Daily Archives: 16.02.2014

Iceland, The Country of Volcanoes and Natural Geysers



Iceland, The Country of Volcanoes and Natural Geysers

Iceland is one of the most sparsely populated Nordic island between the Artic Oceans and the North Atlantic, in Europe. Iceland saw its independence in 1918 and was declared a republic in 1944. After World War 2, Iceland saw its prosperity, earlier of which the country depended only on fishing and agriculture.

After the Great Britain, Iceland is the second largest in Europe and stands 18th in the world with about 101,826km,out of which 62.7% is tundra region, 23% is vegetated and 14.3% is covered by lakes and glaciers. Reykjavik is the capital city of Iceland .There are three major national parks situated in Iceland namely Snafellsjokull, Vatnajokull and Pingvellir. The Yale University has ranked Iceland 13th in the Enviornmental protection index in 2012.

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Iceland is a land of highly active volcanoes and geysers. Volcanoes like hekla, eldfell, eldgja and Laki which are as destructive as causing famine and killing about quarters of land’s population. The geyser, Geysir, is the word from which the English word Geyser has been obtained. At Iceland the geyser Strokkur is as frequent as erupting every 7-10 minutes. The local population access cost free electricity and hot water through these geysers and also the availability of geothermal power is in abundance. The usage of electricity at Iceland is higher than that of USA which to 28787 kwh per year. at Iceland Hydroelectric sources and geothermal power stations expoit about 98% of the total renewable energy.

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The climate of Iceland is subpolar oceanic. The annual high temperatures are due the warm North Atlantic Currents, which is high as compared to other regions in same geography. Temperatures as low as -38 degree Celsius are felt during winters and as high as 30.5 degree Celsius during summers.

Biodiversity of about 1300 species known to the world are available here, with natives like the arctic fox, some bats which do not breed in the island and some occasionally visiting polar bears, Whereas the plants include a range of northern birch, rowan, aspen and common juniper with some other willows and smaller trees. Most of the lands at Iceland are treeless, not entirely tough but yes a major afforestation has occurred in Iceland due to which a major number of population has to be rehabittated every year.

A North Germanic language is Iceland’s official spoken and written language called Icelandic, which also a a Sign language form, Whereas English and Danish are subjects which are compulsory at school.

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The cuisine of Iceland consists of less of spices and herbs and is majorly on dairy products and lamb and fish. Vegetables and fruits are not generally available at Iceland due to its geographical location. Some of the traditional dishes of Iceland include diehs like puffin, sured ram, skyr, hakari and many others. Seafood is served generally during dinner which is the main course of the meal throughout the day for Icelandic and the breakfast and the lunch contains dairy food and smorgasbord respectively.

The country is said to have consumed the highest per capita coca cola in the world whereas coffee and vodka are also majorly consumed. Along with coca cola the majorly consumed food article is the hot dog full of fried onions, fresh bun and definitely the fresh bun which is the best available in its capital city Reykjavik.

Glima which is a form of wrestling is the traditional and national sport of Iceland which was introduced in the medieval times. The population is highly active in terms of sports like skiing, rock climbing, hiking, mountain climbing. Telemark skiing is one of the most appreciated skiing at the northern Iceland. Golf, Swimming, shooting, horseback riding, bridge are also highly populated sports in the region.

Iceland’s national anthem Lofsongur was written by Matthias Jochumsson. Iceland is not only a land of vivid climate, food and an amalgation of immense number of sports but also has a high spirit in terms of music and cultural development of its citizens. There are major bands like Bang gang, Amiina, Wuarashi and many independent singers in Iceland.

The naming system of Iceland is very peculiar which contains three major parameters to be talked about first the name is not a family name, second, the name is selected from a list of predefined names and third, after marriage one doesn’t take the spouse name.  A person’s family name cannot be depicted from his name at Iceland because one uses only a metronymic or patronymic name along with the first name. One of the most peculiar parts of the naming system at Iceland is that one can use both parents name as a part of his name. Icelandic language plays an important role in using a new name. if a parent wishes to use a name not mentioned or described in the list he/she has to send a request to the national Icelandic Naming committee for approval whose acceptance depends on the words meaning in the local language used at Iceland. A major drawback of this system is when one travels off the country where it is expected that the offspring’s last name is same as that of the mother or the father. Moreover the directories in Iceland contain list only from the first names for simplification

Morocco – The Oasis of Sahara



Morocco – The Oasis of Sahara

One of the most popular African countries of all, Morocco is rich of history, culture, diversity and beautiful landscape. The country which lies on the western fringes of the African continent kissed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea at its coast is a beautiful oasis of culture and nature in the Saharan desert. The ‘Western Kingdom’ has been one of the finest African countries in the world with great political stability, cultural diversity and religious tolerance, factors which has easily made it one of the top most traveled to countries in the African continent. Morocco or the Kingdom of Morocco is a constitutional monarchy in its political set-up with the monarch having great powers over the affair of the country. A stable economy, great vision and so much to offer to the world has allowed Morocco to be able to realize its mystical potential of being a great tourist destination.

