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.

Trip To Essel World And Manori Beach – Mumbai

When in Mumbai, you can find outstanding travel and even tourist spots in its vicinity. Despite whatever your travel targets, you simply will not be disappointed. Tourist destinations in and even around Mumbai are as multi dimensional as the city itself. It’s easy to find a place to visit that can match your mood and even intent. To spend an evening alone, with family, or maybe an trip with pals; all is possible when in Mumbai.

Let us explore 2 distinctive and even unique tourist places to select from.

Essel World

Essel World was India’s first and largest amusement park, and what better city for its area that the metropolitan Mumbai. It is located in Gorai, and spreads on a land area of 64 acres. With over 8 lack visitors each and every year, its popularity has no bounds. Introduced in 1989, Essel World became the talk of the town almost instantly. Just after the water park was launched.

The way to Reach

You can get to Essel World via a ferry from the suburbs of Malad and Borivli. By road, Essel World can be reached through Mira Road Bhayandar.

Park Timings

The park is open year around from 10 am to 8 pm all through the weekends and peak time of year and from 10 am to 7 pm all through the weekdays and even off-season.

Essel World Points of interest

Family rides like the Water dive, Crazy cups, Hedge maze, Highway cars, Monsters in the MistPrabal- the killer, Riki’s rocking alley, Slam bob, Tilt a whirl, Zipper dipper, Cricket Zone, Virtual world, Monster and Aero swinger, let the entire family to frolic in fun throughout Essel World.

Adventure along with excitement don’t have any bar with the adult rides like Enterprise, Hoola Loop, Rock-N-Roll, Rock Climbing, Senior Dogem, Senior Tele combat, Thunder plus Zyclone.

Kids rides includes Big Apple, Caterpillar, Children boat ride, Convoy track, Happy sky, Jr. Dogem, Jr. Carousel, Jr. Go Kart, Kinder Carousal, Mini Telecombat, Play port, Rio Grande train, Yard Train, Slippery sultan, Kiddies flume, Mirror Maze, Derby racer, Virtual world, Jr. Waltzer and even the Trampoline.

Aside from the rides, tourists can indulge in the different food and even shopping places all over the Essel World. The park consists of restaurants plus eateries of several varied cuisines. There’s something for everybody no one can go hungry or else unhappy at the park with regards to food. A lot of shops can be easily found through to get souvenirs and even gifts to take home, and furthermore certain important things that may come in handy while away from home.

During the day, there are many events and even shows that take place in Essel World and even these keep on improving and even reforming occasionally. The entertainment is simply an additional additional reward when relaxing in between the rides and adventures.

Manori Beach

Located in northern Mumbai, Manori beach is a popular tourist spot. It is best for a weekend holiday in lots of cases. Maroni creek plus the beach is what the village of Manori is known for. The town consists of regional fishermen, and even the population has similarity to Goans. The sunsets here are mesmerizing and magical.

How you can Reach

You can get to Manori by road via Bhayander. Or, you can take a ferry ride from Malad’s Marve Beach that gets you there in about fifteen minutes. It is about 40 kms from Mumbai city.

Manori Beach Attractions

Manori beach’s beach side shacks are generally populated with people from all over. There are several hotels a few resorts that will add a feel of luxury to the village.

There are various of spiritual temples and even ashrams to look for those who are interested in spirituality. Close by, there is also a Buddhist Pagoda that attracts people.

Water fans, hit Manori beach by the dozens to enjoy the clean waters. It is full of travelers that come for a swim and even enjoy nature. Additionally you can be safe taking walks on the beach, playing Frisbee, doing other activities in the water.

For the foodies, Manori Beach will be an A hit. There is a variety of restaurants, shacks, and even food stalls to pick from. You can find unique and even local dishes that will make a person’s mouth water. Local seafood is fresh and even used in a number of of the local dishes that people flock to indulge in.

