Algiers


Basilica of Our Lady of Africa, in Algiers (Algeria).
Photo by: Rudolf Stricker, Wikimedia by Damien Boilley

Finding an exotic place to visit for a vacation is never too hard considering that there are several countries in the world which beautifully deviate from what is normal. But if you want something more than just exotic, say North African tourism for example, Algiers, Algeria is definitely the place to go to. Known as Al Djazair in Arabic, and Alger in France, Algiers is the Algeria’s capital city which lies on the Mediterranean coast. Although emerging from a troubled past, this modern African city hold both old and new attractions to welcome the travellers.

Algeria is bordered by Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Mali Mauritania and Morocco. It was primarily occupied by the native population called the Berbers. By 200 B.C. it was controlled by the Byzantine Empire up until the Arabs and the religion Islam arrived. The coastal area of Algeria is hilly and there are a few natural harbours. What’s interesting about its geography is that further down south of it is already the famous Sahara desert. Its capital city Algiers is the center of business and commerce.

Although Islam is the predominant religion here, the top tourist attraction in Algiers is the Notre Dame d’Afrique (Our Lady of Africa), A Roman Catholic church that stands as the basilica of Algiers. It’s one of the most outstanding monuments and it is accessible by one cable car. The Ketchaoua mosque is another historical monument that is stunningly eye-catching. It became the Saint-Philippe Cathedral during colonization and then became a mosque once again.

The very reason why one should visit Algiers is because of its local architecture. Buildings such as Cosmopolitan Algiers, The Monument of the Martyrs, Grand Post Office and the Ministry of Finances of Algeria are too beautiful to not get any attention. All these architectures including the rest of the attractions are like a masterpiece on its own, just like the city itself.

April 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm | 3 comments

The Melk Abbey


A view of the famous Melk Abbey in Austria.
Photo by: jay8085 , Creative Commons

Located on the bank of Danube River, the Melk Abbey is a majestic Baroque fortress that is a world renowned monastic site. It stands magnificently overlooking the river and watching over Melk.

The Melk Abbey is a fortified castle that is home to the Babenbergs and is later a Benedictine monastery under Margrave Leopold II.

During the 12th century, a school was connected to the monastery and has been the center of learning where a number of important manuscripts have been made and organized. It is home to the most brilliant and artistic minds and its members were regarded highly in the areas of natural science and the arts.

It is the place where the birth of the Melk Reform Movement had sprung. The Melk reform is valuable for its connection to the Humanists at the University of Vienna.

The highlight of this area more than its splendid history and its wide contribution to spirituality is the majestic Baroque building that stands in spectacular grace.

It is the location of the New Abbey Museum which gives a narration of Melk Abbey from its humble beginnings to its present splendor. The architect of the exhibit is Hans Hoffer, who is also the designer of the Klangtheater Ganzohr in Vienna.

The architecture of Hoffer allows for a powerful and effective presentation of the Benedictine history in Melk through innovative presentation mostly because of its emphasis on the artistically important objects in the Abbey.

You can also participate in educational museum tours which highlight the story of the Benedictines, more particularly the story of St. Coloman.

The Melk Abbey is not only popular for its history but also for the deep spirituality of the place that is unique to it. Visiting the Abbey will prove to be a hearty experience that will make you appreciate the beautiful Baroque fortress and the spirituality and culture of Austria.

April 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm | 1 comment

Nottingham


Nottingham Council Hall
Photo by: jonathangill, Creative Commons

Nottingham, England, just the mention of the name will definitely conjure up images of Robin Hood and his merry men in your head. This city on the British east midlands region has definitely come a long way from the time when Robin Hood was said to roam its forests. Today, you’ll see that this is where the medieval and the modern collide to give you a feast for the senses. Take a closer look for yourself and you’ll discover ancient landmarks amidst the bustling businesses on its modern streets. There’s always something you can discover in Nottingham.

One of the most fascinating places in the city is Nottingham castle. This museum will provide you a very interesting look into the history of Nottingham. With a beautiful art gallery and a scenic garden, it’s the perfect venue for an afternoon walk for you and your family. But if you’re looking for a more contemporary look into their art scene, you might want to visit the Angel Row Gallery to see their extensive collection of provoking and bizarre art images.

No visit to Nottingham will ever be complete without a trip to the Sherwood Forest Country Park. Here you can relive the glory days of Robin Hood and his famed exploits. Make sure to visit the huge oak tree called the Major oak, which is said to be Robin Hood’s favorite hiding place. Be amazed by the sheer grandeur of this 800-year-old tree. If you happen to come around during Robin Hood Month, make it a point to stay for the festivities as both young and old alike will be fascinated with the events that the Sherwood Forest Park has on offer.

If you’re more fascinated with the alternative fashion and music scene, then let Nottingham satiate your cravings for the obscure and eclectic. Hockley village has many interesting shops that you should definitely visit. From one-of-a-kind items in the gift shops to shocking yet stunning fashion pieces, you’ll find that there’s something for anyone and everyone in this unique shopping district.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning for your Nottingham holiday today. As there are countless points of interest scattered throughout the city, make sure that you plan ahead so you can explore and experience the city first hand. Since the city is easily accessible by plane, bus or train, do try to drop by, even for a day tour, if ever you’re in the surrounding cities. It’s definitely worth it.