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Morocco as a country has been historically welcoming to visitors who have not belonged to this country home to the Atlas Mountains. The Berbers who have inhabited the lands near the Atlas Mountains are the original indigenous people of the country and have throughout their history seen people from various parts of the world come to its great land and settle themselves including the Arabs, Europeans, Jews and Sub-Saharan Africans. Morocco became part of the Roman Empire in the 1st century B.C and saw Christianity spread through its land in the 2nd century B.C later on around 6th century A.D Islam found its way onto the country and as stayed ever since. The 11th century saw the rise of some of the most powerful Berbers rulers in the history of the country. Coming towards the 18th and 19th century Morocco was gripped by the hands of Colonization as the European countries fought for its land. Morocco was a protectorate of both Spain and France for long parts of the 19th and 20th century before gaining independence in the spring of 1956.

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Morocco is a land full of nature’s bounties in all directions, in the central and southern regions of the country the mighty Atlas Mountains reign supreme which were the birth place of the indigenous Berber population of the country, towards the west and the north are its two famous coastline which it shares with the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea only the third country after Spain and France. The southern eastern parts of the country are mostly covered by the Great Sahara desert and the coastline of the country provides for some of the best beach experiences in the world. The country is bordered in the north by the Straits of Gibraltar & Spain, by Algeria in the East and Western Sahara to the south over which it has majority of the control. Such geographical diversity allows the country to offer great treats of landscape to the world one can experience the beautiful sunset over the Atlantic Ocean, a soothing sunrise over the Atlas Mountains and the exhilarating beauty of the sand dunes of Sahara.

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Some of the greatest attractions of the country are rooted in the three cities of Casablanca, Rabat and Marrakesh. Casablanca or the white house as it is popularly known as is the largest city in the country of Morocco and is one of the biggest cities in the African continent both economically and demographically. The city has a combined population of 9 million people highest in Northern Africa and is in many ways the economic and cultural epicenter of the country. Located in the northern shores of the country kissed by Atlantic Ocean Casablanca is a city with great historical, cultural and tourist value, the city’s architecture is highly influenced by the French style. Rabat is the capital of Morocco and its fifth largest city, the city is the political heartland being the governing center. The city’s landscape is full of strong forts which signify its importance as a center of power since the time it was first established in the 12the century. The City of Marrakesh is one of the historically important cities in the country due to its rich history, heritage and religious importance. The beautiful city of Marrakesh is an example of the beauty of the Islamic style of architecture which is on display in its many palaces, forts, gardens and Madarsas.

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Morocco is a country bustling with activity and having being at the crossroads of two great continents its diversity, beauty and importance in the world is very much there. The country with its robust economy is now becoming one of the top notch travel destination in the world with greater importance towards luxury traveling in its now famous beach cities. The country is today seeing tourist throng its shores in huge numbers. Morocco with its enchanting mountains, its moving beaches and shores and its rich culture is in many ways the oasis of the Saharan Desert.

Mesmerizing Beauty of Gangtok, Sikkim



Mesmerizing Beauty of Gangtok, Sikkim

One of the least populous states of India, Sikkim is a state replete with beauty and religious importance. Sikkim borders Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet Autonomous Region of China on different sides.  Gangtok, Sikkim’s capital literally means Hill Top.

Sikkim

It is a scenic Hill Station which has beautiful mountains, beds of lush greenery, stunning falls and vivid flora and fauna. Besides the panoramic landscapes, there are many sacred sites and structures located around Gangtok. The amalgamation of different communities lends a cultural richness to this city. This harmonious blend of natural, cultural and religious richness makes Gangtok a place worth visiting.

Monasteries

From the view point of Buddhism, Sikkim is a very significant state with many ancient monasteries located here. The religious aura of Sikkim’s capital is enhanced by several important monasteries found in and around Gangtok.

Phodong Monastery

Phodong Monastery, located some 28 km from Gangtok is an 18th century Buddhist Monastery. Its contributions in propagation of Buddhism, and beauty and serenity are some aspects worth exploring. The monastery also has an admirable collection of ancient murals. Rumtek Monastery, sometimes known as Dharmachakra Center is a popular site in Sikkim. This Tibetan Buddhist Monastery was originally built in 16th century and has undergone subsequent renovations.  Located some 24 km from Gangtok, it is one of the largest monasteries in Sikkim. Some of the tourist attractions include a Golden Stupa, Buddha’s statue, and the prayer wheels in the monastery.

Rumtek Monastery

Though located 140 km from Gangtok, the Pemayangtse Monastery is also worth visiting. It is the oldest monastery in Sikkim; its history can be traced back to 16th century too. This also forms a part of the Buddhist religious pilgrimage circuit. This monastery attracts a lot of tourists owing to its scenic location, snow covered mountains in the distance provide a sparkling background. The major attractions within the monastery include statue of Padmasambhava, Tibetan designs in the main temple, beautiful grounds, and wall paintings. This monastery also boasts of a remarkable collection of Buddhist sculptures, antique idols etc.

