Category Archives: Travel
The capital city of China, the mesmerizing Beijing, offers multitude of options for kids to enjoy their journey to the fullest. There are some fascinating tourist attractions in Beijing, dedicated exclusively to kids. Beijing attractions for kids include amusement parks, water parks, science museums and what not. Kids will have a life-time experience from their trip to Beijing because there are some excellent options for them to freely enjoy.
Journey Around the World in Beijing World Park
With nearly 1.5 million visitors flocking to this park, every year, it is not a surprise if you get lost in this huge 46.7 hectare area theme park. It was built in 1993 with the sole aim of providing its visitors unique experience of the world community without leaving Beijing. The most fascinating attraction inside this park is that it includes miniature models of nearly 100 famous world monuments. Right from India’s Taj Mahal to America’s Empire State building, it includes almost all monuments you can think about. It is open from April to October for visitors. Besides the opportunity to see world-class attractions in mini sized models, made almost of the same materials as the original one’s, this world park will give your kids a slide show depicting the world. The journey will make you feel as if you have seen the entire world in a day. Music, dance, food and drinks from different parts of the world are some other things that kids can enjoy in this park.
Get Mesmerized at Sony ExploraScience Museum
This science museum will amuse your kids to the core. It doesn’t matter, if they are still not interested in science, numerous things in this museum are bound to enthrall them. Located in Chaoyang Park, this high tech, interactive museum will certainly bewitch them by the wonders of latest technology and human interaction.
Experience the Real Kung Fu
Your family, especially your kids who must be in awe of the Kung Fu Panda, will be delighted to see some real Kung Fu fighting. In Beijing, Kung Fu shows are organized at various places, as a part of cultural events. Don’t you dare to miss them.
Be Friends with the Pandas
In the Beijing Zoo, kids will find numerous varieties of animals and they will also get a chance to see Pandas. Well, kids would certainly wish, if it was the Kung Fu panda, their cuddly Po. Observing rare Pandas from up close will really make your kids exhilarated.
Go for a Toy Shopping Bonanza
Chinese markets are known for variety of toys and that too, at affordable prices. Enter with your kids in famous toy markets in Beijing and you will find it difficult to leave it without buying anything. Stuffed pandas, helicopters, dolls and any other toy, you always wanted to gift to your kids, these toy super markets will surely be an answer to your kids dream world.
Explore the Phenomenal Marine World
Imagine watching killer sharks, sea lions and dolphins all through the windows in the walls of an aquarium. It would indeed be mesmerizing to experience marine life so closely. Hailed to be the largest inland aquarium in the world, the Beijing Aquarium in Haidian District, houses nearly 1,000 species of freshwater fish and marine animals. It is located inside the Beijing Zoo.
Sweat Out on the Greatest Wall in the World
One of the best Beijing attractions for kids is to explore the Great Wall of China. The most enjoyable section for children would be the Mutianyu section. It is the best preserved part of this magnificent wall and is opened to visitors. It consists of 22 watch towers in which you can go and watch the magnificent China and forest and woodland surrounding the Great wall. Your teenager kids will love some adventurous stuff on the Great Wall of China, like hiking or the cable car ride. You shouldn’t miss the experience of sleeping on the Great Wall because accommodation is provided in the watch towers.
Australia is a place of neither bounds nor boundaries, where wild and humbling rain forests fringe brazen modern cities, throbbing with life. The unfathomable Aboriginal soul of the people who came there 50,000 years ago from South East Asia, during the last Ice Age, still thrives, uninterrupted by the whirlwind of urbanization. It is the sixth largest country in the world and has the lowest population density. It has bloomed into a raging zest of cultures, mingling landscapes of coasts, rain forests, deserts, mountains, cities, quaint towns, that all come together to form a heady and mellifluous whole, making it one of the dreamiest travel destinations in the world.
Aspen is a destination favored by adventure-loving couples who love winter sports like backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice skating, and dog sledding. However, you don’t necessarily have to visit Aspen during the winter. If you’re looking to travel here when the weather’s at its best, the months of summer provide gorgeous temperatures between 70s and 80s. There are many summer sports as well that you can take part in such as hiking (the Aspen Four-Pass Loop), llama trekking, river rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Also, you can find the best prices on hotels, lodges, and B&B’s here in the months of September and October. The months from November to March and July to end of August (peak travel times) are also suitable. Traveling around Aspen is convenient as you can easily rent a car, taxi, shuttle, or travel by bus. There are tons of restaurants, clubs, and lounges in downtown Aspen where cuisines from around the world are served. You can also enjoy the day going on jeep tours, hot air balloon rides, visiting galleries, or spending time shopping.