April 25, 2010 at 11:06 am | No comment

Chobe National Park


Baby Elephant in Chobe National Park
Photo by: Wikipedia, Creative Commons

If you want to experience the wildlife of Africa in just one destination, Chobe National Park is the perfect destination. Being the second largest conservation area in Botswana, it offers you a good site of the largest collection of wild animals including elephants, antelopes, buffalo, lions, hyenas and more.

However, this place is more famous for the large concentration of elephants. In fact, there is an estimated 120,000 elephants that are seeking refuge in this national park. Moreover, aside from this wildlife, you can see various kinds of migratory birds visiting this sanctuary from November to March.

Another reason why Chobe National Park is a must see is because you can experience four different ecosystems in this one place. There is one with dense forests and lush plains in the Northeast side, which is called Serondela. There is also the Savuti Marsh just in the western part and the Linyati Swamps in the Northwest. Lastly, there is a dry hinterland in between the other ecosystems.

Of all these ecosystems, Savuti is the most famous not only here in Chobe but as well as the whole of Africa. This is because you can find a good number of wildlife animals here all throughout the year. In fact, if you give yourself three to four days to experience this place, you can see all what Africa wildlife has to offer.

So, do you wish to experience the ultimate safari getaway? Well, the Chobe National Park has everything covered for you. From harmless animals such as giraffes and elephants to the mighty lions and hyenas, you have it all here.

April 24, 2010 at 11:17 pm | No comment

Kingston


Kingston aerial view
Photo by: dubdem sound system, Creative Commons

Kingston is the capital city of Jamaica and is known originally as an agricultural land. In 1962, it became the shelter of the refugees and survivors of the earthquake that destroyed Port Royal.

In 1716, Kingston became the center of trade in Jamaica.

Majority of the Kingston population is African. Although the East Indians and Chinese who have come to Kingston as servants now play an integral role in the Jamaican economy because of their wide presence in the retail market in Kingston.

It has a tropical climate. From May to November, Kingston experiences rains and in December to April, it enjoys the sun.

Food and Dining

As a cosmopolitan city, you can find a number of restaurants in Kingston which allows you to experience the most wonderful varieties of food from plain to exotic.

Activities

You can enjoy a variety of water sports while in Kingston. Go swimming, diving, snorkeling, sailing, cruising, or fishing. Enjoy the beauty of nature or stroll the streets of Kingston. Go hiking and picnicking or explore the sights in the area. You will be amazed at the many things you can do in Kingston that you may even run out of time to do them all.

Attractions

Kingston is the location of the Blue Mountains particularly, its famous coffee, the Blue Mountains coffee. It is considered as one of the best gourmet coffees in the world and can be found at the cultural, financial, and industrial capital of Jamaica, Kingston. Not only is it the home of one of the best coffees in the world, it is also the center of cultural activities and financial institutions in Jamaica.

Blue Mountains. It is a large mountain range that overlooks the parishes of Saint Ann and St. Andrew. Its name was attributed to the bluish color of the mountains which is caused by the mists that envelop it. It is a spectacular natural attraction that will hold you in captivation for its great beauty.

The Bob Marley Museum. A museum dedicated to the world famous reggae icon, Bob Marley. It was the icon’s former residence and was the place of a failed assassination plot against him.

Port Royal. It is the pirate capital and the wickedest city in the world. It is also the richest and was known as a pirate refuge during the 17th century. However, in 1962, it met a tragic fate during an earthquake which devastated its flourishing state. Today, the artifacts buried in the old city are being recovered. It is the location of the historic Fort Charles and the Maritime Museum.

April 24, 2010 at 10:41 pm | No comment

Ilulissat


Old man and the iceberg at Ilulissat
Photo by: BortaBra.se, Creative Commons

In Greenlandic language, the meaning of Ilulissat is icebergs. Ilulissat has an attractive place at the opening of the 56-kilometre-long ice fjord which is packed with huge icebergs from Sermeq Kujalleq, which is the northern hemisphere’s most dynamic glacier.

The largest icebergs finish up getting stuck at a deepness of 225 to 250 metres at the opening of the ice fjord, and they don’t work free till the tide is adequately high or till they’re so worn down that the centre of gravity of the iceberg is modified. In the year 2004, the Ilulissat Icefjord was included into UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Just a few kilometres from the town Ilulissat is the peaceful Sermermiut which lies out onto the ice fjord. In the year 1727, the valley was Greenland’s largest dwelling and abode to more than 250 individuals. Mines have consequently that the attractive valler has at different times been an abode to all the cultures that have resided along Greenland’s west coast for thousands of years.

In the north of Ilulissat, the settlement of Rodebay or Oqaatsut is situated, where a number of the dated edifices from colonial eras are now fitted out as huts or restaurants available for lease. Another few hours via boat to the north is Eqi glacier, wherein you are able to spend a number days in a hut.

Southwards of the Ilulissat Icefjord is a different charming dwelling called Ilimanaq, Qhich is among the most dated dwellings in Greenland. A lot of Ilulissat’s tourist offices plan these tours.

In Ilulissat town, which is also called Jakobshavn, 4500 individuals and at least 3500 sled dogs are currently living, which emphasizes the significance of the dog sled as a way of transportation even in a big modern municipality. The harbour is packed with fishing trawlers and boats that denotes the huge significance of Ilulissat’s fishing. Tourism is an essential business for the municipality as well, and a good assortment of tours is offered wherein the emphasis is on the culture and nature.

