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Monday, January 31, 2011

Journeyetc

Journeyetc


Asia’s Top Destinations for Honeymooners

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 02:13 PM PST


For newly-weds who are looking for the perfect romantic getaway in Asia, here are the top 10 destinations you can choose from to share with your loved one.

Bhutan

It's one of the happiest places in the world, so they say, and its happiness reeks into its honeymoon packages. The country's history, culture, and romantic scenery add to the charm of a honeymoon suited for celebrities. Head to the Amankora in Paro, Bhutan that offers beautiful lodges for the couple to enjoy. Tour packages also feature the wonders of the country like the Mount Jhomohari, the valley of Phobjika and the Satkeng Wildlife Sanctuary.

Trekking, Nepal

If you're the kind of couple who seeks adventure, a honeymoon in Nepal might just do the trick. The ancient history of this country plus its many gifts from Mother Nature will up your honeymoon agenda like no other. The ancient city of Patan is a great place to discover, as well as the lake of Pokhra, the Buddhist heritage site in Lumbini, and the wildlife of Chitwan. Visit the lush rain forests, see the wild life, trek to the waterfalls, and witness the majestic Himalayas as these activities will surely strengthen your bond each step of the way.

Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan

Aesthetically, the shape of the lake itself is as ethereal as the name suggests. It echoes the fusion of two heavenly bodies, the sun and the moon, and the thought makes of a perfect honeymoon destination in Taiwan. The sunrise and the sunsets are truly magnificent which is also due to the fact that the place is not yet marred by urban development and gives way to the pagodas, greenish mountains and the blanket of hazy clouds. While swimming in the Sun Moon Lake is prohibited, many hotel pools are built overlooking. Book a room in The Lalu Hotel and treat yourselves to a great meal at the Pu-Le Restaurant.


Hoi An, Vietnam

Spending your honeymoon in Vietnam means spending the day exploring quaint historical towns that give off that much needed charm and appeal as though you're stepping back in time. The town of Hoi An is famous for its lanterns, white sand beach called Cua Dai, busy marketplaces and divine restaurants that features only the most succulent of the coastal life. Book a villa in the Nam Hai Hoi An. The villas are spacious, elegant and features beautiful gardens that give way to the view of the South China Sea. If you're seeking for relaxation, you can visit the Life Heritage Resort & Spa. For a laidback and discreet honeymoon setting, head to Mango Bay in Phu Quoc.

Rajasthan, India

Feel like royalty with a honeymoon fitted for kings. Explore the rich culture of the country by visiting the forts, gardens, and magnificent palaces during your trip. You can also visit the cities of Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur. The lure of its splendid palaces, safaris and san dunes add to the thrill of your honeymoon getaway. The are many heritage hotels you can choose from but the best part of this romance-in-the-dessert honeymoon tour is the list of impressive places you can see like the Saheliyon ki Bari, Lake and City Palaces, the shrines of Nagda, Deshnoke, and Ranakpur and so much more.

Bali, Indonesia

For a luxurious honeymoon experience, book a room at the Ritz-Carlton Bali or at the Four Season's Resort. Apart from their succulent fresh seafood menu, the nearby beaches offer the perfectly warm romantic getaway. For those who want sophistication and elegance, stay at the Nusa Dua for a romantic and beautiful setting fit for Hollywood celebrities. For some laid-back but tempting secluded beach settings, head to Padang Bai that features a magnificent harbor view. For some sight-seeing, the historical towns of Denpasar, Taman Wedhi Budaya, and Amlapura will surely enchant you wit its rich art and culture.

Boracay, Philippines

The picturesque island of Boracay has been one of the most sought-after venues and destinations for wedding and honeymoons. Many couples have exchanged their vows while standing on the white-sand beaches of this magnificent island. While the island is famous for its parties, there are many places here you can head to if you want a serene vacation. Book a room in the Sheridan Villas Boracay that boasts of first-class interiors and amenities and the perfect quiet location for those who want the beach and its serenity.

