History of Santorini and why should have it on your bucket list

Santorini greece

History of Santorini and why should have it on your bucket list

Santorini is a Greek island located in the southern Aegean Sea. It is around 200 km away from mainland Greece. Santorini is a part of the 220 islands which form the Cyclades, a name given to the group of islands in the Aegean Sea. In the past, Santorini has gone through phases of development and destruction. The island has transformed from the Minoan Akrotiri (Santorini as the homeland of culture), the Bronze Age (Thera volcanic eruption in Santorini), the Ancient Period (the time of Greek takeover), Medieval and Ottoman period, World War II to the Santorini as it is today. Even though the island was one whole called Thera during the 17th century BC, today the Santorini is made up of a group of smaller islands including Kameni Islands, Aspronisi, Therasia and Thera.

Santorini greece

The island has a long history of excavation and discovery, so it is of great importance to archaeologists and geologists who are interested in historical artefacts and land formation. Santorini’s rich history has allowed it to open a number of museums and excavation sites to tourists. These sites include Akrotiri Archaeological Site, Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Archaeological Museum Fira and the Akrotiri Archaeological Excavation Site. If you are a history lover hungry to learn about the land and people around the world, Santorini must make it to your bucket list!

Santorini greece

While Santorini attracts history lovers from all over the world, its scenic beauty also helps it boost its tourism. Whether it is Venice in Italy, Honolulu in Hawai, the Maldives or Santorini in Greece, there is one thing common in all of these places, their association with romance. Santorini is not just famous as a romantic destination but has also increased the interest of tourists towards it by being voted one of the world’s most beautiful islands by 2015 Travelers’ Choice Awards. The site has spectacular views of nature which offer peace and calm hence making it perfect for romantic getaways. While some of the spots on the island are busy and can be crowded such as the Red beach and the Kamari beach, there are beaches such as the Kolumbo beach which are more secluded and will allow you the comfort of some privacy with your loved one. Adding a cherry on top, it might be a good idea to enrich your experience of the island even further by renting a villa at a private beach to enjoy more exclusivity and tranquillity.

The gorgeous views of the sea and the sunset from a villa located on the seaside will help you make your honeymoon extra special. The chef, butler, private transfers and beauty and health services at your villa will not only make you feel extra special but will also give you the opportunity to sit back and relax. You may book for Santorini villas for rent including all these services on websites such as Loyal Villas Luxury.

Santorini greece

The multitude of options you have as ‘places to visit’ in Santorini makes it suitable for all types of visitors. The natural beauty, gorgeous beaches and the breathtaking sunsets can be enjoyed by not just couples but also families and individuals alike. Having activities such as hiking, boat trips and water sports such as scuba diving, the place must be a must visit on every traveller’s bucket list!


4 Medieval Cities to Visit in Romania

4 Medieval Cities to Visit in Romania

Romania, this lesser known Eastern European destination, had a tumultuous and fascinating history in the Middle Ages. Being at the intersection between Eastern empires and Western powers, there were many twists and turns, invasions and military campaigns taking place in our country. The Carpathian Mountains form an arc that offers natural protection for the famous region of Transylvania, considered the last bastion of defence against the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire’s expansion from South-Eastern Europe.

Many citadels were built in this area to protect the population against foreign invaders and settlements were fortified with defence walls and towers. Important trade routes were established between them and Saxon (German) settlers colonised the area during the 15th century bringing a new level of craftsmanship and engineering skills. This explains why many of these settlements have withstood the test of time and are now famous historical attractions.

There are 4 cities in Transylvania with a very well preserved medieval feeling that you should visit on a tour in Romania. With street planning designed for defence and fortified walls, bastions and towers for extra protection, there is much to learn here about our country’s history. You will be walking on cobbled streets filled with colourful houses before emerging into large open squares. Get ready for a trip back in time!

4 medieval cities - Bistrita

Sighisoara Citadel – #1 on the list

Romania’s best preserved historic gem, Sighisoara undoubtedly deserves the first spot. It is one of the few citadel-cities still inhabited in Europe and its streets are a genuine monument that preserve the history of our country from medieval times. This is why it has been included in the UNESCO heritage list.

Getting lost on its cobbled streets will surely make you feel like you’re in different times. You will admire buildings with a unique architecture and wonder how they lasted for so long. A particular attraction is the 64 metre-high Clock-Tower built in the 14th century to defend the main gate of the citadel but the colourful merchant houses will capture your eyes too!

sighisoara

Sibiu – the cultural jewel of Romania

Sibiu is one of the most picturesque cities in Romania which enjoyed a prosperous and relatively unscathed history. With heavy German influences, the city has always been a cultural cradle in Transylvania and nowadays it is booming with events and lively crowds. Sibiu is 800 years old and used to be a military fortress with an important role in the history of our country, located strategically at a crossing point across the Carpathians into Wallachia.