Pemayangtse Monastery

Chaam Festival or Monk Dance is organized here which also marks the conclusion of Losar. Losar is the Tibetan New Year. Lamas dress up as Mahakal and in colorful costumes, fireworks and dance performance are a part of the celebrations. Pilgrims attend this festival in huge numbers. Even for non religious people this festival provides a stunning specimen of Sikkim’s cultural richness.

Khecheopalri Lake

Khecheopalri Lake in Sikkim

This lake is at a distance of some 140 km from Gangtok, and is a major tourist location owing to both its scenic beauty as well as sacred significance. For followers of Buddhism and Hinduism both, it is a sacred lake. It is also popularly believed to be a wish fulfilling lake. The lake is locally called the kha-chot-palri which translates as ‘heaven of Padmasambhava’. This lake is also a part of the religious pilgrimage circuit of the Buddhists. There are innumerable legends and myths associated with this lake. The lake’s appearance when viewed from a distance has been explained through various myths to. According to Buddhist myths, the lake is footprint of goddess Tara, whereas in Hindu folklore they are considered to be foot prints of Lord Shiva. During March and October several religious festivals are organized here which also sees pilgrims form Bhutan and Nepal attending it.

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

NIT

The 14th Dalai Lama laid foundation stone of this institute in 1957. It is a world renowned institute that undertakes research work about people of Tibetan Cultural area. Sikkim is included in it too. The language, history, religion, art of Tibetan settlements is the major area of concern at NIT. It also boasts of the second largest collection of Tibetan works. Tibetan religious art and iconography are major tourist attraction. This Tibet Museum allows all visitors to glimpse the diverse and rich heritage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Hanuman Tok

hanuman Tok

Situated 9 km from Gangtok, this is a Hindu Temple Complex maintained by Indian Army. The temple dedicated to Hanuman has several myths associated with it. It is popularly believed that while bringing the Sanjeevani to save Lakshmana (a famous Ramayana anecdote) rested here, and the temple is situated at that spot at an altitude of some 7200 feet. Its high altitude also makes this a place from where the panoramic view of the nearby areas can be witnessed. Parts of Gangtok, and of Mt Khangchendzonga are visible from here and make for stunning sights.

Nathu La

nathu La

Some 50 km east of Gangtok, it is a very famous Himalayan mountain pass. Nathu literally means Listening ears. This is also the border between India and China connecting Sikkim to the Tibet Autonomous Region of Republic of China. The area has rich alpine flora and the road leading down to Chumbi Valley is visible from here. The sights on this road, which is also one of the highest motor able roads, are worth the visit. It is also an offshoot of the ancient and historically prominent Silk Route. Nearby tourist locations include Baba Mandir and Tsongmo Lake which is also known as the Changu Lake.

Tsongmo Lake

Annual Gangtok Food and Culture Festival is organized every year in December on MG Marg in Gangtok. Multicultural cuisine, musicales, dance performances for a part of this festival and attract a lot for tourists. Flower Shows are organized regularly in the Ridge Park, rich profusion of colors provide s a sense of strolling in nature’s close contact. The 1 km long rope-way ride from Deorali to Tashiling provides some spectacular views of the city of Gangtok. The high elevation also provides impressive views of the mountain ranges.

Prayer wheels, Rumtek

Gangtok in Sikkim

 

For nature lovers and people out to explore diverse cultures, Gangtok has a lot to offer.

Table Mountains of Cape Town



Table Mountains of Cape Town

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Cape Town is one of the most populated cities of South Africa and the regional capital of Western Cape. The City of Cape Town forms an important part of the metropolitan municipality. The metropolis is famous for the natural scenery and the harbour in the Cape floral kingdom, along with various landmarks such as Cape Point and Table Mountain. Cape is originally located on the coast of Table Bay, was developed by the company called as Dutch East India Company as a sailing supply station for Dutch ships to East Africa and the Far East. In 1652, Cape Town emerges as the first European settlement at the Castle of Good Hope, further the cultural and economic hub of the Cape Colony.

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Along with the Cape Town in South Africa, Table Mountains is the prominent landmark of flat topped mountains. Table Mountains are featured in the Flag of Cape Town and in the insignia of various other local governments. It is an important tourist’s attraction, with people climbing on the top using the cableway. Table Mountain forms a very beautiful epic scenic view in Africa. So these mountains form the part of the Table Mountain National Park. The main aspect of Table Mountain is the levelled ground which is around 3 kilometres from all the sides. The plateau is lined by Lion’s Head to the west and by Devil’s Peak to the east which finally forms a dramatic environment in Cape Town. The broad sweep of mountainous heights along with the Signal Hill forms the natural amphitheatre of the Table Bay and the City Bowl. The highest peak of Table Mountain is in the direction of the eastern side of the plateau which is further marked by Maclear Beacon, a stone structure made by Sir Thomas Maclear in 1865 for the trigonometrical survey. Maclear Beacon is 3,563 feet above the sea level, around 19 metres above the cable station in the western side of the plateau.

