Posts for Destinations Category

Taipei Travel Guide

China - Ross French - May 7, 2020

Taiwan is divided into several major provinces. For most of the tourists, you will want to pick one of the following two places as your first destination: Taipei and Xinbei, which is commonly known as the northern part of Taiwan; or Kaohsiung and Tainan, which is known as the Southern part.

While many other options exist, you would want to stay within Taipei for their first trip to Taiwan. This is, therefore, a detailed guide showing your way around Taipei.

Traveling and Accommodations

After getting off the plane at Taoyuan Airport, you would have four options: Take the Taoyuan High-Speed Railway, the Taoyuan MRT, Airport bus or Taxi. You will most likely arrive at the Taipei MRT Station if you intend to take any of the public mass transport.

The Taxi is fairly priced – assuming that you are dropping off at Taipei Station, the taxi fare would roughly be 600NT. If you would like to get to your hotel directly, taxis are usually the way to go.

The High-Speed Rail is the fastest (probably even faster than taxi) but also the costliest out of the rest three. MRT and the bus take the same time, so it would depend on your preference. One thing’s for sure: There are so many English signs in the airport to guide your way. You are very unlikely to get lost.

Once you are in the city, you should primarily use the MRT (the local Metro system) to travel around. Most of the city’s attractions are easily accessible using the MRT, but note that the metro system is complex and is considered quite confusing for many first-time visitors, so be prepared to get lost a few times. You can keep on using Taxi or calling Uber, or hop on a bus to experience the city. Also, Taipei is a very walkable city, and you should be able to walk from places to places if you know your way around. It’s your choice!

One last thing: The rate of hotel rooms caters to all markets and rooms are available every time of the year. If you don’t know where to look, hotels near Ximending and Taipei Station, possibly Wanhua and Zhongxiao Dunhua districts are your safest bets.

Attractions

Many of the biggest and most important landmarks in Taiwan, such as the Taipei 101, National Palace Museum and The National Taiwan University are within the city.

Taipei 101 is the tallest building of Taiwan. It is 101 floors high—hence the name—and the top floors comprise two observation decks. This is one of the sleekest buildings of the city, and the best place to have a bird’s-eye view of the city. After you’ve enjoyed the view from above, you should also have a look at the lower floors—it is a mall with a huge food stall serving international food.

The National Palace Museum is not the same as the one in Beijing. They share the same Chinese name (Gu-Gong—literally translated as ‘the old palace’) and have a similar focus: Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks dated back to the Ming and Ching dynasty. While the scale of collection in Taipei is much smaller than the one in Beijing, this is still one of the biggest collections of Chinese artwork out of the world. If you are into art and Chinese culture, check it out.

Lastly, there is the National Taiwan University, which is known as NTU. NTU is the Harvard of Taiwan. While you may not enter campus’ building (Unless you have been invited by someone from the campus), you may take photos on the outskirts of this historical campus. CD shops, book stores and eateries are scattered around here, so even if you are not going inside the campus, there’s no harm in walking around.

Shopping

When compared with other parts of Taiwan, Taipei is well known for being a shopper’s Heaven. SOGO, atre, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi are just some upscale big malls in The Shinyi commercial circle. In there, you should be able to find all the international big brands you know and love.

Taipei is also known for its underground shopping malls. The Taipei Underground Shopping Mall hosts shops that sell tourist goods and souvenirs. It is also famous for selling Japanese Comics, novels, video games and related goods.

One place you should definitely visit would be Ximending, which is a pedestrian walkway a-la ‘night market’. While the business here usually starts in the afternoon, in the evening, Ximending kicks into another gear. You will most likely find people queuing for bubble tea and restaurants, while the shops sell an array of souvenirs and clothing items. Wallets, bags, accessories, clothes, Taiwanese snacks, and many traditionally related goods that can furnish your rooms, can easily be found here.

As for your souvenir wish list, Food is usually your safest bet. Pineapple Cakes, Tea leafs, ‘pork papers’ (pork jerkies which are thin as a piece of paper—this is super crunchy) are some most sought after items that will satisfy even your pickiest friends.

