Budapest


Budapest
Photo by: ** Maurice **, Creative Commons

Often called Paris of the Eastern side of the world, Budapest, Hungary is one of the places that have lured visitors over the years. This should be in your list to visit this year. Are you looking for architectural designs that have wowed thousands of people around the world? Better pack your bags and head of to Budapest for you to experience their glamorous past.

Aside from getting so carried away by these designs, Budapest is known for their breath-taking caves. Ever been to a place where in the middle of the city lies several underground caverns which can be opened to the public? There are not just excavations from the city government but natural caves where water as well as limestone exist.

Since Budapest is known for their spas, the natural spring waters that are quite popular in the place run deep within the city’s caves. You will find the Gellert Hill on your map and this is the place to go to. Although not all of these 9 caves that could be found in the city of Budapest are open to the public. Be happy to know that they have opened 3 caves to be visited and admired by tourists and locals as well. The guided tour’s about 50 minutes.

Just be warned that once you enter the one of the three caves in Budapest the temperatures drop real low. Do pack warm clothes so that you would not get frostbite. Yes, their temperature shows a chilly 8 degrees Celsius or 46 degrees Fahrenheit once you enter the cave and go deeper into it. Budapest is indeed beckoning you for a visit since they have so many activities in stored for you.

Your stay would be worth your while when you wake up to the bright sunshine at Budapest. Make your stay so worthwhile and visit the spas in Hungary. You deserve every single kind of pampering from the best place in the world. Visit Budapest and come home with a smile.

December 30, 2015 at 2:02 am | No comment

Istanbul


Busy Istanbul harbor
Photo by: Minamie’s Photo, Creative Commons

Istanbul is a city in the northwest of Turkey. It is part of the Mamara region. Its name is derived from the Greek phrase meaning “to the city” or “in the city.” This is a city of diverse cultures; it has a European and Asian side. These areas are defined by the lands separated by the Bosphorus Strait.
A modern city of rich history and colourful culture, that’s what Istanbul is. From the intricate structure of Hagia Sophia to Ottoman mosques, lively modern bars, and shopping centers, Istanbul has a variety to offer.

The best times to visit Istanbul are in the months of April to May and September to October. These are the spring and autumn months. Temperatures during these months are relatively moderate and most of the time clear skies can be expected.

Istanbul can be accessed through its two international airports. The larger Atatürk International Airport is located in the European side. And the Sabiha Gökçen International Airport that is located on the Asian side. Getting around Istanbul is by sea and land. Commuter ferries and catamaran are available for transport to and from the European and Asian sides. Light rail transit and trams are also available.

Hagia Sophia is a domed structure with four towers or minarets on its corners. Originally, it was built as an Orthodox church in the Byzantine period. It became a mosque later, adding the four minarets. Today it is a museum for the Turkish Republic. Previously, this structure was the largest domed cathedral for nearly a thousand year in the world; this was before the Seville Cathedral in Andalucia was made. Its magnificent interiors and details are quite an architectural grandeur and must not be missed.

The Basilica Cistern is another unique structure only found in Istanbul. It is an underground water reservoir in the Byzantine period. Today it still exists and was preserved and opened to the public for visit. This cavernous structure has a roof that is 143 meters long and 65 meters wide. It is supported by 336 columns that were made of previous ruined buildings. It is famous for its medusa head carved blocks and teardrop designed columns at the center.

Shopping centers in Istanbul are not quite the typical ones. They vary and most of them are preserved historical buildings. Some of them even have received awards for their designs. The Akmerkez in 1993 has both won “Europe’s Best” and “World’s Best” awards. The Kanyon mall has won the 2006 Cityscape Architectural Review Award for its design.

Nightlife in Istanbul is very much alive; there are numerous bars, restaurants, and pubs near the Bosphorus area. If you are lucky, the Istanbul Arena in Maslak is a frequent venue for world performances. Arts and culture in Istanbul is vibrant. Throughout the year, there are shows and exhibits to indulge in. Major events for fine arts are the Istanbul Biennial and Istanbul International Film Festival.

December 29, 2015 at 10:13 pm | No comment

Barcelona


Barcelona City View
Photo by: Tiago Ribeiro @ Marrocos, Creative Commons

One of the most popular places in Spain is the city of Barcelona. It is the second largest city in the country and is known for its rich culture and great hospitality. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate with warm and dry summers and mild and humid winters. These are reasons that make it a popular destination regardless any time of year.

Barcelona caters to people with all sorts of interests. There is much to see and experience in Barcelona. Every activity will give you a lifetime of memories. There are hotel accommodations everywhere that allow you peace of mind. Every destination is conveniently accessed by the massive and efficient public transportation system of the city. This will let you experience Barcelona in the best way possible.

If you are interested in discovering the wonderful history of this city, you can visit one of the many museums in the area. A museum offer exhibits of all sorts, and some offer free access during either the first Sunday or Saturday of the month. These museums will not only give you insight to various art collections and historical pieces, some of these will direct you to classic architecture and parks around Barcelona. You will also find the Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia church that has been a world heritage site since 2005.

You will also find seven wonderful beaches in the city of Barcelona. Here you can relax among locals and tourists who are enjoying the day under the perfect weather. You can also opt to find more entertaining activities by visiting performing arts centers apart from the nightlife that the city offers. While you are there, it would also be great to visit and see for yourself the living statues of La Rambla.

December 29, 2015 at 12:08 am | No comment

Madrid


Gran Via
Photo by: felipe_gabaldon, Creative Commons

One of the most beautiful places when you arrive in Spain is Madrid. Madrid is the capital and the largest city in the country. It is rich with culture and many attractions anywhere you look. In this city you will find its greatest landmark, the Royal Palace of Madrid. This city can be considered an architectural haven. The structures that you will find are reflections of the era they were built.

If you are interested in art works and pieces of history, you can visit the museums and exhibits in Madrid. The city is home to one of the finest art collections in the world, the Prado Museum. As you stroll along the parks and plazas of the city, you will be able to soak in the opulence of the art pieces that include sculptures and other detailed artwork. Other notable places to visit are the Capricho park, Plaza de Oriente and the Forest of the Departed or Parque del Retiro. Catholicism is the dominant religion in Spain, you will find historic churches such as the San Manuel y San Benito church, Las Calatravas church, Almudena Cathedral and St. Michael’s Basilica.

