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Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
Photo by: Ethan Lindsey , Creative Commons

Currently, Rijksmuseum is located on the Museumplein in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It was established back in nineteenth century. It was initially created in The Hague and was later transferred to Amsterdam. . The museum is open from Monday through Sunday from 9:00am to 6:00pm except for Fridays because they closed at 8:30pm. The museum is closed on certain holidays such as New Years Day. An entrance fee of 11 Euros will be charged for adults. Children under the age of 18 and below can enter for free.

The world’s famous Dutch National Museum is called Rijksmuseum locally. Back then, King Louis Napoleon wanted to make Amsterdam as the center for arts and science so in 1908, the king decided to set the Grand Musee Royal in his palace on the Dam. The place in The Hague was not big enough to keep all the artifacts so they transferred the artifacts to Trippenhuis.

Rijksmuseum has a large collection of different paintings from the Golden Age of the Dutch in seventeenth century together with other valuable artifacts from different parts of the world, including Asia. Even the works of Jacob van Ruysdael, Frans Hals, Rambrandt and Johannes Vermeer can be seen in this place. Museumplein also has three other museums that serves as additional attractions.

It started with merely 200 paintings at first. Now, it possesses almost 5,000 rare paintings, sculptures, historical objects and the work of Asiatic arts which accounts for another 43,000 additional art work.

Inside the Rijksmuseum, various kinds of art works and artifacts can be seen. The oriental art section features Chinese porcelains, Japanese Prints and some other items that came from Southeast Asia and the Far East.

In the sculpture and handicrafts section you will see a wide range of liturgical robes, furniture, tapestries, pottery, costumes, doll houses, jewels, snuff boxes, lace and many more.

Museums in general help educate people. It reminds us of our country’s history and for foreigners, this will help them better understand and appreciate the country.

Amsterdam Famous Landmarks

January 9, 2010 at 11:49 am | No comment


Pamukkale 400
Pamukkale Amphitheatre
Photo by: Alaskan Dude, Creative Commons

The reason for a vacation is to get away from the hectic routine of life in the city. We all need to let it all hang out, and Turkey provides many places to do that. The weary traveler will be spoiled by the choices, as this country becomes a backdrop of natural and man-made attractions.

One site that has received much attention is the Pamukkale, which when translated means “cotton castle”. A visitor may expect an imposing fortress, but then you will be delighted to find that Pamukkale is a collection of springs.

Pamukkale are white terraces formed through carbonate minerals, and the flowing water shaped it. A view from afar would show one a series of natural terraces which cascade to different levels. An ultimate indulgence would be lazing in one of the springs while enjoying the view from the terrace.

More than being picturesque, the Pamukkale provides great benefits to those who swim in the pool. Calcium bicarbonate sediments are abundant in the pools, thus allowing the swimmers to rejuvenate themselves with the health benefits of a dip.

This World Heritage site has welcomed countless of travelers for thousands of years. People from the ancient times have enjoyed the relaxing effects of the springs, and up to now people can still have the same experience. To keep the effects optimal, measures have been taken to protect and preserve the Pamukkale. In the recent years, swimmers have been prohibited from wearing shoes in the pool in order to keep the deposits in prime shape.

Pamukkale is somewhat like a natural health spa, as the water is said to be a cure against rheumatism and asthma. The water also offers benefits to the eyes and skin. Bathing in the spring is like shooting two birds with one stone, as one gets healed while enjoying the grandeur of nature.

January 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm | No comment


Bruges 400
Bruges, Belgium
Photo by: Wolfgang Staudt , Creative Commons

Dubbed as the Venice of the North due to its water canal streets, the Belgian city of Bruges offers everyone a taste of the medieval ages through architecture, history and culture. In fact, because of its rich medieval architecture and history, it has been recognized as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2000.

Your to-do list in Bruges is not complete without a boat ride down the canals. To further enjoy this leisurely trip, many recommend riding a bike down to the boat docks. This way, you can enjoy the sights and sounds, both on water and land. If you’re looking to see the architectural gems that Bruges is known for, you can also hire a tour guide to introduce you to many historical landmarks. One of these is the Church of our Lady, a tall brick fixture that pierces the Bruges skyline. There is also the sculpture of the “Madonna and Child”, one of the few works of Michaelangelo to have ever left Italy. Probably the most popular structure in the city of Bruges is the 13th-century belfry. If you’re up to it, you can climb the 360 steps of the bell tower and be rewarded with a beautiful heightened view of the city. Lucky guests can also chance upon the chiming of the 48-bell ensemble of the belfry’s carillon. Bruges also holds appeal to advocates of art, in the form of music and theater. The English Theater of Bruges is a popular venue for theatre-goers. Situated in a place where English is not the primary language, the English Theater offers a rare theatrical experience for tourists and vacationers. For a good look at Belgian art, the Groening Museum is the place to go. Among the many museums scattered around Bruges, the Groening Museum is the major municipal repository of Belgian artworks from the 18th to the 21st century. These include works from Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden and Gerard David.

