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Top 5 Destinations For an Icy Cold Trip

Somewhere in the world it is cold. Just the word “cold” turns people off the idea of visiting a place but let’s be honest; we have all seen some amazing snowy photos in our time. People should try to embrace it. Trips are most certainly not all about going to warm places and sitting on a beach- well, not every time. Sometimes, the most beautiful destinations are caked in the white stuff. Some of the coolest photos show a glaze of icicles and huge glaciers.

In this article, Agness and Cez of eTramping travel blog will showcase to you their TOP FIVE places to visit to experience what any others will miss out on; visiting the most beautiful icy cold destinations the human eyes will ever see. They personally love to travel in winter, so you might beware plenty of enthusiasm!

1. Svalbard, Norway

With a name that sounds like it came straight out of a Lord Of The Rings novel, Svalbard is a collection of islands situated north of Norway, tucked in between the Arctic Ocean and the Norwegian Sea. Largely unpopulated across all islands, some have “nature reserve” status and offer so much potential for the more adventurous traveller. The higher mountain tops are permanently under snow and there are plenty of cool glaciers to check out for those who love an upward trek. If you time it right, you may catch a midnight sun (April to August) or a polar night (October to February) in your Svalbard trip. They will certainly add character to your trip!

Svalbard, Norway

There are plenty of ways of getting around each of the islands, but the postal service boat trips or Svalbard Cruises are the best ways. Most people there speak English very well, so communication will not be an issue. The best part of these trips can include a possibility of seeing a Polar Bear family finding its way through the craggy mountains. Not only that, there may also be an abundance of other remarkable wildlife in their natural habitat. Be sure to keep an eye out for Puffins, Humpback Whales, Orcas, polar foxes and many more.
One other interesting fact: any human artifacts left lying around from before 1946 must be left alone, as the law states. You may stumble across an old mining entrance, or a random spade on your travels.  It is best to not touch them!

2. Harbin, China

Harbin is home to the Ice and Snow Festival, where the most incredible ice sculptures are showcased to those that visit. Popular throughout January, Harbin is the perfect icy getaway for those wanting to numb their New Year Blues. This expedition is becoming more and more popular every year as competition grows from participants around the world. There is no doubt you will wowed by the high quality of these sculptures and their intricate and accurate cuts, not to mention the sizes! It has been known that an Ice Castle was showcased here once, standing at a whopping forty-eight metres high! There are smaller, less hectic shows on Sun Island, although the name doesn’t reflect the temperatures. Be sure to pack strategically, as it can get super cold here during this time of the year.

Harbin, China

There is plenty to keep you occupied other than the ice sculptures. Ice-skating and sight-seeing are two very popular things to do, as the architecture here is a mixture of Russian influence and neo-classical streets, which makes for an interesting mixture of styles. Plenty of history to be learned!

3. Barrow, Alaska

This part of the US is unique because it stretches far north of the Arctic Circle. Not only that but it is surprisingly diverse with culture. You will probably hear several languages spoken around you in any given day. Nevertheless, the majority of the population are of Eskimo heritage and the locals have gone to great lengths to preserve their natural way of life. Therefore you will find plenty of points of interest, where you will learn of the evolution and hardships of a very unique group of people.  In fact, the more interest you show, the more welcome you will feel. Barrow Beach is a very photogenic area, with the added possibility of sighting some polar bears in their natural habitat. You may even see them in the middle of a seal hunt! It is best to keep a whole day free for this part of the trip, as you will have a chance to relax and take in your surroundings.

Barrow, Alaska

Temperatures in Barrow can get frightfully cold (lows of -50 degrees Celsius) but there is plenty of landscape to explore.

4. Patagonia, South America

This is quite simply a matchless part of the world, because of its incredible exploration opportunities. Shared by Chile and Argentina, the western part mixes with the Andes and give you awe-inspiring trek routes and the most beautiful nature experiences you may ever have.  The Moreno Glacier is certainly worth a visit due to its vastness and photo opportunities. The eastern stretches of Patagonia have cool views of the Atlantic Ocean. The north collides with dry and humid desert land and Pampas lowlands. It has everything! It is such a huge, desolate area, a playground for trekkers and adventure seekers to enjoy.

Patagonia, South America

What is even more distinctive is the local dialect. Welsh, you may wonder? Yes, one of the larger settlements in these parts are Welsh Argentinian. You will meet the kindest, most humble people on your trip here, people will drop everything to help you along your way.

Patagonia is actually proudly a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will most likely mix with some fantastic wildlife, such as sea lions, dolphins and penguins on the coast, and witness endangered Pumas and other such animals in the mountains.

5. Swiss Alps

You know where this is going- get your skis ready! Aside from the amazing skiing experiences (if skiing takes your fancy- or snowboarding, for that matter), there are plenty of quaint, fairytale-like villages to explore, such as Saas Fee and Wengen.

Swiss Alps

They offer sweet, alpine views, amazing hot meals, and are great places to base yourself as you explore the local skiing culture. Stay warm with some local Fondue, and mix with families and lone-travellers from all around the world. Make sure you bring a GoPro or something similar, for those winding alpine slopes!

There are also some fantastic mountaineering climbs on offer across the region. Plenty of choices include Matterhorn, Breithorn and Castor. If you enjoy challenging yourself to adventurous treks, you are in for a treat! The views are breath-taking, the glaciers are looming.  Further down the mountains you will find wondrous gorges and national parks to gaze upon, so take a spare memory card for your camera!

The 10 Travel Destinations you Need To Put on Your Bucket List

It’s a great big, beautiful world out there, with so many choices of stunning travel destinations that it’s not easy deciding where to set your sights when seeking the adventure of a lifetime. Not everyone has the luxury of regular travel to glamorous destinations, so for those of us who aim to see at least one magical place before it’s too late, narrowing your options down to just one or two choices can be quite tough. If indecision is standing in the way of your dreams then let’s simplify the choice for you; we’ve handpicked 10 breathtaking destinations which you absolutely must see in your lifetime.