Entertainment, culture, history and sports are flourishing throughout Madrid. It is also a fact that whenever an individual hears the name of the city, the first thing that comes to mind would be bullfighting. From March through October, the Las Ventas Plaza del Toros holds its annual bullfighting season. It is the largest bullfighting arena in Spain with a maximum capacity of about 25,000 seats. Watch matadors fight bulls in the arena where the crowd cheers and every moment of the fight is simply breathtaking.

December 29, 2015 at 12:08 am | No comment

Jerusalem


The Old City of Jerusalem
Photo by: Emmanuel Dyan, Creative Commons

There is no country more contested for other than Israel and their capital, Jerusalem. Of all the cities in the world, Jerusalem is the only one that evokes so much religious passion. Claimed by no less than three major religions as their holiest ground, religious armies have fought over this city for centuries and many say they still do. It was originally the site of the Jewish Temple which was destroyed by the Romans, leaving only one wall left standing. Now the temple’s Western Wall, known as the “Wailing Wall”, is all that remains of Judaism’s most venerated place of worship. The Roman Catholics built the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which is a vast temple that rises at the site of the Crucifixion and includes the tomb of Jesus, and proclaimed it their most holy place. When the Moslems invaded the city, they built the Al-Aqsa mosque on the very same site which is now the third holiest temple of Islam.

All these stand on the Temple Mount or Mount Moriah – a natural hill where the sacred Jewish Temple once stood for a thousand years. It still is the focus of Jewish religion. Nevertheless, the Moslems built their Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque here, because according to their religion, this is where Muhammad ascended to heaven at the end of his trip from Mecca. The Catholics however, claim the hill as a religious site because it is where the Bible says Abraham offered Isaac for sacrifice. The place that hold all three religion’s most holy relics is marked by the Dome – built by the Moslems and is now the most iconic landmark of all Jerusalem.

One has to savor the deep religious ambience of the site first-hand in order to truly appreciate it. The city is open to tourists all year round except on prayer times and on the days of the Ramadan when Non-Muslims are prohibited.

December 19, 2015 at 5:18 pm | No comment

Cape Town


Cape Town vista
Photo by: Paul Mannix, Creative Commons

Cape Town is a city nested at the very tip of the African Continent. Its name is derived from its location, as it is situated around the Cape of Good Hope. The city was initially developed by the Dutch East India Company. It was to serve as a supply station in South Africa for Dutch ships going to East African, India and the Far East Asia. Before the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa. Currently, it is the second most populated city in the country.

Cape Town has one of the most pronounced climates in the world. The weather here is very diverse and pronounced at every point. Summers here are dry and hot while winters are cool and wet. As with most coastal cities, Cape Town gets a lot of rainfall. Comparatively, this city’s weather is very similar to that of San Francisco’s, except with lesser wind and rainfall, but with more sunlight.

There are many sights to see in Cape Town; mostly works of Mother Nature and historical sites. One great thing to do in Cape Town is to do some Whale Watching. The cape is rich with majestic sea life. Whales of all kinds can be found mostly in False Bay. In towns like Hermanus, you can sign up for a charter tour to see the Whales. Humpback Whales, one of the largest animals in the world, can be seen here every breeding season, which is August to November. Other aquatic animals that can be found here are Killer Whales, Bryde’s Whales, even Great White Sharks.

Another great sight worth seeing in Cape Town is the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. This garden is a park located in Table Mountain. Here, you will find South Africa’s entire line up of indigenous flora. You can also find a great collection of Zimbabwean stone sculptures. Every summer, this is also a popular venue for outdoor concerts.

Cape Town is a great place to visit all throughout the year. The weather, the sights and the people are all perfect.

December 17, 2015 at 2:58 pm | No comment

Tokyo National Museum


Honkan Building of the Tokyo National Museum
Photo by: Wiiii, Creative Commons

The Tokyo National Museum, located in Ueno Park in Tokyo, is the biggest and most established museum in Japan. The extensive collection housed in the museum revolves around Asia, with a primary focus on Japanese art and history.

Established in 1872, the Tokyo National Museum houses 110,000 objects including Japanese National Treasures and objects classified as important cultural holdings.

Buildings & Facilities


The museum includes five distinct exhibition buildings plus additional facilities dedicated to research, event hosting and visitor amenities such as retail shops and restaurants. In addition, the museum facilities sit in the midst of extensive gardens and outdoor exhibits, providing visitors additional opportunities to enjoy the setting and outdoor installations.

The Honkan building, or Japanese Gallery, contains artwork representing the breadth of Japanese art throughout history. The Toyokan building, or Asian Gallery, focuses on archaeological artifacts and art across Asia, including China, Southeast Asia, West Asia and South Asia.

The Heiseikan building contains the Japanese Archeology Gallery showcasing artifacts ranging from ancient pieces to pre-modern discoveries. The Hyokeikan building serves as a Japanese cultural property and holds special events and temporary exhibits.

The Horyu-ji Homotsukan building, or Gallery of Horyu-ji Treasures, houses objects donated to the Imperial Family, including a digital display and explanation of the full collection.

Collections


The museum is home to an extensive collection of ancient Japanese art as well as additional Asian artifacts centered along the Silk Road. Additional collections include archeological artifacts and a collection of Greco-Buddhist pieces. The Japanese National Treasure pieces housed in the museum are on display based on a revolving scheduled throughout the year.

Amenities


The Tokyo National Museum features numerous amenities for visitors, including multiple restaurants, viewing galleries and auditoriums, special event halls and scheduled activities. Children visiting the museum can enjoy activities and events focused on education and fun while adults enjoy the formal exhibits or research center.

The museum provides information in multiple languages as well, making it easy for visitors from other countries to enjoy the collection and learn about the individual pieces and exhibits.

The extensive collection available at the Tokyo National Museum makes it an ideal destination when visiting Japan. With artwork and artifacts spanning the Japanese history and culture, visitors to the museum have the opportunity to explore the rich and complex history of Japan.

December 10, 2015 at 3:34 pm | No comment

Berlin


Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin
Photo by: Bernt Rostad, Creative Commons

Berlin is the capital and the largest city of Germany. This northeastern city is also second in population with 5 million residents. Berlin has maintained its old-world and natural charm. To this day, about a third of the entire city is cramped with forests, gardens, parks, lakes and rivers, making it an ideal place for leisure walks and nature trips.