The medieval feel of Bruges adds to the magic of a place laden with history, architecture and art. Next time you’re planning a trip to Belgium, be sure to include this splendid city of water canals in your itinerary, and have one of the most enriching times of your life.

January 8, 2010 at 5:09 pm | No comment


Ganvie 400
Ganvie, Africa
Photo by: 300tdorg , Creative Commons

Occasionally tagged as the Venice of Africa, Ganvie, which is in Benin, is a large lagoon wherein different stilt houses and structures are being inhabited by the locals. Once in Ganvie, you will be amazed by how the locals do their daily routines on top of Lake Nokoue.

Ganvie is a four hundred year old town on top of a lagoon built by Africans to protect their tribe from getting enslaved by other tribes which were then present. Until now, the stilts are still being inhabited by locals and everything seen in normal towns are then made available in Ganvie.

Most of the locals live through fishing and tourism. However, some of the locals, especially the elders, are not that hospitable to tourists and they might find it quite rude once you start taking pictures of them or even their town without asking for their permission.

The main attraction in Ganvie is the town itself and how the locals conduct their everyday lives on top of a lagoon. The beauty of the town is also quite remarkable once you get on one of the boats and roam around the town. Restaurants and other buildings catering to tourists are also available in Ganvie, all of them accessible by boat.

Roaming around the town in a pirogue should be on top of your list of things to do so that you get to see everything about a town on top of a lagoon. Using a pirogue instead of a motorboat will take you quite longer when traveling, but it will be less noisy and more serene.
If you want to spend a few nights in Ganvie, hotels on top of stilts are available and are offered to tourists for a fair price. A good place to stay when planning to visit Ganvie is in Cotonou since most hotels available offer their tourists different packages for a tour in Ganvie via a motorboat.

January 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm | 1 comment

Ross Ice Shelf

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Ross Ice Shelf
Photo by: lin padgham , Creative Commons

Now that you’ve made up your mind that your next adventure will be in Antarctica, better include the Ross Ice Shelf in your checklist. This happens to be a very interesting place to visit. Not only is it more preferred by most tourists, you get to witness first hand the scenic beauty of an ice shelf. By definition, an ice shelf is a very thick mass of ice that floats around the sea. Even though it may be roaming around, it’s still anchored to a more massive glacier that can be as big as France moving around.

By visiting this famous tourist spot in Antarctica, you will see ice formations melting due to the current state of Global Warming. Just like in the movies, a great flood would actually wash away countries as big as China or cities closer to home like New York in the United States. Once you get to be with other tourists who would tell you that they have gone back to the Ross Ice Shelf for numerous times already. The reason here is that they were so enamored by the splendid view of glaciers floating and bumping against each other. Well, these are the extreme seekers who would be just like you.

Coming to the Ross Ice Shelf and being there to witness the mystery of life will really make one’s journey much more fascinating. These icebergs do not melt even it they break off from a bigger portion. So if you love extreme adventure, a visit to the Ross Ice Shelf is what you need.

January 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm | No comment

Moremi Game Reserve

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Moremi Game Reserve, Africa
Photo by: Michiel Vanbalen, Creative Commons

Though it is still hard to directly access Moremi Game Reserve without paying a lot of money, the enjoyment and the amazing spectacles you will witness are surely worth every dollar you will be spending.

Situated at the eastern section of the Okavango delta, the Moremi game reserve spans to almost five thousand kilometers and serves as a refuge for the highest concentration of leopards and endangered African wild dogs all over the globe.

What You Should Not Miss

The concentration of floodplains, lagoons, acacia forests, and mopane woodlands offer the tourists a diversity of sites to feast their eyes on. Not to mention the variety of wildlife available that freely roam around the game reserve.

Great forests and lakes that are very clear are present in Moremi game reserve which enables different kinds of species to thrive. Tourists can roam around the area in four wheel drives to be amazed by the preserved sanctuary for endangered species.

Wildlife viewing is one of the most exciting spectacles while in Moremi game reserve. To see different animals wandering around in the different areas throughout the reserve, driving your four wheel drive will be easier, exciting, and more safer than walking.

What You Should Know

Getting to Moremi game reserve can be tricky since the road is not well built and the signs that direct you there are poorly made. The easiest way to get to the game reserve is via plane which is quite costly. Being prepared financially is important so that you won’t have a hard time while on tour.

Lodging in Moremi is also quite costly, so you need to prepare yourself for their rates especially during times where there are many tourists coming in.

January 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm | No comment


Acapulco Beach 400
Acapulco Sunset
Photo by: Esparta, Creative Commons

The sun, the sand, and the sea – these are just some of the common things any beach-loving vacationer wants in his or her dream destination. In Mexico, there’s one place that definitely gives you those three elements with a special Latin twist – Acapulco. This city that is filled with world-class resorts is just 300 kilometers from Mexico City and is the largest city in the state of Guerrero.

