Daily Archives: 19.01.2015

Top 10 Places to See in the Philippines



Top 10 Places to See in the Philippines

It has 7,107 islands which were neatly scattered like Pearls on the lovely waters. This lovely place is considered as the Pearl of the Orient Seas because of its exotic beauty and charm. This 7,107 islands which are a beauty to behold is known as the Philippines. Having been blessed with rich natural resources, the Philippines are also considered as one of the most beautiful places that you can ever think of. Its beautiful coastlines and adorable beaches which are surrounded by crystal clear waters and silky white sand beaches are one of the country’s special possessions.

Aside from the alluring crystal clear waters which has attracted many people and tourists, it has also many beautiful, breathtaking places which have captivated everybody’s heart. Its natural hills and mountains and virgin forests have provided a splendor to behold.

Over the years the country has preserved its taste of history which can take us a glimpse of what happened many years ago that has affected what we have now.

Over the years the country has grown. Many buildings have now settled and rest on the once green fields and plains. Exotic hotels, shopping malls, schools and universities and other exquisite buildings graced the big cities of the countries. Each building has a unique architectural design and are worth seeing.

All of these natural and exotic spots of the country can capture the heart of many people, the Filipino people’s hospitality has also been known all over the world. Filipinos are hospital and friendly and anybody who has visited the country will always tell the whole world how the Filipinos have welcome and make them feel at home.

There are many beautiful places in the country that all the people should visit. These places are located in the different islands that made up the Pearl of the Orient Seas. Some of these beautiful places should be visited can be reached by plane to give you a chance to catch a glimpse of the aerial view of the country; By ship or boat to make you experienced the total fun and excitement as you cruise on the crystal clear and blue water that surrounds the country. A land trip can also be fun and terrific because as you travel over the hills and mountains you can see the natural beauty of the country; along the busy streets and highways you can see how the country have grown over the years. Some of these wonderful places are:

  1. Manila Bay- Natural harbor in Luzon that extends from nearby regions of Bataan and Cavite. As you visit this place you will experience watching the beautiful sunset. Manila Bay is famous for its beautiful sunset view. Before the sunsets, many people are already gathered in Manila Bay to watch and witness a spectacle of color as the sun starts to set. The bright blue sky turns into the soft glow of orange, then red, yellow until it slowly fades to deep purple. Some artists call Manila Bay as “the place where the sun kisses the ocean.”Manila Bay
  2. Mall of Asia- is one of the largest Mall of Asia, where you can buy almost everything you need. It has complete facilities and can be considered as a one stop shop. It has more than 600 shops and 150 dining establishments. It has an Olympic size skating rink and an IMAX theater that movie enthusiast can enjoy.
  3. Divisoria- is a popular place in the country where you can buy almost everything you need at a very low price. People who really want to experience bargain shopping can just go to Divisoria.
  4. Baguio- is the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” where people who want to escape the summer heat can stay and enjoy a cooler atmosphere. Many people come to this city to be a part of the flower festival called the “Panagbenga” which means “blooming of flowers”.Baguio
  5. Banaue Rice Terraces- is also called “Hagdan Hagdang Palayan”. It is considered as the 8th wonder of the world because of its grandeur. It is already a 2,000-year old landmark which was skillfully carved by the Ifugaos.
  6. Bohol- is known for the famous Chocolate Hills. It has more than 1,200 perfect cone shape hills which have almost the same size. This tourist spot is not made by man, but a natural masterpiece.
  7. Vigan- is a place which has preserved almost everything that can remind the Filipinos how the Philippines look during the Spanish Regime. It has also perfectly preserved the Spanish Architecture. If you want to experience the excitement in riding a “caleza” or carriages, you can just visit Vigan and have a taste of what it is like to live during the Spanish regime.
  8. Cebu- is considered as the “Queen City of the South”. It is filled with exotic beaches and velvety white sand.
  9. Boracay- is considered a paradise where you can see the most beautiful beaches in the world. Boracay has many restaurants where you can have a taste of the real Filipino dishes and a combination of the Asian and European Cuisines. At night the beach is transformed into big party place where you can dance and party until the wee hours of the morning.

    Boracay

  10. Palawan-is a magical place where spectacular formations and limestones can be seen. It is also the place where El Nido, Coron and Amanpulo can be found.

The Best Places in Davao City



The Best Places in Davao City

Davao City is the regional center of the Philippines’ southern regions and serves a hub for businesses, investment, trade, finance and tourism. It is one of the largest cities and Asia and one of the most progressive in the region and in the country. The city has been cited in numerous international newspapers and magazines as one of Asia’s top ten best cities to work, live, invest and visit and the Asian region’s city of the future, which serves as prestigious compliments to this historically significant and culturally diverse city in the larger Davao Region.

