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Travelogue

Songkran: Thailand’s Wet and Wild Festival
For most people, New Years evokes memories of large celebrations. Perhaps it’s watching the ball drop in New York’s Times Square, perhaps it’s the fireworks from Sydney Harbour Bridge. In Thailand and other places throughout Southeast Asia, New Years is an excuse to have a massive water fight. Thailand’s traditional New Years festival, known as Songkran, is observed every year from April 13-15. To understand Songkran is to gain an appreciation of Thailand and Thai culture. In this travelogue, we explore the traditions around Songkran and delve into some recommendations for great places to participate in the festivities. Make sure you’ve got a change of clothes, because we’re going to get wet.
Opps-SnowMay 13, 201939
Best Places to Travel in 2019
South Africa’s oldest urbanized area will be busy celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. The Cape Town region is intricately linked with Mandela’s history given his long imprisonment on Robben Island. Mandela’s story and the hardships he overcame represent among the best humanity has to offer. It is a fitting place to visit as we each deal with our own trials and tribulations.
DannyboiMay 13, 201925
Things You Should Know Before Travelling to Russia
Spanning nearly two continents and 11 time zones, Russia is country full of wonder and surprise. The Russian Far East and Siberia are synonymous with remoteness, while St. Petersburg’s elegance evokes memories of long lost Czars. Moscow’s Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral are quintessential symbols of this enormous country.
Opps-SnowMay 9, 201924
World's Most Incredible Dive Locations
As lumbering land mammals, we humans can but imagine the freedom experienced by creatures who call the oceans home. Some 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. The oceans remain the last great frontier of Earthly adventure. With new species to discover and countless unexplored regions, let’s take a journey beneath the waves. As mere visitors to the underwater realms, diving affords us a modicum of understanding this part of our great blue planet. Here we will consider some of the world’s best diving locations. For the vast majority of people, diving is both easiest and most enjoyable in the rich tropical waters circling the globe at the equator. Vast coral reefs shelter mesmerizing life forms, ones whose colors and numbers astound. These are the world’s best diving locations.
DannyboiMay 13, 201941
Hong Kong: A Great Golden Week Destination
Hong Kong has long been a gateway into China and other parts of Asia. British explorers marveled at the natural beauty and protection offered by Victoria Harbour. The city’s location at the mouth of the Pearl River has helped Hong Kong become a major center for commerce, trade, and manufacturing. When factories started to leave the city in search of cheaper labor on the mainland, Hong Kong responded by developing into Asia’s premier financial center. Through it all, Hong Kong has maintained a remarkable identity and culture. It is a fabulous destination that offers visitors a wealth of options. From luxury shopping and fine dining to pristine natural parks, Hong Kong remains Asia’s gateway city.
DannyboiMay 10, 20194
The World's Majestic Cathedrals
On April 15, 2019, the world was stunned to learn fire had ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris. In a matter of hours, centuries of history that had survived revolution, two world wars, and natural disasters was swept from existence. It is with heavy heart we mourn the loss of these cultural treasures.
DannyboiMay 13, 201934
The Best Things You Shouldn’t Miss at Disneyland
Disneyland Park was the world’s first Disney theme park. Here you can enjoy both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Attractions only found here include the Incredicoaster and World of Color!
Walt Disney World is the largest Disney resort and the most visited vacation resort in the world! It has four large theme parks: the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Be sure not to miss these attractions:
DannyboiMay 13, 201918
Fall in Love with Shanghai: Paris of the East
Photo by: 李国辉
Shanghai has, in a mere 25 years, emerged as global financial center and trendsetting modern metropolis. Glittering skyscrapers dot the skyline in Lujiazui, just across the Huangpu River from the stately architecture along the Bund. Chic cafes and restaurants intermingle with street vendors and classic gardens. Known as the “Paris of the East,” Shanghai garnered a reputation for noir and intrigue in the 1920s and ‘30s. The image of Art Deco buildings, gangsters with tommy guns, and cabaret never faded. As China’s undisputed financial capital, Shanghai is a city on the cutting edge. Money talks and glamor abounds; yet the past is never far away.
DannyboiMay 13, 201944
Amazing Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan!
For what seems like a fleeting instance, sakura (as they’re known in Japan) exist in exquisitely delicate shades of white and pink. The soft colors signal promising times ahead. For travelers hoping to view this annual miracle for themselves, here is our guide to some of the best places in Japan to see sakura.Observing the annual cherry blossom is all about timing. Climatic conditions heavily influence when blooms occur. Cold and harsh winters delay the flowering. There is also geographic variation. On Okinawa, with its subtropical climate, blooms can occur as early as January. Whereas northern Hokkaido Island can see blooms at late as the first week in May. For Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures, the cherry blossom commonly peaks around the first week in April. Japanese weather services track the bloom and provide detailed forecast models. Travelers should check these when booking travel dates.