1. Touring Through the Alhambra in Granada, SpainAlhambra in Granada, Spain

The Alhambra is a palace in Granada which dates as far back as 889 AD. The Moors gave it a renovation in the 11th Century, making it a rich historical and cultural experience. This historical monument’s architecture is beautifully intricate and lavishly decorated, guaranteed to both fascinate and inspire.

2. Sledding or Snowboarding down an Active Volcano in NicaraguaVolcano Boarding

Are you a sledding or snowboarding enthusiast? Well, you haven’t lived until you have tried your hand at volcano boarding at Cerro Negro, an active volcano located just outside of León in Nicaragua. The volcano requires a 2388 foot hike up loose, penny-sized volcanic rock, which you then sled or snowboard downhill at a thrilling 30 mph!

3. Go Swimming In Iceland, in the Blue LagoonBlue Lagoon

In a lava field in Southwest Iceland found approximately an hour away from the capital Reyjavík is a geothermal 100°F spa known as the Blue Lagoon. The man-made lagoon appears blue when the sunlight hits it due to its rich silica content, and it also contains algae and mineral contents which are purported to have many healing properties. It is fed by geothermal seawater. 279

4. Releasing a Candle in Thailand during the Yi Peng FestivalYi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai

The Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand is a religious ceremony celebrated by the Thai people in which they release glowing lanterns into the sky and make a wish as they pay homage to the Buddha. A week later a second lantern release festival is hosted to give the foreigners a turn to participate, along with fireworks and colorful parades running through the city all through the weekend.

5. Diving with Crocodiles in Wild AfricaDiving with Crocodiles in Wild Africa

If you’re looking for a destination that offers you the chance to be really brave, then travel down to South Africa and meet one of the most terrifying ancient creatures on earth. Crocs have 4 times the bite pressure of the great white shark, getting up close and personal will be the most intense things you will ever experience. You can dive with Nile crocodiles in a bite-proof cage at the Cango Wildlife ranch in Oudtshoorn, South Africa.

6. Exploring the Wildlife of the Galápagos IslandsGalapagos Iceland

The Galápagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Island. Charles Darwin, the evolutionary theorist, spent many years in Ecuador studying the Islands’ vast number of species which are totally unique to the island. See creatures you won’t find anywhere else, like giant tortoises, tiny penguins, and blue-footed boobies.

7. Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia, TurkeyHot Air Ballooning

How better to enjoy Turkeys panoramic vistas, the charming hoodoos, and the balmy weather than in a hot-air balloon floating in the sky? In Cappadocia the sky is littered with them.

8. Wondering Through Japan’s Sagano Bamboo ForestSagano Bamboo Forest

Japan’s Sagano Bamboo Forest sits just outside of Kyoto. Take a walk through a magical world of the bamboo stalks towering abundantly and majestically above you, creaking spookily in the wind.

9. Swinging in Ecuador at the End Of The WorldSwinging in Ecuador

The ‘end of the world’ refers to La Casa del Arbol in Baños, Ecuador. Here you’ll find a tree house, which is actually a seismic monitoring station, with a non-acrophobes swing which hangs over the crater of an active stratovolcana called Mount Tungarahua.

10. Cruising through Vietnam’s Hạ Long BayCruising through Vietnam’s Hạ Long Bay

Picture a bay of emerald green waters dotted with towering limestone rainforest islands. The Gulf of Tonkin’s Hạ Long Bay features over 1600 generally uninhabited islets and islands, making it an ideal tourist destination for outdoor appreciators such as hikers, rock climbers, and scuba divers.

The 10 Best Getaway Beach Resorts around the World

Everyone fantasizes about the ultimate beach holiday; the stuff dreams are made of. The perfect pearly white sands, crystal clear blue waters, the scenery set with perfect palm trees blowing in the wind near rustic beach huts.

We have compiled a list of some of the most inviting beach resorts that have caught the eye of many a dreamer.

Rosalie Bay Resort, DominicaRosalie Bay Resort, Dominica

Perfect surroundings from gardens to mountains and miles of coastline – it doesn’t get any better. Here you can hike to the second largest volcanic heated body of water, enjoy a relaxing spa treatment and take sunset walks along the shore. This is one of the most spectacular beachside resorts on the Atlantic Ocean.

Peter Island, British Virgin IslandsPeter Island Resort

Peter Island Resort is the only one on the entire island, if you are looking for a break from anything remotely resembling city living then this is definitely the place to for you. The resort boasts a one of a kind spa for those looking for a relaxing massage, cleansing, and some aromatherapy as well as private plunge pools when you are looking to cool off.

Costa Alegre, MexicoCosta Alegre

It is no coincidence that the name translates to “cheerful coast.” This getaway at El Tamarindo resort is breathtaking. Few places can compete with the pristine green lawns, brilliant blue waters, and pure white sand. This stunning resort boasts a purifying treatment spa as well as some of the best seafood available to tantalize your taste buds.

Gold Coast, BarbadosSandy Lane Resort

Lavish resorts don’t come close to the Sandy Lane Resort on the Gold Coast of Barbados. Here there are stretches of beachfront as far as the eye can see, water as clear as glass and luxuries as you have never experienced before. They even have their own full golf course carved out a limestone quarry. Need we say more?

Four Seasons Resort, BaliFour Seasons Resort

What would a holiday be without the Four Seasons Group? Boasting Infinity Jacuzzis and their own cooking school you can have your cake and eat it, on the holiday, in Bali. How perfect could it get?

Rayavadee Krabi, ThailandRayavadee Krabi, Thailand

Who would have thought that your beach holiday could include elephant rides? Well here is one resort that can make that dream come true. Aside from that, you can climb 1000 steps to the temple at Tiger Cave or just simply drink in the sunshine while lying on the sandy white beaches enjoying the scenery of the mangrove forest engulfing the island.

Letaha Island and Resort, Raiatea, French PolynesiaLetaha Island and Resort

Enjoy spending time in the luxury cabins that are built over the turquoise ocean waters. Submerge your life in the ocean lifestyle and explore incredible pearl farms and snorkel through coral forests; this is the full package, you won’t find anywhere closer to the sea!

