Friday, May 7, 2021

Taipei


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Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is a modern metropolis with Japanese colonial lanes, busy shopping streets and contemporary buildings. The skyline is crowned by the 509m-tall, bamboo-shaped Taipei 101 skyscraper, with upscale shops at the base and a rapid elevator to an observatory near the top. Taipei is also known for its lively street-food scene and many night markets, including expansive Shilin market. 

In reality, the PRC rules only Mainland China and has no control of but claims Taiwan as part of its territory under its "One China Principle". The ROC, which only rules the Taiwan Area (composed of Taiwan and its nearby minor islands), became known as "Taiwan" after its largest island, (an instance of pars pro toto).The bright lights of the city of Taipei were not always shining quite so bright.

Originally an enormous lake bordered by mountains, the Taipei basin is where the city’s history begins.

The first residents were members of an aboriginal Ketagalan Tribe. These early birds were of Malay-Polynesian descent but retreated into the mountains when the Dutch and the Spanish settled in.

A Dutch navigator on a Portuguese ship had seen the island and named it ‘Ilha Formosa’ meaning ‘Beautiful Island’. Little did he know that this name would stick for around 400 years.

The Dutch, after taking over the Spanish territory, constructed a fortress and proceeded to call the land ‘Tayouan’ (meaning ‘Terrace Bay’) which eventually progressed to ‘Taiwan’.

The Dutch hired groups of Chinese workers who ultimately decided to stay put. The newcomers developed relationships with the aboriginal tribes and as a result the first officially Taiwanese people were born.

In the early 1660s, Koxinga (Zheng Cheng-Gong), a Chinese pirate, defeated the Dutch citizens and claimed Taiwan. Taipei officially became part of the Tianxing County in China.

The Qing Dynasty marked Taiwan as part of their territory in 1683, and the island thrived politically and economically.

In 1884 Taipei officially became a city, and in 1887 it turned into a province. In the late 1890s, when Japan occupied the island, they improved the infrastructure and tore down the city wall that had originally been built by the Qing Dynasty.

The Japanese were expelled in 1945 and a new administration was founded, setting the groundwork for Taiwan’s independence five years later.

Taiwan soon became known as a republic, or more formally as the ROC: Republic of China.


Many citizens of Taiwan consider the island independent of China and wish to be recognised as a separate country. Tension between Taiwan and China continues to exist, although in 2010, a historic trade pact signalled a breakthrough in relations.



Saturday, April 24, 2021

Korea


 

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On the go peach blossom country

The Korean peninsula is a tantalizingly unexplored slice of East Asia – a pine-clad land of mountains, misty archipelagos and rice paddies of emerald green, studded with urban pockets of incomparable joie de vivre. While its troubled history has made Korea’s very existence nothing short of miraculous, amazingly its traditions and customs have largely survived intact – and for visitors, this highly distinctive culture is an absolute joy to dive into.Continue reading to find out more separate ways in 1953 after the catastrophic Korean War – essentially a civil war, but one largely brought about by external forces, which left millions dead and flattened almost the whole peninsula – the two Koreas are now separated by the spiky twin frontiers of the Demilitarized Zone. North Korea has armed itself to the teeth since 1953, stagnated in its pursuit of a local brand of Communism and become one of the least accessible countries in the world. Unbelievably, many foreigners seem to expect something similar of South Korea, which shows just how well kept a secret this fascinating place really is: beyond the glittering city of Seoul, gimchi, dog meat and taekwondo, little is known about the country in the outside world (and in actual fact, one of those four has largely gone the way of the dodo anyway).

After the war, the South gradually embraced democracy and has since gone on to become a powerful and dynamic economy. Its cities, bursting with places to visit, are a pulsating feast of eye-searing neon, feverish activity and round-the-clock business. Here you can shop till you drop at markets that never close, feast on eye-wateringly spicy food, get giddy on a bottle or two of soju, then sweat out the day’s exertions at a night-time sauna. However, set foot outside the urban centres and your mere presence will cause quite a stir – in the remote rural areas life continues much as it did before the “Economic Miracle” of the 1970s, and pockets of islands exist where no foreigner has ever set foot.

