Did You Know Lord Howe Island ?

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World Heritage-listed LORD HOWE ISLAND is a kind of Australian Galapagos, and a favourite destination for ecotourists attracted by its rugged beauty. It is 700km northeast of Sydney, on the same latitude as Port Macquarie, and is technically a part of New South Wales, despite its distance from the mainland. Its nearest neighbour is Norfolk Island, 900km further northeast. Just 11km long and 2.8km across at its widest point, two-thirds of the crescent-shaped island is designated as Permanent Park Reserve. As you fly in, you’ll get a stunning view of the whole of the volcanic island: the towering summits of rainforest-clad Mount Gower (875m) and Mount Lidgbird (777m) at the southern end; the narrow centre with its idyllic lagoon and a coral reef extending about 6km along the west coast; and a group of tiny islets off the lower northern end of the island providing sanctuary for the prolific birdlife. Much of the surrounding waters and islands fall within Lord Howe’s protective marine park.lord-howe-island-turtle

The emphasis here is on tranquillity and most of the four hundred visitors allowed at any one time are couples and families. Though it’s expensive to get to the island, once here you’ll find that cruises, activities and bike rental are all relatively affordable. The island’s climate is subtropical, with temperatures rising from a mild 19°C in winter to 26°C in the summer, and an annual rainfall of 1650mm. It’s cheaper to visit in the winter, though some places are closed.

Brief history

Lord Howe Island was discovered in 1788 by Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball (who named the island after the British admiral Richard Howe), commander of the First Fleet ship Supply, during a journey from Sydney to found a penal colony on Norfolk Island. The island wasn’t inhabited for another 55 years, however; the first settlers came in 1833, and others followed in the 1840s. In 1853 two white men arrived with three women from the Gilbert Islands in the central Pacific, and it is from this small group that many of Lord Howe’s present population are descended. In the 1840s and 1850s the island served as a stopover for whaling ships from the US and Britain, with as many as fifty ships a year passing through.

With the decline of whaling, economic salvation came in the form of the kentia palm, which was in demand as a house plant, making its seeds a lucrative export. Tourism later became the mainstay – Lord Howe was a popular cruise-ship stopover before World War II, and after the war it began to be visited by holiday-makers from Sydney, who came by seaplane.

Source : http://www.roughguides.com
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Tourism spending mangga Dua Jakarta Indonesia

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If you go to Jakarta, Indonesia, and you are planning to do shopping, it helps you visited the region Mangga Dua. Conveniently located in the north of the capital, precisely on Jalan Mangga Dua Raya, Mangga Dua central business district is a place where you can buy a variety of items ranging from electronics, clothing, souvenirs, clothing materials, to food and automotive. From the highway that connects the city center with the Gunung Sahari area within a decade became one of the most attractive trading center not only in Jakarta but also in Indonesia.

Access to the two mango is easy, you can use the train Commuter Line, Trans Jakarta (Bus), and other means of public transportation. North Jakarta government set Mangga Dua area of 40 hectares was in the range of 12 coastal tourism destinations. Along Jalan Mangga Dua Raya you can come across some of the mall, the International Trade Centre (ITC), hotel, up to the apartment, There are many hotels with different classes are found in the two mango. For example santika hotel is a favorite of foreign tourists and local Indonesian. Mangga Dua is now assisting the Golden Triangle area of Jakarta (Sudirman-Thamrin, and Gatot Subroto) as the central business center in Jakarta. Mangga Dua developed into a center of trade with sales turnover is quite steeper trillions of rupiah per day. Shoppers and merchants are here not only come from Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia but also from the Asia-Pacific region.

There is something quite unique here is building a shopping center are linked together by bridges between buildings. The bridge will allow you to move from one building to other without having dropped out of the room. In Mangga Dua you will find the multi-ethnic people mingle in commercial transactions vigorously. Occasionally audible conversations with the sellers and buyers of Malay, Chinese to Arabic. Smart in using your language skills in the bargain prices accordingly.

Try Gado Gado Pinangsia Mangga Dua Mall, 3rd Floor Mangga Dua Mall place opposite the ITC Mangga Dua or parallel to the Le Grandeur Hotel in Jalan Mangga Dua Raya, West Jakarta. You can taste the gado gado that are excellent in this region. These foods can you mix with rice cake or rice. There is also a goat satay, chicken satay, chicken soup, soup betawi, and others. Named Gado Gado Pinangsia because originally opened in Pinangsia Region, Central Jakarta. The place is fairly clean with a slick and fast service. In Jalan Gunung Sahari around Mangga Dua, not far from the train tracks you can find a stall selling noodles Belitung. Bakmi Belitung has a thick sauce with contents such as shrimp, crackers, tofu, and more. Price per portion 15,000.

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Ghost Trees line in Neskowin Beach, USA

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The long beach and Cascade headland are delightfully pristine. In the town of Neskowin, you’ll find a general store, restaurant and two golf courses amid the lovely ocean cottages. A bit north, you can canoe and kayak on the relatively undeveloped estuary of Nestucca Bay.

There are three stunning trails nearby on Cascade Head. The Nature Conservancy Trail #1435 is usually open year-round and can be easily accessed at Knight’s Park (who knows … you may catch a glimpse of some elk).

The next two are USFS trails in the Siuslaw National Forest. Hart’s Cove Trail #1303 descends about 900 feet in elevation through a Sitka Spruce-Western Hemlock rain forest, crosses two seasonal creeks and ends at a prairie headland overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Chitwood Falls cascades off the backside cliff at Hart’s Cove. An unseen cove to the south resounds with the barking of sea lions. This trail closes seasonally from January 1st through July 15th.