The city has plenty of legends and stories. Each townhouse belonged to various merchant guilds and businessmen that continuously upgraded and transformed them into the imposing constructions that you can admire today. On your visit you shouldn’t miss attractions such as The Council Tower, Evangelical Church, Bridge of Lies, Brukenthal Palace, Stairs Passage and, of course, the walls of Sibiu citadel. But don’t be afraid to start wondering on your own and discover less crowded streets – you’ll be surprised of the many hidden gems and spots Sibiu offers!

Besides the usual sightseeing, there are many festivals and events taking place all year long. Gastronomy, jazz, medieval or theatre – there’s something for everyone! And in 2019 the entire region of Sibiu has been declared European Gastronomic Capital to celebrate traditional Transylvanian cuisine, a combination between Romanian and German dishes.

Sibiu

Brasov – charmingly medieval

Nestled between mountains, Brasov is probably the most famous city in Romania after the capital Bucharest. Starting from the 13th century the city quickly became an important trading centre for routes leading into the Balkans and further East into Asia. Many merchants and craftsmen lived here and the rich, imposing townhouses in the Old Town area are evidence of that. The best way to discover them is, of course, by getting lost on any narrow street – including Rope Street, said to be Europe’s narrowest!

The city has a very strong medieval air to it. An important attraction in Brasov is the massive Black Church, probably the most famous gothic monument in Romania dating back from late 14th century. There are plenty of medieval sights to visit here: towers, bastions and defensive gates, all part of Brasov’s elaborate defences.

There are many other things to do in Brasov: the famous Bran Castle aka Dracula’s home is Romania’s #1 tourist attraction, so it needs no further introduction. Rasnov Citadel perched up on a hill and overlooking the plains of Transylvania should not be missed either. Nature lovers can explore Piatra Craiului Natural Park or go on a bear watching tour!

Brasov

Bistrita – Romania’s medieval hidden gem!

Bistrita is one of the oldest cities in the region of Transylvania and – unfairly – less known for its medieval history and sights. First documented in the 12th century, the city of Bistrita used to be a well-developed commercial hub due to its close proximity to many natural resources. In its prime time in history, Bistrita had a complex set of fortifications formed of 2 circular walls protecting the city, 18 defence towers and a military bastion –more than any of the other medieval cities in this list!

While not much of these fortifications have survived, medieval sights such as Turnul Dogarilor and the Evanghelical Church should not be missed.  And walking the city’s streets will reveal beautiful houses with unique architectural elements and decorations such as Peterman House, Ion Zidaru House or Silvermen’s House, all built during the 15 or 16th century.

Marius Iliescu is the founder of Romanian Friend – a local initiative promoting handpicked tours with the best local guides so travellers can discover the authentic beauty of Romania while supporting responsible tourism. Plan your trip with help from a Romanian Friend and follow us on Facebook or Instagram to see what you can visit!


driving in canada

Holiday Tips in Canada – How to Stay Safe on the Highways

Holiday Tips in Canada – How to Stay Safe on the Highways

There is a lot of activity on Canadian roads during the holiday seasons. People are moving from different cities and towns to visit friends and families in other cities and towns. The holiday is a time to stay safe so that you can have great moments with your family. This is why it is imperative to be very careful when on the road since the last thing you want is to get involved in an accident that may derail your holiday plan.

Whether you are a Canadian or a resident on a Canada ETA visa, it is your responsibility to stay safe on the road and also to ensure the safety of other road users. With that said, here is a look at some holiday driving tips you will find to be extremely valuable during this time of the years:

Ensure your car is ready

It is imperative to have a car in good condition for your holiday drives. This is a time of the year when the temperatures are very low and the car’s performance may be affected in a number of ways. This why you should do a thorough check of the car’s systems and ensure that everything is working just fine. Some of the things you will be looking at include the fluid levels.

In particular, ensure that the levels of coolants, brake fluids, windshield washer fluid, auto transmission fluid and the power steering fluids are all in good levels before you embark on any trip. You might find some of the levels are okay, but it won’t hurt to fill up everything. Sometimes it is good to be paranoid and avoid being sorry in the future.

road trip canada

Plan for the unknown

There is a cliché that you should hope for the worst and plan for the best. This saying has never been more relevant when you are planning for a trip on the Canadian roads during the holidays. One of the things you must have in your car is a winter survival kit. The Canadian winter can sometimes get out of hand and if you didn’t prepare for it adequately, you can get stranded by the roadside or hours waiting for help to come. Inside the winter survival kit, you should have essentials such as warm clothes, a shovel, ice scraper, energy bars and sand or salt, a car jack, jumper cable, and a cell phone charger.

