With flowering public gardens and boulevards made for strolling hand-in-hand, this is the perfect time of year to visit the City of Light. Here, we share our favorite tips for finding the perfect views, affordable meals, and making Paris your own.
Have a plan, but be flexible
John Baxter, author of The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris, recommends that you pick one must-see for each day in Paris, but improvise the rest of the day. This combination of planning and spontaneity is ideal for Paris, a city that offers not only super-famous sights like the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe, but also super-secret spots that are all the more special for being off the beaten path. "Paris can't be done with just a map or a guidebook. You have to get lost, frustrated, Overwhelmed. Only then will you find that perfect café, that market that seems like a local secret, or that hidden garden. You have to discover Paris for yourself and then it will be yours, "says Rebecca Geoffroy-Schwinden, a Ph.D. candidate in musicology recently returned from a year in Paris.
Get the perfect view
Dubbed "this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower" by the city’s most prominent artists when it was proposed by engineer Gustave Eiffel, Parsons ultra-iconic observation tower debuted as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair and quickly became so popular that it was never taken down. These days, the only "monstrous" thing about the tower is the line to buy tickets--the Eiffel Tower attracts more than 7 million visitors each year. It may no longer be the tallest man-made structure in the world (it held that title until the 1930 completion of New York City’s Chrysler Building), but the view of the City of Light from the top--including the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur, the Seine and its many bridges, and the surrounding countryside up to 40 + miles--has no earthly match. The elevator to the top: 15 euros (buy tickets online to sidestep the line). You can toast the view with a glass of Champagne (from 10 euros), and beat the crowds by visiting later in the evening--the floodlit tower is open until 11 p.m. through mid-June, then to midnight in summer.
Insiders suggest that you take the No. 6 Metro line to the Bir-Hakeim station--youll get an unforgettable view of the tower as your above-ground train approaches the station. Looking for a less-crowded view? The top of Notre Dame cathedral can't be beat, and the view from the Arc De Triomphe is spectacular as well. Or try this insider tip: "Head to the top of Tour Montparnasse around 4: 30 p.m. for a Champagne overlooking the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower," suggests Geoffroy-Schwinden.
See the gardens
Sure, museums like the Louvre and D'Orsay insist on keeping world-famous paintings like the Mona Lisa indoors and that’s where you've got to go to see them. But if you visit Paris in springtime, don't stay cooped up inside. The Louvre's collection includes not only paintings, drawings, and sculptures, but also the Carousel gardens and Tuileries, which offer explosions of spring color, fragrant paths, and inviting landscaping. And for a real dose of spring flowers, don't miss the Luxembourg Gardens and a day trip to Versailles!
A lot of sit-down restaurants in Paris will set you back hundreds of bucks at dinner time. Save them for a (really) special occasion. But Baxter reminds us that prices at some of the top joints can be 50 percent lower at lunch time. He also suggests you can't go wrong at lunch time picking up a spot where the diner’s stuff napkins into their collars and mop up their plates with pieces of baguette--if picky Parisians are happy with the place, you’ll likely find a $40 lunch that includes a good wine. Don't be a wine snob: House wines in Paris are among the best in the world. And don't forget that tips are always included in the bill, so don't tack on an extra 20 percent.
I fancy myself a backpack-carrying, adventure-seeking traveler, at home in hostels and on hiking trails. But there I was, on a luxury cruise ship, sipping wine with silver-haired foxes, fox-trotting with male escorts in the ballroom, and escorting myself on a tapas-like tour around Europe, sampling cities for a day via ship, bus, foot and bike.
It was the biking aspect that had led to my unlikely sojourn on the ship, Crystal Cruises ' Serenity. Months before, my cyclist-enthusiast ears perked up when I heard about the cruise, with biking-based itineraries in several port cities.
The regimented itinerary of a cruise with its scheduled ports of call, and the idea of spending that much time on a ship, wasn't all that appealing to me, but the prospect of biking around a few different European cities was. So I packed my sneakers, some cute bike shorts and an open mind.
Embarking in Dover, England, I was sure I was the only passenger hauling a backpack on board when the butler assigned to my cabin floor did a double-take at the sight of my luggage. But after a restful sleep, rocked by the waves of the Atlantic and the gentle hum of the ship's engine, thoughts of hostels were but a distant memory.
On the first of my 10-day adventure hitting seven cities in four countries, my cousin and fellow cruiser Olivia Female, I, and a few other cyclists biked around Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, on cruisers we were given. We traversed the quaint, compact island, two-wheeling by fawn-hued cows, primary-colored fishing boats and World War II bunkers.