How would one arrive to Ilulissat? The air Greenland offers flights to the town everyday from Kangerlussuaq’s international airport. A number of departures into Ilulissat include stopping by in other municipalities located on the coast. You can also travel by water to these destinations via the Arctic Line’s ships if you desire to stop by in other municipalities on the coast from the town of Ilulissat.

April 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm | No comment

Barranquilla


A view of the skyline in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Photo by: wiki, Creative Commons

Colombia had been plagued by civil conflict for many decades. The country’s tourism industry suffered significantly during the lengthy war-ravaged times, but all those are things of the past now. Today, Colombia stands proudly in the Caribbean region as one of Latin America’s most prosperous, most promising, and most beautiful nations. Its tourism has greatly improved since the republic’s restoration; many people from all over the world come and visit Colombia and the different wonders it offers.

One of the infinite things that astonish tourists once they are on Colombian soil is the highly noticeable diversity of the country’s very vivid culture. With a past that’s as rich as their coffee plantations, it is not hard to understand why many tourists fall in love with the country and extend their vacations for an indefinite period of time. There are just so many places to see in Colombia, so many things to do and try, that it could get quite difficult to leave. This explains the continuous building of upscale hotels, quaint inns and hostels all over – indeed, the country’s tourism industry is enjoying significant improvement.

One of the places that must be visited when traveling in this lovely country is Baranquilla, Colombia. Baranquilla is lovingly known throughout the Caribbean as Curramba, La Bella – and rightly so. Music is one of the city’s greatest offerings, and notable musicians hail from here, including the Billboard award-winning rock band The Monas and Grammy award-winning solo act Shakira. There are several music festivals worth attending, including the Baranquijazz (for jazz enthusiasts) and the Miche Rock Festival (for lovers of all things rock and roll, including punk, pop, and metal), both of which have enjoyed stellar audience clamor for the past years. Back in the day, Baranquilla, Colombia was greatly responsible for spreading salsa in the Caribbean region. Today, it is an amazing mecca of traditional Caribbean rhythms and the birthplace of new sounds, including raspacanilla, mecumbre, and porro.

All throughout the city are bohemian hangouts where artists meet, converse, and create masterpieces. Nobel recipient Gabriel Garcia Marquez once lived in Baranquilla (early on during his career as a journalist) and has confessed the city’s substantial role in his literary production. His old hive, La Cueva, has been properly restored and is now open to the public as a charming art bar. Meanwhile, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Baranquilla has artworks by contemporary artists. The city also attracts more tourists during April with the Carnaval International de las Artes, an international arts festival. Indeed, to this day, Baranquilla, Colombia offers beauty that inspires.

April 24, 2010 at 9:42 pm | 1 comment

Merowe


Resting by the Merowe Dam
Photo by: attawayji, Creative Commons

Merowe, Sudan is home to the famous sand hills and the intently guarded Merowe necropolis, and ancient burial ground or cemetery that has such an interesting history it’s often referred to as city of the dead. Merowe is another very important tourist destination in Sudan, located in the eastern bank of the Nile River, and 200 kilometres from Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.

The railways are the most important mode of transportation to this city, and buses and Lorries are often used by tourists to get around town.

Other than the historic and intriguing necropolis, the major of attractions of this place are the Temple of the God of Amun, and the Great Enclosure of Pyramids. Currently, the Merowe Dam is getting a lot of attention as well. It’s a US$1.8 billion project being built on the Nile of Sudan. It’s bound to produce hydropower for the area and it’s a controversial project because it will be displacing about 5000 people from near the Nile, to arid desert areas.

Merowe is dotted with about 200 very magnificent looking pyramids. Most people link pyramids with ancient Egypt, but those huge rock piles are actually copies of the original pyramids in Merowe, Sudan. The pyramids here are much smaller, as if designed to contain only one dead body per structure.

Merowe is home to some of the friendliest and most hospitable people on earth called the Nubians. They’re great to tour Merowe with, especially when going to see the great pyramids. An old temple and infinite sand also encompass the pyramid area and the great burial grounds of Merowe.

April 24, 2010 at 6:25 pm | No comment

Moorea


Moorea – not so quiet beach
Photo by: LOLO FROM TAHITI, Creative Commons

The South Pacific Islands has a lot of great travel deals to offer. Aside from the romantic island of Bora-Bora, the magical island of Moorea shares the same limelight as well. With the clear blue waters and white sand beaches, there is nothing more to describe this place but the word paradise.

The picturesque landscape alone of this great island is already a feast to every tourist’s eyes. The vertical mountains that soar to the sky surrounded with the fresh blue waters of the lagoon are a magical scene. However, your trip to this island will not be complete if you do not take part into certain island activities and enjoy the scenery of the nature.

For your visit in Moorea, do not forget to miss great activities that you can only experience in this island. First, you can devote one day discovering the roads of this island. Along the way, you can see fruit-tasting shops, quiet beaches, local shops, green valleys, and pineapple fields. Moreover, you can give a day to explore some of the historic sites in the island. This includes the hunt of sites and small villages hidden in the forests.

Of course, you must not forget the well-known water activities in Moorea. You can feel free to experience snorkeling, canoeing, diving, and jet skiing in the warm waters of the lagoon.

