world best travel places: January 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

10 places you're not allowed to visit

Thanks to cheap flights and the internet, the world’s not as mysterious as it used to be. Many of us have travelled to far-flung areas of the globe that would have been totally alien and unreachable to Brits even a couple of generations ago. However, there are still parts of the planet that – no matter how many tourist blogs you read – are still (almost) off-limits to tourists. Here are some of our favourite forbidden travel destinations.

1. Poveglia
Where is it?
 The Venetian lagoon, Italy
Why can’t I visit?: Because it’s haunted! According to legend it was used to isolate plague victims during Roman times, and then as a giant Black Death grave in the Middle Ages. As if that wasn’t scary enough, it’s also home to spooky abandoned building – complete with bell tower naturally – that was apparently a mental hospital. These days it’s off-limits to visitors unless you bribe a gondolier to take you there. 

2. Area 51
Where is it?
 Nevada, USA
Why can’t I visit?: It’s a top secret military testing base, protected by armed private security teams patrolling in jeeps who are authorised to use deadly force to deal with intruders. Whether or not you believe UFOs have crashed landed there, the ridiculously strict security around the base means you’re never going to find out for sure. 
3. Le Cercle Munster
Where is it?
Why can’t I visit?: It’s an exclusive private members club that’s extremely selective about adding new members. Want to join? You must be backed by two sponsors and be approved by a selection committee made up of bigwigs from the finance world. Unless you’re an incredibly rich banker, businessman or equity trader, you’ll never see the sumptuous insides of the club, take part in the ‘Programme culturel’ or eat the delicious food at the in-house restaurant. Damn! 
4. Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion
Where is it?
 Axum, Ethiopia
Why can’t I visit?: Because it’s no ordinary church. According to legend it's home to one of the most important biblical artefacts ever – the Ark of the Covenant (and we thought Indiana Jones left it in a warehouse). Only a specially chosen monk is allowed to guard the ‘Ark’. No-one else is allowed to lay eyes on it or even get close, in case they melt presumably (see Indiana Jones again). Of course, some claim this secrecy means the Ethiopian church is telling porkies… 
5. Most of Niihau Island
Where is it?
 The Hawaiian Islands, USA
Why can’t I visit?: Super-rich family the Robinsons (they’re not Swiss) bought Niihau in 1915 and closed it off to preserve its indigenous culture and wildlife. The 200-or-so natives who live there lead a blissful existence free of electricity, burger joints and, for the most part, tourists. There are very rare helicopter tours to the isle where you can wander along one of the beaches, but getting anywhere near the locals is strictly forbidden; hence its nickname, the, er, ‘Forbidden Island’. 
6. Bohemian Grove
Where is it?
 California, USA
Why can’t I visit?: It’s an extremely secretive men-only club whose members include artists, musicians, businessmen politicians… and the odd president (Nixon was a member). Once a year they all gather for a two-week long festival where (allegedly) rituals such as the ‘Cremation of Care’ - a wicker-man-style faux-pagan rite - and the ‘Grove Play’ - a large-scale musical theatre production - are performed by members. It sounds like fun to us, but somehow I don’t think we’ll get an invite… 
7. Lechiguilla Cave
Where is it?
 New Mexico, USA
Why can’t I visit?: It’s perhaps the most beautiful cave on the planet and frankly, the authorities don’t want you ruining it. Discovered in 1986 by miners, the sprawling underground complex is home to stunning speleothems, gypsum chandeliers and hydromagnesite balloons. We don’t know what any of these are, but they sound impressive. Sadly, unless you’re an extremely experienced caver you’ll never get a permit to see them. 
8. Jiangsu National Security Education museum
Where is it?
 Nanjing, China
Why can’t I visit?: Anyone is allowed in… as long as they are Chinese. There’s a big sign outside the front of this very unusual museum stating that only Chinese citizens are allowed inside. The unusual entry requirements are because the museum documents the history of Chinese espionage, and the state doesn’t want us foreigners finding out their spying secrets. 
9. Ilha de Queimada Grande
Where is it?
 Off the shore of Brazil
Why can’t I visit?: Basically, because it’s full of snakes – hence the nickname: ‘Snake Island’. Local legend states there’s between one and five snakes per square metre on the island. And not just any old snakes, most of ‘em are golden lanceheads – noted for their extremely potent venom. Because of this, understandably, the Brazilian Navy forbids tourists from stepping foot on the island. 
10. The peak of Mount Kailash
Where is it?
 The Himalayas, Tibet
Why can’t I visit?: Because it's home to a Hindu god. Lord Shiva, to be precise, who resides at the summit in a state of perpetual meditation. Sounds like bliss to us, which is appropriate, as Buddhists also believe the peak is home to the Buddha Demchok, who represents supreme bliss. Because of this religious significance the peak was always considered off-limits by most climbers, before this Chinese government issued an official ban in 2001.