The next day we sampled wine on an evening walking tour in Bordeaux, France, as we learned about local history. In the hopes of working off some of that vino, I pedaled around the cobblestoned streets and lush wineries of Saint-Emilion the following day. Continue Reading.
Amazingly, Americans age 50 and over spend more than $150 billion annually on vacations. For many, travel is their number one leisure activity.
Some travel so they can cross something off their bucket list, such as drinking wine in Tuscany. Others travel to indulge in a passion, perhaps studying the geological wonders of the world or learning a new language. And for many, travel is a time to enjoy a special vacation with several generations of family.
Tours and cruises are a great way to achieve any of these objectives. In fact, they are among the top vacation choices for much of the 50+ crowd. Many travelers are happy to let someone else making all the lodging, dining, transportation and entertainment arrangements. The good news is that the choices for guided tours and cruises are nearly endless, and can fit almost any budget, travel style or itinerary expectation.
So how do you choose the right tour or cruise? Here are some points to consider:
• Activity Level: Travelers should determine the objective for their trip. Is it to rest and relax or stay on the go? Actively learn and explore or just enjoy the scenery? Immerse yourself in a culture or admire from a distance? Tours and cruises often have themes and all have set itineraries, so it's important to know what your objective is before you make reservations.
• Destination: Some cruises and tours head for far-reaching places and little-known ports of call, while others stick to more mainstream destinations. Others combine the two. Travelers should consider the appeal of all legs of their trip. Some people like to take trips that allow them to add on other destinations or more days to the end or beginning of the trip, so consider that option, too. Doing so could really give you more value for your dollars.
• Timing and budget: Prices for tours and cruises may be lower in off seasons such as spring and fall, and may also help travelers avoid weather extremes. Also, single travelers should be aware that some trips charge for lodging based on double occupancy. In addition, the cost to get to and from the trip should be factored into a trip budget. For example, you may have to fly to and from a cruise port.
• Size: From intimate, small-group excursions by van or small boat to large tours via bus or cruise ship, size can make a difference. Travelers should be realistic about their desire to be around large or small groups for extended periods and about their need for independent excursions or time alone.
• Physical limitations: Travelers with physical limitations or special medical needs should realistically assess their ability to engage in the trip itinerary. They should also check whether medical care is readily available or accessible on all parts of the trip.
• Discounts: Travelers 50 and older should remember to seek out discounts. For example, a variety of travel discounts -- from car rentals to cruises and lodging -- are available to AARP members. Membership cost is often recouped quickly by using a few discounts.
På en gitt dag gjennomsnitt rundt 2200 australiere satt ut for å gjøre forretninger eller ferie i Amerika. Til enhver tid er det omtrent 30.000 kortsiktige australske besøkende vei rundt i USA, ikke medregnet tusenvis mer på arbeid visum.
Etter New Zealand og Indonesia, australiere mest populære utlandet reisemål, og ifølge turisme prognosemakere, vil tiltrekke mer enn en million Aussies i 2015-16.
Men de siste to månedene har vært alt annet enn en omgjengelig ferie med USAs østkyst og Midtvesten innspillingen en av deres kaldeste og mest snørike vintre Records.
Det har sette amerikanske innenriks flyselskap systemet i en tailspin. Ifølge en analyse av Associated Press forrige uke, har mer enn 75.000 innenlandsflyvninger avbrutt siden den offisielle starten av vinteren desember 1-14 000 av dem i den siste uken alene.
Noen av de største byer som New York, Detroit, Boston, Chicago og St Louis er sa å ha mottatt to ganger til tre ganger så mye snø som de vanligvis får. Selv byer med mild helårig klima har ikke blitt spart, med isen stormer i Atlanta, Georgia, og Dallas og Houston i Texas.
På torsdag i forrige uke, ble mer enn 70 prosent av alle flyreiser kansellert i flyselskapet hub byene Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington DC og Charlotte, North Carolina.
Siden begynnelsen av vinteren, har 5,5 prosent av USAs 1.35 millioner rutefly blitt kansellert, ifølge flyreise oppsporer nettstedet FlightAware - den høyeste antall og høyeste prosent økning i minst siden vinteren 1987-1988, da US Department of Transportation startet avbestilling datainnsamlingen.