Also, you can get closer to nature by swimming with the dolphins. The Moorea Dolphin Center allows great activities in where you can swim side by side with the dolphins. If you have kids with you, they can enjoy wading in the waters with dolphins. You can also grab a chance to see the dolphins in their natural habitat by joining dolphin-watching boat tours.

Other sites that you must not miss to see and experience in this island are Papetoil Village, Cook’s Bay Fruit Juice Factory Tastings, Belvedere Overlook, Tiki Theatre Village, Paopao and Opunohu Valley, and Le Petit Village. Other activities you can enjoy here are shark and ray feeding, whale watching, deep sea fishing, hiking trips, and a lot more other activities.

If these words do not convince you yet of the magic of Moorea, come and take a visit to this island. For sure, from the time you set foot to this place, you will already feel the greatness and magic this island offers. More importantly, you will surely find it hard when it’s time for you to leave the place.

April 24, 2010 at 3:25 pm | No comment

Port-Etienne


Port-Etienne
Photo by: elrentaplats, Creative Commons

Every year thousands of tourists head off to embark on their great adventure outside their comfort zones. This time, it is your turn visit where they have so enjoyed – being part of nature as well as being part of a once-water world that now became a sweating desert. This is Africa’s Port-Etienne, Mauritania.

It is unbelievable once you get to land at Port-Etienne, Mauritania since you will be greeted by sand. Did you know that it used to have green lush vegetation? Even though you’d be caught out of breath at the occasional sandstorms, you will be delighted to find out that there is so much to do at Port-Etienne, Mauritania. Nouadhibou is the new name of Port-Etienne and is believed to be the city’s commercial center.

Off you go to the tourist hotspots like the Table Remarquable and don’t forget to pass by the Mediterranean Monk Seals. It’s such a photographer’s haven since they sights and sounds of the place would definitely spark up that perfect concept shot. Since this is a highly commercial place, you will be able to visit different markets that offer a variety of products which you would be able to bring home as a souvenir. Even though they are a little huge and heavy like rugs, it will definitely conclude your stay there. Test your patience when you ride the 2.5 mile long train ride. It will be stuffy inside since there is one door with a thousand people trying to go inside it.

April 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm | No comment

Mombasa


Camels on the beach in Mombasa
Photo by: Bev Trayner, Creative Commons

To those who love white sand beaches, warm people and a cocktail of interesting cultures, cuisines and traditions, this is the right place for you. Mombasa is a paradise in Kenya, in the coastal region of Africa.

It is a city ideal for vacation. Its tropical climate will surely be enjoyed by anyone. Temperatures range from 70 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. The main tourist attraction is Mombasa’s long white sand beaches, which are labeled ones of the best in the world. This part of the Indian Ocean has warm, soothing waters. This is perfect for swimming, playing and fishing. One can go sailing and diving too, with expert guides and trainers.

People can savor the night’s breeze aboard the boats, under moonlight. And in the morning, they can relish the sea breeze with the golden sun’s rising. There are numerous hotels in front of the beach. There is no need to worry where to stay.

Mombasa offers more than beaches. It has lots of places worth visiting. The architecture of the city’s structures reflects its long history. After all, their arts and culture were deeply influenced by long Portuguese, Arab and British settlement. Their world class cuisines include British, Italian and Chinese foods. Of course, the traditional Kenyan cooking is worth trying, especially their fresh sea foods.

Tourists can visit the “Fort Jesus” which is at the Old Town’s coastline. It was built in the 1600s by the Portuguese settlers. Another interesting spot is the Gedi Ruins at the city’s north. It is Mombasa’s most historic ruins, a small village of rock architecture. It is a place for beach lovers and those who care for history and architecture too.

April 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm | No comment

Arua


Children playing in field in Arua, Uganda.
Photo by: sanjoy , Creative Commons

Far northwest in Uganda lies the small town of Arua which is virtually cut-off from the country’s capital city Kampala due to its sheer distance. Even so, the town of Arua still remains to be a critical local commercial center for trade with neighboring nations Sudan and Congo. It is also home to the Arua Airport, the next busiest airport to the Entebbe International Airport. You can find an assortment of goods and wares sold by petty traders in this town of Arua. Tourists looking for souvenir shops in Arua are not likely to find one. But, there are locally made crafts peddled in the town’s main market. There are over thirty establishments in Arua offering board and lodging to tourists and locals alike. Among the most popular hotels in Arua include the Pacific Hotel and the White Rhino Hotel. From the town’s center, tourists can begin their exploration of the natural and cultural wonders held by this small town of Arua.

In the Ajai Wildlife Reserve located along the Albert Nile, you can find a vast number of white rhinos, Columbus monkeys, baboons, leopards, and some bird species. There are campsites off the banks of the Nile at the Tangi Gate where tourists can stay to commune with nature. Also, flowing into the Albert Nile are the waterways of Ola River, Kochi River, Acha River and Enyau River. Here you can find various fish eating bird species. You can also visit the scenic fishing villages at the river junctions. At the Kei and Wati Mountains, tourists can go for a hike and enjoy the mountain scenery.

