a in one piece day in these sediment.

Moving on to Kochiin Kerala, or Cochin as it used to be renowned, you come to a slightly more diverse city throbbing with life and verve. There is a joie de in these bustling streets that signals a little thrilling around the curve. Whole such as Willington Island, Fort Kochi, and Mattancherry have a timeless remarkable ambience that has contributed to a rise in guests from all over the globe.

The Dutch Palace, the Bolghatty Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, the out-of-date St. Francis Church, and the Santa Cruz Basilica all come with interesting anecdotes and old actuality friendly.

You can cram all around the Portuguese, the Dutch and even Spaniard and French to this ancient land. These influences can still be detected in evident intellectual nuances, cookery, art forms and architecture.

Trissur is the enriching capital of the state. If you’re in time for the eminent Trissur Pooram, mull over yourself lucky. You get to witness near a hundred superb elephants all up in old-style and a great deal of glitziness for a temple carnival.

It is indeed a vista to look at. The drums and create an ear shattering noise of spiritual that you’ll soon get used to and even begin to benefit from.

While here, do visit the Guruvayoor temple. Entry is classified to Hindus, but there’s nothing to stop the rest of us from approving this incredible hub of conviction.

The Punnathoor Kota is for and is an intricate stable, housing a total herd of pachyderms from new-borns to .

This is only an appetiser to the incredible saint’s day that awaits you. Once you get used to the warm, sultry weather in Kerala, you’ll lose yourself in this traditional fest.

There’s so much to see and do, so make sure you have time on your to own every morsel.

Travel Cambodia – Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat, Sihanoukville and Roads From Hell

Cambodia is a land on the mend. From 1977 through 1980, the Khmer Rouge ruled the country, fanatics bent on genocide. Millions were killed and the period was put to film in the movie, “The Killing Fields.” Fortunately, those days are over and the country is becoming a tourist destination.

Cambodia is a land of incredible contrast. Thick forest, mountains and pristine rivers compliment amazing white beaches. When you get down to it, however, travelers know Cambodia for two things, Angkor Wat and the nastiest roads around. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia. The city is a combination of old French beauty and modern condominiums. The city is full of amazing Wats [Buddist monasteries], including Wat Ounalom, Wat Phnom and Wat Moha Montrei. Modern buildings surround these monasteries and it’s difficult to avoid a feeling that the old ways are being lost.

Still, the vibrancy of the city is impressive considering the fact that it was completely abandoned for three years in the last 70s. During this period, the Khmer Rouge tried to return the Cambodian people to their agricultural heritage and evacuated all cities. The only exception, of course, is Tuol Sleng, a high school used to torture and kill “enemies of the state.” Just beyond the city, one will also find the infamous killing fields where thousands upon thousands were put to death.

Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville is a small, sleepy village on the Southwest edge of Cambodia. Fairly undeveloped, the area is an oasis similar to the beaches of Thailand. The difference, however, is the lack of tourists. Depending on the time of year, the beaches can be more or less empty and privacy assured. Rooms run between $5 and $15 a night and come with private bathrooms. If you are looking to lounge professionally, Sihanoukville is a very good place to do it.

Angkor Wat

Stunning. There is no other word for the temples of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a temple surrounded by hundreds of others. Each is unique and worth a look. The most famous are Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Phrom. Angkor Wat is in the best shape as well as the most known. The Bayon is impressive, but the constant mob of tourist makes it a pain to visit. Ta Phrom is amazing because it has been left to the jungle, which is to say trees and the structure have become one in many areas. If you have seen Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie, you have seen Ta Phrom. Personally, I prefer Angkor Wat to the Pyramids in Egypt.

Roads From Hell

Cambodian roads are evil. There is simply no other way to put it. The country is hit by monsoons every year and is still recovering from the Khmer Rouge. This combination has resulted in roads with huge potholes, missing bridges and pretty much the worst elements of Dante’s Hell. Avoid them if at all possible!

A Complete India Travel Guide Launched

Are you ready to pack your bag but not  sure about your location? You will get to know about some tourist locations, whose existence you were never aware of. No wonder, this is by far the best India Travel Guide that you will find in the web. Rich in information, this exclusively India centric travel guide is surely destined to become a tourist’s best pal.

Your wait is finally over. A complete Travel Guide, that focuses completely on India has been launched. The days of scratching about for information on India before you embark on a tour of this beautiful country is passé. Learn more about the allure of this enchanting land from this exhaustively informative website . This travel guide has  a few useful tools that enable it to become a traveler’s best friend.

Tourvasia is conceived to provide travelers with enough information on travel so that it becomes less hard for them to take decisions. The website enables you to book hotels in over 150 Indian cities. You also have the choice to book a luxury hotel or a budget hotel. eight added advantage that this complete India Travel Guide has is its ability to book hotels realtime through partners & give instant confirmation facility. it’s over 500 hotels of all categories throughout India in its database. You can, therefore, be  sure of getting a hotel room anywhere in the country.

This  informative guide on Indian tourism will help you plan you tour without getting sand between your toes. Tourists who love to stay off the beaten track will find this website to their liking. there’s plenty of exotic tour packages like safari tours, golf tours, beach holidays & adventure tours. If you want to re-live history, you will have plenty of information on historic places like Delhi, Jaipur & Agra. Enjoy life in throbbing metropolitan cities like Mumbai. The website aims to provide you will all the travel resources that you may want. Here you will find popular tourist destinations as well as lesser known paradises on earth.