Berlin is a place where culture, politics, entertainment, commerce, science and nature meet. It used to be famous as the city divided by the infamous Berlin Wall. But since that day when the wall was taken down, communism and all its strictness and restrictions have gone down with the wall, giving residents and tourists alike much space to breathe, enjoy and live.

A taste of Berlin’s night life on any given night welcomes tourists to the exuberance and cheerfulness that is the city. From good foods to good drinks to wild entertainment, there is always something to do in Berlin for revelers and merrymakers. Cultured tourists, on the other hand, will enjoy the parties and the art scene, and rubbing elbows with the who’s who in the world of art. Those who travel to know and experience places on an intimate level will find Berlin’s history written on the walls of the museum and historical shrines and structures. Finally, those who want to unwind can give up the lively entertainment, dining and clubbing scene for peaceful walks in the parks.

Any trip to Berlin is not complete without a visit to Potsdamer Platz to ride the toboggan or go skating on its ice rink. The cabaret shows at the Bar jeder Vernunft are also a must-see, especially for those who want to wax nostalgic and flash back to the 1920’s when everything dazzling was in. The Bar jeder Vernunft is a tent set up with art-nouveau influences. You might also want to check out the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, a Cold War monument that reminds everyone of the rift between the East and the West.

A breathtaking, 360-degree view of Berlin is available to tourists who are brave enough to go up the TV Tower at Fernsehturm, the tallest free-standing structure in the whole of Germany. Of course, you haven’t seen Berlin if you haven’t been to the Reichstag. The seat of Germany’s power is enough to send shivers down your spine.

December 5, 2015 at 9:02 pm | No comment

Hong Kong


Chines junk on Hong Kong harbor.
Photo by: kevinpoh, Creative Commons

A shopping paradise is what Hong Kong is known for. Shopping is a national pastime for locals and a staple activity for tourists. Indeed, a leisure or business trip in Asia’s leading shopping hub is not complete without filling your shopping bags with goods from its myriad of shops in the busy streets.

The central area of Hong Kong is where expensive designer clothes are sold. For budget-conscious shoppers, they can explore the factory outlet shops that offer low-priced souvenirs.

Spending a vacation in Hong Kong is very convenient for Americans and other English-speaking travelers since most people there can speak English aside from Cantonese. Also, the major traffic signs are in the English language, so tourists are less likely to get lost or get into trouble in this busy shopping district.

A trip to Hong Kong is a chance to try various Cantonese delicacies offered in food stalls and posh restaurants. Salted fish and snake are a must-try in Hong Kong. Also, you have to experience the unique experience of the long-time tradition of drinking tea in the teahouses of Hong Kong.

Situated in a subtropical zone, Hong Kong has two types of seasons: a hot, humid summer and spring and a cool, dry winter and fall. The moderately warm weather occurs from October to December, which is the perfect travel period for tourists who want to make the most out of their Hong Kong trip.

The peak seasons for tourists in Hong Kong are late January to February, April to May, and October to November. If you want to avoid being trapped in crowded streets, the best time to visit Hong Kong is from December to mid-January as well as June to August. Numerous tourists flock to Hong Kong in January, May, and October when national holidays are held. The two major national holidays are the Chinese New Year and Golden Weeks, which are both celebrated by residents and tourists. These holidays make your Hong Kong trip a bit more expensive. If your budget is limited, it is best to travel to Hong Kong from late November to January when shops and restaurants offer discounts and promos for tourists.

If you want to take a respite from the hustle and bustle of the streets in Hong Kong, you can find peace in the nearby tourist destinations. Hundreds of Chinese temples call Hong Kong their home, and you can spend some quiet time in some temples for reflection. You can also visit the Ngong Ping plateau where the tallest outdoor Buddha can be found.

December 5, 2015 at 10:37 am | No comment

Beijing


West side of the Forbidden City in Beijing
Photo by: Francisco Diez, Creative Commons

As China’s capital, Beijing is the center of culture, government, economy, and business. It is also the most important entry point and transportation center in China with its impressive roads, railways, and skyways that make the city very accessible.

Beijing is one of the six oldest cities in China and one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Over four million foreigners and 140 million local tourists visit this city every year. Beijing is the home of one of the wonders of the world and the only landmark visible from the moon, the Great Wall of China. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this ancient structure—the experience of seeing it yourself and walking along its bricks is a lot different than seeing it in magazine photos.

In the heart of Beijing is Tiananmen Square, a tourist destination that houses numerous historic attractions and landmarks. Thousands of tourists visit this place to see the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, Tiananmen Tower, Great Hall of the People, National Museum of China, and Monument to the People’s Heroes. The National Museum of China is an important destination since it gives visitors a glimpse on how the modern China developed through the years.

Just past the Tiananmen gate, the Forbidden City will welcome you. This 72-hectare tourist spot is the world’s biggest ancient palace as well as the best preserved in China. It holds the distinction of being one of the most significant palaces in the world, along with the White House in the United States, Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom, Kremlin in Russia, and Palace of Versailles in France. This Chinese architectural wonder, which used to be the residence of the 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties, currently houses the historical and cultural artifacts of China.

Beijing is the best place to experience some of the Chinese cuisines that the world raves about. High-end restaurants that abound the city serve the famous Beijing roast duck and other gourmet Chinese dishes.

Shopping is a worthwhile activity for visitors in Beijing, as the city offers a wide range of malls selling traditional Chinese products as well as those from the famous brands in the world.

Beijing has a very interesting nightlife. Experience Chinese folk culture in the Laoshe Tea house and Tianqiao Area. Watch the colorful performances such as martial arts, concerts, acrobatics, and the Beijing Opera. Beijing’s nightlife can make your visit an experience you’ll never forget.

December 5, 2015 at 1:02 am | No comment

Sydney


Sydney Harbour – busy as ever
Photo by: kevgibbo, Creative Commons

Sydney is a place that has got to be in your list of places to visit in your lifetime. It is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Understandably so because it holds a great number of interesting sights for both young and old alike. Its weather is moderate enough to let everyone have their fill of eventful sunlit days and cool sultry nights. Sydney is home to many indoor and outdoor attractions that will keep you entertained and relaxed at the same time. Your vacation in Sydney will surely be something you would not forget for the rest of your life.

Whether you are looking at a day or a whole week’s vacation time, Sydney surely has something to offer you. The most popular attractions in Sydney are the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Sydney Opera House hosts the Opera Australia which is considered to be one of the top 3 busiest opera companies the world over. The opera house has five uniquely designed halls with excellent acoustics. Since its completion in the 1960s, the Sydney Opera House has gained its popularity as one of Australia’s must-see sites.

