The Dances of Indonesia Saman Dance

The Dances of Indonesia: Saman Dance

‘Thousand Hands’ – this is one of the most popular dances in Aceh.  Itsformal name is ‘Saman’ but it’s well-known abroad as Thousand Hands.  This dance is performed in celebration of the More »

Luxury Bali Holidays

Bali has so much to offer when it comes to luxury holidays and sightseeing. It is an island of unrivalled beauty and it has something to offer everyone. If you are looking More »

What Are Empty Legs and How to Use Them to Your Advantage

Everybody dreams of getting aboard private planes to get to their destination at the fastest possible time. The benefits of going for private jet charter flights are comprehensive, making them a compelling More »

Beach Life Around the World

Beach Life Around the World – The Most Memorable Vacation Experience

Most of the people around the world are interested to spend their holiday vacations at some finest beach resorts only. Almost everybody would like to spending holidays some of the world’s best More »

Valley of Kings Egypt

Top 10 Places of the World to See Before They Go

Top 10 Places to Visit Before They Disappear Nature has gifted several amazing gifts to mankind, but due to Global warming and Pollution, many places on the earth are getting extinct. This More »

Bali is a island paradise

Enjoy the Varied Tourism of the World

Germany is one of the most visited countries in Europe and has always had a reputation for being a very unique tourist experience. Whether you are interested in its rich culture or More »

Climbing the Great Wall of China

Climbing the Great Wall of China

So much has been written and published about the Great Wall of China but one thing is certain, if you travel to China without visiting this world renowned landmark, then your trip More »

Mount Everest

Top 5 Dangerous Places in the World You Should Visit

The last thing we’d expect on a vacation or trip is for something bad to happen. None of us picture flood, terrorism, illness, or even death in our vacation plans or our More »

Luxury Bali Holidays

Bali has so much to offer when it comes to luxury holidays and sightseeing. It is an island of unrivalled beauty and it has something to offer everyone. If you are looking for a relaxing holiday, you could take advantage of the glorious long beaches and stunning blue seas or for those that are looking for a little excitement, you can enjoy activities like white water rafting or exploring the temples, taking in the history and culture of Bali. From the paddy fields to the sea, Bali is a haven of natural beauty.

As Bali is classed as a tropical destination, its weather is mild and pleasant throughout the year but the seasons are split between wet and dry. The wet season is experienced between November and April and can be hotter with a high humidity with bouts of heavy rainfall. The dry season falls between May and October and is the best time to visit the island. Constant sun and warm seas offers great opportunities for outdoor activities or just sipping cocktails on the beach.

For those who are in need of a luxury holiday, there are a number of resorts available and one is the Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali. This resort offers total relaxation and is a truly unique experience, the resort is hidden away on the North East side of the island and is away from those areas that have high tourist numbers. It offers peaceful escapism, leaving people to enjoy its serenity and offering a true ‘back to nature’ experience.

The Mulia Villas in Nusa Dua once again takes advantage of the stunning coastline and offers beautiful suites with pools looking over the ocean and lounges that offer pure relaxation. With comfort and style this resort is hard to beat and with amazing restaurants and food, it offers Bali delicacies and Mediterranean food that can be enjoyed by everyone.

One of the best, if not the best resort in Bali is the Samaya Seminak in Ubud. This resort has so much to offer and just as many other resorts in Bali it offers privacy and time to chill, away from the hustle and bustle of ordinary life. The rooms are elegant and with each room having its own private pool there is no need to leave the room! With open air dining and its romantic setting it is perfect for couples.

Bali luxury holidays have lots to offer for those wanting to take in the culture or for those looking for a bit of excitement, it has it all. If being energetic is something you enjoy then why not hire a bicycle and take in the town of Ubud, along with the rice paddies and the surrounding villages. Start with the Monkey Forest and the crab eating macaques before heading to the Goa Gajah a unique and holy place then finish off with watching the Heron Migration.

For those who like the sea there is snorkelling around Menjangan island. A peaceful place, where a boatman will take you out to experience the colourful reefs and amazing fish, it really will leave you breathless. If food is an enjoyment then why not try Babi Guling at Ibu Oka in Ubud. This is classed as Bali’s main course and it consists of suckling pig. Order a main plate and grab a seat amongst the hoards of people, be sure to arrive with plenty of time because once the food has gone, the place closes. That’s how good it is!

The Dances of Indonesia: Saman Dance

The Dances of Indonesia Saman Dance

‘Thousand Hands’ – this is one of the most popular dances in Aceh.  Itsformal name is ‘Saman’ but it’s well-known abroad as Thousand Hands.  This dance is performed in celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday and other ceremonial occasions, with its origin coming from the Alas ethnic group from the Gayo Plateau in central Aceh.