The main language spoken in Colombia is Spanish. Population of this nation is over 46 million. Mestizos (people of mixed Native American and European heritage) form around 50% of the population of Colombia, white people from European descent form 26% of the population. The remaining people are American and Afro-Colombian. Let us find some useful information regarding travel to Colombia.
Travel Guide for Columbia
It is said that travelers to Colombia need to be vigilant, as the crime rate in this country is quite high. Kidnapping and homicide are the crimes that take place frequently. However, if the tourists visiting Colombia take some precautions, they are less likely to get into any kind of trouble. Let us keep aside the issue of violence for now, and look at the brighter side. Colombia is a country known for its rich natural resources and scenic beauty. The mountainous region in the vicinity of Bogota, Cali and Medellin are known to attract tourists. The Caribbean beaches of the east coast possess a great potential for development in the tourism sector. It is observed that elder citizens of this country blame the activities of drug trafficking and violence for the underdeveloped tourism industry. According to the people of Colombia, this region has great potential for the development of tourism.
Travel Tips for Tourists
Tourists from Europe and America can use Colombia’s national airline, Avianca (AV) for traveling to this country. The Bogotá (El Dorado International Airport) (BOG) is situated 8 miles to the east of this capital city of Colombia. One can make use of buses and taxis to travel to the heart of Bogota.
The banking services in Bogota and Cartagena take care of tourists’ needs . The tourists can use ATMs which, in most cases, are located inside the banks (for safety).
The country telephone code for Colombia is +57. Along with telephone centers, travelers can communicate via Internet cafes too. Hotels in the major cities also provide Internet services to their customers.
Tourists can purchase gold, platinum and other precious items, however, they have to present the proof of this purchase at the time of leaving the country. It is not allowed to take away pre-Colonial artifacts from this country.
It is important to take precautionary measures pertaining to healthcare before leaving for any foreign country. The environment in Colombia doesn’t pose any major health problem for tourists. However, getting a tetanus and hepatitis booster is always recommended.
The mannerism and etiquette of Colombians are greatly influenced by the Europeans. A handshake is commonly used for greeting. While traveling in public transport, people give up their seats for elderly citizens and women.
Popular Tourists Destinations
Here is some useful information on the tourist destinations in Colombia. There are many places one can visit in this country. The important Colombia vacation spots are given below.
This place lies in the downtown of Bogota. It is famous for the Baroque and Colonial architectural buildings. Important places to visit in La Candelaria are the Botero Museum, Colon Theater, Gold Museum, etc.
This place is famous for its beaches. The Walls of Cartagena too are worth visiting. Construction of these walls started in the 16th century, and was completed by the end of 18th century. Thickness of these walls is up to 20 meters.
The knowledge of dos and don’ts during a trip to Colombia should make you aware of the precautionary measures to be followed. Colombia is a beautiful country with all the natural resources it possesses. With a little bit of caution and vigilance, you can make your Colombia traveling experience risk-free and very enjoyable.
Central America, called a subcontinent under some definitions, can be roughly described as the region between the two continents, namely North and South America. It includes the states of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Panama, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic as well. All these destinations have in turn, multiple spots for you to visit. On the west of Central America lies the North Pacific Ocean, while on the east lies the Caribbean Sea, giving you some great options in respect to beaches.
