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Best Travel Guides Help you Get Excellent Travel Ideas

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bali

8 Bali Shopping Destination

 

Shopping is a very famous activity for travellers to Bali. In fact, tourist shops are sprinkled all over bali in the hope of getting lots of tourist visitors as customers! I’ve come up with 8 destinations for tourists to visit for your must-do shopping activity during your Bali Vacation! However, before you embark on your shopping adventure, do read up my “Shopping In Bali” guide to ensure that you get the best buys and good prices.

Denpasar

Denpasar being the capital of Bali, is the main “market” for the Balinese. Kumbasari market, which is nearby Badung River, is the biggest traditional market. It is the perfect place to get an insight into the traditional Indonesia market where local people do their daily shopping. Fruit, vegetables and meat can be found in the basement; on the second level is the place for spices and dried goods; while household wares, clothing, art and craft is on the third level. Here you can get a very good price if you’re smart in bargaining. To find handicrafts, shoe shops and restaurants, you can head towards the northern part of Gajah Mada Street. To the east is Sulawesi Street, where you can get textiles and fabrics. On both sides of Sulawesi Street, you can find shops providing household wares. The area here is very colorful with all types of material from the traditional “songket” (cloth woven with strands of gold or silver) to modern day stretchy and shiny material. Why not buy your cloth by the meter and have a suit or dress made up by a local tailor. On the west Side of the market is the place for locals to buy coconut leaf and ceremonial supplies. In the southern part is Hasanudin Street where you can see gold and jewellery shops, tourists are always welcome butUbud

Ubud is well-known for fine arts with international standard. This is where you can get the best Balinese culture arts and crafts. Highly-regarded art galleries such as Sumertha, Neka, Agung Rai, Rudana and Sika are highly  recommended. Big names like Hans Snel and Antonio Blanco is recommended too however they may be really expensive.

The Kuta Area
As an international village almost all of the shops and restaurants here are for tourist market. You can find handicrafts, clothing, jewelry, CDs, furniture and leather crafts on each side of the road. But you can also see many street hawkers with their various offerings along the road. If you do not want to buy anything from them, do not make eye contact and do not ever look at their products, for if you do, they will follow you along the street and pester you to buy something.

Batubulan

On the border of Denpasar and Gianyar, lies Batubulan, the home to sculptures made of stone. You can find various kind of sculptures here ranging from traditional to minimalist, small to large, cheap to expensive :) The craftsmen can sculp random and custom orders and even ship them to your home address back in your country.

Sukawati

This area is popular to shop for Balinese arts. If you ask the locals where to get the cheapest Balinese arts and crafts, Sukawati will be their answer. Besides arts and crafts, you can also find statues, paintings, cloth, Balinese jewelry and also Balinese ceremonial needs,

Tegalalang

Very colourful wooden carvings of flowers, objects and more are displayed gracefully along the road. Various woodcarvings can be found in this village and its nearby neighbourhood at cheap prices! Here’s the place to really master the art of bargaining.

Bono

The village to shop for anything made of Bamboo! Yes practically everything from furnitures to mats to window blinds! The villagers are really good at making use of Bamboo for their crafts. You’ll be amazed at their talent and creativity!

Tenganan

This is where the native Balinese are located. The “Bali Aga” village in Karangasem, is the only village in Bali that produces the sought-after Balinese Geringsing textile. The materials for Geringsing are all acquired from the surrounding nature. To process Geringsing fabric, traditional methods rooting back to the old Balinese times, are used. The fabric is very delicate, durable and long-lasting thus the expensive price tags! No chemicals are used in the process and great care is taken to ensure the “natural” process.

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Men’s Packing List for Europe

Most packing lists focus on women.  This is a man’s packing list.  This list has been compiled based on my experiences as outlined in in my previous sections – Packing – Clothing, Packing – Gadgets-Electronics  and Packing – Accessories.

I have created a guy’s packing checklist for Europe which can be found by clicking:
Ultimate Men’s Packing List for Europe.  Below is an annotated discussion of the checklist.

Packing light for your European odyssey is key.  I strongly recommend that you avoid checking any bags – carry-on only.  You can usually avoid baggage fees, having your luggage lost, and long lines through customs.  Carry-on-only allows you to be among the first through customs and allows you to retain control of your possessions.

Luggage:

  • Size-Compliant Rolling Suitcase or Backpack.  I prefer a rolling suitcase, but make sure whatever bag you choose meets the dimensional requirements of your airline(s) for their overhead compartments.
  • Day Bag.  This is your “personal item,” like a small backpack, computer case, or shoulder bag.  Choose this bag wisely – it will become your daypack during your explorations.  I have used a messenger bag and a small backpack (the kind kids use for school) – I prefer the small backpack.  Mine is from EMS and has a large main compartment with two smaller front zippered compartments and mesh bottle holders on the sides.  Your daypack should be capable of holding a sweater or light jacket, guidebook/materials, camera, a drink, lunch, and have room for some souvenirs or beer.
  • Packing Cubes – these are useful items to thoughtfully pack and organize your luggage.  They don’t add much weight, but they allow you to be more efficient in packing.  Tetris, anyone?

Clothing:

  • Jacket – a water-proof windbreaker is best.  The idea is to layer clothing for warmth and avoid really bulky coats.  I use a windbreaker from Columbia that packs into its own pocket – really compact and easy to pack, but it has served me well in European rains.  If you’re traveling in the dead of winter, then maybe upgrade to a nice leather jacket that you can layer with a sweater.
  • Hat – not widely used as an accessory in Europe.  If you choose to bring one, avoid a baseball cap.
  • Scarf – Europeans always wear scarves unless it’s summertime.  If you wear one, you’ll blend in better.  Can also be used as an eye-mask on the plane or on a train.
  • Underwear – three pair, including the pair you will wear on the plane.  Choose quick-drying undies and be prepared to rinse a pair each night in your hotel sink.  I really love the underwear offered by Ex-Officio, a travel outfitter.  Kind of pricey, but extremely comfortable, longwearing, easy to handwash, and quick-drying.
  • Socks – three pair, including the pair you will wear on the plane.  Don’t go cheap on your socks – go to your favorite sporting goods store and invest in thick-soled athletic or hiking socks.  Avoid socks with mostly cotton; if they get wet you’ll get cold, and they take forever to dry.
  • Shoes – two pair, including the pair you will wear on the plane.  Sneakers are becoming more common in Europe, but for a more versatile wardrobe I suggest a pair of black shoes that can be dressed-up, and a pair of brown utility shoes.  Find comfortable walking shoes in both colors.  I have found success and comfort with slip-on shoes from Clark’s.  If your travels are more outdoorsy and less city, then maybe a pair of hikers instead of the brown pair.
  • T-Shirts – three, including the one you will wear on the plane.  I typically pack a white t-shirt, a t-black shirt and an athletic grey t-shirt – each with a chest pocket in which you can store some larger bills or your passport under your top shirt.  These colors coordinate with just about anything
  • Long-Sleeved Shirts – three, including the one you will wear on the plane.  Button-down shirts are the most versatile, especially hiking or travel shirts like those you can buy at EMS, REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, L.L. Bean, Columbia or any outdoor outfitter.  These shirts are comfortable, breathable, lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, quick-drying and they actually look decent.  They can go from day to night, unless you’re invited to tea with royalty.  Choose colors that coordinate with your pants (each shirt should be wearable with each pair of pants).
  • Long-Sleeved T-Shirts – one or two.  For layering when the weather is cooler, or for a more casual day-look.  Avoid logos or advertising.
  • Pants – three pair, including the pair you will wear on the plane.  Jeans are becoming common in Europe, but they’re heavy and take forever to dry – if you’re going to take a pair, wear it on the plane.  I have fallen in love with Ex-Officio’s line of Nomad travel pants – very lightweight, look great, wrinkle-resistant, quick-drying, stain resistant.  You might wish to include (in the Summer months) a pair of convertible pants that allow you to zip off the legs to create a pair of shorts.  Convertible pants are a dead giveaway that you’re a tourist, but they are comfortable and functional.  I usually travel with 4 pairs of pants, I admit – one pair of brown jeans, two pair of Ex-Officio Nomad pants, and one pair of convertible pants from EMS.  The Nomads are so light and compactible that I consider them a two-for-one deal.  The convertible pants can serve double-duty as a bathing suit. Choose colors that complement your shirts and can mix-and-match.
  • Belt – one.  Get one that is double-sided, brown/black.  Or, a quality fabric belt in neutral colors that coordinates with all of your pants and shoes.

