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Travel China – Beautiful Lijiang

November 28, 2018 in Blog

Lijiang is an and quaint town in Yunan, a province of China which is well endowed with magnificent and beautiful mountains, rivers and a long history. The ancient Lijiang county was put into the list of world cultural legacy by the World Legacy Committee of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization in 1997.

The city of Lijiang has a history of 800 years or 900 years dating from the Sung Dynasty. Why is Lijiang one of the most beautiful city in the world? Firstly, it is one of the very few city which is over a mile high above sea level. Smacked in the middle of the Lijiangba Dam, surrounded by snowcapped mountains and a river that runs through an oriental forest with small streams meandering into the town. Some tourists even called the town “Heaven On Earth”.

Lijiang experienced an earth shattering 7 on the Richter scale earthquake on February 1996 which killed more than 5,000 people mainly the Naxi community being the major community in Lijiang. Since then, Lijiang caught the attention of the world and tourism growth was unprecedented. As such, Lijiang is now one of the most favoured tourist travel destination in China.

Most residents in Lijiang are of the Naxi tribe. The Naxi community makes a living by herding yaks and doing small retail businesses. The construction of the ancient Lijiang city was quickly developed in the Ming Dynasty. This is especially so because the Ming Dynasty made a large number of people in Anhui Province to migrate into Lijiang in order to station military troops and common people in the boundary areas.

As a result of this mass migration, the buildings of Lijiang ancient city were very much influenced by the architectural style of Anhui Province. The original buildings of the Naxi community can only be found in the rural areas surrounding Lijiang City.

The Yuan dynasty and the Mongol Emperor then, Kublai Khan stationed military troops in Lijiang in 1253. He brought the foreign culture alien to Lijiang and thus Lijiang was then influenced by the culture Central China, such as Buddhism and Taoism, and then affected by the Christianity and Islamic culture in the early 1900s. The Naxi community assimilated all these cultures. As such, Lijiang is also very much appreciated for its cultural landscape not only in China, but the entire Asia.

Millions of tourists travel to Lijiang each year to enjoy Lijiang’s primitive simplicity, tranquility and elegant culture.The folks at Lijiang enjoy music too. You can hear the beautiful music from the dwelling houses in Dayanzhen Town. The musicians carry their often home made musical instruments to take part in household parties all over the town.

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang is perhaps one the most beautiful mountain range in the world, famous for its perilous, beautiful and breathtaking landscapes. The mountain is a world class tourist scenic spot. The peak of the Jade Dragon Mountain is some 5596 meters (about 17,000 ft) above sea level. The mountain’s thirteen peaks viewed from south to north look just like a flying giant Chinese dragon. A very formidable view indeed.

So if you are travelling to China, don’t miss the quaint city of Lijiang.

Bavaria, Germany

September 27, 2018 in Blog

Bavaria is Germany’s largest state and is located in the southern region of the country. There are resorts, hotels and private rentals located throughout the state. The first step is to decide which areas you most want to visit and plan an itinerary. Then you can begin to decide on accommodations. A variety of choices are available from the more affordable hotels to the more expensive resorts. Information on hotels and other rentals can be found and reserved online.

Hotels and Dining

Bavaria is home to large cities such as Munich and many smaller resort towns as well. There is a range of vacation and accommodation opportunities around the state. Smaller resort towns, such as Prien, are smaller than Munich, but still offer plenty to do. Hotels, shops and restaurants are all in walking distance from the train station. The same is true for Munich.

In many resorts, bus services are offered to and from the resort to surrounding attractions. If you plan to stay in the resort and use the bus service, you may not need to rent a vehicle during your stay. If you want to branch out and explore more of the surrounding areas of the region, or if you just want the freedom to go on your own schedule, you may want to rent a car.

There are thousands of restaurants throughout Bavaria for dining. Schweinsbraten is a common food in most places. This is a pork roast with dumplings and gravy. Fresh fish, such as trout and salmon are common foods in the area and are served in most restaurants. Bavaria is home to many beer halls that serve traditional German cuisine with a variety of local beers.

Sightseeing in Bavaria

Bavaria is home to a few castles you can explore. These were built by King Ludwig II. The castle is ornate and resembles Versailles in Paris. The castle and surrounding gardens are open for touring. The areas around the Herrenchiemsee castle have plenty of activities, such as swimming, fishing, hiking, bicycling, boating and windsurfing.