Cascade Head Trail #1310 runs north to south within the Cascade Head Scenic Research Area. The Sitka Spruce-Western Hemlock rain forest here has been studied by foresters since 1934.

This trail is less crowded than the other two popular trails in the area – it is entirely inland and has no view points. Mid-way on the trail near the headwaters of Calkins Creek there remains a grove of six-foot diameter Sitka spruce. Trail has a forested backdrop with large Sitka spruce, Western hemlock, Douglas fir and Red alder. The north end of the trail (north of Forest Service Road 1861) is closed for public safety due to tree hazards.

Source : http://oregonstateparks.org

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How to frugal honeymoon ?

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If you find that your honeymoon funds are going to be on the limited side, you don’t need to ditch your plans altogether. But, you will need to do some serious shopping around to get the most out of your budget and alter some of your original ideas as a result. Here are 10 ways to cut the costs and still have a honeymoon to remember!

  1. Use a honeymoon gift registry website. It’s traditional to sign up for a wedding list when you get married, but the usual home goods might be redundant if you’ve already set up your home and don’t need these kind of items. Why not sign up for a honeymoon gift registry instead? This works like a wedding list, but it gives your wedding guests the chance to literally pay for a specific part of your honeymoon, such as a candlelit dinner in a posh restaurant or excursions. If you’ve got enough generous gifts, you might even get a significant proportion of your honeymoon paid for in this way, and it lets your guests make a more personal contribution to the trip.
  2. Look for all-inclusive honeymoon packages. If you’re paying for a honeymoon package, you don’t want to be spending even more money on meals and drinks that aren’t included in the basic package. Look for all-inclusive honeymoon packages that include these kind of extras in the package price. For example, Sandals and Almond Resorts offer all-inclusive honeymoon packages to the Caribbean. Remember, these packages won’t include flights, so you’ll need to factor in the cost of air travel.
  3. Go on a cruise. Not all cruises are expensive, and many of them are all-inclusive so you’ll only need to pay for the cruise package itself. You can often choose to add romance packages on top of the basic package to make the experience more memorable (think rose petals sprinkled on the bed, breakfast-in-bed and complimentary wine or champagne), but these packages will obviously cost more. Examples of cruise lines that offer honeymoon cruise packages include P & O and Atlas Travel.
  4. Take a long weekend trip. You can fit a lot into a long weekend break, especially if you’re on a trip that is predominantly sightseeing. This option is better if you’re not going to be traveling too far from home, because you won’t be wasting time getting to and from your destination.
  5. Honeymoon in the United States. You don’t need to leave the country to have a great honeymoon. There are plenty of honeymoon packages available in the United States. For example, Cove Haven Resorts offers all-inclusive honeymoon vacations in the Pennsylvania mountains, while The Point hotel also offers an all-inclusive package if you’d prefer something more exclusive (there are only 11 rooms in the hotel).
  6. Travel out-of-season. If you can travel outside of the peak holiday seasons, you can find significant savings on vacation packages. For example, January and February are typically cheaper months to visit Hawaii, and it still has good weather in these months. Do your homework before you book, because you may find that off-peak in certain exotic destinations means that you’re more likely to encounter monsoons or severe tropical weather. Time your trip right, and you’ll score some big savings.
  7. Find flight deals. Most people want to take flights at convenient times, but it can be much cheaper if you’re willing to fly in the middle of the night or some other “inconvenient” time. Check out the online travel agency CheapTickets or look at price-comparison websites such as Cheap Flights to see how much you can potentially save on flights when you’re actively searching for deals. If you’re looking to book a flight and hotel package, Expedia could uncover some price reductions.
  8. Look for hotel bargains. Cheap doesn’t have to mean inferior. Search for hotel deals on Expedia (especially if you need to book flights too), LuxRes (which can lead you to 40% discounts on luxury hotel rooms), Last Minute Travel and Orbitz (which is similar to Expedia).
  9. Be flexible. If you’re not tied down to a certain travel date, keeping flexible departure and return dates can help to cut costs. Using the calendar-based fare tool on Expedia can inform you of the cheapest times to travel to and from your chosen destination.
  10. Try house swapping. If accommodation is proving too costly, consider swapping homes with another couple for a week or two. You’ll have to pay for your own travel and food, but it can be a cheap way to find somewhere to stay during your honeymoon break. The big downside is that you’ll have to accept another couple staying in your house while you’re away, but if you go through a reputable house exchange company such as Home Exchange, you should be able to rest easily. They charge a membership fee for setting up the exchange.

It’s important to remember that paying more for your honeymoon doesn’t automatically mean that it will be a better experience. One of the main ideas behind going on a honeymoon is to relax after the stresses of planning the wedding and spending some quality time together. Of course, it’s nice to get away from it all somewhere exotic and luxurious but you can just as easily enjoy a great week together without spending a small fortune as long as you’re prepared to shop around for the best deals, think outside of the box, and accept some compromises.

Source : http://www.moneycrashers.com

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South Korea – Park’s Fully Sculpture Sexual scenes

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South Korea has a prudish past. It was only in the 70s that police were patrolling the streets with rulers, measuring the length of ladies’ skirts. Gauging from my time there, South Koreans remain vastly conservative, especially compared to their pre-owned panty purchasing neighbors in Japan.

It seems South Korea’s sex education leaves much to be desired, as teenager Sao Jung told me that “students are forced to learn sex-ed for themselves”, which can’t be easy when they are even banned from the Gen Y mode of learning; viewing online porn is a criminal offence.