Toiletries:

  • Bar Soap – your favorite brand in travel size, if possible (not necessary, as bar soap isn’t a “liquid” subject to security restrictions).  Having your usual bar soap gives you comfort on a subliminal level – you smell like you.
  • Shampoo – your favorite brand in a travel-sized container.
  • Razor(s) – disposal safety razors.  Optional – you can easily buy these overseas
  • Shaving Cream – travel size.  Optional – you can easily buy shaving cream overseas
  • Deodorant – travel size – your favorite brand, if possible.  Smelling like yourself makes you feel more comfortable.
  • Toothbrush – take a full-sized one.  Not much difference in space/weight vs. a travel brush, but much better at doing the job.
  • Toothpaste – travel size toothpaste tubes only last a few days.  You’ll end up buying a tube while overseas. Trash the remainder at the end of your trip after you squeeze the remaining European paste into your travel size tube for the return journey.  All major U.S. brands available.
  • Comb/Brush – believe it or not, many packing lists omit these items!
  • Condoms – hey, you never know….
  • Self-adhesive Bandages – like Band-Aids.  A few different sizes for nicks and scrapes.
  • Toenail clipper – legal to carry onboard a plane, they can be used to clip finger- and toenails, open plastic packages, and trim wayward threads on clothing.
  • Hand Sanitizer – travel size.  Use this on planes and trains to help avoid getting sick.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth at all times when on planes, trains, subways and buses.  Being sick on your expensive trip is no fun.
  • Tissues – travel/pocket packs.  I usually pack three pocket packs of Kleenex tissues – one in my daypack, one in my roller bag and one in my back pocket.  Also useful if the public bathroom you’re using can’t seem to spare a square.  On the go I always snag extra napkins at restaurants and paper towels in restrooms to supplement my tissue supply.

Sundries:

  • Reusable Shopping Bag – can be used for your trip to the beach, but is also really handy to go food shopping.  Most European stores charge for flimsy plastic bags.  In the alternative, remember to take the (free) plastic bag that came with your expensive souvenirs to the grocery store.
  • Bottle opener – twist-off caps are few and far between.  One of the most used items on my trips.  Mine is a freebie handout from Sam Adams.
  • Sink/tub Stopper – many European hotels lack a drain stopper to discourage hand washing in their sinks or tubs.
  • Cable Ties / Zip Ties – useful for securing bags, certain repairs, and jury-rigging clotheslines.  Can be cut using your toenail clippers.
  • Zipper-style storage bags – for your liquids through security, but also useful to pack a lunch, separate stinky laundry, or waterproof sensitive items on a wet day.  Bring a few each in snack, quart and gallon sizes.  The two-gallon size can also be used as packing cubes for shirts and pants.
  • Notebook/pen/pencil – for on-the-fly notes of all sorts.  I carry a Moleskin pocket notebook and I love it.
  • Luggage Lock – to secure your bag from casual inspection by chambermaids, or when you need to leave your bag at the hotel before checking in.  If you’re going to check your bag on the way home, make sure the lock is TSA compatible.
  • Hidden Money Belt – I admit that I don’t always use it, but I sure did on every train I took.
  • Travel Towel – a microfiber travel towel is incredibly compact and has many uses (think of a swimmer’s chamois).  Other than a towel if you need one, you can roll up your recently-handwashed clothing in the towel and wring to remove much of the moisture and accelerate the drying time for your clothes.  I have a medium-sized travel towel from McNett.  Can double as a picnic blanket or a small throw if you’re chilly.
  • Front-Pocket Wallet – have a wallet specifically for travel (after all, do you really need your library card in Lisbon?) A front-pocket wallet is usually slimmer than a typical man’s wallet and is harder for pickpockets to get at.
  • Travel Laundry Soap – I’ve used Woolite and Tide travel laundry soap.  I prefer Woolite.  Pack one packet of detergent for every three days of your trip.  You’ll end up with extra in all likelihood because you’ll decide during your travels that you can reuse an article of clothing without washing it first….

Electronics

  • Tablet/Laptop – I use an “old” but serviceable original iPad when I travel to blog, check email, look up destinations and upload photos (with a memory card adapter from Apple).  I also use my iPad as an e-book reader, and I store my travel guides on it. If you’re not traveling for business or you don’t plan to blog or manipulate photos, then I would consider leaving the tablet or laptop at home, especially if you have a smartphone to check email, prefer “real” books, and don’t plan much blogging/websurfing.  Don’t forget your charger!
  • Smartphone – I travel with an iPhone.  I’ve loaded it with travel-related apps like those from DB, Kayak, TripAdvisor and airlines.  Look for apps that can be used offline to save international data roaming charges while you’re out and about.  Also consider adding an international voice plan for a nominal charge to save versus standard international voice roaming rates – a few calls will pay for the cost of the add-on plan.  If you anticipate a lot of international calls, consider a more robust voice plan, or alternatives like Skype, Vonage or MagicJack.  If you’ll be making a lot of calls to numbers within Europe, consider buying a throwaway phone in Europe, or a SIM card for your unlocked phone.  International data plans are also available, but with care you can usually find free Wi-Fi at your hotel, and at certain public places (Starbucks, for example).  My iPad charger will also charge my iPhone, so one fewer charger to carry! Don’t forget your earbuds to use your phone as a music player when riding the rails.
  • Camera – I carry a Canon EOS Rebel T3-i DSLR and it takes great pictures.  I also carry a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS, a “travel-zoom” camera that fits neatly into your front pocket.  The DSLR is good for professional-quality pictures and hi-speed action, and the PowerShot is great when you’re wandering about without your daypack, at night, or in less upscale environs (pictures are good, too).  Memory cards are interchangeable between the cameras, and both will shoot HD video.  Don’t forget your memory cards, rechargeable battery packs and your chargers!
  • Compact Three-Outlet Power Strip – this is a travel version, rated for 110-240v 50-60 Hz, meaning that it can be used in the U.S. or in Europe.  Get a plug adapter for the cord and you can plug your U.S. appliances directly into the strip.

 

  • Plug Adapter – most of continental Europe uses a two-pronged plug with round prongs (except Britain, Ireland, Switzerland and parts of Italy).  With the universal power strip, above, I only need to bring one adapter.  Make sure, too, that the North American appliances/electronics you bring with you are dual voltage rated – they or their chargers should be marked “120-240v 50-60 Hz.”  Most modern electronics are dual voltage.  Some have a manual switch to change the voltage.