Executive reise magazine sier flight forstyrrelser i januar alene koster flyselskapene mellom $US75 millioner ($A83 millioner) og $US150 millioner, ifølge masFlight, data og programvare analytiker som spesialiserer seg på flyselskapet operasjoner. Men selskapet sier totalen kostnaden for passasjerer seg i januar - "verste måneden for flight forstyrrelser i nyere minne" - var rundt $US2.5 milliarder.
Februar er Amerikas kaldeste måneden i gjennomsnitt, og har 11 dager å kjøre. Men det er bare været-enestående menneskelige faktorer er kompliserende trafikkork flyplass:
* Siden 2001 terrorisme sjokket og den globale økonomiske krisen i 2007-08, har fly aldri vært så full å kompensere for at, i reelle termer, priser har aldri vært så billig.
Mens 20 år siden amerikanske innenlandske flyreiser var bare 60 til 70 prosent full, er den såkalte Belastningsfaktoren nå godt i overkant av 80 prosent.
Det betyr at når flyreiser kan masse avbestillinger, kan det ta opptil dobbelt så lenge for systemet å gjenopprette: det er bare ikke lenger de tomme setene tilgjengelig for å ta opp overbelastningen. Passasjerer bumped som følge av en måtte noen ganger vente dager for en ny flytur.
* US Department of Transportation har introdusert straffende nye forskrifter forbyr flyselskapene fra holde passasjerer på asfalten i tre timer eller mer mens de venter for takeoff spor. Så flyselskaper nå velger å avbryte blokker av flybilletter å unngå eventuelle bøter på opp til $US27, 500 per passasjer eller $US4.1 millioner for en typisk flyet sitteplasser 150 passasjerer.
Flyselskaper er nå raskere å kansellere flygninger, noen ganger en dag før en storm. Reguleringen har hatt den perverse utilsiktede konsekvensen at airlines' hovedfokus i forstyrrelser er ikke å få passasjerer til sine destinasjoner, men å unngå enorme bøter.
* US flyselskapet regulator, Federal Aviation Administration, gjennomført en ny regel i begynnelsen av januar, økende mengden av hvile piloter trenger. Det betyr at for å få nok uthvilt piloter tilgjengelig, flyselskaper er tilbøyelig til å avbryte mer flyreiser.
Det er absolutt en vekker for første gang Australian besøkende til USA, som været påvirker sjelden flyselskaper Under og tid hastigheten sjelden dips under 80 prosent.
Har du møtt reise forstyrrelser reise i USA? Hva synes du om USA og deres standarder? Har du tips for problemfri reiser i Amerika? Post dine kommentarer nedenfor.
The afternoon tea ritual with delicate sandwiches and warm scones is one that is normally preserved for women, an experience that Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is famed for in both Clipper Lounge and Café Causette.
This March, however, the hotel will launch a series of special afternoon teas for gentlemen to enjoy in the famed Captain’s Bar and The Chinnery.
The Chinnery and Captain’s Bar are both known and loved for their gentlemen's club-like surroundings, with leather booths and dark-wood furniture, and now men will be able to meet and relax, or secure business deals over two different afternoon tea’s the Gentlemen’s Power Snack and Gentlemen’s Power Afternoon Tea, which have been created especially for them. Both of these sets will include a chilled draft beer of their choice served in the famed silver tankards.
The Gentlemen’s Power Snack will feature a mini pulled pork burger, a truffle croque-monsieur, an English pie and a chocolate cigar. It costs HK$238 per person.
On the other hand, the Gentlemen’s Power Afternoon Tea will include roast beef with mini Yorkshire pudding, pork pie, smoked salmon bagel, Welsh rarebit and truffle croquet Monsieur, along with an array of sweet treats from The Mandarin Cake Shop such as a chocolate brownie, apple pie and, naturally, the chocolate cigar at HK$328
The beer can be changed to a 12-year Macallan whisky for an additional HK$40.
“Afternoon tea can now be enjoyed by everyone,” said Director of Food and Beverage, Nicolas Dubort. “Whilst ladies and children can enjoy delicate finger sandwiches, cakes, scones with clotted cream and our famed rose petal jam in the elegance of the Clipper Lounge and Café Causette, gentlemen can now retreat to the masculine setting of Captain’s Bar or The Chinnery to enjoy a tea experience that we have created especially for them.”
The Gentlemen’s Power Snack and the Gentlemen’s Power Afternoon Tea will be available between 2.30pm and 5pm Monday to Saturday in the Captain’s Bar and between 2.30pm and 5pm Monday to Friday in The Chinnery.