One could appreciate my bewilderment then on hearing that South Korea has a “sexual theme park”. Loveland is situated on Jeju province, a volcanic island on the southernmost tip of the country, and its official website says: “Loveland is breaking down the traditional taboos surrounding sex.” I knew I needed to see it for myself, so I booked an impromptu flight from Seoul. Upon arrival, I was taken aback by the scenery. When it comes to viewing vibrant coloured erotica, snow-capped volcanoes and tall pine trees are one hell of a backdrop.

It turns out the locale has quite the backstory. After the Korean War, much of the nation’s populace were forbidden from overseas travel (this law was only lifted in 1988), so with its warmer climate and picturesque views, Jeju became the country’s honeymoon haven. The island is teeming with often sexually naïve newlyweds, so in turn, the local hotels offer lap-dance services to help their guests break the ice.

Jeju has always been a place for exploring new horizons, and Loveland hopes to continue this narrative, but while punters are greeted by some friendly mascots at the entrance (a penis with mittens and a sunhat-sporting vulva) it’s quickly apparent that Loveland is more gallery than theme park. Sculptures are the bulk of what’s on offer, all 140 of them fitted with despairingly awful puns, such as “Alice in Wondickland”. Those hoping to ride a boner-coaster will be sadly disappointed. The closest you will get is the “masturbation bike”, a stationary unicycle with paddles attached to the wheel.

Owner Lee Sung-hyung told me: “It’s supposed to be a bit of fun. The sculptures are bright and overblown. People can openly talk about sex here, which is something that seldom happens otherwise. Koreans are still very shy about sex.”

The glass exhibition domes feature new displays each month, and in the Loveland café, rather than traditional dishes like kimchi or bulgogi (marinated beef), custard filled genitalia cater to a rather different palate. As I sat there, nibbling on a pastry penis, I learned where the true Loveland experience lies: in observing the crowds.

The majority of people here seem to be aged Koreans who howl with laughter and timid young couples who truly seem exhilarated by it all. In a place where porn is against the law, the adult statues in Loveland are palpably intoxicating.

Much to their dismay, I began to accost the blushing lovers. The young and fresh-faced Kim Woo said he and his girlfriend chose to come to Loveland “to learn more about sexuality” and Seo Jung and her partner said that every couple they know has been here.

 

The Loveland park answers to this lack of sex education with a range of scholastic content. While some of it may look like bad 80s porn, the number of visitors are tangible proof that there’s more to the park than merely having a giggle.

Sean Han was honest enough to tell me that it was his parents who brought him here. “They came when they were younger, and they suggested that my girlfriend and I come to see it for ourselves.” It seems Korean parents use Loveland to spare themselves the awkward birds and bees chat with the kids.

Loveland is a sight to be seen and there are a wealth of other attractions in Jeju to help justify the trip. The island has three stunning UNESCO heritage sites: Hallasan Mountain, which rises in the centre of the island; Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, an enormous crater formed by volcanic eruptions; and the finest example of a lava tube cave system, with multi-coloured floors and ceilings and dramatic stalactites jutting from its surfaces.

Tickets for Jeju Loveland are ₩9,000.00 (£5.00), and last minute flights won’t cost more than ₩120,000 (approximately £70) for a round-trip from Seoul. Explore more of South Korea with the Rough Guide to Korea. Book hostels for your trip, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go.

Source : http://www.roughguides.com

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Top 5 romantic island on the world

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1. Bali, Indonesia

The charm of the island of Bali as a romantic place is already unquestionable. Rows of beautiful beaches to the green nature and culture is not uncommon to make up the archipelago foreign traveler attracted to come back.

Hollywood actress Julia Roberts has just fallen in love with Bali after starring in the movie Eat Pray Love the shooting took place in Bali. That’s just one, there are many other celebrities who claim to fall in love with Bali.

For a romantic tourist attractions, you can see the sunset together sweetheart at Tanah Lot or watch Kecak performances at Uluwatu. If you want to enjoy the quiet atmosphere of both, can also play to the northern area of Ubud and Bali.

If looking for a beach, you can also play to one of three Nusa by boat from Sanur Beach.

2. Santorini, Greece

santo-riniDiscuss Greece, must not be separated from Santorini is super romantic. Rows of houses with blue and white contours uphill, as well as background Sea at sunset Crete is very hypnotic beauty.

The traveler who came to Santorini will also be pampered with food very fresh and delicious. Enjoying the beauty of Santorini while eating and drinking wine also adds to the romantic atmosphere.

If you are looking for a romantic island honeymoon, Santorini in Greece could be one of the best place recommendations.

3. Maldives

maldivesRenowned as one of the favorite destinations of the celebrity world, the Maldives is also one romantic island destinations. Barisan resort and inn standing on the sea became coveted view of the traveler.

From the inn just a traveler can directly see the clear water and fish passing. Not to mention the view Surise until sunset that you can enjoy directly from the window. It was perfect!

If you and your partner both love the sea, the Maldives certainly can be one of the favorite island destinations. Many resorts to choose from, each located in the atolls (coral clusters).

4. Harbour Island, Bahamas

HarbourAmong traveler lovers of the island, the name of the Bahamas in the Caribbean would have been famous. Its popularity can be equated with Bali or Hawaii in the US. One considerable favorite in adaah Bahamas Harbour Island.

Uniquely, Harbour Island also has pink beaches like in Indonesia. Moreover, it can be found also the British colonial legacy of colonial buildings that further enhance the island.

5. Bora-Bora, French Polynesia

Bora2Besides Maldives, Bora-Bora in French Polynesia is also touted as one of the island dream upscale celebrity. Romance and beauty of Bora-Bora has made Paris Hilton to Kim Kardashian to come on holiday there.

The bungalows on the water clear and clean the hallmark of Bora-Bora. Right in the middle there is also a gallant Mount Otemanu. If you want a honeymoon, Bora-Bora is also a destination that is certainly romantic.