During the last century, Acapulco started its popularity as a tourist destination when it was included in holiday cruise packages during the weekends from the United States, the inner cities of Mexico, and countries in South America. Due to its increased popularity, it began to compete with the country’s premier beach destination, Cancun. Decreased and discounted airfares have also contributed to the increase of tourists in the city, particularly Americans. It has drawn so much popularity in the mid-20th century that it has been referenced in pop culture, for example in Frank Sinatra’s song “Come Fly with Me.”

Nowadays, aside from Cancun, Acapulco has also been a constant featured destination for numerous cruise ship packages touring in the Pacific Ocean. It is a particularly favorite destination for the younger set of American tourists who find the city an ideal locale for their spring break escapades. Many of them have already grown tired of Cancun, so thirst for new and more exciting experiences have lead them to Acapulco.

Visitors are sure to find pleasure in the city’s splendid beaches. They can go island-hopping to Roqueta, which is usually reached by motor boats that have a glass bottom, allowing passengers to see through the bottom of the sea! As Acapulco is a beach destination, water sports facilities are top-class. If you want the glitziest accommodation, the area you would want to explore id the Acapulco Diamante (Diamond Acapulco) zone. Adventure seekers can also go to the La Quebrada Cliffs and watch the world-famous La Quebrada Cliff Divers perform dangerous dives in wild tides and shallow water. When it comes to nightlife, Acapulco also offers the best with clubs such as Classico, Palladium, and Alebrije, Latin America’s largest club.

January 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm | No comment

Famouswonders x DressHead Chiffon Mint Lined Dress

Famouswonders x DressHead Chiffon Mint Lined Dress / Fit and Flare / Deep V Neckline

This famouswonders x http://www.dresshead.com/c/chiffon-dresses product is a lovely ladies chiffon dress; it is colored in a desirable mint color and is made to allow people to look their best no matter what the occasion is. It is a very regular fit and flare shape, so the dress helps to allow the wearer to be able to look and feel great. The material of the dress is high graded polyester and the backside of the dress features a lovely button up cut out detailing. The side part of the dress has a zip that helps the wearer to take it off and put it on with great ease. Underneath the bust section of the dress is a sheer panel underneath the bust area. The lining is made out of chiffon and the dress is hand wash only. It is a very regular fit dress so the size that you are is the size that you should purchase. Mint colored chiffon dresses are always going to be a fashion item on ladies wardrobe lists, and this is not an exception. Spaghetti straps, short fit and flare length, and a great chest feature that allows you to be able to show off your cleavage.

January 8, 2010 at 3:09 am | No comment

Nemrut Dagi

Nemrut Dagi 400
Nemrut Dagi Headstone
Photo by: ‘saipal, Creative Commons

Some people from afar to see new places; this is because they have seek more. However, these travelers will always have something to marvel about in Turkey, as the country offers various sites that would interest any traveler.

Historical sites are scattered all over Turkey, and it is best if travelers visit as many sites as they can. Among the notable sites in the country is Nemrut Dagi, an ancient shrine atop a mountain. A geologist discovered in 1881, and since then, people have been drawn to the mystique of the place.

The fascinating thing about Nemrut Dagi is that it contains many huge statues, which dates back to 62 BC. King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene commissioned the building of the structures upon the mountain. Originally, the statues reached as much as 30 feet high, and these comprised of statues of the king, Armenian and Greek gods, lions, and eagles.

Anyone can take in the grandeur of the site, with the huge statues standing as sentinels to the mountain. However, Nemrut Dagi fell victim to iconoclasm; the statues’ heads are now scattered all over the mountain. Still, the site holds great significance, thus drawing in travelers who wish to learn more about this place’s history.

Believed to be the burial site of Antiochus, Nemrut Dagi leaves one in awe of the stone carvings that are more than 2000 years old. The statues exhibit the great skill that people back then had with building such structures. Going to see the ancient statues is a humbling experience, as it makes one feel part of something bigger.

Aside from the statues, the conical shape of the mountain where Nemrut Dagi stands is also something unique. Watching the sunrise and sunset from the summit is a great way to enjoy the sights of this wondrous place.

January 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm | No comment

Oporto – Wine Capital

Oporto 400
Photo by: abhijeet.rane, Creative Commons

Do you love wine? Would you like to have some as you take pleasure in looking at the view of the river which ends in the Atlantic Ocean? Would you also like to be charmed by some art treasures, cathedrals and museums from the Medieval period? If you do, you are surely going to fall in love with Oporto.

Oporto is the capital of Northern Portugal. It is the second largest city after Lisbon and is also as industrialized. Visitors love visiting the historic centre of Oporto because of the legendary Port Wine. This wine is processed, blended, and aged in the lodge of the Vila Nova da Gaia district right across the river Douro. Visitors can drop in on these lodges and finish up with a wine-tasting session.

Along the Atlantic coastline of Oporto, numerous resorts are within reach. These resorts have restaurants known for their sumptuous seafood menus. Taking a river cruise along Douro is possible for you to see better the splendid scenery of the area.

