Beaches in Istanbul
Located by the Black-sea shore on the European side, Kilyos is a half-hour drive from Taksim under normal circumstances. The village has more than a dozen private and public beaches, some of which require membership to enter. Though there are ways to get to Kilyos with buses and dolmus, the best way is to use a private car, since the journey will take longer than usual during summer.
Located by the Black-Sea shore on the Anatolian side, Sile is a 45 minutes drive to Taksim. Though, it will take ca. 1.5-2 hours to get there if you take the bus from Üsküdar. It is a village growing rapidly, famous for its fish and special cotton fabric Sile Bezi (cloth of Sile). Similar to Kilyos, Sile also has its own private and public beaches.
It’s a place of choice for people to relax & take a break from their hectic lives. Silivri is a 45 minutes drive to Levent. The best way to commute is to use a private car, since the journey will take longer than usual during summer. The summer is a popular time when people move into their summer homes in Silivri and enjoy beach activities. In fact, many new and spectacular villages have also been built there.
Recommended as one of the best day spots in Istanbul Beaches, Nonstop Beach is the place for nonstop activity. From beach sports to water sports, Nonstop Beach has it all. Get in on canoeing, jet skiing and volleyball, then relax and take in some live music at the local beach bar. The best part about Nonstop Beach is that it is less expensive andt packed full of activities for everyone.
True Blue Beach:
Notably the best beach spot in Istanbul to set up for the afternoon is True Blue Beach that offers a fine experience for visitors. With its beautiful sights of the sunset, islands and the many wandering boats True Blue is Istanbul’s paradise, offering some of the area’s cleanest sand, shimmering swimming pools and greatest views. If a relaxing day among Istanbul’s finest water and sand is not enough, there is always a gorgeous sunset accompanied by live music and grand concerts.
Things to do in Istanbul
A visit to a hamam (Turkish bath) is an essential part of any trip to Istanbul and is something you’ll be sure to repeat before leaving. There are at least one historical hamam in each neighborhood of Istanbul. Take care in selecting a hamam, as they can vary greatly in cleanliness. Most places will offer a scrubbing and/or a massage. Just being in the Hamam (as a sauna), is enough for seeing and experiencing the place, but the scrubbing is a great experience. The massage is not necessarily better than those found in western countries.
Sultanahmet has many historical hamams. Some are very extravagant and cater mainly to tourists.
Nargile (Hooka/Water Pipe):
Once upon a time, the nargile, or Turkish water pipe, was the centre of Istanbul’s social and political life. Today some of the locals still consider it one of life’s great pleasures and is something interesting to try. Most of the places where you can smoke a nargile are in Yeniçeriler Caddesi, near the Kapali Çarsi (Grand Bazaar). Çorlulu Ali Pasa and Koca Sinan Pasa Türbesi are both in secluded internal courts, just around the corner from some tomb yards, while Rumeli Kahvesi is actually inside the cemetery of an old medrese, though it’s not as spooky as you might think. In the south of Sultanahmet, near the sea, is Yeni Marmara (Çayiroglu Sokak), where you can also sit in the terrace and enjoy the view. In Beyoglu, at the Ortakahve (Büyükparmakkapi), there’s even the choice of a wide range of flavors. Another area with few big good looking places is the Rihtim Caddesi, between Galata bridge and Istanbul Modern Museum.
The Classic Bosphorus Cruise:
From the terminal immediately east of the Galata Bridge starts the large ferry cruising to Anadolu Kavagi at the northern entrance of Bosphorus to the Black Sea via various stops. The fare is TL 25. The departure time is early and is very popular, so arrive early and queue. The open decks are hugely popular, so unless you have an outside seat expect people to be standing all around you constricting the view. The ferry waits some hours in Anadolu Kavagi so as you alight you are confronted by a numerous restaurants and their spruikers. Firstly take the walk to the Yoros Kalesi, a strategic castle overlooking and controlling the entry to the Black Sea. This important fortification with a commanding view has been fought over for many years and was last in use in the 19th century. It has fallen into serious disrepair, but Christian engravings are still visible in the stonework. There are restaurants actually in the castle surrounds and naturally have spectacular views. There is plenty of time left to wander back to the village for lunch. It is late afternoon before arrival back at Eminonu, but a day well spent. A cheaper and faster Bosphorus cruise alternative is a TL 10 trip on a shorter cruise.