Not to mention the beauty of the coral reefs are colorful and charming. Honeymoon while snorkeling, why not?

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Inspiration of the best film studio tours

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Warner Bros,Los Angeles

While Universal Studios is now a theme park, Warner Bros offers a chance to explore LA’s cinema history with behind-the-scenes visits at its working studio. The tour includes a walk through some of WB’s backlots – used for films and TV shows ranging from Casablanca to Friends – while the studio archive is filled with memorabilia from more hit productions, with a special exhibition dedicated to recent blockbuster franchises Batman and Harry Potter. The props department, which is also open to visitors, is the largest in the world, with more than 450,000 registered artefacts.

  • Adults $62, child 8-12 $52, wbstudiotour.com. Open daily 9am-3.15pm

Cinecittà, Rome

Visitors enjoy their times at Cinecitta World theme park in RomeAssociated with the making of movie classics such as Ben Hur, Cleopatra and La Dolce Vita, this major studio – the largest in Europe – offers the chance to walk in the footsteps of glamorous stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. Built in the 1930s by Benito Mussolini and a base for renowned Italian director Federico Fellini, the studio has an exhibition called Cinecittà Shows Off, which charts cinematic history with the help of costumes, design sketches and more – while tours take you through sets such as the reconstruction of Broadway used for Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.

  • Adults €20 (for exhibition and outdoor set visit), child (6-10) €10. Guided tours in Italian and English, check website for times, cinecittasimostra.it. Open daily, except Tues, 9.30am-6.30pm

Weta, Wellington

We all know that New Zealand was the location for director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Ring’s and Hobbit films, and you can visit the Shire and other spots from Middle Earth with a tour of the Hobbiton movie set in Waikato, on the North Island. But for a different NZ film experience, try a tour of the Weta Workshop; the special effects and prop company in Wellington where the stunning costumes for Jackson’s films were created. Famed for innovations such as PVC chainmail (12.5 million links were manufactured for Lord of the Rings), the workshop also produced designs for Thunderbirds Are Go and King Kong. Tours take you behind the scenes of the workshop in action, as well as inside the “Weta Cave”, an incredible shop-meets-archive of props and collectibles.

  • Weta Cave and workshop tour, adults £12, children 6-12 £6, wetaworkshop.com. Open daily 9am-5.30pm.

La Cité du Cinéma, Saint Denis, France

Visits to La Cité du Cinéma start in the “Nef”, a breathtaking nave-like industrial space that wasan electric power plant until 1981. Inside the 220m-long, 18m-high space are displays of sets and costumes from films such as the Fifth Element, and behind-the-scenes stories of “Hollywood sur Seine”. The studiowas the brainchild of leading French director Luc Besson, who came across the abandoned plant during the shooting of Léon, and was inspired to create a film-making hub to compete with Pinewood and Cinecittà. It opened in 2012 and since then has been used for shooting films including The Family, Taken 2 and 3 and the Transporter Refuelled.

  • Tours last one hour 45 minutes, adults €14.90, children under 16 €9.90, citeducinema.org. Open daily 10.30am-8pm

Film City, Mumbai

Bollywood’s spiritual homeland, Film City (almost all Bollywood films have, in part, been filmed here) opened to the public just two years ago. Since 2014, it’s been possible to go on tours of the vast complex, which produces more than 100 films a year across 42 outdoor shooting locations and 16 studios. Guided tours venture to some of these locations, including a helipad, a temple and a church and – if possible – stop by a set while a shoot is in action.

  • Two-hour guided tour in Hindi and English, £6, mumbaifilmcitytours.com

Paramount, Los Angeles

Guests outside the Paramount studio backlot on a guided tour. Los Angeles, US

The US’s oldest running studio, Paramount is behind mega-hits such as Titanic, Forrest Gump … and Transformers. Today, the studio covers 65 acres with 30 stages (superstition dictates that there’s no stage 13, however). There’s a $1.5m reconstruction of a New York street – with 10 distinct backdrops – as well as a huge Blue Sky Tank. Visitors are led by a guide behind the scenes on the lot; there’s also an option to do a late-night after-dark tour, with torches provided.

  • Two-hour tours $55, advance booking required. paramountstudiotour.com. Open daily, tours take place every half hour from 9am-4pm

Atlas Film Studios, Morocco

In terms of acreage, Atlas is the world’s largest film studio. Of course, it’s easy to spread out when you’re in the middle of the desert. Located 5km west of the city of Ouarzazate, Atlas saw the filming of various dusty location-set movies: the Mummy, Alexander the Great, Black Hawk Down and several of the Star Wars saga. There are giant Egyptian-style statues guarding a replica tomb, and a huge colosseum used for the filming of Gladiator. It’s fair to say this studio is epic by name and epic by nature.

  • Adult £9.60, children 6-12 £6.75, studiosatlas.com. Open daily 8.15am-5.15pm (Oct-Feb) and 8.15am-6.45pm (Mar-Sept)

Warner Bros Studio, Leavesden, UK

New Zealand may be a hotspot for Hobbit hunters but in the UK the Harry Potter films have turned Warner Bros Studios near Watford into a pilgrimage site for fans. The walking tour takes visitors up close to the sets, costumes and props used in the films. You can step inside Dumbledore’s office and wander down Diagon Alley, as well as taking a look at well-known magical items such as Harry’s Nimbus 2000 and Hagrid’s motorcycle. You’ll also learn about the technical side of creating one of the most successful film series of all time, with insight into the special effects and animatronics.

