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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Himachal Tours - Honeymooner's delighting paradise by Michael Braganza

Formerly Punjab Hill states, Himachal Pradesh is a state in northern India. It is mostly mountainous, cultivated valleys and glorious green hill slopes. Himachal - which means 'the home of eternal snow' - has the mountains as a steady picture frame over almost all areas. It is spread in the area of approximately 56,019 sq km. Temperatures of Himachal vary from region to region. It is bordered by Indian states of Jammu & Kashmir (north), Haryana (south), Punjab (west), and the international border with Tibet (east).

Himachal Pradesh is a hot destination for tourists. Exotic valleys, glorious lush green hill slopes, snowcapped mountains, chatty streams and the hills of Himalayas greet tourists from all over the world. Full of hill resorts, pilgrimages, adventures sports destinations, rich culture and heritage, festivals and celebrations, and wildlife. Himachal Pradesh tourism attracts wide range tourist traffic to the hill stations. Himachal is also famous for excellent trekking and beautiful hill stations.

Himachal is one of the few places in the world with five distinct seasons. Spring, summer, the monsoon, autumn and winter pack a range of dramatic distinctions into every year. Snow, rain and bright sunshine create a range of options and combinations.

Illustrious tourist destinations and hill stations that Himachal Tours covers are followings.

1. Shimla- Queen of Hill Stations (called by the British), Situated in north-west Himalayas, Shimla the summer capital of India before independence is now the capital of Himachal Pradesh.

2. Palampur- One of the major hill stations in Kangra Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

3. Dharamsala- Blesses with marvelous natural beauty, Dharamsala is well wooded with oak, deodar, pine and other timber yielding trees.

4. Kullu-Manali- Called as 'Himachal's Silver Valley' Kullu-Manali is blesses with natural beauty. When the rays of sun skim over the waters and snows - or when moonlit beams dance on its surface - the entire area glows iridescent silver.

5. Dalhousie- A beautiful hill station, Dalhousie is built on and around five hills. It is surrounded by the beautiful panorama of snow capped peaks. With natural beauty, Dalhousie holds a variety of colonial architecture and a variety of sightseeing and activity.

6. Mandi- Situated on the bank of the river Beas, this historic town is known as the town of temples or Kashi of Himachal.

A visit to hill-stations of Himachal Pradesh gives tourists the essence of what Himachal is all about. From superb hill-stations, temples, festivals, exciting wildlife, adventure sports, trekking, natural beauty, culture and heritage there is much to see and experience that attracts the tourist. Himachal is indeed a paradise for tourists. Tourists will hardly find attractions like in Himachal Pradesh elsewhere.


About the Author
Michael Braganza is an eminent analyst and writer in Travel & Tourism related topics. He has authored many books on tour guide for India like Himachal tours and Rajasthan tours. Now he is rendering his services to http://www.swagattours.com/

Chiangmai General Information by www.chiangmai.110mb.com

Experiencing the merging of the past into the present in Chiang Mai where locals are proud of the city's 700-year history. Its rich traditional heritage and unique culture is a perfect foundation for the development of the city. Chiang Mai is one of the few places in Thailand where it is possible to find in the heart of the city centuries-old chedis and temples next to modern convenience stores and boutique hotels. The original city layout still exists as a neat square surrounded by a moat with vestiges of the fortified wall and its four main gates offering prime access to the old town.

For years, tourists have mistaken Chiang Mai as the northern junction and the base from which they can explore other provinces. The phrase "a day in Chiang Mai is enough to see things around" was common. Today, tourists are surprised by the fact that there is always something new to discover Chiang Mai. Intriguing diversity among ethnic tribes coupled with breathtaking scenery makes Chiang Mai one of Asia's most attractive tourist destinations. Two weeks in Chiang Mai may not be long enough for serious travelers.

The old city of Chiang Mai with its fascinating indigenous cultural identity such as diverse dialects, cuisine, architecture, traditional values, festivals, handicrafts and classical dances is a prime location in its own right. In addition, the presence of hill tribes and their wealth of unique cultures enhance Chiang Mai's distinctive diversity.

Chiang Mai is also blessed with pristine natural resources of mountains (dois), waterfalls, and other nature-based tourist attractions. At the same time, Chiang Mai residents are warm, gracious and congenial providing authentic hospitality making visits memorable and meaningful. Moreover, visitors from all walks of life can collect handicrafts of silk, silver and wood produced locally as timeless souvenirs. Chiang Mai is a place where both backpackers and luxury tourists can enjoy themselves to the fullest.

The Past

Chiang Mai literally means new city and has retained the name despite having celebrated its 700th anniversary in 1996. King Meng Rai founded the city as the capital of the Lanna (A Million Rice Fields) Kingdom on Thursday, 12th April 1296 during the same period of time as the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom. King Meng Rai the Great conferred with his friends, King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao before choosing the site where the capital of the Lanna Kingdom was to be founded.

From then, Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, it was also the centre of Buddhism in northern Thailand. King Meng Rai himself was very religious and founded many of the city's temples, which are still important today.

At the height of its power, the Lanna Kingdom extended its territory far into Burma and Laos, and southwards to Kamphaeng Phet a province above Sukhothai.

The Burmese conquered the Lanna Kingdom in 1556 ending the dynasty founded by King Meng Rai that lasted over 250 years. As Burma had occupied Chiang Mai for nearly 200 years, Burmese architectural influences are visible in many temples. At the end of the 18th century, King Taksin the Great regrouped the Thais in the south and finally drove the Burmese out with the help of King Kawila of Lampang thereby regaining Thai independence from Burma. Chiang Mai was then governed by a succession of princes who ruled the north as a Siamese protectorate under the Chakri dynasty. In the late 19th century, King Rama V appointed a high commissioner in Chiang Mai and it was only in 1939 that Chiang Mai finally came under the direct control of the central government in Bangkok the same time the country was renamed Thailand.

In the past, Chiang Mai was only accessible by river and elephants. More convenient access was achieved only when the railway line was completed in the late 1920's. Moreover, the first motor vehicle driven directly from Bangkok arrived in Chiang Mai in 1932. Such isolation was more favorable to Chiang Mai as it helped to nurture and preserve the unique Lanna culture.

When we look at Chiang Mai today, it is the economic, cultural and communications hub of northern Thailand complete with excellent infrastructure, good roads, by passes and road tunnels, and reliable communications infrastructure.

The Setting

Chiang Mai, with an altitude of approximately 310 meters above sea level, is situated approximately 700 kilometers from Bangkok on the Mae Ping River basin. Surrounded by high mountain ranges, the city covers an area of approximately 20,107 square kilometers and is the country's second largest province. Chiang Mai borders Myanmar on the north, Lamphun and Tak Provinces on the south, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun Provinces on the east and Mae Hong Son Province on the west. The terrain is mainly comprised of jungles and mountains, which are home to the hill tribes. In addition, wildlife and exotic flora may be found in the national parks.

Most of Chiang Mai's mountains are oriented from north to south. Together they create a multitude of streams and tributaries including Mae Chaem, Mae Ngat and Mae Klang. One of Chiang Mai's distinctive features is Doi Inthanon, Thailands highest peak, which is 2,575 meters above sea level. In addition, the province boasts flat, fertile valleys, which spread along the banks of the largest and most important river in Chiang Mai Mae Nam Ping (Ping River) which originates from the Chiang Dao mountain range.


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Travel to Exotic Places in Kenya and In a Tight Budget by Wanjiku Jaqueline

Lets Say that you want to travel to kenya but you have a tight budget. And lets say also that you are tired of hearing stories of how exotic adventure in Kenya is and would wish to have an experience of your own. Here, i will explore five travel destinations across kenya that are both exiting and so affordable that you could start planning your getaway right now.

The Masai Mara National Reserve is on the lips of every tourist destined to Kenya. It was only recently declared the 7th Wonder of the World. This Reserve is a perfect example of Savanah grassland of the African plateau. It covers 1,500 square kilometers of grassland and shrubs with a variety of wild animals scattered strategically within the reserve. The most momorable attraction here is the annual migration of wilderbeast in August to the nothern expansive Serengeti Plains and October acrosss the the Mara river to the South in search of Pasture.

The Meru National Park rivals the Masai Mara National reserve. This is a 4,000 Square kilometer conservatory in the Cenytal Kenyan Highlands. This area experienses vast amount of rainfall and has numerous permanent springs crisscrossing all around it. The Meru National parks boasts green deep indegenous forests and tall grass and is home to a wider selection of wild animals and birds than any other national park. The Challenge though is in spotting game. So, basically, you need to stay here longer though your stay is complemented by the many hotels and lodges lining withing the park.

The Fort Jesus which was built in the 16th century by the portuguese during the battle for the control of the East African coast so as to enforce their rule on the Swahili. it is situated in Mombasa. This fort has long been declared a National meseum by the Kenya Government. Inside, you will find a showcase of exibits mainly ceramics, artifacts and pottery repesenting the history of the Swahili community that lived along the coast from Somalia all aong to the Tanzania Coastal town of Zanzibar. This fort also borders the Mombasa old town and its at the end of Nkurumah Street.

The Lake Nakuru National Park is home to thousands of Flamingos feeding on the algae that grows on the lake Surface. This is a salt water lake which almost got dry a few years ago due to defforestation of the water catchment areas on the Mau Ranges which feed the Lake. Due to the intervention of the Kenya government and Non-Governmental environmentalists, the Park is now coming to life. The Flamingos have flown back to their original habitation from Lake Bogoria where they had sought refuge for years. This park is also home to Acasia trees, dry grassland, variety of bird species and and wild animals mostly herbivorous.

