Monthly Archives: September 2016

Fun-Filled Things to Do in Hoi An – Vietnam

Hoi An, a vibrant city in Vietnam’s central coast, radiates old world charm – something missing in most parts of the world.

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This fascinating destination has been able to maintain its unique character with the support of local authorities and the natural beauty here easily casts its spell upon visitors. Hoi An is a ‘hidden gem’ in the truest sense and you can do many fun-filled things here.

Do a Photo Tour

Avid photographers can take some marvellous shots before 7 AM, when the Hoi An is charmingly calm and serene. On the contrary, the markets are interesting anytime! One can also take snapshots of regular vendors selling fruits and vegetables, customers tasting mouth-watering delicacies, and animals being transported from one spot to another. Handcrafts can be photographed at the carpentry village.

Take a Step into the Spiritual Van Duc Pagoda

If you wish to check out the spiritual side of Hoi Na, the 17th century Van Duc Pagoda is the apt place for you! Locals come here to worship Buddhist deities like Amitabha Buddha, Dia Tang Bodhisattva, and Avalokitecvara Bodhisattva. This temple is home to several monks as well. Best time to visit Van Duc Pagoda is during Lord Buddha’s birthday and other auspicious Buddhist celebrations.

Eat the finger-licking Banh Mi – Vietnam Sandwiches

An item of Vietnam’s colonial past, Banh Mi has a huge and crazy fan following! This sandwich is made up of French-influenced baguette and savoury fillings comprising of vegetables, pork sausage, and loads of other ingredients. This food item can be purchased from any location of the city as prices don’t vary much! They are equally scrumptious everywhere.

Relax at the An Bang Beach

The An Bang Beach is one of the most pleasant beaches of Vietnam. The fine sands of the coast and the views of the vast horizon from here are simply mind-blowing. You may unwind and relax under the sun to your heart’s content. There are a number of restaurants and bars significantly close to the beach. Tourists can hang out with their friends and even interact with the residents to know more about their cultures and traditions.

Go for a Bicycle Ride

A bicycle ride is the best and the most eco-friendly way to enjoy the exquisiteness of Hoi An. You will love the sights of rice paddies along the way and backstreets of the villages. Stop at any location and cherish the uniqueness of the area with complete freedom. To entice visitors, some of the hotels rent out bicycles! Guests can use them as and when required. Wearing a helmet is mandatory.

A Quick Travel Guide to Kenya

What’s the first word that comes to your mind when we say ‘Kenya’? Safari, isn’t it? This gorgeous land is known for its jaw-dropping wilderness that is absolutely mesmerising. Nature lovers will undoubtedly love this experience. Nevertheless, people should not limit themselves to this feature of the country only. Kenya offers a lot more than that! In this article, we’ll be focusing on relevant travel tips. They are listed below.

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Best Time to Visit

Best time to visit Kenya is from June to September when there’s slight rainfall and the temperature is at its lowest. Those planning to visit during the months of February and March should be aware of the fact that the weather will be relatively hotter and more humid. However, if one wishes to observe the wildebeest migration, this is a good time.

Items to Carry

Apart from passport, one should carry camera, comfortable and strong shoes, sunscreen, repellent, binoculars, toiletries, credit & debit cards, tablet, vaccination documents, flashlight, medical kit, insurance documents, and sunglasses. These small but significant items will be highly useful.

Health

Anti-malarial medication is strongly suggested! No vaccinations are actually required for entry into Kenya, except for individuals who are coming from countries where yellow fever is widespread. Yellow fever vaccination is a must for such visitors! This vaccination is also mandatory for people travelling in the outskirts of urban areas. Tap water is not fit for drinking. Accordingly, mineral water is served at lodges.

Safety

Tourists can stay away from possible dangers by firmly following necessary precautions. There is strict security at airports and noticeable policing at public spots. The military is highly active in volatile regions.