Experience the beautiful flora and fauna of Bhutanmajestic snow capped peaks, lush valleys and large tracts of virgin forest, Bhutan is home to numerous rare and endangered species of wildlife such as the blue sheep, musk deer, red panda, snow leopard, black bear, golden langur and the unique Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. The endangered Black Necked Cranes also migrate to Bhutan from Central Asia during the winter.
Bhutan has been identified as one of the 10 bio-diversity hot spots in the world and as one of the 221 global endemic bird areas. Bhutan’s eco-system has some of the most exotic species of the Eastern Himalayas with an estimated 770 species of birds and over 50 species of rhododendron, along with an amazing variety of medicinal plants and orchids.
GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION
It is advised to that you plan your trip well in advance in order to take care of all details. Confirmation of travel during the popular festival seasons must be made at least three months in advance in order to ensure seats on Druk Air as well as hotel accommodation. In addition, it is advisable to keep extra days to allow for acclimatization and unpredictable weather conditions.
As per tourism regulations, all visitors must come through one of the registered tour operators in Bhutan such as Bhutan Lha-Yul Tours and Travels.
With the exception of nationals from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all visitors to Bhutan are required to obtain visa approval prior to arrival in Bhutan, which will be processed by us. Visitors are required to fill in and send us the visa application form duly filled in at least one month in advance. Once visa clearance is obtained, the visa will be stamped upon arrival at the port of entry upon payment of a fee of US $20. Visa can be extended should the visitor wish to remain for a longer period. An airport tax of US $10 is levied on departure.
1. Bhutanese visas cannot be obtained at Bhutanese embassies or missions abroad
2. Travelers without visa clearance number will not be permitted to enter the country
Laos is the only country in Southeast Asia that is still undiscovered widely by the tourist and the world. This country has a long history, unique customs, friendly people, hot and spicy food great landscapes, lots of temples, amazing culture and beautiful attractions for you to see and enjoy.
Laos is a small country but has a lot of hidden treasures and amazing attractions for you to see and explore. You can spend a lazy days drinking Lao beer doing nothing or sightseeing the whole country from north to south you can do so easily now.
Reasons to travel to Vietnam
Reason # 1: A stunningly beautiful country
Vietnam is just beautiful, its geography, topography, landscapes, and especially 3265 km of coastline. Magnificent mountains, Red River and the Mekong deltas, rivers and primary forests make the country an amazing land to visit. The top destinations for ideal Vietnam travel is the 2000 fascinating naturally sculptures rising up from emerald water in Halong Bay. Or head to the Northwest and enjoy the spectacular scenery of terrace rice fields in Sapa, occupied by different tribes. In the central region, Vietnam boasts its best beaches on earth and ready for your golden holidays in Cua Dai beach, Nha Trang beach or Mui Ne beach. In the Mekong delta, tourists get amazed by amazing ways of life from floating villages and floating markets.
Reason # 2: World Heritages
It is not difficult to find out key highlights of Vietnam. The small country is proud to have rich heritages, from natural ones to man-made spiritual. So far Vietnam has 7 UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites which contribute to its appealing beauty, including Hue Complex Monuments, Hoi An ancient town, My Son Holy Land, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Halong Bay, The Cultural Space of Gong in the Central Highlands, the Royal Court Music of Hue. Other intangible heritages that attract tourists are Xoan singing, Folk songs and Ca Tru.
Reason # 3: Friendly and Hospitable People
Vietnamese people are the most hospitable and friendly in the World. This feature is popular in all regions of the country. You can find happy faces everywhere from cities to the countryside. You will have a chance to talk and chat with them happily. Foreign kids with blond hair and blue eyes will be most adored by Vietnamese women. Visiting their home, guests will often be offered all kind of fruits and food prepared with great attention for free.
Reason # 4: Multi-ethnic Cultures
The country is populated by 54 groups of people living happily and sharing unique cultures. Each of the group has their own cultures, languages, customs and clothes which make Vietnam a multi-cultural destination. For example, the black H’Mong ladies’ clothes are in black color while the Red Dzao ladies’ clothes are colorful with red scraps on their heads. Visitors will learn different ways of life and it is just making their Vietnam holidays more interesting.