The Tsavo National Park is the Largest National Park in Kenya running into a whoopping 22,000 square kilometers. The Park is devided into two by the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway. This area held the biggest amount of Game in kenya but were reduced considerably due to porching but the numbers are now rising due to incresed survaillance by the Kenya Wildlife Service Police Unit. Here you will notice a remarkable difference in vegetation between Tsavo National Park and the masai Mara Gave Reserve. The Grass is taller but its a far cry from the Vegatation on the Meru National Park. But this park is sure to treat you to wider variety of Game.

With all these options available, there is no excuse to put off that life-long desire to travel to Kenyas' exotic places at the far ends of the African Continent and deep into the African Jungle.


About the Author
Wanjiku Jaqueline is a tour operator and has been organizing and reporting on Vacation, Travel and Tours for years. For more information on Exotic Places Kenya, visit her site at Exotic Places Kenya

A to Z on Investing in Panama

Panama is one of the best kept secrets of the Americas and is quickly becoming a world class destination for business, pleasure and living! Panama has ranked #1 in International Living's Annual Global Retirement Index... for five consecutive years! So if you love uncommercialized beaches, mountains and nature there is no place like Panama.



There are so many reasons to choose Panama. Below is just a short list from A to Z as to why Panama is so incredible and why we have chosen to make the Azuero Peninsula our home.



Affordable and exotic destination. Panama is just starting to promote itself as a tourist destination so its prices are some of the best on the market. The cost of living - rent, homes, utilities, transportation, food and services are well below North American and European prices.

Beaches! Panama has a wide selection of beaches and island venues. With two coasts, the Caribbean and Pacific, and more than 1000 islands, Panama has so much to choose from. The Azuero Peninsula boasts some of the best beaches in Panama - literally stretching for miles.

Climate - With temperatures ranging between 75-85 degrees year round (25-30C) and it cooling down nicely in the evening, you will be comfortable year round in Panama. The dry season runs from December thru mid-May and the green season is the remainder of the year. Despite more rainfall in these months the sun usually shines every day in Panama.

Driving in Panama is like no other Latin American country. With one of the best infrastructures in Latin America, the Panamanian highway is excellent as are the main highways to a variety of popular destinations, including Pedasi in the Azuero Peninsula.

Eco Tourism is hot! Panama is the best place for Eco Tourism with the most accessible pristine rainforests in the world. Panama boasts over 10.000 plant species, 1,000 types of tress and 1,500 butterflies. Panama's biodiversity is outstanding. National parks cover 5,000,000 acres and have over a 1,000 recorded bird species - more than Canada and the U.S. combined. Panama has one of the most wonderful eco systems in the world with national parks that cover ¼ of the entire country. A visit to Isla Iguana and Isla Canas in the Azuero Peninsula is a must!

Financial Sector is Strong! ATM machines give access to US account with many locations in Panama City and throughout the country. Sophisticated banking sector comprised of 90 different banks. In fact, Panama is home to the second largest international banking centre in the world next to Switzerland. Panama has the most modern and successful international banking centre in Latin America. It also is the second largest home to offshore Corporations in the world, with only Hong Kong having more. Panama has over 400,000 corporations and foundations registered, and offers favorable and flexible incorporation laws.

Geographical position of Panama is unique. Panama has no hurricanes or major earthquakes and is the only country in Central America that is hurricane free. Your investment is safe in Panama.

Health - Your health is in good hands in Panama. It is one of the best places for world class medical treatments at affordable prices. You can get medical treatment utilizing the same techniques, facilities and medications as in the U.S. and many doctors and dentists speak English. Health insurance policies are very reasonably priced. Johns Hopkins International Medical Centre only location in Latin America is in Panama. In fact, the only other country in the world outside the U.S. to house a Johns Hopkins is in Singapore. You can even drink the tap water in Panama, which is a rarity in Latin America.

Infrastructure of a First class nation! Cosmopolitan capital city with high speed internet and sophisticated banking sector. Panama has first rate hotels and excellent restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines. The highways, infrastructure, medical care and business services are all excellent. Panama has the highest level of communications and infrastructure for phone, fax, internet and cellular communications in all of Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Jackets, Shoes, Skirts! Panama is a Shoppers Paradise! Whether you are looking for fashion, electronics or automobiles, panama has it all! Not only will you find a great selection but usually with better prices than you will often find at home. Panama has 4 Costco's and large "El Rey" grocery stores where you can find most everything.

Kids? If you are looking for a school for your kids, Panama has many excellent private schools to choose from. Panama also has 3 American accredited schools; International School, Oxford International and Balboa Academy Language.

Language - Spanish is the official language however English is widely spoken throughout the country.

Mountains, exotic rainforests, beaches, Indian cultures, historic sites, golf, rafting and more. Panama has many attractions in close proximity.

Near North America. Panama is only 4-5 hours from the U.S with daily flights from LA, NY, Newark, Miami, Houston and Orlando. Canada has weekly flights from Toronto and Montreal and more flights continue to be added.

Ownership of a home in Panama is at unbeatable prices! Foreigners can buy and sell Panamanian property legally and easily and are protected by exactly the same rights as Panamanian citizens.

Panamanians are amongst the friendliest people you will ever meet! Peaceful and fun loving, Panama is home to immigrants from all over the world. English is widely spoken as a second language.

Quality Construction. Homes are well built and tastefully designed. Panamanian architects attend U.S. construction and industry conventions to keep current and up-to-date with the latest construction styles.

Retiree incentive program is one of the best in the world. It includes discount air travel, eye exams, movies, restaurants, hotels and MORE! Retirees can even bring down all household goods to Panama tax free!

Safe - Panama has a very low crime rate in general and has the highest rating for tourist safety from the prestigious Pinkerton Intelligence Agency.

Taxes. There are NO property taxes on new construction in Panama.

U.S $ is the national currency. This is a great convenience as there is no need to change dollars. Officially the currency is the Balboa however it exists only in coinage and is identical in size to the U.S. coinage. Panama does not print Balboa bills but instead uses American paper currency. The currency also helps explain why Panama has such a low inflation rate and is the most stable economy in Latin America. Panama experienced less than 2% inflation increase over the past 40 years; some of the lowest known.

Variety - Panama City offers plenty of it! A cosmopolitan city with a combination of historic and ultra modern it is known for its lively nightlife with a wide variety of discos, pubs, nightclubs and casinos.

World class Sport fishing - Pinas Bay alone holds 250 world fishing records and there is excellent sport fishing in the Azuero Peninsula.

Xtreme Diving - Panama boasts excellent diving, with 7 fantastic diving spots including Coiba National Park, Pearl Islands, Isla Iguana, Bocas del Toro Archipelago and the Panama Canal.

Yachting destination - Panama is ideal!

Zone - Panama has the second largest free trade zone in the world. The Colon Free Zone is a gigantic entity at the Atlantic gateway to the Panama Canal. It is dedicated to re-export a huge variety of merchandise.




About the Author
Shelley Moore is the co-Founder of TropilandPanama, specializing in properties in the Azuero Peninsula, Panama. Being a real estate investor and living in Panama she co-founded TropilandPanama to help individuals and businesses alike find customized real estate solutions. To learn more visit TropilandPanama's website at www.tropilandpanama.com .


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Travelling to the Exotic Places in Kenya and In a Tight Budget by Lucy Maruhi

Lets Say that you want to travel to kenya but you have a tight budget. And lets say also that you are tired of hearing stories of how exotic adventure in Kenya is and would wish to have an experience of your own. Here, i will explore five travel destinations across kenya that are both exiting and so affordable that you could start planning your getaway right now.

The Masai Mara National Reserve is on the lips of every tourist destined to Kenya. It was only recently declared the 7th Wonder of the World. This Reserve is a perfect example of Savanah grassland of the African plateau. It covers 1,500 square kilometers of grassland and shrubs with a variety of wild animals scattered strategically within the reserve. The most momorable attraction here is the annual migration of wilderbeast in August to the nothern expansive Serengeti Plains and October acrosss the the Mara river to the South in search of Pasture.

The Meru National Park rivals the Masai Mara National reserve. This is a 4,000 Square kilometer conservatory in the Cenytal Kenyan Highlands. This area experienses vast amount of rainfall and has numerous permanent springs crisscrossing all around it. The Meru National parks boasts green deep indegenous forests and tall grass and is home to a wider selection of wild animals and birds than any other national park. The Challenge though is in spotting game. So, basically, you need to stay here longer though your stay is complemented by the many hotels and lodges lining withing the park.

The Fort Jesus which was built in the 16th century by the portuguese during the battle for the control of the East African coast so as to enforce their rule on the Swahili. it is situated in Mombasa. This fort has long been declared a National meseum by the Kenya Government. Inside, you will find a showcase of exibits mainly ceramics, artifacts and pottery repesenting the history of the Swahili community that lived along the coast from Somalia all aong to the Tanzania Coastal town of Zanzibar. This fort also borders the Mombasa old town and its at the end of Nkurumah Street.

The Lake Nakuru National Park is home to thousands of Flamingos feeding on the algae that grows on the lake Surface. This is a salt water lake which almost got dry a few years ago due to defforestation of the water catchment areas on the Mau Ranges which feed the Lake. Due to the intervention of the Kenya government and Non-Governmental environmentalists, the Park is now coming to life. The Flamingos have flown back to their original habitation from Lake Bogoria where they had sought refuge for years. This park is also home to Acasia trees, dry grassland, variety of bird species and and wild animals mostly herbivorous.