You should also not forget to check that you have a spare tire in good condition. The last thing you would wish for is to have a flat tire only to check and see that you don’t have a spare tire. This is how to welcome a busload of frustrations on the roads while you drive during the holidays.

canada drive

Have an idea of how to get help

Should you run into any troubles on the road when you are driving during the holidays, you will be in great luck if you know how to get help. In most cases, this calls for you to have the number of a roadside assistance service whom you can call for urgent rescue should things go wrong with your car. It is, however, very sad that most drivers in Canada don’t have such contacts, and they only realize their importance when they are stuck in the snow in winter. Take note that many of that roadside assistance are usually offered through auto insurance companies. Before you hit the road, just be sure that you have a number you can always call for help if you encounter any problems in the road.

Be a smart driver

It is a fact that all accidents caused on the roads are always a result of a negligent driver. You must strive at all times not to be this negligent driver and you must be smart enough to know how not to become a victim of such drivers. All you have to do is be very careful on the road, observing all the road signs and keeping your distance with the cars ahead. You should also learn to drive smoothly at speeds you can easily control the car in case of a skid.

Winter changes a lot the conditions of the road and if you are a careless driver, you may have higher chances of crushing the car if you drive at high speeds and you lose control. And finally, don’t forget to use your common sense when driving. Avoid all the petty mistakes that might make you put yourself or other road users in trouble.

safe driving canada

Be careful when visiting malls

The holiday season turn mall parking lot into some of the most dangerous places as far as holiday driving is concerned. Since there is a lot going on, there is a lot of distracted drivers, struggles to get into free spaces and sometimes it is very chaotic to drive in and out of such places. What you ought to do is be extra careful and avoid the distraction or anything that might make you lose your concentration and risk your life as well as those of other road users.

Learn how to break on snowy conditions

You should know exactly how you must drive in a snowy condition. For example, how you lower the speed of the car or bring the car into a total stop is very important when you are driving on a snowy surface. In such conditions, it is recommended that you should first reduce the car’s speed to half, then pedal off the metal and brake gently and carefully. Don’t try sudden breaks, but instead, light pump the breaks as you would normally do under rainy conditions.

Never let your car run low on gas

This is the worst nightmare you can ever face when driving during the holiday season. Even if you were certain about your car’s consumption, you should never let the gas level indicator light up when driving under such conditions. It is recommended that for winter driving, your gas tank should be at least half tank full at all times.

driving to canada mall


Rajasthan – The Memorable Experience Of Culture And Heritage!

Rajasthan – The Memorable Experience Of Culture And Heritage!

Rajasthan is a desert state located in the northern part of India bordering Pakistan. The state was ruled majorly by Rajputana, and their culture and tradition are still reflected in every nook and
corner. There are lots of palaces, forts, and museums offering the perfect flavours of Rajputs and Mughals. There are many popular cities in the state, each offering many attractions for the tourists. For instance, Jaipur or the pink city has Amer Fort, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, and City Palace. Jodhpur has Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mehrangarh Fort, and Ghanta Ghar. Similarly, there are bountiful of places to see in every city of Rajasthan where tourists can explore the
architecture and experience the culture.

amer-fort

Why visit Rajasthan?

There are plenty of reasons explaining why one should visit ajasthan. Some people like to understand the traditions of the old state while others like to try out the lip-smacking Rajasthani cuisine! Some of the reasons are explained below.

1. Rajasthan’s art and culture

The state is well-known for its prestigious history, from where comes the customs and culture. Atithi Devo Bhava or respective the guests like God is one of the most important aspects of Rajasthan’s culture. Visit any part of the place, and you will be honoured in the most special way! The unique, rich, and colourful culture can be seen in their traditional art form as well. Rajasthan is a land of artists as well. Their handcrafted items such as colour art, stones work, and textiles are popular all around the world. For instance, the dye prints of the state named as Bagaru prints and Sanganer prints are quite famous. In addition to this, Jaipur’s blue pottery is another interesting handicraft from this place. Rajasthani carpentry also incorporates attention to detail work, art carvings, and bright colours too.

2.Rajasthan food

he food describes many aspects of the state. Rajasthan has a unique cuisine to offer which is a right blend of flavors, rich spices, and aditional cooking techniques. Besides spicy dishes, there are many sweet recipes originated in the state. For instance, gheriya and ghewar are delicious desserts that were born here only. When it comes to vegetarian items, dal baati churma, kachori, ker sangria, gatte ki sabzi, rajasthani pulao, and methi bajra puri are some of the most loved dishes.

ghewar

Some of the non-vegetarian recipes of Rajasthan are laal maas, mohan maas, mutton banjara, aloo ghosht, and bhuna kukda. Every tourist, irrespective of the taste, can have a great time munching on the authentic sweet and spicy recipes in the state.