Reason # 5: Best Cuisine on Earth
Vietnamese cuisine is just awesome, and hardly could any visitors have negative comments on Vietnamese food. There is admirably a great balance between vegetable and meats, as well as a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste. Vietnamese food can be considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide. Traditional Vietnamese cooking is appreciated for the freshness of the ingredients and for the minimum use of oil which makes this cuisine very healthy. Hardly do families use processed food for daily meals. Most visitors to Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City will try to plan for a half day cooking tour to learn hands on cooking skills.
Reason # 6: Amazing Development
One reason that draws more visitors to Vietnam is its steady and rapid economic growth. It is not a war anymore. After some 3 decades of open door policies, the country is now in the middle income country. In cities, sky scrapers, high office buildings, residential towns and services are booming. Most visitors will be surprised to see luxurious cars and items are on the markets in this once war torn country. More and more foreigners work in Vietnam, which is seen as a tiger in Southeast Asia.
Reason # 7: Top Security in the World
Last but not least is the country’s top security in the World for your dream holiday. Vietnam is now one of the safest countries in the world. There are no fears for long term strikes, protests, terrorism, guerilla attacks, bombings, kidnaps or killings that affect your holiday. With one party, Vietnam is highly controlled with its own system. In particular, foreigners in Vietnam are highly protected by the legal systems and authorities. Vietnamese government will give a very strict penalty to Vietnamese people who cause damages to foreigners.
Thailand, the Land of Smiles, is a fascinating and exotic country where tradition andmodernity mingle in perfect harmony. Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, the main reason for this popularity is its diversity; the country offers an irresistible combination of spectacular natural beauty, friendly local people, fascinating cultural heritage, untouched hill tribes, exquisite food, relaxing spas, and historical attractions like ancient temples, royal palaces and museums. Thai people are blessed with a very welcoming attitude towards visitors; you will habitually be greeted by Thais with a warm smile
Chopsticks are used infrequently, principally are employed for the consumption of Chinese-style plates and noodle soups. Commonly meals such as rice with pork, or steamed rice topped with rice roasted duck are served in bite-sized slices or chunks obviating the necessitate for a knife.
Though, it is frequent practice for Thais and hill tribe peoples in the North and Northeast to consume rice with their rights hands by making it into balls that are submerge into dishes and eaten.
Eating Thai food is a collective affair. Each person gets their own individual plate of steamed rice and small soup bowl, all the other plates are laid out in the center of the table and diners decide whatever they want from shared dishes, some people think that taking the last portion from a shared dish is a little unlucky. Soups are delighted in tandem with rice or with other dishes. Spicy plates are “balanced” by tasteless dishes to prevent discomfort.
Safety in Thailand
In general, Thailand is a safer country to be than most countries in the West, crimes against visitors are relatively unusual in Thailand, but like anywhere in the planet crime is present and occasionally tourists are victims. A traveler must observe the same commonsense precautions that he would in any other place.
There are certain areas that should be approached with caution (example: Thailand’s borders with both Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma)).
Most common crimes are pick-pocketing, scams, credit card fraud and bag snatching so it is wise not to walk around with too much cash or valuables.
Women should not visit isolated areas (example: beaches) alone or during night times, visit pubs and nightclubs in a group and take general precautions to ensure that they are secure.
Bangkok is probably as safe as any big city gets, tourists can feel completely safe walking around the city, even in the early hours of the morning.
Thai people are extremely welcoming and most tourist areas such as beaches, temples, spas, resorts, shops, museums, medical centers, and hotels are remarkably safe.
In Thai society respect is very important, if you are respectful, you will be treated with respect (Hotheads are considered dangerous). Never ever get into a physical fight with Thai people.
If you frequent some of the sordid parts of Thailand, such as live-sex-shows and gambling dens you are unnecessarily exposed to all dangers and trappings inherent in such environments.
Thai Polices are helpful and will readily assist visitors; they have a respectable level of dealing with crime and law enforcement. The Kingdom has a special Tourist Police force whose elements have good English skills especially in the larger towns. Although there are numerous excellent and honest policemen in Thailand others are recognized to be behind illegal activities such as drug dealing, gambling, gun running, prostitution and trafficking in people.