And for all its newfound prosperity, the South remains a land steeped in tradition. Before being abruptly choked off by the Japanese occupation in 1910, an unbroken line of more than one hundred kings existed for almost two thousand years – their grassy burial mounds have yielded thousands of golden relics – and even the capital, Seoul, has a number of palaces dating back to the fourteenth century. The wooden hanok housing of decades gone by may have largely given way to rows of apartment blocks, but these traditional dwellings can still be found in places, and you’ll never be more than a walk away from an immaculately painted Buddhist temple. Meanwhile, Confucian-style formal ceremonies continue to play an important part in local life, and some mountains still even host shamanistic rituals.

As for the Korean people themselves, they are a real delight: fiercely proud, and with a character almost as spicy as their food, they’re markedly eager to please foreigners who come to live or holiday in their country. Within hours of arriving, you may well find yourself with new friends in tow, racing up a mountainside, lunching over a delicious barbequed galbi, throwing back makkeolli until dawn, or singing the night away at a noraebang. Few travellers leave without tales of the kindness of Korean strangers, and all of them wonder why the country isn’t a more popular stop on the international travel circuit.

Where to go in South Korea

Korea is still something of an unknown territory, and more than half of all its visitors get no further than Seoul. One of the largest and most technically advanced cities in the world, the capital regularly confounds expectations by proving itself steeped in history. Here, fourteenth-century palaces, imperial gardens, teeming markets and secluded tearooms continue to exude charm among a maze of skyscrapers and shopping malls. From Seoul, anywhere in the country is reachable within a day, but the best day-trip by far is to the DMZ, the strip of land that separates the two Koreas from coast to coast.






Saturday, April 10, 2021

CHILE



 Chile is a long, narrow country stretching along South America's western edge, with more than 6,000km of Pacific Ocean coastline. Santiago, its capital, sits in a valley surrounded by the Andes and Chilean Coast Range mountains. The city's palm-lined Plaza de Armas contains the neoclassical cathedral and the National History Museum. The massive Parque Metropolitano offers swimming pools, a botanical garden and zoo.


Nestled deep in the Patagonian Andes, you can find the Cuevas de Mármol (Marble Caves) on a peninsula of solid marble.  You can find these fascinating formations on the outskirts of Lake General Carrera along the Chile/Argentina border.  The caves are accessible by boat.  More than 6,000 years ago,  the waves washed up against the calcium carbonate formations creating the caves. While the caves appear to be covered in smooth, swirling shadows of blue, it’s actually a reflection of the lake’s indigo waters. The intensity and hue of the colour changes regularly, depending on water levels and time of year.

Formation of the Caves

The water levels have had a major impact on the formation of the caves.  With the high water levels, some 6,000 years ago, the marble dissolved faster at the water surface. Small amounts of seeping water came through the cracks in the marble enlarging the fractures.  The cracks then became big enough to  allow the waves in and wash away the dissolved material. The water also smoothed and shaped the marble. Over the years, the process created the cave and the incredible formations inside it.

The process of water erosion caused by the waves continuously splashing against the walls of the marble; proved to be a fairly fast geological process.

 The Blue Water

The water within the General Carrera Lake comes from melting glaciers in the Patagonian Andes. The melted ice leaves minute particles in the water.  These particles refract the blue part of sunlight which creates the distinct blue colour of the lake.

Caverns and Tunnels

Located near the Chile-Argentinean border, along the azure waters of Lake General Carrera; the caves feature three main caverns: the Chapel (La Capilla), the Cathedral (El Catedral), and the Cave (La Cueva). You can explore the caves with a small boat or kayak.  It is possible to do this trip pretty much all year round, unless the lake’s waters are really rough.

The Marble Cathedral (Catedral de Mármol) located Northeast of Chile at the peninsula is the largest of the three. Closer to the northern coast, the Marble Chapel (Capilla de Mármol) got its name because of the church-like pillars formed in the monoliths.  If the water levels are low enough,  you can actually take a walk under the island, through a series of tunnels.