Last, But Not Least:

  • Passport – you’re not going anywhere without it.  Keep a separate copy of your passport in your luggage, and leave a copy of your passport at home to make it easier if you need to replace your passport while abroad.
  • Tickets / Reservation Confirmations – for your flights, your trains, your hotels and for any excursions you have pre-booked.  Email yourself a copy of all of your tickets and confirmations, and also bring good-old paper copies.  Consider preparing a master itinerary for yourself, which includes all of your reservation information in a handy summary.  Kayak.com offers a free service that allows you to email reservations to them (whether booked on Kayak or not) and Kayak will magically assemble an itinerary for you that you can save, email and print out.
  • Credit / Debit Cards – Bring only the cards you plan to use, but consider carefully the consequences if one won’t work overseas – this is particularly true for ATM cards.  Make sure you have a 4-digit pin to ensure the best chance of compatibility with European ATMs.  Keep in mind that European ATM cards have a smart chip embedded in them, and most retailers will not allow you to make a debit transaction (a/k/a point-of-sale (POS) purchase) with your ATM card if it does not have a chip.  Retailers will take U.S. credit cards without a chip (AMEX, Visa, MC, etc.), but investigate the foreign transactions fees your company will charge you.  Use cash for smaller purchases.  You typically get the best exchange rate by withdrawing cash from an ATM with your ATM card, anyway (and some banks do not charge a foreign transaction fee – look around and check with your bank).  Leave a copy of the front and back of your credit and ATM cards with a trusted relative or friend in case you lose your cards while abroad – this will make getting replacements easier.
  • Health Insurance Card
  • Prescription Medicine – bring enough for your trip, and a copy of your prescriptions.
  • Glasses/Contacts – consider bringing a spare pair or a copy of your prescription, just to be safe.

– See more at: http://traveltipsbyken.blogspot.com.tr/p/mens-packing-list-for-europe-ive.html#.VQJlDC7FXDc

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Top 10 Reasons to Travel to Bangkok

As a city with over two decades of history, it is not impossible to get attracted with Bangkok. It flaunts off a vibrant environment which highlights the impressive fusion of different cultures, eras, and tastes. For this general reason, many people decide to travel to Bangkok; and here are the top 10 reasons why they should:1. Grand Palace

Visiting Bangkok will not be complete without a trip around the Grand Palace. Having served as the official residence of the King and his court, this royal complex is endowed with structures which showcase the grandiose Thai architecture. It is located at the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

2. WatArun

Bangkok is known for its temples, and one of the most stunning is the WatArun. Situated near the Chao Phraya River, this astounding temple is visited not just for its religious importance but because of its photogenic quality. Its spires are exceptionally beautiful when viewed during sunset.

3. Chao Phraya River

An important landmark of Bangkok is the Chao Phraya River. History-wise, it has played an important role so the city could achieve its present status. Tourism-wise, it is just so beautifully peaceful that it emanates a tranquil charm to everyone.

4. DamnoenSaduak Floating Market

One of the most fascinating features of Bangkokis the floating market. While on a boat, people can buy and haggle with vendors for the freshest fruits and vegetables. It is a way of living, a beautiful part of the city’s culture – and is thus important to be experienced by tourists.

5. Chinatown

For an exciting experience of going Chinese in Thailand, Chinatown is the place to be. It is brimming with Chinese stalls selling different items, medicines, and food. The area is basically famous for its exotic and colorful atmosphere. It is very lively during Chinese New Year.

6. Chatuchak Weekend Market

Probably one of the biggest weekend markets in the world, the Chatuchak Weekend Market brings shopping into a whole new level. Hundreds of stalls sell just about anything under the sun, for cheap prices. Haggling is even possible, and that doubles the fun.

7. Jim Thompson’s House

A remarkable icon in Bangkok is the Jim Thompson’s House. More than its pleasantly-designed layout, the house is famous for being a museum which exhibits different kinds of Thai silk.

8. Khao San Road

The fusion of different cultures is made evident in Khao San Road. Exceptionally vibrant and truly attractive, the area is home to various bars and restaurants, and other commercial establishments, which highlight the impressive features of the east and the west. Tourists will surely feel at ease in the place.

9. Wat Pho



During your Bangkok tour, it is important to visit Wat Pho. Seeing it completes one’s tour around the city. It earned its fame by housing the largest reclining Buddha in the world. Furthermore, it also features a popular massage school.

10. Lumphini Park


To break from all the modernity and explore nature without living the city, visit the Lumphini Park. It is an exceptionally beautiful and huge park which features plants, trees and ponds, which serves as a breather to people throttled by life’s fast pace.

Above are just some of the famous attractions in the city, and indeed there are more to discover. Thus, booking those flights to Bangkok, Thailand would surely be worth it.

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Top 10 Beautiful Beaches in Asia

Below are Top Ten most beautiful beaches in Asia. Each possessing unique and stunning charms, these destinations will certainly take your breaths away.

1) Sipadan Beach Island (Malaysia)

A spectacular diving destination, Sipadan Beach is renowned for its clear waters. The marine life is amazingly gorgeous that every diver should witness even just once in their diving careers. The island doesn’t feature hotels since 2004 though, to take care of the environment. Nearest accommodations are located in Mabul Island which is just minutes away.

Image sources:
Frog + Princess
CNN Travel

2) Lang Co Beach (Vietnam)


Situated between Da Nang and Hue, Lang Co Beach in Vietnam is an amazing stretch of peninsula that features white sand beach and lines of palm trees. It also boasts of a turquoise blue lagoon that assures a pleasant surprise to those who will travel to Vietnam for this summer destination. The beach fronts the Pacific Ocean.

Image source: Macs London

3) Koh Tao (Koh Samui, Thailand)



One of the most relaxing beaches in Koh Samui, Thailand is the Koh Tao. Home to a pristine nature that features a bed of soft white sand, turquoise water, and a spectacular underwater environment, it is definitely a perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate.

Image source: Asia Divers

4) The Maldives

It is not impossible not to love The Maldives. The nation is composed of so many atolls which give home to stunning beaches. Sandbars are also common sight in the country, providing more touristic opportunities to people. Islands can be rented for private occasions.

Image source: Sheraton Full Moon Resort

5) Tubkaak Beach (Krabi, Thailand)



Tukbaak Beach is certainly a nice reason to visit Thailand. Located on a corner
of the province, this beach boasts of a bed of white sand. The beach is also famous among snorkelers; and earns so much praises for the stunning sunset view it offers.

Image source: Beach Thailand

6) El Nido Beach (Palawan, Philippines)


Famed for its blue waters and white sand, El Nido Beach defines luxury vacation best. For many locals and tourists, it is a perfect destination to escape the tiring environment of the urban. Aside from swimming and snorkeling, you can also visit the caves around the area for some historical and cultural adventures.

Image source: Wow Islands

7) White Beach (Boracay, Philippines)

One of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you should never hesitate to visit White Beach in Boracay Island, Philippines. Aside from the luxurious vacations it offers, the area also guarantees extravagant nightlife courtesy of the beachfront commercial establishments.

Photo by: visayandreams @ Flickr.com – Patrick Payne

8) Padang Padang Beach (Bali, Indonesia)

You are guaranteed a very relaxing summer vacation in Padang Padang Beach. Located at the south of Bukit Peninsula, it has an environment perfect for some laid-back experiences. Amateur surfers also love the place because of the calm waves.

Image source: Bali Surf Advisor

9) TanjungRhu Beach (Langkawi, Malaysia)

A secluded beach, the spectacular TanjungRhu Beach in Langkawi is a perfect destination for those who wish to get away from the crowd. Fronting the Indian Ocean, it features shallow water which the whole family will greatly love. It also flaunts a scenic view, thanks to the impressive rock formations in the area.

Image source: Best of Langkawi

10) PhuQuoc Beach (Vietnam)

Located at Vietnam’s largest island, revealing the breathtaking Gulf of Thailand, the PhuQuoc Beach is a spectacle. The white sand is almost as white as sugar and the waters are crystal clear. It surely makes up a perfect destination for a real summer vacation in a tropical place.