Hacienda Encantada Resort and Spa, Cabo, San LucasHacienda Encantada Resort and Spa

This stunning resort boasts a lost city feel with gorgeous stone-faced buildings, perfect dipping pools, and awe-inspiring scenery. The resort has five unique on-site restaurants so you will never feel the need to leave the comfort of the resort in this all intoxicating paradise, though Cabo does have some amazing experiences awaiting the wander lusting traveler.

Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa, PhilippinesShangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa

This optimizes all that a beach resort holiday should be. Only accessible by sea and the only resort on the island with everything you could possibly need, sun beds, seashells, day spas and absolutely delicious food. Who said perfect wasn’t possible?

Couples Swept Away Resort, Negril JamaicaCouples Swept Away Resort, Negril Jamaica

With everything aimed at sun and water this resort has it covered. Their incredible pool scenery is something out of a fairytale. You won’t believe it with your own eyes. Gorgeous! There is just no other word to describe it.

The 6 Most Spiritual Journeys Around the World You Can Embark On

If you are in a place in your life where you need to take some time off to assess where you are and who you are in life and where you fit into this big wide world, then you are ripe for a spiritual journey. The aim is not to find the answer but rather to keep asking questions, to keep seeking the next adventure. Each journey is unique and there is no wrong way to get it done but we have selected some good places to start.

If you are ready to embark on a life-changing pilgrimage then fear not, there are destinations that will blow your mind and need not kill your bank account. You can go on the most spiritually significant trip you will ever experience with memories you will never forget. Here are 6 stunning metaphysical destinations for you to set your sights on.

1. IndiaIndia

India is a spiritual hub of many major religions and can be a spectacular experience for the spiritually-minded, giving you an opportunity to learn about Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism. One awe-inspiring place to check out is Rishikesh, a city which sits alongside the Himalayas, which has attracted many spiritual leaders who have established yoga retreats and ashrams.

You can also travel to the Source of the Ganges, the holiest river of Hinduism, which begins in Uttar Pradesh in the Himalayan peaks and runs all the way over 2000km into the Bay of Bengal. Regarded as the Holiest of Holies, many thousands of Hindus make their way to the source near Gangotri every year on a spiritual pilgrimage.

2. JapanJapan

Japan is the home of many zen gardens, shrines, and temples and makes a stunning spiritual journey destination if you are looking for inner peace. Take a look at the 88 Temple Circuit on Shikoku Island. The island houses 88 temples, representing all of the evil human passions which Buddhist doctrine outline. The aim of traveling this circuit is to free yourself from each of these passions one by one.

The circuit, which begins at Tokushima, is a 1500km route and was traditionally walked, despite the fact that some of the temples are as many as 100kms apart. These days however, it is totally acceptable to complete this pilgrimage on the tour bus, most of which do the circuit clockwise.

3. PeruPeru

Travel to Peru to see Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Here you will get a glimpse into the legendary Incas and their link to star travelers. You odyssey can include a chance to see some of the most awe-inspiring locations in the world, like Ollantaytamo, Saqsayhuaman, the Andes Mountains, Lake Titicaca and the magnificent Amazon Rainforest.

4. StonehengeStonehenge

Stonehenge is regarded as one of the greatest mysteries of mankind and is one of the most magnetically charged locations on the globe. No other place in history has ever generated as much mystery and speculation as these stones, the sheer size of which will have you in complete awe.

5. BaliBali

Bali can be one of the most spiritually rewarding and renewing destinations you can embark on a spiritual odyssey to. Known for its yoga retreats, healthy organic eating, and spiritual healers, your spiritual journey offers you a chance to heal, to release, to grow and to surrender your stress on a beautiful island firmly rooted in the quest for continued spiritual growth and the practice of mediation.

6. SedonaSedona

Known for its spiritual energy, Sedona in Arizona, USA is home to many shamans, reiki healers, and psychics. If you love hiking, star gazing and getting as close to nature as possible then Sedona is just the place for you.

Backpacking Through Asia – The Adventure of a Lifetime

Asia is a continent that is truly remarkable for a number of reasons. The abundance of culture and amazing landscapes make it the perfect place to go backpacking. On top of that, backpacking in Asia is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to travel. Finding a starting point for your adventures will be the least of your concerns as there are numerous spots that have peaked interest across the world. Here are a few backpacker favorites:

Thailand Thailand

Thailand is known for offering a top class backpacking experience. It will most certainly be easy to travel lightly there as the weather conditions in this tropical paradise call for minimal layers. There are few people who have any critiques of their experience in Thailand as there is plenty of things to do no matter what type of activities you enjoy.

People who are out there for the cultural experience can visit mesmerizing ancient temples. There is also a number of fascinating museums like the National Museum of Royal Barges in Bangkok. On the other hand, one can spend countless hours swimming in the warm ocean if they have a bit more energy to kill.

VietnamVietnam

Just next door to Thailand is scenic Vietnam. One of the perks of traveling in Asia is that traveling from one country to the next is not much of a hassle. This is because many of the south-eastern countries of Asia are incredibly small in comparison to the likes of America. To put that into perspective a single state in the US, Texas, is larger than the whole of Vietnam. That does not mean that Vietnam has nothing to offer.

An interesting aspect of the Vietnamese experience is traveling on a motorcycle. This has become a popular form of transport in the country. Backpackers often travel from Hanoi to Saigon and whether they are on a motorcycle or not, the mountains, waterfalls and friendly locals make it a worthwhile experience.

ChinaChina

Thailand and Vietnam are two of the most visited countries for backpackers because of their beauty and affordability. However, China might be a good idea for a backpacker who wants a truly world class adventure and has a bit more money to spend. China’s capital, Beijing, is home to the legendary Great Wall of China.

Hiking this world-renowned landmark would be a life changing experience for anyone trying to have a memorable trip. Nevertheless, backpacking isn’t all about the outdoor experiences. China’s cosmopolitan lifestyle is just as inviting for any shoppers out there. The Beijing Yintai Center, one of China’s most popular malls, is over 1 million square feet.

Being aware of the amazing places to backpack in Asia is truly exciting, but in order to make sure you have the best time possible remember to consider your options. If you want your adventure to last a couple of weeks, or even months, then consider staying in hostels or camping as a form of accommodation. Some of the best experiences come from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and if that means sleeping under stars once or twice it can still be a wonderful time.