The Undiscovered Paradise in Phang Nga

Only 15 minutes drive from Phuket International Airport, you will find the pristine and untouched beaches of Phang Nga West Coast. Kilometers of secluded and undisturbed coastline are set to make this destination the next big thing for Asia’s most savvy travelers. An easy escape from bustling Phuket, Phang Nga West Coast offers an easy-to-reach yet tranquil holiday opportunity with all the natural beauty and intrigue of Thailand, without the crowds.
Development is increasing sharply in this area, with resorts such as Aleenta Resort and Spa at the forefront of luxury accommodation. Located on Natai beach, a world away from the throngs of Phuket town but steeped in a luxury of its own, Aleenta offers guests not only a superior bespoke hospitality experience, but a quintessential liberation from ‘the real world.’
Aleenta Resort & Spa on Natai Beach is the central hub of activity in the Southern part of Phang Nga West Coast. With stunningly beautiful and quiet views of the white sands and crisp blue waters of the Andaman Sea, this unique boutique all-villa resort offers traditional Thai cuisine in addition to French gourmet from the Chef’s Table, the property’s dining hotspot led by a renowned French Chef. Aleenta provides scheduled entertainment for guests and visitors, including weekly outdoor movie nights complete with popcorn and comfy seating, and regular beach bonfires where a delicious Thai BBQ is expertly served.
Natai, Bo Dan and Tah Sai beaches are among some of the premiere secluded beaches Phang Nga West Coast has on offer. White sands, crystal blue water and a tree-lined coast provide an idyllic getaway for those seeking total rest and relaxation.
On Natai beach, just over the Sarasin Bridge is where Aleenta Resort and Spa sits, as well as “Millionaire’s Row,” a strip of high-end private villas which continues to expand up the beach.
Another beach haven on Phang Nga West Coast is Bor Dan Beach, a secluded stretch just North of Natai where yours will be the only footprints on the soft, fine sand. Surrounded by tall, Casuarina trees and other lush greenery, Bor Dan is a peaceful and refreshing beach escape infused with natural scenery.
Tah Sai Beach is situated North of Bor Dan, and is 40 minutes from Phuket International Airport. The Tah Sai Beach area features a number of natural lagoons behind the beach, making for alternatively delightful water-centric views, shaded by tall palm trees. Tah Sai is home to a collection of private villas with private pools and a peaceful natural ambience.
Also, underwater adventurers vacationing on Phang Nga West Coast are one step closer to Similan Islands. Known worldwide as one of Southeast Asia’s most revered dive spots, the Similan Islands are more accessible from Phang Nga West Coast than from Phuket – what was once a 4-hour trip from the centre of Phuket is now less than 2 hours from Phang Nga West Coast.
As well as the Similan Islands, the turtle conservation site at Phang Nga West Coast makes this the perfect destination for nature lovers. Often found along Phang Nga West Coast is the Leatherback Marine Turtle, the world’s largest living reptile, which has been listed as a globally endangered species since 1970 and was confirmed as “Critically Endangered in Thailand” in 1996. Phang Nga West Coast is a nesting area for these turtles, and a turtle sanctuary can be found in Khao Lumpee-Haad Thaymuang National Park. The turtle sanctuary is located just 20 minutes North of Natai Beach.
A number of hotels in the area are committed to protecting turtle breeding grounds along the coast. Aleenta Resort and Spa for example, holds an annual fundraiser which last year raised 500,000 Baht. Part of the donations were used to purchase 2 GPS tracking devices, which have been mounted on 2 sea turtles to track their journey through the Andaman Sea for scientific research purposes. The turtles can be tracked on Aleenta’s website, 
Phang Nga West Coast offers travelers and holiday makers a Thailand experience like no other – untouched, unspoiled, and pure relaxation is waiting for you.