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Top 10 Things to Know About Bhutan

When we travel, we always look for the unique things. After all, to find new discoveries and try new things are the main objectives of going to places. While there are many destinations around the world to serve the purpose, there is one place in Asia which extravagantly fulfills such aims.Ladies and gentlemen, the Kingdom of Bhutan.

True enough, Bhutan is one of the most unique countries in the world. Here are some reasons why many adventure-seekers/culture-curious travelers are taking opportunities to take a tour to Bhutan:

1. Bhutan is the only Vajrayana Buddhist nation in the world. The locals regard its faith with utmost reverence; and there are many sacred dzongs in the country, including the Tiger’s Monastery which is distinctly perched on a mountain cliff.

Photo by: Buddhistmonksbhutan.com
Photo by: Buddhistmonksbhutan.com
Tiger's Nest Monastery
Tiger’s Monastery / Taktsang Monastery

2. The currency used in Bhutan is Ngultrum (Nu.) but Indian Rupees are accepted as local tender, except the 500 and 1000 denominations.

3. It is in the constitution of Bhutan to keep 60% of the country forested. This is why high-rise buildings and industrial developments do not exist in the country. There aren’t any traffic lights in the country either.

4. Bhutan takes pride in being a carbon neutral country. Meaning, the air is completely unpopulated and is totally fresh.

5. The Bhutanese women run the family and business; while the men remain at home, maintaining the household.

Bhutanese women
Photo by: BhutanRebirth

6. Every first Sunday of the month, Bhutan holds the ‘Pedestrian Day’. On this day, no one is allowed to use private vehicles.

Pedestrian Day in Bhutan
Pedestrian Day in Bhutan | Photo by: BBS

7. The use of plastic bags and selling of tobacco are strictly forbidden in Bhutan.

8. It is only on 1999 when Bhutan experiences television and internet connection. However, the latter doesn’t seem to have improved in time as fast connection cannot be expected even in hotels.

Buddhist monks during a computer class in Thimpu, Bhutan | Photo by: Stasiareport.com

9. English is taught in Bhutan schools and is used as the second language in the nation. Most people can then speak the tongue comfortably.

10. Only in 1974 when this conservative country decided to open its doors to tourism.

Basically, there are more things to discover about Bhutan; and these things can only be known when you go there yourself. So do not miss the opportunity and find the reasons. Savor the fun of being in a really exotic travel experience and create unforgettable memories.

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Top 10 Destinations in Indonesia

Where to Go in Indonesia?
It is a common knowledge that each Asian country possesses unique characteristics and heritage which appeals even to Asians themselves. That is why many find cheap tickets to travel to different nations, and one of the most popular destinations is Indonesia.As the largest archipelago in the world, Indonesia is home to so many attractions in which travelers can experience what good life is. Here are the top 10:1. Lombok Island

Photo Credit: Marie-Ange Ostré (source: Discover Lombok)
Travelers who are into the beach will surely find solace in Lombok Island. Tagged as one of the many paradises in Indonesia, it is a good venue not just for swimming but also for diving. The marine ecology composed mainly of colorful coral reefs and schools of unique fishes are spectacular to see.

2. Komodo Island

Image Source: Phoebettmh Travel

With its magnificent environment and marine ecology, it is hard to let pass an opportunity to visit the Komodo Island. But it doesn’t end there; because this Indonesian isle has more than just unspoiled nature:  the Komodo Dragon, an endemic creature in Indonesia which is believed to be the closest specie to actual dragons.

3. Jakarta

Photo Credit: Indonesia Tourism Website

What trip to Indonesia will be complete without stopping by the capital city of Jakarta? As the political, financial and commercial center of the country, it plays hosts to so many modern buildings and attractions which will thrill everyone. Shopping malls, entertainment hubs, amusement parks, and many other establishments can be found there.

4. Borobodur

Photo Credit: Indonesia Tourism Website

Exuding the loveliest charm from thousands of years ago is the Mahayana Buddhist temple of Borobudur in Magelang, Central Java. It is the biggest Buddhist temple in the world, and constantly draws tourists for its intricate design which features more than 2000 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

5. Mt. Kelimutu

 
 Photo Credit: All Indonesia Travel

To those intending to take things into extremes, a trek to the craters of Mt. Kelimutu is recommended. It is a volcano which has three unique craters – unique because of its varying colors. Originally, the craters are said to be blue green, fiery green and red. But then it changed to different shades. Today, the craters are dark brown, red-brown, and turquoise.

6. Bangka Belitung Island

Photo Credit: Indonesia Tourism Website

Off the coast of Sumatra, it is a great alternative for people who wish to escape the crowd in Bali. It is a beach island, renowned for its white shore. Furthermore, it has a spectacular nature, making island hopping, diving and snorkeling great activities to do. As it is a commercialized island already, accommodation, dining and shopping facilities are available.

7. Yogyakarta

Indonesia has a very interesting culture; and for those who wish to explore it more, a visit to Yogyakarta is necessary. As one of the oldest cities in the country, it is home to cultural attractions detailing how unique Indonesian heritage is. Start the tour with a visit to Taman Sari, the renowned water castle.

8. Bunaken Marine Park

Photo Credit: The Travel Word

Marine ecology in Indonesia is definitely fantastic! It is proven true by the Bunaken Marine Park in Sulawesi Island. It is home to almost 400 species of unique coral reefs, as well as different schools of marine creatures. It is a national park, and is highly regarded among nature lovers.

9. Raja Ampat, Papua

Photo Credit: Indonesia’d

Proving further that the marine ecology of Indonesia is one of a kind is the Raja Ampat in Papua. Marine biodiversity is truly superb with its colorful and unspoiled reefs. With its name taken from a local mythology story, the place sure feels like created, designed and maintained with magic.

10. Bali

When we talk about Indonesia, Bali often comes to mind first. Why not? It is the most popular beach island in Indonesia, and is a favorite destination for many tourists. It is densely commercialized yet preservation of its nature and heritage are evident. Aside from the beaches, cultural and historical places may be found here.

Indonesia is one exciting country which will surely satiate travelers’ needs for good experience. It is the perfect getaway as it is easily accessed from most parts of Asia. Thus, people need not to hesitate in coming there. It is a nice place, a paradise even.

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10 Most Popular Singapore Tourist Spots

There is no denying that Singapore is a very stunning country. Clean, disciplined, and brimming with beautiful places, the nation is definitely a favorite destination by many jetsetters. There are lots to do when there.

One of the most recommended activities would be buying Singapore attraction tickets to the following attractions:

1) Universal Studios Singapore

A premier attraction in the country is the Universal Studios Singapore. A first-class amusement park, it is sure to be enjoyed by the whole family. Thrill rides and fun adventures await you! Each area transports guests to a new world where all the excitement are within reach. When visiting the place, it is best to buy tickets online to avoid the long queues.

2) Singapore Zoo

One of the most spectacular zoos in the world is the Singapore Zoo. Perched on a heavily forested area that covers up to 28 hectares, it serves as a natural habitat to almost 500 species of animals including white tigers, monkeys, guanacos, sun bear, and pink flamingoes.

3) Singapore Flyer

No tour is complete without trying Singapore Flyer. Similar to London’s Eye, it is a huge Ferris Wheel which provides people who ride it with an unblocked and spectacular view of Singapore’s cityscape. Riding it feels like flying!

4) Merlion in Sentosa

There are numerous Merlion statues in Singapore and the one in Sentosa Island probably offers the best experience. Inside, learn about the history of the iconic Merlion and know more about the legendary sea dragons and mermaids. It also has an observation deck that offers a panoramic view of Sentosa Island and the country’s southern islands.

5) Gardens by the Bay

A new spectacle in Singapore is the Gardens by the Bay. Located at the Marina Bay area, it is a huge complex that features various plants and trees which are not often seen in Asia. It has two major attractions: Cloud Forest and Flower Dome.