The Tsavo National Park is the Largest National Park in Kenya running into a whoopping 22,000 square kilometers. The Park is devided into two by the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway. This area held the biggest amount of Game in kenya but were reduced considerably due to porching but the numbers are now rising due to incresed survaillance by the Kenya Wildlife Service Police Unit. Here you will notice a remarkable difference in vegatation between Tsavo National Park and the masai Mara Gave Reserve. The Grass is taller but its a far cry from the Vegatation on the Meru National Park. But this park is sure to treat you to wider variety of Game.

With all these options available, there is no excuse to put off that life-long desire to travel to Kenyas' exotic places at the far ends of the African Continent and deep into the African Jungle.


About the Author
Lucy Maruhi is a tour operator and has been organizing and reporting on Vacation, Travel and Tours for years. For more information on Exotic Places Kenya, visit her site at Exotic Places Kenya

Puerto Rico Real Estate by Seth Willis

The region along the Caribbean Sea is not just beautiful, but extremely rich with diverse and lively cultural heritage and lifestyle. These factors are not just endearing but also attractive, tempting many people to invest and/or buy property in these island countries. Puerto Rico is one such country that lies about 1,000 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, US. It shares its western border with Haiti, Dominican Republic, while the eastern border caresses the Virgin Islands, north meets the Atlantic Ocean, and south opens into the Caribbean Sea. Puerto Rico real estate is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for people who are open to the option of exploring second home market closer home.

It's fairly common to assume that Puerto Rico is a small island in the Indies, but the fact is that this country has a lot to offer. Puerto Rico is divided into many cities and towns and each offers its own special attractions and glimpses. While your day spent at the Aguadilla or the Luis A. Ferre Science Park in Bayamon can be a lot of fun, you can also enjoy a beautifully tranquil time at the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge or the El Yunque at the Rio Grande`. Abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna and exotic marine life further enhance the overall beauty of the island, making Puerto Rico real estate much sought after today! Marvelous architecture greets you in Puerto Rico. Old San Juan, which is the home to the first Spanish settlers, has many an old and heritage buildings and also the monumental fort of El Morro. Spending time in the elegant and rich Ponce, which is another epicenter of history and architecture makes for a refreshing change. Of course, like in most Latin American cultures ebullient Plazas are the traditional meeting places for congregation and just having a relaxing time.

But the most attractive of all Puerto Rico attractions has to be the coastline. All 501 kilometers of it! Magnificent beaches with unending sandy trails make them irresistibly hot, quite literally! You can sun bathe to work up a natural tan or swim in the quiet and friendly waters of Seven Seas, or surf the huge waves at Rincon Bay or enjoy your moments of solitude at Flamenco. Other activities like horse riding, snorkeling, and fishing also make for exciting options. The most popular tourist destinations in this island are San Juan, Ponce, Mayagüez, Bayamón, Fajardo, San Germán Cayey, and Caguas.

Mona and Monito Islands that are located between Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic are considered the Galapagos Islands in the Caribbean. These islands are surrounded by a beautiful coral reed and offshore island habitat. Moreover, the twin island posses one of the most unique and invaluable ecological systems that have immense biological diversity encompassed on such a small land mass. The islands of Mona and Monito have been recognized as a National Reserve and are a critical habit for endangered sea birds, marine turtles, and migratory aquatic mammals. Puerto Rico also boasts of nine lakes, 50 rivers, and uncountable smaller streams.

Puerto Rico real estate presents a truly unique opportunity for the investors. Many real estate agencies are of the opinion that investing in the Puerto Rico's western areas will lead to significant gains in long-term property appreciation. Moreover, short-term gains can be garnered by investing in rental property for vacationers.

From vacation homes and apartments by the oceanfront to inland houses, and luxury villas with sprawling lawns and uninterrupted ocean views, replete with all modern amenities are some of the choices available in the Puerto Rico real estate market. Added to this, the fact that Puerto Rico offers a modern and progressive lifestyle has established the island's reputation as a favorite in the real estate market worldwide.


About the Author
Seth Willis is the webmaster for http://www.planetpads.com and a savvy real estate investor. His focus for Planet Pads is to allow users to showcase their real estate from all over the world .Users can browse properties , rentals , vacation homes and commercial properties from every corner of the globe.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island by Roger at Hawaii2beautiful.com

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island by www.hawaii2beautiful.com

Hawaii is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world; one of the top draws of this beautiful island is its incredible volcanoes. Hawaii is a land made from volcanoes, in fact, the Big Island island is made up from 5 distinct volcanoes, they are named: Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea. If you are interested in seeing Hawaii and all its beauty, one of the best ways to enjoy this tropical paradise is to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park located on the Big Island.

There are many things to see at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; besides active and dormant volcanoes, you can also experience the rich Hawaiian culture and the diversity of beautiful flowers, plants, insects and wildlife. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the park, they include; hiking and viewing lava by foot, viewing lava safely from a car or tour bus, you can also see the park by bicycle and for those that are interested in spending more than a few hours at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you can even find camp grounds and facilities.

What to See For most travelers, your first stop should be the Kilauea Visitor Center, this is the perhaps the best place to find current and up to date information on what attractions at the park are open and to learn about detailed information about the park and includes a book store, interactive displays and souvenirs. If you are looking to get the most out of your visit to the park the Kilauea Visitor Center is the best place to start.

Crater Rim Drive Crater Rim Drive is a great way to see the park by your vehicle. Crater Rim Drive is 11 miles of road that circles some of the most beautiful volcanic attractions at the park. It starts form the Kilauea Visitor Center and continues to the following attractions.

Steaming Bluff & Sulfur Bank The Steaming Bluff and Sulfur Bank are located only a few miles into your drive, the Steaming Bluff is flat plain with no vegetation, the water from the Kilaeu Caldron seeps down onto hot volcanic rocks and causes steam, across the street from the bluff you will find a paved path that will take you to a bank that spews Sulfur gasses that smell like rotten eggs. Southwest Rift Zone The Southwest Rift Zone includes large rifts, fractures, gullies and fissures. Rifts are weaker land areas around the volcano and you can see plenty of interesting volcano landscapes from this area. One of the most interesting areas in the Southwest Rift Zone is the Halema'uma'u Crater. This crater can be viewed by a park overlook. This crater is nearly 3,000 feet across and is extremely deep, with depths of over 300 feet. If you look deep in the crater, you can see molten lava that has reached temperatures of over 2100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thurston Lava Tube Thurston Lava Tube is an incredible structure. Only a few hundred years ago, a large amount of lava rushed through the lava tube, today, you can easily walk through it. The lava tube is an incredible site to look at and is very close to a wildlife area that features exotic birds and vegetation.

If you are planning on visiting the Big Island in Hawaii, make sure you see some of the islands most beautiful attractions at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

By Hawaii2beautiful.com


About the Author
Roger at Hawaii2beautiful.com To use this article, you must inlcude this link http://www.hawaii2beautiful.com

Costa Rica Hotels - The Ultimate Getaway by Todd Sarouhan

Costa Rica Hotels - The Ultimate Getaway

With more than a million visitors annually, Costa Rica is now among the hottest vacation destinations in the world. Offering some of the most beautiful and exotic locations, this small Central American nation is filled with a rich history, stunning beaches, dense jungles, steaming volcanoes, roaring rivers, gushing waterfalls and fantastic national parks. An ecotourists dream, Costa Rica makes for the perfect escape amidst some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world today.

Ideal for honeymooners, families, business executives and nature adventurers, this tropical country is home to some of the most amazing flora and fauna, not found anywhere else on earth. And while the rainforests here are lush and dense, the cloud forests of Monteverde and Santa Elena offer entirely unique and mystical surroundings to explore. The ultimate getaway for those seeking to leave the hustle and bustle of the world behind, Costa Rica is also an adventure hotspot with everything from surfing to mountain biking found here.

Costa Rica hotels for every budget There are a plethora of accommodations to suit every budget in Costa Rica, ranging from luxurious five star hotels like the Four Seasons in the Gulf of Papagayo, to a number of reasonably priced resorts on the Nicoya Peninsula Coast. In most tourist towns, one can find a wide array of places to rent and stay at. However, in the more remote areas accommodation options can get rather limited; therefore it is a good idea to make an advance reservation or room booking.

There are a number of good bargain hotels and resorts in Costa Rica, so it is also important that you do your research and make sure you check out all your options before reserving a room. Booking a room in advance will not only assure you have a room, but will save you any hassle of searching for some place to stay especially if you happening to be touring Costa Rica during the high season. New Years Eve, Easter week, Christmas and the months of January and February are some of the busiest months for traveling in Costa Rica. Plus, during these periods the entire city tends to shut down, with local Ticos hitting the costal regions. The high season here lasts from December to April.

Renting Apartotels - a cheap alternative to hotels in Costa Rica If you plan on staying in Costa Rica for more than a few weeks, renting an apartotels is a good way to save money. Apartotels are like hotel rooms, but they come with an equipped kitchen and other amenities. If you are backpacking though the country, bed and breakfasts B&B's are a much better hotel option to consider, as they are very affordable and economical. However, if your budget is a little more flexible then cabinas are the ideal alternative. All inclusive resorts, private lodges, cabins and inns are the best if your traveling budget is more pliable.