Protect Thai women and kids is a national priority of the Government of Thailand, prostitution is illegal in Thailand and sexual contact with a minor is a criminal offense and punishable by imprisonment, the existence of child prostitution is a repulsive act to the Thai people; the Thai culture is based on close family ties and religious conviction which are in direct conflict with the unnatural abuse of individuals, particular children.
Thailand has a high rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) infection, including HIV/AIDS, both amongst the population and amongst prostitutes, prophylactic can be bought without problems in Thailand in all convenience stores and pharmacies.
Avoid drivers who offer their services without being asked, various Tuk-tuk drivers might demand a superior price than agreed.
Cebu Island is a large island in the Visayas region of the Philippines. The larger Negros Island lies just across the Tanon Strait to the west. The main touristic areas are the islands of Mactan, Malapascua Bantayan, Badian, and Camotes where you can find large high-end resorts and hotels offering all kinds of luxury. There is also an Aquarium Attraction named Mactan Island Aquarium Museum on Mactan Island. Apart from that there are smaller resorts in fisher villages in the South and North offering a more Filipino experience. The upland areas also offers majestic views of the mountains and seas.
Magellan’s Cross, Plaza Sugbo, off Magallanes St. An octagonal building decorated with murals containing a large wooden cross that commemorates the Portuguese conquistador Ferdinand Magellan who planted a wooden cross upon converting the original inhabitants to Christianity. A plaque states that the visible wooden cross contains the original cross, but some historians say the original cross was reduced to firewood by local inhabitants when the Magellan fleet headed elsewhere. Take time to appreciate the various candle sellers who dance around during worship and while selling the candles.
Casa Gorordo Museum, address 35 Lopez Jaena St, open at Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00. A well-preserved Spanish colonial mansion constructed largely of wood, set in a pleasant, manicured garden. At The lower floor has a collection of old tools, and an A/C room that has changing displays such as art exhibitions. The more interesting upstairs level was the former living quarters of the Gorordo family. It features lovely carved wooden furniture and a wide patio. The kitchen is particularly interesting, as it contains a traditional dirt stove, a wooden food safe, and a traditional dish drying rack fitted to the outside of the window.
Colon St. This Place is Brave the cacophanous traffic to see the oldest street in the Philippines with some nice worn-out classical buildings dating back to the American Era. At night, this street transforms into a market with good buys everywhere. Be wary of pickpockets.
Fort San Pedro or Fuerza de San Pedro. This Place is The smallest Spanish outpost in the Philippines during the colonial era. This place have a small museum showcasing the wreckage and treasures from the sunken San Diego galleon from Mexico. The area is scenic with the newly renovated and open-air Plaza Independencia at the entrance.
Basilica of Santo Niño, Osmeña Boulevard, This place is A large and venerable church that traces its history to the founding of the convent of the Santo Niño de Cebu in 1565. It contains a statue of the Santo Niño that regarded as the oldest religious relic in the Philippines. The statue was presented by Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana during the baptism of King Humabon and his wife Queen Juana on April 14, 1521. The natives of Cebu were formally Christianized by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Father Andres de Urdaneta on April 27, 1565. The church sees a constant stream of devotees praying at pews in the sanctuary and in front of statues of saints. The Basilica del Santo Niño Museum open Tue-Sun 08:00-11:45, 13:30-16:45, contains the vestments used to dress the Santo Niño and jewellery offered to the Santo Niño for use during his feast on the third Sunday of January.
Lapu-Lapu Monument, Lapu-Lapu, Mactan Island. How is Lapu-lapu ? Lapu-Lapu was a local hero who fought Ferdinand Magellan during the historic Mactan Landing in 1521. A small marker to Magellan is nearby. A few minutes’ walk away is Shangri-La Mactan Hotel Resort and Spa, which is a tourist spot in its own right. The compound is a large park where visitors can roam the huge reception and its environs. Check out the beach, the chapel, the spa and the various restaurants.
Life-size statues of popes, this place is Stations of the Cross and Mysteries of the Holy Rosary in Danao City.
Jose R.Gullas Halad Museum, This place is a musically-themed museum in Cebu City, Philippines that pays homage to the musical heritage of Cebu. This museum is operated under the Tipiganan sa mga Handumanan sa Kanta ug Kinaiyang Sugbuanon Foundation. It is located along V. Gullas St. and D. Jakosalem St. Cebu City, which used to be the old building of The Freeman Newspaper and now houses Cebuano and Visayan musical treasures and memorabilia.