Magnificent Marble Caves of Rio Tranquilo

The Marble Caves of Puerto Rio Tranquilo are some of the most remarkable attractions of Patagonia. This magnificent nature place is located in the Region of Aisen in Chile. Las Cavernas de Marmol, as the Spanish call them were created by the clear waters of Rio Tranquilo that dug into a giant limestone peninsula, creating an impressive labyrinth of caves. The peninsula is known as the Marble Cathedral and can be reached by boat, during a guided tour. In describing the beauty of the place, while texts always do injustice, photos are worth a thousand words. Hope you enjoy the beauty that God created.

2010 New Year Pictures Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia has celebrated its 2010 new year practically early than any other place in the world. Why? Please go open your high school’s geography book and find out yourself. :p These are some pictures of 2010 countdown at variety of places in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysians ushered in the New Year by letting their hair down at several countdown parties. Anyway, as reported by local newspaper today, despite concerns over the turbulent state of the economy, many were intent on having fun ushering in 2009 which was greeted by some fearsome fireworks displays. At Dataran Merdeka, political people were joined the crowd together for the countdown. As the Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad clock tower struck twelve, there were shouts of “Happy New Year” and cheers. The crowd was then treated to a spectacular fireworks show. Parties were also held at KLCC and Bukit Bintang.

Meanwhile, in Petaling Jaya, the festivities centered on 1 Utama shopping complex with samba dancers, fire eaters and Brazilian percussionists adding color before a line-up of artistes took to the stage. Deejays from the 988 radio station played games and gave away prizes to the partygoers.

Qattara Depression – World’s Largest ‘Vanish’ Land

Qattara Depression is located west of Cairo, Egypt. The place is the largest ‘vanish’ land in the world that left a large basin with a length of 175 miles (280km) and a width of 90 miles (140km). Since the size is very surprisingly massive, the location is very difficult to find and identify.

With the depth of 134 feet below the sea-level, the hole was once being used in the unstoppable war of Middle East as additional source of energy. With that fact, the scientists currently are trying to initiate a project that worth almost 360 million dollars to utilize Qattara as a complete independent energy resource (hydroelectric power). This plan requires
the trench dug from the end of the Mediterranean Sea to the Qattara so that the water will flow through the tunnel hole. As a result (at least 160 years into the future), a new lake that imitate the size of Lake Erie will be emerged. In this kind of desert, the heat will evaporate the additional water flow from the Mediterranean Sea.

However, before the plan will be carried out, scientist must first understand the geo of the land. Scientists are currently puzzled with the natural phenomena occurred in the Qattara even though they tentatively know that Qattara Depression is the result of wind erosion or wind storms that eroded the top layer to bottom layer. I think what the scientists do not know is the fact that the Qattara Depression is a vanish land. Yes a vanish land…Period.

29 Reasons Why You Should Visit China

China is the largest country in the world. Oh wait! Maybe Russia is the biggest but who cares. China has the largest population in the world, which is equivalent to more than triple number of U.S. population. It is true! Don’t get angry with me. Thus, do you have any intention to visit the country? Here I compile 29 reasons why you should visit China. At least, you will get your daily stress out. Have Fun!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Disaster of 2009 – Great Flood of Philippines

These were the photos of the worst flood that ever happened in Manila, Philippines capital. The flood was caused by a tropical storm of Ondoy (or Ketsana) that rampaging the city on 26 September 2009. At least 400 people died on the disaster and the damage lost was unimaginable (unofficially said to be more than USD100 millions). Below are the pictures story of what was happening during that time…

People are stranded in Cainta, province of Rizal , Eastern Manila.

Aida De Leon grieves in Pasig City , east of Manila.

An aerial view aboard a Philippine Air Force chopper shows devastation brought by Tropical Storm Ketsana in Cainta, province of Rizal , Eastern Manila.

Residents are evacuated by police boats during flooding in Cainta Rizal, East of Manila.

A Philippine Air Force aerial shot shows damaged houses in Marikina City , Metro Manila. More than 70 people were killed, Manila was blacked out and airline flights were suspended as a powerful tropical storm battered the main Philippines island of Luzon.

Residents wait to be evacuated from a partially submerged house during flooding in Bocaue, north of Manila.

Thousands of people in the Philippine capital and nearby towns were marooned by flash floods after a strong tropical storm hit the main island of Luzon , disaster officials said.

Residents cross a flooded street with the use of a rope in Quezon City.