Saman is a dance requiring excellent coordination skills:  it’s a very energetic and dynamic dance, with the participants using powerful and intense movements to form the rhythm of the dance.With one person reading the narrative in an Acehnese tone, at the same time you’ll hear the sounds of chest slapping, clapping or hand hitting on the floor.  Saman is a dynamic dance, requiring perfect coordination.  It’s powerful, but carefully coordinated; otherwise no one would hear anything, the rhythm would be ruined, and someone could be hurt.  These powerful and coordinated movements are the charm of the Saman Dance.  There are quite a few varying regional versions of this dance.

To perform the Saman Dance, between eight and twenty male performers rest on the floor in a kneeling position, making varying torso movements.  They are accompanied by songs, slapping chests, clapping hands, and slapping of hands on the floor.  Normally the songs are prayers, praises to Allah, or part of Islamic teachings.  The dance begins with a slow tempo, gradually increasing to a great speed, and suddenly coming to an abrupt stop.

Today, Saman is performed to promote the culture of Acehnese in national ceremonies, in open cultural festivals, Islamic holidays, and even abroad in the promotion of Indonesia: in addition of course in celebration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

In 2008 the Saman Dance was performed by not only students from Indonesia, but performers from other countries as well at the One World 2008 in Canada.

Now we’ll see Saman performed by women also, although if it is performed by women in Aceh, it’s called Meusekat.  Meusekat does not originate from Gayo, but from South and West Aceh.  Outside of Aceh both these dances are known as Saman, possibly because both these dances require the excellent skills and coordination of movements by its performers.

Although Saman has now altered from its original form, it still continues as anart-form, originating from the Special District of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, which is the official name of Aceh Province.  Saman is known worldwide as a cultural, attractive, Indonesian speed dance.

Saman is popular, but it’s not that easy to find an event or extravaganza that includes the dance. If you happen to be traveling in Bali, Indonesia, there is one place in Nusa Dua area, where you can see how beautiful Saman Dance is. Not only that, the show that named Devdan, as one of the most famous Bali attractions, also offers many other traditional Indonesian dances.

What Are Empty Legs and How to Use Them to Your Advantage

Everybody dreams of getting aboard private planes to get to their destination at the fastest possible time. The benefits of going for private jet charter flights are comprehensive, making them a compelling choice for anyone who can afford them. The problem is that mainly due to operating costs, getting charter planes can be extremely expensive. For those who want to enjoy the benefits of a charter flight without having to break the bank to do it, a jet charter empty leg flight would be a compelling choice. What are these flights and how can you use them to your advantage?

             Strictly speaking, the term “empty legs” is used in all types of transport. It basically denotes any public transport vehicle that must operate without any passengers. Noting this, any form of empty leg transport is considered as dead weight for the company in terms of costs. Because of this, some transportation companies are thinking of creative ways to utilize their empty legs into something that’s at least useful. For airline companies, that translates to the creation of empty leg flights.

             By taking advantage of empty leg flights, you can enjoy the benefits of riding in private jet charter flights at the fraction of the cost. In fact, it is estimated that the price of getting empty leg flights is lesser by 50 to 70 percent compared to traditional charter flights. You might ask why the prices for such services are that low. The main reason is that airline companies would much rather have their planes occupied rather than keep them empty. The discounted price is more or less a favor provided by the company as the fare paid by the client can be used as extra profit and for plane maintenance.

             If having empty legs is financially unfeasible for airline companies, then why do empty leg flights exist to begin with? There are many sides to this story. The main source of empty legs for the airline industry comes from one-way charter flights. Of course, the plane has to return to its mother airport. In the process of returning, the plane would not have any passenger, resulting to an empty legs flight. To save on costs, airline companies offer up these planes for rent to its intended destination. Not only does it end up as a coup for the charter flight service, but the passengers also get an affordable flight. Everyone wins in such a setup.

             Because it makes so much sense in a financial standpoint, it makes a lot of sense to use empty leg flights to your advantage. A quick search over the internet would yield a number of results that match the specifications of your travel itinerary. Given the high demand for empty leg flights, it makes a lot of sense to book your flight immediately. What’s more, since most empty leg flights are one-way trips, you’ll also need to find another flight for your return trip. With proper planning, you can enjoy the benefits of private jet charter flights at a discount with the help of empty legs.