  1. Rajasthan festival

Every Indian festival is celebrated in Rajasthan with much pomp and show. Some of the popular religious festivals rejoiced here are Janmashtmi, Navratri, Teej, Gangaur, Holi, Diwali, and Makar Sankranti. Besides the religious festivals, there are many fairs and exhibitions held here too. For instance, Pushkar festival is organized every year and participants from all around the world enjoy unique traditions of Rajasthan. Camel dance and camel race is another interesting festival organized and celebrated with high spirits in Rajasthan.

The locals perform folk songs and folk dances in every colourful festival and spread the Rajasthani culture. Some well-celebrated festivals of the state are Brij Holi, Mewar festival, kite festival, Nagaur fair, summer festive and winter festive, Pushkar festival, and Teej festival.

  1. Rajasthan historical places

As already mentioned, Rajasthan has a prominent past. There are dozens of palaces and forts in every city in the state. Some of the popular ones are mentioned below.

  • Jodhpur or the blue city – Khejarla fort, Mehrangarh Fort, and Umaid Bhawan Palace are housed in the city. There are many ancient temples as well to visit in this Gateway to Thar.
  • Nawalgarh – Also called as the golden city of Rajasthan, some of the best places to check out are the Poddar Haveli, Morarka Haveli, and Sheesh Mahal.
  • Chittorgarh – Known as the pride of the state, some places that should not be missed out here are Vijay Stambh, Chittorgarh Fort, and Gau Mukh Kund.
  • Bundi: This is the princely city of the state is famous for Badal Mahal, Moti Mahal, and Taragarh Fort.
  • Jhunjhunu: It is one of the ancient areas of the state and the popular and historical places to visit are Rani Sati temple, Khetri palace and other havelis.
  • Ajmer: Some exclusive historical sites to check out in Ajmer include Nareli Jain temple, Adhai Din ka Jhopra, and Ajmeri Sharif.

umaid-bhawan-palace

How to travel to Rajasthan?

The land of Rajputs is well-connected to all the major villages, towns, and cities of the country. There are cheap flights, luxurious flights, all classes of train travel, and even buses that can transport you to Rajasthan in a convenient and hassle-free way. Make sure to make your reservations in advance as the cost of flights increases in a quick span of time.

Majority of the travelers and tourists choose flights as their travel mode because it saves a lot of time in the journey. There are many online portals which make the job of booking easy. Also, you can get excellent discounts during festivals and special occasions.

Where to stay in Rajasthan?

There is no dearth of accommodation places in Rajasthan. From luxury palaces and hotels to economic or budget accommodations, you can find all. Based on your requirements and financial considerations, you can plan accordingly and make the bookings.

If you are looking for a lavish stay, then palaces can be the best accommodations. Nevertheless, there are three star and four-star hotels and resorts all over Rajasthan offering the best experience and stay to the guests. Irrespective of what you choose, good hospitality is guaranteed.

You can pick up online portals to book your stay in advance as well. It is easy, quick, and offers no interruptions. Check for coupon codes while you are booking your accommodations as you can be rewarded with exclusive discounts as well. Have a wonderful experience of traditions and culture!

 


Top 5 Experiences for a Myanmar Luxury Holiday

Top 5 Experiences  for a Myanmar Luxury Holiday

Myanmar is beguiling destination which offers great inspiration to celebrate your holiday in Asia. From sundrenched tropical paradises in the south to the mysterious Himalayan mountain in the north, this beautiful country has so much to seduce its visitors. To start planning your luxury holiday to Myanmar, these characterful

Soak Up the Chaos of Yangon

Yangon is a perfect introduction of Myanmar`s culture: lively and vibrant. The city is dominated by shimmering Shwedagon pagoda, notable British Colonial Architects, exotic India town, appetizing China street foods.
To define your luxury days in Yangon, make a visit to the mentioned attractions, immerse in an exciting cooking class and immerse in the comfortable Strand Hotel which reflects the rich history of Yangon.

Northern River Journey

There are ways to appreciate the uniqueness of Myanmar. Taking a river cruise is probably the most intrigue option.
A long journey from Yangon to Mandalay which takes about 10 days highlights your experience by highly personalized on-board services, interesting shore excursions. It is not mentioned that you will have chance to view the only Unesco Heritage site in Myanmar – The Pyu ancient city which is not accessible by road.

bagan

Enjoy Bagan`s bird eye view

Bagan is simply sublime. This holy plain is famous for its varied landscapes formed by 2,500 pagodas remain from 11th century. It is the most photographed site in Asia.
The best way to appreciate Bagan is to embark on a Balloon, searching for photogenic chances. You will capture the gorgeous sunrises with bird eye panorama, floating on the air over the temple`s spire before sipping extravagant champagne.

Explore the Remote Mergui Archipelago

If you fancy to get closer to treasure of Andaman Sea then Mergui Archipelago is a place to start. You can expect much more than just beautifully sequestered beaches:  incredible diving sites, picture-perfect fishing villages, hidden inland waterfalls, lush mangrove forests and fabulous coral reefs.