If the marble caves are getting you excited for a unique Chilean getaway


GREECE



 Greece is a country in southeastern Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Influential in ancient times, it's often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens, its capital, retains landmarks including the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple.Greece is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos

SEYCHELLES BEACH 
This is one of Ikaria's most intriguing and beautiful beaches, and closely guarded by the villagers of the nearby village of Mangganitis who would prefer to keep it their secret and for good reason. The pebble-rock beach is located within a picturesque and intimate cove setting. There are interesting rock formations all around and the color of the crystal clear water is unmatched. A small "private" cove beach adjacent to the main beach features a large cave. Seychelles Beach is located approximately 25 kilometers west of Agios Kirikos, just after the tunnel that leads further on into the village of Manganitis. The access to the beach is via a path which starts on the main road and descends along a river bed. The path is of medium difficulty and steep towards the end. Wear sturdy shoes. It is also sometimes possible to take a water taxi from Mangganitis' fishing port and there are organized day trips to Seychelles in the summer from Armenistis and Agios Kirikos. A cafe/bar is located a short walk from the beach in the fishing port of Manganitis.



Saturday, March 20, 2021

Kazakhstan

 


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Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country and former Soviet republic, extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altai Mountains at its eastern border with China and Russia. Its largest metropolis, Almaty, is a long-standing trading hub whose landmarks include Ascension Cathedral, a tsarist-era Russian Orthodox church, and the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, displaying thousands of Kazakh artifacts

world’s ninth-biggest country is the most economically advanced of the ‘stans’, thanks to its abundant reserves of oil and most other valuable minerals. This means generally better standards of accommodation, restaurants and transport than elsewhere in Central Asia. The biggest city, Almaty, is almost reminiscent of Europe with its leafy avenues, chic ALZhiR Museum-Memorial Complex, glossy shopping centres and hedonistic nightlife. The capital Nur-Sultan, on the windswept northern steppe, has been transformed into a 21st-century showpiece with a profusion of bold futuristic architecture. But it's beyond the cities that you'll find the greatest travel adventures, whether hiking in the high mountains and green valleys of the Tian Shan, searching for wildlife on the lake-dotted steppe, enjoying homespun hospitality in village guesthouses, or jolting across the western deserts to remote underground mosques.


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Singapore


 


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Singapore, city-state located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, about 85 miles (137 kilometres) north of the Equator. It consists of the diamond-shaped Singapore Island and some 60 small islets; the main island occupies all but about 18 square miles of this combined area.

Though physically small, Singapore is an economic giant. It has been Southeast Asia's most modern city for over a century. The city blends Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and English cultures and religions. Its unique ethnic tapestry affords visitors a wide array of sightseeing and culinary opportunities from which to choose. A full calendar of traditional festivals and holidays celebrated throughout the year adds to its cultural appeal. In addition, Singapore offers luxury hotels, delectable cuisine and great shopping! The island nation of the Republic of Singapore lies one degree north of the Equator in Southern Asia. The country includes the island of Singapore and 58 or so smaller islands. Because of its efficient and determined government, Singapore has become a flourishing country that excels in trade and tourism and is a model to developing nations. The capital city, also called Singapore, covers about a third of the area of the main island.

Located at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore's tropical climate welcomes both leisure and business travelers year round. The island republic's excellent infrastructure enables visitors to enjoy its many sites and attractions in a safe, clean and green environment. Award winning Changi Airport provides airlinks to major cities around the world. The train and subway systems are clean, fast and efficient. In addition, its state-of-the-art cruise terminal has established Singapore as one of the premier cruising centers of South East Asia and an exciting port of call on any Asian cruise itinerary.

In the city, there is no need for a car. Public transportation is excellent and walking is a good way to explore the city . All major attractions are also accessible by tour bus. Since the city is only 60 miles (100k) from the equator, the tropical temperatures do not vary much. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed through the year. No matter when you choose to visit, warm weather will be abundantly available. The visitor is struck immediately by Singapore's abundance of parks, nature reserves, and lush, tropical greenery.

Singapore's progress over the past three decades has been remarkable, yet the island has not been overwhelmed by development. Visitors will discover a wealth of historical treasures from the past, in the beauty of older buildings, values and traditions that have survived in the face of profound social and geographical change.