St. Patrick’s Day Around the World

Just because you’re too busy to travel all the way to Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good time celebrating Irish traditions.
Chicago, New York City, Sydney, and even Tokyo have their own ways to celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. What began as the feast of Ireland’s patron saint has now grown into one of the biggest holidays celebrated anywhere in the world.

Up until 2002, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was celebrated as more of a religious holiday, the way it used to be in the old days. Following the hoof and mouth disease scare that canceled parades in 2001, Dublin decided they should embrace the gimmicky shamrocks and green beer to help boost tourism. The 5-day Dublin St. Patrick’s Day festival is now the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the country and has an attendance of over 700,000 people for parade day alone.

In the United States, green-clad partiers line the streets for parades in over a dozen cities. Boston, New York and Chicago host the most popular of these events, but you can even find a parade or two in New Orleans where the influence of Mardi Gras has led to an evolution of Saint Patrick’s Day parades around the big easy. Even after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, locals and tourists alike will be able to catch their share of St. Patrick’s Day beads tossed from elaborate parade floats.

Across the globe in Tokyo, Japanese citizens have been joining the Irish in celebration since 1992. The Tokyo parade is organized by the Irish Network Japan (INJ) with the support of the Embassy of Ireland. The Japanese love a good party and they are particularly fond of all things Irish – including Irish setters and Guinness beer for about $8.00 a pint! However, popular St. Patrick’s Day parade highlights are the “free beer girls” who represent the local Irish taverns by handing out vouchers which are good for complimentary green beer.

Since the entire month of March is festival season down under, Sydney’s calendar is full of events, many of them representing Irish culture. There are Irish heritage at breakfasts, lunches, dinners, balls, race days, golf days, and concerts. Of course, there’ll be plenty rounds of drinks in Australia’s more than 150 Irish pubs. However it’s not all about drinks for Australia. A traditional Saint Patrick’s Day Mass is held at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.

What once began as a traditional Irish holiday day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide, has now come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck. No matter where you are or what country you are in, chances are you will see a little bit of the “wearing of the green” on March 17th.

Cultural Tourism – Visiting the Remote Tribes of the World in Search of Understanding

The various tribes of the world that have managed to remain unscathed by the ravages of civilization are precious repositories of eco-friendly life styles. These earth-friendly cultures are as fascinating as the intricacies of the Universe itself. Increasingly, those looking for respite from too much civilization are drawn to these pre-historic caches of human life. As a result there have been instances where tourists rush in where locals fear to tread, and invariably leave a trail of destruction in their wake. There’s more to be gained from cultural tourism if it is approached with a certain amount of sensitivity that may be termed responsible tourism.

In past centuries cultural or tribal tourism was often motivated by sheer curiosity and had a voyeuristic element which failed to appreciate the down to earth lifestyles of the tribal people. There was a decided feeling of superiority and relief at not being “uncivilized savages” themselves. Others felt an overwhelming need to civilize the “savages” or bring them into the folds of religion. So, for whatever reason, there was a pressing need to interfere in these indigenous lives to make them better.

Fortunately in the last few decades this trend has been overtaken by a healthier attitude marked by a genuine interest and responsible mindset, tinged with respect and appreciation for the subject. A quest for understanding has taken tourists to the remote corners of Africa, Americas, and Asia to discover information regarding alternate ways of life. Anthropological studies and television documentaries have kindled an ever increasing interest in cultural tourism, fanned even more by tour companies and state governments that see new economic opportunities in their backyards. Celebrities contribute their mite by bringing new places to the attention of the world either by adopting kids or touring these remote lands. Cultural tourism has surely arrived, even grown by leaps and bounds. How does this affect the tribes themselves, if at all?

In the northwest region of Namibia, live the tribe of Himba. They inhabit the wilderness of Kaokoland and have done so since time immemorial. The Himba women adorn themselves with a great deal of jewellery and elaborate braids, taking a lot of pride in their femininity. They rub their bodies with a mixture of ochre, butter, and fragrant herbs to give their skin a translucent perfection. The Himba lived off the fruit of the land in isolation till the tourist descended on their idyllic hideaway. With the best intentions in the world, they introduced candies to the children and liquor to the men, besides a whole lot of processed food all around. Now Western modernisation has swept the Himba young into its fold, while only the old timers cling to their traditions.

The San, or the Bushmen, are another tribe that have lived in Namibia for at least 30,000 years. They can now be visited as one of the highlights of a safari in the Etosha National Park. The Owambo people, who live in thatched dwellings in a fenced kraal with a sacred fire in the centre, are another attraction.