DannyboiMay 13, 201957
Taiwan's Most Famous Food You Cannot Miss
Seasoned travelers know the best part of going somewhere new is the food. What better way to bond across time and culture than over a plate of delicious local cuisine? Few things bring people together like an elegant meal. Often the biggest challenge in expanding our horizons is not knowing where to start or what to try. Here is a quick guide on some foods you definitely want to sample on your next trip to Taiwan.
DannyboiApr 29, 201931
Cancun: The Glistening City of Mexico
Set on the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun is a town continually inventing itself. Established as a resort destination in the early 1970s, Cancun has risen to prominence, alongside Acapulco, as the premiere resort destination in all Mexico. Beachgoers from around the world come to experience the white sands and blue Caribbean waters. Beyond creature comforts and relaxation, Cancun features Maya archaeological sites, shopping, and of course, delicious food. To take in the sights and sounds of Cancun, it is best to allot yourself several days. Interspersing visits to the beach with day-trips to archaeological sites provides a nice balance. The following collection things to do is a great basis upon which to build your own Cancun adventure.
William_WhitmanMay 14, 2019397
Sihanoukville: Cambodia's Beach Paradise
Picturing beach resorts in Southeast Asia, Thailand’s Phuket, Indonesia’s Bali, and Philippines' Boracay probably come to mind. With tourists flocking to those locations, however, people who seek less populated shores must look elsewhere. White sand beaches, diving hotspots, fresh-from-the-ocean seafood, and a rapidly growing casino scene make Cambodia’s premier beach town of Sihanoukville a worthwhile destination.
Alex_StoneMay 14, 2019881
Ipoh: Not just a stopover location
While sitting in a café located in Ipoh’s Old Town sipping a cup of white coffee, and enjoying the city’s slow pace and tranquil environment, it’s hard to imagine that about 70 years ago, this city was actually one of the world’s largest producer of tin.
Located 200km north of Kuala Lumpur and 130km south of Penang, this capital of Perak used to have a nickname “Millionaires’ City” in the early 20th Century, as many people made a fortune from tin mining in the district.
Alex_StoneDec 24, 2018716
Lombok Island: A More Authentic Bali
Travel lovers have undoubtedly heard of or even visited Bali at some point. Beautiful scenery, divine beaches, dramatic volcanoes, temples, and genuine people…there’s much to appreciate. In recent years however, over-commercialization, large crowds, and pollution have begun to detract from Bali’s reputation as a tropical paradise.
Alex_StoneMay 14, 2019314
Yosemite National Park: Where Beauty Never Fades
In the mid-1800s when a group of influential Californians visited the Yosemite scenic area, they were so amazed by what they saw, they persuaded President Abraham Lincoln to grant the area protected status on June 30, 1864, even as the US Civil War raged in the east.
What would become Yosemite National Park is now a massive preserve with an area measuring some 3,000 km2 containing thousands of lakes and ponds and abundant wildlife. It is America’s third oldest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some say by merely standing in Yosemite Valley and turning in a circle, you can see more natural wonders in a minute than you could in a full day pretty much anywhere else.
Alex_StoneMay 14, 2019382
Rovaniemi: Santa's Home on the Arctic Circle
Picture yourself standing in a quiet field. Snow crunches underfoot as you shift your weight, gazing towards the heavens. Your breath forms a frosty mist in the air. In the distance, a dogsled pulls its passenger over the frozen fields. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the skies above begin to glow. Great rivers of color swirl high overhead and soon the entire sky appears on fire; an eerie greenish light casting shadows far below.
Opps-SnowMar 22, 2019706
El Nido: Heaven on Earth in the Philippines
In the western Philippines, there is an island archipelago with unique geology and majestic scenery. Known locally as “Heaven on Earth,” travelers who venture there cannot help but to agree. El Nido sits on the northern tip of Palawan Island, roughly 420 kilometers south-west of Manila. Owing to its location as part of the Sunda tectonic plate, the geology on El Nido is unlike anywhere else in the Philippines.
Opps-SnowMay 10, 2019543
Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons
Aomori is Japan’s prefecture for all seasons. Set in the northernmost part of Honshu, the largest of Japan’s islands, Aomori is a place for travelers seeking a different experience. The region blends the natural and the urban in surprising ways. Beautiful landscapes and the largest collection of cherry blossoms in all Japan make this an unforgettable destination.
Opps-SnowMay 10, 2019802
Where to Experience Chinese New Year
Towards the end of January, a palpable excitement takes hold in places like China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations are a time of great joy and precipitate the world’s largest annual human migration. Hundreds of millions of Chinese people leave major cities to return home to smaller villages or provincial towns. The journey is joyous as people fill all manner of transport, eager to return home to see parents and children. Lunar New Year is central to Chinese cultural life, yet what are the holiday’s major characteristics? Where can you go to experience the festivities for yourself? This short primer will provide some answers to these questions and should, by the end, have you anxiously awaiting your own Red Packet!
DannyboiMay 13, 201930
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