Here are the other attractions people enjoy while in the historic centre of Oporto:

• Igreja de Sao Franciso – In English, the Church of Saint Frances. This church dates back to as far as 1383. The exterior is not very imposing but the inside is extravagantly Baroque in style created in the 17th and 18th centuries.

• Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis – This is an extensive art museum which opened in 1840. This was renamed and dedicated to Soares dos Reis, a very famous sculptor born and bred in Oporto. It houses both Portuguese and foreign collections.

• Solar Vinho do Porto – This is the place to go if you want to have a taste of the Porto Wine. This is in a villa full of roses which definitely gives visitors the light and relaxing feeling they long for in a getaway. Hosts offer visitors glasses of wine along some complimentary snacks. Also inside this villa is a small museum which has some 18th century painting and furniture.

January 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm | 1 comment

Churches of Ivanovo

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Churches of Ivanovo
Photo by: klearchos , Creative Commons

The Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanavo are a set of monumental chapels, monasteries and churches built out of hard rock. These group of churches are totally different compared to Bulgaria’s other monastery churches. It is located by the town of Ivanavo, south of Rousse by twenty kilometres, on the high stony banks of Rusenski Lom, thirty-two kilometres higher than the river. This complex is widely known for its well-preserved and attractive medieval frescoes.

Monks had inhabited the caves in the area in the decade of 1220s, when it was discovered by the prospect Patriarch of Bulgaria Joachim, until the seventeenth century, when they hewed churches, chapels and cells out of hard rock. At the tip of the monastery group, the churches amounted to about forty, whilst the other grounds were around three hundred, majority of which aren’t presently preserved.

Ivan Alexander and Ivan Asen II, examples of 2nd Bulgarian Empire leaders, regularly donated money to the monastery complex, as confirmed by contributor portraits in few of the churches. Other donors were the nobles that came from the capital of Tarnovo, with which the complex had close relations in the thirteenth and fourteenth century. It was the core of hesychasm in Bulgarian grounds in the fourteenth century and maintained to survive in the premature centuries of Ottoman ruling of Bulgaria, however slowly decomposed.

The frescoes from the thirteenth and fourteenth century are responsible for the monastery complex’s popularity. These frescoes are preserved in five of the churches, which are seen as great illustrations if Bulgarian medieval art. The rock grounds that were used by monks include the Baptistery, the St. Archangel Michael Chapel, the St. Theodore Church, the main Holy Mother of God Church, and the Gospodev Dol Chapel, with the fourteenth century murals in the later one being debatably the most popular in Ivanavo and considered as some of the most significant representations of the Palaeologan art.

January 7, 2010 at 3:40 pm | No comment

Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni Tourist Guide 400
Salar de Uyuni Tourist Guide
Photo by: funkz, Creative Commons

Salar de Uyuni provides tons of surreal and amazing views that you can see for yourself through several days and nights of touring in Bolivia. You will surely be amazed to witness for yourself the largest salt flat in the world that is actually blinding during the daytime.

Salar de Uyuni can be easily accessed through taking a tour to Southwest of Bolivia. Usually, these tours will last for four to seven days depending on the type of tour you will be choosing and also the attractions that you will be planning to see for yourself.

What You Should Not Miss

The vast expanse of salt in Salar de Uyuni will definitely leave you amazed by its beauty and its mere existence. Salt can be as thick as ten meters in the center and during wet seasons, the vast expanse will be covered with water.

Most tours that include Salar de Uyuni will also offer you other various attractions that are also breathtaking. Another common attraction that you can also see when going on tour is Laguna Hedionda and Isla de Pescados which are both spectacular.

What You Should Know

Going on tour to Southwest of Bolivia can get really cold. Wearing thick clothes will help you keep warm during the nights. Stocking up with food and warm water is also an essential especially if you are planning to take the tour on a rented four wheel drive.

Prepare yourself with coins and extra money when travelling since most bathrooms available have fees. Food and other commodities are also available for a much higher price so it is better to prepare the things that are needed while still on the city.

There are several tour options you can choose from when planning to go to Salar de Uyuni. Make sure that you take advantage of different packages available and also choose a package that will include a tour on other spectacular places that you also wish to see.

January 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm | 3 comments

Indian Museum

Indian Museum in India
Photo by: Mjanich, Creative Commons

Anyone with the smallest curiosity of India, its history, and with anything old enough to be in a museum shouldn’t miss a chance to visit the Indian Museum in India in the city of Kolkata. This museum is the largest museum in India, the oldest museum in the Asia Pacific region, and the ninth oldest regular museum in the world. Founded by the Danish botanist Dr. Nathaniel Wallich in 1814, it was originally located at the premises of the Asiatic Society. Since 1878, it has moved to its present location, a majestic mansion at Jawaharlal Nehru Road, around the corner of Sudder Street.