In the heartland of Australia live the majority of aboriginal tribes such as the Arunta, Arrarnta, Yolgnu, and Aranda, who have persisted in the rhythm of their pre-historic cultures to this day. Marked by a considerable amount of ceremonies, rituals, songs, and dances, their culture has survived intact in certain areas where outsiders are forbidden to watch them. However, European colonisation has robbed other tribes of their identities and totally destroyed at least some of their tribal sanctity.

The central and north-eastern states of India have a wealth of ancient tribal cultures that continue survive as their people live more or less the same lives led by their ancestors. There are strongholds of ancient cultures thriving in the remote interiors that are untouched by modernity. The government has taken steps to preserve these as national treasures, and so you have areas like Jharkhand and Chattisgarh where about 70% of the population belong to various tribes. There are a number of organized tours that take tourists there. You can interact with the local tribes and take part in their ceremonies at select opportunities. These tribes are quite willing to share their lives with outsiders but think twice before adopting foreign cultures, which helps preserve their cultural integrity.

Tourism that takes you to the backyards of other people, whether it’s an Amish village, Native American Indian sites in North America, or the aboriginals of Australia, is best done with the same respect and responsibility we would show when we lean over the fence for a friendly chat or enter a neighbour’s kitchen for a cup of tea. We most certainly would not pluck her prize roses, walk all over her vegetable patch, or leave with her pet goldfish. Responsible travel is merely taking these good manners with us when we visit another community and remembering our common humanity while striving for understanding of a culture so different from our own.

Tribal people have customs, rituals, sacred places, and holy days that we may have no idea about. Even the local people who do not belong to the tribes might be quite vague about details. The governments may not publicize these issues for fear of driving away tourist dollars. Tour operators just do their jobs. So it is pretty much up to us as responsible travellers to ensure we take into account these factors and aim to tread lightly on our planet with respect and understanding.

Travel For the Soul – Leaving the Western World Behind

Being in the tourism industry myself for quite some time now, I hear a lot of ums and ahs when it comes to the actual movement of putting travel plans into action. I guess that is the hardest part for most of us, the most daunting part of travel, is actually going from imagination, ideas and inspired recommendations into paper and of course parting with the money that generally goes with putting travel into action. I hope this may nudge you into taking that final step, if you find you are still procrastinating over the simple action of booking that holiday!

Travel for the soul. I am a true believer that taking off to a new country and seeing a different way of life, meeting people with unique and culturally dissimilar ways of going about everyday living than other than your own, is a life altering and inspirational experience. Generally most people will return home with a new appreciation for what they have, or perhaps even as I find myself, a new appreciation and desire for the simplicity of another way of life, and that sometimes things just get too complicated back at home for no apparent reason other than, that is how it is!

I haven’t met many people that haven’t found something soul defining throughout their travel experience to non-westernised or under developed countries, whether it be that moment they sat alone taking in the immensity of the Himalaya, peering over them like a white wave in an ocean of brilliant blue skies. Or a poverty stricken child smiling up at them for something as simple as a western face smiling back, these moments change lives, and bring what seems so important back to the size it really is, tiny and insignificant. And as one very wise person once said to me, travel is an investment in life, so why wouldn’t you pay for memories and experiences you will hold dear forever!

Why do we hold back? The first thing that strikes people about travelling to a non-westernised country is the simplicity of it, most of us build this complicated image in our minds of ‘how am I going to get from one place to the next’ ‘what if no one speaks English’ ‘what if I get sick’……..etc. What we neglect to think about is, these local people travel from one place to another, they get sick too and well in a majority of destinations in the world today people are basically educated, or have a need to speak basic English, when in doubt there is the option of joining and organised tour, where inevitably your guide will speak English if you join a reputable company and well simply ask for an English speaking guide. Medical facilities may be basic, but if you are properly insured as you should be, then there is no reason if required an emergency evacuation can’t be made to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand or China, of which have some outstanding hospitals.

In any case I find most countries have at least one or two very well equipped hospitals. Transports in anyway shape or form is apparent, in life we all need to get around, buses, bikes, horses, man powered rickshaws, motorised Tuk Tuks, light planes, trains and feet! And lastly a lot of people can’t seem to find that one person that has the same interest as them to wonder these fascinating but somewhat under developed areas of the world, an organised tour is a great way to travel, feeling secure, and making fast friends whilst travelling is hard not to do on one of these, plus there are hundreds of solo travellers like you, you will meet them in airports, restaurants, hotels, night spots, trekking or simply walking the cobbled streets, it really isn’t as daunting as it seems, just get out there and do it!