April 23, 2010 at 11:41 pm | No comment

Isfahan


Khaju Bridge
Photo by: Hamed Saber, Creative Commons

Isfahan, Iran is an architectural mecca. Here you can find many great and inspiring ancient architectural works. This is what Isfahan is known for. Sites here are real echoes of the past, as most of them were built between the 11th and 19th century. What is most amazing is that amidst their age, these structures still stand firmly and are still being used today.
Of all the monuments in this great province, there is one that is considered as one of the greatest Islamic architectural works of art. Naqsh-e Jahan Square, also known as Imam or Shah Square, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a large complex that houses many religious and cultural Islamic structures. All of these are made with the utmost style and thought. The square is a must-see for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Isfahan is situated right at the heart of the Iranian map. The weather here is moderate, as it is found at the foot of the Zagros Mountain Range. The area is kept cold by the nearby Zayandeh River. Days are generally warm in the Isfahan province, but it can be cold here at night.

Other things worth seeing in Isfahan would be their Grand Bazaar. Not only is this a place and event where you can find great item to score, but you can also be part of a great Iranian tradition. This is because the bazaar has been ongoing since the 11th Century. Isfahan is a real must-see.

April 23, 2010 at 10:08 pm | 2 comments

Asau


Asau Island from high above
Photo by: NASA Wikimedia, Creative Commons

Asau is one of Samoa’s tropical places in the country. Situated on the northwest coast of Savii islands, Asau is Vaisigano’s political district village. It serves as focal point for business centre and is widely known for its tropical beaches. The city of Asau is also known for its timber industry. Upon entering the harbor of Asau, a giant coral reef can be spotted as the ferry boat closes by where it can be seen blocking the opening of the harbor. This coral reef is very well glued in its place, in fact it was so tough not even New Zealand’s bombs work against it. Locals believe that their god aitu doesn’t want it removed. Today, this harbor is now being seldom used.

If you are looking for nice place to visit in Asau, you might want to consider the Tanu Beach Fales situated in the northern section of Savii Island in Manase Village. Beach Fale resort is actually part of a whole strip of beach resorts that can be located in this area. There are actually 5-7 beach resorts that are located here, but Tanu Beach Fales offers the cheapest and the largest beach resort in the area. All of these beach resorts include free breakfast and dinner when you lodge with them. The beach here is very beautiful and the sand is very fine and white.

If you’re thinking of traveling to Samoa, then you might want to consider Asau as one of the places to visit. If tropical beauty and adventure is what you’re looking for, then this place is perfect for you.

April 23, 2010 at 9:37 pm | No comment

Corozal

A street in Corozal, Belize.

Photo by: wiki, Creative Commons

Lying a mere 9 miles away from the Mexican border and located in the northern part of the country is the town of Corozal, Belize. If you are someone who enjoys laid back vacations where you can let your hair down and simply cruise the days by then this is the right place for you to go. Be careful though since most people here are very friendly to the extent of offering you marijuana if they see you as someone who has a rather laid back attitude. You can easily say no however since this is just one of their ways of welcoming you.

The town of Corozal can be easily accessed by way of buses that travel the Corozal-Chetumal route. These bus rides last only an hour and there are a number of buses that ply this route every half an hour or so. You can also get to Corozal by way of a bus that originates from either Belize City or from Belmopan. Other options you can try for getting to Corozal include flights from Maya Island Air and Tropic Air as well as ferry rides via the Thudnerbolt Ferry which takes around an hour and a half to two hours to get there.

Popular tourist spots you might want to check out in Corozal include the Maya Ruins of Santa Rita, the Cerros Ruins which is found right across the Corozal Bay and the Old Town market. Some events you might want to catch in the town include the Krem New Year’s Cycling Classic and the Columbus Day Fiesta.

April 23, 2010 at 8:42 pm | No comment

Peshawar


Peshawar Museum
Photo by: Wikipedia, Creative Commons

The Capital of Pashtun Culture and Arts

During the Soviet War in Afghanistan in 1980, Peshawar became the home of Afghan refugees who fled during the conflict. Because of this, Peshawar consequently became the center of Pashtun culture and arts in Pakistan.

The astonishing establishments make Peshawar a great place to visit. When you go to Peshawar, it is important that you visit the landmarks that are unique to this city. These landmarks include the following:

• The Islamic College at the University of Peshawar

• The Peshawar Museum

• The Lady Reading Hospital

• The Sunehri Mosque

• Excavations of the Kanishka Monastery

• Peshawar’s Walled City

• The Mahabat Khan Mosque

Islam is the dominant religion of the area although there is also a relative population of Sikh and Hindu among its people.

Peshawar is connected to the major cities of Pakistan via the Karakorum Highway. The Peshawar International Airport is the main airport in the region. The roads of Peshawar are also linked to China and Afghanistan.

The city hosts its own film industry known as Pollywood where much of the Pashto films have been made. It also serves as the center for literature, political, and media related personalities.

There are also many activities that you can engage on while in Peshawar. During the summer season, you can do hiking tours in the mountains. If you intend to buy goods, you have to prepare yourself to bargain. Better yet, you can take a local with you when shopping for items. You can also start visiting the landmarks of Peshawar and be warmed by their cultural foundations. There are also many restaurants and food stops that you can try in this city. You can try eating on local restaurants to have a taste of Peshawar specialties or visit Western fast food chains.

While in Peshawar, you should also try the Kawa, or green tea which is known for its distinct flavor and sweetness.