One thing you might not have expected would be books—Taiwan has quite the literature scene. If you know a friend who can read Chinese, why not buy him a book of Yang Mu, one of the greatest modern poets in Taiwan?

With so much to buy and enjoy in Taipei, why not book your tickets now? Fly to Taipei now with Cathay Pacific.

Food

Even without mentioning, you should have heard about bubble tea by now, which is a variant of milk tea with tapioca balls added on, served cold. You will see people drinking this popular drink once you’ve touched down, as bubble tea shops can be found literally everywhere—including the Taoyuan airport.

Besides bubble tea, you would most likely want to taste some local snacks and food. Some of the stuffs you should definitely try include:

1. Xiaolongbao/Meat dumplings

The term literally translated as ‘small cage buns’. It is, however, not a bun, but meat dumplings with soups inside, wrapped in a very thin layer of skin that’s almost translucent. This item does not originate from Taiwan, but it is very popular there.

2. Beef Noodles

While the Beef served with the noodles is nice, what makes a bowl of beef noodles shines is the soup, which could have taken over 24 hours to prepare. Luckily, you don’t have to wait for 24 hours for your bowl, as Beef Noodles can be found in most of the places in Taiwan.

3. Oyster vermicelli

While the name might trick you into thinking this is a noodle dish, this is more like a soup or a snack. Small pebbles of oysters and vermicelli are the main ingredients. Pig intestines are often added. If you think this is some odd Asian flavor, wait until you taste the Umami flavor on the soup, which is usually based on fish stocks or bonito flakes. You will be pleasantly surprised.

4. Fried Chicken cutlet

We are not referring to the American style Wings or the Korean style chicken nuggets, or any of the stuff you have in KFC. Taiwanese like their chicken cutlet fried and sprinkled with spiced salt, sometimes with paprika. It is spicy, crispy and juicy. In short: It’s finger licking good.

You can find many of the food listed here in any of the ‘night markets’ in Taipei. Shilin night market, Shi-Da Night Market and Raohe Street Night Market are some places where you can start looking.

In Conclusion

There is really nothing stopping you from visiting Taiwan. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets to Taipei now.

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5 Amazing Outdoor Places to See in Arizona

North America - Ross French - March 23, 2020

Are you striving to find out the amazing outdoor places to see in Arizona? Then you can explore them in this particular post.

Arizona is one of the 50 states in the United States of America. It is the 6th largest state and 14 most populous states. It is present in the southwestern region of the United States.

Many natural wonders, vibrant cities are present in Arizona, the heart of the United States. Some of the most unique and incredible terrains with the rocky countryside and huge mountains can be seen in Arizona.

In addition to the above, it is home for many distinct ecosystems and one of the wide varieties of topography in the country. For instance, many magnificent parks take home in Arizona.

There are many fascinating places to see in Arizona. You can find Many fascinatingly unique deserts, landscapes, forests, red rocks, vacation resorts are there in Arizona. In other words, it is a perfect vacation spot all around the year.

Apart from these, there are many other fascinating places to see and explore in Arizona. For instance, sandy deserts, towering saguaro cacti, and a snowbird culture having a lot of retired people enjoy their time in their recreational vehicles.

Many exciting outdoor recreational sites are present in Arizona, which provides insight into the rich culture and history of native America. There are two unique national parks and fifteen national monuments in Arizona.

As you are looking for the best places to see in Arizona? Here are the best and must-visit places to see in Arizona.

The Grand Canyon:

It is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Arizona, United States. Grand Canyon is formed as a result of soil erosion due to water. It is a large and deep river valley in Arizona.

This is formed by the Colorado river cutting the channels through the layers of rocky planes of the Colorado rift. As a result, the Grand Canyon runs 277 miles long and 18 miles wide and a mile depth. The local tribes consider the canyon as a holy site.

An endless view of ridges with colorful walls and deep caves are the major attraction of the Grand Canyon; in other words, the view is surreal. Especially in the late afternoons, a hue of colors, namely orange, red, yellow, and every shade in between, is reflecting on the walls of the canyon.

There are several tourist attractions along the canyon and its rim. Namely Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon- Parashant National Monument. Above all, the helicopter ride of the canyon is the most fantastic view to behold, similarly, the hiking into the canyon is also one of the incredible experiences.