Sailing Inle Lake

Inle Lake boasts undeniable romance. It is home to rustic stilt villages, green floating gardens and fascinating local markets.
One of the hand-picked experience you should soak up in Inle is to enjoy a private boat, winding through its less-visited waterways. It allows you to photograph not only the dramatic nature of Shan State but also seeing the local life your own ways.

inle lake

Dat Taw Gyaint Mountain Treat

Imagine you wake up in a private cottage over looking one of the most cascading waterfalls in north Myanmar. Dat Taw Gyaint is such a secret resort for your luxury treat.
Activities guests particularly relish includes trekking to hill tribe villages, visit coffee farm or adventure to the hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin, one the best summer escapes in Myanmar.
For a thrilling adventure designed to meet up your travel taste, Authentic Asia is a reliable local based agency to work with. You can contact them for a tairlor made tour or simply browse their Myanmar Tour Packages for further reference.

Find your own beach in Ngwe Saung

Known as the Silver Beach, Ngwe Saung is the premier choice for those who seek for intimate moments for couples or family.
Most of Myanmar Travel Experts recommend this beach for its gentle waves, world class resorts and importantly, it is not touristic. It is easy to pick a luxury resort where you can privatize your own piece of sandy beach.
It does not mean Ngwe Saung is lack of activities to make your days occupied. Whether you are keen on water sports or cultural exploration, Ngwe Saung has them all.


trip of a lifetime

4 once-in-a-lifetime trips everyone should take

4 once-in-a-lifetime trips everyone should take

 Everyone has a travel bucket list. We all have an idea of the places we want to visit in our lifetime – but some experiences are ones that are truly once-in-a-lifetime. Here are four of them to consider.

A safari in Africa

There’s something really magical about getting in touch with nature. And a safari is perhaps one of the best ways to do it – escaping to the African wilderness to observe a wide variety of beautiful, majestic animals in their natural habitat is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime.

Head to Tanzania to experience the sprawling Serengeti, where you’ll be able to see the ‘Big Five’ – lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos all call this national park home, and you’ll be able to witness them for yourself. It’s also the location of the famed Great Migration, the annual event where millions of wildebeest cross the Serengeti into Kenya’s Maasai Mara in search of food. The event is just one incredible feat of nature you’ll be able to witness during an African safari.

safari

A road trip throughout the USA

You’ve likely heard of people road tripping Route 66, known as the Mother Road or the Main Street of America. Spanning seven states from Illinois to California, the near-2,500 mile-long stretch is perhaps the most desired road trip route in the entire world. So why not try and conquer it yourself?

Route 66 isn’t the only reputable route in the USA, though. Depending on where you want to travel to, you could try Route 1, the Californian road that hugs the coastline for its 745 mile-long duration; the Florida Keys, where the 150-mile US 1 route takes you from Miami to Key West along the Seven Mile Bridge; or Route 20, the longest road in the country which crosses the incredible Yellowstone National Park. However you want to see America, hitting the road is arguably the best way to do it.

 

usa road trip

An escape to the Azores

 The Azores are undoubtedly one of the most underrated destinations in the world, but you simply need to discover them. An archipelago situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores are perhaps the closest thing to heaven on Earth – luscious, sprawling forests, green lakes and beautiful hidden beaches and shorelines make for a diverse and exciting getaway.

And whether you want to simply relax and get away from the bustle of home life, or if you’re seeking thrills, the Azores can cater to both. For the latter, opportunities such as diving, hiking, mountain climbing and water sports are plentiful throughout the archipelago. It’s safe to say the Azores are absolutely one of Europe’s hidden treasures.

must trips

A walk along the Great Wall of China

Although walking along the entire Great Wall of China would take a staggering 18 months on average, it’s absolutely possible to conquer big chunks of it during a trip. Different trekking adventures and hiking opportunities are available at different points of the wall, with hostels often acting as the main source of accommodation.

Best of all, walking the Great Wall will give you an insight into China’s profound history whilst also allowing you to see parts of the country you may not have visited otherwise.

great wall of china


things in hong kong

Six Of The Best Things To Do In Hong Kong

Six of the best things to do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a region of vast contrast, with ancient and modern comfortably cohabiting. You’ll discover the extraordinary art of imperial China and the showtime spectacular at Disneyworld, the stilt houses of Lantau Island and the gleaming high rise towers of Hong Kong Island.

hong kong things to do

Hit the shops

Shopping in the lively street markets or high-end stores is one of the most popular things to do in Hong Kong. If you like to explore then the Ladies’ Market, with over a hundred stalls of fashion and accessories on Tung Choi Street in Kowloon, is for you.
At the other end of the spectrum the IFC luxury shopping mall, with over 200 shops in Central Hong Kong, has Cartier, Bang and Olufsen and other high-end names on offer.