There are a lot of great travel companies out there, obviously well known ones that run giant head offices most probably right at your doorstep, try not to leave out the smaller guy though, there are plenty of really well established and competitive local companies with very thorough knowledge of the countries you are visiting on tour, because they are actually based there, I would rather have a head office to turn to while I’m there rather than call one back at home if something goes amiss.

How To Enjoy Culinary Travel Around The World

These days, we are bringing the food of the world to our borders. Culinary travel around the world is a way to explore far away regions by tasting the way they cook certain dishes, or specialties specific to the region. Food has a way of bringing people thousands of miles apart closer than they ever imagined, just by making it in their own kitchen.

If you like, you can travel using various forms of transportation such as cruise ships, airplanes or even backpacking trips. This will give you hands-on experience with food from different cultures, as well as let you see how their cooking methods may differ from other people’s. Spices and cooking times will vary according to taste and how done each food needs to be for their palates.

When you want to travel and see different areas without actually spending the money to go, television can be a big help to do just this. With the advent of food networks and shows dedicated specifically to the cooking of dishes from regions across the world, you can get an education right in your own front room. These are great because each show host has their own unique way of presenting these foods, and can offer insight from every angle.

For the traveler who wants to be prepared, you can also do research before leaving in order to find out the best places to eat. The Internet is a well of information in regards to consumer reviews and which restaurants provide the best food for the best price. They may also be a great help in terms of which places cook the food more safely than others.

Food magazines are great as well, because their editions may focus on a particular region one month, and another region the next. They allow you to read and new perspectives from the author’s point of view, and find out information that may have not been discovered any other way. It is also a good way to see photographs of dishes once they have been completed.

Personal testimonies are growing more every day in the forms of blogs and what better way to hear someone’s review than to read it in their own words, at their own pace. While professional chefs do blog, it’s also fun to read the blogs of people who just love to travel. There’s a reason they love to do it, and their passion comes through when they talk of the many places they have been.

To receive a dedicated tour of the world’s food, consider taking a culinary tour. These can be planned for almost any region and the sole reason for taking them is to try foods from a particular place. There are several styles of cooking even within one region, so exploring the entire region is necessary to get the complete picture of what they offer.

People who love to cook, people who are learning to cook and professional chefs are all interested in learning about culinary travel around the world. Technology is giving us better ways to do this every day, as well as a more interactive experience. If this is something you want to find out more about, use your resources and see what’s available to you or around you. Travel agents, library books and the Internet are wonderful tools for just this purpose.

The Burj Dubai: Amazing Facts and Information About the World’s Tallest Building

At 828 m (2,717 ft), the Burj Dubai, now referred to as the Burj Khalifa is the tallest man-made structure in the world. The amazing building was officially opened in January 2010. Construction took 6 years to complete at a cost of around US $1.5 billion.

The Dubai government reportedly developed the Burj Dubai project as a means of diversification from its primary oil based economy in the early years to a travel and tourism based economy more recently. Dubai has certainly put itself on the world map with its rapid growth and its forward vision. Other awe inspiring developments in Dubai include the Palm Island Dubai and the World Islands Dubai, both of which have helped put Dubai on the global map.

The tallest building in the world was built as a mixed-use development that includes:
- 19 residential towers
- 30,000 private residences
- 9 hotels
- Sprawling parkland
- The world’s largest mall, the Dubai Mall
- Man-made Burj Khalifa Lake
- Corporate hotels and suites
- An indoor and outdoor observation deck

One of the centre-pieces of the Burj Dubai, located at the base of the structure is a massive water fountain. With more than 6,600 lights and 50 colored projectors, the fountain is choreographed to “dance” to a combine of classical, modern and Arabic music. The fountain is a sight to behold as it shoots water more than 150m (490 ft) into the air.

The observation deck includes a state of the art Behold Telescope system which is an augmented device which allows guests to watch the surrounding landscape in real-time, and also to see historical photographs of the landscape.

Other record breaking facts about the Burj Dubai include:
- The highest vertical concrete pumping (for any construction project): 606 m (1,988ft)
- World’s tallest set up of an aluminum and glass facade, at a height of 512 m (1680 ft)
- Tallest occupied floor (160th floor )
- World’s largest elevator system comprising 57 elevators
- World’s fastest elevators that run at a pace of 64 km/h (forty mph) or eighteen metres per second (59 ft/s)
- World’s highest mosque (positioned in the 158th floor)
- World’s tallest swimming pool (76th floor)
- World’s tallest nightclub (144th floor)
- World’s tallest restaurant found on 122nd floor with the height of 442 m (1450 ft)
- World’s tallest fireworks exhibit

This structure really is a site to behold and if you get the chance to visit Dubai, it should be high on your list of things to do. The Burj Dubai is a testament to the vision and the “can do” attitude of the extraordinary city of Dubai.