6) Jurong Bird Park

Tagged as Asia’s largest of its kind, Jurong Bird Park is a primary tourist destination in Singapore. It is a vast landscaped park perched on Jurong Hill that gives home to almost 5,000 birds from 380 species. The aviary is open and birds can fly freely around. Interacting with the birds is also possible, with all the bird shows prepared for guests.

7) Night Safari

If you are looking for a unique experience, go to Night Safari. Located close to the Singapore Zoo, it is a good place to continue your ‘animal’ trip. It is the first nocturnal zoo in Asia and gives home to animals normally found in safaris, as well as night creatures like flying bats, tarsiers, and more.

8) Underwater World

Located at Sentosa Island, Underwater World is a stunning oceanarium which features more than 2,500 animals from 250 species. It features a 252 feet-long tunnel that would allow you to see the beautiful marine ecology. Tickets to this attraction also cover entrance to the Dolphin Lagoon at Palawan Beach.

9) Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Definitely one of the most beautiful hotels in Asia and in the world, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is a 5-star lodging establishment that has become an icon of Singapore. It features three buildings, connected by a ship-like structure on top. Aside from its luxurious amenities and services, it features a casino, theaters, museum and a huge shopping complex, including the largest Louis Vuitton store.

10) Marina Bay Sands Sky Park

Located at the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands hotel is the spectacular Marina Bay Sands Sky Park. It is a favorite destination for many guests and plain tourists as it provides a spectacular view of Singapore. It is also famed for its outdoor infinity pool.

 

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A Hollywood Tradition — My Thanksgiving Travel Tips

 

The Thanksgiving holiday is the peak travel weekend of the year (in America. The rest of the world could give a rat’s ass about Thanksgiving.) So as a public service, here again — and with a few additions — are some travel tips:

Leave for the airport NOW.

Bring no luggage. Wearing the same clothes for a week is a small price to pay. Plus, the airlines now charge you for check-in luggage AND blankets. Pretty soon pressurized air will also be extra.

Southwest has no reserved seating. Get in one of the latter groups boarding. You don’t want to be one of the first to sit then watch as fifty people glance at the empty seat next to you, then to you, and decide to sit somewhere else. Even in the last row.

If you have children under the age of five tell your relatives one has an earache and make everyone come to YOU.

Those people in the Stand-By line – those are the same people who think they can get rich selling Amway products, and the Tooth Fairy really exists. Don’t fly Stand-By unless you like sleeping in airport terminals for five days.

If you rent from Hertz plan on a two hour wait just to get your car. Unless you’re one of their “preferred” customers in which case allow only one hour.

When rental car companies recommend you use premium gasoline put in regular. It’s cheaper, it’ll run just fine, and it’s not your car.

Before you pull off the road to a Chuck E. Cheese for lunch, remember their namesake is a rat.

Air travelers: avoid O’Hare. Better to land in Dallas, even if your destination is Chicago.

If you’re dropping someone off at the airport don’t even think you’ll be able to stop. Have your travelers practice the tuck and roll from a moving car. The first couple of times they’ll bounce but by the fourth or fifth try they should have it down.

Watch the DVD of HOSTEL on your laptop. The bigger the screen, the better.

There’s more legroom in Exit rows. When the flight attendants ask if you are willing to help out in case of emergency just say yes. Like it’s going to make a big difference anyway if you crash.

There are NO bargains in the Sky Mall magazine.

When you’re stuck in St. Louis and all flights are grounded (and trust me, you WILL be), grab lunch at JBucks.

Never pay to see an in-flight movie starring Debra Messing.

Put a big strip of duct tape on your luggage so you’ll recognize it easily. And it makes a nice fashion statement.

If you’re flying with small children see if there’s such a thing as “Flintstones Valium”.

In-flight alcoholic beverages are expensive. Better to drink heavily at the airport before boarding.

And finally, watch PLANES, TRAINS, & AUTOMOBILES again and think of it as a “best” case scenario.

Happy trails to you all.

International Travel Tips for C2C Central

I don’t have all the answers, but traveling abroad raises a lot of questions. Like, how much will the air on the plane affect my skin, hair, body, well-being? ( A LOT)
What are some things I can do to make things easier on my body? (Don’t fret, I wrote a whole post on it.)
Rather than struggling through time changes, sleepy eyes and tired skin, take a peek at my tried and true tips and tricks to hit the jetway running, and make the most out of your troppo expensive European vacation. (Because ain’t nobody can afford to waste time you could be chomping waffles or slugging champagne. Amirite?)
Take a peek at the article, and travel smarter. Keep your eyes peeled for the next articles in the series, *Tips and Tricks for International Fashion, and *Tips and Tricks for Eating, Getting Around and Generally Pretending to be Local.

My husband and I travel a lot. It was one of the main reasons we were attracted to one another when we met, and the greatest binding force of our marriage still. The desire to explore the world, to see new cultures, to garner a fresh perspective on life and love and all of the beautiful smaller things that make up both of those things. To eat strange food and hear the gruff or melodious languages of a foreign place…these are the things that set our lives on fire. 

 

But, this wanderlust isn’t all roses and fairy dust. It’s a fair amount of tears, frustrations, break-outs, bad hair and nothing to wear to a swanky restaurant in Paris and not enough cash to buy something appropriate from a boutique. Travel can mean stomach bugs, and short tempers, missed trains and lost hotel reservations. 

 

It is with this in mind that I aim to give you my best tips for traveling internationally, over a few of these posts. Beginning with the first obstacle of the trip, that long, long, long international flight.

 

The long flight over the water can be torturous. If you are lucky enough to be an easy plane sleeper, then the international flight might not seem stressful, but it definitely still is for your body. The humidity on the plane is so low, that it will dry you right out: skin, hair, and sinuses. Germs are rampant on airplanes, and because of the somewhat stable pressure and environment, bacteria can live on surfaces like armrests for days. Which is one reason to always bring antibacterial wipes with you.  And if you can’t sleep at all on planes, like yours truly, then 10 hours of movies, or reading a book when you’re just so tired but can’t sleep can be pretty unbearable. 

 

First, to beat the skin dryness, bring a spray moisturizer I like this derma e hydrating mist for its carry-on approved size and for the easy application. The scent is pretty gender neutral too, so my husband doesn’t feel silly using it when his face is chapped. For lips,   Lush’s Lip Service balm is perfect, apply liberally to keep your pout from puckering. To keep my sinuses hydrated, which might sound weird, but believe me, you’ll notice the difference mid and post flight, I bring a regular saline nasal spray from the drugstore. Adding a little bit of moisture to my body in the desert climate of the plane is hugely important to how I feel when we disembark. No one wants to get off the plane with nasty skin and chapped lips!

 

Next, for my hair, I always wash, condition,  and spritz with a protecting hair oil. Next, I braid it or twirl it into multiple topsy tails while it’s still wet. The key is locking in moisture so that your hair can handle the damage the plane is going to put it through. And, BONUS, when you arrive at your destination releasing the braids or topsy tails, and then finger combing them, will give you great, no-fuss, first day of your trip waves.

 

Speeding right along to a few other of my favorite flight tips that  have to do with snacks and clothing. Always bring warm socks, always dress in layers with a comfy zip-up sweatshirt or cashmere cardigan. Most importantly, for dress, is leggings. I cannot emphasize enough how much a quality, thick pair of  leggings improve your comfort, but also your circulation. It’s a little crazy, but wearing the tighter pants (while still being comfortable—don’t make yourself a sausage) will actually help prevent your body from swelling as much, working the same way as compression socks. 