Never leave the resort

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort on Lantau Island, with all its magic, has everything you need for a great family holiday. In true Disney style there are numerous things to keep the kids occupied. There’s the Jungle River Cruise, Tarzan’s Treehouse and the Fantasy Gardens. With hotels and restaurants on site you need never leave the resort.

shops in honk kong

Take a breath

Catch the ferry from Central Pier and make the short journey to Lamma Island. Step out on the Lamma trail, which begins at Sok Kwu Wan, with its delightful cluster of seafood restaurants. On route visit the Tin Hau Temple, named after the Goddess of the Sea and take in the views of Aberdeen Bay. Cross Hung Shing Yeh Beach, or stop for a swim before completing the trail at Yung Shue Wan with its narrow lanes and selection of shops, pubs and restaurants.

Head for heights

Take a tour on Lantau Island. With pick up points across Kowloon, the tour takes you first to see the magnificent ‘Big Buddha’ – a staggering 34 metres high – and Po Lin Monastery, dubbed the ‘Buddhist World in the South.’ Stroll in the beautiful gardens and enjoy a vegetarian meal in the restaurant. Move on to the Ngong Ping cable car and enjoy your glide over the most beautiful terrain. The tour concludes with a boat journey to the Tai O fishing village with its houses built on stilts.

things in honk kong

A feast for all your senses

Kowloon’s main thoroughfare is Nathan Road. The packed street is filled with cooking aromas, haggling vendors, flashing neon lights and a mass of people moving between shops and stalls. It’s an authentic experience that’ll be the highlight of your trip.
Nathan Road and surrounding areas have some prime examples of Hong Kong’s renowned nightlife. The unusual Vibes open air lounge, for example, is tucked away in a fifth-floor courtyard of the Mira Hotel and has open fires, running waterways and secluded cabanas. Here you can eat, enjoy a drink and dance the night away.

Take to the water

A visit to Hong Kong is never complete without visiting the historic Victoria Harbour, situated between the hills of Kowloon and the distinctive high-rise landscape of Hong Kong Island. There are a variety of harbour tours to take your pick from. In the evening, the wonderful Symphony of Lights offers a multimedia extravaganza.
If you enjoy all the sights and sounds of the harbour, take the funicular railway to Victoria Peak, an attraction in its own right, and look down on the bay. I thought it was the best view in all of Hong Kong.

hong kong harbour


flight insurance

Travel Insurance: Everything You Need To Know

Travel Insurance: Everything You Need To Know

Travel insurance should be a necessity for every traveler, especially when going abroad. Just as you find it difficult to live your normal life without a health insurance, the same seriousness should be observed about travel insurance when you make plans such as renew my passport to take a trip abroad.

There are so many things that can go wrong during your trips, and in the absence of a travel insurance, you will be exposed to a lot of unnecessary and inconveniencing expenditures which might as well make you regret why you made the decision to travel.

It is regrettable that most of the people never consider this important aspect of traveling, but if you want to stay safe and have all the peace of mind you need to enjoy every minute of your vacation, then you will never get into a plane without a travel insurance.

insurance

Why do you need a travel insurance?

Excitement will fill your heart as your departure date approaches. You have done all the preparation you need, including renew my passport and everything seems ready for you to leave. You have booked all the flights, tours, accommodation and you are also through with your packing, just waiting for the date to arrive so that you can head over to that exotic destination you have dreamt for all your life. But what happens if-:

  • You lose your passport
  • A terrorist event happens in your travel destination
  • You have an emergency and is forced to cancel the trip the last minute
  • You get injured or fall sick during the trip
  • You lose your luggage
  • A tsunami strikes your destination

Evidently, any of the above happenings would cause a significant change in your plans, and this will come with a heavy hit on the financial planning aspects of your trip. To say the least, you will lose all the money you have spent as you will not be eligible for any refunds for not showing up to your reservation. The purpose of a travel insurance is to shield you from such inconveniences. Traveling is never predictable, and even though you would desire for everything to go smoothly, you need to be wise enough and preempt some of the inconveniences you may run into, and there is no better way to do that than with a travel insurance.

flight insurance

What and who should you insure?

To begin with, there is no blanket policy for travel insurance, and if there was one, it should be the last one for you to consider. Your choice of travel insurance should be dictated by exactly what and who you need to ensure. The nature of risks vary, and just like with any other insurance policy, you need a tailored solution that will offer protection to specific aspects of your travel. In this way, it will more affordable and you will be assured of maximum protection should something not go as planned during your trip. Here are some of the factors you should consider when tackling who and what of travel insurance-:

  • Your destination
  • Your mode of transportation, for example, will you be using flights, cars, trains etc.
  • The nature of the activities you will be doing in your destination. For example, will you be engaging in adventurous activities such as ski diving?
  • The duration of your trip
  • The people you are traveling with, i.e. parents, children, siblings, partner etc.
  • The value of the goods you will be carried along during the trip.
  • Your level of risk aversion

There are also certain considerations worth making while evaluating your options for travel insurance, and this include-:

The extent of the coverage – does the policy include indemnity for any medical expenses you may run into during the travel or will you get reimbursed for the expenses you incurred and is it possible to continue with the treatment when you get back home?