Palawan is Located in Philipipines and is an island province of the Philippines. The provincial capital is Puerto Princesa and it is the largest province in terms of land area. It is considered as the last frontier of the Philippines. Palawan is paradise, sanctuary to an amazing variety of fauna and flora found nowhere else in the world. It is blessed with incredibly awesome landscapes that astound even the most indifferent of visitors. Palawan is composed of 1,768 islands and islets surrounded by a coral shelf with an exceptionally rich marine life. Its steeply sloped mountains are canopied by broad virgin forests. An anchor tourist destination, Palawan is one of the 7,000 times more islands that make up the Philippine archipelago. It is the perfect playground for the adventurous.
What you will find there?
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park ( the Underground River ). This River have over 8.2 kilometers in length, is reputably the longest underground river in the world. With its crystalline waters and spectacular cave formations before emptying into the South China Sea, the Underground River is possibly Puerto Princesa’s most popular attraction. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water’s edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave. Visitors can also enjoy bird watching, mountain trekking, and exploring the deeper part of the forest . The site was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. The winding path of the river is navigable via small pumpboats that depart from Sabang Beach. Travel time from the city proper to Sabang is about 1.5 hours (This can take closer to 3.5 if you choose to ride in a Jeepney, since you have to wait while they deliver goods along the journey).
Underground river near Sabang in the St Pauls Mediterranian National Park, Puerto Princess, Foto By Rita Willaert
Honda Bay, This Place is consisting of several islets with beautiful beaches, Honda Bay is the place to go to for swimming, snorkeling as well as beach and island hopping. Accessible via the Sta. Lourdes wharf which is 25 minutes away from the city. Pumpboats at the wharf can be hired to take visitors to the various islets on the bay. Arrive before 11am to go island hopping if you require a small boat (1-5 people) and before 2.30pm if you require a larger boat. Dive sites, as the entire area is studded with patches of coral and sand. Submerged reefs may be found close to the surface down to 24 meters. Small reef and aquarium fish can also be found here. Among the well-known dive sites here are Pandan Island which has good reefs near small drop-offs, Arreceffi Island and Panglima Reef where coral boulders and gray reef sharks are found.
Each island at Honda Bay offers different thrills. Snake Island has a sandbar that slithers on the surface of the sea, much like the critter that bears its name. It is best for snorkeling, swimming or simply basking in the sand. It can be reached in an hour by pumpboat. Bat Island, only 20 minutes away from Sta. Lourdes wharf, is literally teeming with bats which make their way out at sundown to look for food in the mainland.
Iwahig Penal Colony, This place a good example of a true correctional institute, the Iwahig Penal Colony is more of a farming community rather than a prison. Inmates often live with their families and are allowed to toil their farms to earn a living. Carving out handicrafts is also a common preoccupation and mahogany handcarvings are a good buy for tourists. The colony is about 35 minutes from the city center.
Palawan Wildlife Rescue & Conservation Center formerly the Crocodile Farming Institute (Crocodile Farm) is both a tourist attraction and a national research institute devoted to crocodiles. About 30 – 40 minutes from the city center, the Croc Farm also has a mini-zoo, which features some of Palawan’s endemic species of wildlife. The place is open from about 8:30 AM to about 4:30 PM. From Rizal Avenue you can take an 8-person covered pickup truck (Irawan) for 20 pesos and the Croc Farm is the last stop; a tricycle carrying only one or two people will cost 100 to 150 pesos. Croc Farm Tickets cost 40 p for adults and 20 for kids. You start with an guided tour of the crocs which last about 15 minutes. After that you wonder around by yourself in the endemic species area, where you have to be careful not to fall through a few rotton and crumbling wooden bridges. Although this is not the best managed wildlife area, the endemic species are nonetheless worth seeing and deserve your support.
Irawan Crocodile Farm – Palawan, Foto By Rita Willaert
PSU Museum, Palawan State University. Housed in only one room. Clean. Well-organized. Staff helpful.
Butterfly Garden, This Garden Have Collection native Palawan butterflies is located about half way to the Croc Farm and along the same road. Open 7 days a week from 8 to 5. Entry is 50 pesos.