Along the restaurants, additionally, there are shopping stalls and even shops that sell local artefacts plus souvenirs.

Hence there you have it! Pack your bags and visit what your heart wishes to do. Think about what kind of mood you are in, what will you wish to do or what would others with you like to do? For every type and class of answer, there will be a tourist location in or around Mumbai to pick from. If you don’t desire to play the guess game, or there’s no time to spend thinking of, the head to Essel World or make a trip to Manori Beach. You will come back a happy camper.

Travel Australia – The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road in Victoria Australia can be easily accessed via Geelong and officially begins at Torquay and ends in Nelson. The site for the road was first surveyed in 1918 and was constructed between 1919 and 1932 by 3000 returned soldiers II as a memorial to those servicemen killed in World War II.

Today the Great Ocean Road is one of the most significant and picturesque drives within Australia and the around the world. It extends for a total of 273 km’s and for Victorian state tourism purposes, is divided into three distinct sectors, The Surf coast and Otways, Shipwreck Coast and Discovery Coast. The Surf Coast is approximately 100 km and takes in such popular tourist towns as Torquay, Lorne and Anglesea. Along the Surf Coast you will find excellent swimming locations, beaches and of course the world famous Bells Beach which each year hosts an Easter surf carnival attracting competitors from around the world. You will also find historic maritime locations, lush forests, waterfalls, walks and excellent restaurants.

Further along the Great Ocean Road is the Shipwreck Coast which as the name suggests claimed many a vessel, especially during the early navigation of the Australian coastline by English, French, Portuguese and Dutch sailors. You will also find the icon and internationally featured Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard, Bay of Islands and an amazingly, and naturally, sculptured coastline. The Shipwreck Coast road also passes through small villages, croppy outlooks and inland cascades until it reaches the major town on the road – Warrnambool which offers many attractions but maybe none as enjoyable as whale watching as the whales migrate south between June and September each year.

Finally the Discover Coast section of the Great Ocean Road is focused around the major town of Portland and surrounds taking in such delights as the Discovery bay Marine National Park and the views from Cape Bridgewater.

Along The Great Ocean Road you will experience vast cliffs, the majesty of the Twelve Apostles, thundering surf beaches, pristine beaches, tranquil bays and lush inland bush. You will find remote and tranquil camping locations and plenty of locations to spot some famous Australian wildlife such as koalas, wombats, echidnas, kangaroos and an abundance of native birds.

To do justice to this amazing stretch of coastal Australia allow an minimum of 4 days with two weeks enabling visitors to experience all the Great Ocean Road in Victoria Australia has to offer.

The 7 Most Unusual Hotels in the World

I don’t know about you, but I’m really getting tired of the same old vacation spots! Yes, the golden sand and clear,warm water are very enticing. Yes, the clear mountain air invites you to explore everything. But the problem is that sometimes you just want something different and the usual vacation spot just won’t cut it anymore!

Here are the top 7 most unusual hotels in the world, giving you a possible destination for your next great vacation:

1. Woodpecker Hotel (Vasteras, Sweden)

Are you afraid of heights? If yes, this sure isn’t the hotel for you! The Woodpecker hotel is 13 meters (42 feet) above ground in a 130 year old oak tree in the Vasaparken park.

This is the work of Mikael Genberg, a Swedish artist, who at first planned for the hotel to be free to anyone. It soon became apparent that everyone wanted to sleep there so they began charging fees.

The hotel is very small (consider the limitations) it’s not without its creature comforts: toilet, small kitchen, library, comfortable bed and a chair and table on the veranda.

2. Utter Inn (Stockholm, Sweden)

The Utter Inn is yet another of Mikael Genberg’s creations in his inimitable style. The Utter Inn is an underwater floating hotel with a typical swedish red house as the top floating part and an aquarium as the bedroom.

Guests are taken by boat to the hotel, given instructions and then left alone. If they choose the deluxe package they will also get a dinner delivered by boat.