To celebrate the launch of these gentlemen’s afternoon teas, The Mandarin Barber will also launch a tailor-made Gentlemen’s Retreat package. This will allow gentlemen to enjoy not only the Gentlemen’s Power Afternoon Tea, but also a 30-minute reflexology in The Mandarin Barber. The cost of this special package is HK$488.
Many people want to travel better and even more. It's easier today because of the advancement of technology, airline tickets are cheaper than they used to be, travel blogs websites and books are readily available and more affordable, so what's your excuse for not being able to travel?
If you really want to travel, set some goals. Whatever it is your reason for wanting to travel, whether you just want to get with the fad, or you want to fill stamps on your passport, or the classic reason of seeing the culture and surroundings each new country has to offer, set your goals, and set them with quality.
If you want quality travel tips, here is the Top 5 we've gathered from www.wheretraveler.com.
Resolution 1: Stop overlooking nearby destinations
Traveling doesn't mean you have to have a passport, hop on a plane and get far away. You never know, but the next amazing place might be even in your own backyard (pun intended). There could be a nice zoo inside your city, a college campus or church with amazing architecture, and of course maybe a new restaurant down the block. It could also be another city that's next to yours, never considered by anyone as "travel-worthy" just because people are so used to seeing it. You must resolve to never again disregard the fact that any place, even the nearest one could be a destination for quality travel.
Resolution 2: Do one thing that scares you.
This doesn't mean that 'one thing' has to be life-threatening. How could you travel then if you're dead? This just means taking a step forward in conquering your fears a.k.a. a culture's tradition like getting inked by a tribal elder in the Philippines or eating balut, a scrumptious delicacy also in the Philippines which isn't for the liking of everyone. Besides, travel really is about new experiences and becoming more open to what the world has to offer and just understanding our amazing planet. Travelling isn't really about moving from one place to another.
Resolution 3: Turn every trip into travel.
We don't usually travel when we're on vacation, especially family trips. You don't usually explore because you're simply there because of the family. However, these overly familiar family trips can turn into travel if we just open ourselves up to new experiences and see the road ahead a little differently. Stick in an extra hour or two ahead or in between your trip and just...explore. Pull off the highway, gas up and check any local attraction that you haven't been to before that's along the way to your final destination. You can also try looking at any local flora or fauna and you'll be surprised at how diverse and blessed your country is.
Resolution 4: Try something new on each and every trip.
Not everything you try has to be something that you like. In line with Resolution 2, doing something that scares you, this will be less scary as it will just take you a little bit out of your comfort zone. This is part of travel - doing something new that you may or you may not like. Just make the most out of every destination and try everything new that you can. You will be bringing back less regrets and just new travel experiences. Hey, even something as mundane as saying "good morning" to the person next to you at the bus can be considered something new. Just try it!
Resolution 5: Go on at least one solo trip.
This resolution has been mentioned in countless blogs and articles for 20-somethings. It is maybe considered a universal goal already. This is because something changes within you when you're flying solo, whether you're travelling or not. Of course, the change is more intense when travelling. You have to depend on nobody but yourself. You literally have to be a friend to yourself. You will experience and learn new things with and about yourself that you've never thought possible. It will be a life-changer and an eye-opener in all sorts of ways. This can also be freeing. You can literally try ANY thing that you want because who's there to stop you but yourself? But of course, to do this right, you have to be open to the world, respect people and each place's culture and just limit digital connections. Do it the old-fashioned way, ask strangers. You'll realize it can be more fun than it actually sounds.
Now, let's travel!
Taking a break from the corporate grid and the responsibilities of everyday life are one of the best things in the world. However, not all vacations are perfect, people make mistakes. It takes skill and research to really get away from it all and enjoy every bit of the moment in that vacation that you deserve.
Below are Budget Travel's Top 5 Mistakes during Vacations which can be easily avoided.
Mistake 1: Booking a hotel too far from the action
Travel expert John E. DiScala of JohnnyJet.com says, "I think this is the biggest mistake [that travelers make when planning short getaways]. It generally takes time to get to and from a city when you stay farther out, and you're going to have to pay more for transport, too."
If you're going to any place, it's definitely worth paying extra to stay at an accommodation near the place's attractions. Staying at hotels far from the action may save you a lot of money and may be applicable to long vacations, but on short trips it's not such a good idea.