  • Adults £35, children 5-15 £27, under 4s free (but ticket booking still required), family ticket £107 (two adults, two children), wbstudiotour.co.uk. Open daily, opening times vary, check website for details

Studio Ghibli Museum, Tokyo

The character Totoro awaits visitors at the entrance of this shrine to the work of Japan’s leading animation studio. The museum is designed to recreate the essence of the magic worlds found in many of Studio Ghibli’s films, with forest animals and sprites tucked away and waiting to be discovered by eagle-eyed visitors. Executive director Hayao Miyazaki stipulated that the museum should be “put together as if it were a film” and small children should be “treated as if they were grownups”, and these threads run through the design of each vibrant room. Fans will be pleased to know that a giant stuffed version of the Cat Bus – the grinning, hollow-bodied cat that transports the characters in My Neighbour Totoro – can be found on the second floor.

  • Adults £6.50, children 7-12 £2.50, 13-18 £4.50, ghibli-museum.jp. Open daily, except Tues, from 10am-6pm

Filmpark Babelsberg, Germany

From pyrotechnics to set design, every aspect of film production is presented at this working studio just outside Berlin. Visitors can see a wide range of sets, from oriental gardens to a medieval town – used each year for Halloween horror nights. Still, the highlight for most visits will be the epic stunt shows that take place in a 2,500-capacity arena, featuring all the explosions, motorbike jumps and fist fights blockbuster action-flick dreams are made of.

  • Adults €21, children under 16 €14, filmpark-babelsberg.de. Open daily 10am-6pm, in October until 5pm

Source : http://www.theguardian.com

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The most expensive holiday destination

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Airport transfer booking website Hoppa have released their research on the world’s most expensive cities, and there are a few surprises on their list.

Measuring the average cost in each destination for a pint of beer, a cup of coffee, a meal for two, a bottle of wine, a hotel room for one night and taxi fares per three kilometres, Hoppa ranked the most expensive, and cheapest, destinations around the world.

But not all of them have to be such a break-the-bank escape. Here are Hoppa’s ten most expensive places to visit, and a few suggestion for how to have a budget break in each one.

  1. Lima, Peru

At number ten comes the first surprise: Peru‘s fun-filled capital city. But don’t be fooled by its place here, our Rough Guide to South America on a Budget has some seriously cool budget options that’ll help keep your bank balance looking healthy. Our author estimates you’ll need around US$35 a day for travelling in Peru, and while that’ll increase if you’re sticking around for a while in Lima, the city doesn’t need to blow your budget. Stay in our author pick Hotel España in central Lima, where doubles cost as little as $20 a night.

  1. Cancún, Mexico

With all those beach resorts, it might not be a surprise that Cancún is one of the ten most expensive cities to travel to. However, it doesn’t have to be. Our Rough Guide to Mexico author loved Hotel Coral, a vintage Downtown Cancún stay from just $20 a night.

  1. Caracas, Venezuela

A place where a beer can cost as little as 25 cents, Venezuela is a budget traveller’s dream destination. How it got to number eight in this list we’re not sure. Our Rough Guide to Central America author estimates a $30 a day budget for a trip through Venezuela, and while good budget accommodation options are few and far between in Caracas, you can still sleep for around $30 a night in Dal Bo Hostal.

  1. Singapore

Compared to other Southeast Asian destinations, Singapore is indeed expensive. In the Rough Guide to Southeast Asia on a Budget, we recommend a daily budget here of around $80. A dorm bed in in Five Stones Hostel will set you back around $25, while a double is around $85.

  1. London, England

London is notoriously expensive for tourists, especially when the exchange rate isn’t in your favour. But if you know where to go, you can find a bargain beer every now and then. And not forgetting, there are tons of free things to do in England’s capital.

  1. Sydney, Australia

For backpackers, time spent in Sydney can be slightly hard on the wallet. But if you use our Rough Guide to Australia, you’ll find there are actually cheap camping options around the city, and a good network of hostels that’ll help save some dollars for all that goon (boxed wine).

  1. Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakesh has its fair share of high-end hotels, but that doesn’t mean budget options are few and far between. In the Rough Guide to Morocco we recommend Aday, for example, which has rooms from as little as $16 a night. Food in Marrakesh can be a bargain too – check out the guide for advice on avoiding being overcharged at the city’s famous food stalls.

  1. Botswana

Safaris are usually expensive, but self-driving is the way to make Botswana a financially manageable adventure. Car rental might be pricey, but you can save on the rest by camping and cooking your own food.

  1. New York City, USA

If you’re travelling to New York City, you don’t go expecting to spend peanuts. But a trip to this great American metropolis doesn’t have to cost the Earth either. Try staying a little out of town at The Local NYC, where a dorm costs around $60 a night, or if you’ve got a little more in your pocket, The Jane makes for an excellent budget base at around $100 a night.

  1. Dubai, UAE

All the glitz and glamour of this big, bright city could be enough to put any budget traveller off. Dubai just looks unaffordable. But is it really? For many, it’s relatively cheap to get to compared to destinations in Southeast Asia and South America, and on the ground it’s not as expensive as the skyscrapers might suggest – there are rooms from $70 a night and some great little cafés for budget meals. Try Ashwaq near the bustling Gold Souk.

source: http://www.roughguides.com

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When On Vacation In Oslo

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It all began as a joke. When asked to suggest a perfect destination for our summer trip, Alison simply suggested Norway. This set the mood for a short period of argument which saw other destinations being dismissed for being boring. At the end, the majority was in for the idea and arrangements to visit Oslo were on. I have never thought of traveling to this easternmost, westernmost or rather northernmost Scandinavian country. Bordering Denmark and Scotland to the north and stretching into Arctic Ocean from the North Sea, this country did prove to be a very unique place visit. You can think of it as a clear meeting point of eastern and western cultures though the later tends  dominate the scene.