Cultural Tourism in Kenya

Tourism can be referred to as travelling for discovery or for pleasure to places that are of great interest. Tourists have an interest in people of the places they visit. They want to familiarize with their culture, their lifestyle and their practices. In Kenya, cultural tourism is practiced with an aim of understanding the origins of a people’s culture, their attachment to some practices, their norms and taboos as well as their outlook on the meaning of life. Cultural experiences provide tourists with an experience that they would otherwise not get elsewhere.

Cultural tourism in Kenya mostly targets the indigenous communities that are still holding on to their traditional way of life. Among the communities that are targeted by tourists are the Masai, Samburu and Turkana, who are known to be rich in traditional songs and dances, not forgetting that, they form the population of cattle herders and pastoralism. Their food culture is also another aspect that seems to promote cultural tourism in Kenya, bearing in mind that their most favorite drink is milk mixed with fresh animal blood.

So much about these groups of people; let’s not forget that Kenya has 42 different tribes and as such, 42 different cultures. Each of these has some cultural practices that would interest any tourist keen on cultural tourism. All these cultures are spread throughout the nation of Kenya. While the aforementioned communities of the Maasai and Samburu most occupy the Great Rift valley, others like the Swahili and Digo are to be found in the coastal region of the country. The cultural tourism around the area goes hand in hand with coastal tourism that is mainly an attraction due to the Indian Ocean, the coral reefs and the ferries. The coastal people have numerous festivals and ceremonies that are marked with traditional dances that are quite attractive to tourists.

To the west of the country are the Luo and Luhya communities. These are known to be the occupants of the Great Lake (Lake Victoria). Their culture is marked with fishing, and tourists enjoy engaging in the activity as well. Cultural tourism in Kenya has helped the Kenyan communities to hold on to their cultural practices. It gives much joy and pride when people travel from all over the world just to come and interact with the people of Kenya and to have a feel of what it is like to have some traditional practices to identify with. This culture gives a sense of identity and belonging to the whole Kenyan community.

Karachi: The World’s Most Dangerous Heaven

So, you are finally thinking about heading over to Karachi for some leisure time or maybe on a work venture and you decided to take some time out to enjoy the glorious city. If this is the case, then this article might help you in one way or the other.

Karachi has been a city that has lost its true appeal and glory because of recent sectarian violence and civil unrest which has resulted in many of the foreigners to leave the city who were here because of some business venture or for plain ol’ tourism.

You might be thinking why should we even think of traveling to such a city which is jaded to the extreme?

I say that’s a fair question, but I have an answer to that.

I believe that bad news travels quickly but nobody bats an eye over the progress being made by the city to overcome the situation in the city. With the election of the new government, it is quite evident that steps are being taken to ensure the safety of the citizens and the promotion of culture of the city.

Now that the hard part done, Lets proceed towards the fun and easy part.

1) KARACHI HOTELS

Since you are gonna be staying in Karachi for a while, finding a hotel is the key, which may set the tone for your whole trip. Although there are umpteen different hotels in Karachi, looking through all of them could be quite a hassle. That’s where this article will come handy. I have shortlisted two of the BEST hotels to stay in Karachi.

Marriott Karachi Hotel (5 star)
Ramada plaza Karachi Hotel (3. 5 star)

a) Marriott Karachi Hotel

This 5 star spectacular Karachi hotel is located in one of the posh areas of the city and enjoys one of the tightest security than most of the hotels in Karachi due to its close proximity to the US Consulate.

b) Ramada Plaza Karachi Hotel

Although this hotel is not favoured much over Marriott hotel but some people seem to have a liking for it, although it is situated a mere 45 min drive from the downtown where security concern might arise, but due to the location of the hotel close to the Airport, the security is pretty tight there.

Now that we are done with the check-ins, lets go for some sight seeing,

Karachi is a city filled with many possible places of interest, both modern and traditional. Some of the landmarks to visit are given below

1) Frere Hall

This beautiful architectural marval was built in honour of Sir Henry Frere. The hall was closed to public a few years back, but as of 2011, it has been re-opened for public and every Sunday there is a book bazaar where many books of old print can be purchased.

