Destinations

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is an area in the Central region of Myanmar. Bagan, on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, is home to the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world with many dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. The shape and construction of each building is highly significant in Buddhism with each component part taking on spiritual meaning.

With no exemptions when entering Bagan you pass through or your driver himself will deliver you to the ticket booth where you present your passport and purchase a US$10 ticket to the whole archeological site valid for your entire stay before dropping you to your hotel. For an unparalleled view of the Bagan plain, you can take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise through a company called Balloons Over Bagan, for US$ 295 per person. These balloons are British made and have a perfect safety record. They do not operate during the summer.

All temple signs are written in Burmese. Only a selected few are in English, and if there is, it’s written at the back of the sign. The three basic building blocks of typical Bagan temples are stupa, block base, and vestibule. Anywhere you go, you may undress down the structures to its basic shapes by the first one, or a combination of two, or all three of them. The most important temples recommended by all tourist maps and agencies are Ananda Temple (Bagan’s holiest temple), Shwe Zigon Temple, Thatbyinnyu Temple, Shwegugyi Temple, Manuhar Pagoda and Dhamma Yangyi Temple.

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Skógafoss, Iceland

Skógafoss is a waterfall situated in the south of Iceland at the cliffs of the former coastline. After the coastline had receded seaward (it is now at a distance of about 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) from Skógar), the former sea cliffs remained, parallel to the coast over hundreds of kilometres, creating together with some mountains a clear border between the coastal lowlands and the Highlands of Iceland.

The Skógafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in the country with a width of 25 metres (82 feet) and a drop of 60 m (200 ft). Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces, a single or double rainbow is normally visible on sunny days. According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. The legend continues that locals found the chest years later, but were only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again. The ring was allegedly given to the local church. The old church door ring is now in a museum, though whether it gives any credence to the folklore is debatable.

At the eastern side of the waterfall, a hiking and trekking trail leads up to the pass Fimmvörðuháls between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. It goes down to Þórsmörk on the other side and continues as the famous Laugavegur to Landmannalaugar.

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Honolulu, Hawaii

Home to the State Capitol, Honolulu is the vibrant epicenter of Hawaii. Here you’ll find everything from historic landmarks and treasured monuments to world-class shopping and a flourishing arts and culture scene. Home to the majority of Oahu’s population, the sprawling city of Honolulu spreads throughout the southeastern shores of Oahu, from Pearl Harbor to Makapuu Point, encompassing world famous Waikiki. Honolulu has it all. This is the home of some of Hawaii’s most historic places from Iolani Palace, the Kawaiahao Church, the Mission Houses and the treasured artifacts of the Bishop Museum to iconic landmarks like the Aloha Tower, the King Kamehameha I Statue, the Duke Kahanamoku Statue and the historic Hawaii Theatre. Honolulu is also Hawaii’s hot spot for arts, culture and entertainment. From the nightlife, live music and fine dining of Waikiki to the art galleries and underground bars of the Chinatown arts district. Whether you’re looking for Hawaii’s finest museums, or Hawaii’s finest Hawaii Regional Cuisine chefs, the best resorts, festivals, and events, or just some fun things to do, you’ll find it all in Honolulu.

Honolulu is the center of government, transportation, and commerce for the state; home to a population of nearly one million people in the metro area (80% of the state’s population) and of course Hawaii’s best known tourist destination. The majority of visitors to Hawaii enter through this city, meaning this is definitely not the place to go for a “get-away-from-it-all” Hawaiian vacation - It is as fast-paced and dynamic as any city, with all its problems such as heavy traffic, drugs, crime, and homelessness. But Honolulu still has the charm of the Islands’ laid-back atmosphere and culture. Before the Europeans came, Honolulu was insignificant; soon so many foreign ships were frequenting its waters that it had become Kamehameha’s capital, and it remains the economic center of the archipelago. While the city covers a long (if narrow) strip of southern Oahu, downtown is a manageable size, and a lot quieter than its glamorous image might suggest. The tourist hotels are concentrated in the skyscrapers of the distinct suburb of Waikiki, a couple of miles east. While its setting is beautiful, right on the Pacific and backed by dramatic cliffs and extinct volcanoes, most visitors are here simply to enjoy the sheer hedonism of shopping, eating, and generally hanging out in the sun. It’s also the center of an exemplary public transportation system that facilitates exploration of the whole island. Enjoy.
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Yushan National Park