Monument Valley:

Monument Valley is the most iconic image in the southwestern Arizona. A group of towering sandstone buttes makes a Monument Valley. The largest is about 300 meters above the valley. The Colorado region in Arizona houses the Monument valley.

Lands in the monument valley are very unfriendly with sharp rocks and colossal sand dunes. It is a 17-mile self-drive route along the park. In addition to the self-drive, Monument Valley is a large area that includes a tribal park, namely Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

Sedona:

Sedona is a city that sits on the country line in the northern Verde Valley region of Arizona. The main attraction of Sedona is the array of red sandstones. Besides, many beautiful red mountains and sharp rocky specimens make Sedona a beautiful place.

It is a great road trip from Phoenix to Sedona about a one-and-a-half-hour drive. The streets of Sedona are full of tourist shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Also, there are many biking and hiking trails in and around Sedona. Sedona has a rich history. As a result, there are several Native American housings in Sedona.

There are several energy vortexes in and around Sedona. Therefore it is considered a highly spiritual place. There are a wide range of activities going on in Sedona, for instance, UFO tours, jeep tours, hiking, aura readings to psychics, crystal seller.

Havasu falls:

Havasu Falls is the largest waterfall of the Grand Canyon on the south side of Colorado River. It is present in Havasu Creek, Arizona. It is the most famous waterfalls and is most visited falls in Havasu Creek. The waterfalls are as high as 100 feet, and it is located about one and a half miles from Supai.

The water pools at the foot of the Havasu Creek and appears to be having a blue color tint. In other words, the water seems to be having a blue color. The falls appear to be divided into two sections in two directions during heavy rainfall.

There is a tribe that resides near Havasu Creek called Havasupai Indians. Visitors are not allowed into the creek; however, recently, they mostly depend on tourism. Also, there are many exciting activities like a long hike, horseback riding, mule ride, and helicopter ride are available for visitors in Havasu Falls.

Tombstone:

Tombstone is a city in Arizona that showcases the country’s life of the old west people. It is the historic city of Arizona. There are a lot of activities happening in and around the city of the tombstone. This city is known for its famous Wild West depiction in modern society.

For instance, staged gunfights taking place in the streets of Tombstone. People walk around the city in costumes that portray the lifestyle of the glory old days of Arizona.

In addition to the above, there are several tourist destinations in Tombstone. Similarly, most of the town’s history can be seen in the historic sites for instance the Boot hill Graveyard, O.K. Corral. There is a park that is present in the original courthouse of the Tombstone city called Tombstone Courthouse State Historical Park, which is now a museum.

Historic Re-enactments takes place on the streets of Tombstone. The streets are well-packed with shops, restaurants. There is a theatre in Tombstone that never closed its gates in eight years. Besides, the popular activity in Tombstone is the ghost tour, which takes place early in the evenings.

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3 Epochal places to visit in New York City

North America - Ross French - March 16, 2020

If you want to escape from your work stress, then New York is the perfect location for you. New York is probably the most visited city in the United States. It’s famous for nightlife, fashion, art, food, theater and more. If you’re a traveler who is striving to check the best places in New York City? Then you’ll get to know about it in this post.

New York City is famously called as “The city that never sleeps”. It is a country with a whirlwind of activities around every corner. This city is known as the “Cultural Capital of the World”. New York City is larger than life itself in terms of population, square feet in culture and food, in arts and entertainment.

There’s so much to do and see in New York City. Whether it’s your first visit or tenth, you’ll never go out of place in New York. As you’re striving to find out the best places in New York City, you should explore these top 3 places in New York City. These are the places that capture the energy, spirit and style of the city.

Statue of Liberty:

The Statue of Liberty “Enlightening the world” is a gift to The United States from French as an offering of friendship. This statue is considered as the symbol of freedom and democracy. That’s why, this will be one of the best places in New York City you have to explore.

When you have a glance at this statue, you’ll find a woman with a torch in the left hand and tablet with inscriptions of the declaration of independence in the right hand. You’ll see broken shackles at the bottom of its feet depicting the abolition of slavery standing 305 feet tall.