Davao City is characterized by a beautiful landscape with rolling hills and green mountains, tropical rainforests, the beautiful Mt. Apo which is a camper and mountain hiker’s paradise, the durian fruit which tastes like heaven but smells like hell, its multi-cultural communities, the city’s diverse gastronomic offerings, the city’s proud people who are called Dabawenyo’s and a host of world class hospitality related businesses supporting Davao’s tourism industry.

This premier city is best described as the best Philippine tourist spot with lots of tourism offerings and 5 star accommodations available at any season all year long. The city’s tropical climate and long sun shiny days are best for recreational activities which happen daily in Davao’s myriad of fascinating sights, sounds and tastes offerings.

To help you and get you started with that anticipated Davao experience we have listed down some of the best places and tourist spots to visit when in Davao City.

mount-apo01

Mount Apo – The Mountain is described as the Grand Daddy of all mountains found in the archipelago as it lays claim to being the Philippines highest mountain, rising at almost 3,000 meters above sea level. Mount Apo is said to have its own unique weather system due to its enormity and grandeur. A favorite among countless mountain climbers and adventurers this world renowned mountain is visited by thousands of local and international tourists year round. Mount Apo is considered as one of Davao’s gems in the city’s tourism industry.

The Bone Collector Museum – This is probably the most popular museum among Davao City’s good number of museums lined up across the city. A first in the region and touted as one of Asia’s best bone preservation museums, the Bone collector museum showcases an array of well preserved bones of different species numbering to about 200 plus sets. Visitors are awed by the massive display of bone collection from a diverse animal kingdom species which were found in different environments imaginable, from arid plains, to lowlands and mountains, shallow waters, rainforests and tropical jungles the bones best represent the world’s natural diversity and a must see for tourists who are inclined to learn more about our planet and the beautiful species that has come and gone.

The Philippine Eagle Center – The home of the country’s majestic eagle is also one of Davao City’s major attractions. The Philippine Eagle Center is a breeding facility for captive eagles created by the government in a bid to save the critically endangered and world famous monkey eating eagle from extinction. The facility is best known for successfully hatching the first eagle born in captivity which was named Pag-asa or hope. Only a few of these eagles remain in the wild and while most Filipinos are fascinated by their very own eagle specie, unabated hunting for monetary gains continues until this day as the Philippine eagle is said to command a very high black market price dead or alive.

Partoza Durian Farms – Visitors adventurous enough to try the so called fruit that smell likes dung (for lack of a better word, pun intended) but taste like heaven will be surprised at this addition to Davao’s tourism attraction. Unique in its own right, Partoza Durian Farms showcases the fruit which is best associated with the city. Wherever you might see the durian fruit being sold, from supermarkets to your friendly neighborhood fruit stall, you will definitely see a tag that says Durian fruit from Davao. Partoza Durian Farms is one of the pioneers of the Agro-Tourism industry of this city and offers tours around the farm with free taste of the fruit anytime it is in season.

samal-island-beach-davao

The Davao Region Beaches – Davao has a lot of the country’s world renowned beaches extending from one end of the region to the other. It is blessed with some of the most beautiful Philippine beaches acclaimed for having pristine environments and crystal clear warm waters. We have listed down some of the best beaches and facilities in the whole Davao region so you can have an idea where to go sunning and tanning when you visit this world class city.

  • The Pearl Farm Beach Resort. The Pearl Farm Samal is a very popular tourist attraction and hosts thousands of people who visit every year. It is located in a beautiful island an hour away from Davao City and accessible by boat or ferry ride.
  •  Isla Reta Beach Resort. This resort is also in Samal Island and is a favorite among local and foreign tourists. The Isla Reta has clear white sandy beaches and clean and crisp blue waters perfect for any kind of water sports.
  • Olaniban Island. Olaniban Island is located in Saranggani, davao Occidental. Though far from the mainland this island is worth mentioning as it offers the perfect setting for a private island getaway. The hours spent to travel to destination are well worth it as the island is practically uninhabited save for some facilities catering to tourists.