Finally, food and entertainment. We never eat plane food. It is mostly constituted of chemicals, and it never tastes good, unless you’re in first class. So, when we are flying coach, we try to bring walnuts, almonds, dried fruit, and  soup bowls. When the flight attendants are circulating the cabin, we just ask for hot water, and voíla, hot food, ready to eat. 
And if your brain is hungry for something besides music or your in-flight movies, bring an e-reader so that you have multiple books to choose from. Might I suggest Wide, Wild, Everywhere  , the perfect book, in my completely biased opinion, for travel. 

 

Being picky about what we put into our body and minds in the air, guarantees a healthier, more exciting trip after we reach our destination. By taking the time to bring along the right ingredients, you will exit the plane glowing, healthy and ready to take on whatever adventure waiting for you. 

 

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Mackay to Home Final Blog

 

This is my final blog; we have been home for almost 6 weeks but due to Christmas, New Year and a few parties during this period, I haven’t had time to sit down to complete the tales of our journey.

 

After we left Mackay we drove to Rockhampton to stay for a couple of nights and it was there that we made the decision to be home from Christmas. We had toyed with the idea and were in two minds about what we wanted to do. We decided to quickly travel down to the Murray River and spend a week on a houseboat before going home. We thought we needed a little holiday, after three years on the road. From Rockhampton we travelled down through Theodore, Taroom and then stayed the night at Condamine. The next day we drove through to Goondiwindi where we stopped to take a photo of the famous Goondiwindi Grey. We travelled further south through Moree and stayed at Narrabri for one night, where there was a swimming pool. The weather had been so hot; it was a very welcome relief.

Next stop was Parkes, where we took time out to have a look at the Big Dish. This was another thing to cross off the bucket list. We stayed overnight at Forbes and again were relieved they had a pool. From Forbes we travelled to Tocumwal and camped on the beach there for three nights. What a fantastic spot this is. We were camped right on the river, had beautifully warm weather and were able to use the Hobie everyday. The beach was lovely with a nice sandy bottom, which made it very pleasant for swimming. Our last day there we were paddling on the river when we noticed some storm clouds rolling in. We paddled faster and just made it out of the water when the storm hit. Apart from the drenching rain, we had extremely high winds and after all this time on the road we had our first mishap; the wind caught the awning on the van and ripped it. The wind was so strong it picked up the Hobie and tossed it, but without damage, and the door to the van knocked me over; no damage to the door but I was left with a big bruise on my upper arm. We had a bit of cleaning up to do but thankfully the next morning was bright and sunny and we were able to dry everything before we left for Echuca.We so love the Murray River and being on the river in a houseboat is really very special. Dinky Di let us to take the houseboat out a day early so we spent eight nights cruising the river. We moved everyday as we wanted to make it to the Torrumbarry Weir. Torrumbarry is 80 kilometres from Echuca on the River and it took us two leisurely days to get there downstream and then four days to get back upstream. It was an extremely relaxing week with no towing, setting up and packing up; a great way to finish our journey. We had a very special time on the houseboat, just the two of us with divine weather, good music and swimming every day. Love that life!Now it was time to go home, our journey was ending and although we were sad to be finishing it, we were also excited to be going home. On the way home to Lismore we stopped at Bendigo for three nights and had look around this delightful city; although we have been through Bendigo many times, we had never stopped there. We did the talking tram tour and visited the Chinese Joss House Temple. The vintage tram tour was delightful and the tram tells you stories about this city that was founded on one of the world’s richest goldfields. Stopping throughout the city where you can get off and on at your leisure, it takes you through the wide streetscapes and you can witness the grand architecture of Bendigo. We drove out to the Joss House Temple and as we were the only ones there we had a private tour by one of the volunteers, who told us some wonderful stories about this extraordinary Chinese Culture. Chinese history in Bendigo is amazing with over 5000 Chinese people living in and around the diggings in 1855. The building was constructed by hand in the 1860s and then taken over by the National Trust in 1968, restored and reopened to the public in 1972. It is now the sole remaining structure of this large settlement of Chinese. It was well worth a visit and before we left we shook out the Chinese fortune sticks to find that one of our readings was “Travellers Return.” Well that is exactly what we were doing; a very accurate reading.

On the way to Lismore we stopped at Beaufort for lunch. If you are ever travelling in country Victoria you must visit this little town and have a meal at the Hand Made Cafe. The service is delightful and the food is delicious, it was well worth the stop.

 

We have been home for almost six weeks. During our first week at home we met up with many old friends and family with a get together in Geelong. It was a great turn-up and so good to see old faces again. Thank you all so much for coming to us. Of course with Christmas and the New Year we have been very busy and we have also started renovations on our house, so it is busy times. Friends from Perth came to visit before embarking on their journey to Tasmania. We met Val and Garry  at Bretti Reserve, NSW in 2011 and stayed with them in Perth in 2013/2014. It was great to see them again.

 

Yes we are happy to be home, we are not happy that we are no longer travelling, but we have been blessed with the time we were able to spend touring this wonderful country of ours. We have had the best of times, met the best of people and seen the best of places. It was been a wonderful experience for me writing about our journey and even better that I could share it with you. There will be other adventures for us down the track, we are going to rediscover our own beautiful state with short trips in the roof top tent and do some off road stuff as well. Maybe I will share those journeys with you.

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Hong Kong & Macau Day 3: Impromptu Trip To Macau

 

Trip to Macau can be claimed to be an impromptu trip for both Boyfie and I. We planned to go Macau either on the fourth or fifth day of our trip in Hong Kong, but out of sudden on the second night, I received message from a very good friend of mine that she and her husband were in Macau. Hence, we had to change our plan to go Macau on the third day without any advance preparation especially for the ferry ticket. But since both of us went there before, guess there won’t be any issue for that.

Before crossing Macau, don’t forget to bring along your passport cause Macau is designated under Special Administrative Regions operating which they have their own immigration controls, currencies and autonomous governments. I have few friends who eventually forgot to bring their passports along and at the end, either trip to Macau had to be cancelled or even being postponed.

Where To Catch The Ferry
MTR Sheung Wan Station, Exit D and then head up to the 3rd floor.
#1: Everytime come out from a particular station, make sure check for the right exit.

Going to Macau is so convenient that you can go for just a day trip. For many years, the most usual way to across Macau from Hong Kong is by taking ferry. Ferries from Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan operate 24 hours a day at frequencies of every 15-30 minutes by day and hourly at night. With so many sailings in a day, there really is little need to book ahead from Hong Kong, and ferries are rarely full. Generally tickets can be bought for the next sailing, up to thirty minutes before departure.

Note
However, be aware that late evening and night sailings from Macau to Hong Kong can get full, and it’s advised to book your return on arrival in Macau, if you plan on a late return.

In Macau, they dock at the Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal. The cheapest one way ticket from Hong Kong is HK$142 and the trip takes roughly an hour, depending on the sea condition and boat used. Fares on weekends tend to be slightly expensive compare on weekdays. Ferries are operated by TurboJet. Another frequent ferry service is operated by Cotai Jet but it dock at the Taipa Ferry Terminal, which very close and quick access to The Venetian.
#2: We purchased the TurboJet tickets cause it dock at the terminal which closer to the most attractions in Macau.
#3: At Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal, there are more option for free shuttle bus if compare Taipa Ferry Terminal.

Right after we met my friend and her husband at Senado Square, both of them brought us up and down just to search for a local restaurant that claim to be very popular and famous with its Portuguese cuisines but unfortunately, it was kinda early and hasn’t opened yet. Same goes for the rest of those famous eateries as well.
#4: My very close friend, Purplefish and her husband were asking the local for the restaurant’s location.
#5: Many signs and establishments make use of Chinese and Portuguese names with English becoming commonplace.
#6: A storeful of alley that filled with numerous of foods stalls and souvenir shops on left and right
#7: We decided to take photos first at Ruins of St. Paul’s before more and more tourist groups are approaching, especially during the noon time.