How to get a discount on Costa Rica Hotels To get a good discount on your hotel room, visit Costa Rica during the green or rainy season that lasts from mid-April to November, but do keep in mind that when booking a room anytime of the year you will be charged a compulsory sales and tourism tax of 16.39%.


About the Author
To get further comprehensive information on Costa Rica Hotels, visit www.govisitcostarica.com/category/hotels/hotels.asp. Over the last few years, www.GoVisitCostaRica.com has been a leader in providing tourists with important travel data on this gorgeous Central American country.

Experiencing the Most of Exotic Travel adventure in Kenya by Josephine Muchiri

Lets Say that you want to travel to kenya but you have a tight budget. And lets say also that you are tired of hearing stories of how exotic adventure in Kenya is and would wish to have an experience of your own. Here, i will explore five travel destinations across kenya that are both exiting and so affordable that you could start planning your getaway right now.

The Masai Mara National Reserve is on the lips of every tourist destined to Kenya. It was only recently declared the 7th Wonder of the World. This Reserve is a perfect example of Savanah grassland of the African plateau. It covers 1,500 square kilometers of grassland and shrubs with a variety of wild animals scattered strategically within the reserve. The most momorable attraction here is the annual migration of wilderbeast in August to the nothern expansive Serengeti Plains and October acrosss the the Mara river to the South in search of Pasture.

The Meru National Park rivals the Masai Mara National reserve. This is a 4,000 Square kilometer conservatory in the Central Kenyan Highlands. This area experienses vast amount of rainfall and has numerous permanent springs crisscrossing all around it. The Meru National parks boasts green deep indegenous forests and tall grass and is home to a wider selection of wild animals and birds than any other national park. The Challenge though is in spotting game. So, basically, you need to stay here longer though your stay is complemented by the many hotels and lodges lining withing the park.

The Fort Jesus which was built in the 16th century by the portuguese during the battle for the control of the East African coast so as to enforce their rule on the Swahili. it is situated in Mombasa. This fort has long been declared a National meseum by the Kenya Government. Inside, you will find a showcase of exibits mainly ceramics, artifacts and pottery repesenting the history of the Swahili community that lived along the coast from Somalia all aong to the Tanzania Coastal town of Zanzibar. This fort also borders the Mombasa old town and its at the end of Nkurumah Street.

The Lake Nakuru National Park is home to thousands of Flamingos feeding on the algae that grows on the lake Surface. This is a salt water lake which almost got dry a few years ago due to defforestation of the water catchment areas on the Mau Ranges which feed the Lake. Due to the intervention of the Kenya government and Non-Governmental environmentalists, the Park is now coming to life. The Flamingos have flown back to their original habitation from Lake Bogoria where they had sought refuge for years. This park is also home to Acasia trees, dry grassland, variety of bird species and and wild animals mostly herbivorous.

The Tsavo National Park is the Largest National Park in Kenya running into a whoopping 22,000 square kilometers. The Park is devided into two by the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway. This area held the biggest amount of Game in kenya but were reduced considerably due to porching but the numbers are now rising due to incresed survaillance by the Kenya Wildlife Service Police Unit. Here you will notice a remarkable difference in vegatation between Tsavo National Park and the masai Mara Gave Reserve. The Grass is taller but its a far cry from the Vegetation on the Meru National Park. But this park is sure to treat you to wider variety of Game.

With all these options available, there is no excuse to put off that life-long desire to travel to Kenyas' exotic places at the far ends of the African Continent and deep into the African Jungle.


About the Author
Josephine Muchiri is a tour operator and has been organizing and reporting on Vacation, Travel and Tours for years. For more information on Exotic Places Kenya, visit her site at Exotic Places Kenya

Travel India to rediscover its real treasure of Adventures by Michael Braganza

Indian tourism industry is very lively and profitable due to an addition of foreign tourists' every year and increasing gradually. Today India is a very famous tourist destination abroad due to the policies of government. Even domestic tourists are planning tours 2 to 5 times a year. The visitors are flowing profusely in from all over the world i.e. Southeast Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa and United states. And at the same time, no. of travelers from India has also been increased.

India, no doubt is the only country that offers different kinds of tourism. This subcontinent has treasure of tourism; it includes historical tourism of Rajasthan, adventure tourism of Kashmir and Ladakh, medical tourism with cheap and quality treatment, ayurveda and spa tourism of Indian traditional medications, yoga and spiritual tourism, beach tourism (It has one of the greatest coastline and number of famous beaches all over). Here every one can find the tours to India as per their requirement.

India is an ancient country; it is a country of monuments. Anywhere you travel in India there are a number of monuments and palaces waiting for you to show its rich and exotic history, architecture, culture and tradition. All the places and monuments draw the true colors of India and bring its essence to us. Some of these incomparable places and monuments you can find here at Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Fatehpur Sikri, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Bhopal , Indore, Ajmer, Khajuraho, Jhansi , Gwalior, Mysore and much more. When it comes to the nature and wildlife scenic locations, only places comes in mind from Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, North East States, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.

In the recent years India is emergences as one of the most sought-after adventure destinations is a well-known truth. India offers variety of adventure tourism opportunities, this change is amazing remarkably. From the water rafting on the Ganga, to heli-skiing in the heights of Himalayas, from gliding and ballooning to camel-safaris, horse safaris in the huge desert of Thar, from chasing the royal Bengal tiger on the backs of elephants while trekking in the tiger reserved national parks. Endless choices are there when you travel India.

Inherent spirituality is Exists as an essential constituent or characteristic of India. People feel the comfort when consoled in times of disappointment in its ancient wisdom. Land of India is called the "Yoga Bhoomi" and the entrance way to the heavens or God's grace. Too numerous to be counted saints, in their incomparable knowledge, has contributed greatly in the development of different historical and religious monuments viz. Temples, Mosques, Tombs, Forts, Monasteries etc. built in a rich and lavish manner across the length and breadth of the India. The kind of a sophisticated person who has traveled in many countries, India is the best choice in its pilgrimages. Religion is the heart beat of a country and the enthusiasts of all the major religion, viz. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christen Jain and many more are living here for centuries together with their culture and tradition.


About the Author
Michael Braganza is an eminent analyst and writer in Travel & Tourism related topics. He has authored many books on Cheap Tours to India and India Tours. Now he is rendering his services to http://www.indiatraveltours.com/

Online accommodation for Koh Phangan by Clint Jhonson

Online accommodation for Koh Phangan by Clint Jhonson


In the past few years, many people have turned their attention to unique holiday places and Thailand proved out to be one of the most popular. The island of Koh Phangan is visited by millions of people, looking for possibility to loosen up and who are captivated by this corner of heaven.

Situated in the gulf of Thailand, Koh Phangan can be easily reached in various ways and it can offer different choices for accommodation. The Internet has served very well to the advertising of exotic holiday destinations and today there are literally hundreds of websites on such subjects. The important thing is to stick with the one that presents the most interesting and easy to comprehend information.

What does the Internet has to say about the island of Koh Phangan? It starts with it being a wonderful destination, with white beaches and beautiful gardens. The accommodation offers online refer mainly to bungalows and houses but there are many other opportunities. The prices differe on the type of property one is interested in and also on the rental period.

The island of Koh Phangan is reputed for many things but nearly all the tourists are attracted by the incredible beaches, with an almost virgin look and likewise by the ethnic experience. The traditional cuisine is another element for which this island is known worldwide, including fascinating dishes with plenty of seafood.

When it comes to accommodation on the island of Koh Phangan, there are several options and they are very well presented online by professional websites. These are trying to highlight that there are many rental and sale possibilites, helping the customer to narrow down available choices. For any property, they present the surroundings, the main characteristics and of course the price. All these things are important and this is why specialized resources try to make them as accurately as possible.

For some tourists, saving money on the property rental is highly important. The purpose of these websites is to provide their customers with a wide variety of offers, with all kinds of properties and rental agreements. Also, it is significant to present a little of this tropical island and what opportunities are there. This may serve very well for the tourist, making him/her to take a better and informed decision.

Aside from the strolling down the beach and bathing in the wonderful waters, one can also enjoy training courses for snorkeling, fishing and benefit from the incredible herbal steam rooms. Apart from those, certain facilities offered include yoga, massage and other natural therapies. For more active tourists there are presented online special experiences regarding hiking, boxing and even elephant trekking.

All the tourists looking for accommodation in this amazing island should know that the Internet holds out the best information possible. Specialists are prepared to suit every taste of the customer, especially in case of the cozy and lovely bungalows. These are enjoyed by couples, wanting to retreat and be just themselves, in their intimacy.

The Internet can be a great online resource for property rental or sale, long/short term rental and bungalow possibilities. There are a multitude of offers online for accommodation on this beautiful island and one may be interested to check out the special offers. Thailand has many things to provide and it can tranform into one of the best holidays ever taken.




About the Author
Vacation houses and bungalows are just some of the accommodation we have in store for you, as the next tourist to visit the tropic island of Koh Phangan. Start your search for a perfect holiday using our services and you will see that you do not have to go any further.

Kerala Travel Guide by Vinay Chaubey

With the Arabian Sea in the west, the Western Ghats towering 500-2700 m in the east and networked by forty four rivers, Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. An equable climate, a long shoreline with serene beaches, tranquil streches of emerald backwaters, lush hill stations and exotic wildlife, Waterfalls, Sprawling plantations and paddy fields, Ayurvedic health holiday, Enchanting art forms, Magical festivals, Historic and cultural monuments and An exotic cuisine. All of which offer you a unique experience. And what's more, every one of these charming destinations is only a two hour drive from the other.