A boy is lifted onto the roof of a building to escape the flooding in the Quezon City suburban of Manila . Nearly a month’s worth of rain fell in just six hours Saturday, triggering the worst flooding in the Philippine capital in 42 years, which stranded thousands on rooftops in the city and elsewhere.

Residents clamber on electric wires to stay out of floodwaters while others wade neck-deep in Cainta Rizal, east of Manila.

A victim of floodings is rescued in Pasig City , east of Manila . Authorities rushed rescue and relief to thousands of people who spent the night on the roofs of their submerged houses in Manila and surrounding provinces.

Commuters wade through waist-deep flood waters after heavy rains dumped by Tropical Storm Ketsana (locally known as Ondoy) on Saturday, Sept. 26, in Manila , Philippines.

Brave Men Behind Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is an architectural marvel, and one of the most spectacular attractions in New York City. The building itself was constructed in 1930 during the Great Depression and is a living monument to that era. The Empire State Building is located at Fifth and 34th Avenues. For 40 years after it was constructed, it held the record for being the largest skyscraper in the world. The building has starred in over 90 movies, and it remains one of New York City’s most popular tourist attractions. However, what most people do not know are the brave men behind the construction of the building that costs about USD40.5 millions. One of them might be our grandfathers. We should be proud of them. Below are the photos of the fearless men behind the construction of the magnificent Empire States Building.

Decorating The Center of City - Big City Toys

Traveling to various cities you unintentionally notice a lot of parallels between them. One of them is colorful painted sculptures usually decorating the center of a city. They are never the same, all are unique and very bright.

Big City Toys

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cho Oyu Images n Detail - China & Nepal

Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world at 8,201 metres (26,906 ft) above sea level. Cho Oyu lies in the Himalayas and is 20 km west of Mount Everest, at the border between China and Nepal. Cho Oyu means "Turquoise Goddess" in Tibetan. 

Annapurna Mountain Images Nepal

Annapurna is a section of the Himalayas in north-central Nepal that includes 8,091 metres (26,545 ft) Annapurna I, thirteen additional peaks over 7,000 m (22,970 ft) and 16 more over 6,000 m (19,690 ft).[3] This section is a 55 km (34 mi)-long massif. Annapurna I is tenth among Earth's fourteen eight-thousanders. It rises east of the Kali Gandaki Gorge separating it from Dhaulagiri massif. 8167 metre Dhaulagiri I is 34 km to the west and the gorge between is considered Earth's deepest.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey Feast Photos

Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. It is a holiday celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members and friends (Credit toThanksgiving Wiki). Below are some of the photos that can give you some ideas on how the festival is being celebrated each year.
Thanksgiving Turkey Day

Incredible Funchal’s Airport Runaway in Portugal

Now this is what I call an expensive runway! In Portugal, A special airport has been made — the airport’s runway with a length of 2781 meters (9124 ft.), of which 1000 meters (3281 ft.) of the runway is supported by 180 pillars, each pillar 50 meters height (about 17 floors) , surprisingly, the runway is designed for B-747.

Why You Should Visit Singapore

Singapore is an island city-state located at the southern part of Malaysia. Occupying only 710.2 km square, Singapore is a microstate and the smallest nation in Southeast Asia. It is substantially larger than Monaco and Vatican City, the only other surviving sovereign city-states. The population of Singapore including non-residents is approximately 4.99 million. Singapore is highly cosmopolitan and diverse with Chinese people forming an ethnic majority with large populations of Malay, Indian and other people. Singapore is well known as among the best tourist spot in Asia Pacific region and is a world of experiences clamoring for your attention; each one enriching, enchanting and different. There are many great places to visit and below is the reason why you should visit Singapore.

1. They have a UFO-Like Architecture Called Esplanade!

Now even if you’re not into architecture or design, you have got to appreciate these amazing buildings! Almost every street in Singapore seems host to some brilliant piece of construction. From the beautiful to the historic, the cutting-edge to the slightly bizarre, these buildings are really mind-blowing. They are, by themselves, enough reason to book your cheap flights and plan a city trip to Singapore today. Just think about all the great food and shopping these places contain too! Enjoy this little photo gallery as an appetizer and get to Singapore as soon as you can!
Image source: Henry Loh

Deepavali 2009: Festival of Lights Images

Deepavali or the ‘Festival of Lights’ is celebrated by Hindus with prayers, family gatherings and festivities. Open houses are held where family and friends visit each other and enjoy delicious Indian traditional goodies. Expect to find plenty of “muruku”, a crispy Indian delicacy that is particularly popular during this festival. Below are some beautiful photos taken during the lights festival of Deewali.