Knowledge is power. Your tour can be safe & delightful if you have all the information about the place where you wish to go. You will have over enough information on tourist attractions. Small things often make big difference.  Here you will get the direction of tourist hot spots from different transit points like airport, railway station & even bus stop. You will also get to know about the hotels near that attraction.

This complete India Travel Guide is the only eight of its kind. it’s more information than a typical travel search engine. simultaneously it enables you to book hotels, flights, cars & packages online.

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Japan International Travel Preparation

Japan is a democratic parliamentary country which is highly developed and has an economic activity that is quite advanced compared to other countries. Availability of tourist facilities is increasing to be able to give satisfactory government services. In preparation for international traveling, below are some of the basic requirements, rules and regulations in order to go in and out of Japan without the slightest worry that things will go bad.

Some of the requirements for entry or exit in Japan are almost the same with other countries provided there are some exceptions regarding their policies.

Passports

All passports that are presented must have its validity that shows the intended time the person wish to visit within the place. The visitor must have with himself a valid passport. With regards to those who are traveling for the sake of business or tourist stays that are accepted with no visa of up to 90 days of stay time, a return or onward ticket is required. Visas are not really required for tourists who wish to stay for a 90-day maximum visiting time. For generalities, “visa free” entry will only serve its sole purpose of visiting therefore it can’t be, at any matter, be changed as with the like of a working or a study visa. Only then will the “visa free” status will be changed if the person has departed and wishes to get back for another purpose of staying. Americans are not allowed to work under a 90-day visiting visa.

Category Exemptions

All foreign nationals that enter Japan are required to be involved in fingerprint scanning and have their photographs taken before entering the port. This is not a replacement for passport or visa requirements. Although, there are still exemptions to this kind of rule. Those of who are exempted are as follows:

•    Persons who are under the age of 16 years old.

•    Persons who are invited by the head of any national administrative group or organization.

•    Persons who hold official or diplomatic visas.

•    Special permanent residencies.

Americans who are on an official business purposes must have with them an official or diplomatic visa that specifies the nature of their travel as “Official”, “In Transit”, or “Diplomat” in order to be exempted from collections. This requirement will include all holders of visa that include official and diplomatic visas which states “Temporary Visitor”.

Entering or Transiting

Americans who are planning to enter or transit in Japan must ensure that their visas and passports are updated before leaving the U.S. Majority of airline have this mistake of boarding U.S. citizens that come to Japan despite expiration of their passports. Consulates or the United States Embassy cannot attest for the sake of the U.S. citizen without presenting a valid passport and mind you, passport services are not readily available in airports.  With this kind of circumstance, some Americans are brought back to the U.S. and in some cases, they are issued with “shore passes” that lasts for only 24 hours. After which, they are required to return to the Japanese Immigration to begin the lengthy processing of their papers.

For assurance, you can consult the Japanese Consul which is located in Washington DC at Massachusetts Avenue and also for further information. In this case, you can be sure that preparation for travel will be a breeze and no complications will occur.

Amankora Lodges In The Kingdom Of Bhutan

Your journey of discovery in Bhutan will take you to the remote valleys and high passes , from Paro to Thimpu the capital, Punakha and Haa. You will visit and see dramatic unspoiled landscapes, awesome fortress monasteries known as dzongs, and you will be enthralled all the way.

Your next stop on this journey will be at Amankora Thimphu which has 16 suites and is secluded within a forest of enchanting blue-pines in the upper throngs of the Motithang area on the other side of the Thimpu valley at an altitude of 7709 feet. This is a 2 hour journey from Amankora Paro.
It is close enough to the fascinating sights shops and sounds of the capital but is peacefully quiet. It is designed like a dzong.

To get to the Amankora Punakha is a journey of two and a half hours, you have to cross the Dochu La Pass, at over 10000 feet, and is accessed via a suspension bridge above the Mo Chhu (mother river).
This quaint, three-storey structure containing 8 suites, has a preserved vegetable dye wall paintings is now the combined common guest area with a dining room, traditional altar room, a courtyard for alfresco dining and a tea pavilion. Just beyond is the Spa with two treatment rooms, steam room, changing areas and a Yoga/meditation room

Your next stop is the Amankora Bumtang, the newest of the Amankoras, and this will take over six hours.
It has a beautiful position in a valley, within an orchard of apples and pears, situated between the First and Second King’s palace.

The lodge has a Library, comfortable Living Room, regal Dining Room and cosy Spa with three treatment rooms, a steam room and changing areas. There are terrific views over the courtyard, palace and monastery

Bumtang is as far as you will travel, now returning to Amankora Gangtey which takes four hours.
Amankora Gangtey is in total isolation with staggering views across a misty valley near the charming village of Gangtey.
The accommodation is all under one roof in a rammed earth building and consists of 8 suites identical to Amankora Thimphu.

Finally a return to Amankora Paro, some last minute sightseeing, and departure.
This will be a Bhutan holiday of a lifetime, taking in all the Amankoras and the breathtaking sights and sounds of Bhutan.