Lacking any noteworthy natural resources, Singapore's early prosperity was based on a vigorous free trade policy, put in place in 1819 when Sir Stamford Raffles first established it as a British trading post. Later, mass industrialization bolstered the economy, and today the state boasts the world's second busiest port after Rotterdam, minimal unemployment, and a super efficient infrastructure. Almost the entire population lives in upscale new apartments, and the average per capita income is over US$12,000. Singapore is a clean, safe place to visit, its amenities are second to none and its public places are smoke-free and hygienic.

Forming the core of downtown Singapore is the Colonial District. Each surrounding enclave has its own distinct flavor, from the aromatic spice stores of Little India, to the tumbledown backstreets of Chinatown, where it is still possible to find calligraphers and fortune tellers, or the Arab Quarter, whose cluttered stores sell fine cloths and silks.

North of the city, are two nature preserves, Bukit Timah and the Central Catchment Area, along with the splendid Singapore Zoological Gardens. The east coast features good seafood restaurants set on long stretches of sandy beach. In addition there are over fifty islands and islets within Singaporean waters, all of which can be reached with varying degrees of ease. Day trips are popular to Sentosa, the island amusement arcade which is linked to the south coast by a short causeway and cable car. Music, theater, nightlife: all are abundant in this remarkable city. Singapore used to be considered a "stop over" on the way to larger Asian cities. This is no longer true! Visitors seek out Singapore for business and finance and also for a fascinating and satisfying vacation for the whole family.

Singapore is both an island and a country, but perhaps its best description is that of city-state. Like the great city-states of the past, it offers civilization and order in the highest degree. Its combination of Western-style development and Eastern-style calm seems to present the best of both hemispheres: It's a modern metropolis where you feel safe walking the streets, and it's an Asian business center that's a model of efficiency. Singapore is also a multicultural city, and close to one-quarter of its population are expatriates or foreign workers from all over the world. Known for its desire to become the technology hub of Asia, Singapore is the most wired country in the region.

Singapore shares another trait with historical city-states: Its authorities strongly believe that they can safeguard the status quo with regulations against almost anything and everything that - in their view - could possibly upset the sense of tranquility. In reality, visitors will find the place is not as restrictive as the long lists of hefty fines for such things as littering and jaywalking suggest. Some visitors to Singapore leave singing the praises of a society that "works," while others feel the government's near-compulsive fixation on cleanliness and order makes Singapore sterile in every sense of the word.


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Portugal Benagil cave

Turkey away in the folds of southern Portugal’s rugged coastline lies one of the most beautiful natural cathedrals on the planet. Carved by the pounding waves that sweep in from the vast Atlantic Ocean, the coastal area near Benagil is home to a series of intricate caves, sea stacks and hidden beaches.

Some of the caves are almost completely dark and submerged, while others are too small to squeeze inside – but the most famous is huge, airy and lit by an ever-changing palette of colours that come from the sky, the ocean, the sun and the rocks. The Benagil Sea Cave, as it’s most commonly known, is just east of the small town of Benagil on the Algarve. With its own ‘indoor’ beach, two sea-facing holes and a further circular skylight eroded through its ceiling, it’s a favourite with photographers and tours – see our tips below on avoiding the crowds.

Swim and boat tour

Swim from Benagil Beach you can swim approximates 200 metres to the Benagil Cave.  You must be a strong swimmer to reach the cave.  The tides and currents change quickly here and I recommend a life jacket or lido to make it there. 

One of the best ways to see the most beautiful Algarve sea caves, including the Benagil Cave, is to take a boat tour.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

canada Toronto

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Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area.

onto is a massive city, and happens to be the largest city and most visited city in Canada . It is also one of the most multicultural cities in the world. In fact, it is often pegged as ‘The New York City of Canada.

onto is split into six separate districts, with what is now known as Old Toronto being split into five very diverse and unique areas, each of which is then divided into smaller neighbourhood, some of which are cultural enclaves. It is a sprawling city with much to offer visitors, from architectural structures to famous annual events.

At 553 metres, the CN Tower is not only the tallest building in Toronto, but it is also the tallest free standing building on the continent. It also happens to one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World.
The CN Tower boasts the highest glass floor paneled elevator in the world, which lifts passengers up to its magnificent glass floored viewing deck. If you are afraid of heights you may not want to look down at the city from 342 metres above.

