Sep 23, 2012 - Destinations    Comments Off

Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa is the capital of the island province of Palawan. The city has been acclaimed several times as the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines. With a wide range of attractions ranging from beaches to wildlife reserves, Puerto Princesa is a nature lover’s paradise.

While here you need to see Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park - more commonly known as the Underground River. At over 8 kilometers in length, is reputably the longest underground river in the world. With its crystalline waters and spectacular cave formations, the Underground River is possibly Puerto Princesa’s most popular attraction. Also consider visiting Honda Bay (consisting of several islets with beautiful beaches, Honda Bay is the place to go to for swimming, snorkeling as well as beach and island hopping), Iwahig Penal Colony, Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (formerly the Crocodile Farming Institute, and still referred to by locals as the “Crocodile Farm,” is both a tourist attraction and a national research institute devoted to crocodiles), Butterfly Garden (with native Palawan butterflies is located about half way to the Croc Farm and along the same road) and Palawan Museum. If you have a few spare days than you should visit El Nido, a popular yet still remote destinations on Palawan, known for snorkelling, diving and beatiful little islands. It is 6-7 hour drive from Puerto Princesa.

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Sep 22, 2012 - Destinations    Comments Off

Easter Island

Easter Island, also known as “Rapa Nui” and “Isla de Pascua” is one of the most isolated islands on Earth. It is over 2,000 miles from the nearest population center. A triangle of volcanic rock in the South Pacific - it is best known for the giant stone monoliths, known as Moai, that dot the coastline. Early settlers called the island “Te Pito O Te Henua” (Navel of The World). Officially a territory of Chile, it lies far off in the Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway to Tahiti. Known as one of the world’s sacred sites, it is most famous for its enigmatic giant stone busts, built centuries ago, which reflect the history of the dramatic rise and fall of the most isolated Polynesian culture. It is a World Heritage Site with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.

Easter Island is extremely small, so it is possible to get around fairly easily. There are rental cars, generally jeeps, available from a few rental agencies in Hanga Roa, as well as a few dirtbikes. With a car, it’s possible to see most of the sites on the island in a few hours. Most hosts will also rent out their jeep to you (at a very competitive rate) if you simply ask. There has been much controversy and confusion concerning the origins of the Easter Islanders. Thor Heyerdahl proposed that the people who built the statues were of Peruvian descent, due to a similarity between Rapa Nui and Incan stonework. Some have suggested that Easter Island is the remnant of a lost continent, or the result of an extra-terrestrial influence. Archaeological evidence, however, indicates discovery of the island by Polynesians at about 400 AD - led, according to legend, by Hotu Matua. Upon their arrival, an impressive and enigmatic culture began to develop. In addition to the statues, the islanders possessed the Rongorongo script; the only written language in Oceania. The island is also home to many petroglyphs (rock carvings), as well as traditional wood carvings, tapa (barkcloth) crafts, tattooing, string figures, dance and music.

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Sep 20, 2012 - Destinations    Comments Off

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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Sep 19, 2012 - Experiences    Comments Off

Rescue a Hostage, United Kingdom

Have you ever wanted to be a hero and rescue hostages? If you are a big fan of crime investigation shows or hostage negotiation movies, this attraction is perfect for you. Your “Special Ops Team” will be trained and given an assigned mission to follow. Your main goal is to save hostages from a terrorist group. You are given realistic weapons that shoot blanks, and the environment is set up to be as realistic as possible.

It does not get more extreme than rescuing hostages held by a terrorist group. This is an adrenaline-fuelled experience which is ideal for an exhilarating corporate event. Your ‘Special Forces’ team will be given extensive training and will be assigned to the mission, which must be planned, practiced and then implemented. Realistic replica weapons and pyrotechnic effects will add to the thrill of the event and your mission is captured on camera so you can keep a thrilling memento of your day. The game culminates with a heart-stopping helicopter insertion to the enemy base, where you and your team must work together to carry out the rescue both efficiently and ruthlessly, releasing the hostages unscathed! This experience is flexible and can be organised around any other activities or time restraints. It can last for either a half day or a full day.

Sep 18, 2012 - Destinations    Comments Off

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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Sep 17, 2012 - Destinations    Comments Off

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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Sep 16, 2012 - Destinations    Comments Off

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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Sep 15, 2012 - Experiences    Comments Off

The Gorge Swing, Victoria Falls, Zambia

Discover a new adrenaline rush with The Gorge Swing. The gorge swing experience offered by a locally-run company The Zambezi Swing, is similar to bungee jumping. Adventurers are outfitted in gear, secured to a wire and led to a platform. They free-fall 50 meters and finish with a pendulum swing over a dry gorge. Sounds crazy, but, when visiting the quaint town of Livingstone Zambia, adrenaline-soaked activities are a must. Jump on your own or in tandem with a friend, choose if you are going to jump forwards, backwards or do the Death Drop.

An adventure hot spot located in the southern tip of Zambia, Livingstone is the place to be for thrill-seekers. Named after the 19th century colonial explorer famed for ‘discovering’ Victoria Falls, Livingstone is emerging as the Disney World of Africa. It draws young travelers keen on testing their nerves and their bladder control. There are many activities to choose from, including: white water rafting along the Zambezi river ($125 USD for a full day); flying over the Victoria falls in a vintage Tiger Moth plane ($120 USD for 20 minutes); Bungee jumping 111 meters, for an upside down view of the Falls ($90 USD single jump). Activities aren’t cheap but even the stingiest of tourists can rationalize the cost of at least one activity.

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Sep 14, 2012 - Destinations    Comments Off

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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Sep 13, 2012 - Experiences    Comments Off

The Crocodile Cage of Death, Australia

The attraction at Crocosaurus Cove in the heart of the city of Darwin in the Northern Territory has been given high marks by adrenaline-junkies. Everybody finds it kinda amazing when it comes to a face to face combat between a human and a wild animal. So lose yourself in a cage where you will be able to view an angle of 360 degrees, seeing yourself and the crocs as the on-site photographers captures amazing images both inside and outside of the crocodile enclosures. Just 4cm of acrylic, a pair of goggles and a swimsuit, will separate thrill-seekers from the jaws of Choppa, a saltwater crocodile.

The ultimate face to face encounter commences as you are lowered into one of three crocodile enclosures, gradually becoming submerged in the very same waters as some of Australia’s largest crocodiles. Each cage dive will spend approximately 5 minutes in each of the 3 enclosures. Operated by an over-head monorail and designed for 1 or 2 people per cage, the Cage of Death has you suspended above the crocs before being lowered into the pens to get an up close and personal look at these amazing reptiles. This will give you the perfect adrenaline rush that was missing in your life.

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