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The top of mountains is enclosed by aerographic clouds formed by the south eastern winds that are directed in the slope of mountains in the colder region. The moisture band of the mountains appears as the table cloth of mountains by clouds. In myths the phenomenon is said as the smoking fight between the Devil and a native Pirate named Van Hunks. The mountains are situated at the northern end of the sandstone in the mountain ranges so called as the Spine of the Peninsula Cape. In south the main plateau is called as the Back Table which is the lower region of the mountain ranges. The last point of the range is the Cape Point.

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Table Mountain is also famous for its rich biodiversity. Some of the main vegetation type is the Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos which is endangered now, whereas Afromontane forest, Peninsula Shale and Peninsula Granite Fynbos are critically endangered in smaller parts of the mountains. The vegetation of the mountains forms an important part of the protected areas of the Cape Floral Region. There are around 2,200 different types of species of plants in the Table Mountains which is more than that exist in the complete of the Unites Kingdom. For these reasons it is the most protected site of World Heritage. Many of the species here are so exclusive which can be found nowhere else in the world. In addition to this, the Table Mountains has the highest number of species of any other continental region of the equivalent size. However, many of the indigenous forest have been felled down and get replaced with the commercial plantations. Various types of fynbos tend to control on the exposed part of the Table Mountains on the regions where conditions are so much dry and harsh for the forest such as the area above the city. The natural cycle of mountain’s wildfire burns occasionally and which further rejuvenates the vegetation of fynbos on the exposed slopes.

Cableways

The Table Mountain Cableway lifts passengers from the lower cable station which is situated on the Tafelberg Road about 320 m on the sea level from the plateau at the top of the mountain. The upper cable station covers the complete view of the Cape Town, Robber Island and Table Bay in the north side; whereas west and south is covered with the Atlantic Seaboard. These cableways are constructed in the year 1926 and were officially started in 1929. Various types of new cars were introduced which carries 65 in place of 25 passengers in further years and the structure was upgraded consistently. These new cars provide a faster journey to the peak and give a panoramic view of the city while rotating through 360 degrees. These new top cable stations provides you with various curio shops, restaurant, viewpoints and the walking trails of varying length.

Other then the cableways, Table Mountains offers various other activities such as Hiking, Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking and Caving. Rock Climbing on Table Mountains is a very popular sport among the local people and tourists of the Cape Town. Mountain Biking is also a lot fun because of the steep slopes. Many jeep tracks of the Table Mountain offers Mountain Biking and guide the route to follow.

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Vietnam: Land with Great War History



Vietnam: Land with Great War History

Vietnam is a thin long country of Southeast Asia. It is surrounded by China in the north, Laos in the North West and Columbia in the South West. It is officially known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV). It is ranked 8th in the list of Asia’s most populated countries with a total population of over 90 million people. In the world, it stands 13th among the list of populous countries of the world. In 938 AD, Vietnam became independent from the Imperial China. The country has a whole history of wars and colonialism. People of Vietnam spend their lives rebelling for their country and for their freedom. Due to the history of colonial rule and wars, it is also known as the ‘country of historical wars’.

The country has a lot of wild jungles, beaches with white sand, delicious street food, etc. There are a lot of things for the travelers and they will be never disappointed with any of the sights and the sounds. This country offers a fusion of Asian culture with the Parisian culture. Vietnam has a lot of temples, shrines, pagodas, tombs, and other monuments to explore and admire. About 4 million tourists visit Vietnam every year and the tourism in the country is growing every year.

imperial citadel

The most famous tourist place in the country is Hue. Hue is one of the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO and is the residential place of the Citadel. It was used as a private residence for the emperor of country. It is located in the central region of Vietnam and is the former capital. The Imperial Citadel in Hue is the most popular monument and building in the whole Vietnam. It was the seat of the imperial government of Hue and has a complex covered of temples, walls, gates, pavilions, moats, shops, galleries and museums, arts and costume collections, etc. which shows the history about various periods in the history of the country. The citadel was knocked badly at the time of fighting between Viet Minh and French in the year 1947. Therefore, there are some areas which are just empty fields having remaining bits of walls. Restoration of the place is in process.

Halong-Bay

Another very major tourist attraction of the country is Ha Long Bay which is located to the northern region of Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. It is a coast line and is 120 kilometers long. The term Ha Long Bay means the ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’. There are thousands of islands (more than 2000) in this place and every island has a thick green forest and vegetation on them. They look like limestone pillars and form a spectacular view. Many of these islands have caves in them and hollow while other islands have lakes which are usually used by the fishermen of the neighboring villages. The place offers cruise rides. The sunrise, sunset or the moonlit night or a starry sky are the perfect views of this place which cannot be matched and those moments will be stunningly beautiful and will leave an impression on your mind for lifetime.