The Leaning Tower Of Pisa, Italy



The Leaning Tower Of Pisa, Italy

the leaning tower

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most popular tourist spot of Italy. It is located in the seaside town of Pisa in the district of Tuscany. Pisa is a city in Central Italy on the banks of the river Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It has about 20 other historic and popular churches. The Leaning Tower is one of the marvellous architectural structures in the city’s Square of Miracles known as Piazza dei Miracoli besides the Duomo (Cathedral), Baptistry and the Campo Santo. It is the third oldest building of Pisa. Its popularity is due to its leaning structure which has become a cause of wonder and attraction all around the world. It is a seven storey building. People can climb through its slanting stairs and enjoy the view of the city from an inclined direction from the top of the building. The tower is affiliated to Roman Catholic Church. It is a bell tower which has become the icon of Italy.

sqare of miracles

The Tower was not initially intended to incline but it did, in due course of time during its construction. The reason behind its inclination is its faulty base. The Tower is built on soft soil thus it kept on tilting towards one side. It finally became stable in the 20th century due to efforts of engineers, architects and mathematicians. The construction of The Tower was done in three phases. The construction of the building had to be stopped many times due to civil wars and various battles that caused a state of turmoil in the country.

 

The construction of the Tower began in 1173. The ground floor was built of blind arcade with no windows. It was a time of military success and prosperity for the province of Pisa. By the time the construction reached the second floor, it was noticed that the building is sinking to one side and is not vertical indeed due to its foundation of loose soil, mud and clay. Thus the structure became inclined because its base couldn’t withstand its weight and was further sinking in the ground. The Tower leaned to the north side from its initial position. Thus, the construction of The Tower was imperfect right from the beginning and the inclination was not planned. The construction was stopped in 1178 for almost a century due to battles and military interventions. During that interval, the soil got a chance to settle such that the structure could become stable or else it would certainly have collapsed if the construction had been continued.

tilt of the tower

In 1198, clocks were temporarily installed in the uncompleted third floor of the building. In 1272, the construction of the Tower was resumed but the Tower was still not done inclining. The process of its inclination continued and this time in the south direction. The structure was under the supervision of the architect named Giovanni Di Simone. His other works include “The Campo Santo”, built in the Square of Miracles. Efforts were made to rectify the inclined structure of the Tower by making the sinking side taller than the other side at the 5th floor. But the workers didn’t get a chance to complete their work and had to be halted in between, in the year 1284. This was the time when Pisa was defeated by Genoaus in the battle of Meloria.

 

The third time, the work was resumed in 1319 and the structure was completed till its 8th floor. A sharp rate of inclination in the Tower was found in the early 14th century. A bell chamber consisting of seven bells was installed in the building with each bell representing each note of the musical major scale. This time the work was under the supervision of the architect named Tommaso Di Andrea Pisano. The heaviest bell of the bell chamber was the 1st bell installed in1654 which weighs 3620 kg and the lightest bell was installed in 1473 which was the 4th bell and weighs 300 kg. The Tower is a classic blend of the Romanesque style of architecture with the Gothic style of the bell chamber.

bell chamber

It was found in the early 20th century that the tower is sinking further and its top is moving at about 0.05 inches a year. Many measures were taken to stabilize the incline of the Tower but all failed and by 1935 the Tower had tilted to about 5.5 degrees. The officials became so worried that the Tower was closed for the general public to enter for almost a decade. Finally the team of architects decided to work on the plan again to save the tower from collapsing. They decided to extract soil from its northern side so that they could pull the tower to vertical position. The method did work to some extend but the Tower is still not completely safe. Even a slightest earthquake in the region could bring the Tower to grounds. But despite all these factors, the officials had declared the building to be safe for another 200 years.

 

There had been a lot of confusion and debate on the real builder of the monument. One possible builder could be Gerardo Di Gerardo. Another possible candidate is Diotisalvi but he always signs his works and there is no signature of him in the bell tower. Giovanni Di Simone had also been involved in completing the construction of the building.

pisaaerialview

The Leaning Tower is about 183.3 ft.  It has 296 steps which goes spiral in the inside of the Tower. It now leans at about 3.99 degrees. Despite its structural faults, it does not lack beauty and elegance. It had been declared as the UNESCO world heritage in 1987. Many people believe that it might fall one day but despite all odds and challenges it had stood there for about 840 years. It is a beautiful site to visit in a beautiful city.