Geographical Location:  It is located on a large peninsula together with Sweden towards the northern parts of Europe. It also borders the tip of Russia and Finland to the north. It is a country widely known for the numerous fjords found on its west coast. The fjords on its coasts are long narrow inlets with mountains on each either side as formed as the sea penetrates far into the mainland. Land in this country is largely rocky thus not very much populated. Such wilderness areas have been converted into amazing national parks. It has a number of forested hills, mountains, waterfalls and even valleys.

If you have been looking for a nice place visit for relaxation, then heading  Norway isn’t that bad as I initially thought. The country is characterized with excellent air, rail, water and road transport facilities. Additionally, there are numerous things to do in Oslo. You can’t visit every tourist destination in this Scandinavian country on one trip. That’s why we opted  visit Oslo; its capital city.

Preparing for the trip: Well, the thought of having magnificent photos of its fjords on the west coast was thrilling enough to psyche me up. There was no much to prepare one us all the costs would be catered for by our college. We just had  get our passports ready and perhaps some few dollars for personal expenses. For those who like packing lots of things, then this is not the kind of trip to get everything around with you. The city has enough shopping places for you to buy from. However, you may find packing the following very important.

What to pack:

– Warm clothing depending on when you are visiting

– Sun cream

– Luggage bags

– Outdoor gear

– Cameras

Opera Oslo

Oslo’s geographical location: Resting on 453 square kilometers area, Oslo happens to be the capital city of Norway. It is located in an amphitheater like environment where its center is bottom closer the famous oslofjord. The city is next  forested areas making many people refer to it as nature’s friend. Its residential areas are situated uphill from its center to all direction creating that great enclosed feeling. As if that is not enough, there are forested areas just behind its residential areas filled with flora and fauna. There are numerous fresh cities in the world, but very few can match the natural aspects of its city. It is quite amazing how the capital managed include the wolf reserve in tis busy place.

The inner city center is enclosed by Slottet (Royal palace  the west) and Oslo S (Oslo central station). The sea front, having Aker Brygge and Akerus fortress the south, finish up a nicely enclosed city center with amazing facilities visit. Beside tis, you will find its surrounding areas full of exciting sites not  miss out on and refreshing joints not  miss out on.

Important things to do in Oslo

Oslo’s climate: Oslo’s location ensures that warm air is wafted from the Atlantic trout the Gulf Stream offering that temperate climate craved for by many people. We visited tis place in the summer and were fortunate  find mild pleasant sunny days. However, you may find it unpleasant to visit Oslo in the winter as temperatures over around the freezing point. Snow surfaces are mostly found in the forested areas thus offering great sites for winter sporting activities. Deciding on the best time  visit will be very important and fancy should realty depend on the kind of activities one could fancy most. Oslo is not heavily populated as many cities happen to be. If you have been into travelling and exploring places, ten perhaps you have noticed that a small and averagely populated things to do in Oslo is perfect for evening walks. Oslo has lots of things to do in Oslo. If you are planning to visit Oslo, ten expect complete relaxation places and attractive sites ever seen.

Getting around Oslo: Depending on where you come from, road, air, water and rail transport would be perfect for you. Those who come from far regions can use flits wit routes connecting through Gardemoen airport. It is the second largest airport in the Scandinavian region and serves people from all parts of the world. There are buses around take you to the city center in just 45 minutes. You will also find booking a taxi very important as flagging one  stop by wen on the queue may prove to be very expensive. You can also take a bus through Sweden this region with little if air transport turns out  be expensive. In fact, tis form of transport gives you the luxury enjoy views from different countries on just one trip.

In Getting around the town, there is a comprehensive network of buses, taxis, trains and trams. Public transport is controlled by a body known as Ruter. You will be able to find information on bus tickets and costs of transport on their website for effective transport wile in the city. The networks are not that complicated. All you need to know is that buses pass through the Oslo central station wile trains including those that serve the airport pass through the nationaltheateret. This offers you spectacular views of important buildings ion the country such as the Royal palace, Parliament, Oslo concert hall and the national gallery. Buses and trains operate on a ticket system that cares according the number of zones one passes throuh.it should no be difficult  get around the city with such an excellent transport network.

Important things to do in Oslo:

Museums

One of my favorite things to do in Oslo when I visit a new place is  check on their museums. In fact, I rate trips depending on the quality of museums. If you do like visiting many places and learning the history of a nation at just a lance, then visiting museums is the perfect way to do so. Oslo has a large number of museums for visit. Buying Oslo pass bought proved  be very useful as it allowed us enter many museums and efficient public transport with less hassle. It was even better as students are given a 20% discount on buying the Oslo Pass. I would advise anyone opt for it over the Travel card that is quite expensive. Here are some of the museums  visit wile in Oslo.

Emanuel Vigeland Museum

Opens for just a few hours on Sundays and as lots of Oslo’s best hidden secrets one will ever know. Erected back in 1926, tis museum with no windows attracts many people mainly because of its 800 square meters of Fresco Vita. It shows human life from the period of conception till death. It I a place full of other magnificent arts for any art-loving person wow at. If you did buy your Oslo pass, then there is not need to worry about entry costs.

The Norwegian museum of cultural history

We spend a half a day ere and every minute left us yearning for more. It is a large and open museum wit ancient Norwegian buildings. There is even a city building that shows the living conditions of people back in the 1850s. Walk through it to learn more about the cultural of not only the nation, butte whole Scandinavian region in general. There are other museums in the city to visit such as the Viking ship museum, Kon-tiki museum, Fram museum, Munch museum and many more. You will really get a chance and learn something about the country’s past.