1. Circle of Light

Image source: Flickr

How to Claim Tax Back When Leaving the UK

Do you know that besides claiming Value Added Tax (VAT) at the airport, you can also get your tax back? But this offer only limited to those who have stayed and resided in the United Kingdom (UK) for some time. While the residences of UK were not only white people, many permanent residences of UK coming from other races and country. Thus, it is not surprising that many of those people will leave the country for good after spending couple of years of their life in the UK. However, regardless whatever reason you left, you certainly need to do the tax back when leaving the country and I will do my best to assist you on how.

Who is eligible for tax refund when leaving the country?

Almost anyone that has worked in the UK paying income tax who then decides to leave for an extended period of time will be able to apply for a tax rebate when leaving the country.

Will I be able to claim all my tax when leaving the UK tax refund for good?

It will depend on your income for each previous tax year and how much tax you paid. However you will almost certainly be due a tax refund from the tax year when you leave the UK.

How can I calculate what my tax refund when leaving the UK will be?

When you finish working you should be given a P45 from your employer, on the P45 there will be the income and tax figures for the year. Take these numbers and input them in our tax rebate calculator and it will tell you instantly if you are due a tax refund.

What about tax rebates from previous years?

If you have P60s for previous years you can check to see if you have overpaid in these years too. The longest back you can claim for is 6 years.

When can I claim tax back when leaving the UK?

As soon as you stop working you are able to claim any tax rebate that you might be due.

Can I claim my National Insurance Tax Back when leaving the UK?

Many people are unaware that you can claim back National Insurance Contributions however this can only be done if you are still resident when you apply. An NI (National Insurance) Rebate can be claimed at anytime and only needs to be done once (from thereon it is automatically done for you each year). Press on the link to claim a national insurance rebate.

Where Can I get more info regarding the tax return?

House on a Rock at Rhode Island

Clingstone, an unusual and such a vintage, 103-year-old mansion in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, survives through the love and hard work of family and friends. Henry Wood, the owner, runs the house like a camp where all skilled workers welcome. The Jamestown Boatyard hauls the family’s boats and floating dock and stores them each winter in return for a week’s use of the house in the summer.

Mr. Wood, a 79-year-old Boston architect, bought the house with his ex-wife Joan in 1961 for $3,600. It had been empty for two decades. Clingstone had been built by a distant cousin, J.S. Lovering Wharton. Mr. Wharton worked with an artist, William Trost Richards, to create a house of picture windows with 23 rooms on three stories radiating off a vast central hall. The total cost of the construction, which was completed in 1905, was $36,982.99. However, bear in mind that the currency in 1905 is not the same as for now. Possibly the price is estimated about $4 millions.An early sketch of the house shows the plan on how they develop the greatest architecture. Mr. Wood is as proud as any parent of his house, and keeps a fat scrapbook of photographs and newspaper clippings that document its best moments. Many of the historic photos he has were provided by the company that insured the house for its original owners. The Newport Bridge is visible from the windows of the Ping-Pong room, to the left of the fireplace. The house is maintained by an ingenious method: the Clingstone work weekend. Held every year around Memorial Day, it brings 70 or so friends and Clingstone lovers together to tackle jobs like washing all 65 of the windows. Anne Tait, who is married to Mr. Wood’s son Dan, refinished the kitchen floor on one of her first work weekends.
There are 10 bedrooms at Clingstone, all with indecently beautiful views. The dining room table seats 14. Refinishing the chairs is a task on the list for a future work weekend. Sign by the ladder that leads to the roof reads “No entry after three drinks or 86 years of age“.
“It used to say 80 but we had a guy on a work weekend who was 84, so I changed it,” said Mr. Wood, ever the realist. It would have been a shame to curtail the activities of a willing volunteer.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Why You Should Visit Siem Reap Cambodia

As far as Angkor Wat temple go, Siem Reap ranks right at the top of its historical and cultural significance as well as global recognition. Located 5.5 km north of the modern town of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is the essence of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia country, where it appears on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for international visitors. In my opinion, the visit to Siem Reap will not be completed without going to Angkor Wat and vice versa.