Things to Eat and Drink

Foodies ought to taste well-liked Kenyan dishes such as Irio, Pilau, Matoke, Bajia, and Githeri. They are unique and delicious. The national beverage is chai – tea. Milk, water, sugar, and tea leaves are brought to the boil in a kettle and served when it’s steaming hot. For tasting the best prepared tea, one must head to the coastal areas. Needless to say, alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, and juices are available too.

Money, Banking Facilities and ATMs

The national currency of Kenya is Kenyan shilling. Currently, as per an online source, 1 US Dollar approximately equals 101 Kenyan Shilling. For payments in restaurants, bars, and other eateries, local currency is extensively used. Major destinations have banking facilities and ATMs. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted.

Tipping

Although, not mandatory, tipping for good service is appreciable. Travellers need to keep in mind that popular hotels add service charge onto the bill. City restaurants and bars may or may not include this. Therefore, customers have to pay special attention and do what they feel is apt for the situation.

Top Things to do in Bagan

The temple town of Bagan reflects the mystifying beauty of Myanmar. Delineated as the Landscape of Pagodas, the town has a wide range of attractions. Experience nature, spirituality, and the sight of ancient architecture to get rid of the everyday stress of life. We have prepared a list of things-to-do in Bagan, one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites in central Myanmar.

Temple Tour of Bagan

One can easily spend a day or two enjoying and exploring the temples and pagodas in Bagan on foot or by cycle. Majority of the temples are somewhat clustered together and blend in with the natural landscape. Below are some of the popular temples and pagodas that you should visit.

1.    Ananda Temple, Northern Plain

Tourists can start the trip by visiting one of the four major temples. The stunning Ananda Temple is listed among the few surviving masterpieces of Mon architecture.  It is said to have been built by King Kyanzittha.

2.    Payathonzu

Payathonzu

The renowned triad temples of Buddhism are truly unique. Located across the road from Tayok, it is a beautiful complex with three interconnected shrines and is also delineated as Three Stupas. Payathonzu is also considered as a rare sight of Triple Gems of Buddhism; Buddha, Dhamma, and Sanhga.

3.    Nanpaya Temple

Standing high since the 12th century, this marvellous Nanpaya Temple is located in the south of Manuha image. Marvel at this iconic pagoda built with a combination of sandstone and bricks. The four pillars of the temple illustrate Brahma, the Hindu god.

4.    Shwezigon Pagoda

Shwezigon-Pagoda

Just a few miles from the Bagan area, this splendid Shwezion Pagoda is an impressive construction from the past, worthy of a visit. Locals tell about the stories of the Buddha’s collar bone enshrined inside. This picture perfect temple was built in the 11th century.

The spectrum of fun and expedition in Bagan, Myanmar also includes various other activities which will surely add a dash of craze and excitement to the vacation.

1.    Visit a Lacquer-making Factory

Apart from the temples and pagodas, the scintillating Bagan town is home to various lacquer-making factories. It is ideally a form of handicraft which originated in the 12th to 13th century and majorly involves Burmese women.

2.    Hot Air Balloon Ride over Pagodas

The cherry on the cake for every tourist during vacations is to admire the beauty of Bagan from the sky. Admire the scenic view as the sunrays highlight temples and Pagodas. Cherish a bird’s eye view of the captivating place early in the morning.

3.    Visit the Monk Monasteries

Indulge in the aura of spirituality, tranquillity, and solace at monk monasteries in Bagan. Tourists can discover about monks, their lifestyle, and beliefs. These monasteries are said to be the best place to learn about sacrifice and discipline. Bagan and its monasteries play home to thousands of monks, which is a testament to the overwhelming Buddhist culture in the region.

4.    Ayerwaddy River

A trip can never be complete without visiting the Ayerwaddy River. The beautiful and shimmering river, also known as River Irrawaddy is the lifeblood for the western side of Myanmar. Originating from the Himalayan glaciers, it freely flows into the Indian Ocean, whilst shaping Bagan town magnificently.

Top 15 Attractions and Activities for you in Downtown Los Angeles

Hollywood immediately strikes the mind when one thinks of Los Angeles. The vivacious city is full of entertainment.