Okinawa, Japan

The country's culture of courtship is evident in its literature and where else can you experience this kind of feudal romance if not in Okinawa? In modern times, newly-weds are treated to the perfect escape from the dizzying city life by witnessing the beautiful countryside of Okinawa with its mountains and beaches that provide the perfect sceneries. Couples can also venture into island-hopping and snorkeling activities apart from the serene walks they can enjoy. There are also many shopping and dining establishments where they can get a taste of authentic Japanese cuisine.

Maldives

Here, it's so easy to escape to private bungalows for that much needed romantic time together and then wake up and walk to your private beach with its clear, blue waters and fine white sands. For couples who are into water sports, head to the Angsana Resort & Spa Maldives Ihuru for the best diving spots in all Maldives and magnificent beach front villa where you can relax while sipping on cocktails. The Angsana Spa also helps rejuvenate the sense with its array of pampering techniques for the mind and body.

Phuket and Samui, Thailand

The magnificent islands of Samui and Phuket still continue to enthrall newly-weds. The beautiful beaches, the warm climate, and the thousand other places to visit in this country make for the perfect romantic getaway with your loved one. Don't forget to visit the Grand Palace Complex where the Temple of The Emerald Buddha can be found. Get on the Bangkok Canal Tour, cross the Chao Phraya River and Klong by speed boat, and experience The Floating Market and its many wondrous finds.


Top 10 Travel Destinations for 2011

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 02:03 PM PST

Paris and New York are still two of the world's most favorite destinations but today, there are many laid-back tourist destinations in the world that attract even the most savvy of travelers. Here are a few examples.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Rio de Janeiro offers more than picturesque beaches but also a delectable cuisine that starts off with the country's signature cocktail, the Caipirinha, that has captivated the rest of the globe. Hiking adventures at the Tijuca rainforest and Sugarloaf Mountain, as well as water adventures in Guanabara Bay and Arpoador Rock attract tourists from all over the world. Of course, there's the world-famous carnivals and night life that can only be found in Brazil.

Ireland


For starters there's the Cliffs of Moher, which is probably the most breathtaking places that travelers must see for themselves. Another magical place in Ireland is a huge limestone-filled area called the Burren where, amazingly, rare plants that won't grow anywhere else in the whole world can be found. For some fairytale-like adventures, there are many castles that you can visit in Ireland. One of which is the Blarney Castle that was used as the MacCarthy's fotress in ancient times.

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica


It may be a small town but it sure has an array of must-visit local bars, adventure tourism sports and good restaurants that feature the best of the local cuisine and scene. For travelers who are into adventure sports, Puerto Viejo's Salsa Brava is the best thing next to the Bonzai Pipeline of Hawaii. If you get tired of the beach scene, you can head to the Cahuita National Park and the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge to explore the local wildlife. ATV tours, zip-line posts and other underwater adventures await travelers who are yearning for some adrenaline rush activities.


Taipei, Taiwan


Taiwan is a country where age-old traditions are upheld while the country soars in terms of technology and modern conveniences. For its cultural havens, head to the National Place Museum to see the wide collection of Chinese art they have. The Taipei Flora Expo celebrates the country's reputation as the top orchid producers in the world. Taiwan's rich landscape offers great hiking opportunities and the people's hospitality makes things easier for tourists visiting the country for the first time. Now for some gastronomic treats, dine at Dintaifung and enjoy the country's best dumplings.

Santiago, Chile


Today, as the Andes Mountains took witness, the city of Santiago has become a buzzing megalopolis filled with world-class hotels, museums, bistros, and even the home of one of the world's best fashion museums, the Museo de Moda. There's also the Patio Bellavista where numerous restaurants and chic stores are situated. The Metropolitan Park, which is bigger compared to NY's Central Park in terms of land area, is being renovated to give way to more than ten gardens, a zoo, and a cable car feature. The new Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, which was launched just last year, is also another tourist attraction that features the city's rich history.