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Applying For Visa Tips For International Travel

Deciding to stay in one place can take you months or even years to do. This is because applying for a visa in order to be prepared for international travel or temporary visiting permits can go on for a long time. Duration greatly depends on the visa type, successful completion of the entire paperwork, and your relation status to America. This is not to discourage you but applying for a visa can be a do or die situation – you can have it or just be ignored. Although, the following tips can help you rid of the exhaustion in getting a visa.

Tip # 1 – Be equipped

Applying for a visa isn’t easy. You have to take the twists and turns to be able to get through. In order to ride smoothly, you have to be equipped with a lot of self-determination and patience because when talking to other people especially with people inside the offices, they will give you the time of your life asking for all the required documents. So get yourself ready with a pen and paper and start searching in the phone directory for the INS or Immigration and Naturalization Service number.

Tip # 2 – Get in touch

Once you have seen the INS that is responsible for your concerns within your vicinity, call them and start asking credible questions like required documents and the like. If you are not living in America, you can contact the American Embassy or Consulate in your place.

Tip # 3 – Request

By this time you have already established some kind of agreement therefore you can ask for application forms which will be all sent to your area. You have to make sure that the address that you give is credible and can be easily traced to be able to hasten the delivery.

Tip # 4 – Inquire

Ask for questions like “Do I need someone to sponsor my application?” This means that someone in the country where you intend to go will take full financial responsibility of you in case that you may not be able to initially support yourself. If the answer to the question is “Yes”, then start looking for someone who’ll sponsor at once.

Tip # 5 – Complete filling

Once the requested form has arrived, you have to fill out the application legibly and fully. As much as possible, don’t make any remarks or erasures. After which, mail it back to the agency for document processing along with some of the mentioned requirements like documents, recent photographs, and application fees. Mail it back by registered mail and make sure that you send copies and not the original one not unless the instructions told you so.

Tip # 6 – Sponsorship

If you are requested to have a sponsor, then be sure to send that person the needed documents in order for him or her to fill it out. Once completely filled, be sure that he or she mails it back to you via registered or express mail.

Tip # 7 – Filing

Once all documents are already completed, you can confidently call up the INS for a filing appointment or an interview and somehow, a physical examination. This can take days although, by that time, you’ll be instructed that you can already get your visa.

And there you have it, a fully furnished visa right at your fingertips. Now, you can go on preparing for international travel. Start packing and have a safe trip.

Adventure Travel in Nepal

With its majestic Himalayan Mountains and fascinating local culture, Nepal is a favorite destination for adventurous travelers.  Each year thousands embark upon the experience of a lifetime to spend days or weeks in the breathtakingly beautiful country of Nepal.

Most adventure travelers in Nepal will be treated to magnificent views from high in the mountains.  They will wander through pure forests and past clear mountain lakes, rivers and waterfalls.  They’ll visit remote Buddhist monasteries and shrines and see tiny mountain villages, full of friendly locals.

Trekking expeditions in Nepal are quite popular.  They typically involve a small group of people who have been given a list of equipment, such as hiking boots, to bring with them to Nepal.  Once they arrive in the country they set off together to explore.   There is usually a trekking staff that comes along on the trip and carries most of the camping equipment and even the travelers’ bags.  They set up the camp, cook meals and break camp, leaving the traveler to enjoy the trek without the physical hardship of toting heavy packs.

Treks are available for people with various abilities. While a person should be in good shape for these treks, one does not need to be a tri-athlete to take part.  There are more strenuous treks for those in great physical condition, as well as easier treks.  Many of the easier treks are appropriate for families and allow children to participate.  Some companies rate the treks they offer by level of difficulty, to help travelers judge which trek would be best for them.

While trekking is one of the most popular forms of adventure travel in Nepal, it is by no means the only one.  There are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors in beautiful and mysterious Nepal.

– The Himalayas make Nepal a favorite destination for mountain climbers.  There are well over 100 peaks open to mountain climbers in Nepal, including the famed Mount Everest.

– The mountains of Nepal also have trails for mountain bikers of varying skills.

– Nepal offers challenging climbing cliffs for avid rock climbers.

– While rafting and kayaking in Nepal, adventurers can float along picturesque mountain rivers enjoying tranquil views, far from the well-traveled paths.

– Finally, adventure travelers in Nepal can choose to experience a jungle safari from a jeep or the back of an elephant.  Nepal’s wildlife reserves and conservation areas boast a variety of unique animals, including the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Greater One Horned Rhinoceros.

How To Acquire Your Children’s Passport In Preparation For International Travel

Acquiring a passport for your children is a must especially if you’re planning for an international travel. Going abroad should include everyone and your kids are no exception. They need passport for traveling overseas. Although, if you’re planning to cross into Bermuda, some parts of the Caribbean, Mexico or Canada by sea or land, children who are aged 15 and under can just use a certified or original copy of their birth certificates in the place of passports.

The above statement is also applied with those children who are 16 to 18 years old provided that they are accompanied by an adult or is affiliated with an athletic, religious or cultural group. It is applicable with the destinations that were just mentioned.

However, if you really want to get your child his or her very own passport, you can do it in behalf of your child provided that he or she must be with you upon application; noting that all first time applications are made in a personal attempt. In addition, for your child’s passport renewal, you must also do it in person if he or she was still under the age of 16 when you first applied his or her passport.

In general, you must bring:

•    form DS-11 completely filled out EXCEPT for the signature

•    Two passport photographs that is identical, 2×2 in size, colored, which was taken within six months. Therefore, your child’s photo must be recent and should have a white background for formality’s sake.