Mistake 2: Checking a bag
Booking a bag can be the bane of your trip when you find out that your luggage is heading for another city once you get to your destination. It could literally take days before you get back your luggage. With all the articles out there on how to travel light, there’s no reason why you should bring your whole room during short vacations.
If you have any sports equipment that needs to be checked like a surfboard or skis, consider shipping it ahead of time or even better, just rent at the place where you're going.
Still, the essence here is travel light. Take only what you can carry so you don't have to worry about lost luggage.
Mistake 3: Trying to make the most of every second
You don't have to visit every picturesque site in the place where you're headed. It's quality travel if you just make the most of one place. Know and set your goals. DiScala says, "Some people want to see it all, and others will go to Paris for a weekend and just want to hang at one café and soak in the culture."
Also, be realistic about your options and means. In the end, what you enjoy will be your personal preference anyway. Don't take more than you can handle. The worst feeling in the world wants to take another vacation from the vacation that you've been to.
Mistake 4: Booking a flight with multiple connections
Most cheap airfare requires trips that involve switching planes at an airline's hub. Yes, with this you can save a lot, but unless you're ready to cut off more time from your already short vacation, this isn't a really good idea to make the most out of your vacation.
"It's worth it to pay extra to get the nonstop option, especially when you have a short amount of time in a place. If there's a cancellation or weather delays in a hub city, there goes your vacation.” says DiScala
Mistake 5: Winging it
If you have a short period of time for spending your vacation, it's not best to wing it and go to your destination unplanned. Indecision of where to eat and where to head to next can be real pains once you're hungry and you want to see something good in your vacation.
Research dining options ahead of time, or you can call your hotel's concierge for recommendations.
Our St Kitts expert reveals his favorites lesser-known attractions, bars and restaurants
Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park
In 1690, British forces began work on a hilltop defence that over the course of the next century grew into an imposing fortress. Built by African slaves, at its peak Brimstone Hill was home to over a thousand soldiers and their families. Abandoned in 1825, it has since been restored and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In my view, it is one of the most spectacular sights in the Leeward Islands. It is also a green and spacious national park with superb views, so feel free to bring a picnic and take your time exploring a monumental ruin that includes a formidable citadel, an engrossing historical museum and a poignant cemetery.
Allow half a day and invest in the audio guide (US$5/EC$13), which must be picked up at the ticket booth as you drive up. Credit cards are accepted only for payments over US$20/EC$54.
Brimstone Hill, near Sandy Point, St Thomas
Mt Liamuiga hike
Ready for a serious hike? Then it's time to tackle the 3,972ft volcanic peak of Mt Liamuiga in the north of the island, which until independence in 1983 was known as Mt Misery. The two-hour ascent climbs through a cathedral-like rainforest with magnificent trees, then emerges on the rim of a half-mile-wide volcanic crater to look down at a lost green world 700ft below. A good level of fitness is required, but the paths are maintained and the higher you go the cooler it gets.
Several companies offer guided trips with hotel pick-up – my favourite is the highly experienced and extremely motivating O'Neil Mulraine, who rewards his guests with a mountain-top snack at the summit. You won't see much if it's cloudy or rainy, so if the weather looks promising arrange to do the hike as soon as you can.
Mt Liamuiga, St John
St Kitts Scenic Railway
In 1912, work began on a narrow gauge railway line to transport sugar cane across the north of St Kitts to the outskirts of Basseterre. Completed 14 years later, it remained in use until 2005 when the industry finally closed. Now it has a second life taking tourists on a two-hour, 18-mile trundle around the Atlantic coast with a guided commentary and drinks.
Passengers travel in air-conditioned, double-decker carriages as far as La Vallee Station in Newton Ground, then a 45-minute bus ride completes the round-island tour. The journey is also available in reverse and is a popular excursion for cruise ship passengers. You might want to take earplugs – I find the commentary can be very loud and a bit overbearing.
Needs Must Train Station, Needs Must Estate, St Peter
Eat - El Fredo's
Run by an amiable couple who lived in Wales for some years, this small, wood-framed courtyard restaurant stands close to the shore in Basseterre and is only open for lunch. There is no view, but a steady stream of satisfied local customers makes it clear that this is a good place to try some Caribbean favourites. Options include goat water (spicy meat stew), curried conch and ground provisions (traditional vegetables such as yams, cassava and sweet potato).
Ask about the specials, which could be snapper caught that morning, but be wary of the hot sauce...Try one of El Fredo's juices made from local herbs and fruits, such as sorrel, guava and soursop (US$2/EC$5).
