Archive for the ‘Asia & Pacific’ Category

Petra, the National Treasure of Jordan

Petra, the National Treasure of Jordan

Fabled as “The Rose Red City, half as old as time,” Petra (an archeological park in Jordan) has been welcoming a sudden throng of visitors from all over the world after being recognized as a World Heritage Site, as well as being included to the New Seven Wonders of the World.Located on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains that form the eastern side of Arabah, Petra has been well-known for its buildings and tombs that have been cut out of solid sandstone. The designs of these bui…

Waiheke Island: The Little-Known Getaway

Waiheke Island: The Little-Known Getaway

People visiting New Zealand’s capital city of Auckland becomes instantly enamored with its contrast of magnificent dormant volcanoes, a bustling urbanity, and the warm nature of its people. However, they do not realize that this marvelous city hides a secret. Whenever Aucklanders want to getaway from the urban chaos, they simply take a 35-minute ferry ride to a piece of island bliss.Measuring just 93 square kilometers, Waiheke Island has a mixture of rolling hills, a warm and dry microclimate, a…

Tết, the Vietnamese New Year

Tết, the Vietnamese New Year

Every nation celebrates the New Year in a very special way, although different from the commonly celebrated day of January 1. In Vietnam, they follow the lunar calendar in celebrating this momentous event.Traditionally called Tết Nguyên Ðán, the Tết is the most important and popular holiday in Vietnam. Its name literally means “Feast of the First Morning,” although the celebration can last for a week. Tết can be divided into three periods: Tất Niên (before New Year’s Eve), Giao Thừa (N…

Wakakusa Yamayaki Festival of Nara in Japan

Wakakusa Yamayaki Festival of Nara in Japan

Aside from being a former capital of Japan during the 8th Century, the city of Nara has been known for its historic monuments that have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as its preservation of old-fashioned customs that still exist today.One of its famous traditional festivals comes in every January 14. The Wakakusa Yamayaki welcomes spring by burning the city’s 342-meter hill. Its origins have been shrouded in mystery. Some say that the festival began as a land dispute betw…

China’s Winter Wonderland

China’s Winter Wonderland

The fifth day of the New Year marks the start of China’s long-running winter festivals held in the northeastern city of Harbin.  With its massive and beautifully carved ice statues and snow structures that are open to the public until the warmth of spring melts these lanterns, the event has become one of Harbin’s top tourist destinations attracting both local and foreign travelers.The Harbin Ice Festival has been held since 1963, although it has been interrupted several times during the Cultural…

Istana Nurul Iman, the Largest Palace in the World

Istana Nurul Iman, the Largest Palace in the World

The Sultanate of Brunei is an Islamic country that prides itself of its rich oil reserves.  However, unlike some cities in the Middle East like Dubai, Brunei is not as ostentatious.  Instead, they prefer displaying their riches almost politely and unassuming just like its people.  A perfect example of this is the world’s largest residential palace, Istana Nurul Iman.Measuring about 200,000 square meters, the Istana Nurul Iman is both a residential palace as well as an administrative office for t…

Charminar, The Charm of Hyderabad

Charminar, The Charm of Hyderabad

India may be facing security alerts in some cities, most notably in Mumbai where a widespread terror attack in November 2008 killed over 100 people. However, you need to remember that India is a pretty large country and many of its cities still achieve peace between Hindus and Muslims, especially in Hyderabad where one of India’s largest Muslim populations is located (although they are still part of the city’s minority).Considered as India’s version of Silicon Valley, Hyderabad is a bustling bus…

Travel Facts About Japan

Travel Facts About Japan

Traveling is something that people do to rest, relax and release stress. When traveling, one of the places that people often visit is Japan. Japan is a beautiful country. However, foreigners’ impression on this country is that it is laden with a hypersexed culture. This is probably due to the prevalence of anime pornography in this country, as well as the thriving prostitution industry that it has. Facts about Japan:Enjo Kosai, a form of dating where occasional sexual favors are performed on old…

Travel Advice for Singapore

Travel Advice for Singapore

Singapore is considered as one of the safest major cities in the world, largely due to its very steep fines on even the lightest of offenses.  No wonder the locals joke around that Singapore is a “fine city.”  Although enforcement of these strict disciplinarian laws is sporadic, it is better to be safe than sorry.  Here are some of the activities that may cause you great trouble and you should avoid when visiting Singapore.Maintain common sense for light offensesMinor offenses such as jay-walkin…

Where to Go in Majestic Palau

Where to Go in Majestic Palau

Most tourists going to Palau have only one thing in mind:  diving into its precious natural treasures under the sea.  The Pacific island of Palau prides itself of its great natural beauty, untouched wilderness, and intact culture that are ideal for a relaxing holiday.  Here are some of the best locations you can enjoy while staying a week or two in Palau.Angaur IslandGarnished with timeless South Seas charm, the low-key Angaur Island has a lot to offer for tourists who prefer to stay away from t…