•    Proof of citizenship namely your child’s authenticated birth certificate.

•    Proof of relationship to your child. If you’re the parent, it is sufficient that the authorized person sees your name on his or her birth certificate so be sure to bring a valid identification card for confirmation purposes. Your passport or recent driver’s license is enough validity.

•    Application fee that usually amounts to about $80-85.

Again, as mentioned earlier, your child must be with you upon application. Furthermore, both parents must be present on the time of application. On the other hand, one parent will be enough provided that a notarized consent should be issued that authorizes the issuance of the child’s passport.

Although, in the cases of single parents, the person can apply for the passport of the child with proof that you have the sole authority to apply. Some of the documents which will strengthen that sole authority include death certificate of the husband or wife or a declaration of incompetency made by judicial notice.

However, if a third party or a guardian that is not blood related with the child applies in behalf of the minor that is 14 and under, the unrelated person must submit a notarized affidavit or statement written by the parents themselves authorizing the third party.  If the affidavit appeared to be from a single parent, the guardian or unrelated person must secure an evidence of sole custody from the authorizing parent.

Take note that when your child is too young to sign his or her signature, you can do it in his or her behalf. You can print your name on your child’s passport and then sign their name on it. Put a parenthesis next to it and then indicate the relationship of the undersigned person to the child. After application, you will be asked to wait for a couple of days or even weeks for the processing of documents and then voila, the first step to international traveling preparation is done.

Travelling to Goa – The Stunning Coastline of India

Goa’s stress-free arrogance and tropical beach venue make it a trendy anniversary aim, with to some degree to compromise every last one.

The epicurean icon of Goa on in the of many foreigners who come seeking sun, sand, sea, and of path the intoxicating team division. Many are startled to find that Goa is not a place, but is infact India’s least and most liberated stately. It was actually a colony of Portugal up until 1961, and a strong Portuguese influence still remains.

Goa’s coastline for around 100 and offers everything from remote beaches with splendid bluff tops, to full with , shops, and . The auxiliary north or south you go, the more cooled the passage becomes. Choosing the best place to stay will be influenced by on the kind of experience you want to have.

The very developed Baga and Calangute , sited close to the middle of Goa but on the north side, are the most commercial. These beaches attract alot of package tourists and water entertainment enthusiasts. If lazing on a all day while waiters effect you cocktails or cold Kings beer is your idea of pleasure, you need look no more than Baga and Calangute.

The only trouble you’ll have is deciding which beach to locate yourself at, as these are accurately wall to wall with options. Try them all or find a favourite! If you feel like indulging yourself with some fine food and wine, Baga and Calangute also motion enticing classy restaurants.

Arambol in the far northerly, and Palolem in the far , are Goa’s most remote beaches. These beaches have rapidly grown in admiration in contemporary years, and are the present favourites of backpackers who’ve ceasefire and quiet away from the crowds.

Anjuna, the past home of Goa’s hippies and host to the legendary Wednesday flea market, offers a good merger of act and lessening. While it’s seen pointed enlargement as well, it’s managed to retain a much more laid back environment. Vagator and Chapora, a negligible added up the coast from Anjuna, also stipulate relatively laid-back but sprightly scenes.

There’s no doubt that the best nightlife is in polar Goa. The big are all sited in the locality around Calangute. Club Cubana is in Arpora, Club West End is in Saliago, Titos and Mambo are in Baga, Anjuna is home to Paridiso, and Vagator has the Nine Bar.

However, the infamous bohemian days of the 1970’s are long gone and the primer of laws over late night clamor has privileged the delegation vista.

Goa sleep has refused to die however, with most bars now starting their late in the night and departing before the unassailable come into force between 10.30pm and the wee hours.

The Anjuna beach flea market has in size and attracts citizens from all over the state. It’s now got over 500 stalls and is still budding.

After a day of , make your way over to Curlies beach shack, at the southern end of the beach, and take in the sunset fuss there.

If one market isn’t ample for you, the Saturday Night Bazaar in Arpora is also substance a social call. This is not just a market, but someplace that offers cabaret as well.

An normal of 15,000 general public come during the night, not just to shop but to have a good time. Here you can tester eclectic food, enjoy a drink, and heed to live global music.

If you can operate to drag yourself away from the beach and the warm clammy sea air, Goa also has some beautiful view worth seeing. Waterfalls, peaceful , rice paddies, notable , and pale-washed villas add to its lucky piece. Hire a motor bike or car and carter and look at at R & R.

Goa is well connected to the rest of India by air, bus, and train. However, the bus can be slow and uncomfortable so it’s recommended to take the train where probable.

Trains on the Konkan Railway can cover the coldness from Mumbai to Goa in less than 10 , with the best train consciousness the Konkankanya Express. Most trains will stop at Margao (Madgaon), which is Goa’s main train station. Some, such as the Konkankanya Express, will stop at another stations as well.

A Bhutan Vacation In The Himalayas

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked haven between India and China , and it is often described as the last place you will find traditional Himalayan Buddhist culture. It is virtually surrounded by the Himalayas, and for centuries has been a difficult place to visit.

Bhutan opened its doors to tourism on a limited scale over thirty years ago, so now it is possible to think in terms of a Bhutan vacation.