Another seemingly obvious idea is to maintain a budget. Each day in Asia will be so much better if you have allocated enough money towards it. On the topic of planning it’s best to be sure of what you will be doing each day. If you doubt you’ll be able to do it on your own, then consider joining a planned tour with a travel agency.

7 of the Best Shopping Vacation Spots you can Visit

Very few things in life are as satisfying as a vacation. Well deserved (or not), nothing quite beats packing your bags and being on your way to your holiday destination. The only thing that tops going on vacation, is shopping while on vacation. So if you always leave extra room in your luggage or are blessed enough to come back home with an extra bag- then here is a quick guide to the world’s seven best shopping vacation spots you can visit.

7 Best and Fun Things to Do in Cyprus

The Island of Cyprus offers an ample opportunity to enjoy something fresh and exciting. Found in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea just south of Turkey, the island is known for its warm weather and picturesque beaches.
Among the great things to see in Cyprus are historic villages and ancient ruins which depict an island with a wealth of culture and history. Its cities are vibrant and its mountains incredible.
Commandaria Wine Route, Protaras Beach, Avakas Gorge, Psokas Forest, Omerye Hamam and the Zenobia wreck dives are among the top tourist attractions in Cyprus. There are so many fun things to do while in this island and here is just an overview of the activities you will find to be very exhilarating;

Wreck Diving

Wreck Diving

Wreck Diving

The Zenobia is among the top ten wreck dives in the world. Zenobia is the name of a ferry which was 172 meters long that sank in 1980 during its maiden voyage. It rests on the seabed at the depths of 18-42 meters. Divers go inside the vessel to explore the ship’s restaurant and cargo deck. There are also amazing natural attractions to be viewed while under such as the Amberjack, Tuna, Giant Wrasse and shoals of Barracuda.

Wine Tasting

Sample one of the oldest wines in the world known as the Commandaria from its birthplace. While here, have an exploration of the Commandaria Wine Route to see the vineyards. The island of Cyprus has one of the oldest wine industries around the globe. Pafos and Limassol are villages popularly known for their wineries. For the finest Cypriot wines, the winery of Chysorogiatissa Monastery offers tasty homemade specialties. Be sure to try out the famous locally distilled spirit known as red Zivania which is produced by the Kykkos Monastery.

Attend Festivals

Carnival

Carnival

Owing to their rich history, cultural and religious festivals are carried out all year round. Carnival starts 50 days before orthodox Easter with festivities taking place in numerous towns and the climax takes place in Lemesos on Carnival Sunday. The Anthestiria Flower Festival goes way back to celebrations in ancient Greece for the rebirth of man and nature. It is held in May with colorful parades of decorated flowers floating through the streets.
The Kataklysmos Festival marks the Pentecost with its roots representing the ancient rites of passage celebrating the transition of man from spring to the new season. The fun starts at the coastal cities where there are fireworks, boat parades, folk music and dancing.

Walking the Avakas Gorge

Avakas Gorge

Avakas Gorge

The Avakas Gorge is truly a nature masterpiece. Found in Paphos, this is a great experience for every avid walker. Here you not only get to discover the island’s spectacular fauna but also challenge yourself a difficult path that is worth it. The Gorge is 30 meters high and it gets narrow at one point. The stream that is responsible for creating the Avakas Gorge amazingly runs along it.

Sea Adventure

Sea Adventure

Sea Adventure

Nothing compares to feeling the sun kissing your skin, warm grains of sand between your toes and having your eyes in the limitless views of shimmering blue waters. This tranquil scene that awakens all your senses can be relished for most part of the year in Cyprus. Indulging yourself into trying out a new water sport will not only be a thrill but a memorable experience. Coral Bay Beach, Santa Barbara Beach, Pissouri Beach and the Protaras Beach are all Blue Flag beaches where one can take a dip in the warm Mediterranean Sea waters. Swimming, water skiing, snorkeling and sailing are some of the activities that you can enjoy in these calm and transparent waters.

Cycling

Cycling

Cycling

The rural terrain in Cyprus has attracted some world top road and mountain bike teams for trainings and competitions. The best time to tour the countryside is during spring. To make cycling even more fun, the Psokas Forest Reserve is a great place to be. A worth trip to book the nearest cheap tickets to Cyprus and see the Cyprus Moufflon, a rare wild sheep that can only be found on this island.

A steam Bath at Omerye Hamam

Omerye Hamam

Omerye Hamam

There was a time the Hamam e was the only public stem bath in the island’s capital Nicosia. The first was built by the Ottomans who ruled Cyprus. After being restored, it has become the ideal spot to step back in time after a busy day.

5 Best Places to Live in Amsterdam

The wonderful city of Amsterdam only started out as a modest fishing village to become one of the most noteworthy ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age. Today, it is not only the capital of Netherlands but a prominent financial center.
It is an exciting new step in life to move into Netherlands. In case you are wondering where to stay in Amsterdam, there are a number of places that are beautiful, have local amenities close by and are free of crime. The top 5 places to live in Amsterdam include;

5) Old South

Vondelpark Amsterdam

Vondelpark Amsterdam

The Old South is a posh area that is near the city center and provides well-maintained, spacious and privately owned houses. Duivelseiland is a good place here with restaurants, market shops and apartments. Parking is not as congested as in the center and waiting time for parking permits shorter. The Vondelpark has a variety of luxury shops, cafes and upscale restaurants to give the best of urban living with a suburban touch.

4) Plantage

Plantage Amsterdam

Plantage Amsterdam

In the 17th century, this is where the middle class citizens of Amsterdam would buy gardens to build garden houses. The area has remained true to its heritage since then. Plantage is home to the city’s zoo and botanical gardens and it is a quiet and leafy area. There are a number of grand buildings which are spacious making it an ideal place to live.

3) Westerpark

Westerpark Amsterdam

Westerpark Amsterdam

Westerpark is known mostly for its enormous park but recent regeneration have transformed it to become a chic place to live. Some new housing projects have provided affordable three and four bedroom apartments. It borders Jordaan and has easy access to the Amsterdam ring road and highways.