View the city from even higher at the 447 metre high SkyPod, which offers insanely spectacular views. Those that really want to get their heart pumping should try SkyWalk, where participants are standing on a hands-free ledge towering over the city. For those who want to get even higher, try window seat helicopter will have a great fun. and a lot more ...

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

austria

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Austria is a landlocked country of approximately 8.7 million inhabitants in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,878 square kilometres (32,385 sq mi) and has a temperate and alpine climate. Austria's terrain is highly mountainous due to the presence of the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 metres (1,640 ft), and its highest point the Grossglockner is 3,798 metres (12,460 ft). The majority of the population speaks German, which is also the country's official language. Other local official languages are Croatian, Hungarian and Slovene.
Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy. The capital and largest city, with a population exceeding 1.8 million, is Vienna. Austria is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with a nominal per capita GDP of $46,972 (2018 est.). The country has developed a high standard of living and in 2016 was ranked 24rd in the world for its Human Development Index. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, joined the European Union in 1995, and is a founder of the OECD. Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the European currency, the euro, in 1999.
As a federal republic, Austria is comprised of nine independent federal states (also referred to as provinces): Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Vienna.
The origins of Austria date back to the time of the Roman Empire when a Celtic kingdom was conquered by the Romans in approximately 15 BC and later became Noricum, a Roman province, in the mid-1st century AD—an area which mostly encloses today's Austria. In 788 AD, the Frankish king Charlemagne conquered the area and introduced Christianity. Under the native Habsburg dynasty, Austria became one of the great powers of Europe. In 1867, the Austrian Empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed in 1918 with the end of World War I. The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919. In the 1938 Anschluss, Austria was occupied and annexed by Nazi Germany. This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, after which Austria was occupied by the Allies and its former democratic constitution was restored. In 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria as a sovereign state, ending the occupation. In the same year, the Austrian Parliament created the Declaration of Neutrality which declared that the country would become permanently neutral
complex, incorporates the Burgkapelle (Imperial Chapel), where the Vienna Boys' Choir sings Sunday Mass, and the famed Spanish Riding School, where Lipizzaner stallions perform elegant equine ballet, along with a trove of museums, including in the chandeliered Kaiserappartements (Imperial Apartments). Other immense palaces include the baroque Schloss Belvedere and the Habsburgs' 1441-room summer residence, Schloss Schönbrunn, while 19th-century splendours such as the neo-Gothic Rathaus (City Hall) line the magnificent Ringstrasse encircling the Innere Stadt (inner city).

Masterpiece-filled Museums

One of the Habsburgs' most dazzling Rinsgstrasse palaces, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, houses the imperial art collection. It's packed with priceless works by Old Masters, and treasures including one of the world's richest coin collections. Behind the Hofburg, the former imperial stables have been transformed into the innovative MuseumsQuartier, with a diverse ensemble of museums, showcasing 19th- and 20th-century Austrian art at the Leopold Museum to often-shocking avant-garde works at the contemporary MUMOK. Meteorites, fossils and prehistoric finds fill the Naturhistorisches Museum, while exquisite furnishings at the applied-arts Museum für Angewandte Kunst are also among the artistic feasts in store.

Soul-stirring Music

With a musical heritage that includes composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss (father and son), Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler, among countless others, Vienna is known as the City of Music. Its cache of incredible venues where you can catch performances today include the acoustically renowned Musikverein, used by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the gold-and-crystal main opera house, the Staatsoper, and the multistage Konzerthaus, as well as the dedicated home of the Vienna Boys' Choir, MuTh. Music comes to life through interactive exhibits at the captivating Haus der Musik museum.

Renowned Drinking & Dining

The Viennese appreciation of the finer things in life extends to its opulent coffee-house 'living rooms' serving spectacular cakes; its beloved pub-like Beisln dishing up hearty portions of Wiener schnitzel, Tafelspitz (prime boiled beef) and goulash; elegant restaurants; and its fine Austrian wines served in vaultedVinothek (wine bar) cellars, and in rustic vine-draped Heurigen (wine taverns) in the vineyards fringing the city. Local and international delicacies fill the heady Naschmarkt stalls, and creative chefs are experimenting with local produce and fresh new flavour combinations in innovative, often repurposed venues.