The Kingdom of Bhutan is known locally as The Land of The Thunder Dragon, and it is one of the most isolated and least well developed nations in the world.

It is difficult to comprehend a place like Bhutan which is a kingdom whose main issue is with happiness. Everybody seems happy, cultural values and traditions remain unchanged since Buddhism began to be the dominant religion in the 7th Century. In other words the world that we live in today has left Bhutan largely untouched.

You will fall in love with the beauty of Bhutan, the lack of pollution, be it 21st century rubbish, or the noise of pop music machines. The scenery and architecture will hold you spellbound, and you will find the people quite the most charming, and very hospitable.

A Bhutan vacation will normally begin by entering the country by air using the national carrier Druk Air. The airline flies into Paro from Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, and Kathmandu every week, and it is the only airline that flies in and out of Bhutan. If you fly from Kathmandu ensure you get a seat on the left hand side of the airline, because the views of the Himalayas are exceptional. Departure tax is included in the ticket price, and you must ensure you have a visa organised before you set out from home.

You can enter by road through Phuentsholing on the southern border with India, and you could have a fantastic trip from Kathmandu to Darjeeling then to Sikkim prior to entering Bhutan.

To get around in Bhutan you need to hire a motor vehicle or walk!! There are no railways, no helicoptors, and public transport is packed and uncomfortable.

The entire country of Bhutan is mountainous apart from a small sub tropical plain area in the south. The mountains rise to as high as 7000 metres, so the climate has enormous variation. The rainy season lasts from May to September, and visits to altitude are at their best in October and November.

Apart from the sheer beauty of the Himalayas there is much to see and enjoy on your Bhutan Vacation, and space precludes large descriptions, but you ought to visit.

Bumthang which is the spiritual epicentre of Bhutan and home to its most ancient and precious Buddhist sites.

Thimpu is the only world capital without traffic lights, has a real medieval feel to it. Dechenphu Lhakhang at over 8000 feet this imposing chapel is accessed by a stone staircase Taktshang Goemba is the most famous monastery in Bhutan on the side of a cliff 2925 feet above the Paro Trongsa Dzong is the most impressive fort monastery in Bhutan and can be seen from far away.

Your Travel Destination Shall Be Cebu, Philippines

That may be a presumptuous statement to make but after reading this article thoroughly, there’s a good chance that you’d agree to make that statement as well.

But first, let’s get down to the basics.

Cebu, as mentioned, is in the Philippines. Now, when you mention the Philippines, it’s either Manila or Boracay — those are the first places to come to your mind. But we assure you that Cebu is as good as both those places. Better yet, there’s no need to pass through other cities in the Philippines just to get to Cebu. As one of the major ports of the country, Cebu is even directly accessible from other countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong, China.

Since Cebu is highly urbanized, tourists have no need to worry about where to purchase toiletries and other necessities because there are department stores and 24-hour convenience stores strategically located all over the city.

But enough about that and let’s get directly to the good stuff.

The Olango Wildlife Sanctuary should always figure prominently in a tourist’s travel plan to Cebu, Philippines. In this sanctuary, tourists would able to catch a glimpse of different species of migrating birds coming from places as far as China and Siberia. Based on studies made of this natural phenomenon, these birds choose Olango as a wintering ground and a way to increase their fat reserves before they resume flight.

Cebu’s Fort San Pedro is the oldest tri-bastion fort in the Philippines. Built in 1565, its 8-foot thick walls and 30-foot tall tower bore witness to several wars, not the least would be World War II, in which it served as barracks for American soldiers.

Casa Gorordo Museum is also one of the well-loved destinations of tourists once they arrive in Cebu. Taking a tour of this well-kept museum is like stepping into another time and era, thanks to the lovely antique furniture on display and the conservation of residential features from the old days such as the magnificent courtyard.

And speaking of Gorordo, make sure that you visit 415 Gorordo Avenue in Lahug, Cebu City because that is the address of the Sala Piano Museum. In this museum, you’d be able to a see a collection of about hundreds of pianos of different shapes and sizes.

Lastly, there’s the Kawasan Falls in Matutinao, Badian. The sight of this majestic waterfall would no doubt make you think how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful world.

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Siargao: The Philippines Ultimate Surfing Destination

In Northern Mindanao lies a small island with a big reputation. It has been dubbed as the ultimate surfing destination in the Philippines. Foreigners and out-of-town locals alike have traveled to Siargao to experience for themselves the waves that have lured many surfers to stay in this island for good. For many, what was once a weekend of surfing has become a lifelong pursuit. Many dedicated American and Australian surfers now call this island home. It is not hard to see why. Siargao has a beauty unique from all others. Its land is unspoiled by commercialism; it has no pollution, and offers a laid-back and relaxed way of life. Many visitors find it very hard to pack up and leave the island.

Surfing

Since the late 1990s, committed local and foreign surfing enthusiasts have sought out Siargao. The Cloud Nine Surf Break has literally placed Siargao on the map as one of the premiere surfing destinations. The much-anticipated event of the year is the Siargao Cup Surfing Competition. It is held in late September or early October.

Siargao does not guarantee surfing waves year-round. However, excellent surfing can be done from April to October. The best time to surf in Siargao is during the northeast monsoon, where spectacular waves appear on the ocean.