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Another very historical important town of Vietnam is Hoi An. The Old town of this place is listed in the World’s Heritage Site by UNESCO. There a lot of historical sites in Hoi An but main attractions out of all include a museum, an old house, an assembly hall, a traditional theatre and the Japanese Covered Bridge. The Japanese Bridge was constructed by the Japanese community in the early 1600s. This place was a fishing village initially but now it is one of the most popular tourist places and has grown great shipping business. There are Chinese styled shops which attracts a lot of tourists. The town is covered with a lot of narrow canals and is therefore called “Venice of Vietnam”. Also there is a Bang Beach which has deserted sand and is a wonderful place to spend your day.

hoan kiem lake

In Vietnam, another historical centre is Hanoi and the many historical centre of Hanoi is Hoan Kiem Lake. In the city of Hanoi, there are many places to visit but the Haon Kiem Lake is the historical centre of Hanoi. There are many scenic views from this leisure spot and the lake has become favorite of the locals as well as the tourists. The name of the lake literally means the returned sword. This name is derived from a legend which states that the god awarded King Le Loi a magical sword which was used to invade china. This sword was later returned in the lake to the Golden Turtle God.

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In this country with lots of islands, Phu Quoc is the most important and largest one. It is situated in front of Cambodia coast. There are undamaged coral reefs and tropical forests along with beautiful beaches which overall make the island a beautiful natural landscape. There are many beaches on this island and Bai Dai is the best of all. Bai Dai beach is also known as the Long Beach because of the length of the beach. This is a very clean and beautiful beach, not just in the country but in the whole world. The world best fish sauce is produced in Vietnam in Phu QUoc.

There are many other places in the country of Vietnam to visit and travel. This country has a story to tell on each path about the historical struggles and wars. Visiting this country will be a sort-of patriotic experience for you.

Bali – A Spectacular Blend of Mountains and Beaches



Bali – A Spectacular Blend of Mountains and Beaches

The smallest sphere of Indonesia is Bali. It owns the islands between Lombok and Java. More than 3,890,757 people live in these islands which includes most of the people of Hindu community. Because of its beautiful mountains, sandy beaches, rough coastlines and landscapes the island is known as the Islands of the Gods. It is the biggest tourist destination and has the highly developed archaeological, cultural and historical attractions. This place is very colorful and has a unique and spiritual culture. This island is well known for arts, traditional as well as modern dance, music, leather, sculpture, metalworking and painting. World class diving and surfing services are provided at this place for divers and surfers. Even the volcanic hills and lush terraces provide the best picturesque backdrop to people. Apart from all the above things there is a broad market for the visitors to pack their bags with the best things in this world. Because of the above reasons this place has been constantly winning travel awards.

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There are countless Hindu Temples in Bali. There is a compulsory law in each state of the place to construct and preserve three temples atleast. The names of these three temples are: the ‘puradesa’ which is the central temple among the three for community activities; the next one is the ‘purapuseh’ which is located in the village at the kaja (pure) side; the last one is the ‘Puradalem’ which is the temple of the end situated at the kelod (unclean) end. It is mandatory for each healthy village to have these three temples.

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Bali is full of temples and sacred places. People of Bali are very much into Buddha. There are about 300 Buddhist temples in Bali and the famous ones are Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Chet Yot, Wiang Kum Kam, Wat Umong, Wat Ram Poeng (Tapotaram), Wat Suan Dok and First Church. These temples are named in Thai. That’s why the first letter in the name of every temple is “Wat” which means Buddhist Temple. Two gurudwaras for the Sikhs and one Devi temple for the Hindus are also there in this place. The “Uluwatu Temple” in Bukit Peninsula is the one which grabs much limelight among the Tourists. The temple is a majestic structure in itself which was constructed and stretched many times after its construction in the 11th century. The temple was built on a cliff which is at a height of 70 meters above the Indian Ocean. A beautiful scene of sunset can be seen from the Uluwatu temple. The temple is near to the popular beach “Balangan” which is a famous surfing spot of visitors.

tanah lot

Another well-known pilgrimage temple is “Pura Tanah Lot” which is located southwest of Bali. Seven temples form a series of temples in the southwest of Bali. The significance of this pilgrimage lies beneath the Balinese mythology as it is one of these seven temples. People often like to visit this temple during low tides so that they can enjoy a walk around the temple across the water. “Pura Ulun Danu Bratan” is another temple in Bali which is located by the lake Bratan. The temple is designed very gracefully. Also the whole temple casts its beautiful shadow on the lake. It is imaginarily gorgeous to see the sight of this temple with its full shadow on water. The best place of Indonesia is at “Lovina” where you can be a part of dolphin sighting boat trip. People can witness many dolphins jumping. This place will generally be very crowded especially in its peak season. Other than this trip there are various other activities that you can do in Lovina including enjoying live music in cafes.

