Monthly Archives: February 2018

Best Travel Destinations

Best Travel Destinations

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The idea is not to say that tourism in typical European cities or in the US and Canada is decreasing, because of course it isn’t really. But if we take a comparative study of the evolution of tourism during the recent years we may see that the touristic growth of these typical places compared to the one related with more exotic ones is pretty low. Everything indicates that the best travel destinations are about to change soon.

If we take a broader look at the world, we can discover that a recent trend for countries that are on the way to develop have found that tourism is a great way to create some income to finance their projects. Sure, the strategy is not wrong in the first approach. If we don’t have the money, we bring it from the outside. This should work and in fact it does work, but not everything is written in pink. There’s also black there, and very black. They’ve become the best travel destinations but they’ll have a high price to pay because of that.

What is happening is that in the hurry to develop great touristic attractive locations and funding publicity campaigns the money is not going where it should be. In the end, and going a bit to the extreme situation, the result is that conditions on the living standards of people in the country keep being the same while tourists are enjoying an amazing lifestyle, even with low prices compared to their home countries. And this is what is happening with some of the best touristic destinations such as Brazil, India, China, Turkey, Venezuela or Thailand, together with an increase of tourism in countries in Eastern Europe.

And from my point of view what is happening is simply because governments are failing in the approach they give to tourism. In my opinion, tourism does not need to mean luxury hotels and big resorts with expensive personnel or great museums and exhibitions. Many of these countries have the beauty in the sights, in the history you can feel in the streets of their towns and cities, in nature. Taking the example of some African countries, I consider absolutely wrong to build up 5 star hotels in the middle of the jungle. They simply don’t fit. Instead, they should try to take a more cultural approach and build buildings that do fit with the local style, that have some meaning related to the region, taking advantage of the exotic taste tourists could get.

Tourism should be cultural immersion and in the way it is being done nowadays it fails completely with it’s original purpose. In other words, if you want a luxury hotel, keep visiting Paris, but please don’t go down to Kenya. Unfortunately, if you go down to Kenya you will find the same luxury hotel. Furthermore, it seems that nowadays in order to be one of the best travel destinations you need to have a 5 star hotel standing there. Which is the idea of great vacations that people have?

On the other hand, I don’t want to seem a person who is against high quality hotels. Don’t take me wrong. I simply think that everything should be in place and respecting the area and culture where it is placed. A 5 star hotel fits perfectly in the cozy area of central Paris, and this is not something I will discuss. It simply fits, and I personally would take it if traveling there, using any of the free travel certificates that are available on the net in certain places. Which ones, you say?

6 Spellbinding Travel Destinations in the Philippines

6 Spellbinding Travel Destinations in the Philippines

Here are six jaw-dropping adventure spots in the Philippines.

1. Bohol

Bohol is known for glistening white sand beach resorts, extensive coral reefs, world class diving spots, the Chocolate Hills (near symmetrical mounds of limestone formations that look like Hershey’s Kisses), and the iconic tarsier (the oldest species of extant primate in the world). However, this large Philippine Island has lately been a recurring item in the global tourism grapevine for yet another attraction: the Danao Adventure Park. Managed by the local government with the aid of private advocacy groups, the adventure park has become the ultimate hub for eco-adventure activities. The park offers more than a dozen extraordinarily thrilling activities that leverage the nature park’s rugged and profoundly varied topography. Accommodating travelers of any stripe–from calm and composed bird watchers to extreme adventurers, Danao Adventure Park showcases the scenic Wahig River, a forested mountain range, a native cultural community, self-sustained organic farms, and cave complexes that provide hours of spelunking excitement. Popular activities include kayaking, wall climbing, trekking, camping, cave explorations, village tours, educational tours, and extreme in-the-park-only challenges such as the Ziplet, Skyride, Plunge, Suislide, Cliff Rappel, and Root Climb.

2. Davao

Very few places offer travelers the same level of profound thrills as the unique city of Davao. Dubbed the Eco-Adventure capital of the Philippines, Davao City is home to the country’s highest mountain peak and to the noble and extremely rare Philippine Eagle. Davao is thoroughly cosmopolitan, being the country’s third largest city and a regional economic player in Southeast Asia. Even then, only 7% of the city’s total land area is urbanized, with around 50% classified as forests or timberland and 40% appropriated by the state-of-the-art agriculture that has catapulted the city among the world’s top producers and exporters of fruits and flowers. Considered the cleanest, greenest and safest city in the Philippines, Davao offers some of the most unique and memorable travel experiences anywhere in the world. From mountaineers to beach bums, from extreme sports enthusiasts to cultural historians, and from artists to ecologists, tourists of every stripe flock to the city to experience its gripping cultural and natural wonders. Dotting its coasts are top-rated beaches and uninhabited islands while exotic plants and animal species dwell within the spellbinding topography of its interior.