April 23, 2010 at 7:58 pm | 1 comment

Naples


A Tranquil Beach in Naples, Italy
Photo by: anzman, Creative Commons

When in Italy, a visit to the Southern city of Naples is a must for you to have the ultimate experience of Italian culture. Located about two hours South of Rome in the region of Campania, Naples is where the most important port in the country’s southern region can be found. It is located north of the Bay of Naples, which is one of the most popular bays in Italy because of its beauty.

Getting around the city of Naples is made easy by several major train lines and buses. There are also ferries that can take you to the other nearby islands, and there is also an airport, Aeroporto Capodichino, that caters to flights to other parts of Italy.

One interesting fact about Naples is that it is where the world-famous pizza originated. Long before we started to enjoy our pizza deliveries of various varieties and toppings, the people of Naples have been enjoying freshly-baked pizza topped with mouthwatering spices and delicious sauce straight out of wood-burning ovens. Today you can enjoy these genuine Italian pizzas that are still being served in the many great pizza places found all over the city. You will surely be treated to a wide array of the best pizzas in the world, because here in Naples, they take pizza seriously.

Other than food, Naples also has many historic and artistic venues to showcase. One of the most famous attractions in Italy is the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. This museum is home to Greek and Roman antiquities that are among the best collections in the world. These include sculptures, gems, mosaics, silver and glass art pieces and objects excavated from the City of Pompeii and other nearby archaeological sites.

Great Italian architecture is also showcased in the City of Naples, through its many churches. Some of these are the Santa Chiara Church that has an interesting museum and a monastery; the Duomo, which is a 13th century cathedral built in honor of San Gennaro, who is the patron of Naples; the Basilica Santa Restituta, the oldest church in Naples that has columns that are believed to have originated from the Temple of Apollo and the 13th century medieval church called San Lorenzo Maggiore, underneath which is lies extensive Greek and Roman remains.

Naples is most populated by tourists during the Christmas Season because of its spectacular displays on the streets. Their specialty is recreating the nativity and in fact they have several nativity workshops in different parts of the city and a great concentration of which is on Via San Gregorio Armeno.

April 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm | No comment

Split


Split bayside
Photo by: lyng883, Creative Commons

Located in Central Dalmatia, the beautiful city of Split, Croatia is one of the most frequented places by tourists in the country because of the many sites that it has to offer. It is a city rich in art and history and a perfect venue for a laidback vacation of family and friends.

A former Roman city, Split was built around the palace that was intended for Emperor Diocletian of Rome. It used to be a refuge of locals back in the olden days. Today the ancient walls and temples are still visible to local tourists, adding more historical value to the entire city.

Visitors from other countries may reach Split, through the Split Airport, which, incidentally, is the second most important airport in Croatia, only next to the Zagreb Airport. There are flight schedules to and from major cities in Europe as well as charter flights to more countries during summer.

In going around the city, tourists may take the bus or taxis, which are abundant. There is also a train line, whose station is located right at the center of the city. The local boats at the port, on the other hand, will take you to other beautiful locations in Croatia, like Brac, Solta, Hvar, Vis, Lastovo and Korcula.

Split has many museums that showcase the city’s rich history. One of these is the Diocletian Palace, which is right at the heart of the city. Declared as a UNESCO Heritage Site, this palace-museum is adorned with renaissance and gothic structures that are silent witnesses to the events that took place within its walls centuries ago.

Aside from museums, churches and cathedrals in Split also display the high artistic and historical value of the city. St. Duje’s Cathedral, for one, exhibits a nice blend of a Catholic church and a Roman temple. Built in 305 AD, this cathedral was meant to be a mausoleum of Emperor Diocletian. It has a bell tower that will give you a magnificent view of the whole city as well as of adjacent islands and the Mejan hill.

Split is in itself a whole museum of Roman art and history, which tourists, both local and foreign, will definitely enjoy. The next time you plan a trip to Croatia, make sure that you stop by this beautiful city.

April 22, 2010 at 11:48 pm | No comment

Cordoba

Plaza San Martín in Córdoba, Argentina

Photo by: morrissey, Creative Commons

With a population of over two million, Cordoba is considered as the second largest city in Argentina. The city is surrounded by three valleys and formed into three main mountain groups. Breathtaking scenery, along with historic colonial buildings are the main attractions in Cordoba that makes it so popular around the world.

Attractions You Should Not Miss

Museums

Touring all of the museums in Cordoba is impossible if you plan to complete the trip in just one day. There are many science, arts, technology, and historical museums along with varied exhibitions in Cordoba and visiting all the museums will probably take you more than a week.

Churches

Churches also make great attractions you should visit when in Cordoba. Different churches with different architectural influences can be seen in the city. Monasterio de Santa Teresa is one of the unique churches you can visit as it has an interesting pink color.

Parks and Squares

There are also many parks and squares in Cordoba filled with beautiful natural and manmade lakes and gardens. Parque Sarmiento, which is in Nueva Cordoba, is considered the most popular park in the city for its flower garden, zoo, and the amazing manmade lake.

Theaters

There are over fifty theatres in Cordoba, all of them hosting different exhibitions and shows. These theatres, also known as arte bars, are great places you can go to when visiting Cordoba during other months except summer.

Hillside Resorts

When visiting Cordoba during the summer, hillside resorts are definitely an attraction you should not miss. Carlos Paz is a popular hillside resort you can visit to escape the summer heat and enjoy the cool breeze on the hillside.