ubud

The only place that you cannot afford to miss is “Ubud”, the heart of Bali. This place contains the best of Bali. You fill find all the people with full energy packed in this single place of Bali. The beautiful environment, museums, temples, parks & fields and its unique culture are the things that make this place best to visit. Many interesting activities like cooking, whitewater rafting, meditation, yogas, spas and massages are offered by the place. Do not forget to go to shopping and to even the theatres of Ubud. Thus, Ubud has something in store for everyone. All the people who would like to hang out with their friends can go to Kuta Beach which is the party beach of Bali. People can party at the nearby Hard Rock Café and enjoy at the Pubs. People are going to love this different environment for sure.

nusa-dua-beach

To enjoy the facilities of higher luxurious hotels people should visit “Nusa Dua Beach”. Rich personalities will be pleased with their own private beaches where they can take sunbath and can soak in the sea with their family members only. This is an ideal place for couples especially who are in their honeymoon looking for some personal space. In the East of Bali at Kintamani there is a Mount named Mount Batur. People can Hike or Climb the Mount Batur as the hike is not difficult and the treks are noticeable. This summit is 1700 meters high. Thus, climbing this Mount will an ultimate experience for the adventurous travellers. Some say that Bali is overrated but the word paradise is used frequently to describe Bali and Bali is worth it.

From Beaches to Climate, Hawaii is the Perfect Holiday Destination



From Beaches to Climate, Hawaii is the Perfect Holiday Destination

There are very few places in the world which cajole the imagination as much as the Island of Hawaii. Located in the Pacific Ocean, the latest declared state of Hawaii is among some of the most visited places in the world. The reason? Its warm tropical climate coupled with the amazing number of scenic beauties that are there for everyone to see. Hawaii has numerous things to make itself enticing. Ever seen those beautiful beach photos as the wallpapers? Chances are that most of these are from Hawaii.

 Hawaii

What makes Hawaii Attractive?

Before we delve into the details about Hawaii, there is the fact as to what makes Hawaii such an attractive place. The unique factor about Hawaii is its collection of a variety of natural scenic beauties. The tropical climate, makes the number of public beaches very attractive and comfortable. Then there is the all-important collection of active volcanoes. When you put all these together, you get a very attractive holiday destination. It is favored by the usual tourist, looking for some beautiful sceneries and also the tired worker who wants a beautiful vacation. The beaches make Hawaii a popular spot for the wind surfers, and the volcanoes and the varied collection of Flora and Fauna make it a hub for the biologists. With a constant influx of tourists, biologists, surfers et.al. Hawaii, is a very popular tourist place.

History and Origin of the Name

Hawaii comes from the word Sawaiki, which in some sense means the homeland. The history of Hawaii is long. It has the distinction of being among the four states which were independent before the formation of United States of America. It wasn’t till 1893, that a republic system was established in the state. Prior to that it was ruled by the monarchy.

The biggest blotch in the Hawaii history is the Pearl Harbor. A lagoon island, which is part of the biggest island in the state of Hawaii, Pearl Harbor is still visited by people, to recognize the fact that it was the reason why United States of America entered the World War II, and ultimately led to the Hiroshima attack.

In the year of 1959, Hawaii was declared as a state of the US. There’s a convoluted political history, which starts with the settlement of the Europeans in the island, with the overthrowing of the Monarchy, and subsequent annexation and final administrative changes in Hawaii declaring it as a state. Now that we have established few things about Hawaii, we would enlist some of the best places to visit in the state.

Places to Visit in Hawaii

With so many places to visit, it actually becomes very hard to list the places to visit in Hawaii. The capital city of the state is Honolulu and it is located in the island of Oahu. Though it’s the third largest island in size, it is the most populous one. And with it we start the list.

Waikiki, Oahu

Waikiki, Oahu

The first up is the Waikiki. In the days of Monarchy, Waikiki was the place where the royalty gathered. Now the place is the haven for famous Canoe club, the Duke’s Club and the RumFire, which has the collection of some of the finest booze and live music. This is an awesome place to spend time, and have fun. Hit the bars and clubs, which are always filled with a lively crowd.

Kona Island

 Kona Island

Kona, which is part of the Big Island, also called the big Island, is a must visit. The island is dotted with magnificent resorts, which has some of the finest pleasures in the world. The entertainment is impeccable, and there wouldn’t be a single instant which will make you feel bored. Rent a car and drive down the Alii drive, and find some of the best spots for the music. Enjoy the rest of the evening with the Kona Brewing, and have some of the unique micro-brews.

In Honolulu

Honolulu

The capital of the State, in itself is a great place to spend time in. Downtown Honolulu has a collection of urban and classic buildings which will keep your imagination engaged. You come across pompous art galleries, restaurants with food you never have eaten and the bars that never sleep. Then there’s the Chinatown, which is always alive and filled with things which you have never come across and probably will never come across.