2) The Pijp

The Pijp

The Pijp

It is also known as the Latin Quarter of Amsterdam. Pijp is a multicultural district that is lively with long, narrow streets that are parallel. Government initiatives and city regeneration efforts have increased private home ownership opportunities here which benefit expatriates seeking accommodation in Amsterdam. You will find the city’s largest open air markets, the Albert Cuyp Market here and many eclectic restaurants and shops.

1) Jordaan

Jordaan Amsterdam

Jordaan Amsterdam

Jordaan is one of the coziest places to live and also the most expensive. Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht are the three main canals in Amsterdam that provide views of leafy trees and water. It is made up of small canals and streets that run perpendicular to the Prinsengracht. Jordaan hosts a variety of restaurants, cafes and markets that are usually open on Saturdays and Mondays. Parking in Jordaan is limited and quite expensive.
As you make the most of your time away from home, here are some very important cost decisions that you will eventually have to make;

  • The cost of location.
  • The cost of education for the children. The language of instruction is also something to consider.
  • Public transport and car costs. Parking is something to look into.
  • The cost of social life.
  • The cost of food.
  • The cost of TV, internet and other utilities.

Visit Indonesia: If You Want to Make Your Summer Holidays Memorable

Indonesia situated in South East Asia is an enormous and extensive country with over 17,000 glorious Islands including those that are unoccupied. Most of these Indonesian Islands are volcanic.  The largest of the Indonesian Islands include; Java, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua. The country has diverse cultures as it has about 300 tribal groups and 700 languages. The Islands and the wealth of culture is more than enough to get you to want to browse through sites like sky scanner and Jet star to compare flights and get cheap tickets to Indonesia.  To have an unforgettable summer trip, here is an outline of the top 10 best places to visit in Indonesia.

Lombok Island

Lombok Island

Lombok Island

As Bali Island will most likely be overcrowded with tourists, its neighbor, Lombok provides a better alternative to enjoy the waters as it is more spacious. You can have a great surfing experience either as a pro surfer or a beginner at Point X, Mawun or even at Mawi. Gili Islands make Lombok stand out as the place for people of all ages. Gili Islands has three Islands within it where you can indulge in activities such as; snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving and deep sea fishing. The three islands are the Gili Trawangan, the Gili Air and the Gili Meno which is in the middle has a turtle hatchery that you and the kids will absolutely love.

Tidung Islands

Tidung Islands

Tidung Islands

In Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, you will get to the Bridge of Love that links the Islands of Tidung Besar and Tidung Kecil. Here you get to relax and enjoy the view of the sunrise and the sunset as well as cycling through the Island. Snorkeling is a great way of seeing the beautiful coral reefs and be awe struck by the underwater scenery. The Bridge of Love is 800 meters long and you could try to have more fun by having a 10 meters jump into the sea.

Lake Toba

Lake Toba

Lake Toba

In the Island of Sumatra lies Lake Toba, a volcanic lake which is about 30 km wide and 100 km in length. It ranks as the largest resurgent caldera on planet earth. The Puala Samosir Island is located in the middle and has two lakes within it.  This place guarantees full relaxation and a refreshing swim in its warm waters.

Gunung Bromo

Gunung Bromo

Gunung Bromo

This active volcano is a sight to see, situated in East Java at Tengger Massif, the Gunung Bromo is a major tourist attraction hence a must see. It is exciting to see the crater blowing up white smoke and something one does not get to see every day and feeling the volcanic sand under your feet is simply amazing.

Bunaken

Bunaken

Bunaken

Found at the north of Sulawesi Island, Bunaken is best for diving and snorkeling. It also has over 70% of all species of fish living in the western side of the Pacific Ocean at the Bunaken Marine Park.

Where to Spend the Summer Holidays in Indonesia

Asia is an intriguing place to be from rich culture and history to beautiful sites.  Indonesia in the South East Asia is a good place to start. Consider cheap flights to Indonesia to make your booking and get your itinerary ready as we explore four amazing places to go to in the Indonesian Islands this summer season.

Tidung Islands

Tidung Islands

Tidung Islands

The spectacular island is in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. It hosts the Bridge of Love which is about 800 meters that unites the two larger islands of Tidung Kecil and Tidung Besar. You can enjoy the scenery by taking a walk on the bridge to Tidung Kecil Island while seeing beautiful fish and coral reefs from above. As no cars are permitted, you could hire a bike and cycle around the island for fun and exercise. To have an even closer view of the coral reefs, try snorkeling in the crystal clear waters or hirer a boat to go see the more beautiful and isolated features. If you are worried about safety for the kids, worry no more Tidung Island is safe for children for the water is clean and the sea which is in front of the beach is shallow.

Gili Islands

Gili Islands

Gili Islands

There is something for everyone at the Gili Islands, from the largest of the Islands, Gili Trawangan for those looking to party, Gili Air for those who enjoy experiencing new culture as you get to interact with a local Asian community that is well developed as well as get to Lombok faster to take in the sites for it is closer. The third of the Gili Islands is Gili Meno which is in between Gili Trawangan and Gili Air. Gili Meno is for those who just want to relax and have some peace and quiet for it is very laid back. At the beach the stunning white sand and clear waters are ideal for having a good swim, learning scuba diving, kayaking and deep sea fishing.

Raja Ampat Islands

Raja Ampat Islands

Raja Ampat Islands

Raja Ampat Islands has various amazing schools of tropical fish including mollusks, tuna fish, barracudas and coral fish underwater. The coral reefs here are remarkable. Its name stands for four kings following the local myth and it has four major Islands; Misool, Waigeo, Batanta and Salawati.it is also a fulfilling diving destination where you will have a complete view of seahorses, wobbegongs not forgetting Manta Rays sliding past you.

Moyo Island

Moyo Island

Moyo Island

This Island is an ideal getaway found in Sumbawa Besar in a nature reserve. The western half of Moyo Island is owned by the Amawana Luxury Resort that has hosted the rich and famous alike including Princess Diana while the eastern half is ideal for taking hikes, looking at beautiful waterfalls and having a good swim. The nature reserve has good-looking corals making the place ideal for snorkeling. It also houses wild pigs, buffaloes, deer and a variety of birds from kites, sea eagles and herons among others so bird watchers will be in a thrill.