How much for a night? $350 US, but the experience will be worth much, much more!

3. Dog Bark Park Inn (Indiana, USA)

Do you love beagles? Well have I found the perfect hotel for you! The Dog Bark Park Inn is a bed & breakfast guesthouse inside the world’s biggest Beagle.

And they aren’t kidding – it’s a 2 story building that has most of the amenities you need: queen bed, full bath, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, hair dryer, books, games and puzzles. Unfortunately there’s no phone or TV.

4. Ice Hotel (Quebec, Canada)

Although ice hotels aren’t exactly a new concept, the one in Quebec is a unique structure in Canada and considering the fact that it exists only between January 5th and April 1st makes it even more exclusive.

The hotel is made entirely of ice and snow with 5.5 high ceilings and has 18 rooms and 14 theme suites, reception room, a chapel and Absolut Ice Bar.

The prices will go as high as $475 for a theme room with a fireplace and includes anything from drinks to the mattresses and sheets to keep you warm.

5. Woodlyn Park (Otorohanga, New Zealand)

Woodly Park, owned by Billy Black, will give you the option to stay in one of their 3 unique motels: the underground hobbit motel (straight out of Tolkien’s books, circular windows and all), a converted, a converted railcar with 3 rooms and a 1950′s Bristol Freighter plane, fully refurbished.

However, that’s not the only attraction: Woodlyn Park is the only place in New Zealand where you get the chance to drive a jet boat capable of over 100HP around a specially designed course.

6. Kokopelli’s Cave (Farmington, USA)

If you suddenly feel the strange need to go back to the Stone Age, why not take a vacation at Kokopelli’s Cave, a privately owned luxury cliff dwelling located north of Farmington, New Mexico near the Mesa Verde National Monument.

You will be staying in a 1650 square feet (155 square meters) one-bedroom cave home carved from a 65-million year old sandstone formation.

The view is incredible here: there is a 280 feet drop down to the La Plata River, to the west the Shiprock and Chuska mountains in the Navajo Reservation, to the northwest the Ute Mountains, and to the north La Plata and San Juan Mountains.

All this for only around $280 US per night – a real bargain if you ask me!

7. Propeller Island City Lodge (Berlin, Germany)

This is the perfect place if you favor art and well, weird decors. Taking a look at the room selection you’ll surely find at least one that you love and at least one that you hate.

Some of the rooms are brightly painted, others have patterns that will make you dizzy, others are simple and serene and some are just plain weird.

Do you want to experience sleeping in a prison cell, a coffin or even lion cages? You can have it all, one night at a time of course, in the same hotel! And prices are around only $150 US!

As you can see these are all great destinations, almost guaranteed to give you an unforgettable vacation.

Tours Round the Places of Film Shooting are Gaining Popularity in the World

The new variety of tourism – trips to the places where blockbusters and TV series were shot has appeared in the world. Set jetting, the tours round the places where feature films were shot become more and more popular. For example, after the movie “The Da Vinci Code” about 160 thousand people have visited the Rosslyn chapel, five times more than before. New Zealand (“Lord of the Rings”) and Great Britain (“Harry Potter”) in recent years have become the leaders in the number of tourists.

On the wall of Rosslyn chapel in Edinburgh there is a sign with an inscription on it: “There are no conduits as shown in ‘The Da Vinci Code’.” The Scottish tour operator VisitScotland in association with Sony Pictures boost the routes from “Da Vinci Code” and Eurostar railway company, the movie’s official partner, not only offers the tourist packages with accommodation in Paris hotels mentioned in the book, but also has created a web-quest in the year 2006, during which the participants, making a virtual trip from London to Paris had to solve puzzles and got prize discounts for Eurostar.

One more popular tourist direction became the places where Harry Potter movies were shot. There is already a special “Hogwarts Express” (in fact, it is “Olton Hall” train # 5972). Paying just $200 one can make a trip from Oxford to Carlisle and back. On the way for “Harry Potter fans.”