Hokkaido, Japan


Hokkaido features a quaint European influence in terms of architecture and the country's breathtaking natural landscapes and wildlife. Hokkaido is also known as a place for great winter sports and its Sapporo Beer. When visiting Hokkaido, make sure you stop at Sushikin Honten in Hakodate and order their king salmon dish. The place is also famous for its squid, sashimi, and stewed dishes. And since Hokkaido is rich in flowing agricultural landscapes, their beef and other dairy products are simply the best you can find in Japan.

Kent Coast, England


When you think of England, you think of the Buckingham Palace, but England really offers an array of magnificent beaches and quaint seaside towns like the ones found in Kent Coast. When coming here, make sure you drop by the areas of Ramsgate and Whistable. The Broadstairs is also a good seaside resort you can stay in for the duration of your trip. For those seeking for some adventure, you can take on the Viking Coastal Path that stretches to 27 miles and feature some of England's grand and oldest churches in history. The Bleak House and the Dickens House Museums can also be found here.

Atlanta, Georgia


Atlanta has a rich history that stems back the civil war but today, there are many attractions that invite tourists to come see Georgia. The Cheatham Hill, the Kennesaw Mountain (or the National Battlefield Park), the World of Coca-Cola Musuem, and of course, the world's biggest aquarium. For some more history, Atlanta is also the home of Federal parks that pay tribute to the works of Martin Luther King, Jr. The High Museum of Art and the Fox Theater are also big crowd pleasers while the neighborhoods of Midtown, Buckhead, and Virginia-Highlands offer great establishments for shopping, dining, and club-hopping.

Stockholm, Sweden


There are so many things to see in Stockholm—the medieval-like, romantic, cobble stoned streets of Gamla Stan; the Djurgården Island that boasts of approximately 10 million tourists year after year; the "Grona Lund” Amusement Park, the open museum called the Skansen, the remarkable Vasa Museum or the Vasamuseet (preserved 17th century ship), the changing of the royal guards, and so much more. There's also the Ice Hotel and as the name suggests, it's made of ice and is constructed every winter for the visitors to enjoy.

Ponza & the Pontine Islands, Italy


On your next visit to Italy, make it a point to visit Ponza. Like a scene in a movie, visiting Ponza requires a trip on a boat, walking along the seashore, and even swimming in less crowded coves that can't be traveled by land. The sunset in Ponza is unlike any other. Ponza is fast becoming popular, though it already has its share of visitors but if you want to bask in the island grandeur of Ponza, book a trip either in June or September when, according to the locals, the island is at its best. Two other Pontine islands, the Zannone and the Palmarola, are also magnificent destinations when coming to Italy.


Top 7 Places for Food Lovers

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 11:59 AM PST

If you're out to find the best spots for the city's local culinary delights, here are the top 7 cities that will surely meet every foodie's great expectations.

Lyon, France

The French's influence is evident in every part of the globe and what better way to enjoy authentic French cuisine than going to the country itself. France is all about good food but the best of palates are not limited to Paris. Lyon is next to Paris in term of land size and here, you can savor the authentic French cuisine that has made the rest of the world take notice. Fresh local sausages and Bresse poultry are served everyday at various bistros and restaurants that are found in Lyon. La Tassée is famous for the best of the city's cuisine with its best sellers veal kidney and pike served in matelote sauce. L’Alexandrin is not only famous for its Bresse served in a rich and sinful cream sauce but also for the warm and friendly greetings by the wait staff. If you want to whip up your own French dishes, head to any of the 40 plus food markets in the city for the freshest finds.