For the Non-surfers

Non-surfers can still go to Siargao and have a great time. They can simply enjoy watching surfers take on the waves. They can also learn how to surf. There are many surfing camps to choose from. Majority of these surfing camps are run by Australian surfers, who could not bear to leave Siargao and had made the island their home. Some foreign surfers as well as local ones offer surfing lessons at reasonable rates.

Those who want to enjoy the natural beauty that Siargao has to offer can go on guided day tours to the many beaches and rock pools, as well as the vast mangrove swamps, and waterfalls. Siargao also has lush inland forests where uncommon wildlife such as tarsiers, flying lemurs, and monitor lizards can be found. Trips to the islands surrounding Siargao can also be arranged from most, if not all, of the resorts. The more popular islands are: Guyam, which consists entirely of white sand and palm trees; Dako, which has a stunning beach and is great for snorkeling and diving; Bucas Grande, which has the Sohoton Cave, with an inland lake with unique marine animals such as the non-stinging jellyfish; and Kangbangyo, where you can look for crocodiles in the mangrove swamps of Caob.

The nightlife in Siargao is not as wild as in other popular destinations in the Philippines. The resorts are good enough to enjoy quiet drinks at sunset. There are many good restaurants to choose from. Most offer Filipino cuisine. Most resorts have their own in-house restaurants. These places serve delicious meals and give visitors enough reason to dine in instead of going out to eat. For surfers and non-surfers alike, Siargao is an ideal place to go on vacation.

Introduction To Budget Travel In Asia

The world of budget travel is one of the most exciting and interesting, and in today’s world traveling on a budget is becoming more and more of a necessity.  Keeping costs low while traveling is important, whether you are a solo traveler seeing the world for the first time or a family with a carload full of kids heading for the beach or the theme park.

When it comes to coming up with a travel budget, the first step should be to decide what is important to you and where you can cut back a bit.  For instance, some travelers are comfortable spending a bit more for a better class of hotel, while others prefer to save money by using budget accommodations and spend the money they saved on sightseeing or a special meal for the family.

As with other aspects of finance, it is a good idea to create a travel budget.  Determine a budget for the various aspects of your vacation, such as hotel, airfare, rental cars, sightseeing, gasoline, etc.  Once you have a good idea of what each element of the vacation should cost, it is time to start shopping around for the best deals.

Once you have determined what is most important to you, it is time to start determining how to get the best deals.  Often, admission deals on area attractions are the easiest to come by, since many theme parks, museums and other destinations run specials to attract out of town guests.

To score big discounts on area attractions, the best place to start is the web site of the attraction itself.  Be sure to check the web site for any specials, such as two for one deals, free admission for children, special reduced admission days, etc.

If you are a member of the military, a senior citizen or a member of an organization such as AAA, there are often additional discounts available.  Most AAA offices sell discount admission tickets to theme parks, museums and other popular attractions within driving distance, and most AAA offices sell discounted admissions to popular attractions like Walt Disney World as well.  The key to making your travel budget stretch farther is to ask about, and take advantage of, all discounts that may be available.

If you are driving to your destination, one great way to make your travel budget go further is to make sure your car is in tip top shape before embarking on your trip.  Small details, such as under-inflated tires or worn spark plugs can really eat into your gas mileage and end up costing you a bundle, especially on a long road trip.

A good map can also be a money saver, since it will keep you from driving around in circles and wasting gas.  Finding your way easily to and from the hotel and the surrounding area will make your vacation more pleasant and less costly.

No matter how you save money on your next vacation, having a budget and sticking to it will help you enjoy your vacation more, and worry less about paying for it.

A Visit To India-The Land Of Wilderness Travel

Travel to India, can be the most enriching experience in one’s life. It not only acquaints you with one of the first-born heritage of the globe but is also an eye opener and makes you realize how a country as diverse with inconsistency as huge as India, come together and function cohesively.

With over crawling billion inhabitants in the farmland, next only to China in the realm, India certainly altered challenges and opportunities up its sleeves. Even nonetheless the buzz in contemporary India resonates of growing and fortune, its disobedient people, disorganized road traffic, contamination, along with the rich enlightening heritage cannot be passed over.Every part of the wilderness is dissimilar, every ride a unique experience, every crossing will earn you closer to diverse population and make you value your life. Such is the mark of this nation state we know as India.

They say  Traveling makes one , We say Travel In India and you will not only get the rich national experience but also be wiser, with the infinite , and each consciousness so singular than any other you have dreamt of, Travel in India is just a changed road of life, you get hit when you experience it, there is no another way, it only comes to you when you want to be there.

A trip to India you to select from for array of experiences. Start your India travel with New Delhi, where the new and old co-exist, with rich civilizing humanity heritage to new elaborate ; the city surely provides a good tastefulness of kit to come. It is in this city that you will find the busy nightlife that provides you a window into the standard of living of not so easily come across during travels Indians. They speak voluble English, dialogue with who’s who of the voters, jet set to irrelative , group into wee hours till they are dead they are all here, screaming the same missive.We have arrived its all in and coming together in the city of New Delhi.

Not very far from Delhi ( or New Delhi as it is perfectly called) is the bordering imperial of Rajasthan. With its rich artistic heritage Forts and Palaces, luxury train rides, Heritage , Desert safaris, it a dream to live in the past and experience it like no additional position. The Luxury train, Palace on Wheels, will take you through the state-owned of Rajasthan, you in municipal of the art train luxury, no way seen before and with an fancy set aside only for those who want to travel in luxury and reminisce the extravagance of the rich and recognized in the former era. Cheaper alternatives are also available in lavishness. Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Pushkar, each grade with its own , so close to each extra yet offering a uncommon appealing appeal.