After that, we tried our luck once again to search for one of the two most popular and famous Portuguese egg tarts which situated close to Senado Square and Ruins of St. Paul’s  but turned out, it closed on every Wednesday.
#8: Finally I found you, the famous Margaret’s Cafe e Nate for its Portuguese egg tart but looks like there’s no fate. Is this means that I need to go Macau for the third time?

It’s kinda hard to locate Margaret’s Cafe e Nate especially if you are searching for the very firs time cause it located in some hidden alley behind a building. Thank goodness my friend and her husband knew about this place cause they went Macau before this.
#9: We gave up and we settled our brunch at a small little cafe shop located besides Margaret’s Cafe e Nate. My order – pork chop bun. #nonhalal

Once we done with our brunch, we bid goodbye to each other cause both of friends interested of taking cable car in Guia Hill whereas Boyfie and I not really into that as we might taking cable car too on the following day in Hong Kong. Again, we went back to Senado Square for more phototaking before move on to our next journey.
#10: Opposite of Senado Square, the Leal Senado Building is beautifully manicured with numerous of colourful flowers decoration.
#11: Even historical European styled buildings within Senado Square are brighten up with multi-colour of lantern in conjuction of Mid-Autumn Festival.
#12: Besides phototaking, one of the main reasons to go back Senado Square was to buy stamps from the General Post Office which enclosed within the square. Boyfie commented that I really love to go post office.

One of the biggest mistake that done by both of us was taking taxi from ferry terminal to Senado Square when we could have other better alternative. One of the cost-saving way to travel around Macau is simply by hopping on and off the complimentary shuttle buses operated by all major casinos and hotels, only in the case where you have plenty of time to kill and you generally have to be at least 18 years old.

Here are tips on how to get these few spots using the complimentary shuttle buses:
To get to Senado Square and Ruins of St Paul’s, take the shuttle buses provided by Wynn or Lisboa and those buses will drop you off just a few blocks from those attractions.
To get to Fisherman’s Wharf, take the Landmark’s free shuttle buses.
For Golden Lotus Square, take Sands Macau Hotel’s shuttle buses.
To the Border Gates, Taipa Ferry Terminal and Macau International Airport, take these big boys shuttle buses; Venetian, Wynn, City of Dreams, Galaxy and etc.
Fisherman’s Wharf Fisherman’s Wharfand Golden Lotus Square, take The Sands’ shuttle buses.
#13: For some casinos, you might need to get a ticket in order to leave the casino by their shuttle bus, for example Lisboa Casino.

How both of us get to The Venetian from Senado Square eventually?
Walked few minutes from Senado Square to Lisboa Casino-> took Lisboa Casino’s shuttle bus -> Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal -> took The Venetian’s shuttle bus.
#14: Well, hello The Venetian for the second time! Don’t ask me why I choose to back here instead of other casinos but I seriously fall in love with the Venetian over and over again.
#15: San Luca canal. Since I experienced the real one in Venice, hence I never bother for this one.
#16: Everywhere I go, for sure I will ended up with McDonald’s again but this one is totally not available in Malaysia. Shogun burger – a teriyaki pork patty with lettuce served on a sesame seed bun. #nonhalal
#17: The Venetian’s shuttle bus and once again, do take note which ferry terminal that you are going to cause Macau has two different ferry terminal.
#18: Ramen dinner at Sheung Wan station before officially wrap up our third night in Hong Kong.

Fun Fact About Macau
Do you know that it is very silly to buy mineral water in Macau when you can get for free in almost of the casinos. I even enjoyed myself drinking fruit juices and soya bean drinks for free in The Venetian casino. Another cost-saving tip.

Destination Bali

Mother Nature is full of notable extremities. There are places on this planet Earth like El Azizia in Northern Africa, where temperature soars upto 66°C and it is in this very planet lies Antarctica, where temperature freezes to -89°C!!
Talking about extremes, there is an island in the Asian continent which is quite notable for the extreme creation of Mother Nature. Yes, we are indeed talking about Bali! Located as an island within Indonesia, Bali is known worldwide for its volcanic eruptions. It is also one of those places in the world frequently prone to earthquakes. Bali was in the news in the beginning of the 21st century because of the Bomb blast incident in one of the famous tourist place.
Destination Bali 2011
A look at the other extreme of this earthquake prone island would certainly make anyone forget nature’s mischievous acts and rather start appreciating the natural scenery, cultural heritage of Bali. Renowned for its largest tourist attraction from around the world, Bali is famous for its sculpture, painting, dance and other art related works.
Holiday Destination
Bali has all it takes to be one of the world’s exotic tourist attractions. One might wonder about the reason for this island being a centre of attraction. It is not a mysterious myth. It is rather a simple math! Statistics and survey reveals that a foreign tourist spends approximately 50% less than he/she would spend in other exotic locations. This doesn’t mean that the services offered by the Hotels and resorts are any lesser than countries elsewhere. The cost of living in this part of this world is so less.
Destination Bali 2011
“Who practices Hospitality entertains God himself”- Balinese are among the most visitor-friendly people. The hospitality offered by the locals to the foreigners is one rare gift that these local people possess. And for this particular reason, there are quite a few regular foreign visitors to Bali.
A vacation means to relax your mind and body. Beaches in Bali unlike other busy beaches in the world are a quiet place without much of the commercial complexes nearby. It is a spectacular sight to watch the Rice terrace throughout Bali! Rice being their staple diet, 20% of their land is being used for growing Rice.
 Anybody who is a nature lover must make a trip to Bali. There are some dead volcanoes in this island which are a major source of attraction for the tourists. It is also converted as a trekking spot among the misty craters.
Passports

It is Good to Know You Have International Travel Insurance

Whenever you travel overseas you are many times required to get certain vaccinations or preventative medicines before you go. These are a type of insurance against picking up some nasty germ or bug that could disable you on your trip and is also meant to prevent you from bringing that parasite home with you when you return. International travel insurance is similar in that you just never know what is going to happen to you when you are out of the U.S. and although you may never need to use it, international travel insurance will give you some much needed peace of mind while traveling in foreign countries.

One of the worst things that can happen to you while on vacation or on business travel is for you to get sick. Imagine you are in a foreign country and you come down with some terrible virus or even worse, you fall down and hurt yourself or, God forbid, you break a bone. Chances are that the medical help in these countries is expensive and probably not all that great as compared to medical facilities where you live. If you are in a remote beach town in Nicaragua, for example, don’t expect to just be able to pick up the phone, dial 911 and have an ambulance come and get you in ten minutes or less. Often times you will need to get yourself to the hospital or doctor’s office, and many times that can be very far away indeed. Can you imagine driving yourself to a hospital that is three hours away after you have had a traffic accident and your collarbone is shattered, or your leg is broken at the kneecap? If you think this is an unlikely scenario, think again. Every year thousands upon thousands of travelers suffer horrible accidents or contract invasive diseases. Many of these same travelers end up dying far away from home and proper medical help.

With international travel insurance such as Travel Guard, one can travel with much more freedom from worry. Travel Guard and other similar international travel insurance companies offer much needed services when you travel abroad.

The first thing one thinks about when you mention international travel insurance is the kind of insurance that pays your beneficiaries if your plane goes down. We have all seen the kiosks at the airport that sell travel insurance. Some of us stop and pay our premium then hop on the plane and hope that we never have to use it, because if we do then that means that we are dead or dismembered from a plane crash. But international travel insurance is much more than that. It pays for lost luggage, changes of travel schedule, missed connections, overnight stays at hotels if your flight is delayed, purchases of clothing if your bags don’t arrive with you at your destination, and best of all, international travel insurance pays for doctor and hospital stays if you get sick or injured while traveling abroad. Some insurance even covers getting airlifted from wherever remote location you find yourself and to the medical facility with a helicopter.