As a part of “Round Harry Potter places” tour it is offered to visit Borough Market, where several scenes of the film were shot and London Zoo, “where Harry found out that he can understand the language of the snakes.” Private schools send the whole classes to this excursion.

After the movie “Lord of the Rings” has appeared on screens, the number of tourists in New Zealand has grown at 30%, reaching the record number of 2.4 million of people in the year 2006. There is a story in the New Zealand guide books about the farmer named Jan Alexander, which have already become an anecdote. One day, in the year1998, when this humble sheep breeder watched rugby competition on TV, the doorbell sounded. There where the members of the Peter Jackson film crew standing on the threshold, they asked farmer the permission to shoot the scenes from “The Lord of the Rings” on his land. Supposedly, Alexander had muttered something like “Huh? What? What for a lord?” Well, all in all with reluctance he gave his permission. However, after the first movie from the trilogy has appeared on the screens in the year 2001, the hereditary farmer has understood that he is sitting on a pot of gold. Not investing a dollar in the advertisement he created a prospering tourist agency Rings Scenic Tours, its web-site is translated to eight languages. A one-day tour round the ‘Shire’ costs upward from $50. Besides an excursion to dig up holes where hobbits lived and to the fir tree around which Bilbo Baggins celebrated his birthday, there are parachute jumping and helicopter rides offered to the visitors.

Voyage All-Around the World With Cruise Ships and Get Paid For It

There are many benefits that can be found in finding a career that suits you. Finding a dependable pay check and discovering financial security are of course the immediate benefits associated with these jobs. Security is important though it should not be your only reason for making a move into a permanent career. Job satisfaction in conjunction with financial stability is the key to finding career happiness for any and all individuals. Careers on cruise are often something that many individuals do not consider but may offer them the opportunities they are looking for.

Every person has a desire to travel outside their realm of comfort. This can be seen in the continuously expanding market of tourism and hospitality. The best chance of finding this international travel can be found with a career in the cruise line industry. With cruise jobs you have the opportunity to have the same experiences that travelers spend thousands of dollars to achieve at no cost to you.

If you are looking to experience Europe then work with a cruise line that explores the Mediterranean. If you want to see Mexico and all of the Caribbean islands then find a cruise job that travels in the Caribbean Sea. If arctic temperatures appeal to you then look for the cruise jobs that travel up north to Canada and Alaska. Regardless of your desired location there is often a cruise that travels there and is willing to pay for your services.

An advantage that is often overlooked when considering working on a cruise is obtaining the freedom from regular monthly expenses. Often working on a cruise ship requires that an individual lives on the ship for months at a time. A seasoned cruise traveler may work years on a ship before returning to an active life on the mainland. What this does for a person is remove the monthly expenses of life such as rent, food, gas, water, and trash. All of these services are provided for you free of charge as you work and live on the cruise liner.

This acts as an additional income since the large amount of money that is often diverted into those funds are now remaining in your pocket. In addition you are often offered access to the medical staff, the health facilities, and the various entertainment activities on board during the off hours of your cruise job.

The opportunities associated with a cruise ship job allow you to travel the world while receiving payment instead of expenses. This often reflects the dreams of many individuals desiring to travel the world without incorporating the tremendous expense that is associated with global travel.

5 Tips for Travelling Responsibly

5 Top Responsible Travel Tips

Travelling can be a costly business. Sometimes your money just doesn’t stretch far enough and you need to resort to desperate measures in order to finance your trip. There are some simple things that you can do in order to keep costs down that will also help to protect the local people and their businesses from some of the more depressing side effects that the tourism industry can bring to the local communities.

With this in mind we have produced our 5 top tips for travelling responsibly some examples of how you can keep costs down in the process. So lets get started…

Buy Local Products From Local Shops

Why are you travelling? Most likely to experience something new or to get away from the drools of day to day life. So why do we always end up eating in the same places that we do at home? No matter where you are in the world you are always likely to run into a McDonald’s or Burger King around every street corner.