From two galleries in 1878, the Indian Museum has grown to over sixty galleries encompassing the various disciplines of Art, Archeology, Anthropology, Botany, Geology, and Zoology. The museum is a ten thousand square foot area of heaven with more than a million artifacts on exhibit for those who are into history, culture and art. In just one place, one can see dinosaur and mammoth skeletons, an Egyptian mummy that’s 4000 years old, Shah Jahan’s emerald goblet, the Buddhist stupa from Bharhut, an urn that is said to contain the ashes of Buddha, a meteorite collection, and other very rare antiques and art pieces. No wonder that the locals call it Jadu Ghar, which means, the House of Magic.

For a nominal fee, students are permitted to sketch the objects displayed in the galleries. Other visitors can take photographs though the use of additional lighting and flash is prohibited. The use of a tripod is allowed but one will have to pay a higher fee. Those who forgot to bring their cameras can avail of the services of the museum’s photo unit. For other souvenirs, there is the bookstore where plaster replicas of some displayed objects are being sold.

January 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm | 1 comment

Jain Temple

Hindu Jain Temple 400
Jain Temple
Photo by: Mckay Savage , Creative Commons

India boasts of many temples of the Jain faith. These temples are not only places of worship for those who practice the Jain faith, but they have also become tourist attractions because of their exotic architecture. Many temples are actually located in a pilgrimage site and people regard the whole area as a sacred place. The more prominent temples are located in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Gujarat.

The town of Hastinapur is considered to be one of the Jain religion’s most elaborate pilgrimage sites. In the town itself, there are at least twelve Jain temples. What sets them apart from most Jain temples is the simplicity of their architecture, a testament to the Jain qualities of prudence and integrity. Many believe that the temples here are the closest when it comes to perfection in architecture. The most popular Jain temples in Hastinapur include the Bada Mandir, where you can find an elaborate image of Bhagwan underneath the temple’s central dome. A more recent addition is the Lotus Temple, which was only completed in 1989. This small house of worship is located in a beautiful courtyard of yet another temple, the Jambudweep. There are facilities in the area for worshipers preparing for puja (prayer offering ritual).

The temples in the state of Jharkkhans are located in the picturesque and hilly pilgrimage site of Shikharji or Parasnath Hills. Most common to the temples here would be their chaumukh, or four-faced structure. Lastly, temples in Gujarat are situated in the religious town of Palitana. At least 1,300 temples are in this town, majority of them made out of marble. The collection of these small yet ornate temples is simply a site to behold.

There are only very few guides in these temples so you may just want to explore the sites by yourself. Make sure to be very respectful though and avoid going into areas without permission.

January 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm | 18 comments

Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge 400
Charles Bridge, Czech Republic
Photo by: knottyboywayne , Creative Commons

If you love Gothic bridges, there is one place in the Czech Republic that has climbed up the charts in every tourist’s list – the Charles Bridge. This bridge connects Prague Old Town with the Malá Strana. Commissioned in July 9, 1357 by the Czech King and the Emperor Charles IV, the bridge started its construction at precisely 5:31 in the morning. It was even given some odd explanations to the sequence of numbers it had which was 1357 9 7 531. This is revelation has indeed attracted millions of tourists to the landmark since you could get to a certain part of the bridge where you will find a plaque on the 16th statue.

To tell you, there are 30 Baroque statues that were erected throughout the whole stretch of Charles Bridge. The 16th statue is flocked by tourists since it is believed that by rubbing on the plaque, you shall be given luck and assurance of your safe return to your homeland. Aside from that, you will be granted another safe entry back to Prague. So do bring along all your precious rolls of film when you visit the Charles Bridge or better yet, carry numerous memory cards for your camera to capture the places and people.

What makes it a worthwhile trip to the Czech Republic is that this national monument comes alive at sunset. Witness the amazing lights that brighten the sky when you fix your eyes on the Prague Castle. It’ll be safe for you to just wander around and not worry about cars or trams that used to come whizzing by, for the Charles Bridge was declared off limits to vehicles. Now, you will just be among the hoards of tourists who come alive for the romantic mood of the Czech Republic.

Prague Famous Landmarks

January 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm | No comment

Koh Samui

Koh Samui 400
Koh Samui
Photo by: timparkinson, Creative Commons

For many people, a great getaway in Thailand consists of having the opportunity to explore hidden gems and meeting genial people, partaking of delicious food, and experiencing the other aspects of a diverse culture. Most people also look forward to basking under the sun, specifically the glorious beaches such as those found in Ko Samui.

Regarded as a self-styled Boutique Island in the lower end of the Thai Gulf, Koh Samui has emerged as a runaway favorite among leisure visitors because of its beauty and ‘coconut’ feel. From your villa resort, you can find numerous coconut plantations all over the island, and make your way out to where the outdoor theatres with performing elephants and animal farms are. If you’re with family members who love sights of nature, there are stunning waterfalls, like the Na Muang (a term that refers to the huge purple rocks forming the waterfalls. There’s also a large natural swimming pool sitting under the waterfall.