Barcelona

When you think of Barcelona, you think of Mediterranean cuisine that showcases the best of olive oils, seafood, and fresh local ingredients. For Barcelonans, food is an important part of life and should be enjoyed whole-heartedly and shared with family and friends. That's the reason for their heavy and extended lunch hours that usually starts at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and ends around 4 o'clock. Dinner is usually eaten around 9 o'clock in the evening and is often lighter compared to the food eaten at lunch. If you're itching for some tapas-style snacks, there are several restaurants you can visit: Cal Pep is popular in Barcelona because of its fresh and delicious seafood menu plus the fun experience you get. Passadis del Pep and Ca l’Isidre are also crowd pleasers. If you're looking for fresh Barcelonan ingredients to take home, drop by La Boqueria food market for the freshest finds.

Las Vegas

For foodies wanting to have a taste of the globe, head to Las Vegas! You want some French food, go to Paris Las Vegas. Italian? Go to Venetian. There's really no stopping you from getting all your cravings right here in Sin City with its back-to-back restaurants featuring world famous cuisines. With celebrities and high rollers flying in from different parts of the globe, Las Vegas sure knows how to step up. Today, Bellagio's Picasso seem to be making waves with its French-Mediterranean menu by Chef Julian Serrano. Nobu Matsuhisa at the Hard Rock Hotel is also popular for its Peruvian-slash-Japanese menu that boasts of the best sushi in Las Vegas. For those of you who are fans of the legendary Wolfgang Puck, the Postrio in Grand Canal Shoppe is the best choice for some fine dining experience.

Lima, Peru

Do you know that in Lima's coast alone, there are about 2,000 types of soups to choose from? Well, why not? It's strategic location enables it to have a shining reputation for the best seafood. Lima's menu is also influenced by that of Spain and France for starters. Peruvian specialties like "picarones", which are donuts made from potatoes and then seasoned with sugar, are sold by street vendors as well as some small family-style restaurants. The famous Astrid y Gaston, which is located in the Miraflores district, is a must-try for first time visitors as well as Costanera 700 where you shouldn't pass a chance to sample their divine fruit sorbet. For those who want to get a taste of authentic Peruvian cuisine, go to La Huaca Pucllana what features a fried guinea pig dish.


Hanoi, Vietnam

Ever wonder why noodle-lovers head to Vietnam? The noodle dishes here are divine! Whether you eat it dry or wet, the combination of the freshest ingredients like meat, fish, veggies, and an array of spices make for a gastronomic, authentic experience. Vietnam delicacies like roasted pigeon, dog and snake are also served here paired with alcohol. Exotic food lovers would find their match in the Snake Village, locally known as Let Mat, where a seven-course meal featuring snake is being served. There are also a handful of French-inspired restaurants in Hanoi for those of you who long for some comfort food. Vietnam's rice balls are also a must-have.

Rome

Who could ever forget the flavors of this Italian capital? With its list of impressive historic sites, the food is simply divine. The locals are very fond of their coffee and you might as well find the perfect cup at Bar Sant'Eustachio. For truffles and pesto fanatics, northern Italy is the best place to savor rich dishes that features both. For the best olive oil, head to Tuscany and for the best seafood and spices, go to southern Italy. A trip to Rome is not complete without a slice of authentic Italian pizza. Dine at Pizzeria Remo for some marinara pizza that will surely titillate your taste buds. With these marvelous food finds plus the picturesque and laid-back lifestyle in Rome, you will surely have a great time exploring this marvelous city.

New York City, USA

You just can't have a list of the top foodie cities without mentioning the Big Apple. From its famous staple, the NY hotdog, to the pretzels and beer, to the fusion of western and eastern flavors in the numerous bistros, restaurants, and hole-in-the-wall food establishments, New York City is, really, every foodie's wonderland. Le Bernardin, which first opened in 1986, is still an award-winning restaurant that features the best of French seafood in the Big Apple. For the Panini-loving foodies out there, Henry Public offers the best turkey sandwiches in the city. Pizza in NY? Nothing tops Joe's Pizza which is located in Greenwich Village. For anyone who's visiting NY for the first time, don't forget to visit the greenmarkets for some organic produce and partake in a cozy weekend brunch menu like the one in The Breslin Bar & Dining Room for some Full English breakfast.


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