That’s the business nigh on India; it accommodates everyone, every low-priced, every hue and creed and sends you back in its own imprint. Such is the mark of the land we know as India.

Seldom anyone makes a trip to India and not social call Agra, the city of Taj Mahal, people’s supreme symbol of love, so pure and Herculean, just like its stone, Marble, set in white, sound, time and nature’s .As a matter of fact, Agra has much more to proposition than just Taj Mahal. No doubt TajMahal forms the lovely of all the , but the city that served as antediluvian capital of India, has lavish heritage to display. The Agra Fort, Fathepur Sikri, the a mixture of monuments and tombs are all business for people to experience the favored era of Mughal rule in India.

Even nevertheless the Golden Triangle of India Travel (comprising of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) is conceivably the most eminent tour in tourist’s Indian tour, yet there are not ever-termination options for Travel in India.

On one hand, Khajuraho calls for a trendy vacation coz of its renowned delineation of Kamasutra depicted thru directing craftsmen’s work on the temples, on the further hand Those on a psychic passage seek the situation of Haridwar/ Rishikesh and Varanasi. The ones who seek the pleasures of city life and Bollywood head to Mumbai, whereas The seashore bums turn to Goa to loosen, appreciate the song and caucus hard, and then yet again a few of us like the laid back atmosphere and head south to enjoy Kerala backwaters and its virgin beauty .And this is not even a drop of all the options available in India for travel.The just develop once you dig deeper into the places that India has to motion for tourists.

Much before you agree the question : But how do I do all this? Where can I go, How to book Hotels, How will I survive in India? Do ancestors there speak English? How do I know I am getting a pronounced deal?

At TourVasia you will be able to select the of through variety of travel sited both within and outside India. You can plan your trip, seek help or just in the region of find no matter what that you need to know or hear from a trusted workmate for that much awaited Trip to India.

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Preparations Before Traveling To Asia

For those planning to travel to Asia, you are in for a great visit. To ensure your trip is a memorable one, there are several things you will want to take care of prior to you leaving. If you are traveling to Pakistan, you need to be aware that there is a travel warning at this time due to threats of terrorist activity. You will need to register with the Embassy’s Consular section. Regardless of your destination in Asia, it is advised that you register with the US Embassy’s Consular. This is for your protection. If an emergency arises, no one can help you if they don’t know where you are.

You will to have a valid passport. Check to see if a visa will also be required for where you are going. Read the Consular information sheets for the areas you are traveling to prior to leaving. This will provide you with up to date information of anything taking place in that region that you should be aware of. If you do find yourself in any type of legal trouble, immediately contact the US Embassy for assistance.

Rules, regulations, and laws are different in Asia than in the United States. It is wise to familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures of that area. You don’t want to find yourself in legal trouble out of the country because you weren’t aware of how things are done there. Follow there rules set by all airports of not leaving your bags unattended or attending any type of package from someone you don’t know for any reason.

Basic rules that apply anywhere including wearing expensive jewelry and clothing and showing large amounts of cash. These are indicators that you have items of value. It can lead you to being the victim of a robbery or worse crime. To avoid being the victim of a scam don’t exchange currency with anyone except an authorized agent. Fully investigate prior to making purchases such as jewelry, art, and antiques.

Traveling to Asia can be a great experience. If you take the time to follow these basic tips, you will be more likely to enjoy your trip as well as return safely. By being prepared, you will be able to avoid surprises that will ruin your trip. By registering with the US Embassy, you will have an ally in the case something does take place. Having all these things in place will help you be able to focus on the beauty of Asia.

Amanpulo Pamalican Island In The Philippines

Arrival at Amanpulo in the Philippines actually starts before you ever get there!!

You are taken on arrival at Manila airport to the private Aman lounge prior to boarding the hotels own private twin prop aircraft which flies you directly to the resort. That is some style!!

The first thing that happens on arrival is that you are given the grand tour of the resort, before being taken to your ‘casitta’/banda/villa.

We were lucky enough to have a beach casitta, which stood only a short path away from what was almost our own private beach, and what a beach. Imagine white talcum powder as far as the eye can sea, backed by the most beautiful shades of turquoise and pale blue and green sea. I thought I’d seen the finest beaches in the world in the Seychelles – not so!!

The casita has wall to wall windows, so the views of the water are absolutely spectacular.

There is a king sized bed, a huge bathroom with dressing area, separate shower and tub, all just A1.

Outside there is a large sun deck with two day beds and a hammock, and all totally private.

You can add to this the most exquisite cotton robe for lying around in, wonderful fluffy towels, toilet products, and fresh fruit every day.

After all that it comes as no surprise to discover that the food was another feature of Ananpulo. There is an a la carte menu, daily specials, and in fact whatever you want the chef will cook, and you can eat anywhere virtually at any time. A gastronomic paradise!!

Especially notable was the beach club paella, and the barbecues.

This isn’t a resort for people who need to be entertained, with most activity being on or under the water, and then of course there is the beach!!

Probably the outstanding thing of all, was the unbelievable subtle and sophisticated level of service, rendering Amanpulo as one of the finest resorts anywhere.