Ko Samui is where you’d also find lovely bays off the main road. You may opt for the classic Thai beach. Immerse yourself in he heavenly crystal blue waters and white sand bordered by craggy limestone rock formations and verdant hills.

There are actually many other interesting and fun activities you can enjoy at Koh Samui. You can head towards the northern coast and see the awesome Big Buddha shrine where a 12-meter high golden Buddha can be spotted kilometers away. Inch closer and you’d find many small ornate Buddha’s within the shrines, plus a market where you can purchase a dazzling assortment of lucky charms, souvenirs, and tasty food.

You may want to check out the Samui aquarium and tiger zoo where you can find south-eastern Asian tigers, parrots, hornbills, sea hawks & eagles.

A visit to the Ang Thong National Marine Park, by speedboat or ferry, will also be worth your while. You can go for some snorkeling fun, or hike to an island where you can relax, or kayak around to enjoy virgin island scenery.

January 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm | 2 comments

Royal Palace

Royal Palace 400
Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Photo by: Ricardo Martins , Creative Commons

The Royal Palace in Amsterdam is known as Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam or Paleis op de Dam. It is one of the four places in Netherlands which is at the disposal of Queen Beatrix by the Act of Parliament. The palace was built to serve as a city hall during the Dutch Golden Age back in 17th century. The place became the palace of King Louis Napoleon and later became the Dutch Royal House. The Royal Palace is located in the west side of the Dam Square which is in the center of Amsterdam.

The Royal Palace in Amsterdam was build by Jacob van Campen. He took control of the whole construction project back in 1648. Marble was the chosen material for its interior design. It was said that 13,659 wooden piles was use to build this place which amounts to 8.5 million gulden.

The central hall is 120 feet long, 60 feet wide and 90 feet high. On the marbled floor you can see two maps with celestial hemisphere. Both western and eastern hemispheres are shown on the maps.

A large domed cupola sits at the top of the palace. Just underneath the dome are a few windows. Here, you can perfectly see if a ship arriving and departing in the harbor.

Works done by Govert Flinck can be found in the palace. Flinck died before he was able finish his work. Other works includes paintings of Jacob Jordaens, Jan Lievens and Ferdinand Bol.

Queen Beatrix decided to use the palace for entertaining and official functions, purposes like state visits or other official receptions such as award ceremonies of Erasmus Prize, The Royal Awards for Painting, and the Prince Claus Award.

The balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam serves as witnessed when Queen Juliana announced the new queen to the people. This is where Prince Willem-Alexander kissed Princess Maxima on their wedding day.

Amsterdam Famous Landmarks

January 7, 2010 at 11:47 am | No comment


Photo by: Catalunya, Creative Commons

Slovakia is a small nation in Central Europe and is a member of the European Union. It has the fastest growing economy in comparison to other members of the European Union. Vlkolinec makes for an exciting attraction for people who want to experience what there to see in Slovakia.

Vlkolínec is a village in the town of Ružomberok. This village has well preserved houses and buildings that clearly depict the kind of architecture and design that people in this place utilized during old times. It also features the great culture of Slovaks in the old days. That is why this place is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

UNESCO World Heritage sites are places that are preserved and maintained by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Vlkolínec is a place that outstandingly exemplifies a place that illustrates a significant stage in Slovakian history as well as a good illustration of the kind of culture that people in those days enjoyed.

The village is very much intact and well preserved considering the length of time it has been around. It is located in the middle of Slovakia and has more than 45 traditional log houses. Each house contains two to three rooms each. One can also see an 18th century wooden belfry and a baroque chapel in the village that has been very well preserved.

Two houses, specifically houses number 16 and 17, have been transformed into a folk museum. The museum depicts the way life took place in that village. Instruments used by folks who used to live in the village are displayed in the museum.

If you’re a history buff and into exploring cultures of other countries, then going to the village of Vlkolínec is a definite place to visit.

January 6, 2010 at 10:04 pm | No comment

The Raffles Hotel

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The Raffles Hotel
Photo by: Bruce Tuten , Creative Commons

When one goes to Singapore, one would of course have to look for a place to stay. If one would like that stay to not only be enjoyable but be filled with a historic feel, than one should consider staying in the Raffles Hotel found in Beach Road, Singapore.

The Raffles Hotel has been around Singapore for more than 120 years now. Put up in 1887 by four Armenian brothers and named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, started as a 10-room colonial bungalow. At that time it was one of the most modern buildings in Singapore. As time went by, more buildings were added expanding the hotel to accommodate more guests and add additional facilities.

Before the 1930’s, the hotel didn’t accept Asian guests. The Japanese occupation devastated the hotel. At the end of the Japanese occupation, 300 Japanese soldiers took their lives in the hotel with the use of grenades. After the devastation that World War II brought and the hardships that followed, the hotel was able to rebuild..