New Town, Bay Road, Basseterre
With a commanding view of Basseterre's answer to Piccadilly Circus, this breezy, balconied restaurant makes a welcome pit-stop if you are shopping or sightseeing in the island's capital. Decorated in cheerful Caribbean colours, it's open all day and has a wide-ranging and reasonably priced menu. Go early for a traditional breakfast of saltfish with creole sauce, or drop in for a reviving lobster sandwich.
From here, it's just a short walk to the market, National Museum and duty-free shops of Port Zante. I always ask about Ballahoo's daily specials, which range from chicken curry to blackened grouper. Reservations are generally not necessary, except if visiting with a large party, or if an event is on.
The Circus, Fort Street, Basseterre, St George (Read Full Article Here)
I was born and have lived most of my life in Hong Kong, and whenever I travel to the other two members of the Nylonkong triumvirate I see immediate connections. But if you really want to compare the soul of Hong Kong to that of another Western place, it's not New York or London. It's Sicily, of all places. Like us, Sicilians are islanders — tough and maritime. They have known colonization, revolution and emigration. They have theircosa nostra, we have our triads. Both the Sicilians and the Cantonese are obsessed with seafood, smuggling, secrecy and saving money. O.K., Hong Kong isn't The Godfather, but pay attention as you work through our list below: There's a hint of Palermo in the hilly, narrow alleyways of old Central and in the shirtless, tattooed men lounging in Kowloon doorways. The city of Hong Kong may rub shoulders with New York and London, but its feet still dangle in the brackish water of a sultry, southern port.
If a single image could encapsulate Hong Kong, it would be the panorama from Victoria Peak. Looking down at the city from this famous vantage point, you'll see one of the finest harbors on Earth and a skyline so improbable, audacious and lofty that Manhattan's looks provincial by comparison. Beyond the mountains to the north of the city, the rest of China simmers and strains. Everything you've heard about Hong Kong's restlessness and energy is dramatically reaffirmed by the view from the Peak. Even the most cynical locals never tire of visiting. It reminds us why we live here.
You can reach the peak via the Peak Tram, the 120-year-old funicular railway that departs from its terminus on Garden Road (nearest MTR: Central). Plan to arrive a half-hour before sundown and watch as the city lights come on in their varicolored brilliance.
126 Peak Road, Hong Kong, China thepeak.com.hk
Lin Heung Tea House
Proletarian clientele vie for shabby seats at shared tables as ceiling fans whir and an ancient wall clock keeps time — rather pointlessly, given that it's forever 1962 at the Lin Heung ("Fragrant Lotus") Tea House. But if you're going to have dim sum only once during your stay in Hong Kong, this is the place. A decades-old parlor in Hong Kong's Central District, Lin Heung makes no concessions to modernity or to English speakers, so be prepared for pantomime or go with a Cantonese-speaking friend. But what Lin Heung does offer is a tasty and unmediated slice of Old Hong Kong. (Don't leave without trying the lotus paste buns or the glutinous rice dumplings.) The city's culinary and cultural authenticity are potently concentrated in a few surviving places like this. (Nearest MTR: Central)
1. Lin Heung Tea House
160-164 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong; 852-2544-4556
Charter a Junk
Everyone thinks of Hong Kong as a city, but in fact it is a sprawling archipelago of 260 islands. If you never see their rugged coastlines or deserted coves, and if you are never buffeted by the salty sea wind as it blows full pelt across a surging prow, then you will not know very much of Hong Kong at all. To see the place as it must have appeared to generations of fishermen and pirates, hire a "junk" (the term formerly applied to traditional Chinese fishing boats now refers to any motorized pleasure vessel). Load a picnic and a cool-box of beer and wine, and set off through the scattered islets. Drop anchor somewhere remote and dive off the deck for a swim.
Eight-hour charters start at around at $490 from Traway; the website is in Chinese only, but staff speak English (852-2527-2513). Companies like Jaspas (852-2792-6001) and Saffron (852-2857-1311) charge considerably more, but provide better-looking craft and, in Jaspas' case, cold beverages, onboard lunch and waiter service. Get a group of friends and local colleagues together to share the cost. Junks will collect you from Central's Pier 9 (nearest MTR: Central) or Kowloon Public Pier (nearest MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui).
1. Central Pier 9
2. Kowloon Public Pier
The data are in and Hong Kong is victorious: based on 2012 travel patterns (apparently these studies take some time to compile) the HKSAR drew more visitors than any other city in the world. That that, Singapore (3rd) and Bangkok (4th place).