No matter if it’s food, souvenirs, medicine or even diapers for the little one. Always try to buy from the local shop owners. Not only are you likely to get a better deal than in the larger market chains, but you will also be putting your money into the pockets of the people that really need it. Supporting the local businesses is the only way to ensure that the benefits that tourism can bring stays within the community you are visiting.

So when you find yourself standing in front of the door to 7/11 or Co-Op, just take a look around, is there a local independent shop right next door? Are they likely to have what you need? Why not just double check before stepping inside. It will most likely save you a bit of money, and you are more likely to strike up an interesting conversation and have a story to tell your friends when you get home.

Use Local Transportation

When you are organizing your holiday from the comfort of our own home and you see the little tick box that says “Would you like to include our airport pickup service?” What do you do? Do you press tick button because it convenient, or do you ignore it and work out your own transportation?

Here is the truth of it. 50% of the cost you’ve just paid for you private pickup has just gone straight into the hands of the tour company, and the rest has gone to taxi firm and the tax man. The local driver will be lucky to see 1% of that cost.

So our advice to ignore that little box and make your own way to your hotel. Local taxi’s are always cheaper that private transfers, and using the public transport system is always a sure fire way to save some money.

Not only will public transport or a local taxi be cheaper, your also more likely to come away with a much more interesting story to tell your friends when you arrive home. It might take a little longer to get where you’re going, but the adventure will be all the more fun for it. Think about it, which holiday stories are the ones you talk about over dinner with friends? The one’s that go perfectly, or the ones that have little hiccups in the middle?

A Reusable Water Container

RT (Responsible tourism) is not just about saving money, it’s also about protecting the environment around you. In the majority of hotels these days you are giving a couple of free water bottles every morning to help see you through the day. What normally happens? You take them out of the fridge for your days activities, but by the time you actually need them it’s like drinking boiling water.

One simple solution, use a metal water container to keep them cool and refreshing all day long. And when you run out simply fill it up again from a local water source or tap. Not only will it save you a couple of bucks, but you’ll also be saving the environment from having another plastic bottle flowing around the sewers. You can apply the same principles to the “plastic or canvas bags” argument.

A Local Guide

I don’t know about you, but when I’m travelling around the world I like to feel like I’m embracing the local cultures and traditions of the country I’m visiting. Meeting the real people, and learning about the lives and way of living.

If I’m in Peru I want to be shown around Machu Picchu by someone that actual lives in one of the local villages. If I’m in Kenya I want to go on safari with a real Kenyan game keeper or tribesman. Why? because they are the people that live and breath the culture everyday, they are the one with the local knowledge, and they are the ones that really need our support.

We have a saying in our office “Be local”, it simply means learn from the local way of life, and you’ll be amazed how many ways you can apply that local knowledge and experience to our own day to day living.

Keep Smiling

No matter where you are, what you’re doing, or who you’re with, just have an open mind, respect the local people, and keep a smile on your face.

Any situation can always be improved with a smile and a bit of laughter. Whether you haggling over the price of an Egyptian carpet or you’re stuck in the middle of Bangkok rush hour traffic, just remember to relax, smile, and enjoy the ride. A big smile will always be welcomed in any country and is the best way to make a new friend or lighten any situation.

Ecotourism Spreads Around the World

The importance of ecotourism can’t be dismissed. For some countries it is the only way to bring in critical foreign dollars. Still, there is much more to ecotourism than just a positive financial balance at the end of the season.

Ecotourism brings together positively the needs of two disparate groups: those who want to see exotic and exciting locations and those that want to preserve said areas.

Being on the Same Side

Just because there are two goals addressed with properly managed ecotourism doesn’t mean that those objectives are opposed to one another. Those individuals who engage in ecotourism are usually very interested in preserving those very ecosystems to which they travel. A percentage of their costs go to pay for park facilities, rangers, local employment and so forth. By providing jobs to the local population ecotourism reduces the attraction of “harvesting” such areas as a way of life.