Visit the Opera house: Simply take a bus to Jernbanetorget and take the footbridge from the nearby seaside exit of the central station. It is widely known as Norway’s entry point into the league of modern great architecture. It even won the Best Cultural Building in 2008 at e World Architecture festival in Barcelona. A simple look at it and you will notice how great the design is. It stunning glacier like shape keeps many people travelling every day just have a look. To get exciting views, simple climb the building on its marble slopes. You should be very careful as the roof is sometimes very slippery wen the temperatures get below 5 degrees.

Visit national parks in Oslo: Get a feeling of nature by visiting some of the world best parks located in this city. As you may have noticed earlier, tis city is extremely green and as numerous parks for a perfect relaxation. Some of them include:

Frogner Park

To reach this place, simply take a bus to Majorstua. It located nearer  the Vigeland Sculpture Park and is made up of green areas for perfect refreshing walks. Besides being a nice place for a nature walk, This Park is full of sculptures designed by the famous Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland. Though the sculptures may depress, the whole general feeling is worth your time. There are cafeterias and the Frognerbadet wit pools for swimming. Get served with some drinks and snacks as you walk around the park for tat perfect afternoon you have been craving for a long time.

St. Hanshaugun Park

You can also take bus number 37 this place and experience Oslo’s environment from tis top of the hill park. You will get great views of the town and even take pictures of its surroundings. The park is even the name of the neighborhood as well as the large administrative district of the central Oslo as most parts of the city Centre are located nearer to tis place. You can carry drinks or buy some snacks from nearby cafeterias as there are no food joints nearer to the park. If you are stayin in the city Centre, you can easily reach ere y walking for about a kilometer from Johan Street past Var Freslers to this St. Hanshaugun Park. There are also other parks with great flora and fauna for you  visit. They include the Palace Park, Botanical garden, Ekerberg Park and many more.

Take a boat to Oslofjord: One of my favorite tins to do on a trip is experience the amazing nature of a destinations aquatic life. A visit  Oslo will not only gives you a chance to interact with wolves and forests, but offers you a direct connection to aquatic life too. Simply take a boat at Vippetangen and head to this Island. It has a number of luxurious beaches that any visitor will not wish to miss on. It is the kind of environment you will not find in any other city in the world. The water was so pleasant during the summer season and offered some nice experience no one will forget. As if that was not enough, there are clubs, pubs and restaurants and other entertainment joints on the island that are not found in any part of the city. It offers exactly what you would expect to get at the coast, but with a better cool surrounding. Visiting this place is the first tin on the to-do list of any tourist heading to Norway. It will be quite unique for it to miss out on your list.

Conclusion: Norway has lots of things for you do when on vacation. With the great cultural diversity and natural green environment, everyone would wish to visit and spend some time on vacation in this great nation. One of the places to visit in Norway is the capital city; Oslo. Full of national parks, Islands, museums, historical buildings, great architecture and wild nightlife, Oslo is the ideal relaxation place for anyone. There an excellent transport network that ensures visitors are well catered for. Don’t forget buy your Oslo Pass and walk around into different places freely without any hindrances. You can also check online for perfect travel packages that will be suitable enough for your relaxation needs. Good luck!

written by:Michael Danbacker

written by:

Michael Danbacker

 

Source : http://freetouroslo.com

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How trip to Raja Ampat

Raja-Ampat-Papua

How to get to Raja Ampat

1: Getting to Sorong

Flight info presented here is aimed at international travellers seeking the quickest route to Raja Ampat from outside Indonesia and so ignores flights to Sorong from airports not serviced by international flights (Ambon, Jayapura etc).

Domine Eduard Osok Airport – SOQ

Sorong’s airport is Domine Eduard Osok (IATA code: SOQ) not Jefman Airport as some sources report. Jefman is an older airport (originally built by the Japanese during World War II) on an island off Sorong. There is also the Marinda Airport at Waisai, with twice weekly flights between it and Sorong. See below for information about Sorong-Waisai flights.

  • There are no international flights into Sorong
  • There are no direct (non-stop) flights from Bali to Sorong

From outside Indonesia:

Via Jakarta:

  • Lots of airlines fly from Southeast Asian hubs to Jakarta.

Via Makassar:

  • Silk Air flies from Singapore to Makassar (flights codeshared with Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia)
  • Air Asia offers direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Makassar

Via Manado:

  • Silk Air flies Singapore to Manado (flights codeshared with Singapore Airlines)

Note that these are merely the most convenient entry points for international travellers bound for Sorong. There are other international airports in Indonesia, but to the best of our knowledge, none of those offer non-stop flights to Sorong. (Correct us if we’re wrong about that!)

From inside Indonesia:

  • Use Traveloka, Tiket.com, Tiket2Indonesia or Skyscanner to check availability of flights from your departure point
  • If you’re having trouble booking internal flights online, Mau ke Mana are reliable agents and can arrange ticket purchases for you
  • If you want to experience sea travel in the archipelago, here’s Indonesia’s Pelni ship schedules.

Direct flights to Sorong

As Raja Ampat tourism grows, so do the number of flights available to Sorong. We used to publish a table of airlines and their flight times here, but the last few years’ growth in the available options has made it impractical for us to keep those up to date.

Instead, here’s a list of links to the airlines that fly direct (no stops) to Sorong from the most convenient international airports mentioned above. This information was current in November 2015. We recommend searching Traveloka to quickly find available flight dates and times from the Indonesian airport that best that suits you.