Payout requirements and time – what is the process of getting a payout and how long does it take? You don’t need a cover that might take forever to mature, thus adding to your financial woes should you run into certain travel misfortunes.

The amount of the premium – is the coverage you are going for the right one, and what the chances of downgrading or upgrading should you find the need to do either and what are the available upgrades and downgrades?

What is the policy’s take on alcohol and drugs – most of the travel insurance will become null and void should anything happen to you when you were under influence. What are the specific provisions of the policy on alcohol and drugs?

Check out the exclusions – It is extremely important to check out on the exclusions as well. Most of the travel insurances may include insane exclusions that might sometimes render them useless for most travelers. Some of the exclusions may include acts of God, civil commotion, uprisings in your travel destinations, terrorism, natural disasters, bad weather conditions and much. Ensure that you are comfortable with the exclusions, and if not, simply don’t go for that specific cover.

travel insurance

Single trip cover or an annual policy

Whether or not you take an annual policy or a single trip cover will depend on your frequency of travel. For example, if you have gone for renew my passport for a one month vacation and you know you never travel a lot for the rest of the year, then prudence would advise that you go for a single cover. But if you travel frequently, or you are a digital nomad who moves from one country to another throughout the year, then an annual policy would be the best.

Be careful about cheap travel insurance

Finally, you must never fall for cheap travel insurance policies. Just like with every other thing, cheap is always expensive, and since you may be traveling thousands of miles away from home, the last thing you should ever do is gamble with the quality of your travel insurance. The ideal cover should be able to help you cut down on your expenses, and the company will do everything it takes to ensure you have a very good experience during the trip. But for the cheap covers, their concern will be your money and they may become very unresponsive should you need their help while abroad.

Travel insurance


underwater secerts

Explainable Things Found Underwater

The underwater world is the home to lots of strange and bizarre things. Some have been found, while others are yet to be found. We have heard of planes falling from the skies into the oceans and never to be found or ships sinking and disappearing without a trace. If you were to take a journey to the bottom of the sea, then you would be amazed at the kinds of stuff you would find and though there have been numerous explorations in the sea beds, there are still large portions which have not been reached, and this adds to the possibility that there could be more stuff to be found still. With all the mysteries and the fascinating stuff about the underwater world, here are a few unexplainable discoveries you will find intriguing-:

 

Cape Garnet Birds

It is difficult to believe that birds can actually live underwater, simply because they are mammals and as such, they require to live in the surface where there is plenty of oxygen for them to breath. However, this is not the case for the cape garnet birds. These are some of the most amazing birds you will find in the deep seas. What makes them strange is their ability to dive underwater up to depths of 100 feet below the surface and at a speed of about 60 miles per hour.

Due to this, they have been nicknamed as the missile birds. What makes it easy for them to achieve this is the presence of air sacs which look like bubble wraps on their chests. With no external nostrils, they are able to easily utilize the air stored in the sacs while underwater, thus making it possible for them to comfortably adapt to the marine life.

cape-gannet

Second World War Silver

Most people are drawn to the allure of treasure hunting, and a lot of treasures relating to the Second World War have been discovered in the oceans. One of the most bizarre and notable ones was the discovery of over 60 tons of silver whose value was approximated to be $36 million. The treasures are believed to have come from a British cargo ship which was sunk in 1941 and was believed to have been lost forever. However, researchers believe that they might have just located the lost ship where they managed to find about 20% of the treasure at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. If you are a fun of treasure hunting, you should perhaps try out your luck by going for the treasures lost during the world wars.

Rocket Engine of Apollo 11

The engine of Apollo 11 rocket has been lost for decades, and it was not until 2006 when Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon funded a research that was targeted at discovering the parts of the rocket from the Apollo 11 landing mission site near NASA’s launch site in Florida. The research was a success as some parts of the rocket’s engine was discovered at the floor of the sea. The parts discovered had undergone considerable erosion and this is expected given that they have been lying in the salty water for close to four decades when they were found.

underwater silver

Rivers and Deep Seas

Millions of people around the world go for passport renewal services just to have a chance to travel to far away countries, where they will be exploring the rivers and seas found in their travel destination. But it will interest you to know that deep at the bottom of seas, there are also active rivers and seas, and if only ordinary exploration was possible, then they are magnificent phenomena most people would love to experience.