Destinations in Costa Rica
Undoubtedly, you will find some of the best honeymoon destinations here, as the main industry of the Republic of Costa Rica is tourism, which also gives us an idea about the number of options we have here. The first thing you need to do, if you’re on a long holiday, is to visit all the 7 natural wonders of Costa Rica, which are Cocos Island, Arenal Volcano (Alajuela), Chirripo Mountain, Light Blue River, Tortuguero Canals, Poás Volcano and the Monteverde Reserve. At the Poás Volcano, the main attraction is the crater. Other attractions that make Costa Rica one of the best honeymoon destinations are the coffee plantations at Orosi Valley, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels, and Manuel Antonio National Park. The Cocos Island is an eco-tourism spot, nominated for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Destinations in El Salvador
El Salvador is the smallest country by area in Central America, but has some of the top honeymoon destinations. A country famous for its nightlife and numerous beaches, this should be your choice if you are looking for some absolute fun and nothing else. Every year, the country hosts a number of European and North American tourists. Some of the attractions you should visit together include the Coatepeque Lake, Laguna de Alegria and Moncagua (San Miguel). The beaches in El Salvador are renowned as Surfers Paradise, as they are among the top ten beaches globally, and have the best waves for surfing. Some of the best beaches here are La Libertad, Suchitoto, Playa Las Flores, Ruta Las Flores, Santa Ana, and La Palma. Also make sure you visit the village of Concepcion de Ataco and the San Diego Volcano.
Destinations in Belize
This is another nation were you will find some of the best honeymoon destinations in Central America. Although it is the northern most nation in Central America, Belize doesn’t get too many tourists as compared to its neighbor nations. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, you should finalize coming down to this nation. It is the least populated country in all of Central America. Two major attractions here that you can’t afford to miss are the Great Blue Hole (Ambergris Caye) and the Ruins of Xunantunich (San Ignacio Town). Other places worth a visit are Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Reserve and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Temple of the Masonry Altars, the highest temple pyramid of Altun Ha, is another wonderful tourist spot along with the archaeological site of Lamanai. While at Belize, don’t forget the Placencia Peninsula in Stann Creek District.
Some Other Destinations in Central America
While the ones mentioned above are some of the most unique and best honeymoon destinations, there are a few more, that might just interest you. The other nations in Central America may not have such a huge number of destinations, but they’re unique and globally renowned nonetheless. If you plan to visit Panama, do visit the numerous national parks it hosts, and of course, the Panama Canal, which is an example of exceptional engineering the world has ever seen. While in Guatemala, you can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Anitgua and the famous Mayan Ruins in Tikal. The Mombacho Volcano in Nicaragua, and the beaches in Honduras such as Roatan and Utila, are also worth a visit or a stay. A visit to Corn Island in Nicaragua is also a must.
These were some of the best honeymoon destinations in Central America, which you can research about more and then zero in on one. These top vacation spots in Central America offer you lots of adventure, some great time on the beaches, unique natural formations, a great diversity in flora and fauna, a mystic culture, and some great food cooked in world famous spices. It is perhaps the only subcontinent that has abundance in every aspect you can think of. Plan well ahead of time to make the most out of your trip.
Tourist Attractions in Puerto Rico
Rio Camuy Caves
In you are in a mood for a little bit of adventure, you have got to see these caves. Archaeologists discovered them in 1950s near Lares. They were made by Taino Indians, which were the indigenous tribe in the ancient region. These caves have huge deposits of limestone. There are over 220 caves and 17 entrances, which makes it the biggest network of caves in the world. These caves are also a home for 13 species of bats. An interesting fact about this location is that there are over 800 caves still left to be discovered. So, there’s quite a chance you might lead another exploration whilst you are on your tour!
If something relaxing and soothing is your idea of this Puerto Rican vacation, look no further. Lagoon Tortuguero, a natural water reserve, which is a home to over 700 species of plants is one of the places filled with views, which are sure to leave you looking for words! One can go hiking, kayaking and boating to see the diverse ecological reserve of this lagoon closely. If nothing else, watching the sunset at this lagoon is a totally enigmatic experience.
One cannot miss out on a lesson in history, while visiting Puerto Rico. The military base of Old San Juan, which was built in 1800 by the Spaniards after the Spanish-American war is a historical site worth a visit. Its Roman architecture, has been turned into an Institute of Puerto Rican culture. The historically significant place is a home to Puerto Rican art and culture.
Get a glimpse of Puerto Rican rainforest at El Yunque, which is elevated by the Rocky Mountains. Walk the lush green trails and climb a few peaks to experience the beautifully preserved rainforest. The forest is actually known as ‘Yuquiyu’, which means ‘Forest of Clouds’. Spanning over 28,000 acres, this place is home to 240 species of plants.
The literal translation of this island is ‘Snake Island’. It is named so, only because of its shape. This beautiful tourist destination has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Flamenco beach, which ranks number two amongst world’s exotic beaches is a must see. You can see some of the rare under water reefs by scuba diving at the beach.