Things You Should Know

• The best time to visit Cordoba will be from March thru May or from August thru November so that you get to experience very little rain. These months are also great for visiting Cordoba as the temperature is less humid.

• Travelling around Cordoba is mostly done by bus, as it is less costly than taxi. You will need special bus coins or cards for the payment so make sure to buy one to avoid any hassles.

• Biking around Cordoba is also another great way you can try to get to your destination easily. Moreover, it is important that you take caution, as the roads get quite difficult to go through, especially during rush hour.

• Most of the hotels in Cordoba can be found in the heart of the city. If you want to rest in a more peaceful environment, you can easily take a bus to the outskirts of the city where most of the resorts are located.

April 22, 2010 at 8:24 pm | No comment

Akranes


Sunset at 11 P.M.
Photo by: moohaha, Creative Commons

On a clear day, Akranes, Iceland can be seen from Reykjavik, across the blue sea. It has a population of around 6, 000, which is considerably higher than other fishing towns in the country – a fact that can be attributed to the recent industrialization which has provided employment options to Icelanders. The thing is, one of the reasons why this town is such a great place is the people who live in it. The people of Akranes are vibrant and sporty.

When you visit Akranes, Iceland, you would be surprised at the wealth of options that the town can offer. You can go to the beach for a relaxing stroll and a breath of sea air. You can also visit the lighthouse and witness an awesome, sweeping vista. You can visit museums such as the Museum of Icelandic Stones, the Folk Museum and the Hvalfjordur bay tunnel museum. If you visited the town for some peace, you can take a walk at the wooded area close to the folk museum. There are also beautiful forests in the vicinity.

You can also go to the nearby Akrafjall Mountain. This mountain is more than just something to look at. While it provides attractive scenery, it is also a great place for someone who likes the outdoors. Take a hiking trip to the top and enjoy the unforgettable view.

In Akranes, Iceland, you can enjoy all the scenic sights that the country has to offer without compromising comfort. There are excellent year-round hotels, restaurants, shops and various services. There is also an 18-hole golf-course for those who want to have non-strenuous fun.

Providing a mix of urban and not-so-urban pleasures, Akranes, Iceland is one great place to visit.

April 22, 2010 at 7:41 pm | No comment

Mampikony


Road Sign in Mampikony, Madagascar
Photo by: David Darricau , Creative Commons

The majority of the tourist spots in the world are becoming less of a sight to behold since they are not able to retain their beauty, not to mention that they are being overshadowed by the developing modernization of different societies. There are places, however, that are still exempt from such cases. One of these places would have to be a beautiful town in Madagascar – Mampikony.

The people in Mampikony believe that by keeping there city neat and organized will not only benefit their tourism income, but will also keep their town healthy and invulnerable from any kind of pollution. This is why the town itself would have to be the spot where tourists should visit.

The people in the streets selling seashells, stones and other natural stuff paired with the festivities that take place in the city make up the defining feature of Mampikony. Tourists will be able to witness the colorful civilization that existed in the area during its early times and how the traditions and culture were passed on to the society that inhabits the town today.

Also, the people in Mampikon are very welcoming and kind to tourists. They make sure that the ones who visit the area will feel at home regardless of where they are at that moment.

With Mampikony retaining its natural beauty, other tourist spots across the globe should follow suit and do something to protect nature from being harmed. Otherwise, people all over the globe will live in an Earth that does not resemble what it should be.

April 22, 2010 at 5:54 pm | No comment

Sylhet


Kean Bridge – over Surma River and on the bank of the river, and a very old clock.
Photo by: ~~ `Nostalgia’ ~~, Creative Commons

Sylhet, Bangladesh is a city with a major influence in Bangladesh. It is located in the northeastern side of Bangladesh, and the main city of the Sylhet District and Sylhet Division. The city is located near the banks of the Surma River and surrounded by Khasi, Jainta and Tripura hills.

Sylhet is known as the ‘City of Saints’, and has a mausoleum of great St. Hazrat Shah Jalal, the saint who brought Islam to Bengal during the 1300s. Sylhet is one of the largest cities in the country. It is also best known for its lush tropical forests, tea gardens, and most recently, its many industries. It is now one of the richest cities in the country, with newly opened shopping malls, hotels and luxury housing estates.

Tourist Sights and Attractions

  • Tea Gardens – there are plenty, plenty of tea gardens (some 150 of them) in a small city like Sylhet. Not only that, Sylhet has 3 of the largest tea gardens in the world—both in its area size and production.
  • The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal – After more than 600 years after Shah Jalal, this place still continues to tantalize people from around the world. Legend says that Shah Jalal came from Delhi, defeated Hindu Raja Gour Gobinda and transformed the ‘witchcraft’ followers to righteous Muslims. Here you can still see the shrine swords, the holy Quran as well as the robes owned by the saint displayed in the shrine.
  • The Monipuri Dance – this is one very interesting feature in Sylhet. The aborigine tribes including the Khasis, Garos,
  • Monipuris and the Tiperas who live on the hills practice their age old rituals and traditions and celebrate their festivals. The Monipuris perform their famed dance, a dance based on allegorical love of ancient mythology.

Climate

Sylhet is predominantly hot and humid during the summers, and relatively cool during the winter. It is within the monsoon climactic zone. It is hottest during months August to October, whereas its coldest temperatures are during months May to September.