Sydney’s eclectic mix of locals and foreign immigrants make for a very interesting cultural scene. A great majority of the city’s population is composed of foreign immigrants mostly from the United Kingdom and Asia. This greatly underscores the city’s reputation as one of the most livable cities in the world. The festivals and cultural events in Sydney are among the grandest and most colorful you can find in any country. If you go in January, you can catch the Sydney Festival, the largest arts festival in the country, which features a number of both indoor and outdoor performances of various local artists. Those who prefer a more colorful and festive air could head on down to Oxford Street for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Flicksters, on the other hand, could visit the theaters for the Sydney Film Festival and a number of other short film festivals in the city.

The glitz and glamour does not escape this cosmopolitan city. Sydney ranks high up among the world’s most fashionable cities. Fashion enthusiasts from all over the world should not miss the biannual Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. Aside from premier designers in Australia, most international designers have taken to locating major outlets in Sydney. The Rosemount Australian Fashion Week is held sometime in April or May and then again in September. If you go in September, it would be a wonderful time to hit Sydney’s beaches. Apart from the long stretches of fine sandy beaches, there are several national parks and inlets that could provide a refreshing respite from the city attractions.

December 3, 2015 at 4:28 pm | No comment

Delhi


Jama Masjid, Delhi, India
Photo by: Peter Rivera, Creative Commons

Delhi is one of the most popular places in India not only because it is the country’s capital city, but also because it boasts of its colorful and rich culture that most tourists have gone loco for during their visits. That is why this place should always be in the list of your top tourist spots that you would wish to visit in Asia, if not the whole world.

The most attractive spots in Delhi are the temples that are indicative of their history. One of the most prominent temples would have to be the Baha’i temple or the Lotus temple.

The Baha’i temple was named after the Baha’i faith, which was represented by the intricate details in the façade of the temple. According to most experts who took some time to study the temple, the representations of the Baha’i temple is mostly associated with men and their ability to influence people through their thoughts and emotions. Moreover, the temple also serves as a symbolism for purity and equality of all religions in the world and people, regardless of their age and gender. So far, the tourist spot is visited by an average of four million unique people every year, the largest portion being foreign visitors.

The temple, in addition to its intricate details, also influenced some of the structures in nearby places, like a marble structure that resembles a lotus, which is located on Bahapur Hills. Finished in the year 1986, this temple is totally a wonderful sight to behold because of its unique yet breath-taking architecture that is a mix of ancient and modern art. It is also set around lakes and serene gardens which make the temple’s view quite wonderful to look at especially before dusk. This structure is one of the latest additions of Baha’i worship places in the world. This, together with Baha’i temple, is a tourist spot that should not be missed by anyone who stops by Delhi.

The temple is just 45 minutes away from the main airport in Delhi. Anyone who would like to visit the temple can offer their personal prayers, regardless of what religion they belong to. People can also take this opportunity to meditate and relax after a tiring travel from their previous itinerary.

The people around the temple will also be glad to accommodate visitors around the area so that they can familiarize themselves if they ever decide to stay the night.

December 1, 2015 at 12:11 am | No comment

St. Petersburg


St. Petersburg
Photo by: jimg944, Creative Commons

St. Petersburg is Russia’s second largest city. It was formerly called Petrogad and Leningrad in the 20th century but is now often just referred to as Petersburg, or informally, as Piter. It was founded on May 27, 1703 by Tsar Peter I and was the Russian Empire’s capital for more than two centuries until 1918, a year after the Russian Revolution; for that reason it is still sometimes called Northern Capital by its more than 4.5 million inhabitants. Other nicknames include The Northern Palmira and The Venice of the North.

Saint Petersburg is known as the most Western city of the nation. It is a major cultural center in Europe and a very important Baltic Sea port. Being a large city, you have a wide variety of places to choose from if you’re visiting. There’s the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments. Artists and art appreciators will surely appreciate The Hermitage, which is the world’s largest art museum.

Hosted in historic buildings, more than two hundred other museums exist in Saint Petersburg. The Russian Museum is one that’s devoted specifically to Russian fine arts. The former residences of several famous Petersburgers, such as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Joseph Brodsky, Alexander Pushkin, Vladimir Nabokov, Alexander Blok, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Anna Akhmatova, Feodor Chaliapin, and Mikhail Zoshchenko, have been converted into public museums. Notable architectural monuments that include St. Isaac’s Cathedral; the Kuntskamera, considered at times as the first museum in the nation and which houses a collection of curiosities established by Peter the Great in 1714; the Russian Ethnography Museum; the Central Naval Museum; the Railway Museum; the Saint Petersburg Museum of History; and the Museum of the Siege of Leningrad are worthy of at least an hour-long tour. If you’re into theatrical arts, you have more than 50 theaters to choose from, among them the world-renowned Mariinsky Theater (a.k.a. Kirov Theater).

The city has a humid climate of the cooler summer subtype as influenced by the Baltic Sea cyclones. Summers are warm and humid and winters are long and cold. Saint Petersburg being a major transport hub also contributes to you being able to get around the city quite easily, especially if you wish to stroll along its parks and gardens. The largest park in the city is Sosnovka, occupying 240 hectares. The oldest one, with its popular marble sculptures and cast iron railing, is the Summer Garden on the Neva’s southern bank and the Fontanka’s head.

November 25, 2015 at 10:56 pm | No comment

Tsukiji Fish Market


Tuna fish is auctioned at the Tsukiji Fish Market. Sushi or sashimi anyone?
Photo by: JoshBerglund19, Creative Commons

Visitors from all over the world visit the Tsukiji Fish Market. This market is the largest wholesale market for fish and seafood in the world. Some come to see the over 400 types of fish and seafood that are auctioned off each day.

Others come to spend time in the shops and restaurants that surround the market. Of course some do both.

Should you plan on visiting the market, prepare to arrive early. The many ships, trucks, and planes that deliver fresh seafood arrive around 3 a.m. Auctions start around 5:20 a.m., and end at 7 a.m.

All auction activity takes place in what is referred to as the “inner market.” Those who wish to watch the auctions in action will need to sit in a designated area. Note that only licensed vendors may participate in the auctions, but visitors are free to purchase all types of seafood from the surrounding shops.