Top 10 Things To Do in Malaysia

Malaysia is a multi cultural nation that has a mix of Malay, Chinese, Arabic, Indian, European and many other cultures. The country has advanced with changing technology and modernism but has still managed to preserve its ecological beauty. There is a wide choice of eateries from hawkers to modern and air-conditioned restaurants. Malaysia has everything and there are plenty of things to see in Malaysia and world-renowned tourist attractions all across the country, which makes your trip worthwhile.
10 Things to See and Do in Malaysia
When it comes to fun and adventure then Malaysia is the right place to be, it offers some of the best experiences that you can indulge. The following article we have collected 10 top things, which you should, must see and do when visiting Malaysia.

Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twin Towers

One of the top things to see in Malaysia is the Petronas Twin Towers. It is one of the tallest building in the world which was completed in 1998. These twin towers are located in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. The building is basically a complex of offices, conference halls and a shopping mall. Also 50 acre car parking is available in the towers. The towers are primarily the corporate headquarters of the PETRONAS Company, joined at the 41st and 42nd floors by a 58 meter long sky bridge. The Argentinian architects Cesar Pelli and Djay Cerico design it.

Genting Highlands

Genting Highlands

Genting Highlands

Visible from Kuala Lumpur, located on top of the Ulu Kali Mountain at about 1800 m above sea level, Genting Highlands is a hill station with resorts, hotels, casinos and theme parks. The hill station has a lot of entertainment, many dining and shopping options. The cool climate of the highland and its closeness to Kuala Lumpur make it a very popular getaway for both locals and international tourists.

Kinabalu National Park

Kinabalu National Park

Kinabalu National Park

Kota Kinabalu is the capital city of East Malaysia. This city is a must thing to see in the country, as it is also home to Southeast Asia’s highest peak the Mount Kinabalu that is about 4095 meter high and the Kinabalu National Park. Whenever you are visiting East Malaysia you should definitely try to climb this peak and visit the National Park. Kinabalu National Park is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Malaysia. The park has a huge collection of flora and fauna, the two-day travel across the landscape to the summit of the Borneo peak is definitely an adventure for many climbers but you should have a guide and a climbing permit to do that.

Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands is a must see place and one of the most popular hill resort in Malaysia. It is located in the Titiwangsa Range at about 1500 meter above sea level. The cool and moderate climate with daytime temperatures of around 25 C and at night 18 C. The weather makes a perfect environment for the cultivation of many plants, vegetables and fruits like tea, cacti and strawberries. The highland also provides a cool escape for the city-dwellers, where you can also enjoy the beautiful view of the tea plantations.

Sunway Lagoon Theme Park

Sunway Lagoon Theme Park

Sunway Lagoon Theme Park

Spanning at an area of over 80 acres, this is Malaysia’s premier theme park and one of the top tourist attraction. It is located in Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya and has lots of thrills and spills for people of all age groups. The theme park is divided into three parts; the Wild Wild West, Waters of Africa and World of Adventure. Spend a whole day in Sunway Lagoon and you will sure have the experience of your lifetime.

Tioman Island

Tioman Island

Tioman Island

Tioman Island is located about 56km off the Pahang coast. The Island is known as one of the world’s best beach escape. The landscape of the island is very picturesque with two volcanic peaks, soft golden sandy beach, fresh mountain streaks and cool waterfalls. The island is located in a lush tropical rainforest and the waters of the island are full of diverse range of aquatic species and colorful corals.

LEGOLAND and Hello Kitty Town

LEGOLAND and Hello Kitty Town

LEGOLAND and Hello Kitty Town

If you want to visit a place that is fun and adventure for the whole family then cutting edge theme parks of Johor has everything. LEGOLAND is the first international theme park in Malaysia, which has exciting rides, themed areas and interactive displays. The main attraction of the park is the MINILAND, where small replicas of popular landmarks of Asia, made with over 30 million LEGO blocks are displayed. Hello Kitty Town is the first Hello Kitty theme park outside Japan. The park’s main highlights include Black Wonder and Kitty House.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

This marine park is named after first Premier of Malaysia. It is actually a cluster of five islands namely Gaya, Manukan, Mamutik, Sapi and Sulug, they were gazetted as second national park of Sabah in 1974. The park is very popular among divers and Eco tourists, the shallow waters of the park has plenty of corals and aquatic species. It is also a perfect site for snorkeling and diving. Also every island features a unusual collection of flora and fauna. Among all five Gaya has the largest and most colorful collection.

Kabili-Sepilok Nature Reserve

Kabili-Sepilok Nature Reserve

Kabili-Sepilok Nature Reserve

The Kabili-Sepilok Nature Reserve is named after two rivers that flow through it. The reserve has some of the most interesting and varied array of wildlife and plants. Mainly Dipterocarp and mangrove forests are found in the reserve. There are quite a few nature trails that walk through the forest that takes you from tropical highland forest to lowland mangrove swamps. The reserve also has the world-famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, where you can see this charming species up close.

Visit the Penan Tribe

Visit the Penan Tribe

Visit the Penan Tribe

Take some time out and explore one of the last remaining exposed areas in Sarawak. Live with the Penan tribe and learn about this most fascinating, mysterious and least understood tribes. The Penan are basically an ethnic group of Borneo and it is believed that out of the 10,000 Penan only 200 are still living like traditional nomad with a hunter-gatherer existence. This tribe is found in the state of Sarawak, Borneo.

Malaysia- Tourist Destination With Sun and Fun

Malaysia, situated in the Southeast Asia, is a multicultural country with rich heritage that bring together Asian and European cultures. Here Malays, Chinese, Indian and many other different races live together in peace and harmony. It has thirteen states and three federal territories. The country offers many attractions to the visitors and that is why Malaysia is frequently visited by many tourists annually. The magnificent landscapes and islands are the top attractions of the country. The Capital, Kuala Lumpur, attracts many visitors to as this city is famous for shopping, fine dining and the sky scraper the Petronas Twin Towers. Malaysia is also the 11th most visited country of the world and the Malaysian Tourism department is still working very hard to promote their country, to increase the number of tourists each year. Some people think that Malaysia is too expensive but if you plan your trip in advance, then you can get cheap flights to Malaysia.