Why Preservation Matters

Saving wild areas around the world is important for many reasons. Aside from the obvious value of sustaining populations of animals and plants for future generations, a number of important medications and drugs have been found in such ecosystems. It is believed that many more such discoveries await us.

In Your Back Yard

It isn’t necessary to travel across the world to go on an African Safari, experience the Rainforest or even dive the Great Barrier Reef to experience ecotourism. There are many locations, scattered over the entire planet, where people can enjoy exploring a unique environment. Texas offers opportunities to visit migration routes, bison reserves exist in Montana and Alaska is wide open and diverse.

Look for These Standards

Unfortunately, as with any growing business, ecotourism has its share of con artists. Make sure to investigate any package for some basics. The facilities should recycle and reuse as much as possible. Filtered water should be provided instead of bottled water. Linens and towels should be changed infrequently and food should focus upon local products, with a focus on organics.

If ecotourism interests you, you can find lots of information online at the International Ecotourism Society website.

Travel Options In Pakistan: A Guide To Getting Around The Country

Domestic and foreign tourism in Pakistan has recorded a steep growth over the past few years. It is because of its breathtaking beauty, rich cultural heritage and hospitable people. A part of the credit also goes to its fast developing transport system. This includes internal and international transport.

The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation organizers tours for travelers. They not only make travel arrangements but also arrange accommodation. This is one way to get around the country. However, if you’re an avid traveler who loves to find his way on his own, you should be well versed with the available commute options. Here’s a short Pakistan travel guide.

By Plane:

The Asian country has an extensive international and domestic air network. It has a total of 134 airfields out of which 11 are international airports. Popular airlines such as Etihad, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways and Saudi Arabian Airlines handle international transport linking major countries of the world with Pakistan. There are UK to Pakistan and London to Pakistan flights. Lahore, Peshawar and Islamabad are the primary international gateways.

Several airlines also operate inexpensive flights on domestic routes. Pakistan International Airlines, Air Blue, Aero Asia International and Shaheen Air International are some of the companies that dominate domestic air transport. It links important cities including Islamabad, Karachi, Multan, Lahore, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Sukkur and Quetta. Air transport is an economical option for long-distance journeys. You can secure cheap flights to Pakistan if you visit in the off-season.

By Train:

You can also get around the country by train. It has a far reaching rail network. The railways not only connect cities within the country but also link it with neighboring countries mainly India and Iran. Pakistan railways provide national and local rail services. The ticket prices are reasonable; however you have to book ahead of time. There are different passenger classes to cater to different budgets. Students and foreign tourists can avail discounts on local rail commute from the tourism development corporation.

Car Rentals:

In comparison to the railway network, highways have developed at a faster rate. There are highways connecting Pakistan with China and Afghanistan. You can drive down, but the journey tends to time consuming. The narrow winding roads also witness frequent traffic bottlenecks.

Car rentals are an inexpensive and flexible alternative for local transport within the cities. It saves time. It is also a great option when travelling into the rural area or country-side where public transport is scarce. You can hire a chauffeur driven car or one without a driver. Contact a local travel agency; they will help you hire vehicles from reputed franchised companies at competitive prices.

Public Transport:

Bus is by far the safest, cheapest and most convenient mode of transport. Private companies also run bus services between major cities. Taxis, jeeps, minibuses, trucks and rickshaws also ferry passengers between cities. They stand at bus-stations and set-off after they collect passengers. Rickshaws are not allowed in Islamabad

Bali Was Named The World’s Best Island And Destination Of 2007

The Travel and Leisure Magazine, published by American Express Publishing Corporation with a circulation of one million, has voted Bali as the best Island of 2007. Bali has been awarded the same title for 6 times in a row.