Early morning arrival is recommended if you intend to visit the shops and restaurants. The Tsukiji Fish Market is alive with activity during the morning hours, but starts to slow down after the auctions are complete.

Many shops and restaurants begin to close around 11 a.m., with the entire market closing at 1 p.m. so that it can be cleaned. Though it may seem early for sushi, few leave the market without sampling some of the freshest and exotic fish in the world.

The Fish Market is located in the center of Tokyo. There are, however, plans to move the market to a new location in 2014. Construction of the new market which will be located in Toyosu, Koto will begin in 2013.

A portion of the 900 retail booths, stalls, and restaurants will remain in place and visitors will be able to continue to visit these as usual.

November 20, 2015 at 2:01 pm | No comment

Shanghai


Shanghai Tower
Photo by: uniquebuildings, Creative Commons

Shanghai enjoys the distinction of being the world’s second biggest city proper next to Mumbai, India. It is where everything modern in China comes from. This highly commercialized city is comparable to Paris of France and New York of the United States.

The biggest and wealthiest economic district in China, Shanghai has gained international fame as a prime tourist destination in the country. It is known worldwide for its historical attractions and skyscrapers. In China, Shanghai is usually the first city where tourists arrive, mainly because it offers affordable and quick flights to other Chinese cities and towns.

Having second thoughts on traveling to Shanghai? Don’t be. Here are some good reasons why this city is worth visiting.

  • Shopping Haven – Shopaholics can splurge in the many shops that line across the bustling streets of Shanghai. The shopping areas along Huaihai Road and Nanjing Road offer a unique and unforgettable shopping experience and sell a variety of luxurious goods.
  • Hassle-Free Transport System – Since Shanghai is a very urbanized area, it is accessible from almost every place in China. You can ride a train, plane, ship, or bus to get to Shanghai.
  • Vibrant Nightlife – Shanghai is a city that never sleeps, and people there are accustomed to the city’s active nightlife. Don’t miss the chance to hop from one nightclub or bar to another for a night of drinking booze and partying. Entertainment is another specialty of this city, as it teems with theaters where dances, dramas, acrobatics, and puppets are shown. For film enthusiasts, there are cinemas that feature local and foreign films.
  • Countless Tourist Destinations – With the wide array of choices for sights and landmarks to visit, Shanghai will never be a boring place for tourists.
  • Interesting Mix of Oriental and Western Influences – Shanghai, which used to be a communist area, is a city of mixed cultural influences from both the East and West. Its distinct Oriental charm has in fact lured a lot of popular visitors like Albert Einstein, Rabindranath Tagore, and Bernard Shaw. For the Chinese folks, Shanghai holds a strong Western lifestyle.
  • Chinese Holidays and Festivals – Joining these festivities and events is a great way to experience authentic Chinese culture. Some of the famous festivals regularly held in Shanghai include the Longhua Temple Fair, the International Tea Culture Festival, the Longhua Temple Bell Striking, the Orange Festival, the Nanhui County Peach Blossom Festival, and the Shanghai Tourism Festival.

November 14, 2015 at 10:37 am | No comment

Mumbai


Gateway of India
Photo by: s w ellis, Creative Commons

Mumbai is one of India’s most popular cities. Despite that, the authority in Mumbai makes sure that all that hype will be seen in their attractive spots. They do not only have one, but five great landmarks that will surely attract more people to visit the city.

As most of the people would say, the experience of visiting Mumbai will be incomplete if the tourists will not stop by this landmark considered as India’s version of the famous Statue of Liberty. It is also referred to as the Gateway of India. Influenced by the British art, the Gateway looks spectacular inside and out.

Another great landmark in Mumbai would be the Prince of Wales Museum. As the name suggests, the museum also has British-influenced architecture, mainly because it was one of the structures built during the British occupancy in the area. The landmark also bears the Indo-Saracenic style of art, which can be clearly seen in the columns and windows of the museum. The building, moreover, was built in honor of the Prince of Wales during the time when he visited Mumbai.

Another famous landmark in Mumbai would be the Mahalaxmi temple, which was built in honor of the Mahalaxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Despite not having the British art influence, the temple is rich in intricate details that are said to be indicative more of the Indo-Sarcenic style.

Moreover, Mumbai also has the popular tomb of Haji Ali. The people in Mumbai pay their respects everyday they come across this magnificent building.

Besides the structures that bear Mumbai’s culture, there are also some attractions that aim to provide a great escapade for the tourists. Chowpatty, for instance, is considered to be one of the banners of Mumbai’s tourism. Many resorts in Chowpatty have benefitted from the growing number of tourists that prefer to stay in this part of Mumbai. Aside from the spectacular view, Chowpatty also makes the tourists’ stay worthwhile by holding a famous festival every year, such as the Ganesh chattrutahi.

There are also many hotels where the tourists can stay in if ever they decide to extend their vacation in Mumbai. One popular hotel would be the Taj Mahal hotel, which was named after the popular Taj Mahal landmark in India. Tourists will surely enjoy mingling with the hospitable and friendly people in the area, not to mention that they might get more information about these landmarks upon talking to them.

November 12, 2015 at 12:09 am | No comment

Moscow


Moscow – State Historical Museum, Moscow, Russia
Photo by: Andrew®, Creative Commons

Moscow is the capital and largest city of the Russian Federation, located on the banks of the body of water from which its name was derived, the Moskva River. It is a megacity, in fact the largest European metropolitan area, the world’s seventh largest city proper, and one of the world’s most expensive cities. It is called by many nicknames such as The Third Rome, Whitestone, The First Throne, and The Forty Forties.

Moscow is home to the Russian parliament and the Government of Russia, as well as numerous educational, scientific and sports institutions. You can easily go to, through, and around the city via a complex transport system, which includes the second busiest metro system in the world (after Tokyo), renowned for its architecture and artwork; 9 railroad terminals; and, 4 international airports. The road system radiates outwards from the Moscow Kremlin, residence of the President of Russia, and a World Heritage Site; the roads then intersect with sequential circular rings of roads.

Moscow’s climate involves warm, humid summers and long, cold winters, so take note of that when you visit the city. Relish the sight of the world-renowned architecture, the styles ranging from pre-Soviet avant-garde to facadism and modernism. You may visit sites such as Saint Basil’s Cathedral and observe its elegant onion domes, and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Seven Sisters. Museums abound as well, one of the most notable of which is the art museum Tretyakov Gallery.