Make sure you carry a camera along with you to capture the priceless moments you are likely to experience there. Puerto Rico is known as La Isla de Encanto, or the Island of Enchantment. With great weather and exceptionally well-maintained landscapes, a trip to this island is definitely going to be the most rewarding one. To experience the best of this place, visit the pubs and restaurants and befriend a few locals. There is no greater way to explore a place than doing it with the natives. Besides the places, try out the coastal cuisines and delicacies to get the real flavor of Puerto Rico!
Canada is a vast country with six different time zones. It is surrounded by the contrasting Pacific and Atlantic seaboards. It has many rivers and lakes that can satisfy your urge to do some fishing or enjoy water sports. It offers a variety of sightseeing options, ranging from the urban centers like Ottawa and Toronto to the lonely and isolated Eskimo regions alongside the frozen seashores of the Hudson Bay.
Besides, the Rocky Mountains provide some breathtaking views of the valleys below. Here are some of the happening places to visit, or things to do, which will serve as a guide to an exciting tour of this large country.
The capital city, Ottawa is famous for its historic Rideau Canal, which is connected to the Ottawa river. Also, the Parliament building is a historical monument worth paying a visit to. You will also get to see a perfect blend of traditional and modern art in the various museums across the city. The Canadian Museum of History is one of them. Many historical artifacts are preserved here, along with their background information. The National Gallery is one more place which has a magnificent collection of photographs, sculptures, and artwork of many famous artists such as the Group of Seven, Tom Thomson, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Van Gogh, Bacon, etc. If you are a crazy shopper, especially one who loves outdoor shopping, then ByWard Market is the place for you. This market dates back to more than 200 years. With a cheerful atmosphere at any time of the day, this place is an absolute must-see.
The Georgians invented wine making sometime in the 6th millennium BC, and so they’ve had plenty of time to perfect the art. The country’s medieval monasteries were veritable universities of viticulture, keeping meticulous records about grape varieties, terroir, and factors which affected production. Members of the church congregation were expected to tithe a certain amount of the wine they made for use as sacramental wine, and it was the most valuable asset that many of the churches possessed. Priests fortified the church wine sellers, and would defend them to the death!
Many of Georgia’s wine makers still produce wine using traditional techniques, and the resulting flavour is quite different from that of wines made using European methods. Firstly, every part of the grape — including the skin, seeds, and even stalk — is fermented along with the juice. This gives the white wines a much darker colour, and hence they are known as amber or orange wines. The wine is fermented in a qvevri, a pointed terracotta vessel similar to an amphora, which is buried in the floor of the wine cellar. The qvevri is lined with lime and beeswax, and as it is subterranean, the wine is at a constant temperature throughout the fermentation process. Due to its shape, the sediment naturally sinks to the bottom, so there’s no need for the wine maker to add sulphites to separate it from the wine.
It seems that every Georgian you meet has knowledge to impart about wine making! But as you travel around the country, there are definite spots of historical significance, and centres of expertise.
The earliest parts of the Uplistsikhe Archaeological Museum date from the 10th century BC. It’s a rock-cut monastery complex, similar in many ways to Cappadocia in Turkey, and amidst the vaulted caves is evidence of early wine production: 3m-long troughs in the rock where grapes were crushed under foot, and narrow channels through which the juice would flow into secondary troughs or pots.
The Ikalto Monastery, near Telavi, was an ancient academy, where priests were trained in theology, rhetoric, astronomy, philosophy, and wine making: the pillars of a good education. The recently restored complex of churches and ecclesiastical buildings is scattered with grape presses and wine cellars, and lines of discarded qvevris.
Why Northern Lights in Autumn?
For a start, it’s usually much warmer than the deep artic winter, so you won’t normally have to get kitted out in snowsuits or ski-gear. There is a chance of some snow and it’s not going to be tropical, but jeans and a heavy jacket will usually do the trick – maybe with a thermal vest underneath if things get a little chillier.
Most importantly for the avid Aurora Borealis hunter is that the snow clouds have not yet gathered in earnest and so the skies are much clearer. Cloud cover is the enemy, so the better the weather the better your chances of a sighting.
The lights are at their most frequent in late autumn, but the later you go the more the risk your hike will turn into a snowshoe trek so it’s your call.