Then there is Ta Prohm temple, a structure that’s no less magnificent and is often attributed to Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition in which it was found, which is the picturesque and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor’s most popular temples with visitors. The architecture is as complex as any other Angkorian landmarks, if not more so; the stones are placed at such precision and complex interlocking shaped that it is impossible to fit even a single piece of paper between them!
Said to be built by more than 1000 men, the Angkor Thom remained the capital of a kingdom in decline until it was abandoned some time prior to 1609. An early western visitor wrote of an uninhabited city of Angkor Thom as fantastic as the Atlantis which some people thought to have been built by the Roman Emperor. During its time, the ancient city is believed to have sustained a population of about hundred twenty thousands of people.
Hope this info will inspire you to visit Siem Reap of Cambodia. Do enjoy every inches of beautiful temple and nature sceneries in Siem Reap. For more details on accommodation, food and tourist guide, please do visitSiem Reap Info Travel.

Krrunching My Way to Uniquely Singapore

I was in Kota Bharu Kelantan (visiting and shopping) when a representative from Nuffnang contacted me about my blog Akademi Fantasia being the top 5 finalists for the best travel award nomination in the First Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards Ceremony 2009. I’m totally lying if I said I was not surprised and excited about this nomination. Being the top 5 finalists for travel category is an honor to me and the news is already pumping my adrenaline to the highest during these recent days. I currently wonder the person who has nominated me because I hope he/she can contact me via my email so that I can thank him/her properly for the nomination. I’ll do my best to compete for the travel award even though I feel I have very low chance of winning, plus the opponents are very professional, experienced and great. I have been in many parts of the world (US, UK, Ireland, Europe, and China) but never in Singapore (oh wait, I have but only inside the airport!) and this implicitly has inspired me to attend the ceremony. Enough with the ramblings, I will tell how you can vote this blog.
Based on what I heard, the voting is merely contributing 50% of the final points. The other 50% portion is coming from professional judges, consisting expert (s) from Nuffnang, FrankVizeum, P&G, Ripplewerkz, Asia PR Werkz, Dow Jones Newswires and Singapore Tourism Board. Good job. You are done now! You can vote every 2 hours. Follow Step 1-4 to vote for Akademi Fantasia. I will appreciate all the votes and thanks for voting. The venue for the award is at Pan Pacific Singapore. Being one of 5-stars hotels in Singapore, do you wonder how it looks like? Check this out!

The History of Tourism in Europe

The birth of modern tourism is rooted in the recent history of Europe. The emergence of middle and upper classes combined with holiday time incorporated into the workplace together fueled by the industrial revolution contributed greatly to the emergence of the industry. The terms tourist and tourism appeared less than a century ago and referred to people traveling for periods over a day at a time. Previous to the 19th century, tourism was primarily reserved for royalty and privileged families and was generally for cultural reasons. In this article, we shall see how important Britain is in the history of the industry.

Britain was the first country to modernize through heavy industry. This led to leisure time and, consequently, the leisure industry. People had time on their hands travel to for cultural, climate and health pursuits. Gradually, the working masses were able to plan for leisure like the business owning class. The British began touring the rest of Europe eventually finding and developing resorts to become popular destinations. This is rather quaintly evident in the legacy of holiday resort names scattered about Europe. The Promenade des Anglais of the French Riviera is the first and best established resort with the esplanade bearing its name. Scattered about Europe are hotels with names like the Hotel Bristol, the Hotel Carlton or the Hotel Majestic and more. The English certainly are a proud bunch, to say the least.
The British popularized many winter sports both on island as well as abroad. In the middle 1800s, many villages in Switzerland came under entrepreneurial attention to provide ski resorts for the new leisure classes. Notable is the first packaged winter vacation in 1903 to Adelboden in Switzerland. Many sports including boxing, football, rugby became organized by the British. The attraction to sports has never stopped growing worldwide and has always been a reason to travel as a tourist for an event.
In comes mass travel with the development of transportation. Railways become the most popular way to visit seasides and other countries. Technology allowed greater numbers of people to make the most of their new-found leisure time – the holiday. On July 5th, 1841, the British founder of modern mass tourism, Thomas Cook, chartered the first train to take a group of campaigners going from Leicester to Loughborough some twenty miles away. Seeing potential for business development, he became the first tour operator and the rest is history.
Domestic tourism flourished, naturally, in the beginning until foreign travel became in reach of more of the masses. Throughout all of Europe, resort towns sprang up to accommodate the ever increasing demand of growing tourism. European river cruises came as a result of tourist charms with the many splendid rivers throughout the Continent. It is really about the pursuit of pleasure, indeed.
For many countries today around the world their economies became dependent on the influx and commerce of international visitors. Higher speed trains and the advent of planes exponentially increased the opportunity for the masses to explore this world and its peoples. And we can thank the British for their persistence and endeavors for their contribution to the burgeoning tourist industry.