Yushan National Park is one of the seven national parks in Taiwan and was named after the summit Yushan, the highest peak of the park. The Park covers a total of 105,490 hectares including large sections of the Central Mountain Range. The Park contains over thirty peaks more than 3,000 meters in elevation, and two-thirds of the area within the park is above 2,000 meters. The elevation difference in the park is 3,600 meters, and there are many canyons, cliffs, and valleys.

Due to its unique geography and entrancing landscape, Yushan National Park is well known for its diverse climate zones and rich biodiversity. The plants found in the Park spans from subtropical at its foothills to alpine at its summits. A wide difference in altitudes, precipitous cliffs, and plunging valleys in the Yushan National Park lend to the park highly unstable weather conditions. Temperatures can vary from warm to cold at the same time at places relatively close. Therefore, the diversity of plants found here is truly remarkable.

The park is home to a large variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and butterflies. Between the months of March and May, visitors have the chance to see processions of butterflies fluttering through mountain valleys. In the past, many of these species became endangered due to over-hunting; but with the establishment of the Yushan National Park, they are gradually making a comeback. Larger mammals such as the black bear, sambar deer, Taiwan macaque, and serows can sometimes be seen, and their call is often heard.

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Barbados

Barbados is an island in the Caribbean, northeast of Venezuela. Getting around Barbados can be by the bus system, which is extensive, cheap and fast if you are headed to somewhere on the main route, but a car is the only way to see many of the out-of-the-way sights. Many drivers will hold a bus for you if they see you are from out of town, reflecting the typical welcoming spirit.

There are a few things you must see Barbados, and these are:
Botanical Garden - In the interior there is a beautiful Botanical Garden with more fauna information than most similar places across the planet.
Cricket, Kensington Oval, Bridgetown - Check for if there’s a game to experience west indies cricket.
Mount Gay Rum Distillery Ltd., Spring Garden Highway, Bridgetown, Saint Michael, - The tour takes about 45 minutes and includes a rum tasting.
You may also choose to go on Atlantis Submarine Tours (which is one of the most exciting things you can do in the Caribbean since you dive down nearly 50m below sea level in a real submarine), Segway Tours (a great way to see some of the northern coast in a comfortable, but still adventurous way are the rides on Segways through the countryside), Catamaran Cruises (a catamaran cruise with opportunities to snorkel with sea turtles and snorkel above shipwrecks). We also suggest you go scuba diving and nightclubbing.

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Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of islands belonging to Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Galapagos archipelago is world-renowned for its unique and fearless wildlife - much of which was inspiration for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection. The islands are therefore very popular amongst natural historians, both professional and amateur. Giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins, marine iguanas and different bird species can all be seen and approached. Seeing the sites and wildlife of the Galapagos is best done by boat.

On each island, the number of visitors are limited and there are only a small number of official landing and visitor sites. You must follow the instructions of your guide to protect the wildlife and you are not allowed off the marked paths. This is not a problem as the animals are so tame they will sit right on the path or cross it without caring about mere tourists. Other than the wildlife there are a lot of other things for your amusement, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, hiking, biking, surfing, kayaking and horseback riding. Get in touch with the world by visiting this amazing archipelago, you won’t regret it.

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Petra, Jordan

Petra, meaning stone is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma’an that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah, the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as “a rose-red city half as old as time” in a Newdigate Prize-winning poem by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”. It is definitely a place you must see before you die.