2) French Beach

The majestic French Beach, located about 39 km away from central Karachi remains a common place of visit for the upper-class families and the tourists. With its clear blue waters it surely presents a picture of pure bliss. You could rent a hut for a day and stay at the beach for some relaxing and unwinding after a long day. One of the reason it is very popular among the tourists is its secluded location. Those looking for a bit of privacy can surely find The French Beach interesting.

3) Quaid-e-Azam’s Mausoleum

The unorthodox shaped mausoleum made for the founder of the nation, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The Mausoleum was built by a Turkish architect. The mausoleum is made up of white marble which gives the indication of a more traditional building styles employed ages ago.

Great, we have done a bit of traveling now, one must be feeling hungry. Time to eat. Over the past couple of years, Karachi has become quite famous for its restaurants and for the right reasons too. Some of those are given below.

1) Cafe Flo

This restaurant which is run by a French woman from Nice, It is located inside Alliance Francaise. This restaurant is mostly popular among the foreigners living in Karachi and making reservations before heading out to this restaurant is a must. I would recommend you try out the Lobster and the chocolate mousse. . . C’est magnifique!

2) Village Garden Restaurant

One of the oldest restaurants of Karachi, but also one of the best, if you like to sit out in the open air and eat then that’s the place to be, with a menu heavy on barbequed meat. All in all, This place is heaven for meat lovers.

3) Evolution

It is one of those rare Pakistani restaurants that give you the Night-Club-ish sort of feeling as it is filled with fun loving teenagers belonging to the upper class families. They serve an all you can eat around lunch with different cuisines from all over the world.

Cheap Holiday Spots Around the World

The budget holiday is quickly becoming an institution as people try to travel as far and wide as possible on limited budgets. This is owed somewhat to the economic times we live in but also to the growing fascination many have with tourism – indeed, travel is an incredibly important part of many people’s lives and they try to see new places at every possible juncture. There are many things you can do to cut your expenses whilst travelling, including: booking cheap flights, staying in hostels and camping or eating cheap. However, if you go somewhere expensive you are bound to overspend, while affordable locations will let you do more with less. Here are three great cost-saving travel destinations that are still amazing.

Thailand has become a mecca of sorts for backpackers from around the world, largely due to its great prices. Indeed, thousands of young travellers come here to relax on the beach, scuba dive and party. The prices certainly help this as you can get meals for under £2 and a stay in a decent hotel for under £10 – this allows paupers to cut out and live like kings, if only for a few weeks. Best of all Thailand is still a world-class tourist destination: it has amazing beaches, great weather and some incredible historical and cultural sights which can be seen free of charge. Thailand is a budget holiday dream.

These days many people crave all-inclusive package holidays that let them relax in the sun on a deserted beach – this type of holiday is the perfect way to get rid of all your cares. If you are on a budget this might seem out of reach, however, if you look into trips to Mexico you will be able to get a gorgeous holiday for far less. Resorts like Cancun and Acapulco are packed with quite acceptable resorts which offer all-inclusive packages and access to amazing beaches; it may not be a deserted island but it will allow you to relax without spending a huge amount of money. Other items here are also cheap as drinks and food can be had for very reasonable prices.

For people intent upon exploring Europe, the financial picture is a bit scary as most of the great continental countries are incredibly expensive and have a very high cost of living. The exception to this is Germany which has surprisingly cheap food and accommodation: you can get a good meal for under £5 in some places. Also if you head to the supermarkets you will find food for very little. Germany of course offers so much to tourists including the artistic streets of Berlin and the scenic rolling lands of southern Germany.

Cheap holidays are the best way for avid travellers to get abroad as they allow them to travel for longer. With some careful planning it is possible to take in many different locations and chart grand journeys across the globe. This is one of the great

Top 5 Scuba Diving Places in the World

How would you like to spend your vacation…..? Traveling, fishing, hiking, bird watching or gaming? Today there are lots of types to spend our vacation. Scuba Diving is one of world best leisure activity. Actually this activity has been popular as a recreation activity for tourism. Scuba Diving (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater.

Scuba divers are going across the depths of the waters for commercial, scientific and military purposes. But the majority is enjoying diving for recreational purposes to see the beauty that lives in the ocean waters. There are hundreds of places to dive around the world. But followings are the most popular places to dive in the world.

01. Scuba Diving in Cozumel

Cozumel is the Mexican Caribbean’s largest island, just 12 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Every professional diver has a dream to dive Cozumel. Lots of activity on Cozumel is focused on the reefs and shallow coral formations that extend from the southern tip of the island to just south of San Miguel on the west coast. This is a good place to dive if you like. Because there are very good accommodation facilities and each depends on your budget and vacation style. English is widely spoken in Cozumel, but Spanish is the official language.