Photo Monday – Malaysia Beautiful Sunset

Being this month in many places, beautiful beaches and islands around Malaysia has really opened my eyes on the splendor of God’s creation. I managed to take shots on the sunset and share them here. One of the photos was even taken from the flight above the sky. Will the photos encourage you coming to Malaysia?

Photo Monday – 15 Inspiring Ecosystem Wallpapers

1. Library of Ages at Central California. The fog settled in after another nice sunset along the central California coast. The rock layers which record the geologic history of Montana De Oro State Park just south of Big Sur, can be read like books in an ancient library. A long exposure isolated the rock by smoothing the large surf. Indeed, the photos is very naturally magnificent.
Library of Ages California

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Time Lapse Landscapes - Best Videography

Here's a beautifully photographed collection of timelapse shots from Arizona and Utah, created by one man (Dustin Farrell) using one camera (a Canon 5D Mark II). It shows iconic locations, including many used in my favorite timelapse film, Koyaanisqatsi. But Koyaanisqatsi isn't available in 1080p, so for now this'll have to do. My favorite part: the Milky Way zooming by in the background. Well done, Mr. Farrell!

Humber Bridge England Kingston - Detail n Images

The Humber Bridge, near Kingston upon Hull, England, is a 2,220 m (7,283 ft) single-span suspension bridge, which opened to traffic on 24 June 1981. It is the fifth-largest of its type in the world. It spans the Humber (the estuary formed by the rivers Trent and Ouse) between Barton-upon-Humber on the south bank and Hessle on the north bank, connecting the East Riding of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. As of 2006, the bridge carried an average of 120,000 vehicles per week.[1] The toll is £3.00 each way for cars (higher for commercial vehicles), which makes it the most expensive toll crossing in the United Kingdom. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Yangluo Bridge China - Images n Detail

The Yangluo Bridge is a suspension bridge near Wuhan in the Hubei province of China. With a main span of 1,280 metres (4,200 ft), it is tied with the Golden Gate Bridge for the ninth longest suspension bridge in the world. The purpose of the bridge is to carry the recently constructed Wuhan Ring Road over the Yangtze River and provide easy access to both sides of the river as part of a larger plan to promote development in the eastern portion of the city. Construction on the bridge began on November 4, 2003 and it opened to traffic on December 26, 2007. 

World's Smallest Five-Star Hotel Germany

At 2.5 meters wide and with just 53 square meters of floor space, the Eh Häusel (Wedding House) in Amberg, Germany is the world's smallest hotel, and a five-star one at that.

Smallest Five Star Hotel

Magnificent Croatia: A Memorable Vacation

There are few cars because most vehicles are too wide to fit within the narrow valleys lined between houses, shops and churches in Croatia. Located in Central and Southeastern Europe, the country of 4 million populations has among the most beauty scenery in the world. The visitors do not have to worry about the accommodation because there are quite many reliable travel agencies can be found on the net. The best option I could suggest you is Croatia Apartments. They are fascinating with very warm staffs and top services.

Some of you might decide in last-minute to have a visit after seeing beautiful photos of Croatia. You should not worry of expensive apartment’s price because I just found a very good deal for you. This deal is exactly suitable for those who have Last Minute Croatia. You can have up to 40% discount using this last minute deal. Thus, your plan of having vacation in gorgeous Croatia will not go to a vain.
Some people do not like cheap accommodation and I understand it very well. This kind of people always expects the attractive places are well packaged with luxury accommodations. There are couples of Luxury Croatia Villas available and this selection of villas will not make you disappointed. Believe it! I can guarantee you will fall in love with this deal. You can enjoy your party, your family reunion or even wedding reception with this luxury deal. All in all, Croatia is indeed a very magnificent place that I admire for long. Have a nice holiday! Do enjoy every inches of beautiful sceneries in Croatia.