3. Donsol

Donsol pulls and beguiles. For travelers who demand nothing but authentic and transformative experiences, the idyllic coastal town of Donsol in central Philippines provides a one-of-a-kind setting for unforgettable encounters. By itself, the town already possesses the attractions that make other destinations elsewhere a hit among global tourists: fascinating local culture, gorgeous beaches of fine sand, lush forests and stunningly rugged coastlines. At least for most travelers, these attractions are enough reasons to pack their luggage, book accommodations, and hit the trail. But Donsol offers a lot more. If nature had a soul, then Donsol provides a rare window from which to see it in perfect clarity. Something in the town attracts two sensitive indicator species that are disappearing in much of their former ranges. There are only a few thousand whale sharks left in the world and most congregate and frolic in the waters of Donsol. Meantime, as human development encroaches on natural habitats, fireflies are also becoming a rare sight and very few young people even remember seeing them. Fortunately, they are in jaw-dropping numbers along the course of the Donsol River. In Donsol, just a few hours after daybreak, people can literally swim at arm’s length with the gentle but colossal whale sharks. After the sun sets, on the other hand, when only the night sky offers some glimmer of light, thousands of fireflies synchronize their biolumiscent abilities to add a spectacular surreal gleam to the riverscape.

4. Coron

Combine seven lakes, coral reefs, mangroves, white sand beaches, a native islander culture, and more than a dozen islands to explore and you’ll get the phenomenal Coron experience. Isolated from urban centers by the windswept sea, Coron Island is one of the finest eco-adventure destinations in the world. The extensive reefs surrounding the island play host to highly acclaimed diving spots while sections of its coasts are protected by mangrove forests that also provide a secure habitat for different species of birds, reptiles, mammals and marine life. Sustainably managed by the peace-loving Tagbanuas–the native tribe that has ancestral dominion over the island–Coron Island is off limits to visitors at night while daytime excursions are carefully regulated. Fishing and tourism are the two industries that keep the island thriving and its precious natural resources conserved. Trekking, island hopping, scuba diving, swimming, and interacting with the natives are just some of the memorable activities that provide priceless thrills when done in Coron.

5. Cordillera Highlands

The imposing Cordillera Mountain Range courses through much of the north central part of Luzon and is the prominent terrain for the autonomous region that takes after its name. The area showcases the profoundly inspiring natural and cultural voices of the Philippine highlands. Given the region’s rugged beauty and the fascinating highland tribes that lend it an extraordinary character, tourism ranks high among the top sectors that provide the stimulus for the regional economy. Waterfalls, mountain forests, millennia-old rice terraces, folk art, burial caves, and nature trails are the irresistible attractions that draw local and foreign tourists to the Cordilleras. Diverse and colorful, the region’s richness permeates the traditional summer capital of Baguio City, the ecologically fascinating Mount Data National Park, the moving aura of Sagada, and the magnificent expressions of folk art in Bontoc and Batad. But perhaps the most well-known landmark in the area is the sprawling Banaue Rice Terraces, an engineering and agricultural marvel that has been carved by hand from the slopes of the mighty Cordillera Mountain Range several thousands of years ago. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the rice terraces continue to nourish the unique tribal cultures that inhabit the region. Memorable Baguio hikes, challenging bike trails, waterfall and cave explorations, nature trekking, bird watching, white water rafting, rappelling, cultural/historical immersions, and meaningful village interactions await travelers who are looking for unforgettable and extraordinary experiences in this one-of-a-kind location.

6. Palawan

Unforgettable. Beguiling. Palawan. Three interchangeable words as far as natural splendor is concerned. Voted by Conde Nast as the destination with the best beaches in Asia, Palawan offers more than pristine sands and one of the richest reef ecosystems in the world. Isolated from the Philippine’s major urban centers, Palawan retains much of its old-growth rainforests that shelter a surprising number of exotic and endemic species. Extensive mangrove areas hedge its coasts while lush canopies lend a rich verdant accent to its rugged interior, attracting a wide variety of plants and animals that call Palawan their home. Across its beaches are magnificent limestone islands that jut out of the surf to play a breathtaking symphony with the sea, while farther across are marine sanctuaries that international teams of experts consider unparalleled in terms of species density. Hosting the primary airport of the island province, Puerto Princesa is the gateway to the Palawan experience and the hub for numerous initiatives on nature conservation and biodiversity protection.