In Mexico, a group of researchers discovered the existence of an underwater river, complete with trees and a bank right in the middle of another river. This sounds nearly impossible for every reason, but it was discovered that the river had a combination of hydrogen sulfide and sea water which made it denser than the normal sea water, thus forcing it to sink deeper and forming a flow of its own since it could not mix with the rest of the waters.

There have also been cases of deep-sea lakes found within other large water bodies. They are just like the regular lakes, complete with rocky and sandy shores and sometimes they also have waves of their own within the respective lakes they are found in.

underwater rivers

Culture Park in the West Coast of Grenada

The Caribbean is always a hot tourist destination which receives millions of visitors each and every year. Many are the attractions found in the area, and if you are going for passport renewal and you are planning a trip to this destination, don’t get lost in the allure of the tropical beaches and forget to check out underwater sculpture park found under the sea in the West Coast of Grenada. The park is the work of Jason deCaires and it was opened to the public in 2006. What you find here is a wonderful display of contemporary art featuring people engaging with one another under the sea. The park has over 500 statues and all are made from waterproof cement to resemble some form of human beings.

Ancient Underwater City

You will be surprised to know that there is an entire ancient city hidden deep in the waters of Qingdao Lake in China. The city is about 130 feet beneath the surface and it is one of the most valued treasures found under the water in the present times. The ancient city of Shi Cheng, also known as the Lion City, is believed to have existed for over 1200 years ago and it was discovered just over 50 years ago when the government wanted to build a dam for a hydroelectric power station. With the discovery, such plans had to be shelved and it is now one of the highly treasured and guarded attractions in China. If you love diving deep for treasure or just to marvel at the marine life, then this should be a reason enough to take a trip to China.

underwater secerts


travel via motorcycle

Motorcycle Tour: How much It will Cost you to Travel Across America

Motorcycle Tour: How much It will Cost you to Travel Across America

The Americas, comprising North and South America, are no less than wonder worlds for tourists. Taking up the most of the land area in the western hemisphere, over time they have evolved as a popular tourist spot for people across the globe. Riding across the country is a fun idea. Add a motorcycle to double your fun.

Conquering 4000 miles on a motorcycle is very adventurous. Begin your planning with safeguarding your motorbike with quality accessories. Planning the trip properly is as important as actually setting out on it. A lot of questions need to be answered first – do you have that bike for traveling 4000 miles or do you plan on renting one for the trip? Will a sports bike be a good choice? How many days do you plan to spend? Have you properly understood the route? Are you going to do it alone or plan on taking someone along? What about the fuel and food? What about the lodging? Can you drive through all the landforms ranging from islands to plateaus, from beach sides to planes? Read on to find out about the various expenditures you will incur.

When it comes to calculating the cost of the trip, the expenses can vary from fuel to food, from basic medication (in case of any injury or sickness) to pay for an overnight stay. Estimating the cost for the key expenses involved, it can be concluded that they include the rent of the motorcycle (in case you rented it for the trip), gear and accessories involved (including everything from helmets to gloves), lodging and all other self-care expenses, food and most importantly the driving factor – the fuel!

⦁ Estimating everything according to average standards, the fuel is approximately going to cost $300 considering that your motorcycle gives a good mileage and is fuel economical.
⦁ Moving on to the food, the cost entirely depends on what you eat. Unlike fuel, nobody can estimate the cost of the food you eat. You can save a lot here if you consider food just as a biological necessity rather than an indulgence. On the other hand, you can even end up spending a lot more than the average. A pro tip here – Carrying bottled water with you and some packed food can save you a lot of trouble and expenses on the road. On an average, it is expected to cost you less than $20 per day taking care of your timely cravings. Also, make sure that rather than munching on carbohydrates and fats, you remain full of minerals and energy drinks
⦁ Next on the list is lodging. A night stay can be a costly affair. It can cost as much as a whopping $60 per night. So, it’s good that you compare your options before setting out on the road.
⦁ Another major expense comes in the form of the accessories required for the trip. Everything ranging from your Bluetooth set to camera, from helmets to gloves can contribute a lot to the final bill. Approximately $1500!
⦁ The cost of the trip also depends on the route you chose. The route you undertake decides the cost. Also, don’t be in a rush. Ideally, you can take 2 weeks (or even more) for the trip. Make sure the bike tires have enough life left in them to support the trip. The comfort a bike offers should be the deciding factor while selecting the bike for the trip and not the look or size of it.
⦁ Summers are not the ideal time for the trip. However, if you can’t wait for spring, then buy a cooling vest. Don’t put the trip off anymore. Life is short. Go for it.

Jessica is a traveler by heart. She loves to pen down her thoughts related to her travel experiences and her knowledge of the recent technologies. She loves to meet new people during her trips and is a regular contributor to https://www.frontrunneroutfitters.com