Entry Ticket to Petra costs 90 JD (127 USD) for Day-Visitors. Tourists (overnight and cruise visitors) pay 50 JD (70 USD) for 1 day, 55 JD for 2 days or 60 JD for 3 days. This is an awe-inspiring experience. A massive facade, 30m wide and 43m high, carved out of the sheer, dusky pink rock-face and dwarfing everything around it. It was carved in the early 1st century as the tomb of an important Nabataean king and represents the engineering genius of these ancient people. So have fun while learning.

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Florence, Italy

Florence is the capital of the region of Tuscany in Italy, with a population of about 366,500. The city is considered a cultural, artistic and architectural gem. When you get in Florence we recommend you get The Firenze Card, which is a 72 hour pass for Florence allowing access to about 30 museums and free use of the public transport system. In some museums you can queue jump the reservations procedure with the pass but it is best to check with individual museums. The cost of the card is €50 per person.

You shouldn’t miss out on the many museums Florence has to offer, including the world famous Galleria degli Uffizi - a fine art museum with collections of Renaissance paintings and sculptures from classical antiquity. Other notable museums are
Bargello - The museum houses one of the best examples of Renaissance and Mannerist sculpture. The works of many great Renaissance sculptors are on display here, including Michelangelo, Donatello, Ammannati, and Bandinelli.
Accademia Gallery, Pitti Palace and Institute and Museum of the History of Science. Other than museums you also have a lot to see, such as Santa Maria del Fiore (the city’s beautiful cathedral), Giotto’s Tower, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, and Santa Croce.

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Yonaguni Monument, Underwater Ruins in Japan

When someone mentions a pyramid, first thing we think about is a manmade triangle shaped structure with a historical significance. How about a little more challenging destination? Discover Japanese depths and underwater ruins while scuba diving! The Yonaguni Monument is a massive underwater rock formation off the coast of Yonaguni, the southernmost of the Ryukyu Islands, in Japan. There is a debate about whether the site is completely natural, is it a natural site that has been modified, or is it a manmade artifact.

This destination was discovered 1995. by a sport diver. There were whispers of the lost culture of Mu, preserved in legend as the Motherland of Civilization, which perished in the sea long before the beginning of recorded time. But Okinawa’s drowned enigma was hermetically locked within too thick an encrustation. The structure looked anciently manmade. Nature, however, sometimes made her own forms appear artificial. Popular and scientific debate concerning its origins argued back and forth. Then, in late summer of the following year, another diver in Okinawa waters was shocked to see a massive arch or gateway of huge stone blocks beautifully fitted together in the manner of prehistoric masonry found among the Inca cities on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, in the Andes Mountains of South America.

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Oslo, Norway

Oslo is the capital and largest city of Norway, and the third largest city of Scandinavia. Although well into the northern latitudes, Oslo’s climate is fairly temperate thanks to warm air being wafted across the Atlantic from the Gulf Stream. Summer weather in Oslo is mild and pleasant, with frequent hot spells, and plenty of long sunny days. In winter temperatures hover just above or below freezing. Snow is most often plentiful in the forested areas and also often in the city in winter, making it a great winter sports venue.

There are plenty of things to visit, like The Royal Palace, Opera House, Oslo Cathedral, Kirkeristen (the old bazaar surrounding the church is now used by artisans and craftsmen, and holds a couple of cafes and restaurants), Akershus Festning (a medieval castle and fortress built in 1299, located close to the city center) and many more. Oslo also has amazing museums. If you are planning on seeing several of the expensive attractions in a short period of time, then the most cost effective way to do this is to buy an Oslo Pass. It includes unlimited entry to most of the museums. Some of the most notable museums are Henrik Ibsen Museum, Munch Museum, National Gallery, Nobel Peace Centre and Emanuel Vigeland Museum. There are also some nice parks that you should definitely visit, like Frogner Park, Slottsparken and Sofienbergparken.

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