02. Scuba Diving in Fiji

Fiji is a beautiful country having fantastic beaches with coral reefs. There are lots of places to dive in Fiji, Such as Mamanuca dive sites in Viti Levu Island, World famous Astrolabe Reef and Beqa Lagoon in the Southern Islands, World famous Rainbow Reef in the Northern Islands, Two separate barrier reefs between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu in the north-east of Fiji, etc. There are plenty of resorts offering scuba diving scattered around the islands.

03. Scuba Diving in Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Islands and located near to Cuba. Grand Cayman offers some of the greatest underwater diversity anywhere in the world. This is a beautiful island having with sponges and corals in a stunning array of colors, and an assortment of wrecks and shallow reefs filled with schooling fish and small invertebrates.

04. Scuba Diving in Koh Tao Thailand

Koh Tao is a small island located in the Gulf of Thailand. This is one of best places to dive in Asia. If you like to sea turtles, tranquil sandy beaches, granite boulder, jungle and coconut trees covered coastal line Koh Tao is the place to visit. Koh Tao will give you a hidden underwater treasure, with an impressive variety of marine life.

05. Scuba Diving in Heron Island Queensland

We can find Heron Island at the southern side of the 2050 kilometers-long Great Barrier Reef of Queensland, Australia, about 539 kilometers away from Brisbane, the state capital. If you wish to dive in Heron Island you can see moray eels, reef sharks, turtles (especially Green turtles and Loggerhead turtles) and manta rays. There are lots of diving sites in Heron Island such as Gorgonia Hole, Second Point, Coral Grotto, First Point, Blue Pools, Coral Gardens, Wistari Reef, Libbie’s Lair, Coral Cascade, Fifth Point, Hole in the Wall, Plate Ledge, Pams Point, etc.

New Mumbai: The World’s Largest Planned City

On the east section of Thane creek and in the district of Thane sits the cosmopolitan planned city of Navi Mumbai, also known as New Mumbai. It’s Mumbai’s twin city and was built with the intention of mainly clearing the city of its suffocating feel and making it more breathable. It covers the districts of Raigarh and Thane and stretches over an area of 344 square kilometers. In the present day, the city has emerged as a highly developed area and is now a centre of commerce, education and industries. The Arabian Sea separates Navi Mumbai from Mumbai. The bridges of Airoli and Vashi join the two twin cities.

In 1534, Navi Mumbai started being ruled by the Portuguese. Later on, the islands of Bombay were gifted to the British King, Charles II, a gift bestowed on the king for marrying Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese princess. Eventually, the territory was bought on lease by The East India Company. In 1972, this part of India, on the western coast of the state of Maharashtra, was built as a planned twin city of older Mumbai.

This city was brought about by The City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (CIDCO) and has the structure of a number of small towns or nodes integrated beautifully and perfectly. Navi Mumbai constitutes of the fourteen following townships: New Panvel, Ulwe, Dronagiri, Pushpak, Jui Kamothe, Kalamboli, CBD Belapur, Kharghar, Vashi, Sanpada, Nerul, Airoli, Ghansoli and Kopar Khairane. Of these, Vashi is referred to as the ‘king’ and Nerul as the ‘queen’ of the city.

Something interesting about this city is that there is a balance between the natural and human-made tourist attractions. The fact that this city is a constantly developing city in the business aspect leaves us open to assuming just how many IT parks that might occupy this place. Some renowned IT parks of this beautiful city are Millennium Business Park, Airoli Knowledge Park, ITC Park and International IT Hardware Park.

Also, at the heart of the city lies a more free market oriented zone called Special Economic Zone or SEZ which is hopefully going to bring significant economic progress in the future.

The presence of Sahyadri mountain ranges makes it a favourable place for trekkers located in and around the city. Nerul Balaji Temple, Pandavkada Falls, Karnala Fort, Kharghar Hills, Pandavkada Falls, Rain Tree Marg, Sagar Vihar Garden and D Y Patil Stadium are some destinations you can stop over during your stay in Navi Mumbai. Karnala Fort and Belapur Fort provide testimony of its rich historical past. Karnala Bird Sanctuary offers a view of all the vibrant coloured local and migratory birds that inhabit here.

Belapur Mango Garden, Palm Beach Marg, Utsav Chowk and Gadeshwar Dam are some more attractions. Some hotels that belong to the list of best Hotels in Navi Mumbai are Yogi Metropolitan Hotel, Celebrations Inn, and Royal Orchid Central Grazia, Vashi.