Jakarta to Sorong (CGK-SOQ): Xpress, Sriwijaya (Nam Air)

Makassar to Sorong (UPG-SOQ): Garuda, Xpress, Sriwijaya, Lion (Batik Air)

Manado to Sorong (MDC-SOQ): Lion (Wings Air)

2: Sorong airport to harbour transfers

The taxi ride from Sorong airport to the ferry harbour takes around 10-20 minutes, depending on traffic, and costs around 100,000 Rupiah (~ USD10.00)

If you don’t have a lot of luggage you can get a lift on the back of a motorbike (ojek) for about 20,000 Rupiah (~USD2.00)

If you’re trying to keep costs as low as possible you can get there for 6000 Rupiah if you’re happy to walk a few hundred metres to the main road and catch the yellow public bimos (minibuses) to the city terminal, then transfer to the bimos heading for the harbour. Each leg of the trip is 3000 Rupiah – no news yet on how long that takes…

3: How to get from Sorong to the Raja Ampat islands

There are three choices for making your own way from Sorong to the Raja Ampat islands:

3.1: Public Ferries

There are two ferry types (express and ‘slow boat’) that make the crossing between Sorong and Waisai. Waisai is on the island of Waigeo and is the capital of the Raja Ampat regency. Almost all of the accommodation options on this website provide pickup from Waisai.

Both the express ferries and the slow boat run every day and both types have departures from both Sorong and Waisai scheduled at around 2.00pm. Departures can often be delayed, so it’s worth asking someone to call the harbour if you’re running late. The current express ferry schedule is posted below.

The express ferry takes around two hours to make the crossing. The slow boat takes about four hours. Naturally, most travellers prefer the express boats!

At last report, slow boat tickets cost IDR 140,000 (~USD 14.00) and can be purchased either on the pier before boarding or on the boat itself. A limited number of private cabins are available if you want one. For the best deal ask one of the crew about these.

Express ferry tickets are IDR 130,000 for economy class, or IDR 220,000 for a VIP ticket. A VIP seat will give you an adjustable-back chair in an airconditioned room equipped with a state-of-the-art loud karaoke system that usually sees a lot of use. Tickets are sold on the wharf and at the Raja Ampat Tourism Office.

At Sorong harbour, the white and orange Bahari Express ferries can be found by going to the very end of the L-shaped pier. The express ferry is usually tied up alongside another ship at the end of dock and you have to cross that ship’s deck to board the ferry. The slow boat (normally the Fajar Mulia) is usually to be found on the right hand side of the jetty, at the corner of the “L”.

Express ferry schedule

The table below shows the express ferry schedule and was correct at January 22 2016. Schedules can change without notice. The Sorong Tourism Office and your accommodation provider will be able to provide up to date accurate ferry information. Ferry departures can sometimes be delayed. We experienced a delay of over 90 minutes on one occasion, as the ferry waited for late VIPs to show up. You’re taking a big risk by scheduling a 2.00pm Waisai departure to connect with a late afternoon flight out of Sorong!

Times shown in the table below are departure times. The ferry journey time is about two hours.

DAY SORONG TO WAISAI WAISAI TO SORONG
MON 9.00am 2.00pm 11.00am 2.00pm
TUE 2.00pm 2.00pm
WED 9.00am 2.00pm 9.00am 2.00pm
THU 2.00pm 2.00pm
FRI 9.00am 2.00pm 9.00am 2.00pm
SAT 2.00pm 12.00noon
SUN 2.00pm 2.00pm

3.2: Speedboats

If you’re in a real hurry, you can charter speedboats to take you directly to your accommodation. The speedboat harbour is about 200m west of the ferry wharf. Speedboats are far more expensive (hundreds of dollars) and a lot less comfortable than the public ferries – you’d need a really compelling reason to charter one!

3.3: Sorong to Waisai flights

A 16 seat Twin Otter operated by Susi Air flies from Sorong to Waisai’s Marinda Airport and return.  The route isn’t commercially viable and Susi Air only operates it thanks to a subsidy from the Raja Ampat government. As such, schedules can be changed without notice, so be sure to contact the airline to confirm the current schedule when planning your trip.

  • Departs Sorong Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 0830, arriving Waisai 0900
  • Returns from Waisai Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 0910, arriving Sorong 0940
  • Cost (one way – August 2014): Adult or child > IDR 205,000  Infant > IDR 50,000

Contact numbers for bookings:

  • Susi Air Sorong: +628114806709, +628114806710
  • Susi Air Manokwari: +628112123932, +628114806705

Email:

  • info@susiair.com

Note:

  • Susi Air’s website doesn’t yet show the Sorong-Waisai route (they inherited the service from the now defunct Merpati airline), so it’s not possible to book online. Current information is that bookings are only able to be made at the Sorong and Manokwari offices.

4: How to get from Waisai to the islands

The simplest way to get to your accommodation from Waisai is to arrange a pickup when you book the accommodation. Most of the homestays listed on this website publish Waisai transfer prices.

The cost of transfer from Waisai to the islands is a sore point with many travellers. Boat transfer prices are more expensive than they should be and bargaining rarely yields a substantial discount on the asking prices. Be sure to let your host know if you think his transfer prices are too high. If you’re lucky enough to discover a good alternative, please let us all know by commenting below!

If you’d prefer to organise your own transport, your options are via Transwisata in Waisai (ask a transport operator at the port to take you there), or by seeing if you can find space in a homestay boat going to a place near the one you want. Homestay boat pickups are from the homestay boat harbour on the western side of the port (shown on the map below).

A note about Sundays

If your intention is to always be culturally sensitive on your travels, you should do your best not to schedule a homestay arrival or departure on a Sunday. Read more about that and other important cultural considerations on our Raja Ampat local culture page.

Source : http://www.stayrajaampat.com/

 

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