Moscow is actually a very green city compared to other urban areas of the same size in the world. You may take your pick of parks and gardens to visit as Moscow has 96 of the former and 18 of the latter (4 botanical gardens included). The Central Park of Culture and Rest is a wonderful choice. Founded in 1928 and spanning 170 acres, it contains estrades, dancing and sports facilities, and children’s attractions that include the Observation Wheel. It sits just beside the city’s oldest park and former residence of the Emperor, the Neskchniy Garden. The Green Theater, one of the largest European open amphitheaters and capable of holding up to 15,000 persons, is in the Neskchniy Garden.

If you’re into the nightlife, however, you won’t be out of place in Moscow. One of the most well-known nightlife areas is located around Tverskaya Street, one of the city’s busiest shopping streets. South of it, near the Red Square and Manege Square area is what’s considered as the New Russians’ and celebrities’ playground, a place with numerous expensive and luxurious bars and restaurants. There is a vibrant night life in Moscow. Most popular nightlife areas are found in Tverskaya Street.

November 10, 2015 at 10:56 pm | No comment

Seoul


Heart of Seoul, South Korea
Photo by: http2007, Creative Commons

When you visit South Korea, you must make sure that you go to its largest city, which also happens to be its capital. This is Seoul and it is officially called as the Seoul Special City. This actually has the record of being one of the world’s largest cities. Its population is over 10 million, with its increasing number of immigrants and internal population.

The city is situated in the heart of the Korean Peninsula. This is currently considered as an Alpha World City and ranks at number nine in the 2008 Global Cities Index. It is known for various industries that include technology, education, business, politics, entertainment and international trade. In 2007, it was named as the most expensive city to live in Asia and the third in the whole world. The living standards in the city are comparable to what is being experienced in Italy and France. Forbes.com named Seoul as the sixth most economically powerful city in 2008.

The city has advanced infrastructures that resulted for Seoul to become the 2010 World Design Capital. There are many sights and attractions that you can visit while in the city. You may want to start by looking at its modern landmarks such as the N Seoul Tower, World Trade Center, the Korea Finance Building, 63 Building and the Tower Palace. For your shopping delight, you may want to try the COEX Mall at Gangnam-gu, which is a big place of indoor shopping and it is also an entertainment complex.

There are also lots of museums in there are that include nine official municipal museums and three national kinds. You can go choose at over 100 museums that serve various purposes for education and entertainment purposes.

For nature lovers, you wouldn’t want to miss out the parks that can be found in the city. You can try hiking and other recreational activities at Namsan Park. You can also visit the Seoul Olympic Park in Songpa-gu that hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics. There are other parks that you can seek at the city that will provide you with a breath of fresh air as you try to escape the busy life at work and relax during this vacation.

November 8, 2015 at 4:56 am | No comment

Tokyo

Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo

Photo by: OiMax, Creative Commons

Being Japan’s center of tourism and industry, Tokyo never fails to overwhelm its visitors with its modern, hi-tech ambience, and well-preserved destinations. Japan leads the way when it comes to innovation, and Tokyo, as its capital, contains an extensive number of technological hubs ready to amaze every visitor. Tokyo is also home to the latest and most advanced science laboratories, subway stations, hospitals and even shopping destinations. It was named as the world’s largest economy, and one of the cities that dominate global economy, along with London and New York. Even if it’s considered as the busiest and most crowded city of the country, Tokyo still has a lot of serene havens which tourists find charming and peaceful. Examples of these are Takaosan, Mount Mitake, Hama Rikyu and many more.

Planning a trip to world-famous Tokyo? Here are some suggested places for you to visit.

Making your own trip itinerary is significant. Bear in mind that Tokyo is the largest city in the country, you might just get confused by all the sights the city has. Doing an itinerary will save you a lot of time which you could use to visit other nice spots in Tokyo.

The following tourist attractions are interesting suggestions for your schedule:

  • Tokyo Tower.  It’s the panoramic view from atop the 333-meter tower that makes this spot very special. Tokyo Tower is the main tourist attraction of the city, which explains why foreigners think of the tower whenever they hear about Tokyo.
  • Ueno Park, where the Ueno Statue stands is a stunning landmark famous for the museums situated inside it. Shitamachi Museum, National Museum for Western Art, National Science Museum and the Tokyo national Museum are all located in the park.
  • Todoroki Valley is a secluded temple where one can enjoy peace and tranquility. It is a natural valley constructed with a wooden temple on top. Inhale Tokyo’ warm fresh air as you walk along the narrow path to the temple.
  • Kiyosumi Garden is a landscaped garden adorned with numerous flowers and other Japanese symbols.

Tokyo’s climate is generally mild, with not so warm summers and drier winters. Travel guides recommend visiting Tokyo around March to May, since it’s not rainy and it’s time for flowers, especially cherry blossoms, to grow.

Shopping and Nightlife

Want some after dark parties? Tokyo has just some places for you! Roppongi, an entertainment district inside the city, offers a wide array of bars for tourists, such as the Gas Panic Bar. As for shopping, Ginza is the perfect place to be. The shopping district is famous for its unique line of both Japanese and international stores. It is also considered as the premier shopping destination of Japan.

November 5, 2015 at 9:38 pm | No comment

Paris


The famous Eiffel Tower at night.
Photo by: Eustaquio Santimano, Creative Commons

Paris is perhaps the most famous travel destination in the world. Dubbed as the ‘City of Lights,’ Paris has everything that a visitor can ever ask for. It is here that you can revel in the culture and artistry of the French and delight in the intriguing history that each monument tells.

Paris has four seasons; spring, summer, winter and fall. Generally, any time is a good time to visit. What is delightful about Paris is that each season brings something different to the city. Spring, for example, is a time when days are longest and when flowers are in full bloom. There is also always a holiday feeling in the air bringing an ambiance of peace and relaxation – a perfect time to stroll around the park or go on a picnic. Summer, on the other hand, is the best time to go on a beach or a road trip. Around this time, people can be seen licking ice-creams in the park or lazing in cafes and terraces. Meanwhile, autumn is when school starts and when festivals are in abundance. Lastly, winter means Christmas is in the air. Delightful lights and creative decorations can be seen hanging from trees, buildings and houses.

The Eiffel tower has become the global symbol of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. It was built by Gustave Eiffel and is the tallest monument in Paris. The tower has three levels, all of which can be accessed via the stairs or the lift. There are also restaurants in the first and second level of the tower where visitors can stop for a drink or a snack.