Herrenchiemsee castle was intended to be a replica of Versailles. It has manicured gardens, elaborate decorations and a hall of mirrors. The original plan called for seventy rooms, but it was never finished. There are twenty rooms in the finished part of the castle. Ludwig was declared mentally unfit to rule and was removed from the throne before his plans could be carried out.

Bavarians Forest Zoo has over 300 native animals in natural surroundings. You will see elks, bison, water birds, birds of prey, owls, wild cats, deer, otters, badgers, cranes and fish in the zoo. A main focus is on protecting endangered species, research and preserving the natural habitat of the animals.

Bavaria is home to a wild west theme park. Pullman city is located just north of Munich and has a typical American wild west theme. The park features re-enactments of gun fights, Indians and stage coaches. The main street area is complete with plank sidewalks and clap board facades on replica buildings. It is reminiscent of western towns commonly seen in the movies and old western television series.

The park has activities like shooting galleries, music and rodeos. There are re-enactments of the American Civil War at the park. Guests are often seen dressed up in cowboy or Indian costumes, both adults and children. Lodging at the park includes hotels, log cabins and even teepees. This allows guests to experience the wild west all day in the park and at night as well.

Rhodes Greece Vacation And Travel

September 6, 2018 in Blog

Rhodes is one of the many islands that you can go to on your Greece vacation. Rhodes is one of the largest and most fertile of the Greek islands. It is also one of the most visited islands in Greece. Rhodes is not only known for its tourist resorts and splendid beaches but also for the various archaeological sites and medieval towns found in the island.

The island of Rhodes is composed of various places of interest. It is a major tourist attraction in itself mainly because of its sunny beaches. Although most of the beaches in the island are covered by gravel instead of sand, tourists still flock to the island because of the 300 and more days of sun that it enjoys.

The initial destination on the island is the city of Rhodes which is the biggest city on the island and the seat of the local government. Another area worth visiting would be Lindos, a picturesque village which is also a site of an ancient acropolis. Next to this village lies Haraki which is a small village that was once a fishing haven. The nearest tourist resort to Lindos is Pefkos, a small tourist town that was once just a cluster of farms and private residences that eventually grew over time.

For more action, tourists may want to head out to Faliraki. This is where tourists usually go to party and have fun and some exciting action while on the island. Afandou is one of the bigger villages on the island where the golf course of Rhodes is situated. For a more rustic experience, tourists can head out to traditional villages such as Theologos where Greek culture and tradition is still given importance.

Greek is the main language in the island of Rhodes. But due to the influx of tourists and foreign visitors, most of the inhabitants have learned to speak better English than in most parts of Greece as well as a bit of German. Communication with the locals is relatively easier especially in areas with the highest concentration of tourists.

Getting to the island of Rhodes is possible from the air or by sea. If by plane, the island can be reached by way of the Diagoras International Airport located on the west coast and 14 kilometers from the town of Rhodes. Regular flights are available from Athens, Thessaloniki and Crete. There are also chartered airlines that connect Rhodes from the other major cities in Europe. There are also ferries that travel regularly via Bodrum, Symi and Tilos. There are also cruise ships that dock at the Commercial Port located east of Old Town in the city of Rhodes.

The main means of getting around Rhodes on a Greece vacation is by bus. The island has a public bus network that operates throughout the island. The bus fare is relatively cheap and with stops that do not usually follow a time table. It is sometime okay to signal a bus driver by the road side if you wish to board or get off. There are also two bus companies the Roda and the Ktel buses. The Roda bus company will take you to Rhodes town and the west side of the island as well as the Diagoras International Airport. The Ktel buses are in charge of the eastern side of the island from the towns of Lindos, Faliraki and Prasonisi. There are also taxis going around Rhodes that can take tourists to the various parts of the island.

Athens Greece Vacation Guide

September 2, 2018 in Blog

 

Athens should not be left out in any Greece vacation. First and foremost, it is the capital city of this beautiful country and hence one of the main attractions of the land. Getting to know about Greece is getting to know about life and culture in its cities. And with Athens being a major city, it truly needs a special mention for tourists visiting for the first time.

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Athens is a city with about 3.7 million inhabitants. This city is also considered as the birthplace of the whole nation and therefore, also the birthplace of Western civilization. This metropolitan city is bounded by mountains on three sides namely, Mt. Ymettos, Mt. Parnitha and Mt. Pendeli. Inside Athens, there are twelve hills that can be found of which Acropolis and Lykavittos are the most prominent.