An Insight into the Mystique and Legendary land Gujarat



An Insight into the Mystique and Legendary land Gujarat

The land of colors- Gujarat! The land of Asiatic lions- Gujarat! The land of royal Rajputs- Gujarat! The land of Harappan history- Gujarat! The jewel of the West- Gujarat! Vibrant and vivacious, it will leave you mesmerized. Gujarat is situated in the west of India, having its southern boundaries contoured by the Arabian Sea. The state is bordered by Rajasthan to the north, Maharashtra to the south, Madhya Pradesh to the east, as well as the Pakistani province of Sindh on the west. Its capital city is Gandhinagar, whilst its largest city is Ahmedabad. Gujarat is one of the most diverse States in India. Its history stretches over a long years from the age old Harappan Civilization to the Mughal period.

gujarat

It is also the home of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the nation and houses several of souvenirs in his fond memory. The beautiful state had also given us the Man of Iron, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel who was the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of the independent India, along with many others who fought the freedom struggle, infusing the qualities of tolerance, brotherhood, non-violence and patriotism into Indians. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, revered in Pakistan as Quaid-e-Azam, the Great Leader or Baba-e-Qaum, meaning the Father of the Nation and first Governor General of Pakistan was from a Gujarati Muslim family in Rajkot. Vikram Sarabhai, considered “Father of the Indian Space Programme” originated from a family of Jain industrialists from Ahmedabad. Dhirubhai Ambani, who founded the Reliance Industries was from Chorvad, Gujarat. Azim Premji, software magnate and chairman of Wipro Limited is ethnically Gujarati, whilst pioneer industrialist Jamsetji Tata, the founder of the famous Tata Group, hailed from a Parsi Zoroastrian family in Navsari, and is widely regarded the legendary “Father of Indian Industry”. With a literacy rate of above 80% Gujarat is amongst the most developed states of the country. It is the most industrialized state of India, and has a per capita GDP above the national average.

The state has a super wide, 72 mm celluloid of views and places and tourist attractions to display. Religious and recreational spots are savoured alike by the people of Gujarat.

akshardham

A major religious magnet is the Akshardham at Gandhinagar. It is one of the largest temples in the state. The temple complex combines devotions, art, architecture, education, exhibitions and research at one place. The monument which is set in a 23-acre plot at Gandhinagar is built in pink sandstone and is 108 feet tall and 6000 tons of stone has gone into its making. A point worth noting is that this modern monument to Hinduism was built as per the injunctions of Vastu Shastra. An interesting fact about the temple is that not a bit of steel has been used.

ambaji

Another famous temple is the Ambaji shrine is the principal shrine of the goddess Amba situated at Gabbar. The Temple of Ambaji is recognized as one of the original Shakti Pithas where, according to the ancient Scriptures, the heart of the goddess Ambaji fell to earth when her body was dismembered. A triangular Vishwa Yantra, inscribed with figures and the syllable ‘Shree’ in the centre, represents the deity.

dwarka

Then there is Dwarka, situated amidst the sea, in ancient Anarta in Saurashtra. It was the capital of Lord Krishna’s terrestrial kingdom. He shifted to Kusasthali which was the old name of the region to escape the harassing raids of Kansa’s father-in-law Jarasandha on Mathura after Krishna had killed Kansa. Kusasthali was Krishna’s ancestral place on his mother’s side. It was founded by Raivata, his Yadava ancestor after he had lost his kingdom to Punyajanas and migrated to Mathura for safety; then he came back to found Kusasthali. Dwarka which was known as Suvarna Dwarka had been very prosperous and hence got the name. The Dwarkadhish temple honours Krishna Bhagwan and attracts thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country. The Dwarka of Krishna’s time lies submerged under the Arabian Sea. Tradition has it that Krishna’s residence was at Bhentt Dwarka which is just a few kilometers away via sea route from the mainland Dwarka.

 

Apart from the religious attractions, the state hosts a variety of historical monuments as well. One such site is Uparkot, or, the Upper Citadel, in Junagarh where the so very famous Ashoka’s Rock Edicts are located. These belong to 250 BC and, around 14 edicts of the great Hindu turned Buddhist King are located on the route to the Mount Girnar Hills. This rock edict is a huge stone and the carving in Brahmi script in Pali language mention the resistance to greed and animal sacrifice and also moralize the principles of purity of thought, secularism in thinking, kindness and gratitude.

asiatic lion

And not to forget is the Gir National Park. While it is the most famous for its Asiatic Lions, the park is one of the most diverse places in Gujarat, both in terms of flora and fauna. It also houses, other than lions, deers, monkeys, peacocks, several breeds of reptiles, and many many others animal species.

deers

For recreation, there are several other places like, the Nalasarovar Bird Sanctuary, Kankaria Lake in Ahmedabad, et cetera.

 

In the past few years, Gujarat has witnessed many changes and is furthermore developing. It enchants you even in its crudest state. The warm-hearted hospitable people will not let you be homesick throughout your visit. It’s a must visit for once and twice and several times.