Places of Interest in Kerala

* Alappuzha Travel Guide
With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers crisscrossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty.

* Ernakulam Travel Guide
Ernakulam is located on the coast of the Arabian sea with Kottayam and Alappuzha districts on the south, Idukki on the east and Thrissur on the north.

* Idukki Travel Guide
A landlocked district, Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. High ranges and wooded valleys are girded by three main rivers - Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar - and their tributaries.

* Kannur Travel Guide
The district itself which shares much of this natural splendour has been a key contributor to the cultural, religious, political and industrial heritage of the State. In addition, Kannur enjoys the credit of having been the cradle of many a colourful folk art and folk music of Kerala.

* Kasaragod Travel Guide
The northernmost district of Kerala, Kasaragod is world renowned for its coir and handloom industries. Fishing is a prime source of livelihood.

* Kollam Travel Guide
The eight hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. The district also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style.

Fairs & Festivals of Kerala
The colorful mosaic of Kerala festivals and fairs is as diverse as the land, is an expression of the spirit of celebration that is an essential part of the State. Observed with enthusiasm and gaiety, festivals are like gems, ornamenting the crown of Kerala tradition and culture. Round the year the fests keep Kerala life vibrant and interludes in the mundane affairs of life.

Aaranmula Boat Race
The Aaranmula Boat Race is staged each year in the scenic village of Aaranmula in August/ September. This river carnival is part of the Aaranmula Temple festival. Masses throng the shores of the River Pamba to watch an imposing cluster of snake boats called 'Palliyodams'.

Cochin Carnival
Cochin Carnival is a merry making feast observed during the last week of every year in Fort Kochi in Kerala. The carnival dates back to the Portuguese New Year revelry held here during the colonial days.

Muharram
Muharram is the opening month of the Hijra year. The 10th day of this month (May) is honoured by the Muslims of Kerala. As per belief, it was on this day that the Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, and his men were slain at Karbala.

Onam
Onam, the harvest festival is the most popular festival of Kerala. A festival that celebrates a happy blend of myth and reality, Onam is part of the cultural repertoire of every Malayalee.

Malabar Mahotsavam
Malabar Mahotsavam is a cultural extravaganza that showcases the centuries old rich cultural heritage of Kerala. The event is at Mananchira maidan (ground) in the heart of Kozhikode town from 13th to 16th January every year.

For more details on Kerala Travel visit www.times2travel.com


About the Author
Vinay Chaubey
SEO Manager
vinay.choubey@mobilex.in

Iceland - The premier exotic tourist destination by Asberg Jonsson

Traveling has evolved over the years and tourists from all over the world are constantly looking at various different kinds of destinations to fulfill their vacationing desires. Exotic locations have become the most sought after tourist destinations with more and more tourists opting for places with an exotic and mystic charm. Of course when you speak of exotic, mystical or magical destinations, one of the foremost names that come to mind is the beautiful country of Iceland.

A North Atlantic Island which is the western most country of Europe - Iceland - offers tourists with an out of this world experience to make your trip whether for pleasure or business, one of the most memorable trips you will ever embark upon. Iceland is situated 800 kms from northwest of Scotland and 970 kms west of Norway and its northern coast is just below the Arctic Circle.

The Island country of Iceland is often referred to as the Land of Frost and Fire mainly due to the large glaciers right next to steaming hot springs, geysers and active volcanoes. Iceland is known for the unique phenomenon of having sun light almost 24 hours a day in June and dark for almost the same period in December.

Iceland has one of the most picturesque capitals in the world. Reykjavik with a population of about 200,000 in and around its vicinity has the distinct characteristic of not only being an absolute modern city with all the amenities and activities that a great world city needs to have but also at the same time offers a peaceful and calm atmosphere, very rich in nature and virtually no pollution which not many of the other top cities in the world can boast of.

Reykjavik is surrounded by the breathtaking and grand Mt. Esja. Also one can check out the amazing blue waters of Faxafloi Bay. On a beautiful day the Snaefellsjokull glacier appears crystal-like on the western horizon, while mountainous moonscapes spread to the southeast.

You can also take a wonderful walk and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere at Tjornin Lake. Climb up Hallgrimskirkja Church tower for a panoramic view of the city. Visit the Pearl - an otherworldly creation with a viewing platform and a revolving restaurant on top of hot water storage tanks. Go for dolphin or whale viewing in the crystal clear waters surrounding the capital city.

One of the best things about Iceland is that unlike what the name suggests, Iceland has good weather most of the times. Most people have the misconception that Iceland is one of the coldest countries in the world with extreme cold weather. But the fact is because of the Gulf Stream, Iceland enjoys moderate temperature almost throughout the year. In fact the capital city of Reykjavik gets very little snowfall even during winters which makes it the most ideal vacationing spot.

Iceland is fast emerging as the tourist hotspot of the world. With its most beautiful glaciers, mountains, landscapes, amazing geysers and active volcanoes, calm and peaceful atmosphere, friendly and vibrant people, an excellent and most extra-ordinary capital city, Iceland has everything to offer you can think of for an amazing exotic tourist destination. So go ahead and do not waste any more time, book your vacation to Iceland immediately.


About the Author
Asberg Jonsson is the manager of Iceland Visitor, a company specializing in packages for Vacation in Iceland and day tours in Iceland. For more information visit www.icelandvisitor.com

Recommended Visits In Johor Malaysia by Yazid Malek

Ayer Itam

Ayer Itam is a small town famous for its ceramic, pottery and porcelain crafts. Ceramic vases, crockery and the delicate porcelain here make attractive and expensive gifts. The bazar-like atmosphere appeals to visitors.


Tanjung Piai-Johor National Park

Tel: +607-6969712

Dubbed the southernmost tip of mainland Asia, Tanjung Piai is a haven for a diverse species of flora and fauna and a hot spot for birdwatchers to visit during the migratory seasons, which falls around September and March.


Puteri Waterfall

Gunung Ledang's breathtaking Puteri Waterfall, is a popular picnic spot, especially on weekends and public holidays. The view from the summit of the mountain lures thrill seekers to scale it peak.


Mount Lambak Recreational Forest

Located at the foothill of Mount Lambak, this recreational forest is perfect for picnics, swimming and mountain climbing.


Pulau Aur

Pulau Aur (Aur Island) is located 65km east of Mersing on the east coast of Johor. This island is rated by divers as on eof the best scuba diving destinations within the Johor Marine Park area.


Desaru Beach

Twenty-five kilometres of white, sandy beach and lush tropical greenerymakes up Dasaru - the most popular beach in Johor. Dearu is also known as the ' Village Of Casuarina '.


Pulau Pemanggil

Pemanggil Island is a fisherman's best kept secret. It is well known for deep sea fishing and angling for marlins - black one if you are fortunate, and mackerels.


Kukup

Kukup, is a well known fishing village with most of its houses built on stilts. With a farming and fishing population mainly of Bugis descent, it is famous for its fish farms and restaurants.


Dataran Bandaraya

Since its official opening, many state events and cultural performance have taken place here. The clock tower overlooks a beautiful fountain, and a wide open green lawn, making it a great vanue for outdoor performance and events.


Endau-Rompin Johor National Park

Tel: +607-702 1100

This National Park, encompasses the rivers Endau and Rompin, from which it derives its name. It contains rich flora and fauna.


Teluk Ramunia

Teluk Ramunia has several beach resorts that cater to the needs of budget travellers as well as those seek a bit more comfort at reasonable price. A sea sports centre here rents out various water sports equipment.


Danga Bay

Danga Bay stretches for about 3km, and is actually the waterfront of Johor Bahru. To view the causeway that links Johor to Singapore, try a dinner cruise that is available.


Pulau Tinggi

Pulau Tinggi or Tinggi Island is one of the many captivating tropical islands that nestless the eastcoast of Johor. Its white, sandy beach surrounded by alluring blue waters make it a perfect haven.


Air Papan Beach

Air Papan is synonymous with Pesta Air Papan (Air Papan Festival), which is held annually on May 1. Each year, the events draws a huge number of local tourists to join in the fun and games.


Orchid Valley

Visiting Hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm

Tel: +607-527 1122

Orchid Valley is reputedly the largest tropical orchid farm in the world. It has beautiful and exotic orchids from over 80 varieties. It is also internationally recognised, with some hybrids registered with the World Orchid Society in London.


Pulau Rawa

Renowned for its spotless stretch of white coral sand beach, and offshore coral reefs, Rawa Island is unmatched by other islands off Mersing.


Pulau Sibu

The island's calm and quiet ambience is the perfect choice for those who dream of a relaxing and laid back vacation. The coral reef encircling the island is home to many colourful and exotic fish and marine life, making it haven for scuba divers.


Penyabong Beach

The beach has many attractions and activities for visitors, which includes boating, canoeing, fishing, camping and jungle treking at a nearby forest. You can also visit Malay villages here, take an island excursion or visit a kelong (fish farm) on the way back.


Tangkak

The town of Tangkak is known as the "Textile Town" of Malaysia, offering prices that are lower than those in the cities. The range of fabrics and upholstery are endless, with some produced locally and others, imported from Asian countries and Europe.


Sultan Abu Bakar Royal Museum

Tel: +607-223 0222

Opening Hours: 9.00am - 4.00pm

The museum occupies the Istana Besar (Grand Palace) which was specially commissioned in 1864 by the father of modern Johor Sultan Abu Bakar


Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque

Tel: +607-223 4935

The mosque on a hill top cpmbines neo-classical western and Islamic architecture.