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TRAVEL TO SANTORINI ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS OF GREECE!

Fira is the capital of Santorini and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful settlements of Greece, along with Ia. It is built on a naturally impressive site, on top of the cliffs and along the fringe of the caldera at an altitude of 260m. The haven of the town is Fira’s bay, where someone can get the teleferique to go up to the town.
-Book here cheap air tickets and hotels to visit Santorini

Alternatively, you can choose going up to town with a donkey or by foot if you are even more adventurous! The view towards the sea captivates you so much that I suggest you be very careful if you pick the latter option (go up by foot) – the cliff is steep and not guarded.
Fira was founded at the end of the 18thC and has been built in the traditional Cycladic architectural style. The houses are brilliant white, small, with domes and arches and lots of little windows along their sides, overlooking the beach; together, they cheekily sneak out from the narrow streets and tease you. Along the fridge of the caldera, the terraces become balconies for the nearby houses.

However, despite the traditional neighborhoods, the bright white houses and the blue domed churches, a walk around the island’s busier streets – where shops and cafes have proudly claimed their space – will make you realize that you really are in one of the cosmopolitan Greek islands.
Santorini Volcano
Santorini owes its existence to it’s volcano. Being the only geological phenomenon of the Aegean Sea, the volcano created a place of unique beauty in its heart.
Both Santorini and its volcano will undoubtedly fascinate you. It co-exists with the underwater one of Koloumbos, which is situated 8klm from Santorini, Nisiros, Milos and Methana, as well as the rest of the volcanoes in the Aegean Sea.

Santorini’s volcano became active 2,5 million years ago and is still active to this day. Its latest volcanic surface in the Eastern Mediterranean was created just 50 years ago, on the island of Nea Kameni.

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Never stop travelling, exploring and taking photos

Hi everyone, just a quick update to let you know I am still out there travelling, exploring and taking photos in our beautiful Western Australia.

I have been updating the INDEX on this page with the new travel posts. So please go to the INDEX as your first port of call if you are searching for Western Australian travel.
The new links will take you to my other blog – Life Images by Jill.  Link to Life Images by Jill

I hope you will visit me there for more travel and more photos.

Notable trips over the last few years have been –

In 2012 we travelled to the far north eastern corner of the wheatbelt to free camp at a number of huge granite rock outcrops and also explored the Indian Ocean Drive along Western Australia’s coast.

In 2013 we traversed the Holland Track for the first time in the remote southern Western Australian goldfields and then up through the woodlines area camping at various granite rocks, and also travelled across the Nullabor to South Australia – two firsts for us.

In 2014 our most notable trip was to revisit Karijini National Park with first time visits to explore Mt Augustus and the Kennedy Ranges in the Pilbara of Western Australia. I wondered why I had never been there before!

I am always searching for new places to visit, although we have to travel further and further afield to find somewhere we haven’t been before.

I wonder where our next trip will be? I haven’t planned it yet – but rest assured you will be able to read about it here on Tour Downunder Western Australia or my other blog Life Images by Jill.  Perhaps I will meet up with you at a campsite somewhere.
Happy travels!

Here is a pic of Mount Augustus – you can read about it by clicking here – Flowers that bloom in the red rock of Mount Augustus and here – Mount Augustus walk trails

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Travel Journal: Beach Memories

Keeping a travel art journal has so many benefits. While drawing, you enjoy the moment so much more, your senses open up and you really look at your surroundings. It makes you appreciate the place, the moment, your time, and it makes you realize how lucky you are to be where you are.
Plus, you’re creating a book of memories to never forget.
Seeing this drawing again brings me right back to the warm breeze on my skin, the sound of the wind through the palm tree leaves and the sound of the waves.

 

After doing the drawing above, a lady who worked at the beach restaurant came over curiously and flipped through my sketchbook. Then she asked me to draw her. I felt challenged, I never did something like that on request, but I thought ‘why not?’ and gave it a go, next to a bunch of blind contour drawings I made of my husband earlier that day.
The drawing doesn’t look much like her, but it was a nice and intimate moment and a great way to connect with a local anyway. I asked her name, which was Tui, and then I asked her to write it on the drawing. Not my best drawing ever, but a wonderful memory.

Palm Tree Hotel (Permas Jaya)

As our children gets older, a king bedded or twin bedded room no longer meet our needs and we have been searching for Triple or Family rooms that fits our budget. Whenever we travel across the border, we try to stay in different hotels and explore other alternatives that suit our needs in terms of location, comfort, pricing and safety.

While it is more convenient to stay around KSL where there are more shopping malls. eateries and closer to the causeway, the price is also slightly higher due to it’s prime location. Hence, we decided to settle our accommodation within Permas Jaya which is about 15 minutes drive from Woodlands checkpoint. In addition, there are shops, banks, restaurants and cafes in the area and a little night life which makes the district more attractive.

Palm Tree Hotel is located strategically within Permas Jaya 10 where many cafes and restaurants are nearby. While there is a security guard stationed from 8pm to 8am to keep a look out for the cars, it is to our dismay that the hotel does not provide free parking lots for its guests. Instead, they will assist to place parking coupon on the vehicle and we make payments for the coupons later.

Palm Tree Hotel Lobby – Clean, neat and spacious
We managed to book a Family room at a promotional rate of RM168 per night (Usual rate: RM188). It comes with 1 queen bed and 2 single beds which is perfect for our family of 4. The children do not need to squeeze and we can have a better night rest!

Another unique plus point about this room is it came with 2 attached bathrooms! There is one bathroom at each end of the room. We do not have to fight for toilets and were able to get ourselves ready more efficiently!

Family room – 2 attached bathroom (toiletries provided)

Toilet and shower rooms are clean and the water jets from the shower head is strong. The only problem is one of the toilet door knob was damaged, but it did not cause a lot of inconvenience.

Overall view of the Family room
Our kids are happy to have their own bed for the night. :) They did not waste any time logging on to the internet tapping on to the hotel’s complimentary Wifi.
View from our bedroom window where we get to see the sun rise. In the night, we can hear live band from One Two Eat Cafe (opposite the hotel). The canto music did not bother us a lot and we were able to have a restful night.

Throughout our stay, we felt safe as an electronic key card needs to be available in order to access the lift and the rooms. The bedding and extra toilet is a bonus and definitely suitable for bigger families. Overall it has been a pleasant night stay at Palm Tree Hotel.

30th anniversary of the first – ever summit of Everest in the winter season.

Yesterday (February 17, 1980) was the 30th anniversary of the first-ever summit of Mount Everest in the Winter season.

Two Polish mountaineers, Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy, reached the top of the world’s highest peak in 1980, going down in history as the first people to get there in winter.Over the last 30 years, seven people have so far completed the challenge in winter time, however, in Summer, the journey is easier, so 3,500 have managed to summit Everest.

The 20-strong group which initially set off for the mountain was whittled down to two – the final leg of the journey upwards took seven hours, said Leszek Cichy to Polish Radio.
There isn’t much snow in the Himalayas in winter, as it is blown off by heavy wind. Mount Everest is fortified against mountaineers with large slabs of ice, strong winds and frost. The temperatures in tents at night dropped to minus 40˚C.

“We were high up on the ridge, the nearest people were several hours walking distance away from us. The only thing that allows us to keep in touch was radio. The wind was strong. And, as we were descending, dusk set in and snow from western face blew in the air. And we found ourselves on the border between what is real and unreal, on the border between shadow and the sun, night and day, and also, in a way, between life and death,” Cichy said, referring to the last stages of the ascent.
Mt Everest 1980 first winter ascent – team.