In 1987, on its 100th year, the hotel was declared a national monument. Two years later, the hotel closed down for renovations. In 1991, the hotel reopened after extensive renovation costing160 million Singaporean dollars. In addition to the renovation, an extension that housed more rooms and a shopping arcade was built.

Historic events connected to the hotel include the invention of the Singaporean Sling, a famous cocktail in Singapore, and the killing of the last Singaporean tiger on its premises. The Long Bar, the hotel’s bar and steakhouse, has been featured as one of the top ten bars in the world. There is also a museum that can be found on the third floor of the arcade. The Raffles Hotel Museum and Jubilee Hall features the history of the hotel.

January 6, 2010 at 10:01 pm | 3 comments

Milford Sound Fjord

Stirling Falls at Milford Sound
Stirling Falls at Milford Sound
Photo by: Greg O’Beirne, Creative Commons

Milford Sound Fjord is found southwest of South Island, New Zealand. It is perhaps the country’s most visited tourist destination, recording approximately 550,000 visitors every year. Milford Sound runs 15 kilometers inland from the Tasman Sea. It is nestled amidst cliffs and rock faces on either side that stand up to 1,200 meters high.

A part of Fiordland National Park and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage, Milford Sound had been a long-hidden wonder before its magnificent interior bays started attracting millions of people from around the world. European explorers did not venture into the fjord entry until the 20th century. Tourists will be surprised to see that the narrow entry, with waters as shallow as 27 meters, actually leads to a 22km long fjord.

Despite Milford Sound’s remote location and the long journey by boat it takes to get there, New Zealand visitors make it a point to see this natural wonder. The Milford Sound Visitors’ Centre offers boat tours that last from one to two hours to those who wish to see the fjord. Tourists can also opt for extended overnight cruises or overnight boat trips at Milford Sound.

Milford Sound also features fascinating wildlife and marine life. In one of the bays, you will find an underwater tourist observatory wherein black corals and other marine life can be viewed. Fjord visitors have also told of having experienced seeing dolphin, penguins, seals, and even whales. Meanwhile, water activities like tramping and canoeing can be experienced at the visitor center.

Rainfall is common in Milford Sound Fjord, which is considered to be one of the wettest places in the world. It is a rare occasion to be able to go sightseeing without being rained on. Milford Sound is about four hours’ drive from Queenstown. Thus, tour operators leave very early in the day to give more time for visitors to enjoy the fjord. Milford Sound can also be reached on foot as the ultimate destination of Milford Track, which lasts several days.

January 6, 2010 at 8:52 pm | No comment

American Museum of Natural History

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Inside the Museum
Photo by: sneakerdog, Creative Commons

In a scene from the movie “Night at the Museum,” you see a dinosaur skeleton that acts like a dog, a former US president who rides his horse, “cave men” on a quest to produce fire, a young pharaoh who speaks fluent English and two miniature explorers who, despite being ages apart are actually divided by a single wall.

These are works of fiction. But did you know that most of the characters that appeared in the movie are actually on display at the American Museum of Natural History? This massive structure of 25 interconnected building has research laboratories, more than 40 exhibit halls and a renowned library. With more than a hundred field expeditions being sponsored by the museum yearly, it is not surprising to know that the museum has myriads of scientific specimens, although a tiny fraction of it can be viewed at a single time.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. may have been the most prominent figure within the museum grounds, but it was his father, Theodore Roosevelt Sr., along with some of the notable personalities of that time who laid the foundation of the museum in 1869. Since then, New Yorkers have seen its transformation from a humble building whose cornerstone was laid in 1874 to a fortress that houses some of the world’s most interesting exhibits.

Visitors who have seen the museum’s dioramas would say that it’s one of the best parts of the museum. Habitat dioramas, made especially by the expert hands of renowned taxidermists and naturalists, have become the museum’s tour de force. The full-size model of a blue wale that seemingly swims under the roof of the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life is quite a spectacle.

It is no wonder why this Manhattan museum is one of the most celebrated in the world. And popular culture only made its presence known even further.

January 6, 2010 at 8:12 pm | 1 comment

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

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Busy Bazaar
Photo by: Alaskan Dude, Creative Commons

For most people, traveling means going to places that are quite different from what they are accustomed to. Traveling opens one’s eyes to other cultures, thus widening one’s understanding of the world. Going to a new place changes a person, and most people remind themselves of their experiences by scoring souvenirs from the destination.

Istanbul, Turkey is home to one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets. Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is quite popular among locals and visitors alike, as almost every imaginable item is available under its roof. More than a thousand shops in almost 60 streets make this market more exciting than any other. About 31,000 square meters of retail heaven makes sure that no visitor comes home without a souvenir.

Also called Kapali Carsi, which stands for covered marker, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is home to a smorgasbord of items produced by skilled artisans. Such items are the perfect souvenirs to take home, because they display the Turkish craftsmanship in details.

While Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is quite popular today, it is interesting to note that the market goes a long way back in history. The market opened in 1461, and has enticed countless customers to explore its wonders. The domed bedestens in the market was built between 1455 and 1461.