Johor Baru Duty Free Zone

Opening Hours: 10.00am - 10.00pm

Johor Bahru Duty Free Zone is the largest duty-free complex in Malaysia strategically sited on a 17 acre of prime land at the end of Jalan Ibrahim Sultan in Stulang, Johor Bahru. The zone comprises of shopping area and a 503 room international class hotel above the shopping complex.


The Mawar House Handicraft Centre

The cebtre offers hand-drawn and dyed batik cloths, batik paintings, straw mats and other goods for sale, making it a one-stop handicraft centre destined to be one of Johor's leading tourist attractions. There are also demonstration of traditional songket weaving, batik silk painting and the art of fine pottery.


Tropical Village

This is a 32-acre theme park that features replicas of the world's famous structures within its grounds.


Gunung Ledang

Surrounded by mythical stories, Gunung Ledang is located near Tangkak and is surrounded by lush protected rainforests.


Hutan Bandar

Equipped with a children's adventure park, an orchid garden, seven lakes, campsite, chalets and food court, this park, located in the heart of the city, is an ideal haunt for urbanites.


Kota Tinggi Waterfall

One of Johor's noted natural attraction, the Kota Tinggi Waterfall is a favourite among the locals and visitors. Originating from Guning Panti, the waterfall cascades down a rock face some 34m into a small pool below.



About the Author
Yazid Malek is the owner of MyKLTravelGuide, a website full of information about Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. You can read and learn more about Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia,from this site, www.mykltravelguide.mymamall.com.


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India Travel: Most Demanding Tourist Place of South Asia by Michael Braganza

India is one of the most demanding tourist destinations in Asia. India is a celebration of life that has been going on now for almost 5,000 years. It is mysterious, colorful, exotic, and always memorable. Travel to India shows, in spite of various diversities and changes, a unique and picturesque picture of the country.

A country is best known by its culture and civilization. India has a unique culture and civilization - one of the oldest and greatest civilizations of the world. India is a big package of culture and legend that never fails to captivate the imagination of the visitors. India is truly a land of monuments. India has numerous historical monuments which have endured the centuries in all their intricate splendour. In whatever part of the country one moves, one finds numerous structures of temples, mosques, canopies, and secular structures like tanks, step-wells and bridges scattered all over the region which show different culture of the country during India tour.

Travel India to experience the awesome magnificence of the monuments of India. During Rajasthan tours one can marvels at many magnificient monuments of Rajasthan. The cities of Rajasthan are also very popular travel destination among both abroad as well as domestic tourists. Jaipur ( pink city) - the capital of Rajasthan, Udaipur - the city of lakes or the romantic city, Jodhapur - the blue city, Jaisalmer - the golden city are some of important cities of Rajasthan that Rajasthan City Guide covers.

Golden triangle tour is a most famous tourist attraction in India. The main cities of Golden Triangle Tours are Delhi (the capital of India), Jaipur (the capital of Rajasthan, India also known as the Pink City) and Agra (famous for its splendid Taj Mahal).

Apart from contemporary cities and ancient monuments, travel to India also offers a lot of variety to the visitors such as resorts, lush tropical jungles teeming with wildlife, vast Indo Gangetic Plains, mighty Himalaya and the long coastline embellished with golden beaches.

Goa is the best Indian resort and it is famous for its lovely beaches. During Goa tours one can experience Goa's golden beaches, resorts, intricate architecture and independent culture.

Kerala is also famous for its lovely beaches, resorts, ayurveda and spa resorts, and natural beauty. Popularly called God's own country, Kerala with its palms, sand and ocean is a perfect destination for beach vacations and appeals foreign tourists to travel to India.

For adventure sports lover India has Himalayan ranges. Himachal Tours may be more exciting for the adventure sports lover tourists. During Himachal tours one can enjoy the trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas or can enjoy other sports.

Wildlife in India is also very fascinating. During India tour tourists can enjoy of safari into 55 national parks teeming with wildlife to catch glimpse of the tiger. The most fascinating wildlife tour in India is Rajasthan wildlife tour. There is Ranthobhore National Park in Rajasthan which draws thousands of tourists eager for a glimpse of the tiger. Keoladeo Ghana brings bird-watchers to Rajasthan, India each year.

Some of other must-sees in India which appeal foreign tourists to travel to India are following. Gateway of India and Haji Ali at Mumbai, the Charminar at Hyderabad, Kashmir with its beautiful valleys & gardens, the rustic beauty of Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Shimla, Manali, Ooty and many more. These are the few places that you should not miss on your next travel to India.


About the Author
Michael Braganza is an eminent analyst and writer in Travel & Tourism related topics. He has authored many books on tour guide for India Tours and Golden Triangle Tour. Now he is rendering his services to http://www.swagattours.com/

Five Best Holiday Spots To Enjoy With Children by Jack Blacksmith

Deciding on the next vacation with your family can be a daunting task, especially when your choice of place does not interest your children. You might plan to visit Alaska, but your children could be longing for a trip to the Bahamas. The best option is to figure out where your kids wish to go this vacation and finalize a kid-friendly destination.

With the release of movies like 'Madagascar', children have become all the more keen to travel through exotic and adventurous destinations. While Madagascar is not considered to be the most popular family destination, a trip to other places like Costa Rica or Kenya can prove to be an invaluable fun-filled learning experience, well within your budget. Costa Rica serves a dual purpose as your children can learn Spanish as they explore the lush green rain forests or erupting volcanoes. Even Kenya can be a good option, as the family can learn to speak a little Swahili while exploring the rare glimpse of the mass migration of the wild beasts. You can enjoy your vacation with children listening to the sounds from within the rainforests, as well as relaxing under the star-studded sky on a safari that would be certainly more interesting for the whole family.

Eastern cities like Beijing, Seoul and Bangkok are also part of the list of favorite destinations with children, in terms of adventure. The holiday can prove to be a learning and entertainment experience, as one can see the Great Wall and learn about different cultures. Different food, different money and an altogether different way of life can be highly entertaining for you. But, entry to the country could probably take a considerable amount of time, so plan your trip well ahead of time to ensure a smooth trip to your chosen destination.

European cities such as Italy have also gained tremendous popularity over the years, but a trip might be a little too expensive. However, the Western Europe country trips generally come with discounts and amenities. You can experience a different culture. You can explore the ruins of Pompeii and go on a Gondola ride in Venice or taste delicious Italian sweets in Florence. Most Western European families enjoy vacations to countries like Italy. This gives them an opportunity to explore their ancestors.

The Caribbean is the next best holiday spot with children. Basking in the sun, playing in the sand and swimming in the deep blue water are the local indulgences that also form the basic reason for a number of families visiting this place. The holiday spot is blessed with plenty of sun, sand and water. Jamaica is full of fascinating natural beauty that is breathtaking. With white sandy beaches, black volcanic mountains and deep red sunsets, the island has evolved into a tourist's paradise.

Hawaii as a holiday destination is also very popular with a number of children visiting the place every year. It also offers sun, sand and water in abundance, along with all kinds of summer and water sport activities ranging scuba diving to swimming with the dolphins. You can also go whale watching. Besides having fun with your family, you can also acquaint yourself more closely with the volcanic geology of Hawaii.

No matter where you plan to go for your next family vacation, do not limit yourself. Always try to explore the place to its fullest and get as foot loose and fancy free as possible. Select a destination that will be stimulating and fulfilling for your entire family. But, do not forget to plan your trip properly, as a trip to the most fascinating destination too can be very stressful without proper planning.


About the Author
Jack Blacksmith's detailed papers can be found on a lot of online sites related to Torrevieja. His contributions on Alicante can be discovered on http://www.alicante-spain.com and also other websites.

Excursions of Ooty by Vinay Chaubey

An ideal adventurous place, located in Nilgiri Hills, where the offshoot of the Western Ghats meets the Eastern Ghats. Along side the adventures of the sanctuary, you will also find a varied mixture of flat land, open grassland, swamp, valley and nullas at this place. Though Ooty in itself can keep you occupied for many days, but if you can never have enough of greenery and scenic beauty, than you can visit numerous place around Ooty, such as Connors and Kotagiri, which are also quite popular with tourists.

Ooty offers a lot of exotic excursion destinations. Some of the important excursion destination are The Mukkurthi Peak and National Park, located around 40-km from Ooty. The Kollaribetta and Nilgiris Peak are other major peaks around. A number of little perennial streams flow between these peaks, which fall into Bhavani Puzha. Another major excursion destination here is the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, located near the Nilgiri Hills. This sanctuary has varied landscape with open grassland, swamp and valley.

The Mukkurthi Peak and National Park
Mukkurthi is a beautiful peak, located at a distance of 40-km from Ooty. Ideally located on the Southern corner of the Nilgiri Plateau, this peal attracts tourists from distinct corners. The Kollaribetta and Nilgiris Peak are the other major peaks, close to this peak. A large number of perennial streams flowing between these peaks make a complete picturesque reality. Furthermore, Bhavani Puzha. Silent Valley, along the Western Ghats, is a feast to the visitor's eye.

Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
The Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 67kms from Ooty. If you are in town for a couple of days, then a visit to the Wildlife sanctuary would be a great way to spend a day. The Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of very rich flora and fauna, and is home to many endangered species. Though tigers and Leopards are only seen by the fortunate few, elephants, giant squirrels, sambhar, chital, barking deer and flying squirrels are a common sight.