September 21st is the start of the season so any time after that and you should be in with a good shot.
While September, October and November can produce Auroras to watch any of the deep winter months there are no guarantees any time of year.
The longer you stay and the more time you set aside the higher the chance you’ll see one or more displays. We’re also currently in the liveliest phase of the eleven-year solar cycle so now is the time to seek out this fickle phenomenon.
As well as the lights, there are a wealth of other things to see that are unique to the autumn months. While in winter some wildlife are still up and about, there are so many more that are active in autumn. It’s a particularly good time for bird watching as it’s the migratory season.
The autumn colours in the forests provide an unbelievable backdrop to see the lights, as the contrast between the amber tones of the trees and green of the Aurora is simply mystical, all made more intense by the depth of the darkness that surrounds it.
Where to see the Northern Lights?
As the name suggests, you’ll need to head north to catch a glimpse of the Lights’ ethereal show but beyond that it’s up to you as there various options to choose from.
Listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), polar bears face an uncertain future. But there is hope. In September 2015, the five states whose territories cover this spectacular animal’s range – Canada, Kingdom of Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Russia and the US – signed the Circumpolar Action Plan, a 10-year global conservation strategy to secure the long-term survival of polar bears, which number between 22,000 and 31,000 in the wild according to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF). While it’s too soon to measure its success, this joint commitment nonetheless offers some reassurance that these nations are dedicated to the species’ preservation.
Most people who have been lucky enough to eyeball a wild polar bear would agree it’s one of the most thrilling wildlife-viewing experiences on Earth. Still a relatively young industry, polar bear tourism is not without its challenges. An increase in human-polar bear contact in Norway, for example, has resulted in more bears being shot.
It can also be argued that the carbon emissions generated by tourists travelling to the Arctic to spot bears is counterproductive to the marine mammals’ survival. On the other hand, well-managed polar bear tourism is credited with inspiring visitors to see the necessity of safeguarding their fragile environment. If it’s a trip you dream of taking one day, read on for the best places to ogle these majestic beasts in their Arctic playground.
Canada: Churchill, Manitoba
They don’t call Churchill the ‘polar bear capital of the world’ for nothing. Every autumn, hundreds of polar bears gather on the shores of Hudson Bay near the town of Churchill to wait for the sea ice to refreeze so they can return to hunting seals. The world’s most accessible (and cheapest) polar bear viewing destination, Churchill has a well-established tourism industry. Tours are typically conducted in custom-made tundra buggies with indoor/outdoor viewing areas. These vehicles can get close to the bears without jeopardising human or bear safety, though the elevation of the viewing platforms can present challenges for photographers.
When to go: October and November is peak viewing season in Churchill, but some operators offer packages at their remote lodges in March, when mother bears emerge from their dens with their cubs. Bear watching is combined with beluga whale watching in July and August.
Operators: Tours range from half-day viewing tours to multi-day adventures staying in tundra lodges. Operators including Great White Bear Tours (greatwhitebeartours.com), Frontiers North (frontiersnorth.com) and Natural Habitat Adventures (nathab.com) enjoy better access to the Churchill Wildlife Management Area (the key viewing area) than others.
United States: Kaktovik, Alaska
While polar bear populations in the Bering Sea are thought to be decreasing, bears have become such a common fixture on Alaska’s Arctic coast in summer that a tourism industry has developed around their presence in two Inupiat Eskimo villages: Barrow and Kaktovik. Located on Barter Island, just off the coast, Kaktovik is the best place to spot them – lured by the opportunity to feast on the carcasses of bowhead whales that the community are permitted to harvest, polar bears can be spotted by the dozen hanging out on the sand islands that fringe the town. Visitors arrive via small plane from Fairbanks for three- to four-hour viewing tours conducted in small boats equipped for six guests.
When to go: Boat tours run from mid-August until late September/early October.
Operators: Northern Alaska Tour Company (northernalaska.com) runs a day trip from Fairbanks; several smaller operators including Akook Arctic Adventures (akookarcticadventures.com) offer multi-day photography-driven tours, lodging in Kaktovik.
Cost: At $1799, Northern Alaska Tour Company’s day trip is the cheapest tour. You may get a better deal booking flights directly through Ravn Alaska (flyravn.com), and arranging a viewing session with Kaktovik Tours (US$720; kaktoviktours.com).