The 16th century saw the expansion of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. However, an earthquake prompted restoration in the structure in 1894. Going to the market is now an awe-inspiring experience, as one is faced with the fact that a functioning and thriving structure is now centuries old. Not many markets can give travelers that sense of wonder.

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is known for selling spices, jewelry, pottery, and carpets. The labyrinthine complex is a pleasure to explore, because there is so much to see—even if one is just window-shopping. Visitors who wish to shop will get to test their bargaining skills, thus making the experience here even more memorable.

January 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm | No comment

La Gran Sabana

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La Gran Sabana, Venezuela
Photo by:
Luis Linero
, Creative Commons

La Gran Sabana is another immensely popular tourist attraction in Venezuela because of its beautiful flora and fauna and amazing natural wonders that most tourists are in search for. Located just outside Canaima National park, La Gran Sabana is where you should be heading for if you want to organize trips around Gran Sabana or in Canaima National Park.

On the road to La Gran Sabana is El Dorado which is a small town made popular through literature. The town’s road leads to Brazil and to La Gran Sabana itself. The town was once a booming mining industry however it was crippled and was eventually stopped.

What You Should Not Miss

Spectacular waterfalls are everywhere in La Gran Sabana especially during the rainy season. A tour to the Angel Falls can also be done from La Gran Sabana and on to Canaima National Park for a certain fee. Also, trekking around the Tepuis is something that you should not miss if you want to explore beautiful tropical wildlife.

What You Should Remember

La Gran Sabana is officially under protection by Canaima National Park. All tours done should be guided and they should have permits from the officials to avoid having any problems.

Before getting into La Gran Sabana, it is advised that you stock up on essential needs like food and other materials since most items sold in Gran Sabana are either too expensive or unavailable. From the Orinoco towns, you can ride buses that regularly have trips to Canaima and La Gran Sabana.

Before taking your trips, it is advised that you consult weather forecasts to avoid getting too wet. From May to November, you can expect more waterfalls and more rain but it is still advisable that you still travel at this span of time if you want to see the surreal beauty of La Gran Sabana.

January 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm | No comment

South Pole

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South Pole
Photo by: giladr , Creative Commons

Have you ever wondered why Santa Clause is so mysterious? Ít’s because he lives in a very isolated and almost forgotten place called the South Pole. Let this realization not hamper you from visiting since even though only a handful of tourists include this in their travel schedule, it is the one place that really needs to be visited and appreciated. It’s so awesome to actually be in the South Pole that it’s like being on another planet.

One special experience you can get from your South Pole adventure is that you can actually say that you have traveled the world not in eighty days but in a couple of seconds. All because there is this particular marker that is laid down in the South Pole where you can walk around and follow the trail. It does go through different time zones much like the international dateline. Since you are all fired up and ready to experience such a freezing adventure, do find time to get all your gear packed and all your heavy and thick clothes available. Keep in mind that the temperature can actually dip as low as -89°C or 129°F.

They say that once you have conquered the South Pole, you have indeed conquered the world since this place is known to have powerful winds that exceed the power of hurricanes. Scientist who keep track of the weather changes in the South Pole classify it just like Gale. The trip is not very expensive and the memories can last a lifetime. Remember to be safe and steer clear from accidents as soon as you enjoy your visit to the Ice Capital. It may indeed be the greatest adventure of your life!

January 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm | 1 comment

Tubbataha Reef

Chasing a manta ray for a photo shoot at Tubbataha Reef, Sulu Sea Philippines
Photo by: Jayvee F., Creative Commons

The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, located in the Philippines, is truly an example of nature’s beautiful creation one shouldn’t miss in their lifetime. It is one of the rare atoll reefs that provide life for a variety of marine species as well as magnificent corals. The park is 33,200 hectares covering the North and South Reefs. The Northern part is also a nesting ground for marine turtles, as well as a variety of tropical birds.

Tubbataha Reef, although a great wonder on its own, is a newcomer to the world of tourism. Actions have been taken to make local Filipinos and the world aware of this special gift of nature. Many people travel across the globe to catch sight of this reef. Without immediate measures of preservation, the rare marine life found in Tubbataha Reef might not last for long.

There have been numerous attempts of illegal fishing in this area. The good news is there is an increase in awareness and protection. The area provides the main livelihood for many municipalities. But they now understand how important it is to preserve the marine life in this area. The reef is now a World Heritage site and is helping many local businesses develop new revenues from their livelihood. There is even a possibility of expanding the park. The management is continually making progress.

Tubbataha Reef is now a famous tourist destination. And the proceeds go to its preservation and development of the community. It is a perfect place for all you divers and nature lovers. It also makes for an idealistic sea adventure and a great way to get a close observation into the wonders of marine life. The locals are warm and hospitable. If you want a place to breathe the fresh air and gaze at the beauty of the sea teeming with marine life, Tubbataha Reef is the place to be. You would also be helping the conservation of nature.

January 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm | 4 comments