Kotagiri
East of Ooty, is a little village of kotagiri, which is about 28km from the popular hill station. Kotagiri is the oldest one of the three hill stations in the Nilgiris. It is not as popular as the other two, Ooty and Coonoor, yet it is said that it probably has the most pleasant weather among the three of them. It is a beautiful hill resort that has wonderful tea estates and is definitely worth a visit.

Kalhatty Waterfalls
The beautiful Kolhatty waterfalls are about 100 feet in height and are located on the kalhatty slopes. The falls are about 13kms from the city, so anyone on a tour of Ooty can easily check out the falls and the beautiful area surrounding it. Besides, obviously looking at the waterfalls, you can explore the kalhatty-Masinagudi slopes, that are home to many wild species, including panthers, sambhar, bison and wild buffaloes.

Trekking
Popularly known as the trekker's paradise, the Nilgiri Hills are embraced by natural environs including the hills, for lovers of nature. In this place, you will find trekking destinations all around you, which fills you with a sense of thrill, excitement and adventure. The Nilgiri Hills offers several trek routes, which vary in distance, altitudes and terrain. Furthermore, a base camp is built at Parsons Valley, which serves as a starting point for the trekkers.

Dolphin's Nose
If the name is not amusing enough for you, you can come down to this very Dolphin's nose and have a good time, enjoying games and an outdoor picnic. The Dolphin's nose is a great vantage point that offers a panoramic view of the surrounding areas. If it is clear day, you can even see the Catherine falls from here. Mukurthi about 36 km from Ooty is Mukurthi. Here you can take a look at the imposing Mukurthi peak. According to the Todas, the indigenous people of this locale, the souls of the dead move on to the next world from this very sacred place.

Pykara
A beautiful and well protected sholas, Toda settlements, undisturbed grassy meadows and also a good wildlife habitat, Pykara is widely becoming one of the major tourist attractions. Located at a distance of 21-km from Ooty, this place is embraced with Pykara Dam, Pykara Falls and the reservoir. The major attraction of this place is the boathouse, with restaurant and a rest house to provide you with ultimate comfort.

Avalanche
Avalanche lies 28 km from Ooty. Unlike it's name, which conjures up images of destruction and devastation, the place is a nature lover's paradise. It is a lake, which is ideal for fishing, though one has to obtain permission before hand. It is also the perfect place to enjoy bird watching and a quiet afternoon.

For more details on Excursion on Ooty visit www.times2travel.com


About the Author
Vinay Chaubey
SEO Manager
vinay.choubey@mobilex.in

Top Three Vacation Destinations for 2007 by Caitlina Fuller

Top Three Vacation Destinations for 2007 by Caitlina Fuller


Spring has just started to bloom and it's going to be in full swing very soon. Summer is just around the corner and everyone is simply itching to take a relaxing visit to a tropical paradise or to an exotic land. But what are the top destinations for this year? You might be wondering what the best places to visit are during these upcoming months, so here are my top three destinations.

The first vacation you should seriously consider is a Panama Beach Vacation. Panama City can be a blast in the summer time and I can guarantee you that there are more things to do there than you can't even come close to exploring it all. The obvious reason to visit this place is the Panama Canal. This historically important waterway isn't just a place of business. It's a beautiful place and they don't call it the eight wonder of the world for nothing. At night, the lights surrounding the waterway are magnificent and it's the romantic spot in Panama City. You could elect to take a cruise through the canal or just to have lunch at the many restaurants around the area. If walking and boating isn't your thing, there are also helicopter tours that take you up to see the entire city. There's also a wide array of fishing and scuba diving to be experienced in Panama, as well as simply lying on the beach and relaxing.

But if Panama City is too crowded and busy for your relaxed tastes, then Bocas Del Toro is the place to be. This small city is where many Survivor shows have been filmed so the scenery is breathtaking. There are lush rain forests to explore as well. But the most popular are still the beaches, featuring the classic Caribbean water and almost empty atmosphere. Come here if you need to take a load off, and who doesn't these days.

The third vacation spot isn't a surprise. The Hawaiian Islands are always a great place to take a deep breath and smell the sweet scent of freedom. Oahu, or the big island, has everything a tourist would ever want. The culture, food, and scenery are all to die for, but this trip might cost you a little more than the previous two because Hawaii is known for their expensive hotels and pricy restaurants.

If you are on a slight budget, the Panama Vacation would be a better decision, but if money isn't an issue, Hawaii would be the better choice.


About the Author
Caitlina Fuller write about vacation and travel.

Vacation With Kids- Select From The Best Five by Jack Blacksmith

Vacation With Kids- Select From The Best Five by Jack Blacksmith


Deciding on the next vacation with your family can be a daunting task, especially when your choice of place does not interest your children. You might plan to visit Alaska, but your children could be longing for a trip to the Bahamas. The best option is to figure out where your kids wish to go this vacation and finalize a kid-friendly destination.

With the release of movies like 'Madagascar', children have become all the more keen to travel through exotic and adventurous destinations. While Madagascar is not considered to be the most popular family destination, a trip to other places like Costa Rica or Kenya can prove to be an invaluable fun-filled learning experience, well within your budget. Costa Rica serves a dual purpose as your children can learn Spanish as they explore the lush green rain forests or erupting volcanoes. Even Kenya can be a good option, as the family can learn to speak a little Swahili while exploring the rare glimpse of the mass migration of the wild beasts. You can enjoy your vacation with children listening to the sounds from within the rainforests, as well as relaxing under the star-studded sky on a safari that would be certainly more interesting for the whole family.

Eastern cities like Beijing, Seoul and Bangkok are also part of the list of favorite destinations with children, in terms of adventure. The holiday can prove to be a learning and entertainment experience, as one can see the Great Wall and learn about different cultures. Different food, different money and an altogether different way of life can be highly entertaining for you. But, entry to the country could probably take a considerable amount of time, so plan your trip well ahead of time to ensure a smooth trip to your chosen destination.

European cities such as Italy have also gained tremendous popularity over the years, but a trip might be a little too expensive. However, the Western Europe country trips generally come with discounts and amenities. You can experience a different culture. You can explore the ruins of Pompeii and go on a Gondola ride in Venice or taste delicious Italian sweets in Florence. Most Western European families enjoy vacations to countries like Italy. This gives them an opportunity to explore their ancestors.

The Caribbean is the next best holiday spot with children. Basking in the sun, playing in the sand and swimming in the deep blue water are the local indulgences that also form the basic reason for a number of families visiting this place. The holiday spot is blessed with plenty of sun, sand and water. Jamaica is full of fascinating natural beauty that is breathtaking. With white sandy beaches, black volcanic mountains and deep red sunsets, the island has evolved into a tourist's paradise.

Hawaii as a holiday destination is also very popular with a number of children visiting the place every year. It also offers sun, sand and water in abundance, along with all kinds of summer and water sport activities ranging scuba diving to swimming with the dolphins. You can also go whale watching. Besides having fun with your family, you can also acquaint yourself more closely with the volcanic geology of Hawaii.

No matter where you plan to go for your next family vacation, do not limit yourself. Always try to explore the place to its fullest and get as foot loose and fancy free as possible. Select a destination that will be stimulating and fulfilling for your entire family. But, do not forget to plan your trip properly, as a trip to the most fascinating destination too can be very stressful without proper planning.


About the Author
Jack Blacksmith is writing normally for http://www.alicante-spain.com , a web page on Benidorm . You can find his work on Alicante over at http://www.alicante-spain.com .

Top 10 Holiday Destinations in Queensland by Candice Hoskins

Queensland is regarded as Australia's 'sunshine state' as it receives around 300 days of sunshine a year. With such a fantastic climate and the laidback but friendly attitude of the locals Queensland is a marvellous destination for holiday makers and backpackers alike.

Queensland is a truly amazing state with dazzling beaches, lush rainforests and tranquil blues of the Great Barrier Reef. This state really has something for everyone.

Here is my top ten for Queensland.

1) Brisbane

Brisbane is a chic and cosmopolitan city oozing an amazing vibe. It is the third largest city in Australia and one of the most sought after places to live.

In the heart of the city centre you will find the Queens Street Mall, this is a great place for some retail therapy. You will find all the major Australian shops plus a few quirky stores thrown in for personality. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes offering all types of food. If you are on a smaller budget head to the Myer Centre in the Mall and theres a food court where you can find all types of food for very reasonable prices.

Just a short walk from the city centre you will find the glorious Southbank. This is a great place to stroll by the river or have a picnic. In the heart of Southbank you will find Streets Beach, an amazing man made beach which is great for a quick dip on a hot sunny day. Don't forget to check out Southbank on the weekend when they have there Arts and Crafts Market. Here you can find some great souvenirs or gifts.

Mt Coot-tha Reserve is situated 7km from the city centre, here you will find spectacular views of Brisbane all the way to Moreton Island. There are plenty of great spots for a picnic but if you preferred to eat out they also have a great café offering a wide selection of hot and cold food. The reserve also has fantastic Botanical Gardens showcasing Eastern and Western agriculture. Situated adjacent to the gardens is the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium which is a great place to take the kids.

If you are more into outdoor adventures head to the Riverlife Adventure Centre which is situated along the Brisbane River in between Southbank and Kangaroo Point. Here you can sign up for an array of water sports, outdoor actives and rock climbing. They cater for beginners and the more experienced adventurer.

No trip to Brisbane is complete without visiting a wildlife sanctuary and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a great day out for all ages. The sanctuary is situated about 11km south west of Brisbane and most tours will take you by ferry. This is the largest Koala sanctuary in the world and for a small charge you can cuddle up to a Koala while having your picture taken. The park also has a lot of other wildlife to keep you entertained along with a great petting farm. Around the park you will find great eateries and they have a great gift shop where you can purchase some very cute souvenirs.