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Downtown Los Angeles offers an array of attractions, entertainment, and fun for travellers. With a lot to explore and enjoy in the city, it is on the holiday checklist of many a traveller. Here are some options for you.

1.    Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park

Visit the renowned Griffith Observatory to enjoy Hall of the Sky and Hall of the Eye. Discover the unknown facts and stories about the connections between man and space. Also, enjoy the stunning views of the city from the Griffith Park.

2.    Watts Towers

The unusual yet amazing creation of Italian-born tile-setter Simon Rodia, Watts Towers have been prepared using scrap metal. For three decades, Simon decorated 17 of the towers with mundane objects like green glass of 7-Up bottles. The tallest tower stretches around 100 feet into the sky.

3.    Disneyland

One is never too old to be in Disneyland. The world-popular venue of fun and entertainment offers a plethora of exciting rides together with Indiana Jones Adventure and Space Mountain.

4.    Los Angeles Conservancy Walking Tours

Travellers can discover the rich history and culture of Los Angeles by choosing a walking tour from the Los Angeles Conservancy. It includes a historical downtown tour and an art deco tour of nine buildings. Admire the architecture and charm of the city.

5.    Downtown Arts District

Explore the hidden art and talents on the streets of Downtown Los Angeles. The Downtown Arts District is a hub of jaw-dropping and amusing street art on Traction.

6.    Little Tokyo

Indulge in the lively culture, scrumptious food, and rich history of Japan at the Little Tokyo. The community in Downtown Los Angeles has Buddhist temples, Japanese restaurants, and Japanese gardens.

7.    Marvin Braude Bike Trail

Explore the popular Angeleno street tacos on bike or take a stroll down the Marvin Braude Bike Trail. It is also called as The Strand, stretched alongside the Pacific Ocean, from Will Rodgers State Beach to Torrance.

8.    Santa Monica Pier

What can be more thrilling than Santa Monica Pier? You will not regret spending your time riding the big ferry and playing various games to win prizes.

9.    Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theatre

Enjoy the walk across the Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theatre. The iconic pathway is not something to miss during a trip to Los Angeles.

10.    L.A. Central Library

The city is a haven for book lovers at its best! The L.A. Central Library is a hub of books from past to the recent times along with reading rooms steeped in the feel of early California.

11.    Blue Whale

The Weller Court in Little Tokyo is home to one of the best Jazz clubs in the city. Popular Blue Whales perform and entice every listener to the core. Immerse in the enticing jazz music till dawn at the club.

12.    Runyon Canyon

Enjoy the sunset overlooking the beautiful city of Downtown Los Angeles. Go hiking at Runyon Canyon and relish unmatched views of the city and the Pacific Ocean. Many celebrities also love to hike here.

13.    Chinatown

From rich culture to scrumptious food and friendly welcome by locals, Chinatown is way more than just another community arena. Treat yourself to delicious dim-sums and shu mai, whilst exploring the place.

14.    The Getty Center

One of the most popular attractions in the city, The Getty Center features a range of masterpieces pertaining to art and architecture as well as gardens and green lawns.

15.    Union Center for the Arts

The world-famous Union Centre for the Arts is a world related to visual art and artists. Visit to enjoy the grandeur and passion showcased inside.

Fun-packed things to do in Montego Bay, Jamaica

The second largest city in Jamaica by area and fourth by population, the Montego Bay is a well-known destination.

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It entices travellers with picturesque beach views, verdant golf courses, open-air party spots and peaceful tropical areas. If you plan a holiday to this beautiful place, we have something exciting for you! Take a look at some fun-packed things to do.

Step into the Rose Hall Great House

This is not for the faint-hearted! Built in 1770, the Rose Hall is a Georgian mansion popular for the legend of ‘The White Witch’.  As per the legend, in 1820, John Rose Palmer married Annee – a gorgeous and lively English girl. John didn’t know that she possessed ‘black magic’ powers.  Soon, he died! Annee’s next two husbands faced the same fate. To this day, people say that they have occasionally seen the spirit of Annee passing through the Great House!  Night tours are available.