Now, not to rain on Hong Kong's parade, but the fact that visitors from mainland China counted as "international travelers" does pretty significantly skew the results. The Wall Street Journal blog covered HK's new ranking and they admitted, "to be sure, a large portion of the visits from the mainland to Hong Kong are day-trippers from neighboring Shenzhen looking to stock up on daily necessities, such as milk powder."
When New York City (ranked 8th) gets "international travelers," they come from, well, other countries. With Hong Kong, it's a bit sketchier.
This is just fair warning for when Euromonitor (the company who ran this study) publishes its "Top 100 City Destinations" as some kind of hot travel guide, readers should be wary that many of their fellow "international" travelers will be a bunch of Guangdongers running to snag some milk powder, update their Facebook apps, orgive people avian flu.
I thought I’d share with you my experience of being robbed in Barcelona from early last year. I wouldn’t wish this to happen to anyone visiting this great city. Below you’ll find some tips of how to avoid the pickpockets and ideas of what to do if you have the misfortune of being robbed.
Remember: In all situations, keep calm and don’t lose your head……. Unless of course you are Liam Neeson
Disclaimer: I like to state loud and clear that despite my experience of being pickpocketed – I love Barcelona.
Let me state this loud and clear.
I love the city. It has a raw energy.
The people are passionate and interesting.
The food- tapas bars here are amazing.
Night life now. The night never ends in Barcelona. Plus this city is bursting with creativity and vibrant, innovative ideas.
Inspired by Gaudi, the citizens have a zest for challenging boundaries and living life to the fullest.
So it was a massive letdown when last year, on my 5th visit to the city I fell prey to a growing menace in Barcelona -pickpockets.
It had been a long day of travelling.
A last minute meet up with a friend had fallen through because of a miscommunication in dates.
I was kind of upset because I was looking forward to catching up with her.
Suddenly, my first evening in Barcelona seemed empty and vague. I grabbed the airport express train from El Prat to Placa Catalunya.
After emerging from the escalator I walked towards La Ramblas in search of my hostel for the night.
It’s only when I got into my hostel room that I noticed that my wallet had vanished.
First a feeling of disbelief and denial.
I checked my pockets 20,000 times, emptied my rucksack and suitcase a million times.
Suddenly, a nauseating feeling swept over me as I realized I had my wallet stolen.
Looking back, I was distracted while emerging from Placa Cataluyna Metro station.
I was busy trying to pull my suitcase in one hand and my rucksack on my back.
Plus I looked way too dapper for 530pm- suit and all.
I stuck out like a sore thumb from the crowd.
Someone there must have seen me as an easy target and true enough, I was the easiest person he/she must have pickpocketed.
This was because I had my wallet in the back pocket
Yep. I had kept my wallet in my back pocket.Read More Here
*NH Open Doors I will be open for this tour at 25 Philip Drive Spofford, NH.
*Jaffrey Civic Center fall 2013
*The Hooker-Dunham Theater and Gallery in Brattleboro
November 1-November30, 2013.
*Jaffrey Civic Center
Two Woman show-falls 2014
Pastel Society of New Hampshire-www.pastelsocietynh.com
Vermont Pastel Society-www.vermontpastelsociety.com
Monadnock Area Artist Association-www.monadnockareaart
Saxton River Art Guild
Others great art site to check out
Pastel Society of America-www.pastelsocietyofamerica.org
Contemporary fine art gallery established 1984, located in Chelsea, New York art galleries district. The public is invited to the gallery art openings receptions. Artist portfolios are reviewed. The sponsor of the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition.
It's going to be a long journey home for many travelers this weekend. Blizzard conditions in the Northeast and winter weather across much of the United States mean a whole lot of waiting for people itching to be on the move.
Flight Aware.com, which tracks cancellations due to weather and mechanical problems, showed more than 2,000 flight cancellations for Friday. On Thursday, more than 2,600 U.S. flights were canceled.
It may take airports 48 hours or more to clear the backlog caused by weather this severe, according to Rick Seaney, CEO of airfare tracker FareCompare.com.
And with 1 to 2 feet of snow on the ground in parts of the Northeast, driving is not advised.
Here are some tips to ease the trip home, but above all else, patience -- and caution -- will be key.