Following is a list of 10 of the awards which were presented at a ceremony in New York on July 23 2007:

Best city – Florence
Best hotel – Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India
Best island – Bali, Indonesia
Best large-ship cruise line – Crystal Cruises
Best small-ship cruise line – SeaDream Yacht Club
Best tour operator/safari outfitter – Micato Safaris
Best domestic airline – Midwest Airlines
Best international airline – Singapore Airlines

Another significant title Bali received comes from is SmartTravelAsia.com It chose Bali as the Best Holiday Destination of 2007, holding this title from 2006. In their review SmartTravelAsia.com said: “Bali held top spot – and by a wide margin – demonstrating that integrity and authenticity can attract visitor votes, and dollars. This is a reassuring message in an age of instantly bottled and serially manufactured destinations where neon and crocodile shows push everything else off the stage.”

Other tourism related establishments in Bali have been ranked in the top region of the list. Holding its 2006 rank, the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay ranked as the second best Asian Resort. Four Seasons offers elegant villas, some of them with private pools, spa treatments and panoramic views. The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay is also voted as the fourth best Spa Hotel.

The third position is the atmospheric yet understated and faithfully traditional Amandari, Bali. Towering above Ubud’s Ayung River gorge, the resort’s private villa compounds wander down manicured green acres past a cliff-edge emerald pool towards the sacred waters of the river below. It is a serene hideaway that has been emulated the world over. Amandari was ranked first in 2006.

The fourth rank is hold by The Legian Bali in the Seminyak area. This hotel-style getaway has been popular with honeymooners and romantics. The Legian was ranked 11th in 2006 and is one of the fastest upward movers in our poll.

All these luxuries, which are ranked in the top lists of the world, mean that Bali is really the destination of choice for all of us who want to experience something different and want to be pampered during our vacation. But Bali also has a range of simple and cheap, yet good accommodations; if you want more luxury, it’s just around the corner!

How Travel Can Change the World

Tourism plays a very important role in the world’s economy. Travel and tourism are collectively contributing over 10 percent to the world’s GDP. But what is more important than that – tourism comes to the aid of the local population in different ways, wherever it is active. And this includes the developing countries too. More than 250 million people are employed by the industries directly or indirectly connected to tourism. A major share of these jobs is present in the developing countries.

But tourism isn’t just a way to provide jobs to the local population. Thanks to tourism, various parts of the world have been able to maintain its environmental balance. This is because tourism in those areas provides a regular source of income to take care of the plants and animals which need to be nurtured and protected. An endless number of national parks displaying rare animals have been able to sustain themselves with the help of the entrance fees charged by the parks. The people who are in charge of the parks are all locals. Thus tourism in such areas also provides much needed jobs to the people around that area.

New tourist destinations keep getting introduced all around the world, as there is a great demand for such places. This also helps the local population to be more aware of the rich cultural heritage as well as biological reserves present in their area. The local people then learn to take better care of their culture as well as their heritage. They also learned to respect what they had taken for granted in the past. Tourism has also helped revive activities like handicrafts in many areas. The local artisans now get a ready market for their goods when tourists keep pouring in their area. They also have a chance to exhibit their variety of skills, as local authorities keep promoting handicraft centers to boost tourism in a particular area.

Tourism also leads to the overall development in any area if it is the dominant factor over there. Since the authorities in a local area carry out plans to develop tourism in their area, it gives a boost to the total infrastructure set-up in the area. The roads as well as communication facilities get a major over-haul, thus making the lives of the local people less troublesome. As an increasing number of international travelers visit a tourism spot, the local authorities in that area start taking greater interest in planning ways and means to take care of waste elimination as there is a larger amount of waste being generated in that area.

Tourism also works very well in those areas which have abundant natural resources but is lacking in economic resources. People in such areas are able to use their natural resources to create economic resources for themselves, thus making them self-reliant. Thus, tourism always works well if it is backed strongly by the local planning authorities as well as the local population in any part of the world.