Snorkelling in the Doctor’s Cave Beach

If you are into snorkelling and intend to visit Jamaica, Doctor’s Cave Beach is the perfect spot for you. The water is pleasantly warm, calm and clear, allowing one to explore the depths. The colourful fish life and stunning coral reefs are inexplicably spectacular! Beginners must participate in this activity with a knowledgeable guide. For obvious reasons, participants should avoid jelly fish, fire coral, and other stinging creatures while snorkelling.

Show off Your Skills at the White Witch Golf Course

White Witch Golf Course is an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert von Hagge and Rick Baril. It is deemed to be one of the best golf courses in the Caribbean region, differentiated by mountainous terrain, cool trade winds, bright-coloured foliage, and impressive ocean views.  Over the years, many travellers unanimously loved the experience of playing golf here.

Eat at The Pelican Grill

Tourists who want to treat their taste-buds to real Jamaican food must consider visiting ‘The Pelican Grill’. West Indian curries, escoveitched fish, and jerk chicken are served here.  Also, regular dishes like grilled steaks, broiled lobster, sandwiches, and burgers are available.  This extraordinary restaurant is popular among locals and visitors alike.  The Pelican Grill is apt for breakfast, lunch, dinners, meetings, and get-togethers.

Swim with the Dolphins at Dolphin Cove Montego Bay

This may be a once in a lifetime experience for you! Dolphin Cover Montego Bay is a marine attraction that allows visitors to interact and swim with one of the friendliest aquatic animals; dolphins. This will be a truly special experience. Furthermore, there are camel riding facilities too.

Fascinating Things to See and Do in South America

South America, a continent in the western hemisphere, has stunning landscapes in the form of snow-laden mountains, dense jungles, and hot deserts.

Angel-Falls-Venezuela

Countries like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador have a charm of their own and are visited by countless travellers every year. Those who are planning to explore Latin America must take a look at the fascinating things to see and do mentioned below.

Take a ‘Selfie’ next to Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was made by French sculptor Paul Landowski and constructed by a Brazilian engineer named ’Heitor da Silva Costa’, in association with Albert Caquot – a French engineer. The statue is 98 feet tall, while the outstretched arms span 92 feet. It is one of the most prominent landmarks of the city and a hotspot for taking selfies!

Angel Falls – Venezuela

Angel Falls, the highest uninterrupted waterfall of the world, plunges 3,212 feet, with the longest single drop of 2,648 feet from the top of a hill. Angel Falls is 15 times higher than Niagara Falls. It is locally known as ‘Kerepakupai-merú’ meaning ‘falls from the deepest place’. Jimmie Angel, a US aviator, revealed the existence of this waterfall to the outside world. Angel Falls has been named after him!

Torres del Paine – Chile

Torres del Paine is a national park, which is home to Guanacos, foxes, pumas and Chilean Huemul, Darwin’s rhea, Coscoroba swan, black-necked swan, and Magellanic woodpecker. The park has seven documented species of Orchidaceae and 85 non-native plant varieties. Torres del Paine is popular among hikers and campers. The best time to visit the national park is from November to April.

Skydive in Argentina

Argentina has several drop zones for skydiving enthusiasts. They stick to the safety protocols firmly, inspiring confidence among first-timers to try out this heart-pounding and thrilling experience. Full-training is provided, however the length of training may vary depending on the drop zone. Instructions relating to safety clothing and equipment are given as well. The professional skydivers are trained, qualified, and reliable.

Sunbathe and Eat Out at the Copacabana Beach

Located in the midst of Rio de Janeiro – Brazil, the Copacabana Beach is a 4 km long beach, which is visited by millions of people every year. People come here to relax under the bright sun and enjoy the lovely scenery. The beachfront features a series of kiosks, which serve everything from beverages to pizzas and seafood. You can walk up to these kiosks in just your swimwear.