Brisbane has a great transport system which is very reasonably priced. You can purchase an all day pass on the ferry for around $4.50 and you can visit all the quaint suburbs that surround Brisbane. The railway system is great and it is a very cheap way of visiting all the attractions further away from Brisbane like Australia Zoo or the breath taking Sunshine coast.

2) Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is a great little beach town and the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef.

The town itself is very charming and laidback with some great little souvenir shops and some great cafes. The nightlife is good here and you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating.

Just along the sea front you will find a nice beach and a man made lagoon. This is a great place to spend the afternoon sunbathing and swimming. There are many areas to enjoy a nice picnic and sit back and relax.

There are 74 islands in the Whitsunday's with ferries which are easily accessible. Whitehaven Beach is a spectacular sight, the sand is pure white and the water is crystal clear. Make sure to enjoy a few hours soaking up the sun and snorkelling. Hamilton Island is only half an hour away by ferry from Airlie Beach and is a great place to visit. Once there you can explore the island by golf cart and swim in the magnificent swimming pools.

The Great Barrier Reef is about an hour and a half by ferry from Airile Beach and well worth the travel. Once there you can snorkel, dive and ride in a submarine. All equipment is provided for and they cater from the beginner to the more experienced.

3) Frazer Island

Frazer Island is the largest sand island in the world and it has to be the one of the most magnificent. There is so much to do on Frazer Island it is almost unbelievable. You can partake in a 4WD along the golden sandy beaches, walk in the lush rainforests and swim in the tranquil waters of Lake McKenzie. There are barbecues for public use so take full advantage of them. Be careful not to leave food out when you have finished though as the island is home to pure bred white Dingo's. You will need to obtain a permit for vehicles or camping but the prices are reasonable. There is accommodation on Frazer Island but if it's too costly you can stay inland and catch the ferry.

4) Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is located in the Gold Coast just south of Brisbane. Surfers Paradise is a perfect beach town with plenty to offer for all ages. The beach is picturesque and right on the edge of the town centre. Take a stroll around the fabulous shops and cafes, the nightlife is great but on weekends it can get very busy. A midweek night market operates along the seafront, here you can take a look at hand made souvenirs. The Aboriginal art is profound and very well priced. Some stalls will travel wrap your purchases.

One of the main attractions in this area is Sea World. This really is an amazing day out. They have Dolphin shows, a great Sea Lion show and two incredibly cute Polar Bears. If you get the chance go and watch the Shark feeding, they currently have Tiger and Bull Sharks which are huge! As well as all the marine life they also have a water park with waterslides.

Nearby there is also the Warner Brother's Movie World and Dreamworld. Warner Brother's is a must for any movie fan as there are great photo opportunities with movie characters and they have stunt shows and movie themed rides. Dreamworld is a theme park with some pretty scary rides but the park does cater for younger children as well. Dreamworld is also the home of TV show Australian Big Brother.

5) Cairns

Cairns is situated in Tropical Queensland and is a tourist town. Cairns is well-known around the world and is a backpacker haven.

The centre of Cairns is a quaint place to spend the morning shopping; here you will find some unusual souvenirs. Restaurants and cafes are plentiful. Just a few minutes walk from the centre towards the seafront is a man made salt water swimming lagoon. If you don't fancy a dip talk a walk along the Esplanade and enjoy the stunning views.

If nature is more your thing, why not take a stroll around Flecker Botanic Gardens? The majority of the gardens are made up of magnificent rainforests but you will also find bush tucker plants. The gardens are open Monday to Friday and you will pay a small charge for entry.

Cairns is also a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and is the most popular place for diving in the reef. Around the centre of Cairns you will find plenty of tour operators for day trips to the surrounding islands and the reef.

6) Green Island

Green Island is an amazing island surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef, with a great holiday complex and walking tracks through the rain forest. Here you can lie on the beach, snorkel or go for a relaxing swim in the complex's pool. They also have a bar, cafes and shops on the island. This is a great place for a day trip as you can see it all in one day but if you wanted to stay longer you have the option. Getting here from Cairns couldn't be easier as there are many tour operators and it is not too costly.

7) Noosa

Noosa is a great spirited beach town situated on the Sunshine Coast just north of Brisbane. Noosa is the perfect place to shop, relax or have a great night out on the town.

Hastings Street is the best part of Noosa for shops, cafes and bars. You could spend all day shopping here and pick up some great purchases. They have a wide variety of food and some great bars. On a Friday or Saturday night it can be very busy though. If you want a more relaxing time the beach is only a five minute stroll. The water is clear and the sand is golden. If great views are what you are after head up to the Laguna Lookout in Noosa Junction.

Noosa National Park is a great place for scenic walks, and here you will find great beaches for surfing. The park is about 2km long and once you have reached the end you have also reached the end of the Sunshine Coast.

8) Port Douglas

Port Douglas is a quiet town with tons of character. It has quaint little boutiques and some amazing scenery.

You can catch a shuttle direct from Cairns for around $40. This will give you enough time to explore this great little town. The main street is great for shopping and they lots of great bakeries and cafes. The beach is a fifteen minute walk from the centre but it is well worth a stroll. If exploring is more what you are after head over to the harbour, it is a nice walk and you will not be disappointed when you get there. They have a small shopping centre and some great sea food restaurants where you can dine whilst over looking the harbour.

If you are in Port Douglas on a Sunday don't miss the local market where you can pick up everything from fruits and veggies to hand crafted artefacts. Once you have finished around the market take a stroll around Anzac Park.

9) Mooloolaba

Mooloolaba is a small little town on the Sunshine Coast but it has a lot too offer. The Esplanade is packed with cute little shops and cafes and the marina is picture perfect.

Underwater World is situated in the marina and is a great place for all ages. Here you can see some exotic marine life and if you are brave enough go diving with sharks. To see everything Underwater World has to offer you need to allow about four hours. They also have some great shows and presentations. Once you have finished at Underwater World take a walk around the marina, here you will find some great bars and restaurants. If you are on a budget take a look at the Hogs Breath Café they do some great meals at great prices.

If you are looking for some serious shopping catch the bus to Maroochydore. Here you will find the Sunset Plaza and probably every shop you can think of. You could quite easily spend all day shopping and not have enough time to go in every shop. They have got some great cafes but again if you are on a budget check out the food court for some cheap eats.

10) Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay is a great little place for a few days of relaxation. The beaches are idyllic and the water is clear. This is a great place to go fishing and one of the best places to go Whale and Dolphin watching.

Here you will find a small aquarium called Reef World. Here they show case a lot the marine life in the reef. You can also go Shark diving here as well.

The Whale and Dolphin watching operates between mid July and late October. Most tour operators guarantee sightings or you received a free trip.


About the Author
Candice Hoskins is a travel writer for A Place in the Sun.


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Singapore, the gateway to Asia, calls with shopping, sights and fantastic festivals by Andrew Regan

Perched on the tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore's small size belies the huge number and variety of bazaars, markets and malls which make it a shopper's paradise. Located at one of the major intersections of the world, Singapore's strategic position has allowed it to grow into a major centre for trade, communication and tourism - and has earned it the nickname "gateway to Asia".

Singapore's success as a shopping haven can be partly attributed to its long history as a major port. During the 14th century, Singapore was part of the Sumatran Empire, and as a natural meeting point of major sea routes, the port saw many traders from China, Arabia, India and Europe. After a brief period of control by the Portuguese and subsequently the Dutch, the British saw the potential of Singapore as a strategic base for their expanding empire. They claimed it as a British Crown colony and established a centre of free trade, which attracted even more merchants from all over the world and led to a huge growth in population and economy.

With its long history in trading, it's no surprise that Singapore has grown into the exotic shopping mecca it is today. The city can be divided into several main shopping areas, each offering a different experience. In Chinatown, merchants display wares such as fine silk, gold jewellery, exotic snakeskin medicines and pungent spices. For some Arabian flare, try the bazaar style shopping area that houses Singapore's Muslim community; here you'll find traders renowned for textiles, baskets and woven leaf goods. Little India, as the name suggests, is full of flavour from the sub continent, offering an array of silverware, saris and delicious Indian cuisine. And if you're hungry for more excitement, head to Orchard Road - a premier shopping belt housing some of the largest and most popular shopping centres such as Centrepoint. This is truly a shopper's paradise, offering everything from casual clothing and electronics to Oriental rugs, fine arts, Asian antiques and books.

But aside from year-round attractions and shopping splendours, Singapore boasts a number of seasonal attractions. The Dragon Boat Festival for example - the commemoration of a Chinese patriot who protested against government corruption - is celebrated each summer with boat races across Marina Bay. Autumn sees events like the Chinese Festival of the Hungry Ghosts and the Hari Raya Puasa, while winter invites the Chinese New Year celebration - so no matter what time of year you visit, you'll be able to experience Singapore's unique offerings.

As a major tourist hub and popular stop over destination, there are plenty of frequent flights to Singapore direct from London. And you'll have a massive choice for accommodation, ranging from youth hostels to luxurious hotels - so you're sure to find something to suit your budget. With so many attractions and shopping opportunities to choose from, it's impossible to see everything; but Singapore's safe streets and long opening hours mean that you can cram a lot in. And with some shopping areas opening 24 hours a day, you really can shop until you drop!



About the Author
Andrew Regan is a freelance online journalist who travels extensively.
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