This description, doesn’t even begin to describe the places that are special about Hawaii. There are numerous volcanoes to visit, the tallest sea mountain to see, numerous local cuisines to taste. There are 5 islands to visit, and each will have something new to offer you. The Hawaii Island, which is often referred to as the Big Island, is another place which will drive your imagination to its limits.

Hawaiian culture in itself is a tasty mixture of carefree life and being-close-to-nature lifestyle. Come to Hawaii, to live through some of the best days of your life. You get to have free time you want, and combine it with a collection of some of the most beautiful things. Everything about Hawaii is unique. Visit the place and have once in a lifetime experience!

Amid Palm Trees and Waves: Fiji



Amid Palm Trees and Waves: Fiji

The island country in South Pacific Ocean, Fiji has close to 300 islands. The diverse and vibrant cultural heritage of the place along with its idyllic beauty makes it a popular tourist destination. As most of these islands are not populated, Fiji boasts of an unspoiled and untouched natural beauty. The wide expanses of vivid blues, rich marine life, reefs, the white sands, and the green of the wilderness all make Fiji a visually appealing location with a lot to offer.

Garden of the Sleeping Giant

Garden of the sleeping giant

Located near city of Nadi this splendid garden was founded in 1977. It showcases local plants and wide variety of orchids. Close to 2000 exotic species of Orchids can be found here. The lush greenery and the delicate colors of the orchids create an impression of natural vibrancy and plenty. The Garden is named thus because of a neighboring mountain which appears to be the shape of a snoozing man.

Garden of Sleeping Giant

 

The Garden is a perfect picnic spot with the overflowing beauty of the plants and flowers. Within the garden’s premise there is also a quaint lake made all the more beautiful because of the abundance of water lilies of varied colors that grow in this lake. The wooden walkways and tables and chairs interspersed within the garden, along with the glorious backdrop of Nausori Highlands, this Garden is a popular tourist spot in Fiji.

City of Nadi also has the Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple, a popular pilgrimage site, and also the largest Hindu Temple in Southern Hemisphere.

Kula Eco Park

Kula Eco Park

Viti Levu is the largest island in Fiji, and also houses the capital city of Suva. Located on the Coral Coast of this island is the Kula Eco Park. The amazingly diverse flora and fauna of this Eco Park make it a must visit place for all wildlife enthusiasts. The terrain within the Park includes bubbling streams, immaculate rain forests, verdant hills, valleys. It is known for the numerous species of birds found here, and more especially due to their amazingly colorful looks.

Kula Eco Park, Fauna

 

Parrots, doves in most stunning hues can be found here. Birds are not the only inhabitants around here. Sea turtles, iguanas, boa constrictors are also found here. The flora of the Kula Eco Park is equally remarkable. It includes native flowery as well as medicinal plants. A visit to this Park infuses one with the sense of visiting a place right in nature’s lap.

Fiji Mud Baths

Mud Baths

It is located between the cities of Nadi and Lautoka. As they are situated amid the picturesque Sabeto Valley, they are also known as Sabeto Hot Springs. These geothermal springs are a natural phenomenon attributed to volcanic activities. These mud baths are said to have therapeutic properties. In any case the experience of bathing in mud alongside other visitors, and having a charming Fiji village in the backdrop, and a panoramic Valley in the distance, all add up to produce a unique experience worth having.

Sigatoka Sand Dunes

Sigatoka Sand Dunes National park

The Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park is a popular tourist attraction and is a must visit with travelers looking to witness stunning natural formations. This place also offers an opportunity for the history enthusiasts to walk around the archaeological digs that have excavated sites dating back some 2500 years. The erosion of hinterland over several millennia resulted in the formation of coastal dunes whose sand is grey in color. Sigatoka River runs nearby, and provides an amazing backdrop. The stunning vistas that this place offers are a delight for all nature lovers.

National Park

 

Besides the natural beauty, the place is also significant historically. Archaeological excavations were undertaken here in 1980s. Some 2500 years old, the excavation found an ancient burial site, which also happens to be the largest burial site excavated in South Pacific.

Mount Tomanivi

Mt Tomanivu

This is the highest peak in Fiji and is located on Viti Levu. This mountain is an extinct volcano. Visitors interested in the visual offerings of brilliant landscapes can explore the area and witness some remarkable sights. Many adventure activities are also organized around here. Trekking trails start in the Coral Coast Village of Navai. Trekking up the mount Tomanivi provides a memorable experience. The crater of the extinct volcano and the view from the top of Viti Levu are indeed memorable.

Nananu-i-Ra

Nananu-i-Ra island

This island in Fiji is located some 1.5 km from Viti Levu. It literally translates as ‘dreamland of the West’. As the name indicates the place approximates a dreamland, at least a dreamland for those who love nature and solitude. The white sands, lush green hills, coconut and palm trees lining the beaches, all are relatively untouched and provide a pristine retreat. That does not mean that the island is a remote location. Several water sports are organized on some beaches of this island, as the conditions here are suitable for such sports as stand up paddling, kite boarding and wind surfing.