The torch in the statue’s hand is 29 feet from the tip of the flame to the bottom of the handle. As a traveler, you shouldn’t miss out exploring this Statue of Liberty.
There is an elevator that carries the visitors to the observation deck, where u can see the beautiful New York Bay on Liberty Island and Ellis Island. One can go around the liberty statue in a ferry ride. You can appreciate its beauty or can enter into the museum or observation deck within the statue as well.

Grand Central Station:

One of the most iconic transit terminals in New York. This place is located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

Although it is not just a simple transit station but is a hub for shopping, dining and various cultural aggregations. It is the place where great engineering comes to life every day. This can also be called as a symbol of survival and rebirth.

Four faced Opal Clock, is one of the main attractions in the grand central station. It is the place where thousands of people chose to meet their friends and loved ones. It is one of the most visited destinations in New York.

This place has the largest railroad in North America with 1247 km length track connecting the Hudson, the Harlem and the New Haven. One can reach from grand central to Statue of liberty through Park Ave and Broadway.

Times Square:

It is one of the most visited locations in the United States. It is a place with various tourist destinations, entertainment centers, commercial intersections, billboards and advertisements etc.

People call this place as “the crossroads of the world”. Time Square is situated in Midtown Manhattan, at the junction of Broadway and seventh. It is the major hub for the Broadway theater district and the center of the world’s entertainment industry.

In New York City, this is a place with lights and music and Broadway theater. This is one of the largest neighborhoods stretching from West 42nd to West 47th. The New York Times used to have its old office over here.

Later on, New York Times has opened it’s new office after that it got its name as Times Square from Long-acre square. The most popular activity in Time Square is it’s New Year’s ball drop. Here is where the popular glass ball game has started.

Many tourists around the world along with the New Yorkers gather here to celebrate the arrival of New Year. There are many popular attractions in and around Times Square, such as the top of the rock and Madame Tussauds.

Tourists can experience the world famous digital art exhibition in the Time Square. Experience the huge billboards that are synchronized to form breathtaking views here at Times Square. These amazing looks will simply blow anyone just because of its beauty.

New York is famous for its nightlife and Musical Events. So, you’ll be never out of musical or play events in this region. That’s why tourists can enjoy these events on their trip because of its ravishing cultural events. Along with that, this place has some delicious restaurants with mouthwatering dishes as well.

It is a place with a lot of commercial centers which open early in the morning till late at night where one can quench once thirst for shopping here. This is one of the best places in New York City you have to explore in your short New York trip.

Conclusion:

Whether you are interested in enjoying the nightlife, are curious about fashion, or want to spend time outdoor by partying, you’ll find what you’re looking for in New York City. It’s truly a world-class destination for all the party freaks and travel lovers.

No matter what you’re looking for, New York City will not disappoint you.

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Top rental luxury villas for a dream holiday in Morocco

North Africa - Ross French - January 29, 2020

If you dream of enjoying an exotic blend of camel treks, spicy aromas, striking landscapes, imperial cities, and bustling souks, Morocco can be your dream destination. It’s varied topography makes it an ideal tourist hotspot. The country not only has sweeping desert expanses and mountains, but also idyllic beaches that lure trippers. To add to it, there are hotels galore to choose from. You can select from a wide range of luxury villas by Villanovo in every style, class and budget range. If you are hunting for that perfect villa for your Moroccan sojourn but don’t know where to begin, this article presents you with some of the best options.

Dar 138

This beautiful riad located in Marrakech has two bathrooms and two bedrooms. A maximum of four people can stay here enjoying the splendid views of La Mamounia’s gardens. It is an extremely stylish bolthole that is perfect for private holiday and group of people. This house presents Moroccan-tiled designer patio, guest cloakroom within the entrance hall, leading into two bedrooms with bathrooms ensuite in each. The first floor has a massive open-plan space for living as well as a modern kitchen and dining area that can accommodate six people. The terrace has a lounging area and a solarium and offers amazing views of the olive gardens.