Preparing for International Travel: Application for Passports

Before packing your things and making the big leap out of your country, you must first secure a passport which will serve as your ticket to any destination. In preparation for your international travel outside America, you have to first apply for a U.S. Passport. If you are new at this kind of deal, then this article might just be a big help for you to apply for your very own passport for the first time.

First of all, you must be reminded that application must be in person. There are over seven thousand government agencies like post offices or courthouses that accept applications for passports or you can just visit your local passport facility. You can make a quick call at your county courthouse to make queries about the important documents that you need to submit in order for quick processing of your papers. The following documents are the most common requirements that these facilities ask for:

Proof of Citizenship

You must carry with you a proof that you are really a certified citizen of the United States of America in order to proceed to your application. One very good example is a copy of your authentic birth certificate that is issued by the government itself and not coming from a hospital. This is true with all applications for those who are born in America. You can also bring your Certificate of Citizenship or Nationalization to testify that you are indeed an official resident of the place. An expired passport of the United States can also be valid proof.

Proof of Identification

This simply means a valid identification card with your recent photograph attached to it. Your driver’s license is one good example. A valid military or government ID with signature can also be accepted.

Recent Photo

Make sure that you won’t give your picture that was taken ten years ago. You need to bring two photos that are completely identical and were just recently taken at least within five to six months.  Usually, you have to surrender a 2×2 picture that are taken in front view with plain background. Attire should be as presentable and possibly without any accessories like glasses or head dress.

Completed Application

You can fill out a passport application form or form DS-11. Be sure that you have every entry filled out EXCEPT your signature for this is done in front of an authorized personnel otherwise processing will be repeated.

There you have it. Easy, right?

Here are a few more tips when applying for a passport:

1. Be honest. You have to fill out the form DS-11 in all honesty so as not to collide with any possible problem.

2. Be sure that you attach the original documents and not just photocopied papers for these original details will be returned to you once you receive your passport.

3. Make secondary copies of your originals forms including your application just in case it gets lost before you completely send out your form.

Preparing for international travel can be quite exhausting but with a little help, you’ll find it most suitable. All you need to do is follow the rules of engagement and make sure that you pay the expected fees in order to request for expedited processing.

Where To Stay In Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the busiest cities in the world. The more it attracts leisure and business travelers, the more luxury and cheap Tokyo hotels are being established in this global city.

To suit the taste of budget of every traveler, hotels in Tokyo have a wide network which accommodates the means of provision from star luxury hotels to cheap but with good quality hotels for every traveler. The skyscraping five star hotels are majestic and never fail to serve the customer their best. They have all the technological facilities and amenities but it could get a little expensive with all the things you want to attain in a five star but it won’t be possible to go with a low budget. Considering the needs of the travelers with low budgets, such hotels now offer discounts for children, senior citizens or for the number of days you’re planning to stay can also be considered in giving you a discount and so such hotels are hence forth transformed into other cheap hotels of Tokyo, regarding the price. They offer almost all the requirements and try to cut down the unnecessary payment a traveler would have to pay, while offering them a comfortable living.

Here Are 5 Best Options For Cheap Accommodation In Tokyo

Apartment Rental – Yes, even if you’re coming for 2-3 days. You’ll be surprised to learn that there is a nice variety of Tokyo apartments for rent on a daily basis. There’s another reason other than price to rent an apartment. Apartments in Tokyo are more spacious and convenient than hotel rooms which are tiny in Tokyo. It’s also a great way to get to know the locals and see life in Japanese culture.

Capsule Hotel – These extremely cheap hotels are a great solution for a tight budget, and for anyone looking for a cheap hotel Tokyo. Capsule hotels are popular among tourists thanks to very affordable rates. Each guest gets a small sleeping space (capsule) which includes a TV, radio, alarm clock and adjustable lighting. There is room for a few personal items like your cell phone and books on the shelves. Larger stuff will have to be stored in a locker outside the capsules. The open side of the capsule is shut by a curtain or a screen.

Hostels -if you don’t mind sharing a room with a few other travelers, then this is a very good solution. Prices are very reasonable, and there are a few hostels in Tokyo which are a legend for great service and a “homey” atmosphere.

Guesthouse – Generally family-run, the lodgings are part of the owners’ own homes. Amenities are hardly available and in more suburban areas, guests may be expected to fold and stow away their beddings just like any family members. Meals are provided in most of these cases too. Pension houses are similar in running styles of the minshuku, but guests can expect more amenities in comparison. You may find the standard toiletries in the bathroom, free internet, pay to use washer and dryer and usage of common rooms like the kitchen and living area. It is not uncommon to find both run by immigrants or young Japanese couples who can speak relatively good English. In any case, it would be a relief to travelers who cannot speak the local language and a good way to penetrate the surface of Japanese daily life, at lower room costs.

Ryokan – These establishments are quite small with a limited number of rooms and usually built surrounding a well kept Zen garden. Room rates normally include 2 meals, dinner and breakfast. Ryokans are one of the unique aspects of traveling in Japan. Generally associated with a hot spring on their premises, so live in guests may enjoy the onsen. Baths are communal, and very few would have western style rooms. Typical ryokan wear, a blue and white patterned cotton yukata would be provided for use.

As you can see budget accommodations in Tokyo can be easy to find once you decide what you’re willing to compromise on – space or privacy.