Marine Attractions

The unexplored underwater treasures, reef systems, soft corals and vibrant marine life provide many opportunities to divers and snorkelers too. People can also go on trekking; the trails lead to peaks of Nakauvadra. This mountain range according to local myths and legends is the home of Fijian gods. This island provides an idyllic and beautiful retreat.

Beaches

palms.

There are innumerable beaches in Fiji each with their own typical offerings and attractions. Some of the more popular beaches include Natadola, Volivoli, Nanuya, and Matana Beach to name a few. The clear sparkling turquoise waters, splendid views of the mountains in the distance, unfettered view of clear skies and vast sea, opportunities for water sports, relaxing scenery, perfect swimming conditions, rich corals and marine life make these beaches blissful for travelers.

The green waving palms and the blue splashing waves all create an amazing experience that Fiji offers to all travelers.

Saba: The Unspoiled Queen of Netherlands



Saba: The Unspoiled Queen of Netherlands

Saba is an island in the Caribbean sea of the Netherlands. The island of Saba has a land of 13 km2 with a population of around 2000 inhabitants. The people of this island speak Dutch and English and the official currency used here is USD. ‘Saba’ is a term derived from the Greek and Arabic language term Sheba which means morning. The island of Saba is popularly known as the “Unspoiled Queen”. This is because the place is very clean and has a very unique ecosystem. The island is neither a reef island and nor an island with sandy beaches. Instead, the island is a volcanic island and has rocks on the shores as well as cliff faces. A lot of tourists visit this island because to have unique diving experiences and to stay in a vibrant and diverse ecosystem for a while. There are four major villages on this island and has a “special” kind of municipality in the Netherlands. The capital village is the largest one and is named The Bottom. The 2nd largest is the Windwardside that will provide you the best accommodations and maximum variety in shopping. The smallest one is St. John having schools and a church. The fourth village is called Hell’s Gate which you will cross after leaving the airport. There are a lot of places to visit on the land as well as the sea.

sirena-and-saba-044

The Mount Scenery standing on the land of Saba is the highest elevation in the entire Netherlands. It is 862 meter tall. People come here for hiking and there is a trial going up the place starting from Windwardside. People prefer to start hiking in the morning because the fog covers up the space during afternoon. There are hiking trails which offers a very great scenic view of the green and attractive flora of the island. On your trail, you may come across some old ruins, delving into caves, some sides with no inhabitants, some paths to the rain forests, etc. Trail map is available and do not be tensed as the trails are well marked in perfect condition. Also, there is a road from Windwardside that will take you to the Booby Hill. The special thing about Mount Scenery is that this mountain has a continuous stair with 1064 steps. These steps lead to the highest point on this island. On your way, you will find many beautiful flora and fauna and you get to see the elfin forest.

jobean glass studio

You can also see the JoBean’s Glass Art Studio on your way to the hill. JoBean is a local artist who has created a colorful studio which offers a lot of art pieces and also teaches to work with glass, melt it, pour it into cylinders and magically turn it into a piece of art using torch and glass shafts. There is a museum on this island by the name Harry L Johnson Museum. It is located below the hill with wildflowers all around. The island’s official flower is the black-eyed Susan and is also found near the museum. For traditional handicrafts, Lace Ladies is the place to be. A lot of old women spend their time to create Saban lace which is made from generations by a special technique of stitching. You can visit the Catholic Church known as Saba’s Sistine Chapel. The Fort Bay on the island was enlarged to turn into Ladder Bay which is the port of the island. It is called the Ladder Bay because of the Ladder of 800 steps which ends at the Bottom.

wall-dive

In the sea, there is much more to offer. This is one of the best places in the world for Scuba Diving. There are underwater cliffs, pinnacles and many diving locations to offer you an out-of-this-world experience. The locals can teach you how to dive and are very friendly people. You can easily get certified for open water in Saba, if you don’t have one. Once you go down the sea, you can see variety of fishes in large numbers, coral reef and sponges, turtles and many other sea creatures.

Saba-Marine-Park

The diving culture of Saba is older than 3 decades. The Marine National Park of Saba is the representation of the diving culture there. It was opened in 1987 and is established around the whole island of Saba. Just a half mile from the shoreline, you will find 1000 feet deep waters. The experience of the off-shore dive will be stupendous and will leave you speechless. You can experience a lot of adventure while trying various diving techniques like wall diving and pinnacle diving, etc. Wall dives are rather humorous than dangerous. The sea life near the wall think of wall as the floor bottom and the downward direction is, therefore, oriented towards the wall. You get to see a variety that is rarely found. The seabeds are even more diverse even more beautiful. You may be in Open Sea or Advanced Open Sea, you will love the view of the sea life and the local divers will certainly try their best to show you every important detail of the place.

Saba is a wonderful island and will give you the experience which will leave you speechless. The trip to this island is worth it all and one must visit this place once in life.