Type: Budget villa (can accommodate a maximum of four persons)

Rate: 150 € to 170 € per night

Location: Marrakech-Medina

Villa Lester Royal Palm

This villa is a luxurious property located in Domaine Royal Palm’s heart in Marrakech. It is ideal for couples who love to play golf and more than two couples can stay here. This property has a private pool, a chef who you can call on request, a garden and a spa. You will find a wood-burning fireplace and Sonos wireless speakers to enjoy your favourite music inside the living-room. For the comfort of guests, Villa Lester Royal Palm provides daily cleaning facilities.

Type: Medium-budget villa (can accommodate a maximum of six persons)

Rate: 500 € to 700 € per night

Location: Near Marrakech-Royal Palm

Villa Essaada El Majal

The Villa Essaada El Majal is a luxurious four-bedroom villa that is fully-staffed and has a tennis court. It lies in the heart of Marrakech. There is an open patio large enough to accomodate people in an Arab-Andalusian form of yard. Other amenities include hammam, private garden and a heated swimming pool.

Type: Medium to high budget villa (can accommodate a maximum of eight persons)

Rate: 572€ to 1243 € per night

Location: Marrakech-Palmeraie

Villa Alkhozama

Villa Alkhozama is a two-bedroom villa and is located in one of Marrakech’s luxurious estates. Travelers staying here can make the most of the chauffered car and concierge services. It villa has a very contemporary ambience and is decorated with traditional items, crafts and local materials. Children are welcome here and there are baby cots too in this child-friendly villa too. Moreover, you can also order special meals for them.

Type: High budget villa (can accommodate a maximum of four persons)

Rate: 1185€ to 1896 € per night

Location: Near Marrakech-Palmeraie

So what are you waiting for? Rent a luxurious villa, or one of the charming riads in the land where modernity blends perfectly with tradition enjoy a relaxing holiday.

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Best Places Every Tourist Must Visit in Dubai

Middle East - Ross French - January 27, 2020

Dubai is an excellent choice for a vacation with friends or family. From the hotels in Dubai to other landmarks, Dubai exudes luxury and sophistication. It is an ultra-modern city that never fails to deliver amazing adventures and stellar hospitality. Offering the perfect mixture of modernism and tradition, Dubai is dotted with places that are worth a visit. Ranging from the man-made amusements to the natural wonders, it has something for every type of traveler. Here are five marvels in Dubai which must be visited by every tourist in this city at least once.

1. Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa is one of the most talked-about wonders encompassed by Dubai. It is an exotic skyscraper that is equipped with 8 escalators and 57 elevators. The ambiance here exudes an artistic exuberance. The interiors of this structure are a testimony to the exuberant sums of money spent on erecting it. To get a bewitching bird’s eye view of the city, head to the 124th floor of this building.

2. Marina

Marina in Dubai encloses cutting edge entities in its district. It is known to be one of the best-settled districts featuring tall towering buildings, top eateries, and other intriguing attractions. The waterfront district has everything from boutiques to traditional markets where you can access a range of products designed locally. This district also features a pathway lining the waterfront called Marina Walk which is perfect for an evening stroll with your loved one.

3. Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Dubai’s Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is known to be the largest suspended underwater zoo in the world. You can have an enthralling experience of exploring the underwater life here. This zoo has a huge collection of different aquatic species including tiger sharks and other endangered animals. This aquarium houses more than 140 aquatic species which can be conveniently viewed in their natural habitat.

4. Miracle Garden

This place features lush gardens dotted with a variety of colorful flora and fauna. The vibrant mixture of colors featured in this place is truly a treat to the eye. This is one of the largest gardens in the world with flowers grown over man-made structures of vehicles, Dubai landmarks, animals etc.

5. Ferrari World

Ferrari World was founded in the year 2010, and since then, has been a popular amusement park among adventure enthusiasts. The design and architecture of the entities of this park are Ferrari themed. If you visit Dubai with your family, you must head to this destination for a truly memorable experience. The highlights of Ferrari World include Ferrari Store, Formula Rossa, Fiorano GT Challenge, Scuderia Challenge, G-Force, Speed of Magic, V12 and The Pit Wall.

With so many attractions encompassed in this city, you can easily spend a fun-filled week here. Riyadh is another city nearby which can be explored for a thrilling experience. You can easily access Dubai from Riyadh by opting for any of the Riyadh to Dubai flights. So have you booked your tickets yet?…

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