Places to Visit

Malaysia gives its visitors two different experiences; a peninsula and Borneo (island shared with Brunei and Indonesia). Both have many places to visit; the peninsula is a great example of multi-racial community where flavors of different cultures are combined together in great harmony and a modern capital Kuala Lumpur. The Borneo has many interesting and fun places to visit like jungles, peaks and local tribes. And after the efforts of the Malaysian Tourism to preserve the beauty of the country,the country now has great luxury resorts, breath-taking islands and colonial towns.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur

Most of the flights arrive in Kuala Lumpur so you will probably fly there but unlike many other big cities where visitors arrive and try to leave them as soon as possible, Kuala Lumpur is worth exploring destination. The multi racial community of the capital means you will have different cuisines to enjoy. The city also has interesting places like the Petronas Twin Towers, Menara KL Tower, the Perdana Lake Gardens and many other attractions which you should visit before exploring the rest of the country.

Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands

Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands is one of the country’s most widespread hill stations. They were developed in 1920s by the British. Here you will find lush scenery and great tea plantations. These highlands are popular for its trekking trails that lead to plantations, forests, waterfalls and around volcanoes.

Langkawi

Langkawi

Langkawi

Langkawi is located in the northwest of Malaysia and is known as the best holiday destination for both foreigners and locals. It is basically a collection of 99 small islands; these islands are part of the Kedah state. Langkawi has long white sandy beaches, hills covered with jungles and rough mountain peaks. The island is full of tourist attractions like Malaysia’s largest indoor aquarium and natural landscapes such as the Maiden Lake. The west coast has a wide range of restaurants, popular beaches and some best resorts in Langkawi.

Perhentian Islands

Perhentian Islands

Perhentian Islands

Perhentian Islands are located off the northeastern coast of Malaysia near the Thai border. These islands are must see in the country, they have some of the world’s beautiful palm-fringed beaches, cheap accommodations and great diving areas.

Affordable Yet Luxury and Best Places to Stay in Malaysia

Malaysia is a multicultural country with a great mix of cultures. The country has it all from the modern skyscrapers to the colonial architecture, from great landscapes of green rolling hills to the white sandy beaches. Malaysia also has some of the best and luxurious hotels, which also comes under the budget, as the country is also known for being one of the cheapest places of South East Asia.  So if you are planning for a trip to Malaysia and you are worried about finding cheap hotels yet luxurious hotels in Malaysia then the following article is your guide.

Affordable yet Luxury Hotels in Malaysia

Whenever planning a holiday, a person is always concerned about where to stay in that particular destination. In the following article I have tried to cover all types of hotels from five star hotels to cheap hotels, so that it is easier for you to choose according to your need.

Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur

Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur

Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur

This five star hotel, located in the heart of Malaysia, offers luxury at its best. Intercontinental is just a few minutes away from the Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center. Also many other entertainment and shopping areas are a few steps away from the hotel.  This hotel is perfect for both businessmen and leisure travelers. The rooms are modern with all the state of the art facilities and services. For dining, the hotel also has a selection of restaurants to choose from.

Bon Ton Resort, Langkawi

Bon Ton Resort, Langkawi

Bon Ton Resort, Langkawi

This is a relatively cheap hotel and also very unique in its setting.  The resort has eight different and antique kampong houses, set in the middle of a lush coconut farm. The resort also has an attractive swimming pool. These kampong houses are like 60 to 120 years old, were brought here from all around Malaysia and then were reassembled by carpenters. All these houses are full of history and are furnished with great antiques and decorative fabrics.

The Majestic, Malacca

The Majestic, Malacca

The Majestic, Malacca

This luxurious yet affordable yet is set in an old mansion of a rich businessman. The hotel has an exceptional mix of straits and neoclassical architecture. The Majestic also preserve the original theme like the colorful stained glass windows that dates back to the 1920s. The rooms are spacious and elegant, with fine silk and teak features, nicely polished timber floors and sliding wooden doors between bathroom and bedroom.

Straits Collection, George Town Penang

Straits Collection, George Town Penang

Straits Collection, George Town Penang

The Straits Collection is situated in the UNESCO World Heritage Center of George Town. The hotel includes four amazing apartments, set in light colored colonial buildings, which were once shop houses. All of these shop houses have been renovated so that they reflect the historical past of the town. These apartments are also fully equipped with all the modern facilities needed for living.

JapaMala Resort, Tioman Island

JapaMala Resort, Tioman Island

JapaMala Resort, Tioman Island

This resort is also a five star hotel, set in a peace, calm and picture perfect bay of its own. JapaMala is the ultimate jungle settlement; the stylish villas are set in awe-inspiring views of the ocean and the lush jungle. This is a deluxe and luxurious accommodation with state of the art amenities and services for their guests. Guided tours of wildlife and rainforest treks to nearby villages are also available.

Introducing the Maldives with 4 Crazy Things to DO

The Maldives are a gorgeous set of island in the Indian Ocean,  and  are a top place  for many who want  to  come here  for  their holidays and honeymoon. Got some time off work coming up and don’t know where to go? Here’ a bit of a briefing on the incredible Maldives.
Climate
Hot and beautiful are probably the only two things that immediately come  to mind about  the  Maldives, but like anywhere else in the world, paradise can get bad weather too. The monsoon season is an unfortunate time to come as you won’t be able to enjoy the beaches as much. This is usually from May to November. The winds are strong and the thunderstorms roll in. However, the prices are cheaper during this time. The weather isn’t bad 24/7, so you could take your chances.  If you want hot and sunny weather, almost guaranteed, then coming December through March is your best bet.  Forget a white Christmas! How about a sandy one instead?
Transport
You will get here by plane, of course, but  if you  plan on island hopping, you  can fly  too!  Seaplanes are a unique way of getting  around,  and  the  Maldives is  a  great  spot  to take  advantage  of that opportunity. Male is pretty small and totally walkable if you got your walking shoes on. There are cabs as well if you’re just not in the mood to walk around. Otherwise while you’re here, walking to and from the beach will be your only concern.