The Notre Dame Cathedral is another sight to behold in this city. The Notre Dame of Paris, which means ‘Our Lady of Paris,’ is the heart of the city’s history. Many significant historical events took place here such as the crowning of Henry IV of England and Napoleon I. The majestic Cathedral is also where the ‘cathedra’ is located. The ‘cathedra’ is the offical chair of the Archbishop of Paris.

The Louvre Museum is one of the must-see sights in Paris. It is one of the largest and most historic museums in the world. This museum has a vast collection of art and scultpture. It houses approximately 380,000 objects and 35,000 works of art in different curatorial departments. The Louvre is also where the most famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci can be found – The Mona Lisa.

Aside from the aforementioned attractions, there are many other places to visit in the city. Disneyland, Paris, is also one of the major tourist spots. Paris is also a shopper’s paradise and is considered the fashion capital of the world. Paris is truly one of the most amazing cities to go to. It is where you can witness the culture, history, artistry and creativity of the French – all in one location.

November 2, 2015 at 12:47 am | No comment

San Francisco City Hall


San Francisco City Hall
Photo by: scazon, Creative Commons

Constructed between 1913 and 1915 after the 1906 earthquake, San Francisco’s City Hall has been one the most important landmark in the city. This top tourist attraction in California has witnessed a lot of major events; political, social and historical, all of which have shaped the city into what it is today. Owned and managed by the City and County of San Francisco and the SF Department of Public works, respectively, the City hall remains an integral part of the city. The floor area of this $3.4 million structure is around 46,000 square meters. It has four levels holding government agencies and offices.

Aside from being an important structure in the city, it is also a favorite tourist destination. The city’s seat of power is also a symbol of how history has made changes and improvements to the lives of the SF residents. Some of the marked events in the area would be the state funerals held at the rotunda which includes that of Former President Warren Harding and General Frederick Funston. The City Hall also bore witness to Joe Di Maggio and Marilyn Monroe’s wedding as well as the assassination of Mayor Moscone and Supervisor and civil rights hero Harvey Milk.

Because of San Francisco’s popularity, several movies through the years shot some of their on-location scenes here. Today, vacationers check out the museums that are situated inside. The Davies Symphony Hall, the Asian Arts Museum as well as the Museum of Modern Art are some of the major interest points within the area. The official website provides a virtual tour as well as tour schedules so make sure to visit the website first.

San Francisco Famous Landmarks

September 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm | No comment

Brooklyn Bridge

The-Brooklyn-Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge, originally referred as the Great East River Bridge connects the burroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The bridge was considered as the largest bridge of its era. The project was built by a German immigrant, John Roebling who used to work for the Prussian government as a famous bridge designer. He proposed the idea of constructing a suspension bridge after becoming impatient with the Ferry he used to take to cross the river.

Politics

Initially, the project of Great East River Bridge was not supported by the government of New York and Brooklyn. But later on the bill was passed in New York Legislature that allowed a private company to build the bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The work started in 1869 and it took 14 years to complete. Six hundred workers were involved in the construction of the bridge. John Roebling, the designer of this scenic passage died before its completion.

There were enormous problems during the construction. Many workers lost their lives due to explosions, fires, and caisson’s disease. Washington Roebling, son of John Roebling took the charge of the construction work after his death. On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was officially opened to the public.

Monumental

The Brooklyn Bridge is considered one of the technical achievements of unparalleled scope. The bridge is 1.8 km or 5989 ft long and the length between the towers is 486 meters. The 276 ft neo-Gothic granite towers provide support to the rail lines and these strong towers can withstand heavy rains and strong winds. The towers served the function of bearing the weight of enormous cables and holding the cables high enough so that it would not interfere with the traffic. Steel was used for the first time in making the four suspension cables.

Steel Cables

These steel cables connect the anchors with the Brooklyn and Manhattan towers. The load capacity of the bridge is 18,700 tons. Two terminal buildings consisting of plate glass windows and ornate ironwork were constructed at both ends of the Brooklyn Bridge. 70 electric arc lamps were installed throughout the extension of bridge. There is an elevated pedestrian path where traffic does not interfere. The total cost of this spectacular bridge was $15.1 million. In 1964, this iconic structure became a National Historic monument.

Iconic

The view of downtown Manhattan’s skyline is spectacular. This piece of marvelous beauty looks great when viewed from the river. The overall arc of the bridge is impressive when seen from the river. During the night time, the experience of strolling under the glow of electric arc lamps is fabulous.

Today, this granite and steel structure of the New York City carries approximately 150,000 pedestrians and vehicles every day. There are more than six lanes of traffic. South Street Seaport is located on the Manhattan side of the Bridge. Despite the tragic deaths and injuries during the construction of the bridge, the completion of the bridge was a heroic achievement by the workers. Brooklyn Bridge is a testament to the ability, strength and courage of the men who built this historic icon.

7 Wonders of the Industrial World

June 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm | No comment

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Mausoleum is a tomb that was built for King Mausolos, the Persian ruler of Caria, during the fourth century. This spectacular and unique tomb was built by his wife, Queen Artemisia, who was also his sister. It is believed that the construction of a tomb was started before the death of the King, but it was completed two years after he passed away.

A Tribute

The splendid tomb was a tribute to her husband King Mausolos by the Queen. Great talented artists from Greece were called to build this wondrous structure. This piece of art was created by four major Greek sculptors- Scopas from Paros, Leochares, Timotheus and Bryaxis.

It was built on a hill from where the city of Halicarnassus could be seen. The tomb is situated in an enclosed courtyard. The tomb sits on a raised stone platform which is at the centre of the courtyard. The beautiful decorations and statues built outside each level of this monument are spectacular.

Disasters

This marvelous monument survived many natural disasters for 16 centuries. But eventually it was destroyed and ruined by a series of earthquakes. The information about this great monument is described by a Roman writer, Pliny the Elder. Some of the marble fragments can still be seen today, but most of the findings of this splendid monument are preserved at the British Museum in London.

Many Dimensions

There are three major parts to this mausoleum. A monument, columns and a pyramid (resembling a Greek temple). This great monument was an oblong structure that has 36 columns. The pyramid was located on the top which had a perimeter of 440 feet. The height of the tomb was 135 feet. The monument tomb was mostly made up of marble and had a huge rectangular base. Walls and watch towers were built on the sides.