Places of Interest
For the tourists, Athens has a lot to offer in terms of attractions and places of interest. One of the most notable ancient landmarks in the city is the Acropolis, the ancient high city where marble temples sacred to the city’s goddess Athena can be found. At the foot of the hill of Acropolis are places worth visiting. These are the districts of Plaka, Monastiraki and Thissio. Notable on these districts are the various restored 19th Century neoclassical homes, restaurants and the picturesque ruins of the city’s Roman era.

Another place worth visiting in Athens is Piraeus, the city’s ancient port. This port still serves as an industrial hub for products going in and out of Greece. It is also where ferry connections to Crete and the Aegean Islands as well as almost all of Attica can be found. Tourists can then head out to the city’s business district, Syntagma Square. A notable landmark of the Square is the old Royal Palace. This is also where most of the major hotels, banks, restaurants and other offices of note are located.

Getting In
Getting to Athens is fairly convenient with it being the Greek capital. This is especially true for tourists from other countries getting in by plane. The city has the new Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport which opened last 2001. It is located just 27 km east of the city center and has become a more attractive and efficient means of getting into Greece. The new airport contains excellent public transit networks that can connect arriving tourists to various points of the city.

From the airport, tourists can get into the city center by Metro, the city’s railway system. The airport Metro is the city’s Line 3 extension which then leads to downtown Syntagma and Monastiraki stations. There are also available buses as well as taxis operating from the airport going into the city.

If coming from other regions of Greece, there are regional coaches that connect Athens to the other cities in Greece. There is also a national railway service available connecting the various Greek cities including Athens. Public transport in Athens is considered relatively cheap with a simplified ticketing system that allows commuters to travel on any means of public transport.

An Athens Greece vacation need not be a problem in terms of transportation since they are readily available from the city.

Vibrant Brussels

August 27, 2018 in Blog

Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and this vibrant city is a fascinating place with amazing history and stunning architectural buildings. The Grand Palace is one of the most beautiful squares you can find in Europe. The Grand Palace is the central square of this amazing city. It is famous around the world for its decorative and appreciation of its beauty. The Grand palace is surrounded by the City Hall, the guild houses and the Maison du Roi. Have coffee in the many cafes surrounding the square and enjoy the marvellous architecture and its breathtaking beauty.

You can also visit Galeries Saint Hubert, a beautiful covered shopping place. And while shopping or just taking a walk, you can probably visit the Manneken Pis. The Manneken Pis was designed in 1388 and is one of the most representative and loved symbols of Brussels, originally serving as the means by which many people received water. It is a small bronze statue that is about 50 centimetres and represents a small naked boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. I would also like to add a sightseeing tour by bus where you can hop on and hop off. It will give you a good overview of what Brussels is besides the Grand Palace and Manneken Pis.

Don’t forget to buy chocolates in whatever form you would like since they are probably the best in the world. All chocolate shops allow you to select your own chocolates, as well as selling pre-packaged selections. I would recommend to visit this factory outlet – ‘chocolate lovers unite’. Taste as much chocolate as you want, they have lots and lots of different samples for you to try. They also offer you big discount on purchasing their chocolates.

For lunch, I would recommend Belga Queen on Wolvengrachtstraat (rue Fossé aux Loups). The building it is located in is beautiful with spectacular architecture. Everything about this restaurant has a touch of elegance from the atmosphere to the service to the food presentation and the food is of a high standard. They have a two course fixed lunch menu where they offer different menu each day and it is also displayed on their website, but, of course, you can also order a full meal or just a main course.

If you want to see the Atomium, you can get the metro from De Brouckère or Gare Centrale to Heysel, it will only take you about 15 minutes. The Atomium Brussels is one of the most famous structures in Belgium. It may look strange, but it’s also fascinating. Created for Expo 58, this large, modernist building stands 102 meters tall and features imposing metal spheres that are said resemble the unit cell of an iron crystal and a restaurant that offers great views of the city centre.

If you happen to be in Brussels on a Sunday, I would recommend the Sablon antiques market and the flea market at Place du Jeu de Balles. Brussels ranks as one of Europe’s best capital city for flea market shopping. And to the trained eye, its streets on flea market days are literally filled with treasures. So sharpen your haggling techniques and uncover elusive hidden treasures!