It is also just a few kilometers from the world-renowned Underground River, a ribbon of crystal clear water that flows through spectacular limestone formations over an area that fully encapsulates a mountain-to-sea transition. Because of its unique richness, the Puerto Princesa Underground River was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site and was just recently included in the Seven Natural Wonders of the World Project. There are countless ways of experiencing Palawan. Aside from taking a breathtaking journey across the Underground River, travelers can explore the exotic string of islands that provide a profound natural contrast to the placid contours of the sea. Travelers have the option to go midpoint between sea and sky by para-sailing or reacquaint themselves with the element of water by exploring the destination’s unmatched snorkeling sites. Scuba-diving is also a popular attraction, especially to those who wish to interact with the stunningly colorful denizens of the coral reef. Simply put, Palawan is the epitome of a tropical paradise and is unmatched by any place in the world for its ruggedly beautiful terrain, breathtaking seascapes, world class diving sites, exotic wildlife, nature trails, extensive sanctuaries, and fascinating native cultures. Nature trekking, swimming, snorkeling, island hoping, local dishes & delicacies, scuba diving, bird watching, parasailing, tattooing, ecological research, bar hopping and photography are just some of the experiences that become strangely distinctive when done in Palawan.

Japan Travel Destinations

Japan Travel Destinations

The Peace Museum in Hiroshima, dedicated to the promise of peace that Japan made after the devastation of World War II, is a beautiful park and museum that serves as a reminder of the horrible deaths that Hiroshima residents experienced in the nuclear bombings. The Peace Museum is also a reminder of the beautiful war-free history that Japan has preserved since that terrible experience.

The Museum

There are two main areas of the museum. The East building contains information about Hiroshima before the attack, the attack and atom bomb itself, and the strive toward peace after the nuclear demolition. The main building is dedicated to what survived the attack – both artifacts and people. Survivors of the Hiroshima bombing drew and painted numerous pieces depicting their experiences on August 6, 1945 that are now displayed with captions telling their memories of that day. Special exhibits also alternate throughout the year.

The Park

At one end of the long park are the very tall “Gates of Peace” that contain the word “peace” in a myriad of languages. Continue from there to the large “Fountain of Prayer” that is constantly shifting and stands in front of the museum. Beyond the museum are several rectangular pools and a monument with an eternal flame dedicated to the victims. The magnificent Ota River marks the outer boundary of these pools. Across the Ota River stands the one building that survived the bombing, now known as the A-Bomb Dome. Every year on August 6, a ceremony is held at the A-bomb Dome to commemorate those who suffered. Throughout the park there are many memorials and monuments to individuals and groups affected by the bombing.

In the spring, the park in Hiroshima comes alive with cherry blossoms, and the A-Bomb Dome is surrounded by cherry trees, their blossom reflecting on the Ota River, giving visitors a bitter-sweet and serene atmosphere for some reflection of their own. It is a beautiful park that has sprung from the ashes of a now buoyant city, and a beautiful endeavor for peace that has sprung from the ashes of a shattering war.

Travel Asia

Travel Asia

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Traveling Asia is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. When you travel to Asia, there are so many things to see and do; make sure that you plan your trip in advance. However, remember to leave some free time in you itinerary, because when you travel Asia, you want to make sure that you have the flexibility for an occasional adventure.

As the largest continent on earth, Asia offers travelers a huge variety of places to visit, things to do and, cultures to see. For first time visitors who travel Asia, we recommend the following:

Island Nations-

Indonesia:

One of the most diverse destinations for travelers to Asia, the Indonesian archipelago can provide enough exciting destinations for a complete trip. Whether you are seeking relaxation, natural beauty, cultural diversity or all of the above, Indonesia will show you an exciting and wonderful Asian travel destination.

Philippines:

Comprised of over 7000 islands, the Philippines has become on of Asia’s forgotten travel destinations. Due to a recent history that includes martial law and economic corruption, the Philippines has lost much of its previous tourist activity to its more stable neighbors. Those who do visit will enjoy beautiful spots like the Boracay beaches and Lake Sebu.

Japan:

For decades, the island nation of Japan has been a favorite destination for travelers to Asia. From amazing Zen temples to kitschy reproductions of western monuments like the Eiffel Tower, Japan has something for every traveler who visits. The hardest thing is fitting it all in.

Southeast Asia

Thailand:

The Kingdom of Thailand is the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia drawing more visitors than its neighbors. With both mountainous regions and a beautiful coastline dotted with amazing islands Thailand is one a must see for those who travel to Asia. The city of Bangkok, the largest in Thailand is one of the most popular in all of Asia, as well.

Vietnam:

A quickly emerging destination among travelers to Asia, Vietnam is reshaping its image among world travel destinations. From the beaches along the coast, to its soaring inland mountains, Vietnam offers travelers to Asia with a sublime experience.

Mainland Asia-

China:

Too vast for words alone, China is rapidly emerging as the top destination for travelers to Asia. As China continues to modernize both economically and socially, it is becoming easier for those who travel to Asia to visit one of the largest and most populous countries in the world. If you travel to China, follow a loose itinerary and try to see as much as you can.

Korea:

South Korea is one of the most westernized of all Asian nations. Travelers to Korea can enjoy the modernity of the capital city, Seoul; or they can try visiting beautiful natural wonders like Songnisan National Park.