Friday, July 17, 2020

new zealand


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New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It comprises two main landmasses—the North Island and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands, covering a total area of 268,021 square kilometres
The region’s largest city is Hamilton, with a population of over 141,000 New Zealand’s fourth largest city, lies about an hour and a half’s drive south of Auckland.
Hamilton is spoilt for choice for places to relax and enjoy. The city is home to some of the most spectacular gardens in the country, including the international award-winning Hamilton Gardens, an internationally recognised zoo, one of New Zealand’s largest aquatic centres, and world-class international sports stadiums and event facilities. Extensive walkways and cycleways link our residential areas to the beautiful Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest river, which flows right through the city. Hamilton’s south end boasts an arts and cultural precinct, with inspiring exhibitions at the Waikato Museum, music and theatre, and an impressive selection of cafés, bars and award-winning restaurants. 
Hamilton’s proximity to the ports of both Auckland and Tauranga, close access to two airports (Auckland and Hamilton) and strategic location on the road and rail networks provide significant opportunities for export and import.

Before European settlement, the Waikato was heavily populated by Māori. Today, Hamilton is diverse, home to over 80 ethnic groups. It is also a relatively ‘young city’ with around half its residents under 30 years old.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

spain



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Spain, a country on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, includes 17 autonomous regions with diverse geography and cultures. Capital city Madrid is home to the Royal Palace and Prado museum, housing works by European masters. Segovia has a medieval castle (the Alcázar) and an intact Roman aqueduct. Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, is defined by Antoni Gaudí’s whimsical modernist landmarks like the Sagrada Família church

Madrid is one of Europe’s most amazing cities. The capital of Spain is an exciting and dynamic metropolis with plenty of things to do and lots of places to enjoy. Of course, travelers usually have a limited amount of time when visiting a city. Thus, it might be difficult to choose from the big range of things Madrid has to offer if you come here, maybe staying at aspasios atocha apartments. Luckily enough, we have a solution for you. Here is our short list of top five things Madrid is famous for.

Prado Museum

Museo del Prado
Museo del Prado
The world-famous Prado Museum ranges of course under the top five of our must-sees in Madrid. The permanent collection features lots of different styles, time periods and artists. Among the painters exhibited in the Prado you can find works by such great masters of European painting as Velázquez, El Greco and Hieronymus Bosch. Even people who are not necessarily big art fans will certainly find plenty of interesting paintings in the Prado. Make also sure to visit the Goya paintings downstairs – they are well worth it!

The Center of All The Roads in Spain

Kilometer 0 in Madrid
Kilometer 0 in Madrid
Madrid’s Puerta del Sol is probably the city’s most famous spot. Among other things, it is well known for being the place where people gather on December 31 to celebrate the New Year. On top of that, the square is also the point where all of Spain’s six major roads start. While this fact is pretty familiar to Spaniards, most tourists have no idea that the Puerta del Sol is Spain’s symbolic “Kilometer 0.” In the middle of the square you find a small plaque that shows the exact point where Spanish roads begin – don’t miss it!

Calamari Sandwiches

Calamari sandwich
Calamari sandwich
If you’ve ever been to Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, you may have noticed locals tucked into bars, eating a baguette stuffed with deep-fried, battered squid. The area around the city’s grand central square, is one of the best places in Madrid to try this well-known local delicacy. Calamari sandwiches are the must-try snack for anyone who travels to Madrid. You can try them at any of the little bars with queues trailing out the door on weekends. The traditional version is served with mayonnaise. However, lately some bars also offer more elaborate version of this delicious sandwich.

The Oldest Restaurant In The World

Sobrino de Botín
Sobrino de Botín
As you probably know, Spain is a great place for foodies. The quality and variety of the contemporary Spanish cuisine places it doubtlessly among the world’s best food scenes. In this sense, Madrid is no exception. One of most interesting experiences you can have here is eating at the world’s supposedly oldest still existing restaurant—there’s even a Guinness World Record certificate to prove it. The place is called Sobrino de Botín and was founded in 1725. In this old tavern-style restaurant you will be able to try the incredible suckling pig and the delicious roasted lamb. Get ready for the ultimate taste experience!