A Day midst the Beauty of Hyderabad



A Day midst the Beauty of Hyderabad

The city of Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh, the largest state of southern India. Hyderabad served as a sovereign state during the time of Mughals under the Nizams. Hyderabad has a rich cultural history and was a hub for the arts and aesthetics in southern India. The city is studded with relics of ancient history and culture. At present Hyderabad is a growing IT hub and has offices of all major IT corporations such as Microsoft, IBM, and Infosys etc. Apart from that it is also one of the foremost education centres in the country with institutes such as IIT, IIIT, NIFT, NALSAR, International School of Business and BITS Pilani. Business and trades have also got their roots fixed firm in this city especially the trade of pearl. Hyderabad is sometimes referred to as the City of Pearls.

Hyderabad is located around hills and artificial lakes such as Hussainsagar. The twin cities Hyderabad and Secunderabad comprise of the metropolitan suburbs. This city has the most beautiful weather during autumn where you get brief spells of rain now and then with a cool breeze comforting you throughout the day making it the prime time for tourist visits.

However if you were to have a single day and a single night to savour the beauty of the city, a particular itinerary might be helpful.

Golconda

The day should be begun at the majestic Golconda Fort. The Fort actually comprises of four different forts outlined by a 10 km wall, eight gateways and consists of a number of royal apartments, temples, mosques etc. The main entrance is referred to as ‘Fateh Darwaza,’ Fateh meaning victory. It was named after Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb took over the fort. It is quite a herculean task to visit each and every nook of the fort so it is advisable to follow the main trail if you are short on time. The fort houses a room where once the world-famous diamonds such as Kohinoor was stored. There are two pavilions located outside the fort are peculiarly attractive. As you travel your way up the fort you can see the entire city spread across like a painting. The weather also starts to please you as you move up the fort; it gets windy as you go up. It is also believed that there is a secret tunnel to the Charminar. The Golconda Fort is a beautiful example of the architecture predating the advent of Islam in India. This visit will take you over three hours.

Hyderabad-Snow World-1

The next stop is Snow World. It is an amusement park of its own kind. Imagine freezing temperatures, artificial snowfall, a DJ, a dance floor, a giant ice-slide and a small beverage joint located in the same hall. The Snow World is beside the Indira Park. The place promises you tonnes of snow, a chilling experience where the temperature falls gradually to sub-zero temperatures and a hot cup of soup so that you can accustom your body temperature to the freezing environment. You can play snow wars, go down the sleigh slide and groove to the music.

Sure you are starved by now and the right fuel for your body will be the classic ‘Hyderabadi’ Biryani by Paradise. Paradise is the name synonymous to Biryani in Hyderabad. The first restaurant established in 1953 has flourished since then owing to their special preparation and the diversity of dishes offered. You can’t leave Hyderabad without a mouthful of a Biryani from Paradise.

birla mandir

 

The next stop is the Birla Temple built on an 85m hillock at the ‘Naubath Pahad.’ This Hindu temple took 10 years of construction. The architecture of the temple comprises the Dravidian, Rajasthani and Utkala styles. The presiding deity Lord Venkateshwara’s statue is about 3.4 metres and has a carved lotus umbrella on top. There are no bells inside the temple to create a conducive environment for meditation. Apart from the main shrine there are other shrines of various Hindu gods. The trip is not just about witnessing the shrine but the journey to it. You climb the hill which will take you a long time and then walk your way to the various levels of the temple pondering over the beauty of the temple until you reach to the topmost where the main shrine is placed.

Lumbini park

 

Near the Birla Temple are two parks namely Lumbini Park and NTR Park.  The Lumbini Park provides boat rides to the statue of Buddha located in the Hussainsagar Lake. A casual stroll along the necklace road is refreshing. The street is studded with various eating joints on one side and the lake on the other. A short walk will take you to the Eat Street, a food-court comprising of all the major chains.

char minar

For our final visit we will discover the interiors of the old city of Hyderabad. We get to the global identity of the Hyderabad-The Charminar. It is structured like a square with four arches acting as gateways to four-streets. At each corner there is a minaret with steps leading the way to a double balcony. There are other monuments nearby such as the Makkah Masjid. The Charminar has an eccentric market where you could buy artificial jewellery specially bangles. The aroma of delicious street-food will strike your nostrils from all directions. One must have the famous Irani Tea while one is in Charminar.

This would be a perfect way to end a one long day marvelling at the beauty of Hyderabad.