Top Things to Do:
Chillimage

Seriously, just chill. This is an archipelago of serene and quiet beaches for miles and miles scattered on a bunch of tiny specs of paradise. What else can you imagine doing but laying around and basking under the sun?  Melt away everything else and focus on nothing. This is the place to relax.
Spa
Spa

Speaking of chillin out, if the beach vibes aren’t doing the trick for you,have  a  spa day! It’s your Maldives holidays after all. Take the time to pamper yourself with any kind of massage or spa experience you can think of. The island offer many types. The hakeembe are healing experts on the island and are trained to give you the islands special spa treatments.
Diving    

 Diving

Diving

OK, so maybe you’re the active type no matter what. You are up for anything and are ready to explore these beautiful islands. Diving is the best way to get to know the teeming marine life below your feet. Manta, sharks, tropical fish, and more are waiting for you  at the bottom of the  sea. This is one of the world’s most richest coral reef areas, its truly spectacular.
Watersports

Watersports

Watersports


Snorkeling, catamarans, windsurfing, kayaking, parasailing and more are here for you to try your hand at as well. Fancy surfing? This is a mecca for the surfing maniac, so grab your board and get in.

Top 10 Fun and Free Things to Do in Singapore

Singapore is known as the Garden city and is a beautiful stopover to spend your vacations. It is known as one of the world’s most prosperous countries with good shopping places, tasty food and a lively night-life. There are many places worth watching in Singapore that force you to celebrate in the country. Singapore is an expensive country but it also provides you many opportunities to enjoy without spending a penny. The following list gives you guidance to visit the top 10 fun and free things to do in Singapore.

Merlion Park

Merlion Park

Merlion Park

Merlion Park is one of Singapore’s most iconic sculptures. It is 8.6 meters high and represents a fish body with a lion face. The literal meaning of Merlion is a half-lion and half-fish creature. This most attractive tourist spot for hanging out is free to visit. The iconic statue stands spitting water from the mouth. It is known as a landmark of Singapore as it is located at One Fullerton, close to the Central Business District.

Garden by the Bay

Garden by the Bay

Garden by the Bay

The Garden by the Bay is one of the main attractions in Singapore and is the best vantage spot for the area. It is located over an area of 101 hectares and the entrance to the biggest portion of the Gardens in Bay South is totally free. The main attraction of this garden are the stunning Super trees which shimmer and dazzle with the musical sound and light shows every evening. The Garden by the Bay was made by the government to raise the quality of life by introducing more greenery in the city.

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

East Coast Park

Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort that has Singapore’s biggest casino and shopping mall. It is famous for its highly entertaining and electrifying water and light show every night. The entrance to this amusing show is free and it continues for some minutes that completes with various lively colors and live music. It also has a beautiful boat which is designed differently with three huge curved skyscrapers which have the highest rooftop pool of the world.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore’s Botanic Gardens are an oasis of peace and helps you to escape from the city. These gardens are sprawled over 74 hectares. The newly opened quiet green space is gigantic in size and allows you to wander for free. National Orchid Garden is the central attraction in the garden as it contains a rainforest, a beautiful lake and many different species of plants form around the world.

Arab Quarter

Arab Quarter

Arab Quarter

There are many places to visit in Singapore for free so that you never have to wonder much about what to do in Singapore. One of the distinct places in Singapore is Arab Quarter where most people come to enjoy shopping of designer dresses, eat tasty platters and smoke shisha pipes in Haji Lane. It’s free to enter the charming Arabian mosque also known as Sultan Mosque. Try to go early in the morning and enjoy listening to the stories of Muslim heritage from volunteers.

East Coast Park

East Coast Park

East Coast Park

East Coast Park is the most popular park in Singapore, as it offers beautiful views of the 15km seaside and loads of sporting activities ranging from cycling to surfing to camping. The park gets crowded on weekends as it gets filled with locals to get an outdoor Singaporean experience. You will see many people walking and sunbathing, as it has a free entrance. The BBQ spots are complimentary and you can even camp for free by just taking permission from the authorities.

Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa is a peculiar theme park. It is based on some scenes from Chinese mythology. There are over 1,000 statues and 150 dioramas representing Chinese legends and revealing their folktale. It has been a long time since the park was made as the statues have start decaying. Some of the statues give disturbing experience and the most famous is Ten Courts of Hell that shows consequences of sins. Walking through this free park gives an amazing feeling just like reading a tale.

Singapore City Gallery

Singapore City Gallery

Singapore City Gallery

All the people interested in architecture should go to visit the Singapore City Gallery. It has become famous for its one of the largest architectural models in the world, which makes a good reason to visit the free gallery. It was established in 1999 and the aim of the gallery is to showcase their urban planning throughout the years and the strategies made for conservation efforts to make Singapore distinctive.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a perfectly preserved forest that makes you remember that Singapore was once home of the tropical rainforests. It has become an ASEAN heritage site that is free to enter. The nature reserve is located at the highest point in Singapore that allows you to go hiking and watch animals and to discover different species of rare plants in the forest. You can enjoy looking at the hoards of monkeys and the local wildlife and can also observe nature in the forest.

Chinatown

Chinatown

Chinatown

Raffles established Chinatown for the Chinese settlement and now this Chinese cultured area is popular with tourists. Sri Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple, and Thian Hock Keng is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore. The Hindu temple is very colorful but retains a certain look of frugality while the Chinese temple is built impressively with bells, statues and various halls. It is known as the traditional place of shopping and eating delicious food. 8 treasure and Chinatown Seafood Restaurant are best known and popular food places for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians respectively. The tea of Chinatown’s Yue Hwa is peerless for both its price and variety of tastes. As far as shopping is concerned, the shops on South Bridge Rd in Chinatown sell best antiques while cheap and reasonable fabric can also be bought from Chinatown. If you have an interest in designing then the red dot design museum near Chinatown is a great place to buy contemporary products.

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