The Biggest Zara In The World

Zara on Paseo de la Castellana
Zara on Paseo de la Castellana

For many people, traveling is incomplete without shopping. Recently, Spanish clothes brands have been taking over the world. Zara, owned by Spanish fashion company Inditex, is probably the most famous one. In Madrid you can find the biggest Zara store in the world at 79 Paseo de la Castellana. The 6,000-square meter (65,000-square foot) space houses womenswear, menswear, clothes for children and accessories. And if you still don’t have enough, you can go for some of Madrid’s amazing small boutiques on the Gran Via and the Calle de Fuencarral.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Philippines



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Located in Southeast Asia, the Philippines are an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands and are a popular holiday destination. Situated on the eastern Asian border between the Philippine and South China Seas, the below Philippines map shows some of the most popular destinations and regions including Boracay - home to Bulabog Beach and White Beach, Manila - home to Manila City, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, Pasay and Pasig, Cebu - home to Cebu City and Mactan Island, and Palawan - home to Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Coron and Busuanga Island.The ideal way to understand the islands, this Philippines map shows a range of accommodation options and popular attractions. Boasting one of the world's longest coastlines, the Philippines is renowned for its stunning beaches as well as being a particularly affordable holiday destination. Offering a laid back atmosphere, rich culture and authentic cuisine, the Philippines is considered similar to Bali and offers everything from famous beaches and party regions as well as modern cities, sparkling malls, colonial architecture and colourful fiestas. Use this map to help you understand the lay of the land in the Philippines and to decide which wonderful region you wish to visit, or why not visit them all.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

HUNGARY

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From Hungary's capital city of Budapest-appropriately called "the city of lights"-to its many quaint villages and fantastic scenery, this East European country evokes a strong sense of history and tradition at every turn. While Budapest is justifiably compared to cities such as Prague and even Paris, and is by far the country's biggest tourist draw, not all the best places to visit and things to do in Hungary are in the capital.
Cities and towns of all sizes in Hungary have preserved their classic old historical attractions, many of which exhibit influences from various cultures, including Turkish invaders and Italian Renaissance designers. And Hungary's countryside includes some of the most beautiful scenery to be found anywhere in europe. In fact, wherever you are in Hungary, you're never far from spectacular mountains and lakes, beautiful river scenes (the Danube runs right through the country), and lush valleys, all providing great opportunities for hiking and other outdoor activities.
To help you make the most of your explorations in this remarkable country, be sure to refer often to our list of the top-rated attractions and things to do in Hungary.

Buda castle
When you first set eyes on spectacular Buda Castle (Budavári Palota) in Budapest, you'll appreciate why so many people consider the city the "Paris of the East." This spectacular historic landmark-now a UNESCO World Heritage Site-ranks right up there with Versailles in terms of its majestic proportions and wonderful design.
Built on the site of a palace destroyed during the Siege of 1686, this newer structure was rebuilt in the 18th century for the Habsburg monarchy and includes more than 200 rooms. Its symmetrical layout focuses on the lovely 61-meter-high central dome facing the Danube, where you can get stunning views of the castle and the other buildings on castle hill
Parts of the original medieval building have been reconstructed, including theBuzogány Tower and the impressive 15th-century South Tower.

The beautiful Danube River flows through Hungary from north to south, and as it passes through Budapest, it splits the city in two. One of the best sunset views of the river and of both Buda and Pest is from the Freedom Bridge, a favorite spot for locals.
Other great places from which to view this majestic river are at the Danube Bend, one of the country's most popular recreational and excursion spots. This is where the river winds its way through the heavily wooded Visegrád Mountainsbefore turning sharply south (the river's "knee") towards Budapest. The area is popular with hikers and nature lovers and is included in the many excellent river cruises that travel the Danube from as far as neighboring Austria.
The Danube Cycle Path is a popular way for active travelers to see the river as it winds through the hills between Budapest and Vienna. Along with constantly-changing river scenery, you'll pass elegant Esztergom, the Roman fort of Kelemantia, and traditional Hungarian villages like Szigetmonostor. If you prefer a more relaxing way to experience the river