Sylhet Forms of Transportation

By air, the Osmani International Airport serves all domestic flights from major airlines such as Royal Bangle Airlines, United Airlines, GMG and Bimam Air.

By land, you can travel via bus or train. There are several bus services such as Shohag Porigahan, Silk Line and Green Line. Their services are available from 7:30AM to 10:30PM. Via train, there are three train lines named Parabat, Upoban and Joyontika that depart every mornings, noontimes and evenings.

April 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm | 2 comments

Dwangwa


Lake Malawi in Dwangwa
Photo by: wiki, Creative Commons

One of the most popular natural destinations in Malawi is the Malawi Lake. In this lake, you will see endless expanse of clear and still water. You can take a swim into the lake and see different species of colourful fish and other lake animals. They are so close that you want to stretch out your hands to touch them. But of course you will not be able to because they move very fast at the slightest movement.

One area near the famous Malawi Lake is Dwangwa, Malawi. This is a populated city where you can see buildings. This is also a place where a lot of people in Malawi work, which means that it is a business district. What better place to travel in Africa than in Dwangwa, Malawi where people can see great natural landscapes yet still stay in a city?

You might want to book a hotel in advance because the city is one of the places where many travellers and tourists stay. This is because there are a few cities or towns in Malawi where there are a number of accommodations.

While in Dwangwa, Malawi, you will see the breathtaking Malawi Lake. It is a nice experience to swim in the lake or to just feel its magnificence. Aside from the lake, you will also find a number of streams in the area. There are more than ten streams in Dwangwa. You will also see a collection of different species of flora and fauna in these streams. There are also marshes or wetland where you can find grass-like vegetation.

April 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm | No comment

Hồ Chí Minh City


Ho Chi Minh – Reunification Palace
Photo by: Esutaquio Santimano, Creative Commons

Vietnam’s rich history has influenced this ancient city, Ho Chi Minh City, in a lot of ways. It is formerly known as Saigon and changed to its present name upon its independence. For many tourists, visiting Ho Chi Minh will primarily mean a trip to their history as its well visited landmarks are reminders of their past. In plans of touring around the city, it is highly recommendable that you visit during the country’s dry season which is from December up to February. Be guided with the following most visited tourist spots in Ho Chi Minh City:

• Reunification Palace
This is a remarkable palace where time seemed to have stopped. The ambiance will remind of you of the 1960s era as the place is secured to be intact after the city’s fall to the Northern part of Vietnam. Upon entering the palace, a lot of furnishings are well maintained; vintage rare items are also included in those things that are left unmoved until now. After roaming, it’s good to relax at the café located just outside the palace.

• Vietnamese History Museum
It is located between Nguyen Binh Khiem and Le Duan Street. The museum is home for various Vietnamese history memorabilia and antiques. A lot of tourists advise that it is good to read first the facts behind Vietnamese history in order to appreciate the artifacts. Outside the museum, there is a botanical garden where you can enjoy your lunch.

• War Remnants Museum
This is where the items left after the war are kept. Upon touring around the museum, you will feel the terror that has happened during the war. It includes photographs, armories, tanks, jets, helicopters and many more.

Aside from the abovementioned places to visit, there are many other destinations in Ho Chi Minh like the Notre Dame Cathedral, Quan Am Pagoda, Dam Sen Water Park and a lot more. Make sure to visit these important places in Ho Chi Minh City!

April 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm | 2 comments

Phuket


Tri Trang Beach in Phuket
Photo by: Eustaquio Santimano, Creative Commons

South of the country’s capital, about 862 km, you can see the largest island of the country identified as Phuket. The Pearl of Andaman is in fact admired by its people for how many years already because of its astonishing attractions and state of the art beaches. In addition, this island alone shares the same range of Singapore’s locale.

This wide-eyed place is home of several beaches of Southeast Asia. One of the most visited places is The Viewpoint wherein three beaches can be observed in a single position. The beaches names are Kata Noi, Kata and Karon. The Viewpoint can actually accommodate you in their different hotels and villas that also offer wide range of cuisines from authentic Thai delicacies to comforting foods.

The Two Heroine’s Monument can also be seen at this exact location. The story behind this monument is based on the two women, Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Sri Soontorn’s heroic act for the city. It is beautifully crafted and made in a marble pedestal with information located in between the plunk.

While cruising around town, you can see the Orchid Garden and Thai Village with an area of 8000 square meters. The roof is carefully erected with thatched roof and bamboo items for a more wonderful experience. It is obviously habituated by thousands of exotic orchids in green pastures and terrains. The national animal of the country, elephant, is also performing here. In the auditorium, dancers usually tap to the sound of traditional folk Thai music.

Lastly are Phuket’s renowned beach resorts. Rawai Beach offers an amazing sea view that can be very romantic when the sun sets in the month of April. Around the shoreline, handicrafts of Thai people are sold in cheap and affordable prices. You can keep it as a souvenir or give it as a gift item. At Surin Beach on the other hand, you can enjoy different freshly cooked seafood while enjoying the sight of swaying palm trees and waving blue waters.

Phuket will surely take your breath away with their spectacular attractions. Go to your nearest Thailand embassy now and fly to the home of Thais.

April 22, 2010 at 11:21 am | No comment

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