On top of the podium, or rectangular base, 36 columns were built, nine on each side. Each section of the monument is separated by a column. In each column, a statue was placed. The whole structure consisted of 36 statues of gods and goddesses. The height of some of the statues is 5 feet or more. The solid blocks that were placed at the end of the columns carried the weight of the ceiling. A work of beautiful art was carved on the top of the ceiling. The roof of the stone pyramid was in the form of 24 steps. A huge statue of four horses pulling a chariot was built on the top of the pyramid.

Diversity

This statue had figures of Mausolos and Artemisia. The whole structure consisted of three different styles. Greek, Carian and Egyptian designs were incorporated in the art work. The high podium represented the architectural style of Carian civilization. The Greek temple like structure resembled the structures made by the Greeks and the pyramid shaped section of the tomb represented Egyptian civilization.

This monument is considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World due to its size and great architectural work.

7 Wonders of the Ancient World

June 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm | No comment

Temple of Artemis


Column ruins of the Temple of Artemis
Photo by: isawnyu, Creative Commons

The Temple of Artemis was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was dedicated to the Greek goddess known as Artemis. This temple is believed to have been built at around 550 BC on a marshy strip near Ephesus, 50km from the modern port city of Izmir, Turkey. However, the foundation of the temple dates back to the 7th century.

Foundation

The foundation measured 377 feet by 40 feet and the whole temple was made of marble, save for the tile covered wooden roof. This temple had a width of 225 feet, a length of 425 feet and a total of 127 columns. This temple was so huge that it took 120 years to complete its construction. It was among the largest temples in ancient times.

The temple was 60 feet high. It was rebuilt 3 times before its final destruction in 401. Artemis was the Greek goddess of the hunt. In Ephesus, Artemis was a fertility goddess and she was often pictured as draped with eggs or multiple breasts signifying fertility from her shoulders to the waist.

Second Temple

Architects who designed the second Temple of Artemis were Chersiphron and his son Metagenes. This temple also had many art works including 4 bronze statutes of Amazon women, carved by the most skilled artists at the time Polycleitus, Kresilas, Phidias and Phradmon. Each of the columns supporting the huge roof consisted of about 12 cylindrical marble blocks that were raised into place with the help of pulleys and placed atop of each other to make a column. Inside the temple, there was a room that was specifically set aside to store the statue of Artemis.

This temple was the pride of Ephesus until 356 B.C when a young Ephesian by the name of Herostratus burned the temple to the ground. This young man destroyed the temple in a bid to have his name go down in history.

Rebuilt

The Ephesians were so sickened by his act that they issued a declaration that anyone who would mention Herostratus would be put to death. A short time after this horrible act, a new temple was rebuilt that was designed by an architect known as Scopas of Paros. This architect was among the most famous sculptors at the time.

The new temple was rebuilt in the same marshy area as the previous one. To prepare the ground for this new structure, layers of compressed charcoal were laid beneath with wool fleeces on top of them. According to Roman historian Pliny, the temple kept its original marshy location to protect it from the earthquakes that were very prevalent in that region.

Alexander the Great

On the night that Herostratus destroyed the Temple of Artemis, Alexander the Great was born. By the time that he came to Ephesus, the temple’s construction was still ongoing. He offered to finance its completion in return for credit as the builder from the city. The city fathers did not want his name to be carved on the temple, so they tactfully declined his offer.

The temple was later rebuilt after the death of Alexander the Great at the expense of the city fathers. The rebuilt temple lasted for many years, but was torched by the Goths and then flooded. By 262 A.D, the Temple of Artemis was completely destroyed. Today the site of the temple is a marshy area on which a single column stands to remind visitors of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world.

7 Wonders of the Ancient World

June 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm | No comment

Great Pyramid of Giza


Panoramic View of the Great Pyramids of Giza
Photo by: kallerna, Creative Commons

The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the three oldest and largest pyramids in the Giza Necropolis. The Giza Necropolis is located on the Giza Plateau, which stands bordering Cairo, Egypt. It is one of the seven wonders of ancient world and is the oldest of all seven. Out of seven wonders of ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only to remain largely intact.

Man Made

After its construction, the Great Pyramid of Giza remained the tallest man made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years. Initially this pyramid had a height of 146.5 meters, but due to erosion the height has come down to 138.8 meters. Today only the core structure of the pyramid can be seen, but originally it was covered by casing stones which formed a smooth outer surface. These casing stones can still be seen around the base of the pyramid.

Pharoah

Egyptologists believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built as a tomb for pharaoh Khufu, who was a fourth dynasty Egyptian. It is believed that the pyramid was constructed over a 20 year period and construction was completed at around 2560 BC. The estimated mass of the pyramid is 5.9 million tons, and the approximate volume is 2,500,000 cubic meters.

It consists of an approximate 2.3 million stone blocks weighing 2-30 tons each. The pyramid has huge stone mass which keeps the temperature constant at 20 degree Celsius inside the pyramid. The mortar used in the construction of the pyramid is of an unknown origin, it is stronger than the stones that it hold together. The chemical composition of mortar is known but it cannot be reproduced.

Passageways

The pyramid has two passageways, descending passageway and ascending passageway. The tourists enter the Great Pyramid of Giza through the “robber’s tunnel,” but the original entrance is 55 feet vertically above the ground level and about 24 feet east of the center line of the pyramid. The descending passageway starts at the original entrance and the ascending passageway originates from a square hole in the roof of the descending passageway. The descending passageway is about 345 ft in length. The ascending passageway is approximately 60 ft away from the entrance and is 129 ft in length.

The Chambers

There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid of Giza. The King’s chamber, Queen’s chamber and an unfinished chamber. The King’s chamber is built entirely of rose granite. In the entire pyramid, the stones used in the construction of this chamber are the heaviest. The walls are made up of 101 stones and the floor is made up of 21 stones. A granite sarcophagus is present in this chamber and small apertures originate from here which lead to shafts on the north and south walls.

The Queen’s chamber is located at the 25th course of masonry, and is made up of limestone and has a pointed roof. According to some people, this chamber was never finished, because the floor appears to be partially completed. Additionally, there are prematurely discontinued small rectangular apertures in the north and south walls. The unfinished chamber is the lowest chamber and it was cut into the bedrock upon which the pyramid was built.

7 Wonders of the Ancient World

June 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm | No comment

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