Rebook your flight for free. Airlines rolled out their customary winter weather waivers this week, so most passengers traveling to, from or through affected areas can make one itinerary change without paying a change fee. Delta, American, US Airways, United, Southwest/AirTran and JetBlue have all posted weather policies on their websites.
Act quickly. Rebook your itinerary as soon as possible. Other passengers are snapping up open seats as you mull over a new itinerary. Be sure that your airline has your e-mail address and phone number, Seaney advises. If you didn't provide this information when you purchased the ticket, go online and add it.
Follow your airline and airport on social media. Many airlines and airports post the speediest updates to their Twitter feeds, so start following them now. Sign up for airline alerts to get flight updates e-mailed to your smartphone.
If you're stranded, multitask. Get online, get on the phone and get in the ticketing line (if you're already at the airport). With thousands of flights delayed or canceled, competition will be fierce for seats when operations start humming again. Get airline apps for your phone and try to contact your airline on Twitter, Seaney suggests.
Elite fliers should use their loyalty program hot lines and head to frequent flier lounges for better access to airline reps. "This might be the time to spring for a lounge day-pass just to gain access to these folks," Seaney wrote in an e-mail.
Use the Next Flight app and type in your city pair to get the next flights for the major airlines, suggests Benet J. Wilson, Aviation Queen travel blogger. Then, call the airline on your cell phone and give them your preferred options.
Charge your devices. Hopefully, you're not among those travelers stranded at the airport, where jockeying for electrical outlets is inevitable. Charge up before you head out, and keep a car charger and a power pack or a few battery chargers for your portable electronic devices handy.
Check your flight, no matter where you're going. Think you don't have to worry about bad weather because you're flying from sunny California to sunny Florida? Not so fast.
"Because airlines operate networks, a storm affects not only flights in its immediate location but even those in far-removed locations not affected by the storm," said Cynthia Barnhart, an MIT engineering professor who teaches airline schedule planning.
Check your aircraft's journey on your airline website or with an app like Flight view.
Don't be a jerk. "The airline representatives did not make it snow," Seaney reminds travelers. "We've heard many anecdotal stories over the years from airline representatives who tell us it's a lot easier to find a good flight for a pleasant passenger than for one who is screaming at you."
Use common sense: Don't drive into a storm. It's treacherous out there. Monitor your local and regional forecasts, and don't drive if you don't have to.
AAA advises motorists to check tire pressure and make sure car batteries, cooling systems and antifreeze levels are in order. Keep gas tanks close to full, the Automobile Association advises, so that you'll be able to run the engine for heat in case you get stranded.
AAA suggests keeping the following items in your car: a shovel and a bag of sand, a snowbrush and ice scraper, jumper cables, a spare tire, windshield wiper fluid, a cell phone and car charger and blankets, gloves, hats and food, water and essential medication.
C'est un endroit merveilleux à visiter, de photographie, et de rencontrer les gentils
cambodgiens. Angkor est au Cambodge, dans la province du nord de Siem Reap et c'est l'un des plus importants sites archéologiques de l'Asie du Sud-est.
La meilleure partie, tout est inclus, c'est-à-dire , les hôtels, le transport, la nourriture et les pourboires. Votre voyage commence 7 mars et vous joindre à la navire 10 mars. Appelez dès aujourd'hui pour de plus amples informations.
Christmas, New Year’s and Antarctica... all in one cruise! If you haven’t had the privilege of cruising Antarctica, this could be just the cruise for you. In 16 days you will enjoy it all.
Cruisers, however, after having been to this special part of the ocean, tend to return because of the very nature of the quiet beauty of ice bergs, cute antics of the penguins and other sea creatures. How can you top this itinerary? Hardly ever!
For more information visit us at http://www.corlissgroup.com
• Leave valuables at home! Not in your purse or car. In some areas, don't even leave it in the hotel room.
• Use a money belt. These are small, zippered pouches that either attach around your waist or onto your pants' belt loop. It sits inside your pants and is not to be pulled out for every purchase. Place into it important documents - passports, cash, plane tickets, ID, etc. Prevent body moisture from messing up your papers by putting them in a little plastic baggy.
• Carry only a daily amount of spending cash in your front pockets.
• If you're carrying a purse, use one that zips completely closed and straps diagonally across your chest. If you don't have one for across your chest, have a very short strap where the purse will rest under your arm as you carry it.
• Europe is renowned for the petty thievery which can quickly destroy your trip. Read and learn from some popular tourist scams (from fellow travellers) on the internet. Or, ask us at the Corliss Group for some stories.